Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Tomorrow is the first day of my second year of blogging. It's been somewhat successful. I've managed to air my dirty laundry and innermost thoughts, and my theological mutterings. My home and my inner life have been much better for it.

At the same time, I feel like this blog lacks that vision thing. It's not a single-issue site. I like to think that I would welcome opposing viewpoints, even if my writing can be stridently liberal from time to time. (With DeLay, Abramoff, Reed, Norquist, Scanlon, Rudy, Rove, Libby, and so on, maybe this political bias is regrettably necessary at this period in history.) Not that I get many comments, but to my commenting readers and faithful subscribers both, thank you.

People arrive at this blog in some pretty interesting ways, whether they're Nickel Creek fans or have an unhealthy interest in me writing their term papers for them. They look for examples of specialized letters to invite people to musicals. They want to watch and rewatch the Svarnik and Byll videos. Once in a while they even search for Dan Lewis. I keep thinking I should cull some of the best searches and put them on the front page.

Feel free to suggest improvements to the blog. Content suggestions or questions to explore might be nice, even fun. I said something once about a site redesign involving books, letters, paper, and CSS, but nothing has come of it yet. This is your big chance for the year, so don't let it slip away.

Enough metablogging. I saw an excellent episode of Nova this weekend, "The Great Robot Race". This is about the recently concluded DARPA Grand Challenge: build a robot vehicle, which, given only a long list of a bunch of GPS waypoints, can drive itself through varied terrain and obstacles across a hundred miles of desert within a certain time limit (ten hours or so). And here's the catch: no human intervention whatsoever once the race starts. It was astounding to watch. And five robot cars really did it. The technology in those things is just astounding, and related to my interests, learning and intelligence. The video image processing they did was amazing too.

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