Here to a long-running TV show

Dr Who 'longest-running sci-fi'

Doctor Who has been named TV's longest-running sci-fi show, after 43 years and 723 episodes, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

"This achievement is all thanks to the remarkable production team who first created Doctor Who," said Russell T Davies, who penned the TV revival.

He also thanked the audience "who have kept it alive for all these years".

The series began on 23 November, 1963, and was revived in 2005 after 16 years off the screen.

William Hartnell played the original Doctor Who, with Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison among those following in his footsteps.

Christopher Eccleston took up the mantle of the ninth Timelord last year - following the show's relaunch. He was replaced after just one series by David Tennant after Eccleston dropped out.

Guinness World Records editor, Craig Glenday, added: "This is a proud day for Doctor fans everywhere."

US series Stargate SG-1, now in its 10th series, holds the world record for "longest-running science fiction show (consecutive)".

It launched in 1997 and has run for 203 episodes without a break. Hit US series The X Files previously held the record, notching up 202 episodes.

Being sick has its advantages, it gives you time to think

From Grey's Anatomy

The key to surviving a surgical internship is denial. We deny that we're tired. We deny that we're scared. We deny how badly we want to succeed, and, most importantly, we deny that we're in denial. We only see what we want to see, and believe what we want to believe. And it works. We lie to ourselves so much that after awhile, the lies start to seem like the truth. We deny so much that we can't recognise the truth, right in front of our faces

Sometimes reality has a way of sneaking up and biting us on the ass. And when the dam bursts, all you can do is swim. The world of pretend is a cage, not a cocoon. We can only lie to ourselves for so long. We are tired. We are scared. Denying it doesn't change the truth. Sooner or later, we have to put aside our denial and face the world, head on, guns blazing. Denial. It's not just a river in Egypt. It's a freakin' ocean. So how do you keep from drowning in it?

In the past I've always tried to convince myself that everything is ok, that one more little push is what will make things go better and fix everything. What makes this sad is that there are times when I know that it won't... if nothing else, it'll make things worse.

I was reviewing the goals and objectives I set with Beverly several months ago and I realized that it's all been a big self denial game. I wasn't happy about the idea of moving, that's why I moved on the assumptions that it was going to be temporary. Then I decided I was scared of getting into another competition for employment (particularly after I didn't get the job I had originally applied for when I moved to Chico) so I rationalized it as wanting to stay and ground myself in a place eventhough I had considered the job to be temporary... the contradictions start piling up to the point where I don't know where am I or why am I doing what I'm doing

It's also making me think about the people in my life who got the short end of my ambitions. Those people whom I wanted to have close by but who by some reason just left or, more appropriately, I let go.

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

The latest event in life makes me wonder if I'm not better off single 🙂 (and that's all he wrote about that)

Adobe Rolls Out Integrated PDF/Flash Products

Adobe puts Macromedia technologies to good use in the soon-to-be released Captivate 2 and Acrobat 8.

By Tim Siglin
September 24, 2006

One test of success in any merger or acquisition is how well the corporate cultures of the merging companies mesh together. While the jury is still out on the meshing of Adobe and Macromedia’s corporate cultures, Adobe seems to be passing another vital test--integrating Macromedia technologies into newly minted Adobe products that add additional value to the general user. Two particular products, Captivate 2 and Acrobat 8, are leading the integration charge.

Captivate 2, to be released later this fall, builds on the basic premise of the original Captivate program, which was Adobe’s first screen capture program. Captivate was designed to allow lectures or other training events to be recorded and then played back.

Captivate 2, however, takes a much more holistic approach to training content creation and distribution. Employing a scenario-based wizard, a Captivate 2 content creator is able to create multi-path scenarios--which take into account more than just yes or no answers--with ease. Scenarios created in Captivate allow the end user to explore a series of potentially right answers, gaining points or credits for some partially correct answers and more points for exactly right answers. Captivate 2 also provides content creators both a visual view of the flow of answers from screen to screen as well as a table view that displays pertinent information about multiple slides in a spreadsheet-like format for easier modification of content.

Captivate 2’s real power, though, lies in its ability to output the content seamlessly into a Flash file. This means that fully self-contained training modules, complete with multimedia content like Flash 8 Video files, can be loaded on to a standard web server.

"We feel the integration of Macromedia’s Flash interactivity--a strong part of our ongoing strategy--into Captivate 2 provides a solid platform for branching beyond the standard screen capture feature that Captivate 1 provided," says Silke Fleischer, Adobe’s product manager for the Captivate product line. "Scenario-based training modules that contain Flash 8 video files continue to add benefit to the new product."

Acrobat 8, the newest version of Adobe’s flagship page creation product that was announced last week, will contain a single-button collaboration solution. This solution, formerly called Macromedia Breeze, is now being called Acrobat Connect. Connect comes as a hosted solution that allows up to 15 participants to collaborate together; the service will be launched in November 2006, and will be available for either $39 per month per user or $395 per year per user. A free trial of Acrobat Connect will be available from late November through the end of the year, while the Acrobat Connect Professional version will be available in December.

The integration into Acrobat 8 is one way that Adobe hopes to drive the hosted service forward, counting on ease of accessibility and ease of use to leverage the service for the average user.

"We believe web collaboration needs to be as easy as sending and viewing a PDF document, so anyone can reap the benefits of meeting online in real-time," says Tom Hale, senior vice president of Adobe’s Knowledge Worker Business Unit. "Since nearly everyone already has the Flash Player installed, Acrobat Connect makes it extremely easy to go from looking at your computer screen to sharing it with others, regardless of their platform or version of software."

The move toward Flash and PDF as the two primary tools in the Adobe arsenal, each with a paid creation portion and a freely distributed player portion, allows Adobe to argue that developers should use the Acrobat Connect Collaboration Builder SDK to create custom interactive applications like engaging learning games and simulations.

"The motion forward is around personal and project spaces where people can communicate around certain issues and topics," says Ricky Liversidge, a product marketing manager at Adobe, said. "It's like having my personal meeting room--a URL where you go forward and store documents."

Hari Seldon, here we come

Experts believe the future will be like Sci-Fi movies

9/24/2006 9:52:16 PM, by Ryan Paul

In the latest study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, over 700 technology experts were asked to evaluate an assortment of scenarios in an attempt to determine potential trends for the year 2020. With responses from representatives of the World Wide Web Consortium, ICANN, the Association of Internet Researchers, and major corporations like Google and IBM, the report reflects the perceptions of "Internet pioneers," more than half of whom "were online before 1993."

The highly speculative scenarios presented to respondents are all vaguely reminiscent of various themes commonly found in contemporary science fiction. From artificial intelligences dominating humanity to disgruntled Luddites engaging in violence, the poll looks more like an abandoned script by Michael Piller than a serious exploration of the future. Let's examine some of the more colorful quandaries, and see how many of the concepts have been prominently featured in Star Trek:

Attack of the Amish

Expressing belief that some who reject technology will perpetrate terrorist attacks against technological infrastructure, almost 60 percent of respondents agreed with the following scenario:

"By 2020, the people left behind (many by their own choice) by accelerating information and communications technologies will form a new cultural group of technology refuseniks who self-segregate from "modern" society. Some will live mostly "off the grid" simply to seek peace and a cure for information overload while others will commit acts of terror or violence in protest against technology."

Will disenfranchised LoTeks wreak havoc on society? Comparing future anti-technology vigilantes to modern day "eco-terrorists," Internet education expert and poll respondent Ed Lyell pointed out that "Every age has a small percentage that cling to an overrated past of low-technology, low-energy, lifestyle." Respondent Thomas Narten, a member of IBM's Internet Engineering Task Force, believes that "by becoming valuable infrastructure, the Internet itself will become a target," and FirstGov developer Martin Kwapinski feels that "random acts of senseless violence and destruction will continue and expand due to a feeling of 21st century anomie, and an increasing sense of of lack of individual control."

Some of the respondents sympathized with the Luddites. Respondent Denzil Meyers said, "we need some strong dissenting voices about the impact of this technology in our lives. So far, it's been mostly the promise of a cure-all, just like the past 'Industrial Revolution.'"

This particular theme is examined at length in Star Trek Deep Space Nine season two, episode fifteen, "Paradise," in which Captain Sisko and Miles O'Brien become stranded on a planet populated by the followers of an extreme Luddite philosopher who believes technology is detrimental to human growth. One is also reminded of season five, episode two, "Let He Who is Without Sin...," in which a group of "Essentialists" sabotages the weather control system on the planet Risa in order to convince vacationers that dependence on technology has weakened them.

Strung out on fantasy

Over half of the poll respondents believe that immersive fantasy worlds will completely absorb users, leading to virtual reality addiction. Fifty-two experts agreed with the following scenario:

"By the year 2020, virtual reality on the internet will come to allow more productivity from most people in technologically-savvy communities than working in the "real world." But the attractive nature of virtual- reality worlds will also lead to serious addiction problems for many, as we lose people to alternate realities."

Although some self-described MMORPG "addicts" might be inclined to argue that this particular prediction has already come to pass, compulsive gaming has yet to become a widespread phenomenon with clear societal implications. Technology consultant Robert Eller responded, "we may see a vast blurring of virtual/real reality with many participants living an in-effect secluded lifestyle. Only in the online world will they participate in any form of human interaction."

Virtual reality addiction is a prominent theme in Star Trek the Next Generation season three, episode twenty-one, "Hollow Pursuits," in which Lieutenant Barclay's severe holodeck addiction interferes with his ability to work and relate to others.

Oh no! Cylons and Skynet!

Just under half of the respondents worry about artificial intelligence run amok, leading to the potential subjugation of humanity. 42 experts agreed with the following scenario:

"By 2020, intelligent agents and distributed control will cut direct human input so completely out of some key activities such as surveillance, security and tracking systems that technology beyond our control will generate dangers and dependencies that will not be recognized until it is impossible to reverse them. We will be on a "J-curve" of continued acceleration of change."

Will we become slaves to our own inventions as intelligent computer systems evolve to the point where they can control our society? Earlier this year, I predicted the coming Roomba insurrection. Start stockpiling ammunition now, because it's only a matter of time before those evil little circular dust busters figure out that the best way to keep the house clean is to dispose of the filthy flesh-bags that make it messy in the first place. Elle Tracy, president of The Results Group, comments, "until testing, bug fixing, user interfaces, usefulness and basic application by subject-matter experts is given a higher priority than pure programmer skill, we are totally in danger of evolving into an out-of-control situation with autonomous technology."

Many respondents, like Rob Atkinson of the Progressive Policy Institute, believe that the significant advantages of autonomous technology far outweigh the potential risks. Atkinson says, "The more autonomous agents the better. The steeper the 'J curve' the better. Automation, including through autonomous agents, will help boost standards of living, freeing us from drudgery."

The implications of artificial intelligence is a frequent recurring theme in Star Trek, and it is featured prominently in many of the best episodes. The concept is most effectively embodied in the juxtaposition between the android Data, and his morally uninhibited twin Lore, but occasional holodeck incidents also convey the concept of out-of-control AI. In season six, episode 12, "Ship in a Bottle," a sentient holographic representation of Professor Moriarty seizes control of the Enterprise.

Language, privacy, and equalization

Although the rest of the scenarios are less colorful, they are still relatively interesting. 52 percent of respondents agree that the "free flow of information will completely blur current national boundaries as they are replaced by city-states, corporation-based cultural groupings and/or other geographically diverse and reconfigured human organizations tied together by global networks." 46 percent of respondents believe that "transparency builds a better world, even at the expense of privacy," and 42 percent agree that "worldwide network interoperability will be perfected" by 2020, making mobile communication "available to anyone anywhere on the globe at an extremely low cost."

52 percent agree with the assertion that "The Internet opens worldwide access to success," and 42 percent believe that "English will displace other languages" by 2020. I'm honestly surprised that question made it on the list at all. In a world with sophisticated artificial intelligences and immersive virtual realities, one assumes that the Universal Translator would be invented somewhere along the way.

Are these scenarios really indicative of future trends? Given the prevalence of many of these concepts in science fiction content, it is obvious that the ideas themselves are at least relevant enough to warrant consideration. That said, the nature of the survey and the way that the scenarios are presented makes the entire thing seem less plausible. In looking at classic science fiction films of the past, from Blade Runner to Soylent Green, one realizes that few of them really predict with any accuracy the world we live in today. Culture and technology can change in radically unpredictable ways, and today's experts may lack the foresight to perceive the future with the clarity of Hari Seldon.

It sucks

The worst part of coming home from my weekend in the Bay Area is that I had 2 useless meetings.

It keeps amazing me how people can bank their reputation on stuff that they are not even sure how it works.

The second meeting was somewhat more productive and it involved technical stuff.

Still, it's this useless meeting culture that drives me crazy.

Sunlight dances through the leaves…

Rivendell, the refuge of the elves


Rush (Fly by Night)

Sunlight dances through the leaves
Soft winds stir the sighing trees
Lying in the warm grass
Feel the sun upon your face
Elven songs and endless nights
Sweet wine and soft relaxing lights
Time will never touch you
Here in this enchanted place

You feel there's something calling you
You're wanting to return
To where the misty mountains rise and friendly fires burn
A place you can escape the world
Where the dark lord cannot go
Peace of mind and sanctuary by loud water's flow

I've traveled now for many miles
It feels so good to see the smiles of
Friends who never left your mind
When you were far away
From the golden light of coming dawn
Till the twilight when the sun is gone
We treasure every season
And every passing day

We feel the coming of a new day
Darkness gives way to light a new way
Stop here for a while until the world,
The world calls you away
Yet you know I've had the feeling
Standing with my senses reeling
This is the place to grow old 'til
I reach my final day.


From Grey's Anatomy Soundtrack

How To Save A Life
The Fray (How To Save A Life)

Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through

Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
And you begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence

Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you'll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

How to save a life
How to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

How to save a life

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Dreams Revisited

Something triggered memories (and that's dangerous). It all feels so alient to who I've become and to who I am now.

20 years ago (1986): I was in 6th grade just starting to learn about life and the world. I was sure of absolutely one thing... I had no clue what i was going to do with life, all I knew is that I wanted to have fun with my friends 🙂

15 years ago (1991): I was a junior in highschool. Enjoying my classes, well, most of them, and learning even more about myself... I will never forget the monologue that I did for Cortazar's Rayuela for my Spanish class or when we went as a class to see Death and the Maiden. By this time I was possitive I was going to do theater at the Catholic University in Santiago and then do my MFA in theater directing and work like Oriana or Mario Valdovinos did and live life the way I wanted it to.

12 years ago (1994): I had just left Santiago for the use on March 26th and by the time my second week in indian country had arrived I was already working in McDonalds (go figure). I was at Central 2 months later... yes, yes I know I like cutting things close 😉

12 to 8 years ago (1994 - 1998): I don't think I've enjoyed more being somewhere than I did at Central. I didn't do well academically (a 2.83 is not a great GPA) and I was depressed as hell the first 2 years, but I learned so much and enjoyed so many of the things I did while I was there. Trip to Donostia to do research with Ybarrola and Yanner or work at the Theater doing light crew or Set crew 🙂 When I was a freshman I still thought I was going to major in theater, do my MFA in directing and move back to Vermont, where I lived at the time, and direct and teach theater By the time I was a Junior I realized that as much as I love theater (and I still do) I wasn't ready to make a career out of it. I switched majors to General/Liberal studies and still managed to graduate in 4 years 😀

9 years ago (1997): After I went on my Ethnographic research trip it was time for Fall semester and to say goodbye to Central. I was crazy trying to take 20 units in a semester. I ended up dropping 4 units and taking 16... I was so intent on taking an extra semester to do a great ressearch projects I had in mind... but Mr Washington and Franklin (is he the one in the $100 bill?) decided otherwise. I moved to California in 1997 (I actually flew Xmas day)

8 years ago (1998): Since I didn't finish my degree while at Central I took the last 6 units at San Jose State in California. Met some great people and landed a job. At this point in time I had no clue what was it I wanted to do. I started hanging out with people at the Instructional Technology lab and started my MA fall that year while working at the Alquist Center at San Jose State. At this point I wanted to get into the joint USC/SJSU doctoral program in Instructional Technology like Dr. Johana Keirns did and teach

6 years ago (2000): I left San Jose State's work and dropped of grad school to work at the Californai Virtual Campus regional center in the San Francisco bay area. It was fun while it lasted and it was a great challenge both an enjoyable one with all the learning I did and a stressful one having to deal with my director.

3 and a half years ago (May 2003):  Myself along with the entire staff from the CVC 1 Regional Center (Alex and Jean) were laid off because of a drastic budget cut. For a while I was without direction. I decided, with a little maternal prodding, to go back and finish graduate school which meant I had to be accepted to begin with.

2 and a half years ago (May 2004): I graduated with an MA in Instructional Technology from San Jose State University and my GPA *gasp* was a 3.77. Sure, if you don't keep at least a 3.0 they kick you out of the program, but I still don't believe that the work I did would have got me the grades I did when I first started.

1 and a half year ago (January 2006): I always thought it would be great to work at CSU, Chico. So far so good but the jury is still out. Of course now that I have the freedom I don't know what to do with it.

A show of moral courage like I haven't seen in a while

Published on Thursday, February 27, 2003 by the New York Times
U.S. Diplomat's Letter of Resignation
by John Brady Kiesling

The following is the text of John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Mr. Kiesling is a career diplomat who has served in United States embassies from Tel Aviv to Casablanca to Yerevan.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am writing you to submit my resignation from the Foreign Service of the United States and from my position as Political Counselor in U.S. Embassy Athens, effective March 7. I do so with a heavy heart. The baggage of my upbringing included a felt obligation to give something back to my country. Service as a U.S. diplomat was a dream job. I was paid to understand foreign languages and cultures, to seek out diplomats, politicians, scholars and journalists, and to persuade them that U.S. interests and theirs fundamentally coincided. My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.

It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.

The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America’s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.

The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vast international coalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. But rather than take credit for those successes and build on them, this Administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to so to ourselves. Is the Russia of the late Romanovs really our model, a selfish, superstitious empire thrashing toward self-destruction in the name of a doomed status quo?

We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners. Even where our aims were not in question, our consistency is at issue. The model of Afghanistan is little comfort to allies wondering on what basis we plan to rebuild the Middle East, and in whose image and interests. Have we indeed become blind, as Russia is blind in Chechnya, as Israel is blind in the Occupied Territories, to our own advice, that overwhelming military power is not the answer to terrorism? After the shambles of post-war Iraq joins the shambles in Grozny and Ramallah, it will be a brave foreigner who forms ranks with Micronesia to follow where we lead.

We have a coalition still, a good one. The loyalty of many of our friends is impressive, a tribute to American moral capital built up over a century. But our closest allies are persuaded less that war is justified than that it would be perilous to allow the U.S. to drift into complete solipsism. Loyalty should be reciprocal. Why does our President condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this Administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials. Has "oderint dum metuant" really become our motto?

I urge you to listen to America’s friends around the world. Even here in Greece, purported hotbed of European anti-Americanism, we have more and closer friends than the American newspaper reader can possibly imagine. Even when they complain about American arrogance, Greeks know that the world is a difficult and dangerous place, and they want a strong international system, with the U.S. and EU in close partnership. When our friends are afraid of us rather than for us, it is time to worry. And now they are afraid. Who will tell them convincingly that the United States is as it was, a beacon of liberty, security, and justice for the planet?

Mr. Secretary, I have enormous respect for your character and ability. You have preserved more international credibility for us than our policy deserves, and salvaged something positive from the excesses of an ideological and self-serving Administration. But your loyalty to the President goes too far. We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America’s ability to defend its interests.

I am resigning because I have tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current U.S. Administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside to shaping policies that better serve the security and prosperity of the American people and the world we share.