Pop Quiz

Monday, December 15th, 2008

What’s special about the number 8.388608E06F? The answer will be in my next developerWorks article.

Read on for a hint.

Spotless Ladybird Beetle

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Two red beetles mating

Spotless Ladybird Beetle, Cycloneda sanguinea
Irvine, CA, 2008-11-01

I found these two busy beetles while walking my dog one morning.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.7

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

I’ve upgraded this site to WordPress 2.7. Please holler if you notice any problems.

Still the Worst President Ever

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The lame ducks are quacking, but W. still proves able to come up with inconceivably bad ideas and the supine Democrats in Congress still go along with him in his schemes to enrich his cronies in the oil industry at the expense of pretty much everyone else.

The U.S. automakers are in trouble precisely because they have insisted on building gas guzzlers no one wants to buy any more, and have refused to make available smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. Now that the market is spoken these socialists-for-the-rich want to give fifteen billion dollars to these companies so they can continue making heavy trucks and SUVs no one wants any more, and Bush wants to take the money from funds specifically allocated by the Energy Independence and Security Act to develop new fuel efficient vehicles the public might actually want to buy. This is state socialism at its stupidest.

The market has spoken. Consumers don’t want to buy what the automakers want to build, so let the big three go out of business. If the tens of thousands of consequent layoffs bother the so-called liberals in Congress, then allocate the money to the unemployed directly, or start a jobs program for something we actually need. How about a little socialism for the poor for a change?

Moth Monday: They Just Keep Coming

Monday, December 8th, 2008

I went out to Santiago Oaks yesterday for the monthly Sea & Sage walk with Linette Lina. I usually try and get there a little early because the restrooms near the picnic area are a great place for insects and moths in the early morning. They probably leave the lights on over night, and various things end up perched there in the morning. Yesterday was no exception. This skittish fellow was about 2-3 cm long, and held his wings folded over his back perpendicular to the wall rather than spread out parallel to the wall like most moths do:

Perched Moth

Don’t know what it is yet. Any suggestions?

Directions to UCI Ecological Preserve

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

I’ve gotten so used to finding pretty much everything with either Wikipedia or Google, that sometimes I’m a little shocked when there’s something I can’t find. On Friday I found myself trying to puzzle out the exact location of the UCI Ecological Preserve, allegedly one of the best sites to find Cactus Wrens in Orange County. It’s also a good picture of just what most of Irvine would look like if it hadn’t been irrigated and suburbanized beyond all recognition.

I was able to establish that the preserve was probably on the main campus, and not a remote site, but nothing I found anywhere said more than that; and I’ve been told that UCI has the second largest campus in the U.S. Only Stanford’s is larger. However after looking at Google Maps satellite pictures, I did manage to narrow it down to only a couple of possible undeveloped locations. And with a little on-site reconnaissance I found it. So here’s how you get there: