Americas’ most-ex of Presidents Wrote a Novel

Times Online – Sunday Times

So the great peanut farmer president has, in his eighth decade, turned his formidable energies to fiction. There will be those, in these cruel and cynical times, who will greet the news with a certain weary sigh. Jimmy Carter, for all his distinguished work on behalf of peace and equality, remains something of a joke figure.

Although this review wasn’t very favorable, I’m waiting for the review by PJ O’Rourke, which will no doubt be blistering, and a much better read than the Carter Novel.

via Allah

HIPAA, year One

I got a nice email from a blogger yesterday, and found out that not only is he a Texan, he lives in Dallas, the lesser-known of our twin cities here in North Texas.

He’s an attorney, and his blog focus is HIPAA. He’s posted a nice summary of the GAO’s report on the first year of the implementation of HIPAA, and here’s his editorial opinion following his reporting: HIPAA Blog

Personally, I think this is because the medical community has always been quite good at keeping private what is supposed to stay private. HIPAA was, in large part, drafted to fix a problem that existed primarily in the minds of the paranoid and over-reactionary. Were evil drug companies and marketing firms using personal medical information for nefarious (or at least profit-driven) purposes? Sure, it happened occasionally. But the vast, vast majority (well over the Ivory Soap threshold of 99.44%) of individuals and entities that had access to personal medical information maintained the privacy and confidentiality of that information at least as well as HIPAA now mandates. It’s easy to fix a problem if it doesn’t really exist in the first place.

That’s what I’ve been saying, but not as well. His will be a frequently read site of mine.

SpaceShipOne captures X Prize

CNN.com – SpaceShipOne captures X Prize – Oct 4, 2004

MOJAVE DESERT, California (CNN) — SpaceShipOne achieved its most spectacular flight yet, climbing to an altitude of 364,000 feet (70 miles), eight miles beyond what was needed to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize.

With a wish of “Good luck and Godspeed,” mission control sent the privately funded craft toward space for the second time in a week, the requirements for winning the X Prize.

“Today we have made history. Today we go to the stars,” said Peter Diamandis, co-founder of the X Prize Foundation.

The $10 million award is intended to spur civilian spaceflight.

I’m very impressed at the Rutan brothers, and wonder if there’s anything they couldn’t do if they decided to do it.

I’m wondering what the purpose of ‘civilian space flight’ might be. Tourism seems most likely, and that’s fine by me, but I wonder what other ideas are out there. Somebody enlighten me.

Update: from Slashdot, the best quote about civilian space tourism:

i wonder if William Shatner can get me cheap tickets through Priceline…

CAF Airshow Report

From Sleepless in Midland, a CAF Airshow report!

The rain didn’t stop it. The CAF air show today was an abbreviated affair, but it was loads of fun nonetheless.

He has a nice photo of a P-47 Thunderbolt, a P-51 Mustang and an F-16 Falcon in a formation. Looks like the Falcon is doing all it can not to stall at the old warbird top speed.

Thanks for the report, George!

Best List of the Day

Via Feet First

Amazon List of the Day

This is hysterical: Books for People You Don’t Like

Dr. Alice is absolutely right, this is hysterical!