It's funny how computers do exactly what you tell them to do. A couple
of days ago, my friend Paul Jones dropped off an external hard drive
with a backup of his data. I'd offered to copy his data up to my system
as an off-site backup for him. I did that, sticking his 42 GB of backup
data in the /home/thompson/data/pbj-backup directory.
I run a
Linux application called Beagle that indexes all of the files in my
home directory, as well as all of the web pages I visit. It's kind of
like a personalized Google search. Yesterday, I used Beagle to look for
a document, typing in a few keywords. I expected to get a few hits, but
I got 50 or more. Most of those were, you guessed it, from Paul's
This morning, I reconfigured Beagle to exclude the
/home/thompson/data/pbj-backup directory. I wasn't sure what to expect.
Worst case, I figured I might have to reindex manually to eliminate all
of Paul's stuff from the index. I hoped that instead as Beagle
automatically updated its index it would notice that that directory was
no longer to be indexed and eliminate references to it. As it turns
out, it's even better than that. I entered the exclude string in the
configuration screen and then immediately searched for the keywords
that had returned so many of Paul's documents. Those documents weren't
returned, so Beagle instantly eliminated them from the index.
I'm working now on the fingerprint chapter of the forensics book, which
will be an expanded version of the lab session I did on revealing
latent fingerprints in the home chem lab book. Once I complete that, I
have lab chapters on blood detection, impression analysis, forgeries
and fakes, and forensic biology to write up. That'll complete the first
pass, after which I have to go back to shoot a lot of images and do
some rewrite. So, the end is at least now in sight, although still some
- It can't be a coincidence that this SNL skit
has disappeared from Youtube and most other on-line video repositories.
I'm surprised it ever aired in the first place because, unforgivably,
it tells the truth about the bailout, including, surprisingly, that the
Democrats are largely responsible for the mess we find ourselves in.
also disgusted watching the Obama campaign trying to distance itself
from charges, originally raised by Clinton, that Obama associated
with the terrorist Bill Ayers. Obama says he was 8 years old at the
time the Weather Underground was bombing buildings and killing people.
So what? No one has said Obama was involved in the bombings. The
question is why he would voluntarily associate with a terrorist and
And, make no mistake, Ayers is as much a terrorist as
is Osama bin Laden. Ayers was, with Mark Rudd and Jeffrey Carl Jones, a
member of the executive committee of the Weather Underground. His group
set off bombs and killed people, not to mention offering aid and
comfort to our enemies while we were at war. All three of them should
have been charged with high treason and executed. Sadly, all three of
them are now walking around free.
wish I had time to pursue advanced degrees. If time and resources were
unlimited, I'd want to obtain several additional degrees, including an
M.D. and Ph.D.'s in several fields, including multiple chemistry and
biology doctorates, genomics, forensics, mathematics, astrophysics,
engineering and bioengineering, nanotechnology, and even perhaps
archeology and anthropology.
As it is, I'm fortunate enough to
be writing books about subjects that interest me, which is probably the
next-best thing to pursuing original research. And, as Mary Chervenak
commented, I'm probably getting more actual lab time than most Ph.D.
Speaking of which, I'm currently working on a lab
session about raising latent fingerprints from the sticky side of
Scotch tape using gentian violet (crystal violet) stain. Watching this
kind of stuff in documentary videos is great. Reading about it books is
better still. Actually doing it is beyond comparison.
- Here's a Bob Seger track I'd never heard, from 1966. It didn't sound like Seger's voice to me, but Barbara said she recognized the voice as his.