False Alarm at the Pool

Today at the pool, while I was guarding, a patron that is known for having had a seizure while swimming at our pool a few years ago came into swim. He is a regular at the pool and swims about 80 laps (25 yard laps in this old pool) every time he swims. He has a worker that comes with him just to make sure everything is okay and to help him get around. He was the only swimmer in the pool. After about a half hour of laps while he was in the middle of the pool he suddenly stopped swimming with his face down in the water. It was a little odd because he was vertical to the bottom, but nevertheless he was face down. His aide and I were both alarmed, we both figured he was having some kind of seizure even though it would have been just a “partial” (he wasn’t shaking). He lifted his head up for a moment and I called out to him to see if he would respond but then his head went back under. I leaped into the pool — a pretty good stride entry too I might add, and found myself staring eye to eye with a very confused swimmer. I asked him by name if he was ok. He responded that he was; by the look he gave me I think he wondered if I was. It turned out that he had stopped to look at his water sock that was in the process of falling off. He was standing there face down trying to fix it. He never heard me call to him from the deck. I caused myself a lot of worry for nothing, and got wet too, but in the end I’m really glad it was nothing.

Google Files Long Awaited IPO Plans

For a cool 2.7 billion dollars you too could buy Google. Actually google hasn’t released a price per share but that is the amount of money Google is hoping to raise in its initial public offering which is slated for availability on the stock market in another seven months. The announcement also let the cat out of the bag as to how much money google is actually making (via informationweek.com):

The Mountain View-based company earned $105.6 million, or 41 cents per share, on revenue of $962 million last year. Google got off to a fast start this year, with a first-quarter profit of $64 million, or 24 cents per share–more than doubling its earnings of $25.8 million, or 10 cents per share, at the same time last year.

I’ll bet founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are having a party tonight, aside from all the profit their company is making they have another $2.7 billion heading their way – They’ve got a lot to be happy about, I know I would be.

If you are interested related information can be found in Google’s SEC Filing. Highlights (as determined by John Battelle):

The letter states, among other things, that 1. We don’t need to do this for the money; 2. We have no plans to run our business to satisfy Wall Street’s need for smooth earnings predictability; 3. We plan to give no earnings guidance, not at least as it’s understood on Wall St.; 4. Don’t ask us to do so, we’ll simply decline the request; 5. We’ll do odd things that you won’ t understand; 6. We will make big bets on things that may not work out; 7. We run the company as a triumvirate, so there will not be clear leadership from one person like most other companies; 8. We bridge the media and tech industries (interesting), which are in flux, so we’ve chosen a two-class stock structure similar to the NYT, WashPost, and NYT that helps us avoid being taken over by those forces; 9. We plan using an auction model, as it feels fairer and we understand auctions from AdWords; 10. Don’t invest in us if this scares you at all, or the price feels too high; 11. Don’t even think about asking us to cut expenses with regard to our employees; 12. We believe in the idea of Don’t Be Evil; 13. It’s evil to pay for placement or inclusion (a swipe at Yahoo); 14. We hope to bridge the digital divide through Gmail type free services and a foundation with at least 1% of profits and equity to help make the world a better place; 17. Betting on Google is a bet on Sergey and Larry (this was said multiple times, making me wonder if there wasn’t some odd future blame being assigned here by the VCs or bankers); 18. This letter is our way of answering the questions we can’t answer in the coming months due to the IPO quiet period.

Polling the Iraqis

In a nationwide CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, 3,444 Arabic and Kurdish Iraqis were interviewed face-to-face regarding social and political conditions in Iraq since the war began. The data is raw, but it certainly is interesting.

All interviews were conducted in the residences of the respondents. These poll results are based on interviews conducted in all parts of Iraq, both urban and rural, representing about 93% of the total Iraqi population. Nearly all the interviews were conducted between March 22-April 9, 2004. An extremely small number of interviews were conducted between April 16-22.

See the results (PDF).

Jeff Milner Movie Review: In America

I loved this movie. Ok, it’s a sappy chic flick – but it’s so good. A family comes to the United States seeking a better life and their story is retold in this great film, “In Amerca”. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 89% fresh rating. It definitely gets a high ranking in my book, but don’t take my word for it, see “In America” for yourself. I’m not sure but I think having been to New York allowed the movie to bring back that overwhelming feeling that the Big Apple has on small town folk like myself. Oh and if you are at all like my mom you’ll need about a box and a half of Kleenex, but I think you’ll like the movie anyway.

And on the sixth day God created Man…

Life from inorganic mixture? It’s a science project you can do in a high school chemistry lab. Speculation suggests that maybe “God” used clay after all.

“Graham Cairns-Smith, a chemist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, has speculated for many years that life on our planet may not have started with organic (carbon-based) molecules. He suggests life may have begun with inorganic ingredients, such as clay minerals that can carry heritable information in the stacking sequence of their sheets of atoms. Such ‘clay organisms’ might be able to replicate, Cairns-Smith argues.”

For the serious science geek find out more about “Spontaneous Formation of Cellular Chemical System that Sustains Itself far from Thermodynamic Equilibrium” here (pdf).

Law & Order

It looks as though Jerry Orbach has filmed his last scene in the series Law & Order. Don’t worry though – a friend of mine discovered that a new Law & Order series is in the works. It’s going to be called Law & Order: Trial by Jury and will star Jerry Orbach.

This new drama will feature a kind of ripped-from-the-headlines stories that that franchise has become know for, beginning with a criminal arraignment and continuing through the trial. The show will provide fictional access to prosecutors, defenders, judicial chambers, the jury room and every other nook and cranny of the process.

The show’s format is set up to allow for the possibility of cameos from other actors and characters from within the “Law & Order” universe.

I’m not the world’s biggest fan, but I really do like the show. I’ve been pretty disappointed with the spin-offs Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent, but I’m hoping the new series will be more like the original than these two. Look for it on the air in January 2005.

Watcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?

The city of Portland just approved a $145,000 settlement stemming from a 2003 incident where the police knocked down, pepper sprayed and tasered a 71 year old blind woman. Her 94 year old mother tried to come to her rescue, but police pinned her up against a wall – thinking that maybe should would use the water she was carrying to help her daughter as a weapon.

Hey Crackhead, why don’t you buy a pipe?

An engineer from San Fransico writes an open letter rant to the Crackhead that vandalized his sparkplugs. (Via all over the blogosphere).

On Wednesday morning I emerged from my girlfriend’s building by U.N. Plaza to find that you had sawed the tops off both the sparkplugs on my motorcycle. At the time, I had no idea why anyone would do that. Other than the sparkplugs, the bike was untouched. Some kind of bizarre vandalism? A fraternity prank gone awry? I had no idea. All I knew is that I looked like a huge douchebag riding the Muni to work in a padded motorcycle jacket and helmet.

Because the bike was immobilized I got a $35 street sweeping ticket that night. Thursday I had it towed to the shop ($45) where they replaced the sparkplugs and the boots ($50 including labor). They explained to me that “people” – I use the term loosely here – like you break off the tops of spark plugs and use the porcelain tubes to smoke crack. As an engineer and former MacGyver fan, in a way I think this is kind of cool. But then I remember that I just paid $100 for YOUR crackpipes, and I get angry again.