08 March 2011
SETI League
PriUPS Project

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Rodney King

Here's something I didn't know, and I bet you didn't, either.

(CNN) -- Some 20 years after his beating at the hands of Los Angeles police, Rodney King was pulled over in Arcadia, California, this week after allegedly running a red light, his fiancee said Thursday night. Cynthia Kelly said she was riding with King on Tuesday when the traffic stop occurred. King was then was cited for driving without a license, she said. Kelly was a juror in King's civil trial against the city of Los Angeles in 1994, in which he was awarded $3.8 million. [emphasis supplied]

That rates an especially long hmmmmmm.

Verizon's Plan Yet Again, and Paul's Suggestion

There's another way to beat the system (sort of), short of continually tracking your minutes. Sign up for an X minute per month plan. Use your phone as you will. Two days before the billing cycle end date, punch #MIN, and get a free text message telling you how many minutes you've used. If you're under X, no problem. If you're over X, call Verizon customer service, upgrade to a Y minute plan for the *current month*, with instructions to automatically revert to Plan X at the beginning of the next billing cycle (that is, three days hence). I've done this those few months that I've needed megaminutes, and thus avoided the 45c/min ruse.

A clever ploy, Paul!  Which would prove my point (if I had one).  Yes, Verizon does have a "plan" with more minutes, and presumably you can temporarily switch to it by following the procedure above.  But, much more easily, Verizon's computer could notice that you've exceeded your minutes, switch you to the higher plan, and then switch you back with no effort on your part and maybe a few microwatt-seconds of computer power on Verizon's.  Why make Paul do it manually?  Sheer diabolical joy!

Noticed Several Decades Too Late

Although Isaac Asimov is best known as a science fiction writer, he also wrote mysteries.  Many of his SF books were really mysteries set in his imagined future.  The Foundation Series, and particularly the third book in the original trilogy, Second Foundation, has as a central mystery the galactic location of this Foundation, whose leader's title is "First Speaker."  Meanwhile, our young heroine, Arkady Darrell, (don't call me "Arcadia"), is taken under the wing of a hick farmer from the planet Trantor named "Preem Palver."  Nobody in the story, and certainly not this reader who first encountered the Foundation Triligy at approximately age 10, got the clue.

Preem Palver.  Prime Palaver.  Get it?


A perennial question on the Prius chat boards, and one that I have debated in the car as well:  What is the point of having the irritating reverse beeper sound inside the car?  The driver knows he is going backwards, but the warning is inaudible outside the car, which is where danger to unaware pedestrians and more rigid parking lot features lurks.

I don't have an answer to that question, but it reminds me of a suggestionpossibly a serious onefrom a friend.  If you drive anywhere in the United States other than New York City, you are not assaulted by the continual blaring of vehicle horns.  His suggestion, NYC driver that he was, recommended that the horn sound inside the car as well as outside.  Would that cure the extravagant beeperman of his habit?  I bet it would!  Or increase sales of ear protectors.  New Yorkers can be ingenious and persistent.

The Disaster of the Disappearing Dollop

Not as bad as the moths, but in a way just as disappointing.  I have an email in to the doyenne of the Girl Scout Cookies espousing the hope that something can be done.  Three stacks now, and hardly a true cookie's worth of sugar filling to be found.  Pseudopodia Xed for a reply.

"Walking On Nails"
The Insect Trust




Bruce Springsteen T-shirt from the Born To Run tour.  I wasn't a Jersey Boy then, but already his name was bubbling on the rock and roll scene in New York City.

Bruce Springsteen T-Shirt from the Born To Run tour
Richard Factor

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