March of the lemmings

Wolfram Tones: Create music based on Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science. Download them as ring tones if you like. Many of them do sound like ring tones, actually. It reminds me of GarageBand with a random music generator. Not stuff I'd listen to all the time, but it's interesting to click on the various music genre buttons to see how much it resembles what you think of as country or r&b or classical. Someday perhaps there will be a Computer Idol competition. On a somewhat related note, the ideas in A New Kind of Science (NKS) seem to have relevance to the current evolution vs. intelligent design debate. NKS is online, so you can read, for example, this chapter: "Intelligence in the Universe."

The UCI, cycling's governing body, exonerates Lance Armstrong of doping charges and criticizes the accusers. L'Equipe to respond saturday. One thing is certain; this whole bitter fight is no help to the sport, as doping has once again, as in 1998.

Derek and Ken were in town for Labor Day Weekend. I always learn something when I spend time with those guys. One of my learnings this past weekend was that lemmings do not commit mass suicide. It's a myth perpetuated by a Disney documentary in which the filmmakers ran lemmings off of the side of a cliff to create the myth of their suicidal tendencies. Looks like that Disney documentary is available from on VHS. I'm not sure how the lemming myth took hold of me, but I suspect it was Gary Larson and his Far Side comics. I remember one depicted a whole flock of lemmings headed for the edge of a cliff to jump into the ocean, but one is shown wearing an inner tube with a sly grin. Another showed a family of lemmings in a car, headed off on vacation. The mother and father lemming sit in the front seat while two lemming children are in back. The mother is shown shouting at the kids, "Hey! I told you kids to knock it off back there!... or so help me I'll just take this car and drive it off the first cliff I come to!" I miss The Far Side. Larson went out on top.

Meet the F**kers (Windows Media), a Daily Show video clip that provides some satiric catharsis for any anger you might feel towards the Bush administration for their slow reactions to Hurricane Katrina. I hadn't seen the footage of Mike Myers' reaction to Kanye West's outburst until watching this clip, or Michael Brown's disastrous interviews, or the Larry King interview with Celine Dion. Memorable.

Colin Powell regrets his statements to the United Nations in February of 2003. I was aboard a ferry from the north island of New Zealand to the south island when he gave his testimony, and I watched it on CNN. Little did I know it would be downhill from there for someone who seemingly everyone thought would make a perfect presidential candidate.

I'm going to join Bill Simmons on the Bears bandwagon. Really good young defense, and if Kyle Orton surprises (and sometimes new starting QBs do) then perhaps they can win a bunch of low-scoring rumbles. It all depends on what that offense looks like after they take off the bandages.

Vincent Cerf is the new "Chief Internet evangelist" at Google. I look forward to hearing about this Internet thing. It sounds cool. As an aside, based on my years of working in the Internet biz, anyone who has "evangelist" in their job title has a cushy job.

The Nokia 8800 is one gorgeous cell phone. Though China isn't listed as one of the countries where you can buy one, I saw them in several stores in Beijing and Shanghai. The slider resistance is firm but silky smooth. I held it, fondled it, drooled over it, but left my credit card sheathed. $800, which is roughly what they were charging, is a lot to pay for technological sex appeal.