A : America : (2013) For sure the greatest country on earth. I have been lucky to live in the USA for about 5 years. I came with lots of preconceived ideas on America and Americans, good and bad. I learned how much all of them were wrong. We all forget that America is all of us. It is our ancestors, often from not so long ago, or even friends and actual family members who wanted more opportunities and freedom; and there you do get more of both than anywhere else. All is not perfect in America, far from it, so I'll leave to a person who was the first ever honorary citizen of the United States to offer a constructive comment: Winston Churchill who said: "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing after they have exhausted all other possibilities". As I observed this to be essentially true, I'd like to remark that unfortunately, this often results in high human, time and dollar costs. This is the America we see, the extreme America, with all kind of flaws and exagerations, but when you care to look beyond this, and in spite of all this, indeed America is the greatest country on earth.
B : Burton, Gary : (2004) Jazz Vibraphonist prodigee. His website (www.garyburton.com) will teach you a lot about him, but will leave out the most important point: he is a true genious. I heard him once say that he was following his forebearers (Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Milt Jackson, and Cal Tjader). Although he recognizes Milt Jackson as the most innovative vibraphonist, he forgets that he built upon this to far outpace them all. Gary's music is both melodious and magic. His sound is indeed pure magic so pure it is. Somehow it reaches your soul and heart. Thank you Mr. Burton. Without you the world would be a little less interesting place.
CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) : (2012) CFLs are a hoax! Sure they use 3 to 4 less power than their incandescent couterparts, so yes, we save in electricity costs, but
they do not live up to their promise of saving you money and being much more ecologically friendly then the incandescent bulbs.
Rated with a lifetime of 6000 hours or more, that would be better than 6000 days in my bathroom at 1 hour per day, or 16 years,
well, half of the
10 bulbs there died after 2 years. Even assuming that the other 5 will live their rated time, this is a 50% increase in cost and
is actually equal to the life of incandescent bulbs (see * below).
Similarly in my kitchen 2 out of 5 had to be replaced within 2 years. The worse story are the 5 dimmable CFLs I installed in my living
room. First off, dimmable is a joke. Yes they dim but not nearly as well as the previous ones. Second I had to install a new dimmer
as these bulbs cannot be controlled by the regular kind (significant added cost). Now these are on about 1 hour a day too, on
average. They started dying 1 at a time after a lifetime of 1 to 20 hours. So I started bringing them back to the store for replacement. I now have had to
go through 30 bulbs to have 5 working. They have been working for now approximately 4 months without problem (see ** below)).
And there is the issue of turn-on time. They really do take at least 1 mn to come to their rated brightness, with the effect that
I usually turn them on a few minutes before required (another small but real cost).
And there is the electronics. CFLs are full of electronics, not to mention some mercury. This all adds to pollution and hence
to the global cost of CFLs.
This does not mean to not use them. I have used CFLs since about 1985.
With this background, I find that CFLs lifetime is on par (or only slightly better) with incandescent bulbs'.
Some incandescent bulbs used to have lifetimes of more than 5 years, none died after a few days.
So yes, let's go on using CFLs, but let's soon replace them by LEDs which have a number of advantages over CFL. I own a few of
these and they look very promissing.
As for the CFL pushers of all kinds here what they should say: Use CFLs, not because you'll save money (although you may save
a bit in the long run), but because they use less electricity, which ultimately translates to less carbon footprint. Be aware
though that they are toxic, pollute more to make than incandescent bulbs, are costlier and more difficult to dispose of,
do not turn on fast enough and are not really dimmable.
D : In preparation - check back from time to time.
E : EMI : (2005) Of course illegal music exchange on the web is a problem, but EMI music seems to have found the solution. they have devised an 'bullet proof' protection system against illegal copying, resulting in their CDs not running on some car-radios (according to them) and on some PCs (including mine). As for the pirates, a quick search on the web shows that they have no problems copying the CDs. Several methods seem available to circonvent this ridiculous copy protection scheme. As for EMI, they have clearly indicated to me that they do not care a bit about my problems with their CDs (duly paid for) and that generally they consider their customers as not worthy of any consideration. As for me, I have decided to no longer buy crippled CDs, and I am rediscovering my more than 500 CD collection (all paid for, EMI!), great music there.
F : Swiss cheese fondue : (2012) One of my favorite dishes. I have made fondue in many places in the world, in spite of difficulties in locating the right ingredients. I have made fondue for many people who often ask for more - sweet success. I finally managed to complete a web site on fondue I have been working on for a long time: Cheese fondue. Thanks for visiting.
Lemon : (2013) Let me explain. Obviously words have only as much meaning as we want to give them. Besides words are
just words, not the reality of whatever they might represent. That being said, this entry is about the work fuck
and its derivatives. I am really tired of the prude and hollier than thou approach to that word in North America,
where it is usually replaced by a beep, or refered to by euphemisms such as the F-word or better yet the F-bomb.
But really any bad meaning it might have is only re-inforced by such an attitude. So here. I'll replace it by the
word lemon in a little text found on the web. Let's see what that does:
This incredible word can be used to describe many situations:
There! All of you perfectly understood all these sentences, had a chuckle doing so
(especially #2) and this did not even give you a chance to feel falsly offended.
Come on, it's about time to stop these lemoning annoying and ridiculous beeps, a
few swear words go a long way towards coping with stress and emphasizing other words.
Besides you only feel offended because you want to, ask yourselves why!
This incredible word can be used to describe many situations:
There! All of you perfectly understood all these sentences, had a chuckle doing so (especially #2) and this did not even give you a chance to feel falsly offended. Come on, it's about time to stop these lemoning annoying and ridiculous beeps, a few swear words go a long way towards coping with stress and emphasizing other words. Besides you only feel offended because you want to, ask yourselves why!
G : Gould - Stephen Jay : (2003) Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was an American scientist and a paleontologist by profession. He was also a professor in paleontology, biology, geology, and the history of science but for the rest of us he must be one of the most thought provocating and entertaining scientific writer. I discovered and read one of his books soon after his death, and since then, I am always looking forward to spending some time with any of his books. In particular he has published over a period of 25 years 280 essays, most of which he has then published in books. For starters, I'd recommend 'The Panda's Thumb' and 'Eight Little Piggies' and for the interested readers, the slightly more scientific but absolutely fascinating 'The Mismeasure of Man'.
H : Hamburg (Germany) : (2004) Quite a nice city, many beautiful places, nice shopping. I've spent a short vacation there at the beginning of 2004. I'd like to recommend a small restaurant where I enjoyed the food, the service and the hospitality, all for a very good price : Le Paquebot (Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz 70 - not far from the train station) and ask a question : Everytime I was taking pictures (of my wife) in public places (shopping mall, restaurant, snack, station) I was told it was 'verboten', however noone seemed to know why and none of my german friends have heard of this, so please if someone knows, email me.
I : Insanity : (2012) Music is an art (may be not all music, although...). Painting is an art (same comment). Some musical works are very famous and known as standards, in the classical field as well as in the rock, jazz, blues, etc. fields. Some paintings are very famous and known all over the world. Music is played in concert halls, but also on the radio. Paintings are mainly displayed in museums and art galleries. Whatever the place and medium, art is enjoyed to various degrees, from casual to sensitive attention, by the onlooker or listener. All the works of art have been created by their author as we know them today. It would not come to the mind of anyone sane to clip a corner of the Joconde to place an add or even just a comment. Similarly it would not come to the mind of anyone sane to cut short the end of a musical piece to place an add or some comment... oh wait, yes this is what radio people do all the time. This is insane! So radio people, you may not like the music you play, but if your radio station plays it, it is because someone listening might like that piece, in its entirety, as it was conceived, from artfully start to carefully completed end by the artist. Cutting a piece before the end, even to give it's title, cutting it in the middle because it's news time or station identification time is vandalism and sloppy planning. Think about it...
J : In preparation - check back from time to time.
K : In preparation - check back from time to time.
L : Lemon : (2009) It is almost inevitable, car manufacturers will produce lemons every now and then. However you would expect the more prestigious makes to do something about it. Well, at least I did, until I had to live with this Mini Cooper. But after all Mini may not be such a prestigious make, so what about my next car, a Red BMW Convertible for a real horror story.
Metric : (2013) America must go metric! There is no (valid) reason not to. The following website:
metric4us explains clearly why, and actually even bothers
to present the opposite point of view, although in this case, it is not obvious that the author is fully serious
nor well documented. As for the rest of us, using the metric system, we should use it properly. This is fairly easy
and is fully documented in the excellent work by Charles Poynton:
Writing SI units and symbols. Give your
preference to the pdf version of this document which is more precise (and easier to read) than the html version.
N : In preparation - check back from time to time.
O : Orfus : (2004) What's an Orfus or possibly who is Orfus? There is an Orfus street in Toronto (Canada), and maybe in other places too. Yet an Orfus seems to be some elusive entity...
Pie chart : (2012) Our American friends, call it a pie chart, and indeed so many of their foods are somehow sweet.
Q : In preparation - check back from time to time.
R : In preparation - check back from time to time.
Solitaire: FreeCell : (2012) Having heard that somehow it should be possible to find a solution to all FreeCell games,
I set as a goal to test this. I used to complete maybe, one out of four or five.
T : In preparation - check back from time to time.
U : In preparation - check back from time to time.
Vache : (2016) French for Cow. The French love their cows, so much so that many colloquial
French expression use the word in one way or another. Here are for the most picturesque, the French
expressions and the equivalent english meaning.
W : In preparation - check back from time to time.
X : In preparation - check back from time to time.
Y : In preparation - check back from time to time.
Z : In preparation - check back from time to time.