How big is that spaceship?

I just found the coolest website that shows you how big those
spaceships really are.  Ever read a science fiction book or watched a
science fiction movie and wondered how big that ship must be to have
the whole story’s set inside it?  Jeff Russells STARSHIP DIMENSIONS
is a website that shows you mockups of the spaceships in science
fiction books and movies and compares them to each other size wise. He
has 218 so far.

Have fun!  Happy Friday.

Computerless email

Share pictures and emails with your loved ones that don’t have a computer with a Presto.

As many of you know, I’m a big of sharing digital photos and emails with family members that don’t use computers. For my grandma, we use a Ceiva, a digital picture frame that all your friends and family can load pictures into from the web – a perfect gift for someone without web access who wants to see all your digital pictures. My grandma’s biggest complaint is that she can’t print out the pictures.

Now they’ve got another device which sounds like it would solve the problem. This new HP device, Presto, is a standalone printer. People can send email or pictures to it and it automatically prints it out. I would send my grandma a lot more letters if I could just email them to her!

The HP Presto connects to a phone line and uses standard HP ink cartidges so you can send email and pictures to people without a computer.


The reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive. It sounds like most people buy it for a family member that doesn’t have a computer, like my grandma.

More gift ideas

This article in the New York Times suggests giving food or alcohol – something that will go away and not clutter the giftee’s life afterwards.

See my other post on websites to find the perfect gift.

Exercise, not diet, is the key

A recent study confirms that exercise alone can provide tremendous health benefits. BBC NEWS | Health | Obese should exercise not ‘diet’:

A programme which encouraged women not to diet but to take part in exercise classes found significant improvements in health and mental well-being.

The study showed exercise improved blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels.  In addition, I think exercise is crucial to maintaining quality of life.  I see too many heavy people that can’t carry their kids or grandkids, walk around the mall or try new activities.

Perfect Gift

It’s Christmas time and if you are like most of us, you are wondering what to get for at least one difficult someone on your list.  I found two sites to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list for Christmas:

  •  This site lets you pick things like whether it’s an individual or a couple, your parents or a friend, which holiday and how old they are and then it makes some suggestions.  You can then sort by popularity and price.  It actually came up with some pretty reasonable suggestions during my trial run.
  • Perfect Present Picker. I had a harder time with this one.  You have to pick words that describe the person’s interest, personality and the occasion.  I had a hard time with everything but the personality.  Words like "busy body", "has brain implant" and "controlling" just aren’t words I usually use to describe my friends.  After you manage that they ask you about gender, age, occupation and lifestyle.  (If you pick couple, they don’t ask you about age and retired wasn’t an option under occupation.)  The results were not very good.  It suggested a milk frother or a professional poker set for my in-laws.  Somehow I don’t see them using either of those.

So I’d use FindGift to get some ideas and I wouldn’t bother with Present Picker. 
Good luck in your shopping!

How to Fall Asleep Quickly – Even while driving

I found this link about How to Fall Asleep Quickly Every Time – WikiHow that basically says fall asleep to an audio book every night.  Since I listen to audio books in the car all the time, I decided this was bad advice!

12/8/06:  I should also note that while most people seem to find reading before bed pleasant, I find reading before bed dangerous.  I’m very likely to get involved in the book and to just keep reading … On nights Frank isn’t home, I usually read until very late.

Sterotypes and prejudices: you’ve got ’em!

Harvard has some Implicit Association Test.  You can test how much you associate career with men or science with men or take a test that checks what associations you might have with muslims or arabs or blacks or whites.

It’s very interesting and highly recommend everyone go take one.  Inspite of being a women in computer science, I showed a slight association between men and career.  So did 76% of people that took the test!  And then we worry about a glass ceiling … for good reason it looks like …

Interestingly enough I show a "slight automatic preference" for gay people over straight people.  I think it was because I didn’t like putting all the negative words with gay people.  I’m used to defending them.  Obviously I must not be so used to defending women in career … I think it’s because the people I hang out with (including those I work with) would never dream of putting down women in careers but gay jokes are still ok.  So I’m used to defending gays but not women.

As for defending minorities, I once found myself telling a group of drunk guys to quit putting down hispanics.  (I debated the wisdom of that afterwards.)  I was quite pleasantly surprised when one of them said, "Good for you, Stormy."