Points to Ponder

Blogs that pose interesting conundrums

Will that make any Goddamned sense?


cold opening and applause

Thank you very much.

Welcome to the Late Show. This is our first show on the air since New
York and Washington were attacked, and I need to ask your patience and
indulgence here because I want to say a few things, and believe me, sadly, I’m
not going to be saying anything new, and in the past week others have said what
I will be saying here tonight far more eloquently than I’m equipped to do.

But, if we are going to continue to do shows, I just need to hear myself talk
for a couple of minutes, and so that’s what I’m going to do here.

It’s terribly sad here in New York City. We’ve lost five thousand fellow New
Yorkers, and you can feel it. You can feel it. You can see it. It’s terribly
sad. Terribly, terribly sad. And watching all of this, I wasn’t sure that I
should be doing a television show, because for twenty years we’ve been in the
city, making fun of everything, making fun of the city, making fun of my hair,
making fun of Paul… well…

So, to come to this circumstance that is so desperately sad, I don’t trust my
judgment in matters like this, but I’ll tell you the reason that I am doing a
show and the reason I am back to work is because of Mayor Giuliani.

Very early on, after the attack, and how strange does it sound to invoke that
phrase, “after the attack?”, Mayor Giuliani encouraged us — and here lately
implored us — to go back to our lives, go on living, continue trying to make
New York City the place that it should be. And because of him, I’m here tonight.

And I just want to say one other thing about Mayor Giuliani: As this began,
and if you were like me, and in many respects, God, I hope you’re not. But in
this one small measure, if you’re like me, and you’re watching and you’re
confused and depressed and irritated and angry and full of grief, and you don’t
know how to behave and you’re not sure what to do and you don’t really…
because we’ve never been through this before… all you had to do at any moment
was watch the Mayor. Watch how this guy behaved. Watch how this guy conducted
himself. Watch what this guy did. Listen to what this guy said. Rudolph Giuliani
is the personification of courage.


And it’s very simple… there is only one requirement for any of us, and that
is to be courageous, because courage, as you might know, defines all other human
behavior. And I believe, because I’ve done a little of this myself, pretending
to be courageous is just as good as the real thing. He’s an amazing man, and
far, far better than we could have hoped for. To run the city in the midst of
this obscene chaos and attack, and also demonstrate human dignity… my God…
who can do that? That’s a pretty short list.

The twenty years we’ve been here in New York City, we’ve worked closely with
police officers and the fire fighters and…


…and fortunately, most of us don’t really have to think too much about what
these men and women do on a daily basis, and the phrase New York’s finest and
New York’s bravest, you know, did it mean anything to us personally, firsthand?
Well, maybe, hopefully, but probably not. But boy, it means something now,
doesn’t it? They put themselves in harm’s way to protect people like us, and the
men and women, the fire fighters and the police department who are lost are
going to be missed by this city for a very, very long time. And I, and my hope
for myself and everybody else, not only in New York but everywhere, is that we
never, ever take these people for granted… absolutely never take them for


I just want to go through this, and again, forgive me if this is more for me
than it is for people watching, I’m sorry, but uh, I just, I have to go through
this, I’m…

The reason we were attacked, the reason these people are dead, these people
are missing and dead, and they weren’t doing anything wrong, they were living
their lives, they were going to work, they were traveling, they were doing what
they normally do. As I understand it (and my understanding of this is vague at
best), another smaller group of people stole some airplanes and crashed them
into buildings. And we’re told that they were zealots, fueled by religious
fervor… religious fervor. And if you live to be a thousand years old, will
that make any sense to you? Will that make any Goddamned sense? Whew.

I’ll tell you about a thing that happened last night. There’s a town in
Montana by the name of Choteau. It’s about a hundred miles south of the Canadian
border. And I know a little something about this town. It’s 1,600 people. 1,600
people. And it’s an ag-business community, which means farming and ranching. And
Montana’s been in the middle of a drought for… I don’t know… three years?
And if you’ve got no rain, you can’t grow anything. And if you can’t grow
anything, you can’t farm, and if you can’t grow anything, you can’t ranch,
because the cattle don’t have anything to eat, and that’s the way life is in a
small town. 1,600 people.

Last night at the high school auditorium in Choteau, Montana, they had a
rally (home of the Bulldogs, by the way)… they had a rally for New York City.
And not just a rally for New York City, but a rally to raise money… to raise
money for New York City. And if that doesn’t tell you everything you need to
know about the… the spirit of the United States, then I can’t help you. I’m


And I have one more thing to say, and then, thank God, Regis is here, so we
have something to make fun of.

If you didn’t believe it before (and it’s easy to understand how you might
have been skeptical on this point), if you didn’t believe it before, you can
absolutely believe it now…

New York City is the greatest city in the world.

lengthy applause

We’re going to try and feel our way through this, and we’ll just see how it
goes… take it a day at a time. We’re lucky enough tonight to have two
fantastic representatives of this town, Dan Rather and Regis Philbin, and we’ll
be right back.

to commercial


From: http://www.ddy.com/dl13.html



Do I have everything? What did I forget? What if I can’t find what I need? Can I ship it out? Who will be my friend? Will I succeed? Will I fail? What if I fail? What if I don’t like it? What if I don’t like Mines Park? What if I don’t like my roommate? What if I don’t like Colorado? What if?


3D Images using Tachyons

I was watching Bicentennial Man and this one scene comes on where Andrew Martin (Robin Williams) is chatting with Richard Martin (Sam Neill). Andrew, being a robot, is projecting a dancing scene from the wedding. Anyways, I got to thinking how once might actually go about designing a holographic display system. I began to think about photons and how I could make them emit light without actually hitting anything. Then I thought about sound and it all clicked together. When an object accelerates past the speed of sound, it makes a sonic boom. I reasoned that a similar effect would happen if a particle accelerated past the speed of light. Now some of you may be saying, “But Andrew, nothing can go faster then the speed of light!” Well, not necessarily. There is a hypothetical particle called a Tachyon that goes faster then the speed of light. If such a particle actual does exist, it should allow the creation of holograms. Here’s the idea:

Using a system similar to an electron gun, tachyons are emitted towards the target location. Each tachyon particle is transmitted at a different speed that is just slightly faster then the speed of light. After a certain distance, based on the initial speed of the tachyon, the tachyon will pass below the speed of light, thus creating a “light boom.” The initial speed of the tachyon determines how far the tachyon will travel before “booming.” This allows the creation of three dimensional objects. The tachyons color will be dependent on the frequency of the tachyon.

In any event, it’s just an idea based on what I know and it may be completely wrong. However, the idea and the process and anything else related to the display, transmission, and/or creation of holographic images as mentioned above is � copyright 2004 by Andrew Ferguson. All Rights Reserved.


What happens if I don’t think?

So here I am, working on physics homework and I’m thinking about Descartes. More particularly, his statement “I think therefore I am.” Nothing entirely unusual. In my course of everyday activities, I often take human conundrums and apply them to computer issues and “I think therefore I am” is no exception to this rule. However, take the inverse of his statement: “I don’t think therefore I am not” which basically asks the question, If one does not think, does one cease to exist? If this is true, does one cease to exist merely for the time one is not thinking or does one disappear forever? Not that this has ever been an issue for me, my mind has always been going somewhere around a mile a minute…well really much faster than that, but you get the idea. I better get back to physics now, perhaps I’ll calculate the radial acceleration of electrons in the brain.


Mars closer then ever? Not quite!

As you may have already heard, Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been in the last 59,619 years. Everybody was touting how if you looked up towards the sky at 2:51am PST, you would be seeing Mars at its closest point to Earth. Well, everybody was wrong.

At this point, you may think that I might be referencing the fact that the time should really be 2:51 and 14 seconds, or something like that. But no, NASA, as well as a majority of news reports incorrectly stated the time by over 3 minutes.

Three minutes!! How could a fallacy this great come about? Well, it’s very simple. Almost everybody forgot to account for time dilation, that is, the amount of time it takes light to travel from Mars to Earth. At 34.6 million miles away, it takes light an astounding 186.02 seconds to travel to Earth (34,600,000/186,000 ≈ 186.02). So unless you were looking towards the sky at 2:54.06 am PST, you missed out.

Don’t fret, Mars will perigee in another 2287 years.


Waste your CPU time, join seti@home

OK, so your not really wasting cpu time, your actually putting it to good use. This is what you do: Join the seti@home project. Download the software and register an account. Then site back and what the dopper drifts, gaussian power, and my personal favorite, fast fourier transform. My average pack took about a day and a half (33 hours) to complete on my old computer, but now they only take 10 hours tops on my new one. Sometimes less. Now if you really feeling gutsy, join the “fergcorp.com seti@home” group project. With our power combined, we may not make Captain Planet, but we just might get ET. Which brings me to another point, is the movie E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial being redundant. Becuase E.T. means Extra Terrestrial, so basicly it’s saying Extra Terrestrial: The Extra Terrestrial. Anyways, let’s go find him. Or the Klingons, which brings me to yet another joke. But I’ll save it for later. 😉

One last thing, I promise! I’m also going to make a Star Trek skin for the site, so hold on tight!


MS v. Linux

So I was doing some research on Microsoft and Linux, and found that their are quite a bit of MS v. *nix (unix/linux); which is really not a supprise. But consider this: Apple has a monopoly on the Power PC platform. Have you *ever* heard of anything other Mac OS run on an Apple?? I think not. Anyways, that’s my 2 cents for today (which brings up another question: if I say a penny for your thoughts, and you give me your two cents, where does the other cent go?).