John Henry: The Man – Facts, Fiction and Themes

The story of John Henry, told mostly through ballads and work songs, traveled from coast to coast as the railroads drove west during the 19th Century. And in time, it has become timeless, spanning a century of generations with versions ranging from prisoners recorded at Mississippi’s Parchman Farm in the late 1940s to present-day folk heroes. —Carlene Hempel —John Henry: The Man – Facts, Fiction and Themes (ibiblio) I’ve got a…


Low Taxes Do What?

Those who complain loudly about how many jobs have been “exported” to other countries because of international free trade totally ignore all the jobs that have been imported to the American economy because of that same free trade. Siemens alone employs tens of thousands of American workers, and Toyota has already produced its ten millionth car in the United States. —Thomas Sowell —Low Taxes Do What? (Hoover Digest) I’d never considered…

Spirit Finds Hematite; Opportunity Discovers Signs of More Water

Spirit has begun to negotiate her way up into the Columbia Hills where she has encountered a strange rock called Pot of God that she found contains hematite, something that may well lead to the discovery of past water there. On the other side of the planet, Opportunity has continued her descent into Endurance Crater and is now investigating some intriguing rock layers that are already expanding the water story…


Latrobe men admit setting apartment building fire

On his way into District Justice Mark Bilik’s office, Harris, wearing a “Flamehead USA” T-shirt, told reporters “Yes, I did,” when asked if he set the fire. —Jason Lesher —Latrobe men admit setting apartment building fire (Tribune Review) Note to self… if ever going anywhere near someone involved in the investigation of an arson case, change out of “Flamehead USA” T-shirt before speaking to the media.


Puppy prevents Canadian killing spree

A Canadian man, driving a car packed with weapons and ammunition, was intent on killing as many people as possible in a Toronto neighbourhood but gave up the plan at the last minute when he encountered a friendly dog, police say. —Puppy prevents Canadian killing spree (ABC (Australia)) There… do you see how nice Canadians are? And the puppy didn’t even need a little keg of Molson strapped around its neck.


A Man, a Plan, a Pointless(?) Program

I readily admit that my accomplishment has no practical social purpose or business application. But as a story that spans 18 years from Hoey’s palindrome to mine, it has a moral about how it is becoming easier to do big things. Hoey is an excellent computer scientist, but he said he spent days writing a disk-based B-tree package for his program. I was saved all this, because a dictionary now…