Gongol.com: July 2004
Brian Gongol

Business and Finance (7.25.2004)
Microsoft to Distribute $75 Billion in Dividends and Stock Buy-Backs
Which is great, since it puts $75 billion to better use than just sitting around at MS. How much money is that? How about a number on the scale of the entire Iowa gross state product.

Computers and the Internet (7.25.2004)
Neural Computing to Put the Exclamation Mark on the Internet
They're trying to find new ways for your brain to reach the computer without all that pesky typing. And for ways to make the computer to respond back without all that pesky reading.

Science and Technology (7.25.2004)
Plankton: The Anti-UV
NASA research says plankton generate chemicals that, through a chain of events, create clouds. The clouds then reflect sunlight and reduce the incidence of UV light.

Threats to Western Civilization (7.25.2004)
Saudi Amnesty for Terrorists Expires
Only one of the 26 most-wanted turned himself in.

Threats to Western Civilization (7.25.2004)
Next Likely Theater of Engagement: Sudan
Will likely re-draw the lines among pro- and anti-action camps. No one's claiming WMD's in Sudan, just plain old-fashioned genocide. And it's terrifying. While genocide probably should have been the reason for going to war in Iraq, it wasn't really used. This time, it's clear that there's only one cause for military action. Who's going to take which sides on this one? Will the anti-war crowd remain pacifistic in the face of 30,000 dead? Will the hawkish right want to act when there isn't a clear threat against the United States? Does it matter that the ethnic groups involved are Arabs and black Africans? Just in case you'd forgotten, there was a massive campaign of torture and evil in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Threats to Western Civilization (7.25.2004)
Chinese Gangs Smuggling Baby Girls
Babies reportedly sold for $12 to $24 each. They were drugged and placed in nylon tote bags and loaded on a bus.

The United States of America (7.25.2004)
US Putting Big Defensive Missile System in Place
First interceptor missile installed in Alaska. $10 billion project underway.

Threats to Western Civilization (7.25.2004)
British Police Write-Up of Ways to Attack Heathrow Found in Road
Heathrow is very high on the list of likely "next targets" for Al Qaeda. Whether this was a simple mistake or evidence of moles within the UK security forces, it's disconcerting.

The American Way (7.25.2004)
British Columbia to Put New Restrictions on Cross-Border Effects of Patriot Act
And good for them

The American Way (7.25.2004)
Australia Flips Al Qaeda the Metaphorical Bird
Foreign minister says threats of car bombings will not make Australia roll over and play dead

Science and Technology (7.25.2004)
Anti-Science Masquerading as Science
"Many scientific studies have shown that when the square root of one percent of a population is practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program including Yogic Flying at the same time then accidents, terrorism, drug abuse and other problems are reduced significantly..." What IS the "square root of 1%"? Nonsense! Just say that you like a certain architectural style and think that meditation is calming. DON'T try to falsify scientific language and dilute what precious little we know of the world already!

The United States of America (7.25.2004)
Remember Admiral Stockdale?
Take a look at the incredible bio of the man most of us remember as the "Who am I? Why am I here?" guy from the 1992 VP debate.

Socialism Rears Its Ugly Head (7.25.2004)
Prospective Med Students Want More Time to Finish Entrance Exams
Lawsuit filed in California says that students with learning disabilities like dyslexia and ADD should get more time in which to finish their med-school entrance exams. It's pleasing that these people want to help their fellow human beings, but medicine -- especially acute care -- is decidedly not the place for them. We shouldn't over-accommodate a small group of people with specific, measurable problems like dyslexia just to avoid hurting their feelings ("discrimination" vastly over-states the case), when their conditions could, in fact, put many other people at risk. When Xanax and Zantac and Zyrtec are all out there, no one should be forced to receive the care of a physician whose medical condition may cause him or her to mis-identify the drug.