Thursday, 21 June 2012

A BCS Moment

Not that it really means anything, but the BCS dimwits.....commissioners actually....have finally come to reach a conclusion on their study for a NCAA football four-team seeded playoff deal.

They've reached step one.....where they can present it to the various university presidents and seek their approval.  If a vast majority of them were to agree to this....it would shift things around by 2014 season.

If I were a betting person....I'd say it's a fifty-fifty shot on agreement here.

What the guys are opening the door to....is that a little po-dunk college like Boise State....could actually make it to the number four position, and somehow get past the normal limitations....to win the national title.  For the university system, they'd really prefer that this never happen.  It's conceivable that even Brigham Young University might eventually make into the number four slot.  And I doubt if football experts really want that.

So I'm not believing in a change here.  And even if you got past that.....eventually some political idiots would want to double this to eight teams.  Oh, and if you figure this mess out....there's going to be two additional bowl games down the road to add.....making millions for someone, but it's best that we not bring up this topic.

That Drone Thing

There’s been a fair amount of chat over the last month with drones criss-crossing America, and actually watching Americans….not Arab guys or pirates. Naturally, this has got some Americans upset. So, I sat and pondered over this mess.

By 2025, most every city of 100k residents or more….will have at least one drone. Cities like Houston or Nashville will likely have five or six. If you are a farmer around 2025….it’s likely that at least once a month….some drone will observe you…..plowing a field, baling hay, chasing up cows, or visiting your liaison gal Wanda at her trailer. If you live in an urban area….it’s likely that once or twice a day that you will be observed. I imagine you will feel some pressure on your back…..always being watched. But to be honest, if you were doing honest and ethical things to start with….why worry?

So then you start to think about the cost factor. Your Sheriff Larry will be leasing out services to some drone company for sixty hours a month of surveillance. It’ll run in the $140k range a year for this lease. The downlink will include tons of video, but then what? Will Sheriff Larry or Deputy Hoss even know how to view the video or what it means? I kinda doubt that.

Along the way, the leasing company will then offer night-time vision instruments, for an extra $200 per hour, which naturally….they will be willing to pay for this. The county will eventually ask stupid questions about why they are suddenly paying $180k a year and how that relates to arrest. Sheriff Larry will be hard-pressed to answer that question.

So then comes this nifty contraption that the leasing company will offer with a grenade launcher and shotgun mounted onto the drone. Figure an extra $40k a year for that toy. Who presses the button on that? Well….it might be interesting to know. I’m sure Sheriff Larry would like to be the only one pressing that button. At this point, folks start to question how quick Sheriff Larry is on the trigger and accidentally killing two or three folks a year with his new air assault vehicle. Lawsuits will be common and the assault vehicle option will be curtailed after three or four years.

Then we come to the most fascinating part of this deal….the news media. Channel thirty-one will come out with their own drone by 2025. The news folks will fly some drone on a continual 24-hour a day situation. They will see just about everything….everywhere. It’ll be like Doppler radar. Got a tornado reported….some drone will be dispatched and personally video it from a mile away. Folks will be all glued to the TV as they watch live tornado coverage from four states away. You can imagine a whole afternoon spent watching storm after storm, from Dallas to Memphis, and on up to Iowa.

Eventually, some private detective will offer drone services where you can observe your wife all day…..and if she is driving off to some trailer on the other side of the river to visit her high-school boyfriend from twenty years ago. You’ll pay $2k to get this video and feel all happy when the tape is delivered to you. If you ask me….the drone business will change America. I won’t say for the positive or negative.

The Walk in the Woods

Some smart guys from Glasgow University (Scotland) got around to studying the effects of jogging....especially in grassy or wooded areas.  Suddenly, they found that there was a tremendous positive effect on anyone who did that.....compared to just jogging in circles at the gym or track.  People who did some running in forests were much better off and in better mental condition, than folks who ran around public streets or on treadmills.

I sat and paused over this "discovery".  From around 1987 to 1998, I put out this major effort to stay in shape and ran fairly regularly.

In Panama, I ran along the streets, and an abandoned runway next to the housing area.  When I got to Tucson, I ran around the track at the gym, or on the base streets.  Then in 1993, I got back to Germany and would run most of the time in forests or woods.

I would say there was a total difference in relaxation once I did the woods routine.  I didn't need a radio with me.....I could just run and relax.  My blood pressure was absolutely normal and I could wrap up a forty-minute run in some local woods with a fairly positive feeling.

Yes, it was a tremendous difference between the desert landscape running in Tucson, and the wooded running in Germany.  I probably knew about this "discovery" way before the smart guys up at the Glasgow University.

Around the back side of my house in Germany....I had a paved trail that ran almost four miles, and would deliver me back to my starting point.  I had fields of corn and wheat around me for half of this, and woods for the remainder.  It was probably the best mental treatment that a person could ask for.  Three or four times a week, and you got a dose of some mental medicine that you probably needed.

The odd thing here is that it's going to be hard for a doctor to prescribe this "walk-in-the-woods" medicine to someone, and have them take you serious.  You can imagine this whole generation of folks with mental stress issues.....suddenly finding that things just aren't that bad, and life is pretty decent after all.....only because of a walk or run in the woods.

When you think about this, and how life was a one hundred and forty years ago.....we all walked a bit....mostly in wooded areas to get from one point to another....and we probably didn't have any stress issues in our life.

So we make another discovery in life.....about something that we probably already knew about....several generations ago.

Around the Corner

I work for a military organization that shall remain nameless.  We are the technology geeks of the Pentagon's massive structure.  For a number of years....Blackberrys have been the primary toy of Pentagon players.  For those in the know.....Blackberry kinda hit it's peak maybe four years ago.  It's just not the "toy" that it used to be.

So there's been this effort to bring I-Phones and I-Pads into the inner circle of the Pentagon.  There's a test phase underway.  A handful of folks have the new "toys".  I sat and talked to one of the folks who is kinda within the circle and can see all the planning efforts of this.

So I came to this question yesterday with him.  When I-Phones finally do arrive....will there be this sudden creation of "apps" and an entire military division of geeky guy working somewhere in the DC region making "apps" on a weekly basis.  My associate kinda smiled and nodded.

You can imagine this whole creation of a massive new structure.....just to make the generals happy....making various apps.

If I were to stay around here for another five years....I'd probably have an I-Pad and doing most of my daily work off of that....with forty or fifty various apps.  I'm not saying this is all positive....but it's the trend of things in life.