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universal studios trip - part 3

Okay, back to the good stuff.

Below: The sign for the Men In Black - Alien Attack attraction. You get to shoot aliens in this ride. Fairly cheesy but fun.

Below: The huge fish next to the Jaws attraction. I did not go to this. Line was way too long. Next time I go I'll check it out since I have a one-year pass. And yes, those are kids sticking their heads into Jaws' mouth. Kids are weird.

Below: This store, along with the Back To The Future ride itself, will most likely disappear after March 30th 2007. They have this ultra-cool looking DeLorean sticking out of the wall inside the store.

I wanted to buy every single frickin' thing in there because it was all BTTF merchandise. But alas, funds were limited so I got a cool keychain and a Johnny Lightning BTTF Time Machine. I'll post pics of those later.

***Guitar deals & steals? Where? Right here. Price drops, B-stock and tons more.

47,885 miles later

Note: I will be posting the rest of my Universal stuff soon. I haven't yet because there's a lot to go thru. 🙂


I present to you... The Tales of the 2005 GMC Canyon SLE.

I'm writing this post because I saw someone else post a "car log" of sorts with his Porsche. No, I don't own a Porsche, but I wanted to write a log anyway. 🙂

Because this is what usually matters to most people, here's a list of things that have worn out, been replaced or gone wrong with this truck since I bought it new in January 2005.

Other than the aforementioned, everything else is fine so far.

Some vital stats on my truck:

I list this info just in case anyone's interested.

You may ask (and rightly so) Isn't almost 48,000 miles a lot for an '05 vehicle? Yep. Most people barely break 35,000 for any vehicle over two years old. With me, I pile on the miles quick. It's been that way ever since I started driving. To be honest, I've slowed down a bit. I used to routinely put on 30,000 miles a year, but I've knocked that down to about 24,000. Needless to say, I know the interstate system intimately. 🙂

Since being in FL...

I have noticed since being in Florida that the tried-and-true selling point "Florida Car!" has a loud ring of truth to it. It's true because unless a car lives its life next to the beach (salt/sand from the ocean), the only elements it will ever encounter is heat and rain. No snow. No ice. No hail. No mud. Just asphalt. It's very common to see cars here that wouldn't survive anywhere else for too long.

For example, a 1981 Buick. Any Buick. There are more than a few driving around. Some look beat up, but are still very driveable. This same car would not exist in Connecticut unless it were rusting off its frame - literally.

The Canyon has taken very well to Florida. She "likes" the predictable warm weather, the smooth-for-the-most-part roads, the long interstates and county routes. The 4-cyl motor keeps on keepin' on and routinely gets 23 to 25mpg on highway - unless I have my A/C on (then it drops to 19-23mpg - and I'm guessing there).

I also notice the Canyon seems more "happy" in-town compared to the highway. She likes zipping thru parking lots and side streets more than highway cruising.

So far, so good. Hope it stays that way.

"did you know....?" somewhat debunked

There was a featured YouTube video called Did You Know....?, so I checked it out. Of course, there are some "scary" predictions in there, such as:

"[For students in technical college,] half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study."

Answer to that: No crap. Any field of study labeled as "technical" offers classes where the information presented is obsolete is less than two years. What's important is the technique you learn, not the tech itself. For example, I have a college degree in Video & Radio Communications circa 1995. The technologies used back then (such as linear A/B roll and Amiga Lightwave for animation) are 100% obsolete, BUT, the techniques learned in video shooting and editing (such as continuity) are still very, very usable. In addition, the foundation of technology does not change, i.e. it all starts somewhere.

"Predictions are that by 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability of the human brain."

Answer to that: It already exists, except it's not a single computer. It's called the internet. Take one computer, network and/or distribute it to another computer of same type, and you have double the computational power. Network/distribute several computers and go from there. It already exists.

"Predictions are that by 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the human race"

Answer to that: Unlikely. Distributed computing will allow this (see above), but a single computer with no network connections and/or distribution most likely will not be able to compute that much information.

Let's say for the moment a computer did exist by that time that could do that. Where could it be used?

Here's a few examples.

1. Weather prediction.

One can only hope a computer will be developed one day that is smart enough to know when and where a tornado will strike well in advance, because if you weren't aware, we still cannot predict things like that unless they're almost on top of us.

In addition to advanced tornado prediction, other weather would be nice to predict too, such as lightning, tsunami, floods and earthquakes to name a few.

2. The complete picture of the nature of pain

We've only been able to scratch the surface concerning the nature of pain, but we don't yet fully understand it.

Proof we still don't understand the nature of pain: We still get headaches, and we still take pills to "cure" those headaches.

Future science will eventually render all pills obsolete. Maybe not in our lifetime, but it will happen.

In the not-too-distant future, methods other than pills will be introduced that will eradicate things such as migraines in seconds. But it order for it to work correctly, it must be administered using both technology and medical science combined. It could be something as simple as a headband. Put on the band, press a button, the band examines your head, finds the source of the migraine, then "cures" it instantly.

But we can't do this until we discover the true nature of pain - in all its forms. And we need better computers to get this information.

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