Profile

Cover photo
Allan Haggett
Worked at Freelance
Attended Camosun College
Lives in Victoria BC
247 followers|91,621 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Allan Haggett

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Very cool strand of DNA made from humans to recognize the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA! 

Watson and Crick Submitted the structure to Nature, published April 2, 1953.

Learned this was an image from 2011...http://www.flickr.com/photos/genentech/5685123662/

+Genentech 
178 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...

Allan Haggett

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
VIDEO: President Obama kills at the WHCA Dinner

This was hysterical:

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  (Laughter.)  How do you like my new entrance music?  (Applause.)  Rush Limbaugh warned you about this -- second term, baby.  (Laughter and applause.)  We’re changing things around here a little bit.  (Laughter.)

Actually, my advisors were a little worried about the new rap entrance music.  (Laughter.)  They are a little more traditional.  They suggested that I should start with some jokes at my own expense, just take myself down a peg.  I was like, guys, after four and a half years, how many pegs are there left?  (Laughter.)

I want to thank the White House Correspondents.  Ed, you’re doing an outstanding job.  We are grateful for -- (applause) -- the great work you’ve done.  To all the dignitaries who are here, everybody on the dais -- I especially want to say thank you to Ray Odierno, who does outstanding service on behalf of our country, and all our men and women in uniform every single day.  (Applause.)

And of course, our extraordinary First Lady, Michelle Obama.  (Applause.)  Everybody loves Michelle.  (Laughter.)  She’s on the cover of Vogue, high poll numbers.  But don’t worry -- I recently got my own magazine cover.  (Laughter.)

Now, look, I get it.  These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.  (Laughter.)  Time passes.  You get a little gray.  (Laughter.)

And yet, even after all this time, I still make rookie mistakes.  Like, I’m out in California, we’re at a fundraiser, we’re having a nice time.  I happen to mention that Kamala Harris is the best-looking attorney general in the country.  (Laughter.)  As you might imagine, I got trouble when I got back home.  (Laughter.)  Who knew Eric Holder was so sensitive?  (Laughter and applause.)

And then there’s the Easter Egg Roll, which is supposed to be just a nice, fun event with the kids.  I go out on the basketball court, took 22 shots -- made two of them.  (Laughter.)  That’s right:  two hits, 20 misses.  The executives at NBC asked, “What’s your secret?”  (Laughter and applause.)

So, yes, maybe I have lost a step.  But some things are beyond my control.  For example, this whole controversy about Jaz-Z going to Cuba -- it’s unbelievable.  I’ve got 99 problems and now Jay-Z is one.  (Laughter and applause.)  That’s another rap reference, Bill.  (Laughter.)  I’ll let you know.  (Applause.)

Of course, everybody has got plenty of advice.  Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in “The American President.”  (Laughter.)  And I know Michael is here tonight.  Michael, what’s your secret, man?  (Laughter.)  Could it be that you were an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy?  (Laughter.)  Might that have something to do with it?  (Applause.)  I don’t know.  Check in with me.  Maybe it’s something else.  (Laughter.)

Anyway, I recognize that this job can take a toll on you.  I understand -- second term, you need a burst of new energy, try some new things.  And my team and I talked about it.  We were willing to try anything.  So we borrowed one of Michelle’s tricks.  (Laughter and applause.)  I thought this looked pretty good, but no bounce.  (Laughter.)

I want to give a shout-out to our headliner, Conan O’Brien.  (Applause.)  I was just talking to Ed, and I understand that when the Correspondents’ Association was considering Conan for this gig, they were faced with that age-old dilemma:  Do you offer it to him now, or wait for five years and then give it to Jimmy Fallon?  (Laughter.)  That was a little harsh.  (Laughter.)  I love Conan.

And of course, the White House press corps is here.  I know CNN has taken some knocks lately, but the fact is I admire their commitment to cover all sides of a story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate.  (Laughter and applause.)

Some of my former advisors have switched over to the dark side.  For example, David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.  (Laughter.)

The History Channel is not here.  I guess they were embarrassed about the whole Obama-is-a-devil thing.  (Laughter.)  Of course, that never kept Fox News from showing up.  (Laughter.)  They actually thought the comparison was not fair -- to Satan.  (Laughter and applause.)

But the problem is, is that the media landscape is changing so rapidly.  You can’t keep up with it.  I mean, I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college around 2:00 a.m.  (Laughter.)  It’s true.  (Laughter.)

Recently, though, I found a new favorite source for political news -- these guys are great.  I think everybody here should check it out, they tell it like it is.  It’s called whitehouse.gov.  (Laughter.)  I cannot get enough of it.

The fact is I really do respect the press.  I recognize that the press and I have different jobs to do.  My job is to be President; your job is to keep me humble.  Frankly, I think I’m doing my job better.  (Laughter and applause.)

But part of the problem is everybody is so cynical.  I mean, we’re constantly feeding cynicism, suspicion, conspiracies.  You remember a few months ago, my administration put out a photograph of me going skeet shooting at Camp David?  You remember that?  And quite a number of people insisted that this had been photoshopped.  But tonight I have something to confess:  You were right.  Guys, can we show them the actual photo?  (Laughter.)  We were just trying to tone it down a little bit.  (Laughter.)  That was an awesome day.  (Laughter.)

There are other new players in the media landscape as well, like super PACs.  Did you know that Sheldon Adelson spent $100 million of his own money last year on negative ads?  You’ve got to really dislike me -- (laughter) -- to spend that kind of money.  I mean, that’s Oprah money.  (Laughter.)  You could buy an island and call it “Nobama” for that kind of money.  (Laughter.)  Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race.  (Laughter and applause.)  I probably wouldn’t have taken it, but I'd have thought about it.  (Laughter.)  Michelle would have taken it.  (Laughter.)  You think I’m joking?  (Laughter.)

I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities.  And look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one minority they could start with.  (Laughter.)  Hello?  Think of me as a trial run, you know?  (Laughter.)  See how it goes.  (Laughter.)

If they won’t come to me, I will come to them.  Recently, I had dinner -- it’s been well publicized -- I had dinner with a number of the Republican senators.  And I’ll admit it wasn’t easy.  I proposed a toast -- it died in committee.  (Laughter.)

Of course, even after I've done all this, some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress.  "Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?" they ask.  Really?  (Laughter.)  Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?  (Laughter and applause.)  I'm sorry.  I get frustrated sometimes.

I am not giving up.  In fact, I'm taking my charm offensive on the road -- a Texas barbeque with Ted Cruz, a Kentucky bluegrass concert with Rand Paul, and a book-burning with Michele Bachmann.  (Laughter and applause.)

My charm offensive has helped me learn some interesting things about what's going on in Congress -- it turns out, absolutely nothing.  (Laughter.)  But the point of my charm offensive is simple:  We need to make progress on some important issues.  Take the sequester.  Republicans fell in love with this thing, and now they can't stop talking about how much they hate it.  It's like we're trapped in a Taylor Swift album.  (Laughter.)

One senator who has reached across the aisle recently is Marco Rubio, but I don’t know about 2016.  I mean, the guy has not even finished a single term in the Senate and he thinks he's ready to be President.  (Laughter and applause.)  Kids these days.

I, on the other hand, have run my last campaign.  On Thursday, as Ed mentioned, I went to the opening of the Bush Presidential Library in Dallas.  It was a wonderful event, and that inspired me to get started on my own legacy, which will actually begin by building another edifice right next to the Bush Library -- can we show that, please?  (Laughter.)

I'm also hard at work on plans for the Obama Library.  And some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I'd rather keep it in the United States.  (Laughter.)  Did anybody not see that joke coming?  (Laughter.)  Show of hands.  Only Gallup?  Maybe Dick Morris?  (Laughter and applause.)

Now, speaking of presidents and their legacies, I want to acknowledge a wonderful friend, Steven Spielberg, and Daniel Day-Lewis, who are here tonight.  (Applause.)  We had a screening of their most recent film, Lincoln, which was an extraordinary film.  I am a little nervous, though, about Steven's next project.  I saw a behind-the-scenes look on HBO -- well, let's just check it out.  Roll the tape.

(Video is shown.)  (Laughter and applause.)

It's a remarkable transformation.  Do I really sound like that, though, honey?  (Laughter.)

Groucho Marx once said -- and, Senator Cruz, that’s Groucho Marx, not Karl.  That’s the other guy.  (Laughter.)  Groucho Marx once told an audience, "Before I speak, I have something important to say."  (Laughter.)  And along those same lines, I want to close on a more serious note.

Obviously, there has been no shortage of news to cover over these past few weeks.  And these have been some very hard days for too many of our citizens.  Even as we gather here tonight, our thoughts are not far from the people of Boston and the people of West, Texas.  There are families in the Midwest who are coping with some terrible floods.  So we've had some difficult days.

But even when the days seemed darkest, we have seen humanity shine at its brightest.  We've seen first responders and National Guardsmen who have dashed into danger, law enforcement officers who lived their oath to serve and to protect, and everyday Americans who are opening their homes and their hearts to perfect strangers.

And we also saw journalists at their best -- especially those who took the time to wade upstream through the torrent of digital rumors to chase down leads and verify facts and painstakingly put the pieces together to inform, and to educate, and to tell stories that demanded to be told.

If anyone wonders, for example, whether newspapers are a thing of the past, all you needed to do was to pick up or log on to papers like the Boston Globe.  (Applause.)  When their communities and the wider world needed them most, they were there making sense of events that might at first blush seem beyond our comprehension.  And that’s what great journalism is, and that’s what great journalists do.  And that’s why, for example, Pete Williams' new nickname around the NBC newsroom is "Big Papi."  (Applause.)

And in these past few weeks, as I've gotten a chance to meet many of the first responders and the police officers and volunteers who raced to help when hardship hits, I was reminded, as I'm always reminded when I meet our men and women in uniform, whether they're in war theater, or here back home, or at Walter Reed in Bethesda -- I'm reminded that all these folks, they don’t do it to be honored, they don’t do it to be celebrated.  They do it because they love their families and they love their neighborhoods and they love their country.

And so, these men and women should inspire all of us in this room to live up to those same standards; to be worthy of their trust; to do our jobs with the same fidelity, and the same integrity, and the same sense of purpose, and the same love of country.  Because if we're only focused on profits or ratings or polls, then we're contributing to the cynicism that so many people feel right now.  (Applause.)

And so, those of us in this room tonight, we are incredibly lucky.  And the fact is, we can do better -- all of us.  Those of us in public office, those of us in the press, those who produce entertainment for our kids, those with power, those with influence -- all of us, including myself, we can strive to value those things that I suspect led most of us to do the work that we do in the first place -- because we believed in something that was true, and we believed in service, and the idea that we can have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the people around us.

And that’s our obligation.  That’s a task we should gladly embrace on behalf of all of those folks who are counting on us; on behalf of this country that’s given us so much.

So thank you all, to the White House Correspondents for the great work you do.  God bless you all.  May God bless the United States of America.
329 comments on original post
1
1
Bing Chenzo's profile photo
Add a comment...

Allan Haggett

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Dizzying but invisible depth

You just went to the Google home page.

Simple, isn't it?

What just actually happened?

Well, when you know a bit of about how browsers work, it's not quite that simple. You've just put into play HTTP, HTML, CSS, ECMAscript, and more. Those are actually such incredibly complex technologies that they'll make any engineer dizzy if they think about them too much, and such that no single company can deal with that entire complexity.

Let's simplify.

You just connected your computer to www.google.com.

Simple, isn't it?

What just actually happened?

Well, when you know a bit about how networks work, it's not quite that simple. You've just put into play DNS, TCP, UDP, IP, Wifi, Ethernet, DOCSIS, OC, SONET, and more. Those are actually such incredibly complex technologies that they'll make any engineer dizzy if they think about them too much, and such that no single company can deal with that entire complexity.

Let's simplify.

You just typed www.google.com in the location bar of your browser.

Simple, isn't it?

What just actually happened?

Well, when you know a bit about how operating systems work, it's not quite that simple. You've just put into play a kernel, a USB host stack, an input dispatcher, an event handler, a font hinter, a sub-pixel rasterizer, a windowing system, a graphics driver, and more, all of those written in high-level languages that get processed by compilers, linkers, optimizers, interpreters, and more. Those are actually such incredibly complex technologies that they'll make any engineer dizzy if they think about them too much, and such that no single company can deal with that entire complexity.

Let's simplify.

You just pressed a key on your keyboard.

Simple, isn't it?

What just actually happened?

Well, when you know about bit about how input peripherals work, it's not quite that simple. You've just put into play a power regulator, a debouncer, an input multiplexer, a USB device stack, a USB hub stack, all of that implemented in a single chip. That chip is built around thinly sliced wafers of highly purified single-crystal silicon ingot, doped with minute quantities of other atoms that are blasted into the crystal structure, interconnected with multiple layers of aluminum or copper, that are deposited according to patterns of high-energy ultraviolet light that are focused to a precision of a fraction of a micron, connected to the outside world via thin gold wires, all inside a packaging made of a dimensionally and thermally stable resin. The doping patterns and the interconnects implement transistors, which are grouped together to create logic gates. In some parts of the chip, logic gates are combined to create arithmetic and bitwise functions, which are combined to create an ALU. In another part of the chip, logic gates are combined into bistable loops, which are lined up into rows, which are combined with selectors to create a register bank. In another part of the chip, logic gates are combined into bus controllers and instruction decoders and microcode to create an execution scheduler. In another part of the chip, they're combined into address and data multiplexers and timing circuitry to create a memory controller. There's even more. Those are actually such incredibly complex technologies that they'll make any engineer dizzy if they think about them too much, and such that no single company can deal with that entire complexity.

Can we simplify further?

In fact, very scarily, no, we can't. We can barely comprehend the complexity of a single chip in a computer keyboard, and yet there's no simpler level. The next step takes us to the software that is used to design the chip's logic, and that software itself has a level of complexity that requires to go back to the top of the loop.

Today's computers are so complex that they can only be designed and manufactured with slightly less complex computers. In turn the computers used for the design and manufacture are so complex that they themselves can only be designed and manufactured with slightly less complex computers. You'd have to go through many such loops to get back to a level that could possibly be re-built from scratch.

Once you start to understand how our modern devices work and how they're created, it's impossible to not be dizzy about the depth of everything that's involved, and to not be in awe about the fact that they work at all, when Murphy's law says that they simply shouldn't possibly work.

For non-technologists, this is all a black box. That is a great success of technology: all those layers of complexity are entirely hidden and people can use them without even knowing that they exist at all. That is the reason why many people can find computers so frustrating to use: there are so many things that can possibly go wrong that some of them inevitably will, but the complexity goes so deep that it's impossible for most users to be able to do anything about any error.

That is also why it's so hard for technologists and non-technologists to communicate together: technologists know too much about too many layers and non-technologists know too little about too few layers to be able to establish effective direct communication. The gap is so large that it's not even possible any more to have a single person be an intermediate between those two groups, and that's why e.g. we end up with those convoluted technical support call centers and their multiple tiers. Without such deep support structures, you end up with the frustrating situation that we see when end users have access to a bug database that is directly used by engineers: neither the end users nor the engineers get the information that they need to accomplish their goals.

That is why the mainstream press and the general population has talked so much about Steve Jobs' death and comparatively so little about Dennis Ritchie's: Steve's influence was at a layer that most people could see, while Dennis' was much deeper. On the one hand, I can imagine where the computing world would be without the work that Jobs did and the people he inspired: probably a bit less shiny, a bit more beige, a bit more square. Deep inside, though, our devices would still work the same way and do the same things. On the other hand, I literally can't imagine where the computing world would be without the work that Ritchie did and the people he inspired. By the mid 80s, Ritchie's influence had taken over, and even back then very little remained of the pre-Ritchie world.

Finally, last but not least, that is why our patent system is broken: technology has done such an amazing job at hiding its complexity that the people regulating and running the patent system are barely even aware of the complexity of what they're regulating and running. That's the ultimate bikeshedding: just like the proverbial discussions in the town hall about a nuclear power plant end up being about the paint color for the plant's bike shed, the patent discussions about modern computing systems end up being about screen sizes and icon ordering, because in both cases those are the only aspect that the people involved in the discussion are capable of discussing, even though they are irrelevant to the actual function of the overall system being discussed.

CC:BY 3.0
110 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...

Allan Haggett

Shared publicly  - 
 
Algae-like structures inside a Sri Lankan meteorite are clear evidence of panspermia, the idea that life exists throughout the universe, say astrobiologists.
1
Allan Haggett's profile photoFraser Graham's profile photoChris Holden's profile photo
5 comments
 
if it's someone elses' post originally, just use the share button. Doesn't matter here since it's just a link. That's all people do is repost stuff. :P
Add a comment...
In his circles
218 people
Have him in circles
247 people
Bev Haggett's profile photo
Ethan Husted's profile photo
thị nga nguyễn's profile photo
Wallace Lockhart's profile photo
julia hope's profile photo
John Goode's profile photo
quality tunes daily's profile photo
ahmed abbas's profile photo
Jerry Cards's profile photo

Allan Haggett

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Frozen methane bubbles under Abraham Lake
From http://bit.ly/arctic-methane :
"There are billions of tons of methane gas in the arctic circle. The gas is trapped inside permafrost and inside clathrates. [...]
The big issue is that methane is 25 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and that this methane release would cause a positive feedback loop. The more methane is released, the more the planet warms. The more the planet warms, the more methane clathrates and permafrost are affected and more methane is released, worsening the situation."

Photo by Emmanuel Coupe 
19 comments on original post
2
Add a comment...

Allan Haggett

Shared publicly  - 
 
I've always enjoyed Gruber's writing ...
So Phil Schiller gave a second eve-of-Galaxy-S4-launch interview, this one to Reuters reporter Poornima Gupta. The headline (“Apple’s Schiller Blasts Android, Samsung on Galaxy’s Eve”) is spot-on, but here’s the second paragraph: The marketing chief’s rare attack on a rival, on the eve of the Galaxy S4’s global premier in New York, underscores the extent of the pressure piled upon a company that once stood the undisputed leader of the smartphon...
1
Add a comment...
People
In his circles
218 people
Have him in circles
247 people
Bev Haggett's profile photo
Ethan Husted's profile photo
thị nga nguyễn's profile photo
Wallace Lockhart's profile photo
julia hope's profile photo
John Goode's profile photo
quality tunes daily's profile photo
ahmed abbas's profile photo
Jerry Cards's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Human
Employment
  • Freelance
    Web Developer, 1999 - 2012
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Victoria BC
Previously
Brentwood Bay
Links
Other profiles
Contributor to
Story
Introduction
I live in Victoria BC. I read stuff and I juggle stuff.
Education
  • Camosun College
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Single