Atomic Clock Turns 50
Sunday, June 5, 2005, 21:31 - Technology
Wow, BBC News reports that the atomic clock, the time-keeping device that governs all aspects of our lives, is celebrating its 50th year. The first accurate caesium atomic clock was developed at the NPL in 1955 by Dr Louis Essen.

Atomic clocks form the standard for Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which governs legal time-keeping globally. The clocks are vital for rafts of technologies, such as global satellite navigation (GPS), coordinating packets of data which are transferred across the internet, and mobile telephony.
Even London's Big Ben relies on atomic clocks to keep it right.

Using a beam of caesium-133 atoms, generated from a special type of oven, the best present-day atomic clocks are able to keep time to within a 10th of a billionth of a second a day. They do this by counting time based on the way cooled-down caesium atoms jump back and forth between different energy levels. This occurs at microwave frequencies, with nearly 9.2 billion jumps making up the interval of time known as the second.

And here is an page on the history of atomic clocks at NIST (US National Institute of Standards and Technology).


Not so famous last words
Saturday, June 4, 2005, 06:23 - Top X lists
* Go to your room!
* I agree with you!
* Don't you just love it?
* It only exists between your ears!
* Do you want to talk about it?
* Excuse me?
* Let's agree that we disagree
* This is a win-win situation
* Aren't you a sweet little animal?
* Your right or mine?

TOP 10 famous last words

Dutch reject European Constition!
Thursday, June 2, 2005, 07:29 - The News
Excellent! Following France, the Dutch people have voted a very very clear NO to the proposed European Constitution. The exit polls show that 63% of the people has voted against with 62% of the voters turning up.

Most noticable was that the campaign FOR the constition used all kinds of frightening scenarios and was calling the people studid, dumb or not capable of deciding on such a complex item.
But the people have given a very clear signal to the goverment and to their representatives that they aren't doing a very good job representing the people and that they don't like where Europe is going in this pace.

The consequences cannot yet be overseen. Will Tony Blair indeed refrain completely from ratifying this treaty? Will other countries? Will this have consequences for (part of) the dutch government?


This t-shirt...
Saturday, May 28, 2005, 23:05 - Humor


On this day
Friday, March 25, 2005, 02:50 - The News
On this site you can find what happened on this date in the past.

Today 16 years ago, the Exxon Valdez oil slick disaster happened. Here is some context info (from the same site):
In 2004, a federal judge in Alaska ordered Exxon to pay $4.5bn in damages for the Valdez oil spill, the largest in US history.

It emerged that the Exxon Valdez had dumped 11 million gallons (41.8m litres) of crude oil and contaminated about 1,300 miles (2,080 km) of coastline.

Around 250,000 seabirds, nearly 3,000 sea otters, 300 harbour seals, 250 bald eagles and up to 22 killer whales died as a result of the spill.

Exxon captain, Joseph Hazelwood, admitted drinking vodka before boarding the vessel, but was subsequently acquitted of operating a ship while intoxicated.

The Exxon Valdez was repaired and renamed the Sea River Mediterranean and is working in the Atlantic although it is banned from returning to Alaska.

Schiavo drama
Tuesday, March 22, 2005, 00:11 - The News
There has been a new development in the dramatic case of coma patient Terri Schiavo.
It now has come so far that the law makers are overruling the judges. What a morons are those Republicans! And the Senate approved the legislation with only a few senators on hand!

The 41-year-old woman has been in coma for 15 years after a cardiac arrest. For the last 7 years there has been a battle in court between her husband, who wants to end her endless suffering, and her parents who deny that she is in a coma and expect here to wake any moment now (after 15 years!). But doctors have described her state as a “persistent vegetative state.”
Understandably, her husband wants closure and not this endless state in between life and death.

I know that here in the Netherlands we are way more liberal in this area - such a drama in court would be unthinkable - but this is the other extreme.
You expect the judges to primarily follow the laws but make there judgements on a case-by-case basis. If you don't like the outcome you may consider changing the law afterwards. But you do not ever want to change the law so you can overrule a judge just because you don't like a decision he made. NOT EVER!

I hope that the federal court will see the light and finally will put an end to this ongoing suffering.


Case Mods in Progress
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 08:24 - Personal
These guys have some serious time on their hands. It's fun to see how their projects slowly evolve.

It's in Dutch, but click on the links at the bottom and look at all those pictures.



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