Monday, November 26, 2007

Something a little different....

I was surfing around on YouTube and thought I'd share this with you...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The sadness of Extremism...

Irrational extremism probably turns me off more than just about anything else. I was surfing around today and saw a post somewhere that said something like "...human exterminating CO2 emissions". Besides the scientific inaccuracy of the statement, it just SOUNDS extreme, doesn't it? Doesn't something like that just set off warning bells in your head? Doesn't the sky is falling fare of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" just set off warning bells? Left or right, when someone is sounding an alarm THIS loud, I really start to wonder and worry. We are supposed to be reasonable, rational human beings.

I listen to talk radio. I listen to those on the other side who are just as polarized on this issue. I've heard them, some years ago, deny even the possibility of climate change. Again, an extreme position that sounds warning bells in my head. It's unfortunate that there isn't some good, middle of the road, less polarized talk radio.

I know fully well that this planet's climate changes over time. Anyone who has ever taken a basic science class or two, ought to know that. I can remember some time back (around the 70's as I recall) that there was talk about climate change in the cooling direction, and now it's warming. Just the term Ice Age seems to imply that some major cooling has occurred in the past, don't you think? Climate change in and of itself seems like a no brainier of a concept. Talk radio seems to have finally caught on about Climate change.... at least they do not deny it anymore.

With a topic as hot as Climate Change, enter opportunity, enter extremism, enter political objectives and designs. Enter polarization, enter bad science, bad data and downright fabrication of information for whatever purpose. Frankly, it all makes me sick. I've spent some time reviewing the points of view of both sides. Frankly, the following website seems to provide the clearest cut points of view with regards to Climate Change:

What do I like about Icecap?

1. It seems level headed to me.
2. It does not dismiss the idea of climate change, but challenges the current "Global Warming" is imminent thinking. It does so in quite a powerful way.
3. It makes a good case that the current polarization on the climate change issue may work to our detriment rather than to our benefit.
4. It seems to me to have some pretty good science. No melodrama, no mountains that should have snow and do not. Facts and some good opinion.
5. Check out the recent data on the "Hockey Stick"... One of the center piece datums of Al Gore's movie.

To me, the current Global Warming extremists are dangerous. While there are some clear issues on the front of pollution (China, get your act together and join the 20th century will you?), car emissions (the Utah valley when we have an inversion layer is a blah place to be) and the like, we need to step back and realize that this topic is not one worth the Billions of dollars that could be well spent in a wasted effort. Indeed, we need to ask ourselves *IF* warming is really a bad thing. After a great deal of reading, I'm not sure it is.

The bottom line is that somewhere, kids are starving... Somewhere a genocide is occurring... Somewhere a child is dying at birth because people are not properly trained... Somewhere a terrorist is being trained to kill as many people as possible. These problems seem more immediate to me than the long term potential of Climate Change (measured in decades and centuries) and much more worthy of billions of dollars. Climate Change is important, don't get me wrong, but we have incorrectly prioritized it above humanity in general.

That is a mistake.

The sad thing is, with polarized people, you have to hit them over the head with a brick to convince them.... Even then, that brick had better further their cause and agenda or it won't mater.

Shame human beings can be that way.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Back from OOW!!

I'm back from OOW in San Fransisco. Had a great time, went to some good sessions and saw some long time friends. I also realized that it's been forever since I posted anything on my blog!

I'll put together something 11g related this weekend for those of you who (rightly) feel I've just fallen off the blog band wagon. I think once I got the 11g New Features book done (it's now available on Amazon) I just took a writing break.

I'm off to Ottawa in a couple of weeks to teach a one day APEX class for the IOUG. I've never been there and I'm looking forward to it. One thing I'd like to know though is if the Coke company is still selling the Coke C2 product up there? I've heard it's still available in Canada. They quit selling the stuff here in the states much to my irritation. Anyway, if you live in the Ottawa area and if you know if they still sell C2 and where I might get my hands on some, please drop me a line and let me know. I love the stuff!!!

Finally.... I can't figure this out. Is there anyone out there that does not know what that little "fasten seat belt" sign is for on an airplane? I am constantly amazed how people will unbuckle the seat belt about 3 minutes after take-off to goto the bathroom. Now, I sympathize with the need to goto the bathroom, but really.... the seat belt sign is there for a reason. Particularity at lower altitudes inside the confines of Class B airspace, STAY IN YOUR SEAT!! It also irritates me to see parents let kids get up and run around when the seat belt sign is lit. What is it with parents? Control your kids and teach them discipline! As a pilot I can tell you that just because the air seems to be smooth and it looks nice outside, that is no guarantee that nastiness is not far away. Only your pilot has the information available to determine the potential risk that awaits you (and even there, the information available can be weak). You have not lived until you have encountered CAT (Clear Air Turblance) with a 1500FPM drop. Trust me, if you are not belted in something like that you will find your body laid flat on the ceiling and then the floor after the plane has recovered.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ottawa!! I Forgot to mention Ottawa!!

Blast, I forgot to mention Ottawa!! ..... I'll be doing an IOUG University session in Ottawa later this month on Oracle Application Express (APEX)! It's a day long University session. I'll be introducing APEX, and teaching you how to build a basic application! You will see how easy it is to use! This will be on November 30, 2007!

If you are in the area, and curious about APEX, you can check out:

For more information!!

Back from Vacation, the book is out and conferences...

I am just back from a long (for me) vacation with my wife and 3 of my 5 kids. We had a nice week long Mexican Rivera cruise, and a day or so at Disney to boot. Well, we *were* going to go to Disney, but the kids decided they wanted to goto Knott's Berry Farm instead. I don't know, maybe they got some water ingested when they went scuba diving or something, because I can't see how one would NOT want to goto Disney.... but, alas, we took them to KBF.

The cruise was a blast, and I'll post a few pictures later in another blog entry and share more fun details about the cruise. Sure it's not Oracle but my life is not all Oracle!!

As for the book, I just got my copies today of Oracle Database 11g New Features!! So, it should be selling in the next couple of days!! Woo Hoo!! I hope you all will find it of help getting up to speed on Oracle Database 11g. I also hope that if you find a new 11g feature that is not in the book that you find invaluable, that you will share it with me and let me share it with everyone else out there.

I look forward to the rash of conferences coming up in the next few months! OOW is soon to come, then RMOUG and Collaborate. Conferences can be great, if you find the right people to listen too! I remember listening to Connor McDonald at the UKOUG some years back. I'd just done a 9i New Features presentation and Connor got up and started to pontificate on 9i. As I listened to him he mentions dbms_xplan.display which I believe was a new feature in release 2 of 9i. I sat there wondering how I'd never heard of it before! What a marvy tool dbms_xplan.display is I thought to myself. So, I humbly admit that I don't know everything (my kids might say I don't know anything).

I'll be at an author signing thing at Open World. If you are there, come look me up and say hi! I'll post more details shortly!

OH! 11g is now available for Windows! Download it and have a go!!
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