Monthly Archives May 2005

Interstate Wine Shipments: States Can’t Discriminate

This news article reports on a recent Supreme Court ruling that requires states to be nondiscriminatory in their laws about direct shipment of wine to consumers: if they ban it, they must ban both interstate and intrastate shipments. While a fifth circuit court of appeals ruling in 2003 allowed Texas residents to have wine shipped to them from out-of-state, many potential customers of Texas wineries remained off-limits due to various states’ direct-shipment laws. So this Supreme Court ruling will help level the playing ground, presumably to the benefit of Texas wineries (especially smaller ones that don’t tend to have distribution
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Categories: Beer, Wine and Spirits.

Immortality within 25 years?

RjS and I were chatting about cancer and various other biologic ailments and that brought to mind a gentleman I read about a while back by the name of Aubrey de Grey. As the articles say, he is a Computer Scientist that hasn’t taken a biology class since he was 15 years old. Never-the-less, he decided he wanted to put an end to aging, for himself and others. As part of the process, he now holds a doctorate in biology (from Cambridge, still without taking any biology classes), and has become one of the most renouned and respcted gerontology and
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Categories: Health.

Clever Worm

I got another interesting virus, with an amusing little twist. You have just received a virtual postcard from a family member! You can pick up your postcard at the following web address: The link actually goes somewhere completely different (a file on with a “.gif.exe” extension). Anyway, I found the choice of displayed URL — with “31337” dropped in as a kind of “in joke” — to be vaguely amusing. Truth is, I have family members who send me this kind of crap from time to time. This one came really close to catching me. Yikes.
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Categories: General.

Violet is not Purple: Is digital imaging broken?

Last night, as I was trying to get to sleep, I had a series of thoughts that brought me to a troublesome gap in my understanding of human vision1. My problem? I couldn’t figure out how we see purple. See, growing up, we were always taught that the spectral colors, starting from the longest wavelength, were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. If you ever asked the teacher what violet was, they’d say “it’s just another name for purple.” Indigo? “It’s kind of a puplish-blue. It’s named after a type of flower.” Thus, we are taught that the
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Categories: Health, Rants and Rambling, and Science.