October 29th, 2005

krazy koati

When the night comes falling from the sky

Some kind of odd inverse law has to be operating; I'm discovering that it's a lot harder to get up at my usual time if I go to bed an hour earlier. I know it's remarkable to think of me as having any sleep cycles left, but this appears to be one.

Some unknown agency has been removing the ``close door'' button labels in the elevators in my building. At least, some of them. The buttons are left where they are, mind you, it's just the chip of plastic which contains the two arrows pointing together that's been taken out of the three elevators. And not all of the ``close door'' buttons, either. Each of the elevators has three control panels -- two vertically-aligned ones on either side of the door, and one horizontally-aligned one for wheelchair access. It's only the ``close door'' buttons on the wheelchair-access panels that have been removed. The buttons still work, it's just all you see is a clear panel with a set of eight light-emitting diodes tucked inside.

I just can't think what some prankster is doing with elevator ``close door'' buttons.

``IT Security Week'', a string of events dedicated to teaching people to keep their computers secure, has a wild west theme this year, with posters showing a silhouetted gunslinger captioned, ``GIMME YOUR PASSWORD!'' Granted I was inclined not to give any of the Clanton gang my password before, but I still feel odd looking at the posters.

Trivia: The budget for the (US) National Advisory Council and Aeronautics was $5,000 per year for each of its first five years of operations. Source: Orders of Magnitude: A History of the NACA and NASA, 1915-1990, Roger E Bilstein, NASA SP-4406.

Currently Reading: Molecules at an Exhibition, John Emsley. You know, I'd been inexplicably thinking for months that there had to be some use in the human body for molybdenum, and I'm happy to learn I was right. The average person will have about 5 milligrams of the stuff, and takes in almost eight grams in a lifetime. I don't know why I thought it should be essential somehow (it's needed for xanthine oxidase, which is critical for the production of uric acid), but I got the idea in my head. Now I just have to wait for the biochemists to find a use for vanadium, which just gets no respect.