Welcome to the House of Dave

 

Making people say "What The" since 1996

 

Welcome to Dave's World. No animated GIFs (well, ok, there's a tiny one buried somewhere), no Java apps, no backgrounds that take forever to download. Just actual content! This page is a long, strange trip through my head. I'm always happy to chat about anything you see here, just drop me a line.

 

I am constantly updating this page and the pages below it. Last update: 7/13/05

 

NOTICE : Due to a massive outcry from my fan, I'll keep the site up, as it doesn't cost anything (given that we pay for the email account already) -Dave

 


Recent Updates:

* Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Snork... Yawn... another shuttle launch

* They Just Don't Get It - you gotta read this book.

* Easily the stupidest lawsuit of 2005 (so far)

* The Man owns your property.

* NBA officiating. Every year, when the playoffs start, I renew my interest in this topic. If they'd just save time and see it my way...


Table Of Contents


 Astronomy and Space

All kinds of amateur astro stuff: Eyepieces, mirrors, 10" homemade dob description, 4.25" RFT description, top 10 most-wanted viewing objects.

NASA is holding their breath, waiting for my input on setting space policy - so here it is. 

Check out this stupid ad

Ceres - using the future value of land to fund the present

Beginner's guide to telescopes 

How to speed up the Moon's rotation

Why we should send a manned mission to Mars

'99 Mars Society Convention - my pics and notes 

The 5th annual Mars Society convention

Wishing On A Star - hoping for aliens doesn't affect the liklihood of their existence! 

Rocky Mountain Star Stare 2000 - trip report

Rocky Mountain Star Stare 2001 - trip report

Rocky Mountain Star Stare 2002 - trip report

I take a WAG at the chances of finding life elsewhere in our solar system

Added a page on my telescope-for-kids I just finished.

What's a planet?

Solar System Astronomy

 Dave's advice for NASA

 Part #1 - The summary

 Part #2 - Tethers

 Part #3 - Space Station

 For reasons that made sense to me at one time, I have a degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics. I have always been interested in Astronomy, and currently am somewhat involved from an amateur perspective. I think we're on a cusp of exploration: we should have cheap and easy access to LEO in 10 years, we should have a manned mission to Mars in 20 years, etc.

I am surprised by how many people don't know basic Astronomical facts: how long it takes the Moon to go around the Earth, how far away the Sun is, etc.

I think the International Space Station is a tremendous waste of money and resources that would be better spent doing.... almost anything - like going to Mars!

 Fun With Math

Hailstone Numbers - the 3N+1 problem 

I got WORMS : Some "worms" that crawl around on a square lattice, cool pics. 

my Fractal Gallery

The world famous "Boll's Observation" regarding pi and the Mandelbrot set

how to pack circles and spheres optimally in various shapes 

Rolling polyhedra

Cellular automata A 3-state Life program, 2-state life results, and a cool picture of a shell with a naturally-occuring fractal pattern on it. 

Puzzles - 6 short, tough, original (AFAIK) puzzles. 

Poker, Misc. stuff Dave's Bad Beat story, new poker hands, etc.

In a way, if you know math, you can figure out anything. There are so many areas in Mathematics that are fun to explore from an amateur perspective - I'd love to get Mathematica someday, learn it well, and start to play.

Math is the language of Physics, and Physics is how the world works.

 

 

 

 

The apostrophe in "soda's" is bad enough (and why don't all the plurals have them?), but "souveigners"??? That hurts.

This is a gas station in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Pershing, just a few blocks from I-25.

 

 Update July 04: Here is a photo of my friend Mark's garage door. Look at the door closely - it is covered with Penrose Tiles! There are two Penrose tiles, usually called a Dart and a Kite. They tile the plane - but the cool thing is, they can do it aperiodically.

Mark cut all the darts and kites and designed the layout.

   I know this is a blurry photo - but check this out. My wife is a Minesweeper addict, and here is a shot of her time of 32 seconds on the intermediate level. That rocks.

 

 My oldest daughter Katie drew this picture of the tsunami 8(

I didn't truly understand the total devastation until I saw these pictures. That island didn't just get destroyed, it got obliterated.

 Fun With Science

The interesting tree-branching constant

Results for the 3-sided-coin problem

Why we should send a manned mission to Mars

How to make a homemade ecosphere

'99 Mars Society Convention - my pics and notes 

Humans and fractional gravity

What's a planet?

 Dave's advice for NASA

 Part #1 - The summary

 Part #2 - Tethers

 Part #3 - Space Station

Science is the process of figuring out the way the world works. It is absolutely the most sucessful thinking paradigm we have even constructed: Humans worshiped various gods for millenia, cast horoscopes, rubbed talismans, sacrificed virgins, and chanted sacred chants. None of it did squat. We began to learn how to think scientifically in the 1600s, we got pretty good in the 1800s - and in the last 150 years, we have doubled life expectancy in the Western World, dropped infant mortality by a factor of over 10, and sent people to the Moon. Nothing else in history even comes close. Science rocks. Join the fun!

Politics (mostly U.S.A.)
 

* What I'd do if I were the prez

* National Sales Tax - the way we should pay our taxes.

* the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment. Congress is far from perfect, but this would put 'em in a straightjacket. Also read this site.

* The Right Way to do automobile insurance

* Other political topics.

* Find out who your representative and senators are. Get off your butt and write them. Drop a letter to George while you're at it (you get a really cheesy form letter in reply, printed on official White House stationary. Ooooooh). In the end, we get the government we deserve. Let's deserve better.

 I am becoming increasingly interested in political topics lately. Not just garden-variety opinions on (for example) gun control - yes I have one, but it's not too important, and I'm reasonably confident that the current political process will yield an acceptable compromise solution. What really galls me is political decisions that are not in the best future interest of America.

I used to have a diatribe about debt reduction and the national debt here (I was heavily in favor of paying it down), and then I came across a site that changed my mind: http://web2.airmail.net/scsr/ Read it - it is the most enlightening discussion of debt and deficit spending I've ever encountered on the Web. If you only browse one political site this year, make it that one.

As far as political parties, I have yet to vote for a winning American president, and I'm getting more and more anti-incumbent.

Write your reps. Back a third party. Get involved - we need to break the two party stagnation. A non-Pub/Dem vote is NOT throwing your vote away - but a vote for them is perpetuating the problem.

 Environment

Nuclear Power - the environmentally responsible choice. 

Top Ten reasons nuclear power is superior to coal

Fusion - the power generation technique of the future? (coming soon)

 


Fun (USA) energy factoid: Picture a huge catapult, so big and so powerful that it is capable of tossing a Ford Taurus over the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Ignoring air resistance...

1) The energy required to power this catapult could be purchased off the (USA) grid for less than a quarter.

2) A typical American family uses enough energy to launch 9 Ford Tauruses per day over the Sears Tower.

-----

Fun energy factoid #2:

A coal power plant generates more pollution in an day than a nuclear power plant does in a year.

 

 Travel

Check out 5 remote places I'd love to go.

Seeing new people & places is always interesting. My current excursions have taken me over most of the lower-48 U.S. states, several places in Canada, Jamaica, and Germany. Not a terribly impressive travelogue so far...

Misc

Why are there 12 notes in an octave? There are other possibilities!

NFL '99 - the wackiest season ever! 

NFL '02 - picks page ['01 history]

It's 4th and 1. Should you go for it?

Top 10 Books of the Millennium (sic). Amazon ran a poll on this topic, and the results were so pop-culture focused (no, I'm not surprised :-) ) that I had to make my own list. 

Beyond 2000 - how will future generations view the current one? Beats the heck outta me, but here's my best current guess. 

Check out a nice pic of some colorful leaves I found. That is, I found the leaves, not the picture! Here, you can see what happens to them in a year.

My funprog page, some interesting little C programs. 

The definitive Dark Side Of The Moon / Wizard Of Oz page.

Coincidence. 

My page is pretty cool, but there are other cool sites out there too. Check out some of my favorite sites to visit

Dave's pizza recipe.

Check out my Salsa page. Find out which one is right for you!  Over 150 salsas reviewed and graded for your eating convenience. 

How to be as funny as Dave

How to be as funny as Dave's kids

My Favorite quotes

Reviews of this site by my so-called friends. 

If I were President of the USA, things would be different...

How to fix basketball

How to fix soccer.

The Dave IAQ (Infrequently Asked Questions)

What do you know about life in Saudi Arabia? Visit my friend Koload and you'll know more!

Is there a God?

Come visit Fulford Cave with me!

MS WALK 2004 UPDATE - Janelle made it!!!!


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Soapbox

Dave rants and raves about this and that, and rates the Best Of Dave. 

Old ranting and raving

 Strategy Games

The FAQ for the game of Hex (really more of a how-to-play guide), some source code for doing the minimax algorithm thing on a variety of games (Unix, a shell archive). If you're not able to unpack a shell archive, you could still edit it as a text file and pull out the routines you need. Here's a link to SlimeTrail, a game that Bill Taylor and I came up with a while back, and analyzed a bit.

Check out TriDisk, the new and exciting family-fun game!


 

Awards this site has won to date

If you liked this page, you may enjoy some of the other winners from these sites:

Reconn's Award

 

But my coolest award is the ypeztwo award of pezzerfection!


Cya on the net - I hope you enjoyed your visit. EMail me if you like.

Dave Boll