Feb 07 2008
Today I learned:
- You can now purchase a subscription for toilet paper!
Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, spent a good two hours with us today, giving a high level overview of Amazon’s adoption of grid computing and cloud computing infrastructure. Quite enlightening given Adobe’s current reliance on a legacy ‘cluster’ model for our first generation SOA applications.
Werner was kind enough to clue us into the fact that Amazon, always the innovator, now provides not only a vast selection of toilet paper, but a subscription based model as well! There’s even an eco-friendly, 2-ply toilet paper made out of recycled material. Pleasantly surprised customers, having discovered that the toilet paper has a “rough” side and a “quilted-side” have even provided in depth ratings. You can purchase a twenty-pound 48-pack 500 sheet rolls, or subscribe to the same amount on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
(Sorry…no gift wrapping available for this item however…)
- The San Jose California “Mounted Police” have a sense of humor.
Taken at a local coffee shop where a pair of officers stopped in for tea and pastries earlier this afternoon…
- Urinating on the back tire of a transport bus prior to liftoff is a tradition of Russian astronauts.
Charles Simonyi participated in a panel on domain specific language and parallel computing. The former head of Microsoft’s application software group, now CEO of Intentional Software gave us his take on Technology futures, and then pulled out his amazing photo-album from his trip into space. Charles has the distinction of being the fifth paying space tourist in the world (and the 2nd Hungarian in space ever).
Charles told several amusing anecdotes of his time with the Russian Federal Space Agency, but perhaps the most interesting was that on their way to the launch pad his transport vehicle pulled over and everyone got out, unzipped their space suits (which had previously been hermetically sealed by the launch crew in front of the press and visitors) and proceeded to urinate on the back tire of the van. Charles naturally joined in and also partook in a last minute smoke, while the launch crew (who accompanied the team on the bus), re-sealed their flight suits. The last minute smoke a safe distance from the launch ready rocket clearly made sense, but relieving themselves at the side of the road?
Ah, good old Ruski tradition apparently. In 1961, Yuri Gagarin, (the first human in space), stopped to empty his bladder. The act became a tradition with subsequent cosmonauts, who urinate on the back tire of the transport bus before their flights. I still can’t figure out the significance of the back right tire though, perhaps an homage to the first cosmonaut in space?..the Russian dog Laika?