Genesis, the Rollout:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Not just for the profit, either. God wanted a place where beings could find products that could make a difference in their lives.

The first thing he worked on was ambiance. "Let there be nice lighting," he said. God called the light "Come on in. We're open!" and the darkness he called "Closed. Please call again!"

God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures, some for heat-and-eat, others for petting, some simply for atmosphere. And to every animal of the earth I have allocated certified-organic food as well as romp-and-roll toys."
Read the rest! :-)

La Mirada!!!

Money Magazine has ranked La Mirada as the 34th best place to live in the country.

Located 25 miles south of Hollywood, La Mirada is best known not for its film or television industry, but for its theater. Converted from an old movie house, the 30-year-old La Mirada Theatre is considered one of the best regional playhouses in the nation - and it's active in the community. The theater hosts a number of events and workshops throughout the year for kids and teens. And a new 18-acre swim park expected to open in La Mirada later this year.

Free Books!

This is awesome! Baen has put a bunch of books online for you to read for free. I'll say it again: Awesome!


I spent another exciting evening cleaning the aquarium. Instead of running the hose to the plastic siphon device in the kitchen like normal, I bought a utility pump and ran it all through the bathtub. Using a pump saves tons of water compared to the siphon, and cleanup is also a lot easier in the bathtub than in the kitchen. Plus, we don't eat in the bathroom. It was a little harder, though, because we don't have a garbage disposal off of the bathtub, so I had to be really sure to catch everything before it went down the drain.


I hate being sick. I always forget just how bad it is.

I don't have a very bad cold, as far as colds go, but I'm still miserable. And I feel like I'm wasting so much time. I've got a lot of stuff to do, but I haven't felt up to doing anything for a few days. And even worse, I don't feel like reading or watching TV so I can't even enjoy my unproductive time.

All we had in the house yesterday was the new "Sudafed PE". I tried to get normal Sudafed, but all the pharmacies were closed and since Pseudoephedrine can be used to make drugs, only pharmacists can dispense it now. I was SOL. Sudafed PE is a little better than nothing, but not by much. Today I got some of the normal Sudafed (12 hour) and the difference was like night and day. As soon as it took effect my nose was much clearer and much less runny, and I felt much better. So for anyone reading: don't bother with Sudafed PE, get the real stuff.

My activity for the day was house-sitting for our cousins. Mrs. Turtle watered the plants, and I put out more food for the chickens. That's right, the chickens. The little guys followed me around everywhere. They had plenty of food, so I'm not sure what they wanted. Perhaps they were worshiping me. Or maybe my they interpreted my sneezing as some sort of communication.

Big Wendy

Big Wendy the muscular whippet has a genetic condition that makes her extremely muscular. Unfortunately, her heart and lungs are normal size, so she will have a shorter than average lifespan. Other than her extraordinary buffness, according to the article, she's a normal, playful dog.


A plurality support impeaching Bush, and a majority support impeaching Cheney. I'm really surprised that the numbers are that high.


The NY Times has a great op-ed about incentives. Here are some excerpts, but you should read the whole thing.
The logic of the plan reveals a second assumption that economists make: the more motives the better. Give people two reasons to do something, the thinking goes, and they will be more likely to do it, and they’ll do it better, than if they have only one. ... Unfortunately, these assumptions that economists make about human motivation, though intuitive and straightforward, are false. In particular, the idea that adding motives always helps is false. There are circumstances in which adding an incentive competes with other motives and diminishes their impact. Psychologists have known this for more than 30 years.

In one experiment, nursery school children were given the opportunity to draw with special markers. After playing, some of the children were given “good player” awards and others were not. Some time later, the markers were reintroduced to the classroom. The researchers kept track of which children used the markers, and they collected the pictures that had been drawn. The youngsters given awards were less likely to draw at all, and drew worse pictures, than those who were not given the awards.

Why did this happen? Children draw because drawing is fun and because it leads to a result: a picture. The rewards of drawing are intrinsic to the activity itself. The “good player” award gives children another reason to draw: to earn a reward. And it matters — children want recognition. But the recognition undermines the fun, so that later, in the absence of a chance to earn an award, the children aren’t interested in drawing. ...

An especially striking example of this was reported in a study of Swiss citizens about a decade ago. Switzerland was holding a referendum about where to put nuclear waste dumps. Researchers went door-to-door in two Swiss cantons and asked people if they would accept a dump in their communities. Though people thought such dumps might be dangerous and might decrease property values, 50 percent of those who were asked said they would accept one. People felt responsibility as Swiss citizens. The dumps had to go somewhere, after all.

But when people were asked if they would accept a nuclear waste dump if they were paid a substantial sum each year (equal to about six weeks’ pay for the average worker), a remarkable thing happened. Now, with two reasons to say yes, only about 25 percent of respondents agreed. The offer of cash undermined the motive to be a good citizen.

It is as if, when asked the question, people asked themselves whether they should respond based on considerations of self-interest or considerations of public responsibility. Half of the people in the uncompensated condition of the study thought they should focus on their responsibilities. But the offer of money, in effect, told people that they should consider only their self-interest. And as it turned out, through the lens of self-interest, even six weeks’ pay wasn’t enough.