French Open 2015

“After this two-and-a-half-hour fight,
I felt so relieved that I fell on the ground.
A bit like Rafa.”
Alize Cornet

French Open 2015

Some great matches the last few days. Alize Cornet is an awesome player.

Serena Azarenka

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka

What a great match between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. These two are friends off the court and have played over a dozen times against each other in major tournaments. I’ve watched quite a few of their matches and each time Serena has won.

Today, although I would have loved to see Azarenka beat Serena, I believe Serena outplayed Azarenka.

Great match !

Shine On

Sticky Situation

“Every fish and invertebrate contacting the oil is probably dying.
I have no doubt about that.”
Prosanta Chakrabarty

Sticky Situation

Hazmat teams clean up Redondo Beach as beachgoers sit and watch.

It saddens me to post this, but for the last few days, our beautiful Redondo Beach coastline has no sign of dolphins and no sign of whales. Even the pelicans and seagulls have disappeared.

Why? Because globs of tar and oil like substance washed ashore on Wednesday and impacted a 6.8-mile stretch of our beautiful California coastline.

Numerous agencies are working together cleaning up the mess as well as collecting samples to determine if it is a result of an oil spill or a natural occurrence.

This oil slick comes about a week after a ruptured 24-inch pipeline spilled oil into the ocean off Refugio State Beach, about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara. The pipeline, owned by Santa Maria-based Plains All-American Pipeline, was on land, and the oil flowed from a culvert into the waters.

Redondo Beach officials are asking residents to avoid contact with the water, wet sand and any materials that have washed ashore. Officials warn that the oil may cause skin irritation and long-term health effects.

Meanwhile on my walk this morning, there were flashing digital signs everywhere advising people to stay away from the beach. If you look at the photo I shot above, you can see two adults sitting in their beach chairs watching men in hazmat suits pick up toxic waste from the beach. A few yards away young children are in the water, while their parents sit on the sand. How stupid do you have to be to not follow blinking/flashing signs telling you to stay away from the beach? The wild life has more sense than humans and they can’t even read all the signs posted.

Most likely we will never know who and where these globs of oil came from. The oil companies will never fess up, because of the fines involved, unless of course we find them holding a smoking gun. Either way, it will take a half a century to recover from this sticky situation.

Shine On

Easy on the Eyes

“No object is mysterious. The mystery is your eye.”
Elizabeth Bowen
Easy on the Eyes

If you own a cell phone or a tablet such as an iPad, you now have the capability to download a simple application that will allow you to check your eye sight.

A London University has developed The Portable Eye Examination Kit, or Peek. What’s so amazing about Peek is that it is just as accurate as the traditional sight charts.

How cool is this. The next phase in this technology breakthrough is if you own a 3D printer, you will be able to design and print out your own eye wear.

This sounds like fun to me. I would love to be able to examine my eyes, design a pair of stylish eye glasses and never leave my home. This new technology is definitely easy on the eyes.

Shine On

Happy Anniversary Golden Gate Bridge

“The Golden Gate Bridge is an icon.
The West Coast Statue of Liberty,
welcoming all to our shores.”
Author Unknown

Happy Anniversary Golden Gate Bridge

Opening day celebration for the Golden Gate Bridge, 1937.

Yesterday the Golden Gate bridge celebrated its 78th anniversary.

The bridge might never been built without the determination of the bridge’s chief engineer, Joseph Strauss. He spent over ten years petitioning supporters until finally state legislature was passed.

Non supporters argued that the bridge should not be built due to hazardous tides, constant fog and high winds. The Department of War tried to stop construction stating it would interfere with ship traffic. Even the Southern Pacific Railroad, who operated ferries from Marin to San Francisco, filed a lawsuit to stop construction.

Thanks to Strauss’ tireless efforts, construction began in 1933 and was finished early and under budget. Fortunately for Strauss he lived to see the completion of his beloved bridge, and wrote some poetry dedicated to the bridge and surrounding area. Sadly, Strauss died just short of one year after the completion of the bridge. A memorial statue of Strauss was constructed and can be seen on the San Francisco side of the bridge.

Happy Anniversary Golden Gate Bridge.

Shine On

The Beginning of the End

“Every major player is working on this
technology of artificial intelligence.
As of now, it’s benign… but I would say
that the day is not far off when
artificial intelligence as applied to
cyber warfare becomes
a threat to everybody.”
Ted Bell

The Beginning of the End

Today it was announced that scientist at UC Berkeley have successfully programmed a robot to learn simple tasks through trial and error just like humans learn. This robot BRETT, (Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks) can use visual and sensory information about itself, its environment and the objects before it.

To the average person this may not seem like a big deal, but this is a major breakthrough in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). In the summer of 1956 the field of AI was just getting started. The founders of AI became the leaders in the research for decades. Many of these men predicted that a machine as intelligent as a human being would some day exist by the 1970s. Eventually it became obvious that they had grossly underestimated the difficulty of the project.

Here we are almost sixty years later and the technology these men worked on has arrived. The technology itself is fascinating but what is more interesting to me is how humans will use this information. Will AI be used for the betterment of man, or will it be the beginning of the end?

Shine On