Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Morning Mail

This story in New Scientist about some commercial lab carelessly sending out avian flu in test kits is worrisome. I could see shutting down companies that do things like this. Quoting from the article:
"If this incident doesn't cause a major reassessment of the safety of flu research, a lab-sponsored pandemic may well be the only thing that induces sobriety," comments Ed Hammond of the Sunshine Project, a biosafety pressure group.
Personally, I don't want incompetent biologists in a position to "induce sobriety" on anyone but themselves.

In other mail: the Python community is considering me as a candidate to present in Houston, TX next year, at SIGCSE 2006 -- not a sure thing yet. I'm convening a Python Meetup this PM at the usual venue (just sent some mail around about that).

Another surprise development: some family friends yesterday proposed that I be tasked with helping them get the word out about a property they're ready to sell. I've never done much with real estate, but this property is unlikely to stay in my reality for long, given it overlooks the Columbia Gorge, Mount Hood and Hood River (it's on the Washington side). I'll be taking some real estate savvy friends out to lunch, plus investing in a new digital camera, and maybe a GPS device.

Our 2004 taxes are almost finished. Given our very high medical expenses this year (the cancer year), we may be getting a refund for the first time in a long time (unless auditors find a mistake, which I doubt; we used all the right software, and Dawn is a good bookkeeper).

Later today: of course the concept of "morning mail" is somewhat obsolete by now. When we just had USPS, mail tended to show up once a day, often in the morning (depending on the neighborhood and local routes -- businesses downtown expected AM delivery). But with email there's a steady stream, 24/7. Now it's like 4:21 PM and I'm sitting in a local café catching up on my gmail account (Google mail). That's where I monitor Quaker-P and the NSA teacher list. I see Friend Bob Seeley provided a link to a newly revised peace resource site a couple days ago. Cool.

I also just used the gmail account to follow-up on an invitation from the editor of PyZine to write something about hypertoons (maybe with Scott?). He attended my open space talk at Pycon2005.

Generally, when working in cafés like this, it's easier to use an HTTP account, and not bother with an outgoing SMTP server.