Thursday, December 21, 2006

The reason for the season

Up here on the Northern Hemisphere, this is the longest night of the year. It's time to reflect on the reason why celebrate and have festivals at all during these cold months. From Ramadan, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, Christmas, etc. we get together with friends and families, tell stories about the previous year and make plans for the coming year. What seeds will we plant in our lives, and what will we do differently this year than last year? What other lessons have we learned from mistakes we have made, and what went well that we may wish to repeat?

The 23° 27’ tilt of the earth creates this phenomenon, and the plants & animals have evolved to take advantage of it and thrive. The solstice is the point where the sun is at the far point north or south of the equator. In our hemisphere, the winter solstice is where the sun is as far away from us as it gets.

Why is the earth tilted? When our third generation sun ignited 4.57 Billion years ago from the collapse of the gas cloud, and the solar wind drove the smaller dust away, the planets had already mostly formed from the material they had collected. The inner planets like ours collected mostly heavier metals and minerals because the lower density gases couldn't stay in the center of that disc because it got too hot too fast. The outer planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune collected most of the material they could before ignition. Much of it likely disappeared into Interstellar Space, but there should be quite a bit hovering at the outskirts of our system.

The formation of the Earth was a process of getting slammed again and again and again with meteors and asteroids of all sizes. The last truely major punch was when Theia and proto-Earth came together, forming the Earth and the Moon. I personally believe that this was the point that the current tilt of the Earth's axis came from. So, by this hypothesis, we can thank Moon for the Solstice.

Thanks, Luna! And Happy Birthday, Sol!

Time to go out to dinner with my wife and enjoy a good meal with a good glass of wine. That's what life is all about. Or something...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cause I'm a Geek! Yeah, yeah., yeah

On December 17th, I received an email confirmation from Yahoo saying that my password had changed. It wasn't me. So, for the last 2 days, I've been bouncing emails back and forth with Yahoo trying to get access to my account. It got rather hairy.

They use a 'secret question' that you use when you first set up your account. For me and Yahoo, that relationship goes back years. Almost a decade. I created a Yahoo Mail account when they first launched the service way back when they first bought Rocketmail in 1997. So my question was based in an era that I no longer live in, and I couldn't remember it. And that's IF it was the same question that I originally used. The only other alternative was to remember the credit card number that I used to pay for the account, when I was paying for it. Three years ago. Don't ask how, but I remembered it.

So I got back in, and changed my password again. And part of the email confirmation that I got was the IP address to where I was. Which made me go back and look at the original confirmation, and yep, there was an IP address on that one too.

I did a quick search, and discovered that this IP address came from Indianapois, Indiana. Actually, coming out of the airport there, in fact.

So, after getting home, I dug a little deeper.

So, someone in Indiana using a Roadrunner account just before 11:26 AM discovered a password that I had set up almost 10 years ago, and decided to hack into the account. I'd like to think it was for fun, but I'm making quite a few waves in some circles. So, who knows. Maybe Karl's trying to find out what I'm up to. Good luck, Karl. You've already lost.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'm running

Dear Members and PCO's of the 46th District Democrats:

I'm running for King County Delegate from the 46th at our next
Reorganization meeting, and I would like to ask for your vote.

Suzie Sherry has already asked me to take an appointed position as
'Chair' of the Rapid Response Committee, and I'm working with Rob
Dolin to improve the website. I was planning to run for
the Alternate position, but then Dean Fournier announced that he was
interested in stepping back. So I'm going to run for the full seat.

I'd like to gather ideas on how I can be effective in the Rapid
Response role, as well as be a communications link between the
activists in the 46th and the King County Executive Board as we move
into the 2007 and 2008 elections. I started working with the 46th
just before the Precinct Caucuses in 2004, and I've been on the
Executive Board of the 46th for the last two years, handling the
website and participating in whatever planning committees were needed
to get things done. I'd like to put that experience to work at the
county level, and be your voice on the King County Democratic Central

If you have any questions or ideas, please let me know. I'm starting
this campaign at the Holiday Party, and the vote is on Thursday,
January 18th. I hope to hear from you, and I hope I'll earn your

Chad Lupkes
PCO, SEA-46-2324