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Tips for texting via email

I just got this in an email. This is useful if you are in front of a computer and want to send a message to somebody without going through the painful process of texting from an antique cell phone (Gaa. I need a new phone).

Anyway, now you can email short messages, reminders, phone numbers and other important stuff to any mobile phone that supports text (SMS) messaging. Note: This might work for only carriers in the US and check with your mobile carrier regarding the charges for text messaging under your plan, of course!

1. Create a new email message.

2. In the “To” text box, enter the cell phone number using the following syntax:
10-digit-number@carrierdomain.com

Here is a list of some major carrier domains:

Alltel @message.alltel.com
Cingular/AT&T @txt.att.net
Nextel @messaging.nextel.com
Sprint @messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile @tmomail.net
VoiceStream @voicestream.net
Verizon @vtext.com
Virgin Mobile @vmobl.com

3. Create a message of 160 characters or less. You can also attach a .jpg file, if the cell phone you are sending to supports images.

4. Send the email.

And voila.

More dirty jobs, in science

I am a big fan of Mike Rowe, from the “Dirty Jobs” fame and have a fascination to really weird jobs that people have to do, every day, while I sit here in front of my computer, complaining about the compiler spewing out unrecognizable error messages, in a nice air-conditioned room, with a cup of hot coffee by my side. Of course, people do these jobs, not because they entirely like it but most times, these jobs are so specialized that the bang for the buck is usually high. This might particularly true for the weird jobs you encounter in scientific fields.

And yes, all that rant does lead to something sensible. I stumbled on to this video with a description by the assistant editor of Popular Science Magazine. He lists a few of these kooky professions and what it takes in a honest day’s work. Watch it below.

And I remembered, during one of my tours of a nuclear power plant, someone mentioned how they had a problem in one of their spent nuclear pools and a nuclear pool diver came to the rescue to set things straight. I was of course, baffled by this whole idea of a human being submerged in such a hostile environment but later realized, this was another one of those “on a need to do” professional occupations. Here’s are couple of sites that gives more information about the the nuclear divers.

1) Life of a Nuclear Diver.
2) Nuclear Divers, A Definite Breed
3) And to end this post, another great video of a dive walk through inside the Phenix nuclear plant, in France. The audio is in French but the video is worth a thousand words.

Very interesting and that is just way too cool for words !

Quotes – 13

Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish… Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

HERMANN HESSE, Siddhartha

Living the food stamp challenge

An interesting case-study on whether a couple can live, happily (?) and satisfied with only 72$ a week allotted for food. It would not have caught my attention since living in Texas, as a single guy, I can easily manage with 150$/month if I wanted to but since this involves 2 adults, who have been living unrestricted most of their lives, in LA, this provides a decent foundation to understanding what the people depending on food stamps are in for, every day.

Of course, you do have to be a staunch meat-eater to understand some of the plight that this couple went through but mostly, I think this is entirely possible if you cut down de trop spending. Especially during tough economic times like these.

Link: Can two people eat on $67 a week?.

Update: I must have missed this before but apparently, in 2007, several members of Congress budgeted just $21 a person, the national average a food stamp recipient receives weekly. Damn. Now that’s tight.

The Soccer Project

A beautiful video, showing how one game transcends borders, race, culture and religion. Every now and then, I end up arguing with someone on how this is true and why say American ‘Football’ or Baseball and even Cricket is not quite as prolific as Football. The reason probably is that all you need is one cheap ball and some people to start playing. Believe me, even good footwear isn’t quite a staunch requirement. Anyway, here’s the video.


The Soccer Project.

Thanks to Brian for the link.

Revisiting Three Mile Island

An enlightening post that revisits some of the mistakes that caused the TMI accident, on the 30th anniversary of the mishap. I have heard some of the details from couple of professors on Nuclear Reactor Safety and they have always claimed it TMI to be an ‘accident gone right’ because there was absolutely minimal radiation exposure to the environment and pales in comparison to Chernobyl where the whole thing was a shitty mess.

I especially like Bob’s extrapolation on the current state of affairs:

The folks at TMI did not really know how to manage the technology of a nuclear power plant, and that led to a huge mess. The same thing has now happened to our economy. Congress changed the banking and mortgage lending rules without regard to their purpose. Many firms bought derivative securities without the slightest thought to the math behind them or the risk they were incurring. Nuclear power plants run on a chain reaction process of atomic decay. Our government and investment community created a chain reaction of economic decay.

Anyway, since it is the 30th anniversary of TMI, I figured that it would be wise to educate the one or two readers following my site. So here, read up.

Three Mile Island Memories.

Also, if you feel like reading more in-depth, check out the TMI fact-sheet at the NRC website TMI Fact sheet

Note to self: Got to watch ‘The China Syndrome’ soon. I keep reading about it over and over to the extent that it is annoying the hell out of me…

Unexpected, a quote.

I was watching TV, working on my code, not paying any attention to what was going on. And I look up and hear Achilles say,

I’ll tell you a secret. Something they don’t teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.

Beautiful. ‘Troy’, a movie that is pretty normal in most aspects IMO, packed a dialogue so intense, so true and elegant. I cannot even begin to express my appreciation in mere words, on the subtlety this transcends. It was like poetry…