One of my now favorite sports writers for the Washington Post, Tracee Hamilton, wrote a column today, Olympic hockey rules for overtime and shootouts,
This followed the dramatic eight round shoot-out, technically in International Hockey referred to as Game Winning Shots (GWS), where the U.S. beat Russia in a preliminary round game in hockey 3-2.
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Tags: olympics·washington nationals
AMARC, www.amarcedu.org, was the sponsor for a webinar last week entitled “Beyond Mobile: Arming DoD for the Future”.
The guest was Dan Kaufman, the Director of DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, interviewed by Kevin Baron, the Executive Editor of Defense One. The last part of the webinar included a brief discussion between myself and Tim Hartman, President of Government Executive Media Group.
The webinar can be accessed until May 8, 2014, at http://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=lobby.jsp&eventid=736912&sessionid=1&key=4E09E97CAB5355E2AA1925FB09119FF0&eventuserid=93588778.
In today’s Washington Post there was an article “Termites inspire construction robots?”, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/termites-inspire-construction-robots/2014/02/13/e6ef44ce-941f-11e3-83b9-1f024193bb84_story.html.
The article discusses an approach to making a building following the process termites use to build their large nests. Termites, and the robots discussed in the article use a technique called stigmergy. Communications are indirect creating loosely coupled but aligned collections capable of very complex results.
I have written about this in the past.
Using biological constructs to look at systems architecture design is an increasingly useful approach, http://www.ourownlittlecorner.com/2012/08/19/using-biological-constructs-as-metaphors-for-developing-system-architecture/.
Stigmergic approaches can also be used to improve cybersecurity defenses, http://www.ourownlittlecorner.com/2011/05/30/my-gwu-discussion-%E2%80%93-part-3-%E2%80%93-what-to-do-about-cybersecurity/.
The article in the Post is a quick read and worth looking at. If nothing else, you will become a member of the small but growing group that can throw in references to stigmergy at cocktail parties.
In the Washington Post this morning, http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/cbo-botched-health-care-law-rollout-will-reduce-signups-by-1-million-people/2014/02/04/c78577d0-8dac-11e3-98ab-fe5228217bd1_story.html.
The column was based on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study, http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010, that also indicated that healthcare enrollment will be initially reduced by about 1 million (the headline but not the politically most interesting part) due to the problems with the website.
The most powerful reasons, to me at least, that Democrats can defend Obamacare relate to increased coverage of the uninsured and possible positive impacts on the economy, lower healthcare costs. However, the vast majority of signups thus far at least have been from people who already had insurance and the economic impacts are at best fuzzy. At worst are the anecdotal evidence that costs are going up for many and non-partisan reports like this one which say that employment will be negatively impacted – not so supportive of the ‘focus on jobs’ theme that is one of the pivots the President returns to from time-to-time.
If the economic inequality argument does not hold traction, this could end up being a cold November election for Democrats. Since Obamacare also subsidizes health insurance companies if they lose money which is not so well understood (yet) even that argument may have a problem sticking.
I suspect even for those who have most strongly supported the act, these kinds of reports are difficult to deal with.
I was lucky enough to be asked, again, by Francis Rose to be on his regular Friday ‘Federal News Countdown”, this last Friday, January 31st. The show can be heard here: Federal News Countdown.
The other guest was Jon Desenberg, the Policy Director for the Performance Institute, The Performance Insitute.
For those unfamiliar with the show, each guest selects their three top stories of the week relating to the Federal Government. The third most important story is discussed first by each, the second next, and the most important last.
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Tags: federal news countdown·francis rose·wfed
February 3rd, 2014 · movies
I have a feeling that the new Lego movie, called creatively The Lego Movie, may be one of those that I will have to go alone without Ellen. Even though the initial Rotten Tomatoes rating is the rarely achieved 100%, http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_lego_movie/.
From the WSJ article about the movie, we learn:
- Lego estimates that children spend 5 billion hours a year playing with Legos!
- On average, every person on Earth owns 86 Lego bricks
- AND MOST IMPORTANT, the movie follows one key rule “Lego minifigures can’t kiss. Parents don’t want to see Lego minifigures kiss.”
Perhaps it is only because we do not host or go to any Superbowl parties. However, we are here today with my annual not-watching the Superbowl game day.
My normal activity for the day is to go to a Washington Capitals game, they typically play early on the day the Superbowl is held and today is no exception. The Capitals are playing the Detroit Redwings at 12:30 so we’ll be there.
This year has not been a particularly fun Capitals year. They have enough talent to be competitive, some of the time, and a lack of depth and two-way consistency which ensures they are not competitive, some of the time.
I have found that teams in almost any sport that are consistently competitive have established some sort of philosophy of how they play. They are fast, they are strong, they play hard, they are offensive, they are defensive, whatever. The Capitals seem to have no identity in particular. For a while it looked like they were going to be an offensive force under then coach Bruce Boudreau. However, after he was fired (in retrospect, perhaps not the smartest move), the team seems to have become a bit aimless. Much as I admire, respect, and like George McPhee, it feels a bit like we are lurching from problem to problem as opposed to having a coherent plan.
My UMUC on-line graduate class starts tonight at midnight, so I have a few updates to make before then. Most of the focus this week will be on AMARC and blog writing.
Tags: superbowl·washington capitals
February 1st, 2014 · General
Today’s parsha at Synagogue starts a VERY lengthy description of the buliding of the Mishkan (or Tabernacle). The Mishkan housed the Ark of the Covenant (shades of Indiana Jones) and in Hebrew means residence or dwelling place (for God).
As Amy in the Big Bang Theory pointed out to Sheldon, Indiana Jones actually was irrelevant to the plot of the first Indiana Jones since even if he was not there, they would have found the Ark, opened the Ark and all died anyway, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OZ7WsALu_8.
The rest of the day will be spent working on AMARC and blogs. Tonight is the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Strathmore where we will see Charlie Chaplin movies with the BSO playing along with the silent movies.
In my continuing series of evidence that either I (or the world) are out-of-sync, is a review in the Washington Post about Korean Fried Chicken, http://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/kochix-where-korean-fried-chicken-gets-a-sticky-open-ended-approach/2014/01/29/17ba7c7a-7f69-11e3-9556-4a4bf7bcbd84_story.html?tid=auto_complete, which starts with the sentence: When most Washingtonians think of Korean fried chicken, two syllables immediately leap to mind: BonChon. Do most Washingtonians actually think about Korean fried chicken? Who knew.
Earlier this week, we got to see Bill Cosby at Strathmore using tickets provided by my older daughter whose office was involved in setting up the tour. He was hilarious as usual, all new material (at least to me). He just sat down and talked for somewhat over two and one-half hours about experiences growing up, really remarkable.
I just finished watching Wendy and Lucy, http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wendy_and_lucy/, which I very much enjoyed. The story line is pretty simple. A young woman played very well by Michelle Williams, Wendy, and her dog, Lucy, on her way to Alaska to hopefully get a good paying job is stranded in a small town in Oregon when her car breaks down. With little money to have the car fixed, Wendy is arrested for shoplifting and Lucy is gone when Wendy returns. The rest of the movie covers the events that follow as Wendy continues to search for Lucy and faces more and more difficult choices.
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January 15th, 2014 · healthcare
For those interested in Healthcare and IT, and these days who isn’t, the next meeting of the National Capital Area Chapter of HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) is tomorrow evening, January 16, at the Key Bridge Marriott: http://www.himss-nca.org/#!.
Students are able to attend for free.