bling bling

April 29, 2003
Paranoia of the Moment
This morning I started thinking about how little intuitive understanding I have of, say, what it costs to run a business. More specifically, even understanding that I'm blessed with an above average salary, if a company has a decent number of people, that's a lot of money. (Conversely, I think there are some costs of living higher on a per-day or per-week basis than I realize, like mortgages, car payments, and even food.) Compared to other things I buy on a day to day basis, it seems like a lot of a lot.

I guess that explains why so many companies fail; you really have to know what you're doing to get a cash flow up to paying the people that you need to do it. Maybe that's why the executives get paid so much; I could see where a really good head honcho could be worth the salaries of, 20 or 30 mere mortals. (Of course, pay is not always commiserate commenserate ("thanks" Gowen and John) with performance, but heck, that's true at all levels of employment.) It still might be a little obscene, but much in life is. (Heh, of course, if all those young bright more-business-oriented-than-me dot-commers didn't really grasp these simple ideas, no wonder we had a dot bomb implosion.)

Ugh! Now I'm paranoid. Obviously the system is somewhat stable; despite the ongoing economic turbulance, I'd say a majority of people I'm friends with are hanging in there, and I could probably make this same argument 10,20, maybe 30 years ago (though 30 brings us into some of the problems the 70s had) but still, it feels a little precarious.

Link of the Moment
Extremely cool site, Starship Dimensons shows the relative sizes of hundreds of scifi vessels, from X-Wings to various flavors of the Enterprise to the ID4 Mothership. Each page is a different scale, from 10 pixels to a meter to 1 pixel to 2000 meters. Plus, on IE, you can drag the ships to do specific side by side comparisons. (They sometimes bring up the ships from a smaller scale to the higher scale for reference...that's where these tiny Star Wars craft are from.) For me, this is tons cooler than that skyscraper page it drew some of its inspiration (and a few borrowed images) from.

Contest of the Moment had some decent coverage of the very cool looking Kinetic Sculpture Race, where artist work to make the bestest art works that can travel over land, water, and mud. "Art Collides With Engineering". The judging criteria (the most coveted award is the "Mediocre Award", for the vehicle that ends up right in the middle) and the other rules are worth a quick read through.