Down With the Old, Up With the New

The demolition crane took its last swipe at the MCH Professional Tower building on Saturday, May 27th, 2006.   Once the rubble is clear, this will make way for parking at the new MCH Cancer Center that’s due to open this October.   During the months prior to the demolition, the building was vacated and the OPD & Fire Department used the tower for tactical training.   It was quite a thrill to see the OFD guys rappeling down the outside of the building during their training exercises (brought back memories of Spiderman).

  Gary Barnes was on-hand to capture a video of the dramatic final fall of the tower.

A Thin Slice of Infamy

Stu Sjouwerman, Editor of the free weekly WServerNews newsletter for Windows support pros generously featured a link this week to our blog post about the funky new Vibram FiveFingers shoes.   If you’re not familiar with Stu’s newsletter, well, you’ve just gotta subscribe so you can keep up with some of the latest, greatest techie scoop via his weekly emails!

Linda Shows Off Her Monkeyfeet

Last week, I posted about an awesome new shoe from Vibram called FiveFingers that provides the support & protection of normal athletic shoes but does so while giving the sensation of going barefooted.   Well, naturally, I had to share this discovery with Linda.   Just a few quick days later, here she is modeling her funky new footwear…

Linda wears FiveFingers shoes

Update:   After seeing how revved up I was over Linda’s FiveFingers, Dede decided to splurge on a pair for me as an early birthday gift!   Check ’em out!

Dolphin Names

Not content to simply do amazing things like sing, play games, or snoop on each other, now scientists have discovered that dolphins are now taking away yet another trait previously thought to be unique to humans — dolphins have names.

According to an article by Bjorn Carey published on MSNBC:

Humans are one of the few species that use sound modulation instead of simple voice differences to identify individuals.   For example, a person can recognize the name "John" whether it’s being said by Gilbert Gottfried or James Earl Jones.

A team of researchers led by Vincent Janik of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland has established that a dolphin will choose its own name as an infant and use that name throughout its life.   While scientists have long known that dolphins identify themselves with names, they had previously thought the animal’s unique voice to be a key ingredient of the call.   They’ve now discovered that dolphins recognize their names as patterns of variations in vocal pitch – rather than the voice itself.   Having (and using) names based on sound patterns rather than just a unique voice signature, is a behavior that had been thought to be common only to certain monkeys & humans.

Updated:   You can read additional coverage of this at the Times Online website.

Sheik Buddy Boy

Barry’s son, "Buddy Boy" is in town for a short break from the 1/35th Armor Division in Kuwait.   He modeled the latest in sheik fashion at a bbq last Saturday.   He’ll be returning to Kuwait on May 15th.   We wish him safe travels and a speedy return home!

Barry Hill Jr


Fivefingers For Your Ten Toes

I was all set to post a link to Ian Fieggen's Ian’s Shoelace Site, an interesting (and maybe just a bit OCD) site that insists that maybe you didn’t learn all you needed to know about shoelaces in kindergarten…

But then I found out about something far freakier & much cooler for your feet — no laces required!

Vibram Fivefingers shoes

FiveFingers, from the mind of Marco Bramani, grandson of the founder of Vibram (the Italian company responsible for that elongated yellow octagon that’s probably stamped on the bottom of your hiking boots), are shoes designed to provide support & protection for your tender feets while still keeping the sensation of traipsing around barefoot.

FiveFingers' soles feature a high-tech rubber compound for traction and sipes — zigzag cuts across the ball & heel — so they’re very grippy on slippery surfaces even though the soles are not as ruggedly textured as typical hiking boots or athletic shoes.   Although they’re not specifically designed for such, I even stumbled (rimshot) across the blog of marathon runner Ted McDonald (a.k.a. "Barefoot Ted") who recently completed the Boston Marathon and a number of other long-distance runs wearing — and swearing by — his Fivefingers shoes.

Giving credit where it’s due, I first read about FiveFingers on Ottmar Liebert’s blog a couple of months ago and have been a little obsessed with these shoes ever since — but they've only just now finally made it to market.

Can't quite say why, but Linda (resident toe-sock aficionado) and I both think these things look like gorilla feets…   but in a funky, good way!

Update:   Linda & I both ended up with a pair of FiveFingers shoes!   Check out our happy feet!