I just got back from a business trip to Atlanta, and although it was brief I feel compelled to offer a formal apology to the South. Since my half of the country kicked their ass in the War of Northern Aggression, I've had a bit of a skewed view of Southerners. Not particularly fair, I admit, although there hasn't been a lot I've seen to counteract that image until now. But Atlanta was a beautiful city, and everyone was very nice and not at all like a hillbilly. I still don't get NASCAR, and no way will I ever live any place where I have moist pit-stains before I leave the garage, but I will no longer lump them in with Romulans and Thermians on my alien-species chart.
We were out by Home Depot corporate headquarters in Atlanta, and noticed that, not surprisingly, there was a Home Depot store across the street. My question: how bad would it suck to be the manager of that store? What if the CEO comes strolling in just after someone loses a finger on a band-saw, or while a contractor is screaming about how they don't have enough white 600 watt 3-way multi-location dimmers in stock. I'll bet they send middle-managers over there with little paper hats on to work behind the counter and learn the business, too. It's probably much more entertaining in my head than it is in real life, but it was pretty tempting to go in there and see if I could get them to come re-install our dishwasher, or at least paint "Lowe's Rules" across my forehead and ask for some help with a bathroom renovation.
Finally, from the Office of Nerd Relations, there was an interesting op-ed piece in the NY Times this morning written by Brian Greene on Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation, which turned 100 years old a few days ago. It's all about what it actually means to you and me, and about how that Einstein guy was pretty smart. You can hear Einstein himself explain it here.