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Wednesday, June 14 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.

Last week, I had this Mailbag up and ready to go. Unfortunately, I forgot to put it in the story database, so it never appeared on the front page. So here is last week's Mailbag this week, with an additional weekly limerick for your enjoyment...


Last week one reader wrote in about a comment I made in my Da Vinci Code trailer review. He said...

I would like to point out three things:

1) I think The Da Vinci Code is controversial,
2) I know who I am, and
3) I read BBspot, regularly in fact.

A couple of readers wrote in in reply to his comments...

From: Jeffrey
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 12:11 PM
Subject: DVC and "taking religion seriously"

Ok, so I'd probably be considered by you and most of your readers to be "religious", yet I don't find the DaVinci Code to be controversial. To be quite honest, I don't give a damn about it. I think the only way I'd find a Tom Hanks movie "controversial" would be if it centered around the cloning of aborted, homosexual babies in order to create a cybernetically enhanced army to initiate the annihilation of the handicapped. Come to think of it, I'd probably just enjoy Mr. Hanks' acting skills and appreciate it for the entertainment it is. So not all people who "take religion seriously", as your reader put it, get uptight about every stupid thing the entertainment industry spews out.
Anyway...keep up the good work.


From: Gilbert
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:33 PM
Subject: response to a mailbag e-mail

I would like to reply to this reader if you don’t mind. My rant begins here:

As a person who takes religion seriously enough to be a pastor, I still don’t understand why anyone would see this movie or the book as, in any way, controversial. The key to this not being controversial is to realize that these are works of fiction. The story is told in a compelling manner, but raises no issue that has not been thoroughly discredited both in centuries past and present.

As a pastor, I love it when Hollywood does this kind of stuff. Anything that gets people to thinking about faith, religion, and its place in life is not a bad thing to me.

I have learned that having better answers is not as important as asking better questions. So here goes: Why is this book/film so controversial to you? What can you do to address the controversy that this book/movie raises in you?


Hi Brian, I don’t mind if this doesn’t get posted to the mailbag, but could you pass this along to the guy who wrote the below e-mail?

I did pass along the e-mail which resulted in this response on the original emailer's blog.

Weekly Limerick

The winner of this year's Geek Limerick contest has volunteered to write a weekly limerick for BBspot. I haven't decided where to put it yet, so this week's I'll put in the Mailbag..

From: Seth

Sweden can't keep the Pirates at Bay,
Raided last week, they're back up today.
 They greet lawyers with smiles,
 "Arrrrrrrrrrrrr site doesn't have files,
We just tell people: Free stuff, that way."

All the geeks who attended E3
Had one thing that they wanted to see.
 What's Nintendo have planned
 For controls in our hand?
Will we wield a wee Wii? Oui, oui. Wheeeee!

In Space No One Can Cool Your Computer

One reader, inspired by our top 11 list, opines on cooling your computer in deep space...

From: George
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:11 AM
To: Brian Briggs
Subject: "You fantasize about operating your computer in the cold of deep space."


Just an aside on your current Top 11 list:

Most people think that, because space is more or less at absolute zero, an unprotected person would freeze to death quickly. Actually, the opposite is true. Down here on Earth, most cooling happens by convection; by air moving across the object to be cooled. That's why most computers, and power-hungry computer components, have fans.

Conduction and radiation are less effective, though also important. Your south bridge chip, for example, probably has a simple metal heatsink. The heat from the chip is conducted through the heatsink, and radiated from the cooling fins. Even without a fan, this small chip could cool itself effectively.

In space, there is no air--although there are a few stray molecules of hydrogen per cubic meter--so convection is impossible. Objects in space have to cool lthemselves by the inefficient process of radiation. As an astronaut works in space, generating heat, the main task of his spacesuit is to keep him cool.

Operating your computer in deep space could still be a geek fantasy, but the fantasy would be designing a huge, elaborate, fanless cooling array that would put the biggest Zalman 'flowers' to shame.

Convection could still be used within the system, in the form of pipes that carry heat from the chip to the outer fins, but without air moving over the fins themselves, they would have to be enormous to radiate all of the heat from a modern gaming system.

That's all for this week!

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