02

2004-02 posts.

  1. 2004-02-09t07:20:13Z. RE: Economics. Elections 2004. Elections 2004: Dean. Fun. Politics. Politics: Bush. Politics: Bush: Meet The Press. Profanity. Science. Sex. Show Biz. Tech. Terrorism.
  2. Snow Moment. RE: Life.
  3. Zahra and Sima Memorial Service. RE: Martial Arts: Karate. Life. Politics.
  4. 2004-02-14t14:38:54Z. RE: Bush. Bush: AWOL. Chicago. Comic Art. Faith. Food. Iraq. Love. Money. Presidential Election. Science. Sex. Show Biz. Tech. War Craft III. . .
  5. 2004-02-17t17:20:56Z. RE: Bush. Comic Art. Faith. Family. Food. Fun. Iraq. Martial Arts. Money. Politics. Presidential Elections. Science. Sex. Tech.
  6. 2004-02-29t06:53:54Z. RE: Bush. Comic Art. Faith. Family. Food. Fun. Games. Gay Marriage. Green. Haiti. Money. Philosophy. Politics. Presidential Elections. Science. Sex. Tech. Tech Crossroad. Terrorism. The Passion of the Christ. WarCraft. Yami.

2004-02-09t07:20:13Z | RE: Economics. Elections 2004. Elections 2004: Dean. Fun. Politics. Politics: Bush. Politics: Bush: Meet The Press. Profanity. Science. Sex. Show Biz. Tech. Terrorism.
2004-02-09t07:20:13Z

Economics

Elections 2004

  • BushRice04.org. A Republican wet dream comparable to the Democratic wet dream of Hillary Clinton running.
  • Twenty-one Reasons Why Bush Will Win. But we won't let it happen, will we?
  • John Kerry's on a role!
    • Maine: Kerry 45%, Dean 26%, Kucinich 15% (whee!), Edwards 9%, Clark 4%.
    • Michigan: Kerry 52%, Dean 17%, Edwards 13%, Sharpton 7%, Clark 7%, Kucinich 3%.
    • Wisconsin: Kerry 48%, Dean 30%, Kucinich 8%, Edwards 7%, Clark 3%.
    • Kerry also got Gephardt's endorsement.

Elections 2004: Dean

  • It's one thing to have a campaign that never really took off, but falling from so high must be difficult. Poor guy.
  • Dean tunes out as cable guy
    • Dean about Fox News. You, sir, are correct!
      • "Jesus, now I know why I don't have cable."
      • "It's all blather," he said. "I don't mind being at the end, but I just can't stand listening to this stuff."
    • Dean on the metric system. You, sir, are correct!
      • "We are attached to feet and so forth. ... I'm a doctor. I was trained and we do our calculations in meters. We don't use feet and inches and cubic inches and things like that."
      • 'Dean said he doubted Congress would present him a bill to mandate use of the metric system, given the American failure to adopt it during Jimmy Carter's administration.'
      • "We should have converted already. We should do it. I think there's going to be a lot of resistance, but it would be nice to have somebody explain to the American people why it would be easier and better for our businesses."
    • Hehe. Maybe now that Dean is falling he will go back to saying what's really on his mind.
  • IdiomStudio.com. See Dean's "Yearrgh" speech as seen from the audience. It looks perfectly normal. America has an odd way of distorting things that I'm not very proud of. Neither Dean's "Yearrgh" or Janet Jackson's boob deserved the attention it got.
  • Dean didn't go far enough. The money's gone. You can't move forward if you don't pay the paychecks.

Fun

  • Kenya [animation]. Don't play this in front of a kid because then you'll be doomed to see it for ever and ever. (I learned that the hard way.)
  • Escape the blue blocks [game]. I only tried it a few times and I think 18.697 seconds was pretty good.
  • Uncle Patrick's Advice to Children.
    • I thought this link would be lame but I know exactly what he's talking about for some of the stuff.
    • 'Pajamas are indeed comfy, but society dictates we not wear them to school, work or the bowling alley.'
  • http://dsankt.brisurbex.com/ "Sleep City". I don't usually include links to photo-blogs but this is more than the usual pictures of stuff you see just walking around.
    Eerie urban underground
  • Stickee. Walk around their virtual company using browser windows. It looks like they made some of the online games for the CGI PBS kids show Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks.
  • Things We Will Never See On Star Trek. Star Trek humor lives on!
  • A Frenchman plays song with horns attached all over his body [video].
  • Throw rocks at boys [game]. Loosely based on a fashion line of a skewed version of the Grrls ideas. I can't believe that some people are actually bothered by this because boys have been menacing girls for years (Calvin's snowballs to Susie in Calvin and Hobbes is iconic), and girls have badgered boys too (The Kanker sisters are determined to marry the Eds in Ed, Edd n Eddie). It's called "funny".
  • "My mother is insane. Like, one of those ladies you see on the local news insane. Since it's inevitably going to come up I'll get out of the way that I am too, but at least I take a full dose of my medication. I've been meaning to make this thread for about the last year, but the longer I waited the more interesting the situation became. Also, I'm incredibly lazy. Case in point, these pictures are about three weeks old. Anyway, lets take a tour of our house."
    • "The other side of the living room. My mom was big into glass paperweights for a while, though usually bottles and dishes are here thing. You see the disruption in the layer of dust on the chair there? That's where she fell a while ago when trying to climb over stuff to open the window just off the left of the picture. There's also at least two broken bottles back there somewhere that have fallen but there's no way to get back there to clean them up. I'm assured all this stuff in quite valuable, by the way. "
      A typical room
    • I don't know... The house looks perfectly normal to me. Very tidy.
  • Man smokes with his eye. Ouch!

History

Politics

Politics: Bush

  • CIA never called Iraq immediate threat
    • 'CIA Director George Tenet -- in a quickly scheduled speech at Georgetown University -- said that there was never consensus among CIA analysts that Iraq posed a short-term threat to the security of the United States and never faced political pressure to imply it was. "They never said there was an 'imminent' threat," he told the audience. "Rather, they painted an objective assessment for our policymakers of a brutal dictator who was continuing his efforts to deceive and build programs that might constantly surprise us and threaten our interests." '
    • Bring it on Bush. Attack the intelligence as strongly as you can so that the ghosts will finally fight you back. Isn't it obvious that Bush took objective intelligence reports, then interpreted and distorted them for his own political convenience? Bush and Powell took the intelligence and picked out only the nuggets of out-of-context info that they thought would convince the US and the UN to go to their pre-scheduled Iraq invasion.
    • Related links:
      • This Modern World: "Secret Agent Squirrel". Ha ha! Poor secret squirrel.
      • Now Hear This. Obviously the problem is that Bush got a lousy PowerPoint stacks during the PDFs (Presidential Daily Briefs) as mentioned in the Meet The Press interview. Ha ha! You have to laugh: it leads to true love.
  • Pair Up For Peace Prize. Bush and Blair nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?! Like, gag me with a spoon.
  • The Boston Globe was one of the earliest sources to discuss Bush's military service years ago. Since the issue has resurfaced, they made a section on Bush's military service, with stories like this: "Bush's Guard service: What the record shows".
  • The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill [Amazon] by Ron Suskind.
    • 'At its core are the candid assessments of former US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, for two years the administration's top economic official, a principal member of the National Security Council, and a tutor to the new President. He is the only member of Bush's innermost circle to leave and then to agree to speak frankly about what has really been happening inside the White House.'
    • The book has been out for a while but now some of Paul O'Neill's documents have been put online: An Experiment in Transparency.
    • Related link: "The Wars of the Texas Succession" by Paul Krugman. Reviews and summaries of American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush by Kevin Phillips, and The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill by Ron Suskind.
  • Scalia Was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest; Ethics Concern Grows. Geez I can't believe this isn't so obvious. What if all defendants could fly their judges around on Air Force Two and take them hunting?
  • Quotes From Either President Of The United States George W. Bush Or Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine From The Star Wars Movies. HA HA!
  • Jobs Created By US Presidents
    chart of all President creating jobs except for Bush
  • Cheney's Staff Focus of Probe. What? Chenney's right hand men "a real possibility of doing jail time"?

Politics: Bush

  • "Meet the Press with Tim Russert". Interview with President George W. Bush. The Oval Office, February 7, 2004 [transcript].
    • I wish I saw the video of this but Bush sounds like he was fumbling and reaching a lot. Pretty gutsy for Russert to ask these questions right in the Oval Office itself.
    • 'Russert: Prime Minister Blair has set up a similar commission in Great Britain.

      President Bush: Yeah.

      Russert: His is going to report back in July. Ours is not going to be until March of 2005, five months after the presidential election.

      President Bush: Yeah.

      Russert: Shouldn't the American people have the benefit of the commission before the election?'

      • Oh I see. Time travels differently in different countries, and also whether the investigation is about the handling of 9/11, CIA leaks, or Janet Jacksons' boobs?
    • '[President Bush:] See, free societies are societies that don't develop weapons of mass terror and don't blackmail the world.'
      • So the US is not a free society I guess.
    • 'Russert: In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?

      President Bush: I think that's an interesting question. Please elaborate on that a little bit. A war of choice or a war of necessity? It's a war of necessity. We-- in my judgment, we had no choice when we look at the intelligence I looked at that says the man was a threat.'

    • '[Russert:] Mr. President, this campaign is fully engaged. The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Terence McAuliffe, said this last week: "I look forward to that debate when John Kerry, a war hero with a chest full of medals, is standing next to George Bush, a man who was AWOL in the Alabama National Guard. He didn't show up when he should have showed up."

      President Bush: Yeah.'

    • 'Russert: The Bush Cheney first three years, the unemployment rate has gone up 33 percent, there has been a loss of 2.2 million jobs. We've gone from a $281 billion surplus to a $521 billion deficit. The debt has gone from 5.7 trillion, to $7 trillion up 23 percent. Based on that record, why should the American people rehire you as CEO?'
    • 'Russert: But your base conservatives and listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, they're all saying you are the biggest spender in American history.

      President Bush: Well, they're wrong.'

      • HA HA HA!
    • 'Russert: Tom Daschle, the Democratic Leader in the Senate, said that you've changed the tone for the worse; that it's more acrimonious, more confrontations, that you are the most partisan political president he's ever worked with. Our exit polls of primary voters, not just Democrats but Independents in South Carolina and New Hampshire, more than 70 percent of them said they are angry or dissatisfied with you, and they point to this whole idea of being a uniter as opposed to a divider. Why do you think you are perceived as such a divider?

      President Bush: Gosh, I don't know, because I'm working hard to unite the country.'

    • '[President Bush:] I don't speak ill of anybody in the process here. I think if you went back and looked at my comments, you will see I don't attack. I don't hold up people. I talk about what I believe in, and I lead, and maybe perhaps I believe so strongly in what we are doing around the world or doing here at home.'
      • Bush almost had a good sound bite here.
    • 'Russert: Two polls out this weekend show you --

      President Bush: See there, you're quoting polls.

      Russert: you're trailing John Kerry in both U.S.A. Today and Newsweek polls by seven and five points.

      President Bush: Yeah.

      Russert: This is what John Kerry had to say last year. He said that his colleagues are appalled at the quote "President's lack of knowledge. They've managed him the same way they've managed Ronald Reagan. They send him out to the press for one event a day. They put him in a brown jacket and jeans and get him to move some hay or move a truck, and all of a sudden he's the Marlboro Man. I know this guy. He was two years behind me at Yale. I knew him, and he's still the same guy." '

    • Related links:
      • NRO ON BUSH
        • 'Michael Graham: President Bush looks like he's afraid of Tim Russert. He's stammering and unsteady. For the first time, I've felt a twinge of fear myself about the November election.'
        • 'Kathryn Jean Lopez: A pundit-type just said to me: "If he loses this year, this will be the day he lost it." '
      • You Can Make It With Plato: Bush's difficult relationship with reality. I guess Bush is more like Plato than Aristotle. I like how for Bush ideas take precedence over evidence, hence we can ignore evidence about WMD or his AWOL stuff.
      • CLAIM vs. FACT: The President on Meet the Press
      • "Philosophy, Not Policy: Why Bush isn't good at interview" by Peggy Noonan.
        • 'What we are looking at here is not quality of mind--Mr. Bush is as bright as John Kerry, just as Mr. Reagan was as bright as Walter Mondale, who was very good at talking points. They all are and were intelligent. Yet neither Mr. Bush's interviews and press conferences nor Mr. Reagan's suggested anything about what they were like in the office during a crisis: engaged, and tough. It's something else.'
          • Amazing that Bush got to be President at all. Oh, wait, I forgot, he stole the election.
        • 'Speeches are the vehicle for philosophy. Interviews are the vehicle of policy. Mr. Kerry does talking points and can't give an interesting speech. Mr. Bush can't do talking points and gives speeches full of thought and assertion. Philosophy takes time. If you connect your answers in an interview to philosophy, or go to philosophy first, you can look as if you're dodging the question. You can forget the question. You can look a little gaga. But policy doesn't take time. Policy is a machine gun--bip bip bip. Education policy, bip bip bip. Next.'
          • Is Peggy desperate or was she high when she wrote this? So Bush makes his policies in machine gun fashion? No wonder they suck! I'm sure Bush writes all his speeches himself! LOL! What a joke. Kerry doesn't have the Presidential powers to get big money speech writers yet.
      • In Rare Talk Show Interview, Bush Defends Decision on War
      • The DNC comments on the interview

Profanity

  • I don't know much about profanity: I have neither the knowledge of the linguistic and social origins of swear words or the ability to express myself poetically with obscenities. However it's a free country and it's my blog. I assume that "biatch" is a variation "bitch" (a la Snoop Doggy Dog). This clearly might have possibly led to "shiat" as a variation of a "shit". But the neat thing is that "shiat" may have led to "ass hat" as a variation of "ass hole"! I don't know but it sounds like a good theory. I love "ass hat" because an "ass hole" is a super-jerk but it say nothing about his intelligence. However an "ass hat" is a stupid asshole. EG: Dick Cheney is an ass hole but George W. Bush is an ass hat.
  • A "scoundrel" sounds too much like a compliment. A "dog" is close but I don't like to insult dogs. The word "jerk" should be reserved for bad boyfriends. The word "bastard" has the perfect connotation but unfortunately its literal meaning is lame. "Toad"... hmm that might do.

Science

Sex

  • Rape in the military: Female troops deserve much better.
    • 'While the foundation has declined to release details of the incidents, it said some women felt that they had been doubly victimized: first by attackers in their own ranks and then by shoddy military treatment.'
  • Kansas appeals court backs harsher sentence for illegal gay sex, says difference justifiable. Holy homophobes, Batman! Gay sex, under aged sex, and developmentally disabled sex? That's quite a span.
  • NYPD: Dad Executes Paroled Sex Offender. Umm the sex offender may have been "innocent" for this most recent incident but, like Michael Jackson, he shouldn't have been alone anywhere near a minor.
  • Texas Pharmacist Refuses Pill for Rape Victim. Dude: If you can dole out the drugs, then get a different job.
  • Mass. court clears way for gay marriages
    • 'The Massachusetts high court declared Wednesday that gays are entitled to nothing less than marriage and that Vermont-style civil unions will not suffice, setting the stage for the nation's first legally sanctioned same-sex weddings by the spring.'
    • Way to go!
  • Kiss.arrr.net. 'The Kiss is a place to talk about kisses. Specifically, it's a place to talk about those kisses that mattered'. Hmm... something romantic... Valentine's Day must not be far away.
  • Central Park Zoo's gay penguins ignite debate
    • 'Bruce Bagemihl published "Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity" (St. Martin's Press), one of the first books of its kind to provide an overview of scholarly studies of same-sex behavior in animals. Bagemihl said homosexual behavior had been documented in some 450 species.'
    • 'But he added: "Infanticide is widespread in the animal kingdom. To jump from that to say it is desirable makes no sense. We shouldn't be using animals to craft moral and social policies for the kinds of human societies we want to live in. Animals don't take care of the elderly. I don't particularly think that should be a platform for closing down nursing homes." '

Show Biz

  • I was shocked to see a boob during the Super Bowl on 2004-02-01! I only tuned in to the Super Bowl for a few seconds and I caught the very worst part! Yes, I was disgusted as I saw Bush's dopy, smirking face. As far as Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl: it's no big deal. Accidents happen during live performances. Move on please!
  • The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson is coming out on the 25th of this month and it looks like different Christian groups are buying up thousands of tickets so people can see them. Maybe I should go over to one of these groups and snag some free tickets? Related links:

Tech

  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.1: W3C Recommendation 04 February 2004.
    • Holy crap! It's been years since XML 1.0 became an official W3C recommendation in 1998.
    • XML 1.1 includes adaptations for Unicode since Unicode went from v2 to v4.
    • XML 1.1 also shows their nepotism toward Unix since now all XML processors must normalize line breaks as the Unix line break of #xA (LINE FEED). I like the explicit of acknowledgement of all the variations of EOLs (End Of Lines) including combinations of #xA, #xD (CARRIAGE RETURN), #x85 (mainframe NEL), and #x2028 (Unicode line separator). EG: #xD#xA for Microsoft and #xD for Macintosh.
    • The nicest change in XML 1.1 is an over all emphasis on name conventions. In 1.0 everything that was not permitted was forbidden. In contrast, in XML 1.1 everything that is not forbidden is permitted. Liberals!
    • This has got me working on my much neglected DOM and DHTML pages. You'll have to forgive the hideous state they're currently in.
  • Arrgh! One of my reasons for moving from Chemical Engineering to Computers was to get away from Physical Chemistry. And yet my interest in programming, self-organizing systems, complexity theory seems to lead back to P. Chem! Painful indeed. Related links:
  • Wi-Max is coming. Wi-Max (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is based on IEEE 802.16. With its 30 mile (50 km) range it beats Wi-Fi's block range but Wi-Max is more like a T1 replacement than a Wi-Fi replacement.
  • Seven years jail, $150,000 fine if you don't tell the world your email and home address
    • Bill HR 3754, which demands that domain name registrants provide real personal information for display, is just plain wrong. This is a case where a politician, Lamar Smith of Texas, is setting point-haired policy without having thought the plan through.
  • I was going to try out Microsoft FrontPage 2003 this week but this commentary fake ad makes me wary.

Terrorism

  • US blamed for Sept 11 acquittal as German prosecutors appeal
    • 'In passing judgment, presiding judge Klaus Ruehle said it was for lack of evidence, not because the court was convinced of his innocence. He cited the refusal of US officials to release evidence from the alleged coordinator behind the attacks, Ramzi Binalshibh, as one of the major factors forcing Mzoudi's acquittal.'
  • Two US Soldiers ask: "When will we stop dying so senselessly?", Jay Shaft, January 31, 2004
    • 'I want to talk about this and tell people how bad it really is in Iraq. It is a complete fu..ing slaughter and it is only going to get worse. The attacks in the last month or so have been meticulously well planned and executed. We are seeing a level of sophistication that the chain of command did not ever expect. Many of the officers knew that they were going to be dealing with well trained Iraqi army and militia units. There might or might not be outside support and insurgents, but I know the Iraqis are more than capable of messing up your day. These guys have been trained to fight guerilla style and they don t give up. We are in deep sh.t now that they have started to get more organized.'
    • 'I get really mad when they kill or injure one of my men, but I have to examine why the attacks are happening. I am there to lead and protect my men, and that means I have to be aware of what is causing the attacks and what would stop them. I have asked many Iraqis what it will take to get the attacks to stop. They all tell me that the US needs to do what they said they would do, and leave them to run their own country. The majority of Iraqis believed that the US would come in, get rid of Saddam, and then go right back home. You and I both know that is not going to happen anytime soon. We are going to be there for at least another year or more in a very large force. There is no way that Bush and his cronies are going to give up all that oil and contracting dollars.'
    • 'I want to say that I am extremely mad that Halliburton and Bechtel have better equipment than our own troops do. The contractors have fully armored Hummers and the best body armor. The have us escort them in our lightly armored Humvees and they ride in heavily armored vehicles. That is bullsh.t and every American needs to know about it. It s been in the paper recently about how bad the casualties have been from the older Hummers. Our vehicles don t provide adequate protection, and that is a fu..ing outrage that needs to be fixed.'
    • 'I am proud to serve my country and even die for it. I know the risks of putting on the uniform and accepting command. But damn it, if we are going to die, make it for something that really is helping to defend the US. I agree that we are dying senselessly for an idea of democracy in Iraq that the US government will never really let happen. I just want to be able to look back on my service with total pride and that is not really what I feel right now. I hate the ones in power that have made me question my sense of duty and honor. I get so confused about it and there is no one you can really talk to about that.'
    • Related link: US Soldier: "Sometimes it is a soldier's duty to tell the truth, no matter what": US Army high level commander on why he has chosen to speak out
  • The 45-minute case collapses (Part 1): JIC alerted Blair three times over unsafe WMD claim. Ah but evidence is irrelevant isn't it?
  • A Tragedy of Errors
    • 'Unfortunately for them, a political ideology can fail in the real world only so many times before being completely discredited. For at least two decades, in foreign policy the neocons have been wrong about everything. When the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, the hawks of Team B and the Committee on the Present Danger declared that it was on the verge of world domination. In the 1990s they exaggerated the power and threat of China, once again putting ideology ahead of the sober analysis of career military and intelligence experts. The neocons were so obsessed with Saddam Hussein and Yasir Arafat that they missed the growing threat of Al Qaeda. After 9/11 they pushed the irrelevant panaceas of preventive war and missile defense as solutions to the problems of hijackers and suicide bombers.

      They said Saddam had WMDs. He didn't. They said he was in league with Osama bin Laden. He wasn't. They predicted that no major postwar insurgency in Iraq would occur. It did. They said there would be a wave of pro-Americanism in the Middle East and the world if the United States acted boldly and unilaterally. Instead, there was a regional and global wave of anti-Americanism.

      David Brooks and his colleagues in the neocon press are half right. There is no neocon network of scheming masterminds--only a network of scheming blunderers. As a result of their own amateurism and incompetence, the neoconservatives have humiliated themselves. If they now claim that they never existed--well, you can hardly blame them, can you?'

  • The terrible human cost of Bush and Blair's military adventure: 10,000 civilian deaths
  • Soldiers Record Lessons From Iraq: Unvarnished Tales Serve as Warning. Sort of like a tech support knowledge base eh?

2004-02-10t16:05:08Z | RE: Life.
Snow Moment

I had another snow moment this morning: my second one this winter. A snow moment is when you're just going along outside and then all of the sudden you notice how beautiful the falling snow is. Two things are required for a snow moment to occur. The first thing is that your mind has to be in a particular state: transient, fragile, beautiful, receptive.

The second thing is a good snow setting. The snow has to waft down in whimsical ways, not just drop. The falling snow has to have individual snow flake crystals visible even from a distance. The chill should be slight, a gentle breath on your nose.  The falling snow needs dark patches to serve as the backdrop: buildings, the underside trees, and patches of blue sky will do. The background should vary in distance: This way as you move your eyes around, sometimes you have a relationship with just a few flakes, and sometimes you see snow falling far a field.

When a snowflake falls on your eyelash, it should linger a brief moment before melting away. The drop of moisture upon your eye may be either a former snowflake or tear of joy. As much as you'd like the snow moment to continue, it is essential to let the snow moment pass before it becomes artificial.

2004-02-11t02:40:18Z | RE: Martial Arts: Karate. Life. Politics.
Zahra and Sima Memorial Service

Zahra and Sima Memorial Service

Mahmoud, my karate instructor from my college days lost his wife, his daughter, and around 60 other relatives during the earthquake in Bam, Iran on 2003-12-26. So last night he had a memorial service for the people state-side since the bodies were actually buried in Iran. I have a lot of baggage with him but I went last night and I actually had a good time.

Now I imagine most people don't go to memorials and funerals to have a good time, but I've actually come to appreciate funerals. For the grieving, the ceremony can provide a much needed catharsis. But the part that I appreciate the most is that funerals makes me think more about life than death. People making statements about the deceased usually talk about how that person lived. This is the essence of Bushido (The Way of the Warrior). Living with death in mind can help you live a better life even if you are not a warrior. The concept is very powerful and, while secular, is actually used by most religions. But why do people have to think about what people will think about them after they've died? What about thinking about what people think of you while you're alive? What about what you think of yourself while you're alive? And why reserve these kinds of thoughts for funerals? Why not ask these questions on a regular basis?

At the service they discussed the accomplishments, the social skills, and the character of the deceased. All those factors are attributed to a person but those factors are also largely affected by genes, environment, and luck. I appreciate character the most because while society can measure and appreciate your accomplishments and social skills, if you don't appreciate your own character, then the rest won't really matter to yourself.

As an introvert:

  • Accomplishments seems so external unless done for internal reasons. Besides we miss our loved ones regardless of what they've accomplished.
  • My social skills are polite and genuine but not gregarious. Just the other day I was in line at the grocery store. The guy in front of me was a socially skilled extrovert. He had people laughing and smiling not just in my line but in the next lane too! Boy, did I feel like a wall flower.
  • I focus on my sincerity because it sucks to lie to yourself.

The church was almost full and after the service everyone headed over to the cafeteria to commiserate. It was great fun seeing people I haven't seen in a long time.

  • Kathy K. Seeing Kathy made me feel twentysomething again. She was glowing and looked fabulous. Her husband was pretty cool too. You missed out big time Hakan!
  • Debbie S. Debbie was there with her growing up fast daughter Kali. Debbie's SO Jeff was there too. On the other hand it wasn't too long ago that Debbie came over and visited with us.
  • Ray P. Ray was this little waist-high blonde kid with a smarty-punk attitude when I first met him and now he's a respectable handsome man! Ray was a natural karate talent who was fun to watch. He's gotten back into karate and he'll be fun to watch again. Ray's mom was there and it was good to hear his brother was doing well and his dad was doing a lot better. We both wondered where Rambod (Ray's evil twin) was.
  • Ralph C. Ralph looks slick with his cane and his razor sharp fresh buzz cut. I couldn't resist running my fingers over that.
  • Bob P. Bob was still doing the lawyer thing.
  • Titus Y. Dude! You weren't there! I'm sure you had a good reason but we missed you.
  • Angel. Angel looked exactly the same and he's still teaching a mix of martial arts.
  • Youngsters. There were gobs youngsters. An organization needs to have a stream of new people otherwise the organization dies from the eventual attrition.

It is fun to hang around people who are into something. It is curious to hang around people who believe in something and haven't yet seen it in a larger context. It is somewhat uncomfortable to hang around people who are still in something when you know they know what they do is a shell.

I also had fun with the rank thing. Some people hang on to an artificial concept of rank and they hope that others abide by it. But most people can see beyond that. People respect skill. People can recognize talent. People appreciate persistent effort and experience. People should be able to tell between actual knowledge and fluff. People should know when people are genuinely respectful. These are all parts of what I consider to be "true rank". Your rank does not matter: what matters is that you have a feel of your true rank. Do not imagine yourself as super special because of your rank. Nor should you imagine yourself as a lowly peon because of your rank.

I was all hyped from hanging around the karate setting. I was in yellow alert, with my eyes bright, my body chemistry pumped, my movements swift and sure. After the cafeteria gig our little circle went over to have some food. I got that urge to get into a bar fight again. It must have shown because after we sat down, a busty girl who was leaving when we arrived, came back to settle something with the bill, and she definitely gave me flirty moment. How fun after being married for 10 years! Of course, I immediately assumed a more "married" demeanor.

I thought we were having desserts and coffee but I got tricked into buying ribs. The ribs were good though. The guys are all smart, broad-minded, good-hearted, and handsome fighters. (They're all like me! Ha ha!) However, I'm the only Democrat in the group and it's always fun to talk about politics with these guys.  I think we reached a break through in defining the crux of how our opinions differ.

The simplest example is over the metric system. The metric system is the dominant system for measuring used by every country on the planet except for the US. Every scientist and engineer will agree that the metric system is superior in every way to the American units of measure. Adding decimal math is much easier manually and digitally than math with fractions.

  • Democrats:
    • Converting to the metric system is worth the effort.
    • American industries are already halfway there: we just need to complete the job.
  • Republicans:
    • Converting to the metric system is unnecessary.
    • American industries would find it too expensive.

Here are other issues in a compact form:

Issue Democrat Republican
Environment
  1. Conserve it.
  2. Save the species: humans and species are co-habitants and we appreciate them.
  3. Invest in alternative resources now: it will create jobs.
  1. Consume it.
  2. Screw the species: species are slaves to humans and zoo and museums will suffice for them.
  3. Suck the money out of oil now: support the oil industry.
Globalization
  1. We are cooperating in a global society: we need international laws.
  2. The UN is a work in progress.
  3. Work multilaterally.
  4. Fix the UN security council so it is more democratically representative.
  5. The UN should work to avoid war.
  6. Cheap labor via unsafe, low pay work overseas hurts US workers.
  7. The US does not need special treatment from the ICC, World Bank, and other international bodies.
  1. We are competing in a global economy: we need nationalistic laws.
  2. The UN is broken.
  3. Work unilaterally.
  4. Go around the UN security council.
  5. The UN should work to clean up after wars.
  6. Cheap labor via unsafe, low pay work overseas helps US corporations.
  7. The US does not need special treatment from the ICC, World Bank, and other international bodies.
Private
Public
  1. Health care: Let taxes pay for it.
  2. Social Security: Let taxes pay for it.
  3. Military: Let taxes pay for it.
  4. Tax cuts for the rich: They don't need it because the rich can afford to pay more.
  5. Tax cuts for the poor: They do need it because the poor will reinvest into the economy by buying consumer goods.
  6. Redistribution of wealth via taxes will not hinder the rich from getting richer.
  1. Health care: Let insurance companies rip us off.

  2. Social Security: Let finance companies rip us off.
  3. Military: Let taxes pay for it and Halliburton.
  4. Tax cuts for the rich: They do need it because the rich will reinvest into the economy.
  5. Tax cuts for the poor: They don't need it because they don't contribute much anyway.
  6. Redistribution of wealth via taxes will hinder the rich from getting richer.
Sex
  1. Gay and straights are first class citizens.
  2. A President's public war policy is open worth critiquing.
  3. Abortion is very rare, people don't want to kill babies, and if they have to, then they should be given some respect and privacy.
  4. Teenagers have sex: teach them about abstinence and condoms.
  1. Gays are second class citizens to straights.
  2. A President's private sex policy is worth critiquing.
  3. Abortion is very common, people want to kill babies, and if they have to, then they should have no respect and no privacy.
  4. Teenagers shouldn't have sex: teach them about abstinence.
zMisc
  1. Gun laws like registering guns, waiting periods, and requiring gun training are reasonable and can save lives.
  2. Geneva convention for our soldiers and theirs.
  3. Government should be church neutral.
  4. Clinton: does actual work for AIDS.
  5. Correctly interprets and reacts to intelligence.
  1. Gun laws are wrong.
  2. Geneva conventions for our soldiers.
  3. Government should favor certain churches.
  4. Bush: promises to do work for AIDS.
  5. Politically interprets and shapes intelligence.

2004-02-14t14:38:54Z | RE: Bush. Bush: AWOL. Chicago. Comic Art. Faith. Food. Iraq. Love. Money. Presidential Election. Science. Sex. Show Biz. Tech. War Craft III. . .
2004-02-14t14:38:54Z

Bush

  • Robin Williams ridicules Bush. I wish they included more jokes. All they had was this:
    • "Bush is complaining about a lack of intelligence, which seems sort of redundant."
    • "They say they don't know if Iraq had any WMDs -- well, all they have to do is ask Cheney for the receipts."
  • Censor 'Scooby-Doo'? Words fail
    • 'The Bush administration has decided that people with bad hearing have bad judgment, too, and need special guidance from the federal government. So the U.S. Department of Education is declaring about 200 television programs inappropriate for closed-captioning and denying federal grant requests to make them accessible to the hearing-impaired. The department made its decisions based on the recommendations of a five-member panel. Who the five members are, only the government seems to know, and it isn't saying. But the shows they censored suggest a perspective that is Talibanesque.'
    • WTF!! This fucking sucks!
    • 'The government is refusing to caption Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, apparently fearing that the deaf would fall prey to witchcraft if they viewed the classic sitcoms. Your government also believes that Law & Order is too intense for the hard-of-hearing. So is Power Rangers. You can rest easy knowing that your federal tax dollars aren't being spent to promote Sanford and Son, Judge Wapner's Animal Court and The Loretta Young Show within the deaf community. Kids with hearing problems can forget about watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, classic cartoons or Nickelodeon features. Even Roy Rogers and Robin Hood are out. Sports programming took a heavy hit, too. The government has decided that people with hearing problems don't need to watch NASCAR, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League or Professional Golf Association tournaments.'
    • 'How imperiled the nation might be if The Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle reached into the living rooms of the impressionable hard-of-hearing. Or, for that matter, Scooby-Doo.'
    • 'The NAD [National Association of the Deaf] is lobbying Congress to change the policy. Some networks and sponsors are stepping in and providing captions for some of the "inappropriate" shows. But the government's dismissive treatment of 28 million Americans defies words. "We are outraged the department has taken paternalistic steps to exclude deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals," Mr. Brick says. "Such censorship is offensive and insulting." '
  • Cheney's future at stake after leaking of CIA agent's name.
    • Dig, dig, dig! There's tons of dirt!
    • 'But recent polls conducted by the White House have suggested that growing unpopularity of the taciturn ex-businessman and powerful administration hawk threatens to sink the president. '
    • 'The leaking of an undercover agent's identity is a serious crime under US law. The hearings are leading justice department investigators towards the vice president's office, according to a source familiar with the investigation. "Three of the five people who are targets work or worked in Cheney's office," the source said.'
  • U.S. Military May Run Out Of Money
    • 'The military will have no money to pay for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for three months beginning Oct. 1 because the White House is declining to ask Congress for funding until December or January, well after the presidential election.'
    • What's that you say? Bush is putting politics ahead of good policy?

Bush: AWOL

  • 'Bush and I were lieutenants'
    • 'George Bush and I [William Campenni] were lieutenants and pilots in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Texas Air National Guard (ANG) from 1970 to 1971.'
    • 'In the fighter-pilot world, we have a phrase we use when things are starting to get out of hand and it's time to stop and reset before disaster strikes. We say, "Knock it off." So, Mr. Kerry and your friends who want to slander the Guard: Knock it off.'
    • Dude, no one is slandering the Guard. We don't even care if he used the Guard to duck out of the Vietnam War. After all Clinton did it (but he also wasn't President during open war). We just want to know the specifics of Bush's apparent long leaves from the Guard.
    • Liars for Bush. This guy points out some bald faced lies by Campenni.
  • Ex-officer: Bush file's details caused concern
    • 'Two forms in Bush's publicly released military files -- his enlistment application and a background check -- contain blacked-out entries in response to questions about arrests or convictions. Bush acknowledged in biographies published in 1999 that he was arrested twice before he enlisted in the Air National Guard: once for stealing a wreath and another time for rowdiness at a Yale-Princeton football game. The nature of what was blacked out in Bush's records is important because certain legal problems, such as drug or alcohol violations, could have been a basis for denying an applicant entry into the Guard or pilot training. Admission to the Guard and to pilot school was highly competitive at that time, the height of the Vietnam War. '
    • 'In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, Bush said he fulfilled his Guard commitment and offered to make his records public. Host Tim Russert asked, "Would you authorize the release of everything to settle this?" Bush replied, "Yes, absolutely." Since then, White House officials have released only documents concerning whether Bush fulfilled his service obligations. White House statements have not addressed the release of any papers that could show disciplinary actions, medical exams, legal scrapes and the like.'
  • Press Briefing by Scott McClellan
    • The astonishing thing about this is the tone. It is evident that the Press is doling out very little patience and respect for the current administration but they are doing it in direct proportion to the administration's degree of credibility: very little.
  • Bush moved to Alabama unit without Air Force permission
    • 'George W. Bush left his Texas Air National Guard assignment and moved to Alabama in 1972 even though the Air Force denied his request for a transfer, according to his military records. In fact, Bush did not even ask for an official transfer until nine days after he moved to Alabama in May 1972. '
    • 'Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense for personnel and a Navy flier in Vietnam, said a pilot losing his flight status was a serious matter. "We spent $1 million to train him to fly," Korb said. "You're supposed to be ready to fly if we need you. If you didn't show up for your flight physical, good heavens!" '
  • Chasing George W. Bush and the F-102. Pictures of the planes themselves.

Chicago

  • Ah our beloved Richard M. Daley, da Mayor of Chicago. First of all there's this truck scam and Daley is mad that he didn't know about it. Then over the next few days, some people quit, some people are fired, and Daley even fired his cousin! (Sun Times and Tribune) That's how you clean up shop. Unlike Bush's administration where no one is accountable and investigations never really get anywhere. (Of course it's because Bush himself is... oh never mind, I'm getting of topic.)

    And I love how Teflon Daley immediately judos onto another topic which his main political base probably finds to be much more important: The property tax assessment system. Daley said that "we need to change the unfairness in the system and take the mystery out of the way the Cook County assessor's office values homes and apartments."

    See?! There's nothing wrong with being king if you do it right and you do it smartly. I would love to be photographed with The Mayor but I would be embarrassed to be photographed with Bush.

Comic Art

Faith

Food

  • When Faith Is Toast
    • 'A group of anti-Atkins guerrilla fighters, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which advocates vegetarian diets, got hold of the New York City medical examiner's report on Atkins's death and went to town with it. They raised all sorts of questions: Why the heart condition? Why was he so obese? Did his diet contribute to his heart problems? In other words, could you really eat fat and lose weight at the same time -- and stay healthy? After all, 72 is not that old.'
    • I don't follow the mantra of "eat less, exercise more", instead my mantra is "exercise a lot and eat a variety of stuff (including some fun stuff) when you get hungry". Just eat and live on naturally. Unless you are a cook or something like that, your life should not revolve around food and your mind should not dwell on food. I'm too busy living my life.

Iraq

  • UN now backs elections in Iraq.
    • 'The United Nations has opted to support calls from one of the main leaders of Iraq's Shiite Muslim community for early elections. The move to back Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's insistance on one-person-one-vote over the US plans to hand back sovereignty took place amid heavy security in the wake of two recent suicide bombings that killed nearly 100 Iraqis.

      In a nod to Sistani's rising influence, UN diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi announced the decision after a two-hour visit to the reclusive cleric's home in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, 90 miles south of Baghdad. Mr. Brahimi said that Sistani "is insistent on holding the elections and we are with him on this 100 percent because elections are the best means to enable any people to set up a state that serves their interest."
      • In other words: The Bush "plan" sucked!
    • 'Sistani has refused to meet with US officials, including Bremer, and demands that an elected legislature - rather than the US-picked Iraqi Governing Council - approve a temporary constitution still being drawn up.

      Sistani's calls for direct elections, which he has been making regularly since last June, seemed largely to fall upon deaf ears until he mobilized followers for massive demonstrations last month in the southern city of Basra and in Baghdad. But when tens of thousands of angry protesters marched through the streets chanting "Yes, yes to elections; no, no to selection," followed by Sistani's statement that the protests could turn violent if elections were not held within months, everyone listened. '
  • Pentagon eager to wash hands of Iraq mess it created
    • 'A year ago, testifying before Congress, Wolfowitz predicted that securing postwar Iraq would be an easier job than the United States and its allies faced in Bosnia or Afghanistan. After all, the deputy secretary said, there's no ethnic tension in Iraq. The immediate reaction of virtually everyone who knew even a little bit about Iraq and its long-simmering tensions, repression, bloodshed and just plain bad blood among Kurds and Turkomen in the north, Sunni Arabs in the middle and Shiite Muslims in the south, was: Say what? Not since President Ford prematurely declared Soviet-dominated Poland a free country has a public official stuck his foot so deeply and so publicly in his mouth.'
      • Ha ha!
    • 'Rumsfeld and his key aides, meanwhile, are running for cover. In one recent high-level meeting, Rumsfeld looked at Secretary of State Colin Powell and said, "Jerry (Ambassador Paul Bremer, the top U.S. civilian in Iraq) works for you, right?" Powell looked as if he'd been struck by lightning. Bremer and every other U.S. official in Iraq reports directly to Rumsfeld and the Pentagon. Rumsfeld demanded and got complete authority over the military, over the civilian authority in charge of rebuilding the country, over the administration's $87 billion Iraq budget, over every line of every contract let. And suddenly he forgot that Bremer works for him?'
      • Ha ha!
    • ' "Iraq is now a contaminated environment and Rumsfeld and his people want out," said one senior administration official. "They can't wait for July 1 when the CPA (Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority) turns into the U.S. Embassy and the whole mess they have made becomes Colin Powell's." '
      • Ha ha!
  • Conservative U.S. anchor [Bill O'Reilly] now skeptical about Bush
    • ' "I was wrong. I am not pleased about it at all and I think all Americans should be concerned about this," O'Reilly said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."
    • "What do you want me to do, go over and kiss the camera?" asked O'Reilly, who had promised rival ABC last year he would publicly apologize if weapons were not found.'
      • BWAH-HA-HA! Best laugh all day so far!
  • Powell Scolds Hill Staffer At Hearing
    • 'Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, a retired four-star general known for his even temperament, paused yesterday during a congressional hearing to berate a Hill staffer for shaking his head as Powell offered a defense of his prewar statements on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.'
      • BWAH-HA-HA! It just gets better!
    • 'Powell was recalling for the panel his review of the prewar intelligence. "I went and lived at the CIA for about four days to make sure that nothing was," he began, when he paused and glared at a staffer seated behind the members of Congress. "Are you shaking your head for something, young man, back there?" Powell asked. "Are you part of these proceedings?" '
      • I feel sorry for Powell. It's a shame that he ever got mixed up with this Bush crowd.
  • Contract Sport: What did the Vice-President do for Halliburton?
    • 'Advocates of privatization, who have included fiscally minded Democrats as well as Republicans, have argued that competition in the marketplace is the best way to control costs. But Steven Kelman, a professor of public management at Harvard, notes that the competition for Iraq contracts is unusually low. "On battlefield support, there are only a few companies that are willing and able to do the work," he said. Moreover, critics such as Waxman point out that public accountability is being sacrificed. "We can't even find out how much Halliburton charges to do the laundry," Waxman said. "It's inexcusable that they should keep this information from the Congress, and the people." '
    • 'The Hatch Act, for example, forbids most government employees from giving money to political campaigns. Halliburton has no such constraints. The company made political contributions of more than seven hundred thousand dollars between 1999 and 2002, almost always to Republican candidates or causes.'
    • 'There are some hundred and thirty-five thousand American troops in Iraq, but Gardiner estimated that there would be as many as three hundred thousand if not for private contractors. He said, "Think how much harder it would have been to get Congress, or the American public, to support those numbers." '
  • U.S. Says Files Seek Qaeda Aid in Iraq Conflict
    • 'American officials here have obtained a detailed proposal that they conclude was written by an operative in Iraq [Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian] to senior leaders of Al Qaeda, asking for help to wage a "sectarian war" in Iraq in the next months.'
    • 'The document would also constitute the strongest evidence to date of contacts between extremists in Iraq and Al Qaeda. But it does not speak to the debate about whether there was a Qaeda presence in Iraq during the Saddam Hussein era, nor is there any mention of a collaboration with Hussein loyalists.'
      • There may not have been a link between Iraq and Al Queda before the invasion but now there might be.

Love

  • Secrets of Super-Happy Couples: Twelve ways to keep your relationship thriving. My sweet wife sent me this link. ^_^
    1. Fall in love all over again
    2. Remember the good times
    3. Help your partner feel more loved and secure in your love
    4. Don't make unilateral decisions
    5. Be present
    6. Pay attention to your physical appearance
    7. Boost your compatibility
    8. Do not place blame
    9. Plan for sex
    10. Fact-find -- don't mind-read
    11. Fight fair -- and by appointment only
    12. Prepare for checkouts
  • Barbie and Ken Break Up. Alas! Mattel can make more money if they let Barbie date other men. That's when you go steady for too long without ever popping the question.
    picture of Ken and Barbie

Money

  • Reaction to Comcast-Disney Offer Mixed
    • ' "Therefore, while there could be merits in combining content with distribution, we do not believe these are overwhelming, as we have seen with a company such as Time Warner which has yet to really show the inherent benefit of marrying content and distribution," Jill Krutik, an analyst at Citigroup Smith Barney wrote in a note Wednesday.'
    • 'Combining content, such as Disney's ESPN network, with distribution, like Comcast's cable subscribers and high-speed Internet customers, could make sense, but Disney has shown it is able to find customers for its content without owning its own cable system or satellite television network.'
    • I don't like the feel of this merger. Comcast should get content from many content providers. Disney should distribute its content to many distributors. I don't see any real benefits for this merger. Plus there's the whole loss of branding: The names of "Comcast" and "Disney" tell people exactly what they do. Comcast won't lose much but Disney would dilute has decades worth of branding.
  • Watching the Jobs Go By
    • 'The broader problem is not just in schools but society as a whole: There's a tendency in U.S. intellectual circles to value the humanities but not the sciences. Anyone who doesn't nod sagely at the mention of Plato's cave is dismissed as barely civilized, while it's no blemish to be ignorant of statistics, probability and genetics. If we're going to revere Plato, as we should, we should also remember that his academy supposedly had a sign at the entrance: "Let no one ignorant of geometry enter here."

      In 1957, the Soviet launching of Sputnik frightened America into substantially improving math and science education. I'm hoping that the loss of jobs in medicine and computers to India and elsewhere will again jolt us into bolstering our own teaching of math and science. '

Presidential Election

  • A Good Laugh.
    • By Jay Leno:
      • "Today, one critic in the LA Times said the problem with John Kerry is he looks like he's thinking too much. Well, at least that's one place President Bush has got him beat."
      • "You know about the fight that's going on now between Kerry's people and Bush's people over the military service? Do you know about this? Kerry is saying that Bush never showed up for his National Guard duty. That's what they're saying. Yeah. And now Bush is on the attack. He's accusing John Kerry of ducking time in the National Guard by hiding out in the jungles of Vietnam."
      • "Tuesday, John Edwards won the South Carolina primary. You know his basic stump speech. This whole point is, John Edwards keeps saying there are really two Americas -- one where he tries to hide a Southern accent, and one where he tries to emphasize it."
    • By Conan O'Brien:
      • "Both John Kerry and Wesley Clark are making campaign appearances with the men who saved their lives in Vietnam. That's what they're doing. Meanwhile, President Bush is going to campaign with a man who once took a math test for him."
  • Edwards is everything Bush falsely claims to be and more
    • 'Bush, on the other hand, skillfully portrays himself as "one of us," a "true American" with "family values," someone with "common sense" who "knows the value of hard work" (not that he ever engages in it). His resume is mainly a list of bailouts from his father and his father's friends. No matter, he gets elected. Add to that incumbency and $200 million and you have quite the home field advantage in 2004.'
    • 'Then there is John McCain, who had a much better resume than Bush and stood upon principles Bush didn't even know existed. If there ever was a military candidate to defeat Bush, it was John McCain with his Purple Heart, Vietnam vet and POW experience. No matter, Bush won.'
    • 'Edwards can defrock Bush because he is everything Bush falsely claims to be and more. Edwards is the trusted neighbor, the high school football player of working-class roots who put himself through college to become an immensely successful lawyer and U.S. senator whose integrity and intelligence are highly regarded by liberals and conservatives alike.'
    • 'The clincher for me was imagining each of the Democratic candidates toe-to-toe with Bush on the debate stage. When the astute, optimistic, hard-working, unifying Edwards takes the stage, Bush will clearly be seen as the arrogant, lazy, cynical, divisive, never-had-to-earn-it, class clown phony that he is. Edwards is the perfect foil for the Bush facade.'
  • Tennessee, Virginia go to Kerry; Clark quits. Kerry will eventually be the Democratic candidate for the Presidential Election 2004. Now we still have to use the primary process to refine the arguments, the presentations, the issues.
  • Links tough on Kerry's win:
  • Wesley Clark to endorse Democratic front-runner John Kerry
  • Photo of Kerry with Fonda enrages Vietnam veterans. Pretty lame actually. UPDATE 2004-02-16: Apparently the photo of Kerry was doctored, so the story is even lamer.

Science

Sex

  • Committee Approves Porn Magazine: H Bomb will feature nude pictures of undergraduates
    • 'In early December, Katharina C. Baldegg '06 and Camilla A. Hrdy '05, the two students who proposed the magazine, met with [Assistant Dean of the College Paul J.] McLoughlin to begin the approval process for H Bomb.'
    • ' "It's a sex magazine that will hopefully be run by students of all sexual orientations and backgrounds," Baldegg said. Baldegg said she expected the magazine, which will also include art and fiction articles, to garner a lot of attention. "I guess student porn is sort of an underground thing," she said. Only students of the College will be posing for the magazine's photographs and they will all be 18 or older, Baldegg said.'
    • Gee, we didn't have school approved porn when I was in college!
  • Where time stands still: Hihokan - Erotic Museums in Japan [NSFW]. More funny and strange than anything else.

Show Biz

Tech

  • Microsoft Warns Windows Prone to Hacking
    • ' "This is one of the most serious Microsoft vulnerabilities ever released," said Marc Maiffret of eEye Digital Security Inc. of Aliso Viejo, Calif., which discovered the new Windows flaws. "The breadth of systems affected is probably the largest ever. This is something that will let you get into Internet servers, internal networks, pretty much any system." Maiffret said some computer systems that control critically important power or water utilities were vulnerable. Maiffret predicted hackers will try to unleash a damaging Internet infection within weeks. Unlike earlier vulnerabilities that spawned such attacks, hackers can exploit the newly disclosed flaws to break into susceptible computers using dozens of methods, making any defense far more difficult.
    • ' "The race will be on," agreed Marcus Sachs, a former White House adviser on cybersecurity. '
    • 'Toulouse said Microsoft took months because it wanted to ensure that a single repairing patch solved any related problems. "We really took the steps to make sure our investigation was as broad and deep as possible," he said.'
    • 'Microsoft's disclosure occurred just days before a presidential advisory council submits recommendations to the White House about ways technology companies should respond to major software vulnerabilities that could affect national security. The 54-page report, obtained by The Associated Press, cautions that "long delays in remediation can result in prolonged risk to end users." '
    • Microsoft was right to not announce this security hole until they got the patch up. However, if it were a Linux hole, the hole would have been announced immediately so that the entire Open Source community could work on the problem right away.
  • Well-Designed Weblogs: An Introduction and Well-Designed Weblogs Volume 2.
  • Running notes from Life Hacks: Tech Secrets of Overprolific Alpha Geeks
    • 'All geeks have a todo.txt file. They use texteditors (Word, BBEd, Emacs, Notepad) not Outlook or whathaveyou.'
      • EXACTLY RIGHT. My personal rolodex and to do lists are need much more flexibility than is offered by any pre-made system like Outlook, MSN, Yahoo, etc.
    • 'Power-users don't trust complicated apps. Every time power-geeks has had a crash, s/he moves away from it. You can't trust software unless you've written it -- and then you're just more forgiving.'
    • 'Text files are portable (except for CRLF issues) between mac and win and *nix.'
    • 'Geeks write scripts to take apart dull, repetitive tasks. They'll spend 10h writing a script that will save 11h -- because writing scripts is interesting and doing dull stuff isn't.'
      • Hehe. I've done that.
    • 'All geeks back up. They've all learned the lesson. They do it instead of backing up. Synching is the new backup. Spread stuff as widely as possible -- that way the nuke won't get it all.'
    • 'Geeks have boilerplates for invoices, etc. '
    • 'Edd Dumbhill: Ideas rot if you don't do something with them. Don't hoard them. I blog them or otherwise tell people. This is a way to look organized, "That guy has lots of ideas, what a genius."
      • Yep, that's part of why I blog.
    • 'You only have to be right once -- people google for some idea and find your ramble about it and are impressed.'
    • 'Making stuff public is like having your parents come to stay -- you clean everything up. '
      • Yes a public web site and blog makes me organize things much more neatly than I would just for myself.
  • Google spurns RSS for rising blog format [Atom]. Ah, the dangers of monopolies.
  • WorldOfEnds.com.
    • 'All we need to do is pay attention to what the Internet really is. It's not hard. The Net isn't rocket science. It isn't even 6th grade science fair, when you get right down to it. We can end the tragedy of Repetitive Mistake Syndrome in our lifetimes -- and save a few trillion dollars' worth of dumb decisions -- if we can just remember one simple fact: the Net is a world of ends. You're at one end, and everybody and everything else are at the other ends.'
  • Intel Says Chip Speed Breakthrough Will Alter Cyberworld
    • 'The invention demonstrates for the first time, Intel researchers said, that ultrahigh-speed fiberoptic equipment can be produced at personal computer industry prices. As the costs of communicating between computers and chips falls, the barrier to building fundamentally new kinds of computers not limited by physical distance should become a reality, experts said.'
    • ' "Before, there were two worlds -- computing and communications," said Alan Huang, a former Bell Labs physicist, who has founded the Terabit Corporation, an optical networking company in Menlo Park, Calif. "Now they will be the same and we will have powerful computers everywhere." '
    • 'With this breakthrough, Intel researchers said, they have shown that it should be possible to build optical fiber communications systems using Intel's conventional chipmaking process without resorting to either the exotic materials or hand-assembly techniques that are now the standard in the fiberoptics networking industry.'
  • BPL (Broadband Power Line) technology is arriving
  • Open Source Is Fertile Ground for Foul Play and its Slashdot.
  • Odd... MetaFilter.com has been down all day Thursday. And now Friday.

War Craft III

  • I've been trying to stop playing WarCraft III by Blizzard.com but I'm not having much success. I've tried keeping the CD on the shelf (so the temptation to play would be more than a click away) but somehow the CD has once more reattached itself to the machine. Maybe I'll try to go back to limiting myself to no more than once or twice a week.
  • Why would I want to cut down on playing WarCraft? Is it a matter of ROI (Return Of Investment)?
    • Unlike sports, there is no health benefit.
    • I'm not doing much socializing online: There are only a few lines of typed exchange per game and I only occasionally play against the same people.
    • I'm not using WC as a jumping board to get into the technology: I already work in computers.
    • I might be gaining some insights and intuition at making real time strategic decisions.
  • What about the opportunity cost? The loss of time with my wife, kids, family, and friends? Or time I could have spent on explorations, blogging, house work, exercise, martial arts, spiritual exploration, politics, etc?
  • Is it sufficient to do it merely because I like it? Just for the fun of it? Perhaps, perhaps. But perhaps I should spend fewer hours on it and not play so late. When I'm playing and I see that it is 4 AM I know that I shouldn't have done that. Is it less a pleasure (like food and sex) and more like a vice (like alcohol, drugs, and gambling)? There is the opportunity cost mentioned above but WC3 does not make kill my brain cells, make me drive under the influence, steal, or cost anything.
  • As it stands I'm pretty happy that I've regained my rank of Level 12 in Random Team. That puts me in the top 3.40% of all the 235,407 players who play RT 3v3 on Azeroth, the US East Coast server. For those of you who are ranked higher then that: yes, I can hear you laughing. But let's see how well you play with a toddler on your lap. Plus my cable connection gives me a lot of disconnects. And I haven't customized my hot keys. And yeah RT is not as true a measure as Solo but I think RT is more chatty and more fun. But bottom line: I don't put in the 6+ hours a day that some of the high level people do.
  • Things I've liked doing with the Undead race lately:
    • Death Knight and Crypt Lord combo. The key thing is not just that the DK can heal the CL but that the CL can raise Carrion Beetles which the DK can heal himself up with Death Pact. Plus the CL's Impale spell is like the Death Lord's Sleep and Carrion Swarm spells combined (plus I love the visual of everybody getting tossed into the air), and the CL's Spiked Carapace is like the Lich's Frost Armor.
    • Fiends and Necros combo. I know they're different upgrade paths but it's a nice combo.
    • Fiends plus Abominations and Statues. A very rounded strategy.
    • Mass Wyrms. I've never lost a game where I've managed to mass Wyrms. It can however be countered:
      • Destroyers v Wyrms. Wyrms can't injure Destroyers because of their spell immunity.
      • Fiends and Banshees v Wyrms. You need a team to do this but it is soo sweet to Possess their Wyrms.
    • Ghouls and Aboms. This if fun provided my team mates have ranged units shooting over my shoulder.
    • Quick mass Gargoyles. This can be countered but if they don't have anti-air, this can be lots of fun.
    • Quick mass Necros. This can be countered but if done right, it's a game winner.
      • Destroyers v Necromancers. Devour Magic makes Skellies yummy.
      • Air v Necromancers. Air leaves no corpses for Necros to use.
    • Banshees. The die very easily but Curse is so powerful: it's like evasion for your army. Anti-magic shell has become soo lame. Possession is in theory good but I've only pulled it off very well once.
    • Many Shades ASAP. I should do this every game. If you have a Shade tagging the enemy (or even your allies), then not only do you get strategic intelligence, but (I love this), your team's heroes get experience for the kills by the tagged team.
  • Other WarCraft issues lately:
    • Humans have 2 unique units in the game. Tanks are very hard to kill and they destroy towns very quickly. The Archmage's Mass Teleport spell is potentially the most powerful spell in the game.
    • No way will I get involved in World of WarCraft, Blizzard's their upcoming MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) no matter how good it looks because I want to have a life.
  • Yes, yes my WarCraft web page has not been worked on in an embarrassingly long time. No apologies because I'm busy.

2004-02-17t17:20:56Z | RE: Bush. Comic Art. Faith. Family. Food. Fun. Iraq. Martial Arts. Money. Politics. Presidential Elections. Science. Sex. Tech.
2004-02-17t17:20:56Z

Bush

  • Most Think Truth Was Stretched to Justify Iraq War
    • 'Barely half -- 52 percent -- now believe Bush is "honest and trustworthy," down 7 percentage points since late October and his worst showing since the question was first asked, in March 1999. At his best, in the summer of 2002, Bush was viewed as honest by 71 percent.'
  • "The Real Man" by Paul Krugman
    • 'In fact, those 27 photos grace one of the four most dishonest budgets in the nation's history -- the other three are the budgets released in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Just to give you a taste: remember how last year's budget contained no money for postwar Iraq -- and how administration officials waited until after the tax cut had been passed to mention the small matter of $87 billion in extra costs? Well, they've done it again: earlier this week the Army's chief of staff testified that the Iraq funds in the budget would cover expenses only through September.

      But when administration officials are challenged about the blatant deceptions in their budgets -- or, for that matter, about the use of prewar intelligence -- their response, almost always, is to fall back on the president's character. How dare you question Mr. Bush's honesty, they ask, when he is a man of such unimpeachable integrity? And that leaves critics with no choice: they must point out that the man inside the flight suit bears little resemblance to the official image.

      There is, as far as I can tell, no positive evidence that Mr. Bush is a man of exceptional uprightness. When has he even accepted responsibility for something that went wrong? On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that he is willing to cut corners when it's to his personal advantage. His business career was full of questionable deals, and whatever the full truth about his National Guard service, it was certainly not glorious.

      Old history, you may say, and irrelevant to the present. And perhaps that would be true if Mr. Bush was prepared to come clean about his past. Instead, he remains evasive. On "Meet the Press" he promised to release all his records -- and promptly broke that promise.

      I don't know what he's hiding. But I do think he has forfeited any right to cite his character to turn away charges that his administration is lying about its policies. And that is the point: Mr. Bush may not be a particularly bad man, but he isn't the paragon his handlers portray. '
    • 'Still, we may be on our way to an election in which Mr. Bush is judged on his record, not his legend. And that, of course, is what the White House fears.'
      • There is no meat to Bush. People merely want to believe that the President who was in office during 9/11 would represent us all.
  • POST TOASTED! Did George Bush serve in the Bama Guard? Ancient, vague memories can't tell us
    • 'Finally! Finally, someone had reported serving with Bush! But there was one small problem with [Bill] Calhoun's claim. His account contradicted the basic chronology of the case--a timeline that has been clear and unchallenged for the past four years. [Mike Allen] Allen and his editors [at the Washington Post] --hopeless incompetents--seemed ignorant of the story's simplest facts.'
    • Liars!

Comic Art

Faith

  • Children to study atheism at school.
    • 'Children will be taught about atheism during religious education classes under official plans being drawn up to reflect the decline in churchgoing in Britain. Non-religious beliefs such as humanism, agnosticism and atheism would be covered alongside major faiths such as Christianity or Islam under draft guidelines being prepared by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which regulates what is taught in schools in England.'
    • " 'The whole thing is terribly biased in favour of religion right now - it's all about encouraging an identification with religion,' said Ben Rogers, author of the report for the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank. 'There are huge numbers of people who are atheists or whose families are atheists and who are coming into a class where their family's view is not acknowledged. You should be able to have a conversation about ethics that doesn't collapse into a conversation about religion.' "
    • Excellent! This sound perfectly fair to me. Government cannot avoid religion but it should not favor particular religions.

Family

  • Once upon a time my wife and 2 kids were in the car this morning when 5 year old Connie asked for some assistance singing the "10 Days of Christmas". Julia said that it's really the "12 Days of Christmas", but yes we can help. So Julia started singing it. Julia is much better at singing than I am and she has a much larger repertoire, but the "12 Days of Christmas" is one of the songs that I actually know better than she does. So of course I eagerly jumped in too.

    It was a jolly time and we were going along swimmingly, but when we got to the 11th day of Christmas,  nearly 3 year oldYork suddenly shouted out: "Shut up!"

    Julia and I started laughing, but Connie was distraught about the interruption in the song. So we immediately jumped back in and finished the song strongly. Everything ended up just fine.

    The End.

Food

Fun

Iraq

  • Rebel assault routs Iraqi security forces in Fallujah, killing at least 20 and freeing prisoners
    • 'The same security compound was attacked two days earlier by gunmen just as the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, was visiting the site in Fallujah.'
    • 'The attackers freed 75 prisoners held at the station, killing the guards and shooting open the cell doors, police Lt. Col. Jalal Sabri said. The prisoners were criminals most arrested for murder or theft and none of them were suspected of involvement in the anti-U.S. insurgency, Sabri said.'

Martial Arts

  • I just finished the 12 week course "Introduction to the Rapier" at the Chicago Swordplay Guild. It's been a blast! There are many aspects to it but the thing about it that hit me is that it is much more satisfying to skewer a person than it is to pull a trigger and kill someone. Swordsmanship requires more athleticism, more training, and more skill. I've joined the Guild itself and will continue to practice with all manners of weapons.
    Photo of the 2004-02-14 Intro to Rapier Class
    From left to right: Back row: Phil, George, Jim, and John. Front row: Ashley, Jain, and Nora.

Money

  • It's Good Business
    • 'The real shame in this whole thing is that there's a chance that innovation could have prevented it. This was highlighted in a Los Angeles Times column by James Flanigan who compares the supermarkets with Wal-Mart and Costco. The supermarkets are pointing to Wal-Mart as the bad guy because their labor costs are lower, which allows them to offer lower prices. However, equally successful Costco pays higher wages and benefits than either Wal-Mart or the supermarkets. Even union leaders hail it as the best in the retail industry. Costco's employee turnover is 20% -- one third of the industry average, a factor that some industry experts state could save 20% on labor costs for every 10% reduction in turnover. Plus Costco is refusing to follow the other corporate fad of offshoring jobs such as call centers.

      Why?
      CEO Jim Sinegal says it's not altruism, "It's good business." Costco developed a strategy that fosters higher employee productivity and yields enormous customer satisfaction and loyalty. Sinegal also states, "I don't see what's wrong with an employee earning enough to be able to buy a house or having a health plan for the family. We're trying to build a company that will be here 50 years from now." Which highlights another ingredient in this stew: Wall Street's short term mindset. Because Costco makes 1.7 centers per dollar of sales compared to 2.5 cents for the supermarkets and 3.5 cents for Wal-Mart, Wall Street considers this a shoddy performance. Bless Sinegal for staying the course.'
    • 'The bottom line is always important, and the bottom line here is that perhaps what's wrong with supermarkets isn't employees' salaries but rather the lack of creative thought in management, and, very probably, a management team whose compensation is based on short-term Wall Street performance rather than a more long-term human, and humane, approach.'
    • So Costco.com  has good ethics. So does Levis.com. That alone gives me brand loyalty. People, Planet, Profits.

Politics

Presidential Elections

  • It's time to get back to the issues.
    • "A few questions for John Kerry" by George Will. George Will is one of the few Conservative writers that I actually respect. He always comes up with some very good questions.
    • Time for Clarity. 'Now, with the nomination seemingly within his reach, the Massachusetts senator must begin to more fully explain where he stands on the major challenges facing the country.'

Science

  • Scientists develop new hydrogen reactor. 'The reactor is a relatively tiny 2-foot-high apparatus of tubes and wires that creates hydrogen from corn-based ethanol. A fuel cell, which acts like a battery, then generates power.'
  • After Packing M&M's Together, Scientists Like What They See
    • 'The research is a more complicated version of a long-studied problem: how tightly identical spheres can be packed together. Neatly stacked, as in a pyramid of oranges at a grocery store, the spheres occupy 74 percent of the available volume. Arranged randomly, however, the spheres fill only 64 percent of the space. In the new research, the scientists considered spheroids -- spheres stretched into cigar shapes or squashed into M&M shapes. Stacked neatly, the spheroids still take up 74 percent of the space, just like spheres. But in random arrangements, computer simulations and experiments with M&M's showed that spheroids could be packed much more densely, filling up to 71 percent of the space.'
      MMs packed randomly
    • 'If the spheroids are deformed in a second direction, into ellipsoids (in other words, stretched or squashed so the M&M shape is no longer circular when viewed from above), then the maximum packing density increases to 77 percent, more tightly than the simple neat stacks.'
    • Ha ha! We dealt with stuff like this all the time in Chemical Engineering.
  • Astronomers Spy Massive Diamond
    • 'If anyone's ever promised you the sun, the moon and the stars, tell 'em you'll settle for BPM 37093. The heart of that burned-out star with the no-nonsense name is a sparkling diamond that weighs a staggering 10 billion trillion trillion carats. That's one followed by 34 zeros.'
    • 'The diamond is a massive chunk of crystallized carbon that lies about 300 trillion miles from Earth, in the constellation Centaurus. The galaxy's largest diamond is formally known as a white dwarf, or the hot core of a dead sun.'
  • Scientists: Hard heads a key to survival: Clubbing heads may have been part of mating rituals. This explains things like The 3 Stooges and the shape of Linus's head (from The Peanuts).

Sex

Tech

  • IPAddressWorld.com. Show's the IP of the computer you're on.
  • Windows Source Code Leak
    • Hmm. Seems like more attacks against Microsoft than usual in the past several days.
    • Profanity, partner's name hidden in leaked Microsoft code
      • 'Dunham and others spent hours looking for clues in the code, a mix of assembler, C and C++ programming languages. The leaked Windows 2000 code contained 30915 files and a whopping 13.5 million lines of code, he said. And the Windows NT breach had 95,103 files and 28 million lines. Both were available as zip files being exchanged readily on the Internet, Dunham said.'
    • Windows Source Leak Traces Back to Mainsoft
      • 'Because Mainsoft used only select portions of the Windows source for MainWin, Microsoft may find itself more worried about the egg on its face than possible exposure of its flagship operating system; Windows 2000 served as the foundation for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.'
    • We Are Morons: a quick look at the Win2k source
      • 'In the struggle to meet deadlines, I think pretty much all programmers have put in comments they might later regret, including swearwords and acerbic comments about other code or requirements. Also, any conscientious coder will put in prominent comments warning others about the trickier parts of the code. Comments like "UGLY TERRIBLE HACK" tend to indicate good code rather than bad: in bad code ugly terrible hacks are considered par for the course. It would therefore be both hypocritical and meaningless to go through the comments looking for embarrassments. But also fun, so let's go.'
      • 'In short, there is nothing really surprising in this leak. Microsoft does not steal open-source code. Their older code is flaky, their modern code excellent. Their programmers are skilled and enthusiastic. Problems are generally due to a trade-off of current quality against vast hardware, software and backward compatibility.'
  • The Next Move in Programming: A Conversation with Sun's Victoria Livschitz
    • Brilliant stuff. Really looks at the roots to go beyond the present. She proves what I've believed that programming right now is low-level: like working in the sewers. Eventually programming will become easier, more high-level. It has to be that way to do anything of complexity the complexity must be encapsulated and hidden from the bosses/users, and yet the complexity must be uncompromisingly correct and well designed.
      Photo of Victoria Livshitz
    • "And here's what's really sad -- the overwhelming majority of so-called "successful" development projects produce mediocre software. Take almost any corporate accounting application, and you'll find it poor in quality, unimpressive in capabilities, difficult to extend, misaligned with other enterprise systems, technologically obsolete by the time of release, and functionally identical to dozens of other accounting systems. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on development, and millions afterwards on maintenance -- and for what? From an engineering standpoint, zero innovation and zero incremental value have been produced."
    • "The correlation of the size of the software with its quality is overwhelming and very suggestive. I think his observations raise numerous questions: Why are big programs so buggy? And not just buggy, but buggy to a point beyond salvation. Is there an inherent complexity factor that makes bugs grow exponentially, in number, severity, and in how difficult they are to diagnose? If so, how do we define complexity and deal with it?"
    • "I can see two reasonable ways to create complex programs that are less susceptible to bugs. As in medicine, there is prevention and there is recovery. Both the objectives and the means involved in prevention and recovery are so different that they should be considered separately. "
    • "Having said that, these technological advances are still inadequate in dealing with many categories of bugs. You see, a "bug" is often just a sign of recognition that a program is behaving undesirably. Such "undesirability" may indeed be caused by mechanical problems in which code does something different from what it was intended to do. But all too often the code is doing exactly what the programmer wanted at the time, which (in the end) turned out to be a really bad idea. The former is a programming bug, and the latter a design bug, or in some exceptionally lethal cases, an architectural bug. The constant security-related problems associated with Microsoft's products are due to its fundamental platform architecture. Java technology, in contrast, enjoys exceptional immunity to viruses because of its sandbag architecture."
    • "I don't believe that future advances in software engineering will prevent developers from making mistakes that lead to design bugs. Over time, any successful software evolves to address new requirements. A piece of code that behaved appropriately in previous versions suddenly turns out to have deficiencies -- or bugs. That's OK! The reality of the program domain has changed, so the program must change too. A bug is simply a manifestation of the newly discovered misalignment. It must be expected to happen, really! From that vantage point, it's not the prevention of bugs but the recovery -- the ability to gracefully exterminate them -- that counts. In regard to recovery, I can't think of a recent technological breakthrough. Polymorphism and inheritance help developers write new classes without affecting the rest of the program. However, most bug fixes require some degree of refactoring, which is always dangerous and unpredictable. "
    • 'Q: What about the notion of complexity as the primary reason for software bugs? Do you have any concrete ideas on how to reduce complexity?

      A: Well, I see two principal weapons. One is the intuitiveness of the programming experience from the developer's point of view. Another is the ability to decompose the whole into smaller units and aggregate individual units into a whole. Let me start with the programming experience first.

      Things appear simple to us when we can operate intuitively, at the level of consciousness well below fully focused, concentrated, strenuous thinking. Thus, the opposite of complexity -- and the best weapon against it -- is intuitiveness. Software engineering should flow from the intuitiveness of the programming experience. A programmer who works with complex programs comfortably does not see them as complex, thanks to the way our perception and cognition work. A forest is a complex ecosystem, but for the average hiker the woods do not appear complex.'

    • "Object-oriented programming allowed developers to create industrial software that is far more complex than what functional programming allowed. However, we seem to have reached the point where OO is no longer effective. No one can comfortably negotiate a system with thousands of classes. So, unfortunately, object-oriented programming has a fundamental flaw, ironically related to its main strength. "
    • "In object-oriented systems, "object" is the one and only basic abstraction. The universe always gets reduced to a set of pre-defined object classes, some of which are structural supersets of others. The simplicity of this model is both its blessing and its curse. Einstein once noted that an explanation should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. This is a remarkably subtle point that is often overlooked. Explaining the world through a collection of objects is just too simple! The world is richer than what can be expressed with object-oriented syntax."
    • "Processes are extremely common in the real world and in programming. Elaborate mechanisms have been devised over the years to handle transactions, workflow, orchestration, threads, protocols, and other inherently "procedural" concepts. Those mechanisms breed complexity as they try to compensate for the inherent time-invariant deficiency in OO programming. Instead, the problem should be addressed at the root by allowing process-specific constructs, such as "before/after," "cause/effect," and, perhaps, "system state" to be a core part of the language. I envision a programming language that is a notch richer then OO. It would be based on a small number of primitive concepts, intuitively obvious to any mature human being, and tied to well-understood metaphors, such as objects, conditions, and processes. I hope to preserve many features of the object-oriented systems that made them so safe and convenient, such as abstract typing, polymorphism, encapsulation and so on. The work so far has been promising. "
    • "Hierarchies and collections are pretty much the only tools we've got to define how things relate to each other and how they should be organized into manageable structures. Hierarchical aggregation fits well with the fractal nature of many organic and artificial systems, and it is intuitively obvious to most people. Plus, the depth of the aggregation scales linearly with the exponential growth of elements, which is hugely important. Collections are similarly plentiful in the natural and virtual worlds, fit well with peer-to-peer systems, and once again, are totally intuitive. Unfortunately, this wonderfully simple division of structures into hierarchies and collections is, again, too simple for our needs. "
    • "Equipped with such a powerful component architecture, a new theory of reuse may be developed, this time addressing the entire software lifecycle over a project's lifetime in a graceful, truly evolutionary way. Refactoring will no longer be a brutal, destructive operation. Instead, a safe, almost organic rejuvenation of the old components by the new ones -- guaranteed at compile time to be semantically, as well as syntactically, correct -- will become possible, analogous to the cyclical rejuvenation found in every corner of nature."
    • "Software is truly amazing media, unlike anything else found in nature or created by humankind. Like information in general, software is not an entirely physical substance, for it has no mass, volume, or density. Neither is it an entirely metaphysical concept, for it interacts with real, physical entities, and causes very concrete physical impacts, such as the rotation of a turbine, the flow of electricity, or the imprint of an image on the page. Software is a product of our imagination, like a book, a painting or a movie, designed to synthesize a particular representation of the real world. But unlike all other forms of pure art, software is constructed for utilitarian purposes to do more then merely reflect the real world; software interacts with the world and in many cases even controls it. And what is truly amazing -- software is replicable: instantaneously, in arbitrary numbers, at zero cost! "
    • Advice to developers:
      • "Don't take everything you've been told about good software engineering as gospel truth. Don't be bamboozled. Maintain your sense of skepticism and look for more intuitive metaphors. "
      • "The complacency around C/C++ and the Java language is pervasive. C#, the first programming language in years, looks more like the Java language. Enormous productivity gains remain to be uncovered and difficult problems are yet to be solved. The world has gone crazy with XML and then web services; SOAP and UDDI are getting enormous attention, and, yet, from a software engineering standpoint, they seem to me a setback rather then a step forward."
  • Where's Metafilter and Megnut? OK: Mystery solved. MetaFilter.com has been down for several day because of a bad fan.
  • max-width in Internet Explorer
    • 'Most web-developers know that IE has fallen behind in the race for standards and being able to show the latest and greatest. Many CSS2 properties are unsupported. Some of the more useful ones, are properties such as max-width, max-height, min-width and finally min-height.I will argue, how max-width is a crucial property, when it comes to on line readability, and then I will show you how to make IE emulate the behavior of max-width, and in turn, how to make it emulate many other properties that Internet Explorer for Windows is not directly capable of.'
    • I agree 100% that Microsoft needs to catch up with the W3C standards, including max-width. However, I personally prefer to adjust column widths myself by resizing the windows. One particular use for this is if I'm viewing multiple windows at once and I want to read a window that has a large width but a short height. Besides I like to read as wide as possible (forgive the pun) if it will cut down on page scrolls. EG: Many pages have paragraphs with a lead sentence/link in bold. I like to scan the bold and ignore the rest if I can. Wide pages allow me to do this with fewer page downs.
  • Search For Tomorrow: We Wanted Answers, And Google Really Clicked. What's Next?
    • There have been many articles praising Google. But this is the first to make me remember that there was a world before Google. Oh as far as the question of "what's next?", it's just that old semantic web crap.
    • 'The transition into the Google Era has not occurred without some anguish. The stacks of a university library can be a rather lonely place these days. Library circulation dropped about 20 percent at major universities in the first five years after Internet search engines became popular. For most students, Google is where all research begins (and, for the frat boys, ends).'
    • 'Students typically search only the most obvious parts of the Web, and rarely venture into what is sometimes called the "Dark Web," the walled gardens of information accessible only through specific databases, such as Lexis-Nexis or the Oxford English Dictionary. And most old books remain undigitized. The Library of Congress has about 19 million books with unique call numbers, plus another 9 million or so in unusual formats, but most have not made it onto the Web. That may change, but for the moment, a tremendous amount of human wisdom is invisible to researchers who just use the Internet.'
  • A Complete History of Tux. So that's why Linux has a penguin mascot.
    Tux, the Linux mascot penguin
  • Software innovation is dead
    • 'What is innovative software? Before you discovered it, you did not feel that you were missing out; there was no obvious void. However, after you discover it, its use becomes so second-nature that you wonder how you lived without it.'
    • 'The next generation of software engineers, who will be producing software in the next twenty-odd years, are simply not able to produce innovative software. Thirty years ago, programming was a niche area, an art, under constant evolution and requiring intellect and ability. New software was really just that -- completely new. There was money to be made and there were obvious needs to be fulfilled. Nowadays, anyone can write a program. Why is this a bad thing? Well, if I am going to spend three or four years at university studying computer science, yet not be able to offer any significant advantage to a major software development house compared to a simple 'code-monkey' who can churn out lots of code at a very low wage, where is my incentive to do software development? Sure, I may have been taught better programming principles -- object-orientated programming, and the like -- but there's nothing special that I can do. Why would I want to spend my time doing nothing but churning out code, when there is better money to be made in less monotonous fields?'
    • O come on dude! Things happen in bunches. There's nothing wrong with a lull here and there. On the other hand anything that encourages innovation is good.
  • SVG

2004-02-29t06:53:54Z | RE: Bush. Comic Art. Faith. Family. Food. Fun. Games. Gay Marriage. Green. Haiti. Money. Philosophy. Politics. Presidential Elections. Science. Sex. Tech. Tech Crossroad. Terrorism. The Passion of the Christ. WarCraft. Yami.
2004-02-29t06:53:54Z

Bush

Comic Art

Faith

  • Hit-And-Run Bishop Convicted
    • He's just one man but its indicative of the deep problems that the Catholic Church has.
    • 'But prosecutors argued that [Bishop Thomas] O'Brien knew or should have known he hit a person. They pointed to the fact that O'Brien did not call police even after a official in the diocese told him the car may have been involved in a deadly accident. They also noted that he tried to get the windshield repaired, even knowing police were looking for the car. Detectives tracked O'Brien down at his home two days after the accident.'
    • ' "He goes ostrich. His head goes in the sand. Blinders are on. He just wants it to go away," prosecutor Anthony Novitsky said during closing arguments.'
      • Just part of the way they've been treating the problem of pedophiliac priests. Hi level cover ups.
    • Guilty as hell.
      Photo of Thomas O'Brien
  • Draft survey: 4,450 priests accused of sex abuse
    • 'The survey, to be released February 27, found that children made more than 11,000 allegations of sexual abuse by priests. The 4,450 accused priests represent about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests who served during the 52 years covered by the study.'
    • 'More than half of the accused priests had only one allegation against them. Nearly 25 percent, or 1,112 priests, had two or three allegations, and almost 13 percent, or 578 priests, had four to nine allegations, according to the draft report. Nearly 3 percent, or 133 of the priests, had 10 or more allegations.'
    • 'According to the survey, 78 percent of those abused were between 11 and 17, 16 percent were 8 to 10, and nearly 6 percent were 7 or younger. '

Family

  • I got this email from my wife on 2004-02-20:
    • "So 2x today, York has talked to himself about using the potty, or not peeing on the floor, and then gone and peed in the potty. I have had him diaperless since his morning change.

      I think maybe the diapers are just a convenience for him. Anyway, he didn't ask for assistance, although I knew what he was doing, just came to me afterward with "someting to show you".

      I just feel so proud of him. And maybe if we go diaperless over the weekend, we may be set. He can do underpants during the day, and diapers at night til he's dry all night."
    • Whoo hoo! So York is getting serious about using the potty!
    • I read the email while a co-worker was telling me some news about our servers and he was wondering why I was making celebratory gestures. I told him the news and they congratulated me but then they put it in perspective: I now have a few months of freedom from diapers before kid #3 comes around in September. Then I'll be deep in shit for another 3 years.
    • True, true, but I'm living in the moment. Way to go Yorky Boy!

Food

  • Whoo-hoo! As a saltaholic, I'm glad salt is coming back! Iodized salt, sea salt, soy sauce, coarse salt, Lawry's Seasoned Salt, Hawaiian black lava salt, Kosher salt, whatever! Bring it on baby!
    • Is Salt The New Olive Oil?
    • Chefs Who Salt Early if Not Often
      • ' "Back in the 80's, like any other cook, I was really weighted down with this admonition that you do not salt anything ahead of time, or it dries out," Ms. Rodgers said. "As a novice, I wasn't in a position to question that. But it wasn't hard to realize it didn't make any sense. Cooks have salted things early for thousands of years, meats that retain their succulence because of the cure." '
      • 'As Ms. Rodgers and Mr. Wolke explained, when salt encounters protein, the protein changes shape on a molecular level. In its new form, it can absorb more water than normal and softens. So a salted piece of meat can taste juicier and more tender than an unsalted one. If the meat is not too heavily salted, nor left to dry very long, what little drying results may also improve the flavor. The trick to keeping a presalted steak from turning gray is simply to pat the surface with paper towels just before you put it on the grill, to dry off any moisture.'
    • Salt of the earth

Fun

  • Nutrigrain commercial [video]. How eating a Nutrigrain bar will make you feat great and utilize the insanity you've secretly acquired while working for corporate America.
  • I Love Death [abstract animation, ~NSFW]. A little dark and depressing actually.
  • Disney buys Jim Henson's Muppets and Bear. If it's OK with the Henson's then it's OK with me. As long as Disney doesn't buy Bugs Bunny and crew from Warners or vice-versa.
  • SpaceImaging.com. It's fun to visit these sites that have photos from space satellites on occasion.
  • BugKnits.com. Dime-sized knitted goods.
  • FutureHi.net.
    • 'Seeking to create a joyous, infinitely expanding future; Future Hi is a collaborative blog cruising the intersections of higher intelligence, accelerating technology, anthropological exodus, utopian dreams, trance, autonomy, imagination and logic.'
    • The flower children have been reincarnated!
  • Trepanation [gross]. Please do not perform brain surgery at home!
  • DrinkBetterWater.com. Well, they're selling water but water is so cool to drink.
  • AntiqIllum.com.
    • 'Antiquities of the Illuminati seeks to tell The Story. What is The Story? The Story of the granting of Wisdom to humankind by its Benefactors, and the survival, in human incarnations, of said Benefactors. This Story includes making sense of the tangled web of sects, creeds, religious groups, secret societies, mystical associations, and other groups throughout the four thousand year period, beginning roughly 2050 B. C. E., and continuing beyond our present year, to 2050 C. E. Another object of this, is to establish the Truth of History, concerning certain events in our past, which have led to the mess that is today.'
    • It's all just entertaining crap as far as I'm concerned.
  • Mario Brothers: A Tragedy in Parts. 1, 2, 3 [animation]. Heavily pixilated on purpose but the damn funny shit! The grandeur is rich.
  • whither whatever. The continental US according to California is pretty funny. I like how Chicago is its own state :).
    The continental US accroding to California
  • Man Dies After Lying In Yard For Days Refusing Help: Wife Fed, Covered Husband With Tarp During Storms. Poor stubborn fellow! I can imagine myself being just as stubborn. However my wife would totally ignore my insistence about helping myself and get help anyway.
  • A new way to view London: from a toilet. Usable bathroom exhibit boasts one-way mirrored walls. Pretty cool! I also like how the mirrors act like camouflage.
    Picture of British public bathroom with 1-way mirror walls
  • XD38.com.
    • 'A site for multifaceted people who are technical and artistic, verbal and mechanical, rational and intuitive; who are interested in everything; who find themselves to be a kind of natural link between far-ranging, diverse areas of human endeavor.'
    • WTF?! That's me!
  • Pet spider kills its owner. Getting killed by a spider is a fair story, but to get eaten and infested by hundreds of his other creepy pets: now that's a good story.
  • Goodle Good News.
    • If only Google had such good news. It's almost heart breaking.
    • 'George Lucas to re-film all three Star Wars prequels'
    • 'All signs of environmental damage disappear overnight as several new inventions put everything back the way it should be.'
  • MatchStickRockets.com
    Life size photo of a matchstick rocket
  • In Japanese Hands, Snowball Fighting Has Really Grown Up
    • 'Two teams of seven players each start with 90 snowballs and face off on a field as wide as a tennis court and 1½ times as long. The field features "shelters" -- 3-foot walls of snow that the players hide behind -- and a flag for each team, planted deep inside its half of the court. Players wearing protective helmets take opponents out of the game by hitting them with a ball. A team wins a three-minute set either by having the most players standing at the end, or by grabbing the other's flag. Matches are decided over three sets.'
    • 'Since the first tournament in 1989, the sport has progressed from child's play into a sophisticated battle of skill and tactics. Some 2,000 teams from all over Japan compete for 192 slots at the international snowball-fighting championship, including 36 women's teams. A team from Sobetsucho's Finnish twin city, Kemijarvi, often flies over to compete in Showa Shinzan. It couldn't afford the trip this year, after a local electronics manufacturer relocated production to China and hurt the region's economy.'
    • Whoo hoo!
  • Magic Words: Interactive Fiction in the 21st Century

Games

Gay Marriage

  • I am not gay but this issue is really burning me up.
  • Libertarians on the Gay Marriage issue. Here is a paragraph with links borrowed right from MetaFilter.
  • Bush calls for ban on same-sex marriages: Democrats: President using amendment issue for re-election bid [2004-02-25]
    • Sigh. I've argued and blogged about this before. How do gay couples hinder hetero couples from getting married? How do gay families harm hetero families? Don't some hetero couples raise adopted children and shouldn't why should they have fewer rights than hetero families?
    • Reproduction is not an issue because there are many hetero couples who don't have kids, EG: If reproduction was the issue then it would be illegal for senior citizens to get married. Other than prohibition, which was repealed, the Amendments have increased rights, not decreased them.
    • The only argument I see against gay marriages is where would the line be drawn? EG: What about 2 sisters who are very close but are not lesbian and they are raising kids. They are in essence parents and partners but they don't want to have sex, get married, or have a civil union; And yet they might want the same rights and advantages of other couples.
    • Bush will lose out on this issue. The people who are against gay marriage will not use this issue when they vote. The people who are pro-gay marriage will use this issue when they vote.
  • Push To Stop Gay Marriage Hurting Economic Growth
    • 'But, America is no long attracting creative workers from abroad because it is seen as an intolerant society. He cites the lack of recognition of same-sex couples and the battle over gay marriage, and policies restricting stem cell research and the tightening of visa requirements as reasons the world's brightest are no longer seeking to come to the US to work.'
    • If I were a bright European, and I could live well and freely in Europe, then I would have no desire to move to the US.
  • Gay-tolerant societies prosper economically
    • 'Research I conducted with Gary Gates, an Urban Institute demographer, shows that the big new-ideas and cutting-edge industries that lead to sustained prosperity are more likely to exist where gay people feel welcome. Most centers of tech-based business growth also have the highest concentrations of gay couples. Conversely, major areas with relatively few gay couples tend to be slow- or no-growth places. Pittsburgh and Buffalo, which have low percentages of gay couples, were two of only three major regions to lose population from 1990 to 2000. Innovation and overall regional economic vitality also are closely associated with the presence of gays and other indicators of tolerance and diversity, such as the percentage of immigrants and the level of racial and ethnic integration.'
    • 'Tolerance factors into global competition, too. In his respected World Values Survey, Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan finds a powerful connection between tolerance, especially toward gays, and economic growth and democracy. Countries where large majorities frown upon gays -- including Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran and China -- tend to be more economically backward and ruled by authoritarian regimes. In advanced democracies such as Britain, Germany and Canada, only a quarter or less of the people reject gays (the U.S. figure is 32%). Diversity and tolerance make smart business sense. Even the Big Three automakers know this. They're among the thousands of firms offering same-sex partner benefits. May I suggest that what's good for General Motors is good for America?'
  • 'Homosexual "Marriage" and Civilization' by Orson Scott Card. Tathetic homophobe.
  • 12 Reasons Same-Sex Marriage will Ruin Society. Very good. For you homophobes: It's called sarcasm.
  • The Anti-Miscegenation Amendment
    • 'I discovered an interesting fact in reading yesterday's Washington Post (reg. req.) letters to the editor section (Letters to the Editor: Expanding the Definition of Marriage). In December of 1912, an amendment to the Constitution was introduced to abolish racial intermarriage: "Intermarriage between negros or persons of color and Caucasians . . . within the United States . . . is forever prohibited." '
    • "Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant. It is subversive to social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately this slavery to black beasts will bring this nation to a fatal conflict" (Gilmore, 1975, p.108)."
    • Yes the historical similarities are obvious and, for me, frightening. People were blind to their racism then; People are blind to their homophobism now.
  • God Hates Shrimp. 'Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver's and Red Lobster. Yea, even Popeye's shall be cleansed. The name of Bubba shall be anathema.'

Green

Haiti

  • What a fucked up country. It seems that between Aristide and the rebel, Aristide is the lesser of the 2 evils. The US and the CIA is just as mixed up in this mess as we were in Iraq and Saddam Hussein.
  • Haiti's Lawyer: US Is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries, Calls For UN Peacekeepers
    • ' "I don't think that there's any question about the fact that the weapons that they have did not come from Haiti," says Kurzban. "They're organized as a military commando strike force that's going from city to city." Kurzban says that among the weapons being used by the paramilitaries are: M-16's, M-60's, armor piercing weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. "They have weapons to shoot down the one helicopter that the government has," he said. "They have acted as a pretty tight-knit commando unit." '
    • 'The leader of the "opposition" is an American citizen named Andy Apaid. He was born in New York. Haitian law does not allow dual-nationality and he has not renounced his US citizenship. In a recent statement, Congressmember Maxine Waters blasted Apaid and his opposition front, saying she believes "Apaid is attempting to instigate a bloodbath in Haiti and then blame the government for the resulting disaster in the belief that the United States will aid the so-called protestors against President Aristide and his government." '
  • In Haiti, shift from disjointed rebellion to wider uprising
    • 'The Front's "Commander in Chief" is the smiling, baby-faced Philippe. Once a soldier, he later joined Haiti's new police force, but Aristide soon accused him of drug-dealing and coup-plotting. Claiming innocence, he fled to the Dominican Republic. Louis Jodel Chamblain, the "Commandante," is leading the Front's military operations. Also a former soldier, Chamblain is more infamous for the year he spent at the head of the Front for Hai-tian Advancement and Progress (FRAPH), a brutal paramilitary group accused by the Haitian justice system, as well many local and international rights groups, of the murders of hundreds.'
  • Background, Emmanuel Constant
    • 'Despite these atrocities, Mr. Constant has received the continued support and protection of the U.S. Government. Government sources have confirmed Constant's claim that the CIA encouraged him to form FRAPH, and provided him with financial and strategic assistance. U.S. soldiers arriving in Haiti to oust the de facto dictatorship were told that FRAPH was a legitimate political party that needed to be respected and protected. In the intervention's first days the U.S. Embassy arranged a press conference outside the Presidential Palace for Constant to announce his transition to politics. The conference was cut short, because even a cordon of U.S. soldiers could not protect Constant from the enraged crowd'
  • Disillusioned U.S. turns back on Aristide
    • 'The United States initially committed billions of dollars to help build democracy in Haiti. In a test of the country's democracy, Aristide handed power in 1996 to a political ally, Rene Preval, the country's first transition between democratically elected presidents. But U.S. interest in Haiti waned. Troops were withdrawn and aid was cut. Political violence increased in Haiti. Gangs of Aristide supporters attacked opponents, allegations of corruption grew and drug trafficking flourished. Little was done to lift the country from poverty.'
  • Background on Haiti: Some Questions and Answers
    • 'What happened in the 2000 elections? ... Who is in the opposition? ... How did Aristide become president and what has he done? ... Who are the police and who are the "thugs"? ... Where is the United States government in all of this?'

Money

  • My friend Steve was asking "What comes after the service economy?". Here's how I answered:
    Type 0. Mastering dead plants (wood, coal, oil).
       -Wave 0. Nomadic. Emphasis on:  Survival Skills.
       -Wave 1. Agrarian. Emphasis on: Land Assets, National Violence.
       -Wave 2. Manufacturing/Industrial. Emphasis on: Capital, Wealth
    Assets, International Violence
       -Wave 3. Information/Service. Emphasis on: Information, Learning
    Assets, Middle-Men Skimming Services, Newly Needed Services,
    International Class/Religious Violence (terrorism)
     
    Type I. Mastering terrestrial resources.
       -Wave 4. Oil vanishing. HubbertPeak.com 
           -Tech emphasis on: Renewable Resources, Salvaging Eco Systems,
    Computing/Network, AI, Global Goods (Look at your grocery store: goods
    from every corner of the world), Distributed Labor and Wealth, Natural
    and Man-Made Bio Hazards.
           -Social emphasis on: While labor, wealth, resources, and
    knowledge are widespread, they are poorly distributed. Social
    structures must become global and massively middle-class to ensure
    smooth progress and survival. A non-national, non-religious,
    spiritually and psychologically satisfying system of ethics is forming.
       -Wave 5. We've survived the energy famine, the eco extremities, the
    social warfare, the bio hazards, etc. Emphasis on: Ubiquitous Renewable
    Resources, Flourishing Eco Systems, Ubiquitous SuperComputing/Network,
    Genuine AI, Ubiquitous Global Goods, Bio/BioMolecular, Nano/Micro,
    Quantum/Atom. By now a good global government and ethical system is in
    place.
    
    Type II. Mastering solar resources. Dyson sphere built around sun.
    
    Type III. Mastering extra-solar resources.
    
    Type IV. Master extra-galaxial resources.
    
    Another option is that humans max at Type I or II. Then we'll have an
    extreme focus on recycling, static non-growing populations with a lot
    of internal growth. Otherwise we'll just consume everything, live in
    our own shit, and righteously kill each other to extinction just like
    they did on Easter Island or we've been doing all along.
    
    In the long run there is no ownership, no land, no intellectual or
    cultural property. There are only shared resources, shared history, and
    social structures --just personal property, personal history and
    personal relationships and experiences.
    
    -George
  • In the New Economics: Fast-Food Factories?
    • ' "Sometimes, seemingly subtle differences can determine whether an industry is classified as manufacturing. For example, mixing water and concentrate to produce soft drinks is classified as manufacturing. However, if that activity is performed at a snack bar, it is considered a service." '
  • Teachers of the Future. Paper on the economic waves mentioned above.
  • The World's Richest People by Forbes. Hey! I'm not on the list!

Philosophy

  • Yami
  • Politics

    • PapersPlease.org.
      • 'On the 22nd of March 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Dudley and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show "the papers" whenever a cop demands them.'
      • I never thought about this. I always just show my ID. Do cops really have the right to see our papers, pop open our trunks, frisk us, etc. if we've done nothing wrong, esp. if there is no assault (threat) or battery (touch or strike)? What constitutes obstructing or delaying a peace officer.
    • Short claims UK spied on Annan
      • 'Ms Short was asked whether she believed that British spies had been instructed to carry out operations within the UN on personnel such as Mr Annan. "Yes, absolutely," she replied. She was asked whether she had known about such operations while in government. "Absolutely - I read some of the transcripts of the accounts of his conversations," she said.'
      • Of course spies having been running around forever and these sort of things have been suspected for months. However when Bush and Blair try to run things from high moral ground, they just don't have any credibility.
    • Censorship the eXile Way
      • 'There are basically two kinds of censorship, but most people only notice the harmless kind that involves trying to hide naughty words or pictures once they're already out there in plain sight. ... The other sort of censorship is harder to spot and much more cruel. It's a matter of which stories get told or noticed in the first place, rather than fussing about the language in which they get told. Put it this way: how many things happened yesterday? and how many of those things made the nightly news?'
      • A little far on some points but interesting anyway.

    Presidential Elections

    Science

    • Decline Seen in Science Applications From Overseas
      • 'Bucking a trend that dates to the end of World War II, the number of foreign students applying to graduate and doctoral programs in science at American universities is declining broadly, according to a survey of 130 such programs released here today. '
    • Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts
      • 'The Bush administration has deliberately and systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry at home and abroad, a group of about 60 influential scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, said in a statement issued today. The sweeping charges were later discussed in a conference call with some of the scientists that was organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent organization that focuses on technical issues and has often taken stands at odds with administration policy. The organization also issued a 37-page report today that it said detailed the accusations.'
      • ' "Other administrations have, on occasion, engaged in such practices, but not so systematically nor on so wide a front," the statement from the scientists said, adding that they believed the administration had "misrepresented scientific knowledge and misled the public about the implications of its policies." '
    • Bush Ejects Two From Bioethics Council: Changes Renew Criticism That the President Puts Politics Ahead of Science
      • 'President Bush yesterday dismissed two members of his handpicked Council on Bioethics -- a scientist and a moral philosopher who had been among the more outspoken advocates for research on human embryo cells. In their places he appointed three new members, including a doctor who has called for more religion in public life, a political scientist who has spoken out precisely against the research that the dismissed members supported, and another who has written about the immorality of abortion and the "threats of biotechnology." '
      • What will it take to convince people that Bush is a bad man?
      • I'm disgusted that Bush has invaded my section on science.

    Sex

    • TijuanaBibles.org [comic art: NSFW] . 'Tijuana Bibles were pornographic tracts popular in America before the advent of mass-market full-color glossy wank-fodder such as Playboy. A typical bible consisted of eight stapled comic-strip frames portraying characters and celebrities (eg. John Dillinger, Popeye, Disney characters) in wildly sodomistic situations.'
    • Oral sex linked to mouth cancer. Say it ain't so! Actually its just oral sex that involves the STD of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). On the other hand, 'Women who perform the act of fellatio on a regular basis, one to two times a week, may reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 40 percent, a recent study found'.
    • Stag World.
      • 'It's that pathetic. These aren't nudie mags in the usual sense -- probably because there's usually no nudity. Just capering cuties in grainy black-and-white making the clichéd "you've caught me in my nightie!" face. The stories are bombastic but empty, always exposing something or other -- sin, vice, sinful vice.'
      • Geez it's so lame I'm not even putting a "NSFW" warning on it.
    • Stern Blames Suspension on Janet Jackson's Breast. The Stern suspension, the government reaction to Janet Jackson's boob, the pornography restrictions, the anti-gay marriage amendment, the profanity pressure, etc. are all part of the current puritanical movement in the government. It's absurd. These are all things between consenting adults. We should be much more concerned about non-consensual stuff like child pornography, rape, corporate scandals, environmental depletion, etc.

    Tech

    • MPEG-7 Overview
      • ISO is set to release MPEG-7 this spring.
      • 'MPEG-7, formally named "Multimedia Content Description Interface", is a standard for describing the multimedia content data that supports some degree of interpretation of the information's meaning, which can be passed onto, or accessed by, a device or a computer code. MPEG-7 is not aimed at any one application in particular; rather, the elements that MPEG-7 standardizes support as broad a range of applications as possible.'

    Tech Crossroad

    • I'm at a crossroads: What technologies should I invest my time in?
    • The crossroads is self-imposed because I don't currently need new technologies: what's on hand will do just fine. My next few project are easily handled by technologies I'm fluent in: Windows, IIS, SQL Server, OLAP via Analysis Services, ASP, JavaScript, VB 6, W3C DOM, XML, XSL, HTML, CSS, and RSS.
    • However it seems that I will inevitably have to use other technologies. Thus I need to take the initiative to preemptively learn and utilize these technologies.
      • .NET
        • MS has been pushing .NET heavily but there are still only 1 million .NET developers versus 6 million VB 6 developers: What's the hold up? On the other hand it seems that MS is invested in .NET and will not go backwards on it.
        • I'm not impressed by .NET's ML1P (Many Languages, 1 Platform) concept because really C# is the only one that counts. All of the .NET languages are for the CLR and the CLR is built for C#, just as the JVM is built for Java. So .NET is really 1L1P.
        • I'm perfectly comfortable with ADO, ADO MD, and ASP. I'm not convinced about the advantages of ADO .NET and ASP .NET.
        • The Visual Studio .NET IDE is pretty sweet. There are a lot of little features in it that just make so much sense. But when it comes down to it, most of my programming is done via some sort of text editor.
        • .NET will be in step with the upcoming 2004 "Yukon" SQL Server and 2005 "Longhorn" Window. So do I start getting into .NET now? Or wait for .NET "Whidbey" and "Orcas" to come out?
        • The .NET Framework has an impressive set of built-in classes. This is probably the strongest argument for .NET.
      • Sun
        • Java's WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere) and 1LMP concepts work swimmingly.
        • It's hard to beat a free language.
        • Can it do what I need it to do in an MS environment? Does it have classes for MS? Is the Java Access Bridge sufficient?
      • Open Source
        • I totally love the Open Source concept.  However I do work in a Microsoft shop! Will that ever change?
        • Who can resist something like the Gecko browsing engine that can be used for nearly any application, operating system, or device?
          • Gecko.org. Browsing engine.
          • Mozilla.org. Browser that comes with mail client, news client, and IRC client.
          • 101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot. The simple fact that a competitive browser like Mozilla can be installed and uninstalled like any other app clearly shows that MS was so full of shit when they said that IE is integrated and inseparable from the operating system.
        • The idea of working in a LAMP environment (Linux, Apaches, MySQL, and PHP/Python/PERL) is so cheap, tidy, and cool.
      • c, c++.
        • I don't directly program hardware and hardware interfaces like watches, drivers, Mars Rovers, etc. Nor do I write operating systems. So do I really need to program at such low levels?
        • I do however program apps that do typical things like access databases across a LAN or the Internet. Are .NET and Java more RAD capable?
      • The .NET v J2EE v ONE argument is not an issue for me for several reason.
        • While Internet distributed components is a powerful idea, Web Services, SOAP, etc. seems somewhat stalled.
        • Those are technologies for large enterprises, and I prefer to work for small to medium sized companies. I prefer to work on small but really cool projects, but is it inevitable that I'll have to work on some large system with a large team of developers? It seems that you put the same effort in both kinds of projects, but if you work for a big boy, you're just a cog in the wheel. Do I really prefer to be a big fish in a small pond over being a small fish in a big pond? Or is that all moot because now matter how large your employer is, when it comes down to it you really work with a small group of people?
      • OLAP
      • zMisc
        • I know that everybody uses Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, etc., but Deneba Canvas is more than powerful enough for my needs. I can replicate most of the things you see in Photoshop contests via Canvas.
        • I don't do much animation but watching the SVG v Flash v VML stuff is pretty fun.
        • RSS: I don't give a rat's ass. My blog is mostly for myself so I'm fine using RSS 2.0.
    • Related links:

    Terrorism

    The Passion of the Christ

    • Nailed
      • 'Gibson is so thoroughly fixated on the scourging and crushing of Christ, and so meagrely involved in the spiritual meanings of the final hours, that he falls in danger of altering Jesus' message of love into one of hate.'
      • 'At that point, I said to myself, "Mel Gibson has lost it," and I was reminded of what other writers have pointed out--that Gibson, as an actor, has been beaten, mashed, and disembowelled in many of his movies. His obsession with pain, disguised by religious feelings, has now reached a frightening apotheosis.'
      • 'The despair of the movie is hard to shrug off, and Gibson's timing couldn't be more unfortunate: another dose of death-haunted religious fanaticism is the last thing we need.'
    • The Passion of Mad Max Beyond Braveheart
      • 'It's a revenge melodrama -- without the satisfying catharsis of revenge.'
    • Review of The Passion by Roger Ebert. 4 stars.
    • Andrew Sullivan on The Passion
      • 'In a word, it is pornography. By pornography, I mean the reduction of all human thought and feeling and personhood to mere flesh. The center-piece of the movie is an absolutely disgusting and despicable piece of sadism that has no real basis in any of the Gospels. '
      • 'There is nothing in the Gospels that indicates this level of extreme, endless savagery and there is no theological reason for it. It doesn't even evoke emotion in the audience. It is designed to prompt the crudest human pity and emotional blackmail - which it obviously does. But then it seems to me designed to evoke a sick kind of fascination. Of over two hours, about half the movie is simple wordless sadism on a level and with a relentlessness that I have never witnessed in a movie before. And you have to ask yourself: why? The suffering of Christ is bad and gruesome enough without exaggerating it to this insane degree. Theologically, the point is not that Jesus suffered more than any human being ever has on a physical level. It is that his suffering was profound and voluntary and the culmination of a life and a teaching that Gibson essentially omits.'
    • MEL GIBSON'S LETHAL WEAPON: The Worship of Blood
    • Schlock, Yes; Awe, No; Fascism, Probably: The flogging Mel Gibson demands.

    WarCraft

    • Only WC3 players might get this, but here's a hilarious story by Vyres (Gateway: Lordaeron, Clan: KR3W) from the WarCraft TFT General Forum.
      • 1. Ok Here's the Deal with the PALADIN!!! | 2/17/2004 12:23:37 AM CST

        OK THIS IS HOW IT IS WITH THE PALADIN.

        ONE PEACEFUL AFTERNOON I DECIDED TO STOP LOOKING AT PORN AND PLAY SOME WC3:TFT. I PICKED UNDEAD AS MY RACE OF CHOICE. I DUNNO WHAT IT IS, BUT THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT BONEY SKINNY OLD MEN THAT JUST... ERMMM, IGNORE THAT PART! ANYWAYS, I GO THE USUAL DK FIRST, BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW HE'S SUPER GREAT. HE'S NOT OVERPOWERED OR ANYTHING, IT'S JUST THAT HIS HORSE IS SUPER COOL AND HIS SWORD LOOKS LIKE A GIANT POPSICLE.

        WELL, I STARTED A SOLO GAME AND GOT MATCHED UP VS SOME HUMAN PLAYER. SINCE ALL HUMAN PLAYERS SAY THAT THEIR RACE IS THE WEAKEST, I FIGURED I'D OWN THIS GUY WHILE WATCHING SOME GOOD OL' OPRAH. WHILE I'M CREEPING WITH MY 2 HEROES AND A CRAP LOAD OF GHOULS, ALL OF A SUDDEN THE PALADIN AND HIS ASS BUDDY THE MK COME AND DO SOME REALLY BAD STUFF TO MY LICH. THE MK THROWS THIS SHINY HAMMER AND IT HITS MY POOR LICH IN THE HEAD. MY LICH IS JUST LIKE "WTF? YOU STUPID JERK!" THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN HE GETS SURROUNDED BY A BILLION MINIATURE MEN, AND THEY HOLD HIM DOWN WHILE THE PALADIN KEEPS SHINING A FLASHLIGHT IN HIS EYES.

        WTF STUPID PALADIN JERK. DON'T YOU KNOW THAT MY LICH'S EYES ARE SENSITIVE TO LIGHT? WHAT A BASTARD! ANYWAYS, MY LICH STARTS TO CRY AND SAYS HE DOESN'T WANNA PLAY ANYMORE. SO WTF? I GOTTA PAY HIM MORE GOLD TO GET HIM BACK. WHAT A MONEY GRUBBING LOSER. ANYWAYS, NEXT THE PALADIN REMOVES HIS PANTS AND PROCEEDS TO DO THE SAME THING TO MY DK WITH HIS LITTLE MIDGET BUDDY MK. LIKE OMFG WTF? NOW I GOTTA PAY MY DK SOME MORE GOLD TO COME BACK. WTF IS THIS CRAP? IT'S NOT FAIR! IMBALANCE!!! NERF THE PALADIN!!!!!!!!!!

        I WILL CONTINUE THE PALADIN/MK GANG BANG STORY IN A FEW HOURS. I HAVE TO GO TO MY BORING CALCULUS CLASS NOW! BOOOOOOOO!!!!
      • Re: Ok Here's the Deal with the PALADIN!!! | 2/17/2004 2:52:33 PM CST

        OK I AM BACK FROM MY REALLY BORING CALCULUS CLASS SO I SHALL CONTINUE THE STORY, BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO BE VERY LONG BECAUSE I HAVE A STUPID PROGRAMMING CLASS SOON. HOW LAME IS THAT? THEY MAKE YOU TAKE A REALLY BORING COURSE, AND GIVE YOU THIS SUPER HUGE GAP IN BETWEEN SO YOU'RE LIKE "OMFG FREEDOM!" BUT IT'S ALL A PLOY JUST TO ROPE YOU IN FOR ANOTHER 3 HOUR LONG LECTURE. IT MUST BE SOME SORT OF GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY. OR MAYBE A BUSHERMENT CONSPIRACY, STUPID BUSH.

        WELL WITH MY COOL LICH AND POPSICLE WIELDING DK DEAD, VYRES HAS BECOME A VERY SAD MAN. I KNOW THAT MY GHOULS CAN'T HOLD OUT AGAINST THE OVERPOWERED PALADIN AND HIS BED BUDDY THE MK, SO I DECIDE TO COUGH UP SOME EXTRA CASH TO REVIVE MY GREEDY HEROES. I RUN MY GHOULS BACK TO MY BASE AND HIDE THEM BEHIND THIS REALLY BIG THING THAT LOOKS LIKE A PILE OF CRAP. I THINK IT'S CALLED A NECROCRAPILIS OR SOMETHING. DAMNED IF I KNOW. WELL THE PALADIN DECIDES TO BECOME A HERO AND ATTACK ME WITH HIS BILLION MINIATURE MEN AND LOVER (STUPID MK). FORTUNATELY, BEFORE HE DECIDED TO ATTACK I TOOK THE ADVICE OF ONE OF THE GREATEST UD PLAYERS EVER. BEI SAID, AND I QUOTE!!!! "GHOOS CHOP DA WOOD" SO I WAS KINDA LIKE OMFG CHOP DA WOOD GHOOS! SOMEHOW CHOPPING THE WOOD TURNED THEM INTO SOME SORT OF SUPER GHOULS AND THEY FOUGHT BACK THE ATTACK.

        MY NECROCRAPILIS HELPED OUT TOO, WITH IT'S MIGHTY -2 DAMAGE AND FUNKY COLD EFFECT. UNFORTUNATELY IT DIDN'T MANAGE TO KILL ANYTHING. I DON'T THINK BLIZZARD LIKES UNDEAD KILLING STUFF. THEY'RE PROBABLY ALL LIKE "OMFG UNDEAD HAVE TOO MUCH DEAD STUFF ANYWAYS SO THEY SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO KILL CRAP BUT THE PALADIN HAS NO DEAD STUFF SO WE SHOULD MAKE HIM OVERPOWERED SO HE KILLS THE DEAD STUFF AGAIN AND GETS A DEAD KILL X2 OMG ROXOR!" WELL ANYWAYS AFTER THAT ATTACK ALL SEEMED GOOD SO I WAS HAPPY.

        I WAITED A BIT FOR MY EVER SO COOL DK AND SUPER BUFF LICH TO REAPPEAR. MAN THEY SURE AS HELL TAKE THEIR SWEET FREAKING TIME. WELL AS SOON AS THEY CAME OUT ALL SEEMED WELL. ALL MY UNDEAD CRAP WAS HAPPY, AND THE GHOULS WERE CHOPPING THE WOOD. SO I FIGURE ALL IS WELL AND I CAN CONTINUE MY CREEPING THAT THE STUPID PALADIN AND HIS BUDDY THE MK DETOURED ME FROM. WELL I RUN OUT WITH MY HEROES AND GHOULS AND SOMETHING REALLY SCARY APPEARS OUT OF NO WHERE. OMG BEHIND THE FOREST OUT JUMPS A NAKED MAN PALADIN ATTACK! OMG NOT ONLY DOES THIS GUY ABUSE THE OVERPOWERED PALADIN, BUT HE ALSO HAS THE NERVE TO BE A FAGGIT WHILE HE'S AT IT.

        HE STARTS USING HIS STUPID FLASHLIGHT ON MY LICH AGAIN, WHICH REALLY STARTS TO MAKE ME MAD. IF HE KEEPS THIS UP I'LL HAVE TO PAY MY GREEDY LICH SOME MORE GOLD. LIKE SERIOUSLY WTF? SO I CLEVERLY SELECT MY MIGHTY DK, AND I PICK HIS SUPER GREEN POPSICLE ATTACK. TAKE THIS YOU STUPID PALADIN!!! AHAHAHAHAHA. BUT TO MY DISMAY I REALIZED THAT THE PALADIN IS SOME SORT OF GAY STRENGTH HERO, WHICH MEANS HE DOESN'T GO DOWN SO EASILY. MY LICH DECIDES TO GET REVENGE AND ATTACKS HIM WITH HIS COLD BAD BREATH ATTACK. GG THNX NO RE PALADIN YOU'RE ALMOST DEAD! MY GHOULS GET READY TO BEAT HIS PALADIN @$$ INTO THE GROUND BUT WTF IS THIS? OMFG SOME SORT OF STUPID YELLOW BUBBLE HAS APPEARED! REALIZING I CAN'T HURT THE STUPID LAME IDIOT ANYMORE I START TO PANIC, BECAUSE HE STARTS USING HIS STUPID FLASHLIGHT ON MY LICH AGAIN. F*CK YOU STUPID FAGGIT BUBBLE MAN!!!!!!!!!

        OK THAT'S ALL I HAVE TIME FOR NOW. IN THE NEXT EPISODE, WHO WILL REIGN SUPREME OVER THE ABUSE OF THE LICH? MY SUPER GREEN POPSICLE ATTACK THAT MOVES A 1 MILE PER HOUR OR HIS GAY FLASHLIGHT ATTACK WITH A 1 SECOND COOL DOWN. TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO FIND OUT!
      • Re: Ok Here's the Deal with the PALADIN!!! | 2/18/2004 11:25:01 AM CST

        I WILL BE CONTINUING THE STORY SHORTLY SO DON'T YOU WORRY. STUPID CLEANING LADY GAME IN AND MADE A MESS OF MY DORM. I FREAKING HATE STUPID CLEANING LADY. DUMB WOMAN YOU DON'T CLEAN MY FLOOR WITH CAT LITTER WTF?!?!!
      • Re: Ok Here's the Deal with the PALADIN!!! | 2/18/2004 2:10:41 PM CST

        OK I'M BACK FROM MY OTHER STUPID CLASS AFTER CLEANING UP THE STUPID CLEANING LADY'S MESS. THEY SHOULD CHANGE HER NAME TO "DIRTY NASTY #@%$!" INSTEAD OF CLEANING LADY BECAUSE SHE'S NOT VERY GOOD AT CLEANING.

        ALRIGHT NOW AS i WAS SAYING, THE STUPID FAGGIT BUBBLE MAN WAS USING HIS LAME FLASHLIGHT ATTACK AGAINST MY LICH. MY LICH STARTS TO RUN AWAY LIKE A LITTLE SISSY BUT FOR SOME STRANGE REASON THE PALADIN WAS SUPER FAST. I WAS LIKE "WTF MY SLOW LICH CAN'T OUT RUN THIS FAT PALADIN WITH A GIANT BUBBLE?" WELL I CHECKED OUT THE STUPID BUBBLE MAN PALADIN AND REALIZED THAT HE HAD THESE ARMY BOOTS IN THERE. THEY MUST GIVE HIM SUPER POWERS OR SOMETHING, CUZ HE WAS ALL LIKE THE FLASH OR SOMETHING. KINDA LIKE "LOOK AT ME, I AM THE FLASH, YOU CAN'T OUT RUN ME YOU STUPID LEGLESS LICH. YOUR FLOATING POWERS ARE NO MATCH FOR MY 2 LEGS AND A PAIR OF ARMY BOOTS!!"

        WELL CONSIDERING I COULDN'T KILL THE 2 HP PALADIN, I FIGURED I'D USE MY SUPER GREEN POPSICLE ATTACK ON MY LICH TO GIVE HIM MORE LIFE. I LAUNCH THE STUPID GREEN THING, BUT FOR SOME REASON IT COULDN'T CATCH UP WITH MY LICH. IT WAS MOVING AT 1 MPH. WTF IS THAT KIND OF CRAP? THE PALADIN USED HIS LAME FLASHLIGHT ATTACK AND KILLED MY LICH INSTANTLY. THE STUPID GREEN THING HITS THEN PUFFS AND DISAPPEARS. AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE? OMFG!!! I LOSE 75 MANA!! STUPID POPSICLE DK YOU SUCK! AT THAT MOMENT I BECAME VERY SAD, BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN THE STUPID BUBBLE POPPED!! OMG PALADIN YOUR @$$ IS MINE!!!!! SO I LAUNCH ANOTHER GREEN POPSICLE ATTACK BUT WTF? HE MUSTA SEEN IT AND USED HIS SCROLL OF JACK@$$. THIS STUPID BLUE THING APPEARS OVER HIS HEAD AND HE DISAPPEARS!!!

        AT THIS POINT I WAS REALLY MAD. MY STUPID LICH WANTED MORE GOLD TO COME BACK TO LIFE AND THE STUPID BUBBLE MAN WITH SUPER SPEEDY POWERS ESCAPED WITH HIS SUPER SCROLL. MAN IS THERE ANYTHING THIS JERK CAN'T DO?!?! HELL FOR ALL I KNOW HE COULD START FLYING AROUND WITH HIS STUPID CAPE LIKE SUPER MAN WITH HIS SPEEDY BOOTS. HE'D BE LIKE THE SUPERMAN FLASH OR SOMETHING GAY LIKE THAT. WELL I DIDN'T CARE ANYMORE!!! I HAD IT!!!!!!!! I WAS ANGRY!!! YOU DON'T KILL MY HAPPY LICH WITH NO LEGS AND EXPECT TO GET AWAY WITH IT YOU STUPID JERK! SO I DECIDED TO ATTACK HIM WITH MY ARMY OF WOOD CHOPPING GHOULS AND BIG FAT THINGS THAT KINDA LOOK LIKE MY GRANDMA. THIS HUMAN PLAYER'S GOING DOWN!!!!!

        OK THAT'S ALL I HAVE TIME FOR NOW. IN THE NEXT EPISODE, YOU WILL FIND OUT WHO IS THE VICTOR. THE ENRAGED POPSICLE MAN AND HIS ARMY OF NASTY GRANDMA'S OR THE FLASH BUBBLE MAN PALADIN!

        I WILL CONTINUE THE STORY TOMORROW. I'M SLEEPY AND KINDA DRUNK RIGHT NOW SO I THINK IT'S TIME FOR BED!
      • Re: Ok Here's the Deal with the PALADIN!!! | 2/19/2004 3:29:04 PM CST

        OK I JUST WANT TO CLEAR SOMETHING UP BEFORE I BEGIN AGAIN. THIS STORY IS NOT MEANT TO BE FUNNY!!! IT'S NOT FUNNY!!!!! NO FUNNY!!!!!!!! OK?!?! IT MAKES ME REALLY REALLY SAD. EVERY TIME I THINK ABOUT THIS STUFF I WANT TO PUNCH SOMETHING BUT I REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I PUNCHED THE WALL AND I BROKE MY HAND SOME I DON'T WANNA DO THAT AGAIN BECAUSE I HAVE TO DO NAUGHTY STUFF WITH MY OTHER HAND AND THAT MAKES ME FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE.

        OK SO WHERE WAS I? OH YA, THE STUPID BUBBLE MAN FAGGIT PALADIN KILLED MY HAPPY MAN LICH. STUPID JERK!!! WELL AT THIS POINT I WAS REALLY MAD. INFACT I WAS FURIOUS! I WAS SO MAD I WAS LIKE "OH I'M SO MAD I'M GOING TO DO SOME BAD STUFF, SO BAD THAT I CAN'T EVEN THINK OF THE BAD STUFF I'M GOING TO DO TO THIS STUPID JERK!" FINALLY I COOLED DOWN AND DECIDED THAT ATTACKING WITH OUT MY LICH WAS A VERY STUPID IDEA. SO WHILE I WAITED FOR THE GREEDY BASTARD LICH TO COME BACK I WENT TO SOMETHING THAT KINDA LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THOSE ARABIC HUT THINGS. IT'S LIKE A TEEPEE OR SOME CRAP, SOME SORT OF TENT. WELL ANYWAYS, I BOUGHT A REALLY FAT BASEBALL PLAYER AND SOME GREEN DUDES WITH CHOPCHOP BOARDS. I WAS THINKING ABOUT GETTING THE TINY HORSE CRAP GUY WHO CASTS SOME SORT OF SPELL BUT HE LOOKED KINDA STUPID SO I DECIDED NOT TO.

        WELL BY THIS TIME MY LICH WAS FINISHED COMING OUT OF THE BUILDING WITH FIRE AND SOME BIG BALD DUDE ON IT. I HAD A WHOLE BUNCH OF GOLD SO I FIGURED I MIGHT AS WELL BOOST MY FORCES A LITTLE. AT THAT POINT I CLICKED BACK ON THE BUILDING AND START THE PRODUCTION OF A VERY SCARY MAN!!!!!!!! OH HE'S SOOO SCARY. HE'S THE VERY SCARY MAN WHO DOES VERY SCARY THINGS. YOU KNOW WHO I'M TALKING ABOUT! AFTER I STARTED BUILDING HIM I WENT TO SOME GOBLIN PLACE TO BUY A POTION OF BUBBLE FAGGITNESS FOR MY LICH. TWO CAN PLAY THE BUBBLE MAN GAME YOU STUPID PALADIN!!! AHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!! BUT WHAT'S THIS?!?!?! WHEN I GET TO THE GOBLIN SHOP I'M ATTACKED BY A HORDE OF ANGRY HOMOSEXUALS. REALIZING THAT HOMOSEXUALS AREN'T THAT TOUGH I KILLED THEM QUITE EASILY AND GOT A FREE ITEM! I FELT KINDA WEIRD CUZ IT WAS LIKE I WAS STEALING FROM ANGRY HOMOSEXUALS BUT I DIDN'T CARE BECAUSE THEY ATTACKED ME FIRST! SO I GOT MY OWN SPECIAL PAIR OF ARMY BOOTS THAT I WAS GOING TO SAVE FOR MY VERY SCARY MAN.

        ALL OF A SUDDEN MY SCARY MAN APPEARS OUT OF MY OLD FIREY MAN BUILDING. AT THAT POINT I WAS ABLE BUY A BUBBLE MAN POTION FOR MY HAPPY LICH. THINGS WERE LOOKING SO SUPER RIGHT NOW, THAT STUPID PALADIN JERK BUBBLE FAGGIT WAS GOING DOWN!!! WELL I MARCHED RIGHT OVER TO THAT GUY'S LITTLE TOWN AND I WAS GOING TO TEACH THAT BAD MAN PALADIN A THING OR TWO ABOUT MAKING MY LICH CRY! BTW WTF? AS SOON AS I GOT THERE TO FIND THE STUPID GUY A WHOLE BUNCH OF SCRAWNY AXE WIELDING VILLAGE MEN START CHARGING AT ME!! WTF YOU STUPID FARMER LOSERS?!?! I ONLY WANTS TO KILL THE PALADIN WHO DID REALLY BAD STUFFS TO MY LICH!!!!!!!!! THEY MADE ME SO ANGRY I DECIDED TO KILL THEM ALL BECAUSE THEY WERE STUPID JERKS LIKE THAT BUBBLE MAN PALADIN.

        BUT OH NO! SNEAK ATTACK FROM BEHIND! WHAT SHOULD I HAVE EXPECTED FROM A STUPID FAGGIT PALADIN MAN? HE ALWAYS SEEMS TO LIKE COMING FROM BEHIND. IT SEEMS THIS TIME THAT THE PALADIN HAD ACCUMULATED SOME FRIENDS WHILE I WAS GETTING MY LICH BACK. HOW THE HELL COULD A STUPID JERK LIKE THAT HAVE FRIENDS ANYWAYS?!?! I DON'T UNDERSTAND ANY OF THIS! IT MUST BE SOME SORT OF PALADIN IMBALANCE. WELL A WHOLE BUNCH OF THESE FAT SANTA CLAUS DUDES CAME CHARGING AT ME WITH AK47s. I WAS LIKE "WHOA DUDE YOU'RE SANTA CLAUS WHERE'S MY PRESENT?!?!" AND THE STUPID FAT DUDE WHO SEEMED TO BE FATTER THAN THE REST (ALTHOUGH I COULDN'T QUITE TELL BECAUSE THEY ALL SORTA LOOKED THE SAME) WAS LIKE "HERE'S YOUR PRESENT YOU STUPID IDIOT!!!! BAHAHAHA" AND HE STARTED BLASTING MY BUNCH OF MY STUFF THAT LOOKED LIKE SAGGY OLD GRANDMAS WITH HIS AK47!!!

        BELIEVE IT OR NOT IT GETS WORSE!! THERE WERE SOME VERY NASTY LOOKING PROSTITUES WITH THESE POINTY EARS FLINGING THEIR LEGS UP IN THE AIR AND MAKING MY GRANDMAS SUPER SLOW. OMG WTF IS THIS? SOME SORT OF PROSTITUE STD THAT MAKES IT EASIER FOR THEM TO GET MONEY FROM MY POOR FRIENDS? THIS PALADIN GUY WAS REALLY A BIG JERK! HE MUST BE A BUBBLE MAN FAGGIT PIMP OR SOMETHING. WELL DESPITE EVERYTHING THAT WAS HAPPENING AND ALL THIS STUFF THAT WAS MAKING ME REALLY SAD, MY VERY SCARY MAN WAS OFF DOING REALLY SCARY THINGS, WHICH MADE ME HAPPY. I RAN MY VERY SCARY MAN UP TO HIS STUPID PALADIN AND WAS LIKE "GO TO SLEEP YOU STUPID JERK!!" AND HE WENT TO SLEEP! BAHAHAHA VICTORY WAS MINE! MY VERY SCARY MAN WAS KICKING SOME VERY SCARY @$$!!! BUT WHAT IS THIS? ONE OF THE STUPID PROSTITUES ATTACKED THE PALADIN AND HE WOKE UP? WHO THE HELL ATTACKS THEIR OWN FRIENDS? OMG THESE GUYS MUST BE FROM HELL OR MAYBE LOS ANGELOS!

        WELL THEY ALL STARTED TO RUN AWAY FROM MY VERY SCARY MAN! MUAHAHAHA MY VERY SCARY MAN MUST HAVE SCARED THEM AWAY! BOY IS HE REALLY SCARY. BUT IT WAS ALL A TRICK! WHEN MY SCARY MAN GOT TOO CLOSE THEY SURROUNDED HIM. THE STUPID GIRLISH MK BASHED HIM WITH A HAMMER THEN THE JERK PALADIN USED THE FLASHLIGHT IN HIS EYES! MY VERY SCARY MAN DID SOMETHING VERY SCARY AND THEN DISAPPEARED.... OH MAN... THAT MAKES ME SO SAD... I... I CAN'T GO ON RIGHT NOW... I'LL HAVE TO FINISH THIS LATER...

        WHY SCARY MAN?! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!
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