August 2006 Archives

links for 2006-08-31

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Die, Puny Humans

So, apparently people are blaming the dip in SAT scores on the fact that it’s now four three-and-three-quarter hours long.

I respectfully disagree. First, if you want a long exam, try my six-hour Property exam which I could have easily spent an extra hour writing.

Second, the real reason for the dip is that this was the first go at the new test, and the test prep companies (i.e. Kaplan & Princeton Review) simply haven’t caught up to the new exam. Wait two years and scores will be right back to where they normally are.

links for 2006-08-30

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On The Value of Brevity in Email

This one’s for everyone who’s ever gotten an email from me with the body text consisting solely of “See subject. ;-)

Or, in other words, pretty much everyone who’s ever gotten an email from me.

links for 2006-08-29

links for 2006-08-27


links for 2006-08-26

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links for 2006-08-25

The Mother of Invention

Now that gels and liquids are banned from airplanes, a Nova Scotia lobster company has resorted to using frozen vegetables to keep the live lobsters they sell cold.

Don't Download This Song

Weird Al’s We Are The World-style anti-downloading anthem: Don’t Download This Song:

You don’t want to mess with the RIAA
They’ll sue you if you burn that CD-R
Doesn’t matter if you’re a grandma or a seven-year-old-girl
They’ll treat you like the evil hard-bitten criminal scum you are

It is, of course, available as a free download from Weird Al’s site.

links for 2006-08-23

Now That's Just STUPID

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So apparently the US Government has started to re-classify information that’s been in the public domain for decades.

In this specific case, they’re classifying information about the number of nuclear weapons in the US arsenal during the Cold War… and this is information that’s never been stamped secret. In fact, some of the information that they’re trying to hide were actually in public annual reports issued by the Secretary of Defense.

links for 2006-08-19

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What We Have Here Is A Failure To Understand

So, President Bush has some words to say about the NSA wiretapping decision:

Those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live.

Actually, Mr. President, it seems to me that you simply do not understand the nature of rule of law.

links for 2006-08-18

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links for 2006-08-17

Megaptera Novaeangliae

This is a wonderful article on how whales evolved to what they are today.

And really, when you think about it—animals that not only evolved to breath air and walk on land but be warm-blooded at that returning to the sea and losing their teeth in the process—it really is an amazing evolutionary story.

If I were ever to be reincarnated as an animal, I think that I’d like to come back as a humpback whale.

Lucky For You in Mountain View

Google’s municipal WiFi in Mountain View has finally gone live. Note that, at least according to this map, they’re covering virtually the entire city of Mountain View, not just the CBD or popular tourist areas (does Mountain View have a tourist area?).

Here’s a report from a beta tester.

links for 2006-08-16

Yes, I Feel Safer Now. Why Do You Ask?

Twelve-year-old boy gets on airplane, despite lacking either a passport or a ticket.

Oh, and this happened at a London airport.

UPDATE: here’s a story with more details.

Our Woman In London

Amy Langfield is, bit by bit, blogging about trying to get back to the US from London in these illiquid times.

links for 2006-08-15

links for 2006-08-14


Jon Carroll on Joementum:

Also, Lieberman comes across as one of the most oleaginous, self- satisfied politicians in the nation, and that is a very vigorous competition.

FWIW: I don’t have tags visible right now, but this post is tagged “sore loser”.

links for 2006-08-13

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links for 2006-08-11

How Can Something So Wrong Feel So Right?

Bacon + Mayonnaise = Love.

Note that this is not regular mayo with bits of bacon mixed in, as awesome as that combination would be; oh no, this is mayonnaise made with bacon fat as the lipid in emulsion.

I understand that the AMA recommends that a cardiologist be on site if you choose to make this dangerous foodstuff.

You Know Things Aren't Going Well...

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…when your NY->Boston bus, which is already at least half-an-hour behind schedule, manages to lose its transmission just outside of Framingham.

And then, the bus company, rather than sending a bus from Boston to pick you up, instead makes you wait for the bus behind you…

links for 2006-08-09

links for 2006-08-08

On Antique Scars

Heather Champ on what she learned at BlogHer and the surprising power of adolescent cruelty.

Well, I Think It's Working Now.

The server switchover seems pretty much complete—I guess there are still a few corners of the Interweb where the DNS hasn’t fully propagated to yet, but that should solve itself in a day or two.

The hardest parts of the whole switchover were

  1. setting up a mirror installation on my home computer
  2. trying to get FastCGI working in conjunction with MT on my new host (didn’t happen, so I just went back to regular old CGI).

I would, at some point in the future, get FastCGI working, so if anyone has any ideas (I’m on Dreamhost, if that makes a difference), drop me a line. Having said that, I’m pretty tired of geeky tinkering at the moment, so I may just let sleeping dogs lie.

Feel free to kick the tires, look for busted links, make sure that comments work, etc.

links for 2006-08-06

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links for 2006-08-05

The World's Worst 419 Scam

Received in email today:

Dear Friend
I need a partner for $14 million deal,
for more details please contact me immediately .
[generic name redacted]

And apparently, some random stranger on the Internet is just the partner this guy is looking for!

links for 2006-08-03

Vox Humana


I’ve recently been playing with Vox, the new blogging/social networking product from Six Apart. I have to say that I’m very impressed with it—it’s blogging for people who don’t blog. It’s very easy to post an entry, and the integrated multi-media tools are dead simple to use.

If anyone wants an invite, drop a line in the comments.

links for 2006-08-01