log (2004/08/13 to 2004/08/19)

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What do you favor?

So easy to use!
Thursday, August 19, 2004  permanent URL for this entry

So tonight I'm just going to point to a bunch of book notes that I got around to typing in:

And that's all. Really.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004  permanent URL for this entry

You realize that I'm sitting here typing this on the computer ("on the computer") when I could be virtually whooshing down beautiful mountains and doing physically impossible tricks while personified as an athletic young woman in baggy pants and a cool orange T-shirt.

So I hope you're grateful.

Of course many of you ("you") are reading this months from now, having arrived via searchs on "naked ladies" or "iris chacon". I don't care all that much if you're grateful (although really, on considering it, gratitude is a nice thing, so I hope you're grateful also). But the rest of you, my actual readers, that's who I said "I hope you're grateful" to originally.

But I was kidding.

So now I'm starting to get invites to Multiply dot Com. Who's using it? Is it interesting? Orkut was much more interesting to talk about than to actually use; is Multiply the same way?

Big Cryptography News! Various things, apparently including MD5, have been broken. Whoa! Time to put the money back under the mattress (em aye tee tee are ee ess) where it's safe.

And in the world of funny pictures:

$50000 for your Hummer H2
$300 for your custom H2 license plate
$450 to fill up your H2 with GAS @ $1.89/gal & 9 mpg
Pictures of your Hummer H2 on the internet being rescued by a 20 year old Jeep from a 12" stump in a parking lot beside a port-a-jon for all the internet to see

Lessee. We got an "open source charity", a leftist Wikipedia variant, and a great spam subject line:

Subject: no more valuable commodity than information antiaristocratic angelicas acetylaminobenzene

We got this probably well-known but worth mentioning again very useful page that lets you find your local papers and write letters to the editors. It supplies lots of pro-Dubya examples, but I wonder if they have any kind of filter for "Bush is a weenie" letters?

Very few readers were fooled the other month by our devious prompt Enter PIN code:


Look up Joanna Newsom Music

you wish

spam i am

One-question geek test

And one that we're pretty sure isn't a PIN code at all, 'cause it's 'way too long:

I'm often unsure of the spelling myself, so I looked it up. It is in fact "supersede", from sedere, "to sit" - which now makes perfect sense. To sit over what was there before. I'll never spell it wrong again. Etymology is neat.

It is indeed. (Or are we thinking of entymology? We get that spelling mixed up also.)

Ha, and look, it's only like nine (twenty-one) thirty, so I can go whooshing down pretend mountains some more for awhile. Cowabunga!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004  permanent URL for this entry

On the way between here and Plymouth, Vermont (where we were again last weekend) there's a farmhouse with a couple of barns sitting quietly by the road in a marvelous vista of valley and mountains, and there's a sign in front of it that says "Karuna Tendai Dharma Center". Every time we pass it I smile at it and wonder what it is, and then forget about it by the time I get home again.

On Sunday I managed to remember it long enough to look it up. Sounds like a pretty cool thing. I wish we had a friendly sangha or two around here; but like everything else I suspect they've all been swallowed up by the enormous cultural suction that is New York City.

And when it comes right down to it Buddhism is an organized religion, too, and I'm not all that interested in thinking about the relative importance of Shentong v. Rangtong, whether or not the Abhidharma is really the word of the Buddha, and so on.

But anyway, while I was looking up "Tendai" on the Web and so on, I stumbled yet again on the Wikipedia, and spent some happy minutes making tiny improvements to random entries (including "Tendai", and a bunch of pages found through the Random Page button). Wikipedia is a paradise for amateur copy editors.

And then awhile later (yesterday?) someone in the house said casually how chocolate contains lots of caffeine, and that sounded odd to me (I've heard it before, and it's always sounded odd to me), so I looked that up in Wikipedia also. The results being surprisingly ambiguous, I looked on the Web and also found mixed information (and the situation is even worse for Yerba mate (maté?).

So does chocolate have caffeine, or theobromine, or a tiny bit of one and lots of the other, or lots of both, or what?

You'd think we'd know that.

Now every wacko in the world knows that all he needs to do to ground an international flight is to write "BOB" on an airsickness bag. Somehow, I don't think that's the outcome any of us wanted.

Which is to say that there's a new Crypto-gram out; worth reading as always.

Merely amusing: Crypto-gram points out the following language:

The Central Intelligence Agency is committed to protecting your privacy and will collect no personal information about you unless you choose to provide that information to us.

which is really a surprisingly strong statement, considering the source.

Also found via Crypto-gram: Code phish dot info. A good site if you're interested in password-stealing scams and like that.

Two political links o' the day: an ACLU ad about the Patriot Act (not horribly bad, for an ad), and a petition to Dubya, urging him to say bad things about them Swift Boat dudez. Nice embarassing stuff there.

Oh, and when I was answering the "favorite SF authors" question the other day, I forgot Iain M. Banks, who should definitely be on that list.

A reader writes:

Re: "blog." As you probably know, the word "blog" was suggested because a search for "weblog" overwhelmingly resulted in links to logs of network traffic. As it gained acceptance, a search for "blog" was the best way to find new weblogs. Today, the new definition of "weblog" is by far the most popular, and there are many other ways to find new weblogs. Perhaps we don't need "blog" any more, but it was useful at the time. (Personally, I think the verb tense of "blog" is useful, in a way that "log" isn't as much.)

Ha, that'd never occurred to me! Wikipedia has that story also (although note that the entry is called "Weblog", at least tonight). So that's a fairly decent reason for "blog", I suppose. Perhaps I'll try to stop hating it.

A(nother) reader writes also:

I always despised the word "blog" too - until my stalker discovered mine, making a point of calling it a "weblog" instead, just to let me know he'd read it thoroughly. Now I don't have...one of those things...at all.

That's pretty scary. And/or interesting. Was it a bad stalker? If we had a stalker, it could prove that it'd read this log thoroughly just by knowing its name.

(The blog that can be blogged is not the eternal blog.)


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