log (2004/09/17 to 2004/09/23)

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Monday, September 20, 2004  permanent URL for this entry

So mostly I'm in consumer mode: I'm reading Tim Powers' "The Anubis Gates" (used, but in perfect condition, from Amazon), and I rented the first disc of "Futurama", and I also rented "The Dreamers" (which looks mickle good), and I'm bopping around the Net just sort of looking at stuff.

This is probably because I spontaneously generated a seventeen-page report yesterday (in the interstices of bagels and the grocery and working on our joint Tales of Symphonia game with the little daughter) for work, which was a load off my mind (been putting it off forever) but which burned out my production facilities. Or energized them. Or something.

Also, the recorded message on the phone number on my jury summons here says that they don't need me to report in so far, but I should call in on Monday, September 20th, after 5pm. Which is sort of odd (since it's currently Monday, September 20th, at 8pm).

Subject: RE: Astounding You are banting? Oh,no! impermeable

Miranda points us at the extremely memorable OS-tan, a bunch of anime-style avatars for various legacy "operating systems" from the XXth and early XXIst centuries:

95, being an older version of Windows, is usually represented as a traditional lady from Edo period Japan. She is a gentle-looking brown haired woman in a kimono, with a hair ribbon showing the four Windows colors. Her most common activities are drinking tea, serving meals or doing other housework. She is also occasionally depicted wielding a katana in an aggressive manner, symbolizing that it was her generation of operating systems that Microsoft finally achieved full dominance of the personal computer market.

Speaking of which, here is a three part article about a proof-of-concept virus for Windows CE, by some anti-virus dude and the virus author. It includes notes from the author and fully commented source code, along with the predictable self-conscious stuff about why it's not evil to write viruses and publish virus source code and so on. The traditional anti-virus industry is in the predictable tizzy about it.

Steve (who used to have a weblog) sends along something "for those of us who spent *way* too much of our lives playing D&D".

Via Boing Boing, "Admit it. You've always wanted a giant Cthulhu statue".

I posted my notes on "The Atrocity Archives", and in doing the research ("research") I came across lotsa online SF short stories worth reading. Three by Stross ("Let me get this straight. You're the KGB's core AI, but you're afraid of a copyright infringement lawsuit over your translator semiotics?"), and another two from Vinge (did I mention that I had lunch with Vinge?).

So that's more stuff I'm occupied in consuming (slurp slurp).

The latest ftrain (like all other ftrains) is something you should read. I love having all those old boxes holding shadows of my former selves. But I might be better off without them, in some complicated sense.

Friday, September 17, 2004  permanent URL for this entry

Go ask Alice.

The other day on television I saw this movie trailer where a leather-clad woman in a cathedral made her motorcycle spring impressively if unrealistically into the air and then shot it with two large guns so it exploded.

"Woo, that's silly," I thought to myself.

Then late this morning, having had a rather unusually stressful morning, I thought to myself, "you know, I'm really sort of in the mood to see a movie where a leather-clad woman in a cathedral makes her motorcycle spring impressively if unrealistically into the air and then shoots it with two large guns so it explodes".

And, as it turns out, the movie megaplex down the road from the Lab here has discounted tickets to all showings before 2pm.

When I do the weekly grocery shopping, I always look at the comic book rack (near the breakfast cereal), for things that look like fun. Most comic book stories these days come in arcs that are from two to eight issues long. I try to always buy issues that are Part N of N, so I get to see all the loose ends tied up and the moral delivered and all, and I don't have to try and remember to check for the next issue of that title the next week(s).

"Resident Evil: Apocalypse" is nothing if not a live-action comic book, and it has a definite Part 2 of 4 feel to it. It was fun (although there weren't very many scenes as viscerally satisfying as the exploding motorcycle in the trailer), but I'm not going to be keeping a terribly sharp eye out for the next issue.

Unless I maybe have another of those stressful mornings...

In some spam anti-Bayes shielding we found the phrase "thorn-covered sorcerer", which leads to a fine chapter from the Oz saga. Best read all by itself and completely out of context. (And probably while stoned, although I didn't actually try that.)

RSS Weather dot com seems like a really good idea. "[T]he server is a little too busy at the moment, please try again later" alot, but that's not entirely unexpected. I'm not sure what the business model is; perhaps they'll start embedding ads in the feeds eventually.

From J. Huber to the Happy Heretic (the specific article that I'm trying to point to here will probably be found here eventually, sigh), which points out that in Elk Grove v. Newdow Justice Thomas opined in his separate opinion that the Establishment Clause (of the first amendment) isn't subject to incorporation (by the fourteenth amendment) and that therefore (big words aside) it would be Just Fine, constitutionally speaking, for Utah to declare Mormonism as the State Religion, or Texas to endorse Generic Muscular Christianity, or Vermont to officially establish Gaia Worship; it's only the Federal Government that isn't allowed to do that.


Turns out this is not an entirely novel thought, but still. Seems like we have two legitimate ways of interpreting the Constitution here, one clearly reasonable and the other pretty whacko, and the choice isn't really a tough one. Which is to say sure I could make a convincing-sounding case for either side (back off, man, I have a Philosophy degree), but it seems unlikely that the American people would buy into the idea of their State Legislature telling them what church to attend, or channeling their tax money into altar decorations.

On the other hand if the Constitution really does say that (i.e. if the case for J. Thomas's reading really is the stronger), we ought to fix it. Once we've fixed all the more urgent things.

That J. Huber links page up there also leads us to Evo Wiki, which looks like fun except that I'm on the wagon at the moment as regards wading into the Creationism fray.

And (speaking of religions various and sundry) the Wikipedia entry on Discordianism leads to Principia Discordia dot com, whence I got my current desktop background.

Hail Eris!


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