log (2006/02/03 to 2006/02/09)

Heh; and I had it in the back of my mind that I was doing so well, weblog entry frequency wise, this week. Oh well!

Word-pair o' the day: Seme / Uke.

On the "scrod" joke, a resourceful reader writes:

Subject: Scrod limerick

yer tis: http://www.gigfoot.net/lol/limericks/193.html


Good find! I dunno if that's exactly the form I heard it in, but it'll do ("hence"; heh).

Mutter mutter mutter "Federal Marriage Amendment" again mutter mutter.

Finished and wrote up a neat old SF anthology.

Lindsay Lohan diet secrets.

It's easy (and fun!) to razz Our President for the "human-animal hybrids" line in the State of the Union Address, but what it's actually about seems to be another neocon attempt to stifle USian biotech. This is pretty incomprehensible: do the neocons not realize that biotech is a big deal and holding the US back is eventually going to cost us bigtime? Do they realize it but are so desparate to pander to the Fundie base that they're just gambling it won't be too bad? Or do they not care since by then they'll be so rich that they can just fly to Singapore for their treatments and then hole up in their secret Antarctic bases and who cares what happens to what's left of the US anyway?

Ya hafta wonder.

(The notion that they realize it'll be bad economically but feel morally bound to protect human life anyway is clearly ruled out by the evidence of Iraq, etc. I know this is obvious, but I thought I should mention it for completeness.)

Sharp Blue's review queue is quality stuff, again.

And speaking of people who somehow manage to do something other than play elaborate video games, I've recently discovered yet some more Sims folks, who make the Sims folks that I previously considered hardcore look not so hardcore really after all. I mean, whoa! (Deception Pass is up to Episode 18; they're still definitely hardcore.)

(We're saying "hardcore" alot this week because it sounds 'leet. We don't much care what it might actually mean.)

Unspeakable Vault (of Doom), the cast.

A reader sends the "best spam I've gotten in ages" ("Since I know you're such a devotee.") We are indeed, and this is indeed high quality:

From: "Emilio Huyler "
Subject: re: Paperwork

I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame you.

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac.

Really speaks for itself. (The sentences are no doubt stock, but the juxtaposition is sweet serendipity.)

And we got some also high-quality spam that speaks about itself (this is the content; the subject was uninteresting):

%OFFER a service that helps people get laid!

people here %JUSTCARE ;)



The same universe that produced the lovely microfiction(s) the other day has produced these comforting words:

Nah, I probably can't do it 24 times in a month. That one took me four days to write.

So we don't have to be too envious.

Currently reading: Dyson's "Time without end: physics and biology in an open universe". Fascinating speculation about how and whether life and consciousness can go on forever (with numerical estimates, and lotsa classy math).

I know I'm old, because when I hear someone mention George Clooney I think of Rosemary; and when I hear someone mention Hugh Grant I think of Lou.

(And when I hear someone mention Bono, I think of Sonny.)

Although age doesn't explain why when I hear someone mention Tennessee Williams I think of Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Since the Spam and Sims features have been so popular with our worldwide audience, here are a couple of extremely memorable recent spams:

Subject: helix-3

beware poland


Beware Poland! (Blame Canada!)

Subject: bluff-3

supreme automate


(Can you imagine a subculture where "kuhn" is a standard closing? Hardcore!)

And speaking of hardcore

Note that fictional re-simulation is strictly forbidden. If you have reason to believe that you may be a fictional character, you must contact the City immediately. [See: James Bond, Spider Jerusalem.] Failure to comply is a felony.

(Note that only half the story seems to be online, but for this kind of story, at least for me, the setting is more important than the plot anyway.)

Oh right, but Sims! Here's Joan and Peran, and a new arrival at the Love Nest.

And speaking of hardcore again, here's the latest from the Ajax toy:

The first thing she did when she got there was dismantle the windmill. She was after the rotor, the heart of the machine, the rest she could fabricate at the other end. Right now she had to travel light.

It's revelatory to be on the receiving end of microfiction for a change. I really really really want to read the whole thing! (Even though I know that there may very well not be any Whole Thing...)

Speculative Grammarian: The Lifestyle Magazine for Linguists.

So there's this joke about "scrod", but the thing is that I know I first heard it as a limerick, and I can't find that anywhere.

I know the last three lines (roughly) were:

"I've come to get scrod."
She replied, "Oh my God,
You've used the past pluperfect tense!"

(Where "She" could be "He", "Oh my God" could be say "Now that's odd", etc.)

Anyone else know this version? What are the first two lines?

Oh, and I don't usually pass along straightforward political actions, but in this case, I mean really. Sheesh.

Cover me with tatpurushas,
 cover me with oil.
Cover me with bowties, baby,
  and you'll never toil.
She will never win.
  (badum bum)

"Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked."

Lots of random scattered snippets today; we're still recovering from our orgy of self-revelation on Thursday. *8)

Habitat for Humanity refused to take money from Pink Aid ("Use your genitals for good!"). I can I guess understand why they might feel they had to do that, but really; phhht.

How I stalked my girlfriend:

If you have any reason to suspect that your phone might have been out of your sight, even for five minutes, and there is anyone who might want to track you: call your phone company and ask it to find out if there is a trace on your phone. Anybody could be watching you. It could be me.

Looking Out For Our Best Interests Department:

Company Bypasses Cookie-Deleting Consumers
Mookie Tanembaum, founder and chief executive of United Virtualities, says the company is trying to help consumers by preventing them from deleting cookies that help website operators deliver better services.

Isn't that nice of Mookie? Working to prevent people from deleting cookies that he doesn't think they ought to delete, by hiding them obscurely inside the Flash player. Wouldn't you love to express your appreciation to Mookie in person?

The story points toward the Macromedia pages that let you fiddle with the cookie-like things hidden obscurely inside your Flash player. Looks like every site can by default store up to like 100K of data; but you can turn off that ability, or make it smaller, or have the player ask you when sites try to do it. One thing I can't find a way to do is see the contents of the data. It'd probably be obfuscated anyway, but I'd still like to see it.

Widely noted: Western Union Stops Sending Telegrams. Pretty weird. Does anyone else still do telegrams, or is that It?


She said she had one arm out of her coat when an officer yelled, "Protestor."

"He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs," she wrote. She was then cuffed and driven to police headquarters a few blocks away.

Given that they also ejected (if without the handcuffs) a woman wearing a "Support Our Troops" shirt, this isn't quite the "fascist quashing of dissent by the Bushies" story that it first appears to be; more like "Keystone Cops go to Washington". But even incompetent fascism is a bad thing.

Brilliant: Why I Hate Frameworks.

Cogent political analysis o' the day:

O, rounded rock! O, cluster of four marsh weeds! How my thorax aches for you! There will be no peace until I perch on the stump again!

From David Mankins: Words help deterimine what we see:

The paper suggests that language affects perception in the right half of the visual field, but much less, if at all, in the left half. The paper, "Whorf Hypothesis is Supported in the Right Visual Field but not in the Left," by Aubrey Gilbert, Terry Regier, Paul Kay, and Richard Ivry -- is the first to propose that language may shape just half of our visual world.

Isn't that great? It's like they find out that it really is Nature rather than Nurture, but only in Spring and Summer.

From Geegaw ("Winter will contract, like a piece of black plastic held in the flame from a lighter, and the sky will open again, unleashing floods of hail or tears"), to Far Outliers, and finally to a Language Hat entry that points to some work on "mother-in-law language". Apparently in (various?) Australian cultures there's a whole special language, with its own vocabulary, that's used only in the presence of one's mother-in-law, father-in-law, and "certain types of cousins". Whoa.

The film "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" is rated NC-17.

In other morality news:

On Thursday, the city sued the firm that makes the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" over a hidden sex scene that can be unlocked by hacking into the computer coding. The city believes that parents who simply wanted to buy their boys a wholesome cop-shooting, hooker-killing, car-stealing game were unfairly duped.
Although I wish a teenage boy's world were as full of innocence and wonder as Delgadillo does, I wondered if consensual animated sex was really the kind of thing that would offend a 17-year-old male who grew up in Los Angeles. So I tracked one down and asked him if this was the kind of thing that would warp his impressionable mind.

Security geeking: Windows Access Control Demystified:

Windows access-control is fine-grained and expressive, unsurprisingly it turns out that ordinary professional software developers at commercial software vendors have difficulty in evaluating the consequences of the access-control configurations that they choose for their software and services. The consequence is that commercial software can and does have privilege-escalation vulnerabilities caused by access-control misconfiguration.

We propose a solution to this problem. We have a logical model of Windows access-control, expressed as inference rules in Datalog which are directly executable in a Prolog system. We have a scanner that reads relevant parts of the Windows registry, file system, and service control manager database on a given host to provide input to our logical model. The model runs, and prints out a list of privilege-escalation vulnerabilities, each one with a trace of how each vulnerability might be exploited.

When we run this on a typical Windows installation managed by a careful systems administrator, we find several exploitable user-to-administrator and guest-to-any-user vulnerabilities caused by misconfigurations in the default installation of software from Adobe, AOL, Macromedia, Microsoft and some anonymous vendors.

Head of SAP: "India is beginning to get expensive". Cheery thought o' the day: some of the anti-globalization people want to slow things down, so that incomes (etc) in the wealthy countries take longer to go down as things level out. But what if instead it happens real real fast, so fast that people in the wealthy countries can (say) support themselves out of petty cash between the time their incomes start to go down due to leveling and the time they recover due to the overall increase in global wealth?

That'd be nice.

What do you say?

Voyage of the mimi had such a catchy theme song.

Wow. Best ever guide to writing unmaintainable code. [link]

Meanwhile, "After playing Stacker, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to want to take boxes, crates, or any other polygonal object, and place them atop one another, as seen in this gem of a game," said Laura Keitel of the D.C.-based Center For Entertainment And The Family. "No kid in the world could possibly get anything out of it. There's no reason why the video-game industry shouldn't be making a lot more games like this." [link]


Right. So let me get this straight. The head of the wealthiest religious institution in the world, the one that cooped Christmas from Midwinter Festival, says that Christmas has become too commercial? OK. Just checking.

snow, shmow. snew, shnew.

You are most likely entirely edible, and if the description on the box is accurate, deliscious as well.

An voice, a word, a sound--fluffypuff marshmellows!

Today you wash

she asked. "What do you say when someone asks you to do that with a llama?"

Nah, I probably can't do it 24 times in a month. That one took me four days to write.

Here's what I want for Cthistmas. [link]

What do you say?