Sunday, June 30

I needed something to read on the plane on the way home, so I bought Nick Hornby's 'High Fidelity' (for a scandalous 13$ at the Denver airport!). I'd seen the movie and liked it, and I wanted something sure-fire. It's very good, very funny. I tend to laugh out loud when I read humor anyway and I had to stifle myself some on the planes.
A couple of Daypop links for you: Philip K Dick quiz and history of the pledge of allegiance.
Hello...Anybody here?

We've been moving and I went to Keystone, Colorado on business for a week, so I've been totally out of pocket. Anyone left here?

Monday, June 17

I noticed Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics on Daypop. Definitely worth a read. It intrigued me, so I looked up other stuff at Intuitor. Looks good. I took their Basic Physics Savvy Quiz and got 80%, which satisfies me. Notable: How to count to 1023 on your fingers (hint: we're out of base 10 counting, here).

(Christine, you, especially, should look at their home page.)

Sunday, June 16

Bush has given the CIA expanded powers in going after Saddam Hussein.
I watched some of the Spain-Ireland rebroadcast today. It was fun. Here's the bracket for the round of 16.

Saturday, June 15

Jaquandor is totally right. 'Say Anything' belongs on any list of great romances that I would endorse. How'd we miss it?

Of course, I'd also include 'Persuasion', but it's pretty off the beaten path.
All Things Google, or All Google All the Time: How Google searches itself.
The Soviet Union may have developed and tested an aerolized form of small pox in 1971.

Friday, June 14

I found this over on Andrew's bloggedy blog

Don't miss the salient comments developing on the social, political, and economic scale thread.

Thursday, June 13

Question: Do you think I should consider working for the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer some day?

This question might come as a surprise. However, I think I'd be interested in many facets of this work, and good at some of them. Besides, I know three people who have started going that direction recently. Maybe I'm missing something.

Anyway, I took the compatability test and the results were positive (ie, interested and compatible). I took the career track questionnaire and came out most interested in the political track.

By the way, Christine's answer to this question is a big, fat NO.

Wednesday, June 12

For your edification: and the associated MeFi thread.
Pete visited and commented. He has his own, nicely-designed page: The New Companion. Check it out.

(nb: I'm not just plugging him because he has a 'Fellowship...' post :-)
They're flying a Mars Airplane prototype.
Well, the big news of the day is the AFI Top 100 Romances. Lots of good movies on this list. My faves: Casablanca, When Harry Met Sally, Shakespeare in Love, Manhattan, Sense and Sensibility, Witness, The Princess Bride, Lady and the Tramp, and Jerry Maguire. Now that's a fine list of movies.

Of course, there are some stinkers on there, most notably Ghost in the 19th spot. Also, Love Story, Annie Hall...well, you get the idea.

Jaquandor had a nice post about this as well.

Tuesday, June 11

If you've been around here awhile, you know that I like to plot where I am in social, economic, and political thought compared with people and ideas on the web. So when Steven lays out some of his beliefs, I want to interact with them.

I'm pretty liberal, socially. I value diversity and room for people to choose various paths. I value social freedom, especially over against social order. I think we've got a lot of social order, some of which is extraneous.

Economically I guess I'd have to be called liberal, too. I do think government should be limited. I do think we should keep many things in the private sector. Profit motive helps keep things honest. Bureaucracy is objectively a bad thing. However, and this is the kicker, I do not think private wealth is an objectively good thing. It's okay. But I think people ought to have more of a right to a decent living than to wealth. While there are profound problems with State sponsored distribution of wealth, I prefer it in comparison to the alternatives.

I'm probably politically libertarian, at least as defined by Steven (and I'm fine with accepting his definition).

All of this is pretty nuanced, compared to the normal, bipartisan schlock we endure.
Eric is starting 21 days of posts about People magazine. Today's reveals something important. He links me because he's got a thing for Seans/Shawns. Why there are five of us on that page alone. I always wondered... :-)
Jaquandor wasn't crazy about the Wired Top 20 Sci-Fi movies. I asked him to write his own list, and he did. So go check it out.

Monday, June 10

One more reason to hate politics: obfuscation. Is it necessary? I think so, the way the game is played today. Exhibit A: Ari Fleischer. I really can't stand this guy, and I think he reflects negatively on Bush. You say 'Yeah, but isn't that just the way the game is played?'. I say 'Then the game stinks.'. Did Clinton's people do it too? I'm sure, and it was just as wrong.

(I found this over at MetaFilter today. It was a double-post, so here's the original thread. My Nine Innings with Ari Fleischer sure gave me a laugh. So did The Genius of Ari Fleischer (hint: disciplinedly boring even during exciting circumstances).)
I found the article The Philosophy of Punctuation via Daypop. It's fun. A couple of thoughts:

Great opening: 'Punctuation absorbs more of my thought than seems healthy for a man who pretends to be well adjusted.'

Like Robinson and Strunk, as you may have noticed, I use a comma in a series even when it directly precedes the 'and'. I noticed my last time through 'The Lord of the Rings' that Tolkien does, too, and I probably got it from him. I've noticed this tendency more in British prose than American.

I'm much more of a Platonist in punctuation. I generally tend to try to write in good spoken English. To put it another way, I'm more of a descriptive linguist than a prescriptive one.

I almost never use semicolons anymore, unless to set off a series that includes commas in its separate items. Better just to stick to periods. I'm like Robinson in this regard.

If it's on Daypop, it's usually on MetaFilter. There's some discussion of the same article over there.

Tulsa's first Krispy Kreme opens tomorrow. Ken Rank has his mobile home first in line at the drive-through.
Check out Jaquandor's X-Files post if you're an X-Phile.
Scott got a job. I'm scooping him (just heard it from his mom, who I work with).
Blogroots is up and running. I don't think it'll be a regular read for me - it looks pretty technical.

The thing I noticed about it is Matt's designing is pretty similar these days - very simple. I'm down with that.
Boring: The Lakers are one victory away from threepeat
This week's sign that the apocalypse is upon us: Online Personals Becoming 'Killer App' of Internet. Not that I believe it's true. It's overstated, but it's bad if it's even a little true. Let's get some stats on the success of these relationships.

Friday, June 7

Thursday, June 6

Wired's Sci-Fi Top 20

This link did the rounds a while ago, but I didn't have time to comment on it. Check the list first. Form your own opinions. Here come mine.

First of all, I think this is a pretty good list. Some I still need to see, most notably 'The Road Warrior'. (I haven't seen 'The Boys...', but I did read it.) I think 'Akira' is profoundly over-rated.

These movies are predominately dystopic. In fact, nothing else cracks the list until 'Star Wars' at #10 (counting 2001 as neither). By my count, 15 of 20. Conclusion: smart sci-fi critiques the people we will probably become.

Here are my honorable mentions:
Close Encounters
The Empire Strikes Back

Note the directors: Ridley Scott gets 2 of the top 7. Stanley Kubrick gets 2 of the top 6 (and 1 of my honorable mentions). Cameron has 2 of my honorable mentions, with one on the real list.

Top actor in sci-fi: Harrison Ford, especially on the strength of 'Blade Runner'. Honorable Mention: Charlton Heston (the Harrison Ford of his day? or Ford's the Charlton Heston of his day?), NRA activity notwithstanding.

Wednesday, June 5

I finally successfully watched the bootleg 'Two Towers' trailer. Looks good. Can't wait. First thought: too bad Aragorn doesn't marry the movie Eowyn instead of the movie Arwen.

In other Tolkienalia, here's a review (5.31 post) of 'The Fellowship' DVD that ought to leave you slavering for it.
Here's an idea: I pay Yahoo! some amount of money each year (5$, 10$, 20$) for premium service and no ads. That's got to be more revenue than they're getting off of me with ads. And I'd happily pay it. I don't even need much more functionality.
Well, we saw 'Spider-Man' and 'Attack of the Clones' last night. That's because we know how to party. We went to 'Spider-Man', then thought 'We have babysitters. We're here.' So we took in 'Attack...' as well.

I loved 'Spider-Man'. Can't wait for the next one.

'Attack...' was just okay. It had it's moments. Ewan McGregor was great. Some of the Jedi fighting was cool. Still thinking more about doing an alternate Star Wars universe. Hubris? Check.

Tuesday, June 4

The Bush Doctrine: strike first. Hmm. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out...

Monday, June 3