Wednesday, August 28

No time for chat or comment, but I'd hate for you to miss this (course, if you're reading Jaq, you wouldn't): top 10 pop songs played at funerals. Here's a hint: the number 1 most egregious is number 1.
Jaq had a nice post about writing. Here's my comment:

for me, reading is a lot easier b/c it's passive. i'm lazy. it allows me to feel smart and authoritative and sit in judgment over someone else. how's the style? the ideas? i decide.

writing's hard. it so often feels nonproductive. you might not use anything from that hour or two hour or three hour session. the only thing that's less productive than writing is not writing.

writing is active. and it puts my ideas out there for someone else to judge. it will make me subject to all of the same kinds of criticisms i level at other authors, and worse.

a really good book in this writing vein is 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron. it's a twelve week program of 'recovery of creativity'. one of the weeks she prescribes a 'reading fast'. that's when you realize pretty quick how often you read for psychological comfort (which is the same reason i eat, which is one of the things i found out in conventional fasting).
OK, while I'm thinking about it and before I forget, I'm going to be on vacation for the next week. There may be no posting, or a very little. See ya' on friday the 13th.
We're having a discussion on Collaboratory about special emphasis on curbing violence against women. Here's my take:

i want to add on to what John said. it takes nothing away from anti-violence in general to focus on women in specific. there are so many things contributing to violence specifically against women. they are generally physically less strong. they are generally psychologically willing to put up with more (that might keep them in an abusive relationship). there are so many social and cultural factors, some old leftovers - submission type dynamics. these things make it really tough. they make it much more likely that a woman will be abused by a man, especially in an ongoing relationship. what are the stats on rape being by someone you know? how many rapes are male on male? how many are female to male? the preponderance of this horrible kind of violence in male toward female. it deserves our special attention.

Monday, August 26

Have you taken the Google Quiz? I, of course, got all of the answers right and had my name entered to win the Goggle messenger bag. I think I deserve one, don't you?
I got pretty fired up commenting on John's post from the Economist on Collaboratory. Here's a taste:

The USA would become the biggest market, bigger than the EU. American business practices would likely become even more dominant than they already are.

most of us here [on Collaboratory], slanting liberal, probably believe immigration is a good thing. that dynamic is a big part of the growth - especially immigrant children that come and then the 1st generation born here. is that a bad thing? without getting all jingoistic, there are good opportunities in the US for immigrants (though they are often take advantage of, and that's a problem. can it be win-win?)

“in the struggle to find workers to support growing economies, nations that are hospitable to immigrants will have an advantage.”

part of the Economist's concern is that America will pay more attention to areas refugees come from - South America and SE Asia - and less attention to Europe. oh no!

here's the end of the article:

The contrast between youthful, exuberant, multi-coloured America and ageing, decrepit, inward-looking Europe goes back almost to the foundation of the United States. But demography is making this picture even more true, with long-term consequences for America's economic and military might and quite possibly for the focus of its foreign policy.

an additional factor is the juggernaut American economy. yes, we've spent a ton on defense, but we have 10 tons more to spend. we haven't spent as much on social programs. most of that money has gone to personal wealth and business reinvestment. more population+more money+more military=the US will call the shots. might makes right. it's a bad deal. i don't agree with it. but there it is.

Saturday, August 24

This sounds really fun to me: The World Air Guitar Championships. Of course, karaoke sounds good to me, too, and I've done almost none (but I really like 'Duets'!).

Friday, August 23

My next weblog will be entitled 'a synapse fired'. I've written this before. It's probably the best descriptor of my logging style, wouldn't you say? Sometimes I post thoughtfully.
Africa hot today in Tulsa: 99 on the thermometer; feels a lot hotter. Only 94 tomorrow and no higher than 92 for a few days after that. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, August 21

I was editing my Yahoo! bookmarks and noticed I have 717 items in there. That's compulsive, wouldn't you say? I can usually find what I'm looking for, though I don't pretend I look for more than 100 of them. Google is so much handier these days. Still...
In less sober news, Chris has a wonderful Morrissey post. And I just posted about him today! I don't know how I missed this on Chris' weblog. I'm sure I've checked in in the last couple of days. Anyway, how's this for a line: In East L.A., Ricky Martin Is a Punch Line. Morrissey Is a God. It doesn't take anything more than the caption for the photos to make me smile: 'Heirs to a shyness that is criminally vulgar.' The Morrissey Solo site that he links is very scary.
Chris' friend, Sheldon, died yesterday. I pray that the funeral today was everything Chris and Sheldon hoped it would be. And bless you, Chris.
John and Jason and Chris and Jaquandor and Scott and I have a new project called Collaboratory. Keep your eye on it.
If you go to Eatonweb and edit your weblog listing or add and he picks me out of his referrers, I get a free text ad over there. Besides, it's a portal, you might get some more traffic.
Starbucks is installing wireless web access in many of their shops. How cool is that? Makes you wanna get WiFi. Of course, our 3 or 4 cobranded (B&N, Target, and Albertsons) probably won't have it. Besides, I can't afford WiFi anyway.
Steven analyzes the UK's military and Israel's.
Scott linked the Clear Channel College Entertainment page and called on us to plan a day for 150k. Here's mine:

Ben Folds....20k
Bruce Cockburn....8k
Cowboy Junkies....15k
Allison Krauss....15k
Mighty Mighty Bosstones....25k
Counting Crows....60k

leaving 7k for amenities

can't afford Chris Rock but i'd love to. i think he's hilarious.
Cranberries touring with Live - oh how the mighty have fallen.
drivin n cryin - one of the best names ever, along with Screamin Cheetah Wheelies.
Morissey....50k - too expensive. can't justify it, but i'd love to.

Tuesday, August 20

An Internet provider has banned the RIAA from their network (via InstaPundit). Right on.
Do you like to laugh? The go straight to Ftrain and laugh at Seance.
Scott's got some great vagrant stories. (He can pick up for John 13 who is now riding his bike.)

Monday, August 19

Kottke's got more about The MIT Blackjack Team.
Got to the Economist article on Boeing somehow last week. It's not very well laid out. The first picture is actually the X-50A Dragonfly (combining helicopter and fixed-wing dynamics; unmanned at this stage) more. The second picture is the SonicCruiser. The one without a picture is the Blended Wing Body (BWB).

Heck, you might just want to go to the Phantom Works ->research and development projects -> Advanced Systems and browse. Very interesting.
I edited Jorn's world history timeline according to my own conclusions (especially history of Israel) to produce my world history timeline. Please check it out if you're at all interested.

(I'm such an html hack. I edited Jorn's timeline a long time ago. But I'm just now getting it up. The very idea of uploading stuff slows me down.)
Jason sends in this really enjoyable article on the 18yo Russian grandmaster and chess pinup.

Sunday, August 18

Oh yeah, I also updated my YACCS commenting code. I'm on a tear.
I'm not really sure why I didn't install and try the Google toolbar sooner. I really like it. Surprise, surprise. I do try to be stingy with my screen real estate, though.

I'd really like it if I could use the address toolbar for more things, like if I could combine that with the Google toolbar. It wouldn't be hard for Google to add that functionality and then I could turn off the IE address toolbar.

Also, I'd like for the Google toolbar to be able to keep track of my favorites. This is the Yahoo toolbar killer app, in my mind. Then I could lose another toolbar. And if I had My Google homepage options, I could leave Yahoo! almost completely. I sure am sick of their ads.

Have I mentioned I'd be willing to pay a little bit for all of this stuff, by the way?
Especially for Christine: Hello Kitty USB hub. There are 23 pages of Hello Kitty store at
I came across Danny's Book Reviews in my travels. Some good stuff there.

Friday, August 16

I did a Google search on Israel prehistory the other day. I'm very interested in this topic.

I found a really nice map and a timeline.

A syllabus for ARH 360Y - Prehistory of the Near East Syllabus 2000-2001 at U Toronto. and The Brum Index there.

There's obviously a lot more out there. But no more time today.
Amazon Light is awesome. Much less busy than Amazon. Search for something and note the white space. What if I could personalize it and get even more white space - Google-design Amazon. Yeah.
Have you looked at Google's Special Features recently? Did you know you can use Google like a phone book? A dictionary? A map? One stop search for everything.
I got my Wired yesterday and loved the article on the MIT Blackjack team. They're not like Robin Hood, as the article points out. But I also don't have any sense that they're doing anything wrong. If they can beat the casinos at their own game, more power to them. Something in me loves it when geeks win. Of course, I'm only 40% geek.
Don't fall down in shock, but I think I fixed my archives. I'm not sure. Feel free to test them and let me know. I know you're very impressed, but feel free to leave those comments as well.

And, if I'm not mistaken, the Google search on my site in the sidebar is working now. Not sure why. Maybe because of getting the archives fixed. Again, feel free to try it and give me feedback.
By the way, we got into a pretty interesting discussion about the Sight and Sound top movie list, especially focused on David Lean and King Lear. Check it out if you missed it.
I've been thinking about starting an additional weblog. It would be for those of us who run in similar overlapping circles to post and discuss more. It would be like a smaller MetaFilter. In terms of initial membership I'm thinking of Jaquandor, Jason, Scott, and me. Other people would certainly be welcome, subject to approval. I would probably be the lone sysop (like Matt at MetaFilter). I would make the final calls about deletion. The buck would stop with me in terms of responsibility. But mostly we'd do consensus decision- making.

Additionally, I can think of several other people I would love to see participate who I've met around MeFi and other places. lagado and Chris Alvarado and Higgy come immediately to mind. Maybe Eric (if he were interested). I see it being a pretty C-list kind of thing.

I think one other qualification might be 'at least open to Christian expression'. I have some guys I really like who are basically hostile to Christianity, and I don't really see the point of working on this kind of project together.

I intuit that such a page would be good and interesting. But I can't yet clearly frame how it would separate itself from our current weblogs. We all have one except Jason. There is some de facto 'conversation' between them.

What do (any of) you think? Can you articulate a reason something like this would be good? Anyone interested? Discuss.

Wednesday, August 14

Steven has another long and interesting post on warfare, this one on the history of individual initiative in warfare. How should today's armies be organized? How is the US's Army so effective? What needs to be dictated and what should not be?
Daypop had Davezilla, so I checked it out. Dave's getting sued by the toy company that owns the rights to Godzilla. Looks like he's going to kill them (figuratively speaking, of course).
Go read Paul for a personal angle on the Palestine/Israel conflict: Peace [and Justice] for both peoples.
Matt brings us the link for Bush Scorecard of Evil. Agree or disagree?

Tuesday, August 13

If Fortune magazine is calling CEOs greedy, I think that has to make it an objective fact, don't you (since they're pro-personal wealth)? The link features a list of the top 25 CEOs who sold their stock while consumers were buying it. Let's string 'em all up. Nowhere near enough people are going to go to jail for this stuff.
Steven has a long and interesting post about the role of logistics in warfare (interesting if you're interested in that kind of thing).
Another link from Instapundit: Meg says webloggers should be paid. (Clueless and Byzantium to Demosthenes to Instapundit, if you're wondering).

I'd love to get paid to weblog. Contest: who would hire me? (serious and humorous answers accepted)
More space elevator news (this time from the BBC). Mr Instapundit himself had the link to the NASA space elevator site.

And while I was there I stumbled onto the J-Track 3-D - wicked cool tracking of 700 satellites.

Monday, August 12

I've been reading more Ftrain lately. He wrote some more about Google. And his account of surfing personal ads was touching.
BlogTree wants to chart which weblogs inspired which other weblogs. I registered over there for fun. I put my parent weblogs as Robot Wisdom,, Metafilter, and Hobbsblog. What are yours?
Don't look now, but 'interact' is on the Top Ten List at blogs4god. I'm not sure what this means, but it has to be a good thing, right? It's also has little shades. That means we're cool, right?
Have you seen the British Film Institute Sight and Sound Top Ten floating around? Some great movies in there. I think we can all get over Citizen Kane now (it seems so obligatory), but Vertigo, The Godfather, and 2001 are great movies. I doubt they're the greatest, but they are great. I think Lawrence of Arabia and Dr Strangelove are really overrated.
You are 40% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.

You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!

Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!

You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

I haven't posted one of these in a while. So, here you go.
We were on vacation, so I haven't posted in a while. Now I'm back.