April 30, 2008
April 29, 2008
- Why don’t we take a building we’re going to demolish anyway, and let the terrorists have their fun with it, just don’t bother the other ones?
- Why don’t we have different planes for the terrorists, so they’ll just ruin their own vacation?
April 24, 2008
Newsweek’s On Faith column asks its panel of contributors to comment on ‘new-atheist’ Christopher Hitchens. “Best-selling atheist Christopher Hitchens wrote: “Religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.” Why is he right or wrong?”
This was brought to my attention through a blog called Chillin’ At The Cabstand, who wrote a response to Scott Hong’s frankly insulting question, “Why Do Atheists Oppose Incest?” Of course, this implies that Christians don’t stand against incest, perhaps even condone the practice. I’m sure my readers are intelligent enough to realize that, apart from freakish exceptions (can anyone say Warren Jeffs?), this isn’t the case.
Another post on Scott’s blog drew the harsh reaction of a photographer, who saw that Mr Hong had stolen a photo to advance his agenda. The comment was seemingly left by a new blog, and a new entrant into the realm of metaphysics, a person called Theism.
I’ve got a couple of online friends who are good photographers. They’ve complained about this phenomenon over digital coffee, likening it to socialism. Ironically, Mr Hong’s actions imply a support for universalized health care. If a photographer (or anyone else) is forced to work for free, for the public good, it seems this should apply to everyone, right?
If Scott can take something as unimportant as a picture without paying for it, why should he have to pay for food, shelter, medical care? I’m sure things should only be free when they support Mr Hong’s agenda, though, which has been common since the dawn of time, but known as stealing.
This is the type of hypocrisy that makes me feel more than a little sheepish when I “admit” that I’m also a Christian.
April 23, 2008
I got the meanest dog around
with teeth like Margret Thatcher
and a face like Gordon Brown.
Woke up this morning
with a warrantless wiretap on my phone
mortgage is due
and I just can’t get a loan.
I’ve been trying to think of the rest for some time now, but I seem unable to. This has sat in my drafts bin long enough.
April 16, 2008
April 15, 2008
Microsoft has long operated like Reagan’s Evil Empire. I’m sure everybody reading this blog knows the story of MS-DOS, which isn’t all that unlike the story of Manhattan being sold for $32. Mr Gates (who stepped down from the helm years ago, but will remain the symbol of Microsoft’s market dominance for years to come) is an historic philanthropist but also a shrewd business man.
So it’s interesting to watch this turn around. Windows is facing intense pressure from all sides. Google is a media darling and suitor to the thrown, we’ve already seen gmail face off against Exchange Server, plus Word and Excel be surrounded by Google Docs and Spreadsheets, and the more formidable Open Office. Vista has become the new Windows ME. Rumors of a Google OS are frightening Microsoft, Linux looks just like Windows, making the transition from a $200 operating system to a free one all the easier, and Mac’s Boot Camp means all the more choice for the consumer. Choice has traditionally been an enemy of Windows – having computer users by the proverbial throat is one of the main reasons most people use Microsoft software.
Pride notwithstanding, the people at Microsoft would be fools not to recognize the situation they find themselves in. IBM’s example makes the situation all the more relevant. Microsoft has enjoyed a long reign at the top of their game, and it seems to be all downhill from here.
So they’re trying to “change”, to open up. Microsoft has blogs galore – not just ones people can create on a subdomain (a la WordPress or Blogspot) but coming from their brass. Microsoft publishes betas, or as they like to call them CTP community test preview releases. Minimally stripped down versions of their almost flagship Visual Studio are available as free downloads, with free licenses, for anybody who wants one. Are you a C++ programmer, ideally from the *nix world? Come on over, the grass is green on the default XP wallpaper. Set up shop, have a free compiler, and sell your wares.
This is a bright strategy. At present, in the Spring of 2008, Windows honestly is the best platform for general use. This is quickly changing, but the fact is that most of the software available for all systems is for Windows, and more to the point, most of the software a non savvy family or company would want is for Windows. Why else would Microsoft give away much of a product (Visual Studio) that runs anywhere from $50 (old version with no frills) to several thousand? Why else would they use betas, abundant white papers, MSDN? They want people writing Windows software, keeping their operating system afloat. The more people who write exclusively for Windows, the more reason other people have for running Windows.
And all of this brings us full circle back to the title of this post. One of the people on the C# design team has a blog about using C#. This includes how to code samples (MD5 a string, improve hash table perf against structs), explanations on why certain features do and don’t exist in the language, and so on. All C# developers will benefit from reading this blog.
April 14, 2008
A bit edgy, but that evil part of me just cracked up the instant I saw this.
April 13, 2008
David Vitter is the right wing extremist senator from Louisiana, obviously a Republican. He earned national fame when his was found in the “DC Madame’s” client book. Mr Vitter loves the prostitutes every bit as much as Elliot Spitzer – the difference is that, like Larry Craig, Vitter lacks the decency to step down.
Vitter proposed and then withdrew an earmark (because conservatives love those) to integrate church and state
Speaking on the Senate floor on October 17, 2007, Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) withdrew a controversial $100,000 earmark that he previously added to the appropriations bill for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The earmark was to the Louisiana Family Forum, a religious right group with a long history of promoting creationism and attacking evolution education in the state, including backing a “strengths and weaknesses” policy in Ouachita Parish.
Look, I’m a Christian myself. I’m also an American. We’re losing our competitive edge in the world. Let the schools teach Earthly reality, and let the churches teach about the next world.
April 12, 2008
Because of the global interwebs, I guess I might explain that here in Americaland, which is under the leadership of King George the Uncurious, we have a saying that something, when it impresses, “kicks @$$”. However I prefer not to swear, and while I’m not sure whether the English version, Arse, is a profanity across the pond (from what I’ve heard, “bloody” is), it’s not here. But I digress, and I haven’t started here.
Neerav, a new friend of mine, a man who ran for the prime ministership of his country and got more % of the votes than Ralph Nader here, is a stunningly talented photographer. I thought my friend Forrest was the only person on earth who took pictures that aren’t just boring snap shots, but clearly this is wrong. Neerav is half Michaelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, and half Steve Irwin the Croc Hunter. I’m not kidding, there are pictures of feeding crocodiles, and now, of a real life glacier!
Have a look at this one – the newst in a long line. Have a look at the others, too. I live in Northern California, near the ocean and among the redwoods, but I’m transferred to New Zealand, which I’ve always heard is a nice place. Through the Window(s TM) of my computer I can see with my own eyes this is true in spades.
Neerav lets people download his pictures. I’d love to attach the glacier one to this post, but, out of respect, and from complaints I’ve heard that this is a problem for talented cameramen, I won’t publish his photo here. But you really should go over and have a look at it. Download it for your desktop. I did – it looks like the camera itself might have took a strong dose of LSD before snapping this.