2005/03/31

Virtual Politics-the legislative mmorpg

Virtual Politics is a game where you post and vote on policies, earning and spending political capital.

2005/03/29

Terri Schiavo

I guess I'm going to have to talk about this case, it seems to be getting more coverage than Kyrgrzstan, the new Indonesian Earthquake, Grokster v. Evil etc.
My position on this case is that "She" is dead. Her memories, personality, everything that makes her Her is gone, replaced by spinal fluid. There is no hope for recovery, and there probably won't be one for decades, centuries or never. Therefore, there is no reason to keep her body alive, if She herself is dead.

I leave you with this, a link to Terri's blog. Hrurnnnng!

Political Cartoon of the day


By Ted Rall

2005/03/26

Spammers have hidden cameras!

From: Rastafarian T. Folksy
Subject: new Xanax, Viagra deliveerd fast
Salutation:
Greetings, white man! :)

How'd they know

2005/03/25

People of America:

I have a deal to make with you. You download this Firefox extension, and in return remove the Terri Schiavo story from the cable news. OK?

2005/03/24

Links 2005-03-29

T. rex soft tissue has been found, almost perfectly preserved.

Not only can Octopi walk now, but so can Logging machines

The human race is doomed

Octopi can walk now on two tentacles. And you know how intelligent they are.

2005/03/23

We're number 7! We're number 7!

Hear The Issues has graded how well states govern themselves, and we are number 7, with a B !

Microlegislation

With the US congress mustering in the dead of night and a president ending his vacation just to sign a bill relating to a single person, it sets a disturbing precedent for more legislation aimed at a single group, person or company. Such as this bill "Honoring Olympia High School for their outstanding production of the musical "Guys and Dolls."".

2005/03/22

Terri Schiavo misspelengs

Mildly amusing. Noogle Terry Schaivo. Too lazy? Link. And the old media says that it is the bloggers farking with the English language.
--
Edit:
And they are right. I didn't spell Terri right in the title.

Job update

I didn't get the job. But they do want me to do substitute work while people are on vacation during the summer.

Links 2005-03-22

Improbable Research has the story of Cetaceans vs. George W. Bush. That's right. Whales, dolphins and porpoises are suing Dubya. With .pdf court document goodness.

This awesome flash video features a human beatbox putting a harmonica between his hands, with positive results.

A different, more painful type of flash. Sun+a lot of mirrors=melting fun.

2005/03/21

Links 2005-03-21

New Feature!
I now will post a few of the links I've see each day.

Wonkette has a humorous chart showing political value on the y axis and media coverage on the x axis. Michael Jackson is sadly not present.

Snopes has a list of urban legends people sent in but were considered too crappy, obviously false or satirical to do research on. Enjoy.

2005/03/20

Ever wanted to just quit?

This kuro5hiner quit his programming job to become a bicycle courier. After a year he reported back, and the report seems positive. See? You aren't stuck in that oppressive life after all. All you have to do is quit.

2005/03/19

Magnatune radio is down!

Magnatune, the non-evil music publishing company, operates several excellent web radio stations with their music. But they've been down for about a week or so. It's horrible! I loved their World station, and had it on whenever I was on the computer. I've finally broken down and sent an email asking what's up.
Here is the list of stationsLink

Wikipedia English's 500,000th article!

Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union is the half millionth wikipedia article. Good job guys!

2005/03/17

Moral panic

Read this extremely well written Wikipedia article onMoral panic. Be aware, and don't fall for moral pancics.

CNN

Holy Crap. I have come to the realization that Fox News might actually be better than CNN in political coverage.
Before you accuse me of heresy, just watch CNN for a few hours, then Fox News. The only political coverage I saw on CNN during the many quick times I checked in throughout the day was coverage of steroids in baseball. Fox in contrast, was covering what was going on politically. Larry King, the Michael Jackson trial and everything related to that is what is wrong with CNN. Of course, FNC is horribly biased. In fact, all cable news sucks.

2005/03/16

Hubble: not worth saving

It may surprise some of you, my readers, (Ha! Like I have any readers!) that I am against sending a mission to save the Hubble telescope.
Although the telescope has contributed a lot of information that can't be attained through any other means, and has taken some beautiful pictures that currently grace both my walls and several images on my random wallpaper, it is reaching the end of its usefulness . It is mechanically failing and is obsolete.
In fact, the whole advantage of space telescopes (No image distortion because it is outside the atmosphere) is soon to be non-existent, because of telescopes that can flex their mirrors to adapt to the atmosphere, yielding space telescope quality but with Earth based telescope size.
The money that would be spent to repair Hubble would be much better used to build either a ground based adaptive telescope, or if they really have to, a new space based telescope.

Since I don't post to Ben's blog often, I guess I'll post this there, as well as to Place of Stuff.

2005/03/15

An eventful day on the floor

The morning was normal but the time we were on the floor was... Interesting.
The first item might not sound interesting, but to me it was. The bill was to require contractors, not the people paying the contractors, to be liable if the contractor doesn't pay the subcontractor.

Like I said earlier, not very interesting to most. But when our family remodeled, our first contractor stopped paying the subcontractors after the subcontractors had finished the demolition and were about to begin. Things got pretty ugly, and I'm not going into more detail from there. A lot of the Senators were speaking their experiences with contractors not paying subcontractors, so the bill passed.

After a few other bills, lights began flashing all over the room accompanied by loud tones. I recognized it as a fire alarm and leaped to my feet. I looked around at everyone else and they were all sitting and looking around in confusion. I sat back down and an announcement came through from Security informing us of a "fire emergency." We then left the building and hung around until they finished with the "fire emergency." I don't know whether it was actually a fire, but I overheard a Senator saying it was a grease fire in the House kitchen.

The next big event was the strangest of the day. The entire Senate was in hysterics for several minutes and couldn't come out of it. Everytime someone tried to say something everyone else started laughing. A senator forgot to move something into 3rd hearing, so the Senate President said that the bill wouldn't move itself, causing the room to chuckle. Then the President made a comment saying his previous comment wasn't really that funny, causing people to laugh again, and things went downhill from there. Everyone tried different tactics to stop laughing, and failed. It finally stopped when the President just went forward with the session.

After this, everyone was a bit jolly during the debate on whether cell phone use should be banned in cars with the exception of a hands free system. Senators were acting out what they were saying (with mixed success) and playing jokes on each other.

PGP key

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In case you are wondering what it is.
This post brought to you by: Boredom, and post by email.

2005/03/14

First Day of Paging

My first day of paging is over, and it went as expected. I went to page school for two hours in the morning, then shuttled papers throughout the capital campus. After lunch, I went to the Senate floor where I delivered messages and handed out papers.
I spent some of my free time trying to find my sponsor, Senator Brian Weinstein, to thank him formally(I thanked him at a play a few weeks ago) and maybe get a picture.
As for my feet, a small blister on the top of a toe on my right foot, and pain on the bottom of my feet from the marble floors.

Tomorrow I plan on looking for some of the Geocaches hidden on the campus.

2005/03/12

I'm going out of town

From March 13th to March 19th I'm going to be paging in the Washington State Senate, so I probably won't be able to blog or check email.

OK, I got my encryption set up

If you want to use encrypted PGP communications with me, email me your public key.

Guess who can use your IMs?

Check this quote out from their new Terms of Service:

In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy.You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.

OK, I'm going to try encrypting my IMs. I really, really don't want my work being used to benefit AOL in any way shape or form.
What is scary is that I don't think they are informing anyone of these new terms. People will keep on using AIM thinking that their IMs are to be kept private.
What is more, this applies to AOL affiliates as well. I don't know how many dozens of other companies AOL is affiliated with.

Oh, and for those who are using Trillian, Kopete or whatever, you aren't exempt from this. This applies to all AOL services in addition to software.

But there is always Jabber!
CORRECTION, 2005-03-15
AOL changed the agreements because of geek outcry, it now excludes user to user communications. The line "you waive any right to privacy" is being deleted.
But I'm still going to encrypt my IMs whenever possible.

2005/03/11

Photos are coming

Photography class just ended, so I'm gonna post all the photos I took. Consider yourself warned.

2005/03/08

Everyone has a website now. Even North Korea

Check out North Korea's website. To actually reach content, you have to get past the welcome page, past the page of The Great Leader and The Dear Leader side by side, until you reach their tourism site. And check out their logo! A red star, some corn and a high voltage power line.

Job Interview

Well, I went it and did it. I don't think it went too well, I didn't sell myself strong enough. Oh well.

2005/03/03

Best URL ever

http://www.head-smashed-in.com. Head. Smashed. In.

2005/03/02

Social Criticism Fairy Tales

lenrockwell.com's social critiscism in the form of fairy tales. He makes a lot of good points, and attacks the two main American political ideologies evenly.
An example critiquing our space program:

Hey Diddle Diddle


Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.


Hell, sounds like a pretty good deal to me.


Much better than spending a gazillion trillion dollars on sending a shopping cart to Mars to see if they have any water.

More fun with microwave

A college student has taken the time to do funny experiments with a microwave, placing everything from CDs to Light Bulbs.

2005/03/01

March

Damn, it's already March. Does time really seems faster as you age? I think so, because each day becomes a lower percentage of you life.

Spam's new way of getting past filters: Wisdom

I opened(!) a spam email containing the following text:

Ae Wisdom has never made a bigot, but learning has.

A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice
Young blood must have its course, lad, and every dog its day.
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
The real people of genius were resolute workers not idle dreamers.

A court is a place where what was confused before becomes more unsettled than ever.
Finance is the art of passing currency from hand to hand until it finally disappears.
Expect poison from standing water.
Honor is like an island, rugged and without a beach once we have left it, we can never return.
Kind words are worth much and they cost little.
Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.

I wish life was not so short, he thought. languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about.

When you are seventeen you aren't really serious. The average American worker has fifty interruptions a day, of which seventy percent have nothing to do with work.

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.

Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.
Every man goes down to his death bearing in his hands only that which he has given away.Error is discipline through which we advance.


At the end was some medication ad image. I've gotten several of these over the past week, and they work extremely well. First, they get through the filters, and second, people actually read them. Could these be the end of the filter method of anti-spam? Possibly, but eventually the filters could be set to detect >5 wisdom cliches in an email, and classify it as spam. But what do I know?