Sunday, February 29
Iowahawk really nails it this time. Read read!
Saturday, February 28
Matt Drachenberg has been blogging for two whole years and has never had an Instalanche.
A little one will do.
That is not very nice. Not nice at all.
[Funny though. — Ed]
My Music is now back on line for your listening pleasure.
If you find anything else that isn't there, please let me know, okay?
Friday, February 27
The next edition of the Best of Me Symphony will be appearing right here at Ambient Irony. (The current Symphony is now up at The Owner's Manual.)
So if you have a post that you think is good, and is over two months old and languishing in your archives - or if you know a blogger who does - you can submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be the best that you can be!
He does, he does.
Would Theseus come to the white courtesy phone please?
"It is ingrained in the Korean psyche that China is the big brother," said Samuel Koo, president of Arirang TV, South Korea's English-language broadcaster. "But Chinese-Korean relations were far from being an unmitigated love affair. We used to ship to them tens of thousands of virgins every year."Just remember to raise the white sails this time.
(From that font of all wisdom, the New York Times.)
Thursday, February 26
It tilts. It swivels. It has tension adjustment for the tilt thingy. It has gas-operated lift, just like a rocket-hamster fed on beans. It's upholstered with elegant black leather. It has armrests where I can rest my arms. It has little wheels, too, five of them!
And I put it together myself!
Answer: Very probably.
Those of you familiar with Joel Veitch's rathergood.com (home to the Viking Kittens and
They're called spongmonkeys.
I don't know why.
But Ad Report Card on Slate gives them an A.
(My favourite is still the kittens singing Independent Women. "If Destiny's Child were kittens from Northern England, this is what they would sound like.")
(Thanks to Crossbow on the JREF Forums.)
(Oh, and the Wrong Bananas song is good too.)
(Update: Blode and the Giant Bee. Well, it only took me six months to fix that.)
The second highest-ranking country in the stats for my blog?
Didn't make my image subdirectories world-searchable.
And then after I did, I needed to restart Apache to get it to notice.
I was wondering why I had 4632 HTTP 403 errors in my log file.
As viewed from Australia.
(Via Tim Blair.)
I've fixed my archives.
Note for MT users: If you change your main index from index.html to, say, index.shtml, all your archive pages change too. If you don't do a rebuild, this will cause problems.
Wednesday, February 25
Furthermore, the systematic use of complex symbols suffices to account for an abstract underlying order. With this clarification, the speaker-hearer's linguistic intuition does not readily tolerate a corpus of utterance tokens upon which conformity has been defined by the paired utterance test. We will bring evidence in favor of the following thesis: relational information is not subject to problems of phonemic and morphological analysis. Thus the appearance of parasitic gaps in domains relatively inaccessible to ordinary extraction may remedy and, at the same time, eliminate the traditional practice of grammarians. For one thing, the natural general principle that will subsume this case delimits nondistinctness in the sense of distinctive feature theory.The Chomskybot
If you've ever had to wade through pseudo-scientific babble in any field, you know how accurate that is.
Let us continue to suppose that any associated supporting element raises serious doubts about irrelevant intervening contexts in selectional rules. To provide a constituent structure for T(Z,K), most of the methodological work in modern linguistics is not to be considered in determining the traditional practice of grammarians. However, this assumption is not correct, since the appearance of parasitic gaps in domains relatively inaccessible to ordinary extraction suffices to account for an important distinction in language use. It appears that a descriptively adequate grammar can be defined in such a way as to impose nondistinctness in the sense of distinctive feature theory. I suggested that these results would follow from the assumption that this selectionally introduced contextual feature may remedy and, at the same time, eliminate problems of phonemic and morphological analysis.It's scary!
The Best of Me Symphony is now up at The Owners Manual. Go take a look!
If you have a post that you think is good, and is over two months old and languishing in your archives - or if you know a blogger who does - you can submit it to email@example.com.
The next Best of Me Symphony will appear...
Tuesday, February 24
Canon have just announced the i990, which has seven ink colours and is up to 50% faster than the i965.
Remember that printer I wanted? The one with 6 colour, 4800x2400 dpi printing? That prints onto CDs and DVDs? That has a USB 2 hi-speed link? (And another USB port to plug your camera in.) The Canon i965? That printer?
Got it $60 off retail too, which paid for 8 reams of HP high-quality inkjet paper that just happened to be selling at half price.
It's currently just sitting on a chair looking cute, because I haven't had time to install all the little bits yet.
Tonight. I'll install all the little bits tonight.
Nuns with guns.
Nuns with guns in 1920s New York.
Nuns with guns in 1920s New York fighting demons.
And destroying everything in their path, Dirty Pair style.
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.What? Bright blue?
William Gibson, Neuromancer
That's what colour my TV is when it's tuned to a dead channel.
I was just watching the start of Chrno Crusade, and the opening credits are old, degraded film stock, with all the blips and streaks and wiggly things you get with old films. Of course, it wasn't really, since Chrno Crusade was made last year; it's a digitally generated effect.
But I wonder, if all you had ever seen was digitally-projected perfection, what you would make of this?
After all, we are already bringing up a generation to whom Y*(*&)@$^%B)#@$)(^F@#%)(T NO CARRIER means nothing. ADSL and cable modems don't do that, and even on dial-up you're more likely to see a friendly pop-up message saying "Windows has detected some sort of problem somewhere".
You don't get the scrunchy, crackly sound of old vinyl records any more. I have about a dozen LPs stashed away... Somewhere. I don't even own a turntable. I still recognise the sound, of course, and a period song from the thirties or forties or fifties with that sound behind it will serve quickly to set the stage for a film or TV show. But how much longer will producers get away with that?
The sound of a shortwave radio that is just barely bringing in a signal?
The sound of a radio being tuned between stations using an analog dial rather than push-buttons?
The clatter of a manual typewriter, the chatter of a high-speed impact printer?
The whirr of a film camera? The mime routine for filming something - one hand curled in front of the eye, peering through; the other hand cranking the film along at a steady 24 frames per second?
The click! of a camera shutter? Did you realise that in some places digital cameras are legally required to produce a click sound? And since they don't do so naturally, they need a small speaker to digitally reproduce the appropriate sound?
Maybe that's the answer. Maybe televisions should generate artificial static when your digital HDTV set-top box conks out. Maybe all mobile phones should be leigislated to go ring ring rather than bip-bip-biddely. After all, no matter what the ring tone is, everyone reaches for their phone.
Maybe electric cars should be programmed to "backfire" every so often, and generate a nice throaty roar when you stomp on the "gas".
And maybe someone should write a program for Windows so that just when you least expect it you suddenly see Y*(*&)@$^%B)#@$)(^F@#%)(T NO CARRIER
So, if Casaubon's mother hadn't been around to summon the birds to catch and eat the soul-moths of all the people dying of the plague magia that Plessiez had created to attack the Decans and their acolytes, and Zaribeth's sister hadn't arrived to guide the Boat of Night to pick up all those birds and their soul-burdens and take them through the Night Between Days (or whatever it was called) to tomorrow and reincarnation, would they (the souls) have then been sucked into the Night Sun and there suffered the True Death? And what would that have done to the structure of the Universe, already weakened by Spagyrus?
Exactly what role did the University of Crime play in the final outcome of events? How essential was it that Plessiez went back and disrupted the plague magia, aside from placating the Night Court? And the model of the Temple of Salomon that Casaubon and his friends built, that was finally made real by the Decan of the Eleventh Hour - did the pattern it embodied really make a difference?
Or did it all come down to Valentine White Crow, scholar-soldier of the Invisible College, saving Theodoret and finally pursuading Spagyrus not to commit suicide?
Heck, I don't know, and I've read the book.
There are two sequels, or at least books containing the same characters... Some of the same characters... Some characters with the same names. Anyway: Left to His Own Devices and The Architect of Desire. I'm reading those now, and I'll see if they shed any light on earlier events.
Sunday, February 22
Forget Norway, Go to Kenya!
Migrated the whole of MuNu to the new server. It mostly seems to work.
Problems encountered and overcome:
I couldn't get into PostgreSQL to load the databases. Then I could. Either I did something and have forgotten what it was, or it was just being pesky.Now, I think it's time for a nap.
PHP was not built with PostgreSQL support. The automatic rebuild through CPanel did not work. A manual rebuild did.
One or two symbolic links pointed to a filesystem that doesn't exist on the new machine. Easy to fix once you find them.
On the old server, I can refer to a CGI script, say login.cgi, just as login and it works. I no longer have any idea how I did that, and I had to get creative to make it (sort of) work on the new server.
Left a couple of essential entries out of httpd.conf. This is understandable, since on the new server it is maintained by CPanel. This blew up Snooze Button Dreams, for example.
Forgot to create an account for Munuviana. Heh.
There were some other things, but I don't remember what. The usual delayed DNS changes taking me to the wrong site, that kind of thing.
Oh yes: Poxy suexec with its 17-stage security checking and wonderfully informative error messages, which completely broke Movable Type. Grr.
Saturday, February 21
I was doing an audit of the servers at work last week when I discovered that our backups no longer fit on one tape. Fortunately, we have DDS4 tape drives, but were using DDS3 tapes. So simply by using DDS4 tapes, we can fit 20GB on each tape instead of 12GB.
I went online to find a good price on DDS4 tapes. Last time I checked, they cost about $60 each, so I was pleased to see that they were now down around $30. I could get a box of five for $140, or a box of ten for...
Naturally, I immediately ordered five boxes of ten. They arrived today, total price $184 including $9 shipping.
The price has now been fixed, and a box of ten sells for $288. But I don't care, because I've got mine.
Friday, February 20
In epsiode 5, we learn what to do if you and your roomate are trapped inside a barrel which is slowly filling with water.
In episode 6, we are taught how to deal with being swallowed by a 7-metre python.
In episode 7, we find out how to make a sturdy rope out of toilet paper. Also, that seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.
In episode 8, we learn how to use a steam cannon to escape from a raging bushfire.
This is one of the most educational shows I've ever seen!
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