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Showing posts from September, 2005

That which was old is new again ('Stend edition)

Tonight was more recruiting up at Columbia, the details of which I shouldn't blog about. What I should blog about, however, is my return to the West End with the rest of the recruiting team following the event. We were fucking carded! By the waiter at our table! And we're grownups! I told the dude that I spent many, many years drinking underage at the West End, and he kind of laughed, then spent a really long time looking at my driver's license. They really are cracking down.

There is of course no more Blackstar at the 'Stend, but whatever they're charging for pitchers of Brooklyn Lager doesn't seem quite as much when your Managing Director is picking up the tab.

Are you acquainted with our state's stringent usury laws?

Personal bankruptcy laws are a double-edged sword; while they provide a legitimate way out of desperate financial situations to individuals facing bad luck or genuinely poor business decisions, they also provide an escape clause to debtors who engage in irresponsible spending, thereby removing a disincentive for risky behavior. I'm of the opinion that the positive social benefits outweigh the possible abuses, as most liberals are about the various social safety nets we (used to) have in place in this country.

Last year (or maybe earlier this year), the Republican majority was able to push through changes to federal bankruptcy laws that make it more difficult for individuals to file for bankruptcy (I don't believe that any corresponding changes were made to corporate bankruptcy laws, which is, you know, shocking). This was a basically a freebie to the credit card industry–and yes, the credit card industry directly employs two-thirds of my immediate family, so I understand that I…

In which I horrify just about everyone

Petey blogs about the evolution vs. intelligent design case being fought in the courts right now (and by right now I don't mean 1925). Now, I consider myself a scientist (in the same way that Batman is a scientist), and I certainly don't think intelligent design is valid science or support it being taught alongside evolution in schools. But I have a hard time getting my dander up about intelligent design in particular (as opposed to the dismay I feel about the religious right's agenda creeping into secular matters in general).

Teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in public schools is a disservice to students. But things like the lack of proper grammar and writing instruction, or a standardized technology curriculum, or a strong math curriculum, or even mandatory physical education are more of a disservice to students than teaching intelligent design. What's going to be more important for a high school student in ten years: knowing that life evolved through na…

That which was old is new again

Well, the cable modem has been working for the past few days. It's hard to decide whether it's because Adam is in the United Kingdom for the week (on bidness), and cable modems don't like Adam, or whether it's because the DSL modem I ordered last week is going to arrive shortly, and cable modems don't like me.

One way or another, I've had access, and I've decided that the biggest bang for my blogging buck would be effected by finally importing all my old Blosxom posts into Blogspot. Blogspot uses the Atom API (Application Programming Interface; a set of commands that you can use to talk to a system from a programming language) for doing stuff with their blogs, and while there are some Perl modules on CPAN providing wrappers around Atom, I found it much easier just to construct the XML using string manipulation and talk to Blogspot's servers using LWP.

I've uploaded a fifty or so posts so far. Blogspot seemed to start choking after those initial upload…

In which I blog again, however briefly

Blogging has been sporadic at best (and postively tubercular at worst) throughout the past weeks as I haven't had much of an Internet connection. Now I do have much of an Internet connection, but only because I am at Ryan and Sarahs's home in Boston for the weekend, and they were kind enough to have a cable modem that doesn't suck. I've posted some nerd-phone photos of my trip on the Flickr side of things, and the basic gist is that I'm having a nice time with two of my favourite people.

If anyone out there happens to work for Verizon and would like to set me up for DSL back in Brooklyn, I think I'm ready.

Who is want to lose to Bloomberg I could nominate?

Say what you will about the New York City democratic primaries (and I'm not particularly expecting you to say much), but Anthony Weiner looks just like Ralph Nader in this photo from the Times. Like, Ralph Nader about to be abducted by the mothership (where's your seat belt now, Ralphie?).

In other news, one vote, simple majority elections continue to suck. The Democratic mayoral primary goes into a runoff if no one gets above 40%, I think, but runoffs suck too.

Ass clowns: Where are they now?

As if to taunt my continued inability to win the New Yorker cartoon caption contest, this past week's issue features Alisa Baer, "The Car Seat Lady," in The Talk of the Town. I spent two years in Lit Hum and CC with Alisa. If you're the sort to make a sign that says "Please Fasten Your Seat Belt" and hold it up in your window whenever you pass a car with unbelted passengers then chances are you're the sort to Google yourself, so I'm not going to say anything about her (apart from this post's title). Well, just one representative anecdote: I seem to recall her arguing with our CC professor over something in the Bible–the New Testament, mind you–because it didn't gibe with what she learned in her high school. (There are cool pictures of a young Joey on that page, by the way.)