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Showing posts from November, 2005

Beep Beep Beep Beep, Yeah!

Cars are scary. They're big steel machines of doom. I do not trust that a car I operate won't just stop working as a drive it. I fear running over nails. I fear psycho people in lanes next to me losing their minds and making sharp turns of their steering wheels to crash into me...for no reason.

No one (aside from Jeff) at all understands my fear of driving. Not just, "driving at night is a little creepy." We're talking nightmares. Every bad dream I have that I can remember involves me operating a vehicle careening out of control. Me driving a vehicle without brakes. Having to merge into traffic and not being able to maneuver the steering wheel.

I drove a bit growing up (living in a Florida suburb, you kind of had to), but unlike the majority of my friends, I didn't have my own car. So I borrowed my parents' cars when necessary, to drive to and from my house and my buddies' houses, the mall, Borders, Friday's, and back home. I was terrified of chang…

Fantasy baseball

This is cute:

(New Mexico Governor Bill) Richardson said that "after being notified of the situation and after researching the matter" he had come "to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A's."

On a biographical sheet Mr. Richardson completed for Tufts in his junior year, he wrote, "Drafted by Kansas City (1966), LA (1968)." He says he wrote those words because he believed they were true.

The list of accomplished Tufts graduates includes P.T. Barnum and Sheryl. It is up in the air as to whether it still includes Bill Richardson.

In which I am a further shill for Google

Yes, I go on and on about how Google is going to own all the information everywhere and we might not like what they do with it, et cetera. And yes, I still use most of their stuff, from my Google Mail account (hidden behind my columbia.edu forwarding address) to Google Maps to Google Talk to Google News to, obviously, their search engine (Google Google? Google Search?). And Blogspot. And I've thrown up some Google Ads, because–why not?

Like Blogspot, Google Analytics wasn't developed in-house, but is instead an example of what you could buy when you have a couple of billion dollars cash on hand. 34 is by no means a commercial enterprise, and Google Analytics is geared towards tracking vital statistics for websites run as commercial enterprises, but even if you've got a lowly blog it's worth using for the sophisticated traffic analysis tools. Much more advanced than what I get with the little SiteMeter web bug at the bottom of the page.

Bigger food is still eating my baby

I've written before about Big Food and the ridiculous subsidies our government doles out each year for... corn. Lots of corn. And soy beans, which, you know, I like tofu, but honestly. I could think of more productive ways to waste government money–I could even think of more effective corporate handouts.

There's an interesting editorial in the Times that touches on more than just the subsidy issue, making the point that Big Food also creates massive amounts of pollution (chemical and biological), shows little regard for sustainability of land, destroys the agricultural economies of foreign nations on which we dump our surplus crops, and just generally produces inferior food. The article argues that the only way out of this is to start subsidizing mid-size farms, like Niman Ranch (whose pigs feed me at least once a week in the form of a Carnitas Burrito from Chipotle), though I'd really like to see an end to subsidies altogether while there are so many government programs go…

The state of the web

I was going to post about AIM 'bots (and before that, I was going to post about gasoline taxes and congestion pricing and other economic disincentives against driving [and before that, about Congressional redistricting]), and maybe I'll still do all that. But Alice sent me an email a earlier tonight, and I very much enjoy putting email on my blog.

thought you'd appreciate this:

http://maudnewton.com/blog/?p=5945

I'm having Thanksgiving with friends, and I asked arrogantly if I could bring Boggle. Then I read your blog. Now I'm not so sure of myself since my confidence has been destroyed by Weboggle. Thanks a lot. (To be fair, maybe my friendships will be saved by this intervention)

The anecdote about dubious spelling is entertaining, but what really caught my eye is the Scrabble for onanists linked to from that blog post. It, along with WEBoggle, are two examples of really nicely done dynamic HTML/AJAX-y web applications. The emergence of DHTML/AJAX as as a viable appl…

Nor is Michael Brick a byline

This is not a news article.

Oy

So when I get up this morning and look out my window, I see police cars in front of the church. Stepping out onto the street, I see news vans lined up the blocks, and a few more cop cars as well. Nothing's taped off, so I head up Court St. to work. I forgot to check NY1.com to figure out what was going on when I got to the office, and then had something to do in midtown and forgot about it completely. Heading back to the apartment tonight I saw the news vans again, reminding me to look things up when I got upstairs.

It turns out that the Halloween Rapist, Peter Braunstein, was (maybe) spotted buying coffee downstairs from me. So that's a little disturbing, in that the dude seems to be about a big of a whacko as they come. Props to Bococa Café, though.

Nerd games

WEBoggle. I have a feeling a lot of the top scores are from automated programs, mainly because I never do very well and like making excuses. But it's about as fun as Boggle could be.

Let's hope this doesn't go the way of eScrabble.

A hotline, a wanted ad

I'm sitting in the Sea-Tac airport, waiting for my Song (now Delta, I suppose) flight back to New York. I don't think that I can get a full six hours out of the book I brought with me, The People of Paper, so I purchased a magazine for the ride.

I have a New Yorker sitting in my apartment, I assume, so I didn't go for that. Rachel subscribes to Time, and I've been reading that in their breakfast nooky-nook each morning. Newsweek just seemed declasse. I ended up going with The Economist.

I don't read The Economist on a regular basis, but whenever I do I immediately turn to my favorite section, "Executive Focus". This is a couple of pages of large, detailed classified ads in which government agencies try to recruit economic officials. The Economist is a British publication, so all the phone and fascimilie numbers are all cool and foreign. This week's issue, for those aspiring economists who haven't picked it up yet, lists opening for a Senior Economis…

Bunny is Missing!

Halloween in Seattle was a low-key affair. Scott and Rachel had a bowl full of Reese's which went almost entirely unused–the only trick-or-treaters were two kids dressed as "gangstas" in white wife-beaters and bandanas. They got a lot of candy.

Before the evening we went down to the downtownish area, mainly to stop at the Elliott Bay Book Co., but also to see the Pike St. Market and such. The book store gave us the biggest halloween feel; several customers were in costume, including a fairly convincing The Dude (El Duderino) in bath robe and sandals. Scott wanted to approach him, and it seemed like kismet when we found this book on a display shelf–cover up the "Lake" and, well, it would be a perfect thing to bring up to a Lebowski. But I didn't, and Scott didn't, and Rachel certainly did not, so that was that.

What I did on my autumn vacation

I've taken the opportunity to redesign the layout a bit, as promised. The byline's been moved to the top, which should be helpful if you can't figure out whether it's me or Sheryl who's writing about educational publishing or ninjas. I also changed the font.

I am hoping that this proves to be terribly contentious.