Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A human being should...

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.  --Robert Anson Heinlein 
True stuff.  How's your score?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Answer to yesterday's Pop Quiz

Source: planks of the National Socialist Party of Germany (NAZI), adopted in Munich on February 24, 1920

Interesting, no?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pop Quiz

Name the source:
We ask that government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment and earning a living. The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash with the interests of the community, but must take place within the confines and be for the good of all. Therefore, we demand: ... an end to the power of financial interest. We demand profit sharing in big business. We demand a broad extension of care for the aged. We demand ... the greatest possible consideration of small business in the purchases of the national, state, and municipal governments. In order to make possible to every capable and industrious [citizen] the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our system of public education.... We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents.... The government must undertake the improvement of public health -- by protecting mother and child, by prohibiting child labor -- by the greatest possible support for all groups concerned with the physical education of youth. [W]e combat the ... materialistic spirit within and without us, and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only proceed from within on the foundation of The Common Good Before the Individual Good.
Answer comes tomorrow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Primer on Natural Resources and the Environment - George Reisman

The notion that production and economic activity are harmful to the environment rests on the abandonment of man and his life as the source of value in the world, and its replacement by a nonhuman standard of value — i.e., the belief that nature isintrinsically valuable.
A Primer on Natural Resources and the Environment - George Reisman - Mises Daily

Now I have to add this guy's book to my reading list.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Why do smart kids grow up to be heavier drinkers? - The Week

According to two long-term studies — one American, one British — there's a correlation between smarts and a thirst for alcohol. The "more intelligent children in both studies grew up to drink alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children,"

Why do smart kids grow up to be heavier drinkers? - The Week

I also like the theory proposed by an associate of mine:

When the lion and other predators hunt at the back of the pack, taking down the slow, sick and less-able, the overall quality of the pack improves. In the same way, alcohol's destruction of brain cells increases the overall average intelligence of what's left as it first takes down the slow and stupid ones.

Tipping Points and The Future of Electronics | OdNT -

An excellent article about the future of embedded systems (which pretty much means anything nowdays) and android as being the spark that could kick off another decade of western innovation like what happened with PCs in the 80's.

Tipping Points and The Future of Electronics | OdNT -

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Alligator Purse: Happy 400!

Yay, the wife's blog has hit 400 fascinating, scintillating entries.

Alligator Purse: Happy 400!: "'Tis the season for pumpkin patches and hay rides! As we are blazing through fall once again, thanks to typical southern California weather..."

My Fanboy Conversion Continues

Well, I've moved paralipsis to google-powered magic.  I've become a complete Google fanboy.  Having seen Google's operations from the inside, I have vastly more trust of Google than I have of any other company I can think of.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Carstache

Truly a genius product, the carstache looks like the ideal automotive accessory.

I don't know how my jeep would look with it, but I'd like to find out.

Friday, April 30, 2010

What Part of Demolition Robot Don't You Understand?

Husqvarna DXR 310 Demolition RobotSeriously Husqvarna, I love you. I wish I could have one of these. Just being able to drive it around and demolish thing would be so theraputic. The only thing that would make it better would be a video camera and long-range connectivity. Those seem like easy to add mods.

Santa, please won't you bring me one of these? I PROMISE I'll be good.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kindle DX rocks PDFs

I recently got a Kindle DX, upgrading from a Kindle 2. My reason for upgrading was twofold. First, I felt that I was having to 'next page' too frequently on the kindle 2's screen. I hoped that the larger screen meant I'd be able to stay in the prose for longer between gaps in page turns.

The second, is that PDF display on the Kindle 2 necessarily requires making the text very, very tiny. That, or using the device in landscape mode and viewing half a page at a time. Not too pleasant, especially when there are so many materials I'd like to have on hand in PDF format. Especially those I've downloaded from OReilly's Safari service.

In this latter regard, the Kindle DX is awesome. No longer do I have a thumbdrive filled with PDFs that I've been meaning to read. Now, as often as I can, I move them onto the DX, named appropriately and read them when I get a moment.

Here's a command that is a life saver. It merges multiple PDFs into a single larger one while preserving pretty much every aspect.

gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dBATCH \
-sOUTPUTFILE=newpdf.pdf a.pdf b.pdf c.pdf etc.pdf

Kindle DX, plus PDFs, I'm so happy now.

Oh and it reads books too :-).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Maven Eclipse Plugin 0.10 is Better

I've been using the maven eclipse plugin m2eclipse for a long while now and recently upgraded a couple of my eclipses to the 0.10 version. All told, it's better than the previous version of m2eclipse.

Of course as I write this, I try to set up another eclipse instance and it fails to load a pom. So close.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Timothy Treadwell a Perfect Liberal


Timothy Treadwell loved bears. In the name of loving them, with a stalwart sense of the innate sanctity of his mission, he continuously abused them for thirteen years. Time and again from 1989 until 2003 he invaded their territory — startling them, scaring them, angering them. Interrupting their hunting, their mating, their sleep, their play, he would coo sweet nothings at them in a flamboyant, high-pitched whine. He gave the savage beasts silly names like Lulu, Cupcake, Daisy, Ginger, Booble, and Mr. Chocolate, robbing them of their natural dignity. He firmly believed he was their protector, and unleashed torrents of self-righteous hatred upon anyone who dared question his treating of one-thousand-pound predators as if they were cute cuddly teddy bears. Handsome and charismatic, yet narcissistic and na├»ve, filled with honest caring, yet a smooth liar thoroughly at home in delusion, he became a constant danger both to himself and to everything he loved, ever on the verge of instigating a sudden volcanic eruption of nightmarish unintended consequences.

In short, Timothy Treadwell was a perfect liberal. He loved bears, with all his heart.

And then one ate him.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Test post

Argh, 'automated upgrade' my ass. I hope my blog still works.