Sunday, December 19, 2004

Word of the day: Sartorial

It's got me in stitches!
sar·to·ri·al; adj.
Of or relating to a tailor, tailoring, or tailored clothing: sartorial elegance.

ie. "I wouldn't do that, unless black and white stripes are your sartorial style"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Rumsfeld Fighting Technique

This is pretty darn funny: The Rumsfeld Fighting Techniques. He does have quite an imposing demeanor :-)


Best Blogs of 2004

Interested in expanding your Blogosphere? Check out the Best Blogs of 2004.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Bush "The Cowboy" makes an appearance

This is a bit old, but in case you missed it: Bush taking charge.
SANTIAGO, Chile Nov 20, 2004 ? President Bush stepped into the middle of a confrontation and pulled his lead Secret Service agent away from Chilean security officials who barred his bodyguards from entering an elegant dinner for 21 world leaders Saturday night.

Several Chilean and American agents got into a pushing and shoving match outside the cultural center where the dinner was held. Bush noticed the fracas after posing for pictures on a red carpet with the summit host, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and his wife and first lady Laura Bush.

Abandoning the other three, Bush walked over to the agents, reached through the dispute and pulled his agent from the scrum.

The president, looking irritated, walked away with the agent. The incident was shown on APEC television.

"Chilean security tried to stop the president's Secret Service from accompanying him," said White House deputy press secretary Claire Buchan. "He told them they were with him and the issue was resolved."

Local mirror:

Renowned atheist renounces atheism

After over 50 years of denying God's existence, famous atheist Anthony Flew, 81, realizes undeniability* of higher intelligence in the creation of this universe and the complexity of DNA. Rush hit the nail on the head: "People's mortality tends to 'slap them upside the head' as they age ... it's part of human nature, part of the way we were created". One of my excuses for enjoying physics is the discovery of the Creator's fingerprints on His Creation, from the tiniest particle to the largest galaxy.

* My strategery is to use "undeniability" until it becomes a word :-)


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Best tool for the job / Why I love the command line

I have this theory that the more specialized the tool, the better it does the intended job. I believe this is why I love command-line tools - it forces creativity, giving you small building blocks with which you create the precise masterpiece necessary for the job. A corollary to this: time spent learning all the functions of your most oft-used tools will reap huge rewards.
End fortune-cookie mode :-)

Word of the day: Kleptocracies

Kleptocracies: A government characterized by rampant greed and corruption.

What a great word!


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Control without moving a muscle

From the BBC comes news of a "brainwave cap", giving users the ability to, for example, control a mouse pointer by merely wearing a cap. Dude, it's non-invasive to boot!


Duuuuuude ...

Feeding those etymologists among us is the latest research from a Univ. of Pittsburgh linguist, an exposition of the word "dude":

Kiesling says in the fall edition of American Speech that the word derives its power from something he calls cool solidarity -- an effortless kinship that's not too intimate.
Historically, dude originally meant "old rags" -- a "dudesman" was a scarecrow. In the late 1800s, a "dude" was akin to a "dandy," a meticulously dressed man, especially out West. It became "cool" in the 1930s and 1940s, according to Kiesling. Dude began its rise in the teenage lexicon with the 1981 movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

"Gorillas hold 'wake' for group's leader"

After reading this article over at CNN, I had to wonder: did the gorillas even know that their leader was dead?

"It was like they used to do in the exhibit, lying side by side on the mountain," keeper Betty Green said.
"Koola inspected Babs' mouth for a while, then held her baby close to Babs, like she loved to do the last couple months, letting Babs admire her," Green said.

Surprise! Morality reduces cheating

Came across this interesting post from Hugh Hewitt:

Simply put, people with moral codes do not cheat as often as those without such codes, and moral codes are more apt to be more deeply ingrained within people of religious belief than those with little or no religious belief. Which means --simply as an objective proposition-- that those who do not view cheating as "wrong" or sinful are more likely to cheat than those who do. Cheating at cards is not altogether different from cheating on your taxes or cheating in an internet contest or cheating in a recount. Cheating is cheating.

I remember voicing something similar in a liberal Political Science class in 1996 (of course not as succinctly as Hugh), after which I was so thoroughly ridiculed by the professor, that I shelved the idea as "not politically correct enough".

French considering mandating anonymous resumes

This article points to some interesting French legislation under consideration:

A proposal being studied by lawmakers would require companies with more than 250 employees to only accept resumes without candidates' names, sex, age, address or photograph to give all an equal chance of getting that critical first interview.

Hmm, I wonder if this will apply to models? :-)

Losing Perspective

Both Rush and ScrappleFace remind that often times the MLM's agenda will lead them to harangue a pet issue, when a comparatively larger injustice was done to discover the issue. Rush pointed to the highly illegal leak of grand jury testimonies vs. the steroid abuse implications they suggested; ScrappleFace led with "Classified CIA Cable Warns of Danger of Leaks", while the rest of the MLM only focused on the content of the leak.

Science vs. Religion, aka How vs. Why

Usually when religion surfaces in conversation with scientifically-minded friends and co-workers, I find that many rail against spirituality as a crutch for people who aren't intelligent and can't, for example, explain natural phenomenon. Unenlightened humans who attributed lightening to gods are ridiculed, as we in our more enlightened state can now explain how lightning occurs. However, the scientist and the spiritualist are answering two different questions: the former explains how lightening works, whereas the latter explains why it happened, the meaning behind the action. I believe that the "why" question must be answered by every individual, be it atheist, agnostic, or God-fearer.