Although I am being despised in proxy by many of my classmates, because I am finished with my work, I still had a good day yesterday. Slept in, went to a holiday party so that I could have food, chocolate, and company with other grad students and staff, then came home. The highlight of the day was when I opened the freezer door to get dinner out, the ice tray dropped out. This would not be eventful, except that the ice tray them proceeded to bounce itself all the way down the staircase next to the freezer, shedding all its ice cubes in the process. Surprisingly, the only major damage I saw was that a corner of the plastic handles was shorn off. I suspect the tray would have bounced farther had there not been a couch close to the bottom of the stairs. After the initial “D’oh!” of not catching the tray, I couldn’t do much more than laugh at the silliness of it all. I can’t feel bad about something like that happening, because it’s way too funny to think poorly of myself for. Besides, it wasn’t my fault - I didn’t put the ice tray where it would fall out. I think I was just shocked at it happening, and then amused to see just how far it would go. (Pretty far, d00d.)
DRT comes up with a list of some of the weird, but predictable, things people will do
. Unfortunately, no citations to the various studies that have brought about all these bullet points. Would be a lot cooler if the list could show where it draws its conclusions from. Speaking of science, 10,000 scientists protest government meddling in their results
. This would be... there’s a word that fits here, and it’s not irony... for me to remind people that not everything they read from government, newsmedia, or bloggers is necessarily true. I would believe that the government is interfering, trying to get data to match predetermined conclusions, and that some scientists would be miffed at this happening to them. Maybe I’m naive.
Speaking of the government, the government has subpoenaed the ACLU to retrieve a classified document that was leaked
. This is definitely different. I wonder whether the rules about classification of documents still apply to material leaked to an organization - by definition, a leak is designed to cause the data to be released, so would that constitute an (un?)authorized declassification of the document? Or is there precedent that says there must be good reasons for subpoenaing a document once its in the hands of the organization?
Brief interlude, not actually trying to link to anything, but a list that Mr. Bush probably would like to keep near him at all times - infernal devices, a listing of instruments of torture
. There’s a lot there, and pictures, too. In terms of a different kind of torture, though, the new Homeland Security Chief still thinks national ID cards are swell
. If he can come up with something that can’t be tampered with, copied, stolen, lost, or have any of the steps along the way hacked, he might have a case. Even then, he’ll have to explain why it’s a good idea for information of this nature to become centralized, possibly to the point that a citizen could be theoretically tracked to reasonable accuracy if desired. And whether or not the creation of such a number or identity might lead to or be violations of the laws that protect individual privacy and guarantee that personal information is handled appropriately. There’s a lot here that needs to be addressed to convince people to buy into this. So it might end up being pushed on the people in a “you take this or you’re a freedom-hating terrorist who’s going to be deported” manner.
CNN was running the first part of a series called “What is a Christian?” yesterday night, and I happened across it, and stuck around to watch. It’s been pretty good, actually, showing off both the wingnut side (although not necessarily as wingnuts) and the saner side. And Unitarian churches, as well, that have Christians in it. So on the CNN website, we have punk preachers asking what the hell went wrong with Christianity that the wingnuts are in control
. Perhaps the wingnuts took good notes from the list of 10 ways to build a cult-like following
, and turned that into a successful business. Georgia state education board says Harry Potter can stay
. We applaud, we applaud. This is a good way of breaking a negative stereotype that all the South has are wingnut evangelicals in all places. (Although, when I was down, some of the strongest broadcasting stations were Christian-themed. Not that I was looking for them, but when it’s nearly midnight, you go with what’s on the radio.)The newest terror-fighting tool: bomb-sniffing bees
. With a more sensitive odor-detection, bees are apparently the new dogs. Now, will the bomb squad be able to detect when the bee signals a bomb?Cooking at home means eating healthier
, according to Reuters. Now, the barriers of having sufficient space and time to cook are all that need to be conquered, right? Perhaps if the embattled undergraduate/graduate student or the single person working three jobs to make ends meet have sufficient time to cook, they’ll cook and eat healthier. So we either need more time or knowledge on how to make good nutritious meals in about the time it takes to microwave something unhealthy.What's In a Name? Barack Obama may be finding out really soon
. (NYTimes site - there may be some registration thing going on if you come back to this. Use BugMeNot
if you’re not already registered.) What scares me is that I think this blog commentator is spot-on, and that the name will become a problem for the Senator if he is chosen as the candidate for the next election. I can expect to see sludge being thrown, not necessarily by any official Republican mouthpiece, but other places that sympathize, that the Senator is too brown, too Arabic-sounding, and has a name too similar to “the enemies of America” to be President. I retort that people were worried that the Pope would call Kennedy with his policy.Flexible sheets of plastic may be able to provide wireless power
. It will take specific technology on the receiving end to be able to use such power sheets, but if you’ve got a lot of wall warts and you’re worried about people tripping on them, having a wireless power sheet driving your electronics would definitely be cool. Don’t look for them to appear for another five years, though, according to the creators - then they might start becoming part of your house’s infrastructure. We can only hope that they’ll transmit through paint coats and wallpaper.Nearly two dozen people want more information on New Ephemera, a fictional destination
. You can see the brochure that was given to them as enticement at the link. I suspect the train commuters probably would have liked to have such a destination to get away to. Mottainai Furoshiki - a wrapping cloth made from recycled materials
. So it’s something that you can use to wrap your bundles with in a variety of ways. Here's a visual list of how you can wrap things in it
. And it’s recycled material. This could very well be a really neat thing to learn how to use well. I just wonder if it’s big enough that I can find a way to carry my books and papers to and from class with it, along with all the other supplies I’d need. Then again, considering the amount of supplies I actually use when taking notes, it very well might be big enough to suffice. That would mean learning things and retiring my book bag, which is actually a handy thing for when I want both hands free. But still, on shopping trips, a couple of these could be really handy.
Anyway, now that I have the option, I’ve decided to open up the tagging abilities of this journal to the readership at-large. Since I don’t really tag anything at all, I’m leaving up to the people who I think are dedicated enough to make, and actually want to see, tags. If you get really ambitious, you could do the archives, too.