Monday, October 31, 2005

Some weeks ago, I was buying some oil, and the register said '$2.56'. And obviously my mind wasn't working normally because I didn't think 2^8 as I normally would.

Anyhoo, I handed her 3USD expecting 4 cents in return. It took me an hour to realise why she gave me 44 instead.

No. Wait. It was 2.54USD, 4 cents, and 46 cents. So my mind was working correctly. Except for the 'we're using base 60, right?' bit.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

(Potentially relevant link)

(Link largely unrelated to this post. I ended a forum post about this news story with that line. What a useless headline.)

The United Arab Emirates and Iran and the lot are terrible countries. No nation should ever officially favour one religion (or race) over another. That's just immoral.

Israel, of course, doesn't count. That's different. Because those poor souls were oppressed by Hitler. Hitler didn't mind Muslims though. He thought they were just as good as Christians.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I have a leather-bound, 1928 annotated edition of Dickens' /A Christmas Carol/. 'With marginal notes for salesmen'. From the intro:

The Greatest Sale Ever Made
To a salesman, "A Christmas Carol" is especially interesting, because it is the story of a sale. It is the most fascinating story of a sale ever. Only Dickens could have shaped fine-spun strategy used by Marley's Ghost to sell the idea of a Merry Christmas to "hard boiled," cynical old Scrooge. The sale in itself was an achievement, but what makes it especially noteworthy is that in getting Scrooge to see Christmas as he saw it, Marley's Ghost has sold the same idea merry Christmas to millions of readers throughout the English speaking world. ...
Annotations include Scrooge was Not Exactly What You Would Call an "Easy" Man to Sell--He was Too "Cagey". And Playing on the Harp Was the Vogue Then--But Now a Really Artistic Salesman Plays His Tune on the Prospect's Cash Register.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Primetime did an (extremely biased) episode on a couple of young Neo-Nazis. And very poorly done. It's bad when the Neo-Nazis sound more educated than the national reporters. 'Oh, you're just teaching your own kids your own political views! Shocking!' Well, duh! I'm sure normal kids never pick up political beliefs from their kids. Oh, and I especially like how peaceful neo-Nazi protesters were attacked by rioters, so Neo-Nazis are /clearly/ dangerous.

They talk about people refusing white-only Katrina aid, but how about doing something about moronic reporters arguing for our side? Reminds me of the SNL skit where Saddam publically supported...Kerry? Bush? Clinton? McCain? Anyway, yes. Please, 60 Minutes, you're not helping the anti-racism cause..

Of course, it's quite normal for /Primetime/. I once watched part of a pornography thingy they (or /60 Minutes/?) did. The reporter v. pornographers was like Britney Spears v. Stephen Hawking.

/Primetime/ is the prig's /Jerry Springer/.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Because I recentlyish got a Kodak digital camera and have been receiving their newsletter, they sent me an online survey about it and their newsletter.

Some tips for their survey writers:
* Don't mix multiple choice answers. 'I like taking photos and REALLY like editing my pictures' is not true. You need either two distinct questions or include the entire Cartesian product for answers about photo /taking/ and photo /eiditing/ options.
* Same thing for sharing photos and editing phots.
* If the question says '(Enter whole dollar amount. Please enter 0 if none. You do not need to type in the "$" sign.)', it shouldn't prohibit you from entering numbers under 25.
* Don't assume I've read the newsletter and have opinions about it. Yes, I /think/ I've been receiving it, but I certainly didn't /read/ it. But I will happily check the 'Too many images' box.
* Don't make me answer every question. You want random choices for questions that are completely irrelevant, or for me to give you nothing at all?

Monday, October 17, 2005

(Potentially relevant link)

Nearing that time of year again. Several of my friends have been planning for a month or two already. I started something like this many years ago, and was thinking it could make an interesting NanoWriM, but I doubt I'll do it that way. But, you know, when you're short on words for the day, throwing in a H2G2-esque article from time to time could be appealing. Coherence will not be something I demand of my story.

Graham (who alerted me to NaNoWriMo with his blog entry last year) is talking about how much harder it may be for him this time, since he succeded last year. For me, that's no problem. It can't really go much worse.
2004-11-01: Five hours of sleep the night before. Too tired to write much that evening. Why did they have ot make it start the day after Halloween? I wrote under 800 words.
2004-11-02: I wrote under 400 words, as I recall. I just /had/ to go watch the election results come in instead.
2004-11-03: Four more years. Too depressed to write.
2004-11-04: Four more years. Too depressed to write.
2004-11-05: Four more years. Too depressed to write.
2004-11-06: Four more years. Too depressed to write.
2004-11-07: Four more years. Too depressed to write.
2004-11-08: Four more years. Too depressed to write.

I wrote a tad more around the twelfth, or so, but by that time it was obviously a failed endeavour. This year, maybe I'll just go ahead and forget all about quality as I had planned. Writing poorly is not the easiest thing for me.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Thursday, a homeless guy was talking to me (or foodless, anyway) and he asked where I was from. I told him I was from Chocowinity, NC (this was in neighboring Washington, NC) and he didn't believe me. Apparently the way I speak is too proper. 'You must be British or something'.

Now, I don't have the southern accent of everyone else in the area, but I'm certainly not British. Of course, this guy had trouble understanding anything I said for some reason.

Anyway, if I wear a blue shirt today and a red shirt tomorrow, no one thinks 'He switched from medical to operations! That's weird.' It's perfectly normal. But if I switch to a Cockney accent for a day, people will think I'm totally bizarre (and annoying). People are stupid that way.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

(Potentially relevant link)

BBC Headline: 'EU vets agree bird flu measures'

BCC decides ban prepositions. People seen singing and dancing the streets. English teachers give.

Monday, October 10, 2005

(Potentially relevant link)

I have a system.

It used to be that my shirts were piled in a big...pile. And each morning, I'd grab one and put it on. I'd grab one of my favourites. I'd end up wearing four or five shirts in a single week, with little variance from week to week. I had about twenty-thirty shirts, but the lame ones were kept at the bottom of the pile so I didn't have to sort through them.

But, my brother then gave me some of his shirts that he didn't wear.

So I made a useful system: two piles of shirts. I'd take the one on the top of the first pile, wear it, and when I got shirts back from the laundry, I'd put it on the second pile. Once the firt pile was gone, I'd flip the second pile back onto where it was and start over. Thst way, I wore each shirt once. Wouldn't wear the same shirt more than once over the course of a month.

But! Now because some shirts are quite lame and some are fab and such, and the first pile spreads out so much, I will pick and choose a bit, and occationally I'll completely skip the worst few.

These are my short-sleeved button shirts. The thing I wear 300+ days of the year. My long-sleeved button shirts are in my dresser.

My shirts

Saturday, October 08, 2005

(Potentially relevant link)

Earlier this year, the city of Washington, NC decided to improve their drainage system.

It didn't work.

Van in flooded parking lot

The flooding seemed worse than when Hurricane Floyd hit in 1999, but maybe that's because we didn't go into town until the next day. Our yard was flooded more this time.

Friday, October 07, 2005

At Philosophy Club last night, Adam pointed out that he could make a machine that says 'Ow, that hurts!' when you punch it. So I threw this thing together. Dr. Murphy an d Dr. Vebber seemed to think it was amusing.

Anyhoo, this is similar to a basic computer program I bring up whenever idiots start talking about plants and vegetarianism. 'Oh, eating meat isn't worse than eating plants, 'cause plants an feel pain too!' Bullshit. Animals have a centre of subjectivity. Plants don't. Plants feel pain in the same sense that this button feels pain: it reacts negatively to certain stimuli. Most philosophies and certainly common sense insist that there's a morally relevant difference between animals and Javascript programs. Yet there's no basis for the claim that there's a relevant difference between a plant and the button. You can bullshit all you'd like about plants sensing whether you're a murderer or not, but _plants_ _have_ _no_ _mentation_. Animals do.

Once again, science defeats bad philosophy. The good philosophers know this.