- Helped DrA get Eclipse installed, worked through first two builtin tutorials with him. Eclipse is a lot nicer than it used to be, and the tutorials were well done (although marred by inadequate instructions for some parts, like installing the SWT kit)
- Trip to Beehive - on bus, I saw an African woman who had really awesome-looking white marks on her face in artsy-looking patterns. Initially, I thought she was embracing some aspect of her cultural heritage, and was going to compliment her, and then when she passed me to get off the bus, I saw that she had patches of differently coloured skin on her hands and legs too - probably something biological? On one level, it's neat to have such an interesting look, like a body built for art, but on another I imagine she probably was made fun of in youth (presuming it was apparent from birth). Assuming it to be a skin or genetic condition, I wonder what it was.
- Reading more Lovecraft while waiting for the second bus to take me from the Southside Works to the Beehive, I came across a phrase like "Earth's hugest ocean, from which perhaps the moon was torn", and pondered if the sentence is still correct if the last "was" were changed to an "is". It's stilted English, but I think it still is.
- Right now, making good use of the Beehive's beanbags, being surprised at how strange Billy Talent's first album (Watoosh, released under their previous band name of Pezz) is. It's good stuff, but it's probably best not classified as punk and has the same kind of experimental feel that TMBG's first album (They Might Be Giants) had. It sounds a little bit like Danny Elfman in parts too..
- Sitting with my legs folded under me (or lying down) is much better for me when programming or doing tech stuff than sitting up in a chair the normal way. Chairs feel like they're fundamentally misdesigned for the human form. In the EEA, did we really sit with our legs dangling beneath us that way very often? I'd guess beanbags to be more natural.
- As always, admiring how awesomely .. Wiccan-Rede-compliant/artsy/Wilderzoneis
h the place feels - it feels wonderfully antithetical to the disgustingly conformant world most stores are part of... uneven lighting, no two chairs in the place are the same, paintings of various origin on the walls, a neon light saying "Pinball" near the pinball machines, computer terminals here and there for .. well, you get the point. For people who remember, it's like Insomnia was in Columbus, but a bit cleaner, much larger, and moreso. I feel bad for the people who can't take a bit of smoke - I think it's one of the best indoor places in Pittsburgh.
Recently, I've been thinking a bit about gender again (again, from whatever perspective you approach the table from, know that the "liberal consensus" and "conservative consensus" in American society define the term differently, and on this matter my definitions may differ from yours). I noticed that when it comes to opening up to people beyond a certain point, it's rare that the people I feel comfortable doing so are male. I'm wondering if and how this ties to the fact that I identify sexually as Bi but relationshipwise only seek females (and as I'm more relationship-oriented than sex-oriented, that makes me practically very similar to being straight) - there's something mental about the people I've been attracted to that doesn't seem to come up often (ever?) in males. I don't think of myself as having much of a gender identity, but there is something I seem to emotionally want that males almost never have (again, completely distinct from sexual attractiveness, which appears to be there for me in roughly equal proportion in both genders). Is whatever that quantity is the same thing that makes me comfortable opening up? .. I think for the few males I've felt comfortable opening up to emotionally, I was at least closer to the idea of considering a relationship with them. I further wonder if, given a society that didn't push/create gender roles and thus theoretically created more people that wern't so conformant to these norms, whether significant numbers of people in the transitional period (or even afterwards) would find themselves not attracted to other people after that shift - I've heard enough people speak dreamily about liking "military guys" and other people of exaggerated male identity that to take that away (or make it rare) might do strange things to a society (I once had a long conversation with a girl who had fairly pro-gender-status-quo pro-homophobia views, and this was her assertion - there may be something to it). Confession: When I hear people fawning over such things, I tend to get angry/upset, especially when I'm attracted to said person. I don't like the notion of needing to compete on that front to attract/stay with someone when the very notion of becoming like that disgusts me. Further interpretations of that are straightforward - left as an exercise for the reader.
Comment: The Golden Nepal tea here is fantastic. Margaret's Fine Imports doesn't have it - I suggested she come to the Beehive sometime to give it a try.
- Cute. WikiYou is a site for people to indulge their vanity and describe themselves to the world. The "cute" is sarcastic.
- Hamas made light of some of the more egregious examples of Yassir Arafat's self-serving corruption. It would be very healthy if Fatah were willing to admit these and commit to reform - if it is as corrupt as it was and never changes, then its credibility compared to Hamas will suffer.
- On the same note, Fatah and Hamas are busy banning each other's publications from territories they control. Opinion: if it leads to faster peace with Israel, Fatah's doing this is forgivable. If free speech harms the prospect of ending the continued waste of resources and lives in that conflict, then suspending it, especially to a limited extent, would be prudent. Even imprisoning/stifling every member of Hamas would be forgivable.
- On the topic of corruption and "how is it supposed to work?", this discussion on earmarks is pretty interesting.
- New challenges for Musharraf: A "new" Lal Masjid established in a frontier province of Pakistan. I mentioned that I like Obama's stance on being willing to talk to any national leaders. I dislike something he's done since - directly threaten Pakistan if it doesn't cooperate more. Even if it eventually comes to that, it seems hotheaded to threaten before exploring other alternatives (such as offering military aid packages, having private discussions, etc), things he presumably couldn't do as just a presidential candidate. Recognised: the need to differentiate himself as a candidate, although this is probably a poor way to do it.
- Sunnis withdraw from government in Iraq. The Muslim Brotherhood has some political wins in Jordan.
- Time.com has an analysis on why BushJr isn't keen to push Gonzales from the stage, and the Washington Post has an analysis of the situation Karzai (Afghenistan - a much weaker political leader) faces.
- There's a class action lawsuit, filed in Tel Aviv, that would ask Germany to pay for second-generation mental suffering from children of Holocaust survivors. I confess to deep amusement in this lawsuit - if societies are to accept the notion that lawsuits based on inherited injury are valid, even for one generation, then the state of Israel may be opening itself as a target of a nightmare of lawsuits.
- Irresponsible Scum. Must ... control... fist of death..