Wally, my cat for the last 6 years or so, died last Saturdayevening, around 10:00. It was likely a heart attack, and I buried himin Schenley park. At least I was there to pet him as he faded..It's sad thinking about it -- he occupied a part of my mind, and evennow when I'm in my apartment, I keep feeling odd that the body liesabout two miles away, under the ground in the woods. Intellectually,I know his body now doesn't have a lot to do with what he meant to me,and the him that I cared about was like the flame, on the candle of hisliving brain... but emotionally, I've confused the pattern for theblocks, and so occasionally I'm preoccupied with the body.. but notso much as yesterday, or the day before.
My laptop is having some hiccups -- there's now a line of dead pixelsgoing down the screen, and the power supply is flakey and sometimessparky. I've contacted Dell -- hopefully warranty will cover both,although I don't think I look forward to maybe doing without mylaptop for awhile.
Trinkets...Ablaut - cool words in english do it. You can too..Learning to read..Of particular interest there is the note that literate native English speakersgenerally have no difficulty with reading new words.Another crazy patent.Some people don't like Verizon.I don't dislike them -- I'm happy with my cell service, and their DSL isn'tbad, it's just not as featureful as I'd like.This isn't far from where my parents live .. ermm.. lived. It's complex. Don't ask.Textbook publishers scheme to rip people off. Someone's been flyering at CMU for a hoax.
Apparently, Kuwait is aiming to move in the direction of France, using theidea that the way to handle religious tension is to prevent people fromsaying things that might be inflammatory. France takes it to anotherlevel, making the overt display of affiliation hidden, at least in schools andpublic buildings. This is a very different approach from the American style,where, temporarily ignoring the 'hate speach' stuff, the faiths are told theymust tolerate any speech that comes their way. In a sense, it's anindividualism versus community thing.
Apparently, at the Snore^H^H^H^Huper Bowl, in the halftime game, JustinTimberlake had a stunt go wrong, and ripped off part of Janet Jackson's shirt,revealing a nipple. If you're like me, it's no big deal, but apparently, theFCC is making a big deal out of it because children might've seen the nipple.Of course, it's being pushed by some 'pro-family' groups who live in a magicland where children don't get spam or mess around on the back of school busses.Apparently, their girls don't ever look at their own body, and their boysare blissfully unaware of human anatomy. Prudes in our government arn'tsatisfied with making a stink, they're talking about thousands of dollarsin fines and revoking licenses. That's one thing that really bugs me --prudishness. Men, barring accident, have a penis, and women, barring accident,have a vagina and breasts. It's not a secret, and the sight of one won't makepeople go blind or get hairy palms. I'd like to think that we're living ina slightly more enlightened, liberal society than theocratic Iran. Sadly,there as well as here, prudishness starts with at least some of the common folk.
Speaking of Iran, on the 20th of this month, their elections are scheduled,and the reformists continue to resign as the conservative forces sit on theirdecision to disqualify most of the reformist candicates. It's absolutelyamazing what's happening over there -- I wonder how stable the system as awhole is right now... Essentially, the conservatives have put their footdown against slow reliberalization of the government, and it remains to beseen if the government can survive the tension..
Speaking of tension, Sharon is in hot water for his moves to withdrawsettlements in Gaza. Of course, the people in the settlements arn't taking itlying down, and are doing their best to fight the actions. Sharon seems tohave a real plan that doesn't rely much on the unstable Palestinian popularand leadership support, and that he has moved the seperation wall to(possibly) better reflect Palestinian settlements and he's actually uprootingcontentious settlements, it seems that he's willing to make the hardestcomprimises to secure a lasting peace. If he can manage it, and peace finallyreaches the area within 20 years or so, it will be an amazing achievement.I may have my own hope for a de-zionized bi-ethnic Israel, but peace, in theend, is more important. Life can only have so much terrible beauty.
A friend invited me to Orkut, Google's version of FriendsterTribe.netI joined.. why not? But it's sad -- things like these are precisely areas whereeconomy of scale is so important. I'm on all three, but everywhere someone Iknow isn't is like a cloud keeping me from seeing as far as I should be able toon these things.
Apparently, Europe has actual Joke political parties.The interesting thing is, in regional elections where there's only one realcandicate, and they're unpopular, the existence of joke parties has causedthe larger political parties to withdraw their candicate to avoid thehumiliation to losing to one of these guys.
Slightly less jokingly, Britain also has a party called the BNP that runson a racist platform, advocating deporting foreigners and lamenting theexistance of 'half-breeds'. Scary, although I guess there're peoplelik that everywhere.
Take a look at this URL: http://www.scott.aq/Guess where that country code is for? Hint: It's not New Zealand.
Want to hear an astronomer rant about bad astronomy? I knew you did.
Incidentally, here's a review of my awesome, but old, Cellphone.
Darwin day's coming up, on the 3rd.