Tomorrow, on 13 May 2005, a friend from high school, Matt Zielinski, will be on Jeopardy. If you have access to the show (I don't), perhaps you'll be amused to watch. Apparently, he's already made a good amount of money doing this, and is guaranteed at least another nice chunk just by showing up, win or no. I sometimes think back over all the friends I've made in life, and wonder if they would get along if they were all in the same room. Sometimes people talk about leaving loose ends behind, and want to wrap them as tightly as a mummy when they move on. All bridges burnt, or perhaps under a tarp. I don't think that's really possible. Sometimes, when my more antisocial side is active, I feel every friendship and every personal tie as a burden. When I'm like that, it's hard for me to socialize with anyone. At other times, friends make me happy. It's sometimes strange waking up on the other side of the mood than what I had when I went to sleep, and feeling the burden turn into happiness or vice versa. Fortunately, it can largely be managed by having periods of low interactivity in the right places. I sometimes have heard people talk down about people who sometimes disappear or arn't reachable for awhile -- if they're like me, then I think I understand why they need that. Without those periods of quiet, not necessarily being alone, but not interacting, I begin to hate life. As a result, I only have enough room in my life for a certain number of friends that I see in person.
I still see my past as being somehow more real than my present. I think the peak time in my life for that was in 1999 or 2000.
As time goes on, I find myself, very slowly, becoming more comfortable with expressing anger and asserting myself. It's something I've been working on, but it's not easy for me to change.
There's a nasty problem with Linux kernels all the way back into the 2.2 line. It makes possible a local root exploit. Hopefully patches will be out soon.
And now, the news!
In this story, only the headline is amusing -- "Pope says being German makes him open to dialogue". I'm sure a number of people in Squirrel Hill would think completely the opposite. There are a number of Jews, some old, some young, who feel that the Germans of today have a collective guilt for their ancestors, that they share a strong nature with the Nazis, and thus that people with German blood are to be quietly hated. In some ways, when I hear it, I feel like I'm in the South again, hearing about Mexi-cans and Blacks. Different racism from different folks, I guess. When I hear it, I inwardly shudder. I've heard it from a number of people I otherwise respect, usually accompanied by a number of stupid, rattled-off justifications. I guess the fact that I find the article title amusing means I'm at least aware of the impression it's going against. I suspect, being partly German, I don't need to worry too much about sharing it -- I've never been prone to the kind of self-ethnic hatred that some people have.
Apparently, the American Military is tough on crime -- Thomas Pappas was charged $8000 and warned not to do it again when he used dogs to torture people in Iraq. This is from the same military that makes adultery into a proper crime and does other things to make life more strict for its members. What a wretched example of humanity Pappas is!
The Netherlanders have the right idea with regards to research. The Americans, meanwhile, clearly have the wrong idea with how to handle openness. I think we need a Gorbachov of our own to bring us some glasnost and perestroika.
Nasa has a very cool new project!
I've always known that religion pollutes...
Apparently a lot of Americans are in chronic pain. Perhaps they should try a healthy diet and walking more.
Putin celebrated the end of WW2 in an interesting and somewhat controversial way. Apparently, to honour the sacrifice the Soviet Union and its people made, he had some military dress in Soviet regalia and do some marches. For people who don't appreciate the USSR, this was naturally a sore point. I'm not sure what to think -- while the Soviet Union was not my style of communism, having never quite aimed in the same direction as I'd like and having ventured much further off after Lenin died, it was nontheless a glorious experiment. The criticism from some of Russia's neighbours seems roughly on-target -- the hegemony of Russia, especially the means it used to control its neighbours, was quite unfortunate. To some degree, however, we see similar things done by the US to other countries in North and South America.
Americans are apparently to get a universal ID card. Several people, including the ACLU, are worried about it. I don't know what I think about this either.
Drug advertisements, which in my mind should be banned, have an effect on people and what they can get from their doctors. No surprise.
I'm not doing this kind of research with MRI. It's done in the Netherlands, a cool place for a number of reasons (see above).
This looks to be an interesting development in materials science. As I repeat frequently, materials science is the most interesting science to watch when it comes to immediately applicable advances that impact society.
Well, time to go off to do some climbing, and then hopefully a gathering with friends.