Friday was KGB's highlight event -- Capture the Flag with Stuff, and it was awesome. Imagine playing capture the flag inside two giant, interconnected buildings (Mother Wean and Doherty, for the curious), and adding special magic objects to the mix (some of which require people to form a long chain of people, skip, and sing Yankee Doodle (despite my objections, due to Northern bias, singing Dixie instead is not acceptable) or otherwise behave very loudly and with much silliness). After a round of that, I went to hang out with friends for awhile, and was reminded by my body again that I can't stomach much wine before becoming drunk. Sigh. Tonight, I went with E, D, and Ir to the annual Pitt Jazz concert, which was fantastic. According to the pamphlet, these were some of the biggest names in Jazz today, all playing together. The guitarist Abraham Laboriel was very lively -- jumping around and beating on the back of his guitar at times. Afterwards there was a private reception that E had tickets to (he does parttime work in the Pitt music department, and got the tickets gratis). I got back fairly tired but happy. I had to cancel some other scheduled things to make this work, but this weekend has been one of happy comprimises -- everything seems to work out well even if I didn't get to do everything I might have wanted to do.
I may spend some quality time at work tommorrow programming an experiment. The software we use, E-Prime, is an irritating piece of junk, but there's nothing better and there are some nontrivial things that it does that would be a pain to implement. E-Prime runs only on windows, meaning that I need to physically be there to program for it. Argh. I suppose if I had a work laptop running windows or ran windows on any hardware of my own, I could develop here. Mhh.
Now, some more hopefully interesting news and commentary..
- Pirates v Rich Assholes. I have a hard time feeling sorry for the passengers on this kind of thing, but also don't like thieves, and I suppose they're the greater evil. I guess... One generally doesn't become rich enough to waste money on things that frilly in life without some things that are not the social equivalent to thieving though. Living off of investments, inherited wealth, control of property, etc. are hardly honest living -- I think that hubris in money seeking is one of larger societal evils.
- Perhaps Galloway isn't so cool afterall -- he says he entered a contract to make a speech that prevented him from being in parliament at the time of a crucial vote. This is irresponsible -- as a MP, his duty to his constituents should come strictly before private arrangements, and if he cannot do both, he should not enter into such arrangements while he is a MP.
- Another market-values-are-human-values screed. Sigh.
CMU has a quiz where one can win an iPod or some prizes for answering easy questions on campus security. I took it, primarily for amusement factor, and was very mildly offended and surprised to find that the quiz includes a movie that portrays southern women as being shallow and stupid .. well, to be accurate, it shows a southern woman as being so. I suppose I may be being oversensitive and leaping to conclusions when it shows only one person of a group with extremely negative consequences. I don't know.. but in any case I was surprised at some of the incidental content on the videos they used to illustrate points.
I was visiting Live365 recently to try to get the URLs to some more internetradio stations, and was greatly irritated to find that they changed things around so the site is full of adverts and one can't use a normal mp3 player (a la mplayer or mpg123) to connect anymore -- one needs something that does HTTP authentication (I think...). This is part of the trend that we've seen far too often -- something cool is started, people contribute to it and love it, and then some asshat corporation buys it up, commercialises it, and it becomes nearly useless and often threatening to other open sites that would replace it with something free and community-based again. CDDB went this way, as did mp3.com, the former nowonder, and countless other sites. One of the worst effects it leads to is a suspicion in peoples minds (including me) whenever they contribute to an open, good site of the people that it'll be bought and go bad in that way.
I am excited about ordering my new laptop next week. w00t. I am still looking for alternatives to make sure I'm not missing out on some great deals (if anyone out there spots a 19" AMD laptop or another 17" AMD laptop that looks totally awesome, please email me a link ASAP), but so far it looks like this is it (although, again, I don't know the precise pricing yet).