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January 10, 2005

Extreme Arguing

It's dangerous, nasty and there is only ever one winner. Small wonder Extreme Arguing is so addictive...

link (the guardian)

If you liked that one, here's a Google search that leads to lots of good reading: barbara ellen observer

Posted by tplambeck at 11:54 PM

Synthetic biology

synthetic biology

"We're going to be able to write DNA. What do we want to say?"
Posted by tplambeck at 11:42 PM

Chatting with the New Mayor


Cole, David, and Mrs. Lindsay chat with Palo Alto mayor-elect Jim Burch, shortly before his inauguration tonight in the City Council chambers. I sat a few rows back because the best seats were saved for the kids.

Posted by tplambeck at 11:15 PM

The Chicken Little Logic Headache

From the NYT, 7 January 2005, "Heavy Rains in West Begin Chasing Its Drought," by By Dean E. Murphy:

Persistent wet weather across much of the West has done something remarkable to the scientists and water officials who fret about the region's five-year-old drought: They feel a lot less like Chicken Little.
"This is the kind of sky we like to see fall," Herbert R. Guenther, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, said in a telephone interview from Phoenix. "In rain - not us running around wringing our hands and screaming because of lack of water."

So—less like Chicken Little in that they were warning about important things that needed to happen, but that now that it has rained, they don't need to warn anymore? But that's not less like Chicken Little, that's not Chicken Little to any degree, since the essence of Chicken Littlehood is warning about things that aren't going to happen, and no one should care whether they happen.



[Note to self: don't think about this anymore. It's been three days already.]

Posted by tplambeck at 10:26 PM

The Salvador Option

Here's some more scary thinking about Iraq and what to do about the big mess there. The natural thing to do after a big failure is to "declare success," then pack up the old kit bags and smile, smile, smile. And that's obviously what has to happen in the long term—the US will have no military presence to speak of in Iraq. But I doubt too many people in Chimpdom have come around to that way of thinking. Yet. In the meantime, there's the "Salvador Option":

The U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success—despite the deaths of innocent civilians...
Posted by tplambeck at 05:04 PM

Well, I'm still a little surprised


THE SCENE: A spelling bee. A KID approaches a microphone on the stage. A JUDGE looks down at his word list.

JUDGE: "Achievre."

KID: Achievruh? Language of origin?

JUDGE: French.

KID: Achievruh? Could you repeat the word please?

JUDGE: "Achievre."

KID: Achiever?

JUDGE: "Achievre."

KID: Okay, "Achiever." A—C—H—I—E—V—E—R—

JUDGE: (Rings bell). NEXT!

Posted by tplambeck at 04:29 PM

The new ISBN

Get ready for the new ISBN!

Why is January 1, 2005 important?
That's the date that the Uniform Code Council has established as the "sunrise date" for U.S. retailers to join the rest of the world in using a full 13-digit EAN in place of the current US 12-digit UPC...


Posted by tplambeck at 09:02 AM

Flushing Garfield

From an article describing the decision of the Los Angeles Times to drop the comic "Garfield":

Gene Weingarten, a humor columnist for The Washington Post and Washington Post Writers Group, praised the Times decision during his weekly washingtonpost.com chat yesterday. He said the paper displayed "the kind of cojones missing in too many places" and described "Garfield" as "a strip produced by a committee, devoid of originality, devoid of guts, a strip cynically DESIGNED to be inoffensive and bad, on the theory that public tastes are insipid.

I've had the same feeling for years—"Garfield" is not only bad, it's almost always incredibly bad.

Now: what can be done about Ziggy?

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