Friday, December 30, 2005

Back in action!

I am now a WordPress user, after Richard became convinced that CGI was fundamentally unsecurable. We'll see if this lock-down makes the server any happier, but WP is pretty, anyway.

On an unrelated note, I made a map of the long runs I've started doing. Of course, it doesn't do justice to some of the rough hills.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Random stuff

Lisa: I hate going to the zoo. I feel so sorry for the animals.
Homer: In the wild, they would never experience boredom, obesity, loss of purpose... you know, the American dream.

New Yorker:
"We have to do something about satellite television to keep society free from this horny jerk-off situation."

For those of you using Google Reader, I wrote a Greasemonkey script that lets you open the current item in a new tab.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

On the weekend-yuppie-meter, a score of 7

Friday night, dinner at Nam, which had the typical almost-too-much decor of Tribeca, but suprisingly good vegetables in curry and banana bread with ice cream (but bad soup, according to C).

Saturday, went to dia:Beacon. (Tip: buy the discount package from Metro-North machines using the Getaways button in the upper right corner.) Favorites included On Kawara, Agnes Martin, and Fred Sandback. A very cool space. (Good reviews at from the floor and findarticles.)

Along the way had an interesting discussion with Sarah, who works in publishing, about why Google Print might be evil. She explained that they have to buy the right to song titles to put into textbooks, so who are we to even tangentially repurpose and possibly profit from whole pages of books? Compelling, but this really just suggests that this permission crap has gotten out of hand.

Today, unlimited mimosas and coffee at Basso Est, shoe shopping at Jackrabbit Sports, and plate-hanger-buying at Home Depot.

I also started running with my iPod. Running with shuffle and using the free case it comes with is actually pretty workable. So much music at my fingertips... Still hunting for good podcasts. I did get a scary error message from my iPod about not being able to write to the disk, but some people on the Internet attribute it to problems with USB port, which given the weird messages I get about USB 2.0 seems like a possible issue.

Exegesis is up to 27 links on and few mentions in blogs. A plug on kottke helped a bunch. (Thanks!) By the way, two new hidden features: 1) searching for a word that does not occur (e.g. "fags") will highlight verses linked by any pages that match the word and 2) usng the left and right arrow keys in the search box will jump to next and previous search matches.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005


So, my big Bible art project launched today at Turbulence. It's funny, I started out with some ambitious ideas but then I realized the amount of data was large enough (and that animation was a beastly enough thing to code and seems to annoy people anyway), that I had my hands full getting something simple done, even with several months to work on it. I think I was also pretty spoiled using such a fast computer. I had to use it on Linux and hear about the Mac users before realizing I was accidentally doing some needless O(n^2) operations in the GUI thread. I'm hoping they'll let me sneak in some cleanups, at least. I think it's still possible to get interesting stuff out of it, and my beta testers called it "neat" and "cute," so I've got that going for me, which is nice. And at least one unbiased person had nice things to say. Still, it definitely feels clunky and frustrating, depending on what you try to do with it.

I'm sure there's more to tell about the long process to getting here, but I'm a little incoherent after staying up till 2 and then catching the 8 am Jet Blue to Mountain View (although, I must say, Jet Blue is pretty nice - if only they had mp3's like Song! rip, Song. also, budget rental finally has economy cars. yay gas prices)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What a day

After a fun Halloween at Glo, I decided to shirk my upcoming art project deadline to get a much-needed haircut. I heard these could be gotten cheaply in Chinatown, but I failed to realize that this might involve surrendering my fate to someone who didn't speak English. My new hair is, uh, interesting.

Also, I bought an iPod (after trying out the clunky iriver at best buy). It's very pretty! I'm slowly filling it with music, podcasts, and subway maps. My laptop appears to have a 2.0 controller but 1.1 ports, or else something else is amiss. Now will I start buying music at iTunes? That's the big question.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Good & Bad

Good: seeing the Daily Show in person (Jon is short!), indie music podcast, franz ferdinand remixes

Bad: enamel loss, idiotic arguments (try lessig instead), and Nov 1 deadlines

The new ipod still don't have cases to run with, which leaves me free to remain undecided.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fun wildcard search of the day

Today's fun search is inspired by Martins' tag fame. Try it out: in the future *.

In other news, I upgraded Moveable Type! I'm slowly working my way back through 20,000+ spam comments, but in the meantime, you'll have to use TypeKey to comment, and no trackbacks.

And I wrote a Greasemonkey script to put Google Reader content in a scrollign div, if that's something you'd find useful.

Friday, October 7, 2005

So much going on

Another week of recovering from sleep! This time, I came back from Chris's bachelor party in Vegas. Good times were had by all. The pools (wave machine! river!) at Mandalay Bay are amazing. (Yes, there were strippers, but it was very class compared to past experiences. Are they being exploited? C disagrees on this, but especially after reading about them, it seems no less absurd than being a model or actress, or anything else, really. they definitely make good money. Sadly, only a few of them displayed any real athleticism, despite Greenspun's belief after seeing the same art I saw that strippers who can hang upside down were a dime a dozen.)

Unfortunately, on the way there, I missed yet another flight, and had to pay a fee AND hang out at the airport for 5 hours. Delta has this new system where they guarantee you on the flight, but you have to wait till 3 hours before. This meant I had to hang out without food for 2 hours before I could go through security. Lame. JFK is far too annoying to get to, although considering I was late for a bus that left 5 blocks from here to DC, I suspect I might have some lateness issues of my own.

Meanwhile, I'm still deliberating about whether I want a Nano or a hard drive player that's Napster-compatible. This would be easier if I weren't also committing to a music provider. LimeWire still seems more convenient than being locked into ITunes for the rest of my life. But anything has to beat my poor little Audible player. Luckily Song has lots of great mp3s to listen to during the flight.

With the added time waiting for my flight, I managed to finish Super-Cannes. It's a little heavy-handed at points and a little obvious in others, but overall is very entertaining.

Oh, and Catherine and I went to Grocery, where, despite my apprehensions, the vegetable plate entree turned out to be both exotic and tasty, if a bit heavy on beets. Yum!

I'll conclude with a shoutout: Good luck on Grand Challenge, Richard!

Friday, September 23, 2005

*Still* catching up on sleep

After doing the Reach the Beach relay last week, I'm still trying to catch up on sleep. It was awesome, though. I ran (according to Walt's spreadhseet magic) 4.6 miles at a 9:03 pace, 7.1 at a 8:26 pace, and 4.2 at a 8:20 pace. Go me. And our team kicked ass overall, running the whole thing in 31 hours (8:51 pace). It was a fun bunch. We stayed at the hotel from the Shining, ate at Friendly's and Cracker Barrel and gas station markets, and listened to disgusting stories from Ki and to Hollaback Girl on repeat. The 7 miles were in near-total darkness, it was very Long Walk-y/transcendental. The ocean at the end was wonderfully cold. This racing thing is fun. ;-)

In other news, the Google Toolbar for Firefox is out of beta. Get it and use AutoLink! Also, the experiment I worked on is out. It's nice to be launching things after a long pause since merchant ratings and advertiser ratings.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fun Art Weekend

On Saturday I went to some galleries on 25th and saw some fun art:

Boy, art is hard to describe. I should start a photoblog like Dolapo.

Anyway, as if that weren't enough, on Sunday I met up with Jordan for brunch, and he turns out to be starting an art collection. He showed me his collection, including photos of gummi bears and a painting of an apartment building. He's looking at getting a picture of Marilyn Monroe and a painting of a Lego astronaut. Along the way, we found out about these Dia installations nearby that apparently have been there for decades. The Earth Room and The Broken Kilometer were both all the more amazing for being located on expensive real estate in the hustle and bustle of SoHo.

Also, who knew that the trailer for Everything is Illuminated was out? Elijah Wood isn't exactly who I pictured as the protagonist.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Just saying hi

So, for a while, I thought I would not write any new posts till I got rid of all of my comment spam. But, at 16,994 spams and counting, I don't think that's going to happen. Sigh.

Life's been very exciting in the meantime. I've been working my butt of at work, and Catherine and I found an apartment in Tribeca. It's not exactly the cute neighborhood Chelsea is, but it's close to stuff and SO MUCH cheaper than Chelsea luxury buildings. And for the second time, the building's broker volunteered to bargain down the price with the owners when I was ready to pay the initial asking price. I just don't understand New York real estate.

I also saw a play, Fluffy Bunnies in a Field of Daisies, which was incredibly funny. It also did a great job exploiting the medium of the stage (if there were a Google-my-overpriced-college-education service, I could remember what particular philosophical diatribe put that idea in my head).

Oh, and I saw a movie. The pengiun movie. Way better than I expected. Penguins are nuts, though. The lengths they go to to have babies!

Oh, and we had a pretty good dinner at La Belle Vie, and it was 15% off because we booked online for late at night. And the owner gave us a free drink. The appetizer (zucchini and green apple soup) was more exciting than the entree, much like at Spice Market. I really need to work up the nerve to eat more appetizer-and-dessert meals at these places.

I'm very stressed about moving and work. I can't wait for summer to be over. Terrible, but true, given the things that tend to co-occur with summer. Hopefully we'll at least get some more beach time in, hopefully on a day when the sky isn't ominous.

Other recent valuable lessons: Culture Club has an exceedingly favorable ratio of women to men. The only place to find the price of luxury buildings without calling is in the print NY Times. Squash blossoms are tasty. Madras Mahal might be better than Pongal.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Long time no see

Life's been hectic, what with my trip to Seattle and California, visiting Boston for the 4th, and other random goings on. But Catherine and I finally got around to captioning our Turkey pictures. Here they are!.

Meanwhile, I feel like I have all these big decisions that are very hard for me to make about apartments and what to work on at work and such. I always think that thinking about them for a long time will lead to some grand insight, but mostly they just cause me stress. So in the end I pick somewhat arbitrarily. It's very odd and annoying. I'm much better at making decisions when they don't involve my personal life. ;-)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Shoes and airports

I was way ahead of the curve on this one.

random observations after returning from turkey

tomatoes just taste better in turkey. there is plenty of vegetarian food in turkey, but a lot of it is along the lines of cheese and bread, e.g. cheese on bread, cheese between two layers of bread, cheese in a deep-fried pastry with dill or parsley. menemem (tomatoes meet scrambled eggs) and just stir-friend veggies were a bit more exciting. there is also gelatinous ice cream. i kept stealing catherine's.

turkey is very pretty. there are lots of mountains and different kinds of trees and cute little farming towns.

the economy in turkey is just bizarre. the effects of the low cost of labor are very obvious. people lurk around bus stations trying to get a commission on a pension or bus. nobody can make change. bus attendants serve drinks and spray hand cleanser on people. sometimes people will tell you a bus doesn't go to your hotel or that your hotel is full or that a bus goes straight to a town that it doesn't go to, just to make you choose them. there are many, many bus lines and the bus stations feel like airports. the longest bus we took was overnight, and the heat was stuck on for 2 hours and a baby next to us was crying. the busses don't have bathrooms but stop every few hours at elaborate rest stops. shops are open very late in turkey. everybody wears suits.

in some ways, it's nice that turkey is less letigious that than the US. the standard tour of capaddocia is pretty physically involved.

in the spice market, there was a dessert called turkish viagra. the sign said, "you make love 5 times in the night."

the jfk airport has terrible food options in terminal 1. istanbul and milan airports don't seem to understand that some fliers are interested in shopping for non-luxury goods. flying out at 5:30 and waiting for a connection for 5 hours later in the trip sucks.

coke is moderately pricey in turkey. why is coke cheaper than water only in the US?

it turns out i do get sunburned. and have inopportune fevers.

touristy mosques are a pleasant departure from touristy churches.

european tourists wear skimpy bathing suits.

it's hard to find women in Turkey. the streets of towns were filled with men hawking wares or playing some sort of tile game in parlors with no women in sight. creepy.

"harem" really just means private. it's the name of the town, and of a part of a home. the way to say thank you is te-shi-kut ed-er-em. that's a lot of syllables. compare with danke, gracias, thanks, merci. odd. the g with the funny symbol on it is silent but makes the preceding vowel longer.

the turkish tea cups are very cute.

oh, and, lots of people thought i was turkish apparently since i have dark skin. confused, i guess, by my speaking english, they asked "where are you from?" if i said america, they were confused (they assume all americans are white?) and asked where i was really from. one guy wondered if i just had a bad sunburn.

pictures TK.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

In Turkey!

I,m at an Internet cafe ın Pammukaleö Turkeyö where the keyboard ıs a bıt screwyç Rather than tryıng to fıght ıtö I,ll just let you decıpher thıs cryptıc blog postç Thıs country ıs gorgeous * Iill have more to say about ıt later when Iim not payıng by the mınuteç Great mountaıns and beachesç And yummy foodç Lots of tomatoes and cucumbersç And cheeseç Also a lot of people tryıng to rıp us offö thoughç Makes you hope the dıe*hard lıbertarıans never have theır way ın Amerıcaç

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

While I'm waiting for Eclipse to restart (again, sigh)...

...I figured I'd tell my dear readers about the fun night I had last night. Catherine really wanted to see this movie called After Innocence at the TriBeCa Film Festival. She started waiting in line about an hour before the movie was supposed to start, but just before we got to the front of the line, we were told there were no tickets left! Alas! Woe! But a kind old woman in the line had told us that sometimes they say that and then change their mind, so we hung out for a bit. Lo and behold, some guy came up and gave us 2 free tickets. Wow. This totally makes up for the free circus tickets I wasn't in town to use. Not only was the movie really moving, but the director and producer and all of the exonerees and Phil Donahue and the Innocence Project people were all in the audience and did a Q&A afterward. And then we rode back on the free double-decker American Express shuttle, which was cold and assailed by tree branches but otherwise entertaining.

One of the funniest parts of the evening was hearing Barry Scheck rail again Florida, which in the movie is shown to spend 3 years trying to keep an innocent man in jail on technicalities and is now apparently regressing. It's very depressing that these people receive no compensation or assistance and don't even have their records expunged. The chart of causes of wrongful convictions is pretty fascinating.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Shoe removal

So the TSA had a sign at the airport saying they would respond to comments promptly, so I decided to test it out. I was impressed by their promptness, but less impressed by their clarity.

My message (April 7):

One of the most frustrating things (apart from long security lines) about flying these days is the inconsistency of the rules. Some airports tell me to take my sneakers off, some don't, and both yell at you when you do the wrong thing. Some says it's becuase of the potential for metal in my shoes, some don't. It's all very confusing.

Just today, flying out of PDX, I was going to keep my shoes on. The woman at the gate said, "You can take off your shoes if you'd like." I'd rather not go through the trouble. It's hard enough to put on my jacket and belt and putting away my laptop and grabbing my bags without slowing down the line - why take off my shoes if I know they won't set off the metal detector? But it turns out this isn't a suggestion. After I give her a quizzical look and start walking, she says I should take my shoes off and it isn't because of the possibility of there being metal in my shoe. So I take one shoe off, but the guy manning the metal detector says I can leave them on.

Great! A voice of reason. But I go through the metal detector and then he pulls me aside for no reason (I was not flagged, and I had not set off the metal detector) and starts going me over with the wand. As far as I can tell, he decided I was suspicious because I didn't want to take my shoes off. That's just stupid.

And of course this is just one of the many annoying and bizarre incidents I've had in my travels since the TSA took over. The least you could do is make the rules absolutely crystal clear across all airports, post clear signage, teach your employees to be less obnoxious, and provide chairs and such for people to undress and dress as your whims demand.

Frustrated and not feeling much safer for the hassle,
Kushal Dave

Their message (April 9):

Thank you for your email message.

TSA screening personnel are required to screen ALL footwear to ensure that no prohibited items are hidden inside. You are NOT required to remove your footwear prior to the walk-through metal detector; however, screening personnel may recommend removal based on SEVERAL criteria.

Screeners are required to encourage removal of footwear that may contain metal as well as many other types of footwear that DO NOT contain metal. Even if the metal detector does not alarm when you walk through it, you may still be directed to additional screening and asked to remove your footwear due to other criteria that screeners are trained to observe.

Footwear that is less likely to require additional screening includes:

· "Beach" flip flops
· Sandals
· Thin-soled athletic shoes

Footwear that is likely to require additional screening includes:

· Work boots
· Platform shoes and platform flip flops
· Any shoe or boot containing metal

Tip: Since thorough screening often includes X-Ray inspection of your footwear, wearing footwear that is easily removable will help speed you through the process.

TSA has developed standard screening practices for all of our Nation's airports, and passengers can expect essentially the same procedures. While the procedures are the same everywhere, the interpretation of those procedures results in some slight variations from airport to airport - situation to situation.

We work hard to achieve consistency in the security training process. We inspect screening operations at airports and continue to monitor the number and nature of complaints we receive from the traveling public to track trends and spot areas of concern that may require special attention. This ongoing process will enable us to ensure prompt, corrective action whenever we determine that security screening policies need modification or specific employees are the subject of repeated complaints.

TSA Contact Center

Friday, April 8, 2005

How do people use the Bible?

I've been looking at the Bible a bit as part of this little toy project I'm doing, and I ran across this line about Cush (pretty close to a common bastardization of my name), who begat Nimrod. Nimrod, it turns out, was the builder of the Tower of Babel in his career prior to being a Green Day album.

I made an offhand remark about how the Tower of Babel was used by the religious right as justification for squashing science and knowledge in areas like stem cell research, thus prolonging human suffering in the process. Catherine decided I was a condescending prick (which I often am), but on this particular point I'm still not convinced. In particular, Catherine, ever the well-studied philosophical relativist, argues that the Bible is a philosophical source like any other, say Plato, and that people who quote it are citing parables as analogies, finding eloquent statements of their own views, and finding views that have stood the test of time. She thinks the Bible has first principles no less indefensible than, say, utilitarianism, and that even arguing that my liberal views permit greater freedom by not trying to repress the behavior of others (something Lisa was recently discussing on her xanga and which I tried to convince Eric of recently) still relies on arbitrary principles. All this may be true, but I guess the real issue is the authority of the Bible. If the Bible is just plain wrong in places, then there is no real reason to believe any particular portion of the Bible unless there is specific reasoning backing it up. Unfortunately, the justification of any given idea may derive from God, of whom we have no existence proof and to whom, therefore, it is hard to ascribe any authority. Plus God is also the source of some of the wrong (slavery, subjugation of women, homosexuality) portions of the Bible. A lot of people, from what I've seen, quote the Bible not because it states something well, but because they think there is inherent authority in any precept of the Bible, even if no substantive justification is provided therein. I feel like somebody must have articulated my argument more clearly than me, but I'm way too lazy to find it.

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Still loving the free WiFi

Wow, free WiFi at the airport? No sales tax? Free/cheap public transit largely run on the honor system? Lots of bookstores and coffee shops? Is Portland run by communists!?!?!?

The rest of CHI turned out to be pretty impressive. I saw many more things I liked than last time. Especially just basic interaction techniques and UI ideas for things like mousing and scrolling and zooming and focusing. I'm going to have go back over everything I saw and make sense of it. Patrick Baudisch was responsible for a lot of the things that caught my eye. Damn he's prolific.

A few other links of note:

Sadly I missed the popular Edible User Interface and Social Networking in Fur talks. :-( But both the opening and closing sessions were very entertaining. Michel Waisvisz was really impressive, although sometimes his work verged on overly loud noise.

What else did I do? Went to Powell's. Ate lots of good and cheap food.

I'll miss you, Portland!

Monday, April 4, 2005

God bless free WiFi

I'm writing this entry from the increasingly cold Pioneer Plaza in Portland. The free Wifi is actually superior in quality to the $10 a day wifi in the Hilton. (This is the second time I've stayed at a Hilton recently, and it's ironic that the thing that has made me notice what hotel I've been staying at is the number of things they try to charge people for (gym, wifi) after charging expensive nightly rates for rooms that are at best average and have crappy towels and wimpy cable.)

Portland's a cool town. Urban, but certainly not New York. Filled with hipsters. And the smell of pot. And homeless people. Last night we found this cool bar called Tube that was a small bar basically encased in a plastic tube. Cheap drinks, good rock DJ. I haven't really done much sightseeing, but Susanne's accounts of her tour of Shanghai Portland (about how drunkards were kidnapped to work as sailors) added a bit of local flavor. I'm still recovering from a tasty big dinner last night (and an equally good veggie burger for lunch). Oh, and the public transit is free in the city center. And there are signs that tell when the next bus is coming. Does life get any better? Wow.

Getting here was an ordeal. American Airlines was in chaos on Saturday. For the second time in as many trips on American, I had to switch terminals at JFK, which requires walking quite a bit in a hurry and getting through security again. Their fancy phone update service called me several times to let me know my flight was getting kicked around, but they weren't so sophisticated as to actually rebook me when I was going to miss my connection. Instead, I had to call them, but at least I beat the poor saps waiting in the hour long line at the terminal in JFK. Absurd. And there was no meal on the flight, even after the rush and the poor food options in the terminal. Jeez. The highlight of the flight was definitely Spanglish.

Yesterday was the CHI Beyond Threaded Conversation Workshop, which was pretty chaotic. The hope of an emergent organization didn't quite materialize and things got too theoretical for my taste with efforts to frame a "design space." When we finally got into breakout groups, we realized we didn't even agree on things like what the purpose of online debate should be or what was best for readers. There were a lot of interesting people and some old friends in the workshop, and we got a pretty good enumeration of issues to consider in designing discussion interfaces and of sites we all thought were fascinating. The workshop wiki should be public soon.

What else? I went for a long run today and got lost several times. There are some very pretty and very slummy areas in Portland. Sadly the Rose Garden was not in bloom. I went to the Doc Martens store, but even they don't make the shoes I liked in my size. Seriously, some day somebody is going to get rich using technology to make custom clothing for guys who are sick of stores that cater to tall and fat people. I hurt my neck doing situps. Am I getting old?

Gotta run.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Ohhh (or, how to use mobile web with Verizon)

For a long time, I was trying to figure out why my stupid phone wouldn't let me create bookmarks or change my home page or what not. I finally figured out that I had to sign up at the msn site. Lame and annoying, but at least my phone is slightly more functional.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Best. Firefox. Extensions. Ever.

Save session, clone window. Ahhh.

Other New York stuff

I've been wondering about the origin of New York's grid. Of course, Wikipedia had the answer. Speaking of wikipedia, it was weird to be reading Wired and come across my name (article eventually here).

I keep running past the weird museum made of shipping containers. Now I know what it's all about.

Goodbye, Gates!

I went and said goodbye to The Gates today. I didn't bring my camera this time. (Which doesn't mean I didn't wish I had it with me. The possessive, disruptive lust is unrelenting.) The place was packed. What else could bring so many people to the Park in winter? I think the Times had it right when it said that it was like everyone was a dignitary on parade. I overheard a few people trying to understand the profit angle (there isn't any). Ah, capitalists. The whole thing is very democratic: it's free, it brings everybody out. I think the iPod is sort of the paid version of this: even insanely rich superstars own iPods (and Sidekicks, apparently ;-) ) because they're hip and best-of-breed, but they're cheap enough that average people can get them and feel connected with folks who are otherwise distant.

Best Gates parody: duh, The Crackers.

I arrived at The Gates by walking up 10th Ave, after discovering that the galleries at 25th and 26th are closed on Sundays. 10th Ave is an adventure in itself. It features unMahatthanlike gas stations, a drive-through McDonald's, rail yards, parking lots. I saw a massive postal truck manuever into a dock with fewer corrections than it takes me to park in an angled spot. ;-) There's also a hideous windowless AT&T equipment building (which has a twin downtown).

All sorts of other exciting things have been going on that I've neglected to write about. Learning to ski, getting better at ice skating, improving marginally at basketball, accidentally running 7 miles, eating at Artisanal and Restaraunt Saul, watching Bend it Like Beckham and Closer, friends getting engaged, finishing Peace War and slogging through The Brothers Karamazov, America's Next Top Model, the family on Wife Swap that lived in a bus.

Passage I've meaning to copy out of Brothers K., of ironic sky-is-falling lonely bowling relevance:

For everyone now strives most of all to separate his person, wishing to experience the fullness of life within himself, and yet what comes of his efforts is not the fullness of life but full suicide, for instead of the fullness of self-definition, they fall into complete isolation. For all men in our age are separated into units, each seeks seclusion in his own hole, each withdraws from the others, hides himself, and hides what he has, and ends by pushing himself away from people and pushing people away from himself. He accumulates wealth in solitude, thinking: how strong, how secue I am now; and does not see, madman as he is, that the more he accumulates, the more he sinks into suicidal impotence. For he is accustomed to relying only on himself, he has separated his unit from the whole, he has accustomed his soul to not believing in people's help, in people or mankind, and now only trembles les his money and acquired privileges persish. Everywhere now the human mind has begun laughably not to understand that a
man's true security lies not in his own solitary effort, but in the general wholeness of humanity.

Cool find: Jonathan Sanfran Foer reading his first chapter.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Another cheap Google plug

We were talking last night about how the next OC episode is another movie homage/rip off, but I couldn't remember the name of the movie where the people are locked in a Target. Enter our snazzy new movie search and a tip from Mihai (thanks Mihai!). locked in a Target brought Career Opportunities right to the top!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Great, George

So, I was watching CNN and I saw George Bush say:

The propagandists have done a better job of depicting America as a hateful place, a place wanting to impose our form of government on people and our religion on people. And it's -- and we're behind when it comes to selling our own story and telling people the truth about America.

This is obviously a ridiculous statement. We are imposing our government upon them, and Bush is the one who is taking the lead in morphing democracy into theocracy here at home.

But, if you look at CNN's article about Bush, you find

"The propagandists have done a better job of depicting America as a hateful place, a place wanting to impose our form of thought and our religion on people," he said.

I admit that this is probably what Bush meant, but it sure as hell is not what he said. I'd like to think it's a Freudian slip from our Pathological Liar in Chief.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Whence marriage?

I went to the beautiful wedding of Catherine's friend in Birmingham this weekend, but I had been reading too much Brothers K and was in an overly analytical mood. When the minister described marriage and love as if both originated from and were the exclusive province of a Christian God, I found myself wondering about the institution of marriage. I was kind of surprised that I had read so little explaining how we got to the point where churches sanctified and appropriated what must have at one point been the spontaneous union of two people to form a family. I found some random articles and the Wikipedia entry but I'm still not satisfied. Still looking for something better. Maybe it's worth finding a book?

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Wikipedia is fun

I've been on a big Wikipedia-reading kick lately. I think it started when Catherine started asking me about Hinduism, and all I really knew was that Krishna stole butter and ate it and killed a serpent in the lake. Today, for kicks, I looked up "water sports", which was disambiguated into the secondary definition of Urolagnia. I feel much more educated after reading up on this topic. The one thing that worries me most about Wikipedia is the stories I've heard about people who made subtle alterations to pages, changing, say, the number of home runs of some obscure baseball player, and have had it gone unnoticed (despite general success in identifying vandalism). I like the idea of editors - maybe they could periodically mark release branches, just like in code development. Speaking of Wikipedia, the live recent changes feed is slick.