Archives: April 2003
Sun Apr 13, 2003
And While I Was At It...
I decided to take the 2004 Presidential Selector too. At this time, it's based on anyone who might be a candidate, and you can tell it to exclude minor party, undeclared, or withdrawn candidates from your results. I let it include everyone. Here are my results, which have some shockingly high percentages for some surprising people, after the first two, whom I would expect to be there in that order...
1. Browne, Harry - Libertarian (100%)
2. Bush, George W. - US President (90%)
3. Buchanan, Patrick J. ? Reform/Republican (75%)
4. Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham, NY - Democrat (69%)
5. Bayh, Sentator Evan, IN - Democrat (68%)
6. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (67%)
7. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (65%)
8. Jackson, Cong. Jesse Jr., IL - Democrat (61%)
9. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (60%)
10. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (59%)
11. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (58%)
12. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (57%)
13. Daschle, Senate Minority Leader Tom, SD - Democrat (52%)
14. Nader, Ralph - Green Party (52%)
15. McCain, Sentator John, AZ- Republican (51%)
16. Feingold, Senator Russ, WI - Democrat (49%)
17. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (48%)
18. Biden, Senator Joe, DE - Democrat (48%)
19. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (45%)
20. Kaptur, Cong. Marcy, OH - Democrat (45%)
21. Dodd, Senator Chris, CT - Democrat (43%)
22. Leahy, Patrick Senator, Vermont - Democrat (42%)
23. Feinstein, Senator Dianne, CA - Democrat (38%)
24. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (37%)
25. Gore, Former Vice-President Al - Democrat (33%)
26. Bradley, Former Senator Bill NJ - Democrat (33%)
27. Socialist Candidate (31%)
28. Hagelin, John - Natural Law (21%)
29. Vilsack, Governor. Tom IA - Democrat (13%)
30. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (9%)
31. Hart, Former Sentator Gary, CO - Democrat (2%)
32. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (0%)
33. Clark, Retired Army General Wesley K "Wes" Arkansas - Democrat (0%)
 comments (1906 views) | link
Ethical Philosophy Selector
Ethical Philosophy Selector
Here's my results:
1. John Stuart Mill (100%)
2. Ayn Rand (96%)
3. Jeremy Bentham (93%)
4. Epicureans (89%)
5. Aristotle (77%)
6. Cynics (76%)
7. Aquinas (74%)
8. Nietzsche (74%)
9. Jean-Paul Sartre (73%)
10. David Hume (72%)
11. Kant (70%)
12. Thomas Hobbes (70%)
13. Stoics (60%)
14. Spinoza (58%)
15. St. Augustine (53%)
16. Prescriptivism (53%)
17. Plato (51%)
18. Nel Noddings (47%)
19. Ockham (36%)
Kind of interesting. The info on each of the people/philosophies is at this page.
 comments (1551 views) | link
Sat Apr 12, 2003
Important Fusion News
In which deuterium pellets are provoked into non-continuous fusion with a massive X-ray burst, rather than the traditional attempts at continuous fusion using lasers and magnetic plasma containment. Or something like that.
Via Jerry Pournelle's mail page.
I also found two other articles here and here, which have the benefit of not requiring NY Times registration.
 comments (1612 views) | link
Tue Apr 08, 2003
A Bit of Humor
Something I received in e-mail...
HOW MANY DOGS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHT BULB?
GOLDEN RETRIEVER: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?
BORDER COLLIE: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.
DACHSHUND: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!
ROTTWEILER: Make me.
LAB: Oh, me, me!!! Pleeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I?
GERMAN SHEPHERD: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.
TIBETAN TERRIER: Let the Border Collie do it. You can feed me while he's busy.
JACK RUSSELL TERRIER: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.
POODLE: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.
COCKER SPANIEL: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.
DOBERMAN: While it's dark, I'm going to sleep on the couch.
BOXER: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark......
CHIHUAHUA: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.
IRISH WOLFHOUND: Can somebody else do it? I've got this hangover.....
POINTER: I see it, there it is, there it is, right there....
GREYHOUND: It isn't moving. Who cares?
AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...
OLD ENGLISH SHEEP DOG: Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb.
HOUND DOG: ZZZZZZzzzzz.z.z.z..z..z..z...z
WESTIE: If it helps you pay more attention to me I'll do it.
CAT: Dogs do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So the question is:
How long will it be before I can expect light?
 comments (1720 views) | link
Sun Apr 06, 2003
I keep forgetting that polio isn't completely dead yet. The weird thing in the article is this:
Muslims, India's largest minority, have also resisted the campaign, fearing that the vaccines are part of a government plan to limit the Muslim population in this Hindu-majority nation.
Just because you think they're out to get you, that doesn't mean they are. It could be that you're just being... stupid maybe? Ignorant? Sheesh.
Polio tends to grab my attention when I see an article about it, because my father had it when he was a kid. He's right handed, but it ruined his right arm and he had to learn to be left handed. He had some use of his right hand, but where his left is big and strong, his right is shriveled, weak, and has actually been more of a problem as his age advanced.
Despite being virtually one-handed, he started a body shop, ran and worked in it for something like 35 years, played sports, and pretty much didn't let it get in his way. He was a talented pitcher. He would have the glove tucked under his arm, throw the ball with the left, then put the glove on after each throw to also catch with the left. It meant things like having to modify the controls of each snowmobile he bought, when he got hooked on that. (That's what eventually led to his moving to Vermont.) It also affected the decision to have a new house built. A single floor, with the master bath already equipped for handicapped people, wide, easy access to everything, easy to add a ramp, all in case he gets hit hard with post-polio syndrome and ends up in a wheelchair.
 comments (2421 views) | link
I finished Peggy Noonan's book, When character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan, which I mentioned in a previous post. It was awesome. I kept seeing paragraphs in it that could be quoted as totally relevant to today, or to things I could write about. Anyway, I just picked up John Adams and read a page or two.
Before the text starts, there is a family tree. That got me thinking.
Chances are, I will never have children of my own, and will remain merely a doting uncle. When looked upon a certain way, that's cataclysmic, reaching down through subsequent history, eliminating generations that might have been, but now won't be. I had also lately been thinking that is the sacrifice made by a young, childless soldier who dies in battle. I'll be a genealogical dead end, but without heroics.
I have, subject to possible inaccuracy, my paternal line back to something like 1435; the first two generations apparently even preceding adoption of the surname. Through the many subsequent generations there are such dead ends, and those are of no interest the way the ones that flow through are. So in 200 years I will be one of those "oh, that one didn't have any kids... next" blips. My grandchildren will never be President, or part of the Mars terraforming initiative, or part of the first first ark ship to another earth-like planet.
To be of any significance beyond saving space in a family tree graphic, I guess I would have to be a Hetty Green, Havelock Ellis, William Ellis, Thomas Cranmer, K.C. Irving, William Cullen Bryant; notable despite leaving no progeny. Odd way to look at things, perhaps.
On the other hand, we affect people and events in little ways, even when posterity won't remember us for it.
I read somewhere, during the past year, that about 20% of all people in the past can be traced to no living ancestors today. As for the rest, apparently if you trace back as little as 800 years, we're all related. That's an amazingly short time. I forget where I read it, and I have no idea the veracity of it.
We are all pivot points in history. If you think about the vastness of the future stretching out ahead of us, each and every one of us, in what we do or fail to do, affects the weave of what's to be. We are all living, breathing points of departure between history as it will be, and alternate histories that could be.
 comments (1702 views) | link
Thu Apr 03, 2003
Happy Birthday Mom
From your best birthday present ever... me!
(Not that she'll see this, but hey, it beats saying "happy birthday to me" outright.)
 comments (1608 views) | link
Wed Apr 02, 2003
Received via e-mail:
1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent
6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent mindedly answer the door in your nightie.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question in an exam.
12. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
13. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.
14. Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up
on the roof and gets stuck there.
15. Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist.
 comments (1667 views) | link
Tue Apr 01, 2003
Sasha Castel-Dodge writes of September 11, the memories flooding back on finding the newspaper clippings, and her experiences of the day. This via Vodka Pundit.
My September 11 started with getting up, turning on the computer and dealing with e-mails. That done, I brought up IE to my home page, which is MSNBC. There was the picture of the first tower and the headline. I said something along the lines of "oh my God! This must be on TV too!" I went in the living room as fast as practical and turned on the TV. Sure enough. At that point nobody knew what kind of a plane, or that it was not an accident, and there was no film yet of the first plane actually hitting.
Thus I was one of the millions who got to see the second plane live. I had been watching for a few hours before it occured to me to toss in a blank tape and record what I was watching. Never play it, but I have several hours starting a few hours after it all started, for posterity.
I never went to the office that day. I went back and forth between the TV and the computer, hitting the web, hitting newsgroups. The latter was a great source of firsthand news, as well as rumor and aggregation of what different people were seeing on different web sites. I also exchanged e-mail with people, but mainly the receptionist at my biggest client. They didn't work much that day. The TV was moved from their breakroom on the 2nd floor to the large conference room on the 3rd floor, and everyone gathered around it. Most people went home early. I was feeding the receptionist news and rumors, as she couldn't leave her post.
Mostly I sat on the couch crying and watching TV, channel surfing for different perspectives. All it takes to know how big it was is to realize that every broadcast channel covered it. There were feeds from places like CNN on places like the shopping channel. I may as well have been watching cable that day.
I didn't know anyone who was a victim. There were people who worked with friends, or people who were the friend of a sister of someone, but none I knew. That doesn't matter. It still hurts.
 comments (1695 views) | link