Saturday, August 29, 2009

I don't know what you just said because I was thinking about Batman

Speaking of which, this was published mere days before our offer on the house was accepted. It seemed terrifyingly relevant.

Why this blog has sucked a bit more than usual lately

I'd hate for people to get the wrong impression -- that the appearance of the Mark Steyn fan club a few weeks ago had somehow cowed me into silence -- so let's clear the air, if you don't mind a little explanation for why the blog has not been my #1 priority for the last while.

Well, let's start with an addendum to this post: yes, I finished my coursework for my masters degree many months ago, but there was still a substantial assignment left to do: in the case of my degree, a 40+ page reported feature-style article that involved many hours of interviews, months of research, and a hard drive failure which caused me to lose most of my data at the worst possible moment. Writing this article -- which I have finally finished as of a few days ago -- has taken much of my waking moments for the last few months.

Most, but not all. Because at the beginning of that work, I decided that I owed it to Vicki to finally start getting serious about planning our wedding. She's a sweetheart, so I'm sure she would've waited longer if I'd asked her, but she's already exhibited the patience of a saint, and I make it a rule not to try the patience of saints.

Oh, and as my degree winds down I'm trying to find a job. So, there I was, in early August, trying to find a job, finish a masters degree, and plan a wedding, when Vicki and I did what you would expect of two people who clearly already had enough on their plates: we bought a house. If you haven't done it, I wouldn't actually recommend the process except for the reward at the end. Actually, it's kind of like a wedding in that sense, or a masters degree.

So my apologies for not being able to comment on the insanity of the American health care debate. Not that I have much to add -- death panels? Are you kidding me? -- but one of my whinier friends has complained about this particular field lying fallow too long.

Reasons why this blog will continue to suck for some time to come: I now have to fix up our new place, pack up our old place, and move. Oh, and find a job.

Did I mention the job bit?

Friday, August 28, 2009

"We could use gryphons and we don't. That's what separates us from them."

Heard something about this on the news...

I have nothing much to say about the death of Ted Kennedy, except that if I had been the youngest brother of men like JFK and RFK and had started losing my elder brothers to violent deaths when I was 12, and had lost all of them before my 40th birthday, I suspect I probably would have had a long struggle with alcohol and a failed marriage.  Indeed, I suspect those would have been the least of my problems.

Unlike Ted Kennedy, I'm not sure I would have come back from that.  The usual suspects will make their usual noises about Chappawhatsits, and it's true that he had the career he did because he was a Kennedy first. But many men have been blessed with more and parlayed it in to far less -- see Bush, George W.

So thank you, Senator Edward Kennedy.  Rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This smelled like garbage from the beginning.

A robot's Passover.

If you read this chart, and conclude "the problem with the world is that there are too many cyclists", you are dumb.

Is immigration bad for the environment? An old argument, one I tend to come down on the "no" side.

Lawrence Solomon writes something non-crazy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Heh. His name is "Guinan".

And he's a space scientist! NEEEEEERRD.

Actually, it's a pretty interesting post at io9 talking about how our Sun is not, in fact, the ideal candidate star for the development of life. Nor, for that matter, is Earth the ideal planet. Smaller K-class stars, and larger rocky planets, seem to be better suited.

The Copernican revolution continues to keep moving us further and further from the centre of the universe.

Baby steps

Fake Nobelist Paul Krugman writes:
My guess is that the myth of the rational market — a myth that is beautiful, comforting and, above all, lucrative — isn’t going away anytime soon.
An explicit admission that yes, one of the core concepts in contemporary economics was propounded and held to be true because it was valuable that people believe it to be true.

Krugman is already further along the path than most, but it's nice to see the pages of the NYT allow a glimpse at how economics is actually practiced.

In other Krugman-blogging, check out his conversation with Charles Stross. Fun.

Friday, August 07, 2009

This blog sucks

Sorry for the radio silence, but shit has gotten kind of real in the last week, and so the blog suffers.

Or, potentially, the lack of new content makes it suck less, given my average level of production.