Can anyone recommend a 'podcast' that I might actually
like listening to?
The other day I thought I'd give it Another Try, and I listened to
Winer expressing at great length some complicated and self-absorbed
complaint against some other dude, and then to
day's podcast by the other dude.
Clearly I'm not in their target audience.
Is there a podcast (a Real Live Modern Style Podcast, not just
an mp3 sitting somewhere) that's (oh, heck, I don't know how
to describe this) likely to be interesting to someone who writes
a weblog like this one?
Or should I just wait and try again in a couple more years?
(I used to think that a bad thing about podcasts was that
they didn't have text and so didn't get indexed, but at the
moment based on my scanty evidence
I have to say that it's not such a
bad thing at all.
I know: I'm being cruel.)
Oh, and speaking of Dave Winer,
ntk mentioned his name
in the context of the very cool
Compare the idea of platypus with Dave Winer's
position that "modifying" content by giving users tools to
mess with their local copies of it is the moral equivalent of
"modifying" content by using the police power of the state
to prevent it from being distributed in the first place.
From Tony Rall, a cool-looking piece
(which I really need to actually read) on
science of NASCAR (also linked from my thrilling
the very amazing
Afterimage Optical Illusion.
And to close on something serious and lovely,
that really deserves better company than
optical illusions and Web silliness,
I had wanted the song to be nothing but bridge.
I had wanted my life to be a series of long walks in greenhouses,
days spent reading and writing, driving alone, without luggage,
out a long peninsula.
Today those things scare me a little,
like a vacuum in which something might shatter.
Oh, me too...
took the bait!
Good books she reads.
(A link from Caterina is worth a significant number of hits!
Welcome all readers of Caterina.net, and we hope you enjoy
our ongoing discussions of Constitutional law and cheese.)
Ian who used to have a weblog points out
SlashDot comment-fest about
a New Scientist
piece about simulating brains,
which is especially cool from my point of view because Chad Peck
("IBM's lead researcher on the project") works for Steve who
used to have a weblog, who I also work for.
It is indeed cool stuff.
A reader expresses amusement and/or skepticism about
our shower-door timetable
the other day:
"Two weeks." Hahahahahaha!
While "two weeks" is in general the default amount of time
it takes to
it was in fact just two weeks and a day (or two?) before
the shower door arrived and was installed.
So now the bathroom is all lovely and shiny and new.
(Does the rest of the house look shabby in comparison?
Will we begin replacing more and more bits of it?
Stay tuned for the answers!)
summary of this year's Hugo nominees (lots of good stuff
there that I should read) links to
of our Book Notes (which is always gratifyin').
There is just too much interesting stuff to read!
(It would help, I know, if I read less uninteresting stuff.)
Schneier has (pointers to) all sorts of worthwhile stuff recently,
analysis of the recent 'Witty' worm (including an attempt to identify
interesting story about Trojan horses being used for industrial espionage
(which is often talked about but seldom documented),
security consequences of unskilled customer-service desks (in the context
of Paris Hilton's cellphone),
interesting voice-mail scam (interesting crossover from similar
email scams, and perhaps paper-mail scams before that for all I know),
nasty attack on BlueTooth (as implemented) (ouch!),
- and a
paper about phishing attacks by the Honeynet folks, based on what they
saw the phishers doing on their own instrumented machines.
The paper itself contains
the memorable-to-me line
"The first systematic research to cover such activity was published in 1998
by Gordon and Chess (Sarah Gordon, David M. Chess: Where There's Smoke,
There's Mirrors: The Truth about Trojan Horses on the Internet, presented
at the Virus Bulletin Conference in Munich, Germany, October 1998)";
I'd forgotten that Sarah and I were pioneers in that field.
Nice to be reminded... *8)
the memorable slogan
"Health at Every Size", expanded upon at
this unfortunately purple site
and of course elsewhere.
From the reflog, something
This "bra punishment" information is definitely "cutting edge."
Whenever you want to come back to this fun "bra punishment" site
just click here and you'll be blown away by what happens next.
Whenever you need some more quick facts about "bra punishment"
you'll know you can come right back here instead of having to type
long searches into hard-to-work search engines.
And don't get lost by forgetting why you started searching for
"bra punishment" to begin with, and start randomly looking for
various "bra punishment" sites.
(I put a "nofollow" on the link above, because I'm sure this
site is some kind of pagerank-related scam or something.
But it does have a certain je ne sais qua...)
product testi standard requirement
Certainly llamas. Yes, just so.
The word llamas looks Welsh, but it isn't. At least, I know
it isn't, but there might be a Welsh word spelled llamas that
I have to go look up now in the Geridaur Prifysgol Cymru.
Although I'm not sure what standard equipment for testing llamas
would look like.
As with "cheese monkeys", the word "Llamas" made it into the
prompt line because the little boy was chanting it over and
over for no apparent reason the other day.
(So does it mean anything in Welsh?)
are unique among mammals in that they have a long, elliptical
blood cells rather than the normal saucer-shaped cell.
I'll (try to remember to) tell the little boy.
His fingers flicked through the card index; llamas. Leg-irons,
Limpet mines, Litigation . . . Llamas. There it was on the
card. He looked down the list of cross-references: Buddhism
confusion, Monty Python, alt.rock, and right at the bottom in
pencil, Iris Chacon, and the number 6931. He took
the card over to the screen. The guy was still at the counter,
waiting patiently. "We may just have something for you, dude."
Guy took off his glasses and polished them - displacement activity,
hiding his excitement probably. The screen fired up and he
typed "6931" into the box. There it was, Handy Andy in the
Andes III: Cum Ride with Me. The synopsis read: Another
fudged mish-mash of badly shot sex that passes for a Handy
Andy movie, momentarily relieved by a tender scene involving
Patti (Iris Chacon) and a llama. He went over to the wall of
pigeonholes, ran his hand along to 6931: empty. "Sorry," he
said to the guy at the counter, "Outa luck, it's on loan."
To his surprise, the man almost smiled. Pulled up a stool to the
counter and sat down, chin propped on his hands. "Don't worry", he
said. "Don't worry: I'll wait."
(A Mark Aster pointer
seems appropriate here, somehow.)
[Ms. Chacon's lawyers should note that this website presents
all reader input as fictional, and that in particular we most certainly
do not claim that Ms. Chacon has ever appeared in any
pornogrphic film, whether or not including llamas.]
And finally three less directly llama-related missives:
Tea is not bitter, though that's a common misconception.
It's tannic rather than bitter. Grapefruit is bitter. Beer
is bitter. Coffee, God save us all, is bitter. Tea is tannic,
as is red wine. So remember kids, bitter: bad; tannic: good.
winamp really whips the ass
involves the sense of touch or feel, rather than taste.
v. Raich, in which the Supremes vote 6-3 that the Feds can
still bust you for pot even if you have a doctor's note and you're
complying with your State's medical-pot laws and all.
I've skimmed the decision, and am therefore eminently
qualified to discuss it.
The Opinion of the Court held that the Feds can regulate whatever
the heck they want under the
as long as it has
something to do with something which, when viewed in
the aggregate ("lovely aggregate tonight, isn't it darling?")
substantially affects interstate commerce.
Scalia, in a concurring opinion which he modestly described
as "more nuanced" than the Opinion of the Court, said no, no,
you mean that the Feds can regulate whatever they heck they
want under the Commerce Clause and the
Necessary and Proper Clause
(great name for a clause, that), as long as it's because
if they didn't regulate it it'd be hard to regulate something
that affects interstate commerce.
(One can picture the other five squirming in their seats
and thinking "fine, Tony, fine, whatever", and
looking at the clock and hoping the period will end soon.)
The dissent, on the other hand, said if the Feds can
regulate whatever the heck they want on such lame excuses,
then what the heck can't they regulate?
One searches the Court's opinion in vain for any
hint of what aspect of American life is reserved
to the States.
Feds r00l ok!
Let's hear it for unbridled central government power!
(I personally take a completely principled stand on issues
like this: whichever law I like the best should always
Failing that exacting standard, though, it does
seem like the Commerce Clause gets stretched awfully
wide when the Feds want to regulate stuff.
I wonder if this bothers some Originalists?
Not that it seems principally a Denotation vs. Connotation
issue, at least to the shallow depth that I've thought about it.)
(those three and many other interesting recent posts).
Coolly, it appears that one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case,
Randy E. Barnett, is one
of the co-contributors to
the Volokh Conspiracy.
I wonder if he'll post about it.
(Much more to write down and about, but not tonight,
What is so rare as a day in June?
This was one of those boringly lovely June weekends again.
On Saturday me (the Lake Association President) and Mike
next door (the Person Who Knows How To Actually Do Things)
went down to the Lake and put out the floating dock.
There was one other helpful person down there, just in
from fishing with his son, and he lent us himself and his
rowboat, and it went very nicely.
Great to be out on the water.
Then today was the Spring Meeting of the Lake Association,
and although we didn't quite have a quorum we came close.
Practically all those leaves that we decided not to bother raking
back in November
had been blown away by the wind or decomposed or whatever,
so there was just a small amount of raking to do (and
cleaning of the bathrooms, and sweeping out the pavillion,
and picking up litter, and a few etcs).
After that the little boy and I went down to the dock with
our tubes and floated around in the water for a few
It was amazingly lovely; barely cool or even warm near the
surface, deliciously chilly four or five feet down.
And here and there upwellings of chilly water all the
way to the surface, and here and there pockets of
warm water down to your toes, and the sun bright but
not glaring in a sky-blue sky with big benign scattered
white clouds up above.
We didn't want to get out.
When we (well, I) decided that we had to get out, there was
the little problem that Mike and Dan and I had taken the dock
ladder away yesterday when we put out the float, because
all the steps were broken; and since the lake is low right
now neither of us could just pull ourselves up onto the dock.
So I stood on the big submerged rock (just at standing
depth) under one corner of the dock, and the little
boy climbed up my back and my shoulders and onto the
dock, and then I paddled and waded in through the weeds
(not all that muddy, really) to where it was shallow enough
that I could basically just step up onto the walkway part
of the dock.
And then we came home.
And boy am I sleepy!
"Isn't there some kind of animal that lives mostly on the brains of dead people?"
Noah shakes his head. "Besides those."
"Yeah," says Noah. "Those. We can eat those."
And that's why there are no cranium beavers anymore.
(You should go read everything on Hitherby that you
haven't read yet, really.
I wish I had time.)
My reference to the So and So's the other day came from
epiphany, who was infected by a meme at the time.
That meme has now mutated from music to books, and
it's come down to me formally or informally from
So here we are.
Total number of books I've owned:
whoa, how should I know?
I vaguely remember having counted a few (many?) years ago, and
having come up just short of two thousand (on a subset of the
Extrapolating from the current condition of the library and
the attic, I'm gonna say 2,500, and I imagine there's
probably some setting of "books" and "owned" for which that's
Last book I bought:
for what sense of "bought"?
The last book I acquired was probably a nice dog-eared copy of
Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus: and Other Essays" that I picked up from
the Book Exchange Rack in the lobby at the lab.
It's great, both in the very personal underlinings of
various Key Words and Phrases, and in the content.
Reading Camus just after (or while) reading various Zen texts
is fascinating; they both critically concern what happens when
our concepts and words fall away and we are left immersed in
But Zen sees this as a desirable (or beyond desirable) state,
whereas Camus sees it as absurdity, as an illness, as something
that (while not necessarily to be avoided) needs to be
Lots to think about there.
On the other hand, the last book that I spent money on was
probably Donaldson's "Daughter of Regals"; see
Last book I read:
probably Shelby Steele's "The Content of Our
Character" (also from the Book Exchange Rack).
(Don't expect any comments on that really soon;
so far I'm keeping it at work and only reading a few
pages now and then.
If it comes home eventually, I might finish
Last book I finished:
C. A. Haddad, "Caught in the Shadows";
Nice routine lightweight reading.
Five books that mean a lot to me:
well, a book should not mean, but be.
But here are five books:
- Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.
Good deep stuff, part of my self-definition
- The Wind in the Willows.
You've probably read it, but if you haven't read it
recently you should read it again;
and if you haven't at all you should do so at once.
- Crystal Express.
So cyberpunk is becoming nostalgia; these things happen.
This is very good SF, and helped shape my ideas about
- A Fire Upon the Deep.
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
I'm not a Christian, and Lewis is nothing if not a
Christian apologist, but he's just so good that
it doesn't matter.
I read this sometime in my childhood, and the flavor
and smell of it has stuck with me undiminished.
(See related notes
on "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"; but Dawn Treader
is the first one I read, and it's still my favorite.)
I'm sure I've forgotten some incredibly meaningful
or self-shaping book (or a dozen of them), but there
Oh, right, now I have to pass it on.
Five people I'd like to see do this as well:
George Bush, Stephen Hawking -- (oh, all right) --,
Miranda (even thought
she already did the music one),
and Daze (even though, or
because, e never talks about emself).
And to make up for those first two silly ones,
If they haven't already done it (I'm not keeping up even with
my favorite weblogs these days).
OMG and Hitherby.
And Caterina (who
also already did the music one).
And Susie Bright.
And, and, and...
(And of course you; I wouldn't forget you!)
Something I've learned from doing this:
these specifically-targetted viral memes are interesting.
(Compared to the usual general-dispersal meme like the
Page 23 one from
I wonder how they compare, spread-wise?