Week in Review

Hmm. I’ve been at Purdue for a week. I guess I should say a few things about that, shouldn’t I?

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Quote of the Week #55

Liberties of any kind are prone to misuse precisely because they are liberties, and the freedom to behave only within rigidly defined boundaries isn’t really freedom. In order for that word to have meaning, it must anticpate and, at least to a certain extent, tolerate offensive behavior.

– Christopher B. Wright

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The Cyborg Name Generator

Behold, The Cyborg Name Generator!

Update [August 25, 2005]

Cybernetic Artificial Person Trained for Dangerous Exploration, Repair and Immediate Violence

Curse You, Amazon!

As much as I hated to do it, I had little choice but to hand over some of my hard-earned money to the campus bookstores for books this semester. The books just weren’t available from Amazon in any reasonable time frame: two of the books’ estimated ship times were being measured in weeks, and the third was essentially out of stock. Luckily, the overall cost at the bookstore wasn’t too much larger than buying from Amazon (one more expensive, one cheaper by buying used, one nearly the same), but I still feel dirty. You let me down, Amazon.

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I made the mistake of trying to see how well Evolution works as an e-mail client. In particular, I had wanted to see if its calendar and to-do list support and such would make it a compelling alternative to good old Mutt.

I managed to get as far as importing around 200 MB worth of e-mail spread across a dozen Maildir directories. But while moving the imported mails around to organize them better, Evolution crashed. And then would crash whenever I’d try to run it again, before anything even shows up on screen. And even better, since Evolution relies on a bunch of binary-formatted index files (or whatever those files are), there’s no way to figure out what data got corrupted and is causing the crash, let alone fix it manually.

So it only took one hour to go from brand new to completely non-operational. Not exactly the sort of reliability I want to see in an e-mail client. Needless to say, I restored my mail from a backup copy and went right back to good old reliable Mutt.

Even still, Evolution’s a far better idea than that Intelligent Design nonsense.

Quote of the Week #54

Only in the USA can we speak of privatizing the domain name system and still reserve – to our own government exclusively – the power to choose the “private” administrators of DNS and to intervene at will in its decisions. Only in the USA can we somehow get away with publicly exploiting fears of censorship by China to defend our monopoly on ICANN and then, at the first real test, use that power to censor the global domain name system, openly catering to a domestic political constituency. Only in the USA can the conservative Right criticize ICANN in one year for NOT creating .xxx, and then mobilize against ICANN in another year for creating it.

– Dr. Milton Mueller

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I Want Andy

It’s about time. The Andy Ober Orchestra finally has a website! It’s the one and only place where you can download samples from the Lafayette area’s best comedy band.

You may remember them from back during last semester’s improv trip to Miami, OH. But even if you don’t, don’t let that stop you from taking a look at their site.

And just between you and me, things are in the works between the Fools and AOO. Dare I say, plans?

BGR Activities Fair

Fellow Fools Benji and Ryan manned our table at this year’s BGR Activities Fair, wherein incoming freshman get their first chance to discover all sorts of student organizations at Purdue. As I have not yet triumphantly/abundantly returned to campus, you’ll have to read about the great job the two of them did over on Ryan’s blog.

Quote of the Week #53

I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act.

– Abraham Maslow

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Magic Plunger

Yesterday the toilet in my bathroom got clogged. Standard practice for me when I suspect this has happened is to try flushing the toilet to see if that’ll force it loose or not. I’ve found that there’s always enough room in the bowl to prevent overflow as long as you only try this trick once.

Anyway, it didn’t work, so I went to the other bathroom to get the apartment’s plunger. But as I approached the clogged toilet with plunger in hand, the toilet suddenly become unclogged and all the water rushed down the pipe.

Clearly the plunger is magical. It doesn’t even need to come into contact with the toilet to work. Naturally, I returned it to its original resting place. You don’t want to mess around with that kind of power.

Show Me the Dollar

Yesterday I finally got my check from Dollar Rent A Car, bringing the Dollar saga to a close.

Fun fact: judging from the return address on the envelope, Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty are both owned by the same company: Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. So now that’s two rental car companies I will not be doing business with.

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Xeno Phobia

Back in the day, Square used to be known for its role-playing games, in particular the Final Fantasy series. But that’s certainly not to say that that’s the only set of RPGs it produced. For example, you’ve got Chrono Trigger, but this post isn’t about that. No, it’s about Xenogears. And spoilers.

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Quote of the Week #52

I feel the pain of conflict, however. I fear that, eventually, we are all going to become collateral damage in the war on drugs, or terrorism, or whatever war is in vogue at the moment. I retain an abiding concern that our Declaration of Rights not be killed by friendly fire. And, in this day and age, the courts are the last, if not only, bulwark to prevent that from happening.

– Justice James C. Nelson, Montana Supreme Court

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WordPress 1.5

I’ve finally upgraded this site to the 1.5 branch of WordPress. It’s only been what, three months or so since it was first released?

For the time being I’ve hacked the previous layout into a format the new version can understand, but don’t be surprised if the design changes in the near future. Maybe replaced with something less monochromatic?

And since no one likes reading meta posts, I’ll leave it at that.

Over-Analyzing FLCL

I stumbled across the web site Over-Analyzing FLCL last night when I probably should’ve been sleeping. As its name suggests, it’s an attempt to explain just about everything going on in FLCL (also known as the best thing ever). A herculean task, to be sure, but handy for discovering things you missed your first time watching it. Or second time. Or tenth.

Yes, I’m a fanboy. Couldn’t you tell from the category this post is in?