Thursday, November 30, 2006

Taking 'business casual' too far

I am not a prude, nor a libertine. I'm just a guy. I do like my comfort. But really - I think Dov Charney has taken the idea of 'Corporate Casual' just a bit far

Dov Charney, American Apparel

Dear Mother of God, man. Put on a shirt. Please. Oh and while you're getting dressed ...

Charney was described as engaging in oral sex with a female employee and masturbating in front of the reporter. Charney doesn't deny taking part in any of the activities described in the article. He says he befriended the writer over the course of the two months it took her to research the piece. "I've never done anything sexual that wasn't consensual," Charney says. The reporter, Claudine Ko, confirmed his take on events to BusinessWeek.

stop boffing your employees. Not very enlightened, you know, all that exploitive objectifying stuff.


Things I Did Not Know This Morning

Things I did not know this morning.

The Darién scheme was an unsuccessful attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama.

The first expedition of five ships (Saint Andrew, Caledonia, Unicorn, Dolphin, and Endeavour) set sail from Leith on July 14, 1698, with around 1,200 people on board. Their orders were to proceed to the Bay of Darien, and make the Isle called the Golden Island ... some few leagues to the leeward of the mouth of the great River of Darien ... and there make a settlement on the mainland. After calling at Madeira and the West Indies, the fleet made landfall off the coast of Darien on November 2. The settlers christened their new home "New Caledonia".

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Atlantis to orbit


Too large, too complicated, a spaceship designed by committee .. but my what a flying machine!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Reinventing the wheel

Hey look at this - the government had managed to reinvent Civil Defense.
CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

Sounds a lot like stuff I learned in Boy Scouts but whatever.

Sarbanes-Oxley - good and good for you!

Via Kedrosky - seems that Sarbanes-Oxley as an upside for at least one organization
PRN, largely an American business, has been growing strongly because of increased financial-disclosure requirements imposed on companies. This has prompted analysts to increase their valuations of PRN significantly over the past year.
Dark clouds, silver lining.


Things you do not want to hear from a child's bedroom early in the morning;

(chanting) "No more mon-keys jump-ing on the bed!"



Sunday, November 26, 2006

Chesire Crossing # 2 is out

From the mailbag

At long last, Cheshire Crossing #2 is available for your reading pleasure. The total production time was just over 6 months.

You can find it at:

Weird mix of childhood classics, in graphical format.  Yes that's Wendy, Dorothy and Alice.

What kind of reader are you?

My wife said this is spot-on

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Now that is amusing

I posted a link to Darnell Clayton's 'Ten Reasons For Not Building A Space Elevator' here here and here.

Someone replied to my LJ entry
Check out the real thing
2006-11-25 08:04 am UTC is all about really building one.

Respectfully Submitted
Brian Dunbar

Friday, November 24, 2006

digging a hole to china

Kelly Tsai sent around her November poem.

digging a hole to china
by kelly zen-yie tsai

we are at war
with ourselves

700 missiles
sharp noses
across the taiwan

my mother
runs delicate
over plum candy,
sesame bars, dates
mashed with

at the sweet shop
in shanghai

for the first
time in 60 years

these her

before revolution
before exile

as she stuffs
a plastic bag
to its brim

for the 17 hour
flight back

to chicago

the engraver
at the great wall
didn't even turn
all the way around

before he muttered,
"oh, hua qiao."

and continued to hammer

my father's name
my mother's name
my name

the day's date

into the piece of
granite before him

what kind of
people are we

to think that we
can build anything
big enough to keep
our culture intact

that we can
be impervious to

that we can shut
the world out?

carol and i
are useless


we listen
to my father explain
why each of these
places are so important

so many poets
so many temples
so many gods

i can read only
the waving of
the lotus fields

the old women
dressed in black
reaching their
arms towards
the sun

the children walking
two by two gripped
in each other's hands
with superhero
backpacks on

tiananmen square
is empty of ghosts
empty of blood

just stretches of
gray stone buildings
and packs of postcards
sold for a dollar

soldiers tread lightly
past me in green polyester pants
striped with yellow

their shoulders
marked in red

their faces
than mine

we are not
so different

i realize

i press a kiss
to my crossed

untwist them
and let the kiss
ride on air

we survive
every history

in prayer
in prayer

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Perry Bible Fellowship

As Horvath said - comics much too twisted to comment on.

Strategic Decision Game

The Marine Corps Gazette has a feature called Tactical Decision Game. A scenario is outlined for a unit commander, you're given incomplete information, a mission to accomplish and a few minutes to issue an order. The idea isn't to come up with a school solution, but to come up with a descision and how you'e implement your orders and why. Then discuss.

Like this.
You are a first lieutenant commanding a light tank section attached to 1st Platoon, Company C, 2d Combat Engineer Battalion. Your engineer company had been operating in support of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. Your section consists of two M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, one with a mine plough and the other with a blade. 8th Marine Regiment is taking part in large-scale military operations against the national forces of Urmac.

At 0130 last night your unit crossed the line of departure and made its way through a series of lanes cut through antitank berms and minefields. Toward 0430 you encountered a small blocking force that your company brushed aside, allowing you to pass Phase Line Dakota by daylight as planned. Your entire regiment is in search of the main body of the Praetorian Guard Division, one of the enemy’s elite armored divisions. The Praetorian Guard Division is equipped with T62 and T72 tanks and associated Soviet-style light armored vehicles (LAVs). This division operates using the principles of the former Warsaw Pact doctrine.

The terrain you are operating in is mixed desert with areas of hard-packed surfaces, offering excellent mobility, rough and broken terrain, and soft sand. The whole area is interspersed with the odd palm grove and isolated mud brick outbuildings. The one main road is paved and two lanes wide, but just.

It is beginning to get warm outside, and you have the hatches open. You are standing up in your hatchway searching the area to your right front through binoculars when you sight a plume of dust about 400 to 500 meters to your north. The dust cloud is heading away from you at an oblique angle to the northeast. You make out an OT–64—an eight-wheeled LAV. Judging by the several radio antennas, it is in a command configuration (OT–63R–2M).

Over the net you order, “Loader, high explosive, antitank. Gunner, target LAV, right, rough bearing 90 degrees, acquire, and fire. Driver, turn right 90 degrees and stop.”

You hear and feel your crew respond to your orders. Next, you switch communications links to talk to your number two. “Loco 4, Loco 3. Enemy LAV headed northeast about 500 meters from us. Keep an overwatch on the area to your immediate front. Out.”

Your turret begins to traverse right, and you drop down and close the hatch. Suddenly, the command net crackles, “Loco 3, this is Red Top 5 (call sign from an unmanned aerial system operations center). I have four T72s headed your way, approximately 1,000 meters to the east on Route Yankee. They are all crew exposed and traveling at 15 to 20 kilometers per hour. I don’t think they are aware of your presence. Over.”

You acknowledge the report. Looking through your commander’s sights you can see that the OT–64 is nearly acquired. The gunner is only moments away from squeezing off the main gun, an order you have already cleared him for. What now lieutenant?
Clearly you have options but it's not clear what the best one is.

This reminded me of that, but on a strategic level.

The Air Force Learjet had been airborne for two minutes when a cell phone buzzed, and the Secret Service captain answered it and handed it off to the Vice President Elect. "It's Mr. Cheney, sir," he said.

"Gavin?" Dick Cheney asked. "Yes, sir," Newsom replied, subdued, for the events of the last hour had sobered up his elated mood considerably.

"Okay, Gavin. I don't know what you know, so I'll tell you what I can. There have been approximately 20 nuclear strikes on government and financial targets in the US, about an hour ago. No real damage estimate yet, except that it's awful. A hundred times 9/11, maybe a thousand times. I happened to be at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and have moved into Cheyenne Mountain to set up a temporary HQ, until we get things sorted out. As you know Cheyenne was vacated by NORAD a few years ago, so we have plenty of space. You will be flown here, nonstop."

"I know you haven't a lot of national and international experience." Cheney had thought of saying that Newsom had none, but Newsom would be too painfully aware of that. He didn't need reminding. "The President is missing and presumed dead. So is Mrs. Clinton. So you may become the next president, in about six weeks. I don't know. he Constitution says the Vice President succeeds a president who is dead or disabled, but it doesn't say what happens if the President Elect dies before being inaugurated. I suppose the Court will have to answer that, if we can cobble one together by then. In the meantime, I will assume you will be inaugurated. You'll have a steep learning curve, a real steep curve. All presidents do, under the best of circumstances, and these are not the best of circumstances."
What now Vice President Elect Newsom?

I don't know how plausible the scenario outlined in linked document is. I think the bits about the domestic scene are overplayed a bit. I know that on 9/10 using civilian airliners as imrovised cruise missiles was the stuff of implausible fiction.

Via. See the link for Joe's comments.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006




Sleep divorced from nature
Modafinil is just the first of a wave of new lifestyle drugs that promise to do for sleep what the contraceptive pill did for sex - unshackle it from nature. Since time immemorial, humans have structured their lives around sleep. In the near future, we will, for the first time, be able to significantly structure the way we sleep to suit our lifestyles.

"The more we understand about the body's 24-hour clock the more we will be able to override it," says Russell Foster, a circadian biologist at Imperial College London. "In 10 to 20 years we'll be able to pharmacologically turn sleep off. Mimicking sleep will take longer, but I can see it happening." Foster envisages a world where it's possible, or even routine, for people to be active for 22 hours a day and sleep for two.

Sign me up. Okay, I'll let the early adopters run with it for a few years but sounds okey-dokey to me.



I am SO C-List.

C-List Blogger

Not that I have pretensions of greatness for this humble crap blog or anything.

Rate your blog at Kineda. Via Amber Rhea who is B-list. Maybe she'll let me sit with her in at the lunch table where the cool kids hang out.

IE 7

When my dad, retired old-school computer guy, writes
IE 7 really does suck.
You know there is something to it.  Specifically that he tried, hard, to make it work, gave up and installed Firefox.  Plus he said the word 'sucked', an indication that it really does, in fact, suck.

Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette - the larger, louder half of Penn and Teller - has a podcast.

Who doesn't? But Penn is funny.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What is your signature weapon?

Hunh.  Figures - I actually carried a shotgun in the Marines far more often than an M-16.


You preferred a weapon with 69% power over speed and 67% range over melee.

You use a Shotgun. While not the fastest gun in the west, a shotgun's raw power and ease of use make it an extremely potent weapon. Some shotguns can also be loaded with many different types of ammunition, providing a versatility many guns don't have. Choosing your shots, you fell your opponents immediately and without pause.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 89% on power
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 75% on range

Link: The What's Your Signature Weapon Test written by inurashii on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test


There is no hatred like self-hatred

Charles discovers - and one suspects approves of - wooly-headed philosphy
“In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the haughtiest and most mendacious minute of ‘world history’—yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.”
The animals need only apply the knowledge and their species can outlive their sun.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Darnell Clayton's Ten Reasons For Not Building A Space Elevator

Darnell Clayton's Ten Reasons For Not Building A Space Elevator. Read the post for all of them. My favorites;

8) It's a dumb idea: The space elevator has only existed in science fiction novels. Since when has anything from a science fiction novel become reality?
5) It would ruin Star Trek: The writers never envisioned a space elevator in their television series. Building one would ruin the story line, enraging fans across the scifi community.
4) We need Space Powers: If too many nations have access to space, people might get the notion that we are all created equal, leading to chaos.

Jurisdiction as property

Excellent paper from Nick Szabo on private jurisdiction in English history. From the introduction.
The Anglo-Norman legal idea of jurisdiction as property and peer-to-peer government clashed with ideas derived from the Roman Empire, via the text of Justinian's legal code and its elaboration in European universities, of sovereignty and totalitarian rule via a master-servant or delegation hierarchy. By the 20th century the Roman idea of hierarchical jurisdiction had largely won, especially in political science where government is often defined on neo-Roman terms as "sovereign" and "a monopoly of force." Our experience with totalitarianism of the 19th and 20th centuries, inspired and enabled by the Roman-derived procedural law and accompanying political structure (and including Napoleon, the Csars, the Kaisers, Communist despots, the Fascists, and the National Socialists), as well as the rise of vast and often oppressive bureaucracies in the "democratic" countries, should cause us to reconsider our commitment to government via master-servant (in modern terms, employer-employee) hierarchy, which is much bettter suited to military organization than to legal organization.

There is something to be said for keeping the power of the State as loose and light as possible.

You know this guy

Kevyn, seemingly stranded on a primitive planet, was lighting a fire and has managed to start a really large forest fire.

Tell me you don't know guys like this.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I don't watch much T.V. - I probably should watch Deadwood more often than I do. This is classic rough philosophy.

Merrick: The physical damage is repairable but the psychic wound may be permanent

Swearengen: You ever been beaten, Merrick?

Merrick: Once, when i thought i had the smallpox, Doc Cochran slapped me in the face ....


Merrick: Stop it, Al.

Swearengen: Are you dead?

Merrick: Well I'm in pain but no, I'm obviously not dead.

Swearengen: Well obviously you didn't fuckin' die when the Doc slapped ya.

Merrick: No.

Swearengen: So, including last night that's three fuckin' damage incidents that didn't kill
ya. Pain or damage don't end the world or despair or fuckin' beatiings. The
world ends when you're dead. Until then you've got more punishment in store.
Stand it like a man .. and give some back.

Pancakes and Deadwood

Pancakes  .. Deadwood.

warning - adult content.

Makes my brain smile.


Friday, November 17, 2006

You will see what you wish to see

This week's New Yorker cover via The Stranger's Brendan Kiley

It's not enough to just drive into town and topple the Jello Sheriff - you need a plan.

Predictable comments from The Stranger readership

Doesn't it imply that Democrats are bringing down an evil dictatorship that came to power with the backing of the Reagan Administration? Spot on.
I thought it implied that the tax money would stop flowing to the top and come down to earth (the middle class).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

With Honors

The things you find by serendipity.

Simon Wilder: You asked the question, sir, now let me answer it. The beauty of the Constitution is that it can always be changed. The beauty of the Constitution is that it makes no set law other than faith in the wisdom of ordinary people to govern themselves.

Proffesor Pitkannan: Faith in the wisdom of the people is exactly what makes the Constitution incomplete and crude.

Simon Wilder: Crude? No, sir. Our "founding parents" were pompous, white, middle-aged farmers, but they were also great men. Because they knew one thing that all great men should know: that they didn't know everything. Sure, they'd make mistakes, but they made sure to leave a way to correct them. The president is not an "elected king," no matter how many bombs he can drop. Because the "crude" Constitution doesn't trust him. He's just a bum, okay Mr. Pitkannan? He's just a bum.

Joe Pesci is Simon Wilder.

Liftport web site is down

Liftport's web content was shifted last week to a colocated server. Just in time for a huge rain and wind storm to tear across town and kill the data center.
While it looks like the wind is going to be the top story with the storm, it's also bringing heavy rains once again. This system has once again tapped into some warmer, tropical air, meaning not only will we have to deal with a lot of rain -- as much as 1-3 inches in the lowlands and 2-5 inches in the mountains within 12-18 hours -- but high snow levels up around 6,000 feet. That will allow the rain to just runoff into the rivers instead of sticking to the hillsides as snow.
We're talking real wrath of God type stuff..

When man makes plans, God says 'hah'.

Update - 22:18 - Web back up , DB server is still inop so no blog or other goodies

Wharton - punked

Wharton Biz School was punked
At a Wharton Business School conference on business in Africa, World Trade Organization representative Hanniford Schmidt announced the creation of a WTO initiative for "full private stewardry of labor" for the parts of Africa that have been hardest hit by the 500 years of Africa's free trade with the West.

The initiative will require Western companies doing business in some parts of Africa to own their workers outright. Schmidt recounted how private stewardship has been successfully applied to transport, power, water, traditional knowledge, and even the human genome. The WTO's "full private stewardry" program will extend these successes to (re)privatize humans themselves.

At least they realized it, if perhaps after the fact.
A panelist for the Wharton Africa Business Forum misrepresented himself as being affiliated with the World Trade Organization (WTO). Based on that misrepresentation, the individual was invited to speak at the Forum, which was held on November 11, 2006 in Philadelphia. As soon as the conference organizers realized the misrepresentation perpetrated by this individual, the other panelists were immediately informed. Neither the conference organizers nor The Wharton School had or has any association with the individual nor do they endorse the individual's views.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Computers, Nanotech, and Fusion: The Fate of Post-Human Society

Travis came up with a winner of a book title.

Heh. I just re-read my own subject line above, and it called to mind the title (and subtitle) Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

It’s just calling out for extropian parody.

Computers, Nanotech, and Fusion: The Fate of Post-Human Society ?

No matter whether you see envision the next century or two as a time of expansion beyond our limited solar system, or you’re a horrible writer, and see it as a depressing slog through cinders, garbage, and glowing rabbits, the title is ambiguous enough to work.

A Glenn Reynoldsian 'Heh' to TJIC.


Everyone say 'awww' for djmischiff's kitty

Friday, November 10, 2006


What's going on at Rammro? A party.

I think this means that I'm live blogging. To my credit I waited until almost everyone had gone - we're down to the some close friends and cool jazz on the stereo.

With any good luck I'll be able to make the rest of Rammro's website look muck better in the next week or two.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 10

Marine Corps Order No. 47 (Series 1921)

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them, it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

Commandant, United States Marine Corps
1 November 1921

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Interesting post: The Importance Of Zero In Destroying The Scarcity Myth Of Economics
When Jim Harper of the Cato Institute kindly invited me to be on a panel discussion about copyrights at Cato in their Washington DC office, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what I was going to talk about. I had been spending a lot of time trying to understand why there was such a split among folks who prided themselves on having a "free market" or libertarian view of the world -- but who seemed to completely disagree on the economics of content. It bothered me that people who started with the same fundamental toolbox ("the free market is good") would end up at such widely divergent views. On the one side were folks like the Progress & Freedom Foundation, who felt that strong intellectual property laws (including things like stronger protections of DRM) were necessary to build an economy around content. On the other, were folks like myself, Tim Lee and David Levine, who saw that these intellectual property laws were basically government granted monopolies that could hold back economic progress.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I voted after work. The poll workers were quick and efficient, the ballot was on paper and there wasn't a line. Breezed in, chatted briefly with a neighbor (our kids play together) marked the ballot and home for dinner. Sushi and leftover pasta if your'e curious.

How remarkable that a change in power (or not) can take place without gunfire, riot or arson. I suspect we're so used to it just working we take it for granted. We should not.

May God forever guard and guide these United States of America.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Not News: Recruiters lie

I'm not sure this is news - recruiters lie to get men to the colors?

Nov. 3, 2006 — An ABC News undercover investigation showed Army recruiters telling students that the war in Iraq was over, in an effort to get them to enlist.

Shocked, shocked I am.  I know I heard this one in 1985 . . .
"It's called a 'Failure to Adapt' discharge," the recruiter said. "It's an entry-level discharge so it won't affect anything on your record. It'll just be like it never happened."
Even as a gullible seventeen year-old I didn't think it was that easy.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans

The Truck Got Stuck

the chev got stuck and the ford got stuck
got the chev unstuck when the dodge showed up
but the dodge got stuck in the tractor rut
which eventually pulled out the ford

more rain than we'd seen for a thousand years
caused financial joys and biblical fears
it caused some smiles, it caused some tears
but more to the point of our story
for the first time in the collective memory that old brown prairie
that had been so dry for so long was very muddy, boggy, sticky

well we'd pull one truck out get another stuck in
motors would roar, tires would spin
we'd sink right down, down to the diff
we'd all take turns and then do it again
till no one could move then call one more friend
come on out here, we need ya, bring your truck.

It's got a banjo .. hard to go wrong with a banjo. But even so this is a fun song with a catchy chorus - it's what country music is supposed to be. I'd never heard of the Corb Lund Band until this song played on Boot Liquor Radio ...

Roughest Neck Around

It's 35 below or its 98 above
And he's workin' thru it all, cuz baby this is what he loves
Drives a hundred-fifty miles make sure his kids are doin' fine
And he sees 'em when he can but he's married to his iron

You'd better hire him on, he's the roughest neck around
He got the power in his hands to pull the dragons from the ground

Ya. I'm not normally enthralled with 'working man' songs - you get the feeling all the guy has done is play in bars for a few years and, ya, it's work but it's not exactly grubbing around in a blizzard driving a Cat (pot, meet kettle). Anyway I don't get that vibe with these guys. Either the real deal or they're good at faking it - I'll bet on the former.

Videos here, for what it's worth.


Sugar must not be that important at my house. To get to the sugar canister this morning for the ceremonial Sunday breakfast cup of coffee I had to remove from the top

1 large bottle of Tobasco
2 cookie molds
1 pepper grinder
1 cheese grater

By contrast the adjacent canister of tea was free of clutter. Make of this what you will.


Sxkitten has a new cat who appears to be frustrated ....

We like crunchy rodents; we don’t like squirty water bottles.

Harry's Dilemma
What to do, what to do?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Display some adaptbility

Battlestar Galactica for November 3, 2006: Starbuck displays adaptability, Tigh fails to get on with on with it. Oh and some really keen stuff with Balter and the Cylons.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A random economic thought

A random economic thought

Not mine of course - it's Friday and my brain is innocent of thought as I gaze at TV through the vee of my feet.

The US Treasury combined with the US military and three hundred plus years of American social capital formation mean that our seignorage services are second to none. The three institutions work together to take tree pulp, put green ink on it, back it with a few hundred thousand boots on the ground, and convert it into a store of value that’s as good as gold, and much more portable.

Every US dollar is, in a sense, a small contract - a bit of intangible property.

Proposed: we’re not buying tungsten and oil and DVD players and containers full of manga…we’re trading for them - their consumer goods versus our micro-contracts.

Of course, the value of the trillions of micro-contracts we’ve already sold (and all the ones we hope to sell in the future) could be decimated by inflation, military cowardice, and/or excessive multilateralism that amounts to kowtowing.

Makes sense to me.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Summer memories

It's November. It's cold. You wouldn't think I'd have to say this to my six-year old this morning:

A swimsuit does not count as 'getting dressed'.

Summer dies hard in the heart of a child.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Unlettered barbarian

I am an unlettered barbarian. Below a list of 50 significant SF&F books frm the last fifty years, the ones I've read in bold.
  1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
  3. Dune, Frank Herbert
  4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
  5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
  6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
  7. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
  8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
  9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
  10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
  12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
  14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
  15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
  16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
  17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
  18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
  19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
  20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
  21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
  22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
  23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
  24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
  25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
  26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
  27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
  29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
  30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
  31. Little, Big, John Crowley
  32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
  33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
  34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
  35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
  36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
  37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
  38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
  39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
  40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
  41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
  42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
  43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
  44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
  45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
  46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
  47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
  48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
  49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
  50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Via TJIC who got it from Foothills who got it from here.

Learning from your mistakes

Ken MacLeod linking to an Economist article on the Hungarian  Uprising
The only people to learn anything from the collapse of the Soviet bloc have been the Communists. Everyone else was merely proved right.

Best Comment of the Day

From a Jane Galt poster
You can not win the presidency if you are not a white, christian male.

Lieberman was up for Vice President. Just a heartbeat away, and all that, remember?

We are a shallow and easily manipulated people.

Remember, kiddies, whenever a writer uses "we" in this manner, he really means: "you".

What she said.