March 19, 2008
Nothing to see here
So much for the blog. Not enough time, too little interest. I suppose some day I might start posting entries again, but I doubt it.
I've stopped posting new photos to my web gallery, too, instead putting all of them into my Flickr page. The Gallery software is extremely flexible, but it's really a giant pain in the ass, and Flickr is just more convenient.
I'll leave all the old pages up, at least for now.
January 20, 2006
Site Housekeeping, Redux
So I just looked at my site in Internet Explorer on a Mac and noticed that several of the little boxes are, um, off. Oddly, the boxes are not messed up in IE for Windows.
Another bit to look into. This web publishing stuff can be a giant pain in the ass sometimes.
January 15, 2006
I think I've pretty much fully migrated this site to HostGator. Still have some things to tidy up when I get a chance, which probably won't be until everyone in the house is healthy.
- I need to update the stylesheets for the main site. The colors are kind of out of whack, and many of them were just temporary placeholders any way.
- I need to update the stylesheets for the Gallery pages. I got Gallery installed, but haven't had a chance to tinker with the styles, so they're using the default templates. Ugly, ugly, very ugly.
- Comments are currently restricted to those with TypeKey accounts. I did this because my site was being overrun with comment spam, and it was increasingly difficult to keep up with it. I haven't decided if I'm going to re-enable comments, leave them the way they are, or disable comments altogether.
- There's other stuff to fix, like creating custom "404 Page Not Found" pages, etc. No idea when I'll get to those kinds of things.
- The archiving scheme for this site has changed as part of the move. Previously, individual archive pages were simply named with a number, something like 000114.html. Now they are named in a much more sensible manner. But this means that any existing links to individual pages are now broken.
January 13, 2006
Green Light of Death
Well, it finally happened.
I turned on my D70 on Christmas Day and it was unresponsive, with the green memory card access LED blinking steadily. My camera had succumbed to the dreaded Blinking Green Light Of Death (BGLOD).
This, of course, is a giant pain in the ass. This is a documented issue with the early production runs of the D70. Nikon issued a service advisory to fix or replace any affected cameras. So, I sent my camera in to Nikon per the advisory. Nikon fixed the issue free of charge (except for the cost of shipping my camera to their repair facility in Melville, NY) and shipped my camera back to me.
Service Repair Rank B2
Repair SC 201759
RPL METERING FPC
ADJ AUTO FOCUS OPERATION
GENERAL CHECK AND CLEAN
25212 SERIAL NO xxxxxxx
D70 DIGITAL SLR CAMERA SET
Repair Charges 0.00
Shipping and Handling 0.00
Total Amount 0.00
In addition to repairing the flaw in the circuit board (which causes the BGLOD), they adjusted the autofocus and cleaned the CCD and the exterior of the camera.
I'd rather not have had my camera die on Christmas morning, but I'm happy it was fixed (for free) and sent back so quickly. Total turn-around from the day I shipped it to Nikon was about 8 days.
December 24, 2005
"But that doesn't mean anything!"
"Not to you, maybe, but to millions of Americans it means 'Merry Christmas' in Mexican!"
December 21, 2005
Dover, Dover, Dover
I don't really have anything to add about this that hasn't been said better by others smarter than me. Well, OK, that's not true. I have plenty to add. But for now, I'm just going to point to someone who's gone to a lot of effort to collect a whole bunch of information on the Dover Intelligent Design case.
Maybe I'll have more to say later, but for now all I'll say is outstanding work by Judge Jones. I'm not an attorney, but that was the most fun I've ever had reading a judicial ruling.
December 17, 2005
Jesus Christ, I can't believe how old I've gotten.
I screwed up my back. Again. By doing absolutely frickin nothing.
No idea what I did, but I woke up this morning with my back very sore, and it tightened up as the day went on. I've spent most of the day popping Advil and sitting on the sofa with a heating pad. I don't think it's as bad as last time, when I couldn't even stand in one spot without my lower back screaming at me, but we'll see.
I say again: dammit.
December 16, 2005
I got the photo gallery installed. It went pretty smoothly, although I still have the default styles applied, so I'll have to go back and upload all the old stylesheets. Or maybe I'll update those, too.
Next on the list is to install Gallery2, which is completely different from Gallery v1.5.
Wow, the skins that come with Gallery are ugly. U-G-L-Y. So, it's the default (bright) blue until I can hack the CSS until I find something acceptable.
December 15, 2005
I've changed webhosts, and the DNS update is propagating. Slowly.
For some reason, netbuie.net seems to resolve just fine, but www.netbuie.net does not. I assume that will sort itself out as the DNS records catch up. Once all the kinks are ironed out I'll post details on the switch.
I haven't installed Gallery yet, so any attempts to view the photo gallery will reach dead links. I hope to take care of that in the next few days.
November 16, 2005
How depressing it is to look at the logs for this site and see that one of the most frequent referrals I get is from a Russian web site where hackers list the sites they've hacked.
Yes, my site has been hacked twice in the last month, really just somebody overwriting the index.html page with some garbage. Nothing else gets modified, but it's still a pain in the ass. And my webhost was not very pleased.
Probably going to be making some changes here in the next couple of months. The webhost I've used for the last 4 years was sold to another company, and in comparing what they offer to what's available with other hosts I've decided to consider switching. Switching will be painful, I'd have to move everything over, re-install Movable Type and Gallery, recreate all the Movable Type templates and Gallery templates, fix all the links in all the individual pages, update DNS, etc.
Not to mention the disruption to my email. It makes me tired just thinking about it all. Might be a good project for the end of year break coming up, but I'm not sure I want to spend my vacation sitting in front of a computer. That's how I spend my non-vacation time, as it is.
October 18, 2005
Most influential Sci-Fi films
This one is a list of most influential science fiction films.
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
- Back to the Future
- Blade Runner
- Bride of Frankenstein
- Brother From Another Planet
- A Clockwork Orange
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- The Damned
- Destination Moon
- The Day The Earth Stood Still
- Escape From New York
- ET: The Extraterrestrial
- Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
- The Fly (1985 version)
- Forbidden Planet
- Ghost in the Shell
- The Incredibles
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
- Jurassic Park
- Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
- The Matrix
- On the Beach
- Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
- Solaris (1972 version)
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- The Stepford Wives
- Terminator 2: Judgement Day
- The Thing From Another World
- Things to Come
- 12 Monkeys
- 28 Days Later
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- La Voyage Dans la Lune
- War of the Worlds (1953 version)
September 28, 2005
Majikthise has started a "Most-challenged books meme". Look at the American Library Association's most challenged books list, and rattle off the ones you've already read.
- Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
- Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
- Forever by Judy Blume
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
- My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
- Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
- A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Sex by Madonna
- Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
- The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
- Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
- In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
- The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
- The Witches by Roald Dahl
- The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
- Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
- The Goats by Brock Cole
- Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
- Blubber by Judy Blume
- Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
- Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
- We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
- Final Exit by Derek Humphry
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- The Pigman by Paul Zindel
- Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
- Deenie by Judy Blume
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
- The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
- Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
- A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
- Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
- Cujo by Stephen King
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
- Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
- Ordinary People by Judith Guest
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
- What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madara
- Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
- Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
- Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
- Fade by Robert Cormier
- Guess What? by Mem Fox
- The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
- The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Native Son by Richard Wright
- Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
- Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
- Jack by A.M. Homes
- Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
- Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
- Carrie by Stephen King
- Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
- On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
- Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
- Family Secrets by Norma Klein
- Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
- The Dead Zone by Stephen King
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
- Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
- Private Parts by Howard Stern
- Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
- Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
- Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
- Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
- Sex Education by Jenny Davis
- The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
- Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
- How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
- View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
- The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
- The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
- Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
I've read 32 out of the 100, guess I need to get busy. Although I think some of these books are more significant than others. I mean come on, Cujo compared to To Kill a Mockingbird??
September 14, 2005
Google Blog search
I'm not surprised by this. I kind of wonder what took them so long.
And it works, too!
September 08, 2005
To my sister
No, really. Don't think I don't mean it.
Thank you so much for being so irresponsible that I wind up in court over your unpaid bills.
August 09, 2005
Have to check on that.
August 08, 2005
Busy day in the battle against scientific illiteracy
So, let's see what we have here.
The History Channel has a new show, Ape to Man: The Evolution of Evolution. Ostensibly, it's about the history of research into human origins. I tivo'ed it last night, guess I'll watch it some time this week. PZ Myers has a long critique of it up on his site.
And, of course, The History Channel's forum has been overrun with creationists as a result. I just can't bring myself to go there.
The cover of this week's Time Magazine is about "The Evolution Wars." Good grief. Sensationalize much? Guess I'll be reading that one some time this week. Time has gone downhill in recent years, so I'm not holding my breath expecting a good article...
The Seattle Times weighs in with an editorial on the "philosophy" of Intelligent Design.
Father Andrew Greely, described on his website as
One of the most influential Catholic thinkers and writers of our time, priest, sociologist, author and journalist Father Andrew M. Greeley has built an international assemblage of devout fans over a career that spans five decades. He is the author of over 50 best-selling novels and more than 100 works of non-fiction and his writing has been translated into 12 languages. A Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona and a Research Associate with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, Father Greeley is a respected scholar whose current research focuses on the Sociology of Religion.
has a nicely written op-ed piece pleading for religion to stop meddling with science.
Last but not least, The London Times (free registration required) has the story of what's becoming a very public disagreement between Father George Coyne, an American Jesuit priest and a distinguished astronomy professor and Cardinal Christoph Shonborn over Intelligent Design. Some excerpts of Father Coyne's remarks (courtesy of Red State Rabble):
"God is working with the universe. The universe has a certain vitality of its own like a child does..."
(God) "... is not constantly intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves,"
"... [R]eligious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator or designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly."
"Perhaps God should be seen more as a parent or as one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words."
"This view is compatible with the Bible, which gives God human characteristics and presents divinity as "a God who gets angry, who disciplines, a God who nurtures the universe, who empties himself in Christ the incarnate word."
According to the Catholic News Service, Father Coyne criticized Cardinal Schonborn for saying that the scientific processes of "chance" and "necessity" cannot explain the presence of purpose and design in nature. He gave the example of two hydrogen atoms meeting in the universe.
"By necessity (the laws of chemical combination) they are destined to become a hydrogen molecule. But by chance the temperature and pressure conditions at that moment are not correct for them to combine. And so they wander through the universe until they finally combine."
"By the interaction of chance and necessity, many hydrogen molecules are formed and eventually many of them combine with oxygen to make water, and so on, until we have very complex molecules and eventually the most complicated organism that science knows: the human brain."
"Chance" and "necessity" are continuously interacting and must be understood as being tied to the scientific process of "fertility" by which the universe is constantly generating matter, he said.
"The classical question as to whether the human being came about by chance, and so has no need of God, or by necessity, and so through the action of a designer God, is no longer valid," he said."The meaning of chance and necessity must be seen in the light of that fertility," he said.
The universe contains trillions of stars and they "release to the universe the chemical abundance of the elements necessary for life," he said.
"There is no other way, for instance, to have the abundance of carbon necessary to make a toenail than through the thermonuclear processes in stars. We are all literally born of stardust," he said.
Evolution is a continuous process and "has a certain intrinsic natural directionality in that the more complex an organism becomes the more determined is its future," he said.
"It is precisely the fertility of the universe and the interaction of chance and necessity in the universe which are responsible for the directionality," said Father Coyne.
August 05, 2005
Switchable color schemes
Like most every change I've made to this site, the next change arises from boredom. I've gotten bored with the way this site looks, so I decided to tinker with it. Some.
It's actually quite simple; the instructions and the script can be found at A List Apart. What's not so simple is finding good color schemes that work well across platforms. Once I find some schemes I like, I'll implement the facility on this site, and probably on my photolog as well.
It does look like there are better ways to achieve this functionality. Guess I'll get around to trying it that way, eventually.
Teach Both Sides
I found this on Anne's Anti-Quackery & Science Blog:
July 29, 2005
No wonder I like Monty Python
Although I don't much like being compared to Woody Allen. Not at all.
| the Wit |
CLEAN | COMPLEX | DARK
You like things edgy, subtle, and smart.
I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean you're pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the
|My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid|
July 19, 2005
It appears as if the Republicans in Congress are spending their time wisely, attempting to intimidate and discredit several prominent climatologists because of their roles in the climate change debate. Judging by their responses, it does not appear that the scientists are particularly intimidated.
Rep. Joe Barton, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, recently sent letters requesting "information regarding global warming studies."
Responses have come fast and furious:
- A statement from the EGU
- The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- A Nature editorial
- A letter from US scientists
- A letter from the head of the National Academy of Sciences
- A commentary from Tom Crowley in EOS
- The House Committee on Science and Henry Waxman
- Response of Michael Mann
- Response of Ray Bradley
- Response of Malcolm Hughes
Many in the scientific community would welcome any genuine interest in climate change from the committee, but the tone and content of these letters have alarmed many scientists and their professional organisations. In the words of Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Barton letters "give the impression of a search for some basis on which to discredit these particular scientists and findings, rather than a search for understanding."
-- from RealClimate.org