February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy

"No man is an island" and all that; I suppose I should be affected by any death.

But with 7+ billion of us now, hundreds of thousands of people die every day. Some deaths are tragic, but some less so. And if you mourned every one, you'd drive yourself insane.

If someone lives a full, happy, and productive life and dies peacefully in their 80's or 90's, I can't really think of it as a tragedy. All of us will die, one way or another, and that's a pretty good way to go.

So while I consider it noteworthy that Leonard Nimoy died yesterday, I can't really find it in myself to think it's some sort of catastrophe. He was 83 and had a long and successful career and left behind many performances that moved people and will continue to move people for decades to come. We should all be so lucky.

This is likewise how I felt when Chuck Jones died (at 89), and when Heinlein died (age 80). (My girlfriend at the time told me about Heinlein and she expected me to react strongly; I think my lack of reaction really surprised her.)

UPDATE: IMDB says that Nimoy was in all 80 episodes of ST and Shatner was only in 79. I can't remember an episode that Shatner wasn't in. Anyone know which it was?

UPDATE: OK, Shatner wasn't in the first pilot and Nimoy was. But they used that material in the series to produce two episodes, and Shatner was in both of those.

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February 24, 2015

Two Spirit?

This one almost needs a new category. "Weird World" isn't strong enough.

What the hell is "Two Spirit"? For a moment I thought it meant "Otherkin" which would be strange enough, but the Urban Dictionary set me straight.

People of my generation would have one of two reactions to this, I think.

1. "Wow, man, that's really deep!" (tooooke)

2. That's fucking nuts!

Despite the fact that I have long hair, I'm in the second camp. (I stopped toking nearly 30 years ago.) I suspect what we're dealing with here is what TVTropes calls "Bull Dykes". Or used to before the SJW's moved in and censored everything.

UPDATE: I'm going to Hell for this, aren't I?

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February 21, 2015

This is a classic!

Slow Joe Biden molesting anime girls!

Fortunately for him, he didn't pick any who are capable of blowing a hole through him. If he'd tried that on Android 18, for instance, he wouldn't have lived very long.

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February 13, 2015

It's all my fault

The governor of Oregon just announced his resignation from office.

Three years ago, my US Representative resigned.

And when I was living in San Diego, my US Representative there resigned.

Lessee, who should I target next? How about Jeff Merkley?

UPDATE: Before Duke Cunningham, my US Representative in California was Bob "Filthy" Filner, who later resigned from the office of Mayor of San Diego.

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February 12, 2015

A profound quote

From "The League of Frightened Men" by Rex Stout:

My physical build is negligible, next to contemptible, and my mental equipment has reached the decadence which sneers at the blood that feeds it.

That describes some of our self-proclaimed "best minds", don't you think?

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February 10, 2015

Terms of art

A "term of art" is a word or phrase which has a specific meaning in some specialty, not really known or understood by those outside it, and often entirely different from what they expect when hearing it.

For instance, the term "actual malice" is a term of art in American libel law, defined by the Supreme Court in a decision in 1964, and it has nothing whatever to do with malign intent.

We in computer science have a few I ran into in the last few days which I thought were interesting. One is "brute force", as an approach for solving certain kinds of problems.

Another is "phishing". And there's "honey pot".

These are words with actual technical value to those of us in the field, but they sound weird to those outside it.

ESR actually compiled a huge list of such terms one time, and has been maintaining it ever since. He calls it "jargon" but I don't think that's quite fair. These terms were created to satisfy a need, to describe things for which there were no standard terms previously.

Techies being what they are, it's not hugely surprising that the terms they chose were weird approaching facetious, but they don't exist simply to confuse outsiders.

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February 09, 2015

Obscure references

I just downloaded "Where there's a will", a Nero Wolfe mystery. ($9.95 at the Amazon Kindle store.)

I just found an obscure reference in it:

The trouble with me is that I'm the daughter of one of the Hawthorne girls. If they had had a lot of daughters, I suppose it would have been different, but there's only one, and I'm it. I was sick of it by the time I was ten years old, and I had an inferiority complex about the size of the perisphere.

How many of you know what the "perisphere" is (was) without looking it up?

UPDATE: And later:

He said he knew that, but it would be more convenient to take them with the others. I said it would be more convenient for me to go home and go to bed, since it was after dark, and he could go sit on a trylon.

How many of you know what the "trylon" was? (Without looking it up)

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February 03, 2015

Taiwan Plane Crash

Here are a couple of images which will give you nightmares. (No blood or gore, but there doesn't need to be.)

The good news is that most of the people on board seem to have survived. But yikes!!!

What is amazing to me is that someone was able (and willing) to take those pictures. In an increasingly electronic world, we'll see more and more of this.

UPDATE: Now it's looking like the survival rate is somewhere around a third.

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February 01, 2015

Whoa, Seattle!

I'm watching The Game on a flash file from nfl.com, just like I did last year, which is running on my tablet while I use my computer for other things. It's pleasant; no ads, no annoying color commentary, just the fax maam.

Seattle's defense sure has been breathing fire in the second half! (I write this with 11 minutes to go in the game.) I think they've sacked Brady twice, and managed their second interception. New England can't seem to do anything any more.

When the first half ended tied, I wondered if there had ever been a Superbowl which went into overtime. Doesn't look like there's any danger of that for this one. (Although NE just managed to get into FG range.)

UPDATE: I spoke too soon; NE just got a TD. But that still puts them 3 points behind, and Seattle's offense has been breathing fire too.

But it ain't over until it's over...

UPDATE: Wow, I really did speak too soon. 28-24 NE with 2:02 left to play.

UDATE: What a finish! Someone named Butler just earned himself the MVP award, I do believe.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 06:25 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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January 28, 2015

My kind of magazine!

So, how do you feel about the Second Amendment?

I have to say that this is a pretty cool way to have an off-campus meeting for a business.

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