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Archive for December, 2008

It'll work this time

December 29, 2008 Leave a comment

Sure it will. If there were ever a time for this Internet tradition:

1. Bomb the fuck out of Gaza.
2. ???
3. Peace!

It seems pretty clear: Israel is bombing Gaza with no realistic chance of achieving any reasonable objective and is killing hundreds of Palestinians in the process. Yes, Hamas has been firing rockets into Israel. Eventually, isn’t one side going to figure out that this isn’t working? I suppose it’s naive of me to think so.

Categories: Israel/Palestine

Please step away from the blog

December 23, 2008 2 comments

I will not be posting for remainder of the week, but before I go:

Very very interesting. The conspiracy is undeniable. Fact: there are no photos of the wreckage. Fact: Connell has been found alive in Saudi Arabia.

(That may have been in poor taste, but this is a blog.)

I think it would help Boise State if they actually played a couple of decent opponents during the regular season. At least then, the annual complaints about their snubbing would have some merit.

Eat Mor Chikin. And sheesh, who knew cheese was so bad? I guess we should start a “more potato chips, fewer cheeseburgers” campaign.

Hey, clean coal technology does exist. It’s flowing through Tennessee. Merry Christmas, Chattannooga.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. I’ll be driving to Wyoming tomorrow, hopefully not in a blizzard. I’m prepared for the worst, though…no visibility, cars in ditches, communities destroyed, roving bands of cannibals, etc.

Categories: Silliness

All hail Baal!

December 22, 2008 3 comments

Baal

I really prefer Sokar, but what the hell, I’ll be a Baal worshiper.

This post brought to you by a decade of geeky television.

Categories: Silliness

Random news

December 22, 2008 Leave a comment

EA is putting its games on Valve’s content platform, Steam, sans game specific DRM. This is, I think, the right way to go. As far as software goes, I’m not inexorable opposed to DRM. DRM on music is another matter, since it limits my ability to play what I paid for when and where I choose, with no benefit to me. Software is different, in that I’m already pretty limited. EA’s chosen DRM makes those limits worse – only allowing a few installs. On the other hand, with Steam, you get a DRM solution that’s less intrusive and gives you the ability to download and install the game anywhere as many times as you want. Plus, the game is integrated into Steam’s community features, which is nice. That’s really the bottom line: with Steam you trade some freedom for some nice benefits. With other solutions, you trade freedom for nothing. Steam isn’t perfect and you may not be willing to make that trade-off, but I am and I think it’s a reasonable compromise.

This is dumb. I can’t even remember the newer TLDs, let alone the gazillion new ones ICANN’s proposal will allow. In related news, I can buy speedkill.com for $2,788. Anyone want to start a fund?

I don’t know, I just don’t think PC culture, Dennis Kucinich, and Russian adventurism are going to be a windfall for Republicans in 2010.

Categories: General

Amusement

December 17, 2008 1 comment

I think this is a great idea.

Also, this is amusing. “If programming languages were cars” is still better, but this one’s good, too:

Lisp would be Zen Buddhism – There is no syntax, there is no centralization of dogma, there are no deities to worship. The entire universe is there at your reach – if only you are enlightened enough to grasp it. Some say that it’s not a language at all; others say that it’s the only language that makes sense.

Perl would be Voodoo – An incomprehensible series of arcane incantations that involve the blood of goats and permanently corrupt your soul. Often used when your boss requires you to do an urgent task at 21:00 on friday night.

Ruby would be Neo-Paganism – A mixture of different languages and ideas that was beaten together into something that might be identified as a language. Its adherents are growing fast, and although most people look at them suspiciously, they are mostly well-meaning people with no intention of harming anyone.

Python would be Humanism: It’s simple, unrestrictive, and all you need to follow it is common sense. Many of the followers claim to feel relieved from all the burden imposed by other languages, and that they have rediscovered the joy of programming. There are some who say that it is a form of pseudo-code.

Categories: Religion, Silliness, Tech

Music of 2008

December 15, 2008 4 comments

Because you care, my favorite albums (except for the two EPs) of 2008:

1. Calexico – Carried To Dust

This is one of those albums I just don’t have much to say about. It’s just good. The kind of album I select on my iPod or my PC without thinking. My exposure to them is still pretty limited; I have their previous album and A Feast of Wire and that’s it. Best song: Victor Jara’s Hands.

2. God Is An Astronaut – S/T

These guys have always been close, but never quite there for me. Post-rock isn’t exactly a sparsely populated genre and I have a habit of listening to post-rock albums constantly for about a week and then discarding them. This one is different. They seem to have finally shown more than glimpses of promise. Best song: Shadows.

3. Agalloch – The White EP

Yeah yeah, this isn’t an album. I don’t care. It’s too good for me to leave it off here. The conspicuous absence of folky acoustic pieces was the only downside to their previous album, Ashes Against the Grain. This EP somewhat makes up for that. Best song: Birch White.

4. Opeth – Watershed

I was nervous about this one. Two new members and a previous album that showed some worrying problems (but was still pretty good). It didn’t look promising. In the end, however, they released an album that had some new elements (keyboard solos!) and better songwriting. There’s an over-reliance on abrupt soft LOUD dynamics and they’ve had better metal riffs in previous albums, but overall it’s an excellent album. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that they’re not going to make another MAYH or Still Life, but I’m interested to see where they’re going now.

5. The Decemberists – Always a Bridesmaid EP

Another EP that I think is too good to leave off the list. Less epic than The Crane Wife, but more of what makes The Decemberists so good: catchy songs. Valerie Plame has been stuck in my head for a good two weeks. There’s only one weak song in the bunch (I’m Sticking With You) and even it’s not too bad. Best song: Record Year.

Read more…

Categories: Music

Cold

December 15, 2008 2 comments

Of all the days to not be able to find my stocking cap. Christ. -10 degrees makes for a long walk across campus.

Also, car seat warmers > you.

Categories: Personal

Rotten

December 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Go. Read.

We don’t torture people, though.

Also, curse you, overzealous defenders of copyright! I wanted to link to a video of Baltar denying the occupational government tortures people. But no…

Categories: Bush, Foreign Policy

What kind of craziness is this?

December 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Shorter K-Lo:

Blagojevich pursued pro-choice policies, so it’s no surprise he’s corrupt.

Yes, it all makes sense now.

Categories: Silliness, The Right

I am empty, woe is me

December 10, 2008 7 comments

A recent comment on my old meaning of Christmas post:

Jeff as I read this article my heart became broken for you. Your emptiness is so deep I can see it your writtings. Not knowing you personally I cannot assume anything but my hope and prayer for you is that the Lord will reveal Himself to you in ways you cannot even explain away and your faith will be restored. You have a wonderful gift of knowledge but even Solomon says it’s worthless without the Lords heart (Ecclesiastes1). Your purpose is far more greater then the one your living for right now. The one you are living for will get smashed up in this machine of life but the one the Lord has for you will last for eternity. Please find your faith again and fill that emptiness you have.

You know, I’ve never really understood this. As she notes, she doesn’t know me. And yet, she’s giving me life advice based on her understanding that I’m “empty” (and apparently not just normal emptiness, but really obvious deep emptiness). Now, I don’t go around giving people my assessment of their life based on a blog (especially one that isn’t particularly personal). I try not to make assumptions about what an individual should believe about gods. I think society would probably be better off without religion and personal beliefs are fun to debate, but people are perfectly capable of being very nice Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, Wiccans, etc. This seems like a reasonable approach to me. It is apparently not reasonable to this person.

Now, I’ll concede that she probably wrote this out of genuine concern. But genuine or not, making assumptions about someone you don’t know reflects poorly on you. Here’s the extent of my personal advice: it would do her good to take off the blinders and realize the world is a little more complicated than “your life sucks without Jesus.”

Categories: Religion
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