quick notes on mediocrities

shrek the third: alas, third time is the chasm; this movie is not just tired and unimaginative, it is actually boring; it is now the kind of movie the first shrek was gleefully making fun of. when you see your eight year old not laughing, and paying more attention to the popcorn bucket than the movie, you know you have a serious narrative flop. [with the money not wasted on this wreck, buy the animaniacs or pinky & brain dvd sets instead. your family will thank you for it.]

gray's anatomy: at one time, this used to be a guilty pleasure. now it is a classic soap that just happens to have a few good actors. they should leave the hospital, and the show should appropriately move to afternoon tea time, next to young and restless.

stephen harper [canadian prime minister, sadly]: this wooden pen pusher continues to receive accolades [especially around the pages of screamingly right wing national post] for assorted smart political feet shuffling. sort of the way we give high praise to a surgeon for the choice of music and a necktie during a heart [or a brain, in the case of canada] transplant surgery, even though he is drunk and can barely hold the blade. sigh.

macbook reg or pro: i would like to see one of those hodgman/long spots to make fun of the ridiculous power consumption and heat generation of the lovable macbooks. long could be in shorts with a sunburn, or actually spontaneously combust into flames... [oh how i miss my cooler powerbook]


recently noted quotes

gaze upon my opposable thumbs and fingers -- hugh neutron

two things every Python programmer needs to do in life: 1) Reinvent Lisp 2) Write a web framework -- Jason Huggins

Religious points of view must never be allowed to dictate public policy and limit fundamental freedoms. -- from CFI bulletin on gonzales vs carhart

If you work at IBM Global Services, ask your boss outright if you are on the list to be fired. It puts the boss in a bind, sure, but might lead to a sort of "Alice's Restaurant" effect in which hypocrisy is confronted and exposed. -- cringely [lean and mean]

You cannot, of course, gradually build a self-supporting, free-standing arch by using only the component stones, piling them up, one at a time. But if you have scaffolding – and a pile of rocks will suffice to support the growing structure – you can build the arch one stone at a time until the keystone is in place, and the structure becomes self-supporting. When this occurs, the (now redundant) scaffolding can be removed to leave the irreducibly complex, free-standing structure. -- niall shanks [God, The Devil, and Darwin: A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory]

it seems a few high school students are far smarter than the entire gang of evolution deniers at the Discovery Institute. -- pz myers [pharyngula]

Jini is a service architecture. OSGi is a service architecture. Both have ways of dealing with services written in Java. So why are there two?

This, of course, is a classic example of what I have called the Highlander Fallacy, which briefly stated is the principle that there can be only one. If any two technologies can be described using the same set of words, then there is no need for both of them, and only one will survive. I call this a fallacy because, to use a technical term, it is total crap. -- jim valdo [jini and osgi, yet again]


sharp reviews, interviews: scalpel

scalpel magazine is a sf/f/h review magazine that just launched. from its reviewerfesto:
Our purpose is to allow reviewers to utilize the rigor and tools of literary criticism in order to properly assess genre fiction, while discarding the elevated tone and reliance upon jargon that often mars academic criticism.
At Scalpel Magazine, we believe we are continuing a great tradition set into place by the likes of James Blish, Damon Knight, Algis Budrys and more.


i have my special integer. do you have yours?

ed felten is offering special 128-bit integers through his virtuallandgrab technology. i just picked mine, a really nice sequence with B8 and 8A...

1C FC BF 1A 62 B8 28 E1 B3 87 34 0E 4B CD 63 8A

thanks, ed.


stupidiest opening line of the day

found amongst the half-digested bits of news at the register: was gerry adams in the IRA? don't ask wikipedia

The wisdom of reliance on Wikipedia as an information source has been further questioned.

really. one can almost hear the anti-wikipedia rally outside reg offices on the matter. [what would we do without the wisdom of an information source that appropriately feeds on the rotted remains of imaginary magnitudes?]

related reading: is it worth being wise


on a leafless branch

a few years ago, i posted a fairly comprehensive collection of basho's crow haiku translations to my old blog. here is a new entry from an interesting recent collection by takafumi saito and william r. nelson, 1020 haiku in translation: the heart of basho, buson and issa
on a leafless branch
a crow -
autumn dusk.

i like the saito/nelson collection because of its excellent selection of poetry though i am a bit surprised by some of the unusual, at times ESL-like phrasing in its translations. for example:
the first snow
at a hermitage
happily i am.