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 Blog: The absolute latest random thoughts


Kari Byron news

highlighted links:

Voluntary and enthusiastic

Twitter Blocking explained

Social Marketing... at last!

The Psychology of Collective Action, Social Media,...

Fwd: [#MRO-489-36585]: com-give.com scam site

Today's "what's this company?" mystery: Safer Alco...

Losing classroom content

Cross pollinating outreach ideas

Equity versus equality

Tempered glass whiteboard ideas




earlier posts:

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7.30.2005

Eureka! A sign that makes sense!

Okay, I just figured it out! Thanks to this MHS Visual Resource Database Image, which I had originally overlooked.

The symbol on the "Coming Soon..." billboard is the same one that was on the sign! You can see it by looking at the other photos.

So? Well, if you look closely, that symbol represents the Mississippi River as it winds between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The horizontal curving line probably represents the coming I-94, and the vertical line represents Snelling Avenue (which was, and still is, a major artery).

Wow! All these years, and I never understood it! It all makes sense now!

Midway Shopping Center - 'sign' of the times!

So, having written a bit about Apache Plaza, here's a photo of Midway Shopping Center. By the time I was around, the "W"-shaped canopy above the anchor store on the corner was gone.

But, anyway, the thing I was thinking about was the sign, which was an abstract piece of art in black, white, blue, and yellow (I think?) with a red ball in the center that lit up. So, we could see if from our house, which was a few blocks south-west of the mall.

It's visible in the extreme upper-left of this picture, from the MHS Visual Resource Database.

I don't know when it disappeared. Sometime in the 1990s, I guess, when the mall underwent some renovations.

7.29.2005

feeding frenzy number 7 (or seven?) - Google Search

Okay, I just gotta try it. It doesn't turn up in a Google search, but Jay Leno just had a so-called "star" of... special films. Yeah. We'll leave it at that. A star of "special films" on his "Jay Walking" segment. It's the good dancer/bad dancer thing. Followed by a minister -- what a combo.

Anyway, this dancer's movie (I won't search for the other one, given its title) didn't turn up in Google. Think anyone else is going to search for it? :) If so... here you are!

I Miss Apache Plaza!

If you don't know about Apache plaza, here are photos of the courtyard in its heyday. Browse around the whole site and see if you understand why those of us who remember it, miss it.

It got really butchered in the 80's, but being hit by a tornado had put it on a bad path. (No kidding.)

Our own personal story about the Apache tornado... well, I'll let my dad fill in the details, which I'm sure he'll do in a far more interesting and detailed way than I could. Take it away, dad! :)

William Shatner, prophet?

Years ago in TekWar, William Shatner (yes, that William Shatner) wrote about a world that had lifelike androids wandering around. That wasn't the plot -- it was about a drug called Tek, though that wasn't really the plot, either. But the androids were a memorable component. In his book, many were used for... "personal entertainment" purposes. Here's the first step: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Japanese develop 'female' android

Caught in a podcast timewarp!

I tried to do an update to my podcast (Ericast.com Podcasts - DWEEB THOUGHTS) live from VBS last night, with horrible results because the cell phone cut out during the call. So I then did another update to apologize for the first update. The first one went through just fine, so I had apologizing to do. The second one took about twelve hours to appear. (Check out the dates on the post.)

They hit my initial blog in time (the one that "receives" the call and then bounces it to the real Ericast podcast feed, adding the title and date in the process). So, somewhere in the "bounce things through e-mail" process, something got delayed.

Unfortunately, that all happens on the back-end with the e-mail servers that are totally out of my control, so I can't even look into the process and see where it's getting hung up.

(I guess this is why people and institutions do their own hosting rather than using ASPs?)

7.28.2005

Do you know where your printout has been?

I'm all in favor of stopping counterfeiting, but the fact that manufacturers have been putting this in printers for years without telling anyone is a little bit frightening in my book. According to the article from PCWorld.com - Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents, we pretty much relying on the practices (not the policies) of the government to make sure that the information is used responsibly.

How long before some sort of hacker-type person figures out a way to decode the printout and find out where a document came from? (Or, at least, if two documents came from the same or different printers...)

7.27.2005

Viagra and Cialis aren't needed with Kari Byron

I thought it would be hard to beat Kari's fiberglass shark-making quote of, "Okay, so far on this little process, we just kind of shellacked, smoothed, and lubed up..."

But tonight (albeit in the context of a dummy flying 200 feet through the air after having been launched from a slingshot) we get to hear the words that every guy dreads -- especially coming from the likes of Kari Byron:

"You're not gonna get the mattress; that's for freakin' sure!"

Don't believe me? I've got the sound clip right here.

Click here for more Kari Byron posts!

UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

Frustrated Webmasters and Google searches

While reading through some Google Sitemap information I came across this post and the following quote: "I've been a huge fan of Google since it's inception because it was Linux based and thorough. How much of the web have I missed out on by exclusively using Google? I guess I just have to accept that Yahoo is a superior search engine at this point. BUMMER! "

I couldn't agree more. If you really, really need to know something... use Yahoo! Google's results might be "better" in the sense they have less junk or SPAM postings or whatever... but you could be "better" too if you screened out most of what's out there.

Maybe we need to return to the days of Metacrawler, where you have a "meta search engine" that crawls the other search engines. I think Rob mentioned one that's newer, which turned up a Twilight Zone episode I was looking for. Maybe there are others out there as well?

BTW, I know the Google AdSense crawlers hit this blog just fine, because they find really weird things to reference in ads. (Say that something is "the best thing since sliced bread", and you'll start getting bread ads. I'm serious. Look around on here!) But it seems their "public results" are way different from their "AdSense results". Now, having private searches makes sense for things that you can't completely identify -- OCR on patents, voice recognition on podcasts, etc. But, hey, text is text -- if you're crawling it, then serve the results, right?

7.25.2005

Heard of the 'Emerging Church'?

This is really only for those who are interested in internal Christian church debates -- otherwise, reading through it will make your eyeballs bleed. But it's interesting stuff, in my opinion. One of the things out there in the Evangelical world today is something called the "emerging" (or "emergent") church. It's a move away from the traditional, programmed "church" feel that Evangelicals have done for years (even the big, hip churches like Saddleback or Willow Creek follow the same "program" of lively music, then slower music, then an offering, then a ~30 minute sermon, then a closing song and a benediction... usually).

Anyway, the "emerging church" is more about candles and dark rooms and... well, it's more than that. PBS did a really interesting special (on Religion and Ethics Weekly) -- I'll blog it at some point so you can read it. But, in the meantime, I've been reading a post on Justin Taylor's blog -- Between Two Worlds: A Frustration with Emergent. And a quote there that caught my eye for more reasons than the emerging/emergent debate; I'll have to ponder this one: "(M)any Emergent folks see 'humility' and 'certainty' as opposite ends of the spectrum. This certainly has some initial plausibility. But I wonder how biblical it really is. Jesus was the most humble man to ever walk the earth. I'd also say he was the most certain. "

7.24.2005

Kair Byron imitation (or theft) equals flattery, right?

So, Ruth was looking at Technorati.com, which is a search engine of blogs. And she wondered what kind of Kari Byron results she'd find there.

She found some. Mine. Or my writing, at least. But rather than the "educating eric" blog as the author, it was someone else!

At least this guy's blog lists mine as the "source". Sweet. But, basically, he's got some sort of computer doing an automated copy-paste of others' content into his blog, with the hopes that others will click on his blog and then click his AdSense links.

Fortunately, since my goal is to "support learning" and not to "get rich on the backs of others", it doesn't bother me... but it's an interesting feeling! You know you're popular when you're being ripped off!

(BTW, I'm not going to link directly to his blog, becuase I don't want you going there and clicking on his ads... but you can find him pretty easily. Start with a search for "Kari Byron"...)

UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

Cell phone calls with a robotic stuffed animal?

You know me and squirrels -- especially stuffed-animal ones -- so when I saw this... well, I really wasn't excited, because it seems like you'd have to carry a squirrel around with you everywhere you go. So, read up on The Cellular Squirrel and then come back here and tell me what you think -- or if you "get it". I don't think I do.

Speaking of, I'm as keen as the next guy on bringing cool things like robotics into society... but do you think it'll ever work? I mean, will we really see animatronic anything as everyday household objects?


7.23.2005

Is the real estate bubble about to burst?

According to the story at WCCO: Analysts Watch For Bubble In Twin Cities Housing: the "Twin Cities have a 25 percent chance of house prices declining over the next two years".

Of course, my wife just told me that she blogged this, so she beat me to it... but I still have a question. Granting for the sake of argument that housing values will decline, how much will they decline? A 25% chance of the market having a .5% dip is a lot different from a 25% of the market taking a 30% hit.

Regardless, any decline is a bad one, considering that people are assuming a 6% or 7% guaranteed return on housing investments these days, which is silly -- nothing is guaranteed!

Rosslyn Chapel, the Holy Grail, and Corn

Had I known when we were in Scotland in 1997 that Rosslyn Chapel, just a few miles from where we stayed, was going to become so ultra-popular, I would have paid a lot more attention and visited it sooner in our vacation! Just got the link to this article from my Dad's blog, and it's good to see the place again.

The fact that you can find a pillar with corn on it, carved several years before Columbus ever sailed the ocean blue, struck me as interesting at the time.

How to Boost Your AdSense Revenue

As you know, most of my mental playtime these days goes to pondering how AdSense works. And the best one-stop page that I've found for good, free AdSense info is this one: How to Boost Your AdSense Revenue

I've got not tie to it -- just an interested reader.

No more gasoline!

Just came across a post from a couple years ago (Running an Automobile on Hydrogen Using Water) about running an engine on water rather than gasoline. The concept, supposedly, is that water and salt and some sort of inexpensive metal catalyst.

Logically possible, I suppose... though I don't have enough science background to know if it even rises to that minimal level of possibility.

Maybe I should check in with my wife, the physics and chemistry teacher...

Avoiding Traffic Tickets when police "forget"

This was posted as a "Google Maps saves the day!" story, and that's wonderful... but it's more telling how an officer of the law can, under oath, totally misrepresent the basic fact whether a street is a one-way or a two-way. Incompetent, or liar? Read Gear Live | How Google Maps Got Me Out Of A Traffic Ticket.

When you go into court and fight a traffic ticket based on the circumstances of the situation (waiting for oncoming traffic to pass), what do you do when your "peace officer" says that it's impossible for there to have been any oncoming traffic?

Not questioning your judgment or your interpretation of the circumstances... but proposing an alternate reality?!?

And what kind of reprimand will she face? None at all, I'm sure.

When should police shoot?

You know me and my feelings about shooting innocent people. But as I was reading the story Man Killed in London Not Linked to Blasts from Yahoo! News, I noticed the following quote:

"The man shot at the Stockwell subway station was identified as Jean Charles de Menezes, 27. Witnesses said he was wearing a heavy, padded coat when plainclothes police chased him into a subway car, pinned him to the ground and shot him in the head and torso."

Sure, you've got the right to wear whatever you want, when you want, and shouldn't receive a death sentence for poor fashion sense... but, from what we know at this moment (which isn't much), I sure have sympathy for the police in this situation!

Useful JavaScript - String Functions

While reading up on JavaScript so I can trick out this blog even more -- fun stuff coming, folks! -- I came across the site Useful JavaScript - String Functions. Looks like you can do pretty powerful stuff with JavaScript, pretty simply. Who knew?!?

7.22.2005

The AdSense experiment Continues

Regular readers of my blog are going to be shocked (and perhaps appalled) at the new look-and-feel that I'm trying. Why, you ask, did I switch to such a feature-free template? It's all about the ads.

I had an epiphany as I was pondering the advice I got on one site or another. They said that blue links get the best hits (probably because folks are mentally programmed to click on blue links, since links have been blue since the invention of the Internet...) And I also read somewhere that the fewer ads you have on the page, the better off you are, because the hits your site provides have a higher click-through ratio. (Basically, you look better to advertisers, because it's not like just one out of 12 ads gets clicked; when there's a click, it's one out of four. So, statistically, you're "getting more clicks" which means your site is a hotter place to advertise on.)

Finally, I kept in mind the cardinal advice of AdSense, which is to make your ads blend into your content (which runs counter to the "blue link" theory, if your links aren't naturally blue...)

So I realized that I could limit my AdSense material to just a single text-based strip of ads with blue links... and, with the right tweaks to the template, they'd blend right in and be very enticing!

Now I just have to wait and see if it worked. Unfortunately, my Kari Byron pages don't load anything even remotely interesting to the typical Kari Byron fan...

7.21.2005

Deep Sea Fishing with Kari Byron?

I have to admit, this whole advertising thing is really entertaining -- like gambling, except you earn money rather than spending it. So we were scratching our heads when my latest post (educating eric: Hating SPAM, Loving Poetry) got plastered with ads for Deap Sea Fishing. Lots of ads. Fishing galore. Apparently, it's popular. And considering how my site got hammered with Kari Byron fans right after the Mythbusters "shark myths" episode aired (where we got to see lots of Kari on a boat), maybe there's a combo-niche thing going here.

Did you know that Kari's a SCUBA diver? I'm surprised we didn't see more of her in the water for the "shark show"... but it's all about Adam and Jamie, right?

Click here for more Kari Byron posts!

. . .

UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

Hating SPAM, Loving Poetry

Almost better than Dragon NaturallySpeaking's rendering of something-or-other that I said as "The love of her unlovely year" are a few select lines from this block of text in my latest SPAM (or, technically, a phishing scam):

"toothpicks remain wobbly.Jason and I took around girl (with cab driver from, around short order cook.guardian angel toward give a pink slip to swamp inside vacuum cleaner, and living with dust bunny approach near wedding dress.Where we can wisely confess our tape recorder.Any insurance agent can go deep sea fishing with toward widow, but it takes a real chess board to about movie theater.insurance agent beyond is sublime."

If you added some articles to flesh it out, it's got the makings of the Great American Novel!

"Living with a dust bunny, the insurance agent beyond is sublime. Approach near the wedding dress!"

ICE - In Case of Emergency

ICE - In Case of Emergency is a great idea, and it's not a hoax (nor is it tied to one). The basic idea is, put an entry in your cell phone for your next-of-kin or emergency contact, and name it "ICE" in the phone book.

That way, if you're in an accident or otherwised troubled but your phone still works, someone can pick it up and dial your emergency contact without having to figure out who it is. Multiple contacts would be "ICE 1", "ICE 2", "ICE 3", etc.

It's a great idea. I, for one, know that someone would have a really hard time trying to figure out who my "next-of-kin" would be if they looked through my address book.

7.20.2005

The mark of the... oh, nevermind

I'd heard this news brewing a couple weeks back, and here's an article to announce a system so Fingernails store personal information. (It uses a laser to burn in digital data -- no pun intended.) It falls short in just one area at the moment; "(T)he team is now developing a system that can write data to a fingernail which is still attached to a finger"

7.19.2005

Kari Byron is the ultimate niche!

The flood has slowed to a trickle, but folks are still looking for Kari Byron information on my site -- probably because Yahoo has ranked me #8 and #10 (as of last night; I haven't checked today). The last person to look ran a search for "Kari Byron love", which is touching... in a sort of creepy way.

Anyway, folks say that the best podcast is one that targets a "niche market"... and I'm thinking that Kari Byron has got to be the ultimate niche market. Popular. Updated "content" (new Mythbusters episodes). Good target demographic.

Here's the problem: The people who come here looking for Kari Byron information (which is everyone, right now)... NEVER CLICK ADS! I'm serious. Despite the dozens (hundreds, maybe) of hits, we got one ad click in the past couple of days.

Which brings up another question: What do Kari Byron fans want to buy? What ad would inspire them? Hmmm...

Click here for more Kari Byron posts!

. . .

UPDATE (June 2007): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

7.18.2005

The Kari Byron flood continues...

As far as I know, Kari Byron isn't married. Why do I mention that? To repond to my dedicated reader in Yakima, Washington, who did a Google search for "Kari Byron mythbusters married".

I had an absolute flood of Kari Byron-related traffic last night, no doubt in response to last night's shark-related episode. Frankly, I didn't think the episode was terribly interesting, but there were some excellent Kari-related quotes that would make good sound clips... if I were that much into Kari Byron, which I'm not.

Frankly, the whole phenomenon is pretty interesting. I doubt Kari ever expected that she'd develop such a following. They need to start holding Mythbusters conventions so they can profit off her popularity...

"Kari Byron; bigger than Shatner!"

Maybe not the best tag line for PR...

UPDATE: I think Kari is married! Click here for more Kari Byron posts!

. . .

UPDATE (June 2007): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

7.17.2005

Google's Growth Prompts Privacy Concerns

It's hard to know what to quote from the recent article Google's Growth Prompts Privacy Concerns, but here's a start: "Anne Rubin, 20, a New York University junior who uses Google's search, Gmail and Blogger services, says quality overrides any privacy concerns, and she doesn't mind that profiles are built on her in order to make the ads she sees more relevant. 'I see it as a tradeoff. They give services for free,' she said. 'I have a vague assumption that things I do (online) aren't entirely private. It doesn't faze me.'"

Now, I'm as paranoid as the next guy (and don't think I'm not keeping my eye on him to make sure he doesn't get out of line!), but I sort of agree with Anne up there. The big problem I see with internet stuff in general is the presumption of guilt when you can tie disparate chunks of data together. With a name like mine (which, in case you don't live in this state, is the Minnesota equivelent of "John Smith"), I don't want folks trying to pair up what various "Eric Larsons" have been buying/surfing/etc... though, as long as it's just to target ads at me and not to place value judgments or file false criminal charges, I suppose it doesn't matter.

7.15.2005

Abortion in Minnesota Drops to Lowest Rate in 30 Years after Informed Consent Law!

This is wonderful news! Abortion in Minnesota Drops to Lowest Rate in 30 Years after Informed Consent Law: "The Center for Health Statistics for the Department of Health issued the study of the abortion statistics for the period January to December 2004 showing more than 2,000 women changed their minds after receiving the information. Abortion in Minnesota is at its lowest rate since 1975."

The "moblog solution"

With no offense intended to the mentally ill... this is insane, but it really does work. I think. I had a couple test blogs up and running, and am now trying to work out the bugs and typos with getting it to connect straight into the Ericast feed (at www.ericast.com, for those who don't know...)

So, what am I talking about?!? How could you have "bugs and typos"? Well, as you'll notice from the couple of posts floating around in this blog (which I've left for posterity's sake), when you post via audioblogger.com it just puts a post in your blog with a button. That's it. Nothing else. So, here are my rough notes on "Cleaning up Audioblogger posts to make the Podcast-ready":

Preliminary work to establish podcast:

  • Establish a blogger.com home for your podcast (podcast blog)
  • Burn the feed with feedburner.com
  • Publicize that feedburner feed as your podcast blog
Establishing audioblogger updates:

In your Blogger podcast blog, set a secret “incoming posts” e-mail address (e.g. emlarson.greengiraffe@blogger.com)

Create a new “receiver blog” in Blogger to hold your incoming voicemail
Name that blog appropriately (e.g. “Ericast Update”); this name will become the title of your podcast post
Don’t provide a site feed, comments, don’t put it in the directory, etc.
Set that blog to e-mail out when posted to
Make that e-mail something obscure on your own domain (e.g. bluekangaroo@emlarson.com)

Set up audioblogger.com to post to that “receiver blog” when called.
Make sure your username is something appropriate, since it will appear publicly in the podcast post

Set up an e-mail forward on your domain to forward the incoming receiver blog e-mail to your podcast blog (e.g. forward bluekangaroo@emlarson.com to ericasts.greengiraffe@blogger.com)

That’s it! When you call audioblogger, it posts to your receiver blog. That blog e-mails out the post with audio attachment, adding your blog title and the posting date as part of the e-mail message. That e-mail bounces through your domain – Blogger apparently prevents blogs from mailing to other blogger.com blogs – and gets posted to your podcast blog with a title of [receiver blog name] date time. Feedburner sees that post and turns it into an enclosure with the same name. That enclosure is what appears in your podcast feed.



this is an audio post - click to play


The Audioblogger fun continues!

I was reading the Radical Georgia Moderate Tutorial: Integrate Audioblogger into Wordpress article, and it gave me some interesting ideas for better Audioblogger integration.

Basically, here's my deal with Audioblogger: I don't like the fact that the MP3 file shows up with no title, subject, date... nothin. So I'm trying to fix that! I'll let you know how it goes as things progress...

I love Feedburner!

Okay, it's one thing for a company to be supportive when you go to them for help... but it's another thing entirely when the company actually seeks out opportunities to help you! Wow!

(You'll note the comment to my test audioblogger post, below. Thanks to "jessiec" for the offer of help! And I've heard that other places, too -- Feedburner has awesome, friendly, prompt support. And, BTW, I'd visited the feedburner forums and found tons of information there, including some about audioblogger. The problem I was having was entirely on my end; it's a fact that Feedburner checks your first link to see if it's an audio file, and my template had made the first link always be to just the post itself, so Feedburner never saw that the second link was the one to the audio. They spell that out really clearly, and it makes total sense; I just forgot that my template would cause the title to be the link that Feedburner saw.)

A friend of mine and I were playing with RSS feeds with a PostNuke-based site last night, and the solution to all the problems was always "burn the feed with Feedburner, then...". And with all the options they offer, it was easy to play with the feed and see if our goofy system behaved better with RSS 1.0 vs. 2.0 vs. whatever.

Jon - using Feedburner, we can get your podcast up. Trust me. :)

Now, my only remaining "issues" with my audioblogging concept are with audioblogger and Blogger, and the fact that a new audio post comes in with no title/description/anything. But I have a feeling Feedburner might even be able to help me with that, if I can use it to inject appropriate text into the feed. (I remember that you can alter the name of the feed... but I don't know if you can alter anything about the items in the feed. Hmmm...)

7.14.2005

this is an audio post - click to play


Eureka?

I think, maybe, I might have figured it out. Sorta. We'll see. Here's the deal. While writing up another post about Feedburner and AudioBlogger, I realized something. Feedburner (as far as I know, from what I read) grabs the first link on your blog and turns it into an enclosure tag, if appropriate. But, becuase of the way I built my template, the first link is always a link to the post itself on a stand-alone page (so that people can see the post with relavant Google ads).

I think Feedburner is seeing that link reference, seeing it's not to an MP3, and giving up at that point. My hope is that if I tweak my template and make another call to audioblogger.com, it'll work.

We'll see!

Testing audioblogger.com

Here's a test post made by audioblogger.com; the catch is, I've now gone in and edited it, with the hope that feedburner will see the attached audio file and pick it up in the feed.

All of this is for an experiment I'm doing, with automating "phoned-in" podcasts. Check out www.ericast.com for more on the podcast "thing".

this is an audio post - click to play


7.11.2005

Looking a gift iBook in the mouth earns you a felony!

Check out this story (Berks-Mont Newspapers - Kutztown Area Patriot - 06/23/2005 - 13 teens face felonies) -- too long to do justice in a summary here. Basically: School gives kid iBook; kid logs into iBook as Admin; kid charged with felony.

No grades were stolen. Nothing inappropriate was taken. School policy was violated, sure... but I'm not exactly sure how you can criminally trespass against a piece of equipment that's been given to you for your own use. I'd love to see the TOS the students signed; I'm sure that was clear, right?

Complicating matters is allegation that legitimate, legal authorites didn't bother to do their own investigation, but have instead just taken the word and "evidence" of the district. (Based on information from today's homepage of MacInTouch.com, which linked to this story.)

7.10.2005

I still love my Kari Byron Fans

So, here's the deal. I posted the above photo a few days ago, right after Wednesday's Mythbusters episode. And, at the time, I said:

"I love my Kari Byron fans -- those eager web-searchers who turn up in my web logs, having hunted high and low for a Kari Byron photo only to be disappointed by my rare and limited mentions of Kari. So, as a treat to those kind folks (and all the other Mythbusters fans out there!), here's another photo of Kari for you, taken from a brief happy moment in a recent rebroadcast of the "Water Torture" episode (which is actually really disturbing for a number of reasons...) Posted by Picasa"

Well, life goes on, and I've posted some other stuff since then. That pushed Kari down the blog, until she dropped off the front page. But she was (and, at this moment, still is) linked on the right side.

Ruth watches my web stats -- maybe to make sure that Kari doesn't start visiting the site and thanking me for my references to her. Probably not. Anyway, Yahoo caught the Kari Byron post when it originally went up, and I'm getting dozens of visitors based on that. Problem is, they're not following the link over there in the "previous posts" section, so they're never finding the post they're looking for. That's sad.

So, as a treat to those of you still hunting for Kari Byron stuff, I'm re-posting this to bump it right back up to the top.

(You can always go to http://www.karibyron.com/, of course, but there you'll only find a brief bio and lots of photos of her work. Now, don't get me wrong -- I think her work is really interesting and I'm glad she's put up a place where it's displayed... but that's probably not what you're looking for.)
. . .

UPDATE (June 2007): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

7.08.2005

One-Issue Politics, One-Issue Marriage, and the Humane Society

...And then there are some pages that are still up, alive and well. Like this one, which I hope is read by all my pro-choice friends and family who think I'm an evil, evil person for voting Republican because I "can't see past 'the abortion issue'." Maybe it's a lot to ask, but take a couple minutes to read John Piper's article, "One-Issue Politics, One-Issue Marriage, and the Humane Society"

As Piper puts it, "These reflections have confirmed my conviction never to vote for a person who endorses such an evil-even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation."

Now, I've got friends who argue that the social programs promoted by the Democratic platform would actually reduce abortions in this country, "and isn't that what it's about?" Well, first of all, a lot of these folks have repeated the same sad lie that "abortions have increased under Bush," (which isn't true -- follow the link) so I think the whole premise is flawed. But that misses the broader point that, if abortions are "wrong", why are we talking about "reducing them"? We don't talk about "reducing rape"; rape is evil. We work toward eliminating it, and punishing the perpetrators of it.

(Don't like the comparison of abortion to rape? Then I hope you have a really solid philosophical justification for not awarding "personhood" to a living being who, by any common-sense definition, is a human who doesn't deserve to be brutally slaughtered. If it's a "human person", then abortion is murder, and why on earth would we be working toward keeping murder "safe and legal?" If it's not murder, then what is it? But I'm getting ahead of myself...)

This kind of "reduction talk" makes sense for "vices" like, say, smoking -- I don't think smoking is wise, I think we should work to reduce smoking, I think we should make it "rare", but I'm not going to criminalize the act and jail those who feel it's okay to smoke. But when you encounter "pro-choice" folks who grant that abortion is "wrong", they're not talking about "wrong" in the sense of "unwise". As best they can (in my experience), they understand the truth that abortion is "morally wrong". Yet they still buy the "Safe, Legal and Rare" rhetoric.

(Another digression: "Safe, Legal and Rare" has nothing to do with protecting women's rights and liberty. As Teresa Collett, Esp. explained in exceptionally clear testimony before a senate committee last month, "It was no accident that the early feminists, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, opposed abortion. They saw it as a tool of oppression, manifesting men's domination and mistreatment." The upshot is that many, many men today who would never say, "Honey, why don't you go rob a bank? I'll drive." ...are perfectly comfortable, and feel justified, in pressuring their partners -- in some cases, abusively -- with "Honey, why don't you go get an abortion? I'll drive.")

So, I agree with Piper. (And that, on theological topics, is a good example of "rare".) It's clear that being "pro-choice" disqualifies you from political office, any way you slice it.

Remember the Archive.org WayBack Machine!

While browsing through my blog archives -- yes, I'm that vain! -- I came across a dead link. Surprise, surprise! But, the WayBack Machine at Archive.org had no problem finding "Clio C-1050 - Superior flexibility in a mobile communications solution". I was tempted for a brief moment or two to go through the old posts and update them. But then I realized, "Hey, wouldn't it be a much better service if I just reminded people to use archive.org for themselves?!?"

Maybe I should put this tip in the sidebar of the archive pages?

Shouldn't "sexy" be more exciting than this?

I just had the fabled "Sexy Guys and Sexy Girls" advertisement appear when I was working on my blog. I can't be sure it's the same ad that my Dad reported seeing (read through the blog comments and you'll encounter the conversation) but, with Ruth's permission, I took a look at the URL and typed it in. (Becuase, of course, I can't click on my own ads, according to Google's TOS.)

What apppeared? A page about Conference calling.

Wow.

Pardon me while I go take a cold shower.

The only thing I can think is that the person who bought the "sexy" ad is hoping that people click on it, then click on one of the ads that appears on his/her page, and in that way makes some money back. But to try to connect the dots and say that one of the things you might want to do with a "sexy" person of the opposite (or perhaps not) gender is... get a rip-roarin' conference call going... Well, I'm not buyin' it just yet.

Prefer studying to movies? Stay away from Hampton University!

How would you feel about being charged a fee so you have the option of legally doing something you have no interest in doing in the first place? It would be enough to keep me away from Hampton University, just on principle. According to the article Campuses blocking illegal downloads: "The school signed a contract with Ruckus, a company that will provide students with unlimited music and movie downloads. HU will charge every student who lives on campus a fee of $80 for the service, whether they use it or not."

"Arrest" does not equal "Conviction"

Came across an interesting story about putting photos of prostitutes and their "clients" on the web, to shame folks into staying legal. Sounds like a nice idea, but the author points out a "gripe" that I think is far, far more than that:

PJStar.com - Journal Star News: "Still, St. Paul still hears gripes. The biggest: if a hooker or john is cleared of a charge, there's no update on the Web site. A name stays forever smudged - a quandary not yet considered in the Peoria plan. Maybe the shame game will help. But if it's fair game to run mug shots on the Web, it's only fair to run corrections when needed."

The number of people in the world who think a mere arrest indicates confirmed guilt is more frightening to me than the number of high schoolers who don't think First Amendment rights are important! Eeek!

7.07.2005

Doug Kaye and "The New Project"

Here's a link (Blogarithms - The New Project) that describes a concept that totally jazzes me. This is exactly the kind of thing I've been thinking of in a church-related context (which is simply a different kind of "presentation" or teaching). I'll be keeping my eye on this one!

7.06.2005

Single Girls and Science!

I love my Kari Byron fans -- those eager web-searchers who turn up in my web logs, having hunted high and low for a Kari Byron photo only to be disappointed by my rare and limited mentions of Kari. So, as a treat to those kind folks (and all the other Mythbusters fans out there!), here's another photo of Kari for you, taken from a brief happy moment in a recent rebroadcast of the "Water Torture" episode (which is actually really disturbing for a number of reasons...) Posted by Picasa

. . .

UPDATE (June 2007): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

I love my Kari Byron fans -- those eager web-searchers who turn up in my web logs, having hunted high and low for a Kari Byron photo only to be disappointed by my rare and limited mentions of Kari. So, as a treat to those kind folks (and all the other Mythbusters fans out there!), here's another photo of Kari for you, taken from a brief happy moment in a recent rebroadcast of the "Water Torture" episode (which is actually really disturbing for a number of reasons...) Posted by Picasa

Click here for more Kari Byron posts!

. . .

UPDATE (June 2007): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

7.01.2005

Microsoft hates itself?

Just had this error pop up on me while happily typing away in Outlook:



When you click for more information, you're told that "Data Execution Prevention (DEP) helps prevent damage from viruses and other security threats that attack by running (executing) malicious code from memory locations that only Windows and other programs should use. This type of threat causes damage by taking over one or more memory locations in use by a program. Then it spreads and harms other programs, files, and even your e-mail contacts."

If Windows Explorer is triggering Data Execution Prevention... isn't that a bad sign?

Ubuntu Proof!

For those inquiring minds that demand proof of bold statements like "I installed Linux"... here you go.



True prediction: "O'Connor, Not Rehnquist?"

When I saw the William Kristol article "O'Connor, Not Rehnquist?" over a week ago, I thought, "Gee, I have to 'blog that so we can all see it 'on record' and watch to see if it comes true." But, of course, as I just told a co-worker "Check out my blog!" in response to the latest news... it looks like I never blogged it. Oh, well. It's here now, and -- as we all know by now -- Kristol was right! At least about the retirement... and now we have to watch Bush's appointment.

Technical posts

Being involved in a techincal fields for all my life, I tend to think about that kind of stuff a lot. So, when I think about it, I post about it; here are some miscellaneous technically-oriented posts...



Eric's web sites

I've got a few other websites you might be interested in. I'll throw my wife's site, too!



AdSense posts

A lot of what I do here relates to Google AdSense -- working to make sure that you, the dedicated read, see ads that relate to what you're interested in. Here are some posts that focus on that topic:


Kari Byron posts

What started out innocently enough as a passing mention of Kari Byron has turned into a theme for this blog; the more people come here off of Yahoo and MSN search results for Kari Byron, the more I talk about her. Here are some of my favorite Kari Byron posts:

(Note that some of the titles are pretty silly because they were posted while I was running Google Adsense on the blog as an experiment. What I discovered is that Kari Byron fans have particularly good taste in west-coast artists/actresses who specialize in science experiements... but they have no interest in clicking on advertising! So, no more ads... but the weird titles remain.)



UPDATE (June 2007): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

 


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