120 calories

What does 120 calories look like?

(hat tip: Jeremy Zawodny)

posted at 5:07 pm on Monday, July 30, 2007 in Links | Comments Off on 120 calories

no corn syrup

The no-corn-syrup diet | overstated

I love the venn diagram! (hat tip: Jeremy Zawodny)

posted at 5:06 pm on Monday, July 30, 2007 in Links | Comments Off on no corn syrup

Outsourcing the Picket Line – washingtonpost.com

I’m not sure if this is irony or hypocrisy. The Carpenter’s Union is outsourcing its picket lines to random people off the street, paying them $1 above minimum wage ($8/hr) to protest … low wages.

Outsourcing the Picket Line – washingtonpost.com

posted at 2:18 pm on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 in Current Events, Links | Comments Off on Outsourcing the Picket Line – washingtonpost.com

potter economics

Megan McArdle: Harry Potter: the economics

The low opportunity cost attached to magic spills over into the thoroughly unbelievable wizard economy. Why are the Weasleys poor? Why would any wizard be? Anything they need, except scarce magical objects, can be obtained by ordering a house elf to do it, or casting a spell, or, in a pinch, making objects like dinner, or a house, assemble themselves. Yet the Weasleys are poor not just by wizard standards, but by ours: they lack things like new clothes and textbooks that should be easily obtainable with a few magic words. Why?

An interesting touch on the subject. It seems true that in the Potterverse, magic is free, something that never works very well for story telling. C.S. Friedman just published Feast of Souls, the first book in a trilogy based on the opposite extreme; the source (and cost) of magic is life force. in The Magic Goes Away, Larry Niven deals with magic as a finite resource, to interesting effect. There are lots of other examples in SF&F literature.

So why don’t we care about this inconsistency in Rowling’s work?

posted at 1:22 pm on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 in Current Events, Links | Comments (2)
  1. Nita says:

    Because nowadays, dissing Rowlings works in public is much like going to Rome and picking on the pope?

  2. Greg Wilson says:

    I think it goes something like this:

    1. Magicians can conjure up anything, so why would any of them be poor?

    2. Hey, if they can do that, why would any muggles be poor either? Or have diseases?

    3. Hm… Why are so many people in the real world poor/hungry/sick, when we could clothe/house/feed/cure them if we wanted to?

    4. This train of thought is making me uncomfortable, so I’m going to stop worrying about it and get back to the story.

googlebot hiccup?

Did the google crawler just hack up a furball or something?

Bandwidth use on all of my hosted sites (except controlledflight.ca, for some reason) spiked in the last 24 hours. The culprit was always (crawl-66-249-72-114.googlebot.com.), which seems to have fetched every page on all of the sites in the last 24 hours. This is much more aggressive than normal for google…

I’m not complaining; I like my google juice! Just wondering if anyone else has seen this…

Update: the flood has subsided. I note, with amusement, that the same crawler fetched this page at 12:27:27 today, a mere 3 hours after I wrote it :)

posted at 9:27 am on Thursday, July 19, 2007 in Site News | Comments Off on googlebot hiccup?

lessons of history

From Bruce Schneier’s security weblog:

Here’s a clip from an Australian TV programme called “The Chaser”. A Trojan Horse (full of appropriately attired soldiers) finds its way past security everywhere except the Turkish consulate.

At least they remember their history.


posted at 7:30 pm on Monday, July 16, 2007 in Current Events, Humour, Links | Comments Off on lessons of history


This sounds familiar:


posted at 10:58 am on Monday, July 16, 2007 in Links, Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Nita says:

    A-yup. Painfully so.

tab dump

Not worth blogging individually, here is a bunch of links that I wanted to share:

posted at 3:03 pm on Wednesday, July 04, 2007 in Links, Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Helge Koch says:

    Friday, 20 July 2007, Globa and Mail lead article on page two, all about the rubber duckies arriving in England. This is getting global and more fun. May be on the Globe website, but I cannot find it. Helge