We’re famous! Check out the results of a video session we helped with last year at the Four Winds Kite Festival:
Apparently I never documented how much I hate raccoons. Well, they’re back. A loud clatter in the attic at 2AM made me haul out ladders and flashlights, and sure enough, there was a critter up there. I’m not sure where she got in, since there’s no externally visible holes. Based on the noise, I think she’s not sure how she got in either; she was trying to claw / eat her way out through the siding or soffets or something….
I’ll pay the animal control people to deal with it. Again.
are re-enabled. I forgot to leave a note to myself to turn them back on; Irving had to remind me :)
I found the problem.
Due to a typo in my .procmailrc, all of my incoming mail was being saved to the folder
Which isn’t terribly useful, is it?
Ok, so it turns out that all (well, 125 of 126 :
) of the spam I’m getting these days is coming through my pobox.com address. The greylisting is working fine, in other words :)
It’s been great having a portable email address, but now that I pay real money for my own domains, maybe it is time to switch over. I can do more accurate spam filtering on my personal server than they can on their shared servers Unfortunately, the massive spam volumes floating around these days are forcing us to these drastic measures. I’m beginning to believe the pessimists; e-mail is dying…
Of course, since I drive to work now, I don’t have commute-time for reading anymore, so I should really get off the computer and go read one of those books I just bought. But Firestarter: Rekindled is on in two hours :-)
“Journalism, like all commodities, is subject to the laws of supply and demand. As the demand for skeptical reporting dropped, the supply fell back to match it.”
- John Cassidy
(via the Quotation of the Day mailing list).
As usual, Chuq nails it:
Why the US is heavily subsidizing sugar growers while artificially limiting access to global sugar to prop up prices, while at the same time planning to heavily spend on new programs to fight obesity, caused in at least way by too much sugar in the typical US diet?
This in response to a plastic article . It seems the WHO is trying to reduce world sugar consumption, as we learn that it is a contributor to obesity. The US response seems to be the same as their response to global warming: “There’s no evidence!”. William Steiger writes:
that there is no robust evidence linking sugar consumption to rising obesity levels and that diet has to be a matter of personal choice. Steiger wrote ‘There is also an unsubstantiated focus on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, and a conclusion that specific foods are linked to non-communicable diseases. The assertion that the heavy marketing of energy-dense foods or fast food outlets increases the risk of obesity is supported by almost no data.’
I always thought that this is exactly the kind of thing that governments should be meddling in. Sadly, people do need to be protected from themselves (with education, if nothing else), and goverments are in a unique position to do that. And, after all, the same governments tax revenue is paying all the health costs of obesity, so you think there’d be a bottom-line incentive too. (Well, ok, there is, but it involves re-election, not tax dollars.)
I guess I’d make a lousy libertarian :-)
I never did get my christmas tree ornament reflection picture. MichaÃ©la got some good ones, though; I may post a couple later.
In the meantime, here is a really good ornament reflection for you to enjoy…
Today in the paper mail I received an invitation from Natural Choice USA to attend a “free, no-obligation demonstration of a proven, money-making business opportunity”.
What is it about get rich quick schemes that is so appealing? How is it that people get sucked in, decade after decade? I just don’t get it; I guess I should thank the person or people who taught me to be a skeptic!
Off to the blue box they go…
Some of my regular visitors recently complained that my site was down. Well, actually, it is up, but I’m having strange DNS issues.
I used to have three nameservers, in three separate physical locations; one of them is even on a separate ISP. However, two of my three nameservers are down. ns1.cfrq.net is now in my basement (switched off) due to the upcoming acquisition, and ns3.cfrq.net is down while the host site deals with floods etc. after the blackout.
This would normally be ok, since I still have one functioning nameserver. There was a bit of confusion between myself and the InterNIC over it’s address, but that has been cleared up. However, it seems that several places (notably both sympatico and rogers@home) can’t seem to contact the one remaining namserver (ns2.cfrq.net, 126.96.36.199), even though the glue records for the zone (in the GTLD servers) are correct, and the machine is up and running. I’d appreciate it if anyone could enlighten me (FWIW, I’m probably missing something obvious :-).
For now, I’ve reprogrammed the local firewall to a) answer to ns1.cfrq.net’s address, and b) redirect DNS queries to ns2.cfrq.net. This is the power of linux with iptables at work; bi-directional NAT is four lines of my firewall script :-). I won’t be able to do this forever, but with any luck ns3.cfrq.net will be in service again shortly, and I’ll figure out what’s wrong with the ISP nameservers.
In the meantime, I’m still looking for a home for ns1.cfrq.net, but that’s another story…
[ Talking about Advent at breakfast this morning. ]
M: What are we waiting for?
C: Jesus’ birthday?
M: Do you know why?
M: Why do we celebrate Jesus’ birthday and not Elvis’ birthday?
C: (with “the look”) because Elvis is an alien!
Much laughter and giggling ensued…
Still looking for something interesting for that special person who has everything?
Try the Origami Boulder.
(Thanks to Karen Murphy for the link.)
A humourous little tidbit from the Quote Of The Day mailing list:
[In regard to the varying effectiveness of different kinds of placebos], capsules containing colored beads are more effective than colored tablets, which are superior to white tablets with corners, which are better than round white tablets. Beyond this, intramuscular saline injections are superior to any tablet but inferior to intravenous injections. Tablets taken from a bottle labeled with a well-known brand name are superior to the same tablets taken from a bottle with a typed label. My favorite is a doctor who always handled placebo tablets with forceps, assuring the patient that they were too powerful to be touched by hand.”
— British physiologist Patrick Wall, one of the world’s leading experts on the use of the placebo. (From “The Science of Consciousness”, edited by Max Velmans, p. 168.)
I believe in magic and the power of conciousness, and yet it still sometimes amazes me that this works…
Turn of a Friendly Die is fun, but I was looking for other Rolemaster related websites, and for various reasons tripped over:
- The Complete Guide to Unlawful Carnal Knowledge for Fantasy Role-Playing Games. Our current rolemaster campaign happens to have a soon-to-be-pregnant character, so I suppose some of this could come in handy. Still, this smacks of munchkinism; real role players would just, well, role-play…
- Google results for “rolemaster blog” gives my weblog as the first hit. Very strange.
- I found an answer to Ginger’s WISH #20 by HWRNMNBSOL particularly amusing:
NIGHTOWL: Nodonn! how many orcs are coming from your direction?
NIGHTOWL: Er….a big four or a small four?
Go read the whole page; the entries below are thoughtful and amusing also.
1. Stay Alert!
2. Trust No-one!
3. Keep your Laser Handy!
So Toronto City Council voted last night to allow a bridge between the Toronto Island Airport and the mainland. Existing access is via a ferry across the western gap; a (possibly small and vocal) group has been arguing for at least 20 years that building a bridge would improve utilisation of the airport and revitalise our city.
Personally, I’m skeptical on that particular rationalisation. This only works if you can fly to other downtown airports in nearby cities; so far that’s New York, Boston, and Chicago (Ottawa and Montreal don’t really have downtown airports, but I guess we could count them too.
The Toronto Board of Trade apparently surveyed their members on this topic, and concluded that they don’t really care about the Island Airport; what they want is fast access to Pearson International Airport (preferrably via train from downtown). I think this is the right answer; many other international cities have direct rail links from outlying airports to downtown; in my experience that’s a wonderful way to travel.
But that’s not really why I’m ranting this morning. The part of the debate that makes me gag is this:
The anti-airport faction is mostly downtown residents, who are annoyed by the noise and pollution caused by the airport. I’m sorry, but the airport was there long before most of the residents involved moved in. They knew the airport was there, and they bought houses and condominiums downtown (and especially on the waterfront) anyway. At the time that most of those condo towers were under construction, airport traffic was about five times what it is now (400,000 passengers per year vs. 80,000 today).
It’s generally a good thing for airports to reduce their noise and pollution, but
I don’t believe that people have a right to move into an area with an existing, functioning airport, and then start complaining about that airport. People have been buying houses near airports and then complaining about it for decades. There is a reason those houses are cheap! Don’t buy a residence near an operating airport, you morons!
I find it fascinating that the story was originally reported in the National Post, owned by the Asper family, who are Paul Martin supporters and have been actively trying to discredit Jean ChrÃ©tien.
Puts a whole new spin on the story, doesn’t it?
Sunday was my birthday.
On Saturday, several friends came over, and we had a fajitas party. 9 people; a large bowl of chicken; a smaller one of beef; two large bowls of veggies; about a pound of cheese; a half litre each of sour cream and salsa; and almost a half-litre of guacamole. Some wine and lots of candles to complete the mix.
Wow, that was fun. We stayed up until almost 2 in the morning drinking (various combinations of scotch, brandy, grand marnier, martinis, and other liver-damaging substances), and watching the candles burn out one by one.
We really have to do this more often :-)
Here is a story about The human Swiss Army Knife. He’s got the ultimate presentation of the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared”. He carries 12 kg of stuff around with him in various pockets and folds. He’s even got the Guinness record; 1300 different items!
I carry a MagLite, Leatherman, cell phone, and pedomter on my belt. This guy definitely out-geeks me. (Interestingly, he ditched his pedometer…)
POWER REDUCED ON WLAN LINK
A story in Computerworld prompted complaints that the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) was operating an illegal configuration on its 72-mile WLAN link between the San Diego Supercomputer Center and San Clemente Island. In response, HPWREN reduced a power amplifier it uses from 1 watt to 250 milliwatts to stay within Federal Communications Commission regulations for power levels on the 2.4-GHz band. HPWREN principal investigator Hans Werner-Braun said any violation of the power limits was unintentional. Data throughput has dropped to about 300 kilobits per second, but the link has been maintained at the reduced power level.
That was a minor oops. I guess there is such thing as “bad press”…