the season

Happy (O)e(a)(o)st(e)r(e)… circle the letters that match your belief system

(found on “blog of the photo”:

posted at 12:00 am on Monday, March 28, 2005 in Humour | Comments Off on the season


Today is the first snowfall of spring, a fine Canadian tradition….

posted at 9:01 am on Monday, March 21, 2005 in Current Events, Humour | Comments Off on Tradition

13 things that do not make sense – Features

Everyone else has blogged about this by now, but what the heck:

New Scientist 13 things that do not make sense – Features

My favourite:

bq. 1 The placebo effect

bq. DON’T try this at home. Several times a day, for several days, you induce pain in someone. You control the pain with morphine until the final day of the experiment, when you replace the morphine with saline solution. Guess what? The saline takes the pain away.

bq. This is the placebo effect: somehow, sometimes, a whole lot of nothing can be very powerful. Except it’s not quite nothing. When Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin in Italy carried out the above experiment, he added a final twist by adding naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of morphine, to the saline. The shocking result? The pain-relieving power of saline solution disappeared.

Who woulda thunk it? An interesting twist on the usual “mind over matter” explanation…

posted at 1:03 am on Monday, March 21, 2005 in Current Events, Links | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    That’s a very nice article. There are movies out that explain some of those things. Unfortunately the most recent movie I saw was filled with errors and so was an introductory book on philosophy. It seems there are a lot of people who want to get outside of scientific reasoning because it’s “just philosophy”. A problem is the tendancy to solipsism, or something like it these folks have. For example, in this case, it appears the simple release of (a limited amount of) neurotransmitters (or maybe endorphins?) by action of imagination is taken by some to be evidence that their minds “create their own reality”. Alas, no new philosophy or metaphysics is required, just Occam’s Razor & chemistry. Pretty dull, huh? I can also prove solipsism is false in 2 sentences if you would like… hm, I think I just did.

    Normally I’d provide a citation to the books & movies, but I’m too embarrassed to admit I read/saw them and they’re too innaccurate to act as true introductions to this.

they’re insane

* “Christian creationists bully IMAX theaters over evolution”:

* “Legislator wants cheerleaders to keep their routines clean”: – Bill would ban sexually suggestive performances at school events

* “Canadian blogger blocked from U.S.”: – “His response was, ‘You can’t make a living from blogging. Stop lying and tell me why you’re really here.’ ”

* Baseball, steroids, and the U.S. Congress – where the heck did *that* one come from?

* “Terri Schiavo”: – isn’t it atually “illegal”: for the US government to make laws that apply to a single individual?

posted at 12:59 am on Monday, March 21, 2005 in Current Events, Rants | Comments Off on they’re insane


bq. Maintaining badly written code is like trying to solve a crossword puzzle set by someone who can’t spell.

(taken from “Simon”:

posted at 11:48 am on Friday, March 18, 2005 in Humour, Programming | Comments Off on quote


Dummies::Dungeons & Dragons For Dummies:Book Information

Next they’ll be letting just anyone play on the Internet…

posted at 9:40 am on Thursday, March 17, 2005 in Humour, Links | Comments (1)
  1. Greg says:

    Huh — when I were a lad, if you had a troll chasing you with an ax, it were a _real_ troll, and you’d better pray you were faster!

    Uphill both ways twenty miles in the snow with no boots on…

The Long Tail: Apple vs The World?

For 22 years, pundits have been predicting the demise of Apple (and in particular, of the Macintosh), because Apple never be #1 against Intel, Microsoft, and HP+Compaq/IBM/Dell.

I’ve been trying for almost as long to convince people that there’s nothing wrong with being content “owning” 10% of the marketplace (Apple’s consistent share of the personal computer space). But it’s a hard sell.

Now people are starting to talk about one factor contributing to Apple’s success:

Seth’s Blog: Thinking about the Long Tail (part 1)
“Seth’s blog: Where is the rainbow? (long tail, part 2)”:

There are perfectly reasonable business models out in the Long Tail. And in the long run, I think companies working out in the tail will be more successful than those searching for the next “big hit”, or competing to stay on top of the puppy pile…

posted at 9:01 pm on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 in Links, Random Thoughts | Comments Off on The Long Tail: Apple vs The World?

The African Cliff

I knew it was bad over in Africa, but “this stunning graph”: really drives it home. Check it out.

(via “Antipixel”:

posted at 8:07 pm on Thursday, March 10, 2005 in Current Events, Links | Comments Off on The African Cliff

braindead and games

When you’re as braindead as I am these days, “Tetris 1D”: will appeal to you.

For a slightly harder time, try “Notepad Invaders”:

posted at 12:24 am on Thursday, March 10, 2005 in Links | Comments Off on braindead and games

They’re Still Here….

Three weeks later there’s still a raccoon in my attic; She either doesn’t want to come out, or is too stupid to find the trap door on the “soffits”: At one point we thought she was gone, because there were no noises in the attic for days, but then suddenly there were again.

I’m going nuts listening to animal sounds above my head :-)

Update: she spent all night Sunday/Monday clawing at the (repaired, reinforced) soffits above my bed. No sleep makes for an extremely grumpy Harald.

Update 2: Apparently the trap door has been used, and there are footprints in the snow on the roof. So the noise we heard (all night) was probably our delinquent tenant trying to get back into the house. I certainly hope so…

posted at 12:14 pm on Sunday, March 06, 2005 in Personal | Comments (2)
  1. StickHippo says:

    Maybe, like me, she doesn’t know what a soffits is…

  2. Harald says:

    They’re the flat underside of the eaves, which in turn are the bits of the roof that stick out past the walls of the house…

koko sued?

So while I was in the shower today, I heard a report that three women are suing Koko the gorilla for “pressuring them to see their nipples”. My first thought was: what has the world come to when people are suing a _gorilla_?

Of course, sanity prevailed, and I checked Google. Turns out that the women are suing the Gorilla Foundation because the women were informed that failing to expose their nipples would cause their employment to “suffer”. When the women reported health and safety violations rodents in the food preparation areas, for example) they were dismissed.

The truth is entirely more reasonable than the radio report. Of course, the radio report was more sensational…

See “Google News”: for more stories…

posted at 6:07 pm on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 in Current Events | Comments Off on koko sued?


My car barely made it to the school and back, but that’s not why I’m writing.

I wished I taken my camera with me today. As I was leaving the school I saw one of our big snowplows (not the truck kind, but the big construction grader style ones).

It was stuck in a large snow bank, slowly being pulled out by one of those industrial tow trucks….

posted at 10:16 am on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 in Humour, Personal | Comments Off on snow