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Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Banned with extreme prejudice

June 9, 2009 Comments off

Got up this morning to find spamming in progress – multiple comments from the same IP address about someone’s business on unrelated posts. 

Seriously, what?  That’s like walking up and stapling ads to the front of my house; don’t be surprised if I release the hounds.

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

Do you prefer that bloggers respond to your comments?

March 1, 2009 10 comments

Alex at Blogging without a blog categorizes the different kind of blogger-responses to comments.  There’s the blogger who doesn’t allow comments, and bloggers who allow comments but seldom respond to them, and bloggers who make an effort to respond to every commenter.  With a few variations in-between.

I’ve always loved comments.  In school, I never cared what grade I got on a paper; what did the professor write?  And now that personal computers have been invented, an Internet and World Wide Web created, and blogging popularized, I have not changed.  I love it when people comment.

I’ve always regarded the comments’ section as “Your turn” and tried not to interject myself too much there.  But now that I think of it, I do enjoy the responses of other bloggers, and of other commenters, to my comments.  It’s what keeps me coming back to a thread.  When you leave comments on a blog, what is your preference?

(H/T Coturnix)

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

Depressing, Depressing, a little worrisome, Hilarious

September 3, 2008 1 comment

Blake Stacey at Science After Sunclipse has a 1989 Ted Turner CNN interview with Carl Sagan, in which he talks about nuclear winter, anthropogenic global warming, and space exploration.  Nobody thinks much about nuclear winter anymore, but they should.  Many wars have been fought over dwindling resources.

Paul Sunstone at Cafe Philos has a scenario in which McCain might win, and it’s actually not at all farfetched.  Depressing, yes, but not farfetched.  And in some ways related to two of the topics in the interview above.

In anticipation of his visit to Florida, Steinn Sigurðsson at Dynamics Of Cats has some bad hurricane scenarios to contend with.  Apparently there is a mechanism by which big storms can follow the low-pressure trough left by earlier big storms.

But this is getting too damn depressing, so I have to end on an upbeat note:  ***Dave shares a little nugget he found: America’s 10 most confusing traffic signs.  I didn’t know, for instance, that trucks exceeding 10,000 GVW are not allowed to drive along upside down.  It’s goofy fun.

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

2 new Decrepit features

August 17, 2008 Comments off

I’ve added a couple new features.  In the ‘Sidebar Spotlight’ there’s now a link to my Google Shared Items page so you can see stuff I’m currently reading from the InterWebs’ deluge.  Also in the sidebar I’ve compiled a list of old posts called ‘Decrepitude’.  Thing is, I chose the posts from the small set of ones I could actually remember writing.  So if you have nominations, feel free to weigh in.

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

Interesting stuff from the Interwebs

August 17, 2008 Comments off

Clarence Page reports that white supremacists have mixed feelings about the Obama campaign.  Apparently they’re positive thinkers, glass-half-full types, those guys.  David Duke says “Obama is a visual aid for white Americans who just don’t get it yet that we have lost control of our country, and unless we get it back we are heading for complete annihilation as a people.”  And that Swift Boat guy, Jerome R. Corsi, author of the bestselling ObamaNation… why aren’t his white supremacist ties being given more attention?

If you’re involved in education in any way, including raising children, or even just paying property taxes, you owe it to yourself to check out these two videos at DoyceTesterman. (hat tip to ***Dave) If nothing else, it will help your kids not to stress too much about choice of career.  Because odds are, they’ll wind up working at a career that doesn’t exist yet.  But the videos also raise questions about what and how we ought to be teaching.  And one other little thing, name the following country: wealthiest, currency the world standard of value, center of world business and finance, most powerful military, highest standard of living, best education system…

On a lighter note, Greg Laden brings us two Chinese characters who teach the right way to say Beijing.  (hint: the Frenchie-sounding ‘Beissjhing’ is wrong). And some really revealing pictures: Dust on Mars (really, really close-up) and volcanoes of Enceladus!  Remind me… why do we have people riding a can around the Earth in low orbit, not doing much of anything in the way of science?  You can send a Mars probe for what a single shuttle resupply mission to the ISS costs.

National Geographic reports an amazing find in the Sahara by paleontologist Paul Sereno – a cemetary from the holocene era.  There are some wonderfully evocative photos and a video.  Remind me, what the big difference is between us and our primitive ancestors?  Oh right, they didn’t have the interwebs.

On SmartEnergyShow, there’s a Stanford podcast from last April in which historian Naomi Oreskes asks; “Where are the press getting their information about climate change?”  And how is it, exactly, that while scientists have a very high level of consensus on the issue, that public perception is the opposite?  And who is the “Western Fuels’ Association”? (Hat tip to Tim Lambert at Deltoid)

Finally Vjack at Atheist Revolution has a thought-provoking post on America’s deepening cultural divide; implications for atheists.  But it’s really implications for everyone, not just atheists.  Suppose you’re a right-wing Christian and you want to win public acceptance over the secularists – you’re facing exactly the same issues.  The post asks some questions I’m short of answers for.  (Another hat tip to ***Dave, who may be writing a post of his own about it)

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

“Carnival Of The Elitist Bastards” request for submissions

May 9, 2008 2 comments

Gathering posts for a brand-new Blog Carnival, Dana at En Tequila Es Verdad says; “Gather ‘Round, Ye Elitist Bastards”…

…It’s time we took the word “elite” back… I think it’s time for the masses to aspire to some of that vaunted wisdom rather than trying to flatten the bell curve with a sledgehammer.

I think it’s time we stop letting our culture celebrate willful ignorance and start promoting genius instead.

Well yeah… I remember when creative and scientific genius was more celebrated than it is today.  When Einstein and Salk were national heroes and national magazines actually engaged in fairly decent journalism on science and the arts.  I’m getting pretty tired of cultivated hatred for People Who Actually Know What They’re Talking About.  Check out Dana’s post and consider participating – this is going to be fun!  (So much material to work with)

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

Lots of accounts deleted

April 25, 2008 6 comments

I just deleted over a hundred ‘Pending Accounts’ and some current accounts which appeared to be from spam domains.  However, my mouse hand is not steady and it is not always easy to tell,  so if I accidentally deleted your legitimate account, please accept my abject apology and re-create your account.  Thanks!

By the way, registering an account is like a VIP card when you make comments – log in and you don’t have to wrestle with that “captcha” thing.  The other advantage of registering is that your blog URL is embedded in your nickname, which elevates your Google ranking!  I do not use the account information for any other purpose and your email does not display on the page.

UPDATE: I just found out that the ExpressionEngine system sent out a nastygram with the non-approval.  I didn’t know it would do that, but thanks to one of my accidental deletions for letting me know.  I just found that template and changed it to something nicer (and inviting correction) but my apologies to anyone who received one from the EE system.

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

I for one welcome our new mathematical overlords…

March 28, 2008 1 comment

So why didn’t I make Lucas a guest author before?  Simple… I’m too dumb to figure out how member-status assignment works in ExpressionEngine!  But I finally found an EE Wiki that put it in blunt enough crayon even for me, and here we are.  Welcome Lucas!  Tell us about your many exploits on Barsoom…

(The title is a Simpson’s reference, in which newscaster Kent Brockman believes giant insects are about to take over the Earth…)

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

The E has landed in Decrepitville

February 24, 2008 8 comments

Wow!  I have received the E from Mike The Mad Biologist who says; ““Screw the Oscars, I received an E!”  Well first of all, Mike, right-back-at-you because your blog is awesome. (blinks in spotlight, shades eyes…) And an E is better than an Oscar.  For one thing, I don’t have to dust it.

The terms of this coveted award include passing it on to ten other blogs, blogs I read and recommend. Got to get right on it, because these memes move fast…

These are in no order, and there’s only ten so that means leaving out a LOT of excellent blogs that are listed in my sidebar. If I tagged anybody who’s already gotten the E, well sorry, you’ll just have to live with that much more attribution of Excellence…

Categories: Blogging, Geeky

It was a semicolon

December 29, 2007 6 comments

First, mad props to Les at Stupid Evil Bastard, who helped me with upgrade to EE 1.6.1 and the Akismet spam blocker.  Thank you, Les!  Your patience with the dimwitted pupil is great Karma.

Second, I found the reason that my blog layout broke with Internet Explorer – a missing semicolon in the header div object in the .css style sheet. 

margin-top: 3px”  (should have been)  margin-top: 3px;

Of course Firefox and Opera and Safari graciously skipped over my error, negating only that one property of that one div.  But Microsoft’s Internet Explorer broke the entire layout, ignoring all properties and divs after that line.

Now I’m working on cleaning up the layout in the home page and in the comment pages among others.  I apologize for commenting problems in the past – please let me know by email if you have problems commenting.  Sometimes the reason is not clear, there have been a couple I just have not been able to solve.  Hopefully the new EE version will fix.  Also please let me know if the layout fails to render in your web browser.  It should have a header, two columns (one wide, one narrow), and a footer. 

The problem of code typos is not restricted to decrepit bloggers, however.  Programmers for the advanced F22 Raptor jet had a little boo-boo…

New Scientist: The Doh! of Technology

IN FEBRUARY 2007, 12 F-22 Raptors, the US air force’s new stealth fighters, left Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, bound for Okinawa, Japan, on the high-tech planes’ first overseas outing. Things went smoothly until they reached the 180th meridian – otherwise known as the International Date Line.

Some of the pilots suddenly found themselves without any navigation aids. With nothing to tell them their compass heading or even whether they were level or not, it was as if the pilots had been instantaneously transported from the cockpit of the world’s most advanced aircraft into one dating from the first world war.

Fortunately the skies were clear, so the squadron did an about-face and was able to follow its in-flight refuelling tankers back to Hickam.

The error was diagnosed as a problem with a “partial line of code” that had pitched the planes’ computers into an infinite loop of trying and failing to calculate their position while dealing with an unexpected date. A fix was issued, and three weeks later the planes made their trip to Japan without a hitch.

“Reliance on electronics has changed the flight-test process,” says Donald Shepperd, once head of the US Air National Guard. “It used to be tails falling off, now it’s typos that ground a fighter.”

Maybe the navigation in the fighter jets used Internet Explorer to display in the ‘glass cockpit’.  Try Firefox, guys…

Categories: Blogging, Geeky