Just a note to everyone,
I have had such a great time writing this blog thanks to your visits and comments! And visiting your blogs too, even if I don’t always comment. I’ve learned from you, been inspired, irritated, uplifted, and been forced to think.
With deepest appreciation, Merry Christmas to you, and happiness on this day and a great year to come.
Every Sunday I look forward to Mike the Mad Biologist’s Sunday Links. He divides his links into scientific and general-interest, and comes up with great stuff. Here’s a sample:
- Students not knowing how to learn: Thanks, NCLB”
This past Monday my three non-AP classes had their first quiz, on the first chapter of the material in the textbook. It was worth 25 points for 25 answers. It is the same quiz I have given each of the previous two years, since we got a new textbook and began teaching Government in the 10th grade. The first year the scores were perhaps a bit weak, last year a bit weaker, and this year they plummeted. And I have no doubt as to the reason. It is due to No Child Left Behind.
If you want a brief exploration of the impact of this horrid piece of legislation, keep reading…
- The real hypocrisy of Idaho’s conservatives
In a foreshadowing of Risch’s comment about the New Orleans victims, the author Marc Reisner … quotes one of the Teton dam’s earlier opponents about the culture of this part of Idaho: they “get burned up when they hear about someone buying a bottle of mouthwash with food stamps. But they love big water projects. They only object to nickle-and-dime welfare. They love it in great big gobs…”
There’s lots more where that came from. Go read!
Last week, pMachine hosting, which is now called “Engine Hosting”, contacted me to say they were moving some servers on Saturday night, and would I please set a couple locks open for them to proceed.
OK, no problem; they were very nice about it and the transfer went smoothly. By Sunday morning this blog was back up, and by 1:00 pm, MrsDoF’s blog was back up too. (Let the reader understand the urgency of that second point…) All was well, except hey, you old fool, you’re running a “really old” version of Expression engine! And your terms of service, blah-blah-blak something-something.” It was time to upgrade, to fix that which was not broken.
OK, they were nicer than that. But last time I attempted to upgrade Expression Engine, I managed to screw it up. Sure, I tweak the template a bit from time to time but I just haven’t had the time to really get into EE and hack the circuit. EE is something that I only touch once a year or so (longer if possible) so I’m basically a “user” with that package. Those of you in computer support know that isn’t predictive of a good outcome.
Les Jenkins over at SEB rescued me back then, so this time, I asked Les if he’d guide me through the process. (See what happens if you feed stray cats, Les?) Having 20-20 tech-support vision he graciously offered to do the upgrade for me. I accepted and here we are at version 1.6.0 – WooHoo! Les, what can I say – you totally rock! I gots you some Anime’ on the way
Oh, and pmachine.com is now called ellislab.com. The more things change… Folks, please drop me an email if anything weirder than usual happens in page rendering or commenting.
Les and Breakerslion have both tagged me with the “8 random things about you” meme so here goes. First, I have to post the rules, knowing perfectly well in advance that I intend to violate two of them:
- Players write eight random facts or habits about themselves
- At the end of the blog post, we’re supposed to tag eight other people, and list their names
- …and leave each a comment telling them they’re tagged.
Eight Random Things About Me:
- MrsDoF and I carry our own hot sauce to restaurants. This is probably tacky, but they generally only have Tabasco sauce and there’s much better.
- I drive a 40-year-old car, but not often. Usually, I get around on a bicycle.
- I like clever mechanical things. My wristwatch has no battery, and winds itself as I move around. It isn’t very accurate compared to a cheap quartz watch, though.
- “Decrepit Old Fool” is a joke; I’m not actually old. OK, I have an AARP card, but I hope to get much older…
- I’m in the process of culling my library from around 2500 books to maybe 500. Apparently I’m not literary because most of the books are nonfiction, with frequent topics being technology history, civil engineering, physics, chemistry, math, interface design, epidemiology, forensics, and social topics like history, psychology, and religion. And a whole lot of “other”. Not so much cosmology or astronomy – apparently those topics are over my head. With few exceptions most of the novels I read are by Clarke, Asimov, or Heinlein.
- I have a chronic pain disorder that causes me to get a lot less sleep than I should. I try not to be rude but sometimes I cut conversations short, too.
- My standard kit consists of eyeglasses, ballpoint pen and index cards, pocket knife, magnifying glass, a tiny digital camera, wristwatch, handkerchief, a paper folder with some money, and a little leather holder for my driver’s license and credit card. I don’t carry a “wallet” per se. I have a cell phone but often forget to charge it up.
- I lied about my age to get my first job, assembling bicycles in a bike shop in Ellensburg, Washington. Had a great time with it for several months until the owner found out and fired me.
OK, here’s the part where I break the rules; I’m not tagging anyone. My reasoning is that memes are supposed to spread like viral contagion, but sometimes there are mutations to a less virulent or contagious form and that’s what’s happened here. Most of the cool kids have already been
infected tagged with this meme so if you feel like picking it up, enjoy!
(There will be no Science Friday post today. I’m still researching the one I started last week. Thanks to all who responded to the three questions, and anyone else is invited to weigh in.
UPDATE: 18 Aug ‘07 – tagged again by Don Thieme
According to this site, my blog is not suitable for children because it contains a couple unpleasant words;
Seems my blog contained the words, “kill” and “ass” which might corrupt the innocent even worse than Janet Jackson’s nipple-flash on the SuperBowl. Funny thing is, MrsDoF once tried to access her blog, Mrs DoF’s Dear Ones, on a high school computer, and she was blocked. Offensive content?
Even funnier, the word “ass” occurs 19 times mostly in the context of “classic” and “associated” and words like that. The only standalone instance of “ass” was the link to Buridan’s Ass in the links column! (where it refers to a donkey, not the gluteus maximus of any homo… sapiens. ) Not a single instance of breasts, or buns, or throbbing embraces of any moist body parts, to say nothing of clinical-sounding words like penis or titillatingly tender words like auroela…
Heh – wonder what the rating is now!? (goes back and checks again)…
…OK, that’s just weird; the increased rating was due to Ass, Kill, and Bastard (of which two are external links). None of that stuff i worked to hard to make up, made any difference.
(From ***Dave and SEB)
Today is Blogging for Sex Education day at Renegade Evolution. I think it’s a great idea, but just found out about it two days ago and have not had time to write anything substantive about it.
And sex education deserves substantive attention. Go check out some of the links at the event linked above.
Just a little change: when you leave a comment, your email won’t show anymore. If you are a blogging narcissist like me, your URL will still show, but not your email. In the battle against spam, I may one day need to require an email address and/or “being logged in” for commenting, but even then it will not be visible. Spammers are evil; they shan’t acquire your email address from me.
While playing around with CSS I made some subtle changes to the colors and layout; wider, a little bigger body text, more pronounced blockquote field, stuff like that. But on viewing the page with a Vista machine, we found the video drivers blew out some of the highlight color differences. On my Linux machine the text looks heavier and more readable (because it really isn’t Verdana). Have not looked at it on a Mac yet. None of these are browser issues, on which web designers spend a lot of time.
Over in my right-hand “Nav” column there’s a category called “Daily Favorites”. These are blogs I read every day and which often leave me thinking about stuff, or just surprise and delight me in various ways. The list changes as my reading habits change. Recently I’ve been thinking about adding two new blogs to the list: John at Evolving Thoughts and Paul at Cafe Philos.
John is an Australian biology professor, and Paul collaborates with Anne up in the Rocky Mountains, though I could not tell from his profile what he does to pay the rent. Not that it matters: a one-sentence description is a little bit like summing the Earth as “a planet of mass 5.97 × 1024 Kg orbiting a yellow star at 150m Km”. What does matter is the content and that is what had me thinking about pasting the two URL’s into my template.
Then the other day Paul tagged me with the “Thinking Blogger” award, wherein I’m supposed to tag five other people who are thinking bloggers. I was (as he says) “surprised and honored” (he said some embarrassingly nice things about me) but the problem is almost everybody on my blogroll has already been tagged by that one. Paul himself has been tagged three times.
But meme contagion is interesting to think about as epidemiology. What determines the rate of propogation? At what point does the tag selection process begin to encounter a frustratingly dense field of already-selected sites? (where the recipient has the ‘immunity’ of previously being selected) I think this meme could be nearing that point.
Thanks, Paul! :red: And while the meme rules probably disallow tag-backs, back at you!
For some reason Pete wants to know what our desks look like.
If you want to try this meme, drop a link to your post in the comments!