MonthJanuary 2008

That’s the result I would have hoped for

Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Lord Havelock Vetinari

You are Lord Vetinari! Supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork! Cool, calculated, and always in control. You graduated from the assassins guild, but failed a course on stealth and camouflage, because the professor never saw you there (even though you attended every class). You always seem to know what everyone is thinking, and after a conversation with you, people feel that they have just escaped certain death.

Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax

69%

Lord Havelock Vetinari

69%

Commander Samuel Vimes

56%

Carrot Ironfounderson

50%

Gytha (Nanny) Ogg

50%

The Librarian

50%

Greebo

44%

Death

31%

Rincewind

25%

Cohen The Barbarian

25%

Well? Where is it?

Other day, the very excellent Jonathan Coulton posted an entry in his blog in which he dissed on various haters who were posting “You Suck” posts on the top ten youtube covers of Coultons song “I’m Still Alive”, which famously closes out the Portal game.

In this post, Coulton says the following:

“Where’s your thing that you made and put online for everyone to see, you chicken-shit cockhole?”

This is totally deserved. Youtube is a great site, and I go there literally every day – but seriously, the comments section is approaching Ain’t It Cool News in terms of retardedness.

Mew?

Drunken cat-killer jailed for 14 months

[Hoopers girlfriend] received text messages from Hooper threatening to kill the cat. About 3.45am she heard a cat screech and went outside to investigate. Hooper had dealt the cat two heavy blows to the chest and neck with an axe, severing its spinal cord. It died.

Hooper then went inside and the pair had a fight, culminating in Hooper hitting his girlfriend with the glass top of a coffee table. Hooper told police he was “really drunk”. The pair remain together.

The pair .. remain together. Yeah, obviously.

Can any female readers of my blog give me some fucking insight into her mindset here? You, yourself, might not have been in this sort of position, but I’ll bet you know someone who has at least.

If this was my girlfriend, the phrase “so fucking dumped” wouldn’t even begin to cover it. I would plot, and extract, revenge. They would, in all seriousness, Rue the fucking Day. Until they died, or I did. What I would NOT do, is keep going out with them, possibly while saying things like: “It’s _just his way_. He loves me really. Who _hasn’t_ killed the pets of those they love with an axe? I can _change_ him, I’m _sure_!”

I want to kick this guy in the balls RIGHT NOW, and it wasn’t even MY CAT he killed.

Paralysing Lip Gloss? Seriously.

I’ve watched episode one of season two of Torchwood today. This episode noticably features James Marsters.

The director of this episode looks to have given him instructions to be James Marsters as much as he possibly can. Which is, it would seem, quite a lot.

I’m pretty sure there’s a three-person support crew just for his cheekbones.

As soon as I saw James, I bet myself $20 that he would (a) fight, and (b) snog Captain Jack. I got the order wrong – they snogged first – but my money changed pockets.

How can you have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

Top school plans to fail boys with bad attitude

One of New Zealand’s top high schools has introduced a tough new scheme in which junior students will be held back a year if they don’t do their homework, have the right attitude, turn up to school on time or bring the right equipment to class. It means even the brightest children could fail a year despite getting high marks in every subject.

If this scheme had been in place when I was in High School … I would still be in High School.

The right “attitude”? The right “work ethic”? These are, of course, not _bad things_ but I don’t think they’re something you can impress upon a child be threatening to hold them back a year. It reminds me of P.J O’Rourke postulating on what whould happen if you made armed forces drill instructors into therapists… “I WANT THAT OEDIPAL COMPLEX RESOLVED BY 1300 HOURS MISTER OR YOU WILL RUN LAPS FOR THE REST OF THE DAY!”

Hell, I haven’t been at High School for nigh on 18 years or so, and I am STILL developing a work ethic that doesn’t involve the phrase “Where possible, do it tomorrow.”

The worst part of it is that the whole thing stinks of subjectivity. It seems to suggest that teachers could hold back students to punish them for things which are simply unmeasurable, and therefore uncontestable.

You need to be able to write to the school and say “95% of the people who worked with myself and Bob Smith would say that we had similar attitudes to work, and yet you gave him a rating of “awesome” and me a rating of “devil child”. Explain!” or even “In addition, 95% of the people who worked with us both said that you frequently mentioned that Bob has “full round lips” and the “taut musculature of a swimmer” whereas I resemble a cornish pastry in appearance, texture, and affinity for sports. Explain. In Detail.”

If the teacher can just come back and say “There’s no actual metrics, it’s just my opinion.” then that’s fucked. Fucked. I’ve had teachers who have actively disliked me and gone out of their way to make my life a misery, and I’ve had teachers who’ve covered for me when I’ve bunked off for a week or so. You CAN’T have a subjective thing like this which _overrides_ the objective scholastic tests. I would pull my kids out of any school that used this system.

Sir Ed

Sir Edmund Hillary died today.

I had the privilege of having dinner with Sir Edmund (along with a few dozen other people, admittedly – it’s not like Sir Ed and I went out to Subway for a foot-long meatball sandwich) about a year ago – he told stories of his Everest climb, and spoke a lot about the conquering of adversity in general.

He was an excellent speaker but even a year ago seemed physically quite frail. His health was not good. There were a lot of people standing very close to him[1], with the air of people prepared to catch him if he should fall. I got the impression that he disliked the requirement for those people to have to be there, and I also got the impression that he’d rather be wearing a pack and climbing another mountain than wearing a tux and having another damn dinner. And I definitely don’t think he wanted people to remember him as an amusing after dinner speaker.

Luckily, this will not happen – he’ll be remembered, forever, as the first dude there was to stand on the highest place there is. Awesome.

[1] Yes, Sir Ed has a posse.

Hack The Plane(t)!

FAA: Terrorists Could Hack New Boeing Jetliner

Aviation regulators have refused to certify Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet until it redesigns its computer system to protect against … terrorists [using] the Dreamliner’s in-flight Internet system to connect to “systems critical to the safety and maintenance of the aircraft

I cannot even BEGIN to believe that anyone engineering an aircraft would have the entertainment network that delivers Video on Demand, Games, Information and general Data Services to each seat, and not have a COMPLETELY SEPERATE and AIR-GAPPED flight network which, you know, controls the fucking aircraft.

There’s just NO WAY that someone said “You know what’d save resources? We should totally integrate these things.”

Not a chance.

Because “Fewer Dead Kids Without Laptops” doesn’t have the same ring to it

This One Laptop Per Child thing … I mean, I’m as much of a singularity-seeking technodork as the next guy, but really .. as far as I’ve read, these laptops are to be put into the hands of various children in dire circumstances around the world. How dire? Well the $100 laptops are specifically designed for use in remote and harsh environments where there is little access to electricity or the internet.

So .. wouldn’t it be somewhat cooler to take that $100 per person and spend it on infrastructure that brings .. well .. electricity to these kids? Or clean water and electrolyte balancing salts to kids who’re dying of a lack thereof? Or .. you know .. some fucking _food_ or something?

I don’t get the point of the exercise.

Must. Control. Fist. Of Death.

Can Atheists Be Parents?

“In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied the Burkes’ right to [adopt] the child because of their lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the Burkes’ “high moral and ethical standards,” he said, the New Jersey state constitution declares that “no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience.” Despite Eleanor Katherine’s tender years, he continued, “the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being.”

Um. Wait. Fucking. WHAT?

Actually speechless. I’ve typed and backspaced a couple of sentences about four times now and I just don’t have words. Here’s a picture instead.

Can’t wait to see what muerk has to say about this one.

[EDIT: Okay, fist of death totally under control – this Time article is from 1970! I wasn’t even born then! And I’m old! Apprently, this was reversed in 1971 and the adoption was allowed to proceed. This story is ALL OVER the internerds today – I think I got the original story from fark.com, so I suspect they’re carrier zero on this one. No idea why they’re frontin’ wit nearly 40 year old news. But anyway, on this occasion .. Jebus Emergengy Defcon 5! Stand down! Stand down!]

PLAY FREE BIRD!

NYE …

Went to Soamesapalooza at Mary and Soames place – drank many Gin an Tonics, plus some Baileys[1]. spent the evening talking with friends. Drama level Zero. Possibly the most relaxed NYE I’ve had in a while. Totally fantastic. WOULD DEFINITELY DRINK WITH AGAIN AAAAA++++ HAIL SATAN

[1] I’m Old Gregg! Ah, you know that.