Ben: I blame the church
Lauren: For what?
Ben: No, think about it.
Ben: The Church’s only major opponents throughout history have been educated people. Remove the desire to learn, and you remove the potential for educated people to undermine your grip on the world.
Ben: In fact, all of Western society is essentially a sinful existence purposefully manufactured by the Church for the Church. It reinforces laziness, and offers so many decadent temptations (reality television, celebrity scandal, capitalism, etc.) that it’s quite hard not to sin. And then who steps in to absolve you? The Church.
Just thought I‘d share. Society these days is so complicated that it is hard to believe there’s not someone behind the scenes pulling the strings.
Conspiracy theories are great, aren’t they?
They are an excellent way to carry your favourite programs with you on your USB key (or other portable method; I just prefer that). I love Firefox Portable, which is just want it sounds like. I‘ve also got FileZilla Portable, Portable GIMP, Portable OpenOffice.org, and Portable Gaim. Although I haven’t figured out how to use it at school yet (and might not be able to, thanks to the restrictions they put on the computers), it’s useful for anywhere else that I don’t have my computer with me.
I wub Portable Apps!
Pluto is not a planet anymore.
Get over it.
It’s still orbitting the sun; it is a “dwarf planet”, and it is not going to go away any time soon. So unless you happen to be an astronomer whose doctorate depends upon a study of Pluto’s planetary characteristics—does it really matter? Honestly, we spend way too much time talking about semantics—it’s maddening! Did everyone turn into lawyers overnight?
So if you’re upset over all this nonsense about demoting Pluto, don’t be; it hasn’t really been demoted. It’s a “dwarf planet”, and thus is still important. It’s just been recategorised.
We now have 8 major planets and a heretofore yet undetermined number of dwarf planets. Don’t like it? Tough. The Earth is still going to orbit the Sun (shocking, yes, I know) and your bills are still going to arrive, you’ll still have to pay them too.
Deal with it.
I‘ve been working on VSNS Lemon 3.3 for a little bit now. My major focus was improving it so that it wouldn’t be so buggy (sucky). There aren’t that many more features I’d like to add to it—the point is, after all, to keep it simple and avoid feature creep or feature bloat.
So those of you who like simple will hopefully like this upgrade. It contains numerous bug fixes:
- Security: Added session_name() to differentiate between sessions
- Enhancement: User interface for emoticon management
- Enhancement: Redesign for admin CP interface
- Bug Fix: Major header() errors no longer appear (I hope!)
- Bug Fix: Quotation marks in headings caused form to break
- Bug Fix: Comment editing not totally effective
- Enhancement: Ability to give preview of article in archives/index
But wait, Ben! You said this was all supposed to be v3.3! Why are you calling it v3.2.2?!
Well, because v3.3. would actually need some more improvements to be called a major step up from v3.2.1. There are really only two more features I would add: a simple search engine, and (as I‘ve been saying forever) some properly-integrated AJAX to make editing/admin stuff easier. I’m hoping to include the search engine in v3.3. The AJAX may have to wait longer (perhaps forever).
Make a backup before you update, although I‘m sure it’ll all go well.
Please note an important change, however: if you are calling the script from another page, you must include settings.php, since final.php doesn’t exist! This should be done at the top of the page, preferably, to avoid any errors. Then place call_vsns($_REQUEST[’type’]); wherever you want the news to appear.
These things never work. I don’t bother making New Years resolutions, so I don’t see why back to school resolutions would work anyway. But it is early enough in the morning and I haven’t had any tea yet, so who knows?
Depressingly enough, school does start in about two weeks for me. It’s not that I dislike school—I enjoy it and will welcome the change from working every day—but I don’t feel like I’ve relaxed at all during my vacation, and it went too fast. I‘m afraid that I’ll start freaking out, stressing myself out, and generally having a bad time again once school starts unless I apply some brakes. So here are my resolutions.
- 1. Get more sleep
- I don’t sleep as much as I should, and it’s entirely my fault, so let’s fix this one. I should be going to bed at 11 PM (maybe midnight at the latest) if I want to be able to get up at 7 AM. It isn’t so much that I dislike sleep as that my body seems to be fine naturely attuning its Circadian rhythms to a 4 AM - 1 PM cycle. The rest of society isn’t that obliging, however.
- 2. Hang up the t-shirts that my parents iron
- I admit I’m remiss in this—I sort of toss them in a pile on my bed. This is irresponsible of me; they go to a lot of trouble to iron the t-shirts for me, and I should at least take the few seconds and hang them up in my closet. I blame this on several factors: I‘m lazy, yes, but also my closet doors don’t open and close smoothly, so what is a simple procedure for an ordinary person becomes a fifteen minute ordeal that ends up with the movie rights being sold to Universal in return for some chewing gum.
- 3. Stop killing myself with support tickets
- This one is rather self-explanatory. Stop attempting to answer every unanswered support ticket that falls from the sky. I feel very bad, you see, to see unanswered support tickets. But if I want to remain intact, I think I need to start cutting myself off each day.
- 4. Don’t make any more commitments
- Like rhythm, commitment is another word that I can never spell properly. Anyway, I need to stop doing things for other people—not totally, but in the general sort of, “Yeah, sure, I’ll do this long-term project for you.” This all hooks into being more assertive in general. I just don’t have the time, unfortunately, to devote to anything else; I barely have time to bother extricating myself from current commitments.
- 5. Don’t do more schoolwork than is necessary. But don’t, for the love of Zarquon, procrastinate
- I suspect that this will be harder than it sounds. I have a very strict work ethic, but since last year I realised that Westgate’s academic standards are different from those of FWCI, and also, I’m in my last year of school now. This doesn’t mean “get lower grades”. It means “determine the absolute minimal amount of work required to keep my grades this high”. However, for whatever work I do decide to complete, don’t procrastinate on it. It doesn’t solve anything and it ends up to more stress near the due date.
So that was my list, eh. I hope you enjoyed it and I encourage you to make your own back to school resolutions (even if you aren’t going back to school!). Now I shall be off to work.
Okay, this is the last straw. Old Navy, you have gone too far.
For the record, breaking up the word “fashion” into two separate words, “fash” and “on”, in an attempt to make a cute pop-style song for your latest advertising campaign, cannot be described by any of the following adjectives: clever, cute, funny, interesting, effective, original. And many more.
Those commercials with their idiotic repeating refrain of “Get your fash on / fash, fash on” annoy me to no end. I must commend your marketing people in their creation of such an evil slogan. Not only is it stuck in my head, but it is an unacceptable and pathetic slaughtering of the English language. Considering that no one at Old Navy—neither the people who sew your jeans nor the marketing gurus (who speak Weasel)—actually speaks English, this probably should not be surprising. I never said I was surprised; I‘m just outraged.
In fact, I am fairly sure that if such stupid and asinine commercials disappeared from television, crime rate would drop dramatically overnight. I don’t know why the terrorists even bother anymore. Between reality television and commercials the Western world is already going to kill itself before they can manage to sneak a bomb past London officials again.
So Old Navy, no, I am not going to “get my fash on”. I have never, do not, and will never want to “get my fash on”. I don’t even know what “getting my fash on” entails. Stop trying to be cute and go back to finding ways of cutting costs by outsourcing more jobs to another continent.
But do not think that your senseless slaughter of the English language in an unsuccessful attempt at emulating today’s adolescents’ slang will go unnoticed—or unpunished. No, Old Navy, this time you have transgressed past the point of no return. This time you have crossed the line.
In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “This means war!”
/me carefully plants evidence in the CIA’s secure database that reveals that Old Navy is manufacturing WMDs and waits for the chaos to ensue.
In general, I‘m not that great at it. I tend to kill conversations (or start them so badly that both parties are grateful when they lapse into silence). I think it’s that naturally I am not much of a chatty person, although if you get me started on a subject, it is hard to get me to stop.
But no, this is more of an apology to any of you out there who have been unfortunate enough to have an IM conversation with me. I am so brutal. Firstly, let me establish that I seldom IM other people—they IM me. Most of the time though I feel like I‘m not holding up my end of the conversation. They try so hard to talk to me, but all I do is contribute non-committal acknowledgements. Usually it’s because I’m just tied up doing 6-10 other things at the same time. I still feel bad though.
So this is an apology to all those whom I neglect via IM. I don’t really mean to ignore you; you just aren’t as interesting as the other stuff I’m doing!
Er, I mean … the other stuff has kidnapped me and hidden me in my own basement and now you must mount a dangerous rescue mission to free me! Yes, that’s more like it…
Well, whatever point I was trying to make has completely escaped me. I should go to bed though anyway. I just finished editing chapter 18 of my novel and reflecting on the fact that it was (before I edited it, turning it from chapter 19 until a medley of salvaged scraps from chapters 19 and 22) horrible. Purely horrible. Hopefully I‘ve managed to transform it into merely tolerable. But it’s not a good way to end the day. I‘m hoping that once I’m through with this editing process it won’t all have been a big waste (and by that I mean, I hope I don’t decide that the novel is a terrible piece of writing that should be shot, burned, and then slowly fed to a group of prize pigs). Not only would that be unfair to the wonderful people who‘ve volunteered to actually read the darn thing, but I would also be mildly put off at best.
Did I mention that one reason I’m terrible at conversation is that I usually turn it back to things about me, and start annoying people by obsessively talking about my writing? :/ It’s not like it’s the only thing I do. No, really, I do other stuff! Well, okay, the other stuff is just a way to not write, which I really try to avoid as much as possible.
In other news, the Border Cats, against all odds, won the North Division playoffs and lost the first of the Northwoods League Championship games. So we have to win tomorrow to have a chance. Go underdogs!
The short answer: yes and no. (You can tell when science and politics mix.)
The long answer. Heck, I don’t want to bother explaining it. If I did, would I really be writing it in a blog? Wikipedia sums it up nicely, as does this Washington Post article. Pluto is in trouble, but not of losing its planetary status—not quite.
You see, the problem with Pluto is that it’s puny. It’s the runt of the litter; it’s the planet that other, bigger, manlier planets bully in the solar schoolyard during celestial recess. And this size has recently become an issue as more and more planet-like objects are being discovered orbiting that star out there we call the Sun, which hundreds of years ago some guy named Copernicus tried to convince everyone all the planets orbit.
You know, if we had stuck with geocentrism, this probably wouldn’t be much of a problem, now would it? Alas, heliocentrism is a cold and unforgiving solar model.
So basically, the International Astronomical Union has to finally decide if Pluto is a planet or not? Unfortunately, no. It isn’t that simple. Because we’ve never really had a good idea of the definition of a planet anyway. As we built bigger and better telescopes and started discovering things farther away, we sort of just picked and chose what would be a planet or not. Back in those days, the solar system didn’t seem so crowded.
What the IAU is doing (finally) is promising us an “official” definition of a planet. (but then divide the planets up into categories). More on that later in September.
Nevertheless, it leaves us with the issue still on the table. How will society react to this redraw of the universe? Under the new proposed definition, Pluto is still technically a planet (I say “technically” because if it weren‘t, Disney would sue the IAC ), but we will add some new ones to the list (I’m not sure if they’re going to be “minor” planets or full-fledged members of the club, although I doubt the latter). All I know is, I’ll be out of school (or at least science class) before anyone publishes a textbook that has to cover the issue.
And if someone asks me how many planets there are, I’ll simply say, “Hundreds, man, a whole bunch orbiting hundreds of different stars in the galaxy.” And if some smart-alec goes on to goad me into telling them how many planets in the solar system we’ve got, well … have you seen how long my blog entry is?
Muwahahaha. No, it doesn’t bother me that I spend my spare time mapping out directions to Hell using Google Maps. Or that Hell is in Michigan, only 1721 km away.
Wouldn’t it be neat to visit Hell and then when people say, “Go to Hell”, you can truthfully tell them that you’ve “been there, done that”? And for residents, it would be amazing to be able to say, “I live in Hell” or, for former residents, “I’m from Hell.”
Look, I‘m blogging! Yeah, I haven’t done this in nearly two weeks. I figure that I need to, since even my dad complained (or at least “observed”) that I have not blogged in a long period of time.
You know what they say though: “Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly-so.” Good old Ford Prefect.
Of course, when I don’t blog, I have to do these annoying catch-up posts that don’t have a single “central theme” and are just a medley of trying to tell the imaginary readership what I’ve been doing since I last blogged. I can save you a lot of wear and tear on your eyes with the answer of “not much”.
Should you care to continue reading, however, I might as well start with my job. Unlike Nicola, who has not been having the best experiences (aww ), my job is going smoothly. I shall first regale you with the tale of Floor Spinach!
It’s kind of short. Basically, my friend Vivike, who is working there with me, was eating a salad for lunch, and a piece of spinach randomly fell to the floor. We designated it the Floor Spinach and started to attribute events and superpowers to it, sort of turning it into a running joke for the rest of the day.
I’ve also brought my Rubik’s Cube in to puzzle my coworkers. No, I can’t solve one; I don’t have any pattern-recognition skills. It has been a constant source of both amusement and annoyance since Saturday though.
August has been designated The Month of Novel Editing. Indeed, I am going to bludgeon my novel from first draft to final draft over these 31 (now 30) days, thanks to a squad of editors (eg; crazy friends) and lots and lots of tea. Then comes the “fun” part of making a list of literary agents/publishers and spending money on postage. olleyes:
Tomorrow my family is going on a trip to Grand Marais. We usually go down at least once a year, mostly in the summer. I anticipate it with eagerness and shall take many pictures—this is my first year going down with a digital camera, so it’ll be a treat to be able to record things for posterity!
Not much else to say, really. As you can see, I am obviously keeping way too busy and have no clue how to relax. C’est la vie!