My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

6 Articles in February 2007

  1. Missing Media

    As I continue to expand my boundaries of knowledge by reading and watching more books and movies, it occurs to me that there are some books/movies that are regarded as "classics" by culture, but that I've never had a chance to actually experience the whole way through. An example of this is It's A Wonderful Life--classic Christmas movie, but I guess because it's been played over and over on TV so much, I never really sit down to watch it, so I've never seen the whole thing.

    What are some books and movies that constantly pervade your life, but that you've never actually taken the time to read or watch in their entirety?

  2. Doomsday


    That last scene between Rose and the Doctor was just so sad, but poignant. It wasn't the catharsis for which I was looking--not really--but it came close. I cried. I knew that the Doctor would run out of time before he could say it, but still, watching it happen.... Wow.

    The Tenth Doctor is my favourite television character bar none now. At the beginning of season 2 I was worried, I'll admit, that David Tennant would not make a good Doctor. However, he has shown himself to be a stupendous Doctor (not that I'm really qualified to judge, since I haven't seen any of the older episodes). The way that he captures the character of the Doctor--and the character of the Doctor himself, his actions--is why I love to write. I must admit that I am envious of Russel T. Davies and the other Doctor Who writers. Season 2 wasn't the best television I've watched, but the Doctor himself made it worth watching.

    The DVD set for season 2 is $113.96 on Amazon though, and I can't find it on the Future Shop website, so I don't think I'll be buying season 2 anytime soon, sadly--even though I am…

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  3. Vanilla Guestbook 1.2 released

    Vanilla Guestbook has long suffered from neglect on my part. Unfortunately, I've just been too busy to devote as much time as I would have liked to improving it. So I'm sure you'll be happy to learn that today marks the release of the next version of Vanilla Guestbook.

    The coolest new feature, in my opinion, is the localisation support that I've added thanks to the gettext extension for PHP. Now, it would be even cooler if I had actual translations to go with it, but this is a nice start. :D You see, about a month or two ago I actually got an email from someone who was using Vanilla Guestbook (go figure), and they wanted to know if there was an easier way to translate it into Dutch. There is now. Or any language for that matter.

    I have also added some discreet yet tasty jQuery functions in there. In addition to new features, I worked to improve the security of the script, particularly to protect it from spammers (automated or not). :yes:

    There is an upgrade script available, but I only tested it once (on this site's guestbook) and I'm worried it'll get tetchy. So, as always,

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  4. This is your world. This is your world on jQuery.

    I never liked JavaScript. I find it awkward to use. Part of this is due to the fact that, because it's a client-side language, it depends on the user's browser to function, so it inherits the stigma of "results may vary". Moreover, error-handling has always been hit-and-miss. I find it hard to figure out where I'm going wrong, even with Console2 running interference for me. So JavaScript and I have never really gotten along, and that's been a large limitation to me as a web developer.

    Enter jQuery. In essence, jQuery is a JavaScript library that makes writing JavaScript much easier. I love it. I went from being able to do next to nothing with JavaScript to achieving fairly neat results with jQuery. ^_^ I managed to redo all the JavaScript in Vanilla Guestbook using jQuery (yes, that means a new version is coming your way soon). Less code = less places to mess up, so while error-handling is still hit-and-miss, I can usually find the line that contains the error pretty easily. Plus, the syntax makes a whole lot more sense to me than plain JavaScript.

    Much thanks to Seth for prodding me to try jQuery.…

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  5. Enough with the global warming crisis already

    I've already blogged about the indecency with which people have treated global warming. This is not a repeat, but an addendum.

    Society loves to make a big deal out of issues that are silly and don't really matter, like gay marriage or what colour of underwear Britney Spears purchases. If we didn't draw so much attention to them, guess what: they wouldn't affect our lives that much. Yes, shocking.

    I am sick and tired of pundits on both sides of this issue blowing it out of proportion. Yes, global warming exists. Sure, maybe humans are contributing. Go ahead and debate the significance of our contribution as much as you want. The major source of controversy, it seems, are the efforts to curb our greenhouse gas emissions; some groups believe that these efforts are wastes of time. Well consider this: so what if humans don't have an effect on global warming? Does this mean that not curbing our greenhouse gas emissions will help more than curbing them will? I am not a climatologist--or even an economist for that matter--but even if we don't have a significant impact on global warming, I would think that lessening our dependency on fossil fuels…

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  6. Before and After

    Before and After

    My stuffed animals My brother, Brad, and I spent almost the entire day painting my room. It turned out wonderfully, and I'm very pleased with it--not only are the walls a different colour, but it gave me a chance to clean out my room and reorganise. ^_^ Of course, a lot of prep work went into the endeavor. I had to remove all of my stuffed animals from my room ... and I have a lot. They aren't going back in, because I'm not putting the spare bed back. They will instead be relocated to a new tenement located in the family room.

    Before painting So once we had cleared stuff out and set up our gear, we cleaned the walls and started to paint.After painting It only took two coats with some touch up before the baby blue turned into a rich "sapphire glow". (Don't ask me how they come up with these colour names...). After it dried, we cleaned up and I started to move stuff back into my bedroom. I just finished, and I've left most of the little stuff out for tonight because I'm exhausted. It's a good thing exams are over. :D

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About Me

I’m a 26-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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