As god of this website, I’ll take advantage of my ability to post in the big box. T…ahem, Kami, I agree with you, and thanks for the book recommendation.
One’s concept of god/God defines many things, including whether (s)he/it has an existence that may have a definite start and/or a definite end. It’s all just a matter of word definition (as are many things), specifically, “God”, “exist”, “die”… Different religions and individuals apply different meanings to the words. The Greek/Roman little-’g’ gods were just powerful beings with superhuman abilities, born and capable of death. Jesus was born and killed, but Christians would probably argue that it was only his earthly presence that ended and that his spirit still lives. In which case, what does it mean for any of us to die, then, if only the body dies and yet the soul lives on? Depends on how you define your own existence, and apparently in this case death just means physical death. Can one’s soul die, as well? What, exactly, is a soul and what is carried with it?
Is God a timeless being which created the universe? Then there can’t be a concept of death in God, because death is something that happens in time. Is God the framework in which the universe exists? Is God the universe itself? Nature? The laws of nature? The Force? Are The Gods a powerful race of alien masters who tell us what to do? You laugh (or groan), but the Greco-Roman gods mostly fit that mold.
So as you see, I have many questions, and few answers. I think that’s a good start. Or maybe… maybe I do have all the answers, and I’m just keeping them to myself. Yes, that’s it.
Fine, I’ll answer the question: BS is for Brilliant Scientist; MS is for Mad Scientist.
Then there’s PhD, which means Phenomenally Dumb. Just kidding. I can’t malign our fine nation’s beyond Brilliant, beyond Mad professors that way. PhD means Doctor of Philosophy, but the French way, which is backwards. Like how SI stands for “System Internationale” when it could just as easily have been “International System”, or LN stands for “Logarithm Naturale”. Le Big Mac. Oh but look, further research says I’m wrong: PhD is Latin, not French, for Philosophiae Doctor. (No, I don’t like ligatures.) That would likely be philosophy in the old sense, as in, where science is natural philosophy, not the “What is the nature of reality? Why are we here? Where do socks go? God is dead!” variety.
So there you have it.
If this was a technology column, I would write something about how great Google Desktop Search is, because I just typed in some particular keywords and pulled out this old email conversation snippet with an old roommate of mine. But it’s not, so I won’t. I have no opinion on Google Desktop Search. See, I’m not even linking to it. There, that proves it.
Sent: 06 March, 2002 10:12 AM
Subject: Re: Delivery Notification: Delivery was successful, wonder of wonders
hey, i didnt mean the computer guy had your personality in any way–i just said that his sentence structure was very similar. that is all–but it is enough to make e uncomfortable.
Re: me cubed. wait, don’t do that.
Date: Mar 6, 2002 – 1:52pm
Oh, ok. Hmm… I didn’t notice that. Yeah, but can he have sentence structures like THIS?:
(Music starts playing. I start rapping along in some incredibly complex sentence structures and sticking my arms out at odd angles in an angry manner. Of course the song has to have a line telling everyone to put their hands way up in the air and wave them all around like they just don’t care. Every rap song has that line. Maybe mine just says it in an overly complex way.)
Um… I will call you shortly.
Actually I will call you R____. But I will speak to you on the household telecommunications device shortly.
So this person’s sentence structures reminded her of my sentence structures, which are (or were), apparently, very unique. Well, I’m pleased to have achieved that level of individuality through sentence structure. It’s something I’m (*sniff*) proud of, after a lifetime of hard work, honing these sentence structures, trying to make this world a better place through my work, improving the lives of (*sniffle*) the downtrodden children and the trodden-upon babies. That’s why I’m so proud to be able to (*SNIFF*) accept this award, and to thank you all for your unlimited quantities of sympathy and support. Thank you.
Hey, I got hold of a 512 MB card and a card reader– the player recognizes that the card is 512 MB, but doesn’t seem to read files uploaded past the halfway mark. So it seems that only 256 MB of data on the card will be seen by the player. So much for that.
From: melvyn brown
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 12:51 PM
Subject: your weblog and virgin pulse
i came acorss your weblog-and therefore, your email address-by doing a google search involving virgin pulse, 128mb, sd, and some other terms. i have the same virgin 128mb mp3 player as you, and i love it, as well. a question for you, however: have you ever tried using an sd card larger than 256mb in it? i was wondering if this would work (either using the bigger card, but only 256mb of space, or letting you use the entire card’s worth (all 512, 1gb, etc)) worth of storage?
i’ve called virgin pulse, and although they were extremely nice about it, they couldn’t answer my question. can you think of any firmware issue that would prevent this, or have you tried it yourself? thanks in advance for any insight you can offer. cheers, melvyn brown
For lack of additional material, and because I thought this was a rather wry bit of wry-ting. Gwen, I assure you, this does not cheapen the fact that I originally wrote it solely as a comment to an entry in your blog.
You have to be careful about cursing around librarians. They’re a sensitive type, I hope you know. Nevermind that they went to school with the rest of us and even had to attend college for a long time to get their doctorates (yes, librarians need doctorates… or was it just masters’?) and were exposed to just as much profanity as the rest of us and should supposedly then be inured to it. That’s really, for whatever reason, not the case. They are also afraid of carrots. Well, carrots are okay shredded, but a whole carrot will cause librarians to shriek with fear, thereby disobeying their own charter of maintaining quiet in the library.
I’m sorry to hear about the puddle. I think you should get your revenge by stomping on it. That’ll cause it to retaliate and you’d have a fight: Gwen vs The Puddle. Sounds like a wrestler. The Puddle. And now, we bring you the fight of the season, The Rock versus The Puddle. Or maybe it’s The Rock versus The Scissors…
The Rock: The Rock is going to lay the smack down!
The Scissors: I will cut you up, and why can’t you use pronouns like everyone else?
Announcer: Let’s get ready to rumble! And The Rock crushes The Scissors! And it’s over!
Something’s making me think the outcome was predetermined… Anyway, it’s a bright sunny day, but there may still be puddles out there, so watch out.
I spent the day today working on documentation for an Access database I created for my old workplace. With 46 tables it’s not exactly a quick task, but I can type fast enough. Screen shots galore. The thing is 39 pages already.
I finally figured out how to use the automatic Table of Contents generator in Word. Now that I know, it’s a piece of cake, but determining how wasn’t exactly intuitive. Here’s how, in case this helps anyone: You’d hate to be a random visitor who had Google’d up some help on this topic, run across this site where I say that I figured out how, but don’t provide any actual information as to how, would you?
How to Create an Automatic Table of Contents in Microsoft Word: The way it works is that you need to consistently use the Heading styles to denote sections in your document. Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 are readily available. (Make good use of styles in general, they’re helpful.) Then you go to Insert >> Reference >> Index and Tables… >> Table of Contents (set up any design settings you want) >> OK and that’s it; the TOC is inserted at the cursor. All Heading-styled text makes its way into the TOC. To recalculate, if you changed something, position the cursor within the TOC and press F9.
Don’t make me pull this trigger. Anyway, I got an AOL 9.0 (optimized!) CD in the mail, which states “1099 hours FREE!” in huge letters and then in tiny letters, “for 50 days”. Let us figure: if I want to extract the most value from this deal, it means I need to use AOL for 22 hours each day. Hmm, maybe there’s something funny or interesting to say about this, but, um, I’m at a loss… I think the problem is that I touched the CD, and it’s sapping my brain cells remotely. Ah, the CD is pretty, though! Ok, you could PAY me and I wouldn’t want to use AOL for ONE hour in 5,000 days, I don’t care how much they optimize it. (What does that mean, anyway? For all you non-programmers out there, I’m a programmer, and I still have no clue what they mean.) Okay, enough AOL. It induced me to write this (rather lame) paragraph and waste enough of my time as it is. Instead I could be chatting on, uh, AOL Instant Messenger!
What’s really good is homemade cocoa, where you’re supposed to mix the cocoa powder and the sugar and a little bit of milk at the bottom of the cup into a paste, and then add the rest of the milk, because cocoa and milk don’t mix easily, but instead you fill the cup halfway with milk, and then add the cocoa and the sugar and mix it up fast so you get a foam of sugary unmixed cocoa floating on top of the drink.
I finally saw this. Cool movie. Random. Has “cult classic” written all over it and inserted at low volume and backwards into the soundtrack.
It’s interesting how one can often ascertain the time period in which a movie was made (or at least in which it’s set) when political candidates are mentioned. Donnie and dad are driving and the radio news mentions Dukakis, so automatically I know this has to be late 1980′s or so.
By the way, Michael Dukakis lost to George Bush because of his name. I had this discussion (jokingly, but you know it’s true) with and with reference to my little sister, who spent last summer writing a book. She completed it and is looking for publishers. It’s a fantasy story intended for a young audience; I’ve read the first few chapters so far and am impressed. She plans this to be the first book in a cycle of five.
Anyway, I had asked her if she planned to use a pen name, and she said no, she wasn’t. I brought up how Douglas Adams, in The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul (I’m almost done with it, Jackie, it’ll be any day now!) describes a certain bestselling author, Howard Bell, who writes utter trash that nobody actually ever gets around to reading, where everyone just buys his books because he has such a consise, authorly-sounding name. So I said, that just as a selling point (to supplement the high quality of the book material itself, of course), she should invent a name with the same Howard Bell kind of ring to it. (One of these days I’ll cease being lazy and actually look and post the quote from The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul (which is sitting right in front of me) wherein Adams actually describes what I just charmlessly attempted to repeat.) You can stop groaning now, too.
What I’m getting at, of course, is that names sell. “Bush” is just one of those concise, presidential-sounding names. Howard Bell. George Bush. There, see, we elected someone with that same name twice.
The design of this page is somewhat messed up, I know.
In a spate of installing programs, I gave Firefox a try and was pleasantly surprised. It’s still a “preview release” and crashes now and then, but seems faster than Internet Explorer because it can display more of a page as data is still coming in. Images display gradually as they load (there’s actually a point to progressive JPEGs), like in Netscape Navigator when we all used to use it years ago. The program loads quickly after the initial load. I missed the Mouse Gestures feature that Opera has until Zenia laughed at me and pointed out that such plugins exist for Firefox.
I installed Apache 2, PHP and MySQL for some planned Web design and programming work.
A few months ago I quit my office job as a jack-of-all-trades at a small (4-person) financial consulting company. I left on good terms and ended up with a retainer agreement to provide a certain number of hours of consulting services per month, most of which can be accomplished from home. My goal now is to have my own small consulting business (of which I’ll be the sole employee) and do freelance project-based work; so far I have a few programming projects lined up.