Archive for September, 2010

Teenage Witchcraft

23:50 29 Sep 2010. Updated: 00:29 01 Oct 2010

I’ve mostly ignored Christine O’Donnell up to this point, as it doesn’t surprise me much that a highly active group of Republican Christian paranoiacs could propel one of their own to a Senate candidacy. I also think that she has no chance of winning the seat and as such will fade back into obscurity—unlike, for example, Sarah Palin, who despite everything else seems to have an excellent sense of opportunistic timing. My feelings about O’Donnell were broadly similar to, although less developed than, those outlined in Chris Floyd’s “Circle Jerks: Delaware Distraction Obscures Oval Office Atrocities”.

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Online Rental Payment (gasp!)

23:50 28 Sep 2010

It’s approaching the end of 2010, and I just paid my rent online for the first time.

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Adjusting Keyboard Shortcuts

23:17 27 Sep 2010

This post is about keyboard shortcuts, remappings, application switching, and a little bit of workflow, primarily in the context of OS X and Vim, so it might not be of interest to all readers.

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“Yellow, Red”

23:32 26 Sep 2010. Updated: 08:50 27 Sep 2010

Walking the night city. Do all cities share some quality that can be sensed when in them, or is it merely a dry definition? I think there’s something underneath that; as cityborn I like the notion that feeling it is in my blood, but this is questionable affectation.

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From the Mind of M. Night Shyamalan

23:44 24 Sep 2010

I thought this was hilarious:

Tangentially related, I can’t believe that Roger Ebert actually gave Signs a positive review.

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19:07 23 Sep 2010

“8BITS” is a strange but pretty fun movie that seems to be about computer game characters fighting over the shift to better technologies. I think I missed a lot of the references, but I enjoyed it anyway. (I’m particularly confused by what’s driving the aesthetic of the main protagonist.)

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I Know, I Know, My Regard for the First Amendment is Touching and Quaint

22:25 21 Sep 2010

The EFF bulletin covers all the salient points. Clearly a “blacklist” with many easy ways to get on it, and few to get off it, is going to create all kinds of problems with abuse. Censorship—even if done in the name of fighting copyright infringement—is a very powerful tool, and many people tend to forget that it grants powers not merely of enforcement but also of definition.

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MacVim 7.3

23:09 20 Sep 2010

I’ve been slow in upgrading to MacVim 7.3, which came out about a month ago. I’m happy with it, but there are only a couple of features that really matter to me so far:

  • colorcolumn
  • Python 2.6 support.

colorcolumn lets you specify columns that will have a different background color—this is primarily useful for source code where you want to stick to line length limits. This is one of the few features I was still missing from jEdit, although I think jEdit’s solution was nicer: in jEdit the visual line was thin and went between the columns, so between columns e.g. 79 and 80 you could have a line; in Vim 7.3 either column 79 or 80 would have a “line”, i.e. a different background color. Still better than the kludge I use now, though.

Python 2.6 support is nice due to the number of Python scripts I’ve written for Vim, which used to have to be compatible with Python 2.3. The main things I really like here are the ability to use .format on strings, conditional expressions, built-in set support, and generator expressions. That list is inspiring me to edit some of my old scripts right now.

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Facebook Hamlet

17:01 19 Sep 2010

Somewhat related to Friday’s post, I quite liked this rendition of Hamlet as a series of status updates.

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Fun with Language and Meaning

22:45 17 Sep 2010

I watched the film version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead this evening, first time I’ve seen it in years. It’s a good movie; while it’s probably a better play, I haven’t seen it on the stage. Language play is a significant part of it, as the titular duo attempt to tease out their situation in ways that generally end up confusing them. I hadn’t realized before that they’ve been the subject of more plays (outside of Hamlet): there’s a W. S. Gilbert play called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and there’s also a film called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead, which I absolutely have to watch[1].

For whatever reason, watching it this time reminded me of the classic “Who’s on First” sketch, my favorite version of which is presented below:

[1] The plotline of that film reminds me of another of my favorite plays, I Am Hamlet, the 2002 Mark Jackson one-man play (and apparently not the same play as can be found at iamhamlet.com), which posits that (young) Hamlet’s ghost has been around for the last several hundred years, and is compelled to watch every production of Hamlet and read all the critical responses to the play.
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How I Start an RPG Session

22:31 16 Sep 2010

One of the minor irritations in running my roleplaying campaign is that I can’t blog about a lot of it. Blogging about the things I find most interesting would give away too much to the players, who must perforce toil in ignorance. I’ll probably post some of the “encyclopedia entries” I’m working on for the world, but that’s much less dynamic than what arises out of game interactions.

I did recently come up with some ideas for opening game sessions that I think are worth sharing, however.

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Nadal’s Number Nine

23:14 14 Sep 2010

Rafael Nadal completed his career Grand Slam yesterday, beating Novak Djokovic in four rain-delayed sets. That’s Nadal’s ninth Grand Slam title—and his third in a row. He is clearly the best player in the world right now, and dropped only a single set—in the final—on his way to the only title that had eluded him thus far.

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Fear and Stupidity Go So Well Together

23:30 13 Sep 2010

Sometimes it’s just too ridiculous: San Luis Obispo police are warning parents about Pedobear. No, not just a throwaway comment by a spokesperson. They have a flyer (two pages) about it. Amazing.

For some perspective, how about “5 Worries Parents Should Drop, And 5 They Shouldn’t”. I grant you that it doesn’t specifically mention Pedobear, but I’m pretty sure we can place that in the first list.

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Against the Wall at GP Portland 2010

23:54 12 Sep 2010

One more loss would end my tournament. I had won the first game in this match, a long and drawn-out battle, and now in the second game I had reduced my opponent from 20 to six life and had six power on the board. I had more threats in my hand, and was sure he had only one card that would save him. I just had to hope he wouldn’t draw it.

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Cartographic Geekery

23:50 10 Sep 2010

It’s late, and what I think everybody needs at this point is a zoomable, clickable, English and Elvish map of Middle Earth.

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22:34 09 Sep 2010

Near the start of July I mentioned the idea of keeping a “gratitude journal”. I’ve been doing that, more or less, since then.

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Adding reCAPTCHA to tadhg.com

20:18 07 Sep 2010

The rate of spam comments I’ve been receiving has gone utterly nuts recently, and as a result I’ve decided to try out adding reCAPTCHA to the comment forms on the site. I apologize for this, because I know it makes adding comments a pain and I’d prefer to make it as easy as possible to add them, but the wave of incredibly annoying spam comments is just too much to deal with right now. Please let me know if you have any serious problems with it.

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2010 US Open Midpoint Notes

13:27 06 Sep 2010

The biggest upset on the men’s side has been Wawrinka taking out Murray in four sets—making Nadal’s route to the final easier, as Nadal has had significant trouble against Murray on hard courts. Wawrinka’s no slouch, but I can’t see him beating Nadal, if he makes it that far. Another unexpected result was Llodra beating Berdych in the first round, also helping Nadal. As for the women, Cibulkova over Kuznetsova and Kanepi over Jankovic are probably the surprises, along with dark horse pick Azarenka retiring against Dulko.

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Tweeners in Successive Years

19:03 05 Sep 2010

In case you missed it, Roger Federer did this again at the US Open last week:

Here’s last year’s version, which was more impressive in my opinion:

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3.6 Gigapixels of Blade Runner

20:45 03 Sep 2010

I like this, although I have to admit that might just be the music.

BLADE RUNNER revisited >3.6 gigapixels from françois vautier on Vimeo.

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The Devil’s Music

23:48 02 Sep 2010

I’ve been listening to Uptime/Downtime a lot again. Uptime is the half of it that I prefer, and I urge you to listen to it if you haven’t already. At the end of “Deeper Sand” and the start of “MKY Da HVN” is a sample of what sounds like a Christian evangelist. He mentions the line “the music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back”—which is a backmasked line from Electric Light Orchestra’s “Fire on High”.

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CrossFitKMSF Weight Training Excel Spreadsheet

23:26 01 Sep 2010
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