Archive for June, 2009


Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Marion and I saw UP on Saturday, and we definitely enjoyed it. Sweet, cute, and a lot of fun.

On the subject of movies, I have yet to see the Transformers sequel, but Coyote’s review of it has certainly piqued my interest.

Staying with Transformers, I’d like to post a video here, but there wasn’t any simple embed code that I was able to find, so you’ll have to follow the link to see video of an actual transformer built by a student. Also unfortunately, there isn’t much information available at the link. The video is good, though, even if the music is loud.

Secrets of the Slushpile

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Any aspiring author ought to read Slushkiller, an old but very informative post. Many of the comments are quite worthwhile, also.

Via a similarly-informative Whatever post.

An update

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

… to the cautionary tale mentioned in this post.

The girl was lying. Not actually that surprising, really.

The Number-One Priority has nothing to do with the Primary Mission

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I don’t know Bruce Fleming. My time attending USNA predates his time teaching. He has a guest column in The Capital about diversity at the Naval Academy that is disturbing, yet all too believable.

Admiral Gary Roughead, the Chief of Naval Operations, has stated that “diversity is the number one priority” at USNA. Vice Admiral Jeffrey Fowler, the Superintendent, agrees with him. When I attended, the mission of the academy was to produce professional officers for the Naval Services. Given that, according to the column, admission standards are lowered for minorities, it appears to me that the number one priority is in opposition to the mission.

I keep hoping that I can find a short science-fiction story I read many years ago. The story was written, at least in part, as though it were part of a history book, and described a military loss by the United States to a Latin-American country (I long ago forgot which). The applicable portion of the story brought to mind by Mr. Fleming’s column goes something like this:

General Mendoza said to his staff, “My generals, win me this war!”

This book does not have room for all the instructions given to the American military by the National Organization for Women, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, the …

The point has been made many times over the years – the military has a function. Using it as a platform for social engineering detracts from its ability to fulfill its function.

More here.

Miscellaneous news from Blighty

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Postmen have it tough, at times. In particular, when someone owns a vicious animal and doesn’t keep it under control. However, since the animal in question here is a six-month-old kitten, I suspect that there’s something else going on. Note that one of the photos shows the delivery slot through which the hand was mauled.

Technology Saves The Day I: Girl is struck by lightning, but her iPod earbud wires direct it away from her vital organs. I’m impressed by her boyfriend, Mason, who carried her to help though he himself was blinded by the strike.

Technology Saves The Day II: Google Streetview finds muggers.

Technology Saves The … Oooh, look at the pretty pictures! The Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis from space.

If you’re thinking of buying a how-to book as a Father’s Day gift, don’t get this one.

Would you rather have killer bees or killer mosquitoes?

I wouldn’t have thought you could fall asleep while being tattooed. Pass out, maybe, but not doze off. Be that as it may, we have here a cautionary tale. Given today’s penchant for body modification, the following phrase from my copy of the Arabian Nights seems appropriate: “If my story were to be graven in the corner of the eye, it would be a warning to those who would be warned.”

And, speaking of cautionary tales, I’d recommend that this young lady get herself tested (presuming that such is available on the National Health plan). Although, it would have been humorous had the groom been hired for the bachelorette party. The Other McCain has a different take on this story.

Finally, there has been much talk over the years about the dumbing-down of education. I’ve even mentioned spelling reform in passing in an earlier post. However, it’s never had official government sanction before, to my knowledge. I do not expect this to end well.

I’d check the math, myself

Friday, June 19th, 2009

It’s the hap-happiest day of the year.

Minor Peeve

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

One thing that bothers me when I surf the internet: websites that have rollover advertisements and menus that pop up and cover what you’re looking at, particularly the ones that stay in their maximized form even when the mouse pointer is no longer over them. Navigating the web page to read it and/or follow links then becomes a matter of threading the mouse pointer between all of the active areas.

Don’t they ever do usability testing? Or don’t they care?

Using iPhone with a prepaid plan?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Expect things to stop working if you don’t sign up for a two-year plan.

This seems oddly appropriate

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009


Obama feels the need … the need for speed

Monday, June 15th, 2009

There is a saying that the road to Hell is wide and smooth. That must be why we are traveling this quickly now:

Found at Conservatism Today.