Archive for June, 2011

Yesterday in history

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

I saw a program on this on the Science Channel, and saved it on my DVR so I could write about it on the correct date, but missed it. On June 29th, 3123 BC, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

I also find it interesting that they note that it’s possible that this is also the source of the myth of Phaeton losing control of his father’s chariot.

An expensive paperweight

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

My Motorola Droid cellphone died yesterday. I’d been having occasional problems with it. Sometimes, I’d lose web access, and I’d have to cycle the phone’s power to get it to work again. Yesterday, when I turned the phone off, it wouldn’t turn back on again.

The situation falls into the cracks, because my warranty ran out in January, and the insurance only covers loss or damage, not problems with the phone itself. I’m not eligible for a reduced price upgrade until September, and it would cost me $290 to replace my phone with the same model of refurbished Droid. Since I’m so close to an upgrade, I’m going back to a previous phone.

The last phone I used was a Blackberry Pearl, but I gave that to my daughter when her phone died some time ago. I do still have the phone I had before that, which is a Samsung flip phone. This means it’s a bit over five years old. However, it still works and the batteries seem to hold a charge, so I’ll be using it. No email or web, though, but I’ll save the cost of the data plan until I get a new smartphone.

Since a refurbished Droid costs so much, I’m wondering if I can find a refurbisher to sell mine to, so that it’s not a total loss for me.

Annals of the nanny state

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

In England, it’s to the point that parents may no longer be invited to see their children compete in “sports day” events, because there would be a possibility of children mixing with strangers.

He must like the taste of his feet

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

He’s had them in his mouth so often.

A pointless world record

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

To be honest, given that the needles had to penetrate her skin twice each, I guess it’s not pointless. Useless may be more accurate.

I’m sure she was on pins and needles waiting for the record to be validated so they could be removed.


Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

A tacky title, it’s true. However, Roy Skelton, the voice of the Daleks has died.

Progress report

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

I got my cast off last Friday morning, and got a boot to replace it. Life is better now, both for me and for those around me.

For me, it’s better because I can get around better now that I can put weight on my right foot. I can make do with one crutch if I need a hand free, and can even hobble a few steps without crutches. Now that the cast is off, I don’t have to spend time sealing a plastic bag over my leg to take a shower, so I’m not only taking them more often, but I’m able to scrub my right leg, and let me tell you, it needs it. I’ve got so much skin coming off it’s like I subjected my lower leg and foot to multiple sunburns.

The leg is ugly, though. Between the swelling and the loss of muscle tone, it looks like a flabby pipe – pretty much cylindrical all the way down, and no definition visible. That’s going to change as I accustom myself to using it again. It’s slow going, though – after two months of “don’t use the right foot,” I find myself forgetting to put it down and suddenly realizing that I’m moving around on just the left leg and the crutches.

I don’t wear the boot all the time; I have to exercise the ankle joint for flexibility, and the boot prevents that. Dr. Shannon talked about “writing the alphabet” with my toes, but I tried that once, and decided that I preferred just doing twists, tilts, and rotations. They seem to force a greater range of motion than practicing “air penmanship” with my foot. Then again, maybe some Palmer Method exercises … ?

The rich fantasy life of Google Chrome

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Then again, it’s more science-fictional than fantasy. I found this photo of the fake “Blue Screen of Death” Easter Egg in Chrome over at Doug Ross’s place. One of the first things I noticed was that the filenames are faked, and many of the ones that aren’t puns (serial/cereal, for example) are references to science fiction (HeartAu, rdaneel, and wntrmute among them) or popular culture. Some are even dual-reference – “bowser” can be considered a pun on “browser,” and also associates with “shanana.”

There’s also a disclaimer hidden in the hexdump, which you can decipher yourself, or drill down into the link chain to find. Be careful, though, and remember: Cape does not enable wearer to fly.

Chrome fake BSOD