Something Similar 2004/2

2004-02-27

Counted Before Hatched

Found out I still had problems in my code. Dammit all. I have a lot of work ahead of me this weekend.

posted at 17:26:08    #    comment []    trackback []
 

Seems I Didn't

Seems like I didn't say what I meant to a couple of posts down, or at least didnt say it clearly. The main thrust of my writing was that if there is so much that we as a society disagree with in the Bible, how can we use it as the basis for our system of law? How can we deny the rights of others because "the Bible tells us so" when there are so many other rights that we gladly give people (like the freedom of religion and speech) that the Bible tells us is evil?

posted at 11:57:36    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-26

Someday...

Someday, I'll be so well known that I will get massive amounts of flame mail for saying something as inflammatory (and poorly made) as the post below. Today is not that day. I suppose this is one of those you-don't-appreciate-until-they-are-gone moments.

Rock on. \m/

posted at 01:15:28    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-25

Tit for Tat

Note: this is not a rant against Christianity nor Christians (see the end of this post). I merely wish to discuss the problems that arise when one uses the Bible to deny the rights of others.

If one can quote the Bible to say that homosexuals should be denied their right to marry, then let's see what I can turn up in it.

"Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church."
-- I Corinthians 14:34-35 (NIV)

That one was interesting. Let's take a look at Genesis 19. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
-- Genesis 19:4-5 (NIV)
And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
-- Genesis 19:30-36 (NIV)

Interesting.. That gathering of men sounds a lot like a gang of rapists, not just homosexuals. It should be noted that Lot and his daughters are never punished or even reprimanded by God for their incest in 30-36. If we take the conservative view point on these writings, we are forced to say that homosexuality will destroy society, but incest will not have negative consequences.

We should also remember Leviticus 21:16-23 says that handicapped people are not allowed to approach an altar of God because they would "profane [God's] sanctuatries." Deuteronomy 17:2-7 tells us to kill all others who follow a different religion. Jeremiah 16:10-11 says that God will kill children of parents who worship another god.

I have great respect for Jesus Christ. He was a real figure who spread a message of love and peace (mostly). He did good. The belief that he was the son of God is not something I follow, but he spread a good message. Christianity can be a religion of great good, but to force such intolerance and hatred on others because of what a few men wrote down ages ago is horrendous.

No church will be forced to marry homosexuals. They are private organizations. No one will have their rights infringed, only expanded.

The same arguments are being made against homosexuals that were made against blacks in the Civil Rights era and suffragists in the era before the women's right to vote. Blacks were said to be more "diseased" and should not be allowed to spread it by marrying white women and men. Suffragists were told that they were evil and immoral. Both were told they were going "against the Bible."

When the Bible says so many things that we abhor, how can we agree that it should be the foundation of our laws and government?

What side of history do you want to be on?

posted at 17:06:56    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-24

Momentum backend... Done?

Finally. I managed to hack together a working problem generator for Van Hook. Will put it up if anyone is interested. Damn do I feel better. I've been banging my head against it for a week trying to figure out what was going wrong. I had all the kinks worked out, but managed to forget the addition of two entries to an array. It was definitely non-obvious as the the entries will literally never be used (the kinetic energy before and after squared is not something often needed), but are required for the equation solving library we are using.

posted at 20:31:44    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-23

"Bullshit. Total Bullshit."

Another side of the tech support question. An incredibly funny and horribly true story of working in tech support. One more horror story that makes me trust corporations less. "Damn hippies."

Yeah, I know the 10 second ad is annoying, but once you click "Enter Salon Premium" you're set.

posted at 13:16:32    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-22

gDesklets 0.26 released

Weee!

I'm testing it out on my GNOME 2.5 installation. It rocks pretty much :-D. I wish the StarterBar that pycage created would autogenerate a few things (like the "normal" GNOME menus/starter bar does) but it still is really cool. Note the badass tranasparency. Also, you cant see it below but the icons on that bar along the right magnify when the cursor is over them.

Screenshot here

I should admit right now I'm jealous of MacOSX's look. Hehe. Smiley

Update: Nobody who reads this (as few as it is) really gives a damn, do they? Hehe, once again alienating my meager "reader base."

Update Deux: It should noted for clarity that gDesklets is the program controlling the cool transparent bits over along the right and top right of the screenshot. gDesklets is written in Python with a tidbit of C.

Source: FootNotes - gnomedesktop.org
This post references topics: gnome
posted at 22:48:16    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-20

Justly Married

Pictures of happy people.

More happy people

posted at 23:26:40    #    comment []    trackback []
 

Scientists Protest Bush's Misuse of Science

Yes.

More than 60 scientists -- including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents -- issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels.

Woohoo!

Source: Science Blog
This post references topics: politics science
posted at 20:46:40    #    comment []    trackback []
 

LaTeX and Jabber

I'm really interested right now in getting a LaTeX interpreting Jabber client. Why you might ask? Well, because I and all of my peers like instant messenging. It lets us stay out of the dismal northwestern Ohio cold. Sometimes, we just need help and we don't have the time to set up a meeting somewhere.

The problem is, we're math and physics majors. Math/science majors in general have a hard time communicating ideas using basic text. By using LaTeX , we simply our lives. We no longer need to decipher "bastard notation" created on the fly; we just use the LaTeX and output a pdf or other image file and send it to the other person.

So one might say "Why an instant messenging client? Why not just email image files to one another?"

That's easy enough to answer. Often, we just need to send back and forth just simple equations or symbols. It just would not be worth the time to open a text editor, create the image and then attach it to an email.

"Well why not just type out the LaTeX and let the other person copy it over to a text file and use the LaTeX tools to make their own image file?"

Because its a waste of time and distracts the user from understanding the information being passed. Why not put together a simple Jabber client that automatically interprets LaTeX into a nice and easy image file right there in the chat? With a group chat, we could have our own recitation without having to venture into the horrible Bowling Green weather or breaking our "flow" by packing up our calculators and notebooks and trundling off somewhere.

I'm trying to put together a client using the code from dizzyd but it depends on another set of code called PEAK which a) I don't know and b) is one more dependency that I dont want to have. The code used by Maniac depends on PEAK while dizzyd's is just a very simplistic client that is just a proof-of-concept.

At this point, it's obvious I want to use Python and Twisted. So far, haven't found any other bits of code.. wait.. no found some at dizzyd's site.. looks like theres links to other libraries using Twisted's Jabber protocol code. Awesome.. looking into it.

Update: Some clarifications.

This post references topics: mathematics physics python school science
posted at 17:00:32    #    comment []    trackback []
 

Philosophical quotations

Carl Sagan

How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed.' Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision Of The Human Future In Space

I love my grand, subtle, elegant universe. Even if so many people want to mess it all up. Smiley

posted at 00:41:20    #    comment []    trackback []
 

Oooo...

Look at the cool icon I added over on the right hand side. On that note, I should start working on replacing these normal smileys with different ones.. perhaps the cool bug-eyed ones from gaim.. yes that would do quite well

Update: Hehe, done.. Smiley and Winky, I'll save the rest for later.

posted at 00:24:16    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-17

Interesting...


You're Jurassic Park!
by Michael Crichton
You combine all the elements of a mad scientist, a brash philosopher, a humble researcher, and a money-hungry attracter of tourists. With all these features, you could build something monumental or get chased around by your own demons. Probably both, in fact. A movie based on your life would make millions, and spawn at least two sequels thatwouldn't be very good. Be very careful around islands.
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

posted at 20:08:16    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-09

Goodkind

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.

Scroll down until "Low Temperature Experimental Research" with Prof. Goodkind.

Now drool.

That is exactly what I have always wanted to do. This is perfect for me. If anyone at the UCSD Physics department is reading this please, please tell Prof Goodkind to let me in his group.

My application rocks the casbah, as well. Once in a while, I actually feel good about what I've done and not so much like a slacker. Maybe I'll put up my resume and bio up sometime in the future when I feel like being a braggart. Heh.

This post references topics: school science
posted at 02:25:52    #    comment []    trackback []
 
2004-02-05

"Geeks Put the Unsavvy on Alert: Learn or Log Off"

I noticed this as well. Frustration at everyone's inability to try and learn anything about their computer. It's like using a car, folks. You have to know where to put the gas in, have a basic understanding of the spark plug, coolant, and why the tires would need realigned.

Lucky for me though, I haven't used Windows on my computer for a long, long time. I can just say "Oh, I don't know, I haven't run Windows in a very long time. I just skip around that problem entirely." linux saves my ass once again.

How does it save my ass? Well let me tell you. Linux by design is what is called a "multiuser" operating system. It was designed from the ground up to have one administrative user called root or sometimes "superuser" that can access everything on the computer. The rest of the users are "normal" users. They can only access what root lets them access. Specifically, the user is only allowed to access their directory for personal files and most programs installed on the box, though not all, as many are for root only as they can cause major problems in the hands of the less experienced. The only way to propagate a virus using Linux is to run the virus as root. Obviously, most users will never do such a stupid, stupid thing. By default, one logs in as one's normal user, root is only for specific administrative tasks. Anyway.. enough rant for now.

Update: One of these days, I'm going to go back and make this coherent. Yeesh.

posted at 13:37:52    #    comment []    trackback []
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© 2004, Jeff Hodges