Southern Test

Doc Searls scored a 49 out of 71 on this test of your “southern-ness.” I scored a 48, right there with him. I guessed on a lot of the car and gun stuff, but I really did know the country music and bluegrass things, as well as almost all the food, culture and geography stuff (although I was shaky on the years of states.) It was pretty fun, actually. My wife is fixin’ to take it soon, so y’all should too.

Bradbury, Titles, and Selective Quoting

I seldom read Instapundit but I ended up there today by following a circuitous path. Here is in its entirety his short post about Ray Bradbury and Michael Moore:

BO COWGILL WRITES: “Prepare for a Michael Moore film debasing Sweden.”

Meanwhile, Ray Bradbury, from whose novel Fahrenheit 451 Moore lifted his title, has a low opinion of Moore: “He is a horrible human being.” And Roger Simon comments: “Ray Bradbury’s original Fahrenheit 451, as we all know, was about book-burning. Maybe Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 is actually about pants-burning, as in ‘Liar, Liar, pants on fire!'”

Finally, Jeff Jarvis proposes some blogospheric fact-checking.

From the way that was clipped, it sounds like there are two things going on: one, that Moore “lifted Bradbury’s title” (about which more in a second) and two, that Bradbury thinks that Moore is a horrible human being in general, implication here being that he doesn’t like his politics or him personally. In fact, that’s the opposite of the truth. If you look at the quote in context, such as how it appears in BoingBoing, you’ll see that it actually says:

“[Moore] is a horrible human being – horrible human!”

When asked if he agrees with Moore’s political positions, Bradbury replied, “That has nothing to do with it. He copied my title; that is what happened. That has nothing to do with my political opinions.”

So, Glenn Reynolds does what he does – cherry picking a few words out of context to give whatever impression he wants it to have. It’s always nice to have a reminder why I don’t read Instapundit.

As to Bradbury’s point, he has none. There is no copyright on titles, and no expectation that anyone needs ask for any permission to riff off or even reuse a title. Bradbury’s been writing for 60 years, you’d think he would know this. In fact his new book is titled The Cat’s Pajamas and a cursory search of Amazon shows 8 other books with that title. Perhaps those people should declare Bradbury “a horrible human being.” It’s sad to see Ray, a writer who has written so much good work of real meaning to so many people has to get back in the spotlight making an asinine statement like this.

Update: Here’s a post on Displacement of Concepts that further elucidates the lack of leg under Mr. Bradbury’s point.

Update #2: Here’s a guy posting some Bradbury titles taken from other writer’s works. Expect to see Walt Whitman reaching back from the grave to call Bradbury a “horrible human” for using I Sing the Body Electric.

NCAA Baseball

My Georgia Tech Yellowjackets play Jacksonville State this evening in the regional NCAA tournament. Go Jackets! Unfortunately, my ULL Ragin’ Cajuns are not in it this year. They lost the Sun Belt Conference championship to Middle Tennessee and thus did not get the automatic tournament bid like they did last year. They had a 34-23 record but didn’t get an at-large bid. Oh well, goes the refrain, “wait until next year.” It’s always more fun having both teams to root for, but I’ll shift my support solely behind the Jackets. Go Jackets!

Shrook on the iBook

I’ve written about my problems with Shrook several times. In fairness, now that I’m also running it on the iBook which is a 10.3 system it runs much better there. It has crashed once on me, after reaching the end of my new articles and then inexplicably marking them all read. Some of the UI qualms I had on 10.2 aren’t an issue. On 10.3 when you begin reading down the list of new articles, it automatically pops into the 2-up view, a feature I like quite a lot. My guess is that most of the 10.2 problems are caused by the fact that the developer is writing this on a 10.3 system and never tests on 10.2.

Now that I hear rumblings about 10.4 in the future, I wonder exactly how long support will be expected for the older OSes? They had this wonderful break point between 9 and 10 where they could throw out all of the old Mac Toolbox compatability that they had been carting around for 15 years from version to version. Now slowly that problem begins to occur again as there are 4 (soon to be 5) different flavors of Mac OS X. It was nice while it lasted, I guess.

David Sedaris in Oak Park

Via Gapers Block comes this news that David Sedaris will be in Chicago this weekend promoting his new book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. According to his book tour itinerary he’ll be a Unabridged Bookstore at 7 PM on Fridary June 4 and at Barbara’s Bookstore in Oak Park at 7 PM on Saturday June 5th. I had a good time at that same Barbara’s seeing Bruce Sterling. I’d like to go to this because I like Sedaris, but I’m morbidly curious to see if it is as non-organized as Sterling’s event was.

Ex-Microsoftie on the Cash Cow

Here’s an opinion piece by a guy who spent the first decade of his career at Microsoft and now has turned from the platform. He discusses the challenges the company faces, but the parts that really interest me were his discussion of the feeling of Windows versus OS X. Having spent last evening working with a brand new Mac, I agree that it is just downright pleasurable to work with in ways that Windows never is. At its best, Windows is usable but never enjoyable just for its own sake – and very little time is spent with Windows at its best. This guy thinks that the delay in Microsoft shipping Longhorn will be the misstep that might cost teh company big. That 5 years betwen major releases of OS versions creates a window of opportunity for the competitors. Personally, I’d love to see Linux and Mac OS X move right in there. I use all three platforms daily, and two of the three are enjoyable and one is a drag.

Via Slashdot.

It’s Here!

Portrait of a boy and his new toy. In fact, I’m blogging this from that toy right now!

All is really good, I’m really digging it and will have lots more to report back later. I’m absolutely amazed at how fast I got it up and productive. After going through the initial setup wizards, I did the software updater to get everything current. I was up and productive and on my wireless network (WAP key and all) about 15 minutes after that. Wowza!

Aargh, I forgot about how pictures drop out of the box if there isn’t enough text with them, so I’ll add some more. I installed Shrook on the new iBook, and it went out the server and on the first pass synced up my subscription list and on the second got all the new articles while correctly only showing as new the ones I hadn’t yet read on the desktop. Very nice! The mail took no time to set up, and neither did setting up my ssh keys so that I could publish from Blapp. I moved over my synchronization script to this Mac and boom, it created all my directories and moved all my posts down. I got bit by some Blapp setup that I always forget. All the paths to the things in the preferences, like where your data files are and where your custom scripts are, must be absolute. I was doing the Unix ~ reference and things just weren’t working until I remember that I screw this up on every Blapp install I’ve ever done. Situation solved, and now I’m blogging away! What a shame I must sleep, I’d rather play with my iBook.

Technorati Plugin Working

So far so good, the Technorati cosmos plugin seems to be working just fine. It is correctly refreshing the cache every 6 hours. If only I had a more active cosmos, I could see things moving around and changing in there. For a jaunt, I tried pointing the URL at the beta of the new API but it has some problems. Every link in the whole list was from this weblog pointing back at itself, so that’s not so tremendously useful. Thus far I’m kind of pleased that this thing works, consider I have about 40 or 60 minutes of work in it.

Technorati Cosmos Blosxom Plugin

I took a wag at a blosxom plugin that assembles the list of a blog’s Technorati cosmos. Other blogging packages have had this for a while and it is generally pretty simple to do, so why shouldn’t blosxom? On the bottom of the right rail should be my cosmos, which should get updated every six hours. I only fetch it from the server once every (configurable) six hours, so the rest of the time it is coming from the cache. After I give this a few days of shakedown I’ll release it publicly and announce it on the blosxom plugin registry.

Week 10

Eventually I knew it would have to happen, and this week was the week – the first in which I didn’t lose weight from the previous week. This week I was at 235, up 4 pounds from last week and down 11 from baseline. The holiday weekend had an inordinate amount of eating out, including some very rich food with huge portions at places like Joy Yee’s and Red Robin. In fact, I ate french fries for the first time in over two months this weekend (ironically, right after watching Super Size Me) and had other lapses including ice cream. I’m really not feeling that terribly bad about it, treating it more like a vacation from the regimen rather than some sort of earth-shaking betrayal of my new eating habits. Starting today I’m back on the wagon. Other than the leftover slice of Giordano’s pizza I have for lunch, it’s salads, fruit, sushi, whole grains and all that fun goodness. I also added a floor to my daily stair climb, taking the elevator one lower and walking up four flights now every time I return to this building. I’ve been saying for weeks that biking to the train was imminent and by gum this week I might just mean it.


This morning glancing through the log analysis of this blog as I do most mornings (yes I am that much of a dork), something jumped out at me in the referring URL section. I saw a hit that looked like it came from the main page of Electrolite. Since browsers and/or spiders do lots of funny things with referer URLs, I assumed that it was a hit from one of my rare comments or trackbacks over there that just had all the extra URL stripped out in the processing. Still, I was curious enough to look and sure enough this blog is linked in a sidebar on the main page. Best of all, it is in the “Mad Scientists” section! I have no idea how long its been up there but I find this highly cool.

Patrick was one of the folks I interacted with back on GEnie, in the 1992-1993 time period when I had just bought my first modem and was drunk on the power of interacting with other folks of the tribe through the computer. He’s one of those guys that I find that after reading his posts, I have to make the extra effort not to fall into his rhetorical patterns. His voice is contagious, at least for me. The comments on both Electrolite and Making Light are full of posts that read a lot like conscious or unconscious imitations of the Nielsen-Hayden style (Patrick and Teresa). I’ve always felt like he was smarter and cooler and better spoken than me and I’ve sort of had to work to keep my own voice and not just replace it with whatever imitation of his I can pull off.