Wednesday, April 28, 2004

As a Canadian living in the US, it often distresses me greatly how little Americans know about the proud history of their northern neighbour (not to mention our spelling). Here's a good beginning on Canadian Facts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open the book to page 23.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

  • OK then:
    However you should be careful about creating transports or bridges as it may violate the usage policies for foreign services.

    Hard to tell what kind of book this is, right? It's "Instant Messaging in Java" by Iain Shigeoka which I happen to have at work.

    I found this on Ted's blog and Ted references Danah Boyd... There's a certain etiquette in the blogosphere which is to credit where you got something like this. But neither Ted nor Ted's creditee invented this so I started following links because I wanted to find out "why". Ted Leung (apr 25) credited Danah Boyd (apr 18) credited Caterina (apr 11) credited David Chess (apr 11) credited long story short pier (apr 8) credited Elkin (apr 8) credited happy_potterer (apr 8) credited sternel (apr 7), who credited nobody in the post itself. The really bizarre thing is that after following this chain I looked at the comments for Sternel's post and somebody else posted a comment asking where Sternel got it from. So, onward: in the comments Sternel credits pegkerr (apr 8), credits kijjohnson (apr 7) credits mckitterick (apr 7) credits bobhowe (apr 7) credits both silvertide (apr 6) and curmudgeon (apr 6). Silvertide credits curmudgeon too. Curmudgeon credits kricker (apr 6) credits cynnerth (apr 6) and pbsage. PBSage also credits Cynnerth. Cynnerth credits seamusd whose journal I can't see. But now I can see the other self-acknowledged geek trying to track back this meme. Apparently it originated with some "find page 18, look at the fourth line" live journal post from who knows who.

    Google has "about 15700" links for the search for "Find the fifth sentence" (in quotes) -- all of them blog entries with exactly this meme.

    Friday, April 23, 2004

    There's new knitted stuff up today, for those of you who follow what I make outside of work. I like browsing other people's knitting blogs (there are hundreds of these in this ring alone), which is why I try to do the minimum of taking photos of my stuff and describing the project at least once. Other knitting bloggers do nearly day-by-day progress reports which I enjoy but can't possibly do if I'm going to find time to knit too!

    Thursday, April 22, 2004

    As always, I love a good counter-intuitive argument. Here's one that claims that bicycle lanes are more dangerous for bikers.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2004

    I've been researching a lot of technology and tools lately, comparing solutions and learning principles. Most of it's reading, but I'm finding that friends have interesting stuff to say. So I thought I'd do a post on the subject(s) in case I'm not thinking of the right friends to ask the right questions of they can tell me so.

    Inspired by Ted and the people Ted linked to, I'm also thinking of putting together a post on influential software/CS papers. Maybe tomorrow.

    Friday, April 16, 2004

    I gave a rough WebDAV tutorial Tuesday at OSAF. Here are the slides. There's also something new on my knit stuff page.

    Friday, April 09, 2004

    I have just finished knitting a new thing - a lacy skirt knit with ribbon yarn. It's pictured at the top of my knitted stuff page.

    Monday, April 05, 2004

    The Subway diet got a lot of press, much of it from Subway itself, of course -- eat a low-fat 6-inch sub for lunch, and a foot-long one for dinner, and lose weight. It may have inspired the more negative McDonalds diet, in which a documentary director decided to eat only at McDonald's for a month. His rules included that if the counter staff suggested that he super-size something he would, and he would eat everything he ordered.
    Spurlock had the idea for the film on Thanksgiving Day 2002, slumped on his mother's couch after eating far too much. He saw a news item about two teenage girls in New York suing McDonald's for making them obese. The company responded by saying their food was nutritious and good for people. Is that so, he wondered? To find out, he committed himself to his 30 days of Big Mac bingeing.

    "If there's one thing we could accomplish with the film, it is that we make people think about what they put in their mouth," he said. "So the next time you do go into a fast-food restaurant and they say, 'Would you like to upsize that?' you think about it and say, 'Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll stick with the medium this time.'

    Does he really think every time fast food chains offer to supersize or upsize, that customers agree to it? And if so, that they eat every bite? If they did, it would be no surprise if they gained 25 pounds, as Spurlock did, and had a skyrocketing cholesterol level. Note that he also limited his exercise during this period, although I would think simply eating far beyond the point where you feel full, several meals a day, would be the root cause for the bad effects he experienced. In other words, it's not the food itself but the quantity -- he ate an average of $28 worth of food each day, which (according to the price info I could find) means at least seven Big-mac value meals a day!

    A different McDonald's month diet with different rules could easily have a very different result. I tend to agree with this woman who believes she can eat only at McDonald's for a month and lose weight. Her rules are pretty flexible but they definitely don't require her to super-size or eat every bite. Or to look at it another way, I suspect if I ate $28 worth of even Fresh Choice meals every day (particularly the pasta, muffins, etc) for 30 days I'd also gain weight.

    Thursday, April 01, 2004

    An important news release today on about XCP...

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