Updates from July, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Hober Short 3:14 pm on 31 July 2008 Permalink
    Tags: Nuclear Power, Orange County, Shearon Harris   

    Shearon Harris is looking at expanding but Orange County leaders want to oppose the construction in their domain because of “the potential for spontaneous combustion of spent nuclear fuel rods during low water conditions” and it would “enhance the attraction of the facility for terrorist attacks.”

    EDIT: It looks like the plant is going to be completely in Wake County, and Wake Co has given the plant the thumbs up. I’m actually rather baffled as to what Orange Co has to do with this.

     
  • Hober Short 1:01 pm on 31 July 2008 Permalink  

    This is the prototype of the map-making utility I was talking about at lunch.

     
  • Hober Short 10:49 am on 30 July 2008 Permalink  

    Dr. Horrible is back on Hulu, after some announcements from Comic Con. For one thing, the soundtrack is supposed to be out within two weeks.

    They’re still promising a DVD with some cool extras. Also, amongst some amusing liveblogging of the Dr. Horrible panel at Comic Con, Whedon announced that “there WILL be another part to Dr. Horrible.”

    In other news, Wikiquote has a transcription of all the songs, including Billy’s song during the third act when he says “Look at these people/Amazing how sheep’ll show up for the slaughter.” See, I always heard that as him calling them sheeple. Whoops.

     
  • Pat 10:01 am on 30 July 2008 Permalink  

    I like the new look. Much more readable and pleasant to look at.

     
  • Hober Short 11:52 am on 29 July 2008 Permalink
    Tags: Metablog   

    Been tinkering with the layout. This one’s supposed to be Twitter-y. I like the icon/avatars, for quick identification of the author. Also, has permalinks available.

    Thoughts?

     
  • Pat 8:03 am on 29 July 2008 Permalink  

    Yep. The Soviet Union is alive and well and living in the American public education system.

     
  • Hober Short 8:35 pm on 28 July 2008 Permalink  

    Sheesh. I never realized quite the nature of the National Education Association.

    NEA resolutions cover the waterfront of all sorts of political issues that have nothing to do with improving education for schoolchildren, such as supporting statehood for the District of Columbia, a “single-payer health care plan” (i.e., government run), gun control, ratification of the International Criminal Court Treaty and taking steps “to change activities that contribute to global climate change.”

    The NEA fiercely opposes any competition for public schools, such as vouchers, tuition tax credits, parental option plans or public support of any kind to nonpublic schools. The NEA strongly opposes designating English as our official language even though such a designation is supported by more than 80% of Americans.

    The NEA opposes home schooling unless children are taught by state-licensed teachers using a state-approved curriculum. The NEA wants to bar home-schooled students from participating in any extracurricular activities in public schools even though their parents pay school taxes, too.

    The NEA wants additional (job-creating) services and programs — such as early childhood education — provided by public schools. NEA resolutions call for “programs in the public schools for children from birth through age 8” and for “mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance.”

     
  • Pat 5:40 pm on 25 July 2008 Permalink  

    I don’t think there’s any question about it. People who don’t enjoy Robo Rally probably do not have what it takes to be programmers, or at least would not want to be programmers.

    It’s also no coincidence that hacker types love games like Magic: The Gathering and D&D. What other sort of person would be attracted to a complex system with many rules and tools that are hard to master, but reward mastery and cleverness with the ability to wield great power and accomplish amazing feats of wizardry?

     
  • Hober Short 11:08 am on 25 July 2008 Permalink  

    It just occurred to me that the “generative model” that Eric S. Raymond discussed the other day is probably the same reason that we derive such enjoyment from RoboRally.

    [Good] programmers are able to “play computer” in their head (sometimes requiring the aid of a scrap of paper). In other words, we have a model of exactly what the computer does when it executes each statement. For any given program, we have a mental picture of the state the computer is in when execution begins, and we can simulate how that state changes as each statement executes.

    I think mentally simulating your instructions is, so to speak, the name of the game in RoboRally.

    I wonder if it would make a good aptitude test for CS majors.

     
  • Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. 8:44 am on 24 July 2008 Permalink  

    Hysterical researchers say that using a cell phone is “like playing Russian roulette with your brain.”

    Here’s my question: doesn’t the traditional form of Russian roulette involve your brain?

     
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