Apr 10, 2003 · 2 minute read
At least, it was at 1am this morning, when Kavi was reading her current book assignment to me. I'm still not entirely sure why she thought that was the best use of her time, but anyway...
I have presents! But they're wrapped. Boo. And some hiss. They're just sitting underneath my bed, saying "Unwrap us! No-one will ever know!" Of course, we all know that that's not true, so they'll just have to stay wrapped up until Tuesday.
Also, I'm going to write this down here so I remember it in the future: when the forecast says it's going to rain, it probably will, so it's your own fault if you get caught in flood conditions while walking to Carrboro. Silly.
Get Your Syria On. I'm really hoping that someone, just someone in the Bush Administration has their head screwed on. Or are they simply going to conquer the entire Middle East?
Yesterday's fun juxtaposition: the Iraqis being freed from their oppressive leader, while back in Congress the groundwork begins to make the PATRIOT Act permanent. And here's the Secretary For Education, who obviously needs a good kicking. IS THERE ANYBODY IN POWER HERE WHO ISN'T INSANE? ANYONE? BUELLER?
You know, I was fairly happy when I started writing this entry...
Apr 9, 2003 · 2 minute read
I think it almost managed to last twenty minutes, after I dragged it out to include corrections to the previous homework assignment. It was terrible, but as someone pointed out to me afterwards: at least I made the slides myself and didn't stop in the middle of the lecture to realise I'd made a mistake ten minutes ago...
In today's other news, I have been visited by the Vending Machine Pixie. This morning I got two cookies from the CS department's machine for the price of one, and the machine downstairs gave me a bottle of Cherry Coke in addition to the Diet Coke I wanted.
Senator John Kerry is kicking it old-style. He's looking like the most interesting Democrat candidate so far (although I can't quite shake off the McGovern similarities); not that it'll probably matter. Mind you, the original Bush had a huge popularity rating after Gulf War I, and look what happened to him...
Dick Cheney! They let him out! I feel so much safer.
No, I don't know why they're arguing about the Belgians either.
I want to stab the TV with a thousand white-hot knives. "I'm so proud to be an American!" Take that, you anti-war scum! Is it so hard to imagine that people can be pleased that the Iraqi people are freed from the old regime, yet still abhor the way that America went about starting the war in the first place?
This must be a hoax. Please, tell me it's a hoax. I don't want to live in a world where such things are possible. What's next, Citizen Kane 2004, starring Seann William Scott and Clare Kramer? My Fair Lady starring Catherine Zeta-Jones? The Italian Job starring Mark Wahlberg and...oh. Get my gun, would you?
Apr 8, 2003 · 1 minute read
Words of encouragement from Sona and Laura. The window option is still quite tempting, though.
Today's educational moment: a "cook-out" is American for what we would normally call a barbeque, apparently. I've been invited to one on Saturday, so I'll report on further differences then...
Obviously, the cockroaches just couldn't wait for a nuclear holocaust. We're DOOOOMED!!!
Apr 7, 2003 · 1 minute read
However, the broadcaster did not feel
that the use of the word "tosser" had been inappropriate
for inclusion in a programme whose presenters made
much of their Mancunian bluntness.
Sigh. I miss Mark and Lard. Mind you, in just a month's time I'll be able to listen to them again.
The professor has complete confidence in me. I, on the other hand, appear to be in for two more sleepless nights. Hurrah! Or something.
This war is confusing. You turn on Fox, and we've already taken most of Baghdad, met minimal resistance, and everybody loves us. Go over to Iraqwar.ru, and Russian military intelligence seems to indicate that the US/UK forces are having a hard time holding onto the airport, let alone securing Baghdad itself.
At last! A situation where knowing what P = NP means actually turns out to be useful...
Apr 6, 2003 · 1 minute read
Since I got out of bed this morning, there has been precisely one event which didn't make me regret venturing out of my room. And I'm fairly sure I managed to screw that up anyway.
But yes. A frantic call from the professor. He has to go to Ohio later this week, to attend his uncle's funeral. Which means I have to give Wednesday's lecture. Oh dear. I still think that attempting to fake my death on Wednesday morning is the best option. Or, turn up in a SARS mask and refuse to hold the lecture on health grounds.
I don't have the words to describe how I feel about this. Well, actually, that's a lie, but most of them aren't printable. Blackmailing for Jesus!
Finally! A Democrat contender with a spine!
John Simpson's interview.
Apr 5, 2003 · 1 minute read
The RIAA has filed suit against four college students for copyright infringement. $150,000 in damages for each song illegally shared. One student shared 652,000 songs, so he's facing a fine of $97 billion. Enough to buy a CD for every person on the planet. I think his credit rating is going to suck for a few years...
There's a rugby team here. Yes, a real team, with no body armour or anything. They're a proper team as well; last Thursday they went on the town, got completely drunk, and started a fight. Some things are apparently universal.
Bah. My Jane Eyre/The Rock crossover was years ahead of its time...
Fox News from history.
Apr 4, 2003 · 1 minute read
It's midday, and the weather forecast says that today is likely to be the hottest day of the year so far. Obviously, a sensible thought at this point is "Hmm. It looks nice. I think I'll go outside." An insane thought would probably be something like this: "Hmm. It's a nice day. I think I'll try and walk to New Hope Commons."
I got to the Sheraton Hotel before I finally saw sense.
I have Pez things. And Cadbury's Fingers! Thank you, Mum...
Apr 3, 2003 · 1 minute read
Yes, Bill Hicks quotes may now be considered passé, but who cares when they're so apt. Unless of course it's all a trap to lure the Allies into Baghdad and then launch a counter-attack, but I'm sure Donald's thought of that.
And you can watch in real time. Admittedly, the camera seems to be more concerned with Baghdad's early morning traffic patterns at the moment, but I'm sure that'll change in the next few hours (or days, depending on whether the Americans stop advancing).
Apr 2, 2003 · 2 minute read
It's not as hard as it looks. You just have to wait until all the cars are gone (note: this technique doesn't work so well at 5pm).
Yes, I have pictures of Morgan Creek. It occurred to me afterwards that I could have taken pictures of random houses that weren't an hour's walk away from the campus, but that wouldn't have been very nice. So I braved the bugs, the bees, and the other flying things which defy classification on a British scale (except: ewww. Oh, and Big! Flying! Thing!). All in 28˚C heat. I'm sure you feel sad about that.
Having listened to the new Radiohead album a few times now, I think I can best describe it in the following way: what would happen if you put The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, and Amnesiac in a blender? Well, for a start, you'd probably be down 4 CDs, and the blender wouldn't be quite as healthy as it was before you decided to do something as stupid as blending CDs. Arf. It really does sound like a mixture of their past four albums, although it leans towards the later releases more than some people I know were hoping (i.e. I don't think Richard is going to like it). It doesn't make my heart melt like the Saturday Looks Good To Me album (which, sadly, you will be hearing all summer if you're around me, so consider this a warning), but it isn't a disappointment. Also, rumours indicate that this leaked release might not be the final version, so you may still need to buy the album, copyright infidels...
Apr 1, 2003 · 4 minute read
And so, I have decided that once I have conquered the world, and the people bow to my wishes, I shall eliminate the phrase "tilting at windmills", and order the removal of every person called Brad. Have you ever seen anybody tilt at a windmill? Ever? If so, could they just have been leaning in a slightly awkward direction? Was there a point during the Middle Ages when somebody said "Stop tilting at that windmill, Jeremy. You'll put your eye out?"
Oh, okay. It's from Don Quixote. But still, it's stupid, and must be eliminated. Your ruler has spoken. Obey.
I managed to avoid lots of April Fool's jokes, but instead found myself attempting the test that my students will be taking tomorrow. And failing miserably. I followed that by a final attempt to get that Athlon chip working in my computer. As you can imagine, technology laughed in my primitive face. Addendum to my wishes, once the world is all mine: find the inventors of the PC architecture, and torture them for fifteen years. They will be forced to repent for the sins of LIM EMS! The blasphemy of the POST! And so forth.
To finish the day off, I sat in the Pit, and had a three-hour theological argument with today's Guy In The Pit. He came across much better in person than he does on his website, now that I'm actually reading it:
However, being a Catholic does not necessarily make one a Christian.
Umm, I'm fairly sure that it does, you know. Given that Catholicism is one of the two main branches of Christianity...
Anyway, it was an interesting discussion, although he couldn't answer one of my main points: The Trinity insists that Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are the same thing, aspects of God. God is All-Knowing. Therefore, he knew that he would be resurrected after he was crucified on Good Friday. Which, to me at least, seems to cheapen the notion that he died for our sins. If anyone (i.e. Phil and his brotherly connections) wants to put me straight on this, please go ahead. I'm genuinely interested.
UPDATE: I'd just like to point out that St. Anselm didn't understand the concept of infinity when he wrote the
UPDATE 2: Who died and made Paul head of the Church? Oh.
UPDATE 3: I have spent the last hour reading about St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Anselm. Truly, I have no life.
UPDATE 4: I like updates.
UPDATE 5: Look, I have to be stopped. I'm now looking into irreducible complex systems, Zeno's Paradox, and other anti-Evolutionary arguments. Zeno's fairly easy, but then I've studied a bit of Cantor, so—HELP ME! SOMEONE!
UPDATE 6: *cries* I'm now reading the Second Council of Constantinople (not Istanbul). There is no hope for me.
UPDATE 7: Okay, so when I brought up that Jesus wasn't strictly human today, I was told that God worked through Jesus to perform the miracles. However, the Second Council seems to say that the two were one and the same. In fact, it uses quite strong language to that effect.
Stop laughing at me.
UPDATE 8: And now, the Apocrypha. An intervention! I'm begging you!
UPDATE 9: Seems to me that Peter has Secret Diary of Sam Gamgee-type issues:
Peter also opposed her in regard to these matters and asked them about the Savior. "Did he then speak secretly with a woman [cf. John 4:27], in preference to us, and not openly? Are we to turn back and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?"
Thomas will kill him if he tries anything.
I'm so going to hell for that one..
UPDATE 10: I finished Kavalier and Clay over a month ago. I just haven't got around to changing the graphic.
UPDATE 11: Stopping now.