The Not-Quite-So-Elite Republican Guard

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).

currently playing: Teenage Fanclub - I Need Direction

Crossing An Interstate

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...

currently playing: Suede - Animal Nitrate

April is the cruellest month

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 Monologion...

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.

currently playing: Radiohead - 2+2=5

Everybody Loves Rumsfeld

Except, just possibly, the United States Army. Ouch.

I had been thinking about avoiding the leaked Radiohead album, but when the BitTorrent link started doing the rounds on Delphi, I folded instantly. I'm so weak. First thoughts: Richard might like the first track...

...but not the third track. Obviously.

currently playing: Radiohead - Backdrifts

Fair Weather Representation

Yesterday afternoon, it was still above 20˚C. Last night, there was a huge thunderstorm. This morning? Snow. The sun comes back tomorrow. Truly, this is a town where Strange Things Happen.

I have finished my tax returns, and I've come to the inescapable conclusion that the Treasury of the United States owes me $375. Excellent. The state only owes me $10, so I've decided to donate that to the State Wildlife Fund, rather than hassling them for a $10 cheque. Incidentally, on the federal tax forms, you can make a donation to offset the public debt, which places a lot of faith in people's altruism: "Why sure! I'll give $100! Let's see, $10 trillion minus $100 is...hang on, perhaps I'll keep it and buy some DVDs instead."

currently playing: Bob Dylan - Sara

Welcome To The Haçienda

I've never really understood the concept of rave culture; surely it's just a bunch of people dancing to some records that a DJ is playing in the distance. This is normally called a disco.

But:

It's just gone 3am. This is the second party you've attended tonight. The directions were given to the group in a confused mess of broken English and French. We're miles away from the campus, somewhere off the interstate. There's over 100 people packed into the house. You've been dancing non-stop for the past two hours. You want to fall down and die. The DJ plays another song. A wave of euphoria envelopes the crowd.

As you begin the third hour, you finally understand.

currently playing: New Order - Mr. Disco

Why The Internet Scares Me

Typecasting

If I'm Eliza, Is Sona Pickering?

The trouble with not drinking very often is that when you do, you tend to find yourself becoming drunk rather quickly. On the other hand, I'm fairly sure that the bartender put the equivalent of four shots in each drink, so I might not have completely let my country down with respect to the drinking situation.

Sona and Rishi have decided to make me their project for the last few weeks I'm here in America. They're breaking me in easily, so far, but I sense bigger things are on the way, especially when Rishi remembers that it's my birthday shortly...

A follow-up to yesterday: still thinking about dropping Global Frequency, but this is really cool. (link nabbed from the debonair Brem X Jones )

This pile of marking sadly is resisting my attempts to make it disappear by giving it stern glances, so I suppose I'll have to get started shortly...

"By George, I think she's got it!"

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currently playing: Saint Etienne - Amateur

Get Off My Land!

This makes sense: the UN won't be allowed to run Iraq once the the Allies finish the liberation, but they will be able to contribute to the running costs. That sounds fair.

Hmm. I seem to be turning into a warblogger. This must stop, before I start to recognise the man who cleans the webcam in Baghdad for Reuters. That must be a fulfilling job. "Bill? The camera's dirty. Get up there and give it a wipe." "But it's been eight hours since the BBC showed the B-52s taking off from Fairford!" "Bill, do you know how many thousands of people are watching, waiting to see if the Americans hit the bus station? Will you disappoint them? Or will you rise above the risk, and maintain our journalistic integrity? For Reuters, Bill! For Reuters!"

I'm sure the universe was laughing at me today; I scrambled around town trying to find a working cash machine, got on the bus to RTP instead of Southpoint, and forgot to go to the one shop in the mall that I went there for in the first place. Bah.

I still haven't decided whether Ellis's decision to write issue #6 of Global Frequency as an extended version of a BBC trailer is a mark of genius or a further example of how this series has failed to live up to expectations. Nice cover, though.

currently playing: Lush - Etheriel

Well, That's Strange

I remember posting an entry here earlier today, but it appears that it never arrived. Hmm.

Courtesy of the United States Navy: How To Jam GPS Signals. And Phrack even has circuit diagrams. Build exciting illegal weapons! Wonder whether Iraq has an extensive chain of Radio Shacks just waiting to be hit by precise Tomahawk missiles!

I didn't update yesterday mainly because I couldn't summon up the effort to talk about the Oscars; even with Michael Moore's antics, it was easily the dullest ceremony I've seen for years. A helpful note to the producers for next time: when the show is starting to drag, it's not a good idea to stop the show dead to introduce us to 50-odd past Oscar winners. In fact, it's a really bad one. I was almost asleep, and I was in a decent time-zone this time.

He's probably not reading this, but I imagine it'll get back to him somehow: well done to Aaron for doing well at school this year. Keep up the good work!

currently playing: Sleater-Kinney - Burn, Don't Freeze