Archive for March, 2005

Dr. Who?

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

Invention of the day: Sleeptracker watch (via GeekPress)

I saw at Slashdot and SciFi Wire that the latest Doctor has quit Dr. Who only one episode into the season, citing fear of typecasting. I have to wonder what he was thinking when he signed up to be the longest-running science fiction character in TV history…

Quote of the Century

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

Seema pointed me towards this tiff in a teapot over snarking at Star Wars. In the comments I found my all-time favorite quote about fandom (by okoge):

Isn’t getting personally offended so often exhausting for you?

That just about sums it all up.

Killing Terri Schiavo

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

I’ve been interested in the Terri Schiavo case since the previous attempt to starve her to death but I’ve been remiss in commenting on the latest developments–mainly because my opinion hasn’t changed. Persons in a vegetative or near-vegetative state do not retain any abstract desire to die from their pre-vegetable days, so living wills are beside the point. You cannot make a suicide pact with your future self.

It’s all well and good to respect the desires of the dead when it comes to cremation or inheritance, all other things being equal (which they sometimes are not), but it’s a whole different matter to leave instructions to other people to kill you. Suicide is a natural right only the individual can exercise, and that right (such as it is) ends where your ability to follow through ends. If you can’t kill yourself, then you can’t kill yourself. Terri Schiavo may be able to roll her head but she can’t kill herself, so she has no right to die.

What happens to vegetables doesn’t matter to them; it only matters to us. The public’s squeamish kill-her-already attitude is the most surprising part of Terri’s case, and the least appropriate reaction of them all. Take my word for it–Terri doesn’t mind the publicity. She doesn’t care if you squabble about her autopsy by her deathbed. It doesn’t matter whether she would have minded, back when she had a mind. Terri is no longer her own problem–she’s ours, and Congress should be making a federal case out of it. At some point we do need to decide whether a husband has the right to starve his ailing wife to death. Our legal system is based on case law, and this is a case and a half.


Monday, March 28th, 2005

Lego link of the day: Han Solo in Carbonite (thanks to GeekPress)

I followed an ad from Daring Fireball to Rogue Amoeba, because the ad highlighted itself when I moused over it and I liked the effect enough to read it. Of the Roguish products, the one I found most interesting was Audio Hijack. I think I may have some freeware on my mac that does the same thing (audio recording of, say, iTunes radio broadcasts), but AH looks like a nice, cheap alternative.

Another interesting Rogue of the Day is Bansky, who put up his own art in four New York museums. I especially like his motto: “just because we don’t care, doesn’t mean we don’t understand.” Thanks once again to GeekPress for the link.

Naked Sushi

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

This episode of Cooking with Jemima won’t be nearly as exciting as Cooking with Seema, but it may be useful to anyone who wants to make sushi when short of essential sushi ingredients.

I’ve been making sushi a lot lately. I haven’t actually braved the raw fish markets yet, but I do have my rice down to a science. (Well, it’s actually Eden Foods’ sushi rice, but I have the rolling bit down to a science.) I also have my own personal supply of plum paste, compliments of Eden Foods, my One-Stop Sushi Resource.

Unfortunately, I ran out of nori (seaweed) in the middle of making tonight’s sushi. I had one sheet left in the cool Eden Foods resealable toasted nori package, but two sheets’ worth of rice. What’s a sushi fiend to do? Experiment, of course.

You’ve heard of inside-out rolls… Well, I decided to make nori-free all-inside rolls. I took out some wax paper and cut it down to nori-sheet size, then put it down on my sushi mat where the nori usually goes. I spread out the rice and lined up the filling, rolled ‘em up, squeezed extra hard, and presto! Naked maki roll in wax paper.

Next, I carefully peeled off the wax paper and sliced the roll into 6 very sticky pieces. But they held together well. Nevertheless, this was an emergency measure. I recommend getting a nigiri mold instead of futzing with wax paper. You can get all sorts of molds and mats from Spice Merchant.

Fun with Powerbooks

Friday, March 25th, 2005

w00kie at flickr has pictures up of desktop images that simulate transparent screens. Here’s the slideshow version.

Lamarck Rises From Dead

Thursday, March 24th, 2005

I saw this on Slashdot yesterday, but Wired has a nicer article. Basically, watercress has been found to have an error-correcting genetic code - some plants managed to undo the “hothead” mutation, reverting to the normal genes of their cressy grandparents.

The scientists suspect an RNA mechanism; I would have guessed it had something to do with polyploidy. The most common form of watercress is diploid, but there is a tetraploid variety.

[Update] The Chicago Sun-Times mentions the species, Arabidopsis thaliana, a.k.a. “mouse-ear cress.” Although A. thaliana is diploid now, it may have been polyploid 200 million years ago.

Hobbit Abuse

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Thanks to GNXP for the latest on the hobbits: the Indonesian kidnapper has returned the hobbits’ severely damaged remains to the Aussie discoverers.

The Hockey Stick

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Pretty link of the day: Susan Kare, a Classic Mac icon maker.

I read about the hockey-stick climate graph on Slashdot, so I’m not entirely sure what it’s about. The Slashdotters are concerned about the closed-source nature of the original results and are pretty hush-hush about the global warming issue.

Here’s an overview by the not-so-warm camp and a counterattack from the global-warming side. There is one thing both parties agree on—using WordPress.


Monday, March 21st, 2005

Management status report of the day: back from the dustbowl and ready to blog!

In the course of a cautionary tale of font caches, John Gruber calls the Mac OS X spinning beachball SPOD a “Spinning Pizza of Death.”

In rumor news, crazy people expect a two-button mouse, though even the folks at Slashdot could tell you that won’t play in Peoria.

In iPod Shuffle news, see a crazy man put a shuffle inside his headphones to create … Shufflephones!