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: Shoot, I gotta pay the rent.

: My favorite Daily Bruin headline yet: "Greed for knowledge grips campus". That one's a keeper.

: I got a 96th percentile on the CollegeHire UNIX administration test and 76th percentile on the HTML test (damn frames questions tripped me up). Hire me!

I still have to take the Java test.

: Mike snuck in another link to Crummy in this BeDope article.

: Aaaaaah! Godzilla 2000 is attacking the city!

I love that site because THEY PICK VITAL STATISTICS FOR GODZILLA AND STICK WITH THEM!!! Something that the Americans never figured out how to do.

Great blurbs from the producer and directors on that site as well, such as: "I want people to leave the theater totally mystified and overwhelmed by Godzilla's invincibility." But the very best thing is that it looks like this Godzilla story brings back the Gamera thing where Godzilla destroys everything but it's somehow okay and he's our friend. I can't get enough of that.

When can I see this movie, you ask? Not until summer, unless you live in Japan. (I got that from IMDB, it's not on the Godzilla site that I could see)

I gotta see what else is on this site.

: Actually, there's nothing else on the English site other than a list of the Godzilla movies.

: As long as I was at the IMDB, I checked something that had been in the back of my mind. In Unforgiven, the 1992 Clint Eastwood western, one of the characters is a fat sheriff's deputy with a horribly ugly beard, who gets shot in an outhouse near the end of the movie. In Laserblast, of MST3K fame, one of the characters is a fat sheriff's deputy with a horribly ugly beard, who... gets shot in an outhouse near the end of the movie. Now, Laserblast is a 1978 film, so it's obviously not the same actor. But I just wanted to make sure, because if it were, talk about typecasting!

Other things I learned from IMDB today: Laserblast had a 1985 sequel, Laserblast II, about which nothing is known other than who wrote it (some guy). It was remade in 1989 as Deadly Weapon. Apparantly, by the late 80s all the bad movie scripts had already been made into bad movies and it was neccessary to remake bad movies of the 70s. Also, Pod People was originally a Spanish (as in Spain) film.

: One more IMDB thing: Get to a movie's IMDB entry and change the number in the URL around to get movies at semi-random (it's ordered by year and then alphabetically).

: I just took a look at the Godzilla 2000 trailer. The movie looks really nice. What's even better is the fact that the people who made the trailer worked so hard to make it an intense and exciting movie trailer so that people in the theater would clap when Godzilla came on the screen, etc.; and then some jerk narrator comes on after the trailer and tries to sell you cheap plastic Godzilla toys, complete with a cheezy sound effect that mocks the trademark Godzilla roar (in the commercial soundtrack, I mean; I don't think the toys could actually make any sound more complicated than a squeak), and you can just hear the people who did the trailer start to cry. I don't know if that is standard procedure in Japan or what, but I thought it was funny because I didn't expect it at all, and isn't that what funny is? I'm outa here.

: And look what else I found (also not yet avaliable in the US): Gamera 2: Advent of Legion and Gamera 3: Gamera Vs. Irys (That link has a funny Gamera caricature as well). Review of Gamera 2 at Stomp Tokyo gives it 4 lava lamps. "Ten thousand cases of beer wasted? How horrible!"

: Daniel Hsu sent me a link to GDancer, a plug-in for XMMS. XMMS is evidently an MP3 player of some kind. What GDancer does is it makes Space Ghost dance to music. I've never heard of XMMS, but strangely enough I had it on sal despite having recently gone through and trashing every package I'd never used. I had to upgrade the package anyway, and install xmms-devel to compile the plugin.

And what do I get for all this trouble? I'll tell you what. Like The Young Ones, Space Ghost does not dance to music. He just stands there like Napolean and occasionally lunges at the table as though he is about to vomit.

Experimentation shows that it totally depends on the song. The program has four pixmaps of Space Ghost and shows one of them depending on what range of frequencies is most prevalent at a given sample point. The only MP3s I have that made Space Ghost do much of anything were some of Kris'. Even then, it wasn't really dancing.

I don't know how you'd go about actually making a thing that made Space Ghost dance (Space Ghost Ghost Dance), but I'm afraid this technique (and it would have to be something like this technique) doesn't work. I can't recommend GDancer.

: I want to make a trailer for an action film called "Otherwise Engaged". It may or may not star Wil Smith and Sean Connery, but either way the trailer narrator will say, "Wil Smith is... Otherwise Engaged! Sean Connery is... Otherwise Engaged!"

: Some people, such as my mother, are confused by my CollegeHire entry down there. CollegeHire is a recruiting front-end for about 30 tech companies. You give them a resume and take some tests on their Web site, they interview you; that works as a first-round interview for all 30 companies. The ones that are interested in you subject you to a second interview, then make an offer or don't. The end.

: I got this joke as a fortune and I'm not sure whether I don't get the joke or whether I get it but it's not a good joke. Here is the joke rum:

Q:     What does a WASP Mom make for dinner?
A:      A crisp salad, a hearty soup, a lovely entree, followed by
        a delicious dessert.

Send me your interpretations of the joke. It's a joke interpretation circus! Festival. Contest. Colloquium.

: Jake sez: extra extra. duchamp rocks like a sly fox. Mom, Steven Jay Gould co-wrote these articles.

: I was adressing that last sentence to my mother. My mother did not write those articles with Steven Jay Gould.

: In the lounge today, we were generalizing Mr. T. From "I pity the foo!" we get "There exists an x such that I pity the x!" That's basically the joke. There were a couple other jokes but they all reduce to that one.

Speaking of jokes, I've recieved three interpretations of the WASP joke. Mike's is probably the right interpretation, although it means that putting the joke into written form can only confuse. We're still manning the phones to take your joke interpretations.

: Gdancer got updated. It's a lot smoother now. I can now recommend it. Get it. It still depends on the song, though.

I think the reason there are so many MP3 players is that there is a contest among programmers to come up with the worst conceivable graphical user interface, and MP3 players are the field of battle.

: Dan says that the same thing that goes for MP3 players goes for window manager themes. So it looks like the graphic designers are in on this contest as well.

: I made a graphic for Mike on Mike's suggestion that Be CEO Jean-Louis Gassé wear a T-shirt bearing the "forward-looking statements" disclaimer Gassé must place after every utterance (lest he run afoul of the SEC). Mike turned the suggestion into a story and used my graphic, despite the fact that the lines of text on the graphic don't line up, because I'm a lazy bum. The T-shirt comes from copyleft's picture of a Segfault T-shirt.

: I am grooving on Kris' latest single, No Alternative. It's a great song, even though it inevitably recalls the compilation disk of the same name (circa 1993) which had a decent Pavement song (I think it was Pavement) and the hard-rockin' Verse Chorus Verse and everything else on it sucked.

: The joke interpretation colloquium is over now. We will surely miss you. If you want to see us again, just turn on your TV to... Channel 2!

Mike Popovic presented a breathtakingly transgressive and hermeneutic interpretation of the joke. For those of you who weren't here yesterday, the joke is:

Q:     What does a WASP Mom make for dinner?
A:      A crisp salad, a hearty soup, a lovely entree, followed by
        a delicious dessert.

Mike's analysis:

obviously a big joke in entomolgy circles, the jokester counts on his victim not thinking outside his field when he hears the word "wasp". thus, hilarity ensues as the other meaning dawns upon the listeners upon hearing the punchline.

I think this is the correct interpretation. The fatal error of the joke manufacturer was to write down the joke, thus showing his or her hand too early.

Many were confused by the acronymic expansion of WASP. WASP is an acronym for a simpler time, expanding to White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. There used to be a time at which the ethnicity "white" was considered to have sub-ethnicities, "Anglo-Saxon" being one of them. This view of things stopped being feasible around 1975, so the term "WASP" is something of a verbal coelacanth.

: I just realized that I've been misspelling "Jean-Louis Gassée".

I have to go take a midterm now. It should be easy.

: Ancient Chinese secret! Fred extracted that file for me. You drink it yourself! I've had enough!

I rearranged misc just for the occasion.

: The fourth anniversiary issue of the Apache Week newsletter consists of an article talking about the fact that it is the fourth anniversiary issue. It reminds me of the tenth issue of the BWAH! newsletter, in which the publication of the tenth issue of BWAH! was commemorated.

: Can you get any kind of comprehension out of reading a large piece of text at the rate of one a sentence a day? Francisco Roque, author of FoSaT, thinks you can. I like that idea (on the paragraph level) but I honestly don't think it would work.

: My mother, who would know, responds on the reading comprehension issue:

The answer is an emphatic NO. Research has indicated that the #1 factor in comprehension is reading speed.

: I've spent the last 2.5 hours in the lab, redoing the Adam/John/Leonard digital design project. Most of the stuff I could just copy, but I wanted to have a clean version because the old version was horribly messy and disorganized. I'm not sure if it was worth it. I don't know if it works yet. It should work, since I didn't make any actual design changes, but there's always one or two things that you screw up. Right now I'm waiting for Adam to call me. I don't know whether he's going to come in and help me or if he just wanted to know when I was working on it.

: Adam is going to come over and help me. He's also bringing me food. Fryyyyyy, you're my frieeeend.

: Stories on LinuxToday: 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 1 talkback, 6 talkbacks, 55 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks... gee, I wonder what that article was about?

: Leonardonics: x (not x). Mainly there for completeness. There's nothing incredibly funny about the entry.

: Waiting for a CD from Jake; Peter is keen on learning Python so he ordered Learning Python for himself and Programming Python for me. Looks like a week of packages.

: "It's becoming increasingly evident that Linux caught most analysts completely by surprise," reveals APCNews. You know, there's not a single thing that happens but catches most analysts completely by surprise. I'm not even sure how analysts make a living, with their miserable track record.

Sun Rises; Analysts Stunned

: I actually turned Sun Rises; Analysts Stunned into a decent Segfault story. It'll have to wait for a day with a visible sunrise, though.

: Barbecue potato chips. Whose sick idea was that?

: Here's my challenge. Will you take the Mr. Sparkle Challenge?

Put up a site on mp3.com. Record 250 songs and put them up on your site. The songs are subject to the following conditions:

  1. Each song must have as a name the name of one of MP3.com's genres. All song names must be distinct (one, and only one, song name for each genre).
  2. The genre of the song must not be related to the name of the song. Your song "Contemporary Urban" must not be of genre Urban/R&B or any Urban/R&B subgenre (including, obviously, Contemporary Urban). This is just to keep things interesting (and to make you use at least two genres).
  3. The songs need not be incredibly good, but they should be at least servicable.
  4. Each song must be at least thirty seconds long. A minute long would be better.
  5. All songs must be written originally for the challenge. Fleshing them out later into other songs is fine.

First person to get to 250 songs (or however many if they add more genres to MP3.com) wins. Anybody who actually accomplishes this... well, I don't have words for it. So a scoring thing would probably be better, something like:

Ideas? Rule changes? Anyone actually want to try this? Is this challenge not as stupid as it sounds, or is it in fact stupider? Or is it exactly as stupid as it sounds? I'm not sure. It may be just another sign of my impending insanity, but I think this actually sounds like an interesting project (obviously, it would take a long, long, long time, but an interesting project it would be nonetheless).

: I got a hit today from a webcrawler called Crawl of the Dead. It made me laugh. Good job, h139-142-200-234.cg.fiberone.net.

: Vital STATS tastes good, like a (click, click) statistics newsletter should. Who asked you?

: Nice try, Daniel.

: Is it just me, or is it disconcertening to hear Leonard Kleinrock consistently referred to as "Mr. Kleinrock" throughout an article as long as this one? Maybe that's the way they do things over at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

: Island of Bali is not actually magical.

: According to some bogus study or other, Linux has 4% of desktop market share compared to Mac OS' 5%. I can't wait for Linux to pull ahead, not because I hate the Mac OS (although I do), but so I can say "Ah yes, the non-desktop OS that's on more desktops than the Mac."

: I asked Peter in our weekly write session how the world would be different today had the Library of Alexandria not been burned. Because of our write conventions and his lowercasosity, his answer looked a lot like a free-verse poem:

not too different;
the world was not ready for all that truth
by which i mean, all that enlightenment
the barbarians left little when they were finished
sacking rome;
europe was a dark place;
byzantium wasn't too much better, especially once the
muslims took over;
we got just about the right doses of antiquity into europe as it is;
but about the database you suggested;;

: I forgot to mention that they tore down the Sherman Oaks Galleria, beloved of Moon Unit Zappa's character in Valley Girl and absolutely no one else.[0] This ended my tradition of singing the "Sher-man-Oaks-Gal-le-ri-a" line from Bull + Swamp = Cow whenever I was in a car that drove past it. I am now reduced to singing that line whenever I'm in a car that drives past where it used to be, confusing the heck out of the other people in the car, who see no Sherman Oaks Galleria in sight.

I remember the first reference I ever saw to TCP/IP. I was 14 or 15. It sounded really mysterious and scary.

[0] I've been in some bad malls in my time, but none as bad as the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

: I made a bad pun to Dan on Wednesday. I mentioned the pun to Jake on Thursday. On Friday, Jake wrote a poem expounding on the bad pun. Monday's child is fair of face. Here's the poem (doggerel, Jake calls it. It is doggerel. It's a doggerel beer.):

in a very special sort
of suit the waiter served a torte
that poisoned was and so with poise
he passed it on to his employs
but later found and malice proved
the coppers followed suit and sued
and from the bistro to the court
they served a special kind of tort
and when it looked like he was beat
the waiter did retort the heat
the waiter did reheat the torte
and ate it then and there, in court.

he never broke a single plate
cussed or drank or came in late
in court he threw his only fit:
"you cannot fire me- i quit."

This site is turning into a poetry corner or something.

: Jake's latest album, Ordem e Progresso, is out. I still haven't gotten the CD, but you and me both can get the MP3s at Jake's MP3.com page. Also downloadable from there: Many MP3s from Jake's previous effort Robot Moped Dehumidifier. Ordem e Progresso contains something resembling a cover of my own Liquid Crystal. Also includes Pterodactyl Attack and Susanna's Webpage. If this trend continues, Jake's next album will have 5 tracks on it that are covers of my songs or otherwise related to me, and eight albums down the line I won't even have to do my own albums because Jake will do them for me.

Kris' album is also out, although a couple of the tracks are mysteriously missing from his MP3.com page. Oh, "four tracks unavaliable anywhere else" if you buy the CD. I see how it is. I see. Also not on the album (not on mp3.com either for copyright reasons (I don't see any copyright reasons, but Kris does)) is Kris' fab cover of Asia Carrera, which I plugged in this space a while ago and which I can now link to.

leonardr's picks: For Kris, Solid State, Shot Down Again, Border, No Alternative. For Jake, There's A Mirror On My Grave ("Your shoestring budget will be the death of you!" YES!!!), Hot Stuff, Susanna's Webpage, My Pal Foot Foot, and I Sing Because I Live With Satan. For the man who has everything, I recommend more of everything.

: Funny Nethack bug: If you hit a shopkeeper with a cockatrice corpse and then reanimate him with Stone To Flesh, he loses his name. So when you talk to him it says " complains that business is bad." He also no longer recognizes his shop, so you can't buy anything from him (but you can just walk out with everything in his shop).

: Oh, and another funny message: if you kill a monster inside a shop and it leaves a corpse, the shopkeeper gains ownership of the corpse. So when you pick up the corpse, he says, "You be careful with my corpse!"

: Why is sound called "multimedia"? It's one, count 'em, one medium.

: I heartily endorse The GNU Virtual Fridge. Beware of imitations! Only the GNU Virtual Fridge will let you access /fridge/freezer/icetray/cube1!

: Maybe we should have a going-away party for the oceans.

: Ever notice how you never see Clark Kent and Superwoman in the same place at the same time?

: I did not know that there was actually a cereal called Fruit Brute. I thought it was a pun on "Froot Loops".

: Corrections to my music recommendations: Quantum Mechanic by Kris is very good, although I wish he'd redone the first part with a more apropos physics book quote after he had the idea. Jake's Vivo Sonhando is better than Hot Stuff. I didn't like Jake's Vivo Sonhando voice, but now I realize that's the only way to do that song.

: I have my rights! I have my rights! It was David O'Callaghan, he did this to me! He forced me to add another entry to The Best Of Dada Pokey!

: Be in my video, darlin', every night. Everyone in cable-land will say you're outa sight. You can show your legs while you're getting in the car. And I will look repulsive while I mangle my guitar. Reen toon teen toon teen toon tee-noo-nee-noo-nee.

: I'm aware that Daily Pokey is not being dailified. The command I have in my cron file, when run manually, works correctly. So for some reason my cronjob is not executing. I'm working on it.

: I gotta say, I must be just about the funniest guy in the world. Just look at all these people who have ripped off my "open sores" joke:

I know I'm overly protective about this. It just makes me think that I'm doing things the hard way thinking up my own jokes.

: Joe Mahoney reminds me that the low-tech version of Slashdot in the pre-Y2K After Y2K! comics was called The Open Sores Newsletter.

Note: I'm not mad at these people. It's just weird and disturbing to make up a joke and then over the next two years see the joke percolate up to appearing in newspaper comic strips like Foxtrot.

I'm fairly sure no one made up the joke before me. I first used it a year before I saw anyone else use it.

: I should link to Joe's page. Here it is. Joe is from New Zealand. This uniquely qualifies him to write about life in New Zealand.

: YES!!! fscktris!! Of course, this only got thought of just before everyone moves to a journaling filesystem.

: You know how when a piece of research confirms or purports to explain some piece of common knowledge, it gets reported as "Hey look, the eggheads finally discovered that aspirin relieves pain!" or "Professor Newton's learned theory demonstrates to the unwashed masses that, should one drop a coin or a ball, it will unfailingly strike the ground without undue delay." Boy, that steams my toast. That's not really the point of this entry. The point of this entry is that if research really worked the way it gets reported, we'd see papers like my new Segfault story, What If Linus Torvalds Gets Hit By A Bus? -- An Empirical Study.

: Mike says that the "open sores" joke has probably been developed independantly of me. That's probably true. I just like to complain. For instance:

I used Graphtool to do the graph for the Segfault story. Graphtool is what people who don't like free software wish all free software was like. It crashes for no reason, it's hard to use, and it's oriented towards the same type of math graphs that gnuplot is oriented towards, which means no {hamburgers, pie charts or real bar graphs}. And it depends on gtk+extras, a GTK library that I'd never heard of which I had to find and compile (but which is pretty cool).

Hoom, there is a new version of Martin Gardner's Annotated Alice. I mean edition. I wish I had money.

: I just realized that I forgot to put units on that graph. Oh well.

: This is an approximation of the phone call I just got:

Lady: I'm from GTE [local phone monopoly] and I'd like to talk to you about caller ID caller ID has many fabulous features and costs just x amount and comes with feature 1 and feature 2 so let's get you set up with caller ID right away, okay?

leonardr: Quite frankly, I couldn't have less use for that.

Lady: I'd like to tell you about our fabulous call waiting service call waiting has many wonderful features such as feature 1 and feature 2 and if you sign up now you get feature 3 so let's sign you up for call waiting right now, okay?

leonardr: Look, I know you're just doing your job, but I have no use for any of that.

Lady: I'm calling to tell you about our wonderful system where--

leonardr: Are you a person or a recording?

Lady: No sir.

leonardr: Because I don't need anything. I'm fine.

Lady: Are there any services I can help you with?

leonardr: No, I'm fine.

It took about twenty seconds after that point to convince her that I didn't need any of GTE's services except the ones I'm already paying for. I don't even need the ones I'm paying for, but Dan needs a phone.

I've gotten telemarketing phone calls before, but never one where the person just went into another sales pitch after one was rejected. She really did sound like a recording. I wasn't asking to be rude.

: Segfault link and nice little mention (with the inevitable Onion comparison) on Salon last week.

: Today's Zippy is very good. That link will only work til Monday because the Zippy strips get reset every Monday. I really wish the Gate had an archive.

: Breakfast of Pathogens! I love this T-shirt.

: Me to Mike: how science reporting should be done.

I think that news reporting of research results should be done as though every trivial result shattered prevailing theories and had been the subject of bizarre cover-ups from the government and the scientific establishment.


: You know that old song, "A woman is a woman but a man ain't nothing but a man"? I don't know who wrote it, but I believe Jimi Hendrix covered it at one point. Well, today, Adam and I discovered that you could sing that Fig Newtons slogan to the tune of the song: "A cookie is a cookie but a Newton is figs and cake."

: There is an article in Newsweek about increased rates of interracial marriage among Asian men, and generally how Asian men are "movin' on up", as it were. Mike was showing it to everyone on his laptop, which is how I read it. There was this big section on stereotypes about Asian men, which Mike basically summed up as "Asian men are like Mike.". Mike said I should write a Segfault story on the subject. Me: "Yeah, I'm gonna look real good writing a story with a bunch of Asian stereotypes in it."

I was also shocked to find out that Jackie Chan is not considered to be a sex symbol. C'mon. He should be. Ladies, write him in on your ballot.

: Geez, too many people named Mike. The Mike in the Asian stereotypes entry is Mike Chan of the LUG. The Mike in the science reporting entry is Mike Popovic of Be Dope. Am I going to have to go back off a first-name basis with Mike Popovic?

: I had a really good Nethack wizard, but a rock troll kept clobbering me. I'd kill the troll, start to eat it, and the troll would come back to life and clobber me some more. So I'd kill it again etc. It got pretty ridiculous. I've got another wizard I'm working on now that's pretty good, though.

: The brash exuberance of yesterday's "Breakfast of Pathogens!" T-shirt gives way to the congenial lame-duck satire of today's "University of Canada" T-shirt.

: I found that Newsweek article, if you care. Even if you don't care, I found it.

: Celeste wrote me an explanation as to why Jackie Chan is not a sex symbol. Apparantly the sociologist in the Newsweek article was right about him. Who'da thunk it?

: I squashed various bugs in the Daily Pokey lister which was limiting you to viewing Pokeys for the first year (1999). Not that it matters, since there are no Daily Pokeys for 2000 to speak of due to the cronjob weirdness.

: My URSA enrollment appointment (My last one! I hope.) starts on the 28th. Don't let me forget!

: Daily Pokey works again now. I also retroactively added all the Daily Pokeys from December 1999 to the present.

: I finally beat Dan's nethack score. His score: 264237. My score: 726876. Cause of death: impatience, as always. I had four wishes I hadn't used when I died.

: Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is awesome; a galaxy viewed edge-on.

: People in Britain (possibly the Commonwealth at large): pick the thing you understand least about Americans. This is your analogue for me. It eludes all attempts at my describing it. I know it's done tongue in cheek, but that doesn't make it any less weird. I can't even pick a good quote from it.

: Oh, that same group is the group that published the excellent Passport to the Pub. (I didn't recognize the site because I read PttP in Lynx)

: Daniel Hsu has an editthispage site. I like editthispage because it encourages people to do the kind of site I like to read (ie. sites like this one).

: You know, the scandal of American slavery really pales before the scandal of Thomas Jefferson fathering children by one of his slaves.

: Before I forget: I got an 85th percentile (90% absolute) on CollegeHire's Java test.

: I have an account on SourceForge (for the SLIIME project), so I guess I'm an Official Open Source DeveloperTM now. SLIME is the Segfault-Like Interface Made Easy. The name has been around for about a year, the code for about a week (but it's about the 5th incarnation of the code, so it works out). Scott has put me on the database abstraction layer. I'll do it after finals.

: Rather than broadcast crap with dubbed-in canned laughter, why don't they broadcast whatever it is they used to create the canned laughter in the first place?

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