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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Dr. Dave's LiveJournal:

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Friday, August 7th, 2009
11:52 pm
Writer's Block: I May Be Crazy
What does this Rorschach blot look like to you?

A fox with an extra pair of eyes. Always has.
Saturday, February 28th, 2009
11:05 pm
How I spent last weekend
So, cmat thinks she doesn't post often enough? Well, it's been months since I've posted anything.

But, finally, here it is--what I did last weekend. (Warning: Plenty of pictures.)
Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
11:04 am
Amazing news
We've all heard that Obama is a socialist terrorist Muslim elitist, but here's something I bet you didn't know:

Sunday, September 14th, 2008
9:34 am
Lies, Damned Lies, and Politics
Sometimes I'm proud of my university.

The following site is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania:


"We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."

I urge everyone to check out this site. This is a meme that should be spread.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, January 17th, 2007
5:42 pm
Weather report
Temperatures today:
Low, 62 F
High, 79 F

Not bad, eh?

Well, it would be great if those were the temperatures outside,
rather than in my office.
Sunday, October 29th, 2006
9:16 pm
The Popcorn Experiment (The Sequel)

As posted earlier, I substituted Extra Light Olive Oil on popcorn,
instead of the usual butter. I also used my usual butter-flavored
popcorn salt. The result was delicious.

It's desirable to get at least some oil and some salt on every piece
of popcorn. I did pretty well--with the right bottle, it's possible to
pour the oil in a very thin stream. I don't really have a very good
idea how much oil I used.

Since part of the goal is to cut down on oil consumption (as well
as substituting "good" oil for butter), I determined to continue my
experiments with spray oil. I left that as a cliffhanger....


The results are now in. Of course, like any good scientist, I hope
other scientists will attempt to replicate my results, and publish.


Experiment #2: Spray olive oil.

Result: Flavor wasn't too bad, but the smell put me off. It smelled
too much like olive oil spray. Partly that was the olive oil smell
(which is okay in smaller amounts) that sort of overwhelmed
the popcorn; partly it smelled canned, if you know what I mean.

Experiments #3 and #4. Spray canola oil.

Result: Better. While olive oil is good for you and butter is bad
for you, canola oil is somewhere in between. It's basically
neutral and essentially flavorless. That also kind of describes
the popcorn.

Experiment #5: Acme Natural Flavor Buttery Spray (Canola).

Result: Nearly as good as with my first attempt (extra light
olive oil from a bottle). Very good flavor.
However --
These days, if I eat movie theater popcorn with butter-flavored
motor oil, I feel uncomfortable afterward; like I've been drinking
motor oil or something. I felt a bit that way after this experiment.

There is also a Crisco brand of butter-flavored spray canola oil.
I didn't get it because it had some random silicone compound
in it to prevent foaming. (The Ajax brand does "foam" a tiny
amount--I don't see why this is a problem.)

Clearly, more research is needed.


When I enter my "mood" as "experimental," why does XJournal
think the closest match is "exanimate"?

Isn't a sequel a programming language?

What is the meaning of life, the universe, and--oh, never mind.

Current Mood: experimental
Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
5:43 pm
Flash drives
Just in case anyone here is in the market for a flash drive...

dealnews.com pointed to a SimpleTech Bonzai Xpress 1GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $14 after rebate, at www.newegg.com. (Also 2GB for $51, or $36 after rebate.)



I just bought three, for the three of us; the rebate is only good for one, but even without the rebate the others were only $26. Ordered on Monday, arrived today.
Friday, February 10th, 2006
7:44 am
Just an article I enjoyed
This is just an opinion piece about the difference between "East" and "West"
that I found, I guess, satisfying. Maybe it's because someone out there shares
my opinions....

Radical Islam's believers beyond reach of reason

I think the title of the article somewhat misrepresents the content, though.

AFAIK registration is not required, but I could be wrong. Maybe my browser
is automatically registering me. If so, let me know, and I'll, I'll, I dunno, do
something. In any case, here's a semi-relevant quote from S.I.Hayakawa:

"If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see,
you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that
you are a victim of it."
Monday, February 6th, 2006
10:55 pm
Big Bang "Theory"
Sorry, all...didn't realize this was one of the NYTimes articles that
requires registration (my browser does it for me).

Here's a link from Slashdot:

Outrage at attacks on NASA science

And a rather more measured article:

Bush spinner calls for NASA site censorship

And, for those who don't want to bother with the links:
In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to
Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations
about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word
“theory” needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote,
adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration
such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts
intelligent design by a creator.”
8:56 am
Big Bang "theory"
It had to happen...

It's not only evolution "theory" that conflicts with, ahem, "Intelligent Design."
Apparently astronomers are also guilty of confusing their so-called
"science" with presidential reality.

NASA Chief Backs Agency Openness

Current Mood: resigned
Saturday, December 24th, 2005
10:41 am
War against the Fundies
Scientists:1; Creationists: 0
Updated Christmas Day, 2005

For anyone who might be interested, here's the best and most complete (=longest)
article on the Dover monkey trial:


And if you're not interested enough to read the whole thing, the best part is the
direct quote (about two pages of it) from Judge John Jones III. Here's just one
sentence from it:

"The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered
against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial."

And an article describing the response by ID supporters:


With, likewise, one quote:

"'This decision is a poster child for a half-century secularist reign of terror
that's coming to a rapid end with Justice Roberts and soon-to-be Justice Alito,'
said Richard Land, who is president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics &
Religious Liberty Commission and is a political ally of White House adviser Karl Rove."

Current Mood: hopeful
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005
8:54 am
"Santa Claus Conquers the Martians"
First, thanks to qwyneth for clueing me in on what the "war on Christmas" is about; I had heard the term but wasn't paying much attention.

Here's a link to an amusing if not terribly informative article on the subject. Opening sentence is " The conventional view of Santa Claus posits a centralized operation run by a bearded fanatic in an undisclosed Arctic location."

Nothing to do with martians, though...

Monday, December 19th, 2005
6:55 pm
No one hurt, but...
...we got rear-ended in Shadowfax.

I was taking Laura to work, going down Bear Hill in some god-awful traffic
(it took us four lights to get through the corner at 30 and 252). I had to stop
suddenly to avoid hitting the car in front of me, but the SUV behind us
hit Shadowfax, pushing us into the car in front of me and him into the
car in front of him.The frontmost car wasn't damaged, the guy in front
of me got his rear bumper scratched up.

Shadowfax got the front bumper broken, and the rear pretty badly
smashed up.

I said no one was hurt, but actually Laura said her neck hurt a little, so she
may have some whiplash. We'll have to wait and see how she feels a
little later on.

Current Mood: sad
Tuesday, June 21st, 2005
8:48 pm
"Were the breath of the West Wind to make a body visible, even so would it appear."

Monday, May 2nd, 2005
8:20 am
HHG--What to expect
A few words about the Hitchhiker's movie (no spoilers):

The prologue is dolphins, and the song "So long, and thanks for all the fish." The visuals are worthwhile all by themselves.

The actual story starts out very similar to (but not identical to) the book, with many lines straight from the book--very familiar, but with some odd differences. After that, the story line diverges considerably, but uses bits from all the books. I thought the "best casting" award should go to Slartibartfast. Marvin looks like he was designed by Sony, and I didn't care for the way they did Zaphod's second head. The Heart of Gold is cool, though.

I disagree with the reviews that said the movie "left out the humor" of the books. Maybe it's just more American-style humor than British-style. It did, IMHO, capture the flavor of the books quite well, and was very funny. The ending was pretty stupid, though, and doesn't leave much scope for a sequel.

Bottom line: Good movie, funny, captured the spirit of the books, but expect a different plot. I liked it.
Saturday, January 29th, 2005
11:55 am
Cool article
World of Ends:
What the Internet Is and
How to Stop Mistaking It
for Something Else.

Not deep, not profound, just a well-written statement.
Friday, October 8th, 2004
6:40 pm
Great Bumper Sticker!
When Clinton Lied
No One Died

And a noodle bribe article:

Current Mood: amused
Friday, July 30th, 2004
11:14 am
Year of the deer? No, not quite.
The Chinese calendar (not to mention the Discworld calendar) has this sequence of things like "Year of the Monkey." You wonder how this got started. Were they overrun by monkeys one year? And if so, is it really cyclic?

Cicadas are cyclic. I can see Baltimore having a "Year of the Cicada." (We didn't get them here, though.)

One thing I have observed is that here in the Pennsylvania woods, unlike other places we have lived, one species comes to dominate the microclimate every summer. We've had the Year of the Millipede, the Year of the Daddy Long Legs, the Year of the Earthworm, etc. This year it's happening again.

Deer? Deer we've always got. More than usual this summer, but still, every summer. Also, I was talking about the microclimate--the small things. Big things are interesting, but in the end, it's the little things that count.

So, alliterative it may be, but Year of the Deer it ain't.

Picture (not for the faint of heart)Collapse )
Sunday, July 25th, 2004
10:59 am
Coolest Java thing yet
Usually I ignore Java's PLAF (Programmable Look And Feel) because I don't care whether my program looks like a Windows or Mac program, so long as it works. Heck, I have to look at my background in order to figure out which key combo to use. Same reason I pretty much ignore, whaddyacallem, "skins."

Now along comes a really great PLAF, with an actual reason to exist. A believable reason, at least to those of us who have programmed in industry! It's very beta, but I have to try it anyway. Even if you don't count yourself a geek, take a look--the pictures are fun and the description is non-technical.

Napkin Look and Feel

(Yep, just what it sounds like!)

Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, May 25th, 2004
10:27 am
Should we do Skype?


Looks fine, but I'm sure some of my friends & family know a lot more about VoIP than I do!
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