Archives 2006

Let freedom ka-ching

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Years ago, our President famously informed us that the terrorists “hate us for our freedom”. Given all the shenanigans of his Administration, one might well wonder: which freedom, in the President’s opinion, are we hated for? The freedom to elect our leaders? The freedom to wear T-shirts criticizing them at their campaign events? The freedom ...

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Dept. of curious coincidences

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I was browsing through some data that my company had acquired from our good friends at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and came across a reference to some place in Iraq called “Ḩayy Sab`at `Ashar (17) Tammūz”. What’s that? I wondered. A name left over from the days when the Jewish people, exiled in Babylon ...

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I'd be happy to live anywhere else

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Yesterday's Globe had an article (link will probably rot tomorrow) about how Allston, Massachusetts has been honored by inclusion in The Absolutely Worst Places To Live In America. The book—whose author, a Boston College alumnus, can speak of Allston from personal experience—refers to my neighboring neighborhood as “a melting pot of upper-middle-class white kids ...

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Immigration, then and now

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Alan Dershowitz, in The Best Defense:

During the late 1930s [my synagogue] decided to hire a professional rabbi to conduct services; one was brought over from Europe, but the congregants were not satisfied. After two weeks the newly hired rabbi was fired, given a small amount of severance pay, and sent on his way. A ...

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The graphic designer's revenge

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

How did the American Library Association get away with using the original Mac OS menu font on their Bill Gates poster?

Place your bets, gentlemen

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Senator Joe Lieberman (Lieberman-CT), formerly Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), told Meet the Press that he was not ruling out the possibility of becoming Senator Joe Lieberman (R-CT), a move that would give the Senate back to the Republican Party.

On the one hand, he owes a lot of Republican machers for the work they did ...

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Computers were invented to keep track of boring things

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

One reason I haven’t been doing much blogging recently is that I’ve been spending a lot of time learning Haskell, a computer language with a number of intriguing features. Since I have previously remarked on weaknesses in Java’s type system, I thought I would start by remarking on Haskell’s type inference. Unlike many of the ...

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How the Internet is transforming commerce, part DCCCLXXVII

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

(Let’s see if I’m sufficiently recovered from chagim-plus-new-baby to get back to blogging…)

We’re trying to reintroduce the baby to bottle-feeding, and we were wondering if he’d be more likely to suck on a different kind of nipple. So I did an amazon.com search for “nipple” and this (warning: NVSFW) came up second in ...

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A prayer and a legal declaration for Erev Yom Kippur

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Excerpt from Tefillah Zakkah:

Knowing as I do that hardly anyone is a righteous person who has not sinned against another one, either financially or physically, in word or in deed—this makes my heart tremble within me, because Yom Kippur does not atone for interpersonal sins until the offender appeases the victim. Regarding this, my ...

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Things Yenta never had to worry about

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In Amazon Women on the Moon, there’s a skit where a woman is about to invite her date into her apartment, but first she asks for a driver’s license and credit card. Moments later, her fax machine spits out a long list of her would-be lover’s past misdeeds, and after reading the report, she kicks ...

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