Archive for October, 2002

October 31st, 2002 No comments

CERN scientists create antihydrogen atoms.

This is very interesting, although we are nowhere near needing to engineer dilithium crystals to contain the awesome power of Warp Driveā„¢ technology. But still, it must be fun to be a physicist with real, actual, measurable antimatter to play with.

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October 28th, 2002 No comments
Viking Kittens!

If you haven’t seen them already, check out the Viking kittens. “Fear them, for they are mighty.”

(Warning: Flash animation with audio component. Don’t try this at work if you’re in a Dilbert zone.)

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Angel Update (again!)

October 25th, 2002 No comments

This time for sure!

Our six angelfish are still happily frolicking in the (now crowded) community tank. That would be our original pair, their two children that we saved, and two new (white blushing) angels that we bought.

So far, the two we saved have both turned out to be female, giving us one male, three females, and two still unsexed. I’m hoping that we have at least one male with the new angels; I’d like to see what a cross between the blushing and the light marble looks like.

No pictures of our fish, but Angels Plus has some examples I can borrow.

Our Papa Angel:

He looks almost exactly like this, except he’s got a damaged top fin and is missing one of his trailers. But we love him anyway.

Our Big Mama Angel:

She also has a damaged top fin. But I can’t get rid of her; she’s our first angelfish. She actually lost her entire top fin to fin rot, and I thought she was a goner. But, with a little treatment she recovered, and actually regrew her top fin! I was so impressed. Unfortunately, I think one of the other fish picked on her while it was growing back, so it came in bent.

The Next Generation:

Our one daughter looks just like Mom (without the fin damage, of course). The other one is a heterozygous marble, with a very nice silver/black pattern. I can’t find a good match, but she’s something like this:

except with a bit more silver to her pattern, and without the blushing.

The Newcomers:

I had a tough time finding a picutre, but Google came through:

Ours have a more distinctly white body with black fins, and the blushing is not quite as pronounced.

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October 25th, 2002 No comments

That’s two posts that Blogger has eaten!

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October 22nd, 2002 No comments
Evangelize with the Dark Side!

Karen Marie Knapp reveals her teenage encounter with Darth Vader evangelism:

“I find your lack of faith … disturbing“.

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October 17th, 2002 No comments
(expletive deleted)

U.S. Source: N. Korea Says Has Nukes

(via and the morning news …)

The Post headline is slightly misleading; according to the sources, N. Korea has admitted to having a nuclear weapons program, not to having live nukes. Still troubling, though … especially since our president has put his and the nations credibilty on the line regarding the “axis of evil” and WMD.

And I can just think of one word that describes trying to wage war and occupy territory in Central Asia (Afghanistan), the Middle East (Iraq), and East Asia (N. Korea) simultaneously:


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October 17th, 2002 No comments

Last Sunday, the Ann Arbor News ran an article Skipping school with mom and dad’s help about some local “unschoolers”. They had many nice things to say about Clonlara School also. (Clonlara supports off-site students — in other words, on paper you look like a private school student, you just happen to be educating at home.)

I’m ambivalent regarding “unschooling” — we tend to lean toward that camp, yet I do think that some structure and guidance is necessary. And I’m impressed by what I’ve read so far about homeschooling with a classical curriculum (mainly The Well-Trained Mind).

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October 17th, 2002 No comments
Ob. Geek Stuff

I love my new job. For the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, I actually got to spend the bulk of the day programming. And lo, it was fun to get code that worked at the end of it all.

Of course, soon I’ll be back to abstract design, requirements, test cases, etc. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.

Observations for the day:

  • Java is still evil, but I’m getting a taste for it anyway.
  • Eclipse is incredibly cool, although it needs more “for dummies” documentation.
  • Java and XML actually do play together almost as nicely as advertised. If you ignore the part about beating your head against a brick wall until it all starts to make sense first …
  • SAX is very, very nice. Once you figure out how to actually get it to parse your document at all, that is — but after that, it was a piece of cake to use, even for a Java novice like myself.
  • Oh, and JUnit rocks. Don’t program in Java without it.
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October 16th, 2002 No comments

In the “I can’t believe this isn’t a parody” department, I was just handed one of those little restaurant-style sugar packets. In large type, it proclaims “Pure Cane Sugar”. In slightly smaller type underneath, it advises “Sugar Contains no Fat”.

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G. K. Chesterton

October 15th, 2002 No comments

Now you and I have, I hope, this advantage over all those clever new philosophers, that we happen not to be mad.

Philosophy for the Schoolroom