My Take on President Trump’s Immigration Order

There’s a lot of furore over President Trump’s temporary entry ban for people of certain (Islam-affiliated) nationalities. The controversial portion of it is that citizens of seven identified countries – whether or not they also hold citizenship from another nation – are not allowed entry visas to the United States for 90 days to ease…

Understanding Applied to Double Dabble

Understanding is a funny thing. Sometimes you can trick yourself into thinking you understand something you really don’t. But most times you kinda sorta know that you don’t fully understand it, and I’m just not really sure how that works. In particular, there are two kinds of levels to "understanding." There’s that level where you…

Booked to Die (Review)

After reading John Dunning’s Booked to Die, I spent some time trying to find out who else had been nominated for a 1992 Edgar, only to find out I was wrong about the "else." It wasn’t even nominated in the "best first novel" category. This just seems like the sort of book that should have…

After Atlas (review)

There’s little doubt that Emma Newman’s After Atlas will be topping many "best of" lists in the coming year. Sometimes, when you’re reading a book, you just know. And yeah, this is one of those. It’ll be talked about. Just how one knows this is an open question – but one thing I keep wondering…

Immigration in the Aftermath of Berlin

The Mirror has an article up about the Berlin Christmas Market Terror attack sounding all the superficially right notes about how to react to it. I agree with the overall sentiment, but since immigration is rapidly becoming the Issue of the Year, broad outlines aren’t enough. This is an issue we need to start talking…

The Kindest, Bravest, Warmest Person I Know

I complain on this blog a lot about bad political analogies. Today let’s try a twist on that: bad political analogies that are criticized for the wrong reasons. Step one – find a bad political analogy. Welp, there’s Trump’s now-infamous "skittles tweet". If you click through to the link, you’ll see a picture of a…

Running Zork

I wanted to post something about Zork – because who doesn’t love Zork? And then I got curious whether I’d done that before. And whaddya know – I had. Well, sort of. What’s shocking to me is that is was almost 10 years ago. YIKES! This blog’s been around a long time. Anyway – back…

In Defense of Shannara

A confession: I find The Lord of the Rings slow going. Another confession: I’ve just finished reading The Sword of Shannara all the way through for the third, possibly the fourth, time. The bombshell: I really like The Sword of Shannara. So put that in your pipe and smoke it. The standard-issue complaint about The…

‘Splainin’ in 2016

100 days to go till Election Day … which means, as always, that I have some ‘splainin’ to do. Because every 4 years people who are barely heard from during the midterms come out of the woodwork to tell me that even though they are deeply distressed by having to choose between two obviously terrible…

Number System Solution

Yesterday I used a programming challenge to illustrate a use of generators. The solution to the problem given in that post was far from ideal – just a brute force hack, really. Today, let’s look at a respectable solution to the problem. Again, the problem: Imagine you are given a set of weights, each weight…