Look, Ma! No handouts!

Well, well. After having its worst day ever, in which it lost 777 points, the Dow is up 485 today. That’s all by itself and with no help from Congress. To put that in perspective, the Dow’s down a net 2.6% or so from opening yesterday. (If it lost 777 and then gained 485 of…

The Best Bad News I’ve Heard in a While

So the big bailout is on hold. This is WONDERFUL news! I’m just having a little bit of trouble believing it happened. Forgive me – I know that a 7-percent drop in the Dow (the largest single-day drop in its history, apparently) is never a good sign, but there are cases where it’s a better…

Sonny Perdue is a Moron Too

I would just like to give a full-bellied “amen!” to Neil Boortz’ latest column, which makes all the same points I did in the recent entry Mike Easley is a Moron (and you can too), but more forcefully. Oh, and for Atlanta rather than North Carolina, where, if news reports are to be believed, the…

Duel is a good movie – really

Some things, like wine, mellow with age, gaining in quality with passing years. Others, like fresh fruit, have a brief blush of usefulness and must thereafter be discarded. I put Steven Spielberg in this latter category. All my life I’ve been proudly “not impressed” with the man. Which is to say that post-Temple of Doom,…

A Sure Bet

Perhaps I’ve been slow to start seriously looking at online betting on political events. It’s the sort of thing I might actually be good at – if I weren’t a graduate student and had more time on my hands. Though I should come clean, of course, and admit that I still think McCain is going…

An Immodest Reaction

Since Noah hasn’t posted in weeks, I mostly find his blog useful as a way of keeping the excellent Briggs Blog bookmarked. It is a blog which, one might add, Noah recently defaced by alerting the pygmy swine at Pharyngula to its presence. A perfectly interesting internet survey was vandalized by these open-minded people open-mindedly…

Unicodey Python

I spent a good deal of time today figuring out how to deal with Unicode and XML in Python, so I thought I’d post my tribulations in case they’re useful to anyone else. The basic story is this: I’ve taken over as webmaster for the Linguistics Department here at Indiana University, and mostly what I…

Who Cares what N Equals?

Reading for pleasure last night, I came across Ben Bova‘s essay Isaac was Right: N equals one in the April 2003 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact (which he used to edit in the 70s). The basic premise is this: there is no other intelligent life in the universe, and the idea that there…

Mike Easley is a Moron (and you can too)

Let me tell you about my trip home to North Carolina this weekend. It takes me 7 hours to get from Bloomington to the Asheville area, and since I’m in the habit of filling up on half a tank I generally fill up just outside of Lexington, KY – 3 hours in to the trip…

It Isn’t Racism if it’s not Racist

Today’s “if you don’t vote for Obama you’re racist” poll comes from Standford University via Yahoo! News. Apparently some white Democrats harbor negative attitudes about blacks, and this might hurt Obama in the election. Certainly, Republican John McCain has his own obstacles: He’s an ally of an unpopular president and would be the nation’s oldest…