Cleaner in Coffeescript: Random Password Generator

Today I solved one of those problems that’s been solved a billion times, but you never seem to have the solution handy when you need it. I needed a password generator for work – anyone who makes a call to the API to create a user but doesn’t supply a password should have one created…

Indiana’s New Law and the Gay Lobby: some thoughts

Since it’s apparently really controversial, some thoughts on Indiana’s newly passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I haven’t seen anyone cry foul that the #boycottindiana movement is interference in a state’s politics by out-of-staters, they way they did, for example, when out-of-staters were donating to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. There seems to be a…

Chomsky Tries Modern Feminism and Gets it Right

Noam Chomsky inadvertantly reminds us why people don’t trust feminism in his latest political article, called Magna Carta Messed Up the World, Here’s How to Fix It. Hey, don’t blame him for the title. Editors often write those things to get clicks, and that seems to be the case here as his article is clearly…

Retreat to go Forward – Israel Edition

It’s interesting how quickly the idea that a right-wing coalition is bad for Israel, and that even Netanyahu knows this, has set itself in in the last week. This report in Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse claims that Netanyahu is scrambling to get the Zionist Union on board as a member of his coalition, because withotu them…

STTNG – Clues (Review)

The reason why Data is a great character is that he’s the only convincing alien on Next Generation. The rubber-foreheaded types? They’re all just humans plus One Distinguishing Cultural Trait that usually gets exaggerated well past the point of plausibiilty. Clues does a much better job than Brothers of drawing our attention to that. In…

STTNG – Devil’s Due (Review)

Judging by the reviews, and by my own reaction to it, Devil’s Due is pretty good diagnostic for the elusive Next Generation gene. It seem that if you have it, this episode’s popularity (it’s apparently the highest-rated episode outside of Encounter at Farpoint) is baffling to you. If you don’t, it makes perfect sense. I,…

STTNG – The Wounded (Review)

The Wounded is hugely important to the latter-day Star Trek mythos. It introduces us to the Cardassians. It establishes O’Brien as a real character. And, most of all, it starts coloring outside the lines on the matter of the Federation being the unambigous good guys. Unfortunately, that last point is established here in the most…

Birthright vs. Natural Born: Having some fun with Ted Cruz

Now that Ted Cruz is officially running for president, we get to go through the whole fun "birther" controversy again, because Like John McCain, Cruz was born abroad – in Calgary in his case (Panama in McCain’s). It’s a bit different from the Obama issue in that no one disputes the facts of Ted Cruz’s…

STTNG – Data’s Day (Review)

My hair does not require trimming, you lunkhead. That’s Data, trying to give Geordi one of the good-natured insults he’s heard friends give each other on the Enterprise. And that’s more or less the whole episode: Data observing human behavior and trying to imitate it with mixed, often humorous, results. There’s also a more serious…

Atheism is not the Cult of NGO

Here’s a stupid meme that’s unfortunately gaining social cachet: It’s time for atheists to move past theoretical questions about the existence of God and onto more practical pursuits – like how to fight for justice. Yes, this – PZ Myers’ favorite dead horse. At least Myers has he decency (usually) to call it Atheism Plus.…