eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Thursday, November 25

Setting The World To Rights

I just added a link for Setting The World To Rights.

"...we believe in liberty as an essential human value, and would like to see the abolition of victimless crimes (especially the fun ones)."

"...we are not barking mad idiotarians who think that everything any government does is by definition wrong, or that the US government is just as bad as every mass-murdering aggressive dictatorship in sight – or, for that matter, France."

"We believe in the right of self-defence, including the right to kill someone who is about to kill us or who puts us in serious danger..."

"...we do not believe in increased ‘discipline’ in schools"

"...we are in favour of abortion rights, we think Bill Clinton should not have been impeached, we are enthusiastically in favour of stem cell research, and we are nauseated by the very idea of insisting that children be taught the Creationist myth as if it were fact."

"We hate... communism, fascism, Islamofascism, Wahhabism, Eurofederalism, nationalism, idiotarianism, anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, terrorism, racism..."

Tuesday, November 23

Halfbakery: Spouse-Swapping for Mideast Peace

I wouldn't advocate forced spouse swapping, but I couldn't help thinking it would make for an interesting TV show..

Friday, November 19

Cards, Yu-gi-oh, and Dvorak

First, there's Yu-gi-oh. It actually came after Pokemon as far as I know, but I don't feel like talking about Pokemon. There are literally hundreds of different Yu-gi-oh cards that a player can choose to use. Basically, though, there are 3 main types - monster, magic, and trap cards. Monsters have what equate to "hit points" for offense and defense and can also have special properties. Each player starts with 8000 Life Points and points are deducted and added to it during battles between monsters or by special properties of magic, trap, or monster cards. The object is to either make your opponent run out of cards or points or to draw all 5 cards of Exodia (somewhat rare, so this is likely the most expensive approach). Anyways, it's a fairly complicated and interesting game. Amazingly, 6 and sometimes 5 and 4 year olds manage to learn to play it. Since they can't read very well yet, they do this by memorizing hundreds of cards and what they do and a bit of help with the math. (And some just learn to read and do the math themselves). Anyways, it used to be quite common to see a large group of kids playing with them at the park.

One day, after the Yu-gi-oh craze had died down quite a bit, I noticed the kids playing a new game. They took pieces of paper and drew pictures and numbers on them and made up their own card games. I joined in one and found it very entertaining - and a bit confusing. The abilities of the monsters weren't apparent. The child would explain whatever abilities or magical properties a card had. Sometimes he'd forget and sometimes he'd encourage me to make up an ability. I wasn't very good at it, but he seemed satisfied with my attempts and we had a great time with it.

I was thinking Dvorak was something like this. A very nice person I know showed it to me. I didn't look at it too closely at first because it reminded me of playing that child-created game and I assumed it was something like that with some premade rules. It seems, instead, to be a sort of online card game that allows the players to make up themes but provides a basic structure and rules. I'll look at it more later, but I wanted to bookmark it here for the time being.

BTW, in my excitement at being reminded of the made up card game, I hunted down a place where you could get genuine blank playing cards. There were actually lots of places. It never occurred to me that such a thing existed. Apparently other people are way ahead of me on this one.

Thursday, November 18

World Reacts to Hassan Murder

I hadn't heard about this
murder until I saw the headline. In case you haven't seen my previous posts on news and politics, I tend to find them boring.

I was thinking about this boringness when I came to realize that it's not so much boring as that there's just too much going on to keep track of it all and to even know what to think of it.

Murder is easy though. It's easy to think of murder as bad. I'm not sure what good it does to point to the news article and say that. I don't think it's controversial. Apparently some do though, otherwise this murder wouldn't have happened. That, or some people don't mind being bad.

Anyways... onto the quote:

Political leaders and relatives expressed shock and anger over the fate of Hassan, who was renowned for her 30 years of work in Iraq, distributing medicine, food and supplies to Iraqis suffering under the sanctions of the 1990s.

This statement was a bit confusing. It says she worked in Iraq for 30 years, but also mentions the 1990s. It's only been 14 years since 1990. I guess they mean that she's worked for 30 years including the time when sanctions were imposed. Regardless, it sounds like she'd been doing a lot of good, nice things for Iraqi people.

British officials say they believe Hassan was a blindfolded woman seen being shot in the head by a hooded militant on a video obtained but not aired by the Arab television station Al-Jazeera. She would be the first foreign woman to die in the wave of kidnappings in Iraq. No group has claimed responsibility.

This is definitely not good. Well, it could be if there was a mistake and the blindfolded woman was actually a mass-murderer. Even then, it's hard to feel like it's "good". Necessary, maybe, but not good. It might be "good" that a murderer was stopped from harming more people, but bad that there was a murderer in the first place... Overall, things aren't good if mass people have been murdered. And now I'm just rambling off topic...

Monday, November 15

@ Bristol

Visited @ Bristol today. Some of it was closed to renovation, but it was still fun. It seemed like a really large and well designed children's museum.

Saturday, November 13

American in London

Well, ok, it's not quite London. It's a teeny weeny little village in England called Frome (rhymes with broom). It's lovely. I suppose one could get tired of the nearly constant grey skies and drizzle, but, hey, I'm from Texas... Austin, Texas. Clouds and drizzle are actually a nice break from the mostly sunny, dry weather I've had all my life. At least when it rains here, one doesn't tend to get totally soaked.

One thing I really like here is the service... or lack of it. I can walk into a store and be totally ignored! I love it! I've always hated being pestered with "Hello!" and "May I help you?" Saves me from losing my train of thought.. which I've now forgotten. Oh yes, if I do want help, I can ask for it. I can think of only one shop in 10 where that was necessary and maybe one shop where someone actually greeted me. That's 8 unwanted interactions avoided!