Saturday, February 26, 2005

 

Book Review: Mr. Bun Bun Goes to the Circus

Good book. Pretty pictures.


This review is in honor of Michael Gorman, the head of the ALA who believes that "blog people" are not in "the habit of sustained reading of complex texts". Of course, one of the authors thats very popular with bloggers (not blog people, Mr. Research) is Neal Stephenson. His book "Cryptonomicon" comes to 1168 pages, and is loaded with math, cryptography, and World War II history. There are three more books in the series, each of which is a similar length, but much more complex.

Friday, February 25, 2005

 

Google and the ALA

There is a rather dismissive article by the head of the American Library Association, Michael Gorman, in the Library Journal called “Revenge of the Blog People!”. Apparently, Mr. Gorman got a bit of criticism over a previous article called “Google and the God’s Mind” in which he reacts to Google putting a large number of books online. This criticism of him, of course, is a terrible thing, since he is the head of the ALA, and therefore knows more about doing research than anyone else. Nonsense. How long has it been since he did any kind of serious research? I’m betting it was before Google, since he apparently has no idea just how useful a tool it can be. I’ve found key pieces of information for patrons on Google countless times. Of course, this almost always leads me to a (a-hem) “reputable source” such as MLA, the Library of Congress catalog, or Worldcat. You know, when these online sources of information first came out, there were complaints that they too, were a bad idea. That they would be “an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.” There were even complaints that electronic inter-library loans would be a bad idea since they didn’t put the article/chapter in its proper context, and that physically shipping the book was the only way to insure that the integrity of the information be retained. Of course, these became standard tools of reference and research work. Is Google books perfect? Of course not! What database is? Even the hallowed Library of Congress is wrong on occasion. However, Mr. Gorman should know that thanks to MLA, Worldcat, Lexis Nexis, and, yes, even Google, information that took days or weeks to get is now available in minutes or seconds.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

 

Book Review: World of Deep Space Nine Volume 3

They really did something interesting with this trilogy of books. Each book contains two stories, each one describing the events on a different world. This one covers Ferenginar and the Changling homeworld. In the Ferenginar story, Rom’s position as the new Grand Negus is seriously threatened while his wife Leta prepares to give birth. Quark, Nog, and Ro Laren travel to Ferenginar at his request to try to save him. Written by the always enjoyable Keith R.A. DeCandido, it has a lot of humor, including a few really funny in-jokes. What really stuck me about this trilogy is that each of the stories gives tremendous insight into these alien worlds that we had heard mentioned or seen once or twice but not gotten a real sense of the world (with the notable exception of Bajor, in Vol. 2, but even there we see things that make the world more real).

With the Dominion story, we learn about the Changelings’ history, philosophy, and even their theology. The author struggles a bit, trying to explain the thoughts of such an alien species as the Changelings, but use Odo, himself an outsider, to help relate. Outsiders are another thread running through all six of the stories, since so many of the characters on Deep Space Nine didn’t really fit in with their homeworld. All in all, if you were a fan of Deep Space Nine, I highly recommend this book. One thing though, its part of the Deep Space Nine re-launch, a collection of books taking place after the series. They are high in continuity, so you should REALLY start with Avatar Book One, which is the first book in the re-launch (although a pivotal character first appeared in The Battle For Betazed).

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

 

Books

Due largely to the influence of Julie D. over at Happy Catholic, I'm now listing the books that I've recently read. I'll even try to post reviews whenever I'm able.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

 

This Congressman Needs a Swift Kick

From Little Green Footballs, via Wizbang....

"Yesterday Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) hosted a community forum in Ithaca, New York, on The Future Of Social Security.
An LGF operative was present in the audience and happened to be recording as Rep. Hinchey launched into a barking moonbat conspiracy rant worthy of Democratic Underground, telling the audience he believed the fake CBS memos were planted by Karl Rove to discredit Dan Rather, and divert attention from President Bush’s “draft dodging.”

When our operative asked Hinchey if he had evidence for these charges, he first said, “Yes, I do,” but when asked a second time he admitted he did not.

Our operative pressed the issue, “Don’t you think it’s irresponsible to make charges like that?” Hinchey replied, “No, I don’t, I think it’s very important to make charges like that ... I think it’s very important to combat this kind of activity in every way that you can, and I’m willing, as most people are not, to step forward in situations like this and take risks.”"



I think its very important to make the charge that Congressman Maurice Hinchey regularly eats Irish babies in a feast of Swiftian proportions. I think its very important to combat this kind of heinous activity in every way that we can, and I'm willing, as most people are not, to step forward in situations like this and take the risk of being eaten by this ravenous politican. Now, I don't have any actual PROOF, but isn't just the CHARGE of it enough?

 

I didn't have to wear the suit...

My grandfather died on Friday. He had polio as a child, and wasn’t expected to live past 40. He lived for nearly 40 years LONGER than any doctor thought he would, even though he had to wear a brace on his leg most of his life. He’s in a better place now, and not in any pain. More than that, he can run. He was a great man, who was always there for me, although I hadn’t seen him as often as I’d have liked in the past few years. Eight months ago, he was in the hospital and wasn’t expected to last the night. I went out to George Gibson’s and bought a complete suit for his funeral. He survived, mainly by force of will. The only way I can think about this that won’t make me break down is that I didn’t have to wear that suit for eight months.

Friday, February 18, 2005

 

Free Speech

God, I love the free speech you can only find in a University English Department. [ed. No, I'm afraid you'll have to rephrase that.] Ok, Lord, I [ed. No.] Non denominational entity, I [ed. Now your just being silly.] Fine. Well, I love [ed. No, you can't say love this close to Valentine's Day. It might offend those who aren't in a non-judgemental relationship.] Well, I am fond of the free speech [ed. Say something about non judgemental there.] What? Why? Ok, ok. Well, I am fond of the free, non-judgemental, non-hate speech you can only find in a University [ed. No, thats judgemental speech again. What about people who have been disenfranchised and are unable to attend a University?] Know what? Fie upon the University, and fie upon the English department! [ed. Hey! Thats hate speech!] Bite me.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

 

Michael Jackson's Illness

Well, there’s one up side to all that plastic surgery that Michael Jackson has had done to him. It means that his nose can’t grow when things like this happen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

 

Valtentine's Day

Wow, after reading a bunch of blogs yesterday, I got the impression that Valentine’s Day is an evil day full of annoyance, anger, and frustration. Come on, people, can’t we just be happy for the people who have someone? I mean, I’m single, and I don’t feel anger that those annoyingly happy, lucky, bast…. I mean, those people who have someone….

*sigh*

Thank god its Tuesday….

Monday, February 14, 2005

 

Captain Howard Dean

Well, my friends, now that Howard Dean is the Chairman of the DNC the Democrats' ship has finally come in..... unfortunatly its the Titanic....

Saturday, February 12, 2005

 

For Sale: The Origins of Cyberspace

There’s a very interesting lot up for auction at Christie's in New York. Called "The Origins of Cyberspace" it includes mathematics papers from the 1600s, letters and first editions from Charles Babbage, journal articles by Alexander Graham Bell, and many many other fascinating, EXPENSIVE, documents and items from computing history. My favorite though, has to be a first edition of Karel Capek’s “R.U.R. Rossum’s Universal Robots” with an inscription to his mother in law on the inside cover.

Update:
Actually, this is pretty darn cool too.

Friday, February 11, 2005

 
Well, I’m afraid that I owe a HUGE apology to all of the liberals who I have mocked in the past. You see, all this time I thought they were comparing Bush and all of us conservatives to Nazis, the fascist rulers of Germany from 1933 to 1945. How wrong I was…. You see, driving into work today, I saw an SUV with the following written in the dust on the back window. “Bush is a Nasi” They weren’t comparing us to brutal tyrants! They were comparing us to the Malaysian national dish, Nasi Lemak! Of course, this leaves me even more confused than before. However, I cannot stay angry at people so mentally deranged that they compare us to a foreign dish at every chance.


I don’t even like prawns…..

Sunday, February 06, 2005

 

Science Fiction Preferences and Political Affiliation

In a recent conversation with some friends of mine, I noticed that the science fiction they liked tended to correspond with their political affiliation. This has me interested, and I would be grateful if visitors to this blog would answer the following questions in the comments section.

1. What is your political affiliation (Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, Etc…)

2. What country are you from? If United States, what state?

3. Which is a better book? “The Hobbit” or “Lord of the Rings”?

4. Which Star Trek series is the best? (Original, Animated, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise)

5. Which Star Wars movie is the best? (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones)

6. Which is better, “Alien” or “Predator”?

7. Which is better, science fiction or fantasy?

8. Which is better, board games or computer games?

9. Who is the better hero, Han Solo or Luke Skywalker?

10. Who is the better captain? Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, or Archer?

11. True or False? An author is capable creating a believable character or world that has morals they do not agree with.

12. Heinlein is: A) A great author B) An ok author C) A bad author D) A fascist

13. Do you find The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy funny?

14. Do you find the Discworld books funny?

15. Are you able to enjoy a book/movie even if it has ideas and morals that you do not personally agree with?

16. Do you play online role playing games?

17. If so, do you play a human? A non-human? Why?

18. Do you play a good character or an evil character in such games?

19. PC or Mac?

20. Do you treat library/public property with the same respect that you would your own property? More respect? Less?


I want to thank everyone who answers these questions. I will tally the answers and post the results when enough responses have come in.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

 

We Must Be BETTER Than Them!

In Friday’s “Red and Black” (the student newspaper of the University of Georgia) there is a letter from a student Democrat reporting that people have been ripping the bumper stickers off of his car. This is wrong, people. I am well aware that this is happening on both sides, but we must be BETTER than they are. We cannot allow ourselves to be reduced to damaging their property. This is the type of thuggery that we as responsible conservatives must condemn. We stand for order, not anarchy, and need to act the part.

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