netWert Ideapad

January 2003

January 30, 2003 +
I generally tire of the entries on my site 10 days or so after they're posted. More recent entries entertain me, both the linked content and whatever it is I've written in conjunction to them (or the expository mini-essays I write).

I read this page today and didn't like what I saw. It wasn't fun; it wasn't entertaining; it wasn't what I normally expect of myself. The entries that were here have been shuttled prematurely to the archives, preserved for posterity but no longer prominent and awaiting digestion.

The past few months I have had a lot to share but not a lot to say, which I discovered recently and have felt even more since. This site may benefit from a links area, like all the kids are doing these days, but that would leave me with very little to write at all.

A wet or messy dog shakes its entire body down, from head to tail, to rid its exterior of whatever is polluting it. Right now I need something like that for my sentence composition.

Pardon me while I clear my head. I'll be back before the winter's out.

Freak someone out today
January 28, 2003 +
Make your own hot headlines with the CNN fake news generator. (This may be an old page but it's new to me, and the wrapper is up to date, too. Not bad.)

Remember when
January 28, 2003 +
Sometimes your past work ages better than expected.

Speaking of which, I have to get the 2002s on this site to 2003. Soon.

Why my desk is cluttered
January 27, 2003 + Posted to Getting It Right
Boxes and Arrows: Printing the Web. "Computers are good for storing information, but generally bad for using it. Research shows that difficulty in reading from a computer screen stems from poor resolution: compared to paper, monitors—even of the highest quality—offer only low-resolution reading."

We do this too
January 27, 2003 +
From World New York and difrasismo, "the linking of two nouns to create a new idea" in the Nahuatl language.

Like "web log."

Creator's block
January 23, 2003 +
The Ideapad has been filled with links and news rather than essays lately. There's a reason for that.
read more

Move over, Mr. President
January 23, 2003 +
Economist readers: Bill Gates. Bill Clinton. George W. Bush. And Shakira.

No two of me, but perhaps a mini-me
January 22, 2003 +
News from Texas states the famous cloned cat from last year is much different than the original, proving that cloning is not duplication. Fascinating, and evidence that when used appropriately, cloning may not be as evil as it seems.

Start practicing
January 22, 2003 +
New Yorkers must use area codes for all local calls starting February 1, 2003 (read: next weekend). Verizon has been advertising the switch for months, but the change will still hit the city like a bad hangover.

January 22, 2003 +
Minor Ideapad alteration today: the date/posted-to line of an item, previously beneath the headline, has relocated to the end of the body text.
read more

Sanity reigns
January 22, 2003 +
The fat kids' lawsuit against McDonald's, which tried to blame the fast-food chain for its consumers' lack of responsibility and intelligence, was wisely dismissed by a U.S. district judge today. "If consumers know ... the potential ill health effect of eating at McDonald's," the judge said, "they cannot blame McDonald's if they, nonetheless, choose to satiate their appetite with a surfeit of supersized McDonald's products." Thank goodness.

January 22, 2003 + Posted to Quite Keen
Amy is in Los Angeles working on a television commercial. During the shoot last week, she was approached on the set by a teamster, who took note of her engagement ring.

"It's beautiful," he said admiringly.

"Thank you," she replied. "My fiance picked it out."

"He must really mean it!"

January 21, 2003 +
Mark Pilgrim: "In 1996, I had my entire apartment wired with X-10 devices ... [controlled with] Speakable Items. 'Connie, Iím home' would turn on the lights, the air conditioner, and the stereo, check my email, and read me summaries of my unread mail. 'Connie, goodnight' would turn off all the lights and appliances, turn on the hall light, say 'Dream not of today,' and put the computer to sleep. I am not in the slightest way making this up."

Moment of silence update
January 21, 2003 +
Charley the neutered coton, the poor thing, is wearing a cone on his head for the next five days.

Moment of silence
January 20, 2003 +
My dog is a little bit less of a man today.

Jolly Ranchers
January 17, 2003 + Posted to Quite Keen
Friday office fun: A coworker has put a cupful of Jolly Ranchers atop the water cooler.

Suddenly the mouth is 11 years old once again, tasting raspberry but yearning for watermelon, getting the corners of the candy stuck on the molars, tongue flipping the candy lengthwise, waiting for the blob of glucose to become thin enough to bend in half, a feat of momentous proportion and assured glee.

Lunch will surely pale in comparison.

Ante up
January 15, 2003 + Posted to Quite Keen
"Texas Hold 'Em: deal two cards down to each player, five cards down to the table. A round of betting is held after the deal, then three of the table cards are turned up. Another round of betting follows. One more table card is flipped, followed by another round of betting. The last card is flipped, a final round if betting ensues, and finally a showdown in which players make their best hands using their two cards and the table's five. High hand wins.

"Omaha is identical to Texas Hold 'Em, but each player gets four cards. Final hands must include exactly two of the player's four cards and exactly three of the table's five cards. High and low hands split, but the low must be 8-high or better (lower) or the high gets it all. Cards speak for themselves.

"In Guts, everyone secretly puts a chip in their hand if they are staying in, otherwise they leave their hand empty. Players then hold their closed three-card hands in front of them and open them simultaneously. Players who held chips (and thus stayed in) reveal their hands. The winner takes the pot and the losers have to match what the pot was. New hands are then dealt. The game continues until only one player stays in, and thus the pot is emptied. Highest hand, without straights and flushes, wins. Many variants exist.

"The object of Seven Twenty-Seven is to get as close to 7 or 27 as possible. As in Blackjack, Aces are worth 1 or 11 and numbers are worth their face value. Face cards, however, are worth half a point (.5). The player to the dealer's left is the lead player, with the lead rotating each round. Each round, each player starting with the lead has the opportunity to take one additional card. The lead then starts a round of betting. This continues until nobody takes an additional card. After a final betting round, players declare high/low/both and hold a showdown. Closest to 7 and closest to 27 split the pot.

"Screw Your Neighbor has no ante. Instead, each player places three of the highest-ranking chips in front of him. The lead begins to the left of the dealer and rotates with each hand. Each player in turn may opt to keep his current card or exchange it with the player to his left. If someone tries to take your card and you have a King, you may stop [the swap] by revealing your King. The last player may keep his card or exchange it for the top one from the deck. When all players have gone, everyone reveals their cards and the lowest card (Aces are high) tosses a chip into the pot. When you run out of chips, you're out of the game."

I love poker night. Here's to many more evenings of high hands and laughter.

(Definitions quoted from Gamereport Poker Variants, lightly edited)

Justices uphold copyright extension
January 15, 2003 +
"We find that the (extension) is a rational enactment; we are not at liberty to second-guess congressional determinations and policy judgments of this order, however debatable or arguably unwise they may be." With that, artistic works now have copyright protection for 95 years. The ruling is an approval of the most recent extension of what began as a 14-year term in 1790 and kept increasing throughout the twentieth century.

...and he's not gonna take it anymore!
January 14, 2003 + Posted to Getting It Right
Mark Pilgrim's rant against misguided W3C decisions on XHTML impresses me not for its content (do what I do, buddy, and stick lazily with Transitional) but for the sheer quantity of its referral links, which Mark tracks with a nifty home-grown system.

Joe Lieberman, candidate
January 14, 2003 +
One cannot understate the news that Senator Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, will be running for President with a fair amount of confidence. Can middle America vote Jewish? Over a good ol' boy from Texas?

January 14, 2003 +
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission is still running its talking cab opinion survey. Vote no. Twice if you have to.

The T&LC site is chock full of information, including how to be a medallion owner and how to get a hack license. And they're hiring.

January 13, 2003 + Posted to Quite Keen
Approximately 450 pages of reading, 85 pages of photocopies, 80 M&Ms, 70 Skittles, 34 new friends, 33 pages of handwritten notes, 27 hours of sleep, 16 statistics problems, 15 bottles of water, nine holes of Golden Tee, six pages of typewritten assignments, five scrambled egg and bacon breakfasts, four hours of team-building, four late nights, three case studies, two cocktail parties, two games of foosball, one short burst of racquetball, one movie, and one new word ("mantyhose") later, I love business school.

Stay off my back or I will attack and you don't want that
January 13, 2003 +
I Know Something You Don't Know on Defective Yeti. "It would be cool if, at the end of Return of the King when Sauron finally gets the ring, they played I Got The Power by Snap, and Sauron could dance around and do the rap part ("it's gettin' kinda hectic!") and then be all like, 'BOOYAH! It your face, hobbits!!'"

Music news
January 13, 2003 + much more fun when it's about music, not news. But it's a hot day:

Maurice Gibb dead at 53

NBC President Andrew Lack to replace Tommy Mottola at Sony (analysis)

Pete Townshend arrested on child pornography suspicion (although it doesn't sound like much)

And the biggie: 'Mullet Rock' compilation shaping up. I'm (mildly) embarrassed to admit I like a lot of these songs.

Thanks, Dad (and E&Y)
January 3, 2003 + Posted to Quite Keen
My First Finals is a piece I wrote for Ticketstubs, Matt Haughey's fine (and long-overdue!) new Web site dedicated to, well, ticket stubs.

Update: Ticketstub Project is today's Yahoo Pick. (thanks Anil)

Jack Nicholson interview
January 2, 2003 +
Entertaining, revealing interview with Jack Nicholson in this week's Entertainment Weekly.

EW You've always been pretty popular with the ladies.

NICHOLSON [Grinning] That has nothing to do with me being famous.

My brain is this mess
January 2, 2003 +
"In praise of clutter" in The Economist Christmas Edition. "People spread stuff over their desks not because they are too lazy to file it, but because the paper serves as a physical representation of what is going on in their heads."

December 2002




Copyright © 2003 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.