Former Rush Limbaugh Staffer Successfully Trolls Slashdot

The story: “Expert Wants to Decertify Global Warming Skeptics.” The source: a blog entry on the Senate’s web pages. The blogger? James Inhofe’s communications director Marc Morano, one of the first publicizers of the Swift Boat Veterans For Hatchet Jobs. Using the years of experience as reporter and producer for the Rush Limbaugh tv show he has emerged to protect the integrity of American science!

To Digg’s credit, this got one single solitary digg (Or at least that’s the total it ended up with; I don’t know how digg works too much). And I don’t know if it even showed up on Reddit. Though I seem to remember them falling pretty hard for that hoax about the Bush administration pressuring Grand Canyon staffers not to admit the age of the Canyon in deference to Creationists.

A Little Bastion of Free (Software) -dom

I recently got my Linux machine going in my room.  To get it on the network, I (at long last) upgraded our wireless router to the faster “g” protocol, and bought a “g” pci card for the linux box, and that was it.

We haven’t done much with desktop machines in the house for a while.  There’s an aged iMac which my wife sometimes uses for quick browsing and which the kids use to watch Homestar Runner and play flash games in the living room.  My wife and I both have laptops (actually they’re both my “work” laptops, but she often uses one).  But there’s been no even slightly modern, up to date desktop in the house for a while.

Well, OK, there still isn’t; the linux machine I’m typing on is an old Dell thing that my wife got from work for $20 when they sold them off after upgrading.  For all that it’s not a bad machine: 800MHz, the RAM was at 128M and I doubled that, and I put a big ol’ extra hard drive in there that I had.

It’s got Ubuntu 6.10 (“Edgy Eft”) on it now, and the neat stuff I’ve got going with it so far is…

Azureus for filesharing. (Horrible resource hog but it seems to be the top of the line for bittorrent.)
Got Boodler running and have an all-night rainstorm programmed to lull us to sleep.

Enabled my wacom tablet so that I can draw neat stuff at this desktop using the Gimp.

An example of which follows (When in doubt, draw a dragon!)Maned Dragon

Exploding Head a Side Effect of Aging

On reflection, the thing that most blows me away about finding out where my old classmate ended up is that someone my age, who started out (except for the billion dollar inheritance of course) in the same place as me, could possibly be a player on the global military and political stage. This is aging. First you start to notice that, say, a few pop stars are your age instead of older than you. Then they’re younger. Then most pop stars are younger than you. Then you find yourself in a job where you’re the oldest guy in your department by a few years. Then you move into a job where you’re older than your boss, and that makes you sit down and put your head in your hands.

I have not yet hit the age where the people who run the government are your age, or younger than you. That’s gonna be a tough one. The YouTube generation running the nation, communicating global strategies on their cellphones in txt msgs (omg do u want 2 nvade iraq??? ya u do? me 2 lets do it).

While you’re younger than a certain group of people (pop stars, professional people, politicians, whatever) you can imagine that you could end up as one of them, when you get to that age. 99.9% of us don’t end up as anything but ourselves, of course. And that’s fine, that’s as it should be. But seeing someone you were on the first grade playground with messing with the state of the world (and particularly messing with it in a way you’d never want it messed with) brings home in a forceful way that you’ve gotten to that same age without becoming anything more special than yourself.

Not that, as they said on Seinfeld, there’s anything wrong with that. Just being yourself is all you need to be. But there’s this whole mythology of Getting Somewhere In Life that clings to your brain and wriggles in anger when something points out that it has nothing to do with you.

And of course, the billionaire mercenary warlords and the pop stars and everybody else — they’ve just become themselves too. That’s just what, in rare cases, one’s “self” happens to look like.

Trading Jules for Orzabal and Smith

This isn’t even a mash-up, it’s more of an experiment. People have various opinions on the Gary Jules remake of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” But I have this “can’t we all just get along” attitude, so of course I took Gary Jules aside and suggested that he speed up his delivery and sing along together with Tears for Fears, everybody happy together. (My initial idea of asking Tears for Fears to slow down to Jules’s speed led to pure fiasco.) So here we have, together on stage for the first time, Gary Jules, Roland Orzabal, and Curt Smith all singing “Schizoid World.”