A Glimmer of Haskell

I think I’m starting to actually grasp Haskell’s monads. I’ve been reading the Haskell wikibook and this article on Monads as Containers…

And I’ve been dinking around just a little and little things like this are making sense to me:

Prelude> return("won't you take me to") >>= (\line -> putStrLn (line ++ " funKAYTOWN"))
won't you take me to funKAYTOWN
Prelude> ["won't you take me to"] >>= (\str -> [str ++ " funKAYTOWN"])
["won't you take me to funKAYTOWN"]

Cool. I’ve wanted to learn me some Haskell for a long time (I think I first checked it out in 2001?), but somehow the abstraction in monads was a little more than I could focus on. Now it’s starting, starting to make sense.
The fact that it’s been this hard to get me this far doesn’t suggest that I’m going to be a master Haskellist any time soon, but at least there’s some hope.

Comet Holmes Fading

On a rare clear night I tried taking pictures of Comet Holmes again. It is fading out of view, as Sky and Telescope notes. My digital camera was able to catch a little of the glow, on 30 second exposure — nothing was really there for the naked eye anymore. Sad to see it go.

Holmes Fading

I also took a kind of cool picture of the Pleiades and some wispy clouds, and made something desktoppable out of it.

A Weekend In Iowa, Being Pandered To

I spent the holiday in Iowa and got to see what it’s like being pandered to constantly by candidates. Highlights:

Kucinich has no ad presence in Iowa. Bummer.

The only Republican ads I saw were from Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo — I got to see the famous Tom Tancredo “oogabooga they’re gonna get you!” ad several times.

Amusingly, a relative of mine who lives there didn’t realize Tancredo was running for president — he thought he was just making ads about how Islamic terrorists were infiltrating us disguised as Mexican immigrants in hoodies for whatever reason. The ads barely mentioned his candidacy…

Obama and Edwards have a strong ad presence and both focus on the middle class getting the shaft at the hands of large corporations and hyper-rich, which is good — they’re focused on something important.

Clinton’s ad, which I saw several times, strongly suggests that her health care plan is to personally phone hospitals and convince them to give people health care for free, which I think is just awesome. Rock on Hillary.