You Missed a Spot

In housework, as in any field primarily concerned with the reduction of chaos, the work itself is not noticed; only the failures are. Take a few moments today to thank your spouse, your domestic help, your secretary, your department of public works, your firefighter, your sysadmin for keeping chaos at bay.

Third-Party Content Removed

I have removed all advertising from my website. I’ve had a website online since 1996 or so, and since then I’ve made perhaps $3.00 from affiliate advertising. I have no idea how anyone makes money from this. Because this advertising is no great benefit to me, and no great benefit to you, the reader, it […]

On Plagiarism and Linkage

I’m disturbed by what seems to be the very common practices on today’s Internet of copying another’s work without acknowledging the source, of quotations without attribution, and of quotations pretending to be one’s original work. I suppose this could be, to some extent, ignorance of polite behavior; in some cases, however, it appears to be […]

A Short Networking Quiz

1) An essential characteristic of UDP is that it is a) unreliable b) undecipherable c) unconscionable d) unwieldy 2) This characteristic is a result of which quality of UDP? a) guaranteed b) ordered c) archaic d) stateless 3) Which essential service of the Internet relies on UDP? a) WINS b) NFS c) DNS d) FTP […]

A $50 Gift Card

Frankly, I don’t understand why people buy gift cards. I understand why they give them, but not why they buy them. Gift cards are given because giving the card, instead of cash, shows that you spent some time and effort thinking about the gift. The selection of which store can even indicate that you know […]

In Memoriam

Back before Twitter, there was September 11th 10:40:10 AM R.I.P. WTC ๐Ÿ™ 10:06:15 AM Looks like most of the news sites have been /.d. Guess no one has learned their bandwidth lessons. 10:05:26 AM a0551 —– wbx AP-PENTAGON EXPLOSION, 1ST ADD “I saw the tail of a large airliner. … It plowed right into […]

In the long history of Man’s inhumanity to Man, it is ever so

While reading In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Phillipines, I came across mention of a disturbingly familiar topic. War is hell. From The New York Times, April 15, 1902, the following (also at wikisource). WASHINGTON, April 14.โ€”The Senate Committee on the Philippines began the week with the intention of making an investigation of the […]


Health care as an employer-provided benefit arose in response to salary caps and payroll taxes [citation needed]. It was a way to compete for employees by increasing the employee’s effective salary without having to pay all of the cost. Employee benefits, as part of the total compensation package, are still used to compete for quality […]

Footprint per Capita

The newspaper had a map of each country’s carbon footprint per person. Something like this one from Wikipedia. This is one of those graphics that misleads with statistics. The U.S. seems top of the charts here, but one has to recall that the ranking is per person. Compare, for example, China or India, which have […]

Faded Memories

All I remember of one of the few records I owned as a child is a line that ended one of the songs. Save your Confederate credit cards. The South’s gonna rise again. For some reason that stuck with me. I thought it was funny since the Confederacy didn’t have credit cards. I wonder what […]

Statistical Enquiry of the Devil’s Playground

Certain laws and regulations, and policies related to those, have a non-trivial impact on statistics which are not normally thought of in concert with those laws. For example, mandatory sentencing increases incarceration rates, which in turn will decrease the employable population. Child labor laws directly impact the employable population, but so do mandatory attendance requirements […]