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In Memoriam 2015

January 1: Donna Douglas: Played daughter Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. (Age 82). 1: Mario Cuomo: Governor of New York (1983 to 1994) (Age 82). 2: James Cecil Dickens: Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, best known for his song May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up ...

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The disappearance of misc.activism.progressive and the emergence of Thought Crime Radio

Almost four years ago, the articles in the USENET newsgroup misc.activism.progressive ground to a halt, and moderator Rich Winkel has all but disappeared from the USENET, whom I learn resided in Harrisburg (up until 2010, at least), a half hour or so drive from his ...

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Sounding off on the end of CanCon and the CRTC

I guess with the recent decision to axe all cancon requirements for daytime programming in Canada, the CRTC is crawling toward its own irrelevance. Let's not be naive, Canadian culture is that much more weakened without the protection it partially enjoyed from American influence. With ...

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Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map … barely

Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map ... barely

I've written about obscure Saskatchewan communities before. Here is another community far to the north of Unity. My ancestors from France settled here. Many of my ancestors were pioneers that broke new farming ground nearest to a community called Eldred, Saskatchewan. Eldred was about 10 km ...

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Zero

Once upon a time, around the year 525 during the reign of Pope John I, a monk named Dionysius invented the idea of Anno Domini by producing a calendar which marked the time since the birth of Christ. The numbering of the years was adopted ...

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Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

You know, I was minding my own business in this classy Chinese restaurant, engorging myself on their copious buffet, had my fill, and was handed the bill with an accompanying fortune cookie. This fortune cookie (the one to the left) really existed, and I never saw ...

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Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Maple is a robust math environment which can graph, solve equations, and solve for the unknown with the aid of its computer algebra solver (CAS), which is capable of computing exact roots of cubic functions, for example. I wanted to demonstrate for myself that Maple could ...

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Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Recently, I've been hit (my website that is) by someone possibly checking his plethora of links from his/her website, and when I back-traced it, I find this cool blog which acts as a convincing historical shrine to the late great 1050 CHUM Radio in Toronto. ...

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The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

This is more like a meta-review. I have gone to Canada Computes where nearly the entire Behringer line is sold, and was impressed by the specs. But does it do what I want, the way I want it? I face a number of obstacles, being a ...

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Nobody wins

Tweet This is a story about Nobody getting arrested. Nobody getting a brutal police beating. Nobody spending three days in hospital. Nobody being jailed, and Nobody being let go, because the charges didn’t stick. While hearing reports about Adam Nobody seems humourous, with reporters having to, as they always do for people they are discussing, referring to […] […]

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A hate on SWAG

Tweet SWAG has by now been so overused that no one, not even the generation that wear their hats sideways and wear their pants so that half their ass shows, seem to know what it means anymore. And I don’t mean that older people don’t know what they mean, but I am not sure that even […] […]

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The questions of our ‘net denizens

Tweet From time to time one gets curious about the most popular questions on the minds of people on the ‘net. If I enter “why” in the Google search, depending on the letter that comes after, I get, through autocomplete: Why be happy when you could be normal Why does Facebook suck Why fighting should stay in hockey Why? For the […] […]

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More repair notes on the blog

Tweet While this is not the optimal solution, it looks like there is no choice. I had to go into the database to delete all of the comments in order to delete the 130 thousand or so spurious comments from spammers waiting in the moderation queue. So, to this day, there are no comments anywhere in […] […]

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Back after being blocked out

Tweet I haven’t published anything at this blog since mid-2011, and I won’t for some time, as I have to now fix the site. First, I needed to get rid of fake subscribers (over 15 thousand of them)  placed here by spambots. Spambots have also inserted nearly 150 thousand fake messages should you like to hear […] […]

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Computers in education

Tweet The debate over computers in the schools has finally come  around to giving naysayers equal time. There was an article in the Sunday New York Times regarding a school in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley that teaches math, music, and other standard elementary school subjects in a computer-free environment.Computers are touted as an enhancer […] […]

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Dennis Ritchie, dead at 70

Tweet Computer programmer Dennis Ritchie passed away today at age 70. Ritchie co-invented the UNIX operating system with Ken Thompson at Bell Labs in 1969, while co-authoring the C programming language with Brian Kernighan around the same period. In 1978, Kernighan and Ritchie co-authored the book “The C Programming Language”, now known as the K&R book. […] […]

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Catch-22 is 50

Tweet Well, that milestone had been past a couple of days ago having first been published on October 11, 1961 (I was sure it was first published in the 50s, but not so, according to publisher Simon & Schuster), but I must say it was my favourite book, and possibly remains my favourite book of fiction […] […]

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On Advocates for Suicide

Tweet Whether it’s in favour of Euthanasia, or whatever other pretext there is to make suicide look good, do you ever notice that people in support of suicide are still alive, and need to be alive to advocate for it? I dunno. Just a thought. […]

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Nice polynomials, nice polynomials …

Tweet For my math class, I was attempting to create a curve sketching question by writing the second derivative as a factorable quadratic, and working backwards to an order-4 polynomial. Along the way, I would fill in the missing constant terms by using synthetic division on an arbitrary binomial factor, and striking upon a satisfactory polynomial […] […]

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Regretsy is into their second year.

Tweet I am a lover of satire, and I came across a great site called “Regretsy“, a parody site of “etsy“, which is a site for people who want to sell their arts and crafts. There are a lot of bad crafts out there sold by people who are often full of themselves (you have to […] […]

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Thoughts on September 11

Tweet Frankly, I didn’t want to get caught up in the hubbub that has marked the 10th anniversary of the disasters of 9/11/2001, but my wife had been watching the TV about this constantly, so I thought I would weigh in on opinions on what has been called 9/11. There are a lot of conspiracy theories out […] […]

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An SSD on an HP TX-2 Laptop with Linux

Tweet I recently purchased an OCZ Vertex 2 Solid State Hard Drive. The price per gig is enormous ($220 after taxes, in-store warranty, and mail-in rebate for a 120 gig hard drive), but is just the size to install the operating system and any applications I like. I generally don’t use the main hard drive (or […] […]

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Chili and TSP

Tweet I always had an aversion to veggie foods. This isn’t because I hate the stuff; it’s more because I admit to quite a lot of ignorance toward going veggie and eating balanced meals at the same time. This doesn’t mean I avoid it altogether, it’s just that I didn’t feel ready to let go of […] […]

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Homage to species that barely existed

Tweet It has come to my attention in recent years that we are the stupid ones. Homo sapiens, as we so arrogantly call ourselves, might be the least intelligent of the surviving genii of hominids. Our species won out over Homo neanderthalensis because we were more competitive and selfish than they. Neandethals have larger brains than […] […]

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How to spend an idle afternoon

Tweet Yesterday, I told another fellow computer geek an ’80s DOS joke about being prompted to “Enter any 11-digit prime number and press ENTER to continue.” She then suggested that a number with 11 1’s might be prime.  Having encountered this before in programs I’ve written, I warned her that you can’t assume all sequences of […] […]

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A Walk Around Harvard Yard

Tweet A couple of days ago at Harvard College was the first day that students had a chance to get settled away to their dorms; freshmen arrived with their parents, and clutches of parents and their young adult kids were clustered around the statue of John Harvard to have photos taken of them touching the shoe […] […]

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Keyboards and Keypads II

Tweet I had been searching for a good USB keypad for use with my laptop. I prefer to enter sets of numbers using a separate keypad rather than using the “keypad mode” keys native to my laptop, since I don’t need to keep switching between modes if I am both entering a list of numbers and […] […]

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Cambridge Diary II

Tweet 2:11 PM Tuesday 16 August I am sitting in the Catherine Stratton Lounge inside the Stratton Student Centre at MIT. At one end, a soap opera plays in a room where about 20 armchairs and couches are arranged on one end, theatre-style, around a 50-inch flat-screen TV. Only two students are lying there viewing the latest […] […]

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Cambridge Diary I

Tweet 11:45 AM, Aug 15 I came out of the Boston subway system after taking the long way around to get to the Kendall/MIT stop. It’s raining, and I enter a building where I can get my first full meal, which is connected to a bookstore called the MIT co-op. There is a food court in the […] […]

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