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    • The shape shifters in their usual form.
    • Clippering under moody clouds.
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Two New Plans

The last plan didn’t work very well, but I’m not giving up on this whole plan thing. The new plan is to read every night once in bed instead of bringing the laptop with me. With properly selected texts (a Electricity and Magentism physics book, in this case), I shoul dbe able to learn something and fall alseep quickly. It will also get me reading again, since I recently noticed that I haven’t read anything significant in quite a while.

The second plan is to take the proper courses at BCC to get an Associate of Science degree, which I hope will improve my chances with the UW in the future. Regardless, its officially half way to a Baccalaurette degree pretty much. I’ve signed up for Intro to Linear Algebra as an evening course right now, and will hopefully add to it some classes that will quickly get me an Associates after I tranfer my BYU credits and get some advising. So, the next step is advisement.

9/11 Commission – The Juggernaut Rolls On

I briefly watched some prerecorded 9/11 Commission footage as the Olympics coverage was winding down tonight. The topic was maritime port security. I was dismayed, although not terribly surprised, to hear the exteme lack of faith that the commissioners had in the ability to cope with terrorist threats. A heard one commissioner, a democrat woman of some sort, say that she didn’t think there would be a good way to get all the competing companies together to discuss vulnerabilities that might lead to greater terrorist risks, because its against nature for companies to share with each other like that. The supposedly pro-business republican chairman showed no more faith in the free market to cope with the possibility of terrorism in his comments about how the Coast Guard had forced a lot of changes on the companies, but that the government needed to do more.

What crack are these people smoking?

They talk like the companies would harbor and help terrorists into ports if it would increase their profits. But there are very strong financial incentives for companies to prevent terroism from happening on their ships, if the government would just leave the responsibility there. No company wants to loose a ship to bomb, and no port that fears a company’s ships will allow their ships into the harbor, wary of immediate physical damage or a much longer term tarnishing of reputation. This is one situation where I don’t see any government role, in fact. The externalities are minimized and the incentives to do the right thing for the socil good are strong, so government involvement can only foul up the issue.

The same goes for Airlines, although now it has long been far too late to do much about it. If it had been the job of the airlines to ensure security of the planes, would 9/11 have happened? I doubt it myself, but even if it had, United and American would be suffering for a long time for the consequences of their lack of security measures. Instead, it is government’s job to enforce security, and when they fail, they only get bigger and more likely to hassle you and me. There is actually an institutional incentive for the screeners to screw up, so the institution can grow, although the personal incentives are to get it right, so hopefully that will happen more often then not. But the point remains: the TSA generally helps nothing. I am convinced I could, still today, get a gun or a bomb onto a plane with a high likelyhood of success. Oh, and if you don’t hear from me again, it was good knowing you and the feds have me in custody now…

Favicon.ico

The first in an upcoming series of long-overdue changes for this site, I took the new Arcanius symbol and made it into a favorites icon. Now what I want to know is when is the favicon thing going to be standardized so I don’t have to name it “favicon.ico” and the link makes sense…?

The Favorites Icon does need work, I’ve decided, but its a lot better than the faceless white page you’d have otherwise. Once again, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Other upcoming changes:

  • Massive CSS Rewrite-From-Scratch (or at least Rewrite-Everything-At-Least-Once)
  • Develop a unique site theme, that doesn’t look so out-of-the-box WordPressy (although I do love WordPress)
  • Better menu locations for me
  • Sparingly used graphics to spice things up

Maneesh, Fare Thee Well

Bonus! I became double-plus un-lazy and uploaded another picture, this one of my final hang-outing with the new New Yorker, Maneesh. Enjoy!
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Arcanius, Reloaded

Eariler (hey, yesterday!), I talked about a doodle that I made during a meeting at work which I thought would be a perfect symbol for Arcanius. To please my ever-faithful audience, I decided not to be lazy this time, and actually upload it.
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Texas Holdem

Tonight, after a work (which included a particularly useful meeting in which I came up with a new design for the symbol of Arcanius), I went to Robinswood, where frisbee didn’t happen (Jacob showed up kind of on time, Lauren was pretty later, and others didn’t show), so I went with Lauren and picked up dc (of Carrots), and went to Dan’s place for some Texas Holdem, a style of poker explained nicely in this Wikipedia article. Lauren was first out, followed a long time after by dc, and Dan then made short work with me (him having 3/4 of the chips helped, I think, but I also made more mistakes and got worse cards). Oh well, it was fun, and it was also all of our first times playing an even semi-organized poker game. After Lauren got out she kept dc and I entertained with gossip about our graduating class and a variety of jokes. It was good to see both dc and Lauren again, since it had been a while.

Olympic Suckage

I watched just a little bit of the Olympics tonight after getting home from watching the most boring Mariner’s game EVER. 9-0 Devil Rays. DEVIL RAYS! Well, thats what we get for loosing Lou and Freddie and Johnson and Griffey and Arod and…

Well, the Olympics didn’t put me in a better mood either, because the main event I watched (after an awesome sweep of the Men’s 400m by the US) was the Men’s Olympic high-bar. And I have lost all faith in Olympic judging. If judges were in charge of the more quantifiable races, they would never be closer than two or three seconds (20-30% error on the 100m)… In this case, they gave the Russian who deserved at least a Silver and made a good case for the Gold a lower score than the two who went before him who he made look like little children with the power and complexity of his routine. The crowd was right when they booed the decision, and the score adjustment was simply to appease them; it didn’t change anything at all. The Italian’s routine was also incredible, maybe a hair better than the Russians, but not by much. And Hamm’s, or whatever-his-sqeaky-voiceness-name-is, who somehow won the Silver and had the gall to defend the decision as well (easy to do when the same system gave you the gold in the all-around earlier), routine was also lackluster compared to the man’s he followed. How he outscored even the Japanese baffles me, let alone the Russian.

My dad suggested instant replay, and that may really be the way to go. Have the judges watch all the routines in person, then, at their leisure, they watch them again in slow-mo from different angles and all that. Then rank the routines, and give point values to each one. The top ranked ones win, with the points to break ties. Of course, considering how obviously clueless the judges seem to be, and how often manipulated they are, maybe there’s an even better solution… like maybe the crowd – they seemed to know what was up. At least their reactions make more sense.