Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Spinkbottle

Admittedly, that's a lot less euphonious than "Eulalie", but I think it would serve equally well. Found this post at Arma Virumque as I was reading what I had missed while my computer was down. Nice little blog about the joys of Wodehouse and the strange places to find adherents. Case in point: Steve. I wouldn't have suspected he was a Wodehouse fan.

Yeah, I think I'll try the tactic they suggest, and I'll probably use their word too. Eulalie.

The Dangers Of Speaking Extemporaneously

Ms Lopez over at NRO quotes Maxine Waters speaking at the pro-abortion march this past weekend. If this wasn't off the cuff, she needs to fire her speechwriter.

What's In A Name?

Found an interesting site long time ago that I ran across again recently. It's a site that finds random names from US Census date based on how obscure they are. It's interesting, though not of much use. Just as useless, but more amusing, is the site that provides you with a "Wu-name". The name you would have if you were a member of the Wu Tang Clan.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Books

Finished Experiments Against Reality on the flight out East (see post just below), read The Bourne Identity while I was out East, finished Prime Obsession on the flight back and went to library the day I got back and picked up Ender's Game and read it that afternoon and evening.

Experiments Against Reality was quite a good book. Lots of interesting essays about different writers and thinkers of the "modern" and "post-modern" schools. Expanded my knowledge about such people as Freud, Sartre, Nietzsche, T.S. Eliot and others. Of particular interest to me was the essay on John Stuart Mill, who was quite obviously not a favourite of Mr Kimball.

The math in Prime Obsession did get more difficult, but I slogged through (and I think I understood most of it). All in all, it was a fascinating book about one of the longer standing unsolved math problems. An interesting problem, interesting people and an interesting book. A good read for anyone mathematically or scientifically inclined, I should think.

The Bourne Identity was one of those rare instances where I thought the movie was better than the book. The writing was bad, the book was too long, the emotions not believable and the plot far too contrived. It's not a bad story idea: assassin has amnesia. But it wasn't carried off very well in the book, whereas the film made a nice, though fairly mindless, action flick.

Ender's Game was superior to The Bourne Identity, but it got terribly preachy and utopian at the end. The premise about children being trained from a young age to serve as soldiers is both interesting and well done in practice. Little things do give away that the book was written in the 80's, but I don't fault books for that, personally. It's not a great work of literature, but it is an entertaining sci-fi story. Much better than the Star Wars or Star Trek novels I've read. I can see why this is a "classic" of the genre. I can also see how the story could easily cause Mr Card to write the overwrought introduction that he did for the reissued paperback. I also gathered that much of what I thought was unnecessary and preachy at the end of the book was probably appended later. Like Asimov's Foundation novels, most of what was added well after the fact is not up to the standard of the original material.

All in all, I'd recommend three of the four.

Vacation (Sorta)

Took a sorta vacation to the Eastern US this past week. The main impetus was to see my nephew (Caleb Alan). But we (my wife and I) seized the opportunity to visit her parents and mine as well as my brother and his wife. Which was what made it only a sorta vacation. Of the 8 days I was gone, I spent a goodly chunk of 4 of them in transit from one relative to another. Still, it was good times and my nephew is quite the kid, despite being only a week old as of today. Big guy, good looking, obviously has many of the same genes that his uncle has. Except for the mouth. It's like Julia Roberts' mouth. Enormous to the point where his head appears to split in half when it's opened. If I ever decide to move to MT and get my own domain, I'll put a picture of the little tyke up.

Mama, There That Man Again

Well, my computer is reasonably back to normal. I think it was my TV card that was screwing things up. Either that or my sound card. If my computer starts crashing again without the TV card in, I'll know it was the sound card. Anyway, enough about my problems. Back to the pointless blogging!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Absence

No, I haven't abruptly given up on my blog. My computer has died. Well, it's probably more accurate to say that it's gone insane. Anyway, this has prevented me from blogging for the past few weeks while I'm trying to find the time and money to get my computer the help it needs. (I'm borrowing a friend's computer for this post.) I'm not really concerned about losing my readers, really. As best I can tell, I only have about two regular readers. I figure I'll just send them an e-mail when things get back to normal.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

God, Darwin And Your Tax-Dollars

An article in NRO by an professor of mine at SPU, John West. Worth noting here just for that, but also because of the content. The article looks at how a government funded group is using tax dollars to promote the use of religion to support teaching Darwinism in government schools.

Books

Been reading books of my own that I've been meaning to get through rather than books from the library recently. Which seems to go more slowly, probably because I don't have the spur of a due date and a fine hanging over me. Still, very enjoyable. As you may have noticed, I've been reading Experiments Against Reality, which is a collection of essays by Roger Kimball of The New Criterion. Still slogging my way through Prime Obsession too. The math hasn't proved too difficult yet, but I've still got a bit more than half the book to go, so we'll see.

More From Experiments Against Reality

"[Wallace] Stevens observed that 'Art for art's sake is both indiscreet and
worthless.... Beauty is strength. But art--art all alone, detached, sensuous for
the sake of sensuousness, not to perpetuate inspiration or thought, art that is
mere art--seems to me to be the most arrant as it is the most inexcusable
rubbish.'"