Jeff Duntemann (jeff_duntemann) wrote,
Jeff Duntemann

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Odd Lots

  • It was inevitable: Be the Balloon Boy for Halloween. However, as the ad says, don't get carried away... (Thanks to Pete Albrecht for the link.)
  • I downloaded an Xubuntu 9.04 LiveCD, and (interestingly) the OS does not appear to be able to identify my Samsung 1600 X 900 display, and thus defaults to a 4:3 something too narrow and a little too high. More interestingly still, it shows a blank field for the current display resolution in the Settings dialogs. Ubuntu and Kubuntu 9.04 have no trouble with the display, and I'm wondering if the xfce resolution is hardcoded. Either way, it didn't leave me with an especially good impression of Xubuntu.
  • There's something telling about my feeling it necessary to tell you that there's a spot on the sun! I've done screen-projection sunspot observations at, um, spotty intervals since 1970, and until quite recently, sunspots were more or less always there when you wanted to look. Not so for the last two or three years, when sunspots--and band openings--have become something of a novelty.
  • Heath-Zenith still exists. They make doorbells. (Thanks to Bp. Sam'l Bassett for the link.)
  • Use your deordorant and become a better person. (Clean the catbox, ditto.) I've sometimes wondered what odors are actually for, and whether there's an evolutionary reason that humans are so much lousier at detecting and discriminating among them than other mammals.
  • Oh, and you may be more productive with your shoes on. (If that's true, how the hell have I ever gotten anything done?)
  • Wired Magazine has a cover story on the antivaxers, and whatever your views on the issue (mine are so strong as to be essentially unprintable, so don't look for them here) it's worth reading.
  • The New Yorker always has clever covers, but this is the best one I've seen since the Mullahs on Segways.
  • Recommended Obscure Halloween Reading for 2009: Jonathan Carroll's The Land of Laughs, which was published in 1980 but can still be had for cheap on the used book sites. The biographer of a legendary (deceased) author of children's books travels to the small Midwestern town where the author once lived and finds that fantasy is blurring into reality in some odd and very creepy ways.
  • Is there a more modern technical term for those jokes/inspirational/polemic notes that people email out to their entire address book, with instructions at the bottom to send this to 10 people / 20 people / everyone you know? I call them chain letters, but wonder if their email incarnation has a geekier term attached to it.
Tags: astronomy, humor, linux, sf

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