Sunday, October 28, 2007

IMAP on GMail

GMail now provides IMAP.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dumbledore is a homosexual

When I heard that J.K. Rowling announced that she "always thought Dumbledore was gay," it didn't really mean anything to me. Having read all the books, I could see how she could fit that opinion into the story, but clearly, her statement is irrelevant, since it wasn't in the body of the text. Also, sexuality in the series is largely absent, if at all present. I can remember some adolescent curiosity implied in some of the later books, but it isn't a major part of the story or part of any theme.

It's not inappropriate for Rowling to specify Dumbledore's sexual orientation outside the body of her work, and I have to praise her for standing up against bigotry by making an admirable protagonist a homosexual, but the point seems totally irrelevant. It should be as irrelevant as if she were to elaborate on the sexual practices of other characters in the series, gay or straight, but the sad fact is that her action isn't irrelevant; she has used her position to take a stand to fairly represent homosexuals. In so many media, homosexual representation is, if even present, quite often negative.

The idea that her statement could change a reading of the book is outright absurd, because there aren't depictions of any sex in the book.

The case for open immigration

It's a pretty nutty opinion that I have that the borders should be opened. The case to keep immigrants out is grounded in racism, xenophobia, jingoism, irrationality, and inconsistency. It's not so crazy an idea that I have. Many who have a knee-jerk reaction against open borders may not be racists or jingoists, but haven't examined the argument fully, or maybe they just don't understand the reasoning for why open borders are best. For that, Phillipe Legrain is here.

Ridiculously Unsubtle Imagery in Ad

The imagery of this ad is so unsubtle!

History of sushi

Learn about the origins of sushi.

Excellent Surreal Prank

Would you freak out if you saw that you had no reflection?

Ron Paul Videos

Here's a couple of videos about Ron Paul. The second one makes absolutely no sense, but straight males will enjoy it nonetheless.

5000 years of religion in 90 seconds

Watch 5000 years of religion in 90 seconds.

Reverse Graffiti

Check out this awesome reverse graffiti.

Follow-up on the uselessness of the spinning dancer

Indeed, I had a hunch that the dancer I blogged about earlier had little, if any analytical value. Steven D. Levitt came to the same conclusion.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Which way does the dancer spin?

From the Freakonomics blog, I found this.

While the descriptions of individuals as determined by what they see in the image seem so vague as to be meaningless, the exercise itself is fascinating.

Obama's Lapel

Barack Obama made a comment about how wearing a lapel of an American flag wasn't a subsitute for patriotism. I haven't liked much of Obama's rhetoric which seems to consist of a lot of short-term protectionism, but this is one of the first things that he's said of which I really admire. Too often nationalism goes unquestioned, and nationalism doesn't sound all that different from jingoism. The idea that any one person, or group of people are somehow superior to another because of their geographic location is outright obnoxious. It's bothersome when people talk of their unquestioning loyalty to America, as an end in itself, not a means for a free society.

Flag waving, to me, looks similar to racist chants. Of course, I speak out against this, but let me make it clear that no government, in my humble opinion, has the right to censor any such speech.

Check out Obama's unlikely ally from his statement.

Mobile Blogging

I will be posting on the go, in addition to regular posts.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Evil Dr. Hayne

Radley Balko has a piece in Reason and the Wall Street Journal of the shenanigans happening in a Mississippi town. A pathologist is performing an insane amount of autopsies; he has a monopoly on any autopsy for any whose relevant defendants cannot afford to hire pathologists not appointed by the state. He is blatantly fraudulent, and the situation is about the most depressing I've read concerning fairness in the criminal justice system. It's a long and important read, and I give major kudos to Balko for modern-day muckraking.

Balko is of course a senior editor of Reason, but these articles will stir outrage in any libertarian, Democrat, Republican, or any person really.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Strongest M&M

A Craiglist poster finds the strongest M&Ms.

Hunting Bats

This guy posted stories, with pictures, about how he got bats out of his house.