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Journal: Chronicle: New girl on the block oddity. 7

Journal by Chacham

My apartment's building is one of many around a circle. That is, the circle is surrounded by a square of lots, with apartment buildings on all four sides. As it so happens, i am now in my third apartment there, and on a third side.

Well before my arrival on the scene, the center of the circle was a pool and pool house, The pool has since been filled in and is mostly grass now. The pool house was at first the apartment office, which has moved to one of the apartments, and now is used for storage and also for housing the washing machine and dryer electric card machine refiller. It's a nice area and a few kids play there. The same kids usually, the ones that live in the circle.

Aside from the toddlers, most of the kids are black girls. I don't know if this is due to the population or just those are the ones more likely to play there, but that is irrelevant. It just makes others stand out. Until recently, there were three white girls playing outside, of which i know the two Jewish ones who are, iirc, 9 and 10 years old. I know them mostly because they play with my upstairs neighbor's kids when they (the upstairs kids) come on the weekends. The other girl has said hello to me once or twice in passing, but her family left to some other state. As it so happens, her father is black and her mother, white.

On Thursday i saw a new girl across the circle riding a bike. I thought her new because she was white, making it remarkable even at a distance. By her dress i could tell she was not Jewish (at least not Orthodox) and wondered if someone else had moved into the complex. The fact that it wasn't the beginning of the month didn't seem to bother me. Late afternoon on Friday, as i was going to a program, this girl saw me, and, looking scared, ran in between two parked cars so i could not see her. That was odd. A moment later, the black girl she had been playing with turned to me and said hello, which got my shy response. Since she was around at least one of the Jewish girls (who seem to be popular amongst the circle's kids), i asked them the following day what had happened.

Samantha has a white father and black mother. Her mother's sister lives in the circle and she visits her cousin (the girl that said hello to me on Friday) once in a while. She is Indian (this part makes no sense to me), flatulates when she gets nervous (these were not her exact words), and Xian. I am amazed at a girl's ability to learn so much in such a short time.

When Samantha saw me, she noted i was Jewish and thought i was going to curse her. (Really?!) She also doesn't like me because i don't accept her god. I asked the two girls if she played with them. Apparently, Samantha stipulated that they would have to accept her god, at least for the day, in order for her to play with them. IIUC, the older girl did not play with her, the younger one kind of ignored the topic and played with her. I did not get that last part so clearly. Though, their parents seemed to weigh in on the matter at some point.

And here i thought fundamentalist Xians tended to dress more conservatively. This girl had short shorts and a loose top. That's just plain odd. On a related note, i used to think that couples where one was black and the other white were rare, and ones where the woman was black rarer still. Yet, i see more often now.

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Journal: Funniest /. article in a while 8

Journal by smitty_one_each
As my wife is German and my in-laws are visiting, we had a good laugh about it.
Formerly East Germans have a less than stellar reputation.
My wife also wished that the research had included a question of religious affiliation, as Germany is split between Protestant and Catholic regions, and she felt that there might be a similar statistical significance along those lines.
I don't care to offend either group by revealing her suspicion. As a Baptist, I only support the Pope when he's rightly dividing the Word of Truth, but don't recognize him enough to feel there is anything to Protest against.
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Journal: Looking for Galen's De Temperamentis in English (4) 2

Journal by Chacham

Continuing the search for Galen's De Temperamentis in English, i saw that Cambridge University Press published the first book in the Cambridge Galen Translations series, Volume 1, in April, 2014. Indeed, Amazon has it listed as being published on April 7, 2014.

Amazon has it at $134 and free shipping. Cambridge Press has the list price is $140 and $6.50 shipping, but their Academic Alerts offers 20% off the first online purchase. 140 * .8 = 112, which is also the price of the eBook. Add shipping, 112 + 6.5 = 118.5, and it comes in less than Amazon's price. Good thing i checked.

The question is, does this include De Temperamentis? Whereas the listing includes the Table of Contents, De Temperamentis is the Latin title, not the Greek one. So, i emailed the press [Note: only excerpts of the actual email are quotes here.]:

ISBN: 9780521765176
Galen: Psychological Writings

Does this book contain a translation of De Temperamentis?

The reply cam pretty quickly:

Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately ISBN: 9780521765176 Galen: Psychological Writings does not include a translation of De Temperamentis (the table of contents is below). I have checked our catalogue and none of our other Galen books include a translation of De Temperamentis so I'm afraid you will need to look elsewhere.

Luckily, i responded (and somehow refrained from referring to the original Klingon):

It seem that "Galen: Psychological Writings" is part of the "Cambridge Galen Translations" series, of which it currently is the only book. Is De Temperamentis (or its source in Greek) scheduled to be translated as part of this series?

To which her reply was the disappointing:

We have another book due to be published in this series but it doesn't contain De Temperamentis either. I'm not aware that De Temperamentis is due to be translated as part of the series.

I thought my search was over, but, in the background, someone else asked a couple others, including Professor Philip van der Eijk

Is this work represented by the Mixtures work included in Vol. 1? If not, is it due to be included in a later volume?

To which the professor responded:

Mixtures will be included in volume 2, "Works on Human Nature", which we hope to finalise for publication this autumn.

It is quite exciting that he responded (though he never responded to my email on Sept 9, 2013) I was sent the message along with the following:

Apologies; it appears that this text will be available in "Works on Human Nature" (as explained below). Please note that when Dr van der Eijk says that they are "due to finalise for publication" the volume this autumn, he means that it will be submitted to the Press this autumn. Actual publication will only take place around 9 months after submission.

So, it looks like it will be done, but i'll have to wait about another year for it.

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Journal: CthulhuCoin! 2

Journal by rk

So this is a thing. It inspired me to write this:

Day 1: A "git clone", "make -f makefile/unix" and I'm off generating Cthulhu Offerings cryptocoins!

Day 2: I managed to find a couple optimizations. It's almost as if the code is speaking to me! Also, switched to clang 5.1 and got an extra 8% performance boost with the LLVM toolchain. Awesome!

Day 4: My cryptocurrency generation is going quite well! I'm hoping to have enough to pay my tuition at Miskatonic University by the fall term.

Day 9: A quiet scraping noise seems to be coming from one of my hard drives. I should maybe have sprung for SSDs to save my coins.

Day 12: I awoke with a fever in the night, and the scraping noise has transformed into a frightful howling. Though the console monitor is off, strange non-Euclidean symbols reveal themselves from time to time on the screen. What it means I cannot say.

Day 17: My fever has broken, but I can no longer tolerate the sound from my compute cluster. I have pried the cover off to diagnose the problem, and the drive array is not in there. There is only a horrific eldritch non-emptiness that sears my very soul.

Day 22: Turning, turning, falling falling, Oh! How you speak! It is so...

Day 26: vvvvvvvvvvvmggggngl;l;;m122222


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Journal: I'll bet the book is better

Journal by Bill Dog

So they're advertising a new movie coming out, starring then presidential candidate BHO's penpal, that explores the fascinating idea of given that we use only about 10% of our brains, what would it be like if we were to use 100% of them.

And apparently the answer involves lots of guns (and some knives), kung fu, car crashes, 'splosions, and gravity-defying flying across the room brought on by blunt force trauma, that curiously, for the amount of force that would be occuring, does not instead have a disintegrating or hole-punching result.

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Journal: Phrase: It is interesting to note 4

Journal by Chacham

I love checking google for definitions, word comparisons, and phraseology. Just now, i was reviewing my own unfinished essay when i came up to the term "It is interesting to note". So, i searched google for the phrase and sure enough, the firs link was "It is interesting to note that ..." there is a bee in the editorial bonnet. It is a short and perhaps amusing read.

One paragraph says it best, and reminds me of Strunk and White's Elements of Style (PDF):

The words "It is interesting to note that" are to all intents and purposes banned from JIPLP since they generally add nothing but length. If the text which follows those words is interesting, they are redundant; if it is not interesting, it shouldn't be there in the first place. And if your reader is reading what you've written, he's going to note it whether you tell him that it is interesting to do so or not.

Wow! (Also, note he used if and a comma without then .)

But, i'm still wondering if i should keep the phrase.

The essay analyses a work in an attempt to show that it is talking about an idea later stated as a theory. This includes many quotes shown to be akin to this point or that. By one particular point there is clearly no proof, but it works really well. So, after explaining how it obviously is not a proof, "nonetheless, it is interesting to note that he." The phrase is meant to concede that there is no proof, per se, but that it is still notable, and therefore the rest of the paragraph will continue along the theory. I think the phrase should stay, though perhaps changed to "Nonetheless, it is noteworthy", much like the author in the blog offered to change his submission, also for a reason.

I'm too close to my own material to decide, so it's in for now. But, i feel i ought to garner opinions from others.


Is an unproven statement said to be in a state of nonproofiness?

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Journal: Chronicle/Verbiage: Firefox 3

Journal by Chacham

I installed Firefox some time ago, before i fully appreciated it. Eventually, i realized what it and the addons were, and started having a wonderful experience. I can hardly imagine browsing without NoScript, Cookie Monster, or AddBlock (Edge). Not to mention Lazarus (?), Mouseless Browsing, and a bunch of other useful tools.

When FF3 came out, it was okay, except that ridiculous Awesome Bar which was remedied with Old Location Bar. FF4, removed the status bar, remedied by Status-4-Evar. FF5 or 6, was just too much for me. They didn't fix their changes, they added auto updates (which could not be turned off), removed the menubar (in some version), and started spamming versions for no good reason. Major-number.Minor-Number.Revision no longer meant anything, but Chrome had to be copied. So, i reverted to FF3 and was back to my erstwhile bliss.

Eventually, HTML5 became a problem for me. FF3 did not support it. As more sites used it, functionality was diminished. But, FF decided to allow us to turn off auto-updates, and i upgraded. Issues with the url bar and tabs moving to copy Chrome were fixed with about:mozilla options or by rearranging the bars, and i even upgraded now and then. For the menubar, i had switched to the Mac which forces applications to have a normal menubar. At some point i realized that the menu bar can be shown, so i use it on Windows as well. I am not sure if that option was always there or if it was added at a later date.

FF29 brought the epithet ChromeFox to the fore, as the UI copies Chrome. To assuage users that preferred the old UI, they recommended an addon. I am suspicious, though. If it really was (and is intended to be) optional, why not make the new UI an addon? OK, they want it to be the default. So leave both in the browser. I wonder if the design group uses Chrome as their main browser.

Today, i wondered again why escape doesn't stop anything until i found out they removed that functionality in FF20. Until now i just expect FF not to work as intended, and search for fixes when things bother me enough. Well, today i found SuperStop which implements the classic stop functionality under [shift]-[esc].

I ask myself why i stay with FF at all. The answer is the plugins. NewsFox is my favorite RSS reader, looking similar to Agent which was my newsreader of choice back when i actually followed some. I eventually got used to ForecastFox Weather (hesitating because it reminded me of some other spammy program), and like nifty little thigns like Show Anchors 2 which helps when pasting a URL somewhere. There are others, and then there's Greasemonkey which itself includes others. Addons are what make FireFox good.

I must give Mozilla a pat on the back. Besides saving passwords from early on, which ranks high in awesomeness, FireFox Sync is a close second. I now use FF at different locations and don't have to reinstall plugins or passwords again. Kudos to them for a job well done.

Regardless, i often feel that i have had it with Firefox and wish there was a fork maintained by different people. That is, people who focus on backward compatibility, standard version numbers, and want FF to be FF, not just whatever happens to be popular right now.

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Journal: And now for something completely different 3

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

The Catholic Church considers the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics to fit with our theology. But it also occurs to me that it fits with the problems I've run into converting analog to digital measurement. And THAT points to the theological idea that many people worship not the Creator of the Universe, but an image of God that is a model of the actual God.

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Journal: Silliness: Chainsaw Mick

Journal by Chacham

The Spring 2014 issue of the Knight Letter arrived just as i was finishing Collected Works Book 11, and so got right to it.

There's a lot of light humor in the magazine, but one thing in particular made me laugh (links mine):

A chainsaw carving of a hookah-smoking caterpillar has been beheaded by vandals in Ripon, England. The statue had been commissioned by the local council to commemorate Lewis Carrol's visits to the down during his father's residency at Ripon Cathedral. Chainsaw artist Mick Burns (known localy as "Chainsaw Mick") was philosophical about the vandalism. "It's not the first time it's happened with my sculptures, it comes with the territory," he said.

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Journal: Chronicle: Homemade Oxiclean, Amazon Smile, & Amazon with FF 4

Journal by Chacham

Searching on Amazon for Oxiclean and reading the comments made the point of how expensive it was. Searching Google for homemade oxiclean returned a number of results such as this one.

After buying washing soda and hydrogen peroxide at Walmart, a big red cup (until one of its lines, estimating it was at least 12 ounces (1.5 cups)) was used to put equal amounts washing soda and peroxide in a 5 gallon bucket. After filling the bucket a little over halfway with hot water in the bathtub, in went some white shirts, towels, and a sheet that never seems to get clean at one end. A half-hour later, the now dirty water was was dumped and washed the items with other clothes went into the washer. It indeed get's everything white, what bleach alone did not do. Of course this time i did a pre-soak, which apparently makes all the difference.

Another page thinks this is still too expensive and recommends something at the dollar store. Kudos to her for the math.

On a side note, i started using Amazon Smile and chose a favored charity. The font came up small for me but i just increased the size. Seemingly, i only need it at checkout and Amazon reminds me sometimes about it. On a side side note, Amazon slows down FF terribly at times. I wonder if it is due to the plugins.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll