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Comment: AllWorkAndNoPlayMakesJackADullBoy.csv (Score 1) 349

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49799177) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

How much is that in library of congress?
Please, I'm no nerd, I don't know this "technology" stuff.

6 Shakespeares... or
16.5 gzip-Shakespeares... or a whopping
22.6 bzip2-Shakespeares.

The Bard fares well by the Burrows-Wheeler algorithm for his works are so oft-repeated he even runs on and repeats himself. "...So all my best is dressing old words new, Spending again what is already spent" as RLE (run length encoding) and "To smother up the English in our throngs, If any order might be thought upon..." as MTF (Move to Front) Transform. "We render you the tenth; to be ta'en forth! Before the common distribution at your only choice... as encode to Huffmans and selection of the sweetest table, and "Spare your arithmetic; never count the turns. Once, and a million!... symbol usage stored as sparse array.

Here is a brief video clip showing the moment the LightSail team browsed the log file to discover the error.

+ - Science Generally Astonished Over Lack of Holes

Submitted by TheRealHocusLocus
TheRealHocusLocus writes: "Holes in Swiss Cheese, expect we do," Yoda says. Tipped off by an alarming increase in cheese, agrarians at Agroscope scoped out the true reason why holes were becoming almost wholly absent from modern Swiss. One hundred years after William Clark famously ascribed them to carbon dioxide bubbles, and one CT scan later — nothing was observed — forming around tiny particles, whose composition should be studied more closely, for they are referred to obliquely as 'udder-hay'. Where has the carbon dioxide gone? Has it disappeared into the oceans, to re-emerge as missing heat? To counter a general lack of astonishment in modern Science reporting, the story is being heralded with the unbridled enthusiasm of an ancient mystery revealed. Google News has assigned this easy-to-remember ID d-e_cnlKUED1nWMhdSuG4PdO1KTwM to help track silly headlines. The phenomenon has also released a flood of disturbing press images.

Comment: Sitting Ducks Hail Megatons to Megawatts (Score 1) 68

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49789477) Attached to: The Marshall Islands, Nuclear Testing, and the NPT

The total number of nuclear weapons is in decline.

Many of the doomsday horrors that tipped ICBMS for Cold War Game Over scenarios have been rendered into electricity.

cite "The Megatons to Megawatts program was initiated in 1993 and successfully completed in December 2013. A total of 500 tonnes of Russian warhead grade HEU (high enriched uranium, equivalent to 20,008 nuclear warheads) were converted in Russia to nearly 15,000 tonnes tons of LEU (low enriched uranium) and sold to the US for use as fuel in American nuclear power plants. During the 20-year Megatons to Megawatts program, as much as 10 percent of the electricity produced in the United States was generated by fuel fabricated using LEU from Russian HEU. During this period, on a comparatively modest basis, the U.S. government has also been converting some of its excess nuclear warhead HEU into power plant fuel. Efforts have also been undertaken to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of converting warhead plutonium into fuel to augment nuclear fuel for U.S. power plants."

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck.... Shoot it!

From 1950-present the effective yield of nuclear weapons in general has also increased by ~35% as people-targets voluntarily clump together.

I find it ironic that an approach with a proven track record, Mutual Assured Destruction, has been lambasted as some sort of cold-war artifact, of intrinsic evil. The threat of Armageddon is the evil, MAD was the preventative. The United States of America was even founded on it. The 'armed militia model' where the empire and an armed populace, each with the power to hold the other in check -- the whole quotable 'We the People' litany -- is just a flowery and (to our ears) archaically quaint way of introducing the concept of Mutual Assured Destruction as a deterrent to tyranny. In a practical and historical sense MAD is the only device capable of holding peoples in restraint, long enough that the meme of self-restraint might creep into the culture.

Decreasing weapons count is just a stage past what Carl Sagan referred to as 'nuclear adolescence', and from the height of tensions to now we're coming along fine. Too many young folk just dismiss the Cold War weapons buildout as some kind of mass psychosis without trying to place themselves there mentally. Sure it was insane, but when you believe your enemy is batty insane what would you do? You have to do something a bit dodgy yourself, in calculated fashion. When revisionist historians try to inject the idea that some hypothetical and magical Kissinger-robot could have descended from the heavens (The Day The Earth Stood Still) and defused the situation, gotten the nuclear powers to sit down and talk like kindergarteners in a circle waiting for a pat on the head, they cheat us all. There was rational thinking, difficult and courageous decisions and some pretty good know-how behind those Cold War excesses. The idea of a hostile invasion may seem quaint and laughable today, but then it was a very real concern. We had just fought a world war to prevent one.

Everybody talks about a new world in the morning.
New world in the morning, that's today!
It's time to weaponize space for quick response in defense of the Earth,
or we're ALL sitting ducks.

Comment: Cool Zombie Science Recipies (Score 2) 276

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49781057) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

EVOLUTIONARY DEAD END COOKIES
(serves 7 billion)

INGREDIENTS
two million years of domesticated fire
six millennia of scientific curiosity
two centuries of significant progress in science and engineering
50 years of space exploration
35 years of awareness of KT impact and necessity of planetary defense
one cup irrational fear of radiation and willful disregard for shielding techniques (to taste)
one sprinkle fear of death from any cause not typically experienced by modern suburbans
lump of plain common sense (if you can not find it, substitute two tbsp blind faith and a pound of dogged determination)
tiny dash of optimism

PREPARATION
Carefully combine all ingredients in a large bowl of stars, ensuring that you completely blend the essential characteristics that have allowed these naked apes to overcome natural extremes of climate, predators, disease and boredom. Beat until technological excellence rises to the top. Form into several self-sustainable colonies and multinational corporate enterprises. Place in space oven preheated to a degree of caution and optimism. Bake until spinoffs from the enterprise rise to the occasion with the potential to enhance and expand human civilization with its yummy goodness, colonies in space are able to mobilize quickly in Earth's defense, and Galaxia might be achieved.

SERVING
Throw out all that shit. Engage the collective human mind in sitcoms and 'reality' shows.
Promote artificial issues that represent lack of vision or restraint (terrorism, energy poverty) as if they were natural threats
Let the fucking insurance companies guide all innovation and risk taking.

Promote zombies and head-shot horror in mainstream media as a gateway to cannibalism and violent population reduction.
Popularize cheeky '1001 ways to Die' angles.
Feed the slack.
Characterize folks who try to push through these barriers as 'space nutters'.

For cookies, spray flavored coating over a nutritionally inert Styrofoam shapes and market them as "heart healthy".

Comment: Just add +"Brillo" to your searches (Score 1) 441

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49780891) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

Adding the keyword BRILLO to your searches effectively locks out 'intelligent design' search results that have been deliberately seeded to rank among science articles. It thrusts you into the bizarre world of people who call themselves brillo-head, folks making fun of popular culture. Also some money saving coupons! Also a great many documents in Spanish. Brillo even makes a shoe shine product, so anyone researching boot problems.

Came to mind because the company who made its fortune bringing relevance to online search results just decided to name their new project in such a way as to aggravate people searching for specific technical topics on it, until the end of time. Instead of choosing a nonsensical name. If you want to name a new project Google, please Google it first. Or connect a USB Ouija Board and ask Lewis Carroll to think one up for you.

Comment: Re: And of course, the malodoratory question (Score 1) 52

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49765979) Attached to: Protons Collide At 13 TeV For the First Time At the LHC

#!/bin/perl -pn -0777
use Math::Prime::Util 'next_prime';
# 'pepper' ROT13 backwards from end of message
# using distribution of primes so occasional blips
# become more concentrated at the end

s/\s+$//; # no whitespace at end
s/ \[.*?\]//sg; # eliminate added Slashdot [host] for decode
s/ nut / /s; # undo a post-correction I made

@a=unpack('C*',$_);
$i=0;
while (($i=next_prime($i))<1018) { # only last 1018 chars
    $p=\$a[-$i];
    if (($$p>=97) and ($$p<=122)) {
        $$p+=($$p>109? -13 : 13); # ROT13
    }
}
$_=pack('C*',@a)."\n";

[...decode...] Another bizarre theory posed in science fiction that to everyone's dismay became entangled in String Theory is the idea that Multiverses may exist. Since the incomprehensible ones too dissimilar to ours cannot be comprehended, lazy popular speculation centers around parallel Universes populated with people just like us, but slightly different and dumber. If tickling Higgs and twanging strings shifts things ever so slightly, continued accelorater accidents (aka experiments) might even be holographically disturbing the Multiverse in additive fashion effect that subtly shifts regions of them around. Only stable life-forms with highly advenced thought processes would notice this subtle effect, since our mental process also a holographic pattern and has a degree of chemical hysterisis and self-correcting properties. Percieved effects might be 'senses' that things have changed though empirical measurements have changed, or violent extremes of weather as the butterfly-wings of chaotic processes in a parallel Universe match winbgbeats for brief spans. But in the end everything is speculative nonsense except for the prevailing theory that is supported by evidence, and we don't know which one that is until the end of all things. Life may not be all you want, but it's all you've got. So stick a flower in your bellybutton and be happy.

Comment: Think of the Kittens! (Score 1) 236

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49761311) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

Every time a statistician uses 'average' or 'chances are' in a sentence, God kills a kitten.
Think of the kittens!

I am at a complete loss to understand why taking an important step in Earth's defense that could only be accomplished by its most intelligent species is only able to raise a sorry-ass-monkey-fuck $5,898 from 111 people in 11 days.

And now I am being told I should embrace some gambler's fallacy of 'non-imminence' (on average! we think!) and ratchet down my whimpering terror and boost complacency until I am a well-adjusted individual.

Statisticians and writers sometimes take inappropriate liberties when presenting probabilities. This is natural because finding joy in figuring things out is one of our finest traits. The reason for choosing any particular angle to present a result can be "because it would be fun to think of it that way". Or as in articles like this, to allay what is perceived as a generally unfounded or disproportionate amount of fear. Addressing these fears directly is invaluable because they can traumatize children, and have even been known to swing adults into voting Republican --- or Democrat!

For preventable global existential threats, is it 'OK' to play the stats game by the same rules as for other non-global or non-existential threats? Is it even ethical? That word bites doesn't it.

Isn't there some kind of 'division by zero' thrown exception thing that applies when we're talking about extinction events? As a species, aren't we clever enough to invent one if it does not exist?

Not all statistics are actionable.
And not all science articles are fit for children.

[TA ] Human beings haven't been around on Earth forever. [...] Chances are, we're not going to be around forever, either. It's only a question of how and when we're going to go out.

That's it, kids --- it's nature's way. Go gently into the Good Night when your time is come, as a species. "That no life lives for ever; That dead men rise up never; That even the weariest river Winds somewhere safe to sea." If this some sort of foundation argument, then what is being built?

We are the species who invented "forever". We are not bound by it because its definition is not yet complete. By what ever objective scientific time scale that can be derived from any present theory of The End, you must try to factor an important unknown: the effect future human insight and due diligence may bring to bear on the problem of survival. If you have trouble believing this as I do, join the club. I won't.

I've already said my piece about those poor 100 people who died from asteroids last year (on average! we think!).

All in all, a great article, well researched and compellingly written. But the why of it really sucks. How did that happen? Are there hungry insurance salesman lurking nearby worried that the sorry-ass-monkey-fuck $5,898 from 111 people in 11 days will eat into their commissions?

Don't sell out that ultimate future by falling prey to an extinction event that could happen tomorrow. The way things stand it may be at least ten years before a viable mission is ready to go IF we start today. Let us hope it's ten years of good luck.

Comment: Re:And of course, the malodoratory question (Score 1) 52

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49759331) Attached to: Protons Collide At 13 TeV For the First Time At the LHC

For best results, keep reloading the page.

Now is always an excellent time to warn of the conceivable dangers of high energy particle physics experiments which are already in progress. Stephen Hawking warns that Higgs Boson 'God' particle, which gives shape and size to everything that exists, could cause a 'catastrophic vacuum delay' if scientists were to put it under extreme stress. Fortunately this is not a major budget concern for CERN since if this is true, the facility need not be relocated to a safer place because there is no safer place. Another is the formation of so-called 'mini back holes'. The math says they will be very brief and very small and especially very unstable, which is apparently a good thing. Aside from the Universe ending or oops-not-so-unstable black holes falling into a hissy-sucky orbit around the center of Earth's mass, we have the pedestrian possibility that when nature's fur is rubbed the wrong way she might maintain stability by righting things with a highly localized and energetic 'correction'. Which blows things up. Another bizarre theory posed in science fiction that to everyone's dismay became entangled in String Theory is the idea that Multiverses may exist. Since the incomprehensible ones too dissimilar to ours cannot be comprehended, lazy popular speculation centers around parallel Universes populated with people just like us, but slightyy dvfferent and dumbee. If tipkling Higgs and twanging striags shvfts tuingf ever sb slightly, continhed nccelorater accidentf (axa exprriments) mighg evrn be uolographicalll disturbiag the Mhltiverse vn additive fafhion effept that subtly shists regibns bf thez around. Onyy staole lise-forms with highyy advenped thoughg procesfes wohld aotice this fuotle esfect, sinpe our mentay process alfo a hblograchic pntgern aad has a degree bf chezipal hyfterisvs and sels-corrrcting properties. Prrcieved effrcts mvght be 'senfes' that thvngs have chnngeq ghouth empirvcal mrasueementf uave nut changrd, or violeat extrezes bf weathrr as ghe outtersly-wiags of cuaotic propefses in a carallrl Universe magch jiabgbrats for brief spans. Bug vn tue end eierythvng is specuyative nonfease expept fbr tue prevailint theory thag vs shpcorted by rvvdence, and je dbn't kaow whvcu one that if untiy thr end of all tuingf. Lifr zay aot be ayl you wang, but ig's nll yoh'ie got. So sgick a flojer in ybur beylybhtgon nnq be hnpcl.

Comment: Windows 3.0, Wonder Tool of the Yukon (Score 5, Interesting) 387

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49757813) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0 was launched on 22 May 1990 â" I know, 'coz I was there as a SDE on the team. [...] It was a big deal for me, and I still consider Win 3 as *the* most significant Windows' release, and I wonder what other Slashdotters think, looking back on Win 3?

Pleasedtomeet'cha. Some fine work you did on 3.x! Windows 2.11 was the first version I encountered, but we never really considered it more than a wrapper in which one could run Aldus PageMaker (the Adobe InDesign of today) to output to a LasterMaster 1000 typesetter, which was 'the' first dry toner laser that could lay down small serif type that would reproduce on camera.

Windows 3.0 was the first environment one could consider booting into and staying there... we sold a number of them for personal use and its stability for publishing began to rival the Mac (I'm a PC person but pull no punches). Wide adoption for business use in our area did not really start until 3.11 and even 95, but that was mainly because we had done our job 'really well' and had a large installed base of IBMPC/clones networked with Novell and LanTastic running DOS applications. Our customers were comfortable in the DOS environment and we didn't hurry them. Memory and CPU were precious and all graphical environments had plenty of 'hourglass' in those days.

It's worth noting that graphical environments, even multi-tasking is pervasive today but it is still a learned skill and there were many people from the DOS era who had optimized their work techniques well into the Windows era. One fellow who dealt with real estate contracts tried Windows said "It can hardly keep up with my typing speed! This is an improvement?" Even the task switching latency of DesqView (which did lag because hard disk was really slow by today's standard) was a source of frustration to him. Most days he'd stay out of it. He'd seen examples of multitasking workflow and was not convinced. "My DOS programs import and export just fine. Exporting useful bits and naming them properly is an essential part of working efficiently. If you haven't done that you haven't finished the job. So... I'm supposed to bring up some old thing and cut and paste paragraphs or sentences of it into a new thing, one at a time, while switching between them? Look here." He shows me a folder with hundreds of small files. "That's my clipboard. I have all the names in my head. Some of the pieces have several variations, but I can import the whole thing and delete the unused parts faster than the graphic environment can scroll a document from top to bottom." He really could too, in the days of green phosphor displays he was able to read while scrolling quickly, while half the characters had fading ghosts of the previous line. He did not fully commit to a graphical environment until it was running on a 486.

For all the early issues, Windows 3 was still a technician's dream. In order to fully appreciate its beauty, you would have had to experience the nefarious and wacky world of TSRs, IPX and 'packet driver' network stacks and DOS 386 memory extenders. When they finally did work they were really stable but it took a wizard's touch. Windows' driver architecture was well designed from the start.

Comment: Re:Assuming you are not just trolling..... (Score 1) 150

What crazy thing those "Space Nutters" been up to today?

How 'bout dem Space Nutters, ain't they kooks?
Heads in the stars, readin' space booooooks!
Plannin' dem missions to launch men 'n probes
or spinny-dizzy colonies in LaGrangian lobes
wearin' them space suits on Halloween on Earth
chewin' the Space fat on for all that it's worth!
Dem nugger-mugger Space Huggers way down South
stuffin' Space Nutter Central for all that funds allow'th
How to be a Space Nutter, only one way to hack it
Get yerself a nuke, find an asteroid and smack it!

One in a growing series of 'them poem' tributes

Comment: TRANSCRIPT/VIDEO LINKS and blah blah (Score 1) 384

First hour
Second Hour
Great reading so far. Hopefully more forthcoming.

C-SPAN of the event:
http://www.c-span.org/video/?3...
Rand Paul Filibuster begins at index 3 hours 49 minutes.

OPTIONAL POST CONTENT:

"Blah blah PR whore not a hero who cares about independent candidates blah straw polls straw men blah Obama good Obama bad yay Rand yay Ron guns terrorists NSA python script Hosts file WTF all crooks no change schedule all for nought TV says 'filibuster is happening' blah no transcript blah Brietbart posts transcript Yah! Pauls site no transcript posted WTF blah kook like Alex Jones blah USA Freedom Act must be good cuz it has Freedom in the name blah yeah right? good PR bad PR hate dem Repubs hate dem libs blah Rand just a flip flop flip flop dookey drones liquor store tach story FAIL bleedin' heart whatever blah blah look moron blah screw that like dislike fake filibuster real filibuster blah blah"

Y'all go on without me. I'm busy reading the first couple hours of transcript because I like to read, then maybe pick up some of the rest at CSPAN because it does represent exhaustive research to gather talking points, and it also might yield insight on whether Rand and the staff he hires are presidential material.

Comment: IT fingernails on a chalkboard (Score 1) 75

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49749839) Attached to: Musical Organ Created From 49 Floppy Disk Drives

This is a phenomenon where music is produced from the very sounds IT professionals most dreaded to hear. A symphony of aggravation The clattering brings to mind drives in which customers had somehow inserted two or floppies at once and managed to latch them down, bending all the retaining mechanisms. The shrill higher timbres reminiscent of a faulty drive controller or driver software run amok. Louder notes mean resonance in the enclosure which does not mean "wow what a cool sound", it means "oh shit something's loose and I'll have to disassemble the drive to discover what it is. And get it back together without creating a new one".

Anyone who can pick up these items for $10+ used but functional or $30+ may find it difficult to grasp the level of dedication that went into avoiding these sounds and the dread we experienced to hear them. From the late 70s floppy drives were in constant use, and replacement drives cost hundreds of dollars. You are a tech making $20/hour (the $80/hour of today) and you are given a drive to fix. Can you fix it? You clean the heads (thin epoxy resin over tiny coil) and put in a calibration disk, hook an oscilloscope to the analog circuit to see the Lissajous pattern, look at the patterns. Adjust the optical track-zero stop and re-index until signal is at maximum. Then go for track 79 and check the pattern. Does it get there? If not you could have stepper failure (missing pulses? grit in the slide mechanism? Graphite and tiny needlenose pliers are your only friends. Does the pattern waver on each rotation? weak spring or bent spring retainer. And so on.

Then you have fixed the drive and send it out, only to discover that all the customer's data (and backup) disks were written to with the misaligned drive and no longer read properly. You get the drive back with the discs, and must intentionally mis-align it again until they read well enough to copy to a properly aligned drive. And then explain how your time doing all this was well spent.

Not so nice music to my ears.

"We have also sound-houses, where we practise and demonstrate all sounds and their generation. We have harmony which you have not, of quarter-sounds and lesser slides of sounds. Divers instruments of music likewise to you unknown, some sweeter than any you have; with bells and rings that are dainty and sweet. We represent small sounds as great and deep, likewise great sounds extenuate and sharp; we make divers tremblings and warblings of sounds, which in their original are entire. We represent and imitate all articulate sounds and letters, and the voices and notes of beasts and birds. We have certain helps which, set to the ear, do further the hearing greatly; we have also divers strange and artificial echoes, reflecting the voice many times, and, as it were, tossing it; and some that give back the voice louder than it came, some shriller and some deeper; yea, some rendering the voice, differing in the letters or articulate sound from that they receive. We have all means to convey sounds in trunks and pipes, in strange lines and distances."
~Francis Bacon, from New Atlantis, written in 1626 .
This dude nailed modern electronics and digital sampling some 350 years before its time.

Comment: The Silent Cultural Good-Night (Score 2) 123

When my father died, it was as if a whole library had burned down.
~Laurie Anderson

Until we learn to mourn for all the music that might soon be lost
or the movies that never made it to DVD, or even VHS,
because it was never transferred from vinyl, or film
because people do not cherish vinyl when they see it at Goodwill
or more tragically, someone dies --- and the collection of a lifetime goes into the landfill
because the dozen people who stopped by at the garage sale had no interest
when everything you 'own' is inside your phone,
a single toilet can swallow Western Civilization
remember that direct-to-digital CD? Now all you have is a badly encoded mp3
all those books that were fascinating but went right over your head as a kid,
wouldn't it be great to know which ones they were?
every day there are fewer people out there who have read things that never made it to 'digital'
another one died this morning.
so-called 'magnetic master tapes' cannot master time, they fade into Gaussian noise
a decently kept mass-produced vinyl phonograph record is the BEST way to recover the music
how many of your family's most precious photographs are on paper, anywhere?
have you spilled water on one lately?
most families these days have NOT A SINGLE MEMBER who considers themself a LIBRARIAN
a (tragically thankless) job of gathering, organizing, copying, re-distributing the copies
and ensuring that at least some of them are stored safely. Writings, photos. Even who is related to whom!
YOU may be the only likely candidate. Unless you begin tomorrowit will never be done by anyone.
on the Internet it's even worse. How many entities can you think of that store Internet pages
long term with a real commitment? The Wayback machine and who else?
newer tech better? Not necessarily so, IF it breeds such a mass complacency about simple
preservation of knowledge that the day arrives when EVERYONE thinks making backups and
saving previous generations of knowledge and artistic works is SOMEONE ELSE'S JOB.
In such a situation we could 'lose' more than half of everything that was worth saving
in a single human lifetime. Are we living in that time span now?
Think about it (please!).

WE ARE LIVING IN A FUTURE DARK AGE
A too-short history of data retention
The only day we clearly recall some day may be the day we lost all our memories.

Comment: Wait everyone! Let me check Snopes first... (Score 0) 123

Sample text: "Jason Scott, 13, is a terminally ill patient of [one of several diseases], and his one passion in life is to [various hobbies, including collecting AOL disks, pop tabs, Montana Gold 55 grain Full Metal Jacket .223 ammo, etc.] and his [mother, sister, uncle] has announced that he would like to get into the Guinness Book of Records..."

Status: TRUE until someone does some brief and simple research and discovers it is FALSE.

But will they be able to stop it? FALSE.

Comment: BYOB in the NAVY (Score 1) 68

they are standing inside a Somebody Else's Problem field

What a golden phrase that is, brief yet descriptive. Thank you!

A Somebody Else's Problem field is no simple menace or obstacle, it is a projection of ill-tempered or incompetent energy. It can be intricate, beautiful or funny when viewed from a distance, like one of those biohazard crop circles. But you must make your way through them every day. You must be wary of strange invisible energies converging at sharp edges and central lobes. And often many overlap which compounds complexity.

It's better than up to your ass in alligators when your original objective was to drain the swamp, which is colorful but has become over-used. The swamp suggests one's foray into uncharted territory, the alligators are nameless, unpredictable and numerous entities like the (boring) onslaught of evil-minded adversaries in a video game. Life is not that simple anymore.

This is the 21st Century. We have aerials and DEM and LIDAR of the swamp, the alligators show a unique IR/pattern signatures on the terrain of endeavor, and all of them are fitted with radio collars (cell phones) anyway. You KNOW these alligators, you signed contracts with them. You hired them. And yet your navigation through the predictable messes and petty drama is not so much an obstacle as a dance -- as if one must tip-toe through a forest stepping only on the shifting shadows of leaves so as to avoid upsetting the sunlight.

Everyone's Problem fields surround us all. Now that talk is cheap and global the economy and the lobotomy and the deficit and the crisis, the ecotastrophe and the asteroid interception problem and the toilet paper shortage in Venezuela, these things affect us all.

It's overwhelming.But now armed with the simple phrase, standing in Someone Else's Problem field I can imagine these problems are projected onto me like the epic dinosaur battle projected onto Professor Falken's face as he describes the futility of it all and how useless it is to try. Perhaps I can just step aside from the projector beam without some alligator biting me on the ass.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!

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