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Comment Re:Halloween (Score 1) 470

Actually Easter is one of the most blatantly pagan of the major holidays. While the 'official' intent is to celebrate Christ's return, look at the primary symbolism: rabbits, eggs, and flowers.

Rabbits are the very model of prolific breeding, and springtime is when they really ramp up. Eggs are important because chickens generally don't start producing eggs until the daylight is longer than night - i.e. after the spring equinox. The only reason we have eggs year-round is due to artificial lighting. And flowers are self-explanatory.

There's also the timing: Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the first day of Spring. Aside from the nominal 'Sunday' addition, this is one of the most 'naturalistic' ways possible to derive a holiday.

The current celebration is highly religious, but it's a far cry from 'legitimately Christian'.

Comment Wealth isn't the issue (Score 4, Insightful) 1040

It's about perceived superiority. There's an inherent tendency to be dismissive of others we perceive to be 'inferior' in some way - whether the differentiator is wealth, intelligence, physical prowess, popularity, or even moral righteousness (which is likely to be higher among Prius owners). It takes a fair amount of empathy and moral awareness to overcome this inclination, and the common perception is that these 'softer' skills are much less common among the highly wealthy - so they become the standard-bearers for this dynamic.

Comment Five years consulting, hundreds of data centers... (Score 1) 1397

Over the last five years, I've encountered a surprising variety of server naming schemes... a handful are extremely common (South Park, Simpsons, planets, cars) but there have been some very interesting themes:

- Mountains (Rushmore, Hood, K2, Adams, McKinley...)
- Presidents
- Muppets (Beaker, Dr Teeth, Statler and Waldorf [db cluster]...)
- Disasters (Tsumani, Andrew, Rita...)
- Zodiac
- Grateful Dead songs (Sugar Magnolia, Tennessee Jed, Ramblin Rose...)
- Local Breweries (Steelhead, Full Sail, Rogue...)
- ATF (AK-47, Moonshine, JimBeam...)
- Norse Pantheon (Odin, Thor, Loki...)


Sadly, clever themes are dying out as data centers scale up... the result is that the 'old-school' core systems maintain their personalities but new server/desktop builds have a derived hostname (userid, core function, platform, etc).

This really is an unfortunate loss, since (similar to conference room names) you can learn a lot about the company culture by the way they identify their resources.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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