these things happen

Just enough time to slam out a quick update before getting back into work for another exciting day of database/CGI coding. Yesterday, I was thinking about the part in Cryptonomicon where Randy is locked in prison, and trying to decode the old messages without being phreaked. Stephenson has one of the best descriptions of the amount of mental 'state' that coders carry: "juggling flaming chainsaws". The stuff I'm doing isn't like that -- it's more like building a wall out of very tiny bricks -- making sure each brick is positioned just so -- and then pounding the fscker into place. Seems like slow going while you're doing it, but at the end of the day -- well, lookit there, it's a wall!

Odd search engine referrals for the week:
finding interesting conversation topics for therapy
marijuana friendly vacations

Speaking of hits from search engines, my plea from July 11 has fallen on deaf ears; I've been getting 3 or 4 hits a day against that particular phrase. Bit upset about that, but I guess looked at in one way, I'm poisoning the results just a little bit...

Okay, I haven't read it yet, but I'm pretty sure any Harlan Ellison interview is worthwhile. And that title graphic is so getting printed out and hung in my work cube!

ESR flames Linus. Strikes a cord with me because I was one of those kids who never studied in high school. Actually, I didn't really have to start studying intensely until about junior year of college (he said modestly) and it was hard to get into that groove.

Fish are getting smarter. This is pretty cool!

If you're in the dark about the whole transgenic foodstuffs thing, have a look at Transgenic Crops: An introduction and resource guide:

The goal of this web site is to provide balanced information and links to other resources on the technology and issues surrounding transgenic crops (also known as genetically modified or GM crops). The site's authors are engaged in plant genetics research and teaching at Colorado State University. They receive no funds from companies involved in transgenic crop development, nor are they affiliated with groups campaigning against such crops.

Cool and interesting article about the diversity of life found around seamounts. Cool pictures, too.

FAKtory is a forthcoming GPL'd fragment assembly system. Not much there yet, tho.

Gosh, it appears that in the wake of the recent DeCSS decision, the MPAA is acting like a big bully. Anybody surprised? Interesting to note that the portion of the decision that they quote in their C&D letter also bans "linking any Internet web site, either directly or through a series of links, to any other Internet web site containing DeCSS." Given the nature of the web, and the "big cloud" net topology study of a couple months ago, this means that a large portion of the sites on the web are in violation of this injunction.

Interesting legal hack -- two Texas women are set to marry. The interesting thing here is that one of the two is a post-op transexual. The union has been deemed legal because she is genetically XY (i.e., male). I'd never considered this particular situation before, but I think it really points out the arbitrariness of being against same-sex unions.

Mental note: buy Bike.

Okay, just time to bang out a reply to some emails, shower, and jump on the train. Don't know if I'll be updating Monday or not, as it's a holiday here in the States, and I might just take advantage of my day off and sleep all day. Or something. Anyway, have a good weekend, and I'll see you later.