Daily Archives: June 16, 2008

The Vampire, the Church Lady, and the Wardrobe

i-6c1c8914932e4bee121c556a4f7a5b33-church_lady.jpgShe was a church lady. I could see it a mile away. Her hair cut, her clothing, her way of standing, and as I got closer, her way of speaking and, eventually, the things she said. I will call her Joan.It is not that surprising to find a church lady like Joan at Har Mar Shopping Mall. Har Mar is a unique phenomenon. From the outside, it is a strip mall, and from the inside, it is a regular “inside” mall. Some of the stores are only on the inside part, some open on both the inside and outside part. None are only outside. So you park, walk into a store in the strip mall, like into the LeAnn Chin’s Chinese Food place, and you go to the back of the store where the bathroom or emergency exit might be, and instead of a men’s room you find this full blown shopping mall. Like the cabinet in Narnia but instead of a fantasy world run by a big lion, you’ve got a kinda run-down but quaint Midwestern style shopping mall. Continue reading The Vampire, the Church Lady, and the Wardrobe

Singer the iPhone Voos. Boos. Blues. I meant Singing.

Brian Unger can be very funny. I just got an electronic device similar to (but not) an iPhone. More on that later. But in the mean time, I heard this today while I was on my way over to Har Mar and I thought it was so funny that I’d pass it on to you. (More on Har Mar later, too .. )Go here, and click on “Listen Now. It’s Brian Unger’s letter to Steve Jobs. Written on his iPhone.(Spell check that, Mr. Sparty-pants.)The iPhone Blues

Canadian Dinosaur Find: New Species?

ResearchBlogging.orgThe first dinosaur bones (that we know of) to have been discovered in British Columbia, Canada, are now being reported. These are bones found in 1971, eventually making their way to the Royal British Columbia Museum, and now being reported by V.M. Arbour and M.C. Graves. The bones were initially found by Kenny Flyborg Larsen, a geologist prospecting for thorium. He was drawn to these bones because the bones themselves are radioactive, and his instruments led him to them.(This is an update on this, as Arbour kindly sent me a copy of the original paper.) Continue reading Canadian Dinosaur Find: New Species?

Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity

I have not read this book, but I’m interested in finding out more about it. Has anyone out there had a shot at it?i-95d0b06dd2fe529d10e0015468083781-creationism_book.jpg

Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity (Sather Classical Lectures)
Information from Amazon.com: Review“Sedley’s argument is subtle and expert. . . . The brilliance of this book is that Sedley lets the Greeks talk to us and, surprisingly, we can understand what they’re saying.”–NatureProduct DescriptionThe world is configured in ways that seem systematically hospitable to life forms, especially the human race. Is this the outcome of divine planning or simply of the laws of physics? Ancient Greeks and Romans famously disagreed on whether the cosmos was the product of design or accident. In this book, David Sedley examines this question and illuminates new historical perspectives on the pantheon of thinkers who laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Versions of what we call the “creationist” option were widely favored by the major thinkers of classical antiquity, including Plato, whose ideas on the subject prepared the ground for Aristotle’s celebrated teleology. But Aristotle aligned himself with the anti-creationist lobby, whose most militant members–the atomists–sought to show how a world just like ours would form inevitably by sheer accident, given only the infinity of space and matter. This stimulating study explores seven major thinkers and philosophical movements enmeshed in the debate: Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Socrates, Plato, the atomists, Aristotle, and the Stoics.From the Inside Flap“David Sedley’s treatment of ancient views on intelligent design will transform our current thinking.”–Thomas Johansen, author of Plato’s Natural Philosophy: A Study of the Timaeus-Critias”Creationism and its Critics in Antiquity has the qualities of a classic. Powerfully organised round an enthralling theme, it is singularly rich in execution. The author’s unsurpassed command of his material is matched by the clarity, originality, and imaginative detail of his arguments. The book is as accessible as it is authoritative. It speaks to everyone interested in Greek philosophy, and very many of its readers will go back to it again and again.”–Sarah Broadie, author of Aristotle and Beyond: Essays on Metaphysics and EthicsAbout the AuthorDavid Sedley is Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of many books, including Plato’s Cratylus (2003) and The Midwife of Platonism: Text and Subtext in Plato’s Theaetetus (2004), and is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Philosophy.

A little wine with your Linux?

Wine is the software that runs in Linux which, in turn runs Windows programs. I have experimented and I could not believe how incredibly well it worked. At the time, I was able to achieve greater stability and performance, and an easier install, for Microsoft Office and Endnote on my Linux computer than on a comparable Windows computer. The down side in that case was that I had to run an older version of Office than currently (at that time) available. Also, the increase in reliability and performance was almost certainly in the system itself. The Linux computer simply worked (as they tend to do ) and the Windows computer was simply screwy (as they tend to be). Also, from a broader perspective, Wine was limited in what it could run. I could use Word and Excel and integrate Endnote with Word and so on, but I could not run Sim City (for example) . Ideally, a “windows emulator” (and I put that in quotes because Wine is not exactly a windows emulator) should be able to run anything windows can run. On your Linux box. Backwards and wearing high heels.Well, after fifteen years of Mucking around and slowly improving, Wine has some interesting news… Continue reading A little wine with your Linux?