random quotes ... to amuse, inspire, enrage:
  I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.

tagged: free speech
  —Woodrow Wilson

my two-year-old, on copyright

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Grabbing a couple of my paperback books, my two-year-old pages through them and engages in a lengthy monologue. A: “This is about Mamiche’s copyright car. I’m just going to read this page and then go back to the cat page. Okay! Let’s go back to the cat page. This book is your book and it […]

break-break for anxiety

Monday, July 7th, 2008

in the middle of a blogging break (for good reasons! welcome ada marie) i bring you this article from salon.com which is scary as fuck and makes me fear for little ada’s future: Apocalypse Now by Mike Davis. Davis does not buy any of the Gore-style cheerleading that we might avert a climatically disastrous future […]

Tech Coed

Friday, June 6th, 2008

My father-in-law (in Massachusetts) was in town for his fiftieth MIT reunion — class of 1958! He took my partner and me to a couple of events, and we noticed among the red-jacketed men a few red-jacketed women. By various accounts, there were nine to fifteen women (out of a thousand students) in the Class […]


Monday, May 12th, 2008

I had been seeing “ftw” in internet chit chat for a while, and I just finally got around to looking it up and seeing what it actually means: “for the win”. In the meantime, I had just sort of assumed it was an inversion of “wtf” — sort of taking the aghastness of “wtf” and […]

new spam tactics

Monday, April 28th, 2008

I just got a call from someone claiming to be a “domain notification server”. They had pulled our contact information off our domain record, and had a highly deceptive pitch, something like: We are calling you to alert you that you will be receiving a notification regarding your domain, blah blah blah information from our […]

apparently i’m married to pharyngula

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Yesterday I excitedly pointed to this io9 blog entry about vat-grown meat: “You see!” I told my partner. “You see! I was right. We are going to have vat-grown meat, in our lifetime !!!” The “I was right” or “you were right” is the gold ring of our relationship. The ch-ching it makes when one […]

my own googlegängers

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

I hadn’t previously heard the word “googlegängers”, which the American Dialect Society deemed “most creative” word last year. But I love the concept, which Stephanie Rosenbloom explored in the NYT today. Apparently lots of people follow the lives and careers of people with the same names as themselves.

how not to give a talk, aka how to not give a talk

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

I missed, last night, what promised to be a great event at Iona College: JOYWAR: Intellectual Property and the Myth of Originality an Evening with Joy Garnett. The evening lecture followed a day-long symposium on Authors, Inventors, Imposters and Thieves: Perspectives on Intellectual Property, with a number of interesting talks, and it kicked off an […]

ten years

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

From my travels earlier this year: I’m a fan of shadows and shadow photography.


Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

what my cats want to blog about, apparently: R`333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333314

still on hiatus

Monday, December 31st, 2007

it’s a long and sometimes cold winter.

… on hiatus

Friday, November 30th, 2007

this blog is taking a little break for real-world stuff

getting my atheist on

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Last week, I was told that I have a “god-shaped hole in my heart.” … I think I’d prefer to phrase it as he has a god-shaped figment jammed crosswise in his brain. P.Z. Myers, Pharyngula, 2006/10/27, “A godless ramble against the ditherings of theologians“ The last couple of years I’ve been pleased to see […]

the kindness of strangers

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

So, tonight I was in a NYC restaurant with a dear friend, when I got a call from an unknown number in Boston. The unknown number turned out to be a library science professor at Simmons College, whom I have never met, and he wanted to know if I’ve lost my wallet. I found this […]

potential evidence for intelligent design

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

questionable authority reviews a pro-’intelligent design theory’ entry that describes a future history of the fabulous medical and scientific breakthroughs generated by ‘intelligent design theory’ and the abandonment of ‘Darwinism’. While the whole post is highly recommended, it was one of the commentors who really tickled my fancy. Responding to the future history’s assertion that […]

mouse songs verified by at-home cat test

Monday, November 7th, 2005

BoingBoing recently posted about the songs sung by male mice during courtship, linking to the PLOS Biology article, and the audio files of the actual songs. We independently verified the actual mouse-nature of the songs by performing a Spontaneous Audio Performance Test (SAPT) with a feline experimental audience.* Sure enough, four sleeping cats roused, lifted […]

on file sharing “the daily show”

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Okay, I’m sneaking a little break away from visiting family in Virginia to breathe the fresh air of the Internet. I wouldn’t exactly call Virginia a hellhole (at least not in front of the family who lives here), but the Internet cafe (Panera Bakery) I’m surfing at blocks arthur silber’s the light of reason and […]

interesting reading, early saturday morning

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

Up early for my spouse who caught a red-eye. Now she’s resting peacefully and I of course can’t get back to sleep. But that’s okay, because there’s the Internet! Positive outcomes of BlogHer: Mary Hodder at Napsterization is establishing a Speakers’ Wiki. In response to publisher anxieties & thinly-veiled threats of litigation, Google is implementing […]

Never trust the devout …

Saturday, November 6th, 2004

Warning: Offensive generalizations follow. If you can’t handle anti-religious comment, or hyperbole, then please stop reading now. I’d like to make an argument, only semi-playfully: Devout religious faith renders one’s analytical and observational skills slightly suspect if not outright dubious. People who are devoutly religious are accustomed to lying to themselves. They lie about reality, […]

seeking order from chaos

Sunday, September 12th, 2004

it’s the small things in life which we love – the small coincidences which create seemingly non-random structures. for instance yesterday i was talking by IM to my sister c.h. – she casually referred to the fact that she drinks. i said, c.h., do you drink alcohol? i’m shocked, shocked. she didn’t know the reference, […]

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