Monthly Archives December 2004

Bummer for B5 fans

Categories: General.

Bit of a downer, followed by the slightly strange.

The B5 cast lost two actors late this year without much fanfare.

Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin) and Tim Choate (Zathrus) are no longer here.

While learning about this, I ran across a site that is, um, different:

Be sure to browse by both year and last name…

You can never run out of time…

Bethlehem in the Andes?

Categories: Camelids.

I came across an article that discusses the interesting experiences one has hosting a live nativity scene. There a a few endearing bit in there about things like sheep eating the manger and donkeys running amok, but this passage really stuck out:

One of this year’s performers found it a little more difficult to stand so still, however, when she found herself face–to–face with a curious llama who was becoming a little too friendly.

“(It) reached out and sniffed the angel,” McHugh recalled. “And the angel was trying to be still while the llama was sniffing her face.”

A llama? In Bethlehem? 2,000 years ago? I mean, I know there was a lot going on at the time, what with new stars appearing in the sky and angels bringing messages to shepherds and whatnot, but you’d think that the appearance of heretofore unseen animals from continents not yet discovered would at least get a passing mention in one of the gospels…

“Sir, a group of well-dressed men on camels have arrived, and they… what the hell is that?!?

Good Ideas Done Wrong

Categories: Rants and Rambling.

I’ve often thought that having a database of prior art in a particular area would be a good idea — for example, the SIP community could benefit from a searchable database of documents, articles, and e-mail posts that provides proof of prior art for various related technologies.

Someone has taken the broad step of trying to compile a prior art database for arbitrary technologies. This should be good news. I should be applauding the effort. The problem is: they got the business model wrong. They charge for advanced searches, which makes sense. However, they also charge for the ability to add documents to the database. That’s right: they offer everyone in the world an economic incentive to keep the prior art database as small as possible. Exactly why they choose to hobble the only tangible good they have to offer in this endeavor is beyond me, but it virtually guarantees failure in what would have otherwise been a merely ambitious effort.

Wookie Porn and Other Holiday Fun

Categories: Silly Stuff.

For those of you that missed it the first time around (in 1978), I wanted to bring your attention to a synopsis of The Star Wars Holiday Special, which re-united Mark Hammil, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford for an hour of Wookie-filled fun — with special guest appearances by Art Carney and Bea Arthur.

If anyone knows of a living copy of this gem, I must get my hands on one. I’ve never seen something with such promising camp value.

Do Your Friends have Macs? Now They’ll Talk To You!

Categories: IM.

It appears that Trillian has added support for Apple’s Rendezvous protocol, which allows Mac users to find and chat with other Mac users on the same LAN. As much as I’ve thought that Trillian is a somewhat shoddy hunk of software (I run GAIM, and it’s plenty buggy — but better than Trillian was when I last tried it), this might be the protocol that makes me at least download and install Trillian again. I’ve always been fascinated by the Rendezvous functionality of the Mac clients — especially when you get critical masses of users on the same LAN, like at IETF meetings.

Edit: It appears that this feature is available only in the paid version of Trillian.

Glad we are not a democracy

Categories: United States of America.

An AP article posted by Yahoo News describes a poll in which 44% of American respondants favored restrictions on the civil liberties of Muslim Americans.

I am deeply ashamed. Both that so many can be so wrong headed, and that so many have apparently never read the Constitution of the United States of America. Fortunately, we are a constitutional republic, rather than a direct democracy. So even if this crowd reaches 51%, they still cannot legally do this short of a constitutional amendment. Not that that has stopped us before.

Can the so called terrorists hope for anything greater victory than to cause an open society to select to close itself?