September 2006

Exhibit A: Senator Arlen Specter. Step 1: First excoriate proposed legislation in no uncertain terms: Specter said hearings before his Judiciary Committee showed that the military Combatant Status Review Tribunals do not have an adequate way of determining whether suspects are enemy combatants. He charged that by striking habeas corpus rights for terrorism suspects, the…

Read More How to be a Man of Principle(TM)

OK, all you EMACS devotees. Who among you know what EMACS stands for? “Editor MACroS”, that’s right. But what language were these macros originally written in? Thanks to Good Math, Bad Math, you can now read all about the World’s Greatest Pathological Language: TECO. I first encountered it in 1970, when the Essex University PDP-10…

Read More At last! TECO!!

Andrew Sullivan quotes Vladimir Bukovsky on the consequences of the toleration of torture by Russian leaders: … in its heyday, Joseph Stalin’s notorious NKVD (the Soviet secret police) became nothing more than an army of butchers terrorizing the whole country but incapable of solving the simplest of crimes. And once the NKVD went into high…

Read More Bukovsky and Sullivan on torture

I was updating my profile at the UK social networking site, Friends Reunited, and decided to pay attention to a question that I’d hitherto ignored: “What are your 20 favourite words”. This is what I came up with: love, peace, new, unexpected, honest, whimsy, intense, tranquil, touch, trust, humanism, experiment, imagination, learn, reflection, evolution, revolution,…

Read More 20 words

The replacement batteries for my PowerBook finally showed up last Friday, which is a bit quicker than Apple promised. The instructions state that you should drain the old batteries before changing them, by (for example) playing a DVD. In my experience DVDs don’t really stretch the machine: I found a nice Java applet at the…

Read More Can I take my PowerBook on an airliner now?