Finland has it all

Monty Python underestimated the Finns. I think that at some point in our lives, each of us has hummed a private song just like this….

P.S. Save yourself a minute or so: when the video fades to black, about 90 seconds before the end, that’s it: it’s over. Perhaps the uninterrupted darkness is meant to evoke the Finnish winter…

No surprise here

You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I’m not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist


Militant Atheist


Spiritual Atheist


Apathetic Atheist


Angry Atheist






What kind of atheist are you?
created with

(What about you, Clive?)
[Via PZ, who scored 100% Sci Ath.]

Hitchens on his book

The staff at Beliefnet emailed me (and, presumably, a bunch of other bloggers) to invite us to link to an interview with Christopher Hitchens. ((Do others bloggers get spammed with suggestions as to what they should blog about?)) I read it, and I’m happy to do so: he’s in good form. They also suggested that “my readers” (hello out there!) might enjoy their “Atheist or Believer” quiz. Hmmm… didn’t I take this one a couple of years ago? Let’s see… yep, same questions, including the ridiculously equivocal ones. Anyway, my result was unchanged: Adamant Atheist. What a surprise.

Upgraded to WP2.2

I just upgraded this blog to WordPress 2.2. The only issue that I ran into was that the Category Cloud widget didn’t work until I upgraded from 1.1.1 to 1.3. Otherwise, it was completely painless: deactivate plugins, unpack the distro zip on top of the existing files, run the upgrade.php script, and reactivate plugins. ((Remembering to jot down which plugins I was running before the upgrade…)) No, I didn’t make a backup, although perhaps a zfs snapshot would have been prudent….
As to the new features: having sidebar widgets built-in is nice, and the drag-and-drop widget editor now works properly in Safari. On the other hand, I’m not sure about the new preview mode: it’s more accurate, but I miss having the HTML and output on the same page. We’ll see. Having full ATOM support is most welcome, and overall I think that 2.2 is a clear step forward.

Californian priorities?

From sfgate:

Based on current spending trends, California’s prison budget will overtake spending on the state’s universities in five years. No other big state ((The article notes that several small states already spend about the same on prisons and state colleges – including Massachusetts!)) in the country spends close to as much on its prisons compared with universities.

One of those flights….

I’m presently in the RCC at Denver Airport, waiting for my flight home to Seattle. The flight from Boston was “interesting”, to put it euphemistically. As we approached Denver from the northeast, there was a wall of severe thunderstorms ahead of us. A couple of flights managed to slip through a gap, but everybody else coming from the east was routed south, flying right along the storm front, until we were south of Pueblo, CO(!). This caused lots of grumbling from the pilots (channel 9 was buzzing), and several flights were close to declaring fuel emergencies. (Or perhaps they were just trying to pressure the ATC folks.)
It was a good weekend in the Boston area, especially the opportunity to take my grandson, Tommy, to both the zoo and a farm. Best moment was when a silverback gorilla lumbered up and sat down next to Tommy, separated only by a sheet of glass…..


Off to Boston tonight: SEA-IAD-BOS, getting in around 10:15AM tomorrow. Home (BOS-DEN-SEA) on Monday evening. I hope Channel 9 is working…..