20 July 2013

New budgie

We hadn’t been planning on a third budgie. However, Chester’s close call last year had me thinking about what we would do if he suddenly keeled over. I realized Lola would be left alone, and budgies really need to be part of a flock. The two of them are both over 5 years old now, so it seemed like a reasonable time to get a third bird. That way when one of them eventually departs, we’ll still be left with two. ... Read more

16 July 2013

Quote of the week

Robert Zimmerman Jr, discussing his brother George Zimmerman: He has always feared for his safety. We have always feared for his safety and our safety as a family. Clearly, you know, he’s a free man in the eyes of the court but he’s going to be looking around his shoulder for the rest of his life. There are factions, there are groups, there are people that would want to take the law into their own hands as they perceived it or, you know, be vigilantes in some sense that they think that justice was not served… ... Read more

6 July 2013

Thatcher’s legacy

In an article from Harper’s Magazine I found the following: “Economics are the method,” Margaret Thatcher told an interviewer in 1981, and “the object is to change the heart and soul.” In some ways, this was the core of Thatcherite governance, the distilled essence of all her Hayek talk and her monetarist schemes for battling inflation. The goals of politicians are ordinarily to win elections, reform this or that, and be done with it — but Thatcher’s aims were always grander. ... Read more

13 June 2013

Ruby vs Python

A small illustration of differing design philosophies. Python design philosophy % python Python 2.7.3 (default, Aug 1 2012, 05:14:39) [GCC 4.6.3] on linux2 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> quit Use quit() or Ctrl-D (i.e. EOF) to exit >>> exit Use exit() or Ctrl-D (i.e. EOF) to exit >>> [Ctrl-D] % Notice how it gives you different errors depending on what you type. In other words, it understands exactly what you meant, because it uses that information to tailor the error message — but it nags you anyway. ... Read more

8 June 2013

Architecture sends a message

Architecture sends a message. Pierre Charles L’Enfant understood this back in the 1700s, when he designed the National Mall in Washington DC. Here’s a quote from his biographer: “The entire city was built around the idea that every citizen was equally important,” Berg says. “The Mall was designed as open to all comers, which would have been unheard of in France. It’s a very sort of egalitarian idea.” The democratically-elected Congress was given the prime location, instead of the White House. ... Read more

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