Privacy Concerns

Seems the Department of Homeland Security is making information available online that perhaps should not be disclosed to the general public. Want to view your's or a friend's (or foe's) licence online? Now you can, by going to this site and typing in your information. Fortunately there is an opt out button once you've found your licence, which will hide your licence from the general public (though it will still be viewable by law enforcement officials). If you are worried about your information being online, go to the site and remove it from the public's view, then call your congress representative and get this site offline!


I like puzzles, and not the kind that you assemble on a table that look like a cute pastoral scene. I'm talking about puzzles that stretch your mind. /. had a survey of its readers of fun puzzles that are seemingly difficult but have surprisingly simple solutions. I have been playing with the Petals Around The Rose puzzle for some time now and have yet to figure it out. Have fun playing and don't ruin the solution for me by telling me. I swear I'll figure it out.


What? Scalability is becoming a moot argument against LAMP? But what will the big wigs use to dismiss LAMP now? Alex Bunardzic makes some interesting arguments regarding the scalability issue that seems to blunt the point of attack for LAMP critics:

Whenever I give presentations on Ruby and Rails, the number one question invariably pops up from the audience: will it scale? At first, I was allowing myself to fall prey and to drop down into the detailed and quite meaningless discussion. But then I've changed the tactics, and began countering the question with: “Scale to what?” Amazingly, most people don't know the answer to that question. They just throw in abstract answers, like to thousands simultaneous requests, etc. But pretty much no one can supply a real life example that is more concrete than the yahoo or amazon or google. In other words, it seems that not too many people are working on the super busy web applications.

Also, do read the comments to the article. Other than a little ego in some of the posts, the discussion is quite lively and useful. A lot of good thinking going on, making the world a better, safer place.

Oh so true

From the awesome mind of Anonymous: O Lord, grant that we may always be right, for Thou knowest we will never change our minds.

That's Brisk, Baby

With the official beginning of fall occuring a couple days ago, I find that I am ready for the change in climate, more so than in past years (perhaps it was the summer of sweating away at the house in STL). The extended forecast here in Elsah is puts lows dropping into the 40's by week's end. I like weather that can be described as brisk and crisp. Plus the insects are going away for the next few months! Unrelated story of interest just in - I did yoga for the first time yesterday. No surprise here, but I am highly (in-, un-, non-) flexible and so the positions were…interesting. Looking forward, though, to continuing yoga and increasing strength through flexibility.

eXtreme Me

I have this strange feeling that I am quickly becoming an eXtreme sports enthusiast. I went rock climbing for the first time EVAR Sunday and had a blast. It is quickly evolving into a weekly ordeal with several buddies. Now if I can just get them skydiving, we can really go somewhere with this. The Plan: Go around the world skydiving. Land at the base of a mountain. Climb that sucker. Base jump off the top. Rinse. Repeat. Well, The Plan is still in alpha; first I have to conquer climbs higher than 5 8. Anyw00t, I'm probably going diving at the end of the month and hopefully I can con a few friends to go as well. Want to go? Let me know!


Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods. – Socrates


Okay, here's the 411. I have begun my preparation for teaching in the fall, hence the lack of writing on the ole blog. I am teaching two courses in computer science and we have ahd all day meetings the last two days. For the next two weeks, I will be preparing my courses. Exciting news for today is that I got called on my office phone today by a student wanting to get into my class. I guess it's official that I am a professor in the eyes of students. Good times to follow…


Gabriel showed me this short film. Very well done in my non-expert opinion.

Kung Fu Kick

I like martial arts. While it has been on my mind for some time to take lessons in some form, I had not really reached a point where I felt comfortable devoting that time to learning a new set of physical skills. It seems, however, that my subconscious was more than ready to begin its training. Funny story follows: At about 3:30 am this morning, I awoke to my foot bleeding profusely. Initially confused, I soon realized what had happened. While sleeping, for some inexplicable reason, I kicked out the window that is next to my bed…who knows. The window is actually quite elevated above my mattress because of the air conditioner in the window. We're talking a good four feet above my mattress. After stopping the bleeding and doing my work, I saw that I had to have really propped myself up to reach the window pane. Bizzare to the max! I wish I could say I was dreaming about playing soccer or escaping from a burning building…any reason really would have sufficed. Alas, I have no recollection of what was going on prior to me waking up having dropkicked my window. Words are helpless here to describe how funny and odd this episode has been. P.S. I'm fine, a couple scratches, nothing to be a baby about. Good protection on the mental front and all that…