Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Language/Thought E.g. Involving Feining Uncertainty

Just jotting down a minor e.g. of language/thought stuff. Someone forgot to mention something that they should have mentioned to someone else, and even though they know they forgot to say it, they say to the other person: "Oh, I might have forgotten to mention to you that...".

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

How Ali G Gets His Mock-Interviews with Prominent People

An article in Slate investigates:

The American version of Da Ali G Show recently wrapped up its second season on HBO, and, once again, a long list of prominent Americans have been embarrassed. Somehow, Sacha Baron Cohen, in the guise of a British would-be gangsta with a penchant for malapropisms and misunderstandings, managed to secure another passel of interviews with people like former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman (who conceded that, yes, whale feces "have got to be massive") and archconservative Patrick Buchanan (who said that Saddam Hussein "was using BLTs on the Kurds")


But according to accounts from several people who have fallen for Baron Cohen's ruses—some of whom were too humiliated to go on the record—the come-on begins with a flattering letter sent to an unsuspecting target...."

Friday, September 17, 2004

Universal Undo, Please!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy. If this blog wasn't PG-13 rated :-) I can tell you that previous sentence would have contained less three-letter words and a lot more with four letters. So I was typing up this long blog post (not this one here, but a different one), and a few minutes out from my last save I hit some combination of keys and -- bam -- my firefox window is gone (I have no idea what keys I pressed, but I'm pretty sure it didn't involve 'ALT-F, X').

Isn't it about time we had a universal undo capability? Along the lines of "If you can do it, you can undo it". So if I accidentally close down firefox, I can bring it up exactly how it was -- same windows, same window state (e.g. scrolled to the same position within the window, and so on. And the same for any other application - and for any other action you can do, inside or outside of an application.

I know there are technical issues here. At the same time, I think that a lot of them are the legacy of software and frameworks that we're stuck with for the time being at least (..yeah, I know that description is a bit vague.. but too much effor to try and make it clearer), and I think that there are places where, with a bit of effort, the scope of undo could be extended. But anyway, it doesn't seem worth my while to get into more technical details about this, so I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Passed the Dive Medical

That's a big relief: I ended up passing my dive medical. As I wrote last week, the rock-in-the-head incident might've jeopardized it, but when I went back to the doctor today he'd managed to get the hospital records and he was satisfied that there was unlikely to be any problem. So tomorrow I'm going to book the dive course for sometime in the next few weeks...

Photo: Avebury, UK, April 2003

Avebury, UK, April 2003. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Thank you very much, Cara

I had a dive medical this morning. I've wanted to go diving since I was a kid. The results: inconclusive.

Back in year ten (12 years ago) at a school athletics day I was down on the oval walking along talking to a friend, Aaron Bond. There was this big crack, and then I was picking myself off the ground and there was a lot of blood. I had been hit in the head by a rock someone had thrown (though it wasn't directed at me).

I ended up spending a few hours in hospital after which I was able to go home. I think I was lucky that the skull is fairly thick where the rock hit, and I didn't get off too bad -- pain and headaches for some days afterwards and a fairly minor scar were about it.

A few days afterwards, though, the hospital rang and said I'd gotten a hairline fracture, but this apparently didn't require any treatment (my dad answered the call, so I'm not sure exactly what they said).

Apparently past skull fractures can be an issue for diving, because if there was any brain damage, the increased pressure underwater can trigger off epileptic fits. So the doctor has to try and get my hospital records from 12 years ago. I don't know how good his chances will be, and if he can't them I'll apparently have to get some tests done -- I don't know the nature of these -- to rule out any potential problems.

Not a huge deal if it ends up that I can't go diving, though it does irritate me that this has come about because someone was doing something stupid that hurt others.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

"Ethnic Cleansing" is a Pretty Audacious Euphemism

It didn't occur to me till I saw a news report on Sudan this evening - but jeez, isn't the term 'ethnic cleansing' a pretty big bloody euphemism? I'm surprised that it gets used in such a matter-of-fact way in news reports, as if it was a fair way of describing the situation. Oh, you know, it's only a bit of cleansing. Lucky we're cleansing things, and getting rid of all that yucky, dirty, disease carrying stuff!