Hammerstead Gets an Honorable Mention

The Green Man, a fine blog I frequent from the Land Down Under, has noticed news of our impending infestation by the 17 year cicadas.

I promised pictures of the little buggers as they arrive - so watch this space over the next couple of months. And thanks to the Green Man for remembering his readers in the American bush ...

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You call that a standard?

A fascinating glimpse into the world of standards organizations, complete with bribery, politics, money and power. Not to mention "openness":

...the whole issue of openness is really a red herring. I can say that my process is completely open and anyone in the world can participate. But let's schedule my meetings every quarter and once in Tokyo and once in Berlin and once in Vienna and once in Vancouver and once in Washington. Effectively only the biggest players in the world can play. So, making it open, but making it infeasible to participate means it is, in effect, not open.

Robert Glushko, Berkeley professor who was involved in early XML proceedings, decries how powerful interests have distorted the standards process.

(link) [CNET News.com]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Catching Up on the Home Front News

Things have been so busy around here that I've not had the time to post about everything that's been going on - so here's a "catching up" post.

First, some housekeeping: many have written me after having noticed that their comments disappeared. When the server went down on April 12th, I lost all comments from March 4th onward. Sorry about that, but there's not a blasted thing I can do: mercifully, it was the only data we permanently lost. And the backup schedules/paths have been adjusted to reflect the current set up, so this won't happen again.

Another interesting event: on April 4th, we "inherited" two baby goats. A neighbor (actually Kevyn's nephew, had a doe that busted up a leg in the birthing process. He's an ag student at Purdue, and he was actually contemplating taking the babies to his dorm room and feeding them himself! Crazy kids (pun intended)! But since he knew we had Sweet Pea (oh yeah, our bottle lamb obviously acquired a name, too!) he asked if we'd mind taking care of his twin goats.

All of our bottle babies in the East lot: Donner, Blitzen and Sweet Pea.

Feeding the goats is a trip ... they seem to have nothing but sheer, raw desire to eat, and will hardly wait for you to get a bottle near them before they begin to bump and nibble anything resembling a teat. They do have quite an instict to find those however, and it seems to not be very species specific. Kris would add a note here that it's not a good idea for human females to bend over baby goats...

Of course, we named them, too: Donner and Blitzen (Thunder and Lightning) were the twin buck goats that pulled Thor's chariot - seen here in a battle with Jotuns (giants). You can draw your own conclusions about the origins of Santa Claus from that ... Donner is marked solid red on the head while Blitzen has a white splash across his forehead - so the names seemed appropiate.

And finally, I'm not going to be posting squat until next Monday! We're actually taking a trip together - out to the May Day Moot in central Oklahoma. We found a good place to board our Willie dog: it's called "For the Dogs", and it's a cage free boarding/doggie daycare facility. It's surprisingly not that much more expensive than regular boarding, and having had bad experiences in the past with kennels, we figured that this would be a good place for the pooch to stay without getting totally stressed out. Here's an article from the Indianapolis Star on them.

So that's all the news from home - the only thing I'm not looking forward to about this trip is coming home to a SPAM filled inbox and an overflowing news aggregator. But oh well - we've not had a trip together since we got the farm, and it'll be good to be on the road with my sweetie.

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Internet Revives Public Libraries

Ye gads - for once the Internet gets credit for doing something good. What's the world coming to?

The New York Times' Steve Lohr reports on the effects of the Internet on public libraries, namely that the installation of Internet-connected computers have been largely responsible for a rebirth in public libraries and increasing attendance, particularly by 'teenagers, people age 50 and older and members of ethnic minorities' as well as low-income patrons without computers at home.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Defenders of Christianity Rush to Debunk 'The Da Vinci Code'

I found this to be a fine novel - but the mad rush from the Christian community to "debunk" it leads me to wonder if there's not something to the whole background plot after all.

Besides, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, "A religion without a goddess is halfway to atheism!"

Word that Ron Howard is making a movie of the book has increased the intensity of rebuttals from churches and Bible scholars.

(link) [New York Times: NYT HomePage]

00:00 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link