Saturday, November 25, 2006

Free Hugs

This video makes me happy.
With the low resolution it looks a lot like Patiunky, and I can totally imagine him doing something like this, even if it is somewhat at odds with his current YouTube persona.

Apparently the Free Hugs Campaign has quickly spread all over the world, though it is having difficulty some places. In China, for example, hugging counts as inappropriate public display of affection, and it's considered a foreign custom, too. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


A bit busy here, no time to write much. Which is where you come in. Your job is to: (1) identify what I am eating in this picture, and (2) provide a caption. A hint: it isn't turkey with cranberry sauce. Thanks.


In other news, the Great Firewall has migrated to include and among the civilized. It has accordingly been moved down on my enemies list.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 03, 2006


Which is to say, "The myriad matters [of the world] are as the wavering of a candle flame."

I feel obligated to inform the world of the annoyingness of the Great Firewall. The firewall doesn't fully block anything, but it makes a lot of things troublesome. It's more like something out of a Monty Python sketch than a serious defense against toxic memes. Instead of building a wall, they have built an obstacle course, and instead of lying between civilization and the barbarians, it winds through the whole world, and changes course every weekend.

For example, to post a comment on MySpace (admittedly deep in barbarian territory), you first attempt to load some MySpace page, and MySpace will prompt you to log in. So you login, and are taken to your "Home" page. If you can remember which links you have to follow to get where you were headed, you can do such things as read new messages, read friends' bulletins, and view your long list of MySpaceFriends. If you try to look at any person's profile, however, (including your own), something is triggered in the firewall, and the connection is dropped. So, you try your favorite proxy service. That one might have MySpace's kind of web magic reserved for paying users, so you use another service. It can load the profile page fine. But then you click the 'post comment' link, and you get MySpace's "You must be logged in to do that!" page (which I have in the past gotten when I tried to log in: apparently at times you have to be logged in to log in.) So you have to log in again, which will take you back to your "Home" page, from which you again have to navigate back through the link maze to post a comment.

Or again, suppose you want read your sister's blog. She, like you, uses Blogspot to host her blog. She writes a pretty funny blog that you read pretty often, so you have her blog bookmarked, and you load that bookmark. ... After several seconds of waiting for your computer to contact the server you remember that this week Blogspot is officially a hive of barbarians. Nice barbarians, maybe, but barbarians none the less. So you might go to your favorite proxy service, or since you are subscribed via Bloglines, you can read her posts there. And what if you want to post a comment? Well, if you are using the gladder Firefox extension, when you click on the post link, you are automatically redirected to a proxified page. Then you can click on the "comment" link, and type in your comment. Then you scroll down and find... the word verification magic doesn't work with the proxification. (That is a real word. There are 452 Google hits as of this writing. 453 once Google finds this one.) Ah! But you know that the Great Firewall has no problem with Blogspot is a hive of barbarians, but Blogger, from which the barbarians produce the Blogspot drivel, is safely within civilization. So you cut and paste the web location into a new tab, and edit out the proxifying part, load the page again, paste in your comment, and fill out the word verification. 哎呀,这么麻烦! (which is to say, "Aiya! So irritating!")