Flat Guitars (or Why I Break Strings)

I was walking through Demarest Hall when I heard a familiar guitar. "Is that a Peavey Falcon?" The guy stopped strumming the black electric guitar and confirmed that it was. We chatted for a bit; it turned out he was having the same problems I was, specifically that the guitar didn't stay in tune as well as … Continue reading Flat Guitars (or Why I Break Strings)


Friday on the web

Every so often, the web produces something literate and intelligent; these gems are often found buried under Gilligan's Island fan fiction and LOLcats. Controlling Your Environment Makes You Happy, by Joel Spolsky I'm fascinated by programming despite having no ability to actually code. This article is ostensibly about programmers and user interface, but it applies … Continue reading Friday on the web

Review: The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, volume 1, part 2

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1: 1929-1964 Edited by Robert Silverberg I started reading this last year. The first half of this review can be found elsewhere. To recap: My general purpose in re-reading this collection of historically noteworthy stories is to see how the stories have aged since I was a boy; … Continue reading Review: The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, volume 1, part 2

Thoughts on my Kindle

I recently bought a Kindle. More than once, as I’ve been excitedly showing off my new toy to friends, they’ve said “well, I just really love books, so I’m not interested in this.” Or even a more extreme version--that they’ll only be dragged into using this new technology kicking and screaming. If I point out … Continue reading Thoughts on my Kindle

Letters from the Earth

Letters From The Earth: Uncensored Writings by Mark Twain I found this book when I was looking for a copy of The Diaries of Adam and Eve, as this posthumous collection covers some similar ground. It incorporates biblical "memoirs", other criticism, letters, and a section titled "The Damned Human Race". I read much of the … Continue reading Letters from the Earth


I took this photo for no particular reason. It was only afterwards that I realized that the snow looked odd, almost as if the pine tree were covered with dry packing material. Those of you who have off for Martin Luther King Day, I hope you're enjoying the holiday. I'm writing a regular post for … Continue reading Snow

Girl Genius Day!

I bought myself a Kindle last month. I love it. I don't have to cart around the books that I finished on the plane the first day of a business trip, it's pretty intuitive to use, and is easy on the eyes, since it's not backlit. It weighs more than a mass market paperback, but … Continue reading Girl Genius Day!

Planetary, volume four: Spacetime Archaeology

To work, then. For this is your century, and it needs you. Sherlock Holmes to Elijah Snow, 1920. In 1998, Warren Ellis and John Cassady wrote "Nuclear Spring", an underwhelming preview of the series that was soon to come. Planetary eventually spanned 27 issues and the story over a century, but more importantly, over a … Continue reading Planetary, volume four: Spacetime Archaeology

Chromebook update: Printing and PDFs

Within 24 hours, I spilled a drink into my Mac's keyboard and dropped my Windows netbook onto the floor. Until I got a new keyboard or a new netbook, whichever comes first, I was a cloud-computing guy. My netbook screen looks like this: And, without a keyboard, I couldn't even log into my Mac. (The … Continue reading Chromebook update: Printing and PDFs

Bicycles.stackexchange.com: Keeping idiocy off the web since this past summer.

As a followup to my earlier post about the Bicycles Q&A site at stackexchange.com, I've excerpted some of the more interesting questions the site has had in the last several weeks. Instead of the chit-chat and noise and idiocy of a typical web forum, the Stack Exchange network of sites is trying to make the … Continue reading Bicycles.stackexchange.com: Keeping idiocy off the web since this past summer.