Traveller

Jun. 28th, 2009 11:58 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I got a weird spam this morning consisting of a blank email except for the following lines:

"a land of men and women too; except it be a woman old;
a land of men and women too;"

I had no doubt that the lines were lifted from a poem, and that the apparent negative age-related message of the spam was not the intended message of the original, so I searched to find out what this snippet was lifted from.

Result: The Mental Traveller, by William Blake

Not only is this a wonderful, if somewhat disturbing poem, but it also proved once and for all that the word "traveller" has two Ls in it, regardless of what various spell checkers and Webster's currently listed "preferred" spellings indicate.

Blake trumps Websters.

Righty.

May. 24th, 2009 12:49 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This past week I've been looking in the mirror and wondering what was wrong with me. My coloring looked "off". I hoped I wasn't getting sick or something. Then I realized ... I have a suntan. This is the first time I've had an actual tan in many years. I had forgotten what I looked like with a suntan.

This does not fill me with hope for the universe at large.

Wellp, off to the farmers market and post office
helen99: Bird in a tree (Bird in a tree)
The tree that owns itself

Comemorative plaque

Quercus Alba deeded to itself by Col. William H. Jackson circa 1832...

Apparently this privilege was inherited by its more cosmopolitan children:

"This scion of the original tree was planted the junior ladies garden club in 1946.
National Register of Historic Places 1975
Athens Historical Landmark 1988"

Perhaps I should deed all of my trees to themselves... In order to cut them, future generations would have to enter into stiff negotiations with assorted saplings. This would make my ghost happy.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
The tree that owns itself

Comemorative plaque

Quercus Alba deeded to itself by Col. William H. Jackson circa 1832...

Apparently this privilege was inherited by its more cosmopolitan children:

"This scion of the original tree was planted the junior ladies garden club in 1946.
National Register of Historic Places 1975
Athens Historical Landmark 1988"
helen99: Artemis Bee Coin (Artemis Bee Coin)
Dreamwidth's site status is on Twitter.

I don't think there's anything better to provide short, precise, current updates on site status.

So now Twitter makes much more sense than I ever wanted it to make. :P
helen99: Drag Stags (Drag Stags)
I can't believe I watched the whole thing

Bees

Mar. 20th, 2009 11:28 am
helen99: Honeybee (Honeybee)
From http://community.livejournal.com/beekeeping/54949.html:

The Obamas are going to have two beehives at the White House:

"A White House carpenter, Charlie Brandts, who is a beekeeper, will tend two hives for honey."

Edit: Here's the original article that sentence came from. They're setting up an organic garden that will be supplying the White House kitchen. The beehives are only mentioned in that one sentence:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/dining/20garden.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
helen99: Wow... (no words) (Wow)
A while ago, This Story appeared in Blogspot, posted by someone who was having a problem with Verizon billing. Apparently they thought he owed them a lot of money, when in fact he had not been a customer for five years, and furthermore, they owed him money according to his calculations. After this had gone on for a long time, it came to the attention of the author of XKCD, who became ... inspired.

Here is his inspiration: http://xkcd.com/verizon/

The check is written for an amount which contains the number "i", a.k.a., the square root of negative 1. Therefore the amount of the check would be called an 'imaginary' number in mathematical terms (because there is nothing you can multiply by itself to get -1). This should not be a problem, however, because the amount Verizon was charging was also imaginary...

Edit: From the comments, we see that the equation actually resolves to a real number that Verizon can spend whichever way it wants:

"Ah, but e^(i*pi) = cos(pi) + i*sin(pi) = -1 + 0i = -1.
And the infinite sum resolves to +1
So in fact he wrote them a check for two tenths of a cent.
That, of course, would require Verizon to do math to figure out."

XKCD - brilliant as usual.

Brought to my attention by way of [livejournal.com profile] lindsaybits
helen99: Musical Note (Musical note)
I'm sitting at my desk here at the office, right? And someone's walking by outside, their footsteps echoing in the hallway. Nothing unusual about that. However, as they're walking, they're singing in their best soprano (in time to the beat of their footsteps), "Maia hii, maia huu, maia haa, maia ha-ha! Maia hii, maia huu, maia haa, maia ha-ha!"

And then, as quickly as they approached, they were gone, echoes of Numa Numa trailing behind them.

Not exactly what I expected around here, but then, why not...
helen99: Pants (Pants)
Kitten is Angry, by lemon-demon








lyrics )
helen99: Pants (Pants)
They've moved to Ramblewood, which is where the pagan festival Free Spirit takes place.

Weird

Mar. 6th, 2009 12:31 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
So I got this spam email saying something like, "Hi, helen99, work from home with Google online!"

For some reason I decided to view the source code of the email. The top part of the email source code contained the expected code for the "work from home" link (which had nothing to do with Google) and an "unsubscribe" link (which led to a page called "confirmation_WLMT209.html"), Heh. Like I said, nothing unexpected.

When (after scanning for viruses) I viewed this email as an HTML page, it showed these links, and that was it - nothing else.

The weird part about this was, in the source code below the links appeared the following tag: STYLE (enclosed in the usual triangle brackets). And after the STYLE tag was a fantastically gloom and doom breakdown of the current horrors of the economy and unemployment, complete with a Bloomberg report on all the major banks. None of this showed up in the email at all, nor was anyone likely to see it unless they decided to look at the source code.

I tested the STYLE tag by creating a simple HTML page and using this tag to hide text. It works. The text between STYLE and /STYLE didn't show. Only the text after the /STYLE showed up.

Moggies

Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:01 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Learned a new word today:

Moggy or moggie (plural moggies) is a British affectionate term for a domestic cat. I have six moggies, lol.

Edit: I also just learned that today is Square Root Day.

Now off to work...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I was neither looking for LOTR nor Harry Potter when I found this.

helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This link was called to my attention by [livejournal.com profile] rebelfilms: Book-Cycle.

Its availability and range of service seems to be pretty localized to Exeter, Brighton and thereabouts, but still - it would be nice to support the effort in some way. They're basically an open-source-style bookstore.

Their motto is "From Tree to Book and Back Again" derived from the fact that they rescue unwanted saplings from nurseries, and offer them to people to take with the books.

"You may take up to three books, three trees and spend up to three hours on the internet per day, and pay whatever you wish. Everything we do is on a donations only basis."

From http://www.book-cycle.org/FAQ

"Q: How does it work?

A: You may take up to three books, three trees and spend up to three hours on the internet per day, and pay whatever you wish. Everything we do is on a donations only basis.

Q: Are you serious?

A: Yes, really, you can pay whatever you wish, for all our products and services.

Q: How much do people usually pay?

A: We give you no indication of what other people pay. You pay whatever the books are worth to you! We have no idea of your means so can not tell you how much you should pay.

...

Q: Do the staff get paid?

A: No-one gets paid for any part of their work at Book-Cycle. Book-Cycle is run completely by volunteers.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I just went to Whitehouse.gov to catch Obama's first press conference during lunch, and ... it's content-blocked. It's embedded on Whitehouse.gov from YouTube, and YouTube has been blocked by $_workplace for years, because their content filter categorized it as a 'social networking' site. I always thought of it as a place to find music videos and an occasional movie. I've never made any use of the social aspect of it.

The irony of having the president of the United States content-filtered was amusing at first, but now it's starting to grate. I may have a talk with our security officer about the possibility of allowing whitehouse.gov's specific YouTube pages as well as their other networking pages.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This weekend I didn't leave town because I wanted to stick around with Sithreal, give him his meds, keep him company etc. It turns out that it was a good thing I was here, because around noon my younger brother called, and was locked out of his house. It was very lucky that he called this weekend, because I haven't been in Maryland on weekends in months... until now.

After this happened, I realized that he did not have my cell number. Until recently, it had been enough for him to have my land line, because he hardly ever called, and I was in Rockville often enough to handle emergencies on weekends. This is no longer true. Also, ever since my mom died, nobody has a key to his house except him and me, so in an emergency or if he gets locked out, I'm it.

We had a good visit and I gave him my our cell numbers so he can reach us if we're out of town. It's only a couple of hours away, so I would be able to drive back. I'm still amazed at how lucky he was that I happened to be home.

In other news, the results from Sithreal's tests are not back yet - should be back sometime next week (the vet will call). He's doing ok, and is getting anxious to get out of the room. Only one more dose of pain meds. It was only supposed to be given for a few days - not a week like I had originally thought. That's a relief, since I didn't think that would be good. The incision is healing well and no sign of infection. He doesn't seem to be aware that it's there at all.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Dream:

This is getting weird. I had the same dream for the third time. I was in a building with many floors. It was a large government/university-ish kind of building/complex. I knew that my cats Spooky and Sithreal were somewhere in the building, but I couldn't find them. Whatever this building is, it's not pretty - just functional and lifeless. The corridors and floors of the building seem to shift at times, making it harder to find anything. It's some kind of transition place - there's something temporary about it. There were elevators but they didn't take me to the right floor.

----

In happier news, Steven Chu has been named the next Secretary of Energy. A Nobel prizewinner. Sounds good so far.

---

In even happier news, according to [livejournal.com profile] sir_alf, this is squirrel appreciation day.

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