Monthly Archives: July 2011

How Many Sane GOP House Members Exist? And Does It Matter?

This is probably a very dumb question, so forgive me in advance:

Suppose after Boehner’s latest effort tanks that the somewhat-less-evil Reid bill gets before the House somehow or other and the CNN Doomsday Clock keeps ticking. And suppose that the very large majority of the 193 Democrats in the House (modulo a Blue Dog here or there) are prepared to vote for it.

Then all you need is 30-40 somewhat sane (or subject to Wall St. pressure) Republicans out of the 240 in their caucus, right? Is party discipline so strong, madness so widespread, that they don’t exist?

Or am I missing something more basic about House procedure which might prevent that vote from happening?

Posted in Econ & Money, Politics: Tinfoil, Politics: US | Leave a comment

It Might Also Lower the Unemployment Rate

Digby has a market-based solution to the problem of the “resume holes” for the long-term unemployed:

I have a business idea. Who wants to incorporate and and sell themselves to jobless people as their "current job" for resume purposes? You could just charge a little fee if the person gets the job. Why not? It’s no more immoral than saying people shouldn’t be allowed to work if they aren’t already working.

In a world in which employers and even spouses of Presidential candidates don’t seem troubled by mail-order degrees, why not mail-order employment history too?

Posted in Econ & Money | Leave a comment

Microsoft Word Does Regex

Who knew, or even suspected?  Microsoft Word does regex!, via Joho the Blog.

Of course, most people who understood that are probably wondering why anyone who speaks regex well enough to want to use it in searches in Word would be using MS Word rather than Open Office or LaTeX….

Posted in Software | 1 Comment

I Preferred the Singularity

I was sorry to learn that there is likely a very rational explanation for the Pioneer anomaly, the 30-year mysterious deceleration of the Pioneer spacecraft once it got out of the solar system, a mystery much loved by science fiction readers. I would have liked the mystery even better if there had been an unexplained acceleration, but you can’t have everything.

It seems that no singularities are involved after all, and that gravity doesn’t get stronger or weaker at long distances either. Heat ‘Most Likely Cause’ of Pioneer Anomaly:

A number of possible explanations have been proposed over the ensuing decades, including the possibility that gravity behaves differently at such large distances from earth — thereby requiring a modification of gravitational theory.

But over the last couple of years, evidence has been pointing more strongly to heat as the most likely culprit. Specifically, heat from the plutonium inside the spacecraft’s generators, some of which got converted into electricity while the rest of it radiated into space. If it did so unevenly, radiating more heat in one direction than in another — only a 5 percent difference is required — that might be sufficient to give rise to the Pioneer anomaly.

Found via Slashdot.

Posted in Science/Medicine | 2 Comments

Shorter Obama Speech – July 25, 2011

“Since nothing else has worked, I’m going to try some mild populism tonight, but I’m still prepared to meet the GOP 90% of the way and enact Hoover-like policies in a recession.”

(Shorter Speaker of the House John Boehner: “Get stuffed.”)

Posted in Politics: US | 1 Comment

My Name is Michael and I’m a Tweaker

Tweaking may be a disease.

In the quest for speed I’ve moved my very long blogroll from the right margin to a special page of its own, Blogs I Read, and linked to it right under the banner at the top of the page.

This chops almost two more seconds off the load time, at least if the barometric conditions are right.

Just one more thing — really, just one more, honest — that I have to figure out: why, sometimes W3 Total Cache decides to reject the IE user-agent and instead of directing it to the amazon cloud server, sends it to my host instead.

The message (in reveal codes) is

Content Delivery Network via Amazon Web Services: S3: staticd.discourse.net.s3.amazonaws.com (user agent is rejected)

But there’s nothing on the list of user agents to reject that I can see which looks anything like IE. (Full list below the fold).

If you are curious, you can tell which version you got by looking at the source files and searching for “staticd” — if you find it, you got the cloud version; if you didn’t it all came straight from the source. The two versions are supposed to be identical, it’s just a speed issue.

Continue reading

Posted in Discourse.net | 1 Comment