Ettercap

Bane of all computer geeks who ever played Baldur’s Gate.

Yeah, I know, you didn’t. Shut up.  =)

Anyway, this is the body of the narsty little monster that chewed up all my little toons.  I’m starting to get the hang of box-modelling in 3dsMax… but don’t have the brain cells for doing the head tonight.

Okay, got the head done.

You don’t see the chelicerae (pointy teeth) very well from this angle, of course.  Now on to figure out how to rig a skeleton for this puppy, and then texturing.

Lessig on Institutional Corruption

I pay attention to Lawrence Lessig, even when I disagree on the details.

Thin Skins

I’m starting to see something over and over again.

Students who feel entitled to lecture their professors on the quality of the feedback they get, that it’s not positive enough.  Students who simply can’t handle being told that their work was an incoherent mess (this is a real example, from a guy who then went on to remakr that it was no wonder I’m rated so poorly online, as if I would actually alter my class based on a ratemyprofessor rating).

It’s one thing not to be an asshole.  And BOY HOWDY can I be an asshole. (I don’t know what that means, actually, it’s a Kansanism I picked up of a friend down here.  If you’re Boy Howdy, I apologize)  But it’s quite another thing to be so fragile that you can’t handle even medium-weight feedback.  Methinks something went wrong with all that self-esteem training.

High-Fructose Hell

I’ve ranted about High-Fructose Corn Syrup for something like twenty years now, after I went through a grocery store and found all the fruit juice was 60% or more sugar-water, and HFCS was showing up in my MEAT PRODUCTS.

Well, the heavy research is in.  The shit’s not only as bad for you as I thought it was… it’s worse.  MUCH worse.

Researchers observed a hyperactivity of hepatic protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), which is associated with defective insulin and leptin signaling, in fructose-fed rats.

Now, that’s not a human study…. but this was.

A dietary history and paired serum and liver tissue were obtained from patients with evidence of biopsy-proven NAFLD (n=49) without cirrhosis and controls (n=24) matched for gender, age (+/-5 years), and body mass index (+/-3 points). RESULTS: Consumption of fructose in patients with NAFLD was nearly 2- to 3-fold higher than controls [365 kcal vs 170 kcal (p<0.05)].

NAFLD.  Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.  Cripes.  If I want liver disease, I want to get it from beer and vodka, not from some syrup additive that’s all over the food industry, from baby food to sausage.  I’m a man, not a moth, dammit.

Significant Innovation against Cancer

Tenovus Scotland, an organization that funds junior scientists, has apparently scored a winner with the use of genes to directly attack cancer without trashing healthy nearby cells.

This is MUCH more important than it sounds — and it sounds great.  As previously stated, the aging process appears at rock bottom to be a defense against cancer.  It’s more complicated than that, of course — junk accumulates (some of it, oddly, glows in the dark), but anything that can be done to simply smack down cancer the way an HIV+ patient currently goes “wake up, take pills, drink coffee, continue with life,” is a serious step forwards in the greatest battle of all  — to stop the constant carnage of aging-related accidents and the continuous loss of human expertise and relationships that is entailed.

And that affects everything

  • Triple the human lifespan, and we can go to the stars — with today’s engineering technology (and today’s engineers!).
  • Long-term thinking and planning:  I have a friend in Arkansas who says it really takes about forty years for people to figure life out.  I can’t argue — she’s got common sense coming out of her pores.   Would you buy a shit-quality chipboard house, if you thought you might be living in it for eighty years?  Or would you save up to build something that’ll actually last?
  • Arts and Culture:  we work in order to survive.  We play for human enjoyment and enlightenment.  As Brian Sutton-Smith so famously said, “the opposite of play isn’t work: it’s depression.”  If humans can live long enough to amass the capital needed to engage in constructive and meaningful activity, and political ramifications don’t stop them, they will.  After all, a quarter of peoples’ income goes to taxes… but the next 20-50% goes directly to simply taking up space.  Pay off a mortgage while you’re still healthy enough to do things, and everybody around you benefits.

Vintage Book Review?

I now have several hundred volumes from my grandmother. Nurse fiction. Uplifting children’s books. Adventure books.

Mostly from the 1950s, when chicks were white, blonde, and almost certainly not “ethnic” (unless the point of the book was to play upon appallingly awful stereotypes).

Could I survive reviewing one of these per week?

Downfall’s Downfall

It’s a very sad day.
Not only does copyright law get raped, but apparently Hitler hates cats.

Under Construction

WordPress has finally released a theme that suits me REALLY WELL — it’s got two article columns and <i>navigable nested pages</i>, meaning a lot less scrolling and everything at your fingertips, at the cost of losing my display pic at top. 

So… changes are incoming and the place may look a mess for a bit, but it SHOULD be a lot more usable soon.

3d Printer released

WANT.

uh… as soon as all the OTHER messes are cleaned outta my garage….

Miss me yet?

Yes, Mr. Clinton, I miss you already.

The President just guaranteed that he’s a one-termer by publicly making it policy that we don’t nuke in responde to chemical, biological, or cyber attack.

Goddamn it.  This is worth ten seats in the House — maybe twenty.  Even Michael Steele can’t screw this up. 

Now we’re gonna see the Return of Republican Smugness… write off the party becoming anything respectable again.

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