Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Several unrelated things

Countries I have Visited

States I have Visited

As I've mentioned before, I love to travel so I finally did one of the countries and states visited programs. There are a couple of things I might have done differently had I been the designer, principally making a distinction between European and Asiatic Russia. The program does call out all the countries that used to make up Soviet Central Asia as separate republics, but if you've been, as I have, in Western Russia the proigram throws Siberia in for free. It looks very impressive but it isn't exactly accurate.

When I finished filling in all my states and countries, I did a cut and paste of the html provided to put the maps on the blog. Interestingly, putting the code into the body of today's entry somehow affected all the settings in the template so that the type size of my link lists and of all previous daily entries suddenly became tiny. I had to delete the html, go back to the map program and save the actual maps to my desktop, then upload them to the blog. They wouldn't go at first as they were gifs and had to be converted into bitmaps first, but when Bogger's relatively new picture upload program did accept them, all the type in other parts of the blog returned to normal. Perhaps some of you more into the tech of these things can explain that.

Speaking of which, I got to meet another fellow blogger for lunch yesterday, Bryan from That's Interesting. He came to MIT (where I work in one of the Institute's very few un-air conditioned buildings) and he is definitely someone who who knows his way around programming. After lunch I showed him around our design and production building.

ABC TV ran a moving two hour tribute to the late Peter Jennings between 8 and 10 pm Eastern Time tonight. The man's elegance, lack of pretense and depth of skill were lauded by his co-workers and peers, to the extent that he HAD any peers. Commentary on WBZ (CBS) Radio here in Boston yesterday praised his breadth of knowledge and dignity in a profession that'd dumbing itself down faster and faster. In point of fact, the man never actually graduated high school. His obsessive reading on every topic imaginable, his incredibly careful preparation of material, and his personal communication skills were all praised. And the many clips of him throughout the program proved all the praise justified over and over again. It was two hours very well spent.

Moving from Jennings's integrity to the current administration, there's an interesting little story running around that the White House is on a campaign to mollify the religious right nut cases over the John Roberts nomination. A story on how Roberts had unhesitatingly given his assistance to help shape a proposed Colorago law that would prevent gays and lesbians from losing their rights under the state's anti-discrimination law was brought to the media's attention. Many of the fundamentalists thought themselves betrayed by Bush. A barometer of just how degraded our political system has become is that our president is now doing everything he can to assure his supporters that his nominee for the nations highest court really IS intolerant and a bigot. I sometimes wonder if we have any values left.

Focus on the Family has announced a seminar for ministers on how to deal with male and female homosexuals "compassionately but without compromise." It is to be held right her in Boston at the end of September in the Tremont Temple, an old urban church in downtown Boston. Among the agenda items is how to deal of the "myth of being born gay." What's funny is that I got a copy of the invitation to the conference forwarded to me by a good friend who's a gay Catholic priest.

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