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Showing posts from September, 2009

DCL Book Chat

The staff of the Douglas County Libraries has brought up a book chat, reading blog. It's good -- I put two of the briefly reviewed titles on hold. Click the entry title to see it.

Wine on Fedora 11

I'm a Linux user. Right now, I'm using Fedora 11 from home. I like it, a lot. But one thing I've had trouble with is accessing webconferencing sites. So I tried an experiment tonight.

1. I installed the Windows emulator (well, Windows compatibility layer) for Fedora. Easy: yum install wine

This puts wine under the Applications menu.

2. I found Firefox for Windows, downloaded the installer, and from a command line went to my download directory and typed:
wine Firefox[tab] which expanded the file name and installed Firefox. Now it appears under Applications>Wine>Programs....Firefox

3. I went to the Adobe Connect site and managed to install Flash and another plug in, just as any Windows user would.

4. I went to the "test" page: https://admin.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm and it failed at the Acrobat Connect Add-in Test.

I just can't install it (and yes, I clicked on Install Add-in). It fails. Don't know why.

Anybody out there tried thi…

haiku from US 24

snow faintly purple
on pine covered ridge
this grey morning


two big boulders
slathered with moss
frogs mating


on telephone wire
and almost too small to see
the grass-blonde bird sings


ant crawling up hill
or man driving up mountain
the immensity!

Kseniya Simonova's Amazing Sand Drawing

I'm a fan of animation, and this art form is live animation. The woman performing won Ukraine's version of "America's Got Talent" sand painting her interpretation of Germany's occupation of Ukraine in WWII. On the one hand it freshens the pain of a terrible tragedy, and so perhaps nurtures the seeds of another. But there is also great beauty.

A shattered Republican party?

Click on the entry title for a link to read an excerpt from Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, by investigative reporter Max Blumenthal.

Blumenthal refers to a couple of writers I read deeply as a young man, and whose themes continue to resonate for me: Eric Hoffer ("The True Believer"), and Erich Fromm ("Escape from Freedom").

I was for 15 years or so a registered and active Republican, although I have never voted a straight ticket in my life. Individual competence, intelligence, and integrity are of more significance to me than party ideology.

Eventually, I left the party, an ephiphany I wrote about here.

These days, virtually all the moderates have abandoned positions of party leadership, disgusted by the rise of rhetoric and the decline of common sense. The folks who are left are "conservative's conservatives." Now, I hear from multiple sources that they are seeking to seize control of the school board -- a non-partisa…

Multinational joke

My daughter told me this one. She heard it in France.

Last month, a worldwide opinion survey was conducted by the United Nations. The only question asked was: “Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?”

The survey was a huge failure, because …

In South America, they didn’t know what “please” meant.
In Eastern Europe, they didn’t know what “honest” meant.
In China, they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.
In the Middle East, they didn’t know what “solution” meant.
In Africa, they didn’t know what “food” meant.
In Western Europe, they didn’t know what “shortage” meant.

And in the USA they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant.

District 9 - movie review with spoiler

I knew we were in trouble when all the previews were horror films. But when "District 9" started, the tone was very different, like a documentary. For a while. The premise of the film was on the one hand intriguing: some 2 million plus aliens are stranded in Johannesburg, South Africa. After 20 years, the "camp" where they were rounded up has devolved into a slum. As a result of xenophobia and fear, the aliens, called "prawns" by the natives, are about to be forcibly relocated to a camp farther from town.

On the other hand, let's just stop a minute to think about that. After traversing vast interstellar distances, the command module of the mothership just fell out, leaving the mothership moribund (but hanging effortlessly in the sky over Jotown) and it took 20 years to find and refuel it? As premises go, it's a little lame. But hey, I'm watching a movie about aliens, so suspending disbelief is certainly an option.

It's hard not to cringe at…

Classic Kung Fu Movies blog

OK, here's the blog that matters. Click on the entry. When I lived in Illinois, I watched Kung Fu Theater. Outrageous costumes, plots as outrageous as Bollywood, but instead of item numbers, you get lavish fight choreography. My salute to this fine contribution to culture.

Roller derby librarian

Reference librarian by day. "MegaBeth" roller derby scrapper by night. Click on the entry to watch the CNN video. I love these stories of librarians who shake up cultural images of them.