Memo to Pope Frankie …

45th parallel

… and others who think that air conditioning is an irresponsible, decadent luxury:

Above is a map of North America and Europe, with the 45th parallel marked in red. That latitude lies halfway between the north pole and the equator. Regions north of the red line are nearer the arctic; regions south, nearer the tropics. Note that most of Europe is above the parallel and that most of the 48 states are below it. Note further that the plains states are remote from any moderating influence of mountains or ocean. It gets hot and stinking humid here in Kansas during summer. Frown and shake your finger all you want, but my air conditioner stays on.

Something about a dragon?

Josh has seen fit to present me with another award. This time it’s the “Dragon’s Loyalty Award.” Gee, thank you, Josh. It’s a great honor, etc., etc., etc. Someday I may forgive you.

Dragon's Loyalty Award

These are the rules:

1. Display the award on your blog.
2. Announce your win with a post and denounce thank the blogger who awarded you.
3. Present 15 deserving bloggers with the award.
4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded.
5. Write seven interesting things about yourself.

These “awards” are a bit too much like chain letters, and I’m not going to pick 15 more suckers. Anyone listed in my blogroll is worthy of an award. If this exercise looks like fun, feel free to participate.

I’m running out of fascinating trivia about myself. ((The most interesting facts about me are none of your business.)) Let’s see, what haven’t I mentioned before?

1. I had piano lessons as a kid, but they didn’t take. When I was around 20, I got tired of being musically illiterate, so I bought an old upright and found a teacher. Later I took a couple of semesters of music theory at the university. I would have taken more, but the theory classes were scheduled for the convenience of freshman music majors, not non-major upperclassmen with jobs and complicated schedules.

2. When I was a kid, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t.

3. I deliberately mis-matched my socks during my college years. Similarly, I often wore parti-colored hose when I was active in the SCA.

4. I prefer the fragrance of dianthus to that of roses.

5. I do know how to drive, but I generally don’t.

6. When I was 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, I wandered all over Brigham City, Utah, sometimes with friends, more often alone. Sometimes my friends and I rambled around the lower slopes of the mountain east of town, or we rode our bikes to campgrounds in the canyon to the southeast. I’d pack a lunch and spend entire days at the town park by myself. When I was 11, I explored much of San Francisco north of Golden Gate Park on my bike. I could ride to Baker Beach from home in five minutes, and I’d usually have the sands all to myself. Present-day opponents of free-range parenting would have been aghast.

7. I’ve had fun with depression throughout my life. I rarely mention it because, well, it’s depressing, and others have faced worse and written better about their experiences. I figure it cheated me of about ten years of my youth. Little blue pills have made life a bit easier for me and those who must deal with me. ((This is not a request for advice or inspirational messages. I most likely will never allude to the subject again.))

Memo to NRO


You've got malware


Please clean the damned malware off your site NOW. While you’re at it, undo all the recent “improvements” that have made NRO a tedious, unreadable mess, too.

By the way, don’t call that number. I recommend that everyone stay away from National Review Online until get they their act together.

Update: According to some online diagnostic services, National Review‘s site is clean. A scan of my hard drive found no malware. Nevertheless, I still got redirected to a site that wanted to install a bogus Flash update the last time I visited. I would guess that whatever agency handles the advertising on the NR site is running some tainted ads. It looks like I’m not going to spend much time with Kevin and Jonah for a while.

Update II (April 3): Whatever was hijacking my browsers seems to be gone from the site now. NR is still a pain to navigate, though.



A game to play next time you read a second-tier fantasy novel. (Via J. Greely.)


Some trigger warnings for other literature.

1944, near Naples

Italy, 1944:

88 airplanes were a total loss. Eighty-eight B-25 Mitchells – $25,000,000 [1944 dollars] worth of aircraft

Vesuvius, 1944

Update: More on Vesuvius here.

Anthony Sacramone’s list of the twelve funniest books ever written is better than most such lists, though it’s missing Terry Pratchett, Robert Benchley and a few others. ((I was pleased to see that someone else remembers Will Cuppy.))

“Let us build a fairyland for the people by dint of science!”

North Korean slogan or TED talk tidbit? (Via Jonah Goldberg.)

A large serving of silly nonsense is below the fold.

Continue reading “Link-o-rama”

David Hilbert, plumbing contractor


Back when I sewed regularly, I seldom used printed fabrics. Partly it was because I mostly made outfits for the SCA, where prints were rarely appropriate, but mainly because most of the designs available then were dull and uninteresting.

That is no longer the case. I recently visited and found all kinds of interesting things there, such as the plumbing nightmare above, based on the space-filling Hilbert curve.

Other designs include:

Continue reading “David Hilbert, plumbing contractor”


Ten years ago Sitemeter was a useful tool for seeing who links to you. Nowadays it’s a liability. A month ago, and again yesterday, sites I regularly visit were hijacked with domain redirects most likely piggybacking on Sitemeter code. If you use Sitemeter, please find an alternative as soon as possible.

Memo to the hijackers: Kirika would like to see you.


Update: The Bayou Renaissance Man recommends StatCounter.