The Great Peanut Butter Adventure

My roommate and I stayed at work late last night. we thought to go on a
mission to the kitchens to grab some bread to put our peanut butter
upon. Alas, all ports of entry were locked tight. Sadly we trudged
homeward empty-handed. Sitting at home upon the sofa we contemplated our
plight. Whether it were the better part of vallar to slumber or to whip
up a delicious snack to appease our voracious appetite. Thus prompted by my roommate's rumbling stomach we dashed off to the
kitchen to prepare the most savory of concoctions. "It must contain peanut butter!" he said. "It must also employ delicious jam," I said. "Making bread which we can peanut butter spread upon will take too
long!" I exclaimed. "We shall skip that step. Let us then incorporate
our requirements inside the bread." From these small beginnings, a grand snack was created.
Pizza dough with peanut butter and jelly and folded to perfection.
In about 13 minutes flat, at the midnight hour, we happily munched on
our wondrous creation.

How to stop multimedia buttons from typing random characters in linux

I am using esekeyd to run programs with the media buttons but certain ones type randomness into whatever program I happen to be running.
Check out the info pages for loadkeys, showkey, and keymaps.
Use showkey to get the codes for your media buttons, they'll come up as hex which is ok or decimal is fine too
on my system decimal
113 = mute
114 = volume down
115 = volume up
the other buttons are 163, 164, 165, and 166
cd /usr/share/keymap/i386/qwerty
gunzip defkeymap.kmap.gz
nano defkeymap.kmap
search for our numbers (^w) and make them all
keycode xxx =
if the number isn't there, add it
keycode 113 =
keycode 114 =
keycode 115 =
exit and save (^x)
gzip defkeymap.kmap
loadkeys -sd
Happy media button pressing without random chars!
Note: you want to add all multimedia buttons even if they don't seem to write anything because some of them write null chars for some reason.

A linux pizza

It was only a few short days ago that I was happily galumphing along on my Windows Vista-enabled PC-compatible laptop when I got the brilliant idea that I should update my soundcard drivers...
To make a short story long, I broke windows horribly and installed linux. I just ordered my first pizza using a text browser called lynx.

The sock Conspiracy

I am convinced there is a sock conspiracy. When looking for a black
sock, you'll find a white one. When looking for a match, you'll find
many socks that don't match at all. The trick is to look for black socks
when you want white ones.
Come to think of it, it may be clothes in general. Try this: when you
want to find a perfect pair of socks, simply look for your underwear.
What does this suggest for the way the universe works? This is most
likely a subset of a universal function of the natural order of things.
Whatever that means.

I, am a genius!

how do you get cold water in a water bottle, well, you have a few options: put water in the bottle and stick it in the freezer being the most sensical, but wait, with my new system you can have that cold drink in 20 seconds or less! ordinary ice cubes are much too big to fit in a standard water bottle, crushing ice, what a mess! for 19.95 you to can have that fresh, cool drink you desperately need in this summer heat put three ice cubes in a medium funnel, hold finger over bottom, fill funnel with water, swirl ice until water is cold, release into water bottle, repeat until bottle is full, by then the ice cubes are small enough to fit through the opening Pure genius and all yours for 19.95 I accept PayPal

For Most People, College Is a Waste of Time

Finally, someone wrote an article expressing all the things I've been saying for years! Imagine that America had no system of post-secondary education, and you were a member of a task force assigned to create one from scratch. One of your colleagues submits this proposal: First, we will set up a single goal to represent educational success, which will take four years to achieve no matter what is being taught. We will attach an economic reward to it that seldom has anything to do with what has been learned. We will urge large numbers of people who do not possess adequate ability to try to achieve the goal, wait until they have spent a lot of time and money, and then deny it to them. We will stigmatize everyone who doesn't meet the goal. We will call the goal a "BA." You would conclude that your colleague was cruel, not to say insane. But that's the system we have in place. Finding a better way should be easy. The BA acquired its current inflated status by accident. Advanced skills for people with brains really did get more valuable over the course of the 20th century, but the acquisition of those skills got conflated with the existing system of colleges, which had evolved the BA for completely different purposes. Outside a handful of majors -- engineering and some of the sciences -- a bachelor's degree tells an employer nothing except that the applicant has a certain amount of intellectual ability and perseverance. Even a degree in a vocational major like business administration can mean anything from a solid base of knowledge to four years of barely remembered gut courses. The solution is not betterdegrees, but no degrees. Young people entering the job market should have a known, trusted measure of their qualifications they can carry into job interviews. That measure should express what they know, not where they learned it or how long it took them. They need a certification, not a degree. The model is the CPA exam that qualifies certified public accountants. The same test is used nationwide. It is thorough -- four sections, timed, totaling 14 hours. A passing score indicates authentic competence (the pass rate is below 50%). Actual scores are reported in addition to pass/fail, so that employers can assess where the applicant falls in the distribution of accounting competence. You may have learned accounting at an anonymous online university, but your CPA score gives you a way to show employers you're a stronger applicant than someone from an Ivy League school. The merits of a CPA-like certification exam apply to any college major for which the BA is now used as a job qualification. To name just some of them: criminal justice, social work, public administration and the many separate majors under the headings of business, computer science and education. Such majors accounted for almost two-thirds of the bachelor's degrees conferred in 2005. For that matter, certification tests can be used for purely academic disciplines. Why not present graduate schools with certifications in microbiology or economics -- and who cares if the applicants passed the exam after studying in the local public library? Certification tests need not undermine the incentives to get a traditional liberal-arts education. If professional and graduate schools want students who have acquired one, all they need do is require certification scores in the appropriate disciplines. Students facing such requirements are likely to get a much better liberal education than even our most elite schools require now. Certification tests will not get rid of the problems associated with differences in intellectual ability: People with high intellectual ability will still have an edge. Graduates of prestigious colleges will still, on average, have higher certification scores than people who have taken online courses -- just because prestigious colleges attract intellectually talented applicants. But that's irrelevant to the larger issue. Under a certification system, four years is not required, residence is not required, expensive tuitions are not required, and a degree is not required. Equal educational opportunity means, among other things, creating a society in which it's what you know that makes the difference. Substituting certifications for degrees would be a big step in that direction. The incentives are right. Certification tests would provide all employers with valuable, trustworthy information about job applicants. They would benefit young people who cannot or do not want to attend a traditional four-year college. They would be welcomed by the growing post-secondary online educational industry, which cannot offer the halo effect of a BA from a traditional college, but can realistically promise their students good training for a certification test -- as good as they are likely to get at a traditional college, for a lot less money and in a lot less time. Certification tests would disadvantage just one set of people: Students who have gotten into well-known traditional schools, but who are coasting through their years in college and would score poorly on a certification test. Disadvantaging them is an outcome devoutly to be wished. No technical barriers stand in the way of evolving toward a system where certification tests would replace the BA. Hundreds of certification tests already exist, for everything from building code inspectors to advanced medical specialties. The problem is a shortage of tests that are nationally accepted, like the CPA exam. But when so many of the players would benefit, a market opportunity exists. If a high-profile testing company such as the Educational Testing Service were to reach a strategic decision to create definitive certification tests, it could coordinate with major employers, professional groups and nontraditional universities to make its tests the gold standard. A handful of key decisions could produce a tipping effect. Imagine if Microsoft announced it would henceforth require scores on a certain battery of certification tests from all of its programming applicants. Scores on that battery would acquire instant credibility for programming job applicants throughout the industry. An educational world based on certification tests would be a better place in many ways, but the overarching benefit is that the line between college and noncollege competencies would be blurred. Hardly any jobs would still have the BA as a requirement for a shot at being hired. Opportunities would be wider and fairer, and the stigma of not having a BA would diminish. Most important in an increasingly class-riven America: The demonstration of competency in business administration or European history would, appropriately, take on similarities to the demonstration of competency in cooking or welding. Our obsession with the BA has created a two-tiered entry to adulthood, anointing some for admission to the club and labeling the rest as second-best. Here's the reality: Everyone in every occupation starts as an apprentice. Those who are good enough become journeymen. The best become master craftsmen. This is as true of business executives and history professors as of chefs and welders. Getting rid of the BA and replacing it with evidence of competence -- treating post-secondary education as apprenticeships for everyone -- is one way to help us to recognize that common bond. Mr. Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. This essay is adapted from his forthcoming book, "Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality" For Most People, College Is a Waste of TimeBy CHARLES MURRAYFROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL August 13, 2008; Page A17

The shelf that wanted to be a sled

I've been building shelves for our bathroom closet. There are four shelves: one 2 feet high (60 cm), next one 20 inches up (50 cm), next one the same, and the top one I'm not sure yet. The two lower shelves are 23.5 inches wide (59.6 cm) this leaves a space 65 inches tall (165 cm) to the right of the lower shelves for the ironing board. Anyway, this means all the shelves screw into the wall except the two lower ones that screw into a 65 high piece of plywood. Nice, strong, straight, plywood... Well, it was, but somehow it decided to bend and now resembles a sled. No clue how that happened othe than the fact that it was stored in the bathroom for a while. Maybe the steam and such bent it. Now I've clamped it to the wall and filled the tub with steaming water trying to straighten it out. Of course it'll straighten out when I screw everything together, but I'd rather not put the stress of a bent board on the poor innocent shelves. I am used to building things, clocks, boxes, whatever. Not used to building shelves into a closet. Crazy house builders don't really care if the walls are straight or square so it's a challenge. the closet is half an inch narrower at the back and is wider at the bottom than the top. It's a learning experience. Finding a way to make the edges of plywood look nice will be another challenge--good thing we're painting these. I'm not a carpenter, I'm a woodworker. I don't like when things are more than 1/16th of an inch off, but with this carpentry stuff things are never that accurate and have to figure out what to do with the random gaps that keep popping up. In other news I drank almost a gallon of water yesterday (over 3 liters) and hardly any today. I'm thirsty!

Interesting issue?

When reading an article about artificial eyes I ran across this quote. "We wish he could have his own eye, but it's going to be OK," she said. "It looks good, this new eye. He looks much better now. He looks much better. He's like us." I agree that my artificial eye makes me feel much better! My eye lids aren't all saggy and dented in. My issue is the part when they say now he's like us. As if before the child was odd and not a member of the human race. I'm not sure how to feel about this. On one hand I agree. On the other I hate people thinking things are much better when people are like them. Read the article for yourself. Source: Apt pupils / A fifth-generation ocularist makes artificial eye for Castro Valley toddler By the way, Castro Valley is where I went to school. I get to go see the ocularist on april 25. Hurray! New eye for me!

A brave bug

I was reading lj when a giant bug decided to make the grand and trecherous journey across the Daiverd. It's point of entry? Right across the back of the left hand of the Daiverd. It was creeping along, hoping not to be noticed by the Daiverd. Unfortunately, the Daiverd noticed the creeping and tried to smack the invader. Luckily for mister bug, he missed and only succeeded in delivering a quite painful slap upon the arm of the Daiverd. Crack! The hand struck mister bug a glancing blow upon the thorax. Dased and confused mister bug fell upon the wide expance of stomach of the Daiverd. Fearing mister bug would never rise again his little bug life flashed before his eyes. There was the time he'd stolen the crumb of delicious apple pie crust to bring to his sister who was ill. The first time he'd ran from the giant snuffling nose of the dog. The time... Ah! The fingers of the Daiverd came to investigate the body of mister bug. I must run away cried mister bug. Creeping as fast as he could, which wasn't very fast, mister bug ran with his injured thorax across the other arm of the Daiverd. The Daiverd commenced to shake frightfully and mister bug fall to the floor. He was glad to be off the Daiverd and to escape with his life and vowed never to attempt the human crossing alone again.