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The Conversations

[I’m writing this while on vacation, staying in a cabin near Mazama, WA. Since I don’t have Internet access here, I’m writing this in BBEdit and will post it when I return. (Full disclosure: I could probably get online via dialup, since there’s a phone line in the cabin, but I’m going to hold out ...

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Cel-spammed at IHOP

Sitting in an IHOP in Glendale, CA yesterday morning, my Nokia 8290 buzzed to alert me that I had a message. It was a text message from info0011@computeruser.com that contained the URL “http://www.vrzn-nxtl.com”. (I’m a T-Mobile customer, and was picking up Cingular service in SoCal.) Before checking out the site today, I dutifully turned off ...

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The Future of Animation

The New York Times has an interesting story about the state of feature animation, notably the “old style” Disney version (hand-drawn) versus the “new style” Pixar version (computer-generated). It’s a tough field right now, with lots of talented artists getting laid off because people are more eager to see shiny new CG films like Shrek, ...

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Buzz on Being an Astronaut

Buzz Aldrin has a good opinion piece in the New York Times today titled, “Fear and Flying” that provides an astronaut’s take on the shuttle disaster. (Free subscription required to view.)

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Why We Think It Can’t Happen to Us

I get irked when people start talking about how entertainment adversely affects how we live our lives. (My favorite example, and I can’t recall the source right now: Some people say that violence in movies and television encourages more violence in society, but do you see the broad spectrum of comedy making people funnier?) That ...

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Shuttle Disaster

I’m sick about the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia. I caught the news late: Kim and I were enjoying a nice news- and Internet-free morning before running off to get some errands done, and then I checked CNN.com quickly. I feel like I’ve been numb all day. (The Challenger explosion in 1986 is still ...

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Hollywood and Coffee

I knew my interest in Hollywood and love of coffee would converge someday: I just got a free latte for identifying the source of this quote! I never said all actors are cattle; what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle.

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Hitlerism

As I listened to the President’s State of the Union speech in the car last night, I found myself getting repeatedly stuck on words and phrases, followed closely by, “Did he really just say that?” My favorite example: “Hitlerism” (emphasis mine). “Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built ...

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Worm Hits Microsoft

Oh, I just can’t help it. The worm that’s been disrupting computer systems worldwide for the past few days by taking advantage of security holes in Microsoft’s SQL Server has hit Microsoft as well (NYTimes, free subscription required). The paradox was not lost on computer security experts. “Microsoft has been blaming the users, saying they ...

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Crap, Scratch That

Just got a call from our real estate agent: the woman buying our Renton house has backed out. Apparently her father went to see it and thought it was too much house for her, and invoked the three-day Neighborhood Review clause that lets buyers nix the deal without penalty (normally, if there wasn’t good cause ...

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