Archive for October, 2005

IP Symposium Logo
Tomorrow and Wednesday are the days for the Red Hat/UNC System sponsored Symposium on Intellectual Property, Creativity and the Innovation Process. Although the attendence at the conference site is extremely limited, we’ll be working with WUNC-TV to capture as much as possible on video and we’ll be making torrents available on ibiblio as soon we can process them.
For more on the Symposium see the UNC System site.

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Sally and I became winners of a box of chocolate covered blueberries last night. At a local Halloween party, the costumed guests were encouraged to mix by participating in a hunt for clues about gruesome deaths of famous and nearly famous people. How is it that I would realize that Atilla the Hun died of a nosebleed, that William Klemmer was the first person killed in a not very effecient electric chair, that Tennesee Williams choked on the top of his nasal spray bottle, that Isadora Duncan was strangled by one of her flowing scraves, that Guy de Maupassant, the author of the Inn, killed himself after being driven mad by syphilis and about 15 other odd deaths? Paid off somehow though.

Factiod: For nutritional reporting the serving size of chocolate covered blueberries is 18!

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Yesterday, Tucker and I were lucky to get to spend some time with Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell at the Morehead Science Center.
One of the delights was to see and hear Dr. Bell Burnell describe pulsars to middle schoolers, which means that even I could understand.

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I’m spending a little fun time trying to be helpful to the Lyceum developers — JJB and Fred — by using their test environment and trying to find bugs.
If you visit my blog there, poke at it a bit and see if you can get a bug to show up. [Changed to point to Lyceum front page per JJB suggestion].

UPDATE: Lyceum has been reloaded a few times over the night. JJB has been working hard. That means I’ve recreated the test blog there a few times. Each time the location changes. That’s one thing to work on. Any how, when you test things may have changed and will likely change again.

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Sally who has taught grammar tells me that my alright is either a misspelling or vulgar. I prefer the second of course. I would rather be vulgar than wrong.

Merriam-Webster online says:

The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing. “the first two years of medical school were alright” — Gertrude Stein.

But those 20th Century critics include the American Heritage Dictionary and Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage both of which nurtured Sally’s English PhD.

Still more recent versions (1996) of the American Heritage Book of English Usage are milder on alright while not giving in to it:

Is it all right to use alright? Despite the appearance of alright in the works of such well-known writers as Flannery O’Connor, Langston Hughes, and James Joyce, the merger of all and right has never been accepted as standard. This is peculiar, since similar fusions like already and altogether have never raised any objections. The difference may lie in the fact that already and altogether became single words back in the Middle Ages, whereas alright (at least in its current meaning) has only been around for a little over a century and was called out by language critics as a misspelling. You might think a century would be plenty of time for such an unimposing spelling to gain acceptance as a standard variant, and you will undoubtedly come across alright in magazine and newspaper articles. But if you decide to use alright, especially in formal writing, you run the risk that some of your readers will view it as an error, while others may think you are willfully breaking convention.

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English is blunt:

All right is the only spelling Standard English recognizes.

Evan Morris, aka Word Detective, is broader and gives a better feel for the what and why for alright. WD is a bit long but worth the read:

After mentioning how Fowler dismisses alright (in 1926) and later how Harper did as well, Morris gives us this:

On the other hand, Bergen and Cornelia Evans, in their “Dictionary of Contemporary Usage,” point out that there’s a case to be made for “alright.” Using “alright” as a synonym for “O.K.” or “satisfactory,” they note, “would allow us to make the distinction between ‘the answers are alright’ (satisfactory) and ‘the answers were all right’ (every one of them).”

Convinced me (but that didn’t take too much. Will it convince Sally?).

Morris also covers the rise of O.K. on the same web page.

The Word Maven at Random House has interesting tales to tell in the alright/all right wars including how people were outraged over the “Kids are alright” or are all the kids right as in the “Kids are all right“? Obviously the first is clearer but…

Well, read the article, alright?

Thanks to Roger for stirring this up. As he says “I trust everything will turn out all right” or is it “I Trust (Everything Is Gonna Work Out Alright)”?

UPDATE: Pam Nelson the NandO Gammar Mediator is not all right with alright either, but when it comes to rock and roll, the kids are more likely to be alright than all right even she somewhat admits.

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This group of starcrossed statues wandered around campus for a while before ending up in this nice little garden outside of Manning and Hamilton Halls. Once a year, the statues get new temporary heads. Some years these heads are more creative than others.
On the scale of creativity, this year was a year.

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Comment spam has hit this blog today in a big way. Luckily the spam catcher grabbed it and kept it off the blog, but I still caught it in the moderation queue.
What was the flock of misspelled messages hawking besides a larger manhood and larger breasts?
Ringtones! Tons of ringtone adverts.

Update: I did install Link Right 2 (actually now it’s 3) and we’ll see what’s up.

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From Andie of Africa:

Library that lets you take out people who are left on the shelf
By David Rennie in Brussels
(Filed: 25/08/2005)

A public library in Holland has been swamped with queries after unveiling plans to “lend out” living people, including homosexuals, drug addicts, asylum seekers, gipsies and the physically handicapped.

[read more here]

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Front page center of the second section.

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Brewster Kahle was trying to get UNC involved in the Open Content Alliance for digitized public domain books while he was here for the Wilson Knowledge Trust meeting.
Now he announces that Microsoft Network will not only join the Alliance, but will commit to scanning 150,000 books in 2006!
Brewster’s brief press release includes a link to a Word version of the MSN release

The Open Library site which will house the collections has a very nice book browser.

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It’s great to hear from an Internet pioneer, but this time a little embarrassing too. Doug Engelbart writes to tell us first that he loves ibiblio (thanks so much) and second that a very nice resource on ibiblio has his name misspelled throughout. Yikes!. It is a great site. Internet Pioneers even has an audio interview with Vint Cerf looking forward from 2000. But almost everywhere Doug’s name was wrong. The site was created in 2000 as part of a masters project to which I gave some technical and other assistance. I wasn’t the copyeditor ;->
The good news is that I have a corrected version of the site ready to install tomorrow. There are two image files with Englebart instead of Engelbart which will take a bit to match, but all others should be right.

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IBM announced a very bold announcement regarding patents and sharing. The patent giant will allow folks from the health care and education industries free use of patents for development and use within certain open-software standards for Web services, electronic forms and open document formats.
IBM Press Release to be here as soon as I take it out of a proprietary format is here or at this web site ;->
Here is a slide presentation in PDF format.
Open, archival and exchangable health records here we come!

IBM Site quote: “Open software standards lead to greater efficiency and innovation, transforming both health care and education.”

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I never heard the flyover on Saturday. I think I must have been in the University Mall at the second of the Saturday Flyover. Tucker and Sally heard it, but they said it was nothing like the experience that we each had in different parts of town on Thursday.
That day there were six or more passes at the Stadium from different approaches. Over Tucker’s school, over Carrboro, down Morgan Creek, and at least three times over campus in different directions.
Saturday – maybe one pass?
The flyovers generated a lot of attention on OP and on our neighborhood mailing list on Thursday. No one mentioned the Saturday flyover at all either place.

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JB does Sex Machine
Was just at a house concert/jam where the players were Will McFarlane and Armand Lenchek. This was serious stringbending live music with a good blues. In the course of the evening, Will was talking about the difference of playing in the studio and playing live. Basically with the earphones on, you play subtlely and with more details and more cleanly than you would play live. In fact, if you are playing to a big house (say touring with Bonnie Raitt, Will’s example), you are playing LOUD and with no understated sounds at all. And you have to be more reactive and even a bit well sloppy (although I don’t think Will would call it that) and ready to vary wildly from the original song if needed.

This reminded me of the time a few years back that Sally, Tucker and I were living in Paris for a week or so. We were there during the Bastille Day celebration. The little fountain at Place de la Contrescarpe where we were staying was converted into a bandstand. We went down to hear the music expecting to hear something French. But the band turned out to be a very hot but very tight coverband doing American Rhythmn and Blues. One particular introduction and song stick in my mind: Chancion de James Brown – J’me un Sex Ma Chien (pardon my poor French). The band launched into a perfectly executed version with mixed French and English lyrics of Sex Machine, but it seemed so wrong. The band was too exact and too tight to ever be the JBs (especially the version that cut SM in 1970 with Bootsy Collins and his brother Catfish and the wonderful Fred Wesley). I was used to the live swinging funk of the JBs recording. The French band was exacting — so exacting that it sounded wrong to me — not just the Sex Ma Chien instead of Sex Machine, but the whole of the sound. The excitement of the JBs was replaced by precision that missed the point of it all.

Will was explaining how the limits of tape to record certain sounds required that session players learn to play within the limits or that devices called limiters would be in place to pull down a shouted vocal that would have gone off the tape. The French band was clearly playing within the limits. No one would ever accuse the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite of staying within the limits.

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We live close enough to Kenan Stadium that we hear every cheer. I don’t mind that. But soon, weather permitting, we’ll hear much more noise than the cheers.

From Tar Heel Blue:

F-15 Flyover Before Saturday’s Game.
Four F-15C Eagle jets will cruise Kenan.
Oct. 18, 2005

Fans attending Saturday’s home football game against Virginia will want to make sure to be in their seats with their eyes turned to the sky before kickoff. As part of the pregame festitivies, a group of F-15 C Eagle fighter jets will do a flyover of Kenan Stadium. The lead jet will be piloted by Maj. Brent “Wrench” Allen, a 1994 Carolina graduate.

Glad I had my coffee earlier.

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Closer to being Carrborators than CHellians, John and Elizabeth Edwards were receiving a warm — even heated — reintroduction to the area (both went to Law School here and John is at the Law School now) from Orange Politics. Elizabeth Edwards has replied and is part of the OP community already.

Ruby,
Why doesn’t OP have TrackBacks?

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Yugen reports that he and others from 1200 Problems will be spinning at Tallulah’s on Saturday night. Reggaeton will be in high rotation during his set (at least).
Will there also be perreo as well?

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Long time friend, Myles Friedman has an OpEd in today’s News and Observer about Harriet Meirs’ nomination to the US Supreme Court, “Why Miers worries me so much”.

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Flock, the FireFox browser with “social network” extensions, is out for testing. The upside is that you can post directly to most blogs from the browser w/o going to the blog web pages — unless you are me and have XML-RPC turned off because of earlier exploit attempts (that bug has been fixed but I didn’t bother to have XML-RPC support turned back on. Also you can go directly to del.icio.us for your shared bookmarks. You can add Tags. History is now searchable. RSS reader is fully integrated. And there are several other nice features.

You can get Flock from torrent.ibiblio.org, your legal, reliable, authoratative, and persistent BitTorrent site as well as from the Flock site.

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This morning there were several low low low flyovers of campus but some striking aircraft in tight formation.
Why?

The mystery was revealed by UNC News spokesperson on OrangePolitics.org

They are F-15E Strike Eagles practicing for the fly over of the football game on Saturday.
Comment at 11:49am 10/20/2005 by Linda Convissor

And astute Carrboro mayoral candidate Mark Chilton reminds us that we were all in a tizzy last year at about this time over the same thing.

As UNC alum Andy Griffith reminded us even earlier: “What it was was football” or at least a stunt for football fans.

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