We Aren’t Ready for Some Football, but They’re Gonna Give It to Us Anyway

Environmental exemptions OKd for football stadium in City of Industry | latimes.com

It is tough to love Los Angeles. It is an exceptionally large city ruined by the diminutive thinking of its residents and especially that of its politicians. Among the great signs of civilization in the city was the distinct absence of a football team. The thoroughly corrupt political machine of Los Angeles somehow had managed miraculously to demand that the football league pay its own way for the privilege of reaping profits from the largest media market in the nation. It was a standoff that benefitted the city tremendously. Free from the tyranny of football, people dreamt up fabulous other activities to do. Angelenos are so happy without football, in fact, that nobody remotely cares about an NFL presence.

It boggles the mind, therefore, that a state politician would go so far as to pass a special law exempting an unwanted stadium project from environmental studies that other ones have to conduct.

This is the same politicians who couldn’t quite go to the mat to preserve education and social services, but it seems as if he can pull the strings for real estate developers who want to build a stadium that nobody wants for a team that nobody will care to watch.

That Schwarzenegger would sign this giveaway comes as no surprise.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The complacency of Angelenos in the face of the ruthless assault on the city and their quality of life, however, feels a lot worse.

Perceptions

CIF America | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

About this time last year, the Guardian (UK), ran a very unscientific poll of the perceptions of its readers of the net results of the McCain-Obama debates.

How the Brits Saw the McCain-Obama Debates
How the Brits Saw the McCain-Obama Debates

As unscientific as this poll may be, it is impossible to dispute the prevalent choice in the UK. Though it would have been nice if the American perception mirrored this British perception, we can be thankful that such a lopsided perception was not necessary for Obama’s victory.

It’s the sort of victory that makes one believe.

Almost.

The Sword

Gun-toting Pa. soccer mom, husband fo… – Google News

Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

When will we be rid of the idiots who think that the sword is the only avenue there is?

Can we expect them to annihilate themselves in such fits of passion, or can we have hope that they will learn to be civilized and civil?

Improving Windoze

VMware Fusion 3.0 makes Windows look like Mac

How does one go about improving on Microsoft Windows? One uses a virtualization engine to make it look more like a Mac. This development bespeaks frustration of biblical proportions that drove programmers to undo what Microsoft programmers spent billions of dollars to implement.

This tops even the wine project, wherein programmers forewent compensation for the pleasure of having Windows programs work inside Unix-like operating systems.

Still, Microsoft will never understand user interfaces and user experience issues.

The First Browser

It was recently the anniversary of the birth of the browser, the piece of software that changed the internet forever by spawning the world wide web, and the piece of software whose further development is presently changing computing forever.

Of particular interest to Apple enthusiasts would be the fact that the first browser was written on a NeXT Computer workstation. The NeXT operating system became Apple’s OS X. Therefore, the world wide web was invented on a Mac.

Bashing the United States on the Nobel Level

No Nobel prizes for American writers: they’re too parochial | Books | The Guardian

It’s hard to tell if this criticism is a veiled political jab dating to the oppressive Bush era, but given the disappointment with which contemporary American literature is greeted in the United States as well, it’s probably a safe bet that no American will win this year’s literature Nobel Prize.

And, if an American wins it, then it probably was a political jab after all.

Update: Nope. An American did not win it. And, in 2010, a Peruvian won the prize. I’m reading Twain. I hope they award one to him posthumously.  PNM

The First Computer Bug

Count me among the many who discovered that the first computer bug was, in fact, an insect that disrupted a circuit in the first computer from an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire a few years back. Original documentation like the one pictured below is simply priceless.

For the record, Wikipedia’s entry on logical bugs in mechanisms and algorithms specifically mentions that the date is 1947.

As Long as I’m Getting Paid

The Associated Press: Recession delivers a double blow to many charities

The American way of funding charitable work has always been suspect. It was always a means of showing off one’s wealth rather than a means of funding the process of helping the indigent, the underprivileged and the unfortunate. Even at the height of private giving, the US has possessed the most staggering poverty rates in the industrialized world. The hodge podge of charitable organizations never received the funding and the structural strength to remedy the problems they were erected to address. Absent taxation, people never gave enough.

And, now, even though the richest Americans have lost some of their net worth to the financial crisis that they largely created, the latest census data show that the income gap between the richest and the rest of the population continues to grow; in other words, the richest people in the world have not nearly lost as large a percentage of their wealth as have the rest of the world.

Thus, we have definitive proof, in numbers, that the American way of helping the underprivileged, funding the arts and building cultural institutions through charitable giving has been an unqualified failure.

This failure bespeaks a distrust of government–in effect, a distrust of ourselves as a society and as a nation–so profoundly inimical that we prefer failing as individuals to succeeding as a country.

But, hey, as long as I’m getting paid, who cares, right?