July 30, 2004
Ok, one more :)
Perhaps pundits should put presidential candidates' speeches to the test using the Gender Genie to see which of the candidates is more manly.
Actually, the Genie is an interesting application of an algorithm that was developed to predict the gender of an author. So if you want to see how manly, femininely, you write, give it a whirl.
P.S. This post (excluding this postscript) returned a Female "score" of 55 and a Male "score" of 105. I guess that makes me safely masculine, but not a Neanderthal. ;)
July 29, 2004
One last political rant
Do the Democrats really want to win this year's election? Or do they just want to a chance to piss and moan, take little jabs at bushie (I must admit that I tend to feel sorry for him as a person after reading some of the venom directed his way), and bemoan the "craven, petty, childish and destructive" politics of the Republicans.
Instead of presenting themselves as whining children, Democrats, both politicians and party supporters, need to start presenting messages and powerful soundbitable quotes. This may seem anti-intellectual to some, but the right wing has shown how effective such a strategy can be by convincing many Americans who logically should be opposed to right wing policy to vote Republican. Thomas Frank has chronicled this phenomena beautifully in his book What's the Matter with Kansas? : How Conservatives Won the Heart of America.
Come on Kerry take a stand now and again, lay out some plans of action, be a leader, and help me to believe that not all modern liberals are pussies...
.. I just finished watching the final moments of the Democratic convention. I must say that I was impressed with Kerry's acceptance speech. It was an impressive bit of oratory. If he can keep this up he just might have a chance.
New weblog domain
I've decided to finally put the blogipity.com domain to use and will start posting my entries at my new WordPress-driven weblog shorty.
July 28, 2004
Dean Edwards has produced a nice application that fixes a number of Internet Explorer's most glaring failures in supporting web standards. Fittingly, he has called this app IE7.
July 13, 2004
Firefox 0.9 spell checker
Firefox 126.96.36.199 will break the current release version of Spellbound (0.7.3). However, you can give the SpellBound Development version. I've been running it for a while now, and it seems to be stable.
Spellbound works great with the preview release of Firefox 1.0. I had to reinstall the extension, but after that everything was smooth spelling.
For all of you who are having problems installing Torisugari's spell check extension working should check out SpellBound. I just installed this new spell checker extension on a machine with Firefox 0.9.2, and the installation was flawless.
In February I wrote a piece on getting Torisugari's form spell checker extension working with Firefox 0.8, which was linked to a good bit. Since I some had difficulties getting the spell check extension working with Firefox 0.9, I figured that I'd share how I got the extension working this time.
The following is the successful procedure that go the spell checker working on my Windows XP machine.
- First, uninstall Firebird
- Grab the stuff you want from my old profile (bookmarks, etc -- which is still in a Application Data folder labeled Phoenix if you are upgrading from 0.8), and then delete the profile
- Download Firefox 0.9 zipfile not the installer. I've heard that some people have had problems getting this extension working with the installer version
- Unzip and place the Firefox files from where you plan on running Firefox from. Your install should have the composer.xpt file in the components subdirectory.
- Start Firefox
- Install spellcheck.xpi from: http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mozilla/releases/mozilla1.7rc3/windows-xpi/
- Shut down and restart Firefox
- Install spellcheckerfe0_4_0.xpi from:
When prompted to choose to the installation location, click "cancel" to install the extension in your program directory, as opposed to clicking "ok" to install it within your profile. The 3.5 version of the extension found at the site above is, in fact, the most recent version of the extension. I used the 4.0 version because I like it interface and it seems to work for me better.
- Shut down and restart Firefox
- Download your dictionary of choice from: http://downloads.mozdev.org/dictionaries/
- Shut down, restart Firefox, and go spell check something
- The first time you run the spell checker (by right-clicking in a textarea box and selecting "check spelling") you should change the value in the drop down box in the top-right corner from "download more" to your dictionary of choice.
July 02, 2004
Un- Unfairenheit 9/11
I just finished reading Unfairenheit 9/11 by Christopher Hitchens. Throughout the piece I felt my intelligence being insulted by this "journalist". Does he expect any reader who has the slightest clue to buy some of his attempts to discredit Fairenheit 9/11 "logically". Throughout this piece he attempts to pull on his readers' emotions to buy into his "refutations".
For example he states:
"More interesting is the moment where Bush is shown frozen on his chair at the infant school in Florida, looking stunned and useless for seven whole minutes after the news of the second plane on 9/11. Many are those who say that he should have leaped from his stool, adopted a Russell Crowe stance, and gone to work. I could even wish that myself. But if he had done any such thing then (as he did with his "Let's roll" and "dead or alive" remarks a month later), half the Michael Moore community would now be calling him a man who went to war on a hectic, crazed impulse."
Does Mr. Hitchens really believe that Bush's only alternative to taking a little more time to read My Pet Goat was to hastily rush into war on the spot?.
Come on! If there was any time for Bush to be the strong leader that he likes to view himself as, this was it! A leader would react quickly to a crisis, wouldn't he?
And Hitchens calls 9/11 a "bias against the work of the mind". I must ask myself: Is Hitchens trying to show how "bias against the work of the mind" is really done?
After reading Hitchens' piece of $#*@ article, I wanted to go through and comment on it line-by-line. Fortunately, Chris Parry has already done this with his piece Defending Truth: Slate's Chris Hitchens does a hatchet job on Michael Moore. Commenting on the section of Hitchens' article quoted above he states:
"Where on earth is Hitchens getting his crack? You don't need to rush to war to actually be "doing something" when you're under attack. Surely Bush could have done more, while the jets were still in the air and heading to New York City and Washington, than sit in a children's classroom for fifteen minutes reading "My Pet Goat". The nation was under attack for crying out loud! And those were the EXACT words whispered in Bush's ear as he SAT THERE looking scared out of his brains. He heard the US was under attack and he did nothing. He sat and waited it out. Then he took questions from the children.
Meanwhile, in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, Americans were dying, jumping out of windows, burning, being crushed, fighting hijackers and steering planes into fields. While America was being attacked, George W. Bush finished his photo op.
Now, let's be clear. There were many things Bush could have done that day. The first one might have been to cancel the school photo op when he'd heard that the first plane had hit the WTC (something he admitted to having known when he told a reporter on his way into the school, "that's one bad pilot, huh? I'll talk about it later.")
He might also have got out of that classroom and hit the phones when he heard about the second building being hit. He might have authorized the hijacked planes to be shot down by F-16's, or even make sure that F-16's were shadowing the hijacked planes (they never did, even though there was more than an hour between the first hijacking being reported and the last plane hitting a field in Pennsylvania).
Or heck, he might have even pulled a Rudy Giulliani and got on the TV to tell us all that it was going to be okay. But he did nothing. And Hitchens, in trying to say that the only thing he could have done that day was rush to war, is not just being disingenuous, he's being totally and morally dishonest. And YOU know it, no matter who you vote for.
Please take some time to read the rest of Parry's fine article.
June 29, 2004
Firefox 0.9.1 was released today. 0.9.1 is a minor maintenance release, which fixes some bugs in the new extension manager and updates some of the default theme's icons.
I'm happy to report that I've installed this version directly on top of an existing install of 0.9 and the spell checker extension still works :)