American Dialect Society

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Are you a member of the cliterati? Do you practice flexitarianism ? Do you support our population reduction practitioners?

Find out here

A couple of warning shots

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
God is pissed. At Florida. Pat Robertson said it was because they had a gay day at Disney World. But, (using the same logic) if that were the case, then New Orleans would have been clobbered. But it wasn't. This leaves us with no doubt what God is saying:

Hey Florida! God here. You fucked it up good in 2000. Here are a few shots over the bow in case you don't think I'm serious. Don't fuck it up again or you'll really piss me off.

Hurricane Jean

I'm feeling like Mel Torme

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: song of the day
Lullaby of Birdland

Lullaby of birdland,
that's what I
always hear
when you sigh

Never in my woodland
Could there be words to reveal
In a phrase how i feel

Do you like maps?

09/20/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Here is a fascinating site devoted to viewing maps. has special browsers here which allow you to really dig down into the maps. Amazing stuff.

adorable, definition of..

09/20/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Gypsy Lovers

09/20/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Stopping spam with qgreylist

09/19/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General, Geek
The theory is this: most spammers use software which is intent on getting as much mail out as quickly as possible. This means that if the receiving end has a temporary error, and temporarily rejects the email, the spamming computer ignores it and moves on to the next computer, whereas normal email servers will make a second attempt.

So, this software takes advantage of that: email from unknown servers is temporarily rejected. Spammers move on, and real email servers resend.

In effect, this is raising the cost of sending an email to someone with this program running. It's not a great cost, but for now it's a cost that the spammer is not spending, and therefore can be used to block the mass of spam. I imagine that the spammers will eventually add some sort of workaround, but for now, it's a simple and very effective service.

Email purists will say that this intentionally breaks the email protocols, which is debatable: issuance of a temporary error is allowed, but presumably only when there actually IS a temporary error. So this may be best viewed as skirting the intent of the email protocols.

In any event, it works. And by that, I mean it works really well .

If you're running qmail, then this script by jon atkins is the thing.

However, if you're running Solaris, it won't work because it makes use of the Sys::Syslog module in perl, which is notoriously broken in many stock versions of Solaris. So, instead, you can use this code here which I modified to use Unix::Syslog . You'll need to install that module by either downloading it from, or downloading it with the cpan module. An example of doing this would be:

unixprompt> perl -MCPAN -e install Unix::Syslog <enter>

invoking a perl module

09/18/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Geek
perl -MCPAN -e shell

Turtles all the way down

09/15/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Turtles all the way down

Stephen Hawking in A Brief History Of Time starts with the anecdote.
A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a
public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the
sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection
of stars called our galaxy.

At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at
the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish.
The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant

The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is
the tortoise standing on?"

"You're very clever, young man, very clever,"
said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down."

Well, it isn't turtles all the way down.

In a phrase, "A people acquire and retain well being in proportion to the knowledge they possess – and the use to which they put it."

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