Weekend discoveries

Flat Earth Last week, in discussing the Al Gore’s agitprop (NB: movies made by politicians are, almost by definition, propaganda) An Inconvenient Truth with a friend, I said I was “more of a flat earther when it comes to global warming”. Which isn’t to say that I don’t think of ways I can conserve energy. I switched much of my lighting to compact fluorescents. Do any members of the Flat Earth Society believe the earth is actually flat? Reading over the FAQ at their forums, I can see some must, but there are also some people who are just poking fun at scientific dogma. I mean really. “Ice Wall”? A world-wide government conspiracy? (Best Joke: George Bush believes the earth is flat and so does his administration. That is why Cheney shot that lawyer. They are taking down the Round Earthers one at a time.) Pennsylvannia’s Charter Day Today was a gorgeous day. The perfect day for Charter Day at the state museums when everyone gets in free. This year, dvfmama and I slipped on our sandles and went to Harrisburg’s State Museum. Fun diorama’s of Indians and Mammals. Interesting history about the state’s Robber Barons. I’ve resumed reading some RSS feeds I’ve found useful information from in the past. I feel like I’m back on top of things.

  • Flex Your Rights — nice little bit put out by the ACLU on how to handle yourself around the Police.
  • iMacros — it may take some time for me to really make this useful, but it looks like this will help regression-test some ajaxy bits of some work I’m doing.
  • This review of Why Aren’t More Women in Science? contains this interesting tidbit:

    Rsearch by Dweck and others has shown that if students—both male and female—believe that something is a “gift”, i.e., that people are either born good at it or not, then they are less likely to do well at it, because the first time they hit a setback, they conclude that they “just don’t have the gene”. If, on the other hand, they are told that mastery of the ability has been proven to depend only on hard work, they will, on average, do better.

    Which goes back what I wrote a couple of weeks ago. In essence, don’t tell kids they have intrinsic intelligence as it makes them less apt to try hard to succeed.

  • I found the above article via Shelley Powers who focused on the Open Source aspect. From the review: While the male:female ratio in the software industry is between 7:1 and 12:1, depending on how you measure it, the ratio in open source is at least 200:1, and probably worse. As the father of three daughters and one son, I’m not sure this matters. Why are men interested in Free Software (I don’t really like esr‘s “open source”), anyway? Why did they self-select into it? Why didn’t the women self-select into it at the same rate?
  • Posting by User Agents is a new graph on Gmane that shows who is posting what. I’m impressed that Gnus continues to hold relatively steady. I’m not surprised that Mutt is more popular (though it seems to be losing ground faster, too), but the rapid adoption of Gmail is impressive.

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