Meditations on betrayal

This past Wednesday (Sept 26, 2007), the US House of Representatives voted to condemn because of an ad they ran in the New York Times. The Senate had also voted to condemn move on the previous week, so its now clear that all three branches of the US government (the White House has expressed its displeasure from the start) now “condemn MoveOn and the ad.” For the most part, the rationale used by senators and congresspeople to justify the decision to support the condemnation was fairly understandable. I can sympathize with notions that we need to be careful how we treat active soldiers in a time of war, especially ones in leadership roles whom we address by name. Senator Mitch McConnell (R, Kentucky) expresses the concerns fairly concisely with the following quote …

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When Childhood dies …

Its always disturbing to read of the death of someone that we have long admired, but its perhaps even more jarring to find out a person has been dead for some time and never having been aware of it. I’ve had an experience like that today, involving an author who figured very prominently in my young life.

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Star Trek: TOS … progressive and regressive … @

I’ve just added another post over at Geeks are Sexy, this one a discussion of Star Trek The Original Series, and how it is both progressive and regressive at the same time. Hope everyone enjoys the read … excerpt below …

The original version of Star Trek, the 3 season show from the late 60’s that introduced us not only to Spock, Kirk, and McCoy, but an entire universe made up of Kilngons and Romulans, Star Fleet and Warp drive, has been hailed by many TV historians as a ground-breaking series that shattered many taboos and stereotypes of 1960’s TV and America at large. And rightfully so … Star Trek was decades ahead of other programs in the area of racial integration and harmony as the first TV program to regularly include black actors (and, shock of shocks, a black woman no less) as integral parts of the cast. And even if the circumstances render the effect less powerful than it might have been, ST:TOS must also be hailed for the first ever inter-racial kiss on television, from the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren.”

From Star Trek: TOS … progressive and regressive at

Other Lives … New poetry by Lyle Bateman

This is my latest poetic attempt. It started with the line “Flipping through the pages of life” and it evolved from there. I hope everyone likes it … as usual, comments are always welcome.

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The last time lord

For me, Tom Baker has always personified “the Doctor” from the classic British SF series, Doctor Who. His bumbling, grinning genius, complete with absurdly long scarf and a bag full of jelly-babies, has always seemed to be sublime casting from my perspective. Tom Baker nailed the character in a way no one else did, before or after. While fine actors like William Hartnell, Jon Pertwee, and Sylvester McCoy did an amazing job defining and filling out the character, and all did admirable jobs of showing the multiple personalities of someone like a time lord, in my mind Tom Baker’s performance has always stood above all the others.

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The race to Mars

I’ve just added a new entry over at Geeks are Sexy, discussing the current climate surrounding a manned mission to Mars. I’ll post an excerpt below, and head on over to GAS to read the full text of the article.

Sand dunes on MarsIt makes for very good science fiction. Mankind has been fascinated by the red planet for millenia … ancient people told stories about the God of War when watching Mars transit the skies, and more recent thinkers have speculated on ancient civilizations living and dying on Mars. Even in the most recent times, when we have accepted that the red planet is probably lifeless, and at best only contains the most basic microbial life, Mars continues to fascinate humans.

Read the whole article at Geeks are Sexy

PEBKAC in action …

PEBKAC is a well known principle in IT, that applies across the board, no matter what the experience level of the user. For those who have never heard the expression, PEBKAC is an acronym that stands for “Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair” and its used to describe all the computer problems that end up being not the result of a “problem with the computer” but rather a problem with what the human user. I’ve had a nice example today of how prevalent the problem is, even among people who are pretty computer savvy.

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