Saturday, February 28, 2009


This is happening a lot recently, but sorry if you've been checking in here only to find nothing new.

Since the bad news about Dief I find it weird to post something normal right away. There have been a few similar bad news stories over the past few months. Same effect on blogging.

Anyway, I'm planning to post once daily for at least a month (even if it's just a link or something). I'll see how it goes, I still want to blog so I'm frustrated about the way I've been recently.

If you have any requests to inspire me, stick them in the comments.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Dief was put down this Saturday.

He was a big (often quite fat), fluffy dog in a hot, humid place, so we always knew if would be hard on his heart. Apparently it was more or less shutting down this past week. Even with no appetite or energy he was still excited to go to the vet. Still wanting to say hi to everyone and present himself for adoration, which he was never given any reason to doubt was entirely his due.

What a great dog.

Monday, February 16, 2009

hmm. who's trying to influence the kid here?

The Guardian has column where a doctor answers reader questions on health stuff. I find this really annoying

Question: My six-year-old son has declared he wants to be vegetarian - he seems to be perfectly healthy, but should I encourage him to eat meat, or give him vitamin supplements to make up for the meat-free diet?

Answer: I'm worried about this question - not about your child's health, because being vegetarian (as long as his diet is varied) should not compromise it. He shouldn't need vitamin supplements, provided he's in robust health. No, what worries me is who has influenced him? Is it someone at school, or friends, or something online, or a TV show? You, not an outsider, should be the main influence on his lifestyle. If you try to encourage him to eat meat, don't make it a battle, but a matter of friendly chat. You may find that his ideas are mistaken, and that you can correct them.
I'm not sure if anything need to be said about this but what the hell. The reader wasn't asking for parenting advice so the doctor shouldn't bloody give it. Oooh he's worried! His existence must be an anxious one. 6 year old wants to learn to skateboard? Who's influencing him!? Wants to watch Finding Nemo? Horrors!

Vegetarian ideas are assumed to be mistaken and that it's positively desirable to persuade the kid to eat meat.

I know it's been discussed here, but I really don't get why people react like this to vegetarianism...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Basic Instructions

Comics are strange. They're fiercely competitive in a way that makes it almost impossible to get into any newspapers, but because they need to appeal to a broad audience and because people get attached to comics they know (Garfield, Peanuts etc.) the quality isn't always great and you hardly ever see anything new.

Basic Instructions isn't in any papers and probably never will be, but I think the artist is on the verge of making some money off of the strip through building a readership on the Internet (this isn't a "yay Internet" post. The Internet is a big reasons why comics are in decline in the first place).

I think it's excellent.

TED in the economist

Thought Trevor might like this. I link mostly because the Economist make a big deal about Bruce Bueno de Mesquita's TED talk. He's done a few podcasts with Russ Roberts and all of them are really interesting.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thoughts on the Australian Open

Obviously it was a pretty devastating one for Federer fans. His capitulation in the fifth set was as inexplicable as it was lame. Crying during his speech didn't help either, it just made the difference between him and Nadal seem really big. Nadal has to keep trying to prop him up by telling him how great he is. For the rest of time (unless Federer wins the French open, preferably against Nadal, which won't happen) the Nadal issue will always prevent him from being considered the GOAT. Two comments about the final sum up a lot. Shelly (who I don't really know) said, "Nadal looks like he's trying to win and Federer's trying not to lose." I've thought this often when watching them play, but I never thought to put it so bluntly for some reason. Greg said something like, "this is especially bad because Federer really thought he was going to win." Which I also think has a lot of truth to it. The crying was a running out of excuses, there are always stories to explain away why things went the way they did, and I could tell a few myself, but this one was a little too much.

On the other hand, in a lot of ways it just shouldn't seem like such a big deal. The best player in the world beat the second best player in a close and, fifth set not included, good match, so what's the big deal? Getting to the final really is very good and it looked likely that he wouldn't even do that for a while. It's worth remembering that there is no precedent for someone going so deep into every major tournament he plays. All the other greats got beaten by random players in random matches. Federer only loses to Nadal, an all time great and in the final.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Sorry for the dismal lack of posting. I am very starved of internet and actual computers, which is almost like a human rights issue. I've also been moving, and working.

Got my laptop back yesterday after 2 months! Maybe it's a good omen.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

This is very stressfull

Familiar pattern so far. Irrationality is flowing pretty freely in the Torr household.

Fed is screwed.