Monday, March 23, 2009

The Benefits of Computer Viruses

I know many people have had huge inconveniences from viruses and malware. I have spent many hours dealing with the consequences myself. But sometimes I wonder if in the end, maybe it's for the best? Imagine if we had built up the kind of infrastructure we have today without the constant threat of malicious code. A determined attacker would be able to wipe out the entire internet and everyone on it. Like a child who has never been exposed to mild colds, we would be at risk of fatal illness and be utterly unprepared.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Undiscovered Country




Sometimes it is whispered that there is a country which has been left off all maps, edited out of all encyclopedias, hidden from the view of satellites by means of a complicated deception about the radius of the earth and the value of the gravitational constant. They call it "Clandestine." The CCC (Cabal of Cartographic Conspiracy) has managed to keep this nation secret since the mid 1600s. It is rumored to be somewhere in the Specific ocean, north of the Isles of Langerhans, near the Freeway islands. After the Great Depression ended, many of the nomadic tribe of Hoboes emigrated there.
It's capital, they say, is the city of Apocrypha.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tutankhamun




I was surprised to find out that I knew two of the three root words in this Egyptian name:

Tut - means image
Ankh - The symbol  that means "living"
Amun - The head God, Amun-Re

So his name means "The image of the living God."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Silent Reading

I found out today that in ancient times, nearly all reading was done aloud. There are a few recorded instances where some genius learned to read silently, to the amazement of all onlookers: Alexander the Great, Ambrose (as recorded by St. Augustine.)  It emphasizes to me, somehow, the magic of reading, how incredible it is that I can be taught by people who died centuries or millenia ago, how few people have shared this privelege.