Update to the Comments

 Posted by on 5 April 2008 at 1:24 pm  Uncategorized
Apr 052008

I’ve just updated the NoodleFood comment script in order to improve its handling of URLs in the following two ways:

(1) You no longer need to put URLs in pointy brackets to have them converted into links. All URLs should now be converted into links automatically.

(2) The displayed text of long URLs will be truncated, so that they don’t cause horizontal scrolling.

My programming skills are pretty rusty, so hopefully those changes will work as expected. If not, please send me an e-mail to [email protected]. You’ll need to send a brief description of what happened and, if possible, the text of your comment.

Yaron Brook Op-Ed in Forbes

 Posted by on 21 March 2008 at 7:29 am  Uncategorized
Mar 212008

Yaron Brook has published an op-ed on campaign finance reform in Forbes. Here’s the opening paragraph:

This presidential campaign will be, by far, the most expensive in U.S. history. And it is ironic that John McCain, the co-author of McCain-Feingold, is one of the candidates hustling to raise tens of millions of dollars. One thing is for sure: No matter who wins, the call for more campaign finance legislation will intensify–all in the name of combating the allegedly corrupting influence of money on politics. This is ominous, because what campaign finance restrictions actually do is subject political speech to the corrupting influence of government control.

It’s an excellent column, particularly in its use of telling examples from the current presidential election. Sadly, one need not look far to see the absurdity of the McCain-Feingold law and other restrictions on political speech. His point about total government funding of elections as a sure means of creating a “political aristocracy” in America as particularly apt — and chilling. Based on the numbers he cites, it’s already happening in America, thanks to current regulations.

Also, if you like the article, please do post a supportive comment, rate it highly, e-mail it to friends, etc.

Update on the American Dream

 Posted by on 16 February 2008 at 10:30 am  Uncategorized
Feb 162008

In response to my earlier post, “Testing the American Dream“, a lengthy comment thread has erupted here on QandO.net, some supporting the overall conclusion and others attacking it for a variety of reasons.

Of the supportive comments, this one by “Minh-Duc” struck me the most:

Why bother with the experiment. Just go talk to immigrants. I arrived to the U.S. with a shirt on my back and spoke no English. I consider myself in the upper middle class now. This is the story that repeated itself a million time in the history of this great nation.

Speaking of family obligations; both of my parents were janitors, my uncle and aunts were (and still are) janitors. My uncle and aunt is even more successful. They put three kids through medical school.

“The American Dream” is a misnomer. It is not a dream. It is a reality.

Live from Berkeley

 Posted by on 13 February 2008 at 8:30 am  Uncategorized
Feb 132008

Nick Provenzo presented his petition to the Berkeley City Council last night. He’s blogging on what he’s seeing — and it’s amazing. Check it out at Rule of Reason.

Be Like Mike?

 Posted by on 9 February 2008 at 12:37 pm  Uncategorized
Feb 092008

Life imitates The Office: Three cases of drivers stupidly following the instructions of their GPS navigation systems, with disastrous results.

Life requires thought, people! Mindless obedience to the commands of computers is no better than mindless obedience to the commands of guys in white coats.

Books, College, and SATs

 Posted by on 9 February 2008 at 8:42 am  Uncategorized
Feb 092008

This web site correlating the favorite books of college students with the average SAT scores of their schools is quite fascinating. In general, the chart correlating books with SAT scores fits my general impressions of the intellectual depth of the books, at least for those I’ve read.

(I can’t quite recall on which blog I found this link, but please feel free to take credit in the comments if you’ve blogged it too!)

Update: Hat tip to coreyo.

Feb 032008

Heh: Hitler: Bloodthirsty Dictator, Die-hard Cowboys Fan

(Grrrr… if only the people who make these delights knew proper English!)

Why 24 is Likely to Suck

 Posted by on 3 February 2008 at 7:34 am  Uncategorized
Feb 032008

This Wall Street Journal article explains the moral angst that the writers of 24 have developed, particularly about Jack’s willingness to use torture at the drop of a hat. The ratings have also dropped — and that’s blamed on the unpopular war in Iraq. That seems like a dubious connection: from what I’ve heard of the last season, it simply wasn’t worth watching.

The whole article is worth reading, if you’re a fan of 24. However, this description of first major idea for “reinventing the show” that the writers developed very nicely encapsulates the way in which their moral angst will destroy the show:

Come spring, the show’s writers and their Fox bosses began having informal telephone conversations about how to recover for next season. By the May 21 season finale, the audience had dropped to just over 11 million. Fox gave the writers carte blanche to “reimagine” the show. One of the team’s chief considerations was how to address the controversy surrounding Jack’s use of torture. Should Jack be feeling the guilt the media would have him feel?

On May 31, the show’s head writers went in for a meeting at the studio to present their first big idea: sending Jack to Africa. In various incarnations, Jack would begin the season digging ditches, building houses, tending to orphans, providing security for an embassy or escorting around a visiting dignitary. “One of the themes we discussed was penance, that Africa was a place Jack had gone to seek some kind of penance. Some sanctuary too, but also penance for things he’s done in his life,” Mr. Gordon says.

Ms. Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen of 20th Century Fox Television, were receptive but believed it was too much of a departure. “It felt like we were throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” says Ms. Walden. The Africa plot also had several glaring problems, the first of which was that at some point Jack would have to fly back to the U.S. The writers proposed that for the first time ever, “24″ would break from its real-time conceit; the show would skip the period when Jack was on his 14-hour flight.

The 14-hour flight would have been great television compared to watching Jack build orphanages in Africa!

While I’ve really enjoyed some seasons of 24, I’ve found that it’s quite boring to watch a season again. In contrast, I’ve very much enjoyed rewatching old episodes of Alias, The Unit, and MI-5, even though the plots of those shows are driven substantially by action. In retrospect, I’d say that 24 isn’t particularly good television. The writers rarely have an overarching plan for the season, so they depend too much on plot twists and surprise — rather than character development, plot integration, or theme. On second viewing, when you remember the basic line of the story, those weaknesses become far more apparent. In other words, the show has no depth to plumb on a second viewing: it’s all surface. It can be fun on a first watching though — so long as Jack plays Jack, rather than some soul tortured by his own willingness to do (within the context of the show) what was necessary to safeguard innocent lives.

Feb 012008

It’s time again for Onomatopoeia’s huge, annual concert in Boise’s historic Egyptian Theatre — and this one will make all our previous extravaganzas pale!

On top of breaking out the tunes you love and even unveiling more new music, we’ll be performing with the expanded sound of a 16-piece chamber orchestra! Yes, just imagine Tom being able to multiply himself by 16 (okay, sorry, now imagine it just musically ;^). This brings a whole new level of richness and power to the music, and it is a real treat because this kind of sound is usually only available to us in the studio, which eliminates the working-without-a-net excitement of live performance. If you’ve ever seen Onomatopoeia in concert you know the kinds of fun and random things that lets us do to… I mean WITH each other. So it will be a tremendous night!

  • Who: Onomatopoeia plus the award-winning Centennial Chamber Orchestra
  • When: 8:00pm February 29, 2008
  • Where: The Egyptian Theatre (Main&Capitol, downtown Boise)
  • Cost: $25/ticket, assigned seating, so call soon to reserve yours: 208-387-1273 or 208-345-0454

“Onomatopoeia: now with sixteen times the strings!”

Hope to see you there,

P.S.: You can check out this little “trailer” MP3 of samples from our latest CD, “Some Assembly Required”. For CDs and more information, please visit www.kevinkirk.net.
“If you like The Pat Metheny Group, Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Nickel Creek, Flim & the BBs, or the band Yes, then you are going to dig Kevin Kirk & Onomatopoeia!”

Blogging Advice

 Posted by on 31 January 2008 at 8:32 am  Uncategorized
Jan 312008

For my fellow bloggers, in particular 41 Reasons Why Your Blog Probably Sucks. NoodleFood does indeed suck for some of the reasons listed.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha