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And their joy was like swords

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I’ve just finished re-reading The Lord of the Rings for probably the tenth time, and was so incredibly struck by one passage.

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Apple Lawsuit Means No Headless iMac

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I’m very afraid that the Apple lawsuit against Think Secret means that there will NOT be a low-cost headless iMac or eMac under the tardy Christmas tree at MacWorld San Francisco. Why? Read on …

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Master of Educational Technology

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Late last year I applied and was accepted to the University of British Columbia’s Master of Educational Technology (MET) program. It’s a mostly-online course that is related to my work – part of which includes leading a team that designs and builds learning environments – and it’s a interesting, hot topic: the use of technology

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Daddy Date: A Day at Science World

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It’s a resolution of mine to do something special each of my three children individually ever so often. And, since I had just taken Gabrielle to the Planetarium, I took my son Ethan to Science World on December 28th. Science World in Vancouver, like most other iterations of science worlds around North America, is a

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Verbal smile of the day ….

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From a review of Mathematica, Wolfram Research’s scientific software: “Mathematica 5.1 comes with many improvements, more than fifty to be exact.” The full review is here . . . I love that “more than 50 to be exact.” And from a company that produces mathematical software …. priceless!

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Some pix from the planetarium

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I took my 8-year old daughter to the Planetarium today …. a Daddy and Gabrielle day. It was a beautiful day and I took a couple of snaps …

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What I want for Christmas

Oh how I wish everyone in my life would go for this: buynothingchristmas.org. Fat chance, of course …. I told my daughter about this after reading about it in the Georgia Strait or something like that and she, in her infinite 8-year old wisdom, said “That’s boring!” But nice try, daddy.

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2 weeks off for Christmas

Wow – I now have 2 weeks off for Christmas. Of course, I’m still working …. we have some major, major projects to complete before January 3, but I won’t be in the office, and I won’t be working full-time. I’m looking forward to having some time to put in on personal projects!

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Paypal bonanza for Apple: the Mo’ Money Tune

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Apple is now accepting Paypal. This is good for users of Paypal, and it’s good for Paypal, but it is great for Apple. There’s an aspect to this deal that most journalists have missed: more revenue for Apple Computer.

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My TV B-Gone Arrived

Åhhh … the fun I will have now! (insert evil chuckle) And don’t forget to get yours. It’s a public duty!

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Office Reno – Finally!

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I have been trying to get my office redone for almost half a year … and finally, about 3 weeks ago, the last stages of it were completed. And, since I just bought my digital camera, I can show off the results!

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My new baby: a Sony DSC W1

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I finally bought a digital camera. I have been waiting literally years for the perfect camera to come along, and while the perfect one will probably never be created, I think this one is about the best I could have gotten: Sony DSC W1.

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(Good) books on my bookshelf recently

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I have been seriously remiss in writing up some mini reviews of what I’ve been reading lately, and this article will not address the issue satisfactorily. However, in the limited time I have …. here’s the list.

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I eat meat, but this is just disgusting

Saw this quote today: “We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck and my friend said ‘If you just had a gun for that.’ A little light bulb went off in my head,” he said. It’s about a guy who is setting up a ranch so that people can remotely, over the internet, shoot rifles

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Solution to PC Hell? Get a Mac

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I happened to notice this article on the latest hot (or not) spyware threat on Windows: Coolwebsearch. The funny thing is, it’s not just amateurs or newbies that get hit with this stuff … and it’s not just little-known malware. Our offices’ resident Bill G-lover, Mike Skovgaard, who is a high-level developer and computer user/builder/you-name-it,

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Kindergarten girlfriend

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So our son piped up today: “I have a girlfriend at school.” Ethan happens to be all of 5 years old, and in kindergarten, of course. Further questioning elicited the fact that, yes, he had a friend at school, and yes, she happened to be female. “Do you play with her at recess?” my wife

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Closing comments – I hate online gambling

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Due to a certain online gambling site that I will not name nor link to that insists on comment-spamming sparkplug9.com, I’m turning off comment posting. This sucks. Hard. But there’s nothing for it; I don’t want to deal with all the crap. May all spammers of all types drown in spam.

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Ego-surfing on Google again …

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The best part of ego-surfing on Google is Google’s amazing capability to bring up pieces of your history that you’ve long since forgotten. The fifth link that searching for my name on Google brings up is this email to the US Department of Justice. Wow – I had forgotten all about it. Very cool. And,

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MAC versus Mac

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OK. I’m only going to say this once. If you write MAC, you’re talking about an address of something on a network. If you write Mac, you’re talking about a fruit-flavored computer. To those who are clueless out there: get it straight!

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Quickly throw out this hot stock analyst

You have to love quotes like this: Our second big observation is that mp3 players, and specifically the iPod from Apple Computer, are selling like hotcakes. Take a look at Apple’s stock price, which has jettisoned from the $20s to the $50s on strong iPod sales. (found at Forbes) One can only hope this financial

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User Friendly, by Spider Robinson

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Go get it, go read it. I don’t agree with everything Spider says or writes, and he has a disconcerting preoccupation with clothing, or the lack thereof, but he is a seriously fine author (who happens to live right my backyard – Vancouver), and this compilation of short stories is VERY good. Perhaps I’ll add

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Seriously Unimpressive

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I picked up Walter M. Miller Jr.’s Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman the other day, really anticipating an excellent novel along the lines of his enormously influential A Canticle for Leibowitz some 40 years ago. Major disappointment. A hundred pages in, after assorted buggeries in a monastery, other nastiness with priests breaking vows,

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The Rape of Nanking, by Iris Chang

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This is an amazing historical book about the most forgotten massacre in history: the killing, raping, and torturing of hundreds of thousands of Chinese by the Japanese Imperial Army in the period before and including the Second World War.

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Books I’ve read and don’t have time to fully review …

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I like to maintains some kind of record of the books I’ve read … I’ve sort of been in that habit for the past few months. I like to actually do a mini-review of them all, but this week I lack the time … In any case, here’s the list, with a brief comment on

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Too Cool … Turn all the TVs Off

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This is way too cool to pass up sticking a very brief note here: Turn off TVs wherever you go with TV be gone. Of course, I saw this 4 days ago on Wired, and now it’s all over the blogosphere …. serves me right for waiting too long.

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Yes mum, a beaver chopped down a tree onto my car

This must be a quintessentially Canadian story, at least to those who think of Canada as the land of trees, hills, snow, and beavers. I was working quietly in my office when Carl, one of our developers, sais, “Uh, John, a tree just fell on your car.”

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Theory and Practice

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The difference between theory and practice is greater in practice than it is in theory. (This is from Carl, one of our developers.) I liked this quote, so I blogged it. And yes, are just finishing a major, massive, site upgrade.

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get set go

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Really Stupid Smart People

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How could they be so dumb? They’re the people who can actually answer “yes” to the question: “What are you, a rocket scientist?” And yet they make incredibly bone-headed mistakes like installing a deceleration sensor upside down or failing to convert from imperial to metric. Unbelievable. Kinda restores your faith in the everyday average Joe,

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Wolf sounds

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Ever need the sound of a wolf growling or snarling? I just did, and I found it right here. Very cool! UPDATE: This is much more cool … a search engine for sounds. Wow. Love it. Now why didn’t Google do this?

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