Sunday, May 31, 2009

BYBS: Bananas

In addition to being tastee, bananas are also good sources of potassium. Like most fruits and vegetables, they have far fewer calories than processed foods of equivalent weight.

Modern bananas became popular because the previous popular type of banana, the "Gros Michel," has been largely wiped out due to a fungus.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

BYBS: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

It was hard to find anything good to say today. This quote, however, made me chuckle:

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us,
we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to heaven,
we were all going direct the other way
- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Good Host

A strange host

There is one school of thought that says that we are just hosts to ideas: that the ideas are the species and that we are a way for them to perpetuate themselves. While that casts human beings as mere beasts of burden, I always liked to think that we have more to say about what's going on than that.

One way of looking at it is that we are hosts, as in "would you like to have dinner with me and the wife?" style of thing. In that sort of situation you have the choice about who is going to come to the event and who won't.

While this still does not allow for complete freedom (annoying commercial jingles that you cannot get out of your head anyone?), it does allow room for consciously trying to promote something by being the host. In particular, I like to think that we can choose to promote what we view as good, as beautiful, or right.

I admit that I don't have any original ideas, and that the best I can do is just borrow what looks good to me. This seems like a nice compromise.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

BYBS: Oranges

Simple and yet delicious

I find it remarkable that something so simple compared to other things that I enjoy can be so good. On a cold and rainy day, when the sky is overcast and gloomy, its nice to be able to gaze out from my warm hole with a nice orange.

Photo by "Rock Paper Image"

Saturday, May 02, 2009

BYBS: Help from the Web

Despite years of working with computers I'm still undecided as to whether they actually solve problems or create new ones. In particular, I find myself confounded over and over again by problems of the form:

Me: Move this from here to here.
Computer: <does nothing>
M: Why didn't you move the file?
C: You didn't say "simon says."
M: Alright - "Simon says."
C: What?
M: Move the file!
C: You didn't say "Simon says."
M: <gets out mallet>

I have found help countless times from those people who have posted information about how to solve problems like this; though the details might be slightly different.

As a means of "giving back" I have myself started doing this, though the information is so specialized as to be of use to only a very few people (ever want to know how to link C code dynamically with Java, but only when using MingW and Cygwin together through Eclipse? Neither do I actually). Nevertheless, posting even trival instructions has given me new appreciation for people who post help info --- it takes a lot more work than I thought!

I am going to try my hand at posting some stuff that may be more generally useful to people. We'll see how it goes. Till then have a great week.