June 2003 Archives

Jun 27 11:46:00 2003

Another reason for bicyclists to wear those black shorts

Back when i started riding bicycles, i remember seeing a cartoon post card that had a picture of a guy and some bicyclists and the caption was, "Last night i had a dream that thousands of bicyclists took over the world, empowered by their shiny, black shorts."
And i thought that was pretty funny, because it seems so pretentious to wear such clothing. But then i started bicycling and realized the useful properties of such shorts:

  • The "skin tightness" helps keep clothing from snagging on handle bars and seat horns.
  • Most bicycle shorts have padding in the crotch, which any normal person will want if they are sitting on a bicycle seat for an hour or more.

But this morning, while riding into work in cut-off stripey fatigue surplus shorts, i discovered a brand new benefit to bicycle shorts.
I was riding to campus through Hyde Park, and i felt something like a little pinch on uh... well, what can only be described as "my inner thigh." Inside the shorts, which are cut off at about knee length. And this didn't really alarm me, but then it started hurting more, and more, and finally i pulled over (and rolled up the leg... i didn't rip my shorts off in someone's front yard...), and as near as i can figure, i got bit on the leg, inside my shorts by a wasp or a bee. A wasp or a bee that had flown into my shorts, up the leg... while i was cruising along at about 10 MPH. Like maybe sucked in by some weird bellowing effect... hell, i don't know. [info]nadreck was kind (and wise) enough to offer some baking soda he'd put in the work frig, and the swelling has gone down.
But damn, i never though i'd have to worry about bees flying into my shorts while i was riding a bicycle, though i doubt it would have happened if i had been wearing my pretentious nylon-lycra, bicycling shorts...

Posted by johan | Permanent link

Jun 26 14:52:00 2003

CNN is a Bunch of Losers

So yesterday, CNN ran a story on the front of www.cnn.com with a misleading headline. But their web masters' and sysadmins' idiocy would prevent me from communicating my discontent. Here's the response i sent to "[email protected]":
"Nuke component unearthed in Baghdad back yard" http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/06/25/sprj.irq.centrifuge/index.html
A "component" is a part or ingredient of a bigger thing.
The article seems well written, and very clearly explained that this object was not part of a nuclear bomb (a "Nuke"), but was a device that could be used to refine Uranium. So it's a centrifuge, not a "nuke," nor even part of a "nuke," but rather it's a device that could be used to refine a part of a nuclear weapon.
Perhaps you should encourage the your editors to read and understand the articles they make headlines for. And then, you should probably remind your editors to that erroneous reports (and misleading headlines) cause at least some readers (web surfers) or TV viewers to mistrust your ethics and accuracy, and seek other more accurate sources for news.
According to this page i can send commments to that address.
But the message bounced:
Your message
To: [email protected] Subject: Misleading headline Sent: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 19:16:24 -0400
did not reach the following recipient(s):
[email protected] on Wed, 25 Jun 2003 19:16:14 -0400 The recipient name is not recognized The MTS-ID of the original message is: c=us;a= ;p=twi;l=CNNCMX080306252\ 316M6T2C12X MSEXCH:IMS:TWI:TBSCENTRAL:CNNCMX08 0 (000C05A6) Unknown Recipient

Theoretically, this is a pretty serious problem. CNN is advertising "[email protected]" as where to send comments, so thousands of people are probably trying to send mail and getting bounces, right? So i stared at the headers in the mailer-daemon message for a little while:

Return-Path: Received: from smtpgw2.turner.com (atlmail2.turner.com []) by brahma.giantfoo.org (8.11.6p2/8.11.6) with ESMTP id h5PNGea21093 for <[email protected]>; Wed, 25 Jun 2003 18:16:40 -0500 (CDT) Received: from cnncimss03.turner.com (CNNCIMSS03.turner.com []) by smtpgw2.turner.com (8.12.9/8.12.9) with ESMTP id h5PNGXwY028666 for <[email protected]>; Wed, 25 Jun 2003 19:16:33 -0400 (EDT) Received: from cnncmx10.turner.com ([]) by cnncimss03 with InterScan Messaging Security Suite; Wed, 25 Jun 2003 19:16:33 -0400 Received: by cnncmx10.turner.com with Internet Mail Service (5.5.2656.59) id ; Wed, 25 Jun 2003 19:16:19 -0400

smtpgw2.turner.com (atlmail2.turner.com []) gave my machine the bounced message, and i noticed this bit of info in the header:
smtpgw2.turner.com (8.12.9/8.12.9)
...which suggests that it's running the most current version of Sendmail. (Sendmail is the traditional Unix mailer and one of the first (if not the first) Internet mail delivery programs.
So i figured there was a decent chance atlmail2.turner.com is a Unix machine. And so i thought, "If i was [email protected] what message would cause me to go a fix this problem?" Someone there might actually care. (Even if their reporting is biased and their headlines are blatantly misleading, hopefully their sysadmins care about mail delivery.) I chose a rather insulting, one word poke in the eye, and sent it to "[email protected]" figuring that would get their attention:
That's all it said, and had the bounced message attached to it. I chose "root," because "postmaster" at that machine should already get a copy of every bounced message of this nature, so Postmaster was probably already ignoring these errors.
And what did i get back in return?

----- Transcript of session follows ----- <[email protected]>... Deferred: Connection timed out with atlmail2.turner.com. Warning: message still undelivered after 4 hours Will keep trying until message is 5 days old

So as far as i can tell, cnn.com is an output-only medium. Kind of like /dev/zero or /usr/bin/yes. That would explain a lot.
However, i notice that today, after millions of people have read the misleading headline, it has been changed. No longer is it "Nuke component unearthed in Baghdad back yard" but now, it's "Nuke program parts unearthed in Baghdad back yard." (Emphasis mine.) ----

Posted by johan | Permanent link

Jun 16 09:42:00 2003

Maybe George the II is more like Ford than Reagan.

OK, sorry. I fixed the link.
"Bush was not injured in the fall."

Posted by johan | Permanent link