Terror, the end game for Terrorists

Merriam-Webster defines “Terrorism” as:
ter·ror·ism, noun
the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

From www.schneier.com:

The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics. The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we’re doing exactly what the terrorists want.

Terror, it’s in the word Terrorist and Terrorism. Their goal is terror.

Merriam-Webster defins “Terror” as:
ter·ror, noun
state of intense fear

(Okay, there actually is another definition, but it’s not applicable because no demands have been made…at least none that I’m aware of)

The implausible plots and false alarms actually hurt us in two ways. Not only do they increase the level of fear, but they also waste time and resources that could be better spent fighting the real threats and increasing actual security. I’ll bet the terrorists are laughing at us.

Another thought experiment: Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn’t engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn’t write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn’t use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we’d reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.

via 2020 Hindsight.

First Round: Done

First round of exams are done. Econ and Statics last week, Calc III and Physics II this week.

I’m going to get this out of the way first: the Physics II sucked. It was hard. I knew it was going to be hard. Everyone knew it was going to be hard. And it was hard. I overheard several persons bringing figurative jars of Vaseline with them. I’ll let your imagine figure out what it was for.

Sans Physics II (a.k.a. Physucks), I did pretty darn well. I pulled an A out of Statics and an 87 out of Econ. Calc III went well and I’ll get the test back on Monday.

The only good thing about the Physics II exam is that it was multiple choice with partial credit. In any event, I’ll be getting the results of that back on Wednesday.

Update II: Help Pick Photos

Yay! All my photos were selected for display!

Now I need to figure out what size to print them as and what frames to buy. Any suggestions?

All the photos are a 1:1.5 ratio. I’ve found some inexpensive frames at Target that are for 4″x6″, but I can safely print up to 6 2/3″ x 10″ without compromising the image quality. And while It would be cool to print at that size, I can’t find any frames! I suppose I might be able to get them framed at a local shop, but that costs money.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Recommendations?

Moses and Jesus

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shone his flashlight around, looking for valuables, and when he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying, “Jesus is watching you”.

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off and froze. When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, promised himself a vacation after the next big score, then clicked the light back on and began searching for more valuables.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard, “Jesus is watching you”. Totally rattled, he shone his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot. “Did you say that?”, he hissed at the parrot.

“Yes,” the parrot confessed, then squawked, “I’m just trying to warn you.”

The burglar relaxed. “Warn me, huh? Who do you think you are any way?”

“Moses,” replied the bird.

“Moses” the burglar laughed. “What kind of stupid people would name a parrot ‘Moses’?”

The bird promptly answered: “The same kind of people that would name a Rottweiler ‘Jesus’!”

Katie and Trish’s 21st Birthday Extravaganza

To be 21. Almost. Almost.

Katie and Trish turned 21 yesterday though, and that was almost as cool as turning 21 myself!

The story thus far:
Katie and Trish are twins from Colorado. Katie is my buddy from Mines and her twin, Trish goes to UofA. That would be University of Alaska. It was funny because Katie told me she had a twin sister and I’ve heard that for the last 2 years, but I’ve never actually seen Trish until two days ago. I walked into Van Derwerker Lounge on Wednesday to get all my homework done for the week so I’d be free. I walk in and I see Katie, and then I see Katie again. Two Katie’s? Well, one was Trish (natch). It was weird. You could almost hear the music from the Twilight Zone playing in the background.

Thursday, I meet them (Katie, Trish, and Trevor) at Coors Lab. Coors Lab is one of the benefits of going to school at Mines. In short, you can get as much Coors-brand beer as you want every single day except Sunday. For free. Granted, you have to be 21. But still, it is free. And free is good.


Katie and Trish got a “21: The Drought is Over” t-shirt and had their three alcoholic beverages (so maybe unlimited is pushing it), while Trevor and I sucked on sodas (those are unlimited). Although Trish would ever so discreetly pour some of her drink in my cup when I finished my soda. Katie would do the same with Trevor. Then we went to this quaint Mexican restaurant, where Katie and Trish each had a margarita. Next it was round of Beer Pong and then a few rounds of Flip Cup at Dave and Nick’s house.


Then we went up to Boulder for the evening and meet up with Katie and Trish’s brother-who-is-not-related-in-any-way-but-is-more-like-a-really-good-family-friend, Nelson, and his friend. Dinner at Walnut Brewery. Trish had one of the house brews while Katie had a Cosmo that was passed around to everyone. A blow job (a drink) was issued to Trish from Nelson to help catch her up to Katie. And that was pretty much the end of it for me and Trevor as the bars don’t let those under 21 in. A shame. Two hours later, we picked up a very drunk Katie and an even more drunk Trish.

We had taken two cars up because we didn’t if Trevor would come back with me and we’d leave his car for Katie and Trish to return the next day or if they would come back that night. So I drove up and back with Trish while Trevor drove up and back with Katie (they’re dating, if that hasn’t been clear).

Good times.

We get back to Alpha Phi and Katie grabs her things and goes over to Trevor’s to spend the night. I hang around Alpha Phi for a while, making sure Trish got some water (I made her drink three mini-Nalgene’s) and got to bed okay. I ended up leaving just before 2am.

It was fun to be able to hang out with them. Katie is awesome. Trish is awesome. Trevor is too.

I was thanked multiple times throughout the night and told I would make a great boyfriend (my note: someday). Trish promised to party if I came back to Colorado from Winter Break early. I might just do that. Not for her, well, not just for her. But also because after the first of the year, everyone in Seattle goes back to school and I’m left all alone: going to bed at 4am and waking up at 4pm. It sucked. If only Trish wasn’t dating. You can read between the lines. Not that it would work out. It could though. You never know. All I could think about later that night was this saying from one of my posters back home: “Having is not so pleasing as wanting. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s often true.”

Speed of an Electron Out of an Electron Gun

An electron gun fires electrons at the screen of a television tube. The electrons start from rest and are accelerated through a potential difference of 32200 V. Ignoring relativistic effects, what is the speed of impact of the electrons with the screen of the picture tube?
1.08878×108 m/s

CAPA is done. Well, almost. I have to ask Ruskell about one question.

Fun Facts About…Death

No, I’m not in a morbid mood. I’m just clearing out my Inboxen™. Here are some of my favorite facts:

From www.discover.com:

  • No American has died of old age since 1951.
  • That was the year the government eliminated that classification on death certificates.
  • The trigger of death, in all cases, is lack of oxygen. Its decline may prompt muscle spasms, or the “agonal phase,” from the Greek word agon, or contest.
  • Within three days of death, the enzymes that once digested your dinner begin to eat you. Ruptured cells become food for living bacteria in the gut, which release enough noxious gas to bloat the body and force the eyes to bulge outward.
  • So much for recycling: Burials in America deposit 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid–formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol–into the soil each year. Cremation pumps dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air.
  • Zoroastrians in India leave out the bodies of the dead to be consumed by vultures.
  • The vultures are now dying off after eating cattle carcasses dosed with diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory used to relieve fever in livestock.
  • For organs to form during embryonic development, some cells must commit suicide. Without such programmed cell death, we would all be born with webbed feet, like ducks.
  • Waiting to exhale: In 1907 a Massachusetts doctor conducted an experiment with a specially designed deathbed and reported that the human body lost 21 grams upon dying. This has been widely held as fact ever since. It’s not.
  • Eighty percent of people in the United States die in a hospital.
  • If you can’t make it here . . . More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.
  • It is estimated that 100 billion people have died since humans began.

via BoingBoing

Adding User Photo to WordPress User Profile

I finally got around to packaging up the Add User Photo plugin. You can download it here. Go to the plugin page, Add User Photo, to grab the latest copy. Unzip it and upload to your plugins directory, and then activate it. You also need to modify line 21 of /wp-admin/profile.php, adding enctype="multipart/form-data" to the form tag.

So at the end of the day, line 21 should look like:

<form name="profile" id="your-profile" action="profile-update.php" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">

100% Free Moo Cards

I love free. Being a college student makes me love free even more. That’s why I got excited this morning when I was reading my BoingBoing RSS feed and I saw an offer for 10 free Moo cards. Now before I continue, I need to clarify:

First, they are only free if you have a Flickr Pro account. Second, there is no shipping and handling fee. That’s right. I didn’t even have to enter a credit card number.

Now, what are Moo cards?

From www.boingboing.net:

Moo prints beautiful little calling-cards for kids and the young-at-heart. Each card can have a different back, and the undersized cards are just the right size for your name, email address and a URL or two.

It’s hard to convey just how cool-ass these cards are. They feel like a fetish object, the thick card and soft laminate finish create a great hand-feel, and they’re visually stunning — playful and intensely personal.

So head over to Moo and get your 10 free Flickr cards!

[tags]flickr, flickr pro, boingboing, moo[/tags]