June 5th, 2004


(no subject)

I first got onto the internet via the university computer system, back in 1991.  I have no idea how fast the connection was, but as all I ever did with it was email, news and telnet, it was certainly much faster than anything I was using it for.

When i finally got myself online under my own steam I was using a state-of-the-art 28.8kbit modem.  This took about a minute to dial/connect and then about 5 minutes to download a megabyte of data.  If someone sent you a 500k email it meant that you were going to have to wait a long while to get your mail.

I then moved up to a 56k modem (when they became available), then to ISDN, then ADSL and now I'm on cable.

I just started a 34MB file downloading.  It's coming down at 1200kbit/s or 150kByte/s.  Or in other words, it's going to take 4 minutes to download that 34MB file.

The speed is sometimes boggling.

(no subject)

Delightful story about Hell and Cheesecake.

There's a big cheesecake. It's delicious. It's yummy. And it goes to Hell because, well, it's apple. And it used one of those apples. And if someone slices up one of those apples and uses it to make cheesecake, then, first, the cheesecake is going to be pretty knowledgeable on matters of morality, and, second, it's going to Hell. Ain't nobody ever died for the sins of a cheesecake, whatever Marie Antoinette might want you to believe.

So, anyway, this cheesecake meanders down to Hell, and pretty soon the demons are all tasting it. And they're saying, "Wow, this is pretty good."

And someone, and it's best not to say who, has the bright idea, "We should give some to the sinners."

Everyone discusses this for a while. It's kind of unusual, but, you know, they've gone through a lot of suffering---you know, with the boiling oil, and the fire, and the ice, and that room full of moths with really big heads. And it seems reasonable to everyone that maybe the sinners should get just a little bit of a break, because, hey, cheesecake.

(no subject)

More scary religious news from The White House:

President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.

In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”

In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be “God’s will” and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration.

“We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”

Aides say the President gets “hung up on minor details,” micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues.

The President's abrupt dismissal of CIA Directory George Tenet Wednesday night is, aides say, an example of how he works.

"Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn't hear of it," says an aide. "That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying 'that's it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now."

But the President who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them “fucking assholes” in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him “unpatriotic” or “anti-American.”

“The mood here is that we’re under siege, there’s no doubt about it,” says one troubled aide who admits he is looking for work elsewhere. “In this administration, you don’t have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President.”

from here