30 January 2006

New Google Toolbar

Google came out with a new version of their toolbar today. Unfortunately, it only works in Internet Explorer, which means that although I have installed it, I won't be using it, since I do not use Internet Explorer as my browser. Once they come out with a Firefox version, I'll use it.
Since a technically inclined person is more likely to be using the Google Toolbar (particularly the advanced features in this version) (you can program buttons on it), and since a technically inclined person is more likely to be using Firefox, I'm a bit surprised they don't have a Firefox version ready already. If they did, I'd install it. However, as of right now, I'm stuck with an older version of the Toolbar which doesn't do the neat things that the IE version does. I suppose its better than no toolbar at all though.

26 January 2006

Happy Birthday René

Happy Birthday to René, of The Sweetest Things, a fellow law student.

25 January 2006

Mozart or Not?

Mozart or not?
The BBC posted a quiz where you can decide whether or not a song is Mozart's or not. This procastination moment was brought to you by the letters A and M, for Amadeus Mozart.

24 January 2006

Why I will never look at TV the same

I was watching an episode of The Simpsons where Manjula is thinking of divorcing Apu. At one point in the episode, she hands him divorce papers and says, "consider yourself served." In Pennsylvania, that would not be proper service. Under Pa.. R.Civ. P. 1930.4, service in person must be made by a competent adult. (in Domestic Relations cases, there are other ways to serve people than in person) A competent adult is defined by Pa. R. Civ. P. 76, as "an individual ... who is neither a party to the action nor an employee or relative of a party." So, since Manjula is a party to the action, she cannot serve Apu in person.

Edit: This is not intended to be legal advice, nor do I form an attorney-client relationship with you by you reading my blog. If you want to get a divorce or otherwise do something legal-related, you should consult an attorney.

Update on the Mine Story

So the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill that provides:

  • For a new system of caches of self-contained rescue devices (which sound like air masks) inside the mine.
  • A wireless communication system so that people can communicate with the surface.
  • That the mine companies not drag their feet about contacting the authorities after an accident, and that they do so within fifteen minutes after they hear about an accident.
There are other provisions as well, if you want to read the whole bill. I'm sure more can be done, but this looks to be a decent start.

22 January 2006

Fresh (pre-frozen) Bagels

So I was at Giant today, and they were out of sesame bagels in the bakery section. I asked the clerk whether they had any more. She said, "I can check, but they'd be frozen. " In the course of the conversation with her, I learned that this is how all their bagels arrive. They are all frozen and then defrosted and sold as "fresh" bagels. I think this is deceptive. I think that if something says "fresh," that means that it was not frozen.

Miners in West Virginia

Two more miners have been killed in a mine in West Virginia, after a fire in a mine in West Virginia. A group that I listen to, Solas, has a song, "A Miner's Life," whose lyrics are very apt.

The beginning stanzas of it are:

A miner's life is like a sailor's
Board a ship to cross the waves
Every day his life's in danger
Many ventures being braved
Watch the rocks they're falling daily
Careless miners always fail
Keep your hand upon your wages
And your eye upon the scale

And the chorus is:
Union miners stand together
Do not heed the Coal Board's tale
Keep your hand upon your wages
And your eye upon the scale.

The song is a union song, but definitely conveys how dangerous mining is.

According to the article in the New York Times on 21 January, the mine had been cited twelve times for safety violations regarding fires since June. And, on 23 December, a miner told a supervisor about a fire on the same conveyor belt (when the fire suppression system didn't work) His supervisor ignored his complaint. If his supervisor had listened, then maybe these lives could have been saved.

11 January 2006

Microsoft's Rationale for Security Updates

So I discovered a blog operated by the Microsoft Security Response Center, which is the branch of Microsoft responsible for dealing with viruses and such. The corporate vice president responsible for security posted an interesting entry that talks about the process Microsoft goes through for releasing a security update. It's very tricky, because they of course do not want to release an update that crashes lots of people's computers, so they have to move slowly but carefully.
Here' s the link to the blog.
If you use blog reading software, it is probably worth subscribing. They don't post that often, and when they do, it's usually interesting reading.

09 January 2006

Weird Signs on the Interstate

As I was driving back to Carlisle on Friday, I noticed some interesting signs on the Interstate. First was one of these portable construction signs that that said "Live EZ-Passes" would be available on January 13 from 7:30 a.m. until some other time at the PA Welcome Center. I think the use of the word "live" was odd. I mean, what were they going to sell? Dead EZ-Passes?! Maybe they meant that you could get your EZ-Pass on the spot, rather than waiting for it in the mail.
Another sign was a sign featuring Shrek, saying "Be an Ogre Achiever," and then "Pass it On." I could not see who was sponsoring it, although there was a sign that said "brought to you by..." I couldn't read it, and it was in extremely small type. My other favorite sign is one that says "Burgers Fit for a King, not a Clown"

08 January 2006

Roller Skating Kids

So, over break, I went to the New York Historical Society and saw this kid, probably about ten or eleven or so, using these new shoes which have a wheel on the bottom of them, so that he could skate around the museum. While I definitely think the shoes were neat, I also don't think that it was entirely appropriate for him to go skating around a museum where there are irreplaceable historical objects. I mean, you would never allow someone to go roller skating in a museum, so why should he be allowed to use these quasi-rollerskates which do the same thing? I think his parents should have been exercising more control over him. I'm not being a spoilsport here, if the kid wanted to go rollerskating on a sidewalk, I'd have no problem with that, so long as he did not pose an unreasonable hazard to other pedestrians.