31 January 2007

Useful Firefox Plugin

I was looking at an entry in Yahoo! employee Jeremy Zawodny's blog and decided to try a plugin he uses -- Aardvark. What's useful about it is that you can use it to kill off ads in web pages on an individual basis. If you want to print from a website, you just activate Aardvark by a right click, mouse over the item that you want to remove, and then press r (for remove) It disappears. There are other hotkeys which you can use -- press h (for help) when Aardvark is activated. The homepage for the actual program is here.

29 January 2007

Jolly Good Apple Ads

Apple has ads for the UK market which are pretty good. They are generally the same thing as the American ads, but with a British accent.

25 January 2007

On Radio Stations Switching Format

Regarding Jerry's earlier post, I recently had a radio station change format on me too. The Washington, DC NPR station that served a repeater in Hagerstown that I could pick up changed formats so that it plays all classical with NPR news at the top of the hour. That's unfortunate, because I like other NPR programming as well.
So, now, I listen to West Virginia Public Radio out of Martinsburg (probably 45 miles south of here). If I travel north, I can pick up the Harrisburg NPR station.
While listening to West Virginia public radio, I learned that -- at least for school closings -- they control the school closings by county rather than by individual district (although I'm suspicious that since they did not mention school districts, that all of the schools may be controlled by the county in West Virginia)

A Good Tennessee Supreme Court Decision

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently published a good decision. In Re A.M.H. dicusses how two parents from China thought they were just temporarily placing their child in foster care while they got back on their financial feet. Instead, the foster family refused to give their daughter back, forcing them to go to court. The family still refused to give them back, and one person advised the trial court that because the parents intended to return with the child to China, it was not in the child's best interest to be returned to her natural parents. If you choose to click on the link (which has a summary of the opinion), unless you have WordPerfect, you should click on the "View" link on that page (which gives you a PDF of the opinion), because the link to the opinion is to a WordPerfect file. It's a sad opinion, but at least it ends happily.

21 January 2007

Skill and Key Cutting

I went to Home Depot on Long Island to get a key copied yesterday. Only one of the keys (out of four) that they made worked properly in the lock. I think part of the problem is that the machines that they have require no skill to use. You stick the original in one slot and the blank in another, press a button, and it makes the copy. This means that the person operating it need not put sufficient care into it (although, in this case, I'll add that the clerk did put some care into it. The machine was just out of adjustment.) The older machines (that you actually had to manually line things up) were better, because then the person had to know what they were doing. I'm always afraid the person is going to put the original in the space for the blank and recut the original, damaging it.
I'm always glad when my apartment keys are Kwikset keys. Home Depot has no problem with those.

18 January 2007

A Continuance Based on Football

According to this blog entry, the attorneys in a case in New Orleans requested -- and got -- a continuance based on the Saints' football game this weekend.

Spanish Music on iTunes

This week iTunes has a free Spanish song which is pretty decent. It's called Me Falta, I think it is about someone whose significant other has left him. The price is right, too.
You'll need iTunes to use the link.

14 January 2007

Original Wording For A Bounce Message

I got this message when I tried to email someone on an AOL account. It's a change from the usual bounce messages.

Besides the usual stuff, it says:

Technical details of permanent failure:

PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 9): 550 We would love to have gotten this email to aolmember@aol.com But, your recipient never logged onto their free AIM Mail account. Please contact them and let them know that they're missing out on all the super features offered by AIM Mail. And by the way, they're also missing out on your email. Thanks.

07 January 2007

Heroes and Heroes that get missed

I do not mean to minimize what Mr. Autrey did. His heroism -- and it is heroism -- has been all over the news; it even was discussed on a BBC newscast (as news that they told on the hour and half hour). There is even an article about him on on the BBC's website.
But, over the summer I heard about Alberto Medina, who jumped into a river to save a boy that he did not know. Mr. Medina died (the boy survived) -- he certainly was a hero for saving someone he did not know -- but the most I heard about it was on an NPR story. Perhaps the danger was not as obvious as diving in front of a subway train is, but I also think that Mr. Medina was a hero.

03 January 2007

A hero

The man in this article is a hero. When someone fell down onto the subway tracks and a train was coming with no time for the man to be pulled up, Wesley Autrey jumped down to the tracks with the man and held him down while five cars of a train passed over both of them. The person who fell down on the tracks suffered bumps and bruises; Mr. Autrey had no injuries.

02 January 2007

Old Maps

Boston 1775 has a post where the author discusses an old map of Boston from 1894 with a map from when Europeans first arrived superimposed on it. A large portion of Boston is built on landfill.
The area around Old North Church (the church that figured prominently in the midnight ride of Paul Revere) existed when the Europeans first arrived.
I think it's neat to look at old maps to see which streets existed 100 years ago. There are some streets like that in my hometown, because it predates the suburbanization of Long Island.

Closing A Library for Children's Misbehaviour

The Maplewood Library has decided to close between 2:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. because they are tired of dealing with middle school miscreants who come there after school. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I have never been a fan of punishing a group for the actions of a minority. At the same time, when I lived in New York City, I would avoid taking the subway just after school let out (if possible), because I did not want to contend with noisy/misbehaving schoolchildren. I'll add that the standards for behaviour on the subway are quite different from standards of behaviour in a public library. The subway children may not have been out of line.
However, the behaviour of the schoolchildren while they are at the library are reprehensible. Urinating on the bathroom floor and drawing graffiti is disgraceful. I can see why their parents do not want them to be home by themselves if they behave this way when there is limited adult supervision.
So, I sympathize with the library. A library is not a babysitting service. At the same time, I'm not sure if it is fair to the rest of the community who might want to use the library during those hours.