Wilkommen, Bienvenu, Welcome... Sziasztok!

Welcome to The Lotus Position, an intermittent collection of extempore navel gazings, ponderings, whinges, whines, pontifications and diatribes.

Everything is based on a Sample of One: these are my views, my experiences... caveat lector... read the Disclaimer

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter
Ponder, Scribble, Ponder (Photo Erdotahi Aron)

Guest Nutter/Kindred Soul: Bill Bailey


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Let's get political...

BBC news...

On Tuesday, the second day of a swing through Florida, Mr Obama accused Mr McCain of making "stuff" up in the last weeks of the campaign.

My preferences in the US Presidential Election are irrelevant, but I have to say to Senator Obama that Stuff really does exist... unless of course he was implying that McCain had a bag of ready-mix Stuff and was merely adding the other ingredients (water, egg, etc.) for e.g. some Republican roly-poly.

However, since we are here and thinking internationally, it would seem that a couple of apologies are in order:

To Iceland and Icelanders, for the gratuitous and inappropriate application of "anti-terror" legislation to matters arising from the ubiquitous financial crises. I would just say though, by way of mitigation, please don't take it personally - the UK government does or permits the same sort of thing to be done to its own citizens; whenever some expresses concern that the executive is garnering too much power and it might be used in appropriately we are always reassured that such will never happen.... there will be safeguards... etc. etc. I can only hope that criticising the application of anti-terrorism legislation is not itself a terrorist offence... otherwise it could be no more blogging for 28 days (and the government still wants 42 days' detention without charge, despite, as far as I can tell, neither the police nor the security services supporting the idea!)

To the Chagos Islanders: I was really angry to read of the Law Lords overturning the previous decision that they had a right to return home - mostly because the potential cost was considered as a factor in determining an entitlement whose justice seems to me completely independent of the issues that might entail cost. The only heartening aspect of the report was that it was a 3:2 decision - at least two Law Lords leaned the right way. Good luck in Europe.

Mixed Stuff

(...bake at gas mark 7 for 35 minutes and leave to stand)

Friday, 17 October 2008

Scribble, scribble, scribble...

17th October, 230,000 words (admittedly we've slowed down... only 555 words per day since the last announcement).

Yesterday was a bit of a wipeout on account of Patch Tuesday's various Windows (in my case Vista HP) and other updates (Office etc.) being applied Wednesday night - leading to catastrophic failure of special goodies I've written to add functionality to Word to help me with navigating it...

To be specific, the ActiveX killbits patch not only prevents vulnerable ActiveX controls from being used by Internet Explorer it does so (via the "killbit") by stopping anything from running them... in my case MS Word - the Office XP Web Component I had on a userform simple wasn't there, which also meant the VBA code fell over "Cannot compile module" because the code referenced a now non-existent object.

However, lest you think it has been all work and no play (oh what fun to have to rebuild and restore one's work PC?) maybe I should share the news that traversable intra-universe wormhole mouths can not be charged! Took me a while to work it out (think: Gauss/divergence theorem + lack of horizon = lack of inside/outside distinction for a surface surrounding a wormhole mouth: think of the two types of circles that go around or though the hole in the middle of a torus/doughnut - they don't divide the surface)... but then I found confirmation in a footnote on p1200 of Misner, Thorne, Wheeler's Gravitation, which was nice. Still don't see how they can have mass either, I mean, come on...

Also worth mentioning, just in passing, something that occurred to me over a nice Lamb Madras at Indigo last night (a line of thought prompted by discussion of a recent New Scientist article on why the mind encourages superstition) which is that according to Your's Truly's theory of mind two contrasting styles of meditation (defocussing (e.g Zen ) vs. e.g. focussing (e.g. Tibetan though e.g. chanting)) lead to two different (but of course, the same) states of non-being, which we may summarise as:

If you know what I'm taking about, you know what I mean; if you know what I mean, why aren't you laughing?

We are in a jolly mood, aren't we?

Enlightening Stuff, eh?