Carl Ellison's padlock

My first job out of graduate school was working at Trusted Information Systems, where I met some of the top people in the information security field. I briefly shared an office with cryptography guru Carl Ellison; I came across a great little story on his web site today:

I had this great bicycle, once. I kept it in the walkway under my rowhouse in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, locked behind a solid wooden gate. To protect it, I went out and bought a hefty padlock. The lock cost a fair amount, but my peace of mind was worth it...

Hillary Clinton - I'm becoming more and more glad she's unelectable

As previously noted, despite her appointment by the media as a front-runner, Hillary Clinton is very unlikely to be elected president.

Given her refusal to resist the invasion and occupation of Iraq, that doesn't bother me at all, I've just been hoping that the Democrats will get serious and find a better candidate. (Both for president and for her Senate seat.)

Comes now news that makes me want to see her off the scene even more: she's co-sponsoring yet another attempt to make an end-run around the First Amendment in the form of a "flag protection" act. We can do without yet another Republican in Democrat's clothing.

Worst president ever?

>Columnist Richard Reeves considers the question: is W the worst U.S. president ever?

The History News Network at George Mason University has just polled historians informally on the Bush record. Four hundred and fifteen, about a third of those contacted, answered -- maybe they were all crazed liberals -- making the project as unofficial as it was interesting. These were the results: 338 said they believed Bush was failing, while 77 said he was succeeding. Fifty said they thought he was the worst president ever.

BTW, I find it helps take a tiny little bit of the sting out of enduring this administration if you say "worst president ever" in a Comic Book Guy voice...try it and see if you don't feel just a little better.

Christian Science Monitor: A culture of bribery in Congress

I'm still not sure how such an... interesting... religion as "Christian
Science" gets a newspaper as generally level-headed as the
Christian Science Monitor, but they've
got a nice

editorial on the Cunningham case and state of corruption in Congress
:

Either way, money still talks in Washington and the legal/illegal
distinction gets easily blurred in all the backroom dealings with private
interests until, that is, a brazen case of bribery pops up. Then

Poets are sexy

Reuters reports that creativity is sexy:

Pablo Picasso, Lord Byron and Dylan Thomas had more in common than simple creativity. They also had active sex lives, which researchers said on Wednesday was no coincidence.

Psychologists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Open University in Britain found that professional artists and poets have about twice as many partners as other people.

Osaka notes

Well, been back from Japan a few weeks now, hustling to make up lost
time at work. So again no updates for a while.

Japan was...wonderful. Again, I didn't want to leave; and I'm now
tentatively planning and plotting to go back for a longer stay, maybe six
months or a year.

It wouldn't be until next fall at the earliest, what with the big Seido Karate 30th Anniversary Saiten in June, and the AOBTA conference in July.

I don't know if I'll go through with it or not, but I am signed up for a
Japanese language class in the spring at Anne Arundel Community College.
(Have to go all the way to Arnold - I'm minutes from UMBC and Catonsville
campus of BCCC, but they don't offer the introductory Nihongo class next
semister...) And I'm looking at turning part of my house into an apartment
I can rent out to help cover the mortgage while I'm away. I figure these
are useful things to do regardless of whether I follow through on a longer
trip.

Greetings from Osaka

Hello friends! Was running around the past few weeks trying to get
everything lined up for my Japan trip (thus the lack of updates), now here
I am...

Got in Thursday local time, and Friday went with Robin to the school where
she teaches English to Japanese children. And I mean children - one
and a half to two an a half years old. Bilingual toddlers. They had a whole
day of Halloween events, including bobbing for apples and a pinata (filled
with American candy I brought over).

Saturday night we went to a party on the Osaka loop line, a train that
encircles the city. At first it was a complete madhouse - they had us
packed in with regular commuters, too packed to even break out a beer. I
was not having a good time...but then, as far as I can figure out, JR
(Japan Railways, on of the several train companies here) brought out an
out-of-service train for us. It was still crowded, but now it was fun!

PolyMatchMaker.com

Found an interesting site, PolyMatchMaker.com...not just poly personal ads, but some interesting discussion forums. I've already seen some folks I know posting there. If you're poly or "poly-curious", check it out.

"Dog Welcomes Squirrel Into Litter of Pups" - AP

This story of a dog nursing an orphaned infant squirrel reminds me not only of the recent "adoption" of a baby hippopotamus by a tortoise, but also of an incident some years back with my dog Piccolo.

It was spring, and the grass in back yard was a little long. I let the dogs out for their morning romp, but when I called them back in, Piccolo stayed where she was, lying on the ground. Not even the promise of a dog treat would get her to come. Worried, I went over to her, and found her curled protectively around a nest of baby rabbits in the grass!

Gore unlikely to run; Clinton unlikely to win

Al Gore says he has no intention of running for President again. Kind of a shame, he's saying all the right things on the issues now. (Al, where was your voice in the 2000 election?)

Much is being made of Senator Hillary Clinton as a front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2008. That would be a suicidal path for the Democratic party - not (or not just) because Clinton is a controversial figure and woman to boot, but simply because the American people do not elect Senators to the Presidency.

Of the ten men elected president since WWII, four were former Vice-Presidents. Of the remainder, four were former governors, and the other two were war heroes.

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