More infidels to kill

Tambi Dude emails this link and asks me: What's the deal here?

Sectarian attacks have intensified across the country since the holy month started last week. On Monday, a bomb blast at an imambargah (a Shiite mosque or congregation hall) in Karachi claimed two lives. On Wednesday, five people were killed and 11 wounded in back-to-back blasts near another imambargah in Karachi. That same night, 23 people were killed and more than 60 wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a procession in Rawalpindi. Meanwhile in Peshawar, the police seized a large quantity of explosive material and arrested a would-be suicide bomber.

What can I say? Certain Pakistani Muslims love killing those who are not "pure" enough. Though, why the increase in violence? I don't know. I can only guess. Perhaps, Christians, Ahmadis and Sikhs have become too difficult to identify and slaughter. Perhaps, the Taliban is spreading within Pakistan and thus the uptick in death and carnage. Perhaps, opportunist Pakistani Islamists have hit upon a unifying scapegoat: those traitorous Shias! (Jews are downcast over this downgrade.) Perhaps, Sunnis are fearful of soon-to-be nuclear Iran and want to terrorize the Shias in neighboring states.

Or perhaps a vile combination of any of the above.


Super, ultra, mega, super, ...

The ear pads on my over-the-ear headphones are falling apart. So, I checked online for the proper replacements and they cost $20 or more! Damn, that's some sweet margin on foam. 

Anyway, as I was wasting time trying to save a few bucks, I came across this epic, mammoth, giant, great, did I say epic?, comparison of 56 headphones!

Unfortunately, my relatively modest headphones weren't tested in the comparison. Still, I've bookmarked the E-P-I-C battle for future reference.


Truly multicultural

There was talk of the US presidential election at my work during lunch time. The topic of age came up and I commented that as people get older they become more conservative. So, older folks vote more Republican. One person replied that maybe they're becoming senile.

Anyway, here's the voter breakdown. One of the interesting stats is that married women voted 53% republican but single women voted 67% democrat. I guess the State is a generous sugar daddy.


Trolltastic

A fellow named hidi left a comment on a post that's five years old:

Total bullshit. All of what you just said. Not one ounce of truth. I guess you are a white guy from the sates reporting on what uve heard in the news. Fox? CNN? I suggest you do your research from acutal people who know and live there.

Very amusing. My blog post about Islam and photography is "total bullshit". All of it! Yet, I quoted Islamic sources to showcase my point. Perhaps, hidi can point to some halal sources which shed a favorable light on art.

What say you, hidi?


Better than empty

A reader at The Thinking Housewife:

My husband and I are happy to be expecting our fourth child in seven years of marriage. Unfortunately, I rather dread telling most of my family members. We are Protestant, and the idea of “openness to life” has not been embraced for at least three generations, as far as I call tell. I wonder if you or any of your readers have clever answers to the questions I am sure to receive such as, “Oh no! What are you going to do?,” “You’re not having anymore after this, are you?!” and the ever popular, “You DO know how that happens, right?”

So sad. I don't get why strangers would even take the time to comment or ask such dumb questions. The sniping by relatives is even worse. As long as crushing debt or welfare is not applicable, then there ought not be any issue.

Kids are considered a blessing in my older culture. I grew up with five siblings. Some of my cousins have more. I can't think of a single negative comment directed at the parents for their large families.


Follow the routine

Alpha Game:

I was reading Badger's account of a dating disaster and it occurred to me that most of the discussion, male and female, was missing the point. If you are a man who is searching for a partner, as opposed to a player seeking to score, then the entire subject of "what is the ideal place to take a first date" is fundamentally a category error.

So true.

I know a few guys who worry and put lots of thought into the first date. They want to make a "good" impression. Once, the first dinner date cost a fellow $100. That's crazy! Even if the gal is into you and agrees to meet up for a second date, what then? The next date, in monetary terms, will likely be a downgrade. That's the exact wrong way to go about it.


A bright outlier

When I was in high school and and later university, it was quite something to see and hear those who were smarter than me; those who grasped mathematical concepts almost effortlessly; those who clearly understood abstract economic theory in a matter of moments and those who didn't seem to have any errors in their academic logic.

It was as though my mind was like a dependable Toyota and theirs was a roaring Ferrari. Compared to us Tanishq's brilliance is like a mach 25 space shuttle. To compare, is to be silly. Understanding integral calculus at the age of 7! Attending a third year university course at the age of 9! Just incredible.

Love the 'Lucky Billy' part.


Don't run on low

Vacation is good:

Americans work more than anyone else. In fact, we work 100 hours more per year than the famously nose-to-grindstone Japanese. And we put in up to three months a year more than Europeans.

America is the only country that does not mandate paid vacation leave. China gets three weeks. Europe averages six.

Call it the incredible shrinking vacation. The average vacation in America now numbers a pathetic three to four days—a long weekend. And this year, according to a recent survey, one in seven Americans is taking no vacation at all.

I find that it is not necessary to go on a vacation. Simply being off from work for a week or more does wonders. Not to mention that it's also a more economical choice.

Come to think of it, I haven't been on a "vacation" since 1996. That was the time I met my extended family in Pakistan for a few weeks. Good food, cricket and plenty of cheap arcade games. Good times.

Link via Instapundit.


Work and no play

Started at my job around 8 a.m. Finished after 8 p.m. 

It's amazing how much reading and blogging I used to do before my full-time job. Now, at the end of the day I just want to listen to music or watch a TV show. Thinking requires too much effort.

feel old.


The Avengers!

I watched it. Marvel's risky strategy has paid off. The movie was immensely entertaining. There were many good parts; both in terms of dialogue and action.

The first hour can at times seem sluggish as there's a fair amount of setup and exposition that needs to be endured. And there are times during the final battle when the special effects take over and things edge toward Bay's fetishistic fascination with hardware over everything else. Yet those are isolated moments in a jaw-droppingly intense 50-minute battle royale (with cheese). Every hero gets his/her time to shine, although some shine more brightly than others.

The Hulk got tremendous applause just moments after Dr. Banner shared his secret and later the audience was laughing out loud when he faced the main villain.

Another part I liked was just before the movie had started: the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.


Recognizing the poison

It is exceedingly rare to find a Muslim who doesn't reflexively support the Muslim world (the ummah) over the "evil" West. Hassan Nisar is that guy. Watch the video. The audio is in the Urdu language. The subtitles are mostly correct; there are a few minor errors but none of them alter the essence of what he said.

Related: My dad worked in Saudi Arabia for three decades. Upon his retirement, the Arabs told him to go back to his country. He wasn't allowed to buy a small property in Saudi Arabia and live there in his old age. The Saudis thought it a smart idea to give a large sum of retirement cash to a law abiding fellow and then kick him out of the country.

I had been in Canada for less than 10 years when complete strangers donated money to me so that I could hire a lawyer who would fight on my behalf. After a bit over 10 years here, I became a Canadian citizen.

The contrast between the pious Muslims and the wicked infidels is very stark.


Fading lithium-ion

That's right:

According to battery-testing firm Cadex Electronics, a fully charged lithium-ion battery will lose about 20 percent of its capacity after a year of typical storage. Increase the temperature to just above 100 degrees Fahrenheit—as in a hot attic, for example—and that number is 35 percent.

I bought a laptop for work two years ago. At the time I got a nice 5 hours of battery life. Last year, the time dropped to 4 hours. This month, the battery is running out of juice in about 3 hours. A software included in the laptop states that the battery has basically degraded to around 60% of its original capacity.

It sucks but that's just the nature of lithium-ion.

Link via Instapundit.


PC trouble

My PC has been behaving most erratically since Saturday.

The pattern is simple. It crashes 60-90 minutes after boot up. I don't think I've seen so many blue screens of death (BSODs) before in my life.

I have not installed any software this month; so that's likely not the issue. I have tested the CPU and RAM and they seem to be fine. What's frustrating is that after wasting almost the entire weekend I still don't know the cause of the problem. Motherboard? Power Supply? A miserable SATA cable dying a slow, annoying death? Who knows!

I've got more work coming up at my workplace in the next three weeks and now I have to deal with this headache. So, blogging will be lighter that usual.


Mini IMAX?

It was disappointing to watch an action movie on a newly constructed "IMAX" screen last Christmas. Why? Not because the movie wasn't entertaining. It's because the screen wasn't even close to the usual IMAX size. Click the image below to get a better view.

IMAX OMG

I'm not sure of the exact size of that screen but it certainly did not feel like IMAX. Apparently, this has been going on for many years. Cinemas are putting in "IMAX" screens within approximately the same space as regular screens and then charging $5 or more for the, er, experience.

Aziz Ansari was not amused. Here one can find a google maps guide to real IMAX and the new fake IMAX locations in the US. I wonder if someone has made a similar guide for Canada ...

Update
Found a guide for Canadian IMAX theatres


Those crazy women

A couple of years ago, I needed to get a work-related answer from a co-worker. So, I walked over to her desk. Her intense concentration was being directed at her computer. The website which she was checking out had numerous photos of ... wedding dresses.

I stood and watched for a few seconds and then asked her, "Why are you working so hard?"

"Oh." She grinned and clumsily minimized the browser. She was shopping around for her daughter's wedding.

Now, guys aren't angels. Usually, most of us check sports. But I've found women shopping for clothes, nail polish, shoes (what is up with women and shoes, seriously!), planning which restaurants they want to go to, checking out which vacation spots are reasonably priced, etc.


A dream

I walk into a computer store called Canada Computers. They are selling some uber high-end systems with a price tag of $6,000. I sit down with a customer service rep. I ask if they can build me a system with components chosen by myself. They say sure; it'll just cost an extra $50. I'm considering if I should go for it or just get extra RAM for my current system.

Then, I wake up.

I don't think I've ever dreamed of buying a computer before. I bought my last system in 2009. Perhaps, it's true. I'm afflicted with ... tech lust!


I is smart!

Curious babies via Instapundit:

The babies were shown a video of three women who were bilingual speakers of French and English—languages the babies didn't know. Each woman was shown in turn saying sentences in one of the languages. Eventually, the baby got used to this and got bored. Then the language changed. Monolingual babies took no notice, but bilingual babies started looking at the video again. Other studies have shown that monolingual babies make the distinction until they are 6 months old.

Hmm. I wonder if I noticed that slight change between two similar languages when I was growing up. My mom speaks Punjabi but my dad speaks Urdu.


Must not nag

Alpha Game has a post on nagging.

There's no question it poisons a marriage. Just yesterday, I saw a woman nagging her boyfriend in the supermarket. They were likely in their early 20s. The guy was replying in a disgusting, appeasing manner but she just wouldn't stop berating him. I was in their proximity for a mere twenty seconds and I wanted out

Why do guys put up with such crap? Aren't these people interested in being partners instead of having a mother-child relationship?

To me, it's one of the things that's non-negotiable in a girlfriend or a wife: read the title of the post.


Super cool

Earth Architecture via Instapundit:

By 400 BC, Persian engineers had mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert.

Wow. That was just around the time of the Peloponnesian War.

These ancient refrigerators were used primarily to store ice for use in the summer, as well as for food storage, in the hot, dry desert climate of Iran. The ice was also used to chill treats for royalty during hot summer days and to make faloodeh, the traditional Persian frozen dessert.

No way! I didn't know that falooda in South Asia is a derivation of the original faloodeh from Persia. I've had it once in my life in the city of my birth

If I remember correctly, that falooda had rose syrup, vermicelli, milk, vanilla ice cream and pistachio. I consider it the Greatest Dessert Ever.


Coddled monsters

Vox Popoli links to reactions of various adults who received a Christmas gift not to their liking.

In my family the idea of gift-giving did not exist. We didn't even celebrate birthdays till my father caved in from pressure from all my siblings. Even then, on our birthdays, we would get around $50 as a gift. With my extended family it was worse. Most of my cousins don't know their exact birth day. Why? They never celebrate it. What's the point of knowing your own birthday when it's an insignificant date?

So, it's quite something to see pampered, spoiled brats who've grown up in one of the freest and richest societies in history to throw a hissy fit when they don't get their precious iPhone.


Understanding sexuality

One of the dumbest ideas paraded around is: Men and women are the same. The "differences" we see among them are imposed by the larger society.

Growing up with many sisters and brothers and then living in four countries has shown me otherwise. One of the biggest differences between males and females is in what they deeply desire. Those who're into the equality myth simply don't comprehend the complexity inherent in us.

Byron via Susan Walsh:

There are girls that I know who also get into a dark place from being alone, too, but they are hungry for a stable relationship, not sex, & in fact one night stands & friends with benefits seem to make them more, rather than less unhappy. The irony of that being, of course, that pretty much any woman reading this page right now could walk up to the nearest bar tonight & get the thing that men crave more than anything for nothing, with no work whatsoever. But they don’t, because that isn’t what they want.

Well said.


Cat ladies of tomorrow

Alpha Game:

The reluctance of women to admit that the choices they have made are responsible for the consequences they have realized is remarkable, although not surprising. But the concept is not that hard to grasp. If a woman is going to spend the 12 Prime Years from 20 to 32 chasing and involving yourself with unsuitable men, she is going to have to either learn to a) adjust her behavior and her sights or b) find herself childless and alone.

I know a woman like this at work. She's hot, single and 33.

She got a cat last year.


Unhappy liberation

Armed and Dangerous:

Women are hypergamous. They want to marry men who are bigger, stronger, higher-status, a bit older, and a bit brighter than they are. This is massively confirmed by statistics on actual marriages; only the “a bit brighter” part is even controversial, and most of that controversy is ideological posturing.

OK, so what happens when women get educated, achieve economic equality, etcetera? Their pool of eligible hypergamic targets shrinks; the princess marrying the swineherd is a fairytale precisely because it’s so rare. More women seeking hypergamy from a higher baseline means the competition for eligible males is more intense, and womens’ ability to withold sex vanishes even supposing they want to. Thus, college campuses today, and plunging marriages rate tomorrow.

That's probably one of the big reasons why I see so many miserable, single women at my workplace. They're lonely but also deeply averse to dating men who're less educated or wealthy or sometimes even at the same level of status. Such criteria rules out most men in their lives. I've seen men who're very interested in dating particular women but too often the women relegate them to LJBF territory.

It's a sad sight every time.

Anyway, read the entire post. There are many interesting comments at the end.


Is light slow?

Perhaps.

It reminds me of a lecture I attended in university. The speaker was an American astronomer. He started the talk by relaying what happened at the Toronto airport. The security person had asked him a few standard questions.

"So, what's your reason for visiting Canada?"

"I'm a professor. I teach astronomy. I'm here for a lecture series for a week or so."

"Astronomy, ay. What's that exactly?"

"Oh, I study the planets, stars and other galaxies. You know lots of peering through the telescope."

The security fellow was stunned.

"They pay you to do that!?"


A decade later

I went to visit my family in Saudi Arabia in December of 2001. My father worked with many Saudis in his office. He told me how they celebrated when they heard the news of 9/11. Only one Arab was not happy. My dad inquired about his sadness. This Arab said that he wished the twin towers had fallen on their side so that more death and carnage could have materialized but alas the damn towers crumbled straight down on their foundation.

Most Muslims are not and will not be terrorists but they sure don't mind in taking pleasure when the gruesome atrocities of their brothers are brought to light. Today, that moral support for terrorists and Jihad is still there.

I'm fortunate to be now living in the West where I don't have to follow their wretched religion. Here's what I wrote about my experience six years ago:

1. In Darkness

2. The Land of Trinity

3. IX . XI

4. In Delirium


A hot computer

I've been having some computer trouble in the last few days. Windows would randomly freeze for half a minute or more. Restarting the computer would take longer than usual. Internet connectivity would be an issue.

After some troubleshooting I found out that my CPU temperature was shooting over 90 degrees Celsius! So, my processor, instead of melting, was severely throttling itself which would cause the system to become unstable. I cleaned up the PC and reinstalled the CPU heatsink and it didn't help much which means that Intel provides crappy heatsinks with their processors. Not cool.

I went and bought a new heatsink from Noctua. Now, the temperatures are in the 30s. After some CPU stress testing, the maximum was ... 51 degrees Celsius.


Is God pissed?

Maybe.

I felt the earthquake at work. I knew within a second that it was an earthquake because I had felt a similar sensation in the summer of last year when we had another tremor. I was sitting in a chair and it felt like someone was slowly and methodically moving me around in a small circle. Last time it was utterly confusing, now ... meh.


Transactions in the SMP

Alpha Game:

In the majority of the blogs I have read, the dating scene is always referred to as the Sexual Market Place (SMP). This analogy is an apt one, but I never really considered its deeper significance. It makes sense as there is an exchange of goods between two people but it can be taken much further. During last night's discussion the implications of treating dating as a marketplace gained a great deal of weight.

Indeed. Having studied economics, many aspects of life make a lot more sense.


Lucifer's torture

Vox Popoli:

I've mentioned this before, but I still laugh every time I think of my father's summary of a dinner in which he was seated between two well-known social butterflies. "Now I know what Hell is like."

About a year ago there was a department meeting at my workplace. It was supposed to be "brief". The relevant part of it was approximately five minutes long but the meeting was stretched to an hour.

Why? Because the head of the department is a female idiot. There are scores of other words I can use to describe her but that's for a post in the future. She simply kept on repeating how she tried to accomplish X but she can't because of Y and also because Z is such an ass ...

After fifty minutes of the brief meeting I looked in the direction of a male coworker. Our eyes met and we silently communicated, "WTF!"


Fear and Fantasy

Dr. Helen: Do you ever wonder what your dreams mean?

Yes, I do. I had two strange dreams last month. They seemed like tiny parts of a much larger story. Make of them what you will.

1st dream:

I am a boy in a suburb with my kid friends and we hear news that a dragon is loose in the neighborhood. Yes, a fire breathing creature is burning up the area where I live. We're all scared. My friends run back to their homes. I stand there thinking: How does one fight a spawn of Smaug?

An old man dressed like a wizard approaches me and says that there's a way to stop the beast. He shows me a tablet which is the size of a small diary. It has the look of wood and clay. He tells me that displaying the magical tablet to the dragon will terrify him and he'll go away. However, the magic can only work if the maker of the tablet were to use it.

Then he hands me the tablet. I'm like, "Whaaaa".

"You made the tablet when you were very young."

Then, like a freaking movie, there's a flashback in which I see myself as a few months old and I'm having fun making this strange little wood-clay item.

"I then kept it. Today, you have to use it."

I'm so confused and terrified. The roar of the dragon gets near. I hide behind a wall of some house. I can feel the fire getting closer and apparently only I have the power to stop it.

I summon up the courage. I take my first step from behind the wall to face the music.

Then I wake up.

2nd dream:

1st point-of-view: I'm sleeping in a room of a giant building -- kinda like the White House -- and the noise of people outside the room wakes me up. I'm pissed. A few diplomats in sharp suits have just arrived and they're discussing an alarming security situation: A dirty bomb has been smuggled into the country.

Then, there's a strange noise that makes everyone shut up. Nobody knows where it's coming from. It's like a fluttering sound.

2nd point-of-view: There are many guards outside this building who notice this sound as well. They all look up. A huge wooden cube is falling very slowly. It has a parachute attached and that's the source of the noise. Suddenly the parachute bursts and the cube falls violently onto the lawn. It splinters and compresses but one still can't see what's inside.

The crash sends out this barely visible shockwave and when it reaches the guard, he's dead.

3rd point-of-view: A few kilometers away from the building a little girl is walking in a shopping district with her mother. All of a sudden they hear terrible screaming and screeching. In front of them dozens of people are running in a direction away from that building but they can't avoid this slow and somewhat visible shockwave as it passes through them.

The confused girl focuses on a young woman in the crowd. All she sees is a zoomed in image of the face of this woman. Slowly, hundreds of invisible scalpels are elegantly tearing up her face. The skin on her face seems to be dissolving away. She won't live long.

4th point-of-view: There is chaos in the city as thousands must have died. A band of uruk-hais are viewing the city from the top of a skyscraper and would you believe it, there's a machine gun mounted there! One of them grabs the gun, aims it practically straight down into the street below and starts shooting regular orcs.

Then I wake up and go, "What the hell!?"


Ontario is hot

The Canadian Press:

Several other Ontario cities, such as London and Hamilton, also saw their hottest nights ever, said Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips.

"Back in the famous heat waves of the past you could always count on the nights cooling off so the body could build back," he said.

"What's becoming more characteristic of our kind of heat waves now is not so much the excruciating high temperatures, it's the elevated minimum temperatures."

Indeed, it does suck. Though, I have experienced far worse.

When I was eight years old in Saudi Arabia, I had to take a bus to school -- a Pakistani institution of cruelty to be honest. The school bus assigned to my route was not air conditioned. Along that route was a giant electronic billboard which displayed the time of the day and then the temperature in Celsius and then the time and so on.

One ultra hot day, the bus stopped at a traffic signal. I had my seat window open and I could see that billboard.

The time was 2:49 and then the "2:" disappeared!


Hating Those Who Are Impure

Thanks to Tambi Dude who emailed this link:

Ten days before he was assassinated in January, my father, Salman Taseer, sent out a tweet about an Indian rocket that had come down over the Bay of Bengal: "Why does India make fools of themselves messing in space technology? Stick 2 bollywood my advice."

My father was the governor of Punjab, Pakistan's largest province, and his tweet, with its taunt at India's misfortune, would have delighted his many thousands of followers. It fed straight into Pakistan's unhealthy obsession with India, the country from which it was carved in 1947.

My grandparents were born in what's today called India. They migrated with their children to Pakistan. In hindsight, it wasn't a smart move.

Pakistan's existential confusion made itself apparent in the political turmoil of the decades after partition. The state failed to perform a single legal transfer of power; coups were commonplace. And yet, in 1980, my father would still have felt that the partition had not been a mistake, for one critical reason: India, for all its democracy and pluralism, was an economic disaster.

That's strange to read because all my life Pakistan has been deteriorating relative to India but before 1980 quite a few people would go to Pakistan for work. I've met many in Canada who once worked in Karachi -- the largest city in Pakistan with a view of the Indian ocean.

The reversal in the fortunes of the two countries—India's sudden prosperity and cultural power, seen next to the calamity of Muhammad Iqbal's unrealized utopia—is what explains the bitterness of my father's tweet just days before he died. It captures the rage of being forced to reject a culture of which you feel effortlessly a part—a culture that Pakistanis, via Bollywood, experience daily in their homes.

I can't remember a single Pakistani movie but I know the story lines of hundreds of Indian filims. Pakistan never had a unified culture. It was based on the foundation of a decrepit religion and that it seems is all they have. "We are Muslims, therefore we're awesome!"


Embrace The HUL

Alpha Game:

What the gamma needed here is Indifference Game, which is all about letting the wookie win. Did it matter what she said happened or didn't happen? Did he care one iota about the matter before she brought it up? It's hardly unheard of for women to say absolutely stupid and provably false things for no reason. So let them. You are not the Reality Police. Unless a woman has asked you to refine her mind or is showing an active interest in improving her capacity for reason, always leave her to her Happy Unicorn Land.

Wow. I've been doing that for quite a while -- leaving them in the HUL. Works like a charm.


The Gift of Sight

It takes me too much time to read a book than I initially think it would. Why? Work -- some of which I have to bring home, viewing blogs, keeping up with tech news, and so on eats a lot of time.

But now I have a few weeks off. I've been meaning to read a few books during the summer. I will go through some of Neal Stephenson's earlier work, for example, Snow Crash and The Diamond Age. I've read good things about John Keegan but haven't decided on which book to start with.

Earlier this year, I read The Lord of the Rings and now I want to start and finish The Chronicles of Narnia. Though, strangely, there's a lot of debate about in what order the series ought to be read. I'll stick to the publication order of the books.


Not-So-Solid SSD

Anand Lal Shimpi:

Let's start with the elephant in the room. There's a percentage of OCZ Vertex 3/Agility 3 customers that have a recurring stuttering/instability issue. The problem primarily manifests itself as regular BSODs under Windows 7 although OCZ tells me that the issue is cross platform and has been seen on a MacBook Pro running OS X as well.

How many customers are affected? OCZ claims it's less than two thirds of a percent of all Vertex 3/Agility 3 drives sold. OCZ came up with this figure by looking at the total number of tech support enquiries as well as forum posts about the problem and dividing that number by the total number of drives sold through to customers. I tend to believe OCZ's data here given that I've tested eight SF-2281 drives and haven't been able to duplicate the issue on a single drive/configuration thus far.

Well that sucks. A few people are having a problem with this expensive bit of technology but nobody knows exactly what's causing the problem. Ergo, it can't be fixed.

I was thinking of upgrading from my Vertex 120GB to a Vertex 3 240GB drive. But after reading a lot of horror stories I'm now reluctant. There seems to be an incompatibility issue with the new SSD and the overall system of those who are affected. So, going back to a store and exchanging the drive won't solve the problem!

The new solid state disk from OCZ kicks butt but needs to be more reliable given its huge price premium. I'll wait for the next generation tech that'll likely debut in 2012.


Independence

Meredith F. Small:

How competent are 4-year-olds? They are competent enough to work. By “work,” I don’t mean on the factory line, or forced labor of any kind. Instead, I mean tasks that are, by any cultural standard, age-appropriate.

Look outside Western culture and watch children, even very small children, as they gather firewood, weed gardens, haul water, tend livestock, care for younger children and run errands. And no one complains because they are mostly outside and usually with other children.

Furthermore, child labour laws in the US set the minimum working age at 16. What exactly is wrong about a 13-year-old working at Walmart for a few hours during the weekend? I think too many conjure up an image of an oppressed, miserable child slaving away for 12 hours a day making not a penny more than minimum wage when "child labour" is mentioned.

I would have not mind working a little when I was young -- around 10-14 years of age. The problem was that I lived in Saudi Arabia. Only my dad could work in that foreign land. After hearing my complaints, my father offered me a small deal: wash the car, wax the car, then wipe off the wax; all under the blazing sun in the brutal Arabian heat.

My wage? $1.33. It would take me two hours to complete the work. I sure did understand the value of money a lot more after that.