Will.Whim

A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Monthly Archives: February 2006

Robot inspector in Iraq

Robot inspector in Iraq (disturbing image) “A robot inspects the corpse of a terrorist who had planned to attack Iraqi security forces in Bagdad, Iraq. Terrorists, dressed in Iraqi police uniforms, have kidnapped a rich Iraqi businessman, killing his son and five of his bodyguards, according to police today.”

edited to correct URL

Abu Ghraib abuse against international law–ICRC

Abu Ghraib abuse against international law–ICRC

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday the latest images of abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison showed clear violations of international humanitarian law.

Geek accolade scale

Really, this seems sensible.

An Anthem, for Thanksgiving

I just got a reprint of William Billings’s Continental Harmony, which I guess is the last tunebook he published. The first tune is “An Anthem for Thanksgiving.” (You can hear it here: WGUC 90.9 FM | Feast for the Ears; it’s the first tune in the 2005 program). The first part of the text is taken from Psalm 148, and then continues with these great words:

Ye dragons whose contagious breath,
People the dark abodes of death,
Change your dire hissings into heavenly songs,
And praise your maker with your forked tongues.

And just when you’re enjoying the fantastic image of hissing dragons singing the praise of God, the text becomes (I think) very contemporary, very modern:

Fire, hail and snow, wind and storms,
Beasts and cattle, flying fowl,
Kings and princes, men and angels
Praise the Lord,
Jew and Gentile, male and female,
Bond and free, earth and heaven
Land and water, praise the Lord,
Young men and maids, old men and babes,
Praise the Lord.

Then this great assonance:

Join creation, preservation, and redemption, join in one;
No exemption, nor dissention, one invention, and intention,
Reigns through the whole,
To praise the Lord.

It finally ends on a hallelujah chorus. This tune is also on I am the Rose of Sharon, by the Western Wind, which has four Billings pieces on it.

I think Dire Hissings would make a good weblog name.

Yahoo! makes User Interface code available

Very, very nice: Yahoo has opened up their Javascript UI Library, Design Pattern Library, and started a UI weblog. Their description of graded browser support (including a support grid) is brilliant. Just look at this animated tree view widget for an example of what they’re making available.

ceci n'est pas un card

Living Braitenberg vehicle!

eBay: EVIL KILLER ROBOT (seeks to destroy humanity) (item 7588933294 end time Feb-17-06 22:55:49 PST)

eBay: EVIL KILLER ROBOT (seeks to destroy humanity) (item 7588933294 end time Feb-17-06 22:55:49 PST)
Heh: “You are bidding on the very best, most psychotic killer robot ever devised by man.” (via robots.net).

Ex-C.I.A. Official Says Iraq Data Was Distorted

Ex-C.I.A. Official Says Iraq Data Was Distorted – New York Times

But Mr. Pillar is the first high-level C.I.A. insider to speak out by name on the use of prewar intelligence. His article for the March-April issue of Foreign Affairs, which charges the administration with the selective use of intelligence about Iraq’s unconventional weapons and the chances of postwar chaos in Iraq, was posted Friday on the journal’s Web site after it was reported in The Washington Post.

More evidence suggesting betrayal by our President. I gave Bush the benefit of the doubt, which I’ve highly regretted since. I wonder how many members of the I can’t beliieve I’m a hawk club remain in the club?

La grammaire

I came across this quotation in an email today:

La grammaire, avec son mélange de règle logique et d’usage arbitraire, propose au jeune esprit un avant-goût de ce que lui offriront plus tard les sciences de la conduite humaine, le droit ou la morale, tous les systèmes où l’homme a codifié son expérience instinctive.

(Marguerite Yourcenar, Mémoires d’Hadrien). Here’s my translation:

Grammar, with its mixture of logical rules and arbitrary use, provides a child with its first exposure to the frameworks for human conduct that will confront it later: law, morality, every system that humanity has devised to order instinctive experience.

Grammar, with its mixture of logical rules and arbitrary usage, provides a child with its first exposure to the sciences of human conduct that will confront it later: law, morality, every system that humanity has devised to codify instinctive experience.

Any comments on errors or infelicities in the translation?