The Death of Civil Liberties—Oh look! Something shiny!

The Senate and the House both passed identical bills that eliminate the right to fair trial, also known as habeas corpus for “enemy combatants.” Enemy combatants, it turns out means “whomever Bush wants to call an enemy combatant.”

I could write an extended rant about how our democracy has finally bitten the dust. I could write about how 219 out of the 233 Republicans in the house voted to stab us–all of us–in the back for short term political gain. I could mention that only 1 Republican in the Senate voted against this atrocity. I could lament the fact that I voted for the party that has turned against an 800 year tradition of freedom.

I could point out that while today’s “enemy combatants” are Muslim fundamentalists, Christian fundamentalists might not be all that far behind.

I could do all that, but it would really depress me. So, instead, here’s a funny picture I found on Flickr.

Just how much are you going to pay for those mangos?

EDIT: Added link to Flickr page for the photo that I found. Welcome Reddit readers!

Blog Jones is Blocked at BJU

So, a friend stuck in the dorms at BJU tells me that blogjones.com, my old blog, is blocked at BJU under the classification of personal pages.

I really hate censorware. It’s the primary reason I didn’t want to stay in the dorms at BJU. I wouldn’t mind if they only blocked obviously offensive material. But they block “personal pages” and humor sites like Homestar Runner. They even block some sites under a category of “anime.”

They block every free blogging service, they block Flickr, and they block all the images hosted by yahoo.com.

They have a tremendously fast connection, but you can’t get to half of the internet.

Fortunately, BJU users can still get here to read this. For now.

Why Kids Hate Broccoli

You aren’t supposed to like broccoli. Broccoli contains chemicals that (most of) our brains are wired to read as “poisionous.” It’s a defense mechanism that prevents animals (and, if we had any sense, people) from eating the nasty green plants.

Actually, I don’t mind brocolli so much, provided that it’s not soaked in cheese or anything. With a little ranch dressing, broccoli is pretty good.

On the other hand, green beans have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Cygwin: How to Fix a “proc magic mismatch detected” error

This post is mostly for posterity, for those combing the internet for the solution to this obscure and frustrating problem with Cygwin. I spent hours trying to track this problem down, and the solution was really easy once I knew how to implement it.

For those of you who don’t know, Cygwin is a program that lets you do all kinds of neat stuff from the command line that you can’t do on the normal windows Command Line utility. Basically, it lets me use all the stuff I found really useful in Linux without having to switch away from Windows.

One of the things you can do with Cygwin is set up what’s called an SSH host, which lets you access your computer from another computer on the network in order to move files around, run programs, whatever. SSH is like a remote control for your computer. But recently, I discovered that my SSH host was broken. I tried everything I could think of to fix it. When I checked the logs, it gave me dozens of this message:

C:\cygwin\usr\sbin\sshd.exe (5448): *** proc magic mismatch detected – 0x704D1F7E/0xD94C588A.
This problem is probably due to using incompatible versions of the cygwin DLL.
Search for cygwin1.dll using the Windows Start->Find/Search facility
and delete all but the most recent version. The most recent version *should*
reside in x:\cygwin\bin, where ‘x’ is the drive on which you have
installed the cygwin distribution. Rebooting is also suggested if you
are unable to find another cygwin DLL.

So I searched for cygwin1.dll, looking for extra copies lying around. I couldn’t find any with the Windows search. Rebooting didn’t help either. Worse, there was nothing on Google that helped me out. I was planning to uninstall Cygwin and reinstall it, which would have been a huge pain. Just before I did, though, I did one final search on Google.

Paydirt! Here is the solution. In the command line run:

cygcheck -s -v -r > cygcheck.out
grep cygwin1.dll cygcheck.out

This will give you a list of where Cygwin is finding the extra copies of cygwin1.dll. Remove all of them except for c:\cygwin\bin\cygwin1.dll.

Hopefully, that will help someone else who may be encountering the same problem I was.

How does a ten-dimensional universe work?

I’d always wondered what physicists meant when they referred to a ten dimensional universe. I can really only understand four (length, depth, width, and time); any more than that seemed out of reach and absurd.

But this morning I found a neat flash animation entitled “Imagining the Tenth Dimension” that helped me get my head around the concept. It’s pretty interesting stuff.

(Via Marginal Revolution)

UPDATE: Fixed the link; you gotta be careful where you put those quotation marks.