What Google+ gets right

ImageOver the last week or so I’ve been exploring Google’s new social networking system, Google+ or, as it is affectionately known, g+. At first glance it seems like a direct clone of Facebook with some fancy user interface improvements for organizing your «circles» of contacts. There are also some nice usability improvements, like the ability to edit a comment after it has been posted.

On motorcycle safety

As a motorcyclist I’m frequently faced with the claim (sometimes out of concern and other times from judgment) that riding a motorcycle is unsafe. It’s true that a two-wheeled vehicle is inherently less stable than a four-wheeled one, and that riders are more vulnerable to impacts that one would be protected from inside a car. Looking at the statistics one can clearly see that the fatalities-per-million-miles and injuries-per-million-miles are much higher for motorcycles than for automobiles.

Ignoring the Constitution: it's not just for Democrats anymore

After taking a shot at Rick Santorum about the apparent incongruity between his strict constructionist stance and his zeal for federal restrictions on abortions, I was gratified to see that I wasn't the only one to notice. The Volokh Conspiracy, one of the best law-oriented blogs out there, today has a post by David Kopel pointing out that Santorum and four other Republican presidential candidates have signed a pledge that states almost in the same breath that they will appoint strict constructionist justices to the Supreme Court and that they will promote and sign a law that almost certainly would not survive scrutiny by such justices.

Sympathy for the devil

I challenge anyone to provide a reputable source for this supposed quote attributed to GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum:

Abortion in any form is wrong, except for my wife. If your wife's life was at stake and the only thing that could save her was an abortion, well, too bad. Your wife will have to die. It was different with my wife. You see, I love her. I don't even know your wife's name.

Why Splicer can't create

2011 has so far been an almost completely unproductive year. That's a terrifying thing to admit about the last five months of my life. I haven't been on sabbatical or family leave or vacation; instead I've been sitting at my desk in front of my computer accomplishing nothing. I've been accomplishing nothing and wondering why.


White or gray, usually from age.

My father is fond of a kind of coughdrop-like candy called horehounds. I knew from his description that the candy got its distinct flavor from a plant of the same name, but what I did not know is the relation to the word hoary. When I opened my Chambers Dictionary today looking for flibbertigibbet, the book opened into the Hs and the entry for horehound caught my eye.


Teasing, mocking, or flippant banter.

Found in Chambers Thesaurus as related to glibness while looking for words to describe P J O'Rourke's writing tone. Flibbertigibbet has led to a cascade of discoveries in the dictionary today.

Also persifleur, one who engages in persiflage.

Dr Tyson, again

I have a little bit of experience with running with legs that haven't run in a month. It's almost all I've done in the last ten months. One of the patterns I've seen is that after getting psyched up to start running again I've come back from that first run and had severely sore calves the next day. My calves have been so sore and tight actually that I've had difficulty walking two days after the run. I've considered trying to run on legs that sore but have thought better of it and lost whatever momentum I might have otherwise gained.


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