Playing videogames still takes up my eyeball time these days. I’m derping around in the WoW beta on a baby monk that I’m leveling the whole way up. I thought I’d share a cute bit of Beta fun the developers have in the game at the moment:
The starter zone in Pandaria is closed for renovation, so the placeholder NPC has been updated to reflect that.
If you own your own domain, and you resort to local hosts file trickery to get a test version running on your localhost, you don’t have to do that anymore.
If you own example.com, and use dev.example.com as your localhost version of the site, you can create a CNAME entry for the dev subdomain that points to localhost. You can then clear out your hosts file.
In memory of the events of 9/11, I’d like to share a quote from one of my favorite novels:
I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. Particularly when one can’t see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? … When I see the city from my window—no, I don’t feel how small I am—but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.
—Gail Wynand, from The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
The attackers chose their targets for symbolic reasons. They chose the World Trade Center in New York City because it represents the greatness of human achievement, which the quote above emphasizes by asking “What other religion do we need?” The war they fight against us is a war against every value I hold dear: life—supported by reason, productiveness, and self-esteem.
Fight for these values explicitly, and we’ve already won the war of ideas.
I had oral surgery this weekend, for some gum tissue grafts. The discomfort from it is much like being sick. My world is smaller as a result.
I have to exert more concentration to be able to operate, which wears me out. I am withdrawing even more so into my crabby shell.
I’m not able to eat a lot, or even exert myself physically. I had a good stretch of exercising for the last few weeks. Something I’d fit in during raidtime breaks. I look forward to continuing my progress towards improving my fitness.
Once I get healed up from this surgery, I have another one coming in less than 6 weeks, for a frenectomy, to correct for what was causing my gums to recede in the first place. I’ve had one before, and it should be far less of an ordeal.
Good Graph Friday: What’s rising faster than health care? College costs. I have extended experience with these increasing educational costs, since I’ve spent so much of my life in school. In graduate school, even though I had a tuition waiver and a teaching stipend, it was not enough to cover my living expenses, so I even had to take out student loans–most of which was squandered in my first marriage.
I can only speculate about the cause of the largest driver of this increase in educational costs. Shrinking state education budgets are the first suspect in my eyes. Another place to poke around would be the massive capital vanity projects taking place on college campuses these days, where some donor pledges only a fraction of the cost towards a new building. All I can offer are questions, since I do not have ready access to the sort of data that would let me explore what’s going on.
The experience of a freshly-graduated student in the humanities these days must be one of carrying a huge debt load, and very poor prospects in being able to handle it. Sure, there are programs to forebear the payments, but the debt burden from student loans cannot be shrugged off with a bankruptcy. They remain for life until paid off. What are the alternatives now?
Anecdotally, I knew of several promising young students who chose to start their college education at a community college, citing increasing costs at more prestigious places. This is another avenue worth pursuing, and even advocating for. I’m also beginning to see a lot more competitive private college programs being advertised, promising to offer a superior education at a fraction of the costs of the more established schools.
I enjoy a good story, and you can’t ruin it by telling me the ending. If a story is well written, then if I happen to know the ending, then that won’t deny my enjoyment of watching the events in the story unfold, it even enhances the process. I pay more attention to every side detail, wondering how it’s going to factor into the final events and climax.
The best stories are the ones that have an intelligible plot: a logical sequence of events that resolve in a climax. What drives these events and makes them logical? The characters in the story, they have their motives, and they’re involved in the plot through their interactions and conflicts with other characters.
Now, one famous “spoiler” going around in internet culture has to do with characters from the Harry Potter series. I haven’t even so much as seen the movies, but still knowing that Dumbledore dies in one of the books is supposed to completely prevent me from seeing the world that J. K. Rowling built up get torn down?
Another extreme concrete example from the real world: I work with several people who are spoiler phobic. They refuse to even look at the covers of TV show DVD collections, because they’re worried that the existence of a character on the cover would give something away to them. I’m personally working through the first season of Heroes, where there is heavy foreshadowing that Sylar is going to die by seasons’ end, yet he appears on following seasons’ set covers. That makes me more interested in seeing how he could possibly survive what the events seem to be leading towards.
Another thing the spoiler phobes are allergic to are the advertising pitches. How can you know anything about a story without it being a spoiler of some kind?