Nov 18th, 2008 by ravi
George Bush and Jon Stewart explain Free Market Capitalism

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Oct 14th, 2008 by ravi
Hari Kondabolu on the Queen of England

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Sep 29th, 2008 by ravi
Palin on the crisis

Palin on the crisis

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Sep 2nd, 2008 by ravi
Jon Stewart explains Fox Logic with an analogy

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Jan 14th, 2008 by ravi
The ascent of economists

In a post on PEN-L, Michael Perelman wrote:

Dean Baker reminded me at the meetings that Mankiw and Hubbard used to do decent work. There is a problem that as you ascend the ranks, your critical facilities decline.

My response:

The Ascent of Krugman

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Aug 30th, 2007 by ravi
How Stuff Works: Your Mouse

For a few quick laughs, see: 1-Click Awards 2007.

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Mar 30th, 2007 by ravi
In preparation for a day of appreciation

April Foos RFCs
My friend Tom has a new book, this time around in a lighter vein. If you are a geek with some history, you will find it worth a read. Check out his Live Journal post for more info.

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Nov 13th, 2006 by ravi
Penal offence

Monsters & Critics reports this:

Giant penis sculpture stirs up controversy at Taipei airport

[…]

The one-metre-long sculpture in the Number 2 Terminal is part of an exhibition of artifacts of the Thou tribe, one of Taiwan’s ten tribes. But some foreign visitors and crew find it offensive and have demanded its removal, according to the Liberty Times.

Some foreign crew members and flight attendants refer to the sculpture as ‘The Thing’ and have posted the photo of it on their websites, saying it is an offence to female visitors and flight attendants.

[…]

I have a question: why would a penis be offensive to females?

[ Link ]

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Oct 14th, 2006 by ravi
Blog slog! Rating the beasts!

A most unscientific blog comparison!

HuffPo dKos C&L TProg Malkin PwrLine
GENERAL
Leans Left Left Left Left Right Right
Rank 5 6 10 12 13 40
Size (KB) 314 130 702 126 130 304
Time (56Kbps) 68.61 26.87 141.30 25.24 26.06 61.14
Time (T1) 2.41 1.49 5.12 0.87 0.69 2.21
VALIDITY
W3C XHTML 51 210 180 0 102 606
W3C HTML 31 95 125 49 140
Broken Links 2 0 3 0 0 0
Speling 2 3 4 3 5 4
Truwex 17 14 24 17 22 25
ACCESSIBILITY
ATRC 12 (623) 8 (384) 33 (809) 4 (406) 26 (556) 53 (377)
UIUC FAE 144 200 199 14 226 324
WebXACT 159 93 346 74 310 191
SUBJECTIVE
Width (px) 1000 760 900 750 850 700
Design B A- C A+ A- A-
Headings A A- A- A B A
Contents A A B- B- B A
Feed Link B B B A A- B
Real Estate B A C A A- B
Sidebar C B B A A A-
JUST FOR KICKS
SeoMoz 2 7.5 8.5 8.5 9 9
MS AdCenter male
(0.54)
male
(0.51)
male
(0.52)
female
(0.54)
male
(0.53)
female
(0.53)

And the winner is: Think Progress! ;-)

With some props to Kos and Malkin. My own favourite site, C&L, seems to have fared the worst!

The All Important Notes

The other day, I decided to see how compliant my blog is, and found this useful site: UITest. It collects a bunch of tests together in one page. Well I fared quite poorly (see below). If I am going down, I am bloody well taking the rest of you down with me! And so, I decided to test out some of the popular blogs. Please do not take this as a serious evaluation! It is highly unscientific and utterly silly

There are things I would have liked to measure, such as how blog reader friendly a blog is, but that would require actual effort!

Test environment: Firefox 1.5, screen 1024×768, 12pt Helvetica (default font)

The Blogs and Ranks

  • HuffPo = The Huffington Post
  • dKos = Daily Kos
  • C&L = Crooks and Liars
  • TProg = Think Progress
  • Malkin = Michelle Malkin
  • PwrLine = PowerLine

The rank is based on Technorati ranking of blogs as of Oct 10,
2006 or thereabouts. The URLs used for testing where the ones
listed in the Technorati listing. Some of these blogs/bloggers
have more than one blog (HuffPo, Malkin), in which case I
chose the higher ranked one. Also, I wanted a partisan blog
shootout and had to make judgement calls: I did not include
InstaPundit and Little Green Footballs. You may disagree!

Times are in seconds.

Validity

  • W3C XHTML is XHTML 1.0 Transitional
  • W3C HTML is HTML 4.01 Transitional
  • If a site passed XHTML 1.0 no need to test HTML 4.01
  • Truwex is a report of a range of issues
  • Spelling was filtered for names, nicknames, acronyms, popular word corruptions, etc.
  • Special kudos to C&L for getting the spelling of dialogue right, and Michelle Malkin for getting neighbour right!

Accessibility

  • Frankly, I do not know a lot about these guidelines and tests.
  • The ATRC test reports known, likely and potential problems: I have listed the known and included the total in brackets.
  • The UIUC FAE test lists 5 main categories and provides % of failures for each: I have crudely added all the %s together.
  • WebXACT results are broken down by 3 priorities and lists errors and warnings: I have added up the error incidents.

Subjective

  • One thing I hate more than all else is the single-window assumption: anything larger than 750-800 pixels should be banished back to the times before windowing and multi-tasking!
  • Design… well, that's really subjective isn't it? Along with aesthetics, I look for consistency of UI, use of colour, contrast, spacing, use of markup, and so on. Malkin for example uses "***" as markup… surely better options are available? Malkin and ThinkProgress (and to a lesser extent PowerLine) have an uncluttered and well-structured interface.
  • Many folks read blogs through a blog reader that may list only post headings: are these clear enough to tell me what the post is about?
  • And what about the post contents? Don't you hate cryptic one-liners which serve as a link to an external page with the real info? ThinkProgress, C&L, and Malkin (to a lesser extent) seem to enjoy this sport.
  • What's a blog without a feed? How clear and prominent is/are the feed link(s)? If your feed link says "XML" you get a negative point! If it uses the new standardised feed icon, you get a positive.
  • How cluttered and crazy is the sidebar? Are tags or categories offered for readers to focus on their area of interest?
  • To give you an idea of spelling errors I found:
    Kos: whever, TProg: prescise, Malkin: afor.

A look at the Glass House

How did Plato's Beard fare?

  • Spell: 0 errors! How would I know?
  • Seomoz page strength: cannot even fetch the page
  • MS Adcenter says: neutral (0.5) under 18 years (24.17%)
  • Truwex Page check: 22 issues
  • Size/speed: 201kB, 40.17s (56K), 1.26s (T1)
  • ATRC: 14 known, 0 likely, 286 potential
  • UIUC: 201
  • W3C: XHTML 1.0 Trans: 84 errors, HTML 4.01 Trans: 53 errors
  • Width: 700px
  • Headings: B
  • Feed Link(s): A
  • Content(s): zero ;-)
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Aug 11th, 2006 by ravi
Nice guys no more?

At the peril of invoking the wrath of my female friends, I have to forward this one (via BlogNYC): So this woman wants to know why it is difficult to find a guy who meets certain criteria. Her criteria?

I have been looking for a really sexy, sensual, attractive man with a “high” libido to have sex on a regular basis. Why is this “so” difficult? Basically, all you need to be single (not married), tall, attractive, CLEAN, well endowed (8″ – 9 “)w/a strong gift of knowing how to give pleasure to a woman. Also, be someone who I can have a conversation and drink with outside of the bedroom because if I am bored.

This met with this hilarious and analytical response which whittles her potential mates down using population figures and her own criteria until we get to:

Re: SBF – Why Is It Difficult!!!!! – w4m – 36 – m4w:

This brings us to your criteria. Let’s take them one at a time. I’ll wrap “sexy, sensual, attractive” up as a single requirement. Considering that these 400,000 men are still available, I’d guess that a smaller percentage than normal could be called “sexy” or “attractive”. Women are nearly always more particular about this than men (we are scarcely better than dogs), so I believe it would not be to draconian to let 300,000 of these lads off the hook. We’re now down to 100,000 single men in NYC who might be attracted to you and who you might consider attractive.

Your next differentiating requirement is “tall”. This is to women what boobs are to men or the phrase “must be slim”. Since height is distributed along a bell curve and the average American male is now 5’10”, you’ve just eliminated at least 60, probably 75%, of your dating pool. I’m going with 75% because my experience is that 6ft is some sort of holy number for some women and less than 25% of men are over 6ft.

You’re now down to 25,000 candidates in all of NYC…getting a little nervous?

Here we get to my favorite useless criteria..”well-endowed”. You even specify the number of inches (8-9). Again, we go back to the numbers and the average American male gets the job done (or,perhaps not done, I suppose) with the regulation issue 6″ penis. I have one of those and it’s been a workhorse beyond compare for these past 45 years. But no, you’re special and you need more…much more. I took gym for many years and can assure you that the number of men, even when height is taken into consideration, who reach the penis length you require is a very small proportion of the population. Since the current 25,000 member pool is already made up of very tall men, let’s assume that there’s double the number of well-endowed males. Let’s say 20 rather than 10%.

And ends up with the bad news:

We’re now down to 2,500 dudes for you. You have two remaining criteria, however, which bodes more ill for your prospects.

Turns out you want a man with the “gift of knowing how to give pleasure to a woman”. I won’t even elaborate on this, but suffice it to say that by it’s very definition of being a “gift”, no more than 1 in ten men should posess it.

250 men and dropping.

Your last demand is that the lucky joe who gets the incomparable pleasure of bedding your rare soul must be capable of “conversation” in such a manner as to prevent your boredom. Given that you’re a woman who needs tall, sexy men with 9″ dicks and a “gift” for pleasure, I suspect you’re easily bored. Shall we say 10%???

25 brave lads left to go nobly into that breach.

Finally, we hear a little about you. Not much in the way of detail, no word of your “gifts”, but you do tell us that you are “curvy” with some meat on your bones. This is CL speak for anything from a little chubby to obese. Nothing wrong with this mind you, nothing wrong at all. Personally, I prefer a woman built for comfort rather than speed. You must be cognizant, however, that these handsome, tall, articulate,well-endowed and sexually gifted men will probably already have their pick of a wide variety of, shall we say, more glamorous women? Women whose curves more nearly resemble those seen in Playboy and Maxim.

Nonetheless, I think it’s reasonable that 4 or 5 of these fellas would prefer a beefy girl like you to the anorexic waifs we see in fashion magazines. 5 guys in NYC. 5. That’s FIVE.

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