Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


-The beauty of Hulu.com is that you can revisit childhood TV favorites. My childhood wasn't that long ago (some would argue it has yet to end), but it is nonetheless fun to watch shows I haven't seen in years. I was saddened to learn that Sliders, while entertaining, doesn't hold up well. The plot holes and inconsistencies are legion. Can they slide early? In some episodes they do, but in others they act as if they can't. One of the ongoing plot devices is a "race against time" as they struggle to be ready to slide when the timer goes off, lest they be stuck on one planet forever. There are two problems here though. First of all, if they can move the timer forward, which they sometimes can, why can't they delay it? Secondly, since Quinn built the timer from scratch once, if they lost their window, why couldn't he just build a new timer from scratch and start over again? Oh well, at least the A-Team aged gracefully.

-Give credit where it's due. Obama was wrong to say he would release pictures of prisoner interrogations, but at least he realized his mistake and decided to fix it.

-Patience. It occurred to me today that the word refers to two related, but distinct attributes. One refers to our forbearance with others in trying circumstances, and the other refers to our ability to be content when forced to endure the passage of time. One is not necessarily connected to the other. For example, I can be patient with a child who is learning to read, but lose my mind knowing a present is waiting under the tree for Christmas morning. Anyway, doesn't it seem like they deserve separate words?

-Hubble is being repaired by the shuttle crew this week. Sometimes I don't think people understand how much courage that must take. Have you ever been working on an engine and caught your arm on a sharp edge, or snagged a sleeve? Now, imagine working on unfamiliar equipment in a bulky space suit and gloves, knowing that one snagged sleeve means a suit rupture that will kill you. That's if all of the space debris doesn't punch a hole in you or the shuttle first.

-Given President Obama's track record in nominations so far, how many potential justices do you think will have to withdraw over unpaid taxes? I'm guessing two.

-Did anyone ever wonder how Scrooge McDuck got so rich? He obviously has pretty shaky business sense, given that he spends most of his time on crazy treasure-hunting schemes rather than his many profitable businesses. Besides that, think of all the interest he never earned on the money locked up in his money bin.