Thursday, March 26, 2009
Watching videos from Mix09, one presenter called offstage to someone named Austin. It wasn't me.

But I did hear one of the keynote presenters use a phrase I wrote in my "graphic design principles for developers" ASP.NET blog when he spoke about using these new graphics effects for good, not evil.

Although he might have gotten it from reading my blog, it's likely he got the phrase from the title of a presentation at last year's TechEd conference (something like "Using WPF Graphics and Animation For Good and Not Evil"). That session's presenter probably read the phrase in my ASP.NET blog. By using appropriate keywords, my ASP.NET blog entries show up on the ASP.NET blog's main page so these posts are read by many more people than who know me personally.

Anyway, when I first saw that a phrase I'd written was being used in the title of someone else's presentation, I initially felt as if my original writing was being used without permission or acknowledgment. Of course legally one cannot claim the use of a common phrase or expression.

I recently saw a musical guest on Saturday Night Live perform a catchy song. Most artists on that show I'm unfamiliar with and often never even heard of.

But this singer-songwriter did a song that I started liking almost immediately. His name was Jason Mraz and the song was "I'm Yours".

I watched a few versions on YouTube. In some interview, he said he was in Sweden for the first time and playing that unreleased song in concert while everyone to his surprise knew all the words and was singing along! So he said he decided that if people like the song that much (his fans must've all gotten bootleg copies recorded at some previous concert), he would record the song right and give them a good copy.

Evidently he has a loyal following, but that song in particular seems to have crossed over into wider public consciousness.

I bought the sheet music to strum the chords on my guitar. The sheet music says to play "with a Reggae feel." Notice how the emphasis falls on the 2nd and 4th beat, instead of the 1st and 3rd, where the words are:

I [boom] won't [boom] hes [boom] - i - [boom]
tate [boom] no [boom] more, [boom] no [boom] more...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I owe an apology to Sarah Palin. People get so used to the habits and conventions of their community that it makes anything different seem strange.

A lot of people, myself included, thought that a mother of small children with a shotgun shooting and skinning a moose was weird and discomforting. And for Washington, California or New York, it would be out of place.

I used to think that chopsticks were primitive implements left over from an antiquated traditional society. But when your main staple food is rice, the sticky grains are easier to pick up in a clump with two sticks pressed together than they are falling off a spoon or fork.

I also thought of acupuncture as a primitive superstitious ritual, even before I heard their theory of invisible channels of energies that are opened or blocked to balance the body. I've heard enough people with seemingly untreatable medical problems claim that acupuncture was the only thing that helped with their pain to believe that there may be some reason it has been used for 5000 years or so.

Chinese medicine talks about rivers in the body and the winds in what seems like a primitive representation of the human body, but if you think about it, there's no reason that diseases and parts of the body or specific plants or animals should be given names derived from an ancient unused language (Latin). It's just that we've grown used to that convention.

So actually, stopping at a fast food place for burgers for the family from cattle that have been raised on vast tracts of land in South America on bread made from flour grown in the Midwest would be a lot more inefficient and use more environmental resources than eating the flesh of a local herbivore.

Politically speaking, her silence in the media on efforts to repair the economy lead me to conclude there will be a Palin campaign for president in 2012. She is a very competitive person. If she wanted to maximize her chances, she would be spending every waking moment studying world politics and American history. I don't think she has that amount of drive, or feels that this would be necessary.

After the attack from Al Qaeda, George W. Bush was fuming and kept asking people to check to see if Saddam Hussein had anything to do with that. Even though someone on his staff said they checked and said no, I don't think he ever totally believed it. When speaking to the Alaska National Guard as they were preparing to deploy to Iraq, Gov. Palin said something about fighting against those who attacked us on 9/11! I had this image of her as the last believer.
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