Don’t ask, don’t tell

I’ve always been fascinated by the psychology of "open relationships." The emotional turmoil of caring for someone and watching them be interested in someone else is too much for most people. In some parts of the world, the social technology of "don’t ask, don’t tell" policies protect members of open relationships from knowledge that mightContinue reading “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

Things southern: Waffle House

I’ve asked a number of Yanks what they remember about the south, and the first thing that comes to mind is almost always Waffle House. There’s nothing extraordinary about this 24-hour diner chain except the fact that, well, it’s a 24-hour diner chain and they’re ubiquitous. Whether you’re on the highway, in the city, orContinue reading “Things southern: Waffle House”

Things southern: Scuppernongs

A rare treat I discovered here in Georgia is the Scuppernong, a green grape indigenous to the southern states of America. First discovered by Giovanni de Verrazzano in 1524, these bulbous fruit are a bronze variety of the Muscadine family. They have a thick skin with a texture I’ve never really experienced before; people haveContinue reading “Things southern: Scuppernongs”

Please do not feed the homeless

Yesterday I received a note from my landlord under my door. Here’s what it said: MEMORANDUM August 21, 2003 Blabity Blah Realty Atlanta, GA 30306 It has come to our attention by the Atlanta Police Department that there has been a recent increase in car break-ins in the zone 6 area. Blabity Blah Realty encouragesContinue reading “Please do not feed the homeless”

Email and social viruses

All day today I’ve been receiving W32/Sobig.f@mm-related emails. This is another nasty attachment-based email virus that spreads through the thoughtless clicks of unwitting email readers. I’m not trying to be condescending; I can’t really since I’ve been the victim before. Once upon a time I received an email containing some pictures of an attractive tennisContinue reading “Email and social viruses”

Google underscores filenames

Google’s ranking algorithm takes into account much more than just the infamous PageRank. In fact, they claim to use over 100 factors in determining the order of results returned for each query made. The specific features and weightings that go into this calculation are the special sauce that makes Google so wonderful. One of myContinue reading “Google underscores filenames”

The medieval church, heresy and memes

Richard Dawkins is typically cited as the inventor of the concept of the meme (he did coin the term). It is also a well known fact that Dawkins is a staunch athiest. Religion is the prime example he gives to elucidate memes I find it a little ironic that the conceptualization of ideas as infectiousContinue reading “The medieval church, heresy and memes”