…Intelligent design is not an argument of the same character as these controversies. It is not a scientific argument at all, but a religious one. It might be worth discussing in a class on the history of ideas, in a philosophy class on popular logical fallacies, or in a comparative religion class on origin myths from around the world. But it no more belongs in a biology class than alchemy belongs in a chemistry class, phlogiston in a physics class or the stork theory in a sex education class. In those cases, the demand for equal time for “both theories” would be ludicrous. Similarly, in a class on 20th-century European history, who would demand equal time for the theory that the Holocaust never happened?

— Richard Dawkins & Jerry Coyne, in The Guardian

I’ll stop now, honest


I just had to do this one first:

Of course, now that I have a good source and tool for making O’Reilly-ish (technically Dover Pictorial Archive style) cover images, more could appear at any time.


The top script comes from here; the bottom one is my old minimized CipherSaber implementation.

[Final version of the new japh I came up with after making this cover; intermediate steps after the jump]

sub _'__'_{sub{map{pop.shift}@_}}sub{print+(map{pack$..h.2,$_}_ _::__->
(split$,,shift.pop.shift))[map{hex}split$\,pop]}->(map y{#-`}{+-]}r,qw&
...../. (aa(+f*(,-0+e)-cb ../// ////..*. e/-0d+,b0.*ad1*a)d.+c(*af&)&0_

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3D Cheesecake 9


Providing further evidence that I can never be nominated for the Supreme Court or leadership in an Open Source project, here are more scantily-clad, nekkid, and just plain purty women randomly selected from the downloads folder on my laptop.

No O’Reilly books were harmed in the making of this gallery.

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Contributor’s Covenant Illustrated


The ink wasn’t even dry on the Linux CoC before someone falsely accused a member of the technical advisory board of being a “rape apologist”. This wasn’t an aberration, it was the opening act.

The end-game looks like this:

🎶 🎶 🎶 🎶
Better wait a minute.
Ya better hold the phone.
Better mind your manners.
Better change your tone.
Don’t you threaten me, son.
You got a lot of gall.
We’re gonna do things my way,
Or we won’t do things at all!
🎶 🎶 🎶 🎶

I’d never actually seen the original ending of Little Shop of Horrors, but damn if it doesn’t accurately predict the current situation in Open Source. No happy ending there, either.

I can quit any time…


…in fact, I quit Twitter months ago.

No school like the old school…


Dinking with parody O’Reilly covers reminded me of the one I’m in:

I wasn’t involved at all with the book, and I was, as they say, “just another Perl hacker”, but I did have one thing going for me: I ran tut.

tut.cis.ohio-state.edu was our “big iron” back in the day, a multi-user Unix box that had the dubious distinction of running both BSD and SysV Unix, at the same time. It was one of the few machines that was more for research than instruction, and among its many hats were: Usenet backbone site, GNU mailing list to Usenet gateway, anonymous FTP site, anonymous UUCP site, and (for a while) Compuserve’s tape-based Internet email relay.

[seriously; Karl Kleinpaste would drive 9-track tapes over to their office and back]

In its FTP/UUCP capacity, it hosted all the GNU software, and Perl. Because the official distribution method was Larry posting multi-part shar archives to Usenet, until it got too darn big.

Anyway, my only appearance in the book is my old email address on page xxii, as the UUCP contact address. This was still enough for me to get support email a few times, from people who didn’t want to bother “the big names”.

Fun facts:

“The text of this book is set in Times Roman; headings are in Helvetica®; examples are Courier. Text was prepared using SoftQuad’s sqtroff text formatter. Figures are produced with a Macintosh™. Printing is done on an Apple LaserWriter®.”

You’ve come a long way, baby.

Oh, and when I dug my copy out of a box, I discovered two things: it’s signed by Larry and Randal (something I forgot decades ago), and it still has the original postage-paid mail-in card. I’d be tempted to send it in, but they moved their headquarters sometime after 1991…

Merit, shmerit


The online O’RLY book-cover meme generator only emulates the “classic” O’Reilly layout, but this picture seemed to cry out for a more modern look. Fortunately I did the first one in Illustrator, making it trivial to update.

The Conspirator’s Coven


Saaya plays Steely Dan…


Viewed at thumbnail size, for a moment I thought she’d switched career tracks.

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“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”