The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Carnival of the Vanities Birthday Edition 

I started this post a couple days ago when I saw the number of submissions steadily growing. Frankly, it looked quite overwhelming, so hopefully I did a fair job with the flood of submissions that I encountered. And just to keep you interested in this Carnival all the way through the end, I've tried to intersperse the submissions with some interesting facts about today. Enjoy.

To start things off... here's a bit of mathematical trivia for you on my 27th birthday. The number 27 is a perfect cube meaning that 27 = 3 x 3 x 3 = 33. It's also a Smith number and a Harshad number. Interestingly enough, as I'm 27 years old... I'm also exactly 10,000 days old. (Anyone reading this who figures out what year I was born, and then tries to calculate the number of days including leap years to see if this is still correct has way too much time on their hands).

Update: OK... I misread the entry on Wikipedia. A 10,000 day old person is 27 years old, not necessarily the other way around. You know, that whole a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle doesn't have to be a square thing.

Forward Biased is outraged over... well... outrage. Apparently a fire department in Minnesota didn't respond to a fire at a mobile home because the owner refused to pay the required fire protection fee for those who are outside of city limits. Can I pay for my insurance after I get sick too?

Free Money Finance has some helpful advice when looking for a financial advisor, not a salesman. Remember, you want someone who's looking out for your best interests, not their own.

Miriam's Ideas shares a few stories about some of the more interesting personalities she's encountered at her library. Much to the horror of my mom's neighbor who works at the local library, I haven't had an active library card in 10 years. Frankly, I'd love to see public libraries go away and be replaced with a Blockbuster model. How cool would that be?

Steve Pavlina has written about death, and the possibility of the afterlife from a non-religious, analytical standpoint, and discusses how it relates to how we should live. At this point, I think I'd rather just congratulate myself for not dying this year, and will leave the meaning of life stuff for another week. It does bring forth an interesting thought though. If you're not religious, can you believe in an afterlife?

Political Calculations is talking about the rising influence of blogs in everyday life, and the more personal view of news that one can get. I have quite a few friends and family who keep a very close of current events using main stream media. I still usually know about more stuff before they do, and I pay a lot less attention to the MSM than they do.

Happy Birthday wishes also go out to Trey Parker of South Park fame, Evander Holyfield who still hasn't learned how to grow back part of his ear, and John Lithgow who should never try to play the part of a bad guy in an action movie again.

BPWrap is talking about website design, and making sure that a website is actually usable, and not just pretty. Being an Engineer first and foremost, I'm a strong believer in usable designs... otherwise what's the point? And if I might share a blog design pet peeve... stop with the white text on a black background already... it kills my eyes, and I'll close the window faster than Newman will spit out broccoli.

Ideas in Progress is talking about the future direction of candy. Now that's a delicious post! It almost sounds better than birthday cake.

GM's Corner is starting the National Vote the Bastards Out Movement... and I think he might be on to something. Personally I'd love to see some change in my current Congressional representation lately.

Searchlight Crusade is discussing the realities of the racial gap in California home loans... and saying that it basically boils down to a language barrier. Knowing the great state of California like I do, I wouldn't be surprised if their solution to the problem would be to require loan officers to be bilingual.

Below the Beltway shines the light on yet another case of activists using the government to prevent people from doing what they want with their property. But of course... if the local government did a Kelo style taking on the activists home... that activist wouldn't have any reason to complain right?

For all of my Albanian readers... I wish you a happy Mother Teresa Day!

Dodgeblogium discusses the effects of political correctness (or as he puts it.. political bigotry) in the ranks of British government services. The more I look at some of the laws that our friends across the pond are passing these days... the more I wonder where that country is headed. Nobody has a right not to be offended... not that you can convince some people of that.

Conservative Outpost is predicting that the California Democrat's inability to compromise with Schwarzenegger will cost them dearly in this November's elections. You'd think after watching enough of his movies, that they'd know what an indestructible force the Terminator is. Sheesh.

Armies of Liberation has documented some pretty awful crimes by the leader of Yemen with an impressive list of documentation to back it up. Jane may not actually know she's included in this week's Carnival... this submission was actually made by someone on her behalf. Can you do that? Well... I guess we just did.

The Uncredible Hallq has some advice for new bloggers on how to drive traffic to their site. I've been doing this for more than a year and a half now, I still haven't figured out the secret. You need luck, just as much as anything else I think.

Trying to Catch Up reminds everyone that happiness is a choice... and you can try to pursue it as much as you want. Among other things... she suggests singing in a traffic jam. Don't know what to sing? Try Mambo #8.

Among other interesting events that happened this day... in 1987 the Dow Jones fell 22%, the largest one day drop in Dow history. It is now known as Black Monday.

The Assimilated Negro has taken the time to share 100 things about himself. At first blush it may seem easy to do this about yourself... but try it sometime. Personally, I'm not sure I could commit that many things to the screen about myself.

The People's Republic of Seabrook doesn't like the reasons being fronted by the Bush Administration to justify the nomination for Harriet Miers. He especially doesn't like the fact that her biggest qualification seems to be her religion. I'm still reserving judgment until I see her in a confirmation hearing, but I'm not feeling good about this right now.

Beyond Borders Blog is against a guest worker program. Frankly I find the whole concept a slap in the face to foreigners who actually work to become citizens of this country, and obey the laws that we've created.

The Nose on Your Face has gotten a hold of a classified wire tap between Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden in Las Vegas while he's indulging in infidel decadence. The life of a terrorist isn't easy you know.

Richard Lawrence Cohen has come up with some great ideas for network television after the world has been decimated by cataclysm, and is looking for good plots that people can relate too.

Thank God I'm not a musician. Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain all died at the age of 27.

Conservative Cat, the creator of this form which most of you used to submit your posts, has a roundup of Iraqi Election news.

Adam's Blog wraps up a five part series on the 2008 presidential elections with a look at his favorite candidate... which will come as a surprise to most of you I think. At least it's not a Senator from somewhere on the east coast.

Mad Kane has put the Judy Miller affair to music with some very clever lyrics. If you'd rather hear them than read them, you can find the audio version here in MP3 format.

TFS Magnum ponders on why two crimes are treated differently, when the only thing different between them is a single thought in someone's head. If thought were truly a crime, then there wouldn't be an innocent person among us.

Everyman Chronicles points out the lack of main stream media coverage of George Bush actually naming a concrete enemy in the War on Terror... "Islamofascists". The MSM skimming over something like that? Really? I'm shocked.

Around the year 240 BC, Eratosthenes of Cyrene measured the circumference of the Earth using the shadow cast from a stick, and arrived at a value that is 98% accurate. This has nothing to do with my birthday other than I just heard this, and find it utterly amazing.

This Blog is Full of Crap shares a picture of the pumpkin he carved this year. I haven't carved a pumpkin in years... but was always pretty damn good at it. I might have to give it a whirl again sometime soon.

Multiple Mentality comments on how the price of clothes ought not be the determining factor in whether its considered trendy or not. While that may be true, how else are we supposed to know what's in and what's out if not by looking at the price tag? Poor people can't be in can they? Perish the thought!

Red Ink: Texas looks at the absolute critical need this country has for more oil refining capacity. Believe it or not, the youngest oil refinery in this country is older than I am. We haven't built a new refinery in this country since 1976.

Blog Business World discusses how to boost your blog traffic on weekends, which is a typically slow time. I know it is for me... I rarely post on weekends as my few loyal fans no doubt have noticed. I have a feeling that's probably why my weekend readership is down as well. Go out and enjoy the weekend I say!

The Glittering Eye examines the history of the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran, and how it affects our Middle East foreign policy to this day. Pretty heady stuff for a birthday... I think we need a break.

Happy Birthday wishes also go out to Blockbuster Video, which turned 20 today. They opened the doors of their first store in Dallas Texas.

Don Surber is looking at the President Bush's latest polling numbers and wonders how happy George W is with the rest of Americans. While an interesting idea... I don't work for George Bush... he works for me.

Blog d'Elisson shares an interesting experience with the Jewish equivalent of C&E Christians who complained that the synagogue labeled their handicapped seating... well... handicapped seating. It's getting to the point where people are barely allowed to speak anymore, lest we offend someone.

Big Picture Small Office explains how in his office, a shaggy dressed kid who can't shave is in control of all the information. That's how the IT world works buddy... mwahahaha. Wait! Did I just call a 20 year old... kid? Did I use the phrase... shaggy dressed? Jesus... I am getting old!

Dissecting Lefitsm explains the fallacy behind the often taught "political scale" which show authoritarians as being right wing. Anyone who still thinks they can break political beliefs up onto a linear scale apparently hasn't been paying attention to politics for a long time.

Wicked Thoughts shares some classic stories from the medical world. Having worked for a company that sold products to labor and delivery wards of hospitals, I've seen and heard quite a few stories myself. I will never understand the urge that some parents have to torture their children with awful names either. Timothy Burr? How about naming your little girl Urine (long i of course).

Besides people who share my birthday... some notable people have died this day. Among them are Martha Raye, Walt Kelly, Ernest Rutherford, George Pullman and Jonathan Swift.

Mensa Barbie recounts how ancient doctors knew more than we normally give them credit for. I find this stuff fascinating... one of the reasons why I enjoy the History Channel, Discovery Channel and TLC.

The Skwib weaves together an amusing story involving cheddar cheese, pirates and bowel irregularities. What? That's not enough reason to click? What more do you want? Fine... there's also a picture of a mostly naked blonde woman standing over a block of cheese. How's that?

GOP and the City has discovered Karl Rove's weather generator which has created this year's spat of bad weather in an attempt to push all negative political coverage below the fold. Diabolical isn't he? I think he keeps his weather changing machine in his garage.

Libertarian Leanings talks about the strategic importance of the Iraqi elections this past weekend. I think even if they vote down the Constitution, it will be a success. For some reason the MSM has got it in their head that voting no is a failure. If all referendums were meant to be passed, then what's the point in having them? Voters do actually have a say you know... it would be great for Iraqis to learn that lesson early.

Brian J. Noggle muses on the absurdity of urban planning in St. Louis, and offers some common sense advice for planners that they'll unfortunately never take.

This day in 1781, the Revolutionary War was effectively ended when General Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown. Our nation may have already been born, but today it got its umbilical cut. Not a bad day indeed.

Suldog-O-Rama explains how one should not write a cover letter with some amusing examples. Unfortunately for those who don't know... he never explains the right way to do it. Maybe that will come in a later posting.

The Smallest Minority reminds us that we're only a month away from National Ammo Day. Never heard of National Ammo Day? Neither had I... but there's a day for practically everything else, so why not this? Check out the details on what you can do to celebrate!

Soldiers' Angel offers up some blogging how to's for the uninitiated. It's pretty basic advice, but everyone has to start somewhere right?

Going to the Mat explains some rarely thought of reasons why larger class sizes at public schools are beneficial, including better teacher quality and larger paychecks for teachers. Hmm... might better pay lead to better teachers? Nah.

TMH's Bacon Bits explains that while conservatives may be bloodying each other over Harriet Miers, Democrats can't seem to capitalize and instead are digging their own hole deeper. As this Wisconsin poll shows... people are just fed up with politicians in general, no matter what their stripe. Time for a serious shakeup.

Finally, Writing Keechie describes the birth of his book in an effort to encourage other aspiring writers. Somewhere on my laptop I have the first chapter of a murder mystery that I never finished. Instead of finishing that book (which I could never discipline myself to do), I started this blog. For now it scratches my writing itch.

Well everyone, I'd like to thank you for visiting the World According to Nick for this week's Carnival of the Vanities. If you made it all the way to the bottom, than I offer you my hardy congratulations... I'm still wondering how I managed to write all these up. Next week the carnival will be hosted by Baboon Pirates. Remember to please be sure to tip your wait staff, and come back again soon!


That's a great job, Nick, and quite a marathon task on your birthday. Many happy returns.

I particularly liked the format, mixing the human with the ... and I'm not just saying that because my blog, BPWrap, was mentioned early. Thanks for that. I'll certainly be dipping into a number of others given the appetizers you've served up.

  Posted at October 19, 2005 10:32 AM by Blogger BWelford  
Wow, I *didnt* know I was included, thats very cool. I worked for months on that article and it has information for the first time in English about the chlorine gas. Also my first interview with a dissident. So thanks much, Im very honored.

And do have a great bday, with many happy returns.

  Posted at October 19, 2005 11:19 AM by Blogger Jane  
Nice job Nick, and Happy Birthday!

  Posted at October 19, 2005 11:42 AM by Anonymous Tom Bowler  
Good job. Nice. Clean. Shocases the posts not the host :)
Also, your comment on mine was interesting and something I had not entered into the equation

  Posted at October 19, 2005 8:06 PM by Blogger DonSurber  
Great job Nick and very enjoyable to read. Your wit is part of what keeps me coming back.

Happy B-day!

  Posted at October 19, 2005 9:16 PM by Anonymous Anonymous  
Hi Nick.

If this is your 27th birthday you're not yet 10,000 days old. You've got 139 days to go. (Yes I do have too much time on my hands, but that means i can read your blog too!)

What have you against libraries? Best thing Carnegie ever did. I spend a lot of my too much time in them.

Happy Birthday!

  Posted at October 20, 2005 1:15 AM by Anonymous Anonymous  
Well thats the last time I trust Wikipedia without serious verification... especially when I own a calculator. Oh well.

  Posted at October 20, 2005 8:12 AM by Blogger Nick  

Thank you for the mention. By the way, if I knew HOW to write a cover letter, I would be so busy being successful that I wouldn't have time to be blogging.

  Posted at October 20, 2005 11:29 AM by Blogger Suldog  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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