Older blog entries for nlevitt (starting at number 11)

If I have seen further, it is because I've been surrounded by midgets. If I haven't, it is because giants have been standing on my shoulders.

Why do animals only eat organic food? Wouldn't it be evolutionarily advantageous for at least some species to have a diet of metals and rocks? Maybe plants eat rocks.

I was looking at W3C's Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. Checkpoint 14.1 says

14.1 Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content.

When I read that, I realized that I've been doing it for some time, almost subconsciously. Not just in web pages, but in email, on irc, anywhere I write something that could be read by a non-native English speaker. Which is important to note, I think. Dumbing down, at least when I do it, is not really for dumb people, it's for people who don't know your language as well as you do. After all, why should they know it?

Sometimes it's painful when I want to turn a phrase in a clever way, but don't because people might not understand. But it's better than confusing them, especially if I'm trying to help with a programming problem or something. Simple language is not usually something our culture values. But maybe it should.

Did the US make a small, targeted attack in an honest attempt to assassinate Saddam and avoid killing a lot of people? Or was it just a ploy to try to improve its image throughout the world? I suspect the latter, just because I don't believe this regime cares about people at all.

likes:
foos, a warm bed, dyed jet black hair
dislikes:
unnecessary surgery, astrology, disney

My folks came to visit this weekend. They rented a car and we drove to visit my sister at college. Good time, except that my sister's girlfriend found out while we were there, more or less out of the blue, that her dad is going to die within weeks. That was a downer.

What special directionality characters can I put in this string to make it render like this?

LTR:     X [U+1234] + Y [U+4567]
RTL:     [4567+U] Y + [1234+U] X
likes:
independent radio, valid html, foosball
dislikes:
false information, puke, machismo

Roozbeh says I should talk to my boss and nominate myself to be Columbia University's secondary representative to the Unicode Consortium, since I have the uncommon good fortune of being at an institution that is a member, thanks to the Kermit project. It is an intriguing idea. I don't even see any other members that are universities: http://unicode.org/consortium/memblogo.html

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