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Verbiage: "Nother" actually is a recognized word.

benhocking Examples (6 comments)

  • a nadder: an adder
  • a napron: an apron
  • a nauger: an auger
  • a norange: an orange
  • a nouch: an ouch
  • a numpire: an umpire
  • an eke name: a nickname
  • an eute: a newt
  • all one: alone: a lone
Some of these can be found here. See also juncture loss.

about 7 years ago



benhocking benhocking writes  |  about 8 years ago

benhocking writes "I kept having to look up at the URL to verify it, but this article does not come from the Onion. Evidently, the conservative Dennis Prager (from Townhall.com) finds it offensive that the newly elected Muslim congressman Keith Ellison has chosen to be sworn in using the Quran instead of the Bible.

Again, I'd like to point out, this is not the Onion. Just in case you have a healthy case of skepticism, you can read the original article for yourself.


benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 8 years ago

benhocking writes "Head over to ABC News Politics Index and you'll find 4 stories (all posted today) on the Political Radar sidebar about John Kerry's "botched joke". The pre-released text (as in released prior to him making the gaffe) makes it quite clear that it was, indeed, a botched joke. What I find odd, however, is that there are 4 stories in a row about it. If this was George W. Bush, Cheney, or some other prominent Republican, I'm certain a number of people would be making comments about the liberal mainstream media. I just bring this up to help lift the selective perception bias of those who really believe in the myth of a liberal mainstream media. (Yes, I'm familiar with the study that found that the mainstream media tends to cite "liberal" think tanks more than "conservative" think tanks. That study did not take into account, however, that the "liberal" think tanks might just have more validity than the "conservative" ("We call it life") think tanks.)"



Fairness and medicine

benhocking benhocking writes  |  about 7 years ago

I was recently having a discussion with a friend about whether our "system" of medicine in the US is better than ones in Canada, the UK, the EU, etc. For sake of argument, I took the position that it arguably was (although I'm definitely not convinced of that). We came upon an interesting hypothetical example: assume that in system A, half the people get treated right away for disease X and half the people never get treated (because they can't afford to). In system B, everyone gets treated 6 months after being diagnosed with disease X. Now, it turns out that if you're treated for disease X right after first being diagnosed, your survival rate is 90%. If you wait 6 months, however, your survival rate is only 25%. In this hypothetical situation, 45% of the population under system A will survive and only 25% of the population under system B will survive.

My friend agreed that, for this case, system A was a better system—but only if the 50% were chosen randomly and not by whether or not they had more money. I argued (again, really just for the sake of arguing, although I think I have a valid point here) that what family you are born into is random and from there on making good choices (or possibly unscrupulous choices) will make you more likely to be rich, hence using money as a means to divine who gets treated isn't any worse than choosing at random.

I'm curious, what are your thoughts?


Bush, Cheney accused of deceit in CIA leak scandal

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago That headline comes from CBC News. Other headlines used to break this story include Ex-White House aide: Bush, Cheney involved in misleading media, Bush 'involved' in CIA leak case, and (just to be "fair and balanced") Former Aide Blames Bush for Leak Deceit. The former aide for those interested is Scott McClellan. Basically, he's saying that when he gave the speech in 2003 saying that they didn't know that Libby had leaked the information about Valerie Plame, it wasn't true. Of course, McClellan is pure as the driven snow, as he didn't know it was a lie, although Rove, Libby, Cheney, Card and Bush knew it was a lie. For those who want to argue that it wasn't Libby who leaked the information because someone else leaked the information first, it is possible for a boat (or story) to have more than one leak. For those who want to argue that Libby was only convicted of obstruction of justice, it was that obstruction that made it hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed treason. Finally, for those who want to argue that Plame wasn't really undercover, I feel compelled to warn you that aluminum foil doesn't have the same benefits as tin foil in protecting your minds from CIA thought devices. (They're the ones trying to tell you that she really was undercover.)


Yet another Republican homosexuality scandal (II)

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Per the police report, Washington State Representative Richard Curtis (Republican) (representing La Central) was having his sexual orientation used in an effort to black-mail him. In the House, he has acted against gay rights, making this another example of presumed hypocrisy. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I'm experiencing a some schadenfreude here. Of course, this is an excellent time to introduce people to this comic strip if they haven't already seen it.

Edit: <ignore>He's a State Representative for Louisiana, not Washington (as I originally wrote), per this source.</ignore> Strike that previous statement. He represents La Central in Washington State, not central Louisiana. I really need to read for comprehension better.


Yet another Republican homosexuality scandal

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago From the no-longer-news dept of the Wonkette:

As the nation slips into a new "Not So Great Depression," Republicans are embracing a new kind of Compassionate Conservatism that should appeal to poverty-stricken people who've lost their homes, jobs and traditional abhorrence of homosexuality and pedophilia. Leading the new effort is Wisconsin Republican leader and Brown County GOP Chairman Donald Fleischman, currently facing charges of child enticement, contributing to the delinquency of a child and exposing himself to a child -- all because he (allegedly) wanted to show his love to a runaway boy!

Of course, this one is much worse than the Larry Craig one as it involves a teenager and an abuse of Fleischman's authority. What I don't know yet is to what degree hypocrisy is involved. Was this guy a log-cabin Republican, or one of the typical self-loathing closeted Republicans who push anti-homosexual agendas in an effort to hide their own sexuality?


Jet-fuel powered lightbulb changer

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago I just finished listening to a podcast from Quirks & Quarks about a new prosthetic limb. It seems this limb will actually use jet fuel as a primary power source. This is meant to give it the power it needs to function as a regular limb without too much extra weight. During an interesting discussion on using jet fuel for tasks requiring dexterity the inventor (or one of them, anyway) mentioned a couple times about using it to change light bulbs. In case you're wondering about exhaust and waste heat, they also covered that. In the center of the arm it gets as hot as 450 degrees C, but that heat mostly dissipates by the time it gets to the exterior. The exhaust is warm steam (not too hot, however) that comes out of the elbow.


Civil disobedience

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago I'm sick of hearing people defend illegal activities as being civil disobedience. True civil disobedience means willing to go to jail for your actions. A modern-day example of this is spending 3 days in jail rather than pay 50 cents for a toll that you've already paid for. The world needs all types of heroes, and this man is one of those.


My very own "first post"

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago Not only did I score my first "first post", I managed to do it on an article containing the words "Microsoft", "Linux", and "ODF"! Some days, I even manage to impress myself. :)


Idaho "Skeptics"

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago Someone introduced me to this gem a while back, and I'm in a sharing mood, so, I give you The True Story of Idaho. I'd also like to point out that, per the text on the bottom, this was initially posted to rec.humor.d on December 14th, 1992. (Of course, global warming skeptics were already out in full force at this point - although most of them were still denying the very existence of global warming and not just whether it was natural or anthropogenic.)


My 2005 Civic Hybrid has already paid for itself

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

My 2005 Civic Hybrid has already paid for itself. By that, I mean that the additional cost of buying the hybrid vs. a similarly equipped Civic has already been recouped - sort of. By "sort of", I mean that according to the Kelley Blue Book value, my hybrid is worth $1600 more than a similarly equipped non-hybrid. Add that to the $400 I got back from Uncle Sam, and the approximately $400 less in gas that we've paid (based on actual driving mpg and about 18k miles, ymmv), and we've passed the approximately $2200 extra we paid for the privilege of owning a hybrid. Accuse me of contributing to the "smug" content in the air if you must, but I'll admit to being pleased with myself. :)

Just for the record, the decision was not made primarily for financial reasons, so the fact that it has already "paid off" is just icing on the cake.

For those wondering why I bought the Civic Hybrid (as opposed to the Prius, for example), it really had to do with my familiarity and satisfaction with the Civic. Our last car was a 1995 Civic that had about 140k miles on her (IIRC), and had at least another 140k miles in her if she hadn't been hit by a semi. Yes, I was driving at the time - at approximately 70 mph. For those who think bigger cars are safer, I suspect that in this case I would have been far more likely to have been injured if I had been in an SUV, for example. As it was, my wife and I walked away (or were towed away) without a scratch on us. That strongly contributed to us buying another Civic.


Who are the two groups?

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago I found this interesting quotation today, and I thought I'd poll you to see if you can guess which "two groups" are being talked about:

Both groups have similar misconceptions about the nature of explanation: they feel that unless you understand everything, you understand nothing.

Here's the source, but no fair looking until after you've made your guess.


Sorting intelligently

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I've had this problem in an archeology database I've been working on. Simply, I want "Room 11" to come after "Room 2", "House 3" to come before "House 11", etc. Now, there are some simple ways to handle this problem, if those are the only types of entries. However, there's also "Room A", "Room 11A", and possibly even "Room 11A-2" and "Room 11A-11" (again, 2 < 11). So, how to solve this problem? Well, since this is a Ruby on Rails project, I've solved it like this:

def smartComp (x,y)
    digitRegex = /^\d+/
    if xMatch = digitRegex.match(x)
        if yMatch = digitRegex.match(y)
            xn = xMatch[0].to_i
            yn = yMatch[0].to_i
            if xn == yn
                # Recursive call on remainder
                smartComp(xMatch.post_match, yMatch.post_match)
                xn <=> yn
            1 # numbers are "greater than" letters
    elsif x.size > 0
        if digitRegex =~ y
            -1 # letters are "less than" numbers
        elsif y.size > 0
            charRegex = /^\D+/
            xMatch = charRegex.match(x)
            yMatch = charRegex.match(y)
            if xMatch[0] == yMatch[0]
                # Recursive call on remainder
                smartComp(xMatch.post_match, yMatch.post_match)
                x.upcase <=> y.upcase # Case insensitive
            x <=> y
        x <=> y

Thoughts, comments? Feel free to be brutal.

For those who don't know how sorting works in Ruby, you could sort using this routine by:
array.sort{ |x,y| smartComp(x,y) }
In case you're wondering why I didn't actually create a smartSort routine that surrounds this, it has to do with the fact that the actual sort I'm doing is somewhat more complex.

My main concern is that it feels like what I'm doing is intuitively simple, the "Ruby way" would seem to dictate a simple solution, and my solution feels somewhat inelegant to me.


A moderation I can agree with

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago Currently, this comment is moderated 50% Funny, 30% Insightful, and 20% Flamebait. I think that's fairly reasonable. Personally, if I could self-moderate, I'd probably call it 70% Funny, 20% Flamebait, and 10% Insightful, but we always think we're funnier than we actually are. I'm not sure exactly how many moderations it's received so far, but from what I can intuit, I think it's +4 Funny, +2 Insightful (rounded up to 30%), +2 Flamebait (rounded down to 20%). I'm not sure why the difference in rounding, though.


Drinking license

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago A coworker and I were talking about the problem of people learning to drive before they learn to drink. This is a major problem, in our opinion, because Americans "learn" to drink after becoming drivers. This friend had an interesting idea for solving this problem - drinking licenses, handed out at, say, 16. (Driving licenses could then be handed out at 17 or 18. The actual ages involved are not really part of this idea.) Maybe there'd even be a learner's permit for drinking. Anyways, there would be several side effects, including:

  • Regardless of how old you look, they would always need to ask you for your drinking license. (Granted, this might result in everyone getting ugly "bracelets" when they enter a club, or in non-licensed drinkers not being allowed into that club.)
  • Revoking your drinking license would be an excellent deterrent for a lot of crimes, thus freeing up jails, etc. Drunk & disorderly? 1 month suspension. Drunk driving? Not only do you lose your driver's license, you also lose your license to drink. Naturally, drinking without a license (meaning you never got one or had it revoked, not meaning you left it at home), would require stiffer penalties.

This same idea could be extended to other controlled substances. Do you think this would be a good idea? If not, why? Either way, what other side effects would you predict? (Note: I already know it'll never happen.)


Global Warming and Kyoto

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I've been involved in more than my share of debates over global warming, and one thing that many of those who refuse to believe in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) often resort to is talking about how unfair the Kyoto Protocol is. First of all, that has nothing to do with whether or not AGW is real. Secondly, life's not fair. Thirdly, they're right that it's a bad thing.

Up until recently I've been pretty agnostic on Kyoto, mainly just pointing out that it's not relevant to the question of whether AGW is real. However, I was recently listening to a BBC podcast where the person being interviewed was talking about some company moving its factory to China where the limits wouldn't matter. Regardless of how you feel about globalization, this reveals a fundamental flaw in any greenhouse gas limiting treaty that doesn't involve all parties with this liability in mind - international corporations can always move their factories to countries that allow them to dump more CO2 (and/or methane, etc.) into the atmosphere.

Anyways, I just thought I'd throw this out there as I haven't heard anyone mention it yet.


Visit the firehose if you can

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago There's an entry on Halliburton and Dubai that desperately needs to see the light of day. I want to hear someone actually try to defend Halliburton on this one. Really, I do.


Science manipulators

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I recently ran into a situation where several people have accused me of trying to tie the Holocaust into Global Warming by my use of the word "denier". My intention behind that word was, and has always been, to distinguish those who actively deny global warming from those who are merely skeptical (a smaller and smaller crowd all the time). However, I've recently seen more of this kind of argument. I have reason to believe that these people (or at least some of them) sincerely believe that there is an attempt to make such a bizarre connection.

So, my question is: what is a better phrase that still captures the essence that these people are not merely skeptics but head-in-the-sand individuals (at best) who are deliberately or ignorantly misrepresenting the existing science?

Terms I've considered:

  • Global warming manipulator: No good. Sounds like they have giant weather-controlling machines.
  • Global warming liars: Don't like it. Lacks specificity.
  • Global warming shills: Still no good. Most of these people are tools (i.e., are being manipulated themselves), not shills.

Finally - for the few of you who actually are skeptical (I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that most of you understand and have few doubts about the climate science involved), I encourage you to read Scientific American's article devoted to answering real questions from real skeptics. As for the predictions of past IPCC reports (since the current (4th) IPCC has been an impetus for many of these discussions), I recommend this National Geographic article.


I now have two "freaks"

benhocking benhocking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I've picked up a second "freak". What I find amusing is that I'm fairly certain that the first person made me their foe because my position was too conservative for him/her (I'm anti-drug use), and the second persion made me their for because my position was too liberal for him/her (I'm pro-environment). No biggie, I just found it interesting.

Also, my statements on global warming seem to have attracted one or more foul-mouthed ACs. Typically, I try to avoid responding to ACs because (a) they rarely have anything of value to say, and (b) I have no idea if the person I'm responding to is the same one from whom I get a response, etc. I think I've managed to stand by that philosophy today, but I was tempted once or twice to defend my "honor". In the end, I decided they're just not worth it.

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