November 16, 2007

I nearly spit coffee this morning. The latest installment in an xkcd 1337 series. It’s part 4 , so make sure you see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 as well.

Fair warning though, it’s pretty thick in old school computer science references. In fact it could probably be argued that it’s not necessarily a bad thing if you don’t get it.

EDITED TO ADD: Part 5 – Brilliant.

It was with great sadness this morning that I learned of the passing of the brilliant writer and humanist Kurt Vonnegut. His writing had a huge effect on the way I look at a world, showing me that people don’t need religion to be capable of the most profound nobility. In Timequake he wrote that “We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is”. And so he did.

In his own words:

I am, incidentally, Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that totally functionless capacity. We had a memorial service for Isaac a few years back, and I spoke and said at one point, “Isaac is up in heaven now.” It was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. I rolled them in the aisles. It was several minutes before order could be restored. And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, “Kurt is up in heaven now.” That’s my favorite joke.

Tip of the hat to the Bad Astronomer for the news.