Blame Canada!

Canadian Flag

That was the song that ran through my head as I read the headline DotCanada Sucks on this website. Ha! It wasn’t a political criticism; just a criticism against an overzealous webhost with a Canadian nationalist name.

For people who don’t know, Word Press is a blogging software competitor of MovableType that’s supposed to be as flexible but runs on fewer resources. It looks interesting, but I’m not interested in switching. Not with all that I have invested in my set of blogs, and not with Movable Type 3.0 on its way…

My own problems with 1and1 Webhosting appear to have gone away. Earlier, I had problems encountering 500 internal server errors while rebuilding posts or having people comment on posts. The problem went away when I stopped posting using the MT Textile plugin. It’s a wonderful plugin, but it looks like the increase it has on the server’s use of resources, especially on large blogs like my own, causes the problem. 1and1 webhosting could be more generous with the server resources, I suppose, but now that the problem is solved, I’m happy.

Osama Bin Laden Captured


I think I should warn you all that I’ve just received a spam e-mail with that subject line. Of course, I didn’t fall for it, but it made me stop and look for a second. The e-mail invites people to click to a website (with an IP address rather than a URL). I haven’t visited said website, but if I had to guess, I’d say that it was either a porn site, or some other site that inundated you with ads, or possibly installed spyware on your system.

So, be warned. And, remember, if and when the U.S. Military does capture Osama Bin Laden, you’re probably not going to learn about it by e-mail.

Some of What I’m Thinking

The Polemicist over at Northern Polemics says a lot of what I’ve been thinking about Israel’s other activities against the Palestinians. I criticize Israel often; I think that Likud’s aggressive policies, practically blowing up a city block for every Israeli killed by suicide bombers, are more of a threat to Israel’s long term security than Israel’s surrounding sea of enemies, but I support the construction of the wall.

It makes the most sense, in my opinion. If you’re faced with an opponent who won’t deal with you, turn away, protect yourself, and ignore him. The walls going up around the Gaza Strip and the West Bank do help to ensure Israel’s security and, while they will certainly make life more difficult for the Palestinians living in the occupied territories but working in Israel, that’s not really Israel’s problem. Moreover, removing the Jewish settlements from Gaza removes one of the greatest single impediments to the peace process. Now if only the settlements on the West Bank will follow.

So, count me in as a supporter of the wall. It’s not a happy solution, it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s probably the best solution that Israel can come up with during these difficult times.

Eyesore of the Month

If the faith of New Urbanism had an Ayatollah, James Howard Kunstler would be it. For him, urban planning is the fight against Modernism and the car-dependent culture which he sees as leading the Western world into ruin once the oil runs out. He is, however, articulate and bitingly funny.

Take a look at his current Eyesore of the Month and work backwords. You will laugh and you will wince. Be warned: Kunstler has issues, and he can be vicious. So prepared, I think you will have a lot of fun.


Over on Dan’s Dopplegangland, Dan contemplates a CNN story about a grade six student suspended for allegedly offering a peanut-allergic teacher a peanut butter cookie. Dan’s a teacher, and obviously the story resonates with him, as with other teachers. He also wonders, as I have wondered, about the sudden emergence of deadly peanut allergies throughout society in the past twenty years. It does look like it’s come from out of nowhere and is now a serious threat to many of our children.

Well, a coworker and I talked about this a few years ago, and we came up with two theories as to why all this is happening. One idea is that this is a reflection of our reduction of infant and child mortality rates, that those people who succumb to peanut allergies today would have fallen to any number of other ailments a few decades ago. As we eliminate the epidemic causes of death in North America, the endemic causes of death start coming to the fore. This could also be a reason why cancer appears to be increasing in our population.

The other, more disturbing theory suggests that todays peanuts are, to all intents and purposes, the first major food item to be thoroughly genetically modified.

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