brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell

8Jun/04Off

Time keeps on slippin…

Tom Van Baak has a fascinating obsession with timekeeping. His website, www.leapsecond.com, has a great deal of information regarding timekeeping and his vast collection of odd and accurate timekeeping devices. He even wrote a nice paper which details the state of the art in amateur timekeeping. The short of it: amateurs can achieve ridiculous accuracy for fairly cheap amounts of money.

Oh, and he took some photos of the Venus transit too.

8Jun/04Off

Ken Brown is a Big Fat Idiot…

Holy crap. It isn't often that I get a chance to read something as high in drivel as Ken Brown's rebuttal to Andy Tanenbaum's critique of Brown's Samizdat, an as yet unreleased critique of the Linux operating system, Linus himself, and open source software in general. If you haven't read Andy's comments on Brown, by all means go and do so, otherwise the rest of this rant might not mean as much to you. I'll wait till you are done.

Pretty amazing, huh? But Brown's rebuttal is even more amazing. I thought I'd take a few minutes and pick apart a few points for the gratification of myself and what two or three readers this weblog might have.

8Jun/04Off

Venus Transit Pictures

Well, this rare event has concluded, I'll try to add links to sites with images throughout the day as my browsing uncovers them. Check back later for more...

My browsing also uncovered the following poem, written by the first individual ever to observe a transit of Venus.

Oh! then farewell, thou beauteous queen!
Thy sway may soften natures yet untamed,
Whose breasts, bereft of the native fury,
Then shall learn the milder virtues.
We, with anxious mind, follow thy latest footsteps here,
And far as thought can carry us;
My labours now bedeck the monument for future times
Which thou at parting left us. Thy return
Posterity shall witness; years must roll away,
But then at length the splendid sight
Again shall greet our distant children's eyes.

— Jeremiah Horrocks (1618-1641)

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