bad noose

April 27, 2001
Quote of the Moment
"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."
--Drew Carey, via IMDb

Web Tool of the Moment
Yesterday John pointed out that rot13.com is a working site, and has a rot13 translator. Rot13 (short for "rotate 13" I assume) is a purposefully very weak encoding system I've mostly seen used on Usenet when someone wishes to mask potentially offensive text content. The idea is each letter gets moved over 13 places in the alphabet so if you apply rot13 twice, you get the original text. (What with the alphabet being 26 letters and all.) You can see the Jargon File's definition and a collection of implementations in various computer languages. I've also coded up a working example toy in javascript:
Not as cool or accessible as the domain, but hey.

Bad News of the Moment
House passes fetus protection bill. I believe this might truly mark the begining of the end of abortion rights. It gives ammo-- (perhaps in an all too literal sense)-- to the people who argue that abortion providers are murderers. Oy.

I really think that a logical analysis of the prolife/prochoice debate will have to intersect the issues of fetus viability and whether the baby is 'wanted'. The non-intuitive extension of my thoughts is the idea that a very young infant is not an independently conscious being and should not be afforded the rights of such-- but it can and should gain some of those rights and protections as a part of a family-- in this view, a family (even if it's only made of two people) is in a sense, a virtual person... similar to the recognition a business can receive as a corporation.

Of course, people whose sense of personhood is tied into some mystical concept of a tangible soul won't find it easy to accept this view.

Jeez. Nature spontaneous aborts fetuses all the time. It's the age old question, is God the biggest abortionist of them all? I don't think believers have anything but handwaving for most of these questions.

In other bad news, free speech loses out: EBay to pull "Wind Done Gone". The rights we are giving to copyright holders are getting way out of control.

Oh, and George Bush 2's graceless hand brings more tension with China. Or as the Onion headline put it "First Chapter In History Of Sino-American War Of 2011 Already Written"