Archives for: March 2007

Mar 21, 2007 : word fun

After spoonerisms, portmanteaux are my favorite form of word play. They are a combining of multiple words into one. For example, a weirdalfternoon is an afternoon spent listening to Weird Al. Unfortunately, linguists no longer use the word "portmanteau" but call them "blends". That's dumb, because its a terribly boring name for such a fun thing.

Spoonerisms, my favorite, are simply an interchange of letters/sounds among words in a phrase. For example, "wild turkey" is said as "tiled wurkey" (written as you pronounce it). You can get more tricky (and fun!) by exchanging vowels or consonants in the middle of words, or exchange more than two sounds: "Chinese Gourmet Buffet" becomes "binese chormet guffet" (say that three times fast!) and "drugs & alcohol" becomes "hugs & dracula"

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Mar 12, 2007 : FOAF Whitelisting project

The Semantic Web Education & Outreach (SWEO) Interest Group of the W3C has announced that it is supporting the FOAF Whitelisting project as one of its community projects. The discussion for that project is happening on the foaf-dev mailing list. I'm there discussing how their ideas for the project do or don't match up with Konfidi's. It seems like I'm starting to understand their ideas better, and mentally I'm slowly letting myself give up perfectionism and idealism, so that we can take advantage of all the existing relationship data on the web. We'll see how it goes, and if Konfidi & FOAF Whitelisting merge into one project or not.

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Mar 03, 2007 : God uses Greasemonkey (or, modelling Christianity with HTTP)

At work (the IS dept at a Christian university) a few weeks ago, our lunch discussion came to whether God could both love and hate someone at the same time. I said that if the person is saved by Christ, God sees Christ -- not the person -- when he looks at him. Drew said "it's like a hard link!"

On the web, it'd be like a permanent redirect. But only when God tries to resolve a Christian's URL does he get redirected to the URL representing Christ. "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Sam 16:7). So how would that work? The difference in how the person's URL resolves depends on the viewer, so something has to be done at God's end. We came up with the idea that God must use Greasemonkey with script that applies URL redirections.

I couldn't find any Greasemonkey scripts that did URL redirection (just lame javascript redirects which is not good enough). So here's how I think Christianity could be modeled in HTTP:

Let's say http://brondsema.net/dave represents me (technically, it is an RDF document about me, but I'll avoid getting into RDF). http://brondsema.net/Christianity/Christ will be the URL representing Christ. When God requests http://brondsema.net/dave he needs to get:
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Location: http://brondsema.net/Christianity/Christ

This is assuming that a person once saved can never fall from salvation. If it's the contrary, then instead of a 301 Moved Permanently, there'd be a 307 Temporary Redirect

Probably be the best way for God to achieve this would be with a local proxy that rewrites some responses to be 301/307 instead of their original response value. Of course, only God would know how his proxy works; none of us know if other people are saved by Christ or not.

Some definitions, for the less technically inclined:

hard link
like a file shortcut, but better
URL
Universal Resource Locator; aka web address. It can represent anything, not just provide a webpage
Greasemonkey
A firefox extension that lets users install scripts that change the functionality of certain webpages
HTTP
HyperText Transfer Protocol. The underlying protocol that web browser & servers use to request & transfer webpages
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: long tooltip text in firefox

For those of you that read xkcd which uses long title tooltips on each comic (or any other comic that does it, like Falling Fifth) you must check out the Long Titles extension for Firefox! It's great!

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