Mainstreaming the extreme

Filed under: politics — jlm @ 16:47

A: At least one more day.

We now have some poll numbers, and hence a more analytical take on the matter at 538.


I’m with Colin Powell

Filed under: politics — jlm @ 20:41

How long am I going to keep beating this drum?


Sedition warrants removal from office and imprisonment

Filed under: politics — jlm @ 20:19

Anything less is not justice. Every delay further harms this nation.

Seditious conspiracy — 18 U.S. Code § 2384

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

The power to pardon insurrectionists and to command the armed forces needs to be removed from the leader of the seditious conspiracy now.


Did not see this coming

Filed under: news, politics — jlm @ 12:39

So, what now?

Let’s take a look at the Constitution of the United States of America, Twenty-Fifth Amendment, Section 4.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. …



Oh no, Santa, noooo!

Filed under: humor — jlm @ 18:18

Santa, no!

Source (from Freefall by Mark Stanley)


A different take on SCP-1471

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 22:28

While SCP-1471 (see an animation regarding it if you like) is intended to express creepiness (stalking in particular), it strikes me that it is a very good analog of chronic illness. Bad decisions and/or bad luck lead to the creation of this … thing that is now going to be with you forever.

It’s just … kind of … there. Always. But because it’s always there, always with you, you pay it no mind. You don’t have to learn to not let it bother you, that just happens, because our minds adapt. (Which is not saying that we ever come to ignore it.)

Among those with it, there’s immense variation in how severely it impacts one person versus another. And even in the cases where it affects people the exact same way physiologically, there are big differences in how different people respond psychologically.


Tiny Moon

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 04:25

I’ve experienced the optical illusion where the Moon appears much larger than usual during moonrise and -set countless times. But then I just happened to see the Moon while it was high in the sky while looking through the thin gap between the louvers of my window-blinds — and the Moon appeared tiny! I had no idea there was a counter-illusion like this, so it was very surprising and interesting.


Unfortunately not fiction

Filed under: news — jlm @ 17:34

From the corrupt politics dystopia we switched to the global epidemic dystopia and now the street mob dystopia. The switches seem to be happening faster, I might get whiplash from the next one. What’s that going to be, the robot uprising dystopia?


One line of javascript to be console friendly

Filed under: web — jlm @ 08:38

From early on in styling this blog, I’ve had the sidebar on the top right, with the main blog content flowing against it, then after it ends lower in the page, below it. (You won’t notice this if your browser is very wide, as I cap the width of the main body at 50 em, but if you shrink it some you’ll see this.) Frankly, I’m surprised this is so unusual in blog and related webpage themes, which generally keep the space beneath sidebars empty, just wasting that space. (At least, when it’s not filled with ads.) This is super easy to do: in the page’s layout, have the sidebar’s markup come before the main body and give it the CSS style rule float: right. The browser will do everything from there, filling the page with the content that follows the sidebar’s markup, line wrapping when it hits the sidebar while also filling the space below it, doing a better job than most javascript-based layout renderings do.

There’s only one thing I consider a problem with this technique. In text console browsers (lynx, links, elinks, etc.), it shows the sidebar before the main content because the sidebar is in the markup earlier, which is way less friendly than if it appeared after. If I move it after the body, then it shows up better on the console, but now it’s at the bottom of the page in the graphical browsers used by all sane people, which is no good. I’ve had a soft spot for the console browsers from almost my first encounter with the web, long before I started this blog. The reasons for that is another story, but there’s no way I’m going to sacrifice the view in graphical browsers for improving the console browser experience, so I’ve kept the sidebar earlier in the markup than the main content all 15 years I’ve run this blog. And all that time I’ve felt tiny, insignificant tinges of regret for not offering a better experience for the extremely rare visitor from a console browser.

Every so often I’d think about tweaking WordPress to swap the order of the main content and the sidebar if the user-agent was a console browser, but that seemed inelegant and ugly, plus likely to be a pain with doing it in PHP, learning the appropriate WordPress internals, and likely having to carry a patch forward across WordPress versions. Or I’d think about doing it in javascript: have the sidebar be after the content in the markup so it shows up well in the console browsers that don’t execute javascript, but run a script to move it earlier in the graphical browsers that do. But then I’d have to learn javascript and DOM manipulation, which seemed like it was going to be a pain too.

Well, it turns out it is so not a pain it’s almost funny. I’m familiar with giving elements “names” with the id HTML attribute, for use in sub-page links and CSS #-references. Those names turn out to be great for getting DOM handles in javascript: just call document.getElementById("TheName"). And moving an element from where it is in the original markup to inside another element is just NewEnclosingElement.appendChild(ElementBeingMoved). Putting those together, I simply:

  • Replaced the <?php get_sidebar(); ?> in the theme’s header.php file with <div id="sidebar"></div>
  • Gave that element a float: right CSS rule
  • Added this to the theme’s footer.php file:
    <?php get_sidebar(); ?>
    <script type="text/javascript">

(WordPress names the <div> that encloses the sidebar “menu”. I picked the name “sidebar” for the <div> which “menu” gets moved into.)

And … that’s it. The blog now looks like I want it to in both lynx and firefox. I probably shouldn’t have waited 15 years to look into this!


TIL: gshadow has user lists

Filed under: linux — jlm @ 21:37

While I was chatting (well, rapid-fire emailing) with a friend who works as a system administrator, he dropped a bit of Linux trivia on me: It’s not just /etc/group which has user lists, the /etc/gshadow file also has user lists — more than /etc/group does, even! After the crypted password is a list of group administrators, then a list of shadow members. The former have the ability to change the group’s password as well as its membership using the gpasswd command. The latter can make the group be their primary group by calling newgrp without needing a password. (See man gshadow.)

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