austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I'm gonna build a mountain, from a little hill

This James Gomez thing is getting really fun. Inderjit Singh, a People's Action Party candidate, claimed that when the flap about the Minority Certificate started, Gomez told him it was a ``wayang'' (Malay, for a show or put-on), to mislead the PAP about where he was running. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew called Gomez a ``liar'' and a ``bad egg'' and dared the Workers' Party to sue him for libel. Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang in turn called the Minister Mentor a liar and challenged him to sue them, to which Lee said, ``How can I? He has not defamed me.'' The Elections Department has offered advice on what happens if a Group Representation Constituency slate withdraws a candidate between Nomination and Election Day, and Lee has called for everyone to get back to actual issues. Gomez, I believe, responded by grabbing Elmer's shotgun, pointing it at his own face, and shouting, ``DUCK SEASON! FIRE!''

Hey, they're releasing the original Star Wars trilogy, Han Shoots First edition, this year, as Lucas Films acknowledges the artistic merit in getting the fanboys to buy the movies yet another time. Who'd have bet on it?

I forgot one of the more enjoyable of my students' responses to the final exam. She was quite concerned in a problem because the variable N appeared without having been declared. I agreed, N was not declared. She wanted to know if it was supposed to have been. (That seems like a dangerously passive sentence, but I don't know how to improve matters except maybe turning `supposed to' into `should', which isn't much better, and gets away from what she did ask.) I admitted, you do have to declare your variables. (I've hidden implicit definitions away from my students, and believe history will vindicate me.) She asked whether it ought to be assumed to be in the line declaring the integers, or the floats. Well, which way did she think made sense if she wanted the variable?

Finally I realized what the real problem was. ``You know this is the debugging question? Pick out and correct all the errors in the code?'' ``Oh!'' ... I don't yet know what she's done about the pesky N, but I'm sure it'll be interesting.

Trivia: Alan Shepard waited through two hours and 34 minutes of various holds before his Freedom 7 capsule lifted off. Source: This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, Loyd S Swenson Jr, James M Grimwood, Charles C Alexander. NASA SP-4201.

Currently Reading: The Birth of Neurosis: Myth, Malady, and the Victorians, George Frederick Drinka. (And did the European-style-date folks remember about the 04-05-06 date?)


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