The leader of the Mali Islamic Council said today Mali should abandon its secular form of government, in favor of an Islamic state. Why didn’t they think of it before? Mali could soon join that elite golden circle of all the other spectacularly successful Islamic states, whose governments’ accomplishments have only been exceeded by the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, and of course by the former residents of Jonestown, Guyana.

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“You know who you are”

From BBC: “In Sonning Common, near Reading, in 2003, an unidentified motorist – you know who you are – collided with and knocked down the sign reading, Sonning Common welcomes careful drivers.”

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The Quiltin’ Ladies

OK, all you young ladies of all ages out there, I’m gonna admit I watched a whole Quilting crafts show today. I wasn’t gonna watch the painting show that come before it neither, but, turned out I din’t know you could do all that stuff with watercolors. Then the Quiltin’ Ladies came on and they said “Hi, today we’re going to show you how to select and piece together parts for a geese pattern,” and I said, “Oh NO ladies, no you ain’t!” and I reached for my switcher thingie.

Just then they showed us how they sew together little pieces I couldn’t even see with a microscope, if I could get my fat fingers outta the way, I mean. There’s as much to this quiltin’ business as makin’ fine furniture in a cabinet shop. Not that you’ll ever catch me quiltin’ before I figure out how to sew a button on straight. Hats off to you gals for keepin’ such a finely guarded secret, ’cause it truly is rocket science to me!

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Where to Retire

  • You can retire in Phoenix … because you can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
  • You can retire to California … because you make over $250,000 and you still can’t afford to buy a house.

Look for “Where to Retire,” our expanded list of retirement locations, in HUMOR.

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“Fire in the Hole!”

As we all know, the new, more highly invasive TSA screening procedures are causing an international furor. I couldn’t track down a source, but the following idea was attributed to an American teenager.

Rather than subjecting air travelers to invasive body pats, or cumulative lifetime x-ray dosages, this proposal suggests that queued passengers simply step into concrete-lined screening booths for a free one-step, five-second, pass/fail screening.

If the scanner detects explosives in body cavities, tennis shoes, underwear or elsewhere, it simply detonates the explosive. We like the elegant simplicity: the prospective terrorist becomes his own counter-measure.

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Humor Department Conversion

We’ve converted our HUMOR department to a new format. You don’t really need to bookmark the change, because all the sidebar links and Tigra Menu and CoolMenus links have been changed already.

But what was it converted to? It’s not the old Frames format. And no, it’s not WordPress either. It’s CSS – cascading style sheets, Javascript and PHP, a web coding language.

It’s the same 160 jokes and humorous anecdotes, with a new skin. When you click a humor page link in our familiar AutoMenu, the page that you get is really a page, not a frame. You can see the URL of the new page in your browser’s address bar, and you can bookmark that page ,or send a link to a friend. The old frames technology presented content from within its special browser frame, so you couldn’t see the name or address of the page, and you couldn’t bookmark just that one single page.

It’s hard to beat framesets for presenting a large number of pages and a scrollable menu in a single browser window, but we think we have that beat. Frames are old. They’re balky, cause browser and maintenance problems, and they look more than a little bit dated.

As much as we love WordPress, we can’t enter links to 160 pages in the sidebar, and you don’t want to see a page 100 yard long, if we do. The new technology presents a scrollable list. We populate the list by including our Perl “autolist” cgi program so we don’t have to manually add or update links in a directory.

Credits: We found this new technique with a Google search on the phrase “CSS frame replacement”. We found an article “Scroll area with overflow in CSS“, by Ove Klykken, whose home page is at do media. If you’re interested in web tech, just check it out. If you’re into web development, all you’ll have to do is examine Ove’s code snippets and demo for a few minutes and you’ll see how it works. Many thanks for his excellent presentation!

Tech Note: But you still have to reformat all 160 pages (or however many) to include the links, script, and simple PHP includes. I stored css, php and js resources in a common resource directory on the server. After a test development, I used a DreamWeaver template approach to reformat all the pages at once.

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Elections 2008

We have a number of recent posts in Humor, Computers, PHOTO Notes, Writing Notes and even our Bug List.

Since this website was founded in 1995, I can’t recall an election where opted to recommend a candidate. There are several reasons for this, not just one.

  • My political and social commentary shows pretty clearly that is not a good fit for any current political party
  • Since I came of age to vote for a presidential candidate in 1964, casting a ballot has been a distasteful choice between “the lesser of two evils”
  • This voting strategy has been a bitter disappointment as the winners let me and our country down
  • Our commentary is issues-oriented, not party-oriented

This is the first election in over forty years in which I feel an unqualified optimism about one candidate and the platform of one major political party.

Read our precedent-breaking full editorial essay , in our Commentary department,  Why I’m Voting for Barack Obama in 2008.”

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Multiple Fractures

Our ever so sincere apologies for the irreverent heading! We have multiple listings to post today.

La Parola: in LP Out-Takes, we posted two new Snappy Observations on gay marriage:

  • March 23, 2004 – Black clergy members oppose same-sex marriage
  • March 21, 2004 – “How’s It Playing In Peoria?”
  • Humor: I’m not sure we’ve ever announced the posting of a joke in What’s New before. You’ll want to go to our Humor Index page, and in the left-hand scrolling menu select “Bricklayer’s Story”. We’re recommending you do it right now. It’s the best laugh we’ve had all year.

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