Well, Jess, did you get the job? Don’t leave us hangin’ here… Update: YAY! You cool union-represented slave of the man, you…

I started playing with my free Conversant website today, and it is very very very powerful stuff. In some ways, it eclipses Manila — for instance, it’s completely stylesheet-driven, something I asked for early in Manila’s life but which has never materialized. (I got great responses back from the people at Userland, but the issue then promptly died.) Conversant is also able to handle threading within a day’s weblog postings, so that people can reply to a single item, rather than the entire day. And perhaps the neatest thing is that there’s an NNTP server lurking behind it, so that people can also use any NNTP newsreader to read your site. As I play more, expect longer items about what I like and don’t like about it; for now, feel free to watch the development process unfold.

I was just asked for some Linux help by a coworker, and I quickly was forced into the reality of why, while popular, Linux won’t overtake Windows anytime soon — every distribution has its own locations, formats, and syntaxes of the configuration files. Changing your network settings on RedHat is completely different than doing so on SuSE; libraries are located in different places, too. Honestly, this is a management nightmare.

From Medley comes a link to a scary notion of where California’s Prop 22 could lead this country. It really is true — if California is allowed to ban gay marriages, then there really wouldn’t be anything stopping another state from banning interracial marriages, marriages between dissociate economic classes, or anything else you could think of.

This reminds me of a discussion I had with my mom, a practicing clinical hematologist, about the fact that New York state used to have the legal authority to prevent marriages between two people if they both tested positive for sickle cell trait. This is no longer the case; I’m not sure if it was given up, or if it was challenged in court.

A short article on the true-life Erin Brockovitch. It’s funny — usually, when a movie purporting to be founded in a true story comes out, we are barraged with media reports of inaccuracies or outright lies. Re: Erin Brockovitch, I haven’t seen any of these; in fact, I’ve seen mostly articles saying that the movie nailed the story right on the head. (Salon has a glowing review today.)

Not that he’s bitter or anything…

MSNBC has a cool article about the strange little things about the universe. Currently wreaking havoc on my brain: the explanation for why the Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down. According to this article, one big reason is that the moon exerts a gravitational pull on the water in the ocean (which accounts for the tides), but less of a pull on the bottom of the ocean. This creates a frictional force between the surface and the bottom of the ocean, slowing Earth’s rotation down. Wow.

The Oscars were found, the Oscars were found.