I’m a little ambivalent about the first Harry Potter movie. On one hand, I’m a little terrified that the movie will do terrible injustices to the books, which I loved; on the other hand, I’m a little kid inside, and can’t wait to sit and see all the people come to life on a movie screen (check out teaser B). November 16th isn’t that far away…

Awesome: Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s incredible anti-Microsoft bias has now been officially recognized by the U.S. justice system. Among many other things, the Appeals Court ruling (warning: PDF) states that Jackson screwed up in not allowing Microsoft an evidentiary hearing during the phase of the trial which resulted in the breakup decree, and it explicitly states that his breakup ruling can be vacated solely based on the fact that Jackson provides no relevant explanation as to why the breakup would serve its purported legal purpose. Of course, my two favorite quotes from the ruling is are in section VI, “Judicial Misconduct” (which is a must-read for people who defended Jackson’s conduct during the trial):

All indications are that the District Judge violated each of these [four] ethical precepts by talking about the case with reporters. The violations were deliberate, repeated, egregious, and flagrant. The only serious question is what consequences should follow.

Rather than manifesting neutrality and impartiality, the reports of the interviews with the District Judge convey the impression of a judge posturing for posterity, trying to please the reporters with colorful analogies and observations bound to wind up in the stories they write. Members of the public may reasonably question whether the District Judge ís desire for press coverage influenced his judgments, indeed whether a publicity-seeking judge might consciously or subconsciously seek the publicity-maximizing outcome.

And now, for more Memento stuff: it appears to have been the movie’s official day on the online mags yesterday, with both Salon and Slate weighing in on the matter. (Warning: the Salon link is one giant spoiler; the Slate one is less so, but still gives a lot away. Thanks to Nic for sending me the links to both.)

Wow — overnight, I graduated to my second year of pediatrics residency. Cooooooool. When push comes to shove, though, the real meaning of second year is not having to wake up at 4:45 AM anymore.

I got a couple good pointers from people regarding my questions about Memento yesterday; the best two, by far, are these questions (with answers) posed by EW to director Chris Nolan, and this thread full of questions and answers on greenspun.com. (Those of you with good eyes will notice that the place the latter thread originated was on Beth’s site, the same Beth mentioned in my copyright notice on every page of this site.) My questions also brought an old high school friend out of the woodwork, which was cool. (Hi, Steve!)

D’ya know what bothers me most about states that make big hoo-hahs about passing laws banning the use of hand-held cellphones by car drivers? That there seems to be pretty good evidence that it’s no safer for drivers to use hands-free cellphones; the problem appears to be the attention that talking on the phone diverts from driving, not the technology used to have the conversation. My personal favorite is this Associated Press article, which states in the second-to-last paragraph that the above-linked 1997 New England Journal of Medicine study “found that the chance of an accident was four times greater when a driver was using a handheld cell phone” (bold added by me). It found no such association specific to handheld phones — it found it for all cellphone use while driving, including hands-free units.

Remember the relatively horrifying monkeyfishing article I pointed to a few weeks back? It turns out that parts of it were totally fabricated. What’s more, Slate now has to go back through Jay Forman’s other articles, and there appear to be other (less significant) details that have been made up.

Genius — the Asian American Journalists Association has put together a compendium of the various ways the major press outlets have referred to FuckedCompany.com in print, from “F*ckedCompany.com” to “F—edCompany.com” (yep, that’s two dashes) to “(expletive)Company.com”. (Thanks to Heather for passing this one on.)

I finally got out and saw Memento this weekend. What a great movie — I’m going to be thinking about it for days, weeks. (Click and drag over the next blank space to see the big questions I have, so long as you’ve seen it or don’t mind a spoiler or two.)

Did Samuel Jenkis really exist? Did the intruder kill Lenny’s wife? Did Lenny kill his wife? How did Lenny remember that he had a condition at all? In the last scene, when Lenny’s with his wife but has all his tattoos, what’s the tattoo that’s in the spot over his heart, the spot that was empty the rest of the movie?

Ugh — there’s a whole page full of those annoying web ads, the ones that come in over the content of the page and have no obvious way to make them stop. They appear to be called Shoshkeles; they probably should be called Terrible Ideas.

After being pointed in the general direction by a reader, I spent some of yesterday and today trying to find the best stuff on the web related to last week’s total solar eclipse; I ended up with two links. The first is to a general recap of photos, showing the diamond-ring appearance just before and the awesome corona during the eclipse. The second, though, is an awesome view of the lunar shadow crossing the southern Atlantic Ocean and Africa, taken as a series of still satellite images. (The latter is 1.8 Mb and has been up and down all weekend, so I mirrored it locally for your viewing pleasure.)

Anna Quindlen has a pretty damn good column on the horror of what happened when Andrea Yates killed her five children last week. It’s a hard column to summarize — you’ll have to go read it yourself.

Something for me to file away for use in the future: CSS Enhancements in Internet Explorer 6 Public Preview.

Mmmmmmm…. bigtime thunder and lightning. I love rainstorms.

Weird, exemplified: when your brother, who only discovered your website and the whole phenomenon of weblogs a month ago, starts introducing you to weblogs that you’ve never read.

Joel Spolsky’s new book, User Interface Design for Programmers, is now listed on Amazon. It’s backordered for three to five weeks, but given what’s available online, it’s something that most designers and programmers will want to have on their bookshelves. And, if you live in the U.S., you can just pay Joel directly and receive an signed copy, if that sort of thing appeals to you.

I got a new flatbed scanner this week, and damn if I don’t love the thing. It’s a CanoScan N1220U, and the best two things about it are that it’s small (10” by 15” by 1.3”) and that it gets its power from the USB cable, so it is truly a no-hassles, plug-and-play device. Put this one in the highly recommended column.

Funny: modern technology is a big source of stress to writers who are trying to come up with believable modern-age suspense stories. In the books of yore, being stranded and unable to call for help was plausible, but now, readers would be asking, “Where’s her cellphone?”

Just like I rediscovered DPR the other day, RobGalbraith.com seems to have gone through some huge changes since I last saw the site. It’s dedicated more to professional digital photojournalists, rather than all digital photographers, so it’s a great place to get information about the higher-end equipment.

Something that I read a bit about on the message boards at RobGalbraith.com is how Major League Baseball (could that website be any uglier?) has changed its agreements with photographers this year. Credentials now read that there is a limit to how many images can be electronically posted on a website while a game is in progress and press organizations can no longer sell images taken at MLB games, among other changes; some photographers have refused to sign the credentials, claiming freedom of the press violations. This is the NBA vs. New York Times situation all over again, but unfortunately for the photographers, that one was settled out of court, leaving there no precedent (other than a moral one) to depend upon.

Cool — there are two plug-ins available for Word 2002 that perform automatic document translation; one uses WorldLingo, the other uses Mendez. (Of course, there’s probably a finite amount of time before the kooks and crazies latch onto this one and start whining about it being another example of Microsoft forcing something they don’t want down the world’s throat.)

Me disculpo por el silencio aquí… me han distraído, de una BUENA manera.

Just when you think that it couldn’t get more disturbing: in the investigation of the girl found locked for four months in a closet, police found a book entitled “101 Activities for Kids in Tight Spaces.” Apparently, Lauren was also the victim of repeated sexual abuse. I can’t think about this any more.

There’s a new Microsoft security bulletin dealing with IIS and the Index Server. this one is an important fix, so if you run IIS (and even if you have the Index Server turned off), you’ll want to patch up your system.

I seem to keep re-discovering Digital Photography Review. It’s amazing how comprehensive a site it is; it manages to have reviews of anything that’s even remotely related to digital photography, complete with amazing photo examples of every camera. If you’re looking to buy a digital camera, don’t do it without visiting DPR.

nyc weather 06.16.2001
Ugh, the weather in NYC is about as disgusting as it’s been this year. Mid-80s, high humidity, no sun… you start sweating within milliseconds of walking outside. Bleah.

Remember the lottery ticket I talked about a few days back? Well, the guy found it in a junk drawer, realized he had won nearly $24 million, and then mailed it into the lottery headquarters to claim his prize. Understated, yes, but also incredibly trusting of the U.S. Postal Service. The story does end well, though — he got his money.

I’m very confused. It has always seemed to me that one thing Republicans are all about, especially when it comes to education, is local control rather than Federal mandates. Right? Then I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the Senate passed an amendment to the education bill which bans giving federal funds to school districts which deny the use of their facilities to the Boy Scouts. Oh, wait… I understand — it’s because the disgusting anti-homosexual agenda is much stronger than the smaller Federal government agenda. (Thankfully, Barbara Boxer got the amendment nullified by passing an alternative, which unfortunately, would still allow the Boy Scouts to use schools.)

Monday, a New York judge presided over the legal marriage of a convicted rapist and the mother of his victim. The judge, James Canfield, has done this many times, claiming that it allows the convict to have conjugal visits and to avoid deviant behavior in prison; this week, he also presided over the last-minute wedding of a man convicted of having sex with two of his own daughters. I saw this over someone’s shoulder on the subway yesterday, and had to find it myself to believe it; I thought that it was just typical New York Post sensationalism, but nope, it’s true.

Eight years ago, a Texas couple arranged for a private adoption of a baby girl, Lauren Calhoun, from a pregnant mom who didn’t want to keep her. A few months later, though, the birth mother demanded Lauren back, and won that right in court. Monday, Lauren was found locked in closet, a foot smaller than she should be, with the communication skills of a three year-old and weighing twenty-five pounds. I cannot possibly tell you how much I am disturbed by this. (The Dallas Morning News has more information on the story.)

Martina Hingis signed a tennis shoe endorsement deal with Sergio Tacchini, and pocketed $5.6 million dollars as part of the deal. Now, she’s suing the company, saying that the shoes hurt her feet and caused her to drop out of tournaments. This seems to be the very definition of having one’s cake and eating it too, no?

An Akron woman is facing criminal charges after repeatedly calling 911 when her dog began having trouble delivering its puppies. Trust me, you’d be stunned at some of the stories of people who come into the ER at my hospital via EMS after calling 911 — yesterday, a boy who slammed his finger in a drawer and sustained a 1/2-centimeter laceration, last week, a girl who had pain in her knee for three weeks. Last time I did my ER rotation, I saw possibly the most egregious use — a father called 911 after his daughter had her first period, and he didn’t know how to talk to her about it. Unfortunately, EMS isn’t allowed to do field triage; they have to bring everyone in.

The National Security Agency has released its whitepapers on securing Windows 2000. Cool — it’s pretty rare when the NSA releases these kinds of documents to the public, and they should all be good reads. (The site appears to be pretty swamped right now, though.)

Today was the first day of orientation of the new pediatric interns at my hospital, and I’m not going to lie to y’all, the fact that there is a group of people coming in to replace me, allowing me to escape the awesome amount of work of this past year, is making me the happiest person alive right now.

More on Smart Tags: it seems that, in true American fashion, people are now considering lawsuit ideas to end Microsoft’s newest idea. I don’t know if I’ve heard anything more preposterous or legally specious. Can Opera be held legally liable for copyright violations because its web browser lets you turn off style sheets, and change the fonts, colors, and link styles of any web page? Hell, Netscape 6 will automatically translate web pages into other languages, and that’s pretty much the definition of a derivative work. People need to get over their apocalyptic fear of Microsoft — it’s making morons of them.

When I read the headline “Bush to unveil global warming plan”, I half-expected the article to describe a very specific Bush Administration initiative wherein the Earth’s temperature will be warmed by a certain amount every year, to a certain goal. In addition, industries would be given incentives to reach the goals, and rewards for getting there on time.

Last night, there was a cool storm in New York, complete with thunder and lightning and driving rain. One thing I really miss about Texas is the frequency of storms like that — it’s fine one moment, and then rain is just pouring out of the sky, thunder clapping and lightning blazing, the next moment, and then it all returns to normal a couple minutes later.

It may just be me, but it seems that it wouldn’t be that hard to use Microsoft’s SharePoint Team Services as a back-end for a weblog. You don’t need a SQL Server database to run it; it will install MSDE (essentially, SQL Server lite) if you want it to. All in all, it’s a pretty interesting thing to think about — Microsoft muscling in on the weblog space.

From yesterday’s Scripting News, also posted to the Metafilter thread you link to.


Have a great day and keep up the good work.

charlie and me

I just went to see Shrek with my friend Charlie; afterward, we saw this easyEverything web access spot in Times Square, and played with the webcam a bit. (Could they be any worse in quality?) The place is this huge space, with probably eight hundred computers, all with flatscreens hanging on a desk in front of you (you can see some in the background of that picture, behind us). Fast connections, modern equipment, coffee and snacks — it’s a pretty well put-together operation.

Awesome — it’s time for the JVC Jazz Festival to hit New York City again. Now, to match the schedule of the shows against my work schedule, and see what fits where…

If Dave Winer is such an advocate of what he terms the Corporate Death Penalty, would he agree that there’s an argument to be made for putting his own company to death? Winer says that he’d use it when corporations “behave recklessly with resources that don’t belong to them.” On June 7th, Dave openly said that his employees wouldn’t “redirect [their] development efforts” in order to help make Frontier a secure webserver — putting the data of everyone who uses Frontier’s webserver at risk. Likewise, there’s a whole thread at MetaFilter about Userland’s publication of every single member’s email address, despite multiple people’s attempts to get the company to change its ways, or even to get their own individual addresses removed.

Someday in the future, someone’s going to be cleaning out their underwear drawer, find a lottery ticket, and realize that they lost out bigtime.

The latest addition to the BMW Films lineup, Star, is now available. This one made me laugh hysterically — it perfectly showcases a feeling that anyone who brushes up with fame must feel. Madonna’s in this one, although that shouldn’t be a huge surprise, given that her husband directed it; what will be a big surprise is how she ends up at the end.

Will there ever be a day when I come home from an ER shift without tongue depressors and alcohol wipes in my pockets?

I’m getting so very, very sick of people bitching and moaning about things based purely on fear and loathing of Microsoft, rather than what the company is actually doing. The sky is falling! The sky is falling! For the love of God, Mossberg even got Microsoft to go on record saying that (a) the feature will be off, by default, and (b) that web page designers will be able to turn it off on their pages even if users have it turned on; despite this, though, he still feels the need to paint a picture of loathing and evil. Sorta sad.

I like the thoughts expressed here a lot.

Back on the photography thread for a quick note — check out idea no. 12, specifically the photography link in the middle menu. The photography itself is quite good; even better, if you’re using Internet Explorer, is the presentation. I have a lot to learn from this guy.

For Noah, and all you other Supreme Court fans out there: take the TRUNK (the Test of Ridiculous, Useless, Nerdy Knowledge about the Supreme Court).

Followup on the Logitech keyboard and mouse — their hardware may be great, but their software has some serious issues. Doesn’t matter if you tell the MouseWare app not to put the icon up in the taskbar; it’ll be there on the next boot. Doesn’t matter if you tell the iTouch app to put the capslock and numlock icons in the taskbar; they’ll be gone on the next boot. Confusing.

The first thing I thought when I looked at this picture of the aftermath of the collapsed Jerusalem wedding banquet hall was how freakin’ terrified I would have been had I been stranded on that little bit of floor held up by (hanging down from) the pillar in the middle of the chasm. Watching the video of the disaster is pretty damn scary.

brooklyn bridge swinger

On a lighter photography note, thanks to both Jason and Heather for pointing out Photographica, one of the coolest damn sites I’ve ever come across. It’s a community website for photographers and their images, and some of the pictures found there are truly amazing. Spend some time there; you’ll be glad that you did.

Hell, one more photo link: did you know that some guy spent a few hours this week climbing around on, and swinging from, the Brooklyn Bridge cabling? Eeeek; that couldn’t look any scarier.

Egad, Jay Forman’s account of monkeyfishing made my skin crawl. (It’s not for the sqeamish, mind you, as it’s just what it sounds like it is.)

When Logitech first came out with their cordless mice, I was so happy — I hated all the corded mice that I had ever used, and I had a smallish desk, so I wanted the extra space. Then, when Microsoft released their optical mice, I was completely divided — the optical sensors are sooo much better, but all the mice had cords — so I vowed to buy the first mouse Microsoft made that was both optical and cordless. Looks like Logitech beat ‘em to the punch, though, and now that one of these babies is on my desk, I can wholly recommend it to everyone out there…. it’s schweeeet. (I got a new cordless keyboard while I was out, and I have yet to get a dropped keystroke. Logitech seems to have improved quite a bit over the past two years.)

This is just a list of little things I learned while cleaning up after the MetaFilter hack. I don’t pretend that this list is comprehensive; instead, it’s a simple few things that you should think about before and after someone hacks into your network.

1. If a machine is hacked, pull it off the network immediately, and only put it back on the network once you can be sure it’s isolated from the rest of your internal network and from the Internet.

Any time you discover evidence of unauthorized access to a machine, you have to assume the worst — that the machine is not only hacked, but that it is collecting information from the rest of your network, that it is serving as a launching point for attacks on others, and that it will do actual damage to other computers if left to its own devices. Thus, as soon as you discover that it’s been hacked, yank the network cable until you can collect your senses and decide what to do.

In the case of the MetaFilter server, though, we had to get it back onto the network in order to do any diagnosis; it runs without a monitor, and in addition, Matt is in California, and could only examine it over the Internet. Because of this, the best option seemed to be throwing a few extra access lists onto the router that would limit access to the machine to Matt’s IP address and my own, and that would prevent the machine from being able to talk back to any other machine but those two. After those were installed, I was able to plug the machine back into the network and we could start sleuthing.

2. Always subscribe to the mailing list for security notices related to your operating system, and always read the security notices that you receive.

No matter which operating system you run (and, accordingly, how much you hate other operating systems), there will be security issues that come up. If you have a machine connected to the Internet, it’s your job to make sure that that machine is secure, both for your own benefit and for the benefit of those who won’t have to worry about your machine being used to launch an attack on theirs.

Here’s a group of pages which explain how to sign onto the lists covering most operating systems:

When security advisories are released, read them and make sure you understand whether or not they apply to your setup, what the risk is if you don’t apply the patch, and how to install them completely. If the advisory describes a threat to your setup, then act to neutralize the threat at the soonest opportunity available to you. (Remember, once you know about the bug, so do thousands of other people, and it’s only a matter of time before someone tries to use it against your machines.)

3. Use a firewall or router to limit access to your machines.

Just because a machine needs to provide services to the Internet at large doesn’t mean that it has to have every since service available for people to use and abuse. If you’re providing web services, then limit people’s ability to access your machine to just the port on which the webserver is running. If you’re running a mail server, limit people to just the ports necessary to send and receive mail.

Put access lists on your routers or firewalls that prevent people from spoofing into your network from the outside. This means that you should deny access through your router to any machine claiming to have an IP address that could only exist within your own network. Similarly, don’t allow machines into your network which carry private network IP addresses — they’re inevitably trying to spoof their way in, and avoid being traceable. (For example, right now, my access lists show, from the last 12 hours, 136 attempts from the address space, 13 attempts from the address space, and 131 attempts from the address space.)

Remember, limiting access not only helps prevent hackers from installing trojans and other malicious software, it also helps prevent them from accessing their trojans and backdoors if they manage to get them installed. Most of these remote control apps set themselves up on a port and await contact or instruction from the person who set them up. If the hacker doesn’t have the ability to get through the firewall and contact that port, then you’re halfway to neutralizing the threat posed by that trojan.

4. Keep logs on your publicly-accessible machines, and archive the logs regularly.

One of the best ways to sleuth after-the-fact is to have reliable logs files. Frequently, you can get IP addresses from the logs; in addition, they may contain information that can help you figure out how the hacker broke into your machine. (Remember that the hacker could have very well modified the logs, though, either to erase traces of his visits, or to divert blame elsewhere.)

For example, if the person hacked into a webserver, the webserver logs may contain the URLs which they sent to gain access to the machine. (For the MetaFilter hack, the URLs contained a file which wasn’t originally part of the website.) If the person hacked into the machine through a mail server, the mail logs may have the headers that show the exploit used. Ad infinitum.

Likewise, though, you should regularly dump log files out to a removable medium or other storage system which isn’t accessible to the hackers during their uninvited stay on your machine. Otherwise, they can modify the logs to erase evidence of their visits, and you can lose valuable clues as to who they were, and how to both clean up after them and prevent their return.

5. Make a backup of any files you suspect were affected, before you go about cleaning the server up.

Having information like timestamps, access lists, and audit chains on changed files is invaluable. You want to make sure that your cleanup process doesn’t affect any of this before you have a chance to see it and figure out how it fits into the puzzle.

Likewise, you’ll want to pay attention to any possible applications which could modify the files you care aboutwithout your explicit acknowledgement. For example, a web-based mail app that I use deletes and restarts its log file every time that you start the service, so if I care to see the logs that it creates when it’s running, it’s important for me to know that I can’t stop and start the service without backing those log files up.

6. Know the security resources available to you on the Internet.

If you’re running a hackable server, then you should be aware that there are a lot of resources out there that can help you track down the answers to questions that come up when you’re trying to figure out what happened after the fact.

  • Sam Spade: possibly the best single resource out there. When you come across an IP address in your logs, plug it in here, and you’ll find out what network it’s on, the contact information for those who run the network, and the upstream Internet service providers. If you know how to read the reports, you can also figure out if the machine is still up, or if it’s protected behind a firewall or proxy.
  • RIPE Whois: unfortunately, many of the machines used as launching points for attacks are in Europe; RIPE is the organization that assigns IP addresses for the region, and its lookup facility will help you figure out who to contact about a break-in attempt.
  • Again, each operating system vendor maintains a database of technical information that’s generally both available to the public and searchable. Microsoft’s Support Knowledge Base and Security website are both pretty good, as is Apple’s Tech Info Library. I’ve never used Sun’s SunSolve Online, so I can’t comment on it. For Linux, you’re better off going to each vendor’s site (although Red Hat’s support knowledge base isn’t a bad place to start). Lastly, Cisco has the Technical Assistance Center, which is a good place to start if someone’s hacked into your Cisco router.
  • Google Groups: an archive of all the postings to Usenet, the public messaging network. When people get hacked, or when new hacks are released, they tend to be mentioned multiple times on Usenet; searching for information related to data you find on your hacked server can usually help you track down both descriptions of the problem and possible solutions.

So, Tuesday was inauspicious day for things here related to the MetaFilter move. First, my T1 went down for an hour, due to Verizon losing a T3 trunk at my ISP. (Grrrr, it was the third time in the last four months that my T1 was down; my support rep heard a few creative phrases coming from me about that.) Then, last night, MetaFilter got hacked, and I threw a filter on the router that prevented anyone but Matt or me from accessing the machine until we got things back in order.

bandwidth graph

After working last night to clean the MetaFilter box up and secure it down, I’ve thrown together a few lessons learned from the hack. I don’t claim that it’s a comprehensive list; instead, it’s just a few things to think about.

What a great photo; something which helps highlight why it’s amazing is the knowledge that Kobe Bryant (on the left) is 6 foot 7, while Allen Iverson is 6 feet 0. Go Sixers! (Of course, I’m rooting for the Sixers because I’m of the school that roots against the team that beat my team, and the Lakers crushed my San Antonio Spurs.)

And what another great photo; it may help to know that the guy in the front is average-sized, and the expanse behind him is the size of a whole planet. (Go ahead, roll your eyes at me…)

I’m with Dori and Rebecca — Dave probably should shut down WinerLog after the author’s latest stunt, starting a contest to break into Manila websites. (Then again, I’ve pretty much always felt that it’s Dave’s playground, to do with whatever he pleases.) However, the idea behind the contest isn’t a bad one (trying to improve the security of Frontier-hosted websites). Dave himself should set up a server with a similar contest, and then use the results to build a stronger product.

Last night, I worked the acute side of the pediatric ER, and had a total blast. I took care of a sum total of 13 patients (a lot, given the fact that my job was to handle the sickest of the sick in the ER, not the kids who come in with minor complaints and are sent home in a half-hour). I kept little labels with all of their names and issues, just so I could recap them at night’s end. Here’s the rundown:

  • a seven year-old girl, four months out from a bone marrow transplant for acute leukemia, who was in for fever, pharyngitis, and a broken central venous line;
  • a two month-old with VACTERL syndrome who was noted to be breathing around 80 times a minute in cardiology clinic, and was found to have massive pulmonary edema;
  • a four month-old with an heretofore uncharacterized chromosomal abnormality (a monosomy and a trisomy), who began having infantile spasms at home yesterday morning;
  • a ten year-old girl with abdominal pain, which slowly progressed to what was thought to be appendicitis (she went to the operating room as I was leaving, and thus, I don’t know if the surgeons found an inflamed appendix);
  • a fourteen year-old girl in for her third visit with abdominal pain, found to have ovarian cysts on a prior visit but now with pain inconsistent with that diagnosis;
  • a fourteen month-old boy and a seventeen month-old boy, both with fevers to 104 and wheezing, both found to have raging viral throat infections, and both eventually sent home with albuterol treatments and aggressive fever control;
  • an eight-month boy and a seventeen month-old girl, both with low-grade fevers and decreased oral intake, both found to have mild viral pharyngitis and dehydration;
  • an eight month-old girl who was in for her second visit in two days, both times for fever and vomiting, this time found to have findings consistent with pneumonia;
  • a two year-old boy who had a fever, was breathing around sixty times a minute, and had low oxygen saturation levels;
  • a seven year-old boy with pulmonary lymphangectasia and pulmonary hypertension who began coughing up frank blood yesterday afternoon;
  • a seven week-old infant with projectile vomiting for two days.

I love working on the acute side.

I had all these good things to say here early this morning, but then, something popped up and I spend a few hours cleaning up and closing doors. I’ll grab Matt and document the whole process here when I am a bit more lucid; for now, it’s time to go to bed.

Ooooh, ooooh, I want to be laid off from Guinness too!

Cool — my post Saturday about the annoying-as-hell X10 ads generated a MetaFilter thread, which in turn generated a Moneybox column in Slate.

I spent a little too long this morning entertained by the Journal of Improbable Research’s “Feline Reactions to Bearded Men”. I particularly liked the bibliography, which includes the seminal works “Feline Responses to Hairy Legs” (by Madonna Louise Ciccone) and “Feline Responses to Shaven Heads” (by Sinead O’Connor and Y. Brynner).

And in other Earth-shattering research, it appears that over 27% of men would like to mow the White House lawn, and over one in ten women would like to look out the front window to see Tom Cruise trimming the grass.

It appears that Lawrence Lee is closing up shop over at Tomalak’s Realm. Lawrence’s site was one of the early ones, and remains one of the good ones. He did something simple, and he did it well — finding interesting web-related news articles and sharing them, with only a fairly-representative pullquote as commentary. I, for one, will miss it.

Does anyone else find it completely creepy how this article from The Rising Nepal (the national daily newspaper of Nepal) never, even once, mentions how Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram ascended to the throne?

Wow — could Jenna Bush’s (now famous) failed attempt to buy beer on Thursday night be her third alcohol-related citation? Most news sources are reporting it as her second (being that her ostensible first was also very public and very recent); the Houston Chronicle has dug up data that suggests the ticker’s one higher. If so, it could mean jail time for the First Daughter.

I know that someone, somewhere, for some reason really wanted to know about the ultrasonic velocity characteristics of cheddar cheese, and the effect that temperature has on said characteristics (warning: PDF file). Importantly, this study managed to “demonstrate the feasibility of using ultrasonic measurements to determine temperatures in Cheddar cheese” — this must be important to someone.

In all honesty, this spoof on a Winnie the Pooh story is worth a quick glance, if only for the graphics that accompany it. (Warning — if you like Pooh, then this probably isn’t for you.)

I gotta tell ya’, I’ve become pretty damn annoyed with the damn X10 wireless system ads that have started popping up under m y webbrowsing window. Thanks go out to Gael for a bunch of awesome links — one to X10’s explanation of the ads, and another to a page which will disable the ads. (The unfortunate thing is that that last link only disables them for 30 days, but in looking at the URL, there’s an argument that sets the 30-day variable; if that’s right, then this link should disable them for a year, and this one should disable them for 10 years.)

I’m just impressed that the whole thing took less than an hour. Matt always seems to take much longer. heh

Welcome, MetaFilter readers… I’m glad that you’re enjoying the renewed speed of everyone’s favorite community weblog. Also, congratulations on getting MetaFilter mentioned in the New York Times; it’s a great feat, accomplished because of the contributions of all 9,000-plus members. Keep it up.

Meanwhile, I’m completely amazed at what we’re capable of in the year 2001. At around 2:00 PM on May 30th, Matt dropped the server off at a FedEx depot in San Francisco; at 11:30 AM on May 31st, the machine was delivered to my door in perfect condition. Over that time, thousands of DNS servers updated their records to reflect that the address of MetaFilter had changed, and yesterday, thousands of people were able to seamlessly connect to the machine despite it being some three thousand miles from where it was the day before. Amazing.

And lastly, Anil spent way too much time refreshing the images from my webcam and came up with QuesoVision, a set of cam grabs turned into a little movie of the server reanimation.

I cannot say enough happy goodness about BMW Films. I know I’m a little late to this bandwagon (or so it seems), but these short films are freakin’ amazing. If you’ve got the bandwidth, download the BMW Film Player and grab the highest-resolution versions — they’re stunning. The Player has some cool DVD-live features, too, like director’s commentary tracks… the whole package is great.

Back on the atomic clock thread, thanks to a particularly nice MeFi reader, I now have another desire: this kickass atomic wall clock from Restoration Hardware. Not only does it receive signals from the national atomic clocks to keep perfect time, it looks smart; it belongs in my living room.

A Redmond, Washington high schooler sliced up a 1985 Mazda, slid it around her school flagpole, and re-welded it back together in what is a damn fine senior prank. The best part of it is that she got a ticket for $10, for parking out of her designated spot.

I gotta take a little time tonight to read these two OJR articles on the legality of linking to another person’s content on the Web.

Uh-oh: the Apache Software Foundation fessed up today that a machine of theirs — one which has all the email addresses of people on ASF’s public mailing lists, as well as the source code for all of the Apache software — was broken into two weeks ago. I wonder why they didn’t report the break-in immediately? Seems like the open-sourcers bitch and moan when others don’t do exactly that.

Quote of the day, from an IM chat with Anil about webcrushes: “Yeah, it’s a shame when the gorgeous can’t be convinced to keep their empty heads silent.”