I’m unclear how I’ve been in Boston for over a year now and never been to Nantucket. Shannon and I came out here for a wedding this weekend, and between the amazing weather and the beautiful island, it’s just awesome. Sure, everything’s about 200% the cost as it would be back on the mainland, and sure, last night was foggier and muggier than your average sauna, but that’s fine when the payoff is days like today. It’s crisp and nice out, thin wisps of clouds streak the sky, I’m sitting out on the wharf watching the boats coming and going, and the breeze off the water couldn’t be more perfect. (And thanks to what may well be the slowest WiFi connection I’ve ever experienced, I’m able to catch up on all the email I ignored yesterday in my effort to get out here!)

I need to take advantage of the world outside Boston a little bit more, I think.

If you missed Barack Obama’s keynote speech last night, and want to see it online, don’t bother pointing your Mac to MSNBC’s offering — the network requires you to be running Windows in order to see any video. Interestingly, the DNC’s video archives offer a few options, including both Quicktime and Windows Media, and both play just fine on a Mac. Gotta love deceptive platform lock-in… (Oh, and if you did miss Obama’s speech, you really should hear it.)

Today, over at Heather Armstrong’s joint, is the best euphemism for breasts I’ve heard in a long while: “beautiful, life-giving vessels of sweetness”. The Todd would be proud.

Today, Raymond Chen has an interesting look at the evolution of depth (you know, the third dimension) in the interface of Windows and Windows applications, from the original 2D look of Windows 1.0 to the waaaaaaaay too 3D look of Windows 95 to the more subtle mix of both in today’s Windows environment. I’d imagine that part of the reason for the pendulum swing is the ease of basic programming in the Windows world; when any Visual Basic user can whip up an interface in under 20 minutes, and more importantly, has complete control over every interface element’s style, color, border, and the like, the results can be a bit predictable.

Apparently, the webloggers at the Democratic National Convention stink (in the odiferous way, not in the suck way). Or so says Adam Fuller, the guy who’s been running around for the past two days trying to get the wireless network up and running.

It’s interesting that Project 21, a conservative organization which specifically identifies itself as “a leading voice for a new generation of African-American leadership”, has a Caucasian director (a fact which was learned via something as simple as a flat tire; video clips are available for a little while over at C-SPAN). I’ve never really been able to wrap my head around how any members of minorities can be a part of political belief systems that disparage them at every opportunity; from the looks of things, it at least involves equal parts of money and deception. And going into the meaty part of this election season, this story reminds me that, at least in politics, things are seldom as they appear.

I hit a few roadblocks when trying to install a slew of Perl modules on my new Powerbook, and after a lot of hairpulling and angst, I managed to track down the relevant information and solve the issues. I wanted to document it all here, lest someone else find themselves in the same boat.

(There’s nothing to see here; I’m just claiming my feed at Feedster right now…)

Congratulations go out to Jay Allen for winning the Movable Type 3.0 Developer’s contest with his soon-to-be-released offering, MT-Blacklist 2.0. His offering for MT 2.x has protected my site from over 40 spammed comments in the past week, and allowed me to mass-delete another 100 more with ease. (Note that that 100 number isn’t a failing on Jay’s part, but rather represents a new spammer that hit my site with one URL 50 times, and then another closely-related URL 50 times more the next morning.) In fact, the only thing that I’m waiting for in order to upgrade to Movable Type 3.0 is the new version of MT-Blacklist!

For those who are interested in the weblogging world’s take on the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and have been wishing that there existed an aggregator which gathered all the posts into one convenient place, check out politics.feedster.com. It’s been around since February, tracking posts about the 2004 campaign for the Presidency, and (as you’d expect) is currently focused on the DNC. And since it’s a product of the folks at Feedster, of course there’s a syndication feed. Take a break from the big media advertisements this week, and enjoy a view from the trenches!

For all the other people who’re enjoying the cyclysm, there are two great discussion threads on yesterday’s Tour drama between Lance Armstrong and Filippo Simeoni, one on SportsFilter and the other on Ask MetaFilter. Armstrong may be arrogant, but he’s mind-bogglingly dominating in his sport, and tomorrow’s (probable) win is an undeniable feat for anyone, much less for someone who was (by the odds) likely to die of cancer under a decade ago.

I’m sure New York misses you as much as you do New York, Anil.

Courtesy of weather.com, a thumbnail glimpse of the next 10 days of Brookline life:

tons of rain

I wonder if we’ll ever get to use our new porch furniture…

My question about the new Google Toolbar Browse by Name feature: how do you override its behavior? I ask because I might not want to go to Ford’s web page about the Explorer when I type “Ford Explorer” into my Google bar; is the only way to avoid this to avoid the toolbar, go to the Google home page, and type “Ford Explorer”?

Maybe I’m misunderstanding the feature, but it seems to move away from making the Google Toolbar an intuitive, brain-dead way to use the power of Google in whatever way users find most effective for them.

It’s unbelievable how great Ask MetaFilter can be (at least when the question’s not about Bush, Kerry, Israel, Palestine, abortion, or anything else remotely political). It’s also unbelievable that, in the first 13 minutes, there were six answers that were all based on a legitimate understanding of physics and relativity, and no posts complaining about grammar or diction!


I could totally get used to this second-year fellow thing. After getting to work at 8:45 AM today, I sat through a few teaching sessions (a “consolidation course” for reinforcing all the clinical knowledge we picked up in the trenches last year), handled a few patient-related issues, and got out of work at the completely reasonable hour of 5:15 PM. It didn’t take long to hop out to our newly-furnished porch, Diet Coke in hand and laptop on my lap, to enjoy a cool Brookline evening — pretty much the diametric opposite of every single evening during my first year of fellowship.

Sure, I have ten on-call blocks coming up this year, fifty or sixty active patients of my own, and will be starting in the research lab in a few weeks, but things look much, much better from this side of the first-year/second-year divide.

A while back, I noted a lawsuit filed by a group of parents in Oak Park, Illinois attempting to get the school district to stop using wireless networking due to some alleged health threat; I’m happy to read today that the suit has been dropped. (Granted, it was dropped for reasons unrelated to an understanding on the part of the parents about all the other wireless exposures they encounter every single day, but we can’t have everything.)

Busy, busy week — I ascended to the glamorous life of a second-year fellow, was on call for four nights straight, trained all the new first-year fellows on the three dozen separate computer systems that (barely) allow us to provide efficient care at two of the biggest hospitals on the east coast, and had a great birthday (replete with a new drill from Shannon!). I only have two days left on service in the hospital, and then I move on to the research lab for a few years . It’s a little less hectic of a life, but it’s also a little less of the day-to-day patient contact that’s so much of a blast.