1. I guess they couldn't wait..

    23 May 2007

    Marine biologists at the Queen's University of Belfast have made an interesting discovery: Hammerhead sharks will reproduce parthogenically under the right conditions. One of a number of female hammerhead sharks kept in captivity back in 2001 (yes, it took them this long to finish their research and publish) was reportedly able to produce young without the presence of a male hammerhead, which lead to some consternation. The original hypothesis was that the female in question had stored sperm from an earlier mating, so they took DNA samples from the sharks in the tank and the young and diff'd them to …

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  2. Adventures in automobile insurance.

    22 May 2007

    Yesterday afternoon my automobile insurance bill from Progressive came in, after wondering when it was going to arrive and whether or not it was going to get there before my policy expired partway through June of 2007. After opening the envelope to see what the damage was, I promptly wished that they'd taken a bit more time before mailing it out.. they were demanding $1274us to renew my six-month car insurance policy, with a minimum down payment of $515 to renew the policy. Seeing as how I'd been paying between $600us and $700us for insurance prior to that (they'd never …

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  3. Restaurant review: Minerva in Fairfax, Virginia

    19 May 2007

    This morning in lieu of breakfast (which, yeah, I screwed up by not defrosting the bacon last night) Lyssa and I trekked out to Fairfax, Virginia to hit the luncheon buffet at Minerva (10364 Lee Highway; Fairfax, VA, 22030; phone 703-383-9200), which is probably one of the best Indian restaurants in the area. They seem to specialize in southern Indian cuisine, as opposed to the northern style of Indian cooking that you usually find around here. We've been there a couple of times for dinner, but this is the first time we've made it for the buffet (which runs from …

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  4. Perl, Getopts::Long, and code hacking.

    19 May 2007

    When working with the Perl, you can use the module Getopt::Long to implement your command line argument parser. However, if your script can take a string of words after the arguments, like this

    ./my_script.pl --arg1 --arg2 --arg3 foo bar baz quux

    the -- options will be removed from @ARGV, leaving only the other words (foo, bar, baz, et al). This means that you don't have to write any routines to dig them out of @ARGV.

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  5. Vehicle maintenance chews up an entire day; film at 2300.

    18 May 2007

    In preparation for a cross-country drive in a couple of weeks, I took the TARDIS into the dealership for a checkout and routine maintenance yesterday morning, figuring that it would only take an hour or two before the mechanics were finished and I could get on with my work. As things are wont to happen to me, it's never quite as easy as it seems.

    Because I was in the middle of changing jobs last year, I never took my car in for the 15k mile maintenance checkout, which the manufacturer requires to keep the warranty up to date and …

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  6. It looks like The Dresden Files will be released on DVD this summer.

    16 May 2007

    Lionsgate Home Video has announced that it'll be releasing a DVD boxed set of the Sci-Fi Channel's original show, The Dresden Files (based on the novels of the same name by Jim Butcher). Season one is slated for release on 7 August 2007 and has some very interesting features planned, including the movie-length version of Storm Front (which was originally supposed to be the pilot), audio commentaries for at least two episodes (Robert Wolfe says that he recorded commentaries with Paul Blackthorne for Things That Go Bump and Rules of Engagement), and the usual collection of deleted scenes.

    The …

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  7. Holy shit, he finally pulled it off!

    16 May 2007

    College professor and performance artist Stelarc has been talking about performing an experiment for years, namely, finding a plastic surgeon who would fabricate for him a third ear out of his own flesh. The problem, he said when I spoke to him about it a number of years ago, was finding a plastic surgeon who would have no trouble designing and implanting the prosthesis, when in fact plastic surgeons make all sorts of modifications to people every day, such as increasing and decreasing the sizes of breasts.

    He's finally pulled it off. It's now protruding from the inside of his …

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