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Ron Obvious

Profile Information

Name: Ron
Gender: Male
Home country: Middle Earth
Current location: Seattle
Member since: Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:37 PM
Number of posts: 6,065

About Me

I got the nickname Ron Obvious because -- in addition to being a huge Python fan -- my name really is Ron and I used to start sentences with \"Obviously\" a lot. Obviously, that\'s no longer a problem.

Journal Archives

Whispering Grass (RIP Windsor Davies)

I'm somewhat hesitant in posting this here. In part because I suspect very people here know who these people are or what the context is.

There was a seventies TV sitcom set in WWII Burma, involving a British army entertainment group and a regular army Sergeant Major who despises them, called "It Aint Half Hot, Mum". It's very much of its time, but the BBC long ago stopped showing it because it would probably cause the same outrage, that, say, Blazing Saddles would cause if it were shown today.

The show was shown in many countries, but I'm pretty sure the US was not one of them.

The Sergeant Major was played by Welshman Windsor Davies, whose catchphrase was to bellow "Shut up!", and he died today at age 88.

The small man below (he was 4'9" ) is Don Estelle, and maybe you'll at least enjoy his suprisingly golden voice in the clip below:

Why programmers like cooking...

I like this... I was just ranting about software issues like that when I saw that.

Why programmers like cooking: You peel the carrot, you chop the carrot, you put the carrot in the stew. You don’t suddenly find out that your peeler is several versions behind and they dropped support for carrots in 4.3


The good, the bad and the ugly

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

Wow... Just wow....

By mollycoddling our children, we're fuelling mental illness in teenagers

Of course we want to keep children safe. But exposure to normal stresses and strains is vital for their future wellbeing.

We talk incessantly about how to make children more “resilient”, but whatever we’re doing, it’s not working. Rates of anxiety disorders and depression are rising rapidly among teenagers, and in the US universities can’t hire therapists fast enough to keep up with the demand. What are we doing wrong?

Nassim Taleb invented the word “antifragile” and used it in his book by the same name to describe a small but very important class of systems that gain from shocks, challenges, and disorder. Bones and the banking system are two examples; both get weaker – and more prone to catastrophic failure – if they go for a long time without any stressors and then face a major challenge. The immune system is an even better example: it requires exposure to certain kinds of germs and potential allergens in childhood in order to develop to its full capacity. Parents who treat their children as if they are fragile (for example, by keeping them away from dirt and potential allergens, such as peanuts) are depriving their children’s immature immune systems of the learning experiences those systems need to develop their maximum protective capacity.

Children’s social and emotional abilities are as antifragile as their immune systems. If we overprotect kids and keep them “safe” from unpleasant social situations and negative emotions, we deprive them of the challenges and opportunities for skill-building they need to grow strong. Such children are likely to suffer more when exposed later to other unpleasant but ordinary life events, such as teasing and social exclusion.


Christ the new Skype is awful. What were MS thinking?

I held on to Skype Classic (7) as long as I could despite all the warnings about it soon to be discontinued.

Well, that happened today and I had to upgrade. I'd tried that before, shuddered, and reinstalled Skype Classic.

I, like millions of others, want separate contact and chat windows. I utterly detest this single view monstrosity.
Why do I suddenly have hundreds of contacts in my list, including all the bots who sent me friend requests that I've ignored? I've ignored them for a reason, you know.

And that's just for starters.

Every version since MS bought Skype has literally been worse than the previous one, removing useful features such as displaying the local time of the person you're chatting with. Why can't that be brought back?

If I were more cynical, I'd suspect MS were actively trying to drive people away from Skype.

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