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Thursday, May 27, 2004

A Stupid Poem By Me

Austere, manic gaze
Fierce shepherding of ideas
And questions
Be still
Until your eyes wander

Monday, May 24, 2004

LAN Party Proper

To have a LAN party you need some friends who are somewhat computer nerds. I keep these sorts of friends handy and occasionally we'll have a LAN party.

We had one on Saturday.
We had one on Sunday.

Starcraft. Primarily Top vs. Bottom/Players vs. Computers games with emphasis on Protoss photon cannon rapid deployment strategy.

Matt came from New Jersey to visit for the weekend so on Sunday he came to the LAN party to join us. He also came for frisbee earlier that day as a surprise to us. It's great to play frisbee with him and all my friends and everyone else. Sweltering heat, much sweating and dashing around the field until no one can run anymore.

Near the end I got my second wind, let out a roar, and rushed down the field, as is my custom. That is the best feeling in the world: to let out all your energy from your body's reserves. I felt the wind in my face and the grass on my feet(yes, bare feet) and I felt only half my weight. I have also felt this when practicing martial arts for an extended time and when doing distance running. I hope you experience this regularly.

Less Planning, More Fun

That's my new motto these days, especially as I wind down my time in MD and prepare to get over to IL. I consider myself to be a spontaneous person, and I generally don't plan a lot of stuff. I compensate by being driven by certain goals and principals which allow me to avoid certain unhelpful activities.

I seem to have found a place to move in Champaign, IL. It's about 3 1/2 miles from the Linguistics building with a couple bus routes available in walking distance. I found the place by emailing the leader of the Navigators at UIUC and having him put the word out that I need a place to live. Someone who owns a townhouse with a couple extra rooms then emailed me and offered me one of the rooms. It's small, but cheap, and a good person to live with. Sounds good to me.

On Saturday I took Rachel up to see the LaDew Topiary Gardens. It was my third time going to this place, but Rachel had never been there. The roses were in full bloom in the Rose Garden. The topiary was magnificent. There was a big old buddha topiary, many interesting fountains, dozens of varieties of flowers, and interesting quotes engraved into stone everywhere.

It's only $8 for students, so if you live in driving distance of Baltimore, I highly recommend a visit there! Oh, and we also saw a toad and a water snake and a chipmunk.

After the gardens we surprised my Mom at work. She works at Graul's Market in the cheese department(cheese is my favorite food). So she let us try a bunch of cheeses(blueberry cheese?) and some sushi.

Oh yes, and go see Shrek 2. It's better than the first one, as everyone says. The girls melt all over Puss In Boots and the references are as sharp as ever, and I even saw a reference to Street Fighter 2!(spinning bird kick and shoryuken) The animation is top-notch and many times I was wondering if they put a real person in the movie, but no, I just couldn't tell the difference.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Twilight Eyelight...the most romantic song I've ever heard

i love
how you reserve
those stars for me
their sparkle and their shine
are almost blinding
other men
they can only gaze
but you don't show them
the ones for me
you save

so i sing
i love you
and i know
you love me too

they're like the water when
moon rays reflect and dance
they're like the twilight
who's world renowned for romance

so i sing
i love you
and i know
you love me too(2x)

"Twilight Eyelight", World Renown For Romance
-Denison Marrs

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Moving The World

Since I'll start attending grad school at the University of Illinois Linguistics Department in the fall, certain preparations must be made. I have never lived outside of Maryland before. The thought of moving is annoying to me. Not that I'll be living in a new place, but just the process of finding a place and actually moving all my stuff. I've done it three times in the past couple years. I've always had the help of my friends and we would just use our various vehicles to move all my stuff.

The most annoying part is that I don't have a "home" like most people my age do. That is, my parents are divorced and the house I grew up in was sold. The result is that I have to carry around all my stuff. And the biggest item is my rather large and unwieldy office desk, which we haven't even bothered to move into my current residence.

I have come to realize that once I move to Illinois, I will probably never live in Maryland again. Maryland is my favorite state by far, but I have been here way too long. So, not only am I moving my stuff, but I'm moving my world. My last three moves have kept me within driving distance of all my friends and family from Maryland, and my world has remained relatively the same. I've even kept myself involved with the campus Christian organizations I participated in while attending the University.

My coming move will change my life significantly, though. I will probably not see my Maryland friends very much for the rest of my life. I have not even been to the midwest before, although I have been to many other states in the west and east. My social web that I've formed here will be no more in Illinois, although I already have significant beginnings of one there, as I contact The Navigators at the university and find other people who will be around the area.

By the way, I've replaced the commenting service again. Blogger finally implemented a commenting service of its own. This will be much more stable and connected with the rest of the Blogger system. I hope it works well and I hope everyone posts comments!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

3/4

I would like to describe a proposal used in Green Mars, which is the book I'm currently reading. Even in the book, this proposal is only theoretical.

During a research seminar on a tropical island, the old mentor Fort poses the conundrum of how to deal with the world population once the world cannot sustain the population. As a Christian, I am against the use of abortion and most methods of population control, but there was an interesting population control mechanism that a main character, Arthur Randolph, of the book put forth.

"I would give everyone alive a birthright which entitled them to parent three-quarters of a child."(p. 82)

Now this is interesting. Suppose a man and a woman marry. Then between them they can have one-and-a-half children. Consider that they then have one child. From here the couple has a choice. They can either be content with one child or they may want another or maybe even more. If they are happy with one child, they can opt to sell their combined half of a child-right. Of course the next realization is that if you choose to lead a single life, or have no children, you can sell your full three-quarters of a child-right.

On the other hand, if the couple wanted to make more children(i.e. they could afford it, and had the desire), they chould buy another half of a child-right from another couple, and thus have a full child-right to themselves. Thus child-rights would be a commodity, and since there would be less then a child allowed to each person alive, the population would have to decrease. This is maybe a better situation than we observe in China where there is a strict limit to the number of children any couple may have. Those who can afford to have children may have as many as they like, and those who can't afford to may make some money off their child-right.

The most obvious problem with this idea is enforcement. Since many people, especially in the lower classes, are promiscuous, there may end up being extra children unintentionally, even after these lower class people have sold their child-rights. Humans will still mate even if they aren't supposed to and so we realize this is a very idealistic sort of thing. And even if contraception is used, there will be mistakes. There would have to be abortions allowed and who knows what governments would decide to do with children who are born without the parents having a child-right.

So I guess I would end up being against this idea if any politician tried to push it in my lifetime. But if we were forced into a population control measure by our government, I think I would like this program the best.