Rewriting History?

I was disappointed that I missed a chance to hear Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web (previously discussed on Doombot here), speak at Tufts yesterday, but as slight consolation I did read this interview with him last week. A couple of points jumped out at me.

[BCS:] Looking back on 15 years or so of development of the Web is there anything you would do differently given the chance?

[Berners-Lee:] I would have skipped on the double slash – there’s no need for it. Also I would have put the domain name in the reverse order – in order of size so, for example, the BCS address would read: http:uk/org/bcs/members. This would mean the BCS could have one server for the whole site or have one specific to members and the URL wouldn’t have to be different.

It’s a little weird to try and parse that address in my head, but maybe it’s just because I’m so accustomed to seeing it the way it is now. Certainly the URL system is not the most user-friendly one out there, but it’s such an ingrained part of our lives now that I wonder if and how it’ll evolve from here (it already has changed in subtle ways…take something like the permalink of this post, which may look like an ordinary URL but, through the machinations of mod_rewrite, is in fact a reference to a database entry, prettified for your viewing experience.

Towards the end of the post, Berners-Lee (or Sir Tim, if you prefer) makes an offhand comment:

…we would have developed XML a lot sooner. A seminal discussion about changing SGML to XML actually happened during a hypertext conference, in a pub in Edinburgh. This May there’ll be discussions in pubs in Edinburgh again, where we can talk about what we’ll need to change now – it’ll be a blast.

Apparently I totally hang out in the wrong pubs.

Disney Teaches You About The Clap

No, seriously—check out this 1973 Disney cartoon, “VD Attack Plan”. It’s actually pretty decent, presenting Gonorrhea and Syphilis as some sort of sexual shock troop forces. I really hate Syphilis now, like on a personal level. Man, when they got to talking about killing babies, I was practically ready to buy war bonds.

Seriously, though, this is actually a tried and true persuasive appeal. Consider that the Truth campaign has been successful where other anti-smoking campaigns have failed—in part because it’s not just telling kids that smoking is bad, but because it makes the tobacco industry into the worst villains this planet has seen since the Deceptacons. I wonder if the effect works as well when you personify diseases? I detect a research paper..!

Bizarre Things Learned From A Family Wedding

I am related (by marriage) to a fairly well known quantum physicist. He can really tear it up on the dance floor.

Holy Familiar Line, Batman

I have said here before that Dr. McNinja is awesome, and I stand by that statement.

I must add that the writer behind this comic has channeled my spirit on the strip’s latest page. Can’t quite say that he’s ripping me off, considering that technically I was ripping off DC Comics and Christian marketers first. Also, I have to imagine that plenty of people have turned to the caped crusader as a moral compass in a moment of confusion/dementia.

Ha, and Dan thinks he’s all famous and sweet just because he writes for some Mac blog and gets quoted and stuff. Man, I beat Dr. McNinja to a joke! Beat that! Also I bit some kid on the way to school today. Ha!

Interweb Movie Madness

Apocalypse Pooh, The Forces is Strong With This One, and Videogame Theater (which would have been funnier if the main portion were as short as the previews at the end).

The Daily Doom: Monster Mass, the anti-Occam, and, uh, Simon Pegg

Things have been on the busy side, but I’ve had a bunch of links that I wanted to email around. Then I figured: hey, there’s a blog, I could just do that instead. This is your Daily Doom for March 22nd, 2006. Don’t all thank me at once.

  • Episcopalian Church Ad as Monster Truck Rally (The Consumerist)
    “This SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! It’s a SACRAMENTAL SHOWDOWN at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in South Side”
  • Moore’s Law For Razor Blades (Gizmodo)
    “We’d be impressed except that by 2100 we expect hair removal to be taken care of automagically by nanobots as we shower. Who wants blades when you can have teeny tiny robots?”
  • Simon Pegg’s First Video Blog from the set of Hot Fuzz
    “Now I have to take off my clothes, which can’t be seen on the Internet. Not at this website anyway.”
  • Did Hayes Really Quit South Park?

    The Isaac Hayes quits South Park controversy thickens. According to a report on that most eminent of sources, FOX News, Hayes suffered a stroke on January 17th and “is in no position to have quit anything.” Even more intriguing, the article points to an interview with Hayes last year on The Onion AV Club, where the voice behind Chef is specifically asked about Scientology being mocked on South Park.

    AVC: They did just do an episode that made fun of your religion, Scientology. Did that bother you?

    IH: Well, I talked to Matt and Trey about that. They didn’t let me know until it was done. I said, “Guys, you have it all wrong. We’re not like that. I know that’s your thing, but get your information correct, because somebody might believe that shit, you know?” But I understand what they’re doing. I told them to take a couple of Scientology courses, and understand what we do. [Laughs.]

    One thing’s for sure, “Hayesgate” is far from over.

    Science Movies Revisited

    Awhile back, I wrote a post titled Your Tax Dollars at Work, which explained how the government was paying for scientists to take screenwriting courses which would hopefully make science look cool, which in turn would hopefully get made into real movies, which in turn would hopefully convince the moviegoing public to study science in the interest of homeland security. I figured that was the last we’d ever hear of it.

    Well, I was wrong. Wired has a movie guy rate the pitches.

    We Have the Technology

    The BBC reports that American and South Korean scientists are developing “bionic” muscles:

    Writing in Science, they say these artificial muscles are 100 times more powerful than the body’s own.

    They said they could even be used in “exoskeletons” to give superhuman strength to certain professions such as firefighters, soldiers and astronauts.

    Two types of muscle are being investigated by US researchers at the Nanotech Institute at the University of Texas in Dallas, working with colleagues from South Korea.

    Both release the chemical energy of fuels, such as hydrogen and alcohol, while consuming oxygen.

    Man, now I really want a cell phone that plays mp3 ringtones.

    Just Talkin’ ‘Bout Scientology

    Isaac Hayes, who sang the theme song to Shaft and voiced the ladykiller chef in South Park, has quit his role on the cartoon because they finally got around to insulting scientology.

    He’s a complicated man, and no one understands him but his thetan.