Top 20 geek novels

Top 20 geek novels - The Guardian Technology Blog did a survey to find the favorite novels amoung geeks. I've read six out of 20 if you count Dune, which I just started this morning. I've put the books I've read in bold.

1. The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Douglas Adams 85% (102)
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell 79% (92)
3. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley 69% (77)
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- Philip Dick 64% (67)
5. Neuromancer -- William Gibson 59% (66)
6. Dune -- Frank Herbert 53% (54)
- Just started it this morning.
7. I, Robot -- Isaac Asimov 52% (54)
8. Foundation -- Isaac Asimov 47% (47)
9. The Colour of Magic -- Terry Pratchett 46% (46)
10. Microserfs -- Douglas Coupland 43% (44)
11. Snow Crash -- Neal Stephenson 37% (37)
12. Watchmen -- Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons 38% (37)
13. Cryptonomicon -- Neal Stephenson 36% (36)
14. Consider Phlebas -- Iain M Banks 34% (35)
15. Stranger in a Strange Land -- Robert Heinlein 33% (33)
16. The Man in the High Castle -- Philip K Dick 34% (32)
17. American Gods -- Neil Gaiman 31% (29)
18. The Diamond Age -- Neal Stephenson 27% (27)
19. The Illuminatus! Trilogy -- Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson 23% (21)
20. Trouble with Lichen - John Wyndham 21% (19)

(via Digg)

Country music

See if you can tell, from these excerpts, which country music song is satire and which is real.

Exibit A:

I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
They say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start your preaching let me ask you this my friend

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Exhibit B:

What would you do
If you were asked to give up your dreams for freedom?
What would you do
If asked to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Would you think about all them people
Who gave up everything they had?
Would you think about all them War Vets
And would you start to feel bad?

The answer, of course, is that they're both satire. No one could possibly sing that first song with a straight face. At least that's what you would think. But Exhibit A is "Have You Forgotten?" by Darryl Worley. You might recognize the second song, "Freedom Isn't Free," from the funny and irreverent Team America: World Police. When I first heard the Worley song on the radio in my dad's pickup I thought it must be a joke. But this guy's for real. Not so real that I would dignify the song with a refutation of its shaky logic, but real enough that he didn't write the song just to make people laugh.

Adrian v. Gallatin video

Adrian wins another one, 39-29. Watch the video at

Referring searches

One of the many tricks that our blogging software, b2evolution, can do is to keep track of how people arrive at the site. It tells me who's linking to me and how many visitors they send my way. And when someone finds this site through a search engine, b2evolution logs what search terms they used to find me. Sometimes the results are amusing. Kyle and Henry have both posted their findings. Here's how people find this site.

1. theologically incorrect worship lyrics

2. top worship songs

3. did Jesus sing songs - These first three all lead to the ever popular Worst Worship Songs post from a year and a half ago. 254 comments and counting. The thread covers a wide range of topics, but I don't think anyone brought up whether Jesus sang or not.

4. christian u2 cool ambiguous vague comments blog - Even totally random searches will lead you to the worst worship song post.

5. janky kids kirksville - I did mention janky once. I think it got mixed in with Kirksville on an archive page, which is where this search leads you. So the searcher didn't find the answer to the question on my site. But I suspect the answer is yes.

6. danny janky - That's just mean.

7. import DVDs to iTunes - Good search. I hope they were happy with their results.

8. bald eagle hat making for kids - This one just lead to an archive page, too. It was just a coincidence that the page contained the words needed to match this search. But it's nice to have this insight into someone's psyche.

9. "aerial pictures" "tikal" - Tikal is a cool game. I would be interested to know how aerial photos are involved.

10. danny ferguson - Nothing funny about this one.

11. b2evolution plugin - Close. I do maintain and it is hosted on this same server.

12. Free "Harry Potter" sheet music - They must have really wanted their sheet music. They looked through 25 pages of results before they found my site. And they probably looked through some more, because I don't have any sheet music. Much less Harry Potter sheet music. And if I did I wouldn't be giving it away for free.

Goodnight everybody.

Another win, another video

Adrian won their first round play-off game. I've got the highlight video posted on

Podtropolis - torrents for the iPod

I'm surprised it took this long for someone to do this. Podtropolis is a BitTorrent site where all the files can be played on an iPod without bothering with conversion. There's not much content up yet, but the site's new, so that's normal. NBC and CBS are reportedly in talks with Apple to start selling their shows on the iTunes Music Store. This may help move the process along. Whatever terms they can negotiate with Apple will be better than seeing their content downloaded for free at sites like this. Remember, kids, downloading copyrighted material without permission is illegal.


Football Highlight video

The highlight video for last night's game is up on Get it while it's fresh.

Edit: I was having some problems exporting from iMovie. The filesizes were too big, it was badly interlaced, and encoding it was taking forever. I switched to the 'export for iPod' setting and it fixed all three problems. Not to mention that it upped the coolness factor.

Friday Random Ten

Since every one else is doing it, I'm going to post ten random songs from my iTunes library. I've been working on importing my cd collection into iTunes, complete with album art, so I think I'm finally ready to try this. I'm just going to click on Party shuffle and post the first ten songs it puts in the list, whether I'm proud of them or not.

1. Ludwig Van Beethoven - Symphony 5
2. Soul Coughing - Mr. Bitterness
3. Caedmon's Call - Beautiful Mystery
4. Eric Clapton - Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
5. Squirrel Nut Zippers - Prince Nez
6. Dashboard Confessional - Ghost of a Good Thing
7. Miles Davis - So What
8. Billie Holiday - Blue Moon
9. Caedmon's Call - Petrified Heart
10. Bright Eyes - Another Travelin' Song

All in all, I think it's a pretty good list.

Flight pattern visualization

Flight patternsFlight Patterns - This is a time-lapse view of the entire country, showing each plane in flight as a small dot that leaves a trail. The result is mesmerizing. I was just going to email this link to my dad, a pilot, but I think you might enjoy it, too.


Response to Ordering Narnia

I made a comment on a post on Kyle's site, and it got so long that I might as well put it here, too. Read this first: Ordering Narnia. Then my response:

When we bought the boxed set 4-5 years ago, they were in chronological order. But we did some research and read them in the order they were published. I think it was the best way to go. But keep in mind that The Magician's Nephew, the first book chronologically, also gradually introduces the reader to the world of Narnia through the eyes of a child. There's plenty of mystery and suspense. Lion is still the best intro and Nephew is better as a back story.

I agree with most of what you're saying. Another example. When I was going to read some Tolkien for the first time I was about 15. I asked someone which book comes first and they told me it was The Silmarillion. But don't start there, they said. Start with the Hobbit. But I was 15 and I knew everything, so I started with the first book chronologically. I plowed my way through, but needless to say, I wasn't interested in any more Tolkien for a great while. Someone at Truman introduced me to Tolkien properly and I read The Hobbit and the trilogy with great relish. Later I came back to the prequel and enjoyed it more for what it is, a history and a back story.

Somewhere along the line we became interested in telling and hearing stories in the order that they happened. But the best stories have always been told out of order. I'm reading Odyssey now and it's all out of order. Tolkien was the same way, as is Harry Potter.

Would history books be more effective if they took this same route? You could introduce the reader to the current world and make each history lesson a tangent that gives a bit more of the back story.

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