September 2004 Archives

I'm getting hit on all sides by school lately (just this week so far, actually).

Had a Math test on Monday and a Spanish test last Thursday.

Now, I have a Biology lab test and an English quiz over the literary periods (English/British) tomorrow, and next week I have a massive Biology lecture test.

The latter I really need to study for the most, but everything else compounds and competes for time.

Sigh, make it stop.


Close Your Eyes was nowhere near the thriller I was expecting, but as a subtle 'horror' movie, it worked decently well.

The premise, while not entirely original, seems fresh and thoughtful, almost.

Stephen Donner

In �The Unknown Citizen� by W.H. Auden, he uses the form of a rhyming epitaph to deliver a satire or critique of a conformist�s view (or governing body) as to what freedom or happiness might consist of. Every line rhymes with another at some point in the average 7 or 8 rhyming lines, and this rhyming helps to group the ideas and activities the citizen participated in. In addition, he employs capitalization of key ideals, as if they were proper nouns. Everything in the poem points to the unknown citizen�s �fitting in� with society; from his personal possessions, his opinions, to even how many children he fathered. The ending of the poem delivers, similar to a Shakespearean sonnet, the punch of a couplet, which further drives home the crux of the poem message: to be happy and free you should blend in with the rest of society, doing what they do, thinking the same thoughts, for there must be something wrong with you if you stand out and are noticed.

Stephen Donner

Fear as an Inhibitor

In John Keats� �When I Have Fears�, he reflects on his own impending mortality and the resulting fears of being unable to tend to the important things in his life. Keats uses Shakespearean sonnet to introduce and then talk about three of them; one in each quatrain, followed by a mere mention of the fourth and final one in the last line of the couplet.
Each quatrain begins by reiterating a variation on the title �When I Have Fears�, and in each first line continues by referring to or directly addressing the goal or object he fears leaving in an incomplete state. The major turn begins with the last line in the final quatrain, and culminates with his final realization in the couplet regarding the significance of his concerns.
Setting up the poem through the first quatrain, Keats introduces us to the origin and nature of his fears � his own mortality � and then begins to flesh out the specifics of the first fear he has: not being able to capture all of his prose before he dies. Vividly, he describes his brain as �teeming� in the second line, and compares the process of capturing his poetry on paper to garnering grain, thus conveying he feels his mind is highly active and full of future great works.
The second quatrain draws focus to his second fear, which I believe could be interpreted as either the loss of ability to explore the wonders of nature upon death, or, in a slightly more esoteric gesture, referring to his unending quest for knowledge and fascination with learning. In the first two lines of this second quatrain, he writes of the �night�s starred face� (5), giving it personification, and further mentions �Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance� (6). He continues, �And think that I may never live to trace / Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;� (7-8). He�s referring to the stars in the sky, and since stars don�t have shadows, I interpret this as a metaphor to describe his delight in acquiring new knowledge.
In his third quatrain, Keats breaks away from his usual pattern of passing reference to an object or idea; instead he directly addresses someone, (I�m assuming a lover), who he terms �...fair creature of an hour� (9), suggesting transience. By calling it �unreflecting love� (12), he limits the relationship to something less than total and abounding, but perhaps this constraint is due to time, and were he to have more time to cultivate it, it could transform into a deeper relationship.
In his couplet, Keats� turn:
�... �then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.� (13-14).

expresses that his ideals � Love and Fame (which is introduced directly for the first and only time in the text here), so noted by their proper noun treatment � have been devalued, because he�s worried about them so. I believe this serves as a caution to us not to live our lives with fear; rather live each day anew, with its potential and live life to the fullest, lest we spend all of our time worrying, and not enough time spending energy on what we should, because death is inevitable anyway.

I have absolutely no idea why I felt compelled to check out Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, given that the first one was atrocious...

But I did, and I paid for it, losing 2 hours of my little precious time.

I'd suggest skipping The Ladykillers, unless you're an absolutely die-hard Cohen brothers fan (which I'm not).

I found it to be positively boring.

Twisted fared better than I was expecting, given all of the negative reviews I've read.

And it's got Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, so it naturally got my interest.

Not being able to correctly spell 'receive' in source code is particularly bad, especially when, in this case, it even extends into APIs themselves.

I enjoyed the pilot for Lost, the new ABC show, but I'm surprised most people haven't caught on that that we haven't been introduced to a bunch of survivors -- since they claim there are 48 survivors, but they only cast 14. Forums here.

Talkback Server Update

There are currently 81879 incidents waiting to be processed by the Talkback server.
The next incident id in the queue is 841746 and was submitted on 2004-09-16 12:21:06.0.
Based on that information, some of your incidents might take a while before they show up in any queries.

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So, you've heard Catwoman was terrible from the press. You may have even heard it from your friends.

Believe it. It's a giant music video in which a 1/2 naked Halle Berry struts around cracking a whip and making hilarious feline behavior. The beginning is especially hilarious, as I thought it was actually a commercial for a new Friskies formula, or maybe Scoop Away -- they had closeups of cats with triumphant music playing, while one actually kisses life into a dead Halle. Man, you have to see it to believe it. DC Comics, how did you license this piece of junk, or do you do that before you've read the script?

An old assignment in Intro to Literary Interpretation was to write about _2_ lines from Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est, and here's what I came up with:

Stephen Donner
L202 9/18/2004
War is Hectic and Impersonal

In �Dulce et Decorum Est�, Wilfred Owen contrasts the adage �Sweet and fitting it is to die for one�s country� with a horrifically chaotic view of what takes place during actual battle. With quite strong imagery, he paints a picture of a place with tremendous hardship and mental anguish, where men�s decisions for treatment of one another are necessary reactions to their chaotic environment, rather than carefully-weighed humane ones. An example of this is in lines 17-18, where Owen writes, �If in some smothering dreams you too could pace behind the wagon that we flung him in�. Here, he�s referring to a fellow soldier first mentioned in line 11 � a soldier who failed to place his gas mask on, and is now gasping for his very life. Owen chooses both �flung� and �wagon� carefully, I believe, for the same reason: to show the dehumanized treatment of wounded soldiers. In our usual view of war, we envision wounded soldiers carried on stretchers, with medics administering morphine and dressing their wounds. Yet, in this war, apparently with chaos at every point, a wounded soldier becomes just another body to be collected � no mention of a name or medical treatment, no time for proper care. We might not feel so much shock, were the soldier already dead when �flung� into the wagon, but here I believe Owen purposefully makes a distinction that the soldier is still alive by continuing in line 19, �And watch the white eyes writhing in his face...� Owen shows us that in war, with its barrage of atrocities and with no time to properly care for the wounded, a soldier�s final hours are anything but sweet or fitting; they are marked by dehumanized treatment by even fellow soldiers, who have endured so much that their only recourse when faced with the wounded is to gather them up en masse.

Please give me feedback:

Wow. Having grown up in Africa, I had seen malnourished kids a lot, however some of the children shown in Beyond Borders actually look like aliens, due to their enlarged heads and tiny bodies ;-(

Beyond Borders is great for showing how relief work is actually carried out.

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Wikipedia absolutely rocketh.

For example, we were assigned to lookup 'iambic pentameter' for out Introduction to Literary Interpretation class, and even our book didn't have it as fully as I needed to understand it.

So, I turned to the entry in Wikipedia and found a very useful definition.

I literally studied _9_ hours today for a _single_ class, Humans and the Biological World, and it only covered 3 of the 7 chapters I will be tested on the 15th of this month.


After all that, it's nice to settle down to a brand-new season of Cops!

Just got off the phone with Verizon, and they told me that during the work week (within 48 hours of Monday), I should have been upgraded (for free) to the higher 1.5mbps down / 384kbps up speeds.

I'm 10,202 feet from their central office.


Currently, I'm at 640kbps down / 128kbps up.

NBC's Medical Investigation is a pretty good show, all in all.

It goes along with my Biology class at the moment, at least.

I didn't enjoy Raising Victor Vargas a whole lot, but it wasn't bad either. It's just a love story hidden in a male-dominance thread...

I think I was expecting more humor.

I sat through the pain that is The Punisher for 122 minutes.

But please, don't you repeat my mistake.

I'm struggling in Spanish, but that's because I haven't devoted the time and energy to conjugating the verbs and memorizing the vocabulary, so my first (and most enjoyable) line of offense is to either watch English movies in Spanish subtitles, or Spanish-spoken movies in English subtitles. It really does seem to reinforce natural speech, since the movies I watch are chock-full of dialog.

Hope it works! Of course there's no substitute for cold, hard studying.

I've received 6 Gmail invites to distribute...

Please send an email to with your full name and correct email address, if you want an account.

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Finally, a movie that lived up to my expectations (and, perhaps even exceeded them!)

Cold Mountain, I can confidently say, is one of the finest movies I've seen (which? that?) covers romance _and_ the South in so many fine ways.

Every actor turns in a splendid performance, and the subject matter is not all glossy romance; there are some absolutely deep issues covered with a real, human feel to them.

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School sucks.

No, really.

At least Biology and Spanish, both of which are supposed to be mere introductory courses.

To make matters worse, I've had both in high school and faired decently well, though of course high school coursework (unless Honors or A.P.) rarely compares to even an introductory counterpart in college.

But how, you ask, is an introductory Biology class so daunting? Simple -- the amount of material we're expected to learn is enormous, and the time is short -- we do about 2 chapters each _class_, so that's 40 pages chock-full of terms.

And take a look at my schedule on Wednesday. 10am-5:30pm. Man. I'm sure other people with really intense majors (such as healthcare) have it worse, but for crying out loud, I'm an English major!

(Did someone call a whaaambulance for me yet?)

Recently, I saw Shaolin Soccer, which I had been anticipating for a couple years.

As with anything, the greater you anticipate it, the less it tends to live up to your expectations.

Although, I must say, some of the humor in the movie works quite well, and is hilariously cheesy.

I'm worried that 1.8 is going to be a very "ripe with crashers" release for many people, if we don't fix several bugs in time.

The following are just bugs /I've/ noticed, I'm sure there are many more, perhaps even much worse.

Bug 256242 - Crash/recursion in nsCSSFrameConstructor::ProcessPendingRestyles.

Bug 256330 - IMAP delete of folder doesn't move folder to Trash.

Bug 256536 - Auto-subscribe (news) URLS should NOT prompt for account type.

Bug 248825 - Crash with Print Preview on [@ nsBlockFrame::SplitPlaceholder][@ 0x00000000 - nsIView::Destroy].

Bug 247712 - Crash unblocking image followed by reload of the page.

Bug 256571 - crash if I want to browse on the page [@ JS_malloc ][@ JS_ArenaAllocate ][@ js_atom_marker ].

Bug 255715 - Crash [@ nsXBLPrototypeBinding::GetImmediateChild ] when a xbl:binding has no id.

Bug 256108 - crash when switching off style sheet [@0x00000000 - DoDeletingFrameSubtree].

Bug 255845 - M18a3 Crash [ @ 0x00000000 - GetNifOrSpecialSibling ] with input type=file on clicking link using some javascript.

Bug 256450 - FMR Crash when loading url [@ CNavDTD::BuildModel ].

By far, though is the following bug, which affects users, who, after crashing, are no longer able to download.

Bug 227439 - Unable to download files ("...could not be saved, because the source file could not be read.").

Looks like a great show, can't wait...

Oh, but this is ABC, whose track record of cancelling great shows is bar none. Remember Push, Nevada?

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