January 9, 2009

The Cadillac Presidential Vampire Tankmobile

Filed under: doom,future,toys — mhoye @ 1:49 pm

From Inside The Rocket-Proof Obamamobile, features of the President’s fly new ride include:

  • It can withstand rocket impacts and it’s perfectly sealed against biochemical attacks.
  • Bodywork: made of dual hardness steel, aluminum, titanium, and ceramics to “break up posible projectiles”.
  • Tyres: Kevlar-reinforced with steel rims underneath so it can run away no matter what.
  • Accessories include: Night vision cameras, pump-action shotguns, tear gas cannons.
  • Comes with bottles of blood compatible with the President’s blood.

And they have at least four of them, two for home and two for international travel; that’s quite a bit of presidental blood rolling around.

You heard it here first: the White House is definitely planning for a zombie apocalypse.

UPDATE: To my chagrin, I am not the first person to come up with the idea for a song called “Zombie Apocalypso”. But it’s come to my attention that sombody’s actually followed the idea through, a group called The Minni-Thins has recorded (but not yet released, tragically) an album called “That Old Kentucky Bluegrass”, featuring a song called “Chorus Of The Zombie Apocalypso”. They have some other music here; Let Me Be Your Liquor Man is my pick of the bunch, and if you like enthusiastically low-fi, occasionally off-key, screamy ska, you might like it too.

January 6, 2009


Filed under: academia,awesome,life — mhoye @ 5:44 pm


December 23rd:

Hi, my name’s Mike Hoye, and I worked until recently for TVOntario.

I understand, that as per you are looking for one Janet K. Webb, and with a bit of effort I’ve managed to track her down.

Her current mailing address is:

Janet K. Webb

I understand that Mr. Knuth doesn’t receive these messages directly, but if you could pass on my thanks for his work I would be grateful.

Take care, and happy holidays.

Mike Hoye


Dear Mike, Many thanks for sending Janet Webb’s address. (Her name
wasn’t on my page “help.html” but rather on “address.html“, since
I wanted to reward her for reporting an error in The Art of Computer
Programming. Now I’ll be able to put her name on my page “boss.html“.)

Best wishes for 2009! — Don Knuth

I feel like a twelve-year-old girl at a boy-band concert. I can’t decide whether to scream or pass out.

I believe I am now going to buy one of these shirts.

January 5, 2009

Science: Wat?

Filed under: awesome,future,science — mhoye @ 10:14 pm

If this does not give you a certain nerdy frisson, I don’t know what will:

“By placing our photon in a quantum superposition of running and not running the search algorithm, we obtained information about the answer even when the photon did not run the search algorithm”, said graduate student Onur Hosten, lead author of the Nature paper. “We also showed theoretically how to obtain the answer without ever running the algorithm, by using a ‘chained Zeno’ effect.”

The very first thing I thought when I read this was “how can I put myself in a quantum superposition of going to the office and not even putting on my pants”.

Career Escalation

Filed under: doom,future,work — mhoye @ 4:41 pm


At times feel like I haven’t had much say over my career in the last decade or so. At one point I was that kid who could figure out how to make the printer work, and pretty soon that was my job, and then I could make the computers work, and then that was my job, and after a while I was the guy who could make the computers talk to the servers, and now I’m a sysadmin.

This is a little ominous, because the three ugliest technical problems I had to beat down last year were:

  • An Oracle Database problem,
  • an Exchange Server problem, and
  • a Cisco networking problem

… and, boy, I don’t want to be any of those things. In particular, I don’t want to be an ODBA; I’ve seen what happens to those people, and no amount of money is enough. I think my new year’s resolution is going to be “from now on, don’t let the job just happen to you.”

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