I attended a wonderful evening where the goal was to introduce the guests to foods that complement various wines. Cheese was a big ingredient. While conventional thoughts say that cheese is a great way to mask really bad wine, I can assure you this was far from the case at this event. Given good food and decent wine, how can the quality pair not complement each other? If you'd like the answer to that question, this site's just the ticket.
Don't drink the water
Is it just that a certain age is approaching or has the whole world decided to breed in the past year or so? The bunch of wretched heathens who pass for my friends is playing the baby game with wild abandon. And if it's the water, I'm putting She Who Must Be Obeyed on a strict diet of Tab and orange juice. If you've got relatives or friends in the family way, here's an interesting guide to what others are naming their newborns, courtesy of the Social Security Administration. While walking by a bus stop, I heard a lady chastise her little Alanis (2001's No. 303 for girls), so the Social Security folks might not be making this stuff up.
Microsoft.com/presspass/features/2002 / jul02/07-01 palladium.asp
www.Tweney.com/2002 / 0628trust.html
If you hang around in programmer circles, you'd think the devil himself (or herself if you're keen on equal opportunity evil overlords) had rolled out a plan to make your PC a safer device. In a nutshell, the ultimate goal of the project code-named Palladium is to embed a security device within your Windows PC's processor. This processor will work with the operating system and decide what applications and data are valid. So far, so good. But then it gets controversial when we get into the areas of who says what runs, what doesn't run, who holds the keys, will there be any backdoors and so forth. Something needs to be done with the current security mess that is a PC operating system. But a lot of technical folk don't seem to think this is the answer. There's a lot of good information at these links.
Are you a frequent contributor to e-mail lists who regularly helps out your fellow list denizens? Technical lists are the ones that spring to my mind (no surprise there). But if you're a parrot fancier and leader of the pack, here's a way to feed your ego and your pet cause. In essence, you get a unique Web address that you tag on the end of your e-mail. Known to a lot of e-mail programs as a signature, this allows the people you help to rate your advice. That's the ego bit covered. While rating you, they have the option to make a donation to a cause of your choice. Not a bad idea. It's free and platform neutral.
One of the most useful parts of KDE, a graphic interface that runs atop Linux, was the Tea Timer. It would literally set a timer on request and bing when the tea was ready. If you're from my part of the world, you drink about 12 gallons of tea a day (sometimes more if relatives are in town). Getting an exact time on a fresh brew is a big deal. So rather than trusting the steeping time to a wristwatch or a kitchen timer, invest in a $3,000 PowerBook and download this free OS X application. It'll time your brew, then chime like Big Ben when done.