March 7th, 2005

I'm getting like gracest, with all the quizzes...

This is one of those "fun to take" as opposed to "insightful answer" quizzes.



I am the sonnet, never quickly thrilled;
Not prone to overstated gushing praise
Nor yet to seething rants and anger, filled
With overstretched opinions to rephrase;
But on the other hand, not fond of fools,
And thus, not fond of people, on the whole;
And holding to the sound and useful rules,
Not those that seek unjustified control.
I'm balanced, measured, sensible (at least,
I think I am, and usually I'm right);
And when more ostentatious types have ceased,
I'm still around, and doing, still, alright.
In short, I'm calm and rational and stable -
Or, well, I am, as much as I am able.
What Poetry Form Are You?


Thanks to allessindra for the pointer.

Okay, this one is wildly geeky, but very amusing.

Thanks to thespian for the pointer!



I am a d100


Take the quiz at dicepool.com



"There's two ways to end up with this result. Either you picked the silliest possible answer to each question, or you answered honestly, and happen to be hyperactive, manic, loon. Assuming you answered honestly, your profile is as follows: You are the 100-sided dice, also known as the legendary Zocchihedron. You are the bit of data that registers so far off the chart that the average person doesn't even know you exist. You are desperate for attention and will get it any way you can. Your jokes have the lowest laugh ratio, but you go for quantity, not quality. Once you get started on a pointless tangent, it takes a group effort to bring you back to reality and make you shut up. You are a distraction who is permanently distracted. You consider yourself silly and entertaining, but everyone else complains about how lame and annoying you are. The one secret they aren't telling you, is how they sometimes actually miss the noise when you're gone."

This survey is completely scientific. Despite the mind-boggling complexity of mankind, the billions of distinctly different personalities found on Earth can easily be divided into seven simple categories that correspond to the five Platonic solids, a pseudo polyhedron, and whatever the hell a d100 is. The results of this quiz should be considered not only meaningful but also infallible, and pertinent to your success as a fully realized individual. If you feel the results of this examination do not match your perceived personality, you should take whatever drastic measures are needed to cram your superego back into proper alignment, as described by the quiz results.

And if you believe that, we have some really great critical-hit insurance to sell you.

Glad I don't drive in Iraq.

From http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0307/p01s04-woiq.html

"Another problem is that the US troops tend to have two-stage checkpoints. First there's a knot of Iraqi security forces standing by a sign that says, in Arabic and English, "Stop or you will be shot." Most of the time, the Iraqis will casually wave you through.

"Your driver, who slowed down for the checkpoint, will accelerate to resume his normal speed. What he doesn't realize is that there's another, American checkpoint several hundred yards past the Iraqi checkpoint, and he's speeding toward it. Sometimes, he may even think that being waved through the first checkpoint means he's exempt from the second one (especially if he's not familiar with American checkpoint routines).

"I remember one terrifying day when my Iraqi driver did just that. We got to a checkpoint manned by Iraqi troops. Chatting and smoking, they waved us through without a glance.

"Relieved, he stomped down on the gas pedal, and we zoomed up to about 50 miles per hour before I saw the second checkpoint up ahead. I screamed at him to stop, my translator screamed, and the American soldiers up ahead looked as if they were getting ready to start shooting."

"Fear of insurgents and kidnappers are another reason for accelerating, and in that scenario, speeding up and getting away could save your life. Many Iraqis know somebody who's been shot at on the road, and a lot of people survived only because they stepped on the gas.

"This fear comes into play at checkpoints because US troops are often accompanied by a cordon of Iraqi security forces - and a lot of the assassinations and kidnappings have been carried out by Iraqi security forces or people dressed in their uniforms. Often the Iraqi security forces are the first troops visible at checkpoints. If they are angry-looking and you hear shots being fired, it becomes easier to misread the situation and put the pedal to the metal."

Great.

It reminds me of the P. J. O'Rourke piece where he writes that there are two kinds of roadblock: one where you must stop, or they shoot you, and the other where you must not stop, or they shoot you. How do you tell the difference? You don't!

And, in other surreal news...

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=558154

"Pro-Western Communists Win Moldova Vote"

"Sunday's elections have raised tensions with Russia, which maintains peacekeepers in a separatist Slavic enclave in Moldova, and dealt another blow to Moscow's waning influence in the former Soviet republics after the election of pro-Western leaders in Georgia and Ukraine last year."

Without getting into the details, this is the kind of headline you'd write into an '80s SF story for weird effect.