Hehe. Saw this in an email and …

Hehe. Saw this in an email and guessed it was archived somewhere. “Tandem Writing”.

In-class assignment for Wednesday April 5, 2006: Tandem Story. Each person will pair off with the person sitting next to them. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on until both people agree a conclusion has been reached. The story must be coherent, and each paragraph relevant to the prior one.

. . . and here’s what one pair turned in!

Rebecca and Gary
English 144A
Creative Writing
Prof.

At first, Laurie couldn’t decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who had once said in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.

Meanwhile, Advance Team Captain Carl Harris was leading his patrol squadron into orbit over Skylon 4. Carl had more important things to think about than the neuroses of that air-headed asthmatic woman named Laurie who, after one sweaty night over three months ago, was still desperately clinging to an illusion of a relationship she had fabricated in her unbalanced mind. “Alpha Tango One to Geostation One-Niner-Three”, he said into his subspace communicator. “Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance…” But before he could sign off a bluish plasma beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship’s cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit threw him out of his seat and into the cockpit control panel.

He hit his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. “Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel”, Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth — when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. “Why must one lose one’s innocence to become a woman?” she pondered wistfully.

Little did she know, but she has less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu’udrian battleship launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted, bleeding-heart peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through the U.N. had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empire who was determined to enslave the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu’udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet and nothing to stop them. They swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in a submarine off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 15 million other Americans. He slammed his fist on the conference table. “I KNEW this would happen! I am exercising my executive privledge to annul that treaty effective IMMEADIATELY! Ready the nukes, we’re gonna blow those bastards out of the sky!”

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.

Yeah? Well, you’re a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.

Asshole.

Bitch.

Your Most Important Financial …

Your Most Important Financial Decision – Be content with what you have.

Contentment isn’t a feeling or a mood; it’s a decision. Only by choosing to be content with what you already have can you accomplish your budget, saving, and investing goals. Without choosing contentment, you’ll be ensnared by a subtle but ever-expanding appetite for money and all the things it can purchase — and worst of all, it’s an appetite that’s never fulfilled.

The Irish abortion referendum …

The Irish abortion referendum is going to happen on March 6th.

The Catholic Bishops of Ireland released a leaflet describing their stance on the abortion issue. They’re calling for a YES vote. The Pope is also calling for a YES vote. Unfortunately they don’t have a website I can link to but here’s a Google search to find related links.

If you vote NO then the status-quo will still be maintained. That is,

  1. The threat of suicide is a ground for abortion in this country.
  2. Women will have the right to information and travel.
  3. I think that it’s possible that abortions happen in this country already to save womens lives. At least that how I interpret point 3 below.

If you vote YES then:

  1. Suicide will be removed as a ground for abortion.
  2. Provide for a law on abortion that can only be changed by another referendum.
  3. Give constitutional and legal safeguards to medical practices where interventions are made to protect the life of the mother.

Nobody likes to think about abortion. It’s easiest to simply vote NO and get on with life. Fortunately there’s been plenty of arguments on radio, television and other media so people are getting some information. The booklet provided by refcom.ie is also very informative.

Here’s some arguements for voting YES:

  1. The threat of suicide is a phsycological issue that can be treated by councilling and treatment. Research and studies show that pregnant women are less likely to commit suicide. Other research shows that abortion itself appeared to be a significant factor for suicide.
  2. Acting on the above, we should protect all life, this is how I perceived the Catholic stance. They want to protect life, full stop. Catholic priests read out a letter from the Bishops this morning at masses, in which they stated that (to paraphrase), “a YES vote is the most appropriate in this case”.

And for NO:

  1. At present a woman can get an abortion in this country if she is suicidal. She should have as many options as possible for treatment of that condition.
  2. It’s up to every woman to decide whether or not she should have an abortion, not someone else. (ie. the voter)
  3. The Labour Party is advocating a NO vote. Party Leader, Ruairi Quinn says, “Whatever else this proposal is, it’s bad law and law making. What the Government through the Attorney General Michael McDowell is proposing to do is to write a Bill into the Constitution. What this means is that if it is passed, the only way it can be amended – even if it is found to be flawed – is through another referendum.” He also states that it is, “an attempt to roll back on women’s rights, and is asking questions of the electrorate that we have benn asked before.” The referendum of 1992 asked the same question.
  4. The Mother and Child Campaign advocates a NO vote because it sees in the proposals the potential for the introduction of a more liberal abortion regime than currently exists in this jurisdiction. As Tommy Keaveney, a spokesperson on behalf of the group, explains, “The proposal allows for the intentional killing of the unborn. It states that abortions can be carried out based upon the reasonable opinion of an indicifual doctor. As far as we’re concerned this isn’t good enough, as it allows for unscrupulous doctors to dismember an indiividual child.”

Most of the above came from the Referendum Commision leaflet, and an Inside Cork article from last week. The second link here may expire by next Thursday.

The issues are not as clear-cut as they appear above. It does appear that the referendum is flawed in ways I cannot summarise here, but hopefully the links above may help you decide which way you’ll vote on Wednesday.

Feedback

“. . . but you didn’t mention that it’s a hack of a piece of legislation that Microsoft would be proud of.” – Liam.

“. . . that abortion will be only the second crime that is entered into our constition, the other being treason. Yep that’s right no murder, rape etc in the constitution. And considering that the recommended sentence being talked about is a 12 year sentence, whereas sex offenders etc get 6/12 months, me thinks the yes campaign is talking through their ass.” – Gearoid.

Wow! Congestion charging schem …

Wow! Congestion charging scheme gets Livingstone go-ahead – Motorists will be charged £5 to drive to Central London on weekdays! It’s going to be introduced on Feb 17th, 2003. I can see trouble ahead..

In related news, the penality points system due to be introduced here is in doubt because there isn’t money for the EUR11m computer system needed by the Gardai! Hear the RTE report on it.

Now that I’m over the shock of going to the dentist, I feel a rant coming on. I pay my taxes like everyone else and a part of those taxes go to PRSI, Pay Related Social Insurance. PRSI will pay for some of your medical bills, including visits to the dentist, but not always.
I’m 26 and out of college four years and working. Because I went to college and got an education, and now contribute to the economy’s tech industry, I can’t claim benefits due me. If you’re 26 or over you have to be working for at least five years to claim PRSI entitlements. Now that I need to get work done I can’t claim money back from a fund I’ve paid into for four years. It hardly seems fair. grrr

The Irish language is taught in Irish schools and is compulsory for everyone (with some exceptions). A book just published calls into question the cost to students of learning Irish. Science is only now becoming a part of the primary school curiculam. Hear the RTE interview with Dr Aidrian Kelly.

Unbreakable? …

Unbreakable?

CERT Advisory CA-2002-08 Multiple vulnerabilities in Oracle Servers

Original release date: March 14, 2002
Last revised: —
Source: CERT/CC

A complete revision history can be found at the end of this file.

Systems Affected

* Systems running Oracle8i Database
* Systems running Oracle9i Database
* Systems running Oracle9i Application Server

Overview

Multiple vulnerabilities in Oracle Application Server have recently
been discovered. These vulnerabilities include buffer overflows,
insecure default settings, failures to enforce access controls, and
failure to validate input. The impacts of these vulnerabilities
include the execution of arbitrary commands or code, denial of
service, and unauthorized access to sensitive information.