Toes and Tiles and Togetherness

I fear that it is once more that time of week when tabs have to be brutally dealt with. For one thing, the browser keeps turning into a digital rock (digilith?) or digital mist (digimist? enough Hunnish compounding already!) Isn’t it bad enough to be living in the hinterland where broadband is anything but and no one seems to care except the users?

Speaking of caring, it seems that tree hugging is an inherently human activity after all. Courtesy of some work by Case Western Reserve U folks in Ethiopia, fossil evidence of a still (partly?) arboreal humanoid contemporaneous with Australopithecus Afarensis has been unearthed, [Link] The bones, highlighted in the figure,

indicate that this (unreported name) humanoid had a spayed great toe suitable for better grasping of limbs and trunk of tree. So while afarensis was doing the ground pounding thing this cousin was still doing the Tarzan thing. The dating on all this is approximately 3.2 MYA so it seems that our differentiation into conservationists and planet despoilers has taken a long time to get to the current sorry state.

On which note, I should say that the Dogwoods are in bloom here at Castellum SCP although I expect them to mostly be washed off in the rain this weekend. Rather early as I recall for this?

While we’re on blooming, next is a rather amusing piece from PC World (they’re still around?thought they got hit by a meteorite years ago?) about how the Linux desktop is booming. They report visitation fractions by Linux users of between 0.014 to 0.25 with the fraction increasing in correlation with the nerdiness of the site. No data given on LOLFELINE sites – and no comments about either the sites or the compounding. But what is treasurable about the article is a quote,

Post-PC? Not Quite.

Yes, Linux is a longstanding leader in the server world, and its Android derivative is now a leader in the mobile world too, though you can keep all the silly “post PC” hogwash.

Desktops will be with us for a long time to come, and as long as they are, a fully alive and fully free desktop Linux will have a rightful place among them.”

Maybe there is a reason for this rag to still be around if they are actually saying such sensible things. Of course, if they are then the bogs aren’t reading there.

On which note, I found another article [Link] proclaiming that the combination of the demise of WXP and the release of W8 with its tile GUI METRO was an opportunity to lead Winders serfs to freedom (and Linux.) What is impressive here is what isn’t said. The Linux community has been alienated by Tile GUI for over a year now with Gnome 3 and Unity, and the forces of righteousness have used the natural voting environment to elect new code that emulates Gnome 2 and the golden desktop of last year. Isn’t it amazing how the determination of ambitious, self-righteous, greedy organizations can wreck such havoc and destruction in such a short time. Wait until you get to see what MegaHard can do!

Anyway, yes the old desktop, which we are assured is not dead, at least for those who still have work to do, is still around for those who are willing to abandon the wasteland of time and effort and productivity that is the Tile GUI and actually learn how to use a computer. Yes, I admit that I do proselyte the occasional Winders user to try Linux, but only under appropriate circumstances. Simply put, that user has to already be showing grave signs of being micturated with Winders and is more interested in being productive and effective than in being socially subjugated to Big Brother.

And yes, there are distros that are intended to ease the transition and delay the need to do real user stuff like command line bashing and adding repositories and fixing glitches but I operate on the philosophy that I want to make it seem easier than I described. This has the advantage that fewer see the Attack Rabbit of despair and run away, never to leave their Winders womb again. Instead they decide they are better humans than they thought if they can survive the travails of Linux, even if it is Mint of one of those other cotton candy padded distros.

And while we’re on that subject, a study from Yale U indicates that “A person’s mere presence in a room can add 37 million bacteria to the air every hour.” Given that we have more microbial cells in and on our bodies than we have body cells, this is not really a surprise. But the reason I liked the article was a quote (again,)

“All those infectious diseases we get, we get indoors.”

which is rather instructive. It explains all sorts of things from why life expectancies are shorter in cities than in the hinterland, despite the difference in medicalist attentions, and why civilization, in general, is bad.

Although with the pollen the way it has been the last few weeks indoors is not all that bad in terms of minimizing allergy reactions. But it does raise the question of why we should bother to cover our mouths when we cough?

God of the Gaps

While FD SCP and I were off on gallop – yes, we are safely returned, thank you – I ran across a pointer, I think in Lifehacker?, to a graphic [Link]

that was intriguing mostly from what it didn’t say. It seems that microbes like little nooks and crannies where they can be sheltered from the dangers and threats of the external world.

What is appalling is that apparently, at least in the minds of the folks who built this poster, is that bogs are unable to deal with that kind of general information. And hence they are not even told such but rather the incomplete delineation of the spaces between input buttons and suchlike on electronic gizmos.

Maybe we should tell them about the microbes in the cracks in the seats and backs of church pews? Or between the blades in the McGyver knife? Or under fingernails or between teeth? Duhhh. Of course not.

But maybe the gap between hair and skin? Might make them all go bald and then we could identify them easier.Dog