Scott Bradford: Off on a Tangent  
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Elephant Dung and Mohammed Cartoons
Thursday, 16 February 2006

In 1999, the Brooklyn Museum in New York opened an exhibit called 'Sensation.' One piece included in the exhibit was a painting called The Holy Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili of Manchester, England.

Ofili's piece -- painted partially with elephant dung -- offended millions of Christians worldwide and prompted then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to withhold city funding from the museum. While Giuliani may have been overreacting, I have no problem with city officials deciding not to use taxpayers' money to fund art that offends a sizable portion of the population. But, as long as I don't have to pay for it, I have no problem with Ofili making the piece or the Brooklyn Museum displaying it.

It's called free speech. You see, I have the maturity to accept forms of expression that offend me. Being offended now and then (or even all the time) is a small price to pay for the right to say what we believe, however unpopular, without fear that somebody will imprison or kill us for it....

Mac Users Under Trojan Threat
Thursday, 16 February 2006

A 'Trojan Horse' application called Oompa-Loompa (OSX/Oomp-A or OSX/Leap-A) is making the rounds in the Macintosh universe. While this application is not a virus, it does have some virus- or worm-like properties and is probably the closest thing to affect the Mac platform since the launch of the Unix-based Mac OS X.

As in the past, some media outlets and companies will probably attempt to arouse concern of a major security threat against the Mac platform. But the Oompa-Loompa trojan can only activate when a user unpacks a tgz compressed file and double-clicks the application (which appears at a cursory glance to be an image file). The trojan then infects random applications and attempts to propagate via iChat (Apple's AIM program), but the receiving users again can only be infected if they intentionally decompress and run the application.

In other words, don't double-click strange files. This goes for users of all computer platforms. For more information on this trojan, Andrew's Post at the Ambrosia Software message board is the best source.

Foot of Snow; Buried Honda; Car Survey
Sunday, 12 February 2006

So we got a big snow last night -- between 11 and 12 inches, according to random measurements around the apartment. It's about 13 or 14 on cars (where it started accumulating first).

Needless to say, we're not making an appearance at church this morning -- although I did spend a few minutes clearing off 80% of the Honda. If my afternoon commitment ends up not canceling, it will be a lot less work to get moving. Clear off the last 20% of snow, do a little shoveling, and we're good to go.

Melissa took some pictures of me and the car (see below), and since I don't have much else to do this morning I'm doing the car survey posted elsewhere (also see below)....

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