Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The state of the union is good

So.. we all listened to Bush praise the Union tonight. The strength that it has. The ability that it has to kick the shit out of any challenging force. Including those pesky libertarians. Well... what do I have to contribute to the conversation? Honestly, not a whole lot. The only thing I can contribute is the idea that we should start thinking about smothering our enemies with care and consideration. Iran has long been a thorn in the side of the United States. If we opened our borders a bit to Iran, don't you think the United States way of life would start to invade? Wouldn't that accomplish our goals? Iranians would start to see the benefits of the 'American' way of life.

What about our goals as they relate the national security? Well... what if we embraced extremistIsilamic fundamentalism? Give them a voice in government. As long as we are hunting down terrorists and trying to kill them all off we will ever lose this war on terrorism, neither will we ever win. All we can hope to do is control the power that it has over us. These obviously aren't totally my views... they are more or less just ideas to spark other ideas. It's too easy to appeal to the violent, aggresive tendencies of the nation. To pump them up with phrases like 'we will fight for our way of life' while talking about soldiers lost to war.

I think one of the things I took from last night is that Bush is in over his head. He makes mistakes. He doesn't always come up with the smartest solutions. But he isn't a complete moron. He isn't some nefarious demon hoping to rule over a barren, ruined world. What is he? Well, he is someone who thinks he's doing the right thing, but going about it totally wrong. He is someone with the best interests of the country at heart, but without the experience or core values to make it happen.

We are suffering because our country lacks a sense of moral responsibility to our people and our world. This doesn't mean that we need people to be more religious. It just means we need people and corporations to act in the best interests of the nation. And that nation is the citizens that live in it. Maybe if we can accomplish that, we could really move forward.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

beer is good

I think its becoming tradition... monday is 24 night. usually i get drunk and watch 24 alone (cause its just that cool). Tuesday is random drinking night. Etiher I get some people to go to Dremo's or wherever or I get drunk here with gamecube or movies or both. Then Wednesday is Lost night. Alchomohol and Lost is a good combination. Watching Lost and getting drunk is a winning combination (especially when Fox comes over and shares in the Lost goodness). Then Thursday is My Name is Earl night (plus happy hour). Gotta get drunk for that. Beer + DVR action. Aw Sheah. Friday? Well that night is up for grabs. I have to find something to occupy Friday. Same for the weekend. Beer? Its calling. Answer the call.

Monday, January 16, 2006

XPath and XSLT, or 'How I spent my day off.'

So I've been spending some time learning how to use XSLT and XPath as a way to translate infomation from simple XML into the XML syntax of OWL. It's suprisingly easy and very powerful. Plus, a big bonus is that the XSL Translation is taken care of client-side. (All you need is Firefox, IE 6, etc)

In the past I've used JSTL and JSP to take data in OWL format and show it to the user... big pain in the ass. The reason it is a pain is because you have to read your xml data into a model that has an API (Jena/Sesame/etc) that you can then hook into while writing your JSP/JSTL. Plus, JSP/JSTL pages are rendered server side.

XSLT is designed to make translating XML easy. HTML is XML. There are XML syntaxes for OWL and RDF. Natural fit.

Hmm... so I don't feel like writing my own tutorial so I will redirect you to a few tutorials on XPath and XSLT... and heck, why not some OWL happiness too.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

- - - Skins...?

Ok... so I have a problem with the Redskins.

Redskin is a derogatory term.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=redskin

Its deragatory in reference to native americans. I don't know how this is a point of argument. It seems stupid to me. Change the name to the Skins. Change the name entirely. Just stop having a racist name in the capitol of what should be the most progressive country wrt racial equality in the world. I mean come on, this is where Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous speech. What would he think if he saw a crowd of 50k+ chanting "Hail to the Redskins?"

If you want to read more, here are some articles on the topic.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Semantic Web Best Practices

Started working on the "Semantic Web Best Practices" idea. Its pretty cool. Quite a bit to bend your head around though. The whole framework revolves around simple input output resources that pass around resolvable URI's to documents that contain information. ie... I pass in an arbitrary number of URI's that resolve to the input documents for the resources, and the service returns a URI that represents a resolvable answer. This way you have an architecture where each resource can get the input info at its discretion, and create output that can be resolved at any time. In addition, you can piece together a bunch of these things to complete multi-step tasks.