Blather Software and Programming

Snake in a crib

From a recent article titled “Python is eating the world“:

Python may never have existed at all had the popular programming languages in the late ’80s been better, with one of van Rossum’s motivations for creating Python being the incompatibility of the Perl scripting language with the Amoeba distributed computing system he was working on at CWI. “The lucky thing for Python is that Perl was unportable to Amoeba,” he says. “If it had been possible to port Perl to Amoeba, I would have never have thought of starting my own language.”

Pitch for a science fiction short story:
Knowing the perfect inflection point for altering the timeline to prevent Perl’s doom, our heroes enlist Damian Conway, who manages to construct a working Time Machine in five terse lines of Perl 6. Unfortunately(?), his code is not supported on any existing implementation, because of concurrency problems…



Following something Vered wrote I googled for mother goddess and ran across Semiramis, a legendary Assyrian queen-ruler who has the misfortune to owe a lot of her google-juice to the tireless efforts of Jack Chick style Christians, promoting a 19th century anti-Catholic propaganda which holds her responsible for inventing goddess-worship (and thus the Catholic cult of Mary).

Most entertaining seeing the edit wars in Wikipedia, where the Chick-ites keep replacing historical facts (as in, the actual legendary stuff made up about her by Roman historians) with biblical-literalist 19th century info.

The actual historical figure, Shammuramat, sounds like a fascinating and remarkable person, one of those rare queens who managed to exercise real political power in the name of her husband and son.
The legends are also pretty cool:

According to the legend as related by Diodorus, Semiramis was of noble parents, the daughter of the fish-goddess Derketo of Ascalon in Assyria and a mortal. Derketo abandoned her at birth and drowned herself. Doves fed the child until Simmas, the royal shepherd, found and raised her.

The Shepherd finds the Babe Semiramis, by Ernest Wallcousins (1883–1976), from Myths of Babylonia and Assyria by D. MacKenzie (1915)

Derketo and Ascalun are names I ran across in the context of Bêlit from Conan, although I’m not sure if they came from Robert E. Howard or Roy Thomas.


Joss Whedon picked up Chris Claremont’s feminist cookies

It’s silly to complain about the laziness of critical writing in what is a TV show fandom, but if only I could find a Joss Whedon fan familiar enough with Chris Claremont’s X-Men work to make my point for me (that Whedon gets a lot of credit for work that follows in the footsteps of Claremont, and suffers from many of the same flaws).
Oh yeah, Joss himself: Kitty was the mother of Buffy, as much as anybody.


Doctor Who has a superpower

Doctor Who has an unique superpower – and by “Doctor Who” I mean the show, not the character of the Doctor – yes, it’s a TV show with a superpower: through the gimmick of the Doctor’s regeneration, it can replace the main character with literally anyone it cares. It’d be hard to find another genre icon whose representation is so flexible. The show has used that power to survive for 54 years; now might be the first time it used its power in a more interesting way.

Jodie Whittaker: Doctor Who’s 13th Time Lord to be a woman


Lex Luthor

My former testicle gave me both girls and paternity leave in the form of chemotherapy treatments, which started a week after the birth. After a first week with 5 consecutive days of treatment come two weeks of recovery, and by the end of the second week, most of the symptoms of the first week’s treatment seem to have faded. But this weekend I understood I was losing my hair, it was coming off in clumps like cotton wool unraveling.

So with the help of my parents, I went Lex Luthor.

האשך לשעבר שלי אירגן לי לא רק ילדות אלא גם חופשת לידה, בצורת טיפולי הכימותראפיה שהתחילו שבוע אחרי הלידה. אחרי שבוע ראשון של 5 ימי טיפול, באים שבועיים של התאוששות, ואכן רוב הסימפטומים של השבוע הראשון נעלמו, אבל בסופ״ש הבנתי שהשיער יורד, נתלש כמו צמר גפן. אז בעזרת ההורים, עשיתי לקס לותר.