The Adventures of Joshua Judson Rosen
(action man)

[ sections: VisualIDs | art | movies | everything ]

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Sun, 16 Apr 2017

21:48: Cutting the Cord on SMS

To everyone in my phonebook with whom I've somehow got into the habit of communicating via SMS:

Effective 26 April 2017, I will be shutting down SMS messaging on my mobile phone service in favor of more functional, more featureful, more reliable, more broadly available, and just flat-out more usable Internet messaging using the standard IM system on the Internet: XMPP.

So, while you will no longer be able to reach me via SMS, I will continue to be reachable via XMPP at like I have been for nearly a decade now (my XMPP messaging address is the same as my e-mail address).

read more after the break...


Fri, 31 Mar 2017

04:11: E-mail deletion autoconspiracy

I just looked at my inbox in Icedove, and noticed that an old thread had been moved to the head of the chronological listing--as if it had new messages..., but there were no new messages in that thread. Not visible in Icedove, not in the inbox on the server..., and not even in any of the other folders on the server.

  1. Icedove#1 thinks incoming e-mail is spam, and moves it to the spam-folder
  2. server uses that folder to train spamassassin and marks them for deletion
  3. Icedove#2 expunges all messages marked for deletion because `oh look how much space I could save!'


Sat, 12 Nov 2016

01:38: Remembering my Grandfather's Memories

On 2008-06-08, I wrote:

We celebrated my grandfather's 100th birthday with him and the rest of the family, this weekend.

Pam just found the photographs that he took after liberating the Dachau concentration-camp: they're in the Israeli Holocaust Memorial, which is online at Unfortunately, I can't link to them, because us using some sort of session-cookie system....

Today was Veteran's Day, 8 years later--time to remember people like my grandfather; especially now that he's no longer here to tell the stories himself (not that he ever really wanted to).

It looks like may actually have fixed their problem at some point in the intervening years--or at least lessened it; even if the links no longer expire, their URLs are still pretty close to impossible to actually capture and convey to anyone....

Considering the purpose of something like Yad Vashem, it seems just about unconscionable that whoever was presumably hired to build it actually built it the way they did: actually made it hard to direct people to it, made it a memorial that's hard to commit to memory. At the very least, someone seriously screwed up.

In case the the the link into is still fragile, I've pulled down the dozen photographs and republished them in a more usable--and more conveyable--gallery on my website:


Thu, 22 Sep 2016

01:31: Funding Schools, and Wars

I noticed this poster on the wall at my son's school, this morning:

It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.

It's seems easy to agree with that, because the purpose of schools is ostensibly to educate and we like education and want more of that, and the purpose of the military is ostensibly to wage war and we hate wars and want less of those.

But one problem here is that it's also easy to miss the more subtle, and perhaps more genuine, perversities of warfare—like the perverse fundamental economics of the whole thing. Not the "economic issues" of wealthier vs. poorer states, or wealthier vs. poorer people, or of war-chests or "war millionaires" or the impact of war on the anyone's bank accounts; but rather that the basic premis of war is that there is something that is actually worth both killing and dying for, and that once we've accepted the cost of ending human lives, no amount of mere money adds significantly to that cost.

Contrariwise, because any education budget is just money (nobody has to die in order to educate our children), the cost is small enough that almost any change is significant enough to notice. Especially when we accept it as given that education budgets recur, while we try hard to believe that any given war will have an end and be a cost that we'll only have to incur once.


Sun, 15 Mar 2015

03:02: Whisky Stones

A friend forwarded me a review of various type of whiskey-chillers, comparing `whiskey stones' made of actual stone to fancier `novelty' types made of steel or other materials--and also to plain old water-ice.

The surpising conclusion? "To get the quickest chill, nothing tops an ice cube or two in your glass" (though the little steel containers of liquid also did a pretty good job).

Though...., I guess it actually shouldn't be surprising that chillers employing phase-change to cool do it more effectively than the ones that just employ temperature-gradient and heat-capacity--especially when the volumetric heat capacity of the latter isn't really fantastic anyway; consider:

Not only does water have a crazily high heat-capacity, but the amount of energy that frozen water absorbs in order to feed the phase-change from solid to liquid is also crazily high (and, on top of all that, remember that water just after melting is the same chilly temperature as ice just before melting; so, first the phase-change absorbs a massive amount of energy from the whiskey, and then the liquified water absorbs another massive amount of energy meeting the whiskey somewhere between 0° C and whatever temperature the whiskey was at when it finished melting the ice). Though, yes: you do end up with some liquid water in your whiskey.

And if ending up with water in your whiskey bothers you, then the obvious move is the wrap your icecubes in some sort of impermeable barrier, which is exactly what those `steel with liquid/gel center' do--except, they probably would have worked a lot more quickly if they'd used, say, copper or silver cladding rather than steel; in the culinary and welding worlds, steel is basically known for its lack of thermal conductivity (hence all of the `stainless-clad, copper- or aluminum-core' cookware; nobody in the cookware industry has the guts to try to sell sterling-core cookware, but the welders can tell you all about how difficult it is to work silver without just making a huge mess due to it conducting the heat throughout itself faster than many heat-sources can heat it).

Actually, comparing thermal conductivities, diamond cladding would probably be really great.

Though, going by the heat-capacity table, it looks like what one really should use to chill one's drink without weakening its flavour is to put a piece of frozen meat into it.


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