Cisco IPsec VPN on OSX Snow Leopard

For anyone else having issues setting up a VPN connection on Snow Leopard: if you are getting an “incorrect shared secret” error, quit wasting your time, and download Shimo, a VPN client for OSX. Haven’t paid for it yet, but will likely end up doing so, since it’s the only one of a half-dozen or so that I tried that not only worked, but wasn’t horribly designed.

I suspect my issue may have been related to a the VPN shared secret being too long, though that is mostly speculation. There was mention in a forum somewhere that OSX Lion silently truncates shared secret keys longer than 63 characters. Yay.

Hot buttered rye breakfast cocktail

After much experimentation, I have come close to replicating the deliciousness that is the Hot Buttered Rye breakfast cocktail from one of my favourite brunch joints in Brooklyn, Rye.

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • generous dash of ground cloves
  • 1.5 tsp of molasses
  • earl grey tea packet
  • rye (any whiskey) to taste

Melt the butter in your mug, add in the cloves and mix em up good. Stir in the molasses. Take a big whiff–it should smell good. If it doesn’t, you screwed something up.

Make the tea in this same mug, and let it sit for a little while. There should be white foamy stuff on top. If not, you screwed something up, but it’ll probably still taste decent.

Add in an ounce or two of the whiskey.

Imbibe and rejoice.

A valiant stand on science and religion

Eventually, someone, somewhere had to stand up for a politician’s right to ignorance.

I for one applaud Canada’s federal┬áMinister of State for Science and Technology, Gary Goodyear for refusing to answer reporters questions regarding his belief in evolution. Such conversations are indeed “not worth having.” The personal beliefs of a politician are simply irrelevant to his or her ability to successfully manage public affairs.

We have seen this amply demonstrated already by the Canadian federal conservatives in their succession of Minsters of the Environment, none of whom know the least thing about environmental science nor care a whit for sustainability, yet who have all excelled in their ability to run a tight ship.

Whether Goodyear “believes in science” is a total red herring. Goodyear could be a voodoo-practicing astrology columnist who tries to convert humours into gold on the weekends for all I care. The role of government is simply the bureaucratic allotment of resources to the right people at the right time, an entirely neutral science, which depends not at all for its success upon concrete knowledge of the issues concerned.

I actually think Goodyear erred in referring to his chiropractic expertise as providing him with a scientific knowledge of the body. To re-iterate, the man’s understanding of science is neither here nor there. All that matters is that his reasoning is sound, and this was amply attested by his grasp of the fact that lack of evidence is not evidence of lack:

“I do believe that just because you can’t see it under a microscope doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It could mean we don’t have a powerful enough microscope yet. So I’m not fussy on this business that we already know everything. … I think we need to recognize that we don’t know.”

Goodyear is clearly referring to our current and lamentable inability to see God in a microscope. It is my private hope that some of the funds he oversees will be funneled to those humble and hard-working scientists seeking to achieve this holy grail of microscopy. I will readily admit to being encouraged by this beautiful vision of science and religion working together in the most productive of ways.

Only good can come of this.

Paragraph-level commenting for WordPress

Digress.it is a Wordpress plugin enabling threaded, paragraph-specific discussion on posts and pages

The team from the Institute for the Future of the Book team have announced the release of digress.it, a completely overhauled version of the old Commentpress theme for WordPress, which allowed paragraph-level commenting. Digress.it is a plugin which Continue reading “Paragraph-level commenting for WordPress”