Two short things

1) A request: Colin, what’s it been like being on the ground in Pennsylvania with the _six weeks_ of primary madness there now finally coming to an end (sort of)? And how do you feel about Hilary’s win? That kind of sounds like a weird formal interview question or something (“how do you feel about world peace?”) but I’m curious.

2) English nerds, this is for you: lately I’ve been obsessed with, where you answer vocabulary questions. For every word you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program. It’s all my weird word nerdiness finally put some good use!


When I was trying to decide on a password for my WordPress account, I noticed the helpful “password meter” which gauges the strength of your password of choice, both with a little colored bar that fills up incrementally, and an assessment of your current password’s merits. My default password received a “Bad”.
Really? Sure, it’s only six characters, but nobody’s ever guessed it (Yes, my name is six letters, but I’ll bet you that’s usually pretty close to the top of the list). The phishers on myspace have yet to successfully convert me into an automated Webcam advertisement or Macy’s gift card dispenser.
But apparently my proposed password is as hard to guess as “12345”, which also earns a “Bad”.

So I decided, lead by WordPress Password Consultancy, to choose a password more suitable to their liking.

Let’s go back to the number example. What if my password was one thing over and over again, the theory being the same as rock/paper/scissors. (more…)

No, my title is not infringing on the Paris Hilton trademarked phrase. I don’t mean that Prague is “hot,” as in trendy or hip. I mean it’s literally very hot here right now. The heat somehow combines humidity with a piercing quality that I’ve never experienced before.

As some of you may or may not know, I’m in the Czech Republic for two weeks, on a writing program called, helpfully, “The Prague Summer Program.” I’m living in one of the dorms of Charles University, also home to several other summer programs. This meant that when I arrived and announced cheerfully at reception that I was with “The Prague Summer Program” the nice man at reception asked me, “Which one?” There were a few nasty moments when it seemed like the guy had no idea how to help me, since — as I’m a late arrival — everyone else was already checked in, and the guy had no idea where my key, info, etc. was. However, with a little poking around, he soon discovered a big envelope with my name on it in all caps, and everything was well. (more…)