Donald Knuth Is Still Alive

Art of Computer ProgrammingOkay, I know you all know who Donald Knuth is, but just to waste some bandwidth, I’ll provide his background anyway:

Knuth wrote The Art Of Computer Programming, considered the Bible of computer programming for those with an academic background. I remember seeing the beige, hard-cover volumes at MUN‘s book store for graduates, yet I bought them as a 1st year student because they were so damn interesting. They’re not light reading.

Knuth has been working on Volumes 4 and 5 for many years, as he lists on his website, and has tentative plans for Volumes 6 and 7. Aren’t you excited?!

Besides The Art of Computer Programming, he’s noted as the creator of TeX (computer science and mathematics students should know about that), a typesetting system, and providing a reward for any mistakes found in his published books.

Oh, and his name is pronounced “Ka-nooth” – the “K” is not silent.

One Note Wonder

Silly headlines like this have been in the Canadian news a lot since yesterday: And on that note, the White Stripes tour is over:

The White Stripes put on a surprise pre-concert show for fans in St. John’s Monday evening, but it could not have been much shorter.
…the White Stripes played just a single note — reportedly a C-sharp — before telling fans they would see them at the scheduled concert.
…he crowd cheered loudly after the Stripes played their one note, took a bow, and left the stage.

Kinda neat. I have no idea who The White Stripes are, though. If it ain’t on CBC Radio Two, it ain’t worth listening to!

Cook’s Illustrated Online Subscription Service Is Broke

Cook's Illustrated magazineI tried to order a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated via their website, but as Greg likes to say, it “sucks ass”:

  • The “State” dropdown list doesn’t list Canadian provinces
  • The Postal Code can’t go in the “Zip Code” field, but at the end of your second address line instead.

When I submit the form, the form is displayed again with a red “Please enter your state or province” message, yet there’s no place to specify a province. I selected a State to try to fool it, but it complained with the same message.

And then I couldn’t easily find a way to contact them about the problem.

I emailed them the following:

Hi there,
Your online subscription service doesn’t appear to be working for Canadian orders. When I press Subscribe, the form is displayed again with these messages:
Please enter your state or province.
Please enter your zip or postal code.
Yet the “State” dropdown list doesn’t have values for Canadian provinces. I’ve attached a screenshot. How can I subscribe via online?
Also, I found it difficult to find a customer service email address. I assumed it would be under your Customer Service page, but it wasn’t; it was almost hidden at the bottom of this page. Frustrating.
Jody Cairns

I don’t read magazines regularly; I’d rather read a book; however, there is one magazine that never bores me: Cook’s Illustrated. It has detailed articles on how they perfected recipes, emphasizing common ingredients and no-nonsense techniques. And the best part: no ads! I’ve been reading it for many years.

Answers For Questions An Atheist May Get

A Blunt Atheist FAQ is a lengthy list of questions that atheists often receive, including brief but concise (and sometimes amusing) answers:

How do I tell my family and friends I’m an atheist?
First you should think twice about telling. Some people can’t take it, so healthy self‐preservation might call for keeping it a secret or admitting to some lesser sin, like agnosticism or unitarianism.

Atheists hate Christians!
Some might, just as some Christians hate atheists. Mostly we don’t, though. We just think belief in gods is silly.