failing like never before


The Blogger’s Old Clothes

I'm a wee bit on the bored side right now. Classes just started back up yesterday so I have no homework and I'm taking less classes then I was last quarter. Soooooo, I'm going through my article drafts, finishing them off and publishing them.

Now, before I left for break I did my laundry (a very rare occurrence, trust me) and thought it might be nice to see how much clothing a male college student owns. The pictures below show all of the clothing I have here in my room at college.

You'll notice that this is not a lot of clothing. I managed to take about a third of it home in a backpack (mind you, it was quite a large backpack, barely managed to fit it in the overhead compartment on the plane).

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Fedora Failed

A while back I ran a disk check on my fedora 8 live CD and got an error telling me that the disk was bad. So I checked the ISO image I had downloaded and it's MD5 hash sum, but found that there appeared to be nothing wrong with the ISO. Just to be on the safe side i downloaded the ISO again via Bittorrent (which takes maybe two minutes on my blazing fast school internet connection (the best part is, no can get mad at me for wasting bandwidth downloading illegally since fedora is open source)), and burned it to another CD. I restarted my computer and ran the live CD media check and it returned the same error again. Whereupon I decided to run the disk anyways, and it turned out fine.

Anyways, here's a little picture of the error message the fedora 8 live CD returned. I realize "fail" is a technical term, but it's still kinda funny...

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Stocksquest, A Review

There are numerous schools that use, an online stock market simulation, as a teaching tool. The point of the simulation is to mimic perfectly the real stock market, the only exception being the use of fake money. Real stocks can be bought and sold at real market prices, and students can perform market research and read news articles in order to help their performance in the simulation, just like in real life (theres a lot of "real" here for a simulation) The point of course, is to show students how the stock market functions and how to make money in a relatively easy manner. Stocksquest even adds a little extra fun in, allowing teachers to create class or school wide competitions so that students can battle each other out for financial success. My high school economics class engaged in a stocksquest competition, and you can see the final class rankings here. As you can see, a few students ended the contest with ridiculously huge amounts of money. While most of the class had made or lost between 15% of their money, there were a few that ended with unrealisticly huge percent gains. Once would of course assume that these students cheated. Although in this case, cheating is rather a strong word, especially since the system invites it.

There are other online stock market simulations available, some of them as free as stocksquest, and I would highly encourage teachers to sample other sites before selecting stocksquest for use in the class room. Hopefully, some of the flaws of stocksquest that I will investigate later in this article will be evidence enough to convince teachers to select a different simulation.


The Morning

I remember when I was first introduced to C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia. It was on one of those hot lazy Saturdays, where you want to do nothing but lay down and stare at the ceiling. I would have been seven years old at the time, I remember because of the house we were living in. My sister had a box set of the Chronicles of Narnia, and they still sit in her room to this day. I pulled out The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (it was labeled as "Book 1" in our box set) and settled down to read it. It was so entrancing that after I finished I reached for book 2, Prince Caspian. I finished the entire Chronicles of Narnia in one day when I was seven years old. Truth to tell, I doubt I understood all of it at the time, but the prose and the way the words wove together seemed so lovely and mystical at the time that I couldn't stop until there was nothing left to read. Yet after that day, the Chronicles left my mind and I thought nothing of them for many years.

I remember in fifth grade, a classmate brought up The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and that I had boasted of how I had read through the entire Chronicles in one day, and then proceeded to rattle off a brief description of each book. I used to be quite the arrogant child (still am in many ways, although now I have so much less to boast about). Not much later, my sister began reading Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. Yet still after that, I thought nothing of Lewis and the Chronicles for many years.