Sunday, November 28, 2004

I, Reluctant Procmail User

I use procmail, but I have to say that I hate it. The "recipe" language has the feel of just being one ad-hoc kludge slapped on top of another rather than a properly designed language.

At times I've been tempted to write a mail filtering module in Python so that I don't have to deal with procmail's horrible syntax. The only thing stopping me is a combination of laziness and too many things to do already.

Does anyone actually *like* procmail's syntax? Or, like me, do most procmail users simply put up with it because it's the defacto command-line mail filter? Are there any procmail substitutes that aren't quite so... icky?

posted at Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Soda-Pop vs. Coke == Blue vs. Red?

A couple of days ago I was looking at the Daypop Top 40, and I saw this post entitled Free States vs. Slave States, which compares a map of the 2004 US Presidential election results and a map of the pre-Civil War free vs. slave states. The post goes on to say:

... on the Pre-Civil War Map, the red areas were slave states and the brown areas were territories open to slavery, while the green areas were free states and territories. These distinctions eerily correspond to the red states vs. blue states on the 2004 Election Map ...

If you want to see an even more striking similarity, compare that same Pre-Civil War Free vs. Slave States map to the Soft Drink Names by County map, available from The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy website.

In case you're not familiar with "The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy", the map is showing the generic name that people in a given area generally use for "carbonated beverage". Where I grew up, in the Toronto area, we called such drinks "pop". In the SF Bay area, where I now live, people call these drinks "soda". In the red areas of that map, most people call them "coke". (this is any carbonated beverage, not just cola)

So what's going on? A conspiracy? More likely there are simply cultural differences that, for whatever reason, have persisted since the civil war. The claim that these differences are a result of a latent desire to reinstate slavery is revealed to be more than a bit silly when you start talking about what people call soft drinks, rather than who they voted for.

posted at Sunday, November 14, 2004