Little Bobby Tables, We Call Him

I’ve been moving numbers from one database to another for the past week and a half, and I’m approximately halfway done. I have no idea what these numbers mean, and am actually trying to stay in the dark for as long as I can. Right now, there’s a 0.001% chance that these numbers represent something other than wireless phone sales figures. I could be squaring payment accounts for legions of incredibly undervalued hitmen, or unwittingly parsing top secret data for project Carnivore. I could be commanding a new, spreadsheet-based army, like a latter-day Ender. I have what the industry calls “five nines of confidence” that I’m not, but it’s that last 0.001% that keeps me coming back every morning, and it’s that last 0.001% that has kept me from asking my supervisor what exactly it is that we do here.

And the sad truth is that this entire three week project could probably be automated in 15 minutes, if I knew the first thing about database programming, which I don’t, and which pretty much every other Lowensohn male born after The Great War has spent the last 15+ years learning how to do in their sleep. Confidentiality prevents me from subcontracting the work out to a confederate, and special relativity now prevents me from taking CS classes at Harvey Mudd when I had the chance.

So I sit, and I parse, and I copy, and I may have even started concatenating. Who knows? I stopped paying attention around Groundhog Day. The only thing I can do, between batches, is drown my mounting sorrows in the low-alcohol lager that is filtered corporate internet. And here, dear reader, are the more interesting gobs of informational foam that I’ve caught in my metaphorical moustache:

The ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus was allegedly killed by a vulture, who mistook his bald head for a shiny rock and dropped a tortoise on it.

e-Gold.com is a website where you can open an online bank account with holdings stored as actual gold bullion. Pros: Webcam lets you look at your gold in realtime, 2.5 million users can’t be wrong. Cons: No external audits, irreversible transactions, and anyone who actually uses this is totally insane.

Set The Ray To Jerry” is the best song the Smashing Pumpkins ever recorded.

In the past 72 hours, every referee from Super Bowl XL has been killed or seriously injured by mysterious, unidentified assailants. Just kidding, but I think we can all agree that the officiating was crap and those guys should seriously consider getting Lasik before the season starts up again in September.

The Apple Computer logo may or may not be a veiled reference to Alan Turing’s infamous fruicide, although the timing on the rainbow is all wrong and early versions seem to point more to Newton.

String theory? I try and I try and I try, but it’s still way beyond my comprehension and is giving me a headache just typing about it.

One liter of bottled water costs more than one liter of gasoline. (Note: I think this is a fairly stupid statistic.)

In pre-colonial Aztec society, getting drunk before the age of 60 was illegal, with the second offense punishable by death. If you were a slave, you were generally treated pretty well and could win your freedom on market day by bolting from your master and running until you were outside the market walls and had placed your foot firmly in human feces.

Ken Blackwood is an excellent critic. The thinking man’s Cliff Yablonski.

Ken Blackwell, on the other hand, is a prick. To the point where it’s almost hard to believe how much of a prick he really is. Then it hits you, and you’re like, “Oh my God – this guy is a total prick.”

And that’s The Dave Report for Wednesday, February 8th, 2006.

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