March 3rd, 2012

#3248: Two bits

Or should I have said "10 bits"?? I don't know.

...a couple weeks ago when my nephew was here I told him the joke: "There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't." To my surprise, once I'd explained the joke to him, he laughed uproariously.

This came after I'd given him a brief primer on binary numbers in the context of explaining what a four bit full adder (a type of logic chip) is and how it works. I ended my discussion with the old joke and he just about busted a gut.

* * *

Socialist French Presidential hopeful wants confiscatory tax rate. Big surprise: he wants to tax all income over a million euros at 75%.

So your first million, you get to keep--I don't even know what the tax rates are in France. But that second million you make, you only get to keep 25% of it. Guess what this will do?

If you said, "Ensure that people carefully only earn a million euros per year," you're right!

* * *

This piece by Vox Day contains the most clever Godwin I've ever read. It's about the Dutch implementing their mobile euthanasia units.

About 25% of the government-sponsored mercy killings are involuntary, which led Vox Day to say this:
In related news, German officials recently announced that they are considering the establishment of a federal Bundeslebensende which would provide involuntary euthanasia services to individuals of Jewish descent regardless of age.
Damn, that's cold.

* * *

For those of you who can't muster the brain today: the last time the Germans did something like that, it was called the Holocaust.

* * *

I've been pretty bad about the writing thing of late.

The rewrite project I was sharing with Og--I'm going to have to abandon the idea I had and continue the narrative where I left off, because after several months of stagnation I still haven't figured out how to write what I was going to write. I've stalled on how to portray the antagonist; I'm having trouble with "evil character portrayal".

Reading the stuff of mine that I put on my Kindle, though, I realize (now) that I can write evil characters just fine. One of the stories I read recently was set in my D&D campaign world, and one of the situations the protagonist encounters is when he witnesses (via a secret passage) a discussion between two obviously evil people. Neither one twirls his mustache or anything.

Better than that, though, is when the protagonist spends several days in the company of an evil queen--polymorphed into a little girl so as to be her "handmaiden". The way I portray her--in a stunning fit of unimaginativeness the queen is named "Lachesis"--is exactly the right way to portray a villain. She doesn't look evil, and if you had dinner with her you'd think she's charming and pleasant and a good conversationalist...but when you watch what she does you realize, "Yeah, this bitch is no good."

So I know I can do it; the problem I have is getting there from here. (Or where I am in the story, anyway.)

...and now I suddenly realize that my mistake may have been in how I approached it. I might be able to pull it out after all; I'll have to think about this.

* * *

Meanwhile, I've had a request for more of my homebrew Garfield Minus Garfield.

Here's the real deal. This is the page with all the ones from the guy who started it.

Here's today's Garfield strip, suitably edited to remove Garfield. Yeah, even the spiders in Jon's house are neurotic: