June 12, 2007: Culottes not Koolats

I have been informed by Danielle that the correct spelling is neither koolats or coolats (which are the sensible spellings) but, in fact, culottes. The real issue is not that the spelling doesn’t make any sense but that we, as Americans, pronounce the word as if it was an English word when it is actually French. In France the upper class [men] used to wear culottes (which were NOT skorts) but lower class men would wear pantaloons and were known as “sans-culottes” or literally “without culottes”. Once again, SGL is very educational.

In web news, Apple has made a version (currently in beta) of their Safari web browser available for the Windows platform (XP and Vista only, sorry Windows 2000 is not listed as being supported.) Now while I doubt that there is going to be any mass exodus from Internet Explorer and Firefox to go to Safari on Windows (or for that matter why choose it over Opera?) but I still think that this is a great move by Apple. Why you ask? Because by providing Safari to Windows users the majority of web designers and developers (most of whom do not own or probably even have reasonable access to Mac machines) can test their web sites on Safari for compatibility. This has always been the stumbling block for Safari and the KHTML family of browsers like Konqueror – that Windows users generally don’t have the access to or the skills necessary to do real cross-platform testing regardless of how important it is to do. This is a good step in the right direction although actually testing against all platforms is still important. Professional web developers should still have access to Mac, Linux and Windows at a minimum for testing purposes and should test browsers across platforms (Firefox on all three platforms, Safari on the two it is available for, etc.) But for amateur web designers who cannot afford to throw hardware resources at the problem Safari on Windows means that there is no excuse for foregoing a basic level of platform testing.

Joel Spolsky (Joel on Software) had a great article on the Apple Safari web browser today. And Joel is a pretty big Mac fan too! David Dixon and Nathan Martin have a really nice site put together there. The pictures are really excellent.

I got up and went down to the gym at a quarter to seven this morning. Dominica and I both went down last night too. Time to get back on the wagon I guess. I did forty to forty-five minutes both times but I think that I pushed myself a little harder while I was there and that I got a pretty decent workout altogether.

Today US troops attacked an Afghan police outpost killing seven police and wounding four others. The US is claiming that the attack was accidental but one has to wonder as to the possibility of confusing a police outpost with supposed terrorist. Survivors of the massacre were quoted as saying that they though the US soldiers were Taliban terrorists. So it is now official, the US and the Taliban have become indistinguishable even to the people who see both every day. Here is the quote from the Afghan Policeman who was interviewed after seeing his friends killed:

“I thought they were Taliban, and we shouted at them to stop, but they came closer and they opened fire,” said Khan Mohammad, one of the policemen at the post, adding: “I’m very angry. We are here to protect the Afghan government and help serve the Afghan government, but the Americans have come to kill us.”

My Internet access at the office today was horribly slow. It was impossible even to keep up with the news. But work kept me pretty busy today. There was a steady stream of stuff most of the day. But for some reason the day did not seem to move by very quickly. In fact it seemed like I was in the office forever.

Today I had my very last SlimFast. I can’t believe that my SlimFast stock pile lasted me for a few weeks before this weight-loss contest started and then lasted thirty days into the contest. Today is the official thirtieth day with just sixty-one days left before we are done. So today is also the one-third mark. So far so good. But two more months is a long time to keep it up for.

Today I was doing some random reading looking for information on Internet access in the Congo (Brazzaville) and came across an article from a short term missions trip from a Chinese congregation in Gaithersburg and at the very end of the article they ended up meeting Dr. Joe Harvey that the Ralstons are going to the Congo to work with!

I also came across an article from HCJB Global from October 31, 2006 giving an introduction to Pioneer Christian Hospital in Impfondo. I also found a copy of an article that I had read previously talking about the Congo as the place where Surgery Ends with a Song. I found another article from Samaritan’s Purse about Pioneer Christian Hospital that mentions the Republic of the Congo but shows the Democratic Republic of the Congo on their map. It is amazing, having grown up with the DRC being known as Zaire and the Congo being the only Congo, the NO ONE learned anything in elementary school and cannot identify countries on a map or even look them up properly. Mission Network News indicates the incorrect country as well. How rude would it be to show a map of the US every time you mention Canada just because they are neighbours and Niagara Falls is in both?

Today I stumbled on an awesome GDP Comparison Map of the United States in which the author renames US states based on the comparative economies (based on GDP) of countries.

For some reason people seem to also come here looking for information about squank-water. I guess I know that people who like “The Cat Who…” books read SGL. If you arrived here looking for more information on it – sorry, I tried sqonk-water but can’t find any information about that either. I learned the term from the books but I listen to them on CD and have never seen it written so I don’t know the official spelling but as of right now I am the sole Google search hit for either term. I seem to be a clearing house for strange topics on the Internet.

I found a great, detailed map of the Impfondo Area of the Congo provided by the United Nations.

I apparently got to do a lot of good research today and found a great article on a Pygmy Conference that happened a few weeks ago in Impfondo. I managed to find the blog by the author of the BBC article at Commonsense and Wonder.

I also discovered the ZionJudah Congo07 blog from a missionary going back to the Congo after five year.

The stuff just keeps on coming today: This Teeming Ark – an account of a wildlife adventurer traveling down the Ubangi River from northern Congo to Brazzaville.

I also found a listing of the largest Congolese cities and their estimated 2005 populations.

I worked until a quarter to six and then it was time to head for home.  Today’s post is pretty long so I am calling it a day and will save anything else for tomorrow.

Weight Lost So Far: 18lbs

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