Wolfram|Alpha is racist (wherein I channel Angry Asian Man)

Check out Gizmodo’s post: Wolfram Alpha: A Bit Racist?
Searching for the word “dumb” brings up “results for Racist synonym trees that associated the word dumb with black.”
W|A explained this essentially as follows:
“One thing Wolfram|Alpha gives is synonyms for dumb. An example is “dim”.
…So, “dim” is a synonym of “dumb”. But what are synonyms of “dim”?”
What this doesn’t explain, in my mind, is the results and synonym trees for the “N word.”
n--ger - Wolfram-Alpha_1243753129347.jpg
Better yet, contrast that with the the synonym tree for “honky”:
honky - Wolfram-Alpha_1243754013119.jpg
Now can someone please lexicographically explain the fuck out of that shit?

The Kuj is back

Total damage: 9,400 Baht (about $300 US)
An unwelcome expense but much much better than losing my car. Plus the aircon compressor was replaced and a new fan installed so the cooler works better than even some new cars I’ve been in. And the compressor is now tuned to the engine so it no longer stalls when the RPM suddenly dips like it did before.

Close call (the Kuj, the Kuj, the Kuj is on fire)

Just as I left for work in the Kuj today, not even half a kilometer from my house and still inside our neighborhood, the air conditioner (under dash box unit) cut out and black smoke started pouring out from the dash. I stopped the car and cut the engine, but smoke continued to pour out and I could hear either the sound of something shorting out or the sound of plastic burning from the cable bundles under the steering column that are encapsulated by the dash. Then, through the hole where the original ignition was mounted (it’s now on the steering column like a modern car), I saw flames.
All I could think about was how much it was going to suck watching my car burn… There was nobody around, and no cars were passing by… I couldn’t put out the fire with the water I had in the car because I couldn’t get it directed under the dash…. I could call Nam to bring the big fire extinguisher from the house, but it would take a couple minutes and this fire wasn’t waiting for anybody…
Then I remembered I had a small fire extinguisher in the trunk. I got it out, popped the cap (it’s a little spray can type thing), pushed the spout into the aforementioned ignition hole and pushed down on the top. There was violent hissing as the fire was extinguished, and white steam started appearing with the black smoke. Within thirty seconds of directed bursts from the extinguisher, the fire was out, but there was still something shorting out so I got a ratchet set from the trunk, remembered the nut on the battery terminal as a #10 metric, and successfully pulled the positive battery cable.
The rest of the story is kind of anticlimactic… Nam went to call a mechanic, who came and identified the shorted wire and tied it off. The car was no worse for the wear appearance wise, and still drivable, so I took it to my pal Ot’s sound shop to fix everything (rewiring the lot, replacing broken air con parts/possibly replacing the compressor, replacing a broken brake light switch, isolating the problem air con wiring from the rest of the cable bundles). It should be ready tomorrow, after he determines whether he can make a new part for the old compressor (no spares to be had) or just replace it. I’m just happy nothing really bad happened and that I still have a fucking awesome ride.
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THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS: BE PREPARED! AND ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES!
Nah seriously, that fire extinguisher saved my ass today, and it was an impulse purchase six months ago. I’ll carry one in every car I own for the rest of my life.

Firefox bold text problem (that wasn't actually a Firefox problem)

As the title indicates, I noticed a sudden problem today in Firefox (on Windows XP) when checking Gmail – all of the text was bold. So I fired up Chrome to see if FF was the problem and all of the text in Chrome was in italics… These two problems together indicated a corrupted system font.
If you have ever have this problem, you need to reinstall the Arial font family (TrueType). The executable installer can be found here or here.

Sunday Backup Organization

20090523magic-window0002.jpg
Max and mommy went to his grandparent’s house so daddy took the time to organize five years of DVD (originally all DVD-R but more recently DVD+R for Improved! Error! Correction!; everything important is on genuine “That’s” brand Taiyo Yuden 16x media, everything else is on TDK or SONY 8x or 16x [end historical optical media note]) backups.
I must say, we are in a fairly sucklical state of backup media at this point in history. Optical media like CDs and DVDs (and presumably BluRay Disks as well) apparently degrades in a matter of a few years in extreme cases, and keeping things on a form of media (HDs) that constantly spins at thousands of rpm and can die at any moment can hardly be considered a safe archival system.
WANT INVINCIBLE 100TB NAS TO FALL FROM SKY ONTO MY HOME NETWORK LOLZR!!!