Lila Karp, a remembrance

A few days ago I learned through a Google search about the death in 2008 of a woman I knew, admired and regarded as a friend: Lila Karp, who was the director of the Women's Center at Princeton University when I was a student there in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, we did not stay in touch after I graduated. Given that 32 years have gone by since then, I am saddened but not terribly surprised to discover that Lila has passed away.

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Scripting Firefox with Applescript

Someone asked me today how to use Applescript to do something in Firefox. I'm not great with Applescript, but I figured it out. Here's a script that should serve as a model for anytime you want to select a menu item from Firefox (and presumably from other applications as well):

tell application "Firefox"
  activate
  delay 2
  tell application "System Events"
    tell process "Firefox"
      click menu item "Show All History" of menu "History" of menu bar 1
    end tell
  end tell
end tell

Not all cops are jerks, but this one was

Last night I had an unhappy encounter with an Illinois state trooper that irritated me enough to bother writing it down.

I've spent the last week meeting with business clients in Chicago and then Denver. Yesterday I flew back from Colorado to Chicago, after which I had to drive back to my home in WIsconsin. My flight arrived late Friday night at Chicago's Midway airport, and since the drive from their to my home is more than three hours, I knew I was in for a long night. It was already past midnight, and I was tired when I pulled into a rest area somewhere north of the city to get some food and take a break before driving the rest of the way home. I also wanted to buy some gas.

Drupal vs. Wikipedia: Which Does the Best Job of Organizing Volunteers?

Drupal has a great community now with lots of volunteers who have been helpful to me personally on numerous occasions and who really value community-building. Having said that, I think there are also lots of ways that we can improve. I used to be fairly involved in the Wikipedia community, and although they're not perfect either, I think it would be worthwhile to study some of the ways that they welcome new people and encourage participation. I'll just point out a few things:

You Can Drive a Jackass to Death, but Don't Let Him Drink

Film critic Roger Ebert got blasted recently when he tweeted that the friends of "Jackass" movie star Ryan Dunn should not have let him drink and drive. Dunn died when he slammed his car into a bank of trees at a speed in excess of 130 miles. Earlier that evening, he had consumed 11 alcoholic beverages. A toxicology reported showed that his blood alcohol level was 0.196% — more than twice the state's legal limit of 0.08%.

Scott Adams Has Me Frustrated

A number of people have criticized Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams for his rather offensive recent blog post arguing that "Powerful men have been behaving badly, e.g. tweeting, raping, cheating, and being offensive to just about everyone in the entire world" because "society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable."

Numbers to Call to Dump Trump

I certainly support historian Douglas Brinkley's call for a boycott of advertisers who support Donald Trump's TV show. Here is a list of sponsors' phone numbers, in case you want to call them to demand that they stop supporting the man how now qualifies as the most shameless bigot currently active in American politics:

An urgent appeal

My sister Debi is racing to raise funds to save a young girl's life in Africa. Here's the story that she posted on her Facebook page:

I need your help to raise funds to save the life of Sena Ahouanmenou. She is a 13-year-old girl in the village of Ajara in the Republic of Benin. Through the efforts of my personal friend, Peter Opa, she and other students have been attending a school there.

Bloody Rhetoric and Blood Libel

The Wall Street Journal has published an article by Shmuley Boteach saying that Sarah Palin is "right" to accuse her critics of "blood libel" for linking her political rhetoric to the murders in Arizona. Its author says it is appropriate to use that term "whenever an amorphous mass is collectively accused of being murderers or accessories to murder."

Does this mean that Sarah Palin is an "amorphous mass"?

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