Feminine fists of fury
May 28th, 2007 by teragram

Zoomie mentioned e-voting recently, and reading it reminded me of a post I had intended to write.

In case you haven’t figured this out yet, let me tell you that I’m a democracy nerd. I looked forward to getting the opportunity to vote so much that when I finally turned 18 I found out how to have myself added to the supplementary register so that I could vote in an upcoming referendum. I couldn’t have done what I did to stop e-voting here if I didn’t care as much as I do. Which is why C and I sat in front of the TV from 9am till 11:30pm on Friday watching the election coverage. We found it *exciting*.

Late into the evening John Bowman had Joe McCarthy on to talk (briefly) about e-voting. He introduced Joe by saying that he had “perhaps single-handedly” stopped the introduction of e-voting in Ireland. Before I go on to gripe, let me make two things clear. First, I don’t begrudge Joe the attention. Joe did amazing, wonderful, and important work in the fight against e-voting in Ireland. Not only that, but he’s much better at being interviewed than I am. He enjoys it, he gets the point across, and he’s fun to listen to. Second, I don’t have any interest in being on TV. I’m not in the least bit sorry that I was sitting comfortably on a couch on Friday evening rather than sitting across from John Bowman on live TV. I’m *glad* that I haven’t been on radio more than twice in the last two years.

Here’s my complaint: I’m fairly convinced that the reason I wasn’t asked to speak to John Bowman, and the reason he is able to think of Joe as fighting alone, is that I’m a girl. It’s not as if John Bowman’s never heard of me. I’ve discussed e-voting with him *in person*. He had me on the panel of Questions and Answers for goodness sake. But I’d be willing to bet I didn’t feature in his “from the archives” on e-voting on Sunday morning (I didn’t hear it all). And it’s not just John Bowman. When RTE’s Scannal did a review of the history of e-voting in Ireland they didn’t use footage from my appearances on either Questions and Answers or Primetime (neither I nor ICTE featured in the program at all, that I recall). Mind you, I don’t in the least blame Joe McCarthy; he’s probably said *my* name more times on radio than he has Martin Cullen’s. He didn’t mention me on Friday, but he didn’t have time.

Maybe I sound bitter, but it gets my goat. I can’t think of any reason why I’d be ignored this way other than my gender, and it makes me angry.


May 24th, 2007 by teragram

Most people I know do, or will, love XKCD (though don’t ask me where the current series is headed).

Also, FEAR MY TOMATO!!1!!!1!

May 4th, 2007 by teragram

As Zoomtard has noticed, I haven’t been posting much recently. Well suck it up. This may be the tiny one-tree oasis in a long teragram-drought. is an often-offensive web-cartoon, but I was amused by this one:
Ludid TV cartoon

especially once I found this picture of Richard Dawkins:
Richard Dawkins


Today I have otherwise been amused by:
Pour Quoi
Dave Hash
Lord of the Rings: an allegory of the PhD?

Teragram, parching your thirst

Maybe I *like* my L-plates
Mar 28th, 2007 by teragram

I didn’t just fail. I failed spectacularly. 1 grade 3 fault, 4 of the same kind of grade 2 fault, and more than 9 grade 2 faults overall. I failed three different ways! I didn’t even think it had gone particularly badly, but something about his body language on the way back to his desk gave him away. I guess I need more lessons.

Happily it looks like I’ll be taking them from the the driveway of my own home which I own!! Keys on Friday – fingers crossed.


Ode today
Mar 20th, 2007 by teragram

I know I had this morning
A bright and breezy day;
But now I am in mourning
My day has gone away.
I turned around
And it was gone,
Never to return.
The guilt abounds,
Look what I’ve done
I never seem to learn.

A silly game, a phonecall,
An email or a snack.
My thoughts on something small,
My thinking limp and slack.
Is that clock right?
It makes me squirm
It’s after afternoon.
It’s nearly night.
I can confirm
The noise days make is “zoom”.

I shouldn’t start the day with Reuters Oddly Enough
Mar 20th, 2007 by teragram

Now I’m picturing unstoppable swarms of super-mosquitoes, and it’s not a pretty sight. It’s amazing, and scary, the capacity some scientists seem to have to ignore the possible negative ramifications of their work.

On the other hand, this is very cool: The Arrow of Time.


My latest (as yet unnamed) culinary success
Mar 18th, 2007 by teragram

I’ve been making a lot of stews since I realised they’re actually a lot less hassle than most things. Tonight’s was so good it deserves a blog-post.

Ingredients (for two people):
2 chicken breasts
2 rashers
4 cherry tomatoes
1 parsnip
1 fennel “bulb” (for want of a better word)
1 onion
1 large potato
2 garlic cloves
Small lump of fresh ginger
Ground Cumin
Hot water


  1. Preheat the oven – somewhere around 180 C.
  2. Chop the fennel, parsnip, onion, tomatoes, garlic and ginger into whatever size you like them.
  3. Slice the potato (about 1/2 cm thick).
  4. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthways.
  5. Fry the chicken until sealed.
  6. Sprinkle some paprika on the chicken and fry a bit more.
  7. Pop all the chopped veg, and the chicken, into a casserole dish.
  8. Cut the (raw) rashers into strips, and add them too.
  9. Pour in a small amount of hot water (about a cup).
  10. Throw in some fenugreek and cumin, enough so it smells nice (a pinch or two of each?) and mix.
  11. Cover, and pop it in the oven until the potatoes are cooked (I’ll time this next time – but you’re talking at least 45 mins).


Ubuntu – Linux for Human Beings!
Mar 17th, 2007 by teragram

I have finally managed to move from Windows to Linux. I’ve been very frustrated lately with software providers trying to control my desktop (Apple at least equals Microsoft in irritating control tactics). Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that explicitly aims to make Linux accessible to normal people (“Linux for Human Beings” is their phrase, not mine), and they are well on their way to success. The one issue I had with installing it was that my wireless card didn’t automatically work (imagine, a Linux installation where the *only* thing that didn’t work automatically was my wireless card!).

My biggest problem in finding a solution is that a lot of the information that’s out there is quite outdated. I spent quite a bit of time following how-tos written for old versions of Ubuntu. But I did eventually find a solution, a very simple one at that, and I want to share it with y’all 🙂

Details here:

Ubuntu Edgy Eft – Dell Latitude D600 Wireless
Mar 17th, 2007 by teragram

Ubuntu does now (Edgy Eft) come with the Intel(R) PRO/Wireless drivers by default but, from what I gather, they don’t work with WPA encryption by default. Here are the steps I took to get my Dell Latitude D600 connected to my home WPA wireless network. (This works when starting from a clean, updated install, which you probably don’t have if you’ve been following the various how-tos that are out there to fix wireless access in previous versions of Ubuntu.)

  • The first thing to try is hitting Fn-F2. This turns your wireless radio on/off (there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to detect which state it’s in). To be honest, this may be what fixed my connection, but the first time I tried it I had already been wading through the aforementioned how-tos, so who knows what state my system was in? 🙂
  1. Install network-manager-gnome (or if you’re using Kubuntu – knetworkmanager). I did this via the Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager, search for network-manager-gnome). This package depends on several others, most importantly network-manager, which will all be automatically installed with it.
  2. Turn off all network connections in System -> Administration -> Networking
  3. Restart
  4. Left-click on the Network Manager icon in the Notification Area (top right of your screen). Any wireless networks in range should be visible.
  5. (optional) There’s another network icon in the Notification Area. You can right-click it and hit “remove from panel” to get rid of it.

If you try this and it is/isn’t helpful, I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.


Cynical electioneering, how are ya?
Mar 12th, 2007 by teragram

This morning we got a “summary of the government white paper on Irish aid” through the letter box. The white paper itself was published back in September, but I guess that was too far away from the election.



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