The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Why auto-generated file headings make you look silly

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the boilerplate:

/*
 * Copyright (c) 1995, 2008, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
 *
 * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
 * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
 * are met:
 *
 *   - Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
 *     notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
 *
 *   - Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
 *     notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
 *     documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
 *
 *   - Neither the name of Oracle or the names of its
 *     contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived
 *     from this software without specific prior written permission.
 *
 * THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS
 * IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO,
 * THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
 * PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED.  IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR
 * CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL,
 * EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO,
 * PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR
 * PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF
 * LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING
 * NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS
 * SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
 */ 

/** 
 * The HelloWorldApp class implements an application that
 * simply prints "Hello World!" to standard output.
 */
class HelloWorldApp {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello World!"); // Display the string.
    }
}

How to prepare for the zombie apocalypse: CDC

Via Bruce Schneier, evidence that the Centers for Disease Control have a sense of humor:

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

This is a lot more entertaining than Internet Information Services configuration, no?

Donald Trump's practical joke

Scott Adams likes to provoke people. On occasion, like today, he writes something that provokes other people. He makes a good case that Donald Trump's presidential campaign is a practical joke:

The magnificent part of this whole thing is that he's putting no effort whatsoever into concealing his prank. That's what I love about the guy. He knows that no level of clownery in a field of clowns will single him out as the one clown that doesn't really mean it.

He's a graduate of the Wharton School, which means his intelligence is in the genius range. He's a world-renowned businessman with attention to details. He's also famous for a trademark form of self-parody that has boosted his brand for decades. There isn't the slightest chance that this man hasn't looked at the birther evidence. He knows the President of the United States is American. That's the hiding in plain sight part of this prank. It isn't the least bit credible that Trump thinks the birther issue is real.

Some of you are thinking he's gone too far with the joke. Or maybe he went too far when he said we should take Iraq's oil by force as payment for a war they didn't ask for. This is not a man who thinks he might someday debate serious politicians in a public forum. This is a man who is winking at the camera and daring you to see the obvious.

Now, other than the silly assertion that he's smart because he went to the Wharton School (it's not Fuqua, after all), Adams hits a stand-up double with the post. I'm convinced.

Wink.

More from the archives

This came to me in 1988 from the Internet (though back then no one called it "the Internet" and we ramped onto it through CompuServe). Enjoy.

Hotline!

By James Zachary

Every now and again, a caller to the water and wastewater department will ask about issues of national concern.

RING!

Southeast plant, this is Zack.

"I am taking a survey for my organization. Do you have time to answer a few questions?"

Ma'am, this is a sewage plant...

"You are a taxpayer and a voter, aren't you?"

Yes Ma'am, but...

"This will only take a few moments. Do you think prophylactics should be on television?"

Say what?

"Prophylactics...condoms...they are..."

I KNOW what they are, lady.

"Should they be on your TV?"

What good would they do on my TV? It never leaves the house...

"DO YOU FAVOR ADVERTISING THEM ON TV!?"

I could care less.

"WELL, YOU BETTER CARE! THERE IS AN AIDS EPIDEMIC GOING ON AND THE PUBLIC IS BASICALLY IGNORANT!"

You seem to be a living testament to that...

"Would advertising them on TV offend you?"

After fourteen years in sewage, nothing much does offend me.

"Now, as a viewer of TV, what names would you find the least offensive?"

Trojan.

"I mean what descriptive name? Condoms...? Prophylactics...?"

Call them rubbers. I don't much care.

"That's a bit crude, don't you think?"

Here at work, we call them whitefish or bottlebass...

"What do you mean 'at work?' You wear them at work...?"

No ma'am. Remember that this is a sewage plant and that anything considered disposable usually winds up being flushed down the commode. Every day we get a few thousand of them buggers floatng in the clarifiers and filters. You seem like you are preparing to lobby for having them advertised on TV, so maybe you can give me a break and tell people to quit flushing them.

"What harm does flushing them do?"

Ma'am, they plug the sewer pipes and everything else. I remember one of the many times that I had to pull a plugged pump. You can never see what is in that mass of goo stuck in the pump impeller, so you just have to reach in and grab hold of it all. Well, some bozo had flushed one of those 'exciter' types...

"What type is that?"

...the kind with antlers. I mean to tell ya, it scared the hell outta me when I latched onto that thing! It was wiggling lite it was alive! For a moment, I thought I had an octopus by the ears...

"Uhhh...you mean...there is more than one type?"

Oh, yes ma'am! Should be interesting to see all of the marketing approaches they will use on TV. Should also be REAL educational for the 'ignorant public' that you are so worried about. We used to keep a bulletin board filled with all of the different sizes, models and colors...

"You are kidding of course..."

Oh, no ma'am! We fished out all fo the novelty items and tacked them up for display. My favorite was one that had the American flag on it.

"The flag? Just where did they put the flag?"

About half-staff...

CLICK!

Hmmmm. She must have dropped the phone while saluting...

I did a production of this for WRHU-FM in 1990 that I'm sure made Jeff Kraus wince.

Apparently this gem came from the International FidoNet Association, an ancient online SIG dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of an even-more-ancient software package.