Wounded Veterans

Submitted by cvining on

This is the actual lead sentence from a USAToday story today:

Train crashes into Texas veterans parade; 4 dead

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — An event organizer says there are four dead and 17 hospitalized after a train crashed into a trailer carrying veterans during a West Texas parade.


Now, doesn't that sentence imply the "event organizer" arranged for the train crash? The event was intended to honor wounded veterans, but I couldn't help but wonder if that's how we GET wounded veterans in the first place.

On the origin of 'Nature is perverse'

origins diverse
from throughout the universe
there is no better verse
than 'nature is perverse'


A Better World for nothing.

Submitted by cvining on

Joel Pett, a cartoonist with the Lexington-Herald Leader, has brilliantly captured the silliness of opposition to climate friendly policies with the caption:

"What if it's all a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?"

The cartoon itself is widely reproduced on the internet, but I haven't paid the fees to reproduce it here. Still, you should be able to find it at one of these links:

Bad Netflix Picks

OK, I do mostly like Netflix. Even though they often won't stream the film I'd really like to watch, usually I can find something I haven't seen. But their "Suggestions For You" are, often as not, just silly.

Here are two examples Netflix thought I'd like, and why:


Drupal Hosting via BOA: Benchmarking

Submitted by cvining on
  1. Rackspace, 512M RAM, quad-core, Debian 6 (Squeeze), 64-bit, stock php.ini memory_limit =128MB
  2. Amazon EC2,612M RAM, single-core,Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, 64-bit, micro-instance:ubuntu/images/ebs/ubuntu-lucid-10.04-amd64-server-20120110 (ami-8eb33ebe), stock php.ini memory_limit = 128MB.
    1. Added a 3GB swap volume, as no swap was included in the AMI
    2. The single core seems to easily become overloaded.  During installs, for example, the CPU load (via top) often reaches large (>5) values and progress slows to a stall.
    3. Also stalls under drupal authenticated loads.
  3. Linode, 512M RAM, Debian 6, 32-bit, stock php.ini memory_limit = 128MB
  4. Hotdrupal, "Plus v2" account (no longer available), stock php.ini memory_limit =160MB.
  5. Hostgator, "Baby Plan" account, stock php.ini memory_limit = 256MB


Initial website:

  • install standard profile, drupal-7.12-prod
  • install devel & devel generate modules
  • turn on devel block
  • turn on devel 'page timer' and 'memory usage'

Content generation

  • 2,000 users
  • 5,000 nodes
  • 5,000 path aliases
  • 250 terms
  • 15 vocabularies

anonymous, ​ab test

  1. ​ab -n1000 -c1 http://server/
  2. ab -n1000 -c5 http://server/

admin, ab test

  1. ab -n100 -c5 -C 'SESSxxx=yyyy' http://server/admin/modules/

Benchmark Protocol


Drupal + RackspaceCloud + Ubuntu + ISPConfig + Nginx (DRUIN) vs. Shared Hosting

Submitted by cvining on

I host a number of low traffic Drupal (drupal.org) websites.  Several for a non-profit, a few consulting shops, a book & poetry site.  Low traffic, but a couple sites use lots of drupal modules, so performance and resource limits can sometimes be issues.

I've used hotdrupal.com as my hosting service for some years.  They've really been excellent.  First rate.  I've only needed support a few times and they've always been prompt and professional.  But the big thing, for me, is the accounts are highly optimized for drupal.  My webpages load in less than 200 ms (thats a Drupal Devel module timing number).  I've toyed with other hosts but nothing comes close.  Part of it the large php memory_limit = 160M in the stock php.ini for my account.  Nice.  But they've obviously got other optimizations too.

Still, nothing lasts forever.  As Drupal grows, and as my websites grow, I've used more and more resources.  Currently I'm bumping into my account's 3GB disk space limit.  And that includes the MySQL databases.  One of those is using > 400 MB.  That's as reported by Cpanel, which is the number that counts toward my allowed quotas.  phpMyAdmin reports less than half that number, but I gather this discrepancy is fairly common.

Now, hotdrupal.com isn't all that generous on disk space.  They say they provide premium disk space (meaning fast), so they can't provide unlimited amounts of space.  I'd just get more diskspace, but for the incremental cost I could price myself into another provider. 


Headline: Army looking at how fish oil might reduce suicides

Submitted by cvining on

OK, here's the story.

I've got my Google homepage setup to give me headlines from various sources.  Anything really big will be on all of them.  You know, I need to keep informed.  So as I can hold an informed conversation down at the Wheelhouse Tavern.  But from time to time there will be an oddball headline that just catches my attention.

Today's winner?  This one:  "Army looking at how fish oil might reduce suicides."

Mind you, I'm not all that interested in the story.  I just want to parse the headline.

The Army.  The friggin' 'Be All You Can Be" US friggin' Army.  Two friggin's.

Is looking at.  Looking at, mind you.  Fish oil.  That's right, fish oil.  I'm thinking, 3-omega.  And for reasons a marketing guy might better explain, I'm also thinking ginko biloba.  

And suicides.

Army.  Fish oil.  Suicides.  Got it.

Now, that's the sort of news I want Google brining to my attention.  Army. Fish oil.  Suicides.

Something For Nothing Expired Today

Money isn't real: it's just a mutual agreement to keep track of what we've promised to each other.  Frequent Flyer Miles are even less real.  But trading the two, until today, could get you travel around the world at no cost.

Here's how it works.  Get one of those credit cards that gets you frequent flyer points for your purchse.  Then, go to the US Mint and buy dollar coins, charged to your credit card.  The Mint would ship you the coins for free.  You deposit the coins in your bank, pay off your credit card, and pocket the Frequent Flyer points.  Voila.  Something fo nothing.

Sadly, as of today the US Mint will no longer allow purchase of coins by credit card.