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AMPPS & Watts

remarkablemarkdownThe technical challenge of the day was to find a a localhost production server that would install on an x86 machine at the Cancer Ward, where everything is still running on Windows XP from 2002.

AMPPS did the trick, and proved to know all about 401 software packages readily auto-installed from its admin interface.

If we still had a hosting account with CPanel we would have already known of the availability of all these packages via the Softaculous installer.

Quite some time ago we used to have a Drupal site with the domain name blogalization.us — the globalization of blogging about l10n (localization) — but our sight was hacked mercilessly out of existence and we abandoned hope.

After spending all this time testing apps one by one on my home-rolled server, I think I will now install AMPPS on Linux Mint and kick things up a notch.

It was useful to reinvent the wheel a bit, but I would like to be a Web editor & publisher who can offer clients the broadest possible range of options.  I am trying to interest the Cancer Ward in a blog portal, for example.

Watts Online

We are watching multiple episodes of Lost Season One this week — something like twelve years after the rest of the world.

Why are these people treating the threat of tropical polar bears in such an offhand fashion? No spoilers, please.

The other day I cued up Netflix for my daily fix and it informed me I was already running a session on another device.


This I thought must surely be a glitch. Turns out it was Watts — Neuza Brancaccio de Paranhos, my beloved sogra-in-law — tuning in to Doc Martin from her deluxe apartment in the skies of Perdizes.

Watts because in time long past she used to berate the feckless Paranhos family over their exorbitant electric bills.

Watts! Watts!

Lost in Translation: The Jelly Bean

Jim Powell was a Jelly-bean. Much as I desire to make him an appealing character, I feel that it would be unscrupulous to deceive you on that point. He was a bred-in-the-bone, dyed-in-the-wool, ninety-nine three-quarters per cent Jelly-bean and he grew lazily all during Jelly-bean season, which is every season, down in the land of the Jelly-beans well below the Mason-Dixon line.

Could the term «jelly bean» be translated as «jujuba»?

Neuza queries me because she is unhappy with the standard translation of this text — from Fitzgerald, Tales of the Jazz Age — which renders «a jelly bean» as «um boa-vida».

A bon-vivant, in other words.

I agree with her.

The phrase is treated as though it were unfamiliar to the reader — it is a Southern expression, you Yankees would not understand — and the narrator spends a lot of time and effort teasing the reader with half-definitions and vague impressions about the term before finally pinning it semantically down.

… he was what might have been known in the indiscriminating North as a corner loafer. “Jelly-bean” is the name throughout the undissolved Confederacy for one who spends his life conjugating the verb to idle in the first person singular — I am idling, I have idled, I will idle.

I enjoy such conversations on translation nuances and congratulate myself for marrying someone so smart.

The Ideology Patrol


It comes up in a current-events group discussion at the Cancer Ward.

A Brazilian prosecutor has proposed a bill which would codify «fair and balanced» pedagogy in the classroom and would prosecute professors who fail to comply.

We know where this leads, do we not?

For example, when Campus Watch or other organs of the far-right Israel lobby find out you may have suggested that the Islamic world reached a fairly high degree of cultural achievement in the Twelfth Century you are set up for constant harassment from the likes of Dhimmi Watch and Jihad Watch.

You are worse than an apologist for Hitler!

Naturally the Campus Watches of the world have every First Amendment right to criticize public intellectuals on their own dime and time, but on the whole their influence is pernicious and the notion of legislating «fair and balanced» is a libertarian nightmare.

As to the Brazilian bill, or the version of it I got my hands on … I will translate the Annex, which is to be nailed up on the wall of the lecture hall like the theses of Luther.

  1. The Professor shall not abuse the inexperience, lack of knowledge or the immaturity of students in order to co-opt them into this or that partisan political tendency.
  2. The Professor shall not favor or disfavor students because of their political, ideological, moral or religious convictions or lack thereof;
  3. The Professor shall not practice partisan political propaganda in the classroom or incite his students to participate in demonstrations, pubic acts or marches;
  4. In dealing with political, socio-cultural and economic issues, the Professor will present students, in a fair and balanced way and with equal seriousness and depth, the principal competing versions, theories and perspectives on such issues;
  5. The Professor should refrain from introducing content in obligatory coursework that may be in conflict with the moral or religious or ideological convictions of students or their parents or guardians.

As I pointed out to the group, it is quite true that at UNAM in Mexico City for example you could not take an economics course that was not based solely on Marx and Engels until quite recently.

Adam Smith? Out of luck, even if you cannot really understand Marx against the backdrop of the British classical economists. Ricardo. Malthus. The Neo-Classicals. Veblen! You are really missing out if you have never read your Veblen.

On the other hand, Veja magazine, for example, is very much given to accusing textbook companies — competitors of its mother ship’s own educational publishing division — of partisan ideological brainwashing.

These appeals, like those of the CampusWatch crowd, border on the hysterical and aim to propagate moral panic.

I kid you not.

Or least such are the Sambodian signs of intelligent Sambodian life in recent days.