Tuesday, 25 February 2003

New Xft Phoenix build

I've built a new build of Phoenix with Xft enabled for Linux; unlike previous builds, it's based on GNOME 2 and built with gcc 3.2.3, so it probably won't run except on a very recent system (like Debian unstable). Download it here.

Air Force brat nostalgia

Apparently, ten anti-war protestors got themselves arrested when some decided “to heck with the whole non-violence thing” and attacked Ministry of Defence police guarding RAF Fairford in England.

RAF Fairford was where I was twelve years ago during the first Gulf War; I spent a lot of time loitering around my dad's office in Base Operations — I think it's the building in the background of that picture on the front page, which they'd taken out of mothballs after shutting down most of the base just a few months earlier — watching CNN with the airmen and officers who were quartered in the then-unused second floor. I don't remember a bunch of war protestors back then, but there may have been a few (we never seemed to get the CND activity). Back then, Fairford was a staging area for B-52 flights armed with conventional ordinance (in addition to Diego Garcia); some early B-52 flights in the war actually originated from Barksdale Air Force Base (Shreveport, Louisiana).

Anyway, go surf the unofficial site; it's got some pretty interesting stuff, including information on some of the past uses RAF Fairford saw. (I can verify that Fairford was/is the Transatlantic abort site for the Space Shuttle in certain orbits; my dad went to the Cape for special training in 1989 or so, and would have been responsible for coordinating things until a dedicated NASA team arrived.)

Donahue Canned

One of the philosophical questions of the ages has been answered: if Phil Donahue's show was cancelled, and nobody was watching it, would anyone find out?

Apparently, the answer is yes. Philosophers are still working on that “tree in the woods” thing, though.

The word comes via Donald Sensing; clearly, I wouldn't have found out about it another way.