In 1641, William Ward, a Catholic priest, was executed in London:He hanged till he was dead for he was ript whilst he did hang & being cut downe his members being cut off & cast into the fire, the Executioner ript him up and tooke his heart & threwe it into the fire which lept out againe & no man toucht it till the Executioner a goodwhile after threwe it in againe, his head and quarters were brought backe to Newgate & boyled & are to be set upon 4 gates of the Citty. (1)
Anybody who could inflict this sort of suffering and despoliation on another human being was plainly motivated by enormous passion, anger and fear. Yet most historians would consider this too light a punishment for those found guilty of plagiarism.
It almost seems Old Testament enough to fit in my southern politics syllabus, the latest iteration of which is online here (how’s that for a segué?).
I’m still working on my Introduction to Politics syllabus, but finishing that—and all the rest of the ambitions I had for a productive day—went down the tubes when I got stuck trying to diagnose why my office computer keeps hanging up completely. What I’ve figured out so far:
- It happens in both Windows and Linux, unpredictably.
- The computer spits out a bunch of weird USB errors on startup in Linux.
- I originally thought it had something to do with my USB KVM switch (how I switch my keyboard, mouse, and monitor between the Dell junker provided by Tulane and my computer that actually has the power to do anything beyond web browsing), but I didn’t hit the switch the last time it crashed.
- I don’t think it’s the hard drives. Diagnostics on them have turned up nothing.
- It only seems to crash in Windows or in X; I have yet to see it crash at a Linux console prompt (which would probably be the only way to diagnose the crash from error messages, alas).
I think it’s probably something hosed in the on-board USB controller, which probably means I’ll be investing in a new motherboard. Lucky me.