Mozilla Firefox 0.9 Released

Mozilla Firefox, my favorite web browser, released version 0.9 today. There are a lot of new features, including a long overdue extension manager that will help keep extensions up-to-date. Neil’s World has a great Firefox 0.9 Tour that goes into a lot of these changes in detail, as does this review at I don’t know if I’ll have time to check this out at work today, but I am looking forward to trying out this new release. I was going to suggest that you go grab it before Slashdot inundated the servers, but it looks like they beat me to it

The release of Firefox 0.9 will coincide with the release of Mozilla Internet Suite 1.7 and a preview release of Thunderbird 0.7 later this week.

Update: Lockergnome highlights Firefox in its recent article “Why You Should Dump Internet Explorer.” Also, some extensions aren’t working in Firefox 0.9 yet, so I found this mirrored link that provides an up-to-date list of extensions that work as well as those that have been updated for the new version. Hopefully the transition will be quick and this won’t be necessary for too long…


Most idioms of the English language don’t have intuitively obvious meanings, especially if one is not familiar with them. This is illustrated quite well by this elementary school project where children are tasked with drawing pictures representing different idioms. Most of them are very literal, obviously, but some of them are pretty funny. I particularly liked “a crush on” … 🙂

Ray Charles 1930-2004

Ray CharlesRay Charles died today at the age of 73 surrounded by family and friends at his home in Beverly Hills. He was a pioneer in many styles of music, bringing traditionally black forms like soul, gospel, and R&B into the homes of all Americans. He perfomed over 10,000 concerts in his 58-year career. The man and his music will never be forgotten.

Musical Eclectica

As a tribute to John Lennon after his assassination in 1980, Rob Grayson composed an alphabetical audio montage of every Beatles song. I found this gem at, which has a link to the song as an MP3 MP3 file .

Illegal Art is a great site dedicated to “Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age.” Here you can find art, video, and audio that tests the boundaries of the First Amendment and “intellectual property” laws. In particular, check out “Copyright and Music: A History Told In MP3’s,” and the Illegal Art Compilation CD, which is also available in MP3 format.

retroCRUSH’s 50 Coolest Song Parts is a pretty fun list that rates songs not as a whole, but based on cool “parts” of songs. They may not be the best songs, but they contain some of the most memorable moments in popular music. MP3 samples of the best “parts” are included…

Reel Radio is dedicated to the “Preservation & Presentation of Music Radio History” and features hundreds of audio streams, including entire hour-long broadcasts of Top 40 radio. I wish I could listen to this at work… 🙁

Finally, A Million Love Songs is an “all-star MP3 uberblog” that features daily MP3s of favorite “love songs.” There’s a lof of fun stuff here, and the best part is that the site uses YouSendIt, which allows you to store files of up to 1GB in length for one week and e-mail friends the secure link. The service might not last long if a lot of people have the same idea as they have, but I’m strongly considering following their lead and creating an ‘80s MP3 blog. Still, I worry about the ever-litigious RIAA. What do you think?

Update: Well, that didn’t take long. YouSendIt has “temporarily disabled unlimited sharing of all files less than 10MB” due to “overwhelming demand.” I guess if I want my own ’80s MP3 blog I’ll have to figure out another way, but I don’t want to host anything myself if I can help it. Any ideas?

Reagan On The $10 bill?

Ronald Reagan $10 billOn the whole, I think Ronald Reagan was a good president, but I don’t think that he deserves to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, as Senator Mitch McConnell is apparently proposing. As an alternative, Representative Dana Rohrabacher is suggesting that he appear on the $20 bill, and other proposals have him either totally replacing FDR on the dime or appearing on half the nation’s dimes. Changing paper money is apparently much more difficult than changing coins, so we might just see Ronnie on a dime some day…

Update: CNN reports that “Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist wants to rename the Pentagon the ‘Ronald Reagan National Defense Building.’” I think that’s just a bit much…

Ronald Reagan Dead At 93

President Ronald ReaganAs most of you have probably heard by now, former President Ronald Reagan died today of pneumonia at the age of 93. Ronald Reagan served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989, and the pneumonia he succumbed to is a complication of Alzheimer’s Disease, which he has been afflicted with for at least a decade.

This is going to get a lot of news time in the coming days, so there’s not a whole lot that I can add to the extensive coverage. However, I want to say that I am very sad to see President Reagan pass on, mostly because I pretty much grew up with him in the White House. (Despite being born in 1972, I only vaguely remember President Jimmy Carter’s administration.). I didn’t know enough about politics back then to know much about the negative things associated with President Reagan’s administration (although Bloom County tried to educate me 😉 ). Instead, Ronald Reagan was the father-like figure that I saw in charge of our country. I remember his near-assassination in 1981 quite well, and I’ll never forget his somber address to the nation after the loss of the Challenger in 1986. Most of all, I remember how disconcerting it was to see him leave office in 1989, as it just didn’t seem right to not see him there.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes of Ronald Reagan. Before a radio address, he made a statement in jest, not realizing that he was being recorded: “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”  sound file 


Sorry for the lack of updates this week. Although I’m taking off during the short work week, it’s far from a vacation, as we’re embarking on our first major project in the new house. We’re working on what will eventually be our office/library, stripping the wallpaper border off and repainting the walls and ceiling. I had no idea how time-consuming all of this would turn out to be, but we’re making good time now. Unfortunately, I’m on my own tomorrow, so we’ll see if I can manage not to screw anything up ;-).

In the meantime, HAL6 (the main computer in that office) is temporarily offline, but luckily HAL5 (the computer devoted to all of my MP3s) is newly relocated to the kitchen (woo hoo!) and allows me to sort of keep up with things. HAL5 is too slow to play pinball on, though… 🙁

Hopefully I’ll have time to post more later in the week, or more likely next week. I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Weekend!