Home Page -> Commentary -> 14 Sep 1998

Comment of the Fortnight
14 September 1998
Short Takes

It's All Relative

Last week I was teaching a class on how to use e-mail. The company where I was teaching has Macintosh, PC, and UNIX users.

One UNIX user commented, "I don't like Netscape. It's very unstable; it crashes once every two or three days."

The Macintosh and PC users gaped in amazement, and, discretion being the better part of valor, I forebore to comment.

That Darned Article

In the last comment of the fortnight I said I'd been working on an article about Dynamic HTML. I simply could not get the transitions to work, so I decided to see if anyone had said the things I wanted to say already. I found this very wonderful site: http://www.webcoder.com, which has scads of excellent information about Dynamic HTML and the Document Object Model. You owe it to yourself to find out about these technologies, as both will be very important in the web's future. Remember, you heard it here first <grin>.

The Starr Report

As you may know, I substitute teach at the high school level from time to time. Today, one student asked me what I thought of independent counsel's report in the matter of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. I said, "If you wrote your English papers that way, you'd get an A in the course. The report is beautifully structured, with a clear thesis and purpose. Starr wrote the entire report in active voice, using simple declarative sentences. This is truly an example of good writing."

The student responded, "If you paid me US$40 million, I would write that well too!"

Good New Year

The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) is coming up very soon. Please, if you have Jewish friends, don't wish them a "Happy New Year." The Hebrew phrase "shanah tovah" translates to "a good year," not "a happy year." When non-Jews ask me about this, I reply that if your year is good, happiness will pretty much take care of itself. So a good new year to all of you, and may you all be inscribed in the book of life.

Back to top of page