Most of what you might want to know about caffeine.

We had a lovely seder at the house last night. We managed to squeeze 29 people into the dining room, which was pretty impressive: the house can hold over a hundred people for a cocktail party, but it's another story entirely when you want people to sit down (in a chair, no less) and eat dinner. For four hours.

Here at the Houseness, we use the Santa Cruz Haggadah, which is...precisely as Californian as it looks.

This is a theory about where Unix came from. It makes a bit more sense if you already know the history, but it might still be funny anyway.

When Mona and I were in Nuevo Vallarta, there really wasn't much to do, especially if you were trying to save money, and especially at night. However, the resort/marina, Paradise Village, has a Courtesy Room set up for people whose plane flights leave long after checkout time: lockers, a refrigerator, two stove burners, two televisions with full spectra of channels, and showers. So we would get together some food from the grocery store, maybe grab a book, and go hang out, shower, and watch TV. All the networks were some sort of special feed that showed almost entirely movies, so we saw a lot of movies, mostly subtitled in Spanish rather than dubbed. Combined with the 40+ hours of bus rides, where they show movies during the daytime, we saw a lot of movies.

At some point I noticed that in any movie with a hero and a bad guy, anywhere above the level of a Farrelly Brothers (Bobby and Peter) comedy, there comes a point, typically towards the end, where the villain or villainess, expressing their feeble moral rationalization to the hero or heroine, says "You and I are exactly alike", or words to that effect. Go ahead. Look for it in the next movie you watch.

It's terribly upsetting to really and truly understand exactly how unoriginal everything is. Previously I had just assumed this, seeing repetition in movies on the level of plots or points of development--"the heroine realizes how much trouble she's in", "the villain almost manages to carry out his plan", "the tender moment as the heroine and her boyfriend reunite after he was almost killed by the villain". However, within those frameworks of unoriginality, there's some wiggle room for differences, for humorous dialogue, for shooting people and blowing things up. But now I have something concrete to look for, not even as complex as a plot device or character trait, just a simple line of dialogue representing the villain's self-righteous attempt to either bring the protagonist over to the dark side instead of killing her (since everyone can use a capable and similarly-minded minion of evil and destruction), or the reverse situation, hoping that the protagonist will experience a hesitant moment of introspection wherein the villain can skewer her with a sword or lightsaber or whatever.

Go ahead, look for it in all the movies you see. You'll understand.