Author Archives: filosofo

“filosofo” is the nom de guerre of Austin Matzko.

C.S. Lewis on His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, and The Da Vinci Code

Or whatever certain circles think is the controversial-book-we-need-to-protect-people-from du jour. There are earnest people who recommend realistic reading for everyone because, they say, it prepares us for real life, and who would, if they could, forbid fairy-tales for children and romances for adults because they ‘give a false picture of life’—in other words, deceive their [...]

A Good Enough addEvent

Several years ago, PPK of Quirksmode sponsored a contest to come up with a new version of the trusty JavaScript addEvent function. The original addEvent was created by Scott Andrew LePera in 2001 as a way to merge Internet Explorer’s attachEvent with the W3C’s addEventListener. Both addEventListener and attachEvent allow you to attach a JavaScript [...]

Plato and Unreasonable Mathematicians

A friend today sent me this picture from the Boston Museum of Science. It’s especially funny to me, because I have formal education in both mathematics and philosophy. And anyone who’s read Plato’s Republic is bound to think it odd. It’s odd because Plato’s good society, the republic, requires its citizens to study mathematics for [...]

How I Rip and Encode MP3s on the Ubuntu Linux Command Line

I like to know how to use the command line for everything I can. Here are the tools and commands I use to make mp3s. First, I rip from the CDROM to a wav file. cdparanoia 1 prokofiev1.wav cdparanoia lets me specify the input device, but I don’t need to, since the default—/dev/cdrom—is what I [...]

CSS Naked Day

If you think things look odd here today, it’s because I’ve disabled my blog’s styling for “CSS Naked Day.” The idea is to emphasize that styling on the web–particularly, that done with CSS, or “cascading style sheets”–should be separate from the structure, or markup. In part, one should separate style from content because a number [...]

Cell Tower in Your House

This is what I need: my own “femtocell,” a cellular phone base station that you can put in your home. It connects through your broadband Internet to give your phone a strong signal. I don’t use a landline, and despite being in Boston my connections are sometimes embarrassingly poor, often losing the signal mid-call. So [...]