Monthly Archives: December 2007

Perry Haberius: Happy New Year

We hope our regular readers (and they are legion!) and Pax Arcana himself will forgive a momentary departure from this blog’s usual sardonic, skeptical stance as Perry Ellis gives thanks for a great year and extends his best wishes for the one coming.

2007 was one hell of a year at the Ellis house (in fact, 2007 was the first full calendar year in the Ellis house, which we bought in August ’06): We were wed, honeymooned and fêted in royal style at the world’s finest eating emporium; we each got new jobs; endured a major surgery; and we managed to conceive a child. Heady stuff.

We’re truly grateful for all of that; not being religionists, we won’t thank a deity but instead offer our gratitude to the wonderful family members and friends who shared the good and the bad this year. In no particular order:

The kickass and comely Mrs. Ellis remains the best thing that ever happened to us. Thanks  for everything, babe. Can’t wait ’til July.

Props to Pax Arcana and the top-notch and talented Mrs. Pax, for starting this blog and then putting up with Perry’s posts (and for the killer limoncello labels–you rock, Mrs. P).

A shout-out to Hot Todd and the Bodacious Bride and the Reverend and Mrs. E for their unflagging support during some rough patches this year. We’re looking forward to many years of friendship, you crazy kids.

And to Perk and the Mrs., hearty and heart-felt congratulations on the bouncing bundle of joy that is Max. We’re looking forward to play dates galore (and some tips on the best baby gear). Thanks for blazing the childbirth trail and for just being there. And this one’s for the rest of you in the Beast Lair.

As for Doctor Dan, we’re really glad to have someone who’s always up for watching a Pats game, even if he is a closet Giants fan. Good luck Saturday, you’re going to need it.

Then there’s Bob Perilio and Mad Madge. What can we say? You guys are the best. Two of the All-Time Greats.

To Father Scott, we’re glad for the wisdom of youth and its impressive musical knowledge; we hope to meet you in person sometime soon to rag on Pax and compare some more musical notes.

Finally, to anyone we inadvertently overlooked: We love you too.

And to the rest of you, faithful readers, we hope this year brings peace, love and understanding. Barring that, let’s just hope for a Democrat in the White House (this means you, Obama).

– Perry Ellis


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Remembering Y2K

Wired commemorates New Year’s Eve with this look back at the Y2K panic of the late 1990s.

The distant future. The distant future. The year 2000. The year 2000.

Here’s a recap for those too young to remember Y2K, like Father Scott and new superstar commenter Fallen Angel, who were both probably too wrapped up in Pokemon and Aaron Carter to notice what was going on:

The problem, as some saw it, was that older computers still being used for critical functions might break down when the date switched from 99 to 00, since the numeric progression convention, programmed to store data using only the last two digits of any given year, wouldn’t recognize the logic of a century change.

As far as these computers were concerned, it would be 1900, not 2000. How much data might be lost as the result of this 100-year miscalculation was the great, unanswered question.

What started as a simple concern over business logic quickly escalated into full-blown panic once the national TV media got hold of the story. Suddenly we were in danger of falling airplanes and exploding dirt devils. No doubt about it, we were told, the lights will go out at midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999 and all of humanity will be shipped back to its hunter/gatherer roots.

None of that happened, of course. Most large companies and federal agencies were able to upgrade their critical applications in plenty of time, and computers in smaller businesses (and airplanes) just kept humming along.

The computers, it turns out, were smarter than we thought they were. Whether that’s a good thing remains to be seen.

Dec. 31, 1999: Horror or Hype? Y2K Arrives and the World Trembles [Wired]


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More proof that the machines are out to get us

[Hat tip: With Leather]

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Pax Linkographus: 16-0 edition

The night of extraordinary inner conflict for Pax Arcana ended somewhat predictably last night, as the juggernaut Patriots took out our beloved Giants with a last minute surge of raw power and precision — and the inevitable bad pick by Eli.

Brandon Jacobs is a beast.

Still in our Giants T-shirt this morning, we think we got the best of both worlds last night. Eli was superb. The Giants roll into the playoffs with a good head of steam. Only two starters (both Giants) were injured. And the Pats, whom we respect and admire more than any team in history, finished the season undefeated.

We hope to revisit our inner conflict on February 3, 2008.

The links:

  • PIAB has a pointed message for one Sacto hack [Perk is a Beast]
  • Like giving to charity? How about shooting heroin? Same difference, in terms of endorphins [NY Sun]
  • The rise of the MP3 is great in many ways, but what are we losing with the compressed format? An awful lot of what makes music great, say sound engineers [Rolling Stone, via Boing Boing]
  • Why no limestone on Mars? Because of the sulfur dioxide, duh [MIT News]
  • The official pilot of Pax Arcana takes the TSA behind the woodshed for its restupidous security policies [NY Times]
  • Cornell is training its janitors to look out for suicidal students. No word yet on whether they will move the university away from Ithaca-Goddamn-New-York [Wall Street Journal]
  • The Nanosolar powersheet is the top innovation of the year. The Larry Craig weinertater finished a distant third [Popular Science, via Dvorak Uncensored]
  • The next person who says blogs are killing journalism or that the Internet is ruining our culture gets punched in the fucking dick. We are not kidding [Reason]

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Judgment Day: Father Scott weighs in on 2007, pt. 4

Ladies and gents, we’ve reached the top ten. I struggled to find words for many of these songs — probably due more to poor writing than just being blown away by their awesomeness. But let’s blame the latter.


No, latter. With Ts, not Ds.

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Judgment Day: Father Scott weighs in on 2007, pt. 3

After a brief snow-, work-, and laziness-induced respite, the top 41 songs of 2007 countdown continues. Hopefully we’ll dig up a couple that Perry has heard of (but I kind of doubt it).

Did I choose a top 41 to honor official NBA player of Father Scott, Dirk Nowitzki? I’d like to call it a fortunate coincidence.

Vamanos, amigos.

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Anno Paxus: The Top Posts of 2007

king_alfred_statue.jpgSince we’re just killing time until the fat man brings us our HDTVs and train sets, we thought we’d do a recap of the year in Pax Arcana — which was actually far less than a year since we only started this blog in August. Our criteria for picking the top posts was pretty loose. Some made us laugh. Some made us feel queasy. And some even offered original content. Whatever. We half-assed it as usual.

Let’s start with the top post of 2007:

This one has it all: Food, irreverence, politics, current events, a great headline, and baked potatoes. It remains near the top of our most-read list, and is the link we go back when we need reminding why the hell we started this blogsperiment.

Lots more goodness after the jump.

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Mashup mania



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Golden oldies

Seeing as Pax, the Padre, Rolling Stone, Spin, Maxim, Billboard, Nutpickers Quarterly and every other fool with an iPod is busy penning a Top 10 lists (I blame you, David Letterman) to mark the end of one more spin around the sun, here’s one from yet another idiot whose only qualifications are a Webbernet connection and white headphones.

A caveat: Due to our advanced age and commensurate musical taste, pathetically few of these songs are even remotely current. How we envy a certain PhD candidate and Pax for their heppy hipitude. We’re so out of touch with the kids these days it’s a wonder our arthritic fingers can tap out “okkervil” (clearly the band can’t. Spell it, that is.)

Ah well. While we’re busy finding headphones for Mrs. Ellis’ abdomen–gotta get that kid savvy with the glory that is Hüsker Dü, and pronto–check out this ridorkerous list after the jump:

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Pax Linkographus: Color of the Year

blueman.jpg“If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out of it but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no-one dares criticize it.” – Pierre Gallois

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