Tori’s Birthday Party

November 25, 2013

Victoria got to celebrate her birthday in style at a rock-climbing, obstacle course, general athletic fun place. Below are the obligatory pictures.

We got there early, so Tori and Danielle hung out together


The obstacle course part was well done. They started out small:


And about every 10 minutes, they’d add on something at the end. So next they had to use the springboard to get up on the wall.


It was freezing in Brooklyn that day. Danielle was still cold, though I don’t think vaulting with a scarf is recommended.


Then, as they kept increasing the obstacle course, they took two kids at a time to climb the walls. So the kids were never waiting, they were always moving.


No problems getting to the top.


Danielle’s long legs give her a big advantage.


The usual pizza and cake followed, with some time left over for parachute fun.


And finally a dance party (can’t really tell with the flash, but it was dark with disco lights and smoke).


A very happy birthday for Tori and friends.

Hacking 101

November 22, 2013

People think of hacking as complicated programming to get into protected servers, but most of the time it’s just a basic con.

Courtesy of Business Insider, here’s how the Syrian Electronic Army hacked the AP’s twitter account and tweeted that there was an explosion in the White House (as the AP).

It’s the same story you hear over and over. They sent an email to someone at AP that convinced them to click a link. The link asked for an email login, but at that point the person wasn’t on their real email site so the hacker got the email password.

People tend to be too blasé with their email passwords. Oh, it’s just email, it’s not like it’s my banking site. Wrong. Completely wrong. If I have your email account I can go to your banking site and do a password reset. Or any site you use and do a password reset. Your email account is the key. I can get into any of your accounts at that point.

Google knows this and offers simple two factor authentication for any Gmail account. If Gmail is your primary email and you have a smart phone, you are crazy if you don’t do this. If I’m at a strange computer and I log into Gmail, Google sends me a text message on my phone with a code. I have to enter the code as well as my password (two factors). On my laptop that I use all the time, Google asks me about once a month. The inconvenience is negligible.

The security is invaluable.

One of these things is not like the others

November 21, 2013

Courtesy The Incidental Economist. Life expectancy (y-axis) and health care spending per capita (x-axis).

We’re better than the Czech Republic! (at only 4x the cost)

Pizza War

November 21, 2013

If you haven’t seen the Daily Show rant on Chicago Style pizza vs. NY pizza, Barry Ritholtz consolidates all the Daily Show videos for you. They are hilarious.

But you have to watch the one at the bottom first. That started it all. Then go top to bottom.

Here’s how I know I’m right. You call it Chicago Style pizza, you call it deep dish pizza, stuffed pizza. You know what we call it? (pulling out a NY slice) Eh? You know what we call this? Pizza.

Birthday Girl

November 20, 2013

Victoria is 7 today. Hard to believe we were in Guatemala almost 6 1/2 years ago.

Our normal school routine is to get Danielle to school by 7:50, but Tori can’t go to her classroom until 8:15. So we hang out in the cafeteria for a bit. She’s had breakfast at home, so if she wants something else I only let her have healthy stuff. This is both difficult (their bacon has optimal crispiness) and somewhat boring.

So birthday girl got a chocolate muffin today. Living large…


The party is Sunday, more pictures to come.

No Storybook Ending

November 20, 2013

Our nephew’s soccer team fought the good fight in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but there was no storybook ending. They got the #9 (at the time) ranked team in the country, York (PA). The match was in Hoboken at Steven’s Institute of Technology (ranked #5) so I was able to go see it.

You could tell from the beginning that York was good, particularly their defense. Someone told me over the season they only gave up on average 4 shots on goal per game (not 4 goals, 4 shots).

Mount Saint Mary played them tough, sending it to overtime 0-0, but finally lost 1-0. York would go on to beat Stevens (also in OT).

But overall a great season, and something Mount Saint Mary can really build on. The team is young and almost everyone is back next year. Should be fun to watch.


November 19, 2013

Sure, they’re getting old, but this is fantastic news. Monty Python has influenced my sense of humor (insert joke here) more than anything.

If you aren’t familiar with Monty Python, feel free to stop reading at this point.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is still my favorite movie (and I can still quote pretty much the whole thing, including deleted scenes (“Dennis, have you seen the cat’s front legs?”).

Some classics from the original show:

From The Holy Grail: