Ruby, Watir: Attach IRB to existing IE

Today I created a handy tool for Watir script developers: iehook.rb
The general idea is:

  • user loads iehook.rb
  • a list of IE sessions is returned
  • user enters session number required
  • $ie global variable is now available

The Watir developer can now use the IRB session to interact with page elements in real-time, via watir commands applied to the $ie object. Here’s a IRB session using iehook:
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Belated Darwin Day post

This is a wonderful Kiwi short story I read over the Christmas break. Darwin visited Paihia and Waimate in his voyage aboard the Beagle. This lively tale shows a schoolboy’s perspective of evolution and history. Books: Waimate by Dave Armstrong | New Zealand Listener “At Waimate there are three large houses, where the missionary gentlemen, […]

Financial Acronyms, with Diagrams

From comments at DailyKos:

Teeny-tiny blue bar = subprime loans
Red bar = derivatives
The banks have failed, and cannot possibly turn themselves around with any amount of capital injection..

CDO : collateralized debt obligation
SEC: Securities Exchange Commission
FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FUBAR: the global financial outlook
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Tragedy of Western materialism

Unquestionably, science and technology have brought unprecedented wealth and luxury to our civilization, but “progress” has a heavy price: spiritually, socially, ecologically. 9/11 was a powerful symbol heralding a sea change in the machinations of Wall Street and a realignment of the global economy.

Some luminous thinkers have beautifully expressed their thoughts about the downside of Western materialism, in the following quotes (originals here).
Joe Bageant :

“As we have known at least since the Sixties, the core issue of our existence is consciousness, which our corporate state is compelled to control at all times. That’s why drugs are illegal; that’s why we have hundreds of television channels; and that’s why you will never find anything much resembling the truth in U.S. newspapers and magazines.
But there are still those of us who remember our consciousness experiments in the Sixties. Remember what it is like to peer into other realities, not to mention observe the inherent folly and frequent horror of our own war-profit-driven, animal murdering, death-and-sex-without-love obsessed culture. There are those of us who know that when a thrush cries out from the branch it echoes throughout the galaxy. All things are connected and ownership of things is meaningless. The purpose of life is to know this. Lao-tsu knew it, just like Einstein knew it. But you and I are not allowed to. It would shatter our revered hologram, the one that threatens to shatter the world.”

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