First: apologies for Making Light’s spells of inaccessibility. Our provider’s provider has been experiencing DOS (denial of service) attacks, and the provider just upstream from them is ATT. This is a problem. Every time ATT spaces out and forgets what it’s doing, it screws up the filters and configurations that keep the DOS attack from hitting our provider, and we (along with many other weblogs) get zapped.
So far, all I know about the DOS attacks is that the code for them was so incompetently written that they’re proving unusually hard to kill. The IP address they were aimed at isn’t even there anymore, but since they’re too dumb to realize it, they just go on attacking.
We are at the mercy of dweebs.
Second: I appear to have misjudged a joke. I can tell, because I keep hearing about it from very smart people who didn’t get it.
When I described Joe Shetler’s website about Ancient Rome as amusing, awful, and artificial, I was making reference to the well-known (but apparently not sufficiently well-known) story about the monarch telling Sir Christopher Wren that his recently completed St. Paul’s Cathedral was, likewise, “amusing, awful, and artificial”—which in those days would have meant, approximately, amazing, awe-inspiring, and artful or ingenious.
When humor goes badly astray, it’s the author’s fault, so this one is mine. Apologies to anyone who was confused. It’s really an excellent site.