12.30.2004

Not enought time for a movie?

Some nice 30-second versions of popular films. Only with, er...bunnies. ;^>

(you know you've been working too long when the bunny from "The Shining" actually looks like Jack Nicholson...)

12.23.2004

Die, IE, Die!

Just kidding. All's fair in love and (browser) wars. Microsoft is finally losing ground to the infamous open-source Firefox browser. Which has less security issues, I might add. I've been working on another site redesign, which should work nice with all browsers...CSS and XHTML-compliant, too. If you're not a geek, please ignore that last sentence.

Oh, and Get Firefox. Or I'm not fixing your computer anymore....damned spyware!

12.21.2004

BULLETIN: Money STILL doesn't buy happiness

A follow up to a previous entry....this guy has more money than almost everyone, but that certainly can't help you out of every situation:

The 17-year-old granddaughter of a lottery jackpot winner was found dead near
her boyfriend's home, her body wrapped in a sheet and plastic tarp.

Fortune has not followed this guy, for sure:

Whittaker has had several brushes with the law since he won the prize. Earlier this month, a magistrate ordered him to go into rehab and surrender his driver's license after his second drunken driving arrest this year.

He has also been accused in two lawsuits of assaulting female employees of a racetrack. And his vehicle, business and home have been broken into.

In September, an 18-year-old friend of his granddaughter was found dead at Whittaker's home. That death remains under investigation. Whittaker was out of town at the time.
Today's Lesson: Enjoy life and family. Money can't bring them back.

12.15.2004

Money doesn't buy happiness...but you knew that already, right?

If $300 million won't do it, no amount will. Wife of largest lottery winner ever isn't a happy camper:
"I wish all of this never would have happened," Jewel Whittaker told The Charleston Gazette for Tuesday's editions. "I wish I would have torn the ticket up."
The husband can't keep his ass out of trouble, either:
Since winning the lottery two years ago, her husband, Jack Whittaker, has been arrested twice for drunken driving and has been ordered into rehab. He pleaded no contest Monday to a misdemeanor assault charge for attacking a bar manager, and is accused in two lawsuits of making trouble at a nightclub and a racetrack.
I'll just take a pretty-well-off, slightly-above-average, non-spotlight life, thanks. (My Christmas list? My woman, our cats, and egg nog in front of the fireplace. Everything else is "just stuff", as an old friend once told me.)

12.14.2004

Flying rocks from above!

THIS JUST IN FROM THE FIELD:
Gemind meteor shower last night. Nothin' to do, so I decided to freeze my ass off in 30°F weather for a while.

The short: Got out there for about an hour and a half around midnight, saw 29 meteors, 3 earthgrazers, and 2 nice "fireball" types that left wide streaks on the sky. Number caught on camera? Zero. Boy do I need that fisheye lens. FRIGGIN COLD. Fortunately I have a bad-ass sleeping bag that's rated to at least 20 degrees. Having a remote shutter release to hit from *inside* the sleeping bag would have been nice, though. ;^>

Some people actually got pictures. Me=jealous.

12.02.2004

TOP SECRET: Black Ops at the Int'l Spy Musuem

So, our yearly off-site department meeting for work turned out to be the International Spy Musuem in DC. Extremely cool, hightly recommended that you take about 4 hours to go through everything. Due to the usual team-building exercises, we weren't able to take it all in....just amazing.
Check out the Mobile Cam to the right for a few 'covert' pictures. (Cameras not allowed there, but it's a friggin' SPY MUSEUM. what to they expect from a geek with his camera phone?)

(Wow, 3 posts in a day....I scare myself)

Cocoa Puffs and porn....

Is porn something that needs to be regulated by the government? It's apparently a problem with the invention of the Internet...but this is a funny article on the subject. This had me rolling:
It's really hard for me to picture people having long-distance sex before the invention of the phone. Telegrams involve a third party, have no chance for a meaningful two-person dialogue and just aren't sexy. "BABY STOP TOUCH YOUR GIRDLE STOP ONE MORE TIME" just doesn't have the same ring as a throaty answering machine whisper.

Can't he at least afford a limo driver?

Today's "Dumbass Award": The biggest lottery winner ever gets' busted on DUI...carrying $117k in cash to boot:
Jack Whittaker, 57, was arrested Tuesday night after his Hummer struck a concrete median on the West Virginia Turnpike near Beckley.

11.30.2004

Time for the holidays...

Now that the holiday season is upon us, time to break out the standard and not-so-standard tunes. And of course, still waiting for this logo to show up on Google:


The Airing of Grievances: "During the past year, you have disappointed me in the following ways..."

11.22.2004

Democratic Party, Republican Party...Jedi Party?

Still upset about the election? A dose of humor for ya...spotted in Lynchburg, Virginia:

11.19.2004

"Fear and Loathing in Las Veg"...er, Redmond.

Microsoft at their old fear tactics again. "LINUX IS BAD FOR YOU! YOU COULD GET SUED! WINDOWS WILL HEAL THE WORLD & IMPROVE YOUR LOVE LIFE!"

Microsoft Corp. warned Asian governments on Thursday they could face patent lawsuits for using the Linux operating system instead of its Windows software.

Linux violates more than 228 patents, according to a recent report from a research group, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said at the company's Asian Government Leaders Forum in Singapore.

I bet Microsoft holds about 200 of said patents. Next up: Patent on the 'space bar' and royalties per use. Asses.

UPDATE: It's actually 283, but were quoted as "potentially to be used to support claims of infringement". Doesn't mean they would succeed. For example, SCO is eating crow now.

11.17.2004

Technology gone too far....(sigh)

You thought e-mail and "smileys" were emotionally detached methods of communicating? This is a prime example of how bad it's getting. The ROBOTIC HUG. I'm not kidding:
"Now, robotics researchers at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh have designed a soft, huggable pillow that uses sensing and wireless phone technology to provide a physical touch, and thus better social and emotional support, for distant family members."

11.10.2004

Modesty=None

Yeah, I couldn't help it. It being Halloween and all, you shouldn't be suprised at my costume. A certain someone at the party managed to snap a pic with her camera and send it to me...so, I took the liberty of a little Photoshop work for a new banner for the site. Took me a while to decide to post it...call it an exercise in humility.

How long it stays up there depends on how ridiculous I think I look. But hey...who ever did anything NORMAL on Halloween anyway? If you knew my friends, this is nothing compared to their oddities.

And yes, I know the prints from DT 7 are available now on Whelan's site. As the representative Dark Tower Junkie of my group of friends, it's my job. ;^> A damn pretty penny for them...ouch.

11.09.2004

Map time...today's color=PURPLE.

Trying to avoid nightmares of Barney....if you're tired of the typical "red state vs. blue state" map pushed by the media (which makes it look like we're full of Republicans), here's a better representation of the recent election:


Lots of red, but not many people live there. Always nice to know that Asshat Bush was re-elected by the most remote, out-of-touch part of our population. Do they even HAVE television to watch the political ads? Ugh. Check out the whole article for a nice discussion on map granularity that says it all.

11.03.2004

Kerry concedes...

Looks like barring a major upset, Ohio has a spread about the same size as the number of uncounted provisional ballots. Kerry would have to carry (ha, a joke!) almost all of them. He's called Bush to concede. Speech later today.

Back to 4 more years of the same. All you who voted for the 2 big parties....one day when Social Security falls apart and you're paying 70% federal tax for 500 different social programs while we fight 4 wars in the Middle East with our kids...you'll change your mind. For now...shut up and pay your massive taxes, bitches! ;^>


11.02.2004

Fun in Florida...again?

Some optical machine in FL used for early voting has a memory card failure...13,000 votes to recount now.

Now, that's all fine and dandy, I expect the occasional hardware flaw. What if that had been one of the new Diebold e-voting machines we have here in MD? Yep, 13,000 votes down the drain.

UPDATE: Nope....Ohio's going to be the problem. Provisional ballots.

THE END IS UPON US...VOTE!

Time to decide the fate of the free world, people! I don't care why or who or how....just get your ass down to the polling places or shut up and pay your taxes for the next 4 years. ;^>

Here's to hoping someone carries both Ohio and Florida so I can go to bed EARLY this time!

11.01.2004

Paging Mr. LaForge?

Real original design on the new retinal displays....paging Mr. LaForge? Please report to engineering:

What makes the VRD so unique is that there is no screen. The device literally paints a video image onto your eyeball with a laser beam. The picture is crisper and brighter than any competing heads-up display and doesn't guzzle power like postage-stamp LCD or LED screens.


</trek>

10.28.2004

SOX WIN!



And so, during the light of the crimson moon, the curse is reversed...both in Boston, and for Gilead and the Tower.

After 18 long years, I've finished my own journey with the Dark Tower books, at least as far as Sai King is concerned. After all, the journey is indeed the destination. But each of us has our own Tower, and our own door at that final room at the top...for Roland, for Boston, and for you, dear reader. May you each find your Dark Tower, and conquer it in the end.

Ka, like a wheel, always comes around. Gan be praised, and we all say thankya.

(Ves'-Ka Gan sings ever softly on the wind of ka...if ye will but listen.)

10.25.2004

Red Sox...and Discordia?

Anyone been watching the Red Sox - Yankees matchup? First comeback to Game 7 from an 0-3 series by ANY team EVER. Curse be damned? Do the Yankees, in fact, suck?

UPDATE: The Sox do in fact rock. Going the whole way this year after humbling NY? Wow. Damn good baseball....now if the World Series goes 4 games, they'll finish under Wednesday's lunar eclipse. If they go all 7 games, the last will be on Halloween. Time to break the curse? Indeed.

UPDATE 10/24: Sox ahead in the series 2-0. And Stephen King is in the stands, working on his new book about the BoSox....he chose a helluva year! Wednesday is looming. O Discordia...worlds turn about the Tower.

UPDATE 10/25: Fark.com thread on this. First lunar eclipse during a World Series ever...and it's the 100th one. And they beat the Yankees after the never-before 3-0 deficit, with Game 7 ending at the stroke of midnight. The end is nigh...

10.22.2004

The new party game?

Mindball....no hands, no buttons. Just your brain and an opponent's. Bet this is great with drunk people. ;^>
Mindball is an experience product, a game where two players control a ball with their brain waves. The player being most relaxed wins the game.

10.18.2004

Civil disobedience...

Can we get some press coverage on this please? My boy gets arrested and not a peep from CNN?
The first report from St. Louis is in - and presidential candidates Michael Badnarik (Libertarian) and David Cobb (Green Party) were just arrested. Badnarik was carrying an Order to Show Cause, which he intended to serve the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

Trying to server papers to the debate commision to let them participate...of course crossing a police line, yeah that'll get you a smack down. Can you say "civil disobedience" kids? I knew you could!

VOTE 2004....FOR ANYONE, NOT JUST KERRY/BUSH, DAMMIT.

10.14.2004

Middle-class squeeze?

So, after hearing all my life about the middle class getting shafted, and taxed into oblivion....it appears that we may be doing better after all:
Let's examine the Census numbers. They certainly don't indicate that, over any reasonable period, middle-class living standards have stagnated. Mostly, the middle class is getting richer. Consider: in 2003, 44 percent of U.S. households had before-tax incomes exceeding $50,000; about 15 percent had incomes of more than $100,000 (they're also included in the 44 percent). In 1990 the comparable figures were 40 percent and 10 percent. In 1980 they were 35 percent and 6 percent. All comparisons are adjusted for inflation.

It appears the influx of immigrants may be dragging down that all-important "median income" average everyone likes to quote. The above in table format makes it clearer:
Year 50k+ 100k+
2003 44% 15%
1990 40% 10%
1980 35% 6%

10.08.2004

All is well with the world

You can now Google from your phone via SMS (Send the query to "46645"...of course that's "GOOGL"). Prices through Froogle, search results snippets, and residential/business listings by zip code. "Pizza 21009" for those poker nights with the boys. W00t!

...or are you just happy to see me?

Is that a bulge in your jacket, Mr. President?

Was President Bush literally channeling Karl Rove in his first debate with John Kerry? That's the latest rumor flooding the Internet, unleashed last week in the wake of an image caught by a television camera during the Miami debate. The image shows a large solid object between Bush's shoulder blades as he leans over the lectern and faces moderator Jim Lehrer.

The president is not known to wear a back brace, and it's safe to say he wasn't packing. So was the bulge under his well-tailored jacket a hidden receiver, picking up transmissions from someone offstage feeding the president answers through a hidden earpiece?

10.06.2004

Haven't I seen you before?

On Dick Cheney's VP debate comment about Edwards' attendance record, and how the debate was the "first time we've met"...a picture really IS worth a thousand words:

Oops?

10.01.2004

Pick one, already!

Ooh, 2 posts in one day. My friend Eric sums up the election best for us all:
"Well, you know they say that anybody who's still undecided (and they said this months ago) is either (a) a moron, (b) a liar or (c) someone who loves the attention that goes with being an 'undecided voter'..."

Open mouth, insert shoe store?

If you missed the fun and games, a visual summary of last night's presidential debate (courtesy of a fark.com thread):

Some people see a tie, but if you try to tell me Bush actually won that one, bring flowers for the funeral when I laugh myself to death.

Still pissed that we again only get 2 candidates. No media coverage of the Libertarian/Green party debate that went on earlier that day. Still voting for the Libs, as Kerry is almost certain to take Maryland.

9.21.2004

All Hail the (Crimson) King!

So, after a grueling 6 hour drive to Old Greenwich, CT...I finally met the Wordslinger, Stephen King. A very surreal experience for sure, but what should I really expect after 18 years of waiting for the last book?

Felicia Stafford, the first fan in line, entered the store singing "Happy Birthday."

"Thank you. I'm going to be 25," said King, 58.

...

Flipping through a copy of "Dark Tower VII," King expressed his pride in what he considers the series' unique combination of Whelan's illustrations and his text.

"One of the things I wish people would talk about is that for a mass-marketed American book there is nothing like it," King told Whelan. "Harry Potter doesn't compare."

Pics are finally up (after my PC decided to die this weekend). Let's just say the price for finally gaining the Dark Tower is paid in roses. Of course. Ka is always satisfied, eh?

More articles: Sara and King (think it was her birthday)

9.08.2004

NASA: Oops?

After waiting a long time to watch this live over the web, I come back to my desk from a last-minute meeting to this depressing news (complete with video if you wanna watch the big boom):
The Genesis sample return capsule's drogue and parafoil did not deploy as planned today, and the capsule impacted on the ground in the Utah desert.

$260 million down the drain. Ugh. Ok, my work day just got a lot better by comparison!

9.07.2004

Politi-blog of the day:

Some good blogging on the Republi-crap being thrown around after the RNC (my emphasis):

"...Republicans have the gall to accuse Clinton of not having pursued the terrorists or faced down Saddam. They themselves excoriated Clinton for having the temerity to fire cruise missiles at him, though ... I challenge you to go and find all that support for the war on terror Clinton was supposed to have from your party. I mean, seriously, weren't your people the ones who said that Clinton was just firing the missiles off to distract from their all-important investigation of him and Monica Lewinsky? One wonders what could have been done with either one of those problems, had the president not been fighting for his political survival on matters so sordid and so separate from the function of his office.

In a week or two, we will commemorate the third anniversary of 9/11. Three years in which the president, given the opportunity and the resources of the greatest nation on this planet could not find and root out the man most responsible for the deaths of almost three thousand of our fellow Americans."

9.01.2004

Two-sided Kerry? How about stubborn one-sidedness?

This about sums up all this election crap so far. From Slate:
I'm no huge fan of John Kerry. He sees two sides of every one-sided issue, and four sides of every two-sided issue. But the alternative is a president who sees one side of every issue, no matter how many sides it has. Given how many sides there usually are, and given how little effort Bush makes to learn about each issue, the odds are that, on average, he'll pick the wrong side. The record of the last four years shows that he has done precisely that. But because Bush refuses to "waver," as Schwarzenegger charitably puts it, we keep going in the wrong direction. The only way to stop such a president is to vote him out of office. Fortunately, an election is coming.

8.25.2004

Why didn't I think of this one?

Sheesh. Outsourcing can be a two-edged sword.

Programmers are outsourcing their software modules to cheap and efficient labour in India. This way they get the best of both worlds- more money and more time. They earn doubly - one from the outsourced job, other from the new job they undertake.

This guy gets major kudos:
Says a programmer on Slashdot.org who outsourced his job: "About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my job. I pay him $12,000 out of the $67,000 I get. He's happy to have the work. I'm happy that I have to work only 90 minutes a day just supervising the code. My employer thinks I'm telecommuting. Now I'm considering getting a second job and doing the same thing."

8.23.2004

New house!

Ok, as of the 16th, we're in the new house, so check out the pics if you haven't by now. Combined housewarming/annual-end-of-summer party to be around September 18th. It's before Sept. 21st, so technically still in the summer, ha!

(FYI, furniture in the pics is the previous owner...mine's not that nice. yet.)

8.19.2004

It's Miller Time!

Guard your stash when you go camping in the Washington area, apparently:
"We noticed a bear sleeping on the common lawn and wondered what was going on until we discovered that there were a lot of beer cans lying around," said Lisa Broxson, a worker at the Baker Lake Resort, 80 miles (129 kilometers) northeast of Seattle.

8.13.2004

Blogging from Deep Creek Lake...hopefully

Blogging from Deep Creek Lake in western MD...hopefully photo updates to come on the right. -->

UPDATE: Eh, no picture messages on the extended network out there. Had to send 'em all on the way back. Check them out!

8.11.2004

The sky is falling! POW!

Possibly kick-ass Perseid meteor shower tonight and tomorrow. Chicken little unavailable for comment.

In other news...POW!:

Maybe he's pulling a "pre-emptive strike" on the opponent BEFORE they take the ball away?

8.02.2004

No Nader, please... (redux)

Pic of the day...as both "Fahrenheit 9/11" director Michael Moore and political satirist Bill Maher plead Ralph Nader to drop out of the race.

7.30.2004

A little Bush back in the ol' college days?

Ah, old Doonesbury. Both John Kerry, and Dubya in it's mistly origins:
By some strange quirk of art history, the man who inspired Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau to draw his first cartoon was . . . George W. Bush.

Trudeau tells the story in a rare interview in the Aug. 5 issue of Rolling Stone. He met Bush at Yale in the '60s, when Bush was a junior and Trudeau a freshman. "He was just another sarcastic preppy who gave people nicknames and arranged for keg deliveries," Trudeau says.

7.26.2004

My bad.

Sheesh, looking back at all my posts....a bit on the political side, you think? Eh...can't help it. Funnier stuff if you want, always at fark.com.

No Nader, please...

Ok, changed my mind.  No more 'anyone but Bush' strategy:
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader's quixotic presidential campaign says it submitted about 5,400 signatures to get on the Michigan ballot, far short of the required number of 30,000. Luckily for him, approximately 43,000 signatures were filed by Michigan Republicans on his behalf, more than meeting the requirement.

Asses.  Go vote for Kerry already.  Not that I love the guy, but watching a resounding, crushing, landslide defeat by Bush would make me SO happy.  ;^>
And in other news, 81 (and counting) reasons to hate Bush.

7.21.2004

Flip. Flop. Dubya style!

I'm tired of every five minutes some Republican article about John Kerry not standing on any one side of an issue, and it inevitably ends with the over-used line "Flip. Flop."  Try this one on for size, asshats:
7/20/04: "The enemy declared war on us," Bush told a re-election rally in Cedar Rapids. "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president... The next four years will be peaceful years."

2/8/04: "I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind," he said in February. 
Er.... Flip. Flop. ;^>

7.19.2004

Bush in 30 seconds...

Again, I have to preface this with the fact that Kerry doesn't thrill me, but he doesn't seem to have massive campaigns against him like Bush does. They worry about Kerry's "flip-flopping", non-presence for voting in Congress, etc. It still pales in comparison to the things a sitting President is capable of doing...especially one who the infamous Bobby Fischer called "borderline retarded". Some great ads by bushin30seconds.org:


7.15.2004

Today's irony:

After NOT being found guily of the insider trading charges...but finally getting nailed on lying to the gov't about something she was never charged with (although when they lie to you, that seems to be fine...see any failed gov't program for examples), here's some irony to the outcome:

...in a bittersweet coda to the saga that began more than two years ago, consider this: ImClone stock closed at $80.30 per share, up from the average $58.43 that Stewart got when she dumped her shares, reaping about $228,000.
Had Stewart held onto her ImClone stock, it would now be worth about $315,000.

Side note:  We give Martha jail time for lying and obstruction of justice, but couldn't manage to hold a certain President accountable for the same thing?  Again, ironic.  Sing it, Alanis...

</freeMartha>

7.12.2004

Where's my Dick?

Heh...had to play off the last post a bit. Anyway, can't leave the veep alone, now can I?
The Vice President is currently under investigation by French authorities for bribery, money laundering and misuse of corporate assets while at Halliburton and also faces a U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission probe of a $180 million "slush fund" that may have been used to pay bribes.
...
Halliburton say the company's internal investigation clearly implicates Vice President Cheney but acknowledge the investigation will remain sealed in light of the company's $7 billion sweetheart contract with the Pentagon for work in Iraq.

Lord, may I never be that all-powerful. Just leads to corruption. Bleh.

7.09.2004

Where's my Bush?

No surprise here, at all:
Military payroll records that could more fully document President Bush (news - web sites)'s whereabouts during his service in the Texas Air National Guard were inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon (news - web sites).

Oops.

Also, in the gone-but-not-forgotten category: Al Gore is still a heck of a speech writer, and sums it up nicely here. (long one, though)

7.07.2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

Michael Moore's film...go see it. If you're a Republican, you'll be offended at the way Bush looks like an idiot who started an unprovoked war. If you're a Democrat, you'll be offended at how your Congressmen look like they stood by and did nothing (in fact, voting to give Bush the authority to invade). If you're a military family, you'll wonder why the troops are still over there, and why they aren't coming home anytime soon. (And if you're a U.N. weapons inspector, you're STILL wondering where the WMDs are.)

From any standpoint, ask yourself: "Do I want 4 more years of this?" Or would you rather have at least the POSSIBILITY of something better? I loathe both the major political parties, but I have to say a lame duck President who has no moral problem with preemptively invading a country that has never attacked us is scary.

There should be enough of us out there that even with 3rd party votes, Bush should still get swept in the election. Vote for ANYONE ELSE BUT GEORGE BUSH. And tell all your friends and family.

</soapbox>

7.04.2004

Loving that goverment contract deal....

Surprise. Halliburton contracts are wasting your taxpayer money. Big government-approved waste, as usual.
DeYoung produced documents detailing alleged waste even on routine services: $50,000 a month for soda, at $45 a case; $1 million a month to clean clothes — or $100 for each 15-pound bag of laundry.

DeYoung also claims people were paid to do nothing. Mike West says he was one of them. Paid $82,000 a year to be a labor foreman in Iraq, West claims he never had any laborers to supervise. "They said just log 12 hours a day and walk around and look busy," he said. "OK, so we did."

Need I say vote for a third party this year? Might I suggest the Libertarian, again?

6.30.2004

MobileBlog - NJ

Headed back now...Corp offices r nice but Jersey is nothin' but industrial blacktop hell. Ugh.

MobileBlog - NJ

Catchin' the train to NJ for some work @ our corporate offices. Acela Express is pretty quick. Blogging from a phone isn't. :-[

6.28.2004

Smells fishy, eh?

Well, normally I only lookup things on snopes.com to debunk e-mails, but occasionally I browse the latest entries, and sure enough....truth can be stranger than fiction (with pics):
...a resident in the area saw a ball bouncing around kind of strange like in the developments pond and when he went to investigate, it was a flathead catfish who had obviously tried to swallow a child's basketball which became stuck in its mouth. The fish was totally exhausted from trying to dive but unable to because the ball would always bring him back up to the surface. The resident tried numerous times to get the ball out but was unsuccessful. He finally had his wife cut the ball in order to deflate the ball and release the catfish.


6.24.2004

Sheesh, try to make an innocent point...

Here at BWI airport: So much for the current "improved" post-9/11 security. One kid trying to prove the point that it's not better. Cost of making the point: 2 years probation, $500 fine. I'd do the same thing, if I had $500 bucks to spare. :^>
A college student who says he hid box cutters on airplanes to expose weaknesses in security was sentenced Thursday to two years supervised probation and fined $500.

Nathaniel Heatwole also must serve 100 hours of community service and reimburse his parents for up to $500 in legal expenses.

Heatwole, 21, told U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm that his intentions were constructive and he never meant to embarrass security officials or put anyone in any danger. But the judge said Heatwole's actions "produced an opposite effect."

The best way to bring about change is "civilly, rationally, and openly," Grimm told the student.

Sure....like write your corrupt legislators, vote in your Diebold-rigged elections, hold a peaceful demonstration (IF you can get a permit). Sometimes you have to be a little more blunt in your tactics, I suppose. Gotta agree with the kid 100% on this one...maybe wrong in his methods, but damn right in principle.
(off to vote Libertarian yet again)

6.21.2004

MobileBlog

Hangin out @ the parents' house for Father's Day...burgers & crabs. Mmm.

6.18.2004

Flaunting your voley charms?

The male species weeps today:
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- What would you give for a simple injection that would stop your lover from cheating?

Well, at least it works for meadow voles.

A single gene inserted into the brain can change promiscuous male rodents into faithful, monogamous partners, scientists said Wednesday.

Even better quote from this article:
"Even when temptresses came by and flaunted their voley charms, the genetically-modified males only had eyes for that one partner."

6.17.2004

Criminal Injustice System

Apparently we have a severe lack of ability to uphold our own laws anymore. Steven Oken. One man. 3 murders. Convicted 17 years ago. Still alive. You judge:
A federal judge today granted an indefinite stay in the execution of convicted killer Steven Oken so his lawyers can argue that Maryland's most recent execution raises doubts about the state's lethal injection procedures.

Oken was sentenced to death in 1991 by a Baltimore County jury for the 1987 rape and murder of Dawn Marie Garvin, a White Marsh newlywed.

Yes, this hits close to home. My parent's are friends with the Romano family. And if you think this is just another run-of-the-mill argument of pro- and anti-death-penalty camps...read the details of Dawn's rape and murder. I hate when people try and say stuff like "oh, the families just want vengence". That's why we let a jury of 12 random people decide things.

Justice please?

UPDATE: Justice is served.

6.16.2004

F*cking villagers....

Residents of an Austrian village called F*cking, have voted against changing the name.
The 150 or so people who live in the village debated the issue after roadsigns kept being stolen - many by British tourists.

Spokesman Siegfried Hoeppl, said, "Everyone here knows what it means in English, but for us F*cking is F*cking - and it`s going to stay F*cking - even though the signs keep getting stolen."

He said the name came from Mr F*ck and his family who settled in the area 100 years ago, and added "ing", meaning village or settlement
.

6.15.2004

Super-poll time!

If you've ever wanted to know what it would sound like if you actually tried to take the average of all Americans' opinions on Bush/Iraq/terrorism, it might sound like this.

A bit long of an article, but you get some gems like:
FP: Shortly after the terrorist attacks, the U.S. Congress passed new legislation called the U.S.A. Patriot Act, which removes certain limitations on the government's ability to monitor and detain individuals. How well do you feel you understand that legislation?

JP: Not very well.

FP: Based on what you know, though, would you say that the Patriot Act is a good thing overall?

JP: Basically, yes.
Scary, just scary.

6.14.2004

The "Latte Factor"...drinking your life away?

Ah, we all want to retire early, of course. The hard part? Actually biting the bullet and MANAGING YOUR MONEY. I've been saying this stuff for a long time:

According to the principles of Your Money or Your Life, the money management book by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, money equals life energy. In other words, you worked some period of time for that mochaccino, thereby spending part of your life to pay for that fleeting treat.

Thinking of money as life energy is an excellent way to spend less. For example, would you buy yet another pair of shoes if you knew it would cost you five hours of your life? Or how about a new car when your old one works fine if you lose several weeks of your life to pay for it, and yet more time to maintain it?

It's called the "Latte Factor". Look it up....then pack a friggin' lunch to work. ;^> If I didn't understand that principle, I'd be driving a BMW Z3, but sure as hell wouldn't be buying my new house, now would I?

6.11.2004

The soft glow of electric sex....

If you've doubted....Amazon really DOES sell everything.

The lamp from "A Christmas Story" comes with, er..."glowing" reviews:
"My blessed-over-all-other friends gave me this for my birthday/Christmas/Thanksgiving/Flag Day present. It is everything Ralphie's dad coveted and more. I cannot wait to display it in a front window where everyone can observe the soft glow of electric sex gleaming through the night."

"When lit up, the leg & lamp shade both glow a warm yellow. I'm sure our neighbors hate us for displaying it lit up in our front window every night but it's just so darn trashy! The fishnet & fringe is real so you will have to be careful not to snag it on anything and so far our cats have left it alone."

6.03.2004

Pic of the day....too close for comfort?

Amazing close-up of a tornado in Nebraska. It violates my personal tornado safety rule: "If I can see it, I'm too close."

6.02.2004

AudioBlog

this is an audio post - click to play

Bush vs. Umbrella!

Courtesy of my blog-less friend Eric...Bush vs. the Almighty Umbrella of Doom. Have to say the umbrella appears to be about as effective as his Iraq policy. ;^>

5.28.2004

Rook out! Gogirra!

Looks like the famed Godzilla movies are coming to an end finally...with a bang!
The 28th film in the series will pit Godzilla against 10 other monsters, wrecking Sydney, New York, Paris, Shanghai and much of Japan in the process, said a spokesman for production company Toei.

ROOK OUT!

5.26.2004

Hero of the day!

Bet you don't get fringe benefits like this one:
An IT company in Nordjylland, Denmark has introduced a novel program to keep employees satisfied. After examining well-known trends in Internet and business traffic, LL Media decided it would be sensible and appreciated to offer all of its employees free subscriptions to Internet pornography.

The company's director, Levi Nielsen, believes that access to porn is a natural fringe benefit, like a free phone or a company car.

Hey, I'm still waiting for the free phone and company car, dude. ;^>

5.19.2004

Hybrid car-owners ignore this post.

Y'all can stop whining about the high gas prices. Buy less or deal with it. What's this crap about dipping into the national oil reserves?
Bad idea. The reserve is meant for national emergencies ... like wars and embargoes. Hey, the way things are going overseas, we may actually really need that oil one day.
Dipping into the reserve now just because prices are high is like raiding your 401k to cover your taste for steak and lobster. Try eating Kraft macaroni and cheese for awhile instead.


UPDATE: Get used to expensive gas, lads. We're gonna run out eventually.

5.18.2004

Glad to see all those new jobs, Bush

Remember last year when Bush gave a speech at the Canton, Ohio manufacturing plant about how his economic plan was improving the jobs in this country? Bad news, Dubya:
Last week, Timken announced that the folks right there in that room are getting fired. Timken, the world's largest industrial bearings maker, whose chairman is a major donor and fund-raiser for the Republican Party, plans to shut down three factories in Canton and eliminate 1,300 jobs.
Not looking good for Bush in Ohio. Note: since 1892, only to presidential candidates have lost Ohio and still won. ;^>

5.17.2004

Library of Alexandria found?

If there hadn't been the huge fire that destroyed everything back in ancient times, this would probably be the biggest archeological find EVER:
"It is perhaps the oldest university in the world."

It was at the library that Archimedes invented the screw-shaped water pump that is still in use today. At Alexandria Eratosthenes measured the diameter of the Earth, and Euclid discovered the rules of geometry. Ptolemy wrote the Almagest at Alexandria. It was the most influential scientific book about the nature of the Universe for 1,500 years.

The library was later destroyed, possibly by Julius Caesar who had it burned as part of his campaign to conquer the city.

Damn Romans. More at arstechnica.com.

And which 'mission accomplished' would that be?

Nice to see we're forming a kindler gentler Iraq. Thanks for helping along that peace process Dubya:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The current president of the Iraqi Governing Council was among several people killed Monday in a suicide car bombing near Baghdad's Green Zone, a council official said.

According to Iraqi Governing Council sources, council President Izzedine Salim was on his way into the Green Zone, which houses coalition headquarters, when he was killed.
...

The presidency of the governing council is a rotating position.

After the blast, the governing council selected Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, a Sunni Muslim from the northern city of Mosul, to replace Salim as its president.

5.14.2004

Nicer when you actually earn it?

Latest retarded study you can just disregard:
Lottery winners, trust-fund babies and others who get their money without working for it do not get as much satisfaction from their cash as those who earn it, a study of the pleasure center in people's brains suggests.

Sure, gimme $10 million, and I'll try out that theory. I'll get back to you in a year...from my three-drink-minimum bar down in St. Lucia. Or my villa in Sicily.

5.13.2004

MobileBlog

Driving home in traffic. Plenty of time to blog. Where's 21st century tech when ya need it? Teleporters? Sheesh.

Yep, still blogging from the web.

Only now, I can blog from any email address....which includes from my cell phone now. Mobile blogging! Is there no stopping me?

AudioBlog! W00t!

this is an audio post - click to play

Liberal media? Not doing a great job helping Kerry.

Believe it or not, the usually-liberal media is actually helping Bush by overreacting to everything. As mystery novelist (and blogger!) Roger L. Simon points out:

Actually, the American public can be remarkably savvy. At the very last they want to know what a candidate stands for... duh! And they like it best when he stands for one thing. Bush, for the most part, stands for one thing. And as long as the media are against him, if I were a gambling man, I'd bet on him.

*** New blog, finally? ***

Ok, I'd like to say my massive geek superpowers prevailed, but after much torture at attempting to develop my own ASP.NET blog, I've gotta go with the easier choice. Courtesy of Blogger, I've decided to use their easy-as-pie tools, but to publish the blog via FTP back to my own site here (just in case their servers explode, they go bankrupt, etc...I still want my blog up). So, I get a nice blogging tool (with email blogging built in, yay! Blogging on vacation soon to come!), and retain the wonderful look of this humble website.

Enjoy.

5.12.2004

Get out and VOTE, dammit!

As if this election isn't going to be as close as the infamous 2000 "hanging-chad" one, the stakes just went up a bit again:
ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - Democratic challenger John Kerry said on Wednesday his first choice as defense secretary would be Republican Sen. John McCain as he criticized the Bush administration for failed policies in Iraq.

Wow, just amazing. Bi-partisanzhip in our election? I could be persuaded to vote for a MAJOR PARTY for the first time in my life....just MAYBE.

5.07.2004

Asshats.

After buying out TechTV G4 has fired the entire staff. One of the few shows I actually watch regularly on TV...but that seems to be a trend: cancel the few shows of mine. Farscape, anyone? (Which at least may be making a brief comeback.)

5.03.2004

Rough first day on the job?

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government's plans to levy fines on companies that fail to hire trainees will also be applied to legal German brothels, Der Spiegel news magazine reports.

Several members of the Greens party tried to allow an exemption for prostitutes but the Education Ministry responsible for the legislation blocked that, arguing it "would cause considerable difficulties", Der Spiegel said.


'Nuff said.

4.26.2004

Poll time!

Great. According to a new PIPA/Knowledge Networks poll:

"Perhaps most relevant politically, perceptions of what the experts are saying are also highly correlated with intentions to vote for the President in the upcoming election. Among those who perceived experts as saying that Iraq had WMD, 72% said they would vote for Bush and 23% said they would vote for Kerry, while among those who perceived experts as saying that Iraq did not have WMD, 23% said they would vote for Bush and 74% for Kerry."


Not making me enthusiastic about the November elections....gonna move to Antarctica now.

Professor MPAA?

From ArsTechnica, the latest program on "teaching" your kids about copyright, courtesy of the MPAA (and a few million dollars from them).

Their motto for the program: "If you don't pay for it, you're stolen it" Never mind things like "fair-use" (trading tapes with friends, parody, critique), or the fact that there are things that are copyrighted but FREE.

As the article points out, would you want your children to learn about health care from the health care industry?

4.22.2004

Take that, Bush!

Republicans demand to see Kerry's "questionable" military record. Records released. "Glowing review". Repubs stick foot in mouth. Bush expected to try and trump up his stay-at-home National Guard duty. News at 11.



Update. A briefer summary by Tom Toles of the Washington Post, from Eric.

4.15.2004

"Actionable intelligence"

While you're all focused on the declassified memo that Bush and Condi Rice have claimed had no "actionable intelligence"....this one just out from the FBI that never made it to them. Thanks, Mulder/Scully.

"The purpose of this communication is to advise the Bureau and New York of the possibility of a coordinated effort by USAMA BIN LADEN (UBL) to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation universities and colleges. Phoenix has observed an inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest who are attending or who have attended civil aviation universities and colleges in the State of Arizona. "

A good 2 months before 9/11. What a pathetic chain of command we have. NASA suffered from a similar thing when Columbia was destroyed. No one ever talks to their boss. Pathetic.

Political musings, etc.

Still working on the new blog....so it's been a while for updates. Looking forward to integrating this back into the main site. Anyone out there reading it? Anyway, here's a bunch for ya:

Back to whatever you were doing now.

4.12.2004

"Onshoring"?

Gee, you mean offshoring jobs isn't the answer to everything? Oh, my heart weeps. NOT.

Wesley Bertch admits he fell for offshore outsourcing "hook, line and sinker." So when Bertch, chief techie for Minneapolis-based Life Time Fitness, a health club chain, needed software to evaluate potential new locations for gyms late last year, he looked overseas where he could pay $6 an hour instead of $60 for programmers. He hired a large, reputable Indian outsourcing firm a few months ago, then sat back and watched his troubles mount. Not only did the offshore team produce code that was full of bugs, they ran up big bills working overtime to fix their mistakes. Bertch finally canned the offshore contractors, hired several local programmers and started preaching to industry colleagues that managing such projects across oceans is doomed to failure. His biggest surprise? "I've since talked to scores of my peers, and we are all singing from the same hymn book," Bertch says.


4.07.2004

Trifecta! Beer, sex, and video games.

Apparently surgeons who play video games are better during surgery. The trio is complete. Beer, sex, and video games are all now GOOD FOR YOU! My goal is to now be the healthiest person alive...heh. The posts on the fark.com thread are great:
Who knew blowing people in half with the Flak cannon might help save lives?
...
scalpel?
scalpel.
swab?
swab.
forceps?
forceps.
sniper rifle?

Game on!

4.06.2004

Quotes(s) of the day...

Yep. Still working on the new journal. Meantime, some quotes to tickle your political funny-bone:

"I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war."
-George W. Bush, October 11, 2000

"We meet here during a crucial period in the history of our nation, and of the civilized world. Part of that history was written by others; the rest will be written by us ... Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more."
-George W. Bush, February 26, 2003


3.30.2004

EHS?

And I thought I had heard about every medical condition possible. This gave me a good snort:

Imagine drifting off to sleep only to be roused into a sudden panic by a cataclysmic noise erupting inside your head.

The condition is known as "exploding head syndrome," and people who have been affected by it describe the sound as a violent explosion or an enormous roar "so loud it could kill me." Dr. Joel Saper described the unusual condition last year in a column in the Detroit Free Press.

3.29.2004

Pick of the day...

I'm not making this up...really.
Picking your nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy, according to a top Austrian doctor. Innsbruck-based lung specialist Prof Dr Friedrich Bischinger said people who pick their noses with their fingers were healthy, happier and probably better in tune with their bodies.

He says society should adopt a new approach to nose picking and encourage children to take it up.

3.25.2004

Don't mess with Richard!

Richard Simmons charged with assault? He may be old, but all that exercise sure has kept him in shape over the years...to smack your ass!

A fellow passenger recognized Simmons on Wednesday night at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport as he was waiting for a flight to Los Angeles, police said.

The man "made the off-hand comment, 'Hey, everybody. It's Richard Simmons. Let's drop our bags and rock to the '50s,"' said Phoenix police Sgt. Tom Osborne. "Mr. Simmons took exception to it and walked over to the other passenger and apparently slapped him in the face."

3.19.2004

Dark Tower 7 cover?

Ok, took a while to find it, but Michael Whelan is the M-A-N. Funny caption should be: "What do you mean, I wasn't supposed to pick the flower?"

Check out the UK covers, too....same background, different book-themed foregrounds. I might want that set.

3.18.2004

Trek communicators and long distance wireless

Finally, we can have our Star Trek communicators:
Just as Captain Picard would do, Vocera badge wearers can touch the slim device they wear on their uniforms, say who they want to talk to and, assuming that person is wearing his badge, be connected.

Uses VoIP, too....now if only I could combine that with the ultra-range high-speed wireless service they're lanuching in Austraila, you'd have a multi-mile instant voice-activated communicator. Enough range for, oh say, a starship?:

An Australian company launched a wireless broadband service in Sydney this week that lets laptop and PDA users roam up to nine miles away from the base station and still get a speedy connection.

Damn Aussies!

3.12.2004

Time to look up!

Yep, after lusting through most of my childhood, finally got the new telescope I've been drooling over. Just in time for a good year, and heck....a good March. Birthday present from self to self...heh.
All five classic naked-eye planets will be visible later this month. Venus continues its dazzling display in the western sky reaching its highest evening elevation for 8 years (northern hemisphere). Jupiter in the east (at opposition) is at its brightest and biggest all year. A small telescope will easily show Jupiter's clouds and its 4 bright moons. Saturn's magnificent rings, just past maximum tilt open, are another easy target for small telescopes. Mars, the host of robotic explorers Spirit and Opportunity, appears as a tiny orange-colored dot even in large telescopes. Finally, elusive Mercury can be found below Venus in the later half of March -- its best evening display in 2004.

Cidada time...

It's cicada time again! Are you old enough to remember the last batch back in 1987?
There are at least 13 broods of 17-year cicadas ... This year, it's time for Brood X, the so-called "Big Brood," to surface. Its range stretches from Georgia, west through Tennessee and to isolated pockets of Missouri, north along the Ohio Valley and into Michigan, and east into New Jersey and New York.

"This is one of those years we kind of dread," said Paris Lambdin, professor of entomology and plant pathology at the University of Tennessee. "We had an emergence a couple years ago around Nashville, but nothing like what we expect this one will be."

And with hundreds of them per acre in infested areas, the noise will be hard to miss.

3.09.2004

Kerry? Bush? Bleh.

Now shots are being fired from both sides of the field...let the battle for '04 begin! Latest salvo:
The Democratic Party's presidential front-runner, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has pledged that if elected he will abandon the president's war on terror, begin a dialogue with terrorist regimes and apologize for three-and-one-half years of mistakes by the Bush administration.

As with every election, you get to choose between happy tree-hugging Democrats or war-mongering Republicans. This year, with a free upgrade to an even more polarized presidential contest. Help! Can I get some moderate peeps in da house? Fo shizzle!

3.05.2004

You make me feel like "gancing"...

Ok, the "Bo Peep incident" was fine (those of you in the "in" crowd will get the reference..Eric, Galit), but there will be absolutely NO "gancing" for me at the annual summer party, or for that matter, any party this year.
According to the upcoming issue of "Stuff" magazine, the hottest dance trend in New York clubs is "gancing," a term for when guys boogie oogie oogie together.

One popular "gance step" features one guy pretending to be a shark while his pal runs away in fright. Another manly move has the guys pretending to be kangaroos complete with pouches and Fosters beer.


Update: more "gancing" moves for ya...

3.01.2004

LOTR Oscars and the quote of the day...

Well, you knew Lord of the Rings was going to clean up....11 Oscars, ouch.

Anyway, the quote of the day has to go to repeat-host Billy Crystal, commenting on his first Oscar show 13 years ago:
"Things were different. Bush was president, the economy was tanking and we'd just finished a war in Iraq," he said.

Oh, wait. Heh.

2.29.2004

Happy leap day?

Just had to throw an entry in here for the leap day...it's only every 4 years I get to do it, and first time with the blog. Have a nice read about why "Learn [whatever] in 21 Days" books never work. Enjoy the extra day!

2.28.2004

Tooth for an eye?

Ok, in light of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" movie just out this week (very moving film to say the least), I was reminded of the "tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye" passage from the Bible. But how about a tooth for an eye? Strange.
A blind Thai teenager is undergoing an operation in Singapore that involves implanting parts of his tooth and jaw into his right eye in an attempt to regain his sight, media reports said on Thursday.

The tooth-in-eye technique, pioneered in Italy 40 years ago, is considered a last resort for patients with severe cornea damage and for whom conventional cornea transplants will not work.

2.27.2004

Spiders, and termites, and lizards, oh my!

What would the world look like if God thought like Stephen King? How about this story from Berlin, Germany:

A MAN who lived in his own “zoo” of lizards and insects was fatally bitten by a pet black widow spider - then eaten by the other creepy-crawlies.

Police broke in to Mark Voegel’s apartment to find spider Bettina along with 200 others, several snakes, a gecko lizard called Helmut and several thousand termites had gorged on his body.

A police spokesman said: “It was like a horror movie. His corpse was over the sofa. Giant webs draped him, spiders were all over him. They were coming out of his nose and his mouth.”

Police described it as a cross between a botanical garden and the butterfly breeding ground in the serial killer movie The Silence Of The Lambs.

2.24.2004

Rant time...marriage and stuff.

Ok, I have to rant on this one, which is the sort of crap that will seal Bush's fate this November:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Tuesday that he supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to "prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever."

<soapbox>
....blah, blah, etc, etc. Anyway, I find it humorous that politicians like to have vauge meanings of words when it's convenient for them (see also: Clinton-Lewinsky "meaning of 'is' " ordeal), but "marriage" has to have an absolute meaning (assuming Bush could spell it right). My thoughts (which I haven't heard from either side of the debate, ironically) are that even though the pure "separation of Church and State" is a myth, the government cannot, under the constitution (Article I), make any law "respecting an establishment of religion" (i.e. marriage), which is what both the divisive Defense of Marriage act and Bush's proposed amendment are.

I agree with the Massachusetts courts that the "civil union" thing is probably very "separate but not equal", so why not just make every government-issued license a "civil union", regardless of gender? Someone tell me why that won't work? What if I'm atheist and I want to get hitched with my woman, but have nothing to do with any religious "church" of any sort?
</soapbox>

2.23.2004

Earth v2.0

Neato. Remind you of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, anyone? Slartibartfast is heading up the project, I hear:
"The US Army is building a second version of Earth on computer to help it prepare for conflicts around the world. The detailed simulation will be drawn from a real-world terrain database and will be drawn to the same scale as the original."

2.17.2004

Blogging from the West Coast!

Yep, finally made it out here to San Diego, CA. Only a business trip for the week, but heck of a lot better than the 30 degree weather back home. Hopefully, I'll get some pictures up during the trip, so check back...might be a work in progress. Otherwise, I should have them up Saturday...if I decide to come home at all. ;^>

Ah, crusing down Pacific Highway....what a perfect breeze. Long flight, though....time for some shut-eye!

UPDATE: Well, wireless access at the hotel is another 10 bucks a night. Maybe some pics tonight, or you'll just have to wait until Saturday. Sure is nice having daylight here at 4:00 when my body thinks it's 7 at night. (Check out the timestamp on this post...I'm not usually blogging at 3 AM!)

UPDATE #2: Yeah, got some pics up...check em out. On an unrelated note, read about a star getting ripped apart by a black hole in only a few hours.

2.14.2004

Celestial "bling-bling"?

Wow, now that's a nice rock for the lady. Sorry, Katy....I think it's outta my price range. ;^>

If anyone's ever promised you the sun, the moon and the stars, tell 'em you'll settle for BPM 37093. The heart of that burned-out star with the no-nonsense name is a sparkling diamond that weighs a staggering 10 billion trillion trillion carats. That's one followed by 34 zeros.

The hunk of celestial bling is an estimated 2,500 miles across, said Travis Metcalfe, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

2.12.2004

Goofy mistake?

From www.fark.com, the headline of the day for this article:

"Costumed Disney World employee ran over by float, killed during parade. Disney spokesperson attributes incident to goofy mistake"

2.06.2004

Moo?

Word of the day:

mu: /moo/
The correct answer to the classic trick question “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”. Assuming that you have no wife or you have never beaten your wife, the answer “yes” is wrong because it implies that you used to beat your wife and then stopped, but “no” is worse because it suggests that you have one and are still beating her. According to various Discordians and Douglas Hofstadter the correct answer is usually "mu", a Japanese word alleged to mean “Your question cannot be answered because it depends on incorrect assumptions”. Hackers tend to be sensitive to logical inadequacies in language, and many have adopted this suggestion with enthusiasm. The word ‘mu’ is actually from Chinese, meaning ‘nothing’; it is used in mainstream Japanese in that sense.


Kazaa down under?

Aussie offices of file-sharing software Kazaa got raided this morning. My favorite take on it, from the fark.com discussion:

Thank God the world is so safe that cops in all nations can spend their time breaking down doors to look for those two tracks of "Yanni Live at The Acropolis" you downloaded before you realized you didn't want the CD.

Next thing you know, there will be a waiting list to buy a CD burner, and you'll have to register your burner with RIAA. Then RIAA will subpoena the list of people who rent CD's from libraries, cross-reference it, and break down your door looking for burned CD's.


2.04.2004

Dark Tower VI updates...

Interested in the cover to Song of Susannah?

Thought you would be interested. Matches with the cover style from book 5, but I still wish then matched my first 4 in the series...ah, have to wait for the boxed set, which I'm sure will cost mad $$$. More info on the book here. (WARNING: the text blurb with it has some PLOT SPOILERS...not that some of you can't see it coming anyway.)

I desperately hope King doesn't go off the deep end, although it seem like he already has opened the door to the inevitable paradox of his characters running into himself. (...poll time!) Lazy un-creative writing, or just total insanity? You decide.

I originally liked the Dark Tower series because of its un-King-like epic style, but he's just getting back into his rut now, and while good reading, kind of a let down. Ah well. Ka.

Back in the political arena.

Ok, time to get back on the political soapbox.

Sort of hoping my boy Dean would take the Democratic nomination, but after last night's sound defeat, looks like John Kerry is gonna be the man. I'll probably end up voting Libertarian again, on principle, but hoping that Kerry can smack Bush outta there. I've had enough of the pre-emptive strike wars....don't need to give terrorists more reason to hate us. Just remember when Kerry repeals the tax cuts to fix the budget, then spends it on more social programs....don't come cryin' to me. </soapbox>

2.03.2004

Lawrence Lessig and Janet's "wardrobe malfunction"

Yeah, I'm blogging an entry from another blog. Sue me. Anyway, censorship rears it's ugly head again...an excerpt from Lawrence Lessing's blog (nice Professor of Law at Stanford, defender of our intellectual rights among his hobbies):

We Americans need to rethink whether CBS and its parent company Viacom should continue to be trusted to broadcast on our publicly owned airwaves.

First, CBS turned down an ad by MoveOn.org discussing the budget deficit because it was too controversial for the Super Bowl. Then it proceeded to air an obscene halftime show produced by MTV. The show included Nelly urging women to take off all their clothes, and Janet Jackson performing with dancers wearing leather fetish outfits and lingerie, and then closing her performance by exposing her breast. MTV’s website promised on Jan. 28 that Jackson’s performance would include shocking moments, so it is clear that this was planned.

CBS deliberately suppressed and censored political speech and public discourse, the core reason behind the First Amendment, yet saw fit to air sexually exploitive performances during a family event. We cannot tolerate such failures in judgment.