Monday, October 30, 2006

The Folly of "The Folly of Citizen Journalism"

This column / overblown blurb by tech blogger John C Dvorak got me with its title, but failed to deliver any substance. I was hoping for an insight on what he thought of the blogosphere or the state of the "pajama clad" masses at their keyboards.

What I got was, well, nothing.

Citizen media is worthless and mundane; Big Media misses what needs to be said and panders to advertisers; Digg promotes group-think.

The piece only has a few good sentences:
For local insight, I'd suggest a list of local bloggers—and note that most bloggers call themselves bloggers, not journalists. There is no pretense.
Which any of us who actually does blog would obviously agree with.

And:
Citizen journalism, to me, is like citizen professional baseball—it's just not practical. You can't play professional baseball just because you think the Seattle Mariners stink. You're not a good enough ballplayer.
Which is also just a nicely worded tid-bit of common sense.

Don't even read the article. It's not worth your time. Go check Google News instead.

Google is Scary

Just in time for Halloween, Google has extended its quest to organize (and store) the world's information to scary stories. Really, really old scary stories.

These stories are so old that the copyright has run out. That is how Google can legally scan every page and post them on the internet. If you (or Google) tried to do that with any recent publication, no matter the reason, you would likely see the inside of a courthouse faster than you can say 'fair use.'

But that's neither here nor there right now... since the only good scary stories were all written long enough ago that they are now in the public domain.

Want to read Poe, page by page? It's there.

Bram Stoker's Dracula? Mary Shelley's Frankenstein? Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Yup, all there. All in their pseudo-paper digital glory.

Now this could lead into a whole discussion about Intellectual Property rights and (mostly) restrictions regarding what can and cannot be done with works of literature and music, but I really don't have the energy. Basically, IP is BS. Just like DRM is CRAP.

...Yay for Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

FireFox 2.0 is out!


For those of you that missed the official release (like me) on the 24th of this month, FireFox version 2.0 is out and available to the public.

I installed Release Candidate 2 a couple of weeks ago, and have been using it without problems since. I'm going to update to the full release right after I finish this post. Or maybe after I get back from the eye doctor. I'm pretty sure I'll be a little to worthless to get much else done after they dilate my pupils.

Take a peek at what it looks like... Nice and clean, eh?

Get it now!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

'Rape victims have themselves to blame'

Sometimes the truth of what Muslim clerics say leaks out.
"If you take uncovered meat and place it outside on the street... and the cats come and eat it, whose fault is it? The cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem."

"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."
Moderate my ass.

Google and Political Bias

I'm not sure how many people actually use Google Earth on a regular basis - although I admit it is pretty damn cool - but the folks over in Mountain View (at the Googleplex) have figured out how to use it for political advantage.

Hans Riemer of (liberal) Rock the Vote says that this is "a promising direction for Google" and he "hopes its the start of something big."
If you’ve already turned on the guide as a layer in Google Earth, you might already have noticed the patriotic stars now adorning the U.S. map. There’s one for every congressional district. Click on the star and it opens a set of links to useful voter tools. First, you can click to register to vote. I love this because so many people still think that in order to register, you need help from a government employee or political activist. Wrong. You can register yourself to vote by getting your forms online and sending them in by mail. Spread the word!

Second, there are links to news, web and photo searches for candidates for the U.S. House and Senate races on November 7. Now, I think a squirrel could figure out which way to go on our presidential candidates and political parties. But an educated vote does require some Google searching, especially when candidates try so hard to blur the differences.
And we all know what Google thinks of George Bush, although they claim otherwise!

What happened to my reliable, unbiased search engine?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Did Bush Lie?


This is quite entertaining.

If it wasn't obvious enough already that the Hero of the Left, Slick Willy Clinton, knew that Iraq was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and that something desperately needed to be done about it - way back in 1998 - then just do what the button says.

Did you do it? Well, okay, you can do it at your leisure, but see for yourself just what Clinton said about the problems with Iraq versus what he did about it. There are no similarities.

In other news... President Bush today says that America's patience in Iraq is running out and that Iraqis will have to start solving their own problems.

"Americans have no intention of taking sides in a sectarian struggle or standing in the crossfire between rival factions.

"A military solution alone will not stop the violence. In the end, the Iraqi people and their Government will have to make the difficult decisions to find solutions to these problems."

Well it's about damn time.

And Iraq's little pansy of a Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is apparently fed up with our military defending itself and the people of Iraq from insurgency. That's also in the article.

I think that the Kurds are the only semi-sane folk in that country. They wanted to break off and re-form Kurdistan a long time ago, and I think the should have let them. At least then the Suni and Shia would just be killing each other.

Killing Children

The above link is a very interesting read on the virtues of killing children. It may not sit well with you at first, but if you have a realistic bone in your body, then it just might strike a chord.

I, for one, agree with the author, but only fear that if we could actually adopt that mindset to accomplish what needs to be done, we would have a hard time turning it off once it was done.

But it will never happen that way, because we are good, children loving people. And that is just what gets them killed.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Compare these photos"

Okay, so supposedly, these two pictures are identical except for three tiny differences. If you can find all three, you're kinda special I guess. I could only find two before I gave up.
The pictures are here.
(Caution: May not be safe for work. Or Children. Or those with a heart condition. Or a weak bladder. Or use with some prescription medication.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The End Is Nigh!


Yes, the crazy guy on the plaza with a big sign is right!

Well, nine years ago today in 1997 he could have been right. But he wasn't.

Today is Creation Day. At exactly twelve-noon on the 24th of October, 4004 B.C., God created the Heavens and the Earth. At least that's what literalists believe. And apparently, the earth would endure for exactly 6,000 years, since that's how long it took God to create it, given the One-God-Day equals One-Thousand-Man-Years conversion.

But, since 23 October 1997 passed without a hitch, and it's way past noon Jerusalem time today on 23 October 2006, I think that the millenarian theory doesn't really hold water anymore. (click on the title to read an interesting article, and here for more background.)

This leaves non-Muslim end-of-the-world-ists with only the Aztec option left. This one figures on the fact that all Aztec calendars end with the year 2012, and therefore the world ends then. (click here for a little on that.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Damn Stingrays

Is this becoming some sort of sick, trendy fun for stingrays?

The BBC reports (on an AP story) today that a Jumping stingray stabs US boater in the chest.

Weird-ass fishes. Apparently Steve the Crocodile Hunter wasn't enough; they've gotta go after an 81 year old grandfather out with his granddaughter in Florida.

At least this guy didn't die--he was rushed to a hospital where surgeons removed the poison barb from his chest--but he is still quite ill.

Thimble-cake?

Am I HUGE?
Or us that the tiniest little cupcake you've ever seen?

Britons are getting fat and lazy too

The Times of London (online version creatively called the Times Online) reports today that Obesity is linked to lack of childhood sleep.

Here is the main jist of the story:

Two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that control appetite have been shown to be affected by sleep disturbances in experiments at the University of Wisconsin.

Leptin is a hormone released by fat cells to tell the brain that fat stores are adequate, and ghrelin, released by the stomach, is a signal of hunger.

In people with too little sleep, the Wisconsin team have found that leptin levels were low, and ghrelin levels high. Both these would encourage an individual to eat more.

The most obvious reason why children sleeping badly would get fat is that by day they would be tired and inactive. Even a small drop in activity can mean that calories consumed exceed calories expended, leading to weight gain.

The process could feed on itself, he suggests. Lots of physical activity means that people sleep better: a lack of it means they sleep less well. So as the sleep debt accumulates and daytime activity falters, sleep suffers yet more, creating a vicious cycle.

Seems reasonable to me. When you don't sleep, you're tired. When you're tired, you're lazy. When you're lazy, you're inactive. When you're inactive, you don't sleep well.

So just remember: if you're fat, it's not your fault. Your parents should have put you to bed earlier and forced you to be active insead of sitting in front of the television. Sure, you may consume more calories than you burn, but that's not your fault. It's your parents. [The sad part is, some people actually believe that.]

Personally, I think that a lack of sleep likely contributes to all kinds of fun diseases that are mysteriously on the rise in today's society. When your body isn't rested, it can't defend itself. For example, I never sleep; and I'm always about 30% sick. And I'm gonna die of a heart attack. But that's Big Fast Food's fault. ;)

Incidently, in a BBC report on the same story...
Tam Fry, chairman of the Child Growth Foundation and a member of the National Obesity Forum, said the problem with obesity in the UK was "huge" and continuing to rise.
I think that is kinda humorous. Describing childhood obesity as a "huge" problem. Wow.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rocky Mountain Rage

Aparently the North-Metro area was feeling left out of the whole minor league hockey thing that we've got going on up in Northern Colorado... so they started their own team, the Rocky Mountain Rage.

Of course, they needed a place to play. The Av's have the Pepsi Center ("The Can") and the Colorado Eagles (Northern Colorado's Central Hockey League team) have the Budweiser Event Center ("The Keg"), the Rage built the Broomfield Event Center. I don't think it has a nick-name yet, but through some odd piece of conspiracy, my company built both the Budweiser Event Center and the Broomfield Event Center, so I don't really care what they call it.

I'm not sure if the North end of Denver can really support another sports team (Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche, Rockies, Crush, Rapids, etc.) but a minor-league, and therefore cheaper, hockey outlet might not be a bad idea.

Up north here we don't really have much for spectator sports outside of the Colorado State University and University of Northern Colorado stuff, so the Eagles went over really well here, with 83 consecutive sold-out games at one point.

But what I really wanted to get at was the interesting slogan / tag line / advertisement they have:
There is a new kind of hockey in the Rocky Mountains. One born from the very natural forces that formed this area. A fiery, fierce, and powerful upheaval. One so strong, one so unstoppable, one so inspiring that it has become the heartbeat of a hockey team. Welcome to the intensity that is The Rocky Mountain Rage. An Ice Force that is so fast, furious and frenzied you won’t be able to stay in your seat.... Welcome to Hockey Untamed!...
Yeah, that's kinda what I think about when I think about hockey... not so much. Creativity points though!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Runaway bride

So does anyone remember that lady that was "abducted and sexually assaulted" a few days before her wedding in Georgia last year and somehow wound up in New Mexico? She faked the whole thing

Well apparently that stunt wasn't enough for her. Now the Runaway bride is sueing for half a million dollars.

I don't even have anything to say... other than if I was her fiance, I would regret looking for her so hard the first time around.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Seven Levels of Photographers

"Bad rich amateurs think fuzzy B/W images of poor people are art."

(Seven Levels of Photographers © 2005 KenRockwell.com)


I wish photograhy were free.

Actually, I wish film and developing were free, and that I had enough time to mess with it.

Ken Rockwell (who happens to be one friggin' good photographer) is right... it's not the camera that makes art. The camera is there to help you put what you see onto paper or the screen. It's job is to get out of the way.

Of course, the expensive cameras get out of the way a little faster then the cheap ones.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Blogger's Ass

Uh oh...

Just click on this diesel sweeties: pixelated robot romance web comic. There's no explanation needed.

(I think I need to go to the doctor!)

The Adventures of INVISI-CAT

Um, this is totally un-safe. Like, for anyone involved.

Slate Floor + Gray Tabby = Bloody Ankles!

Yay for Cute Overload! ;)

(Click on the title!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Microsoft To Rip Your Head Off If You Pirate Vista

Microsoft To Rip Your Head Off If You Pirate Vista, says the really crappily written article on TechLime.com, which did not cite any sources. Google news has a bunch of sources here if you want to actually look yourself.

Basically Microsoft's Windows Vista will just render your computer unusable if you do not have a "genuine" copy that you shelled out some huge sum of money for.

Is anyone suprised?

Here's Betty!

Yay!
'05, V6 Premium, Black on Black.

Communicate much?

Not only did I fall asleep in my clothes last night at a little past midnight; then wake up at 5:17 thinking that I had to leave in 13 minutes; shower and dress and kinda do my hair in 15 minutes and fly out the door; realize that if I leave now, I'll get to work at 6:oo a.m., which is 30 minutes earlier than I am supposed to be there for my department meeting at 6:30; then go back, re-brush my teeth and tuck my shirt in right, decide to leave for work at 5:50, drive to work, go to Starbucks, and get here at 6:20, still 10 minutes early; then I head to my office, set up the confrence room, check my watch about 12 times, and notice that no one is showing up... my boss cancelled our meeting yesterday afternoon and told everyone but me. Now it's 6:48 and I'm still the only one here. Oi.

Things have gotta get better, right?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pictures!

Yay Pictures!

For the first time in a long time, I'm posting some of my own pictures; insteadof ones that I've schisted from other people. ;)


My sweet, rediculously low '66 Ford pickup truck. Not much of a truck, but quite a bit of fun.

Did I mention it's kinda low?


Are my swing friends retarded, or just crazy?

Uh, no comment.


My brother driving my dad's '01 Ford Lightning at Bandemere Speedway on 29 Sept.
It's one of the highest drav strips in the nation at 6000 feet above sea level, and that dang truck still turned a 14.8 second quarter mile at 100 mph! (That'd be about a 13.6 at sea level, which is pretty fast for a truck.)

Nice Fall sunset at the drag strip.

David Hasselhoff is Hooked on a Feeling

There's a good chance that I already posted this at some point, but I feel that it needs to be reiterated.

David Hasselhoff - Hooked on a Feeling - Google Video

Possibly the most creepily narsicistic thing ever. But it is awesome. I mean, weiner dogs, flying, motorcycles, jumping Africans, little angles, some weird wookie thing. C'mon, it just doesn't get any better.

Don't Hassel The Hoff!

Darker than the inside of a cow

This morning at about nine-thirty I was using the restroom at work, minding my own business, when the lights flickered, went off, then on, off, on, and then finally off, and stayed off. Lemme tell ya, it was uncomfortably dark in there! It's a good thing I was basically done, or else it could have gotten out of hand.

The thing that supprised me was not that the lights decided to go out in the middle of the morning, because our building is kinda old and very crappy, but just how dark it actually got! I do understand that I was in a five foot by seven foot half-bath, but there wasn't even light coming in under the door. And on my return to my windowless basement office it was, of course, just as dark. If it wasn't such a trash pit I might have gotten away without knocking anything on the floor, but it is kindof a disaster area.

Oh well, it gave me a convenient excuse to evacuate the office for a while to check on my truck's progress at Papa Wheelie's Custom Exhaust shop down town. Yay for spending huge sums of money on ancient vehicles that rarely get driven. Oi.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dow Sets New Record!

woot!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finally closed above it's previous record high from back in 2000 before the tech bust.

Read about it here from Bloomberg.com, or about 500 other places.

Of course, October is historically one of the most volital monthes for the markets, and these kinds of highs are generally followed by a soft period for a couple of weeks, so I wouldn't be supprised if we saw a pullback of several hundred points in the near future.

This ralley was apparently driven by today's rapid (at least temporary) drop in oil prices, to $58.68 a barrel. I would be tempted to call this more of a normalization in prices, because I feel that the crazy $80 a barrel prices were just that - crazy. And artificially inflated. Crazily artificially inflated. [Well crap, I just lost any shred of credibility I may have had. Oh well, F*** it.]

Lets see how long it takes for Colorado gasoline prices to fall as well. I'm guessing around Thanksgiving we might catch up with the rest of the nation. ($2.55 here versus $2.12 elsewhere. Oi.)

Eclectic Coalescence: Math

A very high quality, and slightly nerdier than I could come up with on my own post by Allan Freisen at his Eclectic Coalescence blog, simply entitled "math."

I would add that ( disaster - crutches = coffee ) for the simple fact that if you survive a disaster without needing crutches, you deserve coffee.

Although, ( disaster + stiches = IHOP ) in some situations. ;)

Understanding Engineers

Because these jokes never get old…

UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE ONE

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE TWO

To the optimist, the glass is half full.

To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE THREE

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!"

The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him."

"Hi, George! Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind fire-fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

The group was silent for a moment, and then the pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."

The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE FOUR

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?

Mechanical Engineers build weapons and Civil Engineers build targets.


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE FIVE

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE SIX

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.

One said, "It was a mechanical engineer." Just look at all the joints."

Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections.

The last one said, "Actually it must have been a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE SEVEN

Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE EIGHT

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.

The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.

The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because the passion and mystery he found there.

The engineer said, "I like both."

"Both?"

Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE NINE

An engineer was crossing a road one-day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess."

He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."

The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want."

Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess and that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girl friend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."