Friday, March 30, 2007

You say 'cynic' like it's a bad thing...

Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves.
--Robert Anton Wilson

Race as a Factor in School Assignment

...the mystical benefits of "diversity" are non-existent, however politically correct it is to proclaim such benefits. Hard evidence shows that students of all races can succeed or fail in schools that are racially mixed or racially unmixed.
I think that I need to add Thomas Sowell to my list of kick ass people. [Actually, I need to start a list of kick ass people, then add him to it... but that's not where I'm going right now.]

Thomas Sowell is a Harvard educated North Carolinian economist, professor, and author of a dozen books and "numerous articles and essays," covering a "wide range of topics, from classic economic theory to judicial activism, from civil rights to choosing the right college."

I stumbled across one of his articles in Capitalism Magazine online while looking for something that I don't remember now, and had to read three more because I was so impressed with his writing and ideas. The article that I quoted above is just one of many thoughtful and thought provoking pieces on racism listed.

But back on topic, this guy is spot on. Racism is racism whether you're doing it to white kids of black kids. Busing and forced diversity do nothing to promote social and educational equality and success. It has been proven to not work as intended, but (white, liberal) people are so afraid of being labeled as a racist that they dare not even speak of such things in public.

Racism only ends when we stop pretending that race is the differentiating factor between people. I believe that it is culture that determines a person's outcome. [Read more on that in this article.]

* * * * *
Also, how's this for irony: "Capitalism Magazine survives on donations."

I hope I'm not the only one who chuckled at that.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Error Message Haiku

Check this out for another adventure into the Vintage Internet...

In 1998, the folks over at Salon magazine had a contest as part of "The 21st Challenge" (The Culture of Technology - The Technology of Culture). Part of this contest was writing Haiku Error Messages.

Wouldn't it be nice if instead of you computer returning something that more closely resembled linux puke than English every time that Windows does something stupid it spat out something along the lines of this gem:
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Now, this would be no more helpful than, 'This program has performed an illegal function and must close. See 0X14800SIDO24 in kerlan stack...', it is a lot more friendly.

Here is the best that should be used for the dang '404 - Page not found' browser errors you get when a link is broken:
The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist

The huge geeks over at GNU.org also have a list of these, although many seem to be duplicated. Other massive geek humor can be found here.

Toyota Less Tough Then Previously Indicated?

We've all seen the commercial on television where the new "full-size" Toyota Tundra pickup pulls a trailer up a ginormous see-saw and then screeches to a halt on the downhill side. Relatively impressive. [Not really, when you consider that most vehicles have about three times more stopping power than starting power, but I digress...]

But could the truthiness of this commercial be stretched a little bit?

Turns out that a higher-up at GM found out the truth / fine print of this ad and alerted his staff via email. This or course ended up on the internet (I found it at Jalopnik) for all to see. Good stuff.

Here is the full message:
Thought you might want to know this. Pass it along to your sales staff. It might help them to sell more vehicles. BTW.....attended the Minneapolis Auto Show kick off breakfast on March 8. Two of our Sandy trainers did a nice job explaining the Tundra ads. I would guess all of you have seen the stupid ad where the Tundra pulls a trailer up a steep grade (a 'see-saw'), and then barrels down hill and locks the brakes up just before the end of the ramp. Seen it? Yeah you have.

Couple things to keep in mind. The V.O. at the beginning of the spot says...."It's tough pushing 10,000 lbs up a steep grade". Myth: Toyota would like the audience to believe the trailer is 10,000 lbs. Fact: It's a 5,000 lb truck pulling a 5,000 lb trailer. A little slight of hand? You bet.

Then, on the way down the grade, the camera zooms in on the brakes as the vehicles comes to a screeching halt just prior to the end of ramp. Next time you see the ad....look for the 'mice type'. It indicates the trailer is equipped with electric brakes. Fact....the electric brakes stop the trailer -- not the truck. A little slight of hand? You bet.

And why does Toyota have bigger brake pads? They need them....their truck is heavier. Stopping distance between our truck and theirs is virtually identical. And why does Toyota have a 6 speed transmission? To improve their fuel economy....which is still 2 mpg less than ours.

And don't forget....their big V8 has one axle ratio -- a 4.3. Suck fuel much? Our trucks offer several axle options to optimize towing and fuel economy. Bottom line: OUR TRUCK IS BETTER! Spread the word.......we can all make a difference. [NAME REDACTED]

GM totally pwn'd Toyota there. lol.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'Brother Can't Drive'

Another Enzo bites the dust, this time at the obviously incapable hands of actor and comedian Eddie Griffith. That leaves only 398 Enzos surviving in the wild, er, some rich person's garage.

A much better video of the crash and some more explanation is available from Jalopnik, and an interesting and humorous article is available from AutoWeek.

In case you were wondering, yes, that car is... I mean was worth about $1.5 Million dollars. [Insert Doctor Evil here.]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Luck o' The Irish

Another week, another injury. Although this one happened at an event where there was swing dancing and swing dancers were present, I'm not going to call this one a Swing-jury because I didn't do it while actually dancing.
Looks pretty good, eh? The first picture is from about an hour after the incident, right after I cleaned it up pretty good in the bathroom sink at the restaurant where we ate dinner. It doesn't look too bad and you can barely see any of the secondary cuts, only the deep on stands out. The second picture is after I got home from the urgent care clinic a few hours later. It looks a lot worse because of the dried blood and and the skin starting to dry out a bit. It probably didn't help that we waited to watch the end of the North Carolina basketball game to go get it stitched up.

How it happened makes me feel pretty stupid, although I was not drunk, so that's good at least. After serving beer all afternoon for the Fort Collins Downtown Business Authority's Saint Patrick's Day live music and beer garden hootenanny, I was simply cutting a plastic zip-tie off of a metal pole to help clean up after the festivities and forgot to cut away from myself instead of towards myself, and the knife slipped, and cut across three of my fingers, coming within 1mm of the flexural tendon of my ring finger with that deep cut there.

Could have been a lot worse. The stitches come out next Monday.

Friday, March 16, 2007

VCU Beats Duke (Just for Katie)

Yesterday, in the only upset of the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Virginia Commonwealth beat Duke 79-77.

As the Wall Street Journal Reports, VCU's efforts were lead by 6' 2", 165 pound sophmore Eric Maynor:
...Mr. Maynor scored eight of his team's final 11 points, including a jumper with 1.8 seconds left, to beat the Blue Devils, 79-77, in the only significant upset of the tournament's opening-day slate of 16 first-round games. He finished with 22 points and eight assists.

Mr. Maynor's clinching basket came after Duke tied the game on a stunningly uncontested layup with 10.3 seconds left. He declined to call a timeout to set up that final shot...
You can watch the video on YouTube.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hillary Special @ KFC

This is supposedly a real sign at a real KFC in New York: Funny regardless of your political orientation!

UNC vs E. Kentucky

So for the first time ever, and thanks to Facebook, I filled out my Men's College Basketball Tournament bracket this morning. I have no idea how this works, but I do know that if I had picked anyone but UNC to win, I might get injured.

Here's their first round preview:

Video painstakingly scheisted from Facebook.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Swing-jury: Roll-up 2

Who knew that my injurious adventures in swing dancing could get much worse?

Part 1 of my Roll-up injuries involving belt-induced rug burns on my arms was reported recently, and here, apparently, is part 2.

This time I managed to get kicked in the right eye by my partner's left heel. (Different partner this time.) To my amazement, I not only managed not to drop her, but I was not bleeding and my glasses were not in multiple pieces lying on the ground - the things survived with only a minor scratch to the lens.

My eye, on the other hand, didn't fare as well as I initially thought. No blood, I can still see straight, etc, so I figured I was fine. However, the next day my eye began to hurt worse and worse, til I finally left work to go to the eye doctor, who is apparently no longer covered by my insurance. She proceeded to inspect my eye and dug some bits of dirt and debris out with what looked like a sterile toothpick and inform me that I was lucky that nothing was scratched, but my orbital was bruised and I had an infection in my eye that would require a 4-times-a-day-for-seven-days regiment of an expensive prescription.

Oh well, at least I can still see, my $350 glasses are (mostly) alright, and my infection should go away in under a week. For now it just stings and kinda hurts to blink, but I think I'll survive.

The top picture was about an hour after the incident, and this one was this afternoon. Luckily I don't bruise too bad.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Mac Atack

Here is an good Slate article from June of last year describing "Apple's mean spirited ad campaign." A campaign, which while entertaining, is more insulting to the intelligence of the average PC user than anything else.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Global Warming Devistation

What will they blame it for next?

Not Your Grandpa's Golf Cart

Most of us have driven a golf cart at one time or another; either on the golf course, around the campground, or in your uncle's back yard.

I don't think that I am alone in saying that it is not much of an exhilarating experience. They top out at about 12 miles per hour, struggle up hills, and have tacky upholstery.

But not these bad boys. Apparently the newest trend in off-road motor sports is tricked out golf carts.

Check out the video, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:


Yet another fun, pointless, motorized toy to sink grotesque amounts of money into.

The electric powered models use 96 Volt batteries instead of the original 36V unit, and the gas powered ones can borrow engines from snowmobiles and motorcycles.

Yowza.