Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

Swing-jury: Roll-up

In Lindy Hop, the Roll-up is a medium-difficulty lift / aerial that relies a lot on timing, connection, and leverage.

It apparently also causes a lot of friction and / or bruising.

Apparently, the inner-biceps of the lead and the inner thighs of the follow are prime locations for this. The inner thighs of the follow are potentially bruised by the leads hands as he uses his upper body to basically make the follow do a somersault in mid-air, while the lead's biceps are apparently brutalized by the follow's funky looking belt, if she happens to be wearing one as the outer hips rotate around that area.

(Sorry, no inner-thigh picts.) :P

Of course, there's always the danger of being "coochie-punched in the throat" by your follow as well... but that's a completely different unsavory story.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

iPhone's Market (WSJ Video)

WSJ video test.

More obsessive blogging about Apple's iPhone that costs way too much, doesn't do some important things, and is locked into Cingular's network.

Actually, this is more of a test of embedding video content from the Wall Street Journal Online.

In Amol Sharma, Nick Wingfield, and Li Yuan's front page piece in today's Wall Street Journal, entitled "How Steve Jobs Played Hardball In iPhone Birth," they explore how Apple called the shots with Cingular and even flirted with Verizon during the development process. They went so far to conceal the phone's design and identity as to give it code names and never let any team work with the whole thing at once. I think that this is just one example of how ego-maniacal Mr Jobs is, but that's another story.

Along with that article is a small video window that I had never played with before. The caption states, "The Wall Street Journal's Amol Sharma says Apple's new iPhone will enter a crowded market for sophisticated cellphones that have entertainment and Web capabilities." Which I agree with, but more importantly for today, is the button that says "get code."

So without further ado, here is the embedded video:

Now, if this goes off without a hitch, it will have been even easier to do than YouTube's crappy embed feature.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Find x.

Now that wasn't so hard now, was it?

(The real answer is 5, in case you were wondering.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Apple Recalls iPhone

Forgot to Include 'Phone' Features

"In what could prove to be the most embarrassing misstep in consumer electronics history, Apple Inc. announced today that it would recall its entire production run of the Apple iPhone after discovering that it had failed to include a “phone” feature in the much-hyped handheld device...."

Read the rest here.

(In case you hadn't noticed, this is a satire piece.) LOL

I still kinda want one... but it's not terribly realistic. And I refuse to go to Cingular.

UPDATES: 40-Years for Porn Infected PC

If you missed my first post on this debacle, you can read it here, or check out the original article at Steve Bass's PC World column.

Steve has done several more columns and updates to this story, and you can find them here:
(Parts 1 through 4 below are a breakdown of the original article from above.)
Woman Faces 40-Years for Porn Infected PC
Part 2: 40-Years for Porn Infected PC
Part 3: 40-Years for Porn Infected PC
Part 4: Porn-Infected PC--How it Happens
Juror Speaks: Teacher in Porn Case
Detective Speaks Out in Teacher Porn Case

Read the comments. Some are pretty good. Some do suck though. I'm pretty sure this whole thing is not President Bush's or Judeo-Christians' fault.

Sounds like there is more to come from Mr Bass on this topic, and when there is, I'll probably link to it. Or you can just read it there. It's really up to you.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Going Nuclear on Enviro-wienies

Global warming and the world's "addiction" to fossil fuels are hot topics these days. Everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to the President's State of the Union Address...

I don't have time to expand on the much now, but check out this editorial by one of the original co-founders of Greenpeace, here. Pretty powerful stuff, eh? You can see the rest of his website here.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Teacher Faces Prison for Pop-Up Infested PC

"Crazy, but true: Woman convicted of exposing minors to porn, could serve 40 years."

You've gotta read this article. Talk about horrible abuse of power, the law, the courts, and tax payer money! This poor substitute teacher who can apparently barely turn a computer on and check her mail on AOL could go to prison for a long, long time for legitimately using a computer that had not been protected against spam / spyware / malware / adware, etc.

Go here to listen to an American Public Media (public radio) interview regarding this debauchery.

It sounds like a bunch of computer illiterate cops and prosecutes had it out for this poor lady. Also, these kids were in 7th grade, so they are like, 12 or 13 years old. Probably not their first experience with porn. Hardly a innocence shattering experience.

Don't Pay For 411!

I never call directory assistance from my mobile phone. Not because I'm too stubborn to ask, [okay, maybe I'm too stubborn] but because it costs $1 each time you use it! That's just ludicrous. And ridiculous. It's Ludiculous!

But the days of wishing I had the phone number to the pizza place and just going hungry or driving around because I'm not willing to pay for the phone number are over. Today I learned about a service called Free 411. I know, it sounds kinda like a scam, but I did a little bit of research [at Snopes, where else?] and it turns out it is for real. All you've gotta do is point your phone to 1-800-FREE-411 and an automated / voice activated directory service helps you out. You do have to go through about 15 seconds of advertisement, but I'd do that to save a buck.

Although i have yet to try it, I more than likely will the next time that need arises. I don't want my money to go into the $8,000,000,000 that Americans spend on mobile phone directory service every year.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Vintage Internet, Pop Culture, and Swing

Here is an interesting editorial from Salon Magazine from April 1999(!) discussing, among other things, how pop culture and feature films are influenced by television commercials. It specifically addressed how the 1998 GAP "Khakis Swing" commercial introduced the world to what would become known as "Bullet Time" a year later in The Matrix. It's a good read, and a good example of what the Internet was like eight years ago. [They had the internet then? ;) ...Yes, but apparently without pictures.]

For those of you too young or too forgetful to remember the commercial in question, here it is:

More information on this clip can be found at Duncan TV Ad Land.

This commercial really did have an influence on pop culture. For those of us who were already into the swing scene [Yes, I am Pre-GAP commercial], it was an affirmation that what we were doing really was cool. It undoubtedly inspired many to get into swing dancing. I'd bet it sold a lot of Louis Prima records. And it was a proving ground for the "bullet time" thing.

Also from the annals of vintage internet, check out this awesome article from the neo-conservative magazine National Review - back before it was the National Review Online. "Upswing - jitterbug, or swing, dancing popular in 1998," discusses how neo-swing might just be more than a fad, in fact, a full-blown craze. If only it would have survived in the mainstream, not relegated to the local bands with little labels. Tear. :'(

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

V - A - C - A - T - I - O - N

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in the summer sun

Put away the books, we're out of school
The weather's warm but we'll play it cool
We're on vacation, havin' lots of fun
V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in the summer sun

We're gonna grab a bite at the pizza stand
Write love letters in the sand
We're on vacation and the world is ours
V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N under summer stars

Yeah, we'll hop in a jalopy to a drive-in movie and never look at the show
We're gonna hug and kiss just like this and I can't wait to go, go, go

We're gonna mashed potato to a jukebox tune
Park your car 'neath an August moon
We're on vacation till the start of the fall

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, we're gonna have a ball, go!!

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, gonna have a ball

Uh-huh, we'll hop in a jalopy to a drive-in movie and never look at the show
We're gonna hug and kiss just like this and I can't wait to go, go, go

We're gonna mashed potato to a jukebox tune
Park your car 'neath an August moon
We're on vacation till the start of the fall

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, we're gonna have a ball, yeah

This morning, while listening to "AOL Radio with (((XM)))," (which you can hear streaming for free if you use WinAmp 5, btw) I heard the above song that I had not thought about for quite some time, V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N by Connie Francis.

It made me really want a vacation, first of all, but also realize just how much I love the music from the late '50s and early '60s: The very beginnings of Rock 'n' Roll.

Before all of the glam and hype, when artists made music, and that's just about it. Connie Francis made more than sixty albums! Back when Rock still knew its Jazz / Country / Folk roots and was still good, honest music that told a story with a beat you could dance to. No, the lyrics and subject matter was not revolutionary by any means, with all those "bum ba bum bum, do doo wop wop" interludes, but it was still good stuff. And even in the pre-civil rights era, racial lines were blurred through music.

But as with any music, some of it sucked really bad. Luckily most of the stuff that has survived the 50 years or so is the good stuff.

Friday, February 02, 2007

ATHF Is The Bomb

I love ATHF.
By now I'm sure that everyone as heard about the terrorist scare in Boston this week that turned out to be a guerrilla marketing ploy for the up-coming Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie by Turner Broadcasting, parent company of the Cartoon Network, where ATHF airs, but in case you live under a rock, check one of the stories here.

As much as I like the show, I don't know that I could handle an entire movie of it. The episodes are only about eleven minutes long (convenient for watching on YouTube), so you don't really have a chance to get sick of it in that time period. But a whole movie? I guess we'll find out.

Here is a video of some of the installations made by the "perpetrators":

I suppose what would have freaked Bean-town out was their placement under bridges and parking structures. But since these things were magnetic, where else are you going to find a big chunk of iron to stick stuff to?

Now some Boston officials are calling for Turner's broadcasting license to be suspended. That would mean no CNN. How could the east coast survive without CNN? Most of the western U.S. would hardly notice, since we all watch Fox News... because they report and we decide. ;)

And what can we conclude from this? That Boston is an extremely reactionist town, and that just because it's funny doesn't make it right. Not a good combo.

Also, check out CNET's take on it here. Interesting analysis of the supposed legal charges.