Monday, August 30

Web Turns 35, but Still Work in Progress

This is a very interesting history of the Internet. I'm not going to try to summarize it here -- read the article!

Authorities: Don't Sell Your Vote On eBay

"If you care, buy my vote and you will have twice the power in the upcoming election!!!!" proclaimed an Ohio man desperate to cover his medical bills. He said he didn't know that this was illegal, but his eBay auction was taken down 12 hours after it was begun.

Museum welcomes flesh-eating bugs

The Natural History Museum in London has begun using flesh-eating beetles to clean up animal carcasses before they are treated for display. These bugs are vicious enough to eat their own eggs if they aren't stored in exactly the right environment, so I'd imagine they do a good job getting every last bit of unwanted meat from the bodies.

Wednesday, August 25

Cow Earns Montana Rancher a Free Drink

This is note The Onion... a guy actually took a live cow into a Dairy Queen to take them up on their offer to provide free coffee drinks to those accompanying bovine livestock.

It's a new drink called a "Moolatte," DQ's version of a latte, and Skip Hougland was the only person to take them up on the offer.

BBC plans opera by stealth

This is awesome... the BBC are staging their own "flashmob." Flashmobbing is usually an Internet-coordinated event in which a group of people "agree to converge in a public area and join in a seemingly random act."

The BBC's flashmob is different, though... they're staging Flashmob - The Opera at an unnamed London railway station, using pieces of music from actual operas. Apparently they're trying to make the concept of opera much less foreign, and more attractive, to the masses -- especially young people.

Monday, August 23

What? No link?

Well, I actually decided to post a journalish-sort of thing today. I don't really know what to talk about, so it'll be a stream-of-consciousness sort of thing.

So... the Olympics. Kinda interesting to watch, I guess. I enjoyed the diving last night, but the commentator was horrible. I kept watching all of these really cool dives, and she just kept coming up with everything the divers did wrong. My wife wondered how she can keep finding 30 seconds of negative criticism for one second of action. She had a co-commentator, too, but she didn't let him get a word in even if it was folded, compacted, shrunk, AND edgewise. Personally, I've pretty much just been riding it out and waiting for Last Comic Standing 3 to start up next week.

Ah, Last Comic Standing. The best thing ever to come out of the whole "reality TV" fad. I particularly liked the 2nd series because I'd actually seen one of the guys live before he ever was on the show. He's from Massachusetts (Gary Gulman, if you saw the show), though, so I figure he was already selected to be in the first on-TV group and was just warming up for it when I saw him here in California. He was opening for Dane Cook at the Improv when we saw him, and that was actually when my sister-in-law and one of my best friends had their first date. My wife and I were kind of setting them up, but they both knew it at the time. It seems to have turned out pretty well... a few more months and they'll have been together a year.

One more thing: I just caught a quote today that I really liked and wanted to post here. It comes from, one of the random blogs I got sent to when clicking on the "Next Blog" button in the new Blogger NavBar at the top of this page. It was posted there a couple of weeks ago:

"George Bush has done a lot to remind the rest of the world that America has a very long fuse, but at end of that fuse is a [gigantic] bomb." --Dennis Miller (I cleaned it up a bit, since my mom reads this)

Microsoft Gets Good Grades on SP2

To show you what an equal-opportunity blogger/computer nerd I am, here is a Microsoft story back-to-back with an Apple story. It seems that SP2 is rolling out rather well, despite the repeated delay.

In another article I read, university IT departments are complaining that the update came out at a bad time, as the network bandwidth is being taken over by students and teachers alike who are downloading the 250MB monstrosity of an update right as they're gearing up for the start of the fall term. Besides that relatively minor issue, Microsoft really seems to have covered its bases.

Students crazy about iPod follow the music to Apple laptops

Apple is gaining marketshare with its laptop computers, especially among students who are already enamored with their Apple iPods. Go Apple!

Change Of Heart

Wow. An experimental procedure to transplant mismatched-blood-type hearts into dying babies has proved a monumental success. Of course I don't need to reprint the whole science behind it right here, so go to the article for an amazing story and a nifty new scientific innovation.

Church Earns Mileage With a Gas Subsidy

How cool is this? A church in Tustin subsidized a $1.67-a-gallon gasoline day at a Shell station near their campus. No 'catch' was involved (though they did hand out tracts and pamphlets to those interested); they were just acting to "bless the community," according to one of the volunteers.

Over 12,000 gallons was pumped into an estimated 600+ cars over the course of the day. The church repaid the 40-cent difference per gallon directly to the station's manager, who is also a Christian.

Friday, August 20

Prom King

Interview with the composer of the music for the Hitchhiker's Guide movie that will be coming out next summer.

Three thumbs up!

Thursday, August 19

Today's links

I don't have much time to spend blogging today, so here are today's news stories I thought were cool enough to link here:

Cyber Brawls Spilling Into Streets

America's Sweetheart Dumps U.S. For Some Douchebag (note: from The Onion = THIS IS SATIRE)

Porn Star Tells Military 'Bullets, Not Boobs'

Top 10 Philosophy Questions of All Time (Answered!)

Posted to rec.humor.funny.reruns. This is pretty good.

Wednesday, August 18

Windows XP Security Update Delayed

What a surprise! I never saw THAT one coming!

A Different Spin

Yeah, right... a new technology hopes to shove DVDs out of prominence. That's never going to happen, except for the weirdos who wrote this article who got excited that the high-capacity "Blu-ray" disc would be able to hold the "entire sixth season of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.'"

Pamela Anderson Spurs U.S. Gymnast Bhardwaj to Silver

Pamela Anderson -- a "former gymnast" (I guess before she got the balloons inflated) -- wrote a check and started a foundation to help American gymnast Mohini Bhardwaj get to the Olympics. Bhardwaj was deep in debt, and she's very grateful for the help, but she mentions no plans to become a famous slut later in life.

Man Bolts Job Interview, Nabs Truck Thief

A man ran away abruptly from a job interview to successfully stop the theft of his truck - which held his sleeping 6-month-old daughter at the time.

He got the job.

Tuesday, August 17


I found this elsewhere on the Internet:

Not that I agree; I just think it's funny.

The Finale Productivity Tips site

Jari Williamsson has posted a review of the new Finale 2005! It looks pretty nice... but if it isn't, at least buying or upgrading is a good contribution to the keep-MakeMusic!-alive fund.

10 Things to Do With Old PCs

This is an interesting list... but my favorite is to "turn it into an aquarium," with a picture showing this done to an old Macintosh Plus. There's even a site dedicated to "Macquariums:" You can find it here.

32 Wege eine Gaffel Flasche zu öffnen.

Or, "32 Ways to open a Gaffel bottle." Gaffel is a beer in Germany.

It's not surprising that it's a group of Germans who took the time to take videos of various ways to open a beer.

Also, for those who want it all explained, "jetzt abspielen" means "play now." "Nochmal abspielen" (appears after playing once) means "play again."

Monday, August 16

Google Interview Is Draw for Latest Playboy Issue

Apparently, guys are buying the latest Playboy to read the interview with Sergey and Larry. However, I doubt they're uninterested in the pictures...

Phobos Entertainment's "100 Science Fiction Books You Just Have to Read"

A "best SF ever" list that only has 3 Asimov books on it? Pshaw...

Modern Students Devour Old Math

This old Vedic math sounds a lot like a book I read in high school called "Rapid Math Tricks & Tips."

Come to think of it, I borrowed the book from Kevin Helton. Kevin, if you ever come across this blog, I have your book.

Finale 2005 New Features

Well, Finale 2005 has finally been announced. The new features look pretty cool (though some, of course, are marketing fluff). I hope the OS X version has some speed increases... even though it's not *too* bad as it stands, it could always use some optimization.

Friday, August 13

Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed: A Small Lesson in Conservatism

I would call myself a conservative (or at least leaning more in that direction than the other), but this "bedtime story" book is just a bit too radical, even for the most right-wing nutjob...

Oh yeah, go here too:

Craig Kilborn Signs Off

Awww... Kilborn is leaving the Late Late Show. He's pretty funny, but usually if I'm stupid enough to be awake at 12:35am I'll be tuning in to Conan O'Brien on NBC's Late Night.

The cool part is that they're considering hiring Conan to replace Kilborn (after the last 16 months of his NBC contract run out, that is). If Conan takes the stage in LA, where the Late Late Show is currently filmed, I might actually be able to go to a filming some time.

Thursday, August 12

Calif. Top Court Annuls San Francisco Gay Marriages

Finally... I can't believe it took six months for the courts, who were against the idea of gay marriages from the get-go, to officially ban them. That's called "due process," folks.

Cow poo grocery bags in pipeline

This one's for my wife (who, if I haven't said it yet, is an environmental scientist).

Man Detained for Tossing Hamsters Off Terrace

The headline says it all. But the first sentence of the article is even funnier: "A retired Italian man could face up to a year and a half in prison if found guilty of killing his six pet hamsters and one guinea-pig by throwing them off his terrace into passing traffic."

He "accidentally" swept the animals off the terrace; one landed on a car, damaging its windshield. Police found the man's apartment "by studying the trajectory of the pets' bodies."


Wednesday, August 11

The Three Stooges -- in color?

In this article, George Lucas takes a stand against modifying classic movies.

In other news, Lucas will release a new DVD boxed set of modified classic Star Wars films any day now.

Report outlines San Diego's weaknesses during fire

This article explains the major shortcomings that affected the spread of last fall's wildfires, as well as briefly describing what is being done to minimize the future impact of such disasters.

XP Service Pack 2 Glitches Turn Up

Even though the new security software is a boon to security, like any brand-new software there are a few kinks to be worked out. I expected this, and it won't keep me from installing it on my own computer.

REVIEW: Windows XP Battens Down Hatches

Windows XP Service Pack 2 has finally experienced its long-awaited final release. I haven't been able to try it yet; I'm on a Mac here at work, but I'll get it this evening on my Windows machine at home. It seems the biggest thing is the new Windows Security Center, and according to early reports it does a pretty good job of keeping things tight.

Tuesday, August 10

Bomb squad detonates typewriter

"What do you think it is, Bill?"
"I think it's a bomb, Ted."
"But what about these keys? Q W E R T Y... maybe it's a message!"
"Let's blow it up."
"Uh... OK!"

Court Approves Public Shaming of Mail Thief

Apparently, humiliation has not outgrown its usefulness as a court-mandated punishment.

Microsoft releases Windows XP update with tougher security

Windows XP SP2 - finally!

Though apparently the security patches have wreaked havoc with a few software programs... IBM has even asked its employees not to install the update.

Poll: Schwarzenegger has broad support

This almost obvious, due to the awesome job he's been doing as Governor, but it's nice that the Field poll has made it official.

Monday, August 9

Musician's Mike Shuts Down Airport Gates

A musician's microphone, stored in his suitcase, looked sufficiently like a bomb to scare officials at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport...

Radio hosts to 'sacrifice' GOP waffler

I like this story, as I was following it long before it became national news. Radio hosts John & Ken (who can be heard throughout Southern California at 3-7pm weekdays on AM 640) are accusing Republican congresspersons from California of not acting in the public's interest in matters regarding illegal immigration. They've been hosting what they call the "Political Human Sacrifice" Summer Reality Game Show to oust one of them from office. They created a list of 13 Republican congresspersons in relatively safe districts, and by listener vote they whittled it down to 5 "competitors."

Read the article for more specifics, but it is worth noting that the link goes to the Washington Times, the #1 competitor to the liberal Post that also reports in DC.

In unrelated news, this is the 100th post to my blog! All hail Herr Theoretiker!

England Gets First National Jester for 350 Years

That Jester contest I mentioned last week has finished, and Nigel Roder (aka Kester the Jester) is the new court jester.

Interesting, yet still slightly weird.

Gorilla Who Speaks Sign Language Calls For The Dentist

This is pretty cool. Koko (you know... the gorilla that learned sign language) was able to communicate her intense pain to her trainers, and as a result she was treated by a barrage of doctors. Since they had to use anaesthesia to extract the tooth that was the source of the pain, her first full medical examination in about 20 years was performed while she was unconscious.

Saturday, August 7

Matrix Ping Pong

Yet another page about which I can say nothing. Just click the link.

Thursday, August 5

Job Opening: Surely You Jest...

Oh my... English Heritage has a position open for the first court jester since 1649. "Bring your own costume, with bells! We'll provide the bladder-on-a-stick!"

Couple Quits Smoking for Health of Parrot

If you don't care about your own health, at least do it for the sickly bird in the corner...

Computer Users Share Private Files with Their MP3s

Further proof that you should never use software whose basic functions you don't understand: Many people with P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing programs like KaZaA are accidentally sharing private documents.

Learn what the heck you're doing, and don't just click buttons!

Wednesday, August 4

Microsoft eyeing Nintendo: report

Just what everyone needs: A Microsoft X-Cube (or maybe a Gamebox?)

Monday, August 2

Industry Weighs Apple, RealNetworks Feud

Here's a much calmer, more level-headed look at the Apple/RealNetworks feud I brought up last week. It's still a problem, but Apple isn't portrayed in such a knee-jerk reactionary light this time.

Though I still don't like their unwillingness to share the technology market. The thing that has made technology (and all science for that matter) great is the willingness to collaborate and not to hoard; to share and not to exclude.

But what do I know? I'm just a 23-year-old guy sitting behind a desk at a company hardly any non-musicians have ever heard of.

Schwarzenegger Signs $105 Billion Calif. Budget

There they go, down the line...

They're neck-and neck...

Wait, the deadline has passed... but they're still going!

And, ladies and gentlemen, WE HAVE A BUDGET!

Also, read this article to see one of the most egregious grammatical errors I've ever seen in a Reuters publication.

Here's The Word on Dictionary Upgrade

Merriam-Webster is including a lot of new words in the annual update to its Collegiate Dictionary. Among them are terms such as "MP3," "DSL," "Information technology," and even "pleather."

Usually it takes 20 years or so of common usage before a word is added, but the Internet and the high speed of change in the modern world has pushed these terms through that early stage of adoption.

Restaurant bans those under 25

Quite an interesting story. I agree with the premise, even though I would be prohibited from dining in this restaurant. They just don't like to have "screaming or crying children" and "irresponsible younger drinkers" in their establishment.

I'm not saying that I would be one of the second group, but I've known (and known of... just read the news) plenty who would fit there. Sure, it's discrimination, but it's plenty legal and it helps those who do patronize the esablishment to have a better time.

Flash game: Falldown

One of the stupidest Flash games I've ever played, but that didn't keep me from playing until I got 167460 points...


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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.