Monday, February 28

I'm a bit more left-brained than right-brained, but they're pretty close

Not that that will surprise anyone...

You Are 60% Left Brained, 40% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.

Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.

If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.

Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.

Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.

If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.

Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Just a little tune I found

Click the link to listen.

Experiment Shows You Really Should 'Sleep On It'

According to a research study at the University of Lubeck (in Germany), people are twice as likely to discover a shortcut answer to a mathematical conundrum if allowed to sleep for eight hours.

Tunnel to U.S. starts inside Mexican home

Ha! Authorities found an elaborate tunnel that leads from a Mexican residence to Calexico, on the US side of the border.

I sent this link in to John & Ken (on KFI 640 in Los Angeles); it'll be interesting to see if they mention it on their show this afternoon.

Sunday, February 27

Science of Cooking

This link is especially for my wife, who is a scientist and also one heck of a cook. Enjoy!

Friday, February 25

Firefox update helps prevent Web site spoofing

Firefox 1.0.1 has now been released. Aside from the whole "spoofing fix," I find it also runs much faster on Mac OS X.

Intelligent MIDI Sequencing with Hamster Control

This page defies explanation... just go there and watch this guy's hamsters control a musical composition.

Thursday, February 24

Google movies: now playing

This is an awesome new feature of Google: a movie showtimes search. This is way better than Yahoo!'s movies in that it's just so more lightweight, doing away with all of the "My Yahoo!" baggage that just slows down the whole Web browsing experience. You can just type in "movie: theaters [yourzipcode]" (sans quotes and with an appropriate replacement, of course) and instantly you see all movies playing at nearby theaters. If you're looking for a particular flick, you can substitute "movies" for "theaters" in that search string to see the results grouped by movie title instead of by theater. The results link to bazillions of movie reviews; if it didn't, it wouldn't be Google. Also, the theaters that have online ticket purchase available through have links to their ordering pages right from the Google results.

The really cool part is, if you've got a Google cookie in your browser for your home location (i.e. you've said "remember this address" on Google Maps or Google Local), you don't even need to type in your zip code.

The one downside, as I see it, is that there's no easy way to get these results onto a handheld via AvantGo (or any similar site-grabbing tool, but of course AG is the most popular). I tried creating a custom AvantGo channel out of the search results page for my local theaters, and it was not only slow to load (even without images!), the formatting was horrible.

If Google were to make a "tailor-made for handheld screens" version of this, I would have it on my Tungsten in a flash.

Software learns to translate by reading up

I think this is a great idea; computers learning language structure by reading books in various translations.

As long as it doesn't end up with something like this.

YES, Inc.

AWESOME! This service allows you to check the playlists of radio stations. It looks like the list of stations is pretty exhaustive, too...

Wednesday, February 23

Nerd Quiz - My results are really no surprise to me, though

I am nerdier than 89% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Plummer Joins Reeves, Bullock in 'Il Mare'

The plot to this movie seems really far-fetched, plus is stars Keanu Reeves.

Will anybody actually go to see it? The only reason I would even consider doing so would be because of Sandra Bullock, but that's not big enough of a draw to outweigh the total crap that seems to be the rest of the film.

Tuesday, February 22

GPS-Tracked Car Insurance

Interesting idea... GPS trackers to determine how safely you drive, and basing insurance premiums on actual driving style instead of just distance driven and official driving record.

San Diego could definitely use something like this.

Punk Trio Blink-182 on 'Indefinite Hiatus'

This will surely disappoint my wife, an avid Blink fan.

Also, the reason I blogged this is contained in the lead paragraph. I don't want to spoil the humor, so just read the article.

Monday, February 21

Google Online Book Plan Sparks French War of Words

I really like Google's idea to digitize books, but I agree that an overly American perspective is unwarranted. The French shouldn't get too militant about it, of course, but including books from other cultures and languages is definitely a good idea.

Nominees | 77th Academy Awards | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

You've heard all the buzz about the Oscar nominations; here's a succinct list of every nomination in every category.

Relics of Computer History in New York Auction

Sure these artifacts of the history of computation are interesting, but I think knowing they exist and understanding their history is all that is necessary.

Who actually wants to own a 5.5-pound data storage device that only holds "about ... one paragraph of text," anyway?

Sunday, February 20

Sam's Archive > How to destroy the Earth

A humorous recap of "how to destroy the Earth." It's harder that you might think, and those bad guys on movies who threaten to do so really don't know what they're doing.

Smith's 'Hitch' Still Tops at U.S. Box Office

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing 'Hitch;' the trailers have looked pretty funny. My wife and I probably won't get around to seeing it for a few weeks, though.

I don't know why that freaky-looking Keanu Reeves movie did so well. This article mentiones that 'Constantine' did better in its first weekend than 'The Matrix' did, but that's a stupid comparison. 'The Matrix' was an amazing find, but nobody really knew about it until word spread about how good it was. 'Constantine' seems to be just an over-hyped 'Matrix' with spirits instead of robots.

Feature removed

Due to a request from my wife (who, after all, is the only regular visitor to this blog), I have removed the "My latest bookmarks" section from the left-hand side. My latest bookmarks are still available at, albeit unfiltered by the "myblog" tag I was using to keep personal for-reference bookmarks off of this page.

Anyway, she said that she preferred the comments, however short, I make about my various articles and sites of interest to the simple list-of-items format. I've got to keep my readership happy, so here's my new bookmark-free blog!

Friday, February 18

The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time

This list is awesome! Of these "Top 100 Gadgets of all time," here are my favorites that I've owned (or owned newer models of):

The model pictured still sits on top of the piano at my parents' house, and it was the device that taught me how to keep time from the first time I inquisitively touched the keys. The internal rhythm it developed has served me well, earning me the moniker of "the blackest white guy I know" from one of my African-American friends in high school.

My grandpa got me one of these from one of his various "point-collecting" schemes (he's saved everything from Kool-Aid Points to Frito-Lay Ploids to Marlboro Miles, even though he doesn't smoke) when I was in the eighth grade, and I love knowing how to actually play one of these things.

Awww... my first cellular phone.

My parents still have this one! When I was a kid, it kept me occupied in the backseat for many a long car ride. Well, when my sister and I weren't fighting over it, that is.

50. ETCH-A-SKETCH, 1960
I used to play with this thing all the time.

This could easily be in my personal Top 5 Gadgets. This little computer game thingy taught me so much about spelling (back in the day of whole-language and just before "inventive spelling") that I can credit it, not unduly, with a good portion of the language skills I have today. It had kind of a freaky voice, though...

I actually had the very first model of the Handspring Visor. I am completely attached to mobile computing now, and I love that I can just make notes to myself (or, more likely, play games when I'm bored) wherever I am because of my handheld computer. Of course, I have the much-more-powerful PalmOne Tungsten T2 now...

Ha! This stuff is great, but I really don't use it as much as I should.

The one I have is more advanced than most... instead of containing its own Flash memory chip, it holds SD card media. I use it to transfer files (mostly MP3s) to my handheld, and to carry around important files that I can use on my work and my home computers.

1. APPLE POWERBOOK 100, 1991
I used to swear I'd never turn into an Apple geek, but now I have a G4 Powerbook. I don't care that I've abandoned my roots - OSX is cool!

Tuesday, February 15

'Jeopardy' champ Ken Jennings to unveil new trivia game

Awesome! Once this is out, it's definitely going on my Amazon Wish List.

Microsoft to Release New Internet Browser



Too bad all the people that care about the security enhancements promised by this upcoming "IE 7.0" are already using Firefox.

Friday, February 11


This little Flash "game" (really more a bizzare interconnection of slightly related events) is really interesting! I've actually found *two* separate ways of solving it. The second way basically skips several of the steps... you can end up blowing up the bell tower and still finish, if you do the right thing before the bombs are shot.

Thursday, February 10

A depiction of myself

note: not a photo

Wednesday, February 9

Online Banking Growing Rapidly, Survey Finds

Well, this isn't very surprising. I've been managing all of my finances online for years. Despite the fact that paper bills waste unnecessary paper, who wants to keep track of all of that paperwork? When I was in college, keeping papers in easy-to-find places was near impossible (dorm rooms are notorious for being small, student-sized black holes), so I banked online just to save myself from keeping track of physical objects. Now, I just do it because it's easier. Pretty much the only checks I actually write anymore are for rent. However, if my apartment complex had an easy means to transfer funds online I would do it in a heartbeat.

Thursday, February 3

Services that insert sounds into mobile phone conversations

Apparently there's some software for the Treo Palm OS Smartphone that will insert the sounds of a train station, busy office, bar, or weak connection into your telephone conversation. Kind of rude, but I suppose it might be good for those who are on the phone a lot at work and/or get a lot of necessary calls. (Edit: of course I meant unnecessary calls.)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by emailing the author (use the link above).

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.