Sunday, December 31, 2006

Talladega Nights


I just watched a funny video last night... "Talledega Nights: The ballad of Ricky Bobby". Was it stupid? yes. Was it crude? yes. Did I laugh? yes. I know, this wasn't oscar worthy "best picture of the year" material, but I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this video last night. Some of the movie skated right up to the edge of being offensive, but some of the bits really cracked me up. What made this movie I think was the comedy team of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. John really had some good lines. I think what also let me enjoy this movie the most was that I saw it on the unrated DVD. I think the version that I watched had some extra scenes, that felt very ad-libbed. Then I spent another half hour or more watching all the bloopers, gag reels, and extras. The scene with the knife in the leg really had me laughin...
If you're looking for some mindless fun, have a fast forward button on the remote to get you through the slow spots, then I would recommend renting this dvd. NOT for kids!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Good ridence to 2006

Not that this past year has been particularly bad to me, I feel like it's something I just want to wrap in a plastic baggy, put a twisty-tie on it, and deposit it in the dumpster. I was hoping to have a more coherent thought to post here about the end of the year, but instead I'm just going to post a few random thoughts.
"Highlights" that come to mind about 2006:
War. politics. voting fraud. corrupt politicians. The kicker as the year wraps up now is that the execution of Sadam is all over the 24 hour news networks. I was watching TV at the time when he was supposedly put to death, and Faux News was treating this like a parade. Their "CRACK" team of investigators reported live the news that they heard that the moment had come by reporting that they heard it on another TV show.
As I awoke this morning, I had forgotten last nights horror. So when I turned on the TV this morning and was flipping around, I ended up on CNN, which was showing photos of Sadam with a noose being put around his neck. THEN they showed low resolution photos of the man laying in a sheet with his neck clearly broken. WHY? Such poor taste! Yes, I know he was a bad man. If this man had killed or injured my friends or family I suppose I might be more "happy" about this news. But as a caring human being with something called compassion, I feel bad for all humanity. What a great way to leave 2006 behind huh? [sarcasm].
I'll move on now to some positive thoughts that I can remember about 2006 that relate to me personally:
I got a new camera and am enjoying photography as a new hobby.
I got to go to the MAKER FAIRE out in California and had a blast!
I joined a local Maker group and enjoy the creativity of it.
The Democrats took the House and Senate away from the Reps.
I have taken classes and have expanded my knowledge of Watercolor painting.
I have a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, and a job that provides me with money to do the things I like (movies, books, art).
My friends and family are relatively healthy.
I am thankful for these things.

Here's hoping that your 2007 is full of the above items (the positive ones I mean).

Here is an interesting post that I found the other day too:
50 things we know now (that we didn't know this time last year) 2006 edition.

Finally, here's a post I found a few days after seeing it on TV... (nothing to do with 2006 stuff)
It's a mysterious object that was found in New Hampshire (back in 1872).

(Grr... I am still unable to post photos to my blog under the new blogger beta version)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Book


Woohoo! I finished a book last night! I would like to tell you about it but I have a reason not to at this moment. I will post about it later. (Ooo, sounds so secretive doesn't it?).
So rather than pick up one of the many other books I have on my night table to finish, I pick up a new book!
It is a rather intimidating book. It's a monster at about 600+ pages (though there are quite a bit of photos). And the paper (which is very nice) is rather thick, so I hope I'll be able to push my way through this relatively easy.
The title you ask? It's called "WorldChanging: A Users Guide to the 21st Century" (amazon link). See, even the title is intimidating isn't it? I've only just scratched the surface (I finished the into and the "pre-something or other" by Al Gore) and started the first chapter. The pre-amble (that's what I'll call it) by Al, was good but a bit on the dry side. (much like Al, and his movie). But it was still good. The introduction was much better. It started to fill me with a bit of dread and depression talking about how much trouble the world is in due to our human impact, but it started to offer hope. I'm now encouraged to continue reading this in the hopes of learning more and doing more. I hope I can stick with this book and finish it.
One thing it did that I found encouraging is that it encouraged starting small. Just do one thing to lessen your "footprint" on this earth. I started by turning off the hallway light. It then encourages you to consume less, and be thoughtful about what you do consume. Send a message by what you consume (or don't).
I hope to be posting more as I read on. In the meantime, check out their website (At first glance it looks well designed). OH, the book is gorgeous. It has a dust sleeve with a fantastic image of a bird with laser cut holes (I found this a bit unnecessary though, and with a book about being "green" I thought it a bit hypocritical). The inside pages are also well designed.

Grr... I tried uploading an image of this book but blogger is not letting me upload.
Yeah! It looks like I can upload photos again - 12/31/06

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Disclosure Project

Well, I saw a link over on Reddit that caught my attention... It was labeled: SETI had made contact with extraterrestrials. I used to participate in the SETI at home project (you simply download a screensaver that kicks in and processes data packets of info for Seti). I had done this for probably several years (with a slow computer) and never felt like I was ever contributing. So this headline caught my attention. Well, turns out it was a bit misleading. The video clip is from a guy named Steven M Greer who is in charge or head of another project called "The Disclosure Project". Mr. Greer is simply saying this information second hand and not revealing the name of the contact inside of SETI who made the claim. A bit fishy if you ask me... BUT... On this same video link page, is a link about The Disclosure Project and a news conference it had back in 2001 at the National Press Club. What? Why didn't I know about this? Well, I finally had about 2 hours to put aside today and watch this. I will admit, parts of it is kinda boring in that it's just a bunch of guys standing up and talking. BUT, some of the information they revealed is pretty incredible.
I doubt any of you reading this will want to spend the 2 hours going through this, so I'll try to give you the nutshell version. The Disclosure Project is a group of men and women who have first hand knowledge, and even documents, of UFO's. These people are people that are high up in the military, pilots, DIA officers, Crypto officers with top secret clearance, etc. In other words, these are not some joe schmoe farmer in the middle of a cow pasture who claims to have seen a light in the sky. (not to discount their account, it's just that the witness may not be that credible.). These guys (and gals) during this press conference are giving small testimonies about what they have seen and heard, or have direct evidence of UFO's and that they are willing to give testimony under oath to the US Congress. WOW!
Yes, the typical skeptic (including my skeptic side) will simply brush this aside and say they are all part of an elaborate hoax. But really... I don't think it is. I'm going to go to their website now and see what I can find out about them, and see what (if anything) they have accomplished since this press conference om 2001.
In the meantime, check this short video out here: this is the one about Seti.
Then go and try to plod through the entire video here: This is the 2 hour press conference.

If you have found this post via a search engine, I would invite comments here as to if you think the Disclosure Project seems credible to you (or not) and why.


Monday, December 25, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

First off... Merry Christmas!
Hope you had a safe fun day.

Well, I decided to relax this evening and watch a dvd. I watched "An Inconvenient Truth". You know the one... the one with Al Gore talking about global warming.
Well, I have mixed opinions on this movie.
First... I hope something can be done for this problem. But I see this as a problem that is too far gone. That's not to say that I will give up, and just start turning my gas stove on for 24 hours a day, or letting my truck run while I'm sleeping. I will still try to do my part. But I will be amazed if somehow we can turn this trend around.
If you have not seen this movie, I encourage you to go rent it. Yes, there are some political stabs and cheap shots. But it is certainly not the focus of the movie.
I was also aware that this was like a large commercial for APPLE computers. (Which Al Gore is on the board of!) But since I am an devout fan of apple, I won't complain too much.
But really, put all that aside, and just open your mind for about an hour or so and listen to some of the facts and figures.
I hope that one day soon, I may switch to a Hybrid vehicle. I WISH I could get a toyota pickup in hybrid, but I may have to put that aside.
Go see this movie.
http://www.climatecrisis.net/

Friday, December 22, 2006


I would normally break these up into separate posts, but I don't have time...

Rock-Man>
I just found this website of this guy who does some amazing "sculpture". I suppose some would call this art (I do) and some would just call him crazy, but there is something really neat about this. All he does is balance one rock on top of another. Sounds simple right? Look at some of the videos and photos on his website, and not only do they look IMPOSSIBLE, but in the videos he achieves the balance point very quickly! I'm wondering if there may be a trick to it, such as putting a pinch of sand down first. Check him out. Oh, by the way, his name is Bill Dan.

Rock the vote>
(hey that was a pretty good segway)
I just found this link today about what we DON'T know about the voting process. I have not verified any of these points, and I have to admit... it sounds like it's a scam. Could these really be true?! Here's just one... The Diebold Senior Vice president was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the 1st degree. - WHAT!? The more I read/learn about diebold the more I am amazed. We really are in trouble.

23 the movie>
(woah cool another good segway)
I just learned of a new movie about my favorite number 23.
I learned about this number via my favorite author and book... Robert Anton Wilson in The Illuminati Trilogy. As a matter of fact, I thought the one character in the trailer kinda looked like RAW. I searched imdb and there was no mention of him. Oh, the movie looks good and creepy. I am really looking forward to this one. The lead actor... Jim Carrey. I think he's a great actor when he's not being all goofy. Check out the trailer online now.

Evan>
While looking at the movie trailer page, I also saw this movie called "Evan Almighty". It looks like it's gonna be pretty funny.

Finally>
I did a bit of Christmas shopping and bought my first Christmas Tree in ten+ years. I've never done any holiday decorating. I just can't be bothered. But last night I saw the perfect "tree"... It's a small (emphasis on small) cone shapped green tree but it's a Rosemary bush. Not only is it cheap ($9.99), it smells nice, I might use it for some cooking, and it reminds me of a visit out to California where I got to walk down a trail to the ocean through some wild rosemary bushes. Now all I need are some small Christmas ornaments, small lights, and I'm all set :)

IF I don't post again...
Merry Christmas to all.
Wishing peace on earth.



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oldest blogger

I saw this post over on boingboing. This guy (Don Crowdis) up in Canada is apparently the oldest blogger (self proclaimed?)... at a young 93 years (well, his birthday is coming up on the 24th - Happy Birthday Don). I read the boingboing article which directed me to this news article, neither of which posted a link to Don's actual blog! So I googled it and sure enough found it here. I read a few of the posts and it's good. A little sad maybe in that I learned his wife is in the hospital, and there are posts about death and such, but I guess when you reach 93, that thought is on your mind.
He has some good sayings, words of wisdom, is not shy about stealing other good sayings :)
I had to check it out... his photo looks like an uncle I once had, and I bet if he were alive today he'd probably be blogging too.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

cartoon genius


I know that the odds of someone finding this post are slim, but I would like to post my condolences for Joe Barbera today. He has entertained me in my life for countless hours and I want to thank him for that. But this morning I heard the sad news that he passed away at 95. Wow, 95 that is a full life there. In case you don't know who Joe Barbera is, he is famous for being the partner in "Hanna-Barbera" - who are the animation people that created such classic characters like: Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Sooby-Doo (my fav). and Tom and Jerry. I've "wasted" much of my youth in hours of watching these cartoons. I still enjoy cartoons. I know it sounds lame, but I actually appreciate and admire the art. Today I'm really enjoying and admiring the line work of Avatar.
Peace Joe and thanks.

You can read more on CNN


Monday, December 18, 2006

Cornstarch!

Who knew cornstarch could be this much fun! I've been hearing rumbles of cornstarch recently on the internet as being able to create this semi-fluid-like substance that changes properties. Then a few days ago, I happened to catch "Late night with Dave Letterman" where he had some school kids showing their science projects. One of the kids had a swimming pool full of water and cornstarch. Basically it is a liquidy-soupy like substance when mixed to the right consistency BUT because the cornstarch particles are so tiny, when the surface of the "liquid" is interacted with in a sharp way (example running across the pool) it changes to reflect a hard non-liquid surface. Kooky huh? Well, just the other day I found this video online and it's really cool! It shows what this cornstarch and water does when it intereacts with a set vibration. (not sure what he has it hooked up to that vibrates it). I would image a speaker might be able to produce similar effects. Check it out! The "fingers" at the end are amazing and creepy at the same time.



starting to feel like Christmas


In spite of the record breaking temperatures we're having here on the east coast (near 60's) I'm starting to feel the Christmas spirit. It's just barely nudging itself into my conciousness. I'm starting to wonder where on my computer I have my xmas songs.
On that note, I'll post a quick calvin comic (don't sure me Mr. Waterson!)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Demetri Martin


Ha! I just found a link [via laughing squid] that is apparently a promotional website for Windows Vista. (ugh micro$oft). But it is by one of my favorite comedians... Demetri Martin (I hope I am spelling his name right). It's an odd mix of observational humor, film, and web. I especially like episode #4. Check it out...
http://clearification.com/

PS> Never tattoo a fish.

Friday, December 15, 2006

How stupid can you be?

Border Fence Firm Snared for Hiring Illegal Workers
A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants. Two executives from the company may also serve jail time. The Golden State Fence Company's work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico.
Read more on NPR.org

PS> This post is the first using blogger's new "beta update". I hope it works, and I hope my template is still intact.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Good Story

Just came across this news story (via digg) and it was pretty amazing. Not only is it a good story, but as one of the commenters pointed out... it's nice to see a newspaper print something other than doom and gloom. I like the line that read: "But Don Karkos lived in a time when you farmed the acre you were handed and plowed forward".
Read it here on Recordonline.com

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Little Green Men


I meant to blog this earlier but tonight there was another good tie in...
My google news alert showed me this news article about a recent UFO sighting...
In a nutshell, a large fireball was seen above the town of Natrona County in Wyoming. The short of it is that no one knows what it was, nor where it landed/crashed. Ok... it was probably just a meteor, but as always, there is that little part of me that says "But... what if...". Well, tonight I found a link to this image from NASA. I had seen this a few days ago but in a smaller resolution. I know... it's probably just a bit of dirt, or a glitch in the camera, Or Maybe it's actually a water like substance. IF it is... there could be a probability that there may be bacteria, virus, one celled organisms etc... Life! There's that little part of me that says, what if there really is other life out there. What a mind blowing discovery that would be.
I'll copy and paste the text from the news here (in the off chance there is a cover up ;)

(totally unrelated: I just finished watching the episode of "The Unit" - what a powerful show that was!)
>>>
Mysterious object brightens night sky
Deputies with the Natrona County Sheriff's Department responded to numerous calls of a large fireball streaming through the night sky early Friday morning, but were unable to find any trace of the object.

According to the sheriff's office, several county residents in the Muddy Mountain and Bates Creek areas on Casper Mountain called to report a large, flaming object traveling eastward at a high rate of speed at approximately 6:50 a.m.

"It probably passed right over us on its way to somewhere else," Sgt. Mark Sellers said.

Sellers said a caller described it as an aircraft on fire, but the airport had no reports of aircraft in the area and no emergency beacons sounded. Others thought it was a meteorite or a UFO.
Sheriff's deputies searched the mountain but couldn't find any evidence of the object's impact.

Tech Tags:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Nativity Character?


What a strange photo above huh? Did you actually look at it and see what is going on? Did your mind do a somersault as did mine trying to put together thoughts of a nativity scene with this character? If not look again ;) Turns out this is not some sick internet prank. The photographer who took this photo (who is an amazing photographer) put a link on his page that leads to this wikipedia article about Caganer. Not only did I not know about this "tradition" but I also never heard of Catalonia before (It's just below France and next to Spain). When you read the wikipedia article it is less shocking and kinda funny. I don't know if this practice would take off here in the States, but it sounds like something Trey Parker, or Matt Groening would do :)
The only "gross" thing about this post is that the orignal photographer used a word in his post that I never heard of before - Coprophilic . So I googled the definition... Eww. You don't want to know.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Small Bill O'Reilly Rant

So the other night I had the BO show on in the background, when they started talking about 9/11 and how the country was "unified" at that time. Then in a sort of passing comment Bill said something to the effect of "I think it's time for another 9/11"!!!? What? I did a double take? I've been watching some of the internet posts and no one seems to have caught this. Maybe I misunderstood him? Am I wrong?

In a related video... This is what triggered my rant...
Here's a video of an 8 year old kid that goes on a rant against BO. At first I thought it was funny as I was watching, then it quickly turned into something disturbing. I don't know why yet, but there is something not quite right about having your kid read off a rant like this then posting to the web. What bothers me even more is that the kid may really be watching South Park... I like the show, but it certainly is not appropriate for a kid (thus the MA tv rating!).
Well, that's my rant for today.
Here's the link over on Reason.com

Thursday, December 07, 2006

James Kim

Well, what a real shame. I heard on the news last night that James Kim was found dead after his long ordeal to find help for his stranded family. Apparently he basically just succumbed to the elements in only Jeans, sneakers and a coat. According to this article he made the mistake of getting wet, by trying to swim, which probably led to hypothermia and exhaustion. What a sad and bizzare accident. He will be missed, and remembered as a hero. The article is well written.
Rest in peace James.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Times are a changin?

This is a sort of follow up post to my previous post about how things are changing in our Gov... With the recent removals (or voluntary resignations) of Rummy and Bolton, I'm hearing all sorts of good things about the new Secretary of Defense - Robert Gates. I just finished reading this article over on Slate.com that has the title "Enter the Grown-Up". It talks of how Mr. Gates had answered his confirmation hearing questions rather pointedly - which is rare. Very encouraging. I did see a sort of critical article over on the Mother Jones website but I have not read it yet. I sort of don't want to know what bad things they have to say about Gates.
I also heard several radio interviews this morning about this new "Iraq Study Group Report" - (Study Group? You mean like a bunch of college kids sitting in their dorm eating pizza?). It sounds like it's going to be a good report because it will be critical, yet on the radio they made it clear that this group/report has not one ounce of authority. It's basically a list of suggestions.
I'm starting to get nervous... This Gates fellow is still supposed to be a Bush Admin, the Study Group was appointed by the Bush Admin... What's going on? Can we trust these people? Are they just frontmen? I hope not.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

James Kim


I wasn't sure if I was going to post this or not, but I think James needs as much help, prayers, and good thoughts as possible. I don't know James personally, but I feel like I know him because I've seen him on TV so many times. He was one of the TV personalities on TechTV. He was known for his advice on digital cameras and printers. I remember he would always use a "test photo" of his baby daughter being the proud father that he was. He has one of those personalities that you know he's a good guy. If you don't know yet, the Kim family took off for a thanksgiving vacation to visit with family in Oregon (from San Francisco). Well, I'm not sure on the details, but apparently they got lost and tried to take a "short cut" using roads that are less traveled and not maintained in the snow. Apparently their car got stuck. The family was just found yesterday! 9 DAYS! Unfortunately James must have gotten desparate around Day 5 and decided to leave his family in search of help. The news reports that I heard last night were encouraging because they were able to follow his footprints in the snow (Thank goodness it has not snowed again)! I was really hoping that when I checked this morning there would have been good news, but apparently he has not been found yet.
Please pray and send good vibes to James and his family to be found soon.
Read more on abc news here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Another one bites the dust...

I woke up this morning and was listening to NPR when they interrupted to say that news just came in that John Bolton has (or will be) resigning from his position as US Ambassador to the UN. I have to be honest and say that I know nothing about Bolton. Other than his position was disputed by many Democrats and some Republicans, yet Bush sort of "snuck" him in while Congress was in recess. Read more over at the Washington Post.
So first we have Donny Rumsfeld, and now Johnny Bolton. We're on a role here and cleaning house. I have not heard any more information on the news I heard that Germany was going to pursue filling war crime charges against Rumsfeld. And there has been talk recently that a man is trying to sue Rumsfeld for his part in torture. (Hmm, possibly the same event?) I googled it and found this link.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Praying Mantis Macro


Just showing off one of my macro photographs that I think turned out pretty good. There are a few more over on my flickr account (and I may be adding some more new photos shortly).

Poor Richard

Saturday, December 02, 2006

UFO followup

Well, thanks to google news again, the ufo mystery I recently blogged about has been solved. A simple explanation that apparently fooled 100's-1000's of people. I'll give away the secret here but it's a good article over at "the Argus" (a local UK newspaper)... The answer... candle lit hot air balloons also called "Chinese Lanterns". Basically you take a small lightweight material (plastic bags work) and then putting a small candle or "tea light" below it to heat the air inside the bag.
So put your tinfoil hats away for another day ;)

Totally unrelated:
I just found a new show on TV (on the old G4 network that I hate because they destoyred "Tech TV")... It's called "Ninja Warrior" and it has a series of guys competing in an obstacle course (only the first stage). It's an amazing course and these guys are incredibly fit and agile. One of the guys who just won was 53 years old!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Political Friday


First a bit about the weather...
Today is December 1st!! Can you believe it?! I can't. And to top it off... I'm walking around with short sleeves and all the windows are open. Global Warming at it's best. (speaking of which, Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" is out on DVD and I have a copy of it here from Netflix that I hope to watch this weekend. So prepare for a rant on that later ;)

ok, onto todays rant(s)...
I woke up this morning early. It was one of those weird "lucent dreams" that stirred me awake around 7am. Try as I might to force myself back to sleep, I could not. So I got up made a cup of Tea (used the last of my "Dragonwell" Green Tea (expensive Green Tea, that to me was not worth the extra expense - but it still tasted good)). I sat down and turned on C-Span to see what the topic of the day was for "The Washington Journal". Friday's are usually hosted by Brian Lamb himself and are usually a good show. (Really... Someone should give Mr. Lamb a medal for all he does.) So the first guest (where I missed the first part of her interview) was Mona Charen. Ms. Charen is a columnist and occasional blogger over on Townhall.com (I never heard of her before). She was a real cheerleader for the Bush policies! She raised the ire of several democrat/liberal listeners who really laid into her with some tirades. She handled them pretty well, but with an air of condescension. One of the things she said that really kinda shocked me was her emphasis that there were "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq, but that Sadam had somehow gotten them out of the country before we could find them. What? You mean people still believe that? I thought the WMD theory has been put to rest due to a three year lack of evidence. Yet Miss Charen's argument was that since Sadam had used WMD's in the past, then clearly he still had them. Ok, her segment came to an end, and they brought on the next guest... Thomas Ricks. Mr. Ricks wrote (and was promoting) his book called "Fiasco". A complete opposite point of view than Ms. Charen's. Mr. Ricks interview was much calmer. He really seemed to know his facts, figures, and was able to drop names of military people that he spoke with. He (of course) said that there is no evidence of WMD's and seriously doubts the claim. It struck me... Here we have two well educated people, both writers, who believe completely different things! How is that possible? Why does this happen?? How is the "average joe schmoe" like me supposed to make up his mind which story is true? (I believe Mr. Ricks only because he seemed much more credible). But what is it that Ms. Charen is able to dismiss what most of the rest of the people in the intelligence community are saying as being false? Is she stupid? (I don't think so). Is she niave? Is it wishful thinking? Is it because she has such support for the Republican party that she is able to put blinders on and not even look at the other side? I just don't get it. It's as if a newspaper reporter wrote a column that the world is flat. Wouldn't that reporter eventually loose his/her job?
I don't know if I will get Mr. Rick's book or not. I'm sure it is interesting, well written, but I don't know if I have the stomach to learn even more facts and figures about the mess we are in. I do have an Amazon.com gift certificate that's burning a hole in my pocket, so maybe I'll put it towards Fiasco.
Moving on...
One other side note that was brought up by a caller while Mr. Ricks was on...
AH SHOOT! I just forgot the guy's name! One of the military leaders (a general) who is credited with really getting the Iraq war off the ground (then retired) was giving a medal by our President. The caller pointed out (and Mr. Ricks agreed it was odd) that the Pres. gave him a civilian award/medal. Why was a military general given a civilian award? Odd.

I would encourage you to watch/listen to the webcast over on Cspan's website for Dec. 1st. (You can skip Charen's interview ;)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

bird's nest


One of the things I love about the web is that I never know where I'll end up...
I just went to one of my daily websites: boingboing and they had an oddball post on there about a Japanese woman who recently cut her hair and made her own fake eyelashes. I went to her website: http://wtbw.net/geisha// (NSFW (not safe for work) some nudity) and saw one of here posts that really cracked me up. The image above is from another website that has several photos of this "bird nest". I can't read it because it looks like it might be in German or Dutch. But the photos say it all.

This photo also cracked me up:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

UFO alert

One of the things I love about google news is the ability to set up a custom news alert. One of the keywords I have in my alerts is "UFO". It seems you hear these stories of ufo's on tv all the time, but I was curious to see how often these things are published in a newspaper. Surprisingly not too often. In the past several years (I'm estimating) I've only had a handful of what I would call "serious" reports. NONE with images. Cmon! In todays world when there is a camera on every corner, in every cell phone (except mine), and in small pocket size digital cameras, no one can get a photo? Anyway.... This news alert just came to me and it sounds interesting. In a nutshell... A series of "orange slices" were spotted in the nighttime sky and apparently were seen by thousands... No official explanation has been given...
This link is to thislondon.co.uk

On an unrelated note: I just saw a preview on TV for a new movie coming out called "The Good Shepherd" - I'm psyched to see this!

Cyber Monday

I really find it hard to believe that this term "Cyber Monday" is/has become "official"... The term was created out of thin air by a group of marketers from Shop.org. The term is being talked about and discussed in the news as if this were a real event. I'm actually a bit surprised that places like FauxNews, NPR!, CNN, and even the Daily Show (although John Stewart did it justice by claiming that "Cyber Monday" was then followed by "Identity Theft Tuesday").
DON'T fall for the marketing hype. If you hear someone use this term be sure to correct them, or ask them for evidence (which there is none). I fear this is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and that even one year after the term was created it has already embedded itself into our collective corporate consciousness.
You can read the details over on a wikipedia page here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

'Father of Prius' killed in plane crash

Just found some sad news...
David Hermance was killed on Saturday in a plane crash. Apparently it was a "kit plane" that was considered experimental by the FAA. Mr. Hermance was the man credited with bringing the Toyota Prius (the electric hybrid car) to the US. Very sad. I hope the hybrid technology continues to move forward here in the US. I also have to admit that there is a small part of me that wonders if there was any foul play involved. I certainly hope not. The article in the SFGate newspaper says that he was doing acrobatic tricks and apparently could not pull out of a loop.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Richard Dawkins pt 2

Well, it's Sunday night. My 4 day weekend is slowly coming to an end. It has been a nice relaxing 4 days off. I have a refrigerator that is packed with leftover containers that I'll probably deplete as the week goes on. I always have a sense of guilt towards the end of Thanksgiving to know that there are so many people in the world that have so little. I don't know how to combat this guilt other than to give to a local food bank charity. Yet even that brings about a different guilt, that if I just throw some money towards a charity it will make things better. I've yet to figure out how to resolve that guilt.
Well, Another good video (actually a two parter) was posted on one of my new favorite websites called "Throw away your TV". I finally got to hear a speech by this Richard Dawkins guy and it was very interesting. (Note the blogger who posted the video mistakenly claims the speech was given at Liberty University (Owned or started by Jerry Falwell)). The speech was covered by my other favorite TV channel (hmm, ironic that the "throw-away-your-tv" site is rebroadcasting a tv show) on C-span called BookTV.
Dawkins is entertaining, well spoken (In his harry potter accent), and passionate in his beliefs. He is a bit disrespectful at times, but I did not detect any outright hostility.
What bothered me most about his speech? The audience of the "Randolph Macon Women's College". Their laughter, cheers, jeers, and clapping felt more like it was a pep-rally than a college level speech. What was also somewhat embarrassing... the people asking the questions were having difficulties in getting their questions out. Perhaps it was just nerves, but I expected college level students to be a bit more eloquent.
If you are the least bit interested you should check out the video(s). But I will warn you that he may rub some Christians the wrong way.
On a side note: One member from the audience said that the Liberty University has on display fossils that they claim are 3,000 years old. I just googled Liberty University and found their website... I thought it a bit funny that on their homepage they are saying that if you register for their "distance learning" you could win an ipod or a dell computer. But wait! That's not all! For just $19.99 you can win this entire set of Ginsu knives too...

Friday, November 24, 2006

T day part 2


Well, I had a good turkey day yesterday. Relaxing. I watched two dvds, both were good...
The new Lewis Black comedy called "Red, White and Screwed"... It was not as good as some of his other comedy shows but there were parts that I had to laugh out loud at. Any movie/dvd that can accomplish this feat is worth it in my book. The part about the trained bear = the president was very funny. (Warning: The language was over the top, mainly because Lewis was denied to perform in a certain venue because of his use of the f-word. Well, just tell a comedian he can't say something and guess what happens ;) (At the end of his diatribe, he actually presented a fairly good reason for using foul language.)

Then I popped in another of my netflix dvd's... it was called "Unconstitutional". A very good documentary about how we are losing our rights under this administration. Namely the "Un-Patriot act". There were some eye-opening (and scary) things presented in this movie. One of which, was how the authorities (I don't like using the 3 letter names of these governmental groups because I know it will trigger "Carnivore"), anyway, the authorities can now go into any public library and demand to see their records to see who is reading and checking out certain books as part of a dragnet type profile. It made me wonder... I've been using Netflix to rent several of these documentaries and I suspect I could end up on some list just because of the movies I like to watch. Oh well. You should rent it if you can. (They also had a preview that it seems they have other similar movies, I'll see if I can rent those as well on netflix.)

Oh... and my Turkey stir-fry experiment turned out well. Not great, because I think I may have over cooked the turkey. Some of the pieces were pretty dry (which baffels me because I thought that was not going to happen when I stir-fried. I even had a lot of liquid in the wok because I added some green squash towards the end of the cooking.) But nothing a little gravy couldn't solve. I then used all the bones and scraps that I had cleaned to boil in a big pot with the hope of making some Turkey Noodle Soup one of these days. So now I have a nice big container of good Turkey stock. The only other item that tasted a little "weird' was my mashed potatoes... I wanted to make a run to the supermarket on Wed night, but it was cold, raining, windy and miserable out. I was going to get a container of sour cream to make my mashed taters, but had to resort to plan B... I used a splash of soy milk. It was certainly edible, but every now and then I would get a hint of the "sweetener" they use in the soy milk. Overall I think I had a fairly healthy meal. (except for maybe the jar of store bought gravy).
Well, I think I'll wait until later in the afternoon here before venturing out to the grocery store, to get some supplies to make a pumpkin pie. If the parking lot outside of my apartment complex is any sign, it's empty, which means everyone is probably out at the stores looking for black friday deals. The amount of sales and advertising on TV last night was sickening. We are SO manipulated to cattle like consumers. I fight it as best I can.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy T day


Happy Thanksgiving!
moving on... :)

Can you believe this? I've heard the rumblings a few days ago but it seems to be true. Peter Jackson, who is the man behind the best fantasy film(s) ever made (The Lord of the Rings), has walked away from the new project of doing the Hobbit! Turns out there is a legal battle over a DVD royalty dispute. New Line is not budging and wanted Jackson to take charge of The Hobbit, while at the same time sueing him. Really, does that make any sense? So Jackson has walked away until the lawsuit is settled. So what does New Line do? They say we're going to make it anyway... without Jackson, without WETA (The special effects company), without New Zealand, and probably without the original cast. There are now petition sites popping up (I'm not a fan of petition websites), fans are talking of boycotting all new line cinema productions, etc... Bottomline... money. New Line is going to throw away the Talent and the man who made them a part of cinema history all in the hopes of getting more money.
Read the full story over on the BBC website here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

God Delusion

I've been hearing this guy's name mentioned a lot lately. He recently wrote a book called "God Delusion" and has been on the talk show book promoting circuit. (I think I saw him on the Colbert Report or Daily Show). Anyway, I was checking Reddit and found this link by Dawkins where he is sort of explaining his "hostility" towards religion. It is an interesting read, though I certainly don't agree with it all. You can almost hear his voice rising as you continue reading the article, and I suspect that this hostility is a side effect of his always having to defend his point of view. I would be willing to wager that he's been attacked by fundamentalists and that would probably explain the hostility better. If I have time, I think it would be an interesting experiment to re-write his article and switch the wording around... Instead of "Why I am hostile toward religion" write it to say "Why I am hostile toward science". I bet it would be an interesting read.
Well, I hope he will be featured on cspan's BookTV soon.

Official Seal


Here's a fun website:
http://www.says-it.com/seal/index.php
It lets you create an "official" seal type logo using some clip art and some color sets (you can change the colors). Just type in the top and the bottom, set your preferences and hit the "go" button and in a matter of seconds it generates a seal that you can then copy (on a mac just drag and drop, PC = Right click) to your desktop, use on a website, etc...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kramer a Racist?

That was the headline that caught my attention on Reddit today. It looks like Michael Richards really lost it and he lost it in front of a video camera (probably a video phone). It seems as though some guy(s) were heckling him while he was doing a stand-up comedy show and Richards just flips out and starts making some really foul racist remarks. It's painful to watch. I don't know if this was just a bad attempt at comedy (I don't think so) but it was obviously a terrible outcome. I'll never be able to appreciate one of my favorite comedians now. What a shame. Why is there so much hate in the world?
Warning: This link contains the full transcript and the video link.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Random Saturday

Just a couple random thoughts I'm going to put out here...
I just came from seeing the movie "Fast Food Nation". I have to say I was a little disappointed. I had read the book some time back (actually I never finished it because it was too depressing). But this movie (by Richard Linklater who has done much better work), just seemed to lack heart and caring. The book has a lot of facts and figures, and I can see how that would not really make for a good movie. So they tried to put a story behind the facts, but it didn't work. The book pretty much cured me of my McDonalds addiction. I would go at least once a week. But after reading the book, I went cold turkey. I have since been a little more lax, and do occasionally have a cheeseburger, or stop at taco bell, but I'm much better now. I would say to skip this movie and go for the book instead.

Friday, I took off work to drive my sister down to Washington DC. It was an ever so short visit and it was good to see her again, but it went by very quickly. I had been warned about driving in DC. I had heard some real horror stories about the traffic and getting lost etc... Well, I didn't get lost once, probably because I was using a Magellan road computer. Those things really are amazing. I almost wish I would drive more just so I could have an excuse to buy one. Anyway, we drove down and it was surprisingly easy! No traffic at all. But... we tried to leave the city before "rush hour" We left about 3:30pm... well guess what, we hit rush hour. We drove for about 2 hours and had only gone about 20 miles! It was unbelievable, just break lights as far as you could see. I did well with it all because I was prepared for it. I knew we'd get home eventually. Sure enough it finally started to lighten up around 6:30 just outside of Baltimore. But one thing happened that I can barely believe. I was on a 4 lane highway in the second lane from the right. The road was splitting and I had to go right. This put me in the "fast lane". Well, we were still in the merging section when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that a bronco was right behind me. We were going about 60mph. There was another car next to me so I could not pull over. Next, this Bronco starts flashing his highbeams. Finally, I let off the gas to slow down to pull right and get out of this guys way. Well, the guy jerks the bronco to the right, and starts passing me. Sure enough, he gets just barely past me and then CUTS me off and literally missed hitting me by inches. (all while traveling at about 60mph). I laid on the horn but of course it didn't do anything, the guy just sped away. What would posses someone to risk their life and endanger other's lives just so they can get to where they are going faster. I WISH I had gotten his license plate number because I would have called the police and made a report. I tried to speed up a little to see if I could see his plate but he was going way too fast. So, wherever he is right now, I hope the Karma train comes barreling down in your rear view mirror someday and teaches you to not speed, not tailgate, and not to cut people off.

Well, I can't wait to have a nice restful Sunday tomorrow. Maybe I'll go out and do some grocery shopping to get ready for Thanksgiving. I got some of the stuff I need today (A nice big turkey breast - though I think I paid WAY too much for it at Wegmans, I got a handful of potatoes, and I have a box stuffing from before. So all I really need is some corn, and maybe some cranberry sauce, and I'll have my nice dinner. MAYBE I'll splurge and get some pumpkin pie, but I'm trying to watch what I eat. I did cave in today and bought some cookies. Ugh. But, I also bought some more green squash so I'll rationalize the cookies with eating a healthy dinner at least one night of the week. I'm trying now to eat more green things.
Well, I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Google ads

This is a test... this is only a test...
(I have another website that has been shut down now for about a year or so. On it I have google ads. I've accumulated approx $50 in payments but the way that google works is that you need to earn a minimum of $100 before they pay you. Since my website is shut down, I am probably not getting that much traffic anymore. So my thought is to add some small google ads to my blog to hopefully reach the $100 goal. Bear with me as I figure this out, and try to make it as unobtrusive as I can.)
ok, I am unable to post the code in my individual posts. I will try to post it in my side bar at the bottom.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cards in our spokes


These things are awesome! It's funny, because when I was a kid we would customize our bikes by adding baseball cards with clothespins to our spokes. If it was a special occasion (like 4th of july) we would wrap the handle bars and frame with streamers. I have a prediction too... I've noticed and thought on quite a few occasions that the next "fad" in automobile customizing will be to get rid of the same black rubber tire seen on every car and truck in America. I'm not talkin about "white walls" either, I'm talking about actual colored tires. It looks like this is the first step to that. I should have patented my idea! Oh well.
Oh, and I found this link and info over on the cool hunter.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Money is no good here...

I've been wanting to post this topic for a while now...
I've noticed two commercials on TV that seem to send the same message... Your cash is no good. Big surprise that these commercials are coming from credit card companies. The first one, shows an aerial view of a store where people are flowing around merchandise, past the cash register, and out the door like a well oiled machine. Then this "jerk" gums up and stops the whole flow and appears to annoy the customers behind him all because he is trying to pay for his item with cash! The Nerve! He then sulks out of the store looking ashamed. I could not believe this commercial. It's not like the credit card company is trying to promote their bank, their ease of use, but is rather taunting its customers to shame them into using their card. Poor taste in my opinion, yet genius on their end because I doubt many people will pick up on this. (eww, I just had a gnat fly under my keys on my computer).
The other commercial is similar, but a little easier to stomach... They show a guy at a home depot like store checking out a bunch of products. (Self checkout too). The machine is saying that he's earning "points" with each swipe, and eventually awards him a digital camera after about 3 swipes. The guy next to him represents us poor saps who do not have this particular "awards program". Again, Genius on the part of the credit card company to get us to stop thinking of using our credit card to represent CASH flowing out of our bank account, but rather POINTS that we can redeem just like cash!
I am SO glad that I have eliminated my debt from various credit card companies and am out from under their thumb. I encourage YOU to do the same. It was hard work, and took a lot fo determination, but it can be done (I think it took me about 3 years!) and once free I vowed to never fall into that trap again.
___
Since I'm on the subject of commercials here, this one need mentioning...
Etrade - and online investment company that lets you trade and buy stocks, is running a commercial now that shows of all things... little computer animated mice that look like sperm! Eww! What were they thinking on this one!?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Free Energy test

Thanks to google news updates, I just learned that an item I blogged about in the past has just entered its next phase. A company called Steorn has ended it's selection of scientists to study/prove/validate their claim to "Free energy". This company thinks it has stumbled upon the answer to generating energy that goes against physics! I am still remaining a bit skeptical, but something in my gut tells me this is for real. It may not solve the worlds energy problems, but it could very well be the first step! In a nutshell, it has something to do with magnets and electricity where this "machine" or engine, produced more energy, than what it takes to run.
The company announced this discovery, and understands it could change the world, and also that it's supposed to be "impossible". So they put out a challenge or rather an open invitation to scientists from around the world to come and study their discovery to either prove it as a hoax, or to prove it for real. I'm going to continue to monitor this company. This could be one of the greatest discoveries of our time! Here's a link to the latest press release. and here's a link to the Steorn website. (You gotta love the quote they have on their website: All great truths begin as blasphemies - George Bernard Shaw)

Stranger than Fiction


Well, it's late (12:46am) and I'm tired, but I just got back from the late movie called "Stranger Than Fiction". I don't know if it's possible to "fawn" over a movie but that's what I feel like. This was the best movie I've seen in a LONG time! It was incredibly written, incredibly acted, and incredibly filmed. It had a story (beginning middle and end), comedy, tragedy, with a bit of the "fantastical" thrown in to keep it interesting. One of the things that I liked about this movie was the attention to detail. For example: One of the characters is a lifeguard (who loves books)... during one scene, the main character (Will Ferrel) approaches the lifeguard to ask a question. I noticed that he was reading a book while on the lifguard stand... The book was wrapped in saran wrap! So as not to have gotten wet from a splash in the pool. It showed how much the lifeguard loved to read, that he would 1) bring a book to "work" while he should be watching the swimmers, and 2) that he cared enough about the book to protect it from getting wet. Brilliant! Will Ferrel was perfect, Maggie Gyllenhaal was fantastic (I think she is one of the best actresses of our time), Dustin Hoffman was terrific, and the English actress Emma Thompson was great. One word of caution... if you are expecting a "goofy" Will Ferrel (like so many of his other famous rolls) you will be dissapointed. Yes, there is a comedic element to his character, but he's not his typical goofball self.
I urge you to go see this movie. It may not be around very long. Tonight was the opening night, and in our local "artsy" theatre is was playing in one of the smaller theatres. Very strange. I think it is up against some stiff box office competition and I suspect it will be overshadowed by Borat and Babel, but if you miss it, it will be a real shame. This movie is why I enjoy movies so much!
HA... one of the small details that both my friend and I picked up on... the same scene I mentioned above with the lifeguard... I noticed there was some words on the lifeguard stand, the first word was cut off, but the second word was "paragon". It struck me as an unusual word to be put on a lifeguard stand. I just had to look the meaning of the word up and it is yet another example of the attention to detail in the movie.
"Paragon: A model of excellence or perfection of a kind; a peerless example"

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday

Hello readers! Sorry I've not posted in the past few days. Been kinda busy. anyway...
I went to my watercolor class last night and we tackled (well, I did and a few others in the class) one of the hardest subjects to paint (imho).... Fabric or Drapery. Our teacher thumbtacked a piece of cloth to the wall and all we had to do was paint it. Sounds easy right? If it does, then you haven't painted before :) But, I think my attempt turned out pretty good. As usual though, I painted it in a rather light shade, so myself and my teacher wants me to push my darks even more next time. I agree. I think it's a confidence thing, and I was thinking today... it might be a "frugal" thing too... I don't want to waste a bunch of paint, so I use it sparingly. I've got to move past this... a tube of paint is about $2-$4 so I should use as much of it as I want. If I can get around to it, I'll scan my fabric and post here for all the world to laugh at.
After class, it was around 9:30pm and I was hungry as usual. (I never have time to eat before class). So I decided to stop at a local diner. It was mostly empty except for a few "regulars". This one table had 3 elderly guys (maybe in their late 50's? or early 60's). Two of them were "loud talkers" so it wasn't like I was eavesdropping. But it was rather entertaining. At first the one guy (skinny, an old gnarled tattoo on his forearm, slacks with no belt, with the fabric bending away from his waist) was ranting about his recent test at the Division of Motor Vehicles for his Commercial Drivers License (CDL). He was complaining about the test questions, (How many pounds of small arms amunition can you carry on a bus? 5lbs, 50lbs, 500lbs... *answer below). Then he went off on a tear about how he used to drive a dumptruck back in the 70's and never needed a license. The other two older gents wholeheartedly agreed. Then... politics. They were NOT glad that the Democrats just won the House and the Senate! The one guy started talking about CA...
>>>
"Nancy Pilosi!?"
I can't believe it!
This country is really going down hill!
Can you believe she's third in line now to become President!?
I know!
She's from California... Ever been?
I have!
They're all a bunch of Democrats... They should just walk out into the ocean and drown themselves!
>>>
I ALMOST spoke up and was going to confront them, but then when he said that last statement I realized it would have been a lost cause. You can't argue, or debate a person who has such an extreme point of view to wish a large group of people would just kill themselves. It was both funny, entertaining, and sad all at the same time.
All I know is that I am SO GLAD that people with this sort of mentality are not running our country anymore. (ie: their elected representatives).
I am also leary that I keep hearing the new democratic leaders spouting off a lot of "holier than thou" attitudes, about not being corrupt, etc... If you've ever watch the TV show "Survivor" It's always these people that make proclamations like this who are the first to "sin".
I question myself now, if I'll go back to the diner next week and maybe catch them again at another interesting conversation. They were regulars because they new the waitress by name (who was cute, and another reason for me to go back next week ;)
Well, that's enough for now. I guess the length of this post made up for past couple days of crickets.
TGIF!!! Enjoy your weekend!!!
PS> The answer... 500lbs! of small arms ammunition can be carried on a bus (according to the old guy).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Did you vote?

I did. In spite of my reservations over the electronic voting machines, no paper trail, etc... I went up this morning and pushed a couple of buttons. As I arrived a woman arrived just before me. I felt bad for her, because when she went up to the two elderly women working the books they could not find her name. I could not hear all of the conversation, but from what I did overhear she apparently didn't change her address (after 4 years) so that she could vote in this new district. She took the news rather calmly and seemed to shrug her shoulders and walk away. I know it wasn't racially motivated, but she was a black woman and I wanted to say, "Let her vote!" But I don't know enough about the laws and such to raise a fuss. I suppose it was her own fault that she didn't re-register but it didn't make me feel any better. Other than that, my voting experience was very uneventful. So now we'll have to see if the democrats can make a difference. I'll be staying up at to watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report's LIVE coverage of the election results. Should be interesting. I'm glad today is over with so my phone will stop ringing... I've never had so many phone calls in my life in the past week. (Almost all of them were recordings.)

another video

So after I watched the HBO video last night on the website "Throw away your TV" I went back to the homepage to find out more about this website as I know nothing about it. But when I hit the refresh button there was a new video posted... It was incredible. I was vaguely familiar with the concept of the movie, but this film maker did a real good job of digging. I didn't finish the entire movie so I can't comment on the overall value but it was very interesting. In a nutshell... the movie is pursuing the "myth" that all us citizens are "required" to pay income tax. Did you know that there is no law that says you have to? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should stop paying income tax, but this movie is suggesting that. Some amazing stories. The name of the movie is: America: Freedom to Fascism made by producer Aaron Russo, who has done some big name movies (Trading spaces with Eddie Murphy).
I still need to get back to that website and find out what it's all about!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hacking Democracy


Well, the day before the big vote, I see that the HBO documentary has made it online. It's called "Hacking democracy" and is in parts on youtube. It is also here in it's entirety on the website called Throw away your TV. I don't know if these video clips are legal in that they may be breaking copyright law... I HOPE that these were actually released by HBO because this information should have been made public to every citizen, not just those who subscribe to HBO. I just watched it and can not believe what I saw. How did this happen. How is it happening still? What surprises are in store for us tomorrow? Why are election officials protecting these companies and not the citizens? The only conclusion I can come to is money. Somebody, somewhere is getting paid a large amount of money. I've only recently signed up to become a registered voter. Part of the reason I never voted before was because I didn't believe in the system. This confirms it. I will still vote tomorrow, in the hopes that not all of the machines are compromised. But if I hear of wrong doings again tomorrow I may just resign from the whole process yet again.
Here is the link to HBO's website.


Kurzweil and the weekend

Well, I manged to watch about 95% of the Ray Kurzweil interview on Cspan yesterday. It lost my attention span towards the last 15 minutes or so and I ended up surfing the web while listening in the background. Still it was an a good interview and an interesting person. I liked how Ray dodged some of the religious questions. He never would quite commit to saying there was a God or not. After listening to some of his thoughts though on virtual reality I sort of lost a little respect for him. He was predicting having glasses that shine directly in your eyes, and such... these glasses have been "forecasted" for about the past 15 years and nothing comes close. He seemed to be stuck in the 90's view of virtual reality. His female avatar was just plain creepy. But... I thought the portable box that would let a blind person point it at a book page, take a picture, and then the machine would read it out loud... that was amazing. The language translation was amazing too. His take on nanobots... I'll believe that when I see it. I don't think it's as close to coming true as fast as what Ray predicts, but who am I? :)
His vitamin/supplement regiment was interesting but they didn't go too far into that. All in all, a good interview.
I saw several movies this weekend...
In the theatre I saw "Flags of our fathers". It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I saw an interview with the author James Bradley on Cspan (yes, I guess I watch a lot of cspan). I think I can honeslty say that the interview was much better than the movie itself. The movie seemed to just be too long and drawn out. The war scenes were nothing new. I don't think any movie can ever live up to "saving private ryan" as far as the war scenes. But I did learn some things, so it wasn't a total wash.

Yesterday was time for me to catch up on my netflix rentals...
I watched "Radio" at my mom's recommendation. It was good! It was a little sappy at points and predictable, but the acting on both Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ed Harris' part was fantastic. Ed Harris I think is one of my favorite actors. He's in a new movie coming out soon about Beethoven that looks pretty good.



Then I watched a political type documentary about the Weather Underground. I have heard the groups name mentioned before but knew nothing about them. It was an interesting documentary. What amazes me is how groups like this one and like the Black panthers were able to form. The weather underground were basically terrorists who finally had enough with peaceful demonstrations and decided to turn violent. They apparently bombed several places (though the movie didn't really go into that in detail). It was interesting to see how a group of people who may have started out with good intentions (stopping the war, and equality) can get twisted around to violence. The members themselves warned that if you believe you are on a moral high ground how anything you do can be rationalized. What amazed me even more is at the end of the movie they sort of did a little "where are they now" and several of the radical leaders are now teachers. Sort of surprised me. (one is in federal prison for bank robbery, and one is a bartender). A good documentary.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Mind blown


Prepare to have your mind blown!
It's funny, I was about to write "One of my favorite authors..." But I've never actually read one of his books before! I've got to get on that. Anyway, I've read magazine articles by this guy, and I saw him give a speech before (on TV), and he just boggled my mind. He is what I would call a futurist. Someone who is aware of current technology and then predicts what may be ahead for all of us in the near and not too distant future. C-span will have a 3 hour long interview with him this sunday on their "BookTV" show. I know... 3 hours!!? But I suspect the time will fly. If not set your VCR/DVR to record so you can pause and watch it later. I will be. Two items that Ray reports as being right around the corner... A computer(s) that will soon equal or surpass the processing and memory power of the human brain. I know, this sounds lame right? but stop and think about it... what this means is that it will be no different than a human as far as thinking. It will be able to "learn" just like a two year old! Well, as long as someone can figure out how to write the correct programs. The other mind blowing thing he demo'd at the speech I saw was a cellphone like device that could translate and create a transcript of any language in real time, using spoken word!
I will be looking forward to this interview. (I hope it's not mind numbing geekspeak though).
Here's the description and link I got from my booktv email update>>>
A monthly LIVE author interview, featuring your calls
Sunday 12 PM-3 PM ET, re-airs Sunday at midnight ET

Join us for a conversation with author, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Mr. Kurzweil is the author of several books on the subject of artificial intelligence, including The Age of Intelligent Machines, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence and his most recent work, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. He was awarded the 1999 National Medal of Technology by President Clinton due to his major breakthroughs in print, sound and speech recognition technologies.

You can join this three-hour conversation by e-mailing your question to
booktv@c-span.org or by calling in during the program: East/Central: 202-737-0001 or Mountain/Pacific: 202-737-0002.


>>>

PS> Barack Obama will be on too at 7pm

Thursday, November 02, 2006

At war with moisture and sunglasses?

A great post to this guy's blog where explains an unpleasant run in with the TSA in the LAX airport. All due to a pair of sunglasses and a bottle of water. I admire how he stuck up for himself, but he really brought these problems upon himself.
Read the post here.

As I was opening this window, I saw a news update that there are yet more problems with diebold's e-voting machines. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And the bowl too...

I work in a small town. It has a "Victorian" feel to it, but it could be a small town in anywhere, USA. The main street has a bank, post office, deli, our business, and a few other shops. We usually don't get kids that come up to the door, I guess because we're not a house, and they just don't think to approach the small business. So this year, my boss put out a nice little table with a foam pumpkin (that lights up), and another small table with a big bowl of candy, that said "Happy Halloween". The lights were on inside that building, as I was working late (around 7pm). The Candy bowl went out about 6:15. So you can probably guess where this is headed... In that short time of 45 minutes, with parents walking around with their kids, someone stole all of our candy... AND THE BOWL that it was in. I couldn't believe it. I felt bad for all the other kids who may have come up to the door thinking there was a treat. Oh well. I feel like I should write a letter or something to the local paper. But I know it would be for naught. Just a bummer on what I had hoped was a good night.
Ok, moving on...
What ever happened...
Does anyone even remember that about a month (maybe 2) the news was reporting that Osama Bin Laden was dead? Something about him dying from some sort of disease. I can't comprehend why nothing more has been said about this.
Also in the area of the news media not reporting news... I saw a link on reddit that took me to a story about the most casualties the us military suffered in one day. Something like 300 people were killed. How horrible. Yet again, nothing on the mainstream news media.
Shifting gears again...
I've been staying up late for the past week or so to watch the Colbert Report. I really think his show is getting better. Last night he went on this tear about gay marriage that was too funny. They have the clip over on the comedy central site called "thanks gays".
Borat...
I was looking forward to this movie. I've been seeing so many of the clips online, in interviews, etc... I almost feel like I've seen the movie already. I read a good piece online the other day that points out the real "joke" it's not on the Kazakhstan people... It's on us. (I got this joke right away, and didn't need a long article to explain it). But now I just saw another clip online about a guy who hunts wild animals, then goes on to really put his foot in his mouth when he starts talking about Jews. I found this clip actually sad and not funny. I hope the whole movie is not like this. I'll loose all hope for humanity.
Ok, I'm on a roll and have a few more comments but this is long enough. Tune in tomorrow.
(PS> I just added a few more photos to my flickr account. Check the flickr board in the side bar to the right, towards the bottom.)