Friday, March 31, 2006

5 things...

Ok, I'll add a few more as I sit here and think of them...
Following up on a post on my sister's blog (which she picked up from RevGal's blog)...

Name five things you used to hear your mother or father (or even a grandparent) say, especially things you might be surprised to hear coming out of your own mouth.

1) First one that popped into my head... "(insert name), Go to your Room!"
2) One that cracks my buddy up all the time, that my dad would say to me (often), "Quit playing pinchy grab-ass" (usually in reference to me just goofing off (and usually in school)).
3) Upon arriving home Mom used to say "home again, home again, jiggity - jig" - to this day I still don't know what that means!?
4) The dreaded... "Wait til your father get's home" - that was always a bad one.
5) And one I used to hear several times a day, usually yelled from the kitchen during a commercial on TV, "... STOP picking on your sister!" - Sorry sis... I never did listen to that one.

- but really... I wasn't that bad of a kid was I? :)
- Plus... My sister already picked the good ones! ;)

clafoutis and the IRS

First off a small post about clafoutis... I had never heard of this word before, and I had to ask the woman behind the counter how to pronounce it (not sure I heard her right either). I stopped at Wegman's supermarket last Saturday to get some dinner - I may have posted before about how Wegman's opened this new supermarket in our area. I wanted to check out two things while I was there, the prepared food section where you buy your meal there, and you can either eat it there (on a second floor separate area), or you can bring it home with you. They had quite a big selection, but I decided to go with a hoagie. I got a Danny Special (Genoa Salami, Capicola and spicy ham with provolone, black olives, sweet peppers, and vinegar on wheat bread - hungry now?) It was a great hoagie (huge too, I got a 14" large and could only eat half of it). The sweet peppers were a bit mild though, but other than that it was great! Then I thought while I was there I would pick up my lunchmeat for the week so I went to the deli section. On my way to the deli section I passed the specialty bakery, and they had these incredible desserts. They were small works of art (and a bit expensive too). I passed them buy. After getting my lunchmeat, I had to pass by the bakery once again... This time I caved in. I had to try one... So I got a Strawberry and Rhubarb Clafoutis. It was like a small 2.5" pie with a sort of creamy custard like filling (almost like cheesecake). With Rhubarb mixed in, with a cut strawberry on top. It was really good and at $4.50 it was worth it. I'll have to go around the bakery next time. :)
For a "dictionary" definition and pronunciation check here on (though it doesn't do it justice).

I've decided to post about my IRS troubles as well. I went online today to see if I could find information that might be helpful. It wasn't very good news. Most of what I found dealt with all the horror stories about IRS abuses, and some of the horrible things that people had to go through, not to mention some scary statistics on how often the IRS makes mistakes. I don't have much to report at this time, but I will post what I go through in the hopes that it may help someone else who is thrust into my predicament. At this stage I have confirmed that it was not a clerical error on the end of my employer, so It's one of two things now... Either my accountant made a mistake (I seriously doubt it) or the IRS did. Since the number the IRS supplied me does not match with any of the paperwork my employer and I have, it troubles me where they got this number. This is going to be the root of the problem I suspect. In reading through some of the web articles the "burden of proof" falls on ME to prove my innocence. It's such a glaring mistake that I HOPE I will be able to do this easily and quickly, but I am also preparing myself for this to carry on for the long term. From what I read these things are not solved easily. Ugh.
Just to recap... I got a letter the other day from the IRS claiming that I owed them an ungodly amount of money in the next 30 days. It appears as though they are claiming that I made DOUBLE my reported income for the year of 2004. My next step is to meet with my accountant this Monday, and hopefully will have more answers then.

One more thing... I think I'm going to go to a local photography meeting this coming Wednesday night. I enjoy taking (and looking at) photographs with my digital camera, and have been enjoying my watercolor classes so much that I'm going to try to expland this art thing to include photography. They have a monthly assignment to shoot a photo on the subject they give... this month it was "holes"... So I have been thinking about this and today took two photos that I like (not sure which one I'll pick though - leave a comment it you have a favorite).
See if you can guess what they are... It's a bit abstract...

and this one...

And the answer is...
My plastic colander from my kitchen. The second one is looking up at my kitchen flourescent light through the colander.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

diabolical diebold

A few days ago, I posted about my mistrust of the deibold voting machines. While checking the digg website, I found this link about a UT county clerk who is fighting for his job, after questioning the recent delivery of diebold machines. Read about it here on the zdnet blog.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I'm a little pre-occupied these days... I came home the other night to a big bulky letter from the IRS... (dun-du-duunnn). Yep... I'm in trouble (sort of)... they claim I made DOUBLE my reported income for 2004, and that I owe over $20,000 dollars within 26 days! Yes, folks, thats twenty thousand plus! It's such an obvious mistake, that it troubles me that it could have even been made. Now I have to figure out how to prove that I didn't make all that money. (Isn't that like proving a negative?) My accountant assured me this would be a no-brainer, but I'm still worried that this will drag on. Ugh... fingers crossed on this one.

I was sitting at home last night wondering what I was going to watch on TV, and stumbled upon something that I blogged about a few days ago... the robot Darpa challenge! It was pretty cool, and I'm glad I did get to see it! After that show was another show on robots with Alan Alda, and that one was interesting, but I lost interest after a little while.

It's "hump day"!

oh, ps... I'm really enjoying the new book I started to read... Blue highways. It's a bit of a struggle to read in that it doesn't flow smoothly like a story, in that it's a bunch of short stories about this guy's road trip across the country using only the back roads (the old maps had secondary roads printed in blue ink, thus the title). The guy has a real knack for painting a picture with words, and every now and then he strings a sentence together that makes you just smile. I'm 'dog-earing' these pages, so maybe when I'm done I'll post a few of these gems.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cool Robot

I found this link today regarding a robot competition in Japan. There was a video made that highlighted the winner, and I must say, it's pretty amazing what this machine can do. I remember a few years back, a TV show on I think NOVA that said that scientists were struggling with robots having balance. The idea of a bi-pedal machine walking, or even standing was a long way away... enter 2006. It seems this problem has been solved, and although the "running" looks a bit off, it's an amazing accomplishment.
Check out the video here on
And check out the website:

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lack of Compassion...

I have been sitting on this for some time because I wasn't sure if I wanted to post it or not. It's still fairly soon, and perhaps emotions can cloud judgement, but I have decided to post it anyway. I do not wish to give any more attention to this guy's point of view, so please do not email him on my account. I consider the matter dropped.
I have an alert on my google page for anything related to in regards to the kidnapping. Basically any time the word is mentioned in a news media outlet, I'll get an email, and link. The other day I got this link...

"American hostage killed in Iraq...well, you asked for it
American Daily - Stow,OH,USA

... You see, the Christian Peacemaker Teams' slogan ( is "committed to reducing violence by getting in the way." The problem is, if ...

I clicked the link and read the article. And much to my dismay, I just could not understand this person's lack of compassion. I usually do not respond to items like this, but I felt I had to say something, so I saw the "feedback" link at the bottom of the page, and sent off an email. I tried to curb my anger, but I think some may have slipped in... here was my response:

I just read your article regarding the Christian Peacmaker who was tortured and murdered. I find it sad that there was no compassion in your article. Sure it's easy to sit back and say "well he got what he deserved." If two guys are pointing a gun at one another and you walk in between them and get shot, then that does sound kinda stupid on the surface of it. But if you think about it, don't you want to give a person credit for trying to break up that gunfight? Here's a person who believes so much that violence is wrong that he's willing to give his life for it, and your response is just "you got what you asked for"... Stay out of the way... he wasn't helping the "good guy" kill the "bad guy". This was a man who didn't want either the "good guy" or the "bad guy" to die. Maybe what he did was wrong by trying to break it up, but i think he at least earns some respect for all that he went through, and for trying to stop violence. It would not have hurt you to show compassion to his cause, his beliefs, or his friends and family who are grieving.

I was surprised but he did reply... and his response shocked me even more.
I simply "dont get it" and it surprises me how people's opinions can be so far apart.
Here is his reply (I'm removing his contact info):

I don't have compassion for hypocrisy and idiocy. If he were REALLY against violence (as the group claims to be) they would "get in the way" of everyone, not just us. Where's the "adopt a kidnapped hostage" link? There isn't one is there?
They're not against violence.

They're just against us.

So screw them. My only regret is that more of them don't get the same treatment.

Such pain and hurt in this email, and yet there is not talking to him.
I regretfully will put this in my "dropped issues" category, but this will continue to haunt me as to how people think.

2 things before bed...

Ok, It's late Sat night (technically early Sunday morning 1:23am) so forgive me for any typos of babble...
Just got back from a really good movie...
Inside Man (trailer) staring some big names like Denzel Washington, Jody Foster, Clive Owen, and it's a Spike Lee film too. It was really good. A second action adventure movie this year that I really enjoyed. It was well acted, intelligent yet not too complicated (I only got lost once), and moved along at a fairly good pace. I can't tell you anything about it so as not to spoil anything, other than it was good :) Go see it.

And before going to bed, I'm doing a little web surfing and came upon a link for a new NOVA special about the robotic car race. This really interests me (though the underlying war technology bothers me, but most science starts that way). From the people who brought you the internet, the DARPA people hosted a race through the desert in cars that were driven by robots/computers. Nova is airing a special about the race on March 28th... tune in, drop out... oh sorry that was a different quote... Tune in and check it out, should be interesting.

PS> one of the trailers tonight before the movie was for the upcoming Davinci Code! Can't WAIT for this movie. The trailer was a little over the top, but still cool.

Friday, March 24, 2006

You know what I'm sayin?

I hope this is not our future President...
(It's also a test to see if I can embed a video link in my blog post... if it doesn't work, it's not you, it's me. Or try this link to YouTube)

Nope Blogger would not accept the code for the embedded video. You'll have to use the link above. Sorry.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Homebrew Water

I posted about this topic before here regarding Dean Kamen's attempt at purifying water, and saw this today... A post about a village in Tanzania that is using solar power to purify their own drinking water in a low tech way. Kudos! Not only do I like the technology involved, but that they have hacked this together on their own is all the better (no corporate control).
Read the full article here on BBC's website.
(Side note at the bottom... March 22 was World Water Day. Why do I always hear about these the day after the celebration!?)

CPT rescued

What a great surprise this morning, while checking the headlines on I see that the 3 christian peacemakers were rescued. James Loney, Harmeet Singh Sooden, and Norm Kender were rescued by US and British forces. I am glad for their release. Yahoo news link... and the official CPT website here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Something smells fishy...


Voter Group Sues To Block Diebold's Latest Miraculous Recovery
from the voting-is-too-important dept
After first refusing to certify Diebold voting machines, California's Secretary of State later re-certified the machines, quietly releasing that info late on a Friday afternoon last month, and going against his own "strict rules" he put in place for Diebold machines to be re-certified. Given how many "second chances" the company has received -- with serious security issues surfacing each time and with the company focusing more on going after critics rather than improving the security and accountability of their machines -- it's amazing that they keep getting approved. However, a voters group is now suing in California to overturn the "certification" and stop Diebold machines from getting used until they're actually secure.


On a related note, a few weeks ago, I stopped in at the local convenience store and went to take some money out of their ATM machine, and saw that it was a Diebold ATM. I reluctantly withdrew my money, but in the future I will not. I don't trust them - here's why...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Think and you shall recieve...

Talk about a strange coincidence... This morning on the way to work I was driving and thinking 'wouldn't it be cool if you could leave voice mail messages on your website?' or rather, have others leave messages for you rather than email... Well, in my surfing today, I found this link to a service called "Odeo" (which I had heard of before, just never looked into it). Well, think and you shall recieve... So go ahead, try it out, and leave me a voice mail...

Send Me A Message

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Talkin 'bout a revolution...

I suppose I should feel more fired up than I do right now, but it's getting late on a Sunday night. I've had a revoultion themed weekend in movies...
Sat night we saw "V for Vendetta" and although I enjoyed it overall it was maybe a bit too much to take in, and as my friend pointed out it got a little preachy and to me it got a little comic-booky but considering it was based on a comic book, I can't really hold that against it. I found myself agreeing with some of the views it put forth, but found it difficult to take too serious. It seemed to critisize everything from War, terrorism, security, human rights, gay issues, drugs, religion, and a militant response to these issues.
I just now finished watching a DVD called "Berkeley in the Sixties". I thought maybe it was more about the town of Berkeley, but it really had very little to do with the town itself but rather about all of the groups and issues that arose during that time period. It really covered a wide gamut, from the original Free Speech issues at the university in Berkeley, to the whole hippy movement, to the black panthers, to the anti-war movement. I did watch the whole thing, and thought it all interesting, and perhaps what bothered me the most was the 'corruption" of the movement, that started with a real passion for the first amendment and civil rights, but then over time was distorted into a freak show that involved the counter-culture. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the counter culture's thoughts, but at the same time I think the message was lost. There were a few clips of Dr. Martin Luther King, and I realized I've never heard Dr. King speak. I've only heard clips, and quotes. I'm going to try to dig around on the internet and see if I can't somehow watch some of his speeches, and if nothing else, maybe get a book about Dr. King.
In watching these two movies, I'm feeling lost again and wanting to do something constructive to help the situation, but not sure in which direction to turn. I'm going to have to think about this and see if I can't find my own direction.
Finally, a non-political thing too :)
I went to a new supermarket today... Wegmans. I thought last night that it's yet another sign of me getting older, that I was excited and looking forward to a new supermarket opening. ugh. The supermarket must have spent a fortune on pre-hype advertising. I had heard some buzz about the store chain and it was good, so I signed up for one of those membership cards. (goes against my "off-the-grid" mentality, but there are certain things I cave in on ;)
The money spent on advertising (such as mailers over the past few weeks to everyone in the county) probably paid off in just today's crowd. It was a MADHOUSE! This was worse than any Christmas time crowd. It was as if all these people had never been to a grocery store before. They had 25 cash-registers, and ALL of them were active and had 3-5 people deep in each one. Not to mention the huge crowd still in the store. I can only HOPE that this crowd was only because it was opening day, because if it's this crowded on a normal basis, I will not be shopping there. It was insane. That being said, it was a cool store. They had a LARGE variety of food items, and all the fresh food (vegetables, meats, fish, etc) looked to be of very good quality. I picked up quite a few unusual items that I'm looking forward to... such as a falafel (sp?) mix, an olive bar (which I've eaten half of those already!) some baby bok choy, I picked up some Korean chilli sauce too, and some Thai peanut sauce. One thing that I like about this store, is that they have recipes online, and then you can create a shopping list, for the ingredients, and when I went there today, they had a cooking station there where they were handing out free samples, and had all the ingredients there. That's a good idea. I had this idea before acutally... I used to subscribe to Bon Apetit magazine, but eventually canceled my subscription due to the difficulty in finding the ingredients in my local supermarket. I wondered why the supermarket didn't set up a small corner in the store for all the ingredients featured in that month's magazine. Well, someone at Wegmans must have had the same idea. :)
Well, I'll sign off with a quote from the movie that I liked (and they are featuring on their website)...
"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." - V for Vendetta

Friday, March 17, 2006


Another good art class last night. I am really starting to enjoy this whole watercolor thing. It's still a struggle, and I still have a lot to learn (and... pppp....pprr...practice - I hate that word). We did another still life but were supposed to concentrate on texture. I didn't quite get it down, but the watercolor turned out pretty good in spite of the lack of texture.
After class a friend and I went back to chinatown for some food. We stopped at a vietnamese and thai place. I had "pho" which according to this website is pronounced phir!? In a nutshell it was a beef and rice noodle soup. It was a LARGE bowl and very good. It also had, scallions, onions, cilantro, basil, sprouts, two jalapeno slices, and a squeeze of lemon. The sprouts, basil, jalapeno and lemon were all on a side dish that you added to your own soup. I would defintely get this again.
note: the image above, I pulled off the web that looked most like what I had. There appears to be many variations of the pho dish.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

small items

Just a small post today... This has been on my mind all week...
I skipped Church this past Sunday - shame on me! :)
I had all intentions of going, but couldn't roll out of bed, and cut it too close. So Instead, I picked up my bible and started to read Matthew. One verse really struck me as both funny and then harsh at the same time...
"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. - Matthew 15:16

He was teaching in parables, and Peter asked him to explain the parable tom him. It struck me as funny at first because it made Jesus sound like someone here and now, with a tone of joking around. But then I wondered if it was said in jest, or if it were a "slap" in a style of teaching. I've been thinking about it all week and still have not come up with an answer. Anyone who wishes to comment please do :)
On a related note:
I've been thinking a lot of when Jesus killed a tree:
Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. - Matthew 21:18-19

This too really bothers me for some reason. I can't picture the Jesus I know as just killing a tree (or cursing it to never bear fruit again), out of anger. It bothers me is all.
Since I'm on a religion roll, I'll throw out one more...
I was wondering if there are any specific examples of Jesus Judging another person in the New Testament? Anyone? :)

ok, One more day until Friday then the weekend!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pi Day

And here I thought I was a nerd/geek... how could I have missed Pi Day!?
I just found out today (a day late) that yesterday was national Pi day... A day celebrated by nerds and geeks alike to aknowledge one of the universe's constants... 3.14.
Read more here on the wiki how to.

Pi is 3.141592653589793238462643383279502....

What is Pi you ask?
"The mathematical constant ? is a real number which is defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference (Greek ??????????, periphery) to its diameter in Euclidean geometry..."
source: Wikipedia

In other words... To figure out the Area of a circle, take the radius of the circle, and "square" it (multiply it by itself), then multiply that by Pi or 3.14.

I might also add, that if you want to see a really trippy yet cool movie that will blow your mind go out and try to rent, or even buy a movie called "pi"... Imagine merging Math with Religion and insanity and that's what the movie is about. Link to

Monday, March 13, 2006

Harry Potter

Well, I'm a bit foggy headed now as I was up until 2am finishing the Harry Potter book. I have to say I was not too thrilled with the ending (not giving anything away). I enjoyed the book overall though, but felt there were a lot of loose ends left over. Still, I'll be looking forward to the next book!

I saw a pretty good political DVD last night too. That's one of the good things about Netflix, is that they have a large choice of movies, and I seriously doubt some of these political movies would be at my local blockbuster. The movie was called "The First Amendment Project". It was actually three short documentaries strung together with the first amendment as the tie. The first one delt with FOX trying to sue Al Franken over his book "Lies and the lying liars who tell them..." It was kinda funny, but it had the air of a long commercial for the book though.
The second short was done by Mario Van Peebles and it was about a controversial topic of the NJ Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka, made some harsh comments about the 9/11 disaster. I don't know if I agree with Mr. Baraka's comments, but the point of the movie was that he had the right to say them. I thought this short was well done.
The third short was the most interesting to me, that regarded the right to peacably assemble, and centered around the recent protests at the republican convention in NYC. There were times that I felt I was watching footage from the 1960's and could not believe these violations were still happening today. This one bothered me the most.
I googled the title of the movie and found this website, but I did not see anything specifically about the movie. I'm assuming the film and website are connected. If they are, I'm glad to see that there are still people pushing this topic.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Books and a link

Books and a link, sounds like a good name for a coffeeshop :)
I'm very close now to finishing the Harry Potter book. I had gotten away from it in that I have recently bought several new books and of course started each one. But i soon became distracted among the many that I had to get back to my Harry Potter book and actually finish it. I've got about 100 pages left and HOPE to finish it up tonight. Then the hard part... which book to read next!
I did a small amount of internet surfing today and found this interesting link, which led me to look at the website in general and it looks interesting. I have not read it all through, but I think it's cool that someone would post their "life lessons" with the intent to help others.
"Five excellent mind habits to develop - Paul's Tips"
and his website.
Well, I need a break from reading and am going to watch a political DVD. So I might be fired up in my next blog post.

Friday, March 10, 2006

With Sadness

It is with sadness that I post this news item... I admire a man who died for what he believed in, and for such a noble cause such as peace. My condolences to Mr. Fox's friends and family.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tom Fox, an American who was one of four Christian activists taken hostage in Iraq last year, has been found dead, the State Department said on Friday.

"The FBI has identified the identity of the body of Tom Fox," said State Department spokesman Noel Clay. "The family has been notified and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family."

Friday already!?

First off for Friday - TGIF! This week went fast for me - which is good I guess. I had several things going on and I suspect that when you are kept busy with things happening that's what makes the time go fast. I went to a meeting at church for a group who are discussing politics, and local issues. It's a small group but I find the arena to hear other people's opinion is a good thing. I'm trying to start a group blog with them, but I don't know if it will take off. I hope it does.
Thursday night was my watercolor class. It went ok... I tried ot have a little more fun, and not paint so realistic, and I also tried out a new set of paints that I picked up. All in all, I had fun and the picture turned out so-so. (sorry nothing to post).

I came in this morning and was listening to NPR which was featuring local programing. I heard a good interview yesterday with commander Gary Bernsten, who was talking about his new book called Jawbreaker (Amazon). I had heard Gary and co-author Ralph Pezzullo earlier on C-Span, promoting their book and was very interested in what they had to say regarding the attack on Bin Laden. I'm going to have get this book. This interview is available as a realplayer stream or podcast on their website.
I also heard this morning the tale end of what sounded like a good interview (and interesting person) with Father James Martin, who is promoting his new book "My life with the Saints". Father Martin seemed very "down to earth" and straight forward (which I admire when it comes to religion and politics). I'll have to listen to this interview from the beginning also available on their podcast or you can download the MP3 file here. OR a realplayer stream here.

Finally a quote from my google homepage... Sounds like something Steven Colbert would say...
"I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts." - Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

more creepy crawlies

Look at this "animal"! When I first saw the photo, I thought it was a plaster cast of a movie prop, but turns out it's a newly discovered crustacean from the south pacific. It also reminds me of a scarab. News story on yahoo.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

amazing juggle

I've never really been too impressed with the art of juggling, but this guy takes the prize... The most amazing 4+ minutes of juggling set to The Beatles soundtrack. You'll need to listen to the audio while you watch this.

Oh yeah, there was one other juggler who I liked who would bounce the rubber balls inside of a tube. Hmm... I wonder if I can find that on the web.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Red Rain

I spent a lot of time on the internet this weekend. Sometimes I view the internet as just a very large book. One of the posts I stumbled upon was this one... about an event that occured in Kerala, India on July 25th 2001. Red Rain fell from the sky for many miles, and lasted on and off for 2-3 months. Most people said this was the result of a Dust storm that dropped dust particles high up in the clouds. But there are some who think there might be something more to it... panspermia. Panspermia is the theory that life from outerspace could be transplanted to earth on board a comet, (or UFO?). After just a brief digging into the story (the story is true) but the debate about it being ET life is still up in the air. And because of this it makes it seem unlikely to me that there is anything to this story. But... The idea, and the circumstances around the story do seem odd, and enough to say "maybe?". Here's the original article I found about this... and after a google search, I found this new website that looks Damn Interesting. Pardon my French.
The photo I pulled from the Damn Interesting story about this topic.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

16 Blocks

Well, I've been watching the Oscars, but I'm starting to loose interest. Jon Stewart's monologue was ok, but I think the crowd was not helping much. I assume all the media groups who don't like Stewart will rake him over this tomorrow. I'm also glad Clooney won at least one (so far). I try to go to the movies about once a week, yet I think I counted them up that I only saw 12 of the nominations. I hope to add some of these nominations to my netflix queue.
Anyway, since the Oscar's are starting to loose me I thought I'd blog a post real quick about a really good movie I saw last night... 16 Blocks. It was not what I expected (another Bruce Willis action flick), I was very pleased to see that it was more than just another action movie. Yes, folks, there was acting in it! Kudos to Willis and to Mos Def, and David Morse - these guys did a great job. Mostly Mos Def for his character. It's still an action movie, but it stands above the rest. I left the theatre with a grin, and had to say how great it was to actually see a 'good' movie. Go see it.
Link to the trailer.
Link to the official site.
Link to the IMDB page.

Friday, March 03, 2006

blog post about book about blogs

I happened to catch last weeks interview on C-span's "Q and A" with Glenn Reynolds, who has just written a book called "An Army of Davids". It was an interesting interview, not too technical or geeky as it sounded like Brian Lamb was trying to keep up on all the terms - or at least asking the questions so his audience was able to keep up. Mr. Reynolds was very interesting and I will have to check out his book (and blog).
Here's a link to the C-span website with his interview online.
Here's a link to Glenn's blog Instapundit.
And here's a link to a description of his book on the publishers website.
(No, I'm not getting paid to promote this - I hope Mr. Reynolds appreciates this plug ;)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Is Security real?

This news item crossed my browser today, and I thought it timely on the same day that the Patriot Act has just been passed (renewed) in the Senate.

Pay too much on your credit card and you could raise a red flag... Unbelievable story.

On another note, I was thinking the other day, 'how do these things get passed?' - and something as simple as "what's in a name" struck me... Who is in charge of naming these things in the current administration? Is there an advertising or marketing agency that is an official Government agency? Titles like "The War in Terror" - how could one possibly be against "the war on terror"? If you are, that must mean you are for Terror? Or the "Patriot Act" - If you are against this act, you must be unpatriotic? I wonder who is in charge, or behind these names.

(source for image:
By the way... I normally would not post such things, for fear of drawing attention to myself with "the man"... But I'm tired of sitting by and watching these things happen. I need to start speaking up.


In the past, I have posted several items on my blog that I have found on one of my favorite websites I also have a link on my sidebar leading to their website. Over the past couple of days they have been posting about users emailing them from other countries to tell them that their government is blocking their website from coming up. (I find it incredible that a government can or would do this). Upon their investigating into why their site is being blocked, they found that some censor software has added their website to it's list of "blocked" websites with the reason that it posts about sexually explicit topics. BoingBoing later goes on to "complain" about being lumpped in with a bunch of porn websites. Upon reading this, I was surprised a bit at their complaint. Okay, Yes, they do not have porn on their site - techincally speaking. But I've seen some pretty crude items mentioned on their website. They used to have links to a softcore porn website. Some of the topics they talk about are fairly explicit too. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you don't want to be lumpped in with other explicit websites, you should refrain from reporting on them, sponsoring them, or in general talking about them.
Since they have tried to be removed from the censorware's list, with no success, they are now posting ways to circumvent the software. Gee... here's an idea... don't post items containing explicit material.
I would be very annoyed if someone censored me or the websites I choose to visit, but that being said, I also know people depend on software like this to filter out all the muck on the internet. As much as I enjoy reading the various posts on boingboing, I am ashamed at times at some of their posts. Oh well, I just felt the need to vent about this.
BoingBoing... clean up your act, or don't complain about being censored.

(hmm, I wonder now if my blog will be censored based on some of the keywords I've used, or because of my links to boingboing). Oh well.