Sunday, June 29, 2008

more posts less youtube

Well today is a new day. The beginning of a new year lies ahead. Taking time today to consider what all that means and what my options are.
One thing as I sit hear surfing the web...
In addition to using my new favorite "social" website twitter, I hope to make more of an effort here on this blog to post more. And not just youtube videos (though I will still post them for sure on occasion!). I feel like I've gotten away from writing a bit and I am starting to miss it. The same goes for my painting. I have gotten away from my watercolor painting and I miss that too. As a matter of fact, just the other day, while visiting the local "craft store" I picked up 3 small canvas boards, and might give another try for some acrylic (or GASP maybe even try some oils!?).
Well, That's all for now. This is more of a note to myself and perhaps tonight I'll write up a "real blog post" - the pressure's on now! :)
Have a great rest of a weekend!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ice on Mars!

I don't know why, but for some reason I'm excited to learn about ice on mars. Yep, WATER on another planet. I say, that I don't know why I'm excited, because, when you think about it, this sort of news doesn't directly effect my life right now. hooray, a little melted ice cube was found a gazillion miles away! I think I'm excited purely on the idea though, that this discovery will help to support the idea that there may in fact, be life on other planets! Again, that too doesn't really help my life directly, but just the idea that we are NOT alone, and there may be something else out there, is a hopeful thought for me.
But... I couldn't help but to see the humor in this recent water discovery...
So what is the evidence of this water? A before and after photo. That's it really. They still haven't done the "ice in the oven" experiment yet (which I'm not sure why?!). But, rather the above image is the only evidence of ice they have. In one photo you see some little chunks of what looks like light colored rocks. There was then a glitch in the imaging software that led to a few (days i think) lapse of time until the next photo was taken. On the second photo, the little chunks of rock/ice are missing! We didn't see them melt, we just saw a before and after photo. I can't help but think of this different possibility... rather than the little chunks of rock melting, who's to say, that they didn't sprout legs and get up and walk off?! Who says life has to abide by our preconceived notions? Remember that "Rock monster" from "Galaxy Quest?!?" :)
What if...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

GO Dennis!

I want to believe

It's been a while since I've posted a decent ufo story. I've seen a few reports but didn't blog them. But this morning, it looks like there has been a recent flurry of activity. This story sounds very interesting, though few details are there. Police in Wales gave chase to a ufo that apparently buzzed their helicopter. Fox News has a very dry report of this event here... but they link to a more "sensational" report here on the Sun - which is where I grabbed the above "graphic". I at least give their art department a tip of the hat for having come up with that photoshop'd image ;)

Then there was this report on the "tampa bay online" (with video) of a couple in Pasadena who saw what looked like a fireball in the sky. The video is intersting, though not very clear. Charles kept trying to zoom in on the small point of light, and the video camera just blurred out and could not focus on the object. If only people would learn how to usee their video cameras and learn how to use the manual focus. But there is one shot (about a minute in) where Charles zooms out, and then you can get a sense of size and scale as you can see the object moving along the sky with the full moon in the background. Then there appears to be another ufo following it (the article says there was a third also, but I didn't see the video on this).

Interesting stuff.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We're all aliens?

So, a few days ago there was an amazing story on yahoo news about how some scientists got together and performed some tests on a meteorite. They discovered that this meteorite contained the building blocks of life! Some molecules of uracil and xanthine which are present in our DNA and RNA! So, this story has been in the back of my mind the past few days...
1) WHY have I not heard this story mentioned in any other news outlets?
2) This really lends to some concrete evidence that life on this planet may have come from somewhere out there.
3) have WE unwittingly started the life process on either the moon or Mars? ie: We've sent men, and machines to the moon, and just machines to Mars - isn't it possible (probable?) that some tiny cells of bacteria may have survived that trip through space and is now multiplying on the moon or mars right now as we speak?
4) IF this theory is true then (that life originated from another planet), how does this hurt or help the story of creation in the Bible? Can it be justified to fit?
5) IF there is in fact life on other planets, and IF they some day decide to visit this little blue and green swamp of a planet, chances are they are or will be more intelligent than us.
This point number 5 has really been sticking in my head. What would that mean? No really, take a few minutes and think how you would react if you learned that an alien has in fact landed on this planet and is friendly, and is WAY smarter that all of us put together...
Lets say that whoever (or whatever) this life form is that arrives here is lets say 5x smarter than Einstein... How would that make us feel as a species? How many would embrace that we're still relatively stupid now compared to another species? How many would be afraid of the new species then if it were smarter and call it say an "elitist"? What if, before leaving for his or her own planet, it decides to give us the answer to zero-point energy, so that ALL energy is free on this planet - what would that mean? Would we live in a utopia at that point, or will there always be something to fight over?

Just some thoughts bouncing around inside of this ol' noggin.
What do you think?

Monday, June 16, 2008

You have the RIGHT to remain silent

I apologize for the multitude of video blog posts. I've been lazy with keeping active on this here blog. Well, lazy, and also because there seems to be a lot of personal "stuff" that's clogging my mind lately and I haven't been in the mood to blog here.
Moving on...

I hope YOU, and I NEVER have to use this advice here. But on that slim chance that we are in the position to remember these two videos, I hope I'm smart enough to keep my mouth shut.
(note: I did know the part about what to say when a police officer pulls you over for a speeding ticket... the question is usually "do you know why I'm pulling you over?" wo which MOST people will respond with "well, I must have been speeding", or whatever the offense was... THAT is a confession and a guaranteed ticket. The correct response to that question is: "No sir, I do not."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What's wrong with what we eat?

A few scare tactics thrown in, but all in all good info.

Friday, June 13, 2008

IgnitePhilly experience

So, ignitephilly was a few days ago now, and I was hesitant on posting my thoughts about it. On one hand I think it is an awesome idea and event and wish it nothing but positives. On the otherhand, my personal experience was, er, uncomfortable.
First the positives...
Actually, first I should explain briefly what IgnitePhilly means for those who don't know. No, it has nothing to do with Global Warming ;)
It started in Seattle (by a few people, one of which is Bre Pettis, who is one of my e-heros).
In a nutshell... each speaker has 5 minutes to do a presentation. During that presentation is a slide show (like powerpoint), where you have 20 slides that only show for 15 seconds each. The slides automatically forward, so the speakers have to keep up (or in some cases slow down) to match the slides. The topics (and event in general) has a geek/internet connection. A lot of start-up groups, web 2.0, etc. That's about it really - not too complicated.

Ok, the event was held in a section of the city I was not familiar with. Several people, when I told them where it was, gave me the impression that it was not a safe neighborhood. So I was hesitant on that. But once I got there, the neighborhood looked perfectly fine - like any other philly scene. Lots of people walking home from work on a hot day. I really lucked out too, cause on my second pass, I got a parking spot right in front of the bar.
Yep, the event was held at a bar. It was a corner bar, that was much bigger inside* than what it appeared from the front. Their food smelled awesome, but I wasn't in the mood for eating sadly. I went inside to sit at the bar, but it was too hot for me. The winows and doors were open, but it was still hot and stuffy. I ended up sitting outside at one of their sidewalk tables. It was nice to just sit there and enjoy the people watching, the fresh air, and being in a new spot in the city.
The event "started" around 6pm, pretty much right on time. It was held in the upstairs part of the bar, that had another bar, and a small stage, with a small balcony. (my flickr photos are here). After about an hour of "social time" the presenters started.
From what I saw (I left after the intermission), the speakers were awesome. A certain crudeness in trying to present in 5 minutes, which was perfectly fine and part of the charm. Everyone was just pumped to be part of this new experience. The two presentations that really stuck with me were from "Brian Lang at the Food Trust" and from "Brittany Bonnette at Philly Bike Share."
Two awesome ideas getting started in philly. (oh, and Marisa McClellan and Scott McNulty [edit: sry for the typo Scott] from Fork You, were also entertaining ).
Everyone I saw was interesting and I enjoyed hearing about their projects!
So, a few of the negatives for me...
I must emphasize these are my own personal "quirks" so I don't want it to reflect on the event itself.
Problem #1 - I'm not a social butterfly :) I don't like crowds. I get a sort of claustrophobic feeling whenever I'm around people (whether I know them or not). So that whole thing is awkward for me. But I wanted to hear what these people had to say, so I forced myself to go in spite of my awkwardness.
Problem #2 - I don't like the heat - Although the AC was on upstairs, it was really hot still. Mainly because there were so many people jammed together. I eventually positioned myself under one of the AC vents, so occasionally, I'd get a blast of cool air, but it was still too uncomfortable for me.
Problem #3 - I'm a cheap bastard! :) (You may begin to notice that these complaints perhaps reflect on my age. In my youth, I would have no prblem on going to a packed dive bar to see a new local band!) When I first arrived, I had a soda - The waitress told me $1.50, I gave her a $10, she brought me back $8!? I can only assume that she took out her own tip. But $3 for a soda is highway robbery (aka movie theatre prices). So, once the event started, I figured I'd get a beer... they had lots of local breweries on tap. I ended up ordering a "woodchuck Cider" - it was really good! BUT... it was $5 for ONE BEER, plus a tip of $2, so $7 for one beer is like OMG to me. I remember when milk was a nickle ;) - In relation to the beer experience, the first bartender that I approached, completely ignored me! He served the guy next to me, as I'm waiting two other people came up, I'm standing there with money in hand, and he looks me right in the eye, then asks the people on the other side of me what they wanted to drink. Bastard. He was a little twirp of a guy, so I'm guessing he didn't like tall people or long hair or something. I walked down to the other side of the bar, and the other bartender served me with no problem.
LAstly... There were just WAY too many people for this venue*. They had to turn people away at the door because they quickly filled the capacity (I think it was 200 people). There was not a clear path anywhere to walk at all. Then during the presentation, it was shoulder to shoulder, and standing for an hour and a half. Again a sign of my age, cause I could have really used a chair. This guy in front of me had a bulky backpack on that kept pushing up against me.
So, at the first intermission, about half way through the presenters, I regretfully had to leave. I got home in time to go to the website and see the last 2 presenters via their live webcast! Next time, I'll probably just stay at home, with my own $1 beer, my air conditioned apartment, and my trusty computer - call me an ol' fuddy duddy.

Please - don't let my negative experiences deter you from checking out this awesome event though. Some interesting things happening in philly - I hope they post the video up soon of the event, I want to see the remaining presenters that I missed.
Oh, and one more thing... this event had an interesting tie in with twitter. There were a lot of folks (including some of the planners) who were on twitter talking about the event. It was neat to pick up on the buzz via that avenue of communication.

Science and Charity

Two youtube videos for you. (I want to blog about my experience at ignitephilly last night, so this is just a reminder to mysefl to do that.)

First the science:
I remain skeptical about this, but if it's true, it's pretty darn amazing! (note: I think it's misleading to say that "time is slowing down" - if they said your cognitive powers of perception become increased during times of stress, I would like that better).

Next up... This guy is pretty amazing (as are the nerdfighters.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Amazon - Xanadu? Really?

You may know this about me (or not), but I really like I "shop" there a lot for books (and now music since I discovered their cheaper prices on mp3s).
Occasionally, Amazon sends out emails saying "we noticed you bought (this), perhaps you might like (this)". I don't mind these too much. I mean yeah, basically it's spam, and an advertisement, but It's Just infrequent enough for me to not mind hitting the delete button on my email. (I think once or twice they found me something I did like).
Well, the image above just came into my inbox, and I had to laugh.
I don't know if this is a political joke or what.
It says (in case you don't want to click the image to enlarge it)...
We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated Outfoxed - Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism... also purchased Xanadu - Magical Musical Edition.
What possible link can there be to a documentary about political journalism have to do with an Olivia Newton-John movie?! The only possible explanation (which I think is a funny one), is that the people who buy "outfoxed" are probably liberals who like to live in a fantasy world of Xanadu.
(For the record - no, I will not be purchasing Xanadu).

Rupert Murdoch admits to manipulating news

There you have it - straight from the horses mouth. Fox News' Owner (Rupert Muurdoch) admits to trying to push an agenda by offering opinion in the news.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Lazy HOT Sunday

Well, it is another HOT day here on the east coast. Temps close to 100. There is a strong breeze, but it's doing nothing to allievate this heat. And according to the forcast, we still have another 3-4 days of 90+ heat to go.
My air conditioner has been running non-stop no matter how many times I tap the thermostat up to get it to shut off. It's running non-stop just trying to maintain an 84 degree temp in here. It's bearable of course, but I just can't help to think of the poorly insulated ceiling/attic in my apartment that my money and energy is being sucked out into the air. So frustrating. I actually thought today - I wonder if I nailed a layer of foam to my ceiling if it would help.
But, hopefully in a few more hours when the sun goes down, the temps will drop to something a bit more reasonable. Last night it wasn't too too bad. I ventured out to see a movie.

Kung Fu Panda>
Man, I really liked this movie! I'm beginning to think - there's no such thing as a "children's movie". Just because something is animated, or has goofy eye'd characters, doesn't mean an adult can enjoy a good storytelling - unless of course, I only speak for myself. Maybe I am still just a kid at heart, who can get caught up in a story about kung fu warriors, saving a town from a "bad guy", and the underlying message that the power of being good comes from within who we are. Go See this movie! I'm considering seeing it again actually. There was so much detail in the animation that I'd like to go back and see it again. I have not taken the time to look it up, but I could see some influence in the animation of the same artist that did "Samurai Jack" Which I borderline despised. But this animation was 10x better and the use of digital effects were just the right amount (I did just now look it up, and can see no references to anything on Samurai Jack, so maybe I'm imagining things.) AND I gotta give a mighty "tip-o-the-hat" to Jack Black, who did an awesome job on the voice of "Po the Panda" - SKADOOSH!

So, I'm "trapped" in my apartment, not wishing to go out in this heat, other than to take a bag of garbage out, and I'm stuck with trying to entertain myself - my choices, TV, Internet, and books. I know, if I start to read, I'll fall asleep. And after a couple hours of mindless channel flipping, and getting angry at the lack of anything other than "celebrities fighting, 1970's reruns of "hogan's heroes", and pundit news - I finally turned it off. Internet to the rescue!
I watch the first episode of "Astro Boy" on the and was impressed! The music was a nice techno beat, the animation (although simple 12 frame) was entertaining, and the story was pretty good - hmm, just a matter of time til this hits the big screen is my prediction!

Then, onto something with a bit more substance...
I just finished watching a 40 minute presentation by Bill Moyers to the NCMR conference (not sure what NCMR means). It was a bit tedious for me to watch, and I had to do it with 2-3 breaks in between, but I highly recommend you watch it. In a nutshell, I believe Moyer's is making a powerful and historical speech here in regards to corporate media and the free press. In this speech (and coincidently on reddit), I heard the first warnings of the internet as we know it today - being ruined by 2012 - in that it will be controled by the ISP's who package the internet into advertisement based entertainment - much the same way that Radio has been removed from the people, and Television. That's scary when you think about it. I hope they are wrong.
What led me to Moyer's video, was a link on reddit to Bill Moyers getting "ambushed" by a *ahem* Reporter, from the Bill O'Reilly show. This reporter tried to snag Moyers with some loaded questions and as the reddit headline hinted at, Moyer's countered with his own sharp fired questions, and ended up pwning the reporter from O'reilly.
You can watch the conference talk here on youtube.
And see the "attack journalism" from O'reilly here also on youtube (note: the audio quality is not the best). But try to stick around for the full 9 minutes, because after the reporter and Moyer's is done, some of the other reporters nearby, end up cornering the reporter, using some of the same tactics. (Note: the reporter's name is Mr. Porter).
real quick: I couldn't help but notice the way in which Bill Moyer's delivers his speech - It sounded like a sermon the way he delivered the speech.

Ok, I'm off to find some more "free thinking" content on the internet while it still lasts.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Popcorn Cellphones

Can someone tell me if this is a scam or real? I don't know enough people with cell phones to try myself!

source: via digg to this blog.

new wearable feedbags

New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


AP Press is reporting it as a done deal as of 10:10 tonight!
The good news... in 5 months we will have a new president.
The bad news... we have 5 months of mud slinging to wade through.

(In a personal opinion, I'm SO GLAD that Obama has distanced himself from his church. It is sad it had to come to that, but politically speaking, he should have done that a long time ago. That, I fear will be his biggest hurdle in these next 5 months. The Right Wing Media, will beat that point into all of it's listeners - which is sad when you think of it, that we might loose a really great political leader based on what someone else may have spoken. Hopefully Obama will figure out a strategy to overcome this. McCain, I have some real fears over, but EVEN if he is elected, I do believe it will be an improvement over who we have now.)
I'll throw this out there too... I don't really care if Hilary is asked to be the VP. But if I had my way, I 'd hope there is a better person for the job.
I am curious to see too, who McCain will pick in that his health is not that great, and I think it will be very important as to who he picks.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Maker Faire - knit drum

So, in hindsight, I guess I didn't blog much about my experience at the maker faire this year.
So today, in my google alerts, I found my way to this blog, and was glad to see one of the persons that I had forgotten about - and he was one of my favorite things there, for several reasons.
One, it was just a mental freeze when you first see what he's doing. Nothing fancy, just druming while knitting. But then your brain trys to comprehend this, and it just does not compute. Why? Then it hits you... it's art. It doesn't have to fit into a neat little box with the label "because..."
The other reason this particular maker amused me... He did NOT look like he was having fun. Not once did I see him smile, or even interact with the crowd. I passed him several times during the day, and at all times there was always a small crowd around him, with the same smiles on their faces, yet he was off in his own little word, just drummin' and knittin'.
lastly, as far as I could tell, he had not one iota of rhythm. Unless he was on some improvisational jazz level that was beyond me, I could detect no rhythm or beat. Again, this was my brain trying to figure it all out, and looking for some sort of "reason" for it.
So thank you Corey Fogel, for throwing that monkey wrench into my neuro pathways. I just had to smile again, when I saw the above video which reminded me of the above thoughts.