Wednesday, January 31, 2007
That's kind of what happened on BART this morning.
I don't know what it is about winter, but sometimes if it's damp in a train and the heater is blaring it facilitates the production of a considerably horrible body odor. I call it: ass-foot. It's like someone took off his/her sock and waved funky old Dorito cheese foot stank into the air. Then someone completes the duet by unleashing last night's dinner and drinkfest vapors via a butt delivery vector. This all happens at least a few stops before yours. People from the previous stops have time to get comfortable, stretch, wave a stank wand and relax their o-rings in order to rip hot ass-trash bombs into the seats.
When the train stops at your station and the doors open, you can't wait to get on because it's cold. Then the smell assaults you. Rather, this invisble stink beast shoves its putrid hands up your nose. There are 2 year old ass boogers, toe jam, and other unmentionables that would show up under a black light under the fingernails of this creature.
You just have to take it. Sit down. Hold your breath for 20 minutes. Know that the smell is permeating your clothes, your hair...your SOUL. It's rancid. You have to shower and perform an exorcism on yourself when you get to work.
Anyway, that's kinda what it was like on the train this morning.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Her dad's a Scientologist...this just in: don't give me any crap about being religiously intolerant - Scientology isn't a religion. L. Ron Hubbard set it up in order to take advantage of the tax breaks enjoyed by religious institutions.
She's a pod-person. I knew it. That means...oh no...Marc Anthony is a pod person by reception! And Diddy? Did he know? Ass-flack?! The horror...oh the horror.
Soon the armies of Cruise and Travolta will join forces with those of Lopez for a mind-numbing, crotch slamming, cheek-pinching assault on your Thetanic energy...and your wallet.
Check out the plethora of postings on YouTube, but I threw in a couple here for your viewing pleasure...you big lovable gentle reader.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Charles S. Knight SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) wrote an article that details why other search engines other than the big 4 (Google.com, Yahoo.com, MSN.com, and Ask.com) can offer you different and possibly more compelling alternatives to find information.
Msdewey.com is just that for the 13-34 male demographic. It's *hotter* than Google's white piece of paper on the screen.
Also discussed are engines that make use of Artificial Intelligence, clustering (displaying results on a 2D map, similar to how cnet.com's news site graphically relates stories and topics), and Recommendation Searches (providing suggestions for more information that is in some way related to your search query items - check out Music Map for an example).
Over 100 different alternative search engines are discussed in the piece. It's a very, very interesting and useful for all members of the internet community.
On ebay (no doubt this link won't be valid for long).
Saturday, January 27, 2007
This has been in the news for months. You might have heard of the word "polonium-210" being thrown around - it's a nasty isotope that causes devastating radiation poisoning in a very short amount of time, as it decays relatively fast and as such is a high alpha particle emitter, the latter being extremely destructive to human tissues. Litvinenko claimed that he was poisoned with the isotope, as retribution for comments made criticizing the Putin administration. He died shortly after being admitted for medical treatment.
The Guardian UK has a very succinct and informative story on the developments and players. If you want to read about some even more crazy black ops espionage tainted details, then check out Alexander Litvinenko's obituary notice.
This could be a big deal for the U.S. as the U.K. is a close ally, and U.K.-Russian relationships are expected to chill should the British government ask for the citizen to be extradited. Do we think that Bush is a big enough statesman to run the war on terror in the Middle East and referee the tension that's building between the U.K. and Russia? That's been America's role in the past. It's been an effective means of deflecting national attention from domestic affairs to foreign concerns.
It should be interesting to see what comes out of all this.
It's just a guy repeatedly bashing his head into the keyboard after he's slammed his hands and arms into oblivion, then finally having both eyeballs flung from their sockets because so much cranial damage has been sustained. What's the big deal?
Now I have Supergreg representing me. Internets phenomenon from the late 90s early 00s. I'm bringing him back. OK. Not really. But I haven't heard anything about him in so long, and thought it'd be nice to reconnect. Don't forget to call your grandmother.
Friday, January 26, 2007
You've heard about global warming, right? Little thing about pollutive emissions trapping solar energy within the biosphere, thus raising surface temperature of the globe? OK. Good. Apparently, Frosty Hardison, a father of 7 residing in the suburbs or Seattle, WA doesn't believe that humans are the cause. The 43-year-old computer consultant is an evangelical Christian who says he believes that a warming planet is "one of the signs" of Jesus Christ's imminent return for Judgment Day.
Any of you ever go to Sunday School or see a religious-based horror film? If not, Judgement Day is the day when God takes the great big escalator down from the sky and swoops all the righteous into his bosom, then sweeps all the trash into the fiery pits of Hell where the devil will poke the non-believers (yes, even tribal rainforest people who've never been exposed to the Word of the Lord) in the ass with his pitchfork that he also uses to toss the hay around...which should actually be burning up on contact in Hell, but I digress.
This father didn't want his daughter to watch "An Inconvenient Truth" in school because he felt it's liberal junk, and feels that people (namely Merkins [read "Americans"]) aren't the cause of global warming.
The snow melting on the mountains of Mt. Kilimanjaro? The melting of ice shelves at the poles? Correlate this to carbon that we, as a global community are emitting? Consider these points and know that it's a fact that Frosty (not for long!) Hardison drives his Hummer from the mailbox to his front door.
[ok, I can't back up this last one on paper]
The school board has been doing a bang up job at managing the public frustration at the board's decision to force the teacher to not show the film because she didn't follow proper guidelines (getting permission slips, showing alternative views, etc). Excerpts from an article on sfgate describe the situation:
"I am here to foster healing in our community," [school board member David Larson] said, while noting with sadness that "civility and honest discourse are dying in our country."
What the school board had really intended to do, Larson and school board members insisted, was not to stop schools from teaching the science of global warming, but merely to follow long-standing school board rules that require students to be exposed to "other perspectives" when they view a film like "An Inconvenient Truth."
So they want to be able to provide a "balanced" view of global warming, however, views characterized as balanced weren't articulated. Um...that's because everyone with two double AAs in their brain unit knows that there isn't an alternative and valid [read "scientifically sound"] viewpoint for global warming. The world is heating up because of all the toxic poop-vapors we're putting out into the atmosphere.
The article goes onto say:
Before the board meeting started Tuesday night, several residents buttonholed Larson and asked him if there should be a "balanced" presentation of the Nazi Holocaust, because there are many who deny that it occurred.
"We do have photos of snow melting off Kilimanjaro," Walls, the science teacher who was to show the film, said hopefully.
Un. Be. Leeve. A. Bull. This is just my opinion, but if you were really a Christian wouldn't you be less concerned about whether a documentary is shown in your kid's school and more concerned about your responsibility to the Earth, the home that God gave you?
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Both schools engaged in off campus parties to "commemorate" MLK's birthday.
Students at TSU threw a party that featured attendees wearing gang apparel and Afro wigs, carrying malt liquor, handguns, and fried chicken, and even one woman dressed as Aunt Jemima. Not to be outdone, students at the University of Connecticut School of Law opted for do-rags, gang signs, gold teeth, malt liquor, and a fake machine gun during an off-campus gathering, just days after the civil rights leader's January 15 birthday.
See the red state hicks and blue state WASPs demonstrate their appreciation for a man who died for civil rights. Classy kids. Real classy. I bet you're all big Amos n' Andy fans.
Dave Chappelle!! Where are you? Can't Chris Rock step in to provide a "cracka-ass cracka"?
Let's face it...Apple puts out hot sexy gear that makes you quiver with desire. They made UNIX hot with OS X. They have groovy PC-Mac commercials where the Apple guy is the quintessential "every-guy" (no doubt a character amalgamated from careful market analysis, surveying of Apple store patrons, and executing multiple focus groups) with whom all Apple fans can identify.
The newest, and hottest thing to come from Apple was announced at this year's CES in Vegas: the iPhone. You may have seen the new device. It's hot. It's sexy. Did I say that already? Yes I did. Other not so sexy facts: while the two iPhone models will retail at $499 and $599 for the 4 and 8 GB versions, their actual costs of production will amount to no more than $245.83 and $280.83, respectively.
The markup on each model, which falls just under 50%, is one of the most aggressive in recent consumer electronic history. A 2-year service contract with Cingular will also be required for the purchase. Unlike most service plans, the agreement obviously does not subsidize the hardware cost.
You can check out the itemized breakdown here.
This just in: consumers have enabled Apple's raping of their collective wallet! Yay! I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I will not be an early adopter of this product. I'll let it go through a couple iterations and feature enhancements and price drops before I make a commitment here. Apple is still hot and sexy, but I just can't afford a Gisele-type device. I need more of a Tina Fey model.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Microsoft apparently tried to pay a blogger to "revise" some content on an article on Wikipedia. HAHAHAHAHA! For those who don't know, Wikipedia is open to all Internet users (for the most part) who wish to contribute to various online articles. The content ranges from everything. It's awesome, really. You can find out all kinds of information on the site, and while some of it should be taken with a grain of salt, if you want to find out what happened to that kid in Disney's first live action film, The Black Stallion, you can bet your tokhes you can find it on Wikipedia.
The Wikipedia staff like to keep the content devoid of conflict of interest, so when Microsoft tried to pay someone to revise the various articles (which contain content related to open source document management which Microsoft's 'pay-me-for-everything' approach doesn't tolerate) it's considered bad form.
The reason why is explored in an article on sfgate:
"Microsoft acknowledged it had approached the writer and offered to pay him for the time it would take to correct what the company was sure were inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard and a rival format put forward by Microsoft.
Spokeswoman Catherine Brooker said she believed the articles were heavily written by people at IBM Corp., which is a big supporter of the open-source standard. IBM did not immediately respond to a request for comment."
So at the sideshow, I guess that could read as:
This is for my mental and my momma that I cried on
Microsoft motherfuckers let bygones be bygones
But since I'm Mack'intosh, I'ma double click your icons
The Coup, Steal This Album
"Me and Jesus the Pimp in a '79 Granada Last Night"
No? I guess it'd be more appropriate if Boots was rappin about IBM instead of Apple.
Anywho, the article on Wikipedia is about OpenDocument or ODF, short for the OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications, is an open format for saving and exchanging electronic documents such as memos, reports, books, spreadsheets, charts, and presentations. This model doesn't exactly jive with Microsoft's pricing structure and proprietary formats, so it would seem that they wanted to plant some kind of "two-thumbs down" piece.
Oh yeah, Vista is also launching this month. You can buy a limited edition copy of the OS on amazon...it's signed by the multi-billionaire philanthropic small business crusher.
Friday, January 19, 2007
It presents mentos and diet coke symphonies.
It teaches you what to avoid when you're ghost ridin' the whip.
It informs on the benefits of medicinal marijuana.
And some Australian(?) bloke sums it all up.
Plus I thought it'd be fun to do a compilation post.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness.
3. PCI-E 2.0 is launching. As a refresher, PCI Express -- a modernized sequel to the original PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) that spread to essentially every server and PC since it was introduced in the 1990s -- can transfer 2.5 gigabits per second on each wire, pin or other electrical connection called "lanes" between a computer and a plug-in device. PCI Express 2.0 doubles that rate to 5Gbps, and as with the existing PCIe, multiple lanes can be ganged together.
4. Barack Obama has announced that he's forming a Presidential Exploratory committee, which means that he's most likely going to run for President. I hope for once the Democratic party can consolidate their focus around one candidate so they can effectively retake an administration that has become obsessed with continuing to oil the machinery of capitalism with the blood of the less fortunate, while ignoring the larger environmental issues that encroach on our global community and the gaps which Americans are seeing widen between the haves and have nots. I'm hoping that his external "differences" and "lack of experience" will nurture a more tolerant and thoughtful approach to government, socio-economic roadblocks, and community. We've had enough of the old school hawkish guard who want to bring back an iteration of Ruskies and the Cold War: read Iraw Conflict.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Yes, the links will provide you a way to download your very own copy of the source code.
Friday, January 12, 2007
If the in-game session of the Suit Demonstration Level recorded (see below) from the CES, hosted this year in Las Vegas, is representative of how games and multimedia content will look in the years to come, then we are going to be entitled to a cornucopia of new time sucking diversions.
The game's use of lighting and shading are astounding. Leaves and sunlight are photorealistic, and it would appear that the long distance screendraw present in Crytech's FarCry is also showcased in Crysis. This means that within the game, visuals are clearly defined up to a mile from the character's perspective. New game play, coined "veni, vidi, vici" (as claimed by the narrator), allows players to change out weaponry components, modify the 'nano muscle suit' the character wears so that one may run faster, generate camouflage patterns, enhance strength, and enhance armor capabilities. In game structures such as corrugated rooftops are fully destructible to add to the realism.
Check out the video, and watch it in all its glory. For the full, higher resolution video, check out the content on ign, which always has the most excellent coverage of all things relevant to the 13-34 male demographic.
An interesting sidenote: as the times change, so do the bad guys. In the 80s it was the Soviets, in the 90s it was Saddam Hussein, and present day it's the North Koreans.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Life repeatedly remains stranger than fiction. It should be interesting to hear how this unfolds.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 (SF Chronicle)
Pittsburg man shot dead in home invasion/Police say editor at PC World was involved in illegal narcotics trade
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
(01-10) 13:37 PST PITTSBURG -- Four masked men burst into a Pittsburg home, pistol-whipped a woman and fatally shot her husband -- a senior editor for PC World magazine -- in what police believe was a targeted attack because they said the victims had been involved in narcotics activity.
Rex Farrance, 59, senior technical editor at PC World in San Francisco, was shot in the chest and killed shortly after the assailants forced their way into his home on Argosy Court at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said today.
Farrance's wife, Lenore Vantosh-Farrance, 56, was pistol-whipped in the head during the home-invasion robbery, authorities said. She called 911, but the assailants fled on foot before police arrived. No arrests have been made in Pittsburg's first homicide of 2007, said Pittsburg police Inspector John Conaty.
The couple was apparently targeted because they had been involved in the narcotics trade, Conaty said.
"We have substantial reason to believe that the victim and his wife were involved in the possession and, potentially, the distribution of illegal narcotics," said Conaty, who declined to specify what type of drug. Farrance turned 59 on Sunday, and his wife has been a registered nurse in California since 1983, public records show.
PC World editors did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Police today were still searching the couple's home, which abuts Willow Cove Elementary School.
Herculano Darosa, 54, who has lived on the street for 24 years, said he often saw Farrance jogging or exercising in the neighborhood. "He looked nice to me," said Darosa, who expressed shock at the police assertion that the couple was involved in drugs.
E-mail Henry K. Lee at email@example.com
Copyright 2007 SF Chronicle
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
What looks to be one of the coolest movies for 2009? James Cameron's Avatar, that's what. You may remember such Cameron films as: The Terminator, Aliens, T2, The Abyss, and the $1.8B grossing monstrosity, Titanic. According to wikipedia, it's about:
Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture. Avatar is written by Cameron from an idea he nurtured for over a decade. "For me, as a lifelong fan of science fiction and action, 'Avatar' is a dream project. We're creating an entire world, a complete ecosystem of phantasmagorical plants and creatures, and a native people with a rich culture and language. The story is both epic and emotional." It is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival. In December 2006, Cameron described Avatar as "a futuristic tale set on a planet 200 years hence... an old-fashioned jungle adventure with an environmental conscience... [that] aspires to a mythic level of storytelling...
Also interestingly enough, as part of the new developments in the theater industry, we will be watching it in 3D...as most theaters at that time will have digital 3D projection systems (per anticipatory remarks made by James and Fox Entertainment.)
Peter Jackson's WETA effect house will be doing the...effects. Jackson, in case you hate LOTR and never watched the Oscars, and didn't know that his three films swept award nominations and winnings for three years in a row from 2001 to 2003, was the director/producer of one of the most sucessful film franchises (other than Star Wars): The Lord of the Rings.
Friday, January 5, 2007
I'll be the first to admit that I think invading Iraq and overthrowing the government, albeit a corrupt one, wasn't in the best interests of national security. Of course, at the time we were told that there were WMDs in country. The UN representative never found any, but we invaded in March 2003 nonetheless.
Fast forward 3 1/2 years and we're still in Iraq and the new Cambodia: Afghanistan (shhh...top secret.) The country and surrounding region is destabilized, and the Sunni/Shite conflict is rapidly growing worse. Some have said that the vacuum of power left by Saddam Hussein's demise will pull more violent and dramatic factions into the fray, resulting in more deaths of innocents and soldiers alike. I tend to agree with this point.
Frame this in the context of troop deployment: if we leave now, then that country and surrounding region will be, for lack of a better word: effed up. Seriously eff to the yew to the cee to the kay effed up. Worse than it is already.
So. What are we to do? The Democrats are saying that Americans are tired of the fighting. I know I am. I'm tired of hearing about kids over there dying or becoming maimed by IEDs and sniper fire because this war isn't about survival - it's about political gains ultimately motivated by a personal vengeance.
I also think that one of the underlying motivations for being there is to create a base of operations and permanent American presence in the Arab world: 1) win hearts and minds to foster a new democracy, 2) then remain in country to help maintain and legitimize the new government while discreetly maximizing American economic petroleum-based interests. I may be oversimplifying this here, but it doesn't seem to be too far-fetched.
Bottom line: we can't conduct mass demobilization of our Iraqi-based military presence now. The Bush administration effectively committed the American people to remain in the region for at least a decade, most likely 2 maybe 3. It was a calculated ploy. Once we destabilized the region, we're morally obligated to stick around and assist in building a new government and society that we helped significantly destruct for nothing less than ensuring that the U.S. will be able to position itself in the Middle East. This isn't partisan politics. This is Manifest Destiny and an extension of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine unfolding before our eyes.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Hollywood tentpole productions explode on the summertime movie battlefield. In 2007, we'll have a movie version of a cartoon program popular with folks who were around 11 years old in the early-mid 1980s. OK...I was one of those kids, and yes I played with the Transformers. I could never figure out how all the Autobots could fit inside of Jetscream on the cartoons, while the real-world action figures didn't seem to have a shrink feature.
I'm looking forward to seeing the film, yes. The story is basically one where it's man vs. evil man-like machine (Decepticons), where man is assisted by good man-like machines (Autobots). It's one of your basic 7 plots, but not exactly because you have the Autobots helping us defeat the innumerable hoards of Decepticons. Rumsfeld is doing Megatron's voice, while Condi is providing vocals for Starscream. You should fear the merchandising onslaught that will no doubt erupt in tandem with its theatrical release. Every 10 year old boy will want a Soundwave for Hanukah in 2007...ok, maybe just me.
Please note that there doesn't appear to a single triple A actor in the film, as the budget was most likely spent on the effects. OK, they dug up Jon Voight, John Turturro is slumming, and what the hell is Bernie Mac doing in this film? AMERICA! I hope Bernie Mac's character gets to make an Autobot invoke its mechanical har-har unit. No doubt Tyrese is considering this one big step up from his role in Baby Boy. Hopefully a few dollars were spent on making the screenplay halfway decent.
Also coming out this summer:
May 4: Spider-Man 3
(Vegan Spider meets that 70s show actor)
May 18: Shrek the Third
(fur fook's sayke, ee-noof with tha green troll...ack!)
May 25: Pirates of The Caribbean: At World's End
(didn't#2 just come out?! Sheesh!)
June 8: Ocean's Thirteen
(enough already Clooney!)
June 15: Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer
(yes, Jessica Alba is in it)
June 22: Evan Almighty
(Carell: the new Carrey?)
June 29th: Live Free or Die Hard
(next in line is: "Dead Already")
July 4: Transformers
July 13: Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix
(British kids act better than Americans)
July 27: The Simpsons Movie
August 3: The Bourne Ultimatum
(Damon...the new Shatner)
August 10: Rush Hour 3
I'm going to have to go with Netflix on most of these, assuming they don't significantly throttle my rentals.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
I was blessed to be able to hang out with a lot of wonderful people this year, and in spite of James Brown and Gerald Ford passing at the end of 2006, there were still some good times to be had. Moments that come to mind are of mid to lowbrow (mostly low) entertainment: watching Day of the Dead and The Descent, both on DVD.
Day of the Dead (DOTD), in case you didn't know, was George Romero's 3rd installment of the Dead trilogy, which later became a quadrology with Land of the Dead. There were a number of spin-offs (read Return of the Living Dead, et al), but George officially only directed four, with the most recent starring Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo. DOTD has cheesy acting for the most part, but what was cool about it, and what probably killed its success at the time was the fact that it "humanized" the zombies, and actually made the living seem more like the volatile and dangerous element of a society. Scientists and soldiers live in a missile silo in Florida, and the stereotypes are plentiful (read egotistic egghead scientists, overzealous infantrymen scoring a few IQ points higher than Lucy, and one Jamaican helocopter pilot.) The zombie ballerina at the end is wonderful. Fans will be interested to know that a remake starring Mena Suvari and Ving Rhames is planned for this year. Bah'leeve eet mon!
The Descent was a brilliant film from English director Neil Marshall. 6 bad ass spelunking women go into a cave, and their plunge into the dark is physical as well as a *wink-wink* descent into hopelessness. It's a straight-forward film that runs lean and tense. This movie was edited to keep viewers held captive until the end of the film finally cuts the bonds and shoves you outside where you finally get to appreciate the trees and sunlight...if you saw the U.S. verison. I recommend the U.K. version you can now find on DVD in the states.
If you want to see something really disturbing, though, you can check out Saddam Hussein's execution which a person present at the event recorded on his (I'm pretty sure it's a He...Iraq may be secular, but I'm betting they don't have the equivalent of Nancy Pelosi over there) cell phone. Say what you will about its content, but the proliferation of this leaked video was inevitable, as everyone has a morbid fascination with "how did he die", especially The Butcher of Bagdad.
Let's hope that his demise will bring as much peace and prosperity as his life brought death and poverty. Let us also not forget that the U.S. helped put him in power in the 80s (hunt around on the 'innernets' for the classic photo with Rumsfeld and Hussein shaking hands), which was when Hussein effectively destabilized the economies Iran and Iraq: actions for which the world is still witness. Perhaps this will be a lesson from which we can finally learn that puppet governments based on provisioned/outsourced warfare will unravel in the hand of the puppetmaster.