30 November, 2005

Welcome to sunny Omaha

Ever been to Omaha, NE in late November? It is not as much fun as it
sounds. Especially when you spend over two hours sitting near the gate
waiting for de-icing and clearance from MSP. Got to love winter Sue travel
and keep the zen.

29 November, 2005

Bad News for Big Backsides

Here is one more good reason to go to the gym before getting those shots.

27 November, 2005

More things we love

This is a great article/rant one two of my most favorite things - massive vehicles and inattentive drivers!

18 November, 2005

Hmmmm.....Rant

I haven't enjoyed Rolling Stone much in the past few years, I just can't get in to stories about the latest boy band or girl group and who they're dating and how they're all sluts. It just isn't the same without Hunter S. Thompson I guess.

But, I found myself at the airport having run out of things to read, and since Billie Joe Armstrong was on the cover I figured there would be at least one article I would enjoy in the November 17th issue. There were two.

There is also an excellent feature on global warming/the environment. I'd highly suggest picking it up for this feature, even if you don't like punk.

The short version of the story - the Bush administration is lying to us on yet another topic.Attampting to choke good science and taking the more dangerous route simply because it is hard to prove it is dangerous (though even more difficult to prove it is not dangerous). The administration is basically saying that just because you can't definitively prove that jumping off a cliff will kill you, you should go ahead and jump off the cliff.

It is well worth the read.

Mr. Bush, as you said, "fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." - I'm glad this is your second, and last possible, term - you can't fool the American people too much more.

The Theory of Dumb Design

The Theory of Dumb Design is the best explaination I've seen for Pat Robertson, and a lot of others!

May we live long and die out

Can you justify having even one child? A child who is statistically expected to generate 22 million pounds of liquid waste, among other things, throughout his or her life? Here’s an article on The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, a group of people who believes that this planet will be much better off if the human race is no longer present. It also contains an interesting link to the study of environmental impacts of bringing a child into this world.

Update on the record companies we love to hate

Here [Reg required, trying to find Google cache] is David Pogue's NYTimes column on how Sony has responded to the outcry.

It appears that they have actually done something honest, almost acting like a good corporate citizen.

14 November, 2005

San Antonio

So far, nothing is bigger in Texas :-(

Next stop is....

.....San Antonio, TX. I'm going to find out if everything really is bigger in Texas.

13 November, 2005

U.S. Copyright gets even better

Plugging /. once again, but they have a discussion citing an article from The Register regarding a new proposal from our friends at Department of Justice. (also here)

Short story, this proposal by U.S. Attorney General Gonzales would allow jail sentences to be imposed for copyright infringement.

OK, I think we all know that copyright is messed up right now, but it is starting to border on government subsidies - not for the content creators (artists, writers, etc.) - but for the content distributors.

There's a lot more to discuss on this subject, but for short, record companies listen up - people are willing to pay for music in a format offers them reasonable flexibility. The problem is that the value to most consumers of the shite currently produced is much less than the sticker price on a CD. Pirating/copyright infringement is a sign that the price of the good is artifically high, and people aren't willing to pay it. Take note of the fact that you can buy fake Gucci bags on the street in Manhattan for $10, but you can't buy fake no-name bags on the street for $10. Artifically high prices == knock offs, pirating, etc.

If you needed another reason to hate record companies

Here it is.

In summary, Sony/BMG has added a fun little EULA to new music CDs that is, among other things, totally bogus. As if their installation of a rootkit wasn't bad enough, this EULA takes away most rights you would expect to have when you purchase something.

An excellent as usual Slashdot discussion.

12 November, 2005

A little trivia from our favorite city

The Emperor of San Fansisco

Fun from World Wide Web

Did you ever wonder....Does 2 + 2 = 5 for sufficiently large values of 2?

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
~Benjamin Franklin

11 November, 2005

Here's your occasional

lunatic bigot report.

"Wow" - that's all I can say about that.

08 November, 2005

I bet you always wondered...


how one makes fortune cookies! On our weekend trip to the best city in this country ( aka San Francisco), we found a Fortune Cookie Factory tucked away in one of the tiny alleys in Chinatown. Early in the morning, that little opening between buildings didn't look like a place where a sane tourist would go. Fearless and armed with suggestion from an online tour guide, we ventured in to find a small place with no fancy front or even normal doors for that matter. Once we spotted the little store, a tiny Chinese woman who seemed to have lived and worked there for at least a 100 years invited us in and offered to try some cookies, delicious but flat with no piece of paper attached to them. With free tastings and bags of 40 of those flat cookies at 3 dollars, cookie-makers ask for a fifty cent donation to take a picture which I think is fair. Here you can see a gas flame heated conveyor belt that spits the flat hot cookies out as the cookie master ( not to be confused with cookie monster!) swiftly picks them up and folds them, stuffs a paper fortune in and puts them down to cool. 10,000 cookies a day done by hand by 3 people-- enough to supply all the Asian restaurants in the Bay Area!

During the remainder of our stay, we visited all the required attractions-- Coit Tower, Fisherman's Warf (where we encountered the hostile crab who was obviously trying to snap my hand off or at the very least the string from the camera), Golden Gate Park, Muir Woods, and Sonoma Valley. This was a surprise trip I organized for my mom who has never been to California and I think I have now infected one more person with my San Francisco obsession. Now I am back in Midwest till early December when I go to FL which is much less travel than lies ahead for my Pumpkins (aka Ben and the main contributor to this blog).