I Read Stuff!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Rome Probably Blew Up

A buddy of mine pointed out this wacky story from Minneapolis. Eddie Griffin crashed his SUV into a parked car. Not really interesting until you read why. I won't ruin the surprise, so chase the link. I'll wait.

It is almost worth the subscription fee to hear what Rome has to say about this little gem. Seriously, you can't hold it? You can't wait the 20 minutes it takes to get home? Wow.

More Than Meets The Eye

Transformers the live action/CGI movie is coming next year, and their marketing department has already started reaching for an audience. A few weeks ago they launched the official website with a count down. Well, the count down has run out, and they have released a teaser trailer. Except it isn't a trailer at all, just a stitched together story that will have nothing to do with the movie.

However, you should still go watch it.

Phrase of the Day

Manilow Method:
The discouragement of loitering in public places by broadcasting music that is offensive to young people, particularly the songs of singer Barry Manilow.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hooligans

A fire breaks out in an apartment building. The wife grabs the baby, and the husband grabs the TV. Why? A man is mugged for his cell phone. When the police catch the criminal the man doesn't press charges. Why? A man signs a contract with his wife forcing him to do all the housework for a month. Why?

Answer: World Cup

Is It Stealing?

In most fast food restaurants there are bags of ketchup available in the lobby. Parking lots have signs that designate 'Customer Only' parking. A number of businesses now offer free wireless internet that may extend outside the building. What happens if you use these services without actually becoming a patron of the business offering them?

In Washington, you get arrested.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Peasants Are Hot

Our Lady Paris Hilton was touring her European realm when she decide to grace some of the peasantry with her presence. She ceremoniously blessed their quaint abode, and dazzled them with her charm.

We should all dream of being so lucky.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Chessboxing

Iepe Rubingh believes in the 'duality of man'. He has created a sport that tests both mental and physical aspects of a person. Chessboxing is almost exactly what you would expect. The first round is chess. The second round is boxing, then chess, etc. 6 rounds of chess and 5 rounds of boxing. You can win by either knockout, checkmate, ref's decision, or if an opponent exceeds 12 minutes for the entire chess portion of the match.

Sounds crazy, but he's already staged a European championship tournament. He's got 15 fighters signed up for an L.A. event in 2007. It's hard to say if this will survive, but it has definitely got momentum.

If Chessboxing can work, why not Calvinball?

Team Who?

A friend of mine works at a pretty big company. A company large enough to have a 'corporate environment'. Corporations like this love team building exercises. Sometimes those exercises are lame and disgraceful, other times they are highly entertaining.

Last weeks team building exercise was a Kickball game. A team building success I would say. The team my friend is on decided they were going to get team t-shirts made. They delegated the task to someone and waited for the Friday of fun.

Well, the person in charge of t-shirts is in charge of what is on the t-shirts. A more powerful position than I think anyone really knew.

Check out.... Team Princess!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Free Country

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
-Thomas Jefferson

Cobra Kai Never Dies

Our good buddy Ozzi Guillen is at it again. He was the manager who sent his rookie pitcher to the minors for not hitting someone with a baseball. This time, he's really pissed off everybody. The Commissioner, the press, and the fans are all mad at him. Why? Because he called some guy a fag.

Calling someone a bad name is horrible, and an apology is forced by the Commissioner of Baseball. However, conspiracy to injure an opponent Cobra Kai style, that's part of the game.

Friday, June 23, 2006

TMNT

Name your favorite childhood cartoon. Mine's coming to the big screen.

This time without Vanilla Ice.

Commercials!

NOOOOOOOOO! Damn you Comedy Central! I just want to watch my beloved Daily Show in peace. Instead, now I have to endure a 30 second Pringles commercial before John Stewart bestows me with the illusive 'funny'.

Actually, I don't mind commercials, but I can't stand it when the same damn commercial is played over and over. Man that sucks. How many times do I have to listen to a stupid remix of Everlasting Love.

Shoot me now.

Come Back!

This just in, 26 people have move away from Lawrence! I'm sure you've felt the loss. The owner of Hereford House claims he'll go out of business without those 26 residence!

For the first time in 30 years the population of Lawrence has not increased. The City Commissioner thinks it might be a cost-of-living issue. Ya think? Could be? A house in Lawrence that costs $150k will only cost $125k in Topeka or $137k in Kansas City. Suddenly Tonganoxie and Eudora seem like a good idea.

But wait, there are roughly 3000 new homes built in Lawrence since '04. The Census Bureau must think they are empty...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Matt Damon

There is a disturbance in the comedic Force. What could possibly be causing so many comedians to sit up and take notice. A rumor? Ah, but this rumor is so juicy Trey Parker and Matt Stone are salivating. Granted it's only a rumor, but you'll need to be sitting to read it.

J.J. Abrams has chosen Matt Damon to play the young Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

Shatner has blessed the choice, so the only question now is if Damon will accept. I'll be watching IMDB closely.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Protesting is Good Publicity

Here is Entertainment weekly's list of the top 25 most controversial films. It's a pretty interesting read. Especially since a lot of the drama surrounding these films happened before I was old enough to appreciate it.

For instance, I didn't know that Natural Born Killers inspired over 12 copy cat killers to recreate some of the deaths from the movie.

Clockwork Orange was voluntarily banned from the U.K. until 2000. That's almost 30 years after it's initial release.

The Message prompted Hanfi terrorists to hold over 100 people hostage in Washington, D.C. for 2 days.

Even Disney is in on the action, but I'll let you read the list to find out why.

Warning: May Explode

The Inquirer reports what happens when bad karma meets your laptop.

Respect your machine, or else.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

YouTube vs RIAA

ab·surd Pronunciation (b-sûrd, -zûrd)

adj.
1. Ridiculously incongruous or unreasonable. See Synonyms at RIAA.


The RIAA is now sending cease and desist letters to YouTube. It seems that YouTube has been playing videos with music in them. That's right. When you filmed yourself doing the running man to Ice Ice Baby, you forgot to purchase a license. Your video has been removed from YouTube.

Bellagio, but Different

Surely everyone has seen the Diet Coke and Mentos reaction. There are a number of videos floating around. This video attempts to create a visual experience similar to the Bellagio's fountain in Las Vegas.

Sticky.

Monday, June 19, 2006

She's a Star

I received a phone call at 9 pm Friday night. It's a friend with an odd request. "Can I use your dog tonight?" Let's imagine that's a sane question. Think up all the reason's why someone would borrow your dog. Now apply those reasons at 9 pm on a Friday night. Are there any left you would say yes too? I couldn't think of any, so I asked why?

Well, it turns out that this particular friend is in the film business. He was currently at a country music video shoot, and the dog handler never showed up with a dog. He wanted me to bring my dog out so they could finish their shoot.

Hell yes. I've never been to a video shoot before. Another buddy and I load up and roll out to a barn in the middle of nowhere. The video has a white trash motif. Beer cans, whisky bottles, and fish stick boxes cover the inside of a wall-less living room.

Now my dog doesn't get anymore country. She's half Blue Heeler and half Border Collie. If you work with cattle you have or had one of those breeds. We literally pulled her out from under a bush in western Kansas. Her mother is still herding cows.

White trash is more of a stretch. She's very clean both from our efforts and her own. She doesn't drool, and she eats with her dew claw raised. Hell, she can eat off your fork without touching the fork.

So maybe she fits the video, maybe she doesn't. The director and singer seem to like her, and they filmed her. We'll see if she makes it onto CMT. I was promised a copy of the video, so I'll post it here when it's done.

Talladega Nights

The second trailer for Talladega Nights is out. It's still funny, but since most of the jokes are in the first trailer it's not fall out of your chair funny.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Levers

Want to waste half an hour? This game is pretty unique. Hint, the hat has a special place to sit.

Friday, June 16, 2006

America's Game

I don't like baseball. It's fine to play, fun to go to a game, but it's boring to watch. It barely qualifies as a team sport because most of the time it's just pitcher vs. batter.

Today, I ran across this piece of news. A rooky pitcher gets sent to the minor leagues because he didn't assault a batter. The manager told him to hit a batter with a baseball. Purposely hitting a guy with a 70+ MPH baseball sounds like aggravated assault to me. There are a bunch of sites out there that say "this is all part of baseball."

Well, you know what? Baseball sucks.

Holy DJ

Recently, a friend of mine mentioned this at a dinner. If God can send his only son, surely he can send his DJ too.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Lip Them!

Ah stereotypes and accents, truly fun for the whole family. As a rule you try not to apply stereotypes to people. However, sometimes people apply them to themselves. Kotaku reports of one such application with the PS3. The demo model had an unfortunate misspelling on the controller.

Fun with Illusions

Yea! Everybody likes optical illusions. Well here is an entertaining one. Follow the link and move your mouse cursor to the side. Stare at the dot in the middle of the picture. After you've good and burned your retina, move the mouse over the picture without taking your eyes off of the dot. When the mouse hits the picture everything will come into beautiful color. Now stop staring at the dot, you'll see that the image is actually black and white.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Waka! Rusa! Waka! Rusa!

20+ hours of live music. Just think about that.

And I only saw a fraction of the festival.

Awards for bands that I saw:

Best Music to Jam too:
Railroad Earth
Runner Up:
Cracker

Best Display of Skill and Talent:
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Runner Up:
Buckethead

Best Stage Show:
The Flaming Lips

No one could compete with the Lips for their show. It was awesome. Let me paint you a picture.

Imagine a large stage with a giant video screen in the back showing music videos. The Flaming Lips performing in front of the screen with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America working as stagehands. To the right, 20 people dressed as Santa Claus dancing. To the Left, 20 people dressed as space aliens dancing. Confetti streamers being shot out over the crowd. 10 balloons, 6 feet in diameter, bouncing over the audience. Seeded throughout the crowd were people with hundreds of glow bracelets that they threw forward creating the illusion it was raining neon. All the while 10,000 people singing Yashimi Battles the Pink Robots.

Couple that with an actual on stage marriage proposal, a nun hand puppet, a human hamster ball crowd surf, a smoking megaphone, and a Bohemian Rhapsody cover. It was awesome.

Babies!

Yea! Babies!

Congratulations to Tom and Erin on the arrival of Thomas Ethan.

Congratulations also go out to Nick and Becky for their new addition Lucas Henry.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Diamond Is A Cheap Commodity?

Popular Science has an "article" up about man-made diamonds. I air-quote because it's written like an outline for a high school journalism class. None-the-less, the topic is interesting.

Currently, scientists can grow 10-carat diamonds with better color and clarity than mined diamonds at a rate of one caret per day. Half-caret diamonds grown by geeks are already hitting the jewelry market for about $500 compared to a $750 slave mined diamond.

However, the bling around your neck is not going to make diamonds a household commodity. As usual, the money is in computers. Computer chips are made of silicone and can only stand to run at 250°F. A diamond chip can handle 1,300°F. Which means they can push it 8 times faster than the silicone.

Once they start mass producing diamonds for computers, your expensive wedding ring is going to experience a downturn in market value.

Crazy Like A Fox

Last week I linked to an article where Phil Harrison, a Sony President, made outlandish claims about how the PS3 is a computer to replace the PC. I laughed and mentioned that I knew his mom. It seems that Phil is, in fact, not crazy. Instead he has an uncanny understanding of the European Tax Code.

Kotaku reports that the EU has a pretty hefty tariff on game consoles. Interestingly enough, imported computers enjoy a much lower rate. Those crafty kids at Sony have managed to get the PS3 classified as a computer thanks to the release of Linux for the PS3. Sony is saving millions of euros by making their executives look like ass hats.

As they say in Ireland, "Brilliant!"

Thursday, June 08, 2006

We Told You What To Dream

This is a pretty great article about the nature of business. Specifically it talks about the development of bad games and how that happens. However, the underlying message speaks directly to my work.

"I’m not an artist.

Sure I work in a creative field. Sure many of the things I do are creative and I get to imagine things and attempt to put them into reality. But an artist gets to do what they want, how they want, when they want. That’s not what I do. Someone comes to my company with a contract. They give us money to make something. I make it. They take it and sell it. I don’t work in art.

I work…in customer service."

Superfluity

A friend just mailed me this photo. Define Irony...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Master Wedding Dancer

Force of Habit

I did a stupid thing this morning. It was so stupid I'm almost proud of it. My wife had all the kids corralled in the backyard for outside time. I went out there, said goodbye, and left for work. Once I got to work, I received a phone call from our neighbor. It was my wife telling me that I had locked them out of the house.

Doh.

Me Too!

Every other blog on the web has posted this link, so I will too! Basically, this guy's friend left their sidekick in a cab. Someone picked it up and has thus far refused to return the phone. Internet drama ensued!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dogus Parkus

Spent yesterday in the park, the dog park that is. The army core of engineers thoughtfully created a lake just for our dog's amusement. There are two main areas to the park, the grasslands and the creek. The creek is the spillway channel from the damn. The grasslands is roughly 10 acres of... well, grass. It's tall grass with little paths for the dogs to explore which is what we opted to do. Frank and Crash had a great time just racing ahead of us, then running back. They were exhausted in about 10 minutes. After that we just hung out in the entry area so they could greet all the new arrivals. By the time we left there was about 10 dogs running in a pack around their owners.

Dogs Rule.

Super Genius

Continuing with our ACME product show case, we come to the latest in launch technology. Brian Walker has built himself a crossbow. Not just any crossbow, but one with a 24 foot draw. Brian is hoping to launch himself 20 miles into the air. Seems dangerous? Well, it should be ok, since he is going to test it with a giant fiberglass arrow first.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Kansas Use To Be An Ocean

My wife and I had a busy weekend. We spent Friday night in the Bar-N. My brother-in-law built an 8 foot bar in his basement complete with a drunk tank. We affectionately call it the Bar-N for various reasons. It was a bit of an odd evening, but the theme defiantly revolved around a truck full of bowling balls. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're better for it.

Saturday we rolled out of bed, washed the hangover out of our eyes, jumped into the car with our dog and a friend, and headed for Wichita. A fabulous Wedding was occurring in the bustling town of Benton.

An outdoor wedding seems like a risky maneuver, but it paid off this time. Not a cloud in the sky and just a bit on the warmer side of comfortable. We did our part to distract the flower girl and generally disrupt the proceedings. However, the best man speech was the real show. Since the groom had given an infamous speech at his best man's wedding, there was a bit of a build up for this speech. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. Why do you keep your mouth shut while holding a baby over your head, Dena?

Sunday was a lazy day. We left my sisters around noon, and planned nothing for the rest of the day. On the return trip I notice that the turnpike from Emporia to Topeka had been dedicated to the US Submarine Veterans. 500 miles from the nearest submarine you would think they could find a more appropriate highway to serve as a memorial.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Who Do You Trust?

allofmp3.com is an online music store. When I say that, I do not mean they sell CD's. They offer mp3's for mass consumption.

"But Matt, iTunes also offers mp3's. Why do we care?"

Well, my friend, iTunes offers music for the price of $0.99 a song. allofmp3.com offers music for 0.02 per MB. That means that while Snow Patrol's new album, Eyes Open, is available from iTunes for $9.99. It is available at allofmp3.com for $1.27.

"Amazing! How can they do that!"

Again, an example illustrates. Tool's new album, 10,000 Days, is only $2.13 at allofmp3.com. At iTunes.... It's not available! That's because Tool has not released their albums for online sale! allofmp3.com is 'illegally' selling music to the unwashed masses. I air quote illegally because it is only illegal in most countries. allofmp3.com is based in Moscow, where they apparently are happy to take your business.

The real question is, do you trust them with your credit card so you can take part in these mind numbing deals...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The PC is Dead! Long Live the PC!

Phil Harrison, president of Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios said, "We believe that the PS3 will be the place where our users play games, watch films, browse the Web, and use other [home] computer functions. The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC."

What a brilliant statement. The PS3 is a computer designed for personal use. The Personal Computer is obsolete. Perhaps he should examine why Apple only has 5% of the home computer market.

The PC has been 'dieing' for the last 20 years. It will probably still be 'dieing' 20 years from now.

Harrison goes on to make ridiculous claims like how he invented the question mark...

Wile E. Coyote

This looks safe. Especially when they add jet engines...

A Full PC, Smaller Than A CD

This is a pretty cool gadget. The OQO 01+ is a PC running a full version of XP that is only 5 inches wide. It comes with a mouse stick, thumb keyboard, docking station, touch screen, and a digital pen.

This would be awesome for business trips. On every trip I've been on there is a full sized PC in the conference room. All you have to do is dock this guy and you can use the full sized screen, full size keyboard and mouse. It's got a 30 GB hard drive and 3D acceleration. You can take City of Villians with you!

Only $2000...


Games
GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Darwinia2
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Prey2
Psychonauts2
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Defcon3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
KOTOR II3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
BioShock18/21/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
CellFactor?2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?