I Read Stuff!

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

Friday, July 28, 2006

Armageddon

Behold, my parents come from Israel with images of Armageddon!



Not the image you were expecting? Me neither. As it turns out the word Armageddon is a mondegreen. An accidental turn of a phrase. When Revelation refers to Armageddon it is actually referring to the above valley called Megiddo.

The valley plain of Megiddo is where the unholy trinity of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet will gather their armies for the second to last battle. This is the battle where the Beast and False Prophet are defeated. The Dragon is only caged for a thousand years, or the Millennium.

Anyway, the real final battle will occur at Jerusalem. The Dragon is finally defeated, but the battle destroys all of creation as well. Not to worry, a new earth is soon created. I wonder if the new creation will take the full 7 days, or if God will get it done sooner since he's done it before. Practice makes perfect.

God then creates a new holy city on Earth where he will live, because even God knows that Earth is the place to party.

Santa vs. Dystopia

I ran across this one sheet today.



I think 'Dear God, NOOOOOOO' is the only proper response. It's so sickeningly candy coated that it makes me weep for the children.

I then ran across the trailer for The Black Dahlia.

Obviously, it's the story of the Black Dahlia or Elizabeth Short. I don't mind the violence or the film style. What truly bothers me is that it's an unsolved story. The only possible outcome is for me to finish the film with an ill-defined hatred of every character in the film. With no guiding light or resolution the film will ultimately cast our society in a blacker light. Regardless of how one currently views the world this film will attempt to make it look worse.

Hopefully this holiday season, we'll get some films that land somewhere between the above two offerings.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pretty

It's no surprise that National Geographic takes good pictures. However, I thought today's picture was particularly stunning.


A sail boat on Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts

The Oil Business

So things are going well for the British Petroleum group. They announced the other day that they earned 7.27 billion dollars in PROFIT. It's up 30% from the same quarter last year which makes this a record high quarter for the company.

That's roughly $55 grand a minute. It's no wonder their CEO holds the title of 'Lord'.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Again?

Ozzie Guillen has once again called for the Cobra Kai. Once again his pitcher fails to deliver. Once again Ozzie publicly berates the pitcher. Only now, after twice publicly telling his pitchers to 'dot' a batter, are sports fans, press, and execs starting to think it might be wrong.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wire $200 As You Pass Go

One of my friends likes to play Gangsta' Monopoly. One of the important aspects of the game is to be able to throw your fat wad around. This is especially important during bidding and price negotiation. Well, our kids won't be able to recreate the Gangsta' feeling of the game. Parker Brothers has decided to update it to reflect our current spending habits.

They threw away the cash. Monopoly Money is on the way out. Instead the game comes with plastic debit cards and a reader. The banker no longer spends their time counting and passing out money. They type transactions in to a electronic reader and swipe the card.

Early training for our little consumer.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Today's Time Sink

Someone by the name of Jenova Chen has put together a fun flash game. It's actually his Master Thesis project. Oddly enough a flash game is enough to earn you a Masters of Fine Arts. Anyway, it's an entertaining game, so I'm sure that helped him defend it.

A quick tutorial.

Guide your little creature through the water with your mouse. A left click will cause it to run, which you'll need to do a lot. The goal is to eat and not be eaten. You'll notice a thing with a red dot. Eating that will send you deeper. The thing with the blue dot will send you higher. Survive to the deepest part to win.

We Love YouTube!

Lore Sjoberg has written a humorous little article describing the virtues of the internet, specifically YouTube and Google Video. It's a quick read that should put a smile on your face.

"Already it's hard to think back to the primitive days when you had to fall off a roof to get your home videos in front of millions of people. Now the only thing standing between you and your audience is that slim and useless portion of your brain that houses the shame instinct. Ignore it."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Magic Mirror

I'm sure you have all interacted with a security system at some point in your life. Most of them look like a digital thermostat. A white square box with a green LED readout soothing your paranoid delusions. Well, Craig Barr thought that was a bit boring, so instead he invented a magic mirror.

When all is well, it looks like any other decorative mirror. As soon as the security system has something to report, a floating head straight from Snow White appears. It intones that someone has pulled into the driveway or is standing at the front door. It then will display the video feed from security cameras to back up it's claim.

Coming to an MTV crib near you.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Scrapbooking

The majority of people I know are involved with scrapbooking in one way or another. They are either selling supplies, making their own, or have received one as a gift. My wife and her friends get together on a semi-regular basis to talk and build scrapbooks. (but mostly talk)

When I read this article from the New York Times I immediately thought of how it will change the scrapbooking industry. The article mainly talks about this company. The company offers free software called BookSmart. With BookSmart you graphically design an entire book using your words, fonts, and pictures. It's exactly the same as scrapbooking except you don't need any paper, stickers, cutting systems, or pictures from Wal-Mart. You have the full power of a computer to design, cut, resize, re-color, or re-write the entire book.

Once you've designed the book, you upload the design to Blurb. They print it on coated paper, bind it with linen fabric hard cover, and wrap it with your custom dust jacket. The cost is about $50 per book. That's roughly half the cost of a completed scrapbook. The best part is you can make multiple copies. You only need to create one scrapbook for you, Mom, and Grandma.

The future is a clean dining room table seated with 5 ladies on laptops.

Tesla Roadster



The 100% electric Tesla Roadster was unveiled today. Here are some basic FAQ's:

It has a two-speed transmission. First gear is designed to give you the 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. The second gear is designed for the rest of the drive. You don't ever have to use first gear if you don't want to, but we all want to.

The engine runs in reverse when you put it in reverse. I wonder if you can go 0 to 60 in reverse in 4 seconds.

There is a specialized home charger that is designed to charge the car from dead to full in 3.5 hours. There is also a mobile charging kit that will charge the car from a 110V or 220V outlet. I imagine the 110V takes a bit longer, but how often would you drain the battery? I imagine most people drive maybe 50 miles a day which is only 20% of the battery life.

Designed by Tesla. Manufactured by Lotus.

Read more fun FAQ's at Tesla Motors.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mr. Buffett

Had a fabulous time this weekend with my nephew and his entourage. Went hiking with the dogs, shopping, and had lots of good eats. The highlight of the adventure was probably our trip to Cheeseburger in Paradise. It's Jimmy Buffett's chain restaurant nestled in the Village West shopping district.

The six of us roll in at noon, and almost immediately get a seat at the bar. It's important to note, that my niece and nephew, now belly up to the bar, are both 20 months old. What do you do with a couple of toddlers in island paradise? You order Strawberry Daiquiris of course! If SRS could see us now.

The fun was not to stop there. They had hired a new bartender, and our bartender was seeing to her training. Part of that training includes the pouring and throwing of beer. She would fill up a 22 oz mug of Bud and slide a coaster over the top. The coaster would create a partial seal 'locking' the beer in the mug. She then would throw the glass about 10 feet across the bar to our waiting bartender. He would catch the mug without a drop spilled, at least that's how it happened the first time.

The second throw went a little crooked, so when he caught it the beer splashed a bit onto the floor. The third attempt was amazing. She threw the mug, and it cartwheeled slowly through the air. I kid you not, it did a complete flip before being caught without spilling. Needless to say the bar was pretty ecstatic with the performance, and the new bartender was feeling a bit cocky.

Time for the 4th throw. Practice makes perfect, so she is going to attempt the flip. The bar holds its breathe. She tosses the beer, and it begins the slow rotation. About half way through the coaster comes off. Our bartender catches the mug. The beer, now free from its frosty prison, lands squarely on him. Mmmmmmmm, sticky.

Between the daiquiris, great food, the bartender's antics, and the live music (forgot to mention that) it was a hell of a good time.

Office Supplies

For a couple of years now I have been keeping M&M's on my desk. It started with the Free State Homecoming parade which goes right by our office building. A number of us ran out to collect candy from the street. Reason number 58 why this job rules.

Anyway, I started buying the large bags of M&M's and offering them to whomever came to visit. Large consumers of my candy will bring in bags of M&M's to contribute, and I have a tip jar for the occasional spare change. My current stock is especially large, so I decided to share a picture.

Here is my office desk drawer with roughly 15 lbs, $50 worth, of M&M's.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Electric Car

With options like the Tango T600 it's not hard to understand why Martin Ederhard calls most eco friendly vehicles 'punishment cars'. However Ederhard and Marc Tarpenning are looking to change that with the Tesla Roadster. A 100% electric vehicle that goes 250 miles per charge. It sounds like the ideal commuter vehicle, except it goes 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. Think Lotus or Porsche, but faster. (In all fairness, the new 911 Turbo is faster at 3.4 seconds)

Granted, it will probably have a price tag to match a Ferrari, but vehicles like this one will jump start production on the EV2 and others. Watch for the unveiling on Thursday.

Go France!

Damn! I missed Bastille Day last week. Luckily, a friend of mine remembered, and linked to an interesting story about the Rainbow Warrior.

Those wacky French and their bombs.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Zune

Ah viral advertising. You never can tell if something is leaked or a carefully crafted ad. But who cares! We're so bombarded by advertising that we're immune to their siren call. With that in mind I present to you the Zune. This is the supposed iPod killer from Microsoft.

Read all about the rumors here.



Update: Thanks to jigga for catching my manly misspelling.

2 + 2 = 5

As you all probably know, girls don't exist on the internet. In a similar vein, Google has decided that the island country of Malta doesn't exist. It does appear on the satellite photos, so the mad geniuses at Google haven't sunk the island.

Yet.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mac Ads

VH1 has done some Mac spoof ads that tie in a bit with yesterday's hipster post. Obviously, if you want to go against the mainstream you'll own a Mac. However, mainstream now considers Apple to be cool. As a hipster, it is your duty to move counter to the mainstream, so you own a PC.

I'm confused. Anyway, here is some humor from the folks at VH1. A station shunned by hipsters.

Stardust

I know that some of you are Neil Gaiman fans. I've only read Good Omens and American Gods, but I've been impressed so far. I just ran across this piece of news. Apparently his award winning comic series, Stardust, is coming to the big screen with Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Claire Danes.

Lots of pre-trailer potential.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Journey's End

'The guy with the paper clip' has done it. Not sure who that is? Well, this guy, Kyle MacDonald, decided he was going to get a house. However, not by any normal channel. No, he decided he will trade items up, until he could trade for his very own house. So he started with a 2 ft red paper clip. He traded it for a fish shaped pen. Which he then traded for a ceramic knob, a camping stove, a generator, a keg, a snowmobile, a trip to Canada, a supply truck, a recording contract, a years rent in phoenix, an afternoon with Alice Cooper, a rare Kiss Snow globe, a speaking role in Corbin Bernsen's next film, and finally a $50,000 home in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

That's in Canada, north of Montana.

Thanks for the tip, T Money.

Deck

A friend just posted her definition of a hipster. I find it especially amusing because of our previous conversations about suburbia. Basically my friends and I are running head long towards suburbia. We define it. With our backyard barbecues, clean homes, and mostly green lawns.

We're all suburban punks. Just like you.

How Old Is Your OS?

It's time to take a good hard look at the old PC at Grandma's house, possibly your parents house, or heaven forbid, your own place. Microsoft has announced the end of life for Windows 98 and Me. If you or someone you know is still running these OS's, seek help, and buy a new machine.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Michael Knight Sings

After 'The Hoff' was kicked out of Wimbledon for being a drunk, he has released his newest music video. He's definitely too old for this shit.

Friday, July 07, 2006

How Many X's Do You Want?

A friend of mine works at a call center. (It's important to note that they aren't telemarketers. You call them.) Anyway, like any corporation they produce 'swag'. I have a calculator, a bottle opener, a pen, magnets, coasters, and most importantly T-Shirts from my company.

So the call center produced a free shirt for it's employees. These were the offered sizes:

XL, 2X, 3X, 4X & 5X

Hilarious. Ridiculous. Yes, and I had a good ol' laugh at the corporation's expense.

Then I started thinking about how I would handle the making and distribution of shirts. Why not just ask everyone for their shirt size, keep it on record, and just issue shirts when they come out. Easy to do and no extra stock of 5X shirts lying around.

However, I don't know if that is legal. Can you ask an employee their shirt size when it is not for a uniform? Seems like that question comes awfully close to asking for weight information. It might be a privacy issue. Ultimately it's ridiculous, but in today's politically correct world one has to be careful.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Advances In Sauna Technology

"We're going to stick you in a box. Then we are going to cook you. It's healthy."

I guess they figure if people are willing to get into tanning beds then they are willing to try anything. Am I the only one who likens this to a microwave?

Nothing Runs Like A Deere?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Po-Po

I burned all of my police karma this weekend.

On Monday I went to a friends house in Johnson county for some independence merriment. We got out the lawn chairs, the hose, a fire extinguisher, and setup shop in the middle of a cul-de-sac. Plenty of open asphalt for our little display. I do mean little. Compared to the thousand dollar explosion we did on Saturday, this is the barest pop. A couple of jumping jacks and tanks later the sheriff roles up. Turns out that Johnson County has outlawed all fireworks. The neighbors apparently don't enjoy their, or our, independence. The sheriff was very nice about it, but it ended our fun. Drinking was the only celebration left.

The very next day, we went to Manhattan to enjoy our 3rd celebration of America's birthday. Since it was the actual 4th of July the police were out in force. I drove impeccably. I gave no reason for the cops to even look my direction.

Once in Manhattan I was driving 40 in a 40. Construction closed my lane ahead of me. I check my blind spot and discovered a truck just sitting there. I accelerate and pull in front of him. Lights and sirens. "I clocked you going 51 in a 40. Is there a reason for your hurry today?" Thankfully, the nice lady saw that I did not flaunt the law, but just applied the gas instead of the break. I received a verbal warning. Thank God, because 11 over in a construction zone is no joke.

How to Make 2 Million Dollars

Lesson One, Step One:

Earn the trust of a mega corporation. Let's say, Coke. Carefully climb the corporate ladder at said corporation until you are privy to sensitive information. Executive Administrative Assistant aught to be high enough.

Step Two:

Blindly mail a letter to a rival corporation (Pepsi) offering to sell confidential information.

Step Three:

Go directly to jail.

Soccer

France just beat long time rival Portugal in the semi-finals and will play Italy for the championship. Very exciting if you enjoy soccer. Oddly enough most American's don't like soccer. I think the reason is because Soccer is continuous.

Two halves of roughly 48 minutes of uninterrupted game. America's short attention spans just can't handle it. We want everything to be slowed down and bite size. When do you stand up to get more chips or another beer? Order pizza or turn and talk to your buddy about how you would do it differently. Those natural breaks just don't exist. You'll end up missing portions of the game. Missing an at bat by the pitcher, first and ten at their own 40, or the first 20 points of any basketball game isn't a big deal. Not watching a goal in soccer is disastrous.

American's don't like to focus on one thing for the time it takes to watch a soccer game.


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?