Morning Cup O' Joe

Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time.

Monkey Steals the Peach

Karate is awesome.

Karate is awesome.

I have nothing to add – the image says it all.


November 20, 2008 Posted by | How-To, Humor, Oddities | , , , | 3 Comments

This Week in Angry Mobs

Okay all, this is getting ridiculous. And not in a good way.

I’m loathe make a politically oriented post, but I couldn’t ignore all of this, as much as I’d like to. Individually, each of these articles was somewhat unsettling, but taken together they paint a somewhat disturbing picture.

Disturbing Item the First: Angry Mobs

This past Monday, there was a McCain/Palin rally in Clearwater, FL. Reported by the Washington Post:

“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said.”Boooo!” said the crowd.

“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'” she continued.

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.

At that, Palin didn’t stop or condemn the comment, just sort of snickered and continued, which to me says a lot about her character, and the tone of their campaign in general. How is that in any way an acceptable thing to 1) say, 2) condone?

Even worse, someone who went to that very rally in Clearwater heard a good number of people in the crowd using the “n” word in reference to Obama, and saying things like “It’s a shame they don’t allow lynchings anymore.” That’s chilling, that this is happening today, and being incited by people aspiring this nation’s highest office.

Some other examples of the McCain/Palin campaign really driving home this “fear/outsider/otherness” meme from the Huffington Post. I feel like I’ve traveled back in time, like I’ve somehow ended up in 1950’s America.

Disturbing Item the Second: McCain Really Hates the Gooks, Apparently

From an article on SFGate published on Feb. 18, 2000, McCain is on record as saying:

“I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.”

For anyone who is lucky enough to not recognize the epithet “gook,” the article offers an explanation of the term:

The word “gook” was first used in 1899 by American soldiers fighting Filipino insurgents. During the Korean War, the term was aimed at Koreans and Chinese. It was directed at the Vietnamese when Americans were fighting in Vietnam. It is now used as a slur toward any Asian or Pacific Islander.

Now, in his defense, he later clarified that he was referring specifically to his captors in Vietnam. But all the same, I’m sure you’ll all agree that it’s understandable that I’d find this disturbing, whether or not his later clarification was sincere.

  • Even if it was sincere, well, I’m not sure that entirely justifies the use of the word, and even if it does, it displays that to this day his incarceration in Vietnam affects him deeply. Not to say that it shouldn’t; certainly that would be an incredibly horrifying experience for anyone who should survive it, and I don’t mean to take anything away from that. My point is that, going through an experience has to affect you on a fundamental level; I’m not convinced a person can be 100% “okay” after something like that. Do we want someone like that in charge of us?
  • If it was not sincere, well, then, that’s an obvious one. If he genuinely hates “the gooks” and will do so for as long as he lives, well, if he’s elected President all I could hope for is that he wouldn’t reinstate interment camps for Asians.

Disturbing Item the Third: Does McCain Think He’s Still InVietnam?

At a campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, McCain said the following to the crowd:

“You and I together will confront the $10 trillion debt the federal government has run up and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office. Across this country, this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners and the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent.”

Whoa, wait, what now? The crowd was clearly baffled too, as right after that sentence ended, McCain paused for the usual applause but instead received only awkward silence.

Methinks the stress of the campaign trail is getting to him. At best, he’s been recounting his POW experience so often over the course of the campaign that it’s become muscle memory, and it just “slips out.” But on the other hand, it could be a sign that he’s beginning to come unhinged – which is exactly the wrong person to be the next Commander in Chief.

In Case of Emergency, Australia or Bust

I’ve been having an ongoing discussion regarding emigration (semi-jokingly) with some friends of mine, but this latest “angry mob” BS has really got me wondering if America is headed for some Mad Max-esque future. So, should the worst come to pass – either McCain/Palin winning the election, or Bush and/or Cheny suspending the election, dissolving the Galactic Senate, declaring himself Emperor, raising a clone army, and systematically killing off the Jedi – I’ve got a new place under consideration: Perth, Australia.

A friend of mine works with a guy who lives there, and he has nothing but good things to say about it. It’s one of the most isolated metropolitan places on earth, and it’s got great Internet infrastructure as it sits on the pipe to Europe. It’s got a good deal of diversity in terms of both ethnicity and religion, with the largest demographic being British. To top it all off, it’s got a booming economy, something we haven’t heard around here in ages.

I just wish it were November already. The suspense is killing me. I’d just like to know whether to keep planning on taking the California bar, or to start looking into this Australian Migration Occupations in Demand List.

October 9, 2008 Posted by | News | 6 Comments

Energy Saving Bulbs are TOXIC?

I have noticed that my chronic skin condition has been somewhat worse in the past year or two. Incidentally, this has also been the length of time that I have been using the new energy saving bulbs that Al Gore told us would save the world. I have never even briefly considered a connection between the two.

Apparently, there might be one.

Oh, and apparently if you drop one and it breaks, you’d better get the hell out of the room like someone just dropped an anthrax sandwich.

March 22, 2008 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

Divx Pro: Free for the Holidays!

It’s always nice to get something for free, especially around the culturally appropriate holiday of your choice. Divx Pro, which usually costs $20, is now free for a limited time. They don’t say when this offer will expire, so if you use Divx at all, go get it while you can!

(picture and info from CyberNet)

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Software | Comments Off on Divx Pro: Free for the Holidays!

From the “Wayback” Machine: Apple Stores are Doomed

This BusinessWeek article, posted on May 21, 2001, explains all of the reasons why opening retail Apple stores would be a huge mistake for the company.

One of the best quotes:

Given the decision to set up shop in high-rent districts in Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, and Jobs’s hometown of Palo Alto, Calif., the leases for Apple’s stores could cost $1.2 million a year each, says David A. Goldstein, president of researcher Channel Marketing Corp. Since PC retailing gross margins are normally 10% or less, Apple would have to sell $12 million a year per store to pay for the space. Gateway does about $8 million annually at each of its Country Stores. Then there’s the cost of construction, hiring experienced staff. “I give them two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake,” says Goldstein.

Fast forward to today:

From a New York Times article published on May 19, 2006 (almost exactly five years after the above BusinessWeek article was published):

Apple now has 147 stores — all but 14 in the United States — and is adding new ones at the rate of 40 a year. Sales at the stores more than doubled last year, to nearly $2.4 billion, and same-store sales, those open at least a year, increased 45 percent.

December 6, 2007 Posted by | General, Mac | Comments Off on From the “Wayback” Machine: Apple Stores are Doomed

Street Fighter IV Unveiled!


…the game’s graphics are polygonal but the gameplay is strictly 2D. There will be new moves, locations, and gameplay features, while the standard six button control scheme remains. Ryu and Ken return along with Chun-Li and Dhalsim, but beyond that the character roster is a mystery. And then there’s the issue of what platform(s) the game will end up on, which at this point Capcom is keeping close to its chest (if you search 1UP’s database, you’ll find listings for arcade, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, but those are just guesses based on the graphical quality).

December 6, 2007 Posted by | Games and Gaming, Geeks and Gadgetry, News | 1 Comment

Products in Translation: English from Taiwan

More here, though that picture pretty well sums up what you’re going to find there.

Happy Turkey Day!

November 22, 2007 Posted by | Humor, Oddities | Comments Off on Products in Translation: English from Taiwan

Cal Marching Band’s Video Game Halftime Show

From Gizmodo:

This is the Cal band playing a halftime show from earlier this month. It’s their “video game show,” and it’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. They run through a number of classic game songs, all while forming scenes from the games out of the band itself. It’s got everything from Pong and Tetris to Zelda and Mario, and it’s amazing. It makes me want to play Nintendo and join a drum line all at the same time. Well, maybe just play Nintendo, but you get the idea.

November 15, 2007 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Music, Video | 3 Comments

Build a “Hackintosh” Mac Pro for $800

I’ve already said that I’d buy my next computer whole, not build it myself, but this looks tempting enough to make me reconsider. In a nutshell, someone over at Lifehacker figured out a way to build the equivalent of the Mac Pro (which starts at $2499 for 1GB RAM and a 250GB HD) for less than $800 (with 4GB RAM and a 500GB HD), and run Leopard on it.

It looks like a pretty involved process, but I don’t think it’d take more than a day or two of work for someone relatively comfortable with the idea of futzing with computer technology, and it’s potentially a savings of over $2,000 (a Mac Pro configured with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB HD runs $3,327).

Can’t say for sure I’ll try it. I will say that I am intrigued.

November 13, 2007 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, How-To, Mac | 11 Comments

“Immortal” Human Cells

From Disenchanted Dictionary:

When human body cells are removed and put into a cell culture, they weaken and die quickly, usually within about 50 divisions. Without the rest of the support structure—a heart, blood circulating, a digestive system and so-on—body cells can’t survive. Body cells also age, so even if you were to simulate the body’s environment in a test tube or petri dish, the cells would eventually perish anyway. The basic mortality of the cells reflect the basic mortality of the organism they comprise, which is why there’s no fountain of youth or medicinal procedure that’ll give you biological immortality.

There is, however, one human being who is biologically immortal on a technicality, and her name is Henrietta Lacks.

This reminds me a little behind the premise behind the Resident Evil games. Surprisingly, Henrietta Lacks’ cells are still alive today and being used in research, and have even been named as their own species: Helacyton gartleri.

November 2, 2007 Posted by | Oddities, Science and Technology | 3 Comments