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Showing posts from October, 2005

Happy Halloween!

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Here are a list of links for your enjoyment. PLEASE heed the NSFW (not safe for work) and NSFS (not safe for squeamish) warning: only the cemetaries are good for a work based viewing. Expect gore, grimaces of the dead and the odd naked person on a morgue slab:

Architecture: Of The Dead
After Life - This is one of the most beautiful collections of photography I have ever seen. Jonathan Clark spent several years photographing the seasons changing in England's Streatham Cemetery, and the results are breathtaking. In many cases, subtle animation and sounds are used to enhance the already captivating ambiance of these magical and melancholy pictures.
Angels In Filth - A great collection of black and white and color photographs of graveyard angel statues.
Beneath Los Angeles - How thoughtful! Steve Goldstein walked around the cemeteries of L.A. and photographed the graves of the famous and infamous for our viewing pleasure. A cyber treat for the morbidly inclined.
Cemetery Listings - From D…

April 30th, 2006: Philips Pulls Defibrillators Amid Wrongful Death Claims

I was watching West Wing tonight. Because of a scheduling issue, I actually get the real US feed, which I love because how different their culture is. Case in point: HeartStart Home. The ad shows an ambulance stuck in gridlock and talks about cardiac arrest stats. It's an ad for a home defibrillator. In other words, you keel over from a heart attack and someone shocks you into life. First my small problem: if you are in danger of a heart attack: CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!!!!...! I had a moment of clarity about my weight well before I had a crisis. Since then, I've lost 40lbs. and I plan on losing 80 more: my goal is to do this at a speed that does more than change my waistline, but my attitude. If you walk into a store to buy HeadStart Home, something is wrong.
Coming from a background in first aid, I have to say that defibrillators are scary devices. If someone has a cardiac arrest, there is a small chance they will survive. Done right, the use of the defibrillator will raise the cha…

Bend Over and Say Splog

Blogs are getting pounded by spam blogs: splogs. Weasels will post a comment and add a plug for their website. They do this not once or twice: they do this 100 or 1000 times. Google and other search engines march to the blogs, index them and spit out their results. Two factors make splogging viable: spastic trendy hungry search engines and crappy programmers.
When I started doing stuff on the web (like 9-10 years ago), you could go to a search engine, add a site and voila! it would appear as part of the search engines. Weasels of the day flooded search engines, so the engine had to get picky and hold onto a link for weeks and vet it. This stymied the weasels. In the last couple of years, blogs came on the scene. Blogs are nothing new: Blogger is just a honed CMS for posting material; crap-ass LiveJournal is a discussion forum with a lot more popularity and lot less functionality than you would find elsewhere. Anyways, they make blog posting so easy that there is a diarrhetic flood of o…

Beware of Fourth Dimensional Creatures

I'm watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos series, particularly the episode on galaxies, the expanding universe and Flatland. He was showing the village of Flatland with all of its two dimensional creatures. A three dimensional apple decides to visit Mr. Square of 123 Flatland St., Flatland. It lands unhindered by the walls on a Flatland hut and presents itself in three dimension: four little apple bottom lumps appear. The same apple's geometry would change as it sunk into Flatland and presented new planes.
What breaks my brain is that this single object first presents itself as four separated objects from a two dimensional perspective. What if a) every object presents all of its dimension; and b) objects in our world are connected from a perspective of higher dimension?
What if every object presents all of its dimensions? In the Flatland example: the apple had three dimensions but Mr. Square had two? Scientists used to theorize that there were monopoles: magnetic objects have positiv…

Electra Woman and Dyna-Girl

This site shows off the Where Are They Now for the staples of Saturday morning TV in the late 70s: Electro-Woman and Dyna-Girl; Land of the Lost; Isis. Remember the late 70s? There were three channels of kids shows, some of them weren't animated; and none of the live action characters dressed like purple dinosaurs.

Cooperate AND compete, not just one or the other

Some great ideas from Bruce Sterling's blog:

Many people have abstracted principles of how nature designs. The following list is what I consider the distilled combination of those enumerated by Janine Benyus, Michael Braungart and William McDonough, Kevin Kelly, Steven Vogel, D'Arcy Thompson, Buckminster Fuller, Julian Vincent, Dee Hock, and my own limited experience. Explanations and attributions follow the main list.
Waste = FoodSelf-assemble, from the ground upEvolve solutions, don't plan themRelentlessly adjust to the here & nowCooperate AND compete, not just one or the otherDiversify to fill every nicheGather energy & materials efficientlyOptimize the system rather than maximizing componentsThe whole is greater than the sum of its parts--design for swarmUse minimal energy & materials"Don’t foul your nest"Organize fractallyChemical reactions should be in water at normal temperature & pressure
Vogel's mechanical-engineering-specific principles…

Squatting On My Civil Rights

Victoria has been rated as one of the most pleasant places to live in Canada from an enivronmental standpoint. On a scale of 1 to 100-- with 1 basically being room temperature every day of the year and 100 being Hell on Earth-- Victoria rates an 11. Because of this, you can walk around outside in January in nay but undershorts and live to tell the tale. This means that Victoria is a great place to be homeless. In Toronto, Montreal and New York, a winter night in the cold is a death sentence. Here, we have campers who trot from one public park to another and set up camp. They believe that we are violating their civil rights by refusing them a campsite on public land. They are selfish and weaselly bastards.
When I was a kid (that was only 30 years ago), downtown's Government Street used to be a hub of scum-- drug addicts, alcoholics, hippies and drifters. Our parks were relatively safe. Nowadays, Victoria has emphasized its tourist trap aspect. Government street is now dotted with Mo…

Ah...Sunday

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Cheryl, Alice and I went to the Toy Show in Sidney on Sunday. After that, we went on a leisurely walk through the seaside township of Sidney, BC. I met up with a couple of the locals: friendly folks, who seemed stony at first. Let's just say, they'll remember me...







A friendly seaman dared me to gore out his eyes. I showed him that I would do anything on a dare

An elderly lady asked for help reading a passage from her book. I helped myself at the same time...

Oh, Dear Deer

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Hunters in New England are supposed to be on the lookout for pumpkin headed deer:
Elizabeth Laatsch had to reassure the operator her call was no Halloween prank. A deer came through her backyard Friday with a pumpkin stuck on its head.

At least, it looked like a pumpkin to the South Middleton Township woman.

“It sounds very far-fetched,” says Laatsch, who moved into the Stonehedge Drive house with husband, Jerry, about a month ago. Her husband was on the back porch about 11:15 a.m. when something walked through the yard.

“He did not know what it was at first,” Laatsch says. “He called out to me.”
She looked outside and saw the deer moving slowly, unable to see where it was going.
The animal disappeared into a wooded area and gully. Forty-five minutes later, the deer meandered back and Laatsch took its picture.

The Recreational Interview

I have a good job. And, I am past probation. A post on a discussion forum that I am a part of asked for a web developer-- a non-smoking web developer. The job poster gave a gmail.com address which is something I always find weasely: by keeping the employer anonymous you have to apply for the job and then discover if they're an employer you would ever want to work for. I applied for a job once and discovered that the place was the place that sold herbal viagra and spammed almost everyone alive about their crappy product. This guy is likely a one-man show who BSed his way into a job too big for him; and/or the graduate of a lame tech college (2, 3) who now has to do his job and he's discovered he's tapped out for skills.
Anyways, the post to the discussion group generated a lot of flak and it reminded me of a concept I came up with a while: the recreational interview. Make up a resume and LIE about every detail so as to be a shoe-in for the job and guarantee an interview. Why…

Ailin' vomit!

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Thinking quickly, Ronald disguised himself as a big Hollywood movie director, took a shorcut and headed off the Grimace at Filet-O-Fish Lake.
Here's this great piece on McDonald's ads. McDonalds is insidious and evil. This site tracks the ads that brainwashed little kids into thinking that dead cow and onions between disks of starch could only be better if washed down with sugar water and a side of grease fried tuber filaments. Oh, I dislike them. Between McDonald's and Walmart, the North American countryside has been decimated of its merchant biodiversity. Where before there was Pop's Hardware and Mom's Diner now there is only the megalo-Walmart and their little McDonald's franchise in the corner like a gorilla with a derringer.
Victoria, BC sports more than 12 McDonalds'! Why? Why? Via RealPolitik I've been following the McDonald's march of evil. They've run out of market share. In other words: everyone who wants a Big Muc, can get it wheneve…

Oh Galactica: You Were the Dicso of SF

Flashy, stupid, with bright lights and a lot of big hair, Battlestar Galactica was the Magnetbox to Star Wars' space fantasy.
Today, I was making lunch and turned on the TV. They were rerunning the old Battlestar Galactica series. It lasted 24 episodes (would they be epsilons in Galacticaese?) so the reruns continued into the spin-off series: Galactica 1980. They made it to Earth but found that Earth sucked technologically. Talk about a repressed memory. Galactica 1980 is one of those experiences you push down into your subconscious like the time you were blindfolded and thrown into a slaughterhouse.
I took a moment to read the plots from the 10 episodes of Galactica 1980.
Oh man: did they stink! The best of the lot (and this says it all) is where Starbuck comes back for a tale from the past, befriends an injured Cylon and makes out with a space angel (episode 10). A few more of them involved Hitler. I kid you not. Back in the last 1970s, the bar for TV quality was pretty low. Hell: …

Who to sue... Who to sue...

In the third calendar week on the seemingly unending BCTF strike, word has come that the Canadian Tax Payers Association has landed a class action suit on the BCTF. Well, the BCTF is screwing them; and the BC Government is screwing the BCTF. In a way, the BCTF is firing blind and the BC Government is pointing the shooter.
I think the next class action suit to come down should name the BC Government and the BCTF as defendants. Think about it: they have both worked to make us miserable. Why not punish them both? Can you imagine these two sides working together to save their collective asses? I can see it now. Either:
they will band together to fight a common target-- the public. It's what they're good at, so they work together to beat down Joe & Jane Average and the Average's 1.76 children in a court of law.
they will snipe and claw at each other. It would be like that story about the scorpion that talks a fox into ferrying him across the river on his back. Half way across,…

This Post Is Three Hours Old Already

Shaw Cable released its Shaw Digital Phone last week to much hoopla. I was suspicious. They go down all the time and their technical support sucks. For a while I used to do their dance of unplug the modem, unplug the hub, et cetera.The techies were so clueless that for a while I faked it. Then I started to refuse: "I'm not doing that. That won't get us closer to a solution." I'm sorry. I asked for an outtage estimate. They give me a bunch of busy work, meanwhile a Shaw service truck is pulling up out front and the techie is still trying to get to the bottom of whether it's my router or my cabling at fault.
Shaw is offering all phone services for $55/month. Oohh! Of course if I plug in a $30 headset I can Skype unlimited anywhere in the world. Better still, I can pick up my laptop, go to an Internet cafe and Skype from there. If you don't like Skype, there's Google Talk or MSN or AOL. Trust me: using Shaw for VOIP telephony is like paying AOL to see mov…

Put it to a Vote, You Cowardly Bastards

It looks like Jim Sinclair's BC Federation of Labour has come out from a 1000 day slumber. They are organizing a day of action for Monday. What form of does it take? Who knows. Will there be a strike of the transit system, the steelworkers, the brotherhood of dog walkers? Who knows.
Do you know what I do know? According to Canada.com:
Sinclair repeated his offer to call off Monday's day of protest if the province agreed to talk with the teachers it has ordered back to work after imposing a two-year contract with no wage increases.
Thanks, Jim. Get all of the unions organized. Get everyone making alternate plans and then pull the plug. This harkens to back to the 1983 when the leader of the BCGEU of the time made an 11th hour deal with the BC Government, hours before the BCGEU would have to pay their own membership strike pay.
Maybe this is a case of two wrongs making a right. Most of the people participating in Monday's day of action will be out of work despite the fact that …

NBC Finds Men Walking on Water

This from Breitbart.com:
...on NBC's "Today" show Friday, she didn't have much to worry about. In one of television's inadvertently funny moments, the NBC News correspondent was paddling in a canoe during a live report about flooding in Wayne, N.J. While she talked, two men walked between her and the camera making it apparent that the water where she was floating was barely ankle-deep. Matt Lauer struggled to keep a straight face, joking about the "holy men" who were walking on water. "Have you run aground yet?" Katie Couric asked. "Why walk when you can ride?" Kosinski replied. Later, an NBC News spokeswoman explained that Kosinski had been riding in deeper water near an overflowing river down the street, but there were concerns that the current was too strong for her.

Grow A Pair

With the BCTF walkout into it's first week I have heard that their walkout will last a couple more weeks and that the general strike card has yet to be played. This is all about the unions vs. the government. The unions are weak because they so much better at supporing other unions than they are at supporting their own. If they wanted to bring the government to its knees, they would carry out a focussed strike: one bent on causing the most harm to government. They have to understand that if they're up against a government elected by the people, the people are targets. If they weren't the targets, unions wouldn't strike and withhold services that people use to generate revenue for their businesses. The tepid actions of unions in the last several years is part of this passive-agressive mindset that people use to assuage their guilt or hide an iron fist in a velvet glove. In war, if you bomb a factory and a nursery the latter is called collateral damage. Trust me: everyon…

Should I Take Drugs?

People escape reality through drugs. It's cowardly, but given the onslaught of reality TV shows, maybe I need to escape reality by any means neccessary. This is a quote from an article about the Reality show, Kill Reality:

“The whole cast was drunk or wasted throughout the taping, and everyone was having sex with everyone else,” says the insider. “Not only were there orgies, but at one point someone relieved himself on Trishelle[Canatella, of Real World: Las Vegas and Playboy fame] in full view of the cameras—and, from what I saw, she loved it.” In another booze-fueled bacchanal, we hear Tonya Cooley, the lusty blonde of Real World: Chicago fame, begged co-stars to do lines off her genitals “because it turns her on.”

What No Boy Should Be Without

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I liked the movie Serenity and I think this guy would be a fitting addition to my toy collection. It has everything a kid would like: grizzly grimace, bloody blade, matted hair. Oh wait, I think I described a citizen of Esquimalt.

I may buy extras to give to disturbed children at Christmas :)

Wipe That Smug Look Off Your Face

I've been watching the BCTF affair for the last few weeks. When Jinny Sims appeared before camera, she looked smug. When Shirley Bond was interviewed, she looked smug. Apish thug, Mike De Jong sort of looks smug (I think smug is something you can only pull off if you have an IQ of 100+).
How can the different sides look so smug? Simple: they're getting paid to hurt us. They have one concern about the people: the body count. If the BCTF can screw over more people, the better their job action. If the BC government can land its boot on the neck of more people, the better their government-- their control over the people.
Are Liberals (nee SoCreds) bastards? Well, yes. That's no surprise. What gets me is that unions are raining down fire from a pillar of moral superiority. They have the workers in mind. They're looking out the little guy. Oohh, think of the children. Bullshit. Unions didn't show up to make the business or the institution that employs the people to turn ou…

"W"

I like what one dubya can do. Not the ass in Washington. A "w""w""w" in a web address:

http://ww.infotechvi.com/
http://www.infotechvi.com/

I'm going to try the combo that gets me to a porn site !

Colbert and Carell: They Really are the Ambigiously Gay Duos

Robert Smigel tapped on the talents of Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert to voice the Ambigiously Gay Duo: arguably the best thing on Saturday Night Live in recent years. Well, the people at Gorilla Mask have collected all of the shorts: Enjoy!

Star Trek Transporters for the Jarhead in Jeopardy

Via TrekToday and Scripps Howard News Service the US Department of Defense spent $25,000 researching how to create Star Trek style transporters. Surprise! It's unfeasible. As an example of the hurdles: "encoding of the contents of a human body would require 10 to the 28th kilobytes of computer storage capacity, or 100 quintillion commercially available hard drives. Moreover, to dematerialize one human being the way Star Trek does it "would require...the energy equivalent of 330 one-megaton thermonuclear bombs." Yep. Do you know that NASA spend millions of dollars perfecting a pen that would write in space. The Russians gave their cosmonauts pencils.
The idea of digitizing and transporting someone somewhere is one the dumbest ideas of all time. It's infeasible, unstable and would be tremendously painful to endure. Not painful? Ever scape your hand on a sander? The transporter would kind of laser scrape you until you were an vat of goo ready to be digitally related…

Blogjest

I've decided to put out Blogjest for your tinkering. Blogjest aggregates different RSS and Atom sources and put them in one spot. I still have to get some of the bugs out. :(
Check out my blog to support its shortcomings.

Place The Face

This is a swell tool : you can add facial features until: voila! You have the face of your suspect! Well, you have someone's suspect. Check it out!

I'm Taking Up Smoking

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Twice tonight, I got subjected to two totally sick (not in a good way), anti-smoking commercials. The first has a pair of stop-motion animated figures. One of them finds a nest of dead rotting rats and comes out with one it her mouth. In the second ad, a cat comes into the living room, pukes up a hairball and one of the figures sticks it in her mouth.
I could mention the URL here, but I only paid attention so that I could do a WHOIS lookup. I found the registrar information (below). The company behind these crap-ass ads is a place called, "Sedgewick Road" They have an alternative way to do things. Ooh! Edgy! I'm sure these guys are familiar putting digusting things in the mouths of little doe-eyed figures.
What really pissed me off was KCPQ's first airtime: 6:30. My daughter is watching a cartoon, it breaks for an ad and this crap spills out. No only does it not warm me up to the anti-smoking movement: I am so pissed with this stupid ad that I going to post this and go…