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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Desperate Local News Sinks to Lurid Reporting

A trash removal company found a skeletal body in an abandonned truck in VicWest. A-Channel didn't have juicy footage or a good first-hand report, so they went for the B-Story: desperate Times-Colonist and their sister media, floundering Chek-TV, went for the kill-- photographing the skeleton before the police could cordon off the scene. It's amusing that both of them are trying to make hay over a dead old man in a truck. A-Channel is trying to take the high ground and make an excuse for not getting the shot, standing behind respect for the family. If Chek-TV had any attractive people working for them, I'm sure they'd pimp them out, but short of that, they had a picture of a dead guy.
I'm one shut-in and I still scoop these two professional organizations all by myself every now and again. If these two channels and one "paper" had to stand-up against a cadre of organized and diligent citizen reporters, they'd be dead in the water. The only nut to crack: delivery. Nearly passive delivery is key without going for mass media, some crippling streaming approach or some techie/hobbyist bittorent approach (all duds). God-- is this a role for Twitter? Short snippets that point to longest audio or video pieces?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Zombies in the park with George

I took the newest lawn ornaments out to UVic so that they could "frolic" with the local fauna. It didn't work out so well.

See more of the lawn ornaments

Monday, May 25, 2009

Should've said this a few months ago

Here's a duh moment about Battlestar Galactica's Cylons:

From Wikitionary for Scion:

From Old French cion, ciun, cyon, sion; cognate with French scion and Picard chion.[1]

scion (plural scions)

  1. A descendant, a son or daughter.
  2. A detached shoot or twig containing buds from a woody plant, used in grafting.
  3. The heir to a throne.
Cyon like Cylon. The child of humanity are the robots. Of course, the Glen A. Larson production of the 1970s didn't make out the Cylons to be the descendants of man, but the creation of an alien race.

OMG : Ur dumb and on Facebook?

This is a month old bit about how an OSU study posits that grades and heavy Facebook usage are tied:

•The newer research, published this week in an online journal First Monday, found no "robust negative relationship between Facebook use and grades. Indeed. If anything, Facebook use is more common among individuals with higher grades." Northwestern University professor Eszter Hargittai, Stanford doctoral candidate Josh Pasek and eian more, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed three existing data sets, including a sample of more than 1,000 undergraduates from the University of Illinois-Chicago and other data involving teens and young adults.

•The earlier research was led by Ohio State University graduate student Aryn Karpinski, and was based on a survey involving 219 students on her campus. It was included in a "poster presentation" at an annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, where scholars can present initial research and seek feedback.

In a statement published in First Monday, the authors of the larger study said they were motivated to "set the record straight" because of the surge of public interest generated by the media. "Our primary criticism of the Karpinski study was not in reference to her results, but rather to the process of alerting the mass media without probability-based sampling, replication or comprehensive peer review."

Karpinski, who says many media outlets overstated her findings, says research is a process of examination, peer review, replication, and many other steps along the way.

"My work was exploratory, is good research practice and it shouldn't be dismissed," she says. "Neither my study nor their study sets any record straight."

I'm sure someone in local media will dig up this old chestnut and do something on a slllow news day.

Zombie Rabbits Are Among Us

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen
The next installment in my Zombie lawn ornament project are some painted rabbits that have been zombied up a notch. Different levels of gore and decay. I have eight zombie rabbits and two zombie ducks. I plan on posting these to Etsy some time soon. As soon as I can get my hands on a supply of gnomes and other lawn folk, I will be zombie-ing them up; as well as do other perversions of lawn ornaments (just you wait).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bomb Threatens Courthouse and Provincial Ministries : Bomb Squad Takes 11 Hours to Show Up

Last night at 7PM, an odd device was discovered in the downtown of Victoria, the BC Provincial capital. The police cordoned off the area for a one block radius around the intersection of Blanshard and Courtney. Included in that radius: Provincial courthouse, main public library, the head offices for Ministry of Transportation and Highways and several other businesses.

The police called on the bomb squad from Vancouver. They arrived 11 hours later. Many there was a theory that the bomb was running on a watch battery and it would give up the ghost before the bomb squad arrived. Or, the bomb squad didn't like the previously mentioned organizations and thought 11 hours would be enough time for the bomb to go off. Way to protect the public.

Why can we not have back our own bomb squad? Victoria had a team available in 1990s, but the military discontinued that support. In the era of terrorism and activism, you'd think the government capital for a province of 4.5 million people would have it's own response team. Or, if a city lacked its own team that the bomb squad would take less than ELEVEN hours to make it over when the plane ride over is approximately 30 minutes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mimes: The Silent Killer

Show your support for the silent killer-- Mimes. You can't hear them coming. You can save $5 on orders over $20-- use the coupon code of JUGGLELITER Click Here

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where did I go in April? Who cares. I am back to ramble.

April was a gauntlet month-- best demonstrated by the fact that I am posting this rant on May 11th. In addition to being busy with home projects, work has been full of adventure. I took on two side projects. One stalled out and dropped into hold mode. The other one turned into a clusterfrak-- I actually emailed them in frustration and said, "I have to quit or I can't fix this." That seemed like a project suicide note. They came back and said, "that's okay-- let's carry on." Holy. But that was good of them.
On a more personal note, I have been catching up with too much sleep-- involuntarily so. After work each day I am able to get to dinner, then I stall out. If I am not walking ca. 7PM, I commonly fall asleep. If I am walking (say a mall wander or similar) I usually have to do it with the aid of coffee. It super sucks. The side effect is no exercise and that has led to a steady climb in my weight. I don't know if I am at my personal worst, but I am close. It's a vicious cycle (weight -> lethargy -> sedentary lifestyle -> loop) and I am working to break it.
I am trying to watch my diet: sugary pop is right out; beef is a rarity; I have largely swapped to a Mediterranean diet low on meat, dairy and starch but high on veggies. Let's see where that goes. On another front, I am working through the whole "keel over after work" thing with my doctor to see what I can do.
Ironically, one way to break this vicious cycle is to buy a cycle. I have only taken it out once and it need more tuning. My running joke about "Bike to Work" week is that I do that every week! I work from home. I really think the transit policy people are missing the solution to the problem-- it's like trying to solve slavery with better chains. The way to lessen traffic density, transit crowding, bicyclist fatalities and road rage is through telecommuting. Workers could spend one or two days a week out of the office working on a given project. Through net access, a lot of staff could do most of their work from home-- telephone calls, office document productivity, etc.. Sales people, customer service, factory workers-- they still have to be "out there" but much of our work force doesn't need to be at their desks to be at their jobs. It is great to be working for a place that has figured out telecommuting as a business model.
The mix of work and sleep has left me out of ideas at the moment. Where before I had a bevy of nifty ideas, now I look at them with suspicion. These ideas for sites just sit there languishing unfulfilled. I had the plans to do up a bunch of Zombie lawn ornaments-- they're sitting primed in the basement. Just sitting there. The same deal with some helmets that I am ready to do a number on.
Maybe this is an issue of drive. Ten years ago, we wanted to start a family. Done. Nine years ago, we wanted a place to own. Done. Five years ago I wanted a decent job. Done. Last year I wanted a house. Done. This year, I wanted a PS3. Done. I've hit a bunch of mega and micro goals. Maybe I'm just pulling a C-3PO: "If you don't need me, sir, I'll be shutting down for a while..."

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