Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Next best post read on another blog this week

Here's a fun exercise: next time you go to the aquarium bring a flask of watermelon schnapps, and take a drink every time you hear a child shout "Nemo!" You'll be dead of alcohol poisoning before you reach the otters.

Defective Yeti rocks! Posted by Hello

Ah......the old ice cream pint lock trick, eh Chief?

Ben & Jerry's ice cream now offer a lock to protect people from opening the pint container, called the Euphori-Lock. OK, think about this for a minute. Ben & Jerry have perhaps not heard of the "kitchen knife"? As in - use the knife to burrow into the pint from the bottom, or even the side? Anyway, wouldn't Ben & Jerry want their ice cream to get eaten faster, so people would buy it more often? They ought to sell an ice cream warming tray, so you're forced to eat the whole damned container before it all melts. Not that I would need that necessarily. I mean, to be motivated to eat the whole container..... Posted by Hello

Miss who?

So I am told that Miss Canada won Miss Universe. Wait a sec. When did Miss Canada win Miss Canada? My sources tell me the Miss Canada contest was abolished in 1992, due to "production costs and that pageantry is no longer the best way to portray Canadian women". So.... uh.... how did Natalie Glebova get her crown? Are we holding secret pageants in the basement of the Pantages in Toronto? So we don't think it's appropriate to portray one of our women this way to Canadians, but it's OK to parade her this way in another country? Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

This ain't no trivial pursuit....

Likes yer trivia quizzes do ya? Then give WikiTrivia a try. It will likely present a much more difficult challenge than your standard online trivia what-have-you's.

More star wars yucks...

Lego Star Wars Orchestra Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Why Engineers don't write recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1.) 532.35 cm3 gluten
2.) 4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
3.) 4.9 cm3 refined halite
4.) 236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride
5.) 177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11
6.) 177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11
7.) 4.9 cm3 methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
8.) Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein
9.) 473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao
10.) 236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation. In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogenous. To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes of the homogenous mixture in reactor #1. Additionally, add ingredient nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation. Care must be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise that may be the result of an exothermic reaction. Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture piece-meal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm). Heat in a 460K oven for a period of time that is in agreement with Frank & Johnston's first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown. Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25C heat-transfer table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium.

What a waist

I wondered aloud today on the subject of how old men wear their pants. You know what I mean - the ol' waist-up-around-the-chest thing, with the suspenders. I'm curious to see if that's going to turn into a generational thing or not. I predict that our generation will not wear their pants that way. But then Darlene made an interesting observation: You know how kids today wear their pants down low - the ol' crotch-down-to-the-knees thing? How will they wear their pants when they get old? Posted by Hello

Pavlovian psychosis?

Am I the only one who is annoyed by a ringing phone? I get stressed if nobody picks a ringing phone up. Consciously, I know it's not a big deal. If the call is really important, they'll leave a message or call back later, right? But the sound of a ringing phone just hits a nerve the wrong way and I don't know why. Only now the situation is worse. We have cell phones. More specifically, people leave their cell phones at their desk unattended. Now they don't just ring....oh no. They make barnyard noises or play showtunes and rap ditties and dance (vibrate) all over the place. There's one phone at work (whose location and owner I have yet to identify) that plays that "general call" whistle that you used to hear on the original Star Trek, when Kirk was about to address the ship. I love it - but it drives me batty.

Incidentally, timers and alarms have the same effect.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I wonder what Nellis AFB thinks about this....

Prophet Yahweh was blessed to discover the lost, ancient art of summoning UFOs and spaceships on-demand. Since 1979, more than 1,500 UFOs have appeared on his signal privately with only those close to him as witnesses. But, starting June 1st until July 15th the Prophet is going public. He will demonstrate his ability to call down UFOs and spaceships, on-demand, for them to film and photograph. The Prophet is in direct telephatic contact with his space being friends. They have revealed that they will send UFOs as soon as Prophet starts asking for them to appear. Also, before the 45 day summoning period has ended, a spaceship will descend and sit in the skies over Las Vegas on Prophet's signal. The spaceship will hover in the sky, not far from Nellis Air Force base, for almost two days. All Las Vegans will be able to see it, day and night, before it goes back up into space.

Yeah - sure. You couldn't come do this in my back yard or anything......oh no! It has to be Vegas......Posted by Hello

Feeling suicidal? Oh well....

Starting June 1, Prince Edward Island will replace its 24-hour suicide hotline with one that operates only between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. The province says it is too expensive ($30,000 a year) to operate the hotline around the clock. “It’s a very small amount of money in our view,” said Reid Burke, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association. “How many times, when you get upset or worried or concerned about things, is it in the middle of the day? It’s usually at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning when you wake up,” said Joan Wright, executive director of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention based in Edmonton, Alberta. Posted by Hello

Free speech? Not in school......

From USA Today: Posters that depict President Bush with a Groucho Marx-style mustache and cigar were ordered torn down at a high school after a student complained. The principal ordered 100 posters removed on grounds that they promoted smoking and "endorsing one ideology over another. Students who created the posters to advertise a satirical play, countered with new posters with a First Amendment message (free expression for all - unless you're in high school). Bush's head was replaced by white space. Jes Shah, a junior in the school drama program learned something: "It taught us that the First Amendment certainly does not guarantee the right of free speech".

Ripped from J-Walk Blog Posted by Hello

Best post read on another blog this week

Washington Post reports: The Department of Homeland Security today received more lumps for failing to implement programs to protect the nation's most vital computer systems from attack or disruption. The Government Accountability Office issued a report today concluding that the department's failure to make meaningful progress on its myriad cyber-security programs was due largely to organizational and staffing problems.

Gee. Maybe the Department of Homeland Security would get better results if they spent more time actually protecting, you know, homeland security instead of busting people trading movies over BitTorrent. Which, by the way, isn't anywhere on that list of 13 key scybersecurity responsibilities.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I guess I'm not the only one who feels this way

I think it's time to retire the penny. I'm tired of them. They're essentially useless. No machine will accept them. They're too similar in size to dimes. Every time I try to fish a dime out of my change, it hides behind a penny. I have read varying accounts on what it costs to mint a penny these days - everything from 1.2 to 4 cents per penny. So begone I say. Let's just round everything to the nearest nickel and get it over with. Sometimes I get the feeling I'm repeating myself.Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Sith sense.....hahahaha

It seems a certain fast food chain has taken the idea from 20 questions dot net and massaged it into a Star Wars promo for their restaurant. It is kinda cool, what with Darth Vader himself berating you while you play the game. Ahhhh commercialism..... Posted by Hello

One more reason to scratch my head

Here's what's wrong with the music industry today:

Never mind the fact that downloading copyrighted music in mp3 (poor representations of much better recordings) format is illegal. Never mind that Cable/Satellite music providers don't publish play lists because they have been convinced by the industry that it will promote more illegal downloads. The music industry has made it illegal for me to promote their product for them.

Podcasts being what they are today - the next generation of radio, by the people, for the people - I want to set up a podcast whereby I would talk about artists you may not have heard before with a few clips of their music thrown in for a little sample. Kinda like an audio version of my "If I had my own radio station" posts, but with the added advantage of getting to actually hear some of the material. We're talking clips of audio here, not entire songs. Believe it or not - all the legal experts I've spoken to on the subject conclude that this would still be infringement of copyright law.

Unfortunately, because I'm telling you about artists I think you should try - but I can't give you a little listen to their stuff, the only way to sample their music would be to download a few illegal mp3 files. So by making it illegal to promote artists I think you should listen to (for free), the music industry has effectively made mp3 sharing the only practical method of sampling music you wouldn't hear on the radio. How ironic......

Monday, May 23, 2005

It's uncanny

When Jean Chretien put out his book "Straight from the Heart", I made a prediction that he woud become the next PM - and he did. I also foresaw Jean Charest winning the Quebec Liberal party and becoming Premier. I knew Paul Martin would succeed Chretien (mind you - that was a no-brainer). I have one more political event prediction to unleash on the masses. If the Conservatives have another leadership convention and they choose Bernard Lord to lead them - he will be the next PM soon after - mark my words.Posted by Hello

What's going on?

I found the first video mash-up to make me laugh in a long time. Picture He-Man singing 4 Non Blondes material and you're ready for this. Sassy.... Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005

It's all so anti-climactic

So Darlene and I went to see Star Wars Episode III today. The movie may be breaking box office records, but not at the theatre I was at. Of course, it is the May 24 long weekend in Canada after all, so most Calgarians are either tempting another May snowstorm somewhere in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains or tearing up Waiparous with their 4x4's.

But back to the movie. I liked it. Not loved it. The effects were dazzling. Everything fell into place. Ani became Darth, Luke and Leia were born, yadda yadda. George Lucas insists this is it - there never were going to be another 3 movies (episodes VII, VIII and IX). Whatever. I left the theatre wanting more. And now I think I know why. For me, it was never about the Force. It was never about the heroes versus the villains. It was always about space. It allowed me to escape to outer space in an era when we didn't quite yet have the ability to venture into the galaxy. It was only supposed to tide me over until we developed the technology to go out there and discover the universe, even if only artifacts of extinct civilizations remained.

Instead, the saga is complete. Yet we've lost the will to get out there, never mind working on the technology to do so. The next George Lucas better get cracking on the next space saga, because I need to kill another 30 or so years until we get our focus back.

Do carrots really improve your eyesight?

Claim: eating carrots improves your vision.

Status: false.

Turns out that in World War II, Britain's air ministry spread the word that a diet of carrots helped pilots see Nazi bombers attacking at night. That was a lie intended to cover the real thing responsible for their successes: Radar. British Intelligence didn't want the Germans to find out about the new technology, so they created a somewhat plausible-sounding explanation for the sudden increase in bombers being shot down. Further stories claimed RAF pilots were being fed lots of carrots to foster good eyesight.

This and other hoaxes and urban legends de-bunked at Snopes.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The farm is a kind of..........field...that gives us our power

In an effort to continue bringing you Star Wars hilarity, I give you "Store Wars", with Cuke Skywalker, Lord Tader, Ham Solo and others.

Thanks go to the Presurfer. Posted by Hello

Look ma......no cable!

Sony just came out with something I wouldn't mind adding to my inventory of audio/visual gadgets. Introducing the wireless TV, or "location-free" TV as Sony calls it. The base station has the tuner and connections for every audio/video source under the sun. The video is beamed to the 12" touch screen so it can be watched anywhere within 50' of the base station. It'll even operate up to 3 hours on its own battery.

I saw this technology demonstrated today and it's cool, but I think it's time to offer this kind of flexibility to existing owners of laptops. All you'd need is a similar base station and a wireless usb or pc-card adapter for the laptop. Why pay $2000 for the system if you already have the display/processor? ATI? Hauppauge? Are you receiving me?

Note: Sony does sell software to use your laptop instead, but you still have to buy the base station and other wireless display first, the smallest costing $1500.Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

Google has ESP!

I'm loving this little trick Google site, Bondoogle. You can use this Google hack for a good visual mind-reading act. For example:

Magician: "Name your favorite movie star".
Victim: "Charlize Theron"
Magician types: "What is it that I am thinking of?" (but magician is really typing "/charlize theron/ I am thinking of?")
Google shows images of Charlize Theron.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

What to do....what to do.....


Write a blog post.........or.........watch the season finale of CSI directed by Quentin Tarantino........


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Kids do the silliest things....

Once you get to a certain age (I guess), you reminisce about your childhood and all the silly or stupid things you did. For example, I recall one time when I played hookey from elementary school with this girl I was seeing (CG) and accidentally set fire to the grass field across from the school. It wasn't my only brush (get it?) with setting fires, but it never blossomed into full-blown pyromania and I never destroyed any property.

Question to my readers: Did you do anything as a kid that causes you to ask yourself, "what was I thinking?"

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Last Supper a la Star Wars

I told you the Star Wars goofiness was about to begin..... Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

IE 7 to have tabs....confusion will abound

Rumour has it that IE version 7, likely to be released this summer, will have tabs like some other browsers:

"Initially, we had some concerns around complexity and consistency… will it confuse users more than it benefits them? Is it confusing if IE has tabs, but other core parts of the Windows experience, like Windows Media Player or the shell, don’t have tabs?"

Yeah. Users freaked when they saw tabbed browsing for the first time in Firefox, etc. 911 lines were clogged for days. It was absolute chaos! And you won't find tabs anywhere in other Windows products, not even IE, when you go to Tools \ Internet Options - nope, no tabs there..... Posted by Hello

What were you thinking?

Doesn't the MPAA realize that putting ads at the beginning of theatre movie screenings warning against downloading movies from the Internet is aimed at the wrong audience? These people are paying to see movies! Hello!?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Blogs and the blogging bloggers who blog them

The TV news people really have no idea what to do about the emergence of blogs as a source of information and/or entertainment, so they've taken to reporting on blogs themselves. This in and of itself is funny, but the Daily Show's Jon Stewart makes the point succinctly. At the link, check out bloggers.mov

Thanks to Lisa Rein for posting these clips.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

It is useless to resist....

Let the Star Wars camp begin. With the final movie coming, this concoction— (I am your father) gets you in the mood with dialogue from past films against a modified version of John Williams' score. Posted by Hello

Social bookmarks

One of the drawbacks of bookmarks / favourites in your browser is that it's not very easy to bring those links to your fave web sites with you wherever you go. You could keep exporting them to an html file and save them on your personal web page. Or you could register at del.icio.us and store them where they can be accessed anywhere (and by anyone). As long as you don't mind sharing your links with others, you can also see what sites have been collected by others.

"You're not cop, you're little people"

Like your quotes do ya? Then go visit Wikiquote. And yes - they do have a quote of the day....

BTW, what movie is the quote in this post's title from?

Your next kid car trip can be more fun....

If you're tired of the traditional folksy kid's songs, give Mother Goose Rocks a listen. They have samples of some of their songs, even a few mp3's to download. The CDs offer these and more by artists that sound strangely familiar. Kids will love 'em, you'll get a chuckle or two yourself. There's even some videos (cartoons) of some of the songs. Posted by Hello

Friday, May 13, 2005

Andy Warhol......you had no freaking idea......

Since you're here, you already know about blogs and probably podcasts. How about video blogs or vlogs? One of the most popular right now is Rocketboom and it's not hard to see why. People, this is a glimpse of the future and it means the masses get their shot at informing and entertaining each other. Watch out network TV weasels......Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Future disappointment

Imagine if you will that someone from the 1960's finds a way to go forward to our time. If this someone found an average person to interview about the present, I think this is how some of it might go:

1960's person: So, do we have air cars?
2005 person: Nope
60's: No air cars!? How about household robot maids?
'05: Uh....no. We have robot vacuums....
60's: Sheesh.
'05: We have computers! And cell phones!
60's: Cell phones?
'05: Yeah. You can get a call from just about anywhere!
60's: I'm not impressed....
'05: You can even send text messages!
60's: Why would you send text when you could talk?
'05: Uhh...
60's: Are there moon bases?
'05: No.
60's: Mining colonies on Mars?
'05:No. We haven't even sent a human there yet.
60's: What the hell have you people been doing for the last 40 years?

But is it art?........encore

This is part of a painting by chimpanzee artist Congo, completed in the late 1950s, which will be auctioned off at London's Bonhams auction house.

Congo, who was born in 1954, produced some 400 drawings and paintings between the ages of 2 and 4. It was not immediately known if he was still alive, a Bonhams spokeswoman said. In 1957, animal behaviorist Desmond Morris organized an exhibition of chimpanzee art at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, including works by Congo. Critics reacted with a mixture of scorn and skepticism, but Picasso is recorded as having owned a painting by Congo, Bonhams said.

This piece is called "If he touches my banana one more time, this is what his brains are going to look like smeared all over the floor...." Posted by Hello

I think, therefore I compute....

How do you talk to someone without opening your mouth? NASA refers to it as subvocal speech. Scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center in California have developed a system of tiny sensors that read nerve signals in the throat that control speech. You may not make a sound when, say, you read silently, but your nervous system is buzzing with activity. Recently, they used the system to make the first subvocal cell phone call.

Coming soon to a computer near you: Sub-vocal computer command interface.

Coming soon after to a schizophrenic support group near you: How to stop the voices in your head from yelling Format C! Yes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tut revealed

Using data from CT scans, researchers in France have created a model of King Tutankhamun as he looked shortly before dying at age 19.

That's eerie. Am I imagining things, or does His Highness look a little worried - as if he's about to die in a few days? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Spring went that-a-way

Mother Nature graced us with another Spring snowfall today. That's right eastern Canada and the US - it snowed today in Calgary. No wonder Canadians have this reputation for living in igloos and eating whale blubber....Posted by Hello

Monday, May 09, 2005


As Canadians - we are sometimes accused of having trouble with our identity. We often compare ourselves unfavourably to Americans. But we happen to have a lot of subtle, but really cool things about our culture that sets us apart quite nicely. Cases in point:

One of our TV newsmagazine programs (W5) picked the song Fool's Overture by Supertramp as its theme. Not after Supertramp became retro or clasic rock, but back in the 70's and 80's.

CBC television, often criticized for being boring and ineffectual, aired Kids in the Hall in prime time. This is something the US would never have dreamed of doing back then, what with guys pretending to be girls, being intimate with each other, etc.

I can also remember a time when the CBC couldn't air their regular programming one Sunday, so they filled the slot with Pink Floyd Live in Pompeii. I remember the day clearly and was in awe regarding this daring time filler. Posted by Hello

Limerick dictionary

The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form or OEDILF is attempting to create an online dictionary, where each word is represented by limericks.

Pilfered from BoingBoing.

Gone to the dogs

A newborn baby abandoned in a Kenyan forest was saved by a stray dog who apparently carried her across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to a shed where the infant was discovered nestled with a litter of puppies, witnesses said Monday.

When the mother was asked what she'd do once she got the baby back, she answered, "Woof! Bark! Rowlff! Grrrrrr!!!" Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Company intranet

I work for a rather large company with its own intranet. It has some cool features. Keep in mind, I've never worked for a company with its own (well used) intranet before, so these may seem ho-hum to many of you out there:

  • A buy and sell area, with 'items for sale' and 'items wanted to buy'
  • A forum where you can ask the executive about anything (and we use it too)
  • The cafeteria menus for the week
  • The corporate phone directory (searchable by first name even)
  • All policy documents online
  • All human resources info online (including benefit info)

Does your company intranet have anything cool?

Question everything

Brainboost tries to answer your questions in plain language instead of just in links. Of the few I tried, I was impressed. Give it a try, this could be one to watch....that is until the big giant Google Head takes over.... Posted by Hello