Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Make up your own title.........

It's like a real version of one of those Calvin & Hobbes snowmen cartoons............

Click here to see the full sized picture.

"Large portion yes!"

I'm always fascinated by other cultures and the UK is no different. I happened to stumble upon a site devoted to London Slang. The usuals are there - fag, knackered, shag, mate, git, etc. But there's a category of slang called Modern Rhyming Slang where some words are substituted with whole other words that rhyme. Example:

Mystic Meg(s) - Modern Rhyming Slang - for legs. e.g. "Wow, look at the Mystic Meg's on that !". After the fortune teller famous for starring on the UK National Lottery programme.

Hey - electron! Get the feeling you're being watched?

Are you even the least bit interested in science? Would you like to have your mind warped a little about the real nature of matter? Then this little video should do the trick. Well produced and quite thought-provoking without all that 'eyes glazed over' nonsense. Most cool.

Picky picky picky.........

The Smoking Gun website lists excerpts of backstage riders for many popular acts. In case you don't know what I mean by 'rider', this is the list of things artists ask the promoter to provide for their enjoyment backstage.

You don't have to be dumb to run an airport......

But it helps. Here's a great article reporting on how some airports offer wi-fi Internet access (for a fee) only to deny customers any access to AC power for their laptops. How dumb is that?

As Cory Doctorow says, "airports that sell WiFi without providing the electricty to use it are like coffee-shops without toilets".

Monday, February 27, 2006

iTunes sets the pace

This is a graph showing how long it took iTunes to reach one billion songs sold. Inspiring.

Thanks to Mad Dog in the Fog.

Just when you were getting to like XP.......

Apparently, the next version of Windows - Windows Vista, is going to have 6 flavours available to the public to help suit specific needs.

MMmmm yeah:

1. Vista for typical home users. Nothing different at all from XP - just a shiny new desktop background to fool the millions that will spend money on the upgrade.
2. Vista for power users. It will require all new hardware to function. It will have all sorts of DRM technology built in to prevent you from burning copies of DVD Movies and Music CDs. Someone will have hacked a fix to let you copy anything you want before the operating system even hits the store shelves.
3. Vista for users with obsolete computer hardware. It will come packaged with the only program that you'll be able to run on your pathetic 2006 hardware - Calculator. Every time you open Calculator, it will ask if you want to quickly estimate what it will cost for you to buy a better computer that will run Vista....
4. Vista for rednecks. It comes with a USB-powered scented oil atomizer that makes your computer room smell like the tailpipe of a Dodge Ram 3500 Mega-cab with a 5.9litre Cummins Turbo Diesel. Camouflage coloured computer case cozy - extra.
5. Hasta-La-Vista. This is the version IT departments at work will secretly install for anyone who has given the IT staff a hard time in the past. It will allow you to do your work for random amounts of time with no trouble at all - then, without warning - perform the most spectacular and irreversable operating system crash right when the most important document you've ever created is just about to be saved after hours of work. This feature may come standard on most other versions of Vista too, but on this particular model, it will be advertised as a 'feature'.
6. Vista for Corporations. Corporations have money to burn and Vista will help them burn it in style. This version of Windows comes with so much crap built in that you'll have to reboot it before you leave work in order to be able to use it first thing the next morning. It will be very secure. All those network shares? Not gonna happen. Company Intranet web page? 404 - all the time. Your CPU usage meter will be pegged at 100%, even when you think you're doing nothing. Your bosses will be so impressed......

Why didn't you turn back there?

So I wonder what exactly was so unexpected about Unexpected Road in Buena, New Jersey?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Most original blog names found in Canada

breed 'em and weep
heavy petal
home is where you hang your @
plays well with others
meticulous vandalism
the smoking section
bacon and eh's
non partisan hack
postcards from the mothership

Isn't one more important than t'other?

I really wanted to weigh in about the cartoons of the Prophet of Islam, but I had to wait until I had something semi-intelligent to say.

Why is it that people are protesting the cartoons but nobody is protesting suicide bombings?

Idea stolen from The Daily Bayonet.

I'll take words that Word doesn't know for $400 Alex

I love Microsoft Word. Its built-in dictionary is quite funny. As part of my job, I often create documents that contain the word 'ruggedized'. Word doesn't like that word for some reason - even though it is a real word (see for yourself, it's true). But this is a very good example of why you don't want Word auto-correcting your text as you type. Because if you insist on selling 'buggerized' laptops to your customer, you will begin to wonder why they never want to meet you in person..........

[singing] bicycle....bicycle....bicycle........

World Naked Bike Ride. This could be a very interesting, albeit also very scary event. Locations all over the world. The point? To "protest oil dependency and celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies".

Yep................ I'm pretty sure when it's all over, everyone who will have witnessed this event will be thinking about oil dependancy. Indeed.

Best phrase seen on the net lately:

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.


Come on 'red flag'!!!

A friend of mine started his own thread a little while back about meetings and how awful they can be. But it turns out - they don't all have to be bad - you can turn them into a little bit of fun. All you have to do is go to this site and enter the realm of 'Bullshit Bingo'.

Before each meeting, visit the site and print one copy of the game card for each player, refreshing the page before each print, or have the players print their own BS Bingo cards. Check off each block when you hear the words during a meeting, seminar, or phone call. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout BULLSHIT!! (These instructions will not be printed, but you can select a card only version of this page when playing on line, or with a PDA)

Now, I don't know that screaming BULLSHIT is absolutely necessary to enjoy this game, but it must be quite entertaining. Instead of hollering BS, another alternative could be that the winner (you'd compare notes after the meeting) gets their coffee bought at next break. I for one, would derive sufficient pleasure just knowing that the reason a meetings' participants are paying so much attention to the person speaking is because they're all trying to win a game.......

Saturday, February 25, 2006

There's a reason it's similar to religious stories

If you're into Star Wars, you may want to check out this article on the origins of Star Wars. It gets most interesting when the story is discussed as a comparison of Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces. They even throw The Matrix into the mix for added comparison.

Proverbs.......... kids' style

A grade one teacher collected well known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb.

* Strike while the .........insect is close.
* Never underestimate the power of............ants.
* Don't bite the hand that....................looks dirty.
* Better to be safe than......................punch a grade 7 boy.
* If you lie down with dogs, you'll...........stink in the morning.
* It's always darkest before..................DaylightSaving Time.
* You can lead a horse to water but...........how?
* No news is..................................impossible.
* A miss is as good as a......................Mr.
* You can't teach an old dog new..............maths.
* Love all, trust.............................me.
* The pen is mightier than the................pigs.
* An idle mind is.............................the best way to relax.
* Where there's smoke there's.................pollution.
* Happy the bride who.........................gets all the presents.
* A penny saved is............................not much.
* Two's company, three's.....................the Musketeers.
* Don't put off till tomorrow what............you put on to go to bed.
* Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and..........you have to blow your nose.
* There are none so blind as..................Stevie Wonder.
* Children should be seen and not.............smacked or grounded.
* If at first you don't succeed...............get new batteries.
* You get out of something only what you......see in the picture on the box.
* When the blind leadeth the blind............get out of the way.

* Better late than............................pregnant.

Yo! We be next!

Not to keep dwelling on the Olympic theme for too long, but it actually caught me by surprise that the next winter Olympics will in fact be hosted by Canada. I knew Vancouver was hosting in 2010, but for some weird numerical psychological brain block episode, it never actually dawned on me that we were up next.

That is so cool! The spotlight will be on Canada once again. Look what it did for Calgary - it really put Cow-Town on the world map. I'm so proud. Excuse me, I'm feeling a little verklempt.

Who said the medals look dumb?

Speaking of the Olympics, I've heard a lot of people cutting down the look of the medals for these Olympic games. Not me - I think they look great. Solid, hi-tech looking. They probably contain some kind of magnetic image that captures the winning moment of the athlete it was awarded to, playable by some futuristic player that hasn't even been invented yet.......... or something.

Please excuse me while I go chase after my imagination. I'll be back later.

Drug crack-down affects testosterone

As if we needed to give women one more thing to hold against us. Canadian women are cleaning up in the Olympics compared to the men. I know it's possible for Canada to earn a few more medals by competition's end, but the current standings give the men 8 medals and the women 16. To make matters worse, the game we're most passionate about - hockey - the women won Gold. The men? Oh they were so good, they're not even in the competition anymore. They don't even get to help another team decide whether they're winning Bronze or not.

Stupid men..........

All kidding aside..... Go Canada! We've never won this many medals in a winter Olympics before.

Friday, February 24, 2006

25 most Tivo'ed shows

Right here. What - no Criminal Minds? What up with that?

We can make you beautiful

Check out Fluid Effects before / after photos from their portfolio.

Blowed it up real good............

I've always been fascinated by static electricity. Most especially because of its hidden powers. You see, as a technologist in a past career, I already knew the dangers of ESD (ElectroStatic Discharge) to electronic circuitry - in fact have witnessed the effects. Static will do microscopic damage to (certain) electronics - the kind that often doesn't manifest itself right away. The damage is so small that the affected part of the circuit only causes certain - but very specific things not to work.

But static can do much more obvious damage. Like making things go 'Boom'. Like in the case of this story.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Enough with the cards already...

All you 'Big Brother Conspiracy' types can go compare notes with the 'Book of Revelationist Mark of the Beasties', but I'm actually looking forward to the day when I get to wear or am implanted with some kind of device that allows me to ditch the wheelbarrow full of credit, discount, ID, air miles, frequent buyer's club, health, insurance, license, marriage, birth certificate, bank, union, movie club, burger joint, book club, traveller's discount, shoe merchant and airline cards. There are so many cards now that you need to drag around, that some merchants have dispensed with cards and switched to keytags. What's next? Charm bracelets with club member tokens? Club member piercings? Tattoos?

So that's where Slackware got its name.......

How interesting. Paging Bernie M. Hello Bernie M. It seems the Church of Pastafarianism (of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) may have been predated by a much older, perhaps even cooler church. I'm talking about the Church of the Sub-Genius . I think I may already be a member and didn't even realize it - considering that I have indulged in Facetiouism and Sarcastrophy............... from time to time.......

Note to self: must arrange to take 5 July off.....

"Two hemispheres of my brain... are competing?"

Based on the second (longer) trailer I've seen, I am really looking forward to the movie A Scanner Darkly. View it here, just scroll down to the trailers from 02.21 - you'll find it - labelled trailer 2 (Quicktime required). I just love Keanu's delivery. It's so........ Neo.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Objects may disappear behind you........

OK, so I'm browsing throught the laxatives section in the grocery store - killing time - and I spot this box of glycerin suppositories. On the box is a picture of what one of these beasties looks like. Then, in small print, it says under the picture, "pictured smaller than actual size".

Now it's bad enough that you'd be shopping for these bad boys in the first place considering where you have to put them for them to do any good. So to be shown a picture of the thing, then add injury (no pun intended) by indicating that in fact - the little dude is in reality bigger than you were first led to believe.......... Isn't that just wrong? Shouldn't they just create the picture to scale in the first place? Or are they hoping you buy the pint sized projectiles and didn't notice the little disclaimer under the picture? They may as well add the statement: "This won't hurt a bit". Because in fact, it will hurt a lot!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

You just know this had to be on Asian TV....

It seems a bit contrived, but the Marimba Ponies serve up some decent marimba.

That was easy.....

If you've never used Tax software to calculate your Income Tax Return, I have wonderful news. You know how time-consuming and irritating it is to fill out a return (even a simple one) by hand? This is the second year I've used QuickTax by Intuit (just the standard edition) and I swear by it now. Now mind you, I don't have investments, medical claims or other bizarre expenses / deductions to factor into the equation. But I gotta tell ya, it's dirt simple - it even remembers all your personal info from the last tax year if you kept your files on your computer. Each license allows you to file up to 5 tax returns - so you can do it for the whole family, or a few friends. And the best part is that as soon as it has calculated what you owe or will be getting as a refund, you can NetFile your return and be done with it. No eraser crumbs all over the place, no piles of papers...... I definately smacked my Easy button when I was done.

These jokes may offend

Q. What do you see when the Pillsbury Dough Boy bends over?
A. Doughnuts

Q. What does it mean when the flag at the Post Office is flying at half-mast?
A. They're hiring.

Q. If well endowed women work at Hooters, where do one-legged women work?

Monday, February 20, 2006

I bought it because it's 'interesting'

Did you know that the first season of House is now available on DVD? You do now......

They're Pastafarians!

If you've managed to find the various episodes of The IT Crowd (UK site - not viewable elsewhere) online (there's 5 of them available to date), you may have noticed the guys have some interesting stuff all over the place. Look who it is on the wall behind Moss's desk - it's the Flying Spaghetti Monster! A friend had told me it was there, but I was too busy watching the actors to notice.

Real meaning of green thumb

Apparently it's not against the law in the US (protected by First Amendment Rights) to mow a message containing an expletive in your lawn. Neither the article nor the video clip identify the actual message, but the second word appears to be represented by the letter 'U'. I'm guessing the first word is 'Sod'........?

Night view

Someone took Google maps and overlaid it on top of the 'Earth at night' shot, with fair results. Just for fun I decided to draw circles representing how far you'd get by car in 6 hours from Kingston Ontario (where I lived before moving to Calgary) and Calgary Alberta. The Calgary circle is the one on the left, for you geographically challenged folk. Gives you an idea (civilization-wise) how much was within a typical weekend drive's reach at either place. In Kingston - lots. In Calgary - whole lotta nuthin'. Unless you count Edmonton and nobody from 'round these parts counts Edmonton......

Click the picture for a slightly clearer view of the circles.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Don't try this at home........

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you drove a car behind a jet at full thrust? Wonder no more.......

What are ya.............. stoopid?

Dear Canadian family who found a camera in Hawaii and decided to keep it because your kid 'likes it',

You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Your selfishness is now going to be plastered all over the Internet, which may end up motivating the mainstream media to run with the story. The owner of the camera offered you one fair deal after another but you couldn't even honour your end of the bargain. 'You're lucky we sent you anything at all'. Shame on you! If you had no intentions of returning the camera, why on earth did you report finding it in the first place? Once you commit to an action, you really should follow through, eh? Will your son be upset if he loses his precious camera? Of course he will. Life is full of ups and downs. If the only way you can show him that life has some good luck in it is to unlawfully keep someone's expensive camera after letting the owner know you have it - then you are seriously unfit to raise a child.

Oh - and way to make Canada look bad, eh?

Man alive!

P.S.: This better be a true story, or I wasted a perfectly good rant on nothing....

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sorry Mac, you'll have to go...

You know, there was a time in my life when I probably had a Big Mac (or Quarter Pounder) and fries a week - maybe more. In recent years though, I've really tried to watch what garbage I put in my face. I can proudly say I've not had a Big Mac since summer of 2003.

Finally a new(ish) winter sport to get excited about

Snowboard Cross. Is there a cooler sport in the Olympics or what? I watched this Olympic event on TV last night. Wicked!

Seriously my favourite Blonde joke of all time:

A redhead, a brunette and a blonde are in the waiting room at the doctor's office. All 3 of them are expectant mothers and are just there to see how the babies are doing. All except the blonde have had an ultrasound. They've just struck up a conversation.

Redhead: It's weird you know - my husband and I conceived this baby with me in the submissive position. Turns out we're having a girl. I wonder if there's anything to that?

Brunette: Seriously? That's unreal. I was in the dominant position and sure enough - we're having a boy. Just found out last week.

The blonde starts to sob.

Brunette and Redhead: What's wrong?

Blonde: [sob] I'm gonna have puppies!

Friday, February 17, 2006

If you can imagine it...........

If you're a fan of computer generated (CG) art, I found some impressive works here.

Posted at the White House

But it's a dry cold.....

It was so cold this morning..........

[readers chime in...] How cold was it?

It was so cold the LED clock on my dashboard took a few seconds to display the change from one minute value to the next. Twas like watching a time warp. Or imagine the clock straining lazily to change time. "Awww........... do I have to change the time to 8:01? ......... [grunt]"

-26C last time I checked (-15F for you non-Metric folk).

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mmmmm................ sesame-ee

There is a treat my Oma (go figure) used to give me as a kid, called Halvah. It amazes me to this day how few people know about this candy. I was also surprised to find out it was a candy, considering that I used to get it served as a filling in a sandwich. Seriously. Anyway, if you've never tried it, you could probably find it at any Jewish, Arabic, or Greek store. Some supermarkets sell it too in the deli section. It's basically sesame seed paste (tahini) and honey formed into a loaf, although the kind I remember as a kid was in a can - with a camel on the label. It's very sweet, but it has a texture like no other candy you've ever tried. The best way I can describe it - it's like flaky, crumbly fudge. You should experience it.

I saw this on a co-worker's screensaver

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Will they ever learn?

Calgary has a lot to learn about how parking affects peoples' decisions to go downtown to do business. Not long ago they introduced some pretty lame measures to soak parkers for more money or outright drive potential customers away from the downtown core.

A typical meter allows for a maximum of 2 hours of parking, but recently some meters were changed to only allow 1 hour at most. One recent Saturday morning Darlene and I wanted to try a downtown restaurant for breakfast, but every meter in the area had been converted to one hour maximum. How are we supposed to walk to the place, order, eat our meal and return in an hour? Luckily, a nearby underground parkade (at Banker's Hall) offers flat fee $2 parking (10am to 6pm). The City made the meter change to make more short-term parking available for people who had to make quick stops downtown, but I'm certain the weekends are a good time to revert to longer stays at metered spots, with demand reduced.

Yeah, yeah, I could take public transit downtown and not have to worry about parking, but in that case I'd have to pack a breakfast and maybe consider eating dinner downtown instead - for all the time it would take. OK, maybe I'm stretching a little.

Another trick they've tried is that there are meters that insist on a minimum (unannounced) amount deposited before registering time on the meter. In one case, the meter allowed two hours of parking at a rate of something like $2 per hour, but even though the meter accepted anything bigger than a quarter, you had to pump $4 into the meter before it registered any time - in this case, the full 2 hours. Way more than I was willing to stay - or pay.


Well, I thought it was funny............. kinda...

I love the slogan (at bottom). So in desperation I tried to make a motivational poster out of it. Don't worry, I'm not totally happy with it either.


I coined this phrase at work today:

"There are so many fingers in this pie, it tastes like hand lotion........"

Or words to that effect.

Holy friction burns Batman!

A denim condom. That must be really comfortable........... Hopefully some day they'll come in stone-washed variety - at least that would be a bit softer.

I click.................. nothing happens

This is a picture taken of a pirated DVD in China. "Click here to read movie review." Quoting a web link is not a very good way to promote a pirated DVD.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Dibs on the sandwich!"

I simply love the new mascots Bell Canada chose for their latest ad campaign. Frank & Gordon have their own website, which is cool cause you get to see some of their commercials (in case you don't live in Canada). To do so, enter the site and click on their TV. There are 3 commercials to choose from. Yes, Frank's voice does seem familiar - that's because it is Norm MacDonald. I haven't figured out yet who the other guy is....

Look Ma................ no batteries

It is rumoured that Ford is taking a novel approach to hybrid vehicle technology with the F-Series some time down the road. One of the inefficiencies of current hybrid technology are the batteries that store the electrical energy (converted from mechanical energy). On top of the lack of efficiency, the batteries don't last forever and would need eventual replacement (at substantial cost). Ford is supposedly working on a system that stores captured energy in hydraulic cylinders. The alternate storage technique creates a drive system that is 3 times more efficient than a gas-electric hybrid. A Ford F-150 could get 60mpg in city driving.

If this turns out to be a real, achievable technology, it could turn the auto industry on its head. The pressure to phase out big trucks for small fuel-efficient cars would be significantly reduced. Ironically, the technology wouldn't be suitable for compact cars (due to the size of the hydraulic cylinders needed to store enough energy).

A big kiss out to Norway......

The Canadian Women's Cross Country Team Sprint pair were well into their tag-team race when Sara Renner broke one of her ski poles. In a selfless act, the Norwegian coach handed her one of his poles - allowing her to finish her parts of the race. Sara, and Beckie Scott not only made up the time they lost, but caught up to the leader pack and even took the lead at one point. They finished second, 0.6 seconds behind the winner, earning a Silver medal. If the Norwegian coach had not lent a helping hand, the Norwegians would likely have placed third (they finished fourth).

They should award an honourary medal to Norway for being so kind.

Monday, February 13, 2006

"You might wanna take a book....."

This clip is a video gamer's love song to their sweetheart. It includes heartfelt lines like:
"Before we get down to love............... I just gotta finish this level." and "Could you move a little to the left babe................. I can't see the TV."


It worked once......... but maybe not this time

Do you think anyone in the Conservative party anticipated the fallout from Liberal candidate David Emerson crossing the floor to join them as a cabinet member? The Conservatives lambasted the Liberals in the previous election for making a turncoat out of Belinda Stronach, but they just pulled the exact same stunt with David Emerson when they won this election.

This time around though, a very vocal group is demanding that the guy runs again in a by-election. He refuses to do so. It's understandable why the electorate might be upset. They elected a Liberal. But it's no longer a Liberal representing them in Parliament. On the bright side, they do have the governing party representing them.

It worked out for Ms. Stronach - she got re-elected as a Liberal, even though she began her political life as a Conservative.

All of this points to the fact that there is an inherent flaw in our government in the way we elect people. Ask the average voter why they voted for the candidate they chose and the answers will vary. Some voted for the party, others - the person. I don't have a remedy for this, but it doesn't really seem like a bad idea to me for a governing (minority) party to look at everyone available for experience and expertise to add to their portfolio. Unfortunately, the current rules don't allow for that, but perhaps in future they could.

But for a party that wants to be taken seriously, the Conservatives don't seem to mind inviting someone into the fray that said upon being elected, "I'm going to be Stephen Harper's worst enemy. We're going to stir the pot and you better believe we are going to make a heck of a lot of noise." A lot of noise alright. A giant sucking sound.

Houses go for double in parallel universe....

The other day I stepped into a rift in the space-time continuum and emerged out the other side, just a block away from my house. You see, two new houses just went up where there had only been one before - you know the deal. Two story duplex. Stucco exterior. A little over 1800 sq ft. Undeveloped basement. Oak floors on the main floor, carpet upstairs. 3 bedroom, ensuite bath, yadda yadda. So I mentally calculated what these new duplexes might be worth. I'm thinking between $229,000 and $239,000 (City market value assessment agreed with me too). But I forgot to take the space-time anomaly into account, because when I saw the actual asking price, I almost burst into a manic fit of laughter. $440,000. I quickly left the home, hoping not to arouse any suspicion that I didn't belong in this dimension and managed to escape back to my original place and time.

That was a close one.

Best bad movie review seen this week:

Firewall:"....... It's like watching Microsoft's Service Pack 2 download for nearly two hours."

[chortle] Thanks to defective yeti.

Waaa ha ha ha.............. whiteout!

Flickr is such an amazing place. Having access to a public photo album is fantastic, but I especially like the way pictures get tagged for the purpose of grouping like images together. Such as this collection of pics tagged with blizzard2006, from the huge snowstorm that hit the Eastern US yesterday. 60cm+ in Central Park, NYC. Wheeeee!

It's baaack...........

When I mentioned 'winter had forsaken us', I was of course being totally not serious. Come on! Winter! You da man! [chanting]Go winter...... go winter...... get busy......[chanting stops].