Monday, June 30, 2008

Who can beat Team Ecland? Who? Come on!

[trumpets blare]

Here it is! The latest edition of 'Where Is It?'

Name the city. Click the picture for a bigger version.

All technology can be defeated.....

The Japanese love their technology solutions, but this time their solution got pwned. Cigarette vending machines with built-in age verification mechanisms using a camera can be defeated by holding up a magazine photo of an older person. Ordinarily, the machines are 90% accurate in determining legal age (until the magazine photo hack).

I chuckled when I read that.

Normally, cigarette vending machines use age-verification ID cards.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Buffalo burger!

It's hard to believe that before this year, I had never tasted a bison burger. In fact, I had never sampled bison period. I read that bison is better for you than beef.

Well now they've become my favourite burger meat. Had one today on the BBQ. Yummy.

"Desperately Seeking Spawn"

I finally watched the movie Juno last night. I heard so much buzz about the movie at the last Oscars, I didn't want to get too swept up in the frenzy, only to be disappointed with the end result.

I had nothing to worry about. Juno is great. The acting is natural, seamless. The soundtrack is as eclectic as I could hope for. The script is very funny. The casting is genius. If you liked Garden State......... you'll like Juno. The lead actress (Ellen Page) is Canadian by the way. She even performs part of a song in the movie.


Try this at 3am

You know that TV remix sensation you manage to create at some late hour, long after you should be in bed, but you can't sleep, so you channel surf the hundred plus offerings on your TV set, pausing at each one just long enough to how ridiculous the programming is?

That's what Neave Television is like. But better.

Click the link that says "click me to channel hop"

Never mind the other links on the site. They're boring. No really. Don't do it.

Hehehehe..... you're gonna do it, aren't you?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why aren't people up in arms over this?

Yeah... here I go again with more stories of people getting hassled for filming or taking photographs. Again, it's in the UK. What else is new? Here's another episode of cop-wanna-bes acting like they're the film police when they have no right to do so whatsoever.

Seriously, if you showed me this video clip 10 years ago, I'd have thought you were showing me fiction.

Funniest line read on another blog this week

Why I love Wikipedia: "When invigorated by spinach, Popeye can lift or press about 36 tons. [citation needed]"

From defective yeti.

Dubai has some.... err... faults (based on Western values)

A woman who (presumably) lives in Dubai makes it clear that the place isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Check out her list of 20 reasons not to move to Dubai.

Positive thinking

I learned something from a recent supervisor that I wanted to share with you.

How to encourage positivity - ask someone what the best part of their day has been so far. If you're in a group, ask everyone (one at a time). You always feel better if you begin to regularly focus on the good parts of your day.

Friday, June 27, 2008

RPM 21

This is the biggest selling album never to have generated a top 10 single.

Name it.

[update] I may as well eat crow on this episode of RPM after twice getting correct answers other than what I was looking for. The album I was looking for was in fact Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It just goes to show you that you can't always trust the accuracy of a music trivia game's questions.

What? Did you think I came up with these all by myself?

Here's something you don't see everyday....

Prior to this post, I had heard of absinthe, but didn't know what it was. A good primer can be found here. Contrary to popular belief, it is no longer banned and there is a distiller of the stuff in Canada, which makes a product called Taboo.

But the reason I even broach the subject is because I found a rather peculiar product for sale online, absinthe lollipops.

Video clips for kids..... or the kid in us

A video site (still in beta) called TotLOL designed to appeal to kids (6 months to 6 years old).

Looks fun.


I loved reading this article on the 10 Biggest Parties Around the World.

I'd heard of La Tomatina; Burning Man; Glastonbury Music Festival; and of course the Calgary Stampede (which begins a week from today).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Imagine....... pot may help with cancer

Did you know that plenty of research has been done, as early as 1974, but as recent as now on the effects marijuana has treating various cancers? Most don't.

Read more here.

I think some day we're going to look back on this era and wonder why we've lived with such a stigma concerning this drug, especially as it relates to certain health treatments.

Sometimes..... shopping sucks

I am a frustrated shopper. Sorry, I have to rant about this because it has just been happening too often anymore for me to sit back and take it quietly.

I have literally lost count of the number of items in stores that I used to buy, that were favourite items to buy, that are no longer sold. I understand the economics of consumerism. I get that if stuff doesn't move, it has to be pulled from regular stock. I'm talking about the stuff that DID sell. The stuff that was always out of stock and only the crappier options were left behind. Some items that have disappeared from grocery store shelves (that I can think of off the top of my head):
  • MinuteMaid Watermelon punch
  • Stouffer's Bistro Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Rotini
  • Uncle Ben's Stuff 'n Such stuffing
  • Aunt Jemima Buckwheat pancake mix (*)
  • Jello Whip 'n Chill Mousse instant mix
  • Libby's Pure Pumpkin filling (available in US)
  • Poppycock Just the Nuts
In many cases, it's not because the products don't exist anymore. It's not even because the store won't carry it. It's often because the supplier won't carry it - and you're not likely to change a supplier's mind about what they carry.

But it's not just grocery items. We recently bought a pair of Suncast sheds for our back yard from Sears. Now that they're built, I want to buy accessories for them, which the manufacturer indicates is available at Sears. Sears even lists the accessories I want on their web site - or at least - they DID 2 weeks ago. One of the items has already disappeared from the site and neither are available in stores. Panicked, I called Suncast and asked where I could get these accessories because they seem to be disappearing from Sears. I was told WalMart has them. WalMart's web site (in Canada) even lists the products! Woo-hoo! So we go to a store. Nobody has even heard of them and the actual WalMart product numbers (from their own web site) produce nothing. I'm waiting to hear back from WalMart customer service, but in the meantime, I chose these specific sheds because they have accessories to go with them.

OK, I'm done now. We return you to your original programming.

(*) [update] According to Darlene, Aunt Jemima Buckwheat pancake mix is also still available in the US, but they don't sell to Canada nor do they ship to Canada. When Darlene called the folks who make the stuff, they told her, "Just buy a regular box of pancake mix and mix it with some buckwheat flour." I'm serious - that was their suggestion.......

[update 2] We have had nothing but trouble getting those shed accessories. The shelves we wanted are no longer for sale at Sears and we practically had to bribe Suncast to sell us a set, because it's not their policy to sell directly to any market already served by a retailer (Sears / Walmart) - even though neither of these places sell the items anymore. We were lucky enough to be able to get an order in for shed hooks before they also disappeared from Sears' online catalogue service. Before you applaud - they lost our order. And now the item is no longer available. But we still got charged for it, plus paid a (non-refundable) order fee, plus interest on our refusal to pay for an item that they lost...... Needless to say, I'm pissed.

eBay users speak out

I guess I'm not the only eBay participant that feels the latest rule changes suck. One eBay seller went a little crazy on eBay Live to make a point. Although the video at the link isn't the greatest, further down the link is a synopsis of the current state of things. Notable was the empty conference rooms, banquet halls, and concerts at eBay Live 2008.

Thanks again to Ernest.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


MPAA lawyer says it shouldn't have to prove people actually downloaded stuff because "It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof".

[in Tweetie Bird voice - used without permission] Awwwww, putty tat say it too hard!"

This fox burns very bright

If you're a user of the alternate browser Firefox, you may also know that version 3.0 is out and scored 8 million downloads in the first 24 hours of its official release.

In case you were wondering what's different about the newest version, I present to you The Field Guide to Firefox 3. Maybe not too much changed on the outside, but on the inside....... wow.

Zoot Alors!

A co-worker sent me this link to a French Idol contestant doing a little beat box. Or as they say in France, "beat box" [with a French accent].

Asking for trouble

Jim Prentice, Industry Minister and creator of the maligned "made-in-Canada" [guffaw] Copyright legislation introduced last week, is having a Stampede Breakfast on July 5.

Maybe a lot of consumers and other interest groups not happy with the new bill will show up and give Jim a piece of their minds....... Ernest was thinking a t-shirt saying like, I shared this shirt with someone, does that make me a criminal?

.....I'm just sayin'.........


Shown - Jim indicates how many consumers were consulted during development of the bill.

You spin me right round baby

More news from my bud Ernest:

"A developer in Dubai is looking to build an 80-storey skyscraper. What's new about that you ask? All 80 floors will be able to rotate independently of each other on voice command of the floor's owner so that in your lifetime the outward appearance of building will never look the same way twice."

Prices start at $3.7million.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Some facts about Canada

Canadians drink more fruit juice than the citizens of any other nation - more than one litre for each person, every week.

Canada lays claim to more water than any other nation.

Canada is immigrant-friendly. It confers the most new citizenships per capita and per $ GDP, and the second-most new citizenships overall.

Top albums by sales

Supposedly (no source available, sorry) the top 10 best all-time world-wide selling albums are:

1. Thriller, Michael Jackson - 108 million copies
2. Back in Black, AC/DC - 42 million copies
3. The Bodyguard soundtrack, Whitney Houston/Various artists - 42 million
4. Their Greatest Hits, the Eagles
5. Saturday Night Fever, the Bee Gees/Various Artists - 40 million copies
6. Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd - 40 million copies
7. Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf - 37 million copies
8. Come on Over, Shania Twain - 36 million copies
9. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles - 32 million copies
10. Falling Into You, Celine Dion - 32 million copies

I do own numbers 1, 2, 4 and 6. Number 3 must be a mistake.

Look up counter-intuitive in the dictionary

Not happy to alienate their customer base by suing them and calling them criminals, the RIAA has now resorted to calling radio "a form of piracy, if you will" and are poised to demand royalties from radio play.

The radio industry counters that "if it wasn't for radio play, most of the performers wouldn't be known".

Maybe I'm stupid or something, but shouldn't an industry that depends on effective promotion to sell their product cut those who assist with that promotion (for free no less) a little slack?

Thanks to Ernest for the tip.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Forget that it's a Liberal plan..... it's a better reality

I've always wondered what would happen as fossil fuels become rare. Would our culture hide their collective heads in the tar sands and act like nothing was wrong? Would the fossil fuel industry try to squeeze every dime out of our pockets until the stuff runs out, then shrug when the wells went dry? Would we in North America continue to be coddled with unrealistically low prices for fuel (you read that right - go look at what Europe pays for their energy)? There is currently nothing to motivate anyone, consumers nor industry, to get moving more quickly on alternative technologies and energy sources. Energy utilities complain that energy sources like wind are too unreliable instead of finding ways to store the energy until it's needed like Europe is doing with cold storage. Where is our geothermal? You can't tell me we have none. Consumers complain that the road infrastructure is inefficient and in need of desperate repair, but continue to elect governments that spend more money on freeways than efficient mass transit solutions. Many major cities in Canada don't even know what an HOV lane looks like.

So when I hear that our Federal Liberal party has a new idea in the form of a carbon tax shifting from revenue-based tax, I'm interested. Their plan in a nutshell is "Consume lots of bad stuff and pay lots of taxes... Consume less bad stuff and pay less taxes". I don't really have a problem with this. If my total fuel costs went up several hundred dollars a year under the new plan, I would be much better motivated to reduce my use and find alternatives to carbon-based energy. Keep in mind that the plan intends to shelter low income folks from the pain.

The Liberals could go one step further and offer incentives to Canadians who invest major capital expenses to reduce their carbon footprint, such as installing solar, wind, geothermal and buying hybrid technologies. I don't buy the Conservative argument that making fuel more expensive will hurt our economy because we will get some of that money back in the form of less income tax, and fuel will still sell in piles to places like the US, who are quite willing to buy their fuel from a friendly country like Canada even if the price is a wee bit higher.

For me this is not so much a partisan issue as a plan that, while not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. You can check out the basics of the plan here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We're back!

With the trip to-do list completed, we are back in sunny Calgary. Some highlights:

Spokane Washington was hosting a pride parade the day we arrived (14 June). Everyone was out (pardon the pun) and enjoying the weather. What is it about pride events that motivates folks to show as much skin as possible?

Portland Oregon was hosting a pride parade too..... on the day we arrived (15 June). It's just a coincidence, I swear! Ditto on the comment about showing as much skin as possible. We witnessed a gaggle of young women sporting only star shaped pasties above the waist.

A tip for travellers to Portland: If you like staying near the waterfront, but don't like the RiverPlace Hotel's newest outlandish prices, stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott, just a few blocks south. It's much cheaper, has nice rooms, some with full kitchens and balcony, and has a full buffet breakfast complimentary! The hotel is across the street from a Portland Streetcar stop. While riding the Portland Streetcar system, we witnessed an incident where a couple of guys riding handicapped bicycles refused to situate themselves in such a way as to facilitate the movement of people onto/off and through the streetcar. The streetcar operator refused to move the vehicle until they either got off or cooperated and moved out of the centre of the doorways. Security showed up after a 15 minute stalemate and finally convinced them to cooperate. But they were making a definite stand of 'watch how we can be arseholes'. They stayed on the streetcar 2 stops, then got off. The other passengers were furious. I bought a new pair of Doc Marten's at the Doc Marten store downtown. Yay!

Seattle. We didn't get to see very much of the city proper even though we were there 3 days - we were having too much fun in the outskirts! Our hotel in Woodinville (Willow's Lodge) is a best kept secret accommodation in the Seattle area. Our room was amazing (see the Facebook photo album link at end of post). We ate breakfast (twice) at another secret gem of a place in Maltby - the Maltby Cafe. It's in the basement of what looks like an old one room schoolhouse. They have gargantuan breakfast servings - I couldn't finish my breakfast. Really. They also serve a home-made cinnamon bun that is the size of a dinner plate. That's not an exaggeration. The icing had to have been poured from a 500ml (16oz) container. We did a lot of shopping for baby Olivia. We met Team Ecland. They were lovely hosts and treated us out to one of the fave eateries nearby. We stole their American flag from their front lawn. OK - stole is a harsh word - they watched us do it. We also visited Gilman Village in Issaquah and Redmond Town Centre in Redmond (home of Microsoft). Two lovely outdoor shopping places.

A quick word about my beloved Garmin GPS. It rocked! The Garmin was absolutely indispensable in getting us to the many places we wanted to visit on our trip. It even seemed to take us on scenic trips to some destinations to avoid traffic. The traffic service worked while we were in Portland and Seattle, even though I thought you had to pay for it.

Last stop on our way home was to visit Olivia! Our grand-daughter is so tiny. I marvelled at the little fingers and toes. Darlene and I offered to babysit the dear girl for a few hours on the night before we left to come home so the parents could go out alone. It was an adventure..........

Facebook photo album.

Get to Know Karl (answers)

Before I left for vacation, I asked my readers to ask me a question. I got 6 questions. Not bad I guess for a first outing. So here we go:

Retroblog asked: Did Team Ecland take you out to a marvellous micro-brewery?
A: I'm not sure it was a micro-brewery. I don't even remember the name of the place (oops). I do know the signature offering we sampled was truffle-fries. Does that ring a bell?

My friend Bernie asks: Boxers or briefs?
A: Briefs. I have no explanation.

Maxflex asks: Smoked Meat with Orange juice or Cherry Coke or Molson Ex?
A: Well, if those are my only choices I'd have to go with Molson Ex. But my beverage of choice to wash down a Montreal smoked meat sandwich would be good ol' Coca Cola Classic.

Zoom asks: ooo oooo I got one! What is something you never ever ever thought you'd do, but you ended up doing anyway? And are you glad you did it?
A: Gee where do I start? I never thought I'd marry a woman who already had children. But I did. Ecstatic. I never thought I'd try acting / improv. So far very glad I did just in terms of the wonderful people I've met. The actual improv task has yet to formally manifest itself. Soon! I swear!

Taz asks: how many times have you wanted to kill darlene? :)
A: Never! No really! Never. The real question should be 'how many times has Darlene wanted to kill Karl?'

Jim asks: Have you ever had a near death experience?
A: No. When you asked that question, I had to really think long and hard about any dangerous situations and I reminded myself yet again that I've been extraordinarily fortunate. No broken bones. No serious injuries. I got run off the road once while riding my motorcycle, but I jumped to safety. Nothing even approaching near death.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Westward Ho!

So, as I've already alluded to, we're off on a trip. Darlene and I are headed to Portland by way of Spokane, then it's off to Seattle. We've been through Seattle many times, but never stayed there, so this is a first for us. Plus we're meeting some new friends that we made courtesy of this blog.

Trip to do list:
  • Inject much needed stimuli into the American economy (shopping)
  • Visit the glass museum in Tacoma
  • Buy iPhone (that will now wait for Canadian launch in July)
  • See Jimi Hendrix' grave
  • Eat lots of great food
  • Meet Team Ecland
  • Visit with baby Olivia

Get to know Karl

Since I'll be leaving very soon on a trip and will be out of contact with the inter-tubes for a week (Oh! The horror!), I would like to present my readers (even the lurkers) with some homework. Don't worry, this is real easy.

Use the comments to ask me a question. What do you want to know about Karl? Just make shit up if you have to. I'm all about two-way conversations and lately, I feel the need to 'connect' with my readers. It's an ego thing...... just work with me, OK?

When I get back from my trip, I'll try to answer as many as I can in a separate post.


Music biz sales not so dire after all.....

The RIAA spout forth tales of doom regarding their earnings, yet their own data seems to indicate otherwise. John Walkenbach of the J-Walk blog took those figures and graphed them (the pdf is brutal). That graph is pictured here for your analyzing pleasure. Those numbers represent millions of dollars. Note that the total units sold has risen steadily since 2003. The slide between 1999 and 2003 likely reflects the music industry's lapse in adopting the concept of online sales.

The figures show CD sales dropping, but online album and single sales skyrocketing. And logically so, since most folks would find it easier to download content in the format they're most likely to use it in, such as their mp3 players etc. Yes, the value is down, but that's because the price of online content is cheaper than on physical media.

So the next time you hear sob stories about declining sales due to illegal downloads, show them this graph.

Break it to them gently

Some folks have made it very easy to voice your concern for the newly introduced copyright legislation. Follow this link, choose your MP, fill out your personal information. The rest is done for you.

As Cory says, "If you're a Canadian and you care about the future of culture, art, free speech and the Internet, you need to do something about the Canadian version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that Industry Minister Jim Prentice introduced yesterday. This bill was prepared without any consultation with Canadian stakeholders: there was no input from industry, libraries, education, artists' groups, Canadian record labels, technology developers or citizens' groups. Instead, the bill was written to specs handed down by the US trade rep and ambassador (who kept on telling the press about the "assurances" they'd had from the Minister on the bill's features)."

I heart Shatner

Unless you religiously watch [an unnamed comedy show], you may not have seen this brilliant clip of William Shatner's take on the 'I am Canadian' rant.

I did the [an unnamed comedy show] because I don't want the owners of said show to issue me any kind of take-down notice for posting a link to the clip like they've done in the past.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Holy diabetes Batman!

Exposed - the unhealthiest drink in America. Baskin Robbin’s Large Heath Bar Shake (32 oz). Check out these figures:

2,310 calories
266 g sugar (100% daily value)
108 g fat (166% daily value)
of which 64 g is saturated fat (320% daily value)
295mg cholesterol (98% daily value)
1560mg sodium (65% daily value)

73 ingredients go into this milkshake. 66 teaspoons of sugar in this drink. 11 Heath Bars equals the number of calories found in one of these shakes. 8-12 minutes is how long it takes to consume this drink. 240 minutes is how long you’d need to spend on a treadmill to burn it off, running at a moderate pace.

On the good side, it does contain 120% of your calcium requirements. In case you have no idea, the average adult should be consuming 2000-2500 calories per day. So........... there's your day's calories right there in one drink. Is this responsible consumerism? Do we really need a 2310 calorie drink for sale? Is it any wonder the population is getting more obese?

Learn all you can about the Copyright situation

For folks who want a primer on the back story regarding our Copyright situation in Canada, this PDF comic book does a decent job.

Damn, even Arnie's on the cover! And Dubya!

A nap 'll do ya

I always knew in my heart that naps were a good thing (Siesta anyone?), but now research proves it.

A 20 minute nap at 2:30pm allowed test subjects to stay awake, working better than a caffeine boost or sleeping in an extra 90 minutes in the morning. The nap didn't affect subjects' ability to get to sleep at bedtime.

Great job on that Copyright legislation Jim... NOT!

It's a sad day for Canadian consumers, artists and entrepreneurs. Cory Doctorow puts it best:

Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prentice introduced his answer to the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act today as planned, and it's even worse than the US DMCA. The Canadian DMCA allows every single exception to copyright to be eliminated by adding DRM: whatever the law allows you to do, a corporation can take away, just by using DRM to prevent you from doing it. Breaking DRM is illegal, unless you fit into a tiny, narrow, useless exception for security research.

Here's the summary from Michael Geist, Canadian IP specialist.

If Canadians and parties in opposition of the minority Conservative government needed a reason to vote their asses out of power - this is it folks.

Message to Mr. Prentice: After all that denial that your impending legislation wasn't as bad as we made it out to be, one would have thought that maybe you would create something in the interests of ordinary people. Nope. I hope the masses mobilize against this law and I look forward to seeing the government become aware of what Canadians really want.

I heart trains

I got to thinking about trains the other day. Growing up, trains were a huge part of my life. The town we lived in at the extreme outskirts of Montreal (Deux Montagnes - or Two Mountains before everything in Quebec had to be French) was serviced by a commuter train as old as the hills. Deux Montagnes was the last stop on the line. The service was expensive and unreliable, but it was the quickest and most convenient way to get to downtown Montreal from the extreme outskirts, save for a car. Needless to say, I used it a lot. As a side note, the modernization of the commuter line was promised endlessly by CN (the line operator), but never came until the Montreal Transit folks took it over long after I left home. Now the line is even faster and I have heard more reliable.

Once I left home to join the military, I used to take the train from Kingston to Montreal or Toronto in the days before I owned a car. Again - expensive, unreliable, but convenient.

Fast forward to Calgary. No passenger train. If I want to go anywhere, I have to catch the train in Edmonton. For fun, I checked to see what a return trip from Edmonton to Toronto would cost for 2 adults. On VIA Rail (CN), the absolute cheapest fare is $1300, with regular fare close to $1800. That's just for cattle class. If you want beds, that'll be $2800. Single bedroom? $3600. This trip takes 2 days each way. I wanted to see what a similar trip would cost on the American Amtrak system. The closest station to Calgary is Shelby Montana. The Amtrak trip would cost $900 for cattle class. If we upgrade to Roomette / Business Class seat, it goes up to $2000. That's a significant savings assuming an at par dollar.

I am saddened and disappointed that we've let our train network disintegrate as it has. I would be happy to see the country without the hassle of being behind the wheel if the fares were more reasonable. I imagine what it would be like to ride a high speed train across the country like the kind they have in Europe. You could theoretically get from Edmonton to Toronto in 24 hours or less. Edmonton to Vancouver in 8 hours, all while looking out your window at the magnificent Rocky Mountains. These figures are based on an average speed of 140km/h, factoring in stops etc. Much better times are possible, especially across the prairies, as in Europe, some lines go as fast as 350km/h.

I love it when readers contribute

A new reader (drive-by or lurker - I don't know) submitted a link so good in an old post that it deserves its own post. Cerebral Itch has some wickedly awesome e-cards, like the sample to the right for Father's Day. But they also have tees, paper cards and magnets.

Thanks Kelly.........

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A sound transit idea

I'm quite intrigued by a new form of public transit being developed / lobbied for in many parts of the world - PRT or Public Rapid Transit. What's new here is that you don't wait for the transit, the transit waits for you. PRT moves you in pods big enough for 4 people on tracks or guideways at speeds of 40-60km/h (25-35mph). The fare structure is based on distance travelled, which can be shared with riders in the same pod. The infrastructure is designed with elevated routes, allows for more stations (because they use up less space), stations are off of the main lines - which means every trip has no stops en route. The system is billed as being more efficient, easier to build, capable of running 24/7.... the list goes on.

I was astounded at the number of sites dedicated to this new concept. Here is a good all-around site in Edmonton Alberta; the Wikipedia entry; UltraPRT - makers of one design; a European site showing plans for possible PRT systems in European cities. Heathrow airport is building a PRT system to shuttle folks from the newest terminal to the various car parks. If you only have time to choose one link, choose the one using the picture - it has the most overall information.

Stores with pun-ny names

Store / business signs with clever puns in the name.

A Salt & Battery (fish and chips). I like that one.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cracka please!

More ultra-cool tees from Busted Tees.

We really need to pay attention

If you think the entertainment industry's anti-piracy / anti-circumvention / copyright fight is accomplishing anything good; solving anything at all needs to read this intelligent article on the futility of those measures and what's at stake for everyone as measures continue to get more and more restrictive. Here's a sample:

One early darknet has been termed the “sneakernet”: walking by foot to your friend carrying video cassettes or floppy discs. Nor is the sneakernet purely a technology of the past. The capacity of portable storage devices is increasing exponentially, much faster than Internet bandwidth, according to a principle known as “Kryder’s Law.” [7] The information in our pockets yesterday was measured in megabytes, today in gigabytes, tomorrow in terabytes and in a few years probably in petabytes (an incredible amount of data). Within 10-15 years a cheap pocket-size media player will probably be able to store all recorded music that has ever been released — ready for direct copying to another person’s device.

In other words: The sneakernet will come back if needed. “I believe this is a ‘wild card’ that most people in the music industry are not seeing at all,” writes Swedish filesharing researcher Daniel Johansson. “When music fans can say, ‘I have all the music from 1950-2010, do you want a copy?’ — what kind of business models will be viable in such a reality?”

Big bang trivia question

The only private residence in Los Angeles with a fireworks permit is...... ?

RPM 20

What siblings received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Having some fun

Sorry about the picture resolution. Allow me to rectify (somewhat).

Cell titles: Spoiling movies is way more fun when you give them an ending that isn't real

Left guy: Have you seen Iron man yet?
Right Guy: No.
Left guy: Wait until you see the alien.
Right guy: You really are a dickwad.....

Chain reaction

This web site looks like just some normal online catalogue. Well..... not exactly.

Just watch what happens.

Hey Americans! Check out these gas prices!

Assuming an at par Canadian / US dollar (which is close to reality plus or minus a penny or two), as of today the price for premium gasoline in Calgary ($1.41/litre) translates to $5.33 per US gallon. That's not the most expensive price in the country either. My fill-up today cost $65 for 45 litres.

Just thought you should know.

Is facebook evil?

Hahaha! I couldn't resist the post title.

News has it that Facebook is ruining it for reunions because those who would normally go are less likely to now that they're hooking up with alumni on Facebook.

I can't really identify with that - in fact I still plan to attend a major reunion in my hometown in 2010 in spite of the fact that some of my classmates are on Facebook (the ones I could find).

Thanks to Ernest for the find.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Groovy man.....

If you have any artistic bent at all, you might love this web creativity application - Bomomo.

I could see kids having a blast with this.........

The democratic party primary - mapped

Here is an interesting map showing where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama found their support across the US during the primaries.

The NW is almost exclusively Obama, the SW, Clinton.

Dream big

If I won a significant lottery sum (several million significant), I think I know what I'd like to do.

Buy (or build) a large modern home on the ocean (must have a beach) in northern Oregon and turn it into a B&B or small boutique hotel. Darlene and I would live there and run it. We would invite our friends and family to work there, making their own contribution to the running of the place. I would cook part of breakfast every morning. My speciality is Pan fried potatoes with onion and bacon. People would wake up to the smell of them cooking and race for the kitchen. Some folks would stay at our place just to get at those potatoes.

It's my dream..... let me enjoy it.

Funniest thing read on the interwebs this week

"I can tell just by the saxophone on the Cinemax movie in the next room that I am missing some SERIOUS nudity."