Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cold + Snow + Sniffles = Not impressed

For anyone travelling through the Rockies en route to Calgary, the legend of Canada being the land of ice and snow was reinforced today. In the mountains and surrounding areas, there was white stuff on the ground this morning. Calgary was still green, but still tempered by a chilly high of 7C (46F). The furnace is actually on today at our house. It's still (barely) August for those keeping track.

That would have made my Labour Day long weekend interesting enough, but I also came down with a cold. Yeah. My nose is running a marathon. I know - sad joke.

I don't care.

I'm not all about classic rock you know.....

Time for a change in the jukebox play list.

This week, I threw up some Moby.

You're probably familiar with Moby even if you think you aren't as a lot of his music has been licensed for commercials and movies. And in case that's all you know of his work, I've kept the tempo on the low side, as some of his stuff is high energy, gritty techno. I'm... uh...... down with his mellower stuff.

What if MJ remained uncut

Experts predict that this is what Michael Jackson would look like today had it not been for all that plastic surgery.

So say we all

If I didn't know any better, I'd think the Republican ticket was created to appeal to Battlestar Galactica fans............

Kudos to the Presurfer for the find.

Myth Busters are taught a lesson

The boys from Myth Busters were going to do a piece on how crappy RFID security is. They were shut down before they could even get started.
(First 2 minutes of video is the relevant part)

In other words:
Bank: "As our valued customer, we want to keep you secure with the latest technology."
Customer: "But your technology sucks ass."
Bank: [to security] "Shut that person up right now, OK?"

Katrina.... meet Gustav

Here we go again. Thanks to the reality check that was hurricane Katrina, Gustav has earned a great deal of respect and citizens of New Orleans are leaving in droves.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

30 years of Theatre Sports

The summer is over and I terminated my sabbatical from Loose Moose last night with an ushering job. It was terrific to see everyone (who was there) again and once again felt like my batteries were totally recharged. On Friday nights, the Micetro format is going away for a few months, replaced by TheatreSports. This is where established teams of improvisors compete against each other as opposed to the individual competitions of Micetro.

I don't recall if I mentioned this before, but Loose Moose is the birth place of TheatreSports and this year marks the 30th anniversary of its creation. I highly recommend a visit to Loose Moose to take in this and any other of their fine shows this year.

Chocolate covered bacon

My poster says it all. This is for the bacon and chocolate lovers out there. You know who you are.....

Here's an article on the stuff.

Friday, August 29, 2008

This map quiz should be fairly simple

In this map, what do the places in red signify?

(The other 2 countries are Liberia and Myanmar)

Tweak the Fox

If you're using Firefox 3 (or 2), you likely know that it's the customizable browser. Aside from the GUI customization (toolbars and such), there are tweaks you can do to improve Firefox's performance.

Read about it here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

For the geek who has everything

Geeky license plates.

That just about says it all...............

Touching the heavens in Dubai

I know I've mentioned the Burj Dubai skyscraper before. Originally they claimed it would reach one kilometre into the sky but it's only topping out at about 800 metres or 2625 feet (only....).

Here's a site devoted to it's progress. On 7 September 2007, it passed Canada's CN Tower as the world's tallest freestanding structure on land. The picture on the left shows how little is left to build. It stands at 180 floors today. It will be finished in about a year. Here's a video of the progress.

Little did I know, there's supposedly going to be an even taller building in Dubai , reaching up to 1400 metres (4600 feet)! That will be bizarre...... once they make up their minds.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Behold the chil'ens

Our grand-daughter Olivia is visiting for a couple of days.

Here's a picture of her taken today. She's 3 months old.

She's tired in this picture, almost ready for a sleep.

Earlier she was flailing the arms and legs and making all sorts of noises. Couldn't get her views on baby technology in the new millennium though. Not yet. She'll speak sooner or later.

How much do you like chocolate?

Look at the picture.

Keep looking while you count to 10.

Are you still seated at the computer, or are you on your way to search for chocolate?


It's about time... sanity in the midst of insanity

A Federal judge rules that copyright owners must consider "fair use" of their works before sending take down notices to online video sites.

It is the law after all.

At the centre of this is the short home video of the baby dancing to Prince's Let's Go Crazy.

Note to self

Don't visit a US Federal building wearing a shirt with the word lesbian on it. Homeland Security will have your....... umm....... number.

Where are the robots?

Apparently, more and more companies are switching to a 4 day work week. You still work 40 hours, but you work 10 hours per day for 4 days.

What I want to know is - whatever happened to the predicted panacea of robots and machines doing all of our work for us?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Look ma....... no wires (part three)

Intel announces that wireless power for devices is a viable reality.

No word on when this might be brought to market.

The labour situation in Calgary is so bad......

....... how bad is it?

It's so bad the nearest Burger King is closed Sundays, closes Saturday night at 8pm and doesn't serve breakfast anymore.

Another Burger King elsewhere in the city closed its doors a few months back.

Just something I was thinking about today

We live across the street from a park. It has two soccer / football fields and a baseball diamond. Ever since we moved to this house in 1998, there has been rugby played in the park all summer long. Rugby isn't a sport I follow, but I have nothing against it. I often watched in disgust however while the players would race into the neighbourhood (through the playground zone), jockey for a parking spot on the street, crank their tunes in impromptu car stereo competitions while waiting for their games / practises to start, swear like troopers at the top of their lungs, then drag race out of the neighbourhood (again through the playground zone). This happened several times a week at night and some weekends the field would be dominated by day long testosterone-fests.

Over the years my neighbour ( an older lady in her 70s - rest her soul) often asked them politely not to park in front of our homes (there's school lots and a whole side of the street open to park users), or to please can the car stereo contests, or to stop the drag races, but was always met with choice words not suitable for your mother. So this crap basically went on for at least 10 years while I've been here.

This year I noticed that the rugby players haven't made a showing at all. Curious, I mentioned it to another neighbour, who said he knew why. Last year he caught one of the players peeing on his front fence. Fed up, he called the City to complain about their continual antics that had been going on for years. The City said, "Uh, we don't know what you're talking about - we have no records of any rugby teams licensed to play in your field". So the neighbour invited the City official over to watch the next practise. Turns out the players had been using the park without permission. As soon as the City had proof and identified the clubs involved, they threatened the teams to get their asses off the field permanently, or their license to use any field in the city would be permanently revoked.

And they haven't been back since.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Doin' Anne Murray

I'm watching Canadian Idol. They're down to 4 contestants. They'll be singing Anne Murray tunes. Host Ben Mulroney says to Sass Jordan (one of the judges):

"Sass............ 4 guys doin' Anne Murray................................... songs."

The look on Sass's face was priceless.

I'm so proud to be Canadian.


Annie Lennox. What more do you have to say, really? Only that her voice sends chills down my spine. I saw her in concert a couple of years ago and would like to see her headline a show instead of just open one.

You call that air guitar? Please......

I'm not sure I understand what really counts in the World Air Guitar Championships. I watched a clip of the winner of the competition and I must say........... I'm not at all impressed. Yeah, he may look like a rocker, but the technical merit score from me would have been very low. Shouldn't air guitar look like you are playing a real guitar? What I saw was mostly wildly flailing arms and spinning around with more wild flailing. Sorry dude.......


How much does the tooth fairy leave at your house?

While waiting in line at the grocery store today, Darlene and I overheard one young lad telling this nice policewomen (whom the family knew) that he got $5 for his missing tooth.

Five bucks!!!! Man......... When I was a kid, we got a quarter. Not a quarter of five dollars, a 25 cent piece!

Surely inflation does not account for that kind of increase.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Drinking in history

Yesterday, my good friend Bernie introduced me to what is touted as the oldest alcoholic beverage known to humankind - mead.

Mead is made from honey. I had never tried it before and I have to admit, it's pretty hard not to tell it comes from honey even though the brand we had is fairly dry - it is so smooth. They picked it up at Chinook Arch Meadery in Okotoks. We sampled the Melissa's Gold Mead.

T'was yummish.

More French Humour.....

Are they on a roll? I don't know.

Presenting Urban Olympics.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gargantuan..... humongous.... immense......

It's hard to get a mental image of how big the Olympic Stadium (the Bird's Nest) in Beijing is if you're not there.

Here's a 360 degree panorama that tries to help you with that.

Fait accompli part deux

In case you wanted to see the back yard project from a different angle to include the new rock / path / sheds / cedar fence and gate treatment.

Turn videos into still photo quality

Coming soon to a video editing program near you........

Film a scene with your video camera, take a few high resolution stills with your digital camera, throw them into this software and it magically introduces the high resolution (and other qualities) of the stills into the video. This special software can also remove unsightly scene elements.

Very cool.

Can you say........ lawsuit?

He was an chopper pilot in the National Guard, and in the Army. After an honourable discharge, he became a pilot with a regional airline in Texas.

Now he's on a no-fly list and his employer has given him until Labour Day to clear his name, or he will be let go. The likely reason for his being on the list? He converted to Islam and is married to an immigrant from Pakistan.

This has been an Ernest contribution.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Magic toner

Sometimes you can't trust the 'toner empty' light on a laser printer. [Yes, I made quotes with my fingers while I was saying laser]

Mine on my Brother printer came on..... oh I don't know...... 6 months ago? It's still printing just fine.

Fait accompli

Well, tomorrow we finally get to christen our new back yard paradise. Good friends, bison steaks, homemade baked beans, homemade potato salad and a surprise dessert. OK fine, it's homemade cupcakes. We're providing everything but the steaks (thanks Bernie - you hoser).

So what's the big deal? We finally did everything we wanted done in the back yard:
  • Build 16x20 ground level deck.
  • Prune tree.
  • Install LED lights around tree trunk.
  • New deck furniture.
  • Fire bowls.
  • Swap remainder of grass for stone. No more grass. YAY!
  • New sheds for storage and privacy wall.
  • New 6 foot cedar fence and gate.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Time to change what's playing in the jukebox

This week in the playlist (over there on the right), I introduce you to one of my favourite new (to me) artists - Ray Lamontagne.

First impressions are everything, and I'm so glad that the first song I ever heard from Ray was the first song in the playlist, Be Here Now. The music is so calming and has such flow - and that voice! It just struck a chord with me and spurred me into finding more music from this natural talent.

Enjoy at least a week with Ray.

Harassment = survival?

A Russian advertising executive who sued her boss for sexual harassment lost her case after a judge ruled that employers were obliged to make passes at female staff to ensure the survival of the human race.

Let's just call it appliance porn

It's a collection of disassembled appliances, with the parts laid out in an artistic fashion.

Only on the internet...............

Picture at left NOT from collection.

Small time trivia

There's a magazine that always has the same person on the cover.

Which magazine?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scary real face animation

You all seemed to enjoy the animated faces video I posted a while back, so I figured you'd like this too.

Emily is fake. She is an animation. Until the 1:31 mark. Then you see the real Emily.

Look for the 'watch in high quality' link under the Views counter...... it looks even better in high quality.

Humour! From France!

La vie des animaux selon les hommes (roughly: the life of animals - interpreted by men).
Who said the French don't understand humour? Merde!

Link one. Link two.

RPM 27

A one time entourage member described this artist as "a walking pharmaceutical company".

Who would that be?

[did you all miss this one?]

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who will Obama pick for VP?

OK... OK. So...... anyone? Can you call it before it's announced?

Who is Barack Obama going to pick as his running mate? Do you care?

For the record, I predict Hillary, but I'm secretly hoping John Edwards.

Do as we say, not as we do (cont)

Quoted from the J-Walk blog:

Last week, John McCain said:
"In the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations."

Today, Condi Rice said:

"Russia is a state that is unfortunately using the one tool that it has always used whenever it wishes to deliver a message and that's its military power. That's not the way to deal in the 21st century."

Somebody should tell George W.

Am I the only one who finds this insulting?

A new series on Playboy TV is based on the notion that "boys love their toys" and will pit girls against gadgets. On Gadget or the Girl, guys choose between a weekend getaway with a girl of their choice or a surprise high-tech gadget, ranging from plasma TVs to arcade game machines. Each episode will feature a guy being introduced to three women and picking two to go on a date, then choose one girl to be his solo companion for the evening. After a few hours, he has to decide if he wants the weekend getaway with the girl, or take home the secret gadget (revealed after the decision is made). If the girl convinces the guy to pick her, she gets a prize.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Birthday greetings from Joe Cocker (If closed captioning had been around during Woodstock).

It starts out seriously enough..... but not for long.

Looking forward to the next session Mr Prentice?

Michael Geist wrote a great summary about how bill C-61 (Canada's new DMCA-like law) kills many everyday consumer uses in today's Toronto Star.

This law will be debated this fall's session in Parliament.

A recent CTV story on the topic is here.

Memorable business card design

Here's an awesome assortment of business card designs.

I especially like the design pictured here.

Many other sublime creations. Yeah, I just used the word sublime. Chalk it up to heat-stroke....

Imperial Fleet tour Earth 08182008

This put a smile on my face. A video was created that makes it look like the Imperial Fleet from Star Wars is visiting San Francisco, complete with Death Star. The Imperial shuttle landing looked just a bit too fake, but the rest of the presentation was downright spooky.

Every office needs this

Too funny.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Check out this wild shadow performance art by Pilobolus.

Quick, before the internet nazis take it down.

Use the sun to keep you cool

A company from California has produced an air conditioner unit that operates (partly or fully, depending on whether you add extra panels) on solar power - with battery backup. Now that's green.

Some folks understand technology....

I'd like to pass along a link to a video of Cory Doctorow's recent speech at Cambridge. It is a very insightful talk about copyright, why DRM is doomed to failure, piracy and much more. If you crave an understanding of the value of an unrestricted internet or how the internet has transformed our society, you need to watch this very intelligent person's presentation. If the video at the link is slow, try this link. Personally, I just downloaded the video for later viewing from Google Video.

[update] Now there's a transcript of the speech in case you needed to take it in at your own speed (Cory is a fast talker).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

IKEA job interview

Here's your funny for the day...

It's like eBay for logos....

Imagine that you need a logo designed for your business or product. You want access to a variety of quality submissions while keeping your costs reasonably low. Impossible, right?

Enter LogoBids. The process is simple:
  • Tell the designers what you want
  • Tell Us what you want to spend
  • See The Designs Submitted
  • Accept Your Perfect Design
Then pay. I love it. The site shows off many of the submitted designs.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

A former Seattle police chief is an outspoken critic of the war on drugs, which he believes causes untold misery, undermines effective law enforcement, and doesn't begin to pass any sort of cost-benefit analysis. One trillion dollars spent since the Nixon administration. To what end?

Norm Stamper believes that the drug war—and other wars on the behaviours on consenting adults, damages the idea that we own our bodies.

Are those mukluks you're wearing or are you just happy to see me?

Never mind importing Playboy and Hustler TV for Canadian viewing, the CRTC has approved Northern Peaks - Canada’s first all-porn all-the-time TV channel. As a part of the deal, Northern Peaks must provide 50% Canadian content in prime time (regular prime time, not porn prime time) and - not making this up - all programming must be closed captioned.
So.... uh..... how do you close caption a significant portion of porn programming?

Another condition of the license: The content must fall under certain categories such as: long-from documentaries, dramatic show, comedy, special, mini-series and movies, among others. Well, I guess you could classify a porn performance as comedy if you watch it with the sound off and the closed captioning turned on......

Thanks again to Ernest for the content.