This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.                             the guys: philogynist jaime tony - the gals:raymi raspil

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Michael considered fate at 18:53   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


There, I feel much better now.

Michael considered fate at 18:29   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
So the other day I realized we have had an old sega dreamcast collecting dust behind the tv. Now I remember all this talk about them being really easy to program for, and also that they handle CD-Rs with no modding required. It's a shame they flopped. Anyway, I got home and went hunting for a decent SNES emulator and 30 minutes later I had myself a CD-R with the emulator and close to 300-games of old-skool retro-video goodness! In my book that spells S-W-E-E-T.

Unfortunately, it also spells such disasterous words as G-E-E-K, N-E-R-D, and (sadly) P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Next up? All the wonders of original NES goodness.

Can you say Nintendo Jeopardy party? w00t, w00t.

I am..
   completely.
      lost.

I blame the fever.

Michael considered fate at 18:24   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

unicorns live in space...they only come to earth when summoned to do good deeds.
I thought Batch would know that shit. 
What can I say, some people just like unicorns.. in space.



It's a slow day, so sue me.

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Michael considered fate at 21:28   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

Jerk? To be technical about it, I wasn't correcting your spelling, I was actually asking the question..."Did you realize...?" I was honestly wondering if you did it on purpose or not.

Oh hum.

Keep up the good work. and don't call me a jerk. I help your numbers.
In fact one of my coworkers LOVES you. I got her hooked. She'll probably read this comment and be embarrassed. I guess I am a jerk. 
Feb, even though it's the shortest month of the year, sprang forth with vigor and produced (somehow) the absolute busiest month we've ever seen here on the blog. The visits were at an all time high, the unique count was at an all time high, and the page views were at an all time high. I'm not high and I don't worry too much about numbers, but I like to be up there if I can.

March had it's slump time, and I suppose that's to be expected coming off such a great push, but now I'm not only looking at a new all time high - I'm looking at breaking the 1000 barrier mark. Now I know that for a whole lotta average blogs out there 1000 hits in one month is nothing special at all. A friend here, a pal there, and before you know it you're getting visits left and right, jerks correcting your spelling in the comments, and friends tell friends and - if you're of this innernector generation, well, pretty soon everyone you know is here. Nevertheless, I'm still old skool. My parents still don't know about this blog, my sibling doesn't, and probably close to 95% of the people I know (friends, family, acquaintances) have no idea it exists. I'm not in the business of building readership that way. Sure, stumble by, have a look.. if you interested maybe come back again, and again.. Or not. Most of the time not. I know that, and it's fine.

Nevertheless, forgive me my vanity - I may not spend $200 on one pair of jeans and I don't buy hair gel - but 1000 hits would still be nice, as a sort of stepping stone, a marker of the journey; where it's come and where it's going.

Two days left, so it's probably not likely but I got a nod from the tone-ster with a link on his weekly specials up top and so maybe, just maybe, it'll happen.

If not, I can at least say I set a new record. Feb. has got nothing on spring, baby.

Michael considered fate at 19:51   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
I thought real hard - you know, good thoughts - as I prepared for the annual party parade that is tax season. I shouldn't complain since I've never had a bad experience unless you count getting a refund as bad (I do, it means the gov'ment has been using my money for free, goddamnit).. but this was about having a good experience. Usually, the whole ordeal bugs me in with it's pseudo-exactness; as if straight lines and columns and numbered forms make for answers that always come out the same - but they don't. A lot of us, tons even, hang between the tax code, inbetween the floors of the giant skyscraper that is the tax table. Sure, you might make $30,100 to $30,150 or $55,450 to $55,500 and therefore owe the amount you will find to the right of these numbers in the table.. or you might make $55,501.23 but figure your taxes at $55,499 due to the rounding off of cents. Then, you're at a cross-roads. You made an amount of money that places you in one bracket but your calculations put you in a different bracket. What's the difference? Oh, nothing drastic. $8 more or less but that's not the point. It's completely legal and to the point of the tax law, but it puts you in a sort of 5th dimension, split between two truths, thinning your existence out among multiple versions of the same world - like those dudes that secretly maintain two families, the "salesman" who is on the road half the time.

I don't want to be on the road half the time and I don't want to live on the 13th floor of a giant building whose floors are each a row in the U.S. tax table. I don't want to live on the existentially vague 13th floor. I don't want to be somewhere that nobody thinks about but secretly exists. It makes me grey and transparent like smudged graphite on a piece of paper, the white of the Mead stock shining through the almost metallic-looking flakes of black carbon. I don't want to be a glass of clear chocolate milk whose confused about his own identity.

When I fill out my taxes the numbers go in exactly, to the 100th decimal point. Every cent scribbled down regardless of whether the IRS finds it more annoying to calculate or not. I am, each year, a person of an exact amount of created wealth and therefore, each year, I am a person living in a distinct row of the U.S. tax table (given life on the border between two, I would choose the lower). Nevermind that they pigeon-hole us into these brackets, nevermind that they average me together with those who made as much as $49 more or $49 less. Nevermind that, to them, I am not even a number but a range of numbers - a vagary, an estimation. To the Internal Revenue Service I represent an inexactness, the idea of which is both trying and ironically appropriate given the loopy crazyness that is tax law in the United States.

Is it any surprise, in the end, that the IRS finds those poorer (and therefore, arguably, less likely to be able to pay) to the ones which it must keep better and better track of? If you make less than $3000 then they force you into smaller pigeon-holes, each tax table row comprising a mere $25 range with which to wiggle, and fall further to the depths, the dregs, the very bottom of the barrel, and you find that those who make $5 to $15 or $15 to $25 are watched so closely as to be mice, eyed by the great eagle Uncle Sam - not a 50 nor 25 dollar division is seen here, but 10 - 10 - for those who've just peeked their eyes above the standard-deduction wall.

Imagine! If you will, the trial of an orphan, an audit, a tribulation for the measly bum. His taxes - he filed - when added together, the total came to a paltry sum; $4.99, his Adjusted Gross Income read, but what was gross and ugly were the pocks upon Sam, the great eagle's head. "But $5," the horn-rimmed lady grumbled, "is what we have figured. That means you owe us," and then the ground rumbled. "Oh no, oh dear," the bum was at a lose. "What now, what's near," he imagined the cost. And then from on high, atop his tax thrown, the tax king did stop and throw down this as a moan: "One Dollar is what you owe the U.S. Government! Pay now and forever and if not be sent, to the dark and dingy cells of our prisons, now be gone and be quiet until I see you next tax season!"

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Michael considered fate at 18:55   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

did you know that you misspelled "misspellings"? 

I liked your ramblings today. 

that was the point, mispllenigs are fung 
language, certainly, is an interesting beast. it's got a certain fluidity about it that makes it bendable, malleable, twistable, shape-able. it's like homemade playdoh. you can make it any shade you want; just add food-colouring and stir; just bleed into the bowl and baste with beet juice; blend with berries; burn; brown over with powdered chocolate; orange.. carrot juice, surely?

see, this is not something those math tarts can get at because there is a certain set of rules - there are rules, walter - there is a certain foundation or framework on which all is built. 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 2 = 4 (unless it equals 5), 44 = 256, and so on and so forth. sure it's got its vagaries like imaginary numbers (you know, i2 = -1) and rings, and even rngs (you know, rings with no identity) but these are the gaseous particles of a solid theory. math has a certainty concreteness to it, no matter what your local quantum queer has to say about it.

language is, by it's very nature, vague; it can be represented incorrectly with grammatical mistakes - misspelings, not even no double-negatives are possible and irregardless of these whimsical wispy what-the-hells-are-you-talkings-abouts it is still somehow understandable, graspable, accessible in some form or fashion, to even the most elementary absorber of the written or spoken word.

is this the attraction? the option, nay, the ability - the choice - to write badly and still be misunderstood? is this what makes me come back over and over and over once more to type - tap - out the feelings and thoughts and ideas that tumble around in this bingo-ball randomizer of a head - brain - mind? is it knowing that i can speak freely with my fingers at the blank screen without recourse, tapping - typing - out the things that need to wiggle free and would at the most inopportune times (no doubt, to much embarrassment, hurt feelings, and on occasion perhaps physical altercations) if not for the opening of the faucet here on a regular basis?

yes, maybe, each point has it's truth but it's still not whole - the truth is there is that extra part; the abstract imaginary number part that needs to be put down on paper - screen - to call attention to it's imagination, to point out it's in-existence. that through this exercise the fake may become fully formed, the formed broken into many questions, the questions layed out like little complex parts (i, i, i, i) and then those parts may be thrown together, previously unfettered, to make ideas (for language, complex as it is, nevertheless represents the fiercely formal existence of thoughts - those abstract pieces that until uttered do not truly exist)
if a man thinks a thought which goes unheard
if he thoughtfully pauses but does not put to word
has that thought he did think been officially thunk
or is it just the source of a temporary funk?
ideas, i said, ideas.. i*i*i*i and *poof*, we've said it, it equaled some thoughts, or a few notions, now -1 * -1, or a positive one; an idea brought into existence, placed down in concrete words which - while possibly misunderstood - are nonetheless observed and available for further parousal; perhaps the source of later pontification. in short, it's additive, this language of ours. i can't help but scribble down what i think on the off chance a person might find it funny, humourous, or useful. not that the words on this page are me, but it's like a bad copy with smudging and fading, a facsimile of something that could be me. so sure, nothing guarantees the existence of this later on, no more than i know when i will be gone, but for one thing is sure i know that 1 + 1 = 2 and 2, they tell me, is better than 1.

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Michael considered fate at 21:10   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
public service announcment: this boy is sick and busy producing chest congestion. this show to return next week.

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something big
Alex considered fate at 22:37   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

remember that one time you and helen had phone sex? that was funny. 
I know, I know. It's been a while.

Here's the seed I would like to plant here . . . what is the significance, if any, of the intersection between (figurative) emasculation and popular media, like film.

I've started thinking about interesting ideas as intersections, because I find it's more interesting that way.

Here's a page I came across early in my interest. Just to confuse you, really.

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Michael considered fate at 23:44   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

I saw that gun in Halo 2 for sure. Just played for the first time this weekend. I'm pretty good. It's all about the plasma sword. 
A new cheap computer ($123 Euro) out of china offers an office suit 99% compatible with Microsoft Office:
The office suite that the Municator offers is called “Red Office”, an office suite developed by a Chinese company.
That's just kinda funny..

Not so funny is how much closer the U.S. military looks to something out of a bad video-game/movie with the Rock in it everyday: here is the new 6-shot grenade launcher the marines got themselves:


Michael considered fate at 12:17   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
60 minutes, which I missed this week, had a sobering piece on the political spin that scientific salad is put through before it reaches the citizen's plate. CBS News summed it up for me, though:
[Phil] Cooney, the former oil industry lobbyist, became chief-of-staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. [Rick Piltz of the federal Climate Change Science Program] says Cooney edited climate reports in his own hand. In one report, a line that said earth is undergoing rapid change becomes “may be undergoing change.” “Uncertainty” becomes “significant remaining uncertainty.” One line that says energy production contributes to warming was just crossed out.
Whether you believe that global warming is happening or not, or whether you believe it's natural or "man-made", it would seem that political spin on the issue isn't going to help matters..

And that's not it. Enter astro-turf: the new term for fake activism (don't they just have a cute name for everything). Environmental Science and Technology has an article outlining one heinous group:
ES&T has examined in detail one short-lived “grassroots” environmental organization that was based in Oregon—a state with vast forests and species-rich ecosystems. The leading figures in this group played a key role in passing President Bush’s Healthy Forests legislation and are now promoting changes to ESA [Endangered Species Act]. From dozens of interviews and reviews of thousands of pages of documents, ES&T has found clear evidence that this “grassroots” organization has clear ties to timber corporations—an industry likely to benefit financially from legislative reforms.
Meanwhile, companies like ExxonMobile are pushing "ad-ed" pieces (hey, look, another cute name.. I think that's a joke on op-ed, but I'm not laughing). This one (pdf) was published in the New York Times - you know, that "well respected news source" - a few weeks ago:
Peak Oil? Contrary to the theory, oil production shows no sign of a peak.
Nevertheless, one of the largest oil trade journals, World Oil, has this to say about the oil issue:
Every key oil pipeline and processing facility is also at 100% capacity, as is global refining capacity. The oil system has never been so tight.

Also, 2005 will go down in history books as perhaps the poorest year for exploration success for both oil and gas since World War II. This dismal success was not for lack of effort. Record amounts of funds are being plowed into Exploration and production capital spending, which is why all the world's rigs are now in use.
Oil issues via Scientific America

Michael considered fate at 11:30   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

You seem to forget that the reason we initially went into Iraq was because they supposedly posed an imminent threat to the United States. It was only after no WMDs were found that the liberation of Iraqis became the primary purpose for invading. 

Excellent point, and I never agreed with the reasoning that started this war.. but at this juncture, can we pull out and leave a pile of rubble simply because we didn't find what we expected? We've sorta put ourselves between a rock and a hard place here, and leaving is going to make us look horrible while staying is also likely to make us look horrible.

bummer. 
I realized, in hindsight, that my post from yesterday might come off a bit pro-war and overly patriotic. Indeed, that wasn't my intention at all. Admittedly, I am somewhat on the fence as far as the United States involvement in Iraq goes. As with many, I question the validity of a dump-and-run retreat, even if I didn't agree with going in the first place. At this point I feel as though there is a moral imperative to not leave the Iraqi's out to dry, while at the same time I don't necessarily think we should be there if we are not welcome. Regardless, it is clearly a heated issue which lends many more questions than it does answers.

What is perhaps more important is the question of a free people: does one's freedom impose an obligation to free others? On the surface this, of course, appears to be an easy issue. Step into the middle east, however, and things get a bit more messy. Some will argue that the U.S. occupation of Iraq is a justified freeing of the people; firmly planted on moral high ground. Others will argue that it was not the place of the United States to impose their democracy on others. Some will argue that freedom of the people should be a right of every citizen on mother earth but those same people are more likely than not enjoying mac & cheese and late night television. Things look different in the trenches. Some people have a different view of freedom. Some people do not want to be free. Others find the freedom of corporate tyranny not as liberating as the average American.

These are not the problems of our time. These are not the problems of our people. These are the problems of an entire species, and ultimately not ones that will be fixed or solved overnight, nor over the next century, no matter how much we believe they will be. Believing is not enough, for blind faith is the enemy of a free people, and this is what we should put our backs into, heart and soul; keeping our minds open and free to dreams nobody has ever told us about before.

Perhaps if Bush sounded more like Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech of 1961 (text here) I'd currently have more faith in the "world's police". Nonetheless, it would hopefully not be blind.

I'll leave you with two excerpts:
We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

...

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

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Michael considered fate at 19:33   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Looks like the Canadian version of the RIAA, the CRIA (Canadian Record Industry Association), is at odds with it's big brother. They have released a study in which they find P2P isn't bad for business afterall:
In summary, CRIA's own research now concludes that P2P downloading constitutes less than one-third of the music on downloaders' computers, that P2P users frequently try music on P2P services before they buy, that the largest P2P downloader demographic is also the largest music buying demographic, and that reduced purchasing has little to do with the availability of music on P2P services.

Michael considered fate at 18:53   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
More big numbers. The cost of the Iraq war is quickly closing in on $1 trillion dollars. A poster on metafilter points out:
That number is hard to comprehend. To get a grip on it, observe that the CIA says the average annual purchasing power of Iraqi citizens is $3,400, and there are about 7,500,000 males between 15-65 years old in Iraq. Divide this out, and it turns out that by the time we're "done" with Iraq, we could have hired each and every man in Iraq and paid them their average annual income for 39 years.
What is it they say? "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish.." Is there a correllation here? The poster continues, sarcastically:
In the past, when great pharaohs hired thousands (let alone millions) of men for decades, he'd have some big damned pyramids or something to show for it.
Are we to measure all great endeavors by the height of the facades that they might throw up in our way? Is greatness purely physical? If this is our fate, to measure by what we see and not by what we feel, then how do we measure the axis defeat of WWII? By the amount of detroyed artifacts? By the tons of rubble or the number of facades that were brought down? If pyramids are our pedestals, how can we be expected to see the trees through the forrest?

Michael considered fate at 17:36   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
For another example of our failing patent laws, check out this weekends op-ed piece in the NYTimes by Michael Crichton titled "This Essay Breaks the Law":
Elevated homocysteine is linked to B-12 deficiency, so doctors should test homocysteine levels to see whether the patient needs vitamins.
ACTUALLY, I can't make that last statement. A corporation has patented that fact, and demands a royalty for its use. Anyone who makes the fact public and encourages doctors to test for the condition and treat it can be sued for royalty fees. Any doctor who reads a patient's test results and even thinks of vitamin deficiency infringes the patent. A federal circuit court held that mere thinking violates the patent.
Think I'm done? Nope, I got one more. Marvel and DC Comics are trying to trademark "super-hero" in order to keep the little man (indie comics) down. Is that a joke? No, I guess not. As a sidenote, I saw V for Vendetta last night and, if I had to guess, I don't think V would be on the trademark bandwagon - though he might be for blowing up great cultural facades (see next newest post).

Even if Alan Moore asked to be removed from the credits despite being the author of the graphic novel the movie is based on, I give director James McTeigue and screenwriters the Wachowski bros an A- for sticking to the original plot fairly faithfully.

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Michael considered fate at 18:29   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Devices that have most impacted human civilization and shaped the course of history: Duct Tape?
In 2005, Ohio-based Henkel Consumer Adhesives, one of the world's largest makers of Duct Tape, sold enough of its "Duck Brand" duct tape to wrap around the Earth nearly 20 times.
That's a lot of duct tape.

Michael considered fate at 17:10   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
It just doesn't stop. I stick by my guns in saying that the evolution of capitalism is to first give us what we want, then cripple it, then make us pay for it, and finally give us a far more condensed version, like frozen orange juice concentrate versus a glass of OJ; sugary sweet and not what we bargained for.

This time it's AOL giving us crippled TV in the form of In2TV:
In2TV is the first broadband TV network and it's got the largest collection of free TV shows anywhere on the Web. Not just highlights or listings, but full-length TV episodes with a range of choices and loads of interactive features. Online. Anytime. Always free.

..Shows and stars you grew to know and love. Shows like 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' 'Growing Pains,' 'Wonder Woman,' 'La Femme Nikita,' 'Alice,' 'Kung Fu,' 'Babylon 5' and more. And, we will be adding more shows and video clips in the near future, including more recent programs and other TV-related content that you can't find anywhere else on the web.
Wow. This is kind of like Microsoft giving away copies of Windows 3.1. Thanks AOL!

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Michael considered fate at 21:04   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
End of WWII delayed:
On Aug. 14, 1945, Jones, a 16-year-old messenger in Washington, D.C., was entrusted to deliver to the White House the cable announcing Japan's surrender to the United States to end World War II.

Unaware of his cargo's import, the boy, in cavalier teenage fashion, put work on hold to eat pancakes at a diner, hang out with his friends and flirt with waitresses.

Later, he left his pancakes to complete the job only to be pulled over en route to the White House by a police officer, who berated the boy for making an illegal U-turn.

Meanwhile, President Truman and his inner circle waited for the note that would change history.
Anyhow, someone made a short film about it to show at the Philly Film Fest, titled The Messanger.

Michael considered fate at 19:54   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

That's Hot! 
Hip chic avant-garde fashion photography ala vice?





Or a collection of images of female Isreal Defense Force soldiers? Umm, yah, it's the second one [via metafilter]

Michael considered fate at 17:44   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Bored? So is this guy:

watch a whale swim around an aquarium.

Whoa, I need a breather.. too much fun.

Michael considered fate at 15:48   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
I know I sort of pretend to follow the rise of online media and try to report whenever the Apple iTunes service opens a new store or starts offering more content, and likewise with other outlets.. but this is a little silly - Apple Offering Full Length Movie on iTunes. From the digg.com write-up:
It appears Apple is now offering the first full-length movie for sale on the iTunes Music Store. High School Musical is a 1hr, 39minute Disney Channel original TV movie that is now available on iTunes!!!
I really gotta ask, does a Disney Channel original TV movie warrant THREE exclamation points? Really? Does it? (So strange I gave it three question marks).

The real question mark here, though, is where did Apple drop the ball? The answer is found right on their front door: With the iTunes Music Store. If Apple was such an innovative company, as they claim and are oft labelled to be, wouldn't they have capitalized on the future and named their online service the iTunes Media Store?

This is just evidence that sure, you can be in the right place at the right time but that doesn't necessarily mean you predicted the (oh oh, I'm gonna use a buzzword) long tail of the future (okay okay, that was probably miss-use. shuush). But my point is this: hindsight is 20/20. Sure, it may look like Apple planned to offer more than just music from the start. Sure it may look like they are rolling out their perfected plan from 10 years ago.. but, nevertheless, their online offering is the iTunes Music Store.

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Michael considered fate at 21:41   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
From the isn't-that-obvious? department comes this tidbit: Kids who play in the woods are more likely to be eco-conscious in adulthood. From Boingboing.net's commentary:
A new study suggests that adults who actively care about the environment were likely to have played a lot in the "wild." Cornell University environmental psychologists looked at data from more than 2,000 adults to analyze whether childhood nature experiences correlated with attitudes about the environment later in life. Interestingly, guided nature experiences like scouts and environmental education classes doesn't affect people in the same way as "free play in nature."
The full article can be found here (appropriately at "eurekalert.org").

Michael considered fate at 20:38   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Maybe we were better off in the dark? Shortness of Dark - the woes of an artificially lit world:
The evidence that artificial light strips us of some of our well-being is not conclusive, but it is concerning. If you must stay awake during the night, it may be prudent to leave the lights out, and allow the pineal gland to do its work. So far, studies on the effectiveness of artificially-administered melatonin have shown mixed results. In any case, a regular dose of darkness may be the best preventative measure against becoming a stressed-out, constipated, ulcer-riddled cancer patient.
This is why I always blog in the dark, with the monitor off, and the reason you should never pick on me for my many typos.

Michael considered fate at 18:21   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
"Getting much work done, Michael?" - Decidedly, no.

But it seems clear that there are people out there with far more time on their hands than I, like, for example, this guy who tracks his hamster's treadmill statistics:
Over a 270 day period:
  • Total distance: 372,995.34 meters (231.78 miles!)
  • Total Accumulated Time: 17 days 5:09:25
  • Max speed ever: 66.0 cm/s (2.38 km/h)

Michael considered fate at 17:23   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Yet more TV content online. Through Apple's iTunes service HBO is offering video interviews with the cast, show summaries, behind-the-scenes footage and audio clips from the shows The Sopranos, Big Love, Rome and Entourage. Actual shows to follow? Showtime has already begun releasing full shows through iTunes - and is seeing success.

Meanwhile, the French are huffing and puffing about the iPod monopoly and threatening to enact a law, under which:
It would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management--the codes that protect music, films and other content--if it is to enable the conversion from one format to another, said Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France..

..The law, if enacted, could prompt Apple to shut its iTunes store in France, some industry observers say, to keep from making songs vulnerable to conversion outside France, too.
Sweet.. Of course opening up the content in one country would effectively allow anyone who wants the open content to get it using a french web proxy, I would suspect. Those Europeans and South Americans really love their open systems - an indicator of one of the key political divides between them and us North American counterparts. Grow up with capitalism and life looks a lot different out the window, not surprisingly.

Michael considered fate at 17:17   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Hey, it's a dream come true.. or, umm, not. X-Ray porn! This picture is one of the bunch that is x-rated only in an x-ray way, so careful with the rest:


Michael considered fate at 16:32   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

The flowchart is surely the best thing to come out of this. I read about it in the LA times the day it happened . . . sounded pretty friggin fishy even then. 
I'm having a hard time passing this one up, now that (as the dude says) "new things have come to light". Basically this story has been-a-brewin' for awhile but was never quite interesting enough for me to bother. Now, it's quite the twisted and convoluted modern fairy tale complete with imaginary people, Swedish mafia, electronics, and mysterious "men in black". Read on for details.

For me, it all started with the Feb. 21st article on BoingBoing.net reporting a "Rare Ferrari busted in half" in an accident in Malibu. Okay, not interesting yet, right? But then the details got weird:
Bel-air resident Stefan Eriksson claims that he was just a passenger in the car and that the driver, who he knew only as "Dietrich," ran away from the scene. Apparently, investigators haven't yet determined who owns the car either.
Enter the illustrious imaginary person, Dietrich.

Well, it turns out - in a bit of twisted irony - Eriksson was a top executive in the game company Gizmondo. As reported by the LA Times:
Stefan Eriksson had hoped that millions of video gamers would experience the thrill of street racing on a hand-held device he helped develop. But then Eriksson's $1-million Ferrari was totaled, an accident that gamers around the world may see as a cruel metaphor for the collapse of the portable console company.

Eriksson was a top executive for Gizmondo, a European video game system maker that two years ago garnered international headlines by challenging Sony and Nintendo with its own PSP-like device..

..But on the eve of Gizmondo's U.S. launch last fall, Eriksson resigned from the firm while in Los Angeles to market the device. His resignation came days before a Swedish newspaper alleged that Eriksson had been convicted of counterfeiting in the Scandinavian country in the early 1990s.
Whoa, the plot thickens.. and then,
Witnesses told detectives the Ferrari was drag racing with a Mercedes-Benz SLR.
So now we have our imaginary and shadowy figure Dietrich, a possible convict - mafia? So where are our men in black? The LA Times keeps us up to date - Ferrari Case Takes New Twist With Possible Tie to Bus Agency - A week later:
The car's owner [Eriksson], a former video game executive from Sweden, told Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies at the scene of the Feb. 21 accident in Malibu that he was deputy commissioner of the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority's police anti-terrorism unit, detectives said Thursday. [Say what?]

A few minutes after the crash, two unidentified men arrived at the scene, flashing badges and saying they were from "homeland security," according to Sheriff's Department officials..

..detectives now doubt initial reports that the Ferrari was racing a Mercedes SLR. Detectives had interviewed a second man who said he was a passenger in a Mercedes SLR that he said was racing the Ferrari at the time.

"There was no Mercedes SLR," Brooks said. "Simply, there was a Ferrari with two people in it. One of these men was driving."
Interestingly enough, Eriksson apparently owns a Mercedes SLR - but it's been reported to Scotland Yard as stolen, and apparently the Royal Bank of Scotland owns the Ferrari:
Sergeant Phil Brooks, of the LA County Sheriff's department, said: "The Royal Bank of Scotland called us after seeing the story in the UK Press. They said they owned the Ferrari because it was supposed to have been repossessed.

"However, we have not received any official paperwork."
Continuing on with the LA Times piece:
Just as murky is Eriksson's connection to the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority.

The organization is a privately run nonprofit that has agreements with Monrovia and Sierra Madre to provide bus rides for disabled residents.

On its website, the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority lists its address as 148 E. Lemon Ave. in Monrovia. The location is Homer's Auto Service, an auto repair shop.
Note that initial reports of the Ferrari travelling at 120mph have been uped to 162mph. Furthermore, Gamerevolution.com have a pretty solid mash-up of this Ferrari debacle (although they talk of a previously unmentioned passenger of the Ferrari, "Trevor") in which they add a $14 million dollar Yacht and a handgun to the equation (oh, and they lose Trevor):
It only gets creepier. The good samaritan who initially stopped and lent Trevor a cell-phone suddenly discovered a loaded glock magazine stuffed behind the seat of their car. Meanwhile, the authorities were shocked to find that the home address Trevor supplied to the cops turned out to be the boat slip for a $14 million dollar yacht that presumably went out to sea with Trevor onboard. According to this article in the Malibu Times, the owner of the yacht is none other than Carl Freer, former director of Gizmondo Europe and business associate of Stefan Eriksson.
Have you been sucked in yet? Well, there is even more. Read the full Gamerevolution.com article (with lots of juicy links) for - as Harvey would say - "the rest of story..."

Oh yah, don't miss the flow chart they drew up! It's the reason I even wrote this post.

Michael considered fate at 16:14   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Ahh, it is spring again and I can feel it. While the technically-obsessed will argue that the 21st of March is but a vague haze on the horizon of this Monday, the 13th, it is nevertheless a feeling I speak of, not some sort of formulaic result, not some number or scientific expression. I'm talking more of dear Mother Nature who as we speak is emoting plans of a spring cleaning. The drizzle, light and almost invisible, floats on the air today as light as snowflakes; an attempt to switch gears without us noticing - but we do. I do. Like the change in mood of your best friend's attitude, this is emotion that you cannot miss.

So says the smartpinapple:
i feel sorry for all you fools in love. i want to spit in your face. what is it about you that makes you think that, by comprimising all your being, you are somehow happier as a result? all you couples tiptoeing around like it's a goddamned miracle that love somehow found you. guess what? it's not.

it looks for the weak hearted and the ones willing to be mushed together into one. the more mushable you are, the more in love you are. and, if god be willing and tender, the more miserable you will be in the future.
If that's not spring induced, I don't know what is.

More than just all that renewal bologna, spring is a time when people start to realize a bit of the nonsense that's been flying around - the stuff they've been hunkering down against all winter - and actually start to make some noise. I'm not pretending that will make a difference or anything, but it's always nice to see someone get a little teary-eyed and serious for once.

Michael considered fate at 16:04   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Random link of the day: a 35 year old fresh water lobster the size of a small large toddler. At almost a meter long, this is one giant mofo.


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Michael considered fate at 18:00   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Diet Coke, Fritos, and... iPods? Atlanta airport has it's own iPod Vending Machine. How, um.. convienent?

Michael considered fate at 17:47   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Censorship what? I thought it was all about China these days, but I guess us freedom-flaunting Americans have our own problems - like our military censoring websites from our soldiers:

Marine warns Wonkette of websites banned on the Marine web in Iraq:
  • Wonkette – “Forbidden, this page (http://www.wonkette.com/) is categorized as: Forum/Bulletin Boards, Politics/Opinion.”
  • Bill O’Reilly (www.billoreilly.com) – OK
  • Air America (www.airamericaradio.com) – “Forbidden, this page (http://www.airamericaradio.com/) is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”
  • Rush Limbaugh (www.rushlimbaugh.com) – OK
  • ABC News “The Note” – OK
  • Website of the Al Franken Show (www.alfrankenshow.com) – “Forbidden, this page (http://www.airamericaradio.com/) is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”
  • G. Gordon Liddy Show (www.liddyshow.us) – OK
Mmm. G. Gordon Liddy. My favourite.

Michael considered fate at 17:32   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
A recent Gallup Poll - Evolution vs. Bible's Explanation of Human Origins - shows that:
About half of Americans reject an evolutionary explanation for the origin of humans and believe that God created humans at one time "as is." Those with lower levels of education, those who attend church regularly, those who are 65 and older, and those who identify with the Republican Party are more likely to believe in the biblical view of the origin of humans than are those who do not share these characteristics.
Yipes.

Michael considered fate at 16:54   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
The Last Days of the Ark is an interesting read about the dwindling breeds of livestock (from turkeys to cattle) and how, as usual, we can probably lay blame with large corporations. Our only option to maintain some sembelance of diversity?
[People] can vote for change with that most democratic of ballots .. the almighty buck. "Shopping is where we can have a direct impact by making choices," Teitel observes.[Martin Teitel is executive director of a philanthropic organization of the heirs of C. S. Mott (one of the founders of General Motors) that distributes about $1 million annually with the purpose of preserving the environment and the right to dissent] Vote for organic greens, he suggests, or brown eggs instead of white, or meat and produce from family-owned farms.

With what we buy and from whom we buy, believes Teitel, "we can make a direct choice on our future and our children's future."

Michael considered fate at 15:37   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
This just strikes me as a bit funny:
Toyota Motor Corp. says it will pay $4.5 million in back wages to workers in Georgetown, Kentucky, as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a case that originated with workers in a chicken processing plant.

..At issue: The time it takes workers to put on protective clothing and get to their workstations, and whether they are paid for that time.
[about 8 minutes, by the way]
4.5 million. That's a lotta dough - roughly $4500 per "plantiff" - not bad for 8 minutes work.

Michael considered fate at 15:00   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
We're on our way, folks. The iTunes music store is now offering subscriptions to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for $9.99 / month. Resonable? Hard to say. That's about 3 cents a minute. If your cable bill is $50/month, that's the equivalent of about 76 daily shows, or 38 hour-long shows. Do you watch 38 hours of tv a month?

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Michael considered fate at 20:35   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
If you believe the hype, Intel might finally be climbing back atop the fastest processor pedestal. We'll have to see how things go in the "real world".

Michael considered fate at 17:14   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

Michael considered fate at 17:01   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Sidenote: while I'm in no way associated with any sort of finanicial planning institution (private or public) I do think Intel (INTC) is probably one of the better buys out there right now if you're looking to make a little money over the next few years. They're basically at an almost 3 year low. Maybe AMD is making heavy progress against them but mark my words, they're not going to turn into a pumpkin and disappear on us.

all information here has been provided for informational purposes only (what else would you do with information except that which is informational purposes?). it is not intended for financial trading purposes or as advice of any kind.

Michael considered fate at 16:54   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Okay, just cause it's pertinent to the current sentiment on this site, I give you a recent metafilter post:
Prof. Daniel Dennett's (New York University, Philosophy) new book Breaking the Spell solicited this response from NYT book reviewer Leon Wieseltier: "The question of the place of science in human life is not a scientific question. It is a philosophical question." Then he goes on to show he knows nothing of philosophy, according to the post.

Prof. Brian Leiter (University of Texas, Philosophy) has this to say on the matter: "'The view that science can explain all human conditions and expressions, mental as well as physical' is not a 'superstition' but a reasonable methodological posture to adopt based on the actual evidence, that is, based on the actual expanding success of the sciences . . . during the last hundred years."
Follow the link for all those links I should have added but was far too lazy to (I mean, look, I basically copied the post anyway).

Michael considered fate at 15:57   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Here's a weird one: There is a New Jersey bill being considered that would illegalize anonymous posting on the internet (basically). Specifically, it would require posters to either a) post their legal name and address along with their message or b) report their legal name and address to the forum and/or ISP. I don't have to tell you how silly this is. I don't have to tell you that you are free and very welcome to send all the anonymous mail you want through the U.S. Postal service. I don't have to tell you that newspapers (you know, "public forums" of sorts) will print anonymous letters to the editors. Not to mention the fact that there really isn't any way you could police this.

More silliness? XM satellite radio is being pressured by Clear Channel to re-introduce advertising on CC channels. I'd like to say something like told-yah-so or gee-wiz, whaddyah yah know but it's moot. Advertising will always find it's way. It's the embodiment of the viral aspects of our higher-order brain functioning. Calm down, ma, it's only natural.

This last one; not so silly. An oil pipeline in Alaska might have spilled a shit-ton of oil. State, federal and oil company officials say it ain't that bad.
The amount spilled is far greater than BP and government officials are saying, according to oil industry critic Chuck Hamel. Hamel, of Alexandria, Va., said he learned from onsite personnel that the spill volume is closer to 798,000 gallons, which would make it the second largest oil spill in Alaska, second only to the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill of 11 million gallons in Prince William Sound.

Hamel said meters record the volume flowing into the pipe as well as the amount leaving it.

"There's a 798,000 gallon discrepancy," he said in a phone interview. He declined to provide documentation of the discrepancy, however.

Hamel also said operators knew there was a leak at least 36 hours before the spill was found, because the smell of crude vapors was noted.
I'm guessing.. well.. I'm guessing there is certainly some discrepancies involved here but it probably has more to do with PR than oil. Cause really, what's a few hundred million gallons of oil here or there?

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Michael considered fate at 16:45   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Brokeback... what? It's not particularly surprising that we live in a society that has difficulty naming a gay cowboy movie 'best flick of the year' - even in 2006 - because what makes us who we are is our constant back-and-forth struggle with change and we all know the alternative lifestyle seems a bit much for much of the stuffy righties making all the policy 'round these here parts nowadays - I'm talkin' about them republicans what with their gun-toting anti-abortionism what-not pro-war whodunit, not me, I think it was them afghanies. You know who I'm talking about. The same folks passing signing laws in South Dakota making it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it is necessary to save the woman's life, with no exception in cases of rape or incest, according to an Associated Press report. The same folks trying to extradite the Prince of Pot Mark Emery from Canada to face trial in the States. The same people, basically, who are wasting our time. Cripes.

Isn't there a war going on somewhere? Have we forgot about this? Did it slip our minds? Think back .. doesn't Vietnam seem like, I dunno, a big deal? Doesn't WWII exist as a giant black cloud in human history? When did war become so unimportant that we would rather worry about abortion and pot? Who really cares?

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Michael considered fate at 16:41   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
bacteria is fun: Gardens-in-a-Petri


Michael considered fate at 16:30   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
ohhh.. my head, yi yi yi.. Yoww.

      stop. relax.

  okay.

Michael considered fate at 13:17   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
It's only Thursday but it's nice out and I feel like it so what the hell we'll call this post Saturday secrets - why? Because I can and I feel like it; nobody, ain't nobody, gonna tell me I can't call a post on Thursday afternoon "Saturday secrets". Helluva way to start, huh? Like a child, petulant, and anti-authorative. Delicious. Wonderful. Let's continue..

The secret is that I'm a gemini and, while I share some traits with my fellow two-faced groupies I am certainly not exactly like all of them. In fact I'm a May gemini which puts me in the minority and don't ever let a June Jemini tell you they're as rare or special as a May gemini because they're just lying through their teeth. They know better.

The secret is that, as a gemini, I have unfortunately and exceedingly delicate taste. Sure, I can hog it like the rest of 'em, eat from the trough buffet style, and roll in my own shit (preferrably, since mine don't stink) but that doesn't mean I always want to.

The secret is that freckles do me in and freak me out - not as if they're catching but more like a big warning sign: whoa, slow down, not here, go back. I could never quite figure them out and it's why I've been scratching my brain about those elusive redheads for almost my whole life. I say almost because I think I actually remember the first time I thought about girls and then after that the first time I thought about redheads and, yah, they really are a breed of their own. They aren't exactly a "girl" per se. Maybe a nymph; something with a little bit of evil in it and not just because red=devil or any of that typical bullshit but because there is a certain flare, a certain something about being a somebody, being a something that is someone somewhat unique. It's recessive, you know.

So while all those redheads out there may be drop dead freckle-gorgeous bombshells I can't put my finger on it and I can't get over it but they just unnerve me like an undead butler in a haunted house opens the front doors; with his eyes, just by looking at it.

Only one redhead I ever really looked over closely and even then I knew I had no chance, couldn't handle the fiery spirits; could barely keep up with the topic let alone the hundreds of freckles dancing around in front of my eyes like so many starry - eye was surprised I could even feel my face; I ran away.

Someday, I figure, if things work out that way and I have, at some point down the line, that sort of planetariffic sky-scape of tiny red stars and galaxies and clusters well, I, well, I just imagine I'd be straight up wrong if I didn't sit down (immediately) and, connect the dots. I'd connect one to the other, then the next one, and damned if I wouldn't follow that maze all the way to the center of the universe.

Michael considered fate at 12:55   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Well this is going to be interesting. ABC to Offer (FREE) Ad-Supported TV Show Downloads:
Viewers will have the ability to access shows such as ‘Lost,’ ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on ABC.com [and presumably iTunes?]. They will be ad supported, free to the consumer.
First off, I love how they cheekily present this as being a "free to the consumer" experience. Nevertheless, that's basically your standard free speech versus free as in beer discussion, so I won't rehash it here.

Michael considered fate at 11:50   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Whoa, Yipes, Zow, Wee - STOP the presses folks. Microsoft may be set to introduce an ultra-mobile PC:
The veil of mystery surrounding Microsoft’s secretive Origami portable device lifted just a little on Thursday after the firm updated the project’s cryptic Web site (www.origamiproject.com), hinting that all would be revealed on March 9..

..Microsoft has confirmed that an ultra-mobile PC is in the works, but the company has declined to offer specific details.
Umm.. wait a minute. Don't we already have those? I think they are called PDAs, if I'm not mistaken.


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