Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Yea.. sorry dumbass

Was reading the Daily News today and a piece about N. Liberties.

"I'm in a constant state of rage," said Jesse Gardner, 48, designer of the Liberty Lands park at 3rd and Poplar streets. His home on 4th Street near George was broken into in July while his family slept.

So, the people living in N. Liberties are upset becasue their houses are being broken into. Yea, sorry.. you chose to live in a bad neighborhood in Philadelphia. If this were New York, I'd be right there with you, but how could you expect to be perfectly safe living in Northern Liberties? Are you kidding me?

Hissy Fit on CNN

Weather guys get no real respect until "Big Weather" events happen. The hurricane is one of them.. Anyway, here is a funny clip of a CNN weather guy getting pissed that the talking head is butting into his broadcast: "Let me talk!" heh..

here is the clip.

Aldous Huxley is important

I’m not finished it yet, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying the book "Island" by Aldous Huxley. No, this isn’t the book version of the movie "The Island" that they tried to get us to watch this summer, it’s something a lot more important.

Let me back up a bit and talk a little bit about Aldous Huxleys other important book "Brave New World". I’m sure you’ve all heard of that one. If you haven’t, I really suggest that you go out and read it as soon as you can. It’s amazing. It is fiction but what it proposes is a society that just may become real in some distant future. At the same time, in some ways it is also a very good commentary on how things are today. I had actually never heard of the book when I was turned on to it by someone quite smart after I had been trying to turn them on to a movie that I was in love with "The Matrix". After I gave them this huge description of the film and how the world was just an illusionary prison she said to me: "...sounds like Brave New World". I immediately bought the book and it’s been one of my top 5 important reads ever since.

So, "Brave New World" describes a future society that is far from a Utopia. "Island" presents us with the exact opposite, a society that is just incredibly perfect in so many ways. It presents us with new ways of looking at child rearing, psychology, medical science, sex and religion. A lot of the ideas I’ve read so far appeal to me on so many levels. It’s kind of like the piece I wrote about winning in Iraq: It just makes so much sense.

The amazing thing is that "Brave New World" was written in the 30’s and "Island" was written in 1962. It’s impressive how Aldous was able to see the future in so many ways. It actually makes me wonder how much has actually changed since then. I bet little or nothing of consequence has.

Anyway, I urge you to read both books, perhaps back to back. However, this only applies to non-red state people. As I’ve said before, red-staters seem to be of one of two camps, the very close minded or the very clueless followers.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

How to win the Iraqi war

In the NYTimes today there is a story titled "Winning in Iraq" that attempts to bring a very strong theory into the mainstream. It is a theory by a very smart man (and former Army Lt. Colnel) named Andrew Krepinevich that outlines a plan that could help us actually win the war in Iraq.

I urge you all to at least read the NYTimes piece and if you are really interested, read the actual essay by Mr. Krepinevich (which is very readable and actually quite interesting). But, for those of you who want the quick synopsis, I’ll give you my take on it.

We are fighting the insurgency like a game of Whack a Mole. For the uninitiated, this means that we are going into towns, trying to stamp out insurgents, and then we move on to the next place that they are. This method is understandable. In Iraq, we all can agree that there was no post invasion planning done. In the absence of a plan, the plan becomes “put out the fires you can see”. I mean, you’re a military force, you are there and you can see little goals along the way, why not follow them?

This is a huge problem for a number of reasons on a number of levels. I don’t need to outline them here, you can see them. The people in Iraq are not helping us fight the insurgents (even though they are usually victims), the people here and around the word see no progress at all, and the insurgents just keep coming.

It seems to mr. Krepinevich (and I fully agree with him) that a good strategy to the fight over there would be one that restores the good will of the Iraqi people, shows the world that we are making progress, and actually increases security in the nation.

His plan is simple and it’s simply incredible that the people of our government haven’t thought of it earlier. I mean, aren’t there people in the Pentagon sitting around thinking of ways to win this war?

Anyway, the plan is this. Start with a piece of land, a town or a city, move in and make it secure, stay there, fix the electric, sewers, and plumbing. Train the Iraqi forces there to help you patrol and make that area safe. Make it so that the residents there feel as safe as we do here in our cities and towns. Once that is accomplished, expand the borders of the safe zone a bit. Repeat, continue outward.

These are things our government wanted to do all along. They wanted to make the country safe, they wanted to restore power and water, they wanted to train the Iraqi people to protect themselves. The difference is that we are focused on one area. This focus has obvious benefits across the board. But there are two benefits that aren’t so obvious. First is that the people will finally trust us and will actually aid us in intelligence gathering a bit. The second (and the BWH would love this one) is that the media can actually see progress. It is centered in one place. So instead of a fixed power plant in one town and a insurgent free day in another and a new school in another, it’s all happening at once in one place.

Think of the people who aren’t living in that town. They will be begging us to include them next once they see how nice things can be. Once they see that America is actually there helping them. The world at large would become more positive as well. The insurgency, which feeds on national discontent will finally wane out.

I could totally see a “grass is greener” kind of accelerated positive revival thing happening in Iraq.

I’m not smart enough to say weather we should totally pull out of the county or not but I am smart enough to demand that if we’re going to stay there, we should at least have a plan and a strategy to actually accomplish something.

DVD diector commentaries

So, I can't be the only one listening to director commantaries on DVD's. If I were, they wouldn't be spending the extra time and errort to add them. Anyway, my problem with them, even though I love them and really shouldn't be critisizing them at all, is that generally they are in 2 channel stereo and take the place of a standard 2 channel stereo mix of the film.

So, what you end up hearing is the movie a little bit and then it fades down and the director (or actor) fades in and says something interesting while you miss the dialog and sound on the screen.

I find this really odd.

The DVD experience is one where you are immersed into the film and 5.1 audio helps you with that immersion. We all know how well 5.1 sounds in a room with a properly calibrated audio system. So, my question is this: Why can't the commontary be mixed in with a 5.1 program? If this happens, the directors voice can be placed in the soundfield where she (or he) will be most appreciated, back next to you and not up near the screen.

In a 7 channel DTS system, this could be really taken to the extreme with the direcors voice coming in just over your shoulder.. picture it "Oh, this part is cool, see how I did this shot?", etc..

I have no access to anyone who could make this suggestion reality, so I ask you.. anyone out there know a big director or producer?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Is Pennsylvania a Red State in Disguise?

Last week the New York Times published an article titled "9 States in Plan to Cut Emissions by Power Plants" (by Anthony DePalma, August 24, 2005). Essentially the article said that 9 states in our area have banned together and created a policy to mimic the Kyoto treaty that would freeze and then cut carbon emissions from power plants. This is an amazing achievement. As I’ve indicated in the past, the Bush white house has been opposed to measures such as this from day one. Finally, the states are beginning to break ranks with his illogical assumption that global warming is real threat to our planet. California, Washington and Oregon are planning a coalition of their own.

So, which 9 states are we talking about? Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Basically all the NE blue states. Do you notice any missing? I do. My own, Pennsylvania.

I’m stating to believe that although we carried the state for Kerry, our state is actually a red state at heart. Obviously for many years our House and Senate have had Republican majorities and I don’t have the records but I would guess that we’ve had more Republican governors as well.

So what is our state legislature up to? What kinds of laws are they working on passing? Well, I know of one that I talked about in the past, House Bill 1007. Have you heard of that one? Take a look here and here to see what that one is all about.

Friday, August 26, 2005

We the People of Iraq...

In August of 1945 America and the Allied forces began their occupation of Japan. It was quite unlike the occupation of Iraq. America basically became the ruler of Japan. In fact, General MacArthur was the first Supreme Commander of the nation. American occupation lasted until April of 1952. During that time we systematically deconstructed the Japanese war machine, rebuilt the Japanese economy, censored their media and did a number of other things to establish order during the post-war chaos.

I bring this up because something more important happened at that time. By 1947 the Allied forces (actually just America since Russia was beginning to not get along with us) had fully written and installed a special document for the country. It was a constitution.

The Japanese constitution was written by and put in place by us, the American government. It was considered to be a very fair document and it also created the democratic government that Japan has today.

So, how is this relevant? Obviously there is a similar situation going on in Iraq. The main mission in Iraq as stated by the Bush white house was to free the Iraqi people and create a “beacon of Democracy”. I’m not going to get into the WMD debate or the non-existent 9/11 connections, or the alleged oil corruption, I’m simply stating that the goal here was to create a Democratic state in the middle east. Two of the many reasons this was sold to us as a good idea were : more human rights for the people (notably for females) and a non-reliance on religion (so Iraq didn’t turn into Iran with the clerics and Islam ruling everything there).

Well, for whatever reason the Bush white house decided that the best plan would be for the Iraqi people to create their own constitution while we occupied the nation. Last week, a draft of that constitution was completed. From what I can gather, it is far from what is needed to provide the beacon of democracy that we had intended. Essentially Islam will trump all civil laws and instead of one unified Iraq the new government will be a very shaky collective government of 3 separate groups, the Sunni, the Shiite and the Kurds.

Usually this is where I say something like “I don’t have to say this but duh…” but I’m not. This is where I have to say this to you all. If this constitution is ratified, every American life that was lost in that country, every taxpayer dollar that was spent on this war was completely and utterly wasted.

Take a moment and ask yourself why we are there in Iraq. Decide on a goal that would indicate to you that we are finished there and we have succeeded. Once you have that goal, ask yourself if we are going to achieve it.

I have been mostly against the war for quite some time now. The only good thing that I could see coming out of it, the only possible thing that I could be positive about was that Iraq may be convinced to become more democratic, that human rights would be expanded and that the people would have a stable semi-democratic governmental system. The establishment of that government was the goal that I came up with for this war. I didn’t want us meddling into another nations affairs from the start but since the damage was done I wanted to see some good come of our effort.

If this constitution is ratified and becomes the legal bible of the nation of Iraq, my goal will not have been achieved.

Maybe in the future, after we pull out and the nation falls into 10 or so years of civil unrest and lawlessness and maybe after that the people form their own government that somehow is not dominated by religion, maybe then they will achieve what I’m looking for, but I’m quite convinced that it’s not going to be the result of any of our meddling.

If we look at how we formed our nation and how we created our own constitution we would see that we were essentially an occupied nation and we wanted to become our own country. The English people were growing weary of the occupation, and the distance was a huge barrier so the ensuing war against the British was winnable. Once we won that war and the English left our shores we created our own constitution on our own terms. Look how far that document has gotten us.

I’ve touched a lot of points and I’m sorry this isn’t as cohesive as it should be, but I will sum up this way:

  1. we should not have meddled in Iraq at all

  2. since we did, the only good thing that could have come out of it would be a democratic type government with more human rights for the people and less reliance on religion

  3. we should have wrote the document ourselves and forced it on them while we were, and still are, occupying them like we did in Japan

  4. since we didn’t do that the Iraqi people have created their own document and it is nothing at all close to fulfilling my (and presumably Americas) goals for their new government

  5. because of the above we should be really upset with how badly this has all gone

  6. maybe we should just pull out entirely and stop trying to assert ourselves and impose our will upon other nations. Maybe we should simply try and live our lives the way we want to and let our freedom speak to the other nations. If they don’t want to play like us, bummer for them.

Philadelphia 2016

I just started reading the September issue of Philadelphia Magazine and there's a piece at the beginning called "Why Philadelphia Needs the Olympics". If you aren't aware, there is an effort underway to actually try and bid for the 2016 Olympics. The magazine has joined the effort fully.
The article talks about how the Olympics can bring prosperity to the region and how we shouldn't be "Can't-Doers" when thinking about this lofty goal. Well, I'm not a "Can't-Doer" at all. I'm a "fix the city first" type person. And I'm actually mentioned in the article, although I'm mis-named:

The Can't-Doers will say, "How are you going to spend money to bring the Olympics here when our schools are failing?" We reject such shortsightedness. Fact is, the Olympics can help save the schools by lifting all boats...When managed in an intelligent way the Olympics can provide the economic impact that turns host cities around.

And there's the rub, they even admit it "When managed in an intelligent way". When was the last time an event in Philadelphia was managed in an intelligent way? When was the last time our city government did something correctly?

What a nightmare it would be to have the Olympics here. First off, we taxpayers would have to foot the bill for something that is a pure luxury when we have needs that are fundamental. It's tantamount to buying Phillies tickets instead of the food or school supplies your children need. God knows we need another overpriced stadium. Secondly, think of the 'security issues' we'd have to overcome. Need I even get into that mess?

The Olympics are a dead event and if not dead, they are dying quickly. We, the human race have no need for the Olympics. When I was a kid, the Olympics was the pinnacle of sport. The games were every 4 years and were all featured purely amateur events. The Olympics featured cool events that we didn't get to see all that often. They were a spectacle that was not unlike the old World’s Fair events.

But, as you know, they were tainted by government intervention. Governments believed that having athletes winning events reflected on their nations strength so we had the east block nations entering super athletes. When I started to become aware of this, I started to loose interest in the games. When the games moved to a two year format, I lost even more interest. When the tv networks stopped covering the different events and focused on the more common and popular events, I finally gave up entirely.

Philadelphia has no need to host the Olympics. If I could vote with my tax dollars I would. But you all know that how our taxes are spent is beyond our control. So I will simply complain here and hope that collectively we can oppose this waste of our money. Have a good weekend.

Read the old Stuff

Been working a lot the past few days so I've been quiet. But don't let that stop you new readers. There's a ton of really great posts in the archives. At some point I'm going to add a new section pointing to the important ones. See, I don't really talk about daily life much, so there isn't really any timleliness to my posts meaning that a poost from a year ago may be just as relevant today so if you missed it, you've missed something important...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Babe-O-Tron is nice.

On the subect of Recycling

Ok. Here we go. I don’t recycle. Sorry.

I had a friend over the other day and he was shocked! Shocked that I didn’t have a separate place for him to put the empty bottles of beer that he had drunk while hanging out with me. Years back I had a similar problem with a co-worker who was horrified that I wasn’t separating my work trash and taking the recyclables home with me to deposit in my local program. My girlfriend, a pretty hard core liberal type still feels a bit queasy that we don’t recycle. And today I see on a bunch of Philly blogs how people are upset that Philadelphians recycle program gets only 6% of the recyclables in the city.

Let me just state my case. As a very conscious supporter of protecting the environment and more importantly as a very hard core supporter of doing things that are smart I was originally in favor of recycling. This had to be 10 years ago now. I was all excited to do it, but at the time Philly had no program and there really was no easy way to participate. So I didn’t.

In the interim I started to see reports and stories on tv and in the papers about this new recycling fad. From what I saw, the majority of them talked about the fact that mass recycling was actually more expensive to do and in some cases really didn’t have any positive impact on the environment. I saw video footage of warehouses filled with plastic bottles and heard stories about how nobody would buy the raw recycled goods since it was far cheaper to make the goods from scratch, etc.

I had decided then that the whole deal, while utopian sounding, was really just a waste of my time and my money (as a taxpayer). I decided not to participate and put it out of my mind.

But now I face my friends and family on the issue and I am unarmed. I don’t have the reports to show them or the tv programs (except for a wonderful episode of Bullshit that came out on the subject last year that I probably could get a copy of on DVD).

So I took some time to look around and found a very nice website called EcoWorld that is supported by Greenpeace and number of other environmental groups. Here is their take on recycling, backed up by a nice webpage on the ‘myths’ of recycling.

Recycling is not always the environmentally correct choice. Many items we recycle come from abundant raw materials and are inert and harmless when dumped. It costs more to recycle these than to bury the used and manufacture the new from scratch. Glass is a perfect example; plastic runs a close second. If throwing away glass and plastic causes us to ever run out of sand and oil byproducts we can mine the landfills and recycle them all at once - it would be cheaper and easier than perpetual recycling. There's plenty of land for landfills, there's very little hazard remaining in modern landfills, and the economics and the environment often favor using them. Trillions are squandered on needless recycling.

So. Don’t ask me to recycle ok? Oh.. by the way. I’ve got solar panels on my roof and I bike before I drive. How about you?

What to do if you are bankrupt.

Well if you are an airline and you are about to become bankrupt the best strategy is to merge with another airline, get their capital and then in an effort to shore up expenses, the best thing to do is to repaint your entire fleet of aircraft. I'm sure thats the best way to increase passenger praffic and turn the corner into profitability.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Japanese are totally cool...

Here's a post on gizmodo Japan that higlights a cool door that opens only in the shpae of the person (or thing) using it...

Sunday, August 21, 2005


My old template was too narrow. I liked it's simplity however. So I'm trying this new one for a while. Most of you shouldn't notice becasue you're reading this blog with an RSS aggrigator.. aren't you? You should be!

Anyway, bear with me as I play with this thing.... there may be nore changes in the coming weeks.. who knows...

A Religious Response

Selina commented to my post about making America better by saying :

Get rid of organized religion... and instead embrace universal spirituality.

And it's really easy to just say "yup yup". Personally I don't practice any organized religion at all. But I do have a very strong connection to the energy that is everything which is my way of saying that I'm quite spiritual. However, I don't think that ridding the world of organized religion is the answer. I believe that anyone can use whatever method they need to get in touch with the universe. Some need the crutch that religion gives them. Some are not challengers and like the comfort of following blindly and I really don't care.

What I do not like when it comes to organized religion is twofold. First I don't like how the bigger religions use their huge membership to become nation states of their own. A good example of that would be Catholicism. It seems to me that the bigger a religion gets, the more it's concerned with power and control and the less it's concerned with getting people in touch with the reality of life.

The second problem I have with religion is the big one and that’s when religion or people in the name of God or Jesus or Allah or whoever, decide that they are going to interfere with my life or my way of life. There is no good reason to interfere with other people and their lives. Live your life, believe what you want to believe and stay the fuck away from me! Every war that has ever been fought has been in the name of religion or god. Every major societal problem we have in America can be traced to religious roots in some way.

So doing away with organized religion will only serve to alienate people and leave them lost. I firmly believe that they will have no way of finding their way without it. I believe that some people are mindless sheep when it comes to self-awareness and spiritual awareness and that they can't be expected to find their way alone. That wouldn't be good. We do however need to limit religions influence on our world and somehow make it so religion is something people can enjoy on their own. Kind of like smoking Pot :)

How would you like to change the world?

If you wanted to change America into a better place. A place where we had a responsible government focused on bettering its people and the world, a government focused on taking care of the planet, a government focused on exploring the solar system and on expanding science and medical research, a government that was focused on peaceful co-operation with other nations.. and a people that were solidly behind all of this. What would you do? Where would you start?

First off, do you think that this ideal nation is achievable? I can't imagine a person in America that wouldn't be for what I've proposed above. I believe that the problems we face in America is that we have too many choices, we have too many directions, we have too many goals, we have too many agendas. In short, we have no focus. Because of this, we can't get anything accomplished. In government this can be seen year in and year out. No matter what party is in power nothing of substance gets accomplished. The nation changes and grows and affects its people and others, but it is by no doing of it's leaders. These changes come about randomly out of ideas that get pursued by sheer luck.

We as humans have a responsibility to advance ourselves as a species. We have some amazing advantages as Americans to achieve this goal. We have the benefit of a nation... a "way of life" a "school of thought" that binds us together as a group. Groups working together can move mountains. We, like other countries are already collectively bound. We choose not to use this power out of ambivalence.. We don't care to think about the fact that we can make changes. It's way too easy to sit back and just let things happen. Not only are we bound together as a nation. Our nation is clearly the wealthiest nation and the most powerful and the most free and arguably the happiest.

We as a people must recognize our duty as humans. We as a people must recognize the abilities that we have. We as a people must set some clear goals for ourselves as a nation and then strive to achieve them as a collective group. Sadly (and I'm not talking Bush v. Kerry or Democrat v. Republican) our leaders don't want to focus on this charge. The system, as it is, is highly entrenched in private interests... lobbyists and campaign contributions and the like.

Politics is a game and it has its rules and that's ok. Like anything else, it is a system that can be used to accomplish ones agendas. It is our duty as concerned humans to work this system and manifest change. We need to focus on making America (and by extension the world) a better place.

But how? Well, as we all know, the longest journey starts with a single step. So lets take that step. Step one is to start thinking about how to achieve a huge sweeping set of goals. The ones in my first paragraph are my goals, yours may be different, but the key here is that we ultimately as a people can decide our goals. The real problem is that we need to know how we are going to make them happen. We need to solve this problem:

If we were planning to change the America into a better place and we had 40 years to get onto that path of change how would we start?

That is my question to you. That is the question I want to answer. Do we start a new political party? Do we have a convention? Do we use the media to get our message out? 40 years is 5 double presidential terms. A lot can be done in that time. We as a people are so lucky to have the freedom to actually be a part our government. We have to focus on that fact.

Please spread this message. I know I'm not the best writer but I think what I'm saying here is clear. As usual, comments are always appreciated.

Comcast is Lame

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has said this before but Comcast really isn't that great a company. They sent me a card in the mail the other day telling me that they increased my bandwidth and at around the same time, my net performace has suffered and as of yesterday it's been spotty at best. Sure I've got great bandwidth, but it is completely bursty and therefore useless. Let me give you an example about what I'm talking about.

Say you are in Firefox and open up a folder of bookmarks into a set of tabs. This will silmultaniously attemt to open up a set of websites. A few weeks ago when I did that, the sites all opened up within a second or two. Today when I try the same thing, I get a string of tabs with the little "connecting" animation that goes for 10-15 seconds and then poof.. all at once they all come in at the same time. It's as if there is someone holding up my traffic for certain periods of time and then says "ok... go go go.. ok stop again"..

The tv is just as bad.. black screen with tiny short bursts of audio. Since the signal is digital and I would imagine the picure and sound come over tcp/ip as well I would guess that whatever is holding up my net data is holding up my cable data as well. For those of you who don't know, video data is huge and audio data bigger than a normal web page. I would expect the tiny bits of audio to come through in bursts just like my web pages but the video to not come through at all since it's data size is bigger than the turnstile threshold that I'm imagining.

So anyway, we called Comcast yesterday and did the usual "Is your tv turned to the right channel?" blah blah blah troubleshooting and finally they decided to send a technician Tuesday afternoon. How nice.

So now I've got almost useless internet access and no tv for 4 days. On one hand it's nice that I work at home since I don't need to take a 1/2 day to meet the cable guy Tuesday (not to mention that it's not fair that I should even be asked to be available during working hours since it's not my problem the service is fucked up) on the other hand, I can't work for 2 days now since I work at home and depend on a rock solid net connection at all times to support my remote work.

But I've tried DSL and it pretty much sucks so I'm stuck until Verizon gets it's head out of its ass and starts depoying fiber to the homes...

Now lets see how many times I'll have to submit this post before it uploads..

Protect our Borders

I can't tell you how serious I am about this fact. We need to protect our borders in America. Personally I think we should practicaly shut them down an isolate ourselves a bit more but that's another case. Since 9/11 we've done close to nothing to protect our borders and ports. If I were a terrorist, I bet I could come up with 10 easy ways to get into this country without detection.. and I haven't even thought about it so imagine if I really were thinking about it and determined.

Anyway, there apparently is a web-petition being signed in hopes to raise awareness on this issue with our president. They at 50% to their 1M signature goal. I checked it out and signed it. At first I wasn't sure that they weren't some fake front collecting email addresses for a spammer, but it appears to be legit.. so if you want to do something, give it your John Handcock...

The Mighty Middle

came across this "Manifesto" by someone and although I'm not 100% in agreement, I'm quite close on some points.. here is a highlight:

I don't care if Janet Jackson shows us her breast. I don't care if Bono says "fuck." I don't care if Howard Stern obsesses over lesbians. I don't even care if TV evangelists hold their services in appallingly ugly churches. It's all arguably tasteless but if we start outlawing bad taste what will Joan Rivers do for a living? I like X-rated Eminem and G-rated Spongebob. There's room for both. Boys and girls, we share this planet with death-cult jihadis, North Korean nukes and the ebola virus, and you're scared of a tit?

Saturday, August 20, 2005


seems that OLN is trying to compete with ESPN as a true sports network. After their great coverage of the Tour, now they're going to carry the NHL almost exclusively over the next 2 seasons.. Now we just have to hope that the NHL can get their butt in gear and produce some excitement. I know its the best spectator sport. I know it's got the last group of non-spoiled atheletes. I know it's the only sport where you need supreme hand eye coordination and incredible stamina and strength. But the problem is that nobody else seems to..

People I urge you, go see an NHL hockey game this season. Don't watch it on tv. Go to a game and see what I'm talking about.

Fuck it and just become a Republican

Here is a guide that will tell you all about it...

Uh.. of course they did

Halliburton sold nuclear reactor parts to Iran.

Johnny and the Devil

Please read these 39 Questions for Charlie Daniels about "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". It's quite funny and I actually laughed outloud.. and not the soundless fake 'LOL' kind but a real laugh that you would have heard in the other room.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Vietnam II

As days turn into months and the disaster that is this Iraqi war continues, all I can think is that in 15-20 years everyone will believe that this war was just as much (if not more) a faiure than Vietnam.

Here is another refreshing story about another dead soldier (this one from Philly) who was emailing home telling his brother how fucked up it is over there. Why don't we do something about this? Why are our troops still there? Why do we still believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11?

a quote from the piece :

As disturbing as those reports were, what Kulick had to say about the conduct of the war was even more troubling. He told his family that the Iraqi police "were corrupt and inept and there was no way they could ever train them to the degree where they could keep order." And when his unit went out after insurgents, far too many innocent iraqis were killed in the crossfire. And, Kulick reported home, "the more hate that created." When the Americans left an area, the insurgents came back the next day.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Is Microsoft making a mistake?

I've been pretty excited about the XBox 360. I don't have an Xbox and I've been a Sony Plastation guy since PS1 first came out so I'm not excited out of brand loyalty. I really believed that Microsoft was going to kick some serious ass with the new Xbox.

Two features that I was particulary excited about were the wireless controllers and the hard drive. Finally I woudn't need a ton of those expensive ram cards and I wouldn't need to putll my unit out onto my coffee table to play.

Well, it seems that Microsoft has now made the wireless controllers a $50 extra, which is ok, but not great. But what I'm most concerned about is that the Hard drive is simply going to be an option. This brings up an obvious point that the ARS article cited above makes clear:

"Many gamers fear that making the hard drive an option will essentially translate to game developers not using the hard drive, eliminating much of its purpose"

uh.. yup.. dumb asses

Testing 1...2...3...

So, I’ve added this plug-in to word that’s been created by those smart guys at google (who own blogger, my blog provider). It is supposed to allow me to compose my posts in Word and then submit them to my blog with the push of a button. This would be great since it would allow me to save my posts easier and most importantly it would remove the web form from the posting process. I personally have lost some serious posts with that damn form and this way seems so much safer. Anyway the tool can be found at : if you’d like to try it yourself. If you are reading this post, then it has worked as promised.

I totally agree

Here is a really good post that you all should read by a guy named Tom on the Corrente blog.

conclusion of the post:

What a fucking disaster. But we'll be out soon -- and Iraq will collapse into civil war behind us.

And after our skedaddle from Iraq you can bet that W, Dick, Ann Coulter, and the Republican noise machine chorus will tell America that it's the Democrats' fault or the soldiers' fault or the fault of the career military people at the Pentagon or of the anti-war protesters or of Cindy Sheehan or Dan Rather or Peter Jennings or some such outrageous claptrap because it would never, ever, ever, ever be the fault of Dear Leader, would it?

Well, of course not. It just couldn't be W's fault, right? He's perfect.

And you know what the most outrageous part will be?

There will be a huge number of Americans (not just Glenn Reynolds) who will actually buy it.

Followup to the shooting of the guy in England

There is an ivestigation underway and apparently stuff is being leaked. Here is a nice summarry of what is known at the present time.

Some tidbits for those of you who don't like to read:

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the leaked document and photos show that Mr. de Menezes was actually wearing a denim jacket, not a padded one, that he was not running from the police nor had he "vaulted" the Stockwell Underground turnstiles, as was originally reported.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the evidence now shows that de Menezes walked into the Stockwell Underground station, used a farecard to pay for his ride, picked up a newspaper and sat down in a train car before he was rushed by undercover police and shot eight times, including seven shots in the head. The police had originally said he had only been shot five times. The evidence also shows that the police had pinned his hands behind his back before he was shot.

I simply want to vomit again. I don't know how it works in the UK but here in America, I would expect a multi-million dollar wrongful death suit by the family with additional crimial charges brought up against the officers.. This is about 50 times worse than Rodney King.

The Internet is still shit

I've spent the better part of an hour trying to find out what kind of circuit breakers my house has so I can replace one. I've already bought and returned 2 breakers with no luck. This house is a rental, else I'd rip out the whole panel and replace it with a new one but obviously I don't have that luxury.

The panel that's there now is quite old and I can't find a manufacturur anywhere listed. Of the breakers, I've been able to find the following codes : TQL-AC, MP-T and CU-AL. The codes are on different breakers so I assume that somewhere there is a master list of codes for circuit breakers that I can cross reference to identify the type of breaker to buy.

There very well could be a list somewhere, but I dare you to find it. I have tried googleing all kinds of search phrases and I've been to vendors and tried to see if they have anything to help me.. nope..

See? This is what I've been talking about. I need information. Nothing complex, just something that I would think most people would need but I can't find it. This is why the interent is useless as an information resource.

Oh, I've also looked up Circuit Breaker in the wikipedia and searched the blogsphere via Technorati and the like.. How sad.. please someone make search useful again! Let the useful content filter up to us!

Aphex Twin

There's a reason I love Aphex Twin.. The guy just seems to be so cool to me. He's experimental, he obvioulsy has a sense of humor, he appears to be anti-traditional recording industry, and his music, taken as a whole, is quite good.

Now, with that aside, I haven't seen the phenominon reported in this wired news piece from 3 years ago (I know, I'm really late with this one.. and it shows since most of the links in the article are dead), but I would imagine that it is possible to accomplish and if it's true I salute him again for being a wicked cool innovator.

The hidden message deal has been gone for a while in the music industry and I don't know what took it so long to come back.. or maybe it has and we haven't figued that out yet...

Think Metric

Don't you all think it's time for America to come to terms with the fact that our standard units of measurement are really fucked up? I mean we base things around the length of a common persons foot for gods sake! Most of the rest of the civilized world uses the metric system and they really have it better off. I mean just the breakdowns alone are easier.. to wit:

how many feet in a mile?

too slow...

how many meters in a kilometer?

1000.. yup..

Seriously, we really need to embrace the metric system as a county. It should be the standard measurement system taught in schools. And we as a people need to start thinking in the terms of the metric system. I know it's hard. I've been committing myself to this over and over again to no avail. When someone says to me, "How far is that?" I really want to spit out "about 100 meters", but I just simply forget and say "oh 100 yards or so".. lame, I know.

The key is to begin to Think Metric and estimate in metric units and practice until it becomes rote.. So lets go people, change for the better!

Intelligent Gravity

This just in:

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down,"

via a fucking hysterical piece in the Onion

Fear of Flying?

For those of you who are afraid of dying after falling from an exploding airplane, it appears that you will remain concious during your entire fall and impact.. good to know huh?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Second Life

A couple of years ago I came up with a MMORPG concept where it was up to the people in the world to collectively devide the content.. The idea was, here is a world, now you all decide what to do there. IT was inspired by Neil Stephensons book "Snowcrash". Well, that place exists and it's called Second Life.

This is a world where all the content is user created, and it's got a super powerful interface there for you to do just that.. you can create any object you can imagine and even make the object do stuff by scripting its behaviour. You can upload textures and sounds and there is an entire economy inside the game for pre-made objects and textures..

It's pretty incredible, but it has it's negatives. First off, its complex. Normally I would love that but I just don't have the time to devote to learning all the details of the interface and spending the time creating stuff. Secondly, I'm not sure I had it tuned right, but the graphics performance wasn't that great when I tried it.

The cost is just $9.95 total. You pay once and you're in. If you'd like to buy land in the game, you can pay a monthly fee and 'lease' land in the game. There is also a 7 day trial (which is what I did). The download is small and I highly recommend you try it out and see where the future is. A world like this is the future of networked entertainment, I guaranee it!


You know, I just remembered that Friendster still existed.. do any of you still play with it? Such a cool concept.. too bad it never really took off.. Now it's covered with ads..

Monday, August 15, 2005

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Ok.. So I would have told you about this sooner, but I wanted to be sure. There is a new show on FX called "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and it's pretty funny and pretty well done. It is totally shot in Philly, as far as I can tell and I'm not sure if the actors are local. Anyway, I think it's a great show but to be honest, I'm pretty sure it won't survive because it's just not American tv fare which is sad, since it's good.

Daisy Simpson Duke

I rolled my mouse around the middle one for close to 5 minutes...

Sunday, August 14, 2005


There is this cool collective art project in the form of a blog called PostSecret where people anonymously send in homemade postcards with secrets on them. I found it and had to read the whole thing in one shot.. addictive and quite cool.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Todd Glass

I was a fan of the show "Last Comic Standing" last year and one of the comedians on there I thought was simply hysterical. His name was Todd Glass. He didn't win, but in my mind, he really deserved to.

Anyway, Thursday I was reading the Philadelphia Weekly and I saw an ad that Todd was playing in Philly Friday and Saturday at the Helium Comedy Club. I called up and reserved 2 tickets for Fridays show.

My girlfriend was hesitant. She had just gotten home from over a week being away from home and also had never been to a comedy show. I dragged her along.

First we went and tried "The Smoked Joint" at Broad and Locust (in the Acadamy House). We had a 10% off coupon and figured it was near the comedy club so we should give it a shot. It wasn't the best BBQ I ever had, but it also wasn't too bad either. I had the 1/3 rack of ribs and the cornbread. The cornbread was really good. Overall, it was worth the money...

Then we walked to Helium which is a new comedy club at 20th and Samsom. The place is really nice and reasonable. It's $25 per person with a two "item" minimum which unlike other clubs, doesn't mean 2 drinks. You can get a soda and an appetizer for example.

The opening act wasn't too good. Well, he was ok, but was struggling a bit and his timing was a tad off and he seemed afraid of the audience a touch and that all affected his performance. Next up was a guy from LA who I forget his name. It was like Tom Morimoto or something like that. I thought he was pretty good. He was a good warmup to the main act.

And then, like a tornado, rolled in Todd Glass. This guy killed. I mean he was totally on fire and hysterical. There was even this drunk lady in the audience that would talk super loud and Todd had a great time with her, to the point where her bf almost punched him. Meanwhile the rest of us there were crying he was so funny.

Anyway, this guy is a true talent and it's incredible to see him ad-lib and just riff.. He's amazing and I highly reccomend if you aren't doing anything tonight to catch his show (8pm and 1030pm). Go now and reserve your seats!!

Oh.. if you miss him tonight, his website says he's playing Ceaser's AC October 21 and 22 with David Spade.

Friday, August 12, 2005


There's a pretty good article in Time this week about the Evolution debate (which is actually also happeneing here in PA) which isn't really a debate, but a flat out excellent attempt to mix religion and science. But anyway, the part I liked was the little mini expert opionions and particularly the one by Steven Pinker a Harvard Psychology Professor who worte an excellent book about the brain/mind and Evolultionary Psychology that read a long time ago called "How the Mind Works". Anyway, part of what he writes is below:

Many people who accept evolution still feel that a belief in God is necessary to give life meaning and to justify morality. But that is exactly backward. In practice, religion has given us stonings, inquisitions and 9/11. Morality comes from a commitment to treat others as we wish to be treated, which follows from the realization that none of us is the sole occupant of the universe. Like physical evolution, it does not require a white-coated technician in the sky.

Hot for teacher - update

Ok.. just saw the video of the teacher I was talking about last week. Do those kids know how hot she was? Wow.. Also, there have been a few more cases.. and a hot english teacher as well. Seems there is a lot of teacher student sex going on.. Why didn't that happen to me at my school? Damn!

Something to think about for those of you with tickets

If you got a speeding ot stop light ticket with one of those automated camera ticketing systems, you may have a chance to get away with it. In Australia a case was successfully argued that the photos could not be trusted becasue the encryption used to protect them could not be proven to be foolproof. I'm not sure how our systems here works, but if I get a ticket with one of them, I'm going to bring this up in court and I urge you to as well. Apparently in the Australian case, all tickets over the last 15 years that the system has processed are potentially invalid!

Robot Choreographers

I was watching a video of a robot hand that catches balls. The article can be found here... aparently it can catch balles up to 300 Kph which is amazingly fast.

But anyway, I wsa noticing the way the robot reset itself after making the catch. I wondered if it was calibrating or if it was just trying to look graceful after its work (something I would expect from a Japanese product). Anyway, from there I started thinking about other robots I've seen on assembly lines and at science pavilions and the like. They all move with such precision and in some cases where they have multiple appendages, they move in this synchronos way that is somewhat beautiful.

I was thinking that a new type of artist would be born in the next twenty or so years as robots move more and more into our lives. The artist would be a choriographer for robotic movement.

As an example of their work I have included this video from the Sony engineers for you to be amazed by.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Philly Wiki

Hey.. I know a long time ago I talked about the WikiPedia and how much I loved it. And I know I mentioned wikis in the past. Well, I just found a new wiki and for those of you into Philly politics this may be soon become your best resource. It's called PhillyWiki. It's very new as you can tell, so if you have some info, put it in there. I filled in the stub for Mayor Street already but I'm sure it can use some more work.. have fun!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Cool Film

I found this cool film tonight.. It was shot entirely with a 35mm Digital still camera and then animated to look like a film.. it's quite cool.

Hi I'm back

Well I'm back from my vacation and I've been debating for about 2 days now about weather I should tell you how it was or not. You see, I'm the kind of person that won't tell you about something cool just so it will stay unpopular. Not that where I was wasn't popular, but it was pretty much unspoiled and to be honest, I'd really like to keep it that way. On the other hand, I went to the greatest summer vacation spot ever over the past 4 or 5 days and I want to tell the world about it like it was a new love.. which, I guess, it is.

For now, I'll just state the obvious (since I think I already told you this part) and announce that I was in Maine. I guess I don't have to actually tell you where in Maine I was. I can say that the temperature was perfect, the number of tourists was relatively low, the nature was phenominal and the ocean was incredible. In short, it was perfect for me. I will probably move there sometime in the next couple of years and that's why I don't want anyone to know where I was, I want it to stay the way it is.

I will say this though, air travel in america is simply pathetic. The trip is about 600 miles and some people we were with had driven up and it took them 10 hours. Our trip there, from door to door took us 12.5 hours. My trip back took me 10.25. Why? Well, delayed flights kept me on the ground in philly for 1.5 hours, boston for over 8 hours and maine for about 4 hours.

I'm not going to go into detail, but let me just say that US Air could have done a much better job since all of the delays made no sense. First off, it seems to me that nobody flys in the rain or in fog or at night anymore, which is odd since todays planes can handle almost anything in terms of weather and it's actually safer to fly at night but start paying attention to your flights and you will see that even a slight rainstorm anywhere near your destination will wreak total havok on air travel for that day (no matter where you are headed).

The Airlines seem to not really care about customer service anymore. I mean, you know that they stopped serving snacks and food and have also stopped even giving out the tiny bags of pretzels now.. soon they will discontinue beverage service entirely. They just don't care about passengers anymore. When I was in maine, I arrived at 11 am for a 12:30 flight and the place was packed even though the plane only held 25 people... do you know why? There was only one plane running this route so since there was a little bit of fog in the morning, the 6am flight was delayed 2 hours, which in turn delayed the 9am flight 2.5 hours and of course the 12:30 flight didn't leave until 3:30.

My question is this.. how hard would it be to fly a nice sized jet out there and pick up the whole lot of us so they could get back on schedule and make a bunch of people happy? I know about flying and this runway was well over 5k feet.. there were all kinds of G4's there so I know a 737 would have no trouble landing.

Why dind't they do it? I'll tell you why. The airlines don't need to care about passengers since the government continually bails them out! In an open market with no government intervention, the airlines would try to make customers happy since (and my friends who drove provide a great example here) if people stopped flying with them (or stopped flying certain routes.. say maine to boston) they would go out of business. It's simple.

Also, on some short hops like the one from maine to boston, smaller airlines would crop up if they knew they could compete on an even playing field. Right now, US air and the other majors make compitition simply impossible since they can just slash their prices to compete since they really don't have a bottom line with the govt. helping them out.

Sad sad sad..

Friday, August 05, 2005

History Repeating

Ok.. so my dad and I have been having a little dialog over blogging and such. It’s taken an interesting turn and he brings up some good points. I got his permission to post his words, so here for all of you is some of it.

I will get you up to speed. He and I were talking about how the government at large is curtailing our civil liberties and people in America don’t really seem to be doing anything about it.. People of my age group and his alike..

So we pick it up where I am telling him that people shouldn’t be afraid to speak out in dissent against the government or about things that aren’t clear cut and along "safe discussion" lines:


fuck them.. This would be a persons personal opinion on matters. People have to stop being afraid.. as long as they are doing stuff legally, who cares what their personal views are? We as a country have to stop being afraid of the government.. really.


You are 1,000% correct. Do you think that people will ever get back to challenging our government? How do young people think?


Personally I don't think there is any hope of making things better. As an individual I count on organizations to help put up the fight. But, the biggest contender is the media and until they decide to put up their dukes and fight, we're all fucked. As far as the young people, I can't say, but for the 20-40 year old literate bracket you can see what we think by reading the blogs.. We're all pissed but pretty much feel helpless, like the reverse of the finger in the dyke problem.. We know there's no hope but we keep trying anyway.. I try and post about this stuff once and a while but I'm not sure how much I'm changing..


There is all of this energy out there on blogs, etc. If only there was a way to "Harness" it! Maybe a convention? I don't know. But I do know this. 200 people concentrated in one place with one objective IS NEWS. And if they were to get together physically and have a message, then it would get out and a movement would be started!

The Vietnam war ended because of young people on campuses throughout America saying NO to the draft! In the beginning it was "a bunch of liberal way out HIPPIES on drugs" (that's how they were portrayed) but in a few years it became a "Movement" that changed history! We have no more draft in America because of that and we, before the R's, we very reluctant to get involved in wars that really didn't concern our own National Security.

Now people have forgotten Vietnam, etc. So History repeats itself. Only this time the people in power, Bush and Rove and Cheney, et al, are much smarter than the Nixon thieves ever were. So they have manipulated us much better. They control the Press better and what's more important, they control all of Law Enforcement and BOTH houses of Congress so dissent and investigations are smothered. The only way to change this is to change one of the Houses in Congress or the President. But the new President has to be ballsy and go after these evil dooers. Not try and make a deal with them!


and the reason there is no convention is that all the bloggers have all different viewpoints and it would be a waste if there was no crystallized message.. look at the protest movement (which is the closest thing to a movement we have in America).. at the RNC here there were a ton of them right? When they surveyed them, all of them had different reasons for being there.. not very useful except in saying "we're pissed at the status quo"...


Well at least that is one Unifying Issue! Maybe there are other "common issues" that are mainstream or close to that that they could agree upon. Then they might be willing to compromise on some things in order to come together on the larger issues!!! That is the secret of "political" power! Or they could unite AGAINST one enemy. The old Arab parable is: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"!!!!


who knows what's going to happen.. I'm doing my part.. I'm at least saying publicly how I feel.. and I donate to causes I support.. and I vote the way I want.. what more can I do personally? I guess we just need everyone to do the same and then perhaps change will occur.. maybe it's just general apathy? Maybe we are at the point in "A Brave New World" where we all take the soma at night and be happy.. Maybe our soma is pop-culture in it's entirety.. maybe American Idol is really the answer...

end discussion.. begin Jerry Springer moment of thought

So, he has a point.. we can complain all we want but are we actually doing anything? I wonder that a lot. I believe that humans have the power to manifest reality just by our thoughts and a group thinking the same way can move mountains. The key, I think, is that we have to figure out what we want to change. At the moment for a lot of us, it’s the president and his people, but I’m not sure we are as pissed about them in particular as we are at the entire state of America as a whole. Personally I’m more pissed at the fact that there is such a divide across our nation, the red state blue state thing is really real. As a population, America is truly divided on hundreds of issues. I think that as a people we all agree that we can make it better here so maybe that’s a starting point. I don’t know what the answer is. I wonder who or what is going to be the catalyst for change here in this country. For now, I’m off.. talk to you in a week or so.. have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Ok.. I'm going away tomarrow for about 5 days. Going to Maine, Bar Harbor. So, anyway, I'm thinking about the flight and I noticed that I just casually had this small thought about security. I've been talking about getting shot in the head by police and the like lately so much that I was thinking I should be extra careful with security tomarrow.. Like I know I shouldn't say Bomb for any reason at all to anyone all day no matter what.. including "that is the bomb" (which I should never say anyway at anytime).. and I know I shouldn't pray out loud and I shouldn't act strange or odd in any way and I know I shouldn't bring any nail clippers or have anything odd shaped in my bag that may look like a gun or explosive and I know I should be extra polite to the TSA people, though not too polite, etc. etc..

So I started to think about it. Was I more afraid of being falsely arrested or shot or beaten with a nightstick? Or was I more afraid that my plane would be blown up by a radical terrorist? Of course it's the former and I bet if you thought about it for a while you would agree. I'm sure even mathmaticly I'm correct.

Then I started to generalize the thought. In my daily life am I more afraid of dying or being injured by a terrorist or am I more afraid of being falsely imprisoned, shot, beaten or arrested by the goverment or more afraid of being killed by terrorists. Again I have to say the former. What about you?

More importantly, to me at least, is this: If terrorism is about causing fear in people, then isn't the government aiding and abetting the terrorists? People, more thinking like this is in order for all of you! Tell a friend.

Real World Austin

Hmn.. looks like some winners on the Austin show this time around.. First off, one (Johanna) got arrested for public intoxication and another (melinda) was apparently naked in a bar.

Hot for Teacher

You know.. I hear about these cases once and a while and I usually keep quiet about them. I can tell you with certainty that in high school if a hot female teacher wanted to fool around with me, I would totally have been into it and more importantly I'm pretty sure it would not have affected me later in life other than giving me a cool story about how I hooked up with a teacher.

So, with that said I want you all to know that I've kept quiet on this issue becasue I dind't know all the particulars of the cases as I heard them on the news or whatever. But today, as I was browsing one of my favorite websites The Smoking Gun I came across the sworn statements of two students who apparently have had sex with one of their teachers.

The statements are here and here. The second one kind of proves my point where the kid is bragging to his friend "we're gonna fuck Mrs. Geisel".

My take on this, and other similar situations, is that in actuality no harm was done to the teacher or the student. The reason people have been arrested is that we live in a puritanical society that just loves to persecute people for having sex in any non-vanilla way.

Ahh, but you counter me and say this "Well, if nobody got hurt, why did the kids report it? Surely they were hurt." And so I give you this theorey:

Teacher hooks up with student. Student is stoked. Teacher hooks up with other student. Student #1 gets jealous. Teacher tries to calm student. Becasue kids are kids, someone decides "fuck her... I'm gonna get her" and then goes to authority figure because even though they know it was fun and harmless, they also know that they can totally fuck over the teacher.

So, assuming she is guilty.. no scratch that.. guilty or not, this womans life as she knows it is over and ruined. The kids will grow up fine and probably later on, will actually quite guilty for turning her in.

I know there are people there who will disagree with me but what can I do? This is my blog and it's my views.. there's a comment section below if you want to say something..

lucky kids.. she was kind of cute

As If This was going to die quietly

Think the Michael Jackson trial is over? Not in America where the courts don't decide a damn thing.. it's the media baby and now there's going to be 2 books and maybe more about the jury deliberations..

My only question is this: "If you thought the guy was guilty then why did you vote him innocent?"

There is no nudity, yet...

..this is a great sex site.. It's a fixed camera over the top of a bed, focused squarely on the face of someone who is in Beautiful Agony..

The Tale of Smith

There is only one person that I know of that may like this story/website and that's my friend David. I thought it was pretty cool, but a bit tedious...

PB wiki

ok.. 99% of my readers probably won't get this, but there is a new service (apparently free) that will set up a Wiki for you "as easily as a peanut butter sandwich". A while ago, on my old blog I was talking about starting a wiki for like minded progressive anti-red staters like me.. now I can... though my momentum is gone and I would guess nobody would contribute.. so for now I'm going to do nothing and not start the thing.. but there may be some cool use for it that I can't think of.. Anyway, it's called PB wiki.

Clean Energy

Now I've already got solar panels going into one house my family owns and I'm working on getting them put into a second one soon and I'm also pusing for some wind generators for another property I know of. I'm sold that clean energy is worthwhile.

First off, it works and works really well. Secondly, the states are giving us huge incentives to install this stuff. In New Jersey they are paying 60% of our installation costs. That means that our panels will break even in 4 years. From then on, free energy for us..

The sad thing is that most of America has no idea that Clean Energy works. They are still convinced that solar won't work when it rains or it's cloudy. And wind generators don't work when it's not windy out. Others never heard of Geothermal.

There is a great piece in Huffington today that I urge you all to read. It talks about just this issue: " helps explain all those surveys showing that Americans overwhelmingly want environmentally responsible goods and services, but never seem to buy them. It turns out, they just don’t think they work." but they do people!

I truely want to vomit

As if the police in America weren't scary enough and as if the London police shooting the innocent man in the subway wasn't a clear enough example.. Now I see this piece in the Washington Post which talks about how the new rules of engagement for the pig patrol are being changed so that police should shoot a suspect in the head if they suspect they are a suicide bomber.

How, I wonder do they know that someone is a suicide bomber just by looking at him? In fact, if you think about it, a person can't be a suicide bomber until they actually have detonated a bomb and killed themselves right? I mean I could be a suicide bomber and so can you.

So anyway, lets see how the Gestapo, I mean police, will be defining a "suicide bomber" :

The police organization's behavioral profile says such a person might exhibit "multiple anomalies," including wearing a heavy coat or jacket in warm weather or carrying a briefcase, duffle bag or backpack with protrusions or visible wires. The person might display nervousness, an unwillingness to make eye contact or excessive sweating. There might be chemical burns on the clothing or stains on the hands. The person might mumble prayers or be "pacing back and forth in front of a venue."

Ahh.. I see. Ok, so basically the police should shoot every crazy homeless person they see in the head.

Now, normally this is when I would say to my friends "I'm sorry to say this, but it's going to take the shooting of an innocent person for America to see how wrong this policy is". But, as we know from the (sarcasm) huge outrage here over the events in London (which seem eerily similar to here), that's not even going to do it..

What the fuck is going on here???


Well, the Flyers certainly know how to make me go back to games. The apperently have signed Peter Forsburg to a 2 year deal. Of all the veteran players I could want on the team, Peter would be my choice.

In other news, seems #88 is actually unsigned. Wow, how sad.. if he didn't have that concussion problem, he would still be a top choice... That guy was amazing in his prime with the Flyers.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Yes Please

Please make this happen...

Freecycle.. pretty cool

Contrary to the belief of some of my friends and ex-roommates over the years, I like to get rid of stuff. For me that can mean books, old computers, furnature.. whatever. I really don't have the patience to eBay stuff or put ads in craigslist or the paper so usually the stuff ends up in the trash.

In the Best of Philly issue this month I saw a blurb about a website called where one can post stuff that they are about to trash and others in the area can browse the listings and maybe come get your crap, thus saving landfill space.

The local Philadelphia chapter can be found here. My stuff may soon be there..

Intelligent Design.. yup.. that makes sense

In the NYT today : "A sharp debate between scientists and religious conservatives escalated Tuesday over comments by President Bush that the theory of intelligent design should be taught with evolution in the nation's public schools."

Civil Liberties? Ahh.. who needs them...

I think the most important thing in America today is the fact that our Civil Liberties are being rapidly eroded by the government. I don't even need to go into the obvious ones like "the war on terror" or the Patriot Act, but I will give you a perfect example of something that most of us would never notice.

The FBI is trying to tap all satellite internet connections. This is outlined in a Wired News report that posted today. It states that the "FBI [is requesting] to force satellite-based broadband service providers to equip their in-air networks with a rapid-wiretapping capability"

This is just one small example. I'm sure there are others. What can we do? Well, for one thing, support organizations that keep an eye out and fight against this kind of stuff. I just gave $25 to the Center for Democracy and Technology. I while back I gave $100 to the ACLU but I will never do that again since they sold my mailing address to literally dozens of Left Wing organizations and I got a ton of unwanted (SPAM) junk mail. So, they aren't getting any more of my money..

But fight the power people... do something!

mp3 player

Bought a Creative Zen Touch 40GB mp3 player today. I actually used to have the original Archos Jukebox (just like an iPod in functionality but about 3 years earlier), so this is a big upgrade in style and downgrade in size. Anyway, I've been preparing for 3 days now by resampling my mp3 collection down to VBR5 from 320 fixed rate so I think I may actually get most of my collection on this thing, which would be impressive.. I'm up to the G's and I'm at 10GB.. we'll see..

Anyway, the unit came partially charged. I like to make sure my first charge is to a fully discharged battery so I fired it up and listened to some of the demo music on it in an effort to run down the unit a bit. I didn't even try the crappy earbuds it came with and I hooked it up to a nice pair of Sony MDR-7506 cans and so far I'm not impressed. I can hear all kinds of artifacts and fully turned up the unit is not very loud at all. It could be due to the mp3's on the unit. We will soon see when I start bringing over my tunes.

I refuse to buy an iPod for various reasons that I won't go into. (actually, search this and my other blogs and I'm sure there will be an anti iPod rant somewhere). So, if this unit isn't performant, I may go with the smaller capacity (6GB)Rio Carbon or the 20GB iRiver H10. We'll see...

Presidential Vacation

5 Weeks off!! Says President: "Well, everybody else is off.. why can't I be?"

From the Washington Post : "By historical standards, it is the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I know I said I'd stop for today but...

there is so much good stuff out there.. Please read this piece in Salon.. so sad how we are so easily manipulated.. well, not me.. those lame idiots who voted for Georgie...

Dare I say it?

MMORPGs are perfect for studying complex economics. Well duh! Article in the SF Cronicle..

Last post for the day (last movie post too)

Saw a preview for "V for Vendetta" last night. You may recognize the title since it was for this film that Natalie Portmant shaved her head a while ago. Anyway, all I could think as I saw the preview was "This is totally going to suck". It just looked bad. But then I saw it flashed up on the screen "From the makers of the Matrix".. The Wachowskis did this? Maybe I should give it another shot.. So today I looked it up on imdb and sure enough, there were their names, but not as directors or producers.. they were listed as writers and they weren't the only writers.. So, enjoy it.. I'm going to skip it, it's going to suck...

Dukes of Hazzard (futhermore)

Just found some bad reviews of the movie.. guess I'm a moron.. Anyawy, I thought I recognized 2 things in the film last night and I just confirmed them. First was a cameo appearance by Jay Chandrasekhar who plays a campus police officer. I totally remembered him from Super Troopers, which I liked a lot. Secondly I felt that the jokes were remiciant of that movie.. they had the same feel in a way. Although not written by the Broken Lizard crew, it turns out that Jay (who directed ST) also directed DoH.. so there.. I thought so..


I added a new blog/site to my Bloglines listing at right.. check out Coolhunter.. it rules..

The Red Room

Say goodbye to Blockbuster when the Red Room arrives on our shores... No due dates, no aisles of DVD's all over the place, you get to see previews before you rent, and my favorite part? No salespeople..

Is that really what you think of me Georgie?

Senate Approval? Who needs it...

I'm sure Bolton will do a wonderful job at the U.N. The only reason I'm not super pissed about this "appointment" is that the U.N. is a joke and in the toilet and nobody could make it worse, nor make the rest of the world more pissed at us.. Or could they?

We need more stars like Sean

Sean Connery had something to say about the Hollywood morons (my word) : "I'm fed up with the idiots...the ever-widening gap between people who know how to make movies and the people who green-light the movies". How true.. The full article can be found here.

Happy and Sad

On a serious note. Jeff Norman writes in The Huffington Post about an event in California which was part of the U.S. Tour of Duty (which I would love to attend, and am so happy to see exist) tour. I really want to see the film that was discussed at the event. Also I'm really sad to hear about the recriuting assembly at the grade school.. how bad will it get people?

Fizzy Lizzy

I forgot to add. The movie last night was at the Ritz (I know.. odd, but it was an off night and the event wasn't theirs.. it was a pure Warner Brothers corporate event.. I guess Mondays are slow at the Ritz). Anyway, the Ritz added a new drink to their amazing snack bar called Fizzy Lizzy. I tried one and let me just say that I'm hooked. I had the cranberry and it was awesome.. So I highly reccoment you find some and give them a taste.

The Dukes of Hazzard

All of my friends can kiss my ass. The Dukes of Hazzard was a pretty good film. A while ago I posted about how I couldn't wait to see this film. The other day I was having a drink at Copa on South Street, reading the City Paper and low and behold an ad offering free advance screening tickets to the movie at a place about 100 feet from where I sat. My girlfriend frowned "surely you don't intend me to go with you". I of course ran out of the bar to get my pass before they ran out. I got back and she deadpanned "were there any left?".. ha ha..

So, yesterday I went (alone) to see the film. And you know what? It was totally entertaining. The jokes were surprisingly well written and literate and (most importantly, anti-red state). There was no lame-ass toilet humor either. Just a bunch of shots of Jessica Simpson in bikinis and such, car chases and jumps, and funny one liners that most of the theather didn't get. In fact, at one point I laughed out loud at one and was the only one.. I felt like a moron.. But it was funny as hell and a total dig on GWB and his brother stealing the presidency.. I guess nobody got the reference... but anyway..

The plot, well, there was one, but there were a few times when I said to myself "uh.. it's clearly obvious that doing A would be way more helpful to their cause than doing what they are currently doing...." but I actually didn't care. It was a ride and I was totally enjoying it, even if it took the long, pointless way around..

As for the connections to the tv show (which I used to love), they were very well done. The movie did nothing to detract from the original show. In fact, picture the tv show with curses in it and you've got the movie. And nothing crazy.. just a few "bullshit"s and the like.

All in all, I reccomend this to all. Go to be entertained and you will be happy.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Correction : Sudoku doesn't suck

Last week I wrote about how I thought that Sudoku sucked. After doing a few more puzzles, I've decided that it doesn't suck. It is a bit challenging and addictive. However, I still say that picture logic is way cooler and I still don't get why it hasn't taken off as well..