Thursday, March 31, 2005

Vincent van Gogh

The 152nd anniversary of Vincent van Gogh's birth was on Wednesday, the 30th. I was on the road most of the day, so I couldn't blog it on the proper day though.

Social bookmarking, folksonomy, flickr, tagging, the semantic web, online maps, GPS and online maps, xml/rss feeds, blogs, news readers, camera phones, screencasts, audioscrobbler, google and yahoo. It's all coming together. (Trying to motivate myself to cohere all my thoughts on these things and blog about it, til then, I'll point you in some intersting locations.)

Monday, March 28, 2005

When poker players get drunk:

Take a look at this link here.

How many 5-year olds do you think you could take on?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Pep talk?

My boss, the head of the science and math department of the district, recently held a meeting to discuss our status. In it, he addressed the implementation of the new middle school math program which began 3 years ago, and our improving test scores in that cohort.

Recently, there's been an idiot on the school board who's been making a big fuss about our "low test scores", selectively picking obsolete data to "prove" his case.

My boss got pretty worked up about this, which led to him giving a pep talk about how even though our 8th graders are pretty well prepared for this year's test, that teachers might want to review anyways because "with each point that higher we average on that test, we jam the metal rod up that fucker's asshole another inch!" He was getting all red in the face too. I thought he was gonna have an apoplectic fit.

That was the most surreal pep talk I've ever sat through.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Canyonlands National Park

Far Below
Originally uploaded by Redwolf Journeys.
Check out this dope photo entitled Far Below. That's a jeep in the bottom right. I have got to see this in person.

Chucky D weighs in at 5' 11" 163 lb

If you're a fan of Andr� the Giant Has a Posse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, salon :: :: people :: feature :: Andre the Giant bombs the world!, By Stephen Lemons :: Page 1, or Revolutions in Evolutions (or not), you'll love: CHARLES DARWIN HAS A POSSE -- free bookmarks and stickers.


Dispatch from the Arabian peninsula

Here's a slice of life email I recently got from a friend of mine who just went over to the land of light crude. Check it out.


Hope this email finds you well. I have safely arrived in the theater of operations for about a week and a half now. The flight here was a rough one, about 18 hours of total flight time with two layovers. It felt like an eternity when we initially took off from the airfield. As I looked out the window, I was thinking that the plane is going to run out of runway….but thankfully the plane finally took off after about 2 miles on the ground. It was an extremely slow ascent due to the plane laden with heavy military gear. Our first landing felt almost disastrous. The pilot just dropped the plane on the runway from the sky. We were fortunate that the plane did not bust any tires. From all the flying I have done, this was the worst take off and landing sequence ever.

So far, things are going well here at the camp. Our team has been working closely with the existing team to ensure that there is a smooth transition with the outgoing rotation and our replacement team will be able to provide continuity with the new mission. There is a two week overlap for cross training before the current team leaves. We have quickly adapted to our new work environments, and making all the necessary adjustments to prepare for our missions downrange. The greater majority of our team is assigned to the Information Assurance Branch in support of the information security training initiative and performing vulnerability assessment downrange. This typically requires a lot of traveling. In the past week, they have been on the road daily. We also sent another team downrange this weekend up north. It’s been one week and some folks are already griping about the travel. Fortunately for me, I have not been tasked with any downrange missions yet. Being in the army long enough, I know that you don’t volunteer for anything. Realistically speaking, I know that I will be tasked to travel downrange in the near future and I am prepared to execute my mission as directed.

Earlier this week, a combat patch ceremony was held for outgoing team, along with catered Arabic food. We were also served non-alcoholic German beer, which was quite bland. It will be another two months before I get some real beer with alcohol content when I head over to Bahrain. I also hear that soldiers are authorized to consume three beers a day in Qatar, but not sure when I will be heading over there yet. The current team was the first group to be awarded the newly authorized 1st Information Operations patch for service in a combat zone. They were also awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medals. Attending the ceremony provided our team a glimpse of what to expect and things to look forward to at the end of our tour here.

The food here at the mess hall is on par with the Dietrick Hall Dining Facility (aka Die Quick) from VA Tech. My fellow Hokies alumni will know what I am talking about. For those who didn’t have the opportunity to attend such a fine college, the food is acceptable but the menu does not offer enough variety. The main difference between the Dietrick food and the mess hall here is that it doesn’t give me any heartburns. The beverage selection here is comparatively better than college. There are plenty of bottled Gatorades, Red Bull, juice, milk, tea, coffee to quench our thirst. There is also a nice dessert section that serves pies, cakes, etc. While conversing with one of the transient soldier here, I inquired if he knew of any camps in the theater that serves Asian food. To my surprise, I was told that the mess halls downrange in Iraq offer Kimchi, Mongolian style stir-fry, among other things. I guess sushi would be stretching it :) I might just have to volunteer for some missions up north when I get the craving for Asian cuisine or just tired of the food at this camp. One of the highlights of the week at the mess hall is Steak & shrimps or Lobster & shrimps nights on Wednesdays. All I can say is that it’s good effort on their part, but the meat just doesn’t taste quite right. All the soldiers here have learned to lower our standards, since we all know that it’s challenging to have fine dining in a combat zone. A problem with the taste of our food maybe attributed to the cooks that are preparing our meals, which are all Third Country Nationals (TCN) from mostly India. They don’t seem to have problems making curry dishes though :)

As far as the quality of life here, it seems to be much better than I had anticipated. Our team actually lucked out and is staying in pods for our sleeping quarters inside a huge warehouse. The pods are 16 X 6 feet connex containers for accommodating two to four soldiers each. I had a roommate for the first week, but he has since then completed his tour and gone home. Currently, I have the whole pod to myself until the housing section decides to fill it with another incoming soldier. There are AC units hooked up to all the pods and crank out cold air 24/7. It can get quite cold at night, so most of us tape up the duct vent so it doesn’t feel like a fridge at night when we sleep. Compared to most of the other troops who are staying in tents and open bays, our living arrangement is great. Since this camp is scheduled for closure within the year, a lot of our current amenities are quickly coming to an end. One of the biggest morale booster and simple enjoyment items are slated to be closed in the next few months. This includes the gym, the PX, and even the mess hall buildings are getting cleared out. So we might be eating out of tent pretty soon. We are also getting cleared out of the pods in a few months to move in tents or trailers, so life here might not be as tolerable.

The weather here has been really mild, with daytime temperature hitting about 80 degrees, and dips down to about 50 degrees at night. I hear the dreaded desert heat will be here soon enough to welcome us, in addition to the sand storm. I am just happy that we will have ample time to acclimate to the heat when it comes. As for the environment condition and air quality, our camp is about average. Though other nearby camps are not as fortunate. One of the camps that a contingent from our team visited is located in the middle of the desert, which had an abundance of dust and sand. Even their computers, monitors, and keyboards were coated with the crud. I just can’t imagine how bad that is for the lungs. So our team should really count ourselves lucky with the condition that we presently work in.

Well, this is all for now from the desert. Hope everyone is doing well back home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The New York Times > Movies > Critic's Choice: New DVD's Dave Kehr: New DVD's

Those damn liberals at the nytimes have a writeup about Alain Resnais' latest film. I didn't even realize he was still alive, let alone making movies. Good for him. The New York Times > Movies > Critic's Choice: New DVD's Dave Kehr: New DVD's The funny thing is how they mention that it's straight to DVD and didn't even get an art house run, because nobody would be able to make sense out of it. You'd think that Audrey Tautou would at least bring some business to the box office.

Here's his imdb page: Alain Resnais. Pretty amazing that he did "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" and "Last Year at Marienbad" back to back. I dont' know if I've ever blogged my top 10, or top 5 movies, but "Last Year at Marienbad" is definitely in there. Along with "Groundhog Day", "The Godfather", "Casablanca" among others.

Se7en is the 48th ranked film on the imdb top 250. While it's a perfectly good thriller/mystery, that is hilarious. Computers: VIEWSONIC TPCV1250S PM-1G 40GB ( TPCV1250S-1303 )

Check out the specs on this computer. For a 30 terabyte hdd, that ain't a bad price: Computers: VIEWSONIC TPCV1250S PM-1G 40GB ( TPCV1250S-1303 )

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Best t-shirt......ever.

And if you go wearing shirts of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

This is the best thing I've seen all day:
RTFM shirt featuring Chairman Mao

Friday, March 18, 2005

George F. Kennan

I didn't even realize he was still around. Everybody should read this: The New York Times > Washington > George F. Kennan Dies at 101; Leading Strategist of Cold War

On a Japanese kick of late

drunken racoons
Originally uploaded by Nachosan.
This photo is so great. First, you have the expression on this lady's face and you have the background of the drunken tanuki. You may remember tanuki (minus his giant ball sac) from Super Mario Bros. 3. To learn more, visit your local library or go here: Raccoon Dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Why Japanese want to learn English.

or at least, what the copyeditors want them to think.
Found via boingboing, go to the link for more reasons.
neomarxisme: March 2005 Archives: "This ad for the Gaba language school asks Japanese people to fill in the blank: 'If I could speak English, I would...' Ads with quotes from 'real people' in Japan are often written by copywriters, but even if these aren't actual answers, the responses provide a glimpse into the process of a Japanese company selling English to possible customers. (Click on ad to see a larger picture.

Here is a translation of the first several responses:

I would live in Hawaii with lots of dogs.
I would go by myself to buy in London antique shops.
I would eat all the desserts in the world!
I would go to [my company]'s foreign office and become project leader.
I would buy the materials for aroma therapy and mix them myself.
I would open a shiatsu massage parlor in Hollywood for celebrities.
I would lecture the loud foreigners on the train.
I would raise my children in America: one artist, one computer programmer.
I would go work in a foreign marketing firm.
I would start a dental office for foreigners.
I would run a surf shop in the Gold Coast.
I would live in a house where I could wake up and dive right into the pool.
I would want to increase my income by 100x.
I would publish a weekly manga magazine in the English language world. "

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

8 credit score myths - Mar. 16, 2005

It's really amazing that in our wonderful world of purchase power so many know so little about Experian, Equifax and Trans.... uh whatever that 3rd one is.

Yet, according to a survey released Tuesday, nearly half of all Americans don't understand what these scores measure or what factors go into them.

The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Fair Isaac Corporation, found that 49 percent of respondents do not understand that credit scores measure a person's credit risk, while 45 percent think – incorrectly – that a higher income will result in a higher credit score.

8 credit score myths - Mar. 16, 2005

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The New York Times > New York Region > No Need to Stew: A Few Tips to Cope With Life's Annoyances

Nice little throwaway article with some nice ideas that I might try.The New York Times > New York Region > No Need to Stew: A Few Tips to Cope With Life's Annoyances

When subscription cards fall from magazines Andrew Kirk is reading, he stacks them in a pile at the corner of his desk. At the end of each month, he puts them in the mail but leaves them blank so that the advertiser is forced to pay the business reply postage without gaining a new subscriber.

Wesley A. Williams spent more than a year exacting his revenge against junk mailers. When signing up for a no-junk-mail list failed to stem the flow, he resorted to writing at the top of each unwanted item: "Not at this address. Return to sender." But the mail kept coming because the envelopes had "or current resident" on them, obligating mail carriers to deliver it, he said.

Next, he began stuffing the mail back into the "business reply" envelope and sending it back so that the mailer would have to pay the postage. "That wasn't exacting a heavy enough cost from them for bothering me," said Mr. Williams, 35, a middle school science teacher who lives in Melrose, N.Y., near Albany.

After checking with a postal clerk about the legality of stepping up his efforts, he began cutting up magazines, heavy bond paper, and small strips of sheet metal and stuffing them into the business reply envelopes that came with the junk packages.

"You wouldn't believe how heavy I got some of these envelopes to weigh," said Mr. Williams, who added that he saw an immediate drop in the amount of arriving junk mail. A spokesman for the United States Postal Service, Gerald McKiernan, said that Mr. Williams's actions sounded legal, as long as the envelope was properly sealed.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Those Wacky Japanese are at it again

Just for the record, Solid Neon sent this to me. It's an instant classic.
Backpage Article Display: "Pubic hair did the trick

Japan - A Japanese professor claims his country has the shape of its women's pubic hair to thank for its place on the world stage.

Professor Asaki Geino has published a thesis where he argues that the type of pubic hair a woman has affects her personality.

He says the pubic hair of Japanese women is of the type belonging to those who are good mothers, faithful wives and caring daughters.

The professor's thesis classifies women into five types, with most Japanese women having pubic hair like an 'inverted triangle'.

Professor Geinoe said: 'This type is characterised by faithfulness and fitness for family life.

'Women of this type are good mothers, faithful wives and caring daughters. I don't think I'm wrong when I say that precisely this type of woman helped Japan become the glorious country it is.'

On the other hand, women most likely to be unfaithful had pubic hair resembling the 'mouth of a river'.

'Usually female pubic hair grows in the form of an upside down triangle, but some women's is oblong or elliptical in shape,' the professor told Pravda.

'It's not that rare for women with oblong-shaped pubic hair to fall in love at first sight or fall head-over-heels with passion. They also don't like sitting at home on their own.' -"

Friday, March 11, 2005

Halo voiceover guy

Believe it or not, but this the guy who say "killing spree" and all those other fun things in Halo: Q&A: THEATER, Jeff Steitzer, by (08/24/00)

Random aside: "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite" rocks my world.

Gene Ray - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This guy is an oldie, but goodie. Gotta love the Time cube:
Gene Ray - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Ray explained the 4/16 Rotation Principle, an important element of Time Cube, as follows: 'If Earth stood still, it would have mid-day, mid-night, sun-up and sun-down as 4 corners. Each rotation of earth has 4 mid-days, 4 mid-nights, 4 sun-ups and 4 sun-downs. The sixteen (16) space times demonstrates cube proof of 4 full days simultaneously on earth within one (1) rotation. The academia created 1 day greenwich time is bastardly queer and dooms future youth and nature to a hell.'

A typical Ray quotation is 'Time is CUBIC, not linear as stupid educators teach.'"

For more information, consult your local library or the following hypertext link:
Time Cube - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Audioscrobbler :: Home

This is a pretty cool music site. You install a plugin that sends your listening habits to the site, generates a profile, "musical neighbors", charts etc. Check it out:

Audioscrobbler :: Home

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Eye abrasions suck.

On Sunday, I got something stuck in my eye- turns out it was a sizeable(for the eye) piece of plaster. In order to get it out on Monday, the ophthalmologist had to flick it out with something, making my eye abrasion even bigger.

See, my eye started watering uncontrollably...which led to my nose dripping uncontrollably. Any of you bio types out there know why this happens?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Necrophilia among ducks ruffles research feathers

The really funny aspect to me about all of this is that a fellow nanothinker, Solid Neon, showed me this about five years ago. | Research | Necrophilia among ducks ruffles research feathers

Solid Neon's blast from the past: Deinsea 8

Mickelson in agony or ecstasy?

Has everyone seen this photo? I just want to make sure this is viewed by everyone in the world. It made me giggle that's for sure.

Photo by Associated Press

Yahoo! News - Sports Photos - AP

This is what happens...

when I take my cousins out to an art museum.

Speeding Tickets...

are kinda funny when you think about it. I just got the second one of my life this past weekend. $180, but that's ok. Pro-rated, that's only twenty some dollars a year since my first one. Plus it was out of state, so who knows how long it'll take my insurance to find out.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Defaced Art by t-squared

Polluted Pool
Originally uploaded by t-squared.
This guy has some nice stuff up on flickr, but my favorite has to be Polluted Pool. To take a David Hockney and then free associate to one of Bill Murray's finest moments, well that's genius in my book. I need to get a poster of this. His defaced art collection also has a nice Magritte with an mp3 player.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Which RSS Reader would George Rogers Clark use?

I'm looking to install a good newsreader. I know some of the legions of readers of this blog use them, so I wondering if anybody had any suggestions. Like luda, I believe in word of mouf.
RSS Readers (RSS Info)

Oh yeah, i'm looking for XP and LInux clients. Thanks again.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005