October 31, 2006

Dig the randomness

What a cool idea. It's called a camera toss. You set your camera for a one-second exposure and chuck it to a sure-handed friend. Neat imagry abounds.

Also random is the random picture search using Google and some sort of random generator to grab pictures at, well, random from the interweb.

Or there's the random Homer Simpson quote generator.

And while we're speaking of random beauty, another random ten from the iTunes...
  • "Rudie Can't Fail" by the Clash - great album The Clash...this isn't the best song on there, but it's quality birth of pop punk
  • "Habit" by Pearl Jam - No Code is my favorite PJ album, and this one's okay...lil' more anger than I typically like from the boys, but it's a part of their personality that I'm okay with - just not the side I prefer
  • "Over the Rainbow" by Harry Nilsson - so underappreciated by the modern music listener, Harry Nilsson was a master...an absolute master...his double CD Personal Best should be required listening by anybody who claims to like music in nearly any form...perfect pop with touches of nearly every genre - singer-songwriter, old standards, rock, angry young man, Beatles, Elton, Billy Joel...wonderful
  • "A Change of Sex" by David Motion & Sally Potter - from the Orlando soundtrack - great movie, neat music - especially the song "Coming"...this one's an stmospheric track that works mostly because of the movie
  • "Slow and Low" by the Beastie Boys - one of my absolute favorite bands...from the classic Licensed to Ill debut cd...very indicative of where they'd be heading from this one
  • "Casey Jones" by Carl Sandberg - a shock from the Beastie Boys, but I love the old recordings that Carl Sandberg did and that have been collected on Songs for America, mostly because Mom played them for me growing up...she played many of them on the guitar as my lullabies
  • "Only Son" by Liz Phair - love her first three albums...hate the last two more popish albums...her choice to change styles, and I recognize her choice, but it's just not one I'm willing to take with her
  • "Towards the Within" by Dead Can Dance - I know almost nothing about this group or their music other than the one album that Karlen had from college...but I like that album - very atmospheric and moody...world music and new age-ish stuff with gorgeous, strange stuff thrown into the mix...great for a Halloween chill out...
  • "7/29/04 The Day Of" by David Holmes - from the Ocean's Twelve soundtrack - much better as music than as movie...I keep quoting that the movie was no fun but at least the actors seemed to be having fun...I'll probably end up seeing the third movie because I dig the actors involved, but it'll hopefully be more the Eleven than Twelve
  • "Something in the Way" by Nirvana - I didn't and still don't get Nirvana...too angry, too annoying, too offensive for me...but their MTv Unplugged is a classic..."In the Pines" is a perfect cover...and so many of their songs worked in this stripped down setting...

October 30, 2006

I am intrigued

Because I'm so often in Biggs, I noticed a while back a new bit of vending technology near the checkouts: a redbox.

It seems that somebody has created a Frankensteinian DVD rental machine to compete with the online, to-your-mailbox presence of Netflix.

The machines seems to be simple enough. You pick from their fairly limited selection of new releases (not much of an older stock that I can find - particlarly since every movie they stock has to be sitting inside the in-store vending machines. You sweep your credit card, and the DVD drops down (at least I assume that's how it works - I haven't tried it m'self as I continue to frequent a less espensive source for my videos). You can then drop the DVD back into any redbox location where, I'm guessing that charge is totalled ($1 per day plus taxes, days end at 7pm).

It's an interesting idea and one that could be marvelous in certain circumstances. Imagine you're in an airport with your laptop and want something to watch on the flight. Simple enough: you pop into a redbox, drop your $1, kill some plane time, and drop the movie into another redbox at the other end of the flight.

To quote their website...
That's right. Rent a DVD at any redbox. Rent a few. Doesn't matter. Here's the deal: You don't have to return it to the same redbox. Just another great part of renting your DVD's from redbox. Hey, as we expand in Minneapolis, Houston, and more cities, you can even - get this - rent one in Denver and return it in the Twin Cities. Now that's convenience, my friends.
Well, they're now beyond those few cities, but they're not exactly ubiquitous

Here in the Cincy area, there are something like nine redbox machines, all in Biggs grocery stores and all along a loop around the area. With this low a density of machines, I'm not sure it's an improvement to "return it to any redbox location" just yet.

And their selections seem pretty limited, only offering about thirty different rentals at any one time (and many of those being multi-DVD sets that rent as different DVDs - like the current four-disc My Name is Earl).

There are folks who like the idea, and it's getting some online press. Others, however, are fully jazzed about the possibilities in two particular areas...
It turns out that Redbox is a wholly-owned subsidiary of McDonald's Corporation, which was a delightful surprise: while McDonald's might not be where I personally go for something to eat, I certainly recognize that it's an omnipresent company with a remarkable reach into both our society and culture. Who better to tilt at the windmill of traditional DVD rental than a multi-billion dollar mainstay of the corporate world beloved by millions of people?


Even more interesting is the potential impact on companies like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video because one of the main costs of running a rental store is the square footage: if you could have the entire store automated and have a simple kiosk delivering up the individual films, you could theoretically offer thousands of popular movies in a fraction of the real estate. Less overhead = lower prices or higher margins. (Meanwhile, Blockbuster and Hollywood Video still require that you return your rental to the same outlet you rented it, a ridiculous limitation in this day of high-speed pervasive networking and highly automated systems0

Just for a moment, also imagine what it would be like if the Redbox kiosks could produce self-destructing DVDs (e.g., 72-hour DivX, for example) as an option so you wouldn't even have to bother returning them. Now it's just a matter of hard disk space within the kiosk computer: the system could foreseeably have a library of tens of thousands of movies, erasing one limitation of the system. Since you'd never have to return them, they can be less pervasive too: $1 for a regular DVD or, say, $2.50 for a self-destructing DVD would be a lovely set of options.
It's kind of similar in idea (and oddly, in name, too) to a DVD rental chain down in New Zealand and Australia: redroomdvds.

It's all kinda cool, but I'll be intrigued to see whether it takes off.

October 29, 2006

Egg-sucking dog...

True comedy over at NPR this week.

The wife and I caught the tail end of a story that seemed to be of a family dog who had taken to licking toads for the apparent purpose of getting a little stoned. You know, a nice little doggly thing to do. We had no clue what the beginning was or how this dog go ahold of the apparently hallucinogenic reptiles (As has been pointed out to me, frogs are not reptiles. They are, very clearly, amphibians. Sorry, folks. I apologize for shattering the illusion of my perfection. Please consider me to have genuflected as many times as is necessary to earn your forgiveness.), and no clue what the hell the whole thing was about. So, off to the NPR website to find the full story posted (they're great about doing that pretty quickly, by the way).

Classic driveway moment. Give it a listen.

October 28, 2006

Advice, part 6: Visit

Before we delve into the deep and murky recesses of my brain and the advice the spews forth from such a messed up place, allow me to throw in a follow up comment from Calencoriel regarding last week's monologue about dealing:
Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.
- Robertson Davies
That's about right. Be happy and, amazingly, you'll end up being happy.

Now, ever onward, upward, and inward...or rather northward, southward, and up.


I miss my grandfather, the one on my father's side.

He was a very simple country man, a man who never made it into rather than through high school. He wasn't politically correct in any fashion of the word - calling buckeyes by a very different nickname and kept one in his pocket most of the time. He created some of the most beautiful wood worked pieces that I've seen - gorgeous halltrees, wonderful baby cribs, plant stands, and lots more - some of which I have in my house now. And by the end of his life, he couldn't recognize us and spent his last years in a nursing home, dying of Parkinson's disease.

And I don't know nearly enough about him. I don't know all of the jobs that he did growing up. I don't know how he met my grandmother or how he felt when he bought the bigger, more expensive house next door and moved his family one house over on Ekin Avenue in my hometown. I don't know how he left the farm and headed inot the city or what his wedding was like, and I don't have nearly enough things around me that make me think of him.

Most importantly, what I didn't know is that I would care about these things when I grew up.

Take some time. Visit with the old folks who seem so crabby and dated to you. If you've got the opportunity and time, come up with a half dozen questions and record the answers.

The old folks will thank you for taking time to visit with them; it'll make those boring holidays a little more tolerable because the old folks won't be hassling you nearly so much; and somebody will thank you in a number of years from now.

Soemtimes it's tough to have enough foresight to think about what you'll want later in your life but that you'll have to get now, but I promise you that many of you will regret later the time that you haven't spent now.

October 27, 2006

I'm avoiding Ali's catchphrase

He's not exactly a studly guy. The pug nose and solid eyebrows make him look sort of like a more athletic Quinten Tarantino. And his girlfriend - while cute - isn't any sort of model gorgeous.

But he's the greatest tennis player of this - and possibly of any - generation.

That's not the point today, though.

Instead, today's point is that Roger Federer is as big a dork as I am. Everybit as big of a dork.

I've got my mascot / doll / action figure that I take with me to get pictures of him in various exotic locales, and Roger apparently has his - a Federer Beanie Baby.

Admittedly, he's doing it to raise money for UNICEF, and I'm doing it because it entertains me, but that's not the point. Roger Federer is a gangly dork.

Deal with that...

Oh, and in case you were curious, I went 9 for 10 in the online trivia quiz about Federer's 2005 year.


October 25, 2006

The basics of internet communication...

The more webpages I see, the more I am convinced that many people who design for the web forget why they're making webpages.

The simple goal of every webpage should be to communicate something.

If you don't have something to communicate, you shouldn't be putting something out on the web. If you do have something to communicate, make sure that every part of your webpage somehow enhances the communication of that information.

Don't use background and fonts that distract. Don't put animated graphics that distract. Make sure the information that you want to communicate is easily found, easily read, and easily understood.

That's it, that's all, that's the end of the story.

The reason I'm thinking of this today is because I've been checking out some online projects from a class that I'm in and because I was checking out the webpage of the high school that I attended back a decade and a half ago.

First, the KSU projects...the assignment was to make a multi-page website that met some requirements and took us through much of out Hands On Training book on DreamWeaver. Simple enough but with lots of room for individual projects that interest us, right?

Here's what I've got so far. I'm not thrilled with it, but it's a decent start. I'm particularly bothered by the black line in the top left. Can't figure out how to get rid of it. Any advice or help is always appreciated.

Here are some of the other folks' projects...
  • Professional portfolio - What's the goal here? If it's to communicate how professional you are and what a good employee you'd be, I'm thinking that the use of garish background colors and changing font sizes and colors might distract from that message. I'm also bothered by the long list of menu buttons that requires scrolling down to see them all, but that's a lesser problem in my eyes.
  • TACA webpage - The rest of the pages (here) seem pretty good at first glance, but the opening animation doesn't serve any purpose.
Lots of the other KSU class projects are in initial states of development, and it might not be fair to comment on them just yet.

A site that has been developed long enough that it should be far, far better than it's current state is New Albany High School's page. It's my alma matter, so I check in from time to time, but there just isn't much there that makes me think that anybody working on the pages has any sense of design whatsoever.

There's a huge black area in the center that accomplishes nothing. There's the weirdo rotating bulldog cube that is cutesy but accomplished nothing. Lots of the information pops up in a weird, below the black blob frameset, making things hard to read. Some of the pages use an older template that the site has clearly abandoned. And, dear god, some of the pages seem to be designed with the goal of being difficult to navigate. Animated graphics abound and are just in the way of communication rather than helping things out.

C'mon, folks. We've been on the web for a decade or so now, and we have to start learning how to use this thing.

October 24, 2006

My eyes are bleeding...

Apparently, Bob Huggins has continued his history of letting Nike design his team's basketball uni's. It looks like he's chosen some real frickin' winners with the new Kansas State uni's.

Purple and black - an abomination in and of themselves - with "cat scratches" down the sides, but the addition of the craptacular cat stripes makes things even worse - possibly the worst thing since UK went with the zubaz shorts.

Thankfully, UniWatch has already dropped their opinion - or reluctance to make a comment, at least.

October 23, 2006

Feeling the drama

I'm not really big on the whole Christian rap scene. But I find myself kind of tempted to go out and buy Behind the Glory by K-Drama (warning: automatic loud music on website). Hey, it's gotten good reviews.

In all honesty, I really am thinking about buying the album because K-Drama (warning: automatic loud music on website) is a former PHS student.

If you do happen to be big on the whole Christian rap scene, give the album a listen and a buy. It's, honestly, always really great to hear a PHS student doing well.

Next up, another bunch of PHS students rocking the place: Riotbreed.

October 22, 2006

The Greatest Toy Ever!

In my classroom, I have what is clearly the greatest toy ever: Astrojax.

It's like the next frickin' yo-yo. To quote the official Astrojax website.
And word is spreading fast that Astrojax is what the real cracks are now playing - a game all about action, rhythm and your own personal style.
If you haven't seen one yet, you're clearly not a real crack, 'cause it's "what the real cracks are now playing." So, get with the real cracks and pick up an Astrojax.

There are all sorts of cool tricks that the cracks are doing now, and you check out a bunch of them on YouTube or over at the Exploratorium and the Tym.de website. Heck, the cracks have even put out an Astrojax trick book with the secrets of the real cracks.

So, get out there you crack and get yourself an Astrojax at their online pro store.

Oh, and apparently, this rockinly cool toy has some sort of physics connection.

Oh, by the way, I hate Astrojax and will willingly give my Astrojax (the second one that somebody has felt necessary to give to me) to anybody who asks for it.

Oh, wait, I already gave it away.

October 21, 2006

Advice, part 5: Deal

Bit of a short bit of advice this weekend as it's a rather busy weekend between last night's HFS dance, tonight's PHS homecoming, and tomorrow's volunteering at the Bengals' game. So...


Let's be honest, crappy stuff happens to everybody, and often it happens at what seems like the worst of possible times. Your car won't start on the one morning that you're already running late for that big presentation. You're almost ready for the big dance, and your face picks today to betray you with a giant zit right in the center of your forehead. You're getting your house resided, and the guys tell you that your chimney's going to collapse unless they rebuild the whole thing.

First, remember that bad things happen all the time - we just notice them most when we're already stressed because of something else. I really doubt that there's some sort of all-powerful diety who is taking the time to watch you through all your days and just wait for the right moment to throw down the banana peels. So, stop moping and thinking that you're somehow the most unlucky person ever.

You're not. You're just a person like the rest of us.

Next, let it go. Just let the anger and pitty and other crap that comes with the bad luck go. There's nothing to be done other than to deal with it. Suck it up, scrap the dropped cake off the floor, call work to tell them you'll be a little late (they'll understand because it's happened to them before, too), change your clothes to get the strawberry icing stains off of you, and head in as best you can.

Moping and crabbing about it isn't going to get things right any more quickly, and it's just going to piss of the people who'd otherwise be willing to help you and cut you some slack. Instead, shrug things off and move on.

Even if it is something legitimately horrible, it, too, shall pass. You'll get through whatever it is. Give yourself something else to do, get your mind occupied by something else. Set some sort of moping timetable. Give yourself a week to mope and cry, and tell everybody about that. But add in that after the week's done, you're going to suck it up and deal. Make sure to tell them about that part, too, so they can remind you when the week's up, so they can help out and get you headed in a healthier direction.

And while you're at it, let the people who care about you help you when you are in a bit of a downturn. They care about you and honestly want to help out. If you are too stubborn to accept help, you'll never really know just how many people are in your corner.
All of us have bad luck and good luck. The man who persists through the bad luck - who keeps right on going - is the man who is there when the good luck comes - and is ready to receive it. - Robert Collier

October 20, 2006

Choose your own post

Things are a little too pat at this point...life a little too linear...each book I pick up seems to have the same thing happening: the stuff at the front of the book happens before the stuff at the end of the book.

It's lame.

It's predictable.

Heck, it even happens in most of my comic books: early stuff comes before late stuff.

What we need now is a good Choose Your Own Adventure.

Luckily a bunch of websites have given us a chance to relive those glory days of misspent, friendless youth spent hanging out in your room. Check out Wired's Choose Your Own Article or the semi-self created Create Your Own Adventure or the Infinite-Story engine or the Never Ending Tale.

And McSweeney's misses them, too.

October 19, 2006

A little worisome...

It appears that Keith Olbermann is a little unhappy about a smallish provision in the recent Military Commissions Act.

Oh, sure, the Revolutionary Communist Party thinks that Congress may have gone a little too far in passing the Military Commission Act (yet to be signed into law by the President, weirdly) that has some little blip in it about suspending the writ of habeas corpus. They're friggin' communists:
The MCA redefines “unlawful enemy combatant” so that it can be applied to U.S. citizens and to people who have never engaged in combat against the U.S.


Under the MCA, legal immigrants in the U.S. labeled ‘‘alien unlawful enemy combatants” can be imprisoned, tortured, denied all legal rights, and sentenced by a military commission. U.S. citizens labelled ‘‘unlawful enemy combatants’’ can be imprisoned and tortured—but the MCA does not make citizens subject to military commissions. The creation of different legal standards for citizens and non-citizens living in the U.S. reverses the long-standing principle that everyone living in the U.S. is governed by the same courts, laws and rights.


The MCA rewrites current federal habeas corpus law to forbid federal courts from considering a writ of habeas corpus (a petition for release from unlawful detention) by an “alien” detained as an “enemy combatant.”
The MCA redefines “unlawful enemy combatant” so that it can be applied to U.S. citizens and to people who have never engaged in combat against the U.S.
And some Yale law professor says that
The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.


We are not dealing with hypothetical abuses. The president has already subjected a citizen to military confinement. Consider the case of Jose Padilla. A few months after 9/11, he was seized by the Bush administration as an "enemy combatant" upon his arrival at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. He was wearing civilian clothes and had no weapons. Despite his American citizenship, he was held for more than three years in a military brig, without any chance to challenge his detention before a military or civilian tribunal. After a federal appellate court upheld the president's extraordinary action, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, handing the administration's lawyers a terrible precedent.

The new bill, if passed, would further entrench presidential power. At the very least, it would encourage the Supreme Court to draw an invidious distinction between citizens and legal residents. There are tens of millions of legal immigrants living among us, and the bill encourages the justices to uphold mass detentions without the semblance of judicial review.
But he's an East Coast liberal, of course.

Oh, and Senator Russ Feingold is opposed to the Military Commissions Act:
One of the most disturbing provisions of this bill eliminates the right of habeas corpus for those detained as enemy combatants. I support an amendment by Senator Specter to strike that provision from the bill. I ask unanimous consent that my separate statement on that amendment be put in the record at the appropriate point.

Habeas corpus is a fundamental recognition that in America, the government does not have the power to detain people indefinitely and arbitrarily. And that in America, the courts must have the power to review the legality of executive detention decisions.

Habeas corpus is a longstanding vital part of our American tradition, and is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

As a group of retired judges wrote to Congress, habeas corpus “safeguards the most hallowed judicial role in our constitutional democracy – ensuring that no man is imprisoned unlawfully.”

Mr. President, this bill would fundamentally alter that historical equation. Faced with an executive branch that has detained hundreds of people without trial for years now, it would eliminate the right of habeas corpus.

Under this legislation, some individuals, at the designation of the executive branch alone, could be picked up, even in the United States, and held indefinitely without trial and without any access whatsoever to the courts. They would not be able to call upon the laws of our great nation to challenge their detention because they would have been put outside the reach of the law.

It's been a while

Let's get a bit of a random top ten from the iTunes, shall we?
  • "Abraham, Martin, & John" by Dion - so sappy, so painfully sappy...from my oldies playlists...folk music prettied up until it's almost unlistenable...
  • "Don't Leave Me" by Harry Nilsson - Nilsson's an almost forgotten gem of 70's music, a mix of the Beatles (who called him their favorite singer) and Elton John, a clear influence of Billy Joel and a number of other piano-based singers of the 90's and 00's...wonderful writer...this one isn't his best, but it's not bad...I'd choose "Coconut", "Ten Little Indians", or "Spaceman" for that, but he's an artist that more people should know of
  • "Peaches & Cream" by Beck - ah, white boy not faking the funk...this is from one of Beck's more cohesive albums: Midnite Bultures...great album from start to finish...awesome...and a great, great song...
  • "Yen on a Carousel" by David Holmes - from the Oceans 12 soundtrack...much better music than a movie...nice little groove shaking things down and one that a lot of you would probably recognize from intro and outro music on talk radio...
  • "Jack-A**" by Beck - Odelay is probably Beck's best album yet (I've only given his new one a single listen so far, so it's not in consideration yet)..."Jack-A**" keeps the organ groove going through the entire song sort of meandering back and forth while Beck croons slowly over it with a melodic, monotonous monotone...somehow it works
  • "Sleep Walk" by Santo & Johnny - I honestly have almost no clue how this got on my iTunes...don't remember it at all...Hawaiian guitar that just screams fade-out scene for some romantic beach movie to me...
  • "The Boat That I Row" by Neil Diamond - cheese at its finest...who doesn't love Neil?...up there with "Cherry, Cherry" for me
  • "Up the Wolves" by the Mountain Goats - I got hooked into the Mountain Goats low-fi genius a few months ago and have been enjoying them a lot lately...great songwriting with some odd musicality...rather intriguing
  • "Bicicleta" by Cafe Tacuba - this one's a six-second snippet from their amazing Yo Soy/Reves album...all in Spanish...I haven't a clue what's being said but I listen to it again and again...amazing sounds...
  • "Danny's Song" by Me First & the Gimme Gimmes - punk irony...gotta love it...

October 18, 2006

A little pricey...but cool...

Now they've done it. They went and put all the cool periodic table stuff in one place on the web: the WebElements.com store. If the stuff weren't so stinkin' expensive, I'd probably have already bought a bunch of it.

I'm especially tempted by the card games, long-form bookmarks, and - well - not much elsesince it's all pretty frickin' expensive - but I don't really understand what the Geomags are doing on the site.

October 17, 2006

Ode to the Midnight Movie

I've never been much of a big midnight movie kind of guy.

I've seen a couple: Blade Runner and Legend of the Overfiend at the old Vogue Theater in Louisville, but I wasn't quite comfortable with the crowd at Rocky Horror Picture Show's twice monthly midnight showing. Here in Cincinnati, I can't even find a place that shows midnight movies - neither of our two art house theaters do, sadly.

But there's a legend and romance to the idea of the midnight movie, and it's something that has kept its nostalgia even through the reduction and corpratization of the movie houses throughout the nation. Recently, the Onion's AV Club posted an article on 19 Terrific Midnight Movies from the Last 10 Years, and I can happily say that I've seen a bunch of the films and can heartily recommend them.
  • #1 - Bubba Ho-Tep - great, strange film that's absolutely hilarious. Weird combination of horror and comedy and fantasy.
  • #2 - Donnie Darko - is another freaky film that would work beautifully on a late midnight after a pre-movie evening of a drink or two at a friend's house.
  • #3 - Office Space - This one doesn't do it for me, admittedly, but I know enough folks who enjoy the heck out of it, so I'll give it a neutral pass.
  • #4 - Memento - It's a hard film to figure out the first time through, and it doesn't get all that much easier as you watch it a second time or more, but it's fascinating. This wouldn't work so well after those couple of drinks, but it'd be a great one to see every couple of months to catch new details.
  • #10 - Waking Life - I haven't seen this, but I have been wanting to. Gotta get around to it sometime soon.
  • #16 - Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle - This is a true classic of the midnight movie oeuvre. Two stoners head to get midnight snacks - complete with cameo from Doogie Howser - Neil Patrick Harris. Wonderful, hilarious stuff.
  • #17 - 28 Days Later - The midnight movie tends toward four styles: comedy, horror, musical, and psychadelic. This one fits firmly into the horror style and is a new-style zombie flick. I thought it was overrated and not as scary as it was supposed to be. The three different endings, though give viewers lots of options as to how they want things to go.
  • #18 - Kung Fu Hustle - Oversized comedy, action, and dubbing. It's a midnight movie classic.
  • #19 - I Heart Huckabees - Off kilter to the max...this film is the story of an exestential detective agency and their competing nihlist detectives. It's not exactly a linear story, and the people are more than a little strange, but it's not bad. Not my thing, but not bad.
Take some time this weekend if you've got it and get out to a midnight movie if you can find one.

October 16, 2006

Episode IV: A New Hope

I haven't got a flippin' clue as to who Eric Gordon is. Supposedly he's some sort of stud basketball player - generally regarded as prospect 1 or 1a in the current senior class of HS basketball players in the nation - with OJ Mayo, whom I've mentioned before.

But it appears that Mr. Gordon is committing to Indiana. There is much rejoicing.

And it appears that Sully is right when he points out that it's time to dust off this old chestnut.

October 15, 2006

Anybody wanna job?

It seems that - via a subcontractor - the government is looking for a Gitmo librarian.

My initial thoughts were that the job posting was a hoax, but upon further review, it is at least posted on a real job listing service from a bunch of librarians, and the company that's posted the listing is a real one, so that's a good thing at least.

So, if anybody - any librarians, at least - wants to get out and see the sites of Cuba - but in an annexed part of American (minus the freedoms, of course) - then go ahead and apply and see if you can get hired.

If so, would you take Beaker with you so I can get some pictures?

October 14, 2006

Advice, part 4: Improve

Wait, it's been a week already? Then, clearly, you must be waiting for my words of wonderful wisdom.


Two of my favorite books are by Richard Bach - Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. Neither would be things that most people who know me would likely predict.

On the back of my copy of the latter novel is a simple quote that seems relevant for this week's wisdom:
Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.
The world is what it is. The people around you are who they are. You are what you are. None of the three is anywhere near perfection.

Do what you can to improve them all.

I'm not saying that everything you do has to make the world or the people around you or even yourself better every minute of every day, but be sure that you're doing something from time to time. But start meking some sort of difference here and there.

For some of you, that means that you should set big, hairy, audacious goals so that you can see the big picture, the whole direction in which everything is heading. These are the whole-to-part folks. These are the ones who write big goals on the fridge: be a millionaire by forty, run a marathon, fit into 34-inch pants by June. The goal is always kept right in front of them, and they let the small things fall into place.

The rest of us need to take small steps here and there and let those steps add up to something more. We're the ones who instead choose to invest $50 a month, exercise daily, stop eating pop-tarts. These little steps grow over time and become something larger.

Both approaches work for different people.

But do something.
"Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it." - Edward Bok's grandmother
Make sure that the world that you leave behind you is a little better than the one that you entered. This ties in nicely into last week's bit of advice: give, but this week adds in the advice that you need to remember to take time to improve yourself.

October 13, 2006

A shortage of what?

Apparently, a shortage of helium.

Seriously, it appears that we're in a temporary helium shortage but that - in the long term - we're heading for a eventual drying up of the helium supply. This doesn't appear to be any sort of panic announcement or anything, just a simple fact that we'll run out of helium sometime in this century - some estimates say as quickly as 2015 and others by 2100 at the latest.

What a weird idea - a world without helium. No more casually sucking down balloons just to hear your voice sound all funny. No more grabbing a helium balloon to make your student aide happy. No more frivolously flying 'round the country in a deck chair.

If you want to know a little more about helium itself, check out these couple of articles: from wikipedia and from the University of Denver.

October 12, 2006

Wilco rocks the stacks!

Good stuff this past weekend with Wilco. The boys closed Saturday night's Tall Stacks festival with a decent performance. It wasn't their best, but it wasn't their set, their crowd, their stage. They played a well-received set that clocked in at about seven-fourths of an hour. (G'on, do the math. Impress me.) For a complete set list, head over the the Wilco forums.

Got me to thinking, though...if I'm willing to devote an entire post to the glory of the Beastie Boys on YouTube, shouldn't I do the same for my favorite band in the world?

Sadly, though, Wilco doesn't have nearly the YouTube presence that the Beasties do. Apparently the fact that Wilco has only ever recorded one official video seems to be a bit of a hamper to things.

Let's begin with their only official video - for the song "Outtasite". That was off of their second album, Being There - their first absolutely great album. Sadly, the whole video thing didn't seem to work for the band as they haven't released another one since then.

After Being There, came Summerteeth. It was on this album that the band chucked the label of alt-country entirely. There isn't a single thing on Summerteeth that could be mistaken for the old Uncle Tupelo sound at all. Influences for this one have been more likened to The Band, The Beach Boys, and the psychadelic power pop of the early seventies.

Not a lot of video from Summerteeth is out there, but a bit of concert footage are available: "Can't Stand It". Sadly no more that I can find on YouTube.

Their next album: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is a different story entirely. The band allowed themselves to be filmed for a documentary of the making and release of the album, leading to the DVD I am Trying to Break Your Heart. Because of this - and the story of the band's label rejecting the album which was subsequently bought back by a different label under the same company - Wilco found themselves as more than just critical darlings. They were a band on the verge, and their increased YouTube presence from this time shows that.

We get performances of "I am Trying to Break Your Heart", "Ashes of American Flags", "Radio Cure" and "Heavy Metal Drummer" from the DVD.

It took a couple of years for us to get a follow-up in the form of A Ghost is Born. Still no official videos, but a few YouTube performances: "Hell is Chrome", "Hummingbird", and "Wishful Thinking"

There's been a solid, if unspectacular live album - Kicking Television since that, and a few new songs - including "Walken" since then, but no new full studio albums after Ghost

Luckily, along the way, there have been a few side projects Golden Smog, Loose Fur, the Minus 5, The Autumn Defense, a soundtrack, and a couple of discs with Billy Bragg - check "Airline to Heaven" from the latter.

And Jeff Tweedy - the leader and real identity of Wilco - has done some solo work, concerts, special performances, and even an upcoming DVD: "Theologians", "Sunken Treasure", and two previews from the DVD in "Sunken Treasure" and a song I don't know.

If you'd like to know a little more about where the band came from, you'd need to check out Uncle Tupelo ("Still Be Around"'s unofficial video) or Sun Volt (on Austin City Limits and doing "Chickamauga".

There are a bunch more videos of Wilco on YouTube, but they're mostly of the thirty-seconds-taken-with-a-shakey-cell-phone-camera variety and not really worth watching at all.

October 11, 2006

Googlezon is on the way

I'm not entirely sure what to think about this bit of news.

Apparently, Google is buying YouTube.

Seriously, Googlezon is coming.

October 10, 2006

A rare thing...

It's an awfully rare time that I find much worth reading on ESPN's Page 2 anymore. The Daily Quicky was fun, but it's gone. I'll admit to a weakness for Bill Simmons, but even his work is pretty far from perfect, and - blaspheme, I shall - his schtick gets tired now and again. Uni Watch isn't bad, but their daily blog is better.

This weekend, however, I bumped across an excellent column by Scoop Jackson. The column discusses a recent issue that Jason Whitlock (former ESPN columnist, black sportswriter) had with one of Scoop's columns about becoming a black sportswriter in America and the odds being possibly stacked against it.

I'll admit that I don't read Scoop's columns regularly. He can be awfully incindiary, and I don't always open the ESPN page to be preached to. Most honestly, though, his columns just don't speak to me, and therein might lie the crux of his argument.

I read Bill Simmons - largely because I identify with him. He's white, middle income (probably upper middle by now, I would hope), about my age, and a sport/entertainment fan.

I don't read Scoop Jackson - who I know very little about, by the way - partially because he comes at sports (and at his readers) as an often-angry black man.

I just don't identify.

That doesn't mean, though, that I didn't enjoy his most recent column. It's excellent and well worth the read.

In the interest of fairness, please note that there are various opinions about Scoop out on the magical interweb.

October 9, 2006

The incredible marketing power of a finely turned chicken sandwich

Gotta love Chick-fil-a. People are apparently lining up to get into the new one over on the east side of Cincy.

According to the Enquirer story, such is "the incredible marketing power of a finely turned chicken sandwich - and the irresistible draw of a crisp plate of waffle fries."

I'll agree that they've pretty much perfected the chicken sandwich. It's a piece of art with two pickles - never more, never fewer. Just enough of a condiment to accentuate the moist chickeny goodness but not to owerpower it. No sloppy mayo or tomato or even lettuce to mediate the chicken, just chicken, bun, pickle.


The company doesn't always thrill me - between their not open on Sunday policy, piped in Christian rock, and general religious bent. But their chicken sandwiches are really, really good...

I will say, though, that I also hate the entire Eat mor chikin campaign.

October 8, 2006

Hope for people like me

I'm enjoying Wondermark. More good webcomic...um...goodness...

Got pointed that way from Alien Loves Predator (to which I shan't be linking 'cause it's occasionally not school appropriate).

October 7, 2006

Advice, part 3: Give

Let's see...it's Saturday, and we've got work to do 'round here...here's some advice...


My first bump with giving and charity wasn't exactly a wonderful and truly altruistic one. Instead, my dad was told by one of his coworkers - a principal, maybe, a counselor, perhaps - that I needed to add some charity work to my high school resume if I wanted to get better scholarship or to truly compete for any sort of honors. "Get him some volunteer work, Bob," they said. So, off to the local recycling center, I went. Every couple of weeks, I headed to crunch plastic bottles, to throw grocery bags of newspaper, and to try to hold down the hurl instinct that came from the smell of sour milk in dozens and dozens of milk jugs.

I was there to get something, not to give, and therein lies the twin secrets to this week's bit of hubris: Give because giving is good and give whether you're giving for the right reasons or not.

That bit of giving back in my high school days didn't take a huge hold, but in college I gave a little more here and there: broadcasting for 24 hours on radio and supposedly trying to raise money in the process, volunteering with kids who had trouble reading.

And then came Princeton. The single thing in my life of which I have been the proudest is my involvement in the Pasta for Pennies campaign. In my few years running that campaign (with some help, admittedly, from a great friend), I have come to giving very late in life, but I feel that I have begun to embrace it wholeheartedly.

It wasn't anything intentional, really. I signed up because I was willing to make a fool out of myself in front of my students. I don't know that it was any sort of altruistic gesture but rather a bit of fluff and fun - nasty-looking fun, but fun. Then the next year - because two of my new friends at the new job were involved and seemed to be having fun - I got a little more involved. Then the next year I stepped in as co-campaign-leader-in-waiting.

Since then I've thrown myself into the giving as fully as I can. I've taken to volunteering outside of the campaign - at the Light the Night Walk, at next month's Taste of the World, at last month's Oktoberfest. And, amazingly, it's starting to feel really good.

It doesn't matter whether you're giving because you want to build your resume or because you really care about the cause. Either way, the people you're helping can use the help. And there are lots and lots of people and causes who can use the help.

So, here's my specific, suggested actions:
  1. Ask friends around to see if they volunteer. (If you're going with friends, you'll have fun. If you're having fun, you'll go again.)
  2. If they don't, keep asking 'til you find one.
  3. Ask if you can join in and help out next time they are.
  4. Have fun. If you don't, try something else with a different friend.
  5. Repeat until it sticks.
  6. Once you find one you enjoy, start bringing a few friends of your own.
It's simple. Giving should be fun, and if it's not, keep giving until it is.

October 6, 2006

The camera lies...blatantly

This is just what we need - total and blatant lying from our cameras.

HP has released cameras with a new feature: slimming.

From what I can tell, the slimming feature compresses the image horizontally making those of us who are a little on the pudgy side of things into thinner, hotter, sexy, sunken cheek model-type folks. You'd think that somebody like me would be thrilled with this development, but I'm not. Instead, I'm sort of bothered.

We don't need cameras that tell us we're thing anymore than we need every child having their self esteem being put ahead of their learning.

Many of us are fat. I qualify - unhappily - as being in the obese category (30.5 BMI), and I'm not pleased with that. But I don't need cameras - or photoshoppers - telling us that we're thinner than we are. We need clothing without expandable waistlines. And we sure as hell need fewer fatburgers.

HP isn't the cause of our problems here, but they aren't without some culpability in our situation.

Plus, I'm guessing that the thinning feature will make the backgrounds of the photos look all weird when they get scrunched.

October 5, 2006

Awesome...they...shot that...

The Beastie Boys dropped onto the scene when I was in seventh grade with just about the dumbest hits of the mid 80's - the kind of stuff that should have put them solidly on the career path to frat boy drunkenness and one-hit wonder status. Even the concert reviews from their first tour don't exactly suggest any sort of future career for the Boys.

Today I offer you a bit of a video tour of the Boys's career...

From their debut License to Ill album:Sample-heavy Paul's Boutique was a massive step forward and one of the first great albums of the 90's:The Boys switched direction a bit on Check Your Head...By the time that Ill Communication dropped in 199, the Beasties pretty much ruled the world, with their last two albums debuting at #1 on the charts...Four years later we got the most eclectic Beasties yet with Hello Nasty with a number of world music samples and influences and - luckily - some good old school Beasties rapping...To hold us over, the Beasties let out Sounds of Sience which had a few new songs but was mostly a greatest hits and rarities collection...We had six long years before they dropped To the 5 Boroughs, and they were bringing some angry, politically angry words on this one...And a few odds and sods from other projects that the Boys have been a part of...So, bow down

October 4, 2006

Grow a brain, pin head

I'm feeling GrowBrain, a blog that I recently found. The growbrainer (I'm guessing that he or she has a real name, but heaven knows that I don't want to use it) is basically a linkblogger, but they're good links, so I'm thinking it could be a fun place to check in on from time to time.

This first bit of stuff that I want to point out from GrowBrain is the Dylan-themed September 20th stuff complete with Scarlett Johansson.

October 3, 2006

Another visit to the library

Again to the local library for reading material...this time it was Books-a-million for some Friday evening perusal...

I started with the third part in the Ultimate Galactus saga: Extinction. It's a nice wrap-up to the three-part story in which the Ultimate universe got to meet Captain Mar-Vel, Silver Surfer, the Vision, and a few other new folks, in the hopes of stopping the gigantic Gah Lak Tus, an entity of planet-devouring size of power.

In true Ultimate fashion, though, the Gah Lak Tus that they introduce has very little in common with the Galactus of Kirby and Lee's original. Galactus was nothing more than a supremely powerful, really big guy - two arms, two legs, a funny hat, and butt kicking power on a cosmic scale - way less likely to be parodied by The Tick The Ultimate Gah Lak Tus, however, turns out to be a massive construct of distributed network intelligence that has evolved rather sophisticated means of preventing any resistance. The Ultimate heros, of course, find a way to stop Gah Lak Tus from devouring Earth.

The series has a truly epic scale, beginning back in the first volume with Ultimate Vision calling together Ultimate X-Men and the Ultimates, and the scope has grown every since. The writing's pretty tight, and the artwork's solid. The middle chapter - introducing Ultimate Mar-Vel was a bit meandering, but needed for the final conclusion.

Give it a read. Good stuff and a nice addition to the Ultimate universe.

The picture to the right is not at all the cover of Teen Titans: Life and Death that I read - check Amazon's page for that, but this one's the original poposal that DC posted, and it's in way better quality.

Again and again, DC's doing a great job with collecting the Infinite Crisis ties. This one sees the Teen Titans - who are being set up as moving further forward from being sidekicks to being the leading superteam in the DC universe (not that I imagine it'll ever happen, but in theory, the children would eventually have to mature and take the JLA's place). This volume plays up that expanding role further and further with the Titans taking on their deceased members - from Jason Todd to Titans West folks who have been reincarnated by Brother Blood.

The artwork's good stuff here, and the revalations to the Titans that the JLA played brain hockey with some villians is well played and rightfully shakes their faith in their mentors. The buildup to Infinite Crisis and ripples from Identity Crisis are growing more and more intricate to everything happening in the DC Universe, but I know I'm missing a lot of the story because I'm not doing everything in the correct order, but that's life. I'll get the storyline eventually.

This is a must read for those who are heading toward Infinite Crisis.

I haven't yet had a chance to read JLA #1 - nor even JLA #0, but I'll readily admit that all the craptacular buzz on the interweb has be fully geeked to get ahold of these things when they show up in a trade.

There are already annotations and a whole bunch of reviews hanging on the magic interweb box.

I'm not entirely sure how to think about Batman: City of Crime. It's a really big trade with a single story covering twelve issues - something in the range of War Games and Cataclysm - both of which wove in and out of the various Bat-titles for a year or so. This one, however, stuck to just one one title, covering Detective Comics for a full year.

I can definitely say that City of Crime sucked less than War Games - which was horrific but wasn't as good as Cataclysm. It's a much grittier story with Batman spending much of the time out of costume infliltrating the lower classes of Gotham to get information on The Body - the major evil force getting things moving all year long.

The portrayal of the underside of Gotham is excellent. The characterization of Batman is excellent, fully trusting of his Bat-family (Robin, in particular here) to take care of things but also willing to disappear without telling them exactly what he's heading off to do - fiercely independent while being totally reliant.

What didn't ring with me was the extreme violence in the story, the poor artwork, or the quick wrap up. I've seen a lot of reviews that think this is one of the best Batman story arcs in a number of years, but I just didn't see it. The missteps are too many, the problems too broad to make it anything more than a quality arc that had a reach extending just past its grasp.

I've had no problem getting behind the newest Batgirl - here seen in Silent Running. She's written as a greater fighter than Batman himself but as someone who has begun her career as an absolute neophyte in the ways of the world, even so far as being unable to speak or understand much of the spoken world because of her training from birth as a stone killer.

It is in this trade that Cassandra Cain - Batgirl - finally breaks the wall of silence as she is - without her request, without her permission - mentally altered so that she can understand speech. In the process, she loses her first fight - no longer able to read every motion, every stance of her opponents, she finds herself not quite as able to be as perfect a fighter.

The trade allows for further characterization of Batgirl as well as Batman's growing trust and reliance on his new charge. We also get quality artwork in the cartoony style that's worked pretty well on the various Batgirl trades - letting us see the naive girl who perhaps has killed but certainly fights just shy of being a killer.

It's almost a shame that this run had to end with One Year Later, because this was one of the best additions to the Bat-line of books - significantly better than Nightwing and on par with Birds of Prey.

As freaky as the House of M storyline was for Marvel - the imaginary allowance granted to the artists and writers as well as setting up a perfect, non-cheating method for the reset button to be firmly pushed and for Marvel to scroll back so manyh of their characters.

The House of M: World of M trade collects a number of the one-shot specials from the event, allowing us a number of good glimpses into the world that just might have been if the mutants were ever in control, and the stories are nicely chosen for the trade, but every one stops midstream, not allowing the interesting ideas introduced here ever develop and round out into great stories.

They're good. They're nice tastes, but they leave this reader lacking.

Wolverine's a unique character. He's the ultimate fighting machine, able to heal himself of almost any injury, and blessed with claws that could slice through anything and everything.

There's no one like him.

Except for X-23.

And Sabertooth.

And Lady Deathstrike.

And - as we see in this trade, Wolverine: Return of the Native - there's apparently another unique perfect killing machine.

And she's being hunted by one of the other perfect killing machines who's being sent on the hunt by a third perfect killing machine.

The artwork's solid. The characters are written well.

And the story is boring.

As a general rule, I slag on the X-Men. I get confused by the constantly rotating teams, each book with some different X-team, and with the flipping and flopping of seemingly every bad guy who's good and good guy who's bad again.

But I actually like the New X-Men and enjoyed Childhood's End. They have a decently stable lineup - and have since New X-Men was Academy X. There is a little shake up in this volume as the whole thing opens immediately post House of M when three quarters of the X-folks at the Academy have just lost their powers.

It's a nice character development to see how the various characters react to the change - sudden loss of powers by some, others wishing they had been depowered. The difference sets up an interesting inerplay between the mutants and suddenly non-mutants.

The artwork works well, along the lines of a more cartoonish style that New X-Men has been plying since the start of the series. This is a decent ongoing series. One worth playing some catch-up with.

I dug Spike Lee's joint Inside Man. The pacing is, admittedly, glacial, and that clearly got to some of the reviewers, but I liked it.

The set up is simple: bank robber takes hostages and stalls in the bank. Hostage negotiator tries to figure out why bank robber is stalling.

It worked for me.

The score is outstanding, kicked off brilliantly by "Chiyya Chiyya" that I mentioned on Friday of last week, but consisting mostly of slower jazz numbers that set the tone nicely.

Denzel, Clive Owen, Willem Defoe, Jodie Foster, an Christopher Plummer do a solid job of acting, taking their parts and doing just what needs to be done with them - nothing revelatory, just good stuff.

The movie's an enjoyable journey. Not much happens that you couldn't quite see coming, and the resolution might leave some folks wanting, but it's good for a couple of hours of your life.

It's kind of tough to talk about the next movie, particularly because its title has the granddaddy of all swear word, but I'll give it a try.

I'm a massive freakin' Beastie Boys fan. I have all their albums and am dying to see them live. The next best thing, though, was seeing their concert doc Awesome; I...Shot That!. You can check the trailer over on the official site.

It's not a film for everybody 'cause it's a Beastie Boys concert. That's all.

The cool part is that they filmed it with a couple of professional photographers, but they also handed out fifty high-def camecorders to their fans and said "go to it, folks". They Boys - in full Nathaniel Hornblower guize - then edited that footage together, adding a whole crapload of effects and producing a great concert documentary.

It's purely for die-hards, though, as there's nothing more than a great concert with a quikc Ben Stiller cameo.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I ended up enjoying Gnarls Barkley's first release St Elsewhere album. Of course, I'd heard the first couple of singles: "Crazy" and "Smiley Faces", and they were crazily catchy, but I just assumed that they'd have a couple of tunes I liked and not much more.

Not at all the case.

Sure, those two are - I'm pretty solid in saying this - the two best songs on the album, but they're far from the only quality ones.

I really enjoyed "The Boogie Monster", "Feng Shui", and "The Last Time". Hell, the whole album's catchy throughout, though the third single - a cover of "Gone Daddy Gone" doesn't do much for me.

It's been in decently heavy rotation on my iTunes since I grabbed it, and it'll likely stay there.

Good stuff. Not too rappish for anybody. Rockin' enough for just about all but the hardest-core rockers. Funk, soul, rap, rock, guitars, synth, old school, new. It's a fascinating amalgam of what's out there in music right now.

It's the soundtrack.

Up there - actually, slightly above there - with the Beasties for me is Wilco. My cousin intro'ed me to Uncle Tupelo back in high school, and I follwed them along for a while. When the band broke up, Sun Volt looked to be way more promising, but Wilco has rocked on and left Sun Volt so badly in the dust that any dreams of competition or rivalry have become jokes.

Jeff Tweedy is pretty much the driving, creative force behind Wilco, and I think he might be the only consistent member since the band's beginning. Apparently - and luckily for his fans, Tweedy gets bored from time to time and dabbles in side projects: The Minus Five, Loose Fur, solo work, and Golden Smog.

The Smog's first couple of albums were Tweedy-heavy enough that I enjoyed a fair bit of them. The third one - Another Fine Day is a little Tweedy-light for my tastes. It's not a bad album - as most reviews have said, it's probably the group's best. But it's just not my tastes.

The album's pleasant enough. NPR gave it a good review, as have most of the critics, but it's just a little too pleasant and bland for my tastes.

Gimme the real thing any day.

Continuing the Stephen King book on tape that I've been on, I worked through From a Buick 8, a tale of a troop of PA state troopers who take care of a mysterious and powerful force in their midst.

It's vintage King as we never get the full story of why or quite how the Buick came into the troopers' handling, how the Buick does what it ends up doing, or what's going to happen to the Buick as the story fades out. It's also vintage King because he does a wonderful job creating amazingly rich characters and backgrounds for his tales, so rich here, in fact, that the characters become the major story.

The relationships, the caring, the love that span the two decades of the story are what really matter here, the small actions that go through the day to day of their lives. It isn't the occasionally fantastic outbursts from the Buick that matter to them; it's the protection and safety that they grant to us John Q's.

The creation of this trooper family is so rich and wonderful that I was fully prepared to call this King's greatest stand alone book, the enclosure of the tightly knit group so wonderful. And then the book didn't stop.

There were obvious - and I thought likely more rewarding - places to end the book, but King goes further, turning a book that is about the overarching unknowable-ness of things into a tome with a much more standard conclusion. The conclusion is dramatic, to be sure, but it doesn't fit with the tone of the rest of the tale.

And then it doesn't end again.

Instead, King gives us another false ending followed up the eventually correct fade out, the lesson that we can simply outlive just about anything if we take good enough care of each other and don't worry ourselves too much about things along the way.

The jarring drama of the first false ending doesn't ruin the book, but it does lessen it.

Very good...the first three quarters are excellent, outstanding...the last quarter isn't anything special...

Take that and your "short entries since school started" comment and stick 'em, Morin...

October 2, 2006

Save me, please, save me...

Here in Ohio, we have a decently important ballot initiative coming up in November. Actually, there are two initiatives on the ballot: one from Smoke Free Ohio and one from Smoke Less Ohio.

It's an incredibly confusing issue - or two issues, really - and that's clearly a tactic that the tobacco companies are using to their advantage. The two similar but different ballot initiatives are creating enough confusion that it's pretty unlikely that either will pass.

One side has posted an admittedly-biased summary of the differences , and I guess that's helpful, and luckily the other side has a similar comparison chart


And then there's the entire issue of whether we should be legislating people from partaking in something or whether we should let free market forces take care of things for us. I look at prohibition as something that was foolish and rather blind to reality, but I'm also not entirely opposed to legalization.


Why can't the legislation just take all of the decisions to do anything that might be harmful and stupid to ourselves out of our hands like they do in New York City?

Don't let me do anything that could hurt me. Make everything illegal if I could possibly harm myself with it. Set it up so that the kids can't buy any toys that could even remotely harm them.

October 1, 2006

Irregular Legos

I am continually pleased that there are more and more webcomics to keep me entertained. And it's always good when I find another one that uses Legos for the characters. This one is called Irregular Webcomic and maintains, I think, five ongoing storylines - four of which feature Legos everytime.