Friday, June 29, 2007

Arrr, hands off me booty!!

Ouch! Veggie Booty, manufactured by Robert's American Gourmet (which makes my favorite "Pirate's Booty" as well, not affected by the recall) is being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination.

Alas, poor Booty; I knew it, dear reader: a snack of infinite blandness, of most excellent guiltlessness: it hath borne me through document reviews countless times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rims at it. Here hung those cheese powders that I have savored I know not how oft. Where be your puffs now? your extruded knots? your dessication? your packing-peanut imitations, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own pirate-themed marketing? quite safety-recalled? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her eat many low-fat snack foods, to this favour her snacks must come; make her drool at that.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

what's pink and buoyant and slimy all over?

Hahahaha. Poor catfish tried to swallow a basketball.

Pretty graphics of ignorance

Fark linked a Wired Article on Survey of current events. Now it only had 5 questions, but the demographics they were studying included the difference between Fox News and other media outlets. There are so many confounding variables, but the results are that Fox News watchers got more questions wrong than people who claimed to use other news outlets.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Expensive Coast will empty by 2100 oh noes!!1!

The author of the Forbes article, "Ghost Cities of 2100," is careful to caveat her article with disclaimers that whether her fantastic predictions occur is "an open question," and "hard to predict." She also describes certain urban centers that are already experiencing population decline to suppport her conjectures. But I'm not writing about the effect of a major earthquake on San Francisco, rising ocean levels, or the hollowing of heartland America.

I'm writing because the editor of FORBES should have caught the irony of claiming in a "financial" magazine that the decline in San Francisco's population because of rising housing prices could lead it to "disappear entirely." It would seem that the author of the article does not understand the bedrock economic notion of the tie between demand and price. While the population size may be in decline, there can be no possible argument that the decline is due to a general lack of desire to live in San Francisco. On the contrary, the decline is due to the lack of capacity of lower-income (and generally higher density) populations to compete for limited supply of land.

GG Forbes editor. The only purpose of simplistic population-decline-equals-city-death causation analysis is to irritate readers and get them to blog their annoyance.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Haha. Lolcat youtube compilation!

Stuffed animals

I was recently in the market for stuffed animals for my sister's newborn twins. I decided not to go with the standard teddy bear / rabbit banality. Instead I'm looking for some alternative animals. I ultimately decided to get a plush platypus and a plush red panda.

My main concern is that millions of babies can't really be that wrong when it comes to bears and rabbits. Perhaps a platypus and a red panda won't be as cute as the paragons of pedestrian playthings. But I have faith that as long as they're cushy, they can at least serve as brownish pillows and sponges for baby-spit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

6 acres of land on the San Francisco Bay

Some guy is selling 6 acres of land on the San Francisco bay for $10 million. Difficulty: it really is ON the bay ~ as in an island. Apparently it's the last privately owned island in the Bay. According to this article, the guy bought it for $49,500 in 1964 and hasn't managed to develop it or anything.

I wonder if this unnamed island in Google Maps is the island for sale...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nessun dorma when the cell phone rings

Oh man, you've gotta check this out. I generally despise American Idol and the initial rounds of American Idol in particular as shameless exercises in schadenfreude, but this Welsh "Britain's Got Talent" cell-phone salesdude was pretty cool. Watch the vid.

Keyboard fauna

My computer and keyboard are getting a little long in the tooth, and recently I've been thanking the stars for the manufacturers' foresight in making most keyboards black now so the built up grime is less visible. I remember my old beige, or whatever-color, keyboard used to have almost-visible circles on some of the commonly used keys. Yuck.

But here's a fun article on keeping your keyboard so clean you could eat off of it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Geriatric monitoring!

Wow. Embedded in this boring article about Japan using older workers and abolishing mandatory retirement is mention of a water heater/kettle that pages a person when it's used and summarizes its use in an electronic message daily. If the person receiving the messages recognizes a change in routine, they can contact the old person to see why the pattern has changed.

Recognition of virtual property rights

I just read an interesting article on the status of a lawsuit between a "Second Life" user and the operators. I've never really understood the purpose of mundane virtual worlds for entertainment value. Fantastic worlds or worlds with conflict are interesting to me, but a world where I can build a house or dress up in socially questionable ways, but are otherwise similar to real life, seems kind of silly to me. Diff'rent Strokes for different folks I guess. Perhaps the schism, in the parlance of Ward and Beaver, is the same as between wanting to play "House" and wanting to play "Cowboys and Indians." Perhaps the nexus is wanting to play "Doctor."

But I digress. The article is very interesting to me because (1) it's a glimpse at where the virtual property world is going, and (2) it describes an online contract where a judge gives the hapless user an escape from the "I ACCEPT" button.

1. Recently, there have been some articles where reporters have suggested that the IRS may TAX virtual income as real income. In most virtual worlds, taxing virtual income seems a little silly. Is the acquisition of items like the "Uber Sword of Uberness" income? How do you quantify its value? If I can't trade the item, and don't plan to sell my avatar, then when is the income recognized? For items I can trade, what determines the proper exchange rate? However, from what I understand of "Second Life," some of the questions are easier to answer. The article describes a system where real money and virtual money are exchanged via an official system (as opposed to the notoriously reviled "gold sellers" in more fantastical virtual worlds). It will be interesting to see how this case turns out, whether the confiscation of virtual property amounts to an actionable conversion.

2. When I click on "I have read and understand the terms and conditions for use of this software and accept them in their entirety," I think about how I probably haven't read and don't understand them. I just want to use the da** software! Well, rejoice fellow victims of contracts of adhesion, in this particular case, the judge said the terms don't necessarily bind the user. Interesting.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lost in Time... Like Tears in Rain...

Rutger Hauer, once a mere figment from my nightmares, has written a memoir called "All Those Moments." The title of the memoir is from perhaps his best known and definitely his favorite (as he confirms) role as Roy Batty in the classic Blade Runner. I didn't know, however, that he turned down a role in another epic movie Das Boot (perhaps J├╝rgen Prochnow's role?? zomg) so he could play Roy Batty.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

11 year-olds and limousines

People need to learn to celebrate exceptional achievements instead of pedestrian milestones.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Assume the fetal position! The Horror. The Horror.

So. I'm driving home from the gym in my shorts and synthetic fabric t-shirt and I experienced one of the most viscerally terrifying experiences in my adult life. I'm on 101, driving with the windows down, caterwauling along to "All things 'The Beatles'" on KFOG (tangent: 40 years of Sgt. Pepper! w00t!) and all of a sudden ~ DING!!! *an impact noise and something flies across my vision*.

It's a poor bumblebee! aw cute thing. Too bad it's probably dead. Oh. It's moving a little ~ probably death throes. Oh look, here's a stop light, I'll grab it with this Kleenex(R) and drop it out the window to return to Mother Earth. Or Auntie Asphalt or wutever. And the Circle of Life will be complete!

I snag it, and as I lift it to the window, it buzzes its way out of the Kleenex(R) and falls in my CROTCH. AAAAUGH!!!! I swear, I think my lads almost retreated up into my nose. I'm at the light, practically hyperventilating from the imagined unholy interface between arthropod and private parts, when finally it lifts off from under my butt and flies out of the window.

Some of you may scorn my reactions as disproportionate to the threat, but until you have a piercing object and the will to use it poised less than an inch from your twig and berries, you can't honestly say how you'll react.