Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ironic Photo

This photo is awesome. It's a public domain photo - the photographer has released all claims of copyright, and anyone may copy it.

And it's of a guy selling bootleg CDs and DVDs, stealing copyrighted work.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Internet memes

Thanks to Weezer's new video, which is a collage of various internet memes:

I now have seen the weirdly hilarious Shoes video. An ineffable presence.

You can read more about the Weezer video, and learn about the different memes that are included in it. They actually brought together all the different YouTube "stars" for the video shoot, and they all stayed in the same hotel, sharing stories about Netfame. The afterparty must have been surreal.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I arrived at work today in my rain suit, with a sheen of mist covering the surface. I took off my coat and pants and laid it on the ground. I was locking up my bike, and noticed some sparrow poop on it. We recently hung a bird feeder up on the porch, near where I lock up my bike, and the birds often perch on my bike while approaching the feeder. They sometimes poop on my bike now, which they never did before.

So I'm muttering about the rice-grain sized turd on my handlebars. At that moment, a huge splash of crap falls from the sky and lands directly on my pile of clothes. We're talking seagull. Maybe a crow, probably gull or canada goose.

I repent, O Spirit of Audubon!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Binary humour

Two videos featuring binary jokes:

The Humans Are Dead by Flight of the Conchords

And binary stand-up from ReBoot, a canadian computer cartoon:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Should I buy the Netflix box?

Netflix has come out with a box that lets you watch movies online. You have to have Netflix already, (which I do,) and an internet connection. (Grumble, grumble.)

But it's $100 for the box. If I had a Windows computer, I could be watching movies now for no added cost. But I don't. I have a Mac.

I'm tempted. But maybe it'll be like my free wireless internet, and evaporate in time. So I should wait for something more stable.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I believe I will see a woman president in my lifetime

I really do.

I get sad and frustrated when smart people like Pat Schroeder say they don't think they will, because Senator Clinton won't be it this year.

I think there are lots of smart, talented women in the world. Yes, our country and our species is sexist. Yes, it's more acceptable to be overtly sexist than it is to be overtly racist.

But there are 71 women in the House, 16 in the Senate, and 8 women governors. One of them is about to lose a race for a presidential nomination. That doesn't mean that one of the other ones won't be vice-president next year. Or president 8 years from now. (Or that Senator Clinton won't herself be president 8 or 12 years from now.)

I don't think Senator Clinton's loss sends a message to all the daughters and grand-daughters to give up hope. But I'm a white guy, so I'm less sensitive to the awful crap that TV news dishes out.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Schadenfreude news

The guy who puts his Social Security Number in all his ads for his identity theft protection service? (Todd Davis, 457-55-5462?) Someone just took out a loan in his name. Oops.

And to add injury to insult, he's facing a class-action lawsuit for false advertising.

Irony. First, clearly it's not possible to electronically prevent crime. Second, the dude is being sued because his service just does paperwork for people to take advantage of services that already exist, and are offered free.

I already stopped getting credit card offers in the mail. And I check my own damn credit report regularly. If I was worried about credit card fraud, I would ask the credit reporting agencies to put a fraud alert on my name.

And all that is free to anyone. Stupid fearmongers.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Best. Game. Ever.

I read an article about the most popular computer game ever.

I was surprised, but maybe I didn't think about it first. Even blockbuster games don't have what this one has going for it.

I wonder if I've played it more than other games I've played. How do you measure that? Games played would bring tic-tac-toe to the top, but hours played would be a better measure.

Friday, May 23, 2008

On your... left?!?

Today, while biking to work, I was passed by another cyclist. No big deal. Although I was passing a pedestrian at the time, and the other cyclist went between us. Still, there was room. No big deal.

But she called out "I'm on your left" as she passed me on the RIGHT.


I was too confused to shout - "No you're not!" And now I feel irrationally self-righteous that I usually say "Pardon me" when passing, or ring my little bell. Because that will still be true when I pass on the right. So there!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My free internet is going away

Stupid free internet. Apparently the provider I use at home is shutting down in a month. I wish they would just turn off the free service, and I could start paying them.

I only used the free because it was available. They still are better than Comcast or Qwest. Now I have to choose between the lesser of two evils again.

And dammit, Comcast is just more competent. I'd rather give lots of money to competent evil than incompetent evil. But I'd rather pay some other provider for internet. Grr.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Slings and Arrows

I love Slings and Arrows. It's a TV show about a theatre company putting on Hamlet. But then stuff in the lives of the actors starts reenacting Hamlet. It's funny and clever and feels true. A director who went insane playing Hamlet questions his sanity now that he's being haunted by a ghost.

Really good acting, too. Good job, Canadian TV. And mad props to Peter Carlin, who pointed me in the direction of the show in the first place.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Bike to Work Day

Yeah, it's tough that Bike to Work Day in Portland is predicted to have a high of 97 degrees. Ow.

Still, bike commuting's not that hard.

Friday, May 9, 2008


I love the idea of Portal. It's a video game where you shoot portals onto walls, and then have to solve puzzles. Portable teleportation plus deadly spikes equals wicked fun.

My computer can't run Portal, but it can play the 2D Flash version. It's great.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More columns about the Democratic Primary

I'm really impressed by the thoughtfulness of two of today's New York Times columnists.

Both discuss the Democratic presidential primary. David Brooks dissects the philosophical assumptions underlying each campaign. Clinton is a tough fighter for a tough world. Everyone is mean and against her, but she's strong enough to destroy them. (Whether or not she's right, whether or not they're wrong.) Obama is calm, able to stay civil in the midst of the worst crisis.

I find it interesting that Mr. Brooks doesn't express a preference explicitly in this column, making it rather easy for people with differing views to incorrectly assume he agrees with them. Those who agree that the world is a harsh place will find the Clinton argument compelling. Those who think we can change the tone and improve our lives may prefer Obama.

Thomas Friedman, on the other hand, explicitly prefers Obama in his column. Friedman lays out a case for America yearning to be great again. A nation which is frustrated from years of wasted opportunities, eager to move past false easy answers to difficult complexities. Difficult challenges we can strive to overcome. The truth may be hard, but after years of lies, some fresh truth will cleanse the palate.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I really enjoyed Waitress.

It's a really excellent movie. The writing sparkles, the acting is laser-sharp. It's a simple story about people and pie. I was really impressed by the way the plot resolves, and by the portrayal of an abusive husband. A very scary man, with nearly no physical violence. Just emotion, expectation, and suspense. With a Hollywood ending that works for me.

I was really impressed how the script and the actors made all the characters, not just the main character, fully complicated human beings instead of stock supporting characters.

You may not want to read related news until after you've seen the movie.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dead Rats for Money

For a long time, I've been wondering about Dead Rats. (In addition to Louis Sachar's excellent literary use of them.)

You see, lots of children's books about money mention all the "weird" things people have used for money. Shells, furs, even dead rats!

But I couldn't find out whether the dead rat thing was true. Until Marshall McCluhan pointed me towards Easter Island and the Island of Nauru, and I was able to find this book that describes people using dead rats as currency.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cat and Girl

I listen to a lot of NPR, which is why I think thisis funny.