Thursday, September 30, 2010

Buddhist Gideons

My hotel room in Hawaii has a free Buddhist book alongside the Gideon bible.

I'm much more interested in the Buddha, although that likely has a lot to do with the fact that I don't know this book nearly as well as I know the bible.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blog posting about science article

General observation about something in the world. Segue to specific topic with new development. Link to online article about new development.

Personal opinion about new development. Statement considering straw-man version of opposite point of view, followed by refutation and return to original opinion.

Question to solicit comments?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Poker Face

Hooray for the British TV producer who had the brilliant idea to have Christopher Walken perform Lady Gaga's "Poker Face".

Sunday, September 19, 2010

iPad is a laptop killer

I thought the iPad was creating a whole new genre of technology, perhaps a computer for people who didn't have a computer before. If my grandmother didn't have a computer already but was interested in one, I'd point her that way.

But according to retail numbers, people are buying iPads instead of laptops. It makes sense - most computer users aren't power users that need lots of features. The simpler, shinier iPad is exactly what they want.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I wasted money on a Kindle case

We're really enjoying our new Kindle - it's made Project Gutenberg even more awesome than it already was. And given how much stuff I have to read in PDF form already, it's going to be super awesome in the future.

But I got swindled on the case. Sure, the $30 case we bought is solid and durable, but when a 40 cent envelope makes an awesome Kindle case, why would I spend 100 times as much?

Because I got suckered. Reviews of the original Kindle always said you really need a case to hold it easily. Apparently the new Kindle is different from the old ones. I enjoy holding my new one in my hand, I just wish the reviewers I read had giant hands.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Credit Card Magic

The bankers who ruined the world economy have now come up with some amazing new credit card technology. Cards the same size as normal ones, but with buttons on the card where you enter your PIN. You can even have a card that contains multiple accounts, and changes the magnetic strip depending on which PIN you enter.

There's also a card that hides your account number unless you enter a code.

This is what Back to the Future 2 led me to expect. I'm glad at least banking hasn't disappointed me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crazy people

A certain fraction of humanity is always going to be nuts. Just plain bonkers. These are people who deserve food and shelter and medicine, but who believe crazy, crazy things and who should not be allowed sharp implements or loaded guns.

Or TV shows. Yet somehow, the craziest of the crazy are suddenly the people we care about on the news. Through acts of demagoguery and terror, they are demanding that we capitulate to their ridiculous demands.

We should not be giving crazy people an idiot veto. I don't want to see the president, or for that matter anyone of any responsibility outside the mental health industry, giving an opinion about what a crazy person might or might not do. "Mr. President, a man in Nevada is threatening to kill his puppy unless we immediately bomb North Korea." So? He's crazy. Who cares what one stupid idiot does?

Somehow I imagine this will end up like in Blazing Saddles, where the new sheriff can only calm the mob by holding himself hostage. If President Obama would threaten to kill himself, maybe everyone else would shut the hell up. Well, except Fox News who would complain that he's weak on crime for not arresting himself for attempted suicide.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oregon Trail: The Movie

You will die on this Trail. Just like Poopface!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

9/11 Happened to All of Us

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has some excellent videos, making a point we apparently need now more than ever: some of the victims of 9/11 were Muslim. It happened to all of us. Some of the first responders - firefighters, nurses, doctors - are Muslim.

Unless you want to be a jerk who ignores reality and oversimplifies everything, we need to get over our election-year fearmongering and get with the fact that most Muslims aren't terrorists.

I'm pretty sure that both of my readers aren't racist. But I need to say something.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Colorado Republican wants to take away your bicycle

Well, I guess this guy who thinks bicycles are a UN plot to steal your freedom isn't going to take my bicycle away. But the way he talks, I feel like he thinks my bike commute is a scheme to overthrow society.

I guess I shouldn't tell him about the group of men I organized who gather in a basement to punch each other.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pac Man on voting machine

I've been very glad that in Oregon we vote with paper ballots that are machine counted. We get all the benefits of quick computer counting, but we have paper records that can be audited if a computer company screws up.

Yet another blow to the concept of voting booth computer security - some savvy youths were able to reprogram a voting booth computer, not to change the votes but to play Pac Man.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stupid racists, stop hating people

I'm shocked, SHOCKED that after weeks of Fox News telling us we should hate all Muslims who want to kill us and burn our cities, that some stupid people have started attacking Muslims in the US. Burning their mosques, stabbing them, and other evil.

And of course, Fox News commentators are denying all responsibility. When a few hundred Muslims attack, all Muslims are automatically evil. But when a few enraged conservatives commit violent acts of hate, they are lone wolves who don't reflect our larger society.

Never mind that the proposed new Islamic center in Manhattan is a Sufi community. Never mind that there are 2 other mosques in the neighborhood that are overflowing.
Never mind that one of the primary funders is a major stakeholder in Fox News.
Never mind that a nation of freedom should be better than this.

Innocent people are being hurt and it must stop. This is what hate speech leads to. When you go on TV day after day and lump a billion people together, and say they want to kill your babies, someone is going to take you seriously and start setting things on fire. This is the cost of Republicans gaining a few points in the polls for this fall's election. Shame on them.