Thursday, April 30, 2009


“War of the Worlds Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies” : Slice of SciFi: Not interested in this but thought if I could be the final judge of what the next and last public domain book to be injected with zombies, what would it be? I'd do Sherlock Holmes and the Red-Headed League of Zombies. What would you do? (Feel free to reframe your pick.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blue Dog Trade?

Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter becomes Democrat -
I may just be out of touch but I had no idea this was coming. Not sure what to make of it except for seeing the obvious benefit of having a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (assuming Franken ever gets to take his rightful place). Also goes to show there's no room for "moderates" in the GOP.

Will this lead to the Republicans aggressively wooing any of the so-called Blue Dog Democrats?

Does this also mean Norm Coleman will sue and appeal and whine and deny the citizens of Minnesota one of their voices in the Senate as long as humanly possible?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Zombified Spiders

Spider "Resurrections" Take Scientists by Surprise: Great. Zombie spiders. Just what I needed to give me nightmares after Mrs. C-Dog found that Black Widow in the backyard yesterday.


Sports of The Times - Seeing Old Fenway Park in a Whole New Light -


Jalopnik - Turning Cars Into Toys: Tilt-Shift Photography Magic - Tilt-Shift Photography

A Novel Idea

A novel idea: The machine that can print off any book for you in minutes | Mail Online

More Tiny Houses

Mobile Mini House: Pop-Up Campers Have Gone Modern!: Practical? Almost certainly not. Cool idea? Yep.

Garbage In

Terry Eagleton: The liberal supremacists | The Guardian: Wasn't Eagleton considered a big shot intellectual at some point? This article reads like one of those postmodernist bullshit generators programmed to equate atheism with authoritarianism and racism. The comments are a heady mix of sycophancy and theist (anti-atheist) idiocy with just a few spot-on barbs mixed in with the rubbish.

Friday, April 24, 2009

‘Controlling’ the Chinese People

‘Controlling’ the Chinese People - Room for Debate Blog -
Jackie's ill-considered (mistranslated?) comments are debated.


The Monty Hall Problem: Switch.

P.S. For long-time readers, the last time I posted about this was after reading the curious case of the dog in the night-time and I linked to a different simulator with more background about the puzzle.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Defending Galeano

Regift, Please!:
"A decade ago, I and the other two co-authors of the 'Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot' devoted a chapter to refuting the historical and ideological fallacies contained in Galeano's tract, which we called the 'idiot's bible.' Everything that has happened in the Western Hemisphere since the book appeared in 1971 has belied Galeano's arguments and predictions. But I guess Chavez has given it the kiss of life and, since people are asking, here I go again."
I opened Galeano's Century of the Wind to a random page and read:

1980: Santa Marta
Out of each dollar of dreams that a U.S. marijuana smoker buys, barely one cent reaches the hands of the Colombian campesinos who grow it. The other ninety-nine cents go to the traffickers ...

... [T]he drug mafiosi live in ostentatious mansions. In front they like to display on granite pedestals the small planes the used in their first operation. They rock their children in gold cradles, give golden fingernails to their lovers ...

The mafiosi habitually fumigate their forces. Four years ago they machinegunned Lucho Barranquilla, the most popular of the traffickers, on a streetcorner in the city of Santa Marta. The murderers sent to the funeral a floral wreath in the form a heart and took up a collection to erect a statue of the departed on the main plaza.
It was pretty easy to find something relevant and topical in Galeano's 20+ year old writings. I'm not familiar at all with Open Veins, and maybe it is bad, but I'm inclined to give Galeano the benefit of the doubt here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Best Song Today

Sabali.mp3: Best song I heard today. La vie est belle avec Amadou & Mariam. I was also enjoying Flosstradamus's "Big Bills" on the drive to work this morning.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Best Theme

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Doctor Who theme wins sci-fi vote: "The distinctive music to Doctor Who has been named the best television sci-fi theme tune in an online vote. It finished ahead of Red Dwarf, The X Files and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, according to website Total Sci-Fi."

Why have I never made it my ringtone? I've got a fancy new phone, time to remedy that.

Solar #Fuquay

The Mitchell Blog » Solar Panel Installation is Happening NOW at The Mitchell in Downtown Fuquay-Varina:
"The new roof on The Mitchell building has been done for a couple of weeks now. But if you’ve been in downtown Fuquay-Varina lately, you have likely seen more activity up there. Baker Roofing is now installing solar panels!! These are not typical solar panels that you’ve seen mounted on racks, rather these are 1/4″ thick x 18″ wide x 72″ long flexible panels (manufactured by Uni-Solar) that adhere to the top of the roof. They are called BIPV’s or Building Integrated Photovoltaics and are flexible laminates that adhere to the barrel shape of the roof. Eighty of these panels are being laid side by side and will combine to capture 15kwH annually."

This is just down the road from Stick Boy, our local bakery and Saturday morning post-library hang out. So far the only tenant is a wine bar with some kind of wacky automated tasting technology. The amount of sun we get down here, and the intensity of it, makes me wonder if similar panels would work on our house.

From Which Orifice?

Scientists Break Brain/Twitter Barrier - ReadWriteWeb: "University of Wisconsin-Madison biomedical engineering doctoral student Adam Wilson has successfully tested a 'brain wave monitor' to the Twitter publishing interface, allowing him to compose a message merely by thinking and publish it to the arguably too-popular microblogging service."

I blogged tweeting farts the other day, so I figured I'd better cover the automation of tweeting from the other end.

Query: If Newt Gingrich were hooked up to Fart-o-matic Twitterer and the Brainwave-o-matic Twitterer, would followers be able to tell from which source the posts were coming from?

More Kicking, Less Politicking

Jackie Chan Puts His Foot In It - The Screengrab: "Addressing a business group in the southern Chinese province of Hainan on Saturday, Chan said, 'I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not. I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want.' In the past, Chan has criticized the mainland Chinese government for the 1989 crackdown, but in recent years he has avoided weighing in on political topics. This time, speaking before a receptive audience, he let himself stray into dangerous territory, even calling Hong Kong and Taiwan 'chaotic' compared to the mainland."

Now, I'm a long time fan of Jackie Chan and I'm not about to stop popping Police Story in the dvd player when want to see some mayhem and kung fu fighting ... but if you hear words coming out of your mouth in support of your government controlling people and keeping them from doing what they want, you should probably reflect on why you sound like such a tool.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Century of the Wind

Chávez Proposes an Ambassador to the U.S. - Galeano (author of the book Chavez is handing Obama in the article's lead photo) was required reading in my Latin American studies class back at UConn. Century of the Wind was pretty amazing.

Gorilla Goggles

Gorilla-viewing glasses prevent eye-contact - Boing Boing: The gorillas aren't going to be fooled by these for long.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Facing Ali

Apple - Movie Trailers - Facing Ali: The Spike logo doesn't inspire confidence but, aside from that, this looks like a can't miss.

Zombie Haiku

ThinkGeek :: Zombie Haiku:
"Brains, BRAINS, BRains, brains, BRAINS.
BRaiNS, brains, Brains, BRAINS, BRains, brains, BRAINS.
BRAINS, BRains, brains, BRAINS, brains."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On the Road

San Francisco - The Snitch - Living In a Van Down By the River: San Francisco Studio Apartment Gets 15 Miles Per Gallon: They already have other names for the lifestyle, but I think hippie gypsies should be called "hypsies." Or, "gyppies," I suppose. I prefer the former.

Urine Drunk

Will Ferrell goes wild for 'Man' - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety: Some interesting tidbits in this article, including Ferrell drinking his own urine and, by his own admission, "get[ting] urine-drunk ..."

Aside from the Land of the Lost promotion, there's also mention of an upcoming six-hour special on Discovery called Out of Egypt. Like fellow cryptonaut HD, I'm a bit of a sucker for the ancient Egypt stuff.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Martian Princess' Union

Chabon Hired for “John Carter” Script : Slice of SciFi
Seems like an odd match, but apparently he's a fan fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Tweet This

Gizmodo - Man Builds Chair That Tweets His Farts, Single-Handedly Justifies Twitter's Existence - Twitter fart chair: We may have reached some kind of evolutionary/technological tipping point. We have such powerful tools to do such stupid things that we are turning our reality into a Douglas Adams novel.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Half moon! Look Daddy, half moon!"

Blake's sheer delight and emphatic pointing upon catching sight of the moon is a highlight of any time we get to spend in the backyard at twilight. It's Poetry Month, so I'm trying to find some verses to read to the kids at bedtime. This Keats (A Prophecy, which starts "Tis the witching hour of night, orbed is the moon and bright") made me think of the boy, so it'll make the cut:
Text not available
The Letters and Poems of John Keats By John Keats, Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton

Dang Sparty

Make room on Michigan St. bandwagon - The Boston Globe
It doesn't matter if this were a 7-, 27-, or 107-game series. Michigan State is better than Connecticut.
I don't like arguing that the team that just lost might be the better team. Last night, to be clear, Michigan State was the better team. Over a 7 game series, or more, do I think Michigan State would have the best of UConn? No. What I saw out of UConn last night was two players who are alternately brilliant and frustrating being their frustrating selves and one player who is consistently solid, play like his inconsistent peers. Stanley Robinson and Kemba Walker are electrifying when they are playing within themselves; they were terrible last night. Robinson in particular tried to run the break like a guard and finish in traffic on his own ... which is not his game. I jumped off my barstool twice yelling for him to find Price on the break and both times I sank back in frustration as he loped into waiting defense and flailed at the basket, giving the ball back to MSU for them take it the other way for easy scores. Back breakers. Walker was much the same. Now, his game includes those elements Robinson's does not: speed, dribbling, and going to coast to coast. But he was forcing it last night. When he got the ball and ran, he had tunnel vision and tried to finish every play. I kept looking for him to leave the ball for a trailer but he never did. Walker and Robinson have these issues and we've seen this from them before so there was no real surprse there. A. J. Price is the guy who is usually more consistent but was not very good last night. He also seemed to think he needed to force plays in the lane that just weren't there. With three MSU defenders around him, arms pyramiding over him in the lane, he kept forcing it up instead of wrapping around to Thabeet or Adrien standing a few feet away -- unguarded.

The Spartans earned the victory last night and will give UNC trouble, but probably not that much trouble.

Galling. After all the Big East did this season, it's ACC and Big Televen in the Finals.

All is not lost. There is still a UConn team in a Final Four marching towards a championship. And I'm confident they'll seal the deal.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Too Big to Fail

'Too Big to Fail' Is Too Big -- Period | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet

Point No. 1: They have failed. They are kaput. It costs more to buy a snickerdoodle than to buy a share of Citigroup stock. AIG is 80 percent owned by you and me, the taxpayers. These once-haughty outfits are insolvent -- wards of the state.
Point No. 2: If they're too big, why should we sustain them? Let's be clear about something the establishment doesn't want you and me to understand -- these giants did not get so big and interconnected because of natural market forces and free-enterprise efficiencies. They amassed power the old-fashioned way: They got the government to give it to them. In the past 20 years or so, they lobbied furiously to get Washington to rig the rules so they could latterly bloat ... and float out of control.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Readable App: read the web: Nice bookmarklet if your fave blog gives you a bit of eyestrain. I'm re-reading bonedaddy's brilliant old Boneyard essays with reckless abandon thanks to this.
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