November 30, 2005
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Today you will notice yet another large freshly-dug mound of dirt in your neighbor's back yard. It's probably nothing -- he probably just digs at night if he can't get to sleep. I know I do.
Thanks to Bane for the link.
Finnish computer science students have devised a system which enables air guitarists to hear themselves 'play'.
The Virtual Air Guitar project, developed at the Helsinki University of Technology, adds genuine electric guitar sounds to the air guitar.
Using a computer to monitor the hand movements of the 'player', it adds riffs and licks to match frantic mid-air finger work, reports New Scientist.
The Virtual Air Guitar project? If that isn't a sign of the end times, I don't know what is.
November 29, 2005
Now that we've heaped that glowing praise on this modern computing wonder, we have to throw a rock or two at it. A number of distributions like Xandros, Linspire, and Lycoris have made very big strides toward making Linux easy to install and use by less technical users who just want to get their stuff done, and not twiddle with source code, .conf files, and kernel modules. Linux has also made some good strides toward being an interesting alternative to Windows Media Center Edition (MCE). But obstacles remainlots of them.
So, before you embark on trying to build a Linux-based Home Theater PC (HTPC), you have to ask yourself a question: "How much time do I have to dedicate to bringing up a Linux-based HTPC?" If the answer is "not much," then a Linux-based HTPC is probably not something you should build. Assembling the hardware is pretty easy, and the physical assembly process takes a half-hour to 45 minutes. Installing the OS can be a very straightforward affair as well. But installing extra drivers as well as installing and configuring a PVR media application (and its required packages) are not trivial tasks, and the road ahead is laced with hidden potholes.
Oh, to be retired and rich.
November 28, 2005
You are an enzyme. You are powerful, dark,
variable, and can change many things at your
whim...even when they're not supposed to be
changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or
wonderful; it's your choice.
Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Thanks? to CalTech Girl for the link.
At my local drugstore, shelves of cold and allergy medicine have been replaced by merchandise cards hanging from metal rods. If I want to buy one of these remedies, I have to take the corresponding card to the pharmacist's counter, wait in line, show my ID and add my name to a register.
This procedure, required by an "emergency order" from Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, is supposed to prevent me from using the pseudoephedrine in products such as Sudafed and Dayquil to cook up a batch of methamphetamine in my garage.
Hard as this collateral damage is to justify, it pales next to that suffered by other innocent victims of the government's war on methamphetamine. Last summer, for instance, state and federal agents arrested 49 convenience store clerks and owners in Georgia on charges they sold pseudoephedrine and other supplies to informants posing as meth cooks.
The supplies, including matches, charcoal, antifreeze, coffee filters, aluminum foil, and cat litter, were all perfectly legal. The charges, carrying penalties of up to 25 years in prison as well as fines and asset forfeiture, are based on the doubtful premise the defendants knew or should have known what the fake customers pretended to be planning.
All but a few of the defendants are Indian immigrants, and many have a weak grasp of ordinary English, let alone the slang of black-market meth manufacturers. Several said they assumed the guy who bought matches and camping fuel, saying he needed to "finish up a cook," was having a barbecue.
This is the logic of the war on drugs. By criminalizing possession of a substance readily manufactured using innocuous everyday products, the government created the illicit labs it is trying to shut down by criminalizing the sale of those innocuous everyday products.
Perhaps recognizing that the lives of most Americans have not been affected by the "meth epidemic," prohibitionists are determined to spread the pain around.
November 27, 2005
Heres how it works. Dan Rather tries to palm off a memo written in crayon, and one blogger notes that Crayola didn't make that color back when Bush was in the Guard, and another blogger says they did, but it was only available in the mental institution where Bill Burkett used to spend time, talking to the kitties printed on the wallpaper. Sooner or later, we figure out the truth, and then Dan gets a gold watch and a paint-by-numbers kit and some new slippers.
Okay, more like an extended post theft than a quote. But it made me giggle like a schoolgirl.
November 22, 2005
This has been making its way around the Internet since 1500 B.C., even though the first computer still hadn't been manufactured yet. However, if there's one thing that you can count on me for, it's recycling the stalest holiday humor you've ever seen between now and the New Year.
HOW TO COOK A TURKEY
Step 1: Go buy a turkey
Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey, scotch, or JD
Step 3: Put turkey in the oven
Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey
Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens
Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink
Step 7: Turn oven the on
Step 8: Take 4 whisks of drinky
Step 9: Turk the bastey
Step 10: Whiskey another bottle of get
Step 11: Stick a turkey in the thermometer
Step 12: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey
Step 13: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours
Step 14: Take the oven out of the turkey
Step 15: Take the oven out of the turkey
Step 16: Floor the turkey up off the pick
Step 17: Turk the carvey
Step 18: Get yourself another scottle of botch
Step 20: Bless the saying, pass and eat out
Here is a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey.
1. Cut out aluminum foil in desired shapes.
2. Arrange the turkey in the roasting pan, position the foil carefully (see attached)
3. Roast according to your own recipes and serve.
4. Watch your guests' faces.
WHEREAS, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;
WHEREAS, Both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted' for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
--George Washington - October 3, 1789
Ever since the controversy over the CBS use of forged memos erupted, those disappointed by the exposure of the forgeries have wondered if the whole thing wasn't some sort of set up perpetrated by the Dark Lord, Karl Rove. Integral to this paranoid theorizing was their slack-jawed amazement that anyone could have observed and commented that the documents were fake based on typography as quickly as I did. How could anyone not on the inside have articulated a technical and convincing explanation that the documents were fake within a few hours of the broadcast? Well, here's your answer. It's probably too late to make any difference, but I am no longer able to stifle myself now that Mary Mapes' has written a several hundred page book parading her venomous disregard for those who exposed her lies and her delusional self-image as the Joan of Arc of investigative journalism.
So, how did I know?
The short answer is that I am 47 years old and I am not a blithering idiot.
Personally, I think that he should stop beating around the bush and get to his point. Strictly my opinion, of course.
When he gets home, his wife immediately tears into him, "It's almost 9:00, where the hell have you been?"
The man looks her straight in the eye and says "Honey, I have something to admit. I've been having an affair with my secratary. I spent the last two hours making love to her."
The wife looks him up and down and says " You lying son of a bitch, I can tell by looking at the dirt on your shoes that you've been out playing golf!"
November 18, 2005
The day came for the final test to see which man would get the extremely secretive job. The Agent administering the test took one of the applicants to a large metal door and handed him a gun. "We must know that you will follow your instructions no matter what the circumstances", they explained. "Inside this room, you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill her."
The man got a shocked look on his face and said "You can't be serious! I could
never shoot my own wife!". "Well", says the CIA man, "you're definitely not the right man for this job then."
The second applicant was brought to the same door and handed the gun. "We must know that you will follow instructions no matter what the circumstances", the Agent explained, "Inside you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill her." The second man looked a bit shocked, but nevertheless took the gun and went in the room. All was quiet for about 5 minutes, then the door opened. The man came out of the room with tears in his eyes. "I tried to shoot her, I just couldn't pull the trigger and shoot my wife. I guess I'm not the right man for the job." "No" the CIA man replied, "You don't have what it takes. Take
your wife and go the hell home."
The Agents brought the third applicant to the same door to the same room and hand him the same gun. "We must be sure that you will follow instructions no matter what the circumstances, this is your final test. Inside you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Take this gun and kill her." The third man took the gun and opened the door. Before the door even closed all the way, the CIA man heard the gun start firing. One shot after another for 13 shots. Then all hell broke loose in the room. They heard screaming, crashing, banging on the walls. This went on for several minutes, then all went quiet. The door opened slowly, and there stood the third applicant. He wiped the sweat from his brow and said "You guys didn't tell me the gun was loaded with blanks! I had to beat the bitch to death with the chair!"
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