December 30, 2006

insert sticky situation joke here

Whatever was originally envisioned when post it notes were created, I imagine it wasn’t as a protective armor for “Walt’s” unsuspecting Jaguar:

sticky situation

You can see the construction of this prank here.

happy new year from the donner party!

What Ryan describes as “a wonderfully fun trip” seems a lot more like an episode of the discovery channel’s I shouldn’t be alive:

10AM: Water is still warm, but not boiling. Bryan and I are post-holing around in the heavy snow trying to stay warm – neither of us can feel our toes. The stove flame is starting to flicker out. I crank the fuel up, only to realize it is already on full blast.. I turn off the stove and shake the fuel canister…. yup – frozen. My 4 season mix of propane, isobutane, and butane has become slush. Bryan’s 3 season mix is frozen solid.”

I often have similar experiences at movie theatres, that air conditioning can get chilly.

December 27, 2006

are you watching, rockefeller center?

While we do have parents, my sister and I aren’t exactly what one would call “children” at this point, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when our busier-than-usual parents decided to the forgo hunting down and decorating of an evergreen coniferous tree.

Refusing to let the tradition die, we decided to construct our own tree out of the only thing available to us. The following is the building of our tree in a fast-motion video:

December 23, 2006


“I’m the weirdo who wants to pay directly for the shows I watch, and what the networks are telling me (via their pricing) is that they will charge me more for profoundly restricted versions of the same content if they believe they can get away with it. No. No, in every language. I’m not a psychotic demagogue when it comes to DRM, I’m willing to tolerate it when I get what I want out of the bargain. That’s not happening here. These are versions of shows for more money with less features and zero portability.

I don’t want to be so strident. At first, I thought that content holders weren’t taking the tectonic potential of these services seriously. I now believe it’s just the opposite.  Looking at their model, it’s almost engineered to make digital delivery the least appealing option.”

-Jerry Holkins, from here.

As someone who is outraged at the poor service and embarrassing quality present with my only current option for television, I would love to be able to pay to download high definition content and get rid of cable all together. I would in fact cherish it and declare the day on which it ocurred to be a high holy day in whatever religion I found to be most amicable to the ideaBut by making the prices as ridiculous as they have at $5-$6 per one hour show, they’ve completetely excluded a vast majority of those interested.  Watching two programs a week would already cost you more than the hundreds of channels of 24 hour programming available through the competition.

December 22, 2006

i think the toothbrush had more to do with it than the pill


bless this tool!


Google’s new patent search is the most fun I’ve had on the internet since napster closed down. Checkout a technical description of a Ouija board, pocket protector, or electric guitar.
But if you really want your mind blown, check out this patent.

all silent drive train for sneaking up on cats

“Manufacturers are getting better at building cars that are fast and good- looking, not some tree-hugging penalty box,” says Angus MacKenzie, editor in chief of Motor Trend Magazine.
-From the Christian Science Monitor

Is it too late to ask for a Tesla Roadster for Xmas? An all electric sports car with a 4 second 0-60 time , 300 mile range, and style-by-Lotus good looks sounds like a great gift for that aspiring file-system hacker in your family.

December 19, 2006

well i’ll be a parrot’s cousin

Science News Online reports:

“People with generally positive outlooks show greater resistance to developing colds than do individuals who rarely revel in upbeat feelings, a new investigation finds.”

In unrelated news, it was recently discovered that being sick all the time “sucks”, and that 80% of chronically sick people were found to be “generally pessimistic”.

December 16, 2006

i want to be a fisherman

With finals complete, Derek felt an insatiable need to play Guitar Hero, so we called up Seth, got some controllers together and prepared to rock. The following is the two of us playing “John The Fisherman” by Primus. I’m on bass, which proved arduous. The retarded look on my face indicates I am having fun. You’re gonna have to trust me on this one.

UPDATE: I do realize it’s not exactly titillating to watch people play guitar hero and that except for about 30 seconds before the end where I bring our game crashing down it’s probably not even worth pressing play. The reasons I put it up relate much more to the technology I used to bring it to you, the reader. First I recorded the video with my new digital camera, then I edited the video down with Kino on linux, and finally I figured out how to get videos onto google video and embed them into this webpage.

It’s not so much the content of the video that’s exciting so much as the fact that it’s there.

don’t forget the ransom money

While reading up on the federal tax income tax code over at I found sources of income the average American might not remember to report. And remember, if you lie on your federal taxes, you go to jail:

  • Illegal income. Illegal income, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.
  • Kickbacks. You must include kickbacks, side commissions, push money, or similar payments you receive in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), if from your self-employment activity.
  • Bribes. If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.
  • Stolen property. If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.
  • Pulitzer, Nobel, and similar prizes. If you were awarded a prize in recognition of accomplishments in religious, charitable, scientific, artistic, educational, literary, or civic fields, you generally must include the value of the prize in your income.

Illegal Income, kickbacks, and bribes are one thing, but would the IRS really nail a guy for not paying taxes on his Nobel Peace Prize?

as dangerous as the battlestar galactic missle launcher?

I was relaxing after finals reading about the 10 most dangerous play things of all time, cruising past the lawn darts and the Atomic Engergy Lab, when I discovered something interesting:

Sky Dancers, quite possibly one of the sweetest toys my sister ever received, was added to the list because “over 150 children fell prey to Sky Dancer’s helicopter-blade arms and erratic ‘Oh-Jesus-it’s-chasing-me!’ flying patterns. Injuries included scratched corneas and temporary blindness, mild concussions, broken ribs and teeth, and facial lacerations that required stitches.”

I remember my sister and I playing with this toy all the time and being especially careless. I’m lucky I wasn’t disemboweled.

December 14, 2006

it’s possible i might have made up lexophilia

In reading a 25 page excerpt from a Benjamin Barber book, I have again been confronted with the untethered skill with which this man owns the dictionary. His vocabulary is ridiculous, so much so that I decided to write down every word I had to look up in an effort to document this savage display of lexophilia. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I probably should have known a few of these, but after stumbling upon “panglossian” I was disoriented to the point where I would have been lucky to recognize my own name.

Ze words:

It’s worth noting that the spell checker I am using doesn’t recognize three of these words; I’ll leave it to the reader as an exercise to determine which three.

December 9, 2006

oh em gee, ponies

omg, ponies!Before I met Ben, I hadn’t considered there might exist a group of individuals who hold the stern belief that it is both right and good to judge a book by it’s cover. These cold-hearted bastards use the title “Graphic Designer” and when I offhandedly suggested they look a little deeper and evaluate the actual text in a given work they suggested that I take a long read on some well traveled rail tracks.

Given this, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that someone would have a best o’ 2006 list for book covers. Though I don’t have the asthetic sense to second guess any choices made with regards to art, in the category of best title I’m casting my vote for “Abandon the Old in Tokyo.”

December 5, 2006

quote of the moment

“There are not many operating systems that anyone has ever described as ‘fun’. Indeed, the friction and labor of development under most other environments has been aptly compared to kicking a dead whale down the beach.”

– Eric S. Raymond, from  The Art of UNIX Programming

December 4, 2006

my bad

Me: I tried to draw once, but a tsunami killed a couple hundred thousand people the next day so I decided I had better stop.

ug: holy shit, that was you?!

December 3, 2006

ze real dutch boy

This photographer for this WW2 poster must have hated the dutch:

December 2, 2006

it happens

This summer I bought a motorcycle from my Uncle B, a 1972 Honda CB350 Twin, which looks exactly like this. This bike had essentially been baking in a garage for the past 7 years, but was otherwise pristine and has only ~6k miles on it.

I took it to a local shop with the purpose of bringing my bike into the new millennium, and finally got it back1 today. As I didn’t have a truck to tow it with, I had to drive it back to my apartment. I do have my motorcycle license, but it had been quite a number of months since I had actually ridden a motorcycle, so some of the minor points were a bit fuzzy, like which direction on the left foot pedal was an up-shift and which direction was a down-shift. As it turns out, pushing down is a down-shift and lifting the peg upwards with your toe is an up-shift; you can see how this could be a source of confusion. This led to me stalling on Marsh St. right in front of Fosters Freeze. This particular location wouldn’t have been especially troublesome if it hadn’t been the first Saturday of the month between the hours of noon and one.

As it happens, between the hours of noon and one on the first Saturday of the month, the San Luis Obispo scooter club meets. Let me emphasize that there are exactly twelve hours in the year that these people meet in this precise location. This meant that a group of people who I (used to) hang out with were watching me as I rode up, first in recognition and envy of my sweet new ride, and secondly, to whistle and yell derisively at my apparent inability to manage a simple stoplight.

1. If anyone wants the name of a motorcycle shop to NOT go to, I’d be happy to oblige.

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