Wednesday, May 31, 2006

10 flagrant grammar mistakes that make you look stupid

The author presents 10 grammar mistakes that we all see much too often. Things such as "could of" instead of "could have", "it's" for "its", and my personal favorite, "loose" for "lose", are used frequently in emails and other correspondence. This is a concise summary of the most frequent offenders."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I want a Freeware Utility to ... 450+ common problems solved.

Ever need a program to do something, and didn't want to pay?

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Baby born with 3rd arm

The boy, identified only as "Jie-jie," also was born with just one kidney and may have problems that could lead to curvature of the spine, local media reports said. Jie-jie cried when either of his left arms was touched, but smiled and responded normally to other stimuli, the reports said.

Check out the article for a picture.

Missing intro scene from Star Wars: A New Hope

Friday, May 26, 2006

Maryland Law HB707

It seems Maryland is the first state to get videogame legislation somewhat correct. Instead of banning sales of explicit videogames to minors, imposing a new ratings system or fining retail stores, as other states have done, Maryland Bill HB707 adds sexually mature and explicit games to a broader media group that already contains movies and books.

Entertainment Software Association president Douglas Lowenstein had this to say of the bill and the ESA's support of it:

The Entertainment Software Association supported the passage of HB 707, which adds video games to the existing 'harmful to minors' obscenity law in Maryland, and which already covers movies and books.

The ESA has always been supportive of the inclusion of video games to 'harmful to minor' statutes that meet the Supreme Courts obscenity standards -- we believe that video games should be treated in the same way that books and movies are treated under the law. Where we draw the line is when the law is a violation of the First Amendment, as was Maryland's HB 75, which attempted to add violent video games to the 'harmful to minors' statute, a direct violation of citizens' constitutional rights.

Ultimately, we hope that state legislators and candidates will enter into a constructive partnership to educate parents about game content and tools available to them so they, not government, can raise their kids as they see fit and buy the games that are right for their unique families. We believe it to be far more productive for all parties -- industry, retailers, government, parent groups, health groups -- to work together to educate parents about the ESRB ratings and content descriptors and the parental controls available in all next generation consoles. As always, we welcome the opportunity to work with any and all of those who care about these important issues.'"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yahoo! Search - Yahoo! dressing up like Google

Ever seen this? I never knew it existed. Apparently it is fairly new. Looks familiar, no?

Hilarious: The Powerbook Prank

So my coworker brought this to my attention. It is the amazing story of a young man who scammed a scammer that attempted to make off with his Powerbook using standard eBay scam tactics. Read the whole story, its worth it. Unfortunately, our protagonist as since fallen off the face of the planet. The man, it would seem, has got him.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sony at its best

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wooley Bully: Full Mammoth skeleton found in Siberia

Fishermen in Siberia have discovered the complete skeleton of a mammoth - a find which Russian experts have described as very rare.

The remains appeared when flood waters receded in Russia's Krasnoyarsk region.

The mammoth's backbone, skull, teeth and tusks all survived intact. It appears to have died aged about 50.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Review: The DaVinci Code

Well, now that The DaVinci Code is out -- and was not smote by the wrath of God, I figured I'd weigh in with my two cents.

If you've seen any reviews, you no doubt have not seen many, if any, good ones. I saw the film yesterday with four friends, and I have this much to say: this is a fun, good film.

It almost makes me wonder if the critics who find this movie so unappealing don't have a bit of a Christian agenda. It is like they are trying to use their positions of power to influence people to not see the movie, as if they are too cowardly to go stand on the "This film insults our Lord" picket lines themselves.

Seriously now, here's a winning quote from Victoria Alexander of

I'll say it: It is anti-Jesus and anti-Catholic. Unintentionally though, it is a recruiting film for Opus Dei. Where do I sign up?"

Ms. Alexander, if you could please explain to me how, exactly, this film is all those things I would greatly appreciate it. First of all, to claim that this film is anti-Jesus makes me wonder if you listened to a single thing said in the movie. In fact, I would even take the stance that the film was purposely toned down to a more neutral position on Jesus and Christianity when compared to its source material. Nearly every single time the "divinity" of Jesus Christ is called into question, Tom Hanks's Robert Langdon plays -- pardon the connotation -- Devil's Advocate, explaining over and over again that this is all based on theory and far from conclusive. If anything, I would say the film is pro-Jesus. What? Can it be? Absolutely.

And on to the anti-Catholic claim. I suppose Ms. Alexander makes this claim because, certainly, as the book before it, the film calls into question some very core Catholic, nay, Christian beliefs. It only calls them into question. It does not provide any answers. Why? Because it is a work of fiction, and only a work of fiction. If you happen to be a Christian, the questions that arise in this film are going to do one of two things: 1) Peak your interest, in which case you should do some research to see what are and are not validated claims, or 2) have no effect on your faith at all. My guess is that, if you follow the path of curiosity you will find that much of The DaVinci Code is based on several theories that both do and do not hold water. There is talk on both sides. It really just comes down to where your faith lies.

Oh Oh Opus Dei. There are three Opus Dei characters in the movie. One is a psychotic, brutal murder and masochist. Another (the bishop nonetheless!) is completely shady, meeting with secret councils and involved in dealings that could have him excommunicated from the church (oh no!). The last one jumps to conclusions and places his faith where it is not deserved -- only finally becoming a good person AFTER learning what is going on in Opus Dei. How, exactly, that is a recruitment film is beyond me.

My guess is that Ms. Alexander goes to Catholic Church every Sunday, and, perhaps has a few children enrolled in a Catholic institution. I also wonder if she wore earplugs during the movie.

I do not doubt that many other critics have similar biases.

So, my review. It did an excellent job capturing my "memory" of reading the book. Similar to how Andrew Adamson approached The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, my memory of the book is completely present in this film. There are a few instances that jumped out at me as being different or omitted -- but they didn't offend me or my enjoyment of the film. Several of them I completely understand. Some I don't really.

This movie was a lot of fun. There is a lot of dialogue, but it is all interesting. Ian McKellen gives one of his best performances in recent memory, and, if nothing else, Audrey Tautou is absolutely adorable.

4/5 Stars (because I'm special enough to have a rating system).

X-Men: The Last Stand accidentally gets it right!

Well, the first (geek) credible review of X-Men: The Last Stand has come in via Ain't It Cool News. AIC has been following the hardships of X3 closely since, pretty much, they walked out of the theater for X2 - and they are very well documented hardships. Every Magic Eight Ball in the world has been displaying "All signs point to suck" with this movie from the very beginning, but the good news is that, just maybe, Brett Ratner has, indeed, laid a golden egg. Here's a snippet of the review, check out the rest at the link. I believe it is spoiler free for the most part.

Yes, it’s true. Brett Ratner has stuck the landing.

The original X-MEN was, by comparison to its two sequels, a low-budget affair. X2 and X3 look pretty much like they are two halves of one movie, however. Ratner and his crew took their cues from what Bryan Singer had done, due in large part to the same producers being in place and maintaining some sense of continuity between the films, and the result is that this feels pretty cohesive, picking up right on the heels of the second film."

How Do They Get The Stripes On The Tooth Paste?

I can't really claim to have ever pondered over this dental hygienic mystery, but I found it pretty curious nonetheless. Makes sense if you think about it. There was definitely some hardcore engineering going on just to make striped toothpaste for your scrubbing pleasure.

It's easier than it seems. And no, there are not two separate compartments. The tube is filled with the carrier material, the actual toothpaste, which is usually white, to a certain level. Above that level, the tube is filled with the 'stripe' stuff, which is usually red, blue or green. Both materials are viscous enough so that they don't mix. Now the trick is to let these two substances out separate ways but at the same time. The toothpaste nozzle is not just a hole at the top of the tube. Instead, it is a longish pipe that reaches down the tube just ending at the filling level of the carrier material. The pipe has small holes in it further up closer to the nozzle. Pressing the tube will cause the carrier material to enter the outlet pipe and press the stripe stuff. The stripe material will enter the outlet pipe through the small holes, which is where the stripes are generated.

Check out the link for a nice diagram and some assorted striped-toothpaste trivia. Now that is a phrase I never once before conjectured I'd make. There is hilarity there.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

In Gandalf We Trust

On his press junkette for The Da Vinci Code, Sir Ian McKellen, in defense of his upcoming picture, has been making waves with some very unmitigated anti-Christian statements, with a dash of British comedic cynicism to boot!

In response to the Catholic Church's suggestion that a disclaimer be added to the front of The Da Vinci Code explaining that it is entirely a work of fiction, Sir Ian had this to say:

I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer at the front saying 'This is fiction.' I mean, walking on water? I mean, it takes an act of faith?"

He then followed it up with a tongue-in-cheek jab at the fear of gay marraige among popular culture:

I'm very happy to believe that Jesus was married. I know the Catholic Church has problems with gay people and I thought this would be proof that Jesus was not gay."


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Microsoft and Sony want you to buy a Wii

So, it is pretty evident that Nintendo destroyed the competition at E3 this year. But so much that their competitors would actually recommend the purchase of the Wii? Apparently so ...

Here is the quote from Microsoft VP, Peter Moore:

Tell me why you would buy a US$600 PS3?" Moore said in an interview. "People are going to buy two [consoles]. They're going to buy an Xbox and they're going to buy a Wii ... for the price of one PS3."

Which was followed up by this nugget of wisdom from Sony's Corporate executive, Phil Harrison:

I think Peter Moore is exactly right. I think Nintendo will be the second system consumers purchase after PlayStation 3."

"I haven't had a chance to check out the Wii myself, but Nintendo has a great history of innovation and has always done great things for gaming and long may they do so. But as it relates to our strategy they are very much in a different market."

Now these quotes can be taken several ways. Quite obviously, Peter Moore is poking fun at the Playstation 3's ridiculously outlandish and prohibitive price ($499 for crap, $599 for the one you want). Harrison appears to be making the argument that Nintendo is going down a completely different path (who can argue there) and, in typical Sony-executive fashion, snobbily assuming the Playstation 3 will enjoy the same amount of dominance in the market place as the Playstation 2.

To me it seems Harrison is just playing defense with the only play Sony seems to have in their playbook (ironically for both defense and offense).

Yes, Phil, we understand that the Playstation did well, and the Playstation 2 did even better. You don't have to tell us every chance a microphone meanders across your face. You may want to take a look at the failures of the Playstation Portable and take off your mirage-inducing fantastivision goggles. Your company is not infallable because of your market dominance over the past two generations. Try making a good game that doesn't have a number greater than three in the title; that would be good defense.

Peter Moore hit the nail on the head, elucidating the collective thinking of gamers everywhere. Why would I buy a PS3 when I could get an Xbox 360 and a Wii for the same price - if not cheaper? Show me one compelling game that is worth the $660 price tag, Sony. Just one. I dare you.

Also, I should point out, as others have before me, if the Wii is everyone's second console of choice - would not that, in fact, make it the first console? Nintendo has carved itself a new market in which there is no competition.

Bottom Line: Everyone should buy a Wii.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mindfreak returns May 31

Magician Criss Angel's amazing show Mindfreak (We all know what "freak" is really supposed to be) is set to return to A&E on May 31st. If you've never seen the show, Angel, in addition to looking like a Heavy Metal dropout, is one of the better true magic acts of our generation; especially when contrasted with the shenanigans of David Blane. Definitely should check it out.

[Via TV Squad]

Introducing Apple MacBook

So I think that my ... Apple envy ... grows exponentially with each passing day.
What do you get when you put up to 2GHz of pure Intel Core Duo power, an iSight camera, Front Row, iLife ’06, and a 13-inch glossy widescreen display into a sleek case? More than you thought possible for less than you thought possible. Meet MacBook, starting at $1099.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Song Lyric Wiki

For anyone who has ever tried to google the lyrics to a song, you are no doubt privy to the endless stream of ads associated with such a daunting task.

Enter LyricWiki: A database, by the people and for the people. If you see that a lyric is incorrect, change it. Its beautiful. As long as spam can be kept out and a relatively concrete screening process is put in place, it could become the go to place on the web for song lyrics.

The database is well over 200,000 now, but if you notice a song is not there, feel free to contribute. Check it all out here.

Topics: , , ,

Jobs Wisdom: On Character Building

I'm the only person I know that's lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year.... It's very character-building."

I subscribe to both a quotation of the day RSS feed and a motivational quotation of the day RSS feed. They actually provide me with two quotes a day, but that is neither here nor there. About two weeks ago, the above nugget of wisdom landed in my news aggregate, and I found it absolutely striking.

Upon some further investigation, I found this - a nice collection of wisdom a la Steve. Why should we care? Well, if you don't know Steve, he is the CEO of a little known company called Apple Computer (you may have heard of their iPod). Until recently, he was also the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios (they are keeping Disney's animation business from going the way of the dodo); now, after Disney's acquisition of Pixar, Steve is just the single largest stock holder in all of Disney, not to mention one of the most influential people on their board of trustees.

This is a man who knows his sh*t. It's likely that we could all stand to learn from him a bit.

Oh, and one more thing, if you'd like to reach him, you can always send him an email :-)

Network Neutrality Update: Ninja and Seuss Style

Ask A Ninja
I figured it'd be good to point to some other articles that popped up over the last week regarding Net Neutrality. This is the fun version, however - no legalese.

, one of my favorite vidcasts, has taken on Net Neutrality ninja style. Absolutely hilarious. They also provide some great links too. Be sure to check it out here.

This one is great. I found it over at Boing Boing. They found Net Neutrality explained as Dr. Seuss might have explained it. Here's a snippet:

When Ed Whitacre, the head of AT&T, says,
"They're not going to use my pipes for free"
he's not talking about Them, he's talking about Me.
He's talking about Us, it should be plain to see.

Check out the rest here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wild find: Half grizzly, half polar bear

IQALUIT, Nunavut - Northern hunters, scientists and people with vivid imaginations have discussed the possibility for years.

But Roger Kuptana, a guide from Canada’s Sachs Harbor was the first to suspect it had actually happened when he proposed that a strange-looking bear shot last month by an American sports hunter might be half polar bear, half grizzly.

Coins cost more to make than face value

This is quite interesting. Perhaps its time we get away from coins.

For the first time in U.S. history, the cost of manufacturing both a penny and a nickel is more than the 1-cent and 5-cent values of the coins themselves. Skyrocketing metals prices are behind the increase, the U.S. Mint said in a letter to members of Congress last week.

The Mint estimates it will cost 1.23 cents per penny and 5.73 cents per nickel this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The cost of producing a penny has risen 27% in the last year, while nickel manufacturing costs have risen 19%.

Microsoft sides with Nintendo in fight vs Sony

Corp. sided with rival Co. Ltd. on Wednesday in the fight to unseat video game leader Corp., saying many consumers will choose to buy both of their machines for the price of one .

Sometimes Peter Moore has a way with the obvious...

"Tell me why you would buy a $600 PS3?" Peter Moore, a Microsoft vice president, said in an interview. "People are going to buy two [consoles]. They're going to buy an and they're going to buy a ... for the price of one ."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Prediction: Sony is doomed. An E3 Report Prelude

I honestly have so much to say about the notorious Electronic Enterntainment Expo, E3, that I am feeling quite overwhelmed by the weight of it all. I have no idea how paid journalists keep up; oh, wait, they are paid.

For a good introspective on Sony and their unadulterated stupidity (it can now be confirmed!) my buddy LC1201 has written up some thoughts here. Do check it out.

So, you heard it hear first (I've been saying this for about 3 years however), Sony is so doomed. The Playstation 3 may very well be their last console, and if it is not, the Playstation 4 most certainly will be.

More to follow when I can find the time and creativity...

Here is a great article from about Sony's missteps.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Network Neutrality Act of 2006

If you don't know what Network Neutrality is, read this or watch the above video.

A big thanks to Paul at one digital life for pointing this video out. It is a great public service announcement explaining exactly what Net Neutrality means to you and me.

Essentially, the Telcos (Tele-communication companies: e.g. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc. - those who provide internet) want to start monitoring internet traffic and charging more for certain types of traffic. For instance, if you have Vonage VoIP running over your Comcast broadband connection, Comcast wants the right to sniff out Vonage traffic so that they can do one of two things: slow it down, or charge extra for it. Why would they want to do this? .... Well Comcast offers their own VoIP service, which naturally would run along unhampered and not be subject to a surcharge.

We don't want that. That sounds slightly very monopolistic to me.

There is also talk of the Tiered Internet. Read about that here. Good Luck Us.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) threw down the gauntlet just moments ago, introducing the Network Neutrality Act of 2006".."This legislation is designed to save the Internet and thwart those who seek to fundamentally and detrimentally alter the Internet as we know it."

digg story

[UPDATE: added video that Paul provided in his comment]

World's Oldest Person Turns 128

Yes folks, that is one hundred twenty eight - as in a one (1) followed by two zeroes plus my age (23) plus another five (5) years to boot. Simply amazing.
According to national records, Hernandez was born on May 3, 1878, in one of the country's (El Salvador) central provinces, where she gave birth to 13 children. She now has 60 grandchildren, 80 great-grandchildren and 25 great-great grandchildren.

digg story

Philips Bodygroom: I Love My Extra Inch

So if you've got a few minutes and are looking for a laugh, Philips Norelco have unleashed a hilarious new website to introduce their new product, The Bodygroom. Definitely check out all the parts of the website after the intro loads. Especially the "Optical Inch" - you'll know what I mean when you see it.

This may not exactly be safe for work.

[Via Paul at one digital life. I yoinked his picture too because my screen capture software was not working well. Thanks Paul]

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Royale Trailer in English. Half Monk, Half Hitman

Well it certainly did not take long for Sony to notice the leak of the new (french) James Bond trailer. However, instead of squashing it, Sony has gone ahead and released a high quality English version early and updated the official website. Plus five for Sony.


Orioles Horror: Maier Motion Picture

Many of us (Baltimore People) remember Jeffrey Maier as the boy who stole our World Series. Well, this girl went and made a movie about it!

After a decade of Baltimore Orioles fans convincing themselves that the New York Yankees are the biggest cheaters in all of baseball, one Birds fan is taking steps to let go of a grudge she has been holding since she was 12.

Um, FYI, the Yankees were cheaters before Maier swooped in with the assist. It is a longstanding Yankee tradition.

Ten years later, Morhaim took her revenge in her short film I Hate Jeff Maier, which Morhaim did for her senior honor thesis. The film, which may get play in Baltimore theaters, is about a boy from the Orioles' home town who has hated baseball ever since that fateful playoff game in 1996. He quits Little League and has a pretty normal but baseball-free childhood until he goes to college. Six hundred miles from home, he runs into Maier.

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Play-Doh Turns Fifty

50 years ago U.S. Patent No. 3,167,440 was granted to Noah McVicker and Joseph McVicker for a "plastic modeling composition", (which was originally intended to be a wallpaper cleaner) now called Play-Doh. Little did they know that they had created the substance of childhood memories as well as many a childhood meal, unfortunately....

Originally, came in only one color; off-white and came in a cardboard can. Joe McVicker of Kutol Chemicals had learned from a teacher that modeling clay used by children in the classrooms was often too difficult for many of the smaller children to manipulate. He remembered that his non-toxic composition he had created as a wallpaper cleaner was easy to manipulate and could possibly work as a substitute for the typical modeling clay the schools were using.

I always loved Play-Doh when I was younger. Remember using it and to copy Newspapers? Remember Newspapers?

read more

[Via Boing Boing]

Curb Your Enthusiasm Not Done Yet?

For those of you who have never seen , it is hilarious. It is very much like (since -- star and writer -- co-created the television monolith); it's a show about nothing whatsoever. So funny.
Not exactly an officially confirmed bit of news just yet, but I was at the "Toga, Toga, Toga! What the Industry Learned at Faber College" speakers panel featuring Harold Ramis, Todd Phillips, Jake Kasdan, and Jeff Garlin at the Tribeca Film Fest the other night, and after Garlin was asked if there'd be another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, he stated that Larry David has indeed been working on one more. It was always the intention to have last season be the LAST season, but Larry has been writing away and Jeff would be more than happy to do it. He mentioned how Larry is very rich (much to the amusement of the audience) and doesn't need to do it for the money, so when he wants to do it, it's only because it's (hopefully) going to be good. So right now he's in the writing stages and, in Jeff's words, "it's looking very, very good."

Curb Your Enthusiasm runs on .

[Via Ain't It Cool News]


Washington Post: Polygraph Results Often in Question

The CIA, the FBI and other federal agencies are using polygraph machines more than ever to screen applicants and hunt for lawbreakers, even as scientists have become more certain that the equipment is ineffective in accurately detecting when people are lying.

Instead, many experts say, the real utility of the polygraph machine, or "lie detector," is that many of the tens of thousands of people who are subjected to it each year believe that it works -- and thus will frequently admit to things they might not otherwise acknowledge during an interview or interrogation.

Many researchers and defense attorneys say the technology is prone to a high number of false results that have stalled or derailed hundreds of careers and have prevented many qualified applicants from joining the fight against terrorism. At the FBI, for example, about 25 percent of applicants fail a polygraph exam each year, according to the bureau's security director."

Read More

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Superman Returns Trailer

First there was this, which was a bit exciting, but now WB has gone ahead and released the Trailer (that was supposed to debut alongside M:I:3) ahead of schedule. Check it out here in all its Apple Quicktime glory.

I think what is most surprising to me is how uncannily Brandon Routh sounds like Christopher Reeve, seeing as this is the first time anyone has heard the boy talk.

Up-and-coming RHP also a Southpaw - What?

What is odd is that I was just having a conversation about how cool it would be to be an ambidexterous pitcher. This kid has a pair of amazing ERAs.

Pat Venditte, The Creighton middle reliever, is the only ambidexterous pitcher to chuck from both sides this year. Venditte, who must announce before each batter which arm he's going to use, has an ERA of 2.36 as a righty and 2.92 as a lefty. 'If another guy throws 30 pitches one day, I know I'm not going to be able to use him the next day,' said Creighton coach Ed Servais. 'With Pat, if he throws 30 pitches, and 15 are right-handed and 15 are left-handed, I know I can come back to him tomorrow.'"

Venditte had this to say regarding his uncanny abilities:

It gives me the advantage almost every at-bat," says Venditte about his ambidexterous ways.

Now my question: does he have two gloves or one interchangable one?


Weird But True: Woman, 104, takes man, 33, as lawfully wedded husband

For those of you who are not on friendly terms with mathematics, that is a seventy-one (71) year age difference. Something tells me Victoria has no secret that this woman doesn't already know.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- A 33-year-old man in northern Malaysia has married a 104-year-old woman, saying mutual respect and friendship had turned to love, a news report said Tuesday."

read more

Monday, May 01, 2006

Now your Xbox 360 can Blog

Simply enter your XBOX Live Gamertag and will automatically, based upon what you did that day, create a blog entry for your X360.

The blog is updated once a day (whether you game or not) and even offers RSS feeds to your own, and others X360's blogs.

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