5/31/2006

so it looks like there is some new spam afoot. Everybody jokes about those emails from the "son of the ex-Prime Minister of Nigeria," who will send you a million dollars of his oil inheritance or whatever if you do whatever it is he says in those emails. Today I got one that's claiming to be from the son of an Iraqi national assemblyman who was killed in a suicide bombing. It's ripped from the headlines! I wonder if soon I'll get one from a rich Darfuri who had to flee or a former New Orleans resident or something else ridiculous like that. They're getting sneakier, those spam scammers!
so I just read that Desmond Dekker, the first international ska superstar, died last week. That's too bad, and it's also too bad that it didn't get more press - he basically put the genre on the map, influenced a ton of people and was probably the second biggest Jamaican artist ever, after Bob Marley. All Music Guide has a good article remembering him with some sound clips. His Myspace page has some songs too, including his biggest hit, "Israelites". AMG also has a good bio. Even the snobs at Pitchfork gave his greatest hits collection a good review.

5/30/2006

so the World Cup is coming up soon, I'm looking forward to it. It's a fun sporting event, and one of my favorite memories was the last World Cup. I had just graduated and my job didn't start yet, so I had nothing to do all day. My place was a little studio on the third floor of a townhouse in Dupont and the A/C didn't work too well, so it was hot. The games were on at weird hours and were only on the Spanish channel, so I'd wake up at 6 am to watch the game. I'd sit in my boxers (since it was hot) and drink the Beast or Busch Light or whatever was cheapest and watch the games. It was great.

Does anybody else like soccer? Yahoo has a pretty cool fantasy league for the World Cup, people should sign up (it's free). To join, click here, then click on the "Sign Up" button to create a team. After completing registration, or if you already have a team, go to the "Groups" homepage, then click the "Join Group" line and follow the path to join an existing private group. Then, when prompted, enter the following information:

Group ID#: 19142
Password: soccer

5/26/2006

so this video really makes me want to go to Japan. it's so bizarre.

5/24/2006

so as astute readers will notice, I have a new template. I got sick of the little space for text and pictures and stuff. Speaking of pictures, I have been amazed by these pictures that some random local news station put up. The pictures are all insane, and there's 100 of them, so it's a lot of time-wasting fun. I like the one of the giant snake who ate an alligator and then exploded (picture 53).

I also liked this, a 115 lb girl (who is pretty cute) who ate an 11 pound cheeseburger. That is crazy.
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5/18/2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
so I was looking at a few things at work and found the website for the University of California's Washington program. I've seen the building before on Rhode Island Ave, it's pretty big. But check out the photo on the front page, it's weird. For one thing, the girl in the red is doing a weird jokey wave thing, but not to the camera, to somebody else. She's cute and all, but I'm sure you get a better picture. The other girls look kind of surprised by the camera, and the girl in lower right almost looks like she was superimposed into the picture, like they copy and pasted her. Strange.

5/15/2006

so I've been experimenting with a natural deoderant, by Tom's of Maine (the ones who make toothpaste). I figured I'd try it out, since I'm sure deoderants have all kinds of crazy chemicals, and my usual kind was bothering me a bit. However, it's not working too well. It works ok for a day, but I noticed I got pretty funky after a day or so, which usually didn't happen with my old deoderant. And today I was walking around outside and thought, "hmm, somebody smells. Maybe there's a homeless guy nearby." Then I went upstairs and smelled it again - maybe it was a coworker. Then I smelled it again at my desk and put my nose in my shirt - no, it's me. So I've been sitting with my arms tight at my side since I discovered that. Back to the old chemically deoderants for me!
so I wondered if the post below was a joke, and thanks to Erin, it really is:

"Yes Men pull Halliburton hoax"

It's very well done though, and the scary thing is that it's not that far out of the realm of possibility. Anyway, to make up for it, here's a Wesley Willis video from Youtube.


so I was browsing the internet and saw this: the Survivaball by Halliburton. If it's not a joke (and it sure seems like it) it has got to be the most bizarre thing I've seen in a long time. It's a big ball that you get it and inflates and is supposed to save you from various disasters - fire, flood, riot, whatever. Besides looking ridiculous, the presentation they have for it is absolutely insane and frightening. For one thing, it's titled "Halliburton Solves Global Warming." Not by, you know, finding a renewable energy source or cutting emissions, but by making a big fucking ball to get in and hide. Then it starts out like this:

"The SurvivaBall is designed to protect the corporate manager no matter what Mother Nature throws his or her way," said Fred Wolf, a Halliburton representative who spoke today at the Catastrophic Loss conference held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Amelia Island, Florida. "This technology is the only rational response to abrupt climate change," he said to an attentive and appreciative audience.


I don't know how to start. First off, it's completely pandering to "corporate managers," as if they're so important that they need magical suits to escape. Then the second part - I can think of a few other ways to stop climate change. So can any second grade class that's done a project on Earth Day. Then in the completely insane speech, they talk about how Hurricane Katrina was a good thing:

Sometimes danger presents broad new opportunities. In New Orleans, for example, Katrina pruned the city, removing people from economic black holes and allowing a redevelopment process that's gratifying for all of us. Although real estate values plummeted immediately following the disaster, much commercial real estate is already over its pre-storm values.


What!!? "Removing people"? "Pruning"? What planet did this come from? This has got to win the prize for euphemisms of the year. I mean, let's just go out and prune Detroit while we're at it - just flood the city, kill a bunch of poor people, and rebuild some stuff. That part really makes me think it's a joke, just because it's so ridiculous. The site looks legit, however. I'm scared.

And further pandering to rich people, they compare the Green Zone in Baghdad to expensive gated communities in Los Angeles: "Likewise, secure neighborhoods protect us against the unknown in our own societies - this security checkpoint built after the Rodney King riots protects a community on the edge of Los Angeles." If by "protect" you mean "hide from the poor people in a fortified subdivision."

And then the speech gets to the pictures and videos of the suit (at the bottom of the page with the speech). For one thing, the suit looks so unwieldy and weird. And it has missiles in it! Then check out the "safety card," just like one of those dumb cards they have on airplanes. The drawings are so innocuous but crazy, especially "Drawing Power from an Animal." Apparently you just walk up to "any living creature," grab it, and suck power from it. There's a picture of a deer, but if it's really a disaster, and the corporate manager really needs that power, why not just grab a homeless person? The video of that is especially flabbergasting (it's a big download, but I recommend it). The guy in the suit bounces around and comes up to a cow, then extends some kind of sci-fi like sucker, extracts whatever it is (blood? meat?) from the cow, then happily bounces around through a field of dessicated cow skeletons. I feel like I saw that in one of the Predator or Terminator movies.

Another part of the safety card that caught my eye is the upper right corner: "In difficult conditions, SurvivaBalls can converge to form a managerial aggregate, which then dispenses with unneeded units as neccesary" with a little picture of balls being bounced away from the group. Wouldn't there be somebody in that "unneeded unit?" But then again, I never liked Steve from accounting, let's bounce his ass out of here. He can fend for himself against these marauding black people or whatever it is we're hiding from. After all, the suit has missiles!

The other videos aren't nearly as interesting as "cowsuckerdance.mov." They look like somebody just bought some new 3D movie software and went crazy with it. "Hey honey, look what I just made!" "Uh, that's great dear. A ball bouncing in front an iceberg. Great."

Talk about crazy stuff. And the other odd thing is that there doesn't seem to be anything protecting your face, which is especially weird in the video of the ball floating underwater. The whole thing smacks of 1984 or the bad guys in Mad Max or something. It's so insane that I can hardly believe it.

5/12/2006

so I realized I wrote this a long time ago and had it as a draft so it never got posted. No idea if the links still work. Here tis:

so I have been watching the Olympics like crazy. I was into the US women's curling team, because they are cute girls, but I think my interest has shifted to Chandra Crawford, a Canadian cross country skiier. She's cute as well and seemed really cool in the interview, plus she was pretty much unknown and came from nowhere to dominate the competition, winning the gold by a lot, which is pretty neat.

Here's the interview and the medal ceremony. Her interview is at about 4:30 seconds. The race is pretty exciting too.

Here's some pictures
from Yahoo
NBC - picture 5 is the best
Canada's page - the first 5 are of her
Canadian news article

5/08/2006

doh!

so my pal who is a grad student at Colorado just sent this to me, very funny stuff. Apparently there was a big smoke-out on April 20th (4/20) at the University of Colorado and the campus police were taking pictures of all the kids smoking. Word to the wise: don't smoke pot at big outdoor activities, especially not at a college. The funny thing is they can't identify the guy wearing tie-dye and the guy with the dreads.

5/02/2006

so I just read this article - "Americans lacking in geographic literacy." It's about a National Geographic survey that showed people don't much about geography. The survey said 50% of Americans couldn't find Mississippi on a map, 60% couldn't find Iraq, 75% couldn't find Israel, 2/3 thought English was the most widely spoken native language, and on and on. It's ridiculous, as people really don't know much about their world, mainly because geography is not taught in schools. I had been interested in geography my entire life, and couldn't take it until college because none of my schools offered it. And for college, I had to specifically choose a college that had geography, because most places don't have it. It's crazy. I think geography really ought to be taught more often, not just "memorize the state capitals" but more in depth, such as why people live where they are, why certain areas have oil and where those places are, stuff about water resources, why certain ethnic conflicts are caused, and so on. It could even be integrated into a civics or current events class where students learn about what's going on in the world (and use maps a lot).

5/01/2006

so I've been getting annoyed with cell phones recently. I'm at a different office for a week, and the lady in the cube next to me has this extremely annoying circus song cell phone ring. Usually she's sitting at her desk, so it's dumb that the ringer is even on, but then when she's not at her desk, she doesn't carry it with her. Because obviously, why carry around a portable phone? Something else that bothers me is people who have the key beep turned on, especially when it's loud. So when they dial somebody, it's "beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeep" etc. Can you not see that the numbers are being entered? Are you unsure of how hard your fingers push? Or maybe your fingers are numb, so you can't tell if you're touching the buttons or just open air.

I also don't like it when people call their voicemail on speakerphone. "Please enter your password.. beepbeep beep beepbeeep thank you, you have four new messages, beep beep, hey this is Joe, beep, the message will be erased for 40 days..." Why the need for speakerphone here? I think phones should be able to tell if there is more than 1 person within 10 feet of the phone. If there are, then you can turn on the speaker and do your teleconference or whatever. If not, just pick up the damn phone and rest it on your shoulder like we used to do in the olden days.