Sunday, March 29, 2009

E-Vox Pop

As with their previous "we own all content" stance, Facebook blinks once again.


Facebook changes coming in response to user complaints

...Facebook has been deluged with feedback on its new layout, much of it negative but constructive, according to a blog posted Tuesday by Product Director Christopher Cox. Hundreds of thousands of people gave the redesign a thumbs-down in a user poll. And groups like "MEMBERS WANT THE OLD FACEBOOK BACK!" have formed to voice their discontent. While the social network isn't reverting back to the old page design, they are making a handful of changes to appease some of the outraged masses, according to Cox, who has also worked as director of human resources and software engineer at the company.

Read more!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

False Alarm

The LA Times reports that despite the report like the one below, "the California Air Resources Board said Friday that it has no plans 'at this time' to regulate car paint as part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — and never intended to outlaw black cars in the first place."

Thank goodness because "Men in Mud Puddle Brown" sounds no where near as cool as MIB.

From Autoblog:
California to reduce carbon emissions by... banning black cars?!

In a move that will likely get California's consumers in a huff, impending legislation may soon restrict the paint color options for Golden State residents looking for their next new vehicle. The specific colors that are currently on the chopping block are all dark hues, with the worst offender seemingly the most innocuous color you could think of: Black. What could California possibly have against these colors, you ask? Apparently, the California Air Resources Board figures that the climate control systems of dark colored cars need to work harder than their lighter siblings – especially after sitting in the sun for a few hours.

...can't paint suppliers just come up with new, less heat-absorbent dark paints? According to Ward's, suppliers have reportedly been testing their pigments and processes to see if it's possible to meet CARB's proposed mandate of 20% solar reflectivity by 2016 with a phase-in period starting in 2012, and things aren't looking good. Apparently, when the proper pigments and chemicals are added to black paint, the resulting color is currently being referred to as "mud-puddle brown."

Read more!

Friday, March 27, 2009

There's No Such Thing as Bad PR

I never noticed this before, but "Redstone" backwards almost spells "murder" (OMINOUS MUSIC).

Rumors bites! Headmaster denies vampires at school

Apparently, it's not the bloody truth. After stories spread that vampires were strolling the campus of Boston Latin School, the headmaster of the prestigious college-prep school put a stake in the rumors. Lynne Mooney Teta sent a notice out Thursday to faculty, students, and parents denying the presence of bloodsuckers. She declined, however, to offer details about the rumors.

Boston Police spokesman Eddy Chrispin said police were called to the school Wednesday after hearing of the vampire tales. Chrispin said he didn't know if the alleged vampires were among the student body or hiding in old corners of the building.

The school was founded in 1635, and its students have included Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, Louis Farrakhan, and Sumner Redstone.

Read more!

Murder She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher is the one they should have been investigating. EVERYTIME she pays a visit someone gets killed.


Police track DNA of a cotton bud maker for two years

Police in Germany hunted a sinister phantom killer for two years after finding the same DNA at 39 different crime scenes - only to discover that the source was a woman who made the cotton buds used to collect the sample!

The case was one of the most puzzling in recent times. Hundreds of detectives in six specialist committees were set to work hunting the ominous female serial killer.

...yesterday Bernd Meiners, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in Saarbrucken, revealed: “There are considerable doubts about the existence of the ‘phantom killer’. The DNA has instead been linked to investigation materials.”

Read more!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Absorbing Experiment

In the tradition of Gimbels vs. Macy, Star Trek vs. Star Wars, and ninjas vs. pirates...

From Popular Mechanics: (h/t: The House Next Door)
Shamwow vs. Zorbeez: Which works Better? As Seen On TV Lab Test

...The Verdict: Shamwow, by a mile.

...Immediately out of the package, the burnt-orange Zorbeez looked a bit listless compared to the vibrant Shamwow. It had probably been sitting on a shelf a bit longer—it is a few years past its infomercial prime—but even so, its fleecy surface sparkled like fiberglass insulation.

After the first champagne flute tipped, though, it became clear that the Zorbeez was outgunned on this one. The Shamwow soaked three paper towels' worth of blueberry beer on a single swipe, but the Zorbeez pushed the liquid off the edge of the table. We sopped and wiped with both sides of the Zorbeez, but a single stroke of the Shamwow chugged the beer with fratboyish speed. We threw each rag into two deck chairs wet with puddles of melted snow—the Zorbeez sloshed some out on the ground while the Shamwow sucked it up as if with a straw. Disclosure: we actually caught ourselves whispering "wow" while the Shamwow worked—and as our earlier tests proved, that's no guarantee.

Read more!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tastes Like Tang

I feel bad for the astronaut who first discovered it wasn't working. Yuck!

From Reuters:
NASA halts test of space station urine recycler

NASA called off tests of the International Space Station's urine recycler on Sunday after problems developed and revamped plans for Monday's spacewalk to fix an improperly installed cargo platform attachment.

...Engineers also were trying to figure out why a water purification system that recycles urine and condensate into drinking water was not working properly. The Discovery crew delivered a new distiller for the centrifuge-type device that was successfully tested without liquids on Saturday.

Problems developed during the first test run Sunday using urine.

"Once you closed valve 3 it didn't seem to flow," station commander Mike Fincke radioed to ground controllers. "I have no idea why that could be, so good luck with the trouble-shooting and we're standing by to answer any questions or be of any use."

Read more!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cisco Fat Head

Some clown with the nick "theconner" actually posted this on Twitter:

From the Brandbuilder Blog:

If you aren’t familiar with this story yet, let me set it up for you:
  1. Dude gets job with Cisco.
  2. Dude posts less than enthused opinion about the Cisco job on Twitter (actually naming Cisco as his new employer).
  3. Cisco employee on Twitter spots the post and promptly responds.
  4. Dude blocks his Twitter updates (hides them from public view)… but it’s too late. The damage is done, and he probably spends most of the day wondering if Cisco will now rethink its job offer.
The domain "" was scooped up within seconds. Damn!
Read more!

Monday, March 23, 2009

So Long Andrew

Not that it'll make the slightest of dents in his blogospheric readership, but today I'm deleting Andrew Sullivan from my blog roll.

I used to enjoy his point of view. While I didn't see eye-to-eye with all of Andrew's criticisms of the Bush administration, his perspective did help to keep one honest.

My disenchantment started during the presidential election when his attacks on Sarah Palin went beyond her lack of experience (which I don't take issue with) but also included more than a few of his musings on the "scandal" concerning the possibility that her youngest child wasn't actually her's.

Fast forward to now: reviewing Sullivan's blog for the last few days, there's scant mention of the current administration's role in the AIG bonus payouts. Either he doesn't think it merits ANY attention from a journalistic standpoint or it demonstrates a certain intellectual dishonesty on his part. Regardless of how he feels, this HAS been a major news item and his silence does represent a sort of dog that isn't barking. In fact, lately Sullivan has put up MORE posts trashing Sarah Palin for various reasons (warrented or not) than the undeniable truth that the Treasury Department is still woefully under staffed during a time of financial crisis.

I just can't take him seriously anymore.
Read more!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Today is William Shatner's birthday.

Read more!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Luckily, I'm an Ass Man

Here's a funny post from the blog of a computer security company describing a real scam involving an Asian Internet service provider. The Asian ISP attempts to scare foreign companies into using their services to buy ".asia" domains by claiming that someone else is in the market for that company's name.

The marketing (or IS) department for a company called "Acme" would be emailed the following (italics added):

Dear Manager,

We are a professional Internet consultant organization in Asia, which mainly deal with the global companies' domain name registration and internet intellectual property right protection. Currently, we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with your company.

On feb 27th, 2009, we received an application formally, one person named "Jacques Tits" wanted to applied for the Internet brand "acme" and some domain names through our body.

During our preliminary investigation,we found that these domain names 'keyword and internet brand is identical with your trademark. I wonder whether you consigned "Jacques Tits" to register these domain names through us or not? Or is "Jacques Tits" your business partner or distributor in Asia? Currently, we have postponed this application of this company temporarily already. In order to deal with this issue better, please let the principal make a confirmation with me by telephone or email ASAP.

The same post also explains that according to Wikipedia:

"In mathematics, the Tits alternative, named for Jacques Tits, is an important theorem about the structure of finitely generated linear groups. It states that every such group is either virtually solvable (i.e. has a solvable subgroup of finite index), or it contains a subgroup isomorphic to the free group on two generators."

Read more!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cheer Up Charlie

The opening sentence (italics added) HAS to be one of the most inane news article lead-ins I've ever read.

Charles Manson spends most of his time alone

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- In his latest mug shot, Charles Manson's wild-eyed stare is gone, as is most of his hair. Except for the swastika he carved into his brow during his murder trial, he could be any gray-bearded senior citizen.

If the photo authorities released early this week is any indication, the leader of a murderous band called "The Family," has mellowed some after almost 40 years in a California state prison.
Maybe this clip (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) will help pick up his spirits.

Read more!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tar Heels!

From ESPN:
...on a Tuesday afternoon in the White House Map Room, we wait for the president to fill out his official bracket. The oversized whiteboard, with a presidential seal, sits on an easel a few feet below a framed, formerly top-secret situation map from April 3, 1945. It details the strength of certain German divisions and includes projections for the German army for May 1, 1945.
...The most powerful person in the world is like many of you: He predicts the Tar Heels will be cutting down the nets in Detroit.
"I'm going with experience, and I think that Lawson is going to be healthy. I think having an experienced point guard who can control the game and make free throws at the end, that's going to be the difference," Obama said.
The commander in chief then turned to an ESPN camera, offering this pep talk for coach Roy Williams' crew:
"Now, for the Tar Heels who are watching, I picked you all last year -- you let me down. This year, don't embarrass me in front of the nation, all right? I'm counting on you. I still got those sneakers you guys gave me."

Read more!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If U Seek AIG Me

I love the smell of petard hoistings in the morning.

The controversial AIG bonuses seemed to have been paid out of the $30 billion made available by the CURRENT administration. Looks like a court battle looms. Good luck.


White House, Dems backpedaling on AIG

AIG bonuses have Democrats reeling, unable to blame Bush; Republicans go on offense

(WASHINGTON) For the first time since last fall's election, Democrats and the Obama administration are backpedaling furiously on an issue easily understood by financially strapped taxpayers: $165 million in bonuses paid out at bailed-out AIG.

Republicans, struggling to regain their political footing, are content to let Democrats try to dig their way out of this mess on their own.

Professing shock at the bonus payments, Democrats have embarked on a hurry-up effort to impose what amounts to confiscatory taxes on the bonuses, a maneuver that almost surely will be tested in the courts.

Read more!

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's Made Out of PEOPLE!!!

Obama-Fingers? At least it's not Obama-Toes!


Tender, Juicy Obama Fingers Hit the Shelves

A German frozen food company hopes to raise sales with a new product: Obama fingers. The tender, fried chicken bits come with a tasty curry sauce. The company says it was unaware of the possible racist overtones of the product.

Read more!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Pi Day!

Boy did I get strange looks at Denny's when I asked for my free dessert!


Read more!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Super Stimulus

Everybody's hurting these days.

Read more!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Toot Once for Aye, Twice for Nay

I'm laughing at this like I'm still ten years old.

(h/t The House Next Door Online and my brother)

Read more!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And Keith's Girlfriend is Canadian

Hilarious RedEye segment skewering Keith Olbermann's reaction to an Ann Coulter column challenging his "Ivy League" status.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much. And when I say "lady," I mean Olbermann.

BTW, RedEye is THE funniest current events talk show on TV. Too bad it doesn't air until 2:00AM.

Read more!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Even the Trailer Doesn't Measure Up

Trailers for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 remake due out this summer and the original 1974 version.

Sigh. I hate to be so predictable, BUT I'm not impressed.

If the scene showing the crash of police car carrying the ransom money is any indication, my worst fears are confirmed and they're going to jazz it up Hollywood style.

It's also not clear how they're going to get around cell phones. These weren't around in the 1974, BUT ignoring them in 2009 leaves a HUGE plot hole.

I didn't hear the great theme music either.

I say just rent the original (my review from 2007).

Read more!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Mrs. Kravitz Was Right!

Abner, I told you she was a witch!!!

Read more!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Now They're in BIG Trouble

More proof that crime doesn't pay...

Some Offenders Skipping Out On Jail Time After Deferral

Offenders Who Try To Start Sentences Deferred Again

CINCINNATI -- Some nonviolent offenders told to come back later when the jails around Cincinnati have room for them aren't returning.

The deferrals are the result of budget cuts that led to layoffs at the Hamilton County Sheriff's office and forced closure of the county's second-largest jail.

About 23 of the 90 people told to check in with jailers in Cincinnati over the past month to see if they could start their sentences didn't call in.

Sheriff's officials said there will be no concentrated effort to find them because there aren't enough officers. Even the 67 offenders who did check in had their sentences delayed again.

Read more!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Now THAT's an Action Figure

Too bad they couldn't get GI Joe into the mix somehow.

Cougar Barbie:

Read more!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

It's Hip to be Square

I tried to reserve a hall for the next one, April 4, 2016. But everthing was already booked. So, I had to settle for May 5, 2025. Then I'll party "Newmanium" style!!

From Yahoo News:

3/3/09: Math fans to celebrate Square Root Day

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - Dust off the slide rules and recharge the calculators. Square Root Day is upon us.

The math-buffs' holiday, which only occurs nine times each century, falls on Tuesday - 3/3/09 (for the mathematically challenged, three is the square root of nine).

"These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day - and poof - they're gone," said Ron Gordon, a Redwood City teacher who started a contest meant to get people excited about the event. The winner gets, of course, $339 for having the biggest Square Root Day event. Gordon's daughter even set up a Facebook page - one of a half-dozen or so dedicated to the holiday - and hundreds of people had signed up with plans to celebrate in some way. Celebrations are as varied: Some cut root vegetables into squares, others make food in the shape of a square root symbol.

The last such day was five years ago, Feb. 2, 2004, which coincided with Groundhog Day. The next is seven years away, on April 4, 2016.

Read more!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Poorly Constructed

Boy, I really missed the point of The New Yorker's "Contest #181."  I honestly didn't notice that the workers were mistakenly building something that was supposed to look like Stonehenge.   

That said,  I still think mine works.
Caesar's crazy if he thinks we can build this in just one day.
Here are the winners (and I will refrain from my usual whining):
  • "Tell me you kept the box and receipt." - gets my vote

  • "Typical client—wants a damn Parthenon on a Stonehenge budget." - a tad too obvious

  • "Dude, Athena's gonna be pissed." - not bad, not great

Read more!