Thursday, July 31, 2008

with just a scrape

Webware: 'Scrabulous' gets a nip/tuck; returns as 'Wordscraper'

Not quite the same ring, huh? Anyway, the developers have released a new Scrabble-like game with things ever so slightly altered. I don't think your stats somehow get carried over. That'd be nice. If not though, I'm not sure if I'd play ghetto Scrabble out of anything but spite. But that's good enough reason. :-)

After looking at it for all of 10 seconds, looks like you can make custom boards! I'm not really sure what that entails...probably just putting bonus squares where you want them to be and making things a little crazy...but just as Jeopardy had to up its dollar amounts, so does ghetto Scrabble.

fat Skabba boot

So last night over the course of random internetting, I found out that Jonathan Togo (nicely pictured here =P), who plays Ryan Wolfe on CSI: Miami, used to be in The El Conquistadors (formerly known as Skabba the Hut) who of course play our favorite song, "Beatdown Stomp". DAMN. Skabba's MySpace, here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I guess they're not all jokes

A woman is being charged for using craigslist to place a hit on her lover's wife?


yay a new non substantive blog

Hey, I love picture based blogs. By that, I mean things like icanhascheezburger, GraphJam (same people), Hello Kitty Hell (mostly), whatever.

This one appears to be somewhat in the growing phase.

English Fail Blog.

Think Engrish, but a lot more genuine English speaker mistakes.

Good Thing Spelling Isn’t One Of The Ten Commandments's...THIS IS UNFAIR

Webware: 'Scrabulous' disappears from Facebook after Hasbro suit

I can't really put a finger on why this is wrong, and in fact, maybe it's the right thing to have happened, but it was probably one of the few facebook apps I never considered getting rid of. I still love to Scrab.

I don't care what they're called

Yum. Does anyone else remember Freedom fries? I certainly forgot about them. Our country is silly sometimes!

Canada did something?

CTV: Canada deports U.S. soldier opposed to Iraq war

I'm hearing the news about 2 weeks late. Interesting topic though.

On Monday, Federal Court of Canada Justice Anne Mactavish said Long did not provide enough convincing evidence that he will face irreparable harm if he's sent back to the United States.

1) I didn't realize that you had to prove irreparable harm.
2) I didn't realize until now thinking back that Canada has a history of offering refuge to Americans for whatever reason, including draft dodging. (Vietnam War)
3) Ya know, I don't think I even thought that people actually fled to Canada in the first place. I knew people thought about it in theory...

Anyway, deserters != draft dodging. The draft is scary. Joining the army and deciding to leave...inherently...has more of your personal choice involved. I'm not sure if that's worth fleeing the country for. It's more your fault than anything else...

That said, I don't know how I think this should play out.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show on my local NPR station covered this topic, which alerted it to me in the first place! Listen to hear some heated opinions.

Monday, July 28, 2008

weekend update

Well, well, well. I feel like that was the longest blogger break I've had in a while! Let's do a boring life-update post.

- I baked up some corn tortilla chips yesterday after realizing that I don't like soft corn tortillas. I didn't realize how much different they tasted from flour. (I know, duh, that seems obvious. But I think it was more of a lack of awareness that I've been eating mostly flour ones.) That was yummy. You just brush both sides with oil, cut them in to wedges, and bake until a nummy golden brown. Sprinkle salt and enjoy! Or add an actual "hint of lime" unlike the Tostitos brand which I feel bombards your mouth after the first two bites.

- I called a number to get transferred to a voice message telling me to e-mail someone about getting a bike locker at King St Metro. I have really complicated reasons to feel the need for a locker. Anyway. A few days later I get an e-mail:
No, there are no lockers available at this time. No one seems to want to cancel their contract.

Sigh. Oh well. No one wants to cancel their contract. That's a funny way of putting it.

- Oh, and the tortillas were for my attempt at steak tacos. Steak was marinated in lime juice. Yum.

- I just clicked on some link that is apparently blocked by work for being labeled as "Adult/Mature Content" and I got a warning. That's scary. I hope they don't come after me. All I did was Google "US News login" in my attempts to find a way to get to the grad school rankings. My bad.

That's all for now. Yawn.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

perhaps "sponsor" is the wrong word

So I guess I only just noticed that if I'm logged into Google, that it keeps track of what sites I've gone to and when. Whoa. Also that search bar down there is not new, I know that, but I'd just like to point it out as long as it's in the picture. Google knows too much.

I'd also like to add that Google has blocked my friend's site because they've independently determined it might not be safe. (I have yet to see if this is just me and a problem with my computer. Events unfolding here.)

I'm gonna create a "Google" label now since this is about the 4th time I'm blogging about them in some way...

Black in America is doing a collection called Black in America.
Also airing tonight at 9pm.

It's sort of out of nowhere that I'm posting this, but I keep finding myself reading pieces categorized in this section. It's clearly not big news that, well, there are issues in the lives of Black Americans that most people don't have to face. And I don't want to turn this into something White People Like (Having Black Friends, Barack Obama, Being Offended, etc.) but I'm just saying, that the way some of these pieces are written with a bigger component of feeling and intimacy that make you understand things on a personal level. Okay that sounded toolish. Anyway. Sigh.

Here are a few that I remember reading recently that made me angry at things like the Gap.
Behind the Scenes: Black and shopping in America
Black and single: Is marriage only for white people?
Commentary: Me and my brother and black America

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

quotes from my shows

"[She] took my model. I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm SALTY."
- Jerell, on Project Runway, S5E2

"I would punch my the get a ticket home."
- one of the camera crew involved with Deadliest Catch

"[That] was mean. Mean meaning good."
- Lil Mama, on America's Best Dance Crew


I was really hungry today. I made fried rice, which is not as common as you might think. Because I don't usually make rice. But I happened to have some from some takeout!

I felt more Asian today than in a long time. :-) Unfortunately, like I said I was really hungry, and I just sort of dumped things in...which is usually fine. But the closest spices to me were italian ones, and basil and oregano don't really fit with fried rice. Adobo is best when going not purely Asian. :-)

"Ivy League retardation"

This essay, written by Yale's own Bill Deresiewicz, is causing a sort of rift amongst friends. Nothing bad. I don't want to start anything with y'all, but I guess you should all read it if you haven't since it seems to be all the buzz!

"The Disadvantages of an Elite Education"

woo it's sew on!

Project Runway is back and I didn't know? And this guy is already gone? Bad me. It was supposed to be one of my favorite shows! Oh well, more for me to catch up on as I leave Bravo on every night I go home hoping for reruns. (And when it's not I'll turn to Discovery Channel for some Deadliest Catch and Mythbusters. :-P) I only started watching last season, but have since basically caught up and seen every previous season. Is it just me, or are the people starting to get overqualified to have a sort of Cinderella story.

Don't get me wrong, I like this show because of the real training and work that has to be done to get there. I mean, similar to the Architecture majors at school, people who put in the work should get their due I guess. So in the end I'm happy that people who have devoted so much time to their craft get a shot at a boost in their career. But there's something about a rando who discovers that they have immense talent that is also really nice to see...

less than nine lives

CNN: Ex-cop may be charged in case of man Tasered to death

A police officer shocked a handcuffed Baron "Scooter" Pikes nine times with a Taser after arresting him on a cocaine charge.

He stopped twitching after seven, according to a coroner's report. Soon afterward, Pikes was dead.

Death by (self-reportedly non-lethal force) Taser, one of my irrational fears. Seriously. It's up there with amputation or decapitation by helicopter. Bleh. I should stop thinking about it.

the word is sticky

I went to Six Flags America this past weekend. The Batwing is my favorite coaster there. You start out laying down and it flips you sometimes so you're belly-down. There was a Boyz II Men concert that day...but I didn't go. I heard some of it when I was atop a coaster though. Man it was hot that day.

I look to foreign markets for yet one more thing

Okay, first off, lemme just admit. I've started to use tumblr posts from a day ago as things to write about. I felt it was more okay when they happened simultaneously. Oh well. Successfully posting in both is hard!

Anyway, today I am featuring my favorite web station of the year thus far, eeking out AnimeNFO when I was in a more extreme (but yet, not too extreme) j-pop phase...

Rautemusik.FM. (I've only listened to the "main" playlist.)

It's nice because it mixes popular American music of many genres and decades, with popular songs from Germany (it's a German station) as well as Spanish and other European hits. Which is nice, because I've taken enough of those languages to pretend that I can understand the chorus.

I mean, some of the song selections are kind of random, but usually in a "what a delightful surprise!" kind of way. Yesterday I heard them play The Ding Dong Song. :-) And then they played some Gwen Stefani.

The station is by no means perfect, but let me just give a short run-down of why I think it's the best I've heard thus far:
- It's DJ-ed. I don't know if it's actually broadcast anywhere that's not the net, but having a DJ prevents the playlist looping that even the more popular and .977 stations suffer TERRIBLY from since no one's really manning it.
- but it's not bogged down by talk.
- the commercials are in German. This helps somehow because you're not as aware they're repeating. There are streams of actual FM stations in the area I could listen to (actually tuning in with a radio is pretty bad...there's no reception) but they often use a set of commercials that are just for web listeners. I heard this commercial for a fertility clinic I think every 20 minutes. What?
- it's a crazy, crazy mix of music. It's by no means groundbreaking and eclectic. The songs DO repeat eventually. But you never know if the next song is going to be Queen, Right Said Fred, Rihanna, or a German song. Keeps you awake!
- for whatever reason it doesn't have as many buffering problems in the office.

Tune in here! An external player will pop up somewhere depending on computer defaults.

Mmkay that's all for now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

don't use plastic for petro?

CNN: Decision at the pump: Cash vs. credit

The difference of 10 cents a gallon or more has some customers used to paying with a credit card irate, but station owners say they have to do something to turn a profit.

I think a 10 cent difference per gallon is a big deal! I guess I don't know how easy it is to tell if you've been charged the cash price or the credit price since I don't get gas...but I had no idea this was going on! I mean, I've seen cash only gas stations but I get the feeling this is happening in a lot more places.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I've been taking antacids occasionally for some minor heartburn! I hope that's normal. Also I think I might just be too eager to take Tums (or my store brand carbonate antacid) because I like the idea of neutralizing acid. I mean, was that not one of everyone's favorite things to do in lab? Put a lot of sodium bicarb (as supplied in case of emergencies by your station) in the trough and pour your acid on it after lab was done? No? Bubble bubble!

This picture was the first hit for "Tums" in Google Images. The caption was "Snake needs Tums" or something. I don't like snakes.


"I like rice. Rice is great if your hungry and want 2000 of something." -Mitch Hedberg

Play the Free Rice vocab game, earn points and rice for hungry people!

I don't know how effective it is in actually helping a large population, but at least you'll learn new words?

PS - due to the desire of not losing my job, I am going to try and post less. =P It was a good run though, no? Check out the tumblelog for randomness. I guess I'll still end up posting here at least once a day though! :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

scuba cat update

Here's the story behind the scuba diving cat two posts ago. A slightly chubby scuba kitty. With a canine friend!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

code red, not just a bad soda

Today was a Code Red day meaning free busses in the DC area! I miss last year, when Code Orange also warranted free bus rides in VA.

Air quality is a funny thing...I guess it's not that hard to understand. The heat, humidity, lack of a breeze, pollution, it all contributes to a poor reading. But it still feels sort of hard to grasp. Here's the chart!

Watch out for Code Purple! It seems like a doomsday kind of thing.

scuba cat

This commercial makes me really happy. I love kitties. :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

it feels like a guilty pleasure

I don't usually watch a lot of TV, minus Project Runway and Americas Best Dance Crew. I'm a victim of reality TV. Anyway, there are also shows that I will definitely watch if I happen to turn on the TV. At first it was just Mythbusters and Family Guy and South Park or whatever...but over the past year, I've found myself more and more hooked on The Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel.

In the words of my friend, "I no wanna be a fishermanz."

Crab fishing, in itself, is not super interesting. You get the gist of it after a while. You see the routine tens of times every episode. The draw is definitely a Schadenfreude kind of thing. The profession is just insane. They're just miserable and overworked for a week or two at a time...the re-run today the captain of the Cornelia Marie was convinced he had a punctured lung for about 2 and a half days before he got help.

I definitely started out thinking this was just a dumb show and they'll make a reality documentary style show about anything but now I'm hooked whenever they have mini-marathons. Damn.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

was jumpin' jumpin

The first power generating dance floor to hit the UK. Piezoelectrics. Yay science!!!

Engadget post here.

But seriously, shouldn't we be harnessing the energy of more things by now? Someone once told me that the asian flush should be exploited as a renewable heat source.

unrelated sidenote - I'm sick of hearing updates about the new iPhone 3G. But fine. Whatever. I'm sure E3 has been an annoying preoccupation on some sites too.

aw, widgey

So in my blood-deficient haze, I was looking for an EASY way of importing my tumblr posts into blogger. I didn't find it. But I didn't look long. However, I did find Widgetbox.

Because of Widgetbox, I was able to effortlessly throw my tumblr tumblelog into a decent (though not perfect) standalone widget on the sidebar of this Blogger blog. (You'll have to come to the site itself and see! Those of you who read a feed anyway.) I'm diggin' it. Unfortunately, the way that tumblr posts go, you don't even get prompted for a title of the post even if you cared to put one most of the time the "headline" IS the post itself...anyway. What was I expecting with a quick fix? =P

And in general there are a ton of widgets available for browsing in Widgetbox. Super Mario, a virtual cat...I'm resisting from turning this page into a CF of's difficult.

Here's the virtual cat. KITTY!!! You might have to click on it. But it'll follow your cursor and meow when you scratch its head and purr when you rub its belly and yayyyyyyy.

Get the Maukie - the virtual cat widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox!

Save up to 3 Lives!

I gave blood today. This is apparently a picture of the Red Cross mascot. HAH. Wow.

You should all give blood sometime if you're eligible.

Also today when I got my finger pricked (worst part!) apparently my iron (well, Hb level) was too low...12.3 when the cutoff is 12.5. The person administering my pre donation tests immediately asked if I'd consent to a re-stick and I guess I immediately said sure. I mean, maybe the margin of error will bring me up! A supervisor had to do the re-stick. I asked during the wait if it ever changed the second time. She said yeah, sometimes it has to do with the technique. This time I had a value of 14.1, which is good enough even for double red donation. Meh. I question these techniques.

Oh I'd never be able to do a double red donation btw. Men only have to be 5'1" and 150 pounds. Women have to be 5'7" and 170. Something to do with muscle mass.

Also new in this month's donation pamphlet: Please don't donate if you've been exposed to the mumps outbreak in Pennsylvania?

Anyway my supposed to be epicly triumphant workweek is not so much, is even less epic than not-so-epic and omg worse weeks to come...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

feed and see the animals

by BunnyGreenhouse

who will make mashup music videos to all of Feed the Animals if time permits. Damn.

it's a joke

Prank your friends...

zoom zoom stop zoom zoom

CNN: U.S. cities scrambling to meet rising mass transit demands

The title is self explanatory with people giving up cars for public transportation, but here's the part I never thought of:

Denver's system, like many U.S. cities, is partly funded by revenues from sales taxes. As consumers spend less because of high fuel costs and a sour economy, the city earns less revenue. Consequently, funding for the transit system is decreasing just when their operating costs are higher than ever before.

This sounds like an intro econ problem. But I slept through intro econ. (Classes right after lunch across the street from Commons? Yeah. Bad idea.)

falsos amigos

CNN Money: How Not to Sell Abroad

A fun list of products poorly named/marketed in foreign markets. :-) Gutvik is my favorite one since I had to say it out loud before I giggled because it was true. You'll see.

And who takes Spanish and does NOT confuse embarazada for "embarassed" at least one time in their life?

Parker Pen
Marketing: The Quink pen "won't leak and embarrass you."
Spanish mistranslation: The Quink pen won't embarazar you - make you pregnant.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

land lords

This has got to be one of the most screwed up problems in the world right now that I have never heard about until today.

CNN: Battered but not beaten, Zimbabwe farmers seek justice

It was a frigid June night at Pickstone Mine in Zimbabwe when 67-year-old Angela Campbell -- soaking wet, her arm broken and a gun to her head -- signed a document vowing to give up the fight for her family's farm.

Warning: the 3 pictures on the article's page might put you in a sad mood.

That's all for now. Wasn't I supposed to be working?

warm fuzzies

A lot of things that are just best explained as "meetings" today at work so I've had no time to post! All I can offer for today is a thought.

There should be more "nicest" people in the world.

You know what I mean.

That coworker who is just the nicest sweetest person (most likely woman) in the world.

That rare person on the phone (maybe customer service) who was just the most understanding-sounding nicest person in the world.

That teacher or professor who was perfect at giving constructive criticism as well as positive feedback and was just the most helpful nicest person in the world.

That relative you could always confide in and know they'd make you feel better who was the nicest person in the world...

BLAH you get the point. I don't meet enough of these people. Appreciate the ones you do know though!

Back to work.

Monday, July 14, 2008

everybody dance now

No joke guys. My weekend involving TV pretty much involved me watching Hannah Montana (I was curious...), America's Best Dance Crew (I love that show) and pieces of Bring It On, Bring It On Again, Bring It On: In it to Win It and Bring It On: All or Nothing (note that I said pieces...but still sad I know) oh and a VH1 special on child stars all grown up.

ANYWAY. Other than the 3rd Bring It On movie treating the white-girl-is-racist issue not so well, my lasting impression from this weekend is meet my favorite dance crew of the week, A.S.I.I.D.

I cried after their performance. Because one of the dudes is hearing impaired and can't really hear the music. And he's adorable. So I was all "yeah, you overcome that adversity, boy!!! *sob*"

Featuring a "mastermix" (I love that term) of Kardinal Offishall f/ Akon "Dangerous", their performance this week:

all look same

I'm eating breakfast right now. Sometimes I go to the breakfast bar place across the street and get some eggs, chicken, tater tots and some fruit...but all I really want are tater tots (and maybe some fruit). I don't know why I foolin' myself.

I'm not sure if it'd be healthier to eat more tater tots in lieu of chicken and eggs (I highly doubt it) but you can never be sure.

I've seen this book in the book store, Eat This, Not That, which is supposed to help you choose which foods to eat in place of other ones without dieting. Here are the I guess top 15 swaps to make in restaurants and fast food places. The one that always headlines (even on the cover of the book) is that a Big Mac is 220 calories less than the Whopper. It has to do with the heavy mayo on the Whopper versus the less calorie ridden "secret sauce" so I don't know the difference if the sauces are foregone altogether.

Some of the swaps are ridiculous (when was the last time you were caught between a glazed donut and a glazed cake donut...also I've never seen a cake donut) but they're fun to look at!

The book is affiliated with Men's Health Magazine, but Women's Health Magazine (at least the website) also has an Eat This, Not That section, but in the form of a humbling quiz. It was rough times.

I feel like I should get paid for plugging this book. I didn't even read it. Meh. But it's an interesting concept.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

macbook aaaaaaaaay-ir

Girl Talk + Apple from Andrew Pile on Vimeo.

What to do when you can't fall asleep when you really want to? Watch music videos of songs stuck in your head. And by that, I mean watch the Macbook Air ad set to the revelant portion off of Feed the Animals. Girl Talk, it's too easy to listen to your albums on repeat during work. It haunts me so.

Friday, July 11, 2008

transdimensional apple

Oh, oh dear goodness.

Square-Enix is releasing a game for the iPod, Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes. It's a tactics game from what I can tell, and you make your "Tune Troopers" from songs on your iPod. So the trooper you get has to do with what kind of song you put in. And you can power up these characters in the game by listening to that song outside of the game.


Thank you, Penny Arcade, for bringing it to my attention. I don't know why this blows my mind so much. I guess I just never imagined that Square-Enix would release an iPod only game.

oh yeah, about that...

A teenager may face deportation because of explicably shady records of her adoption from Guatemala to the US when she was 2 years old.

CNN article here.

How is this what time is wasted on?

CNN contacted the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services about Allie's situation. Bill Wright, deputy press secretary of the USCIS, responded with a statement, saying "even in the most sympathetic of situations, such as this, we do not get to selectively dismiss our immigration laws. USCIS has been trying to work the Mulvihill family, and we continue to urge them to provide evidence that this minor is eligible for permanent residency."

Goodness gracious. I mean, if you read the article, it looks like a bona fide attempt was made to prove this girl's adoption was legit. If it happened, it happened. She was adopted, or was effectively so. At the very least, can't she have some sort of sponsored legal residency until she turns 18 and can try and become a citizen then? Don't make them fake a marriage for a green card. Are adoption laws and regulations that weird and strict? If they can't find the parents, then I guess she's an orphan and somehow they should be able to readopt her, right?

not Sodastar

Mostly due to my officemate being a total hipster who is way too into music for her own good (referring mostly to her hearing's good) I get exposed to fun music like this. Alphabeat. It will make you happy. Just listen! ("Fascination" and "10000 Nights of Thunder" are their bigger singles in Europe.) Click their name for a link to their whole album hosted on Deezer, listen below for "10000 Nights of Thunder". (*edit - deezer links don't work the way they used to...if you get sent to the home page, just search "Alphabeat"...I'm sure you figured it out...)

Discover Alphabeat!

And like my officemate said once in her "secret blog", they're so cute!

free slurpee day

Free 7.11oz Slurpees at participating locations. I advertise this because Slurpees are one of the few reasonably priced awesome things I can think of at this moment. Probably because I want a Slurpee.

I'm probably gonna drive over during lunch today in my Zipcar...gotta get driving practice in sometime! It'll be combined with a trip to get some packages from the post office, and to feed a cat, I'm not paying like $10 just to get a free slurpee. :-)

*edit - free Slurpees are smaller than small. But good for children and if you don't really need a big one. I needed a big one.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"one more and it would've been a 'more bars in more places' ad"

In one of those "haha those dumb newspeople"-"I'm ignoring that I have the gift of hindsight" moments, apparently the likes of BBC News,, the Chicago Tribune and more used this photo on their front pages before someone realized it was a fake. The NYTimes post about this mishap is here.

As I don't want to steal too too many pictures right now, go to the post and scroll down to see the real pic and the doctored pic next to each other. It's like one of those "Find the differences" puzzles.

If only I were this crafty when I was Band PR person!


Today's posts lack pictures. So here's one. I just got a text message from Sprint being like "Upgrade today! You're eligible for a 220 dollar instant savings on the Samsung Instinct."

Here's the website for it. It's a little overdramatic. Apparently they'll pay you for product placement in a youtube home movie?

My 30 second scan of a quick search leads me to believe that it's a decent iPhone 3G competitor. That's nice to know. 'Cuz the Sprint phone selection sucks in general. CNET review here if anyone out there actually still uses Sprint. (Well I guess I know of one person who switched back because of the Everything plan!)

Also when did I tell Sprint it was okay to text me? I don't remember. It's happened before. I think the funnier thing is that the end of the text is "Reply S to stop" but it gets cut off there. I mean, it's pretty clear that it's to unsubscribe, but imagine if it were really "Reply S to stop us from asking you ever again to unsubscribe so we can send you texts forever and by replying you have agreed to be charged $200 just 'cuz."

only kind of awesome

This is a David Pogue production. :-)

Why the new iPhone 3G is awesome, but not the greatest thing ever: Here's the video!

Really bad acting though if you want to call it that. Not that these podcasts are supposed to be Oscar-award winning. I'm just warning you that the conversation with the fake person camping out in front of the Apple store is kind of annoying.

"Let's simmer down, fanboy."

middle class chic

The economic stimulus checks apparently went straight to places like Walmart and Costco. CNN article here.

I'm lovin' it. Though I prefer Target, myself, because it's metro accessible and I sort of act white (and white people like Target) I like that the economic downturn has turned people generally more money-conscious, and well, SMARTER. I'm not saying everything should come from Wal-mart (and I'm disregarding anything about Wal-mart as a good or evil corporation) because every store has its place, but I'm glad that bargain hunting is in. (There was an article I can't find about how it's now cool for teens to find deals on stuff, etc...)

I suppose there is no limit to thriftiness, and people could be doing better, and making their own clothes or something, but I'm willing to factor in a small bit of pride and convenience with the saving of money. No kid wants to grow up clothed through garage sales and stained shirts from the Salvation Army store.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

heathen hunt

Soldier is rattled (in pretty extreme ways) just because he's turned atheist in Iraq. (I'm betting that an experience in Iraq can do a lot more to you that have you lose your faith.)

CNN article here.

Two years ago on Thanksgiving Day, after refusing to pray at his table, Hall said he was told to go sit somewhere else. In another incident, when he was nearly killed during an attack on his Humvee, he said another soldier asked him, "Do you believe in Jesus now?"

Seriously...what? It's not that I don't believe the story, no, I just don't understand what could drive his comrades to attack just because he's not Christian. Apparently he needs a bodyguard now. I never knew that the army had such a religious undertone.

He's also apparently missed out on promotions. I can maybe understand the reasoning that he might not be able to become a good leader because he won't be praying with his troops, etc...and though I might kind of understand that reasoning, I would also say that it's minor, and completely unfair to use that against him.

On a lighter note, doesn't "Do you believe in Jesus now?" sound like something that would come out of a really bad parody of some holy Crusade that takes place in the hood of the future?

my daily struggle

If you know me well enough, then you know.

(from garfield minus garfield)
Also, please let me know if you find any broken links! I blanked out at some point and stopped putting the "http://" in my links and thus chaos ensued. I think I found most of them but I'm not sure. Thanks!

look lively!

Oh, Google. What have you done.

Google is launching Lively, it's own take on Second Life. At first I thought, cool! Another Google service to add to my list! But I'm not sure about what this might achieve. I guess it'd have to start running better on all computers and some more customization would be added...
IF I still used chat rooms, ever, Lively might be cute. You could hang out in someone's virtual room and chat with a lava lamp or an aquarium or whatever goin' on. But otherwise I think I'm getting too old for this stuff.

Webware first impressions, here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

omg, moo

We've all heard of tinyurl, the most popular site to get your really long easily broken and not easily remembered links shortened to something...shorter.

But there's also moourl which is clearly going to be my favorite. They milk your looooong link for you and moourl comes out! Okay, that sounds kind of gross.

Anyway, according to Webware, you can now choose the stuff that comes after or instead of the random numbers! I don't know why I'm excited, but since the URLs last "forever" it's kind of like having your own domain! As many as you can uniquely name! (Yes, I know that it's not a domain and just URLs in the end...)

tumble with me

With so many references to tumblr in my giganto blog site overview and in my declaration of changing the way I post, I feel the need to show you what I mean.

I have a tumblr tumblelog, and mostly it's the same posts as this blog, but with less words. :-) I mean fewer words. Yeah, I left that in. Anyway, a lot of people like tumblr, just saying. You'd probably like it. I do, but I prefer blogger for now. Maybe you can all join and I'll actually thoughtfully update mine. (Right now only my officemate sees what I put there...and it gives me a random thing to text to when I'm feeling like I should be doing something at the bus stop.)

the more you know

The Chinese term for catalyst means 'marriage broker', reflecting the role of a chemical catalyst in bringing about a bonding that would not otherwise occur.

Today's lesson brought to you by an attorney in my little patent examining world.
More specifically, he cited this random article which I will now read.

combination hookah and coffee maker

U.S. exports cigarettes, bras, bull semen to Iran --

Yes, yes, very interesting. Despite official US policy blacklisting the evil that is Iran, exports are up and people are even doing it without a license. So trade and diplomacy are up and friendlier in a way?

But what a headline. I was hoping for a picture. I'd make/find my own but I'm at work...

I'm no good with change

Is Mountain Dew changing forever?
Excuse me for not being up to date with the latest soft drink news. Anyway, I'm finally trying one of the blue versions, Voltage. It happens to be winning in the polls, and I dunno if I like it over the good ol' green. I liked green.

Anyway, try out some of the new "Dew Drinker Designed" flavors, and vote here if you really want to. Unfortunately, that'd mean trying all three flavors, which is not something I think I can do...(I drink a bottle of soda once a month?)


CNN article, here.

I remember listening to an NPR program about this once...scratch off lottery tickets sold when the grand prize has already been won! Although I can understand why this is outrageous statistically when you work out price of ticket vs. possible payout, I still buy scratch off tickets even though I know a lot of the grand prizes have already been won. I feel like since I don't expect to win the grand prize anyway, that it's no long as there's something left...

real estate on the blogosphere

As was evidenced by my very first post here, I have had a number of "blogs". I've apparently been a member of since 2002 (which is sort of scary), xanga even longer...I've had an AIM account since 1998 and I definitely tried making a website in middle school. It happens. I like to blurt things out over the internets.

I am by no means an expert, but I'd like to outline my experiences on all of the different blogging sites and services I have ever used. You can't stop me! :-)

...just a template for those who don't need an audience...
Though there is a community aspect involved in some way, I put Blogger (which is clearly what I'm using now) and Wordpress in one category in my mind. They present you with an easy way of creating a blog, with no primary purpose of necessarily sharing towards a particular audience of people who are also members of the same service.
Blogger - easy to use multiple-author blogs and for what I find to be the right mix of customizability in both the posts and the look of the site while still being super easy to use. I like the hint of community that Blogger gives since everyone tends to have a username (especially since Google integration) so that you have a more of an online "personality" with your comments, and not just a single weblog. In addition, the automatic picture hosting on picasaweb is a great idea.
Wordpress - though you can get a hosted blog similar to blogger at wordpress, this is the blog service for people who at least on principle need something more standalone. At least a few years ago you could both host your blog on another site (as you can easily also do with Blogger) or get fancy or pretend to and use premade source code. A quick look at the site now doesn't show that feature anymore, and it seems to also have group blogging. But...Blogger wins this round with Google accounts I think. That said, I would rate Wordpress to have higher street cred for being legit. :-)

...we're a happy family...
Xanga, Livejournal, Vox and MySpace are put in the same category because it's almost most of the fun that you're part of a community, that your friends are also on it and people who subscribe to you will read what you say on a regular basis.
Vox - more of a community service than I give it credit for since I didn't know enough people on it I decided not to comment. (But the home page says to share with friends and family?) What I did notice is that it has a very clean look with bounties of pleasant, tasteful templates to choose from.
Xanga - personally I think it's in a's rather unsufferably cluttered, and I've personally "grown out" of it. I log in once a month for the 3 people who use it who I'd like to hear from, and I see that possibly nice features have been added, but I can't be bothered to try it out. It was nice when I had a lot of friends on it though, and I had no gripes then.
Livejournal - affectionately called LJ, it's clean and no-frills enough to appeal to older users. I joined because I knew other people on it, and personally, though other people don't rave as much about it, I find the customizability in who can read your blog absolutely to die for. I guess maybe other people don't feel as much of a need to hide very specific things from very specific people...
At least placed head to head with Xanga, at the time that I joined LJ, Xanga only allowed for a few "protected" users (1 custom group) while LJ gave you the opportunity to make as many groups as you want to make sure that the post gets seen by the right people.
MySpace (not for music purposes) - I joined just to see one friend's pictures. And two people I actually knew have friended me since, which was cool, since I had no other way of contacting one of them. However, the number of random spam sketchy friend requests otherwise was too much for me. And I had no intention of becoming one of the stereotype who use MySpace. But when I took a look at my friend's MySpace page I realized it was actually a pretty cool set up. You had a blog (more so than the "notes" on Facebook), shared pictures, videos...a set up I really like. If only it weren't so sketchy. is a thought for all to see...
Facebook (yes, I'm counting it for today...), Tumblr, and Twitter (also not a blog I KNOW but hear me out) are in the last category. For the most casual blogger, you have options too. When I say "here is a thought," I mean just a thought.
Tumblr - the only actual "blog" on this list, is gaining popularity. Hosting "tumblelogs" with primary purpose of just capturing a thought, tumblr allows as close to one click blogging as possible. You choose if you want to post a photo, quote, conversation, video, whatever, and then add a caption if you feel like and you're done. You post a picture of a clown and you type "I had a nightmare about clowns last night." Done. It's not that you can't do that with other blogs, but this one flat out encourages it. In fact, my new "style" is inspired by my reading tumblelogs and trying it out for myself. It wasn't for me because I tend to be long winded and also I didn't know many people on tumblr (you subscribe just like the services in the last category) and so it wasn't as fun. There's this nice "reblog" aspect which I liked a lot...where you surf around other tumblr accounts and decide, I want to reblog this picture, and you do, and you comment on it, sometimes making a conversation out of it, and credit is given to the original poster. Nice. There is mobile and IM options for posting.
Twitter - THAT said, mobile and IM posting? Why, tumblr sounds like twitter plus pictures and media! It's true...twitter is really just a text-only unformatted version of tumblr. (Or I think twitter came first, so tumblr is a media-enhanced version of twitter!) It does NOT have the intent of being a "blog" but essentially it just twitt whatever you want wherever you are and in the end it's just a bramble of thoughts. I liked twitter in theory, but once again, you need friends that do it. Also something went wonky in its IM twittering system and I haven't been able to do it in ages (they're working on it) so I'm taking a break from it.
Facebook - THAT said, facebook statuses and notes are a bit in the same vein as twitter.

I'm done here. Ask me for actual opinions. I didn't want to make this like a review of the sites beyond impressions since...well...that would require me to write with a bit of snootiness which I was not in the mood for today.


Monday, July 7, 2008


New words being added to the Merriam Webster dictionary! CNN article (via the AP) here.

My favorite part of this article is how it goes on a tangent on one of its new words, "mondegreen". It apparently stems from an old Scottish ballad where the words "laid him on the green" has been repeatedly (and without knowledge) mistaken for "Lady Mondegreen". I have never heard this so I think the addition of this word is sort of out of nowhere, but I suppose there needed to be a word meaning "words mistaken for other words".

Among the best-known modern examples: "There's a bathroom on the right" in place of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "There's a bad moon on the rise" and "'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy" in place of "kiss the sky" in the 1967 Jimi Hendrix classic "Purple Haze."

Luleelurah? Anyone? Doesn't count 'cuz it's not a word? Fine.

happy belated birthday, USA

I spent my holiday weekend not anywhere exotic, but with all of the right ingredients of kegs, a slip 'n slide, burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and yet even more beef. Most importantly I did not drive anywhere or use gas. Not like I really would have on any given weekend seeing as I don't have a car and driving terrifies me, but here's a quick blast from the past...the gas prices around Georgetown on July 4th, just last year, in good ol' 2007.

We thought they were high, then. (No, this post does not go against my "omg stop writing about gas prices" post because I am posting a picture from the archives of life, and wishing my country a HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY. Excuse my general self-provoked crotchity-ness this morning. It's morning. And it's Monday.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

my life, sponsored by Google update

Adding onto the list of the original post, I've started to use Google Reader and I think it has made me 20x more productive in wasting time, which is a good thing.

I'm not sure why I was previously convinced that it was okay to just click through a set of links compulsively in a routine opening a bajillion windows along the way. And I can put everyone's blogger on my feed too!

I've only been using it for about 5 minutes, but I already love it. It says it can do LJ too, but I assume that'd involve some sketchy remote logging in on Google's part, and I think that's really creepy.

Google has truly taken over the world with its one login-many services system. Kudos/please don't turn evil and steal the identities of everyone in the world...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

cue the music for an epic rescue

Hostages are freed from Colombia...
Government agents posing as rebels tricked a gang of armed desperados into handing over 15 hostages during a rendezvous deep in Colombia's unforgiving jungle.

CNN article here.

Does this sound like an episode of Alias to any of you? Just...the ridiculousness of a seemingly unrealistic plan, using an "international mission" as a cover and tricking the rebels, in the jungle no less, to just hand over hostages without deadly force necessarily? (More martial arts action, fewer bullets!)

Okay, anyway. Good job, Colombian government.

nano-stuff solves everything

New Nanowire-Based Memory Could Beef Up Information Storage from

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have created a type of nanowire-based information storage device that is capable of storing three bit values rather than the usual two—that is, "0," "1," and "2" instead of just "0" and "1." This ability could lead to a new generation of high-capacity information storage for electronic devices.


Seriously...0, 1, AND 2. It's weird how amazing that is. In the words of the engadget post, we'll see if this gets out of the lab. I will NOT insert a comment here stemming from my job. But yes. We'll see. Maybe soon.

Nano-scale stuff scares me. Look at that picture. Not far off from a creepy crawly.


from nic

I have changed a LOT on this tiny aspect of life over and over and over again. I'm not even sure how I feel about it now. You'd think I'd know since I only moved here and had to meet a lot of new people at once just a year ago...

At the very least, I definitely have a double standard for guys and girls. Those who know me will know which way that swings. :-)

I'm not even sure if there's a definitively better approach than the other! But it's good to know what you lean towards if you don't already.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

port me

In what I thought was a hilarious bit of the morning in which someone from my a cappella group in college decided to include me in an e-mail thread intended for an all-male audience, I see that Chrono Trigger might come out for the DS. Nice. And to think, I was holding out for a character to appear in the next Smash Bros. (No, not a serious hope. But it's where disembodied characters from old franchises go to die, right?)

The super sweet sexy clock ticking from the link in the e-mail thread in question, here.

Can anyone else imagine like, RPG character Smash Bros that's turn based, each Smash attack taking a full minute, in full blown visuals? My favorite moves in RPGs were always the ones that seemingly destroyed the earth.

*edit - yay it's been confirmed. I might get it just to listen to the music, which I hope will be fantastically remastered. :-)

Big Willie Style

There really isn't a limit to how many times Will Smith can save the world, is there?

The reviews are neither here nor there. But whatever. The Fresh Prince is back again. I wonder if he did a song for the soundtrack?...

the telly told me so

"I go into this little restaurant with that [rich, white] demographic and a lady comes up to me and says, `You know, I want to vote for you,"' he said. "I don't know if it is a joke or that people just like to say those things. But to me, for them to say it out loud means they are thinking about it."

CNN article here.

I've actually never really got into 24. I sure hope none of the suggestions were serious. Not that I probably couldn't find and really start to believe that a Stewart-Colbert ticket would've been pretty sweet, but mostly for the campaigning and debates.

Anyway, I'm not sure if his portrayal of a president really helped the country get ready for a non-white male president, but I suppose it didn't hurt. Did I already mention Obama is black? I think we need a Denzel Washington endorsement. I hear white people like him.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

collar ur kittnz

See even this kitty has a collar.

I don't understand people who don't collar their kitties! I know they're indoor cats, but accidents happen, and cats escape (especially when management romps into your apartment unannounced as they have with my apartment at least twice) and you love your cat don't you? At least make sure they're microchipped...(though even then someone nice would have to bring your kitty to a vet to check to see who it's registered to). That's my take.

my life, sponsored by Google

I don't think I use a particularly high number of Google services, but let's list them for fun.

- Google search engine, including Google Images, Google Scholar, Google Patents, Google Product search (aka Froogle)
- Gmail
- Google Talk
- Google Maps (which lets you make your own map with your own markers and send them...a cute way of sharing a new place you've been to!)
- Google Documents (shared document editing...made the senior project quite pleasant actually)
- Google Calendar (once again, shared calendars!)
- Google Analytics (my officemate told me about its website-tracker skillz)
- iGoogle (to check my mail, the woot sites, and get some news feeds)
- Google Groups - home of some panlists I'm on...two of which are actually used
- Google Translate
- Google Checkout (not really used much)

- other things eaten by Google: Blogger, Picasa, Youtube (ya rly)

I do NOT yet use (because I'm afraid of it):
- Google Health

How many do you use? Here's a somewhat complete listing.

So here's a picture of how Apple is trying to also take over the world, but using Google nonetheless. It's a free poster that was given out at the grand opening of the 14th st Apple Store in NYC. Yeah, that's 63 iPhones displaying a map of lower Manhattan together.

dream sequence

Insomnia and sleeping restlessly in the heat often leads to ridiculous dreams.

Last night I dreamt that I was chosen to save humanity (!!!) and I dunno what I had to do, but I had to do it several times, and in the end I'm not sure if I managed to save humanity. As tends to happen when I facebook before bed, my dream featured a lot of random people from HS and college and the like. One part of the dream had to do with some random ritual that had to be performed to open the gate to some alter universe, something like the Boundary in Wizard's First Rule with demon hound things to boot! But really it was more like an alternate dimension since I was in my house in Staten Island, but everything was just grey and a lot scarier. Anyway the ritual was really bizarre and involved choosing the right statue, scratching it and pouring lemon juice down something, but my friends got the wrong kind of lemon juice (even though I told them to be careful about it and humanity was on the line!) and alas, the portal didn't open. Oh well. At the end of the dream I think I had one more day to save the world but I got up at about 5 in the morning and then *poof*!

Then I went back to sleep and had some sort of spin-off dream. A minor character from the first dream became the protagonist, and he struggled with being gay, and eventually fell in love with the lead singer of a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band. But the lead singer didn't know it!!! Anyway, this protagonist also had a secret identity and was really some sort of protector of the common people, and he used was seemed in the dream to me like a file, like a big file you'd use to smooth out the edges of a piece of metal you just cut, or maybe a piece of plexiglas you just machined, as his weapon of choice. He almost saved a bus full of people! It was early in his legendary life, and he chickened out before he could attack someone with murderous intent and someone else had to do it. But I'm sure he either perfected non-deadly force or got over his fear of death if it meant saving other innocent people!

I'm guessing humanity was saved in the end somehow in my first dream or else the second wouldn't have happened.

The end.