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    Friday, June 30, 2006

    Stem Cells? Hell No, Says Pope

    Not again.
    God's Rottweiler is taking yet another bite out of science with the announcement that any scientist who engages in stem cell research of any kind will be excommunicated. The same goes for any politician who votes in favor of legislation permitting such research to take place.
    Props to Sploid.  Word.
    Again, I refuse to bag on anyone's religion.  Whether you worship the God of Abraham, the God of Allah, trees or Pan, everyone needs something.  Spirituality of a type is key.  It helps humans to muddle through the escalating freakiness of today's world.  But stem cells?!
    Properly researched and used properly, stem cells can possibly save lives.
    Does anyone have a problem with that?  Really?



    I found this totally, completely, and completely obvious.

    PITTSBURGH - A city attorney is suing the creator of a Web site that lets women dish dirt on men they claim have wronged them, saying they made defamatory statements about him.

    Attorney Todd J. Hollis sued because he contends two Pittsburgh-area women and other anonymous users posted items about him on in which they claim he is unfaithful, among other things, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.

    Yahoo News.  Via, surprise of surprises, Fark.  Remember, kids!  You have to sign up to see the comments!
    Typically, I'm in favor of a little tit-for-tat.  But how surprised can anyone be when they run a website like this in our hyper-litigous society?
    I'm not going to defend the guy, though.
    And... uh... I probably won't go to the website.  Probably, anyway.


    Thursday, June 29, 2006

    Google Checkout - Paypal Competition?

    Competition for Paypal?  Surely this must be a good thing.

    Internet search engine giant Google has announced a system to pay over the internet in an attempt to become an even more prominent player in internet shopping.

    The widely anticipated move puts it in direct competition with one of its largest advertisers, the auction website eBay, which owns leading internet payment service PayPal. The system, called Google Checkout, allows consumers to buy things over the web without constantly having to enter their account details.

    Grabbed via
    Verrry interesting.  But I wanted more info.  So I went to the source:
    One cool feature of Google Checkout is that you can buy from stores with a single Google login – no more entering the same info each time you buy, and no more having to remember different usernames and passwords for each store. To help you find places to shop, you'll see a little icon on the ads of stores offering Google Checkout. It's an easy way to identify fast, secure places to shop when you search. And after you've placed your order, Google Checkout provides a purchase history where you can track your orders and shipping information in one place.

    Because we see big benefits for shoppers as the service grows, our immediate priority is to help more online stores join Jockey, Starbucks Store, Levi's, Dockers,, Timberland, Zales, and others to offer Checkout on their sites. To keep website integration simple, we've built a range of integration alternatives such as cut and paste buy buttons, pre-integrated ecommerce partner offerings, and an API that supports more advanced integration.
    That's the Official Google Blog, by the way.

    Sounds cool.
    When I get a chance to actually use it, I'll get back to you.  I'm not sure it's a Paypal killer, but it certainly sounds like it could have some interesting applications in the future.
    What can't Google do, anyway?
    Personally, I think they're on the verge of building the Planentary AC, but that's just me. 
    Big props to whoever actually gets that reference.



    Wednesday, June 28, 2006

    Baseball Suc... No, Wait

    This is an act of kindness in major league baseball that I simply won't forget.
    Matt LaChappa hasn't thrown a pitch professionally in 10 years. He is confined to a wheelchair, and constrained by the physical fallout from back-to-back heart attacks.

    Yet the Padres continue to pay him as if he were an active player. It might be the noblest thing they do.

    From  Found via Fark
    Wait.  There's more.
    "When he was drafted and he came into the office to sign, I've never seen such a troop of tribal people," Oppenheimer said. "I think he was the first full-blooded American Indian ever drafted."

    Oppenheimer assured LaChappa's parents then that they needn't worry about their teenage son because, "I'll take care of him." Three years later, when LaChappa was stricken in the bullpen in Rancho Cucamonga, Oppenheimer proved even better than her word.

    Narrowly interpreting a vague promise by then-CEO Larry Lucchino that LaChappa would "always be a Padre," Oppenheimer kept the young player on the club payroll and placed pictures of him on her desk.

    "He's my hero," she said yesterday. "He was always up. He had a good personality, a good sense of humor. He was cheerful. It made you feel good to be around him.

    Dear Ms. Oppenheimer:
    Who knows what other things the San Deigo Padres might do, but today, Priscilla Oppenheimer, you win at life.
    Warmest regards,

    P.S.:  We hate steroids.  Get them out of baseball, thanks.


    Tuesday, June 27, 2006

    A Movie Script

    This is what I want.  Last night, I had a flash of an idea:
    Vampires vs. Zombies - The Movie.
    Imagine the beauty of this idea.  Bloodthirsty vampires!  Flesh eating zombies!  We'll add a few pockets left of human resistance.  No, let me tell you: this is perfect.
    More perfect than Snakes On A Plane.  Which, naturally, assumes that's possible, of course.
    I even have a tagline:
    Vampires vs. Zombies - With Mankind As The Ultimate Prize!
    I can't decide who I want to star in this more:  Nicholas Cage or Samuel L. Jackson.  I considered Bruce Willis and Ice Cube as well, of course.
    I want royalties.  Don't steal my idea.  I'll be watching.
    Maybe I'll just write the movie myself.

    C'mon. I Know That You Want To Know What World Destruction Looks Like

    Someone over at the New Scientist discovered a computer animation - created by a person with obviously too much time on their hands - of the world being destroyed by a 100km asteriod.  Link is on the page.
    I still think that raising Cthulhu is a much more creative what to spend one's time. 
    Ia!  Ia!

    Monday, June 26, 2006

    Warren Buffett

    "Brace yourself," Buffett warned with a grin. He then described a momentous change in his thinking. Within months, he said, he would begin to give away his Berkshire Hathaway fortune, then and now worth well over $40 billion.

    This news was indeed stunning. Buffett, 75, has for decades said his wealth would go to philanthropy but has just as steadily indicated the handoff would be made at his death. Now he was revising the timetable.

    "I know what I want to do," he said, "and it makes sense to get going." On that spring day his plan was uncertain in some of its details; today it is essentially complete. And it is typical Buffett: rational, original, breaking the mold of how extremely rich people donate money.

    via Fortune.
    Why can't other extremely wealthy people do things like this?  Well, besides the Gates', of course.  God, I love linking to that website.
    As much as I think it would be extremely cool to donate a little bit of that cash to me, man, do you have to hand those people their props.  Serious props.  Sometimes, humanity, in all it's amazing cruelty and it's wonderful philanthropy can make your jaw drop to the ground.


    Man Convicted Of Cyberstalking


    Sorry, but I had to kind of chop this post, it was blowing up the blog. But go read the article.

    The Bane of Existence

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man made a mockery of the justice system when he tried to get removed from a jury pool in a death penalty case by claiming he is a heroin addict and a killer, a judge said.
    Benjamin Ratliffe, 21, of Columbus, was charged with contempt of court and obstruction of justice and ordered to spend a night in jail.
    Yahoo News.  However, if you really want to read some hilarious reponses to this, head over to Fark.

    I am not a big fan of the American system of justice, for several reasons:
    1.  If have enough money, you can almost always beat the rap, unless it's insider trading, fraud, or tax evasion.
    2.  The death penalty is a travesty of American justice, because it disproportonately is used against minorities and the poor.  States shouldn't be in death business, anyway.
    3.  I actually went to law school for a little while, and it was probably my biggest mistake.  True quote from an attorney friend of mine:  "Clark, you seem like a nice guy.  Why the hell would you want to be a lawyer?!"
    Granted, the American legal system is still probably one of the best, if not the best, in the world.  But let's be real.  The rich people make all the rules.  That's it.
    Of course, I've never had jury duty.  I hear that's it's horrific, however.
    I'd like to think that I'd go if called.
    But, you know, sometimes I'm not quite sure.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Something I Have Always Suspected


    How can one explain the phenomenal global success of one of this country's least talented individuals? There are only three ways.

    • Mr. Hasselhoff actually is talented, but this goes unnoticed in his own country.
    • Mr. Hasselhoff has sold his soul to Satan in return for global success.
    • David Hasselhoff is the AntiChrist.

    I vote for the latter -- and perhaps, after seeing the facts involved, the rest of the world will agree.

    Yes, it's David Hasselhoff is the AntiChrist.  Yes.  Suddenly everything makes sense.  Why didn't I think of that before?  Thank the Stupid Site Hall of Fame for this link.
    I spend too much time on the Internet.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006


    I wouldn't mind it.  Being SuperDad, I mean.
    Fortunately for me, with Father's Day coming, everyone and their mother is running self-improvement articles.  Courtesy of
    Learning to read is a process, one that requires mastering three basic skills. These skills are syntax, semantics, and phonics. Syntax (grammar and punctuation) is the way words, phrases, and clauses go together to create sentences and paragraphs. Semantics is the way words and sentences in a group relate to one another. Phonics refers to the sounds letters make and the relationship between written and spoken words, or comprehension.
    This is from the Learning to Read section.  As you might imagine, there are a lot of sections.
    Naturally, I plan on reading it all.  I will then index the information and enter it on my Palm Pilot (with time reminders), so that when the appropriate time comes, I can refer to it and use the information accordingly.
    Or, instead, I might read it and play everything by ear, like my parents did.
    It seemed to work.  So far.


    I Like Picture Day

    A friend of mine sent me these via email.
    Warning:  This is good stuff. 
    Ah, the stuff of nightmares.  Thanks to Lt. Wilkes for sending me the links.  At least I'll KNOW why I suddenly feel like detaching my forehead and feasting upon my own brains this evening.
    Oh, and Lt.?  If you still have a site out there let me know.  I'd like to give you a plug.

    $150 My Booty

    Have an idea?  Is it booze-related?  People will buy it.
    Modern Spirits is adding all sorts of crap to their vodkas in an effort to give demanding consumers a customized tipple at an equally impressive price. At $150, you'd better be thinking long and hard which flavors you want in this booze.
    Gizmodo, who I haven't linked in a bit, deserves the credit for this one.
    Perhaps I've been working too hard.  I'm changing my life's goal.
    My new goal is:
    To have a favorable article written about me or one of my products in Gizmodo.
    I personally think that it's an achievable goal.  I've got ideas, (I even have a product out there or two), now I have to do is sell.  Directly.  To Gizmodo.

    Monday, June 12, 2006


    TAMPA, Florida (AP) -- Forecasters issued a hurricane warning for parts of Florida's Gulf Coast on Monday as the first named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season quickly gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico.  The warning from Longboat Key near Sarasota to the Ochlockonee River south of Tallahassee means Tropical Storm Alberto was expected to produce hurricane conditions within the next 24 hours.
    Via CNN.
    My, that didn't take long.  Of course, I'm so jaded from last year that unless something is a Cat 3 I don't even start feeling fazed.  This is probably a poor attitude to have.  But the cycle of life continues.
    Batten down the hatches.

    Beer For Your Health

    CORVALLIS, Ore. - A main ingredient in beer may help prevent prostate cancer and enlargement, according to a new study. But researchers say don't rush out to stock the refrigerator because the ingredient is present in such small amounts that a person would have to drink more than 17 beers to benefit.
    I suppose that I now have friends that are bulletproof.  Alas, no beer in my fridge.


    Friday, June 09, 2006

    Advanced Googlish

    Lately, I've had the urge to find very specific information quickly.  Who wants to dig through acres of websites to find what it is that they want via the wonderful Google?
    Not me.
    Google (and many other search engines) has the ability not only to search on keywords, but also using a more "database-ish" query language to really narrow down your search results. Below is a summary of a few of the most useful lesser known features.
    Hello, Cyberwyre.  Thanks be to Furl.
    I suggest - no, insist - that people catch up on this.  Read this post.  Feast on the key information contain within.  Then, print the article contained at the site.  It will make your Google searching easier, quicker, and more productive.  Then you won't have to ask your Friendly Neighborhood Search Expert.
    ...that was for the ubergeeks.  Nothing to see here, all you normal people.


    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Quick! To The Bar!

    A team of scientists and surgeons at a Melbourne hospital has developed a method of growing new organs within a patient's body. Previously, scientists had only been able to create two-dimensional constructions such as skin. But researchers at the Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery at Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital say have created three-dimensional cells. The cells have been grown in a plastic chamber under the patients' skin.
    Who?  ABC News Online.  Who saw it first?  Digg.
    A few things come to mind.
    1.  Hum.  No reason to quit smoking now.
    2.  See the title.
    3.  Uh... why didn't some other medical researchers, like, say, in the United States, figure this out first?
    Oh yeah.  No public money for stem cell research in the U.S.  At least at Harvard.  How ridiculous is that?
    Is personal stem cell harvesting available?
    Can I invent it?


    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    RIP Billy Preston

    Billy Preston (September 9, 1946 June 6, 2006) was a soul musician from Houston, Texas and raised mostly in Los Angeles, California. He began playing piano while sitting on his mother's lap at age three. Preston collaborated with some of the greatest names in the music industry, including The Beatles, Sam Cooke, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eric Clapton, Sammy Davis Jr., Sly Stone, Aretha Franklin, George Harrison, The Jackson 5, Quincy Jones, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones. He was the only person to receive a credit on a Beatles single, playing the organ on 'Get Back' as part of the rooftop concert.
    Via Wikipedia, and thank Fark.
    Well, that's definitely a downer.
    Guess it's time to listen to Nothing From Nothing.


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