Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Friday, April 27, 2007

    The Blogging Universe - No Longer Expanding?

    It's the web media equivalent of the central cosmological constant: does the universe of personal sites expand ad infinitum, or else collapse under its own weight? And we may finally have an answer. The number of active blogs tracked by Technorati has stalled at about 15 million. Now that's still a remarkable number, even before one adds in quasi-blogs, such as pages on social network sites such as Myspace. But, compared with the conventional wisdom -- that every human, and household pet, will eventually have a blog -- the reality is sobering.
    It's sobering only if your idea of the Internet consisted of a ever growing bunch of people who wanted to blog about their overbearing boss, stalk their ex-girlfriends, or talk in leetspeak.
    For people that have been writing on the Internet for a while, it's probably not a terrible thing.  Keeping a blog active is kind of a serious thing that is most definitely time consuming.  Being topical on the Internet takes a certain level of dedication.  This I know.  I have a few myself, and you would be surprised at how much time I spend blogging, and I still managed to have a daughter and a wonderful girlfriend, somehow.  And freelance.  And work a couple of jobs.
    Of course, occasionally I'm a high energy person.


    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Public Service Announcement

    In keeping with Earth Day, that I've decided to stretch out into a kind of Earth Week, because, well, the Earth is kind of important to, you know, the survival of humankind, just in case you didn't know this (and apparently, there are a lot of you out there), plastic isn't a product of magic, or some such: plastic comes from oil.
    Plastics are everywhere and most Americans have come to rely on plastics in all aspects of their lives. However, very few people realize that plastics are made from oil, further contributing to the problems of energy dependence, greenhouse gas emissions and depleting resources. In fact, nearly 10 percent of U.S. oil consumption - approximately 2 million barrels a day - is used to make plastic.
    From Yahoo News.  I come not to mock, simply to enlighten.
    Plastic is made from oil, people.  The more plastic that gets used, the more oil we use.  Hopefully the 70% of Americans that didn't know this can learn from it.
    Image:The More You Know.jpg


    Sunday, April 22, 2007

    Global Warming

    Every now and then, I come across something that seems too ridiculous to be true, and I have to do a double take and reread.  Today I came across one of those items that I found so positively outlandish that I had to read it repeatedly, and I'm still having a hard time digesting it.  From Global Warming:  The World's Endangered Destinations:
    Northwest Territories, Canada: Polar bears have become one of the more obvious victims of the impact of global warming. With about 23,000 square miles of Arctic sea ice melting every year, the bears' hunting grounds are shrinking rapidly. Some scientists predict polar bears will be extinct in the next century. 
    What was that, again?
    With about 23,000 square miles of Arctic sea ice melting every year...
    23000 square miles?  Really?
    For a sense of perspective, and with the help of Google Maps, I did a quick sanity check on exactly how big that is, and came up with this:
    From Denver going south, go to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
    From Denver, going east, drive to Kansas City, Missouri.
    That's how much Arctic ice will melt this year.

    That's insane.  How can that not be an imminent threat?  How far above sea level are Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Manhattan, again?  How about Tokyo?  Or London?


    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Men: Perhaps The Next Endangered Species?

    Women might soon be able to produce sperm in a development that could allow lesbian couples to have their own biological daughters, according to a pioneering study published today.

    Scientists are seeking ethical permission to produce synthetic sperm cells from a woman's bone marrow tissue after showing that it possible to produce rudimentary sperm cells from male bone-marrow tissue.

    The researchers said they had already produced early sperm cells from bone-marrow tissue taken from men. They believe the findings show that it may be possible to restore fertility to men who cannot naturally produce their own sperm.

    But the results also raise the prospect of being able to take bone-marrow tissue from women and coaxing the stem cells within the female tissue to develop into sperm cells, said Professor Karim Nayernia of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Creating sperm from women would mean they would only be able to produce daughters because the Y chromosome of male sperm would still be needed to produce sons. The latest research brings the prospect of female-only conception a step closer.

    Thank the Independent for this.  They found the information.  Those Brits sure know how to find the juicy stuff, don't they?
    Being able to create sperm from, gasp, BONE MARROW is huge.  What a tremendous scientific achievement!  Now, though, I'm envisioning a world without men....
    - No Super Bowl Sunday.
    ...I'd miss the commercials, but meh.
    - No Boy Scouts.
    ...but we'd still have Girl Scout cookies.
    - The Pope?  Female.
    ...interesting idea.
    - Oprah as President.
    ...we could do worse.  Much, much worse.
    - Most popular spectator sport is probably figure skating.
    ...a terrifying prospect, but who watches TV anymore?
    So far, I'm shockingly unfazed.  Maybe that's because I have a daughter myself (so the selfish genes will live on), but really, I was waiting for that BLAM impact, and haven't seen it yet.  Interesting.
    Time to face it, gentlemen: we can be replaced.  Stop being just that guy who only makes an intelligent decision when there is a decent woman there to let you know that you're being a goofball.  Adapt or perish!


    Monday, April 16, 2007


    This is just one of those things about nature that I think is so cool.  From Science News:
    To illustrate the amazing properties of spider silk, Nikola Kojic offers an arresting example. Imagine a circular web with a diameter of 100 meters—about the length of a football field—spun from a silk thread about a centimeter thick. Concentric circles 4 cm apart attach to the web's spokes, also 4 cm apart. This larger-than-life web "could stop a jumbo jet in midflight," says Kojic.
    Ah, spiders.  Aren't they amazing?
    Clock Spider
    You know, I only have a deep, abiding and irrational fear of spiders that are too big for me to step on.

    Saturday, April 14, 2007

    Abstinence Only Education Is Wildly Ineffective

    To the great surprise of a shockingly small number of people, the most recent U.S. government study has shown that abstinence only education has a negligible impact on actual abstinence among kids.  The rub?  We spent a fortune on this tidbit of common sense.
    Other than the fact that $87 million a year has disappeared from our collective pockets just as surely as if the money had been thrown into a furnace, the abstinence-only classes might as well have not existed at all.
    Who?  Alas, A Blog.
    Youth, hormones and sex go together like toddlers and sugar.  Burying your head in the sand certainly doesn't help the situation.  My idea?  Educate your kids as much as you can, teach them the values that you have, give them the benefit of your experiences, and watch like a hawk.  The world is full of information; let your kids get theirs from you, and maybe, just maybe, you can have a say in the outcome.



    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    Mow A Lawn, Or Have A View?

    If you are one of those lucky, lucky individuals who finds themselves in the enviable position of having enough money to either rent OR buy your own home, you might want to take a look at this handy app from the New York Times that lets you know, as of today, whether it is better for you to rent or buy based on a few criteria.
    At the moment, I have a view.
    But it's a beautiful view.

    Stop That!

    What an interesting post.  Presenting...Productivity 501 - 17 things that you should stop doing.
    I personally enjoyed these nuggets:
    Losing Telephone Numbers -- Your cell phone should sync with your computer.  We are past the days where a phone only held 25 numbers.  If someone calls, take the few seconds to record their name in your phone, so it will be transfered next time you sync your computer.
    Manually Depositing a Paycheck -- That is what direct deposit is for.  If you spend 15 minutes every two weeks dealing with depositing your paycheck that is 65 hours over the next 10 years. Put this time to better use.
    Watching Commercials -- Use Tivo to skip them.  Use Netflix and just skip television all together.  Buy the shows you want to watch off iTunes.  If you had a friend who spent 20% to 30% of your time trying to sell you things you didn't really need, would you put up with it? (If you have a friend in network marketing, you may have already experienced this.)
    I have to say, on many of the items listed in the article, I have to agree.  I can add some suggestions to this, though, quite easily.
    - Stop giving every perceived illness, sickness, order or general disorder an acronym.  ADD.  ADHD.  EDD.  EPMD.  Gak.  Call things what they are.  In fact, overall, acronyms are a bane on mankind; instead of telling someone exactly what something is, the vastness of humanity is supposed to decipher an acronym every time someone says something.  Not everyone is an expert on everything, and people that insist on using acronyms imply that they are experts, when in most cases they are most certainly NOT.
    - Stop over medicating.  Let's be honest with ourselves, you and I.  Everyone is sick, somehow - depression, overweight, allergies, , insomnia, inability to concentrate, etc.  What's not true is that all medications hold the answer, and ingesting a bunch of chemicals into your body for whatever reason isn't always the lifesaver it's cracked up to be.  If you don't believe me, find a friend that's on antidepressant medication and read the list of possible side effects.
    - Stop under tipping.  I think that this might be a mostly American problem, but does anyone actually know what your average server makes?  I've been one, and I'm here to tell you; it isn't much.  Not only that, but waiting table can be HARD.  If you can't afford the 15%, perhaps you should eat at home.  Please, tip your waitress.
    - Stop Making Sense.  Ok, I added that just to make sure you are paying attention.  But feel free to pick up that flick - perhaps by using one of the handy ad links to your left.  I doubt you'll be disappointed.

    Saturday, April 07, 2007

    Rule 240

    The Consumerist (another of the fantastic Gawker websites) has a GREAT posting on flying and knowing Rule 240.  They explain:

    If it's the airline's fault that your flight is delayed or canceled or you missed your connection, whip out a copy of their Rule 240.

    Rule 240 refers to the "conditions of carriage" which specify the circumstances in which you're entitled to airline compensation.

    You can get meal vouchers, a hotel room, be booked on a substitute flight, or be given a full or partial refund.

    The article goes on to explain the flight rules for many U.S. airlines, so it's definitely worth the trouble to take a look the post.  Basically, first you want to do is 1.  Book a flight using one of the handy links that I provide for travel (they are on the right sidebar, and yes, I do get a tiny, tiny spliff for this) 2. Print off a copy of Rule 240, 3. Go flyin'!

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Alanis Morissette For The Win

    1. If that is Alanis Morissette, good for her.
    2. If it isn't, I nominate that actress for just about any reward.

    And now, without further ado:

    Alanis Morisette doing the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps".

    I would have made a comment about how this might be looked at as Ironic, but isn't, but really, I felt that pun fell flat.

    Sunday, April 01, 2007

    Happy April Fools Day, Google

    Those kids over at Google.  They're at it again.  Introducing Google TiSP.
    Sick of paying for broadband that you have to, well, pay for?

    Introducing Google TiSP (BETA), our new FREE in-home wireless broadband service. Sign up today and we'll send you your TiSP self-installation kit, which includes setup guide, fiber-optic cable, spindle, wireless router and installation CD.

    Wow, I want some!  Let's look at the FAQ.

    What are the system requirements?

    • Windows XP/Vista (Mac and Linux support coming soon)

    • Internet Explorer 6.0+ or Firefox 1.5+ with the Google Toolbar

    • Round-front or elongated toilet providing at least 1.0 gallons per flush

    • Use of automatic toilet bowl cleaners is not recommended

    Does my water company support TiSP?
    TiSP was developed with the support and assistance of a large number of major metropolitan water companies. A full list of companies that support TiSP is available here. If yours isn't listed, please contact them to verify their ongoing and unstinting support before you even think about signing up for TiSP service.

    Can I use TiSP if my home uses a septic system?
    Sorry, but no -- TiSP requires the use of a central sewer system to connect your home to the Internet.

    Uh, wait a minute.  Central sewer system?

    Let's look at the install.

    Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.

    Nice.  Nice one, Google!

    Ah, good joke, but they had me fooled for a minute.  As long as Gmail Paper is for real, then I'm good.  From the Gmail Paper website:

    Is it free?

    Yes. The cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements, which will appear on the back of your Gmail Paper prints in red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica. No pop-ups, no flashy animations—these are physically impossible in the paper medium.

    36 point Helvetica?!

    *smacks head*


    Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
    Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro
    Modified Layout with buttons by Clark
    Computers Blogs - Blog Top Sites