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    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    Mining The Internet Gold Mine, From 1 to 5000+

    Wow.  Mashable, which I've written about before, has finally lost their minds and complied over 5000 resources to do just about anything that you want on the web.
    There is way, way too much good stuff there to write about in this small space.  Suffice it to say that it would be quite clever of you to take a look at the article.
    In other news, you might notice that the look of this site has been changing quite a bit lately.  I've added widgets from MyBlogLog, LibraryThing - where you can see the latest books that I've read - and Criteo, which shows blogs that might be similar to mine.  I figured that it might be time for a change up.
    I suspect that I'm really going to change this blog up a little bit more, as I've feeling a bit mischievous of late. 

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    I'm Not Going To Write About Them

    If you watch baseball, you know who the hottest team in the National League right now.  They might be a team that I might find entertaining and interesting to watch.  Unfortunately, I won't be writing about them, because I fear repercussions.  After all, there were repercussions, seemingly, in this case (where the Denver Nuggets were the victims of my curse - this has happened twice) and in this case, where the Arizona State Sun Devils felt my fearful wraith.
    I refuse to take any chances.
    Therefore, I'll wait until the playoffs begin.
    That is all.
    We are all behind you, and you inspire us.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Something That I Didn't Know About The Housing Crisis

    The news is full of information about the problems in the housing market, but the most interesting thing that I've read so far is something that I read in a recent article about the current crisis in foreclosures - that might have an impact on you, gentle and harried adults that you are (or might be):

    According to the most recent foreclosure numbers released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the U.S. is embroiled in the worst foreclosure crisis in recorded history. More than 14 percent of subprime borrowers are defaulting, and prime borrowers are beginning to follow suit.

    MBA Report Summary


    • The foreclosure rate recorded in the last quarter has increased beyond the highest point seen in the history of the MBA survey, which dates back to 1953.
    • 14.82 percent of subprime borrowers are currently behind on their home loans.
    • The highest percentage of foreclosures are on homes with 2/28 adjustable rate mortgages.
    I found this on Homeguide123.  Shockingly, though, this is not the part that I'm referring to in the title.
    These lines are the ones that shocked me.

    'Many blame subprime lending for our current real estate crisis, but rampant speculation, even by those with great credit, played a leading role,' said O'Toole in a press release. 'The subprime market took the first hit as those borrowers had the least to lose when they walked away. Now that nearly half of foreclosures represent non-owner occupied properties, it is clear that speculators are walking away too.'

    It is true that non-owner occupied properties have been hitting the auction block in record numbers. Of the 9,477 properties auctioned in California last month, 44.3 percent of them were speculator owned properties.

    Another shocker: 90.3 percent of the homes were bought or refinanced in 2005 and 2006.

    90.3 percent of the homes were bought or refinanced in 2005 or 2006.
    I rent.  I'm very glad that I do at this point. 
    Mid-2008 is sounding like a pretty good time to buy, however.

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    No Respect - No Respect For These Google Products At All, I'll Tell Ya

    With all apologies to Rodney Dangerfield, here's a good list of a bunch of Google products that simply get no love.
    But how many people do you think would discuss being able to set up customised RSS feeds in Google News? Or being able to download source code in Google Code? How many people would know that Google offers various possibilities for users to help improve their products?

    Here are some Google services that need a lot more loving (cue Barry White music) :  I think that I like their website.
    Everyone here knows that I love me some Google stuff.  Google has it's own category there on the side of the page.  Here's your chance to take a look at some of the things that I'm always writing about.


    Friday, September 14, 2007

    The Best Example That Hope Lies With The Kids That You’ll Read All Day

    On occasion, and sadly, not often enough, I derive enormous amounts of pleasure from snippets that I read on the Internet.  Most articles that you read about kids consist of the doom and gloom about teenagers - how kids are on drugs, or teens are robbing liquor stores and putting it on YouTube, or students are shooting up high schools and colleges, or kids are apathetic general.  You know the familar refrain.

    This story is most definitely not about any of those topics.

    This is a story about the best of our kids.

    The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

    The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying.

    "It's my last year. I've stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David.

    They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.

    Wait.  There's more.

    "The bullies got angry," said Travis. "One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We're glad we got the response we wanted."

    David said one of the bullies angrily asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality.

    He told the bully that didn't matter to him and shouldn't to anyone.

    This bit of good news comes via Fark from the Chronicle Herald - in Nova Scotia.  The only beef that I have with this is that it didn't occur in the United States, so I could wave an American flag as I write.

    Life imitates John Hughes.  Can real life have mid-80's new wave music playing in the background?

    Today's Hope For Humanity Award is hereby given to high school students David Shepherd and Travis Price.  The world can learn a lot from you two kids.  I applaud.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    9-11 - Six Years Later, The Wrong And The Right

    Today is the anniversary of 9-11, which some Americans consider to be the most significant event in their lives .

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - Six years after the September 11 attacks on the United States, most Americans view the plane hijackings that killed around 3,000 people as the most significant historical event of their lives, according to a poll released Monday.

    Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said they see the attacks as the most significant historical even of their lifetimes, with more people on the east coast -- 90 percent -- choosing this view compared to 75 percent on the west coast.

    The Zogby International telephone poll surveyed 938 people between September 6 and 9 and has a three-percentage point margin of error.

    Thank Yahoo.

    First, I'd like to say that 9-11 is most certainly NOT the most significant event of my life.  Number 1: Birth of my daughter.  Number 2:  Meeting my significant other.  3.  Birth of my nieces.  So.  To me, 9-11 is significant, it just pales in comparison to those events.

    What I find notable about 9-11, however, is what events have happened since.  Here's my list.
    - One completely justifiable war (against the Taliban)
    - One completely un-justifiable war (against Iraq)
    - The wasting of an enormous amount of pro-American sentiment
    - The pillaging of Bill of Rights and the Constitution
    - The utter decimation of the health care system
    - Virtual destruction of the public school system nationwide
    - The creation of the Homeland Security Agency

    When I think about how much money has been spent on the war on Iraq, I think of how the Taliban could have been completely wiped off the face of the planet, or how Osama could have been found, or how schools could have been improved, or how a national health care system could have been created.

    The saddest thing about 9-11 is what has occurred since then.  We have wasted a lot of time, money, and lives.  9-11 is one of America's greatest catastrophes... and the aftermath is one of our greatest disasters.  We should be ashamed.

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Put Emmy In To A Box

    Today I'm faced with a challenge.  First I'll present the news, then the challenge.
    LOS ANGELES -- There are dozens of surprises among the more than 400 Emmy nominees, but none quite like the one we can't name in this story.

    It's in the Original Music and Lyrics category, a holiday-themed music video that aired last December on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" with an off-color title. Performed by Justin Timberlake and "SNL" cast member Andy Samberg, the fake music video describes packaging a certain part of the male anatomy in a gift box and presenting it to a loved one.

    We'll just call it "(Blank) in a Box."

    I've seen the SNL skit, and it is funny, quite.  Now for the challenge: how do I put a cap up of this not-so-safe for work video on this family website?
    Oh, I know.
    Below is the video.  It is NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

    Friday, September 07, 2007


    .and boy, does Mashable have them in the article 50 Great Widgets For Your Blog.
    Here's a few that I found interesting:

    MyBlogLog's Recent Readers - this widget can easily be called a hit amongst blog owners; its popularity even managed to convince Yahoo into buying MyBlogLog. The widget lets you see the avatars of recent visitors to your blog, provided they're also members of MyBlogLog.

    PollDaddy - PollDaddy lets you create beautiful polls in no time, and display them at your blog.

    aStore - similar to AuctionAds, only for Amazon. Create a mini-store on your site and receive profit when someone buys an item through your store.

    Yahoo! For Good - create a charity badge and ask for donations for a worthy cause.

    A few of these I already knew about, but I'll be honest, many of them I didn't.  Of course, some of them would just clutter me up more than I'd like. 

    However, don't be surprised when a couple of these show up here.  Take a look at Mashable - it's a fine website for blog owners.

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Shockingly Useful Websites

    Yes, I know, I'm in a posting mode.  I'll have you know that I'm spending a lot of time elsewhere at the moment - it's on the freelance gig still.

    However, I couldn't let this get by without saying something:  I found a decent little post about websites: 40 Unusual Websites You Should Bookmark, from .

    If you're long time makeuseof reader at one point or another you may have seen several of these websites before. We have covered lots of lists and round-ups but this one is quite different: it lists undiscovered webservices that are original, rather unique, unusual, useful, free, and must-be bookmarked type. You won't find any collaboration, storage or ToDo service here. Enjoy!

    Honestly, I've seen a few of these before, but there are definitely some gems in there, so take a look at it.

    An Oldie, But A Goodie

    I can't remember if I had posted this before, but an article title on Fark reminded me of it.  The Fark article title?

    "Oh my God, there was this study where kids ate lots of food colors and preservatives and they were all like "WEEEEEEEEEE." Gonads and strife, gonads and strife, gonads and strife"

    So, without too much fanfare:
    The Inspiration.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    More On Television

    television.gif Yet another post on television. Sorry, but it's a must. Thank MSNBC for this article.

    CHICAGO - Watching television more than two hours a day early in life can lead to attention problems later in adolescence, according to a study released on Tuesday.

    The roughly 40 percent increase in attention problems among heavy TV viewers was observed in both boys and girls, and was independent of whether a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was made prior to adolescence.

    What struck me about this was that it immediately shook a core tenet of my personal beliefs, in that perhaps the reason that so many kids are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD is not that psychiatrists (or is that psychologists? I can never keep that straight) can make money off of the drugs that the end up prescribing the kids, but maybe, just maybe, the kids develop these disorders more now because we parents end up using the television as the babysitter altogether too much.

    Another reason to toss the television, I'm afraid. Nature. I'm really becoming a fan of nature. Can we make going outside a spectator sport?

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