Saturday, March 29, 2008

Horrendous Violence

Here is a link to FITNA - A Movie about the Quran by Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders.

The video first appeared on, but they had to pull it after their employees were threatened with violence. Mull that over.

The images are ghastly, be warned they show terrible things. I think it's important in the middle of a presidential race to remember 9/11 and why we are at war today. It's important to trim away the silly "Bush Lied, Soldiers Died" bumper sticker mentality and understand the US is confronted by an implacable enemy.

Be warned, the images are very graphic. But remember, these people don't want to be your friend, they don't want to negotiate, they don't want to co-exist. They want you dead.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


CPU hell. I have been trying to find benchmarks for CPU performance that I can understand without an advanced degreee in computer engineering.

This helps - - from PassMark Software. And I like this one from Tom's Hardware -

What's interesting is the faster the chip, the more power it uses and the greater the heat dissipation.

Monday, March 17, 2008

CMU's Library Arcade

Everyone having fun with their tech assignment from GSLIS 700?

I have a house full of computers, I know all about buying the damn things, I used to go to computer shows and have them assembled ala carte. But hewing to a strict budget is like raking leaves on a windy day, I can't seem to quite pin anything down.

Anyway, here is a little gem from Carnegie Mellon University (where I saw Roxy Music play in the gymnasium mid 70's).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sundays - Chicken S**t Bingo

Spotted in Wired Magazine in their Culture:Lifestyle web site...

Somehow I don't think this is going to make the New York Times Culture Pages.

AUSTIN, Texas -- During South by Southwest, out-of-town showgoers are increasingly seeking out a popular local institution: Chicken Shit Bingo, Austin's answer to Las Vegas' craps.

Every Sunday, locals jam into Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon, a tiny, dark honky-tonk. There they down Lone Stars, shoot the breeze and listen to Austin country legend Dale Watson tease some soul out of his coin-covered guitar. But mostly, they're waiting for an orange hen named Sissy to steal the show.

The low-tech concept of Chicken Shit Bingo is beautifully simple: Put a live chicken in a cage atop a piece of plywood marked with a grid. Sell tickets for each of the 54 squares, then let the chicken strut around the cage. When the bird relieves itself, you've got a winner.

Friday, March 14, 2008

John Cleese to the United States

To: The citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect: You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell- checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer,and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie McDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to en sure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.

God save the Queen. Only He can.

John Cleese ********************

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Semantic Web? I Just Figured Out Web 2.0!

Web inventer Tim Berners-Lee about new Web developments -"the "current craze" for social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace would eventually be superseded by networks that connected all types of things — not just people — thanks to a ground-breaking technology known as the "semantic web".

The semantic web is the term used by the computer and internet industry to describe the next phase of the web's development, and essentially involves building web-based connectivity into any piece of data — not just a web page — so that it can "communicate" with other information. "

Web 1.0 was a snap. Web 2.0...not so easy. The semantic web...hell!

The article can be found at:

Quote of the Week

Ex-NYSE director Ken Langone about his nemesis, Eliot Spitzer - "We all have our own private hells. I hope his private hell is hotter than anybody else's."

Spitzer was a mean, prick bastard who was undone by his own prick.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Eaten Alive

I was channel-surfing the other day and landed on the National Geograpic Channel. I remember when TV nature shows were of a gentler bent.

First you'd see a pride of lions sleeping, the antelope nibbling on a bush, the lions now awake and alert, the antelope flicking it's tail and looking around nervously, the lions hunting as a pack, the antelope panicked and running, the lion leaping with outstretched claws, a pile of dust...then the lions are lolling around, cleaning themselves off while the cubs play tug-of-war with the leftover tail.

Today it's all about the mayhem. This time the lion leaped on the antelope's back, another got it by the throat, another took it's legs out, there was a frantic moment rolling in the dust as they disembowled the antelope like it had a zipper on it's belly...then the feeding began.

It was ghastly. The lions didn't waste time to finish the kill, and just began feeding right away. The antelope lay on the ground, it's rear leg twitching feebly trying to push the lions away, with it's head up watching the lions eat it.

I'm a boomer, and once I slipped past fifty, I began to appreciate the finality of life. The "It's not going to happen to me" attitude changes to, "I wonder how it's going to happen to me". I have pet ways I'd rather not go, like burned at the stake, airplane crash or being crushed.

But at the very top of my list, is being eaten alive. Part Two later