Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Lot of Both

Via Abstruse Goose, this is simultaneously the most depressing and most inspiring chart you'll ever see.



Big picture: we are bricks.

When it comes to hearing, most animals have us beat all over the place. And we may have the advantage of color vision, but we're pretty low on visual acuity for a predator species.

Add in a third dimension to that graph - smell - our chunk of the sensory pie starts looking pretty gloomy by comparison.

BUT...

There is not one single part of that graph that humans can not reach out to with mechanical devices and bring into our little chunk of the spectrum, if we so choose.

Because, unlike other animals, we KNOW we're limited by our senses.

And we decided to do something about it.

Like I said - inspiring.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Old White Guy Who Played Blues Like an Even Older Black Guy

I was prepared to not be impressed.


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #208,881)

30 seconds in, I was tapping my foot, nodding my head, and feeling that strange mix of sad-happy that really good blues music always makes me feel.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Camp

Defined as:
"an aesthetic sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its taste and ironic value. The concept is closely related to kitsch, and things with camp appeal may also be described as being "cheesy"."

see also:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #76,974)

So bad that it rises to the level of genius. Even worse, it's impossible to resist the temptation to show this to everyone you know who likes Star Trek.

Thus, this post.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nice Sentiment, But He's Lying

Normally, I'd give this a big thumbs up:


[YouTube direct link]

but the guidelines he refers to that prohibit specific holiday greetings only apply to messages that are mailed out. And only if the postage is paid for by the taxpayer.

So, he's not a brave, anti-PC crusader, just a politician doing a publicity stunt before an election.

Merry Christmas anyway, Scott.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Heartwarming

Via A Trainwreck in Maxwell:

Naughty child doesn't have a train ticket, argues about it, loses.


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #1,735,791)

Bonus for Scottish accents so thick they need subtitles.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let Me Know If You Were The Other One

Via Very Demotivational:



I only post this because I was one of the two people in America who paid money to see Chopping Mall in the theater.

Let the Complaining Begin

This is actually a very clever and entertaining synopsis of television programming's "progress" since 1949:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #17,923)

However, it will inevitably lead to loud cries of "I can't believe they didn't mention __________!"

So go ahead and start filling in the blank, because it'll drive you crazy not to.

THE BRADY BUNCH!

...there, I feel better now.

Liar

From The Hill:
Obama's campaign website now offers donors a chance to enter the name and email of "a Republican in your life" that will be used to "send them a message letting them know they inspired you to donate."

Ben LaBolt, the Obama campaign's press secretary, tweeted later on Wednesday that "the email addresses are not stored."

Not buying it.

Those email addresses will be right there in the "sent mail" folder, along with the email addresses of every recipient of an email from the campaign.

And they're quite possibly sortable by subject line - they just need to do a search for "your slimy liberal 'friend' fingered you" [or however they finally decide to phrase it].

If Ben LaBolt had said they didn't specifically tuck those email addresses away in a separate database, I'd believe that, but that's not what he said.

Thus the title of this post.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Alive

Saw this picture at American Digest:



And for some reason my brain immediately answered "yes".

Here's when:

Back in the late 1980's, I was in the Navy, stationed on board the Enterprise, which at the time was home-ported in Alameda, California (fans of Star Trek IV may remember this). I didn't own a car at the time. I got everywhere I needed to go via bicycle. The Bay Area has a nice public transportation system, (Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART trains) which allowed you to bring your bike on board.

The problem was that Alameda was an island separated from Oakland by 1000 feet of water, and the nearest BART station was in Oakland.

However, there's a mile-long tunnel under the water called the Posey Tube. The road was two narrow, shoulderless lanes, and biking that would've been instant death. However, the Posey Tube also had a pedestrian walkway. So I'd ride my bike on that.

Couple things you should know: it's only about 4 feet wide, and it goes downhill for half a mile, then uphill for half a mile.

And what I used to do was coast down that half mile full speed without touching the brakes, probably going about 30 mph, with a wall a foot from one hand, and a rail a foot from the other. If I sneezed or flinched or hit a pebble, I'd have been broken and bleeding.

But oh... I felt so alive.

Anyway, I'm not the only lunatic on the planet, and this lunatic had a camera. Probably want to jump ahead to the 1:30 mark, as he gets ready to enter the Tube itself.

At about 2:45, he gets stuck behind a jogger and you get a feel for how really narrow the walkway is:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #869)

Side note: I never met anyone coming the other way on my trips, but I did get stuck behind someone once. It's so deafeningly loud in there from the traffic that I couldn't get his attention. I walked for 10 minutes.

I'm OK With It

When I first saw this headline:

U.S. Proposes Unmanned U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing

I thought "Great. Way to undermine border security."

After considering it, though, it's probably a good idea, or at least not a bad one.

This thing will have cameras, it'll be monitored, and it'll make life easier for law-abiding people who have their passports.

I think of it as being like a self-checkout lane at the grocery store.

Sneaky illegal types & smugglers will still cross elsewhere so they aren't seen at all. The existence of the proposed border crossing won't affect them one way or another.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Boiling Away

This sentence by Harry Reid just struck me:
"Only a tiny fraction of people making more than a million dollars, probably less than one percent, are actually small business owners and only a tiny fraction of that tiny fraction is a traditional job creator."

Interesting word choices here:

* "probably" less than 1%: he has no idea what the number is.

* "small" business owners - he wants you to think of a mom & pop store that barely scrapes by, but by SBA rules, "small" can mean up to 1500 employees and $27 million in sales.

* "traditional" job creator: if you're not "traditional," you don't count (although he doesn't explain why not - other than to lower the number). I assume that's his way of discounting everyone who uses a computer during work hours, but he never defines the word.

So when you boil down his words to find out what he actually said, you find it has no solid meaning. It all simply goes to steam and fog and drifts away without substance.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Can You Find It?

The Puppy Blender pops an interesting topic: can you find your flashlight in a blackout?

I once got caught in a blackout with no idea whatsoever where my nearest non-120VAC light-source was.

Since then I've scattered flashlights about the house like freakin' cat toys (and I've got 5 cats, so that should tell you something.)

Went to Amazon & got 7 of these bad boys (to qualify for free shipping). They even come with free batteries, and they'll stay lit for about 24 hours straight. Put one next to everywhere you normally sit in the house, and a power outage will never be a problem for you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Not Wishing You a Happy Hanukkah

Look, I'm not Jewish, and I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, so I never even met any Jews while I was growing up.

But here's the deal.

If I were to celebrate Hanukkah for some reason, I'd do it right. By doing it on the right days, lighting the candles the right way, saying the magic Hanukkah words, eating magic Hanukkah food (which is, I assume, what Jews do for 8 days - honestly, I don't know any more about this holiday than non-SWPL white people know about Kwanzaa).

I would NOT celebrate it 2 weeks early and light all the candles at once.

Apparently President Obama doesn't have as much of a problem with being an irreverant, charmless clod.

So I think I'm leaning towards Doug Urbanski's explanation:
"Obama celebrated Hanukkah at the White House two weeks early. Is this his way of winking at his Islamofascist friends, saying 'I hate Israel with you'?"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seriously?

Now they're comparing Obama to Teddy Roosevelt?

I've heard the media compare him to Lincoln, Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton now.

Funny how they keep skipping over the one-term, peanut-farming incompetent that his Presidency actually bears a resemblance to.

UPDATE 12-13: I said it a lot pithierly than the ever-windy VDH.

Courtesy Linkage

John Hawkins of Right Wing News did a survey on the GOP 2012 field, in which I participated:

1) If you had to pick a 2012 GOP contender today, which of the following candidates would you select?

Newt Gingrich - he talks too much without saying anything, and he's wobbly on principles, but he's enough of a political animal that the Tea Party folks in Congress will be able to keep him in line, because that's the way the political winds are blowing, and Newt's a windsock.

2) Which candidate would you LEAST like to see as the GOP nominee in 2012?

Mitt Romney - Might as well re-elect Obama.

3) If your top choice couldn't get the nomination, which candidate would be your second choice?

Rick Perry - another "pressurable politician". Plus he sounds like he just kinda hates Democrats in general, so listening to his speeches would be fun.

4) Do you consider Newt Gingrich to be a conservative?

Yes - but not necessarily a wise or principled one.

5) Do you consider Ron Paul to be a conservative?

Yes - to the degree that a libertarian can fall into that category

6) Do you consider Mitt Romney to be a conservative?

No.

7) If you had to choose between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, which candidate would you select?

Newt Gingrich

8) Which candidate do you think would be more likely to beat Barack Obama in 2012?

Newt Gingrich - I'm not saying Mitt, because Mitt's a worse "conservative" than John McCain was, and Romney couldn't even beat HIM.

Schadenfreude

I've mentioned I'm not an Apple fan. So when I read that they're getting the rug pulled out from under them by China because "Steve E. Jobs - Super Genius" forgot to buy the trademark for "iPad" from it's rightful owner, I have to admit my reaction was very much something like this:


[YouTube direct link]

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seriously, Though, It's Time

Via CBS:
The U.S. Postal Service on Monday morning announced major budget and service cuts.

As a result of the $3 billion in cuts, first-class mail that used to take just one day to deliver will now take two to three days. Stamps will also rise in cost by 1 cent to 45 cents, starting next month.

Really?

Nobody's talking about the elephant in the room?

Nobody's even going to whisper the words "legalize the private delivery of first-class mail"?

Nobody's going to suggest that it's WAY past time to let FedEx and UPS get into the letter-delivery business?

Fine. Then I won't either.

Clarification

From CNS News:
The man pushing to get the military to install "atheist chaplains" in the armed forces told government-subsidized National Public Radio that military officers should not be praying with their men before going out on missions.
As a non-evangelical atheist, I'd like to take this opportunity to distance myself from this thin-skulled pantswetter. He does not speak for me.

Don't believe if you don't believe, but there's no excuse for not showing courtesy to those who do.

Super Smart!

From The Sun:
A HEADTEACHER got a roasting yesterday for turning the school heating OFF on one of the coldest days of the year — to save the planet.

Pupils shivered in coats, hats and scarves as temperatures fell to just 1°C (34°F).

Head Rob Benzie switched off the radiators to show how the secondary school could cut its carbon footprint.
[...]
Mr Benzie said he hoped for another eco-day next term, adding: "I'd like it to be a regular event. We have too much heating — sometimes I have to turn it down as it can make students fall asleep.

"The idea was actually thought up by a small number of pupils from our student eco-group."
The reason we have schools is so that adults can pass their knowledge on to children.

Part of the that knowledge is "turning off the heat in December is a stupid idea".

Every last one of those eco-group smarties should've been ruler-swatted by irritable nuns for even speaking the notion aloud.

Yes, We Know. No, We Don't Care

Least important news of the day:
A new study shows many breakfast cereals pack so much sugar, they're more like desserts.

Big deal. They've also been fortified with a ton of vitamins & minerals, and kids will actually eat the stuff.

Not to mention the free toys.

The Environmental Working Group can go stuff it's busybody nanny-nose into a barrel of tofu and snort until it dies of malnutrition.

Which won't take long, since tofu is pretty much empty calories with no significant nutritional value.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sorta Cool

I'm not usually a big fan of "real life versions of cartoon characters", but I'm a huge fan of Futurama, so this would be the exception.

Dr. Zoidberg looks vaguely menacing with pointy face-tentacles, but Nibbler's still a cutie-pie.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This Is Why I Hate Apple Products

Via Very Demotivational:



Pay particular attention to those bottom 2 lines.

And the fact that Microsoft's stock price has never recovered from those repeated Government-administered beatings.

Ok, it's also why I hate my government.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Get Your ThinkPad's Green Volume Bar Back

This post is mostly for my own reference, but since I had nigh-impossible time Googling this up, there may be other people with the same problem. Hopefully they'll find this post instead of poking fruitlessly at half a dozen forums like I had to.

If your ThinkPad's on-screen volume indicator bar has disappeared (or has never shown up), then you probably just need to download the Hotkey driver from Lenovo.

Download
Install
Run Setup from the installation destination folder
Restart
Rejoice at having an on-screen volume indicator bar.

FOOTNOTES:

Hotkey driver for Windows 98/Me/NT 4.0/2000/XP - ThinkPad
The following ThinkPad systems are supported:

- A20m, A20p, A21m, A21p, A22m, A22p
- A30, A30p, A31, A31p
- G40(*5), G41(*4)
- R30, R31, R32
- R40, R40e(*2)
- R50(*4), R50e(*4), R50p(*4), R51(*4), R51e(*4), R52(*4)
- s31(*2)
- T20, T21, T22, T23
- T30(*3)
- T40(*1), T40p(*4), T41(*1), T41p(*4), T42(*1), T42p(*4)
- T43(*6), T43p(*4)
- X22, X23, X24
- X30(*1), X31(*1), X32(*6)
- Z60m(*4), Z60t(*4)

(Note) *1: Windows Me is not supported.
*2: Windows XP is supported.
*3: Windows Me is supported on 2366/2367-x1x, x2x, x3x, x4x,
x5x, A6x and A7x except for M1x, M2x, M3x, M4x and M5x
*4: Windows 2000 and XP are supported.
*5: Windows 98SE, 2000 and XP are supported.
*6: Windows NT4, 2000 and XP are supported.
*7: Only Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 is supported.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Right Fact, Wrong Conclusion

From a Wall Street Journal piece arguing that America needs more government controls:
The current debates about China's currency, the trade imbalance, our debt and China's excessive use of pirated American intellectual property are evidence that the Global Revolution-coupled with Deng Xiaoping's government-led, growth-oriented reforms-has created the planet's second-largest economy. It's on a clear trajectory to knock America off its perch by 2025.

Um... China has 4 times our population, yet economically, they're still in a VERY distant second place. Shouldn't that be considered evidence that their economic system is, shall we say, somewhat... lacking?

Commie apologists make me sick.

Seriously, WSJ, why are you giving this moron Andy Stern the time of day, much less column-inches?