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As seen on TV

Joe Papendick Outdoor Bird Feeder Sculptures

(Seen on HGTV's I want that! [flash required].)

A visit to Bullworth Academy

Evil Avatar has a great detailed preview of the new PS2 game from Rockstar, Bully.

Before I read this, I was interested in getting the game. Now that I know how regimented it is, I won't be buying it. It seems more of an "on rails" type game, like Manhunt, as opposed to the more open GTA games.

(Found at robot wisdom.)


The Top Ten College Pranks of All Time

(Found at plep.)

It's true!

"I take a look at my enormous penis, and my troubles start melting away"


See more knitting/embroidery/crochet work by Frances Trombley

(Found at vvork via The Cartoonist.)

Crocheted model of a psuedosphere from Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane.


The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art

(Both found at Atomic-Raygun by Osprey Therian)

Wrong in so many ways

There are a couple of ads in the latest Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine that had me scratching my head.

1) An ad for a Spanish Language CD learning set that showed a picture of the Chichen Itza Mayan Pyramid with the tag line:

They used to sacrifice people here...
If they start old habits, wouldn't you want to know how to talk them out of it?

How this kind of thing got past any kind of person who didn't say "um...do you think that might be considered just a teensy bit racist?" is beyond me.

Maybe some of the tour guides at the site are still Mayan, but a majority of those would be catholic and still speak Mayan as well as Spanish and English.

I would think that if you found a Mayan that was still somehow into a human sacrifice to the Rain God, he is not going to be appeased by your begging for your life en espanol.

2) An ad for the "latest non-gaming hotel in Las Vegas." A google search shows there are a lot of these hotels with rates in the hundreds of dollars a night.

What the hell is the point of that? Why else would you be in the middle of a freaking desert if you weren't there to gamble?

If your convention is in Vegas, it is because folks want to gamble, otherwise you'd be in New York or San Francisco, or some other civilized place.

Is it a way for the compulsive gambler to tell his wife that going to the convention in Vegas will be okay, because the hotel won't have a craps table? C'mon! The airport there has dozens of slot machines. I won $11 there the last time I had a layover. The purpose of Vegas is to get drunk and gamble. If you aren't doing that, you just plain shouldn't be there.

Is it a snob appeal thing? "We will put you in the middle of hell on earth, but at least you won't hear those awful slot machines on the way up to your room?"

For the more puritanical visitors just seeing a relative? Look, you are in both Sodom AND Gomorrah at that point, visiting a relation that you no doubt see as some sort of degenerate. Get over it and just stay at the Stardust. The rooms are only $29 and you will have something to be outraged about when you get back home and go to church.

(and sorry for taking the week off, one too many people coughed on me on my trip and I have been pretty out of it since I got back.)

Off to see the Future

The Future of Web Apps, that is.

Back on Friday.

Until then, could someone please buy and play Yakuza, and let me know what you think of it? It sounds like Shenmue meets GTA III.

Other People's Pictures





As always with these flickr pics, the selected photographer's other shots are usually worth a look.

Attention Film Geeks

The Opening Shot Project has critiques of the best opening sequences in film history. I am partial to the Ghost World and Office based movie discussions.

(Found at BrainLog.)


Video of Carlos Mencia singing the dee dee dee song.


"We wanted to give the race fans something other auto events did not -- audience participation in the race," said Jack Caliper, the president of the 3- month-old Nazcar.

Before the start of every race, 12 spectators are selected to be passengers in the cars.
"Obviously, that changes the dynamics of the race," said Caliper. "The cars can't move quite as fast. But the thrill of watching ordinary people as part of the action compensates for that."

Racers were initially hesitant about having another person riding shotgun.

"Their screams are a distraction," said Nazcar champion Derrick Burns. "I've always accepted the risks involved in racing but I don't like being responsible for someone else's life."

"I've been lucky," said driver Hugh Plover. "All my passengers have fainted well before the halfway mark, so it hasn't really been a problem -- except once, when this woman fell over with her head in my lap. That broke my concentration a little."

Read more of this article from the Weekly World News.

I love how a 3-month old series already has a champion!

What the hell is wrong with you people? (part LXXII)

I saw a bumper sticker on an SUV today that said "Health Care is not a right." I thought that was slightly nuts, so I checked out the organization that sponsored that enlightened sentiment, Americans for free choice in medicine.

Here is a snippet of one of their arguments (taken from here) :

The American concept of it is officially stated in the Declaration of Independence. It upholds man's unalienable, individual rights. The term "rights," note, is a moral (not just a political) term; it tells us that a certain course of behavior is right, sanctioned, proper, a prerogative to be respected by others, not interfered with—and that anyone who violates a man's rights is: wrong, morally wrong, unsanctioned, evil.

Now our only rights, the American viewpoint continues, are the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. That's all. According to the Founding Fathers, we are not born with a right to a trip to Disneyland, or a meal at Mcdonald's, or a kidney dialysis (nor with the 18th-century equivalent of these things). We have certain specific rights—and only these.

It descends into more madness from there, including a bizarre bit about barbers.

What these pillars of the community fail to realize is that without providing basic health care to all, we run the risk of people going to emergency rooms only when they are really really sick instead of taking advantage of preventative care or seeing a physician when a problem is treatable cheaply. Of course, common sense isn't going to change their minds, since medical care isn't their main goal. This messages of rights is simply code for "brown people who aren't from here, illegal or not."

These immigrants, legal or not, provide a huge amount of labor that, quite frankly, we Americans don't want to do. Do you want to spend 6 days a week stooped over cutting artichokes? Do you want to clean my toilet? Do you want to cook my food? These highly moral folks want all of the benefits of an economy where prices are kept artifically low via the use of this incredibly cheap labor, but don't want to give these same people vaccinations or decent medical care.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has a great article on the types of health problems present in immigrants and refugees. In a nutshell, they do have some health issues that need attention and until we decide on a sane and sustainable immigration policy that lets the people who want to work come here and work within the system, these health problems can just as easily affect everyone.

Who gives a fuck whether the Declaration of Independence mentions health care? Providing it to everyone (even those morons with the bumper stickers) who needs it just makes sense.

I have had back surgeries and this site helps to distract me from the pain. When I am finding cool sites and ranting, I feel better.

Would acupuncture help with the symptoms of sciatica or would any other complementary medical solutions be worth considering?

I have found it helpful to do the stretching exercises my physical therapist recommends. Do some core strengthening exercises, such as the ones highlighted at The Mayo Clinic. By keeping your core strong, your back won't put itself in a position to cause that sciatica pain you are having.

This book, Back Pain: What You Need to Know (Johns Hopkins), is very good and inexpensive; regardless of what the review on amazon says.

Good luck and try to stay off the pills (unless you really, really need them!)

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correlation does not translate into causality

"To say my country, right or wrong, is something no patriot would say except in dire emergency; it is like saying, 'my mother, drunk or sober.'" - G.K. Chesterton

You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do.

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"... I was walking home one night and a guy hammering on a roof called me a paranoid little weirdo... in morse code..."