30 June, 2003

50 Pence

Just click this and enjoy (Sadly, in Realaudio format).

I'll Take Mine Over Easy

Aborted foetus could provide eggs

An aborted foetus could one day become the mother of a new baby by "donating" her eggs to an infertile woman, say researchers.

The highly controversial idea has been suggested as one solution to a worldwide shortage of women prepared to donate their eggs to help other women become pregnant.

Okay, so there's a shortage of women who will donate their eggs. Is there really a shortage of women having babies, that we need to worry about egg donors? Last I checked, the world population was going up, up, up!

If you're infertile, adopt a baby, damnit. Stop wasting time and money trying to have your own...someone else has already had one, give it a home. Biologically, the child created with donated eggs won't be your's anyways, so what's the big deal?

Selfish pricks.

27 June, 2003

I Hate You, IE

Just a quick shout-out to Microsoft:

flip the bird

I. FUCKING HATE. INTERNET EXPLORER.

That being said, I figured out why some people were getting a red-on-red color scheme: all because IE6 has some kind of issues with the width attribute in one of my div tags.

Yup. Something that every other browser could handle, including earlier versions of IE, broke IE6. Big time.

If you are looking at this site in IE6, do yourself a favor: upgrade.

Firebird
Mozilla
Netscape 7
Opera
Safari
Camino
iCab
OmniWeb
Lynx

Dead and Loving It

Lester Maddox
Strom Thurmond

Two more racist crackers bite the dust.

(You'll have to forgive me for not thinking up a better eulogy.)

24 June, 2003

Life's a Musical

Musicals appear to be taking over. First Buffy. Then Chicago. Now....Passions!

(For those of you keeping track at home, this is entry number 600)

Blair

You take the good. You take the bad. You take them both, and there you have....Lisa Whelchel's Coffee Talk??

Thanks to Jenny for the link.

Incas

In case you didn't realize, the Inca were really, really smart.

But a leading scholar of South American antiquity believes the Inca did have a form of non-verbal communication written in an encoded language similar to the binary code of today's computers. Gary Urton, professor of anthropology at Harvard University, has re-analysed the complicated knotted strings of the Inca - decorative objects called khipu - and found they contain a seven-bit binary code capable of conveying more than 1,500 separate units of information.

Although it brings new meaning to the knot tying badge in Boy Scouts.

23 June, 2003

The Eye

The Eye (Jian Gui), directed by the Pang brothers.

Mun (Lee Sin-je) is your average woman living in Hong Kong. Well, okay, your average blind woman living in Hong Kong. She does the usual things: Crosses the street. Plays the violin. Goes home to her empty apartment every night. You know, the usual things blind people do. However, tomorrow is special for Mun. For Dr. Lo is going to give her the gift of sight, via some lovely, if slightly used, corneas. However, there's a catch.

There's always a fucking catch, right?

The previous owner of the corneas used to have visions. The kind of visions that really fuck with your mind. Because she could see The Shadows (think: Grim Reaper Lite) getting ready to help people shuffle off the mortal coil. Not only that, she got to see the spirits of the people who died unnatural deaths, who are wandering around the earth, trying to get away.

And lucky Mun, she gets the visions too.

Which is especially disturbing, coming from the whole blind thing. I mean, think about it. You've spent 20+ years blind, you get your sight back, and not three days later you see a ghostly apparition licking a bunch of meat hanging from the ceiling in a restuarant. Ewwww. Who knows where that non-corporeal tongue has been?

Naturally, Mun thinks she's going crazy. Her psychotherapist, Dr. Lo (not to be confused with the Dr. Lo who did the transplant...they're related, though), agrees. Well, sort of. Then he starts to believe her stories. I don't know exactly why. Maybe he's just the type to want to believe in paranormal activity.

So Dr. Lo (the psych) goes to Dr. Lo (the surgeon), in an attempt to get the previous cornea owner's medical records. Dr. Lo (the surgeon) says "hell no, I have ethics". And furthermore, Dr. Lo (the psych) must be crazy to believe all this stuff. After affirming that yes, he does believe, Dr. Lo (the psych) gets the records from Dr. Lo (the surgeon).

I'm still kind of fuzzy on why Dr. Lo (the surgeon) gave up the records. Oh well, it advances the plot.

I would like to include the fact that Mun's psychotherapist was in no way Bruce Willis, the psychotherapist-type person from the Sixth Sense. Just wanted to point out that they really aren't the same movies or anything. Also, another major difference is that Mun is quite cute. Not in the way that people think Haley Joel Osmet is, but more of how Winona Ryder is cute. You know...in the sense of being female.

And well, if you want to know what happens next, go see the damn movie. It's well worth it. A little shlocky at times, but overall a good horror/suspense movie. (The Shlockly Horror Picture Show, maybe?)

(Okay, I'll shut up about that.)

Anyways....8 out 10. Stars.
Or popcorn buckets.
Or thumbs.
Or breasts.
Whatever you want to use as the scale.

I would also like to add that one of the directors is named Oxide Pang Chun, which now ties Hans Blix as coolest name ever.

22 June, 2003

Concert

Does anyone know what the hell this is all about?

20 June, 2003

Oh Lord, We Beseech You

The Australian Bible. No, really. It's even got support from the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney.

Among other changes, the Three Wise Men are "eggheads from out East", while the Virgin Mary is a "pretty special Sheila."

Meanwhile the parable of the Good Samaritan is "the story of the good bloke."

And the Three Wise Men greet the King of the Jews with a cheery, "G'day, your majesty."

ZZZZap

Paramount's Kings Island amusement park is being sued because a man was hit by lightning while in the parking lot.

But they should hold the park accountable, for not telling his client and thousands of others about an impending lightning storm, Edner said Monday. "They could have told the people not to go to their cars, which are large metal objects that can attract lightning."

And all have big insulating tires attached to them, which generally negate the threat of a lightning strike. I mean, I could be wrong here, I'm no physics whiz. But if there was that much danger from the "large metal objects", wouldn't we all get out of our cars when an electrical storm hits while we're driving down the interstate?

Even if park officials weren't aware of the impending storm, Ebner insisted, they should have been and taken steps to protect patrons. The suit accuses the park of negligence by not warning park-goers.

"The park didn't know about the impending danger, yet they should have warned patrons anyways." Does anybody else see the faulty logic in that?

My main problem with this case is the idea that the patrons weren't warned. Now, this is just my experience, but whenever an electrical storm has come my way, I've known about it for quite some time. First, the sky gets dark and cloudy. Then, it gets darker! Finally, I start seeing flashes of lightning, many miles away. And by using a complicated measuring system *, I can tell approximately how far away the storm (and hence, the lightning) is. If the storm is really fucking close, I get myself away from things that might be struck by lightning.

So what it boils down to is:

  • There was an electrical storm approaching the amusement park.
  • This storm was forecast by the weather service, who most likely sent out warnings.
  • Kings Island, which did not receive the warnings, failed to warn the patrons of the impending storm.
  • This magical storm had no outward, physical manifestation, outside of the bolt of lightning that hit the parking lot at the amusement park.

Oh yeah. Back. And to the left.
Back.
And to the left.

Reasoning

Driving to work today, I saw yet another ridiculous Hummer driving down the interstate. So that got me thinking:

Reasons to buy a Humvee:

  1. You have a large family, and also happen to live in a warzone. Possibly Israel, Palestine or Michigan.
  2. Sexual dysfunction.
  3. You always wanted to be in the armed forces, but could never quite make it. You probably also have a shirt that says "FBI" or "DEA". (If you've been to downtown Washington, DC, you know the shirts I'm talking about.)
  4. You were in the armed forces, and are trying to relieve your glory days. Give it up. Cherish your memories. And try living your current life.
  5. Your name is Ah-nold.
  6. It's an attempt to attract members of the appropriate sex:
    • Women - Sadly, there just aren't that many women who are actually impressed by your Hummer. The good news is, the small number that are, are also interested in things like football and drinking large quantities of beer. The bad news is, she'll probably make you the bitch in the relationship.
    • Men - The men who are impressed by your Hummer fall into the previous categories. You've been warned.

18 June, 2003

The Intent Is What Matters

Tom Toles cartoon for June 18, 2003

From the Tom Toles Cartoon Archive.

Headlines

More of the news that fits:

US Catholic bishop quits. Let's get this straight: Cover up sexual abuse by the clergy and you're okay. Get involved in a hit-and-run, and suddenly you're unfit to oversee the spiritual needs of 400,000 people.

Microsoft sues spammers. And he rode upon a black horse, and his name was Irony...

Miners rescued after 40-hour ordeal. See, this is why you have child-labor laws.

Foul stench prompts lemon-scented clean-up in Marseille. At least it wasn't patchoulli.

India receives 'stealth' warship. "Yes, that's it over there. Of course you can't see it....it's in stealth mode!"

US prices ease deflation fears. Good news, everybody! Everything's more expensive!

Why dolphins get trapped in nets. Because they're nets, and not portals to other areas of the ocean?

Deported Afghan paints sad picture. But could anything be sadder than this:
Painting of a sad clown

16 June, 2003

Easily Confused

Believe what you want to believe.

A third of the American public believes U.S. forces have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, according to a recent poll. Twenty-two percent said Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons.

But such weapons have not been found in Iraq and were not used.

Before the war, half of those polled in a survey said Iraqis were among the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001. But most of the Sept. 11 terrorists were Saudis; none was an Iraqi.

"Four legs good, two legs better". It didn't sound right, but it was written on the side of the barn, so it must be true.

Good Reads

Zap2it interviews Alton Brown.

13 June, 2003

A Good Business Plan

Oh goody, the war came in under budget. Or as one person puts it:

"The business plan for the war was roughly as successful as the military plan," Mitch Daniels said in an interview last week before he left the administration after two years as budget director. "The projections look pretty darn good."

The business plan?? Is this a war or a corporation? Is there some PHB running around, making up business plans, missions statements and the government vision?

How did they keep the costs down, you ask?

Planners had earmarked $489 million to put out as many as 500 oil well fires that Iraqis might ignite. Fewer than 10 wells were set ablaze, which cost about $5 million to extinguish the fires and repair damage.

Raise your hand if you think that remaining $484M is going back into the general fund, and not some government contractor's pocket.

Spike!

A judge in New York City has temporarily blocked TNN from changing it's name to Spike TV. All because Spike Lee seems to think everyone will associate the name with him.

Quick poll: When you heard about Spike TV (which might have been right now), what did you think of?

  • Spike Lee
  • Spike Jonze
  • Spike/Willam the Bloody from 'Buffy'
  • Henry 'Spike' Lee
  • Any of the multitude of meanings for spike found in the dictionary
  • Other: _________

Seriously, just because a handful of people in New York City think of Spike Lee, doesn't make a universal absolute. I know, I know...that's hard to comprehend. "New York City isn't the socio-political center of the world?" I'll give everyone a change to regain their balance, as I'm sure I've just thrown their mindset out of whack.

12 June, 2003

PNG

People often wonder why I use so many damn PNGs. Well, here's why.

In IE, I can have nice text and a grey background or bad text and a transparent background.
In everything else, I can have nice text and a transparent background.
Tough choice, I know.

Feel free to leave suggestions on how to clean up the GIF file in Photoshop.

11 June, 2003

Look Closely

If you look closely, you'll notice that there are minor imperfections in how the site looks. And if you look even more closely, you'll see a new link in the navigation system for "Skins". Go ahead, try them out. There's still plenty of work to be done on them. Read more about skins.

Because IE SUCKS BALLS, you'll need to click here to get out of "SF Comic Script". This is because IE doesn't understand display: table-cell, and the navigation bar gets lost under the content.

Also because IE SUCKS BALLS, the graphics look weird. As far as I can tell, IE doesn't understand transparency in PNGs.

Since I don't have much hope that Microsoft will fix these problems with the browser, I guess I'll figure out something on my side.

Note: If you're using Safari, don't choose "SF Comic Script" or "Black & White". Safari crashes when you do.

The Greatest American

Get out and vote for the greatest American over at the BBC.

I'm having a tough time choosing between Mr. T and Homer Simpson.

Weren't There 15?

Schools Remove Ten Commandments; Pastor Arrested

"It's a little heartbreaking," protestor Terry Lewis said. "Our children and grandchildren have the right to read those commandments at any time they want."

Um, gee, I don't know...write them down on a piece of paper and let your kids read them any time they want?

Yeah, I know. Me and my radical ideas. I'll just go sit in a corner.

09 June, 2003

Imax

The closest IMAX theatre carrying Matrix: Reloaded is the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton. Why the hell isn't it playing up here in DC?

Oh well, guess it gives me an excuse to visit my parents, who live but a few miles from VASC.

08 June, 2003

Don't Be So Koi

Stupid frat boys pull stupid stunt. Yeah, shocking, I know. But the amusing part comes from some random student, in regards to the koi:

"They kind of treated it as not really a spiritual being -- sort of like it was just like some kind of property," said UCSC Kirsten Young.

Attention Californians: This is why the rest of us think you are all nutjobs!

06 June, 2003

So Valiant

Mr. Ashcroft goes to Washington, to ask for more anti-terror powers. Gotta love this, though:

Ashcroft, who held up copies of al-Qaida's declarations of war against America and read aloud some of the names of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said new penalties in the USA Patriot Act have helped the Justice Department prevent more terrorist attacks in America.

It's so good to know that the thousands of people who died on Sept 11 did not die in vain. They will live on, pawns in some politician's bid for more power.

05 June, 2003

Smart Watches, Dumb People

Microsoft unveils smart watch technology. Wow! How incredibly Dick Tracy of them.

"The wrist is a natural place to go for information," said Chris Schneider, program manager with Microsoft's Smart Personal Objects Technology, or SPOT.

Well, sure it's natural...if that information happens to be the current time. I mean, do we really need yet another distraction to keep peoples' eyes off the road? Or to keep them from paying attention to others walking around them?

Of course, all of thise just reminds me of Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie's bit about digital pants.

Whoa

While he certainly isn't the greatest actor in Hollywood, Keanu Reeves is definitely the most generous one.

"Money is the last thing I think about," Reeves said when asked about his generosity. "I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries."

I can just hear the Scientologists: Damnit, why didn't we snare him when we had the chance? All that money could've been our's!

03 June, 2003

Personal Responsibility

Good to see the US legal system being used for such noble purposes.

First off, fat woman sues city, because she fell through a grave in a cemetary.

Dorothy VerValen of Kalilspell, Montana, says she was using her car keys to scrape moss off the lettering on the tombstone, when the decaying wood coffin collapsed beneath her. Her right foot sank 30 inches into the grave of Harry L. Smith, who died in 1943.

Somehow, this is the fault of the city of Sultan, WA. Apparently, they need to replace everyone's coffin in a regular manner, to prevent wood rot from causing an accident.

And in more litigious fun, a Nebraska family is suing Ford and Firestone because, get this, their daughter was murdered after stopping to change a flat tire.

The Wayne State College freshman stopped along the road to change a flat tire early on April 29, 2000.

Richard Cook, of Omaha, picked up Stahlecker and later shot and killed her. Cook was convicted of first-degree murder, and is serving a life sentence.

Stahlecker's parents claimed that a Firestone tire failed on the 1997 Ford Explorer driven by their daughter, setting off the events that would end in her murder.

Too bad she didn't run out of gas. Exxon-Mobil has tons of money just sitting around!

Cat Hats

Still thinking about buying a hat for your cat? Think again.