29 September, 2003

Stupid Parents

Meet the kids who are going to get the crap beat out of them on a regular basis throughout their school years:



A trend for naming children after favourite possessions is accelerating in brand-driven America.

The records show that in 2000, 49 children were named Canon, followed by 11 Bentleys, five Jaguars and a Xerox.

There is also a Gouda and a Bologna, who are named after the cheese and the sausage rather than the places.


Although I suppose it's possible that the parents who named their kids Bentley were just big fans of The Jeffersons. And here I was, worrying about the rise of Dakota and Cody. Sheesh.

26 September, 2003

Olmec

New style: Colossal Head (the link will not permanently change your selected stylesheet).

It is a replica of an Olmec sculpture, Colossal Head No. 4 (more info in PDF form), that is currently on display outside the Smithsonian Natural History Museum on the Constitution Avenue side. Noticed it on my way to the Federal Triangle station, and figured it would be fun to incorporate into the site.

I'm still trying to work out what colors look best.

Unctuous

My Ozy and Millie title is:
Principal Spiral Courgette Non-Lampshade Unctuous Whatchamacallit James (the Fifth) !

To get your Ozy and Millie title, enter your name here:

And go read the comic, so the whole thing makes more sense to you. It's really quite enjoyable.

24 September, 2003

You Maniacs!

Police shoot cake-loving baboon



A baboon that stole a piece of chocolate cake from a house in South Africa's Western Cape province has been shot dead by a policeman from the serious violent crimes unit.


I never would've thought that stealing cake was a "serious violent crime". Well, that will certainly teach those damn, dirty apes a lesson!

Gotta Work On Those Ratings

Premieres Scored, Bush Ignored on Monday



During the 8 p.m. hour, more viewers tuned in to UPN than watched the FOX interview with the President, suggesting that if he wants to get his message out, he'd be better served getting funky with Eve than getting jiggy with Brit Hume. The rapper's eponymous comedy drew more than 500,000 more viewers than the Bush interview (a more gentle comparison than noting that Bush was very nearly doubled up by "7th Heaven" on The WB).


Damn. You know you've got image problems when you do worse than UPN!

Cheeseburger Fries

As if Americans don't eat enough fat and meat, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has decided we need a new appetizer: cheeseburger fries.



Meet cheeseburger fries, a deep fried mixture of ground beef, cheese and breading that tastes, well, like a cheeseburger.


I can hear Homer Simpson drooling already.



But the snack, like any deep-fried food, is no friend to the dieter. Each fry packs about 75 calories and four grams of fat, with most restaurants serving up five fries at a time.


Which is fine...if that's your meal. Well, okay, also a salad or something like that to go with it. However, I can already see the typical fatass ordering half-a-dozen cheeseburger fries, to hold off starvation until a real burger is prepared.



But until recently, no major chains had bitten. That changed when Ram International -- which has Ram brew pubs in Rosemont, Schaumburg and Wheeling -- agreed to add cheeseburger fries to their menus within the next few months.


I'm not quite certain that I can agree with their definition of a "major chain". What the fuck are Ram brew pubs? And where the hell are Rosemont, Schaumburg and Wheeling? (I'm guessing Illinois, but still, not exactly in the pantheon of great American cities.)



Link via FARK

Uma

For some reason, Ethan Hawke cheated on this woman:
Uma Thurman



Stupid, stupid man.



Also, an interview with Uma about Kill Bill.

23 September, 2003

The Worst

In the grand tradition of useless lists, here is current (as of 09/23/03) 100 worst movies, as judged by IMDB's users, and whether or not I've seen them:

So Furry

More pictures of pussy than you can shake a stick at.

Headlines

Let's see if I can find enough...headlines:

Arctic ice shelf splits - Leaves rest of the Arctic to pay the tab.

Nigeria goes surfing with wheels - Really, that just doesn't make any sense.

Gates boosts war on malaria - The war on drugs. The war on terror. Now a war on malaria? I'm waiting for the day when we start the war on littering. Or the war on picking your nose in public.

Reagan had 'evil sex' angst - I think I'll file that one with "Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day."

Pakistan questions Hambali brother - "What is your name?" "What is your quest?" etc etc.

Hanson to stay in jail until appeal - It's about time justice was meted out for that damn "Mmmm Bop" song.

Son hits out at actor Depardieu - Admit it...you would also be mad if your father was Gerard Depardieu.

Dewey

Owner of Dewey Decimal System Sues New York's Library Hotel



In the lawsuit filed last week, lawyers for the Online Computer Library Center said the organization acquired the rights to the system in 1988 when it bought Forest Press, which published Dewey Decimal updates. The center charges libraries that use the system at least $500 per year.


Wait wait wait. Someone owns the rights to the Dewey Decimal System™? What the hell? I haven't been this disillusioned since I learned someone owns the copyright to "Happy Birthday".



More importantly, how much longer until someone comes up with an open-source system to replace it?

22 September, 2003

Threading

First, I would like to say that threading rocks.

My script that was running more than 6000 DNS queries went from 15 minutes and counting (when I hit CTRL-C), to about 30 seconds. I can't wait to try it out against the big list of IP addresses.

Secondly, I would like to give praise to Python for making threads easy to use.

thread.start_new_thread(doLookup, (line, 1))

So nice.

Powerless

Still no frickin' power at my apartment.

It went out around 4PM on Thursday, before the hurricane/tropical storm even hit Northern Virginia. It was as if someone decided we needed a pre-emptive power outage. Save us the trouble of having the electricity shut off when the wind actually did pick up.

Even more fun is that it's just my side of the street. The houses across from me...power. The houses behind me...power. I doubt their lights even flickered once over the last four days.

And let me just say, there is only so much you can read by flashlight before you go bonkers. I'm glad I've had people to hang out with over the last few days, so that I can keep what little is left of my sanity. But still, last night I gave up and went to sleep around 9:30. I just couldn't read any more of the book I've been working through. After waking up at 5AM, I found myself at work an hour early. Ugh.

Oh well, at least I got some stuff done at the office since Friday. Amazing how much you can accomplish without people constantly assigning new, annoying tasks to you. Also finally got around to picking up some more shelving from IKEA, and someday I hope to have electricity so I can drill the holes necessary for installation.

On the fun side of life, I stopped by the CD Cellar on Saturday and picked up:

Sadly, all quite difficult to listen to when you can't use your CD player.

17 September, 2003

Snow Day

The federal government is closed tomorrow. Whoo-hoo! Maybe I'll go build a snowman or ride on my sled or throw snowballs...

Oh damn. It's for a hurricane. Well, what's the fun in that? Puddle angels? I think not.

Ah well...at least I'll get to sit around all day, being depressed by the rain and the clouds.

They Want What?

Another day, another thing to annoy me:



To all,

As part of our CMMI process, we need to record all project reports,including monthlys and weeklys, in our Project Electronic Notebook folder.XXXX indicated that everyone prepares weekly reports and forwards them tohim for review. We need to get copies of ALL of those reports for 2003,starting from January to present.

Each of you should forward your previously submitted reports to XXXXX at ourheadquarters, so that he can put them in the PEN. I'd like you to send thembefore the end of the week. I know this represents a lot of emails butunfortunately there is no way around it.


For starters, I've been e-mailing these status reports each week to the "team lead". Why isn't he responsible for this crap? He consolidates all of our work into one big report, shouldn't that be used?



But aside from that...All of my status reports from January? It's fucking September, and not once was I informed that these reports would be needed later on. Nine months!



Each week, I overwrite the Word file that is my status report with my updated info, and then I send it on. So I have an archive of approximately....one week. That's a lot of data to re-create.



Wankers.

Now We Know

androgyne
Androgyne

What kind of girl do you want?
brought to you by Quizilla

Say What?

Courtney Chaos at Party



Rocker Courtney Love has furthered her reputation for unpredictable behavior by having members of the public evicted from a banquette in a New York club to make room for her pals. According to website Page Six, the Celebrity Skin singer had the people removed so she could enjoy herself with cult electroclash star Casey Spooner and music journalist Marc Spitz. Courtney then decided to give the Spin writer a preview of her new solo album, America's Sweetheart, and took him outside to hip-hop mogul Damon Dash's car. And when Damon's chauffeur asked her what she thought she was doing, Courtney said, "No, it's OK. I know Damon Dash, I know DMX, I know them all."


Ummm....why exactly does Love think she's famous/important enough to do this? More importantly, why would the bouncers at a club accede to her demands? She's a third-rate musician who had the good fortune to be fucking a whingy, over-hyped musician when he hit it big. It's time to let her fade into oblivion.



And yes, I realize I'm not letting her fade into oblivion by talking about her. But shit, sometimes you've got to rant.

A&F

I have found a new source of porn, and it's called the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. And some people aren't happy about it.

Bwuh?

Donald Rumsfield seems surprised that Americans think there is a link between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorists.



In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney was asked whether he was surprised that more than two-thirds of Americans in the Washington Post poll would express a belief that Iraq was behind the attacks.

"No, I think it's not surprising that people make that connection," he replied.

[Condoleezza] Rice, asked about the same poll numbers, said, "We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9-11."

16 September, 2003

Cripes

You know your project is in deep shit when the only person who you can consider to be a project manager announces his resignation, effective at the end of the month. And once again, the go-live date gets pushed back another month.

I seriously need to get a new job.

09 September, 2003

Pop-up

Judge Rebuffs Legal Challenge to Pop-Up Ads. Basically, WhenU is a program that pops up advertisements for various companies while you surf the 'net.



Lee said the ads don't violate the law because WhenU's software didn't copy or use U-Haul's trademark or copyright material, and because computer users themselves had chosen to download the pop-up software.


Er, right. Never mind that programs like WhenU and Gator piggyback themselves onto more-or-less legitimate programs, and are only mentioned in the fine print of multi-page licenses that come up during installation. Because we all read those licenses, right? Every single word? Hmmm?



"This is a victory for consumer choice -- it ultimately protects consumers' right to control what they see on their computer screens," WhenU chief executive Avi Naider said in a statement.


No, Avi, your program is controlling what the consumers see on their computer screens. Given the choice, I think the average consumer would like to see the link he or she just clicked, not an advertisement.

07 September, 2003

Bring a Camera

I really need to learn to carry my camera around with me. Or I just need to buy one of those super-small cameras to have around for emergencies.

In this case, my emergency was being down in Adams Morgan for some kind of street festival this afternoon. My friend and I had just left some shi-shi furniture store and started to wander back towards the vender booths. When all of the sudden, just to the left, is the biggest, scariest ass-crack I have ever seen, maybe 20 metres away.

Actually, it's probably in the best interest of my readers that I didn't have a camera with me. Because of course my morbid fascination with something so disgusting would have compelled me to post the picture right here. And that, gentle viewers, would not have been a happy site for you all. Especially those of you reading this first thing in the morning.

On Writing and Philosophy

I have decided that philosophical essayists are some of the worst writers in the world.

Definitely not in terms of their grammar and syntax (because they are edited to within an inch of their life, I'm sure), or the topics they choose...those are just fine. What I've found that is highly annoying is the style these folks write in.

04 September, 2003

SA ISO TG

Ah, Craigslist...always a source of amusement:



SA (Single Artist) ISO TG (Tech Geek) I'm a 15 year vet of the brushes and canvas and need a little help with the keyboard and the monitor. I like a man who can tell me to click here and download that. I need a GEEK who can give me the hard drive, floppies need not respond. Could you be my on ramp to the information superhighway?

Digital Dignity

The Ceremonial Bugle. Now Pentagon approved!

Price Drop

Universal pulls its head out of its ass, lowers CD prices by up to 30%.

"Our research shows that the sweet spot is to sell our records below $12.98,' said Universal Music president Zach Horowitz. "We're confident that when we implement this we will get a dramatic and sustained increase."

Historically, large retailers have sold new CDs at considerably less than the so-called "manufacturer suggested retail price."

"We expect this will invigorate the music market in North America," said Doug Morris, the label's chief executive. "This will allow retailers (to sell) for $10 or less if they so choose."

Now if they would only agree to drop the amount of SUCK by 30%, everyone would be happy.

03 September, 2003

I'm Heavin' It!

Not satisfied with a constant assault on both taste and decorum, McDonald's plans to launch a worldwide marketing blitz.

In an burst of uncharacteristic whimsy, the chain announced that Ronald McDonald, its clown mascot, had been promoted to the post of "chief happiness officer" to help spearhead the campaign.

Although I'm guessing it's not the first time a clown has sat on the board of directors. (Was I the first to get that lame joke in?)

Title #669

Things like this just make me sad:

Malaysian minister: 'Lipstick invites rape'
A controversial leader of Malaysia's Islamist opposition party, the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party, has been criticised by women's groups for saying that wearing perfume and lipstick could arouse men and provoke rape.

Although not nearly as much as this:

Baby rape sentence condemned
A judge has provoked anger after a paedophile who took pictures of himself raping a baby was jailed for five years.

...

He appeared for sentence at the High Court in Dunfermline after pleading guilty last month to raping the baby girl, indecency towards a six-year-old girl and possessing indecent images of children.

I have no idea how British jails are compared to American ones, but I suspect that this sick fuck isn't going to be leaving prison in anything but a bodybag.

Leader of the Free World?

Elmo and Dubya talking
Possible captions:
C'mon, seriously. Which one of these would you rather have running our country?
or
Can you tell which is the puppet?

Picture source: BBC