Archive for 2007

Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl

Was yesterday’s 2007 Fiesta Bowl the best college football game ever? Had to be close. Undefeated Boise State (13-0) was the underdog to Oklahoma (11-3) in this Glendale, Arizona game.
After Boise State built a 28-10 lead in the third quarter, the Sooners ran off 25 unanswered points. With 1:02 left in the game, Oklahoma was [...]

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Adventures in waffle-making **

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New and upcoming music **

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“Your parents will all be called…”

I’ve been quoting or paraphrasing the following goofy sentence for a long time, but I could not remember where I first heard it: “Your parents will all be called and instructed to love you less.” I was sure I didn’t make it up myself, but Google was of no help in finding the [...]

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A few old timewaster games **

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At the Portland International Film Festival **

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Adventures in VBScripting **

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Nine Inch Nails: Year Zero mythology **

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WordPress 2.1 upgrade

Today spiral::notepad was upgraded to WordPress 2.1, complete with a new custom theme I designed. I will import all of my old blog entries into this new format soon. Uh, yes, really soon.
There’s like 80 old entries to add, from June 2002 to present.
I’m going to get right on that.
In other news, today [...]

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Back from a trip to South Bay, CA

I have just returned from a trip to the San Francisco Bay area.
Whenever I take a trip, I like to pick out a handful of CDs to listen to obsessively on the journey (typically I choose ones that have been neglected in my music collection and thus have no strong memories tied to them). [...]

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Bill Viola lecture at Oregon State University

A reception for video artist Bill Viola was held at 6pm today in the LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University campus. It was followed by a free two-hour public lecture by the artist entitled, The Voyage of No Return. Full event details are available at the OSU Department of Art. [...]

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New cartoon: Animator vs. Animation II

At least once a week I check all of my favorite Flash cartoon websites for new episodes. One of those sites is Weebl’s Stuff, where I enjoy watching On the Moon and other inane and funny creations. However, while the Toast King and Insanity Prawn Boy have not yet appeared in episode 12, [...]

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Clutch basketball performances

Since we are in the midst of March Madness and NCAA bracketology, I was talking to my dad about some of the best end-of-game finishes we’ve seen at the NBA and college level.
In terms of sheer impossibility, there is one particular Reggie Miller playoff game that we always seem to end up talking about, [...]

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Google TiSP: Happy April Fools’

This year Google continues its reign of April Fools’ awesomeness with the announcement of Google TiSP (BETA), their new FREE in-home wireless broadband service. TiSP stands for Toilet Internet Service Provider. Let me present a couple of key quotes from the TiSP installation guide:
Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system [...]

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Alanis Morissette’s “My Humps” parody video

You should definitely watch the YouTube video of Alanis Morissette covering “My Humps.” But be sure to watch the Black Eyed Peas video for “My Humps” first, if you haven’t seen it, so that you can fully appreciate the greatness of the parody.
The lyrics to “My Humps” have to be among the stupidest and [...]

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Easter Special: “You Were Right”

Today I was talking to a friend of mine, who, after mentioning her unusual mood swings of late, asked, “What does manic depression feel like?”
Well, I said, smiling, “Manic depression’s a frustrating mess.”
“Wait a second,” she said. “Who sings that? Led Zeppelin?”
“Nope,” I said. “Right era, wrong rock legend. Jimi Hendrix.”
“Oh, you’re [...]

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The death of Kurt Vonnegut (and Madame)

My favorite novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. died Wednesday, April 11, 2007, at the age of 84. This makes one less hero in a world of great need. I assume there will be many compelling articles written about his life and works in the next couple of weeks, before our national attention span gets distracted by [...]

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Death and taxes (plus NIN and Nintendo)

Today is Tax Day 2007. This year the government decided to give procrastinators an extra day to procrastinate (except for the state of Montana, who, when reached for comment, said, “Screw you guys,” and shot a rifle into the air like a crazy cowboy). I, of course, took the opportunity to wait one more [...]

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Funny or Die! (and psychotropic strawberries)

I have three random things to mention:
1. Will Ferrell has a new video-based website called Funny or Die! You should really check out his comedy skit called “The Landlord.” There’s quite a bit of good stuff on the site and it isn’t even a week old. For example, YouTube celebrity LisaNova is [...]

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Earth Day 2007 equals Grindhouse

So, we were thinking about playing tennis or going for a hike, you know, to recognize that today is Earth Day and all . . . but then the sky clouded up and it started sprinkling.
Which pretty much gave us no recourse but to spend 3 1/2 hours in Regal Santiam 11 watching Grindhouse. [...]

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Much ado about J.D. Drew

I don’t care much about the experience of watching Major League Baseball. I read about sports much more than I watch sporting events (or anything) on TV. Though sometimes I get pulled in during dramatic postseason runs (like the Red Sox in October of 2004), or other big sporting events like Bowl games and March [...]

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Fighting off ninjas. Easy.

Earlier today a coworker told me about a new ninja-themed MythBusters episode, due to premiere on Wednesday, April 25, 2007. Here’s the official episode description:
Episode 78: Walking on Water
It’s “East Meets West” in this episode of MythBusters. Shrouded in secrecy and mythology, not to mention cult popularity, ninjas are perfect fodder for the MythBusters. The [...]

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Conspiratorial ramblings: Fanta, Coke, Big Pharma and Monsanto

What makes for good Friday night conversation among friends? Some MSG-laden take-out Chinese and a few cans of orange Fanta.
Here’s a summary of some bits of yesterday’s conversation and associated (plagiarized) Internet research:
Q. Wasn’t Fanta invented by Nazis? Isn’t this a Nazi drink?
A. No, but kind of. Fanta was invented in Nazi [...]

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Golden State is the new Denver

I knew Dirk’s team wouldn’t make it out of the Oakland Arena alive. (Oh wait, I’m supposed to call the arena The Oracle now?)
Tonight’s upset of the top-ranked Dallas Mavericks (67-15) by the Golden State Warriors (the last team to make the 2007 NBA playoffs at 42-40) reminded me of a very similar occurrence [...]

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WebVisions 2007 in review

On Thursday and Friday, May 3-4, I attended the WebVisions 2007 conference at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. This is the third year I’ve made the trek up to Portland for this excellent “future of the web” event. Below is a quick overview of some sessions I attended, with links:
1. Practical AJAX Inside [...]

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Kentucky Derby 133 prophecy

A friend of mine is at the Kentucky Derby this year (right now, actually). She’s the kind of person who throws Derby parties and sips mint julep every year and has always wanted to go to Churchill Downs. So I was excited for her when she arranged to go Louisville this May.
Last week, [...]

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Paging Dr. Mario with an electrolarynx

I had to miss a couple of days of work this week because I’ve been sick since last Sunday morning. I suppose I deem this worth mentioning because I don’t get sick very often, and I certainly haven’t been this ill in a long time (maybe 15 years). This fair-weather plague started out with [...]

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Pink bats, Pink Martini, and Pink Floyd

I have three pink-related stories for you at this ridiculously early morning hour:
1. Yesterday, on Mother’s Day, over 200 Major League Baseball players used bright pink bats during their games. And many more wore pink sweatbands and wristbands. This is the second straight Mother’s Day that MLB and the Susan G. Komen foundation [...]

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Airports unleash virtual strip searches

We started to hear about this technology in the mainstream news late last year, but now it has arrived!
As of this week, airline passengers in Amsterdam are now being subjected to a new “millimeter wave” full-body scanning system. This body-imaging technology uses non-ionizing electromagnetic waves to generate an image based on the energy reflected [...]

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Marketing gold: Doritos X-13D Flavor Experiment

Today I was walking through the grocery store, just minding my own business, when, out of the corner of my eye, I see a plain black bag of chips with a generic sans-serif font that says “X-13D.” In this age of sophisticated, glossy, photo-rich packaging, how am I not going to look more closely to [...]

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Abraham Lincoln’s death (and Tecumseh’s Curse)

Once again I am awake at a ridiculous hour on Monday morning. What have I learned?
That President Abraham Lincoln might have survived if today’s medical technology had existed when he was shot in the back of his head in 1865. Last week medical experts took on the case of Abraham Lincoln at the [...]

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A Fair(y) Use Tale, Smashing Pumpkins, NBA lottery

Today I have five things to mention:
1. Eric Faden, an assistant professor of English and film studies at Bucknell University, created a 10-minute video called “A Fair(y) Use Tale” using 400 cuts from 27 different Disney films to mock copyright law (and Disney). It’s certainly worth checking out. As you may know, Disney has [...]

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Creationism: Noah saved dinosaurs from flood

Have you heard? The Creation Museum in Kentucky is open! And it sounds more fantastic than Disneyland! Here’s a quote from today’s “New museum says dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark” article at Reuters.com:
While the $27 million museum near Cincinnati has drawn snickers from media and condemnation from U.S. scientists, those who believe God created [...]

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NBA playoffs, Windows, FDA, Caketown, toothpaste

Tomorrow will be the fifth birthday of this blog. I was not so prolific in the early days, but I nevertheless did make my first blog post five years ago (which also means I’ve been designing websites for 10 years now). Some 100+ posts later, what do I have in store for you in this [...]

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Robotic BEAR, badgers, American Zoetrope, French Open

Today is the birthday of two of my friends. Happy Birthday to everyone born today!
As usual, I have a number of random things to share. Let’s do this newspaper-style, using three sections:
Science & Technology
Ever imagined dying in the arms of a robotic teddy bear? Soon this may become a reality for wounded U.S. soldiers. [...]

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Beavers back in World Series (plus Chinese mantids)

Earlier tonight, the Oregon State University Beavers advanced to their third straight College World Series with an 8-2 win over Michigan in the NCAA Super Regional. I caught a couple of innings from the parking lot next to Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. Congratulations to the Beaver baseball team! They have been quite good [...]

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125-year-old whale killed (plus personal watermelon)

My favorite story this week is the one about the 19th century bomb lance fragment found lodged in a recently killed bowhead whale’s neck and shoulder blade.
Here’s a quote regarding the weapon found in the 50-ton bowhead whale (which is a conservation dependent species) that was killed by an Eskimo in May:
An [...]

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Marys Peak crime scene (and College World Series)

Today we went hiking at Marys Peak (yes, I’m refraining from using an apostrophe to show possession). Why isn’t it Mary’s Peak anymore? Why?
Anyway, we had a nice hike, literally walking through clouds near the summit at around 4000 feet in elevation. So I don’t bore you too much, here are just a few quick [...]

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Feral kittens on Father’s Day (and LOLcats)

There is a large feral cat population around where we live. Even more specifically, there is a feral cat colony underneath our apartment building. Here you can see the entrance to the kitty lair, full of black plastic and yellow insulation.

Today two male kittens showed up on our doorstep. They are obviously littermates, approximately [...]

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Raccoon scales our balcony to eat cat food

Well, our exciting kitten adoption on Sunday afternoon continued with some additional excitement around 2 AM on Monday morning. I heard some noises coming from the second-floor balcony and I got up to investigate.
When I flipped on the outside balcony light, there was a big fat raccoon eating cat food with her cute little [...]

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Beaver baseball National Champions again (and pepino)

Congratulations to the Oregon State baseball team! The Beavers swept through the College World Series, winning all five of their games.
In the best-of-three finals, they beat the North Carolina Tar Heels for the second straight season.
OK, you know how I love random trivia, so here are some CWS facts:
The Beavers (49-18) trailed for only [...]

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Kitten resolution, Kitty Surprise, Propaganda wallpapers

I have good news about our kitten situation. We have found a home for the white-booted tabby named Peter (AKA Repete). A coworker has graciously agreed to let Repete live on her large property in rural Albany. We dropped him off this evening. There are two other well-fed indoor/outdoor cats that live at her house [...]

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Independence Day: Hot dogs and melons

First, I have some, uh, breaking news: Today, at the Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathan’s Famous at New York’s Coney Island, the meatstick consumption title was brought back to America. That’s right, the mustard yellow belt of champions has returned to the land of obesity where it belongs. A [...]

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Transformers, Zeitgeist, music festivals, Wimbledon

Today I have eight random things to mention:
1. I went to see Transformers on Thursday night, hoping to reengage with one of my favorite childhood cartoons. I’m not even sure how to articulate the live-action movie experience. I did write a 15-word review for Filmometer, but it doesn’t really capture how hilarious [...]

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Blended iPhone, Smashing Pumpkins, carbon fiber blades

As you may have gathered from the title, I have three things to write about today:
1. Blended iPhone
Excited about the iPhone? Of course you are!
Not excited about AT&T exclusivity through 2009 (or maybe even 2012)? Of course you’re not!
Nevermind battery life, my only question about the iPhone is: Will it Blend?
I love the way [...]

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Roswell, kitten neutering, Epsom salt, helium balloons

Today is the 60th anniversary of the Roswell incident, the most famous UFO sighting in American history. Read more from MSNBC: The Roswell Experience. I was kind of obsessed with Area 51 conspiracy theories when I was a kid. I visited Roswell during the summer of 2001, a few months before I moved to Oregon.
My [...]

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Pink Martini concert (and Google wireless, obesity)

Friday night I went to see Pink Martini at the da Vinci Days festival in Corvallis on the Oregon State University campus. I also caught some of the opening act, Sneakin’ Out. It was all very good stuff. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, Pink Martini is an adventurous multilingual lounge [...]

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The death cat and professional sports scandals

I’ve always been interested in the so-called “sixth sense” of animals and humans. I used to read those Globe mini mags (the ones you can pick up while waiting in line at the supermarket) about “uncanny cats” and other similar eerie and paranormal topics. I am curious how animals are able to sense geologic [...]

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Wikia Search, Boston Celtics, Iraqi soccer, “diabeetus”

I read an interesting analysis of Wikia Search and Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales in this past April’s issue of Fast Company. The cover of the magazine read: “Google’s Worst Nightmare: Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales Has His Sights Set on the Search Business.” One of the coolest parts of the “Why Is This Man Smiling?” cover story [...]

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Body Worlds 3 at OMSI (plus Newport dining)

The past couple of weeks have been filled with regional tennis tournaments and traveling. What’s been great is that the weather in the Willamette Valley this summer (so far) has been very cool and mild. It’s been much more pleasant than last summer (and apparently most of the rest of the country).
I had family [...]

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Genealogy of music (and the Skeksis departed)

I really enjoy seeing artists’ renditions of the genealogies (or family trees) of music, specifically rock music. Last year I bought a vintage t-shirt on eBay that shows a rock & roll family tree, starting with Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, and Louis Armstrong and progressing up the trunk to the outer branches of popular late 1980s [...]

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Fertility phones, planting yellow plums, save as PDF

I have four things to share today. Ready, set, go:
1. Here’s some interesting technology news from Engadget Mobile: Samsung has filed a patent application for a fertility-measuring phone. The phone is capable of tracking a woman’s fertile periods. Oh, yes, it’s true . . . by measuring eardrum distance and body temperature. [...]

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Brix, Inland Empire, coconut for cats, South Park

Here are a few random notes to round out what’s been a busy month of August:
Check out this cell phone concept, called Brix, courtesy of Yanko Design. Brix modular cell phone can expand into a large-screen display. It’s cool, but probably unrealistic for the mainstream. SciFi.com published a related article this week: “Top 10 [...]

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Alejandro Jodorowsky, “Chocolate Rain” parodies, U.S. Open

On the heels of my Inland Empire watching and rewatching, I’ve spent a lot of time with Alejandro Jodorowsky’s films lately. I bought the The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky DVD (released earlier this year), which includes his four earliest movies: La Cravate (1957), Fando y Lis (1968), El Topo (1970), and The Holy Mountain [...]

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California rolls, cat battles, 300 revisited

I think this will be a short post in celebration of the weekend finally arriving. This was the longest four-day workweek ever.
Sometimes there’s just no better lunch on a Friday afternoon than brown rice California rolls, with wasabi and pickled ginger (one of the few “pickled” items I enjoy). A delicious treat every now [...]

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New fish and Novak Djokovic

Following the recent death of the last fish (Jezebel the alarmingly aggressive goldfish) from my original 2003 fish tank setup, I cleaned out the aquarium and started over this weekend.
But, before I get to my new fish, I want to mention the U.S. Open 2007 men’s final. This was the first match I’ve watched [...]

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Swimming cats, The Animation Show, Firefox extensions

What have I spent time watching online this week?
Swimming cats
This week a friend and I watched way too many YouTube videos centered on a “swimming cats” theme, which were followed by even more “devil cat” and “attack cat” videos. I don’t remember how it all started, but here are a few YouTube selections from [...]

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Marc Ecko and Barry Bonds’ ball, O.J. Simpson setup?

Marc Ecko is at it again! The AP reports that on Saturday, fashion designer and philanthropist Marc Ecko purchased Barry Bonds’ record-breaking home-run ball for $752,467. And he immediately launched a voting website “to democratize the debate over what to do with” the 756 ball. Should the ball be given directly to Cooperstown, should [...]

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2007 Blogger Boobie-Thon for breast cancer

So, you may remember that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but do you know about the annual Blogger Boobie-Thon for breast cancer? I just learned about it last week. It’s a website organized to gain donations for breast cancer research, through nudity (which, as we all know, is a consistently successful fundraising [...]

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Marié Digby and “popcorn music”

I kind of dig this girl, Marié Digby (pun unintended), who recently announced she had been signed to Hollywood Records after being “discovered” on YouTube only a few months ago. Check out her acoustic covers of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Nelly Furtado’s “All Good Things (Come to an End).” Only two months after originally posting [...]

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Amazon MP3 Beta launched, iTunes still annoying

I am very excited about Amazon MP3 Beta (minus the consumer profiling it inescapably contains). I hope it enables me to be done with iTunes Music Store, soon. Now that Apple’s iTunes has paved the way, it’s about time a major player forced changes to the way digital music is sold. Apple finally has [...]

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MLB playoffs/payrolls, Prawn To Be Wild, Gottfried, Letterman

I have four topics to ramble about today (if you don’t want to read about baseball, skip to the three more entertaining topics below):
MLB playoffs/payrolls
Every year around October I like to look at the payrolls of Major League Baseball teams that make the playoffs. Since there is no salary cap in MLB, the 30 [...]

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Radiohead’s In Rainbows and Maynard’s Puscifer

There has been a lot of interesting music news in the past few days. I’m just going to mention two things. One is really good news and the other is . . . I was going to say “bad” but it’s more like . . . WTF news.
The good news is: The new Radiohead [...]

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betterPropaganda and weird music videos

Just want to mention this: betterPropaganda’s already excellent website has been improved quite a bit over the past month. I’d say it may now be the best place to listen to indie music, find new favorites, and download mp3s for free. It’s like a quality college radio station without all the dead air, mumbling, [...]

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Zach Galifianakis, music news, Colorado Rockies, M&M’s

Let’s see . . . what useless stuff have I watched, read, or thought of in the past 10 days?
Music Videos: How about some Zach Galifianakis videos? I’ve watched Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” music video featuring Zach Galifianakis and Will Oldham about 20 times now. I’ve even started liking the song because [...]

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TV thoughts: Imaginationland, Heroes, Discovery Channel

I have a few quick thoughts to share about television shows.
Last Wednesday’s South Park episode, “Imaginationland,” was one of the best I’ve seen in ages. I loved the parts with M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Bay, and Mel Gibson. They were perfect. The episode was the beginning of what I’m sure will be an epic [...]

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College football victory chains, cat uses fork, Reznor

This post is about three things: the absurd results of college football games this season (such as Appalachian State and North Dakota State beating Big Ten teams), a crazy cat lady and her silverware-wielding cat (plus cute kittens), and Trent Reznor’s latest collaboration with hip-hop artist Saul Williams.
Absurd college football victory chains
Below are some [...]

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Happy Halloween: Vampire electronics and sports

Early this morning amidst the dense fog, I saw a woman dressed as a ladybug, with curved orange wings and all, riding a bicycle on her way to work/school. It was a surreal moment.
Here’s a Halloween concept for you: “vampire electronics.” This refers to all of your plugged-in appliances and entertainment devices consuming little [...]

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Freeware media/MP3 players, laughing baby, movies

As of this month I’ve lived in Oregon for six years. Now here are some random multimedia links for you.
Freeware media/MP3 players
Just in case any of you are sick of bloatware media players like Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, and QuickTime/iTunes that hog system resources and are always trying to update themselves against your will, [...]

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Imagination, How It All Ends, Google wireless, Muse

I have six things to mention today:

1. I will soon be reviewing the independent film Imagination by Eric and Jeffrey Leiser for Filmometer.com. They’ve let me know that a DVD screener of their three-year effort is in the mail. After invitations to a number of film festivals in 2007, additional theatrical openings of Imagination are [...]

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Lazy man’s Thanksgiving dinner for two

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, now is an excellent time to share my official lazy (read: efficient) man’s Thanksgiving dinner for two (on a budget). It works for Christmas dinner too!
Aren’t able to get home to see the family this year? Don’t really want to leave the house? Too busy to spend all day [...]

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Smokey the $1000 housecat: A Hemobart story

This 1500-word post is all about our pet cats, Smokey and Eli. Yes, that’s right. 1500 words. About our cats. Welcome to a rare break from posts about popular culture and random Internet nonsense. This story is mostly about Smokey’s near-death experience and, more generally, about the housekitties.
I had been waiting to write about this [...]

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Back from Florida, with links

This week I returned from Florida, where great times were had in the Orlando area, Miami Beach, and Key West. Since I last posted in mid-November, a lot of links have been visited. Here are a few good ones:
Science & Politics
I stopped by the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center while I was in Florida. In [...]

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Imagination by the Leiser Brothers

As mentioned on November 17, I received a DVD screener of Imagination by filmmakers Eric and Jeffrey Leiser to review. Now that I am back from vacation, I had a chance to watch their film and recently posted my 15-word review to Filmometer.com. But I want to expand upon my thoughts here.
Imagination by [...]

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Glow-in-the-dark cats and other amusements

I have a few random stories/videos to share that I found last week:
Glow-in-the-dark cats
This was interesting: South Korean scientists clone cats whose genes have been altered so that they glow in the dark. Because of the red fluorescence protein in their skin cells, these cats look reddish under ultraviolet light. View reports via Slashdot [...]

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Happy Holidays: UNICEF, pecans, Google, magicJack

Happy Holidays, everyone!
Yesterday we had some snowy driving when returning from Washington on I-84 (in between The Dalles and Hood River), but that was nothing compared to the beating the Midwest has been getting this December. Reminds me of why I moved to the Mid-Willamette Valley and out of the freezing snowlands.
You need to [...]

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Happy New Year: On dying consumer technologies

A few thoughts on dying consumer technologies for 2008:
Copy-protected music is almost dead. The demise of copy-protection software has finally almost arrived. Warner is the third of the four major music corporations to move away from digital rights management (DRM) software. In large thanks to the influences of Amazon MP3 and Radiohead this year. [...]

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