Back from Arizona, with links

Monday, February 16, 2009

Here is some stuff I have read and watched recently, mostly while in Arizona last week.

Google PowerMeter screen Google PowerMeter

Google recently released prototype software that allows users to receive real-time home energy usage data from compatible “smart meters” and use that information to optimize their energy use. Read the article: “Google PowerMeter: For A Planet In Peril.” I’d like to get one, to settle debates about house heating strategies, but I don’t know of any smart grids or smart meters in use in Oregon yet. Nevertheless, soon Google will know everything about you. Everything.

Consumerism and crap you can buy

On a related note, perhaps you’d like to wear a blanket with sleeves, to help curtail winter heating costs? If everyone at your workplace is talking about (and buying) Snuggies and ShamWows like they are where I work, I offer condolences. Ugh. It’s infomercial mating season! Anyway, here’s something funny: The WTF Blanket (Snuggie Parody).

Mr. Lee CatCam This video from The Onion is kind of incredible (if you don’t mind the profanity): “Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn’t Fucking Work.”

Here’s a cool site: Mr. Lee – Projects for cats and pets. Interested in acquiring a cam or tracking device for your cat? Here you go. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see what your cat does all day? Well, maybe not so much for indoor cats . . . unless you’re interested in watching hours of near-motionless sleeping. CatCam!

Here’s a nice long article about publishing, e-books and iPhone vs. Kindle: “The once and future e-book: on reading in the digital age.”

Movie-related rumors

You might want to check out the highlights of Joaquin Phoenix’s recent appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” I think Joaquin was just pretending to be totally out it. He’s a good actor. I think it’s all to generate publicity for his new in-production documentary with Casey Affleck . . . and I think Letterman was in on his Andy Kaufmanesque appearance. It seems likely that Phoenix’s new project will be a mockumentary. And his retirement from acting is all an act, for now.

Danny Elfman will be providing the score for Terminator Salvation, but there are new rumors that . . . “Thom Yorke and Gustavo Santaolalla Might Collaborate on Songs for Terminator Salvation?” I’d be more excited about Radiohead’s potential involvement in this movie if I had confidence in McG to produce a high-quality film. I don’t care about the backstory of why he calls himself “McG.” All I know is that it’s a half-step from McLovin.

Flair vs. Bear I watched a bunch of movies during the past week. See my ratings and reviews and Filmometer.com.

Random amusements

A friend sent this game trailer video to me and I am sharing it for the same reason. It’s idiotically funny, even if you have no idea what’s going on. It’s the Flair vs. Bear Trailer for Red Alert 3 Uprising.

Anything involving the nine circles of Hell piques my interest, so I found this curious. In the new Dante’s Inferno video game for PS3, the protagonist is a muscular, six-foot knight armed with a scythe. Hmm.

I will leave you with this Calvin & Hobbes comic strip about Calvin trying to sell lemonade. It’s a timely economics lesson from Bill Watterson, from 15 years ago. Gimme bailout?

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