Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Watch it if you dare:
Others on the list include one for restless leg syndrome drugs. I think any drug commercials on TV ought to make a separate list to bad and inappropriate advertising. What morans among us use TV ads to determine what drugs to take? Isn't that the job of your doctor, anyway?
And what doctor's going to admit to prescribing drugs on the basis of TV advertising? I mean, we all know that they prescribe drugs sold by the hottest pharma reps or with the best junkets.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Anyway, this year it was at my in-laws, without my parents. And boy, did we ever get into the Christmas spirit. We had three separate parties. We had gifts. We sang carols. We had a visit from Santa Claus. And we ate, drank and were generally merry.
What may surprise the reader, though, is that there were only two Christians in the bunch. Everybody else was a Hindu or Muslim. And I guess that's why I entitled this post 'The Christmas Spirit.' What other season would bring all of us together in the spirit of family and love? It was a beautiful homage to the love of God and the blessings bestowed upon us. And it didn't matter one bit what book you think God wrote. All that mattered was the message of peace and harmony in those books.
Friday, December 22, 2006
whole business of the giant squid...
Well, as it turns out, Japanese researchers have filmed a live giant squid possibly for the first time ever. The thing I find fascinating is that nobody's ever filmed a live one before.
Giant squid, formally called Architeuthis, are the world's largest invertebrates. Because they live in the depths of the ocean, they have long been wrapped in mystery and embellished in the folklore of sea monsters, appearing in ancient Greek myths or attacking the submarine in Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."The one in the picture was caught, but died on the boat, I guess. Given that we've known about them for ages, I think it's amazing that we've put a man on the moon but hadn't filmed one of these buggers until now.
The communications director for Montana's lone congressman solicited the services of two men he falsely believed to be criminally minded hackers-for-hire -- with the expressed goal of jacking up his college GPA -- during an exchange that spanned 22 e-mails over two weeks this past summer.
The doofus in question is named Todd Shriber, a 28-year old graduate (maybe?) of Texas Christian University. Apparently, he went on the intrawebs with hopes of hiring a guy to do a job. Unfortunately for him, he contacted a website that likes to make fun of the technically illiterate. He's been fired, according to the linked story.
Friday, December 15, 2006
The Georgia Board of Education rejected an appeal from a crazy woman in Gwinnett County seeking to banish the young wizard from classrooms.
No really, woman. You're fucking crazy.
"I really feel like they haven't addressed all the issues that I've raised," said Mallory, who still could appeal the decision to Gwinnett Superior Court.
"But ... if just one family was helped — one parent, one child looked into the book a little more closely and how it is mainstreaming witchcraft — then I think it's worth the battle."
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Although some glitz has come off Mr Rove, Republicans have been more eager to blame botched campaigns and individual ethics scandals. “Bob Sherwood’s seat [in Pennsylvania] would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn’t whined about being throttled,” said Mr Norquist. Any lessons from the campaign? “Yes. The lesson should be, don’t throttle mistresses.”
Monday, November 06, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Creative Loafing compares the work to Monty Python and Will Farrell, calling it "Hilarious." The AJC raves "Performed in the youthful company’s raucously physical signature style, the three short plays throb with intelligence and surprise, deliberate provocation and political incorrectness —- and a kind of ambivalent, off-kilter, bittersweet grace."
You should go check it out.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
compensate for your small penis at the same time.
This year, 24, whose trailer was just released, is sponsored by the Toyota RAV4. The third generation cute-ute that is less Jack Bauer and more Jack McFarland. I mean, let's face facts, the RAV4 appeals to recently graduated women and gay men.
We need the answer from FOX. What the fuck is going on with our Jack Bauer? When faced with three or four swarthy, accent-toting terrorists in the upcoming season, is he going to want to just talk about their grievances? Hug it out? Maybe discuss B&Bs on the Cape?
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is.-- Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Kevin Tillman
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Bob Ney (R-$$) has decided not to give up his house seat, reports the New York Times. "In his guilty plea last week, Mr. Ney admitted to taking many gifts from Mr. Abramoff, including a 2002 golfing trip to Scotland by private jet, and then lying about them in his financial disclosure forms.
To the dismay of House colleagues eager to remove him as a symbol of the corruption scandals that are tarring several Republican candidates in next month’s Congressional elections, Mr. Ney, defying House leaders, has refused to step down for now, insisting that he owes his staff and his constituents a few more weeks of his time."
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
When workers at the High Museum of Art uncrated a famous painting by Rembrandt for the upcoming Louvre Atlanta exhibit, curator David Brenneman was astonished at what he saw. The High's new light-filled galleries illuminated something in "Saint Matthew and the Angel" he'd never noticed before, even when he'd carefully viewed the 1661 painting at its home in Paris' Louvre museum: The angel has a wing. It was a detail unseen even when the piece traveled to the National Gallery of Art in Washington last year, where the museum's online catalog read: "Rembrandt humanized the spiritual inspiration that guided Matthew by painting the angel as a young boy, without wings."
The Post article describes the phenomenon, and speculates as to its causes and ramifications:
In an era of webcams and discount airfares that help expatriates keep close ties to their homelands, researchers say Indians retain some of the closest, thanks in part to Indian media, which are particularly pervasive around the globe.
But few other immigrants live such "transnational" lives -- yet, said Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute at the New York University School of Law."Living in two places is going to be more of a phenomenon than we've seen in the past," Chishti said. "It raises, obviously, the very difficult question, a social and psychological question: What becomes home?"
Monday, October 02, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Yesterday, I hooked up our new MacBook to the second HDMI input on the plasma (I knew I needed a second digital input!) for the first time.
I just watched the Illinois-Louisville Final Four game, which I had downloaded from IlliniTorrent and transcoded to H.264 MPEG-4. The video was streamed from my G5 PowerMac to my MacBook in 480p over my Airport network. It was just a test, to see how well this all works.
Bottom Line: If the iTV is even close to my little experiment in quality and experience as the experiment, it's going to be a success.
There was more than enough bandwidth to FF/REW without buffer lag and I was able to watch the whole thing without any sort of clunkiness. This is over a 801.11g network. Imagine if Apple installs 801.11n hardware into the thing (which is probably why Apple is delaying the thing anyway). You're looking at 720p (or better) movies that you own, streamed over a home network to a STB attached to your projector or TV.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Look no further than Apple, the leader of the pack, whose overall score holds steady at 9.1. Last year, Apple's score on units needing repair was an impressive 11 percent—well below that of any other company in the survey. But according to readers, the company has managed to cut repair rates even further over the past 12 months. This year, Apple's score on units needing repair drops to 8 percent. Among first-year systems, it's only 5 percent. That's nothing less than astonishing.
As we've said in the past, Mac owners are unusually passionate about their machines, and this may have had an effect on the company's unusually high Service and Reliability scores. But the score for percentage needing repair is less subjective than others. Either Apple is doing something right when it comes to quality control, or its restrictive warranty makes people less likely to have their systems repaired.
Just how satisfied are Mac owners? That 9.1 overall score is significantly better than the average for Windows PCs. And the same can be said of the company's scores for reliability and the likelihood of recommending. It should be noted, however, that Apple's score on technical support is down this year (from 8.4 to 8.1).
Why do we separate notebooks from desktops? Well, in terms of service and reliability, the best desktop companies don't always manufacture the best notebook computers, and vice versa. Yes, Apple gets it right on both counts. This year, yet again, the Mac is a Readers' Choice for notebooks as well as desktops. But the other Readers' Choice for notebooks, Lenovo/IBM, receives some of the lowest desktop scores. And Sony, so impressive on the desktop side, is merely average when it comes to notebooks.
Once again, Apple is at the top. Its overall score, 9.1, is significantly better than the average for Windows notebooks—and a full seven-tenths of a point better than Lenovo's overall score, 8.4. Its scores for reliability (9.2), tech support (8.5), and likelihood of recommending (9.4) are also significantly better than average. Yes, its score on percentage needing repair is merely average, but at 16 percent, it's the lowest of the survey (alongside Sony's 16 percent).
Is this a function of that unique passion Apple users have for the company's products? Perhaps. But, again, it's hard to question the number of units needing repair. Among first-year systems, only 7 percent needed repair—2 points better than Sony.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
"I don't think there is an expectation that this (U.N.) force is going to physically disarm Hezbollah," Rice said. "I think it's a little bit of a misreading about how you disarm a militia. You have to have a plan, first of all, for the disarmament of the militia, and then the hope is that some people lay down their arms voluntarily."
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. was heard saying "This is exactly the type of can-do, get-tough, my-way-or-the-highway attitude I was talking about." Also, the obligatory John "I am the walrus" Bolton picture:
Complimentary obligatory Dieter Zetsche picture:
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
IARC Statement on Senator George Allen
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mr. Radha Krishnan - (202) 347-1223 IARC Executive Director email@example.com
August 15, 2006
IARC Statement on Senator George Allen
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Indian American Republican Council issued the following statement from its Chairman Dr. R. Vijay:
"We don't believe Senator George Allen was making a reference to the ethnicity of Jim Webb's campaign volunteer. He has apologized for any misunderstanding this statement has caused. We do know that Senator Allen has worked closely with Indian Americans when he was Governor and as U.S. Senator, and he has always garnered strong support from the community. He has visited India and showed strong leadership in supporting the U.S.-India civilian nuclear agreement.
"It's disappointing to see Jim Webb using an Indian American volunteer in a demeaning fashion in order to garner attention to his campaign. We believe there are pressing issues facing Virginia and our nation, from the war on terrorism to the challenges in the Middle East. Jim Webb needs to engage in these issues instead of attempting to smear the reputation of a respected leader."
Friday, August 11, 2006
A British intelligence official has told CNN that the original information about a plot to down commercial jetliners in mid-Atlantic with explosives came from a tip from the Muslim community in Britain.The official said the tip resulted from a person who had been concerned about the activities of an acquaintance after the July 7 terror attacks in London.Second, I hear that they found some "martyrdom tapes" in the homes of some of these pieces of shit. I think that somebody ought to buy the rights to them and turn them into MST3K comedy bits. It would probably be quite funny. And you could show them on a continuous loop to the guys as they rot in jail.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I'm just going to get under my desk and roll up into a little ball.
In a demonstration for Wired News, Grunwald placed his passport on top of an official passport-inspection RFID reader used for border control. He obtained the reader by ordering it from the maker -- Walluf, Germany-based ACG Identification Technologies -- but says someone could easily make their own for about $200 just by adding an antenna to a standard RFID reader. He then launched a program that border patrol stations use to read the passports -- called Golden Reader Tool and made by secunet Security Networks -- and within four seconds, the data from the passport chip appeared on screen in the Golden Reader template.
Grunwald then prepared a sample blank passport page embedded with an RFID tag by placing it on the reader -- which can also act as a writer -- and burning in the ICAO layout, so that the basic structure of the chip matched that of an official passport. As the final step, he used a program that he and a partner designed two years ago, called RFDump, to program the new chip with the copied information. The result was a blank document that looks, to electronic passport readers, like the original passport.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Similarly, this Bernstein post over at the Volokh Conspiracy strains credibilty. First, he quotes Cole:
As for the Iraq War, puh-lease. Opinion polling shows that in spring of 2003, some 75 percent of Americans wanted to go to war against Saddam's regime. At the same time, only a little over 50 percent of American Jews supported the war. "Jews" did not cause the Iraq War. George W. Bush caused the Iraq War. He had Gentile advisers who wanted him to go for it. He had a handful of Jewish advisers who wanted him to go for it. But he is the president. It was his decision. And the American Jewish community was distinctly lukewarm about the whole idea, and very divided.He then tries to contrast this statement with several Cole quotes assigning some blame for US mid-east policy to Likud, Ariel Sharon and their US allies (namely the neo-cons). Those quotes, Bernstein says, conflict with the passage above. Hmmm... indeed.
Would Bernstein really have us believe that Likud is the same as the international Jewish population? Hell, even Ariel Sharon moved out of Likud in the years after we invaded Iraq. I know a lot of jews (I also have black friends) and most of them were and are agaisn the Iraq war. But we're to believe that they're Likud party members or Ariel Sharon supporters?
I hate to go all ad hominem at this point, but I'm pretty happy I didn't have Prof. Bernstein for a law school teacher.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Apple Computer Inc, maker of the Macintosh personal computer, may report its slowest profit growth in more than two years as demand wanes for its iPod music players.
Net income in the third quarter ended July 1 probably rose 17% to $375 million, or 42 cents a share, from $320 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier, said UBS AG analyst Benjamin Reitzes, Institutional Investor’s third-ranked computer analyst. His estimate is 2 cents lower than the average of 21 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
About half an hour or so later, Apple "said third- quarter profit rose 48 percent on demand for Macintosh computers," according to Bloomberg.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Why? Could it be the "I am only doing what's best for you's" or the "you need me's?" Could it be my own insecurities about my physical appearance? I don't know what binds me to you.
But sometime, when I think about you, I feel twin rushes of desire and revulsion. I know you will shape me into something prettier than I am now. But I know your chiselling will cause me great pain.
Why do I come back?
The third hotel, which I got a good deal on, but is part of a 5-star chain, was just OK.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I wonder if I can work in a side trip somewhere, too. Hmm.... The beaches of Goa? The French colonial splendor of Pondicherry? Maybe the traditional desert elegance of Udaipur?
Friday, July 14, 2006
In what must be great news for my friend and colleague, Shyam Reddy, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced today that he is the best Sec'y of State candidate on the Democratic side of the ballot. I hope those of you reading this blog in Georgia will go out and vote on Tuesday for Shyam.
According to the paper, "The six Democrat candidates offer a range of experience and ideas about how to protect investors, the elderly and the integrity of the elections system. But the standout is Shyam Reddy, an attorney making his first run at elected office."
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Instead, Zidane chose the headbutt. Why? Is there some sort of Franco-Tunisian proclivity to the head butt? Does Zidane have a weapon hidden in that skull of his -- Materazzi went down kinda hard. Why headbutt? That's what I want to know.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I can't imagine a worse place than SF to be a single woman. A relative dearth of straight single men, I'd gather. Maybe they ought to go to Silicon Valley to find a nice FOBbish Indian guy or something.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
After a year or so of wrangling over rights to the ESPN family of networs (the Deuce, the U, ESPN Rodeo, etc.) Comcast and ESPN have apparently agreed to settle their differences in time for the World Cup. ESPN2 HD has shown up on my receivers on Channel 847, just above ESPN HD at 846.
This is great, because the first US match, against the Czech Republic on June 12, is broadcast on ESPN2. Oh how I would suffer if I could not watch it in beautiful 720p. If you're in Atlanta -- I live on the Virginia-Highlands/Druid Hills border, or have Comcast somewhere else, you should to see whether you've gotten the channel on your set-top box.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Cool Hunting has some nice pictures of the Nike+iPod product. As you can see, it has set workouts and customizable distances, as well. BusinessWeek had a good article on how the companies dreamed up this idea. Apparently, the idea was Nike's and they turned to Apple for the technology partnership. "It turns out the answer is a smart running shoe, equipped with a small sensor that can track motion and distance and other metrics that runners find important, but the information would only be available after their run is complete, not while running. 'We quickly realized that making a smart shoe wasn't smart enough.' So [Nike CEO Mark] Parker called a friend: Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The result was the kit, which both called simply a 'great start.' The two companies will develop more products as part of an ongoing partnership."
Unfortunately (for me) it's running only for now. I tried to start running but could only get to two miles or so before suffering from terrible shin splints. I've gone back to stairclimbing and lifting and introduced myself to the elliptical machine, too. I'd love to have records of my workouts -- I have a Nike Triax C6 watch and heart rate monitor. It would be awesome to be able to track my heart rate with the HRM, have it connect to my iPod for workout management and log it on my computer. I've seen great results from simply monitoring my heart rate while in the gym. Now, I'd like to be able to track progress, etc.
So this is just a "great start?" Let's hope so. C'mon Apple and Nike, get to work.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
William A. Niskanen, the chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, "recently analyzed data from 1981 to 2005 and found his hunch strongly confirmed. When he performed a statistical regression that controlled for unemployment (which independently influences spending and taxes), he found, he says, “no sign that deficits have ever acted as a constraint on spending.” To the contrary: judging by the last twenty-five years (plenty of time for a fair test), a tax cut of 1 percent of the GDP increases the rate of spending growth by about 0.15 percent of the GDP a year. A comparable tax hike reduces spending growth by the same amount.
The article's author offers three conclusions (emphases mine):
First, the root-canal economics of pre-Reagan conservatism was right all along: the way to limit the growth of government is to force politicians, and therefore voters, to pay for all the government they use—not to give them a discount.
Second, conservatives who are serious about halting or reversing the dizzying Bush-era expansion of government—if there are any such conservatives, something of an open question these days—should stop defending Bush’s tax cuts. Instead, they should be talking about raising taxes to at least 19 percent of the GDP. Voters will not shrink Big Government until they feel the pinch of its true cost.
Third, the most effective constraint of all is to raise taxes and cut spending: exactly the sort of anti-deficit package that anti-tax conservatives pummeled the first President Bush and President Clinton for approving, and exactly the sort of package that the current President Bush and his anti-tax allies are sworn to block.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
So imagine my shock yesterday when I saw a lowly Ford Fusion in one of those prized berths. And next to it...a freaking Buick? Yep. Apocalypse Now.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
...but what's more striking about the GOP over the past 100 years or so is its continuity. The party's main, almost sole, purpose has been to ensure that as much money as possible goes to those who need it least and that as little as possible goes to those who need it most. In a party of moneybags, Theodore Roosevelt was the exception, not the rule.I don't know if the author knew it, but he is paraphrasing Bill Maher, who said that Republican economic policy is underpinned by the belief that the Rich aren' t rich enough because the Poor are hoarding all the money.
During the past five years America's tax code has become far more complex, somewhat less progressive, and has done less to improve incentives to work and save than first appearances suggest. [...] Tax rules were horribly complicated, of course, long before the Bush presidency, but during the past five years things have got much worse. The number of pages of federal tax regulations has risen by over 40%, from 46,900 in 2000 to 66,498 this year, according to Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute. The number of different tax forms issued by the Internal Revenue Service has soared from 475 in 2000 to 582.On the other hand, I guess it was unrealistic of me for W to have success in even this simple goal. Why should this be any different than any other area of governance?