Archive for January, 2007

2007.01.31

February 2007 Blog Challenge

It’s been just over a year, I believe, since the last blog challenge has been issued. I miss these things. They gave me a goal for writing which is sometimes all the motivation I need. What is a blog challenge, you ask? Basically someone sets a goal for participants to write about for a fixed period of time (somewhere along the line it became a month).

Previous challenges included a post a day for a solid week (which turned into a month!), two “thank you” challenges, a yearly goals challenge (I think I failed miserably on that one!), dealing with the alphabet, a non-blogging challenge, tips and tricks, a formative school event challenge, and a favourite posts listing..

I’ve thought about what to come up with for this month. I started off thinking it would be fun to redo the alphabet challenge. Now I’m thinking about found items.

Found items are the objects that unexpectedly pop into your life that are so out of place or interesting that you take notice. They affect you. Sometimes it’s a letter tucked into a book (read the PPS) but it could be telescopes set up on a sidewalk by neighbors to show people the transit of Mercury or legs coming out of a hole in the ground.

So for the challenge… Describe three items you’ve found. This can be done in a single article or in several.

1: The item must not have been yours when found.
2: It must be a physical object.
3: If found more than a couple months in the past it must be something you still have. Obviously this doesn’t apply for things you find “that day.”
4: Extra “points” for pictures and stories if you have them!

Leave a comment if you’re up for the challenge. Be sure to link to your site so we can follow along (or better, link to your posts about found items!). Let the challenge begin!

4 Comments | Catergorized: site

2007.01.30

Another Blog Challenge?

Anyone up for a blog challenge for the month of February? It’s been a long, long time since the last one…

5 Comments | Catergorized: site

2007.01.29

Move On, Kids!

Is it just me or is Battlestar Galactica gaining something I never ever expected? Like a bloody irritating sub-plot involving Apollo and Starbuck borderline cheating on each other to not even really cheat on each other?

Enough with the emo already! Either consumate and become a couple or move on! The angst is most unbecoming. And their spouses are just sad specimens. Talk about enablers. “Gee, I really hate the fact that you love [Starbuck/Apollo] but if that’s the way you want it then you should go for it.” Cue goth music.

If I were in their situation I would be pissed off.

So I know this has all been written and shot and in the can well ahead of time, but I hope that they get off this pathetic love melange as soon as possible and get back to running from the cylons like their lives depended on it. I love the show, but like all things I love there’s always something that irks me.

Comments Off on Move On, Kids! | Catergorized: grrr  tv

2007.01.27

The Decision Maker

After a lukewarm State of the Union address, President George Bush has reiterated that, regardless of consequences, that he is the decision maker.

“One of the things I’ve found in Congress is that most people recognize that failure [in Iraq] would be a disaster for the United States. And in that I’m the decision maker. I had to come up with a way forward that precluded disaster,” Bush said.

This hearkens back to last year when he declared, “I’m the decider.” Does he think all it takes to lead is to make decisions?

I’ve been trying to think up an analogy for George Bush and all I can think of is he’s like an abusive parent. He’s a parent that sees all the world as a wayward, naughty child who needs to be disciplined. He’s a parent who thinks he knows best on how to raise this wayward, naughty child and everyone else be damned if they disagree with him because he’s the decider.

They’ll see how he was right after the wayward, naughty child grows up to be an upright, self-reliant citizen. Never mind that the wayward, naughty child hasn’t been in any sense wayward or naughty, even if some of the other kids are. Never mind that the child will have to undergo years of therapy to move on past the abuses of the parent (if the child survives the strict verbal and physical discipline).

The idea that Bush is a sort of abusive parent is why it’s refreshing to see people like Jim Webb (D-VA) not intimidated by the supposed parent, who speaks his mind, and can call a spade a spade (or an abuser and abuser).

Suprisingly the Democrats let the freshman Senator from Virginia give the Democratic response to the State of the Union (transcript and downloadable version here). Given the Democratic leadership of the past several decades I’m impressed they gave someone of Webb’s caliber the honor.

I almost wish he would run for President… Too many established politicians try too hard to appease and appeal to too many people. We need another Teddy Roosevelt-type of leader who is individually strong, identifiable, knows how to roll up his sleeves to get things done, and doesn’t need to appease and appeal all the time to lead. George Bush thinks he is this kind of leader. Alas he is not.

5 Comments | Catergorized: political  thoughts

2007.01.26

Brain Damage Cures Smoking?

Well whack me in the head. It looks like brain damage (specifically to the insula) might actually help people stop smoking. The insula, known for it’s “role in body representation and subjective emotional experience,” seems like something people might not want damaged deliberately though. Perhaps they will come up with a sort of Flintstone’s chewable pill for adults (and not a few children).

I wonder what other addictive behaviour getting smacked in the head really hard might cure? Compulsive eating? Cheek chewing? Alcoholism? Nose picking? Various manifestations of OCD? People who talk on the phone while driving? Oh, especially people who can’t shut up while they are driving their one ton vehicles and turning into my lane while not looking to see if anyone is there. If anyone deserves some brain damage it’s those people.

Regardless, it would be hoped now that if they can create a drug to target the insula like an Aegis missile for smoking cravings. Launch missile when ready, sir!

Comments Off on Brain Damage Cures Smoking? | Catergorized: life  science

2007.01.24

Busy Busy Busy

I’ve been really busy lately with A) work, B) a secret project and C) wasting time defraying my brain. So to make up for my lack of posting here’s a load of random links for you to play around with.

With all the controversy surrounding the supposed suspension of habeus corpus and the Bush administration invading our privacy it’s lovely that Andy Griffith, that paragon of whistled theme songs, would be against spying on fellow citizens.

I’m intrigued by a new bit of writing software for the Mac called Scrivener. I’m just starting to play with it but if true then I’ll have a new utility for writing.

I once thought Mookee could drink a lot once he got started by good lord, Andre the Giant not only got a posse, he got a fabulous drunk on! “Think about it: 119 beers in six hours. That’s a beer every three minutes, non stop. That’s beyond epic. It’s beyond the ken of mortal men. It’s god-like.”

That’s not body armor… this is body armor.

If you read as much as I do, then you sometimes get to viewing writers somewhat like celebrities. Feel free to start stalking them (or at the very least, reading what they have to say).

And if you have a lot of their books some of them are bound to be damaged. Learn how to fix them. Wow. A blog about book repair. I never saw that one coming.

I still love the simple brilliance of these pictures, especially this one.

For language lovers, here’s a fun romp called How I Met my Wife. It’s a little confusing at first, but brilliant.

All right. Be good.

Comments Off on Busy Busy Busy | Catergorized: geek  life

2007.01.21

What Is Speculative Fiction?

I’m a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, both in book and movie format. I also enjoy alternate history and some horror. What these genres have in common is they all ask the question:

What if…?

In a sense all fiction is speculative, otherwise it would not be fiction at all. The difference is that “normal” fiction deals with the world as it is. It does not seek to change fundamental realities, even when it take some artistic license. And yet…

What if aliens invaded Earth? What if, in a medieval world populated with various non-human races, a dark overlord threatened freedom? What if a virus turned the population of England into raving zombies? What if America never entered World War Two? What if there was a war between Heaven and Hell that was leaking into our world?

All of these premises speculate on what the world (ours or someone elses) would be like. These stories (and even some documentaries) force us to imagine how the world could be different. In some cases they will make us wish to change the world we live in, in other cases they will make us appreciate our lives, and sometimes they simply entertain us with a reality that is not our own. In all cases there is possibility. The possibility of, “What if…”

I love speculative fiction. It is the mainstream’s subversive vice, the muse of possibility and intelligence…

What if…

7 Comments | Catergorized: books  movies  thoughts  tv

2007.01.20

Reassessing Beckham in LA

It’s been over a week since I learned that soccer superstar David Beckham was moving to the States to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy. My initial thoughts were somewhat optimistic. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, though, I’m becoming less than enthusiastic. I think I’m moving much more clearly in line with Robert Weintraub at Slate and Carlos at Population Statistic.

I’d still like to go see him play, and I definitely would love to see soccer grow in popularity here in America, but now I’m beginning to wonder if maybe Becks is more interested in his friends than any footie. I also wonder if American soccer is going to become the slums of European retired players, which we can’t afford and don’t want.

Bother bother.

Comments Off on Reassessing Beckham in LA | Catergorized: games  thoughts

2007.01.20

BSG Reminder!

For all you Colonials and Cylons out there, don’t forget that Battlestar Galactica starts up the second half of Season Three tomorrow (Sunday) night at 10PM on SciFi Channel. You know I’ll be watching…

2 Comments | Catergorized: geek  tv

2007.01.18

VIZ Is a Top Geek Job

Thanks to Wendy for pointing out that my employer, VIZ Media, is considered one of the top geek places to work in the Bay Area. Sweet! And boy, are they not wrong…

Comments Off on VIZ Is a Top Geek Job | Catergorized: geek  san francisco  work
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