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Oops, someone missed a little fact. - Recently. A (We)Blog

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  1. Back from Bah Hahbah

    brian on 2004.05.31
    at 02:23 am

    Amanda and I just returned with pictures from Mount Desert Island, Maine. The focus of our trip was Acadia National Park. We stayed at a B&B in downtown Bar Harbor.

    Posted in: Photography

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  2. Friday Tab Scrubbing

    jake on 2004.05.29
    at 01:51 am

    Good night.

    Posted in: Design · Science · Software · Technology

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  3. The Anti-Bush Game

    jake on 2004.05.28
    at 01:31 am

    Bushgame ScreenshotI came across this game at Jeff's site. It's an educational video game based on the Bush Administration. It turns into an ad for Kerry by the end but I enjoyed the antics. And you even get to battle as Howard Dean, a personally more appealing Democrat. Stupid bipartisan crap.

    Posted in: Politics · Software

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  4. All Phished Out

    brian on 2004.05.26
    at 02:07 pm

    Today I note the close of an era in American music. Yesterday, Vermont's Phinest band, and one of the world's all-time most successful touring bands, Phish announced that they were calling it quits after 21 years of good times. I am saddened by the news. They had become one of my favorites in the last few years, and it looks as if I will never get the opportunity to experience them live in the flesh.

    Recently, I've been digging Trey Anastasio's solo project very much. So the silver lining is that I should be able to get more of that. And here's to a reunion tour soon!

    Posted in: Music

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  5. Saabaru

    brian on 2004.05.25
    at 03:59 pm

    I may have noted before that my favorite car company, Saab, and my favorite car model, a Subaru WRX, have been merged together as one in the new Saab 9-2X. It's true and there's two truths: 1) I can't afford to buy one right now. 2) It'd only be better if it were a hybrid.

    Anyhow. The Independent has a good overview of the new Saab. It's written by someone who clearly understands Saab's history, and unique place as an automaker.

    Posted in: Auto

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  6. Reserve Your Copy Today!

    brian on 2004.05.25
    at 03:22 pm

    A Pop up ad from Catholic OnlineOK, silly story to tell. I was perusing Coudal Partners' website, and in their "About" section, they has a link to their "patron saint."

    Well, I had just disabled my pop-up blocker in Safari so that I could enjoy some sample tracks off of Phish's new album. Sure enough, when I clicked on the patron saint link, which lead to Catholic Online (catholic.org) I got a pop up. Yes, God sent me a pop-up ad he wanted me to see.

    As disturbing as that is alone, the content of the pop-up was even more disturbing:

    Catholic Online is the best way to reserve you {sic} pre-release copy of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" DVD/VHS.

    Order as many as you want with NO LIMITS

    I took a screen shot for your displeasure.

    Posted in:

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  7. 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

    brian on 2004.05.25
    at 01:39 pm

    The National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2004.

    Included on the list is the State of Vermont, under siege again by the Wal-Mart Corporation.

    Also, Nine Mile Canyon, called "the world's longest art gallery" for its 10,000 Native American rock-art images, is threatened by the Bush Administration's plans for extensive oil and gas exploration. Nine Mile Canyon is located in a remote part of east central Utah. The canyon is said to contain the highest concentration of monochromatic prehistoric rock art in North America. Nine Mile Canyon is also an area with many diverse historic sites from the days of pioneer settlement, such as stagecoach stops, ranch buildings and settler’s cabins.

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  8. GreaseCar!

    brian on 2004.05.25
    at 01:20 pm

    I saw this company in a small news tidbit on the news today, check them out! GreaseCar.

    GreaseCar is a company that sells vegetable oil conversion kits for diesel powered automobiles. It's a dual fuel system, that uses regular diesel along side regular vegetable oil to power the car. Where do you get the oil to run on? Most restaurants will give it to you for free, since waste frying oil usually costs them money to remove. You simply collect it, filter it, and put it in your veggie-tank. Regular diesel fuel is still used to start the vehicle, and to shut it down. The car can also run exclusively on regular diesel when vegetable oil is unavailable.

    If I had a diesel powered car, I'd be getting in contact with them right now!

    Note from Jake: Drivers Eye Vegetable Oil As Cheap Fuel - Article from Associated Press, references to GreaseCar and Weston, CT, the state Brian and I grew up in.

    Posted in: Auto · Technology

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  9. Nutshell: What's wrong with America

    brian on 2004.05.24
    at 03:53 pm

    There's a lot right with America, but here's a quote that sums up a lot of what is wrong...

    "The days of engineering-led technology companies are coming to an end," Mr. Dell declared. (NYT via /.)

    So many people don't want to really do anything themselves. They don't want to create, they just want to capitalize. Make money off of pimping, basically. Its in hip-hop music. It's in corporate America. And both gangsta' rap and Dell are enormously successfully and popular, both basically pretending and profiting.

    I'm all for making distribution more efficient (Dell reference, obviously, not the RIAA!) but hard work got America where it is, and coasting on image and pretense will undo that post-haste.

    Posted in: Technology

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  10. Rep Watch

    brian on 2004.05.24
    at 02:15 am

    Wally Watch is a weblog dedicated to reporting only on this guy's congressional representative; California's Second Congressional District, the Honorable Wally Herger. Fabulous. Every Congressman should have five of these, scrutinizing and impartially reporting upon their actions.

    Posted in: Politics

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  11. Gay donation banning

    jake on 2004.05.24
    at 01:45 am

    Tom makes a good point in reference to banning of sperm donations. He brings up the ban on blood donations too. I find it very discriminatory. The ban started in 1985 during the HIV scare. Considering that little thing I like to call knowledge this ban should have been lifted years ago. It's kinda like using the "sanctity of marriage" when discussing stopping homosexuals from marrying while the divorce rate is so high. Argh... I have to go to bed before I break something.

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  12. T Riders to be stopped for ID?

    brian on 2004.05.23
    at 01:19 am

    Don't Tread On Me - The Gadsen FlagAccording to this Globe article and numerous TV news reports, the MBTA apparently plans to start asking passengers for ID, and inquiring about their travel plans. Sounds like the East Germans asking for your papers, eh?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for rail safety and realize the state of world, and its anger against the our brilliant American leadership. But damn, if America has to give up the whole "Don't Tread On Me" platform we were founded on, what have we left to secure?

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  13. See Lance Ride

    brian on 2004.05.22
    at 01:07 am

    See Lance Ride

    Posted in: Sports

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  14. Pulpit Shaky

    brian on 2004.05.22
    at 12:34 am

    One of my favorite tech columnist/pundits is Robert X. Cringley (pen name, apparently). However, for the first time ever this week's column I feel is really quite off base. Now being who I am, I'm not really going to get into debunking this. I'm hoping John Gruber will take care of that for me, and to a much wider audience. But I'll say a few brief things here:

    1) I really don't know anything about the news broke by the New York Times the other day, so everything else here is my personal opinion as a Mac user for many years.

    2) Read the article (above) or else the rest of this won't make sense.

    3) Why would Steve Jobs want to make these divisions so it was easier to kill off the personal computer division of Apple, his baby? That's ridiculous. When he came back to Apple in the 90s, he axed just about everything, including peripherals and non-computer stuff (like the Newton). And you think he'd drop 25 years of personal computers for the upstart iPod? I doubt it. The Mac division won't "starve and die." with even the "tiny" amount of customers they have. Remember, volume-wise, Apple is one of the top five manufacturers in the world. Apple makes and sells a lot more computers than many companies who are not considered "going out of business."

    4) "Everything's ported to Intel, and all Mac users would upgrade, versus just a few million when the OS X change happened" Um, hello? Are you nuts? Why would people give up totally useful PPC machines, just to get new Intel-based ones? If God-Forbid that would happen, I would think there would be a rush to scoop up PPC-powered Macs.

    5) "what if IBM has no interest in supplying such a chip ("Cell")... for Apple?" Why wouldn't they want as many customers for their chip as possible? IBM and Apple are very friendly. Apple is a partner in the design of the PPC, not just a buyer of an IBM made chip, like the other companies RXC mentioned. So its unlikely IBM would have any reason why they would want to turn their back on one of their best partner/ customers. Crazy. They have a $3 Billion chip fab in New York State they built to create G5 chips, and they have to pay it off, baby!

    In conclusion: wow, Robert, maybe its the South Carolina water, but, damn man, what happened? This article is subpar.

    Posted in: Apple · Technology

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  15. Friday tabs, including Optima, Naked Rollercoaster riding, SBC strike

    jake on 2004.05.21
    at 06:51 pm

    Posted in: Design · Recent Events

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  16. RCN Down, not out, rips into Rest of Cable Industry

    brian on 2004.05.21
    at 01:08 pm

    RCN, one of the few companies trying to compete in the same markets as other cable giants is filing for bankrupcy. Their CEO wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal. (I all but expect for that link to break, and soon.)

    ...the major cable companies still divide-and-rule territory. When one company buys close to another, the rivals simply exchange geographic service areas, so that each side can expand their local fiefdoms -- the same business model championed by Tony Soprano.

    It's very true, the 1996 Telecom Act did nothing to breed competition in the cable industry. Rates are up 40%, and companies have never bought each other up so quickly.

    Even more irritating to consumers is the way the cable giants package their programming. This may be the only business in the world in which you have to purchase a product you don't want in order to get the product you do... In some systems, cable operators own nearly 50% of cable programming... Can you imagine if Wal-Mart insisted that you buy a hairbrush when all you want is a toothbrush?

    {Thanks Rob and Adam for the pointers.}

    Posted in:

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  17. Troy: The movie vs. The Illiad

    jake on 2004.05.20
    at 07:39 pm

    In the last couple days I’ve found two interesting sites about the move Troy.

    Agamemnon’s Hall of Greed, Mycenae
    MENELAUS: WAHHHHHHHHH!
    AGAMEMNON: There, there. I will be more than happy to wage a giant war and take over the entire Mediterranean get your wife back.
    MENELAUS: sniff You’re the best, man.
    AGAMEMNON: I know.
    ODYSSEUS: You realize we’re going to need Achilles, right?
    AGAMEMNON: DAMMIT!
    Some Island
    ODYSSEUS: Hey, man, what up?
    ACHILLES: Nothin’ much [dodge, parry, stab]. Just teaching Patroclus [dodge, parry, dodge] to fight [stab].
    ODYSSEUS: Lookin’ good there, kid. What is he, your—
    ACHILLES: Cousin. He’s my cousin. Cousin. Totally my cousin. In conclusion: Cousin.

    Posted in: History · Movies

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  18. Travel Pictures of India and Europe

    brian on 2004.05.20
    at 02:44 am

    A friend from work sent out an email with a link to his website with a ton of pictures from his travels in India and Europe. I thought I'd share them with you all. Thanks Ben.

    Posted in: Photography

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  19. The Cost of War

    brian on 2004.05.20
    at 02:39 am

    The Cost of War.

    Jake Here: Just thought I'd throw in my 2¢. The figures for Insuring Children. Um, we're almost at the roughly 55 million children between the ages of 5-17 according to the 2003 census. That's a lot of kids.

    Posted in: Politics

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  20. Epson builds 40" OLED Television

    jake on 2004.05.19
    at 01:07 pm

    Sieko Epson OLED TelevisionMaybe I should make a category just for stuff about OLEDs. Epson demoes a 40" display, the largest thus far. Originally I read that the process for producing an OLED display was not as complecx as a LCD, clean rooms are less necessary. So the price would be less, but now they're saying it'll be comperable to an LCD. Great, the one thing I wish I could have is better, in theory, to current technology, but still costs $10,000 at Best Buy. Ugh.

    From: Gizmodo

    Update: Right after I finished this I noticed Engadget also had a post about this TV. It also includes a couple more links to information.

    Posted in: Technology · Television

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  21. 17th Century Gone Wild

    jake on 2004.05.19
    at 12:56 pm

    Apparently showing one's breast was popular in the 17th century. It is speculated that it was a sign of virility.

    I find this interesting considering how in the US we still have Puritan ideals skewing our views of things. I'm not saying we should have women walking around with their breasts exposed. Just that it bothers me when artists are attacked over things related to the whole Puritan belief system.

    Posted in: History

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  22. Tuna ships inadvertantly killing dolphins

    jake on 2004.05.18
    at 10:04 pm

    Dolphin and calfThis has been collecting dust in my browser, but I finally got to write about this tab. Dolphins are still being affected by tuna fleets. Dolphins used to be killed because they were trapped in the fish nets. But the true problem is their proximity to tuna schools. Tuna gather near dolphins so the fishing ships follow them around. Then the dolphins are herded away to allow catching of the tuna. But in doing this the calves are separated from their mothers. The calf however uses its mother to draft. Similar to professional cyclists. And without the mothers help can have trouble reconnecting with the group. This is a horrible secondary effect (after the whole catching them in nets business) of human ignorance.

    "As the mother (dolphin) moves through the water, she pushes the water in front of her forwards and to the sides, to make space for her body," Weihs told Discovery News. "As she moves, the space behind her is filled with water moving forward and inward. If the baby is (positioned to the right) obliquely behind, it gets dragged along by the forward-moving water."

    Posted in: Science

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  23. Strawberry Shake Shootout

    brian on 2004.05.18
    at 07:12 pm

    Here's two reviews of recent Strawberry Milkshakes I've consumed.

    JP Licks Strawberry Frappe.

    To start, if you don't know what a Frappe is, that's OK. It's New England for "thin milkshake." That's going to skew things in my review, I'll admit. I prefer shakes that are thick. But I won't penalize JPL on grounds of style, however, being thinner, the drink loses its cool faster. A factor when walking the three or so blocks home while enjoying your treat.

    The Frappe is made with JP's own ice cream, which is of famously high quality. From what I could tell, The ingredients of my frappe were one ladel of chunky strawberry topping (ostensibly made of actual stawberries and syrup) some unknown amount of hard ice cream (assumedly vanilla) and my choice of whole or skim milk (I chose skim). Fresh, high quality ice cream base is going to give JPL the lion's share of their points. Flavor was pretty much spot on. Not too much on the sweet side, not too much on the milky side. I did get chunks of strawberry up the straw. However, a section I will penalize on is the grounds of price. There's only one size on the menu. Luckily for me, this was the quantity I wanted. But it weighs in at $4.50 before tax ($4.73 after). Ouch. The "Extra-Thick Frappe" is $4.75 on the menu.

    Things that I don't factor into the score here are ambience of the shop (I visited my local Coolidge Corner location, very nice) or quality of the server (equally good). But I thought I'd add that in.

    I give JP Licks' Strawberry Frappe a 3.5 out of 5 asterisks. JP Licks has 7 locations throughout the Boston area. But no website to link to. Here's a link to a review of their Newbury Street location.

    {Totally unrelated, on my walk back from JP Licks, my iPod treated me to one of my favorite songs, Recently, by the Dave Matthews Band - off the 1993 self-released "Remember Two Things." This is where I got the inspiration for our weblog's name (although its entirely relevant on its own). }

    --

    McDonald's Corp Strawberry Shake

    OK, now turning to an easier to find milkshake, we'll take a look at McD's. Here, the most points are scored right off the bat with a very good thickness. Just shy of "damn-near-impossible-to-sip." Also, McD's scores big points for value for your dollar. The medium size (16oz) is plenty big, and cost just less than $2. The flavor and ingredients are where McD's predictably slips. The flavor was surprisingly passable, but simply cannot compare to an actual ice cream shop. I've also had a vanilla shake once from McD's and thought it tasted like an oil slick, and promptly got a stomach ache from its unknown ingredients.

    Speaking of ingredients, one can only assume the shake is made of some form of McD's standard ice milk, which would save you a little on the fat side, but we don't make such considerations here. Additionally, the source of that dairy is likely very corporate in nature... surely not of ice cream shop quality, and the flavorings, colorings and thickening agents are partially of artificial nature. Big minuses in our book. However, in McDonald's defense, here are the actual ingredients from the shake I consumed. Surprisingly, strawberries are actually on the list. Unsurprisingly, there are preservatives.

    Again, ambience will not be factored in, as we stopped on the MassPike at 11pm on a Saturday night, that's good for McD's score. But it also does well in another unscored catagory of convenience.

    I give McD's Strawberry Shake a score of two asterisks out of five.

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  24. Montanans Sign Up

    brian on 2004.05.18
    at 02:07 pm

    Montanans are signing up in their traditional numbers to serve their country. I really respect anyone who has the courage and patriotism to put on the uniform and put their life on the line. These Montanans agree with me. However,

    "What they hear everyday in the pick-up truck is a nationalistic point of view that isn't challenged very much,"

    I am also of the belief that part of being a patriotic American is questioning authority and making sure the country isn't being led in the wrong direction. I still respect these guy's bravery, no doubt, but let's remember that war heros aren't the only heros. Guns, while important in some contexts, are not the only method of defending your country.

    Posted in: Politics

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  25. OLED display at NextFest

    jake on 2004.05.18
    at 01:17 pm

    I've posted a bunch of times about OLEDs in the past. Coming up next is Wired's NextFest where Universal Display Corporation will be showcasing some applications of the technology. I really wish this stuff was mainstream already.

    From: Engadget

    Posted in: Technology

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  26. Ben and Mena Interview, MT pricing commentary

    brian on 2004.05.18
    at 03:54 am

    I downloaded and enjoyed this audio interview that was conducted with Ben and Mena Trott of Six Apart. It accompanied me to work on the train via the blessed iPod. The interview was recorded just prior to their Moveable Type 3.0 licensing announcement that stirred up such a storm and has ruled the web development world over the last week or so.

    For the record, these guys deserve to make a buck after giving away their excellent product for like 3 years. Forget the rest, and pay up. Even if you qualify to use it for free, pay up, in my opinion. Could their commercial pricing schemes use a little reconsideration? Yeah, I would say so. But are there plenty of alternatives on the market, many excellent and free? Yes. Will the market eventually determine the legitimacy of the price? In this market, free from unusual instances that exist in, say, the desktop operating systems market, I would say the market will lead to their adjustment, but as a nod to Six Apart's unique personality as a progressive company, one day after their price announcements, they published clarifications, realignments, etc. when the announcement met with questions. That shows that they really care about the community that's grown up around their software. I think the people crying that the Trotts are bowing to the commands of their investors who are handing down this pricing structure simply don't understand what these two are about. If you don't like it, don't upgrade, or move on. It's simple.

    By the way, thanks to Jake for not making me pay for using this weblog. If Jake hadn't hand-forged this place, I'd likely be on TypePad or something. Actually, I'd probably be hand coding in the style of Zeldman. You should be as lucky as I to have a talented coder whom you can persuade to build you software under the guise that when it was done, he might enjoy using it, too.

    Posted in: Web

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  27. Colonial House

    brian on 2004.05.18
    at 03:17 am

    Hey, so I'm late to the game, but I watched my first episode of Colonial House on PBS tonight. Basically, its a reality series done right. And by saying I'm late to the game, I mean I didn't see an episode of Frontier House, Manor House, nor 1900s House. I heard of Frontier House, and that it was well done.

    Basically, if you haven't put two and two together, Colonial House is a bunch of present day Americans and Brits who volunteer to "go back in time" and try to be a colony in the new world. The eight-episode series was filmed over a five-month period in 2003 on an isolated stretch of the Maine coast. Everything is old (except for the boom cameras and mics, I suppose), from the tools, to the rules (including mandatory religion, which is funny because some left England because they didn't agree with the mandatory religion, among other reasons), to the salt-preserved food. There are even natives, who trade maize for flour, and bring a gift of fresh killed muskrat. Surprisingly, the pilgrims really enjoyed it. Even if they had to gut and skin it themselves. Of course, that's the point: they took two weeks of 1628 school at Plimouth Plantation where they learned the ways of the pilgrims, and how to fend for themselves.

    Terribly interesting. Of course, "check your local listings" but in general its shown mini-series like: May 17, 18, 24, 25, 2004
    8-10pm on PBS. For Boston locals, our wonderful GBH is showing it also at 10pm-12am.

    Posted in: Television

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  28. Bush administration always seeking more power to abuse

    jake on 2004.05.17
    at 01:04 am

    Along with sifting through coupons and reading up on new movie releases I came across an article in the Commentary Section. Its author is a professor at Yale Law School. He points out many things I agree with. There is too much abuse occuring with the current Patriot Act, and the administration wants more. It makes my blood boil.

    The administration demands our trust. But trust is a two-way street. This administration has proved it cannot be trusted. It has arrested the innocent on baseless charges; its armies have tortured and abused human beings. Now it has the audacity to demand even greater powers.

    Posted in: Politics

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  29. Incredibles Trailer online

    jake on 2004.05.14
    at 05:46 pm

    Frozone from trailerOn a much lighter note, The Incredibles comes out in November. And you can see a full trailer now. Looks like a good movie, just like everything else Pixar makes.

    Posted in: Movies

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  30. RIAA Continues to Lie with Statistics

    brian on 2004.05.14
    at 04:17 pm

    RIAA cooks the books to make a false case against file sharing. Again. Not that it's OK to steal music. But a billion dollar industry lying to make their case look worse than it is certainly doesn't make a great appeal to anyone's conscious. I prefer to buy my music online, whenever possible.

    Posted in: Music

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  31. Chimps running the Asylum

    brian on 2004.05.14
    at 03:59 pm

    Kurt Vonnegut on the state of America today. At 81 years of age, KV is still not afraid to tell it like it is. He's especially good at pointing out hypocrisy in action. Some excerpts…

    Doesn’t anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools or health insurance for all?

    How about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.

    Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. …

    And so on.

    Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney stuff.

    For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

    "Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

    Even crazier than golf, though, is modern American politics, where… you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative… If you aren’t one or the other, you might as well be a doughnut.

    Posted in: Politics

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  32. New Zelda game shown at E3

    jake on 2004.05.12
    at 06:13 pm

    Link from Zelda gamesI'm defintely getting too old for this, I hardly ever play games any more. But I just can't help but link to a trailer from a new Zelda game. Unlike the first Wind Waker, where everything was cel-shaded and looked like a cartoon, Link is looking more mature. Too bad this won't be out for a while.

    Posted in: Software

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  33. 'Passion' points out flaw in corporate theory

    jake on 2004.05.12
    at 05:42 pm

    Finding Nemo DVDWell here's some proof for you. According to Reuters, recently Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has been top of the heap for piracy on P2P networks. As was pointed out in a study a little while ago, P2P piracy does not have a direct correlation to sales of the product being pirated.

    The Reuters article points out the two most downloaded films of the past year.

    A company spokesman said the Pixar and Walt Disney Company animated flick "Finding Nemo" and the little-known Miramax "Shaolin Soccer" are the most pirated films online over the past year.

    Umm... well Shaolin Soccer was only just released in select cities in the US. I know I saw an add for it "coming soon" over a year ago. So how were we supposed to pay to see it? And Finding Nemo broke the record for DVD sales when it was released. I can imagine "The Passion" doing something similar. Anyone else see a problem here?

    Posted in: Movies · Technology

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  34. Car chases are environmentally friendly

    jake on 2004.05.11
    at 12:34 pm

    Dunstun, who seems to be getting hit on a lot in San Francisco, posted about movie car chases. He points out some tricks, with what includes a very funny quote,

    Stunt guy: I know, I know, it’s pretty clever, and a highly successful cinematic technique; the audience never suspect a thing, lemmie tell you. Plus, you know, it saves on petrol, so it’s more environmentally friendly.

    Environmetally friendly, hahahaha... maybe I need to get out more.

    Posted in: Rant

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  35. Brian's First Mugging

    brian on 2004.05.11
    at 02:22 am

    Basically it went down like so. I was walking around the Lechmere Canal, about half way from the mall to the train. I saw two black teens, probably no older than 15 loitering in the darkest section of the wide brick walkway. The walk way isn't terribly dark, honestly. I wasn't too far behind some other woman, but there was apparently no one behind me.

    They started towards my walking trajectory. One faster than the other, as to get on either side of my path. My instincts at that point sounded the alarm. That's not right. My liberal side kicked in "Don't stop walking because they're black. They're dressed cleanly, although very urban, that doesn't mean they're going to do anything. Lots of people mindlessly walk into people's path."

    At this point they were on either side of me.

    "Yo. Give me your wallet"

    "Hey now, come on. Stop it." I say as I try to push by.

    "No, man, wallet, give it up." He restates. It feels more like they're just going to try to bully me. I don't see any weapons. Maybe I can just walk through them.

    "Knock it off." At this point I'm paraphrasing everything, cause I don't remember the words, just the motions and images.

    "Give it up, man. I'm serious." At this point, I see the glimmering blade of a buck-style pocket knife, about three inches in length being held into my gut with light pressure. "Give me your wallet."

    "Alright, alright. There's no need for any of this. Can I just give you the cash, keep my license and stuff?" I attempt to reason with teenage assailants with a knife.

    "Yeah, yeah." Go figure.

    I whip out the cash and hand it over.

    "What else you got in there?" Referencing my bag. Shit, I think.

    "Nothing, I don't have anything else." I try to say as exasperated and pathetic as possible.

    One guy reaches in and see my phone, pulls it from the bag.

    "Oh, come on." I say. "Give that back, what do you want that for."

    "He's going to call the cops if we give it back." One says to the other.

    "Why bother?" I reason. "They'll never catch you anyway. I'm not going to call them. No point."

    "OK, give it to him." The fat one with the knife, the ring leader, says. Skinny one gives it back. Go figure.

    "What else you got?"

    "Nothing."

    "OK, don't be calling the cops now."

    I get out of there promptly. Honestly surprised. Not so bad for being "violated." Is this the feeling of violation? Why did they do this? They didn't look like typical thieves. They were dressed cleanly. They probably wore those clothes to school. They weren't thorough, and almost polite. I must have been lucky with a couple of rookies. Their whole life of crime ahead of them. They were probably a little scared, too. But as the street would teach, they hid it well. You never show weakness.

    I walk quickly to the train, and get on with little delay. I didn't call the cops, rather back to the store so they could alert mall security. I wasn't concerned too much with the police, as I was with preventing this from happening again that night to someone else. Security could do that. Their presence alone deters. People, attention deters. But, the cops would likely not catch them, unless they were really stupid and hung around there.

    When I got home, there was a message from the store that the police responded to their call instead of Mall Security. The cops usually have a presence in the mall. They want me to call them directly a file a report, because despite my description has passed along by the store, they can't file a report with anything less than a first hand description. I haven't called yet. I'm debating as to whether its even worth it.

    Mugging seems like such a nice word. Armed robbery with a deadly weapon is pretty fearsome. It turns out that this is one of the most common offenses in this area of Cambridge, in fact the biggest other than vandalism. But the analysis doesn't make me feel any better, because I and some many others have to walk that path twice daily.

    What an odd last month: get an awesome new job, treat yourself to a cool new bike for commuting. Have a great time in California training for two weeks, come back, next day find out my Grandfather has unexpectedly passed away. Work my first few days at the fun new job until driving 600+ miles in two days for the services. Hurt your back in at the service carrying stuff. Come back to work, can't ride the new bike thanks to the back injury, enjoy another few days of work, and then get mugged on the way to the backup transportation. Whenever you get a high point, there's life looking to knock you back down.

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  36. More redundant movie links

    jake on 2004.05.10
    at 03:53 pm

    Cory posted two articles from Strange Horizons. It is a web based magazine where they run user submitted stories. They have compiled lists of overly used plot lines. Stories We See Too Often and Horror Stories We See Too Often

    The only problem I have with the lists is in the horror list, under "Serial killer or vampire stalks and slays victim(s)." we find "d. The serial killer was abused as a child." This is based in reality, so a fiction piece about a serial killer would more often than not revolve around chile abuse. It is not always one of the causes, but it does occur regularly. I did a paper in college where I pointed out links of a handful of higher profile serial killers and their history of being abused. Here's Henry Lee Lucas,

    When little Henry sliced an eye while playing with a knife with his brother, his bootlegging, prostitute mother -- Viola Lucas -- left his gashed orb unattended for days until it eventually withered and had to be removed by a doctor. Once mom beat him so severely with a piece of wood that he lay in a semi-conscious state for three days before Viola's boyfriend decide to take him to a local hospital. Another time, she cruelly decided to send Hank to school in a dress and with his hair curled.

    There is some question as to whether Lucas actually committed the numerous murders he confessed to, but let's just say he wasn't very well adjusted either way. Unless the writer wants to stray from reality, abuse makes sense.

    Posted in: Movies

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  37. Interesting movies lost in limbo

    jake on 2004.05.10
    at 03:15 pm

    Kuro5hin has an interesting post about screenplays that were never made. Sometimes, when pondering the repetitiveness of Hollywood, I wonder how many movies are never made that have at least somewhat original plots.

    I thought the premise of Avatar was pretty good. Though as I sifted through it the original story had a few too many clichés. Like, man thrown into weird environment decides to stay behind because he find purpose and love in new environment. But overall I enjoyed it, and I wouldn't mind seeing some computer generated animals...

    The slinger's neck snaps forward, and its long, pointed head detaches, flying through the woods as a self-guiding venomous glider... a smart-dart. The hexapede senses the dart and bolts, bounding in evasive zigzags. The dart tracks it unerringly through the trees and buries itself in its flank. The hexapede staggers. It stands, its muscles spasming, then falls over. The dart starts emitting a series of high-pitched squeals, which allow the body to home in on it blindly. The neck bends down, and is rejoined to the dart. Josh catches a glimpse of hair-like tendrils lacing together... some kind of neural interface. Then the slinger starts to rip the hexapede part.

    Posted in: Movies

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  38. 3D Metroid Shockwave Game

    jake on 2004.05.09
    at 03:47 am

    Screen from Metroid Cubed gameI couldn't resist linking to this isometric 3d Metroid game. Brings back memories...

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  39. My comments about NBC and Tivo

    jake on 2004.05.07
    at 12:37 pm

    4 Friends looking around door.I'm curious about this post over at Boing Boing. It sounds very crazy conpiracy to me. While it is possible that it could be NBC trying to mess with Tivo, or NBC trying to boost ratings, this has been like that for weeks for me on Cox communications. I only have a VCR to record my programs with, but I've been noticing the weird time slots for months, so it's not like they did it just for the finale of Friends last night. OR am I just special to have seen this before? My 2¢.

    Posted in: Rant · Television

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  40. Tabs... Begone!!

    jake on 2004.05.06
    at 05:53 pm

    That is all for now. Enjoy.

    Posted in: Music · Politics · Web

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  41. Garden State

    jake on 2004.05.06
    at 01:14 am

    Zach Braff and Natalie PortmanI randomly found the trailer for this new movie called Garden State. What draws me to this so much is Zach Braff, one of the stars of Scrubs. It's right up there as my favorite show. Zach wrote and directed the movie, which I believe he has done for at least one episode of Scrubs. I'll definitely be checking this movie out.

    When Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) returns to his hometown for his mother’s funeral, he reconnects with old friends and - since he’s gone off his depression medication - himself. A chance meeting with Sam (Natalie Portman), who also suffering from various maladies, opens his world to the possibility of rekindling emotional attachments, confronting his psychologist father, and perhaps beginning a new life.

    Posted in: Movies

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  42. Tab clean-up

    jake on 2004.05.02
    at 03:28 am

  43. Posted in: Apple · Photography · Technology · Television

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  44. Oops, someone missed a little fact.

    jake on 2004.05.02
    at 02:01 am

    I sat on this a few days but I noticed in a new read that the IKEA story neglected to mention that they were referring to the profits of the company as opposed to the individual. So the founder of IKEA, while not poor is not beating Bill Gates.

    IKEA Founder Proves Interior Design Does Pay

    Posted in: Rant

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