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Showing posts from 2006

It worked! I think...

Well, I'm back, with the brand new Google-ified Blogger blog. The conversion seems to have gone okay, though it did push every one of my Ericast episodes back into the Ericast.com feed (so my subscribers got something of a surprised the last time their feedcatching program ran).

If I run into any problems with the new interface, you'll read about it here first. :)

Switching to Google login...

Blogger is pushing the new "Switch to our new and improved Google-based blog stuff!"... so I figure I'll "push the button" and see what happens. If you never see another post here, you'll know that it went poorly. :)

For you Rube Goldberg fans

I didn't even know that Yahoo! has a video service to compete with GooTube (or whatever the Google Video and YouTube combination is)... but I guess it doesn't surprise me. Here's a clip they're featuring -- nothing terribly unusual, but at least it's intersting...

What causes fights and quarrels among us?

John Murtha on Abortion

They're not common, but pro-life (or, at least, "not really pro-choice") Democrats do exist. Check out John Murtha on Abortion -- something particularly interesting considering his potential political clout if Nancy Pelosi gets her way.

One year later, YouTube saves the day!

Faithful readers of my blog might remember my post about Limited Warranty (and the spectacular music-related memory of my friend and former roommate, Drew).

Well... as I'm waiting for a DVD clip to encode, I started poking around YouTube looking for things related to the "Twin Cities" and came across THE ACTUAL CONCERT!!!

I can't believe it!

Blast from the past...

Not only do I remember this event, but I sure remember these newscasts! And the anchors! Okay, I admit that I didn't see the 10PM report very much and was more of a 5PM or 6PM report kind of guy at the time...

(For those who can't see this or don't want to play it... it's the first few minutes of the 10PM Report from 1981, updating the Twin Cities on the condition of Ronald Reagan after his assasination attempt, anchored by a very young Don Shelby and Pat Miles.)

Kari Byron is back!

Ever since that FHM layout, I don't think there's much interest in the standard old Kari screen captures... but, this being Wednesday night, I know there are lots of folks out there who are going to be hitting my blog looking for Kari Byron information!

Sorry -- I don't have much for you at the moment. I've been on a Kari break for awhile, but just started watching Mythbusters again. So I don't even have any good Kari gossip.

How about you? Leave a comment! :)

UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

What does MCCL want?

What could drive me back to blogging after crippling sciatica and a new daughter in the house? What else but... politics.

I just got an anti-McGinn mailing, which says that Mike McGinn is a "leading voice" for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life -- MCCL. (Good! I'm all in favor of their work!) They apparently are an "extreme group" (I'm glad someone is extremely concerned about innocent lives!) "that wants to ban abortion" (Absolutely!), "prohibit stem cell research" (actually, only embryonic stem cell research, but we'll let that one slide), and... "force terminally ill patients onto artificial life support indefinitely -- despite the wishes of a spouse or family."

Wait a minute.

That doesn't sound right.

Well, long story short, the Minnesota DFL Party (which paid for the mailer) dozed through their "Deception 101" class. They never learned that you're supposed to make your lies subtle so that they don'…

Time Travel with Windows Live Local

I'm not sure that this will work for you, but try these two links: House before development, versus House after development.

Weird, huh?

Bad Vista Experiences

I'm starting to think that neither Vista nor Microsoft is ready for prime time.

I've been "beta testing" the public release (Build 5384) for awhile now, off-and-on, and thought I'd make use of the holiday weekend to play with it more.

Bad idea.

Long story short, there's a "Release Candidate" out there for Vista, but I sure can't figure out how to get it. As a registered "beta 2" person, you'd think maybe they'd tell me about it. But, no. And when I go to the Microsoft site to download it, it says that the beta is closed.

So, I'm stuck with Build 5384, which has issues.

After fighting with graphics problems since the very start -- the mouse pointer shows up bright white, but the rest of the screen is a dim grey, like it's half-faded; ATI's brand new drivers for the Release Candidate seem to have fixed it in my beta -- I'm now stuck with Remote Access problems.

Long story short, there's no way I can connect to th…

Jericho vs. Warday

Does anyone else out there think that the early info on CBS's Jericho sounds a lot like the premise of the Whitley Strieber/James Kunetka novel "Warday" from the 1980s?

"Free Speech" slightly more expensive

This is a good trick; if you don't like what someone says at a public forum, just send the FBI his way.

From a Washington Times article: "Jim Bensman thought his suggestion during a public hearing was harmless enough: Instead of building a channel so migratory fish could go around a dam on the Mississippi River, just get rid of the dam.
Instead, the environmental activist found himself in hot water, drawing FBI scrutiny to see whether he had any terrorist intentions."

Eleanor Mondale is okay!

Months and months ago I made a post here about the fact that Eleanor Mondale was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Every so often someone searching for more information would show up in my web logs, and I felt bad that there wasn't anything more out there. (Not because I like to gossip, but because I was genuinely concerned about her health.)

Imagine my happy surprise when I read this morning's Star Tribune article Eleanor Mondale coming back to WCCO-AM!

Long story short... she's okay! Yay!

Technology and Worship

A good article on Technology and Worship from byFaith Online. I particularly note the comment that:

Young people witness some of the cheesy video and computer "art" in worship and they see it for what it is: kitsch. Stock clip art. Old-fashioned, 19th-century background images under song text: the sun shining on the Cross, running streams, baby faces -- all of the stereotypical images that say, "Christians are crummy artists and naive sentimentalists." To them, such kitsch is like handing out illustrated kids' Bibles to high school students and telling them that these images represent the depth of insight and excellence of the Christian faith.

Which is why, in my opinion, we need to empower more artists like Jeff Holmberg, who are 1) young enough to "get it", and 2) artistic enough to "get it".

Driving without insurance

The story at kare11.com :: KARE 11 TV - Jail inmate killed fills in the blank that what landed Carl Moyle in jail was "driving without proof of insurance for the third time in seven years".

Still not worthy of death, but at least it brings a little comfort that Sherburne County deputies aren't jailing people for no reason.

Death sentence for a misdemeanor

Sherburne County inmate beaten to death

Unbelievable story. I'll have to follow up on our state law a little bit, because I'm surprised that you'd be arrested for not having proof of insurance. Apparently he was booked for "allegedly driving without insurance", and maybe he just didn't have enough answers to satisfy the sheriff (because the truck wasn't his).

Anyway, here's a case of some guy, driving a perfectly fine insured vehicle, sitting in jail because of a traffic stop... and beaten to death by another inmate.

Wow. I wonder what will happen with this one.

Kim Possible and Erin Esurance

What happens when Kim Possible grows up? You get Esurance - Erin's World.

Just thought I'd mention that.

Heather the opera singer with a Tonight Show popsicle

Ever wonder how long it takes for a motorcycle to melt a popsicle? I have, for years and years. Okay, you're right -- it's never crossed my mind. But Jay Leno thought of it, and pulled Heather Higginbotham out of the audience to guess how long.

Her choices were 19 seconds, 28 seconds, or 37 seconds.

My recommendation? When in doubt, always aim for the middle. She said 19 seconds, and while the popsicle was substantially melted at that point, the sticks weren't dry until 28 seconds.

She saved the day for the audience, giving them Jay's popsicles, by hitting a high note on command.

Why do I post this? Because 1) we know an opera singer and it's a sorta interesting topic for me (though we've never asked her to hit a high note on command), and 2) I'm sure that there are all sorts of people who are going to be search for combinations of Heather, Tonight Show, and Popsicle; I wonder if they'll get here.

If so... Hi!!! :)

And hey, Heather, if you read this, c…

Microsoft's 360-degree Webcam

I want this I want this I want this I want this I want this!!! Meeting Recording

After years of dreaming about cool "telepresence" technologies, it looks like they're finally coming!

(Microsoft Photosynth is another one out there that's really promising!)

Wired 14.08: Pinch My Ride

Unbelievable story here: Wired 14.08: Pinch My Ride. What I like is the attitude the insurance companies take: "We've been told that a piece of technology is perfect, so if you give us a story that requires our technology to have failed, we'll call you a liar." Yikes.

How to fly a flag?

An interesting article on the standard(s) for flying a flag at half-staff, at St. Paul Pioneer Press | 07/31/2006 | A flag at half-staff, but who died?.

(I hate posting news articles, because that link is gonna be dead in a couple weeks... but if you're here, reading the lastest breaking news, it'll be there for you.)

I remember as a kid that Dad was always pretty particular about our flags -- when to fly them, when to take them down, folding them in that neat triangle with the stars on top, making sure they didn't touch the ground. Probably a combination of his Boy Scout and Navy training?

More Police Misconduct

Kinda sad that, after a long break of blogging, this comes up and it's what I have to return with: NBC10.com - Local News - Cell Phone Picture Called Obstruction Of Justice

Celebrating Independence Day

On the eve of the United States' Independence Day, this seems like an appropriate article to post from Nashuatelegraph.com.

File it under "bad cops giving good cops a bad name".

The subtle points of "wiretapping" law are interesting to ponder... but the entire case and the conduct of the officers involved is what's really telling.

This could be the one!

I just got an exciting e-mail! Sure, it's to my "feedback" address that's published on the Internet, and she got my name wrong, but I think this could be the one! It feels like she's my soulmate! I hope Ruth doesn't find out that I have such an enticing and legitimate interest from a young woman in Russia:


Hi, Curt

I'm a very young and energetic lady! I have very positive attitude to life and people. I do enjoy new experience life can offer me: to see new interesting places, to meet new people.
I do try to enjoy every moment of life and accept everything the way it comes without complaining.
Though my life seems to be quite enjoyable there's one important thing missing. It's LOVE!
Without my beloved one, my soul mate, my King my life is not completed.
I wish i coud find him very soon so that we could share together every momement of the life-time romance!
What about you? Could you be my King? If answer is "yes" - you can find more about me …

Southern Baptists, Alcohol and Legalism

For those of you interested in theological side-trips and denominational differences... check out Between Two Worlds: The SBC Resolution on Alcohol.

(Do note that "Baptist General Conference", of which Berean Baptist is a part, is not the same as the "Southern Baptist Convention", of which Justin's post speaks.)

Red Rain has returned?

In one of those "mysteries of the unexplained" books from the 1980s, I read about a story of weird reddish rain falling on people with a variety of bad effects. Here's a more current version of the same thing. If it turns out that some guy in India has the Andromeda Strain sitting in his laboratory... well, you heard it here! CNN.com - Mysterious red cells might be aliens - Jun 2, 2006

A "myvu" review

An excellent review of the myvu display, including a comment (but not much detail) about something of particular importance to me. From Mobility Site - myvu – a personal media viewer: "One concern you might have is whether or not you can wear glasses with the device. The answer really depends on the size of your glasses. I have several pairs of eyeglasses and found that I could use ones that had smaller frames although it would not be optimal for comfort. However, there is a prescription lens snap-on option (integrated with nose pad) that you could get to aid in viewing."

Making video-podcasts bearable...

As soon as they come to a local retail store so I can check them out personally (or, I suppose, as soon as someone I know buys one and lets me look at it), I'm gonna play with the myvu personal media viewer.

Finally, the concept of video podcasts makes sense. Yes, HMDs have been around for years, but something this light and inexpensive? Now that's new!

Google Speaks!

WOW! I actually heard back from Google! I still hate that more and more companies consider it "customer service" to send out form letters without any thought to whether they make sense or not... but I give huge credit to Google that, when you say "Your form letter makes no sense!", they have a real live person respond with something that you can actually understand!

So, Kudos to Google!

What was the problem? Well, here was their response:


Hello Eric,

The language we were specifically referring to was: "So, if you're into
giving your opinion for money (i give mine for free :)) go ahead and click
on the ad :) Questions, problems, worries? Go ahead and post a comment.
:)"

We felt that it is misleading to your users as the most prominent ads on
your site are from Google.



Now, before you think that my wife is some evil person who's telling people to click on Google ads... here's the actual post in question (which we've now removed from Ruth's blog…

Bye Bye Ads!

After reading sites like Google-Adsense-Sucks.com Class Action Law Suit, I realized something: I'd better make sure there weren't any ties between this site and Google, or else Google could ban me for saying bad things about them.

You'd think they couldn't do that, but they really can do anything they want.

So, now we have an interesting ethical situation. Given that I'm not a Communist nation, will Google choose to censor my free speech or not? They can't ban me from AdSense based on what I say about it on this blog, because this blog isn't related to my AdSense account in any way, shape or form. So are they going to ban me anyway, or are they going to try and figure out a way to ban me based on my wife's fully compliant blog... or will they drop the issue entirely?

For what it's worth, their M.O. seems to be a letter stating that a site is banned because of "invalid clicks" -- which is misleading, because it's not that someone is si…

What does Google use?

Image
By the way, as I await a response from Google (which I probably won't get)... if anyone's interested in the specs of the systems that Google uses to make false accusations against blog authors, here's what our log turns up. We got just one hit, going straight to the archive, and then it took them a day to craft their form letter to me:

VISITOR ANALYSIS
Referring Link: No referring link
Host Name: 216-239-45-4.google.com
IP Address: 216.239.45.4
Country: United States
Region: California
City: Mountain View
ISP: Google Inc
Returning Visits: 0
Visit Length: 0 seconds
VISITOR SYSTEM SPECS
Browser: Firefox 1.5.0
Operating System: Windows XP
Resolution: 1600x1200
Javascript: Enabled

Navigation Path
6th June 2006 08:38:54 PM ralarson.blogspot.com/2005_07_01_ralarson_archive.html
No referring link


Oddly, it seems there was a Google image search that brought up the same archive page the day before, by someone in Anchorage. We have no way of knowing what their search string was, but…

Google starts bullying...

I wondered how long it would be before Google screwed up something, somewhere, and decided to start bullying us about AdSense. Even though they're making money hand over fist with the program, the word on the webmaster forums out there is that they have a nasty tendency to shut down accounts on false pretense. But we'll hope that's not the case here.

The funny thing is, they're not complaining about my little yellow note on this site; they're on my case about my wife's blog! Wow!

At least I'll have some topics for the podcast now!

Check out Google AdSense - Program Policies for a little light reading, (and maybe take a peek at the page they dislike over at Ruth's Blog)... and then see if my Minnesota passive-agressive response to them makes sense:

----- Original message -----
To: adsense-support@google.com
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 22:36:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Google AdSense

Hello! Please explain in additional detail how pages such as
http://ralarson.blogspot.c…

Testing Click.TV

The good folks at Click.TV just released their new Self-Service functionality, so I'm playing with that here. It probably doesn't look too good, squished into my blog format, but the point is that you can stick a Click.TV-wrapped video on any web page that you want to.




The insurgents will win.

It's my sad prediction that the Iraqi insurgents will win and the country of Iraq will descend into chaos and civil war. Why? Because they're extremely difficult to stop, and in the process of trying to stop them you crack down so hard on civilian populations that tragedies like this happen: U.S. troops kill pregnant woman in Iraq - Yahoo! News

So, why does that guarantee an insurgent victory? Because the U.S. will need to pull out of Iraq. Why? Because of the perfectly natural reaction of the Iraqi citizens caught in this struggle, like this quote from the driver of the car who was rushing the pregnant woman to the hospital: "God take revenge on the Americans and those who brought them here. They have no regard for our lives."

Songs you can't quite believe...

So, I'm a huge fan of Pandora.com, which is keeping me sane as I plug through some rote stuff here at work. And, as I'm listening to my Lasgo station, up comes the mix of a song that was originally by "Circ".

Ever have one of those "I can't believe what I'm hearing?!?" moments?

You can read the lyrics for yourself at CIRC LYRICS - Destroy She Said Lyrics, but here are the highlights from the song "Destroy She Said":

Like towers falling down
Like a bomb blast in your town
Like a hostage tied in chains
I could not forget your name

Like a helicopter crash
Like a ghetto that's been smashed
Like bodies on a battlefield
I can't live with how you feel

Destroy, she said
My love again
The end will come quickly

Don't try again
To make amends
You'll just end up sinking

If you explode in aftermath
Don't think you've been dreaming


Ummm... that seems really inappropriate, doesn't it?

Revisionist History on Iraq

Among other things, war is bad -- for everyone involved. But I'll admit that I get a bit frustrated when people connect the dots from "we're in a bad war" to "therefore, our president is an evil liar". Here's an interesting article reminding us of some more facts surrounding our entrance into the Iraq war.

Great minds think alike...

In a very similar vein as my presentation tomorrow is this one from the upcoming n m c : events: 2006 summer conference: preconference workshops: "Can You Wiki a Vlogcast? Web 2.0 and Rich Media"

This session explores the intersection of Web 2.0 social computing with new developments in rich media, examining the resulting pedagogical uses Instructors discuss the different levels of interactivity afforded by syndication, aggregation, and mixing of sound and video files Emphasis is laid on two case studies: how can podcasts become more responsive to users, as their content is enhanced by emergent tools and practices? How can video be collaboratively edited? New forms of storytelling are also considered. By Bryan Alexander, NITLE

Wish I could see that!

More predictions from Pat Robertson

Do you really need Divine guidance to declare that the United States will experience storms? Pat Robertson says God told him storms, possibly tsunami, will hit U.S. in 2006

Kari Byron pictures and video from FHM Magazine!

NOT WORK SAFE!!! But here's what you've all been waiting for! Not only was there an FHM spread, but there's a video of the making of the FHM spread! Kari Byron - WebTV - WebTV - FHM Magazine Online - FHMUS.com

The Mentos thing is... interesting. I've seen the effect before, but somehow it's just a little bit different when Kari does it.

UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

Cached .htaccess on GoDaddy

I'm playing with Joomla, and just found official reference to something that I suspected for a long time. From the blog posting Permalinks on a Linux GoDaddy account - problem and solution - WordPress Support: "NOTE: Changes made to an existing htaccess file will be seen immediately. When a new htaccess file is created or an existing htaccess file is deleted, however, these changes will not be seen until the htaccess cache is cleared. This occurs every hour."

The problem is, you need to change the .htaccess file to make links in Joomla "search-engine friendly" (that is, simplify them rather than having long URLs with lots of weird variables in them). And it looks like a couple different things need to be tweaked on GoDaddy (judging by all the different conversation about this on various forums). So I'll have to wait an hour between each change until I finally get it right.

Once I do, I'll tell everyone how it turned out! :)

Ilana Yahav - Sand Fantasy - Video Clips

This work is absolutely incredible! Visit Ilana Yahav - Sand Fantasy - Video Clips and check out the "Just imagine..." clip in particular.

Scamming the Scammers

I've written about this before (I think), but here's another example of someone teasing a scammer. I hadn't seen this one before until it appeared in my junk folder, but someone else has described how Tony Fred is in Dire Straights!

I'm not an attorney

For no particular reason, I clicked on the article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press | 04/28/2006 | Political e-mail raises eyebrows.

The sender of the e-mail in question is "attorney Eric Larson".

Something tells me that I'll be hearing about this. But I'm not that Eric Larson.

It must be my lucky day...

Check out what the number 1 and 2 results are for MSN Search: Lexmark rebates

Yikes!

ClearType is evil!

Yikes! I just downloaded the IE 7 Beta 2, and my first reaction was, "Why is everything so blurry and fuzzy?!?"

The answer? ClearType. See the example in ClearType at the Wikipedia.

I remember when Apple did something years ago with one of their browsers, and the first step to regaining your sanity was to go in and turn it off.

Browsing through some internet posts, folks seem to be saying things like, "Sure, it's blurry, but fonts look so much better now!"... which makes no sense to me.

But maybe I could save money on glasses buy not buying any and then pretending that the whole world has ClearType turned on?

A solution to the ATISched.EXE error!

Image
Ever seen this error when trying to use the TV recording feature of an ATI All-In-Wonder card?



"ATISched.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience."

I finally found the answer! After hours of installing new versions of ATI's "MultiMedia Center" and the uninstalling them and then runnint Windows System Restore to try and put my system back together...

The answer is: Delete all your scheduled recordings.

It seems that this problem comes up when there's some sort of problem with a program name. So here's how to fix it:

Open the TV viewing program (which should still work okay without the Scheduler running), and click the check-mark box to open the setup window.

Then, click the "Schedule" tab, and click the "Delete All" button.

If that fixes the problem, then try to add your scheduled programs back in one-by-one and make sure that one of them wasn't triggering the error.

Art Bell's New Wife, Airyn Ruiz Bell

Thanks to my dad for giving me the head's up on this; my first reaction (to be honest) was that it was a (bad) April Fool's joke. But, it seems to be true, according to COAST TO COAST AM WITH GEORGE NOORY: "Art Bell's New Wife, Airyn Ruiz Bell"

Suffice to say, there's some chatter out there on the messsage boards about it being just three months since Ramona Bell died, which seems like a fairly short span between the loss of a spouse and a re-marriage. (I talked about the whole thing in a couple episodes of the Ericast at Ericast.com back in January.) But, 1) it's none of our business, and 2) Art really did feel lost and alone without Ramona (based on what he said on-air) and maybe he realizes that life's to short to be unhappy.

I hope Art and Airyn have a wonderful life ahead. Wow.

Kari Byron coming to a men's magazine?

According to the excellent article in Los Gatos Weekly-Times | 0613 | March 22, 2006: "[Kari Byron] will have her own four-page spread in FHM Magazine in June".

If you do a Google search for FHM Magazine... well, head's up that it's probably wouldn't be considered a work-safe site.

The article also shares an interesting tidbit about Kari's life -- that ring I've been talking about (the one that shows up on-air every so often) really does mean something!

"I get followed around the Home Depot. I'll be there with [my fiancé] Paul looking for something, and fathers and kids will be following us around and watching us."

UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

You heard it here... well, not first. But you heard it here!

Quickcam MP in action

Here's a video up at YouTube - My Webcam that shows the features of the new Quickcam MP (megapixel) webcam. The Logitech site looked cool, but I'm very happy to see it in action. Could be fun -- especially paired up with Breeze or other web-conferencing software, since (as far as I know) it does all these effects in real-time.

Putting Teflon to use?

What are they using to pave roads in Russia?!? Check out the poor folks who are driving in russia - Google Video

Kids' toys with LEAD?!?

Okay, in the "You've GOT to be kidding!" category comes the realization that there are kids' toys out there made with so much lead they're DEADLY! Minneapolis child dies after swallowing charm bracelet.

Yet another Kari Byron resource!

For all of you looking for Kari Byron stuff... here's what seems to be a good list-of-links at Perpetual Draft - Main - Kari Byron of MythBusters.

Even though this fine site is "not sure how informative" my miscellaneous Kari-related ramblings might be... well, actually, that proves that this site is a good Kari Resource, because my Kari stuff isn't very informative! Good catch!

A Mystery Solved!

Maybe I should turn this into a podcast topic. I finally hit upon the right phrases in Google to learn more about a mysterious stone wall with Gothic arches on the border of Rosemount and Inver Grove Heights. Its site now lies under a bridge, and I always regretted that I didn't snap a few pictures of it before it went.

Here's the story: The Rake: Features : The Ruin

What exactly is "innovation" or "invention"?

The consensus around the office regarding this article is "Hmmmmm....."

IBM: The 'next big thing' no longer exists | CNET News.com

News on "The Menards Guy"!

Ray Szmanda is alive and well and living in Antigo! (Well, we knew the Antigo part...) Here's an update on him, from wisbusiness.com (which relates to -- get this -- Wisconsin Business.)

Oh, how I love Ray!

Blogthings - How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

My MySpace experience (don't ask) brought me to Blogthings - How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

How do I rank? Well...



Your Political Profile


Overall: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal


Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal


Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal


Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal


Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal


Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal




How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

Still not keen on kissing for Candela, but...

News today (first from my wife, but friend Jon gave me the link) is that the girl killed by the allergic reaction after a kiss from her peanut-laden boyfriend didn't actually die from a peanut allergy. See CTV.ca | Peanut kiss did not kill Quebec teen: coroner.

At this point we don't know what she died from... but it wasn't peanuts.

Another not-well-known story

I don't advocate or support everything over at the G e n e r a t i o n W h y ? blog, but he's been keeping up with an interesting story about an explosion down in Oklahoma. Long story. And scary, too.

No singing in court!

While looking up information on Judy Collins (long story), I came across what I think is actual, legitimate Testimony of Judy Collins in the Chicago Seven Trial.

Apparently, District Court is not the place to start singing. Really. I mean it. Read for yourself.

Who are you thinking of today?

The joy of statistics is that you can have a peek inside other people's minds... like that of the person who, from work did a search for... well, see for yourself, and note that yours truly gets to be at the top of the search results!

what does it mean to think of my husband's friend - Yahoo! Search Results

What's "Agreeing with Dobson" a sign of?

I haven't read Jim Dobson's actual words on the topic so I don't know if I truly agree with him or not... but based on the recent post the evangelical outpost: Embracing Naomi:
Dobson and Reciprocal Beneficiary Contracts
, I think I just might!

It looks like he's supporting an initiative in Colorado to have "binding legal contracts" between people, which is something I've suggested for years and years. As the blogger describes it:

"The critics of Dobson and this legislation are, in my humble opinion, dead wrong. The bill is not about homosexuality, but about relationships. These relationships could cover a broad range of domestic situations, such as two elderly sisters who share a home or a widowed parent of an adult child who has Down’s syndrome or other potentially disabling condition. Such legal protections should be completely 'desexualized' and open to any two adults who desire to form a contractually dependent relationship."

There'…

New meaning to "jumping the gun"...

Just came across this story:

Cheney Could Face Charges in Shooting - Yahoo! News: "Dallas defense attorney David Finn, who has been a state and a federal prosecutor, said Wednesday that a Texas grand jury could bring a charge of criminally negligent homicide..."

Just one problem at this point: Cheney didn't kill anyone!

Details, details.

Is asteroid ALH2084 going to hit earth?

According to the Google-translated story (the link to which may or may not work) posted at Science and News - astronomy, Asteroid Alh2804-c, meteor, impact, global killers: "Newest computations show however that the course changed in the letzen months easily and the Asteroiden still more near to the earth will bring. According to estimations of the astronomers of the kit peak Observatory a 98%ige probability exists that the Asteroid collides in August 2006 with the earth."

Okay, not terribly clear, sure... but, basically, there's a rumor that we're all going to be killed by a meteor in August.

Time to brush up on that Bible reading and church attendance, right?

Wrong... that's not what it's about. But, anyway... hey, if it happens, it happens, right? Stay tuned for more information!

(P.S... my money is on the story being way, way bogus.)

Is the Sony Reader the wave of the future?

I was just looking over the Sony Reader details and pics - Engadget... and the comments are the interesting thing. Who knows where this'll go? We'll know in a couple years, right?

SPAM for TV shows? Or not?

So, I got some really strange SPAM in my Yahoo! mail account. Entitled "YO! Brooke", all it said (with no attachments or anything) was:


heyyyyy,
Just wanted you to know i was thinking about u and am missing you already, cant wait till the weekend when we'll have our own private screeening of FLAVOR OF LOVE.........loll .........
kisses
Sadiq


Considering "Sadiq" wrote from an e-mail account with the name "Abubakar Raji", which has an e-mail address of "seanjohn4life", I really do think this is SPAM.

So, is this an example of "viral marketing" for "Flavor of Love"? Or what?

The problem with "carved in stone"

The article post Michelle Malkin: SO, WILL OUR SUPREME COURT BE NEXT? raises an interesting problem. In a nutshell, there's a depiction of Mohammed carved into the Supreme Court building. Islamic law prohibits depictions of Mohammed (hence one of the concerns with the recent Danish cartoons). So, now what? Politics and religion (or lack thereof) make strange bedfellows!

BlogThis is broken

Sadly, I've tried twice now to blog a post at MacInTouch using my Google "Blog This" button, and when I click "Publish", it just resets the screen and wipes out everything I've written. Sad.

Banned Cameras?

Third time's a charm in my posting attempt here... In the "I'd never have thought of that!" department, here's something really interesting from today's http://www.MacInTouch.com:
A MacInTouch reader pointed out a critical issue for some Apple customers who cannot buy a computer with a built-in video camera, thus ruling out both the iMac and the MacBook:[MacInTouch Reader] It is frustrating to me (and probably a lot of others) that the next-generation Apple notebook has a built-in iSight without the option to not include it.I work in an environment where cameras are a no-no. It's so bad that I cannot even have a camera in my car in the parking lot of the facility. Now, because of the built-in iSight, I cannot even think about upgrading from my personal PowerBook and there is, of course, no way of getting an Apple laptop as a business machine either. Camera-restricted places are becoming more and more common these days, especially in work locations, so de…

I will never look like Amanda Congdon...

...Therefore, if I ever do a vlog (or launch seeker.TV) it'll never become as popular as Rocketboom.

And I suppose I can't blame the planet for that. :)

News Flash! More evidence of a wedding-like ring...

News flash! More evidence of a wedding-like ring on Kari Byron's finger! (This frame grab taken from the "catch a bullet" segment.) Looks like she's married!

UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.

Big Loader Construction Set - my favorite toy!

I loved this toy. Man, did I love this toy. My nephew has a newer version of it, and it's almost as cool... but there's something spooky/endearing about seeing the exact toy from my childhood appear in an online museum, entitled (somewhat uncreatively) as Electronic Toy, 1975-1979

If the starting bid on a 10-day auction weren't over $50 right now, I'd consider getting one... but Ruth wouldn't appreciate my bringing more junk into the house!

Ginger Alexander from Flip This House speaks out!

Okay, I don't remember if I linked to this article already or not... but there it is: an interview with Ginger Alexander (among others).

Now, reader, I have one question: What's the draw to Ginger Alexander? Seriously, I'm curious! You're here because either 1) you're a friend/relative of mind who's fascinated by my daily musings, or 2) a search for "Ginger Alexander" brought you here.

So, what makes Ginger interesting to you?

Go ahead and comment -- Blogger makes it easy.

My Ginger-related hits are starting to outnumber my Kari Byron hits, and I'm just wondering why.

Thanks!

Where'd all the rebate hunters go?

Sadly, when I changed hosting and moved my sites so they appear under their own domains (like www.lexmarked.com), it broke most of the existing search-engine links.

Despite helpful error pages and the like, my visits have dropped off to practically nothing.

I wonder how long it'll take before that coveted "Google juice" returns? And, in the meantime, how will people track down my rebate-related advice?

Why I hate Politics

Eeek. What more can I say? Check out the latest blog posting from G e n e r a t i o n W h y ?

Eeek.

Legal or illegal: How do you tell?

From the Star Tribune story Legal or illegal: How do you tell?:
"When Roxanna Barr applied for a meat-processing job at Swift & Co. in Worthington, Minn., last month, she walked into the interview room with a Social Security card and a green card that authorized her to work.

"Sitting at a table opposite the Swift interviewer, Barr was asked first was asked whether she was 18 years old and then, 'Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?'

"Barr said yes and showed the required two documents to prove it. And that's all Swift, or any employer, can ask for.

"To ask for more identification, say a driver's license, is grounds for charges of discrimination.

"'I don't think your average person understands what employers can and cannot ask,' said James Hamilton, Swift's human resource director in Worthington, 'or that large penalties and fines are administered if you ask for more.'"The advantage I have in havin…

Caution - Work In Progress!

Just a quick head's up that I'm changing over my template to match my actual site (www.emlarson.com), so this will be a bit messy for a day or two.

(I've been working in a test template, which is fine, but at some point you need to bite the bullet and apply it to some actual content, you know?)

UPDATE: Ruth mentioned that I made the huge mistake of using the b-word (the one that starts with "b" and ends with the three-letter description of a felled tree), which is a horrible thing to do when it comes to AdSense. So, I fixed that right-quick! Yikes!

Apple Good, Apple Bad

Just came across the article from Wired News: Jobs vs. Gates: Who's the Star?.

The author's answer?

On the evidence, [Jobs is] nothing more than a greedy capitalist who's amassed an obscene fortune. It's shameful. In almost every way, Gates is much more deserving of Jobs' rock star exaltation.

Sounds harsh... but some of us are old enough to remember the days, a couple decades ago, when Apple ran the show in the school system and served as the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room. Apple IIs on every desk (at a time with Commodore 64s would have served better for pennies on the dollar), right?

Picking a new beard

Thanks to my coworker Paul's blog, I'm now trying to choose a new beard from the plethora of options atGallery of Contestants and Champions.

Got a favorite that I should try out?

Remember the rolling ball clock?

Can I just say, once again, that I love the Internet!!!. I had this thought, "Gee, I wonder if they still sell those clocks that ran with little ball bearings to count up the hours and minutes?"

They do. The Internet answers all!

Read the Review: Time Machine rolling ball clock

You can find them at various places for $50 -- more than I want to spend. But fun to know they're still out there.

I remember them being for sale in the window of some store in the Rosedale Mall. And it's funny that the reviewer mentions that they've been on sale "since at least the late 1970s". Yup, that's exactly when Dad and I would go to Rosedale and I'd stare at this thing in the window.

I think the same store had the tilting wave machine with the clear and blue fluids sloshing back and forth.

Whatever the store was, it wasn't Spencer's Gifts, which is the place I always wanted to go into, and which Dad hated. But it had really cool lighting displays in back.…

Inside the AdSense brain

Ever wonder what a computer might be "thinking"? So do I! You might have seen my post educating eric: What's up with Yahoo Publisher Content Guidelines?

Know what ads got stuck at the bottom of that one when I just popped it up?

"NaturalGreens Pharmaceutical grade supplements for detoxification and liver health."

Hmmm. That's a bad sign. What else?

"Are You Clean Inside? Death begins in the colon. Why is detoxification so crucial?"

And my personal favorite...

"the Colon Cleansing Kit(tm). Cleanse intestinal buildup. Photos document results of cleanse."

Minneapolis Public Library: Weatherball Photos and Lore

I still miss the Weatherball... but now there's a site with a half-dozen photos of it! Check out Minneapolis Public Library: Weatherball Photos and Lore

What's up with Yahoo Publisher Content Guidelines?

If you check out the page creatively titled General Lead Capture, you'll see the "terms of service" for Yahoo! Publisher advertising -- the competitor to Google AdSense.

Seems normal enough... it starts out with things like:


Yahoo! Publisher Network does not wish to be associated with certain types of content, behavior and/or products, and will not accept sites that contain this type of content. This includes, but is not limited to:
Adult-oriented content
Violence, excessive use of vulgar or obscene language
Excessive, duplicate or competing advertisements


Okay, I can live with that. But the next one threw me:


Content related to human suffering or death


Regular readers will know that I write about abortion here every so often, and write from a pro-life perspective, so I think that topic is very much about "human suffering" and "death". Does that count?

Further down the list, past "Gambling" and "Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia", …

Checking out old predictions

As you know, I enjoy listening to Art Bell and Coast to Coast AM... whenever I can stay up late enough to hear it. Anyway, they've reviewed last year's predictions, and the didn't do too well... but if you go back to the year before, you find New Year Predictions for 2004 - Part 2: "53. A huge hurricane will destroy New Orleans."

Wrong in 2004... but not-so-wrong for 2005! Wow!

Granted, predicting that New Orleans was going to flood is kinda a no-brainer... but, still!