Friday, March 31, 2006

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Blogging goals - Plush Logic

I notice Mike has lots of trendy links to cool stuff, promoting the viral model of information distribution.

I, on the other hand, like to ramble.

Blog. Blogging. Blogged. Bloggers. Say it enough, and it starts to sound really weird. Why doesn't it just sound weird right off the bat? It's a contracted, squished, and thoroughly beat-up form of 'web log', and has now been used in virtually as many ways another popular four-letter word. Instead of an eptithet hurled by cromagnon pundits, it's being used with such frightening regularity, that it's been in Webster's dictionary since 2004.

Why do I point this out? Who knows. But I have a suggestion on how to measure one's popularity as a blogger. It's not the comments or links, but of the proliferation of a unique idea. Start something, someone picks it up, references are made, and you have your 15 microseconds of fame (with inflation, 15 minutes is out of the question). Since I have no unique ideas, I'm going to steal one from a friend of mine.

Plush Logic.

Yep, you heard it here first. Unless you are one of those people who know the person to which I'm about to refer... Uh...

Anyway. Plush Logic. Let me define this as best as I can, given that it's been weeks since I last heard the definition. Plush logic is the kind of management logic that allows trained business people to make asinine decisions based on poor assumptions, inferior critical thinking skills, and just plain wishful thinking, usually despite good information from knowledgable sources. This is in contradistinction to 'fuzzy logic' which is uses good math to make vague choices.

Imagine a plush toy running your organization. That should give you a solid understanding of how to use this phrase.

So my goal is to have you good people (all three of you) start using this phrase whenever possible. Point to this reference, link to us, tell others to link here. Credit one Dale Gerlach with the coinage, early 2006, Southern California. Let's see how unpopular we are! Maybe we can get Merriam-Webster a new entry :)

I'm pretty sure we're the first to post this, so keep checking Google to see if we get any hits. As of this publication, there are exactly none.


MICHAEL ADDS:
You have been crawled.

Stacked Can Art



I haven't run into this yet at the local grocery store.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Somewhere, Some Village...

...is missing their idiot.

There is a new idiot in town. My best buddy from high school, Scott Valentine, will be blogging here at idiotsyncrasies. For all three of you folks who read this, that will only mean more of the same, general tom foolery that you've grown to put up with. Yes, yes, what benevolent power in the universe has thought enough of you to grace your web surfing with this little gift.

I graduated with Scott at Ramona High School in 1989 and had more than half my classes that year with him -- economics, civics, physics, and AP English. He graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in fizzix and scored a gig with Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is licensed to handle "nukular" materials. And Macromedia Flash.

Scott is an accomplished guitar player, disc jockey, fencer/fencist/fencepost (whatever the heck they are called), shooter/shootist, photographer, and web site designer. He is married to the lovely Carla Valentine and has a young son, Austin.

Scott is one of the few people on this planet to have witnessed my first marriage, and thanks to advances in modern psycho-therapy he's been able to stifle his Pavlovian dry-heaving reflex when he hears "Love of a Lifetime." He was the first friend to welcome me back to the human race when that little fiasco of my life ended. Indeed, I pretty much dropped off the face of the earth during that time, but we picked up our friendship after that as if nothing ever happened.

I have no idea what he's going to post, but we all know the quality of this site can only go up. I'm excited to have him write here for all three of you and the Google crawlers. When I get a chance I'll update some of the crud on the right hand side of the site with his information.

Welcome, Scott!

Beta: Real Estate ABC

Another site which provides an approximate value of your home, ala Zillow. Real Estate ABC is apparently in beta, and this link hasn't been published publicly yet.

Maybe that's a good thing, because they don't have my home on the correct part of the street on the map they show.

Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena

For those of you with a couple days hours to kill at work.

Now That's Laptop Protection

Straight from the labs of Lenovo.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

IE Tabs in Firefox

Now this is stinking cool. It's an extension that will load pages you specifiy into a tab in Firefox using the Internet Explorer engine.

I know one of the reasons people use Firefox is to get away from the security issues of IE, but there are certain sites that just won't work with Firefox. What a great way to never have to use two browsers again.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Panda Painting



That's not a really bad photo of a panda from a camera cell phone. It's a painting of a panda on the side of a human hair.

The PicoFlyer

A miniature, remote-controlled helicopter.

The Movie Timeline

Fun fun! An ambitious, budding project attempting to capture major events (fictional or not) from movies and put them onto one timeline.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This Guy Can Juggle

Apparently a parody of a juggling act by a "Chris Bliss" (original video can be readily found on the YouTube site).

Pit Stop, On-The-Go

"The Secret Time-Saving Weapon for Prossional Truckers." This has red-neck written all over it.

Warning: there's an obnoxious audio clip that plays on the home page, complete with red-neck accents.

Behold, I Stand At The Door and Knock

Jesus said that, but I'm actually referring to solid state drive technology. Samsung is launching a 32-GB Flash Drive for mobile PCs.

Patently Silly

A site devoted to the ultimate treasure trove of comedy -- the U.S. Patent Office.

The "Web 2.0 List"

A list of web apps that are probably utilizing a little AJAX and in a perpetual state of beta.

The same of the site alone is worth the visit.

America to Atheists: We Don't Trust You

Via an University of Minnesota Study:
Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized and relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public. “Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years,” says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the study’s lead researcher.

[...]

Edgell believes a fear of moral decline and resulting social disorder is behind the findings. “Americans believe they share more than rules and procedures with their fellow citizens—they share an understanding of right and wrong,” she said. “Our findings seem to rest on a view of atheists as self-interested individuals who are not concerned with the common good.”
Ouch. That's always been a curiosity to me -- to where or what do atheists appeal for moral values? Absolute or not? If so, what is the standard? If not, if our moral values are just expressions of preferences, then the question Ravi Zacharias often raises seems pertinent. Some cultures greet their guests, other cultures eat them. Which would you prefer?

ajaxWrite

There seems to be an oncoming wave of web-based word processors coming out. Check this one out, ajaxWrite, apparently backed by Michael Robertson of mp3.com fame.

It works with FireFox fairly well, not sure about other browsers...

The MonoWheel



It's Kerry McLean and the MonoWheel,
featuring a a 5HP Briggs and Stratton and a ride described as more like flying an airplane, putting your hiney a few inches off the ground.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Thailand Tsunami Then and Now Photo Gallery

A set of photos from specific shots showing parts of Thailand immediately after the Tsunami and now.

What's Your Sign?



The Church Sign Generator, graduating from license plates.

Supercat

"Piper" survives an 80 foot leap out of a tree. And lands on his feet, of course.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Dude, You're Surfin' Porn

This guy called QVC and let them know how much he likes his new Dell.

Pandora

A site for finding new artists/music based on music you already like, based on the Music Genome Project. Cool.

Krauthammer: First Gay Marriage, Now Polygamy?

Charles Krauthammer offers up an "I told you so." He also has this observation on the argument that gay marriage is going to destroy traditional marriage:

I'm not one of those who see gay marriage or polygamy as a threat to, or assault on, traditional marriage. The assault came from within. Marriage has needed no help in managing its own long, slow suicide, thank you. Astronomical rates of divorce and of single parenthood (the deliberate creation of fatherless families) existed before there was a single gay marriage or any talk of sanctioning polygamy. The minting of these new forms of marriage is a symptom of our culture's contemporary radical individualism -- as is the decline of traditional marriage -- and not its cause.

I've heard that the acceptance and/or legalization of gay marriage will open a floodgate of other non-traditional unions: adult/child (ala NAMBLA), human/animal, etc. We live in interesting times.

DRM = Shorter Battery Life On Your MP3 Portable

MP3.com has an article on the battery life of MP3 portables and finds that you can expect less playing time when using DRM'd tunes.

[via Boing Boing]

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Demise of Polaris Software

Found an interesting article (albeit ancient) on public relations nightmares, citing one of my former employers as one of the first examples of a company melting down in the online arena in front of God and everybody:
What set Polaris's crisis apart from any other company's crisis until that time was that much of it took place on-line, on Polaris's CompuServe forum, in full view of the company's customers, its competition, and the computer press. When PackRat's problems surfaced, many customers posted polite messages asking for help. As it became clear that the problems were fundamental, the tone became angrier, until hundreds and hundreds of messages were posted flaming PackRat, Polaris, and Polaris's CEO, Jack Leach. Overnight, it seemed, the rising star had burned itself out.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hot Stuff

3.6 billion degrees in a laboratory. I'm not quite sure how you measure something that hot, but I'd like a little notice the next time they run an experiment like that so at least I could be on the next planet.


[via Slashdot]

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nifty: WhoLockMe?

This little applet installs into Windows Explorer and tell you what is locking a file... like when you are trying to compile your code and your dev environment won't let you overwrite the prior version of the dll and you're about to toss your laptop out the window and the neighbor's kids are discovering colorful words they haven't heard before.

Silicone Implants, Not Just For Breasts Anymore



That's just not right.

Funny: Worlds of Warcraft With Zork Interface

'I have another task for you,' the elf says. 'In the east there are ...'

> Click Accept

'Take this bag of jelly to Commander Wolfchow in Cramhollow Dale.'

> Go to Cramhollow Dale

You run to Cramhollow Dale. You run and run. You run and run and run. You keep on running. Someone runs past you, faster. You keep running. Two gnomes run past you in the opposite direction. Still you run. You're not there yet. What are you going to do?

> Run

That's right, bunky. You're gonna run. You continue to run and run and run and run and ... whoa, you're in Cramhollow Dale. A tall man who looks like a lot of the other tall men around here has a question mark over his head.

> Give bag of jelly to man

'Good!' says ...

> Click Complete Quest, Accept, whatever, just get on with it

'Take this crate of liver back to Elfiwee Muttonscorner near the gully stream.'

> Go back to stream

You run. You run and run. You run and run and run.

> Wonder aloud why I find this so damn compelling

You hear a voice in the distance. 'Need group! No quitters!'
Via Wired News.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Juan Valdez, Drink Your Heart Out

There may be a little suprise for the Starbucked:
The caffeine in coffee is unhealthy for some but beneficial to others, depending on a gene that determines how fast the chemical is metabolized, a study said on Tuesday.

Since tests to determine which form of the gene one carries are not readily available and you cannot feel how fast your body is getting rid of caffeine, the study's authors recommended reining in coffee consumption to no more than four cups a day.

Slightly more than half the 4,024 study participants, who lived in coffee-rich Costa Rica between 1994 and 2004, had the slow version of the gene while the other half had the fast form. Half had had a nonfatal heart attack, and half had not.

"We found in individuals who had the slow version of this gene, as little as two cups of coffee a day is associated with an increased risk of heart disease," said study author Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy of the University of Toronto.

For those with the slow-acting gene, two to three cups of coffee a day increased their odds of a heart attack by 36 percent, and four or more cups a day increased the risk by 64 percent, the study said.

"For those who had the fast version of the gene, there was no increased risk, even with four or more cups a day," he said. "Surprisingly, what we found was that in individuals under 50 years of age who were fast metabolizes ... consumption of as little as one to three cups a day was associated with a lower risk of heart disease."

I do say, it would also probably lower your chances of a heart attack if you drink the coffee rather than snort it, as the gentleman in the Reuters photo seems to be doing.


Did You Know "Gullible" Isn't In The Dictionary?

Well, maybe you'll find some fun facts on Gullible.info.

The 200GB Nano



Some assembly required.

Jet-powered VW New Beetle



A car that Tim Allen could truly appreciate.


[via Autoblog]

Real Life Intro to The Simpsons

I'm sure every blog in the universe will be linking to this soon, so I thought I'd just conform. It's a real-life rendition of The Simpsons intro.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Meds Are In Order

What is going on here? My guess is his World of Warcraft character is being thrashed, or he's losing his allowance on a soccer game bet.

Blow Your Doors Off


world
Try pimping your ride with 60 inches of this:
Unfortunately, Tim and his crew didn't realize just how much acoustical power the sub could generate, and didn't build the vehicle to contain it appropriately. Even at less than 1/2 output, the doors were blown off the tracks, and the entire vehicle ballooned in and out several inches. The woofer was installed in the "bread truck" anyway, and it went to Finals not fully tested.
I'm afraid Doc Brown beat them to the punch some 20 years ago, though.


[via OhGizmo!]

Sunday, March 05, 2006

RFID = The Mark of the Beast?

Wired is running an article regarding Katherine Albrecht's new book The Spychips Threat: Why Christians Should Resist RFID and Electronic Surveillance where she sounds the alarm that RFID is the technology behind the mark of the beast in Revelation.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My Peeps Don't Need No Stinkin' Sleep

Scott linked to a post in January on polyphasic sleep, where your sleep is divided into six 30 minute sessions times 4 hours apart. Intriguing, especially if I were single.

For about my entire life span, though, this gentleman from my homeland hasn't had a wink of sleep.
Sixty-four-year-old Thai Ngoc, known as Hai Ngoc, said he could not sleep at night after getting a fever in 1973, and has counted infinite numbers of sheep during more than 11,700 consecutive sleepless nights.

"I don't know whether the insomnia has impacted my health or not. But I’m still healthy and can farm normally like others," Ngoc said.
Where do I get me some of that fever?

Stressed?

Try this on for size.

The Brick Testament



Oh, dear, say it isn't so.

Cool: R/C Car Drifting



It could probably do without the Atari 2600 "music", though.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hamsterball For Humans

Behold, the Zorb. I would have named this the vomitball, but the creators claim they've had over 100,000 people in it without an incident.

Civil Obedience: I Can Drive 55



Watch what happens when citizens who are fed up with the speed limit actually go about obeying it -- as a group.

Warning: you may find a few naughty words during the video.

null@vtext.com

Whoops. Stan Bubrouski thought he was just being clever when he chose "null@vtext.com" as his text messaging address with Verizon in 2001. Turns out some companies use that address as a test address for their SMS applications, and his account has been turning into a garbage dump of test and/or lost messages:
Bubrouski said he was just being clever when he signed up for a Verizon vText account with the user name 'null,' after his parents bought him his first mobile phone during his freshman year at Northeastern, in 2001.

'I've been paying for it ever since,' Bubrouski told eWEEK.

Bubrouski's new vText account didn't just hook him up with his friends, it also opened the door to a blizzard of unsolicited messages from individuals and companies that, for the last five years, have unwittingly forwarded reams of data to his phone."

Some of the lost messages include reminders of various types, OnStar messages, and all manner of sports scores from ESPN.