Friday, January 30, 2004

More on Mike Rowe

Here's what may be the end of the Mike Rowe story, mentioned here previously.


This is a map of all the states I visited during my brief 6 months as a truck driver. How did I manage to miss South Dakota? Also included (but not on this map) were British Columbia and Alberta, and actually I was only in the southern section of Michigan. Thanks to

More hoax-busting from Snopes

I just received an email that sent all the email hoax alarm bells off in my head, and sure enough, here's a page at Snopes that refutes that Mister (Fred) Rogers ever served in the military.

And here's another hoax-busting page aboutLee Marvin and Bob (Captain Kangaroo) Keeshan.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Never get off the boat, unless you're going all the way.

Here's one of those what something-or-other are you sites. I was not entirely surprised to find that I am Apocalypse Now.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Up yours, Tripod.

Guidescope is a free service and free software that takes a few minutes to set up but is well worth it, because it will block even banner ads out of websites. I couldn't get it to work with IE but it works great with Mozilla, which I also just recently installed. Mozilla also has it's own built-in pop-up blocker, if you don't want to go all the way with Guidescope but would still like to stick it to Microsoft.

Short, ugly man seen picking nose in Wisconsin meadow.

Interstellar Espionage: While We're Watching Mars, Could Someone be Watching Us?

More fodder for those who tend toward paranoia.

Next time I'll have the chicken.

Cow Herds in Three States Quarantined:

"Maybe one reason we haven't found more cases of mad cow disease is because the American public has been eating the evidence," [Rep. Earl, D-Ore.] Blumenauer said.

Well, that's a comforting thought. It occurred to me a few days ago that I may not be eligible to donate blood now, because I ate a hamburger in Nisku, Alberta about a year ago. Good burger, though.

More thought police.

An article from The Register about why NASA wanted data on 10 million Northwest Airlines passengers:

"This shows that NASA was working on data mining, that this work had relevance to CAPPS follow-ups, and that it envisaged a system using biometrics to check both with a central database and to match the booked passenger with the flying passenger (page 12). So far, so fairly prosaic, but the requirement 'must detect people who may pose a threat but are unknown' is a tricky one. So, what about 'non-invasive neuro-electric sensors'? The NASA presentation says it is working on this interesting technology in collaboration with an unnamed commercial partner. Such a system, if deployed, would likely work in conjunction with data mining and biometric screening in order to kick up people who might be having suspicious thoughts, or seem suspiciously nervous.

That's the kind of notion that makes you suspiciously nervous just thinking about going to the airport - there goes your holiday, friend... "

Friday, January 23, 2004

New Site Feed

Woo hoo! Thanks to Blogger and Atom, I now have a real RSS feed. Just use the link at the XML icon on this page.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Very Important Things

Very Important Things is a collection of 50's-era illustrations with new captions added, and there's a new one every day. Such as:

via J-Walk

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Richard Bushnells 'Bowling For Truth' ---- Michael Moore lied to you

Richard Bushnells 'Bowling For Truth' ---- Michael Moore lied to you: "This website is here as a recourse to expose the distortions and dishonesty in fictitious film director Michael Moore's Oscar winning documentary, Bowling For Columbine. The point of this website IS a lot of things, but here are some that it is not: It is not to reveal a 'bias' in Moore's work. It is not to make the case for guns - I've never owned a gun, never shot a gun, and probably never even held a real gun; Guns scare me. It is not, in large part anyway, even to rebut Moore's beliefs. Rather, this site exists because Michael Moore is clever and glib and a very good film maker - but he uses his powers for evil. Michael Moore persuades his viewers by deceiving them, and this site exists for those who wish not to be fooled."

Monday, January 19, 2004

But Jesse Ventura did it in "Predator," so it must be true!

Intuitor Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics:
"First, let us point out that the thirty-round magazine in a Mac 10 will be expended in a mere 1.8 seconds of sustained fire! If our shooter blazes away steadily for a total of only 3 minutes, his or her Mac 10 will spit out around 3000 chunks of lead at roughly 15 grams a piece. This amounts to 45 kilograms or a little less than 100 pounds of lead. And that doesn't account for the weight of the 3000 cartridge cases or 100 empty magazines scattered on the ground.
Second, bullets are, after all, propelled by some very hot gasses which exert high pressures that create high stresses in gun parts. A firearm can withstand the high pressures and stresses only if the blasts of high temperature gasses don't happen too many times before the firearm has time to cool off. Running 3000 of these temperature cycles back-to-back would turn a light weight submachine gun, like a Mac 10, into a red hot piece of scrap metal, that is, if it even lasted for 3000 rounds."

Here is an essential website. Not only do they counter stupid movie mistakes, they use the laws and formulas of physics to do it. Also included is a section on why a shotgun blast will not hurl a human target backwards 30 feet through the nearest plate-glass window.

Yahoo! News - Ancient Cosmic Superstructure Defies Theory

Ancient Cosmic Superstructure Defies Theory:

"A string of ancient galaxies has thrown astronomers for a loop by defying standard predictions for the evolution of the universe. The colossal structure hints at possible misunderstandings of how the universe, or maybe mysterious dark matter, behaved shortly after the universe was born."

I love it when a new discovery completely (or even patially) messes up a previously held theory.

Sued for phonetics.

MikeRoweSoft Design is a website designed by 17-year-old Mike Rowe to showcase his website design talents. Also, he's been sued by Microsoft for having a phonetically similar name. Looks like he'll win the suit, though.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Stardust Surprise

Stardust Surprise | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "When NASA's Stardust spacecraft flew by Comet Wild 2, the probe saw something that surprised astronomers."

Here's a cool article about an unusual comet.

Top Ten Signs You May Not Be Reading Your Bible Enough


10) The Preacher announces the sermon is from Galatians ...and you check the table of contents.

9) You think Abraham, Isaac & Jacob may have had a few hit songs during the 60's.

8) You open to the Gospel of Luke and a WWII Savings Bond falls out.

And seven others, of course. Unfortunately, many of these are "gettable" only to people who DO actually read the Bible.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Would you rather be on Mars?

Daytime temperatures on Mars are now warmer than daytime temps in the frigid northeastern U.S. No mention of chill factor, but hey, it's not going to snow on Mars either.

Bury me deep.

An article from Yahoo! News about an eco-friendly cemetery near Lake Livingston, Texas.

"Russell's family wanted to preserve Waterwood, so he and his parents bought 2,500 acres near the lake, about 10 miles from the Sam Houston National Forest. Besides the cemetery, they have used the land to establish sanctuaries for alligators and eagles, a 131-acre longleaf pine preserve and a 110-acre research forest.

'I feel like the only permanent legacy that a person can leave is a piece of America the beautiful," Russell said. "With this concept, even in death, in this cemetery ... that beautiful forest will always be there for everyone to enjoy.'"

Sounds good to me.

(NOTE: This article includes a link to the cemetery's website, but I am unable to bring it up at this moment.)

Finally, someone makes some sense.

U.S. lets scofflaw gun dealers continue to arm criminals:

"Multiple offenders make up only about 1% of the nation's 104,000 licensed gun dealers. But federal statistics indicate they are the source of more than half the guns used in crimes. The problem of scofflaw dealers was underscored by a report Tuesday by the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation, which favors tougher enforcement of existing laws." (empasis mine)

In most cases, the immediate "solution" is to pass more laws. This article shows some reasons why current laws are seldom enforced.

One for the bad guys.

A Washington D.C. court decides that law-abiding citizens of D.C. have no right to defend themselves from unlawful violent attack.

Man saves family, becomes criminal.

Hale DeMar saved his family from a night-time intruder by using his handgun. But handguns are illegal in Chicago, so that makes him the criminal. Fortunately, the town is on his side. We'll see how this one turns out.

On the stupid criminal side, the intruder drove himself to the hospital in DeMar's SUV, which he had stolen the previous night.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Have fun snooping on your neighbors.

Every now and then I have to check out The Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Database. Search by ZIP Code or city and get a list of all of them in your area! (State of Texas only, of course).

Against "gun control"? Don't even think it, if you live in Britain.

A Perfect Example of the Victim-Disarming Mindset is about Philip Luty, who wanted to prove that senseless laws will not stop people from owning guns, so he built a machine gun in his garage using common tools and materials that anyone could buy in any hardware store. Stupid, you say? Well, maybe, but what's even more troubling is why he was denied probation.

"... there is little evidence to indicate that Mr.Luty has fully addressed the causes and consequences of the offences ... and although he states he accepts responsibility, still describes the crimes as "an innocent project". Mr. Luty continues to maintain very strong views about UK gun laws to which he is opposed. Report writers identify considerable apprehension over his lack of insight and concern over the wider implications of his offences and his continuing views over gun ownership and use."

This was one reason. Because, even though he accepted responsibility for building a firearm, he was still opposed to gun control. He was being denied probation because of his belief. Here's another one:

"... of special concern , I understand Mr. Luty's brother attempted to send him an article from the internet by an organization called "Jews for the preservation of firearms ownership" (JPFO). This appears to be yet another 'Right to keep and bear arms' group."

Heaven protect us! His brother tried to send him a simple news article and this was somehow important in denying him probation.

So, apparently, in Great Britain it is now not only illegal to own a firearms, but it is also illegal to have beliefs contrary to the government. What a country.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Definite article wanted, no emoticons need apply.

This archived article from the CBC (originally broadcast October 1993) describes a new network called "Internet", in which emoticons play an oddly prominent part.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

This stuff is just fascinating to me...

These drawings were made by an artist under the influence of LSD during the government tests made during the 1950's.

Gun Control in Chicago

Chicago leads nation in murder rate, in spite of/because of some of the most oppressive anti-self-defense laws (a.k.a. gun laws) in the country.

Why Good People Own Guns

And here's another, originally from the Los Angeles Times, and archived here by the Independence Institute: Why Good People Own Guns

Why People Fear Guns

Why People Fear Guns, a good article by John R. Lott, Jr.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Maybe they should have just said "attacked"

A newsbite about a man who was "shot and hacked" turned up in Moreover's computer security newsfeed, even though he was "hacked with a sharp weapon," not hacked with a computer. Somebody's spider needs a little tweaking.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

More thanks

Another thank you to eXTReMe Tracking for providing free website tracking statistics for this site. Very cool.

Who Would Buy That? (auction oddities from all over the web)

Just in case you don't already know about this fairly famous site, here's Who Would Buy That? (auction oddities from all over the web). People put the weirdest things on auction. But what's even weirder is that other people buy them.

A couple of thank-yous

I now have an RSS feed (of sorts) thanks to Blogmatrix. Just click on the Blogmatrixrss icon at the bottom of the page.

After many fruitless searches and several resumed downloads, I have finally succeeded in downloading the entire 16 meg monster of "Grendel" by Marillion. Thanks faro, whoever you are.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

The most misidentified song...

In 1979 there was this song called "Pop Muzik." It was a huge hit on pop/rock radio stations and got played to death. The group who did it failed to follow up with anything else, and went into history as a one-hit-wonder.

Here's the deal: THIS GROUP WAS NOT DEVO. In the beginning, I remember back at that time, asking someone who did this song, and was told it was Devo. Even now, if you look this song up on Kazaa you will see that all the mp3s of this piece are identified as being by Devo. Let me say it again: IT WASN'T DEVO.

It was, however, a group called M, and was fronted by a guy named Robin Scott.

The Earth has stopped slowing...or is time speeding up?

The Earth has stopped its slowing trend according to NIST scientists. Here's a CNN article about the now-obsolete "leap second" and the difference between Coordinated Universal Time and Greenwich Mean Time.

That sucker's huge!

World's longest snake goes on show at a recreation park in Kendal, Indonesia. Non-metric measurements are: diameter 33.5 inches, length 48 feet 8.5 inches, and weight 985.5 pounds.

Lists of 5 things...

5ives are lists of 5 things. It's hard to describe, so here's an example:

Five things I realized later than I probably should have:
My crappy BSR turntable played everything a full step too fast (1984)
"If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?" is a dirty play on words (1987)
New Order was mostly a disco band who stood very still (1989)
"Expendable" apparently does not mean the same thing as "flexible" (1980)
"Seals & Croft" and "Sid and Marty Krofft" have nothing in particular to do with one other (1978)

It's not a website, man, it's a cyberheadshop.

On Monday three people were arrested in England for allegedly selling marijuana online. And probably smoking it, too, if they thought they would get away with it.

UFO Evidence? #1

An article on Betty Hill, who with her husband Barney were the original UFO abductees in 1961. Barney died in 1969, but Betty is still alive at 84, though now dying of cancer. From

Help-Site Computer Manuals

Help-Site Computer Manuals has loads of manuals and faqs for computers and software. As of this post, they have 17,867 documents available. And apparently it's free.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

So much for freedom of speech...

A Chinese man mysteriously dies in prison after being jailed for "hacking." Hacking was only his tool of choice. This guy was a freedom fighter, and he died for providing an output for a banned religion. Here's hoping hackers worldwide smack down some Chinese gov't sites just to teach them a lesson.

New Year's Superstititons

Here's a list of New Year's Superstititons from the folks at snopes. Hey, any excuse to eat black-eyed peas, right?

Don't get caught carrying a concealed almanac.

Yes, the FBI really is warning police to watch for people carrying almanacs.

And by the way...

Here's an online version of the original The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce.

What it really means...

The Foolish Dictionary is a more lighthearted version of the Devil's Dictionary, and provides lots of fun reading on a slow afternoon.

Example: "AFTERTHOUGHT A tardy sense of prudence that prompts one to try to shut his mouth about the time he has put his foot in it. "

I'm feeling like they're telling me...

Demystifying John Edward of Crossing Over shows how John Edward of Sci-Fi's Crossing Over does it, and it doesn't have anything to do with dead relatives.

Saturday Night Live Transcripts

Want to refresh your mind on something they said on SNL? Saturday Night Live Transcripts is not affiliated with the show or the network, but they got transcipts! And a search engine.