I love how the birds on either side are staring down at him. Her.
I have a great idea – let’s have him raise some more kids! Seriously – this guy’s son just passed away. Either he’s on drugs or he’s insane.
I love when the lady reads the “statement from the family”. Cause that’s what CNN wanted to hear. Also, he plugs his DVD company.
And let’s not forget that the family has Jesse Jackson and the very rarely speaking with hyperbole moron known as Reverend Al Sharpton (I’m so not a fan. Look up Tawana Brawley to see why.)
He’s still dead.
According to MSNBC, all the entertainment news today is about Michael Jackson:
It’s kinda weird to watch the coverage from other countries. In Denmark, I was watching the BBC and SkyTv and CNN (the only channels in English) and Sky & CNN were totally obsessed. The Beeb was only moderately obsessed.
I landed in Dublin a little while ago and the taxi driver had the news on the radio and it was all about…Michael Jackson.
Can’t imagine how bad it is in the states if it’s this kooky here.
9. Ninja-like search skillz
A newly-licensed lawyer doesn't know everything about every law out there, but they know where and how to find out more about them. Similarly, building up your abilities to find obscure stuff on the web, and in your email, makes you more prepared and ready to roll with whatever you have to learn more about next. Start with 10 obscure Google search tricks to making finding cached pages and specific files an instinct, and learn how phrases like "better than" and "reminds me of" can harness the power of crowds. Get the same kind of thought-to-search-result powers in Gmail with advanced filters and persistent searches, or do much of the same in Outlook with categories and search folders. Look into any search engine's options or help menus, and you're bound to find out a whole lot of tricks you had no idea you could pull off.
8. Remind your future self (a.k.a. tickler files)
Tickler files, in the journalism world, are date-labeled folders that reporters check every day and put documents or story ideas into that aren't needed now, but could be vital down the line. A lot of folks have probably switched over to calendars they can access online, but the principles and usefulness remain the same. Gina traded her month-and-date-labeled paper folder system for a Yahoo Calendar tickler, but her system certainly works in Outlook, on Google Calendars, and many other places. Once you've got a system to jump in front of your Future Self every morning and scream "Today's the day to start working on that project due this October!", you'll want to fine-tune how, exactly, you talk to Future Self. We've covered one specific, concise idea: write as if you were delegating to somebody taking over your jobs for the day.
I haven’t cleaned these up or anything, but here’s a few pix I shot that I’m liking. I’m having to work a bunch more on this visit to Amsterdam than I anticipated – originally, this was going to be vacation time, but I’m spending so much time working, it’s become worktime (which means I don’t have to pay for my meals ‘n stuff, so that’s nice). I didn’t get out of the hotel until 2pm today because I was working. And now it’s 7pm and the workday is just starting in Redmond, so I’m doing some work now too.
Turns out I need to go interview some guys in Dublin on Monday, so I’m going to go there early (7am) on Sunday morning. I could fly later but that would leave less time for wandering Dublin & photographing it. I’ve never been there before, so I don’t want to waste the whole Sunday sleeping rather than taking pix and exploring.
Here’s a few pix from Amsterdam:
I mean I could, but why bother?
An Oklahoma woman has pleaded no contest to trading sex for a box of $30 snack chips.
Police said Lahoma Sue Smith, 35, admitted to making the deal with the man, who said he was a Frito-Lay employee.
The article goes on to say that she was arrested but the Frito-Lay (heh) man wasn’t. That irks me. (just to get serious for a moment. They both broke the – stupid – law, so they both should be arrested.)
Anyways, back to the Frito-Lay jokes now.
When I’m traveling, I really enjoy using the NY Times Reader. Usually, when I’m connected to the net, I’ll just read news online but when you’re on a plane, you’re disconnected (at least most of the time, for now). Also, it’s not laid out the same way and navigation is a little funky when I’m trying to catch up on my special Sunday NY Times. Times Reader downloads the paper and presents it in a format that looks like the paper. That means you can read it when you’re disconnected and it is really easy to read and navigate – way better than the website.
Here’s what it looks like this morning:
Also, if you’re a crossword fan, it downloads the crossword puzzle and you can work on it on your computer. Kinda cool.
The other thing I’m into especially when traveling are TED presentations. TED stands for Technology Entertainment Design and they run all kinds of conferences for smarty pants people. Their speakers are always interesting and enlightening and come from all walks of life. They make the videos of their speakers available for free – you can watch online or download and watch on the plane or if you’re a big geek like me, you can watch them on your phone. They are no longer than 20 minutes or so, which is great for those of you who have ADD.
I saw two excellent talks on the plane yesterday that I want to recommend:
The first one was by Clay Shirky where he talks about how the internet has changed distribution of information. It hits on topics I used to talk about a lot when introducing Lotus Notes to people in the early 90’s – that other mediums were very good at spreading information from one person to another person or from one person to many people, but that Notes allowed information to go from many to many. That was in a corporate environment. He uses the same analogy for the internet where many to many information spreading prevents governments from controlling information. It’s really interesting, particularly in light of what’s been happening lately in Iran. Here’s the TED description on this talk:
While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.
The other talk was by a woman named Emily Levine. I have never heard of her before, but she was interesting and incredibly amusing. I’m definitely going to look her up and learn more about her. I’m hoping she’s a writer…Here’s how TED describes this talk:
Philosopher-comedian Emily Levine talks (hilariously) about science, math, society and the way everything connects. She's a brilliant trickster, poking holes in our fixed ideas and bringing hidden truths to light. Settle in and let her ping your brain.
I have to admit that I enjoy getting to go to new cities, especially when I have a little extra time to adventure around and take pictures. At the moment, it is 5:15am and I’m in a hotel about 15 miles outside of Paris.I got here yesterday afternoon after 14 hours of travel or so. My all-time best for sleeping on a plane is 5 hours. On the way here, I managed 2.5 hours. And for some reason, I just get especially tired & confused when traveling that long. Suffice it to say that when I got to the Paris airport (CDG), I wandered into the mens room when I really meant to go to the ladies. The urinals were a pretty good tip off. There wasn’t anyone in there, but still…kinda awkward.
Since where I’m working is way outside Paris (in an industrial area), it’s not like I can just go for a walk and take in the local culture. I got to my hotel and they “upgraded” my room since I’m a frequent guest (I was here once before). The upgraded room is a suite in that it has two rooms. Now, in the US, when your room has a second room, it generally is a sitting area with a couch and tv…but not here in France. It’s a room with two twin beds. In addition to the queen bed in the other room. That’s it. Kinda useless, unless you consider the special items (the legs of the beds) ironically shaped to smash little American toes.
I haven’t left my room since I got here. I checked in, cleaned up, logged on to do some email ‘n work stuff for a few hours and passed out until about 6pm. Ate nuts, raisins and chocolate from the mini bar for dinner, watched “Revolutionary Road” on my laptop and fell asleep around 10:30. Awoke at 2am and have not been able to shut down my brain ever since. Finally gave in, turned on all the lights, made some tea and logged back into the interwebs.
Busy day of work here today. I figure I can go over to the office around 8 and hopefully someone will be there to let me in. I can always sit in the cafeteria and log onto the wireless there (and maybe score a chocolate croissant cause the caf here was excellent the last time I visited) and start/continue sucking down the tea. It’s going to be one of those days.
My brain is my own worst enemy. I’m worrying about my career, my team’s careers (it’s review time), my manager’s strategies…oy. Bad bad brain. I tried some deep breathing and meditation, but no luck. I just need to focus on what’s in front of me and make sure I do a kick ass job on that.
Sigh…I’ll try to be more amusing next time I post. In the meantime, au revoir.
Ooooh – I had no idea that Tim Burton was working on a 3D film version of Alice in Wonderland. I love his work and this is a perfect match for his twisted fantasy outlook.
Above, Johnny Depp is the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter is the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway is the White Queen.
Looks magical! From Slashfilm:
The film begins at a party where Alice, now 17, finds out that she is about to be proposed to in front of hundreds of snooty high society types. She makes a run for it, and of course, ends up following a white rabbit down a hole, back to Wonderland — a place where she visited a decade prior. The White Rabbit is convinced that he has the right girl but Alice doesn’t remember her past visit to Wonderland. The creatures of Wonderland are ready to revolt and are hoping/waiting for Alice to help them, but will she? Can she?
USA Today has more pix and info.
I love John Hodgman. Here he is at the Radio & Television Correspondent’s Dinner describing the Obama Nerd Purity Test.
This is brilliant. It’s long but oh so worth it. I also love how Obama responds to his questions and insights.
Fox 8 News in Cleveland reports a story about a bear that was seen in someone’s backyard. Stick with it to watch the (various) times they “recreate” the experience.
Do we have the “greatest news reports” in the world the same way we have the “greatest health care in the world”?
Fox News never misses an opportunity to show pretty, busty women. I know – you’re wondering why I’m complaining. I’m not opposed to pretty, busty women (although in real life, I generally prefer less busty, but I’m not one to discriminate based on boob size).
But if you look at their female “correspondents”, they are by far the hottest “newscasters” on the teevee. Nothing wrong with that either, but it sets a certain tone. They constantly find a way to post naughty video while they are complaining about naughty videos or will show a video featuring lots o’ boobs to accompany a story that has nothing to do with boobs. It works for their core demographic, I guess – horny men.
Here is Bill O’Reilly complaining about a downside to the internet that is “all the rage” for the kids. He says that most adults aren’t aware of this site. Stay with me here – he’s talking about --- YOUTUBE! (What happens when he discovers that there is real pornography on the web? That will probably happen in another few years. They’re a little slow on the uptake over there at Fox.)
While complaining about all the sexy videos available on YouTube, Fox doesn’t miss the opportunity to show clips from many of them (the Huff Post refers to them as porn, but everyone is clothed and as you know, you go to YouPorn for porn and to YouTube for videos of cats high on catnip).
From the Huffington Post:
O'Reilly began the segment with a rather strange statement:
"I know a lot of adults don't go to YouTube, but this is the rage among American children, children as young as six, seven years old." In fact, we're quite sure that YouTube is "the rage" among adults as well, but moving on.
His guest was conservative columnist Amanda Carpenter, who started her analysis by explaining exactly what YouTube is. However, the camera quickly turned away from her and went full screen to YouTube porn videos, effectively turning Ms. Carpenter's description into a voice-over for a porn montage.
We assume there was nothing cynical in O'Reilly's decision to titillate his audience with long porn montages while railing against the dangers of porn. Then again, Fox News does have a rich history in arousing its audience for ratings.
Go watch the video and get annoyed or aroused or both. (Huff Post won’t let me embed it, so you need to go to their site to watch it.)
(updating 6/18 2:23pm with additional helpful info from this article.)
Bing is the newly updated and relaunched search engine (they’re calling it a decision engine) from Microsoft. I’m recommending it because it is definitely a viable contender to the big G. I’ve tried to use Microsoft’s search engines periodically in the past, and they just weren’t useful. But they’ve done a great job with the newest iteration.
And the reviews are excellent, so it’s not just the Kool Aid talking…
Want to get 15% back when shopping from Overstock.com? What about getting cash back when purchasing from other sites you typically purchase from such as Buy.com or TigerDirect.com? http://www.bing.com/cashback
You can get 35% cashback on a new AT&T phone (e.g. iPhone 3G S) if you use Bing. Details at http://bit.ly/6BHMg
Hover On Page Summary
A small but cool feature, you can hover on the orange circle next to each link, and it brings you the text of that page. No need to click on the link to find out whether the page contains information you want or not. This seemingly un-interesting feature has itself really saved me a huge chunk of extra clicks i.e. click > hate the page > back button.
I searched for Eiffel Tower, but I only love pictures of Eiffel Tower, that were taken in the night. Here is the cool thing, hover over 1 night pic and then just click on "show similar images" and you'll see results after results, all on the same page (i.e. no pagination) for the same type of images.
Video & porn
In case you haven't heard, Bing is a porn lover's paradise. Not to take credit away from the excellent feature that Bing provides, but it makes browsing porn (and other videos) really easy. You can hover over a clip and watch it all live in action without having to leave the page. If you decide you like the clip, click on it. In many cases, you still don?t have to leave the site.
Here is a nice snippet from the interwebs:
Differentiating Bing as a “Decision Engine” and not a search engine is also a very good thing. In my experience, searching with Google does not lead to definitive answers, only more searching. It doesn’t usually solve anything; it just gives you places to continue your search. Bing tries to make assumptions to add context to your queries, operating under the theory that those assumptions will yield better results. And based on my experience so far, that theory is correct.
The first assumption Bing makes is that your search is for something local. It factors my IP address into every query. Take for example, the search for “weather”, illustrated below. Bing automatically figured I wanted to know the weather for where I was (which is Washington, PA at the moment), whereas Google makes me take the extra step of putting in my zip code before I get a forecast.
Rest of review is here. He goes into a lot of detail in this and several follow up articles.
This NY Times article talks about using Bing to search for travel deals. Microsoft purchased a company named Farecast last year and their product is now integrated into Bing. It tells you the likelihood of a particular flight route’s costs changing (up or down) in the future. Very handy.
Hey, give it a shot. You may find yourself binging instead of googling down the road.
This chick claims she asked a tattoo artist to put 3 stars on the left side of her face and then promptly fell asleep. (Um…any chance alcohol was involved? I think there tends to be a slight relationship between alcohol & tattooing…)
She “woke up” (came to) with 56!?!?! stars on the left side of her face. And she’s all sorts of bummed out about it for some reason. Because 3 is pretty and cool. 56 is just way over the line.
Want more details? Check out the Daily Mail website.
I’ve been bad and haven’t posted for several days…or more. My mom came to visit last week, which kept me kinda busy. Then I went down to LA to see my friends and experience pride down there.
I’ll post pix and details shortly, but in the meantime, please check out this incredibly hot go go boy that I was sorta kinda obsessed with at the Abbey after the parade on Sunday.
Oh, and lest we forget…
So, the media and the blogosphere has been aflutter about how Bill O’Reilly continually referred to Dr. Tiller as a baby killer. They’ve cut together lots of instances of him disparaging Dr. Tiller & calling him names like baby killer. They’re implying that this encouraged the nutcase that shot him.
And I acknowledge that it’s possible (and even likely) that this (and other pundits) had an influence on Scott Roeder, who decided to shoot Dr. Tiller in his church (!?!?!?!) recently.
I don’t like Bill O’Reilly. And I think that he says incredibly moronic stuff. But I don’t care. Blaming O’Reilly for someone else’s actions means that we’re not assigning personal responsibility to Roeder. If I take a gun and point it at another human being and pull the trigger – I am responsible for that action.
I think that the people who are likely to be pushed over the edge into acting illegally and immorally are people who have serious psychological problems. Balanced people (who are, contrary to my feelings sometimes, the vast majority) do not decide to shoot someone. They throw temper tantrums, they protest, they annoy me in restaurants by talking their nonsense so that I can overhear it, but they don’t kill people.
So do we try to prevent idiots like O’Reilly from inciting a small minority of crazy people with their crazy talk? Absolutely not – one of the things that makes me most proud to be an American is freedom of speech. Even to people I disagree with, which includes anti-semites, pro-lifers and other people whose views I find despicable.
Let’s not kid ourselves – O’Reilly, Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and their ilk are motivated by popularity and more importantly, dough. The hyperbole is a necessity to get attention and ratings. If they were more moderate in what they said, they wouldn’t get as much attention. So, they have to ratchet it up. Do they actually believe what they’re saying? It’s possible, but I think that they take their general beliefs and exaggerate them because that makes for better entertainment. (Also, I really want to believe that they are more reasonable people and that they are playing a character because I don’t want to think that they’re as evil and hateful as they come across in the media. But I’m sometimes naive about such things…)
And it happens on the left as well. I have gotten totally burnt out on listening to Air America because of similar issues. I prefer NPR which I find to be much more balanced – but they’re reporting the news and not pushing “personalities” or commentators, so it’s a different perspective and audience. It seems to be more focused on providing information and allowing me to draw my own conclusion. You know – sorta assuming I’m an adult with a brain that’s capable of thoughtful reflection. Interesting perspective, eh?
In addition to freedom of speech, let’s not forget that America is a capitalist country. If you don’t like what someone on the tv says, don’t watch them. Don’t support the companies that are advertising on their show. If these folks aren’t getting the numbers and bringing in the advertisers, they’re going to lose their megaphone (although, the internet gives everyone their own megaphone, doesn’t it?).
Here in the U.S., every nutcase has the right to have their say. And just because some people are stupid or crazy and may act out in an unacceptable way based on what a nutcase said on tv, the radio or online is not a viable reason to shut up a nutcase.
Because if we start limiting what the nutcases can say, the definition of nutcase can spread or change until we find that we are limiting people’s right to speech simply because we disagree with them.
And that’s unAmerican.
In case you didn’t know, I have a thing for musical theatre. I always have. My parents took me to see Broadway shows starting from when I was a little kid and at the end of every show I would get all choked up because it was ending. I don’t (generally) do that any more, but I am still a big fan.
The Tony awards are the annual awards given to the “best” Broadway shows that opened during the last year. If you’re interested in seeing clips from some of the nominated shows, the Daily Beast has posted some on their site. Click on the hippy pic below to go there.
West Side Story! I saw a revival in London a few years ago and got all choked up during the Overture. I got over it when Maria (obviously a Brit trying to be all New Yorker-ish) said “Buenos Nachos”.
This article from the well respected Mental Floss blog says that sisters are scientifically better than brothers. I mean, why even bother to read on past that? But just in case your interest is piqued, here’s a snippet:
New research from the University of Ulster confirms that girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Tony Cassidy, the lead researcher on the project, found sisters make their siblings more optimistic and help families deal with problems in emotionally healthy ways. Families with at least one sister are more cohesive and communicate more often. Girls who grow up with a sister are more independent and achieve more than girls who have brothers. Cassidy surveyed 571 young adults between 17 and 25. He found that sisters have the most positive impact on broken families. Only children scored in the mid-range for happiness while boys who had only brothers were the least happy.
The article also talks about what they refer to as “other important discoveries” such as reducing autism cases, how poverty affects memory, and the science of scratching. Of course, none of those items allow me to mock and tease my brother, so they’re not nearly as interesting to me. But I suppose that they may interest someone out there.
A body hack is a usable technique that can make an improvement to improve a person's life, health or mental state. These techniques are generally learned through real-life experience and are not necessarily medically recognized. Body hacks may work for some people and not for others and the only way to find out is to give them a try. Here are 24 body hacks we probably would be willing to try and one that we definitely wouldn't.
This is an interesting piece about things you can do to hack your body. My favorite:
Boost Your Car Remote with Your HeadIf you forget where you parked and your key remote signal is not strong enough to help you find the car, there is a simple trick to amplify the signal and increase your chances of easily finding it. Simply place the remote under your chin, open your mouth and press the button. Your oral cavity will amplify the signal and with any luck, you'll locate your car immediately.
I know everything thinks it’s all grey and rainy here, but the summer is outstanding. No clouds in the sky, moderate temps (folks freak out when it breaks 80) and mountains in every direction (with snow on them). It’s just sparkling around here.
We’re having a great early summer – it’s been sunny for more than a week now and it looks like we’re good for another week. Everyone is super-happy. Must be the Vitamin D.
I’m definitely a fan of this website. If you’re in the market for buying a new car or home appliances (that’s mostly when I use it), I strongly recommend you check out the Consumer Reports website.
Now, for free, you can answer the burning question, is that whatzit a black blob or a red blob? Try ConsumerReports.org for free for 30 days. Get access to Consumer Reports exclusive and unbiased full product ratings and reviews, expert recommendations and interactive features, and become the most-informed shopper on the block.
Offer requires credit card. If you don't cancel before 30 days, your card will be charged $26. They will send you an email reminder before the end of the month to remind you your free trial is ending. Subscriptions auto-renew yearly, and may be canceled at any time.
Life Magazine has dug up a bunch of negatives of Marilyn Monroe pix from early on in her career. She was 24 and had just appeared in her first movie. It was obviously before Hollywood (and drugs) wore her down. They’re really great and worth checking out here. I think it’s a nice little peek into what she was like before she turned into such a mess. Another sad story…
Here’s a sample of some of the pix that Life just published. I think that these are stunning:
My friend Steve passed away this morning from pneumonia. Of course you know that the only people who die of pneumonia these days are people who have AIDS. It’s been several years since a friend of mine has died of AIDS (or anything, come to think of it). It still sucks. If you have the option, keep your friends alive.
I was thinking about some funny, typical Steve events and thought I’d share them with you.
…Once, we were staying in this condo in Waikaloa (on the Big Island of Hawaii) and he filled the friggin’ place (to an annoying level) with flowers. Cause, ya know, we were in Hawaii. And we could only listen to Hawaiian music in the car (which is really irritating after about 4 minutes). And we had to sample every homemade ice cream place on the island (okay, that part was kinda great).
…And he had rented a TON of porn while we were in Waikaloa. Straight porn. Because the guys in gay porn were too pretty and not like real men.
…Steve and our friend Bill (who also passed away from AIDS) taught me about having a “porn friend”. That’s the friend who goes to your house (after you die but) before your family gets there to clear out the porn and sex toys you don’t want them to see. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of Bill’s death, Steve got there after the family. He said that they they just sort of pointed him in the direction of Bill’s extensive porn collection. Steve said that Bill must have been buying it by the pound (apparently this is an option in Los Angeles) because not only did he have a ton of it…he had porn with nuns, which we decided that Bill only got because he was buying porn in bulk.
…Steve telling me about being drunk and making out with a midget at a bar. (I really love that one).
…Steve throwing an annual luau at his place – complete with (authentic) hula dancers and a full pig on a spit.
…Steve requiring 3 (yes 3) Christmas trees to accommodate all of his ornaments. And then going shopping for more of them on December 26th. And the trees still being up well into the summer.
When Steve & Jim split up (well, they stopped living together – they remained extremely close), Steve “gave” me to Jim. Literally. So we hadn’t been in touch much for the past few years. But Jim kept me up to speed on what was going on with him and when Steve went into the hospital this weekend, Jim let me know.
I can’t quite believe he’s gone. It’s weird being up here because it makes it not real. Jim and I will get together when I’m in LA in a few weeks and I guess we’ll do our own little thing and I’m sure that will make it very real for me.