Thursday, February 26, 2009

Psychotic, much?

I really can't add to this blog that a friend of mine shared with me. Okay, that's not exactly true... I can add to it—in fact think I might just send something in—heaven knows I've got a few samples that qualify...but let's just say, I can't add more to it descriptively.

The Psychotic. The Pathetic. The Bizarre.
A Forum To Show Men Who The Real Bitch Is.

What more is there to say?

I'm sure there's an equal opportunity blogger out there representing the other side, and if I stumble upon it, I promise I'll share.

In the meantime, for all us girls out there who've had the completely inexplicable, "seriously?" email... this blog's for you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Drunk dialing? You're on your own, but...

Drunk emailing—the scourge of the rejected, the disappointed, the hopeless, the feckless, the stupid-beyond-belief—has a new enemy in town. Mail Goggles.

That's right. Google is moving out of your back yard and into your id.

Turn on this Gmail feature and when you hit "send," nothing will happen unless and until you answer a few questions along the lines of 69-38=? and 2x5=?

According to the Official Gmail Blog (what? you didn't know?), "by default, Mail Goggles is only active late night on the weekend as that is the time you're most likely to need it. Once enabled, you can adjust when it's active in the General settings." So if you're a lunchtime reckless romeo, no worries.

As illustrated, this early version of Mail Goggles will not help us all. Here's hoping that in the next version, we'll not only be able to adjust the activity time, but also enter a list of target recipients—"are you sure you want to send that email to Jennifer, Brad?" Not to mention, your own bete noir subjects (I'm thinking they should partner up with the makers of Trivial Pursuit); you know, if you're not going to be stumped by "63-28," perhaps "what year was the Magna Carta signed?" might get you, or "who directed Chinatown?" will. If you watch a lot of Jeopardy, all I can say is—don't do it, man!

Monday, February 23, 2009

That's one expensive song, dude

Josh Freese, singer of that hit song "Since 1972" (not to be confused with that hit song "1972" by Josh Rouse), soon to be released on the hopefully hit album "Since 1972," has come up with a unique pricing structure.

Digital download of the album, including three videos: $7

-Signed CD/DVD and digital download. -T-shirt -Signed Cymbal, Drum head and Drumsticks. -Josh washes your car OR does your laundry....or you can wash his car. -Have dinner with Josh aboard the "Queen Mary" in Long Beach, CA -Get drunk and cut each other's hair in the parking lot of the Long Beach courthouse (filmed and posted on youtube of course): $10,000

-Signed CD/DVD and digital download -T-shirt -Go on tour with Josh for a few days. -Have Josh write, record and release a 5 song EP about you and your life story. -Take home any of his drumsets (only one but you can choose which one.) -Take shrooms and cruise Hollywood in Danny from TOOL's Lamborgini OR play quarters and then hop on the Ouija board for a while. -Josh will join your band for a shows, record, party with groupies, etc.... -If you don't have a band he'll be your personal assistant for a month (4 day work weeks, 10 am to 4 pm) -Take a limo down to Tijuana and he'll show you how it's done (what that means exactly we can't legally get into here) -If you don't live in Southern California (but are a US resident) he'll come to you and be your personal assistant/cabana boy for 2 weeks. -Take a flying trapeze lesson with Josh and Robin from NIN, go back to Robin's place afterwards and his wife will make you raw lasagna: $75,000

Getting your debut album talked about in newspapers and blogs coast to coast before it's even released? Priceless.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Facebook - the movie. No, really.

Up til now, I'd been really hopeful that those drugs hadn't harmed (okay, one of) my favorite writer's brain. But now I have to wonder.

Facebook - The Movie? Come on. Really?

Aaron Sorkin last year signed on to write this masterpiece, and according to his Facebook group page, "This movie is going to be about the invention of Facebook--how a college sophomore became the youngest billionaire in the world by creating a company from his dorm room that became the size of CBS in a matter of months. You wouldn't have to like an atomic bomb to see a movie about the Manhattan Project, right?"

That last comment is in reply to a group member who has said he won't go see the movie "on principle." In response to Mr. Sorkin's query on the nature of said principle (yes, Mr. Sorkin, despite his assertion that his "grandmother has more Internet savvy than I do and she's been dead for 33 years," actively participates in this group), the stalker, I mean poster, said "the principle I'm talking about is more of a personal rebellion against how these social interaction tools have removed the need for actual social skills."

Evidently the "really?" reaction is widespread, hence, I imagine, the Facebook group. On the other hand, I do have faith in Mr. Sorkin, so I'll withhold judgment. For now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Move over red, green is not just for jealousy anymore—these days it's the new color of love. "Love thyself, love thy neighbor?" Puh-leez. "Love thyself, love thy planet." Now we're talking.

You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Check out the very sweet—and very green—video below:

and yeah, it's a video. Can't see it? Click here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's in a grade?

Do you buy Grade A maple syrup because you think it's better in some way than Grade B syrup?

I used to. I mean, I grew up wanting to get an A on my report card, not a B. (Doesn't mean I always got an A, but you get my point.) So yeah, I went for the syrup that earned an A—I mean, it had to have tried harder, right?

Wrong. Although Grade B may often be less expensive than Grade A, it didn't try any less. It's just different. It breaks down like this: there are three grades of Grade A syrup: light amber (sometimes known as "fancy"), medium amber, and dark amber. Interestingly, the powers that be in the maple syrup marketing cabal didn't choose to grade these A+, A, and A-. Huh. Can't imagine why not.

Anyway, the truth about Grade B is, it's darker than the darkest Grade A. More intense. More aromatic. And less money.

Some people just can't handle the truth.

The Case of the Mysterious Maple Smell

It could have been worse.

It could have been really bad. Foul. Putrid. Noxious.

Instead, New York City smelled like breakfast. A tasty pancakes and waffles breakfast. Which evidently was enough for concerned citizens to take to the phones and dial 311. And this was in 2005.

Three years and some months later, scientists from two states, NJ and NY, cooperated on the investigation along with the Department of Environmental Protection. Is it just me, or does it seem ironic that when it comes to tracking suspicious pleasant odors, our agencies have no problems playing nice, but when we have to share information on, oh, I don't know—possible terrorist activity—that spirit of cooperation is itself a mystery?

So, playing nicely together, the scientists plowed through chemical registries, air samples, weather reports and 311 call logs, and found the culprit—a factory in NJ that, among other things, processes fenugreek seeds. Oddly, according to Newsday, the factory, Frutarom, "slammed down the phone on a reporter who called for comment." Now that is suspicious.

Oh, you want to know what fenugreek seeds are?

Wikifact has it that fenugreek is both an herb and a spice (a blog for another day), and is often used in the US to mimic maple flavor, as in artificial maple syrup products. Well, duh.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Name that frog... or septipus

Quick, who said "it's not easy being green"? I'm not talking Kermit, here. Have you met the Green Thing?

Here he is on Vimeo.

So he's not exactly Kermit—I bet Miss Piggy would still be smitten.

Monday, February 09, 2009

32 million is a big number

Evidently, this video (yes, it's a video-if you can't see it, click here) is the 28th most watched video on YouTube, with over 32 million views. That's a lot. On the other hand, that fact is a wikifact, so take it for what it's worth.

Still, the next time someone asks you, "what is that?" tell them "it's a magical liopleurodon." I dare you.


Ah, feel the flame light, the spark ignite, the interest flare... the burning desire to... BUY IT NOW.

Amazon finally released Kindle 2.0, and so far reports are positive. Granted, this just happened today, so we need a little time for the shakedown and real feedback to filter back from the stratosphere, but I am hoping.

According to an article in the NYT,

Amazon said the upgraded device had seven times the memory as the original version, allowed faster page-turns and had a crisper, though still black-and-white, display. The Kindle 2 also features a new design with round keys and a short, joysticklike controller — a departure from the previous version’s design, which some buyers had criticized as awkward. The new device will ship on Feb. 24. Amazon did not change the price for the device, which remains $359.

And, according to an article in Business Week, "it can stay charged for up to two weeks on a single charge and holds up to 1,500 books."

Now, what I find sort of interesting is the claim that the new device can hold up to 1500 books. "Seven times the memory" is something which is fairly easy to arrive at mathematically, 1500 books, on the other hand, doesn't really seem so easy to define. I mean, War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged, the seven Harry Potters and the four Twilight books alone come to over 8300 pages, or 2.68 million words. And that's just 13 books... for which I could actually find word counts... which is not as easy as you may think. If you think I'm slacking, here's a short list of books for which word count is not so readily available: The Brothers K (generally over 600 pages), Shogun (the paperback is over 1100 pages and weighs a pound and a half), The Lord of the Rings (over 1100 pages if you consider all three books in the cycle and that's without The Hobbit, another 300 pages).

I know what you're thinking. That's very interesting, but what's her point? (I know that's what you're thinking.) Her point is, what does 1500 books mean? A book is not a measurable unit, last I checked. It's like saying your hard drive will hold 1500 files. Really? 1500 1GB photos are now the same as 1500 10k Word docs? Good to know.

Not to mention, getting back to the Kindle, what about the whole newspaper and magazine thing? Which, in my opinion, is way nifty, and evidently much improved on the new Kindle with its new 16 shades of gray. How does that impact the 1500 books? I'm just saying, "1500 books" sounds like a whole lotta you-know-what to me. Still, seven times the memory—now that sounds promising. And the improved control, navigation and form factor—also promising. My hopes are high(er).

And... the drought is over

So, here's the story - in 2008, I posted 193 posts. Or did I blog 193 blogs? Anyway—it was 193 somethings.

And I definitely didn't start 2009 off with a bang. As you may have noticed. Mea culpa, I'm sorry, my apologies, sue me, etc. etc. etc.

But... the thing is, I have this goal, see. 275 blogs posted, or 275 posts blogged, in 2009.

What does that mean to you? Well, I have some catching up to do, for one, or in other words—après ceci, le déluge. So to speak.

Monday, February 02, 2009

When it's good, it's very good, but...

Ball and chain.

Do you ever stop to wonder how we ever got along before we had electronic leashes? I remember summer concerts in Central Park when I had to find my friends through some fantastic combination of orienteering, red balloons and, well, let's face it, luck. And when I was late (who me?)—I was just late—no calls or texts from the bus, cab or car. Train rides involved books and crossword puzzles—not long over-due phone calls.

The flip side, of course, is that neither friend nor family, boss nor client was under the impression that I was constantly available. On call 24/7. Never out of reach. Just 10 digits away. (Not, mind you, seven, but 10.)

Cell phones, the Janus of modern communication. I may not always like it, but don't even think about taking it away. Because, when something goes awry in that state of Denmark, look out!

The irony is that when something does go awry, communication companies are so incredibly inept at communicating. Blackberry outages have occurred rather infamously several times in the last few years. Each time, the carriers and users have been the last to know. I myself just spent 30 minutes on the phone with AT&T and talked with three separate customer service representatives before I learned that there is nothing wrong with my phone—RIM is experiencing network problems. Oh, and no one knows when they're expected to be resolved. Of course not.