Tuesday, October 31, 2006

McKinley hollered, McKinley squawled

William McKinley just went up in my estimation: he named his parrot "Washington Post."

(Here are the full lyrics for the song linked to above.)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Newspapers, again.

Well, newspapers continue to tank. ("Dog bites man.") But one's growing. ("Man bites dog.)

A Charlie Brown Ramadan

At least this cartoon doesn't actually depict Mohammed.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Does somebody need a spanking?

My parents would laugh about the fact that they'd used the line, "Stop crying or I'll spank you," and it worked.

Now comes research that spanking cures depression:

”The whipping therapy becomes much more efficient when a patients receives the punishment from a person of the opposite sex. The effect is astounding: the patient starts seeing only bright colors in the surrounding world, the heartache disappears, although it will take a certain time for the buttocks to heal, of course,” Sergei Speransky told the Izvestia newspaper.
Remember, now, "Pravda" means "Truth."

Which City?

As part of the continuing theme, "Which city will we lose?" here's a vote for Long Beach.

It's clear that Iran will develop nukes and they're entirely open about what they'll do with them: bomb Israel and the US. They're not concerned about the fact that we'll retaliate, and I don't think the Federal government will act to stop them before they do it. We'll lose one entire city, maybe two, before we turn Tehran into fused glass.

Offhand, I see no way around this, so the question is only which city.

My guess, for what it's worth, is Detroit.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Case Studies: Civil Liberties in World War I

An interesting history quiz.

Free, disposable, personal organizer

This is the kind of thing Jeff Copeland loves.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hank Williams sings, "No, No, Ahamdinejad"

I'm taking bets:
Do you think the Dixie Chicks will cover Hank Williams' No, No Joe (full lyrics here) before, or after Richard Carpenter puts out She Ain't Heavy, She's My Sister?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

anti-social tagging

Banning tagging.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Meeting scheduler

Doodle has a simple solution. I like it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Not everybody must get stoned

See? Bob Dylan's wrong.

Only Muslims must get stoned. The rest of us have other options.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mariachi band unavailable for comment

Lots of extra points for creativity for this one. The writer even gets points for the closing line in the piece.

There must be some mistake

Well, there's still time. Maybe Yunus and the Grameen Bank will announce that space aliens actually built the Great Pyramids, that capitalism is the real source of world poverty, or that they're calling in all loans of over $27.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Radio Disability

In more news-of-the-day, NPR has just received a Federal Department of Education grant to develop accessible radio technology for the deaf and blind.

We're going to give Federal tax money to NPR to make radio accessible to the blind.

Still, Federal tax money for radio for the deaf and dumb? NPR seems like an obvious choice -- indeed, one of many.

Continuing Ed credits at the CIA

Glenn Reynolds suggests the CIA would be well-served by studying this book. I think perhaps this one, too.

If they haven't been already, that is.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

more phone info

Telephone Hacks Roundup - Lifehacker

Meds and non-meds

Glenn Reynolds notes here
Drugmakers get sued for defective products; 'activists' and sensational journalists do not. If I were to start a drug company, and peddle a drug with no more evidence of its safety and efficacy than anti-vaccine activists and their media allies had to peddle their approach, and if as many people were made sick, or killed, as a result, I'd probably be in jail now.
Reynolds is a Libertarian. Perhaps he could discuss this with Colorado's Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, Dawn Winkler.

What happens when you cross "Airplane" with politicians

Before YouTube will let me watch this video I have to register and say I'm willing to watch it.
"This video may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community."
YouTube's user community thinks videos like this or this, or this are, in contrast, just fine for everybody.

The "offensive" video is by David Zucker, producer and director of "Airplane" and "The Naked Gun."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Cheap international long distance

Still cheaper phone calls.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Amazon Prime Cut

I often look for things on Amazon, only to be told that they're not eligible for Amazon Prime. Here's a search for Amazon Prime items

Medical help from Dr. Google

In case you suddenly need to know something about a new medical condition.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Google Code Search

Google Code Search

I assume this is a competitor to Krugle. Krugle's been doing it longer, but it's hard to believe they can compete with a search company.

Google Code Search

Google Code Search

I assume this is a competitor to Krugle. Krugle's been doing it longer, but it's hard to believe they can compete with a search company.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Grand Central is an example of bootstrapping a good, but simple, idea into a complete web service.

Here's the basic idea.

You probably have at least two or three phone numbers: work, home, and cell. For folks to call you, they may have to call all three. Worse, if they don't get you on any of them, they leave three messages. More numbers? More calls, more messages.

Sign up at Grand Central and they give you a phone number -- you can pick an area code and a phone number from the block they've bought for that area.

Next, you stick your other numbers into your web profile. Voila! When someone calls your Grand Central number, it rings them all. If you don't answer, it lets the caller leave one voice mail.

On the road and want to add your motel room? Just go on the web and add it. Then, when you forget to take it off, people can reach wrong numbers in a Motel-6 in Wyoming for the cost of a local call.

That, all by itself is cool.

But because it's a web service, you can customize it. Calls from your mom go to all your phones. Calls from your boss just go to your work and cell phones. Calls from your former employer automatically go to voice mail. Calls from your ex are marked as spam.

You can use arbitrary MP3s as rings and greetings, and tie special messages and tones to each caller or caller group. (And when I say "rings" I mean what the caller hears.)

Voice mail? They'll store it on their server. You can pick it up from your phone. You can pick it up on the web, like audio webmail. They'll forward it to you as email. Take your pick, or do all of them.

For someone who's going to change addresses and phone numbers and employers, this also provides a single phone number that never changes. It doesn't replace phones or phone providers. You still have those, but it adds a layer of indirection.

If, in 5 years, we all have Skype phones, with new VOIP numbers, we just add them to our list of phones, or replace the ones that are there.

Basic service is free. Premium service, which does things like offer to keep all your voice mail forever, costs money ($15/month? Something like that).

Turns a simple, but good, idea into something genuinely cool.

A Worker's Paradise

Jeff Grove points to this map of the world at night, with a tip: zoom in (by clicking on the map) and contrast North and South Korea.

The time machine in my head

Saturday morning, I went to the Denver Libertarian Breakfast (the Le Peep on the corner of Colorado and Mexico, Satudays at 8am. And yes, Saturdays have an 8 in the morning, too.)

I think of myself as a libertarian-leaning Republican. When I take the World's Smallest Political Quiz which Libertarian friends, like David Aitken, hand out I'm always pushed into the Republican quadrant because I really do believe we all have a military obligation.

(I tell leftist friends this and they say, "Oh, yes. I support mandatory universal service in, like, you know, the Job Corps." I respond, "No, I mean I think everyone has the obligation to serve in the military. They shudder and change the subject.)

Still, I figured they wouldn't kick me out, and it was likely to be fun to listen to the conversations. Sure enough, not only was David there, but so were Jed, Richard Combs, and Nick. Bloggers are no saner than anyone else, but at least they're verbal.

Richard and David came in from the parking lot together, with a third guy -- another David. I looked at him, astonished, shook my head, and said, "I know you." I hadn't seen Dave Bryant since about 1970, but I recognized him instantly.

Until right then, he'd been a kid. In that moment his age tripled.

For the rest of breakfast, I sat next to him, watching a teenager wearing the body of a guy in his fifties.