in orbit

I mostly talk about video games and the world wide web


I Was On CNN The Other Day

After you sit through what I assume will be a ~30 second unskippable ad you can jump forward to 1:50 or so to see me doing computer stuff (or you can watch the entire report if you want). I was actually working on a thing that randomly censored the search results on our site for the day (because SOPA/PIPA are the worst, but you already knew that). Also I didn't know the camera guy was recording me. It's pretty amusing to be the 'guy who is working in the background' on CNN though. I always knew I'd make it!

Pretty exciting, I guess! Also: happy 2012!


Gawking, Part II

As a brief follow-up to my critique of Gawker network's design I feel that I also ought to critique the thing I am perhaps more qualified to; namely the tech behind it all.

Along with Twitter (specifically 'new Twitter') and I'm told Facebook (I don't use it enough to really comment) Gawker has adopted the hash-bang syntax (see the #! in their URL? hash-bang) which basically lets Javascript manage the entire site. Any web developer worth his salt can obviously attest to how much of a good idea this notion is. Personally I consider myself to be a front-end developer (with a great degree of back-end experience) and even as a big fan of Javascript and all it's capabilities I would never entrust it to such a task. That would be like entrusting HTML to be consistent between Safari and IE6.

Others have covered the issue in greater detail than I, but suffice to say the type of framework that depends entirely on Javascript is not one I would prefer to depend on myself. The hash-bang syntax is a hack at best, and a potential disaster worst. When your single point of failure is Javascript of all things you may be in for a world of pain. Go ahead, disable JS and take a look at or new Twitter and compare it to any other site. Even JS-heavy sites like Google News work with it disabled. I can access an HTML-only version of GMail, a web app that doesn't even need to follow web conventions. It's something to think about.

Hopefully hash-bang does not become some kind of new standard, but you never can tell with these things. In the end leaving display of your site's content up to the client is a poor decision, at best. We'll see how things pan out in that regard. I won't actually get upset until the New York Times web site starts to use it.



While the Gawker Media collection of sites have never really been my cup of tea for any number of reasons (which I won't get into) you really can't deny the popularity of their network in their respective industries. If you want some video game news out there you need to get it up on Kotaku. If you want the world to know about your new unreleased iPhone, leave it in a bar so Gizmodo can buy it off some guy. If you're a celebrity and want your inner-most secrets leaked to the public then a good bet is to contact someone at Gawker. I'm starting to get catty so I'll just move on, but you get the idea.

For once the news of the day for was not the content of one of these sites but rather how it is presented. Let me get this out of the way first: the new design, aesthetically, is a huge improvement over the old design. The old design was fairly hideous and wasted a lot of space. About the only things it did well were present a ton of the site's most recent content and keep some big-ticket articles of note up at the top. But now, out with the old, in with the new. The new Gawker sites look like a professionally designed iPad app. In fact that's the thing that most people seem to think of first when they see it, which was obviously the intended reaction.

That itself isn't bad, but sadly the site not only looks like an iPad app but seems to function as if it was intended to be one. This fact is made highly unfortunate due to the site being broken in mobile Safari. I don't have an iPad to test it in myself but it's more or less unusable on my iPhone, and I haven't heard much better from iPad owners.

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Something I Never Thought I'd Say

So I got to play Duke Nukem Forever this weekend. That's pretty weird.

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0;)

I happen to have IE6 installed at work for CSS/Javascript testing purposes and also perhaps to make my life somewhat bizarre; I often bring my MacBook into work so I can test stuff in IE8. Word on the street today was that YouTube is dropping IE6 support. Indeed:

The final nail in the coffin? One can only hope. I've been dreaming of this day for almost a decade I think.

Internet Site One

With the inauguration of Barack Obama comes the most immediate result of his presidency, the White House web site. It's interesting because Obama is really the first technically inclined president. The first we've had who has embraced the digital age. Clinton was 46 when he was elected in 1992, back when the internet was very, very young. didn't actually launch until 1994 and was sparse at best. One or two (very 90s) redesigns followed including probably the most memorable, at least to me, though I couldn't tell you why.

George W. Bush was elected in the year 2000 and sworn in in January of 2001. Shortly after a horrible thing was put up to replace the minimalist Clinton-era site, though it was improved upon from time to time.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks a newer version was put up, though is missing anything between July and September of 2001, so it may have gone up sooner. That version, while not overly great by today's standards, was reasonable for 2001. Tabular layout, half-assed use of CSS and your old friend Verdana.

The 2001 version of the site received some tweaks during its tenure as First Web Site, but mostly kept the same look in a post-9/11 world. The last version I linked to remained the president's site through his 2004 reelection and up until early 2007 when a new version was put up. This new one, although better looking, was mostly just a restyling of the previous version. It was slightly wider but still had a tabular layout, which while acceptable in 2001 was a crime in 2007.

And now we have the current site, which was put up at almost the very moment the clock struck noon in Washington (elected presidents become president at noon on the third Tuesday of January regardless of whether or not they take the oath, which is mainly a formality). So now we have a site that looks a lot like Barack, probably because it was designed by the same guy. There's a news ticker/slideshow at the top with crossfades, lots of little details and the site is remarkably standards compliant (stupid image borders). Also I should mention, since I've been harping on it, that the layout is entirely CSS driven. There is a single table but it's used to keep a form in line (which isn't perfect, but I can accept it). It's actually a nice looking, competent, well designed government web site, which is saying something since there are some pretty terrible ones out there. Okay that last one I mainly threw in because the URL is hilarious (and horrifying).

At any rate, while I may not be overly excited to finally have the word 'blog' be associated with the President of the United States, I think Obama's technical initiatives as well as him being the first president to utilize things like 'computers' and 'e-mail' at least shows some signs of hope for the future. Does it mean that the government will finally stop being baffled by technological wonders such as MP3 players and video games? Probably not immediately, but the chances of congress understanding things like DRM and government-sanctioned censorship of violent games and why they may not necessarily be the best thing for the American people may not be as far away as I once thought.

So how about that? A little hope from a simple web page. Promises as advertised. Let's see what else this new guy can do.

Here's a Thing (Redux)

MSNBC deleted their widget, so here's my own non-interactive widget. Sweet!

Selected, Not Elected

So the eve of the 2008 presidential election I figured why not throw my hat into the unqualified analyzer political analysis ring. First off I need to mention that the Pittsburgh Steelers have just defeated the Redskins of Washington DC by a score of 23 - 6. This is significant because, prior to 2004, the Redskins have predicted the last 17 elections. If the Redskins lose their last home game before the election then the incumbent party will be ousted. For what it's worth their last home game in 2004 against the Packers was a loss, which would seem to indicate a John Kerry win, however there was a botched call at the end of the game which most people believe caused the loss for them. So there's that.

More concretely, simply put, Barack Obama has been polling much better than John McCain exactly where he needs to. If you've been following like I have (and I believe the math behind it is pretty sound) then you know that Obama is pretty popular in states that John Kerry failed to carry like Ohio, Florida, Iowa and New Mexico. However not only that but he's popular in states Kerry never had a prayer to win. Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and Nevada all stand a good chance of going Obama's way. Virginia and North Carolina, in particular, are interesting because neither of them has gone to a Democrat in a very long time (North Carolina in '76 and Virginia in '74).

So here's the electoral map. Red states go to McCain, blue to Obama, yellow are more or less up in the air (some sites will tell you that Montana, North Dakota and Arizona are all up in the air too, but that's bullshit). Anyway this accounts for 234 votes for Obama, 171 for McCain and 133 up for grabs. 270 electoral votes are required to win, in case that fact has somehow escaped you.

So I first present you with a near repeat of Kerry's performance in '04. Pretty much no swing states (Pennsylvania being really the only state that could be considered one) netting Obama 255 and McCain squeaking by with 276. Kerry failed to get Iowa, which accounts for the small discrepancy there, and Obama likely will not fail to get that state. So now you see the issue John McCain has in front of him. He needs to pull down every state that Obama has been beating him in and will still only eek out a victory. So let's move on.

So here is a much more likely output. Obama winning Virginia (13 votes, and he is very likely to win that state) as well as New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada. Colorado and New Mexico are highly likely to blue states this year and Nevada seems increasingly likely as well. This outcome gives McCain 244 votes and Obama a solid but narrow victory with 287 votes. An important thing to note about this map is that Obama loses both Ohio and Florida, two states that were critical for Kerry in '04, and still wins. The swing of New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa are enough to compensate for losing two states once deemed necessary to win.

This scenario is not much different than the last except Nevada goes McCain and Ohio to Obama. The only really significant effect this has is it puts Obama above 300 electoral votes with 302 to McCain's 229 making his victory greater than either of George W. Bush's wins though not as high as Clinton's 370 and 379 in '92 and '96.

Now we get into a hefty day for the Democrats. Not only do they pull in both Virginia and North Carolina, but Ohio and Florida. This makes for what I think is Obama's highest possible number of votes with 349 to McCain's comparatively pathetic 182. I have my doubts this will occur because I'm hesitant to say North Carolina will go to Obama and Florida has only been polling weakly for him, though still slightly in his favor.

And finally, for kicks, we get the narrowest plausible Obama victory. McCain steals Florida and Ohio and and retains any unlikely wins for Obama, however losing Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico (worth 19 votes together) is enough to send Obama over the edge with 274 votes. McCain with 257.

Is there a point to all of this? I guess that the election appears to be Obama's to lose. He does need a few key states, but overall it's an uphill battle for McCain. Stay tuned tomorrow for awesome! First polls close at 6pm EST.

Later, George

George Carlin
(1937 - 2008)

Irony deals with opposites; it has nothing to do with coincidence. If two baseball palyers from the same hometown, on different teams, receive the same uniform number, it is not ironic. It is a coincidence. If Barry Bonds attains lifetime statistics identical to his father’s it will not be ironic. It will be a coincidence. Irony is "a state of affairs that is the reverse of what was to be expected; a result opposite to and in mockery of the appropriate result." For instance:

  • If a diabetic, on his way to buy insulin, is killed by a runaway truck, he is the victim of an accident. If the truck was delivering sugar, he is the victim of an oddly poetic coincidence. But if the truck was delivering insulin, ah! Then he is the victim of an irony.

  • If a Kurd, after surviving bloody battle with Saddam Hussein’s army and a long, difficult escape through the mountains, is crushed and killed by a parachute drop of humanitarian aid, that, my friend, is irony writ large.

  • Darryl Stingley, the pro football player, was paralyzed after a brutal hit by Jack Tatum. Now Darryl Stingley’s son plays football, and if the son should become paralyzed while playing, it will not be ironic. It will be coincidental. If Darryl Stingley’s son paralyzes someone else, that will be closer to ironic. If he paralyzes Jack Tatum’s son that will be precisely ironic.

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

This is something I've been sitting on since I saw the movie on opening weekend, I guess both due to lack of time and also my desire to make sure I was not jumping on some crazy Internet hate bandwagon fueled by Doritos and nostalgia for the older Indiana Jones films. However a decent amount of time has passed and I'm now pretty firmly in the camp of Indy 4 not being as good as any of the previous three.

It does of course get held up to a higher standard than any other movie because it is an Indiana Jones film. This is perhaps somewhat unfair to it as a movie in the general sense, but I think entirely fair given that it's part of a franchise. We hold second and third seasons of television shows up to standard based on how much we liked the previous season. The Phantom Menace led to disappointment in part due to it's unattainable expectations but also simply because it was not as enjoyable as the previous films. Star Wars wasn't perfect, and neither was Indiana Jones. What the Indiana Jones films did have going for them, however, was excitement, good action, and characters who usually evoked some sort of emotion in the viewer, many times the emotion intended by the writer.

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, while for the most part technically impressive and competant, fell slightly short as an adventure movie but pretty much failed as an Indiana Jones movie. Actually, let me rephrase that slightly. It failed as a good Indiana Jones movie. It did have all the components to make it an Indiana Jones movie, it just failed to use them in an engaging way.

Since I'm in the mood to write entirely too much text, the rest is a click away. Many spoilers lie ahead!

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Relax... No Seriously, I DARE YOU

And now we have the things nightmares are made of! Okay so back in like, I don't even know, probably October or something, myself and dahanese decided it would be awesome to take a vacation this summer! Yay. So after weighing our options and expenses we decided on a resort called Sandals in Jamacia (Negril, to be specific, a town about 90 minutes west of Montigo Bay). All is well, right? Anyway it's scheduled for August 14th - 19th. Great. The night before we're both really tired so we set dual alarms for 5:30am in order to catch our 9am flight with Air Jamacia.

Only her alarm is set for 5:30pm, and mine is set for 5:30am but not actually set to 'on'. Big problems. We wake up at 6:30am in a complete panic and rush to the airport as quickly as possible. We get there at maybe 7:30am and are eventually told that our flight is full and since we missed the window to get on our flight (which we have paid for and even have seat assignments) then we're pretty much fucked.

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Jokes Aboot Canadian Money, No Longer Funny

As of this writing, one US dollar is equal to $1.0359 Canadian dollars according to Yahoo's currency converter thingy.

This is a sad day for Americans everywhere, and truly the end of an era.

That is all.

A Moment of Silence Please

(1917 2007)

Don Herbert, aka Mr. Wizard, died yesterday from bone cancer. I actually thought the guy was already dead, but I used to watch his show at like 6am every day before middle school (that or Transformers and sometimes Captain Planet) and a bunch before that. Apparently it ran from 1983 until 1990 and reruns aired until 2000. Anyway, thanks Mr. Wizard! Without you I'd never have seen a vacuum cleaner suck grape juice through a straw up to the 7th floor of some building, or learned how to make a match box land on its side when you drop it... and something about friction. Okay so I don't remember all of what the show taught, but I remember enjoying it, and that's what counts, I think. Adeiu, good sir! Thanks for dropping the science.

Laptop, More Like Craptop

You know I'm having a really awesome day so far. Sarcasm. Anyway, I just dropped my laptop off somewhere on the west side because the stupid 'A' key doesn't work right. Roughly 50% of the key presses actually cause it to register an a, and only if you hit it fairly hard. It's annoying and lots of words have an 'A' in them so I can't live with it. It's under warranty though, and the dude said it would take a week to fix maybe, so here's hoping. It will be awesome with a fully functional keyboard.

In other laptop news, I hate Shacknews for getting me into this god damned free MacBook thing. The deal is (or was anyway, it's no longer offered fixed because Josh Clark says I am wrong), you sign up for 18 stupid things and they give you a free MacBook Pro. After you sign up for and wait for verification and cancel all the offers (which all sign you up for some kind of subscription where they charge you $20 or more per month until you call them up and cancel) you end up spending around $150, though if you got in early it was possible to spend around $40. So all told I guess it's a decent deal, but I am highly pissed off, but I won't reiterate my angst because I suppose I am getting what I deserve. It's way more headache than just going out and buying a MacBook, but I also don't have to spend $2000, so I guess it's some kind of horrible, horrible trade off. I will reserve full assessment for a later date, however.

Okay Last One, I Swear

Well first off thanks to anyone who posted condolences in the comments. I love you guys!

The funeral was yesterday and it went well. Catholic service, even though everyone on my dad's side of the family is a terrible half-assed Catholic at best. My grandma, who died ten years ago, was the real reason for any religion in their lives. My grandpa actually wasn't religious at all, so I don't know how fitting it was. Anyway, the mass was lame and honestly did nothing for me in terms on closure because of all the talk about going to heaven with Jesus means absolutely squat to me. But whatever I guess. My dad gave a short eulogy at the end where he told a story about Pop and that was easily the most moving part of the whole stupid mass. Instead of some priest telling us we're not worthy and how we should prepare and how god works in mysterious ways. In case you don't have any experience, being a real, practicing Catholic is essentially the same as being put on a guilt trip for your entire life.

The traditional funeral procession was actually really cool. As I said, he was a firefighter, so instead of being put in a hearse his casket was loaded on the back of a fire truck (with another one following close behind). We then drove through downtown Mamaorneck, NY with three cop cars literally stopping incoming traffic for us and letting us run red lights until we got to the highway. Also I'd like to point out that people are hilarious jackasses. I understand you are a very busy person, but cutting off people in a fairly obvious funeral procession so you can get where ever you have to be at 1pm on a Wednesday is kind of a shitty thing to do. Ah well.

By the time we got to the cemetary it was raining pretty good, which was I guess fitting and had a very Hollywood feel to it. More words were said about Jesus and salvation and souls and he was buried in the plot next to his wife.

After that we went to some Italian restaurant which had super good food and we had a fun time telling stories about him. Overall just a funny and friendly and honest and modest and hard working guy. The kind of person, when all is said and done, that you are proud to have known.

And that's about all I have to say about that. I promise I'll return to the normal updates about video games and drinking and whatever other random crap pops into my head. It'll be awesome, I swear.

In Memoriam

My grandfather died this morning.

I was leaving the apartment to catch the train to work when I got a call from my dad. It was 7:46am. He never calls me that early. He has no reason to. I knew what the call was before I answered. I had been waiting for it for probably two years now. Every time the phone rang late at night in our house, or a got a call from my mom in the middle of the work day I expected this news.

They called him Pop. Everyone called him that, not just his kids, but his friends, the people he worked with. His grandkids called him Pop-pop. About two years ago when he was coming back from Florida with his daughter and her friend he came down with pneumonia and had to be put in the hospital. He never got out again. His condition improved, but he had some issue with his foot. Some kind of wound that wouldn't heal. They put him in an old folks home.

If ever there was a man who should not be in an old folks home it was Ken Watson. 86 years old at the time, deaf as a post, but sharp as a tack mentally. I think it drove him crazy to be there. To wait. Sitting there, day after day, waiting to die. That's what it must have felt like. I don't blame his children (one of them being my father) for that, because there's not much else you can do. He'd have been fine if it weren't for his foot. He had various other ailments that kept him down, but his foot prevented him from being mobile.

Last summer he told me that he used to love taking a newspaper and a cigar and walking to the town park. The town he'd lived in nearly all his life. The town he raised a family in. He said he used to go to the park and sit on a bench and read and watch the kids play football. That made him happy. That was all he wanted from life any more. To be independent. Eighty-six years old.

And it's sad, it's sad because he lost that and never got it back. The end of his life was waiting. I used to buy him cigars. He loved cigars. I bought an expensive brand recommended by the shack. $100 for 25 cigars. He said they were the best cigars he'd ever had. I felt like it was the least I could do for him.

He was a veteran of World War II. He was injured in an attack and awarded a Purple Heart. He refused it because a good friend of his had died in the same attack. He never talked about the War. Even my mom, who knew him for nearly thirty years, never heard him talk about it. He came home and joined the volunteer fire department and got a job and did what he had to do.

Since he turned 80 or so he would always joke that he wouldn't make it to his next birthday. His wife died ten years ago, and he had been on his own since. At Christmas parties he would talk about how this was his last Christmas and his last birthday and we'd always laugh and tell him to cut it out. He stopped saying it last year. His birthday is December 21st.

My dad said he gave up. They had to put him on oxygen last week because he was having trouble breathing. My dad saw him before that and said that he had told him he was tired. It's depressing. Depressing because he was such a great man, and depressing because it had to end that way. And I suppose that's how it goes sometimes, and in the end we'll only remember what we want to remember. We'll remember him before this, and we'll remember what made us love him.

When we went out to dinner he would order a seven and seven with a lime in it and call it a fifteen (7 + 7 + 1 for the lime). He knew everyone and everyone knew him. Walking down the street or stopping in a bar or restaurant at least four people would greet him. He was a friendly old guy, but not the overbearing, lonely type you meet sometimes. He just wanted to have a chat and move on. He didn't force anything, he was just easy to talk to.

My dad told me a story once about how when he and his older brother were still in junior high and his brother was taking bets on football or racing or something like that. It was a Catholic school, and when the nuns found out they of course put a stop to it and called his house. Normally his mother would have taken care of it, but she happened to be away, so his father came by. When the nuns told him what his son had been up to, after his initial reaction of surprise his only response was to look directly at my uncle and say "How much did you make?" The nuns did not like that.

I'm not sure what else to say, but I feel I need to say it. I guess this is kind of depressing, but it's just what's on my mind and I need to clear it. He was a great guy in pretty much every way. Everyone spoke fondly of him, and I really will miss him. It's funny how even though you are expecting something for two years it still has a big impact on you. It still causes you to break down. He lead a full life though. It's not tragic, it's just the end. That's how these things work.

I'll miss you, Pop. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for being you. I won't forget any of it. Good bye.

Face Blind

Really interesting article in Wired about prosopagnosia, which is a condition where the brain is unable to recognize faces.

For most of his childhood, Choisser thought he was normal. He just assumed that nobody saw faces. But slowly, it dawned on him that he was different. Other people recognized their mothers on the street. He did not. During the 1970s, as a small-town lawyer in the Illinois Ozarks, he struggled to convince clients that he was competent even though he couldn't find them in court. He never greeted the judges when he passed them on the street everyone looked similarly blank to him and he developed a reputation for arrogance.


Five Years Later

I wanted to write something about this earlier, but I wasn't sure what to say. Now I'm glad I waited. I went to ground zero last night, the first time I have been there since before September 11, 2001 even though I have been to Manhattan many times since. I've seen pictures from overhead but this was the first time I've seen it in person. It's sad. There is nothing but a big hole. It's empty.

There is a memorial up with images from that day and after. Pictures of people and rubble. The names of every last person who didn't make it out of the buildings. Reminders of what happened. The wall of smoke and rubble that flooded the street when the buildings collapsed. People looking confused and helpless. People running. I can't even imagine. There were once two huge buildings there. I saw them so often. Whenever I went to the city they were there. When you left New York they were the last thing you saw, and the first thing you saw when you came back. Two big pillars, greeting you. Letting you know you were home.

Now they're gone, and there's a hole in the ground. Almost 3,000 people died that day. I can't even imagine. Being in there and having your entire world literally crumble around you. Being in one of the planes, knowing you were going to die. It breaks my heart. I know there is death and destruction in the world every day. I know people that don't deserve it die every day. Disease, war, disasters, the list goes on. Those are all tragedy, no doubt, but they never hit so close to home, and never so suddenly. They, very sadly, are facts of life. Huge buildings falling, buildings you think will always be there, is not something you prepare for. Not something you think is going to happen. It's harder to comprehend.

There are two beacons of light there now. Representative of the towers, like ghosts. Apparitions of what once was. They are sobering and beautiful and very sad. You see them and you remember, and it still has the impact it had five years ago. The sadness and anger and feelings of emptiness. The hope and pride when so many people helped with search and rescue. With cleanup. With moving on. In the end I think we're going to be okay.

I'm glad I finally saw it.

Well, Crap...

Okay that potentially exciting thing that could have happened after Friday's events isn't going to happen. And thus I am back where I started! Cryptic, perhaps, but there's really nothing interesting to say about it, except that the burgers at this place are pretty tasty. Small, but tasty (that's what she said!).

In other news I have my car back. The final estimate? $1060. Apparently taking apart a car door is a lot of work, because the new door (well it's new to me anyway) was only $250 of that. Whee. So Progressive paid a whopping $60 and I had to foot the $1000, though I paid in cash so it was only $900. I hope my crap-ass insurance company can at least get me some of that back. Maybe they'll even get the full $1000 and I'll make $100 out of this ordeal? I'm not holding my breath for that though. Anyways that's it for this exciting chapter of my life!

Washington, DC; Day 3

The saga continues! Today was the 'presentation day' or something. The convention floor was only kinda open and all day there were seminars and presentations and junk. We got these barcode scanner dealies so instead of making everyone at a specific event sign in, we just scan them and we're set. This year was a trial run though, so we only did six events or so, but it went very well and I think the CEO (who has final say with these things) will be pleased with the results. Makes things a ton easier on us since nobody has to do data entry. Not that I care, since it wouldn't be me, but people at my company tend to really like to make work way harder than is has to be for everyone. For example, write up an article that has to be published in Word, then send it to someone to convert to HTML and post it to the website. You know, instead of using Dreamweaver or something, which works exactly the same as Word only it outputs HTML that isn't fucking insane. But I digress.

After a good ten hours on my feet, they fucking hurt. I was wearing dress shoes (we have to wear suits), which didn't help. I put my sneakers on when I got back here and I felt like I was walking on clouds. You know, if you could actually walk on them and they weren't made of water.

Oh yeah, I saw Queen Latifah. She was giving a speech about something, I dunno (I had to leave after like five minutes), and she wrote a children's book apparently, so I guess that's what she was talking about.

Also I saw Paco Underhill who wrote some book and is the CEO and founder of Envirosell which I never heard of before today but it sounds kind of like bullshit. His book sounds like it might be interesting though. All the rest of the speakers I saw were just people who I either work with or don't know (and thus are boring and unfamous, though the COO does have a bunch of pictures in his office of him and Bill Clinton from that one time they met), and so not worth mentioning.

I think I'll take some pictures tomorrow. Maybe I'll walk over to the White House. I think it's pretty close.

Next up I wanted to quickly mention the WTC movie trailer but a longass tirade of text came out after it, so I decided to move it to the 'more' text. Read at your own risk! I'll be back tomorrow!

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Jason... Mewse? Mewes?

If you haven't been you should read Kevin Smith's blog because he's currently up to part eight of the story of Jason Mewes (the guy who played Jay in all of Kevin Smith's movies, sans Jersey Girl, but that doesn't really count) and his struggle with heroin addiction (among other things). Even if you're not a fan of Smith's movies, it's a really excellent read, though he's being somewhat of a pain in the ass with the cliffhanger endings. Still, it's a interesting look into what it's like to deal with a loved one with an addiction (a totally foreign thing to me, might I add), and Smith is of course an excellent writer.
Long reads, but worth it, I think.

You're Such a Dick

Oh crazy liberal media, what won't you do? Okay, so I'm not a big proponent of the 'liberal media', mainly because most complaints about the media being liberal come from people who watch Fox News all the time. Fair and Balanced! However, this Reuters photo is cropped in just the right way that I cannot possibly think it wasn't intentional. I mean, leaving a little headroom over Cheney's head, okay fine. But it's so perfectly cropped. I refuse to believe this was a coincidence.

I don't know what Reuters' normal political affiliation is, but maybe this isn't a case of "omg Bush and Cheney suck!" Maybe they are genuinely concerned for Mr. Headshot Cheney's health. After all the man has a heart attack every week and he's got like six surgeons following him around ready to perform a triple bypass or angioplasty at a moment's notice. Maybe they just don't want him to have any more undue stress.

Of course if Cheney retires then George Bush will really be running the country, and I don't know if that's such a wise decision. He's good at clearing brush and making up new words, but I don't think he'd make a very good president. I mean he ran an oil rig into the ground. An oil rig. Those things hemorrhage money, and he managed to put one out of business. And then he traded Sammy Sosa to the Cubs when he was in charge of the Texas Rangers. Although in his defense he was probably drunk at the time. That's life though, I guess.

Anyway, I salute Reuters and Mr. Cheney too, and not just because he's the first sitting vice president to shoot another man since Aaron Burr. No, I salute him because he has a gigantic wang.