Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A major award

Remember my post about the Hope Garden? Well, it's been selected as a finalist for a Flashforward award.

For those of you who don't know what a Flashforward award is (I didn't know until this morning), Paul describes it as an Academy Award of Flash programming. To say it's an honor to be a finalist is a major understatement.

To put this in perspective, we're up against sites from the likes of Nike, Adidas, Saab and Comcast.

It's a big deal.

So please vote for our site! Click here. We're in the Navigation category and the site is called Hope Garden.

Then pass the link on to all your friends and relatives. If you do you'll have good luck for the rest of your life AND you'll marry someone really hot. Seriously.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mighty Mouse Unleashed

Behold the wireless Mighty Mouse with all its Bluetooth goodness. $69 seems a bit steep to me but, hey, it's Apple.

Unfortunatley, there is no longer a wireless keyboard/mouse option for Apple's computers. So if you want to cut the cord and consequently your desktop clutter, yer gonna have to fork over an extra $128.

I think I'll pass.

The Office Webisodes

NBC has produced The Office Webisodes for those thirsting for more Office goodness between seasons two and three.

The premise is this: there's $3,000 missing and the accounting department needs to find it. They're going through a series of interigations with each of the "lesser" characters to find out who stole it. They've hinted that they think it's Michael, but I'm sure it's not. (For one thing, they can't fire him.)

Creed, on the other hand, is a self-declared thief with an apparent criminal history (when he had his security badge photo taken he turned sideways for a profile shot after the initial picture was taken, as if getting mugshots had become habit).

So there you have it. I think it's Creed.

You can check out the webisodes here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Saints

Why should we mourn, or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so. All is right.
Why should we think, to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?

Gird up your loins
Fresh courage take
Our God will never us forsake;

And soon we'll have this tale to tell-
All is well! All is well!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Spatulas in Space

A $2,200 putty knife floated out of an astronaut's tool belt and into space while he was repairing the space shuttle Discovery.

Where do I begin...?

WHY THE #*%@ DOES A SPATULA COST $2,200?!? Is there something particularly "space worthy" about these spatulas? Perhaps it was a multi-function spatula that also performed basic cold fusion? If not, and we assume a spatula works the same in space as it does in my apartment, I'd like to point out to all the government big wigs who approve the funding for this stuff that $2,200 gets you 326 Ace Hardware "premium putty knives".

It's amazing how useless the space program is.

Get this: the astronaut had five more on him worth a grand total of $13,200 (or 1,631 telestial spatulas).

Currently, the spatula is orbiting the earth every 90 minutes and is being tracked by no less than 20 military radars (another great use of tax dollars).

To sum up:

1. We're launching men into space to do what? I'm not certain.
2. We're sending them in space shuttles that need fixing once they get into space.
3. The space shuttle can be fixed with a spatula.
4. A spatula that I couldn't buy with an entire paycheck is now hurling through space at 25 times the speed of sound, never to be used for cold fusion again.

I can't imagine how much I really, really dislike NASA, and any space program for that matter. Do they do cool things? Sure. I'd love to go into space, float around for a bit and take some awesome pictures of Earth. Is it worth the billions of dollars we're spending on it? No. Instead, how about we pay teachers a little more than $15/hr? Invest in alternative energy sources? Find a cure for cancer? Lower health care costs? It seems like there's a lot more good we could be doing with the money, resources and brain power that are currently going into losing spatulas in space.

P.S. Special thanks to Mister West from 101.9 The End who e-mailed me the link to the original article.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fifteen percent

Did you know that according to this government website only 15% of the gas you put in your tank goes to moving you down the road and running things like your headlights and AC? 64% of the gas you put in your car is wasted thanks to "engine losses".

Engine losses? Are you kidding me? We can put a man on the moon and launch sattelites that can read the time off your watch but we can't figure out how to design an engine that's more than 15% efficient? I find that very hard to believe. (Any big oil/auto industry conspiracy theorists out there?)

Here's an earth-shattering idea: let's make a law that says cars have to be, oh, I don't know 30% effecient within 5 years and 50% effecient within 10. Imagine the impact be if all cars doubled their fuel effeciency! Don't worry about the discovery, production or distribution of a new fuel source (although we should still be working on that), just make more efficient use of what we already have.

Hey! Rich Guys Auto Industry Guys! Instead of designing self-parking cars and in-car DVD players for the kids, maybe you should work on designing a gas engine that doesn't suck gas, because no matter which car you look at, knowing that it's only using 15% of the fuel you put in it means the Prius should be getting 400 mpg, not 60.

A period of consequences

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences." - Winston Churchill, 1936

What a profound quote. I found it in An Inconvenient Truth and I whole-heartedly agree with it. Corporations and citizens alike can no longer claim ignorance regarding their responsibility toward the Earth and its inhabitants.

Most environmental action thus far has been moderate at best. ("We don't want to be too stringent on the auto industry. They have a huge impact on the economy.") Guess what? Europe has much stricter environmental standards than we do (Kyoto Protocol anyone?) and their economy is thriving.

Another quote, this one from Al Gore, fits perfectly. After talking about how the U.S. could conceivably lose 60% of its soil moisture in the next 50 years due to global warming he says:

"How do we debate something as cataclysmic as this in the traditional framework of our political dialogue?"

In short: suck it up. We've been skirting around serious, lasting environmental regulations for too long. To date, environmental promises have been nothing more than PR releases, premeditatedly forgotten and swept under the rug. If we continue to try to create environmental reform the same way we have been, nothing will ever change. It hasn't yet.

As Churchill stated, the time is past. Let's set some tough Rarely does anybody talk about short-term, immediate plans. Why? Because it requires change and that's hard to do (and, when it comes to corporations, it's expensive). But that's exactly what needs to happen.

Well, if you'd been doing a little bit all along instead of ignoring the problem, the change you're inevitably going to have to make wouldn't suck as much. It's time for everyone to bite the bullet and do the right thing.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Dual Uvulas

Check this action out. We were hanging out with some friends from our ward when, naturally, the subject of uvulas came up. If you look closely, you can tell that this person has TWO uvulas, medically referred to as bifid uvulas.

Gross, huh?

I know it doesn't make sense, but it seems like that should tickle.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Need more proof Vista is ripping off OS X?

Check out these two great videos on YouTube. The audio is from a presentation by Microsoft about upcoming features on Vista, but the visuals are the current version of OS X which has been out for over a year.

Video 1
Video 2

For some reason, this makes me even more excited for Leopard. It's the perfect opportunity for Apple & Co. to relase an even more advanced OS and take the wind right out of Microsoft's sails.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's arrived!

My Dwight Schrute bobble head doll has arrived! My wife ordered it for me months ago and it's finally here. Truly, this is a red letter day.

The history of the DSBHD is this: Angela and Dwight have a secret, rather disgusting romance going on in The Office that nobody knows about except Pam. Well, Dwight has quite the collection of bobble head dolls on his desk, so Angela had one of him made and gave it to him as a Valentine's Day gift. The viewers spoke out, and NBC responded by mass producing this prop from the show.

There you have it. The Dwight Shrute Bobble Head Doll.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Pride and Prejudice swallowed

I did it. I bit the bullet and watched Pride and Prejudice, my first ever "Bonnet Movie" as a gift to my wife for our anniversary.

To be completely honest...I enjoyed it. It was a good movie, Kiera Knightly was fantastic, the music was beautiful and the cinematography gorgeous. I was amazed at how long many of the scenes went without cutting (the dance scene with Darcy and Elizabeth comes to mind).

On the downside, I don't quite get Mr. Darcy. Why do women swoon over him? Why do they write his last name after theirs? He seemed to have the personality of a gamy badger for most of the movie. Even when he is confessing his love he horribly insults Elizabeth. True, he did a nice thing or two there at the end, but overall he acted like an arrogant punk. Now, my beloved sister in-law would point out, and I quote, "Mr. Darcy is one of the most complex characters in all of literature." Perhaps. But I didn't read the book. I saw the movie. And based on what I saw, he was a jerk 90% of the time and then does a couple nice things at the end (because he's filthy rich) and gets the girl.

Mr. Darcy sounds a lot like a Goon.

Despite the mystery surrounding "Mr. Darcy" (if that's even his name), I would actually like to see the movie again.

There I've said it. I watched, and enjoyed, a Bonnet Movie.

"Platypus" AKA GDrive

Rumors have been circulating about Google releasing online storage "Platypus" (or Gdrive) capable of syncing with your computer, ala .Mac accounts. Except Gdrive will probably be free and give you more space. Sounds good to me! I wish I could use it with iWeb...

P.S. I would personally like them to call it Platypus instead of Gdrive because I'm all about marsupials.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Should sleep, must write

It's quickly approaching midnight. I still need to read my scriptures and get ready for bed. But something in me is screaming, "Write you fool! Write!" Unfortunately, this pesky voice isn't considerate enough to tell me what to write about. All I have going for me at this point is desire.

The only thing I found useful from my physical science class at BYU was learning of the concept of Occam's Razor which, briefly, is a law of succintness stating that if something can be said or communicated in a simpler way it should be done. I think the prinicple is marvelous and I have some OCD tendencies which necessitate me applying it by keeping things clean and generally clutter free.

For example, today I pulled everything off my desk, unplugged all cables attached to my computer and piled everything into the living room. I dusted, then began reassembling everything, trying to find ways to make the appearance of my little workspace cleaner and less busy. I even went so far as to remove my second monitor (it's always bugged me that it didn't match my main display). Honestly there wasn't a lot that changed, except now I have a lot of the cords and cables tucked away behind the desk that were previously bulging out behind the computer.

Doing this wasn't really an option. It had been bugging me for a few days and needed to be done. Other things to which I apply Occam's Razor/feed my OCD tendencies:

The desktop on my computer. I know people who keep dozens of files and folders on their desktops. Right now I have five icons on my desktop, and two of them are my iPod and a CD.

My car. My car, Petie, is very clean (inside at least). I have a pair of sunglasses and my gym pass in the little space under my stereo. There's a sunshade that I tuck behind the passenger's seat when I'm driving and that's about all. I don't have anything in the door panels and there's nothing on my dashboard, no trash under the seats. And that's the way I like it.

What does this mean? First of all, I could go insane when we have kids. Second, it's no wonder I want an iMac so much. Third, I probably come off as a neat-freak psycho who will have some kind of breakdown if he finds lint on the carpet. Believe me when I say, it's really not that bad.

OK. I've started yawning and the voice telling me to write is starting to sound more and more distant. It's time for bed.

Someone knows me all too well

Whoever invented this must have known me in college.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

New Look + New Name

Since our work Personality Index reviews (see unpublished post. Ha, ha.) I've been thinking about what makes me tick. If I could have things the way I wanted them, if I could put a finger on my dreams and motivations and figure out how to explain "Me", how would I do it?

As I thought about that in, of course, the shower (props to my old blog title), I realized I am a walking dichotomy: I'm shy and outgoing, frugal with expensive taste, a social guy who likes his alone time, focused and wandering, etc. etc. etc. Somehow, I came up with the title when thinking about these things.

With that vague history, take it for what it is. Like it? Dislike it?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I'd give the guy money

A homeless man in Grand Junction, Colorado was standing on a corner holding up the following message written on a peice of cardboard:

"Ninjas killed my family. Need money for kung fu lessons".