No. My girls will not be watching Hannah Montana.
Disney is manufacturing pop/movie stars and I think the end result is too old for their target audience. It seems like they are looking for wholesome attractive kids to appeal to the largest audience and at first it works. But then the kids work really hard to grow out of the image and in comes the sexy. Keep in mind I like sexy. Alot. I am sexy. However I don't think scantily clad Miley Cyrus or pregnant Jamie Lynn Spears are good models or idols for our children.
Disney should have fired Jamie Lynn and apologized to their viewers and Miley should have wardrobe restrictions in her performance contract.
Sports requires personal conduct clauses and I think that is a great idea.
Your regular brain uses your exobrain to outsource part of its memory, and perform other functions, such as GPS navigation, or searching the Internet. If you're anything like me, your exobrain is with you 24-hours a day. It's my only telephone device, and I even sleep next to it because it's my alarm clock.
What I need for the next upgrade to my exobrain is a special Dilbert pocket on all of my shirts. It should be located where Dilbert's shirt pocket is, but have a cutout hole for the exobrain's eye, which at the moment is just a camera lense. As my exobrain becomes more capable, and eventually self-aware, it will want to be able to watch the world with me and whisper in my ear via Bluetooth to my earpiece as needed.
A prototype of such a device was presented at the TED conference. (I'm sure someone will include a proper citation in the comments. I couldn't find it as I wrote this.) Among other things, my exobrain will recognize faces and automatically cross reference them to Facebook and other social media. Wouldn't it be great to meet someone you have met before and have your exobrain whisper to your earpiece "That's Bob. He's a chiropractor. Judging from his lack of a wedding ring and the way his eyes dilate when he looks at you, he is sexually attracted."
Your exobrain will even prompt you on social niceties, noticing before you do that a person has lost weight, or changed hairstyles, or (based on Facebook) taken a trip to Cabo. When you get cornered by a bore at a party, your exobrain will recognize that you aren't doing any of the talking, and place a discreet call to your wing man or woman across the room for a rescue mission.
If you want your exobrain to show you an image, such as a web page, just hold up a blank piece of paper and its pico projector will display the image in front of you. (That's from TED again.) In a pinch, just hold up the palm of your hand and project on that. By then the exobrain will have image stabilization software, so you can project a movie on a blank wall and it won't be affected by your fidgeting. Any time you are near a computer screen, it will ask if you want it to accept images from your exobrain.
In the short run, I think you'll see a variety of ways to control your exobrain. Obviously you can already take it out of your pocket and use its touch screen or keypad. And obviously there will be voice control. But I think you will see some version of the African Clicking language employed. If you want to know the weather forecast, for example, just click three times softly inside your mouth. Your exobrain is unlikely to confuse that signal with regular conversation, and it's easier and quieter than normal language, albeit with a smaller vocabulary. But if you add "Shhh" to "Click" you have the basis of morse code, so lots of combinations are possible. One of those codes could simply alert the exobrain that the next regular word you speak is meaningful.
Every bit of what I described is probably coming (except for maybe the African Clicking language). And that shirt pocket will be called a Dilbert Pocket. I don't see any way around that. For that, I apologize to all of my fellow cyborgs.
From the FAQ's
Yes, I found out the hard way that I had an uninvited guest living in my apartment, sharing my food and drinks and pissing in my sink. Talk about a creepy situation... only in the big apple....
So I have been innodated with questions since this was posted and I thought it wise to give answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
#1 - Are you sh#ting me?
A - No, this is every bit as real and messed up as it seems
#2 - What did you do when you saw the footage?
A - I immediately left my apartment and called the police.
#3 - Who is that girl?
A - I have no idea, she didn't say much when the cops came and took her.
#4 - What was it she actually climbed down from?
A - It is a storage loft/area in the apartment. It has no connection to any outside ventilation or anything of that such. It does go pretty deep back in there, almost all the way to over the stove/kitchen area. She had set up a little nook for herself.
#5 - How did she get in there?
A - I have no idea, the only way she could have gotten in is through the window, as I am on the top floor and there is a fire escape. The police think she was probably coming in to rob me when I was gone and decided to stow away in the crawl space. Supposedly this isn't the first time the cops had come across something like this.
#6 - How long was she in your apartment?
A - The police officers thought it looked as though she had been there for at least a couple weeks, although could have been longer.
Take pinball for example. I always thought the mechanics of pinball were technically challenging but the design pretty simple. Turns out that there are whole worlds of things that come in to play - no pun intended - when designing a machine.
This is a great article--
The Economics of Pinball:
There is a reason I live in Winnetka and not in Evanston. And it’s not because, as Sandeep would put it, I like to get up 30 minutes earlier than otherwise so that my daughters can put their hair up and dress like beautiful little dolls to match all the other dolls in their classes. No, its because after all the dolls are asleep we get to go to their parents’ mansions for parties and there’s always at least one parent who makes a living doing something incredibly interesting.
Tonight I met the guy who once made a living designing the classic pinball machines. And he designed the two pinball machines, Black Knight in 1980 and High Speed in 1986 that are bookends for a period when the most important stuff I was learning about life was learned within a few feet of at least one of these machines.
It turns out these were also major turning points in the history of pinball itself. In 1980, pinball went digital, multi-ball, and multi-media starting with the game Black Knight. Black Knight brought pinball to a new level, literally speaking because it was among the first games with ramps and elevated flippers, but even more importantly because it brought a new challenge that drew in and solidified a pinball crowd. In doing so it also set the pinball market on a path that would eventually lead to its demise.
In 1986, Williams High Speed changed the economics of pinball forever. Pinball developers began to see how they could take advantage of programmable software to monitor, incentivize, and ultimately exploit the players. They had two instruments at their disposal: the score required for a free game, and the match probability. All pinball machines offer a replay to a player who beats some specified score. Pre-1986, the replay score was hard wired into the game unless the operator manually re-programmed the software. High Speed changed all that. It was pre-loaded with an algorithm that adjusted the replay score according to the distribution of scores on the specified machine over a specific time interval.
The early versions of this algorithm were crude, essentially targeting a weighted moving average. But later implementations were more sophisticated. The goal was to ensure that a fixed percentage, say the top 5% of all scores would win a free game. The score level that would implement this varies with the machine, location, and time. The algorithm would compute a histogram of scores and set the replay threshold at the empirical cutoff of 5%. Later designs would allow the threshold to rise quickly to combat the wizard-goes-to-the-cinema problem. The WGTTC problem is where a machine has adjusted down to a low replay score because it is mostly played by novices. Then anytime an above average player gets on the machine, he’s getting free games all day long.
The other tool is the match probability: you win a free game if the last two digits of your score match an apparently random draw. While adjustments to the high-score threshold is textbook price theory, the adjustments to the match probability is pure behavioral economics. Let’s clear this up right away. No, the match probability is not uniform and yes, it is strategically manipulated depending on who is playing and when. For example, if the machine has been idle for more than three minutes, the match probability is boosted upward. You will never match if you won a free game by high score. And it gets more complicated than that. Any time there are two or more players and they finish a game with no credits left, one player (but only one) is very likely to match. Empirically, the other players will more often than not put in another quarter to play again.
(The tilt tolerance, by contrast has always been controlled by a physical device which is adjusted manually and rarely in response to user habits.)
Pinball attracted a different crowd than video games like Defender (my new pal designed Defender and Stargate too,) and this is the fundamental theorem of pinball economics. Pinball skill is transferrable. If you can pass, stall, nudge, and aim on one machine you can do it on any machine. This is both a blessing and a curse for pinball developers. The blessing is that pinball players were a captive market. The curse was that to keep the pinball players interested the games had to get more and more intricate and challenging.
Pinball developers struggled with this problem as pinball was slowly losing to video games. Video games competed by adding levels of play with increasing difficulty. Any new player could quickly get chops on a new game because the low levels were easy. This ensured that new players were drawn in easily, but still they were continually challenged because the higher levels got harder and harder. By contrast, the physical nature of pinball, its main attraction to hardcore players, meant that there was no way to have it both ways.
Eventually, to keep the pinballers playing, the games became so advanced that entry-level players faced an impossible barrier. High-schoolers in 1986 were either dropouts or professionals in 1992 and without inflow of new players that year essentially marked the end of pinball. In 1992 The Addams Family was the last machine to sell big. By this time, pinball machines used a free-game system called replay boost. After any replay, the score required was increased by some increment. Apparently, only hardcore pinballers were left and this was the only way to prevent them playing indefinitely for free.
Today Williams owns Bally but they make slot machines and video poker. There currently exists one botique manufacturer of pinball machines but its fair to say that innovation stopped in 1992.
My new best friend has a basement full of Black Knight, High Speed, Defender, Pac Man, Asteroids, and everything else you inserted quarters into when you were 16. Now I just have to find a supplier of C45, Djarums, and gooney-birds and I’ll be ditching class to hear sirens and “Pull Over Buddy.”
This year, the scene straight out of the movie “A Christmas Story” unfolded Tuesday morning in Boise with a boy of about 10. Boise firefighters used a glass of warm water to free the unidentified boy from the metal fence pole.
Fire Capt. Bill Tinsley says the boy’s tongue was bleeding a little, but he was OK and allowed to continue walking to school. Firefighters estimate the boy was 10 years old.
Rescue workers responded after a woman driving by saw the boy and called 911.
Last year, the unlucky boy was a 10-year-old from Hammond, Ind., especially apt, since the 1983 movie is set in a fictional city based on Hammond.
Apparently, experimenting with frozen flag poles isn’t that unusual, especially this time of year.
I posted it before reading and now look like a boob.
But I like boobs.
“A study published Monday in The Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry has concluded that an estimated 98 percent of children under the age of 10 are remorseless sociopaths with little regard for anything other than their own egocentric interests and pleasures. According to Dr. Leonard Mateo, a developmental psychologist at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study, most adults are completely unaware that they could be living among callous monsters who would remorselessly exploit them to obtain something as insignificant as an ice cream cone or a new toy. “The most disturbing facet of this ubiquitous childhood disorder is an utter lack of empathy,” Mateo said. “These people—if you can even call them that—deliberately violate every social norm without ever pausing to consider how their selfish behavior might affect others. It’s as if they have no concept of anyone but themselves.”
The Girls and I got to experience snow this morning. I was dressing Ari (the little little one for those out of the loop) and noticed it was snowing through the sliding glass door in the kitchen.
We ran outside and Ali (the bigger little one) had a ball trying to catch snowflakes in her hair, hands and on her tongue. Ari (little little) spent the time trying to seem impressed while attempting to figure out out the hubbub.
It snowed for what seemed like 20 minutes but the memory will last a lifetime.
Fun for all involved ! ! !
In exchange, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is handing them the biggest pile of cash it has spent on education reform in about a decade. The Gates Foundation was created in 2000 by the Microsoft chairman and his wife.
The foundation announced $290 million in grants to the four groups on Thursday, plus another $45 million for education research aimed at uncovering what exactly is an effective teacher.
The grants include $100 million to Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla., $90 million to Memphis City Schools, $60 million to a coalition of charter school organizations in Los Angeles, and $40 million to Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Vicki Phillips, director of the foundation's K-12 education program, said the investment is big, the ideas are bold and she hopes the impact could rock every school and every district in the nation.
The foundation purposely picked four diverse organizations to work with: from the four corners of the U.S., of a variety of sizes and ethnic mixes, all with existing problems and some successes meeting the educational needs of their students.
A fifth district was in line to join the others, but Omaha Public Schools dropped out at the last minute after decided it could not meet the matching requirement of the grant during these tough economic times.
Smaller grants to other districts will be announced later, Phillips said.
The various reform projects have a number of central themes.
They will focus on teacher training, put the best teachers in the most challenging classrooms, give the best teachers new roles as mentors and coaches while keeping them in front of children, make tenure a meaningful milestone, get rid of ineffective teachers, and use money to motivate people and schools to move toward these goals.
"If you could boil what we know in education down to one sentence, it truly would be, 'Nothing is as important as an effective teacher,'" Phillips said.
MaryEllen Elia, superintendent in Hillsborough County, believes these experiments will be closely watched by everyone running a school district.
If the results are close to expectations, other districts won't have a choice but to find the money to make similar changes, she said.
"We owe it to the children," Elia said.
She hopes her Tampa district can set an example for other large districts dealing with similar challenges. It's the eighth largest in the nation with 190,000 students spread out over an area the size of Rhode Island.
Kriner Cash, superintendent in Memphis, expects to be watched very closely by everyone who cares about equal opportunity. In his district, 86 percent of the 108,915 students are African American and 83 percent are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
"All professionals involved in guiding and educating children have a stake in this work," Cash said.
There’s a scene in the Call of duty modern warfare that’s getting a lot of controversial press, and I’ll explain why. The scene, referred to as “No Russian” or simply “The Airport Scene” takes place in Zakhaev International Airport in Moscow. As I understand it, you’re undercover with a handful of Russian mercenaries who walk toward the security checkpoint in an airport with scores of people waiting in line…and basically shoot everyone in sight. Here’s video of that sequence in the game, and to say that it’s pretty graphic might be the understatement of the year. The insanity begins at the 1:50 mark.
Damn good looking game. I need this for my wii.
SoundRacer plugs into your cigarette lighter and transmits rev-matched fake V8 or V10 engine sounds via FM radio making your car sound exotic, when it isn't. Alternately, it could help prevent electric cars from being silent killers.
350 HP and 355 lb ft of torque!!!
She doesn't know which one to get so she just grabs one and goes over
to the counter.
A Cabela's associate is standing there wearing dark shades. She says,
"Excuse me, sir. Can you tell me anything about this rod and reel?"
He says, "Ma'am, I'm completely blind; but if you'll drop it on the
counter, I can tell you everything from the sound it makes."
She doesn't believe him but drops it on the counter anyway. He says,
"That's a six-foot Shakespeare graphite rod with a Zebco 404 reel
and 10-LB. test line. It's a good all around combination; and it's on
sale this week for only $20.00."
She says, "It's amazing that you can tell all that just by the sound of
it dropping on the counter. I'll take it!"
As she opens her purse, her credit card drops on the floor. "Oh, that
sounds like a Master Card," he says.
She bends down to pick it up and accidentally farts. At first she is
About then realizes there is no way the blind clerk could tell it was she
Being blind, he wouldn't know that she was the only person around. The
man rings up the sale and says, "That'll be $34.50 please."
The woman is totally confused by this and asks, "Didn't you just tell
me the rod and reel were on sale for $20.00? How did you get $34.50?"
He replies," Yes, Ma'am. The rod and reel is $20.00, but the duck call
is $11.00 and the catfish bait is $3.50."
Project Title: Untitled
Recipient Organization: 509 Cultural Center/Luggage Store
Lead Artist: Barry McGee
Genre and Date Awarded: Visual Arts, December 1994
Completed: May 1998
Artist Barry McGee collaborated with the 509 Cultural Center to create a site-specific permanent public artwork on the four inset walls of a building located at Sixth and Howard Streets in San Francisco—an area undergoing redevelopment over the last decade and one that has long been home to low-income seniors, deteriorating single room occupancy hotels, bars, and Filipino immigrant families. McGee, well-known as “Twist”—the creator of many temporary, ephemeral public pieces—proposed this as his first permanent mural. Collaborating with the 509 Cultural Center and the neighbors in the building’s vicinity, McGee created images that were closely tied to the site and its characters. The mural was completed and dedicated in late spring 1998.
The piece consisted of four 64 foot by 8 foot metal trays fitted to and installed on the inset walls. Large portraits along with smaller, more intimate renderings were enameled and spray painted over the metal surfaces. The panels then were bolted to the inset walls.
When he embarked on this project, Barry McGee intended to work on a building located at Leavenworth and Turk streets in San Francisco’s Tenderloin—a neighborhood where the 509 Cultural Center sponsors many projects. However, the collaborators encountered unanticipated resistance from the building’s absentee owners and similar problems when they tried to move to different, nearby buildings. While the South of Market’s Sixth Street corridor, where the project was eventually produced, has a similar demographic profile to the Tenderloin, it has long been a neighborhood where alternative arts organizations and projects clustered. There the collaborators found a receptive building owner.
The site approval effort took longer than anticipated, but more dramatic was the project’s ultimate outcome. McGee completed and installed the four panels by May 1998. Their installation was celebrated with a party with the neighbors surrounding the building. A few days later, one of the panels was stolen. McGee re-painted and replaced it and reinforced the bolts on the entire piece. In November 1999, the entire project was stolen. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Eric Brazil claimed “For sheer heft and volume, the great South of Market mural theft is a candidate for The Guinness Book of World Records.” ArtWeek commented in its January 2000 issue, “The robbery is an unfortunate example of a public artwork falling into private hands. McGee’s popularity, coupled with the high prices that his pieces command, has supporters worried that the stolen mural might be intended for sale in the art market.” It has not been recovered.
At the time of undertaking this project, Barry McGee had produced a large body of temporary and ephemeral work in spray enamel. He also had been part of several gallery exhibitions (at Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens and the San Jose Museum of Art in Northern California; Museu Lasar Segall in São Paulo, Brazil; and other venues) in which he attempted to “‘bring stimuli from the outside in,’ constantly recreating and reinventing the ‘eternal wall,’ using spray enamel, mixed media, and found objects.” He also had spent seven months in São Paulo Brazil, working with young street artists through a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund/Arts International. Upon his return, he collaborated with the 509 Cultural Center’s teens and homeless residents on a temporary wall in the Sixth Street Corridor of the South of Market in San Francisco.
The 509 Cultural Center is a Tenderloin/Sixth Street-based arts and cultural organization, which seeks to enrich and empower the cultural lives of the ethnically diverse, predominantly low-income residents of its neighborhood. It produces public art projects, gallery exhibitions, performances by new and emerging artists, and an apprenticeship training program. It also serves as a drug and alcohol free space for meetings, workshops, rehearsals, recitals, and discussions.
crouching down behind a tombstone. I said "morning." He said "no just taking a
2. When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I
realized that the Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole a bike and asked him to
3. My girlfriend was in labor with our first child. She was shouting out
"get this out of me? Give me the drugs." She looked at me and said, "You did
this to me you bastard!" I casually replied, "If you would care to remember,
I wanted to stick it up your ass but you said, "it'll be too painful."
4. I went to an extremely attractive female doctor today for my annual
checkup. She told me that I had to quit masturbating. I asked why and
she told me, "because I am trying to examine you."
5. I was walking down the road today and saw my Afghani neighbor,
Abdul, standing on his fifth floor apartment balcony shaking a carpet.
I shouted up to him, "What's up Abdul, won't it start?"
6. My girlfriend and I were making love last night when she looked up at
me and said "Make love to me like in the movies". So I turned her over on
all fours, stuck it in her ass, pulled out, flipped her back over and came
all over her face and hair. I guess we don't watch the same movies.
One Monday morning the UPS guy is driving the neighborhood on his usual route. As he approaches one of the homes he noticed that both cars were in the driveway. His wonder was cut short by Bob, the homeowner, coming out with a load of empty beer and liquor bottles..
"Wow. Bob", looks like you guys had one hell of a party last night, the UPS man comments.
Bob, in obvious pain, replies "Actually we had it Saturday night. This is the first I have felt like moving since 4:00 am Sunday morning. We had about fifteen couples from around the neighborhood over for some weekend fun and it got a bit wild. Hell, we all got so drunk around midnight that's when we started playing "WHO AM I."
The UPS man thinks a moment and says, "How do you play "WHO AM I?"
"Well, all the guys go in the bedroom and we come out one at a time with a sheet covering us and only our 'privates' showing through a hole in the sheet.then the women try to guess who it is."
The UPS man laughs and says, "Damn, I'm sorry I missed that."
"Probably a good thing you did," Bob responds. "Your name came up seven times."
As revealed by a Freedom of Information Act request, finished nukes, their parts and fissile material like plutonium and highly enriched uranium are transported in these unmarked 18-wheelers operated by the Department of Energy. If you untangle the bureaucratese, the trucks appear to have locks on them:
[The Safeguards Transporter is a] specially designed part of an 18-wheel rig that incorporates various deterrents to prevent unauthorized removal of cargo.
Should you run for your life if you see the truck pictured jackknife? If you believe the government, you’re perfectly okay:
The thermal characteristics of the [transporter] would allow the trailer to be totally engulfed in a fire without incurring damage to the cargo. The tractors are standard production units that have been modified to provide the federal agents protection against attack. Escort vehicles accompany the tractor-trailers during transportation activities.
You may be alarmed at what is perhaps a brusque and condescending tone from the DoE when it comes to such serious matters, but as evidenced by the lack of a nuclear attack on a civilian population since World World II, nukes are very, very hard to get. Even in parts of the world not known for running their trains on time.
Miller was a racer from the start, joining the ranks of drag racers in the 1950s and racing at various levels for forty years. He took time off to raise a family, and took his boys to the track on almost every weekend there was racing, lending a hand and talking cars with all who would have it. When the nest emptied, he ran an AMC Concord until an aneurysm limited his sight, and even then he kept going to the track, even attending the Labor Day races this year. He was considered a pillar of the racing community at Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove, Wisconsin. He died last Tuesday, and as a fitting tribute, his family arranged to have the hearse bearing his casket take him on one last run down strip. The time wasn't great, 45 seconds at 27 mph, but a fellow racer, upon discovering what was going on, said "So they took him on his last pass. Cool. That's cool."