All posts by SAFW

Atmosphere and You

Contrails or Electro-Conductive Govenment Mind Control Sprays?Anyone seen Michael Crichton’s new “State of Fear”? The man who brought dinosaurs back to life now disputes the commonly held belief that global warming is a consequence of increased carbon dioxide emissions produced by the industrialized world.

I’ve never really looked at the evidence supporting the anthropocentric theory of global warming, so I took a look around and found what I hope are a few unbiased sources:

Exploratorium’s Climate Change Page
Environmental Protection Agency

And a couple of clearly biased sources:
Fact, Hypothesis, or Myth
National Defence Research Council

My take away?

1) There is a definite warming trend in global surface measurements observable
Continue reading Atmosphere and You

Bracketology

We gotta show these suckas how to play THIS GAME!

Okay boys and girls, this one is going to require some audience participation.

I’m in the process of setting up the annual NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Brackets, and I’m looking for the best online solution. Ideally, this solution would have the following characteristics:

# Free, or inexpensive.
# Allow participants to enter brackets online.
# Automatically score and rank brackets.
# Allow participants to view standings online.
# Allow definition of points per round, including possibility of bonus points for upsets.

Not necessary, but wanted:

6) Allow participants to enter more than one bracket.
7) Be easy to sign up for.

Thus far, the solution offered by cbssportsline.com looks like the best, but it lacks the ability for users to input more than one bracket. Brackets2004 looks promising, but since it’s not up and running yet, I can’t draw any conclusions as to its functionality.

There may be additional features that I haven’t considered that would also be useful. It would be really nice if the system would sort teams by different stats (RPI, Games Won, Turnovers, Rebounds, etc). This might facilitate some bracket picks.

Additionally, I’d like to know what you think the best bracket scoring system is. I’m leaning towards a slightly unweighted system of 1/2/4/6/10/14 as opposed to the classic 1/2/4/8/16/32, to balance # correct picks vs deepest picks. Comments wanted.

I’m sure one of you out there knows of a great solution for online bracket management. Please post it. That means you Yahoo! crowd. I know you’re out there.

Cheers,
Sam

Whatever

ting-ting tong, ting-ting-ting ting tongThose who have been keeping score in the Indecorum section might notice a slight tilt to the right in recent postings. In an effort to balance the discussion, I offer the most recent hit from GW’s debut album, a remix of Liam Lynch’s popular “United States of Whatever“. God bless our troops, may they accomplish their missions with as little bloodshed as possible.

This content requires speakers and an mp3 player for best appreciation.

P.S. Since this posting has no content of questionable nature, it has been posted in the main forum…as opposed to the Indecorum section, which contains content with “Check-your-six”able content. Feel free to follow my lead, boys…

Frogger vs SUVs

Squish

Tired of endless political discussions? This revision of the arcade classic Frogger should help to provide an escape from dreary of Baghdad. Oh wait…watch out for the subtly intertwined messages about fuel efficiency. Watch out for the trap doors in the sidewalk!

Cheerio!

Sam

Hangman and Flash Fun

L, R, S, P, E
In the spirit of 30-second time wasters, I submit the original childhood guess-the-word game: Hangman. Nothing gruesome, naughty, or even the slightest bit titilating. If it’s too much for some of you, we’ll move it to the indecorum section. For the rest of you, start tying your noose, you’ve got some spaces to fill.

For more assorted fun, see if you can discover the magic behind the Mind Reading Crystal Ball. It’s pretty standard really, but interesting nonetheless.

And finally, my last contribution of the day is this series of optical illusions that are always fun. The “Liar” took me a while.

If you don’t have flash installed on your computer, you need to dig it up from Macromedia.

Enjoy!

Watch Your Wallet

eCriminals Abound!The first few times I walked on the street in San Francisco, and later New York, I was sure that someone would lift my wallet. I’ve since relaxed my guard and become comfortable in large masses of people, confident that pickpockets were rare and unlikely to target someone of my modest resources. Today I received an email that has renewed my concerns for the safety of my money, this time for that of my PayPal account:

Dear Paypal Member,

Paypal is constantly working to increase security for all of our users.
To ensure the integrity of our payment network, we conduct frequent checks
on our system. To be able to serve you more securely please cooperate with
us providing information about your credit card. You are reqired to review your last credit card information.

Please Click Here and enter the information required.

Upon providing incorrect information your account will be suspended.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

The Paypal Account Review Department

I followed the enclosed link, only to be brought to a page which has apparently been closed down. I suspect that a fraud has been perpetrated on many PayPal customers, one which I probably would have stumbled into myself had the site not been removed. I humbly submit this experience as a warning to those of you out there who keep money online. There are pick pockets. And they will find you.

Rowling Strikes Again

Pairy HotterHarry Potter fans, you have cause to celebrate! According to this announcement off of BBC.com, the fifth enstallment of the children’s epic series has been written, and will be released June 21st, the Summer Solstice. Amazon and other major book retailers are taking preorders today! Not yet a fan? Catch up on the series!

Storytime anyone?

The End of an Era

You tell neighbor drop dead?It is with great sadness that I announce the end of our tenancy at 434 Hugo St, AKA, Chez Hugo. Chez Hugo was a decent place, the kind of place that would welcome you with a cold beer and the squeak of the couch. The dust bunnies would come to greet you at the top of the stairs. The furnace would ping, crack, ping at you, just to say hello.

I remember the first time Thad and I set eyes on Chez Hugo. We were introduced by Alan, our gay Chinese landlord. Well we’re not sure about that. He might be Japanese (Okay, that one doesn’t work as well in writing). We oohed and aahhed about how nice the Canary yellow interior paint job was, and how it would certainly brighten the house on foggy days. Thad steadied the ladder while I replaced the lightbulb and rewired the fixture while Mr Chu leared at us in Chez Hugo SE.

Brian, Thad, and Sam were the first to take posession of Chez Hugo, and were shortly thereafter joined by Dave. Together we lived in modest glee for a year until Banc of America called Brian South to Palo Alto.

It was at this time that we were introduce to Wob, who lived with us only briefly, but managed to win our outright fury with his brazen antisocial behavior, microwave destruction, and phone line abuse (I’m sorry for that phone line, I’ll never let that happen to you again).

After Wob came Julie, the fireheaded dynamo that breathed new life into our yellow abode. And so the new crew, Thad, Sam, and the red headed North wing had the pleasure of residing at Chez Hugo.

Alas, Thad was stolen by a harpy and spirited away to New York where he lives in the cold streets, turning tricks and selling dime bags to make it by (Actually he met this sweet little thing and got hitched, but that just isn’t as interesting). In his place, Michael moved in and Chez Hugo, like the Phoenix, was reborn.

It wasn’t long after that that Dave, worn by the commute, retreated to a peninsula abode. In a masterful move, Kendall moved in, joined briefly by his brother Joey.

Time went on, and Julie’s applications to Graduate school were filled out, mailed, reviewed, and accepted. The last of the Chez Hugo firecrotches bid us adieu and moved to freerentsville vis-a-viz her dad.

The final addition to Chez Hugo was Fabian, our Ecuadorian stallion. Little did we know, that like water over rock, the dreaded Commute was wearing half of Chez Hugo away…

We weren’t satisfied with your original form, so we molded you into our own design. We repainted you, wired you for ethernet, and connected speakers all throughout the house. We stripped you of your original piddling showerhead and replaced it with a waterfall. We collectively exhausted one of your toliets (nice work guys).

We remember Chez Hugo with a full heart and fond memories. We hope that your next residents fill you with as much energy, as much fun, and as much beer as we did.

Chez Hugo is a magical place. It turns strangers into friends, friends into family.

Chez Hugo, we salute you!

Drunken Halloween?

Aaaah... The best of both worlds

A friend of mine sent me a story published on drinking and Halloween and how one destroys the other. Too much drinking and your Halloween will end sadly

The following is the first paragraph of the article she sent me:
“Peering back into the mists of childhood, the Halloween evokes images of candy, dressing up, candy, carving pumpkins, candy, family togetherness, candy, staying up late, candy, and, well, being sick from all that candy. It seems a shame that Halloween now symbolizes drinking, dressing up, drinking, throwing pumpkins, drinking, student togetherness, drinking, vandalizing, drinking, and, well, being sick from all that drinking. Many people would say that this interpretation of the holiday destroys its fine integrity, sullies its true importance, and tarnishes its unblemished memories from our youth. These claims are totally and completely true.”

This sounds a little drastic to me. I’d say a good, contrasting school of thought on the matter is a symbiosis of the two events: Pumpkin Beer! A beautiful union of good things, although you may have to get used to a new taste compared to your Coors Lights…

So lasts words of advice: I’m no doctor, but I recommend going to as many parties as you can and having a good time. Don’t have too many pun’kin beers, because the police knows it’s Halloween too. Carve responsibly.