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

Right to Party and Vote

Clinton did pot, Bush was a skier, what's Kerry's drug of choice?Less than a week until the election ends and the post election season starts. To bide the time, I found a web site that counts the electoral votes based on state to state polls.

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

Kerry and Bush are pretty much tied, with a few states swinging in the wind. New York isn’t up for grabs, but I’m going to vote anyway.

Find your polling place at an aptly named site MyPolling Place.com

Go vote, grab some popcorn to watch the returns and then realize how similar these two candidates really are.

Connect Four

Queen to Rook 4, what?...this isn't checkersThis was a great childhood game because it was competitive, skill based and quicker than monopoly.

It’s interesting to know that the game has been solved, meaning that computers have determined the first player to move can win every time if they play perfectly.

“There are some people who can play Connect Four perfectly. Wikipedia link for basic strategy. About Connect Four

When the first player goes in the middle column, the first player will always win if the first player is perfect, but the columns next to the middle column will result in a draw, and the other columns result in a second player win.”

Play Connect Four

I think the AI on this one is better, so when you dominate the first, try this Connect Four game.

USS Cole

USS Cole Seal

The USS Cole was attacked by terrorists while at portin Yemen back in 2000. Far from recent news, but here’s how we brought her back for repairs. The Cole is a fairly big guided missile destroyer. The Marlin is a huge ship and it partly submerged itself, had the Cole tugged over it, and ascended with the Cole now on its deck.

The Cole returned to the Fleet in 2002.

Random Facts for Fun

oink oink, it's shaped like a corkscrewIf you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
(Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
(Now that’s more like it!)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out
to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.
(O.M.G.!)

A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes.
(In my next life, I want to be a pig.)
Continue reading Random Facts for Fun

Punch A Mole

No sir, I wasn't playing games, just practicing my data entry...I was never good at the punch a mole game. My excuse was that I was six and the wacking stick was too heavy. That same year I found out that you could pull out all the tickets from the skee-ball machine if you pull them slowly with constant pressure. That is really neither here nor there and I don’t remember any of the cool prizes I won, so there’s your brief glipse of me as a 6 year old.

In other news, this game is fun and will prepare you for your next career in data entry which starts shortly after your boss sees you playing this.
Play Tontie

Redrum…

come play with us...

For those of you who have seen The Shining, this will be pretty funny. If you haven’t seen it this will probably be confusing… just letting you know.

This website has now made two 30-second flash movies where they reinact the memorable scenes of classic movies. So far i’ve seen The Shining and The Excorcist… reinacted by bunnies.

Enjoy.

Idol Voting Explained

Advantage: Sunny, beautiful islands.Feeling a bit like Ryan Seacrest, I have the results to last weeks American Idol. You may have already seen the results, where the beautiful and talented La Toya London lost when everyone expected Jasmine “Flower In Her Hair” Trias, wasn’t even in the bottom two, to go home instead. I know why, and it’s not because of sympathy votes.

Last post I admitted to watching a lot of reality TV and especially Survivor. Congratulations to Rob and Amber, I’m a sucker for romantics and they’re cute together, and to Rupert for winning the ‘America voted’ million dollars. He got one of my votes. I’ve never voted on American Idol because I don’t watch the show live and the phone lines are only open for two hours in the time zone after the show airs. The key to American Idol and Jasmine’s reprieve from joining JPL and the football player is timezones.
Continue reading Idol Voting Explained

Survivor: All-Star

I'm not ready to quit reality TV or alcohol, so deal with itMy name is Thad, and I’m a reality TV junkie.
“Hi Thad”

I watched my first reality TV show in college. Road Rules: Islands was pulling their RV into Newport Beach to do a comedy skit at Balboa Island. MTV hooked me with their Real World and Road Rules marathons. Back to back to back episodes to eliminate the waiting of who is going to hook up, who is going to demand respect, and who is going to say, “I’ve never in my entire life on this earth been….” Where does MTV cast?

MTV is like a gateway drug. I had it under control with a half an hour a week, and I could have stopped at any time…and then along came Survivor. I missed the first couple episodes because this was still 2 B.T. (Before Tivo), but Sarah and Vinnie couldn’t stop talking about it on my morning commute. I tuned in and instantly hated Richard Hatch, but instantly loved Survivor. In that first season I actually said to a date, “We have to take this sushi to go, because Survivor starts in 10 minutes.”
Continue reading Survivor: All-Star

After the wedding…

With the surge in ‘reality’ shows and the radical change of MTV (from Music TV to eMpTy V), America’s millions of tv viewers have asserted their power to change the situation for smaller TV networks who produce most of the reality shows. The production cost of a reality show is a small fraction of what the big networks spend on their big productions like HBO’s Band of Brothers, which is really chapping the big networks’ collective butt.

Advertisement: Slightly Used Wedding Gown. Only worn twice: Once at the wedding and once for these pictures.

Anyway, eBay is another medium that has changed the way the internet is being used. Most of the postings you see on eBay now are organized “Power Sellers” that run entire businesses off eBay, but a large number of posts are from your typical casual seller that just wants to auction something off. This post, as the title suggests is a post on eBay for an auction that closed on April 28, 2004 (so, I don’t know how long they are going to keep it up) for a wedding dress… Normally, I wouldn’t give it another look, but the pictures woke my appetite and the reading afterwards of the item description settled my appetite for a good laugh.

Album Covers

Played backwards, it says that computers in the future will be faster.All of my music is stored on my computer now, and before that the CDs were in big wallets, so it’s been a while since I’ve looked through the album covers. Some covers I remember were the baby on the first Nirvana album, and Michael Jackson with the white tiger on Thriller…although that may have been on the inside…

Flip that around and here’s a humorous review of the Top 10 Worst Album Covers.

See also more album covers

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

William Hung – American Idol

Thank you Billy for the best American Idol audition I have ever seen - you bang buddy
William Hung, a man onto himself.

He entered the American Idol auditions with a bulletproof attitude and balls of steel. This is worth 2 minutes of your time…

See the video here. (sound required)

And if you want to know what else is going on with the man, the myth, the legend, take a look at this website dedicated to him: williamhung.net (thanks to Shannon and the team at Yahoo for digging this one up)
Continue reading William Hung – American Idol

One Corner in the Ether