Saturday, April 28, 2007

When Marilyn meets Einstein

It isn't often you see alternative history in a beverage ad. But this makes you wonder that Einstein and Marilyn could have married.

From a link in advertising goodness.

Degree Inflation Humour

In reaction to news that the Dean of Admissions at MIT lied about her degree there was much condemnation. However on slashdot DarkOx responded with:
As a Medical Doctor, Practicing Criminal Lawyer, Professor of Cosmology, Licensed Elevator Inspector Life Guard, and offical Breast Examiner; I am truely shocked that someone would misrepresent themselves in such a fashion.
Then StormX2 asked.
..Licensed Elevator Inspector Life Guard... You got screwed over too? promised so many job openings with this license, and yet I've yet to save a single elevator inspector's life!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hitler Joke

In a thread about Hitler's meddling on the Alternate History the commentator Major Major offers this german joke from WWII.
A man goes to the doctor and sees a map on the wall. “What is that enormous brown country?” he asks.

The doctor says, “That’s the Judeobolshevik Soviet Union.”

“And that great big green country?”

“That’s the judified and negrified United States.”

“And these red places all over?”

“That’s the effete and degenerate British Empire.”

“And this blue country, the not so big one in the middle?”

“Oh, that is Our Greater German Reich.”

The man had thought for a moment. Then, timidly, he had said, “Has the Führer seen this map?”

Shame or No Shame

In a annother follow up piece to the Virginia Tech shooting NPR had on Korean American who wrote about his feelings as shame in a recent oped. There was a feeling of guilt and shame among Korean Americans. On the discussion page for this item many wrote of guilt and shame they sometimes feel for misdeeds of people sharing the same race, religon, philosophy.

The converstaion was all about shame and guilt and responsibilty we all feel for each other. Then a muslim came on talking about 911, starting @ 5'50''. All he was worried was about a backlash.
"...understand that in each culture, each religon, in each tradition there are people who are extremists and they will commit some acts of violence. But the majority of people understand."
There are murdering maniacs "in each culture, each religon, in each tradition". We can feel ashamed and guilty by the actions of related madmen. That the moslem community couldn't be ashamed by by its non-insane murderers, the "extremists", is sign that they can never feel shame. Concern is expressed about a possible blacklash not about the wrongness of the crime.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

War on Slacks

A war on slacks has been launched in Iran. This picture and others here were are about a current goovernment crackdown on "inappropiate dress".

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Flash the Superhero, Origin Story

Not too ironically this litttle video about the history of Flash was found on Cold, Hard, Flash. The animation is called The Rather Amazing and Slightly Distorted History of Flash. Here is even more stuff about web development widgets made by the same studio as the Flash Story. Bad, funny and violent ads have been created to promote widgets like Cold Fusion. The Cold Fusion ad is in the form of a cleaning product that can make all your problems disappear.

Government against Foriegn Investment by Canadian Companies

In today's ROB about a European banking merger, Europe's Mega Banking Deal, in its implications for Canadian Bank ambitions there is this odd detail. It is now more expensive from a tax perspective for Canadian Companies to buy foreign companies than the other way around. Why?

A banking source complained that, even if BMO had the cash to do the deal, a new measure in the federal budget that removes a tax deduction for companies expanding abroad would make it less attractive.

The extra federal tax on a $21-billion deal would be hundreds of millions of dollars per year, said one accountant who asked not to be named.

Executioner Time

I have been reading a manga called Samurai Executioner lately. Through the series was published in the mid-7o's it was only recently released in English. It is the story of a executioner as a ronin with a middling to well paid government post. The crimes detailed and punished are recognizable as still being legitimate crimes such as murder, rape, grand theft.

When we look at famous executions down through history there are many bizarre and boroque crimes that demand death then show up in the samurai police procedural. Joan of Arc was condemned for witchcraft. Anne Boleyn was condemned for adultery and treason. Jesus was condemned heresy, a charge later inflated to sedition. Scorates was condemned for encouraging juvenile delinquency and impiety.

All these "crimes" are seen as something that belong in the colourful past. Except that people are still being executed for such nebulous and imaginary crimes as witchcraft, adultery, heresy and impiety. Here is a transcript of an interview with the official executioner of Mecca. In Saudi Arabia and other places people are condemned for witchcraft, adultery, heresy, impeity, apostasy and imaginary crimes.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Serious Game Design Traps

Tim Carter of Xfunc has come out with a new essay Serious Game Design Traps . He as a serious game designer has outlined and examined the many ways that games, especially serious games, can be badly designed. His perscription is to look at the game from a graphics, game and content perspective. The problem he outlines is that many people see games as just a collection of bell and wshes and cool graphics. To avoid that many think that a serious game has to be only the outline of thesis and a serious game must avoid the cool and sometimes mindless graphics that is apart of many games.

At the end of his essay he details some of his experiences in designing a serious game, Code Orange, and the effort he put in in avoiding all the traps he outlined.

Well worth a read.

Suicidal Food

Doesn't this sound just like Milliways, The Restaurant at the End of The Universe. When the hitchhikers get there an animal come out and offers itself as food. Here is a new blog called Suicide Food which has examples of animal mascots with the same desire to be eaten.

From a link from Adfreak.

Stoned Drive Through Window

From a mention on Adfreak comes this amusing ad about ordering food while stoned at Jack in the Box. Some antifun/antidrug group have objected to light hearted way driving while stoned is depicted. Althorough stoned drivers have a tendency to drive slower. There are other impairments beside chemical that can distract driver. Talking on a cell phone or being overly tired can equaling impairing as drunk driving. One time Homer Simpson installed so many gadgets that he could send faxes, bake and watch movies while driving. The problem with these other impairments is that it is harder to test for. Second there is a moralistic objection to drug and alcohol use. MADD has produced ads about drunk driving and ads about drinking but never ads about dangers of driving. For me the most negative aspect of this ad is the endorsement of drive through lanes . In a drive through lane cars are mainly idling. Drive throughs need to be banned

Beautiful Steel Plants

The Germans seem to really like industrial photography. This image is from Stahlseite. As well as categorizing its pictures by country it also groups them by type; Blast Furnace, Steel Works, Foundry, Forge, Rolling Mill, Coke Plant and Mine. I used to know of another German website devoted to industrial photography. Unfortunately I have lost its address.

Above is the Stelco plant in Hamilton

Cats as Nerds

In this thread on slashdot about the new Freakonomics book there is a discusion about observed economics in the animal world. aIn particularly Rheasus monkeys and washers. Moraelin responded with this "thoroughly silly illustration of anthropomorphising animals", his words not mine, comparing nerds to cats. See the highlights below.
- have a problem with authority and obeying orders. (See, "herding cats.")
- have unbalanced diets, by human standard, and would rather not eat their veggies
- have weird sleep schedules, by human standards.
- play (with) all sorts of stuff that makes no sense for a normal human.
- never discovered complex courting rituals.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Quote of the Day

Sgt Harper
Dead men gather no loot

Sunday, April 15, 2007

On the Decline of the Music Industry

In a response to a newsreport on slashdot about the attempts by the Aussie music cartel/lobby group ARIA there is this interesting comment about the drop in music sales in general and to teenagers in particular. The newsreport is about some thuggish practices of getting ISP to deny service to users of bittorrent. A favorite sigquote that I have seen is: "More people surport the KKK than the RIAA".

The portrayal of women in music videos
(Score:5, Interesting)
by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday April 14, @01:51PM (#18733025)
I think that the decline of music sales coincides with the rise in internet usage not because of the terrible pirates of music, but because of porn. Bear with me, it makes sense if you think about it:

I used to watch videos for very mediocre music, because the chicks were hot, scantily dressed, and fed this former teenager's fantasies. But today's kids don't need to buy a CD to have fap-fudder, they can get free porn with ease.

I theorize that the so-called decline of the music industry isn't because of music pirates, as they claim, or because their music suddenly sucks (the monkeys sucked, sucking isn't new), but because they were NOT in the music of selling music, but in the business of selling sexually suggestive material.
A yagu commented that the music is selling less because the retail stores/channel are offering smaller selection of music.
I'm not buying the "pirates decrease sales" spiel. My cause and effect for buying fewer cds is strictly the continued unavailability of cds on display. It used to be a smörgåsbord, now the stores look like the cutout bins of years past. This (the RIAA, and others) is an industry that rather than weather a business model storm and changing business dynamics to adapt continues to insist on taking their ball home with them (hey, it isn't even their ball!) so we can't play. And somehow, they still want to demand we pay them. Please, please, please!, just let them become irrelevant quickly so we can get on with our music!

Friday, April 13, 2007

American Foriegn Legion

According to a story by the Boston Globe reporter Bender, not that Bender, 5 months ago the Pentagon considered 0pening up army recruiting centres overseas. I am stunned, but are surprised. I thought I was well informed but I only heard of this story from reference by Mark Shields on PBS Newshour.

There are 2 things a nearly every country needs to do to fight a war. They need to raise money by raising taxes and/or borrow money. To increase the military they need massively recruit and/or draft. The times when countries at war find the men and monies quickly and easily are rare and extraordinary. The first Gulf War was paid by the Saudis and friends. In WWI Canada and Austrailiaeasily recruited because a demographic fluke. Because high immigration in both countries had a large number young, unattached and unsettled young men.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hammer Sig

When you have a hammer, all your problems begin to look like nails. However, when you don't have a hammer, you may begin to ignore anything that looks like a nail.
- sig of Shadow Knight

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Just Bought Jon Voight's Car

Today's Wall Street Journal has a story ripped from an episode of Seinfeld. George Costanza is connived to buy a Buick LeSabre because it was owned by Jon Voight. Today's article highlights a case where the celebrity connection lowers the value. Nobody wants to act like George.