Monday, November 29, 2010

Life, Death and Dogs

The Commodore Louis Kaestner, from his sickbed, talks on about the sickness and death about his late dog.

Its a fucking dog!
Jimmy Darmody

You're a stony little bastard.
The Commodore Louis Kaestner

I'm what time and circumstance has made me.
Jimmy Darmody

Problems with Paras

You also have the problem that dropping airborne on mountains results in a fair number of them being injured on landing with busted ankles, toes, legs, etc.

I remember my buddy who's actually does a lot of jump training with foreign crews who are qualifying for certain missions saying that it's gotten to the point where the USAF, USMC, and US Army actually have mathematical calculations they can run before each drop in order to figure out a rough estimate of how many people will be injured.

Apparently mountains are...rough on the math.

mmmeee0 on a thread on
about giant walkers,
Supposing walkers are a feasible craft...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Report From the Ancient Internet

Science Friday on NPR had a rebroadcast of first program that they also simlubroadcast on the "internet", A Trip Back To The Future of The Internet. People called in during the program using their, for the time, bleeding edge internet telephony on $8K UNIX machines. In the middle of program after suffering through internet telephony problems like packet loss and the walkie talkie/half-duplex nature of such early systems, the host Ira Flatow gives this understatement.
It seems to me the Internet is in a very crude stage.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Scary Words from a Vet

It's frightening
but you don't feel it
at the time
you want to live

And you want them to die

Sgt Joe Dawson 39th Militia Battalion (Australia)
recounting his experiences on Kokoda Trail
Kokoda: Invasion

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You Are Richer Than You Think

The Global Rich List is a calculator designed to show you how rich you are compared with the whole Terran population as opposed to the Jones. Then it hits up for a contribution. In a way it is the reverse of the Total Perspective Vortex because it shows that compared the rest of humanity you are probably doing OK, if you viewing this blog on your own computer. The difference between prosperity and wealth to me is that prosperity depends on living standards whereas wealth is a measure of relative living standards.

Link given by the_lyniezian on thread Frivolous ASB Ideas Thread.

Latin Wikipedia

From a reference in thread Things that Look Like Alternate History.

Boardwalk Empire Economy 1920: New Dress

I do so love this.
Candidate Harding's girlfriend

Mademoiselle's taste is excellent.
Madame Jeunet

How much is it?
Candidate Harding's girlfriend

Madame Jeunet

Boardwalk Empire S01E09

in 2009 the relative worth of $480.00 from 1920 is:

$5,140.00 using the Consumer Price Index

$4,100.00 using the GDP deflator

$12,000.00 using the value of consumer bundle

$17,600.00 using the unskilled wage

$23,300.00 using the Production Worker Compensation

$26,800.00 using the nominal GDP per capita

$77,400.00 using the relative share of GDP

New Posts on the Relative Values in Boardwalk Empire and hopefully other shows as well

A lot of numbers come up in the new TV series Boardwalk Empire. From now I will post interesting prices that show up in this series. I will also go back and watch earlier episodes. When I have time I will do the same for Madmen the other great period program on TV now.

For relative values I will quote the number in show and give the relative values as provided/calculated from the Measuring Worth.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Politics is Sometimes More Important Than Dying

You son of a bitch, I'm dying. It's no time to be sentimental.

Commodore Louis Kaestne
to Treasure Nucky Thompson
putting politics above mortality or family
in Boardwalk Empire S01E0 9

Churchill Pwns Hitler

Found in the shallower waters
of the time wasting swamp that is
The Cheezburger Netwowork

This could also be
Amateur artist beats failed art student
Battalion commander beats corporal

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dark Tormented Cops

There is a great examination of the genre of hard edged British crime drama in a recent LA Times, British TV cops are a tormented lot.

And that's just the detective.

To this I would also add Judge Dredd, a combination cop, judge, jury and executioner tracking down perps for such crimes as littering, jay walking, theft and murder. Dystopic policing for a distopic world.

Television Archeology

Here are the ruins of set of an ancient TV show, MASH, last used about 2 decades ago. Above is a remaining vehicle left to rot, rust, molder away. Here is map coordinates for the set. Here is a story from the LA Times about the set and the efforts to save the MASH set, Hike to old 'MASH' set launches fundraiser for California parks.

There have been other instances of sets being abandoned in the middle of nowhere. This allows for the possibility for confusing future archeologists. Bits and pieces of movies sets would confuse chronologies and culture references. The more piecemeal future knowledge is the more seriously these sets would be trusted.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Transdimensional Portals and Aussie Beer

Tooheys is a Aussie beer company that previously made an ad about a tongue that goes on a beer run. In this ad a party goer searches too deeply in an ice filled sink and enters a world filled with transdimensional portals to other iced filled sinks/tubs from parties of the now and ever.

This is a beer equivalent of Being John Malkovich

Friday, November 12, 2010

Our Valued Customers: The worst thing about any business

Our Valued Customers is a blog drawn by a guy who runs a comic store about the people who wander into the his store and occasionally buy things. I unfortunately recognized myself in several of the cartoons.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Matrix Effect

Ah, the early'90's: I was so innocent I barely knew which demographic I was.
Scott Brow in
Wired 2009/09/11 article "Geeky Friday

There is also an old saying that you should never examine too closely how sausages or laws are made. At the end of The Matrix, Neo can only see perceive the programming but not the our constructed reality.  Media training is good but it also robs you of the pleasure of pure consumerism / fandom.

The Financial Industry Lives Off the Stupid

There is an old joke where a prospective brokerage client is shown the impressive yachts owned by the partners. This leads the prospective brokerage client to ask where are clients' yachts. In the context of this strip Hardcastle is a stodgy and generally unsuccessful metal bashing company oop north.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Zombie Dancer

The Least Scary Scene in Dexter

That's either a saint or the most boring action figure I have ever seen.

being confronted with Harrison's nanny Catholicism,
Dexter S05e05

Monday, November 08, 2010

One Magic Minivan

The Renault Espace has been sold in Belgium for about 25 years. Renault recent campaign Renault Espace the for suggests that this one minivan is responsible for taller people, larger families and the complete elimination of canine abandonment.
(from Ads of the World)

The Hierarchy of Viewers

Welcome precious prime time viewers, valued internet down loaders and scary digital pirates.

Professor Frink
segmenting the audience on Treehouse of Horror 2010

Is that an Alien in his gut?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Where Polar Bears Come Fromm

Many people looks at myths as explanations for how things have happened. However in my view myths are less explanation than explanation within in a world view, culture and religion. They more stories that stress the importance of a culture's world view, gods and heroes, than flat and culture free science and history. The story of creation is more a story of why "the heavens and the earth" were created, Genesis (1.1), then an explanation of how.

This short flash animation, Drunk Science, explains where polar bears come from.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Expendables - semi-live blogging

When I first saw ads for The Expendables I was impressed. Line up of cool, super cool action stars. Except that for Stallone, a sad, cowardly, pathetic, draft dodger. Which is ironic since he has based his career, in part, on John Rambo. I am sorry I just hate Stallone, not the least for his horrible portrayal of Judge Dredd.

first action sequence
saving prisoners from the scum of Somalia

What do you know, a greedy pirate.
Lee Christmas (Jason Stratham)

My opinion is that we should go back to tradition, ancient, of punitive raids. Every time Somali pirates raid a pirate castle should be destroyed , That is any nice piece property in Somalia that probably home to a pirate king. No reasoned argument will ever convince them to stop being pirates. In Beirut in the '80's a Soviet was kidnapped. The Soviets promptly went and snatched a relative of some prominent terrorist/jihadi/scum of the earth. They then sent back to the prominent terrorist/jihadi/scum of the earth the relative in bits and pieces. Soviets were off limits from then on.

I got 30 minutes into the film and I couldn't watch anymore. Goddamn you Stallone, destroyer of films.

Changing Definitions of Young & Middle Aged

Jill Clayburgh died today. One of her most notable roles was that of recent divorcee in the movie An Unmarried Women. In that movie was coming out of marriage after being married for 16 years. The character marries out high school, has children at least some of whom get to high school by the time marriage breaks up. In the 19th century most marriages ended after 25 years, people would die. She was 34 when the movie was made in 1978. Now the age of first marriages for upper middle class couples is the middle thirties. Take look at the wedding announcements at the NY Times.

The Expendables Mashup With So Many CGI Toons

Friday, November 05, 2010

Two Cars Too Close Tonight

Downtown Toronto @ Bay & Charles
Friday 05/11/10

Is a Universe Without Rambo That Bleak

Posted by wearedamob in the thread, US Victory in Vietnam 1972: What Does 2010 Look Like? He follows this up with:
Yup, the future would be a bleak, dark world without Rambo.
But a world without chicken hawks like Sylvester Stallone, George W Bush, Tom Clancy and other sleazy cowards would be a more positive place. For more details and to nominate go to NH Gazette's Chickenhawk Hall of Shame.

The Vacancy Rate by Building and Floor on Bay St

Above is a graphic from an article on the towers in the Toronto financial district, Toronto’s aging office towers losing tenants to new eco-friendly offerings. As many have pointed out before commercial real estate is a trailing economic indicator. The tallest buildings are finished in economic downturns, see Empire State Building. The signature building, the namesake building is often built when a company peaks and begins its decline, see Pan Am and Sears or even fictional Sterling Cooper. Office buildings occupancy rates peak just before a downturn. Vacancy rates then increase as new buildings are finished and businesses reduce their leased space. Then as economic conditions improve office space is taken up until vacancy rates hit new lows. The fact, according to this article, that vacancy rates are still increasing is not a good sign.

This is with our economic system however at other times and places property developers have less constraints placed on them. According Simon Johnson the 3rd world suffers from "financial oligarchy". Only the connected in these societiesget funding/credit. The result is an orgy of overbuilding that exaggerates the boom/bust cycle in commercial real estate as building are built on spec, see Dubai, Texas in the '80s, The SE Asia crash in the '90s.

Years ago I got into an empty, never being occupied, floor at the south end of Eaton's Centre. It was eerie, an eerie aerie, with only the sound of the Peruvian flutes coming from the street below.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Breaking into the Board Game Market and the Reluctance to Learn New Rules

I play different board games with two very different groups of players. I play games like Apples to Apples to Apples or Scrabble with groups of people who only want play games they already know and/or easy to play. With hard core gamers I play much more complicated games. I have played roleplaying games each of which consists of volumes of rules. I have played Avalon Hill games including Advanced Squadleader, ASL "rulebook" is a thick binder with space for future rule expansions. I have played home brew games, variants and beta tests.

That being said there are the hard core gamers might spend more time and money. However there are many people who play games, family games, party games. In the The Globe & Mail's ROB article about a company trying to break into the board game market, How Spin Master learned to play with the giants, there is this explanation of this phenomenon.
“Consumers feel comfortable when they know the rules from a game of the past[and] don’t have to read the rule book.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Trivia Question #1

UPDATE 11/2/2010

What are the only 4 countries in the world with more than 2 timezones? And for bonus points can you name which of these four:
  • Is in a different hemisphere? - Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Has a different official language? - Russia, Russian
  • Was not attacked in WWII? - Canada
  • Was not a monarchy in August 1914? - USA
Remember there is a different answer for each question.

Geography Trivia #3

What is city is home to the greatest number of Saskatchewanians.

(Scroll down and highlight to see


Globe & Mail Tuesday, Nov. 02, 2010,
Saskatchewan goes fishing in Calgary’s labour pool

"...Calgary, which is brimming with Saskatchewan émigrés – as many as 250,000, according to some estimates. If that number is even remotely accurate, greater Calgary would rival Regina (population 200,000) and Saskatoon (250,000) as a home for Saskatchewanians."

Star Wars in 8Bit

This ad is part of a campaign for a Russian movie theatre chain. The use of 8Bit graphics is supposed to make movie fans of a certain think that every thing is improved and technology makes movies better. I thinks the ads are counterproductive. It will make people nostalgic about the great games and great movies in years past. Today there is real crap that is much more technically sophisticated than the kind of fun stuff that entertained us in the past.

This ad depicts a scene from 8Bit Star Wars. I would watch an 8Bit Star Wars. When George Lucas made the secound trilogy, or first inn the timeline, he focusedn more on the movie technology than the actual movie. What distracts filmmakers with a wealth of new technology is the fixation on The medium is the message but sometiimes the message is the message.

(from Ads of the World) <>