Nov 23 2010

I gained 17 Facebook Friends in 4 minutes

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So I’m not really sure how to grok the reality of this, but I just gained 17 Facebook friends (I like how even Google Chrome spell checks “them” aka Facebook) friends in about 4 minutes time.   This is all within the context of a brand new account (from an OldSkool email account) added today.  And by OldSkool I’m talking one of “those free accounts from the mid to late 90′s that are still around because the powers that be still have the money to support even though I don’t click on their ads or pay for their service.”  And no, it’s not Mail.com.

Anyway, the rapid “growth” of my social network smells a little fishy.  And that is all that I will speak on this evening.  I will leave any conclusions based upon my experiences on the shoulders of you readers.  (Although it would be nice to hear of some similar levels of confirmation of others out there in order to indicate that this is not isolated.)

Which, I suppose, brings me to the final bit of advice that I have for you readers.  Which is “only trust that which you know.”  An idea which I will leave you to consider for yourself.

Happy Beginning Of Our Consumerist Holiday!

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Oct 30 2010

Apparently driving makes you dumber

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Well, those of us who primarily use our bicycles for transportation already knew this, but now there’s research to back us up.   A study published earlier this month in the journal Neurology found that after nine years, people who walked an average of 6-9 miles a week maintained their brain volume (measured using high resolution scans at the end of the study) better than those that walked less or not at all.

Now before you get all upset about how the study must be inaccurate or flawed, the researchers controlled for a number of factors, including age, gender, body mass index and education.

So leave that car in the garage and get out there and walk (or bike.)  Your brain, and the entire planet, will thank you.

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Jul 23 2010

You Stoners out there should reconsider!

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So it’s been said that if it weren’t for the stoners Dominoes pizza wouldn’t still be in business.

Well, it would seem that those stoners should know that the business that they’re supporting via their desire to crave their munchies is a mighty right wing business.  You too can see the gory details by visiting http://www.goodguide.com/contributions#sector=All%20Categories&sort=leaning&query= and simply mousing over the Dominoes logo.  It seems that Dominoes contributes about 20 times as much money to the Republicans as they do to the Democrats.  Quite likely not so supportive of those very customers’ viewpoints.

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May 01 2010

CCS Seemed like a bit of a pipe dream

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Carbon capture and storage “is not a practical means to provide any substantive reduction in CO2 emissions, although it has been repeatedly presented as such by others.” That’s what Engineering researchers from Texas have concluded.

In an article just published in the Journal of Petroleum Science And Engineering, researchers Michael Economides and Christine Ehlig-Economides find that the storage requirements for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) are so great as to be unfeasible.  Unfeasable in the sense that the current estimates are 5 to 20 times lower than that which is likely needed.  In other words, a storage space the size of a U.S. state would be needed just to store the CO2 output of one single power plant.

Pipe dream indeed.

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Apr 22 2010

Does Your Boss Want You Dead?

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Frighteningly enough, these days it’s reasonably probably that they might.

Thanks to insurance industry reform that happened in the 1980′s, your boss can take out a (tax free) life insurance policy on you and keep 100% of the benefits from that policy without sharing any of it with your surviving family members. And many companies are doing just that. Hundreds of companies, like Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, Walt Disney and Winn-Dixie are doing just that. Often times using the proceeds to cover the retirement benefits of the employee and, in addition, make a little profit. And this is not a rare situation. A full 20% of the life insurance policies sold in the US are sold for this purpose. That’s $8 billion a year in premiums, which also was estimated to cost us taxpayers $9 billion in tax breaks over a 5 year period. Not to mention that it weakens a company’s incentive to provide a safe work setting.

Less safe? You might ask yourself if it would seem like somewhat of a conflict of interest with an employee’s desire to have their employer maintain a safe working environment for them, wouldn’t you? But as with anything in the corporate arena, it depends on the bottom line. OSHA fines for not providing proper safety equipment? Do they equal less than the amount of the insurance policy? Yes? Don’t worry about it then.

There recently was an attempt to reform this practice out of existence, but the insurance industry was able to lobby congress and derail reform. Does this sort of power of the insurance lobby seem a bit familiar as of late? Maybe in relation to health care reform?

In any case, this all is a bit too creepy by my standards, but my standards aren’t that of Corporate America.

If you’re interested in finding out more, MSN’s Money Central did a good job covering this Dead Peasant/Dead Janitor concept and Michael Moore included it in Sicko. And if you find it as distasteful as I do, you might want to this about contacting your representative.

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Mar 10 2010

Racisim is alive and well in The Tea Party

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Many civilized people in these United States are likely under the impression that racism has been all but eliminated in this country. But if you aren’t a pale, white skinned American, you’d likely say otherwise.  As a matter of fact, you’d possibly say that racism is on the rise in The United States.  And, as is pointed out in this video, it would seem that the media is continuing this racism through a bias in coverage of events when it comes down to race.  An example given was the small amount of airtime given to the latino marches for civil rights that happened all across the country in 2006, bringing together 100s of thousands of latinos, in comparison with the Tea Party marches that recently have received a massive amount of airtime even though smaller numbers of people are participating.

The dark side of this bias is that it may actually be driven by a foundation of racism within the Tea Party faithful themselves, with a news bias to further that racism.

This is definitely something to consider as we consider the motives and desires behind the Tea Party supporters.  The video below is the 1st in a series of videos on the topic and allows you to make your own informed decision.  Have a look.

[tubepress video="0KTJ2LyBn3E"]

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Feb 28 2010

Awareness of The Velvet Underground

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So I’m in the offices of a company that I’m doing some contract work at, and I hear the receptionist mention the name The Velvet Underground. A name that I would hope would perk up the ears of anyone with any shred of musical knowledge. It turned out that the person that the receptionist was talking with was a friend of mine, a friend who actually brought me to the company to work on the contract.

It turns out that this friend didn’t actually know who The Velvet Underground was. This is even though he has a fairly broad knowledge of non commercial (and thus credible) music in general. Still, he didn’t know The Velvet Underground.

So I was left with only one course of action.� First I had to actually point him in the direction of the musical genious that was The Velvet Underground. And secondly, I had to revoke his musical credentials, if only temporarily.� For he has exposed me to amazing music in the same way that, hopefully, I have for him.� That’s what friends are for.

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Feb 15 2009

Hippies And Geeks, Oh My

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So, if one were to map out the intersection of the various subsets of our culture, it seems likely that one of the groupings that you would notice is the one between geeks and hippies.  And I can understand a large part of the reason behind this, mainly since I am included in that intersection.  But what makes me ponder a bit is figuring out the reasons why this intersection exists as well as the history behind it’s existence.

The main situation, as I see it, is this huge connection between the hippie culture and the San Francisco Bay area, as well as where many of those hippies were sprouting from at the culture’s birth.  And where that was coming from was universities like Cal in Berkeley.  No doubt many of those hippies were involved in fairly geeky studies.  Fast forward to the birth of Silicon Valley and you have to be sure to add universities such as Stanford and San Jose State, and online communities such as The Well.

Now when you think of a classic geek, you likely think of someone fairly intellectual, someone probably fairly creative, and likely someone pretty forward thinking (you can’t dream in Sci-Fi realm without thinking forward now can you?)  So what do you think of when you thinking of a hippie?  Maybe someone who might not adhere to the standards of hygiene that the rest of society does (exactly what this blog’s name pays homage to.)  Likely someone with long hair.  Probably someone who operates a bit outside the box of your normal member of the rest of society.  But also likely someone who’s fairly creative and someone who’s fairly forward thinking. So it’s probably those shared traits that bring these two groups together.

So that’s what I’ll leave as my conclusion to that question. The reason is the shared traits and the history is the shared community.

But my entire reason for writing about this is that there was a truly geeky accurance just a couple of days ago.  That was when Unixtime reached 1234567890, which according to an online conversion site happened on Friday the 13th of Feb 2009 at 23:31:30 GMT (15:31:30 PST). And Bay Area geeks (and hippies) couldn’t help but celebrate unixtime reaching 1234567890 as reported in Laughing Squid.

Oh, and I hope you caught the reference behind this post’s title. :)

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Feb 03 2009

I got mentioned in an article about Michael Phelps

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Well, not really.  Just us dirty hippies in general:

http://www.theagitator.com/2009/02/01/a-letter-id-like-to-see-but-wont/

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Feb 03 2009

Christian Bale freaks out on the T4 set and a song gets made because of it

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Apparently Christian Bale was having a hard day at work recently, on the set of Terminator 4, and he ended up erupting in a spate of anger.  The whole thing ended up getting recorded and folks have subsequently used it as the basis of music.  There’s one such song that’s a mashup/remix of it (a mashup with a little bit of a good Electro House track from STFU called Shut The Fuck Up, which I’ve played out in DJ sets) called Bale Out – RevoLucian’s Christian Bale Remix.  Have a look, but be forewarned that it’s Not Safe For Work.

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