CINCINNATI - Johan Sklaark passed away in his sleep yesterday ending his night long battle with SIDS. Mr. Sklaark was 43.
other bizzare things
Saturday, July 14, 2007
BP gets break on dumping in lake
Refinery expansion entices Indiana
By Michael Hawthorne
Tribune staff reporter
Published July 15, 2007
The massive BP oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., is planning to dump significantly more ammonia and industrial sludge into Lake Michigan, running counter to years of efforts to clean up the Great Lakes.
Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion that will allow the company to refine heavier Canadian crude oil. They justified the move in part by noting the project will create 80 new jobs.
Under BP's new state water permit, the refinery—already one of the largest polluters along the Great Lakes—can release 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more sludge into Lake Michigan each day. Ammonia promotes algae blooms that can kill fish, while sludge is full of concentrated heavy metals.
The refinery will still meet federal water pollution guidelines. But federal and state officials acknowledge this marks the first time in years that a company has been allowed to dump more toxic waste into Lake Michigan.
BP, which aggressively markets itself as an environmentally friendly corporation, is investing heavily in Canadian crude oil to reduce its reliance on sources in the Middle East. Extracting petroleum from the thick goop is a dirtier process than conventional methods. It also requires more energy that could significantly increase greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
Environmental groups and dozens of neighbors pleaded with BP to install more effective pollution controls at the nation's fourth-largest refinery, which rises above the lakeshore about 3 miles southeast of the Illinois-Indiana border.
I missed getting a Wii by 30 seconds. I walked into On Goody right behind the woman who got it. She walked into the store and walked right up the the counter. I walked in and went the other way, then noticed the sign saying they had a Wii.
If I had gotten there 30 seconds earlier? Or, really, just 15 seconds, or however much time it would have taken to be in front of that woman? I would have a Wii right now.
But I don't. Because I was 30 seconds too slow.
You know what? That woman is probably a time traveler. I bet she traveled through time 30 seconds into the future just so she could be in front of me.
DAMN YOU, TIME TRAVELERS!!!
So I still don't have a Wii, because of Time Travelers. But I do have Arrested Development, because it was on sale. And the Time Travelers could not take that from me.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Withdrawl from Iraq would bring terrorists to a shopping mall near you. Watch the video.
"To walk out of Iraq right now would plant a seed that ultimately would lead to destabilization there, hundreds of thousands of deaths, loss of our influence in the region, would create instability throughout the Middle East throughout East Asia, throughout Europe. And sooner or later it would come to our shores, to a shopping mall near you." - Tony Snow
A Groundbreaking New Study found that,
Overweight children are stigmatized by their peers as early as age 3 and even face bias from their parents and teachers, giving them a quality of life comparable to people with cancer, a new analysis concludes.
Youngsters who report teasing, rejection, bullying and other types of abuse because of their weight are two to three times more likely to report suicidal thoughts as well as to suffer from other health issues such as high blood pressure and eating disorders, researchers said.
“The stigmatization directed at obese children by their peers, parents, educators and others is pervasive and often unrelenting,” researchers with Yale University and the University of Hawaii at Manatoa wrote in the July issue of Psychological Bulletin.
The study also found that Mr. Candybar will never judge you and that Mr. Candybar loves you just the way you are.
Let's assume for a minute that human beings are physically capable of sitting in a chair for more than two hours and 18 minutes. Then let's assume that there is enough source material to make a compelling, exciting, and interesting movie that could span at least three or four hours. Then let us assume that a human being, interested in the subject matter of the movie, could sit in a chair for three or four hours while said movie played.
Given that all three of these assumptions are true, what the fuck is wrong with the people who make Harry Potter movies?
They damn well know that people enjoy the series. They damn well know that people want to see these movies. And they damn well know that little kids have the attention span required to read the damn books. So at what point did some jackass in an office somewhere decide, "You know...they can sit still for the time required to read these books. But surely, surely they would not be able to sit still for the time required to watch the story from the books in movie form."
I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I enjoyed the movie. But the movie was terrible. It had at least three montages. THREE MONTAGES to get through the story, to attempt to fill in the giant fucking gaps left by the crappy storytelling of the movie.
I understand these movies to be companion pieces, visual representations of choice scenes from the books. And in that respect Order of the Phoenix was good. The problem is that in smashing all of these plot points together the screenwriter has to completely change the fucking story in order to kinda sorta fit things together in a sensible manner.
I started listing things that were changed in this movie from the book. Not things that were left out, mind you, but things in the movie that were different from the book. And my list reached 15 things before Harry entered Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Keep in mind that's only "Harry is attacked by Dementors" and "Harry goes to Grimmauld Place". Fifteen things that were significantly different.
And that is from the arguably inconsequential setup chapters, the chapters which start the story. If I had kept going I would have had no problem finding 200 things that were different from the book.
Some choice these pissed me off scenes?
- Hagrid does not teach them about Thestrals. Harry and Luna just sort of find the Thestrals because, uh, Luna knows where they are...I guess.
- Harry sees Snape's memory not in the Pensive, but as a result of him deflecting Snapes attempt at Occlumency. Not only does this shorten the memory but it leaves out Lilly and most of the explanation of what the hell is going on.
- When fighting, wizards apparently turn into masses of either black or white smoke, depending on whether they are good or evil.
- In the book the Department of Mysteries it is a fucking labyrinth. In the movie? It's three rooms and a door. One door. The entire Department of Mysteries only has one door.
- The prophesy? The thing that explains WHY THESE STORIES EXIST? Yeah. Harry hears parts of it in the Department of Mysteries. That's it. You get to hear parts of it. And Dumbledore has a 20 second conversation with Harry in which he nods once, as a means of explaining, "Yeah, you or Voldemort will die...sucks for you"
There are at least 15 other scenes I could list. But those are the big ones. It's not all bad, though. The lady who played Umbridge was good. Her kitten office was, indeed, full of kittens. And, Luna was cute. So cute.
So if you haven't read the book? Read the damn book. If you want to see some of the scenes from the book played out on the screen out of order and with absurd changes? Go see the movie.
Just don't expect to leave the theatre feeling happy.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
To bad it still uses a proprietary format an has to compete with DVD players, DVRs AppleTV, MythTV...and...well....TV.
if it wasnt for those things (plus the lack of good games), the PSP might not suck as much.
A story on MSNBC.com vaguely discussed a recent study on age and humor. Apparently, "The research conducted by graduate student Wingyun Mak and psychology professor Brian Carpenter showed that the younger adults did 6 percent better on the verbal jokes and 14 percent better on the comic portion than did older participants"
First off, 6%? In a psychological study? Isn't that the same thing as "0%"?
There is a quote from the article that is bothering me. “This wasn’t a study about what people find funny. It was a study about whether they get what’s supposed to be funny,” Carpenter said.
Aside from the fact that Carpenter has a case of the 'spostas, I don't grant the premise that there is inherently some quality of "funny" universally found in those things which can be considered to be "funny" which exists in such a way as to denote inherent "funny" values in different things. Funny is subjective.
2) A man walks into a bar, then falls down because it hurt.
Compare the "funny" value of each of those. My position is that if every person, ever, were asked to rank those in order of "funny" many people would create different lists depending upon what they think is funny.
Carpenter goes on to say, "There are basic cognitive mechanisms to understanding what’s going on in a joke. Older adults, because they may have deficits in some of those cognitive areas, may have a harder time understanding what a joke is about.”
Couple more things:
1) In that second sentence, doesn't using the word "may" twice refute any absoluteness the sentence may have? (See what I did there?)
2) Wouldn't anyone with a deficient cognitive mechanism, not just adults, experience this problem of identifying funny?
3) Does the second "may" in the second sentence mean that if a person has that deficit they may still "get" the joke?
Also, I didn't understand why the article had a reference to The Simpsons.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I just spent 3 minutes trying to figure out how to open the little cd tray on the Mac here at work. There is no button on the CD tray, you see, because that would not be intuitive. Instead I had to get on google, search "mac open cd" and find a faq which told me to hold down F12 (didn't work), drag the disc to the trash, (didn't work), or hold down the eject key on the keyboard. Eject key? On the keyboard? Oh, apparently the little up triangle is an eject key.
That's good, though. That's good. Nice and intuitive. Nice and user friendly. We can't just PUT A FUCKING BUTTON ON THE GOD DAMNED CD TRAY. Nope, nope. We need an eject key on the keyboard, or some obscure key combination.
Because when recognizing that the basic human impulse when trying to interact with something is to poke it (thank you iPhone) the most sensible thing to do is not have a button on the CD tray. But rather put a little triangle on the keyboard.
I think my co-worker assessed this correctly when she said, "Well, that's retarded."
Go buy another turtleneck,
In an shining example of "the punishment fitting the crime" China's ex-head of the FDA was executed for allowing such heinous acts at the export of tainted wheat gluten.
From MSNBC.com: China on Tuesday executed the former head of its food and drug watchdog who had become a symbol of the country’s wide-ranging problems on product safety.
Zheng Xiaoyu’s execution was confirmed by State Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Yan Jianyang at a news conference held to highlight efforts to improve China’s track record on food and drug safety.
Such cases “have brought shame to our administration and revealed serious problems. We need to seriously reflect on what lessons we can draw from such cases,” Yan said about Zheng and a separate case involving Cao Wenzhuang, the administration’s former pharmaceutical registration department director.
China doesn't fuck around.
Pope Benedict XVI got his love and forgiveness on by saying that only Catholicism can has churches.
“Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one church,” the document said. The other communities “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense” because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles.
Joor church is no has apostolic succession. Joor church r teh lawl.
Monday, July 9, 2007
This is wonderful. EA's CEO says Video Games are Boring and too complicated" Here are some choice quotes:
"We’re boring people to death and making games that are harder and harder to play,”
“For the most part, the industry has been rinse-and-repeat,” he was quoted as saying. “There’s been lots of product that looked like last year’s product, that looked a lot like the year before.”
Brought to you by the CEO of EA, makers of The Sims, Madden, and every other game that does what the CEO of EA says game should not do.
Mostly for Jay, but I'm droppping my scheduling info here as a reminder to myself, and to see what _J_, any others if interested, have to say/plan/going on.
Gencon is Aug. 16-19.
August Experience is the week of the 26th.. so Gen-Con is just over two weeks from the start of classes... which means I'd be ending work three weeks, or at least two and a half..
Jay.. drop a line in the comments about what you've allready done, pre-reging, getting in events, etc.
Anyone else who might be interested, info is at www.gencon.com.