It looks like it's time to boycott Virgin in order to protect Net Neutrality. This link has a very convincing argument. Virgin is saying it will limit users' Internet access for commercial ends. So you can watch videos they want you to see quickly while loading your favorite YouTube video will take forever, or it won't load at all. This will only affect people who have Virgin as an Internet provider currently, but I'm sure if this succeeds, more will follow. Verizon must be frothing at the mouth, waiting to see if this works. So while I don't use Virgin for my Internet access, I can boycott their other business ventures. This is the first I've heard of it, so I'll do a bit more research and get back to you with the full story.
Should you try to get Atlantic or Pacific Halibut? Can we continue to eat shrimp ethically? Salon.com has a great article today addressing these questions. And the Monterey Bay Aquarium keeps up a database of which seafood is alright and which we should avoid so that 50 years from now we still have seafood to eat.
Some advice from the article:
Anyway, I found the article very helpful and I thought I'd pass the info along.
This reminds me of the workshop I had at the Globe Theater.
For months now, Chris has been discussing the possibility of starting a movement trying to convince people to turn off the Olympics this year in protest of China's rule of Tibet. It looks like now, with the recent violence, he isn't the only one who holds this view.
As much as I like the Olympics, I am joining the boycott.
By not watching, we hurt ratings, which in turn affects advertising. If there is no money to be had, it will be hard for countries like China (with awful human rights records) to win an Olympic bid. And that in turn will add just a little more pressure for them to re-evaluate their position. It's a long shot, but change needs to start somewhere, right?
Okay, in the long list of random things found on the Internet, I'd like the share the very latest. I came across this e-store selling lollipops. So far, it's not that weird. But here's the thing, the flavors are absinthe and bacon. It's not artificial flavoring...they are made of real absinthe and real bacon.
It reminds me of those Thanksgiving meal flavored sodas. Interesting for shock value, but does anyone actually like them? I actually do have bacon flavored toothpicks, but bacon flavored lollipops might be pushing it.
I don't claim to know much about wines, but a drinkable bottle of wine for under $10 is a winner in my book. Therefore, I was very excited to find this guide of the best cheap wines. I don't think I've tried any that he mentioned, but I will. And I will have to find myself some Malbec wine....perhaps in France.
Everyone had brown eyes. Then, at some point, there was a mutation that turned off that particular gene. The result was that the body's ability to produce the right kind of protein for the eye was limited, changing the color from the dominant brown to a more muted blue. If two parents both pass down this mutation, their kid has blue eyes, but if one parent passes down the original gene, allowing the protein to be made, then the kid's eyes are brown. Hence, blue eyes are a recessive trait. I'm unclear about where other eye colors like green and hazel come in, but they may have to due with varying amounts of protein being made. I digress. The point is that one small mutation in one person a long time ago caused all the blue eyes we see today and everyone with blue eyes is in fact related to that one person. Pretty cool, right?
This Saturday is International Buy Nothing Day!
Don't you hate it when they take a great computer game or video game and turn it into an awful movie? Not anymore. I give you the trailer to Minesweeper: The Movie. It is a must see for anyone who has ever played minesweeper. So basically, everyone.
"Why are you here soldier?"
"Because I'm bored!"
"And don't you forget that."
What an amazing episode of the Colbert Report last night. I apologize for anyone who has Tivo'ed it, as the title of this post already gives it away. Colbert has thrown his hat in the ring....at least in the South Carolina primaries. He is running for both democrat and republican, which I guess makes sense since he will be running in character. That certainly won't win him the republican vote but he can't exactly run as a democrat and still extoll truthiness. I'm surprised Colbert Nation isn't all over this already. They probably will be soon.
In the lead up to this big announcement, Colbert had an piece in the New York Times that Chris found and shared with me last night. It's good stuff and well worth a read.
It's strange to insist you believe in everything that a party does in order to vote that way since I would venture very few if any people really do, but nonetheless I was entertained/annoyed/interested in this link on rules to being a Republican. At any rate, it does bring up some valid points about when the logic doesn't always add up.
After watching an interview on PBS, I finally found a candidate I can get behind. Read up on this guy...he's awesome!
This is an interesting comparison of what families around the world eat in a week. The picture of the family in Chad is heartbreaking.
"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind…And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind is closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded with patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader, and gladly so." --William Shakespeare
Last week I wrote about the amazing service that is Snapfish. Well now I'm helping to spread the word about an online photo event being sponsored by them as well as Google and IKEA. It promises to be interesting and I may just have to add some pictures to it. People all over the country are invited to take pictures of what home means to them and upload them to a project called America at Home. This will create a time capsule of sorts with a communal visual representation of the concept of home. Then the best photos will be made into a coffee table book. I'll have to let you know how it goes. If anyone's interested in adding pictures to it, I'm including the schedule and descriptions below.
# # #
Monday, September 17 THE BIG TOUR: 3 PM
Show us exactly what makes your home your castle. Capture the essence and emotions -- ALL the nooks, crannies and grannies – and don’t forget the iguana if you’ve got one.
Tuesday, September 18 MORNING RUSH: 8 AM
Breakfast of blueberries and walnuts? A bracing shower? Yoga on the patio? Packing up the kid’s lunches for school? Let the world share your hectic sunrise routines.
Wednesday, September 19 MID-DAY MADNESS: 12
Noon Who’s home? Come one, come all. Show us your dashing kids, lovely friends or even that one strange black-crowned night heron who just built a nest in front yard maple tree.
Thursday, September 20 DINNER TIME: 7 PM
Lasagna again? [Yum!] Inexplicable Jello salads? Chinese take away? >From a microwave or Dutch Oven? Pick up your plates and show us! Be sure to get the family chef in action.
Friday, September 21 YOUR SANCTUARY: 4 PM
When it’s been one of those days (or weeks), where do YOU escape to cool out, re-boot or get away? Don’t be bashful; share your sacred space with us.
Saturday, September 22 HOME TREASURES: 11 AM
Your grandmother’s wedding ring? Your uncle’s false teeth? Your precious collection of snow globes? Bring’em out and let us all gaze in wonder!
Sunday, September 23 BEDTIME RITUALS: 9 PM
What do YOU do before you hit the hay? Finish a crossword puzzle? Look under the bed for monsters? Fix your cup of hot cocoa with a shot of something? ZZZZ-zzz-zz.
I forget who first recommended Snapfish to me, but thank you. And for those of you who don't know what it is, it is the answer to all your photo print needs. Finally, I can get reasonable prints of any size without having to use my own somewhat grainy printer. It is the next step in having a digital camera. I must admit that a few of the 8x10s I've ordered haven't come out looking exactly like the original picture, but they are nearly always flawless. And I am a big fan of their memory books. Chris and I have made them for all the vacations we've taken together. And they have great sales, so it doesn't even cost much. I am especially happy with them today because I placed an order for 3 memory books yesterday and they were printed, bound, shipped, and arrived via UPS today. How is that for service? Anyway, they come highly recommended. Then, you can take the prints and get them custom framed for a fraction of the cost of a traditional framer at Art to Frames or Picture Frames (the custom matting choices here are fantastic). Playing with the camera and taking pictures is great, but finally getting them hung on the wall where I can see them every day is especially rewarding.
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -Theodore Roosevelt
"This is really a question of whether you really believe in equality." - Democratic hopeful Dennis Kucinich
One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. He saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him.
Mara's attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth." "Doesn't this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?" his attendant asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it."
Quoted from Slate:
He was a bigot, a reactionary, a liar, and a fool. Herewith, a Falwell sampler.
On Sept. 11: "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way—all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.' "
On AIDS: "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals."
On homosexuality: "I believe that all of us are born heterosexual, physically created with a plumbing that's heterosexual, and created with the instincts and desires that are basically, fundamentally, heterosexual. But I believe that we have the ability to experiment in every direction. Experimentation can lead to habitual practice, and then to a lifestyle. But I don't believe anyone begins a homosexual."
On public education: "I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again, and Christians will be running them."
On feminists: "I listen to feminists and all these radical gals. ... These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men; that's their problem."
On global warming: "I can tell you, our grandchildren will laugh at those who predicted global warming. We'll be in global cooling by then, if the Lord hasn't returned. I don't believe a moment of it. The whole thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability."
"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
I know I haven't updated in a while, and I will soon. In the meantime, I'm testing out the podcast thing. It's not a great podcast, but I'm working on it. I"m not a radio kind of person, so this is definitely very new to me.
With all the big companies buying each other up and becoming big conglomerates, you may feel that you get the short end of the stick and no one's there to listen to you. I definitely felt that way when FedEx recently did not deliver a package and instead returned it to the sender through no fault of mine. My pleas for its delivery fell on deaf ears and I gave up hope of receiving my order. This was sad because it was an LED grow light that excited me greatly since I could finally have flowers in an apartment that gets no direct sunlight.
But then, much to my surprise, the people who sent it to me are beyond awesome. I got a call today saying that they would send it again and spend more out of their pocket to send it DHL with a guaranteed delivery date. Plus, since they already refunded my money, all I have to do is call after the light is delivered to give payment info. So now I don't even need to pay for it until it is in my hands. Amazing. They listen. They care. There's still people in the world like that.
So, on that note, I highly recommend using CleanAirGardening. They also have some great products that I'm looking into trying out. Take a look at this kitchen herb kit, compost bin, and array of organic fertilizers! I will add more information about this LED GrowMaster Ruby Pro-Grow Light I'm getting when I get a chance to use it. It looks amazing, is energy efficient, and I found it through them at less than I could get anywhere else after a good deal of searching. And, as I"ve recently discovered, the people behind this grow-bar are fantastic and very, very helpful. Coming across a company like this is refreshing.
Geography is one of my weak points. There are many areas of the world that have lots of little countries that I can't name if I'm not looking at a labeled map. But I'm getting better. I found this really cool interactive site for identifying all the Middle Eastern countries. It's taken me a few days, but I've finally mastered it and it was very satisfying. If you're like Chris, you probably know these all like the back of your hand, but if you're like me, check it out. It's fun and interesting.
Apparently now you can pay this company to take your blog and turn it into a book. I guess it's pretty popular since they're partnering with Typepad and all.
I would just like to state, for the record, that I have never said anything interesting enough on my blog to warrent publishing in book form. It's great for just what it is: Fleeting text on a screen that has a moment in the sun and is quickly buried under the weight of passing time, only to be dredged up now and again by the obscure Google search.
Chris and I went to a presentation and discussion last night about war. It was at this little pieced together cafe and featured guys from a site called thefullmonte.com. Basically, it was journalists and camera people who have spent time in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Nepal, Ethiopia, and other war torn countries. They have gotten to know the people there and a lot of it is just raw footage that would never make it onto a news broadcast. At the presentation, the seats were really uncomfortable and it was impossible to see the subtitles, but it was an interesting evening and made me curious to visit their website and see what they had. It's definitely a worthwhile site and they have some unique footage there. Stop by if you get the chance.
Okay, so I've been using HitTail on my blog for about a month and I've found out a few things about this site. First of all, people come here for the most random things like Wildwood's "Watch the Tram Car, Please." One blog entry can really monopolize rarely-searched keywords. I also found topics that got people here by accident but that I'd love to rank highly on, like "Sweet Ultimate Frisbee Pics."
For those of you who are not familiar with HiTail, it's a new free service that allows you to see who is coming to your website and from where. So I can find out what search terms are leading to my site. Even better, I can find out which ones bring people, but only the people who go 3 or more pages into the search results, a rare occurance these days. Those are the terms I can work on to bring more people. For instance, I'll have to start including some commentary and images for sweet ultimate frisbee pics because I'd love to be the site that people come to for that sort of stuff. That way, I'll rank higher on that phrase and more searchers will find me. Anyway, HitTail is a very useful tool and really easy to implement. This is brand new and tons of fun. And the more you use it to figure out what direction you may want to take your blog in, the more results you'll get.
HitTail would also be of great interest for businesses looking for what customers are searching for, but I find just on a level of curiousity about my blog traffic, I'm hooked.
Can I just say, I love the blogosphere. When the media abandons a good story, the blogs are there to swoop in and make sure every side is covered in excruciating detail. Perhaps too much detail. But whether you loved it or hated it, Stephen Colbert was the main event of press corps dinner. The mere fact that there is so much buzz means he succeeded at something, even if it wasn't at what some people may feel should have been his goal. And while the blogs are arguing his victory or defeat, in the mainstream press it's just silence. Crickets. He is amazing and the speech was hysterical and gutsy. Stephen Colbert, you deserve your own Big Brass Balls Award. I'm surprised he wasn't run out of town on a rail. If you haven't heard about it, do a search or two in Technorati and you'll find more than enough transcripts, descriptions, and two cents. Check out YouTube.com for the video. It made me evening last night. Too funny. It's too bad the audience didn't really agree.
I just want to note that you all should visit www.drivl.com. It's a great site. The best part is that you can go to the tab that says Generators, insert any picture you want whether it's from your computer or off of Flickr, and then add your own caption or word bubble. Then send it as an ecard to your friends. This is a great feature and it's also worth checking out the rest of the site. But be careful, the contests can get addictive.
Anyway, I just wanted to share the link.
I hope everyone is doing well. I certainly am. Frisbee has more or less come to an end for the season. I saw the new Harry Potter movie. I also saw the Woman In White on Broadway. I didn't like it but the critics seem to be raving. I should really share my amateur reviews. Do you guys really care about my reviews? I guess you must to some extent or you wouldn't read them. Hmm, interesting.
Where are you going for the holiday? I'm going home. I miss home, so it'll be nice to go back. It also gives me a long weekend to come up with Christmas present ideas which is incredibly helpful.
I just want to let you all know that when Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked if he would do anything differently about this past election due to its overwhelming failure, he said, "If I was to make another Terminator movie, I would tell Terminator to travel back in time to tell Arnold not to have another special election."
Welcome to my Friday update.
Scott Adams has a new Dilbert blog. I had kind of dropped off the Dilbert bandwagon, but I came across it yesterday and was amused. So I just want to share that and welcome this blog to the Typepad community, which is the blogging program we are both using.
That's about it. If I think of anything else to tell you, I'll let you know. Tonight I leave for DC for the weekend to play a little ultimate with the Fifi team. Oh, and I figured out my Halloween costume: Rainbow Brite. Awesomeness. And I have my Halloween decorations and candy ready for Monday night. Okay, well I probably won't be blogging in the next couple days, so in the meantime, have a great weekend.
With the advent of blogs and everyone commenting on everything, will we get to a point where we run out of commentary? Has everything been said already, albeit in a slightly different way? An old friend of mine asked this question this evening. Well, maybe not quite that question, but that general idea. When will we simply have too much information? Maybe. In the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde, a great series if you have not yet read them, there is the contention that all the book plots have been done and redone and all that is left is a sliver of original ideas. Yet people still read books. Then again, the publishing of books was never quite as accessible. Everyone wasn’t talking. How do you hear any message above that kind of din?
This is an interesting quandary and not the first time I’ve heard the argument. With thousands of blogs being indexed every month, there are ever more people looking for a voice. However, if everyone starts talking at once, eventually people drop out and one person talks. Or they pass the conch shell. Or they leave and find an audience that’s more interested in listening so that they can talk. I think we’re in a transition period and this will eventually happen with blogs. And is an influx of so many opinions such a bad thing? Eventually the dust will clear and there will be popular blogs and niche blogs and personal blogs. And even if everyone may have discussed it, each time the perspective will be a bit different.
I was discussing with another friend of mine how we choose to blogs and why we read the blogs we do. You read blogs of people you know. Whether you like them, hate them or barely remember them, that connection is what keeps you interested. It’s like getting all the gossip we want, from the source, without having to ask for it. Or you have enough in common with the writer that you feel like you know them. They are people and we crave to know about other people. Why is a novel with great character development and “human nature” so classic? Why do we follow the lives of celebrities? People are fascinated with people. And the faces behind the blogs reveal a far greater range of emotion than any of our celebrities and politicians are allowed to. This is what my friend and I discussed and I think there’s a lot of truth in it. Taking this into consideration, there will always be someone interested in reading blogs and there will always be something new to say. Even though everybody’s talking, we’re all listening.
I am in absolute awe of this site and have been visiting it for a couple weeks now. I just wanted to share it with you too.
Searching for sites in Crete, we found this.... Strange.
IVF Center Chania, offers In-Vitro Fertilization and Vacation Packages on Crete
I got new work jeans:
No, not the cropped pink ones, the ones under that.
I'm far more excited than I should be about this, but I've been looking for the right new pair of jeans for a while now. Silly, I know, but it really did make my day. It's the little things that make the difference, right?
When you sign online, there's a routine you go through, right? It's a pattern of sites you visit to get the news, check your mail and generally stay informed and entertained. Lately I've gotten a bit bored by my routine and have made it a point to find new sources of information to keep me in the loop. Eventually, the plan is to set these all up on My Yahoo! and then actually set that as my homepage, but I'm lazy and I also am amused by some of the inane MSN stories I find when signing on in the morning. Recently I've added Slashdot, Dailyrotten and Slate to my routine. Any other suggestions? When you visit the Internet, where do you go?
Late breaking news headline:
"Origami Bird Poached For Scrap Paper"
My friend George sent me a link to StoreWars.
It's worth checking out. I was quite amused. He finds all sorts of fun things on the internet. George is great. He's a very creative person. He made a movie. No kidding. It's a motion picture that recently was in a horror movie film festival. George's movie, The Legend of Crazy George, is another site you should definitely check out.
I actually haven't gotten to see it yet, but a review I read made it sound really groundbreaking. I don't even like horror movies, but it sounds so cool that I can't wait to see it!
This just started today and is an exciting cause that is gaining momentum:
It's a virtual march on Washington. Join today!
I think I'm going to post random internet finds on this blog. Things that I find interesting or entertaining and I really want to share. The link listed above is particularly important and I was glad to at least do something proactive for Earth Day this year.