The Gray Lady has an article titled Low-Tech Fixes to High-Tech Problems and one problem that they discuss happens to a lot of people: dropping your cellphone in the toilet (or in my case a cup of beer while at a NJ Nets game). My phone in that instance was ruined but maybe it didn’t have to be if I followed the steps below:
Take the battery out immediately, to prevent electrical short circuits from frying your phone’s fragile internals
Wipe the phone gently with a towel
Shove it into a jar full of uncooked rice.
It works for the same reason you may keep few grains of rice in your salt shaker to keep the salt dry. Rice has a high chemical affinity for water — that means the molecules in the rice have a nearly magnetic attraction for water molecules, which will be soaked up into the rice rather than beading up inside the phone. I have a strong hankering to watch old Mr. Wizard’s World episodes right now…
The rest of the article is full of interesting info, like how you can extend your house’s wi-fi range by making a wave reflector out of an aluminum cookie sheet. Enjoy.
China is taking advantage of the economic downturn to go on a major shopping spree, investing in energy and other natural resources that could give it an economic advantage it has never had before.
Basically, the gist of the article is that while the rest of the world is going bankrupt, China is buying up all sorts of stuff so that when things finally turn around, which they always seem to do as everything is cyclical, it will be in the supremo driver’s seat. Lovely. I think I said that already but still, it bears repeating. China is 5,000 years old and will outlast us. This could be an after midnight rant but I’ve been scared of China for quite some time now and this is just article is another example of why I’m not just some paranoid crazy loon…
Elephants are social animals and so are dogs. So, it isn’t the most unlikely scenario that an Elephant and a Dog can become best friends though when it does, about a thousand people go “awww” at the same time. The clip below is way too cute. With so much bad stuff in the news (or even on my blog if you bothered to watch the movie on the previous post) here is an antidote to make you smile. Enjoy.
Jonathan Jarvis has put together a super slick short and simple explanation of the current credit crisis. His goal? To give form to a complex situation like the credit crisis in order to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated.
As my friend Erik states, “Towards the end it gets a little inaccurate. For example, it never bothers to mention that throwing so many new homeowners on the scene is what pushed prices way way up and it blames the fall in prices on defaults and foreclosures, which isn’t entirely true. What it does do, though, is very clearly define all the pieces of the game, and it gets the story more or less right.”
The project was completed as part of his thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. If I was his professor, I’d be giving him an A.
For more on his broader thesis work exploring the use of new media to make sense of a increasingly complex world, visit jdjarvis.com.
I never read John Updike until after he passed away and started to because numerous media outlets wrote lengthy tomes about his genius. “If I am a writer and a serious student of literature, I must read him” I thought.
One thing consistently stood out in all the obits / reviews: he wrote flowing, lovely, dense descriptions based on the idea that a flower is simply beautiful and there need not be any hidden meaning present when describing its loveliness. Does one always need to read into things? A rose is a rose is a rose, right? Up until now, I only knew that he and I shared the same birthday and that his four most popular books had Rabbit in the title (always helpful during Jeopardy). As I’ve always struggled with attaching meaning to the super cute descriptions that I develop I thought, here’s an author for me!
The New Yorker (where he got his start and which he contributed to steadily for his entire literary career) posted a number of his “Talk of the Town” pieces, poems and snippets of fiction and essays which really gave me a good introduction to his oeuvre.
When reading his material, one poem in particular (which originally appeared in the January 21, 1961 edition) really stood out. Therefore, I’ve posted it below for hopefully others to enjoy. Telephone Poles
They have been with us a long time.
They will outlast the elms.
Our eyes, like the eyes of a savage sieving the trees
In his search for game,
Run through them. They blend along small-town streets
Like a race of giants that have faded into mere mythology.
Our eyes, washing clean of belief,
Lift incredulous to their fearsome crowns of bolts, trusses, struts, nuts, insulators, and such
Barnacles as compose
These weathered encrustations of electrical debris –
Each a Gorgon’s head, which, seized right,
Could stun us to stone.
Yet they are ours. We made them.
See here, where the cleats of linemen
Have roughed a second bark
Onto the bald trunk. And these spikes
Have been driven sideways at intervals handy for human legs.
The Nature of our construction is in every way
A better fit than the Nature it displaces.
What other tree can you climb where the birds’ twitter
‘Unscrambled, is English? True, their thing share id negligible,
But then again there is not that tragic autumnal
Casting-off of leaves to outface annually.
These giants are more constant than evergreens
By never being green.
One SNL bit that I find consistently funny is the “Really?!?” segment that Seth Meyers does from time to time on the Weekend Update portion of the show. When Amy Poehler was still in the scene, they partnered for a very funny one concerning Rod Blagojevich and while Seth is no Dennis Miller, he thankfully isn’t Colin Quinn either.
Seth Meyers has been growing on me as the “Weekend Update” anchor and part of it is his dead-on “Really?!?” bits. The best one by far was the one he did on Michael Phelps. When talking about how Kellogs is outraged by Phelph’s marijuana use, he says in retort “Every one of your [Kellogs] products sounds like a wish a Genie granted at a Phish concert.”
Check out the entire clip below and prepare to laugh:
I am super happy that Hulu is now around because I can post a clip like this and be fairly confident that years later it will still be there – unlike a lot of YouTube videos I post to this blog which “disappear” over time…
I learned the hard way: while blogs can do many wonderful things, making huge amounts of money isn’t one of them.
So, if you had dreams of turning your Ninja or Pirate themed blog into a money making machine, keep your day job (if you have one). A few years ago I had a dream of blogging for a living but then I thought about it and realized that posting around 10 times a day, every day time didn’t seem like it would be that much fun. Lyons for instance, after posting 20 times a day for about three years, is walking away “feeling burned out and weighing 20 pounds more than when I started.” Yikes.
In honor of last week’s frakkin awesome Battlestar Galactica episode titled “Blood on the Scales” (which really should be considered part two of an episode they should call “Mutany!” as it picked up exactly where “The Oath” ended), here is a link to a Gizmodo post titled Lego Galactica Clusterfrak So Big It Can Probably Crush a Real Cylon Baseship.
Those people at Gizmodo love them Legos and really, who doesn’t? I posted in the past about how they went to the Lego Vault. Here’s to hoping they continue to post Lego related posts!
First off, when creating anything on the computer you should always hit “save.” I wrote this entry yesterday and somehow never saved it so about 750 words went down the intertubes. Doh.
Second, if you Dear Reader are my friend on FB, you should be used to reading status updates that mention how much I frakkin love the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series. It’s not just a television show: it’s special, it’s art.
I am quite overjoyed that some serious art is being made for the Sci-Fi genre. If you did not know, I have always been a fan of science fiction.
Star Wars is still my all-time favorite movie and I fondly recall my Grandfather’s exasperated tone when, planning to take me to the movies, he asked me why I needed to see “Return of the Jedi” again instead of something new.
I have read all of Asimov’s Foundation novels and could recite his Three Laws of Robotics long before Will Smith popularized them and have read many, many, many more sci-fi novels – way too many to list out here. I should note though that I did use a quote from Stranger in a Strange Land in the “Goodbye from the Editor-in-Chief” column I wrote in “The Vanguard” (my high school newspaper) when I graduated. The quote? “Age doesn’t bring wisdom, only perspective” – Jubal Harshaw.
During my youth, I spent many, many Saturday evenings at home babysitting my sister and, after I put her to bed, watching back-to-back-to-back episodes of classic Star Trek – commercial free (thanks to Cap’s Comic Cavalcade) on Scranton Wilkes Barre’s PBS station (which I got through LI Cablevision at odd times – I still have no clue why).
Something about the USS Enterprise’s five year mission “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before” just grabbed my imagination and never let it go. I loved the promise of the show and the themes that were much larger than the episodes that contained them. For instance, I learned tolerance towards my fellow man and to never wear a red shirt. At the end of “Wrath of Khan,” when Spock, dying of radiation poisoning, palms the blast proof glass and says to Kirk “I have been and always shall be your friend, Jim” I seriously almost tear up – every time without fail. I’m a Trekkie – it’s true.
Sam Miller is also a Trekkie and on Mental Floss he compares Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica and has some very keen insights about the differences between the two shows. He writes,
“Battlestar Galactica presents a problem for me and my Star Trek-fan friends. Why do we love it so much? We call each other up after each new episode and ramble in nervous high-pitched voices, batting back and forth theories and questions and “OH MY GOD” moments… all the while feeling vaguely guilty that no Star Trek clash with the Borg or tampering with the time-space continuum ever engaged and obsessed and haunted us to such a profound extent.
Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica have wildly different aesthetics and ideologies, and both aspire to very different goals. Fundamentally, it boils down to this: Star Trek is about who we want to be, and Battlestar Galactica is about who we are.
That is a great way of putting it and the rest of the post echoes many of my thoughts. If you like BSG, I suggest you read it.