Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm beginning to think that the Steelers should have signed Todd Sauerbrun, if only to ensure that all ex-Steelers have the most bizarre crime blotter stories.
Our latest example.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Levels of weirdness in the story:

Level 1. Realizing that the subject of this article was that a punter was juiced.
Level 2. Realizing that the punter, based on the last two paragraphs, might literally be dumb as a post. And not one of those quality hardwood posts either.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

In terms of what they did, the great engineers of the 19th century may be known for their magnificent achievements. But upon reading this article today, I'm inclined to think this may be the most important fundamental engineering achievement of the 19th century. Managing to convince your pointy-headed pasha through simple cost analysis of the impracticality of their idea...simple genius.

Linant de Bellefonds, we salute you.
(via the always intriguing Laputan Logic)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I'm becoming intrigued by the notion of the most ridiculous single-object/single-focus weblogs. In the past couple weeks I've been exposed to weblogs devoted to:

So do you have anything to top these?
Craig forwarded word of this to me, proving once again, the golden age of corrupt Pennsylvania politicians is not dead. (another article)

I'm still trying to determine the best part of this:
The sudden appearance of his properties on the tax-exempt list.
The putting his COUNTY SUPPLIED cell phone number on a sex site.
The state basically saying "don't impede our investigation by actually calling him on this"
The quote from the local newspaper editor.
The quote from longtime resident Dewey Lutz.
The quote from Commissioner Steve Craig.
The quote from his wife, which basically sums it up.
The fact that he's not really showing up to work much anymore, since he fled to Ohio.
The "How we tally dog licenses" defense.
The "Everything that's been reported is more complicated than it's been made out to be" defense.
The fact that there's an actual act on the books covering this for just a few counties, called the Venango Act, which doesn't include Venango County. (Okay, that's only for me, maybe Joe, but pretty much just me.)
The fact that the Venango Act covers Washington County.

Simply awesome.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Clearly ABC News' headline writers are busy watching the tournament.

Actual headlines on the site today:
* X Chromosome May Show Gender Differences (Ummm, duh?)
# Lucky Charms Leprechaun: 'I'm Not Irish' (This reads way too much like it should be an Onion headline.)

They also have this story, which contains one nugget that I really wish somebody had told me about at the time, namely that Letterman's Montana ranch had a bear break into it twice, and was only captured on the third time. Was this bear a stalker? Did it seek revenge for all those sketches? Can someone who watches more late night TV tell me if they ever did "Can a guy in a bear suit break into Letterman's Ranch?"
More ABA goodness.

Q: Your best team just quit the playoffs, what do you do? (Thanks, James)
A: Lure Oronde Gadsden into your clutches, by promising a bulk rate on teams.

And then there's this which doesn't look fraught at all. After all, in terms of impedances to the league, travel costs are way down on the list, after finding owners, keeping owners, finding arenas, keeping arenas...

(I don't know whether it's true or not, I just like the notion of someone out there who has written on their to do list: "Entice Oronde Gadsden into a costly pyramid scheme." Preferrably on a whiteboard in their office.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

If people want to know:

Thursday, March 10, 2005

From: DEK
To: Kjell Magne Bondevik, PM, Kingdom of Norway
Re: Priorities

Prime Minister,
I noticed your recent statement against IKEA, and was curious as to how this became an issue for you and the Norwegian government. After all, it falls under none of the chief industries of Norway, previously enumerated in an earlier post. After all, the art theft services industry is booming, what with today's theft of decorated cows, and good trade with IKEA can only serve to bring more artwork(mass produced though it may be) into the country. Not that I mean to interfere in Norwegian affairs, I thought it just needed saying.

Sincerely yours,
D. E. Kidder
PS- Have a Nice Day
Things have come full circle up at the parents' place, my dad went and bought a computer, and it was a Mac. I had suspected this was coming for a couple weeks now, my father had been having serious issues with his Windows box, between Microsoft and McAfee both forcing updates and shooting the legs out from under each other's changes, I had a feeling something like this could happen. I had been betting on him bringing in the Mac Mini or mini-Mac or whatever it's called, as a media box/toy, but this was a different model, a little higher function. He's been getting increasingly ticked off at Microsoft, and I've been feeding him things to get away from them (OpenOffice, Firefox, etc.) for some time. I think I may have given him the final straw for pitching the Windows as all but a legacy system this weekend. He's been obsessive about transferring his older media over to digital. Lots of vinyl and reel-to-reel stuff. He bought a special package a couple years back to do high level digital noise reduction and the like so he could put these on CD for storage. Well, I downloaded a copy of Audacity for him. We'll see if screaming follows. (My cheapness is genetic. If I blew that much on software where free software could do equal or better, I'd scream.)

It's not the first time we've had one up there. We had an original edition Mac, circa '84, we even had to have it upgraded to 512k, but never got around to getting a disk drive to run 800k disks. I pretty much spent a good four years with that as my base machine for school work.

It does seem kind of weird to have him zip around me on the tech front, kinda like life before college.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Things that Reuters will tell you that CNN won't.

Compare these two articles:
10points(1|2). You will notice an important detail missing. For the record, I didn't have it either.
The most recent entry has what might be the most easily misinterpreted article title in mathematics history: The Busy Beaver Surprise-in-a-Box. Ironically, the interpretation your dirty mind came up with is not the one mine did. For most of my childhood, the phrase Busy Beaver would be a reference to a home improvement store, so a Busy Beaver Surprise-in-a-Box would probably be some form of washbasin that wasn't the right color.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Two questions about stuff in the news:

1. 10pointsDo we (the U.S.) still have Santa Ana's wooden leg? And if so, does this mean some sort of exchange can be worked out?

2. 10pointsIs the problem in Norway just bad security, or is it in fact that their fourth largest industry IS art theft and art theft services? (After of course, tourism, herring, and the aerosol can.)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

More fun with the spam name master.

Sitting in my junkmail folder:
Marrows I. Salvadorian
Godiva I. Infringement
Stockbroker A. Vamoosing
Shropshire S. Congressman
Ceiling O. Brainwashing
Meagerness O. Gregariously
Crystallography V. Disbelief
Squealed K. Stamping
Initialed H. Psychopath
Cryogenics Q. Scalawag
Propaganda C. Headless
Dishwasher J. Incisiveness
Population G. Breastplate
Lassoed R. Conservatories
Autographs B. Entangled
Pointlessness K. Privation
Thingamajig Q. Spellers
Abjected L. Unicycles
Bodhidarma F. Victor
Soup J. Mildness
Reckons I. Numeracy
Scullion I. Indistinguishable
Outranking B. Sight
Etiologies T. Annulment
Violinists S. Anglican
Subcontract P. Cussed
Smuts C. Applicators
Secede I. Beets

Judges award:
Turban H. Fraughts

And now the top ten:
10. (tie)Gawkiness B. Prickly (Well, typically yes)
10. (tie)Disobedience B. Demilitarizing (Again, well, typically, yes)
9. Burping V. Socrates (Take the Burping and the points)
8. Dogmatically T. Siberia (Middle name To?)
7. Panelings S. Kaleidoscope (The GIRL with KALEIDOSCOPE PANELINGS!!!)
6. Slabs U. Jeep (which sounds like some sort of cockney slang. "You drop your bob, and Slabs you jeep.")
5. Milliners L. Holocausts (winner of the maximum spread in connotative gravitas)
4. Landmass M. Blessedest (Possibly one of those old families that just picked a word at random from the Bible)
3. Effervescence G. Trimaran (Needed when the man for Ty-D-Bowl has to dodge the foaming cleanser)

Our second place winner:
2. Paganini O. Hooters (which sounds like a horrid mash-up of chain restaurants)

And our worst name in my Junk mail folder:
1. Armpits T. Smog
Two bits on ads:

1. Late last night I saw the ad for the Everlife Flashlight, which made what I believe to be a first in advertising. During the ad, they showed how it worked, and displayed Faraday's law of induction, complete with integrals. Now, I'll freely admit that I may not have all the demographics of the America public mapped out, but I'm pretty sure I'm right in saying that actual flashing of integrals on television is a net negative as to what the people want.
2. Again, I could be wrong, but does anybody know if the Take 5 bar originated outside the country, and was brought back in? The reason being, I had always thought that the chocolate covered pretzel was a development out of Pennsylvania Dutch food, and yet the ad contains ad copy so horrible that I really think it was developed in another country where the English language is merely a concept.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Yeah, I did see Olbermann tonight.
Yeah, I did see Jackson Trial Puppet Theater.
Yeah, I'm feeling a little ripped off, but then again, as I said, it does beg to be reenacted with puppets. That I was figuring sock puppets, (the defendant being played by one of my dark socks that's taken one too many trips in the washer) is probably enough to claim independently developed concept. But still, KO, throw us a frickin' bone.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

A wrap up on Bubba. This article covers one aspect that I missed the first time around. PETA was again on the case, making sure I look sane by comparison. They had a standing offer to drive Bubba to the ocean, with their description:

"It's disappointing because people used him as a publicity stunt, and it ultimately caused his death,"
--Karin Robertson, Director, PETA's Fish Empathy Project

As opposed to their plans to use him as a publicity stunt, which had the advantage that the body would be where no one could find it.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Somebody who is more familiar with the news business may want to disavow me of this notion, but it seems like a solid observation at this point. In the past 48 hours, we've seen two minor features on Pittsburgh things: first on Joe Grushecky, then one on Bubba the 22-pound lobster

The odd thing I'm wondering is if this is just an annual pattern. The reason being, I distinctly remember articles on CNN a couple years back, right about this time of year, on Primanti Brothers' sandwiches, and then on the stairways that dot the hillsides in the city. I guess it makes sense if you're sending one person around to cover these things, that these would come in clusters, but it would be a bit odd if it's actually keyed to some annual cycle.

UPDATE: This update brought to you by Mutual Life, because you could die tomorrow. Just like Bubba the huge lobster.

Pittsburgh's own Bubba the huge lobster is dead. I'd just like to note that they are performing an autopsy, which means Cyril Wecht will be involved, possibly attempting to shoot down the magic butter theory. I'd also like to point out that my immediate reaction was "Yes, in fact, there is nothing that the city ends up doing that doesn't backfire on it."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

James sends us some more amazing tales of the ABA in which we see it compared to an intoxicated garter snake, and in which we discover that skipping out on the all-star game was merely the tip of the iceberg, when you consider the option of skipping out on the playoffs.

Update: Cue the music from The Sting