Friday, March 30, 2007

3/31/07 MC Rove

I'm sure you've seen the video of Karl Rove rapping and dancing, right? What can you really say about it? That this guy was the "mastermind" behind the Bush campaign strategy? The story I want to tell is about the other dorky white guy from the video - Comedian Colin Mochrie. He's one of my favorite improv guys, made famous from "Whose Line is it Anyways?". (Forgive me if you've heard this story before).

A number of years ago (probably around 2002) for a very brief time I lived near downtown Chicago a few blocks east of Michigan Avenue. To get exercise, I'd walk to my office on Canal Street in the morning (if you know the city, it was quite a hike). One morning I saw a guy a block away walking towards me that looked like Colin Mochrie. But you always see people from a distance that look like celebrities and friends. Add that to my normal morning head fog, I thought nothing of it. Except the closer he got, he still looked like Colin Mochrie. Now, I'm kind of shy (and was more so back then), but at the very last second I decided I wanted to say something to him. What ensued was nothing short of a Chris Farley Show impersonation. All that came out of my mouth was, "You're awesome." He slowed down and politely said, "Thanks." To which I responded, "No man, you're really just AWESOME." He appeared to maybe be getting frightened by my insistence and thanked me again and walked away. To this day I still feel like a jackass for that.


This next story was sent by both Cousin Eric and Northwestern Nicole and was featured on PTI... The NIT Championship shirts for West Virginia were misspelled. The say "Virgina". Yikes. On the bright side, I now know who won the NIT.


Greg Oden On Final Four Appearance: 'I'm Happier Than I've Been In 30 Years'


Sometimes you wonder why products and services cost what they do. In fact it may be a little infuriating to know how much those products and services have been marked up above cost. Well, simmer on this for a minute - Text messages are marked up 7314% over the cost of the data transfer.


And finally, a fun little game - Jumping Frogs. The object is to get the frogs to the opposite sides. They can jump one rock at a time or they can leap over one of the opposite colored frogs. You'll figure it out.

3/30/07 Guide to Nicknaming Your Friends

Northwestern Nicole has sent a website some of her friends have come up with - A Guide to Nicknaming Your Friends. Before this, I only knew one rule about nicknames - You can't give them to yourself.


If you're planning a trip to London anytime soon, might I suggest using Google Maps? Pay close attention to step #20 in the directions.


Ok, one more Vegas story. Well, more of a question for people who go to clubs. The promotions people at my hotel were all about selling time shares and other garbage that would require way too much of my time. So after 2 minutes of listening, I pulled the "I'm unemployed" card and they just gave me some cards for free food and free entry to the nightclub at Caesar's Palace. (Note: I wasn't staying at Caesar's and this seemed like a polite way for them to tell me to leave). The card was good for "Pure Tuesday". I thought the club was named "Pure", but I think it's the Pussycat Doll Lounge. Or something like that. Anyways, after dinner on Tuesday, I decided that, despite my little-to-no interest in clubs, I wanted to see why everyone else goes. You know, since I had a free "VIP" pass. I got to Caesar's around 10:50 pm. There were probably 1500 people waiting outside of the club, which hadn't yet opened. (Another Note: My ability to estimate numbers in crowds is horrible. What I can tell you is that there were more than 400 people and less than, oh, let's say, 40,000.

I walked around to figure out where the line started, if there was any. Since I had no other plans for the night, I decided that, at the very least, I could people watch as I waited. The doors opened a little after 11:00 pm. My thought process was as such - Let's see how fast the line moves and I'll decide whether or not to stick around after that. I won't tell you stories of what occurred over the next hour, but at midnight, I did a little estimation-like math and decided that I wasn't getting in the doors until about, oh, 2:30 am. So I left. Which leaves me with the question that I promised... What's so great about these clubs? There was nothing in my wildest dreams that could have been behind those doors that would have convinced me to stay in that line any longer. Seriously - what's in there? Other than the overall douchebaggery that I saw from the people in line in the first place. (Final Note: I don't know where (if anywhere) I heard douchebaggery recently. But I really like it. Expect it some more in upcoming posts).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

3/29/07 Welcome Back

Have you ever wondered what is being made from the steel of the fallen World Trade Center buildings? Mike sends the answer.


I have a recommendation if you go to Vegas and you're looking for something different to do during the week. (For those of you like me who can't gamble for hours on end and aren't into clubbing). On Monday nights, The House of Blues at Mandalay Bay has Rockstar Karaoke. Instead of regular karaoke, you get a live band, stage monitors and full on lighting. Even if you don't sing, the talent is pretty impressive and it's like watching a good cover band for a few hours.

That's it for Vegas stories. I promised the group I was with that I wouldn't write about anything else. So that's that.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

3/21/07 Air Guitar Nation

Air Guitar Nation - The Movie. How awesome does that look?


My dad sends an article to the newest attraction at the Grand Canyon - It's a glass walkway that extends 70 feet from the edge of the canyon and 4000 feet above the bottom.


Are you messy? Are you a slob? That's cool - most likely you're more productive

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

3/20/07 Big Rocks

I was talking to a friend about the daily stress of life and how busy we all can get. And I was reminded of a story I read a number of years ago. Here it is:

An expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz" and he pulled out a one-gallon, mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"
Everyone in the class yelled, "Yes."

The time management expert replied, "Really?"

He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"

By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.

"Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"

"No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good." Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!"

"No," the speaker replied, that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all.

What are the 'big rocks' in your life -- time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all." So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the 'big rocks' in my life? Then, put those in your jar first. "

Monday, March 19, 2007

3/19/07 Right Field

Cousin Eric sends a trip down memory lane. An old commercial with the song Right Field. He's been looking for a copy of the entire song. We both searched and came up empty. So we're asking you to help us find "Right Field".


Now a bit of trivia - What do Florida Nudists and my cousins have in common? You know you want to know the answer.


From a fun perspective, this post is going to quickly head downhill. Just warning you. (Although, one positive is that there hasn't been a gigantic earthquake yet - LOTS of small ones. But no biggie.)

It appears that we could potentially be ready for another recession. Yay for foreclosures and extending too much credit.


Today I watched This Film is Not Yet Rated. If you're interested in censorship and more about the film rating system (who's involved, how the ratings are determined, what's ok to release, etc.) it's worth a go.


I came across a little film about media control. Which is sort of related to the above movie. But it takes a nasty angle and is very anti-Jewish. I think it's important people know this stuff is floating around YouTube. Especially since they're trying to make a bold point about a greater Jewish conspiracy.... Lumping Rupert Murdoch in there as owner of NewsCorp. While I agree that too few people control the media, there's at least one huge problem with the above film.... Rupert Murdoch Roman Catholic. (I worry that this might open some can of worms - it's more to just be informative and to maybe help prevent undue racism and hatred towards a group of people.)


Ah hell, let's end with something fun while we're talking about censorship and things you're not supposed to see.... I present The Sickest Girls on the Internet.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

3/17/07 Earthquake Warning.

An earthquake warning has been posted for Southern California. No joke here.


Hermione has a stalker. I swear it wasn't me.


March Madness is great. It gives hope to so many college sports fans. Then, for most of my friends and family, it gets crushed. In my circle of college sports friends, I probably hear the most about Duke, Illinois, Miami and Indiana. The first three teams all lost their opening games by 2 points. And Indiana just lost today. Looks like we all need a new bandwagon team.


Maybe Dukies can't play basketball... But then can invent cool beer tossers.

Friday, March 16, 2007

3/15/07 ONN

Normally I post something about the ides of March. But I'm out of ides ideas. Care to chime in?

Instead, the Onion News Network is launching in April.


My dad continues the extended Pi Day celebration with another article.... 3/14 is also Albert Einstein's birthday. Coincidence? Hmm...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

3/14/07 Who Poop Last?

How was your Pi Day? Did you make sure to watch the movie "Pi" at exactly 3:14 pm? Uh, yeah... umm... err... neither did I.


I was watching "Robot Chicken" and they had a spoof on Japanese game shows. Their show was called "Who Poop Last?" This got me thinking - Hey, I bet YouTube has real Japanese game shows. (As you've noticed by now, this happens a few times a week... The "I bet YouTube has...." realization.)

So in no particular order, here's some of what I found:
  • Guys trying to say tongue twisters and when they don't they get whacked in the nuts.
  • Six guys in a library playing a sad game of chance.
  • A classroom of students watching some poor guy trying to speak English - And whenever they laugh at the video, they get whacked in the ass. (In the spirit of Veronica "so hot, want to touch the heinie" Vaughn, you don't pick on someone trying to read. But I'll admit that I laughed when the guy was counting.)

Putting the bible to shame, 12 millions copies of Harry Potter 7 are being printed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

3/13/07 Pi Day

Tomorrow is 3/14. And thanks to Mike, he's passed along that's it's also Pi Day. (3.14 - get it?). Coincidentally, I have the movie "Pi" at home. I suppose that I'll celebrate tomorrow by watching it. What about you? Any celebrations planned?


The Nacho Expert completed his "Tackle the Tower" run last month. However, the fundraising and donations can still be submitted until March 15th... If you'd like to contribute to the American Lung Association on behalf of his Tower Climb, it's available here. He tells me that he's 2nd in total fundraising and I think he's shooting for #1. (I forgot to ask how much more he needs - If you're reading this, let us know).


My advice for the day: If you're thinking about murdering someone, don't use Google on your office computer to search for "How to commit murder".


From the "It's time for kicking ass and chewing bubble gum. And I'm all out of gum" files: In the early days of home computer networking and gaming over networks (we're talking not even 10 years ago), my roommates and I played a lot of Duke Nukem. If you know the game, I assume you're also getting a little teary-eyed reminiscent too. Turns out that doctors are using Duke Nukem to help diagnose depression. Fortunately the diagnosis has nothing to do with consecutive hours of play or total number of classes missed.

Monday, March 12, 2007

3/12/07 Through Heaven and Hell, and Nuclear War

Cousin Dave sends a link to Global Talent Associates. Or, as we'd all better recognize it - How's Chunk doing today?


It's rare that I post anything about doing something good. But this one is real easy if you have 20 seconds to spare:

"Women’s shelters in the U.S. go through thousands of tampons and pads monthly, and, while agencies generally assist with everyday necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, and clothing, this most basic need is often overlooked. You and I may take our monthly trips down the feminine care aisle for granted, but, for women in shelters, a box of tampons is five dollars they can’t spare. Here’s some good news: you can help us contribute to rectifying this situation by making a virtual donation below! For each virtual donation, Seventh Generation will send a pack of organic cotton tampons or chlorine-free pads to a shelter in your state."

Click here to help.


You know you love those goofy local cable commercials. For those of you in the Chicago area, you'll remember the Eagle insurance guy that lays an egg on the car. This page has 50 of the greatest local TV commercials.

For those of you that went to college with me... I'm looking for a commercial that we used to see all the time. Remember that furniture place? We used to call it "Downer". But I'm not sure that's what it's really called. From what I remember, there were two guys just yelling, "Downer, downer, downer. We're going downer..." One of them had a bull whip if memory serves correctly. And they always gave you a free onion for stopping in. I'd be much obliged if any of you have a copy of this commercial.


As a kid my family dog retrieved a dead bird from the backyard. For a retriever, that was cool. But for my mom, it was pretty gross. This reminded me of that.


Super bonus points: Without searching, what does the post title have to do with anything?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

3/11/07 Richard Jeni

Richard Jeni shot and killed himself. Sad. (On a personal note, I have a photo I took with him a number of years ago. Which is probably the only photo I have with someone who eventually killed himself. Hopefully it's the last.)


You know how Google is chock full of ads? To the point where your GMail yields ads based on your conversations? Well, I got an ad the other day for Recycled Elephant Poo Paper Products. Naturally I had to click on it.


Congratulations to the NCAA field of 64. Let the madness begin.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

3/10/07 Hangar 18, I Know Too Much

A friendly reminder - Make sure to change you clocks.


Are you bored? As bored as this guy? This guy decided to load Windows XP on a 100 MHz Pentium.

Friday, March 09, 2007

3/9/07 Meh



A new bed is for sale. For $49,500. Or to put that in terms of dollars that make sense to me... That's exactly $49,500 more than I've made all year.


Mister Abrams sends a translation from the conversation in Russian from the show "Lost".

Klugh: Mikhail. Mikhail! You know what to do.
Mikhail: We still have another way [out].
Klugh: We can't risk. You know the conditions.
Mikhail: There is another way.
Klugh: They captured us. We will not let them find the area ("territory").
Klugh: You know what to do. It is an order.
Mikhail: We still have another way!
Klugh (in English): Just do it, Mikhail.
Mikhail: Forgive me. (shoots)


Cousin Kevin is gearing up for the upcoming baseball season and sends an article about the White Sox. The best quote in the article has to be "As a bonus, the White Sox relievers should do a great job of dominating the offensive boards."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

3/6/07 Guitar Hero

Probably half my life ago, I remember playing Tetris on Gameboy. I would bring the Gameboy into the bathroom and play on the throne until my leg fell asleep. During the Tetris phase of my life, I'd occasionally close my eyes and see the pieces falling. It's been a long, long time since then. But I'm seeing a game again in my sleep. This time it's Guitar Hero. The story behind getting Guitar Hero is worth telling another day.

While I'd like to think that I have decent hand eye coordination, I searched YouTube to find out that, well... I don't. Check out this 8 year old jamming out. And these dudes will give you an idea of what some of my buddies were up to this weekend. (Except that we struggled with far easier levels). And finally, some dude who might actually be good enough to pull off his act.

The game's pretty awesome. Frustrating. But awesome.


A couple of weeks ago I said that if you're playing fantasy particle physics that you should draft the Higgs Boson next season. Nearly 8 months ahead of my November prediction, Mike sends an article that Fermilab may have found a hint of the Higgs Boson. You may have to register to read it, so here's some of it:

Fermilab data hint at Higgs boson
6 March 2007

Physicists working at the HyperCP experiment at Fermilab in the US claim they may have glimpsed the first Higgs boson -- the particle many think is responsible for all mass in the universe. However, for their claim to be correct our current 30-year-old Standard Model of particle physics would have to be set aside in favour of an alternative "supersymmetric" model (Phys. Rev. Lett. 98 081802).

The great triumph of the Standard Model is that it unites two of the fundamental forces – the weak and electromagnetic force – into a single, symmetric "electroweak" force at high energies. But at low energies, a symmetric electroweak theory would imply that particles have no mass, which is clearly wrong.

This is where the Higgs boson comes in – a particle that can break the electroweak symmetry at low energies. If our current Standard Model is correct, the much-sought Higgs would have a mass somewhere in the 100 GeV to 1 TeV region, which should allow physicists to discover it at the 14 TeV Large Hadron Collider at CERN once it starts up in November.

Monday, March 05, 2007

3/4/07 Hey Baby - What's Your Blood Type?

I learned something from reading ESPN The Magazine. In Japan, it is common to believe that personality is, in part, determined by blood type.

And because I'm a fan of Thom Yorke....

Friday, March 02, 2007

3/2/07 Death Race 2007

Poker Jason continues to send races to run. According to him, the order is: the 5k, then the mud run, and now before the run across the Sahara... The Death Race. (If you have the time, watch the video. It's insane.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

3/1/07 Tom and Jerry

Somebody mentioned that you don't see "Tom and Jerry" on TV anymore. I thought, well, yes - that's true. But you also don't see the Muncheechees or the Snorks on TV anymore either. But I suppose that historically, I'm comparing filet mignon to a KFC snacker. The reason, I was told, that Tom and Jerry is no longer on TV is that it is far too violent by today's cartoon standards. While I'm not completely sold on the idea (since I can come up with plenty of violent cartoon examples), in the 24 hours after that conversation, "Tom and Jerry" came up a few more times.

The most interesting is from Iranian TV - A film seminar discussing Tom and Jerry. If the subtitles are correct, the lecturer talks about "Tom and Jerry" as a Jewish conspiracy to improve their image after World War II.

That led me to more Iranian Children's programming where they're celebrating "Jerusalem Day". And you wonder why there will never be peace in the Middle East.


A week ago I had no idea who Bertrand Russell was. In fact, I still don't. But I saw one of his quotes on Google and I liked it. So I checked out a whole lot more of his quotes and those, too I liked. So my historical figure for the week is Bertrand Russell.


The US Postal Service is increasing stamp prices to 42 cents. What's new is that they may allow for "forever stamps". Meaning that when rates go up again, you can use that stamp without having to buy those pesky one and two cent stamps to make up the difference. They're good forever. I can only imagine people lining up, buying hundreds upon hundreds of stamps to stock up for the next couple of decades. (God help me if anyone tells me about their "stamp investment") When, in reality, stamp prices since 1980 have kept amazingly close to inflation. The annual increase in stamp prices over the past 27 years - 3.6023%. The annual increase in inflation over the past 27 years - 3.6046%. It would be a brilliant move by the post office - why not get the money up front? Every lottery winner takes the money up front, even when it means taking a discount.