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Friday, 27 February, 2009
No Music For Him
An anonymous blogger describes what it's like: No Music Month.
Music is too easily accessible today. With all the torrent sites popping up on the web, there is an endless supply of music available. You can pretty much find (and request) any album by any artist and download them faster than you can listen to them.
For a long while now, I've been keeping up daily with all the latest torrents available. It is quite time consuming to go through pages and pages of artists, download the ones I like, and also try out new artists from album reviews and friends' recommendations. Some of the stuff I end up downloading I only listen to once or don't even end up getting through the entire album at all. Sometimes I just feel as if I'm downloading for the sake of downloading; so I see all these torrents as my daily "fix".
Music has consumed me.
I think going one month without music will be good for my mind. It should be a much needed break. Maybe I can cure all my Earworms as well. And once I start listening again in a month, I hope to be more selective with my downloading.
Action #1 For Sale
After being hidden away for years, a copy of the original "Superman and Friends" comic book will make a comeback -- at a price of about $400,000, a comic expert said Thursday.
Starting Friday, comic book collectors and Superman fans will have the opportunity to bid on a comic classic -- an "unrestored" copy of Action Comics No. 1, said Stephen Fishler, owner of Comic Connect, an online liaison between comic book buyers and sellers. The book's owner is not being identified.
Why is this comic book so unique?
"Of the 100 existing copies, 80 percent have been restored, but people want an untouched copy," Fishler said. The book is listed in "fine" condition, a six on the 10-point rating scale. "It's the Holy Grail of comic books," Fishler said.
You can read a different copy right here: Action Comics, No. 1.
Thursday, 26 February, 2009
Joe The Author
His 15 minutes are definitely up: Joe the Author, Plumbing New Lows in Interest.
Joe the Plumber (no longer a plumber; first name actually Samuel) popped into our town yesterday evening to sell his new book and to remind people that he's still a plain and simple guy. Mission accomplished, on at least one of his missions.
About 11 people wandered into the rows of seats set up hopefully in the basement of a downtown Border's bookstore to hear Joe speak. Joe addressed them from behind a lectern and with a microphone, but that seemed unnecessarily formal...
Wurzelbacher was scheduled to speak and sign books for three hours, but the Joe Show was over in 55 minutes. Total copies of "Joe the Plumber" sold: five.
I've never done a book signing, but I doubt that I could sell more than five copies if I did. And it's very unlikely that I could attract more than 11 people.
His book, at Amazon, is currently ranked #32,741. My Excel 2007 Bible is #1,547. When do I get my 15 minutes?????
Ultra-Cheap Kindle Stand
If you have a Kindle and you like to read while you eat, you could spend $27.95 for a Metal stand for Kindle.
Or, spend $1.85 and get two equally useful metal Kindle stands -- AKA Standard economy metal bookends. Just bend it up a bit, and you have a perfect stand for your Kindle.
Pamn gets credit for this patent-pending invention. I was complaining about how the Kindle can't stand up. Pamn came to the rescue and pulled a bookend from the bookshelf. I spent 3 seconds bending it, and voila! Kind of ironic, I think.
Here's my DIY Kindle stand in action. This one even has a price tag: $0.45 from Sav-On. Prices have doubled since I bought this, but it's still a good deal.
Iris Dement’s ScheduleMy favorite female voice, Iris Dement, will be appearing with my favorite male voice, John Prine...
If they were in Tucson or Phoenix, I'd be there. I can't think of any other performers that I would say that about.
* * *
Update: My mistake. Only the first two concerts (Milwaukee and Waukegan) are with John Prine. Here's John Prine's concert schedule.
How Can We Save Our Country?
A clip from the Conservative Political Action Conference. Cliff Kincaid, head of Accuracy in Media, knows how to get a crowd of morons excited.
Quoting Jimi Hendrix lyrics doesn't do it. But suggesting that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. make 'em go wild.
Is that really all they have?
(via Think Progress)
Cats No Longer Need Humans
Feline genetic modification, from b3ta.
Kindle 2 Has Arrived
UPS delivered my Kindle 2 this afternoon, a day early.
It's a fun little toy. I downloaded a half dozen free books, and they showed up in the Kindle in less than a minute. Amazon has thousands of free (mostly public domain) books -- probably enough to keep me busy for a long time.
I didn't realize it has speakers, so you can listen to MP3 files while you read (or use headphones for better quality). You can also add images, as shown here. This is a GIF screen capture of PDF file. I tried converting the PDF to Kindle format, but it came out as garbage. PDF conversion is still an "experimental" feature.
The Web feature is OK, but certainly nothing to write home about. It's slow and very cumbersome. But at least it's free, and it might be handy in a pinch.
So far, I'm impressed.
Who Would Jesus Spank?
Religious guy John Piper answers the questions: Would Jesus spank a child?
If Jesus were married and had children, I think he would have spanked the children.
The place that I would go to help a person see that he would, when they can't imagine that he would, is Matthew 5 where he said, "Not a jot nor a tittle will pass away from the Law until all is accomplished." In other words, all the Law and the Prophets stand until they're done. And the Law says, "Spare the rod, spoil the child." That's a paraphrase. The book of Proverbs says, "If you withhold the rod, you hate your son." Jesus believed the Bible, and he would have done it...
God uses suffering to discipline his children. So do we.
Related: Free spanking appointment slips -- plus suggested spanking guidelines, and paddle calibration instructions.
Coffin Photos OK
Here's a change: Defense Department okays media photographs of war dead.
Defense and congressional officials said news organizations will be allowed to photograph the homecomings of America's war dead under a new Pentagon policy.
The officials say Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided to allow photos of flag-draped caskets at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, if the families of casualties agree.
The Pentagon had made a habit of flying in dead soldiers under the cover of darkness -- often just before dawn -- as part of a strategy to keep the media from photograph soldiers' coffins in an effort to keep the press from derailing public support for the war as occurred during Vietnam War.
Kids For Bird
It seemed like a fair trade: Trio Swapped Kids for Bird.
A trio of Louisiana nitwits agreed to swap two young children for a $1500 cockatoo and $175, police charge. The deranged exchange was hatched after Donna Greenwell, a 51-year-old trucker, learned that the bird was being offered for sale by Brandy Romero, 27, and Paul Romero, 46.
According to Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office investigators, Brandy Romero told cops that Greenwell contacted her and said that while she could not afford the cockatoo's price tag, she did have children to trade (in a bid to sell the bird, the Romeros posted a flyer at a barn, where Greenwell spotted the notice, which included a photo of the cockatoo)
The kids weren't even hers.
Pasta With Less Water
Question: How much water does pasta really need?
After some experiments, I've found that we can indeed make pasta in just a few cups of water and save a good deal of energy. Not that much in your kitchen or mine - just the amount needed to keep a burner on high for a few more minutes. But Americans cook something like a billion pounds of pasta a year, so those minutes could add up.
My rough figuring indicates an energy savings at the stove top of several trillion B.T.U.s. At the power plant, that would mean saving 250,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil, or $10 million to $20 million at current prices. Significant numbers, though these days they sound like small drops in a very large pot.
And a bonus:
There's one other dividend to cooking pasta in minimal water that I hadn't anticipated: the leftover pasta water. It's thick, but you can still easily ladle it out by tilting the pan. And it's very pleasant tasting: not too salty, lots of body, and lots of semolina flavor. Whole-wheat pasta water is surprisingly delicious.
Fun With Magnets
This looks like fun: NeoCube.
My latest cool toy is the NeoCube, a 6x6x6 cube of 216 small neodymium-iron-boron magnetic spheres which can be arranged into an amazing assortment of geometrical and non-geometrical shapes. You can create various polyhedra, even Buckyballs, and all kinds of familiar shapes, too. It's basically a 3D tangram on steroids. As fascinating as it is addictive.
Count Down Timer
It's called E.gg Timer.
Create a URL with the amount of time, and then watch the seconds tick off. As a bonus, the frame also moves and indicates progress. For example, I was counting down three minutes:
When the time is up, you hear a beep.
The developer, David LeMieux, indicates that even more features are coming.
(via The Presurfer)
Nothing -- and I mean nothing -- is cuter than a baby fennec fox.
After he gets those ears clipped, he'll be perfect.
(via Stranger Fruit)
In Indiana: Woman beaten with crucifix.
Pamela Johnson didn't have cash for a woman seeking donations Saturday night, but the beggar had something for her: a beating. With a crucifix.
Johnson, 50, of the 2200 block of Tennessee Street, told police she was returning to her car about 10 p.m. when an unidentified woman approached her in the 200 block of East 5th Avenue, Cmdr. Richard Allen said.
"She said she didn't have any money," Allen read from the police report.
In response, the woman produced a foot-long crucifix made of stone and started hitting Johnson over the head.
They Don’t Except Coupon
Apparently, Quiznos coupons aren't such a good deal.