Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I Vant To Pump You Up

[gas, cars]

Seems automakers are slowly getting the idea that maybe the price of gas is keeping Americans out of buying large cars and trucks.

Honda's solution: Smaller cars (the new Fit) and hybrid, diesel, alternative fueled Civics.

GM's solution? Lower the price of gas!

"DETROIT - Aiming to capitalize on consumer angst about the high cost of gasoline, General Motors said Tuesday that it would cap pump prices at $1.99 a gallon for customers in California and Florida who buy certain vehicles by July 5.

Customers must also agree to enroll in the OnStar vehicle diagnostic service, which is free for the first year but $16.95 a month after that. Furthermore, many of the eligible vehicles are serious gas- guzzlers.

The offer is good for 2006 and 2007 model-year vehicles. In California, eligible vehicles are the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban sport-utility vehicles and Impala and Monte Carlo sedans; the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs; the Hummer H2 and H3 SUVs; the Cadillac SRX SUV; and the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick LaCrosse sedans."

[SJ Mercury]

Good thing GM doesn't have their own troops, lest they be the next promotion be "Help Invade Venezuela and Get a Free SUV and Gas For a Year!"

Monday, May 22, 2006

[nwr] Da Vinci Code-related joke

[Da Vinci, catholics]

Protons have mass?
I didn't even know they were Catholic.

Smell Inspires Film

[Milpitas, movie]

Usually a film will inspire comments regarding odors but in this case it was the other way 'round!

Lisa Fernandez of the Mercury News wrote this Sunday:

"The stench, or at least the lingering jokes about it, hover over the proud city of Milpitas. It has catapulted wild dreams for some, carved out career paths for others and linked people as far-flung as the queen of England to the lore of this city by the South Bay.

"That mysterious stink even inspired "The Milpitas Monster,'' (Narrated by Paul Frees!) which made its debut exactly 30 years ago and will have an encore airing on the city's local cable channel tonight."

Sadly, as a San José resident we don't get this channel on Comacast cable, but I can tell you there is a VHS copy at the local library.

Party at 221B

[Google, Sherlock Holmes]

Google spotlights the creator of one of the greats in the 'search department.'

On a similar note: I recently read and enjoyed "The Italian Secretary: A Further Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes" by Caleb Carr. Check it out, even if you are not a Doyle fan. I think I read 'Hound of the Baskervilles' many years ago never to read another Holmes mystery but immensely enjoyed this book.

Carr had the approval of the Doyle estate and was supposed to have written it in the 'style' of ACD, so needless to say I have many books now to catch up on and hopefully a few more to look forward to in the future.

Speak Slowly & Clearly

[politics, tech, NSA]

Since the New Yorker has moved into the political realm and firmly
into the anti-war camp I guess the next pub to actively document the
changes brought about by our current administration would have to be

On that note, Wired Magazine has presented, in its entirety, former
AT&T technician Mark Klein's description of the NSA's visit to an
AT&T office, complete with inline links to all of the document
excerpts where he cited them. (You can also download the complete
file at the Wired site.) The full AT&T documents are filed under seal
in federal court in San Francisco.

Klein supported his claim by attaching excerpts of three internal
company documents:
a Dec. 10, 2002, manual titled "Study Group 3, LGX/Splitter Wiring,
San Francisco,"
a Jan. 13, 2003, document titled "SIMS, Splitter Cut-In and Test
and a second "Cut-In and Test Procedure" dated Jan. 24, 2003.,70944-0.html

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Possible Useful Phrases?

[www, travel]

(from 'Get by in Welsh 1979')

Cricket is a silly game.
Gêm ddwl yw criced.

Don't pester the girls in the next tent.
Peidiwch â phoeni'r merched yn y babell nesa.

She has excellent breasts.
Mae bronnau ardderchog da hi.

(Fingertip Chinese)

I play the clarinet.
Wô lá danhuángguân.

(Lonely Planet)

I have my own syringe.
Saya punya suntikan saya sendiri.

(Say It In Swedish 1979)

Clean and set this wig.
Vill Ni tvätta och lägga den här peruken?

pocket dictionary; Say It In German

Use insecticide.
Gebrauchen Sie Insektenvertilgungsmittel.

from "They Thought You'd Say This: Unlikely phrases from real

If George Lucas Controlled History...


Wouldn't this make a great magnet for the ol' fridge?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Put Your Kids To Work


Based on this recent photo I can't decide which is sadder:

[a] Ms. Spears is an idiot when it comes to child development (quite likely as she is having a second child with less than a year gap between the two), or...

[b] Ms. Spears is so desperate for attention (what with no new recordings in the works) that she is using her child as 'bait' for paparazzi.

Tough when the fame clock creeps ever closer to 14:59, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Extra! Extra!!

[politics, UN]

"Concerned that some issues continue not to receive sustained media
attention or slip off the radar screen, the United Nations Department
of Public Information (DPI) has unveiled a new list of 'Ten Stories
the World Should Hear More About.' "

•Liberia: Development challenges top agenda as the nation recovers
from years of civil strife
•Lost in migration: Asylum seekers face challenges amid efforts to
stem flows of illegal migrants
•DR of Congo: As the country moves boldly towards historic vote,
humanitarian concerns continue to demand attention
•Nepal's hidden tragedy: Children caught in the conflict
•Somalia: Security vacuum compounding effects of drought
•Protracted refugee situations: Millions caught in limbo, with no
solutions in sight
•South Asian earthquake: Relief effort saves lives, stems losses,
but reconstruction tasks loom large
•Behind bars, beyond justice: An untold story of children in
conflict with the law
•From water wars to bridges of cooperation: Exploring the peace-
building potential of a shared resource
•Côte d'Ivoire: A strike away from igniting violence amidst a
faltering peace process

Monday, May 15, 2006

Retro Future

[www, ecard, retro]

In the retro-future tradition of "Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow," many a Steam-Punk novel and (I guess) TV's "Enterprise," check out Retro-Gram and start sending eCards (and real USPS mail!) today!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Disneyland Puts Jack on Hold

[disneyland, pirates]

From the Disney Gallery Calendar:

"Pirates of the Caribbean are invading the Disneyland® Resort this Summer, so there's not a "ghost" of a chance that we will be hosting a Haunted Mansion Holiday event this year. We thank you for your continued interest in Jack Skellington and his friends from Halloweentown and hope that you will visit them at the Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction during the upcoming holiday season."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bush Recycles

[politics, CIA, Bush]

So the White House *does* recycle after all – how else would you
explain the same speech being used to nominate the last two directors
of the CIA.

Also, a thought: Why is the Daily Show the only one who continuously
points out the Emperor has no clothes?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

It's Just A Game (or is it?)

[FIFA, World Cup, football, soccer, U2, Bono]

Watch World Cup 'Soccer' promos featuring music by U2 and voice-over by Bono:

it's a simple thing.
just a ball and a goal.
but once every four years, that simple thing drastically changes the world.
it closes the schools.
closes the shops.
closes a city.
stops a war.
a simple ball fuels the passion and pride of nations.
gives people everywhere something to hope for.
gives country's respect where respect is in short supply.
and achieves more than the politicians ever could.
once every four years, a ball does the impossible.
and if history means anything, the world as we know it is about to
change. tell me that you didn't think that World Peace might be
obtainable, even if only for a moment.

A9 Drops Google, Gets Live

A9 Goes Evil, originally uploaded by Brian Sawyer.


I am going to have to agree with the poster - this 'new' version of A9 is lots less helpful. Not sure if I would go so far as to say 'evil' but color me unimpressed.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Someone Is Listening To My Calls

[Apple, TellMe, technology, phone]

Just read this over at

Former Apple Computer software chief Avadis "Avie" Tevanian has
joined the Board of Directors of Tellme, a Mountain View, Calif
company that operates the world's largest Internet application
network for telephone calls.

I guess after the dot-com implosion TellMe has shifted their focus to
more behind the scenes work but if you are ever lost and need driving
directions (or want to play Blackjack with a Sean Connery sound-
alike) give 1-800-555-TELL a call.

If they can leverage some of Avie's Apple knowhow, this will only
make a great service even better.

idogcow. Get yours at

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