Many states in the US have annual exhaust inspections for motor vehicles, commonly called “smog checks” by residents. The BBC is reporting on a new study that says cigarette smokers put out more air pollution — by a factor of 10 — than an automobile diesel engine.
Of course, the tobacco industry is up in arms about this. As if they had a leg to stand on, a spokesman for the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association said, “The best way of addressing public concerns about environmental tobacco smoke is through the provision of designated non-smoking and smoking areas with good ventilation.”
Yeah. Here, I have a plan that he’ll agree to.
Designated non-smoking area: Earth. Designated smoking area: outer space.
Maybe we should make new laws about smoking in your car, too. If you’re going to smoke in your car, your car has to meet pollution requirements that are ten times more strict than the standard for non-smokers. If more than one person wants to smoke in your car, the vehicle has to pass a smog check at a level 10 times stricter than normal for each smoker in the car. That sounds fair.
I’m not sure whether to laugh or be incredibly angry. A foreign toy manufacturer has produced so-called “9-11 Attack Toys” and a Miami distributor purchased a bunch of them sight-unseen (as part of a larger assortment) and has begun distributing them in bags of candy around the USA.
What the hell is wrong with the people who came up with this toy? Who plays with a toy like this? Is Al Qaeda trying to recruit four-year-olds now?
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
I know, I know, I’m two days behind on this one. I got really busy earlier this week and totally forgot about it until earlier tonight, so here we go.
JibJab settled their suit against Ludlow (out of court) because, as the EFF discovered, Ludlow failed to renew the copyright after the song was published in a 1945 songbook. Brilliant move, guys.
Now, how about a criminal prosecution for fraud, since they’ve been demanding royalties from people who have used the song since 1973, when the copyright expired?
The Globe and Mail is running and article on the failure of the American “mainstream” media to maintain its integrity. The description of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show is particularly amusing (though not entirely redundant, given that the paper’s main audience is Canadian, not American), but the best part of the article is this:
The cable news shows that Jon Stewart mocks have become absurdly partisan. The print press is going through a period of self-flagellation as newspaper after newspaper apologizes and backtracks on its initial coverage of the need to go to war with Iraq.
There is no longer a mainstream media in the United States. Every outlet postures and preens. Comedy is now as important as political commentary. Only the jokers have integrity.
That’s not a typo in the headline, by the way. You Michiganders and other Midwest folk will get it.
We just got a new roommate down here, who happens to be my roommate’s former flight instructor, and he hadn’t been here for two hours before he gained eternal fame with this quote, right after NBC showed Jamie Nieto getting ready to high-jump in the Olympics:
I didn’t know Will Smith was in the Olympics!
Oh man, he’s so right.
Well, OK, maybe not the best, but it’s definitely the best movie I’ve seen this year, and probably in my top five now. You need to go see this movie if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s hilarious.
I was just talking with my cousin, who’s a senior in high school, on IM, and she told me she’s in health class with a bunch of freshmen, all of whom are incredibly annoying and shallow.
Not that this should surprise anyone.
But, well, here, let her tell you:
our health teacher asked us if we made any new friends this week, everyone said yes, then he asked us what we look for in a person when we are trying to make friends….the usual things came up, friendly, nice, good sense of humor……then there is silence and he asks if there is anythiing else and this one STUPID IMMATURE SHALLOW FRESHMAN says, “well i look at the type of clothes they are wearing, if they are wearing the same type of clothes than me than i think, maybe we shop at the same places and maybe shes like me so we could like you know be friends.”
Yeah. I would have been struggling to stay in my chair, to say nothing of how difficult it would have been for me not to laugh out loud at that girl.
this other girl was like, “i look for people who will give me stuff…like this girl over here who gave me a hair tie”
Now, can’t you all just picture the teacher saying this (his actual response, in fact) to the first girl:
“Well….yeah…you look for things you have…in common.”
The Washington Post is running an excellent article detailing the arguments on both sides of this ugly fight. I recommend anyone with a vested interest in who wins the November elections here in the States go read it.
Microsoft has patented what appears to be an equivalent to the venerable (as in dating back to 1980) Unix command
sudo, which comes as only a mild surprise considering the recent stupidities of the USPTO.
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
The International Olympic Committee, in a fit of money-grubbing suppression of free speech, banned Olympians from publishing online journals of their Olympic experiences at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. (Ooh! Don’t tell them I *gasp* linked to their site! Get bent, you morons.)
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
Traffic, as usual, was really bad on the way home today. Some jackass behind me thought it would be fun to sneak up and block a driveway for a lady who was trying to turn left just behind me. I would have stopped short and left it open for her, but I didn’t realise I was blocking it until it was too late, and when I pulled up to give her room, this guy in a Chevy Avalanche decided to pull up and take the space I was trying to give her to turn, (insert heavy sarcasm) you know, because it makes so much difference whether or not you’re 15 feet further up toward the light.
Well, he got his 15 feet, she got blocked out, and as soon as he turned right, the cooler full of Pepsi sitting on his tailgate (this is another reason why fake trucks like the Avalanche are useless, by the way) went flying off the tailgate and landed in the middle of the road, immediately bursting open and scattering Pepsi cans and ice packs all over the street.
Serves you right, Mr. I-Need-15-Feet-And-Damned-Who-I-Run-Over-To-Get-It.
Then a fire truck came through the intersection right as our light turned green, and some dumb bitch behind me had the nerve to honk when I didn’t go the instant the light turned green, even though the fire truck was a) still in the intersection and b) blaring his horn and siren.
And people from Florida say Northerners can’t drive.
I saw a girl on the way back from the airport today.
Not just any girl, either. This girl was quite attractive, and she was filling up her Ducati 996 at the Amoco station.
I couldn’t figure out which one to stare at: the girl, or the bike.
OK, I’m done.
Has anyone else noticed the sole non-American in NBC’s Olympics intro trailer? I’m referring to the approximately 60-second clip they show at the beginning of their primetime coverage and occasionally throughout with all the athletes running, swimming, jumping, carrying the torch, etc. and sort of “melting” from scene to scene. Every athlete that I can identify in that intro is an American, with notables being Michael Johnson (running in his signature erect form), Muhammad Ali (holding the torch at the 1996 Atlanta Games), and then there’s…Cathy Freeman of Australia, holding the torch on her way to lighting the flame at the 2000 Sydney Games.
I like Cathy Freeman, I love Australia, but I can’t figure out why NBC stuck her into a trailer that’s only being shown to Americans, most of whom probably have absolutely no idea who she is.
On a side note, I’m getting very tired of NBC’s coverage. If I hear Bob Costas say one more sappy thing, I’m going to throw a brick through the television. Someone get that goon off the air. Also, stop showing random highlights of beach volleyball without saying they’re highlights. It’s really annoying and confusing when you’re watching a game and all of a sudden the score jumps from 5-4 to 12-8 without any warning from the commentators. I know the American public has a terribly short attention span, but stop insulting my intelligence, you morons. At least show one whole consecutive game in the match, or, if you’re going to show highlights, just show the friggin’ highlights, and say so!
…except an expensive designer case for the nearly-ubiquitous iPod, there is now a solution. Seven of them, in fact. New York’s CITY magazine has reviewed seven designer iPod cases at prices ranging from a fairly reasonable $55 to an absolutely outlandish $265. This pundit’s opinion: straight guys will love the “value” (Hah. Value. Right.) and style of the Coach and Dunhill cases. Girls — and “metrosexuals” with a very open mind — will fawn over the Paul Smith and Kate Spade designs. And those with just way too much money on their hands, well, get the Dior Homme case. It looks like a leather Halliburton for your iPod.
Speaking of which, when is Halliburton getting into this act?
I just got a Princeton Tec Yukon HL headlamp for cockpit illumination when flying at night. This thing is God’s Own Headlamp. The one-watt side-emitter LED casts a useful illumination of close to 50 feet, while the three 5-mm low-power auxiliary LEDs are powerful enough to be used in virtually any enclosed space smaller than an auditorium. Projected battery life is 44 hours with the one-watt LED or 120 hours on the three smaller LEDs.
Because all the lighting is a shockingly bright white (looking directly into this thing from 50 feet away will make you see spots for several minutes), I need to find a means of converting it to lower-intensity red for much of my use. Replacing the three low-power LEDs with red versions seems like the most logical solution, but the case is ultrasonically welded together. Not only would breaking the weld likely void the lifetime factory warranty, it would ruin the water resistance as well. I’m currently looking for a sheet of red cellophane or other thin, clear red plastic that I can cut to shape and insert behind the lens. Obviously, this would need to be removed for activities such as UE, where maximum illumination is (usually) more useful than maintaining the eyes’ optimal dark adaptation. Ideally, a flip-up red filter (as on the Petzl TacTikka) would provide instant switching back and forth, but for now, I think the cellophane solution is going to have to do.
Alternatively, if someone at Princeton is listening, you could make me a version with three red LEDs around the perimeter. And for maximum illumination, how about a switch that allows for all four LEDs to be turned on at the same time? (More useful if, as on the current model, all four LEDs are the same colour. Pretty useless if you have three reds with a white spotlight.)
I know you’ve all been eagerly anticipating this day since February, so here it is…
Happy Birthday tooooooooo meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Happy Birthday toooooooooooooooooo meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Happy Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirthday tooooooooooo meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Happy Birthday toooooooooooooo meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
I am less than one-fourth the age that my great-grandmother was when she passed away. Longevity seems to run in my family. That I have passed less than a quarter of my life on this Earth is mind-boggling to me right now.
Holy crap, 97 is old.
Be alert during the night hours from 11 August through the wee hours of 13 August, when the annual Perseid meteor shower will be taking place in the absence of a moon, which should yield better viewing than last year. And it doubles as a celestial birthday present for yours truly. ;)
After realising it had “slipped the surly bonds of Earth,” the cat was understandably distressed about its situation, seeking refuge on the nearest seemingly anchored surface — the plane’s co-pilot. It seems one of the passengers had fallen asleep and the cat had escaped from its travelling case, possibly with the help of a child in the next seat. It then began wandering about the plane and slipped into the cockpit unnoticed whilst flight attendants served the captain and first officer their meals, after which it looked out the windows, saw the ground several thousand feet below, and went ballistic.
The captain made the very wise choice to return to Brussels immediately, where the aircraft landed without further incident.
International flights allow small (less than five kilograms, or about 11 pounds) pets to be carried in the passenger cabin of aircraft, so the owner won’t be facing any legal trouble.
In related news, Afghani authorities report a very large shipment of cats has recently arrived in the country’s eastern mountains. No word on why…
ESPN is doing an hour-long show on the greatest chokes in sports tonight, and to go along with it, they’re running a hilarious article about some of the big what-ifs of the last 20 years, along with a great editing/extension job on the classic poem Casey at the Bat.
Somehow, the Detroit Tigers manage to lose the most improbable games. Like last night, when they hit seven (7!) home runs off the Boston Red Sox, six off starter Tim Wakefield, and still managed to lose. Wakefield became the first pitcher in 72 years to allow six home runs in a game and still win.
The saddest thing, however, is that losing games like this is old hat for the Tigers. In the last 40 years, 40 teams have hit seven or more home runs in one game. All but two of those teams went on to victory. The other two?
Yep, the Tigers. It happened in 1995, when they lost to the White Sox 14-12 at home. Oh, and the Tigers also managed to lose a five-homer game last year at Cleveland, and a six-homer game at the White Sox in 2002.
Offense isn’t working, so let’s try some defense, hm? Oh, woops, that would require having a solid pitching staff first.
Maybe next year, right?
As I suspected, there’s a new variant of the Bagle worm working its way through the Internet. I’ve gotten pounded with probably 50 copies in the last 12 hours.
Here’s what I don’t get: these worms and viruses have been around in one form or another for the last three years. HOW MANY TIMES DO PEOPLE NEED TO GET INFECTED TO REALISE THAT THESE THINGS CAUSE HUGE PROBLEMS? Seriously, people. How is it that several of my “correspondents” — who, I might add, appear to be of the “add every single e-mail address on the Internet to my addressbook” philosophy, because I’ve never actually corresponded with them — have managed to send me at least five copies of each variant of the last five or six major Windows e-mail worms? You’d think these folks would get the idea after the first two or three.
In case any of them are reading this, let me give them some advice:
STOP OPENING ATTACHMENTS. STOP USING OUTLOOK. STOP USING MICROSOFT OPERATING SYSTEMS. AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TAKE MY E-MAIL ADDRESS OUT OF YOUR ADDRESS BOOK. I DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
The first NFL Monday Night game is tomorrow.
Oh man. BRING IT ON! This summer has dragged on far too long.
By the way, you’re not Dave Chappelle, and you’re not funny.
Penguin Books has renamed Katie.com to A Girl’s Life Online. In related news, Katie Jones was interviewed by Greplaw. Jones, as you recall, is the owner of katie.com, the Web site after which the book was inconsiderately named.
The angle I haven’t seen played up nearly enough in this whole mess is the relationship between Katie Tarbox (the author of the book) and Parry Aftab, the lawyer who was threatening Jones, supposedly on behalf of Tarbox. Jones has reportedly claimed in an informal interview that Parry Aftab “is not [her] lawyer and never has been.”
So who the heck is Aftab working for, and why? It’s like the little kid says in Billy Madison: “Either you’relying, or he’s lying. Which is it?”
Slashdot is running an interesting story on a saga that’s been going on for four years now. The Register has a fairly good summary of the situation, which basically involves two women named Katie and the Penguin publishing company. Katie Jones, owner of the katie.com domain since 1996, is being sued by Penguin, the publisher of the book “Katie.com,” which is named for Katie Jones’s Web site but written by Katie Tarbox, who was raped by an Internet predator. Penguin wants Jones to give up her domain name which she has had since before the book was even written.
Yeah. Real nice folks, these lawyers.
Head over to Amazon.com and review Katie.com: My Story, telling Penguin exactly what you think of these tactics. If you’d rather not review, vote using the “Was this review helpful?” buttons to show your support for other reviews.
I have a theory, but I need some folks to verify it.
I suspect the scum who spam Movable Type blogs have a large distributed network of pwn3d zombie Windoze boxen that they use for the task. I’ve seen runs of as many as 20 or 30 straight MT-Blacklist entries in the activity log that are all denying the same string, maybe two seconds apart, all from different IP addresses (or at least very little IP duplication). I can’t imagine there are this many people who have nothing better to do with their time and are smart enough to organise such a high level of coordination.
Can anyone back up this theory? I suppose I could investigate the Web server logs for more information in the interim, but if anyone has any ideas, let me know below.
Not that the real thing isn’t also, but…
The guy who makes the iRac, a delightful little product that I’ve just reviewed for the upcoming September issue of ATPM, just e-mailed me to say he has another little business on the side. Sam Girton, college professor at Ohio University, sells George W. Bush garden gnomes.
I need one of these things for strategic placement in a public urinal.
Wired is running a very interesting piece about the increasing registration requirements for online news. Give it a read, and keep in mind that we here at CLN will do our best to circumvent or avoid registration-required news links.
It’s a shame they had to file a lawsuit in order to attempt to exercise a Constitutionally protected right, but hopefully the judge will see the silliness of all this and rule for JibJab Media.