Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Post Turtle Palin

An old Texas rancher was talking to a reporter about Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from the office of President. The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a Post Turtle."

Not being familiar with the term, the reporter asked him what a Post Turtle was. The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a Post Turtle."

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the reporter's face, so he continued to explain.

"You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Just in time for school: free Adeona service tracks stolen laptops

news you can use:

Free Adeona service tracks stolen laptops

As college students head back to school with gleaming new laptops, some will, unfortunately, see the last of their machine in a library, cafeteria or dorm room. And it's not just college campuses that are hot spots for computer theft, or just students who are the targets.

Newspapers recently reported that airports in the United States record hundreds of thousands of laptop thefts annually. Such thefts are not only expensive, they also often mean losing sensitive data.

Researchers at the University of Washington and at the University of California, San Diego have created a new laptop theft-protection tool. The software not only provides a virtual watchdog on your precious machine – reporting the laptop's location when it connects to the Internet – but does so without letting anybody but you monitor your whereabouts.

The tool is named Adeona, after the Roman goddess of safe returns, and is posted at http://adeona.cs.washington.edu/.

It works by using the Internet as a homing beacon. Once Adeona is installed, the machine will occasionally send its Internet protocol address and related information to OpenDHT, a free online storage network. This information can be used to establish the computer's general location.

On a Macintosh computer, Adeona also uses the computer's internal camera to take a photo that it sends to the same server.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Man admits to pants-less doughnut run

MSNBC news item

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - A man who took his pants off before going out for doughnuts at a shop just north of New York City has pleaded guilty to public lewdness.



I hear he was a popular guy with the ladies.
When he left the shop, he was carrying a dozen donuts...
and two cups of coffee.

Bob Bendesky
look, i have a blog!
oh, stop yawning

Something Fun To Do on Saturday Oct 4th

Mark your calendars for next weekend...

Battle of Germantown Reenactment
Saturday October 4th, 2008
Historical reenactors will recreate the battle which took place
in Germantown on October 4th, 1777
See Continental soldiers and British troops firing musket and cannon
at Noon and 3 PM
for info on battle times, food vendors, shopping, and other events see:
Come cheer on the Continental Troops.
Maybe we'll win this time.

new definition of Optimist

Optimist: an investment banker who irons five shirts on Sunday evening.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Useful PC Tip: A Better Way to Get a List of Filenames

A Better Way to Get a List of Filenames

In response to the question, "Is there a way to print all the filenames -- just the filenames -- in a folder?", Neil Rubenking wrote: "Navigate to the folder in question using your good old DOS skills."

To make Neil's instructions even easier for repeated use:

1. Put the following two lines in a BAT file (I call it cd.bat):

cd %1

2. When you save the file as cd.bat, put the filename within quotation marks to stop Notepad from "helping" by adding a .txt extension. Put this file in your SendTo folder.

Right-click on any folder in Windows Explorer and send it to this file. A command window opens, with the prompt already set to "the folder in question."

(If you mistakenly select a file instead of a folder, a harmless error message will appear.) This is handy for a variety of tasks, including the one Neil was discussing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

This day in Geek History

1982: At precisely 11:44 a.m., Scott Fahlman posts the following electronic message to a computer-science department bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:


Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use:


With that post, Fahlman became the acknowledged originator of the ASCII-based emoticon.

From those two simple emoticons (a portmanteau combining the words emotion and icon) have sprung dozens of others that are the joy, or bane, of e-mail, text-message and instant-message correspondence the world over.

Fahlman was not, however, the first person to use typographical symbols to convey emotions. The practice goes back at least to the mid-19th century, when Morse code symbols were occasionally used for the same purpose. Other examples exist as well.

In 1881, the American satirical magazine Puck published what we would now call emoticons, using hand-set type. No less a wordsmith than Ambrose Bierce suggested using what he called a "snigger point" -- \__/ -- to convey jocularity or irony.

But the modern emoticon does trace its lineage directly to Fahlman, who says he came up with the idea after reading "lengthy diatribes" from people on the message board who failed to get the joke or the sarcasm in a particular post -- which is probably what "given current trends" refers to in his own, now-famous missive.

To remedy this, Fahlman suggested using :-) and :-( to distinguish between posts that should be taken humorously and those of a more serious nature.

Fahlman's original post was lost for a couple of decades and believed gone for good, until it was retrieved from an old backup tape, thus cementing his claim of priority.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

Sarah Palin has picked out an All-American set of names for her children.
There's Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow, and Piper.

Ever wonder what would your name would be if Sarah Palin was your mother?
Well now you can find out!

Been There. Done That. (...and still doing That)

Friday, September 12, 2008

snarky comments du jour

Sarah Palin doesn't believe in global warming, and is proud to be the Governor of the largest state in the Union.
It won't be when it melts...

Cindy McCain said Palin has foreign policy experience because Alaska is close to Russia.
Senator McCain, I had lasagna for dinner last night. Can I be your Ambassador to Italy ?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Keep tabs on it...


Plate o'shrimp

It's lunchtime. I put my Lean Cuisine frozen dinner into the microwave.

As it's spinning around, I start reading the information on the box.

There's a "Wellness Tip" which reads:

"Enjoying your meal from a plate and eating more slowly can lead to a more satisfying meal experience."


"Put it on a plate, son. You'll enjoy it more."
"Couldn't enjoy it any more, Mom. Mm, mm, mmm."

(dialogue from the cult classic movie "Repo Man"
See it. if you've seen it, see it again.

Hadron Collider Rap

Hadron Collider Rap


So, they turned on the Hadron Collider, and no Earth-swallowing Black Hole formed?

Oh, crap.
I just cancelled all my social events for the next billion years...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Microsoft commercial about nothing

By now it's likely you've seen the new Microsoft advertisement starring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. It's set in a shoe store.

At one point in the commercial, Gates produces his "Clown Card" Member ID card.
[See above.]

On the ID card is a picture of a very young Bill Gates, smiling pretty for the camera.
So, where is that photo from?

If you can't tell from theimage on the card,
see http://www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/gatesmug1.html

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Beer that made Gondwanaland famous

When you've got a good chunk of amber, skip the dinosaur creation business... and make beer instead.

The Fossil Fuels Brewing Company is making beer from 45 million year old yeast that was trapped in amber.

see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/31/AR2008083101962.html?hpid=topnews

Pete Hauschka on Sarah Palin: The original email

There's an email circulating on the internet about Sarah Palin that's written by an Alaskan named Pete Hauschka.

As with many emails that are forwarded multiple times, the original document has been slightly altered from what Mr. Hauschka originally wrote.

I contacted Pete Hauschka, and he sent me the following reply:


Hi Bob,

I did write a letter 10 days ago...pretty similar to the one you have sent back to me. It is interesting how a document can change and be edited by others as it passes.

I hope it helps make a positive difference. Here is the original version. Enjoy,

Regards, Pete

This pick floored me. Sarah Palin is nice person. I've met her. I've even talked with her for a few minutes at an Alaskan principal's conference a couple of years ago. She has lots going for her superficially. She speaks from the heart, like a sassy mother; she can even be sort of funny sometimes. She is drop dead gorgeous. She is athletic and has that radiant glow of someone who actually spends time doing things outside. Unlike many politicians, she has lived a "real life" and done things that few living and working in DC could ever do....like dipnettin' fish, shootin' stuff and eating it out on the tundra, and havin' 5 kids.

Personally, I'd never vote for her. She has an extremely simple view of the world. I don't even think she has ever been abroad. (She did go on-base to Iraq to visit our homesick AK National Guard troops which was a nice gesture, but I do not believe she has experienced another culture besides Native Alaskan cultures even as a vacationer. As governor she has repeatedly shown us that she is unable to grasp the demands of leadership. She is very prone to cronyism of the worst kind. Most important cabinet level political appointment she has made, (for example, our State commissioner of Education), she has over-ridden suggestions of our state advisory boards, and instead promoted those who had granted her direct political favors. Not that other politicians don't do this, they do, but most of them are able to balance their appointments to ensure that at least a few people with real skill and experience are running big state agencies. Some of the people she has appointed are just doofuses...even by Alaskan standards; and we have a high tolerance for doofuses here.

She also has been unable to pay attention to her Alaskan constituency. Personally, I've written several of our previous gov's hailing from both major parties and been asked to comment publicly on education policy. All the previous gov's have always acknowledged that contribution, criticism or comment; sometimes by direct reply, or at least by that of a staff member. Palin's office has been a zone of silence. Not I, nor one person I know commenting has ever gotten any sort of reply. Her claim of running an open or transparent government is totally false; the public simply has no role in her administration.

Her previous claim to fame was being mayor of Wasilla, a growing town about 40 minutes from Anchorage of about 7,500 people. Wasilla is a hellhole, even by Alaskan standards, where there are plenty of hellhole towns and villages. Wasilla is an ugly place that shows a complete absence of planning, design, or sense of public vision. Gov't agencies and services are completely overrun in this town; things are so bad that they can't even track their population, and have difficultly building schools in the right place, because building permits are not required in nearby unincorporated areas, and are lax in-town; so the only clue about where people are settling are utility receipts. Imagine trying to be an emergency responder in this kind of place: Houses don't just catch on fire in Wasilla, they burn to the ground, because by the time the fire department has figured out which road to take (no signs) or whose house it is (no directory), the place is done for. Palin was mayor this town for at least 2 terms before being elected gov. a year and a half ago.

Her moral sense is simplistic and not inclusive. She is the sort of person who is used to using their "faith" to divide and isolate minority groups of human beings instead of uniting them. To her credit as Gov. she has kept out of this arena pretty well, but when in comfortable company, she lets her true colors show.

The Travis Bickle Effect

What was the greatest wealth-creating film of all time?

Titanic might be a popular guess, but the answer, according to Columbia University's Nobel laureate economist Robert Mundell, is Taxi Driver.

The 1976 classic, directed by Martin Scorsese with Robert De Niro as the bitterly alienated protagonist, gave the world De Niro's catchphrase "You talking to me?," and also introduced a young Jodie Foster. But what does it have to do with the world economy?

John Hinckley, the deranged would-be assassin who attempted to kill Ronald Reagan in 1981, claimed that he was inspired by it. He said that his action was an attempt to impress Foster. (The movie features a scene in which a mohawked De Niro attempts to assassinate a politician.)

According to Mundell, the wave of sympathy for President Reagan that was engendered by the assassination attempt deterred Democrats in Congress from voting against his proposed tax cuts. Due to this accident of history, the US administered a big fiscal stimulus at the same time that Paul Volcker at the Federal Reserve was administering tight money. This, for Professor Mundell, was vital in creating the era of prosperity that followed.

"Taxi Driver is the most important movie ever made from the standpoint of creating GDP," Mundell told delegates. "It's the movie that made the Reagan revolution possible. That movie was indirectly responsible for adding between $5 trillion and $15 trillion of output to the US economy."

from Financial Times: http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2008/05/12/12971/the-travis-bickle-effect/

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Monday, September 08, 2008

CNN || Colbert's DNA to be shot into space

CNN news item:

Should this world ever cease to exist, Stephen Colbert will live on.

The comedian's DNA will be digitized and sent to the International Space Station, Comedy Central was to announce Monday.

In the unlikely event that Earth and humanity are destroyed, mankind can be resurrected with Stephen Colbert's DNA


What if Colbert's DNA was picked up by "the Alien" and incorporated into its body?

We'd have to fight a reptile-like creature with acid blood... and an acid tongue.

"Watch out, Sigourney! Its sarcasm is lethal."

Pentagon debates development of offensive cyberspace capabilities

Pentagon debates development of offensive cyberspace capabilities
By Julian E. Barnes, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 8, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Igniting a provocative new debate, senior military officials are pushing the Pentagon to go on the offensive in cyberspace by developing the ability to attack other nations' computer systems, rather than concentrating on defending America's electronic security.

full at http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-cyber8-2008sep08,0,909623.story


...and the Cold War nuclear doctrine "Mutually Assured Destruction" becomes "Mutually Assured Deletion."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Optical Illusion

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ceiling Cat

It's the meme that's sweeping the internet!

You know, if one person, just one person posts it, they may think it's really sick and they won't like them.

And if two people, two people post it... in syncronicity... they may think they're both geeks and they won't like either of them.

And three people do it, three -- can you imagine! -- three people posting a picture of Ceiling Cat? They may think it's an Organization.

And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day -- I said fifty people a day! -- posting a picture of Ceiling Cat?

And friends they may thinks it's a Movement.


of course, Ceiling Cat is an extension of the well-known image:



User:Samguana [From Wikipedia]
== WOOT! == - proud owner of ceiling cat, a genius at work.
i had no idea there was a fan club for ceiling cat, that was just me bored on a Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Next stop... SkyNet

Learning automation

Stanford Univ. computer scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system that enables robotic helicopters to teach themselves to fly difficult stunts by watching other helicopters perform the same maneuvers. The result is an autonomous helicopter than can perform a complete airshow of complex tricks on its own.

The dazzling airshow is an important demonstration of "apprenticeship learning," in which robots learn by observing an expert, rather than by having software engineers peck away at their keyboards in an attempt to write instructions from scratch.



Wednesday, September 03, 2008

found in my email archives...

On February 4th, 1998, Bill Gates was hit with a cream pie in Brussels.

When the news broke, I made the following graphic:

JIB JAB Weighs in on the '08 Campaign

Oh it's time for some campaignin'