Total posts 832
Total comments 352

Atkins Nutritionals files for bankruptcy

// July 31st, 2005

This is sad. I was just ahead of both the leading and trailing edge of the Atkins popularity curve. Sorry to hear the outfit is folding, though in a way the company itself, Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., was designed to capitalize on Dr. Atkins’ fairly revolutionary ideas, and didn’t always do so in a way that was consistent with the late doc’s vision.

Atkins Nutritionals files for bankruptcy - MSNBC.com

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Swing Dance Camp

// July 29th, 2005

Let summer vacation begin!

Marcy and I are in Los Angeles at Camp Hollywood, an internationally acclaimed annual swing dance camp. We’re doing three days of workshops, lessons, and dances.

Today I took courses on Lindy Hop Classic Moves, Intermediate Charleston, Slips and Slides, and Lead/Follow Connection. There are dances with live bands every night through Sunday, and competitions for amateurs and pros. We’d compete in the amateur competition, but “amateur” is well above our level at this event. We generally consider ourselves to be intermediate to low-advanced lindy hoppers, but some of the folks here are serious majorly good.

The evening dances are totally packed, which is hard because there’s no room on the floor for the flashy new moves we’re learning. Tonight we plan to have a late dinner, then nap through the dance (9:00 to midnight) and show up around 1:00am for the after-dance, which goes until 4:00am. Classes start at 10:00, so we’ll be able to grab some quick Z’s before we’re back out there again.

I’ll moblog as much as possible, though photography isn’t allowed on the dance floor itself.

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Classic LA Mermaid Mural

// July 28th, 2005

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Hooray for Baggage Claim!

// July 28th, 2005

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iPods Could Make You Hallucinate

// July 27th, 2005

And it’s not because of Steve Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field.

Dr. Victor Aziz, a british psychologist, describes in this short article a condition where people are afflicted with auditory hallucinations–they hear music constantly, evidently. This is different from having a tune stuck in your head, sufferers can’t sleep or think properly.

Theory is that people bombarded with music will be more likely to suffer from this condition. The hallucinations seem to be triggered by going from a stimulus-rich environment (say, the environment between a couple of earbuds) into a quiet environment like an office.

Link

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We Made Out In A Tree And This Old Guy Sat And Watched Us

// July 26th, 2005

In addition to being a HECK of a domain name, this hysterical site collects verbal and linguistic oddments from all over the country. Signs and flyers, overheard statements, links to books on Amazon, etc.

We Made Out In A Tree And This Old Guy Sat And Watched Us

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What do you know!

// July 24th, 2005

Time really is an artificial, man-made construct after all!

The House and Senate reached an agreement last week to extend Daylight-Saving Time by a month. It will now start on the second Sunday in March and go until the first Sunday in November.

I think the least they could do is change those Sundays to Fridays. That way we’re not surprised by an hour-different alarm clock time on Monday morning twice a year.

The only downside I can see of this is that the transition later in the fall will be all the more shocking. It’s bad enough to come off summer time when the days are shrinking, but to do it after they’ve shrunk even further is just cruel. That first twilit late afternoon after coming off daylight-savings time in November will be a (wait for it) dark day indeed.

Does anybody really know what time it is? | CNET News.com

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Wired News: Pirates of the Potter-ian

// July 21st, 2005

This article at Wired News theorizes that J. K. Rowling’s refusal to release the new Harry Potter book in an electronic format paved the way for it to be pirated. It says that a reasonably priced e-book would have de-incentivized the people who scanned, OCR’ed and distributed HBP eleven hours after it was released in stores.

I’m not sure I buy that. I bought my copy of HBP late Sunday. My wife left town on a business trip early Monday while I was only about halfway through the book. Rather than make her wait until she came back, I went and downloaded the ripped PDF over BitTorrent. Would I have paid “$5 or $10″ for something I already “owned” in dead-tree format? Doubtful. This was a convenience issue, and since it was so easy, it was the obvious thing to do. I suppose I “pirated” it, but to my mind, having a digital copy of something I’d paid for was legit fair use, but I’d have only do that at no cost.

When will the publishing industry catch up with those on the technical leading edge? Current writers are discovering that a free-and-open approach to their work actually boosts sales and spreads their work far and wide. Not that Harry Potter needs to be spread much further and wider, of course…

Wired News: Pirates of the Potter-ian

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Table of Condiments

// July 20th, 2005

… that periodically go bad. For instance, element (okay, condiment) number 42, Steak Sauce, has a shelf life of 1 year.

Table of Condiments

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Minka Group - The Art of Lighting and Air Management

// July 20th, 2005

Check out these kick-ass ceiling fans! Amazing stuff!

Minka Group - The Art of Lighting and Air Management

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Let the Stonewalling Begin

// July 12th, 2005

FINALLY it appears the US press has an issue they can get their teeth into. Probably because it addresses the wolf-behind-the-curtain himself.

Watch this footage from yesterday’s press conference in which Scott McClellan zealously defends his choice not to say anything. I’ve never been prouder of the press than I am right now. It’s good to know that the administration hasn’t completely castrated the media.

McClellan: Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this more than the President of the United States.

The hell he does. If the President of the United States had one ounce of integrity, he’d have demanded Rove’s resignation by now. He promised he’d do that in October of 2003:

There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. If there’s leaks out of my administration, I want to know who it is, and if the person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of.

How the administration is “taking care of” Karl Rove is by keeping its mouth shut.

Here’s something that has occurred to me about all this: why? Why would Rove have outed an undercover CIA operative whose focus was finding Iraqui weapons of mass destruction? Unless perhaps he knew there were no such weapons in Iraq.

Could he have been concerned that Plame might have figured that out and put the kibosh on his oil liberation plans? Certainly, given her husband Joseph Wilson’s criticism of the administration, Plame must have looked like a threat. That was right about the time that everyone was humping the WMD talking points for everything they were worth. The notion that the leak was simply retaliation for Wilson’s questioning the Iraq threat seems too surface-level to be believable.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan Refuses to Speak on the Matter (Quicktime)

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YA Back Atcha, Ryan!

// July 9th, 2005

I’d like to welcome my cousin, Ryan Jensen, to the Blogosphere. His new blog is about 12 hours old.

Ryan is from the Mormon side of my huge and sprawling extended family. He’s deeply religious, and also profoundly thoughtful and intelligent — not a combination that’s in abundant supply these days, sadly.

There are a lot of things I regret about my choice to live on the other side of the continent from my family (and, of course, some things I don’t regret). One regret is that I wasn’t around much to watch Ryan grow into a young man. He’s got a LOT on the ball. And he’s something else that is all too rare these days: down deep, he’s fundamentally a really good guy.

Ryan’s also like me in a lot of ways: we’re both musicians, we’re both geeks, we’re both into technology. He does stuff with media and video that I’m interested in, though ignorant about. He and my brother Willy and I can riff on Slashdot headlines for hours. I was delighted to get a couple comments here from him in the last few weeks, and even happier he’s stepped into the blogosphere for himself. Needless to say, he’s going in my RSS reader ASAP.

http://jonryan.blogspot.com — YA.

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Gallery of the Absurd

// July 6th, 2005

14 (yes, that’s her name!) illustrates the sordid world of gossip and slandar while trying to keep a straight face. A new addition to my RSS reader!

Gallery of the Absurd

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Beautiful Sentiment from Father of Teen Killed for his iPod

// July 6th, 2005

This article is nominally about Steve Jobs calling to offer his condolences to the father of the teenage boy killed for his iPod on Saturday. I suppose it’s kind of nice that Jobs called him. What struck me, though, was the father’s words at the very end of the article:

In the days since [his son's] death, Rose has spoken of finding meaning in his family’s misfortue, and of working to help teenagers like the ones who attacked his son.

“We live in a world which is changing rapidly,” Rose said. “We have the technology that can give us the iPod and everything else, but it’s not all these things. We have to work on the minds and the hearts.

“We’re failing these kids. We’re not loving them like we’re supposed to.”

A couple years ago, Marcy’s little brother was hit by a car and died. When we got the police report, it had the name and address of the driver. The police said that the driver wasn’t at fault, and from the description of the accident, we could see that was clearly true. But the family was left with a choice to make about how and if we were going to communiacate with the young man who was at the wheel that night.

Marcy finally wrote him a letter telling him a little about Josh and the family, and letting him know we didn’t blame him. A couple weeks later, he wrote back. His letter was painful to read — it was clear he was suffering about the accident, and that Marcy’s letter had come as a relief to him. He talked about how he hadn’t been planning on going to college, but that after the accident he started thinking about ways he could help people, as doctor or social worker, he said.

I guess it happens all the time — we saw it right after 9/11 — but it never fails to amaze me when tragedy brings out the best in people. The opportunity is right there to go for vengeance or to turn bitterly against the world, and yet people choose something else. People transcend their automatic, mechanical responses and create something unifying and world-altering.

Steve Jobs calls family of teenager killed for iPod | CNET News.com

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Ballgame Wrapup

// July 5th, 2005

Just realized I didn’t give a wrap-up on the ballgame I moblogged yesterday!

The Grasshoppers lost 2 to 5 to the Charleston Riverdogs. It was a pretty boring game until the 8th inning, when the Hoppers suddenly came alive and put their first two runs on the board. The Dogs came back with a homer bringing in two more men.

Then in the bottom of the ninth, we managed to load up the bases and we had our strongest hitter at the plate. He hit a solid drive toward left field, and it looked great…. until the 3rd baseman reached up and pulled it out of the air, then turned a double-play at second, ending the game. Rats. But it was exciting there for a minute!

Our new house is a ten minute walk from the new Greensboro ball park. We’ll have to make Grasshopper games a regular event! I love minor-league ball. It’s baseball stripped down to the basics. Durham Bulls games were rare but wonderful occasions for us while we lived there. Hoppers tickets start at $6, so we really have no excuse not to go.

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Fireworks Truck!

// July 4th, 2005

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The view from the much better seats we snuck to…

// July 4th, 2005

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Charleston Riverdogs Warm Up

// July 4th, 2005

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The view from the Cheap Seats

// July 4th, 2005

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Samson in Foliage

// July 4th, 2005

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