Too Much Information About My Organs

As an organ donor I’m considering writing a letter to any recipients of organs I may donate at some point in time. It would go something like:

To whomever gets my giblets,
I’m sorry that you have been picked to receive these innards. They have not served me as well as I hoped and sometimes I get weird digestive issues. If you got my heart, you’re in luck! I’ve been using it without issue (so far – unless I died of a heart attack). If you got my lungs, Sweet! I love my lungs. I’ve never smoked and I’ve limited my second hand smoke to a minimum. If you got my pancreas… well, at least you get one.

I’d suggest that if you got any part of my digestive tract, though, that you ask for an immediate refund. This system is only a B- grade system at best. It has weird allergies, it generates enough gas to contribute to the ozone hole, and it also has characteristics VERY similar to a bottomless pit.  If you do keep it, stay far, far away from jalapeno’s.  Trust me.

Yours truly,
The previous owner

Elections

The election results speak for themselves: the American people have spoken and they chose a massive, chaotic amount of wishy-washy political gunk just to make sure that no party blows it as bad as the previously majority-owning Democrats did in D.C..  And to make sure that our government is bi-partison, but pro-lobbyist.  Rock the vote indeed.

This skeptical message was brought to you by the committee to elect no-one.

“I’m Randy Peterman and I do not approve this message.”

R.I.P. Old Mr. Coffee

Our drip coffee maker, which I believe we purchased in late 2001 B.C. has finally made its last cup of coffee.  Its been next to the toaster for too long, and I think it rubbed off on it, so its toast, too.  We’ve purchased a new Mr. Coffee that does about 6 things that the old coffee maker doesn’t do, but they both have the same purpose: baking coffee.  All day long, slowly evaporating the liquid until there is a coffee cake at the bottom of the pot.  A cake you should never, ever eat.  But made of coffee.  At least the new guy will make my mother-in-law happy for about two seconds until she realizes that its inferior to the Bunn that she has at home.  The new coffee pot will probably make coffee in about 3-4 minutes while her Bunn has it ready before you finish thinking you’d like coffee.  It’s that fast.  R.I.Parts Mr. Coffee.  We won’t miss you since you’ve been replaced

Missed the Toilet

If you want to see why some journalists don’t get their work to print, such as Newsweek, look no farther than the short-sighted work of Dan Lyons here.  You would think that the change of having the last Mac World Expo speaker be Phil Schiller would be OK, and not expected to be the second coming of Steve when the first Steve was gone.  Nope.  It is as if the rest of 2009 does not exist and that Apple is waiting until 2010 to tell us anything more about what they’re working on or releasing.  Just because the Expo keynote didn’t involve some new gadget or some new computer that is mind blowing doesn’t mean that it was bad, it means that people who go to a trade show for one event are probably going to be disappointed.

Apple’s last days are not going to be 2009 or 2010.  They’re not out.  Instead they have made it clear that they’re going to announce products on their own timeline and not right after Christmas so that employees are whiped out during the holidays.  Imagine that: niceness to employees.  Dan Lyons is probably a nice guy to some of the people in the world, but this is not his proudest moment and I hope that he learned from this web only publication that actual journalism is not speculation and taking a one-off event and reading into the bones of the carcass of the event.

I hope that Apple invites Dan to their next press event and Dan eats his toupee because he realizes that he’s been horribly mistaken.  I can write drivel like that because this is a blog and not the public facing website of some new source.  He’s supposed to be a journalist while I’m a snarky non-journalist.  Two different things, but he’s making them look similar.  What a sad day Dan had.

Dude, There Are Geeks on the Internet

Creative Commons: The Eggplant - http://flickr.com/photos/eggplant/4491902/
Creative Commons: The Eggplant - http://flickr.com/photos/eggplant/4491902/

In case you didn’t notice, there’s a place called Wikipedia.  They have an outrageously large amount of data and apparently a good chunk of it is relatively accurate.  Take for example the entry on Pi.  That would be a reference to the mathematical constant.  If you wanted to, you could follow the links on that page to other references such as the Greek letter.  There is far more information about Pi on that page than any encyclopedia editor would allow.  That’s because an encyclopedia is about terse, rich data.  Wikipedia is about excessive information because its storage, retrieval and modification is so cheap that limiting the data is probably more work than just tacking on more information as its available.

Lets put this in perspective: the cost of printing any book could run into the millions upon millions of dollars depending on all of the people involved.  The cost of putting together a web page is non-zero, but its microscopic in comparison.  If web publishing were more expensive there would be far fewer ‘get rich quick’ sites.  Lets get back to Pi.  Apparently people have memorized thousands of the decimal fractions of Pi.  Most encyclopedia entries just don’t care about this data, but Wikipedia has further information and a line chart showing the rise in numbers memorized by an individual over time.  I have 2: 3.14.  That’s 200% more than I currently need due to the absence of circular math (so far) in my job.  I have to figure out many other formulas and algorithms, but Pi is distinctly absent from my daily, weekly, monthly or yearly math needs.

In case your encyclopedia is feeling small, just remind it that Wikipedia also has entries on such interesting topics as international Pi day (a day to celebrate Pi).  I think I would celebrate by eating pizza and pecan Pi.  There appears to be some discrepancy about what other days might be celebrated along with Pi because of rounding.  I’m not making that up.  Geeks, trivialogists, dataheads, nerds, and specialists all pile in more data so that if Wikipedia is missing something important you can go to Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live, Ask.com or any number of other search engines to get even more information.

Sadly, there is a space on the internet called ‘the deep web’ [of course you should see the wikipedia article] which does not know the love of the search engines.  It is a place that is undocumented, hidden, secret and fully of kitty porn [to my mother: that link goes to a humor site and is not naughty].  It is a place where people are trying to get to, apparently, because I have seen articles on how to find information on the deep web.  Here’s some irony for your wrinkled brow: if its unsearched, unindexed, and unknown you’re going to have a hard time using traditional methods to get to it.  Never fear!  There is the power of human search.  Mahalo, Twitter, Digg and the like all use humans to traverse the Interwebs and post links.  You may wonder why I mention Twitter, but the answer is simple: if you go to twitter, create an account, and then get enough followers that people all over the world at any moment could be reading your tweets: people all over the world will read your tweets and possibly reply.  Its human powdered search.  That which was untraceable is now so easy to find that even disreputable presidents who are mocked for not speaking in complete sentences could hammer out a 140 character or less question and get links back from the 14 people who follow them.

So, in short, which this isn’t, the Internets have lots of great content.  There’s the Internet, Web 2.0, and the latest news I have is that CSS3 is coming, and then we’ll probably start seeing early betas of Web 3.0 in 2009.  If web 3.0 gets too slowed down there is a good chance that the economic stimulation checks, bailouts, and IPO’s will help move things along.  And worst case scenario we’ll all be able to eat our free Pi from Wikipedia.  Of course you’d wipe your mouth with your pi tie.

12 Steps for Food TV Addicts

  1. Admit you are powerless over your Food TV addiction
  2. Believe that a power greater than Alton, Emeril, Paula and Rachel exists, and can restore your sanity
  3. Make the dish, I mean decision, to turn all authority over to God
  4. Make a fearless search of your pantry shelf self, morally
  5. Admitted to God and others, but not including Tyler Ramsey, the exact nature of yourself
  6. Be ready for God to remove the defects of your chiffon character
  7. Humbly ask God to remove your shortcakes shortcomings, and maybe break your TV remote on the Discovery channel.  Mythbusters is safer than Good Eats.
  8. Make a grocery list of all the people we harmed, maybe bake them an apology cake
  9. Apologize to them, include gift cake, also bring celebratory home made ice cream, unless they’re diabetic
  10. Continue to make ingredient inventory, and when you are wrong or unsure, buy extra
  11. Pray for God’s will in your kitchen and television, and all other areas of your life
  12. We try to carry this message across the internet to other addicts by digging it, stumbling it, or otherwise twittering it

The July Fireworks Series of Aurora

The idiots specially gifted people in my neighborhood have been lighting off fireworks around my house for the last week just to make sure that their ears still work and that the fireworks continue to make loud popping sounds.  Their sober under-aged children might have some serious, lifelong emotional trauma if their intoxicated parents didn’t light off loud and visually stimulating fireworks from their homes on July Fourth – so they do it starting in June.  Last night for example I was doing an exercise that I like to call ‘sleeping’ and a neighbor was shooting off some sort of popping whirring thing (I grew up in Nevada where they kill people who have fireworks before the fireworks kill them, so I don’t really know which type of firework it was).  If it was before 10, I might have thought I was grumpy, but it was post midnight, so I figured that there was some special problem with their ears or fireworks because they were still testing them.

I’m considering buying some fireworks and lighting them off myself next year because there seems to be this sense of amazement and awe that can only happen if you do it at your house.  I have never wanted to do this.  Fireworks amaze the girls, and I love it that they’re impressed, but I draw the line at exploding them at my house because I like my house.  I want my house to keep not burning up, and continue not needing to be repaired due to fire damage.  I’m a selfish guy like that.  In a dry climate like Colorado, you could light a fire just by wearing corduroy paints that rub together a while and then sit down on some dry wood, so inviting danger to my house to come and blow up is not my first choice.  OK, I’m done considering this option.

However, my first choice is to let other people,  with fire fighters nearby, light off the fireworks.  Each year many cities across the country do this in a celebration called, “lighting your tax dollars on fire and sending them off to blow up,” and we live in one of those cities.  We’ve managed to never see the show they do because of rain or any number of other silly reasons, but this year, we just might go… that is if our neighbors don’t manage to blow us up first.

They Found Water on Mars

Apparently Kristen Bell, AKA “Veronica Mars” is made up of 70% or so of water.  NASA, with millions and billions of dollars in research money sent an exploratory probe into Miss Bell and discovered that she did indeed have water in her and on her surface.  Unfortunately since she’s now on Heroes with the ability to throw lightning the presence of water on mars is less exciting because lightning usually comes with storm clouds and humans, who are typically made of at least 70% water, don’t usually count as a big deal when you find water on them.  You can read more about NASA’s non-discovery here.