7/31/09

Friday dumb game blogging

Golden idols, explosions, jiggling. This game has everything.

Totem Destroyer 2

7/30/09

Laser-guided sazz wagon

I just got back from putting a couple thousand miles on a new rental car. As owner of a vintage automobile, I don't really keep up with the newer automotive conveniences. I know that tire pressure sensors are now required. Seatback DVD players are old news. Even heartbeat sensors and cars that park themselves are out there.

But I was entirely surprised to find that the car I was driving had autonomous cruise control. For the uninitiated, this type of system will automatically reduce your car's cruise control speed if you come up behind a slower moving vehicle. It will even brake or bring you to a complete stop if another vehicle enters the lane or stops in front of you. It turns out variations of this feature have been available on some cars for more than 10 years.

This got me thinking about what other features we may see on the way to the self-guided hover cars that are in undoubtedly our future. I for one hope that frame mounted paintball cannons become factory standard. There are a lot of drivers out there that need to be marked to alert other motorists.

Do the Bellman visioneers have any other ideas for Detroit?

that's just how we swing

Via TSH,
Ever wonder why we swing our arms when we walk? Is it just a left-over trait from when we were on all fours?

Well, some researchers were interested in answering that question. They found out that swinging arms wasn’t quite the waste of energy most had assumed. In fact, holding your arms by your side while walking requires 12% more metabolic energy.

Why do I see a future infomercial on the handcuff calorie burning plan?

7/26/09

Is it just me?

Or does Steven Seagal still got it?

7/24/09

Watch your mouf

A year ago, we saw a quiz thing that asked you to determine which of four odd phrases were euphemisms for sexual acts. By the time we had discovered this question, every item on the list had developed a carnal reputation. That is to say, every item. We are fast approaching a point where ordering a sandwich at a deli will land you in prison. While I'm intrigued by the dystopian undertones of this scenario, I don't necessarily want to live under its strictures, not least of which because I tend to frequent delis.

Also, I'm pretty sure that "Dystopian Undertones" is guttermouth for the male testes.

via PA.

7/23/09

Radio gone wrong

Talk radio this morning is all about Obama - Gates - racism blah blah blah, instead of health care. It's almost as if Obama planned it that way.

I'm not sure who is filling in for Laura Ingraham this morning, but he just suggested that now would be a good time to burgle Gates's house. Ahem.

7/21/09

Killbots

Apparently, there are no flesh-eating robots in DARPA's pantry.

Although I'll bet this just gave someone in the Pentagon a new idea...

7/17/09

Kepner Got His Grip

Dalton Trumbo's polemic against war, Johnny Got his Gun |WK|WC|, is the story of a who wishes he'd been killed by the artillery shell that maimed him... removing his arms, legs and face.

IMO one of the most poignant parts of the book is when he wishes he could once again hold his girlfriend in his arms. It made me realize how lucky I am to be alive; to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

I wonder if the Associated Press' Dan Nephin had read Trumbo's classic work when I saw his article Hand Transplant Patient hopes to feel Wife's Touch at Salon. Worldwide twelve people have had double hand transplants. Welcome to the twenty-first century, my friends!

The art and science of medicine are amazing and it's truly a wonderful world to live in if one has health insurance.

But the cynic in me wonders if the black market in human body parts isn't about to explode.

Friday dumb game blogging, projectile edition

Gemcraft

Bonus game: Crush the Castle

7/15/09

Always bet on black

I almost have a gambling problem.

I don't actually gamble much, and when I do I manage to limit the amount I risk, through a series of strategies--for example, limiting how much I bring to the table, or getting my casino fix in unthreatening environments like our local branch of Casino McVegas.

But I always feel like I am on the verge of having a gambling problem. I have the urge to risk it all!

Enter Swoopo.com. They call it "Entertainment Shopping." This kind of thing is really dangerous to me, because it is gambling in the guise of of something else. These kinds of things have potential to slip past my anti-gambling defenses.

I mean, for goodness sake, check this out:


Dude bought an $1,100 for $55.96.

Of course, "Stenvenson" had to get lucky. He had to be the last person willing to bid, at 60 cents per bid. In his particular case, he had already bid 214 times, meaning that in the end, he spent $55.96 on the television, but $129.00 on the bids.

To be sure, that's still a great bargain. But had he not been so lucky, he could have dropped that $129 and received nothing in return.

Like any well run house, Swoopo takes a substantial rake. It was a 2¢ auction, so the website brought in over $34,000 in bidding fees, more than enough to cover the price of the TV.

My advice is, don't try it. It's a sucker's game. Myself, I've purchased some bids, but like I said, I almost have a problem.

7/13/09

Dear jurisprudence

The Sotomayor confirmation hearings start in about half an hour. CNN has a video link if you're looking for one. But this confirmation should be a snooze. Here's a classic for your enjoyment.

7/10/09

Like a rock

The big news today, of course, comes to us from bankruptcy court. After months of denials, finger pointing, and not-so-veiled threats, an American icon is in bankruptcy, hoping to come out stronger and more viable. I'm talkin' about the Dude here.



Dykstra clarified on his web site:
Although I am saddened and a bit embarrassed that I had no choice but to resort to this action, at least I am in good company. . . .
Two of our greatest presidents, Thomas Jefferson (filed several times) and Abraham Lincoln, were able to restructure their lives through bankruptcy and went on to do great things such as helping to establish the University of Virginia and abolishing slavery.
Ulysses S. Grant went bankrupt after leaving office when a partner in an investment-banking venture swindled him. (I can certainly identify with this one.)
William McKinley filed for protection while serving as Ohio’s governor in 1893. He was in debt to the tune of $130,000 (an insurmountable sum in those days!) before some friends eventually helped to bail him out. Three years later, he occupied a desk in the Oval Office.
Other prominent men who made the list and later went on to huge successes:
- Mark Twain
- Donald Trump (2 timer)
- Henry Ford
- William Crapo Durant (founder of GM)
- Walt Disney (up to bat several times)
- Burt Reynolds
- H.J. Heinz
- Milton Hershey
- P.T. Barnum
- Lenny K. Dykstra (coming soon!)


So if I'm reading this correctly, Lenny Dykstra will be President in 2012

Oh, also, some company named GM has emerged from bankruptcy protection and has already shown their commitment to new ideas by reforming as a reimagined entity called GM.

7/9/09

... in which Jason alienates certain Jewish readers

Among Jews, a subtext of many debates about Israeli/Palestinian politics is the question of who gets to define Jewishness. Is it believers and militarists who believe that "Greater Israel" really is land "promised" to the descendants of Abraham and Isaac? Or humanists who take pride in Jews' diaspora history as "rootless cosmopolitans?" Who is more "in touch" with their Jewishness -- a secular Israeli or a practicing American? A peacenik, a kibbutznik, or a hawk?

Of course, like most debates over legitimacy and authenticity, these questions are reductive, silencing, and actually prevent people from understanding one another. The starting point for a political discussion on settlements, for example, or Palestinian statehood, should not be a definition of "appropriate" Jewishness. Why? Because fixating on that question, as Phil Weiss has written, makes it easier to elide the fact that the group of people primarily suffering right now -- and primarily culturally threatened -- are not Jews, but Palestinians.

That's not to say that we shouldn't make political arguments informed by our own understanding of Jewish values -- and do so proudly and assertively. I've done so myself. But the bottom line is that those who seek to police other people's Jewishness betray an ideological rigidity that is completely unhelpful in the current political moment. | TAPPED |

I'd go further, and say that applying the question of "Jewishness" to politics--while completely understandable--is straight up racist.

7/8/09

Rob Bricken Watches Transformers(ers) so you don't have to


And thank god for that. I don't think I have the constitution to withstand it. Here:
Why would a robot need to fart, pee, or vomit? And why would it need testicles?
Michael Bay does not understand what a robot is.
...
Why can only a Prime kill the Fallen? Why can Jetfire teleport? Why can the Fallen wave a staff and make shit fly around? Why do actual cars and Autobots get sucked into Devastator's maw, but John Turturro and that other kid can run around?
Because... because FUCK YOU, that's why.
....
If you had to pick a single scene that exemplifies Michael Bay's utter disdain for story and continuity, what would it be?
When five Decepticons sink to the bottom of the ocean to retrieve Megatron's corpse. A submarine tracks five "subjects" going down, and when they get there, one of the Decepticons is killed to give parts to Megatron. 5 -1 +1 = 5, right? No, because the sub somehow tracks "six" subjects coming up. Not only is this very basic math, this is the simplest of script errors. It could not possibly have been more than one page apart in the script. And yet Michael Bay either didn't care to notice or didn't give a fuck. "Math? Math is for pussies. My movies are about shit blowing up, man."
...
Could you sum up the film in one line of its dialogue?
"I am standing directly beneath the enemy's scrotum."

7/6/09

How to Kill a Robot



The Firearms Blog: Firearms, not politics has some useful tips on weapons selection for anyone whose mission involves facing down marauding robots.

7/3/09

When you've lost The Corner....


Rich Lowry writes:
I think I have pretty well-established credentials when it comes to being charmed by Sarah Palin, but that statement, as a statement, was simply terrible. Rambling and not at all persuasive as an argument for her decision. More Gibson/Couric than GOP convention speech. She shouldn't have said a thing without getting Matt Scully—or some similarly talented speechwriter—on the case first. As to how this decision plays out ultimately, we'll see. There's plenty of time if (as I assume) she wants to run in 2012, and she obviously has plenty of capital with Republicans. But not an auspicious start.

and Rick Brookhiser:
Are we to accept in an aspirant to the Oval Office cutting short her tour of duty in the Alaska statehouse?
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