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Mar. 12th, 2008 12:01 pm
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Subject: Women Drivers on Mars
Date: March 12, 2008 11:20:42 AM PDT

NASA Science News for March 12, 2008
To celebrate Women's History Month, an all-female team of scientists and engineers has taken control of Mars rover Spirit. Is Mars exploration different with women calling the shots? Find out in today's story from Science@NASA.

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Obama wrote what

i want to be a
substitute: (asphalt)
We had high winds all day gusting to 60 mph. Along with the fires up in Malibu and out in Fontana, we got one of our own between Santiago Canyon and Irvine.

It's almost 9:30 pm and the temp is 76F, wind is in the 30 mph range, and there's a choking stench of smoke. The fire is spreading at least right now.

Of course the fire started at the edge of populated Orange County, where Foothill Ranch meets the real canyon country. Once again they put a suburb right at the mouth of the bellows where the fire will always blow hottest.

I'm lucky to be living where we just get the stench. Dad picked the house well.

This is the fourth or fifth time in my life that I've seen a suburban shopping mall parking lot full of tumbleweeds.
substitute: (claymore)
  1. Captain Rocketpants and the Close Shave: (an oldie but goodie)

  2. 3... 2... 1... LOL!

  3. Okay guys ready? Ok. Ready? Yeah, got it. Ready? FIRE!. OH FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK
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But maybe they shouldn't place the ads right on the popup you see when you mouse over an incident. Hmm?
substitute: (asphalt)
I know, I know, I'm just pictures and links lately. Lazy.

I can't stand "adventurer" tycoons and I enjoy laughing at them. Yesterday's news was a massive win, as Virgin egomaniac Richard Branson tries without success to be extreme.


Branson Attempts Wacky Bungee Stunt, Whacks Own Ass Many Times Instead

The Daily Mail has more fine pictures including Billionaire Split Pants.


Aug. 22nd, 2007 11:38 pm
substitute: (badhead)
"Junipero" brand gin is very tasty.

Said brand of gin is also 98.6 proof.

Alcohol of 98.6 proof is not suitable for a school night.

That is all.
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substitute: (smartypants)
The LJ mess over censorship gives me flashbacks to AOL in the 90s.

I used to do "remote staff" work for AOL, semi-volunteer stuff. A few years were spent on the chat patrol, and later I had a full-time job for another company that included a lot of message board and chat management. I was doing this work in some way or another from 1990 to 1995.

During this time, AOL grew from a small business to a huge one. In parallel, the community of users started as a town and ended as a nation. It all happened way too fast. Growth rates of dotcom companies and online communities are a cliche now, but this was the first time, and no one knew what to do or even what was happening.

The community standards of discourse, including what was out of bounds in public communication, suffered. People with limited social experience and no background in language or youth culture suddenly had to make decisions about what was appropriate in chat, on message boards, everywhere. Staffers were supposed to chide people who broke the rules or knock them offline, but the rules kept changing. Meanwhile, so many people were pouring in that the variety of possible problems was disorienting. It was hard to get any consensus about community standards when the community was doubling in size every month. The lists of unapproved words and phrases and activities grew long and ridiculous. I wish I still had some of those lists.

Nervous chat monitors and board supervisors were presented with social and linguistic issues beyond their knowledge. GLBT people were booted for discussing their lifestyle outside GLBT forums. Discussions about the role of drug use in society were knocked offline for "drug use promotion." The rules were applied inexpertly and unevenly, and some staffers appeared to make up their own. The flood of teenaged users brought a whole new set of problems: minors mixing with adults, incomprehensible teen culture, suicide threats.

The situation was handled poorly. Years of arbitrary decisions, ignorance, dissembling, and prejudice went by. By 1994, anyone on "chat patrol" was completely snowed under with constant reports of rule-breaking. It was impossible to catch up and clearly pointless to try.

In the end the problem was solved with money. The company had grown so much that they hired good attorneys, professional senior managers, and more people inhouse to deal with community management issues. Bad behavior that presented a legal threat was still pursued, but they wisely gave up most attempts at regulating discourse in a gigantic community.

LJ is right at that breaking point. They've become huge, and there's no village any more. Large groups within LJ have their own community standards, and don't appreciate regulation from outsiders who don't understand the context of discussion. Pranksters and civil libertarians will test the limit of any rule. Outside pressure groups will demand the impossible, and news media will report on anything that looks odd and give it a lurid tabloid spin.

People who enjoy blogging and are good at computers can build services like LJ and make them a roaring success. These aren't necessarily the right people to manage a community the size of a city. They will be inconsistent, arbitrary, socially inept, prejudiced, anxious, and worst of all ignorant.

LJ needs some people with professional expertise in communities and the law. They need one or more attorneys with a very good understanding of the civil and criminal liabilities of a company like this. And they need a sociologist or its near equivalent who can grasp the nature of LJ's culture and subcultures without reflexively applying standards that don't make sense.

Most of all they need to be consistent, which is the first thing the attorney or sociologist is likely to tell them.

With luck it won't take three years the way it did for AOL.
substitute: (shutup)
Once again my local FOX affiliate takes on the big issues. In this case, the shadowy, malevolent hacker underground group that will do anything for LULZ: spoilers, gay porn, myspace hacking, and blowing up the same car over and over. Phil Shuman, you've once again raised the bar for satire.

substitute: (me1983)

Sadly they are not going to film at my alma mater, although the show is going to be called "Newport Harbor." There goes my chance to point out earthquake damage and places where people peed on things or did drugs.
The new cast of "Newport Harbor" will feature Chrissy, a smart, pretty high school senior with three top colleges to pick from; Allie, the girl whom all the boys want and all the girls want to be; Clay, a shy, good-looking junior who turns to his gregarious best friend Grant for confidence; Grant, a bad-boy junior who's the life of the party; Chase, a senior who has a way with the girls; and Taylor, a sophomore who's the youngest of the group and who is dating Chase.
I'm not sure where the geekulous nerds in the "inner quad" fit in, here. Oh wait, we didn't.

The official site is at

What's even "better" is that MTV's Second Life clone, is going to have a "virtual Newport Harbor" which I hope includes a first-person shooter segment.

Okay, now I'm *REALLY* going back to bed.

PS: The actual reality show about this town is called "Arrested Development."

PPS: The actual REAL real Orange County has a lot more tweakers, corrupt cops, toxic dumps, lower middle class suburban despair, brush fires, exhausted Mexican laborers, and skin problems.
substitute: (tesh)
O Daily Pilot, I can't resist your headlines:

Restaurant Review: Doria's Haus of Pizza's charm, crust fills seats


Jul. 23rd, 2007 12:38 pm
substitute: (ratfink)
The headline NASCAR looking to expand into the hip-hop lifestyle should be enough, but the press release itself takes it all the way. Pullquotes of note below:
  • As for the messages and products in development specifically, Earnhardt said they will be dope because adidas "always keeps it clean."

  • During the recent race weekend in Chicago, rapper and Chi-Town native Twista rolled to the club in a Red Bull painted NASCAR street ride to promote his new album Adrenaline Rush Oh-Seven which touts a NASCAR tie-in.

  • Over the years, the sport's crossover into the urban demographic has been hit and miss, but today one could say it's "On and Poppin'."

  • Team Red Bull driver Brian Vickers, who has made appearances on MTV's TRL, tried to do his thang with Bow Wow and throw up a paint scheme to promote the rapper's music, however, nothing panned out but the two are said to be buds and Bow Wow has since been to a few NASCAR races.
It's fresh and dope that they've discovered the 1985-era Run DMC Adidas phenomenon.

I hope they work their way forward to NWA soon!
substitute: (smartypants)
My health benefits provider (Blue Shield California) sent me a nastygram in the U.S. Mail saying I was cancelled, cancelled, cancelled. I looked on their website, saw that this was not so, and didn't panic.

Then TriNet, who manages our benefits, sent an apologetic email saying the cancellations were their mistake and were being rectified.

Finally, they just now sent another email saying that they typed their customer service phone number wrong and were even sorrier.

"The persons responsible for sacking the previous persons have been sacked. And now, llamas!"
substitute: (smartypants)
From the WSJ news alert thingy:

Whole Foods' founder and CEO John Mackey posted many messages on Yahoo's stock forums for about eight years, ending around August 2006, the company confirmed Wednesday. Mr. Mackey used the pseudonym "Rahodeb," an anagram for Deborah, the name of Mr. Mackey's wife. On the boards, Rahodeb routinely cheered Whole Foods' financial results, trumpeted personal gains on the stock, and bashed rival Wild Oats.

hahahahahaha DOH
substitute: (shutup)
Oh, Orange County Register... ...I can't stay mad at you.

etaoin shrdlu

Repeat after me: typos always happen in headlines and captions.
substitute: (claymore)
Area gun nut fires at metal target with extremely powerful rifle, receives surprising yet educational physics lesson. Right up there with the Knife Show Katana Video.


Video url is

substitute: (tesh)
antebellum cap popper
I can't decide which I want more, the "give me a penny" coin bank, or the Black Lady Mechanical bank. The whole collection of Black Americana is OUTSTANDING. Kudos!

P.S. It's 2007.
substitute: (creem boy howdy)
The fallout (boy) from last night's FOX 11 special! report! on Emo Scene Kids was pretty good when I posted the video of the news story on Buzznet:

In which the kids, as usual, are amused by the grownups.

It reminds me of the post Columbine "news" coverage where the reporters were dispatched to find out that the Goth Kids in Dark Coats were feared psychotic loser stabby-people, and found to their consternation that the other kids just thought Goths were "okay like everyone else, just got their own way of dressing and stuff."

The shocking outcome of this story is that the latest teen subculture looks funny and listens to loud music and isn't quite sure what defines it.

Someone get Bill Bennett on the horn. We have a KULTUR-KRISIS in the making!!!!!!


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