Thursday, December 4, 2008

style mob

I hate it when my good ideas show up on other people's sites.

For the gun lovers out there.

Detroit, Michigan: Population approx. 900,000. Homicides = 414 (2006)

Toronto, Ontario: Population approx. 2,500,000. Homicides = 99 (2006)

There were only 190 gun-related homicides (of a total of 605) in all of Canada in 2006.

Your state of Michigan alone had 643 homicides, 71% were gun-related.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt

Funny McCain joke:
 
Did you hear the one about McCain and his wife? He was on the campaign trail with her during his first race for the U.S. Senate in 1992, with a nearby microphone, unbeknownst to him, turned on. Cindy ran her hand over top of her husband's hair and said: "You're getting a little thin up there." His response: "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt."

That is not a joke, though, it actually happened.


At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt
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Democracy - better than all the rest?

A question that has crossed my mind a lot recently is whether we've done enough to educate the majority of civilians of both my countries (US and Canada) to vote responsibly.

I recently decided to engage in several Facebook groups and discussions on politics. Tragically I found the debaters of one side of the political equation to be sadly ignorant of facts and qualitative evidence - instead choosing to abstain from logic and empathy just enough to ensure they vote for whatever candidate and party platform seems to most represent themselves if they'd been luckier and more ambitious. Fear seems to work well on these people, as does a little family-values tug at the heart-strings.

Check out the latest episode of The Current for September 10, Average Joe for an insightful look at what's going on with our democracies and why me might consider solutions to voter ignorance.
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Monday, August 4, 2008

Understanding Republicans/Conservatives



From Youtube comments on the above video, found here.

barack husein obama is a phoney,all his bumpersticker slogans/catch phrases are stolen from duval patrick who used them to fool the people of my state into handing him the gov seat,all he has done since is raise my taxes and spend my money,husein will do the same, democrats raise taxes.democrats spend our money its what they do,its all they do,dont believe the hype this man is a lier plain and simple, he is also a crybaby ,whining about every ad that exposes his true colors. change? ya right!

God man, you're sound so pessimistic.

Try watching a few (entire) Obama videos and them come back and tell us he's not completely genuine.

Democrats balanced the budget if you remember - that's something the country needed and needs again (desparately). So if the Dems do raise taxes, which could well be necessary, unless you're rich you probably shouldn't care because it won't be on the backs of low-middle class hard working Americans.


If you make a company pay more in taxes they will charge more to make up the differences in their profits. You raise a companies expenitures...such as taxing it more, they raise prices to make their profit. This has happened with every business. Not sure why you doubt that.

It is an open market....people are still willing to pay $4 a gallon, but as the US has dropped its usage by 5% it shows that less people are willing to pay that. Thus, the price did drop to match demand. Its about $3.78 now. And still dropping. Demand went down because price went up..simple economics.

Are you for regulating how much one can make i profits...Percentage wise they make less then most other business.

Everyone should pay less taxes.


"Everyone should be less taxes." - Why exactly? They pay for important services that we'd be unable to buy privately for less or as equitably. Unless you feel that society should continue to be unbalanced or provide unequal opportunity for children regardless of their class.

As for regulating how much one can make in profits - no, I don't, unless there's price gouging. Do you believe that agencies like the FDA and FBI shouldn't exist to help protect consumers and citizens?

As for businesses passing on increased taxes - that's not been the case everytime. I'm a business owner, when taxes go up I cannot immediately raise my prices. I have to balance that out with other market forces. Do you own a successful business?


Are you saying that every tax is needed and needs to be as high as it is?

"Unless you feel that society should continue to be unbalanced or provide unequal opportunity for children regardless of their class." So you are a self admitted socialist. You believe in the redistribution of wealth, and not you get what you earn.

Oil companies make less percentage wise on their product then housing, food, and most other products. So you are wrong about the gouging. Its based on supply and demand, and if you do any research you can see a demand for oil from other countries has sky rocketed.

Please provide proof that you own a business. Second, when costs go up, prices go up to make up the differences. If what you are saying is true then gas prices would not effect the price of any other product, but in reality since the cost went up on gas (an expenditure), products went up in price to make up the difference so the company would not lose profit.

Economics 101.

It's a good point (your last one) but unfortunately oversimplified - hence Economics 101. One of the great misnomers of free market economics is that it's simple. It's not as simple as it's made out to be, but perhaps it's simplicity is why it's been such a success with Americans - a couple simple rules and they think they understand everything.

Proof I own a business: I have time in the middle of the day to waste on my own interests knowing I have no boss breathing down my neck - I am the boss.

As for being socialist - what does that mean anyway? I run my own business, believe in an efficient government that provides equitable services for all so that everyone at least has a few basic opportunities - the ones guaranteed in the constitution if you remember our history. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those opportunities, those fundamental beliefs don't come free, and it's our responsibility to vote with a mind for what's best for you AND your children AND your neighbors. I get what I earn, plus roads, plus defense, plus education, plus foreign policy, plus policing, plus a fire department, etc, that works in my favor both now and 10 years from now (which means taking into account the costs of imposing your will onto others - there IS a cost to this - in economic terms it's called an Intangible Asset and my company's balance sheet and value reflects this).

All that being said I would never say that every tax is a good tax. We need to tax what we don't want and reduce taxes for that which we benefit from. I suppose lower income taxes and higher business taxes for large companies. That would make a profound difference for our country. We should tax pollution and reduce taxes on R&D - again, a logical change that would keep the US at the forefront of international business.
   


Yes, we should provide to people what is in the constitution. That is is. We have a ton extra that can be cut, which would give back the money they earned.

I am not for taking from those that have earned to give to others. Not at the extend that we are doing it now anyway. Over 2/5ths of paycheck is taken away every month. Thats a little extreme. Thats is the redistribution of wealth I am talking about.

You should be able to make any profit you want. If people can't buy from you because your prices are too high you go out of business. Yet, you should set your prices to make the best profit as well.

Taxing companies on profit or more just makes them raise prices, which trickles down to the consumers...or they fire employees to make up the cost.

Raising taxes raises costs which hurts everyone.

Oh man, you're oversimplifying everything.

Yes, 2/5 of your paycheck is too much! I totally agree.

Remember that we're taxing companies on profits, not on revenue. They're taxing your revenue, not your profits. Income tax is ridiculous in our country. But if you're making over $200k per year, then yes, you can afford to pay 2/5 of your income to taxes. It's the cost we bear to be citizens of this great country and it's how we reward the country for providing us with the opportunity to make so much money and be so comfortable. Don't you agree?

If my company makes $1million dollars per year and I spend it on lavish dinners, company flights, hotels, employees and R&D, then I can essentially pay $0 in taxes if I'm careful. Do you think that this is right?

Part of the problem is that people like you (and me sometimes) are so jaded because of what we've seen happen in politics over the years. Lots of be embarassed about. Electoral reform should be the start of the conversation! The electoral college should be abolished and we should have a holiday for voting day!



I disagree...if I am going to work for my money I want most of my money. The rich shouldn't be punished for making more. They already pay most of the taxes while the bottom 30% pay nothing.

Those are loophole examples you have spotted. They should be removed but while they are there it is legal. Just like the firefighter on disability but competed in the body building thing. He didn't break any laws. Loop holes have to be closed.

There should be a simple flat tax for everyone, thats it.

I like the electoral college. Two reasons. Its the system that has worked. Also, we are a Republic, not a Democracy.

Thats off topic though.

I am not for punishing people for making more money as long as its legal. Also, there should be a flat tax for all. Thats fair and equal. Third, we need to remove some of the programs taxes pay for that should not be the responcibility of the tax payer.

Which part do you disagree with exactly? I agree with you that if you work for your money then you should get most of your money. Did you know that in "socialist" Canada they pay about 10% less taxes (both income and corporate) yet they afford many more programs. They also have a balanced budget and while cutting taxes, courtesy of their Liberal party (the equivalent to our Democrats). It's embarassing how far we've fallen.

If I didn't know any better I'd say you were completly blinded to cause/effect and the facts that history has proven by your devotion to the notion that everyone is out to get you. Are you motivated by fear? Do you not enjoy living in America with Americans? After 9/11 I'm not so surprised, but the reality is that the world is a much better place when everyone is happy. Happiness comes from accomplishment and a sense of togetherness (although having luxuries helps!). What makes you happy?

I'm curious what you mean about being a Republic and not a democracy.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008

So we don't all sound like George Bush

Here's the list of the top 100 most often mispronounced words.

I'm feeling sensitive to it lately from getting a dose of so many accents (Californian, New England, Canadian, Albertan (ah!), South-western US), and keep picking up mistakenly pronounced words all the time.

However, I'm not perfect either, so here's my list from the top 100 that I know I mispronounce (excluding the ones I think are stupid like "champ at the bit" - what?):

barbituates should be "barbiturates"

dialate should be "dilate"

diptheria should be "diphtheria" (I had no idea actually)

'erb should be "herb" (supposedly)

jewlery should be "jewelry" (which I knew but meh)

long-lived should be "long-lived" (go look it up!)

often should be "ofen" (what???)

persnickity should be "pernickity"

silicone should be "silicon" (no, it's Silicone Valley)

supremist should be "supremacist"

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lights out last night - did you?

... cuz I know I didn't. I had completely forgotten about it until my friend Colin texted me to tell me he wouldn't be able to meet up for a beer due to a work "thing" related to Lights Out SF.  That was a 8:45pm, 45 minutes into the hour of lights out. Woops! I dashed over to the bed to turn out the night stand light and then realized I'd turned on the living room light too - which I turned off.

There I sat in the dark with only the LCD screens of Macbook and Sharp Aquos to guide me, when I decided to look out the window to see what should have been quite the spectacle, right? All the lights in San Francisco turned off, stars shining and all that.

But obviously this wasn't the case. If the lights in the city had been turned off, the street lights especially because they're the brightest and most noticeable, I wouldn't have been 45 minutes late to the party! I'd have noticed because there are windows everywhere in the apartment and the streets in front of me would've darkened.

So who cares about turning out the lights when one of the leading Green cities, San Francisco, can't get their act together to hit the switch? Did any city turn out the street lights for Lights Out?

I'm off to go rent my first zipcar - a Prius.
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dealing with Spammers

Since most spammers leave their contact information, why not contact them directly?

Expatriator says: (12:01:10 PM)
do you sell handbags?

Emily says: (12:01:11 PM)
yes

Emily says: (12:01:17 PM)
yes,.we have handvbags

Expatriator says: (12:01:22 PM)

where are you?

Emily says: (12:01:24 PM)
you can see on our website

Expatriator says: (12:01:24 PM)

china?

Emily says: (12:01:29 PM)
we are in china

Check this out.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Capturing a Moment

Have you ever wanted to capture a moment that lasted more than 1/60 of a second? I'd never thought of it before, but if the manufacturers of digital cameras are listening, here's your next killer feature boys and girls.

I'm sitting at Dolores Park Cafe, trying to do some work on a Sunday and enjoy a little brunch, perhaps partaking in the scene that is DP Cafe. We have a table next to the window so I'm watching the sun come out and go away, the rain pelt down and go away, the jackets and umbrellas come out and go away. There's this old asian guy who must be the security guard or something (do they need security?) wearing a neon reflective vest, standing next to the entrance on the sidewalk. Actually he's not standing there, he's walking in place. In fact, have you seen that new PS3 game called Lost Planet? This guy is doing the running animation that your character does in the game while tromping through the snow, over and over and over. I've had time to pull out my laptop, open up Flock and write this whole thing since I started watching him. He must be trying to keep warm, but from here it looks like he's on a long journey through snow covered hills - next to the entrance to DP Cafe.

So, to Matsushita, Sony and Canon I present to you a rough example for the cool new digital camera feature inspired by the running man of DP Cafe.

The instant avatar gif maker.
- 1-5 second animations
- just hold down the trigger
- download directly from your camera to your favourite forum

Here's my favourite example of what we can do with this feature (click):




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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Botched Interview

So I'm watching A Daily Show this afternoon, catching up on the week's episodes when Chris Wallace comes out for the interview portion of Tuesday's episode. What I normally do when higher profile guests come out is look them up on wikipedia to gain some perspective on what I'm about to see. I do the same thing while watching Bill Maher sometimes.

On Chris Wallace's entry it talks about an interview he did with Bill Clinton a couple years ago, noting how Clinton gets pissed and says all kinds of embarrassingly truthful things about Wallace's (and Fox's) interview tactics and how they work to the conservative Republican agenda.

Before I carried on with Jon and Chris' interview from Tuesday, I looked up the Chris and Bill interview; boy oh boy it's a goodie. Clinton is a real statesman. Check it out.



We progressives could learn a thing or two about how important it is to have facts at our fingertips when dealing with conservative skanks like this guy.

Now, onto the Daily Show. This should be good.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Trend watching

Someone forwarded me this very interesting trendwatching site called, wait for it, trendwatching.com. The business is based around these reports that they sell for $700, cleverly dubbed "Trend Report 2008."

But never you mind the reports, although I'm sure that $700 is a bargain. Take yourself over to their page on how to be a trend watcher/spotter. It's amazingly thorough, if somewhat common sense, full of great examples of trendy Web design and CEO-oriented tips. In fact, if you're a blogger of any seriousness, you really owe it to your audience to read the entire page. It will take you about 30 minutes, but hey, it's Friday afternoon and that fish curry ain't sittin' so well.

One of the points I noted was their insistence on becoming plugged into the information highway. This, I'd say, is truer than any other point on there and probably the most relevant. If you give a rats ass about navigating your company or idea through the future to success then you must be a gReader user and know wtf an RSS feed is. You must read relevant blogs and news sites. You damn well better have an iPod and avidly consume podcasts. You will subscribe to interesting YouTube users and channels. Don't have time for this? Can't take the heat? Is American Idol on tonight?

*backspaces nasty comment, disgusted*

Go now, plug yourself in, be a trend watcher, become cooler, and be the first on your block to write about The Next Big Thing.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The problem with boys in the US and Canada

The Current (my favourite podcast) had a great episode interviewing Dr. Leonard Sax regarding his book called Boys Adrift on 23 January.

"Leonard Sax is a family physician and psychologist as well as the author of a new book called "Boys Adrift: the Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men." In it, he lays out a mix of social and biological factors underlying the increasing number of young males with lackidasical approaches to school, jobs -- and life."

Not only is his insight interesting, but its very timely, putting together multiple trends that (even) I've recently noticed. People are wondering about the effects of sexual homogenization, plastics and hormones in bottles and foods, and the rise of videogames and ADD. Women now make up more than 60% of university graduates and, according to a guy from Princeton, it would be about 70% if there wasn't a gender bias.

Dr. Sax's theory seems to explain a lot of these phenomenons very succinctly and, frankly, it's scary to predict a future where these issues aren't addressed. And no, it's not scary because women will dominate society, but because it's a world without marriage, declining social interaction and lazy, mutated, ignorant men. If there hadn't been an argument for the superiority of the female gender, society seems to be artificially creating one.

On a personal note, being a drinker of bottled water, an eater of hormone-laiden foods and ex-aficionado of videogames, I wonder if his theory had anything to do with my parents' difficulties in "launching me." When I look around at my friends I see a lot of the same patterns.

Upon returning from Spain I was a changed man. Is it because they don't have the same chemicals in the plastic and hormones in the meat?

So yeah, go download the mp3 now (right click, save as...)

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The problem with boys in the US and Canada

The Current (my favourite podcast) had a great episode interviewing Dr. Leonard Sax regarding his book called Boys Adrift on 23 January.

"Leonard Sax is a family physician and psychologist as well as the author of a new book called "Boys Adrift: the Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men." In it, he lays out a mix of social and biological factors underlying the increasing number of young males with lackidasical approaches to school, jobs -- and life."

Not only is his insight interesting, but its very timely, putting together multiple trends that I've noticed more and more these days. People are wondering about the effects of sexual homogenization, plastics and hormones in bottles and foods, and the rise of videogames and ADD. Women now make up more than 60% of university graduates and, according to a guy from Princeton, it would be about 70% if there wasn't  gender bias.

Dr. Sax's theory seems to explain a lot of these phenomenons very succinctly and, frankly, it's scary to predict a future where these issues aren't address. And no, it's not scary because women will dominate society, but because it's a world without marriage, declining social interaction and lazy, mutated, ignorant men.

On a personal note, being a drinker of bottled water, an eater of hormone-laiden foods and ex-aficionado of videogames, I wonder if his theory had anything to do with my parents' difficulties in "launching me." When I look around at my friends I see a lot of the same patterns.

Upon returning from Spain I was a changed man. Is it because they don't have the same chemicals in the plastic and hormones in the meat?

So yeah, go download the mp3 now (right click, save as...)

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Reseting your mysql password in MAMP on leopard

I was searching everywhere for a config file to edit, googling "mysql reset password leopard MAMP" and couldn't find it.

Then I found this page on reseting apache/mysql/php on Leopard and one of the comments (Lazeez's) got me close:

/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqladmin -u root password ’somepassword’


where ’somepassword’ is the password you want for the root user of Mysql.

This doesn't work for MAMP obviously, but it led me to search for the "mysqladmin" file. I found it at

/Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/mysqladmin

Therefore, the following command, pasted into terminal did the trick:

/Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/mysqladmin -u root -p password ’somepassword’

It will ask you for your existing mysql password, so hopefully you have that. In my case the whole problem was caused when I decided to delete the existing root password in phpmyadmin (setting it to "") while that account was still set to require a password.

Hopefully this helps someone.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Choice wisdom from a lonely pessimist

This is really interesting stuff. As an ex-pessimist I can definitely sympathize and tell you that much of it works. It's also a recipe for continued pessimism, under which life can, really, only be bearable.

"Life, then, is suffering (an idea well-known to Buddhists). The answer for Schopenhauer was not to seek happiness, but to try and get through life with the minimum of suffering. His goal was for a bearable life.

Our relationship with ourselves

Here are some practical suggestions Schopenhauer put forward for managing ourselves:

    * Live in the present, making it as painless as possible.
    * Make good use of the only thing we can control, our own minds.
    * Our personality is central to our level of happiness.
    * Set limits everywhere: limits on anger, desires, wealth and power. Limitations lead to something like happiness.
    * Accept misfortunes: only dwell on them if we're responsible.
    * Seek out solitude, other people rob us of our identities.
    * Keep busy.


Our relationship with others

For Schopenhauer relationships with others are mainly sources of stress and hurt. As far as he was concerned true friendship is a near impossibility. As a result his advice is mostly aimed at protecting us from the inevitable damage other people will cause us:

    * People are selfish: they are easily flattered and easily offended. Their opinions can be bought and sold for the right price. Because of this friendship is usually motivated by self-interest.
    * Behaving with kindness towards others causes them to be arrogant: therefore other people must be treated with some disregard.
    * Displaying your intelligence makes you incredibly unpopular: people don't like to be reminded of their inferiority.
    * Truly exceptional people prefer to be on their own because ordinary people are annoying.
    * Accept that the world is filled with fools, they cannot change and neither can you."

From:
http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/01/schopenhauers-extreme-self-help-for.php

My two cents here. If you agree with the above characteristics of "ordinary people" and "others" (easily flattered, arrogant, dislike for displays of intelligence, etc) then by all means, ensure that YOU are not an ordinary other!

Down with the sheep! :)

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