Saturday, April 29, 2006

For the Duality That is You

Techie Diva found French designer Rachel Plefger's T-shirt that says "hate"... but says "love" if you look in a mirror. I wonder if it's available the other way around for the kinder and more self-loathing among us?

Available in red and black, pick it up at Made in Design.

Google SketchUp

Google has released SketchUp, its 3D modeling software, for free. It's Windows only, but Mac is to come. There is a growing library of ready-made buildings online for downloading, including the Rose Bowl (above).

Your evil scheme diagram should now be very impressive. Now if you could just get some sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads.

Unfortunate Choice of Words of the Week

"...and Bruce was evacuated."

-- Jeff Probst, Survivor: Panama - Exile Island, 4/27/06

Whopper of the Week

"Now, there is obviously right-wing talk radio, which is very successful, and there's obviously the Fox News Channel, which some believe is a right-wing enterprise. I work there, and I can tell you it is not."

-- Bill O' Reilly, on his radio show, 4/26/06 (via Media Matters)

Why Does No One Ever Ask the President the NEXT Question?

Brian Williams interviewed Bush in New Orleans the other day, and asked him about the progress of levee reconstruction, what with hurricane season coming up. Bush said he's sure the levees will be back to "pre-Katrina levels or better."

Brian didn't ask what I would have: "Can we shoot for 'or better'? Since restoring the levees to 'pre-Katrina' would clearly be inadequate, and an insult to both the survivors and the dead?"

Then Brian asked Bush about his historic low poll numbers. The President admitted he was baffled, since the economy is so strong. "We're the fastest-growing major industrialized nation in the world."

Brian didn't ask what I would have: "Mr. President, no disrespect, but you've been saying that same phrase for years, and it's demonstrably untrue. Our economy grows from 1 to 4 percent a year while India and China grow from 8 to 10 percent a year."

Then Brian asked about high gas prices. Bush testily said of course prices are high, there's trouble in Iraq, we need to end our dependence on foreign oil, find alternative energy sources.

But Brian didn't ask any of the questions I would have asked: "Mr. President, why the attitude? Between you and me, I'm not the one who started the war in Iraq. The White House said the war would pay for itself in the oil we'd get. Where is that oil?

"And why do you persist in speaking to the American people about 'ending dependence' and 'finding alternative energy' as if we're all imbeciles and you're the only one who 'gets it'? You've only been speaking publicly about these issues since January. For most of your political life, you've been the obstacle to those initiatives. What would you say to those who have been fighting people like you for those ideas for decades?"

"And as long as I've got you, Mr. President, when you promised in the 2000 campaign that you would never use our armed forces for nation-building or for spreading Democracy, were you wrong then or are you wrong now? And if you were right both times, is that flip-flopping?"

"And one more thing: if I were driving drunk, as you undoubtedly used to do, and I struck a child by accident, would I be justified in not reporting it to the police for a day or two, as Vice President Cheney did when he shot a man? So my blood alcohol couldn't be measured, just as his never was? When your wife, Laura, killed her boyfriend, did she report it right away, or did she wait?"

I guess this is why I'm never invited to interview the President.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Strangers With Candy Teaser Trailer

I Can Even See the Bright Side When the Yankees Lose

Last night the Yankees lost... It was painful. It was like they thought there was a prize for "Team That Leaves the Most Men on Base."

But somehow it was encouraging. When even the Yankees... the Yankees... can pull such agonizing boners, it should make us all feel better when we screw up. We should go easier on ourselves.

'Tis the Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year. I'm starting to get DVD's of all the TV shows that want me to vote for them for the Emmys. I look forward to this season, because there's only so much TV one man can watch -- even me -- so this is a great chance to catch up on stuff I missed.

But it can also lead to certain frustrations. (And let me just say, I recognize up front that at a time of war in Iraq and $4.00-a-gallon gas, Emmy-DVD-related frustrations are petty, indeed.)

Now maybe it's me. And I'd be curious to know if any other Academy members had the same experience with TNT's packaging for The Closer...

It came in a handsome red folio, with "AS HARD AS A SECRET IS TO UNCOVER" embossed in gold on the front...

...and inside was a cast photo with "...IT'S EVEN HARDER TO KEEP."

Now how to get the DVD's out? There were thumbholes, but the drawers wouldn't slide out. Okay... It seemed to have a tab to open the flap like a book, just like the folio opened... but the tab wouldn't give. Not on top... Not on the bottom... Was it perforated? Hmmm... I'll just tear it. Son of a bitch, it won't tear. Okay, maybe the... No, that won't tear either. Maybe it opens backwards... No....

Now cut to me, like one of the apes in Kubrick's 2001, clawing and pawing at this thing, trying to free the DVD's from its impenetrable grasp.

By the time I was done, I felt like either the world's biggest spaz, the world's biggest idiot...

...or maybe ...the package was designed to be hard to open. It does, after all, say on the front, in big gold letters, "AS HARD AS A SECRET IS TO UNCOVER"... I suddenly hated people I'd never met.

At any rate -- and perhaps through no fault of theirs -- I was no longer in the mood to "consider"
The Closer.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Is There Anything the Japanese Can't Do?

A simple technique to stir cocoa -- or any powdered drink -- better (via Lifehacker):

Sprint Misses a Marketing Opportunity

Last week, for what seems like the thousandth time, I realized I didn't know where my cell phone was. I couldn't find it in the house, or in the car. Did I drop it at the Grove? Did it fall out of the car when I got out? Should I call Sprint and have it shut off?

And it was set on vibrate, so when I called it, I couldn't hear it ring. I had to keep calling it, keep it buzzing, until I was finally close enough to sense its presence. (It had slid into the couch... bastard phone.)

So when I heard that Sprint had a GPS tracking service so parents could locate their wayward or missing children, I thought, hmmmmmm... If I had that, then with a few mouseclicks, at least I would have known that my phone was en casa, and then I could have relaxed, knowing it would turn up.

But it's $9.99 a month. And that's a lot of money. Not too steep for finding a child, but too steep for those of us who don't have children, but would still like to occasionally know where our cell phone's run off to.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mas Andrea Rincon, Por Favor

This time, I think she might be working out to either the "Rattle, Rattle, Thunder Clatter" jingle, or to Gray's "Elegy."