Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Flash Mind Reader

If you've got a few minutes, you might want to try to figure out the logic behind this. I know that I enjoyed it. psychic.swf (application/x-shockwave-flash Object)

If you're just dying for the answer, you can find it at Psychic Mind Reader Demystified)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

No Whiskey for Thanksgiving

When I called Mother last Wednesday to see if she needed anything for Thanksgiving, she informed me that her and Dad's dog, Whiskey, had not been seen since she let him out that morning. Someone had suggested to her that he had found a girlfriend, so I told her not to worry, as most males lose interest in the girlfriend of the moment as soon as they get hungry.

When I got home on Thursday, Whiskey still hadn't shown up. That, coupled with WVU's piss-poor performance against Pitt up at the new stadium, cast quite a gloom over Thanksgiving, despite the good food and good conversation. Mother asked us to go around the table naming one thing we were thankful for this Thanksgiving. Her choice was the best: "I'm thankful that I won't have to cook another turkey for a year!" Hating turkey as I do, I had to agree. The gravy, though, was pretty good, especially considering that I made it and with beef broth. Beef broth and turkey drippings aren't so bad together.

We were all getting pretty concerned about Whiskey when he hadn't shown up by the time we left on Friday, considering that we live in the country and the woods behind our house sounded like a battleground. I've got no problem with hunters, as long as they get the deer before they end up running in front of my car. I'm not surprised that there was a record deer harvest; I've never seen so many deer by the side of the road, both dead and alive. Dad scoured the woods and found no sign of Whiskey. I made up a flyer for him to put around the neighborhood with a picture that I'd gotten from the digital camera.

Once again, Murphy's Law reigns supreme. You prepare for the worst, and then something good happens. Dad got a call on Monday from the folks who had found Whiskey and kept him since Wednesday evening. He's safe and sound now, and back home with Mother and Dad.

So we are looking forward to a Christmas with Whiskey in abundance.

Boston.com / News / Politics / Presidential candidates / Voting errors tallied nationwide

What I find fascinating about that is that my great state of West Virginia had one of the lowest levels of voter complaints and/or tampering. This can mean one of two things: 1. People in WV are used to having their grandparents vote 30 years after their deaths and thus no longer submit complaints, or 2. The officials in WV are so good at this kind of thing that they can do it without detection. Maybe they should offer lessons for out-of-staters? Now there's an industry that we can get rich on! Boston.com / News / Politics / Presidential candidates / Voting errors tallied nationwide

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Holy X-Ray Vision, Bat-Man!

OK, maybe I'm paranoid, but that still doesn't mean that they aren't trying to see through clothes. Remind me to never wear a dark bikini! Peeping Tom filter lets phones see through bikinis | CNET News.com

Holy X-Ray Vision, Bat-Man!

OK, maybe I'm paranoid, but that still doesn't mean that they aren't trying to see through clothes. Remind me to never wear a dark bikini! Peeping Tom filter lets phones see through bikinis | CNET News.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The New York Times > Business > A Hard-to-Swallow Lesson on Pensions

Amazing what you can get away with when you write the tax laws! Then again, at least they got something, unlike the folks with Weirton Steel. But they are both criminal and low-down. The New York Times > Business > A Hard-to-Swallow Lesson on Pensions

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Bush-McGraw-Hill Test

The missing link re: NCLB and the "scientifically approved" methods. The Bush-McGraw-Hill Test

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

The electroral vote predictor site: lots of good raw data that I think I'll use for Excel demos.
Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

Monday, October 11, 2004

If Jesus were Running as a Democrat

YOu know, this is what I mean when I say that the right doesn't read the same Bible that I do. I think they confuse Jesus with the old testament (and have forgotten that bit about "I bring to you a new Covenant."). At least it's a bit humorous. It would be funnier if it weren't so true!

Jesus

Yahoo! News - Bill Imposes Prison Time Over 'Spyware'

It's about time! Folks keep going on and on about Spam, but I've thought spyware was the big issue for quite a long time. Especiallly the way that it can install itself without my knowledge or consent. I'm going to have to remember to tell my students about this one. Yahoo! News - Bill Imposes Prison Time Over 'Spyware'

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Is This Man the Lindbergh Baby?

And he wasn't even in my closet or my parents' basement. What's next, Jimmy Hoffa? Is This Man the Lindbergh Baby?

What really makes me think about this story is why I'm so drawn to it. I've always been fascinated by people with mysterious origins: Anastasia, Kaspar Hauser, the man in the iron mask, you name it. I wonder what that says about me?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Austin Chronicle: Columns: Letters at 3AM

A rather disturbine view of the 11 pages of the 9/11 report that details the actionsin the White House. The Austin Chronicle: Columns: Letters at 3AM

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Tale of the Snake (part 2)

The tale of the snake (part 2)

A few days after the appearance of the snake, My Man and I were sitting on the patio enjoying a drink in the summer evening air. I noticed something with strange markings poking out of the snake-hole, and asked MM to take a look, as his eyes are much better than mine.

He looked over the railing, and then asked me for a flashlight. As I was rummaging for it in the house, he said, “Bring the flashlight now!” I asked if the snake had stuck its head back out. He said, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not a snake. Snakes don’t have claws like that.”

Claws? I got two flashlights so he could choose the better of the two. I had to get a look at this!

Sure enough, there were two (relatively) big pincher claws sticking out of the hole.

I called my brother, Mr. Wild Kingdom himself, for his expertise. Of course, he wasn’t home. So I called the next-best person…my dad. After a brief discussion of the claws, with me on the phone with Dad and MM with the flashlight trained on the critter, Dad and MM independently came to the conclusion that it was a crawdad. I hung up so that I could look at it, and sure enough, I saw one of the claws reach up and grab a gnat for dinner. I didn’t think my backyard was wet enough for a crawdad, but I guess it’s swampier than I thought.

I asked MM if we should keep it and raise it into a lobster, but he said that when he and his sister tried it, their crawdad didn’t live out the week.

Just then the phone rang, and Dad said, “Laurel, I’ve figured out what your man-eating monster is. It’s Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. Those claws are just a disguise. He’s pretty slick.” Of course, I’d had a couple, but I laughed till tears rolled down my face.

MM and I poured water down the hole to try and chase him away, but I noticed a couple of days ago that he was back. He’s been back every night. So now I guess I have two pets: a cat named Jasmine and a crawdaddy named Saddam.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The New York Times > Washington > Image > Connections and Contradictions

Isn't it interesting to see the connections of the Swift Boat Veternas for "Justice?" Then again, why should I be surprised? The New York Times > Washington > Image > Connections and Contradictions

Friday, August 20, 2004

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The New York Times > Technology > Trying to Take Technology to the Masses

An interesting take on the Digital Divide issue. But my fear is that this will turn into another televison....heralded as a medium with great educational promise, but has turned into a vast wasteland of people eating bugs to win money. The New York Times > Technology > Trying to Take Technology to the Masses

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Making Out Like Bandits

Misery loves company, I guess. I feel much better about the fact that Raquel Raccoon and her family is living in my dumpster. Making Out Like Bandits I haven't seen therm there in a few months, so I'm not sure if they're still there. I think I should encourage someone that lives near me (but not too near) to put in a fishpond. :-)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

This Land is Your Land

A great parody of this year's election. It takes forever to download, but it's worth the wait! JibJab.com

Nigerian scammer joins cult of Red Breast

This is the best example of poetic justice that I can think of. Way to get the Nigerian scammers!!! Nigerian scammer joins cult of Red Breast

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Southern Engineering Test

I meant to publish this one last week and must have forgotten. I howled when I read it. DodgeTruckOwners.Org :: View topic - Southern Engineering Test


However, it does bring to mind a kind of geographic knowledge. I think that there are things we know simply as a result of where we grew up. We can't even explain knowing them. One of the things that I grew up knowing about in central West Virginia was coal. I know the types, where the major seams are and what kinds of coal are found there, the processing, the machinery, the uses, and even the labor history. The labor history I remember consciously learning, but the rest of it I simply absorbed, from living in the area. Some of it came from my dad, some from school, but I'd swear that there are things that I absorbed from breathing the air so near to a coal mine. Maybe they are things that I'm not interested, maybe even would rather not know, but I'm still fascinated by this knowledge. Maybe places have a knowledge of their own in addition to a memory of their own.

Top News Article | Reuters.com

Kim and I saw this on the news last night (don't remember the station), and it sent cold chills through both of us. I'm starting to get very worried about what goes through these people's minds. The fact that we have elections is what makes us Americans. We don't postpone them. Scary. Top News Article | Reuters.com

U.S. News Press Release: U.S. News obtains all classified annexes to the Taguba report on Abu Ghraib (7/9/04)

U.S. News Press Release: U.S. News obtains all classified annexes to the Taguba report on Abu Ghraib (7/9/04)Interesting report showing that abuses were systematic and directed from Washington in an attempt to squeeze as much information as possible out of the detainees. And it's from US News and World report, hardly a member of the "Liberal Media!"

Thursday, July 08, 2004

FOXNews.com - You Decide 2004 - Author Predicts November E-Voting 'Train Wreck'

Even Fox News is starting to realize the problems with e-voting. FOXNews.com - You Decide 2004 - Author Predicts November E-Voting 'Train Wreck'

NewsandSentinel.com: Moore's movie needed for debate - - The Parkersburg News & Sentinel

This is the most brilliant, insightful article that I have seen for quite a long time. Maybe this is the pinnacle of journalism as we know it. I wonder if they award Pulitzers for letters to the editor? ;-) NewsandSentinel.com: Moore's movie needed for debate - - The Parkersburg News & Sentinel

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Tale of the Snake

I have written a children's story about my saga with the snake. Maybe writing it will make it happen that way. :-)

The Story of the Snake

Once upon a time, in a place way too close to here, there was a lonely snake. This snake lived in the woods, but he was so lonely that he decided to move to a place where he could find a friend.

So he started off on a journey. He found an apartment building where many people lived. In one apartment lived a very nice woman. He hadn’t met her, of course, but she spent a lot of time on her patio reading books. Every night she talked on the phone. She seemed to have a lot of fun when she did that.

So the snake decided to move in to the yard in front of her patio. His plan was simple: after a short time, he would introduce himself. Then, of course, they would be friends.

So one Friday night, he moved in. That night a man was there. The woman and the man spent almost all evening on the porch, talking, singing, and laughing. The snake was thrilled. He even enjoyed their conversation, especially the part where they were talking about Bush. See, he didn’t like Bush either. Their conversation was so interesting that he strained out of his hole to listen to them.

Then the woman came over and looked at him.

He looked at the woman.

The woman looked at him.

He looked at her some more. She couldn’t take her eyes off him! Then she said, “Honey, can you come here for a minute?” The man walked over.

“Is that a head poking out of that hole?” she asked.

The man was very quiet for a while. Then he said, “I hate to say this, but I think it is.”

She said, “Oh, I hate a snake!” Then she said some words that weren’t very nice and started to go inside for the night.

The next day the snake woke up and found that it was very dark in his hole. He tried to crawl out, but bumped his head on the roof. It was surprisingly hard. As he moved his head around, he discovered that a rock had moved over his snake-hole. He wondered how that could have happened as he dug out another hole next to the rock. That night he waited for the man and the woman to come out.

They came out and were talking politics again. The snake really enjoyed the way they were talking about Bush. (Obviously, this was a smart snake.) Once again, he strained to listen.

The man saw him first this time. “Dear, don’t look now, but I think I see a head poking out of that hole next to the rock.”

The woman looked and said, “I hate a snake! What’s the matter with that stupid thing?
Can’t he take a hint? Then she said some more things that were even less nice than the ones she had said the night before. Then she said, “That cans it. We’re going to have to buy some dirt to fill in that hole. There is nothing I hate more than a snake.”

The snake couldn’t believe his ears. But they didn’t even know him! If they sat down and talked to him, they would really like him, he was sure of it. Surely they wouldn’t fill his home with dirt!

But the very next day, he was awakened by the sound of rain. The hole was closed, and he could hear the rain on the roof of his hole. Had they really filled in his hole? Oh, no, they couldn’t have been so mean. The rain must have washed the dirt, that was it.

So that night he worked very hard to make another hole, this one far away from the rock. But the very next day, he woke up and it was much darker than it should have been. His hole was also much smaller than it had been. He heard the woman talking on the phone again.

“So I went to the store and got another 40-pound bag of dirt and spread that around. I certainly hope that snake takes the hint! I just hate having a snake around!”

The snake felt terrible. How could she not like him when they hadn’t even talked? But then he started thinking again. Maybe the woman wasn’t as nice as he had thought. Maybe he should look somewhere else for a friend. So he set off again on a journey.

This time he chose a house with just one woman living there. She spent a lot of time outside in her garden, singing to herself as she worked. The snake thought she sounded very nice, so he poked his head out of the hole.

“Why, what do we have here?” the woman asked. “It looks like a nice garter snake. I’m glad to see a snake around here…it can get rid of the mice. “

The snake, faced with a woman that didn’t already hate him, spoke up. “I would like to be your friend.”

“I would like to be your friend too,” the woman said. “Just eat all the mice you can, and stay outside in the yard. It does get lonely out here at times.”

The snake agreed. He had all the mice he could eat, and he and the woman shared many wonderful conversations. And neither one of them was lonely any more.

The snake was happy. The woman in the house was happy. But the woman in the apartment was the happiest of them all!

This story has two morals:
1. Don’t try to make people like you. Just be yourself, and you will find friends who love you for just being you.
2. Even a snake hates Bush.

Snake Part 2

I saw a suspicious hole under my patio today. The saga continues.

Jesus and the GOP

AMEN!! Newsday.com

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

A Tale of Snakes

Last week my colleague shared
with me the story of the snake
that got in her house. She was able to get the snake
removed. But that's another story.

I think the snake has
found a new home in my backyard.

Friday night Kim and I saw a hole
with a head poking out of it.
Kim, brave snake-fighter that he is,
moved a large rock over the
snake-hole where our icky friend
was sitting. The next day, we saw
a new hole tunneling out from under
the nock. I'd love to know why it
decided to move here. We moved the
nock over the new hole in hopes of
making the new neighborhood as unwelcoming as possible.
Then another hole appeared, along
with yet another glimpse of that
ugly head. Yesterday we got a
40-pound bag of topsoil and
spread it in the hole.

The saga
continues. My colleague told me
that her exterminator recommends
a concoction called "Dr. T's Snake-
B-Gone." I hope such extreme
measures won't be necessary.
I'll keep you posted.

t r u t h o u t - Stephen R. Shalom | Down with King George! A July 4th Quiz

This pretty well sums it up. I"ve called him King George for a long time, but this one really drives home the point. t r u t h o u t - Stephen R. Shalom | Down with King George! A July 4th Quiz

t r u t h o u t - Stephen R. Shalom | Down with King George! A July 4th Quiz

This pretty well sums it up. I"ve called him King George for a long time, but this one really drives home the point. t r u t h o u t - Stephen R. Shalom | Down with King George! A July 4th Quiz

UNT Libraries: CyberCemetery

My friend Roman found this site that addresses the problems in the Deep Web that I mentioned last week. I've not yet had a chance to look at it, but it should be interesting. UNT Libraries: CyberCemetery

Are the Browser Wars Back? - How Mozilla's Firefox trumps Internet Explorer. By Paul Bout

I've been using Firefox on the tablet ever since I got it. That's about three weeks now, and I'm loving it. It's supported with WebCT and is a lot less bloated (and vulnerable to attacks) than IE. Are the Browser Wars Back? - How Mozilla's Firefox trumps Internet Explorer. By Paul Boutin

When Did You Stop Beating Your White House Spokesman?

When Did You Stop Beating Your White House Spokesman? Bush spokesman speaks to Irish journalist with all the clarity we've come to expect from this administration.

Friday, July 02, 2004

The latest jokes from Rec.Humor.Funny

The latest jokes from RHF I think this is my favorite joke site on the Net. My current favorite is http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/04/Jun/reevaluate.html

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Strategy: Party Appeal to Churches for Help Raises Doubts

Am I the only one who remembers the separation of church and state? Don't get me wrong...I consider myself a Christian. But this is just ridiculous! Jesus himself said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God's what is God's." If I recall correctly, he never said anything about the road to heaven requiring baptism and voting Republican! On the other hand, I recall something about being "easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Maybe I missed the latest translation, though. The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Strategy: Party Appeal to Churches for Help Raises Doubts

Thursday, July 01, 2004

MSNBC - Computer pioneer Bob Bemer dies

Interesting that one the same day in which HTML email has won out over ASCII, I get this message abotu the father of ASCII's passing. MSNBC - Computer pioneer Bob Bemer diesI think this should be an Honorary Unsubscribe on This is True.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Ocean and Stars

Ocean and Stars The chronicle of Danny Warshauer's life (at this point, thirteen days and counting!)

The Onion | Reagan Pyramid Nears Completion

Quite honestly, I'm surprised this isn't happening already. The Onion | Reagan Pyramid Nears Completion

Roman's Blog

An interesting & observant blog written by my friend & former co-worker Roman.Roman's blog

Laurel's Welcome

This is my personal blog, where I'll be ranting about a few of my observations, especially political ones, and anything else that I think of. It's been way too long since I've written anything besides reports and technical manuals, so we'll see how this goes.