Monthly Archives: September 2005

You saw who?!

A little background. My mom is Slovenian (formerly a part of Yugoslavia, they split off with only minor fighting in 1991 before all hell borke loose with Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo) and my dad is from Jordan. They met when my dad was going to school in Jordan. They got married and emigrated to Canada when I was 2. My mom had a younger brother and sister, who had never visited Canada. My grandmother visited Canada several times over the years before her death last year. My dad has ten brothers and sisters, several of whom live in Canada and the US.

Anyway a couple of weeks ago my mom’s brother visited Canada for the first time. A couple of days ago I was talking to my mom on the phone and she told me a story I thought I would never hear. Last week my parents took him to Toronto and they took a tour of the Skydome. While they were there my uncle saw that The Rolling Stones would be there this week. He really wanted to go see them so my mom got tickets and they saww them on Monday night. My 61 year old mom went to see the stones! with her mid-fifties brother! I sa the stones in Toronto in 1989, but I never thought I would see my mother going to a stones concert. Let’s just say my parents don’t like rock music. The funny thing is she said all the people there were old. That makes sense since the stones are all in their 60’s now and with the price of tickets these days what young people could afford to go to a stones concert. Needless to say my mother didn’t like it (too loud!) but I my uncle did.

Always read the Ebay descriptions very carefully!

Here is the Ebay item:

description This auction is for an awesome condition box, complete with cardboard inside that is used to hold the PSP. Shipping and Handling is only $6 for USA (includes Delivery Confirmation) and CANADA. International price is $8. Again, yes, as was said in the previous above description, this is just for the BOX, no PSP system. Just making that clear. Thank can add insurance if you wish, as I am NOT responsible for packages lost in the mail. I accept PAYPAL, CASH, CHECK, AND OR MONEY ORDER! CHECK OUT MY OTHER AUCTIONS FOR OTHER GREAT VIDEO GAMES AND DVDS! GOODLUCK AND HAPPY BIDDING!

Check out how much some fool paid for it!psp box

New study shows religion is bad for society 1

A new study published in the Journal of Religion and Society shows that religion is not necessary for a moral, healthy society. In fact, all the evidence seems to point to a direct relationship between how religious a society is and rates of violent crime, abortion, early mortality, std rates and teen pregnancy. People in developed countries that are more secular have less crime, live longer and have fewer societal ill in general. Maybe when people people realize that they are responsible for the well being of their society, rather than some amorphous god with a “grand plan” they start to behave in a way that is better for the health of the society as a whole. They do things to make the lives of their citizens better, like make sure that they have health care, and conserve natural resources.

The United States is by far the most religious developed country in the world, and we have the shortest lifespan, highest violent crime rates, worst health care (while spending far and away the most on it), and the biggest debt. We have 5% of the population and use 25% of the worlds energy resources. And we have 58 million people that voted for the dimbulb George W Bush. If that last item isn’t enough to convince you that religion is bad for society that you are beyond help anyway. As I have said before, defining standards of behavior (which is what morals are) is just common sense in order for groups of people to live together. Actually all species that live in social groups have standards of behavior. This is how they survive. Just look at packs of dogs, lions or chimps. They all have social rules, obviously not the same as human rules, but rules nonetheless.

American society has some great features, most notably our constitution and bill of rights. The ideas expressed in these documents are what make the US special. They were created by people that recognized that religion must be kept separate from the state in order to thrive. We must get back to the ideals of Jefferson and Adams. We must get away from religion.

Only in Japan

If you have never been to Japan, it is a very different place. You can literally get virtually anything from a vending machine. And these vending machines are everywhere. I jsut spotted this item over on engadget

You can buy almost anything from a vending machine in Japan. So it’s no surprise to find a machine fashioned after the old UFO catcher crane-and-claw-based arcade games vending live lobsters in Sapporo. 100 yen (less than a buck) is a bargain price for a potentially tasty dinner — not to mention the hearty guffaws to be had watching children (and Alec Baldwin) scream in horror.

lobster vending machine


Doug Kaye the amazing guy behind IT conversations posted a picture of the nose landing gear of the jet blue plane that made an emergency landing at LAX last week.

jet blue nose gear

In case you missed it this plane was on approach to Los Angeles International airport last week and upon lowering the landing gear, a fault was detected with the nose gear. It turned out the wheels where stuck turned 90 degrees from the direction that the plane was supposed to be going. Observers in other planes and on the ground confirmed the problem so the plane circled around until they burned off all the fuel on board and then landed.
jet blue landing

Since the wheels where stuck pointing in the wrong direction they just scraped along the runway until the plane stopped. Thankfully everyone was okay. The Fly with me podcast has some audio of the air traffic controllers talking to the pilots.

The Corpse Bride Lives!!

We just went to see The Corpse Bride. It was another brilliant movie from Tim Burton. If you like The Nightmare Before Christmas, you will love this one. The visuals are stunning, the voice acting is great and Danny Elfman did another great job on the music. This film was done with the same type of stop motion animation used for nightmare but this time it was shot digitally. Instead of using traditional film cameras, they used Canon EOS-1D Mark II digital slr still cameras. This style of animation takes a lot of time, they get about 2 minutes of footage per week. The look is pure Tim Burton and the writing was great. It is a really sweet story without being sappy. There were some really funny scenes and the ending was very fitting. It was very enjoyable for both the adults and the kids. I highly recommend it. It is not often these days that adults can go to a movie with their kids and everyone can enjoy it. That’s two in one year for Tim Burton!Victor & Victoria

Movie exec again prove they are idiots! 2

The leaders of the film industry have again proved that they are utterly clueless about the 21st century. Instead of rethinking spending upwards of $100 million on crap like war of the worlds, and going out and relearning how to tell stories with films, they are going to flush a bunch of money to try to make their own copy protection. From

The six leading Hollywood studios are setting up “MovieLabs” a research consortium designed to create all this anti-copying technology that all of us techies have been hiding from the entertainment industry all this time. Apparently, our devious plan to not tell the industry how to stop copying will be foiled now!

If the studios would focus on creating movies that people actually want to see that for a price that they are willing to pay. Who wants to pay $10/person to seek drek like the fantastic four and so many other hollywood failures. The likes of Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts and others don’t need to be paid $20million a pop. Movies like 28 Days Later are shot on digital video (using the Canon XL1s) and look awesome and cost a fraction of the price of many studio flicks. Screw the big studios, and their crappy blockbusters. Go with the independants and find stuff that is really worth watching.

10 Autoblog posts 4

Here are links to 10 great recent autoblog posts. I read autoblog everyday because I am in the auto industry and this site has by far the most complete and up to date car news. These guys have more news any other automotive site I have found and the news keeps coming seemingly real time as it happens.

1. From the 2005 Frankfurt auto show some pics of the new car bodies from former Aston Martin chief designer Henrik Fisker . These designs are classy and have some elements of previous Fisker designs.

2. An interesting article on aerodynamics in Formula 1. This gives you an idea of where some of the insane sums of money spent on F1 go.

3. Volvo is a company long renowned for the safety of their cars. Are they covering up some serious safety problems right now?

4. As more and more technology is being added to our vehicles the ability to monitor what you do and where you go and how fast you get there is increasing. Is this what you really want?

5. Pretty much all of our clothes, toys and consumer electronics are made in china now. Are you ready for cars? The auto industry is one of the few remaining sources of high paying manufacturing jobs left in North America, but not for long.

6. From Opel comes the next generation of the Saturn Vue, easily one of the more uninspired designs on the road today.

7. Hyundai wants to cut their product development time down to 18 months. I have seen many of these initiatives over the years. What they generally amount to is rederining the time when you start counting. Designing a car is a very time consuming process because of the need to coordinate all the different suppliers, and systems and the car makers insistence on tweaking all kinds of things just the way they want instead of following standards, especially for communications.

8. An excellent post on a Pew poll on american consumers attitudes and I agree completely that most americans are hypocrites!

9. A post about Wilbur Ross’s plan to buy Delphi and Collins and Aikmen. I am highly dubious of his chances for success on this one.

10. As a longtime lotus fan I am glad to see that lotus is finally have some comercial success with the Elise. The elise is a wonderful little sports car and I just wish I could afford one. I did have a chance to spend a significant ammount of the time with the Esprit and early nineties Elan when I worked on the ABS for those vehicles on a previous job. I had one particularly memorable high speed drive in an Esprit from Milford to Sault Ste Marie that I will always cherish.

Help stop the RIAA

I am copying the following post from because it is important if you don’t want the recording industry controlling what technology you use and what you hear.

The RIAA trying to reduce the quality of future Radio Reception

The RIAA has decided that the makers of next generation of Digital Radio Receivers need to legislated so that you will not copy music that is being broadcast over the digital airways.

They are asking congress to build restrictions into these digital players so that they cannot have material copied out of them and also to reduce the quality of the music.

From the EFF “In other words, the music industry is basically saying that, where recording from next-generation radio is concerned, government must step in and freeze innovation to ensure that you can never do anything that you couldn’t do with an analog cassette deck in 1984. This, despite the fact that Congress specifically approved of digital recording off the radio in the Audio Home Recording Act in 1992. So this is about stopping music fans from doing things that are perfectly legal under copyright law.”

I encourage you to read the entire article by the EFF and visit the associated links. Join the letter writing campaign to speak out. [EFF]