Archives for: June 2008

Bishop's University has a new principal

06/30/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
After the somewhat unfortunate affair of staff striking over the choices made by its then-principal, Robert Poupart, Bishop's University in Quebec now has a new one. I have no comment on this since I only met Poupart once (he seemed a decent fellow at… more »

Laurell Hamilton's "Anita Blake" books

06/29/08 | by Adam | Categories: Reviews
The comedians over at Penny Arcade nail this one. Well, almost. My personal suggestion for similar genre reading after the Blake novels get a bit much is to try Karen Chance's "Cassandra Palmer" series or Jim Butcher's most excellent "Dresden Files"… more »

The end of the commercial banana

06/28/08 | by Adam | Categories: Calgary
Interesting article on the banana from the New York Times covering its history (political, genetic) and future (environmental, political, genetic.) (Via Matthew Yglesias) more »

Apparently I really am a financial naif

06/27/08 | by Adam | Categories: Whining
Recently I changed from using a no-frills low-interest Visa card to one that apparently had a few benefits built into it. It seemed reasonable to me as I never leave a balance month-to-month so I might was well see some other benefits. more »


06/26/08 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright, Games
I had completely forgotten about this innovative and utterly daft piece of DRM technology form the early '80s. Fortunately it was quite expensive and unreliable so it was quickly dumped for the cheaper black-text-on-red-paper word lookup solution. I… more »

Plagiarism in the games industry

06/25/08 | by Adam | Categories: Games
A games development house in the UK put out a point'n'click Myst-like adventure game that curiously resembled the in-game graphics of a number of other major releases. They've since been called on it What I don't get is how they expected such blatant… more »

Rules lawyers and the Joy Of Cooking

06/24/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
Anyone who has played a game -- particularly tabletop RPGs or boardgames -- knows that there'll be some pillock who knows exactly how to manipulate the written word of the rules to work exactly how they need. Now imagine that applied to cooking... more »

Evidence-Based Graphology

06/24/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Distractions, Common Sense, Science
I have a small passel of graphology books. They were fun, especially when I was younger and wanted to see whether my peculiarities of handwriting were "good" or "bad", and was indeed happy with the bevy of "good" signs. Revisiting the craft, though,… more »

Roomba and pets

06/23/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube
Nice little video on Gizmodo's page (itself linking to the Wall Street Journal article) about trying to get pets and Roombas to co-exist. Given I have both at the moment, it amused me. (Via Gizmodo) more »

The solution to not having enough room for a model railroad

06/22/08 | by Adam | Categories: YouTube
Ok, this is not the solution I would have come up with, but it's rather clever nonetheless. more »

Wired's "Found: Artifacts from the Future"

06/21/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
For many years now, Wired has had a feature called "Found: Artifacts from the Future" which is a photo-realistic illustration of some throwaway item that represents the way they feel the future will unfold. They're typically pretty good and always… more »

Expelled in Calgary

06/21/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Announcements [A], Politics, Religion
I thought we might escape the Canadian premiere of this poor documentary, having seen nothing of the sort in upcoming movie listings, but I am informed on the theatre locator page of the Expelled! movie site that there are two locations where it will be… more »

Top 10 home cooking mistakes

06/20/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri
The list won't make you an uber-chef but it's a pretty good list of things to avoid. (Via Kottke) more »

Bad Google

06/19/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
One of my favourite parts of Firefox is the Google Bookmark Sync which allows cookies and bookmarks to be synced across multiple computers. With multiple operating systems (and thus browsers) on my MacBook plus computers at work and home, it made life… more »


06/18/08 | by Adam | Categories: American
When I first read the linked-to post via RSS, it didn't make a whole lot of sense. This is how it read in NewsFire: Via the AP: Al Gore made his What’s most interesting, though: second time Obama has I think its a good strategy, myself. Needless to… more »

Irregular Webcomic on Scotland's Great Glen

06/17/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri
Another fascinating annotation from the most erudite webcomic this side of Xkcd. Today's focus: planetary geology and the shared physical heritage of Scotland, Newfoundland and the Appalachians. more »

Interesting tourist places you can't go if you're an American

06/16/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri
I have to say Iran does sound like an interesting destination. The Leptis Magna ruins in Libya (not listed) also strike my fancy. The old Silk Road route would be great too but that's just a little too dangerous these days for my liking. more »


06/15/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
"Hypermilling", or the process or trying to optimize fuel efficiency via driving techniques, is on the rise in the public consciousness. This Wired article is about the fifth I've seen in the last month. However, for all its positive aspects, getting… more »

World Of World Of Warcraft

06/14/08 | by Adam | Categories: YouTube
To use an equally geeky analogy, the Onion hit this one out of the ballpark. (Via Ricardo) more »

Some bad ideas never die

06/13/08 | by Adam | Categories: Canadian, Copyright
Yup. Jim Prentice's Canadian uber-DMCA is rearing its ugly head again. Do I hold out hope that the opposition parties will kill it? I guess it depends on how much the studios have been forking over to the various "interested" MPs again... Anyway,… more »

La Paz's (literal) Zebra Crossings

06/12/08 | by Adam | Categories: YouTube
For some reason, La Paz's decision to use crossing guards dressed as zebras for their zebra crossings (aka pedestrian crossings) really appeals to whimsical side of me. (Via Kottke) more »

On search engines

06/11/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
For the last article, I'd remembered reading a Wired review of GTA 4. I'd not bookmarked it so when I wanted to reference it, I went back to Wired and tried to use their search engine to locate it. None of the standard searches like "Grand Theft Auto",… more »

The best racing game that's not on a PC

06/10/08 | by Adam | Categories: Games
A couple of weeks ago I found a review of a new game that sounded like a sure thing for our periodic weekend PC gaming sessions: "There are 15 different modes of online play, most of which are pretty good. One clear winner is [...] Race, which blends… more »

Recreations of classic photographs in Lego

06/09/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
Very nicely done. (Via Gizmodo) more »

Hm, shipping's a little high

06/08/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
I'm not sure that a $55 shipping cost on a single CD from the US to Canada is really warranted. Bad Blizzard! more »

Hit By Zoo Data Migration Errors

06/07/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Common Sense, Programming
I took a half-day holiday to go to the Calgary Zoo with my wife, my baby and some friends. At the gate, when I presented our three membership cards, I and I alone was hit with my card 'coming up with an error'. Apparently, when the zoo switched its… more »

Sony's PS3 is a energy-sucking hog

06/06/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
Well, I guess it doesn't qualify as a EnergyStar compliant device. The article being referenced all over the place (Gizmodo, Gizmodo UK, Wired) is that a Sony PS3 running 24/7 software (like Folding@Home) will chew up as much energy as five fridges over… more »

Privacy and Facebook

06/05/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
Out in Ontario, some students are suing Facebook for privacy infringement. The (non-legal) synopsis of the argument is that Facebook is granting full access to private and protected information to third parties without permission. more »

Skewed views of relationships

06/04/08 | by Adam | Categories: Whining
The link is to a tongue-in-cheek Gizmodo post about one of their writers throwing away DVD packaging on the request of his wife. Nothing too special there; what is interesting is in the pages upon pages of responses in the comments section. Those are… more »

Article writing 101

06/03/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
Bad BBC. If you're going to have a headline reading: Web users 'getting more selfish' and a lede that reads: Web users are getting more ruthless and selfish when they go online, reveals research it would probably make sense to actually include the… more »

Well, darn it... Again.

06/02/08 | by Adam | Categories: Music
Another day, another duplicated Amazon purchase. So, who knew that there'd be two CDs with entirely different names and cover art but with exactly the same track listing? This time it's The Damned taking the non-obvious duplication prize with "It's… more »

The Vacuous "Good Person" Test

06/02/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Distractions, Religion
On a website registered to Lehigh Valley Baptist Church, the "Good Person Test" is a textbook example of that particular kind of monochromatic religious reasoning that just falls down under light dissection. It aims to gently but firmly pinch you by the… more »

Plugless ZEV

06/01/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology
Unless the designer is using significantly different battery technology, this design for a plugless zero emissions vehicle isn't terribly clever (pace Engadget's headline); anything the size of the batteries in the picture is going to be horrifically… more »