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Television

Journal: 80 minutes of ads for a kids movie? 7

Journal by Cy Guy

My wife and I were excited to see that Disney was bringing back 'family movie night' on ABC this Summer. For both of us that brings back memories of youth watching a movie with (our respective) families after Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, or 60 Minutes had ended.

However, apparently families with young kids are not the target audience Disney Corp. has in mind. For Saturday June 7th, they will have Finding Nemo, which runs just 100 minutes if you watch it uninterrupted. But if you don't own the DVD and want to watch it on ABC instead, you'd better give the kids a can of cola with dinner, because the movie will start at 8 PM Eastern Time and run until 11 PM. I can only assume that the additional 80 minutes will include some cast commentaries, as well as a preview of WALL-E, but what is the point if the kids fall asleep while Marlin and Dory are still stuck in the belly of a whale? You're just going to have to try and rent it or add it to your NetFlix queue so the kids can see the rest of it.

I had such great hopes for Disney when Steve Jobs became it's largest shareholder, I guess my trust was misplaced.

Communications

Journal: Puzzling WebFilter at this car dealer 1

Journal by Cy Guy

Puzzling webfilter here at the car dealer I'm getting my 30k service at.

Sites that are blocked for having "Web Communications":
babyparenting.about.com
talkingpointsmemo.com
atrios.blogspot.com
www.dailykos.com
livejournal.com
myspace.com
consumerist.com

Oddly not blocked:
most (all?) of the rest of about.com
littlegreenfootballs.com
www.drudgereport.com
www.powerlineblog.com
www.freerepublic.com
IRC
www.thomhartmann.com
newsbloggers.aol.com
www.huffingtonpost.com
www.haloscan.com (the server that ESCHATON "Web Communcations" actually occurs on)
SlashDot.org (obviously)

Hardware Hacking

Journal: Fender Bender (not mine) 2

Journal by Cy Guy

I witnessed a fender bender yesterday
I left my name and number for the two drivers - no one else stopped out of the 30 or so cars in the vicinity, including one within 4 feet of the accident
no one was injured, but I'm surprised the driver at aparent fault didn't have a heart attack - he was like 85
this couple were literally "Sunday drivers" aparently coming home from church
the guy said he hadn't had an accident in 20 years
he complained that drivers don't brake to let other drivers make turns anymore
they were hit making a left hand turn through a long line of stopped traffic when they crossed throught the right-turn only lane than wasn't stopped

Here's what I recall in case I need to refresh my memory later:

At about 12:25 PM Sunday December 10th, 2006 I was driving my family Eastbound on MD 410 approaching the onramp for the Baltimore Washington Parkway (satellite view). The traffic on 410 going straight was backed up because of a red light at the 410 overpass, but the right turn only lane was clear. I was in the right most of the straight lanes. From what I could tell the traffic in the straight lanes had left a gap for traffic entering/leaving Eastpine Dr. which was two car lengths in front of me. A red car approaching westbound on 410 saw this gap and made a left hand turn across the eastbound lanes. Just as it was crossing the Right Turn only lane, a black car drove past me and hit head on into the right rear door of the red car. The light at BWP/295 changed and the other cars in the area all proceeded on their way. The two cars directly involved both drove a short way onto Eastpine and parked, as did I.

After ensuring that both drivers and the passenger in the red car were not injured, I offered use of my cell phone which was declined, then I provided my name and phone number to the drivers and noted the time, location, and license plates of the cars involved.

 

Toys

Journal: The wrong kind of swinging at the playground 2

Journal by Cy Guy

We had an interesting experience today taking my kids, wife, and 72 year old mother to the new playground where my youngest daughter and I planted a tree last weekend. A man in the driver seat of a fairly new LARGE SUV, (the real working kind, not a family type one) was aparently receiving oral favors from a woman standing outside the truck, this was going on in clear view of the playground. Well, somewhat clear view, you couldn't see what the woman was doing with her face in the man's lap, only that her face was in his lap, and that he seemed very happy. My wife noticed first and pointed the situation out to me so we could try get the rest of the family to the playground and absorbed so they wouldn't notice.

I found a corner of the playground away from my mother and kids and called the local police tip line, but as the park which has recently been annexed by the city I live in, hasn't officially been become part of the city yet, they transferred me to the county police. After being on hold for at least 5 minutes, they finally took my report. About 10 minutes later the county cop cars started rolling in, no lights or sirens or anything, and at an appropriate casual parking lot speed, eventually totalling at least six cars. At this we walked past the scene toward the duck pond. I couldn't follow everything that happened from there, but I think they got off (no pun intended) with just a stern warning, as the aparent activity had ended at some point between me hanging up and the police arriving. By the time we went back to our car, the SUV was gone, and there were only two cop cars left,

Later my mother wondered outloud what all yhe cops were there for. So I'm pretty sure she never picked up on the original activity.

User Journal

Journal: Pure Nerd 7

Journal by Cy Guy

            Pure Nerd

            82 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 43% Dork

            For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

Congratulations!

Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

      My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness You scored higher than 99% on geekosity You scored higher than 99% on dork points

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Books

Journal: Once Upon A Time 1

Journal by Cy Guy

My now 5.25 yr old daughter used to think that Fairy Tales began with the words "On A 'Possum Time" which was a source of never-ending heart-melting cuteness to my wife and I.

Today my now 2.6 yr old daughter picked up a book and told me it was a "What About A Dime" story.

Please send over a box of paper towels to wipe up my melted heart from the floor.

Announcements

Journal: Plastic.com is back up 2

Journal by Cy Guy

Also, desperate for story submissions - so post some if you've got any ideas.

To my aparent heavily Libertarian-skewed readership here on SlashDot - now is your chance to build the "New" Plastic as a Libertarian haven. It already has a former Libertarian politician as a prominant contributor, so their is at least a core audince audience on which to build.

Portables

Journal: Partial Info on DELL Battery Recall 1

Journal by Cy Guy
Because the wire services aren't reporting any details on this - here is what is available from one subscription based news site accessible (at least currently) via bugmenot -

The recalled batteries were sold with the following Dell notebook computers: Dell Latitude(TM) D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810; Inspiron(TM) 6000, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 500m, 510m, 600m, 6400, E1505, 700m, 710m, 9400, E1705; and Dell Precision(TM) M20, M60, M70 and M90 mobile workstations; and XPS(TM), XPS Gen2, XPS M170 and XPS M1710. The batteries were also sold separately, including in response to service calls. "Dell" and one of the following are printed on the batteries: "Made in Japan" or "Made in China" or "Battery Cell Made in Japan Assembled in China." The identification number for each battery appears on a white sticker. Customers should have this number available when they contact Dell to determine if their battery is part of the recall. Dell sold or provided these batteries with the notebook computers, as part of a service replacement, and as individual units from April 1, 2004, through July 18, 2006. The computers with these batteries sold for between $500 and $2,850 (US) and individual batteries sold for between $60 and $180 (US). Customers should contact Dell to determine if their notebook computer battery is part of this recall. Please visit the firm's Web site at www.dellbatteryprogram.com beginning at 1 a.m. Central Daylight Time Aug. 15 or call toll-free at 1-866-342-0011, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Customers may continue to use the notebook computers safely by turning the system off, ejecting the battery, and using the AC adapter and power cord to power the system until the replacement battery is received. Customers can also write to: Dell Inc., Attn: Battery Recall, 9701 Metric Blvd., Austin, Texas 78758.

Wireless Networking

Journal: Save NPR and PBS (again) 11

Journal by Cy Guy

The following was sent out by MoveOn.org:

Hi,

Everyone expected House Republicans to give up efforts to kill NPR and PBS after a massive public outcry stopped them last year. But they've just voted to eliminate funding for NPR and PBS--unbelievably, starting with programs like "Sesame Street."

Public broadcasting would lose nearly a quarter of its federal funding this year. Even worse, all funding would be eliminated in two years--threatening one of the last remaining sources of watchdog journalism.

Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS again this year:

http://civic.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/

Last year, millions of us took action to save NPR and PBS, and Congress listened. We can do it again if enough of us sign the petition in time.

This would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting. The Boston Globe reports the cuts "could force the elimination of some popular PBS and NPR programs." NPR's president expects rural public radio stations may be forced to shut down.

The House and Senate are deciding if public broadcasting will survive, and they need to hear from viewers like you. Sign the petition at:

http://civic.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/

Thanks!

P.S. Read the Boston Globe story on the threat to NPR and PBS at:

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=1864

Puzzle Games (Games)

Journal: How messed up will my back be next week? 1

Journal by Cy Guy

So I've been living with a minor sciatica condition for about adecade now with occasional flare-ups when it would slightly worse, but only one time was it really debilitating.

So the other day when i was having a lot of back pain while driving i thought that was what i was dealing with. however, as it got worse and could no longer sit or lay down at all except flat on my back i deicded I needed a "professional" opinion. I got a referral from primary care dr. to see a chiropractor and that went well. They told me the problem is not my sciatica this time but my sacro-illiac joint. they got me started on a course of PT that seemed to be helping, but as i was running out of leftover Vicodin from broken shoulder a year ago, I had to go see my Primary Care Dr. to have him look at it as well. He had the same diagniosis but was concerned about numbness in my foot. So he sent me to get X-ays and an (my first ever) MRI. Those showed that I also have a bulging disc in my lower back.

Despite all these problems, I was making progress in PT and finding it easier to get comfortable to sleep at night. But then something happened this morning, incredible shooting pain from my hip - bad enough that hopped my bed, crunched down a vicodin, and sprwaled out on the bed until it took effect.

So here I am, I don't expect to be going anywhere soon, i can't really walk and taking the vicodin, the psin is somewhat bearable.

updates to follow

Education

Journal: Home grown terrorism strikes UNC-CH Campus 1

Journal by Cy Guy

A 23 year-old 2005 Psychology graduate from UNC Chapel Hill returned to campus earlier today, but not to attend the homecoming dance or basketball game. Local television is reporting that Mohammed Reva Taheriazar rented the largest SUV he could get his hands on then deliberately plowed into a group of UNC students on campus "retribution for the treatment of Muslims around the world."

Ironically, it appears that this guy is the co-author of a paper on cultural sensitivity in educational institutions

ABSTRACT:

        UNDERSTANDING MEDIATING FACTORS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURALLY SENSITIVE SCHOOL BASED PREVENTIVE INTERVENTIONS FOR LATINO IMMIGRANT STUDENTS.. Elvia Y. Valencia1, Valerie Johnson1, Robert J. Pandina1, Marco Zarate2, Mohammed R. Taheriazar3, 1Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Center of Alcohol Studies, Piscataway, NJ United States; 2North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals, Apex, NC United States; 3University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC United States
              Latino immigrant adolescents face unique challenges in adapting to a new country, culture, language and educational system. These unique challenges might impact each child differently depending upon their gender, country of orignin, length of tenure in the United States, degree of parental involvement and perceived parental support, as well as other mediating factors. It is important to better understand the risk and protective factors associated with these adolescents school-engagement and how these protections might affect their academic aspirations. In order to develop more culturally sensitive programs that meet the unique needs of this population, it is desirable to enhance not only their levels of academic achievement but their levels of psychological functioning and school engagement.
                As part of this research study, 275 students participating in the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals (NCSHP) 2004 Education Summit completed an open ended questionnaire addressing questions of their school engagement, perceived parental involvement, academic goals, and perceptions about why students might drop out of school. Open ended measures were categorized using Grounded Theory and Constant Comparisons methods (Strauss and Corbin 1990) from the data obtained in the 2003 NCSHP Educational Summit. These categories were used to create a coding template for quantitative analysis of the 2004 Summit measures.
              Subjects were 53% female and 43% male, junior high and high school students, the highest proportion (68%) being of Mexican decent. Analyses revealed that 69% have been in the US for fewer than 5 years.
              Questions addressed in this study include: How does acculturation level, country of origin, age, and gender influence perceptions including educational needs, reasons for school drop out, and perceived parental support. How do age, gender, acculturation level, and perceived parental involvement affect school engagement and academic aspirations? The associations among these factors are explored and discussed. In adition, implications these findings hold for planning prevention activities for Latino junior high and high school students will be discussed.
                Strauss, A. and J. Corbin (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA, Sage Publications.

Democrats

Journal: Schaefer Needs to Resign for the Good of MD and His Party 4

Journal by Cy Guy

MD is cursed with an extremely powerful former Democratic Governor who on a whim decided he wanted to keep working, so he ran and easily won (based on his strong performance as Governor) the job of State Comptroller. Ever since he has run the office as his own personal fiefdom - making life miserable for subsequent Governors of both parties.

Well, aparently being the second most powerful politician in MD state government is not enough for this guys ego, and he needs to have it 'stroked' some more by having buxom female staffers cater to his sexual whims. This manifested itself yesterday when he commanded a junior female member of Governor Ehrlich's staff shake her booty for him while at meeting in Annapolis.

When asked to explain his request to have the staffer return to the table then rewalk to the door so he could again 'observe her walk' he was not only unapologetic, but confrontational - saying he was the one who should be offended for even being questioned about his actions he said "She's a pretty little girl." She "ought to be damn happy that I observed her going out the door."

Look, as a male, I understand every healthy male leers at least occasionally, that whole industries if not societies and cultures are built on this. But when it's a man in a position of authority and the object of the leering is a subordinate, the man must restrain himself, and if caught be ashamed and apologetic.

This guy should never have returned to politics as his retirement career, and it's clear now that he is past his expiration date. I hope that every Democrat in the state - especially those currently holding political office, and those seeking political office - calls this guy's office and asks for his immediate resignation. He was given a chance to apologize and used it only to further sexually harrass the staffer - so now it's time to go.

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

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