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June 2005 Archives


A hilarious interview with a mascot at E3 who didn't know what he was talking about. (The formatting was a bit screwed up for me; you might have to scroll down to see the video.) (If you're curious, here's the rest of the series.)

Clever bus ads

Here are some rather clever bus ads that really make use of the medium. :D

On cybernetic flag-burning 7-year-old Galactic Overlord actors, and more!

Another backlog of links for you. Scroll down for a couple of separate posts I made earlier, btw, if you're not in a link-following mood. :P

Okay that's all for now. *whew*

My article about articles in papers about an article in GQ about what Saddam Hussein has chatted to his guards about

Here's the AP article and the Reuters article reporting on a GQ interview with Saddam Hussein's guards. Apparently, he liked Reagon, thought Clinton was "OK", and both Bushes are "no good", but he later decided he wants to "make peace" with the current Bush. He likes to sprinkle water in his bag of Doritos before eating them, and he meticulously wipes down his tray, table, and utensils before eating. He says only one person knew where he was hiding, and the guy ratted him out. He told the soldiers that he'd invite them to the palace "when this is all over" and show them how beautiful Iraq is. Finally, he had some advice for his guard about women. One soldier said:

He was like: "You gotta find a good woman. Not too smart, not too dumb. Not too old, not too young. In the middle. One that can cook and clean. Then you thank her, and you go … " And Hussein smiled and made the gesture of bending a woman over and spanking her, as if to say, "This is how you keep her in line."

Found those links via this blog, which I admit to actually reading kinda regularly. :P

Fun Daily Show Quip of the.. um.. Day... Well, Actually Yesterday

Clip of Indiana Representative John N. Hostettler:

Like a moth to a flame, the Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians.

Jon Stewart:

Really. So Democrats demonize Christians because they're confused by the angle of a nearby light source in contrast to the fixed light source of the sun or moon, which they biologically have come to expect, thus causing them to spiral into the light source, appearing to be drawn to it WHEN IN FACT...... they are merely disoriented.

I think you are giving them too much credit.





God, do I hate loan consolidation junk mail. Some even go through the trouble of printing them in that perforated edges style to make them look more official, all to trick you into opening and reading them. I make it a point to rip them in two before opening the envelope, but I'm often just paranoid enough to still take a quick look at the contents after ripping it apart. Just in case. *sigh* I just hate that they can have so much power over my mind through their cheap psychological tricks.

I guess I should be annoyed at my credit card company, too, becuase they occasionally send me letters labeled "CHECK ENCLOSED". This latest time, I actually had to take a look, because I have cashback now. It might've been that, you know? But of course it was really just another offer for their credit protection services or whatnot, where they bribe you up front for joining some service that'll cost you in the long run.

I don't expect any of this stuff to change... Well, I guess the one thing I do wish would change is that private loan companies should not be allowed to have "Federal" in their names. :P

Best Disclaimer Ever

So I was watching a taped episode of Battlestar Galactica. When I turned it off, I saw an infomercial for "Vital Therapy Copper Cream". They say it "includes a proprietary copper formulation that guarantees results for joint and muscle pain". The small print on their website of course says that the copper is an "inactive ingredient", and that they "make no health claims whatsoever". (I guess pain relief must not legally count as a "health claim"?)

Anyway, all that is to be expected and nothing new. What I've never seen before, though, was the small print onscreen during one of the testimonials: "results not typical". That really gets to the core of testimonials, doesn't it?

Someone told me that this sort of thing is so rampant in China that they just decided to ban testimonials in advertising altogether. I've heard of worse ideas, actually.

In any case, this is hardly the worst product out there. At least it has actual active ingredients (camphor and menthol), so it probably works as well as most cooling creams out there. It's just the copper stuff that's bullshit. (Their website advertises silver and tin versions, too. I guess people just like random metals?) But yeah, this is much better than things like those Q-Ray "Ionized Bracelets" that were supposed to relieve pain and increase stamina and all that.

Luckily, in that case, the FTC eventually sued the Q-Ray folks and won an injunction, so that the Q-Ray testimonials just say they're "great" now. :) Even their "What does it do?" page now only says that it can "enhance individual performance and support active lifestyles". Their FAQ page is quite ingenious though. It contains the following entry: Q: "Can I wear the bracelet if I am pregnant?" A: "Consult your physician before wearing if you are pregnant or believe that you might be pregnant." :P I hope their ionized bracelets help them sleep at night...

I wish there were a better website for quackery. There's Quackwatch, but it's pretty terribly organized. If only someone would make something like Snopes for quackery.

(Btw, if you really care, go google this stuff yourself. I didn't want to help their pagerank by linking. :P)

More Wiki Lists

So I was looking through Wiki's List of Lists, and I decided to post a few that I found interesting:

No time travelers at their convention

Alas, the Time Traveler Convention was not a success. You know what my theory is? I think that because it wasn't a success, no one's going to bother publicizing it in the future, so then by the time someone invents time travel, this event has been long forgotten, and so no one shows up! :D

Why I don't mind getting only 2 weeks of vacation a year

Europe scares me. We joke about how great it is to have several weeks of vacation a year and 36 hour work days, but there's a reason we don't. Apparently, Western Europe has a birth rate of only 1.5 children per woman of child-bearing age! (You need 2.1 to maintain the population, and that's about what the US has right now.) They have tons of people who've been unemployed for over a year. I'm a fan of social services, but I definitely think Europe has taken things too far. We need to balance them with self-sufficiency and productivity.

Or maybe I've just been brainwashed by childhood indoctrination about our frontier culture.

The interesting side of this from an engineering perspective is how hard it is to take away social services once the population's gotten used to them. It reminds me of worksheet I once saw in the Sacramento Bee that demonstrated how hard it was to balance a budget: You had a bunch of services, and you only had so much money. For each item, you had to decide whether to cut an essential service or increase taxes. It made it a lot more clear why we can have budget crises.

Another fun list: Movies directed by a star in it

Here's another one of those lists I like so much: the directed-by-star list on IMDb.

My first delicious batch

I've started using del.icio.us to track random links I come across. Figured I'd blog a batch, since I don't have that much to say about any of these.

I can't believe this game existed

It's Street Fighter: The Movie.. The Game!


Led by fallen angels, dinosaurs attacked Noah's Ark! It's a verifiable scientific fact!

Office XML

Weird Microsoft news: The bane of third party office suites has been Microsoft's closed file formats that prevent proper reading of Office documents. The next version of Office will use publicly disclosed XML file formats, which should be great news for third party apps, except that they've also patented various methods of writing to XML files, presumably to control third party access. It'll be interesting to see where this leads. I've always said that Apple's last bit of dependence on Microsoft is Office. I wonder if there will ever once again be real competitors to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. I miss the days of WordPerfect, Nisus, and WingZ. It'll be tough, though, because I know I eventually switched to the MS apps because they really did have better feature sets.

Oh, frak your smeggin' Belgium!

Another great Wiki list: fictional swear words.

Another list, amusing in a completely different way: top ten most harmful books of the last 200 years, as selected by conservative "public policy leaders".

The Straw of Life

This is pretty awesome: A straw that filters water and kills bacteria for up to a year, so people in developing countries can avoid water-borne diseases. They call it the Lifestraw.

About June 2005

This page contains all entries posted to the klog in June 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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