Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jeopardy Answer

Jeopardy Question Answer of the Day: A group of this bird is commonly referred to as a "Rafter".

If you know the question, write it in the comments below!

Monday, May 26, 2008

High Gas Prices

So gas prices around me are $4.10 a gallon this Memorial weekend (gouging?), and that really sucks, or so I thought initially.

Since the gas prices have skyrocketed, I've really started to become more energy conscious, I haven't bought a hybrid or started using a cloth shopping bag, but I've done other things. I have started asking for paper bags instead of plastic at the grocery store, shutting off lights in the house, and I bought a Honda Civic; gas mileage was a big part of that decision.

I don't think we should all become tree hugging hippies, but managing our resources responsibly isn't something that hippies have exclusive rights on. Our "Carbon Footprint" is kind of a buzz-phrase right now, but as much as we would like to think so, it's not our right as Americans to drive civilian tanks (big SUV's) for no other purpose than transporting people from point A to point B. I'm not against trucks, they serve a vital role in our economy, when actually used for their purpose (to haul stuff).

My point to this post? Don't be wasteful! Or at least recognize that maybe instead of relying on engineers to discover some alternative energy source to solve all our problems and continue to be irresponsible, ride a bike to work, carpool, do something to save oil.

Why oil and not energy? Oil is not renewable, and its products aren't biodegradable (plastic), you can grow more trees, but you can't make more oil in our lifetime.

Another obvious benefit to not burning so much oil? Pollution, I really hate blowing my nose at the end of the day and it being black from all the pollution. (Like when I was in Beijing, but that's a whole other story.)

Don't be wasteful, figure out something in your life that you can change to use less oil.

Gas Prices in England. (Just some reassuring information that life in America ain't so bad.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

You've Got (Space) Mail!

I recently read about "Interplanetary IP Communication", or the internet in space, on Google's Blog, and interestingly enough, there's already something similar occurring with NASA and their Mars Rover program. Instead of WWW (World Wide Web), NASA has a interplanetary network called the Deep Space Network (think there's a Not so catchy.) The DSN uses several receivers/transmitters that are on and orbiting the Earth and Mars (and a research ship inbetween).

Initial Reaction: Screw Space Internet and get that World-Wide Wifi up and running!

Informed Reaction: Turns out the research involved is expected to have commercial/terrestrial spin-offs. Sweet.

For more information, check out's article.


Check out this post from Science Blogs about things found in people's heads, most of which were self inflicted, that's right, the one above wasn't an accident. The man hammered the nails into his own head over the span of 3 months, and consciously went to the hospital after that big nail started to hurt a little.... can you say crazy?

Cruising Starfish

This time lapse video of starfish "walking" is really neat, they just look like they're gliding.(I don't know what that stuff is in the first 15 secs).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sony Vaio VGN-FE550 Review

I bought this a few months ago for just over $400 used (not bad seeing as it retailed for ~$1700 just 2 years ago)


  • Large Vibrant Screen
  • Core Duo Processor handles nearly all tasks with ease
  • Upgradeable Ram and Hard drive
  • Video Camera
  • Good size to power ratio
  • Integrated Video Card (can't upgrade)
  • Clasp that holds laptop shut doesn't automatically retract, leaving it exposed and vulnerable to being broken off.
  • Video Camera is of poor quality, the voice doesn't sync up with video, and there's no included software to record video (except Windows Movie Maker, which kinda sucks).
  • Comes loaded with Windows XP Media Center Edition, which is useless.


Overall I'm very pleased with this machine, I've read alot about bad battery life, but even after 2 years mine gets around 2.5 hrs, which isn't bad considering the duo core processor and the large, bright screen. I'm disappointed it can't handle any serious games, and since the video card is integrated, that can't be remedied. If you want to browse, watch video, multi-task or even run memory intensive programs like Photoshop or Premiere, then this is your machine.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out my other reviews.

Here are the specs, I copied them from CNET in case the page goes down. Hopefully their lawyers won't come after me.

General Specifications

Platform Technology
Intel Centrino Duo
System Type
Built-in Devices
Stereo speakers, Wireless LAN antenna
14.4 in
10.8 in
1.4 in
6.2 lbs
Notebook type
Mid-size laptops (6-7.5 lbs.)
Screen type
Wireless capabilities
802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g


Intel Core Duo T2300 / 1.66 GHz
Multi-Core processor technology
Data bus speed
667 MHz
Processor features
Enhanced SpeedStep technology, Execute Disable Bit capability
Chipset type
Mobile Intel 945GM Express

Cache Memory

L2 cache
Cache size
2 MB


Installed Size
1 GB / 2 GB (max)
Memory specification compliance
RAM configuration features
2 x 512 MB


Floppy Drive
Hard Drive
100 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 4200 rpm
Hard drive type

Optical Storage

DVD±RW (+R DL) - Integrated

Card Reader

Card reader type
Card reader
Supported flash memory cards
Memory Stick Duo


Display Type
15.4 in TFT active matrix
Max Resolution
1280 x 800 ( WXGA )
Widescreen Display


Graphics Processor / Vendor
Intel GMA 950
Video Memory
Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0


Audio output type
Sound card
Audio Input

Notebook Camera

Camera Type

Input Device(s)

Input device type
Keyboard, Touchpad
Keyboard localization and layout


Fax / modem
Protocols & Specifications
ITU V.90


Network adapter
Networking / Wireless LAN Supported
Wireless NIC
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
Data link protocol
Ethernet, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, Fast Ethernet
Networking standards
IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g

Expansion / Connectivity

Expansion Bays
Expansion Slots Total (Free)
2 ( 1 ) x Memory
1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire) - 4 pin FireWire, 1 x Docking / port replicator, 1 x Headphones - Output - Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, 1 x Microphone - Input - Mini-phone 3.5 mm, 1 x Modem - Phone line - RJ-11, 1 x Network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX - RJ-45, 3 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A, 1 x Display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)


Power device form factor


Lithium ion
Installed Qty
Mfr estimated battery life
3.5 hour(s)

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & support type
1 year warranty
Service & Support Details
Limited warranty - Parts and labor - 1 year - On-site, Technical support - Phone consulting - 1 year, Product info support - Web support

Operating System / Software

OS Provided
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
VAIO Media, VAIO Update, Sony SonicStage, Sony DVgate Plus, InterVideo WinDVD, Sony Click to DVD, Sony Image Converter, VAIO Recovery Wizard, VAIO Security Center, VAIO Support Central, Roxio DigitalMedia SE, AOL Online (180 days trial), Microsoft Works 8.5 (Trial), Quicken 2005 New User Edition, Sony SonicStage Mastering Studio, Norton Internet Security (60 days subscription), Microsoft Office 2003 Student and Teacher Edition (Trial)

Bobcat Xgames

Check out this video of a skidsteer loading itself onto the back of a truck, just him balancing it on two wheels is amazing!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Amazing Volcano Photos

Here are a few photographs of the Chaiten volcano erupting in southern Chile,

Lightning in the dust plume

This photo is surreal, it almost looks photoshopped.

To see some more awesome shots, check out the full article at Mail Online.

Batman bin Suparman

That is a person's name, he is from Singapore. Check out this article from neatorama for other crazy names people have been given. (For example: Urhines Kendall Icy Eight Special K, what were they thinking?!?).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stupid Facebook in Real Life

This Tuesday's Stupid Video features a funny skit from the guys at idiotsofants about what life would be like if we approached it the same way we do on Facebook.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Chicken Fried Rice

I'm on a diet, so of course I want everyone else to eat healthy too, here's something I scrapped together today, and was surprised at how good it was.

Healthy, Quick, Chicken Fried Rice

Makes 1 serving.

  • 4 oz. skinless chicken breast (cooked)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup instant brown rice
  • 1/4 cup fresh, clean, sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup fresh, diced onion
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • salt to taste (omit salt for low sodium diets)

While the rice is cooking in the microwave, slice up the chicken, mushrooms and onions. In a hot skillet combine and stir everything together and cook on med-high until the pieces of egg are browned.
Total Prep Time: ~15 mins (if chicken is already cooked)

Nutritional Information
  • Calories: 470
  • Fat: 23.8 g (mostly from olive oil)
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Protein: 32.5 g
  • Sodium: 225 mg (amount w/o added salt)
I think it would be good to add some soy sauce as far as taste goes, be careful though, soy sauce has a ton of sodium. Some peas and corn would also be good in it, and they add a fairly insignificant amount of carbs, but the more you add, the more time it takes, and I like quick meals.

Overall I'm happy with how balanced this meal is, and how quickly I was able to prepare it (the 15 mins was rounded up), when I made it I added a little extra rice for more carbs and some salt, this was my post workout meal so I could afford it. One last thing, the veggies weren't really measured, the amounts above are just approximations, add as many veggies as you like.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sarah Connor Chronicles is back for a second season!

That's right, Fox announced today that the hit show will be back for a 2nd season in the Fall, hooray!

Here's a link to Fox's fall lineup, thankfully they've canned some boring shows like New Amsterdam and Canterbury's Law, but have kept House, Family Guy (of course), and American Dad (which are some of my favorite shows).

Photo Google Maps

I was looking up places to go on a road trip and noticed Google Maps has a new feature.

As you can see, if you select 'Photos' under the new 'More' button, little thumbnails pop up all over your map, with photos of those places that are submitted by users, pretty cool! Makes me want to post some photos so my name is on Google Maps.

Also, there's a Wikipedia option, and when selected the signiature Wikipedia 'W' shows up all over with information about the different noteworthy places.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Whoa, settle down Hillary!

Remember the Scary Hillary Clinton Video I made a while back?

I found another picture that should be included:

I guess that's why politicians aren't movie stars (movie stars can be politicians though...)

Found it in this article about Hillary beating Obama in the West Virginia primaries.

Global Warming?

I stumbled upon this while checking the weather to see if I can ride my bike to work in the morning.

If so many people don't believe in the hype myth theory of Global Warming, why does the media continue to shove it down our throats as undeniable truth?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Goodbye Jar Jar

Stupid Star Wars Video Tuesday! (Sorry it's a little late, long day)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New States added to the Union

Obama recently visited all 57 states, now that's some impressive campaigning!

Thanks to Stop the ACLU

Jay Leno's Best Newspaper Clippings

This compilation is really funny, I've always liked that portion of the show.

Best of.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Little Baby Democrats

I thought this video summed up the current democratic race for the nomination pretty well, (and it's cute).

I'm with the baby brother =)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

South Park Stupid Video

This Tuesday's Stupid Video is a South Park clip ABOUT stupid videos, and I'm pleased to say that the Stupid Panda Video from last week was included! (0:33)

(Just a warning to our sensitive Squared-Fans, the end gets a little messy, you may want to stop viewing about halfway through.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Three Hulls of Fury

USS Independence in a drydock.

I stumbled upon this photo while browsing through Google Reader and it stopped me in my tracks, pretty bad@ss! (It looks even more bad@ass if you click to enlarge)

That is a photo of the USS Independence LCS-2, it's the flagship for the U.S. Navy's new Littoral Combat Ships (I didn't know what littoral meant either, it basically means 'close to shore'). It's a little over 400ft in length and is designed for special mission use. Unfortunately it doesn't have Destroyer Class amount of firepower, it's geared towards defense, but it's still impressive, and its trimaran design is very striking.

Here's a few more photos.

At Night.

In Water (well, almost)

The ship has a missile launcher, machine gun, torpedoes, and loads of cool defensive measures, but I'm disappointed that the gun you see mounted on the front isn't a Phalanx.

This guy (the Phalanx) is basically the last round of defense against missiles. It uses good ol' American brute force, it's self tracking/targeting and can pump out 4,500 rounds per minute (75 rnds per second) of 20mm armor piercing tungsten or depleted uranium core kinetic energy projectiles (that's nerd for bullets)...

Counter Protesting

Sorry about the language, but this was pretty funny.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Game is On

This week a group of hackers were able to break Google's Captcha security measure, and back in January they cracked Yahoo's.

For those of you who don't know what Captcha is, it's those impossible to read, fuzzy, jumbled letters and numbers that you have to enter as extra security. The significance of this? Now spammers can automatically sign up for email accounts to spam you with.

CAPTCHA is an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". It was developed to do just that, distinguish between computers and humans based on the fact that we as humans have enough intelligence to figure out what those letters and numbers in the image are, and repeat them.

So my first reaction? Great, more spam. But after thinking about it, I believe this battle between network security and hackers will eventually spawn AI (Artificial Intelligence). As security relies more and more on logic and human intelligence to distinguish between bots and humans, hackers will continue to increase their bots' ability to mimic human intelligence. This 'One-Upping' will eventually lead to the spawning of computer AI and the end of the world! Ok, so maybe the apocalypse is a bit much (I've watched too many Terminator movies). But with greed as the primary motivation, I think hackers are capable of quite a bit.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Synchronized Metronomes

I've no idea the significance of this, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pyro from Xmen..... almost

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."
-George Carlin

This guy is just asking for trouble.

I wouldn't leave a comment saying he's gonna burn his face off, just his hand and most of his arm....

I can't dis him too much though, I have this faint memory of nearly burning down my garage as a result of a failed flamethrower project when I was a kid....