Thursday, April 30, 2009

«Swine Flu»

All the talk lately is about Swine Flu. I'm not worried about it. It would have to reach pandemic proportions (let's say 100,000 dead world wide) before I'd give it much merit.

About 36,000 Americans die from influenza complications every year. That's just the regular run-of-the mill flu. It's not really anything unusual. So far this Swine Flu is not much.

That isn't to say that the medical personnel shouldn't be paying attention to Swine Flu. But it's over-hyped in the general population. All that does is cause general panic. Think back to SARS. That never really did become much, all that hype over nothing.

Also remember, it's just a flu. Most people that have been infected have made a full recovery without any medical intervention.

See the rest of “Swine Flu”»

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

«World's Most Influential Person»

Moot at the 2008 ROFLConAccording to a poll by Time, Moot is the World's Most Influential Person. Not Barack Obama, or any world or religious leader for that matter. Nope, it's Moot.

Moot is the online alias of Christopher Poole, the creator of 4chan. 4chan is an imageboard, and the spawning ground of many of the internet's memes. Lolcats? They started at 4chan. Rick rolling1? That came from 4chan. In a way, Moot is indeed the world's most influential person; on the internet anyway. "4chan really does own the internet."

With 16,794,368 votes and a rating of 90/100, I call foul play. There were a few reported attempts at directly hacking the poll, although none were successful. What happened was a more direct approach at manipulating the results: someone wrote programs to repeatedly vote "Moot" on the poll, then ran it on multiple computers (this is known as a botnet).

The entire poll was "rigged" in this manner. The first letters of the top 21 results spells out "MARBLECAKE ALSO THE GAME". Marblecake is the irc channel where the Message to Scientology video originated.

I found a page that details exactly how it was pulled off: Inside the precision hack. As for why they did it? Why else: for the lulz.

1 A "Rick Roll" is when someone is intentionally mislead to the music video "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. Example: Check out this cool website!

See the rest of “World's Most Influential Person”»

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

«Air Force One Stunt»

Yesterday Air Force One (the US President's jet) was seen flying low over the New York skyline. The intent was to get photos of it passing over the skyline and Statue of Liberty for postcards and such. Similar photos have been taken at other national landmarks such as Mount Rushmore.

Air Force One passing low over New York

Photo by Jim Brown

For whatever reason, they kept the planning of the event on a "need-to-know" basis. It went on to prove one thing: terrorism works. Everyone panicked when they saw it. They all ran out of the buildings and into the streets, thinking it was a repeat of 9/11. Obama was not on the jet, and was "furious" when he found out about the stunt.

They should have informed the public before they did it. Not only to avoid the panic, but also to allow other photographers a chance to prepare for it.

See the rest of “Air Force One Stunt”»

Monday, April 27, 2009

«Motivational Monday: Combat Beard»

It's all in the beard... Why do you think Osama Bin Laden is still alive?

Combat Beard / I'm so hardcore, I ate kevlar and grew my own face armor

See the rest of “Motivational Monday: Combat Beard”»

Sunday, April 26, 2009

«Ebon Dragon Shoop Da Whoop (500th Post)»

Half a thousand posts... Who would of ever thought I'd make it this far?

This is why we can't have nice things...
Ebon Dragon firin' its laser!

Click image to view full.

Yeah, I did that to the image in photoshop. The art was originally used on the Magic: the gathering card Ebon Dragon.

See the rest of “Ebon Dragon Shoop Da Whoop (500th Post)”»

Saturday, April 25, 2009

«Caturday: Why Concentration Ears»

For some reason, I like this one. You always see people dress their dogs, but you don't see it very often with cats.

Why u do this?
Sry. No ears. Can't hear you.

See the rest of “Caturday: Why Concentration Ears”»

Friday, April 24, 2009

«Suggest and Vote for Blogger»

Have a suggestion for Blogger? They currently have a Suggest and Vote page open. Better hurry though, I think it's only open for a week.

See the rest of “Suggest and Vote for Blogger”»

Thursday, April 23, 2009

«Cruise Ships Are In Again»

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2009 cruise ship season here in Ketchikan, Alaska. There was 1 ship in.

I've decided this year not to do a Cruise Ship Watch series. I'm going to be going on vacation after the first week of May, so I'd miss a bunch of ships anyway.

I'll say more about my upcoming vacation in a later post.

See the rest of “Cruise Ships Are In Again”»

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

«Tweaked Ads' Color Pallet»

I changed the colors slightly on the ads in the sidebar and the footer. The one in the sidebar won't show in an item page; it'll only display on the main page or an archive page (or on a blog supplement page).

Instead of blending the ads in, I'm trying a complement-style color pallet. They stand out more, but I don't think they're distracting. They had the same color background as the rest of the page: hexadecimal color code #191919. Now I've changed them to have a background color the same as the header: hexadecimal color code #4F4C48.

I've also added little 14x14 pixel icons in a few places. I've removed the directional arrows that corresponded to the dates in favor of little calendar icons. Also, down at the bottom of each post where it says the time it was posted there's now a little clock icon.

See the rest of “Tweaked Ads' Color Pallet”»

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

«Unusual Ads: Braille Superstore»

The Braille Superstore / Thousands of Braille products, many of which you've never seen before.
"many of which you've never seen before."

What an ironic statement.

See the rest of “Unusual Ads: Braille Superstore”»

Monday, April 20, 2009

«Motivational Monday: Cat Hitler»

Adolf Hitler's birthday today. Hitler may be long dead, but another self-superior race is at hand.

Cat Hitler / All dogs are sub-feline. You must cleanse them.

See the rest of “Motivational Monday: Cat Hitler”»

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

«NASA Fails Colbert»

Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance TreadmillWhat's the point of NASA even having a vote to name Node 3 for the ISS? They chose "Tranquility", despite the name being in 8th place. They didn't even chose the most voted-for official option of "Serenity".

The write-in "Colbert" took first place. As a consolation prize to all the now-disgruntled majority voters, they named the treadmill COLBERT (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill). In my opinion, as long as the write-in wasn't vulgar they should have gone with it. Node 3 should have been named Colbert (despite my vote of Xenu).

If you don't want a write-in name to win, don't give the option of a write-in. If you don't want the most popular choice to win, don't have a vote on it. Simple. It just pisses people off when you have a vote on something, then disregard the result.

I mean, they chose the 8th place name. The vote was pointless. Way to go, NASA.


See the rest of “NASA Fails Colbert”»

Thursday, April 16, 2009

«Leftover Snow Still Around»

There's still snow in places around here left over from December! (Here being Ketchikan, Alaska) It's just been a cold spring. We usually have weather more like Seattle than what you'd traditionally associate with Alaska (just a little colder and wetter than Seattle).

This photo was taken April 14th, 2009... At sea-level no less.
Snow in mid-April left over from December.

Click image to view full

See the rest of “Leftover Snow Still Around”»

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

«Sim City Microwave Power Plant»

For those of us that played Sim City 2000 or 3000, this will sound familiar.

Solaren would generate the power using solar panels in Earth orbit and convert it to radio-frequency transmissions that would be beamed down to a receiving station

- PG&E makes deal for space solar power

Holy crap, that's exactly what the microwave power plants in Sim City do! It's expected to begin beaming down 200 megawatts of power by 2016 (a full 4 years ahead of the 2020 date the power plant becomes available in Sim City!)

Real-life proposed Solar collector / Sim City 3000 Microwave Power Plant
If that one is successful, larger-scale ones could be built that produce up to 4.8 gigawatts. (Remember, took only 1.21 gigawatts to travel through time in the movie Back to the Future.)

I love it when the fictional technology of the future becomes a reality.

See the rest of “Sim City Microwave Power Plant”»

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

«Google is God»

...Or at least the closest thing we have to a God. There's even a Church of Google.

I, being an atheist, require extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims. However, the Church of Google website backs up their claim with 9 proofs:

  1. Omniscience (all-knowing)
  2. Omnipresence (everywhere at once)
  3. Answers Prayers (searches)
  4. Immortality (potentially, anyway)
  5. Infinite (theoretically no limits)
  6. Offer of an Afterlife (Google's cache)
  7. Omnibenevolence ("don't be evil" motto)
  8. Fulfillment (turn to when in a time of need)
  9. Existence (Google exists)

That last one is where Google trumps all other gods. Google actually exists. While I will admit Google is the closest thing we know of to a god, it is still not a god. Google is missing omnipotence (all-powerful). There is no extraordinary evidence to prove Google is all-powerful. In fact, I'd say true omnipotence is an impossibility (due to various logical paradoxes).

I also question the validity of Google's omnibenevolence claim. Just because their company motto is "don't be evil" it doesn't mean they follow it all the time. However, omnibenevolence is not a prerequisite in my mind for a god. Just look at the God of the Christian Bible... That vengeful bastard is anything but omnibenevolent.

So, I will still remain an Atheist. Google does exist, but it is not a god.

See the rest of “Google is God”»

Sunday, April 12, 2009

«Yak and the Story Of Easter»

Seriously, when you think about it... A giant bunny hiding eggs makes more sense for Easter. Perhaps that's why Easter is the way it is today.

Yak and the Story Of Easter

See the rest of “Yak and the Story Of Easter”»

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

«Body Comic»

Not quite your average creepy guy encounter.

Pssst! Hey, kids. / Wanna see a DEAD BODY? / Nnf! / BANG!

Click image to view full

*Sigh* You know you're demented when you find this funny...

EDIT: Comic by Rob and Elliot. Thanks Nathaniel for telling me where it came from.

See the rest of “Body Comic”»

Thursday, April 9, 2009

«Comment Appearance Re-designed»

I updated something else on the blog, again. I go through spurts like this.

I've seen on many blogs where if the post author makes a comment, it'll be highlighted in some way so it is easier to pick out amongst all the other comments. I've been meaning to highlight my own comments here for a while now. I've seen how to do it in various places. Blogger Buster, for example, has a great tutorial on how to do it in a blogger blog. I finally got around to doing it.

Like any project, one thing leads to another... I re-designed the entire appearance of the comments. Now each comment has a border, no longer uses a definition list, and the comments are numbered! (yay!)

In the unlikely event that one of my posts gets hundreds of comments and there's actually a "Next Page" for comments, I have a javascript in place that will kick in to correct the comment numbering. Otherwise the comment numbering would start over at 1 on each page.

You can either make a comment here (or in any of my posts) to see the outcome. Or you can check out a post that already has a few comments.

EDIT: I also got rid of those annoying dotted horizontal lines that were in the sidebar.

See the rest of “Comment Appearance Re-designed”»

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

«Duplicate Title Tag Fix»

For the fellow blog owners out there that use Google Webmaster Tools, have you ever checked for duplicate title tags? You can find it under Diagnostics/Content analysis. If you do have duplicate tags (and I'm betting you do), they will show under Title tag issues.

If you're anything like me, you try your best to avoid duplicate title tags. It is why I use strange title names for a few of my post series (like Caturday, for example). Also, if you're anything like me you'll be shocked and applauded by all the duplicate tags that are still being reported; despite your best efforts.

When you dig down and figure out what is causing the duplicate title tags you'll find they are from things like comment permalinks like this: /2009/02/vince-offer.html?showComment=1239111420000

Some of them were really god-awful like this one:

That brings up the exact same page as /2009/02/vince-offer.html, only it has a bunch of unnecessary query tags tacked on. What's worse is, sometimes googlebot will think that the long one is the true page and drop the short (correct) one from the index.

The fix is finally at hand. Google (and the other major search engines) are now supporting what's called canonical links. Basically they tell the search engine spiders where the "real" version of a page is located. They are extremely useful for situations like I described above or where duplicate content is likely to be generated.

Here's the code for your blogger layout so you too, will no longer have this issue. Put it somewhere just before the </head> tag in your html layout:

<link expr:href='data:blog.url' rel='canonical'/>

That will strip all the unnecessary query tags off the url and point the search engine bots to the shortened url so they can index that one. After your pages are re-indexed you won't have duplicate title tag issues from comment permalinks anymore. All the major search engines use and support these canonical links.

I had a couple hundred duplicate title tags, and within a week of putting in the canonical links I'm down to 5. I trust those won't be around much longer, either. It might take longer for your site. For some reason googlebot really likes my site (crawling an average of 183 pages per day).

See the rest of “Duplicate Title Tag Fix”»

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

«Radical Image Optimization Tool»

I made 3 changes to the blog:

  1. Optimized background image filesize
  2. Reduced posts shown on the homepage
  3. Brought back the embedded comment form

Using the Radical Image Optimization Tool (RIOT), I shrank the filesize of a few of the background images in the blog layout. It only amounted to a total gain of 38,677 bytes, but anything helps speed up the page load.

It didn't seem to gain anything on jpg images without further quality loss. However, it did gain on changing some of the gif images to png images. That surprised me a bit. I've always thought gif was a smaller format than png. Gif is limited to a 256 color index and has a very basic alpha channel (transparency). Whereas png can be truecolor and has better alpha channel support.

I also reduced the number of posts shown on the homepage down from 9 posts to 7 days. I almost always make a single post a day, so this should usually be 7 posts shown on the homepage. Again, in an attempt to speed up load times. I also figured it makes sense to show a week's worth of posts. I don't need any more than that.

I also brought back the embedded comment form. I got around the issue I had with it by providing a link to the old comment page. So you'll see that at the bottom of every post page.

See the rest of “Radical Image Optimization Tool”»

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

«Google Ventures»

Google Ventures.

You don't have to be a potential Google acquisition for us to want to work with you

- Google

Sure... We all believe that. *wink* *wink*

I like Google. And to their credit they're trying to maintain their "Don't be evil" motto. But they still have a company to build and maintain.

See the rest of “Google Ventures”»

Saturday, April 4, 2009

«Caturday: Poop Thinking Paper»

So sad... No doubt he'll be saying that on his deathbed soon.

All he ever wanted was to poop outside
Thinking cat... thinking.
I has paper.

See the rest of “Caturday: Poop Thinking Paper”»

Friday, April 3, 2009

«The Uncomfortable Rock»

Just a quick little javascript thing I wrote... I can do such wondrous things when I'm bored.

Click the rock to turn it over!
Please Turn Me Over / That Feels Good
Yup. That's my pet rock, if you can call it such a thing. If you really care, here's the full size photo of the Please Turn Me Over side, and the full size photo of the That Feels Good side.

Protip: Turn the rock over to the "Feels Good" side and wait 10 seconds.

See the rest of “The Uncomfortable Rock”»

Thursday, April 2, 2009

«Vince Arrested»

I think we've seen that last of that Vince "Offer" Shlomi guy. He was arrested for beating up a hooker. Somehow I don't think many companies want someone like that as their spokesman for marketing their products. Click an image to view full.

Vince Shlomi's mug shot

Shlomi told cops he paid [Sasha] Harris about $1000 in cash after she “propositioned him for straight sex.” Shlomi said that when he kissed Harris, she suddenly “bit his tongue and would not let go.” Shlomi then punched Harris several times until she released his tongue. The affidavit…notes that during the 4 AM fight Harris sustained facial fractures and lacerations all over her face…. After freeing his tongue, a bleeding Shlomi ran to the [hotel] lobby, where security summoned cops. Harris refused to cooperate with officers, who recovered $930 from her purse.

The hooker Lenea Harris' mug shot
The 2-page police report for Vince:
Police Report, page 1Police Report, page 2
The 2-page police report for Harris:
Police Report, page 3Police Report, page 4

"You're gonna love my nuts..."

See the rest of “Vince Arrested”»

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

«PSA: April Fools»


Caution! Do not believe anything you read or are told today. Not even this1.


1: The crafty people will realize this sets up a paradox. Just like the "This statement is false" statement.

See the rest of “PSA: April Fools”»

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