From Maho Beach in Sint Maarten, located in the northeast Caribbean, you can see this sight a few times a day.
747 Landing - St.Maarten
Another one with a 747 passing directly overhead.
landing on st maarten
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
From Maho Beach in Sint Maarten, located in the northeast Caribbean, you can see this sight a few times a day.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Frank Schaeffer on Rachel Maddow
I literally yelled out "Yes!" in a triumphant manner when he said "We have a village idiot in this country, it's called fundamentalist Christianity."
How about a certain Californian Christian fundamentalist I know1? Do you think Obama is the Anti-Christ? I know you have a low opinion of Obama...
1: I know, I've been picking on Looney a lot lately. Despite this, I really do respect him.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I caught a cold. Yay... Sore throat, cough, headache, and oddly enough, a fever. Usually fevers don't accompany a cold. This is one catch I should have thrown back.
I blame Looney. That's right. Against all evidence, I have faith1 that I caught it from Looney. Doesn't matter than I'm geographically distant from him, and have never personally met him. Why do I say this? Because right after I read his blog post about him having a cold, I came down with mine.
Now it's your turn to catch it from me2, then retroactively blame Looney.
(I also have it on good authority that this Looney guy is a contraband smuggler and a killer3!)
1: That's what faith is, right? A belief that ignores any contradicting evidence?
2: That's right, catch the common cold from me over the internet, just as I did from Looney. Those colds are getting crafty...
3: Killer of a yellow jacket. It's like a type of bee. I don't want to falsely put in writing that someone's a killer! (Without fine text explaining it was only an insect, anyway.)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
A warning sign that Armageddon is still on track for December 21st, 2012. On September 23rd, 2009 a massive blood-red dust storm hit Sydney, Australia.
Dust Storm in Sydney, September 23, 2009
No, I don't buy into the whole 2012 end of the world thing, but there's already people trying to link this to it. I expect someone to dig up some old doomsday prophecy that says the sky will turn red with blood before the end.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I have an iPhone. Not one of those newfangled1 3GS phones, but 3G isn't even available in this town anyway. I also have no cell plan for the iPhone, so it's basically a glorified iPod Touch. But hey, I can still use WiFi.
One app I have that I'm pretty happy with is Midomi2. It listens using the microphone built into the phone and identifies what song is currently playing. They say on the website it takes 5 seconds. In my experience, it takes anywhere between 8 and 20 seconds. With songs that start out slow, it may fail to identify it until the main part of the song is playing. I've also had a couple of false matches, but a re-try usually returns the correct song.
I'm actually surprised at how well it works. Unlike some of the music identifying apps out there, Midomi doesn't use the lyrics for identification. That means it can identify instrumental music as well. I've tested it with the music at the end of a movie during the credits, and most of the time it will identify the song, and even list the soundtrack album for that movie. You don't even have to hold it up to the speakers for it to work, either. Background noise or people speaking in the background can throw it off, though.
Understandably, it doesn't have a clue about some of the obscure songs I have. Like "We Like the Moon" or the "Soluble Song". But those are by Joel Veitch, just a random British person (emphasis on random). It does however, recognize "Still Alive", the credit music for the game Portal. But with a catch: it brings up the version sung by Jonathan Coulton (the writer of the song). For remixes, it usually just brings up the original song.
My favorite feature is when you don't have any connectivity. It will record and save it until you do have a connection. That's a big plus for me.
As a testament to how well it works, it correctly identifies this song (if you can even call it a song) no matter what part of it is playing:
Chacarron Macarron - With Lyrics In Video
1: I've been seeing the word "newfangled" all over the place lately, so I figured I'd use it, too.
2: The extremely observant of you will notice in the link to Midomi, the "from" url parameter says www.mastermarf.com. This is NOT a paid endorsement or review of Midomi. I just happened to notice that parameter in their url and figured I'd screw with their tracking metrics.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
So I ran across this Google Ad during my ventures in the interwebs yesterday (pictured to the right, but not an actual live ad unit). The ad linked to Google's campaign: Pet Stick: A 'Worst-Case' Case Study
The ad says "Trust us, this is going somewhere." I'm pretty sure it already has. It seems to me, adding googly eyes to a random object is clearly NOT a Google innovation. In fact, I'm pretty sure Geico already did it. I'm speaking of course about "The Money You Could be Saving With Geico."
Geico | "Kash Kitchen"
Oddly enough, during my vacation 5 months back, I saw "The Money You Could be Saving With Geico" everywhere... On giant billboards, on TV, even in the trash (they had sent out postcards with the money picture to people). It got to the point that my dad and I started seeing it in other things, even...
This image was taken in Mount Vernon, Washington on May 24th, 2009.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I see that argument all the time when there are "discussions" (and I use that term loosely) about evolution. "But it's only a theory..."
FYI: A Theory is the highest level of certainty in science, outside of mathematics. Here's a few theories that are in line with evolution:
Atomic theory: Matter is composed of discrete units called atoms.
Cell theory: The idea that cells are the basic unit of structure in every living thing.
Circuit theory: The theory of accomplishing work by means of routing matter through a loop.1
Color Theory: Color mixing and the visual impacts of specific color combinations.
General relativity: i.e. gravitation.
Plate tectonics: Describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere.
Visual Perception: The ability to interpret information and surroundings from visible light reaching the eye.
We accept this stuff as fact. Or at least I would hope you accept that gravity exists, the tectonic plates move, and people are able to see things. Even something you haven't directly seen like atoms2, you accept that they exist. Something doesn't become a theory on a whim. Theories have significant evidence backing them up, and NO evidence3 against it.
So why use the word theory? Why not fact? It would certainly make evolution "discussions" easier. Because modern science is humble. It acknowledges that is it not infallible. Theories are refined as new evidence comes forth.
No matter how corrupt some would have you believe scientists are, no matter what political agendas there might be: the truth will surface eventually if the evidence is solid. We've had to acknowledge that the Earth is indeed, round4.
1: Remember, electrons are matter. Your computer seems to be proof that Circuit theory works.
2: Go ahead, point out that atoms can be seen with an electron microscope, and you just happen to have personally looked through one.
3: Ancient fiction with no basis or proof is NOT evidence.
4: Okay, it's not perfectly round. Earth is 0.17% away from being a perfect oblate spheroid. Smart ass.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The Google Mobile App (opens in iTunes, if you have it) for the iPhone is interesting to play around with. Not because its voice recognition is accurate; quite to the contrary. It doesn't seem to pick up my speech very well, so it's funny to see what it thinks I said. Consequently, it's not that useful to me. I still have to type my search queries if I want to actually search for something meaningful.
For example, I say Master Marf and it searches for [nastia mouse]. That isn't to say that it doesn't sometimes get what I wanted. But it can't be a very complex search. Single words or letters seems to work okay.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
So I just got the Galactic Adventures expansion pack for Spore. So far, it's so not worth it...
I'm sure I'm not in the majority, but it's caused nothing but problems for me. First off, loading times have dramatically increased. I'm talking 10-fold. What used to take 15-30 seconds to load now takes 5 minutes. 5 minutes to initially start the game, then once you're at the main menu, another 5 minutes to load a saved game; no matter how big or small the empire is.
Next, I'm getting only crappy missions that are worth 15 points, tops. This is a problem for everyone. However, I've got the issue compounded by some sort of bug...
Every mission is like it's been dropped onto the wrong planet. Instead of the nice smooth ground the missions were designed on, I get this rugged landscape full of canyons and cliffs. Everything is uneven and impossible to get to without flight, and objects I'm suppose to be able to pick up are often floating high in the sky. I know it's a bug because it happens even on the official Maxis missions.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
It's that day of the year again. I get to say I'm an entire year older than I was yesterday. I was 22 yesterday, and I'm 23 today.
The Cruxshadows Birthday Official
That's my favorite song by my favorite band. That possibly makes it my overall favorite song.
The observant among you may be wondering why I labeled this post with the "Holidays" label. I think I have the right to declare my birthday as an official holiday1 for Master Marf.
1: That's holiday in the American definition, not that crazy British definition of vacation. I don't get to take my birthday off from blogging.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Perfect video to follow Caturday1...
And yeah, I know how annoying this guy is to some of my readers. This isn't exactly one of his "less annoying" videos, either. So if you don't want to watch it, the general idea is we'd rather sit around and laugh at lolcats than develop space-age technologies.
I can has space hotel?
But really, it's not realistic to expect that level of technology yet, even if we were more driven toward those goals (and we should be). Just because some old movie had vastly overestimated the advancement of our technology does not mean that we should be able to meet its fictional timeline.
Granted, we should be further than we are, and do kinda have the attitude that the moon was "good enough". It is imperative for the long-term survival of humankind that we move to other planets and eventually, other star systems. Right now we have all our eggs in one basket. If something were to happen to that basket, mankind goes extinct.
We should at least try to live long enough to develop an artificial intelligence. Perhaps that AI will have the wisdom to diversify its existence, if humans fail to see the need to.
1: Specifically around the 2:05 time index in the video.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
You know when you flush the toilet and it just doesn't go down... Ok, not THAT type of floater. I'm referring to those little translucent amoeba-shaped things you see when you stare into a blank blue sky. Those are called floaters. Floaters are, in fact, visible only because they do not remain perfectly fixed within the eye. Although the blood vessels of the eye also obstruct light, they are invisible under normal circumstances because they are fixed in location relative to the retina, and the brain "tunes out" stabilized images due to neural adaptation.
They're not actually in the sky, if you haven't figured it out already; they're in your eye. You can read all about then in the Wikipedia link above.
I remember as a kid I used to notice those things. I didn't know what they were called, so I couldn't look them up. I figured out pretty quickly that they were in my eye; when I moved my eyes the floaters moved as well. But I never knew what caused them. I had thought they were specks of dust that landed on my eye. Little did I know whey were actually suspended inside the fluid of my eyes.
I don't want to just spout off random facts I just read off the Wikipedia article, as you can go there and read them yourself. However, I did want to highlight this little fact:
Couple all the blood vessels and fixed floaters with the blind spot right in front of your optic nerve, and any damage that might have been done to your retina, and you realize you're looking through a mess of crap. Your brain just kinda fills in the blanks, but may not know for sure what to fill them in with. It's no wounder why optical illusions and blind spot demonstrations work so well.
Floaters are, in fact, visible only because they do not remain perfectly fixed within the eye. Although the blood vessels of the eye also obstruct light, they are invisible under normal circumstances because they are fixed in location relative to the retina, and the brain "tunes out" stabilized images due to neural adaptation.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
1 dead, 1 Injured in Ketchikan Shooting
There's been a lot of stabbings and shootings lately in Ketchikan. A lot for a town of this size, at least... In the event the article linked to above is about, it's believed the motive was jealousy over a girl.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It's kinda like the Matrix. Once you realize "there is no soul," you're on your path to enlightenment. Or something along those lines... I don't know, I wanted to say something rather than just post the video without a comment.
Do dogs have souls?