January 29, 2004

Georgia Shuns Evolution. Like You Couldn't Guess.

Georgia may shun 'evolution' in schools

Really, it's getting embarrassing around here.

New middle and high school science standards proposed by state Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox strike references to "evolution" and replace them with the term "biological changes over time," a revision critics say will further weaken learning in a critical subject.

I'm suggesting that Georgia students be taught that most people evolve, but that here in Georgia, that doesn't happen.

Cripes, must the Scopes "Monkey Trial" happen all over again? And if so, where in the heck are we going to find Clarence Darrow & H.L. Mencken? Please, no one say Johnnie Cochran and someone from the Midnight Star....

Posted by Ted Stevko at 10:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not To Be Snarky, But...

Salon.com Technology | White House: Deficit to exceed $500 billion this year

OK, it's now projected that the current year's budget will create the largest deficit ever. This, THIS is a Republican? One of the ones who want smaller government and less taxes? The ones who claim that Democrats are "tax-and-spend liberals?" Even I'm shocked at this figure.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vintage Vinyl

Vintage Vinyl Records

Normally, I avoid posting commerical sites: after all, this site isn't exactly Amazon here. But you have to understand something about Vintage Vinyl: this has got to be one of the best used CD stores I've ever been in, and I can't say enough about it.

The original Vintage Vinyl store is in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis, right next to Washington University in St. Louis, mia alma mater. It's a sweet place, a renovated movie theater -- so you know it's got lots of floor space for used stuff. Kept me groovin' through my college and a few post-college years, as well as selling me an X-Files poster for my office cubicle when X-Files was still neat.

Quite a few friends worked there: you could always get an opinion on the latest stuff, and it was always interesting. Reading through the rack labels was always a treat; someone usually put some commentary or good artwork on them. They had tapes, CDs and vinyl to choose from, and lacked in none of them.

I got to see the Squirrel Nut Zippers there, and watched as a crowd of kids from the suburbs who desperately wanted to be considered dangerous and scary formed for the Insane Clown Posse (I link not, because I have taste left).

Let me also quote from their CD policy:

Any CD you order from us is absolutely, unconditionally guaranteed. That means: The disc will be in perfect condition i.e. it will play perfectly on your player. All original artwork/booklets ect. will be with your CD. The plastic CD case (jewel case) will be free of chips, cracks or breaks and open and close properly. If you buy a CD from us and in your opinion (Ed: note, their bold) it does not meet these standards we’ll cheerfully take it back and apply credit to your account or refund your money.

That's why I like them. They like music, they like their customers, and they're solid. I moved away from St. Louis, but I still miss that store. Nothing like it in Atlanta.

But with mail order? Heck, even if it costs a little more I'd be happier knowing that my cash went to something good. Think of this as like shopping at Powells instead of Amazon: choose this if you can, and if not, no worries.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 09:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


SecurityFocus HOME News: 'Warspying' San Francisco

OK, it's a little voyueristic, but it's geeky fun. Warspying is the capturing of video signals being broadcast... so you can imagine the kinds of things it captures. What's most interesting is the hack that the subject of the article found. Go figure.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2004

Edmunds.com Article on Car Sales

Confessions of a Car Salesman via boingboing

Interesting article on car sales, from an author who went undercover as a car salesman; definitely a must-read for anyone looking to buy a car, but it's an interesting look at sales and sales tactics from the side you're usually not on in a car purchase.

Especially note the "up to?" technique. I recognized this as something I'd been hearing during car shopping, but only *after* I'd been car shopping.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 09:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2004

In-Car Mac, Like It's Never Been Done Before

MujMac - Tatra Mac G4 - fastest Mac on the four wheels? via MacCentral

Now this, this is *neat*. Guy in Czech Republic added a PowerMac G4 into his car -- with a custom box, installation of a small touch-screen LCD, Ethernet hub, etc. It's an amazing and really well done mod; very, very professional.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 07:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2004

Smart-Alec Presidental Food-Ordering

Remarks by the President to the Press Pool

What amazes me is that the White House released this themselves; makes him sound like a total a-hole.

Here's the whole thing, just in case someone pulls it down.

Nothin' Fancy Cafe Roswell, New Mexico

11:25 A.M. MST

THE PRESIDENT: I need some ribs.

Q Mr. President, how are you?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm hungry and I'm going to order some ribs.

Q What would you like?

THE PRESIDENT: Whatever you think I'd like.

Q Sir, on homeland security, critics would say you simply haven't spent enough to keep the country secure.

THE PRESIDENT: My job is to secure the homeland and that's exactly what we're going to do. But I'm here to take somebody's order. That would be you, Stretch -- what would you like? Put some of your high-priced money right here to try to help the local economy. You get paid a lot of money, you ought to be buying some food here. It's part of how the economy grows. You've got plenty of money in your pocket, and when you spend it, it drives the economy forward. So what would you like to eat?

Q Right behind you, whatever you order.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm ordering ribs. David, do you need a rib?

Q But Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT: Stretch, thank you, this is not a press conference. This is my chance to help this lady put some money in her pocket. Let me explain how the economy works. When you spend money to buy food it helps this lady's business. It makes it more likely somebody is going to find work. So instead of asking questions, answer mine: are you going to buy some food?

Q Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, good. What would you like?

Q Ribs.

THE PRESIDENT: Ribs? Good. Let's order up some ribs.

Q What do you think of the democratic field, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks. I'm here to help this restaurant by buying some food. Terry, would you like something?

Q An answer.

Q Can we buy some questions?

THE PRESIDENT: Obviously these people -- they make a lot of money and they're not going to spend much. I'm not saying they're overpaid, they're just not spending any money.

Q Do you think it's all going to come down to national security, sir, this election?

THE PRESIDENT: One of the things David does, he asks a lot of questions, and they're good, generally.

END 11:29 A.M. MST

Posted by Ted Stevko at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 19, 2004

When You Recognize These Phrases, Start Thinking About Moving Jobs

dack.com > web > web economy bullshit generator

OK, what was most sad was I hit the generator, and I recognized the first 6 phrases as something that made sense -- and at least 3 of them I'd heard used at work lately.

This'll teach me to listen to people who say things like "extend next-generation infrastructures".

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2004

Sidewalk Chalk-art

Sidewalk Chalk Art via Metafilter

Stunning sidewalk chalk-art, mostly because of it's perspective and use of tromp l'oiel in order to bring the artist in. I wonder how effective these are when you're not at the perspective of the photo -- but frankly, who cares?

Posted by Ted Stevko at 06:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

USB-powered Humidifier

USB-powered air humidifier via Gizmodo

I thought I'd seen it all when we got to the USB Christmas Tree. But, once again, I've been proven wrong by the universe. Yes, it's a USB Humidifier. A water-spewing device powered by a computer. Darwin will win out, I'm sure.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 03:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wal-Mart Locks In Employees At Night

Workers Assail Night Lock-Ins by Wal-Mart

It's always good to see that Wal-Mart is so careful about it's workers. Wal-Mart evidentally locks their employees in at 10 percent of their 3500 stores nationwide. Locked in, as in, doors all locked. The problem? They don't always leave people with keys around.

Before you start saying, "Well, just leave that job", go take a look at Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickled And Dimed, an amazing and eye-opening book on working, among other places, at Wal-Mart. It's not always feasable for someone to leave a Wal-Mart job.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 16, 2004

Bush Crowd Says Obeisity Report's Science is Bad

Salon.com News | Bush administration challenges science in obesity report

Because if you don't like the results, the science must be at fault.

The WHO report recommends eating more fruits and vegetables and limiting fats and salt. It also suggests governments limit food advertising aimed at children and encourage their citizens to eat healthier foods. Taxes and subsidies could be used to reduce the price of healthy food and make them more attractive to consumers, the report said.

...Steiger said in his letter that the WHO report did not adequately address an individual's responsibility to balance one's diet with one's physical activities, and objected to singling out specific types of foods, such as those high in fat and sugar.

"The (U.S. government) favors dietary guidance that focuses on the total diet, promotes the view that all foods can be part of a healthy and balanced diet, and supports personal responsibility to choose a diet conducive to individual energy balance, weight control and health," wrote Steiger, special assistant for international affairs at Health and Human Services.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bush Blocks Protestors With City Buses

CNN.com - Bush's Atlanta visit marked by protests - Jan. 15, 2004

Shortly before Bush's arrival, a line of city buses parked in front of the center, preventing Bush and the protesters from seeing each other, although the demonstrators' jeers and slogans were not muted.

Let's examine this: Bush came to Atlanta to celebrate the life of someone who's major accomplishment was protesting. In doing so, he blocked off protestors from being seen.

I couldn't be more disgusted. Really. I'm appalled at the man.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2004

New Toy: USB Microscope

What with FAO Schwartz going out of business, I decided to take a wander by... and what do I see but a Digital Blue QX3 Microscope for sale.

OK, big deal, you might think. But when the Proscope costs around $200 for just a base model, this thing at $30 bucks is a steal.

Mac OS X isn't naturally supported, but there's freeware in the form of miXscope, which works just dandy.

Here's a quarter at 200 times:

Here's a quarter at 60 times:

And 10 times, just for reference.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 08:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hill Valley Preservation Society

Hill Valley Preservation Society

The Hill Valley Preservation Society is a group around Atlanta which sings... '80s TV Show Theme Songs, along with a couple of bits from movies. Really, it sounds like an awful idea, but these guys are very good, and it's amazing how close they get to the originals.

It also is a trip to find out what you remember from the '80s, and what it brings back. When you hear a band doing The Muppet Show theme song, it really brightens your day. But Dance Magic from the movie Labrynth with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly(!) as a teenager brings back a lot of memories. Definitely check these guys out.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 07:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 14, 2004

Treasury Department Clamps Down On Car Donations. Honest.

Uncle Sam trying to limit car donation deductions - Jan. 14, 2004

Also note, this includes a clamp-down on patents and intellectual property.

"The laws must ensure that those who would shirk their civic responsibilities cannot do so by exploiting unintended loopholes, and the IRS must ensure that taxpayers do not engage in abusive tax avoidance transactions," said Treasury Secretary John Snow in a statement.

Because, as you know, people donating a car to charity are just shirkers, the whole lot of them. Donators are what give tax-exempt charities a bad name. Same with those inventor-types, always going around flaunting their smart-brain-things in front of everyone. A pox on all of them! Tax 'em until they're poor people and then we can laugh at them.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bush Roundup...

Today's latest fun-filled episode of What's My President Doing This Time has a couple of doozies. First, there's the re-emergence of CAPPS II, just in case you were starting to think you weren't going to be watched again.

The Supremes did a little dance around the legal system and proclaimed that the government could hide who they've picked up under suspicion of terrorism. Just to note, they also mentioned that the government could keep secret also who just was in the government, and will also keep the names on every presidential ballot secret (Their new motto: We Know Who You Wanted To Vote For Anyway.)

As if the rest of his agenda wasn't bad enough, I find this on the NY Times: "Bush Plans $1.5 Billion Drive for Promotion of Marriage"

Administration officials say they are planning an extensive election-year initiative to promote marriage, especially among low-income couples, and they are weighing whether President Bush should promote the plan next week in his State of the Union address.

Yep, it's going to be a long year.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 03:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Mars QuicktimeVR Pics.

Mars Fullscreen panoramic image in Quicktime VR - QTVR Virtual Reality - Full Screen QTVR panoramic image from panoramas.dk

I know, every blogger from the north pole to the south pole has linked to this -- but there's a reason for it: it is truly amazing and very important.

It's amazing, because this is a picture from, dammit, another planet. Maybe the best statement was the one I got from another blog (which I can't remember right now, my apologies if it's yours): "This site is 4.6 million miles from the nearest Starbucks."

It's as close as I, or most likely 99.999% of all humans alive today are going to Mars. It's beautiful, and scary, and breathtaking all at the same time.

Go see it, and for a moment be filled with wonder. It'll make your day that much better.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Yep, it's back...

ajc.com | Metro | Flag protest is in the cards

Just what everyone needs in Georgia: someone to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we're backwards, racially intolerant hicks.

Yep, the flag issue's back.

Along wth some other favorites, like allowing state money to go to churches, and, no fake, an amendment to ensure the right to hunt and fish (see the left hand side). And that's not getting into the $3.2 billion, triple-your-sewer-rates sewer issue.

Of course, what do you expect from a group that has an annual dinner called the Wild Hog Supper to kick off the legislative year?

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 13, 2004

Lottery For No State Taxes?

Atlanta Journal-Constutition: HOPE bill won't include SAT plan

And this is why I love the Georgia Legislature...

Also Monday, a Republican House member said she will propose a lottery of sorts to raise money for HOPE [A state scholarship program using lottery money to fund it -- Ted]. Rep. Jill Chambers of Atlanta said she plans to file legislation giving Georgians the option of checking a box on their state income tax form, giving $10 to HOPE.

Once a year, the state would draw a name from those who participated and that person would be exempt from state income taxes for life.

I can't make this stuff up.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 08:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Verisign to Run RDIF Directory

RFID Journal - VeriSign to Run RFID Directory via Slashdot

Yep, you heard it right. The idiots who tried to bring you Sitefinder -- advertising whenever you make a mistake -- and broke the internet doing it, now is going to run a list of radio tags that have been proposed to be put into everything Wal-Mart sells...

Just imagine your shirt advertising deodorant to you while you're walking around. Seriously.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 08:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Justices Let Stand Secret Lists

Supreme Court Roundup: Justices Allow Policy of Silence on 9/11 Detainees

The fact that the US Supreme Court has let this ruling stand frightens me.

Without comment, the court let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court here that had accepted the Bush administration's rationale for refusing to disclose either the identities of those it arrested, most of whom have since been deported for immigration violations unrelated to terrorism, or the circumstances of the arrests.

I doubt that anyone can point to one thing that caused the downfall of any given country; it's a cumulation of things, a bouillabaisse of little injustices. Secret arrests, though, cannot be considered a "good thing". If nothing else, it's a violation of habeus corpus -- a basis of pretty much all western law. And the justices know this -- and ignored it.

I understand the issues. By matching arrest and deportation patterns, someone could figure out who and what the US knows. Simple enough. But at what point do we violate the basis of our country?

When we start taking away freedom of one person, do we invalidate the "land of freedom" moniker that we dear Americans treasure so much? How about two people? 10 people, 100 people, 1000 people? How about 100,000?

I don't suggest we stand by while the sword gets shoved into our gut; but secret lists are what little banana republics do, not what we do. That's what seperates us from being a dictatorship, the little things.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 08:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2004

Democrats Criticized For Attacking No Child Left Behind

Overhauling Schools: Attacks on Education Law Leave Democrats in a Bind

Article points out that Democrats voted for the "No Child Left Behind, Unless It's Going To Cost Us Money, Then The Little Shrimps Are History (Not That They'll Know Anything About History)" Bill, which is about a big a failure as any educational program as there's been around here. The Bill, based on a similar Texas bill nicknamed "The Texas Miracle", which turns out not to be a miracle but bad bookkeeping.

Look, it's a mistake. I credit the Democrats for at least saying it's a mistake, and seeing the problem. No, I'm pretty upset that they voted for it in the first place -- but then again, that's why I'm not happy with Dick Gephart or John Kerry. They were in power, and then didn't stop bills like this that were at best based on suspicious and limited evidence.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 12:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pot Claims Kettle Is Black

U.S. Says It Has Proof of Sales to Iraq

It's always interesting to see what happens when people start pointing. This one's a little more ridiculous than usual, though: the US says that Russia exported equipment to Iraq, which was used during Gulf War II.

What they forget to mention is that the US sold equipment to Iraq as well, during the 1980s. In fact, we supplied quite a bit of ordinace to them, some of which came back to haunt us during Gulf War I, and no doubt was also around during Gulf War II. We also did it extensively: check out this pay article if you want more information.

Oh, and the fact we don't currently sell to Iraq? Well, since we imposed the embargo, it's a little difficult for people to sell arms to Iraq from the US. So the question is: how much of the sales are Russian, and how much are companies who have in the past operated in the US and now operate in the free-for-all in Russia? Just a thought.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 12:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2004

Wireless Fun

Not that I have a cell phone (I know, I'm becoming a minority -- I already was one without a TV in the house), but I am interested in getting net access wherever I am. Natch, this lead to a lot of solutions, so here's a few goodies I've found...

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Georgia's Legislature Opens Monday

2004 Georgia Legislature

Being a resident of Georgia, I'm obviously interested in state politics -- especially since they're pretty silly. No other state had to actually spend time on a bill which forced all restaurants to have sweet tea as a beverage. I doubt that many states have had as much flap about a freakin' state flag, either.

So, if you live in Georgia, it's always fun to find out a few things... like who's funding people in Georgia, what some of the legislation is, and of course, where to complain to your Representatives or your Senator.

See what's on Georgians' minds here, including this piece of joy...

Joye Wellborn of Lawrenceville was among the 73 percent in the poll who said passing legislation to ensure public display of the Ten Commandments is important.

"This country was based on the Ten Commandments and no one should tell us we can't display them in public," said Wellborn, 71.

Some other fun bills from last year....

This year's not too bad either...

Fourty days of fun, frivilousness and financial compensation, all in the land Sherman overran.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 04, 2004

And This Is Why No One Likes Politicians

CNN.com - Dean targeted even before debate begins - Jan. 4, 2004

I'm all for competition -- as long as it's productive. But this is just plain annoying, the tearing down of a lead candidate just because he's the lead. We need to be constructive and build towards something, not needlessly tear one another apart because everyone wants to lead the band.

Further annoying me is Clark's refusal, which just seems impolitic and rude. Dead worst, he should keep the option open, and not shut it off. Besides, a Dean/Clark ticket (or a Clark/Dean ticket) would be quite a combination against Bush.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 04:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fake New iPod: Better Than The Real Thing?

This is not the new mini iPod via Gizmodo

This image was proposed by Gizmodo as one for the new mini-iPod.


I have to say, over the last couple of years, the design of the fake Apple items to be announced sometimes exceeds that of actual apple items; in this case, I like this fake "new iPod" more than I like the actual one... same with some of the proposed new iPods last time around, and the new Powerbook rumors the time before that. It's quite well done, and gives more screen room than the actual one. Maybe Apple should listen to the rumor sites and pick up some design tips from them...

Posted by Ted Stevko at 03:08 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Broog The Alien Film Critic

Broog: Alien Film Critic

As an alternative to your Ebert and your local film critic...

Broog will not seek to interpret this film on your behalf, but he will come round to your feeble dwelling and sow your fields with salt, stampede your tiny offspring, and wear your housepets as slippers if you do not avail yourself of the opportunity to see the movie.
Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 02, 2004

Just Throwing A Little Bureaucracy Your Way

Instant Bureaucracy (@ chickenhead.com)

Just in case you didn't have enough in your life, now you can add some more bureaucracy... only this one is slanted your way. Check out Verbal Communication Request...

Posted by Ted Stevko at 02:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack