TIME makes insanely annoying 50 top 10 lists

Saw on good ol TechMeme today that TIME mag put out 50 “Top 10” Lists.  Now I love me a Top 10 list as much as anyone.  I clicked through to check it out.  Normally I’d read each list.  Except there’s never a List, just individual entries!  Rather than having to browse through 50 pages, they expect me to read through FIVE HUNDRED.  Not a chance.

By the way, who defined the category of “Business, Tech, and Sports”?  One of these things doesn’t belong…

how hard is it to effect change?

Last night I wrote a letter to my Congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi, regarding my concerns over the newly introduced PRO IP act. This is one of those moments where I felt the issue was so important I wanted to make sure the awareness spread beyond the typical scope of my readership. As a result, I picked a handful of fairly influential friends of mine, and asked them to read my letter, and if they agreed with it, to blog about it. First, I’d like to thank all of the following individuals for their support:

As a result of their postings (and mine), it’s on TechMeme, and at least the following blogs also covered the topic (I say “at least” because TechMeme doesn’t pick up everybody, and I know it):

I have quite a few other colleagues who I believe will cover the topic. I hope they do. It’s important, and more important than things like Kindle, Beacon, and a new MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, I think most of the people I talk to seem pretty dismayed about what our government will do with this law. Two of the IM conversations I had on the topic resulted in clearly voiced opinions that we aren’t going to get any better anytime soon. One person almost didn’t blog on it for feeling “what’s the point?”

I hope a lot of people take action on this topic. I hope they are writing their elected officers and having their voices heard. I hope a lot of things. But I fear the worst. I fear this country’s true thought leaders have “checked out” of the political process. Voting turnout, blah blah blah.

I chose to get off the sidelines for this one. I have low expectations, but at least I can feel good that I did something about it, and applied my skills to shoot for the best outcome possible. If I hope for no other thing it’s that my act inspires others to attempt to effect change around them. Maybe we can all make a difference.

mohicans + NFL = mega-inspiring nike ad

I’ll put the Last of the Mohicans score (by Randy Edelman) down as one of my favorites of all time (some others include: LOTR, Dragon: the Bruce Lee Story, Schindler’s List, Raiders, Star Wars (duh), Jurassic Park, and Danny Elfman’s Batman). Saw this commercial while watching last week’s Steelers game:


redefining the word guarantee

Saw this article today in which the Steelers’ Anthony Smith has supposedly guaranteed a win this week. Here’s the quote:

“We’re going to win,” Smith said. “Yeah, I can guarantee a win. As long as we come out and do what we got to do. Both sides of the ball are rolling, and if our special teams come through for us, we’ve got a good chance to win.”

Well let’s see.  First sentence has a very definitive “going to win” followed by an equally positive “guarantee a win”.  Then we get a little “as long as…” disclaimer.  The last sentence is where it all goes downhill with an “if our…” followed by the much-less-definitive-than-a-mere-two-sentences-ago “we’ve got a good chance”.

For those unclear on the grammar in play, “a good chance” is not equal to “guarantee a win”.  Not by a long shot.

I may be a Steelers fan, but I’m never a fan of duh.

heroes “volume 2” review: terrible

NOTE: this is mostly spoiler-free, but if you want a really “clean” Heroes experience, just don’t read it.

Last year, the marketing prior to the start of the show Heroes had me juiced up for it. I was ready, and when it hit, I took the chewy worm and swallowed it wholeheartedly. In fact, episodes 1-21 were all pretty strong. I think they had a few too many characters which left too many episodes dealing with minor plot movement, but for the most part, I liked. I liked so much I wrote a “Heroes Drinking Game” post.

Somewhere mid-season the marketing started getting a bit crazy. Virtually every commercial contained a spoiler, and they even did mid-episode commercials for the show once. Lame, but I guess I chalked it off as enthusiastic marketing folks trying to get the viewership as wide as possible. My guess is production costs run high, so I understood the need to get big advertisers on board. Fine, no worries.

Then the season finale hit, and it was junk. Loyal viewers, aka the fans, were screwed with a mediocre non-resolution to a huge buildup. No big “HURRAY” moment anywhere. No character making any moves that really made you excited. Just a boring little superhero fight and an utterly weak resolution to the season. And the last 2 minutes of the show, the sneak preview to this season, were a clear sign that problems were afoot.

Last night they aired the end of what they call “volume 2” (probably wrapped up due to the writers strike. go writers!). Of the 11 episodes, I’d say 1 was Good, with 5 Average, and 5 Bad. The Good one was the “last 4 months” episode (don’t remember the real name of it), as they did a really good job tying the plots together. All the rest blended together into a steaming pile of volume 2.  Some specific gripes:

  • Virtually every character that we are supposed to like spends most of the season either making stupid decisions or acting inconsistent with why we like them.  Matt’s supposed to be the good/pure guy – that’s over.  Mohinder’s supposed to be, well, smart, and he gets suckered in so pathetically obviously.
  • All the “bad guys” are ridiculously good at manipulating everyone around them.  I don’t mind them being manipulative, and I don’t mind them pulling the wool over peoples’ eyes from time to time, but this was ridiculous.
  • NBC killed any chance of excitement or suspense about “big” things.  We all knew Sylar would return, but did they have to show it in a commercial?  It seems like the once-clever hype machine has turned into a desperate pathetic attempt to constantly make the show seem more exciting than it is.
  • TOO MANY CHARACTERS.  Seriously, just when one plotline gets interesting, it disappears for three weeks while they deal with stupid things like Maya or Jessica – both of whom were terrible plot vehicles.
  • Clearly UNcomplicated villains.  The best bad guys have goals beyond “do evil”.  They are conflicted about something. For about 15 seconds of one episode it seemed like there really was a Sylar/Gabriel debate going on, but then it vanished.
  • Boring plotlines were drawn out forever (tip: Jessica is boring, as are Micah, Nathan, Matt, Maya, Ando.  Whereas HRG is interesting, as are the Haitian, Peter, Hiro, Sylar), and interesting ones were killed off in 1-2 episodes.  Matt’s father was supposed to be this season’s Big Villain, and instead lasted how long?  Come on.
  • Lots of the dumb James Bond-like moments, straight out of Austin Powers: when you have the guy you want to kill in your sights, and your intent is to kill, then you just SHOOT, you don’t TALK.  Stupid stupid stupid.
  • Unnecessarily rash decision-making.  There’s a moment when Hiro and Peter are talking, and without too many details, let’s just say they have the moment to themselves.  They can talk as long as they want to come to a decision/consensus, and nothing will rush them along.  What do they do?  Rush into a silly fight. STUPID!

I could go on for a while, but I’ve invested enough energy as it is. Tim, the rest of the writing staff, please, take your time and sit down and write out a storyline that’s really clever.  Advance it along at a good pace, you don’t need to bore us with teenage angst melodrama, we have tons of other shows for that.  Watch X-Men 2 a couple more times.  We all want the show to be great, so you have everyone on your side.  Now please, make it great again!

another bubble video. so good

why is this picture so popular?

I think a lot of people are either searching for “Gumpert’s” or “instant beef”…

Gumpert's, for all your fine instant beef flavor base needs.


clouds and mist

My friend Thomas Hawk is an excellent photographer.  He uses state-of-the-art equipment and takes a few gigs worth of photos every day.

I point and shoot a lot with my Canon SD850IS.  Ain’t too much in the way of “photography as art” goin on with this camera. I think the above photo might just be the best picture I’ve ever taken, and I felt like sharing.

Technologists can’t get technology recycling done right?

Just read this at CNN. In a single world: gah!

Not sure which is my favorite most terrible highlight… it could be:

While there are no precise figures, activists estimate that 50 to 80 percent of the 300,000 to 400,000 tons of electronics collected for recycling in the U.S. each year ends up overseas. Workers in countries such as China, India and Nigeria then use hammers, gas burners and their bare hands to extract metals, glass and other recyclables, exposing themselves and the environment to a cocktail of toxic chemicals.

or else it’s this:

he problem could get worse. Most of the 2 million tons of old electronics discarded annually by Americans goes to U.S. landfills, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data. But a growing number of states are banning such waste from landfills, which could drive more waste into the recycling stream and fuel exports, activists say.

You know, I’m not perfect at my recycling efforts, but I certainly seem to do a better job than this!  The wife and I are doing small amounts of composting too (in a very non-smelly way).  Just makes me feel good.  Then I read articles like this one and feel like I got punched in the gut…

Wittiest Star Wars parody I’ve seen.

When Family Guy opened the season with a Star Wars parody episode, I received calls, texts, and emails from friends asking if I saw it.  I did, although a bit late, by which it was built up as having Best. Episode. Ever. status.  Yup, it was funny, but I didn’t find it over the top or anything.  However, at the very end there was a clever riff about a Robot Chicken Star Wars episode, and a friend of mine sat me down to watch it.  Hysterical.  And, if you (like me) aren’t into Robot Chicken, that’s fine, it’s all about the SW.  Enjoy.