July 30, 2004

Ok, one more :)

Perhaps pundits should put presidential candidates' speeches to the test using the Gender Genie to see which of the candidates is more manly.

Actually, the Genie is an interesting application of an algorithm that was developed to predict the gender of an author. So if you want to see how manly, femininely, you write, give it a whirl.

P.S. This post (excluding this postscript) returned a Female "score" of 55 and a Male "score" of 105. I guess that makes me safely masculine, but not a Neanderthal. ;)

Posted by Andrew at 02:56 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2004

One last political rant

Do the Democrats really want to win this year's election? Or do they just want to a chance to piss and moan, take little jabs at bushie (I must admit that I tend to feel sorry for him as a person after reading some of the venom directed his way), and bemoan the "craven, petty, childish and destructive" politics of the Republicans.

Instead of presenting themselves as whining children, Democrats, both politicians and party supporters, need to start presenting messages and powerful soundbitable quotes. This may seem anti-intellectual to some, but the right wing has shown how effective such a strategy can be by convincing many Americans who logically should be opposed to right wing policy to vote Republican. Thomas Frank has chronicled this phenomena beautifully in his book What's the Matter with Kansas? : How Conservatives Won the Heart of America.

Come on Kerry take a stand now and again, lay out some plans of action, be a leader, and help me to believe that not all modern liberals are pussies...

.. I just finished watching the final moments of the Democratic convention. I must say that I was impressed with Kerry's acceptance speech. It was an impressive bit of oratory. If he can keep this up he just might have a chance.

Posted by Andrew at 10:00 PM

July 02, 2004

Un- Unfairenheit 9/11

I just finished reading Unfairenheit 9/11 by Christopher Hitchens. Throughout the piece I felt my intelligence being insulted by this "journalist". Does he expect any reader who has the slightest clue to buy some of his attempts to discredit Fairenheit 9/11 "logically". Throughout this piece he attempts to pull on his readers' emotions to buy into his "refutations".

For example he states:

"More interesting is the moment where Bush is shown frozen on his chair at the infant school in Florida, looking stunned and useless for seven whole minutes after the news of the second plane on 9/11. Many are those who say that he should have leaped from his stool, adopted a Russell Crowe stance, and gone to work. I could even wish that myself. But if he had done any such thing then (as he did with his "Let's roll" and "dead or alive" remarks a month later), half the Michael Moore community would now be calling him a man who went to war on a hectic, crazed impulse."

Does Mr. Hitchens really believe that Bush's only alternative to taking a little more time to read My Pet Goat was to hastily rush into war on the spot?.

Come on! If there was any time for Bush to be the strong leader that he likes to view himself as, this was it! A leader would react quickly to a crisis, wouldn't he?

And Hitchens calls 9/11 a "bias against the work of the mind". I must ask myself: Is Hitchens trying to show how "bias against the work of the mind" is really done?

After reading Hitchens' piece of $#*@ article, I wanted to go through and comment on it line-by-line. Fortunately, Chris Parry has already done this with his piece Defending Truth: Slate's Chris Hitchens does a hatchet job on Michael Moore. Commenting on the section of Hitchens' article quoted above he states:

"Where on earth is Hitchens getting his crack? You don't need to rush to war to actually be "doing something" when you're under attack. Surely Bush could have done more, while the jets were still in the air and heading to New York City and Washington, than sit in a children's classroom for fifteen minutes reading "My Pet Goat". The nation was under attack for crying out loud! And those were the EXACT words whispered in Bush's ear as he SAT THERE looking scared out of his brains. He heard the US was under attack and he did nothing. He sat and waited it out. Then he took questions from the children.

Meanwhile, in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, Americans were dying, jumping out of windows, burning, being crushed, fighting hijackers and steering planes into fields. While America was being attacked, George W. Bush finished his photo op.

Now, let's be clear. There were many things Bush could have done that day. The first one might have been to cancel the school photo op when he'd heard that the first plane had hit the WTC (something he admitted to having known when he told a reporter on his way into the school, "that's one bad pilot, huh? I'll talk about it later.")

He might also have got out of that classroom and hit the phones when he heard about the second building being hit. He might have authorized the hijacked planes to be shot down by F-16's, or even make sure that F-16's were shadowing the hijacked planes (they never did, even though there was more than an hour between the first hijacking being reported and the last plane hitting a field in Pennsylvania).

Or heck, he might have even pulled a Rudy Giulliani and got on the TV to tell us all that it was going to be okay. But he did nothing. And Hitchens, in trying to say that the only thing he could have done that day was rush to war, is not just being disingenuous, he's being totally and morally dishonest. And YOU know it, no matter who you vote for.

Please take some time to read the rest of Parry's fine article.

Posted by Andrew at 05:58 AM | Comments (2)

May 26, 2004

Sammy's sneeze and other (in)famous injuries

Daniel Dobish, on CBS Sportsline, reports on Sammy Sosa's now infamous sneeze that threw out his back and caused him to be placed on the 15 day disabled list. He also lists some other rather infamous strange baseball injuries

Here are some other strange injuries that have occurred over the years to make Sosa feel a little bit better about his unfortunate injury, although Cal Ripken Jr. is likely somewhere shaking his head:

Second baseman Bret Barberie was once held out of the lineup after inadvertently rubbing chili juice in his eye.

Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs missed a handful of games after straining his back while pulling on a pair of cowboy boots.

Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller was scalded with near-boiling water when he lost control of a hose for the whirlpool, burning himself below the waste. He was unable to perform baseball activities for nearly a week.

Pitcher Dwight Gooden once missed a start after teammate Vince Coleman hit him with a golf club in the team clubhouse by mistake.

Outfielder Terry Harper of the Braves injured his shoulder after giving another player a high-five.

Outfielder Glenallen Hill was unable to play for a few games after falling out of his bed due to a nightmare about spiders. He jumped from the bed, fell through a glass table and crawled through the broken glass suffering multiple cuts.

Minnesota's Kent Hrbek missed the final 10 games in 1990 due to a sprained ankle. He suffered the injury after wrestling with a clubhouse attendant.

Pitcher Jeff Juden had one of his scheduled starts pushed back in 1994 after getting an infection from a tattoo.

Pitcher Carlos Perez missed time after breaking his nose in a car accident. The wreck occurred as he was trying to pass the team bus.

Catcher Mickey Tettleton was once placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a severe bout of athlete's foot. The irritation was the result of tying his shoes too tight.

Posted by Andrew at 02:35 AM

May 22, 2004

May in the Midwest

Eric Meyer reports about some Stormy Weather Cleveland had yesterday.

As I went up the stairs to her room, I glanced out our north windows and saw that the sky had shifted to a pale green... The rain came down so hard and fast that our street became a minor river... Chilly mist wafted off of the hail on the ground as the ice sublimated, making the world seem a little more dreamlike and uncertain.

Ah, the joys of a Midwestern Spring.

Actually, I'm a little jealous. Southern Indiana didn't get anything nearly as intense. I know I'd miss these storms if I ever lived someplace with a more gentle climate. Sometimes nothing beats being outside, seeing the sky darken, feeling the wind pick up, and smelling a storm that's about to roll in. A good storm is an immersive experience that beats most movies that I've seen recently ;) .

Posted by Andrew at 06:35 PM | Comments (1)

April 20, 2004

Tag Humor

Chris Brown recently pointed out that he found a "hidden" message on the French washing directions tag of a computer sleeve stating that, "We are sorry that our President is an idiot. We didn't vote for him."

His blog has been overrun with comments of all flavors, ranging from "I love it! I need one of those" to "why be a coward and hide your thoughts in another language" to "you pinkos make me sick". Somehow I sense that many of these people seem to forget that this tag was probably meant, above anything else, to be just plain funny. And it is funny!

Despite my distaste over the seriousness with which people took this "tag joke", I did enjoy reading through the entry's comments. Most of the commentary was predictably one-sided and inflammatory, but there are a few thoughtful and thought-provoking bits sprinkled throughout. Here's a thought-provoking find from one of the entry's comments:

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country.

-Hermann Goering (1893 - 1946)

Posted by Andrew at 06:35 PM

April 07, 2004

It's baseball season

Once again, it's baseball season. I have a distinct feeling that I'm going to be spending less time surfing the web over the next few months. :)

Go Tribe!!.

Posted by Andrew at 08:59 PM

March 26, 2004

Amazon.com Visa

Bank One and Amazon have recently put out an Amazon credit card that pays you can in Amazon gift certificates valued as much as 3% for each purchase you make using the card. I've had my Amazon Visa for a few months now and have already gotten one Amazon gift certificate out of it. Right now they're offering $20 off of the fist Amazon order for new signees. This is a great offer. Click on the banner below to sign up for the Amazon credit card.

This latest offer makes the Amazon.com credit card even better. They'll even pay you $20 to try it out. I'm sure that the Amazon credit card will become your primary card.

Posted by Andrew at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2004

TiVo users like breasts

It has been reported that Janet Jackson's "accident" during this weekend's SuperBowl was the most replayed bt TiVo moment ever.

I wonder if Janet owns any stock? :)

Posted by Andrew at 01:37 AM

November 22, 2003

Credit Card Offers

I've recently started up a new site listing credit card offers.

Posted by Andrew at 09:53 AM

November 02, 2003


I've recently got a Seti@home account (yes, I know I am way behind on the geek curve with this one :-) ).

I've always had fun reading about people tweaking their systems to reduce the amount of time that it takes to compute a Seti@home work unit. Some might almost consider this optimization a sport of sorts. Anyway, my old Pentium II hasn't been doing so bad. I'm been averaging just over 18 hours of CPU time for each completed work unit. Here's to dusting off old computers and putting them to use.

Posted by Andrew at 11:37 PM

November 01, 2003

Crazy November weather

Here in Bloomington, we've been experiencing typical schizophrenic autumn weather. It was into the 70s yesterday and today, and the weather will stay quite warm for a couple more days. Of course, the weather will cool down later; We're expecting temptress near freezing later in the week.

No matter how goofy the weather gets this year, I doubt it will be anything like Bloomington's November in 1950. A quick glance at weather.com's record highs and lows for the month of November shows that it reached 84 on the 1st in 1950 and just a little over three weeks later, on the 24th, it got down to -1.

Posted by Andrew at 09:19 PM

August 05, 2003


huh? is a site for a faux consultancy. Now you know what consultants are really thinking about :-).

Posted by Andrew at 11:11 PM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2003

Sports Point Spreads

I'm in the process of creating a site to display sports point spreads and other sports information. I've found that so many sports sites are so overwhelmed by gaudy banner adds and contain very little useful information. Hopefully this site will be a bit better, although I will have the occasional banner add, too. Have to pay the bills some way :-).

Posted by Andrew at 07:54 AM

July 20, 2003

National Traffic and Road Closure Information

The U.S. Department of Transportation hosts the National Traffic and Road Closure Information page, which contains copious links regarding traffic conditions, road construction, road condition, and highway webcams. Over the past couple days I've enjoyed looking at a few webcams of notoriously congested areas, glad that I wasn't there.

Posted by Andrew at 05:34 AM

July 13, 2003

Seat intelligence

If you going to be flying in the near future SeatGuru.com is worth a look. It lists major airlines' aircraft, their seating charts, and explains why certain seats are more desirable than others.

Posted by Andrew at 08:12 PM

July 08, 2003

The ultimate job

Popular Science details one man's work in the Underwriters Laboratory, Popular Science | He Blows Things Up So You Don't Have To. Is this everyone's dream job or what?

Posted by Andrew at 10:36 PM

July 06, 2003

Robert Byrd sticking it to Bushie

USA Today ran an article this month titled "Senator takes on White House and wins fans" about West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd.

From the article:

On the flak he has received for criticizing President Bush: "It makes me all the more determined to do what needs to be done and say what needs to be said."


Posted by Andrew at 05:36 AM | Comments (1)

March 04, 2003

A silly site

Figured that I'd pass along this silly site.

Enjoy :)


Posted by Andrew at 10:36 PM

February 28, 2003

Spring training is here

Spring training is here!

Go Tribe!!

Posted by Andrew at 11:43 PM

February 22, 2003

Which OS Are You?

BBspot has a differnt sort of personality quiz.... "Which OS are you?"

I am:

I am Debian
Which OS are You?

It looks like I'm a Debian kind of guy.

After reading the page with all possible results, I really wish that I could have been Slackware :).

Posted by Andrew at 03:38 PM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2003

Thinking about brewing

Been thinking about starting homebrewing again. I used to brew quite a bit about ten years ago, but stopped when good quality micro-brews started popping up everywhere.

Lately, I've been thinking about starting up again.

Spent the night browsing around Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies.

Posted by Andrew at 08:22 PM

January 23, 2003

Latest reading

The latest book that I'm reading:

Luck: The Brilliant Randomness of Everyday Life

Again, this is another book that I've had for a few years and am just now getting around to reading.

Posted by Andrew at 08:47 PM