I'm sure that by now you're aware of GOP Team Leader's "Astroturf" campaign, in which they encourage their minions to copy a pre-written letter, sign their name to it, and then mail it in to their local newspaper, as though anyone who genuinely believed that George Bush was doing a good job could write a complete sentence. Their latest hoax is all about how much better our schools are doing thanks to Bush's No Child Left Behind Act:
"Because of President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, our schools are already receiving additional resources and historic levels of federal funding to ensure that students succeed, and more positive changes are on the way. Recently, the President announced that every state had put in a place an accountability plan to ensure that all schools makes progress."
Aside from the fact that this statement isn't quite what one would generally refer to as "true", it appears to contain a pretty glaring grammatical error. I'm sure you've already spotted it. Looks like some GOP Team Leaders may have been left behind.

Also, you'll note they don't specify if the historic levels of funding are historically high or historically low.

(link via TMW)


I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but "Wicked Screensaver" would be a great name for a band.

Today I was working on narrowing down a bug in a First Person Shooter and managed to make a clone of myself which lacked collision. I was able to step inside the cloned version of myself and look out through its body. Then I looked down and saw something I had never before experienced in an FPS game: my feet.

In early, fixed perspective FPS games, like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, the only portion of your character's anatomy that you could view (barring the iconic faces that appeared in the HUD display, becoming more and more beat-up looking as he took consecutive rockets to the chest) were the hands gripping their weapons, if at all. The first FPS I can remember playing which allowed the user to adjust the point-of-view to look up and down was Duke Nukem, but his chronic scoliosis prevented him from craning his head up or down more than 45 degrees or so. As his melee attack, he would alternately throw his left and right jackbooted feet directly out in front of him like some kind of psycho Cossack dancer, so I know he had them.

Once the FPS genre evolved to the level of Quake, players were finally allowed total freedom of persepective, from looking directly upward to directly downward, and what did the player see when pointing his screen-centered rocket phallus directly down? Nothing. No feet at all. All the other players in a deathmatch seemed to have whole entire bodies, at least before they got fragged into piles of mush, but one's own space marine hovered around like a disembodied torso.

Maybe it's just me, but I found it very disconcerting to not be able to see my own feet. Even in games which allowed the player to see their character reflected in a mirror, the feet were cleary there, but could not be seen when the player looked down. Unreal featured some very nice refelective floors in which the player saw their characters legs and feet reflected back at them, but not present on this side of the marbled tile. No One Lives Forever 2, the game with which I'm currently enthused, showed promise by having the protagonist's feet fly out in front of her when she slips on a banana peel, but still no footsies when I look down!

I refuse to believe that it's that hard for a First-Person game to portray feet. I think that the graphics capabilities of computers have progressed to the point that it's not that difficult to just throw a set of legs and shoes below the player camera. Maybe at this point it's just tradition to not show the feet in FPS games. Perhaps, in this day of realistic graphics, they're missing to help the player distinguish between the game and reality. Like, "If you look down and see feet, put the gun away. If there are no feet, shoot anything that moves."

I can't be the only person who feels this way.

I've got to say, the new "Sobig" virus really cheers me up in the morning. See, I get to work and look at my inbox, and I'm like "Fuck, I have to deal with 67 e-mails today?" and then I see that about half aof them are about "Re: That movie" or something like that, and I can just delete them! Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I could just delete them all and say to anyone who asks me, "Oh, you mailed me? I guess I must've deleted it by accident when I cleared out all the virus e-mails." Thank you, "Sobig" creator!


The Gender Genie is bunk, I'm afraid. The algorithm, which can ostensibly determine the gender of an author simply by examining the text entered generated some very disappointing results when the following phrases were entered:

"I am a woman." - Male
"My nuts itch." - Female
"My visit to the gynecologist was very enlightening." - Male
"My two ovaries produce eggs, which are used to produce the offspring to which I will give birth through my vagina." - Male
"I am taking an herbal supplement to increase my penis' girth, but it does not seem to be having an effect." - Female

I mean, I think I was pretty obvious with those statements. However, there were some encouraging results as well:

"I say we bomb them back into the stone age!" - Male
"If there's grass on the field, you can play ball." - Male
"I think it's perfectly reasonable to own 120 pairs of shoes." - Female
"It's not you, it's me. We can still be friends, right?" - Female

(Link via LYD.)

Secret Codes and Tricks: Work Bathroom

To flush the middle stall, manipulate the flush handle in the following manner:
1. Quickly press and release
2. Press, hold for 3 seconds, then release
3. Quickly press and release

The contents of the toilet should then flush all the way down.


I was thinking of writing about how blatant the irony is that Bill O'Reilly's whining about how Al Franken is such a jerk for making baseless attacks upon him and his upstanding employers, but that would be too easy.

I did notice the following phrase in O'Reilly's column, though: "The dominance of Fox in the cable news world has shattered the stranglehold the left had on TV news for decades, and that has caused fear and loathing in some political circles."

"fear and loathing"? Uh oh.... someone get Hunter S. Thompson on the phone. I've got a fantastic idea.

O'Reilly and FOX News really have a lot to learn about humor. As effective as the whole "Franken's not a satirist. He's not funny. We don't think he's funny. Would you think it was funny if your face was on his book?" line seems to be for them, they are totally buying into his ploy. If Franken calls Fox a big corporate conservatively-biased media bully and they respond by suing the guy for copyright infringement, that's perfect for Franken. Are they really so obtuse that they can't see that they're acting almost as though they were a big corporate conservatively-biased media bully? The funniest part is that Franken's not really a satirist. All he has to do is point at Fox and O'Reilly in particular, and they do all the work themselves.


So not only did we get free food and booze at the dealership on Thursday, but free food at a reception at the Santa Cruz MAH on Friday night, and then free food and booze at the San Jose Museum of Art's surf culture art opening on Saturday.

The surf culture show at the SJMa is pretty dope. It seems like it would be more appropriate for Santa Cruz, but the exhibit is way too big for the SCMAH's gallery. Notable highlights include a vintage Ed Roth-designed surfmobile; a whole bunch of life-size kinetic hula-girl sculptures, which, upon closer inspection, are all beat up, have gang tattoos, track marks and hand grenades; and some really great surf painting renditions of George Washington Crossing the Delaware and this Caravaggio piece, whose name eludes me.

At the reception, all the museum members were wearing leis, and the food consisted of nachos, corn dogs, and mai tais, which is standard surfer fare, or something.

You can eat an awful lot of free food if you know the places to go. I remember being in college and every Tuesday going down to the art building for the weekly gallery openings and (mostly) for the free food that went along with them.

On Sunday night I pussed out of going to what I'm sure was an awesome DJ Z-Trip show in the city. I feel old, putting responsibilty and getting enough sleep before going to a concert and having fun, but I don't think I would have lasted till 2am on a Sunday night.

Note to deviant youth: At none of these events serving free alcohol was I carded.