"I've learned that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead."
-- Homer Simpson

We all know that Han shot first

If you haven’t already seen this on the interweebs, check out the Geek and Gamer Girls video, an excellent parody of the extremely ridiculous California Gurls by Katy Perry. There are many references to our favourite elements of geek-dom, and the one in the Lara Croft outfit is Seth Green‘s wife.

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Interesting idea…

So here’s an interesting article:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/story/2008/09/11/vote-swapping.html

There’s a facebook site set up for people who are struggling with wanting to vote their ideals, yet worrying about splitting the liberal/left vote and thus allowing the conservatives to get a majority. It lets you trade your votes with people in other ridings. E.g. If I live in a riding where the conservatives and liberals are close, but I want to vote green, I trade my vote with someone in a liberal stronghold who would normally vote liberal, they’ll vote green on my behalf, and I’ll vote liberal for them. An interesting attempt to unite the left….

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She’s got me spending

There’s an article in today’s Citizen about Alanis Morissette’s new album, and they quote her talking about wanting to make some fun music like My Humps. So apparently, just for fun, she did a video singing My Humps in her usual style, and it’s absolutely hilarious.

(If you don’t know the original, it’s a very entertaining song by the Black Eyed Peas, and the video can be seen here on YouTube. And before anyone writes them off as yet another bootylicious hip-hop group, rest assured that the Peas are somewhat more well-rounded.)

I just thought the Glebe crowd in particular would get a kick out of this… :-)

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Dark and scary, ordinary

I know Kamelot will probably love this, but this is hella creepy! “RoomBette La French Maid” in particular is very, very disturbing… :-)

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But seas between us broad have roared

Happy New Year, everyone! Or at least, those of you using the Gregorian calendar…the rare proponents of the Julian calendar have to wait until January 14 for their New Year’s festivities, and for anyone using the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Rat (4706) does not begin until February 7. Persians (and Zoroastrians) will wait until March 21 for Norouz, and now I’m tired of this multicultural recitation… :-)

I’m desperately trying to avoid making any New Year’s resolutions, as my history with them has been abysmal. I’m much better off just deciding to do something rather than tying it to the New Year…I guess I’m anti-fad in all forms…either that or I just have no willpower at all.

WIth 2007 behind us, however, I suggest everyone go have a look at the Year in Review movie over at JibJab.com. While you’re there, check out some of their earlier works, as most of these are pretty hilarious. My favourites are “What We Call the News” and “Big Box Mart”…

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I know the CIA would say what you hear is all hearsay

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but this one definitely warrants a return. It seems that El Chupacabra, the mythical goatsucker itself, has been found in a small town in Texas. Apparently, the recent exsanguinating of many local chickens has been explained by the discovery of three creatures that have not yet been identified. The whole story is available here (and here and here and here, too).

Personally, I’ve never doubted the existence of El Chupacabra, at least not since that one X-files episode… :-)

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People are, indeed, idiots

Check out this sign, everyone! I thought it was perfect for the Blog :)

And the website where some of these came from is pretty funny too. Have a look at these t-shirts! I love the white one on the right. But THIS ONE takes the cake! (ha ha)

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Men weren’t meant to ride with clouds between their knees

I don’t normally do all the crap quizzes that seem to permeate the net…but how could a comics geek like me not do the Superhero Quiz?

Apparently, my best match is for the wallcrawler himself:

Spider-man: 85%
Superman: 65%
Green Lantern: 55%
Iron Man: 55%
The Flash: 50%
Robin: 45%
Hulk: 45%
Batman: 40%
Supergirl: 35%
Catwoman: 35%
Wonder Woman: 25%

I’m not sure whether or not to worry that I’m a 25% match for Wonder Woman… :-)

And of course, how can you have a Superhero Quiz without a Supervillan Quiz? Here are my matches for villains:

Apocalypse: 60%
Magneto: 57%
Dr. Doom: 55%
The Joker: 51%
Juggernaut: 49%
Lex Luthor: 47%
Riddler: 47%
Dark Phoenix: 42%
Mr. Freeze: 40%
Kingpin: 39%
Green Goblin: 37%
Venom: 34%
Two-Face: 33%
Poison Ivy: 32%
Catwoman: 31%
Mystique: 17%

I guess I’m glad to see that I’m not a very good match for any villain, but I would have thought Kingpin would be higher up on my list than he is…and how is Mr. Freeze even on my list at all?! :-)

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It affects your occupational performance

Ugh…this returning to work thing after almost 3 weeks off is pretty painful. I’ve never actually taken so much time off work at once (in the almost-fourteen years of employment at the Evil Corporation), and now I can see why — the return is almost as painful as the before-vacation stress!

The amusing thing is that, while I had no problem getting up early last week (when I had a full schedule of sitting on my ass), I’m having issues getting up early now. I think my brain is revolting at the idea of returning to work… :-)

Anyway…for the Joss Whedon fans in withdrawal, I was surprised to find a well-written fan fiction site recently. The unofficial Angel Season Six is well worth reading. I think the writers have captured the voices of the characters very well, and the storyline is very reminiscent of Seasons 2 through 4 (and the better parts of Season 4, at that). I’m only at the fifth episode, but so far none of the characters are having inappropriate sexual relations:-)

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Take me where I cannot stand

Our favourite Joss Whedon sci-fi has been licensed for a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. Apparently, by 2008 we’ll be able to login and play around in the ‘verse.

(BTW, I found this very cool wiki site!)

So far, I’ve been able to resist getting into any of the MMOs (even Star Wars Galaxies), mainly because I am truly afraid of what it would do to my life. However, a Firefly-based game might just be enough to break me–after all, Joss Whedon is my master now:-)

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It takes control and slowly tears you apart

Scientists have apparently figured out how to design the cloaking shield from Trek lore, and they’ve demonstrated it experimentally, albeit not yet with visible light. They’ve been able to make a copper cylinder disappear on radar, which is the first step towards expanding the concept towards making something truly invisible. This is different from current stealth technology, which only makes stealth craft extremely difficult to lock onto with radar beams.

Personally, I think that Porky’s fans everywhere are getting that special gleam in their eyes… :-)

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Dressed up like a million dollar trouper

Although this weekend was quite work-filled for me, I managed to join the gang down at the Canal Ritz for Homewrecker’s birthday festivities. Other than that, though, I have to say this whole being re-dedicated to work thing is really chewing into my spare time… :-)

In what little free time I have, I’ve been very frustrated with the weather lately…the unbelievably atypical Ottawa winter is not providing a whole lot of opportunity for outdoor activities. I’m still signed up for the 29km Keskinada, but at the rate I’m going, there’s no way I’ll be ready.

Oh well, enough griping. Leonard Lee (of Lee Valley) is apparently having quite a spat with Canada Post. This isn’t the first time that issues have arisen with taxpayer-funded corporations — I remember a few years ago that the various privately-held Canadian television networks were complaining that the CBC was airing programming without any commercial breaks, something that the private networks were unable to do without suffering a huge loss (I wish I could find a link to a news story about this, but Google has surprisingly failed me in this regard).

If I was better rested, I’d probably rant about the use of public funds to undercut or otherwise aggressively compete with private sector business. However, I think I’ll just go to bed instead… :-)

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You can buy off the rack, or have it custom made

The funniest thing ever. Make sure to scroll down and read the description and all of the questions.

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All through the town

If anyone’s looking for a cheap car, check out this vehicle auction going on in Winchester the weekend after Thanksgiving (at Rideau Auctions). Think of the road trips we could have with this thing! :-)

I really want one of these, but the femtovan and all the home improvements this year have really drained the coffers (and then some).

Speaking of which, there are some updates on the deck log.

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I don’t care, I’m still free

Check out this interview with Joss Whedon talking about Serenity, opening this Friday.

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If wishes were trees

Here’s an interesting article about David Cross (of Mr. Show and Arrested Development fame) dealing with Hollywood crap.

I find it very confusing how movie and TV executives can be so uninterested in someone who is clearly a successful comic with a built-in fan base. He may not be able to pull in Rob Schneider‘s numbers, but it’s not like he’s Carrot Top.

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A Seersucker too!

Woo-hoo! The Big Nerd Ranch where I used to work (before the Evil Corporation took over) is being referenced (by its original name) in today’s Ask Yahoo!.

For some reason, I found this exciting…

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Come on and safari with me

An exciting development awaits you on the Landscaping Log!

After fixing my home internet access (no loose wire jokes…he’s doing the best he can), I decided to catch up on my regular webcomics, and was pleased to read over at PvP that the T-shirt pictured at the right will be available from ThinkGeek in a couple of weeks. A definite must for the Serenity opening in September.

Oh, there’s some good news for Kamelot over at Penny Arcade, and BirdLady should take a look at today’s Ctrl+Alt+Del for some help with a crucial decision… :-)

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You can’t write if you can’t relate

Sorry I’ve been absent for so long…my life has been taken over by my recent obsession with landscaping. I’ll be posting pictures of the project eventually, but in the meantime, entertain yourselves with some more evidence that Paris Hilton is either a self-indulgent moron or a self-promotional genius. I’m honestly not sure which it is… :-)

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As I recall, I think we both kinda liked it

As promised (in an e-mail trail outside the realm of this blog), the Movie Tracker is now available. Blog members can use this page to submit movie viewings (by movie and viewing date/time), and anyone can query all of our viewings. Just make sure you’re logged into the blog first before going to the page.

I’ve added a link to the Movie Tracker under the “Movies & Television” category of the links section.

And yes, I agree that this nudges me further along the road from geek to nerd… :-)

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There is still good in him

Today’s PvP is highly appropriate for our crowd… :-)

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That place, a domain of evil it is…in you must go

This month is apparently all about Star Wars, and I’m totally into it. Heavy.com has a new category up called Sith Happens. Go to the site, click on Vader, and check out some of the clips, particularly Helmet Chafe, Darth Vader Pitch and M&M Star Wars.

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Guns…lots of guns…

I’m thinking I should get one of these for those annoying rush hour moments.

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I’ve been here for too long to face this on my own

While doing some random surfing, I came upon a link to CNet’s Top 10 Must-Have Gadgets. Having always been something of a gadget…um…enthusiast, I figured that this would be something I would enjoy reading.

What did I find? Nary a gadget on the list was something I really wanted! Even the couple of items that seem cool are tainted by the “realities” of usefulness or reliability. What the hell’s happening to me? In days past, not only would I have loved everything on that list, I probably would own at least three items in the same timeframe it’s taking me to write this post. Is this growing up? Cuz, if so, I’m not happy…

I feel the need for some retail therapy…hmmm, maybe a computer upgrade! :-)

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Tunnel vision from the outsider’s screen

I was going to rant about the satanic nature of this arrangement between Sony and Pizza Hut, but the eloquent folks at Ctrl+Alt+Del have already done it for me in graphical form.

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Must…move away…from computer…

Ctrl+Alt+Del - a site that I can relate toThanks to a link in Tycho’s post today, I’ve discovered a new gaming-related webcomic: Ctrl+Alt+Del. I’ve just spent the last 45 minutes going through their archives instead of, y’know, going to work. I’m now going to attempt to tear myself away…

My Half Life 2-playing friends should look at this comic, and Kamelot should look at this one.

Kinda makes me wish I had some kind of artistic talent… :-)

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Next on Fox: When Icebergs Attack!

Let's see what happens!Apparently there’s an iceberg the size of Long Island that’s crashing into one of the Antarctic glaciers, and this is causing quite a hubbub. It’s sort of good news, as everyone’s hoping that the impact will clear up a bunch of smaller icebergs that have been causing an unusual blockage in the Ross Sea, which in turn has been threatening the local penguin population.

For some reason, I find this incredibly funny… :-)

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Ahh… a rant-worthy topic finally surfaces

So Bush Junior is back in. Well from my (liberal minded) perspective, that pretty well sucks rotten eggs, but probably not worth actually ranting about. Way too much of that lefty-venting blowing across the border already. Don’t get me wrong, I think the man is a morally bankrupt, war-mongering, puppet for a technocratic, corporatist world-view, interested only in benefiting his “kind”, which I personally find abhorrent despite participating (at least passively; though to some extent resistively) in what I like to think of as a less-so version thereof. (Okay, mini-rant… But then, if I go down that route I’ll just be angry all day, and as there’re enough other people who are so much more talented at being angry than I am (and who don’t feel the need to get bogged-down by giving voice to their own parenthetical doubts), I’ll desist somewhat.)

So, no, I don’t think I’ll bother ranting about the American electoral system, colleges and all. Parts of it seem screwy, but I’ll leave it to others to provide their hopefully more informed take on just what’s screwy about it (screwiness is in the eye-of-the-beholder?). At least my (vague) impression (at this point) is that the system worked more or less the way it was supposed to (whether we like the way it was supposed to work and/or the results it produced or not). Yes, lots of issues around absentee ballots, voter registration and provisional ballots (and so on) but at lest there seems to be a significant improvement on the 2000 election. And check-out the voter turn out (almost 60%; highest since 1968)! At least the election results (the numbers rather than the win-lose) are more representative. Now if we could just get the side that won to pay attention to the fact that just under half of the voters wanted something else!

That said, I’ll put in my little plug for electoral reform here in Canada: The Law Commission of Canada has an electoral reform project which published it’s Final Report (“Voting Counts: Electoral Reform For Canada”) early last spring. Funny how under Canada’s current system (a “First past the post” system) a party with significantly less than half of the popular vote can win a significant majority of seats in parliament (as was the case with the last Chrétien government, and seems to me similar to the newly elected situation in the States).

Okay, so maybe it’s not so “funny”; this can be seen as a strength, with our system tending to produce majority governments with enough power to actually make things happen: historically a ‘desirable’ thing(?). Personally I value collaboration more (as distinct from compromise!), and feel this approach would be more useful in our current context of social diversity.

The report gives a good primer on various electoral systems, including their impact on the proportion of parliamentary representation to the popular vote, and recommends one system in particular (a “mixed member proportional system” for those of you who care). And yes, the obvious “drawback” is that it results in minority governments most of the time; if that were the case, then they might have to learn how to cooperate like the rest of us did by watching Sesame Street.

…I think there’s also an argument for fixed election dates lurking around in there somewhere, but I’m not sure how I feel about that yet — a gut reaction against American ways; being challenged by the fact that I haven’t even read the article that I just linked to. :(

The Law Commission’s report also deals with other important aspects of electoral reform, but since the proportionality issue is merely technical in nature (essentially about math and the systems for transferring votes into seats in parliament) it’s relatively easy to be clear about and to give clear recommendations around (though whether agreement exists about the values underlying those recommendations is a completely other issue; at least the mechanics of the systems under consideration are fairly straightforward). But then, for other issues –like how to improve women’s and aboriginal representation in parliament– the analysis isn’t as simple (not just math and vote transfer), and so the recommendations come out feeling a little weak. That said, I like the intentions behind the recommendations, and I only wish that they could be more clearly defined, implemented and generally useful.

Ahh… such is the murk of complexity.
Hop in! Wallow a bit!
Bogman

p.s. On a related note, B.C. is currently in the process of changing their electoral system. (Prompted partly by the massively lop-sided victory in the last election, despite what I think was approximate popular balance?) B.C.’s work in this area (as well as that of other provinces) was part of the input into the Law Commission’s study; B.C. seems to be leading the pack in this aspect of reform here in Canada.

P.p.s. For those interested in more fuel against the US occupation of Iraq, CBC‘s Ideas program (of Monday, November 1) presented “War and Fleece“, a very interesting lecture by Naomi Kline (of No Logo fame) about the US’s on-going attempt to transform Iraq. A similar article, “Baghdad Year Zero: Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neo-con utopia” (in text rather than audio) appears on the No Logo site.

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I wanna be a merchandising whore…

OK, we need to come up with a bunch of buzzphrases and graphics, so that we can open a store!

Here’s a start:

  • people = idiots
  • Neither a lender nor an idiot be
  • Don’t worry, I’m an idiot, too

Think we can get this done in time for the Christmas rush? :-)

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Too feline to begin the training…

Once again, Gabe and Tycho have managed to capture the moment perfectly. :-)

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Simpler Life, eh?

Y’know, on a day like today one might expect me to blog about something like, say, the olympic opening ceremonies that i’m watching. But no. Clearly i have more important things on my mind. Such as cheesy celebrity ‘reality’ television. Reality is obviously in quotes due to the fact that these shows in no way involve actual reality. Regardless, i’m addicted and i’m about to be forced into going cold turkey. As you may have heard the newlyweds have called it quits. No, they aren’t getting divorced as most would expect, they’re just ditching the cameras. Sorry nick, thats the last we’ll hear of you then, except in jessica’s award acceptance speeches. What i’m most heartbroken over tho is the abrupt end (they skipped like 3 states!) of the simple life 2: road trip. How will i get by without my weekly parisisms and nicole troublemaking? Am i expected to leave my apartment and live my own life? Thats crazy talk! So here’s my idea: The Simple Life 3! Ok, so far not so groundbreaking i know, but it gets better. Canadian road trip. Eh? It could start in halifax then first stop wolfville nova scotia! they can stay in the closet grotto i like to call my apartment (nicole an paris in a bachelor apartment? trust me, hilarity will ensue) then go on to explore canada’s regionalism. They’d be stupid not to do this.

ps- kavi, did you mail my firecrackers yet?

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Stupider like a FOX!

Homer

I just came across a great site devoted to The Simpsons, which includes a full episode guide and (best of all) a quotes section.

This is going into the links section, but I thought I’d emphasize it here.

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