May 31, 2007
Bush Has A Vision
And that glorious vision is of a golden 50 years of American occupation of Iraq, as we've done in South Korea. Delight your children with the idea that their grandchildren will also be serving in Baghdad.
A Better Prius Hack
Much better than the silly idea of using a Toyota Prius to absorb and re-sell power to the grid (which I posted about not long ago) is this idea to put solar cells on the roof of a Prius (or other hybrid) improving mileage by as much as 29%.
A Little More Pressure Against Palmwood
The Sierra Club and Center For Biological Diversity are already suing the city of Desert Hot Springs in an attempt to stop the Palmwood development. Now they have added LAFCO, Michael Crosby and Landmark Properties to their suit. This may bring some additional pressure on LAFCO to reverse its approval of the annexation of the area by DHS when it takes up that question again on June 28.
However this all works itself out, I certainly hope every lawyer involved eventually builds a nice, new home in DHS.
Not to be outdone, here's a Ron Paul widget:
Created by Voltier Search Marketing
Wow, look a Gravel widget:
Created by Voltier Search Marketing
Dont' worry, this will eventually drop off the front page.
If your office got a fax like the one above what would you do? Would you shut down your office and the entire strip mall where it's located, including a restaurant and a day care center? Would you call in a dozen local police and firefighters plus the state bomb squad? You would if you were the Bank Of America branch in Ashland, Massachusetts.
Regal Cinemas Good Idea
In 114 Regal Cinemas, a random member of the Regal Crown Club Loyalty Program will be handed a push button device that allows that customer to report problems with picture, sound, piracy or "other disturbance." It's that "other disturbance" that we're all concerned with. The cell phone talker, the constant narrator, the whiny baby. Push a button and the floor opens under the seat of the offender and they drop into a pool of molten iron. No, not really, not yet. Of course, that's the ultimate goal of this device, but now it's in beta, so it just sends a message to the pager of the theater manager, who comes in and shows a picture of molten iron to the troublemaker.
If you too would like to join the Regal Crown Club Loyalty Program so that you can become the hall monitor at your nearby movie palace, you start the process right here.
Here's a press release from Staples saying that you can now drop off "computers and other office technology" for recycling at any of their stores. The catch is that you pay $10 for each large item. There's nothing on their website about it yet, so to be cautious, you might want to phone ahead to your Staples location if you're planning to take advantage of this.
A site with dozens and dozens and dozens of versions of Popcorn. If you work in a cubicle farm, I suggest turning up the volume and clicking through each one. Time how long it takes to generate a violent reaction from one of your cow-orkers, and then let us know the results. Tell us the length of time, what kind of business it is, and anything else that will make us laugh.
Other "Street View" Cities
Wild Animals And The Drought
Info from park rangers at Joshua Tree National Park and from the proprietor of an animal shelter in 29 Palms that the continuing drought is pressuring wild animals into closer contact with humans in their search for water and food. Bobcats have been reported in 29 Palms, and a badger at White Tank was being "semi-aggressive." I think "semi-aggressive" means the badger comes up and asks if he can wash your windshield. When you say no, he pouts. If he was truly aggressive, he'd tell you to go fuck yourself, adding an appropriate ethnic epithet.
I have posted a couple of times (here and here) about my search for kefir since moving to the Coachella Valley. I've been buying it at Clark's, which is not an entirely satisfactory customer experience. They carry all the Lifeway varieties (Lifeway is like the standard brand of kefir throughout the U.S.), as well as a few varieties of Helios. Clark's likes to stock the shelves so that every variety has two bottles facing out; the rows are about 8 deep. Very pretty. But I only want the unsweetened, low fat variety. And, judging by the condition of the stock, that's pretty much what everyone else wants. Every time they've got only one or two (or zero) bottles of what I want. So I'll go for the high fat variety (if there's any of that) or even the more expensive Helios (if any). At the same time, the sweetened varieties are fully stocked. Just sitting there...like wall flowers.
So I was very pleased yesterday to discover that Trader Joe's now carries kefir, apparently only two varieties: low fat plain and low fat strawberry. Only $2.49 a bottle, which is cheaper than Clark's price.
Here's a website where they keep track of new items at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods (man, EVERYthing is on the internet!) and they mention TJ's kefir showed up in January this year. If you go read the fine print on the bottle you'll see it says "Dist. & sold exclusively by: Trader Joe's, Needham, MA 02494" As far as I know, Trader Joe's HQ is in Monrovia, California, so why does the kefir label refer to Needham, Massachusetts? I came across one website (not linking to it) with an unsubstantiated assertion that TJ had contracted with Lifeway for the kefir. Lifeway is in the Chicago area.
As with almost any food, you can find websites making ridiculous health claims for kefir (use it to fight ADHD?!), but here's a fairly level-headed site that tells you what kefir is. And here's a page with lots of info.
May 30, 2007
Dr. Kevorkian To Be Released June 1
After serving 8 years of his 10-year term, Jack Kevorkian will be released from prison on Friday. He says he will continue his fight to legalize voluntary euthanasia, but will not assist in any deaths.
The Desert Sun Shines
Desert Hot Springs Proposals
Last night the DHS city council met to discuss and publicize proposed re-designing and re-branding of the city. Now, if you went to the Desert Sun for your news on this, you might find it poor journalism to bury the name of the city in the third paragraph. In a valley with nine (it is nine, isn't it?) incorporated municipalities, to refer to "the City Council" and "the city" is really ambiguous. Although, I'd be happy to add DHS to the ranks of cities like London, Manhattan and San Francisco that can be referred to simply as "The City." But will we be able to buy enough tasers to make the rest of the valley go along with this idea?
Further, the Desert Sun's article buries the one real, solid news story at the very bottom: "City Manager Ann Marie Gallant did not announce a new police chief as expected and said a final decision has not been made."
You can see in the PDF that different parts of the city are designated earth, air and water (no fire), which identify design themes for plantings, business facades, colors, etc. Looking closely you will see the intersection of Pierson and Palm has been labeled "The Downtown Experience." If they stick with that designation, then we'll be obligated to have Petula Clark perform Downtown at the grand ribbon-cutting ceremony years hence.
City Manager Gallant did emphasize the need to move speedily to begin to implement the new plan, so it did not become just another plan on the shelf.
Photo by dailydolores.
May 29, 2007
New Google Image Search Parameters
According to Google Blogscoped Google image search now recognizes two additional parameters, but you have to manually add them to the URL until Google adds a button to their page.
To narrow your image search to faces add this to the end of the URL: &imgtype=face
Or, use &imgtype=news to narrow your search to news, whatever that means.
The obvious question is what other terms will Google image search recognize.
Let me tell you that neither &imgtype=sex nor &imgtype=porn do anything.
This Is Not A Polish Joke
Wait, I take that back. It is a Polish joke, but also real. Ewa Sowinska a Polish "government-appointed children rights watchdog" is digging to find out if the Teletubbies are gay! Not just stupid, but so very 1990s.
Ron Paul on "Daily Show"
A woman who gets herself up as Mao Zedong and is trying to make a living at it in China.