Zombies in plain English [YouTube]
Timely pointers for a dangerous world.
Snitches gotta fly ... and pundits gotta pontificate. From the London Daily Mail:
Outspoken atheist Professor Richard Dawkins is to warn children of the dangers in believing "anti-scientific" fairytales such as Harry Potter.
Prof Dawkins will write a book aimed at youngsters where he will discuss whether stories like the successful JK Rowling series have a "pernicious" effect on children.
The 67-year-old, who recently resigned from his position at Oxford University, says he intends to look at the effects of "bringing children up to believe in spells and wizards".
'Looking back to my own childhood, the fact that so many of the stories I read allowed the possibility of frogs turning into princes, whether that has a sort of insidious affect on rationality, I'm not sure. Perhaps it's something for research.'
O my [collisions of subatomic particles occurring in random fashion], the man may be onto something!
Because history shows there's no way that children can differentiate between scientific reasoning and fictionalized accounts of magic. I mean, look at the kids who grew up reading C.S. Lewis, De Saint-Exupery, Madeline L'Engle and Tolkien. Whole generations of young minds, absolutely ruined for science. Beware!
In other JK Rowling news, it looks like nobody's prepared to remedy the mix-up regarding my personal copy of Beedle the Bard. By all rights, one of those handmade copies should have come to me. If it hadn't been for me, with all the blogging I did about the books, encouraging all eleven of you to buy them (and talk them up to your own few dozen readers), it's doubtful JK Rowling would have amassed the fortune she has today.
Not that I'm bitter! I'm just saying, it's important to remember where you came from.
Anyway, as I predicted, the almighty pound wins again, and Beedle the Bard is coming to bookstores, just in time for the holidays. But this time, I won't encourage you to buy a single copy.
Although it looks pretty cool.
You know. For a book that will sap your children's brains and everything.
So, I've committed to helping my office transform our front desk into a trick or treat station. This isn't because of some huge reserve of zealous holiday cheer on my part, but because a) my boss was sort of guilted into agreeing to let it happen by certain administrators that have (semi-jokingly?) accused my department of being aloof from the rest of the agency, and b) a real distaste among my coworkers for ostentatious displays of whimsy and holiday cheer at the office.
At our staff meeting, eyes rolled at the prospect of putting on a Halloween display. "In these economic times," began one coworker - before I suddenly lunged out of my seat and volunteered to do whatever. Yeah, I'll thread the fake cobweb everywhere, and lay out candy in the plastic pumpkins. I'll be the civil servant who risks looking like she has no real work to do for an hour next Thursday. Just please don't finish that thought. The economy? I'm sure the economy and our collective dignity will survive the purchase of $15 worth of Halloween shit from the crafts store. Sheesh.
Bomono is today's cool new graphics toy. Make beautiful stripes and swooshes. A cynical Reddit commenter remarked that this is nothing but a Web 2.0 logo creator. But that's not all bad. Isn't everybody dreaming up their own Web 2.0 business model these days?
This is embarrassing, but I have to confess I haven't been reading funny blogs this week. With the election coming up, it's election blogs all day, every day. So as a compromise, this edition of Friday dog-blogging will be a roundup of the political funnies. (Even Whistler's mother's poodle is actually watching the debate. [via TPADB])
Obama is really Irish [YouTube]
It's raining McCain [YouTube]
McCain + Elizabeth = McQueen
That dance-off video is even popular among my Brit blogfriends. People keep sending it to me!
And for my boss (if she actually knew to read this, which she doesn't and let's all keep it that way) ... the reason why I may throw my hands up on Tuesday, November 4 and just stay in bed.
Oh, blogfolk, the things I do for you!
Such as peeling my hands off a brass rail long enough to snap a photo as I rode this trolley, not too long ago.
Sacramento Regional Transit is sometimes a little short on regular buses, (this is the only logical reason I can find) so they periodically wheel out these older vehicles, which were modded a while back to look like authentic trolleys.
(I used to see them running between Old Sac and the Capitol, but it's my wholly unsubstantiated theory SacRT discontinued this practice because riding the trolleys scared off the tourists. It looks more and more like the trolleys are assigned the parking garage circuit. Maybe because we public employees don't pay much for the bus service to begin with.)
Understand the seats are wooden and slick. On the right-hand side there's one long bench running from front to back.
Please also know the drivers all *hate* being assigned the trolleys. I know, because they tell us! While the drivers still operate their vehicles in an entirely safe manner, it does seem they vent a bit by rounding corners with a certain seething precision. When they apply the brakes, folks slide up the side seat and bump butts like curling stones.
All of which makes for one wild ride. If anybody wants to be a Sacto tourist, let me know and I'll put you on one of our trolleys. When you're done, we'll meet up for lunch. I'll be driving my own car, of course.
It's Saturday, so you have plenty of time to test your multitasking skills at Too Much To Do, one of the games in USA Network's Character Arcade. Bunny and I just discovered this game on Friday night. Bunny says to tell you we are so sorry. It was such a bugger, she took the mouse, I took the keyboard, and we tried working together!
Good. Lord. Is it Friday already?
So anyway: I didn't think there were any cubicle-inspired games left that you and I hadn't played on this blog. But that was before I found Escapa. Grab the red square (representing YOU) and keep it from coming in contact with the blue squares (representing your BOSS and other unsavories). Warning: Don't play "Ant City", on the same page, because that's tomorrow's It's Saturday game. Plus, it might make you laugh too hard and all your cubicle mates will know you're goofing off instead of working.*
Cerberus as a puppy - The Reddit commenters give this extra LULZ.
Star Wars ABC - Cuuuuute. If I'd had these 'long about 1999, Bunny would know the difference between Boba Fett and a bantha.
Bring scissors - Some churches have all the fun.
Noteboek [YouTube] - an amazing stop-action animation [thx Karen]
* Oh, who am I kidding. Half my readers now are self-employed.
State Senator Ernie Chambers is our new Avatar of Eris.
Lincoln, Neb. (AP) -- A judge has thrown out a Nebraska legislator's lawsuit against God, saying the Almighty wasn't properly served due to his unlisted home address. State Sen. Ernie Chambers filed the lawsuit last year seeking a permanent injunction against God.He said God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents in Omaha, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants."
Q: Did you pee in the fishbowl again?
That’s an excellent question and I want to thank you for the opportunity to sit and talk with you at the Lego table. I’ve always felt that the hardworking taxpayers of this household deserve straight answers regarding their fishbowl urination-related concerns.
(Read the whole thing - most disturbingly reminiscent of past presidential debates.)
In other news, John Cleese no longer thinks Michael Palin is the funniest Palin.
It's Saturday, and you've had a whole week to
abandon finish last week's physics game, so we'll play with a couple of visually-oriented games instead.
The Eyeballing Game - adjust the blue bar to make a parallelogram, find the midpoint of a line segment, bisect an angle, etc.
Test your color IQ - drag and drop the colors to arrange them by hue order. How'd you do?
President Sarah Palin merchandise - You only have a few more weeks to kick Sarah Palin around before she heads back to Alaska, so buy up.
Handmade fonts - Cool! I wouldn't mind getting a set, but I'm not clear about the monetary exchange rate, fellas.
Um? There's a musical road in Lancaster, California? [YouTube] It seems that Honda had grooves cut into the road so that, when you drive that stretch at 55 mph, you hear The William Tell Overture. Sure, there are some bugs in the system, but I bet we could come up with some practical applications.
So you fell asleep watching a DVD, eh? Which one? (Me, I zodded out during Bourne Supremacy. Seriously, I still don't know what that damn movie's about. Though last week's Waldo Ultamatum cleared up some of it.)
And for BB and Anthony: 'Big Science' is always suppressing The Truth with their blatant pro-evolution anti-wacko agenda! It is time to fight back and urge schools to Teach The Controversy!
I was perusing all the Twitter posts well after tonight's debate ended, and found this particularly delightful.
So which was it - awesome, or epic fail? I remarked to BB at the time that this final question was quintessential Brokaw. I've always noted that mile-wide philosophical streak in the man. Shoot, if Brokaw had delivered the final question as haiku, I would not have been surprised. So I liked it, and listened closely to hear how each candidate would answer. (Neither really did - big shocker!)
My whole family's been playing Fantastic Contraption since I put up the link on Saturday. Heard the music coming from BB's computer, but I'm not sure what level he's on. Bunny just came in to get some advice on level 11 (Mission to Mars), while I've been working on (and having nightmares about) level 14 (Four Balls). It's obvious I must create some kind of water wheel-looking engine, but how?
I'm not that good with these spatial relations puzzles. Well, I'm pretty good, but I get crazy-impatient after a short while and I just guess at the answer, hoping my intuition was working behind the scenes to get the answer right.
I remember in high school, taking the ASVAB proficiency test. Every senior had to take it at my school. (Or was it voluntary? I can't remember. All I remember is that I had no intention of going into the Army, so I didn't devote the same level of care to it that I had to, say, the SATs.)
Things were going swimmingly - math, grammar, etc - until we got to the spatial relations section. Here, you were shown a complex shape, and had to fill in the Scantron bubble for whichever shape - A, B, C, or D - was the exact same figure turned in another direction. I played along for the first few questions. Then I got crazy-impatient, closed the test and arbitrarily filled in the rest of the Scantron bubbles with A,B,C,D,A,B,C,D, etc.
It was an unusually reckless thing for me to do. I was kind of proud of myself, and hoped that my pathetic score of 25% on the spatial relations test would make me too bad a prospect for the Army. Ha-ha!