Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Think your job's tough? What if the person judging your performance was someone who failed when he tried to do your job?
That's what NBA referees have to deal with.
"First of all, there's incompetence from top to bottom," [former referee Hue] Hollins said. "You have Ronnie Nunn at the top, who was never a top referee, and he is not respected by any ref in the field today. From there, the referee observers in each city are not competent -- I know of one who is a high school football coach -- and some of the group supervisors were failed referees.
"Sure, we make mistakes. But when I left the league, refs were in the 96th to 97th percentile of getting calls right. But it was always the same second-guess -- by incompetent people. From a mental standpoint, it's brutal. Most guys get gun-shy and can't take it. I'm a professional referee for 27 years, and some supervisor who proved he couldn't do it is telling me how to do my job? That's like sending an auto mechanic into O.R. for heart surgery."
Posted by JStruan at 6:25 PM
His relatives round up cellphones and use them to to provide light during the surgery. Sounds like a commercial, but it really happened.
Posted by JStruan at 6:21 PM
Intrigued by this post, which described Bakewell's efforts at animal breeding as "sinister" and "skin-crawling," I looked around a bit for more information.
At The Society of Border Leicester Sheep Breeders' site, I learned:
Robert Bakewell followed on the work of arable pioneers Jethro Tull and Lord “Turnip” Townshend but it is in the field of livestock and especially sheep that Bakewell particularly excelled. At this time all sheep were run together, breeding at random resulting in many different breeds all with their own unique, but random characteristics. Bakewell segregated the sexes, allowed mating only to occur deliberately and specifically. He developed a system of breeding termed “in-and-in”, breeding animals of close relationship with each other or line breeding as it is known today. It is thought he started with the old Lincolnshire breed crossing them with the best of the local Leicestershire types and then by breeding “in-and-in” coupled with rigorous selection and culling was able to fix desirable characteristics for improved meat quality and production through pre-potency. This resultant breed Bakewell called the “New Leicester” becoming known as the “Dishley Leicester”.
And at Wikipedia, I learned that he greatly improved the taste of mutton. Not a bad epitah.
Posted by JStruan at 5:17 AM
A little too in your face futuristic for my taste. My understanding is that there's a major tie-in with the new Iron Man movie. There is an Audi R8 site with desktop wallpapers, a screensaver, and an incredibly boring intro cinema, but no Iron Man.
Posted by JStruan at 5:02 AM
Monday, July 30, 2007
You can learn about Hardon Tea here. Or visit Serious Eats to see the chocolate bar known as Plopp. While you're there, don't miss their coverage of the Butter Burger, depicted below. (I think I got a pimple just looking at it.)
Posted by JStruan at 7:56 PM
In SAHARA UNVEILED: A Journey Across the Desert, he writes of the Belgian husband and wife and their 5-year-old son who decide to make an adventure of crossing the desert in an old Peugeot, in which they make a wrong turn, and then, break down.
The Belgians hoped a truck would come along. For a week they waited, scanning the horizon for a dust-tail or the glint of a windshield. This was in a place, more or less, where the maps still insist on showing a road. The woman felt upwellings of panic. She began to write more frantically, filling pages in single sessions. The water ran low, then dry, and the family grew horribly thirsty. After filtering it through a cloth, they drank the car’s radiator fluid. They had arrived at the danger stage...
After the coolant was gone, the Belgians started sipping gasoline. You would too. Call it petroposia. Saharans have recommended it to me as a way of staying off the battery acid. The woman wrote that it seemed to help...
The boy was weakest, and was suffering terribly. In desperation, they burned their car, hoping someone would see the smoke. No one did. The boy could no longer swallow. His name was Maurice. His parents killed him to stop the pain. Later, the husband cut himself open and allowed his wife to drink his blood. At his request, she broke his neck with a rock. Alone now, she no longer wanted to live. Still, the Sahara was fabulous, she wrote, and she was glad to have come. She would do it again.
Not uplifting, but gripping. The excerpt is from Nancy Rommelmann's review of Langewiesche's new book The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor
Posted by JStruan at 7:46 PM
"Antique looking books seem perfectly harmless until someone walks by, then the middle book slides out toward the victim as if it will fall from the shelf. Books also emit spooky sounds for a totally haunted effect."
Buy. Via Boing Boing.
Hawley come across fairly well, but it's tough to evaluate when most of the answers are variations on trust us, we know more than you.
Posted by JStruan at 1:50 PM
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
Acts 8:36-8:40. Via Futility Closet.
Posted by JStruan at 12:44 PM
THE call letters KUNT have landed at a yet-unbuilt low-power digital television station in Wailuku, Maui.
Alarmingly similar to a word the dictionary says is obscene, the call letters were among a 15-page list of new call letters issued by the Federal Communications Commission and released this week.
read more here.
Posted by JStruan at 11:36 AM
Catholic missionaries are being encouraged to go into the virtual realm of Second Life to save virtual souls
In an article in Rome-based Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, academic Antonio Spadaro urged fellow Catholics not to be scared of entering the virtual world which may be fertile ground for new converts wishing to better themselves.
"It's not possible to close our eyes to this phenomenon or rush to judge it," Spadaro said. "Instead it needs to be understood ... the best way to understand it is to enter it."
Read more. Via Clusterflock.
Posted by JStruan at 8:10 AM
Posted by JStruan at 5:09 AM
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Large version here.
Posted by JStruan at 1:31 PM
Posted by JStruan at 12:44 PM
Saturday, July 28, 2007
From Publishers Weekly
Unabashedly campy and titillating, Nolan's debut novel (after short story collection The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories) is a tale of 1950s lesbian career girls loose in the big city. Innocent suburban cheerleader Lois Lenz is thrilled when her guidance counselor suggests she forgo junior college and take a secretarial position in nearby Bay City. Leaving behind Faye, her best friend and kissing practice partner, Lois rents a room at the Magdalena Arms, a once reputable boarding house for career girls that has fallen into disrepair. As the personal secretary to the cutthroat ad exec Mrs. Pierson, Lois must juggle her new career with her new friends and their search for the truth behind the disappearance of the girl who once lived in Lois's room. Lois eventually partakes in a few Sapphic trysts before realizing her true deviant nature (as she puts it). Nolan effortlessly parodies the world of the career girl and tries to do for the growing lesbian pulp genre what Hammett and Chandler did for the private dick novels of the 1940s. While its appeal will be limited, this is a must-read for any fan of steamy pulp fiction.
Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary
(The review's not yet online, but Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-.)
*Previously: Lesbian gang epidemic.
"Paper Football - That's right Paper Football, I love this mode. We used to play paper football everyday at lunch time when I was a kid, and to add it to the DS has been a treat for me. Not only is it like the game you know and love, we've added some nice twists you can use in the ultimate mode."
Posted by JStruan at 1:05 PM
Posted by JStruan at 12:12 PM
* Commentary by Ridley Scott
* Commentary by Executive Producer/ Co-Screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Co-Screenwriter David Peoples; Producer Michael Deely and production executive Katherine Haber
* Commentaries by visual futurist Syd Mead; production designer Lawrence G. Paull, art director David L. Snyder and special photographic effects supervisors Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer
* Dangerous Days: Making Of Blade Runner Documentary
* 1982 Theatrical Version
* 1982 International Version
* 1992 Director's Cut
* Featurette The Electric Dreamer: Remembering Philip K. Dick
* Featurette Sacrificial Sheep: The Novel vs. The Film
* Philip K. Dick: The Blade Runner Interviews (Audio)
* Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Cover Gallery (Images)
* The Art of Blade Runner (Image Galleries)
* Featurette Signs of the Times: Graphic Design
* Featurette Fashion Forward: Wardrobe & Styling
* Screen Tests: Rachel & Pris
* Featurette The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth
* Unit Photography Gallery
* Deleted & Alternate Scenes
* 1982 Promotional Featurettes
* Trailers & TV Spots
* Featurette Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art
* Marketing & Merchandise Gallery (Images)
* Featurette Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard
* Featurette Nexus Generation: Fans & Filmmakers
* Workprint Version of the Film -- This rare version of the film is considered by some to be the most radically different of all the Blade Runner cuts.
* Workprint Version Commentary by Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner
* Featurette All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut
And if this image is accurate, also including a police spinner and some origami.
Blade Runner (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition)
Friday, July 27, 2007
"Although most of them in the remote village of Tabaka in Kisii have never watched the animated TV show, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie have changed their lives and the new film should see demand for their work soar they hope."
Posted by JStruan at 7:15 PM
(Warning, partial spoiler)
This is a great tv series idea:
I must confess that Deathly Hallows' epilogue didn't feel like the definitive end point that so many others see it as, and that Rowling by her own admission hoped it would be. Perhaps it's blasphemy to even suggest it, but didn't the epilogue read to you as a perfect seven-page treatment for the pilot of Hogwarts: The Next Generation, airing at 5:30 weekdays on The N? Think of it! Short, silly half-hour stories, set among students preoccupied not by the specter of unthinkable evil but by the more daunting prospects of homework, cliques, and navigating their way through adolescence. Harry and Ron and Hermione could show up only for Very Special Episodes, as their kids have the happy, peaceable childhoods Voldemort denied them. I know I'd watch!
Posted by JStruan at 7:01 PM
"Russia is sending a mini-submarine to explore the ocean floor below the North Pole and find evidence to support its claims to Arctic territory."
The team aboard the mini-submarine Mir is expected to carry out scientific experiments and measurements on the sea bed.
Reports say it will also leave behind a Russian flag and a capsule with a message for future generations.
"The Arctic is ours and we should demonstrate our presence," Mr Chilingarov told Russian TV.
Posted by JStruan at 7:00 PM
"Dr. Robert Woo of Auburn had put the phony tusks in while the woman was under anesthesia for a different procedure. He took them out before she awoke, but first he shot photos that eventually made it around the office."
Link. (No photos.)
Thursday, July 26, 2007
For instance, have you heard Mitt Romney's joke about polygamy?
Posted by JStruan at 7:10 PM
But a gathering body of evidence suggests that local food can sometimes consume more energy -- and produce more greenhouse gases -- than food imported from great distances.
A head of lettuce grown in Vermont may have less of an energy impact than one shipped up from Chile. But grow that Vermont lettuce late in the season in a heated greenhouse and its energy impact leapfrogs the imported option.
Posted by JStruan at 7:07 PM
Home Depot would bus them to the meeting, feed them and provide orange T-shirts with "a positive message about The Home Depot," the memo says.
The memo suggests selecting five local residents and business owners to testify at the hearing with "talking points ... focusing on how a new Home Depot store will positively benefit the local community and economy."
The effort would include an estimated $17,000 for recruitment and organizing, $2,500 for food, $2,000 for T-shirts and $1,850 for buses, according to the memo. The total cost would be $24,100.
Posted by JStruan at 7:02 PM
Posted by JStruan at 5:30 AM
"A man with an unusually tiny brain managed to live an entirely normal life despite his condition, caused by a fluid buildup in his skull, French researchers reported on Thursday."
Posted by JStruan at 5:16 AM
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
"About 60 miles from Belize City, there is a perfectly circular 1,000 (305 m) feet across and 400 feet (123 m) wide "Blue Hole." The hole, part of the Lighthouse Reef system, was once an opening to a cave system during the Ice Age - it is now a magnet for extreme divers."
Awesome photos here.
Posted by JStruan at 6:44 PM
These lists are usually pretty lame, but this one had some good tips that anyone can start using right away. I'm going to start working on tip number 4:
4. Personal Commercial
One of the best ways to build confidence is listening to a motivational speech. Unfortunately, opportunities to listen to a great speaker are few and far between. You can fill this need by creating a personal commercial. Write a 30-60 second speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of the mirror aloud (or inside your head if you prefer) whenever you need a confidence boost.
This works particularly well if Don LaFontaine narrates the commercial:
Posted by JStruan at 4:08 PM
Posted by JStruan at 1:31 PM
Battle for the Bronchs: GlaxoSmithKline uses games and desktops to encourage asthma sufferers to use its products
Games, desktops, comics and a screensaver here. Via Plaid.
Update: Since the commenter asked for my thoughts, I decided to take another look at the site. In a nutshell, the site works smoothly and has a decent interface, but I think it does far more to show off the designers' web skills than actually help GlaxoSmithKline in any way.
Initially, I have to admit that I rarely enjoy fancy flash-driven sites. I'd much rather skim a Blogger blog where everything is laid out and I don't have to hunt through menus or wait for constantly loading pages in the hopes of finding interesting content. So, from the start, this site had little chance of winning me over.
The site does run pretty smoothly, and I appreciated that there were clearly labeled links to each section at the top of the screen - - the screensaver and wallpapers are in the section labeled "downloads." But although the video ran smoothly on the site, it doesn't quite embed right. (And I've now removed the video because it's irritating that it starts without clicking on it.) Why not just use Youtube, which everybody uses because it almost always works?
Plus, although it's pretty easy to access the content of the site, none of it is very compelling, fun, or memorable. There's a variety of games, and it's clever that you can use a microphone to play them (by blowing, since the site is about lung capacity, after all). But the games I tried weren't remotely fun. Why would anyone play these games when there's essentially an infinite number of outstanding free games available on the web?
There are several desktop wallpapers, but the desktops aren't particularly pleasant to look at, and even if they were, there's really nothing about them to remind you about GSK or how GSK can help you:
Finally, I assume that if I'd watched enough of the "video comics," I would have seen the hero somehow triumph over his breathing issues, quite possibly with the help of GSK's products. But I lost interest in watching the videos long before it got to that point, or simply missed the message.
Seems like a better investment would have been finding some charismatic young person suffering from asthma and have him(her) blog about his summer activities and how his asthma doesn't stop him from enjoying life.
Posted by JStruan at 12:17 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Posted by JStruan at 7:55 PM
Here's the main link. I'm always amazed when a site like this lists products, but doesn't include links to the product's homepage.
Two items that caught my eye were the HomeHero Fire Extinguisher:
And the Aquabrids, which seem to be a mashup between real life aquariums and the game Spore.
Posted by JStruan at 7:11 PM
Posted by JStruan at 4:34 PM