Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Alex Rodriguez is about to have himself quite an offseason. Preempting the World Series wasn't enough; now A-Rod will embark on the quest known as free agency. What will he choose? If you were him, what would you choose?
With a nod to the classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" series, we at the MLB FanHouse decided to offer you those choices. Dive in, and see what you'd do if you lived inside No. 13's skull. The choices are almost endless ...
You have just awoken from a terrible dream. You look around. It's impossible to see anything in the dark beyond the eerie glow of the your wall-mounted HDTV.
You slowly realize you are watching the eighth inning of the World Series, the latest in which you have not participated. Ken Rosenthal is on the screen, and his words send a chill up your spine.
"Alex Rodriguez has decided to opt out of his contract, Scott Boras has informed the media tonight ...Boras cited uncertainty within the Yankees organization as Rodriguez's reasons ..."
So ... it is done.
You could listen to the reaction, but you know what everyone will say. Instead, you flip the TV off and head downstairs to your sparkling in-home gym. Better start working out now, you think. Lots of people to disprove. There always are.
Because you are Alex Rodriguez. And you have some choices to make.
You've now opted out of the remaining three years on your contract, three years that would have netted you about $90 million. You are a free agent with limitless earning potential.
1. Decide to call the Steinbrenners and apologize for the opt-out while offering to negotiate a deal that brings you back to New York at a higher price than your contract, but a lower price than the market's. This, you think, would be a really nice thing to do, and would help get you back in New York's -- and baseball's -- good graces.
2. You can test free agency. Scott tells you that lots of teams are interested, including the Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, Tigers ... heck, maybe even the Red Sox! Plus, you've been through the ringer in pinstripes. You've seen that nothing -- short of a World Series -- will endear you to fans, and the organization really doesn't seem to care for you too much either. If you choose free agency, really choose it, you may be able to say goodbye to New York forever.
Read on to choose your own adventure. Via.
And don't miss the previously-blogged Barry Bonds/Myst clickthrough adventure.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Shannen Rossmiller befriends and betrays online jihadists -- while she gets her kids ready for school
Shannen Rossmiller grew up on a Montana wheat farm. She is blond and slim: When she was a cheerleader in high school, she typically wound up at the top of the human pyramid. Her husband runs a wireless Internet company, and they have three children. After college, she was appointed a local judge in a small Montana town, where she and her family still live and which she'd rather not identify. Although she's happy to talk about what she does, she fears for her safety: She has received phone threats, and her car got shot up once, an incident she attributes directly to her counterterrorism work.
Now 38, Rossmiller spends her weekdays in Helena working in the civil litigation department of the attorney general's office. She gets up at 4 am and does her hunting predawn. On the weekends, she tracks down killers while relaxing in the bosom of her family. Some days she's at the computer when her kids — two young daughters and a son who graduated from high school earlier this year — wake up. "I'll say, ‘You get your own breakfast; there's a Jimmy Dean sausage in the kitchen.' Meanwhile, back in Kurachi... "
Rossmiller developed her remarkable talent for chatting up terrorists after September 11, when she started going into online forums and cajoling valuable information from other visitors. She has passed along numerous case files to federal authorities. Her information has led US forces abroad to locate Taliban cells in Afghanistan, discover a renegade stinger-missile merchant in Pakistan, and help another foreign government identify a ring of potential suicide bombers. She has also assisted in nabbing two domestic would-be terrorists and seen them both convicted of felonies: National guardsman Ryan Anderson received five concurrent life sentences, and Michael Reynolds, convicted in July and awaiting sentencing, faces a similar fate. Timothy Fuhrman, special agent in charge of the FBI's Salt Lake City office, says Rossmiller was "instrumental in the successful outcome of those cases."
Read the whole thing here.
Download the templates here.
Book: I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World
This book by Trevor Paglen sounds great:
Shown here for the first time, these seventy-five patches reveal a secret world of military imagery and jargon, where classified projects are known by peculiar names ("Goat Suckers," "None of Your Fucking Business," "Tastes Like Chicken") and illustrated with occult symbols and ridiculous cartoons. Although the actual projects represented here (such as the notorious Area 51) are classified, these patches-which are worn by military units working on classified missions-are precisely photographed, strangely hinting at a world about which little is known.
By submitting hundreds of Freedom of Information requests, the author has also assembled an extensive and readable guide to the patches included here, making this volume the best available survey of the military's black world-a $27 billion industry that has quietly grown by almost 50 percent since 9/11.
I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagons Black World
Here are a few of the patches in the book. The Pentagon's "Black World" seems dominated by Dungeons and Dragons and X-Files fans:
Sunday, October 28, 2007
More print ads for Recovering Workaholics here.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
"The third point would be that people out there that want to create something that is very far removed from societal norms and the moral sensibilities of the general public ... They're unfortunate, and I don't want to be grouped in with that group of people."
Given these things, he says, the fact that organisations worldwide are trying to understand people's reactions to violence and classify games accordingly is "something that's good for the industry".
Itagaki goes on to expand on the point that people view things differently to one another by focusing on the different responses to decapitation - something that had to be removed from Xbox title Ninja Gaiden in PAL territories. "[S]ome people might think of [decapitation] as being excessively violent," he admits.
"But say from a Japanese perspective, when you decapitate someone you're killing them instantly. So from a Japanese perspective, with the sword, when you decapitate somebody you're basically giving them a very quick and easy death." He then contrasts this with a belly slit - something he doesn't believe games should include - which leads to a slow and agonising death.
Read the whole thing here.
YABO is friendly robot for lonely unmarried persons. The late night, he is going out to the door to meet a master that reterns to home. The face looks like a sphere, it rotate up and down, right and left, and changes facial color.
He mainly expresses emotion through this motion. and also, The facial color responds men¡¯s touch,
YABO performs controling home appliances also. When there is nobody at home, he keeps temperature and humidity, and cuts off unused product.
Link. Via Core77.
Friday, October 26, 2007
He appears 40 seconds in. (But the dancing's pretty entertaining up until then anyway.) The dude should definitely be cast as Thor in the new movie.
Via Who Sucks.
*See also: Daft Punk's "Something About Us" performed on a theremin.
Featuring a Delorean and a hoverboard
It wasn't hard to see their point. To Romanians Vlad was a national figure, not a vampire. Imagine foreigners coming to visit the Lincoln Memorial by the thousands -- wearing stovepipe hats, false beards . . . and plastic fangs. They love Lincoln. They love how he can turn himself into a bat. How he freed the slaves and rises at night to suck the blood of the living. Imagine you know you could make major bucks off these freaks if you chiseled a pair of wicked-looking teeth on Lincoln's statue.
That's from Paul Bibeau's Sundays with Vlad: From Pennsylvania to Transylvania, One Man's Quest to Live in the World of the Undead.
Spotted at Volokh.
Azazel is the word translated as "scapegoat" in the King James Version of the Bible (Leviticus chapter 16). In 1611 King James' translators borrowed the word scapegoat from William Tyndale's translation from around 1530. Tyndale had translated azazel (the name of the cliff the goat was pushed over, or more likely the demon it was sent out to in the desert) as ez ozel - literally, "the goat that departs"; hence "the goat that escapes," or, for short, "(e)scape goat." Since this goat, with the sins of the people placed on it, is then sent over a cliff or driven into the wilderness to perish, the word "scapegoat" has come to mean a person, often innocent, who is blamed and punished for the sins, crimes or sufferings of others.
Although, The Urban Dictionary defines "Escape Goat" as, "A slang used by idiots who do not realize the term is scapegoat"
Man, there hasn't been nearly enough news about the diaper-wearing astronaut lately. Gallery.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Video: Danielle Fishel (From Boy Meets World) talks about almost giving her virginity to Lance Bass, who realized at that moment that he was gay
Video of Lance Bass and Danielle Fishel reliving the moment here. Boy I haven't seen Tyra Banks in awhile. Is she trying to ugly herself up?
Naturally, #3 was abandoned in June 2006.
For those of you closely following the saga of Iggy, the dog Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi adopted (and then gave away without notifying the animal rescue group that had entrusted the animal to them), here's an e-mail chain tracking the terrier tale.
Emails here. Via The Defamer.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Hindsight is 20/20. It's easy to look back at everything that happened in recent history and say, "I saw that coming." But how good are you really at predicting the future? Take our simple quiz, make your best guesses about what's ahead and provide us with your e-mail address. In January 2009 we'll send you a note sharing your score.
Also noted: Bill Cartwright told Jordan that if he kept insulting him, he'd break both his legs
Here's Steve Kerr jokingly talking about bailing Jordan out in the '87 finals:
Even their hit single was a rerelease. Link.
I liked this one by Brandon Maddox. You can see all the entries here.
This life-size helmet is a fantastic replica model of a Cyberman's head, while the Voice changer facility features a range of scary speech, realistic sound effects and cool lights. There are nine preset phrases to get you started but there are also three settings for your own voice adjustment. This full overhead Cyberman mask also comes fully equipped with an adjustable strap so big kids and little alike can immerse themselves in the world of Dr Who and its sinister Cybermen.
Doctor Who Cyberman Voice Changer
Via Forbidden Planet.