Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Easy Quick Million

Just had an idea. To make cleaning key boards easier they should come with crumb trays that you can pull out to clean, like a toaster.

This is just one of the many good, no, great ideas I have each and every day.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Steal me

A quick bit of art that I did on my tablet while listening to Jupiter Sunrise (clicky for huge version). Here is the song that this is from (take a listen, it is good).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

About Color

Growing up in Garden City (Kansas) has allowed me to have a completely different outlook on the subject of race relations in America. Garden didn't have that many blacks but more than 50% of the population is made up of "minorities", mainly mexican and asian. When I was younger the idea that someone is judged solely on race was an idea that I had thought lived in the past, since it was never a case in Garden (that I saw).

My ideas started to change when (ironically) I got to college. I noticed that some people were treated slightly different, but nothing really that huge. During the same time I would grimace when I would overhear a group of white students talk in the coffee house about race relations and about how everyone was raciest out in western Kansas because we don't have blacks, and that they had a black friend, or whatever snooty thing they would say.

One major observation occurred when I went to a graduation at college and they talked about how going to college is good because of the "integration" that it has. Then I went back to a high school graduation at Garden. That was integration, there we had mexican families celebrating with white families, asain parents talking to black parents (Garden has gained a fair amount of black population recently). Mixed race families were common. No one mentioned race during graduation, and no one talked about a need to work together. That is just the way life is.

Currently I live in Tulsa and I have no doubt that racism goes on. People here make it quite obvious that people of mexican heritage are on a lower rung than the privileged whites. Ironically everyone here also has some sort of reverend for native americans, probably because they feel guilt for living in "their land". At times the comments are annoying, at times they are infuriating. I really had no idea that so many people made their decisions about people based off of what they thought their heritage was.

Now let's move to the election of Obama. We all have heard about how it was a historic day because he was black. But there has been some outcry because of this, take for example this thread on BGG on a topic about the significance of Obama's color:

stayman:I was mentioning to my 7 year old son that we have a new President. He says, "yeah dad, it's Barack". I then mention that it's kinda historic day, to which he seems puzzled. I explain he's the first African American President. He was still puzzled.
It then occured to me that my son (remember he's 7) is utterly and completely oblivious to race.

jpat:I say this without any criticism, but I seriously doubt that your son (or anyone else's in this country) is complete oblivious to race. While he may well not be bigoted, it's nigh-impossible to be unconscious of it. Nor do I think colorblindness (or "postracialness") is a goal we can afford at this juncture in our political history. It's too much to me like forgetting rather than forgiving, and it's often been an ideal promoted by whites, who as a group have been able to "afford," in a broad sense, to ignore race.

To that I replied

As a white person I view the election of Obama, as "the best person for the job won". However I think the black population as a whole felt that the election showed that really ANYONE could make it, and a fulfillment of MLK Jr.'s Dream. So I think the significance for the day is different for each race.

That being said I believe that race can be as non-issue as hair color if we let it be. When was the last time that the press questioned the lack of red heads in coaching positions? Race should only tell people about your heritage, like eye color, or height, not who you are.

The thing is that the election of Obama is a historic day. And it is historic like Jackie Robinson playing MLB baseball, or Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech. As a matter of fact it is even bigger than those, because yesterday Obama proved that there is no excuse that anyone can't become the most powerful person in America (the world?). The truth is that until someone actually fulfilled that spot, like Obama did, it was still an unrealized dream. But now there is credit, an example, when someone says that anyone can make it, just look at who has done it in the past.

It was a historic day for everyone. But here is my personal hope now. We have witnessed the last, greatest, "barrier" being broken down. Race should now not be an issue. I don't ever want to hear about how someone was the first black to win the curling championship. I don't want to know that no mexican has ever been vice president. It is not news anymore, Obama was the last one, the biggest one. The only way that this stuff will continue to be news is if we let it be news. It must stop.

It would be stupid to say that racisim is over, it is not, I know that. But the fact is that most people are good, and most people do not make decisions based on race. To allow the news, and the "minorities" to cling to the idea that failures occurred in life is due to race, without proof, is a disgrace and a disservice to them. We should not expect "minorities" to get ahead in life in spite of their race, we should expect them to get ahead in life due to their own hard work and abilities.

We are now past the issue of race in terms of something that makes barriers for people.

A final related anecdote. At some point when I was going to college it was asked of me if I know anyone who was black. I thought about it for a long time and said no, noting that Garden doesn't have many blacks in general. But then I remembered, one of my best friends in Garden had a black step-father. I would saw him multiple times each week. I had forgotten that he was even black; to me he was just his dad, and I should say -a really cool guy. I am thankful that I had that experience because that showed me that it is possible to be "colorblind", and not see someone for the race that they are born with, but by the character of their soul.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Plastic Cups.

My semi-open letter to Panera (I typed it into a survey thingy for them already):

My big problem is that the soda cups that you use now are the clear plastic types. My normal lunch ritual is to soda during lunch and then on my way out grab a cup of coffee in the same cup. This may or may not be "allowed" -but the fact is I do it and that is one of the reasons why we choose to eat at Panera for lunch, especially when it is cold outside (my office seems to think that ice is the best room temperature setting.) Now that you have clear plastic cups that are not suitable for coffee I can not do this. This will cause me to think twice about eating at Panera since one of the things that I enjoyed about the experience is now not possible. When we do eat there I will just get water now since I am not a Pepsi fan, and I only could justify the purchase of a soda because of the coffee afterward.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ookami of the Snow

Marvel has a nifty web app where you can make your own Superheros. I think that I would make an ok superhero.

Check it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long hair and stunning good looks will do that

Problems for Daily Piglet's kid reminded me of a story about my past that I chortle to myself about:

When I was growing up I would get called a girl a fair amount of times.

My favorite time was when I came up to a men's retreat with our church, and other churches in the area. I came in later in the morning, during a talk one of the guys from another church was giving. There was only about 40 of us in the room, and at the end of his talk he said something to the effect of "and that is something every guy, or girl -motioning to me, could be proud of." In his defense I did have long hair at the time. But common it was a men's retreat, for guys, I had to be pretty convincing as a girl for him to ignore that fact.

Afterward at lunch he apologized a bunch.

Friday, January 09, 2009


I used to have a real problem with the way some people would pronounce ramen noodles, they would say "ray-men" which is not right, it should be "rah-men". Likewise anime should be "ah-neh-meh" not "an-ee-meh". That is because Japanese letters don't have the short a sound. Interestingly it used to really annoy me when people would pronounce crepe with on overly French accent. I know, I can't have it like that logically, but that is why I stopped caring about stuff like that much. We speak English, the language of amalgamation, it comes from everywhere and is spoken in many different ways.

However there is something that annoys me so much so that I usually stop reading after I see it. C-Cedilla: Ç. Come on that isn't even an english letter. We have like five ways to pronounce c -just use c and we will figure out a way to pronounce it. People that use it seem like they are just putting up a facade.

Ironically I really like the letter æ, so I guess you could call me a hypocrite. Or we could just write ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit and be done with it all.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Variance in Time machine

I started to think about things one morning when Aaron texted everyone about getting shipped off to Hawaii and about how seemingly small decisions made huge outcomes in his life, like how a certain session of Star War Galaxies lead to him meeting his future wife. I got to thinking about how it would be neat if there was a machine that you could look through that would show how important each action that we are doing is for changing our future. So someone eating cereal wouldn't be changing their future much because most of the decisions they make during that time will result in the same outcome. While a person that is flipping a coin to decide what restaurant to eat at would show up as a pivotal decision about to be made.

I started to think about how such a machine would work, and I think I have it figured out: Suppose we exist in the "superposition" universe where each possibility can and does happen, so if a coin is flipped it lands on heads in some universes and tails in others, however we only experience one instance of the universe, so we only see one outcome of the flip. Now also assume that we can find a particle that can travel faster than light and when reflected travels back through time (yeah, that is a tall order, but it is what would make this machine work.) The Variance in Time machine emits these very fast particles which goes out forward in time through all possible future universes given the current one we are in, and then gets reflected back to the machine. The machine then displays the areas where the biggest variations in the future are found (where the particles reflected back come from the most directions, or change in some manner). The results are normalized so that only the decisions that have the biggest effect on the future would show up and also you could tune the time to hear back from the reflecting particles to that you can "see" different times into the future.

So looking through the machine in a restaurant we see no significant changes to a person reading the newspaper, but a huge red dot on a waitress that may or may not drop a plate of food. The question that this machine brings up is that even though we know that there is a pivotal event to happen, we don't know if it is good or not. Say we are driving on an icy road and the machine picks up that a huge pivotal event is about to occur, the first reaction would be to stop since it might be that you have a wreck, however it could have been that you saved the life of a future president if you would have kept on going. However it could be useful when picking lottery numbers.

Obviously if we had the machine and used it when I was deciding to write this post or not it would have been going off the charts, because by me posting this I have laid the blueprints to what will make me billions of dollars. The Variance in Time machine.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

City Scape V1

The City Scape cipher is based around the same principals as the Patches cipher. It is read from left to right, top to bottom, in groups of 2x2 blocks. There are no spaces, and letters are directly substituted in. The roads are drawn on for decoration and have no relevance in translating the text.

The block of text says: "I reall(y) dont like the word blog" I sort of missed that y when I was writing it out and didn't notice until I got to the word blog.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Sukiyaki Western Django

This weekend, among other things, we watched Sukiyaki Western Django on Blu-Ray at Chris and Jenette's. I have been wanting to watch it since Charity showed up the trailer on Youtube. Now that I have seen it I don't really know what to think about the movie, but it is awesome. Sukiyaki is a western set in Nevada around the year 1100, with a Gatling gun at a settlement full of color-coordinated English speaking Japanese gunslingers. If that doesn't sound like your cup-of-tea, this movie isn't for you. However if that description piques your interest check out the trailer; it is basically what the movie is like.

If you ask me this will revive Japanese Cinema to overtake Hollywood.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Tale of Heroism

I broke the zipper on my favorite pair of pants not too long after I bought them. Nicole came to my rescue however and fixed them for me. The zipper that she put in them is a really big industrial sized metal monster, which will never break again. The problem with this new zipper is that it is so study that it can zip over most material without a problem.
About a week ago I was wearing these pants to work. After lunch I went to the bathroom, while unzipping my pants I noticed that the zipper got stuck and wouldn't zip down any further. No problems, I had my fly open far enough that I could still use the bathroom. When I finished I tried to zip up my pants only to find that the zipper was stuck. Really stuck. Like the zipper has ate the opening of my boxers on both sides of the zipper. Like the bottom part of the zipper was completely riding on my boxer flap -I have no idea how this is even possible. I tried yanking on the zipper to get it to move up or down, but let me tell you it will not move at all. After about a minute I just about gave up and figured I would just finish up my day with an open fly, I don't tuck in my shirt at work so my fly would only be slightly noticeable. There is only one small problem with that plan.
You see boxers are not as uniformly made as briefs are, and each one has its own personality. One group of three boxers I own was made in a magical way that allows part of me to get on out there if everything is moved just right. Normally this is no big deal as I have pants on, so all parts of me are covered anyways.
Now that day I happened to be wearing a pair of these boxers that have this problem. And now to compound this problem my stuck zipper has completely ate the opening flap for the boxers, basically begging me for a wardrobe malfunction.
This would not do, walking abound with an open fly is one thing but playing indecent exposure Russian roulette with every step I take is another. I was basically stuck in the bathroom in my office contemplating if I really needed to come out for the final three hours of my workday.
By now I had given up on calmly solving the ordeal and figured my pants needed to get zipped up even if it meant the demise of my underwear. I pulled as hard as I could and in every direction until, at some point, the zipper just got bored and let go. Nothing even got ripped up.
I went back to work like nothing happened.