Pick a URL and a disaster. I liked the dinosaurs but I haven't tried them all yet so I don't know if it's the best (worst?).
Note to those who think emails from Nigeria are offering an excellent financial opportunity*: The linked site does not actually damage any Web site.
* A PSA for clueless people. After looking at this site, I've begun to understand just who is falling for scams like that. Some people go beyond beginner ignorance to obstinate stupidity.
Stack Rock Fort, about 800 yards off the west Wales coast near Milford Haven, is for sale for £150,000.
There doesn't appear to be much in the way of amenities (like plumbing, electricity...) but it has cannons!
The Why Files covers the science behind the news. It's presented by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Protecting yourself from online fraud:
A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) survey, "Consumer Fraud in the United States," (August 2004) found that "nearly 25 million adults in the U.S. -- 11.2 percent of the adult population -- were victims of one or more of the consumer frauds covered by the survey during the previous year." Fourteen percent of fraud victims first learned about the scam through e-mail or a Web site.
Fraud is getting harder to detect. No surprise there, the scum who want to scam you consider tricking you to be their job. For most of us, shopping or other online activities that can lead to us becoming victims of fraud are not our jobs. (Although if someone knows where I can get a job shopping online, please let me know. This would come in a close second to my first choice of jobs - taking naps. I haven't found anyone willing to pay me for that yet either.)
I've been using the Internet for at least 15 years now and haven't fallen victim to these scams yet but I'm not going to assume that means there isn't a chance it can happen. The best way to stay safe is to stay current on scams.
Check out Anti-Phishing Working Group too.
About 67% of American adults use the internet. That translates into approximately 135 million people.
The percentage of people with Internet access do the following activities:
Send e-mail - 91%
Buy a product - 67%
Read someone else’s web log or “blog” - 23%
Create content for the internet - 19%
Create a web log or “blog” - 9%
The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism by Steve Outing. Discusses each of the following and provides examples.
1. The first step: Opening up to public comment
2. Second step: The citizen add-on reporter
3. Now we're getting serious: Open-source reporting
4. The citizen bloghouse
5. Newsroom citizen 'transparency' blogs
6. The stand-alone citizen-journalism site: Edited version
7. The stand-alone citizen-journalism site: Unedited version
8. Add a print edition
9. The hybrid: Pro + citizen journalism
10. Integrating citizen and pro journalism under one roof
11. Wiki journalism: Where the readers are editors
Look up acronyms - The database currently contains 471347 acronyms and abbreviations.
English: 437781 entries
Spanish: 5024 entries
German: 4128 entries
French: 10209 entries
Dutch: 7046 entries
Italian: 5060 entries
Portuguese: 1698 entries
Recently I said that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were not news. I still think that their courtship belongs more in the tabloids than it does on prime time news but I'm beginning to reconsider whether or not Cruise is newsworthy. I think he is...kind of like a one man train wreck.
It's horrible watching destruction like that but so hard to look away.
Part of me wants to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he is so anti-medication because he is reacting to a culture around him which believes there's a pill to cure everything. Obviously drugs can be misused and abused but that doesn't mean the same drugs can't have benefits when used properly.
The other part of me wishes he weren't so against psychiatry and psychiatric medication because, in my unprofessional opinion, he could use their help. Acting manic and confrontational isn't a rational way to convert people to your way of thinking.
Maybe he's afraid a doctor would ask him if his real problem with Brooke Shields isn't her use of antidepressants but that she's 5" taller than he is.
Karl Rove gave a speech when he was awarded the Charles Edison Memorial Award. Some of what he said has become a topic of discussion on the news and on blogs.
One of my favorite lines that I haven't seen quoted anywhere yet was about the successes of Conservatives and the Bush administration - Once again, they misunderestimated what you and he could do.
Bush has been ridiculed for using the word "misunderestimate" but I like the word. I know "underestimate" means about the same thing but when we aren't supposed to criticize the use of double negatives in vernacular speech (done to show emphasis) then why criticize the addition of "mis-" when it's done to emphasize how much he was underestimated?
Rove went on to compare Conservatives and Liberals:
Conservatives believe in lower taxes; liberals believe in higher taxes. We want few regulations; they want more. Conservatives measure the effectiveness of government programs by results; liberals measure the effectiveness of government programs by inputs. We believe in curbing the size of government; they believe in expanding the size of government. Conservatives believe in making America a less litigious society; liberals believe in making America a more litigious society. We believe in accountability and parental choice in education; they don't. Conservatives believe in advancing what Pope John Paul II called a "culture of life"; liberals believe there is an absolute unlimited right to abortion.
But perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to… submit a petition. I am not joking. Submitting a petition is precisely what Moveon.org did. It was a petition imploring the powers that be" to "use moderation and restraint in responding to the… terrorist attacks against the United States."
...Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said: we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said: we must understand our enemies. Conservatives see the United States as a great nation engaged in a noble cause; liberals see the United States and they see … Nazi concentration camps, Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia.
So far I haven't seen any comments about the first paragraph of the quotation about taxes, government programs, lawsuits, accountability and education, and abortion. The national security part has gotten a lot of attention. What I have read about that is that Democrats think that Rove should apologize. Nancy Pelosi said, "He knows full well, as do all Americans, that our country came together after 9/11."
Yes, and that togetherness lasted until it was time to take action. That's the point. Different political philosophies, different ideas about what to do. The things that Rove accuses the Liberals of may not be part of the "official" Democratic party philosophy but if you've followed the news and discussions of the subject over the last few years it sounds like a pretty clear summary of what was said. Google it if you don't think that's true, it's still out there.
I remember being rebuked for saying we need to understand our enemy until I made it clear that it wasn't to sympathize with them but that understanding motivations may help us fight them better.
No one's said it yet (that I've heard) but I think that the thing that set off the controversy over the speech wasn't just the comparison between Conservatives and Liberals but the last line of Rove's speech - Thank you very much for your attention, for your support of this President, and above all, for your devotion to this country. If you see this as questioning your patriotism, your devotion, then perhaps the comparisons made earlier are more on target than you want to admit.
Two of our cats had to go to the vet today for their annual check-ups. All the way there both were making mournful, complaining cat noises.
Zelda had to be sedated for her trip to the vet. It's better for her (keeps her calmer) and better for anyone who has to come near her (they get to keep their fingers). She is a cat with very definite ideas about her personal space.
Shortly before we left Zelda decided to get in the cat carrier. When Zippy came over to investigate, Zelda reached out a paw and closed the door of the carrier. She might have been whoozy but her mind was as sharp as ever (such as that is). Going into the carrier isn't strange for her, I think she thinks of it as her own little cat cave where she can escape from things that annoy her but closing the door was new.
All we had to do was put a halter and leash on Zippy and we were ready to go. This wasn't a problem. He's a people-friendly cat and thinks any kind of attention is good. His problem is that he doesn't like going outside of the house so we had two unhappy cats voicing their feelings about the trip the whole way.
Both cats are healthy and seem to have forgiven us for dragging them to the vet. Notice I say "seem" to have forgiven us. I'm not making any assumptions and will be checking my shoes for the next week before putting them on just in case.
Lately I've been adding sites to the Regional topic of JoeAnt for a few specific cities. One thing I keep noticing is that some businesses with Web sites don't really seem to understand that it's a World Wide Web. They will have just a street address and/or phone number without any clue on the site as to the city, state, or even the country that they are in.
I understand that they want a Web site to attract and provide information for local customers and including the city in their address may seem (to them) to be stating the obvious. It may be obvious for people who have lived their for years but for ones researching the city before visiting or relocating, that little bit of added information is important.
It's also helpful for those of us trying to build an Internet directory.
Some news stories seem to go on and on, long after there's really anything new to cover. Maybe it has to do with 24-hour news channels needing to fill air time. Maybe part of the problem is blogs and their rehashing of news stories. Maybe I'm just cranky and have a short attention span. Whatever the reason, these are some of the recent news stories that I think have gotten too much coverage.
Katie Homes and Tom Cruise - Not news. Period.
Mark Felt - From the story in Vanity Fair to the recent book deal announcement (what a stunning surprise that was!), this one went on way too long. A paragraph or two with just a brief summary of who he is and what he did would have been enough. During Watergate, this would have been news, now it's just a bit of trivia.
Michael Jackson - Does anyone wonder if celebrity trials didn't get as much coverage as they do, would the verdicts be the same? Call it the Heisenberg Trial Effect, the act of observation changes the action. I think the celebrities deserve to have as little attention paid to their trials as any other citizen would get and I deserve not to have to watch meaningless coverage of the trial.
Natalee Holloway - I have a lot of sympathy for her family. Having a child go missing is a parent's nightmare come real. It does deserve news coverage but not to the extent that it's gotten. So far, most of the news stories about the missing teen could be summed up in "there's no news yet". A couple of local bloggers could do as well as all the MSM reporters have.
Gitmo - Mostly I'm tired of the whining about it. If you've complained about those poor detainees down there, if you've compared it to a gulag, if you've compared Bush to Hitler, if you think we live in a facist country, then why are you free to complain? If everything is as bad as you say, you wouldn't have had a chance to complain more than once before being shipped away.
I heard a story on the news recently about Iraqis that have joined the police and the military. They have received threats against them and their families in an effort to get them to quit. This made me think about the claims that some Gitmo detainees are innocent of any relations to terrorism and they were just swept up because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. If this were the case, maybe they would prefer to stay uninvolved in terrorist acts against their own countrymen. If the police and military get pressure to ignore terrorism, what kind of pressure would a returning detainee get? Being locked up may not be ideal but if the other choice would be trying to avoid those who want to recruit them to be mobile bombs.... Maybe these "innocents" would prefer that those trying to free them would just shut the hell up.
The Commencement address given by Steve Jobs at Stanford is one of the better ones I've read this year. He tells three short stories about his life, each with a message. In the second one his message is do what you love but it also includes the idea that what seems to be the end of something is really a new beginning. Perfect for the occasion, afterall, it is a commencement speech, not a finalization one.
Note: Someone please remind me of this post when I start complaining again about all the chaos that comes from having the kids home all summer.
The quiet and relative calmness (we still have the cats to stir things up) ends this afternoon. I'll be leaving soon to pick up Conor and Emma from camp.
It's about time. As much as I plead for "a little peace and quiet" when they're here, a week of it is enough. It's almost eerie. And a little dull.
It's not that Trevor hasn't been willing to do things with me if I suggest something. Yesterday we went to the mall so we could go to the Godiva store and get some truffles. (Well, I think that's fun and exciting!) It's just that neither of us is really motivated to think of anything to do without the prodding of the younger two.
Jeff is taking the next week off from work. We don't have plans to go anywhere during this vacation week so I'll be going from a week with only Trevor at home (Jeff is at work all day and plays WOW most of the evening) to having everyone at home. One extreme to the other, but I think I'm ready.
The autopsy report for Terri Schiavo was released and indicated that she had no hope of recovering a normal life.
The problem is that the debate on whether or not to remove her feeding tube was not just about her chance of recovery or her quality of life. It was about whether or not she had ever indicated what her wishes regarding life support were. She had no advance directive. The only evidence that she did not want to be kept on life support came from others' personal recollections of what she had mentioned in casual conversations.
If you're old enough to vote, you're old enough to make the decision as to what kind of care you do or don't want. The Schiavo case should have made it clear it's not just for old people. Give it some thought, decide what you want, print out the forms, fill them out and let your family know your wishes.
Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. Do it for the American public so we don't have to go through another public debate over what should have been a personal matter. Having the right to decide what kind of care you'll get doesn't have much meaning if you don't bother to make a choice.
The American Bar Association has a Consumer’s Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning that helps you make the decision of what type of care you want or don't want. It also offers suggestions on how to bring up the discussion of you decision with your family.
The U.S. Living Will Registry has links to printable state forms for advance directives.
The National Right to Life Committee has printable "Will to Live" forms.
"Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They’re a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same and all look the same.” - Howard Dean
I don't usually watch reality shows. I know people who love them and watch as many as possible but I just haven't seen the attraction. Until tonight. I was watching NCIS (what I call "the Mark Harmon hour") and was too lazy to change the channel when it was over. A new show called Fire Me...Please! came on. The premise of the show is that the contestants need to get fired from their jobs as close to 3:00 as possible. If both get fired, the one that's closest to 3:00 without going past that time gets $25,000.
A couple of the contestants were working (?) at local businesses, one at a barbecue restaurant in Louisville and one at a copy shop in southern Indiana. The woman working at the copy shop was hilarious. Or at least it was funny to see her doing the same things at work that my kids do at home to drive me crazy. (Dropping pretzels on the floor, complaining that someone else was mean, and lying on the floor singing about being bored.)
I don't know if I'll watch it again but it did remind me of one more reason I'm happy to be self-employed, no crazy co-workers!
I was really excited yesterday when I heard that Pink Floyd would be getting back together. They're one of the few bands that I didn't see in concert but wish I had.
Then I found out it would only be for the Live 8 concert. In England. And the tickets are all given out (as if the unavailability of tickets were more of a problem for me than traveling to get there.)
Some people who had managed to get tickets were selling them on eBay. The auction site has now withdrawn all Live 8 ticket sales. It seems that Bob Geldof objected to the tickets being sold. The tickets were given away for free through a text message lottery and had bids on eBay of up to $1,800.
Geldof said, "The people who are selling these tickets on Web sites are miserable wretches who are capitalizing on people's misery." (I bet he really said "capitalising".) While I think selling the tickets is crass, I don't really see how it harms the people the concert is meant to help.
Well, Bob, I'm miserable that I can't be there. Concert tickets, round-trip airfare, and accommodations for a family of five would ease my pain. Maybe I'll even change my opinion on the BRIT award you got....
I took Conor and Emma to camp yesterday. They will be there until Friday so the only child I have at home now is Trevor. Without his younger brother and sister here to bother him (everything they do, everything they say) he's pretty quiet.
I like quiet but I've gotten used to all the noise the kids so the silence is kind of spooky. Maybe I'll go play video games before Trevor starts so he'll have something to fuss about. (Having to wait for his turn.) It'll be just as if the other kids are here!
(It wasn't listed.)
DomainKeys from Yahoo! lets email servers verify that the email really came from the domain it claims to and that it wasn't altered during transit.
I don't know enough about it to make any kind of judgement but anything that reduces the amount of email crap that I get sounds good to me.
Tomato Nation: 25 and Over has a list of rules for grown ups. "...once you have turned 25, the grace period is over, and starring in a film in your head in which you walk the earth alone is no longer considered a valid lifestyle choice, but rather grounds for exclusion from social occasions."
Some of the ones about things that annoy me the most are (The rules are in italics followed by my comments.):
4. Develop a physical awareness of your surroundings. This is something that really annoys me. I can't count the number of times I've had to jump out of the way or pull my kids out of the way of someone who wasn't looking where they were walking (or who suddenly stopped walking). When you're out in public, leave your daydreams at home and join reality. Pay attention.
5. Be on time. Really. Late is not cute. Late is not fashionable. Late is rude. Your time is not more valuable then mine. If you have a job such as heart surgeon or fireman where you may be called away in an emergency, I'll understand. If you're just so self-absorbed that you think the world revolves around you, you will find your world getting smaller as your friends get tired of constantly waiting for you and stop inviting you to join them.
11. Do as invitations ask you. I've just about given up on having birthday parties for my kids. It's unfair to them but I've gotten tired of parents who ignore the R.S.V.P. on the invitations. We've had parties at baseball games, a martial arts studio, a ceramic painting studio, gymnastics school, indoor play center, and some more I can't remember right now. I spent time arranging the parties (more than just making the reservations, I try to add some extra things on my own) so my kids and your kids could have fun. Can't you spend a few minutes to let me know whether or not your child can come?
14. Have something to talk about besides college or your job. Little stories from work can be interesting up to a point. Keep them short, especially if they are about people/things I don't know. If, on the other hand, it's always just complaints about work, keep it to yourself or try to do something to change it. (See 19. Take care of yourself.)
And the one that sums up the rest:
20. Rudeness is not a signifier of your importance. Rudeness is a signifier of itself, nothing more. We all have bad days; yours is not weightier than anyone else's, comparatively, and does not excuse displays of poor breeding. Be civil or be elsewhere.
Obviously growing up isn't the same as maturing.
Pie throwing has to be one of the stupidest ways to protest something. Assault is a bad idea to begin with, but wasting a perfectly good pie too? Not good at all.
Medlin said he threw the pie as a protest of what he calls "superficial dialogue with no real chance for debate."
Not that protesting with food is a totally bad idea. I think that if I wanted to protest a speaker I would have everyone in my group bring cotton candy. If we thought the speaker's statements were all fluff (superficial dialogue) we could wave our cotton candy in the air. The rest of the time, just having the group sitting/standing there eating cotton candy would show we think the speech has no more to offer than a carnival sideshow. (I'm not implying that I would have protested William Kristol's speech, my complaints about lack of substance would probably be aimed at someone from the other end of the political spectrum.)
At least with my idea I could have my
cake cotton candy and eat it too.
Michelle Malkin has comments on the pie throwing and a link to the video.
Today's keep-the-kids-busy activity was a trip to the Frazier Historical Arms Museum. There are three floors of exhibits with items dating back to the 11th century. My favorite is the third floor with items on loan from the British Royal Armories.
The majority of the items (everything before modern times) were handcrafted and many are interesting as works of art as much as for their historical importance. Some of them are truly beautiful but the one item that made me think of the amount of time and skill needed to make it was a rather plain piece of chainmail. It looks like a small metal poncho and isn't at all showy like some of the other armor and weapons but just thinking of someone making all those little metal links and fitting them together amazes me.
An article about Brooklyn College's School of Education discusses problems some students claim to have with one of the instructors.
The course, which instructs students on how to develop lesson plans that teach literacy, is built around themes of "social justice," according to the syllabus, which was obtained by The New York Sun. One such theme is the idea that standard English is the language of oppressors while Ebonics, a term educators use to denote a dialect used by African-Americans, is the language of the oppressed.
Opress: To keep down by severe and unjust use of force or authority. Cause to suffer.
She is wrong to say that a preference for standard English in U.S. schools is oppression, it's not, it's education. Advocating its use in school and at work isn't the same as requiring its use in all situations.
like love English. Because of influences of other languages - from early invasions by Germanic tribes, the Romans, the Normans and later during the British colonial period - English has evolved and grown richer. Everywhere speakers of English have gone, they have adopted and adapted new words.
It's a packrat language. Some countries have banned the use of foreign (English) words, regardless of popularity, if they can find a native one that will substitute. English takes in new words...so what if there are already several English words that mean almost the same thing...it's that slight shade of difference that lets the speaker say exactly what he wants to say.
Teaching children to use standard English isn't much different from teaching math. It's a tool. How much you use it depends on what you do in life but isn't it better to have the choice than to remain ignorant of the possibilities?
According to this there are 866,349 words in the English language. (There are 100,000 in French.)
Loanwords - a selection of words borrowed from other languages.