Monday, October 30, 2006

Music Monday - Halloween Edition


Spooky MP3 Downloads from Rhyme Torrent's free hiphop Halloween EP. (Parental Guidance Suggested.)

Games By Email

FAQ from Games By Email:

How does it work?

Simple. Pick a game, then tell us your email address and your opponent's email address. You will then make the first move and your opponent will receive an email with the game in it. When they move you will receive an email and play continues.

Is it real time?

No, the idea here is to play when you have the time. Instead of arranging to meet at a site and dedicate a half hour to finishing a game, you make your moves when you get a free minute. Yes, the game takes a bit longer, but you have all the time in the world to think out your moves and you can play many games simultaneously. Set is the only real-time game.

Who can I play?

Anybody with an email address and a browser that meets these easy requirements. You can choose your opponent instead of picking from a list in a room. Besides gaming, you can send messages through the game and keep in touch a little more often.

Do I or my opponents need to sign up first?

No, a new 'profile' is automatically created when a new email address is used. The address is sent information about the profile, how to change passwords and such.

What is a profile?

A 'profile' is the collection of information we have about a player. Initially it is blank except an email address and an assigned password. No other information is required to play. We encourage you to read our privacy statement.

Can I play from more than one email address?

Yes, simply edit your profile by signing in to your My Profile page and then add addresses. Add as many as you wish. New games will be sent to every address in your profile. Each move will be sent to the last email you played that particular game from. Reminders will be sent to all your addresses. You can mark addresses you don't want to receive game emails as 'Inactive'. Games started with 'Inactive' addresses will automatically get routed to your active addresses.

Can I play my games from someone else's computer?

Yes, simply sign in to your My Turns or My Games page. There you can check the status of each of your games and make moves if it is your turn.

What games do you have?

Glad you asked. Here is the list:


Chess, Dark Chess, Xiangqi, Dark Xiangqi, Omega Chess, Dark Omega Chess, McCooey Hex Chess, Dark McCooey Hex Chess


Backgammon, Deadgammon, Nackgammon, Hypergammon


Checkers, Chinese Checkers


Reversi, Triversi, Blind Triversi, Ataxx, Snag


Twixt, N-In-A-Row, Link 4, Tic-Tac-Toe

GIPF Project


World Domination

- Risk your armies for world domination.

Gambit, Dark Gambit, Blind Gambit, Spy Gambit

- The axis and allies battle in World War II.



- Acquire stocks, companies and power in a race for financial dominance.




Although Games By Email will accept donations, play is free, and the site looks clean and legit. Even better, all the games appear to be done in Javascript, which is nice, since alot of employers block pages with ActiveX or Flash content. If anyone wants to try it out, start a game and put my email address down to play. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Freeing Space On Your OS X Startup HD

From XLab:

Freeing space on your Mac OS X startup disk

This extract from a chapter of our book Troubleshooting Mac® OS X describes several ways to free-up space on your Mac OS X startup disk, also known as your Mac OS X boot volume.

While you could replace your current hard drive with a larger model, or install a second internal hard drive if your Mac will support such, the following tips will help you to free some space without changing your hardware. Additional tips are provided for saving more space if you have a second internal hard drive or an available partition.

Read the rest here.

And lotsa XLab FAQs here.

What The Font?

From MyFonts:

Ever wanted to find a font just like the one used by certain publications, corporations, or ad campaigns? Well now you can, using our WhatTheFont font recognition system. Upload a scanned image of the font and instantly find the closest matches in our database. If WhatTheFont can’t figure it out, you can submit your image to the WhatTheFont Forum where cloak-draped font enthusiasts around the world will help you out!

Use WTF? here.

Free Fonts

From Larabie Fonts:

All 384 Larabie Fonts (as well as fonts from other designers) are displayed at Here’s how pricing works:

* Larabie Fonts in TrueType format are totally free. Load as many as you want into your Shopping Cart at and proceed to the checkout. Your total for Larabie Fonts TrueType fonts should be $0.00. (If you end up with a total greater than $0.00, check that you have included only the TrueType format of Larabie Fonts.)

* PostScript and OpenType formats of Larabie Fonts are NOT free; there is a small charge for Larabie Fonts in either of these formats. Please verify which format you have put in your Shopping Cart before you check out.

* Fonts from other designers are not necessarily free. Check the price tag and format before you put fonts in your Shopping Cart.

Get them here.

Ulysses For Dummies


Ulysses For Dummies.

Analog Whole

From AnalogWhole:

AnalogWhole is here!

AnalogWhole is a Windows application that allows you to consolidate all your music into iTunes as MP3 files. Any music file that is playable in Windows Media Player can be re-recorded as an MP3 file. Just tell AnalogWhole where your music library is, and it will automatically re-record the file as an MP3 file. In addition, it will add the converted song to iTunes for you.

Convert all those WMA or WAV files you have that won’t play on your iPod into MP3 files that will!

Read the rest here.

(DRM warning here. Windoze only.)

I Blame 'The View'*

From Yahoo Health:

Testosterone Tumbling in American Males

October 27, 2006 08:42:38 PM PST
Yahoo! Health: Men's Health News

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The testosterone-fueled American male may be losing his punch.

Over the past two decades, levels of the sex hormone in U.S. men have been falling steadily, a new study finds.

For example, average total testosterone levels in men aged 65 to 69 fell from 503 nanograms/decileter (ng/dL) in 1988 to 423 ng/dL in 2003.

The reasons for this trend are unclear, said researchers at the New England Research Institutes in Waterdown, Mass. They noted that neither aging nor certain other health factors, such as smoking or obesity, can fully explain the decline.

Read the rest here.

*The View

Found On The Web


Amazing Story

From Scott Adams' Dilbert Blog:

Good News Day

As regular readers of my blog know, I lost my voice about 18 months ago. Permanently. It’s something exotic called Spasmodic Dysphonia. Essentially a part of the brain that controls speech just shuts down in some people, usually after you strain your voice during a bout with allergies (in my case) or some other sort of normal laryngitis. It happens to people in my age bracket.

I asked my doctor – a specialist for this condition – how many people have ever gotten better. Answer: zero. While there’s no cure, painful Botox injections through the front of the neck and into the vocal cords can stop the spasms for a few months. That weakens the muscles that otherwise spasm, but your voice is breathy and weak.

The weirdest part of this phenomenon is that speech is processed in different parts of the brain depending on the context. So people with this problem can often sing but they can’t talk. In my case I could do my normal professional speaking to large crowds but I could barely whisper and grunt off stage. And most people with this condition report they have the most trouble talking on the telephone or when there is background noise. I can speak normally alone, but not around others. That makes it sound like a social anxiety problem, but it’s really just a different context, because I could easily sing to those same people.

I stopped getting the Botox shots because although they allowed me to talk for a few weeks, my voice was too weak for public speaking. So at least until the fall speaking season ended, I chose to maximize my onstage voice at the expense of being able to speak in person.

My family and friends have been great. They read my lips as best they can. They lean in to hear the whispers. They guess. They put up with my six tries to say one word. And my personality is completely altered. My normal wittiness becomes slow and deliberate. And often, when it takes effort to speak a word intelligibly, the wrong word comes out because too much of my focus is on the effort of talking instead of the thinking of what to say. So a lot of the things that came out of my mouth frankly made no sense.

To state the obvious, much of life’s pleasure is diminished when you can’t speak. It has been tough.

But have I mentioned I’m an optimist?

Yes, his voice came back. Read how here.

Potty Humor

Wash your hands.

Free Teaching Company Lecture Download

From The Teaching Company:

A Little Halloween Treat from The Teaching Company
A Complimentary Lecture

To commemorate Halloween, The Teaching Company is proud to present one of Professor Robert Greenberg's lectures on Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. This lecture is a free gift to you. You may burn it to a CD or load it on a portable listening device. Please feel free to send the link to the lecture to any friends who might also enjoy it. It is free for them as well. You may access this free lecture until November 26, 2006.

Read the rest here.


- Download 55 min. lecture -

MP3 - for any MP3 player

32 K - Dial Up >

96 K - High Speed >

Perchance To Dream

From SongPoemMusic:

DION McGREGOR IS the greatest sleeptalker in recorded history. In another age, the brilliance of his slumbered monologues would have seen him branded a spirit medium or a sorcerer, subjected him to persecution for demonic possession, or led to his being declared insane. But in this slightly more enlightened era, sleeptalking as sparkling as Dion McGregor's can only be celebrated. His dream-stories are so unique that a special word had to be coined just to describe them. And so, what you're about to hear are the somniloquies of DION McGREGOR.

Unlike your average garden-variety sleeptalker, whose utterings rarely go beyond a few indistinct words here and there or perhaps the occasional semi-coherent mumbled sentence, Dion McGregor actually dreams out loud, verbalizing fully-realized miniature dramas of the subconscious. His clear articulation is underscored by the noises of the New York City street traffic outside his open second-storey window. The somniloquies of Dion McGregor are among the damnedest sounds you'll ever hear.

Read the whole thing here.


Taking A Byte Out Of Depression

From ARS Technica:

Net-based psychiatric treatments sometimes beneficial

Eric Bangeman

A yet-to-be-published study is making some startling claims about psychological treatment. According to researchers at The Australian National University in Canberra, spending time on therapeutic and educational web sites can be just as effective as regular visits to the psychotherapist.

Researchers studied a group of patients who were referred to two web sites: The MoodGYM and education site BluePages. The MoodGYM is therapeutic in nature, a cognitive behavior therapy site dedicated to preventing depression by helping users to "identify and overcome problem emotions," showing them how to "develop good coping skills for the future" in order to enjoy good mental health. BluePages is a depression education site, providing information about the symptoms of and treatments for depression.

Read the rest here.

Older Fathers Raise Autism Risk

From BBC News:

Older fathers 'raise autism risk'

Children with older fathers have a significantly increased risk of having autism, a study has concluded.

The UK and US researchers examined data on 132,271 children and said those born to men over 40 were six times more at risk than those born to men under 30.

They said the study in Archives of General Psychiatry was further proof men also had "biological clocks".

One UK expert said the study could be important in understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying autism.

Autism and related conditions, known as autism spectrum disorders, have become increasingly common, affecting 50 in every 10,000 children as compared with five in 10,000 two decades ago.

Increased awareness and changes in the way the disorders are diagnosed are thought to play a major role in the increase, but the researchers say it may also be linked to other changing factors.

Older parental age has previously been linked to abnormalities in the brain development of children.

Read the rest here.

Halloween MP3's From The Monster Club

From The Monster Club:

Thought you had seen everything, all those old movies and television shows two or three times even? Well you probably haven't experienced old time radio! This media is so old, it is refreshingly "brand new" to many of us. Here, we present 100 of our favorite horror theme stories, from shows like Witch's Tale, Lights Out, Innersanctum, Quiet Please, The Haunted Hour and others. These are the very stories that inspired favorite Horror Comics and shows like Twilight Zone and Thriller! In fact, old time radio horror show, "Witch's Tale" is reported to have served as direct inspiration for EC Comics. Right click mouse and choose "Save Target As".

Download them here.

The Scourge Of Skid Row

From LA Weekly:

The Scourge of Skid Row

A staph infection threatens the lives of cops, firefighters and homeless people. But don’t expect any help from county health officials

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 6:00 pm

Detective Tricia Hauck finished a burglary investigation at Pete’s Café and returned to the Central Division station near Skid Row. Her left foot started to feel uncomfortably warm. She wondered if it had anything to do with an ankle fracture she suffered on vacation in Mexico a few months earlier. Within a half hour, the warm feeling turned into pain so excruciating that her leg went numb. Unable to walk, the 39-year-old burglary-investigations supervisor was carried to a patrol car and rushed by her partner to an emergency room.

An MRI detected fluid around her bone. Later that day, a surgeon cut into her foot and removed an abscess. The diagnosis: Skid Row staph, or, more technically, a strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that is sickening dozens of police officers, firefighters, health-care workers and homeless people. These cases pose a new challenge to county health officials, who so far have refused appeals by Skid Row care providers to step up help to the city’s most down-and-out population. Cops are so accustomed to seeing people with oozing boils that they call them Skid Row cooties.

Read the rest of the gruesome story here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

To Oshkosh And Back

My Tax Dollars At Work

From Scientific American:

October 23, 2006

Subliminal Nude Pictures Focus Attention

Nothing focuses the mind's eye like an erotic picture, according to the results of a new study. Even when such pictures were actively canceled out, subliminal images of female nudes helped heterosexual men find the orientation of a briefly shown abstract shape. Such nudity-driven focusing worked almost as well for women, as long as the image accorded with their sexual preference.

Read the rest here.

Found On The Web

Explaining REBT

From the Albert Ellis Foundation:

What is REBT?

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a form of psychotherapy created by Albert Ellis in the 1950's.

REBT is based on the premise that whenever we become upset, it is not the events taking place in our lives that upset us; it is the beliefs that we hold that cause us to become depressed, anxious, enraged, etc. The idea that our beliefs upset us was first articulated by Epictetus around 2,000 years ago: "Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them."

The Goal of Happiness

According to Albert Ellis and to REBT, the vast majority of us want to be happy. We want to be happy whether we are alone or with others; we want to get along with others—especially with one or two close friends; we want to be well informed and educated; we want a good job with good pay; and we want to enjoy our leisure time.

Of course life doesn't always allow us to have what we want; our goal of being happy is often thwarted by the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." When our goals are blocked, we can respond in ways that are healthy and helpful, or we can react in ways that are unhealthy and unhelpful.

Read the whole explanation here.

And peruse the online library of REBT resources here.

Oi Vey!

From The Age:

Just not cut out for Judaism

Barney Zwartz
October 27, 2006

A BOY on the verge of his bar mitzvah was told that he wasn't properly circumcised and therefore wasn't Jewish.

Orthodox rabbis in Sydney said he had to be recircumcised within four days or the ceremony — which marks the official transition to adulthood Jewish boys make at 13 — could not go ahead.

The boy's mother, Sydney journalist Ros Reines, said she was shocked and sickened, and refused a second circumcision. "He's undoubtedly circumcised. It's just a matter of degree," she said.

Read the rest here.

700 Hoboes

Yup. But they're not just plain Hoboes. They're eHoboes. Check them out here.

No Fare


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Very Short Stories

33 writers. 5 designers. 6-word science fiction. Here.

'More Cowbell' Explained

From Wikipedia:

"More Cowbell" is a line from an April 8, 2000 Saturday Night Live comedy sketch about the recording of the song "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult. The sketch featured guest host Christopher Walken as music producer Bruce Dickinson and Will Ferrell as fictional cowbell player Gene Frenkle.

Read the rest here.

This Is Good News

From The Herald Sun:

US denies Vegemite ban

October 25, 2006

AUSTRALIANS travelling to the US can breathe easy. So can the 100,000 or so Australian expatriates living in America.

The US government today dismissed media reports it had banned Vegemite.

"There is no ban on Vegemite," US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesman Mike Herndon said.

Media reports at the weekend claimed American border officials were confiscating Vegemite from Australians as they entered the US.

The FDA, charged with policing America's food supply, has not issued an "import alert" to border officials to halt the import of Vegemite.

Read the rest here.

Warning: Political Post

I don't post alot of politics on this blog. It isn't because I don't have opinions on such things, it's just that it takes alot of energy to stay informed, and to write about political matters. There are very talented writers on all sides of every issue who do a much better job than I ever could. And usually, I leave such writing to them, and limit the political on this blog to the Cox and Forkum Cartoons that I'm allowed to run here, for free. But every so often I get a hankering to write some long-winded screed, and this is one of those times. I know that there are those who find politics about as interesting as watching paint dry. If that's you, then you may wish to skip this post, as I'm going to flush a whole lotta politics out of my system.

(And just FYI, of course politics is primarily concerned with governance, but I am inclined use the term more broadly to include the maneuverings and machinations by individuals exercising power and influence within any group. After all, as Tip O'Neill was wont to say, 'All politics is local,' and office politics can be just as important in one's life as anything going on at the Statehouse, or in Congress. But this post is going to limit itself to what is usually considered 'politics.')


The campaign season leading up to the Congressional and Gubernatorial elections next week has been a most nasty one, indeed. Minnesota has figured prominently in the national spotlight for the particularly vicious ads Patty Wetterling has been running against Michele Bachman in the 6th Congressional District, most notably the ads that accuse the Republicans in Congress of engaging in covering up child abuse. The ads, of course, refer to the Mark Foley Page Scandal. Republican Congressman Foley resigned from Congress in disgrace last month after it was revealed that he'd engaged in inappropriate relationships with teenage male Congressional Pages.

(BTW, for those not familiar with the story, Patty Wetterling's son Jacob was abducted in 1978, and was never seen again. Patty has made it her life's calling to combat violence and sexual abuse against children, and has done noble work. But now it seems Patty is trying to trade on her image as a crusader for exploited and missing children to gain leverage against Michele Bachman.)

The ads that her campaign have been running inform the public that we need to send Patty Wetterling to Congress to, well, I'm not quite sure why. I guess she would have made sure the Mark Foley was punished for his indiscretions, and that nothing like this will ever happen. In any event, Patty's the only one who cares about children being targeted by predators.

Never mind that the Foley scandal may not be all that it appears, in that some of the relationships of which he's being accused happened not only after the young men had left the page program, but after the young men were over eighteen. And besides, as the Democrats informed us during the Clinton presidency, everyone lies about s-e-x, right?

But the thing is, Foley's already resigned his seat and has gone into rehab, and the whole affair is under criminal investigation to determine what legal sanctions might be brought against Foley. Although she is never mentioned by name, the implication is that if Michele is elected, she would just be part of the Old Boys network that Patty insists tried to cover up Foley's behavior for years, and that justice will not be served. Or something.

This, of course, is silly.

Michele would not be part of the Old Boy's network, not least of which because she's not a boy, nor has she ever been in Congress before. It takes years to make it into the Old Boy's Network, even if you're, well, a boy.

Ironically, though, most of those who are speaking out against Michele Bachman are insisting she isn't fit for office because of her extremely conservative Christian beliefs. Because of those beliefs, Michele's opponents seem to think she's not only homophobic, but that she would want to see the Ten Commandments be the laws of the land. If that were true - and it's it not - by that logic, Michele should be the ideal person to send to Washington to clean up Congress, right?

Of course, Michele is no religious zealot, and in any case, neither she nor Patty would have that much influence in a national legislative body of 435 scoundrels and rogues, split nearly evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Either woman will be a rookie, and will be unlikely to even land a seat on any prestigious committees like Judiciary or Foreign Affairs.

What is really at stake are numbers, or rather the number of seats in Congress. The party that has the largest number of seats in each house of Congress controls the committee chairs, and ultimately, the flow of legislation, and even the approval of judges to the Federal bench. And should the Democrats wrest control of the House of Representatives from the Republicans this election, it is virtually certain that the first order of business would be to bring Impeachment charges against President Bush. It would be almost impossible to convict the President, but just bringing the charges would provide glee and mirth for the lefties who've been denied control of the House for over two decades.

In any event, I am inclined to think that Republican Michele Bachman is going to be going to Washington to represent the 6th District, and I think Patty Wetterling will be staying in Minnesota. And I'm sad to say that it seems almost certain that Mark Kennedy is going to lose his contest with Amy Klobuchar for the Senate seat vacated by the retiring Senator Mark Dayton's, keeping it in Democrat hands.

At least we only have a few more days of listening to the incessant din of radio and TV ads telling why Minnesota can't afford this candidate or that one. And the accusations... Mon Dieu! Each ad cycle is worse than the last. I have to believe that by election day we will yet see ads by each candidate accusing the other of cannibalism, necrophilia and of rooting for the Packers. I must confess, I'm growing weary of the whole thing, really.

Just remember, on November 2nd, vote early, vote often. That's all I'm saying.


Clean Err


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Not On Hiatus

Just suffering Poster's Block. I'll take a make-a-post-or-else pill in the next day or two, and get some fresh content up on this Little Blog O'Happiness. Please check back hourly.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tragic Story

From IHT

Reports: 8 die in stampedes in Bangladesh

The Associated Press

Published: October 21, 2006

DHAKA, Bangladesh Seven women and a child were killed in two separate stampedes when destitute Bangladeshis scrambled for free cloth being distributed before a festival marking the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan, news reports said.

Four women and a child died in a stampede Saturday in Mymensingh district, about 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of Dhaka, when about 2,000 people, many with children, gathered in a narrow lane to receive cloth distributed by the owner of a textile mill, ATN Bangla television reported. About 12 people were injured.

Read the rest here.

This Might Just Work

From Chatterblocker:

Conversations and other disruptions just melt away

Introducting ChatterBlocker, the PC software that uses digital audio technology to "neutralize" the sound of speech and other distractions so you can stay focused in any environment.

ChatterBlocker does not use noise-cancellation. Instead it masks unwanted chatter using a soothing blend of nature sounds, music and “anti-chatter” voices. It also offers mindfulness meditation tracks intended to increase concentration, reduce distractibility and minimize the stress response to office noise.

Use ChatterBlocker to tune out disruptions and increase concentration at the office, airports, cafes, or anywhere.

Read more about it here.

Firefox 2.0 Vs IE 7

From PC World

Review: Radically New IE7 or Updated Mozilla Firefox 2--Which Browser is Better?

We extensively test drive both to find your best browser experience. Erik Larkin, PC World

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 05:00 PM PDT

Version 7 of Microsoft's dominant Web browser packs in interface changes, many new features, and plenty of under-the-hood updates. It also arrived just days before version 2 of the up-and-coming Firefox browser, which will be final on Oct. 24. So which new browser is your best bet?

Firefox 2 offers no radical changes compared with version 1.5, which came out a year ago. It's a measured step, purposely non-jarring for current Firefox users. A built-in antiphishing tool makes its first appearance, but most other changes simply refine many of the same features that are new to IE 7. Version 2 polishes tabbed browsing, newsfeed support, and add-on management. Regrettably, you'll still find some sites written specifically for IE that don't look right in Firefox 2. However, you can add a plug-in that will let you view a site in IE to get around the problem; my favorite is IE View. You can download a near-final release candidate 3 today. The final version should be available at the same site on Oct. 24, and existing users of the browser will receive a notice about version 2 once Mozilla has made a minor update to version 1.5 a few weeks after version 2 is out.

Microsoft had further to go to bring IE up to par with the competition (IE 6 was released in 2001), and so IE 7 is a more thorough overhaul of its predecessor. You can't miss the new user interface, with tabbed browsing, integrated searching, and newsfeed support. Microsoft also added an antiphishing tool and boosted IE 7's security in response to seemingly never-ending IE 6 holes. Over a few months, the company will prod users to get version 7 via Automatic Updates; you can also download it at any time. (A final version for Windows Vista will ship with Vista early in 2007.)

For this story, we evaluated feature-complete release candidates of both browsers, IE7 RC1 and Firefox 2 RC2, just prior to their final release.

Read the whole thing here.

Breaking News

From The Onion:

Streisand Farewell Tour

October 18, 2006 | Issue 42•42

Infographic Streisand R

Barbra Streisand recently kicked off her latest farewell tour in Philadelphia. Here is what she is bringing to her final round of stage shows:

  • Clowns, sent in
  • 25-foot-long acrylic fingernails
  • Giant steel curtain that lowers to obscure stage unless fans keep feeding it money
  • A book, in case she gets bored
  • Streisand impersonator for nights when she turns into werewolf
  • Husband James Brolin, who will perform onstage stripteases during costume changes
  • Chutzpah

Sounds about right to me.



Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Night Videos - Randy Newman Edition

'I Love LA'
Randy Newman


'Political Science'
Randy Newman


'Short People'
Randy Newman


'Sail Away'
Randy Newman


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Where'd It Go?

From Yahoo News:

Scientists create cloak of invisibility

AP Science Writer
Thu Oct 19, 9:49 AM ET

WASHINGTON - A team of American and British researchers has made a Cloak of Invisibility. Well, OK, it's not perfect. Yet. But it's a start, and it did a pretty good job of hiding a copper cylinder.

In this experiment the scientists used microwaves to try and detect the cylinder. Like light and radar waves, microwaves bounce off objects making them visible and creating a shadow, though it has to be detected with instruments.

If you can hide something from microwaves, you can hide it from radar — a possibility that will fascinate the military.

Cloaking differs from stealth technology, which doesn't make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track. Cloaking simply passes the radar or other waves around the object as if it weren't there, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.

Read the rest here.

World Heritage Tour

You'll need Quicktime Player to view this site, but it's worth it:

UNESCO World Heritage Tour.

Just In Time For Halloween

From CNet News:

Zombies try to blend in with the crowd

By Joris Evers

Hackers are trying harder to make their networks of hijacked computers go unnoticed.

Cybercrooks are moving to new Web-based techniques to control the machines they have commandeered, popularly referred to as "zombies." Before, they used to send orders via Internet chat services, but with that method, they ran the risk of inadvertently revealing the location of the zombies and themselves.

"All the good guys are being challenged here. (Hackers are) saying: 'You're spotting my traffic. I am going to try and hide it a little better,'" said Rob Fleischman, the chief technology officer at Simplicita, a Denver-based security start-up that helps Internet service providers deal with infected computers on their networks.

The change in tactics makes it harder to identify zombies on a network, and it becomes tougher for security professionals to use the hackers' own tools to spy on them. In addition, the switch to Web-based control increases the threat of zombies to enterprises and other organizations, as that method can't be blocked as easily as the previous technique.

"If you're a bad guy, this is pretty good news. If you're a good guy, I wouldn't say it is bad news, but it is a challenge," said Jose Nazario, a senior software engineer at Arbor Networks, which sells network analysis products. Nazario has done extensive research into zombies, the results of which he presented at last week's Virus Bulletin conference.

Read the rest here.

Big Spenders


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TV Or Not TV?

From Slate:

TV Really Might Cause Autism
A Slate exclusive: findings from a new Cornell study.

By Gregg Easterbrook

Posted Monday, Oct. 16, 2006, at 6:52 AM ET

Last month, I speculated in Slate that the mounting incidence of childhood autism may be related to increased television viewing among the very young. The autism rise began around 1980, about the same time cable television and VCRs became common, allowing children to watch television aimed at them any time. Since the brain is organizing during the first years of life and since human beings evolved responding to three-dimensional stimuli, I wondered if exposing toddlers to lots of colorful two-dimensional stimulation could be harmful to brain development. This was sheer speculation, since I knew of no researchers pursuing the question.

Today, Cornell University researchers are reporting what appears to be a statistically significant relationship between autism rates and television watching by children under the age of 3. The researchers studied autism incidence in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington state. They found that as cable television became common in California and Pennsylvania beginning around 1980, childhood autism rose more in the counties that had cable than in the counties that did not. They further found that in all the Western states, the more time toddlers spent in front of the television, the more likely they were to exhibit symptoms of autism disorders.

Read the rest here.

Read the Cornell Study here.

Read a contrarian view here.

This Explains Alot

From BBC News:

Human species 'may split in two'

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

WTH? Read the rest here.

Found On The Web


From Newsday:

300 millionth American born in New York -- maybe

Newsday Staff Writers

October 18, 2006

Was it Zoë Emille Hudson who earned the title of 300 millionth American when she was born Tuesday at 7:46 a.m. at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center on the Upper East Side?

Perhaps it was Emanuel Plata, who was born at the same time at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens?

Or maybe even appropriately named Mystique Alyzha Agueda, who showed up a few minutes later at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn?

Such is the mystery generated by the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate that the American population would hit 300 million Tuesday at precisely 7:46 a.m.

Read the rest here.

Draw Me


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Monday, October 16, 2006

Music Monday - Muzzy's Garageband Edition

Music Monday was originally a venue for me to link free (and mostly legal) MP3 downloads, but it got to be alot of work to put together each week, and once I discovered YouTube, I ended up going with videos, almost exclusively. That said, I'm still inclined to link to MP3's from time to time, and since I throw together a tune or two every now and then in Garageband, I'll make them available to download for the teeming dozens who read this blog, too.

Speaking of which, I spent some time playing around in Garageband for a few minutes on the weekend, and came up with this ambient music montage that used a good half dozen virtual instrument loops from the GarageBand Jam Pack: Symphony Orchestra set, assembled in Garageband 2, on a G4 iBook.

It's a rather dreamy piece that doesn't really have much definition or even melody, but seemed perfect for the rolling credits at the end of some blockbuster film adaptation of a Philip K. Dick Science Fiction novel. It's nothing spectacular, but I liked the way it turned out.

Enjoy, then this free MP3 offering, for your listening pleasure:

Ambient Music For Film Credits - Number 1

And if you're feeling adventurous and/or are new to this blog, check out some of these previous Muzzy Garageband offerings:

1 - Mother's Day 2006
2 - Mother's Day 2005
3 - Exotic Beats
4 - Crash On You
5 - String Riptide
6 - Noodling
7 - String Composition 110805

Support System


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Sunday, October 15, 2006


From UK Telegraph:

The greater your weight, the lower your IQ, say scientists

By Nina Goswami
(Filed: 15/10/2006)

It is bad for your blood pressure, knocks years off your life and is a strain on your heart. Now scientists have discovered that gaining weight lowers your intelligence.

The findings follow last week's government figures that show Britain as the "fat man" of Europe, with nearly a quarter of adults and more than 14 per cent of children under 16 classified as obese.

The new five-year study of more than 2,200 adults claims to have found a link between obesity and the decline in a person's cognitive function. The research, conducted by French scientists, which is published in this month's Neurology journal, involved men and women aged between 32 and 62 taking four mental ability tests that were then repeated five years later.

The researchers found that people with a Body Mass Index – a measure of body fat – of 20 or less could recall 56 per cent of words in a vocabulary test, while those who were obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher, could remember only 44 per cent.

The fatter subjects also showed a higher rate of cognitive decline when they were retested five years later: their recall dropped to 37.5 per cent, whereas those with a healthy weight retained their level of recall.

Read the rest here.

And This Is A Problem How?

From the Washington Post:

Wal-Mart Expands Generic Drug Plan

The Associated Press

Friday, October 6, 2006; 7:01 AM

-- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. expects to offer $4 prescriptions for some generic drugs in most states this year after expanding the low-cost program from a test market to all of Florida ahead of schedule, the world's largest retailer said Thursday.

Wal-Mart launched the program last month in the Tampa area in what it called an effort to save working Americans money on health care. But critics said it was a stunt to draw in business and a grab for a bigger share of the drug business.

At the time, Wal-Mart said it would expand the Tampa test statewide by January and nationally next year.

But customer demand was strong and Florida officials asked for a faster rollout, Wal-Mart said. It announced the statewide rollout effective Friday at a news conference in Orlando, Fla., with executives and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

It is also accelerating the national plan, said Bill Simon, executive vice president of Wal-Mart's professional services division.

"I would expect that we would be in most of the U.S. this year. That's the plan," Simon told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp., the country's No. 2 discounter behind Wal-Mart, said it would match its rival's lower prices in Florida as it did already in the Tampa area.

Read the rest here.

This Is Very Cool

From Wikipedia:

Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a Web-based word processor and spreadsheet application offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents and spreadsheets online while collaborating in real-time with other users. Docs & Spreadsheets is the result of two services, Writely and Spreadsheets, and they were merged on October 10, 2006 into a single product.

Read the rest here.

Get a Google account and try it out here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Blogging Friday The 13th

AE had school all day Friday, but LK was home with me, so we decided to go to Mommy's workplace to have lunch with her, and then spent some time at a local area library. LK loves the play area, and we checked out some DVD's for the weekend.

While we were there I also used the occasion to take advantage of the Macy's-sponsored new Museum Adventure Pass program, and checked out a pass for the American Swedish Institute.

I lifted the following from the Melsa website:

You may check out a Museum Adventure Pass with your valid MELSA library card at any MELSA library location. Here’s how:

Visit your library and locate the Museum Adventure Pass display. (This will usually be at or near the Circulation Desk; it’s a set of countertop-sized plexiglass racks containing cards that look like credit cards.)

There will be cards in the display rack for up to 17 different destinations. Some cards may already be checked out, but choose from what’s available and take the card to the circulation desk to receive your pass to the museum. The pass will look like a library date due slip.

The museum/zoo/historical or nature site will collect your pass in exchange for free admission for up to four people. You do not need to bring your pass back to the library.

Important things to know:

  1. Libraries have a limited number of passes for each participating organization. Passes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and cannot be reserved, renewed, requested through interlibrary loan or replaced if lost.

  2. One Museum Adventure Pass may be checked out per person, per loan period. The loan period is SEVEN DAYS. Up to four people may be admitted on each pass.

  3. Check the program brochure (available at your library) or this website for details on each organization, and check their websites before you visit for the most current hours and exhibition information.

Passes may be limited to general admission only. Special exhibitions may not be covered, and other restrictions may apply.

Enjoy your adventure!

Anyway, it's a great program, using corporate sponsorship dollars to expand the mission of the library system. I intend to use it to take the girls on Museum Adventures, and will encourage others - espcially those on low or fixed incomes - to take maximum advantage of the opportunity to experience some of the cultural heritage of the Twin Cities.

And BTW, in case any of the locals are interested in what kinds of places have passes available, here's a list:

That was pretty much all we did on Friday. It was a cold and windy day, grey and overcast, with frost on the rooftops that AM. I'd been coming down with some kind of virus, and had a sinus headache that morphed into a silent migraine - in which my left eye just goes out of focus - and I spent the day feeling bleh and achey. On the bright side, at least the cold served to take my focus off the gut ache that's been plaguing me. In the afternoon LK watched one of the library DVD's while I tried to rest, and wrote email and blogged until AE came home. Since Mommy doesn't usually get home until later, the girls and I had pizza and fruit for supper, which was about as much as I could muster in my sorry state. All in all, it was a pretty low-key day.

I must admit to having felt a bit melancholy.

I had learned earlier in the week that one of my Great Uncles passed away, and it hadn't really registered fully with me until my day off. He was well on in years and had been ailing, and his passing was not unexpected, but it's still a sad time when a loved one dies. He had been living in Costa Rica since his retirement, and I hadn't seen him in a number of years, but I remember him as a good and decent man. He will be missed.

I also heard just late last Thursday that a retired co-worker and friend passed away suddenly, earlier in the week. She was a dear soul who had mothered me thru some difficult times I went years ago, after the death of my father, and after a painful breakup. I hadn't seen her much since she retired, but she, too, will be missed.

It's much too far for me to make it to my Uncle's funeral, but my co-worker's funeral will be held this next weekend, right here in town, and I intend to go and pay my final respects.

BTW, it was well into the day on Friday before I realized that it was, in fact, a Friday the 13th. I know it's considered an unlucky day, and an unlucky number, but I've never understood exactly why. I'm not really supersitious, and I remember as a child being amused by the fact that the hospital where one of my brothers was born had no 13th floor. Strange. (Snopes has a pageful of info on the history here.)


UPDATE - Sunday The 15th:

Remember the Museum Adventure Pass I mentioned earlier? Well, the girls and I took in the American Swedish Institute this Sunday afternoon, using the free pass I got on Friday.

Here's a blurb from the Institute's website:

Built for newspaper publisher Swan J. Turnblad, the house was completed in 1908 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This fine example of turn-of-the-century chateauesque architecture is filled with intricately carved oak, walnut and mahogany interiors. Painted plaster sculpturing decorates the ceilings. The centerpiece of the 33-room mansion is a two-story grand entrance hall. The house also features eleven unique Swedish porcelain tile stoves called kakelugnar.

It's a very cool place, with lots of little nooks and crannies for little girls to explore. It's one of the finest mansions in the Twin Cities, and even if it isn't used as a residence at this time, it's fun to imagine living in such place. The girls loved it, and AE asked if I could take her back sometime. We probably will.


Err America

From Washington Times:

Air America files for bankruptcy, will stay on the air

By Seth Sutel


October 14, 2006

NEW YORK -- Air America Radio, the liberal talk and news radio network that features comedian Al Franken, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday but will stay on air as it reorganizes with funding from its investor group.

The network had denied rumors a month ago that it would file for bankruptcy protection.

Air America spokeswoman Jaime Horn told the Associated Press that the filing became necessary only recently, after negotiations with a creditor from the privately held company's early days broke down.

The filing and a shuffle of the network's executives marked the latest turbulence at Air America, which has struggled financially since going on air two years ago. In April, Danny Goldberg stepped down as chief executive officer and was replaced by an interim chief executive from a management consulting firm.

"Nobody likes filing for bankruptcy," said Scott Elberg, who yesterday was appointed CEO of the network. "However, this move will enable us to concentrate on informing and entertaining our audience during the coming months."

Read the rest here.

Found On The Web

My Bad

From ABC News:

All Apologies: Who Do We Believe?

When Celebrities Make Mistakes, the Right Apology Makes All the Difference


Oct. 13, 2006 — Mel Gibson's public apologies this week about his drunken-driving and anti-Semitic remarks are just the latest in a long line of high-profile mea culpas. Over the last 30 years, society has been rife with public figures seeking forgiveness.

Who could forget televangelist Jimmy Swaggart's tearful plea for mercy before his congregation in 1988? During the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton went before a national audience and admitted to having a relationship "that was not appropriate." More recently, actor Russell Crowe told David Letterman that he was "extremely sorry" for throwing a phone at a hotel worker.

Lately, a newly abashed bunch hopes you'll forgive till it hurts: Mark Foley, who resigned in disgrace from Congress; Virginia Sen. George Allen, under fire for insensitive racial comments; and former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, peddling a new book about the sex scandal that brought down his administration.

Not everyone is enthralled by the boom in verbal self-flagellation.

"It's part of public relations. It has nothing to do with real apologies," said Michael Josephson, founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Los Angeles. "The public apology is sort of like a public contribution, which is made to look like charity but really has nothing to do with philanthropy.

Read the rest here.

And lotsa public apologies galore here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Night Videos - Neil Young Edition

'Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)'
Neil Young and Crazy Horse


'Harvest Moon'
Neil Young


Neil Young


'Cinnamon Girl'
Neil Young and Crazy Horse


'Old Man'
Neil Young


Why Microsoft Can't Compete With iTunes

From Roughly Drafted:

Why Microsoft Can't Compete With iTunes

After reading Why Apple Will Change TV and the supporting Five Ways Why Apple Will Change TV, you might be left wondering why Microsoft won't simply beat Apple to the punch in delivering the future of the television.

Here's the secret answers that expose a series of myths concerning Microsoft’s ability to own new markets, why its monopoly position won't be of any help, and why the company's consumer retail strategies aren't working.

It's a story you'll only RoughlyDrafted Magazine, and a story many people don't want you to hear.

Read the rest here.

Friday 13th - Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

From Washington Times:

For the fearful, this Friday has their number

By Jennifer Harper
October 13, 2006

This is not a good day for paraskevidekatriaphobics -- those who fear Friday the 13th. It's double-13 Friday. All the numbers in the numerical notation -- 10/13/2006 -- add up to 13 as well, giving great pause to the superstitious.

The phenomenon hasn't happened in 476 years, said Heinrich Hemme, a physicist at Germany's University of Aachen who crunched the numbers to find that the double-whammy last occurred Jan. 13, 1520.

"Pure chance," the good professor told the press yesterday.

But it's not exactly TGIF for the 21 million Americans who fear the day. Some may not travel or even get out of bed, said Donald Dossey, a North Carolina psychologist who coined the term "paraskevidekatriaphobia" 20 years ago. He estimates that the nation is out $900 million in lost productivity because of Friday the 13th sick-outs.

"It's just ingrained in our culture -- one of those collective, unconscious fears stretching back about 2,800 years," Mr. Dossey said. "But it will be all gone tomorrow. By the time you learn to pronounce 'paraskevidekatriaphobia,' you're cured."

Fear the rest here.

Wikipedia has more.

Found On The Web

A Sobering Tale

From I Am Facing Foreclosure:

September 5th, 2006

Why I am Facing Foreclosure

What happened? Why am I facing foreclosure? Basically, I bit off more than I could chew.

Here is the story.

I started investing in October 2005 and went full-time in January of this year (2006). This is after going to numerous real estate investing seminars, reading books and learning from other investors for the past 2 years. I did my first successful deal in October while still at my full time job. In January I quit my website programming job and went all out!

From October 2005 to May 2006 I bought 8 houses in 4 different states, mostly with the help of 100% stated income loans (liar loans). Most are fixers - I was going to rehab and flip each one within a month or so. Buying was easy, but man was I in for a surprise (or a lesson?).

Read the whole story here.

Survey Says


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Random Stuff

I mentioned a week or more ago that I'd been having a great deal of pain in my gut recently, and that I was having a Hida Scan, to test the functioning of the gallbladder. Well, I got the results this week, and the test showed no sign of disease or dysfuction in the biliary ducts or gallbladder. So, that's good, right? I mean, I should be pleased, and in a way, I am. But I am still having a great deal of pain, and it's frustrating that the doctors can't find what is wrong. I've been diagnosed with Dyspepsia, which is really nothing more than a name doctors call conditions like mine when they can't discern anything organic that might be causing the symptoms. Of course, if there really isn't anything treatable, I guess I'll just have to learn to muddle thru, and make the best of it. I'm still insisting that Mrs. Muzzy have my tombstone inscribed with the words: 'See, I told you I was sick.'


I went to a huge 'garage sale' this past week, one held to raise money for a worthy cause: The American Cancer Society. Well, it was held in the space formerly occupied by a two-story department store at a local mall. I ended up going on the last day of the sale, and things were pretty well picked over, but I still managed to find some items of interest: about a dozen books, two CD's and a DVD, a computer bag, some 5 1/4 floppy disks, and two tubes of lip gloss (for my daughers). The total cost for all that came to less than eight dollars, which was a pretty good deal, I thought.

What wasn't such a good deal were some of the truly bizarre people at the sale. As I walked in to the premises, I came upon several tables with boxes and boxes of video tapes piled all over them. I walked up to the first box and lifted one of the casettes to view the title when a woman of about sixty years of age dove across the table, slapping my hand back down into the box, and snarling 'Those are mine, all of those are mine. Can't you see my purse in the box?'

Of course, I couldn't, in fact, see her purse, but when I reached over to move one of the videos so as to be able to actually be able to view said purse, the crazy biddy grabbed me by the jacket, repeating that those were her things, that there were plenty of others I could buy, but that I had to leave her stash alone. I calmly told her that she'd better unclench *her* hands from my jacket or I would have to remove them for her. I further told her that in the future she needed to remember to take her medication before going out in public, and promptly moved off to another area of the sale. Well, I hope she liked the videos she took home, cause I sure didn't see anything in her collection worth wasting my time on. Sheesh.


My car's anti-lock brakes appear to have gone bad, and I took my car into the Service Station to have it looked at last week. I was told the repair would cost around a thousand dollars to replace the control module, and I must say, I'm not sure I'm inclined to want to spend the money to remediate the problem, as my car is not worth all that much. Since the brakes themselves are working fine, I've pretty well decided to not replace the ABS. But if you see me driving on the highways and by-ways, you might just want to, ahem, steer a wide berth.


I recently read about a little girl here in town diagnosed Autistic who'd developed normally until about two years of age, when she started regressing. At six years of age, she had the gross motor skills of a four year-old, the fine motor skills of a three year-old, and the verbal and intellectual abilities of a two year-old. She was having great difficulty coping, as were her parents, and in spite of extensive therapy, her prognosis was grim.

I couldn't help but consider that while my two girls share a general diagnosis with this other child, their fate is so very different. While many children get only minimal benefits from therapy, my daughters have done so very well. AE taught herself to read by age three, and LK is able to read simple first grade material, with three months to go until her fourth birthday. They are both very sociable, and are a delight to be around, and I am so proud to be their Daddy.

I feel very fortunate, and indeed, blessed, but it would be the height of arrogance for me to assume that the parents of the little girl I mentioned above don't feel just as I do. I know there are those who feel sorry for me for having two autistic kids, no matter mild their condition, and they are wrong. I don't feel that way for myself, and I shouldn't make the mistake of presuming to feel sorry for someone else without knowing the specifics of *their* situation.


I was riding the bus thru the University Campus the other evening, and it occurred to me that if I were asked to describe the experience in somewhat poetic language, I'd have to say it was like 'moving along thru a sea of iPods and cellphones.' Or something. It was strange. There was even a guy with a nose ring sitting next to me with a cellphone that had a small keyboard on it, all and the while he was sending and receiving text messages to points unknown, and listening to *his* iPod. Of course, I had to wonder if listening to an iPod causes cell phone use. Or bus riding. You just don't know with these things.


This Is Just Wrong

Baby Toupee

Captive Audience


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Girl Who Said Ni!

From Breitbart:

Jennifer Wilbanks, who became known as the "runaway bride" after taking off just days before her lavish wedding in 2005, is suing her former fiance for $500,000.

Wilbanks and John Mason broke up for good in May, about a year after her excursion to Las Vegas and New Mexico made international headlines while hundreds of friends and family members searched for her back home in suburban Atlanta.

Mason has until Oct. 22 to respond to the lawsuit, filed last month in Gwinnett County's Superior Court. The suit, Wilbanks vs. JCM Consulting et al, was filed Sept. 13, according to court records.

Read the rest here.

Saving Face


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Monday, October 09, 2006

Music Monday - More Toby Rand Edition

Toby Rand


Toby Rand


'White Wedding'
Toby Rand


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Found On The Web

Have Satellite Will Travel

Google Sightseeing


From Jerusalem Post:

218 Bnei Menashe to make aliya

Oct. 2, 2006

A group of 218 people from the Bnei Menashe community will soon be immigrating to Israel as recognized Jews for the first time.

The group's aliya is a turning point, said Michael Freund, founder of Shavei Israel which assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people.

"This is a major historical event, because these members of a lost tribe of Israel, after 27 centuries of wandering in exile, will at last be coming home," he said.

News of the planned arrival in November of 218 Bnei Menashe, who have already undergone official conversion in India, was made public for the first time last week.

They live in a remote mountainous corner of northeastern India and claim descent from one of the lost biblical tribes.

Read the rest here.



CP Roasts MB

In the fair and balanced style of journalism for which they are famous, City Pages' explains Michele Bachmann.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Night Videos - Stupid Girls Edition

"Stupid Girls"


"...One More Time"
Britney Spears


"Genie In A Bottle"
Christina Aguilera


Ashlee Simpson


"These Boots Are Made For Walking"
Jessica Simpson


There Once Was A Man With A Migraine

From The National Headache Foundation

In The Company of Headache Pain

Will become the first National Headache Foundation Support Group sponsored poetry/prose collection booklet.

Information & Entry Form:

The purpose of this booklet of poetry is to compile a collection of headache-related verse representing the headache sufferer through the written word. If you submit an entry, please understand that there will be no cash prizes or awards. Should your poem be selected and included in the printed booklet it will appear with your name. (If you would like to receive a copy of the completed booklet, a donation of $2.50 will assist the NHF with postage and handling.)


* Participants should be diagnosed migraine/headache sufferers and participation is limited to citizens of the United States.
* All submissions must include the theme of headache, migraine, cluster, and should communicate the impact that this chronic illness has on your life.
* Only one poem/prose entry is allowed per person.
* Please limit your submission to a one page entry.
* All entries must be received by December 1, 2006. Void where prohibited.

Submit your masterpiece here.

Found On The Web


From Yahoo:

Google Reportedly Talking With YouTube

Friday October 6, 9:33 pm ET

By Paul Elias, AP Business Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Internet search leader Google Inc. is in talks to acquire the popular online video site YouTube Inc. for about $1.6 billion in cash and stock, according to published reports.

Mountain View-based Google and San Mateo-based YouTube are still at a sensitive stage in the discussion, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported on their Web sites Friday, citing unnamed people familiar with the negotiations.

The blog TechCrunch had reported on rumors of the acquisition talks. Google and YouTube officials declined comment.

Analysts said a Google acquisition of YouTube would make sense for both companies if the reported talks lead to a deal, especially considering Google's $10 billion in cash on hand.

Read the rest here.

Thoughts On Computer Upgrades

From George's Macintosh Tips:

Thoughts On Computer Upgrades

It's mid-2005 and I thinking about my next computer. I've been buying and upgrading personal computers since 1979. My very first computer was a 16 bit LSI-11 with a 10 meg hard disk and a romping 60 kB of RAM. At this time an "advanced" personal computer was an S-100 box with some 8 bit processor in it. The LSI-11 computer was fine for UCSD Pascal software development and it made me a bunch of money. Since then I've gone through Z-80's, 8086's, and the whole variety of Motorola processors in a bunch of Macintosh's. Although I've never personally owned a DOS/Wintel machine and probably won't ever, I do use Wintel stuff at work, but only because I don't have a choice. If they offered me a Mac (fat chance), I'd take it in a heartbeat. Windows is a POS. A day doesn't go by without Windows finding some way to irritate me.

Over the years, I've developed a philosophy on upgrades. Since there is always a newer and better computer to buy, the question is how much better does it have to be to justify buying it. One can spend a fortune "upgrading" to marginally better hardware with relatively little performance improvement. In order to more or less keep up with the times and still not break the bank, I've developed some personal upgrade rules.

After many years of iterations I had settled on what I call the "4X" rule. In order to justify the expense the new computer or upgrade needs to have 4 times the capability of the existing capability in processing speed, RAM and disk. This has worked pretty well and kept me at least near the state of the art. By the time that those criteria are met, the graphics hardware has usually improved significantly as well.

Read the rest here.