Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mystic India

We went to see Mystic India at IMAX this weekend. Breathtaking visuals and kickass soundtrack. It could have been a bit longer, IMHO.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Douglas County Amazon Script

It turns out that Douglas County DOES allow search by ISBN, it's just very much hidden in some seemingly-unrelated menu: "Alpha browse (starts with)". I had even called them about ISBN search, and the person I talked to didn't think ISBN search existed anywhere on the site, either, so it's well hidden even from the folks who work at the library. :)

I'm glad I was able to find this, since Douglas county seems to have nice facilities, at least at the Lone Tree branch. Not too sure how good their catalog is, but I have found a few things there that Denver doesn't have.

Anyway, you can check out the Douglas-Amazon script over at

Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm No Luddite, But's another reason I will not be buying HDTV anytime soon. Why buy HDTV when they will be coming out with UHD some time after that? Talk about "manufactured needs".

I'm gonna stick with my "old" televisions until either 1) I'm forced into not using it by infrastructure 2) The ones I have die 3) The HD/UHD content is there.

Also, a standard disc format would be nice.

The End

Well, Phil Hendrie announced last night that he won't be doing the radio show after June 23. I'm still in the "stunned" stage. The guy really does have a one-of-a-kind show. There's nothing like it on the radio, or on TV for that matter.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Snow Last Night

We got about one inch of snow last night. The local news even had some story about a semi rollover.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Slackware - Pagan Software?

I had to giggle when I saw this page denouncing Slackware as "coming with its own pagan religion". Well, yes, Slackware's name was most likely inspired by the Church of the Subgenius. I dunno that it qualifies as a "pagan religion". The use of the word "pagan" is nearly meaningless anyway - it seems to include all non-Abrahamic cults, which isn't very descriptive.

He then goes on to say he'd use a BSD over that...huh?! BSD has a history of using THE DEVIL as a mascot!!! OMG! Don't touch it! It's eee-veeyyeel!

There's also a mention of the "Bob" screensaver - which is (always?) packaged with xscreensaver. You don't have to turn it on, and having a screensaver associated with a group that mocks Christian fundamentalists isn't going to hurt you even if it lands on your harddrive. If you're that concerned and sensitive about your religion, you'd better steer clear of Linux altogether, since the two people most responsible for bringing about Linux, RMS and Linus, are...hang on to your hats, folks - ATHEISTS.

Good thing Yggdrasil never took off; that's associated with another "pagan religion" politically incorrect, my stars.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Some Quotes From The Land of Crazy

So I'm listening to a podcast on Freemasonry called X-Oriente. He was talking a bit about fundamentalism and its dangers. He had some quotes from the nutters that claim to represent Christianity.

Pat Robertson said that feminism is a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians". Look, normally, I'm a libertarian about this sort of thing, but this guy says such incendiary things and so many people follow him that I sometimes wonder if a rational society really ought to think about getting this guy on meds and/or therapy and/or locked up.

The host of X-Oriente also quoted Randall Terry:

"Our goal is a Christian nation. ... We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. ... Theocracy means God rules. I've got a hot flash. God rules." In that same speech, Terry also stated that "If a Christian voted for [former President Bill] Clinton, he sinned against God. It's that simple."

Creepy and funny at the same time. Replace "Christian" with "Muslim" and this guy sounds like the most radical of ayatollahs. Here we are supposedly spreading "freedom and democracy" in places such as Iraq, meanwhile, we have the religious right cuddling up to guys like this. Yeah, that makes sooooo much sense. Also, if you are Christian you have to vote Republican, but the non-Christians can vote for whoever, and not sin against God? Or are they already such a lost cause that it doesn't matter? Besides, Clinton was also a Christian!

The X-Oriente host then went on to talk about how similar some of the fundies that we are supposedly at war with and the ones right here in this country. A pretty good show; if Freemasons have a tendency to be as reasonable as this guy, I just might be interested...

Saturday, April 22, 2006


If only they actually did make sidescrollers like Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006. I'm in awe. Double Dragon and Castlevania were cool...but this takes it to the next level.

More Reasons To Use Firefox

I've found two more reasons to use this browser. Adblock has been around for a long time, but I've recently noticed two more extensions that work with it: Dutchblock and Adblock FilterSet.G Updater. These will auto-update rulesets to block web page ads. Combine that with Flashblock and you'll hardly see an ad again.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Excellent RAW Interview

This interview with RAW was linked from Ever since hearing the synopsis of The DaVinci Code and listening to the audio CDs, I've wondered why RAW isn't more popular. He makes this remark in his interview:

"I think I'm the most ripped-off artist of our time," says Wilson, seated in the living room of a modest Capitola apartment adorned with an array of pookahs, Buddhas and at least one Loch Ness monster. "People keep coming out with books 30 years after--books on things I wrote about--and they all become bestsellers.

That about says it all about the state of things as it comes to RAW's work. Oh well, RAW may very well become the literary equivalent of the Velvet Underground. Brian Eno is supposed to have said about the Velvet Underground that they only sold a few thousand albums initially, but every single person that bought the album started a band. It goes without saying that they obviously cast a huge shadow across the music landscape. I'm already seeing lots and lots of authors with a clear RAW lineage, I'm sure only more are to follow. Since Illuminatus! never went out of print AFAIK, I guess RAW's had more commercial success than VU had initially, but I think the analogy applies to his non-fiction work.

Creationists grasping at straws

Ooh, this is so painful. Kirk Cameron and his sidekick created an awful video aiming to "explain" evolution and it's problems - as they see it. Hilariously painful. What a pair of ding-a-lings. Kirk should have stuck to making dopey sitcoms and not pretend to be a scientist.

I just feel sorry for the motards who actually believe this sort of nonsense. So, of all the myths, especially creation myths, made up and retold on Earth over millenia, these guys think they've found one that is the "correct" one - AND that it refutes science? That's a good one - ask yourself - every time science and religion butted heads, who eventually lost out and had to give way?


It's pretty interesting to find out who some of the atheists/agnostics in current pop culture are...especially the sorts of things they say about what they believe. The two major players who brought us Linux are apparently atheists - Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds. So is one of the guys who brought us the Apple - Steve Wozniak. Bill Gates as well. Okay, not too surprising, I guess.

The surprising one is Lance Armstrong. Never knew that about him. Same with Douglas Adams. Bjork....Matthew Sweet...Billy Joel...Brian Eno...Katharine Hepburn...Bob Geldof....David Gilmour. Wow.

Albert Einstein - they have tons of quotes from him about his belief. Here's one:

[My] deep religiosity... found an abrupt ending at the age of twelve, through the reading of popular scientific books. [Albert Einstein, as quoted in Einstein, History, and Other Passions, p. 172]

Heh, no wonder there is such an anti-intellectual streak in this country - everybody would end up ditching religion if they understood more about science - or so the religious right fears, I suppose.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

High Crimes and Misdemeanors?

Saw this article on impeaching Bush on In some polls, nearly 50% of people would support impeaching him if it can be shown he deliberately lied to take us to Iraq? Wow. That's pretty interesting. I'd still like to talk to the people who think he should not be impeached under those conditions. Makes the head spin.

Clerks II!

If you haven't been to, you might not know that there is a Clerks II trailer to be seen. Woot!

Phil Hendrie

I was catching up on older episodes and Phil Hendrie said something along the lines of something I thought before and meant to put here - that he thought those God Hates Fags folks were just some sort of joke.

That was my first reaction - I thought these folks were inspired by the Church of the Subgenius or some sort of Dadaist thing. No such luck, I think these guys are for real.

The God Who Wasn't There - Trailer

I forgot to put a link to The God Who Wasn't There trailer on

It opens with some great audio and video from Christian leaders.

Fox Means Business

So I had Faux News on yesterday. Not sure why, maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I wanted to see what sort of things they were considering "news" for us sheople.

I glance over and see this little ad with some graphics: "Fox Means Business". I had to laugh at that. Yes, yes, they do. That nails it on the head. Talk about a Freudian slip...they should just come out and say this: "Fox REPRESENTS Business (especially MNCs)".

Facts Matter

...and so does history. But maybe not to ideologues, especially those on the right? I was listening to the Republicans Behaving Badly podcast, and had to LOL at one of the dingdongs on there who said he doesn't really know or care about history (and yet he was trying to make up facts about it anyway). A Republican who doesn't know or care about history? Almost sounds redundant, but it was funny to hear him come right out and admit it.

Anyway, he obviously didn't know who April Gillespie was or what our role was in starting the Iraq War I. Of course, that didn't stop him, and he tried to wing it anyway. Hilarity ensued.

Personally, I think if you don't know the facts, you should shut up, but that doesn't stop the average right-winger or their noise machine: Hannity, Rush, Laura Ingraham, O'Reilly, Michael Weiner (aka Savage).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The God Who Wasn't There

I forgot to add in my mention of this movie how brave I think the director is. Considering the things I mentioned that happened to Madalyn Murray O'Hair earlier and the fact that the Boy Scouts still do not allow atheists into their midsts - as the great show Bullshit! from Penn & Teller brilliantly shows.

Also, almost every elected official has to profess some superstitious belief to get elected in the first place.

For more on how low on the opinion totem pole atheists are, check out this. They rate below gays, Muslims, and recent immigrants. Tell me the director doesn't have some bravery in putting out this movie.

Monday, April 17, 2006

My Own Firefox Extension - QuickCheck

I broke down and figured out how to write a Firefox extension. Nothing really fancy; it just lets you check/uncheck all checkboxes that you currently have selected in Firefox. The only reason for this is when website designers don't put a check/uncheck all button on their page, but it sure is something I've wanted when they don't. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

The Firefox extension is called QuickCheck.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The War on Easter

Although the Colbert Report has been joshing about this in the run-up to Easter, some are taking it semi-seriously. I just got done watching The God Who Wasn't There, and in turn of serendepity, I listened to a podcast from RU Sirius in which they interview the director, Brian Flemming.

I can understand and sympathize with the arguments put forward by Sam Harris and the director. I've done (and do) the same thing that these two talk about - when people say that they are doing something because of what the Bible tells them, or what God tells them, in my mind, I'm always substituting $GOD in for "God" and $MYTHICAL_TEXT in for "Bible". So "God" can become "Zeus" and "The Bible" can become "The Iliad". Why should I take a currently-accepted set of myths any more seriously than the myths that people took so seriously in the past?

I also agree that elected criminals, I mean elected officials need to be grilled by people when they say that they speak to God, or that the Bible guides their lives, or that God blesses America. Anyone saying that they speak to aliens, or that the Necronomicon guides their lives or "Aphrodite Bless America" would be. Why make exceptions for certain myths and superstitions?

Now, on the other hand, I heard the director say that some are actually going to Easter egg hunts and placing notes in the eggs directed at kids. Something along the lines of "hey kids, ask your Mom & Dad if the Easter bunny, Santa Claus and Jesus are real." I think this a bit toxic, and going over the line, and is the sort of thing to get conservative blowhards like O'Reilly all torqued up. I don't really see what it can accomplish, since a great many "secular" folks go do things like Easter egg hunts, anyway. In fact, I just got back from one that the neighborhood HOA put on. As the movie points out, Easter is something that was possibly celebrated as early as 4000 BC anyway, so if the Christians want to pretend it's not a pagan holiday that they co-opted, let them. And certainly leave the tykes out of it. Ruining something that is pretty fun at that age is just uncool.

That being said, I do think the movie itself is something that any "intellectually honest" (I hate that phrase. I may write more about that later.) Christian should watch. Some points are rather weak, and I do think the movie was way too short, and at times a bit too much about the director. But it's worth it for some of the sound bites he has found from some of the Christian leaders. It's also worth it for the presentation of the theory that early Christians didn't believe in AN ACTUAL MAN. It's also worth it for those who have never been exposed to all the dying-and-rising gods of other myths. Parts are really alarming - some people are still walking around that think that homosexuals should literally be stoned to death - and at the community level, because it'd make a nice activity? Apparently, they are believing their own hype and not evolving, because that sounds like real knuckle-dragger type of thinking to me.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Burnt Offerings

Got this one from the lib the other night. Avoid, avoid. A real ZZZZZZ'ing good time. You keep waiting for something scary or shocking to happen. It doesn't. The most disturbing part of the movie is when the father, apropos of nothing, says something like "you want some candy, little boy?" - to his son as he chases him. This was supposed to be some sort of scene to show them "bonding". That was a real head scratcher.

Email To The Universe

I finished this a few weeks ago. I never heard of the story of Madalyn Murray O'Hair. It talks about how she founded an atheist movement and tried to get prayer out of schools. Christians, with that Jesus love filling their hearts, then went on to make death threats, strangle her cat, ram a stick down her dog's throat, and generally make her life hell until she fled to Hawaii. The police were even in on the harassment. Amazing.

The book is full of RAW's usual meanderings and humor - it was worth the price for that story alone...I never made the connection with her disappearance to this stuff back in the sixties. The thing is that (some) Christians still just about hyperventilate about prayer in schools, so obviously many of them have not forgot. The email mentioned on the Wikipedia site shows that some are still mad as hell about it.

I think of this sort of thing when I hear Christian talking points about how the Muslims are rioting merely over a cartoon. Yeah, well, it's not all of them doing it, it's a certain crazy element doing it, to be sure. If 1.2 billion Muslims rioted, you'd sure as hell notice it and without having to see it on TV or read about it. Just like the people who practice the sort of Christ-insanity in the story of Madalyn Murray O'Hair don't represent all Christians, they certainly give one pause to think about why people let myth rule their thinking and actions.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

I've loved the Castlevania series ever since I first saw it on the 8-bit Nintendo. So when I saw one was out for the PS2, I scooped it up tout de suite.

Well, I was a little let down...the 3D didn't really translate so well, and it didn't really feel like one of the Castlevania series to me. As long as you discard the notion that it's part of the series, it's an ok game. If you go in expecting a Castlevania game...well, it sucks. So I head on over to read some reviews on this, and some of them on Amazon are really quite funny.

Here's part of one review that really cracked me up:

"My biggest peeve with this game is that it's "Castlevania gone Pokemon." Essentially, everything about this game is "Japanimated." Believe me, I'm a huge fan of most Japanimation, but to use it to this extent in "Castlevania" is just ridiculous. I mentioned the Devils in the Pros list, but that does not necessarily make it a good thing. Hands down, these "Devils" ARE Pokemon characters. Like most pokemon characters, these things have certain bodily attributes that make absolutely no sense (i.e., large crystals coming out of their anuses). The fairy, makes that annoyingly cute girl noise that is inherent in nearly all Japanimation female archetypes. I just think that the Japanimation style would do better elsewhere, not in Castlevania."

Testify, brother. I have no problem with anime, either, it just doesn't belong in Castlevania.

Monday, April 10, 2006

TSOG: The Thing That Ate The Constitution

Recently finished TSOG; I wouldn't say it's RAW's best, but it doesn't deserve a one-star review like at least one person over on Amazon gave it. It's really quite good, the only drawback is that a lot of the material RAW has gone over in other books. Oh, and I certainly wouldn't identify him with the New Age people, either...egad.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Legacy

Although this had some fun occult themes and some great atmosphere, it was ultimately a failure IMHO, especially when the end comes. The last ten minutes or so was almost MST3K-bait. And for some odd reason, Sam Elliot shows us his rear end for a shower scene?

I read a few reviews on IMDB and Amazon, and no one else seemed to point out the similarities to Suspiria. I think there are a lot of similarities - the occult, the whodunnit quality, and the fish out of water element - Americans in a foreign land.

Religion and Nukes

After reading Seymour Hersh's VERY ALARMING article, I think we should try to keep the religious nuts of all stripes away from access to nukes. We need some rational folks (preferably non-religious) between our current Dear Leader and nukes. Arguments like those in Sam Harris' The End of Faith are starting to look more and more compelling by the day.

This guy isn't just a doofus, he's a nutter, IMHO. I cannot believe he didn't just scream "NO!" to that question about Apocalypse sort of fantasies. I know he can't alienate his batshit-insane right-wing Christian base - the type that read Left Behind and feel all self-righteous about it - but now I wonder if all that talk of him actually believing all this God and end times nonsense isn't true.

BTW, does anyone else find it odd that a group that proclaims to have the moral high ground seem to enjoy weird fantasies of others being "Left Behind"? I think that speaks a lot to the mentality of these types...sadistic. Even if Christian mythology was actually fact-based, why would people enjoy others' suffering? It's my belief that the Abrahamic cults often employ the lowest forms of morality (the carrot and the stick, basically) and this sort of stuff confirms it.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Lifetime of 2600

I recently signed up for 2600's lifetime subscription. As part of the deal, I get two t-shirts (being black, I'll probably never wear them except to exercise in) and some back-issues. Not too bad. More magazines need lifetime subs.


XGL sure looks sweet - now I just need a supported card so I can run it. :)
Check out the movie and/or the live CD.

The True Believer

This book is a book to shed light on Bush supporters who continue to support him despite all the facts rolling in about him and the Iraq war. You really have to be a "true believer" to continue to support the Republicans right now as well. You have to work very hard to convince yourself that the facts don't matter, and that Bush & Republicans in general are somehow moral despite all these debacles and scandals.

Clinton's little dalliances can't hold a candle to being responsible for KILLING thousands - and being determined to do so regardless of the facts or the consequences. I know it's a bumper sticker, but it makes sense. The puritanical/Victorian grip on this country is so pervasive that Republicans STILL can't see past the Lewinsky thing. I'm no fan of Clinton - if you are going to criticize him, there is plenty of material to start with, but fooling around with an intern? Puh-leeze. Grow up. Sometimes Americans can be such children.

After reading this and a lot of RAW, I've decided a few years ago that I won't carry anyone's water, including Libertarians, and instead try to view the facts as they come in on the face of them instead of applying a ideological filter to try to call a fact a "liberal" fact or a "conservative" fact, etc. Despite that, I do think that the liberals are the ones that are the ones who have the moral high ground at this particular moment in time. Sites that are constantly being labeled "liberal" seem to have a better grasp of the facts - for instance, Also, I don't see liberals openly and brazenly advocating attacking such countries as Venezuala, Bolivia, etc. - the Republicans really ought to be ashamed for such behavior, but their elite opinion-shapers are either duped by all the talk of "communism" or they have an interest in the MNCs that are threatened by these countrys' leaders. I really don't blame the average schmoe repeating this nonsense; they are just ignorant.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Homeland Security Official Arrested

Okay, don't the people who say stuff like "if you don't have anything to hide, why do you care about your privacy?" look a little silly when you consider that an official in DHS has been charged with trying to seduce an underage girl online? These are just allegations at this stage, but it doesn't look good. The assumption that those who are given this power are "good people" that will never abuse power is an incredibly naive one.

Just think about this guy the next time warrantless wiretaps are discussed.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dark Water

So I watched the Japanese version of Dark Water (library had it). Not too bad, though not really that scary, either. I have the American remake for the PSP; I'm about 20 minutes into it. I'll be watching the rest of it Real Soon Now while the original is still pretty fresh in my head. Mmmm, Jennifer Connelly.

Google Dual Index

I wrote another Greasemonkey script to put the index into search results at the top of the page as well as at the bottom. Since I couldn't think of anything clever, I called it Google Dual Index. So far, it only works on the web search page.


The Yip-yip's meet the computer. Hilarious.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Presidential Address

This podcast is a very short, but funny one. One of the recent ones has "President Bush" raising concerns about being asked so many questions by reporters.

So he proposes only letting in "repeaters" instead of reporters. He also wants to change the press briefings to a "praise briefings".

Monday, April 03, 2006

Silent Hill

Well, there are already folks proclaiming that this will suck, and they could be right...but Resident Evil 1 & 2 both turned out pretty good, IMHO.

I love the Silent Hill series, so I'm hoping this turns out to be a good flick.

The Eye 2

I wasn't even aware there was a sequel to The Eye, but I saw this sitting on the shelf at the library. Not too bad, especially as far as sequels go.

If you didn't see The Eye, think Sixth Sense meets The Dead Zone. Definitely worth a viewing if you liked either of those movies.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Da Vinci Code - Debated

I might just check out this presentation this coming Tuesday. Seeing what the demographics are in Douglas County, I won't be surprised if the "debate" takes a turn for the ridiculous. Not that I think Da Vinci Code has much truth to it...but I don't come to that conclusion via robotic thinking; i.e., thinking that the Bible and/or Church is inerrant.

BTW, I never actually read the Da Vinci Code. As I've said numerous times, I do read a lot, so the synopsis I was hearing from people discussing it sounded terribly familiar to me - it's because of RAW again...he discusses Holy Blood, Holy Grail a lot. So the ideas in Da Vinci Code may have been new - in 1982. Who knows, maybe that was a meme running around even before then, but at least those authors allegedly did the research - whatever that may mean. I've long wondered if a lawsuit would be forthcoming. Sure enough, it is.

While I didn't read the books, I did get the audiobooks on CD (Angels & Demons, too) and listen to them. Ugh. Not to sound like a snob, but it was just so banal. Since I was listening to them in the car, I think I put myself in real danger by forcing myself to finish them. Not because of any conspiracy, but because I may have fell asleep and drifted into oncoming traffic.

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