Archive for August 16, 2008

Free eBook: Of The Night By Cliff Burns

August 16, 2008

“Of the Night” is HERE!

If I can express this in cinematic terms (you know I love movies), I see So Dark the Night as the big budget, “A” picture, and Of the Night as a really neat, tight “B” picture, the kind that show up at three or four in the morning and you end up greeting the dawn with. One that eventually develops a cult following, a community of aficionados who know it down to the smallest detail.

Hit the link to get the link to the PDF.

Previously here:

Cliff Burns’ Kept To Screen
Cliff Burns: Free Novel!

Don’t Envy The Tall

August 16, 2008

OK, I feel better now. Having to suffer height oppression from all these people who because they are six-feet-one and over believe they are fit and destined to rule the world — their self-destruction is built-in!

‘Immune’ to cancer: The astonishing dwarf community in Ecuador who could hold the key to a cure

Sufferers of Laron – believed to be caused by inbreeding – lack a hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, or IGF1.

Research uncovered during an investigation by Channel 4’s More4 News suggests this is the reason for their longevity and apparent immunity to cancer. In ordinary humans, too much of the hormone can lead a person to develop breast, prostate or bowel cancers at an early age.

Dr Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, a hormone expert from the Ecuadorian Institute of Endocrinology, who has been studying Laron dwarfism for more than ten years, said: ‘We’ve discovered that people with Laron simply don’t get cancer.

‘Cancer can be detected in their relatives of a normal size, but never in my patients – not one single case.

‘Every experiment has demonstrated that high levels of IGF1 are associated with cancer, but these patients have low levels of IGF1 and an absence of the disease.’


‘Laboratory work in mice, flies and worms has shown that if IGF1 is removed, the animals tend not to get cancer and to live longer. This is now mirrored in recent research into small humans, who turn out to have little or no IGF1, as is the case with Laron dwarfs.

‘Recent work suggests it might be possible to reduce IGF1 and so live longer with a reduced risk of cancer.’

Bah! Who am I kidding? There has to be a catch somewhere…

… plus, there’s always meat to kill you.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the dwarves were all vegetarians.

Like I said: Always a catch.

(And yo, I am normal height. But you’d be surprised the difference a few frikkin inches makes!) (Ahem.)

Supermarionation Is Not Easy

August 16, 2008

It looked so easy, the Japanese tried to imitate it several times.

And failed every time.

First, something from 1960, that was supposed to compete with Supercar.

Spaceship Silica ( 1960 )

Japan’s response to Supercar, Gerry Anderson’s masterpiece of animarionation.

Uh, right. I’m sure this is on DVD, just like Supercar. NOT!

Then in the early 1980s, they tried again with X-Bomber, which was picked up in England, renamed Star Fleet, and dubbed into English (with a terrible synthesizer theme that’s bizarrely become a cult favorite!).

Star Fleet – Skull Ambush

I first saw a full-color photograph from X-Bomber in Fantastic Films magazine. I was real excited by it. It wasn’t until well over a decade later I finally got to see some of it, thanks to the Internet. It was bloody awful! Terrahawks looked good in comparison!

I would have liked to have included at least the theme visuals to Supercar here, but all traces of embedable video have been erased from YouTube. These are the theme visuals to the series after it, Fireball XL5:

Fireball XL5 – Intro & Credits

And this is Terrahawks, which is not considered one of Gerry Anderson’s best puppet series (that rep was earned, beginning with the dreadful Richard Harvey theme!):

Thunder Roar (Part 1)

Just about now, some people are squirming in their seats, shouting, “What about Team America: World Police?”

Listen, some of you can think me rude and crude and even vulgar or obscene. But I do have my limits. And I draw the line at that one. I have nothing good to say about it and find it so low that I won’t embed a clip.

Gerry Anderson’s Doppelganger

August 16, 2008

Look very carefully at this. Its a clip from Journey to the Far Side of the Sun.


There’s a test!

Click here for the test

Reference: Blurb

August 16, 2008

Blurb — has book creation software to download. Shows a sample of a blog turned into a book.

Turning this and my old blog into personal-ownership book records might be the thing to do if I ever decide to send both blogs into Electron Hell.

In fact, I should do it well before that point.

There are other samples of books there. Have a look. I was led there via Twitter from top_book to My African Dream.

Gasoline Prices Flickr Photo Set

August 16, 2008

Rex Hammock left a Comment suggesting I throw all my gasoline price photos in a Flickr set.

I took all the ones of a single sign, so the view is mainly consistent.

It’s here: Flickr Gasoline Prices Set.

I hope it works properly. Flickr always frustates me.

Micro Fondle: Acer Aspire One At J&R

August 16, 2008

Photos taken today, Saturday, August 16, 2008 with the Philips crapcam.

Acer Aspire One netbook

Acer Aspire One next to boat anchor hp Mini Note

Good view of that keyboard!

L-R: Acer Aspire One, hp Mini Note, Sylvania netbook, Asus 1000

I went into J&R this morning lustfully hoping to find an MSI Wind I could thoroughly molest.

Instead, I was surprised to find the Acer Aspire One — which J&R previously said they wouldn’t carry!

I guess the evil shortage of the MSI Wind has made them think again.

The lid is glossy and already had an icky film of biohazard smears all over it. The palm rests are of less-glossy material but at an angle the smearing was right there to witness in disgust.

Fit and finish are excellent. It doesn’t feel cheap or like a toy. It’s really a step up from the Asus 700s and even trumps the 8.9″ Asus 900/901!

That’s because it has an almost-real keyboard.

Asus became lazy and simply grafted the inadequate 700-series keyboard to the 900 series. Eh. The form factor could already accommodate an 8.9 screen, but since they went to the effort of actually slightly enlarging the case from the 700s, they should have gone the extra step and put in a better keyboard.

Why do I call the Acer keyboard almost-real? The spacing didn’t exactly work out for me, as it did with the Asus 1000. Make no mistake, the keys are sculpted and have a good travel distance. Plus, there’s a softer feedback than the Asus 1000, but it wasn’t thoroughly to my liking. Looking at the keyboard on the Asus 1000, I could also see that Acer put a smaller line of Function keys on theirs.

The mouse pad was responsive and worked well. I’m one of the eejits who doesn’t mind that Acer mimicked the hp Mini Note and have their mouse buttons flanking the trackpad, instead of below it. I had no problem using them and they worked fine.

This unit had an 8GB Flash memory and was running that Linux interface. The interface is OK. But there are bits in the actual applications that are bound to cause frustration. The primary one being I couldn’t figure out how to delete a webcam picture I’d taken! Right clicking on the file didn’t bring up options. There was no menu at the top from which I could choose an action to perform on the file. It was simply stuck there. Perhaps if I’d given it more time, I would have found the convoluted way to do it, but it’s my assertion that what I encountered was anti-intuitive. So I wonder what other trapdoors might be lurking.

The screen. Ah. That screen. I found it to have a very narrow vertical viewing angle. You really had to be looking at it dead-on to get the full brightness. For most of the time I was using it, I thought the screen was very washed out. Then I tilted the screen and boom, the colors were rich. However … what the hell is the color depth of it?! I ran a slideshow of stored photos — all pr0n of the Acer Aspire One itself — and the color gradients were all banded out to hell. I don’t think this would be a good choice for someone who intends to do any photo viewing.

The unit was far lighter than the hp Mini Note (everything is!) and lighter than the Asus 1000.

Would I buy it? No. The color banding on the screen was terrible. What is it? Just 8-bit? I’ll admit that I never tried photos on the other netbooks. When I get to J&R again, I’ll have to do that to see how they compare.

If you don’t intend to do color-heavy work on it (but geez, won’t even YouTube look bad?), it’d probably be better than the Asus 900/901, because of the superior keyboard.

Me, I’m still lusting for an obscene fondle of the MSI Wind!

Update: Technodeity tnkgrl has stripped out the Flash memory of her Acer Aspire One and shanked in a 60GB hard drive!

Previously here:

Videos: Mac OS X On MSI Video, Acer Aspire One
MSI Wind & Asus Eee 901 & Acer Aspire One Video
The Key Buying Factor Of Cheap Subnotes

The Newest Smart Car Pr0n

August 16, 2008

Photos taken today, Saturday, August 16, 2008 with the Philips crapcam.

Yes, just four. I had to restrain myself. The crapcam can only hold twenty of these hi-res(!!!) pictures, and I needed slots free for J&R.

I’m glad I’ve seen this in person again. I’m certain now that the color doesn’t work with a Smart Car. It has to be light and bright!

I’d like to find a red one!

Previously here:

Technolicious: iPhone + Smart Car!
Photo Album: Smart Car Pr0n Yes!!
Smart Car: Panel Swapping
Badder Badass Batman Smart Car
The Obligatory Smart Car Pr0n
Reference: Smart Car Tips
Your Weekend Smart Car Pr0n
NOW Do You Believe In My Persecution?!!?
Smart Car Stuff
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan #3!
More Smart Car Videos
This Is Why It’s Called The Smart Car!
Fugly MINI Cooper Vs. Cutie Smart Fortwo
Smart Car: Coast-To-Coast Possible
The Smart Car Cult
Badass Batman Smart Car!
Video: Smart Car
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan Again!
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan
Cars Of The Future: Lose Weight Or You’ll Walk!

Gasoline On August 16, 2008

August 16, 2008

Photos taken today, Saturday, August 16, 2008 on Satan Staten Island with the Philips crapcam.

Poor contrast because this was before 6 frikkin AM and the sun was barely up.

Another four cent drop since last time.

Diesel finally dropped below $5!

Let’s have it drop ten cents every damned week for at least twelve weeks!

I want those food prices to start dropping! Especially the ripoff price of cat food!

Educate yourself!

Previously here:

Gasoline On August 13, 2008
Gasoline On August 8, 2008
Gasoline On July 31, 2008
Gasoline On July 27, 2008
Gasoline On July 9, 2008
Gasoline On July 3, 2008
Gasoline On June 28, 2008
Gasoline On June 21, 2008
Gasoline On June 12, 2008
Gasoline On June 8, 2008
Gasoline On May 31, 2008
Gasoline On May 26, 2008
Gasoline On May 21, 2008
Gasoline On May 18, 2008
Gasoline On March 15, 2008
Oh. My. God.