This Day In History: 05/08

Monday, May 08, 2006

Tag Day: Point of Know Return

There has not been enough foreign exchange of democracy and ideas between my site and others recently, most likely because of the recent discovery that some of them are un-American, so I want to rectify this situation by making up a tag. To effectively achieve geographical diversity and the diaspora of BU-related themes and paraphernalia across the World Wide Web, I will be tagging the following four kids: Kim , Anna , Mark , and Brianne . Notice that today's tag is brought to you by the number four.

Four Things I Know

  1. I know how to make a tasty Beef Stroganoff.
  2. I know how to navigate to anywhere in the real Alexandria (not the fake Fairfaxy one).
  3. I know all the plot holes in the movie, Memento.
  4. I know the best ways to consistently lose at poker.

Four Things I Used to Know

  1. I used to know how to do advanced calculus and differential equations.
  2. I used to know the locations of all the Heart Pieces in Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past.
  3. I used to know the complete set of commands a coxswain gives his oarsmen to get a boat out of a rack and onto the water.
  4. I used to know the story arcs for every season of Friends.

Four Things I Want to Know

  1. I want to know how to speak Spanish so I can speak to one or more neighbours.
  2. I want to know how to write a legal will (and am doing so now).
  3. I want to know how to program in another language besides Java.
  4. I want to know the formula that sets the ratio of useless commercials to good TV in hour long dramas.

Four Things I Don't Know and Don't Care About

  1. I don't know the correct way to swing a golf club, unless I am using it to fend off home intruders.
  2. I don't know what you learn when you get an M.B.A.
  3. I don't know what's happened in the last eighty seasons of American Idol.
  4. I don't know who to root for in professional basketball.

Are you diligently working on your answers for the Name That Tune contest? The deadline is Wednesday at noon EST!

Pregnancy makes you smarter
Armed robbery for a bag of poop
Family kicked out for abusing the buffet

tagged as tags | permalink | 15 comments

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Newsday Tuesday

Delaware Energy Debate Could Turn on the Wind

"Two hundred towering windmills, each so tall that its blades would loom over the U.S. Capitol Dome, could be built in the Atlantic Ocean near one of Washingtonians' favorite beach retreats, under a plan being considered in Delaware."

This article in yesterday's Post discusses the possibility of erecting turbines six miles offshore of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. With New Jersey being the armpit of the U.S., Delaware is the spot on its back that can't be scratched without major contortions, and which can't even be seen without multiple angled mirrors. People should be actively advocating the placement of these turbines in this location -- it's not like Rehoboth Beach is a real beach anyhow (The definition of an East Coast beach ends at the North Carolina / Virginia border, and Virginia Beach is just barely a beach like Subway's Jarrod is just barely a real celebrity). Having never been, I can expertly say that Rehoboth Beach is just a dirty beach with a nasty case of crabs.

Some people argue that the turbines will mar the pleasant view of the ocean, but at a minimum distance of six miles from the shore, they'll look like "toothpicks, with maybe little pinwheels on the top", according to one advocate, so it will be no different that watching a Nude Gay Pride parade from the forty-first story of the Empire State Building.

Despite all the outcries from completely unbiased industries (the coal industry proclaimed, "[Wind] doesn't blow all the time. We're essentially the Saudi Arabia of coal"), the real issue here is giving the contract to a company that's never built an offshore wind turbine before. Building stuff is a difficult proposition on a good day, and building stuff on the ocean is twice as tough since all your workers will be eaten by sharks. Paige's husband builds stuff on the ocean and it's taking him YEARS.

"Yes, algae farming is very difficult since farming involves land and algae grows in the water. We lost a lot of tractors." - Ryan Stiles, Whose Line is it Anyways?

People seem to forget the many benefits of having wind power as a renewable fuel source. One such advantage would be protection against the PANDEMIC INFLUENZA threat I covered in November of 2005. At that time, President Bush said that the bird flu would be imminent, and though we haven't seen it yet, I have no doubts that those damn ducks are hiding out in Bermuda, just waiting for the perfect chance to strike our unsuspecting nation. Putting up large spinning windmills around our entire coast would provide us with cheap power, while protecting us from an invasion of gonorrhea of the beak. You could probably even put up a series of razor-sharp Windmills of Doom along the Texas border to stem illegal immigration (although the lack of wind down there would require you to hire illegal immigrants to keep them spinning).

The most persuasive argument for wind power is the multiple locations you could place turbines to capture kinetic energy:

  • Make the loud guy who derails every meeting in the office wear one on his stupid face.
  • Put them on top of the heads of bald people.
  • Put them on roller coasters.
  • Require aggressive drivers to attach them to their bumpers.
  • Make them a mandatory part of the uniform in the Olympic track events.
  • Affix them to the asses of everyone in a bean-eating contest.

With such a cornucopia of wind-enabled locations, why the resistence?

Absinthe returns
Skywalkers cross Han solo
Cat raises livestock for dinner

tagged as newsday, mock mock | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Review Day

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay:
The only people that will go see this movie are the people who saw and enjoyed the first movie, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, and it does a pretty good job of providing exactly what you'd expect. The number of gross-out jokes is higher and the continuity is lower, but overall it's good for an hour and a half of laughs. Wait for the video.

Final Grade: B

The Darjeeling Limited:
I should have been warned by the fact that this was made by the same creator as Life Aquatic and Royal Tenebaums, but we forged ahead and rented it anyhow. It has Owen Wilson in it, so at the least, it should be Owenwilsony, right? We turned it off after 60 minutes, because it felt like 90 minutes had passed and the end was nowhere near. If you liked those other movies, you'll get more of the same here.

Final Grade: F

Rick Steves Civita Day Pack:
Though I cringed at being a walking billboard for the Rick Steves empire, this is the bag we used in Europe for all our daily activities (leaving the bigger bags in the hotels). We were surprisingly impressed by the quality to price ratio -- the bag only costs $20 and is made of soft, sturdy material that's very comfortable on the back. It's quite roomy, easily holding two guidebooks, two giant waterbottles in its side pouches, and eight thousand sweaters so Rebecca wouldn't be cold. The only caveat: there's no internal frame, so bring along a sturdy piece of cardboard or some folders to maintain the shape of the bag against your back. Otherwise, it starts getting lumpy as the day goes by.

Final Grade: A

International Spy Museum:
For my mom's twentieth birthday, we went to the International Spy Museum in DC. The museum begins with a small-group guided mission, where an actor leads you through a scenario straight out of Alias or 24, and you use spy gadgets and old-fashioned Hemlock Overlook teamwork to solve a spy mystery. This portion has high production values, complete with fake descending elevators and rooms that bounce like the back of a delivery truck. You will enjoy it plenty more if you're willing to work with other tourists who you may not have met before the tour.

After the mission, you are dumped into the massive at-your-own-pace Museum area, which is gigantic, and exactly the way a museum should be. There's a good balance of interesting things to read, touch, listen to, and admire, covering the history and gadgetry of spying from the Romans to the Cold War. At various points, there are movies so you can rest your feet, or computers with games like "Spot the Spy". This may also be the only place on Earth where you can see the display of a "rectal lockpicking kit" to get spies out of jail. No word on whether it was actually used or just a floor model.

The museum will take a good two hours to enjoy, although you will probably get saturated with new info by the three-quarters mark. Highly recommended.

Final Grade: A

Austrian rugby strip show caught on Lithuania video
Students claim police chief who shot himself was careless
Substitute teacher blames job loss on wizardry

tagged as reviews | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, May 08, 2009

Just Plain Friday

Updates will likely resume next week.

Art student makes car disappear
Korean man dies homeless with $100,000 in the bank
Afghanistan's only pig quarantined for flu fears
Hair stylist keeps armed robber as sex slave
Giant spiders invading Australia
Spider sex violent but effective

permalink | 3 comments

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Composing Spotlight: First Composition

For the longest time, I thought that my first written composition was The Proud Beagle, written for the Reflections Contest in the fifth grade. Just recently, I discovered an earlier gem in the piano bench at my parents' house.

Listen (0:30 MP3)

Although it is untitled, and apparently I had not yet discovered the "bass clef", I composed that entire modulation from C major to d minor by instinct alone, converting VIIb to VI with panache. And as any music theorist will tell you, it doesn't matter if a composer knew what he was writing -- what matters is that it was there to be discovered after the fact.

tagged as music | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Random Chart Day: My Car

I've owned my new Honda Accord 2012 for a year now. Surprisingly, I've only filled the tank 20 times, and only driven about 6000 miles. This is why it's nice to live within 7 miles of where you work. The table below shows the raw data from my gas tank fill-ups. You can click on the column headers to sort on a column.

Date Gas (gal) Cost ($/gal) Total Miles (mi) MPG
5/16/201216.93.8741924.5
6/7/201215.43.6074421.1
6/18/201216.63.54111922.59
7/1/201213.23.47142423.11
8/9/201216.73.70178721.74
8/29/2012173.77215321.53
9/16/201211.23.85238520.71
10/3/201213.83.85269822.68
10/24/201216.63.80304020.6
11/9/201212.43.51327218.71
11/24/201214.53.43360222.76
12/20/201216.33.29391018.9
1/9/201316.83.46425920.77
1/23/20139.93.49446120.4
2/4/201314.23.56474520
2/24/201314.13.86501419.08
3/7/20135.83.87511918.1
3/10/20138.33.59534126.75
3/27/201315.63.79569022.37
4/17/201315.63.60601921.09

Lessons Learned:

  • The average price of gas this past year has been $3.64 per gallon.
  • On average, I go about 300 miles before filling up.
  • I'm averaging 21.4 miles per gallon. I saw my best MPG in rural Waynesboro.
  • If someone were to steal my car tomorrow, I would have paid about $4.45 per mile for the luxury of driving this past year, not including insurance. I should have just hired a taxi or a music major!

tagged as data | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Wooden Leather by Nappy Roots:
This is a middle-of-the-road album -- not as good as Watermelon, Chicken, and Gritz, but better than the albums that came after it. It's a little over-long with filler songs, but I like having too much music over too little. The rapper that sounds like Waluigi is still in the group at this point, adding comically refreshing timbres to the mix.

Final Grade: B-

Don Jon (R):
This is a short, fun movie about a guy whose porn addiction prevents him from having real relationships, written, directed by, and starring Joseph Gordon Levitt. It has a few unnecessary tangents, but is well-acted and over before it gets tedious. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

The Following:
This FOX show starring Kevin Bacon as a former FBI agent tracking a cult of serial killers with an obsession for Edgar Allen Poe starts with a lot of potential, but doesn't really take it anywhere. The plot only progresses through the obvious mistakes of the protagonists ("Let's split up and search!"), and when they actually get something right, the mastermind has usually already outsmarted them by several moves. Interesting characters die too quickly, while the boring ones stick around forever, wallowing in a pig sty of irrelevant flashbacks. I have two episodes left in the first season of this show, but no overwhelming drive to burn through them -- it's good as a treadmill show, but not amazing (yet still a better story than Under the Dome). Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: C+

24: Live Another Day Premiere:
Though the setting has been updated for current events with drones and Edward Snowden, all of the classic 24 elements are still on display: black market technology doohickeys, backstabbing office politics, and agents who refuse to believe the main characters. With this season trimmed down to 12 episodes, one can only hope that the other elements (good people turning out to be bad, and office romances) will be nixed. In spite of her run on Chuck, I had trouble believing that Yvonne Strahovski was an expert CIA agent -- she came off more as an analyst in a giant sweater. Overall, the first two hours showed promise, but not enough that I'm willing to watch it with commercials.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, May 08, 2015

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 17 years ago today, on Friday, May 8, 1998. My sister had just returned from UVA with some random, long-forgotten boyfriend named Ed, and received this bare-bones Honda Civic as a graduation present.

tagged as memories | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, May 08, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday afternoon, I drove to Tysons for a surprise baby shower that Rebecca's coworkers had planned and thrown for her under the guise of a going away party for another coworker. This was not unlike the time Rebecca's friends had her make her own birthday cake for a surprise birthday party in 2008.

We took it easy on Saturday because of the rain -- Rebecca made it to the Reston Farmer's Market with her dad in between showers while I weeded 50% of the plant boxes and did various low priority home repairs. In the evening, we had dinner at Cafesano which boasted decent pita, comparable kabobs to every other kabob place in the world, and $3.50 craft beers. Afterwards, we took a late nature walk around Claude Moore and watched Moana.

On Sunday afternoon we went out to Taylorstown for yet another baby shower, this time with Rebecca's mom's side of the family. In the evening, I let Rebecca try the new Google Earth VR, which lets you fly around exotic and familiar locales with ease. It's pretty fun to revisit places we saw on our vacations or even visit our own Sterling neighbourhood -- although the street-level view is not yet high resolution, the area is rendered in just enough 3D to make it completely clear where you are.

How was your weekend?

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

List Day: 10 Things I Appreciated On My Solo Staycation

  1. I took four days off of work and only used 24 hours of leave.

  2. I put everything away and it was still tidy 24, 48, and even 96 hours later.

  3. I didn't use the dishwasher all weekend and the drying rack only contained 1 plate (for bagels / sandwiches), 1 knife (for cream cheese / mayo), and 1 goblet (for Magic Hat #9 / Old Bust Head English Pale Ale / Water).

  4. I kept the A/C up at 78 F all day and night long and my feet were finally warm.

  5. I watched TV at 9 PM with the volume up and subtitles off.

  6. I turned off a video game because I felt like I had played enough and it was time to do something else.

  7. I went out to a restaurant four nights in a row and just read a book in silence.

  8. I had a video chat with Rebecca and Maia about halfway through, and Maia showed me a toy plane like the one she flew on.

  9. I slept 9 uninterrupted hours each night (although Amber the cat still woke me up to bitch about breakfast).

  10. My mind had the chance to get bored -- a critical catalyst for new projects and creativity.

tagged as lists, day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, May 08, 2020

Shoe Day

You know it's time to get new shoes when your old treads wouldn't even pass a Virginia state tire inspection.

Rest in peace, my 11-year-old Rockports!

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

 

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