This Day In History: 07/02

Friday, July 02, 2004

This ad was on the Weather Channel's forecast page yesterday. All you married people better watch out!

Last night I started tearing out a door frame and shelves to create a bar in my basement. The door frame (which was peculiar to begin with because there was no door or room associated with it) was much easier than expected to remove, because it was hollow underneath the trim. Once I had pried the first side of trim off, I could just hit it with a hammer a few times to get the rest off.

Take Saturday and Sunday off in Virginia
Chris Rock wannabe in the wings
New meaning to having a hot ass
Disney counters Farenheit 9/11 with a heartwarming diorama of patriots and Special Olympics kids

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Lessons from the First Grade


A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word, but has a different meaning. It is also a handheld device made by Apple.

In the top picture, a muscle-bound giant is attempting to pay the price with the Empire State Building. Below, those damned kids flipped the hold-trigger and left the gas nozzle on the ground again.

The 80s were a simpler time, where we didn't look for child molesters on every corner, and a boy could engage in pastimes like lion-hunting. Below, apparently the eggs in our fridge were fully incubated.

That's a lot of pencils.

The steed seems to be some sort of wild hog mated with a horse. Below, the night was very dark, except for the setting sun, eight twinkling stars, and one star that burnt out.

That fire is in my school. If I had made that post-Columbine I'd be in so much therapy right now. Below, that is an exact depiction of the construction on our across-the-street neighbours' house, including the port-a-potty.

Apparently, I lived across the street from a French hôpital but rising medical costs made them kick me out a few days early. Below, there may be a dragon peering in the window of my school.

I am dinosaur-watching from my perch in that giant tree by the shore. Below, this is actually a decent representation of an ichthyosaurus. I told you I was a dinosaur nut.
Gameboy game calls you retarded
STAY AWAY FROM BOOTY
Burglar tries to reenact Today's Special

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Caption Contest Results

Congratulations to my Mom, who won first place in last week's Caption Contest. She wins a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com! Thanks go out to everyone who submitted a caption this time around.

In other news, I recently completed a six-month-long clean-up of the News Archives -- removing the News stories that no longer exist because Yahoo is too idiotic to realize that they should stop changing their URLs when they archive stuff, and adding height/width attributes to all the picture so that links to old entries actually take you to the right entry. Let me know if anything looks weird!

Mom grazed by son's sausage
Manure thief falls into dung, flees naked
Man stuck in pavement hole for two hours

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sunrise Day



Airline issues nude safety video
Man says bear mnugged him for sandwich
Swiss fight fires with TV remotes

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday Fragments

a periodic table full of elephants

♠ I'm almost done consuming the giant bag of Costco chicken nuggets that taste like a sponge in a carpentry workshop. I generally scarf down ten as a quick flavourless lunch and have found that they're only useful as an edible plate for barbeque sauce or ketchup.

♠ When I was in afternoon day care in elementary school, we often had snacks of celery and peanut butter. While some kids might opt to down the peanut butter, leaving a spittled celery stalk behind, I didn't really like either ingredient, and would just double up on fruit juice.

♠ I was also never a fan of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and eventually asserted my teenage authority by having my dad make only bologna and mayo sandwiches for the rest of my primary education career. Should peanuts ever get a world ban to protect all the allergic folk like Mike (of Mike and Chompy) who didn't roll around in the dirt enough as a kid, I wouldn't miss them a bit.

♠ Just so I can look smart in ten years, I would like to make the prediction that my future children will have no food allergies, other than being allergic to vegetables (which can be compensated for by eating more bacon). The URI! Zone should still be around in a decade, although you'll have to read it on a tablet PC embedded in your palm (which will make charging it a bitch).

♠ We'll be spending our Fourth of July weekend locally, eating things, burning things, and shooting things, with Rebecca's relatives, much as our forefathers did. Well, your forefathers -- mine were busy embracing Confucianism.

♠ Have a great weekend!

Lord Mayor's trousers fall down at children's event
Beer thief reaches 154 arrests
Police seek leprechaun mischief maker

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Monday, July 02, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

We had a violent windstorm called a derecho sweep in from out of town and destroy everything on Friday night, and the fact that we don't even have an English term for it tells me that something is wrong with immigration policy. The initial gust of wind split the neighbor's tree right down the middle to come crashing into my backyard. I was in my home office working on a proposal only fifteen yards away, so it was lucky that the branch hadn't fallen at a slightly different angle. As it was, I NARROWLY ESCAPED WITH MY LIFE, and the tree is allowed to get closer and closer to my office in subsequent retellings in future years.

While I was running through the house dangerously looking through all of the windows for impaling debris, Booty maintained her (very small) level head and took shelter in a sturdy zone.

The next morning, my neightborhood had power, thanks to the ancient common sense construction method called "underground power lines" although phone coverage was gone. The Internet vanished around 9 AM, probably as the result of a Verizon team trying to fix the cell tower and seeing ample opportunity for Comcast sabotage. I spent the afternoon in the Reston office with a few other proposal-y folks who lacked the necessities of telecommuting and then I returned home (dodging swarms of people searching for places to recharge all of their useless junk) in the evening for a second derecho which was barely noticeable at all. I would name the first one Irina Derecho and the second one Katya Derecho, if weather patterns were named after Alias characters.

The second one did manage to give me a weather migraine, which sent me to bed around 8 PM. In exchange for this negative mark on my weekend, the Internet was available to me when I woke up at 6 AM on Sunday. My parents stopped by briefly to borrow my Internet connection, but otherwise it has been a quiet, migraine-free, wind-free Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rebecca went to a parade in Bellevue, Iowa, which hopefully didn't turn out anything like .

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Security Awareness Day

While the 3D cutscenes and minigames definitely make the annual security training easier to stomach, there were probably more effective ways to have spent that development money.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Memory Day: Snapshots

July 1992

The Rotational Sparkler Theorem: The fun factor of sparklers is inversely proportional to the number of camera lenses and filters your dad owns and wants to try out. "KEEP SPINNING!"

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Modern Family, Season Three:
We got incredibly tired of the character, Cam, less than halfway through this season, which dulled some of our enthusiasm for watching. He's good enough in a supporting role, but becomes grating when major plotlines revolve around his whining nature. Otherwise, the season was light, funny entertainment.

Final Grade: B-

Luther, Season One:
This BBC show featuring Idris Elba takes your standard cop show format and adds a sociopathic serial killer that the main character may have more in common with than he wants to believe. Nothing here is groundbreaking, but the performances are all great and the action builds steadily in intensity to the season finale. The female serial killer puts in a great performance as well, even though her lips look distractingly like a mushroom growing on a log in the woods. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

Nightcrawler (R):
Jake Gyllenhaal is at his creepy best as a guy on the fringe of society who starts filming accidents and crimes to sell to the local news station. His escalating attempts to get bloodier footage mirrors any given local newscast you might have watched in the last ten years. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

Drones by MUSE:
This new album by MUSE is much better than their last, and approaches the quality of their classics. The lyrical and thematic content (government conspiracies and disillusionment) is tired and forgettable, but I don't listen to the lyrics anyhow. The obligatory "mini-symphony" works much better this time around, and stands alone as a song I would listen to more than once for novelty's sake, although the closing a capella choir track is unnecessary. There's a good ratio of great beats to B-sides on this album, and thankfully, the singing bassist has been relegated back to the bass section and never gets his own song.

Final Grade: B+

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Monday, July 02, 2018

List Day: Songs in My Head

I once mentioned that the Carnival of Venice pops into my head every night before bedtime, filling up an otherwise unused channel in my multichannel brain. If I'm not listening to active music, this channel is immediately populated with random songs from the past, none of which I otherwise listen to with any kind of regularity. Here is a list of the most common songs that pass through my brain at least once per day, and usually more often.

  1. La Rejouissance from Handel's Royal Fireworks Music

  2. The minor section of the 3rd movement of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto

  3. Sally's Song from Nightmare Before Christmas

  4. This level theme from Super Mario Bros 3

  5. Penguin Race from Super Mario 64

  6. The combat music from Ultima Underworld

  7. The startup music from The Bard's Tale II

  8. Bread Man from my high school's pep band book

  9. A pep band song I wrote called Giblets

  10. This musical fragment from elementary school that I don't even know the name of anymore

What's going on in your brain today?

tagged as lists, music | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, July 02, 2021

Review Day: Artifact Space by Miles Cameron

There are no major spoilers in this review.

Artifact Space (Book 1 of 2 in the Arcana Imperii duology) is an engaging, accessible foray into "realistic" science fiction by Miles Cameron. My only other experience with Cameron's work was The Red Knight, which I found to be an exciting, yet exhausting, experience. In contrast, Artifact Space had me enthralled and energized to keep reading late into the night.

The book tells the tale of Marca Nbaro, an orphan who finagles her way aboard a merchant greatship to escape her past and present. As the world grows more threatening through the byplay of conspiratorial factions, Marca must grow out of her negative self-perception and distrust of others in order to ensure the survival of her ship and new friends.

Classic sci-fi tropes like alien races, relativistic space travel, and ships controlled by artificial intelligence are prominent. However, the exact proportions of each element are blended together into an amazing worldbuilding smoothie that offers a fresh taste of its many influences. This is an enjoyable mashup of Corey's Expanse series, Card's Ender's Game series, and Whedon's Firefly TV show. The economic undertones and merchant subplots sometimes felt like the cast of Critical Role playing a game of Jaipur.

The author effectively captures the intensity, instability, and uncertainty of the setting while still grounding the plot in a warm bubble of friendship, human perseverance, and positive relationships. The protagonists are worth rooting for and often behave in ways that surprised me, as a reader more used to modern sci-fi books with dark or cynical themes. Some of the supporting characters are not as fleshed out, but "proper name overload" is not nearly as bad as in The Red Knight. The ending is dramatically self-contained enough to satisfy, but big questions remain unresolved that are clearly reserved for the final volume.

This is a book that I would recommend to anyone with a passing interest in sci-fi, especially someone with toes in the water who wants to get into the more meaty stuff. While there may seem to be a lot of technobabble and unexplained terminology up front, the author reinforces the language through repetition and narrative clues that don't interfere with the story's momentum. I was in the right mind space to understand the world and its acronyms just a few chapters in.

Final Grade: B+

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