A Web acquaintance asked me to name my ideal band, with the following rules:
You cannot choose more than one member from any band.
Each band member need not be alive.
At most, your band must have two guitarists, one bassist, one drummer, one lead singer. Also, one additional instrument can be added if desired (keyboard, DJ, etc.).
My first response was that a band relies more on chemistry than technical mastery. That’s why most supergroups are bland (i.e., Bernard Sumner from New Order + Johnny Marr from The Smiths = Electronic. Bleah.). That having been said, here is my band:
In order to improve my chances of getting into eco-heaven, I thought I’d give “Earth Hour” a chance and turn off both the inside AND outside lights in my house last night. My results are as follows:
8:00 pm – Shut off all the lights and unplug all the appliances with blinking LED lights (because they drain electricity, too, even when turned off).
8:01 pm – Wife complains that because the TiVo is unplugged, it won’t record a rerun of Star Trek: Enterprise she was looking forward to watching. Re-plug in the TiVo.
8:04 pm – My two-year old son is getting antsy being in total darkness and starts to cry. I turn on his Lightning McQueen nightlight.
8:08 pm – Bored already after almost eight minutes with nothing to do, my four-year old son starts to pick on his little brother. For the sake of family unity (and to prevent excess bruising), I re-plug in the TV and turn on Noggin.
8:12 pm – Neighbor’s cat activates our motion-sensor floodlight in the backyard which spills light into the kitchen and living room. For an hour without lighting, it’s getting awfully bright in here…
8:14 pm – Seeking refuge from the blinding illumination pouring in from my backyard that’s ruining my Earth Hour experience, I go to the den at the front part of the house and attempt to write down my experiences with Earth Hour so far. I turn down the monitor brightness so I don’t waste electricity, but that makes it hard to see the keyboard, and I’m afraid that my tyoing accuravy may suffer as a result. No problem, how hatd can it be to tyle in tbe darl? Woasdf madoencley oyijhvoa nde odekkakd? Wihrtri!
8:16 pm – Turn on all the lights, find my kids, and watch a Thomas The Tank Engine DVD with them. Maybe next year I’ll just use candles instead…
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March 31st, 2008 by admindude
A recent exhaustive study done by Indiana University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, the National Institutes of Mental Health and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism proves, once and for all…
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho, March 27 (UPI) — Two
U.S. Department of Energy scientists in Idaho say they have adapted
technology from Nintendo’s Wii remote to control a mine-clearing robot.
Bruemmer and Douglas Few said they adapted the video game controller,
which utilizes wireless technology that detects three dimensional
movement, to control Packbot, a robot with bomb disposal capability,
Sky News reported Thursday.
The scientists said operating the
Wii remote is more instinctive than traditional controllers, which can
take too much of the user’s attention and prevent the operator from
concentrating fully on data gathered by the machine.
told New Scientist that they are also working on adapting the Apple
iPhone to replace the laptop computers soldiers use to collect data
from the robots.
First, I worked at that Idaho Falls DOE lab many moons ago; what up spuds?! Second, the only thing cooler than a Wii? A Wii that fights terrorists.
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March 28th, 2008 by admindude
At Intellectual Conservative, George Shadroui pens a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the turbulent Willian F. Buckley vs. Gore Vidal debates of the 60s.
The Susskind debate must have been a rollicking good show for those who like intellectual clashes. Kaplan quoted the TV critic Jack Iams of the New York Herald Tribune, who called the debate: “one of the most stimulating programs ever offered by Open End . . . an intellectual free-for-all that must have left both participants nursing their lumps together. Aside from the mental gymnastics . . . it was the suavity and polish of their respective performances that made the program a consistently fascinating one.” Buckley’s performance surprised Iams, who noted that the “virtuosity that Buckley brought to this role, however infuriating it may have been at times, was truly remarkable. The supercilious manner in which Buckley displayed his vast erudition, the flashes of wit and velvety insults that were sprinkled throughout his remarks, reminded me of Noel Coward acting in one of his own plays. Buckley even looked a little like Noel Coward when he delivered a line . . ..” (As quoted in Kaplan, p. 555.)
Vidal and Buckley squared off again on the Susskind show in 1964, when they discussed the Republican National Convention. A local commentator for the San Francisco Chronicle would accuse both men of acting like “professional wrestlers. “Susskind was a zookeeper trying to prevent two hissing adders from killing each other. But the hissing was always wreathed in benign smiles.”
Vidal and Buckley sparred over this detail or another – did Buckley or did he not attempt to write a speech for Goldwater (when the alleged source publicly agreed with Buckley, Vidal was annoyed that Susskind read the denial, over Vidal’s objections, on the air). Did Truman accuse Eisenhower of holding anti-Jewish prejudices? Buckley and Vidal squabbled and Vidal bet Buckley he could not prove it. All of this, Kaplan claimed, made Buckley “bitterly angry.” Buckley conceded in the Esquire article that he did not consider Vidal an honorable opponent.