SynPet Newton on KFDX Broadcast News clip ~1980s

My uncle, Steve Hodges, is a very successful electrical engineer and inventor who’s made a fair number of useful devices such as the fisherman’s Depth Finder and now builds cellular-based utility status-monitoring devices (M2MComm). A while back he owned and headed a company called SynPet, that manufactured household robots by the name of Newton. Here’s a news broadcast segment from the 1980’s demonstrating the voice interaction functions and giving a few random details. One of these days, I’ll post the entire Newton promotional video, once I hunt it down again =)

Very Tall Bicycle + Giant Cowboy Hat

The description says “giant” bike, but to me that means something with giant wheels akin to one of those funky old “penny-farthing” things. Instead, I dub it the Tall Blue Ladder Bicycle, as driven by a dude with a very large Top Hat (as I don’t know any cowboy hat with a black top-hat / chef hat head section. Anyway. Much more entertaining that my description, notably when having to dodge traffic signals overhead =P

While looking up penny-farthing, I found there is actual entry for “Tall Bikes under which the above video would certainly qualify, though being a bit taller than the one the article offers.

Don’t want to be treated like a criminal? Newsflash!

1. Stop acting like a criminal.
2. Profit.

Home Depot Customer Detained by PD, and as noted by BoingBoing.

Here we go again with yet another anusclown complaining to the world at large who could frankly give a nonzero’s worth of big-freakin-deal, who refuses to show his receipt at the exit to a store, gets detained, and then complains that he was treated like a criminal. Newsflash, Sherlock — the fact that you were being a total spoogemunch about showing your receipt is identical cop-speak to flooring the gas when a cop flashes his reds-and-blues as a signal to pull over. Regardless of whether you personally think you are in the right, do what the cop says. It’s precisely when you put up the fuss that you draw more suspicion to yourself than had you just forked over an inchy-squinhy nonpersonal piece of paper. The other 2.38 fillion dillion people that do it think it is a perfectly legitimate request and not at all impeding.

Another like-minded nutcase
Yet another.

Commentary: Creationist-Diorama-Rama

The link here, of a non-Creationist going on about a science fair he recently visited of Creationist-taught kids and their projects, irked me a skosh. I am a former atheist, but still tend to look at most everything with a very skeptical eye — particularly those who are overly assumptive and tend to make absolute statements without any backup than just “common knowledge,” despite the fact that common knowledge says both that silence is golden and the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

I am not much of a Creationist — I believe portions of the bible (not all of it by any means) was largely written in the language of the commoner, that is, akin to a science professor explaining to tribal peoples lacking in advanced academia about the nature of the sky and why it is blue by talking about sand falling through a piece of cloth. The atmosphere is not literally a giant cloth that filters literal sand. One of my former pastors relayed it best when trying to describe what baptism is, in pointing to a painting on the wall asking, “What is that?” “It’s a eagle.” “No, it is a painting of an eagle. Baptism is just a picture that represents to others that you trust Jesus. It doesn’t mean that you actually do. You can’t rely on your baptism to get to heaven, just as you can’t rely on a painting of an eagle to fly away.”

A common thing among the overly assumptive, as this person demonstrates, is to just say that something is without giving one lick of evidence while at the same time criticizing others for doing precisely that — having no evidence and purely based on assumption. For example:

The projects all used classic high school science language: Start with a hypothesis, move on to testing, and then draw a conclusion. The problem was that much of the science was backwards. In good science, you start with a piece of evidence and try to find a truth. With creationist science, you start with a truth (the Bible), and try to find the evidence.

Being fairly unfamiliar with creationist science (having written the article as someone who did not presume to be a creationist scientist) this is the position the writer immediately takes, without bothering to check to see whether or not he is right, relying solely upon whim as evidence — precisely the criticism he is making.

They stood around the suburban mall, in the prime of the most awkward years of their life, being forced to preach blather.

This could be said for anything, including traditional science fairs. Singling out creationism science fairs as blather-preachers is an attack against one’s own version of a science fair — calling into question whether judges (blather verifiers) can actually be capable of discerning truth. In the context of a creationism science fair, the winner is for the best creationism science project. A creationism science fair project about how the oceanic currents are amassing pollution into a giant island of trash off the remote coast of California would not win, being largely-if-not-wholly off topic. The writer of the article seems disgusted by the fair’s offerings by deliberately criticizing them for being largely-if-not-wholly off topic from his perspective of what he presumes to be truth (whereas perception of truth is defined by one’s personal gullibility that evidence is actually evidence).

DiVX’s is shutting down on Feb 28, 2008

I hate to say it, but it appears that one of my favorite video sites is closing its high-quality doors on Feb 28 of this year. Their blog post here delivers the bad news, mainly on the excuse of becoming too expensive and too attention-hogging to maintain. To me it seemed like a very smooth integration with its DiVX video player, permitting people to publish ultra-high-quality video in a YouTube format but with a slicker-looking site. I’m sad to see them go, but they had a good run, and I can sympathize with just having to let a project drop out from under you. Hopefully someone may be inspired by their efforts and create a spin-off site someplace that offers the same quality without having to force you to sign up.

I always liked that itty bitty SimCity traffic

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about SimCity (well, I started with SimCity 2000 since there was that tr/billion dollar cheat) was just getting to the point where I could make a bunh of inchy squinchy cars start making traffic jams in my city. That ever-spifferous MAKE blog has a video clip about some kind of magentic-propulsion miniature that may someday be incorporated into toys that reminds me of those itty bitty cars. Check out their article — amirite? This could mean big news for those miniature train set folks. All about the eensy train! *barely audible whistle*

Scientists Attempt to Measure Laughter

Scientist have developed a method for measuring genuine laughter by measuring certain muscles that move when genuine laughter is created (as opposed to that nervous laughter whenever your boss tells a joke). But that’s the lame version. Get the full scoop over at the Pink Tentacle. Interestingly enough, they are measured in “aH” .. I’m curious as to how multiples will be cited: 4 aH’s, or aHaHaHaH ? I’m such a dork =P

Jpop Video Review: C-ute’s “LALALA Shiawase no Uta”

I’ve been a fan of C-ute for a while now, but I can’t say their latest PV offering much followed along in the same quality as most the others have (except the Masara Blue Jeans video, not a fan). This particular tune was good but the video just never seemed to match up in its excitement.

LALALA Shiawase no Uta

The costume design is lacking, being just a simple dress with two rows of fluff around the bust region. I’m not really sure what the intended effect was supposed to be, but it’s lost on me. Like the Blue Jeans video, the image is rather plain and uninspiring to me.

The tune itself is peppy and has grown on me more as I’ve left it looping in the background.

The main trouble I find with it is the closeups at a particular part of the video — when they are forced to sing loads and loads of LALALAs and they seem to develop either a classic sweatdrop or seem to be thinking by their “ehhhh” expression on their attempts at smiling that, “Ok, this is weird having to say LALALALALALALALA for like 10 minutes.” Although it does give us English-speakers something to chime in with having little to no knowledge of the language per se, this particular repitition is something I dislike about even English songs have have it. I’m anticipating it’s inclusion to be strictly an appeal to the mass audiences of the Hello Project concerts that seem to chime in at predetermined times — making this one of those moments to add a rallying cry.

Naturally, my favorite of the bunch, Saki Nakajima doesn’t get much screen time, but admittedly moreso than some of the other lesser-shown gals. Airi has just been overpromoted IMHO, and although Maimi was a big draw for me in the beginning, my tastes have been a bit refined as they’ve aged a bit in facial dimensions since those earlier days.

That said, I think I’ll just keep it on loop in the background, without watching the video all that much. A fair offering, but by no means a favorite.

New Hooked-On-itude: LonelyGirl15 Nonsense

I’m somewhat new to the lonelygirl15 drama, which I presume to have first been a YouTube video blog about a girl with just such a username, but was later discovered to be an actress and the blog itself to be scripted. I was scampering about the Internets as usual and came across this episode of the now-apparently-flaunting-the-scriptingness mini-show, and think I very may well have to start watching it. The guy’s expression at the end after remarking about four girls and two guys in a cabin is priceless (caution, nsfw langage).

Possible Upcoming Lull – Nigeria Trip

As some of you know, I’ve got an upcoming trip to Nigeria in March, which may result in some lull in posts for a week or so in exchange for a few thousand tribals getting a few new water wells drilled. During that week, I’ll have set a number of forward-dated posts to be, well, posted.. by themselves once the proper time/date they’ve been set for comes up. We’ll be taking quite a number of LifeStraws and will more than likely wear “disposable” clothes — that is, clothes we will not be bringing back with us so that the tribal people there can have them. I was just stopping by the thrift stores around here and nabbed a great Ralph Lauren men’s short sleeved button-up shirt in light beige (For $1.75) that may surely impress future missionaries =P heheh

As a side note, is now up to 1000 views per month! Thanks folks!