February 2009: The Perfect Month

Just a little note for those who didn’t notice: we won’t be seeing another month like this month of this year for quite a long time again — one that starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday, comprising exactly four weeks.

Thankfully, someone already thought to ask my question before I did (although some of the people answering didn’t read the entire question). This one appears to be the most sound:

The last time this happened was 2004. It doesn’t happen every “so many years”. If it’s leap year obviously there cannot be a perfect 28 day month even if the first day is a Sunday.

Non- leap years push the dates one day ahead the following year. For example, if Jan 31 1 fell on a Friday this year, next year it would fall on a Saturday (perfect Feb 1 on a Sunday!). If this were to happen on a leap year however, next year Jan 31 would fall on a Sunday causing the perfect Feb not to happen.

So, a perfect 28 day February beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday (exactly four perfect weeks) happens every six years until Jan 31 falls on a Saturday on a leap year; then we wait 5 more years.

There is either 6 or 11 years between. There is a random pattern of 6’s and 11’s. The long stretch is caused by Jan 31 falling on a Saturday in a leap year sending Feb 1 to start on Monday the next year as opposed to a Sunday if it were a non-leap year. So then we had to wait for the cycle to run through all days of the week again and until Jan 31 fell on a Saturday in a non-leap year.

Perfect February’s since 1970, next was 81, 87, 98, 09. Next one is due in 2015.

REVIEW — Fallout 3 Anchorage Addon: Don’t Bother!

I played through practically the entire Anchorage addon for Fallout 3 in under three hours. It’s not worth ten bucks — seriously. Wait until the GOTY edition comes out and get it when it’s included in the bundle. Don’t waste ten bucks worth of MS Points on this silly thing.

* Rather awesome plasma sniper rifle with 72dmg afterward (uses one entire MF Cell per shot)
* Rather awesome winterized armor afterward.
* Rather awesome special sword afterward.
* Graphics that are different than the same boring desert wasteland all over again.
* Tons of ammo and health regeneration everywhere.
* Tall cliffs, large caverns, fighting against a tank, a few big explosions, some cloaked enemies.
* One of your squadmates seems almost completely immortal, as if he had one of those crown icons from Oblivion, so he can come in handly.

* Not free-roaming. You can only go in very limited areas. Very BIG con! The added size is about as big in areas as perhaps two of the harder Oblivion gates from ES4:Oblivion. You’re not allowed to wander about, you’re pretty much set within either terribly steep cliffs with nowhere to go but the path, or between trench-like cliffs taller than your head that you can’t climb over.
* You don’t get to bring your gear, and start with practically nothing.
* A very confusing moment when teammates start shooting each other/you, seemingly unprovoked.
* Really corny, unrealistic, absurdly simple miniboss at the end.
* Stylistically terrible copypasted use of the Nirnroot sound from Oblivion to locate ammo/health/weaps.
* Can’t open boxes, garbage cans, toolboxes, or anything else.
* Can’t pick items off bodies, they disappear after death.
* Harder enemies hinding in the distance easily outsmarted by novice-level VATS usage.
* Supposed immense treasure trove at the end is a very small, single room and a few shelves of regular junk, most of which you probably already had.
* Forced “fast travel” moments when, as you’re done with a particular task, you’re just blurred out and back into wherever you’re supposed to be instead of letting you walk around and pick up the pieces.
* No need for money, repairing weapons (since you can’t collect them from fallen enemies), lockpicks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Fallout 3 so far, despite my initial frustration with many of the non-intuitive aspects of the game — but the Anchorage add-on flat out removes a lot of what makes Fallout 3 great (just while you’re in the simulation) and doesn’t add but perhaps a few nice weapons and maybe five hours tops, to a game I could easily spend 80-100 hours playing without even completing the main quest. Bad Bethesda! Bad!

Official Ablestmage.com Boxxy Stance: DO NOT WANT

I’m not gonna just leave this right here, I’ve gotta say something. inb4troll

If you have randomly abstained from 4chan lately, specifically /b/, then you may not have been aware of a recent civil anonywar that has caused mods to initiate a blanket posting ban on the word Boxxy (came up for me as an error to the effect of, “Post about something else,” even when mentioning one’s distaste). I’m siding with the anti-boxxy revolt here, although technically I’m breaking the anony-oath by identifying myself as an anon. It’s better than had I dared to reveal the secret phrase to identify one anon to another, “do u liek mudkipz.” Oops.

A good historical account of the seemingly anti-meme can be found above, and after having seen one of the videos (one was enough), I can officially state that has squarely wedged herself into the terrifying position of my do-not-want list, which also includes Shakespeare and the over-replayed Christian tune (which is even worse when sung by well-meaning people who can’t sing), I Can Only Imagine.

I’ve tried to bring a rise of the Anti-Boxxy, the wonderous and magnificent Alona, without success. May the name of the Boxxy be forthwith accursed in this land. That, and Break.com’s stank flash video player which is like getting handed prepared soup in a wicker basket.

Painfully Corny Movie Trailer Spoof – Check Mates

Imagine, a prim-and-proper person encounters a “street” person, is entranced by some vague idea they present, spends some peculiar and awkward training time with them, and eventually has their worldview shattered, happy ending, blah blah, with the audience ending up facepalming in contemplating why exactly this movie viewing experience was chosen instead of say, spending the same amount of time on 4chan.

This painfully corny version that pretty much sums up why I won’t be watching many of its kind.

I’m not sure how non-movie nerds might take this: do they catch the more subtle trailer-humor within?

Cuddle & Coo Doll Comments Summary

After looking at the zillions of comments I’ve gotten from people in the past couple months of my video’s run, here’s a list of all suggestions submitted.

islam is the light
israel is the light (pronounced iz-RY-el)
ismaliz delight
a smile is delight
ichabod needs the mike
israel is the life
aslan is the light
we all look alike
is lamb on a kite
Hitler is the reich (and thus invoking Godwin’s Law)
e-slaw is delight
his mom is a dyke
a smile in the night
I.S.K.C.O.N. is the light
anyone got a light?
it’s not near the light
islam is alike
England is the light
Eggland is the light
if you’re not here tonight
is mom here tonight
islam has my knife
lives long in the night
is mom alright
which one is alike
slammin down the light (in an aussie accent)
it’s sunny delight
i glow in the night
it’s on israelite
is ron in the lake (aussie accent)
his law is the light
his long israelite
kiss mom goodnight

There also appears to be a big rift between many of the commenters:
1. many are perfectly capable to discern individual syllables from the sounds and make up nonsensical “ig-la-ig-de-like” translations, others understand how “islam is the light” might be heard by someone who doesn’t know any better but just find it to be incoherent murmurs,
2. more suggested comedically that the message is actually a garbled version of “the [insert sports team] rule,” (or some otherwise unlikely variation), others who reason that “ig-la-ig-de-like” doesn’t make any sense therefore it must be some other combination of real words,
3. a few muslim commenters revelling in the victory of islam over American capitalism,
4. yet still others will adamantly *insist* that there is a message present of some kind and that it is ultimately some act of corporate conspiracy to destroy the minds of children and demand its removal from the shelves or they may just have some kind of aneurysm right this very second and it is all your fault.

I am among the first group, and I am frankly baffled by the last group. Here are a few from that last bunch:

“This doll obviously says “Islam is the light.” I can’t believe people aren’t fighting to get this trash out of America!

Um hello ITS CLEAR AS DAY!!!!!

Look IDIOTS…the point is the doll is defintely saying something. The timber of the voice changes and their is a meter to it’s speech. It is no longer “cooing”. So what is FP toys trying to feed our kids? They could clear all this up by simply making it public. It’s obviously saying something and since FP is “politicaly correct” it probably IS saying Islam is the Light to garner support from the enlightened peoples of the world. (roll eyes)

It sure sounds like “Islam is the light” to me. Regardless of what it says, I don’t appreciate a toy manufacturer slipping something other than a “coo” in this doll. I don’t trust their message and their messing with the minds of our children!!

I bet some oil rich Musim @%&*!$# bribed Fisher Price just to get this out on the market!!! It’s to bad some Americans will sell there soul for a quick buck. And I wouldn’t buy one for a buck today even if I could sell it tomorrow for $1,000,000!!!! And anyone who buys one is supporting Terrorists! Think about it!!!!

official response is, “The only ‘word’ the doll is programmed to say is ‘mama’. all else is ‘cooing and gurgling”. asked her if she heard it herself. she said no. i told her that i had, and mama was not the only ‘words’ this doll said. i told her i will be boycotting fp/mattel products until they acknowledge the problem and make a public apology. whether they intended to produce this or not; it happened and they need to take responsibility for it.

I only have one thing to say: What in the hell is the reason for making these children’s toys to say things like I just heard. I am not deaf or hard of hearing. I will no longer shop at Target or any other store who carries these types of dolls or other toys that can send messages that parents should be giving their children. What happened to plain dolls that help little girls to learn to be good mommies? They went out in the the 60s. When I was young. We don’t need talking dolls at all.

Whether that is what it is saying or not, it is close enough to warrant concern on the part of any Christian. The doll will not be recalled for fear that it would offend the Islam community in the US. Christians have been offended and ridiculed for way too long now and I certainly do not want any child that I love and care for to have one of those dolls and, unless there is a formal apology, it will be a cold day hades before I purchase a F-P or Mattel product again.

What do you think it is saying? I hear it saying ‘Islam is the light’.
Obama, the secret muslim, is in cahoots with Fisher Price to brainwash America. This is a very sinister thing that has been uncovered.


Even still, I am thankful there are a few people with some sense out there:

I’m hearing “Ichabod needs the mike [microphone].” Either way, it’s just an example of apophenia. And not even a particularly good one; I’ve heard much better examples. Check out episode #105 of the Skeptoid podcast for some really uncanny examples made from only computer-generated sine waves. (BTW, I’m not associated with Skeptoid at all, I’m just a fan of it.)

Everyone is nuts!!!! it just sounds like baby talk…blah blah blah…People have way too much time on their hands.

This is the power of suggestion at work; it sounds like “Islam is the light” because that’s what we’ve been told to listen for. Fisher-Price has released the original (uncompressed) recording, and it’s clearly nonsensical baby talk.

Just go find the Chinese people that recorded and made this doll and you will have your answer. It probably really is something Chinese for “More American dollars for us!” XD

I rate you five stars for the way you present the video. It’s sounds like “Islam is the Light” to me, too. Of course, nobody really ever says “Islam is the Light” except this doll, so it’s hard to believe it’s a Muslim product. I think it’s supposed to be burbling like a baby, not saying anything. I have to admit, I would freak out if a doll I bought suddenly said something religious.

if i had listed to the doll without reading what it’s supposedly saying, i maybe would have just said that it was random mumbling but like you said, a case of suggestion, so i’m sitting here expecting it to say “islam is the light”

“ikluh eh da light” – That is what it sounds like to me. Sounds like babble…… What an amazing concept, a baby the babbles. Wonder if somebody put that in a doll. Hmmmmmm? How any of you hear Islam at all in the first word scares me. The doll clearly makes a keh sound in the first word. Unless somebody has changed it and not told me, and Webster, there is no “K” or keh sound in the word Islam

Im pretty sure that if you listen to it with the words Islam is the light going through your head then that is what you will hear.I have to admit,I couldnt make out anything other than an unclear voice saying Islam is the light.Somebody made the point about free speech,people have the right to suggest that Islam is the light.But,and its a BIG but,if as were meant to believe this is a crude attempt at brainwashing children then the disturbing thing isnt the words but their vessel.

However, there were a handful of people who took the opportunity to make light of the mess and post silly, funny, and smile-worthy remarks to lighten up the discussion:

It’s saying “I snort the nose, Lucifer! Banana! Banana!”

I want a Bud Light.

Afternoon delight. The doll is obviously a fan of “The Starland Vocal Band”

“Staaaaay in school! Bruuuush your teeth!”

Too bad it’s not uttering stock tips.

It also says: “Americans are paranoid !!”

“obama is white”

“e-slaw is delight” I’ve never tried e-slaw, but I did have an e-hotdog once.

it said “anyone got a light?” cus it’s a cool smoking baby

I just got done taking a shower! i just watched ur video while im naked! lol xD w

it says Estrella delight! 50 % Less Fat!


One final goofy commenter is while I’ll close with, which gave me a good chuckle it was so random:

igla is delight. This dates back to the original doll series back during the time of hedges which was shortly before the wheel. Igla was a shrewd fellow who enjoyed fig daltons (later becoming the infamous fig Newton) but spent quite a many nights with a fake friend dollumnaum. After many years of mispronouncing this fake creatures name, he decided to cut it short and just call it doll. Many years later….awe crumb..I’ve dropped my fudge.

I’m done.

Baghdad Museum Looting Doesn’t Compare To Kitchen Tragedy

I am occasionally tormented by my mother coming over to my house and cleaning out the kitchen area, inevitably throwing away collections of things I had wanted to keep having mistaken them for untossed garbage. Often purely acquiring a new item to add to the collection do I realize the collection has been discarded, possibly many trash-days ago. DAHH!! *shakes fist*

Although my type of scale doesn’t even compare here, I again shook fist skyward out of even more profound irritation to learn that the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad had been looted during 2003 warmongering in the region. I was relieved to learn that, although a bunch of thefts did occur, not near as much was taken as had been originally reported. This section gave me some whewsome relief! Turns out a bunch of antiquities experts alerted the Pentagon to avoid the building if at all possible, and that the Americans did avoid it during bombing runs and such. While disputed, the wiki article also notes the thefts appeared to be inside jobs, whereas many of the thieves of items from behind lock-and-key dropped the keys on the floor whilst scrambling in the dark.

Among my kitchen-kept collections: an accumulating bunch of yellowish cone-shaped twistable squeeze mustard lids (which actually fit quite well onto other things, like containers of salad dressing that only have screw-on lids and an fully open top). I decided to try refitting lids on different things after discovering that I’d overlooked the fact that a spray-can of wasp killer didn’t actually have a nozzle on it when I bought it (had the standard wide cap on it), and after some rummaging discovered that the spray nozzle from a shaving cream can fit perfectly and did the job perhaps even better.

Facebook Application: Pull Tabs

I may have remarked about this before, but I am just hooked like a madman on Facebook’s application, Pull Tabs. You get an allotment of credits each day, and you can buy whichever and how-many-ever tickets you want and can afford, and with your winnings you by prizes. By collecting all prizes in a set (or achieving certain goals, like giving away a certain threshold of tickets to friends) your credit allotment rises. I’m currently on the “manager” tier (4 of 6, six being highest) and on one single Pull Tab today I won 6000 tokens. To someone who has no idea what this means, it may sound really corny, but to those of us who play.. yowza. I just had to tell somebody =P There exists the options to actually purchase additional credits, but I never do that. I play on the free version and just wait for the next day for my credits allotment to renew. Good stuff!