March 29, 2004

Plug

Hey ladies: buy those TAMPAX Pearl tampons for your hoo-ha. I'll explain why.

It's been a year or more since I watched the MTV ("the MTV" hee hee) so I decided to see what's on (MTV2, really). And what do you know? It still sucks. Right now, at this very moment, I'm watching some whiney SoCal post-punk-pop Blink 182 clone. I think they call themselves Yellowsuck. Oh, sorry, Yellowcard. And now there's Hoobastank. Some hot chick got hit by a car. That makes it extra sad, you see, because she is hot.

But a few minutes ago, I saw the most wonderful tampon commercial, ever. Perhaps you've seen it, too. [Update: the hot chick may not be dead. This may have been planned to divert attention from a jewel heist. ] A young man and a young woman are in a row boat on a lake. The boat springs a leak. While the young man putters around, the young woman whips out a tampon, uses it to plug the hole, and saves the day. [Yep, the hot chick is definitely not dead. The heist was a big success, too. Very clever, Hoobastank. ]

This commercial goes where no tampon commercial has gone before. Taboos are broken. A hole is filled. I'm sold. So please, my lady friends, check out TAMPAX Pearl, available at your local CVS and wherever tampons are sold.

[Update: Upon re-reading, this entry seems vaguely misogynistic. I hope it's not. That wasn't my intention.]

Posted by cradle at 9:16 PM | Comments (13)

NASDAQIraq

The NASDAQ had been flirting with 1900 less than week ago, but today it closed at 1992.57. I fear we're heading into the future again. Will this be the final TDINH? Who knows. Anyhoo: 1992.57 becomes July 28, 1992. Not much happened, from a conventional perspective. Mary J. Blige released What's the 411?, apparently, and here's an article from the front page of the Washington Post.

Posted by cradle at 5:35 PM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2004

Observation

While folding my laundry just now, I discovered that I had washed and dried my USB thumb drive. I don't recommend doing this. Nonetheless, it still works.

Posted by cradle at 5:59 PM | Comments (6)

Not the Kurds?

Saddam betrayed by bodyguard.

Posted by cradle at 1:32 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2004

Some Studies

Let's see . . . first we have Abortion's Link to Breast Cancer Discounted, and then there's Study: Circumcision Protects Against AIDS.

How about those studies.

Posted by cradle at 6:15 PM | Comments (9)

March 24, 2004

Bob bye

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I didn't realize I was listening to the most popular morning radio show in the country.

Posted by cradle at 3:20 PM | Comments (2)

March 21, 2004

I Wonder

There is something (more than one thing) that we don't know. In one hundred years, humans will know about it. Those humans will look back on us, and think, "They didn't know about X."

There is something (more than one thing) that we don't have. In one one hundred years, or perhaps in only 50 years, or in 25 years, humans will look back on us and think, "They didn't have X."

I wonder about what we don't know, and what we don't have. I wonder more about the former than the latter. But I wonder about both.

Posted by cradle at 11:39 PM | Comments (3)

Nothing New

Bush's war on truth.

Posted by cradle at 12:07 PM | Comments (1)

March 19, 2004

Coming Clean

bottle of lavendadr hand soap What could be more exciting than grocery shopping on Friday night? I'm violating the Sabbath and damaging my pride at the same time! But listen: I bought some "hapi snacks HOT Wasabi Peas." These are some tasty peas, delightful for snacking or just scattering on the floor. But they're not really wasabi peas. There is no mention of "wasabi" in the ingredients, just horseradish, FD&C Yellow #5, and FD&C Blue #1. The peas are authentic, though.

Is anybody else into the method line of cleaning products? I've been purchasing them because I like the container designs. Just look at that bottle! It's so beautiful, so elegant, I want to stare at it and cry. In the future, in Sweden, this is how hand soap will be dispensed. You may say I'm superficial, but . . . yes, yes I am. Who cares. The dish soap is a little too far out there, though, even for me.

Posted by cradle at 11:06 PM | Comments (6)

March 18, 2004

Hear is Something Cool

tiny_zenith.jpg This is truly brilliant. Internet radio indeed: streaming audio of recent random blog snippets rendered using speech synthesis. Listen. It may take a few minutes to get something good.

Sometimes, I find myself interested in what I'm hearing. Fortunately the main page has links to the 5 most recently sampled entries.

Posted by cradle at 8:41 PM | Comments (11)

March 17, 2004

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Iraqi Exile Group Fed False Information to News Media

Posted by cradle at 6:53 PM | Comments (0)

Rumsfeld

I heard this on the C-SPAN rebroadast Sunday, but it's much better with video.

Posted by cradle at 2:28 PM | Comments (4)

March 16, 2004

NASDAQlingrad

Today the NASDAQ Composite closed at 1943.09. This translates to February 2, 1943. On this day Nazi forces, not doing as well, surrendered to the Soviets after the Battle of Stalingrad.

Posted by cradle at 5:15 PM | Comments (2)

March 15, 2004

Radio Heritage

Random observation: I can't recall the last time NPR used a soundbite from a Heritage Foundation member (they probably have), but I did just hear one on tonight's Free Speech Radio News broadcast -- carried on WPFW, the local Pacifica affiliate -- regarding the true cost of the recent Medicare reform bill.

Posted by cradle at 10:51 PM | Comments (5)

NASDAQlovakia

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Today, March 15, 2004, the NASDAQ closed at 1939.20. This is interesting because that translates to March 15, 1939. On that day, Hitler decided to take the rest of Czechoslovakia, too.

Posted by cradle at 6:48 PM | Comments (7)

March 13, 2004

The End of Oil?

A few months ago, Andrew sent me a link to this alarming page, where I learned that "Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon." This was my introduction to those who hold stronger and weaker versions of the same belief: that we have reached, or soon will reach, the peak of global oil production, and that the eventual result will be runaway oil prices as growing demand meets a failing supply. If we are still as dependent on petroleum then as we are now, we can expect a global recession of epic proportions.

I greeted this with a healthy dose of skepticism. The end of oil has been repeatedly predicted, prematurely, for more than a century. Crude oil prices are still relatively low. A barrel for delivery next month is about $36 right now, and the futures market thinks the price will drop over the next five years.

Still, serious people with serious credentials, like geologist Colin Campbell, are behind this oil peak warning. They base their argument on something called the Hubbert Curve, which predicts that in any large region, the production of oil will peak when half the oil has been extracted. You can read all about it in this March 1998 Scientific American article, The End of Cheap Oil.

Equally serious people, like economist Michael Lynch, are fairly critical.

I mention this topic now only because I've noticed a number of recent articles and columns in the mainstream press raising the issue. Running Out of Oil -- and Time appeared in the Los Angeles Times earlier this month. And in Barron's today: Half Empty? World oil supplies, while not running out now, may plateau sooner than thought. [Registration is required for the last article, so I uploaded a PDF. Unfortunately, the images got cut by page breaks. Here they are. ]

Posted by cradle at 11:22 AM | Comments (5)

March 10, 2004

Dateline Tonight

STONYHEAD MANOR, March 10 -- In what many are hailing as an important contribution to the newly popular pastime of "blogging," an idle comment by local resident Shannon Burns reminded critically acclaimed humorist David Eisner that he had forgotten to post a link to an entertaining Washington Post column from the previous morning's newspaper.

Citing an article from the January/February 2004 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, Ms. Burns expressed her surprise upon learning that Hispanics had surpassed African-Americans as the most numerous minority in the United States. While already familiar with the statistic, the citation helped Mr. Eisner recall that week's Magazine Reader column in the Washington Post, in which Peter Carlson critiqued the "Jose, Can You See?" cover story in the March/April Foreign Policy magazine.

"I had intended to post a link to that in my blog, but then I forgot," Mr. Eisner commented in an interview tonight. "Later that day, on the way to the bathroom at work, I remembered the column again, and I tried to remember to remind myself to post the link when I was back at the computer. I've been posting a lot of links lately, and not a lot of original content, but I thought it was better than not posting anything at all. It's funny, though, because that's what almost happened. Until Shannon read that article."

Ms. Burns was unavailable for comment.

Posted by cradle at 10:19 PM | Comments (3)

March 9, 2004

Ding Ding Ding Ding

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You've been a tease, NASDAQ, but not today. This afternoon's close of 1995.16 translates to February 28, 1995. I don't know how long we'll stay in the past, but let's make the most of it. Not much happened that day. The Washington Post had this on the front page, though: "Balanced Budget Bill Heads for Showdown; Senate Vote Is Today; GOP Leaders Court Nunn ... Senate leaders of the balanced budget amendment drive, still one or two votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed for passage, spent the final day of debate yesterday vigorously courting Sen. Sam Nunn (Ga.) and four other Democrats who will decide the fate of the measure."

Checking the Constitution, it appears they didn't close the deal. Sir John Maynard Keynes would be happy.

Posted by cradle at 4:34 PM | Comments (9)

March 1, 2004

Virus Evolution

I just had a thought, and I wonder if any computer viruses are already using the following strategy.

A necessary condition for the successful propagation of most email worms is that the recipient be fooled into opening the attachment. As users become more savvy, it becomes important that the text of a worm's message be sufficiently clever. For example, "See attachment" may not hack it, but "Did you write this?" might be more effective. This could be why one of the recent viruses has at least 288 possible body messages.

The problem is that the virus writer may not know which are the best messages. My idea is to have the virus evolve, by following this rule: 90% of the time, say, the virus sends out messages with the same body text that it had, i.e. the text that convinced the user to open the attachment. The other 10% of the time, it randomly selects a different body message.

This way, the more successful a body message is, the more it will spread. Weaker messages, on the other hand, will die out.

Does anybody know if current viruses are doing this?

Posted by cradle at 10:40 PM | Comments (7)