Yeninko of the Umlaut

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

From My War a blog by a grunt in Iraq.

I had to pull radio watch in the War Room last night, and somebody left a copy of the April edition of People Magazine there. So on radio watch, I read how Survivors Rob and Amber are in Love, Kelly Osborne is in Rehab, Omaarosa has a suprising past, and how Reese Witherspoon and hubby Ryan Phillippe bought a house in Los Angeles for 4.9 million. And you know what, after reading that magazine, for a split second, I was glad I was here in Iraq, and not back in America.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Ugly people are more aggressive.

Or rather people who are asymmetrical (having ears, fingers or feet of different sizes or shapes) are “more likely to react aggressively when annoyed or provoked” and people who are more symmetrical are seen as attractive. That second article is longish but I couldn’t put it down when it came out…in 1996!

Action News Update: I fancied the two links above into a posting on Plastic.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Death and Driving

I ran across an interesting article (registration required) in the NY Times yesterday about vehicle deaths in the US yesterday. As you may not know roughly 42,000 people die per year in car wrecks which is about 2/3 of US solders that died in Vietnam (58,000) during that decade long war.

I always thought this was a frightening statistic. I mean it seems people worry more about drug overdoses, West Nile Fever, etc. considering how many more people are killed per year in cars. (About as many people as five years of war in Southeast Asia*). It turns out though, that the chance of being killed as a driver, passenger, motorcycle rider, cyclist or pedestrian is only 1.44 per 100 MILLION miles driven. So to give you some sort of perspective you would have to drive 12,500 miles a year (about average for a car) for over 5500 years to be killed on or by a motorized vehicle, on average. Now I’m sure you are thinking, “Well, Ian you ride a motorcycle and motorcycles are more dangerous”. How do I know what you are thinking my friends? Some things you will never know, but know this! I am 30 times more likely to be killed per mile I ride on a motorcycle than you do driving a car. But even so that is one death per 185 years. So I’m all set. Now yer educated, have a nice day.

*Note that is just American casualties. The Vietnamese lost hundreds of thousands more.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Ted Turner

How I love Ted Turner? Let me count the ways. This is the guy who kicked down $1,000,000,000 to the UN because the US wouldn't pay it's fees (Japan and Norway pay more to the UN per capita than the world largest economy; actually I think most developed countries do). This is the guy who railed against the Forbes top 100 richest list saying it gave a reason for the super wealthy to keep that money and began giving his away his wealth to get off the list (after giving away one third of his personal income he said “I am no poorer today than I was yesterday”). A guy who owns Big Media and hates the idea of Big media. All that and he has bipolar affective disorder. Incredible. Oh and he slept with that chick from the Blue Lagoon. An inspiration (and not just because of the Blue Lagoon thing).

Friday, August 06, 2004

God Bless Mississippi Summers

“The story begins in Biloxi, Miss., with three boys -- Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos, and Jayson Lamb -- and one adventure hero, Indiana Jones. Handsome, endlessly resourceful, as quick with a whip as he was with a quip, Indiana Jones hijacked the heart of America in the summer of 1981, and our trio of 10-year-olds proved no exception. So the next summer, the three began filming a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Seven years later, they wrapped. “

An if that wasn't enough the UK’s Guardian has an article that focuses more on the 'kids' who created the film

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Future watch #1

Welcome to comics of the future, where they don’t suck ass. No more Family Circus, no more Cathy, no more Peanuts. I’ll summarize this guy’s reasoning but I think it’s worth the effort to read his page.

It goes something like this.

System now. I have a comic strip. I sell all rights to that strip (merchandising, movies, etc.) to a syndicate which is basically a comics clearing house. They license comics to newspapers for a fee, as well as licensing merchandise, movies, etc. I continue to draw the comic for an agreed on fee unless at some point they don’t want me to or I die (see Peanuts and The Wizard of Id). Then they get some other artist to do it.

New System: I have a comic strip. I offer my strip to news papers for free. This provides me free advertising. I retain ownership of the strip, and profit of books, merchandising etc.

How does this change things? If the comics are free to newspapers, what interest do they have in placing crap like Beetle Bailey when they can have something 10x funnier for free? The comics page will become a power house of ingenuity. Develop or die.

This message has be brought to you by the Future.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Bubble tea

Okay so my new thing is Bubble tea, also known as Boba, Tapioca pearls, Sago, etc. Basically it is a flavored tea of some sort, usually with some milk to which is added Tapioca pearls, which are small black, gleaming balls of delicious chewing fun of about marble size.

A large straw is affixed to your drink and viola, you can suck the pearls into your mouth for a pleasant chewing experience. Plus they are loaded with caffeine. I’m suggesting the massive caffeine rush is what has got me all goggle-eyes over them, but it is a possibility. In any case I have been sampling these all over the bay area. Hrm, maybe a business idea?

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