Quote of the Week

January 24, 2008 at 6:17 am (computers, entertainment, Knowledge, Opinion)

Stephen Hawking

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.”

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Quote of the Week.

January 9, 2008 at 6:42 pm (entertainment, Knowledge, Opinion) (, , , , , , , , , )

The new weekly KAOSE feature

This week: Bill Hicks

“The Supreme Court says pornography is anything without artistic merit that causes sexual thoughts, that’s their definition, essentially. No artistic merit, causes sexual thoughts. Hmm… Sounds like…every commercial on television, doesn’t it? You know, when I see those two twins on that Doublemint commercial? I’m not thinking of gum. I am thinking of chewing, so maybe that’s the connection they’re trying to make.”

Thanks to The Konformist for putting these all in one place.

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How’s This For Laugh’s?

January 3, 2008 at 10:40 pm (entertainment, Knowledge, Security)

419 Eater, you’ll laugh till you cry

Not to long ago, I stumbled upon a great site called 419 Eater. This is ton’s of fun. You know those scam emails? The one that tell you that you could get MILLIONS of dollars, if only you’ll send some Nigerian some cash, to free up all the funds? Well, these people have decided to take the fight back to the scammers.

Welcome to the world of scam baiting

Scam baiting is the act of holding email exchanges with scammers as to waste their time (and money, if at all possible) so as to keep them from scamming others. And to try and get “trophies,” pictures and other things, from the scammers, to keep and display to other scam baiter’s. Check out the site, it’s great. 419 Eater: teaching Nigerian that crime does not pay.

P.S. If the site is taking long to respond, it could be because it gets A LOT of DDoS attacks directed its way. Something to do with making scammers lose TONS of time with their antics. I’ve even heard reports of the Storm Worm being called in to attack the site! You know they’re being effective if such a powerful botnet is used against them.

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I No Longer Support Ron Paul (For President).

December 15, 2007 at 12:26 am (Knowledge, News, Opinion, politics) (, , , , , )

And I will probable get flamed for it…

But hear me out first

When I first heard about Ron Paul, I did what many people have done on hearing his message. I listened to the anti-Iraq war, anti-IRS, and pro-improving the dollar rhetoric, and thought to myself, “Here’s a man I can support.” I did something else that many others have done, namely: I didn’t bother to find out much more about him. Why? Because the man is captivating. His speeches on Iraq, and the other issues he choses to talk about, are powerful. However, I didn’t check his voting record. I believe that many other Ron Paul supporters are making the same mistake. For the past couple of days though, I’ve done some research, and what I’ve found, I REALLY didn’t like. What, exactly did I find? Well, first, a little bit about where I stand.

I’m a little to the left of Ghandi

There is a great site to help you see what your political leanings are. It’s called The Political Compass”. It shows you where you stand compared to other famous people and leaders. My political compass puts me to the bottom left of freaking Ghandi! My score is Economic Left/Right: -6.75, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.44. In other words, I am Economically Leftist, and Socially Libertarian.

What does that have to do with Ron Paul?

Dr. Paul, on the other hand, is Economically and Socially Libertarian. He feels that corporations should be free to do just as they damn well please, and no one should get any help from the government. I just don’t agree. There are some aspects of society that just should not be a business. Take health care, as an example. Does anyone think that running health care as a business has been good for America? I know I sure don’t. The American problem of rising health care costs will NOT be fixed under a Ron Paul presidency. If anything, it will just be made worse.

Other examples

First, many thanks goes out to Orcinus for putting these all in one place. Let’s look at a small sample of Ron Paul’s voting record, shall we?

First off, Ron Paul is extremely anti-abortion. I can understand this up to a point. After all, Dr. Paul has delivered something like 4,000 babies. Also, he is a religious fundamentalist (more on that in a bit), and those types tend to hate abortion. On the other hand, for a man who says he supports the Constitution above all else, he sure is quick to try and make a CONSTITUTIONAL amendment banning abortion. This is something that I just don’t agree with AT ALL. I wonder how many liberal Paulite’s would want to have that little plan happen.

Next, he is against same-sex marriage. Another fundamentalist idea that I think is just stupid. If two people are in love, than what business is it of the Governments to get involved in that? Here I thought Ron Paul was trying to get Government OUT of peoples lives. I guess that only applies to people that follow the fundamentalist idea of what love is.

Moving on, Paul is against some forms of protest, such as flag burning. To the point of make ANOTHER Constitutional amendment banning it. Gee, for a guy who wants to preserve the Constitution, he sure wants to make a lot of changes to it, huh?

What else? Let’s see, getting rid of OSHA. You know, that pesky act that says that companies have to make a safe work environment for their workers. The act that was put into place because market pressures weren’t enough to keep them in line to do it themselves.

Also, he hates labor unions, and we’ve all seen what the loss of labor unions has done for America (just look at Wal-Mart).

No more minimum wage, under Ron Paul. Hope you like making wages along the lines of what you would get in a third world country.

Forget social security with Ron Paul.

No more anti-trust. In fact, he would strengthen the ability of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to work together so that they can screw you over on costs, even more than they do now. Because, you know, we don’t pay enough in health care cost already.

He would make it so that people born in America to non-citizens do not get citizenship.

All environmental protection would go right out the window. Because corporations are such wonderful stewards of the environment. Yeah, right.

He’s against almost all forms of international law. Not to mention the UN.

About the only thing I agree with him about (aside from Iraq and the IRS) is his stance on gun laws. I’m pro-gun, in that I believe owning a gun is my right, (and protection) and no one should have the right to take that away from me. Gun-free zones do not work. If you don’t believe that, just look at all the school shootings. Those are all gun-free zones. But that’s a topic for another blog post.

The list goes on…

There’s much more over at Orcinus. I highly recommend that any Ron Paul supporters do the research on where he stands on all his policies, not just the one’s you agree with. This was a tough idea for me to come to grips with. I know, I wanted to like the guy, but he’s not what I hope for America, no matter how much I agree with him on a couple of views.

Dennis Kucinich, FTW

So, where does that leave me? I putting my vote to Dennis. He supports all the same ideals I do. I wish more liberal Ron Paul supporters would look around and see that there is another candidate that wants the same things that they do. Just without all of the crazy fundamentalist, pro-corporate free-for-all plans. Take a look, you might just change your mind, just like I did. For the sake of America, I sure hope so.

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A New Way To Grow Ethanol.

September 17, 2007 at 8:37 pm (Knowledge, Tech)

Ah, ethanol, the politicians new darling.

While this fuel holds many promises, it also has its pitfalls. Namely that ethanol is made from corn, which we eat (and drink) in everything. I do mean everything. It’s in our food, in our sodas, our furnishings, batteries, beer, paper, pharmaceuticals, the list goes on. The problem with using ethanol for fuel is that there is just not enough corn to go around. But what if there was another way to grow it? Professor Pengchen (Patrick) Fu (whom I believe works at “the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His laboratory focuses on metabolic engineering, bioprocess control, metabolomics, Systems and synthetic biology,” according to a Google search.) has dreamed up a novel way to “grow” ethanol. From Refactor Reality:

Professor Pengchen (Patrick) Fu is using cyanobacteria to produce ethanol from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. I got to see this first-hand at Wired NextFest. This is exceedingly cool since ethanol, a useful fuel, burns cleanly to produce energy, carbon dioxide, and water. See the pattern? It’s a sustainable cycle, essentially storing solar energy in a fuel that we already know and love. There is very little waste in this process, and it’s quite harmless, in the form of oxygen and some dead bacteria at the end of their natural life cycles. This is already cool enough that I think I need to sit down for a while and take it all in, but there is more! In case the photo didn’t make things amply evident, let me state clearly: Pengchen (Patrick) Fu has come up with a possible solution for renewable energy using large, glowing cylinders full of bubbling green liquid. These things look like they came straight off the set of a science fiction movie. You know, the good kind, with lots of explosions.

“A series of tubes.”

Hey explosions are cool, right? But I do have a few issues with this idea.

  • Ethanol does NOT burn cleanly. It’s thought to be cleaner burning. However, it is far from perfectly clean. When things burn, they produce wastes, sorry folks, that’s just the way it is. Here’s a great pdf research paper outlining some of the possible effects of ethanol burning. Let it be noted that ethanol does burn cleaner than gasoline. To bad you have to burn more of it to get the same amount of power as from a comparable amount of gas.
  • Just because a movie has explosions, does not make it good. “Battlefield Earth” comes to mind.
  • The “large, glowing cylinders full of bubbling green liquid” making fuel is pretty awesome. Much more awesome than watching corn grow, let me tell you. I should know, living in Nebraska, I’m freaking surrounded by it

This could be wonderful, for Americas energy problems, should the technology pan out (and if oil companies don’t buy it up, then sit on it). I know I would much rather drive and eat than drive or eat, and taking corn out of the ethanol equation would help.

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