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2641  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Roger Ebert contemplates his own death on: May 05, 2009, 10:34:14 PM
Good column and very close to my own beliefs (nonbeliefs) in many ways.

Quote
But certainly, some readers have informed me, it is a tragic and dreary business to go into death without faith. I don't feel that way. "Faith" is neutral. All depends on what is believed in

I have faith that the universe will take care of itself regardless of my input. I'll find out what this was all about when I die. Or I won't. Nothing I can do will change that, so I don't lose sleep over it. 
2642  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OO off line for a short time on: May 05, 2009, 08:43:19 PM
Or is it? I can read, but I cannot write. Been unable to post for the past hour.
2643  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: May 05, 2009, 08:38:45 PM
Our Mexican community has a population of about three, so Cinco de Mayo is a non-event around here. I don't know if the kiddies use it as an excuse to get liquored up or not. I only know of one local bar that has Mexican beer on tap anyway.
2644  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2 on: May 05, 2009, 02:47:50 PM

Quote from: Moliere on May 05, 2009, 04:25:10 AM

Wired's Save Sarah Connor Chronicles From Termination

I only watched the first two episodes of the first season. Is the general consensus that this series is worth watching? Maybe I can catch up now that BSG is gone.

Yes, it gets better. The first several episodes tried too hard to please the fisticuffs/explosions/car chase crowd while reconciling with the already-muddy movie canon. They eventually get that out of their system and become comfortable with their own characters, storyline, and voice. A few episodes even show some sophistication and nuance. It was one of only three shows that I watched, and I miss it.

Summer Glau plays the most convincing android character since Brent Spiner. Plus, hubba-hubba.
2645  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Megan Fox in a tight, tight corset! on: May 05, 2009, 04:01:02 AM

Quote from: GGMark on May 04, 2009, 11:34:49 PM

i am really tied of the whole " hurt your ability to get jobs"  how many people here didnt even KNOW she had tattoos?

I was speaking strictly of actors/actresses, whose appearance greatly affects their employability. There are certain roles a woman can't play (such as historical and biographical pictures) if she's got obvious tattoos that can't easily be hidden.

Quote from: PeteRock on May 05, 2009, 03:38:50 AM

To suggest that someone as hot as Megan Fox "degraded" her body with tattoos and irreparably harmed her beauty is absurd.  She's fucking hot.  Period. 

Did I degrade my inherent beauty with tattoos?  My fabulousness transcends alleged surficial degradation.

She's hot until you see the tattoos. They take her attractiveness down several notches. Fortunately for her she is starting at a high enough level to remain eminently boinkable despite her degraded complexion. 

Nobody cares what men's bodies look like. We are pre-degraded. 
2646  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Megan Fox in a tight, tight corset! on: May 04, 2009, 08:56:43 PM

Quote from: Moliere on May 04, 2009, 07:41:24 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on May 04, 2009, 07:09:33 PM

Ugh, she has tattoos. That's gross.

I agree. Tattoos on women.  puke


Nasty picture. I wonder why an actress would do that to herself. It seems like it would constrain the roles she could get, and she'd forever be trying to cover them up with costumes or makeup, or they'd have to digitally process them out or something. If your livelihood depended on your appearance, why would you deliberately degrade it?
2647  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Megan Fox in a tight, tight corset! on: May 04, 2009, 07:09:33 PM
Ugh, she has tattoos. That's gross.
2648  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Help me understand: Lobbyists on: May 04, 2009, 04:05:51 PM
Here's a good Newsweek column about good lobbying vs bad lobbying, specifically under the current administration's guidelines. Before I read it I tarred all lobbyists with the same brush.

Quote
An example of the bad kind of lobbying came to light last week when The New York Times revealed that Sallie Mae had hired Tony Podesta and Jamie Gorelick, two Democratic fixers, to save it from extinction. Sallie Mae insures college loans made by private banks. Like Fannie and Freddie, her inbred cousins in the housing business, Sallie embodies the principle of privatizing gains and socializing losses. Obama has sensibly proposed eliminating it. According to the Congressional Budget Office, having the Feds make loans directly would save $94 billion over the next decade, providing funds for millions more students to go to college.

(...)

As an illustration of the other kind of lobbying, the good kind, consider Tom Malinowski, who worked as a foreignpolicy speechwriter during the Clinton administration. Since leaving government, Malinowski—who declined to comment for this story—has been Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, where he has spoken up for political prisoners abroad and against the Bush administration's policies on torture and detention. After serving on an advisory committee for the Obama campaign, Malinowski reportedly became a top candidate for a job dealing with human rights and international law at the State Department. But because he was registered as a lobbyist, he can't be hired without a waiver, which he hasn't been able to get.

There is every imaginable ethical difference between Podesta's work and Malinowski's. Podesta represents the human-rights-abusing government of Egypt; Malinowski has advocated for victims of Egyptian oppression. Podesta greases the skids for his clients with fat campaign contributions; Malinowski tries to convince legislators without donating money. Podesta's firm grossed $19 million last year and has been signing up new clients at a ferocious clip since the Democratic victory in November; Malinowski earns a nonprofit-sector salary. Podesta undermines democratic principles by selling his influence. Malinowski enhances democracy through legitimate advocacy.
2649  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: May 04, 2009, 02:05:23 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 04, 2009, 02:00:40 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on May 04, 2009, 01:23:23 AM

It's time for a summer ales threat. Do I have to do all the work around here?

ok...

if you don't drink it Sam Adams Summer Ale will come and kill your family.

Nice beer you've got there. Shame if something happened to t.  icon_lol
2650  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Would You Buy a house within 5 Miles of a Nuclear Power Plant? on: May 04, 2009, 01:33:31 AM
In the 1970s I used to march against nuclear power. I was in a punk band called Your Mother. "Atom Death Boogie" was one of our most popular songs. We actually got a crowd sing-along going at an anti-nuke rally once. We wrote it right after 3 Mile Island. It went like this:

Quote from: Your Mother
Pennsylvania got a brand new beat
Everybody dying in the street

Do the atom death boogie
Do the atom death boogie
Do the atom death boogie, we'll be dying when the morning comes

Watch your hair fall out
Watch your teeth glow white
Watch the population decimated overnight

(Chorus)

Life is so angry
Life is so hard
They're building a reactor plant in my back yard!

(Chorus, over and over and over again)

Who would have guessed that I'd become a nuclear power supporter 30 years later? Things change. Go ahead, live next to a nuke plant. I would.

2651  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: May 04, 2009, 01:23:23 AM
Sadly, my packie is down to 1.5 cases of my beloved Sierra Nevada ESB left. I haven't actually tried SN's summer yet, but I know it will be all lemony and I won't like it as well. As much as I love summer otherwise, it's not beer's best season. I'm retreating into my old standby Harpoon IPA until I find some reason not to.

It's time for a summer ales threat. Do I have to do all the work around here?
2652  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Best Homepage? on: May 02, 2009, 02:37:13 PM

Quote from: Eco-Logic on May 02, 2009, 01:50:19 PM


Ideally, I'd like the homepage to have all the RSS feeds I subscribe to, and maybe some news.  I know this is normal of most portals, and am curious if any of you use something other than iGoogle?


I don't know what iGoogle is, but Google Reader is a very good RSS integrator. Not that I actually use it as my home page. I use my Earthlink start page out of habit (had this account for 13 years now).
2653  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Danny Gans last show on: May 02, 2009, 02:33:37 PM
I turned 52 two weeks ago. I never expected to live this long. I was of the "live fast, die young, leave a nice corpse" school of thought, and a few of my old friends did just that.

About 5 years ago I started to temper my nihilistic/hedonistic tendencies with daily exercise and better nutrition. Life is not an endurance event. Anybody can drop dead without warning at any moment. But just in case you don't, it would be dumb not to take some simple precautions for your health and vitality.

2654  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: April 30, 2009, 08:59:43 PM

Quote from: rittchard on April 30, 2009, 06:04:48 PM

It did bug me he ran in with the gun, which made no sense to me whatsoever as he was never a gun type of guy. 

Agreed it was out of character. At least he was holding it awkwardly, as if it were an unfamiliar tool. But walking in unarmed and getting himself detained would have served the same purpose as the dramatic entrance -- in fact, they might have been more receptive.

Even if he stays dead in 1973, I expect that we'll see him periodically in other timelines. Shows like Lost need "explainer" characters and he was a strong one. Plus he seemed to have a handle on the mechanics of time travel. 

I am glad that our Losties have a purpose again. I like the possibility of preventing their own plane crash and negating the entire series. It's probably a red herring, since they were so explicit about it, but it's an intriguing one.
2655  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: T-Rex vs. Grizzly Bears on: April 29, 2009, 05:28:11 AM
I dunno, bears would be like McNuggets for a T Rex. I can eat a LOT of McNuggets. Well, maybe fewer if they're fighting back.
2656  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [trailer] Moon on: April 27, 2009, 09:11:10 PM

Quote from: Teggy on April 27, 2009, 05:15:55 PM

Quote from: Moliere on April 27, 2009, 04:23:20 PM

Not to undermine the premise of the movie, but who would come up with the idea of putting a person alone on the moon for 3 years? That just seems like a recipe for disaster that no one outside of the University Psychology department would contemplate.

Oh, but he's not alone, he has that friendly not-HAL to keep him company. And I'm sure not-HAL has nothing do with any of this.

Made me think of Silent Running.
2657  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Quit giving your kids silly names on: April 27, 2009, 09:04:50 PM

Quote from: Gratch on April 27, 2009, 05:24:59 PM

Was talking to one of Mrs. Gratch's friends about their new baby, Oliva.   I was very emphatically informed that it is Oh-lee-vah, and not Olivia. 

Mrs Gratch's friend never saw Zsa Zsa Gabor talking to her husband in Green Acres, did she?
2658  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [trailer] Moon on: April 27, 2009, 03:46:22 PM
I approve of this movie.
2659  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Swine Flu Outbreak- the next big pandemic? on: April 27, 2009, 03:41:59 PM
Hard to say. We are at the end of the traditional flu season (i.e. the school year), so it's not going to spread as rapidly as it would have done a few months ago.

I'd expect that it will fizzle out quickly, lie dormant throughout the summer, and then come raging back in the fall when all the little plague vectors go back to school. I further expect that millions of people will feel really crappy for a few days, and then recover. There's not much evidence that it's deadly in otherwise-healthy populations.

Maybe the early (over?)reaction will contain this virus before it can rage through the populace next fall/winter.
2660  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Colonization! on: April 26, 2009, 02:09:38 AM

Quote from: Blackadar on April 12, 2009, 04:57:36 PM

While I did run into a game-stopping bug at the end (the AI doesn't like to land their REF if they're greatly outnumbered - a bug that was in the original release) that I had to cheat around to get the game to end, overall it was a much more enjoyable experience.

What's the cheat?

I finished my first Age of Discovery game with a huge thriving civ and a big nasty army and navy. The REF was easy meat. But after I got them down to 6 units and 0 ships, the last units never appeared and the game refused to end.

The game is greatly improved, and I'll probably play again on a higher difficulty. But my usual strategy is to destroy the REF at sea. If the game won't end when they run out of ships, that's a fatal bug.
2661  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Can't believe it happened to me (laid off) on: April 25, 2009, 12:14:50 AM
I do tend to forget that Mass. has the most generous unemployment benefits in the US. The system is poorly set up for people who earn periodic freelance income, though. Every time my wife reports billing a client, the DUA closes her claim as if she's re-employed. She loses the next week's benefit check and has to reopen her claim. Sure does make budgeting a challenge...especially since we're never sure exactly when that freelance check is going to actually show up. 
2662  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you listening to right now? on: April 25, 2009, 12:08:52 AM
I am slowly auditioning the 2009 SxSW download. I'm almost through the J's. Right now a fellow named Josh Pyke is moments away from the recycle bin. 755 more songs to go....

Ah, good. Bye, Josh. Next up: Josiah Leming.
2663  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Can't believe it happened to me (laid off) on: April 24, 2009, 06:53:40 PM

Quote from: kratz on April 24, 2009, 04:41:16 PM

Yeah, sign up for unemployment so that things are seamless.  They will ask you if you got severance, and you probably won't get unemployment checks until the severance runs out, but definitely get that ball rolling.

That depends on whether the "severance" involves periodic payments -- i.e., whether he is still on the payroll. If it's a lump sum, it should not affect benefits. Believe me, I know unemployment bennies all too well (in my state, obviously).
2664  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Can't believe it happened to me (laid off) on: April 24, 2009, 04:05:57 PM
Severance pay does not disqualify you for unemployment (at least, not in Mass.; I imagine that the rules vary from state to state). And there will be a delay between your initial claim and your first check. You might want to file your claim just to get the process moving. You can always close it if a job comes through.
2665  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Precoqnition (fortune telling) for real? on: April 24, 2009, 04:00:05 PM
I don't know what I believe about the nature of time. Does all of time exist simultaneously, with only the illusion that the present divides past from future? If so then is the future immutable? If it's not, can the past also be changed? Precognition implies predestination which negates free will. That makes me uncomfortable on one level and reassures me on another.

I think that only NOW exists, eternally, and past and future are illusions. But of course that contradicts the universal subjective sensation of time passing.

I don't know what I believe about the nature of time. Wait, did I say that already?
2666  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tim Burton-Alice In Wonderland on: April 24, 2009, 03:44:58 PM


Better?
2667  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Finally, warm weather! on: April 24, 2009, 02:08:45 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 23, 2009, 09:03:04 PM

Quote
Weather for Chandler, AZ
93°F
Current: Clear
Wind: S at 7 mph
Humidity: 14%


 icon_cool

We'll be relaxing by the pool this weekend, sipping cold beer, grilling up a few burgers while the dogs swim and play.  


You don't have weather. Disqualified.
2668  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you listening to right now? on: April 24, 2009, 02:05:30 AM
Psychedelik.com on Shoutcast. ATM it's "Vataff Project: Free Space."
2669  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Finally, warm weather! on: April 23, 2009, 09:01:41 PM
Supposed to be in the 80s here this weekend. I'm looking forward to doing a little yardwork.
2670  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you REALLY believe that extraterrestrial life has visited Earth? on: April 23, 2009, 08:54:03 PM

Quote from: Razgon on April 23, 2009, 06:31:22 PM

Bt, is there ANY event then that cannot be explained throgh any of the above?

Sure, any sighting backed up by physical evidence -- radar contact, radiation effects, physical traces -- or at least having multiple, unrelated eyewitness accounts that match. Those still don't necessarily prove that an object was a spacecraft, but they at least indicate something real. Eyewitness accounts are suspect without some kind of corroboration, however trustworthy the observer.

(edit) D'oh! Beaten by the Fed again.
2671  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you remember the first time? on: April 23, 2009, 03:24:06 PM
I got into the message board habit on a BBS called Argus. That must've been around 1992. Argus folded and sold its userbase to another BBS called Channel One. We Argonauts were not made welcome in the buttoned-down, realname-using Channel One forums, so I started going to Usenet. That would've been my first real internet experience.

I was dead set against the world-wide web because I could not understand how one could travel all over the world without paying long-distance phone charges. When my wife started using it I was convinced that she was racking up astronomical phone bills. One New Years Eve she showed me how to telnet to computers in Europe, where we saw some little still photos of people ringing in the new year. Then we looked at some paintings in the Louvre. The thought of actually being connected to a computer in France was really exciting.

My first ISP was Galaxy Internet Services, and my first email address was "[email protected]". We got our current Earthlink account in 1997.
2672  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: April 23, 2009, 03:27:13 AM
I can't believe they did a clips show. I feel so cheated. I can't believe I sat and watched a clips show. Are the writers on strike again? mad
2673  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Terminator: Salvation First Look on: April 22, 2009, 09:21:51 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on December 10, 2008, 05:25:28 PM

Just to be clear, the TV show and Terminator Salvation have NOTHING to do with each other.  They are on two different time lines.

Both the movies and the TV show go off the first two movies.

Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation are off on one line.  Sarah Connor Chronicles branch off in an entirely different direction.

Well that blows. Except for Ah-nold I barely even remember the old movies, much less whatever discontinuities they might have.

I hope the new movie will play up the sf aspect, as SCC did toward the end, and not just be a nonstop action/explosion/chase thrill ride. If it's just typical action fare with a sf flavor, I won't even Netflix it.
2674  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Terra Day on: April 22, 2009, 07:40:11 PM
Well let's see...I removed my winter wheels and mounted my summer tires today. I'm about to go inflate them, since they're all but flat. I crawled under the car and duct-taped the plastic doohicky that keeps hanging down. Then I'm going to drive a few miles to deliver a few packages. I will try to remember to feel guilty about it.

"Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill."

-- CEO Nwabudike Morgan,
"The Ethics of Greed"
2675  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let the Right One In on: April 22, 2009, 07:33:59 PM
I meant to add that the girl was perfectly cast. In some shots she looks 12 years old, and in others she looks careworn and ageless.
2676  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Can't believe it happened to me (laid off) on: April 22, 2009, 07:31:21 PM
Your first layoff is always the hardest. Try not to take it personally. It's just capitalism.

Between us my wife and I have been laid off five times since 2002. I finally dropped out of the conventional workforce after the third time. We're cautiously optimistic that my wife can get a job after the economy turns around, if we can hold out that long, because she has a better education and work history than I do. It's more difficult when you're over 50, though. She's sent out dozens of applications since February without a single interview. She's a writer/editor, and publishing is still just bleeding jobs. Both of her brothers work in the media (one in TV, one in newspapers), and they are both running scared too.
2677  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you REALLY believe that extraterrestrial life has visited Earth? on: April 22, 2009, 07:23:30 PM

Quote from: Farscry on April 22, 2009, 06:06:18 PM

Quote from: Moliere on April 22, 2009, 02:25:36 PM

Quote from: Farscry on April 22, 2009, 02:10:01 PM

There are a significant number of UFO incidents and other phenomena that have yet to be truly explained.

Like what? We don't have to go around explaining every fuzzy picture of a Frisbee or weather balloon. We don't have to explain the origin of every crop circle. These things are not proof or even consideration of alien life.

Various reports through official channels of multiple nations involving citizens, law enforcement officials, air traffic controllers, multiple astronauts, and aircraft pilots, to start with. I don't have this stuff memorized and off the top of my head. If you really want to find out, it's not that hard to do a little research.

There's far more information out there than what shows up occasionally on the infotainment channels on TV.

There is no question that intelligent, observant people see things in the sky that they can't explain. Such incidents are open to whatever interpretation you like, since there is usually no evidence except the eyewitness account.
2678  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: If you were planning to wow your significant other by cooking dinner... on: April 22, 2009, 07:17:15 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 22, 2009, 03:23:23 PM

I see stews listed a few times in your post.  One of my favorite "stews" I made this past winter was an Irish coddle, which is an Irish peasant stew from Dublin.  It's a bit different from what you'd normally expect an Irish stew to be because it uses more common ingredients, so instead of stewing beef it has sausage, instead of Guinness it has hard cider, and all of the vegetables are your basics like potatoes, carrots, and onions. 

I posted because you mentioned fish. Alas, my wife won't eat beef, pork, or chicken. She will stoop to ground turkey if it's well-disguised (as in chili), and she does like fish and some seafood. When I make meat loaf once a year she will set aside her revulsion because it tastes so damned good. Meat loaf and scalloped potatoes are one of my favorite comfort meals. 

She's going out of town for four days tomorrow, so it's carnivore time. I bought myself a pound of bacon, a pound of hamburger, a package of hot Italian sausages, and a steak. That's more red meat than I usually get in a month. drool
2679  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: If you were planning to wow your significant other by cooking dinner... on: April 22, 2009, 02:45:35 AM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on April 22, 2009, 01:17:37 AM

I make a mean wild mushroom or butternut squash risotto.

That and pumpkin ravioli are just about my wife's favorite foods.

I make a few impressively good meals, but none involve fancy presentation. I guess it's peasant food -- mostly Mediterranean cooking with fresh (even homegrown) ingredients. Nothing gourmet, though, that's just not how we eat even when we splurge. My most recent sensation was a Spanish tortilla made with eggs, potatoes, and leeks. I make a hearty cod stew with a red wine base. I also make a spicy tilapia stew with a beer base. Baked halibut steaks with Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and capers. Oh my, I'm making myself hungry.
2680  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you REALLY believe that extraterrestrial life has visited Earth? on: April 21, 2009, 09:00:37 PM
I wish I could believe that extraterrestrial intelligence exists somewhere in our neck of the galaxy, and has not only developed spaceflight but discovered a way around the light speed barrier and the relativistic consequences of FTL travel, and has invested the tremendous energy and resources and time that would doubtless be necessary to travel here. It would be comforting to think that advanced beings really go to all that trouble...and then sneak around mutilating cattle. 
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