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2641  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).
2642  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.

2643  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.
2644  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.
2645  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.
2646  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?
2647  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [trailer] Moon on: April 27, 2009, 03:46:22 PM
I approve of this movie.
2648  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.
2649  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.
2650  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. 
2651  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.
2652  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).
2653  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.
2654  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?
2655  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tim Burton-Alice In Wonderland on: April 24, 2009, 03:44:58 PM


Better?
2656  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
93F
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.
2657  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."
2658  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.
2659  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.
2660  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.
2661  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
2662  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.
2663  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"
2664  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.
2665  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.
2666  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.
2667  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
2668  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.
2669  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. 
2670  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Curb Your Enthusiasm on: April 21, 2009, 04:03:31 PM

Quote from: TheMissingLink on April 20, 2009, 10:03:20 PM

Seinfeld >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Curb Your Enthusiasm

Larry David just isn't very likable. Whatsoever.

It seemed mean-spirited where Seinfeld was playful. We abandoned it after the first two DVDs.
2671  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let the Right One In on: April 21, 2009, 04:00:41 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 21, 2009, 03:41:14 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 21, 2009, 03:35:23 PM

I kept getting the English version with English subtitles.

Quote
In the first few minutes of the movie we saw "Fuck off!" subtitled as "Go away!"  thumbsdown

Actually, given the English dialogue with English subtitles, "go away" seems like a pretty spot-on translation of "fuck off."   icon_twisted

The meaning is the same, but the inflection is not. I'm sure that a lot of similar nuance was lost in translation. From what I've read, the subtitles are worse than the dub in that regard -- at least on the DVD version that we got from Netflix.
2672  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let the Right One In on: April 21, 2009, 03:35:23 PM

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on April 21, 2009, 12:11:50 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 21, 2009, 03:23:09 AM

Quote from: Pong on March 28, 2009, 06:46:43 PM


But even if the subs are bad at some points, never watch a dubbed movie.



We watched the dubbed version simply because I couldn't switch the English off. I could toggle between three different sets of subtitles (English, English Narration, or Spanish), but I could not get the original language to play. The mismatch between the dubbing and the subtitles quickly made it obvious that we had the bad translation anyway.

I can only give it 3/5 stars. It might be a 4-star movie, but bad voice acting and untranslated text killed all nuance.


The dub wasn't controlled by the subtitle option, but rather the language option.

The setup screen had two columns, one for language and one for subtitles. I kept selecting the Swedish 5.1 audio option with English subtitles. I kept getting the English version with English subtitles. If there was a separate language screen, I missed it. Given the crappy subtitle translation we were probably better off with the dubbing anyway, as objectionable as that was. In the first few minutes of the movie we saw "Fuck off!" subtitled as "Go away!"  thumbsdown

It was a decent coming-of-age/adolescent revenge film, and a decent vampire movie as well. Not really outstanding as either, but a good blend. Some of the special effects were painfully low-budget, though.
2673  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Automated Phone Systems make me want to scream... on: April 21, 2009, 03:22:59 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on April 21, 2009, 05:39:23 AM

I have to say, I much, much prefer "press one" systems to "say something" systems. I feel like an idiot talking to a computer, and the machine rarely is able to parse my subtle Texas accent.

UPS has a really good automated voice system. The woman has a tone like she hates doing this as much as you do. She's really friendly and natural sounding. Sometimes I call them just to talk to her. I get lonely working at home.
2674  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let the Right One In on: April 21, 2009, 03:23:09 AM

Quote from: Pong on March 28, 2009, 06:46:43 PM


But even if the subs are bad at some points, never watch a dubbed movie.


We watched the dubbed version simply because I couldn't switch the English off. I could toggle between three different sets of subtitles (English, English Narration, or Spanish), but I could not get the original language to play. The mismatch between the dubbing and the subtitles quickly made it obvious that we had the bad translation anyway.

I can only give it 3/5 stars. It might be a 4-star movie, but bad voice acting and untranslated text killed all nuance.
2675  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car accident Judgement IN!! Or so I thought NEED MORE HELP!! 4-18 on: April 20, 2009, 05:07:10 PM
Could be a problem if they have you down as "pappasnuff".  saywhat
2676  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let the Right One In on: April 20, 2009, 05:04:29 PM
We've had this disk at home for at least 2 weeks now. I think we're finally going to watch it tonight. Hope it's not the version with the bad subtitles, but I imagine it probably is.

We ordinarily watch movies while doing something else -- my wife will be net surfing or folding laundry, I'll be paying bills or opening mail, etc. A subtitled movie forces us to sit there and stare at the screen for two hours. Foreign films always end up hanging around for a long time until we finally agree to block off two hours doing nothing else.

I want to watch the vampire film tonight because we're donating blood this afternoon, and I know that the Red Cross is just a front. 
2677  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Final 3 Pushing Daisies episodes on: April 20, 2009, 04:19:20 AM
I will watch it for 90 more minutes of Olive Snook.  The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.
2678  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 9 on: April 20, 2009, 01:38:14 AM
Trippy. I like trippy.
2679  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [naive] How are newspapers/networks politcal? on: April 16, 2009, 07:30:56 PM
Most American newspapers were founded to advance their publisher's agenda, whether political, social, or economic. Their original bias often remains long after ownership has changed hands, if only because their readers and their community expect it and their staff is trained to provide it. Massachusetts is a one-party state and the Boston Globe is an unofficial mouthpiece for the Dem party. The way they idolize the Kennedys gets downright embarrassing.

In journalism school they taught us about objectivity and fair reporting at the same time that they taught us the history of newspapers in America. Those two subjects were hard to reconcile. Remember that freedom of the press belongs to those who own the press.
2680  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Colonization! on: April 16, 2009, 04:52:47 PM
...And third time's a charm. No CRC errors and game is running properly.
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