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about me
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wFavorite posts
halloween 2002 roundup
the future of online gaming
star wars cereal review
japanese culture link of the day (12/6/2002)
japanese culture link of the day (12/23/2002)
reviews: hentai games sux0rz
anime term of the day (fan service, 02/17/2003)
retro gaming link of the day (battletech)
 

Recommended:
megatokyo
sinfest
8-bit theatre
mac hall
penny arcade
twisted kaiju theater
this modern world
dilbert
destroy all monsters
giant robot
8bit joystick
retrolounge
teleport city
stomp tokyo
anime web turnpike
radio paradise
neil gaiman
william gibson
greg costikyan
techrepublic
u.s. constitution
indiana democratic party
tompaine.com
fark
boing boing
metafilter
kuro5hin
the hoosier review
spinsanity
the daily howler
this modern world
the joe bob report
gamespot
quake 2
 

Blogs:
nextblog (random)
blogdex
daypop
the truth laid bear
technorati
the lefty directory

#!-usr-bin-girl
alas, a blog
andrew hagen
angry bear
annatopia
asymmetrical information
bertrand russel
blog left
blog of the moderate left
blue streak
body and soul
bookslut
brut4c
busy, busy, busy
byzantium's shores
calpundit
charles murtaugh
cogent provocateur
confessions of a g33k
cooped up
corrente
counterspin central
crooked timber
cut on the bias
daily kos
democratic veteran
destroy all blogs
die puny humans
disgustedliberal
d-squared digest
electrolite
eschaton
exploits and musings of heidi
flit
founding issues
geisha asobi blog
gorilla-a-go-go
how appealing
hullabaloo
insanekungfu
intel dump
interesting times
ipse dixit
it's still the economy, stupid
kieran healy
late night thoughts
lillianchan
long story, short pier
making light
mark byron
mark a. r. kleiman
matt welch
matthew yglesias
meryl yourish
min jung kim
modulator
mydd
nathan newman
never trust a monkey
no more mister nice blog
notes on the atrocities
not geniuses
oliver willis
oni blogger
onye's livejournal
open source politics
orcinus
pacific views
pandagon
peevish
p.l.a.
political aims
quaker in a basement
reachm high
roger ailes
royal blue
ruminate this
sadly, no!
scoobie davis
seeing the forest
self made pundit
semi-daily journal (brad delong)
shadow of the hegemon
sixdifferentways
skeptical notion
skippy the bush kangaroo
south knox bubba
swanky conservative
tacitus
talking points memo
talkleft
tapped
tbogg
ted barlow
terminus
testify!
the adventures of accordionguy in the 21st century
the agonist
the avocado couch
the blog of chloë and pete
the left coaster
the light of reason
the likely story
the people's republic of seabrook
the power pill
the rittenhouse review
the road to surfdom
the sideshow
the talking dog
the volokh conspiracy
thinking it through
through the looking glass
to the barricades!
to the point
tristero
uggabugga
unmedia
unqualified offerings
untelevised
uss clueless
very big blog
wampumblog
warliberal
whiskey bar
wil wheaton
worldgonewrong
 

wRecent referrals
javascript courtesy stephen's web
 

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-- HOME --


L337 lexicon
...speak l337?
(image courtesy megatokyo)
L33t/l33+: elite
b33r: beer
h4x0r: hacker
j00: you
L4m3: lame
L33t: elite
ph33r: fear
sux0rz: sucks
sw33t: sweet
w00t: woo hoo!
download a l33+ 5p34k generator here

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Saturday, April 27, 2002x


updates


I set up the same CD after my last post and the same thing happened. I cold booted first and everything. But the CD plays fine in my CD player; until I slot it at work Monday I'll just assume that this computer is boinked somehow.

I may not be able to post again until Sunday evening. Just so you know.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/27/2002 //



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Friday, April 26, 2002x


cd woes


I assembled a bunch of Hong Kong movie soundtrack songs and Faye Wong tunes into what I thought would be a nifty little canto-pop CD. RealJukebox takes forever to record it, of course, 'cause it has to burn it in real time. The finished CD plays just fine in my boom box but this computer doesn't recognize it. It makes Windows Media Player hand every time I put it in. Windows probably ran out of memory toward the end there; the computer had been on for hours. Just thought I'd share that little frustration with y'all. I may set up the burn again before I hit the hay. One way or the other, I'll have that CD before long.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/26/2002 //



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linkage update


Observant readers (assuming I have any at all—are you out there?) will notice that the list of links on the left is growing. I have also separated blog- and non-blog links. Watch this space for even more cool places to visit.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/26/2002 //



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coaster madness


Bruceville, Indiana farmer John Ivers loves roller coasters so much, he built one in his back yard. The coaster "Blue Flash" runs on a 180-foot track that arches over Ivers' barn, includes a 360-degree corkscrew and has been clocked by a sherrif's radar gun at speeds up to 25 miles an hour.

Thanx to Zanna of #!/usr/bin/girl for tipping me off. One of the quirks I love about the Internet is how a blog by someone in Seattle can inform me of an item in my own local paper.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/26/2002 //



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shooting rampage in german school claims 18 lives


Hilfe (Help!)

This hand-lettered sign in the window of a school under attack by a gunman calls for help. (AP photo)

Story at CNN.com



posted by Gregory Harris on 4/26/2002 //



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video dating


This week Salon.com offered an amusing deconstruction of contemporary romance movies and their impact on the so called "reality" show The Bachelor.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/26/2002 //



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up, up and away


Today's Washington Post reports on advances in biotechnology and nanotechnology using a metaphor that certainly grabbed my attention—by describing how genetic engineering and bionics can give people what amount to super powers.



posted by Gregory Harris on 4/26/2002 //



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Thursday, April 25, 2002x


circus monkey


I took my daughters to a carnival this evening. It was one of those traveling deals that set up in the parking lot of a small shopping center near our old house. Cecilia has an absolute blast. I bought a big batch of tickets and she went completely wild. Here's what she got to do:


  • A large inflatable kidde-funhouse sort of thing. At first the wind from the compressors that keep it inflated were kind of scary, but once she got inside and ran around bouncing off the walls and the various pillowy things they had in there, plus climbing up and sliding down the slide, she had lost all fear. She ran through the thing three times. Naomi watched her through the window and thought it was the funniest thing ever.

  • A Ferris wheel. All three of us rode in it. At the top it was quite windy, but Cecilia got such a kick out of being able to see all the way downtown.

  • A little train ride; she was all by herself and didn't like the way it rattled around the curves.

  • An airplane ride that went round and round (the pneumatics that lifted the planes up was broken). Cecilia enjoyed that one, even by herself, and the carny let her ride it twice since it didn't go up.

  • We took a funnel cake break. Cecilia only had a few bites before wanting to go on more rides, so I carried the rest around in a waxed paper bag.

  • Cecilia wanted to play one of those carnival games. It's a total waste of money, but the carny promised me if I paid for three games (which was a whole dollar cheaper) she'd automatically get a prize. Cecilia dropped some foam rubber balls into a box, and of course she didn't win but she did get a little stuffed smiley face with arms and legs. She decided it's a jelly bean.

  • We rode in a sort of kiddie Tilt-a-Whirl. It was a big fibreglass pumpkin we all sat inside, and it had a big metal disk you could turn to control how the pumpkin rotated as it went around in a circle. It didn't have seat belts, of course, so Cecilia was sliding all over the place. Naturally, she thought it was a blast.

  • A flying elephant ride; basically the same deal as the airplane except this one did go up and down. She rode that one alone too.

  • Finally, the merry-go-round. Normally I might have skipped it, since we can ride the one at the Children's Museum for free, but all of us riding it used up exactly the amount of tickets I still had. Naomi fell asleep on this one.


Cecilia was incredibly happy and charming all evening. After the carnival, we stopped by the grocery store in the shopping center for a gallon of milk, then headed in. When we got home, she ate dinner surprisingly well considering I'd let her spoil it with the funnel cake. When her mom got home she was very excited about telling her all about "the circus," but dropped right off to sleep once we put her in bed. I'm bushed, so I'm heading to bed myself.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/25/2002 //



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exchange rates made simple


Confused about floating currency exchange rates? Don't worry, The Economist magazine makes it easy for you. Its Big Mac Index compares the price of a certain popular fast-food staple in dozens of countries with its relative value to the US dollar. The assumption is that since the price of a given commodity ought to be fairly standard, a significant difference between the price of the Big Mac and the relative value of the currency to the dollar indicates the currency is under- or overvalued.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/25/2002 //



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reach out and touch someone


According to
Reuters, researchers at MIT's Media Lab have developed a vibrating cell phone that can transmit a caller's touch. Sensors in the rubber-coated phone can detect the grip intensity of each finger and transmit a corresponding signal to the finger sensors on the receiving unit, each of which can vibrate up to 250 times a second. Minutes of a meeting at the Media Lab seem to suggest that the device was developed at least in part with handicapped1 users in mind. The ability to transmit non-verbal signals can also enable silent communication, possibly reducing the incidence of cell yell.

Other applications will be left as an exercise for the reader.

1Yes, I said handicapped. I didn't feel like looking up the currently fashionable euphemism. Feel free to vent your outrage or just go back.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/25/2002 //



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tanker dog update


The derelict tanker Insiko drifted closer to a wildlife preserve on the Johnston Atoll, prompting the Coast Guard to consider sinking the ship to prevent an ecological disaster. A tugboat has been dispatched for a Friday rendezvous with the abandoned ship. The tug's mission is to attempt to bring the Insiko under control and to rescue the ship's sole passenger, Forgea, a mixed-breed terrier, left behind when the crew abandoned ship April 2. Coast Guard officials said the ship's 60,000 gallons of fuel and lubricating oil pose a dire environmental hazard if the ship breaks up. They are considering a plan to recover the dog and the body of a crewman killed in the fire that crippled the ship, pump as much fuel and oil as possible from the wreck, and then scuttle the ship intact, trapping the remaining petrochemicals inside.

Update from CNN
Story in the Honolulu Advertiser
Coverage in Newsday

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/25/2002 //



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Wednesday, April 24, 2002x


yellow sky


Thunderstorms rolled through Indy this evening, and the sky turned a wierd shade of yellow. The rain this afternoon would have put the kibosh on my plans to mow, but my wonderful wife mowed the lawn at the old house this afternoon and did some other chores there as well. The kids got to visit our neighbor Alice, which I'm sure they enjoyed. Since that was done, there was nothing to interfere with my cooking dinner, and there's plenty of stuff from the old house to sort through this evening.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/24/2002 //



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coast guard to attempt dog rescue


The US Coast Guard has been called in to deal with an abandoned Indonesian oil tanker adrift near Johnston Island, roughly 800 miles west of Hawaii. In addition to the environmental threat the tanker Insiko poses—it's loaded with thousands of gallons of diesel fuel—the tanker still carries a dog left behind when the crew abandoned the disabled ship on April 2. The tanker had been presumed sunk, but was later discovered by a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft and the dog spotted alive. Through some clever improvisation, the C-130 crew managed to drop food to the animal (the pizza they carried for lunch). They also noted puddles of water on the deck. However, the dog hid from a fishing crew that boarded the abandoned ship in a failed rescue attempt. The Coast Guard assumed jurisdiction over the tanker when it drifted into US waters.

Read about it at CNN.com
Details from the BBC (The rescue attempt described in this story actually failed)
Details from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/24/2002 //



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Tuesday, April 23, 2002x


mow better blues


I mowed the lawn today after work. Our new mower did the job quite well, and the whole job took less than an hour despite the back yard being fairly dense. After this "shakedown mow" I'll need to clean it, tighten any loose bolts and whatnot. Then I'll have to mow the lawn at our former house—it's needed there in no small way.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/23/2002 //



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do you know where your towel is?


Back in high school, the social strata were rigidly defined and you could get a good idea of where people stood by checking out where they could be found in the mornings. Many of the jocks were in the weight room; a lot of kids chowed down in the cafeteria; the geeks hung out in the library and the über-geeks hung out in the computer lab, which back in those days boasted a dozen of so TRS-80s. Junior and senior year you'd find me among the latter, where we'd pass the time by trading floppy disks containing text adventure games such as Zork.

One of the most memorable—and maddeningly difficult—was Infocom's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Replete with puzzles, non sequitirs and friendly Guide descriptions on the phenomena of the vast universe, I spent many an hour playing. (Heck, I spent many an hour figuring out how to get the darn Babel Fish!) Now the official Douglas Adams Web site hosts a Java version of this great game. Beware—it does not support saved games, so if you blow it, you start from scratch.

Props to Dodd Harris (no relation) for tipping me off to this magnificent obsession of a game! Check out the original Infocom version of the game at The Home of the Underdogs.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/23/2002 //



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rE@D L337!


If you spend much time on bulletin boards, Usenet, or Web forums, you've probably seen posts make using a bizarre combination of mixed-case letters, numbers and symbols. (When I was getting started online, people just used MiXeD cAsE to make their posts difficult to read.) This style of text is called "L337" (for "elite")...it's fairly easy to read once you get the hang of it, but programmer Ryan Ross has a little utility called "l33t-sp34k g3n3r4t0r" (elite-speak generator) on his Web site. It can translate L337 to plain text and back with a click of a mouse.
http://www.ryanross.net/leet/


posted by Gregory Harris on 4/23/2002 //



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meet me on monster island


First of all, grrr. I spent so much time typing the previous incarnation of this post that Blogger logged me off...when I clicked to submit it, all my text vanished into the electronic ether. Rats.

Anyway, from time to time I'll spotlight links from the left side of this blog. Today I want to highlight another Web site I've been writing for—Destroy All Monsters, an Asian-American pop culture site. It covers a lot of stuff I'm into—anime, Hong Kong movies, Japanese pop music, and so on. I'd been visiting it for some time, and finally I sent the webmaster a message asking if I could write an article or two. My first article appeared back in March and I've become a regular contributor.

As of today, all three articles I've had posted so far are accessible from the DAM index page, but I'll link to them anyway.

03/20/02 Anime Abandonware
03/25/02 20 Questions with Suzi Suzuki
04/12/02 Bio-Zombie DVD review

I should have another couple of articles appear there fairly soon; I'll post an update here when it happens.

I'm also active on the forums. My handle (and byline for the articles) is Mazinga. From my profile page, you can jump to my last couple of posts or check out the recent posts section to see what's happening at the moment.


posted by Gregory Harris on 4/23/2002 //



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this thing


cd case

I gave blood a couple of weeks ago. The Indiana Blood Center sends me email when I become eligible, which is a handy reminder. Often, when I show up they're running some kind of promotion—you get some kind of goody when you donate. Last time they gave me the CD case pictured above. The outside is filled with a red liquid and glitter; I think it resembles a blood pack. I can always use another case to tote around the CDs I burn, so it's come in handy. But the squishy outer case, with all that red goo sloshing around inside, is unexpectedly fascinating. I had it with me yesterday at my meeting and it drew a lot of notice. It also has that neat new vinyl smell.

Sorry about the picture quality; my digital camera just wouldn't take a good picture of it. Hm....maybe this material has unexpected photographic stealth capability?

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/23/2002 //



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Monday, April 22, 2002x


monday, monday


What's up with the weather? In a week it's gone from unseasonable warmth to unseasonable chill. I don't really mind, because I like wearing my overcoat. I don't usually watch morning news programs on TV (I listen to NPR on the way in to work), but as tuned in quickly to see if I'd need my overcoat, the talking head said that between the two expremes, April will wind up with an average temperature close to normal.

Work was busy today. Monday morning is usuall a long session of coffee drinking, email reading and project planning, but this afternoon was wall-to-wall meetings. We got a lot done, and I have a lot of little tasks this week as opposed to one elephantine duty. I'd rather have lots of little ones, because that way I can switch over when the one I'm working on starts to look blurry.

Someone finally used the email link. My friend Kurt, who works at BradyGames, dropped me an email today. Thanks for the note, Kurt; sorry I didn't get back to you unti I got home from work.

Oh, I deleted and reinstalled Quake 2 and now everything's hunky-dory. My current issue if figuring out why the computer won't recognize the SideWinder joystick plugged into it. It's probably the BIOS, but I don't want to reboot until I'm done with my stuff tonight.

Well, I have a lawn mower to put together, so I'd best get to it.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/22/2002 //



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tweak alert


Substituted a couple of graphic link buttons for text links in the table on the left. Also edited the CSS stylesheet so I don't have to make these headings bold every time.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/22/2002 //



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Sunday, April 21, 2002x


another weekend gone...


It's Sunday night. I just got finished putting away some groceries. This morning I had a whole laundry list of things to do (which, surprisingly, did not actually include laundry). It's truly amazing how many of them I just dropped when I realized how overcommited the day was. For example, I really need to mow the grass, but it rained, so what're you gonna do? We did manage to take the toddler to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. It's a wonderful place for kids. They had an exhibit on "The Art of the Starfighter" from Star Wars that I'd seen advertised around town. I ducked in there briefly, and it was fairly cool but kind of small and of course more aimed at children. They did have a full-size model of a Naboo fighter from Episode I, and some replicas of the model X-Wing and TIE fighters from the first movie.

No new music today. I also never got a chance to figure out what went wrong with Quake 2; I'll probably just reinstall it.

I have to get up for work tomorrow, so I'll make this short. More updates in the coming week.

posted by Gregory Harris on 4/21/2002 //



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