July 2009


1248654466866

A while ago, I discussed the proliferation of “*.chan.org” sites. Now, western U.S. division of AT&T has blocked it’s internet subscribers from the site “img.4chan.org/b”. 4chan.org, the home of the original /b/ board and the ‘Anonymous’ group, is a bastion of filth, pornography, shock, and general failure ripe for banning from the internet. If it were to disappear tomorrow, it wouldn’t be much of a loss. Oddly, it’s also well loved for being.. well, all of those things.

Censorship, regardless of the victim, is unconscionable in America. 4Chan, even though it attempts to censor itself from the worst predilections of our society, still makes itself an easy target for this type of bias. Regardless, this incident of blatant censorship is an unusual move for a liberal-minded west coast area. Whether AT&T will be able to continue this policy is too soon to tell. The real problem is that, if it’s accepted there, AT&T and other telecoms in more conservative areas of the country will jump at the chance to do the same. The next 24 hours should be interesting. (more…)

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aplogo

On this, the 40th anniversary of the moon landing and just days after the death of Walter Cronkite, the subject of integrity kept repeating itself. Cronkite was there, our country’s eyes on some of the most influential events of the 20th century, bringing them into our homes and lives. I wondered how he would feel about the press we have today. Amazingly, for once, the television answered. An interview some years ago allowed him to rail against the growing trend of idiocy and entertainment in news media; where first amendment rights are abdicated by the media to allow reporters to pursue even friendlier, cozier, relationships with those they were meant to be reporting on. There was my answer, being replayed right before my eyes. Boob-tube was actually good for something.

The cult of personality was supposed to be created by the media, not to envelop them as well. (more…)

DASH

I wonder if anyone has ever built a input pad for a vehicle speed system to set a car’s cruise control. Imagine: instead of watching the dash as you accelerate to set your cruise-control, simply key-in a new speed and the cruse-control immediately takes-over. I figure some sort of audible, synthetic-voice response confirming the action would be the safest implementation of this kind of system. Once you’re used to using the 10-key pad, you won’t even have to take your eyes off the road (which is the whole point). Obviously, this is only for people obsessed with their speed.

Like me.
(more…)

TempleTiferethIsrael2-sm

The Organ Historical Society (OHS) and American Theater Organ Society had their annual conventions in Cleveland, Ohio this year. Michael Barone of the “Pipedreams” radio program hosted both. Each annual convention is a week-long event in a different city each year, featuring recitals by famous organists in multiple venues across the area. Being a longtime Pipedreams fan and a resident of the Cleveland area, I assumed I probably never have this chance again. I decided to tag-along for the last day of the celebration. (more…)

HELMETC

Here’s a little tidbit for those bikers fighting helmet laws in your area. I don’t know if it helps, but it’s interesting.

Read this…

If you don’t speak Visyian-Cebuano, I’ll give you the basics in a nutshell. The mayor of a large town in the Philippines has outlawed the wearing motorcycle helmets while operating a motorcycle.

You don’t see that very much.

Apparently, the prevalence of armed thefts by people wearing helmets prompted this move. No one has been able to identify the thieves because they all wear motorcycle helmets. So now, no one in Mandaue City can wear one. The original intent was to outlaw all but shorty and visorless open-face style helmets, but the loosely-worded ordinance is having a much broader effect.

How would you like to live somewhere where you could ride and not wear a helmet, but also have it be illegal to use one?

To whom it may concern…. a little show.

SSHuron

Dick Durkin is former parade float builder with a submission to the Rose Bowl parade on his resume. Dick hauled-out the tools once again to build the Bicentennial celebration float for the tiny city of Huron, Ohio. Starting with a decommissioned full-size school bus, a massive 40′ replica of a cargo ship emerged, complete with a rotating Bicentennial birthday cake (not real icing) and a mini-lighthouse on a beach.

5 months of tear-down and prefabrication allowed Durkin to move the vehicle from his garage in Mansfield to the Huron City municipal service garage for final assembly. There, he and a small crew of volunteers took the project from bare frame to finished in just over a month.

Nice work, Mr Dukin. Nice work, all around. (more…)

BT900sm

So, after a horrid experience with a Chinese Double-DIN car radio, I was left with two choices- put back the original crappy Honda radio, or keep looking for something to fill the gaping hole in the dash. Still wanting in-dash GPS and the ability to instantly access my entire music collection (~7GB of MP3’s), but not wanting to spend $1000, I hit the stores. (more…)

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