January 30, 2004

Britain relaxes law on cannabis

Britain relaxes law on cannabis. Cool, I guess, though you can still get up two years for possession, a bit much.

Britain's Home Secretary David Blunkett said he expected the move would lead him to "take a bit of stick over the next few weeks."

What the hell does that mean, that he's going to call in sick to work and smoke reefer for the next two weeks??? Aye, I'm feeling a bit 'stick', har har.

Posted by Fungii at 12:02 AM

January 29, 2004

Toys in the Attic

There's crazy, and then there's really crazy. I would sentence him to eat himself alive.

Mr Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer expert, admits killing and then eating another man three years ago, after placing an advert on the internet.

Posted by Fungii at 11:36 PM

Mischievous Dar Dar

don't you fucking look at me
It's hard not to follow the Dar Heatherington story, it's like something out of Jerry Springer, but funnier. Although I do have some sympathy for her predicament, you have to wonder how much longer she can maintain this facade of the stalking victim. I mean come on, she got nailed red-handed with her abduction story down in Montana, now she expects us to believe her preposterous story of this stalker when all the evidence points to her making this crap up. Even if her lawyer managed to exclude the evidence her husband handed over, the information is already out there, the public knows the story. Yet she still holds her head high and proclaims her innocence. Eek! I would hate to be her. You would think at some point she would see the writing on the wall, cop a plea and cower away from the public eye. But no, her pride won't let her, to do that would mean she would be admitting her guilt, and all the embaressment that goes with it. So every day, she keeps a stiff upper lip, and digs her hole a little deeper. I hope they put her on the stand, I'm sure she would spaz out something fierce. If you've heard her rants at Lethbridge city hall, you know what I'm talking about.

"There was a hysterical woman on the other end (of the phone) and I recognized the voice as being Dar Heatherington and my heart sank to my stomach," James testified.

She's wacky, a few cards short of a deck, off her rocker. I know I shouldn't make fun of her, but hey, she's put herself in this position for the whole world to see. And her husband, I don't know what to make of him. He's stood by her through all this, and yet he's the one handing over evidence to the police! It's like some weird master/slave relationship. That's my theory anyways.

what now, mistress of pain?

"My gut tells me that there is something going on here that she is protecting me from," he told police Sgt. Darcie James on a police tape played for court. "There are changes in our sex life that I hadn't expected. I wonder if she's fooling around," he said.

I wonder if she isn't a complete fucking psycho! Here's a bunch of background stories on the whole sordid affair. I smell a TV movie!

Posted by Fungii at 08:47 PM

January 27, 2004

Mydoom Virus

I've received about 20 of these damn messages. Never opened any of them though. I use Outlook Express but I have the preview pane turned off. If I receive a suspicious email, I usually just look at the message source. You can look at a message's source with OE by right clicking on the email, choose 'properties', click on the 'details' tab and click on the 'message source' button. You get all the headers plus the message in a text format so no insidious html or javascript will be triggered. You can block future emails from these spammeisters by choosing from the menubar 'message->Block sender' but this doesn't seem to be that effective as spammers are constantly changing their email addresses.

Mydoom, which first appeared on Monday afternoon, infects computers using the Microsoft Corporation's Windows operating systems and is spread as an attachment to seemingly harmless e-mail messages that may carry innocuous subject lines like "Hello," and "Mail Transaction Failed." The body of the messages carry one of several plausible-sounding texts, often falling just outside the technical comprehension of the ordinary computer user, including, "The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment."

Here's the Symantec page for this virus.

Posted by Fungii at 06:47 PM

It's freezing!

Current temperature: -33. And they changed the forecast for Thursday; Sunday they said it would be -1 for the high, now they say -18. Bastards!

Posted by Fungii at 08:10 AM

January 26, 2004

Teresa Heinz Kerry

I don't know if her husband would make a good president or not, but I'd vote for her! [not that I could, being Canadian and all]
The Observer | Kerry's gold

And asked whether she would take her husband's name, she shot back: 'Politically, it's going to be Teresa Heinz Kerry, but I don't give a shit, you know? There are other things to worry about.' And she added: 'Swearing is a good way to relieve tension'.


Posted by Fungii at 07:36 PM

Frostbite!

Holy crap, the pinky fingers on each of my hands were totally frozen by the time I got home from work today. I wore my light gloves today, which seemed like the right choice when I rode down in the morning, but coming home it was a different story. I passed a sign that said it was -32, although the TV said it was only -30. When I came in, right away my fingers were just throbbing with pain, but my pinkies were the worst. And the fingertips were all tingly, like when your arm falls asleep and the blood just begins to flow back. Then they swelled up a bit, too, which was kind of a freaky thing to see. They seem better now, still tingling, though. Watch, I'll wake up in the morning and they'll be all black and green and grangreny and I'll have to get them chopped off. That would suck.

This is the hat I wear when it's cold. It's wicked, my ears were nice and toasty all day today. Expensive, I only paid $50 for it a few years ago, now it's $77!

my hat

Posted by Fungii at 06:36 PM

January 25, 2004

Tarantula Forums

One of my blog entries [from February 14, 2003!] has generated quite a few comments, so I thought I'd direct some of these visitors to a few forums they might want to check out.

First, I'll shamelessly recommend my own forum. Sure it's empty, but hey you have to start somewhere! ;)

Probably the best source for tarantula info on the net is the Arachnopets Forum, Arachnoboards. It's very active with novices and experts alike. People are always posting pictures of their T's so you get to see a good variety of the latest and greatest from this amazing hobby.

Another great forum is Spidertalk.net. It's much smaller than Arachnoboards with less traffic, but it's still worth checking out. If you register, they have a mySpiders utility for keeping track of your tarantulas. Here's mine.

There is also the Petbugs forum. The layout isn't as nice as the first two, but it's ok.


Here's all the tarantula sites on my links page. If you know of any other good tarantula resources, just leave a link in the comments. [html is turned off in the comments, but if you leave a raw url like this: http://www.fungii.com it will display as a link]

Posted by Fungii at 01:07 PM

Winter Returns

The weather for January in Calgary has been so nice, usually in the +10 range, overnight lows rarely dipping much below zero. How things have changed, the forecast high for tomorrow is -25, going down to -30 Tuesday night. And snow, tons of ugly, white snow. The streets have been perfectly dry lately, great for riding. Not any more, riding in this snow is going to be hell. The only bright spot is that the high for Thursday is forecast at -1, so this cold snap might not last that long. Then again, they usually change the forecast day by day.

Posted by Fungii at 12:31 PM

January 22, 2004

Gamecube!

cubed
My Nintendo Gamecube came in via UPS a couple nights ago. The last console I owned was a Nintendo SNES, so I'm pretty excited to have a modern console, although I did have access to somebody PS1 for awhile.
zelda
Anyway, the system came with the Zelda collection, which consists of four games [The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Ocarina of Time & Majora's Mask], a demo of The Wind Waker and some little movie clips about the Zelda franchise. I've played the first two a long time ago, finished them both. The last two are totally new to me so it should be fun getting some Zelda action happening after so long. [that didn't come out right...] Unfortunately, the damn thing doesn't even come with a memory card so I was unable to do any serious gaming.

persia, prince of

Yesterday, I rode down to Future Shop to get a memory card and of course, I just had to pick up a game for my new system while I was down there. I decided on the Prince of Persia/Splinter Cell double pack [two games for the price of one]. When I got home, I played a little Ocarina of Time [is that a stupid name or what?], very enjoyable so far. Then I fired up Prince of Persia, intending only to play a couple minutes to check out the gameplay style. An hour later, I was still at it! It's a very cool game, the graphics are very nice, the animation is very fluid, the gameplay is fun and easy to pick up, I love it. Maybe I'm just easily impressed because I haven't played any console games for so long. Splinter Cell seems ok, I was a little thrown off at first because you can't move your character at the very begining of the game. I thought the game was defective! But after you follow the tutorial's instructions and look around, it then allows you to move around. Doh!

sneaky li'l fooker

Posted by Fungii at 07:43 PM

January 18, 2004

Messageboard

My old messageboard wasn't working for ages, it crashed one day with a bad database error and I was never able to get it back up. So I installed the phpBB messageboard software and it seems to be working ok. Check it out if you're bored [ha], although there's nothing there right now as I just installed it. Actually, the last one didn't get much traffic either, but then again it was crap that never worked properly anyhow. Oh, I'm so tired.

Posted by Fungii at 10:14 PM

Harpy Harper

Rick Anderson, of all people, tears a strip off Stephen Harper for his sour kickoff speech. He's got a point, vilifying Paul Martin because he's a successful businessman kind of goes against their free economy platform. And this will probably be the last time I ever agree with Rick Anderson.

Posted by Fungii at 01:52 PM

Resistance is futile

Microsoft wants Mike Rowe to give up his web domain MikeRoweSoft.com because it infringes their copyright. A hit squad will be dispatched later because they don't want their multi-billion dollar company confused with a seventeen year old school kid. Be careful what you name your kids.

Posted by Fungii at 01:36 PM

Cool Pictures

yum, looks tasty
An interesting collection of images from Edward Burtynsky. Oil fields, container ports, quarries, tailings, you know, the good stuff. I wish they were a little larger, but I guess that would suck a lot of bandwidth.

via boingboing

Posted by Fungii at 01:07 PM

January 14, 2004

Baaaaad Day!

My blackberry stopped receiving mail at about 2:00 o'clock this afternoon. The servers at Rogers AT&T must have gone down, again. Missed a shitload of messages. God, I hate that company, most incompetent bastards on the face of this earth. On my way home, my rear tire went flat. That's the fifth flat in the last two weeks. Grrrr! There's so much shit on the roads right now, I think the city actually uses shards of glass on the roads when it snows. Yes, I hate them as well. I have enough hate in me for just about everybody right now.

;)

Posted by Fungii at 06:21 PM

January 13, 2004

My New Bike Frame!

2003 azonic ds1
My new bike frame came in today, a 2003 Azonic DS1. I ordered it from the bikeroom.com, it was a really good deal. I actually ordered the 2002 model, but I guess they were out, so they sent me the newer model for the same price. Score! The only downside is that I was going to use the frame to build a single speed bike, but this frame doesn't have horizontal dropouts like the previous model, so I'll probably just use my old Evolution frame [it has the horizontal dropouts] for the single speed bike and this new one for the multi speed version. No biggie. It's funny, when the UPS guy came with the box, he's like "There's a bike frame in there? Holy shit, is it light!". I think he said it three times. I should have ran after him, screaming "Hey, that box was empty, you bastard!".

Posted by Fungii at 11:14 PM

Windows 98 life-support extended

Microsoft has decided to extend support for Windows 98 to June 30, 2006. Cool, I'm still running this OS. Or should I say POS. Ha. It's not that I think it's such a great OS, it's just that I'm lazy. I'll switch in 2006. Maybe.

Posted by Fungii at 10:00 PM

Waking up from the American dream

I finished MP2! Cool game, pretty damn short though.

Posted by Fungii at 02:02 AM

January 11, 2004

Max Payne 2

max payne 2
I've been playing this game a bit lately, it's not bad, very much like the first one. Maybe even easier, or maybe it just seems that way because I'm familiar with the gameplay. I'm almost finished I think, I'm on Chapter Three: Mission Seven. The thing is, I died and when I tried to reload, the game crashed! I've tried loading different saved games, but they all make the game crash during the loading process. Looks like I'll have to reinstall the whole game just to finish it. Shit.

Tried the patch, it worked, yea!

3DRealms Max Payne 2 forums

Posted by Fungii at 07:38 PM

January 10, 2004

Quantum Dots and Programmable Matter

O'Reilly Network: Quantum Dots and Programmable Matter

Sounds pretty amazing, if they can find a way to make it work. I think I saw something awhile back very similar to this where a substance would be liquid under normal conditions and turn to a solid when an electric current was applied. Forgot what it's application was, something to do with automobiles... Here it is - phase-changing substances and the application was shock absorbers.

The 2001 Wired article Ultimate Alchemy is very interesting as well.

Posted by Fungii at 07:41 PM

Earache, my eye!

A massive chinook rolled in yesterday, with a high of 7 for today. It was really nice out, like summer! Yesterday, at work, I started to get a headache, because of the chinook I guess. By the time I got off work, my head was really pounding. So I took some Tylenol and it seemed to be gone, but when I woke up this morning it was back big time. Took more Tylenol, went back to sleep. I think it's over now. I hate that.

Posted by Fungii at 05:31 PM

January 09, 2004

Moonbase: Alpha

moon image
It's believed US president Bush is set to announce a bold new manned space exploration initiative next week involving building a base on the moon and eventually going on to Mars. I'm not a big fan of Bush, but man, this would be so fucking cool. I actually saw the first landing on the moon [yes, I'm that old!] and it was such a great moment in history, very memorable, it felt like all of mankind was united for that one day, that one moment. Everything afterwards has been a bit of a disappointment. Sure, there were the shuttles, the space stations, the probes to the outer planets and of course the robotic missions to Mars, but nothing has equalled that amazing feeling of having another human being set foot on another heavenly body for the first time. Now, that was cool!

Artist's conception of a human mission to Mars

Of course, the senior Bush proposed the same kind of thing way back in 1989 and nothing came of it. I really really hope it has more legs this time around. [Maybe the success of the Chinese space program will nudge them along] If the Democrats would also get behind this, maybe they could make it a bi-partisan effort. Or maybe they could get other countries to contribute to defray the cost. [I know, it could cause more problems than it solves doing it that way, just look at the space station]

They should keep this effort seperate from the rest of NASA so monies dedicated to this project actually go there rather than getting sidetracked into other things, like the shuttle, ISS etc... It needs to be carefully planned and stable funding to implement that plan, not butchered via constant cutbacks and redesigns ala ISS. I hate to say this, but WTG Bush!

Some of the things that had been under consideration were a proposal for a permanent presence on the moon, setting a target for retiring the shuttle fleet, and a plan to phase out the international space station.

Plan to phase out the ISS? Hell, aren't they still in the process of building the damn thing? What a waste. I hope this new moonbase is a little more permanent. Retire the shuttles? Good idea, they're past their prime and overly expensive.

NASA's target for a moon mission is 2018, an official said.

Fourteen years? A bit of a long wait, but if that's when they'd begin to build the moonbase, then it would be worth the wait. We would probably have some pretty cool rocket technology by then.

Ok, this article says 2013 for the first landings.

Ten Reasons to Put Humans Back on the Moon
Moon info
More moon info
NY Times column

Posted by Fungii at 07:35 PM

January 08, 2004

Mmmmm dioxins

Farm-raised salmon contain higher levels of potentially cancer-causing pollutants and dioxins than wild salmon, but that doesn't mean they aren't safe to eat.
Really.

Posted by Fungii at 10:01 PM

Woe is me

My wrist was still sore and swollen this morning so I wore a tensor band on it during work. It actually felt much better at the end of the day. On the way home, my front tire began to lose air, though. Damn, a flat tire! That meant I had to install a new tube. It's my right wrist that's screwed, too. Well, I just finished fixing it and my wrist feels ok still so hopefully I didn't re-injure it torquing the tire off the rim. The bead on the narrow slick is really damn tight on those wide rims as well. I guess I'll know in a couple hours when my wrist begins to swell up like a turnip. [or not!]

Posted by Fungii at 09:26 PM

Wiped Out

I hit a piece of ice today at work while riding my bike and wiped out. It seemed like nothing and I finished my day no problem, but when I got home, my wrist felt wonky. Kinda swollen. So now I have it all wrapped up and hopefully it'll be fine in the morning. It better be. :(

Posted by Fungii at 12:09 AM

January 06, 2004

Pictures of Home

spirit's first colour picture on Mars

This is the first colour picture Spirit has taken on the surface of Mars. The full picture is 8 megabytes. [wow, there's a lot of little rocks on Mars!] It was available at the rovers homepage but it looks like they've taken it down because of bandwidth suckage. Apparently, they've had nearly one billion hits since Saturday, totalling nearly 15 terabytes of data. Putting 'Paris Hilton' in their meta tags has really paid off! The rover won't get out onto the surface until next week at the earliest so we probably won't see anything new till then. Tho the mast camera should have a complete panorama shot for tomorrow. I wish they had a microphone on the rover. I know it would only capture the sound of the wind howling [or not] but it would be cool to have sound to go with the pictures. Yeah, I'm weird.
Mars Rovers Home
PBS' Nova Mars Special
SpaceFlight Now: Landing of Spirit
Space.com Red Planet Rovers
Space-Graphics

Posted by Fungii at 11:27 PM

January 05, 2004

Cheering the Losers

I'm beginning to hate sports, every team I root for has lost lately. First the Flames lose to the Canucks on Saturday, 3-1. They haven't looked too good their last few games, plus they lost their best goalie to an injury. Then on Sunday, the Seahawks lost a nailbiter to the Packers in overtime on an interception. It was a good game but I felt bad for Hasselbeck. After winning the coin toss going into overtime, he chose to receive the ball, adding "and we're gonna score!". Unfortunately, his prediction never came to pass. Oh well, better luck next year guys. And today, at the World Juniors Hockey Championships, it was the USA against Canada. We were up 3-1 in the third period, but the US faught back to tie it. Marc-Andre Fleury [Canada's goalie] then tried to clear the puck, but it bounced off his own player right back into the net! What a way to lose the tournament. Maybe I should bet against the teams I cheer for, like Pete Rose.

OK, the Flames are up 5-0 over the Rangers in the third, so I guess there's still hope for them. ;)

Posted by Fungii at 07:20 PM

January 04, 2004

We're not Americans, dammit

This news item in an Australian newspaper shows the cover of the Calgary Sun [I think!] and refers to it as a 'US newspaper'. Hello? The cover's headline says 'U.S. border ban stays'. Do you really think they would need to specify a US ban in an American newspaper? Or that they would refer to themselves as 'Yanks'? [Yanks won't lift mad cow blocade]

Posted by Fungii at 11:59 AM

Spirit lands on Mars A-OK

Looks like NASA's Spirit Rover has landed on Mars as planned. Finally, one of the Mars missions has been successful. Maybe it could head over to the Beagle2 and give him a jump.

thats the spirit

Posted by Fungii at 12:13 AM

January 03, 2004

Trying out for Jackass 2?

Steve Irwin, aka the crocodile hunter, makes an early bid for idiot of the year.

Ive got a juicy morsel for you here, mate

"Steve is very upset he would be compared to Michael Jackson in any way, just as any dad would be," he said.

Posted by Fungii at 08:13 AM

January 01, 2004

NY Post article on Take2

this is evil, dont look
What a nasty article in the NY Post about Take2, publishers of the Grand Theft Auto series. Never mind that Take2's problems with the SEC are totally seperate from whatever games it publishes. Also, if Take2 went down, I would think the actual creators of the game, Rockstar Games, would have no problems finding a new publisher, seeing how successful the GTA franchise has been. And this author needs to familiarize himself with the concept of 'freedom of speech', like you know, you don't like it, don't buy it. And GTA wasn't created in a vaccum, there are other games [Postal 2 comes to mind] that are just as bad, not even considering other media, say movies. [Natural Born Killers]

People, this is insane. This is 10,000 times worse than the worst thing anybody thinks Michael Jackson ever did to a little boy - or than any lie the feds think Martha Stewart ever told them, or any line in any song that Bruce Springsteen ever sang that rankled a cop in the Meadowlands. And trust me when I tell you, Mr. Mayor, what Take-Two Interactive is blowing into your face every day is a whole lot worse than second-hand cigarette smoke.

Ah yes, dying of cancer from second hand smoke is so much more acceptable than an offensive video game. We have our prorities in order, don't we?

Wired says some Haitian civil rights group is sueing everybody involved with GTA:Vice City because it has the line "kill the Haitians" in it. This is a little more understandable, kinda stupid thing to put in a game. Even tho they meant the drug gang called the Haitians, you have to wonder what the hell they were thinking when they put that in there.

There was a mention of the NY Post article on Penny Arcade.

To begin, I have seen articles of greater erudition float to the top of my Alpha-Bits.

The next game in this series looks to be GTA4:Sin City to be released November 5, 2004. Ok, no more GTA stuff, I've never even played the damn game. But I've heard it's fun.

Posted by Fungii at 10:33 PM

Happy New Year!

There, I said it. I hope 2004 is better than 2003, which kinda sucked.

Anyway, here's a good article about the nature of time. I've heard of most of the stuff he talks about but it's interesting reading about it all in one place.

Today's scientists seeking to combine quantum mechanics with Einstein's theory of gravity (the general theory of relativity) are convinced that we are on the verge of another major upheaval, one that will pinpoint the more elemental concepts from which time and space emerge. Many believe this will involve a radically new formulation of natural law in which scientists will be compelled to trade the space-time matrix within which they have worked for centuries for a more basic "realm" that is itself devoid of time and space.

I wonder if they'll ever understand time itself well enough to do anything practical, like a time machine to the future, or if it will all just be observational. Time will tell. [ha, sorry I couldn't resist]

And he uses the word evanescence which I thought was just the name of a band. Doh!

To dissipate or disappear like vapor.

Google looks funny today.

it's all googly

Posted by Fungii at 11:17 AM