Friday, February 10, 2006

Email: Hopalong calendar [CH]

The Aztec calendar was more accurate than the Gregorian calendar.

Sure, if I had time last week, this would have been a fun subject to pursue... Xochimilco, Batman!

Email: Netflix Support

(One of my peeves, I have learned over the years, is that you always have to ask any tech support question three times before it's finally answered. Here is my third go with Netflix, repeating the same words as clearly as below.)

Thank you however I understand all that.

For the third time: What is the limit of discs in each queue under each plan? (Under 1-out, mine seems to be 500, but friends have 3-out and more than 600 in their queues.)

Specific queue size limits, plan for plan...?

Press: EPA warns of dangerous levels of romance in air - The Onion

EPA Warns Of Dangerous Levels Of Romance In Air | The Onion - America's Finest News Source: "WASHINGTON, DC—Responding to a dramatic increase in cases of starry-eyed gazing and spontaneous poetry, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a general health warning Tuesday for hazardous levels of atmospheric romance across the entire North American continent.

'Early indications of romantic exposure include a flushing of the skin around the face, neck, and chest, accelerated heartbeat, rapid eyelash batting, and sighs,' EPA administrator Steven Johnson said at a morning press conference. 'Left untreated, the ailment progresses rapidly, leading to aimless strolls, floral purchases, and a form of acute and regressive aphasia in which the victim's speech degenerates into that of a young child.'"

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Words: passel [MW]

Pronunciation: 'pa-s&l
Function: noun
Etymology: alteration of parcel
: a large number or amount

Websites: Yourmusic

Yourmusic is a site that offers a limited selection of popular music CDs for $5.99 each (free shipping). You sign up, build a queue of music you want, then (like Netflix) receive one disc from the top of your queue per month. You can buy more, but prices remain $5.99 per disc.

There's more contemporary pop music than "oldies" artists. There's no Rascal Flatts but a passle of Elton John; a little Dan Fogelberg and Kathy Mattea but lots of Mariah Carey and Black Eyed Peas. Check out -- I found it through MyPoints -- you'll find music you want at a price you'll like!

Musings: Passion vs. extremism

Think about what differentiates having a passion (lifelong learning, youth education and mentoring, culture and the fine or folk arts, etc.) from being an extremist (radical Republican, Democrat, Christian, Islamist, etc.). It may mean the difference between focusing on the positive and focusing on the negative, from being proactionary to being reactionary. On the one hand, a person of passion preserves intact his or her respect for others; on the other hand, a person of extremism has literally "gone off the deep end" and loses all perspective for objectivity and, usually, intellectual and emotional honesty.

Think about why people marginalize themselves as they gradually interpret the world in ever-widening chasms of this vs. that and us vs. them. Perhaps it happens mostly for reasons of fear or bitterness. I say, Choose hope in every case instead. Hope really does make a difference.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Typos: Amercian

Amercian (American) oil company. (A geomarine web site.)

(I've heard of America and Mercia; is Amercia somewhere off the Azores?)

Typos: beff

Beff (beef) steak. (Fiesta meat counter.)

Musings: Which is bigger, you or the situation?

In the interest of growing in selflessness and in service to one's fellow humans, the Catholic Church and other conservative Christians quote the Bible to say that "I [the self] must grow lesser, so that he [Christ] may grow greater" -- and this is true, as far as it goes. Yet Christian beliefs become overspiritualized and spread too thinly when they are considered apart from their roots in Judaism and in human life itself.

A faith-based emphasis on sacrifice and service is meant to counter the natural human tendency to be selfish. However, applying these principles stringently to persons who are already largely religious or moral becomes akin to whitewashing a mime. The holier-than-thou crowd actually forgets what it's like to be "mere fallible mortals" (because they have no real wish to be). These more conservative believers see themselves as God's pedagogues to humanity's children, who need to be alternately patronized and castigated for their brutish behavior.

Moreover, turning the other cheek and playing the patsy will pointedly earn you failure in the professional and in most public and private spheres -- proof further that Judeo-Christian morality is a compass to guide one's steps, not to be confused with a map that predetermines them. We all bear God's imprint in our personality, our imagination, and our will. It is God's will that we learn to cooperate with him and with those who do likewise, not abandon our will or initiative wholesale.

If we look around us, those persons who are doing an excellent job at practicing their humanity as well as exercising their divinity are the ones who are doing well. God doesn't want us to be a nothing, a cipher, or an automaton merely programmed to enact his bidding -- if for no other reason than this: Without seizing personal responsibility for discerning and choosing what God's will is for one's own life, a person is going to end up accepting someone else's interpretation of what God's will is.

Besides, look to any saint or martyr: Their person and will may grow lesser in relation to the growth of God's person within, but they themselves are growing even as God within them is growing. Christ is using algebra in that scripture, not simple math. Clearly any faith-filled witness who faces a trial even unto death is not becoming lesser or asymptotically approaching zero; he or she is hyperbolically soaring towards a celestial infinity of confidence in Christ. Without God, yes, we diminish; but once our reality is symbiotically linked to God's own life -- with God, yes, we grow greater than even the situations that formerly confined us.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

News: Rolling Stones signed off on Super[bowl] censoring

"But during “Start Me Up,” the line “you make a dead man come” was cut short, and a barnyard reference to “cocks” in the new song “Rough Justice” also disappeared.

“The Rolling Stones were aware of our plan, which was to simply lower the volume on his microphone at those two appropriate moments,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Reuters. “We had agreed to that plan earlier in the week. The Stones were aware of it and they were fine with it.”"

(No wonder the performance was so muffled and inaudible.)

Proverbs: Editors are a necessary evil

(Thanks to NA for the lead-in. Disclaimer: Use of the word evil here is only in the sense of a benevolent dictator at worst.)

Puns: A settled Colleen

From time to time, I'll post here some pun-chline that may seem clever (to the sufficiently deformed mind) but for which I don't have time or interest in concocting the setup. (Feel free to write your own backstory.) Here's the first egregious assault on the English language:

A settled Colleen is to raise (acetylcholinesterase).

Weblogs: Cardboard hull plating

(Check out Roboshrub Inc. and one of their latest "inventions": Cardboard Hull Plating)

"Cardboard Hull Plating is meant solely for use by trained burly sea captains. Misuse of hull plating results in rash, fireburns, uncontrollable falling down syndrome (UFDS), and nutrient deficiency. Roboshrub Inc. cannot be held liable for cargo lost to iceberg or pirate related incidents. Do not use near open flames."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Websites: Peerflix

Although it's more complex than it needs to be, Peerflix is a cool riff on Netflix:

1. You list DVDs you have but no longer want.
2. Someone else's wish list tags you for a dibs.
3. You agree, print a Peerflix mailer, fold and tape it as instructed around the DVD, affix a stamp and mail it.
4. You immediately get Peerbux (1 to 3, depending on the DVD's popularity), which lets the system request dibs for DVDs on your wish list.
5. You get your first trade free, then buy trade credits (99 cents each, one per trade).

Voila! So far I've given away Three Teenage Ninjas, Rumble in the Bronx, and Reservoir Dogs to receive My Big Fat Greek Wedding and The Human Stain. Now if someone would dibs my Jackie Chan's First Strike, I could get The Matrix Revolutions, The Last Samurai or Sideways. You can get Star Wars, Madagascar, almost anything you want; I even have a few obscure art films in my wish list, and prospects look good for getting a dibs soon.

Check out Peerflix! I found it through MyPoints.