August 10th, 2007

Zen swimmer bunny closeup

The Universal Right to Snuggle

Well, this should be painful, and fun.. two hours of an interview to transcribe. Anyone who's transcribed a three minute voice post knows even that takes a bit of time.. still, it'll help contribute to animation history, in this case, Bob Clampett. ^_^

Prize /. comment on the Ginko affair (yep, they're toast):
Ginko also isn't a "bank" in the usual term of the word; it's not regulated or insured in any way and isn't impacted by any of the legal requirements of real world financial institutions. Quite frankly; you're an idiot if you trust them with your money.

So they're the Second Life version of PayPal?

Quite a neat idea: Millions of Us is lending land to people with good ideas for SL projects. "What you get: an appropriately sized land parcel at absolutely no cost to you for a 3 month term, renewable at our discretion for up to 12 months.Typically we expect each parcel will be approximately 4000 square meters. But if your idea needs 10,000 square meters, we're still willing to consider the idea. Don’t be afraid to think boldly. We love vision and boldness."

Something of a surprise: a presidential candidate debate (continued here) with a focus on GLBT issues, courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign and Logo TV; all the candidates were invited, but no Republicans chose to participate. The format was designed to ensure the questions were answered, not merely a platform for soundbites or stump speeches; the questions posed were gratifying diverse, extending to matters such as immigration for partners, and employment law with regard to transsexuality. The forum's main site is Visible Vote '08. Overall, no huge surprises, other than a claim by Richardson that being gay was a choice. Only Kucinich and Gravel could simply state that full equality was the way to go. Obama and Edwards made positive noises towards civil unions, whilst Clinton was full of nuance - even after the debate, it wasn't clear whether she wants DOMA repealed, or merely modified. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" seems to be out of favor with all.

While looking through Craigslist for potential employers, I came across one mentioning "high volume, low cost medical products", and went to check out what they actually did - I'm not sure I'd be entirely comfortable designing life-critical systems, though I do have a habit of giving QA very little to report back on. =:) And lo, their main product is a home gadget for laser hair removal! The technique's long been available commercially, but using highly expensive setups, high royalties, and probably quite comfortable profit margins, making for treatments at around $100-200 per "area" (eg one upper arm), with a few passes required for completion, as about a quarter of one's follicles are dormant at any given time, and thus unaffected. Still not exactly a casual purchase, but at £695 (currently only available within the EU and Japan), not too bad, especially if the cost were shared by friends.

There's a superb Python homage here, in response to Six Apart's explicit approval of pro-anorexia groups.

Could be good, if this leads to more of their works being posted, even if there's already way too much advertising around - seems the BBC is set to add ads to online video for people connecting from outside the UK. "So far the company has only said it will add the advertising to its news, but other programmes are likely to follow."

Via patch_bunny: "Do you, a Catholic, come out of Church each week wanting more great communion wafers? Or, are you a Jew or an Islam who just wants to try that great wafer taste?"

CBS News does the How Those Kids Speak thing, and attempts to relate slang terms for recreational pharmaceuticals, with amusing results. Sadly, no mention of Cake. =:) 'Yahoo for coke. I could be wrong on this one - maybe kids call weed "Lycos" and speed "Hotmail." But I doubt it.'

Two gems from the cutest erstwhile master of comic and book writing, Neil Gaiman:
Dear Neil,
Did you know that they made up a new law in China that prohibits the Dalai Lama, among other people, from reincarnating?

That trick never works.

And finally, this article haunts me:

It's not that the squirrel sneaks into the shop and steals Kinder Eggs and eats the chocolate. It's that it goes off with the toys inside the egg afterwards. I have visions of the neighborhood squirrels industriously assembling their Happy Hippo Star Wars figurines... But why? Dear God, why?

mycroftb spotted a truly classic Dinosaur Comics on the nature of fetishes. =:D

I've not been at all interested in the recently introduced voice feature of the SL client, but this software would make the prospect much more appealing, if it weren't Windows-only. MorphVOX is a voice changer, with a pile of voice styles available, covering different pitches and styles, from wood nymph to bad tempered dwarf, robot or fox. (Yes, there's a furry pack available) The free version's strictly limited, though - no loading of voicepacks, choosing between male, female, and "tiny folks". (It'll work with any other voice-based application, too, such as Skype =:)

If you ever see this album, please share it with us. ^_^ "My friend found this at a thrift store. Unfortunately, the album was not inside, which is a shame because purportedly, these kittens actually play the harmonica as well as a small five piece band."

The ongoing credit restructuring in the US will proceed awhile. The degree of its effects remains to be seen.

If you've ever had a really bad boss, you might want to enter My Bad Boss, to win a week's break far away from them. How bad can it be? Firedoglake offers some examples, including the boss who hired a waitress' stalker, and one who called an employee's ob/gyn surgery to find out why she was there.

While reading of the latest Republican sexual hijinks (Young Republican leader in Indiana sucks off another guy while he's asleep, leading to the filing of sexual assault charges. Seems he did the exact same thing in 1998, as well), I noticed a superb example of irony:
Perhaps the most famous case study in the failure of reparative therapy is that of two founders of Exodus International, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, who helped start Exodus in 1976 and worked to "convert" gay people for three years, until they fell in love and left Exodus in 1979. In 1982, they held a marriage ceremony and lived together until Cooper died nine years later.

"The desires never go away," Bussee said. "After dealing with hundreds of people, I have not met one who went from gay to straight. Even if you manage to alter someone's sexual behavior, you cannot change their true sexual orientation."

By way of a refreshing contrast, here's a sane Republican, who's just become a founding member of Equality South Dakota:
The fact is homosexuality baffles me, particularly when looking at the most fundamental physical aspect: an attraction to certain body parts and certain sex practices. I can’t understand why some guy would be mesmerized by my equipment, and want to do that with it, when he has the same equipment himself.

Wait a minute. I don’t understand heterosexuality any better. Over the years I have become accustomed to the thought that a guy would naturally be sexually attracted to a woman, particularly certain body parts. (I write from the perspective of a guy, as it is the only perspective I have.) Moreover, a guy might relish the thought of doing that. But why?

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell

foofers: "Have you seen how the power light on late-model Mac computers "throbs" while the system is sleeping? Passed by an Apple store late last night. Never knew that the logos on the building do the same thing when they’re closed. (Really.)" This makes me happy. =:D