Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.
network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...
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no. we're not that kgb.
The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!
"No religious Test shall ever be required as a
Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the
Article VI, U.S. Constitution
Geek of the Week, 7/16/2000
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Saturday, July 26, 2003
It's a little known fact...
That composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's favorite tune is "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini". In fact, if you listen closely to the title song from The Phantom of the Opera, you'll discover the melody is, in fact, a minor chord paraphrase of the 60s hit. Webber liked it so much he produced another version of the pop ditty that hit Number 1 on the UK charts in 1990.
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Lies, damned lies, and statistics:
"The following statistics come from the Centers for Disease Control website: On a daily basis, on average, 10 Americans die by drowning, and nine Americans die by fire in their homes. 14 Americans die by pedestrian accidents. 27 Americans die in falls. On average, 50 Americans a day are murdered. 118 die in auto accidents, and 25 people die from A.I.D.S. every day, on average. Yesterday, two Americans died in battle in Iraq."-Rush Limbaugh
"There are about 145,000 Americans in Iraq, and about 290,000,000 in the US. Thus 2 deaths a day among those in Iraq is the same rate as 4,000 deaths a day in the US as a whole."-William C. Waterhouse
Monday, July 21, 2003
Walter M. "Matt" Jeffries died today. He was 82.
A freelance aviation illustrator who drifted into the motion picture business, Jeffries designed the U.S.S. Enterprise for the original Star Trek series.
Jeffries had flown in World War II, and his aviation background was the main reason the head of the art department at MGM assigned him to work on the pilot episode of the science fiction series. As luck would have it, the producer of the show- Gene Roddenberry- had also flown B17s during the war. The two began an association that would result in the creation of a ship design that's instantly recognizable everywhere in the world.
Jeffries received only rudimentary guidance from Roddenberry, whose instructions were, simply: "no flames, no fins, no rockets. Make it look like it has power."
In addition to the external shape of the fictional starship, Jeffries also devised the bridge of the Enterprise. Its circular layout has been copied by business and the military for various operations centers, but its construction was actually dictated by the demands of series television. Composed of movable pie-shaped wedges, the arrangement allowed sections of the bridge to be pulled out to permit room for cameras and other equipment.
Unlike many art directors, whose contributions are mostly unrecognized outside the trade, Jeffries attained a sort of immortality. A crawlspace he designed for an episode of the original series was dubbed a "Jeffries Tube" by the cast and crew. The name stuck, and every Federation starship in every Star Trek television series, motion picture or novel has one of the eponymous passageways.
Jeffries' fame as a starship designer is similar to the late DeForest Kelley's success as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. Kelley originally wanted to become a doctor, but couldn't afford medical school. He noted in a 1982 interview with Allan Asherman that "I'd wanted to be a physician and couldn't - and yet became the most well-known doctor in the galaxy."
Similary, Jeffries wanted to design aircraft and couldn't - and yet will be remembered as the man who built the most well-known starship in history.
Captain Kirk braves a Jeffries Tube
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The firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address is now something other than email@example.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used firstname.lastname@example.org as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that email@example.com was no longer firstname.lastname@example.org but rather email@example.com which is longer than firstname.lastname@example.org and more letters to type than email@example.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than firstname.lastname@example.org but actually just as functional as email@example.com? I sent e-mails from the firstname.lastname@example.org address to just about everybody I knew who had used email@example.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the firstname.lastname@example.org change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which email@example.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for firstname.lastname@example.org would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that email@example.com no longer is the firstname.lastname@example.org they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. email@example.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...
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