Friday, December 30, 2005

iForgive Me iFather, For i Have iSinned

Pope Benedict XVI, standing on the spot where he first appeared as the newly-elected pontiff last spring, warned in his first Christmas Day message against technological advances made in the absence of religious belief. "Today we can marshal vast material resources," he said, addressing thousands of people in a rainy St. Peter's Square. "But the men and women in our technological age risk becoming victims of their own intellectual and technical achievements, ending up in spiritual barrenness and emptiness of heart. "Yet without the light of Christ, the light of reason is not sufficient to enlighten humanity and the world."

Now...having said that...I come across the following article:

28 December 2005
By Vanessa Allen

VICARS are putting sermons on the internet so worshippers can play them on their iPods.

Religious leaders believe the hi-tech approach will help those such as the elderly and infirm who can't get to church but also reach out to the young.
Users subscribe to an internet service allowing them to download on to their iPod, a system known as podcasting.

Rev Shannon Ledbetter said: "For the elderly and housebound this is fantastic, all you need to do is fix them up with an iPod and they're good to go.

"For the young also, there is so much information there, which can help to answer their questions about their faith."

Rev Ledbetter, 43, of St Mary's church, Knowsley, Merseyside, added: "This will bring church numbers up, because people who tune in to the podcasts will want to experience the full spectrum of worship." Steve Evans, of Bridge Chapel Christian church in Liverpool, said: "Large numbers of new people are coming down and joining simply because of the downloads and podcasts.

"All our congregation has to do is subscribe to the service and every time they plug their mp3 player in, the updates will automatically be transferred."

God help us, every one. It's bad enough with this whole Attack of the iPod People thing we have going, but combine the fanatical devotion to iTech with...well, with fanaticism and what do you have?

The Bush Administration. But we knew that already.

BTW: LOVE the title of that article. iGod. Hah!

Time Oh Give Me Time

Attention passengers: the world is slowly coming to a halt. Please put your trays in the upright position and prepare to disembark.


On Saturday, at exactly 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, one second will be added to our official record of time — Coordinated Universal Time, kept by a series of atomic clocks, housed in environmentally sealed vaults in about 80 timekeeping laboratories around the world and certified by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris.

The reason for the extra second is simple: The earth is slowing down. Since the days of Sir Isaac Newton, scientists have understood the time it takes for the earth to make a full rotation is getting longer. The gradual deceleration is caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. The same force that brings the tides is putting the brakes on the earth, albeit very slowly.

And because time is a function of planetary movement, our days are getting longer and, depending on how you look at it, time is slowing down.

So when you show up late for work on Monday, you now have a valid excuse. It isn't your fault, you're just trying to keep pace with the rest of the world.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Music to Go. Really To Go.

You think your iPod represents the ultimate in music portability? Feast your eyes, true believers, on this special little system:

This is the first luggage with a built-in music system that provides the clear, robust sound of a home stereo. The luggage contains two embedded 3" stereo speakers, an amplifier, and a 4" integral subwoofer for deep, powerful sound with almost no loss of packing space. A connection jack accommodates an iPod or any sound device with a headphone jack. The luggage also includes a jack that allows you to add your own microphone, transforming the suitcase into a public address system for presentations. Sound controls are protected by a cover, and the handle is sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum that extends or retracts at the touch of a button.

It's luggage.

With a built-in stereo speaker system.

Now...I need someone to explain this to me. Because I'm obviously very dense, and not quite understanding something.

What in the hell would I use this for?! Is it for those many, many moments when - frustrated at airport delays and forced to spend too much time and money at the terminal bar - I suddenly have the drunken urge to break out into a karaoke rendition Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me"? I'll be the belle of the airport terminal! "Can I get a shout out from all the peeps from Omaha? Woot!"

Seriously people, someone sat down and thought to themselves "you know, I love my luggage but something is missing..." Speakers. In your luggage.

Don't they tell you to AVOID putting expensive electronics inside your check-in luggage, to prevent damage and/or theft? Does this still apply if your luggage IS the expensive electronic equipment?

I can imagine you trying to get this through customs at the airport. "No really, officer, it's a stereo system. " It's like you're Ben Kenobi, trying to get past the stormtroopers using the Force. "These are not the bombs you're looking for." Those gestapo at JFK International will tear this thing to shreds, offer you up a shrug in lieu of a mea culpa, then forget they ever saw you.

But the luggage handlers will love you for it. After all, now they have a place to plug their iPods into. Party on!

Papa, How Could You?

Yessiree, I had me a big ol' hankering for a slice o' pie. Pizza pie, that is.

If you haven't cottened to it yet, Papa John's has this neat online ordering feature where you just log in, all your info is already there (once you've used it once), and bam! you can place your pie order for delivery in 30 minutes.

Except...I had a coupon. $14.99 large 2 topping & an order of Papa's Wings. Mmmm, love me some Papa's Wings. So I try to order. Price? $22. Wait a minute now, Papa...I gots me a coupon, remember!

Except...there ain't no place to put a coupon! Or is there? "Promotional code"...sounds like ah found mah thrill (dum-da-dum-dumdumdum).

Enter Promotional Code: ?!?!?!?

Papa...there AIN'T no promotional code on your coupons, you lyin' sumbitch! I can either pay full price, or *gasp* PICK UP THE PHONE!! How could you do this to me?!

Not that it mattered. I only had 15 bucks in my wallet anyway. Damn.

Chinese, anyone?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Streets of New York

I firmly believe that the next great reality television show (and I say that, tongue in cheek) should be Homeless in New York. Forget Borneo, Oahu, Fiji...make those contestants spend a few weeks on the streets of New York City. In February. If for no other reason, I'd tune in just to watch them interact with the real homeless; THERE'S where the real entertainment is.

Case in point: today's episode of The Subway System. As I walk down the steps there's a man (and yes Virginia, he WAS a paler shade of grey) very nicely going out of his way to hand a dollar to a homeless man (who was, to further our stereotype, quite a bit darker than your average, um, well you get the point). I can appreciate the effort made by our erstwhile do-gooder, except that said homeless man was sitting smack dab on the middle of the staircase eating a hearty meal. And said good samaritan was on the opposite side, leaning over the divider to cut off people walking DOWN the stairs onto the platform. Jackass.

But I digress.As I stood there, with the D train sitting in the platform and the doors open, our Raggedy Andy suddenly started waxing poetic at some poor schlub on the train. Such poetry! "You oreo cookie cutter, fake black man!" "You ain't a real black man, you a house nigguh!" "Do you even know what it is to be black?"And on, and on.

Of course, in what I personally believe to be an act of cruelty, the train chose then to sit in the platform indefinitely while the mystery man inside the car endured this diatribe. I could only imagine the snickering taking place behind his back as they all stood, shoulder to shoulder packed inside the car. Really, what could the poor fool do? Insult the homeless guy? Defend his "blackness"? Beat the old man senseless for insulting him? It's a total no-win situation, made worse by being trapped on the train with no place to go.

Come on, tell me this wouldn't have made great tv!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dick Tracy, Eat Your Heart Out

This being my first official Droppings post, I should probably write something of great import. Or at least something humorous. Point out where this blog is supposed to go, and wax philosophical with you.

But then I saw this, and this was just waaayyyyy too cool for school.

It's a digital watch, cell phone with wireless earpiece, and a detachable digital camera. If this thing has a web browser, I swear I'll wet myself.

It's such a flashback to the 80s, isn't it? The days when Nerds (tm) roamed wild in the prehistoric internet, flashing their calculator watches like shields against the world.

It's clunky as all hell. It's kitschy. It screams "geek" with every silicon blip. I'd get bored with it within a month, tops.

And yeah, I want one. Like, major jonesy want one.

Oh shut up. You know you want one too.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Maybe It's For "Josie and the Hello Kitties"?

I found this new Fender Stratocaster lying around the web.

Stef - when you start up your girl band, this is a MUST HAVE. Cuz nuthin' says "Hot Chick" like a Hello Kitty Stratocaster!

And yes, Virginia, there is a Bass as well.

Seriously. I don't think even a Puffy AmiYumi knockoff band could make this guitar look cool.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

How I Learned To Love The Bomb

Here's a cheery thought that popped into my head this afternoon, when considering the idea of whether or not hydrogen fuel cells will be a viable alternative to the combustible engine:

Wasn't the Hindenburg* filled with hydrogen?

* Fun Fact: The fire that destroyed the Hindenburg back in 1937 wasn't caused by hydrogen. NASA scientists (because they obviously had nothing else to spend those billions on) have found that the Hindenburg's outer shell was coated with a compound similar to what is now used in solid rocket fuel. Solid. Rocket. Fuel. When the ship docked, an electrical charge ignited the coating. Boom.

I mean, it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to realize that surrounding a highly combustible fuel in a shell made from a highly combustible material is pretty stupid. this case...maybe it did take a rocket scientist. Or one of those guys from Jackass: The Movie.