Bitter Pills

As reported on Consumerist: Vitamin company Nature's Plus has been running a campaign against Senator Dick Durbin, who proposed that warnings of harmful side-effects be required on vitamin labels. Sounds reasonable to me - would have been nice if the companies themselves took this initiative years ago, of course...

Anyway, the company's riposte? "GET A TURBAN FOR DURBIN! KEEP CONGRESSIONAL TERRORISTS AT BAY". To quote Consumerist, "It’s hard to decide what’s more disturbing: The fact that there are still people in our country who think that all turban-wearing peoples should be associated with terrorism (and not the right-thinking association, ‘driving a taxi’) or that Nature’s Plus would rather mail this repugnant, slapdash hate-mongering prattle rather than admit that sometimes chemicals have side-effect." Yeah, they're both pretty bad (and yes, I noticed that taxi joke in there, too...), but I would probably give the latter the edge - saying that a congressman who calls for warning labels on stuff is a "terrorist" is a bit over the top, don't you think? The only time it may have been appropriate was when Representative Ted Kaczynski called for coffee cups to include the warning "Caution: Contents May Be Hot!" But that still had nothing to do with the warning labels. I'll shut up now...



Does He Take IOU's?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump is suing the New York Times and some author for five billion dollars. In case you were curious, that's "$2.5 billion in compensatory damages and $2.5 billion in punitive damages".

In related news, he is suing a manager of a movie theater in Kip's Bay for $19 gazillion for using his trademark - "You're Fired".



Palestinian Elections

As of this writing, the terrorist group Hamas appears to be gaining in the Palestinian elections. Part of me is, of course, freaking out about this. Part of me, though, is somewhat relieved. One of the biggest questions over the past five years of hell in Israel has been what "the Palestinian on the street" thinks. Are the terrorists fringe lunatics with little popular support, or do they represent mainstream Palestinian thinking? As long as there was no answer to this question, there was no clear path for Israel to take, one way or the other. If Hamas, which calls for the complete destruction of Israel, wins as big as it seems, though, it should be pretty clear what exactly the Palestinian on the street is really thinking, and what unfortunate steps Israel may be forced to take.


Gawker Keeps 'Em Coming...

Of course, CNN is providing plenty of material:

Here's the Gawker link (not 100% work-safe).


Time Trip-Ups and Ford Follies

Interesting post on Gawker yesterday:

Time's cover this week is a largely glowing profile of Bill Ford, the environmentally inclined Ford Motor scion who, as the display type says, "believes a green revolution can fix his family's troubled company."
Also, Ford announced this morning that it will close 14 North American plants, which means laying off up to 30,000 workers.
The Time article was written by Dorinda Elliott. Who is a scion herself -- a newsweekly scion, the daughter of legendary former Newsweek editor Osborn Elliott.
Also, she was laid off by Time Inc. just before Christmas.
And people say Time lacks irony.

Can you say "Bad Time-ing"?


p.s. I'm allowed some bad puns every once in a while...


Duh... Craigslist...

About two weeks ago I wrote an entry asking for advice on where to get an older generation iPod cheap - i.e. where do surplus iPods go when they become obsolete? It hit me over the weekend - craigslist! While I was hoping for surplus stuff (i.e. new in box), there are some great deals on craigslist, since there are plenty of people upgrading their iPods to the newest model, and selling their old ones to cut the loss. Anyway, not quite what I had in mind, but good enough for government work...



But What???

Some spam I received today:

Subject: "but chemistry talmud"
From: Tootsie Squizzato

I couldn't but open it... it was some crap about homeowner credit, with this baffling text at the bottom:

demeanour He never made a suggestion but once and on that occasion I dont know what put ethology said my aunt would have been as natural and blake a girl as ever breath been overdosed with taters I commanded him in my deepest voice to order a veal cutlet and dreamed of ancient eavesdropped Kolappa and friendship lars the recollection of what I had seen on that night when Mr Hendricks went away first began ache and I was eminent and distinguished in that little world as he handled the reins I construed this remark into an indication of a wish that he should grow out of that Whenever I fall into trouble or fall in love I shall always tell you if youll let me Well I am what they call an anselmo man he returned that is to say I get bored to

I couldn't summer scientology potato more...


p.s. Yes, I know it's meant to fool spamblockers. Didn't work, though :-)

I Can See My House!

On Microsoft's new satellite-based website, you can get up close and scarily personal with the ground below... I can even see the work my parents have been doing in our backyard (which makes the pics pretty recent). More stalker-friendly tools :-/ Via my friend at http://isaacpuder.com.


Funny Joke

As seen on Gabbe's profile on Hashkafa.com:

A frog telephones a psychic hotline and is told: "You are going to meet a beautiful
young girl who will want to know everything about you."
"Great," says the frog. "Will I meet her at a party?"
"No," says the psychic. "Next year -- in biology class."

Nice :-)


p.s. What's "TAOTD", by the way? My best guess is "The Art of the Deal", by Donald Trump (no link for you, sorry). It's almost certainly "The A_____ of the D_____", anyway...

p.p.s. Sorry about the --YY-YY at the end of my XML fed-posts... growing pains :-P


Eat Fresh... Hot Lead, That Is

Interesting stuff from Consumerist, via Ars Technica: An advertising company for Subway (as in the restaurant) created a "mod" (as in modification) to put advertisements inside the online game Counter-Strike (the official site for which, by the way, has a Wendy's advert on the top). The twist is that the mod was meant for only specific servers (centralized hubs that host games for the players), which are not controlled or owned by Valve, the game's creators. In other words, the revenue goes to the hosts, not to Valve.

I agree with Consumerist here (except for the part about EULA restrictions... not sure what the basis for that is, but then again, I haven't read the EULA in a while...):

But ignoring the EULA restrictions, we think it's sort of brilliant. By dint of overwhelming success, Valve has created an alternate media channel all of its own—one filled with the coveted 'young male' demographic. But since Valve chooses to offload the cost of hosting games of Counter-Strike to fans instead of hosting all the servers on their own, they've made it technically impossible to prevent others from piggy-backing on their success.

In fact, since the Counter-Strike server operators have to pay all their own bandwidth fees to operate servers that generate money for Valve by way of more games sold, we think the Subway ad campaign is a pretty healthy way for server operators to recoup some of their hearty expenses. (Again, EULA violations aside.)

That's right - more hosts means more space for players? Why fight a win-win situation, Valve? Are the crumbs worth that much to you?


p.s. "Eat Fresh" is the Subway motto, for those who don't watch too much television.


Talk About Passive-Aggressive...

A headline from the Associated Press today: "Bin Laden Threatens Attacks, Offers Truce". Kinda reminds me of the old Tim Meadows' old Ike Turner sketches on Saturday Night Live (scroll down a bit on that page)...



So I Moved, Huh?

Yeah, yeah. I moved. Whaddya want from me? I actually stayed on LiveJournal as long as I did because they swore off ownership/responsibility for anything I wrote there. Which is just the way I like it. I'm not a fan of Google (my new host, so far) owning what I write. So I have to look into that some more. In the end, though, I'm lazy, and LJ's was never really where I should be, so here I am.

I'm also annoyed because Google wouldn't host my profile photo. I understand not hosting photos to be posted - that would build up mighty quickly - but a profile photo? Memory-wise, that's like ten posts (yes it depends on the photo size and the post sizes - leave me alone)! So, nu? What did I do? I used Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo, which is Google's arch-competitor. Ha! Clever, I am.

So, I look forward to your visiting my new home! And don't mind the attack dogs in the yard - I just fed them two days ago...