Third World Robocop

Jayson Santos sent me a link to a mock commercial created by a company that apparently wanted to create robots to police chaotic streets in third world countries. The production quality on this video is amazing–it looks real! I can tell you that if a robot really moved like this it would be frightening. I would run if I saw this thing, even if it wasn’t carrying the machine gun. Check it out if you have the time and the bandwidth, since the short is 16.3MB in size. A guy named Neill from Embassy Visual Effects Inc. in Vancouver created the commercial. In order to view it, go to the site and follow menu system to Neill’s Domain, Reel PT3. Big ups to Jayson for sending me this.

Well, it was bound to happen, and it finally did on this leg of the race. The Air Traffic Controllers, Steve and Dave, also known as the Big Fat Guys or BFGs, were finally eliminated. They were just too fat, too slow, and too fucked up (Dave hurt his knee on the first leg of the race) to compete with the faster and younger teams.

The teams headed to Amsterdam on this leg of the race and the coolest part of the whole thing was seeing teams wade through a huge pile of cow shit as part of a Detour–truly disgusting. Amazingly, Monica and Sheree, the NFL wives (and they won’t let us forget it), decided to do the cow shit challenge as well. Throughout the whole thing I was waiting for them to say something like, “As wives of professional athletes, we never have to wade through our own cow shit, someone always does that for us!”

Tian and Jaree had a serious team breakdown and it looked like they would come to blows a few times. They barely made it to the Pit Stop before Steve and Dave, who were finally eliminated. They better get their shit together if they expect to make it out of last place. For sheer entertainment value, they are the team to watch going into next week.

Cartman Licking Scott Tenorman's Tears

Yes! Yesss!! Oh, let me taste your tears, Scott! Mmm, your tears are so yummy and sweet! (MP3, 99k)
–Cartman, South Park #501, Scott Tenorman Must Die (2001)

 

The ridiculously frivolous defamation lawsuit (3MB) that Mark A. Popp filed against me for maintaining the iMind Parody site is officially over. And yes, I have emerged victorious–I will be able to maintain the iMind Parody site in perpetuity to chronicle the iMind story until the end of human existence.

Granted, this payback is not nearly as sweet as what Cartman did to his nemesis, Scott Tenorman, in the dark and infamous South Park episode “Scott Tenorman Must Die” (see episode transcript). By the way, if you are a fan of Cartman and you haven’t seen this South Park episode, you must see it.

Anyway, I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to all that contributed to the legal defense fund and provided me with moral support and encouragement. Thank you all.

Governor, barbarian, in today’s political climate the terms seem almost interchangeable. And they may well be, literally. Arnold Schwarzenegger has real aspirations of becoming California’s next governor. He’s already stated in several ocassions that if the Republican Party needs him, he will step in and run for the office. It would be interesting to see how this pans out, since the movement to recall Gray Davis is gaining momentum.

At this point, he has as good a chance of becoming governor as anyone. However, unlike Ronald Reagan, who went from California’s governor’s mansion to the White House, Arnold will never become President. Only natural born citizens of the United States can become President, and Ah-Nult was born in Austria. The GOP may not support a candidate with this limitation. Although, he could always become a Senator.

At the end of the day, I don’t know if I want to live in a world where the Terminator is the Governor. Would we call him governator?

My co-worker, Chad Poplawski, just found out that his offer was accepted on a house in Pleasanton. Yeah, it may be the boonies, but there’s amazing stuff out there, like backyards and parking. Here’s to Chad, his family, and their new house.

Hail the size of volleyballs were reported in Nebraska as the second day of storms and tornadoes pound the state. The reports have to be verified before they call Guinness, but this looks to be a new record. Falling hail reportedly ripped a hole in the roof of a car large enough for a man to crawl through. Crazy.

After years of construction, the BART extension to SFO Airport finally opened yesterday. This means that people that live in the city will be able to leave their cars at home when traveling out of SFO. Being able to take a train to the terminal kicks ass! I can’t wait to try it out. It’s too bad that I can’t really take a vacation until next summer due to school.

4 Stars

The Italian Job was an entertaining action film about thieves double-crossing thieves. Although the plot has been done before, most recently in The Score, which also starred Edward Norton, the locations, action sequences, and comedy take it to the next level.

Unfortunately, having seen The Score, makes you realize quickly that Ed Norton’s acting talent is woefully underutilized in this film. The director will have to take the responsibility for that, since Norton has ability, see The Score and Fight Club. Mark Whalberg does a good job as the lead and is likeable, but he’s always likeable. His performance is not impressive, but it serves its purpose. The same could be said of Charlize Theron who had the strongest acting performance out of the entire cast.

The movie moves the storyline quickly, with a few twists and turns thrown in for good measure. There a lot of good jokes in the film, and Napster founder Shawn Fanning even makes a cameo. Also, the film also has amazing car driving sequences, although maybe not as good as the ones in Ronin. Either way, definitely worth watching on a Sunday afternoon, especially if you like Mini Coopers.

Mama’s sister, Miki and her friend, Khai are here for the weekend and they arrived last night. We will be going to Mark Asher’s book signing today (see previous post), and doing a lot of touristy throughout the city. Miki and Khai will be staying until Sunday afternoon.

This weeks episode was filled with a lot of drama. Steve and Josh started in first place and immediately made a common mistake, taking the train instead of a taxi to “save money.” Acting like a miser in the Amazing Race will only serve to get you eliminated, and that’s exactly what happened on this leg of the race.

This leg of the race was very long, and entailed the teams going to Paris, doing an amazing Roadblock in Le Mans, driving across france for over ten hours, rapelling down a cliff, and then finally driving to the Pit Stop. The Roadblock entailed the teams changing the tires of a Le Mans racecar and then driving a few laps with a professional driver. I was so jealous watching these people do this, it was a once in a lifetime event.

Following the Roadblock, the teams had to drive more than ten hours to Marseilles. Once there, several teams lined up in front of a gate at a port to sleep in their cars and wait for morning. In the morning, Tian and Jaree, who had slept in a hotel, drove up to the front and parked directly in front of the gate. Tempers flared, yelling ensued, threats were made, it was an interesting look at human nature. However, once the gate opened, Tian and Jaree allowed the other teams to pass ahead of them. Tian and Jaree would go on to get the Fast Forward and finish this leg in first place.

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My co-workers, Sonal Sinha and Dan Miller, and I decided to eat off-site today and not eat inside the Yahoo cafeteria again. Instead, we headed into Sunnyvale and ate at P.F. Chang’s followed by a visit to Cold Stone Creamery.

Let me just say that I had never been to a Cold Stone before and I was truly amazed. The quality of the ice cream was outstanding, which made the ice cream incredibly creamy in texture. If I had the ice cream by itself it would have been great, but there was more, much more.

Cold Stone allows patrons to order ice cream and add a number of “mix-in” ingredients. These ingredients and the ice cream of your choice are then violently mixed together using paddles on top of a cold stone, hence the name. The available ingredients include brand name candies, fresh fruits, nuts, brownies, sponge cake, Graham cracker pie crust, Oreos, peanut butter, chocolate, caramel, fudge, honey, and almost anything else you could think of putting into ice cream.

I ordered a Cold Stone Creation called “Our Strawberry Blonde,” which was made out of strawberry ice cream, Graham cracker pie crust, fresh strawberries, caramel, topped with fresh whipped cream. I almost passed out when I took my first bite–it was awsome!

Everyone that knows me knows that I am an In-n-Out evangelist, but now it looks like there’s something else to tell the whole world about. If you haven’t been to a Cold Stone Creamery, make the trip, it’s worth it.

This Saturday, in conjunction with an art exhibit to benefit the Milo Foundation, my friend Mark J. Asher will be signing advance copies of his new photography book, “Old Friends: Great Dogs on the Good Life.” Here’s the information:

Slater/Marinoff & Co.
1823 Fourth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Saturday, June 21st, 3:00-4:00 PM

The signing will be on the patio of Slater/Marinoff and well-behaved,
socialized dogs are welcome! Go check it out and buy an advance copy of the book signed by the Mark himself–it’s for a good cause.

Landlords and power whores on my people they took turns
Dispute the suits I ignite and then watch ’em burn
Burn, burn, yes ya gonna burn…
— Rage Against the Machine, Bombtrack, 1992

Residents of the small town of Benton Harbor, Michigan, have rioted for the second night in a row protesting the death of a motorcyclist during a police chase. There have been allegations of police brutality in the economically struggling city of 12,000 and apparently the most recent incident has made tensions boil over into riots and mayhem.

In today’s column, SFGate’s Mark Morford speaks about Wal-Mart’s censorship of magazines and music as an example of their blatant attempt to manipulate American culture. Morford expertly argues that Wal-Mart tries to perpetuate a version of Americana that is bland, hyper-righteous, censored, sexless, and even brainless with its actions. I agree. Somehow intolerance, condemnation, and eternal hellfire don’t seem like good “traditional” family values. It is an excellent article filled with sarcasm and wit, check it out if you have the time.

Deloitte Consulting has developed a new software program that searches through corporate or email documents for confusing, indecipherable words or phrases from the new economy. Words like “synergistic,” “mindshare,” “paradigm shifts,” “repurposeable,” “extensible,” and one of my favorites, “there there” (ex-iminders insert hand puppet visual here). Deloitte thinks that since it helped create a lot of the bullshit concepts that drove the tech boom years that it should do its best to stop them now. Well, admission is the first step to recovery.

Well, the CISA test saga has come to an end. I took the test on Saturday and will receive the results of the test in ten weeks. You would think that for a pseudo-technical certification that ISACA would have the technology to return the results more expediently.

Unlike the CISSP test, which I found to be pretty easy, this test was no cakewalk. Unfortunately for me, there weren’t a lot of technical questions and the business process questions were very subjective. As such, there were some questions were all of the presented answers seemed reasonable.

Since I already have a highly-regarded, industry-recognized professional certification, the CISSP, I will more than likely not take the CISA test again, whether I pass or fail. I am just not willing to pay $300 to take a grueling 200-question, four-hour test ever again. I’m done.

Team animosities grew tremendously during this leg of the race and it all stemmed from the Fiacre Fiasco in Vienna. At one point, rival team members, Millie and Chip, fiercely pushed on each other trying to get a pass from a carriage. Chip, being stronger, got the pass, but Millie bloodied his lip in the process. It was awesome!

Amazingly, the Air Traffic Controllers and the NFL Wives are still alive. Yes, I was wrong once again. Due to their own lameness, Russell and Cindy got a ticket to Gmund instead of Gmunden at the train station and sealed their fate. It serves them right, Russell was a serious ass towards Cindy and deserved the last place finish. Now I can’t wait to see if the Air Traffic Controllers can move up from last place, I am starting to root for them now. We’ll see what happens next week.

The LAPD is searching for a man they are dubbing the Michael Jackson Bandit because he showed up to one of his first bank robberies wearing only one glove. According to the story, police say he bears no resemblance to the entertainer because he is a “thin black man.” I agree. We all know that MJ looks more like a thin white woman!

It’s hard to believe that The Daily Nugget is one-year-old today. One year ago, I created the first official blog entry using Blogger, but I quickly switched over to Movable Type as my content management system.

The Nugget has since grown to have its own domain, 399 entries, 290 comments, and is averaging 1500 unique visitors and nearly 7000 page views per month. That’s a lot people finding The Nugget on the web, considering that, like Seinfeld, it’s a site “about nothing.”

Anyway, thank you all who have supported my endeavor and given me words of encouragement regarding this weblog. I hope that the site entertains you and you continue to check out The Daily Nugget.

Sam Waksal, ImClone Systems founder, was sentenced to over seven years in prison for the ImClone insider-trading scandal today. This can’t be good for Martha Stewart, who just had her mugshot and fingerprinting done at FBI headquarters. It’s pretty clear that in the wake of all the recent corporate scandals, the government is going to play hardball. I suggest Sam and Martha pick out their prison bitch names before they get there. It pays to be prepared.

Larry Ellison’s unsolicited lowball bid for PeopleSoft is making them suffer a serious beatdown. He has drawn first blood and the company appears to be slowly hemorrhaging.

Oracle’s $5.1 billion dollar bid instantly devalued PeopleSoft in the eyes of the street investors, it soured the pending deal between PeopleSoft and JD Edwards, and it’s making customers cautious in buying PeopleSoft or JD Edwards products until everything pans out. We’ll see what happens.

CISA Book: The Hell That Is My Life

Yes, I do feel like a dull boy. I spent all weekend studying for the CISA certification exam (the book is pictured right) because the test is next Saturday. This week I’ll be spending all my time at work working on a Sarbanes-Oxley compliance audit at one of my clients, which will keep me really busy. In simple English–I am busier than a one legged man in an ass-kicking contest. Not to mention that I have to fix my home computer, its power supply gave out, and go to school on Thursday night. No fun. I feel like I’ve been working non-stop for the last two weeks and there is still one more week of pain to go. I can’t wait for this test and the client audit to be over!

I just saw the second episode today–gotta love the power of TiVo!

Amanda and Chris, the disfunctional couple, were eliminated in the second leg of the race in a surprise finish. I don’t have much time to break down this leg of the race, so let me make it brief. I thought that the episode was slow and I am pissed that the two teams that I wanted gone are still alive.

Last week, I had predicted that either the Air Traffic Controllers or the NFL Wives would be gone. I was wrong! The Air Traffic guys got the Fast Forward and finished first–figures! And damn, the NFL Wives barely made it! Denied! I thought that they would be eliminated for sure. The NFL Wives showed their incompetence by taking over an hour to do a Roadblock in Venice–it was so painful. I just can’t wait to see the inevitable, their elimination.

All kinds of crazy things went on in the news this week that I didn’t get a chance to blog about. It was a week filled with scandal and deception of epic proportions. Let’s recap. Sammy Sosa got caught cheating in Baseball, editors at the New York Times resigned due to the Jayson Blair incident, Scott Peterson’s lawyers claimed that wiretaps on their client were illegal, and Martha Stewart was indicted in federal court. So it begs the question, in the end, who committed the biggest offense?

Ok, so the overwhelming response from the Daily Nugget readers was that the new site layout was too bland and lacked color. Everybody said that the nugget.com color scheme was original, vibrant, easier to read, etc. Whine, whine, complain, complain, wah, wah.

So, last night I decided to change the color scheme to one that matches nugget.com much more closely. You gotta love the magic of cascading style sheets, it didn’t take too long to change the colors.

Coming up with a new title logo was a little more difficult though. I couldn’t decide on a font that would capture the feeling of the Nugget. Finally, I decided on a font called Plakatbau, from the Buro Destruct font foundry. You may recognize the font if you are a Radiohead fan, since it was used in their Kid A and Amnesiac albums.

Please enjoy the new site layout and let me know what you think.

A jury awarded $30.1 million to two men that claimed Taco Bell stole their idea for talking Chihuahua ads. Deeyam! That’s like hitting the damn lotto! Think about it. After the lawyers take a third, assuming the lawyers worked on a contingency fee, that’s still $20 million. It’s pretty amazing that these guys fought a large corporation and actually won, I bet they don’t even believe it. I’d like to know more about this.

What a perfect day to make a fresh start! I am not into numerology, but you can’t deny today’s date is cool, 03/03/03. The numbers are all prime, it reads the same forwards and backwards–it’s deliciously symmetrical!

Anyway, the rumors of the Nugget’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The new and improved Daily Nugget is in a new domain with a new site layout (inspired by the Golden Nugget). Yes, just like a Phoenix from the ashes so has the Daily Nugget risen once more. Ok, I am still a big ass geek. The bottom line is that the Nugget is back!

By the way, if for some reason you are no longer receiving notifications, please let me know. I accidentally thrashed the notification list in the migration to the new hosting provider and I didn’t drop you from the list on purpose.

Please be sure to leave me some comments on the new site layout. I am always happy to receive suggestions on improving the site. Thanks.