WHO raises swine flu to pandemic level 11.  Cough, cough!  Ahrm, it is only a matter of time before “El Swine” gets us all.  Cough, cough!

Some lady in Corona (near Riverside) claims that her father was the Zodiac Killer and even took her with him (when she age 7) to commit some of the murders.  The claim sounds extraordinary, but she has eyeglasses that she claims belonged to one of the victims that may have sufficient DNA evidence to prove if she is telling the truth.  You have to admit that at first glance this sounds like a woman in desperate need of some attention.  I mean, her press conference was on the sidewalk in front of the Chronicle Building!  SFPD said “they would look into her claims”but are surely not amused.

Odd Todd has 10 new tips for the unemployed on his site.  He’s doing the tips countdown style, like David Letterman, and started with tip #10 a few weeks ago.  I used to love watching the Odd Todd cartoons during the 2001 dot-com implosion.  It now turns out that what is old is new again.  Check it out.

Swine flu prevention technique: full exposure to build resistance

Seasonal flu, the regular influenza virus, has killed more than 13,000 people since the beginning of the year and swine flu has killed only one.  Although you wouldn’t know it by the mass media hysteria surrounding this flu of swine.  All of the news networks are tracking the “outbreak” by reporting the number of cases as they increase, which by the way, (insert sarcasm here) is REALLY exciting to watch 24 hours a day.  Just yesterday a couple of people were reported to have swine flu in Marin and everyone in San Francisco started to panic as if Godzilla was swimming around The Bay ready to pounce on us Tokyo-style.

Almost immediately after the Marin “outbreak,” The Governator declared a state of emergency in the best press conference ever by saying, “there is no need for alarm.”  Well, isn’t that what “declaring an emergency” is all about!? You are sounding a freakin’ alarm so that people take notice, right!?  Uh, really!?

Let’s keep things in perspective people!

You are no more likely to die from swine flu as you are from regular seasonal flu.  The same rules apply.  People should be a lot more worried about getting the AIDS virus, since that has a much higher mortality rate.  But understandably it is a lot easier to get the swine flu virus than the AIDS virus.  Use the same precautions that you would to avoid getting the flu and you will be fine.  I am not saying we should all go out and start kissing pigs, but there is definitely no need to panic.

Here are some commercials from the 1976 swine flu scare.  It’s all been done. My favorite part, the crass way the narrator says “…but Betty had a heart condition and she died” in the second commercial.

GE scientists have figured out how to fit 500GB in a DVD sized holographic disc!

If you actually go to the real-time twitter feed for swine flu and read it for a few minutes I think you will find that it is even funnier than this comic. Via xkcd.

Now that Mayor Newsom is married he is selling his sweet bachelor penthouse in Russian Hill.  Apparently the condo has been reduced from its original asking price of $3.2 million just a couple of months ago, to a little less than $3 million today.  It’s pretty sweet, but crazy expensive for 1600 square feet and $1,400 a month in HOA dues.  You would have to be seriously big pimpin’ to buy this place.

This Sunday will be the first of six car-free “Sunday Streets” that will happen this year at different locations throughout San Francisco.  The streets will be blocked off from car traffic, much like JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park on Sundays.  Except there will be activities such as activities such as dancing, yoga, skating, biking, walking, hula hooping, and recreational sports available for people to participate.  This Sunday’s route will extend along the Embarcadero waterfront from South Beach Park to Aquatic Park, and the event goes from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.

  • Sunday, April 26: The Embarcadero waterfront from South Beach Park to Aquatic Park.
  • Sunday, May 10: Waterfront Route in the Southeast Sector from AT&T Park to the Bayview Opera House, along the Bay.
  • Sunday, June 7: New route for 2009 through the Mission (TBA).
  • Sunday, July 19: New route for 2009 through the Mission (TBA)
  • Sunday, August 9: Great Highway Route. Connecting Golden Gate Park to the San Francisco Zoo, along Ocean Beach.
  • Sunday, Sept 6: Great Highway Route. Connecting Golden Gate Park to the San Francisco Zoo, along Ocean Beach.

Get outside and enjoy these!

It was 92F degrees in San Francisco today and it is still 85F degrees at 6:45pm.

Stephen Hawking, 67, famous scientist and author, is very ill and has been hospitalized near Cambridge University, England, where he is a tenured professor.  Hawking has Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS), which is usually fatal after three years. Hawking has survived for more than 40 years since his diagnosis.

Mathematics and physics geeks from all over the world are wishing Stephen a quick and spedy recovery.  Here’s a link to some of Stephen’s funniest and most insightful quotes.

Also, while most mere mortals may not be able to understand it, you should take the time to read A Brief History of Time.  Unless you are a theoretical physicist you will likely not understand it all, but it will change the way you look at the universe.

It’s been a little over a week since I found out that my vision had deteriorated from 20/17, or slightly better than normal, to 20/23, a little less than normal.  It had been almost seven years since my last vision test and I went just to make sure my eyes were still awesome.  Well, they are not.  For years I had prided myself in the fact that I had better than average vision even though I work on computer monitors all day.  Even though I knew it would likely happen some day, I was sad.

The eyeglasses prescription that my doctor gave me is -0.75/-1.00 and I was sad. My doctor said that the eyeglasses were “discretionary” and I would only need them when the extra clarity was needed.  He said that playing baseball would be one of the few times I would really need them.  I told him that I would probably only wear them while go-karting or car racing, and he emphasized that I did not need them for everyday driving.  Still, I was sad.

I told my a couple of my co-workers about my new prescription and they laughed hysterically saying, “We can only wish our eyes were *that* good.”   They had both worn glasses since they were kids and their eyesight is much worse.  Still, I told them that I considered them “lucky” because they can get Lasik or PRK to correct their eyesight immediately, while my doctor told me that I would not be a candidate for the corrective eye surgery for years to come.  Still, I was sad.

The bottom line:  My doctor and friends say that my eyes are great and by all estimations, I guess they still are.  But the reality of imperfect eyesight has me re-evaluating my life and overall health.  It’s funny that with my new “bad” eyesight, the gray hairs on my head seem to be in *much* greater focus.  I guess maturity is really about accepting imperfections in yourself and others.  The sadness will fade.

The four system administrators of The Pirate Bay file sharing site have been convicted of copyright infringement, sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay $3.6 million in restitution to to a handful of entertainment companies.  Peter Sunde, one of the defendants and The Pirate Bay’s spokesman, announced the news over Twitter Friday morning before the verdict was official. He remained defiant, and offered comfort to supporters.

“Stay calm — Nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or file sharing whatsoever. This is just a theater for the media.  We see this as a film…this is a small setback for the heroes…In the end we know that the good guys will win, as in all movies.”

The defendants claim that there are mirrors of the site all over the world and the site will remain operational even if they were to go to prison.  The defendants are expected to appeal, and they remain free pending further proceedings.

It seems like everyone is talking about Keri Ferrell, the hipster grifter and criminal from Utah that continued scamming people in Brooklyn, New York.  One Observer post followed by several Gawker posts has several Internet observers looking for this crazy con girl.  According to Gawker, there are three reasons why following her exploits is becoming an Internet meme:

1. She is so much like you or your friends or someone you know. All us young urban cools relate, right? Yes! Just like your neighbor!

2. But yo she was seriously totally psycho. Come on, the frauds and ripoffs or the fake cancer or the fake pregnancies or the other assorted lies would pass for normal one at a time. But all in one place—she was the holy grail of the outwardly cool, inwardly crazy and dangerous person you met at a bar one night.

3. She had the misfortune to perpetrate her fraud in the midst of the most self-absorbed, writing-intensive demographic, and zip code, in all of America. Sucks for her.

Sucks for her indeed. There’s even a link to the Observer article from SFGate!  I cannot believe that modern day con artists think they can outrun the long arm of the Internet. They may be able to outrun the law, but not the Internet.  Fascinating.

A man in Texas passed gas in a motel room with a couple of his buddies.  Normally that does not make the news.  But, the ensuing olfactory assault from this particular fart was so severe that one of the buddies threw a knife at the farter and proceeded to stab him in the chest!  The farter was later treated for non-life thratening injuries and released.  This has to be the first time that a “fart fight” turned into a “knife fight” in the history of mankind.

Can you guess why this dress photo was removed from an online prom dress retailer?  Via Boing Boing.

Can you guess why this dress photo was removed from an online prom dress retailer? Via Boing Boing.

A group of vandals and/or thieves cut a couple of fiber optic cable trunks on Thursday.  The cut cables knocked out 52,000 land lines, Internet connections and cell phones all over southern Santa Clara county.  People were really pissed.  Now police have increased their reward to $250,000 for information on this case.  I wonder if there were any large robberies (diamonds, large wads of cash, or something) while these lines were down.  Because this sounds like some Ocean’s 11 type shiznit.  You know, a distraction to commit a much bigger crime or to turn off an alarm or something.

GM and Segway introduced a new two-wheeled vehicle yesterday, a big ass two-person Segway.  According to news reports, this new vehicle is supposed to revolutionize urban travel. You know, like the original Segway did several years ago. What!? You don’t have a personal Segway for short trips around town? Well, clearly you do not work at Google. Anyway, the chances of people choosing this vehicle over walking, a gas powered scooter, or even a new electric scooter is ridiculous. It’s good to know that GM is spending stimulus money on publicity stunts.

Newspapers and magazines are laying off journalists left and right. Well, would be shocked to find out that journalism school applications are up by as much 38 percent at Columbia and 20 percent at Stanford. Should anyone trust your abilities to collect and summarize information if you pay exorbitant tuition to be trained in a dying profession? Think about it.  People with graduate degrees in journalism were paid like $40,000 before the great newspaper and magazine die-off.  So why pay $35,000 per year to get a journalism degree now!?  Just throw $100 bills into a bonfire or a fireplace or something.  Much easier.

“Pubs” in the title of the post refers to publications, not bars.  Ironically, that is where these new journalists will likely end up.  Sadly reevaluating their lives.

Above is a photo of an ATM card skimmer found on a WAMU ATM in NYC.  The guy noticed that the reader was right in front of the ATM card slot and misaligned and was able to rip it right off of the machine and take it inside the branch.  The reader consisted of a small chip for storage and a mini-USB connector.  Please make a note of this and examine ATMs before sticking your card in it.

Google’s April Fool’s joke this year was the new Google Autopilot link in Gmail.  I captured a PDF of the page to save it for posterity.  Check it out.

A Yahoo! engineer went nuts and shot everyone in his house, including himself, on Sunday.  Authorities are trying to figure out why the guy would shoot his entire family, including his wife’s brother and the brother’s spouse, who were visiting from India.  If there is any good news about this mess is that his wife survived and is in critical condition.  Perhaps she will be able to shed light on what happened after her recovery.  Crazy.

A fellow San Francisco blogger and gonzo journalist has re-branded his blog, Dream Not of Today, as I am Totally Gay for Glenn Beck.  Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The dramatic shift in gears comes on the heels of editor Rob Spectre’s admission that is very homosexually in love with Glenn Beck, a popular Fox News commentator.  “I am totally gay for Glenn Beck,” says Spectre, the blog’s editor for two years.  “I feel this is the only moment and vehicle appropriate to express these long repressed feelings.”

If you are totally gay for Glenn Beck too, or want to hear stories about those that are, go check it out.  It’s an entertaining funny read.