Category Archives: supergeek

Book Review – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one book I’d been meaning to read for a long time, and boy am I sorry I didn’t read it sooner! I knew mostly what it was about, and had seen the movie, so the story wasn’t all that surprising. What was surprising was the engaging way Adams had in his writing. The book is smart and humorous as well as entertaining. Who knew a towel could be so useful! And it’s not a difficult read either. It’s not overly sci-fi/fantasy, yet it touches on some very interesting philosophical concepts that will remain relevant for the foreseeable future.

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Under the Dome – Review

Under the DomeUnder the Dome by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really excited to read such an intriguing tale, and I was certain King could deliver. The story was intricate and the characters spanned a wide range of good, bad, and ugly. All manner of angles were touched on as well. What happens when you put a small town under a dome, cutting them off from all society, supplies, and the things we all take for granted? Who holds the real power in those situations? And when an evil person gains immense power, how do the good people of the town react to save themselves and the town? So many questions about the true humanity of people. The only reason I couldn’t give it 5 stars is I felt like the story just kind of ended. There is some big stuff that happens, but the wrap-up was nothing to speak of. Definitely recommend it.

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ff3

just downloaded and installed firefox 3. i have to admit, i’m impressed with the interface, though i’m partial to a simpler address bar (don’t need the page title on most of the links i visit directly, not to mention many places forget page titles lol).

i’m also happy that only 1 of my (very few) plugins doesn’t work. it’s one i can live without for a bit.

be one of the million + to download it today.

2+2=5

i finished reading “1984” by george orwell this weekend. it was an amazing book. if you haven’t read it yet, i would highly recommend checking it out. it’s all about big brother and one man’s fight against him. while orwell portrays an extreme government, i found some interesting similarities to people in power today, particularly concerning “doublethink.”

doublethink “is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs” (wikipedia).

according to the novel…

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them . . . . To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

i didn’t immediately make connections to my reality when i read that paragraph. however, the more i turned it over in my mind, the more i understood the macrocosm that orwell was describing. we see evidence of doublethink all the time. not only in governments who refuse to admit they were wrong, but in the corporate world where management (a form of government…or is government a form of corporation? another post all together!) demonstrates this type of behavior. lying not only to people around you (whether you “intend” to or not), but most importantly lying to one’s self.

i find it fascinating that this line of thinking actually exists at some level. but it’s not entirely surprising. i’ve grown up around many people who have been lied to and continue to lie to themselves. few search for the truth. the search is difficult, as orwell demonstrated with the main character, winston. there is much questioning, not only in which facts are truthful but also in which people are being truthful.

so what to do with this knowledge of doublethink? if you embark on the search for truth, ultimately, you have denied yourself doublethinking. you can’t do it. you either search, engage in doublethink, or simply claim ignorance. as for me, i’ve chosen to search. it’s not easy, and often times, it’s lonely. most people don’t understand, and those that do are not only rare, but are often at a different point in their journey.

in the book, winston is told that big brother says that 2+2=5. in a demonstration to see if he has accepted doublethink, he is asked what 2+2 is. while 4 is the right answer, it is also the wrong answer. this is the essence of his struggle against big brother…against lying to himself…in an effort to maintain truth.

2+2=4 no matter what they say. they’ll never break me.

randomness

what else did you expect? 😀

i’ve taken some photos recently, and plan on submitting one of them to a local art center for a members show. any feedback (or suggestions on something else to submit), please let me know. be honest!

also, if you use firefox and don’t have picLens yet, you should check it out. it’s the best method of browsing flickr and other sites with photos on them (all of them lol).

new hobby

metal lamp

some of my readers are aware that i’ve taken up a new hobby recently (over the last year or so).  for those you of not aware, check out my flickr account to see attempts at photography.  i initially signed up for flickr simply to share photos from a trip to vegas, but i soon found that flickr would act as a gateway to my new favorite creative outlet.

i’ve always enjoyed taking pictures.  i got my first camera in middle school and always had it with me.  i documented the bulk of my middle school career, and much of high school (primarily church activities, concerts, etc. at that point).  in other words, taking pictures is not a new thing for me.

what is new is the photography part.  i’ve always wanted to be creative with my pictures, but have not really put much effort into always finding a good shot or even investing in quality equipment.  with the advent of digital photography, i’ve found a way to put more effort into it while doing something i love — playing on the ‘puter of course! 

after getting a photo published in a german cosmetics calendar, the most awesome man in my life bought me a new digital SLR for my birthday.  wow!  now i need to figure out how to use it.  so i signed up for a photography class!  w00t!  now i’m on my way.  in addition to the photography class, i’ve built a light box for taking photos of a variety of things and invested in a (el-cheapo) tripod.

not a bad idea.

If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00.

With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1000.00.

With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.

If you had purchased $1000 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49.00 left

But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have had $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

It’s called the 401-Keg Plan !!!!!!

funniest error message in a while

apparently, microsoft’s servers (or whomever does hosting for them) are experiencing some technical difficulty today.  i’ve had a lot of trouble getting to codeplex and various blogs.  below is the error i got when trying to load one of the blogs, and i ROFL’d for about 5 minutes at the humor.

(click image to enlarge)

pi in the sky

Happy pi day!  i love the fact that it’s also albert einstein’s birthday.  this article has some other tidbits on pi fanatics.

…they [pi fans] start talking about some very simple ideas. Like the beauty of a number that seems to go on forever and yet has no discernible pattern to it. Or about the valor of the memorization gymnastics, challenging oneself always to know more.

This is how Akira Haraguchi, a 60-year-old mental health counselor in Japan, puts it: “What I am aiming at is not just memorizing figures. I am thrilled by seeking a story in pi.”

He said this one day last fall after accurately reciting pi to 100,000 decimal places. It took him 16 hours. He does not hold the Guinness world record, only because he has not submitted the required documentation to Guinness. But he has his story.

hope you all enjoy your day whether a pi fan or not!

(tried to post this as close to 1:59pm as possible — 3/14 1:59pm lol)

“icon”oclast

dave shea talks about the newly released adobe photoshop cs3 icons.  and i have to agree that the icons are terrible! you can see the simple design in the image below (click to enlarge).

i spent about 9 months in art school while i was trying to figure out what the hell i wanted out of college.  during my time there, i designed a few icons, and i did very poorly at it.  that being said, i have to say that if i had come in with icons looking like that, i would’ve gotten worse remarks than i did on the designs i did come up with (i always got “you need to push the envelope” lol).

listen, adobe – when i went to art school, i was surrounded with talented people who were able to create some of the most creative and fantastic work (icons, etc.).  couldn’t you hire one of them?