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Well, we're actually getting a warning about storms this week. Like weather with real rain. Like, water from the sky or something. I mean we've actually had decent amounts of rain, and we're going to get more.

I am unusually excited for this event. Considering the massive drought we are still in, that's probably understandable.
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Was the World Cup this big of a deal in the US last time around? I know that I'm geographically in a place surging with immigrants, many of whom have brought a love for the game along with them. I also know that I work in a very international environment where there is a lot of contact with other countries. But it seems that even for that the spread of World Cup fever, where the Cup is basically on display in every store and restaurant and talked about on the street, is a bit extreme.

Is this mostly near me, or has this just been a really big event even in the US?
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So, looks like Russia isn't doing too well on that whole "Ready to host a major sports event" thing.

Anyone holding betting odds for Rio this summer?
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There are some good things about Amazon. One of them is the reviews. Especially the reviews that are clearly there for comedic effect. Over the years Amazon has created quite a list of things they offer for sale that have been reviewed by far more people than have probably actually bought the product, which is why you get ridiculous products with thousands of reviews.

But don't take my word for it. Have a look at a handful of the most enthusiastically reviewed products on Amazon:

Examples )

So what interesting products have you found?

Big Eye

Nov. 19th, 2013 07:08 pm
danalwyn: (Default)
Some pictures are stunning. Some pictures are terrifying. I find this particular composite image to be both:

It's big )


Nov. 5th, 2013 09:08 pm
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Over at the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri has definite opinions on the new Jeeves and Wooster book. She also has interesting opinions on fanfiction, which she is quite willing to recommend over the novel.

Fanfiction is motivated by the sense that there is something missing. Generally, what is missing is that not enough of the characters are having explicit sex, or that two of the characters that you wish were having sex with one another are not doing so, although in Wodehouse fanfiction this is not always the case. It’s a tribute, but it’s also about filling in the gaps.

Fanfiction is possibly most easily discussed in relation to authorized continuations. Some fanfic seems better planned in not trying to reopen a door already closed.

It's a good book review though. I quite enjoyed it.
danalwyn: (Default)
So today I contributed to the evil in society.

Instead of paying for parking at a public park (and thus increasing the maintenance budget that the park service has to work with), I instead opted to park at the local Wal-Mart and walk across the street. I feel ridiculously guilty about this, although in my defense I must say that there was quite a long line for park access.

Next in the chronicle of my descent into evil, I will walk on the grass.
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The White House has officially responded to the formal petition to get the US to begin construction of a Death Star by 2016. The title alone is worth it. Now if only they could send a copy of the response to the Emperor...
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Damn you Sweden. Damn you and your deceptively simple-looking, minutely misaligned, impossible to assemble furniture.

If you ever get invaded by angry people with drills, don't look to us for help.
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I am the only one who feels embarrassed when I come up to people waiting to cross an intersection in the same direction I'm going and push the button for the walk signal that's right next to them? It's like I'm saying "Hey, I don't trust you enough to presume that you pushed the button that even a first-grader knows to push". I'm not, I'm just being sure, but it feels like I'm exhibiting a distinct lack of trust. Of course, I don't really mind when people do that to me, but hey, maybe I'm just weird (okay, I'm definitely weird, but, well, you know).
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When I Google "What am I doing with my life", the fourth answer is a blog by someone talking about advice they found by Googling "What am I doing with my life".

Recursion is a powerful CS technique. As a method for solving life's dilemmas though it seems to lead you in circles.
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I just came back from a run.


In January.

It's supposed to finally start snowing tomorrow. Does someone have their seasons confused or what?
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ENGRISH FAIL (some profanity involved).

Or should that be ENGRISH FAIR? Or perhaps ENGRISH FLAIL?
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I have a stupid Canada question (to which Jackal probably knows the answer, but maybe somebody else does too):

Upon visiting the RCMP website, I note that in English RCMP stands for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (common knowledge). However, the French title is the Gendarmerie royale du Canada. Now, I can't speak French (I'm American after all), but the best translation I would give for this would be the Royal Canadian Military Police (military police is a bit of a misnomer, the proper English term for gendarmerie is gendarmerie and is used when discussing force organization in foreign countries).

Now, certainly the RCMP has acted as a gendarmerie force within its history, but it seems odd that the term "Mounted" has slipped out of the French version. Do the RCMP walk in Quebec? Is there a "mounted" connotation to gendarmerie in French from its original origins that lasts to today (as I said, I don't actually speak French)? Or is this just one of those "That sounds stupid in French" "Oh yeah? Well that sounds stupid in English" conventions?

In short: I know nothing about Canada and am reduced to asking stupid and totally irrelevant questions on the internet. This sums up a great deal of my life.
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Okay subconscious, maybe I can understand the appeal of you broadcasting dreams of secret psychic dynasties and giant robots and stuff, but what was up with that whole Harry Potter-ninja team-up/crossover thing? Now I've got people zapping each other stuck in my head, along with images of Hagrid strangling Harry. I haven't even read Harry Potter in months. Where did that come from?

Look, is any of this significant, or portentous or something? Are you telling me it's time to brush up on my escaping skills? Or are we just going through this until you've cleared out the film locker?
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I had a dream last night.

Normally my dreams are somewhat distorted versions of reality, but this one was clearly cut out of whole cloth. Very strange whole cloth. Since this happens so rarely, and may indeed be my brain trying to tell me something, I'm writing it all down.

But really, I think it's just a plot bunny trying to weasel it's way out.

My Subconscious Hates Me )
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This time-lapse video has no sound, but I think it's still absolutely gorgeous in HD.

(Bonus points if you can identify the geography without looking at the video description - I sure couldn't).
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Nothing's been happening here except me wallowing in self-pity, so I haven't really posted anything. Except that fall's started. And I'm slowly accumulating things like new frying pans and power strips so that my apartment is no longer falling apart quite as badly as it used to be.

Also been working on video games. Finally finished Valkyria Chronicles which I recommend highly and have started on Heavy Rain. Valkyria Chronicles was a lighthearted but very good tactical RPG, which suffers in the later levels from badly defined objectives and far too many invincible enemies, but was nonetheless an excellent game. Heavy Rain is much more brutal. For some reason Heavy Rain inspires a sense of anguish in me, which is generally the mark of a good game, even if one that I can't play for too long. It is, however, hampered by the worst control system ever, which creates quite a problem in one of the most beautiful games of its generation.
danalwyn: (Default)
A lot of the internet spam I get would be more entertaining if it was written in languages that I can actually speak or read. It is slowly improving my Italian, but I don't think any of the things I'm learning should probably be used in polite conversation.
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Y'know, I don't go to the movies. I don't watch movies in general. I certainly haven't seen these two. But just judging by the reviews, DC might have wanted to go with Kyle Rainer. And Pixar might have just wanted to stay home this year.

(Still, nowhere to go from here but up, right guys?)


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