Saturday, September 18, 2004

He's a freak.

Is anyone following the adventures of Ken Jennings, the freakish freak who's been ruling the roost on Jeopardy! for months now? Alex Trebek pointed out the other night that because Ken is still playing, he's not eligible for this year's Tournament of Champions, and will wait until next year. But if Ken wins every day until two days before the 2005 Tournament of Champions, he'll be eligible for the Tournament -- which will include just two players.

Anyway, the guy's something to watch. On the one hand, he's a devout Mormon, so he dominates Bible topics. But then, he's apparently done a lot of studying of alcoholic beverages (if not drinking them, since he's a Mormon), because he always does well with "Potent Potables". The other night he ran the table on a Monty Python topic, and he carries a figurine of a Totoro with him as a good luck charm.

He's a freak. But he's fun to watch.

(I hope all the people he beats get T-shirts that read, "I got my ass kicked by Ken Jennings.")

Friday, September 17, 2004

Bait and Switch

Sharon repudiates America's "road map" while copping flack from his own party about the Gaza withdrawal. The whole thing is an exercise in bait and switch, the purpose of which is to consolidate control over the occupied West bank and to accelerate ethnic cleansing there.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Zero-Gravity Flights made Public

At $3,000 it's still a pricey ticket, albeit a bit cheaper than the privatized Space Flights, but if I had the spare cash, I'd happily go on an FAA-Approved Commercial Zero Gravity Flight.
A specially modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft, called G-Force One, will be used during a nationwide tour Sept. 14-24.

"We kick off a two-week tour with Zero-G flights in New York City, Los Angeles, Reno, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Florida," Peter Diamandis, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the company, told SPACE.com.

The kick-off flights will carry "select consumers and guests," the company announced today. The first flight was slated today to depart from Newark Airport in New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

Trips available for everyone else start in October.
Are you all tempted to raise the $3k so I can go on the Dallas stop? I promise to post a wonderful entry about it!

Oh, and, they teamed up with Diet Rite!? Find out more about the company from their official site.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Here's something that I'm trying to wrap my mind around:

What, exactly, is a terrorist?

It seems like a no-brainer type question, but I keep seeing the insurgents we can't seem to stop fighting in Iraq referred to in the news as "terrorists". Are they terrorists, though? Is guerilla-type action a form of terrorism, then? Certainly, using car-bombs against civilian targets is terrorism, but is doing the same against a military target "terrorism", or just guerilla tactics?

I'm asking because I'm increasingly suspecting that in the War On Terror, we not only fighting the wrong people but we don't know who we should be fighting in the first place.

Thoughts? (Sorry about not linking anything, but this is just half-baked think-out-loud type stuff.)

G-what?

This blogger, cited on boingboing, says, "These days, GMail invitations are ubiquitous, and people like me are starting to get annoyed with people offering to give away invites." Really? I must travel in a different circle. I have yet to meet anyone in person who has even heard of gmail. I have five invitations, I think, and I can't get rid of them because everybody's totally satisfied with yahoo, aol, hotmail, etc. The very last thing they want to bother with is mucking around with some kind of thingamabob for converting their current webmail stash to gmail. It doesn't matter how easy it is. The power of the google brand seems lost on people with no time or money personally invested in something on the web, and in particular people who would rather copy the dictionary by hand than write a "blog," whatever that is. That's not a surprise, of course, but it does turn out to include almost everybody I know.

So, am I on Mars, or what?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

OK, folks, time for a Dichotomous Poll! Is this whole business about whether the newly-released "Bush National Guard" memos are real, with the whole bit about whether the typewriters in 1971 could do superscripts and nonproportional fonts and cut-and-paste and do PowerPoint and all that stuff (a) a crucial piece of the puzzle about whether George W. Bush can be trusted with the National Security Apparatus and the prosecution of the War on Terror, or (b) a stupid and irrelevant bit of red-herring stuff, and a case of "Ooooooo, a bouncing ball, let's follow it because there's certainly nothing more important to be talking about!" on the part of our national media and political discourse?

I vote 'B', myself.