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Daniel Andrlik

Minister of Intrigue. Composing coffee-stained dispatches from an undisclosed location.

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All Dispatches

2016

Warren Ellis on Writing

This is the part of the job that doesn’t get talked about a lot, not least because it’s hard to talk about, but also because it doesn’t involve Productivity ...

2015

What Are You Doing Now?

It’s easy to forget what’s important to you. It shouldn’t be. It should be easy to say “no” to the unimportant. It’s counterintuitive that we so easily set ...

On Kindness as a Default

I’ve been thinking about kindness a lot lately. As anything, it’s the result of the juxtaposition of several events, but without a doubt I’ve been mostly thi...

Chuck Wendig Critiques Your Story

Chuck Wendig serves up a thoughtful and accurate critique of your current work in progress, which he has not read. While doing so, he highlights the key poin...

A Minimum Wage of $70,000 a Year

The New York Times reports that a Seattle-based company has announced that they will be increasing the minimum wage for all of their employees to $70,000 per...

Sealioning Is Bad

Tegiminis does a great job breaking down the issues behind sealioning in this article. However, it’s easy to ask a question in bad faith using reasoned, goo...

You Ain't

Nika Harper's recent post is gettig a lot of attention, as well it should.

Using Ulysses

I struggle with the notion of app-evangelizing. In the past, I was as guilty of it as anyone. I would proudly proclaim such-and-such as the ultimate app for ...

Hating on Curious George

One thing that parents can always bond over is irritation over children’s programming on television. For my wife and I, the primary focus of our irritation i...

Changelog: Scheduled Posts in Jekyll

I do so love to tinker… One thing that has annoyed me about using a static site generator for my blog has been the lack of scheduled posts. It’s a feature I...

Fixing the Easter Bunny Narrative

This piece is a response to Chuck Wendig, who was wishing for an Easter Bunny story with a bit more detail to tell all of our children.

Broken Men and Their Broken System

Chris Kluwe takes a look at the NFL retirement program, and provides some blistering commentary on what happens to athletes when they leave the game. An int...

The Deadly Global War for Sand

Fascinating piece on both the legal and illegal sand trade, and the immense criminal industry that has grown up around the latter. Today criminal gangs in a...

Strumming Again

Let's talk about regrets, shall we? They tend to haunt us through the years. Sometimes they are the things we wish we had said (or could be unsaid), and some...

Ars Technica Now Knows Where You've Been

Ars Technica has successfully completed a public records request that allowed them to acquire 4.6 million records from the Oakland Police Department’s automa...

On Journaling

Do you keep a journal? I often wonder. It's something we're told we should do. Any simple search on the internet, or any self-help book you care to pick up...

Peter Watts and the Gene Genies

Peter Watts serves up a two part article on RNA editing, and how it might impact the future of entire populations. It is frightening.

Mars One Is Deeply Flawed

Elmo Keep’s interview with Mars One applicant Joseph Roche reveals that the program is deeply flawed. Indeed, some elements such as having applicants donate ...

Sam Sykes: In the Tombs of Poets

Sam Sykes has published a reflection on the life of Shin Sang-Ok, and on an artist’s need to create. The idiot ninja action film I watched as a kid was the ...

Five Room Dungeons

This article from Strolen’s Citadel is easily the best piece of practical advice for a DM that I’ve found. Dungeon design is difficult to get right. Despite ...

Emerging

Ahh, a site relaunch. That fresh new-theme smell! Just what the doctor ordered for the Ministry of Intrigue.

2014

The Last True Hermit

This GQ story about the North Pond Hermit is amazing. One day in 1986, Christopher Knight left family and friends behind for good, and spent 30 years leavin...

Morning Pages

I’ve been trying to get back into the routine of doing morning pages. That is, the process of writing three pages of material each day to clear my mind and p...

Quote: Antoine De Saint Exupéry

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea...

Quote: Salman Rushdie

Man is the animal that tells stories about himself to himself.Salman RushdieLecture at the University of Iowa (March 2004) It’s been years since I sat in th...

Self-Branding vs Individulity

Interesting piece on how the modern world requires people to aggressively self-brand, which means they have to reduce their personality down to one interest....

Quote: Umberto Eco on Heroes

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.Umberto EcoTravels in Hyperreality

Resolution Update: Feb 2014

Earlier this year, I wrote about my resolutions for 2014, and in that post I promised a monthly follow-up where I would report on my progress towards each of...

World of Warcraft, by the Numbers

Blizzard recently released a breakdown of the first 10 years of World of Warcraft. Impressive numbers to say the least. Six million words of in-game text is ...

Explaining Bitcoin

Nik Custodio has put together a wonderfully easy to read primer on Bitcoin titled “Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five”. I think there are valid concerns out there...

Quote: Mike Monteiro

Every night, homeless people construct their nightly shelters outside the Quaker meeting house. Quakers will not make you leave. And have a high level of emp...

2013

Quote: Chuck Wendig on Personal Brands

You are not a brand. You are a human being. Writing is your craft. Story is your art. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: who wants to read a story by...

Quote: John D. MacDonald

Always I have seen around me all the games and parades of life and have always envied the players and the marchers. I watch the cards they play and feel in m...

Quote: Ray Bradbury

If I’m anything at all, I’m not really a science-fiction writer — I’m a writer of fairy tales and modern myths about technology.Ray Bradbury

Quote: Jaron Lanier

If you listen first, and write later, then whatever you write will have had time to filter through your brain, and you’ll be in what you say. This is what ma...

Quote: C.S. Lewis

We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.C.S. LewisThe Weight of Glo...

The DM’s Adventuring Kit

Overview I recently wrote about my return to Dungeons and Dragons, and promised another post where I would share what tools our group is ...

U.K. Passes the “Instagram Act”

If you live in the U.K. and post photos online, you should really read this right now. I’m just a layman, but if I interpret this correctly, failure to have...

Quote: Austin Grossman

The woman was simply leaving us alone with our future, the future she wouldn’t be a part of. She didn’t know how to do it or what it was, but she was trying ...

Rolling Them Bones Again

Overview I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons again for the first time in over ten years. It’s been a lot of fun, and challenging as ...

Quote: Andy Ihnatko on Tech Tribalism

If you give half a damn about which multi-billion-dollar corporation “wins” a totally made-up contest, then you need to drop acid and spend some time in an a...

FTD Fails, by Using Plaza Flowers

This is our first Valentine’s Day as parents, and I wanted to get my wife an extra special floral arrangement for the holiday. I knew that with our schedule ...

Quote: Gene Wolfe

I have sometimes thought that the reason the trees are so quiet in summer is that they are in a sort of ecstasy; it is in the winter, when the biologists tel...

Hacking on Octopress

As previously discussed, I recently switched to Octopress on this site. I’ve been pretty happy with that decision thus far. Performance is good thanks to sta...

Reunited

Anubis has been found! I think there is an equal amount of relief from both the human and feline contingents of our household. Anubis, slightly smaller, but...

Anubis Is Missing

One of my best friends has gone missing. Our cat, Anubis, managed to sneak out while I was grilling dinner last night, and we haven’t been able to find him s...

Drunks & Dragons

I was randomly searching the iTunes podcast directory a few weeks ago and stumbled across the Drunks & Dragons podcast. Essentially, it’s a series of rec...

Switching to Octopress

This site is now powered by Octopress. The tentacles compell you! It's tentacly delicious! The Search As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been loo...

CMS Blues

I’m down with a case of the CMS Blues. I’ve got them so bad.

2012

KoPoint's First Annual Spooktacular!

Happy Halloween! For my favorite holiday this year, I joined the fine folks at KoPoint for their first annual Halloween Spooktacular. During the show, I spo...

Google Glasses Will Be Powered by Android

The New York Times is reporting that Google will begin selling eyeglasses enabling augmented reality interfaces in day to day operation.  Google’s strength ...

2011

Installing PostgreSQL on Lion

If you’re struggling to get PostgreSQL set up on Lion, I found this little guide from Peer Assembly to be helpful. Depending on your existing environment, yo...

Books Without Borders by Paul Constant

This is a great article about the demise of Borders from the perspective of a bookseller who worked there. Lots of missed opportunities and missteps.

Stupid Writer Tricks From Chuck Wendig

These tricks from Chuck Wendig work, and if you are doing any type of long-form writing it would be worth your while to read this post. The tips he recommend...

Why Brains Get Creeped Out by Androids

Man, Wired has been producing some outstanding articles recently. I need to consider subscribing again. It’s interesting to see the science behind the “unca...

Django Follows the Law of Least Googling

This is why good documentation is key to any project. You can have the most amazing code in the world, but without documentation, few will take the time to l...

Neutrinos: Delta Force | the Economist

This Economist article covers some fascinating research indicating that neutrinos may be the reason that the universe is made up of matter, instead of antima...

What I'm Listening to: June 2011

If you had asked me a year ago what kinds of podcasts I was listening to, you would have seen a clear theme: technology. I would have listed off a lot of TWi...

Odds & Ends - June 2011

General Updates For the Month of June 2011 I have been traveling virtually non-stop for work the last couple of months, so I have not had much time to devot...

Michele Bachmann's Holy War

A truly terrifying profile on Michelle Bachmann by Matt Taibbi. It scares the hell out of me that she’s a serious contender in the presidential race.

Review: Super Doesn't Pull Any Punches

"Shut up, crime!" I just finished watching the film Super, written and directed by James Gunn. I’m having a hard time characterizing how I feel about it. No...

Review: 750 Words

There’s a well known theory that keeping a journal, or at least writing daily, improves your day-to-day life. My anecdotal experience has shown that to be th...

Anatomy of a Crushing (Pinboard Blog)

Macieg Ceglowski breaks down what happened during the mass exodus from Delicious and how the Pinboard team dealt with the huge influx of users that resulted ...

HTML Video Codec Support in Chrome

Google is dropping H.264 support in Chrome, in favor of WebM and Theora. Considering the tide of sites that are doing H.264 streaming these days, this seems ...

Bleach: HTML Sanitization

Bleach is a rather clever Python module for sanitizing HTML input and auto-linking URLs. It uses a whitelist for the allowed elements and attributes (thank G...

2010

Diplomacy Adjudicator Test Cases

DATC is the de facto standard of test cases for the adjudication of orders in the game of Diplomacy. It’s a useful tool for evaluating if your code is actual...

Backbone.js

Backbone.js is a rather clever library, designed for sites making heavy use of JavaScript, that provides a convenient layer of abstraction between your data ...

Word Lens

Word Lens is an iOS augmented reality app that translates text in real-time from one language to another. Apparently, the dictionaries are in-app purchases, ...

Dropbox Hits 1.0!

Dropbox just announced a major upgrade to their client software, and it looks like a great update. Lots of performance improvements, but the biggest new feat...

Review: Linode

Well, after many years of posting my nonsense on the internets, I have finally made the transition from shared hosting to a VPS. This last week, I migrated t...

NASA Finds New Life

Make no mistake, this is a big deal. I know most people would be expecting that if NASA were to make an announcement about new life that it would involve ano...

Version 3.0

After lots of hard work, some swearing, and lots of patience on the part of my wife, Version 3.0 of this site is now live. It’s been a long journey, but gett...

A Very Lovecraft October

There’s something about Halloween that always draws me back to H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. I’m not alone in this, of course. My good friend Quentin Lewi...

The Sad Science of Hipsterism

Interesting article from Psychology Today on how the essence of being a hipster seems to depend on not only the common trappings of hipster culture, but also...

What's New in PostgreSQL 9.0

PostgreSQL 9.0 is finally available! This is an exciting release with great new features like Hot Standby and Streaming Replication. I can’t wait to get a ch...

Brief Scribblings on Facebook Questions

I will preface this post by saying that I know how close I am skating to social media douchebaggery by writing a post on a new Facebook feature, but I was re...

Ted Chiang on Writing

Great interview with Ted Chiang, who happens to be a rather brilliant science fiction writer. Seriously, if you have not read his wonderful story "Exhalation...

Bill Murray Is Ready to See You Now

Great interview with Bill Murray in which he talks about Ghostbusters 3, Garfield, comedy and his future. Some gems from it are snipped below. On comedic ac...

Easier Custom Model Manager Chaining

Via Simon Willison: This is a really convenient way to add custom functions to model managers in Django. Way easier than defining custom managers each time ...

Boredom & Stats for Nerds

Last night I found myself looking through old blog posts on this site in an attempt to avoid thinking about any of the other things I need to get done. As I ...

Smokescreen

Smokescreen is an interesting project that provides a pure JavaScript and HTML5 player for Flash content, allowing creators to serve up their flash content o...

reCAPTCHA Field for Django Forms

This is an older tutorial, but it works splendidly. I just used this approach with a Django 1.2 project I am working on to create a reCAPTCHA field for my cu...

BankSimple

I’m intrigued, but skeptical of BankSimple, a new bank start-up that aims to make banking easy and painless. I found out about it because Alex Payne has rece...

LESS - Leaner CSS

LESS is an awesome project that extends CSS by adding variables, operations, nested rules and more. Since it supports exisiting CSS syntax, just rename your ...

jQuery Masonry

jQuery Masonry is a layout plugin for jQuery that produces some truly stunning web pages. Looks pretty easy to use too. Make sure to check out the examples, ...

Warren Ellis: On Space Travel

This is a great Wired article by Warren Ellis on the current state of space travel and sums up my feelings as well. Some gems from the article: The single ...

Dan Wells on Story Structure

This YouTube playlist covers a wonderful lecture on story structure from Dan Wells. Wells is the author of the fantastic novel I Am Not A Serial Killer, whic...

Review: Sandman Slim

What do you get when you combine the genres of hard-boiled detective noir, spaghetti-western and urban fantasy set in L.A.? You get Sandman Slim by Richard K...

Quick Post: Tweaking Feeds

Just a short post to say that I’m altering the Everything feed for this site. Previously, it contained all the blog posts, links and photos that appear here....

Django Debug Toolbar

Django Debug Toolbar is an insanely useful Django app that you can drop into any Django project and get tons of useful information while developing and testi...

MikroKopter - HexaKopter

Love this demo video of the MikroKopter. The GPS integration in the device is slick, and I love that it’s an open source, DIY device. The parts aren’t even a...

CrunchGate - 1938 Media

Loren Feldman of 1938 Media does a great job summarizing many of things going wrong at Techcrunch these days, and it’s an excellent overview of the issues at...

Jilion - SublimeVideo

Outstanding example of what an HTML5 based video player can be. I look forward to the day when all web video is consumed like this: with no browser plugins, ...

2009

The Go Programming Language

Google has released their own programming language, appropriately named Go. I haven’t had time to dig deeply into this yet, but I’m seeing some interesting ...

Haystack - Search for Django

This is a sweet search application for Django. When I first wrote my site, I had to patch the model code to have it utilize the native full text search avai...

October Braindump

I have not been posting here much of late, which is partly due to the amount of stuff I’m working on, and partly due to the fact that I’ve been writing and p...

Scientists Find Path to Fountain of Youth

Scientists have found a way to prolong the youth of mice in a laboratory setting by genetically manipulating them to block production of the S6 Kinase protei...

Wolfram|Alpha

Quite simply, I think this is one of the greatest advances in library science and computing in recent memory. This isn’t just a toy or a search engine, this...

Tweenbots

This is a very interesting social experiment being conducted where cute little robots are sent on a mission to reach a certain location, but are dependent on...

Daring Fireball: How to Block the DiggBar

I love this post from John Gruber on how to block the DiggBar, and in effect, Digg itself. I’m also highly amused by the message he displays to users that t...

Review: "Let the Right One In"

Let The Right One In is a novel from Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, and also now a film from Swedish director Tomas Alfredsson. I’ve consumed both no...

Charlie's Diary: Antisocial Networking

Social networks don't grow because they provide utility to their users: they grow because they keep pushing the social stimulus button. And any utility they...

Google Voice Rocks My World

Google Voice is Google’s upgrade to the GrandCentral service they acquired almost two years ago. I’ve had a GrandCentral account for almost as long as the s...

GHOULS of PROVIDENCE - Patton Oswalt

This is perhaps one of the best tributes to H.P. Lovecraft I have read in recent memory. Patton Oswalt tells a story of a walk through Providence, Rhode Isl...

Anybots · About the Robots

Found via Eric Rice’s Facebook profile. From the article: Be two places at once with QA, the new telepresence robot from Anybots. Enjoy complete freedom t...

Meatspace

I know that I usually write about geekery and tech here, but I do occasionally walk away from my electronics and live in the physical world. This is categor...

The Nerd Handbook: Rands in Repose

This is an excellent essay written for the poor benighted souls who have taken on having a relationship with a nerd. Honestly, I prefer the term "geek", but...

DYKC™ Found Stories — MEN WANTED

I love this post from DYKC. Not just because of it’s message, which is significant, but because it showcases his skills as a writer. With very little text ...

Creepy Sleepy Gets Bit by Bluehost

My good friend Dan Patterson of Creepy Sleepy just recently had a rather nasty wake-up call with regards to his current hosting provider, Bluehost. Due to a...

2008

Amazon CloudFront

Content delivery service from Amazon powered by S3. If you are a podcaster, you should really look at this closely.

So You Want a Dynamic Form

A useful little tutorial from James Bennett on how to produce dynamic forms with Django. Some of these techniques I have been using on my own, but he provid...

NaNoWriMo: Day One

I can’t decide if NaNoWriMo is harder than I thought it would be, or if I’m just a bigger wimp than I thought I was. Regardless, it is tough. So, rather th...

Code Revision and NaNoWriMo

I have not had time to post here in a while. My new job has kept me very busy and most of the time when I get home I just want to relax and spend time with ...

Minimal

I’m kinda digging the new design of James Bennet’s site with the minimal look. It almost makes me think I’m going in the wrong direction by trying to go big...

And I'm Back

Those of you who read this site via RSS probably wouldn’t have noticed, but this site had some unexpected downtime this last weekend. My webhost, the always...

Marketing Sucks

This is a really great post from Chris Penn. In it he discusses how marketing, as a discipline, has a branding problem and has managed to ruin its credibili...

New Image and Video Demos of Android

The new demos of Android, Google’s mobile operating system, are very impressive. The UI has had a makeover, and there’s some impressive stuff going on here....

Biggest Drawing in the World

This was a pretty cool project where a guy decided to draw his self portrait using a briefcase outfitted with a GPS tracking device that he had DHL ship all ...

Little Orphan Artworks

Lawrence Lessig weighs in with a well thought out criticism of the proposed changes before Congress dealing with “orphaned works.” His argument is that the ...

The Rise of Contextual User Interfaces

Another very astute analysis from ReadWriteWeb in which they discuss how simple and contextual interfaces are becoming more popular than the standard "Window...

Open-Source, Multitouch Display

This is a cool open source project. I don’t think I’ll be spending the $500-$1000 to put together a unit myself any time soon, but I’m very pleased that the...

The Sting of Poverty

This is an interesting article covering an theory advanced by Charles Karelis that traditional economic theories don’t apply to the experience of the poor. ...

Computerized Combat Glove

It’s really only a matter of time before this kind of technology is being implanted rather than worn. And then… here come the cyborgs.

Gin, Television, and Social Surplus

This is a really interesting piece looking at Social Media and comparing it to the industrial revolution. The point being that during the industrial revolut...

Crawling Out of a Pidgeonhole

It appears that I have written myself into a corner here. When I first started this site back in 2004, I intended it just as a writing exercise. It was sup...

Generator Tricks for Systems Programmers

This is a great guide on generator functions in Python, including use cases. The slides from his presentation (available as a PDF from the linked page) may ...

Diigo

So I’ve started playing around with Diigo for my social bookmarking and I’m pretty impressed with what I’m seeing. I’ll write up a full review in the near f...

Introducing Stackoverflow.com

This is Jeff Atwood’s post announcing the new venture that he is starting up with Joel Spolsky. There’s nothing at the actual site yet besides a podcast of ...

Urgency Is Poisonous - (37signals)

This is a great post by Jason Fried over at 37 signals. As he mentions, this won’t work in every industry, but it absolutely makes sense in software. Good ...

Mibbit

This is awesome. Mibbit is a web-based IRC client, with one of the better interfaces for chat I’ve seen.

Using Django With Appengine

This is a useful guide for navigating some of the specifics of getting a Django project up and running on Google App Engine.

37 More Shocking jQuery Plugins

Sure, it’s a list post. However, there are some awesome examples of jQuery plugins here. Especially handy as the directory at the official jQuery site isn’...

A Blogger by Any Other Name

Eric Rice recently wrote this post wondering, “How can I stop being called a ‘blogger’?” To summarize, his issue is that it is ridiculous to be labeled by a...

Django Rosetta

Via Simon Willison: This is a real cool Django app that creates an awesome interface to help internationalize your site. Allows the adminstrator, and an op...

Django Evolution

This is one of the more promising projects in progress on the Schema Migration front. Schema evolution can be a bit painful and projects like this for autom...

DZone - Fresh Links for Developers

This is a Digg-like site for developers. It’s still fairly small, but I found some really great content that I hadn’t seen before within the first ten minut...

Amazon Mechanical Turk

I had skimmed over descriptions of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which is actually a people powered research system, but this is the first time I’ve given it a g...

FormWizard: Multiple-step Forms in Django

This is an awesome new feature in Django trunk that I hadn’t heard of before. Django now provides a system for handling multiple step form entry. Can’t wai...

Taming the Beast - New York Times

"If Wall Street companies can count on being rescued like banks, then they need to be regulated like banks." This is a pretty good op-ed piece in the NYT on...

Sudan - Freeing of Slaves | Creepy Sleepy

My friend Dan Patterson is a U.N. correspondent for Talk Radio News, and was recently sent on assignment to Sudan. He’s sent back several reports via a sate...

Django and Comet

This is an interesting tutorial on using Comet with Django for realtime JS apps. The example is creating a live chat page.

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales in Donations Row

I’ve been trying not to help circulate the gossip and allegations around Jimmy Wales, but this is getting pretty serious. I’m starting to think that the onl...

Coultonfield

This is a pretty funny parody of "Cloverfield" with Paul and Storm trying to get way from a monster, played by Jonathan Coulton.

Introducing the Google Contacts Data API

Finally, Google has provided a secure way of accessing contact information from a Google account. I for one will be happy to no longer have to hand my passw...

Pownce-jabber-bot - Google Code

Awesome! Someone has already developed a Jabber Bot for use with Pownce. It’s set up as a reusable Django app, which means that anyone with a Django site c...

Quick Post: Pownce API 2.0 Now Available

In case you missed it, Pownce announced the release of the second revision of its public API today. The new API is much more elaborate than the previous ver...

This May Make Me a Terrible Person

You know, I came to a realization tonight, one that surprised me. In retrospect, it’s been in my mind for a while now, but I haven’t allowed it to really so...

Coding Horror: Douchebaggery

This is a pretty funny post by Jeff Atwood reacting to some of David Heinemeier Hansson’s inflammatory comments regarding Windows users. Atwood comes close ...

UserFriendly Lolmicrohoo

I promise this will be the last Microsoft/Yahoo thing I link to for a while, but this just struck me as really funny.

Clarity Sought on Electronics Searches

The title of this Washington Post article fails to do the material justice. This has to do with U.S. customs officials that have been requiring travelers to...

Monkey Boy's Three-legged Race

Great piece from FSJ on the potential Microsoft-Yahoo merger. "It’s like taking the two guys who finished second and third in a 100-yard dash and tying thei...

X-No-Thanks

James Bennett makes a pretty convincing and practical argument against Microsoft’s proposed X-UA-Compatible as a means of triggering different rendering mode...

TDD Anti-Patterns

A nice entry summing up the ways you can end up writing tests in a way that actually impair your development. They’re easy traps to fall into, and since it ...

6 Reasons to Develop Your Tests First

We all know we should do Test Driven Development, but it’s a hard discipline to get started with. I know I often am too lazy to do it, and it’s something I’...

Last Alaska Language Speaker Dies

Via Warren Ellis: Wow, what a sad moment. The last speaker of Eyak language has passed away. However, at least she was able to help compile a dictionary o...

Introducing EveryBlock

EveryBlock is an awesome idea and an incredible service. I wish they had it for my town.

David Byrne: Culture Club

David Byrne (if you don’t know who he is you have lived a sheltered and sad life) maintains an awesome blog. He doesn’t post often, but every post is well-c...

Rails Is a Ghetto

This is a hell of a rant against the Rails community by Zed Shaw (creator of Mongrel). It’s passionate and angry, so yeah maybe take it with a grain of salt...

Chatting With Adrian Holovaty

This is an excellent interview with Adrian Holovaty, covering his work with Django, Python, and how he got involved in this dual-discipline of computer scien...

2007

2008 Predictions | 1938 Media

Hilarious list of predictions for 2008 from Loren Feldman of 1938 Media. Some I agree with, some are obviously just for laughs. One that’s scary, but that ...

Gotta Digg

I just have to share this hilarious video that I found via Techcrunch. It’s a song, written and performed by Kina Grannis about a certain social news site t...

Sea Cucumber "new Malaria Weapon"

This article on the BBC is about how sea cucumbers produce a protein which impairs the development of the malaria parasites. Which sounds all well in good u...

Christmas in Detention

My friend Christina, who works in immigration law, has penned this powerful post regarding how immigrants in detention will be spending their holiday season....

The B-List: The Future of Web Standards

This is a really great analysis from James Bennett on some of the questions that have been circulating lately regarding the future of web standards. He sugg...

Hear Voices? It May Be an Ad

Via Warren Ellis People have developed a way to broadcast ads on the street so that "the sound is contained within your cranium." That’s just wonderful, I ...

Send Django Exceptions to DPaste

Michael Trier points out a cool new feature in Django that is awesome for debugging. On Django error pages (with DEBUG turned on) there is now a button that...

Updates, ToDo and a Request for Feedback

Hopefully not too many people tried to stop by the site today, because I had a pretty severe outage due to my own foolishness. I’ve been trying to implement...

Unit Structures: Facebook's New World

Fred Stutzman, an academic who is an excellent resource for all topics regarding identity, also provides some of the best commentary regarding Facebook on th...

Xkcd - Python

This comic pretty much sums up why I love programming in Python. Well that and the title tag for the comic, which reads, "I wrote 20 short programs in Pyth...

OAuth Core 1.0

Final spec for OAuth. I like a lot of what I see, and I’m looking forward to seeing this getting used widely as an alternative to consumers storing login cr...

The B-List: Clarke's Third Law

This is a great post from James Bennett on Clarke’s Third Law and how it relates to the pyramids, and how Django used to suffer from it before the Magic-Remo...

The B-List: Newforms, Part 1

If only this article had been written and posted when I was first building my personal site. It would have saved me so much time reading this rather than le...

Creepy Sleepy: Mahalo

Just another quick post that Dan and I just recently did a short podcast on Mahalo. Our contention is that Mahalo, while ostensibly a search engine, has far...

YouTube Cleaner 2.0 – Userscripts.org

"A simple script that removes unwanted clutter on YouTube pages. What makes it special is that it includes controls to restore them instantly." Heh, I didn’...

StupidFilter :: Main / HomePage

This is old news that I remember hearing about on Buzz Out Loud. I want to alpha test the engine code as soon as it released. :-) Interesting that if you ...

Ahem

<clears throat> This is actually just a short post to warn you that there will be a pretty major overhaul to the site in the near future. The majorit...

Android - SDK

Google has released the early look of the Android SDK for mobile phones. Haven’t had a chance to play much yet, but can’t wait to get started. Also, it loo...

Dresden Codak Casts Magic Missile

This is a hilarious little strip depicting a philosophy RPG game. I discovered it via my friend Chris. I haven’t read any of the other strips in the series...

Don’t Call It a Podcast

This is an older post from Leo Laporte that I like. This isn’t his "netcast" assertion again, rather he argues that by continuing to use the term "podcast" ...

Creepy Sleepy: Why Radiohead Matters

Just a quick post to let you know that I appeared on the latest episode of the Creepy Sleepy Show Podcast, where DHP, Greg and myself discuss the new Radiohe...

MySpace Platform to Launch Next Week

This is really an inevitable development and one we’ve all been expecting. I am a little puzzled that apps will have to be stored on a MySpace server, given...

Google Buys Social Mobile Startup Jaiku

"Jaiku, the Twitter (and Pownce)-like service from Finland, has been bought by Google. Jaiku Founders Jyri Engeström and Petteri Koponen today …" This is im...

Linux Kernel Monkey Log

A project offering to get Linux drivers written, for free, for any company that desires. This is great news for Linux users everywhere.

OAuth — Documentation

First draft of the OAuth spec, which aims to provide a standard API for various services to interact with each other in a secure way. So, you wouldn’t be ha...

Yaaar

Ahoy, mateys! Today be the official Talk Like A Pirate Day and the Ministry o’ Intrigue will be celebrating by servin’ up all me text as pirate speak fer th...

Map of Zork

A scan of a hand-drawn map of the original Zork game. Very cool.

RIP, Robert Jordan - Boing Boing

This is a bummer. I remember reading some of the Wheel of Time back in high school, but I never got further than Book Five due to other distractions. I wil...

UX Pioneers: An Interview With Seth Godin

I quite like this interview with Seth Godin. Here’s one of my favorite bits, "The thing is, the stuff that’s for everybody is already sold to everybody. So ...

Seth's Blog: The Scarcity Shortage

I really like this post from Seth Godin. Seth Godin has an ability to make people remember the things that should be obvious, but that we forget anyway when...

Spore PC Preview, Spore Preview

Spore is coming! I’ve pointed out this game before, but it is yet another game that will try to eat my soul (if I have any left by the time it comes out) so...

Space Dust Is Alive, and It's Us

Apparently, space dust can organize into helical shapes and begin to display some of the attributes of life. It’s interesting as yet another question of how...

jQuery for JavaScript Programmers

Really, anything that Simon Willison posts is worth linking to, but this is simply a great post he’s put together on jQuery. Essentially he’s demonstrating ...

ActuSf Interview With Vernor Vinge

This is a great little interview with Vernor Vinge, author of Rainbows End (and other works). Incidently, if you have not read Rainbows End you really need ...

A Look Inside a Russian Hackers' Dojo

This is really cool. Ilya Vasilyev runs a sort of dojo where he trains people in hacking. His training ranges from assembly language all the way to crackin...

Official Google Blog: Joining OIN

Google joins the Open Invention Network, which means it will now cross-license all of its Linux-related patents with all the other members of the OIN (e.g. I...

Facebook, Identity, and OpenID

I’m a little late on this one, but it’s still worth discussing. I also apologize for the length of this post, but I had more to say than I thought! A few w...

Jyte: Spread the Cred

This OpenID enabled site allows you to vote on claims, or make your own. As you get to know other users you can give each other cred (positive or negative) ...

Google Mashup Editor

I’m intrigued by Google’s foray into this area. I’ve been wondering for a while what Google was going to produce as their answer to Yahoo! Pipes. Although,...

Fun With Django Feeds

I would like to take a moment to show you how easy it is to create feeds in Django, and the easiest way to do that is by example. For brevity’s sake, I’m go...

Scientists Create 12-headed Jellyfish

"Jellyfish with up to a dozen heads have been created in the laboratory by carefully monkeying with a few genes." It’s all fun and games until a twelve-head...

Watch the Guild

This is a really funny idea for a webisode series. I hope the follow through is consistent with the first episode. Unfortunately, the only way to subscribe...

A Short Post on Spam Protection

Well, it’s official. I’ve had my first few spammers attempt to leave comments on the new site. Unfortunately for them, their efforts are to no avail. This...

Django Master Class

Slides from an awesome Django presentation. If you’re interested in doing anything advanced with Django, you need to read through these.

Relaunch

Well, it took a long time, but I finally finished! Welcome to the new Ministry of Intrigue. This site is now powered by Django, the marvelous Python framew...

Seth's Blog: Empathy

Seth Godin hit’s the nail on the head here, talking about the issue with so many books and blogs being about the writer instead of the reader. He isn’t sayi...

favicon.ico Generator

"favicon.cc is a tool to create or download favicon.ico icons, that get displayed in the address bar of every browser." This is a clever app. I don’t know ...

Instructables Hidden Door Bookshelf

Who doesn’t want a hidden door bookshelf. I have sworn that one day I will own a house with a series of secret passages with entrances hidden behind bookcas...

The Appleseed Project

Distributed social networking is certainly a neat idea, and one that a lot of folks have been kicking around for a while too. The thing I’m shocked about is...

Octosquid - starbulletin.com | News

Possibly a new oceanic species has been discovered. The animal, which got stuck in a deep sea filter, appears to be some sort of half-octopus/half-squid cre...

ThickBox 3

This is a really slick Lightbox-like solution designed for jQuery. It is ridiculously flexible and renders extremely fast on the page. Since I’m using jQue...

A List Apart - Taming Lists

Just about everything A List Apart posts is worth bookmarking, but I particularly enjoyed this little tutorial on lists.

Digg Storm Radio

Just a quick post to mention that I’m a guest on today’s episode of the Creepy Sleepy Show Podcast. We discuss the recent HDDVD Digg Storm controversy, Digg...

Mixed Media - Forbes.com

Rupert Murdoch says, "Traditional companies are feeling threatened. I say, bring on the changes." Murdoch seems to understand new media, but will he just ma...

Haloid

This is a pretty funny mashup of Metroid and Halo.

Dive Into Python

I can’t believe I haven’t bookmarked this one yet. This online text is how I got my first introduction to Python. If you already have a background in progr...

Quick Post: Body Worlds

This weekend I went to the Body Worlds exhibit at The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.For ...

Xkcd - Blogofractal

This is a cute visual image of the hive mind that is the blogs from the always hilarious comic strip xkcd.

OpenCongress

This is a really awesome idea, although I’ll be curious to see how it gets used. I have not had a chance to really play yet, but it looks pretty slick.

swfIR: Swf Image Replacement

This is a pretty cool javascript/flash library that lets you do some real-time manipulation of images. I have no idea if I’ll ever use it for a project, but...

The Post Money Value: Inside the Process

Rick Segal walks us through the process that his firm uses before entering into a venture capital agreement. This is a great explanation for any startup, or...

Yahoo’s Pipes Are Clogged.

I would love to be writing a thorough review of Yahoo! Pipes right now. Unfortunately, when I try to visit the site I only get this error message: Howeve...

Some Changes at ClaimID

ClaimID is refocusing, and aims to become the finest OpenID provider out there. This is such a logical move, and I’m excited to see what these guys come up ...

Guardian Unlimited | I Hate Macs

Okay, I’m not as much of an Apple hater these days, although Apple culture and posturing still annoys me. That’s probably why I was laughing out load readin...

LibraryThing | Catalog Your Books Online

LibraryThing is a really innovative service that allows you to catalog your book collection online, and allows you to make connections while receiving recomm...

Checking Out Google Reader

On recommendation of far too many people to mention, I’m checking out Google Reader again. I remember peeking at it when it was first released, when I was s...

Colbert on the iPhone - Engadget

Colbert rants on CES and the Apple iPhone, with the later receiving the dreaded double-finger wag for leaving him "flaccid with rage."

All Your Pixel

This is a great explanation on how to implement an XMLRPC service in a Django application. The follow-up post is also an excellent guide on taking this base...

Last Quiz, I Swear

Found this via Dvorak’s blog: What American accent do you have? Your Result: The Midland "You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you...

2006

Bittorrent Simulator

This is a great simulation of how Bittorrent works. Show this to any of your friends who don’t understand how the protocol operates.

IEEE Spectrum: The Firefox Kid

Blake Ross has a new product called Parakey, which is a sort of unified web OS. It sounds like it has potential, but of course it will all come down to the ...

The Django Book

The "beta" version of a Django book to be published soon. Comment and help them out!

Top 10 Web 2.0 Losers » Wisdump

This list is mostly spot-on. With one exception, and that exception is Bloglines, which I use every day and love. Bloglines may not be the prettiest thing ...

TWiT: A Cast by Any Other Name

Leo Laporte makes a smart argument for changing the name "podcast" to something like "netcast" which doesn’t introduce the confusing connotations with the iP...

Listening Post 2

In a roundabout way, Apple claims that using the word "pod" infringes on their trademark for the "iPod". This could be bad for podcasting.

YouTube - Girl Archer

This girl can shoot a bull’s eye with her leg. That’s about all there is to say except… wow.

Legend of the BloodNinja

Okay, I’ve read some of BloodNinja’s work before, but this compilation is awesome. Terrible, horrible, hilarious fun!

ABC News: She's Her Own Twin

This is just an amazingly bizarre story. Due to a rare medical condition called "chimerism", this woman essentially has two disparate strains of DNA through...

YouTube - Closer (Fan Video)

This is seriously one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Kirk and Spock show us their true relationship.

Watchmen: Stan Lee Style

Via Boing Boing:Just a quick post, but if you are at all into comics you will get a kick out of blogger Kevin Church’s hilarious reimagining of Alan Moore’s ...

Dark Cut

A fun game as medieval surgeon.

Bored? Try Batting a Penguin.

This is kind of an old game, but if you ever find yourself bored try playing a game of Yeti Pingu-Throw. It’s an addictive little game in which you play a y...

Django Rocks My World

So as I mentioned before I’ve been learning Python, and it has been a lot of fun. It says something that I can spend all day at work writing code, only gett...

Happy Birthday Interwebs…

The World Wide Web turned 15 yesterday. Still one more year before it can get a driver’s license. :) Wikipedia Entry on the World Wide Web

I Am in Fact Alive

Wow, where the hell have I been?! It’s two days shy of a month since I last posted, which is an eternity online. As is probably obvious, I’ve been really b...

How to Tweak Firefox 2.0 Beta 1

in Firefox 2 has also been around since the Alpha 2 build. Now it can not only restore your session after your system crashes but it will also restore your s...

Skype 1.3 Beta for Linux

Skype has released a new version for Linux with ALSA support built-in, which allows it to run even with other sound applications. Hurray! Get it here! How...

claimID: Managing Your Identity Online

How many times have you googled yourself? Too embarrassed to say? Same here. I suppose just about everyone with a connection to the Internet has been guil...

Evil Editor Is Here to Help You

If you are interested in being published, or just want some great entertainment, you should head on over to Evil Editor and read his hilariously vicious crit...

Original Star Wars Trilogy Coming to DVD

Via /.: Be still my beating heart! Due to the enormous pressure and demand from fans, LucasFilm is going to be releasing the original unedited versions of ...

Cthulu the Movie?

Via Warren Ellis: Here is a trailer for Cthulu: The Movie, with none other than Tori Spelling performing in it. From the looks of the official site, the pr...

Not Really a Review of Silent Hill

Against my better judgment, I went to go see the movie adaptation of Silent Hill this weekend. While I’ll agree with the guys at Penny Arcade that I should ...

No Enforced RFID in My State!

Via /.: Wisconsin may soon become the first state to ban the practice of mandatory microchip implants in human beings. State Representative Marlin Schneide...

Well That Was Pretty Fast

Well, I’m already back at my old hosting provider, Celphi. All I’ll say right now is DO NOT EVER use Dreamhost. While Dreamhost offers a stunning amount of...

DMCA: The Next Generation… Coming Soon

The Bush administration has a new version of DMCA to offer you, and it’s so much worse. In this article, Declan McCullagh of CNET news describes the Intelle...

Migration Complete!

If you can see this post, that means that your ISP has updated its DNS cache and you are now viewing the Ministry of Intrigue at its new home! Everything sh...

Prepare for Turbulence

The Ministry of Intrigue may experience some technical difficulties over the next 48 hours or so as I migrate to a new web host. Expect random outages and r...

PSA: Danger of Cinnamon Rolls

Just so you all know, it is extremely difficult to eat a cinnamon roll and look professional at the same time. You either pick it apart and end up with fros...

Review: Google Calendar

It hardly seems worth it to write a review of Google Calendar this late into the game does it? After all, with a Google product I’m sure everyone who is int...

Abuse Can Be Funny

You simply need to read this account of Sim abuse. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve read all week.

The Geeks Enter Politics in a Big Way

I was just listening to the most recent episode of TWiT when I learned of the formation of a new non-partisan political organization dedicated to causes near...

Review: Krugle

I cannot remember how I initially heard about Krugle, but I’m glad that I did.For those of you who haven’t heard of this service (which may be many of you), ...

Podcasting Creates Challenges for NPR

A recent article in Wired News discusses the difficulties podcasting is creating for NPR. With free podcasts finally becoming more common for NPR programmin...

Review: Flock Browser

It is with some trepidation that I set out to review the developer preview of the Flock browser. It hardly seems fair, does it? After all, the public beta ...

My last.fm

The personal Last.fm statistics page for randori. Last.fm: A free service that tracks your musical taste, finds similar users, and provides musical recommend...

Breathe Easy Everyone: Check the Date

Via Digg: This is a great little April Fool's joke I found via Digg. The page explains how the RIAA and MPAA are going to merge and form a new conglomer...

Review: V for Vendetta

As usual, my review is being written somewhat late. This Saturday, I went to go see V for Vendetta at the local IMAX. I have to admit that despite my excit...

Please Wait, Your Program Is Loading…

I apologize for the delay between posts, but I’ve been a little busy the last couple days. However, I do have a few things in the works and hopefully I’ll b...

Web Developers Deserve Respect

Jeremy Zawodny has a couple great articles on his blog about how web developers do not receive the respect they deserve among software engineers. The two po...

Are You Hip to the New Web?

You should really take this quiz to find out. It will test your ability to decipher between Web 2.0 start-ups and Star Wars characters. I’m embarrassed to ...

I Smell Fanboy

But seriously, this is a really impressive fan film lightsaber fight I found via Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. It’s actually really entertaining. Watch Ryan vs Do...

Best Game Ever?

You simply HAVE to check out this video of what might be the best game ever, which I found via the blog of my friend Chris. The game is called Spore and it ...

It’s Been a While

Mmm… Time wasting. You scored as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Mentor. Obi-Wan Kenobi71%Master Yoda67%Qui-Gon Jinn63%Luke Skywalker58%Count Dooku50%...

The Things We Do for Love

I haven’t posted in a few days, in part because I’ve been pretty busy, and partly because I’ve been overhauling my system with a brand new Linux distribution...

“One Outside the Loop of Destiny”

I had to respectfully withdraw from the TTLB Ecosystem because the JavaScript required, which updates my status on it, was causing serious drag at load time ...

All Your Ticks Are Named John Conner

I just read an article in Wired about a robot designed by the Virginia Military Institute that can troll around your yard recognize and collect ticks. The t...

Shall Dvorak Eat Crow?

Via Digg: Here is a extremely articulate and well reasoned rebuttal to Dvorak’s claim that Apple will switch to Windows as their primary OS. Rob Hyndman cl...

FATALITY!!!

I love Digg: Check out the Mortal Kombat commercial that was not allowed to air during the Super Bowl due to excessive violence. Hilarity will ensue. Fini...

Deathmatch: Whedon vs. Ellis

I was just reading the blog of Warren Ellis and came across a very funny little discussion between Ellis and Joss Whedon occuring in the comments of one of t...

Appearance on Creepy Sleepy Show Podcast

Okay, you’ve heard me telling the Courtesy story, which admitedly was pitch-shifted. If you want to hear me being relatively serious (well, with a few excep...

Who Else Hears Crickets??

To my ten readers (I may have counted a few of you twice to make myself feel cooler :) ) : Sorry about the general lack of posting lately. I have been supe...

Ha! Take That MPAA!!!

Just read the about this quote from the head of the British Video Association via Boing Boing, which indicates that people who illegally download movies and...

So Now I’m Also Hooked on Podiobooks

Okay, I have yet another addiction provided by the Internet. Among all the other things I spend my time doing online, between listening to podcasts, reading...

For Your Listening Pleasure

So my friend Dan of the Creepy Sleepy Show Podcast took a moment over the Christmas holiday to record me telling the Courtesy story along with Greg (who was ...

Wisconsin and Open Source in Love

I just read an article that the governor of my adopted state has just signed into law a bill that will require future touch screen voting systems to be open-...

Help a Mother Fight the RIAA

I just found an entry on Boing Boing that informs us that Patricia Santangelo, the mother who refused to settle out of court when the RIAA’s goons came to he...

2005

I Got Spammed. Hard.

Seriously, this is ridiculous. It was cute at first getting the occasional spammer. I even took some delight in moderating their comments as spam and banis...

I’ve Been a Bad Blogger

I have been going in cycles with my blogging and have been in a downturn of late. I actually am working on a few interesting entries for you folks, but I’ve...

Review: MirrorMask

Just about every fan of the creative team of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean has heard of the new movie MirrorMask, and just about every fan waited as impatientl...

Google, How Do I Love Thee?

I just discovered via Boing Boing that Google has added a Creative Commons License field (labeled as “Usage Rights”) to their advanced search capabilities. ...

Your Place in the Blog Food Chain

Hey, bloggers! If you haven’t yet, you should register your site with the Truth Laid Bear, a rather unique and cool blog portal and search engine. Even if ...

Sony Likes Their New Black Hats

Looking for more examples of corporations going too far in their misguided quest for DRM? Here’s Sony’s recent exploration into using rootkits to manage DRM...

I Shall Return

I swear I am not dead. I’ve just been very busy with some additional coding and tech geek experiments and haven’t had time to write. I promise to get back ...

Your Guess Is as Good as Mine

I have no idea how tired or drunk I was when I wrote this, but I found it among my other blog notes so I thought I would post it here to give you a view into...

One of the Funniest Covers Ever

I found this via a link on Cabell’s blog, and it is one of the funniest cover songs I have ever heard. It is a fun little folk/emo rendition of Baby Got Bac...

Review: The Dresden Dolls Concert

Last night I attended the Dresden Dolls show at the Barrymore Theater in Madison, and it was one of the best rock shows I have experienced in my life. The n...

True Patriot: Josh Casteel

I recently came across a blog entry describing a presentation an old friend from high school gave. Josh Casteel served in Iraq as an interrogator sent in to...

“Can You Think of Ways to Help Him?”

As a Buddhist, I found myself nearly rolling on the floor with laughter when I saw this excerpt from a Christian children’s coloring book on Boing Boing. Ta...

I Escaped

I found this fun little escape puzzle game online. It actually isn’t too difficult and it is a lot of fun to play. Check it out!

Yay! *does Happy Dance*

The Dresden Dolls are going to be doing a show in Madison!!!! It looks like the Dolls will be here Oct. 17th at the Barrymore Theatre, which promises to roc...

Only Because I Am Bored

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from o...

Help the Browncoats Out

If you have not seen Serenity yet, please consider going to see it this weekend. Or if you have seen it, please consider seeing it again this weekend. Sou...

I’m Not Dead

Wow, I’ve been slacking with this blog the last few days, but with good reason. I had a very busy weekend and now I am ill. This weekend I had my normal c...

Whoo-hoo!

I just got back from the midnight showing of Serenity, and it kicked my ass. I really really enjoyed it. I was a bit worried going into it, and I hope that...

This Is So Cool

Scientists have finally captured footage of a living giant squid! I’ve been waiting for this for years. For those of you not familiar with the significance...

Serenity Is Imminent

For those of you sci-fi fans who may have been living in a cave, the movie Serenity comes out this Friday. As I am sure you know, this film is based off of ...

No More, So Weak

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to curl up in a ball and hide? One of those days where you are left incapable of speech, and somehow...

Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

I have been eagerly waiting the publication of Anansi Boys ever since I read about it over a year ago on Neil Gaiman’s blog. So it was with a great deal of ...

Yar! I Be a Little Grumpy!

I am trying to write less about work, and to be totally honest that should not be hard to do. After the last five 10-11 hour days I’ve just finished I reall...

Mmm, That’s Good Geek!

I’ve been listening to the soundtrack to Jade Empire the last couple days. Yes, I am a huge nerd and actually bought the musical score of a video game. But...

“Oh, My User!”

Well, I went to the 6:00am class of Aikido yesterday. I wanted to make sure I got that practice session in otherwise I would have to wait three days to get ...

Why I Will Never Succeed in Marketing

I was leaving a parking garage late last night, and as I waited for the cashier to get me my change he surprised me by asking if I was interested in selling ...

A Familiar Ache That Brings a Smile

I finally went back to Aikido today. I went and joined the local dojo and attended my first class there, and I am so glad I did. While my body has forgotte...

Victory Is Mine!

I finally solved a small but annoying little problem I was encountering with my domain email. You see, my ISP (evil, evil) does not let me open connections ...

Ha!

I am amused. The Isthmus Daily Page, which is the digital version of one of Madison’s free weekly newpapers cited my entry where I wrote about my short trip...

“Why Exactly Do You Own This Again?”

Okay, I have an embarrassing confession to make. I actually own a copy of The Craft. Yes, that teen movie about the four witches. You must understand that...

The Dumplings Command Me

Once, many years ago I made potato gnocchi, because I desired their deliciousness. And they were yummy, but I swore to myself that I would never make them a...

More Zombie Fun

I just found out about this game called Urban Dead from a post on Boing Boing. Urban Dead is an MMO that runs in your browser. It’s actually pretty low tec...

* Grumble Grumble *

This last Saturday was a little irritating. First, we had football shuttles, which weren’t terribly organized due to the UW wanting to change the plan afte...

Google Purge

I love The Onion. It’s one of the few consistently funny periodicals out there. This very humorous article caught my attention in the print version today, ...

Steer Me Away From Any Poles

I am so farking tired right now it isn’t even funny. It is my own fault too. A couple nights ago I was reading a book and I stayed up way past my bedtime, ...

Feeling a Little Inspired

I was going to write a short little post about how unproductive my last few days have been. I had plenty of stories to tell about watching DVDs, reading and...

Real Genius and Attribute Exchange

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a huge dork. There was a time in my life where I could have quoted the entirety of the movie Real Genius to you on d...

The Keyboard of My Dreams

Think Geek is a dangerous place to wander online. I keep finding all sorts of gadgets I want. For example: Das Keyboard, typing dohickey of the gods. Here...

Panic and Release

It has been a rough few weeks. Several weeks ago I received a mass email from my boss that our department may be facing budget cuts and he was going to a me...

Review: The Forty-Year-Old Virgin

I should preface this review by saying that I really really wanted to hate this movie. It had all the makings of a potential Hollywood raunch-fest, with a o...

Woo-hoo! I’m on Google IM!!!

I am on Google IM as we speak. Google is just using the Jabber protocol and you use your gmail account username. For detailed info on how to get on go here...

Voice-Over Artists Revealed

Here is a funny little video I found via Boing Boing featuring the top five voice over artists you’ve always heard in movie trailers. It is a lot of fun to ...

Jon Stewart Interview

You totally need to check out this interview in Wired with Jon Stewart and Ben Karlin about the future of television. It is informative and oh so hilarious....

“I Love This Show”

I just finished watching Elizabeth again. God, I love this movie. Seriously, it is one of my favorite movies, but I often forget about it, so it’s a special ...

Contest!

My friends over at the Creepy Sleepy Show are running a contest you may be interested in. As you know, I am not a big fan of Apple products, but if you are l...

Virtual Reality Therapy for Soldiers

I just came across an interesting article by Xeni Jardin on Wired about a new Virtual Reality Therapy being used to treat soldiers returning form war. This ...

An Open Source DRM?

I was just perusing the articles on Slashdot and I came across a link to a project whose intention is to create an open source DRM standard. Started by the ...

Would Someone Tell That Gnome to Lay Off?

Last night I did something very stupid. I went out and “got my drink on” as the kids say these days, and worse I went out on an empty stomach. You see, I do...

Serenity Goodness

A short little clip from the upcoming movie Serenity has been leaked onto the Internet. It is certainly not a spoiler of any kind, but is definately “creepi...

You Should Totally Be Listening to TWiT

Seriously, I absolutely love this podcast. This Week In Tech is hands-down the best tech podcast out there. Informative and entertaining it is not to be mis...

Laugh Gallery

My friend Quentin pointed me towards the Rock And Roll Confidential site, which is sort of a compendium of the worst bands in existence. I highly recommend ...

Help Me Debug

Lately I have noticed when accessing my blog that occasionally links or text in italics gets compressed against other text. It doesn’t consistently happen, ...

“DRM Will Kill Mobile Music”

Go over and read this recent post on Boing Boing about how DRM is affecting attempts to advance mobile music. It is good stuff. You don’t want to make bunn...

Robot Kitty

I found this link through Boing Boing about a man whose cat lost the use of his rear legs in a traffic accident. The owner's solution: build a robotic platf...

“the Horror, the Horror”

I’m working on a book review right now, but to tide you over in the meantime I am posting a link to an oldie, but a goodie. It has actually been around the ...

Can Someone Confirm This?

Okay, I was just directed to a site indicating that Christopher Walken is running for president in 2008. Can anyone confirm or deny this for me? It could b...

Miss Scarlet in the Library With an iPod

Well, it has finally happened, someone has used their iPod to kill someone else in a domestic dispute. Apparently, the woman in question killed her boyfrien...

Don’t Be a Jerk

I just found an article through Slashdot about some software being developed that can monitor phone conversations and provide you a score to display how much...

A Plea to Podcasters

The following is a Public Service Announcement. For the love of God, please write the IDv3 tags for your files consistently! It is driving me absolutely n...

Your Cell Phone Could Be a Superhero

Well, maybe not a superhero, but an article I found on Wired.com describes how researchers may be able to turn our cell phones into a huge distributed networ...

Careful With That Game of Halo

I just read an article I found through Boing Boing about a young man in South Korea that died of exhaustion after playing a FPS game for 50 hours straight. ...

This Kid Is So Much Cooler Than Me

Seriously, this kid at a young age is dancing his ass off to Joan Jett before an audience. He’s awesome. I so don’t have the guts to ever do something like...

I Avoid Work Like a Ninja

I am really a very lazy person. This may not always be apparent to the casual observer because they may see me at work, where I am very focused and willing ...

I Cancelled My Mad Max Audition

Well, I am finally starting to understand the way Linux works, and I am getting better and better at using and navigating it every day. This is really good,...

News From the Frontlines

The enemy is weakening. There are less and less gnats every day. My complex strategy of utilizing both Raid and swatting has confounded their efforts and I...

I’m a Hopeless Geek

Okay, I should have been in bed a couple hours ago, but I stayed up to try out a new Linux installation. SuSE 9.3 rocks my socks off. Not only does it supp...

The Monkey Must Pay

Okay, I just found out about this little game online. It may be the most pointless thing I have seen in a while, but it involves a monkey so of course I pla...

Swimming in SQL

Well, I have finally started writing the DDL to build the database that the diplomacy server will run on. For a while there I was getting pretty down on mys...

I Am at War

I am not a violent person. I won’t even kill flies or bees if they annoy me, I usually just shoo them out the nearest window. In general, I have given up t...

You Need to Try This Out

I was just on the Penny Arcade site and found a link to a bizarre little RPG game that runs in your browser. It is strangely simple and infuriatingly diffic...

Apple May Be More Evil

I highly recommend you go read Cory Doctorow’s article on Apple embedding Trusted Computing technology into their OS kernel in an attempt to prevent circumve...

Living a Double Life

I recently learned about the online service Second Life. This must be one of the most bizarre things I have encountered online. For those of you unfamiliar...

I Screwed Up

I am an adult, and I can admit a mistake. When I first signed up for webhosting with Logjamming, I was really excited. I liked their personality and I dug ...

Aural Pleasure for Geeks

Last night before bed I listened to the most recent episode of Dragon Page Wingin’ It, which I highly recommend that you go download and listen to. It’s cho...

So Freaking Tired

Today I was covering for a colleague, which involved working from 4am this morning to 2pm this afternoon. The worst part was that since I’ve gotten used to ...

Save Leeroy

A follow up on the now legendary Leeroy. Now you can buy shirts to show support for the misguided efforts of this hapless gamer. Here is what it looks like...

Profitable Business Partnerships

Many years ago, I was driving through the suburbs of Chicago with my girlfriend at the time and I saw what had to be a very profitable arrangement. Driving ...

The Gaming Controversy

Yet another link I found through Boing Boing to an open letter addressed to Hillary Clinton regarding the whole GTA controversy. The letter is written by St...

RIAA Strikes Again: Master Blaster!

“Can’t you see? He has the mind of a child!” Or rather, the RIAA does. Seriously, this is just getting ridiculous. The RIAA has done it again, and yes, t...

Ron Jeremy Might Get His Own T.V. Show

I just came across this Boing Boing post that says that Ron Jeremy may be getting his own reality show on ABC. You can read the Boing Boing entry here. Cli...

I Am Indecisive

Hmm, yes. I have changed my theme yet again. Almost immediately after saying I was going to stick with the last one. The last theme, while I liked it visu...

You Know You Want One

While I was reading over Boing Boing today, I came across this little blurb about about a group of model airplane hackers who have constructed replicas of St...

Mining Your Life

I found this article on Wired.com all about research into human lifestyles using customized life styles to store data on social networking, sleep patterns an...

My Humor

Found this on the blog of dimloep_sum, who is an online friend of Christina’s. It seems pretty accurate to me. the Wit (60% dark, 3...

V for Vendetta

Oh my God! Total fanboy moment! They have just posted the trailer for the film version of V for Vendetta, based off of the classic graphic novel by Alan Mo...

Sleep of Reason Pt. 3

Link to Part 1 Link to Part 2 Terrified of a world I could not mentally grasp, I attempted to exert control over my reality in lieu of understanding. This ...

Celebrity Roommate

I am such a nerd for being excited about this. This site is hosted by the fine gentlemen at Logjamming, which also happens to be the same company that host...

Translation

I know just about everyone has done this with their website at least once, but I have to post this link. You may not be aware of a site called Gizoogle, whi...

New Look

Hmm… I am liking this new look. It is still just a WordPress template, but I’ve made a few little modifications to it and written a few extra functions for ...

Migration Complete!

Whew! I have finally moved all of my Blogger entries and loaded them onto the MySQL server. It took many hours of tedious copy and paste work, but I think ...

I’ve Moved!

Yes, indeedy! I have my own domain now. Expect many things to appear here in the future including a diplomacy game server as well as other fun development ...

Sleep of Reason Pt. 2

Link to Part 1 In my nightmares I had come to associate logical reasoning with a monstrous figure that would tear me apart even as it embraced me. Intuitive...

Sleep of Reason Pt. 1

When I was in high school I used to have a recurring nightmare once every month or so. It was part of the most important spiritual developments in my life. ...

Mmm… Open Source Beer

Seriously, a group of young gentlemen have developed a recipie for beer incorporating guarana which counters the drowsiness you feel when you drink beer. The...

Public Service Announcement

Every time that you support the RIAA or MPAA in their misguided DRM crusade, whether it is to restrict innovations in technology or to sue their fanbase, it ...

Forget Longhorn

I know many fine folks on the net have expressed their disappointment regarding the next version of Windows codenamed Longhorn. At first I was very excited. ...

Waiting

I still do not have any more information on my friend Jeff yet. I am hoping that more will be known tomorrow. I am trying not to think about it in the meanti...

It Is Here

My new toy is here and I love it very much. 20GB of portable digital goodness and I got it for cheaper than list price. If you click the picture it will tak...

I Don’t Know What to Say

A friend of mine died yesterday. I had not known Jeff very long, but he was one of the first people I met in Madison and he was one of my favorite coworkers...

Cows Fear the Sexual Predator

I know I have posting a lot of links lately, and I do promise more actual content soon, but I can not resist directing your attention to this one. Apparently...

Bring Your Ray-Gun

Well, it looks like the military will soon have the energy weapons us geeks have always envisioned, although we a far cry away from the future we hoped for. ...

Today’s Moment of Truth

Gas to get to Best Buy and back: $0.75 Cost of a discount DVD: $9.99 Hearing “Greetings, Starfighter!” one more time: Priceless

A Legend Is Born

I found this link on the blog of my friend British Chris. You do not even have to be a gamer to appreciate this. Leeroy has set a new standard in stupidity a...

Looking at the Tree of Life

I found this link on Robot Wisdom, about a different way of looking at evolution. (I even used a variation on Jorn Barger’s entry title for this entry.) Scie...

Britain: A Lesson in Fighting Terrorism

To begin with, my friend in London is safe. Chris, who my friends and I always refer to as “British Chris” for some reason, was unharmed in the bombings th...

Zombies Attack!!

Seriously, this is hilarious. Apparently, there was a group of D&D geeks who like play medieval battles every weekend. So a group of hipsters dressed up...

A Smart Approach to Fighting Piracy

Finally, people in the movie industry are starting to think about combatting piracy in an effective way. Morgan Freeman (yes, that Morgan Freeman) is teaming...

Good Morning, Sunshine!

I recently found this article through Robot Wisdom about a 15 year old girl who sleepwalked out onto 130 foot crane. What a way to wake up! Read about it h...

“Never Paid a Dime”

One of the fathers of blogging is actually homeless. You can read a good article about him here, and you can visit his site here.

Not Just for Nightmares Anymore

I just stumbled across this entry on Boing Boing. Apparently, you can have the educational experience of being buried alive. Check it out.

Apple: Just as Evil

This may not sound very hip in these days of iTunes, iPod and the Mac Mini, but I really dislike Apple. I have always thought that Apple products as a whole ...

Roach Cyborgs Will Rule the World

I survived my weekend at work and I am totally burned out. I plan on having a beer and crashing until tomorrow, but in the meantime you should read about the...

Me So Sleepy

I am very very tired. I worked from 8am to 2am yesterday, and now I am back at work for my usual 8am - 6pm shift. It is going to be struggle to make it throu...

I Am Such an Open Source Whore

It’s true. I see an open source application and I get all excited. Hey, baby! You want to come play with me for a while??? Oh, it gets me hot! In all ser...

Gasp! My Secret Identity Is Revealed!

You observant folk may have noticed that my blog now identifies me by my real name. Now, those who know me might be a little surprised by this because they a...

Me and My Overactive Imagination Pt. 1

I have a tendency to let my imagination get carried away. This has resulted in a lot of things, better fiction, an overabundance of childhood fears, and a co...

My New Title

My friend Christina was just accusing me of being deliberately mysterious. Admittedly, this is sometimes the case. The important thing is that Christina has ...

Laundry

I just finished doing my laundry, and even though what I was wearing was perfectly fine, I immediately changed into the clothes I was pulling out of the drye...

Rhythm and Doom

This weekend Madison has an Independence Day celebration that is affectionately referred to as Rhythm & Booms. It sounds like it could be a lot of fun if...

Yucky Weather

This morning, Madison was under a Severe Weather Advisory for “stagnant air” of all things. I had never heard of this condition, but I became very familiar w...

Insert Maniacal Laughter Here

It appears that a group of mad scientists have taken advantage of Australia’s scenic beauty and set up their labs there. First project, bring life to the dea...

Movie Review: Howl’s Moving Castle

A couple nights ago I went to see Howl's Moving Castle after work. I am lucky enough that Madison has elected to show the subtitled version with the original...

Good Day

Work today was so much better than yesterday. The day went fast, everything was easy to deal with, and I even managed to demonstrate my ever-increasing knowl...

Apology and a Trailer for Things to Come

It was hot and miserable on the road at work today. I set up detours, dealt with summer school kids and was still somehow bored the entire time. I didn’t eve...

Sweet Monkey Rage

My friend Christina directed to me this site. It is very addictive. Bad Monkey!!

Treat Yourself

If you have not done so yet, do yourself a favor and pick up the new White Stripes album, Get Behind Me Satan. It is wonderful and I have been seriously dig...

I Am Done With Summer

It is hot and humid and I hate it. I would give anything to get rid of this heat. I do not enjoy the extreme seasons of winter and summer, and we have more t...

Debriefing

Well, I made it. I survived my trip. Actually, I never had any doubt that I would survive my trip. But my car survived, which is more than I expected. For a...

Missing Again

Tomorrow I am heading down to Des Moines for a wedding. Two of my friends (and former coworkers) are getting married to each other. Isn’t that sweet? The co...

Thank You

It is nice to see a lawmaker with the consumers of digital media forefront in his mind, rather than the entertainment industry’s lawyers and lobbyists. Read ...

Firefly Stuff

“The Fugitive” Which Firefly character are you? brought to you by Quizilla For those of you not in the know, the amazing show Firefly is also being made ...

Comic Geek Heaven: Batman Begins

Last night I attended the midnight showing of Batman Begins. All I have to say is: Holy shit! That movie had everything I ever wanted in a Batman movie, and ...

All Star List

My friends have a digital presence too! Visit their sites and be rewarded with a donut!* <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-weight: bold;"><a href=...

Disclaimer

I have a friend coming up to visit for a couple days this week, so please forgive me if there is a short gap in my posts. It is a little rude to blog in fron...

Stupid Inconsiderate Weather

So my Internet connection finally just came back up. The storms passing through Wisconsin had disconnected me from the net the last couple hours and unfortun...

Mmm… Consumerism

Whoo-hoo for my new monitor! I finally got rid of that old CRT I was using and got a 19 inch flat panel one like I have at work. Of course, at work I have th...

Summer Reading

I found some entertaining reading for you all. Check out Darth Vader’s Blog. It is really pretty funny as Vader complains about the day to day aspects of hi...

I Am Dumb

So one of the coolest things my dad got me for my birthday was a new computer desk to replace the cunningly stacked boxes that I have been using the last few...

I Am Amused

Check out this new measurement device for bad movies. It cracked me up. I originally heard about this on Mur Lafferty’s Geek Fu Action Grip. Take a peek.

Quick Update Before Bed

For those of you interested in the Diplomacy game server I am working on, I have made some real serious progress in the last couple days. I think the databas...

Is It Not Nifty?

I am trying to post daily here, but I have a bit of a headache so my more substantial postings will have to wait. In the meantime, I highly recommed you read...

Another Year Older

So my birthday is this Thursday, which means I will be a quarter of a century old. That actually does not weird me out very much, although everyone asks me h...

Realization (No More Excuses)

Today at work a drunk crazy guy threatened to beat me up. It was unnerving as I am sure you can imagine. What was most unsettling about the whole thing was ...

A Suggestion

I am working on a more substantial post coming up soon, but it probably will not be ready until sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have never listen...

Neat but Creepy

I just came across this article at Wired.com. Apparently they are building these little toy helicopters for military surveillance. These baby choppers utiliz...

Quizness

You scored as Chaotic Good. A Chaotic Good person is someone who has little intrinsic respect for laws or authority, seeing them as insufficient to sustain...

Kids

I was just reading over my last post and I think I should elaborate on my relationship with children. I have never been comfortable around kids as an adult....

My Neighbors Annoy Me

My neighbors downstairs are fairly new to our complex, they only moved in a couple of weeks ago and they irritate the hell out of me. First of all, they are...

Surprise!

Okay, those of you out there that have been working “real” jobs longer than I have may not find this that remarkable. However, I just found out something rea...

My Lungs Hurt

Today there was a fire at work. One of the buses turned into charcoal and the rest filled with smoke. We had to cancel service to clean the soot out of all o...

Day Trade

Today, I was patrolling the transfer point again and I got ensnared in a conversation with one of the riders, who was quite clearly not right in the head. At...

Losing

Today at work I had to have a couple kids arrested. I was supervising a transfer point for my transit agency and two young girls began shouting at each oth...

Beware the Wheelers

Today on a whim I picked up the DVD of Return to Oz. If you are not familiar with this film, it was based off of the next two books in the Oz series after t...

Writing

Well, I finally got a decent computer again, and I've been playing on it far too much. I have spent so much time on the Internet this last week it is ridic...

Easter

I am so excited! My little sister is driving up to Madison to spend Easter with me! She wants to go out to eat, so now I have to pick a restaurant (I’ve trie...

Some Random Thoughts

It is strange that I haven’t been blogging more now that I am no longer a data gypsy. I think it probably has to do with the fact that I’ve been working on s...

I’m Back, but in a Different Place

Well, I have returned to the Internet, and much has changed in the interim. I got the Madison job and have started training as an Operations Supervisor at Ma...

2004

On Gaming and Other Diseases

I have been reading blogs again after a short hiatus and in catching up with the material I missed I have encountered several entries regarding gaming. The q...

New Glasses

Whoo-hoo! I finally got my new glasses! I can see without squinting again and computer work does not hurt anymore. I can read and type longer and longer befo...

Party Roles

Recently I attended a party being thrown by a coworker’s girlfriend. D invited me along so he would have someone to talk to as his girlfriend was the only pe...

Job

So I am applying for this job up in Madison. I would be doing transit management, like I do here, but I would be at a slightly lower level. That is fine as I...

Silence

I have not been posting much recently because that which I have dreaded has occurred. I broke down and purchased an Xbox. For two weeks it has owned my soul,...

Courtesy

Sunday night was quite an adventure. I was working in the bookstore, as I am wont to do on weekends and I was straightening the books in the history section,...

D’oh!

Found this quiz from Double-Dipping’s blog (which no longer exists). It is unfortunately accurate. eXpressive: 4/10 Practical: 5/10 Physical: 3/10 ...

Election Charter

I just found out that the University is chartering our buses on November 2nd to get students to their polling places. The idea being that if they don’t have ...

Suit

I have been having a lot of nightmares about work recently. Weird stuff in which friends and colleagues turn on me. The worst part about it is that when I wa...

Geisha

So I was looking through some old photos last night and found a photo with a note on back from my friend who I will call Robin. The note said, “Where is my g...

Pet My Coat, It Is Frightened

Okay, I was just reading a Wired article about some Australian scientists that are trying to grow a “stitchless [and] victimless” leather coat from living hu...

Work Music

I have found that listening to the Clash or Morphine is particularly good for repetitive paperwork. The fast reggae-punk of the Clash and the sultry sound of...

Good to Know

I came in to the bookstore tonight and saw a large memo plastered to the breakroom wall. Attn Booksellers: We cannot ship nudie mags to jails and prisons....

I Do Not Steal Children

Okay, I have a confession. Please do not hold it against me, but I am a Data Gypsy. I have no computer of my own due to a long series of unfortunate mishaps ...

I Swear I Am Not Making This Up

Yet another fun thing in the bookstore is to reshelve and straighten the sexuality section. This is fun because you are guaranteed some good people watching ...

On Good Sales Work

So I was working in the bookstore tonight, which I actually enjoy because it is really cool getting people to read cool books. Admittedly, it can be frustrat...

Fun!

I have recently rediscovered my love for StrongBad and Eric Conveys An Emotion. Check them out, you are guaranteed to laugh.

Another Look in the Mirror

I, as I have recently realized, am an arrogant fuck. I have always been to some degree been aware of this, but it always seemed easy to justify before. I am ...

Debate

My my my, what a rousing debate. I listened to it on the radio, and I have to say that I was shocked once again at how quickly the president seemed to lose h...

Autumn

I am so excited because Autumn weather has finally arrived. This is my favorite time of year. I love watching the leaves turn and get blown in baby cyclones ...

Tea

I just had a lovely chat with one of my drivers. She is somewhat of a troublesome employee as she always seems to get into trouble, but magically squeaks by...

Resistance Is … Okay, Whatever…

So my friend Zach keeps trying to convince me to buy an XBox. Now, I am not much of a gamer. I mean, I used to play some strategy games on the computer ( or ...

Shhh!

Don't tell anyone, but I am writing this at work. I sat down, looked at the mammoth pile of paperwork on my desk, looked at my code and became numb with anti...

Explanations

Sometimes, it is better to leave things a mystery. Most people think they are dull. I just spent an hour trying to explain this project I am working on at m...

Story Pt. 1

My Inner Geek is alive and well. Last night my friend and I completely geeked out to the Star Wars DVD trilogy. It is the simple things in life you treasure....

Bone

I got home late last night. I supplement my income by working as a bookseller at a major chain store on weekends. It works out pretty well. I get a discount...

Red

When I was younger I used to get these terrific nosebleeds. They came at random it seemed. One minute I would be fine, and another moment I would feel a slow...

Return

I came home from a trip. I can’t even remember where I had been. It must have seemed important at the time. As I climbed the steps outside of my apartment co...