20080930

Last chance: Must stop the RIAA

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DefectiveByDesign.org DefectiveByDesign.org DefectiveByDesign.org
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Take action:

* Call and email the White House urging Bush to veto the PROP-IP / Enforcement
of Intellectual Property Act.
http://www.defectivebydesign.org/tell-bush-to-veto-proip

* Digg this story
http://digg.com/tech_news/Last_Chance_Tell_Bush_to_veto_the_RIAA_MPAA_Enforcement_Bil

This is our last chance to stop this bill from becoming law. If it passes, the
entertainment industry will receive a massive boost in its efforts to take away
our freedoms, through Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and other
enforcement actions to monitor and control distribution of all digital media.
Fortunately, it is actually a real chance. Bush's Department of Justice
objected publicly to the bill and key provisions have not been changed. There
is a real possibility that he will veto the bill, but we need to demonstrate
the size of the opposition by writing and calling him today. Read more at
http://www.defectivebydesign.org/tell-bush-to-veto-proip.

In solidarity,

John, Josh, Matt, and Peter

20080929

Exercise of the week: Bench press with household goods

Need to lift some weights?
Are you lacking in the weight department?

No sweat, just fill up some gallon jugs with water and lift away!

20080927

What is sweetsurprise.com?

SweetSurprise.com is a website brought to you by the Corn Refiners Association.


Their aim is to convince you that High Fructose Corn Syrup is the way to go.

I disagree. There is plenty of evidence that suggests a correlation between poor health outcomes and high fructose corn syrup.

Check out SweetSurprise.com

Check out the High Fructose Corn Syrup Wikipedia page

Check out stophfcs.com

Picture by rsgreen89

20080926

RIAA Shadow Government

Just received this via email:

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DefectiveByDesign.org DefectiveByDesign.org DefectiveByDesign.org
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Round two:

* Call and email your senators, as well as Obama and McCain:
http://www.defectivebydesign.org/stop-revised-riaa-ip-enforcement-bill-s3325

* Digg this story
http://digg.com/tech_news/Stop_the_MPAA_and_RIAA_shadow_government

In addition to all of the emails and phone calls they received from you,
Senator Leahy and friends received a stern rebuke from the Department of
Justice in response to their suggestion that the DoJ should be doing the RIAA
and MPAA's dirty work.

So, they've changed the bill -- but not enough. It still funds RIAA propaganda,
establishes several official government positions to enforce entertainment
industry interests, and commits Congress to the idea that preventing copyright
infringement is one of the most serious issues facing our society (seriously!).

If this bill passes, chances are that we'll see newfound legitimacy for Digital
Restrictions Management (DRM). Call and e-mail your senators today -- as well
as Obama and McCain -- to tell them that the changes made to the bill aren't
enough. More information can be found on our blog at
http://www.defectivebydesign.org/stop-revised-riaa-ip-enforcement-bill-s3325

You can also vote for the story on reddit at:
http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/73sm4/

In solidarity,

John, Josh, Matt, and Peter

Why you should worry about the WaMu seizure and sale

Why should I, an ordinary Amerikan, be concerned about the seizure and sale of Washington Mutual.

I'll tell you why.

Most of those assets were sold to JPMorgan Chase. A very large and powerful banking institution. If you don't know what I'm talking about than check out the following:

In the news:
JPMorgan Buys WaMu Deposits as Regulators Seize Failed Thrift

Government seizes Washington Mutual, sells most to JP Morgan Chase

Once Again, JPMorgan Mops Up The Mess



Learn more about why this is a big deal:
http://truthfulhero.blogspot.com/2007/12/zeitgeist-movie.html

20080925

What is an energy hog?

An energy hog is a ...

Well to use the word hog is perhaps a bit offensive to the pig species because those little critters are good eating.


Picture by noahg.

Anyway, an energy hog is a term used to describe a person or entity that uses up way more than their fair share of energy.

Energy is expensive but the real cost of electricity may be far greater than the cost you or I pay.

For starters you could:
  • Turn off everything not in use: Lights, TVs, computers, etc.

  • Check the furnace or air conditionar filter each month, and clean or replace it as needed. Dirty air filters block air flow through your heating and cooling systems, increasing your energy bill and shortening your equipment's life.

  • About 15 percent of an average home bill goes to heating water. To save hot water, take five minute showers instead of baths. Do only full loads when using the clothes washer or dishwasher. Use cold water for laundry and save upto $65 a year-detergents formulated for cold water get clothes just as clean.


Here are some links to help you out:

No and Low Cost Ways to Save Energy and Money

Saving Electricity: How to Save Electricity
This is by far the most informational resource you can read.

Lastly, Energy Hog

Now that you know, you can save money and extend the life of the planet.

20080924

Report fraudulent emails from financial services


Report fraudulent emails to your financial provider.

You should do this to help protect others from falling victim to these clever schemes. Below is the contact info on how to do this for a few financial institutions.


Citi
Forward them to spoof@citicorp.com

Chase
Forward emails to abuse@chase.com

Bank of America
Forward emails to abuse@bankofamerica.com

US Bank
Forward emails to fraud_help@usbank.com

TCF Bank
Forward emails to emailfraud@tcfbank.com

20080923

Powdered milk, its not just for drinking

One of my favorite blogs, Wise Bread, had a few interesting things to say about powdered milk.

You can use powdered milk in recipes, in the kitchen, for bodily beautification, and household uses.

My favorite is the sunburn relief.

Be sure to read the whole article and visit the site.

20080922

Exercise of the week: step ups

This is an exercise anyone can do. Depending on your difficulty level you can do step ups on a sidewalk or up on some stairs. Enjoy this cheap exercise.

20080919

RIAA strikes again

Just got this via email:


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DefectiveByDesign.org DefectiveByDesign.org DefectiveByDesign.org
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Take action:

* Call and email members of the Senate Judiciary Committee

* Digg this story

For the RIAA, it hasn't been enough to threaten or file lawsuits
against over 30,000 individuals. First they have started going after
people who speak out against them, like DBD supporter and attorney Ray
Beckerman. Now they are trying to push through the Senate, with the
help of the MPAA, a treacherous bill with the propaganda-laden title
of "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Act of 2008."

Enough is enough. Call and e-mail your senators as well as members of
the Senate Judiciary Committee telling them to oppose this bill! It's
critical that we do this as soon as possible -- they are trying to
have it passed without a full vote in the Senate. More information on
this bill and how to contact your senators can be found on our blog at
http://www.defectivebydesign.org/stop-riaa-ip-enforcement-bill-s3325.


In solidarity,

John, Josh, Matt, and Pete


Now that you've read that, you should take some action. Now would be a good time.

What is Braid?

Braid is an amazing game by Jonathan Blow.


I heard about the game listening to National Public Radio, and I am so glad I did. I rushed myself to buy the game through XBOX Live Marketplace and I love it. It is difficult game that left me with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Much more rewarding than playing Gears of War, the Hulk, or Iron Man.

Check it out!

20080918

What is Devil?

What is Devil?

Alternatively, I could ask WHO or WHAT is the devil?



The idea of a devil or a supreme force of evil is common throughout different cultures.
Here in Amerika the Devil is a somewhat important figure in day to day life. The Devil is a character in Christian and Muslim religion that is believed to be a powerful evil tempter of mankind. The word devil originates from slanderer or accuser.

People may put the concept of the Devil to use in social and political conflicts, claiming that their opponents are influenced by the Devil or even willingly supporting the Devil. The Devil has also been used to explain why others hold beliefs that are considered to be false and ungodly.

There are similar concepts of an evil force found in other religions. It would seem people have always had a need to personify unwanted beliefs or behaviors. It is unfortunate that people fear such silly nonexistent things.

20080917

Pickens Plan benefits Pickens

Pickensplan.com argues that the United States be free from a foreign dependence on oil, using wind power, bio fuels and natural gas as substitutes.

It sure sounds great until you ask who directly benefits.

T. Boone Pickens would benefit a great deal because he has quite a bit invested in the natural gas market.

That is just something to consider when exploring alternatives. Someone is always willing to benefit.

The United States needs to take immediate short and long term steps to conserve the environment but I'm not so sure that one very wealthy individual should earn the profits.

20080916

Date someone, for cheap

One of my favorite blogs, Wise Bread, had a great post about dating frugally. I believe that it is important to check expenses and live well within one's means while planning for an uncertain future (a philosophy I've been unable to recently maintain) so I think it equally important to date frugally.

If I were to go on a date (something I don't do much of, perhaps I should blog less and date more) I would definitely do it frugally. I like sharing an entree, drinking water, and limiting myself to one drink (but I will make the most of that drink, either a lemonade or something more delicious). Read the article and learn how you can date, on the cheap.

Eight Cheap Dates


Picture by FLOODkOFF

20080912

What is Gazelle.com?

Gazelle.com provides an opportunity for consumers to recycle their unused electronic gadgets. I just 'sold' my XBOX 360 to gazelle.com for $68.

Gazelle.com pays a small fee to each seller in exchange for an electronic gadget, in my case an XBOX 360. Once Gazelle.com receives the gadget they evaluate it and send a payment. Then Gazelle.com will either rejuvenate the gadget by deleting all personal information from the device or will responsibly recycle the useless gadget.

You can learn more about Gazelle.com by following this link.

update: 10 days after shipping my XBOX 360 to Gazelle.com it has been received. Now I've got to wait and see if they will stand by their $68 quote.


update: 20081001 - Gazelle.com has deposited $100 into my paypal account! That is $32 more than they originally had quoted! Awesome!

20080911

I'm on to you, Wal Mart


Wal Mart is attempting to open a new chain of stores: Marketside

Avoid these like the plague, just like you would an ordinary Wal Mart store.

Read more about Marketside here.

20080910

How dangerous is religion?

How dangerous is religion?
Dangerous enough to start a brutal war.





We are not living in the end of days.
The Bible is most definitely NOT the word of god.
Jesus will NOT come back to lead armies against _______.


Some concepts from the video:
'Knowledge Explosion'
Thanks to the devious control of knowledge during the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church was able to suspend scientific advancement. A good 400 years of stagnation.
'Rebirth of Israel'
I guess that was when Israel was made into a country some 60 years ago.
'You've got to get through horrific times to get to one thousand years of peace.'
Assuming that peace comes after war is ignorant.
'Birth of Nuclear Warfare'
Nuclear war is mentioned in the bible, just like dinosaurs, other galaxies, and other cultures that were around.


John Hagee is a very dangerous person. He spreads fear and hate like an ever increasing tumor. If there is one thing we can learn from Star Wars is that fear and hate leads to suffering. He speaks of pending death and destruction. Our only guarantee of that is if people continue to follow him, death and destruction are surely probable.

If there is one thing you should know about John Hagee and Glenn Beck is that they are tools in an effort to manipulate us. We need to acknowledge their message. Once you logically think it over you will see that they make no sense. Just be careful.

20080909

ECU Police punish the happy

If you are a helpless civil servant, watch out for those blood thirsty students.





Watch this one before it gets taken down for copyright infringement:



Republican National Convention

Here are some videos you should watch:























20080905

Immunize or damn us all



Immunize or damn us all.
I was reading an article off of msnbc.com, Vaccine war, and I realized that people will probably be the cause of our destruction. In the article there were a few towns mentioned that had parents that forbade their children from receiving the state's required vaccines. Think about this section of the article,
In the first seven months of this year, 131 cases of measles were reported to the CDC, compared to 42 cases in all of last year. Of that total, 112 were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status, the CDC said. Some were too young for vaccination, but in 63 of those cases the patient or their parents had refused the shots.

In addition to measles, recent outbreaks of pertussis have underscored the dangerous trend.

The article briefly covers the topic of herd immunity. Herd immunity is an epidemiological term that uses the herd as a metaphor. Disease is spread throughout a vulnerable herd very quickly because very few if any of the herd's members are immune to the disease, possibly nearly wiping out the herd's population. If a larger percentage of the herd was immune to the disease then the disease would have a much more difficult time infecting a larger portion of the herd. The disease would not be able to travel through the herd and reach those that are not immune. Definitely read the Wikipedia Herd Immunity page for more info.

Vaccines are important because they provide immunity to pathogens. Animmunization helps fortify the body against foreign agents making a person less likely to be seriously infected by that specific agent. Not everyone needs to vaccinated. Just a high enough percentage to keep the pathogen from spreading uncontrollably.

So enough of this holding out crap and get your kids immunized. Disease is bad and you need to take the appropriate steps to make sure we are all protected.

20080904

Beware of effective marketing

Beware of effective marketing

Those clever marketing gurus have done it again. With the somewhat recent marketing of 100 kcalorie snack packs the food industry has convinced you that it is good to snack on products made mostly from corn, like all manner of things.

According to an Arizona State University study, those popular 100 kcalorie snack packs make you eat more. NOT LESS!

Read an article about it here.

20080903

Walk to your health

Walk to your health.

If you should be so lucky as to have a dog, then your dog should be so lucky as to be walked each day for at least 30 minutes.



According to Cesar Milan, dog psychology expert,
In their natural habitat, dogs earn food and water and experience the world around them by walking. This activity is ingrained deep within a dog’s DNA. Walking exercises your dog’s body and stimulates her mind.

There can only be so many pack leaders, so most dogs are born submissive. This creates a balance in the pack that fosters healthy and happy dogs.

There can only be so many pack leaders, so most dogs are born submissive. This creates a balance in the pack that fosters healthy and happy dogs.

Your goal should be to provide your dogs with the same calm-assertive leadership that they would experience in a pack.

Walking your dog provides your pet with an opportunity to do what dogs do best, explore the world by walking. Walking provides you with an opportunity for your much needed physical activity. Enjoy the world around you and get out there and walk.

20080902

A day at work

My day at work.

I work for WIC, Women, Infants, and Children and today was a day. I don't particular enjoy coming into contact with or holding children but it seems that for whatever reason, today was my day to do just that.

Early on, I had a one armed mother that needed me to pick the baby out of her sling and plop it onto the scale and measuring board to weigh and measure the baby, and to plop baby right back into the sling. Once done, I had to pack the baby right back in the sling.

I also had to place her older child on the scale.

My second instance was a little easier. I just had to hold the baby while it's mother stepped onto the scale. Easy enough.

My third instance was equally easy. I just had to hold the baby while mom signed for her WIC checks.

Again, I personally prefer not to come into contact with the children. Especially those that I am not responsible for, which at this point happens to be every child on this planet. I had gone my entire WIC career without having to hold a baby or child so you can imagine that today was a great shock to have 3 separate baby holding instances.

This just shows that you should always be prepared for anything.