Beeeeeer!

Posted just for a few (i.e., two) folks I know who read the Blahg and are in to beer. Now you can simplify your brew creation by building The Device, throwing in your ingredients, and waiting for ambrosia to pour forth.

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Seems to take some of the fun out of brewing, though, doesn’t it? Oh – and you don’t actually get directions, so I’m perhaps a bit misleading suggesting you can build one yourself. But you can get a step-by-step view of the gadget at work. (via Gizmodo)

[tags]Beer, Beer – it’s what’s for dinner, Ambrosia, The Device[/tags]

LED corks

The perfect addition to your alcoholic-drinks section at home, the Boozehound emergency light is a lighted cork for sealing your liquor bottles.

cork_light2.jpgTo prepare for a natural disaster, you need to be equipped. Maximize your survival rate by inundating any and everything that could possibly be used for food, water, and light. In regard to the latter, boozehounds will rejoice to hear that having multiple bottles of “drank” may indeed save them.

Around here, we’re all about the safety. And what’s more important to safety than making sure you have proper lighting for picking your poison in a power outage?

[tags]Boozehound, LED corks, liquor, Safety first[/tags]

Threadless sale

Until Monday, Sept 3rd, you can pick up any shirt at Threadless for $10. They specialize in off-the-beaten-path designs, and have some of the most original offerings I can recall seeing. I may have to get myself an Original Gamester shirt.

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Or maybe the birds and the bees.

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There are a few others I’d like, as well. May just have to put together an order for some before the week-end is over.

[tags]Threadless, Sale, Deals, T-Shirts, Geek shirts[/tags]

Sometimes, I just like to smile at the misfortune of others

In this case, the misfortune of which I speak is the class action lawsuit the recording industry may now face for suing innocent people in their efforts to shut down peer-to-peer filesharing. Understand that I’m not saying people should be allowed to illegally provide mp3 files of music to others. Rather, the RIAA has abused the legal system to intimidate people, and now it is getting the payback it deserves from those wrongfully accused or bullied even though they have committed no crimes.

The scene at RIAA headquarters this week must have been fascinating. The group yesterday announced that it has finished sending out a new batch of 503 “pre-litigation letters” to 58 different universities around the US, generously offering to let students settle copyright infringement claims “at a discounted rate” before those claims go to trial. The letters blanketed the country, going everywhere from the University of Hawaii to Swarthmore, from Boston College to Tulane, from Emory to Chico State. And then the RIAA learned that its aggressive litigation tactics have placed it on the receiving end of a class action lawsuit.

Single mom Tanya Andersen, a defendant in a previous lawsuit brought by the RIAA, was one of the first to have her case dismissed with prejudice (it cannot be refiled at a later date). Throughout the court battle, she maintained her total innocence, a claim given even more plausibility by the fact that she was charged with downloading numerous gangsta rap tracks.

Now, she is suing the RIAA, and her attourney has requested that the suit be elevated to class-action status. Happy happy, joy joy.

The illegal file sharing needs to be stopped. The manner in which the RIAA chooses to do that is too far-reaching and exceeds legal bounds constantly. This needs to be shut down and the agency needs to be forced to a new tactic in their efforts to shut down illegal filesharing.

[tags]RIAA being sued, Class-action against RIAA?, RIAA victim countersues for malicious prosecution, P2P, mp3[/tags]

Word Shoot – simple online typing tutor

My older son is still having problems related to writing. Not that he can’twant to write, and has trouble sitting still long enough to write much. After getting the OK from his teacher to try letting him type his journals instead of writing them, my wife has been looking at typing tutor software. Looking around on my own, I found this cool looking Flash-based typing game called Word Shoot. You stand in the middle of a battlefield of sorts and type words on approaching enemies to shoot them down.

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Just the kind of thing my son might enjoy, and on the easy level it starts out slowly enough that he might be able to get a few enemies before getting overwhelmed. Sort of a typing-tutor by fire thing.

[tags]Typing, Word Shoot, Typing tutor, Flash[/tags]

Political facts

I’ve been reading FactCheck.org for a few years now, and have been subscribed to their email newsletter as long as I’ve been reading the site. The site, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, works to point out the misleading statistics, factual inaccuracies and errors, and flat-out lies spread by politicians and the organizations that support them. I’ve learned so much about politics over the years just from learning where politicians have mislead us (the general public).

While catching up on my FactCheck reading today, I learned that there is another source of political fact checking on the web now – PolitiFact. Going beyond FactCheck’s more reserved misinformation corrections, PolitiFact gives you the Truth-o-meter to simplify evaluating statements from the bearers of (mis)truths.

PolitiFact is a project of the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly to help you find the truth in the presidential campaign. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times and CQ will analyze the candidates’ speeches, TV ads and interviews and determine whether the claims are accurate.

I think it is worth taking 2-3 minutes to read more details on the Truth-o-meter to see how it works and why it is worth checking. Interested in who is lying or misleading us? Well, here are a couple of quotes for you to check out for factual accuracy. I’ve chosen individuals from both sides of the US political debate, and selected short quotes with short PolitiFact responses or analysis.

  • Sen. Joe Biden: “The president is brain-dead.”
    Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Sen. John McCain: Sen. Clinton said “the surge of troops in Iraq was ‘working.’ Now…. Sen. Clinton says the surge ‘has failed’ and that we should ‘begin the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.'”
    Thursday, August 23rd, 2007 in a news release

I appreciate the fact that those running the site have enough of a sense of humor to even include the Biden comment, and the linked article includes links off-site to explanations of what exactly constitutes brain death. Each story has a graphical label for true, barely true, pants on fire (i.e., liar), and so on. I wanted to include the images for the above stories, but haven’t received permission from PolitiFact yet to do so. If I get a response, I’ll update my article with the images.

[tags]PolitiFact, FactCheck, Truths and Lies from politicians, The watcher watchers[/tags]

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