Intelligent Design Flowchart

Posted in Bob-Eckstein, intelligent-design, NYC on November 26th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: Despite that the occasional issue arrives in my mailbox up to ten weeks late, Time Out New York continues to feed my NYC appetite. A recent welcome addition to the magazine’s “Out There” section is a cartoon called Talking Points, by Bob Eckstein.

In Issue 518, he offered the following hilarious and brilliant observation:

Intelligent Design’s been in the news lately, offered up as an alternative theory of evolution. But is it just conservatives getting creative with creationism? Follow the flowchart to illumination

RSS Confusion

Posted in RSS on November 25th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: The problem with my RSS feed, which I thought was solved, continues. The link in the right side column is correct, and works fine. But when you try to subscribe with the main URI, it points to PBD 2.0. I’m trying to solve it. If anyone has an idea, let me know. Thanks.

.: Update at 1500 hrs: I believe the feed is working. I used “301 redirect“, and when I tested on Bloglines, it returns only feeds to the new site. Please let me know if it works for you. Thanks.

Pigs Fly

Posted in A-Bigger-Bang, Music, Rolling-Stones on November 24th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: I never thought I’d admit something like this, but I’ve been listening to a copy of A Bigger Bang, the new Rolling Stones album, and … I like it. It’s quite good. Can’t believe I’m admitting this publicly. The album rocks out rather nicely, especially for a bunch of sixty-somethings at the wheel. It’s hard not like lyrics like these, from Sweet Neo Con:

You call yourself a Christian
I think that you’re a hypocrite
You say you are a patriot
I think that you’re a crock of shit

And listen now, the gasoline
I drink it every day
But it’s getting very pricey
And who is going to pay

How come you’re so wrong
My sweet neo con…. Yeah

Hmm, who might Jagger be referencing there? I have owned one Rolling Stones album in my life, and despite having liked much of their music, was never a big fan. (Favorite songs include Sympathy for the Devil and Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.) I borrowed this album from the library, after reading a number of favourable reviews. The verdict: it’s good, very listenable, great production, a wide variety of song styles, and great melodies all around.

Next up: the new McCartney, also receiving favourable reviews, and then the new Neil Young.

.: One month until Christmas…

RSS Feed

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: The RSS feed for PBD is working again. I wasn’t aware that there was a problem with the feed until a friend in Winnipeg advised me that it was linking to the PBD 2.0. With help from WordPress Forums, it seems to be functioning properly now.

Good/Harder Productions Presents: The Librarians’ Emerging Technology Survival Guide

Posted in Libraries, Television, The Web on November 23rd 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: Tonight after work, I attended a presentation sponsored by GELA, called The Librarians’ Emerging Technology Survival Guide. The presentation was given by my two friends and colleagues, Geoff Harder and Kenton Good. Geoff and Kenton prepared and delivered a whizbang slide presentation built on a Mac iBook G4, and covered a multitude of cutting edge, state-of-the-art technologies that are changing the way we live, learn, enjoy, and interact with each other. The challenge to those attending was to consider the myriad of ways to implement, exploit, manipulate and apply these technologies to the way we run libraries. They mentioned Web 2.0 a number of times, which helped give a context to their presentation. Web 2.0 is the movement that focuses on the web as platform, and most of the innovative technologies covered in their presentation are ones which fit into this description. I also like the idea of Library 2.0, in which the library considers its patrons as participants rather than customers. It’s all about the collaboration!

Geoff and Kenton presented almost 200 slides in 90 minutes, and worked it as a tag team presentation. It was tight, professional, and not too overpowering. They added appropriate and well-received funny bits, and dazzled us with a virtual light show of a presentation. Great work, guys.

.: BTW, I thought tonight’s episode of Lost redeemed itself somewhat over last week’s rather limp presentation. Now we know why Michelle Rodriguez was so into beating the shyte out of everyone around her. One wonders if any of these plebs is without 16 tons of emotional baggage. I suppose not, otherwise the show would run out of flashbacks. And for those who watched the end of tonight’s episode, will there be love in the stars for Kate and Sawyer, and Jack and Ana Lucia? Someone say soap opera?

The 12th and final episode of Rome was brilliant and maddening. While I’m pleased that the show will be back, having to wait until 2007 is a bit much, HBO! Then again, we haven’t seen The Sopranos since 2004, and they don’t return until March 2006.

Been Lost and Confused For So Long, It’s Not True

Posted in Television on November 18th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

..: Like millions of other teevee fans, I’ve been watching Lost with much interest since the opening episode last fall. Last night was the 30th episode, the 7th in Season Two, called The Other 48 Days. This episode crammed into one hour capsulized the 48 days in the lives of the survivors who were in the tail section of the plane, which broke apart in mid-flight, and landed on the other side of the island, away from the first group of survivors we have followed since Episode 1. The show is a non-stop tease, revealing small bits of information about the island and background detail about one or more survivors week after week. But I’m wondering if the show is beginning to jump the shark.

From the outset, the required suspension of disbelief has been exhausting. In the first episode, the show opens with Dr Jack waking up in the jungle, some distance away from the 45+ other survivors, most of whom are on the beach near the fuselage. Later, we learn that the plane had split apart in mid-air…and 45 people survived, most without a scratch. Still later in Ep 1, the pilot gets snatched from the cockpit section of the plane by a “mysterious force” which has never been explained.

in Season One, we met Danielle, a nutcase living on the island for 17-18 years, weary and frightened of “The Others”. A few episodes in, we met Ethan, a resident of the island who kidnaps two of the Lost’ers, only to be killed by a hobbit Charlie a few eps later. No explanation to date of who he was, or if he was part of “The Others”. Season One ended with “The Others” kidnapping young Walt, shooting Josh in the shoulder, and blowing up the raft on which they, along with Jin-Soo and Michael were floating, trying to escape the island ; Jin-Soo dives into the water and disappears, and Michael and Josh are left hanging onto what’s left of the raft.

Season Two took us into the shaft, where it was revealed that someone (Desmond) was living there with supplies, food, electricity, etc., and was resetting a computer with a series of numbers every 108 minutes to “save the world”. The six numbers he entered matched the numbers Hurley had previously chosen in a lottery, which he won to the tune of $156,ooo,ooo. And so it goes…

But Episode 7 of Season 2 had an opening that hit home for me as to why I’m finding it harder and harder to buy the premise of survival after such a horrific event. The opening shot is of a beautiful tropical beach, sand, blue water, sunny blue sky, tranquil…until shards and chunks of the airplane come flying across the landscape at speeds reminiscent of similar scenes in the movie Twister, begging the question: howinhell could anyone survive such a crash, let alone without a scratch on them?

I will continue with Lost, but confess that my interest to know the answers to some of these questions is beginning to wear thin. I really like this show. However, I think J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof are taking too long to reveal enough information critical to allow their viewers to continue watching, remain intrigued, accept the barely-believable premise, and expend enough energy to maintain a continuing suspension of disbelief as more clues are slowly revealed.

Oh, and speaking of sharks, did anyone notice in the second episode that the Dharma logo was on the shark’s tail as it circled the remains of the raft? Suspension of disbelief?

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