Stuff

Wallpaper: Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor on KeyboardI shot this picture from third row center of a NIN/JA show on May 31, 2009. Just a couple quick operations in the Gimp, and here’s what we have! I’ve actually been using this wallpaper for months already, and it seems to deliver exactly what I want from my wallpaper. :)

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 Stuff No Comments

Steve Gibson on Vitamin D

Though my favorite podcast, Security Now, usually aims to cover topics related to computer security, Steve Gibson decided to devote an episode to a topic that he felt was very important to everyone: vitamin D.

Steve makes the great point that vitamin D is not patentable! Thus, the large pharmaceutical companies with all the money have no incentive to research, and the burden is left to universities and other organizations with limited funding. So, it has only been in recent years that this powerful steroid hormone (as he describes it) has been more fully understood.

UVB rays from the sun can cause you to produce vitamin D in your skin. It is widely accepted that we originally evolved in Africa near the equator with plenty of direct sunlight. It is believed that these abundant amounts of vitamin D, over time, caused the substance to become very important to the function of our bodies. So it’s no wonder vitamin D turns out to be such an important part of a healthy individual.

Up here in North America, though, we can only get the UVB rays for about half an hour around high noon due to the latitude. At any time outside this window, the rays are absorbed by the atmosphere before they reach us. So, dietary supplements become the most realistic way for us to get our vitamin D.

Our bodies were designed to have this in normal operation, but since we essentially don’t get it these days, there is an epidemic of vitamin D deficient people. This is bad, because having some vitamin D means:

  • Greatly decreased chances of a long list of cancers
  • General increase in effectiveness of the immune system
  • Mood elevation (ever heard of seasonal affective disorder?)
  • Better calcium metabolism (stronger bones)
  • Probably some other stuff I’ve forgotten, or that isn’t even known yet

So I’ve taken Steve’s advice and got some supplements. They’re inexpensive, easy to swallow, and I only have to take one of these tiny capsules every three days.

I highly recommend that you either read his vitamin D page, listen to the podcast (linked on the page), or both. He goes into much more detail than I have, and I found it all quite interesting.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 Stuff No Comments

Many Shower Heads Filled with Nasty Bacteria

Here’s a delicious thought. An article just posted to boingboing says that a third of 50 shower heads tested contained a film coating of “significant levels” of Mycobacterium avium, a bacteria that can cause lung disease.

So be sure and let that shower warm up before putting your face in it!

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 Stuff No Comments

Celemony to Release Revolutionary Audio Tool

Celemony is set to release Direct Note Access in Autumn of 2008. There is a nice video on the DNA page that explains what it does, but this software is able to identify and isolate different voices within a single audio recording. The user can then change the pitch of and mute individual notes without affecting the overall mix! This is the first piece of software that allows you to reach into a simple, flat audio stream and manipulate its components in this way.

It’ll be really interesting to see how artists use this product to remix familiar tunes.

Thursday, March 20th, 2008 Software, Stuff, Technology No Comments

Korg Makes a Synth From a DS

Holy crap this is totally awesome. Korg will soon release Korg DS-10: a music composition tool that runs on the Nintendo DS. Check out the short video for an idea what it does. It seems like it could be significantly more versatile than the Kaossilator Touchpad Synthesizer.

Link via Wired Blog

Thursday, March 13th, 2008 Software, Stuff No Comments

Scientology is Funny

With recent happenings in the news revolving around Scientology (leaked vids, new enemy) I’ve found myself a bit interested in it. Before approximately a week ago, I knew nothing about this organization. Now, though, I’ve come to know it as a fake “religion” conceived by sci-fi writer L. Ron. Hubbard to make a buck. He basically wrote a great many books and spoke a great many lectures where he outlined his mad ideas about where we come from and how things work.

Now I understand weak-minded people with personal issues who need something like this to turn to… and… after a bit more coercing, you might have me making sense of how popular, insane celebrities with too much cash might find themselves belonging to this group. But anyone with common sense who has done any amount of research on the organization could tell you that it’s a complete fraud. I am fascinated by the numbers who call themselves supporters.

I hereby dub the ideas and writings of “Scientology” as an Encyclopedia of Nonsense.

And as part of this, I’ve created a new slang use of the word “scientology”: Use it as a synonym for nonsense.

Example: The guy went and upped the price on us! What a bunch of fucking scientology!

And please vote up my new word on urbandictionary.com. It’s #49 at the very bottom.

Update: It moves. Currently, I’m at the bottom of page 6.

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 Stuff No Comments

Goodbye, OiNK…

It really sucked to see OiNK’s home raided this Tuesday morning. The servers went down, and 180,000 music fans worldwide lost their music gold mine.

It’s pretty much the consensus that OiNK was the #1 best place on the internet to find music. They usually had multiple versions (qualities) of just about every single album you could think of—old or new. Often, they had FLAC rips, too. There is no doubt that it was the best place to find lossless music.

People consume music differently these days. It’s not like a music enthusiast is going to actually buy every single album they want to hear. OiNK provided a very easy way to taste a broad spectrum of music, and most will tell you that it has led them to purchase CD’s, go to concerts, etc.

Artists used the service, too. I’m actually making this post because I really wanted to link to this brilliant posting from DJ Rapture. He sums the whole thing up rather well from a unique point of view. Check it out.

Update: Rob from Demonbaby made an excellent (even longer) post about how the record industry has totally blown the new era and shot itself in the foot. He has a lot of good points, and a few good laughs. He calls for a boycott of the labels so they will hurry up and get the point.

Friday, October 26th, 2007 Stuff No Comments

Less Choice == Better?

I found this article & video about a talk from Harvard psychologist, Dan Gilbert, way interesting. According to his research, happiness has little to do with the things your brain leads you to believe will make you happy like material possessions. He says that having limited choices can actually lead to more happiness than more choice.

There’s a video at the bottom of the page that I highly recommend!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 Stuff 1 Comment

Web 2.0 Burgers

If you know me personally, you probably know how much I love my burgers. With cheese and lots of fixins, please. I found this Digg today and just loved it.

There’s some good material in the comments, too… like this one: “The Rails burger: comes with a kit to make a burger in 20 seconds… it will be ok if you eat it alone, but if more than one person tries to eat it at the same time it will fall apart”

The First Web 2.0 Burger Joint and 30 Menu Suggestions

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007 Stuff No Comments

The Keyboard Waffle Iron

This is freakin hilarious. Nuff said.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 Stuff 1 Comment

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