Category Archives: Uncategorized

Twelve years later: Event redefined meaning of being American

Copied from my Facebook page:

Twelve years ago: I was editor of the Nixa News-Enterprise, the best MPA General Excellence award-winning newspaper to get crap-canned and transformed into a free circular. It was Tuesday — deadline day before Wednesday’s edition, and I was finishing up the final layout of the front page. It had a story about leaky sewer issues north of Nixa and how development was stalled up there. Then the planes started hitting. Too late to do anything. We put the paper to bed then I took off to the high school to get reactions. My big scoop didn’t seem like such a big deal anymore.

In the months afterward, I watched my Representatives obliterate the Constitution with the USA Patriot Act — in the name of patriotism. At the same time, I watched my neighbors get closer and more appreciative of police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers — also in the name of patriotism. For me, that day redefined what it means to be American.

My condolences to those who lost loved ones that day; my appreciation to the people who would, knowing what happened, run right back into those burning buildings.

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Video game logic: ‘Bioshock Infinite’

bioshockmeme

 

Yes. You can change pants in midair. With one hand holding on to your skyhook. This is better than eating food mid-battle in “Skyrim.”

Hummus is delicious

Really, it is.

your-giffed-face

This gif was made with Face to GIF.

Equality = triumph

equality, triumph, magician, cards

This is my take on the red equality logo started by Human Rights Campaign. I used an LTD deck from Ellusionist and red posterboard. Shot with my great-for-a-consumer-model-according-to-T.Rob Nikon D5100.

Magicians should recognize exactly how this is a triumph.

Pending Instragram sale a reminder about what users are

An interesting maxim has circulated across the Internet over the last couple of years:

“If you’re not the customer, you’re the product.”

However, radio and TV broadcasters have known that maxim for years — only in this form:

“TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.”

Even though “ain’t” isn’t a negative contraction, it’s clearly a negative, which means that I have spent more years obsessing about the bad grammar in that sentence. My economics teachers wish I would have concentrated more on the overriding philosophy behind it. Namely, that everything has a price and nothing is free.

Which puts Facebook’s impending purchase of Instagram in an impressive, my-econ-teacher-was-actually-right-about-something light.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement Monday that the social networking site would buy Instagram for $1 billion. Not for any profit possibilities, according to Bruce Upbin of Forbes, but for competitive positioning. He wrote that while the move doesn’t appear to have immediate benefits for Facebook, but it brings serious potential harm to Yahoo and its photo-sharing site, Flickr.

“Zuckerberg is playing chess, making a defining move in how it stands in the photo space,” he wrote. “It’s like what Google did with YouTube.

Instagram is a free program and sharing site — iOS and Droid users can download the app and do everything with it at no extra cost. It’s not available on BlackBerry, but that’s OK by me. I paid top dollar for a camera and phone that take good, high-resolution pictures, and I don’t want Instagram messing that up.

Go back to that chess game: Facebook pays a trenta to acquire a service that brings in no revenue. The only reason to do that is to enhance Facebook’s user experience and offer users the integration of a popular service. Will the acquisition bring in new users? Maybe some, but not many, because Instagram users are already all over Facebook. (how else do you think I see all these crappy, hipster, Polaroid wanna-be shots?)

In other words, it’s an experience enhancement to get people using Facebook more. More shares and links means more ad views and possible clicks.

If you’re not paying, you’re the product. Remember that when configuiring privacy services on all those free apps.

Cherry rub turns steak into meat candy: Nom

Sweet mercy, this stuff works well on steak. Turned it into meat candy. I wish it had a saltier flavor, but this rub worked its way well into a flat iron steak. The cherry flavor perfectly enhanced the beef, and gave it a good lookin’ and tasty crust.

I picked this up at Steve’s Fireplaces and Barbecue about a month ago, during one of those rare times that the store was actually open (dude keeps the store open only six hours a day.) After talking with Steve, it was clear that he didn’t want to say he hadn’t tried putting the cherry rub on steak. Instead, he said that the John Henry line was one of the ones used the most by competitive barbecue chefs.

I can see why. The cherry rub worked on steak and a butter pecan rub punched well into some chicken breasts I grilled tonight. Usually I have to marinade chicken breasts to get them to stay moist. Fortunately, my fire wasn’t very hot, so the breasts slow-roasted pretty well and let the rub do its work.

I measure barbecue success by how The Lovely Paula’s eyes glaze over, and I got an OK glaze with the chicken. The steak beat the chicken in glazes tonight.

Here’s a pro tip: I use a spoon to rub on rubs. While many dredge or use their fingers to apply a rub, I use a spoon because I hate wasting my flavor. It packs the rub onto the meat better, which means a better crust when it hits the grill.

Why did ‘Invader Zim’ get canceled, again?

We just bought the booger a new GIR backpack from Hot Topic. The store has had an “Invader Zim” section for years. The cartoon franchise is one of the store’s top sellers, right up there with “Hello Kitty.”

Why did that show get canceled, again?

‘Little Big Planet 2’ trailer released

I can’t wait to show this to my 10-year-old stepkid. It’s about 2 a.m. and I’m really tempted to wake him up to see this.

Sony promises that the game, developed by Media Molecule, will have the same type of development that made the first version so addictive. And not only can we make platform levels, but we’ll be able to make all new games. Holy freaking wow.

“Little Big Planet” is currently available at most stores for about $30. LBP2 should be out later this year. Yeah, I’m gonna wake the kid up. I’ll be right back…

Oh, if you like the music, here’s the full song and video. It’s “Sleepyhead,” by Passion Pit.

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‘God of War 3’ causes purchase quandary

If you haven’t seen the official trailer for “God of War 3” yet, prepare for a brutal, violent feast for the eyes. As well as the first two games in this franchise played on PS2, I’ve been sold on GW3 since I first heard about it. Heck, it’s part of the reason I got a PS3 (You’re welcome, Sony).

But I’m in a quandary about which version to get when the game releases on March 16. I could get the basic game for about $60, or the Ultimate Edition for about $100. The difference between the two is additional content: For that extra $40, you get a documentary, exclusive challenge levels, new costumes, a replica of Pandora’s Box and a book of artwork.

The box is pretty cool looking, but it doesn’t justify all the downloadable content that’s part of the extra. The exclusive challenge room may be fun: The first two games have similar features that make for excellent replayability. The book could be cool. But costumes? Meh. Documentary? For a video game? Please.

The only thing making me consider paying an extra $40: Six songs.

Specifically, Roadrunner Records artists have written exclusive songs for the game. Two of the songs are from two of my favorite bands: Dream Theater and Opeth.

So, in reality, I’m paying $40 for TWO extra songs. Am I really going to do this?

UPDATE: Roadrunner Records announced that the EP will be available on iTunes for $5.99. That’s a little more palatable.

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Joe: Geeked out about his new blog

I’m enjoying the fresh digs around here.

For those of you who followed me on Show You State, my apologies. I was recently promoted to Features Editor, and my understanding editor agreed that I had my hand in too many cookie jars. So no more Show You State… expect it to be deleted soon.

This blog is going to stick pretty close to the features world. Updated once every whenever-I-feel-like-it, I’ll post all about pop culture, from the major Hollywood releases to the latest viral videos. Should be fun.