Steve Jobs address at Stanford

I’m not sure why it was so stunning that Jobs was resigning as Apple’s CEO– he’s almost  done it before, and the man really has been at the top for long enough, let him get some rest!
Somewhere on NPR they were suggesting this, and it’s really great; he doesn’t go on too long, and shares three great stories:

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Lamborghini Superleggera heels

This is quite possibly the sexiest pair of heels ever. Ok, well, they’re awesome anyway– I really hope the lights on the back glow a la little kids shoes 🙂  Apparently, they don’t really exist– “they were designed on computer by Tim Cooper as a conceptual product for Tonino Lamborghini” according to Luxury Luxury Auto Direct, which seems just as good a source as any other on information on this, because I can’t really find any! Of course, where else really would anything be designed if not on a computer? What a silly thing to say…but I believe the point is that they perhaps never LEFT the computer screen!  Anyway, they are really neat and this has apparently been around since the middle of 2010:

and the car it was based on:

Now if only I could find the car in the same price range as the shoes…

Lee Grace Dougherty (the escaping bandit) Subaru ad

Thanks to Jalopnik for this bit of extreme hilarity.

“Three siblings from Florida, sought for a string of robberies, stole a Subaru Impreza and led police on a 20-mile car chase in Colorado at speeds of over 100 mph. The chase ended when cops put down a “stop stick.”

So it follows that Subaru should take this opportunity to brag about the bad-ass factor of their cars! Or crash-worthiness, perhaps? Anyway, someone made this bit of brilliance, in keeping with their “Love” campaign which features owners and their activities:

test4 Facebook comments attempts continue

UPDATE: So I’ve got the commenting to go back and forth from Facebook, where each of my posts are showing up on my wall page. That’s step one– but it seems that there is not yet a way to integrate Facebook-style comments with FB comments transferring between ridwander and FB. Apparently the problem is on the FB side where the programming gets confused with different app IDs one trying to get comments back and forth, and one doing  comments integration. Ah well, we’ll see what we can do in the future. For now, hope you enjoy this new fb functionality!

I’m trying to install a commenting system based on Facebook, so it will be easier to comment for people who are already logged onto FB and don’t mind using just that username/login. But I would also like it to have reply-comments functionality if someone comments on the blog posting on my own FB page. It’s having both that is provinig difficult.
We’ll see what we can do.

To those of you that are getting this in your inboxes, I’m sorry I haven’t been able to figure out how to stop a single post to email out! At least you know what’s happening 🙂


Corruption 2010

As the year draws to a close, many lists will be made regarding bests and worst and how we have/not improved.
Here’s something I was thinking about while I was reading an article that mentioned how corrupt Iraq is– I wonder which way corruption is trending in more of the world? Unfortunately, I imagine more countries on the graphic below will be going from green towards red! Also, not surprisingly, our two major warzones Iraq and Afghanistan are two out of the top four most corrupt. This graphic is taken from Transparency International’s CPI (Corruption Perception Index) for 2010. The document contains the full listing and breakdown by continent and a map showing the distribution of corrupt countries.

[December 19, 2010]: I was looking through Foreign Policy magazine today and they had some revelations about corruption that came out of the Wikileaks leaked documents. Check out some of the astounding offenders.

Google Maps war? Nicaragua vs. Costa Rica

How did I miss this? Did you know this was going on in the past week?A war has broken out because of a Google Maps error!! Seriously!

Somewhat. I was amazed and not slightly cynical when I first came upon this story on Search Engine Land. But as most territorial disputes go, it’s not that simple. In this case, a Nicaraguan Commander Eden Pastora was quoted in La Nacion as using the discrepancy shown in the Google Map (correct boundaries shown by Bing) as a justification. But the key word there is “justification”– As in, this is a long, long running dispute, and this is just one kink in the chain:

Meanwhile in the last week or so, ccording to the Miami Herald, Nicaraguan troops have crossed into land that belongs to Costa Rica– who “claims that Nicaragua’s efforts to dredge the San Juan River, a Nicaraguan waterway that parallels the border between the two countries, has ‘flagrantly” crossed into Costa Rican territory.” They have further claimed that “the dredging has caused environmental damage,” saying that “Costa Rica is not trying to change the current delineation of the border, or to take over any part of the river that belongs exclusively to Nicaragua. “But that doesn’t mean that Costa Rica will allow Nicaragua to incur on its territory. … We will not accept unilateral changes of the boundary.” Further according to AP, “Nicaragua’s ambassador, Denis Moncada, said [Costa Rican foreign minister] Castro’s allegations were “out of line [and that] “Nicaragua will continue to exercise its sovereignty and defense, the cleanup of the San Juan River and the fight against drug trafficking on our border.”

Google has also put up their own response to the topic– basically saying that it’s the fault of the US Department of State, from whom they received the particular map. Meanwhile, really nicely put together is the Ogle (which is “Charting the effect of neogeographical tools like Google Earth on science and society”) post on the same topic. It presents the story using some older maps and mentions a very interesting point by Nicaragua’s President Ortega about how a border that is delineated by a river can be interpreted– is it always the course of the river, which can dwindle over time? Or is it the originally established boundary of the river, which can then become dry land still controlled by the original owners.
I’m voting for borders set by coordinate systems– but I guess the whole problem is that these things aren’t being set today, they were set by people who didn’t foresee such issues as rivers drying up, and we’re left to deal with the problems!  And this time we can’t even turn to satellite imagery for help!


Emergency! Take off your bra!

For all the times when you’re walking along the street and there is a sudden need for a facemask, you can now reach for someone’s boobs! You should probably ask first, lest their knee ends up in your groin. But really, the Emergency Bra doubles as two separate facemasks. From the brochure literature, it sounds like it could be handy in all sorts of disasters!

The Emergency Bra’s primary function is that of a conventional bra. In case of emergency, it can be quickly and easily converted into two face masks without removing any clothes. In case of emergency, where no specialized respiratory devices are available, it can decrease the inhalation of harmful airborne particles. Because the Emergency Bra masks can be securely fixed to the head, it frees a survivor’s hands to keep balance while running and removing objects on the way out of danger. In certain situations, by providing the wearer with a sense of security and protection, the Emergency Bra can reduce the chance of panic attack.

Judging by the photos on their website you could also have some bondage fun with it!


Thanks Rashed for the tip!

Where is the aeroplane?

Sometimes, it’s not enough to know when the plane has landed or taken off. You just want to SEE the thing–even if it’s in icon form.
So, until we have real-time satellite visual tracking available to us, we have this:
You simply put in your flight number and voilà, you have something that looks like this:

is it a plane?

While I wait for my beautiful wife to get here, the little icon on this map isn’t moving nearly fast enough! But I am SO glad that I can see it moving!

Hope your day goes well,

World cup final!…and psychic animals

Not exactly an inspiring game, but it got a lot more fun as the first half came to a close. The winning goal for Spain was well-deserved, as they were clearly the better team throughout the game–and the fact that at least 4 Spanish players had a touch to set up the goal was a great illustration of how Spain had played.

Meanwhile, on a level of at least as much attention as the Cup game itself (at least in America and Germany) was that Paul the Octopus was right, again! This means he has a better record (7 wins-0 losses) than the Spanish team (6wins-1loss) in this World Cup. So, kudos, my cephalopodic friend! Other animals have tried to grab the headlines, but been somewhat less successfull:  Harry, the Ozzie Crocodile, Mani, the Indian parrot, a Malaysian parakeet named Meena, a Dutch Chimp named Pino in an Estonian zoo, and even Jabulani–named ominously the same as the soccerball used for S. Africa’s World Cup matches– another octopus. I find it unsurprising that there are people who would listen to the predictions of various animals, and equally funny that there are people who are willing to believe in some supernatural being governing all their worldly (and post-worldly) doings but find it odd that one should believe in a cephalopod’s powers! On the other hand, while multiple sources have reported that PETA asked for Paul the Octopus to be released into the wild following his string of victories, I haven’t been able to locate anything on their website to that effect. I’m thinking throwing an animal raised in captivity out into the wild is somewhat less than wise.

We were lucky on base to have a couple of similarly sized rooms, because both got filled up! I hear from the workers here that this is by far the most interest they have ever seen in soccer. I knew the other football is growing in the USA. Here’s the room I was at:
Hope you had a fun place to watch the game at–where did you watch?


Goooal! AFN scores the World Cup!!

Proving that newspapers do in fact report good news sometimes, this morning’s Stars and Stripes paper reported: “Just hours before the start of the world’s largest sporting event, American Forces Network secured the broadcasting rights to the 2010 World Cup.” For many soldiers and support personnel working at US bases, this was a matter of great worry– as only few places have access to ESPN. Soccer fans had consigned themselves to having to try and find an online stream, or the really lucky few to find a TV set with ESPN. Even the day before the world’s biggest sporting event, people at cafeterias on US bases found themselves staring at the Stanley Cup replays and some random baseball matches. No, not even in America does anyone REALLY care about the Stanley cup. Fine– except maybe about 7 people!

Meanwhile, further down the article on realizes why this was a big issue. Reports the Stars and Stripes: “The process to obtain the broadcast rights involved 34 international television licensees and sub-licensees in 28 territories, who waived their territorial exclusivity, the AFN release said.”

So here we are–ready. Here in Kuwait this means the games will be on at the big TVs where we can all gather to watch, and maybe– just maybe– all the excitement draws in a few new converts to the beautiful game!