Another One for the Children

So if you're the type who keeps up with technology at all, then you've probably heard about the One Laptop per Child campaign. I recently saw this ad for it:

Now, I've got nothing against "the children," but, seriously, who thought this up? I guess the idea is if you give a child a fish or clean water or an education or medicine, then you help him for a day but if you give him a laptop then he'll be able to, I don't know, engineer his way out of a bad situation? Am I the only one who thinks this is the dumbest charity I've ever heard of? Honestly, don't developing nations have more urgent, life-threatening problems?

Call me callous, but here's an idea: save the child's life before giving him a toy! If you're going to support a charity, may I humbly suggest supporting one that addresses a real need? Blood:Water Mission, for example helps to give people access to clean drinking water. Guess what? People can't survive without water. They can survive without laptops.


For the Children

I'm really not sure how to introduce this because, although we've certainly done "humor" before, we've never really done any original content. I have a very broad and strange sense of humor though. I don't expect everyone will find this as funny as I do.

So, to explain, this is my parody of a children's book. It was inspired by a Taco Bell meal toy (a book entitled Todd and the Talking PiƱata Talk Kindness) and a friend's trip to the planetarium. I guess that's all the explanation it needs.

You can view it below in the fancy Flash viewer or download the PDF here.


"Aright Honourable Member"

This is an amazing video.

I wished the Senate operated this way, we'd have people interested in the government. It's a long video, but the whole thing is amazing.


The Zune 2

I saw this and just had to giggle a little bit. Windows fan-boys always complain that Apple products (a la iPod touch) cost so much, etc. What about a $1113.07 Zune? That cheap? I know this is a typo, but you'd think a site where you're trying to sell a hot new product as opposed to leave it laying on store shelves, you'd at least list the price correctly.

And, I might point out, I found this by myself, without the help of any tech blogs. So there.


Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day... or is that what you say? It seems to me that it ought not be a "happy" day. I'm happy that there have been so many brave people who have put their lives on the line for the cause of liberty, but I am not happy that it has cost so much. But everything good in life requires effort, right?

I don't really have anything special to say, though I'd like to mention my grandfather who served with the Army during the Korean War and my cousin who served in Iraq with the Marines. God bless all who have served and are serving currently. God bless all those who have are are fighting for liberty and truth throughout history. I wonder if I will be able to do the same when the time comes - the time is now.



Well, after last year's National Novel Writing Month was a dismal flop for me (and I mean a dismal flop. I think I hit 1000 words, max), I'm giving it another go. Why? Because I persevere! I don't let little things such as reality get in the way.

Anyways, so I'm behind, again. But I have an excuse this time, I was at a soccer tournament. So, I'm playing catch-up. Since it's the sixth day of the month, I should have 50,000/30 x 6, which exactly 10,000 words. So far, I have 5717. I wrote 3000 words yesterday, and about 2000 today (so far)m so hopefully I'll be on track by the end of the week.

Here's a short excerpt from the work so far:

He was Nietzsche, railing against the establishment, fighting against the collective stupidity of the herd. He was Voltaire, the advocate for positive social action. And how positive his action was! He was Rousseau, with a new social contract. He was Hobbes and the anti-Hobbes, in favor of authoritarian action, but hating authoritarianism. He was Sartre, believing that men were condemned to be free. He was Plato; he had escaped the cave of shadows, and now lived in the light. He was Locke, the authority of the government derived only from the consent of the governed. He was
Schopenhauer, Moore, Kierkegaard, Aquinas, and Descartes. He was Hegel, Mills, Whitehead, Marx, and Abelard.

Yes, he was these things. He was the synthesis of most philosophers. But he was even more than this! He was a revolutionary! He did not only think about things, he did not only debate about the hypothetical in the dust-filled halls of the academies; he turned his ideas, their ideas, into action. He acted on his principles, on his morality.

It had been a great chore to choose a name for himself. He had deliberated for two long years, going by his government given 1090411 until he could stand it no longer. As a stop-gap, he called himself Rasputin, as a matter of personal humor. He pored over volume after volume, tome after tome. He tossed names around in his head. Che? No, that would not do. In the old days, that name had been over-used and over-merchandised. Machiavelli? No, that simply did not work. Lenin? No. Robespierre? Too long, so very French. He had needed something short, with punch. Then, in a epiphany, it had hit him. Kane. That would be his name….

Kane walked over to his desk. He could hardly see the wooden top of the desk for all the books that littered it. Picking one up, he glanced at the title. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Sometimes he felt as if he was living in that story. He picked up another book. The title Brave New World. He placed both books gingerly on a shelf above his desk. They were probably some of the very last copies of those books in existence; he couldn’t afford to mess them up. He moved more books off the desk, ever so carefully.
We, Lord of the Flies, A Clockwork Orange, Fahrenheit 451. All classics. He chuckled darkly to himself. He was living in a dystopia, he hardly needed a book to lay one out for him. The fiction abruptly ended, and was replaced with books on philosophy. He had read them all, memorized every page, every precious passage.

At the very bottom of the pile was the Declaration of Independence. He recited it quietly to himself, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which held them to another….” Kane’s voice trailed off. He rustled the paper, smelled it. He could smell the liberty flowing off the page. Sighing, he set it down.

The 1337 Room

I take some classes at a local university. Another student pointed out that one of the computer labs was given a rather hilarious room number.And all the geeks went ROFLOL. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to bother to explain it to the rest of you as you wouldn't get it anyway, and it's never any good if you have to explain the joke. Now, I wonder if there's a room 1394?

In other news, this marks the 100 posting on the Vanishing Blog. Yay! It's a small milestone, really, but I wasn't sure when we started that we were going to make it this far. Ask anyone who does it and they'll tell you that blogging consistently is hard. Lots of people get all excited about the prospect of having their "own" blog, but how long does the average blog really last? I can tell you from personal experience that it isn't very long. This, in fact, is my third attempt at blogging. I think having a team blog has really helped to keep it going, so I'd like to thank Josh for sticking in there thus far. Of course no blog is worth writing if it isn't read. So thank you readers... all six of you.

Invention of the Decade?

This could quite possibly become the invention of the decade. The British Army is developing a cloaking device that could be use to render troops and tanks invisible! How cool is that? The "invisibility effect is created using "cameras and projectors to beam images captured from the surrounding landscape onto a specially-adapted tank coated with silicon to maximize their reflective qualities," so think of it like using the cloning tool in Photoshop to make stuff disappear. Genius. According to somebody really smart, this technology could be on the battlefield in five years. Now all they've gotta do is invent that awesome shield-ball thing and I'd totally join the British Army.


New Theme

Happy Day of the Dead! Yeah, yeah. Whatever.

You probably - hopefully - noticed the new theme on the blog. See, I told you guys there was gonna be a new one... it just took longer than I thought. I actually came up with a new theme quite a while ago, but Josh and I agreed it was too bland and colorless, so it was never used. So I decided to make one for Thanksgiving. If you hate it, don't worry. You're only stuck with it for 22 days this year. Then I'll probably have a Christmas theme and then in January we'll have a new standard theme. That's the plan. And plans are made to be altered.

So let me know what you think of it. Am I the only one who was getting bored of the previous theme?