Monday, August 31, 2009

Will Marvel Comics Die?

I just wanted to briefly address the recent news that the Walt Disney Co. is purchasing Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion in cash and stock. According to this article from Yahoo, the Marvel shareholders will all receive roughly 3/4 of a Disney share for every 1 share they hold of Marvel's stock. That'll be a pretty good pay off, but what does this mean for the guys and gals at Marvel and especially the comics division? Hopefully the answer will be not much, but I don't know how "hands on" Disney will want to get and if they wanted, they could change quite a bit I suppose. I don't know all of the details, and obviously they haven't worked out everything. I just know that Disney has a different idea of appeal than does Marvel...I guess we'll see what happens!

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

This week, these wonderful women come via Maxim Magazine's online archives, and you can see for yourself that they are some beautiful ladies! The best part of this week is that three of the four women below are from our very own natural state! May they help you get through this hump day, and just try not to stare too hard!

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Silence: Calling a SWAT Team Near You

Have you ever heard of the term swatting? How about the term phreaking or phreaker? In this digital age of computers, tweets, and iPhones, the art of phreaking has died for all but the most diehard of enthusiasts. Most hackers have switched to Wardriving and hacking RFID tags, but to the few circles left, it's still all about the telephone. Phreaking is hacking for telephones, and those who know the art can be dangerous.

Perhaps the most dangerous of these skilled scammers is one by the name of Matthew Weigman: a blind teen who discovered he had the uncanny ability to identify phone numbers by tone and to mimic and identify voices in order to complete his nefarious goals. Through his years of phreaking, Weigman, going by the name of Lil Hacker and Silence, became familiar with phone technicians for both AT&T and Verizon to the point of gaining high level security clearance in both companies.

Eventually, the FBI became interested in cracking down on phreakers and their ilk, and an agent showed up to Weigman's house to work out a deal since Weigman was still a minor. During their conversation, the agent's cell phone rang, and he answered to simply tell the caller that he was busy and would have to return the call later. When the agent ended the call, Weigman simply asked if that was Bill Smith with Verizon. It was, and the agent was impressed that Weigman could identify the voice from across the room. This was the level of expertise he possessed.

The exploits of Weigman are incredible, but the article is lengthy. I wanted to share only a bit here, so to continue reading, check out the complete article, The Boy Who Heard Too Much, at Rolling Stone. It's incredible to see some of the things Matt has pulled off which brings me full circle. Remember swatting at the beginning of this article? Well, swatting is prank calling 911 to send the SWAT out to a rival phreaker or generally just anyone you wish. This was a favorite tactic of "Silence" during his years in phreaking and it's one of the main reasons the FBI is cracking down. It takes crucial time and manpower away from where it might otherwise be needed, but it does make for an intriguing story!

Leia Mais…

Therapeutic Tuesday!

For those of you readers located in or around Hot Springs, Arkansas, you may remember the I.Q. Zoo as one of the long standing attractions which brought many tourists to the area. Also, you are probably aware of Henderson State University just 30 miles south of Hot Springs in Arkadelphia, Arkadelphia. What do these two locations have in common? Ms. Marian Breland Bailey.

For this Therapeutic Tuesday, I thought I would focus on a psychologist closer to home. Dr. Bailey began studying psychology because she thought it to be the "least painful science." She then worked closely with famous operant conditioning psychologist B. F. Skinner. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with her bachelor's degree.

After graduating, Marian married her husband Keller Breland and together they had three children, but they became well known among psychologists for their work detailing operant conditioning for animals, for setting up the I.Q. Zoo in Hot Springs to demonstrate the training, and for their work with improving animal training using more humane means of training. Sadly, Keller Breland died from a heart attack in 1965.

In 1976, she remarried to Robert Bailey, the first Naval Marine Mammal Training director, and she received her PhD from the University of Arkansas in 1978. Together, the Baileys were privileged to train animals from 140 different species. Dr. Bailey continued her work and taught at Henderson State University from 1981 to 1988 where she continued her work and even produced various videos with her husband such as Patient Like the Chipmunk and An Apple for the Student: How Behavioral Psychology Can Change the American Classroom.

Dr. Bailey's legacy is rich and continues to live on through her students and co-workers. Even now, in the psychology department at Henderson State University, there is an annual award given in her name. She will not be forgotten nor will her legacy in behaviorism (All information and quotes via Wikipedia).

Leia Mais…

Understanding the Healthcare Debate

If you're like me, you care about what the government does with your money and how it changes your world, but you may not understand all that bureaucrat gobbledygook in the plans being presented. Thankfully for us, there are others who do understand the lingo and have graciously translated it into English for us in this pretty nifty presentation. Also, if you are interested in the issue, you should also check out this great flow chart!
Healthcare Napkins All
View more documents from Dan Roam.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Techknow Thursday!

Wow...absolutely wow is all I can say after watching this video, and yes, it falls under the topic of Techknow Thursday because these shepherds do some amazing things simply by knowing their trade really, really well! I can only imagine the time they must have spent on the project seen below in the video, but it is great! Fantastic! Beautiful!

Leia Mais…

Belated Happy Wednesday!

Sorry guys and gals...I was so excited yesterday to finally get an interview somewhere (strangely, only the second one since being in's hoping) that I completely abandoned the one weekly staple that holds this blog together. Never fear though, because here they are! Happy Wednesday and I hope you all have a great rest of the week!

And, as usual, these pictures come via the great people at Co-Ed Magazine. There's a lot more where they came from too, so you should definitely check their site regularly for the frequent updates they deliver!

Leia Mais…

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rolling Stones in History!

"Building a henge, are we?" Again with the U.K. stuff...sorry guys, I'll find something American in just a moment, but the BBC does a fantastic job in presenting this short animation detailing the history of how Stonehenge came to be and how it looked in it's hey day! It's not too long and I enjoyed it immensely, so use the link above and give it a view!

Leia Mais…

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Trivia Time: Drugs and Animal Fun!

Trivia time boys and girls! What do you find when you bust a Mexican drug lord?

Give up? I'll give you a few hints, and then you'll have to go here for the complete answer!

Clue 1

Clue 2

Clue 3

That's right! Not only do you bust the drug ring for a hefty load of illegal narcotics, but they'll throw in an arsenal (complete with gold-plated weapons), a gorgeous mansion, and a private zoo for free! Some offers may vary; not available in all states; see complete rules for details and restrictions.

Leia Mais…

Another Few WTF Moments for an Extra WTF Friday!

Wow, apparently there were a couple of other things that decided to come across my desk and computer that literally beg to be shared with you. This first is a video of an Asian gentleman playing the bass guitar to a strange song in an equally peculiar outfit. You might just laugh a bit.


This next bit of WTF content isn't designed so much for entertainment, but I couldn't help letting out a small "heh" when I read it. You see, Circuit City may have gone up and bust, but those guys will get their settlement money any way possible, and this includes giving up the information on their some 30 million customers. The contact information for these customers is being sold to the highest bidder in an auction along with the company's other intellectual property including their brand firedog.

So what's included in this information on the customers? Apparently it's "essentially a mailing list" of all their past customers. If you ever filled out a form or gave your name and phone number, you're probably on the list. Ah well, with all the big brother junk going on and the increasing lack of privacy, this is just another link in the ever tightening chain. What's one more link right?

Leia Mais…

WTF! Fridays

How is it that I always find these stories on news websites from the U.K. before I see it from a U.S. news source (and sometimes I only see it from the U.K. sources)? Either way, the picture below is the Mall of the Americas in Miami, FL. It looks like a nice enough place, and there seems to be a certain charm running about the place, right?

Who would have thought then that this mall would be the tragic location where a 43-year-old woman chose to set herself aflame. For roughly three minutes, shoppers watched in horror as the woman lit fire to herself, eventually suffering major third degree burns on over three quarters of her body as she walked around. Three others received minor injuries trying to aid in putting out the fire.

Of course this was a horrible incident, and I could never imagine becoming so desperate or depressed to do something like this to myself. However, I understand where she or someone else like her might come from...loneliness, depression, or self-loathing is not an easy topic to deal with on a personal level. In fact, many times, the very people we talk to and see on a daily basis may suffer quietly, not wanting to burden others.

But you see, that is exactly what friends and loved ones are for. Those are the few people with who you can be yourself. You can moan and groan and complain to them when no one else would want to listen. So, next time you're talking with someone, be a bit more sympathetic and smile or go a bit out of your way to show a small bit of kindness.

Leia Mais…

Friday, August 14, 2009

Techknow Thursday!

Before getting to the main topic for Thursdays, I briefly wanted to mention that the Fayetteville Public Library is a pretty amazing library! It has a fantastic selection of books (new and old), a massive Audio Book/music CD collection, and it has a pretty good foreign films selection. I was also surprised to find that they are fairly on top of the technology realm as they have a nice selection of computer labs for children and adults, and they even offer up a sizeable Blue-Ray movie collection. It's a great place to go whether for research or leisure, and for a large college town, I'm surprised to find such a public library seeing how the University already has a fairly large library itself.

Sorry about the rambling, but I should think that some of you might like to hear that there is a great public option for books and other media in a college town as opposed to Arkadelphia which severely lacks options for the public off-campus.

Now on to our great tech or science find of the day! This actually is nothing great and upcoming in technology, but I saw it and thought Awesome!, so I'm sharing with the whole class! Apparently the awesome guys at Orange County Choppers are coming into the 21st century by creating the first custom electric chopper! I've included a picture below.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

I do trust that all of you are enjoying your week so far, and while I've had to skip a few days, I do try to keep this one day as the stable part of my blog. I know that you enjoy it so, thus here are a few wonderful beauties to keep you going through the rest of the week. Oh, and not to forget anything, these come courtesy of! I do enjoy a woman in Rubber/Latex!

Leia Mais…

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Great Video: Driving and Drugs!

This little video is in German, but I'm pretty sure you'll all be able to understand. It's title means "Ten Drugs You Should Take When Driving" or something similar. It's hilarious! I love them all, but the absinthe is pretty great!

Leia Mais…

Stately Sunday!

I know that pretty much everyone in Arkansas has heard of many of the wonders in Eureka Springs from the ghosts to the festivals, but if you drive just six miles east towards another small town by the name of Berryville, you'll come across a place called Dale's Snake World. This man basically started by collecting a few snakes...then a few more, until he had amassed over 70 of these beautiful, slithery creatures. He boasts the fact that he has more than the reptile house at the Little Rock Zoo!

Either way, if you enjoy snakes or are even remotely interested, the next time you're in or near Eureka Springs, drive a bit more to his place and check out the reptiles. Then you can go back to looking for ghosts or making your crafts!

Leia Mais…

More Sports Awesomeness!

Diego Maradona, now retired, is considered a virtual god in the world of soccer. The man, now a close cohort of the Castros, is a superb player who can do things with a soccer ball that others only dream of, but he also enjoys himself. He never took things too seriously while playing for Argentina, and during the World Cup, when it was hosted in the United States in the nineties, he took an orange and dribbled it with his feet and knees to entertain the crowds. The following video is taken from one of his pre-game warm ups. Hilarious and pretty amazing!

And then, going along with the workout theme, this next video is Gina Carano's training with Satan. It's cruel and amazing! This is crazy...Enjoy!

Leia Mais…

Belated Super Sports Saturday: NFL

Yeah, we know that ol' Michael Vick is out and now eligible to play in the NFL again, but the question now regards who will take him (if anyone). I know that we are all taught to forgive and forget, but in a society where money talks more than justice and where a man who enables the abuse and gruesome death of so many innocent animals can get off with basically a slap on the wrist, I am appalled that Jesse Jackson is actually suggesting that the National Football League is actually colluding against Mr. Vick!

I know that many others have the same feelings, and if the powers-that-be in the NFL are colluding, good for them! I sincerely doubt that there is such a situation (spoken, at least), but if Mr. Jackson honestly wants "teams to explain why they have a quarterback who has less skills but is playing or at least is on the taxi squad, and a guy with more skills can't get into training camp," then I will be happy to oblige.

First, Jesse (can I call you Jesse?), like I alluded to above, there are actually very few teams in the NFL who are willing to hire a man who allows this to happen to his pets. It is one thing to commit crimes against other humans who can reasonably defend themselves, but it is another, entirely more devastating offense when these horrors happen to the pets who want nothing more than a little food, water, and love from their owners. Vick took advantage of his status and position and thought he could get away with it. I believe the NFL teams are now telling Mr. Vick that you can't just sweep these atrocities under the rug. Mr. Vick had his chance to shine, and he may well have, but he threw it away on gambling and death.

But, I understand that the above moral argument may have no sway on you Reverend Jackson, so I will explain in a different manner. Let me remind you briefly of last year's pre-NFL summer where a certain former Green Bay quarterback decided to come out of retirement and wanted to be reinstated as if nothing had happened. Many thought that the head honchos of the Packers were crazy in telling this quarterback that he could come back but that he would have to try out for the position just like the other guys. Obviously this offended and angered the guy and he sought a job elsewhere eventually joining the Jets.

Mr. Jackson, teams spend copious amounts of money on every player, especially quarterbacks, and the thing they despise most is having someone throw a wrench in the machine. Changing any position up this late in the game can have disasterous effects, so many teams simply say, "sorry, see us next year." I'm sure that eventually some team like the Cowboys will be happy to pick up Mr. Vick, and if he shines, like I know he might, I know that the NFL, like Hollywood, has a way of forgetting even the most horrible of offenses. So, don't blame the NFL for colluding against someone, blame Mr. Vick and tell him simply, "better luck next time."

Leia Mais…

WTF Friday: Belated

Wow, so yeah, I'm catching up on some updates, but this is some crazy taxidermy stuff!! Now, as far as the whole "stuffing of animals" goes, I'm alright as long as it's not a close pet. If it's a deer head, or for some exhibit, that's alright, but the moment someone stuffs Fluffy or Fido, I'm creeped out...until I came across this website which contained the following exhibits and more. Much more. Only go if you can hold your lunch down and don't mind getting creeped out a bit although I guess it is a bit funny that the site is named Crappy Taxidermy. Have to give them that much!

Leia Mais…

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Updating Again: Characters and the Writing Itch

I don't know if anyone else out there enjoys to write for fun, but every now and again, when the bug hits me, I take pleasure out of putting pen to paper or fingers to keys and getting a story out. It's not near frequent enough to call myself a writer or to be very good at it, but I enjoy it all the same. Anyway, as I was musing on what to write (blog-wise and story-wise), I came across a couple of my gaming blogs. Then it hit. I thought I would blog about some of the sources for my story ideas.

Many of my ideas actually come from three main sources: from the media, from my wife, and from RPG character creation. The media is pretty self-explanatory, and the ideas I get from the wife are usually during or after we've been talking about whatever new topic that comes along. She's a great source of inspiration for both intellectual and leisure pursuits in research and writing.

The last area of creative inspiration is via character creation for any of the various RPGs I have played or do play. In any RPG (roleplaying game), each player creates a character which they then play sort of like an actor plays a character in a show or movie, and I enjoy creating the character as much as actually playing. It's because, for me, the character drives the story and the plot. Without Harry Potter, it would just be and the Chamber of Secrets or and the Half Blood Prince.

I know that's a bit overexaggerated, but you know what I'm getting at. So much of our literature is character-based and whether we're describing people or talking about general human personalities, if we want to explain persistance and madness, we refer to Captain Ahab. If we're trying to describe altruism, we use Mother Theresa or Christ. There's a name used to describe practically any and every aspect of human nature. That's why I enjoy character creation so.

And after reading this, you still sit there asking what RPGs are about, I'll share links to a few of my favorites: Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and Shadowrun. Enjoy!

Leia Mais…

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Techknow Thursday!

I was reading on the BBC site and checking reddit when I came across this wonderful article which describes how scientists have made breakthroughs on decoding the HIV-1 virus and its genetic material. What this means is that along with the information decoded from human "junk DNA," as described in this article, there may be, in the not-too-distant future, a cure or vaccine for HIV and AIDS. That's fascinating!

Apparently, most of our DNA is actually comprised of "junk DNA" which is little more than an evolutionary artifact...a fossil so to speak. Through examining this DNA though, scientists may have provided a bullet-proof vaccine. In the BBC article, scientists have also gotten through the genetic code of HIV-1 which can only lead to a better understanding of how the virus operates which may lead to better drugs and eventually a cure. Let's hope they keep finding breakthroughs along these lines! You should read both articles...great reads!

Leia Mais…

Watch and Laugh

I could seriously watch this for hours. It had me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. Enjoy!

Leia Mais…

Happy Belated Wednesday!

Sorry for the lapse in posts lately, I'm sure you'll all understand when I say that I'm trying to focus more on getting a real job that keeping up with posts. It isn't that I don't love you all or anything, but to keep this blog updated regularly, I need funds to live and pay for internet and such things. Either way, thanks for your patience. And now, for a Happy Wednesday update coming to you live, from Thursday!

This week's topic is Rockstar Spawns. As usual, these pictures come directly via Co-Ed Magazine Online where they recently did a post showing all the beauties that some of the rockstars have given life. These are just my favorites of the post, but there are plenty more at Co-Ed so go check them out!

To start out, this first one is Daisy Lowe, age 20, daughter of Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale.

Next is Bijou Phillips, age 29, daughter John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas.

This blonde gal is Alexandra Richards, age 22, daughter of Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards.

And this last beauty, and my personal favorite, is Calico Cooper, age 28, daughter of legend Alice Cooper.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Manly Mondays!

If you live in the South, the stereotype is usually some hillbilly or redneck with guns and a home fort/bunker, right? Well, regardless of how close that is to the truth or not (because I have seen plenty meeting those standards), these next pictures show how the late and great Charleton Heston loved his guns and ammunition. I grabbed the pictures from a police and law enforcement forum which are supposedly private to law enforcement, so I'm not sure how they got to reddit. Either way, I love the collection Mr. Heston has amassed, and I'm sure you'll find it at least neat if not awesome!

*Edit: Apparently the photos won't transfer to my blog, so here is the link to the forum containing the photos. It is certainly a one-of-a-kind collection. I'll keep working on trying to get the photos transferred though.

*Edit (re-do): Nevermind the first edit, other than the link. It was just the computer I was using at the time. Here are the photos even though the small size doesn't do them justice (I recommend still viewing the forum). I especially enjoy what looks like a shooting range in the last photo. This guy enjoyed his weapons!

Leia Mais…