Archive for June, 2010

iPhone 4 Drops Calls, Too

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Uh-oh! Did you see this in the New York Times: “On iPhone 4, a Mystery of Dropped Calls“?

Apparently there are concerns that holding the new iPhone 4 in one’s left hand results in poorer signal performance, including dropped calls.

And I’m left handed!

So I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have one!


iPhone 4 Day

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Apple’s new iPhone 4 is being released today.

Think I’ll just wait until iPhone 5 comes out in 2011.

Happy UFO Day

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Today’s the 53rd anniversary of Kenneth Arnold’s UFO sighting, a/k/a UFO Day!

Denver Fun Facts #4

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

This one took me aback, until I noticed the slight-of-hand in the wording (I’ll underline it).

Denver has 300 days of annual sunshine.

Located east of a major mountain range, Denver has a mild, dry and sunny climate with more annual hours of sun than San Diego or Miami Beach. In winter, Denver is dryer than Phoenix with an average daily high of 45 degrees in February.

So I assume the days are longer in Denver? Why more annual “hours”?

Denver Fun Facts #3

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Denver is big on sports. So you can imagine they’re one of the thirteen cities with teams from four major sports.

But they tout themselves as being one of two cities in the United States to have seven professional sports franchises (Philadelphia is the other).

(For the record, Arena Football League died in 2008.)

So they list:

  • Denver Broncos (NFL)
  • Colorado Rockies (MLB)
  • Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
  • Denver Nuggets (NBA)

  • Colorado Rapids (MLS)
  • Colorado Mammoth (NLL)
  • Denver Outlaws (MLL)

    Huh. Personally I’d say that the WNBA is bigger and better known than the indoor NLL or the outdoor MLL.

    Shoot, the MLL only has six teams! And one of them is in Canada!

    But since Denver doesn’t have a WNBA team, they went with these others.

    Instead I’d have brought up the Denver Barbarians Rugby Football Club from the Rugby Super League. “Denver Barbarians” sounds bad-ass. I might need a t-shirt …

  • Burj on a CD

    Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

    Now that I’m liberated from my job, I can do things like take back returnables and go to Target in the middle of the day. So I did both this morning.

    Because of the early hour, I didn’t expect to see any familiar faces. But to my surprise, I did. Look at what I saw in Target’s CD section:

    Yes, that’s Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel on the cover of Owl City’s Ocean Eyes CD.

    I have no idea who Owl City is, they’re on Universal Republic records, an American label so I don’t know what their connection to Dubai is. Wikipedia says their genre is “Synthpop, Dream pop” – whatever that is. Doesn’t sound particularly Arabic or Islamic.

    I know, lots of questions, few answers. Just thought I’d share.

    UPDATE: Found an interview with Owl City (apparently the band is just one dude?) and he says if he could live anywhere in the world, he’d live on the top floor of the Burj Al Arab.

    He sounds like a bit of a tool in the interview. He posits that he’d get good at tennis if he lived there because of their suspended tennis court on the top floor. Of course there isn’t one, sadly; he’s referring to the stunt in 2005 where Andre Agassi and Roger Federer played a match on the helipad (see No Tennis Stunts).

    So that answers that question.

    Denver Fun Facts #2

    Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

    Today’s fun fact is about growth and population make-up of Denver.

    Denver grew by 30 percent in the 1990s – an average of 1,000 new residents a week, every week for 10 years.

    Today the city has a population of 594,740, while there are 2.7 million people in the metro area.

    Backstop Aquarium

    Monday, June 14th, 2010

    Miami’s weird. Sure, I’ve never been there, but I’m familiar with their Vice, their Bad Boys and their Crime Scene Investigators (seriously, do the police all drive Hummers down there?)

    But Crockett and Tubbs, Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett and, um, David Caruso’s sunglasses aside, their sports teams just flat out confuse me, most recently with their renaming Joe Robbie Stadium for the Super Bowl (see “Super” Bowl).

    The new baseball stadium that the Marlins are building is also bizarre – the retractible roof looks, to some people, like a giant bagel-slicer on its side.

    But that’s not the extent of the weirdness; last week it was announced two salt-water aquariums will serve as the home plate backstop.

    For more, and a few more jokes, see this Miami Herald article: “Will Wild Pitches Scare the Fish?

    Denver Fun Facts #1

    Monday, June 14th, 2010

    Liz is off today for Denver, and I’ll follow in a few days – one of our friends we met in Dubai is getting married out there.

    Along with the usual flights, hotels and rental cars I’ve been looking up fun facts about Denver. It’s a fun way to get excited about the trip, and I get to learn something. I figured I could share some with you, because sharing is caring.

    As you probably know Denver is about 5,280 feet above sea level – one mile high. In Denver’s rarified air, golf balls go 10 percent farther. So do cocktails. Alcoholic drinks pack more of a punch than at sea level. The sun feels warmer, because you are closer to it and there is 25 percent less protection from the sun, so sunscreen is a must.

    The Mile High City is also extremely dry, so it is a good idea to drink more water than usual. With less water vapor in the air at this altitude, the sky really is bluer in Colorado.

    Les is More

    Sunday, June 13th, 2010

    Gail Collins had an interesting op-ed in the New York Times last week: “The Rise of the Richies“.

    Made me think of Maine’s own Les Otten.

    Sheikh Mo’s Stowaway

    Friday, June 11th, 2010

    A Romanian dude snuck aboard Sheikh Mohammed’s jet! Dude, if they’d landed in the Middle East we never would have heard this story: “Stowaway survives flight from Austria to London on Sheikh’s jet.”

    Good Bye ESPN Zone

    Thursday, June 10th, 2010

    It wasn’t a great concept – is it for kids or for drunk adults? – but it’s still sad: “Disney to close 5 ESPN Zone restaurants.”

    They’re keeping the one at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney and one near the Staples Center in LA.

    Nadal at Disneyland Paris

    Thursday, June 10th, 2010

    My wife likes tennis, I like Disney. Put them together, you get Rafael Nadal at Disneyland Paris celebrating his fifth French Open:

    More Jobs … Kinda

    Thursday, June 10th, 2010

    Aw frigging hell: “Say goodbye to full-time jobs with benefits.”

    James Stoeckmann, senior practice leader at WorldatWork, a professional association of human resource executives, believes that full-time employees could become the minority of the nation’s workforce within 20 to 30 years, leaving employees without traditional benefits such as health coverage, paid vacations and retirement plans, that most workers take for granted today.

    Going to go cry now.

    iPhone and the Cardinal Sins

    Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

    I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Apple’s new iPhone 4 they revealed yesterday. It seemed like I’ve wanted an iPhone for the last three and a half years. Oh wait, I have (see iPhone).

    In fact, I’m pretty pissed off that I don’t have one.

    One of the reason’s that I’d like a real job – I mean, other than health benefits, sick days and vacation days – is for a real paycheck of which I could spend gobs and gobs towards an iPhone and data plan. That’s where they get you, you know, that monthly data plan on top of the already outrageous cellular plan. I just can’t afford that right now. And that upsets me.

    I’m also really jealous of my friends who do have iPhones, which these days is most of them. Every time I get an email from a friend and the last sentence is “sent from my iPhone” it grates my nerves. Why do they get an iPhone and I don’t?

    Mostly because they’re not a temp, I’d assume.

    In fact, now that I think about it, other than “sloth” I think I experience the full set of Cardinal Sins each time I think about the iPhone:

    Wrath: see above
    Greed: I want I want I want I want
    Sloth: n/a
    Pride: I’m supposed to be an Apple fan without an iPhone?
    Lust: Okay, similar to this case to envy.
    Envy: see above
    Gluttony: My Motorola RAZR works just fine, really.

    So wait, did I just prove Apple evil? Crap.

    Forgive me Steve Jobs, for I have sinned …

    new iPhone

    Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

    Did you see that Apple released info on the new iPhone 4 yesterday?

    It comes out June 24.

    Gucci Hotel in Dubai

    Monday, June 7th, 2010

    From today’s 7Days: “A Dubai hotel for Gucci’s girl“.


    Ras al-Khaimah & Terrorists

    Monday, June 7th, 2010

    Yesterday the Guardian had an article about Ras al-Khaimah (one of the other seven emirates in the UAE) and their terrorist links: “Ras al-Khaimah’s links to al-Qaida, not Iran, is the real issue“.

    Khan Shatyry

    Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

    Just read a story about the Khan Shatyry Entertainment Centre in Astana, Kazakhstan. Er, the whatnow?

    Well, the reason it caught my eye was the title: “The New Dubai?

    It’s pretty fantastic, really, it’s a 150 meter high dome in the capital of Kazakhstan – an indoor city – that’s supposed to be done next month.

    The dome will create a greenhouse effect, protecting the city from the severe cold; apparently in Astana it can reach -40 degrees Celsius.

    Er, -40 degrees Fahrenheit.


    Here’s some cool art: