Archive for January, 2011

The Tiger Woods Dubai Update

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Not much more to this story than the title: “Tiger Woods’ Dubai golf course development officially halted“.

Tiger Woods Dubai

I’m kind of surprised it took them this long …

Text Kills Suicide Bomber by Accident

Friday, January 28th, 2011

If this is real this is awesome!

Check out: “Black Widow attempted New Year Moscow attack but blew herself up by mistake“.

Security sources believe a spam message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received just hours before the planned attack triggered her suicide belt, killing her but nobody else.


Liz in the News!

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Liz in the news! Check out today’s Portland Press Herald article about her not job fair but “networking night”: “Immigrants network at international job fair“.

25 Years since the Challenger

Friday, January 28th, 2011


Today’s the 25th anniversary of STS-51-L, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Orange You Glad It’s Not Red?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011



The US Department of Homeland Security is changing the “Homeland Security Advisory System” a/k/a the Terror Alert: “Homeland Security to replace color-coded terror alerts“.

The system, as it was established in March of 2002, is “intended to create a common vocabulary, context, and structure for an ongoing national discussion about the nature of the threats that confront the homeland and the appropriate measures that should be taken in response. It seeks to inform and facilitate decisions appropriate to different levels of government and to private citizens at home and at work.”

Currently the Threat Level is “Yellow”, except for on planes, where it’s “Orange”. As in, “High Risk of Terrorist Attacks”. It has been since 2006.

That informs me that I shouldn’t travel. Shoot, I wouldn’t want to travel were the level “Yellow” – “Significant Risk of Terrorist Attacks”.

Key quote from the article:

“The old color-coded system taught Americans to be scared, not prepared,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson , D-Miss., the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee. “Each and every time the threat level was raised, very rarely did the public know the reason, how to proceed, or for how long to be on alert.”

Now that makes sense.

New California Adventure Posters

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

One of my favorite things about Disney is the attraction posters from the theme parks.

With California Adventure getting a new design and new facelift, they’ve made new posters:

Check out: “New Attraction Posters Paint a Fresh Vision of Paradise Pier“.

Apple Magic Glove

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Not that it’s set in stone, by any means, but Apple was just granted patent for a new glove system, as reported by Apple patent watchdog patentlyapple: “Apple Wins Patent for a High Tactility (Magic) Glove System“.

I know with my new iPhone the “tactile feedback” through even light gloves “impedes proper operation”.

I’ll be psyched if this becomes reality.

Naming Rights

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

I just read a blog post about the possibility of selling naming rights to infrastructure that was cute enough, but then they made a good jab at the KFC Yum! Center and I had to share it.

Check out: “Should We Sell Naming Rights to Infrastructure?

The joke:

But once the commercialization process is in place, standards inevitably start to slip. Just look at sporting facilities: one day you’re walking to august Wrigley Field, the next day you’re heading to the KFC Yum! Center, looking for your dignity. (It’s always in the last place you look.)

You might remember I poked fun of that name back in November (see KFC Yum! Center).

“Meat Filling” Lawsuit

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Wow, so I don’t feel like going to Taco Bell any time soon.

Taco Bell logo

Have you seen the new lawsuit that contends their “beef” is actually “taco meat filling” and that their ground beef “seasonings” are really “extenders”?

Check out: “Taco Bell meat? Beef, says firm. Filling, says suit.

Key quote:

“In reality, a substantial majority of the filling is comprised of substances other than beef,” the lawsuit alleges. And those seasonings?

“Those ingredients are not added for flavor, but rather to increase the volume of the product,” the suit charges. “These ingredients are binders and extenders such as ‘isolated oat product.’ “

For future reference, “taco meat filling”, according to the USDA, must contain at least 40 percent fresh meat.


Nope, I don’t feel like going to Taco Bell any time soon.

Dubai’s World Islands are Sinking

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Remember The World islands in Dubai? We actually talked about them three years ago today (see The World).

Dubai The World

Well, according to reports from Friday, it’s sinking: “Luxury Dubai development sinking.”

Of course, this all comes from a lawsuit against Nakheel, the state-run developer on the islands, but still, it’s quite possible.

LePage’s Special Interests

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Maine’s Tea Partier-in-Chief, Paul LePage, has been in the news quite a bit lately; most recently he told off the NAACP the week before Martin Luther King Jr Day, calling them a “special interest”.

Sometimes I think his “special interest” is upsetting people with whom he doesn’t agree.

Granted sometimes I think he talks first and thinks later.

Either way, he’s in the press again, this time the left-of-center Portland Phoenix has found a list of his real special interests: “LePage’s secret bankers.”

Starbucks and iPhone

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Wow, this combines two of my favorite stories of the last few weeks – one can now pay at Starbucks using one’s iPhone!

Check out: “Now at Starbucks: Buy a Latte by Waving Your Phone.”

I have to point out that there’s actually no waving involved, however; there isn’t RFID in the iPhone. It’s simply an iPhone application that displays a barcode specific to one’s Starbucks gift card that the clerk barista then scans.

But I can see where “wave” sounds more futuristic.

Maglev in So. Cal.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

I’ve been dreaming of maglev transit since I was in 8th grade (where I won the Science Fair, you may note).

Now today I just saw this article: “Maglev Rail Transportation system moving closer to reality.”

Well that only took 20 years …

Optimized for Smart Phones

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Those of you at home probably (hopefully) won’t notice anything different, but the blog here is now optimized for smart phones, like my new iPhone.

This is what iPhone viewers see now:

Pretty awesome, eh?

Let me know if you see any problems with the site (either real computer or phoney) over the next few days. Thanks!

31 Ounces of Coffee

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I meant to mention the new Starbucks Coffee logo the other week but was swept up in other nonsense.

It’s okay. Nothing earth-shattering. (Although changing the logo on 16,000-some-odd stores might be costly!)

Well Starbucks is in the news today, again for something rather silly. Today they’ve announced a new 31-ounce sized iced tea and coffee drink – the “Trenta”. Check out: “Starbucks Expanding Rollout Of 31-Ounce Drink Size“.

Canada’s National Post points out that’s larger than an average human stomach.

James Bond in Dubai!

Monday, January 17th, 2011

No, not the next movie (the currently titled “Bond 23” coming out November 9, 2012) but the next novel, coming out May 26, 2011.

Carte Blanche cover

Just today publisher Simon & Schuster announced that Jeffery Deaver’s contemporary-set James Bond novel will be titled “CARTE BLANCHE” and is set in Dubai!

Throws another monkeywrench into my whole James Bond vs. Mission: Impossible in Dubai debate (see James Bond in Dubai).

Happy Birthday Mac Plus!

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Today’s the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Macintosh Plus – the first Mac my family ever owned.

It’s a far cry from today’s MacBooks and iMacs, but back then it sure was something …

25 Years of Living Seas

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion (formerly “The Living Seas”).

You might remember that John Ritter hosted the television special that introduced us to Seabase Alpha, Seacabs and Hydrolators.

Here’s a peek at that special now:

Snow in 49 States

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

I love factoids like this:

With the arrival of snow in New York and the unusually severe storm in the South – which dumped more than a foot of snow in some areas – the National Weather Service said an unusual nationwide occurrence had taken place. There was now snow on the ground in every single one of the 50 states – including Hawaii, which had snowfall on one of its volcanoes – except for Florida.

That’s from yesterday’s New York Times: “Snowfall Blankets Region and Snarls Flights.”