Thursday, December 15, 2005

One small step for a state, one giant leap for Big Brother

N.Y. Adopts Code to Monitor Diabetics

New York is requiring medical labs to provide the results of blood tests for a database of diabetics. The state will use the database to telephone diabetics to nag them about not maintaining their blood sugar levels as well as the state thinks they should.

New York's health commissioner says "We will ensure that the utmost care will be taken to keep people's privacy and information protected." He went on to say "People skittish about their privacy will be allowed to opt out of the program." Details on how that would work, however, are still being developed.

I interpret that to mean that not only will your private, confidential medical information be shared with strangers, but it will be nearly impossible to remove your information from the database. The temptation will be great to reap financial rewards by sharing that data with HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, etc. It will only be a matter of time before an insider sells your private information.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Skeptic's Annotated Bible / Quran (Koran) / Book of Mormon

The Bible is an important piece of literature and cultural icon of western society. Even if you don't ordinarily read works of fiction, I encourage you to read the Bible to be a well informed citizen.

Even the King Jame's Bible is easier to read than Chaucer, and is no more difficult than reading Shakespeare. As in the case with Shakespeare it is handy to have an annotated copy to point out historical and cultural vagaries.

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible is an excellent resource to keep handy while you are reading the Bible and get confused by the alternate versions of events and the multitude of self-contradictions.

While not as important as western cultural icons you may want to read the Quran and Book of Mormon with annotations as well. It pays to be prepared for your next visit by the door-to-door Mormon missionaries.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The TRUE Stella Awards -- Exposing Lawsuit Abuse with Real Cases

The TRUE Stella Awards -- Exposing Lawsuit Abuse with Real Cases

While we're talking about Randy Cassingham we can't forget the True Stella Awards website and newsletter. Stella Liebeck sued McDonald's when she spilled hot coffee on herself and became the Poster Child for frivolous lawsuits.

The True Stella Awards are devoted to exposing outrageous or ridiculous lawsuits while separating true cases from bogus cases. The truth really is stranger than fiction.


This is True by Randy Cassingham - Weird but True News from Around the World

This is True by Randy Cassingham - Weird but True News from Around the World

I'm a long-time premium subscriber to the This Is True newsletter. The stories are all true, of course, and about as weird as News of the Weird. Randy Cassingham adds his own witty taglines to the stories and challenges readers to do likewise with his tagline challenge of the week.

Be sure to check out his Get Out Of Hell Free (GOOHF) cards. I have mine!


Monday, October 10, 2005

James Randi Educational Foundation

James Randi Educational Foundation

Here's an excellent starting point for the budding skeptic or those curious about skepticism. If you are already a skeptic I don't need to tell you about James Randi and the Million Dollar Challenge.

If you believe in the factual existence of the Tooth Fairy, Jesus, the Easter Bunny, Zeus, angels, pixies, etc. then this site will probaly make you uncomfortable.

If you are a True Believer in homeopathic medicine, astrology, the Bible, crystal power, tarot cards, the Koran, etc. you should visit this site at least once. If you visit twice then perhaps you have at least a spark of rationality.

Once you've dipped your toes in the pool of rational sanity please check out the next step in your path to enlightment:

Skeptic Magazine

The Skeptics Society is a scientific and educational organization of scholars, scientists, historians, magicians, professors and teachers, and anyone curious about controversial ideas, extraordinary claims, revolutionary ideas, and the promotion of science. Our mission is to serve as an educational tool for those seeking clarification and viewpoints on those controversial ideas and claims.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Smoking Gun

The Smoking Gun
Arresting Images

The Smoking Gun not only has a fabulous gallery of celebrity mug shots, but they are also a treasure trove of odd and humorous court papers.

I check out the site once or twice a week to get the real story, and documentation, behind the weird goings on of the week.


The All New KRUD Radio - kinda... sorta...

KRUD Radio

"The radio business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.

There's also a negative side."

Hunter S. Thompson
KRUD Radio is every radio station. What you will see and read on this site is all about the real world of radio. The KRUD website is for radio broadcasters AND the radio listener.

Those in broadcasting will find comfort in knowing that they are not working in an isolated hell hole where logic is ignored, egos are of enormous size, and no IQ above the low end of the FM dial is required for any job in the station. In short, "it's like this everywhere". Welcome to KRUD Radio!


I'm strictly an amateur photographer, but I do try to follow my Father's professional advice:
"Every photographer takes good pictures and bad pictures. The difference is that a good photographer will only show you his good pictures."
--Cromer Howell Jenkins



Of all the forums I hang out at Video Help Is my favorite. The forum name has changed over the years as technology has changed: from VCDHelp, to DVDRHelp. to VideoHelp.

What is this site about?
This site will help you to make your own
VideoCDs, SVCDs or DVDs that can be played on your standalone DVD Player from video sources like DVD, Video, TV, DV, Cam or downloaded movie clips like DivX, MOV, RM, WMV and ASF. We also have extensive lists of Capture Cards, DVD Media, computer DVD Writers, desktop DVD Recorders and desktop DVD Players with features, compatibility information and user comments.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Blogger Bandwagon

If everybody has a blog does that mean you have to have one too? Maybe.

If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump too? Yes, of course you would!