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A Little Bit of Happy June 26, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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I’m deep int he throes of thesis work, which I’m sure is what makes this comic funnier.


Some Observations About the World Cup (Part 1) June 21, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
  • Uruguay has an epic national anthem that goes on FOREVER.  It also has, like, a 30 second intro.
  • Not to be crass, but I’m always surprised about how many white people live in South Africa.  I think it is a shame that Americans of my generation are more versed in WWII than they are Apartheid, the latter of which ended just before I was born.  Seriously, US education system.  Get your act together.  There’s no reason I should have first heard of this IN COLLEGE.
  • ¡Viva la raza!
  • I’m pretty sure the World Cup ball really *does* suck, and it’s not just France and Spain whining about it.  The players seem shocked by what it does, and I’ve never seen so many altitude shots on goal.  I mean, you get those a lot, but these are practically going into the stratosphere.
  • I want a vuvuzela so bad.  Someone get me one.
  • I’ve never seen so many Oscar worthy performances in my life.  Anything to get the yellow card.
  • I don’t know if England’s goalie is every going to get to go home after that dork of a save against the US that gave us a goal.  Seriously.  I hear the man is getting absolutely lampooned back in the homeland.  Whoops.
  • Univision coverage is so much better than ESPN3’s.  You don’t even have to speak Spanish to enjoy it more.  I mean, seriously, tune in if only for the GOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!
  • Brazilian soccer players are the worst about falling down and rolling around on the ground.  I have never in my life seen so much writhing around in pain and clutching at extremities, only to have the player hop up and start running five seconds later.
  • Sucks to be that Mali referee from the US vs. Slovenia match.  That was his World Cup debut, and I would bet a million bucks it was also his exit performance.

June 18, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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Seriously, Nintendo. I mean, your graphics are already third tier, and with the Kinect and PSMove, you’re running out of options! I mean, when everything has a WiiMote, what is your hook? Your snag? YOUR GIMMICK?!

I highly recommend you start packaging one of these musicians with every new Wii console sold starting the next fiscal year. It would be even better if they were kids, because they’d be a) cheaper to ship and b) more compact for storage (look, the PS3 slim is already cramping your style in that category).

This video made my Friday. Enjoy!

I’m Lovin’: Dual Chambered Water Bottle June 16, 2010

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So, we all know that my heart belongs to the Thinksport, so much so that I’ve considered buying nothing but Thinksports for everyone on my Christmas list this year.  And I sleep with mine, all the time.  Seriously.  That’s how much I love them.

But perhaps you’re indecisive.  I mean, it’s hard to figure out what to put in your bottle every morning, amirite?  Do you need some high quality H-TWO-OH, or perhaps you think you’ll need the electrolyte goodness of Gatorade.  Juice or lemonade?  Vodka or wine cooler?  Decisions, decisions.

My indecisive friend, rescue is upon you in the form of the HydraDuo Water Bottle. If this graphic is to be believed, then you could possibly own AWESOME:

Double The Fun.

Two chambers, each color coded so you don’t get confused as to the contents (there is nothing worse than getting a mouthful of water when you think it’s Sprite).  It looks easy to clean, and the best part is that it’s BPA free.

It’s Not Dead! June 14, 2010

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Growin' like a weed.

Remember how I told you that I was growing a garden?  Remember how I said it would probably be dead by now?  Well…it’s not!  I took this two weeks ago and the lettuce has tripled in size.  I also have three little bitty roma tomatoes coming on!

The garlic is a new addition. Also, this is a "pepper photobomb"

My cilantro is dainty and adorable.

Look how much bigger it's gotten.

Here’s To Two Years June 7, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.

My Shutterbug.

God, I love this man.

BookLust: A Tale of Two Cities June 5, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in BookLust, Life List.
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I read this one a while back, but it’s taken me a while to get around to posting the review.  If you’re interested, this was on the BBC Top 100 list.

Let me say, I entered this reading expecting a lot.  I’m not a Dickensonian or anything like that (is that what they’re even called?), but I really, really liked Great Expectations.  I mean, A LOT.  Let’s just get this out of the way now: A Tale of Two Cities is not Great Expectations.  Not even close.

The plotline itself is interesting enough and centers around the French Revolution.  The main character has been imprisoned in the Batille for years and reenters the world a changed, desolate man.  Only finding his long lost daughter can bring him out of his revere, but he finds himself pitched back into chaos.  The story moves from England to France and back to England in parallel storylines, which can get confusing at times; overall, though, I found the book easy to navigate.

The main problem is that, for being about the French Revolution, the book is just so incredibly dull.  We see little of Dickens’ wit here, and compared to Great Expectations, it’s practically nonexistent.  Even more problematic was how heavy-handed Dickens was here.  He practically bashes the reader over the head with his “Pro-England, the French are savages” message.  There’s little delicacy, and I found myself balking at Dickens’ agenda here.

2 out of 5 stars (not Dickens’ best)

Fun Color Personality Test June 2, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.

Today I killed some time taking this color personality test.  It’s simple, easy, and (dare I say it) fairly accurate.  I’ve put up my results; what type of person are you?

Your Profile :

You are 52 % extrovert and 48 % introvert.

Independently of any order of importance :

You are a leader, you know how to organize the groups of persons and give them your energy.

You are also intellectual and intelligent, you wonder and you inquire before taking any action.

Finally you are creative, you always have new ideas, and your inspiration comes from the inside.

Understanding of your Environment:

At first, at 36%, you are centered on your thoughts and your actions are determined by your knowledge and your experience.

Then, at a ratio of 36%, you are attached to moral values and feelings, and you have an emotional relation with the environment.

Finally, at 27%, you are focused on the facts and on the reality, and your decisions are determined by your perception of facts.

How You Assert Yourself:

Your ideas
Your relations

Also, the bonds that you created with your family and friends represent 55% of your core emotions. Your creativity, your openness and your need to open up to renewal in your life have also an impact of 44%.

Your inspiration
Your family

Finally, your actions are determined by your will and your personal goals at a ratio of 53%. In 46% of the cases you take into account your own sensibility and your partner’s.

Your will power
Your sensibility

Keys To Your Personality At This Time:

At 23%:  You are a manager and a leader, and you know how to organize groups of people and how to give them your energy.

At 20%:  You are a manager and a structured person, you know how to take into account the needs of each person while leading them to the fixed goals.

At 20%:  You are intellectual and intelligent, you wonder and you inquire before taking any action and setting your values.

At 18%:  You are thoughtful and deep, you think before getting into action and you know how to communicate your knowledge.

At 17%:  You are open and good communicator, you know how to attract people and engage them.

Finally, you are a creative person, with always new ideas, and you know how to apply them, you are creative, you know how to see beauty, you are intuitive and your inspiration comes from the inside.

So Now What Do We Do? June 1, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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Oh, so you heard that BP’s top kill method of plugging up the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico didn’t work?  I’m assuming that you weren’t distracted by what is effectively the beginnings of The Korean War Part Deux Only With China This Time or that little tidbit of Israel Going Batcrap Insane And Boarding A Turkish Aid Flotilla In International Waters And Killing Some Folks (sidenote: John and I don’t agree on Israel.  He’s an Israeli sympathizer whereas I think their failure to compromise makes them big bullies).

Anyhoo, there’s still oil pumping into the Gulf of Mexico.  Just a little bit.  Over the weekend, BP announced that they’re going to cut below the damaged pipe to get a clean surface, then try to put another containment vessel on top of the leak.  You know, like that containment vessel that didn’t work the first time.  As of this morning, Gizmodo is reporting that this new method of correction could put 20% oil into the Gulf. Since BP has done such a wonderful, bang-up job so far, I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll be seeing a lot more oil in the Gulf of Mexico in the next few days.  Let’s just pray that those relief wells get dug sooner rather than later.

Sorry dolphins, sea turtles, and various avian life.  It was nice knowing you.

What the Crap, BP?! May 26, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, Loathin'.
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OH MY GOD.  It has been umpteen thousand million days since this whole fiasco started (read: over a month), and still no solution.  An article in USAToday says that BP is trying a “top kill” method of plugging the spill that works on aboveground leaks, but it has never been tried underwater.  Their estimate for success?  Somewhere between 60% and 70%.  I don’t know about you, but those are unacceptable grades for a math test, much less the last desperate idea to stop ecological travesty.

Let me just get this out of the way before I continue on:  SCREW YOU, BP.

First, get a sense of the size of this spill.  One of John’s coworkers mocked up these images yesterday, and it really puts things in perspective, though you’ll need to click through to see the full size image:

Here's an outline of the spill in the gulf. It's already big, right?

Here's what the spill would look like on land in Northwest Arkansas

I feel awful that people died in this catastrophe, but their deaths are far outweighed by the outrageous awfulness that is this oil spill.  Scientists estimate that 7 million gallons of oil have already leaked–oh, excuse me, GUSHED–into the Gulf, and if this last minute attempt at plugging the hole doesn’t work, there will be “significant down time” before another alternative can be implemented.  That’s compounded by the fact that scientists say the oil plume is actually getting darker, which implies that the oil coming out is more polluted and even more dangerous.  The dispersants that BP originally used to try and break up the oil are just as flawed; now there are giant plumes of oil floating willy-nilly in the water column.

The water is so toxic that they won’t let divers go in with ANY SKIN EXPOSED.

What really pisses me off is that this whole disaster could have been avoided if the platform had redundant shut-off valves.  When oil companies–including BP–were approached about this by regulatory committees, they pooh-poohed it off as overly expensive and unnecessary.  Now BP is facing a piddling $4300 dollar per barrel fine (which, by my estimates, totals somewhere near $30 billion dollars in addition to clean-up costs.  Lots of people are wagging their fingers at BP, but we should also be looking at Deepwater Horizon (which owned the rig) and Halliburton (which set the lines).  Even more so, we should be glaring down a gunsight at OSHA, which is in charge of inspecting and regulating off-shore drilling rigs.

This should make Obama’s push to open new offshore drilling sites even more infuriating that it was when he backed out of his campaign promise to stop the expansion of such drilling sites.  This wasn’t an old announcement, either–this hit the wire a mere three weeks before BP blew the Gulf of Mexico all to heck.  Don’t read this as an indictment of the Obama administration, because I know full well that McCain would have done the same thing. Consider this an indictment of the American political system that has been sleeping with Big Oil for the past century.

People are screaming at the government to get involved in this process, but that’s not feasible, either.  What is the government going to do that BP isn’t’ already doing?  Obama has assembled a team of scientists to deal with this issue, but they’re going to need as much time as BP is to get in there and fix this thing.  Not only that, but why waste taxpayer dollars on this when you can run a company into the ground instead?  I really think that BP is trying to do everything they can to stop this leak to save the company itself.  Any more of this and they’re going to go under: hook, line, and sinker.  In an effort at self-preservation they’re going to do anything they can to get this mess cleaned up.  The government would be no faster, more efficient, or better.  The only thing it could do is get more manpower on the scene, but with 21,000 BP employees already on the ground and countless American scientists and volunteers, how many more people do you need right now?

The real tragedy here is that it doesn’t matter what we do now.  Even if we plugged the spill today, we cannot feasibly undo the damage to the gulf.  The ecosystem will take decades to recover, but with the current state of affairs–global warming, oceanic acidity, pollution, et. al–it may never, ever recover.  EVER.  All of the regulation, restrictions, and nay-saying that will come in the next few months isn’t going to fix anything.  It may prevent another spill of this magnitude, but it’s not going to help out the Gulf Coast now.

I hope you all are PISSED OFF at the lack of planning, initiative, and competency evidenced by everyone involved in the offshore oil drilling industry. I sure am.