Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Send a Text Without Using Your Phone

Saw this handy tip on Tekzilla recently. Want to send a text to someone but either your phone has no service, you've gone over your allotment for the month, or just hate using the number pad to find numbers? Well here are the email addresses you can use for the major cell phone providers in the US:
  • T-Mobile: phonenumber@tmomail.net
  • Virgin Mobile: phonenumber@vmobl.com,
  • Cingular: phonenumber@cingularme.com
  • Sprint: phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
  • Verizon: phonenumber@vtext.com
  • Nextel: phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com
I tested it and it works great.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We're Related?!

If you're like me, family reunions can be awkward. It's catching up with relatives that you see once a month/year/cicada hatching. You're not sure if they're into the same music and movies as you so it becomes a chat about weather and jobs. Awesome!

Well I heard about a site called GENi that is free and allows you to create a family tree. I think this is great for two reasons.

1. You can learn! Honestly, it is cool to see where your grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-great grandparents, and not-so-great uncles come from.
2. It allows you to keep track of family members without being creeped out. Here's what I mean. One current way of keeping track of cousins was through Facebook. At first it was fun, but after seeing a photo of my cousin doing a keg stand, and the last memory I have of them was getting a My Little Pony for the holidays at age six, it can be a little shocking.

The other form was through blogging. And you know how bloggers are? Conceited, self-righteous, pretentious, people that think the world revolves around them and everything they say is smart. What jerks.

With GENi, you can post events that are going on in your life that you want family members to know of. You can plan gatherings or trips without the hassle of fighting over the phone, now you can email anger! You can even share photos...of keg stands if that's an achievement in your family.

So check it out and let me know if we're 5th cousins at some point.

Will this work on cars?

Golden Shellback Waterproof Coating from gCaptain.com on Vimeo.

I want to be able to drive underwater!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

To Pee or Not To Pee

I was reading a piece in the NY Times a couple of days ago that struck near to my, uh, heart. Apparently the city of Seattle is removing all their public toilets.
In the end, the restrooms, installed in early 2004, had become so filthy, so overrun with drug abusers and prostitutes, that although use was free of charge, even some of the city’s most destitute people refused to step inside them.
Living in the City of Big Shoulders, I have asked myself plenty of times why there are no public toilets in this windy city. I first thought it was a way for the city to make money. There are three big colleges, and many smaller ones, located in Chicago proper which equates to a large number of drunk students "celebrating" their "freedom" which leads to public urination which leads to tickets which leads to revenue. I don't think there's a burrito place in the city that doesn't have the stench of PBR laced urine and vomit in the alley next to it. However, I've never seen anyone ticketed and I waited in alleys to watch.

My next thought was that it must be to prevent what is happening in Seattle. These bathrooms became dens of inequity. And why not? The door shuts behind you and no one can see what, or who, you're doing. Essentially they're alleys with privacy.

A simple way to solve this problem is to make this a pay as you go system rather than tax payer supported. As the article states:
$1 million apiece over five years, which because of a local ordinance had to be borne entirely by taxpayers instead of advertisers.
Some stupid law in Seattle made it illegal for advertising agencies to use the toilets to post ads, thus tax payers had to foot the bill. Since the toilets were now "free" anyone could use them, they became disgusting, and the tax payers no longer wanted to pay. This does not mean that citizens don't want public toilets.

In European countries they have public toilets, but they're pay as you go, literally. It costs a certain amount of money to use the toilet which allots to two minutes of time, if you want longer you have to pay more. This would make it more expensive for drug users and prostitutes.

Also, these toilets aren't some carnival-style porta-potty. They look decent and are self-cleaning, which means you don't need to see/smell/feel the last 40 attendees.

So bring on the pay-as-you-go toilets. I think a couple of bucks is worth having alleys that don't reek and not having to purchase an item in a store just to use the bathroom.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sesame Street and 112th

This is why the internet is amazing

Via Clusterfck

PS: I know this is the second Sesame Street video

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Scary Video Tuesday

Apparently these worms live inside other insects and get get as long as one meter!

via Greg

Canadians Rock, eh!

I went and saw heard Feist this past weekend on the lawn at Ravinia. If I missed this on stage, I'll be pissed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Patton Oswalt's Graduation Speech

On June 18th (my birthday!) Patton Oswalt gave a speech at his old high school. Here is the transcript of a funny and touching piece.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

5 Years

Can you believe she's put up with me for this long?! I love her and wouldn't trade a minute of it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

I Don't Write this Blog to Make Friends

It's Called Speedstick!

I guess if you're trying to reach out to the black youth out there, maybe this works.

My Other Car is a Yacht

How can I show the world that I'm rich? A nice sports car? Nah, too many people have those. I know! This will do.

Wakey Wakey

Now this will get you up in the morning. A Taiwanese phone is currently in the design stage that if not turned off will begin to randomly dial people from your cell phone's phonebook. I'm sure they'll make sure you're up at 7:00am if they have to be.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Do you feel lucky? Well do ya?!

USA Today (the one with color graphs) has an interesting piece about scratch off lottery tickets.

Apparently those ones that have a $100,000 jackpot (or higher) may already have a winner claimed but the tickets still remain to be purchased. Their argument is:

The states say the practice is fair because lottery tickets and websites
disclose the practice. Also, other prizes are available.

So even though they're telling your there's a chance of winning a large sum of money on a giant sign by the tickets and on the front of them, the small font on the back and the chance you check the winnings website regularly allows them to keep selling these tickets.


Marketing? Druggies? Aliens? What is this?!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Not so hidden anymore

The Wall Street Journal has a story about what actually is refunded if your flight is cancelled. SPOLIER: It's not the taxes.
The government is "confiscating fees for services not performed," says Mr. Shecter, a personal financial consultant in Nashville, Tenn., and the practice "represents to me a nasty, backdoor method of taking money from our pockets."
And politicians wonder why no one trusts the government.

I Needed Alderman Approval to Post this

A recent op-ed in the Chicago Tribune from Reason editor Radley Balko states that of all major cities in the US, Chicago is the worst for individual freedoms. From the article:

At Reason Magazine, we recently took a look at how the 35 most-populous cities in the United States balance individual freedom with government paternalism. We ranked the cities on how much freedom they afford their residents to indulge in alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex, gambling and food. And, for good measure, we also looked at the cities' gun laws, use of traffic and surveillance cameras, and tossed in an "other" category to catch weird laws such as New York's ban on unlicensed dancing, or Chicago's tax on bottled water.

The sad news, Chicagoans, is that your town came in dead last. And it wasn't even close.
So not only am I limited on what I can put on my hot dog, the cost has gone up to?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New Summer X Games Sport

So now swings are hardcore?! I want to laugh but I'm kinda jealous.

via Greg