Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14th

International Pi Day is observed on March 14th (3/14) every year and is celebrated with the consumption of pies. Since a circle is 2Π radians, a well-rounded Pi Day has two pies. Of course, the cake is still a lie.
Click through the page jump for an apple pie build guide.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Dream

It's always the same nightmare.

I sit up in bed but I'm not in my room anymore. It's night time and I'm in a clearing in the woods. There's a full moon up but the sky is cloudy, casting the world into deceitful shadow. The clearing is covered in deep grass right out to the tree line. That's where the shapes are moving, circling, surrounding me.
A slight breeze on the night air brings the scent of deep forest, verdant grass, and... them. An animal smell; fur, sweat, anger, and a touch of fear. They glance into the clearing occasionally, gazing at me with their pale yellow eyes.
These creatures have little concern for me. I neither incite anger nor instill fear in these dark beings. I know I am still dreaming but I am bound to these things somehow. Am I still dreaming?
It doesn't matter; I don't have their attention. These hounds are focused on something else; something out there in the forest. Something approaching.
It is the evil that stalks sleepers in the dark. This eternal curse.

Leaping out of bed I join the pack in tonight's chase. Now we are the hunters.

It's always the same dream.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Xoom will lose to iPad 2

Publicity still from Apple's iPad 2 press event. Surprisingly little poo-flinging.

Apple recently unveiled their newest fondle-slab, the imaginatively named iPad 2. Apple has increased albedo by 0.17% for more shine, rendering all previous Apple devices obsolete. Continuing to use such outdated products can have dire consequences. It has been linked to dingy white socks, decreased fuel economy, male pattern baldness, and sagging porch steps. This new tablet device is pitted against the Motorola Xoom, the standard bearer for the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system.

Of course, Xoom is doomed to failure against the firepower of this fully armed and operational Apple product. Oh, sure, Android doesn't exert the same level of control over the user experience the way iOS does. Verizon's network has higher availability than AT&T can even dream of. And Motorola is edging back towards dominance of the mobile market.

The hammer that is driving nails into Xoom's coffin is price. The Motorola tablet costs $800 without a contract compared to $499 for the iDidntPayMoreThisTime. Speaking personally, I can't justify spending that much on a completely new form of technology. I've never owned a tablet, eBook reader, or even netbook. As such, I can't say if the advantage of the form-factor balances well against it's cost. If Motorola could bring the price down to $500, it merits a serious discussion about its necessity as another device in my computing ecosystem. If the price hit $250 it becomes an immediate necessity.

Disclosure: I own an Android-powered Motorola smartphone.

Heart Attack Grill

CBS News reporter Bill Geist covers the Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Arizona. This video began circulating around Arizona just after the grill's 600 lb. spokesman, Blair River, passed away.
Geist begins, "Restaurants nationwide are paring down their portions and offering health choices." That's something the founders of the Heart Attack Grill couldn't abide. Blair River was a man with a vision and his field of view did not include his toes. This country is experiencing a backlash against the culture of excessive consumption that defined the previous generation. Citizens today are being told to cut back, to not take on so much. Whether it is debt or calories, we are constantly told we take too much. It's time for businesses like the Grill to remind us that our ancestors didn't claw their way to the top just so we could give it away to someone else.
They say, "It's not over 'til the fat lady sings." I say her crash diet turned her into a skinny waif! It's time to celebrate our excesses and remind ourselves how we got where we are today!