Archive of March 2004

Friday, March 26, 2004

The Exploding Children Collection

A couple of years ago I read this about a Palestinian baby dressed as a suicide bomber.  At that time I snagged the picture as I thought I might be able to work it into one of my SFFL Rhino rants.

Bomb Baby

I hadn’t really been able to find a good way to work it in, but held onto it, because I figured someday I would.  But now with this bomb boy picture I’ve decided to start a collection.

Bomb Boy

With people teaching nonsense like this, I think I stand a good chance of expanding this collection in the future.
March 26, 2004 @ 12:43 pm | Category:
Friday, March 19, 2004

A look at Google

I ran across this rather interesting article about Google at Fast Company yesterday.  Most of the articles I’ve read about Google all seem to be preoccupied with the hype and speculation regarding their upcoming IPO.  This one though was somewhat different as it offers a refreshing look into "how they do what they do".  Like anything Google related, there is still a certain amount of speculation because Google tends to be pretty tight lipped about their operation.  But interesting nonetheless.
March 19, 2004 @ 07:49 am | Category:
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The PolarLava Weather Project

This entry serves two purposes.  1) To split an older weather related entry away from a more general site update message.  And 2) To document progress and or changes to my weather project as this thread seems to have grown over time.

-klp (3/17/2004)

Previously I had been using Geo::Weather which pulls weather from the site.  I've been a frequent contributor to this project as I also used it to pull weather on an hourly basis for my CycleLog project.  It's a fairly constant battle with making changes and then having to fix the Geo::Weather code to properly parse their page.  Recently they added comments in their code that encourages you to use their free XML feed and not scrape their HTML.  This is good and I welcomed the idea of an XML feed until you read the the fine print.  Basically you have to provide a link back to them which isn't the end of the world, but they also reserve the right to shove advertising down to you that you must accept.  I don't accept and as such have decided it's time to move to free publicly available weather from NOAA.  Hell I'm paying for it (via my taxes), I might as well use it right?  So as such, I've written a Perl module I call "Geo::WeatherNOAA2".  Why the "2"?  There's already a Geo::WeatherNOAA, but it only grabs current text weather data from NOAA and that wasn't what I wanted.  My goal was to duplicate the functionality of Geo::Weather, but utilizing NOAA's freely and publicly available interface.  And although I know there's still some problems with it for certain locations and sometimes the forecast displays some quirky behavior, it's working for me.  When I have time I will work on some of these bugs and make it publicly available to all.  If you'd like to play with it now you can e-mail me at kevinp ~ AT ~ and you can join the fun!

  Read more…
March 17, 2004 @ 12:46 pm | Category:
Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Home From Above: An aerial view of my life

A few years back Microsoft build the TerraServer as an advanced database research project.  Basically it's a huge satellite image database.  And it was always fun to play around with from time to time.  Long after I originally learned of the TerraServer's existence, I stumbled across the ACME Mapper from ACME Laboratories.  The ACME Mapper provides a very simple and easy to use front-end to the TerraServer.  And using the mapper you can quickly find and mark locations on the satellite images.  Again one has to wonder what practical things can I do with this?  Thus I arrived at the conclusion of mapping and documenting all the places I've lived.  Okay, maybe not practical but it makes for good blogging fun!

My early and most formative years were spent growing up in a subdivision called Grandwood Park, in Warren Township, Illinois just outside of Gurnee, Illinois.  I remember there were these two putrid black text on green billboards near the two main entrances that read "If you lived here, you'd be home now!".  Uh, really?  Okay, whatever.  It's was your basic 1960's tract housing that was built in what was once a cornfield....something that was pretty hard to avoid in northern Illinois at that time.  Now days it's mostly subdivisions and strip malls instead of the cornfields!  But in any case, it provided suitable clean and comfortable family surroundings from my parents perspective.  This was my home from birth (9/13/64) until I got married (1/18/86...the first time...a long story unto itself).  Thus our first stop, 7711, then 7727 and finally, 18547 W. Geier Road Gurnee, Illinois.  And if I still lived there, you could reach me at (312)356-5873 and later (847) 356-5873 when they changed the area code.

18547 W. Geier Road Gurnee, Illinois   Read more…
March 16, 2004 @ 12:54 pm | Category:
Monday, March 15, 2004

Giant Paint Ball

Good grief Charlie Brown!  This guy needs to get out more.  Mike Carmichael is his name, and obviously about 26.9 years ago he inhaled way too many paint fumes.  Dear God, why have you not purged these types from among us?
March 15, 2004 @ 12:55 pm | Category:
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Hey buddy, got change for a million?

Assuming the United States Department of the Treasury even made a million dollar bill, don’t you think trying to use one at a Wal-Mart might just draw a bit of unwanted attention?  Apparently Alice Regina Pike didn’t think so!  Well Alice, here is another government body you will likely be becoming more familiar with in the future.  And in an act of charity, here is someone you should contact, ASAP.  Oh how I love the comedy of stupid people!
March 10, 2004 @ 12:45 pm | Category:
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The Red Robin High Protein Salad

For all you pinheads out there who are flocking to the Atkins Diet, maybe you should start eating at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.  Apparently one of their newest "gourmet" entrees is the new high protein salad.  Sounds yummy, doesn’t it meat eaters?
March 9, 2004 @ 12:51 pm | Category: