Are we all perhaps linked by invisible bonds? Do the actions of one affect others, even if those others are far away? Our lives and the universe itself may be all part of a single mechanism in which all creatures and events are 'entangled' with one another.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Keith Olbermann, A True American Journalist

There have been few, if any, people I claim to look up to as a hero. Mainly because I am a skeptic and cynic who tends to distrust most people. Or at least assumes that they have an ulterior motive behind much of what they do.

But in recent weeks, I have found one man to whom I look up to as a true American hero and deserving of the title "journalist". And that man is Keith Olbermannn, from MSNBC. He is one of the few journalists I've seen who has not been afraid to stand up to the lies and propaganda spread by the Bush administration. He has consistently pointed out the lies and scare tactics used by Bush and his cronies to deceive and frighten the American people into accepting their incompetent ventures. Whether it be the war in Iraq or their failure to respond adequately to disasters such as Katrina, Keith Olbermann has maintained his honesty and integrity in reporting the truth.

And to me, those are the meanings of the words "Journalist" and "Hero" !

Thank you, Mr. Olbermann, for standing up for America and the truth when so many others have shied away from it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tuesday TimeWasters

The most full-blown fireworks screensaver ever. It has bright lights, smoke trails, clouds that are illuminated by the explosions, sound effects, and plenty of other eye candy. I hope you have a powerful graphics card. Keyboard commands allow you to launch various types of rockets, pause the movement of the fireworks, and control the camera with the mouse.

(The description above comes from the creator of this program)

This week's TimeWaster is a bit different from my usual games, because it's a screensaver. But I did waste a lot of time watching and playing around with it, so I guess that counts.

It's not just any old screensaver though, but one of the coolest ones I've seen! If you enjoy watching fireworks displays, and who doesn't, you'll love this program.

Called "Skyrocket", it was created by a guy who enjoys making screensavers and he has a bunch of other great ones on his site. And you can download all of them in one 'zip' file here.
It's right at the top of the page. Now it does require a little bit of work to get running, but it's not hard at all. After you download and 'unzip' the files, you'll see all the screensavers files as well as a 'readme' file & one named "OpenALwEAX.exe". The 'readme' file has the instructions for setting up the screensavers and keyboards controls that let you launch different types of skyrockets and changing the camera angle. The "OpenALwEAX.exe" is needed for the sound effects--all you have to do is double-click the icon to install it.
Here's a copy of the 'readme' file instructions and keyboard controls:
1. Extract the files from this .zip file using your favorite zip program (you should have already gotten that far or you wouldn't be reading this).
2. Place the .scr file(s) in the directory containing all your other .scr files. This directory varies between versions of Windows, but it's probably something like "Windows\System32\"
3. Open your "Display Properties" window by right-clicking on your desktop background. Click on the "Screen Saver" tab and select your new screensaver.
Keyboard controls for all savers: s - Toggle statistics
Extra controls for Skyrocket:
Skyrocket has the following special controls.
f - Pause the fireworks (particle physics stops updating)
g - Slow motion fireworks (slows down the particle physics)
c - Pause the camera (camera stops moving)
n - New camera view
m - Toggle mouse camera control
Left mouse button = accelerate
Right mouse button = deccelerate
types of explosions to launch:
1 - Sphere
2 - Split sphere
3 - Three-colored sphere
4 - Ring
5 - Double sphere
6 - Sphere and ring
7 - Streamers
8 - Meteors
9 - Streamers and little sphere
0 - Meteors and little sphere
q - Streamers inside sphere
w - Meteors inside sphere
e - Cluster of sphere explosions
r - Cluster of streamer explosions
t - Cluster of meteor explosions
y - Little firecrackers
u - Bees
i - Loud boom
o - Spinner

Step 2 above is important to get the screensaver files (.scr) with the rest of your screensaver files. I'm using WindowsXP and those files are located (as it says) in the 'Windows' folder in the 'system32' folder. All you need to do is 'drag & drop' the .scr icons into that folder. Then from the desktop, right-click on 'properties' to open 'display properties' where under the 'screensaver' tab you'll see the new ones. Select 'skyrocket' and you're all set! You can also use the settings button there to change things such as the amount of rockets that are fired and other effects.

Try it--it's worth it! The fireworks are incredible and the sound effects sound like the real thing!

P.S. The other sreensavers in the 'zip' file are really cool too, but "Skyrocket" is my favorite.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Won A Million (Fake) Dollars !

I should have saved this for my "Tuesday Timewaster" but decided it was a little too geeky for most people. It's a science/math quiz based on the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" game show. Since I'm a science geek, I enjoyed it. On my first attempt I made it to the $250,000 level before missing an answer. But I forgot I had 3 'lifelines' and didn't use any of them. This was my second attempt and I made it all the way with the help of all 3 lifelines.
Some of the questions here are pretty tough and you have to have a decent knowledge of science and good math skills to advance through the questions.
If you want to give it a try, click the title above, or go here.

Pay day!

Your Score

Winning the Fake Million Dollars: 1,000,000

Unused Life Line Bonus: 0 × 300,000 = 0

Time Bonus: 576,091

Final Score: 1,576,091

Your score has been added to the Recent Winners List!

You can find your score by looking for this ID number: AUG-02715

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Happy Birthday, Blogger!

I just learned that 3 days ago (August 23) was the 7th anniversary of the start of Blogger!
It was launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs (it is now owned by Google).
I've only been blogging since April 2005 (well, technically March 31st was my first entry) and just thought this an interesting piece of web history.
To see what Bloggger first looked like--click here.

Videos Of The Week

I traveled the world to find these videos (well, the world wide web at least).

The first one is a music video by a group from Iceland named Sigur Rós. Now I don't speak Icelandic (what a surprise!) but that's not necessary as the images in the video convey the song's meaning with a power beyond words.

(I've left the original description from YouTube on this next video):
The ending scene from Danish film Du Er Ikke Alene (You Are Not Alone) from 1978.
"Kim and Bo decide to "come out" to the school and in front of parents and classmates, show a video they made about their relationship that concludes with a long and passionate kissing scene."

Summer, sad to say, is coming to an end, so this next video is my tribute to Summer's end.
It's a clip from the German movie Summer Storm with music from Jojo titled "Too Little, Too Late".

That song seems quite approppiate, because as my favorite season comes to an end, I feel as though I've done too little, too late, throughout so many summers of my life.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday TimeWasters

This week I have two Timewasters and couldn't decide which one to put up so figured I'd use both of them.

The first is a version of the old "Breakout"-type game, but with a creepy sort of twist. Instead of shooting balls at bricks, you fire skulls and catch magic potions to get 'special' powers. It's called "Mortanoid" and you can download a copy of the game if you want. It has 33 levels, but I only got through the first 3. My reflexes are just not that good, I guess!

For someone like me with slow reflexes, the next game might be better. It's just a version of "Battleship", but it nicely done, I think. Of course it is named "Battleships" and plays just like it's namesake. Place your ships and try to find & destroy the enemy ships. It shows a download option on the game, but I couldn't get it to work. I did find a round-about way to download a link to the game which allows me to open it in a browser window to play it without going to the website. This method also creates a larger version of the game grids which are easier to see & play. I use Firefox as my browser so I don't know if there is a way to do this in Explorer or not. (I'll try to see if it can be done__if so I'll post an update).

Here's the method I used if you want to try it:
1-Using Firefox, go to the game using the link above. (you'll be at the opening game screen)
2-In the browser toolbar, select the option "Tools" (Or you can right-click & bring up the menu)
3-Now select "Page Info" .(This will open a dialog box)
4-Select the "Media" tab. (You'll see a list of address items that are on that webpage)
5-Scroll down the list until you see the word "Embed" on the right side of the list.
6-It will look like this: Embed
7-Highlight that line by clicking on it.
8-Now go down to where it says "Save As" and click.
9-You can now save this link to your computer. (An icon will appear with the name 'battleships.swf ')
10-To run the game , right-click on the icon,select "Open with" ....Firefox.

This will open the game in your browser!!
I know it's kinda complicated, but it works...the nice thing about using this method is that once you learn how to do it, it can also be used to get images, even videos that you normnally can't download using the 'Save image as" function. Some websites disable the 'right-click' feature to keep you from getting images off the site. This method bypasses that entirely.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Videos Of The Week

Just wandering around the internet looking at videos and these are the ones I came across today.
I was thinking that they were pretty random, having no common theme. But after seeing them all together, I realized they do sort of have something in common. They all have a large number of objects in each one.
The first has lots of different household objects.
The second has lots of crazy frogs.
The third has lots of bottle rockets.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tuesday TimeWasters

Well, I just wasted an hour or more on this little game so I guess it qualifies as a "TimeWaster". It's just a version of the old game Hangman, but with a funny twist. Called "Hangaroo", it has over 8,500 terms and phrases so it won't get old too quick. Plus you can download it to your own computer ! It even allows you to add data files to expand the game's database of phrases.

I love word games and even though this one is a new take on an old game, it is very well done. To win you have to complete 10 phrases correctly. So far the best I've done is five. There are various catagories that the phrases come from, such as movie titles, songs & artists, TV shows, mountain range names, etc. There seems to be a lot of variety in the catagories to keep it interesting.

And it hsa a cute little kangeroo to 'encourage' you in the game! What more could you want?
Give it a try if you are just "hanging" around with nothing to do!

*****Yesterday & today I had a little trouble signing into my Blogger Dashboard. I just found out why--Blogger is introducing a new Blogger beta with some new features. If you want more info. on this go to the Blogger Buzz page. *****

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Come Fly With Me !

I can't believe it's almost the middle of August already--where did the summer go? And why does it go by so fast, but the winter goes on and on and on....? It's already feeling a bit chilly in the evenings when I'm out in the park or taking a walk. I dread the coming cold weather. So why do I stay in this part of the country when I could be living somewhere warm year-round?

The answer is: I Don't Know !!!

Guess I'm too stupid or too lazy to pack my bags and get out of here. Oh well, maybe one of these days I'll finally work up the nerve to just take off somewhere. I didn't even get out of town for a day or two this summer. 'Course, that's mainly because I spent most of my "vacation money" to buy this new laptop computer I'm using right now. But it was worth it to me because I love the internet and spend much of my time there.

So for the time being I'll have to do my traveling virtually on the web. All of this long-winded blabber is my way of mentioning this cool website I came across recently.

It's called "Goggles" and uses Google Maps in a unique way by allowing you to fly around in a little plane while viewing the satellite images of the area below. Basically it is like a simple flight sim game with some basic controls. The arrow keys control your altitude and direction, while the 'a' & 'z' keys are for accelerating or slowing your plane. Space bar fires your gun which shoots little 'bullets' at ground targets. Just be careful not too fly too low or you'll crash!

But to me the coolest thing about it is that you can custumize the game to allow you to fly over your own hometown! The procedure to do this takes a little bit of work, but it's not too difficult if you follow the directions carefully.

So if you want to see Albany, NY (where I live), and who wouldn't, click here (and then press 'start' when you get to the site) and you can fly right over my head! Just don't go shooting at me if you see me walking down one of the streets!
The site has been getting hit with a lot of traffic lately, so it may take a minute for the maps to load, so don't be too impatient if it doesn't work right away. Or just try again later.
There are a number of major world cities to choose from so your hometown may already be there. If not, you can add yours by customizing it as I mentioned . If you do add your hometown, be sure to "bookmark" or save as a "favorite" that particular link because it won't be saved on the main "Goggles" page.

And since I'm feeling generous today, I'll make this offer to any of the loyal readers of my blog. If you want to custumize it to your hometown and can't figure it out or get it to work, leave a comment here or e-mail me ( and I'll set it up for you and send you the link. Just tell what city or town you want and I'll do my best to customize it for you. There may be some areas that Google maps doesn't cover, but I'm sure most cities should be available.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Videos Of The Week

This will be my LAST "Videos of the Week". Well, not really but I think I will move them to either Friday or Saturday because I always seem to forget to put them up until late in the day. Maybe if I post them later in the week, I'll be able to get them up earlier in the day.

I love video games, but don't think I have room in my apartment for two human-size games below.

Tuesday TimeWasters

Oh, No, I got so involved playing this week's TimeWaster game I almost forgot to post it!

It's called "Bubbles" and it's simple but very addictive. I found it on MetaCafe but here's a direct link to it.

I have been playing it for the past few hours, but don't blame me if you start playing and forget to do whatever else it was you were supposed to be doing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Videos Of The Week

This week I decided to put up these opening themes of some of my favorite old science-fiction TV shows.
I made them a bit smaller so I could fit them in a smaller space. Wanted to place them in a 4x4 grid but wasn't able to figure out how to do it.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tuesday TimeWasters

This week I have no ordinary time-wasting game/activity, but a MEGA TimeWaster, or should I say Meta TimeWaster, since the name of the website is MetaCafe.

This is a really cool site where you can find not only videos but games, picture galleries, animations, even simple text jokes. Plus you can download and install a program that fetchs all this from the site automatically for you, so you don't even have to open your browser and actually go to the site. It will run MetaCafe on your desktop! Or it can sit quietly in your taskbar, waiting for that moment when you have time to waste. You can upload items you like to the site as well.

You can custumize it to get just those type of things you want, like certain types of videos or games and there are even "content filters" if you want to block 'explicit images' or 'violence' or 'explicit language'.

Yes, MetaCafe does have sexually explicit images, and that is the only real complaint I have about it. NO, NO, it's not that I don't like (love) porn, it's just that it all seems to be 'straight' porn!! Ewww....why do those straight people always have to be "flaunting their lifestyles" like that? Maybe not enough gay poeple have discovered this site yet and uploaded any of the "good stuff", if you know what I mean. Maybe I should start the ball rolling by putting up a gallery of pictures. I'll let you know here if I do that, so you can check it out.

Since recently finding MetaCafe, I have wasted much time watching videos, playing various little games and generally throwing away precious untold hours of my life. When I should be doing more important things like eating, sleeping, or having a 'real life'.

Here is a sample video I just saw: It's from one of those weird Japanese game shows. Apparently you have to answer questions quickly or.....
Well, just watch it and see what happens to those that answer too slowly.

TV Japan - Ball Slap - video powered by Metacafe

Hope the prizes were worth it!