Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gotta Nuke Something

Ah, the Simpsons. Genius, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in yellow skin.

I was reminded of this clip after hearing a story about Apple, Inc. suing somebody for no good reason. With their army of lawyers, I figure they have to sue something.

And with our gigantic stockpile of nukes, we have to nuke something.

So we should nuke the whales. What have they ever done for us?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Michael Bolton Has The Goods

I have a completely new appreciation for Michael Bolton.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why I'm Exhausted

I feel like one of those kids who's parents have them doing an extra curricular activity every single day. I have some activity going on nearly every night of the week. Except I'm doing it to myself.

It might not sound like much, but for a guy who usually works then comes home to watch tv and play video games, it's like climbing Kilamanjaro.

I went to the comedy club last night and did more material for the audition. I got a couple laughs. A new joke I added totally failed, but that's why I tried it out.

I picked up some tips from watching the show. Mainly, keep moving from topic to topic. Especially if laughs are petering out. I'll need to keep more material ready, so I can keep moving. I also learned that weed jokes play well at Goodnights.

I also learned to keep the set up short and sweet. I tend to over-do the set up, because I'll tell stories instead of jokes. Even in prose I tend to over-explain, so the editing process is very important for me.

And that's Wednesday. Today I have a vocal lesson. Friday I'm going camping until Monday. Then back to do it all over again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

High Fuel Prices Bring Jobs Back to North America

A Chinese based popsicle stick company has just moved from Dalain, China to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, citing rising oil prices as the reason.

High prices on cargo ship fuel are making ocean freight more expensive, which will bring outsourced manufacturing jobs back to the Americas. So while it stings at the gas pump now, those high prices might lead to a revival of the American manufacturing economy.

As China's economy develops, the advantages of opening factories in China will shrink. Further, China's unbridled economic growth over the last decade has outpaced China's infrastructure, leaving some companies without the electricity they need to conduct business.

If politicians won't limit outsourcing and foreign imports, then it appears other economic forces will.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well I totally didn't get the job I wanted...

I wasn't sure I'd get the job. I put my chances at 50-50, even after the interview. I'm not sure if they were even that high, and I landed on the crappy side of the odds.

I got really bummed today when I got the news. I haven't felt that depressed since my ex-girlfriend was ruining my life.

There will be other jobs, but this would have been incredible timing if I had gotten the job. My grant funding for my current projects is running out, so my current employer is scrambling to find a way to keep me on temporarily. It sucks.

I've applied to countless other research jobs, without any response whatsoever. Which is demoralizing, since research is just about the only thing I'm qualified.

Looks like it's time to start digging into the paralegal job postings. I could do that, and I've though about law school. So paralegal could be just up my alley while I continue the search for a writing gig. Mainly though, I just don't want to work in a restaurant.

So if you know anyone who needs a smart writer with computer skills and a research background, put in a good word for ole Michael. He'd be in your debt forever.

"Robot, bring me a beer."

Evidently the secret 5th Law of Robotics states that a robot must bring its master an ice cold brew. All I can say is that IT'S ABOUT TIME. Lazy robots have been goldbricking ever since they were invented. I just hope it isn't a clever ploy to get us drunk while they take over the world.

[via Nerdist]

Friday, May 20, 2011

.mp3s Worth Buying

Great bluegrass from a young and talented band.

"Ain't No Ash Will Burn" - Old Sledge

The Tron Legacy Soundtrack is the best part of the movie. $7.99 on Amazon! I paid 2 extra bucks on iTunes.

Tron Legacy - Daft Punk

Kanye West is douche, but he makes great music

"Power" - Kanye West

The Post-Interview Waiting Game

I hate waiting like this. At least before the job interview I could prepare, practice, and psych myself up. Now, post-interview, all I can do is wait. I just wish I knew, so I could either be overjoyed, or totally depressed, but right now I'm caught in between and can't stop thinking about it.

I'm driving myself insane.

*deep breath*

Ok, that's a little better. The job is an editorial assistant for an academic editorial firm. They do a lot of back-end work for various academic journals.

I want this job. I feel qualified for this job. It's right in the sweetspot between research (my background experience) and journalism (where I want to end up) so if I got this job, I'd be the happiest camper in the campsite.

But if I don't get this job, I'll probably go back to school, get my journalism degree, then try to work my way into journalism that way.

Right now, I'm just waiting.

Facebook to Go Public

In what will be the largest IPO in a decade, Facebook is planning to go public.

After LinkedIn's successful IPO this week, Facebook would be crazy not to go public. LinkedIn, if you didn't know, is a completely worthless "career" network, where people make profiles and never get jobs.

Facebook, on the otherhand, connects over half a billion people in an unprecedented and fun way. Hundreds of millions of people log on every single day, making Facebook one of the most valuable websites in history.

I would love to get my hands on some of that Facebook stock.

10 Reasons Why Hiring Michael Casp Would Be The Best Decision You Ever Made

10. Because you have trouble making good decisions, and Michael Casp can help you with that.

9. Because Michael Casp will work harder for you than anyone ever has, or ever will. He knows this because he can also see into the future.

8. Because Michael Casp is IN IT to WIN IT. And by "IT" he means a paycheck for writing.

7. Because you just read three reasons, and you still want more. Make that four reasons.

6. Because Michael Casp can type quickly, write stories efficiently, and market them appropriately. (hey, they can't all be funny)

5. Because Michael Casp appeals to your target audience of "people slacking off at work to check your website."

4. Because Michael Casp is a trained cognitive neuroscientist, which is just cool right?

3. Because Michael Casp understands that you have a budget, and he will work for less money than his equally talented peers. And it isn't because he's desperate. He just really wants this job, and will do what it takes to get it. I swear, he isn't desperate! Come on, just give me the job, you'll thank me later, I promise, hand to God!

2. Because Michael Casp drinks four cups of coffee per day.

1. Because Michael Casp has been writing for years, and he is really quite good at it.

0. Because Michael Casp will not stop until he has this job.

Yeah, that's eleven reasons, but you're hiring a writer, not a mathematician.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Stand Up Comedy Audition

The comic running the show is a black comic who I'd seen at the club before. He seemed like a laid back, fun loving fellow, and he called for the first person to get on the stage.

I wanted to get it over with, so I jumped up first and trotted up to the mic. It started out pretty well, and my first couple of jokes earned some laughs from the other open mikers.

Then I went into my racial material. You see, I have some jokes about blacks, whites, and Chinese people, and rather than tailoring my set to be more racially sensitive (like I said, the guy running the show was black) I just went through it the way I had practiced it. I told the black jokes, and it got QUIET. I laughed at the awkwardness, and I think me laughing at myself might have drawn a couple more chuckles from my peers. But it was uncomfortable.

Then, as I was about to move on to other races, the guy running the show said "That's enough" and that was it.

I fist bumped the other open mikers, and hung out for a while. After watching two other people try out, I'm pretty sure my act was the best. Which is awesome, but I didn't make it to the show, because apparently it takes a few weeks of showing up to make it on.

So I'm going back next week, gonna try out some different material, and we'll see. I'm going to make fun of women next.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Guy Is Gonna Get Assassinated

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman has decided to go after Wall Street, for defrauding America and taking all our money. Unlike federal regulators, who have failed to offer more than a slap on the wrist, Schneiderman is putting the screws to Wall Street using a NY state law, the 1921 Martin Act.

The Martin Act is a more potent version of similar federal laws, and offers the best chance for Schneiderman to seek justice for America. That is why he will get assassinated.

The level of wealth at stake on Wall Street is so vast that assassinating a troublesome public servant is totally in the realm of possibility. And if not real assassination, then at least character assassination.

Here's hoping Schneiderman keeps his nose clean, his head down, and scores one for the good guys.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Economy: Good for Some, Meh for Most

The stock market is on the rise, and has been throughout the "recovery." Wealthy shareholders are living in a golden age, while the rest of the country is just holding on.

Let's say that 81.2% of all stock is owned by the top 10% of wealth gatherers. (table 9). Let's say there was 100 shares at $1 each for a total value in stock on 8/31/10 of $100. That $100 became $129.80 by 5/2/11.(S&P closing numbers) But, I'm going to round off all of this to keep it really simple. 100 shares. 80 shares owned by 10 people. 20 shares owned by 90 people. Fast forward 9 months and now the $100 is $120. Still 100 shares. (We're excluding splits, initial offerings and anything else that would increase the number of shares, simple.)

So, 10 people now have a total worth of $96. The 90 people are splitting up $24. Both saw a 20% rise. Hooray! But here's the issue, an additional $1.60 will do a lot more than an additional $0.04. The issue is coin in the pocket. For the middle-class, it's just not happening.

Combine the rise in stock prices with the sharp drops in home prices and high unemployment, and the middle class is struggling to stay afloat. The wealthy continue to benefit from "money printing" from the Fed via their stock portfolios, but the "trickle down" part just isn't happening. The "economic recovery" is but a thin veneer atop a rotting foundation.

In other words, the rich get richer. So much for fresh news.

Science Update

Hot fresh findings in brain science and genetics:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Funny: RALPHIE MAY

I watched Ralphie May's stand-up show last night at Goodnight's Comedy in Raleigh. And he killed it.

The crowd was pumped to see a comedian of Ralphie's caliber, and he did not disappoint. He performed nearly a two hour set, and it was all gold.

He's performing the rest of the weekend in Raleigh, but shows are selling out fast. Get it while the gettin's good, cuz Ralphie May is one of the best.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Earth Energy Update

Do you know where YOUR energy comes from?

35.9% from petroleum - big word, means "oil"

27.4% from coal - makes a great Christmas present

22.8% from natural gas - aka "Earth farts"

6.3% from hydroelectric dams - *giggle* ...dam...

5.9% from nuclear - don't call it nuke-you-ler

1.0% from geothermal, solar, wind, and wood and waste combined - the "loser" energies


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Fight a Big Corporation

Step 1: File a claim, pay the filing fee ($76 in Indiana)
Step 2: Convince company lawyers that settling is cheaper than taking case to court.
Step 3: Profit!

It's just that easy!

Akinyemi took Hewlett Packard to court last year alleging repeated problems with a notebook computer he'd purchased. After several attempts to get the machine fixed or replaced, Akinyemi sued H-P for $1,300, plus $76 in court costs.

In June of last year, H-P agreed to pay Akinyemi $688 to settle the case, according to court documents he provided to msnbc.com. A Hewlett Packard spokesman declined to comment.

The only downside is that as a part of most settlements, Akinyemi must sign a no-future-business contract, which basically says he can no longer do business with the company he just sued.

But it seems well worth it to stick it to the man.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cable Going Down

Cable TV is lame and costs too much, so people are dropping it. Cable companies are stunned.

"Cablevision core system ... lost about 8400 video customers. Some of that was attributable to how we came into the year after the dispute that we had with News Corp. and the carriage and the World Series (but) we still continue to see softness in the economy, particularly in lower income neighborhoods," Rutledge said.

The Internet has made Cable TV completely obsolete, they just haven't figured it out yet.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Benefits of High Speed Rail

High speed rail sounds great, until you realize that America doesn't have the population density to make it worth the trouble.

The People Who Own the Government

The following individuals contributed at least $50,000 to federal candidates and parties during one or more election cycles while affiliated with the organization.

Contributor / Organization
Alchin, John R. Comcast Corp
Amstein, Peter Microsoft Corp
Andreas, Dwayne O. & Inez Archer Daniels Midland
Angelakis, Michael J. & Christine Comcast Corp
Appelman, Barry Time Warner
Baker, Charles A. III DLA Piper
Bernstein, Matthew & Barbara DLA Piper
Bible, Geoffrey & Sara Altria Group
Blanchard, James J. & Janet A. DLA Piper
Boggs, Timothy A. Time Warner
Bovin, Denis A. & Terry Bear Stearns
Brendsel, Leland & Diane Freddie Mac
Brennan, Robert E. Credit Suisse Group
Brinson, Gary P. & Suzann A. UBS AG
Broad, Eli & Edythe American International Group
Bronfman, Edgar M. Jr. & Clarissa A. Vivendi
Buchholz, Carl M. & Karen D. Comcast Corp
Burch, Stephen A. & Nora Linstrom Comcast Corp
Burke, Stephen B. & Gretchen H. Comcast Corp
Bushkin, Arthur A. & Kathryn A. Time Warner
Chalsty, John S. & Jennifer A. Credit Suisse Group
Chancellor, Steven E. & Terri L. Lehman Brothers
Chernin, Peter A. & Megan News Corp
Christie, Todd J. & Theresa M. Goldman Sachs
Cohen, Davil L. & Rhonda R. Comcast Corp
Collerton, Anthony Lehman Brothers
Cook, Daniel W. III & Gail B. Goldman Sachs
Corzine, Jon S. & JoAnne D. Goldman Sachs
Daly, Robert A & Carole Bayer Sager Time Warner
Daschle, Thomas A. & Linda H. DLA Piper
Dawkins, Peter M. & Judith W. Citigroup Inc
de la Cruz, Carlos Sr. & Rosa Anheuser-Busch InBev
De Muro, David A. Lehman Brothers
DeVos family Amway/Alticor Inc
Dimon, James & Judith K Citigroup Inc
Ehrlich, Alexander S. & Cheryl UBS AG
Ellis, Steven J. & Amy C. Wachovia Corp
Eychaner, Fred Newsweb Corp
Fife, Eugene V. & Luann L Goldman Sachs
Flatley, Daniel K. Credit Suisse Group
Flom, Jason R. & Wendy K. Time Warner
Fogg, Joseph G. III & Leslie K. Morgan Stanley
Freidman, Stephen & Barbara B. Goldman Sachs
Fuld, Dick & Kathleen Lehman Brothers
Gallo, Gregory M. & Penny H. DLA Piper
Gelb, Richard L. & Phyllis N. Bristol-Myers Squibb
Gianopulos, James N. & Ann T. News Corp
Gilburne, Miles R Time Warner
Glass, David & Ruth Ann Wal-Mart Stores
Godhwani, Anil & Jyoti Time Warner
Goldfarb, Dave & Sharon Lehman Brothers
Gramm, Phil & Wendy L. UBS AG
Grano, Joseph J. Jr. & Kathleen J. UBS AG
Greenberg, Maurice "Hank" American International Group
Grubman, Jack B. & Luann Citigroup Inc
Haskell, John H.F. Jr. UBS AG
Heidorn, George E. Microsoft Corp
Heimbold, Charles A. & Monika A. Bristol-Myers Squibb
Hennessy, John M. & Margarita Credit Suisse Group
Hobbs, Franklin W. & Linda B.R. JPMorgan Chase & Co
Hobbs, Franklin W. & Linda B.R. UBS AG
Hoglund, Forrest E. & Sally Enron Corp
Horn, Alan F. & Cindy H. Time Warner
Howard, John D. & Lorna M. Brett Bear Stearns
Jaech, Jeremy & Linda Microsoft Corp
James, Hamilton E. & Amabel B. Credit Suisse Group
Johns, Paul M. Microsoft Corp
Johnson, Theodore C. & Linda Microsoft Corp
Kamen, Harry P. & Barbara MetLife Inc
Katzenberg, Jeffrey & Marilyn Walt Disney Co
Kies, Kenneth J. & Kathleen PricewaterhouseCoopers
Kimsey, James V. Time Warner
Koch, Charles G. & Elizabeth Buzzi Koch Industries
Koch, David H. & Julia F. Koch Industries
Korn, Douglas R. & Elizabeth Berns Bear Stearns
Korologos, Tom C. & Ann M. DLA Piper
Krueger, Harvey & Constance Lehman Brothers
Lane, L. W. Jr. & Jean Time Warner
Lay, Kenneth L. & Linda P. Enron Corp
Leonsis, Ted J. & Lynn Time Warner
Lerner, Alfred & Norma MBNA Corp
Lessing, Stephan & Sandra Lehman Brothers
Lewis, Drew & Marilyn Union Pacific Corp
Lindner family American Financial Group
Lindner, S. Craig & Frances R. American Financial Group
Liss, Jeffrey F. & Susan DLA Piper
Lorentzen, Ruthann Microsoft Corp
Malcom, Ellen R. EMILY's List
McDonnell, James S. III & Elizabeth H. Boeing Co
Menschel, Robert B. & Joyce F. Goldman Sachs
Merrigan, John A. DLA Piper
Meyer, Ronald M. Vivendi
Miller, Lee I. & Suzanne K. DLA Piper
Moodispaw, Leonard E. & Sandra Northrop Grumman
Mulford, David C. & Jeannie S. Credit Suisse Group
Mullen, Donald R. Jr. & Katarina Bear Stearns
Murdoch, Rupert & Wendi News Corp
Murphy, Philip D. & Tammy S. Goldman Sachs
Neidich, Daniel M. & Brooke G. Goldman Sachs
Olson, Lyndon L. Jr & Kathleen W. Citigroup Inc
Ostin, Morris & Evelyn Time Warner
Overlock, Willard J. & Katherine S. Goldman Sachs
Palmer, John N. & Clementine B. MCI Inc
Parsons, Richard D. & Laura Time Warner
Paul, Laurence E. Credit Suisse Group
Paulson, Henry M. Jr. & Wendy Goldman Sachs
Peacock, David A. Anheuser-Busch InBev
Penner, Gregory B. & Carrie Walton Wal-Mart Stores
Perlman, Stephen G. Microsoft Corp
Phillips, Earl N. Jr. & Sallie B. General Electric
Plaster, Steve R. & Shannon Wachovia Corp
Plumeri, Joseph J. & Nancy W. Citigroup Inc
Raikes, Jeffrey S. & Patricia Microsoft Corp
Rehr, David K. & Ashley National Assn of Broadcasters
Reiner, Robert & Michelle S. Time Warner
Roberts, Brian L. & Aileen K. Comcast Corp
Roberts, Ralph J. & Suzanne F. Comcast Corp
Rose, Matthew K. & Lisa Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp
Rose, Robert N. & Yvette T. Bear Stearns
Rosenwald, E. John Jr. & Patricia Bear Stearns
Ross, Steven J. & Courtney S. Time Warner
Rothman, Tom & Jessica News Corp
Rubin, Robert E. & Judith O. Citigroup Inc
Rubin, Robert M. & Robin K. W. American International Group
Saban, Haim & Cheryl News Corp
Saban, Haim & Cheryl Saban Capital Group
Sacerdote, Peter M. & Bonnie L Goldman Sachs
Schreyer, William A. & Joan L. Merrill Lynch
Schwartz, Eric S. & Erica Goldman Sachs
Schwartz, Marvin & Donna Lehman Brothers
Semel, Terry & Jane M. Time Warner
Senser, Jerrold K. & Naomi R. New York Life Insurance
Shaw, Gregory L. Microsoft Corp
Shaye, Robert & Eva EMILY's List
Shell, Jeffrey S. & Laura Comcast Corp
Shephard, John E. Jr & Jill Northrop Grumman
Siegel, Herbert J. & Ann L. News Corp
Singer, Paul Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Skilling, Jeffrey K. & Susan L. Enron Corp
Smith, Lawrence S. & Christine J. Comcast Corp
Spector, Warren & Margaret Whitton Bear Stearns
Spix, George A. Microsoft Corp
Sternberg, Sy & Laurie New York Life Insurance
Tedrick, Thomas National Rifle Assn
Thain, John A. Goldman Sachs
Van Andel, Jay & Betty Amway/Alticor Inc
Vradenburg, George & Patricia L. Time Warner
Walton, S. Robson & Carolyn F. Wal-Mart Stores
Wasserman, Lew R. & Edith Vivendi
Weinstein, Harvey & Eve Walt Disney Co
Weisel, Thomas W. Bank of America
Wellde, George W Jr. & Patrica A. Goldman Sachs
Wells, Frank G. & Luanne C. Walt Disney Co
Wigmore, Barrie A & Deedee Goldman Sachs
Winkelman, Mark O. & Dorinda P. Goldman Sachs
Witten, Richard E. & Elizabeth H. Goldman Sachs
Wolf, Robert J. & Carol S. UBS AG
Yager, Dexter R. Sr. & Birdie Amway/Alticor Inc
Young, George III & Adina Lehman Brothers

via OpenSecrets.org

My First Album Cover

Every Meme Ever

Just as soon as I write and record it.

I plan to sing with a new band this Saturday. I found them on Craigslist, and I hope they don't suck.

Monday, May 2, 2011

America Wins the War on Terror

Eat it Bin Laden.

It took 10 years, over a trillion dollars and 46,000 American casualties, but we got you.

You thought that bringing down the Twin Towers and crashing into the Pentagon would send us into a panic. But we refuse to be cowed by some cave-dwelling Saudi aristocrat.

We beefed up the TSA, so every time we boarded a plane, we took off our shoes, we submitted to pat-downs and searches, and we even let ourselves be x-rayed, to show you we weren't afraid.

Even though we already had a Department of Defense, we created a Department of Homeland Security to keep us double-safe from scum like you. We created a color coded terror alert system to make sure we knew exactly how much danger we were in.

We sent flying robots to drop bombs on your caves. We sent tens of thousands of American soldiers to find you in the Afghanistani desert, even though we knew you weren't there.

We sent hundreds of thousands more soldiers to Iraq, because we heard you and Saddam were all buddy buddy, and we weren't going to stand for that.

We sent more robots and planes to Lybia, because that Qadaffi guy is a dick and he totally reminds us of you.

And you thought you were safe. America was in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lybia, so you hid in Pakistan. But we found you, and sent a squad of our elite warriors to do what we should have done a long time ago.

We gave up our lives, our money, and our civil liberties to catch you, you son of a bitch. And we did it, just like they do in the movies.

We won. We beat you. Got it?

Top Ten Osama Bin Laden Jokes (from Twitter)

The ten best zingers from Twitter:

10. @barefootjim
Well, clearly it takes a Muslim to catch a Muslim.

9. @bobpowers1
"I loosened it." -Bush

8. @JennyJohnsonHi5

7. @anthonyjeselnik
You know, I was just starting to like him.

6. @JohnDeVore
Well, the one part of the Federal budget that won't be be cut is the "Motherfucking Night Warriors With Motherfucking Death Hands" part.

5. @kevin_nealon
Throngs of citizens are celebrating outside The White House waiting for Obama and Michelle to kiss on the balcony.

4. @Ralphie May
I just wish they'd not announced his death, but rather made a bunch of "weekend at bernies" videos

3. @DougBenson
Looking forward to Donald Trump's next press conference, when he'll demand to see Osama bin Laden's death certificate. #LongForm

2. @SethMacFarlane
Never celebrate after destroying a small enemy spaceship, ‘cause someone’s about to point off-screen and say “Oh. My. God.”

1. @TheThomason
Obama: "Anybody else wanna see my birth certificate?" *Drops mic, walks away.*