Friday, February 29, 2008

Are YOU addicted... the internets? Dr. Kimberly Young probably thinks so. She has written a book as well as launched a website dedicated to the subject of internet-related addictions, including cybersex, online gambling, and eBay.

Sites like this just reek of late-90's cyberphobia, only this time with a deceiving Web 2.0 shell. She even includes a bogus "DSM-based" list of criteria under which nearly anyone who uses the internet in his or her daily life could be classified an addict. This kind of pseudo-scientific babble parading itself as psychology is what leads to things like the over-diagnosis of ADD and ADHD in children in this country.

Two glaring hypocrisies stand out as my favorites. First is the fact that links to any kind of real help (therapists, info on schools and kids) for this pseudo-disorder are only found under the "Professional" tab, implying that anyone who is less than affluent can cure themselves by *shock!* buying her book and self-help tapes. I also find the featured sidebar on the right baffling - "End your addiction to the internet by using the internet more!" Truly some groundbreaking logical minds are at work here.

For a compelling argument as to why people who claim that one of their loved ones or they themselves are completely full of bullpoo, check out the terrific Boston Legal episode Word Salad Days. It features a cogent argument by lawyer Brad Chase against the case for internet and other non-addictive substance addiction, as well as one of my favorite Boston Legal moments ever where attorney Alan Shore (James Spader) indeed becomes afflicted with the afore mentioned word salad.

"It is earth, wind, and cheese. It is cheese."

Link: Center for Internet Addiction Recovery via Stumble

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New MacBook Pro with Multi-Touch

Apple has just announced their newest models of the MacBook and MacBook Pro, and while they both have the standard upgrades in processor speed and hard drive and memory capacity, one stands out - a multi-touch trackpad on the MacBook Pro. With this you can now use two-fingered gestures to zoom, spin, and pinch just like on the iPhones.

Since the multi-touch trackpad was already announced for the MacBook Air, it's not much of a shocker to see it included on the Pro, but why not the standard MacBook? C'mon Apple, show the (slightly more) lower-end consumer some love!

Consumers need love!

Finally, my list of free Mac apps!

No blog of any fervent Mac user would be complete without his list of most used applications. Also, all of these are free. I suppose that's about all you need to hear.

Adium – The best IM client for OS X, and better than anything you'll find for Windows as well. Very customizable and versatile.

AppZapper – Okay, this only allows you 5 deletions on the demo mode, but I have yet to even require that many on one boot of OS X.

Audacity – Excellent open source sound editor for both OS X and Windows. It takes a little getting used to the GUI but you'll wonder why you ever bothered cracking SoundForge.

AzureusThe Bittorrent client for the enthusiast. Sure, Transmission is easier on both the CPU and the human brain, but there aren't nearly as many options to optimize your connection. I recommend finding and downloading a pre-3.0 release to easily avoid the unnecessary Vuze interface.

coconutBattery – A great little utility to have around if you've got a laptop – displays both the factory and current battery capacity and charge.

DockColor – An easier alternative than customizing your entire dock.

Firefox – If you're not much of a webophile, you can stick with Safari, but if your browsing is anything but, you'll need Firefox for its versatility and extensions.

GrandPerspective – Great for finding big chunks of data you had forgotten were taking up valuable HDD space.

Gridwars 2 – Best. Game. Ever. There's no beating the challenge, the replayability, the simple joy in staring at your screen as dozens of technicolor shapes and particles bounce and dance around as you blast baddies and black holes. Use the keyboard controls, because the mouse controls tend to be a bit sticky and cumbersome.

iStat Menus – When compiling this list I had almost forgotten I even had this program – that's how seemlessly integrates into OS X. Simply choose which stats (and how to display them if you really want to get tweaking) you wish to display, and there they are, immediately available to you in the menu bar.

iStumbler – Another essential if you have a laptop. iStumbler gives you far more comprehensive view of the wireless networks within your range, including signal strength, encryption type, and which channel the network is operating on.

n – Another great game for pick-up-and-play, you run around (like a gazelle, as one of my friends has noted) collecting time/oxygen packs trying to reach the door while not getting killed on the way. A great implementation of classic gaming techniques into a sleek modern presentation.

NeoOffice – Fuck Word, NeoOffice is free, open source, and not only does everything M$ Office can, but supports gobs more fire formats as well.

Pic2Icon – Better than shelling out cash for Candy Bar, Pic2Icon lets you take any picture you have and instantly convert it so that you can copy and paste it onto any file or folder you'd like.

Senuti – When my last hard drive died, I almost became religious for the simple fact that this program existed, as the only thing which I managed to save was the music on my iPod. Senuti lets you easily copy files from any iPod into your own iTunes (or other) library.

The Unarchiver – Unzips nearly any format under the sun.

UnRarX – Handles some larger rar files more reliably than The Unarchiver.

VLC Player – Plays every video format under the sun – why would you have anything else?

WinClone – A much needed utility (that should have been included in Leopard) which lets you image your NTFS-formatted Boot Camp partition for backing up, considering Time Machine won't touch anything but Mac OS X formatted drives.

xACT – If you download lossless music and use iTunes you'll need this to convert those flacs into wavs.

And here are the Firefox extensions without which I would not be able to function sanely in the online world:

Adblock Plus – Does exactly what it says.
All-in-One Sidebar – A great extension if you hate having to find the Download window everytime you get a new file, All-in-One Sidebar lets you open nearly any window in a highly customizable sidebar.
Faviconize Tab – If you've constantly got a bunch of the same websites open, Faviconize the tab to remove the title and save tons of real estate on that tab bar.
FireFTP – Great FTP client which loads inside Firefox.
StumbleUpon – If you don't have it, you don't even deserve to learn about it. Just go get it. Now. You'll thank me later. And your grades/work will rue me.
Tab Mix Plus – The crux of my Firefox setup, allows you to customize how your tabs and tab bar appear and are used to no end. My special favorite is the ability to expand the tab bar to have multiple rows, letting you see your multitasking webpage sprawl in all its glory.

Also, the three big fixes in the recent 10.5.2 release (the list view for stacks, the Time Machine menu bar icon, and the fixed Airport drivers (no more KPs!!)) are turning out great. Altho curiously enough, after I recently installed iLife '08 my Finder icon has disappeared - it still functions perfectly and you can click on it and everything, but thee simply is no icon. Odd.

UPDATE: Thanks to Avart from XLT, I've learned about Max, an excellent freeware audio converter which supports way more formats than xACT does.

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Number Johnny Five!"

This guy has built a moving replica of one of my all-time childhood heroes: Johnny 5 of the Short Circuit series.

A quick click around and you find that his site, The Robot Hut, has a delicious amount of robophilia, including a huge list of other reproductions and restorations of sci-fi robots he has had his hands on.

Honestly, seeing some of those pictures of the building process of Johnny's head was eerie, and damn near unsettling, to me.

Link: Johnny 5 Replica via StumbleUpon

Garfield Remix

I stumbled on this nifty little randomizer which throws together three Garfield panels.

Some of them are funnier than the original comics, which isn't that difficult, not to diss Jim Davis or anything.

Also, it prompted me to find dig up this series of Garfield edits which remove Garfield's thought bubbles, revealing the true inner madness and depression that is Jon Arbuckle.

Link: Garfield Randomizer via StubmleUpon and the Garfield sans Garfield thread.

New Logo

This is a new logo I made today while avoiding homework.

It's for DJ Lobie Minus, which would be me as a laptop DJ.

Anybody have any opinions?

Anybody even read this thing?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Man vs. Drum

A sporadically active member of XLTronic has just popped up let us know that this sick-ass street drummer is him.

So this is what Squarepusher would sound like on bottles and cans (just clap your hands)? My favorite part of the interview would be where he discusses the durability of different alcohol bottles.

Link: The Original Thread and YouTube but unfortunately the website listed in the video is just ad-space now.

I Want Candy Weed!

One of the bane's to my existence in high school, Aaron Carter, has reportedly been arrested for possession of almost two ounces of weed. The kid's driving around with TWO ZIPS and gets pulled over!!

Random Factoid: When I was a super-cool trouble-making teenager hanging out at punk shows, some friends and I decided to faux-trick-or-treat one Halloween just to see what we could get - my stated costume (as I had nothing but bleached hair at the time): Aaron Carter.

Link: Perez

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I never would have known...


Link: Accordion Guy

Mouse vs. Man

Some pictures from the 2006 International Mouse Trap contest which, apparently, is not related to the game Mouse Trap nor is it particularly concerned with the real-world effectiveness of the traps on display.

My favorite would have to be the trap titled "Let the Mouse Decide" which provides the furry little creatures with a rodent-sized noose along with miniature doomsday newspapers with headlines such as "GIANT CATS LAND FROM MARS" and "Headless Mouse Found in Topless Bar." Really, what self-concerned wall-resident wouldn't off himself in such a world?

Link: International 2006 Mouse Trap Contest

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Awesome DIY International Clock

A great video showing how to make a surprisingly simple and elegant international time piece using only cardboard, tape, glue, scissors, a straight-edge and an old wall clock.

Update: I realized this only uses the hour hand, but it'd still be handy to have around.


Been listening to this live set by my hero, Mr. Oizo a bit lately and figured I would upload it for you peoples.

It's a great, fun mix, showcasing tons of different music and really brings to light just how wonderfully demented Oizo is.

Link: Mr. Oizo Live at the WMF 9-16-05

P.S. If anyone can find a track list of this I would be eternally grateful.

Me vs. Ninjas

This online flash game has had a dedicated tab in my browser for over two weeks now and it does not look like I will be closing it any time soon.

You just use the arrow keys to control which direction your ninja holds his sword and you deflect increasing amounts of ninjas and their shurikens. This really is what I like my video games to be: simple, pick-up-and-play deals where the only reward for continued play is getting better at the game itself, not progressing through a complex story-line or anything.

My high score is 64 - think you can beat that?

Link: Too Many Ninjas!


I stumbled upon this in the middle of class and was simply slack-jawed. Seriosuly, um, I can't even begin to explain this - you're just going to have to read it for yourself and bask in what could be one of the great heterosexual-male and lesbian fantasies.

Link: ...To Have 2 Vaginas

Real-Life Doogie Howser

No, NPH did not get a license to practice medicine; this twelve-year-old from a small village in India reportedly has an IQ higher than Einstein's, was performing surgery at seven, and has now been meeting and conferencing with some of the top medical minds in the world.

However, one of the oddest factoids from the article is this:
However, Akrit’s progress came at a price: frustrated with the perceived lack of support for his gifted son, Akrit’s father became depressed and left the family home last year, telling him not to get in touch until Akrit had found a cure for cancer. Adored by his self-sacrificing mother and treated as a genius, Akrit has no doubt he will do this.
Wow, talk about parental pressure. Somehow thoughts of not getting ice cream after losing the big game don't seem as relevant anymore.

Read the whole article here: The Seven-Year-Old Surgeon

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One pill makes you larger...

...and one pill makes you small. Well, not entirely, but this little gem I dug up in relation to a discussion in my cyborgs class references two other articles: one in which a pill is used to induce autism-like anti-social number-crunching states of consciousness, while the other inhibits the production of an enzyme which is apparently the cause of many of the symptoms of autism.

Granted, both achievements have only been made in the brains of mice, but it's an interesting look into what may be a future with far fewer speed-addicted college students. Well, at least those who are doing addys and rits for the purpose of studying that is...

Link: One Pill Makes You Autistic -- One Pill Changes You Back

Straight Up On That Kryptonite

Fantastic fan vid of Bounce That by Girl Talk off his last album Night Ripper (c'mon, we need a new one NOW!) utilizing some pretty sick rotoscoping techniques.

God vs. Local Man

I found this story online today. I have no idea where it originated from (I'm guessing the SA Forums) but it's a hilarious (and lengthy) read. I really do hope this is a true story - you can't make some of this shit up.
Psycho nurse begins to shout. She starts to stride. The gap between us is closing. Fast. I am transfixed on her approach. She is the jelly incarnate. Her movements are fluid. Natural Selection has granted her inhuman speed. She is more sugar than man.

“Push me.”

I look at Wheelchair. He wheels himself around in the opposite direction.


Link: God Wants Local Man Dead, Local Man: "Bring It!"

P.S. If you can't figure it out, each instance of "fluffy" in the story is easily replaced with one of my favorite words and the guy sounds a lot less like a fruit.

Also I found this great clip of the best of Conan O'Brien's guests.

Yeah, that's right Conan, show that castaway how it snows!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Never Gonna...

Sometimes I just like to Rick Roll myself

Pet Sounds

A small snippet of the noise which permeates my everyday life - well, that which is contained within my apartment, but granted, thats a pretty big chunk of my life:

Dweezil Noize

Human vs. Machine

I've just discovered this unbelievably mesmorizing documentary on the past, current, and future state of neurobiology and cybernetics. It delves extremely deep into different fields of the two studies, engulfing such topics as A.I., the singularity, quantum theory and the unabomber.

Unfortunately, I have only found six parts on YouTube, but what's there will blow your fucking mind.

Human 2.0 - Creating Gods pt. 1
Human 2.0 - Creating Gods pt. 2
Human 2.0 - Creating Gods pt. 3
Human 2.0 - Creating Gods pt. 4
Human 2.0 - Creating Gods pt. 5
Human 2.0 - Creating Gods pt. 6

BTW, a lot of this is related to a class I'm enrolled in right now called Cyborg Society. Much of the class is based around the continued expansion of the cyborg wikipedia article and the class' own Cyborg Database, so keep your eyes on both of those sites for interesting new articles on the ever-changing field of cyborgology.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dildoes vs. Texas

The state of Texas has apparently lifted its ban on the possession and sale of sex toys.

Unfortunately, three more states still have similar laws on the books. Hopefully this will serve as further precedent towards repealing those laws.

Also, I would like to quote the great Demetri Martin in saying, "I never had to pluralize dildo before. I don't know if that's right - it looks like 'dill does.' And I hope I never have to again, like in a deposition or something.
'How many dildoes were there?'

'I don't know but I'm sore and I want to go home.'"

Ferret vs. Pepper

I stumbled on this video of a couple feeding their ferret (which they awesomely named Tanuki) a little bite of a jalapeƱo pepper. At least she knows to head straight for the water afterwards. Totally adorable and awful at the same time.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Denver Legalizes MJ

Hippie buses, tie-down shirts, and disingenerosity will soon all be flocking their way to home of a basketball team called The Nuggets.

Man my body hurts...

...from dancing my ass off at the Harry and the Hitmen show last night at the Brookdale Lodge. They played a great show as always, jamming all your favorite Motown hits into a wonderful, psychedelic mix. They're almost what I'd call a live mashup band, because they do more than just covers - each song has been tweaked to meet their individual style as a band, and it rocks hard. If you are in the SF Bay Area and ever get a chance to see them perform, DON'T MISS IT!

Harry and the Hitmen on Myspace

Friday, February 15, 2008

Me vs. Valentine's Day

Well hello.

This is my first post.

I'm Nils.

How are you?

I'm fine.

I drew this in a Philosophy of Law class.

I'm in anther class right now.

Godbless campus-wide WiFi.

Here are more pictures of me doing things to things:

Here are some links to thing I like right now:
DJ Lobie Minus (me!) - It's Just Before 5 AM on The Pirate Bay

Ronald McDonald Insanity
Bert and Ernie Go Brutal

Here are some sites I frequent:
Boing Boing
Perez Hilton (I know, I'm trashy.)

Bye! Y'all come back now y'hear?

I like toast.