CyberWoLfman's Web Asylum!

:+:  CyberWoLfman's 2007 Blog  :+:

  Table of contents

  FYI.  Some explanations are in order.

  What is a blog?  Explains the difference between a blog and a forum.

  This page may not look right to you.  Shows small pictures of what this Web page should look like if you were using a Web standards compliant Web browser.

  Links to blog entries below are listed in descending order with newest entries to older.

  To read the blog entries in chronological order from the oldest to the newest as I entered them, you can start with the January 26th, 2007 blog entry and read down from there.

  January 26th, 2007: Finally got around to getting one of my City of Heroes characters up to level 50.

  February 4th, 2007: Super Bowl sunday (Sun Day) and why football is gay.

  February 20th, 2007: Incandescent light bulbs may be banned soon!

  March 24th, 2007: Don't shop at tigerdirect!

  March 26th, 2007: Finally got one of my City of Villains characters to level 50.

  May 1st, 2007: Cryptic Studios/NC Soft releases Issue 9 to the live servers of City of Heroes/City of Villains..

  June 3rd, 2007: Where are the SED tvs?

  June 26th, 2007: City of Heroes / City of Villains transparent chat bubble backgrounds.

  July 18th, 2007: Michael Moore's movie Sicko is something I think that everybody should see.  It talks about the lack of a free universal health care program here in the United States, too.

  August 5th, 2007: Watched The Bourne Ultimatum.  Warning, contains spoilers!

  October 4th, 2007: 50th Anniversary of Sputnik's flight.

  October 7th, 2007: Corporations rule america.

  October 23rd, 2007: The City of Villains/Heroes Samhain/halloween event started, so I made a page to tell people the details.

  December 18th, 2007: The City of Villains/Heroes Winter event started, so I made a page to tell people the details.

  December 24th, 2007: If you're going to donate to a homeless shelter, check them out, first.

  More stuff to check out.  I always like to encourage people to read more.  ;-)

  Some of my other blog pages.  2002 to 2006.  Before that, I expressed myself through my IMHO page and Freedom page.

  Some of the main pages for this site.  Put some links to the main stuff on this page for those who can't use the Site Menu drop-down list above because they're using Web browsers that aren't up to date with Web standards.  Ever feel like roasting Bill Gates over an open fire?  Those who code really feel this urge sometimes!  WEG

  What is a blog?

  To those who are asking "what is a blog?", a blog is a personal Web log (blog is a shortened way of saying weblog), a chronicle of events or a journal where somebody writes down things that happen in their lives, their thoughts, and opinions.

  What's the difference between a blog and a forum?  Some people confuse forums with blogs.  A forum is for public discussion.  You can look that up in the dictionary if you like.  ;-)  A blog, being a Web log, journal, or personal diary would be for an individual.  Look at some personal blogs and compare them with forums, even those that for some odd reason are calling themselves blogs.  You'll see the difference quickly enough.

  This page may not look right to you

  Look at the pictures below to see if your Web browser is displaying this page correctly.

  To see the pictures full-sized, simply click on them, and they'll open in a new window.

  If you don't see the page the way it looks in the pictures, check out CSS and the History of Web Browsers for more information, and to learn where you can download something better for free.

  CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which, among other things, lets Web designers create drop-down menus without having to use JavaScript, that many people turn off to stop them from getting pop-up ads.

  If you find this page helpful, please consider donating a single dollar to keep this site going.  :-)

  If you can't afford to make a donation, maybe you can tell others about us.  It may help somebody out who needs information that can be found here, and, unlike most other sites, I'm not trying to sell you anything.



  January 26th, 2007:

  Finally got around to getting one of my City of Heroes characters up to level 50!

  Yes, I know, I should've done it a long time ago, but, I've been having too much fun trying out different characters and the various power sets.

  He's on the Virtue server, and his name is if you're a fellow City of Heroes player.  Don't play him very much, anymore.  Right after I got him to level 50, I created a Warshade.  They're pretty cool.  They come with a self-teleport power at level 1, so I was teleporting through the tutorial.  Hee hee hee  That character's name is CyberWoLfman WS if you're looking for somebody to team with.

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  February 4th, 2007:

  Super Bowl sunday (Sun Day) and why football is gay

  It's Super Bowl Sun Day (or sunday for the young readers out there, although I know there's many who don't know where the names of the days of the week came from even though they've never wondered about names like Wednesday (Woden's Day) or others), again, and this time, they're having it here in Miami, Florida, the western corner of the Bermuda Triangle, which is my home.

  Unfortunately, there's no tornado in the area to ask to go through the stadium . . .  So, I'll express my views on why I believe that football is gay.

  Why do I think that football is gay?  It should be obvious to everybody, if they'd only pay attention.  Ah, but the world currently thinks that apathy and ignorance is cool, so that's hardly surprising . . .  But, I'll point out what should be obvious.

  1st: They have names like wide receiver and tight end.

  2nd: Have you noticed how almost every play starts?  The 1st guy bends over and sticks his butt up in the air to a 2nd guy who places his hands up between the 1st guy's legs in the groin area, and keeps the 1st guy there until he's ready to let him go.

  3rd: They like to tackle other guys and throw them to the ground with them.

  4th: While I won't go into details, most people have probably already heard about how some of the football players like to stick things in other kids' butts in football camps . . .

  5th: Then there's the fact that they like to wear those colorful, shiny, and skin-tight uniforms.

  You've got to wonder what kind of guys get into this sport, and what kind likes to watch it.  Although I myself haven't watched a football game in quite a long time, I wonder how often they show cheerleaders, or are the cameras almost always focused on the players?  Keep that in mind while watching the game.  While I'd rather be watching the cheerleaders, others don't have the same . . . desire.  Hee hee hee

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  March 24th, 2007:

  Don't shop at tigerdirect!

  Why shouldn't you shop at tigerdirect?  Let me tell you what happened to me when I tried to return something I bought from them after I called them up to make sure it was okay first.  When I attempted to return some RAM that I had bought from tigerdirect, they said I couldn't, even though I had the receipt and was attempting to return it within 30 days.

  If they don't have enough honor to stand behind what they sell, then I certainly don't want to shop there, anymore.  Do you want to shop at a store like tigerdirect that won't allow you to return stuff that you bought from them?  Neither do I.  From now on, I'll buy stuff at other stores that do allow you to return things you've bought from them.  Tigerdirect sucks!

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  March 26th, 2007:

  Finally got one of my City of Villains characters to level 50.

  Although I have several villain characters, I've never gotten one of them up to level 50, before.  Today, I finally did.  He was my main Stalker archtype, the characters that come with a kind of stealth power built into them.  Many people have asked me why I made a Stalker if I don't like to PvP.  The answer's easy.  When I first started playing City of Villains, which I got before City of Heroes, I got defeated a lot by the enemy, and it was a long run from the hospital back to the mission entrance and a lot of times, you get defeated trying to return.  So, I kind of 're-rolled', and made a Stalker character so I could get from one point to another on the map without getting turned into swiss cheese.  Or becoming dinner for a large group of snakes . . .

  Now that he's level 50, I'll be playing my other characters more.  He'll probably be put on a shelf so to speak, until I want to run a higher level mission without worry about getting debt for being defeated, since there's no higher level in City of Villains that I need to earn XP to get to.  Or at least, not yet . . .

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  May 1st, 2007:

  Cryptic Studios/NC Soft releases Issue 9 to the live servers of City of Heroes/City of Villains.

  You probably already know about the PC MMORPG games City of Heroes (oftentimes called coh in the game) and City of Villains (called cov in the game), so I won't bore you with details.  But, today, they released issue 9 to the 'live' servers, where most of the players play the game at.

  City of Hereos/City of Villains Issue 9 brings the Invention system with recipes and invention salvage to make inventions for your characters which will enhance their powers or give them new costume parts.  You can learn more about them by visiting the university in Cap au Diable (in city of villains) or Steel Canyon (in city of heroes).  Provided your character can get there without getting killed, of course . . .

  During the University's Invention system tutorial, you'll do several short missions, and only one where you'll have to fight enemy in, and there's less than ten of them within that mission in small groups if you do it solo.  Those playing masterminds in City of Villains will have time to set up their minions if playing solo before having to fight.  Hint about that mission: Go down the hallway to the stairs, then go downstairs.  There will likely be guys around the corner at the bottom of the stairs, so you might want to be careful.

  In addition to this, there are also vaults where you can stash some of your salvage if the salvage inventory for your character gets too full (frankly, I wish they would've made it at least ten times larger).  Lastly, there are auction houses called Wentworth's in City of Heroes, and in City of Villains, there's the black market.  You put your stuff up for sale and set a secret bid amount that people can try to match, and if they do, or go over it, they are the buyers of that item.  There's a fee for this service, but, it's not very much.

  This all comes at a price, however . . .  There are now far fewer enhancements dropped as you defeat enemies in the game.  I'll put it this way, I did six missions and got only one enhancement.  So now, you'll have to use either Wentworth's or the black market in the game to make Influence (in city of heroes) or Infamy (in city of villains) with which to buy the enhancements you need to improve your powers.  Also, while playing on a team with one of my level 50's in SG mode, I only got one piece of invention salvage and no recipes.  Might've been a fluke, but try it yourself and see if you notice anything similar.  If you do, try doing a mission out of SG mode and in a smaller team, or solo.

  With this kind of a system in place, I predict that the greed inherent in almost all humans will rear its ugly head and players will ask for outrageously high prices for things like salvage and recipes that they try to sell in an attempt to make themselves rich in the game.

  Don't believe me?  Most people think I'm cynical and have a large distrust of humans and believe that their primary motivations are greed and a thirst for power.  Well, I won't deny that, and some know exactly why I feel that way about them.  But, I think my belief in the true nature of humans is closer to the truth than most people's.  In a very short time, this should become rather clearly evident to all who play in these games.  Don't look for much true altruism in the games after this.  Charity will likely be the last thing on their minds . . .

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  June 3rd, 2007:

  SED tvs AKA Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display tvs.

  During the last few years, I've been telling people about the new types of televisions that should be available soon.  One of them that I've been talking about is SED tvs, or Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display televisions.

  Technical details on SED tvs:  The SED tvs will have a 100,000:1 contrast ratio, usually spoken as 100,000 to 1 contrast ratio, but currently, they have a 50,000:1 contrast ratio usually spoken as 50,000 to 1 contrast ratio, and a 1ms response time, so you won't have the blur or ghosting that you see on some LCD tvs.  The SED tvs are expected to have a life of around 30,000 hours.  On the bad side, it's using a phosphor coating on the display panel that the surface conduction emitter emits electrons to, much like your CRT televsions.  A good example of this can be seen on older video games in the arcades, or on security camera monitors, where they have the same image displayed almost constantly with no interruption.  As for how much they'll cost, it's been said that they'll be about the same price paid for LCDs of the same size.  But, since that announcement, the LCD tvs have been dropping in price about 40% each year, so that yet remains to be seen.

  Unfortunately, there's been delays . . .  They were originally supposed to be in production by 2006.  But, that's been delayed.  Last year, they said they'd start producing them in July 2007.  Don't count on it.  In the past, they've put prototypes up for display at CES (the international Consumer Electronics Show), in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Ceatec, a trade show in Japan, but there wasn't one in the January 2007 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The delays have been attributed to a lawsuit against Canon who had went into a partnership with Toshiba to make the SED tvs, that Applied Nanotech, which is a subsidiary of Nano-Proprietary, had given exclusive rights to use their information on electron emissions from carbon nanotubes to Canon.  A federal judge ruled that Canon did indeed violate its agreement with Nano-Proprietary by teaming up with Toshiba.  Last month, though, a jury ruled that there weren't any other damages that were more than the $5,500,000 fee of the original licensing contract.

  Hopefully, they'll get things straightened out, and they'll start producing these SED tvs within the next year, although I suspect the prices will be a little high at first, and there will be few of them available.  But, that'll likely mean that LCDs and other things will drop in price more.  ;-)

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  June 26th, 2007:

  How to make transparent backgrounds in your City of Heroes / City of Villains chat bubbles.

  You've seen them, the transparent chat bubbles in the City of Heroes / City of Villains game.  You've wanted yours to be like theirs, but, maybe something uniquely 'you'.  Well, I'm going to tell you how to do it.

  Copy and paste the following into whatever text editing program you'd like:

/bind enter, "beginchat <bgcolor #00000010><color black><border black>$$startchat"

  If you'd like to pick a color to use, check out the Color Codes page, using the hex codes section, then edit the numbers of what you pasted in.  You can also use hex codes for the text color (where it says "color black") and the border color, provided you remember to put the # in front of the set of numbers.  The bgcolor numbers are a special case, however.  The first six numbers are the color of your background, whereas the final two state how much color to put in it.  The lower the last two numbers, the more transparent it is.

  Think you've got it ready to use?  Click into the spot where you type stuff to say, making sure there's nothing there.  If there is, backspace over it to get rid of it.  Got that done?  Good.  Now, hit the Enter key while in the game, and it'll make some of that code you just put in appear, and a cursor after it.  You just type something in after it that you want to say, hit the Enter key again when finished, and it'll show up the way you coded it.

  Tired of it, and want to go back to the normal (AKA boring) way to do it?  Paste the following into where you type the chat, after backspacing stuff out that's already in it:

  /bind enter "startchat"

  Enjoy!  :-)

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  July 18th, 2007:

  Watch Michael Moore's Sicko movie that has information on free universal health care!

  If you haven't seen it, yet, I whole-heartedly recommend that everybody living in the U.S. see Michael Moore's movie Sicko!

  In fact, people in other countries should see it too, to learn how much better they have it over people in the U.S.

  In this movie, you'll see people talking about the free universal health care they enjoy in other countries like the U.K., Canada, France, and even Cuba.  The costs of prescription drugs weren't free in some of the places, but, in the U.K. for example, no matter how large the prescription was for, how many pills or whatever, the cost was only about $10 U.S.  In Cuba, one of the women who wasn't getting the health care she needed asked about the cost of an inhaler she had spent about $120 U.S. for in the U.S.  She was told it was around 5 cents U.S. there.

  People are wondering why things are the way they are here in the U.S.  The short answer of course, is greed.  The corporations that are running the HMOs seem to feel it's more important to make billions of dollars rather than give people the medical care they need.  Some of the victims and the families who have lost loved ones because of this screwed-up system are calling it death by denial because when the doctors advise the patients to get things that they believe would help them, the HMOs deny it.

  As for me, I'm wondering something else . . .  How is it that we can afford billions of dollars to kill people in far-off lands, but, there's not enough money to give people here in the U.S. medical care?  Is it more important to kill than to heal?  That certainly seems to be the message we're getting from HMOs and politicians.  From what I've been told, the U.S. is the only western industrialized country in the world that doesn't have a free universal health care program.

  Didn't Clinton promise us a universal health care program?  Just another politician who didn't keep his promise.  Come to think of it, has any politician ever kept their promises?

  On the CNBC interview he had, Michael Moore made some interesting points.  These HMOs are run to produce maximum profit for the shareholders.  The way they do that is to deny medical care to those who need it, and those who give these denials are rewarded by the HMOs.  So, the more people who die because of what you do as an employee of an HMO, the more reward you get?  That's pretty sick.  :-(  If a fire department or police department were run in the same way, they'd be denying that they'd have to go to most of the fires, or investigate most of the crimes committed.

  What do I expect will happen because of what's exposed of the screwed-up medical system we have in this film?  Not much.  Some politicians will state that they're looking into it, or make promises of fixing the system.  Some may even claim that they'll try to get us a universal health care system or even a free universal health care system.  But I, for one, will not expect them to fulfill said promises.  They'll likely just be promises made to the public to make people feel that something's being done when it isn't, and then the heat will die down about it and everybody will have forgotten all about it except for the sick, who are still going to be in the same sinking boat they've always been in.  I wonder how many millions of people need to die to satisfy the greed of politicians and those in HMOs?

  All this is making me wonder why more people aren't moving to these other countries.  Canada, for instance, seems to have the same prices as the U.S. but also has a free universal health care program.  Only problem is, you have to spend four or five years there before you can get a Canadian citizenship.

  Here's where Michael Moore's movie Sicko is playing in the Miami, Florida area:

AMC Aventura 24
Suite 3001
19501 Biscayne Blvd.
Aventura, Florida

AMC CocoWalk 16
3015 Grand Avenue, #322
Coconut Grove, Florida

Muvico Paradise 24
15601 Sheridan Street
I-75 and Sheridan Street
Davie, Florida

Gateway Cinema Four
1820 E. Sunrise Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Regal South Beach 18
1100 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida

Muvico Pompano 18
2315 North Federal Highway
Copans Road and Federal Highway
Pompano Beach, Florida

AMC Sunset 24 Theatres
# 300
5101 S.W. 72nd Street
South Miami, Florida

Regal Sawgrass
2600 NorthWest 136th Avenue
Sunrise, Florida

Regal Sawgrass
2600 NorthWest 136th Avenue
Sunrise, Florida

Sunrise 11
4321 NW 88th Avenue
Sunrise, Florida

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  August 5th, 2007:

  Watched The Bourne Ultimatum movie.

  Warning!  Spoilers ahead.

  First off, I'll be nice and say the action in this movie was good, as was most of the plot.

  That said, now for the stuff I had problems with in this movie . . .  Not going to go into all the stuff I noticed, but, I'll cover the more obvious, the things that popped into my head as I was watching the movie.

  The shaking cameras with the shots that always seemed too close up got on my nerves just after the movie started, and it continued until the end.  What's the matter?  Did the movie company have all their steadicams destroyed in an accident right before the start of filming, and replacing them wasn't in the budget?  Heck, I know they had tripods.  Even the sniper had one.  A big one, in fact, which I thought odd that he should be hauling around, but, I won't get into that . . .  Couldn't you at least have used one for the shots where people weren't moving around?

  In Neil Daniels' office, there was a paper shredder.  Not an unusual thing to find in an office, but, somebody not at least having a cross-shredder type of paper shredder who works for an intelligence agency, is.

  As for Neil Daniels' pathetic attempt at running . . .  When Neil Davies ran, he used his regular passport instead of having a fake one made up by a source outside of the intelligence agencies (one un-known to them is preferable), so his coming and goings were easily tracked.  Agencies share information with each other.  Not just passports and 'no-fly' lists, but also stuff gathered using ECHELON and . . . other things.  Part of one of them was briefly demonstrated when the word blackbriar was flagged and they investigated the source of the communication which lead them to a reporter.  The keywords that red-flags stuff now numbers in the thousands.  Still not sure why they put words like pixar, hope, sneakers, and cards in it, but . . . *shrugs*  I gave up trying to make sense out of what some of them do after they declared the furby a threat to national security.  For those thinking that wire-tapping involves a couple of agents sitting in a semi-dark room wearing headphones in front of an old reel to reel tape recorder, think again.

  Some information learned in the movie about Jason Bourne:

Real name: David Webb
DOB: 9/13/70

  When Pamela Landy had him on the phone, she gave him an incorrect date of birth, saying it was 4/15/71, which was a 'code' for the address 415 E. 71st street in New York.  That supposedly was where he volunteered to begin his training for Treadstone.  As part of his training, he had to shoot somebody at close range in the same room with him.  Odd thing is, when he did so within a few yards of him in the same room, there wasn't a drop of blood on the wall behind the target.  You would think there would be, firing at such close range, but, maybe we're supposed to believe that that particular intelligence agency uses a 'nerfed' pistol . . .  LOL

  What specifically was the training Jason Bourne received from Treadstone?  Was he renshawed, or did somebody find the 'switch' to make people similar to William James Sidis, Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins, and Kim Peek?  Rather odd that they didn't go into any specifics at all . . .

  Movie goof?  While watching the movie, it looked as though Jason Bourne's mole (or zit or whatever it was) kept moving from one side of the area over his upper lip where a mustache would be, to the other.  I'll have to watch this again later, when it comes on DVD to be sure that one or more of the shots showing him that close up wasn't in a reflective surface.  You'll see it most clearly when he's talking to Martin Kreutz about Marie Helena Kreutz.  The close-ups there were just a little too close-up and I think it was the make-up department's day off for that shoot . . .

  One of the biggest mistakes that I think was done in the story was when Jason Bourne called Noah Vosen when he had gotten into his office after he asked Pamela Landy to meet him at a certain location some distance from it and Noah Vosen as well as most of his operatives followed her, thus leaving his base of operations in the hands of only a few people.  The location alone should've sent alarm bells ringing in his head, being out in the open, leaving him exposed and vulnerable to attack, but, he took the bait and went.  That might be excused, as somebody thinking that his adversary made an error in judgement without thinking of the consequences, like leaving your queen open to attack on a chessboard by your opponent's piece on the other side of the board.  But, when Jason Bourne called him on his cell phone while he was in Noah Vosen's office before he even got the safe open, knowing that there were hostiles just outside the door and down the hall . . .  Well, that's practically suicidal.  Heck, if he didn't do that, he could've kept him there waiting for him to show up for at least 15 minutes to a half hour.  To have fun with it, he could've grabbed what he wanted from the office then found a bicycle messenger to go to that location and deliver a large envelope with a sucker in it to Noah Vosen, or to Pamela Landy with instructions to give it to those who followed her.  ;-)

  Now, as for one of the more obvious goofs that I saw in the movie, and one that would feel like a heavy slap in the face to anybody who's worked in the intelligence community, and most especially the CIA was when Jason Bourne had a gun pointed between Albert Hirsch's eyebrows at the training facility near the end of the movie.  He stated that Albert Hirsch "didn't deserve his star at Langley" (I'll address the 'langley' thing below) which sounded like a reference to the stars on the Memorial Wall as seen in the CIA building.  This couldn't be the case, though, because Albert Hirsch would've had to be dead to have a star represent him.  As mentioned in the selection criteria for the Memorial Wall stars, they're awarded the star posthumously, which is to say, after they've died.  As the inscription states right above the stars, "In honor of those members of the Central Intelligence Agency who gave their lives in the service of their country."  Guys, if you're going to make a movie involving intelligence agencies, at the very least, have enough intelligence of your own to do even the basic research on things like the Memorial Wall.  Heck, the Memorial Wall is on the north wall of the lobby when you come into the CIA, you can't miss it.  Not anywhere near as difficult as finding an authentic drawing or painting of Nathan Hale, deciphering Kryptos, or learning the true contents of the CIA's time capsule box.  ;-)

  As for Kryptos, itself, it's a pretty cool scupture.  It'd be easier to solve, though, if they didn't use different ciphers.  Ah, but the big problem with code and cipher work is that sometimes it just comes out as glops.  Hee hee hee

  Now, about the 'Langley' thing . . .  Took a few minutes and did some research to find out some facts.  Some of it I remember, but, when it comes to dates . . .  LOL  Ever see the movie "Damien: Omen II", where the history teacher is testing Damien's knowledge of history and asking for specific dates?  That was cool.

  Anyway . . .  Langley is the name of the neighborhood that Thomas Lee bought from Lord Fairfax (who also had a first name of Thomas) in 1719, the first year of his reign.  Fairfax county in Virginia is named after him.  About 9,000 years before that, you could hunt Mammoth there.  Not that I was around back then or anything like that . . .  ;-)  Lord Thomas Fairfax inherited Lord Culpeper's property in Northern Neck, Virginia, through his mother.  Northern Neck is a peninsula between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers.  Oddly enough, there was a guy in the movie theater with a jersey on with Culpeper written on it . . .  Somebody also left a backpack in the row of seats in front of me, and I was getting jittery being the paranoid type who thought it might've been an IED, until he came back to get it after the movie ended.  LOL  When the British attacked during the war of 1812, which resulted in the White House being burned down, then President James Madison and his wife, Dolley (whose name some people still misspell as Dolly) fled to Langley.  Langely is no more, however.  The CIA is officially located in McLean, Virginia, that was founded back in 1910.

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  October 4th, 2007:

  50th anniversary of Sputnik's launch and the start of the space race.

  Can you believe it?  It's been 50 years since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite.  It was about the size of a beach ball, but, it was certainly a very fast moving beach ball!  This thing circled the earth in just a little over an hour and 30 minutes.  The United States finally got one of their own up there on January 31, 1958, called Explorer 1.

  On April 12th, 1961, Yuri Gagarin (full name: Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin), of the Soviet Union, became the first man in space.

  A little less than 12 years after Sputnik, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on Luna ('the moon' as some call it) after spending four days in space to get there.

  Now, there's a lot of artificial satellites up there, mostly of the communications sort, and there's robots being sent to Mars and un-manned spacecraft doing explorations of parts of the solar system.  My name is in some of them like the Stardust spacecraft that took samples from a comet, the Mars Exploration Rover, and the New Horizons spacecraft, that's on its way to Pluto and is currently about half-way between Jupiter and Saturn.  If you want to see where it is at the moment, click here.

  What will be going on 50 years from now in space?  Technology growth seems to be slowing down in many areas, and in some, knowledge of the advances made is kept secret from the general public, so I won't get too optimistic about that.  The focus seems to have shifted from space exploration to new gadgets and televisions.  In fact, some space agencies give the next date that man sets foot on Luna to be around 2020, even though most of the groundwork has already been done and we've proved that we could do it.

  So, it's most likely that a commercial enterprise will be doing some flights into space for money and someday, they'll set up a resort on Luna.  Don't expect the latter to happen over-night, however . . .

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  October 7th, 2007:

  Corporations rule america!

  It shouldn't really come as any surprise to people to hear that corporations rule america.  After all, most people have probably already heard about the Sony rootkit thing where millions of people had stuff installed on their computers simply by trying to play a music CD that they bought from Sony BMG.  It was proven that it installed this software that degraded the computer's performance and gave it more security vulnerabilities even if people told it not to install the software.  And, when Sony BMG offered a program to un-install this stuff, it opened up even more security vulnerabilities in people's computers!  As far as I know, the united states department of justice is not going to charge them with anything despite the fact that there were millions of these CDs sold to the public and that's a lot of violations of federal cybersecurity law and even an FTC chariwoman (Deborah Platt Majoras) stated that it was unlawful.  If an ordinary citizen did something like that to a single computer, they'd likely be having to pay stiff penalties and serving prison time.  However, the justice system seems to feel that corporations are above the law.

  The latest proof that corporations rule america is the case of Jammie Thomas, a mother of two, who was ordered to pay $222,000.  Added to that, there will probably also be court costs and lawyer fees.  This for supposedly simply making it possible for people to download some music from her computer, even though they didn't prove that anybody actually did, or even that the files listed were what they were listed as.  Hey, can you think of a better way to get an obscure band that's just starting up listened to by millions of people than having their songs listed (with their permission) in people's computers as more popular songs?  Well, I can, but, the other ways would probably be considered as illegal and one would definitley get you noticed, and fast.  The amount she was ordered to pay was reported to be only for 24 songs.  The legal system doesn't seem to see anything wrong with the amount they've charged her.  :-(  Shouldn't people be fined for the amount of damage that they've done?  Isn't that the main principle of law?  Certainly, everybody would agree that the RIAA didn't lose $222,000 worth of business even if she did share those songs.  Heck, by doing something like this to her, they've probably lost more business because people who buy CDs now are more prone to think that they're rewarding the RIAA and helping them make more money to do this to still more people.  As far as I know, this was the very first person to try to fight back against the RIAA and go to court.  As everybody knows, however, those who can afford the best lawyers win even when it's a murder case.

  Exactly what message are politicians and the united states department of justice sending to people?  Should parents now tell their children to do whatever it takes to become rich so they can screw over everybody else and never have to worry about being punished?  The lies they've been told in the past about fairness and equality are obvious bull s*it now.

  The united states justice system and politicians don't care anymore about the people they're supposed to be serving while in office.  Now, they only seem to be concerned about serving the wealthy and corporations.  They give huge tax breaks to the top 1% of the united states' most wealthiest people, enact laws against music sharing and the like while things that are urgently needed for the people of the united states like a free universal health care system and improving the educational system isn't allowed.  The president even vetoes such things like children's health care bills which would provide medical coverage for un-insured poor children.  Apparently, giving the rich huge tax cuts and spending billions on a war in another country is far more important.  Billions for war, but, not a penny for peace seems to be the motto of politicians.  :-(

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  October 23rd, 2007:

  City of Villains/City of Heroes Samhain/halloween event!

  For those who play City of Villains or City of Heroes, the Samhain/halloween event is now in full swing, and will continue until November 4th, 2007.

  If you'd like more information on the event, please check out my newly created City of Villains/City of Heroes Samhain/halloween Event page.

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  December 18th, 2007:

  City of Villains/City of Heroes Winter event!

  For those who play City of Villains or City of Heroes, the Winter event is now in full swing, and will continue until Moon day, January 6th, 2007.

  If you'd like more information on the event, please check out my newly created City of Villains/City of Heroes Winter Event page.

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  December 24th, 2007:

  Happy Holidays and who you should donate money and other things to.

  If you haven't yet seen it, please check out my Happy Holidays page.  Hoping that everybody gets what they deserve this holiday season.  Yes, you can take that either way.  ;-)

  Now, about those homeless shelters . . .  If you've thought about donating money or any kind of goods to a homeless shelter, please check them out, first.  Some of them are definitely not in any need of still more money, they've got things like computer rooms, surveillance cameras all over their buildings both inside and out, and in places they don't want you to know that they do, as well, so they can watch all that people do.  Some of these are run like a type of workhouse.  In my experience, it's been the 'mission' type of places that are like that.  There, I've found that those who are infirm, disabled, barely able to walk, or can't walk at all, and in wheelchairs are either not there at all, or there's only one or two of them until the people running the place use some other excuse but for the fact that they can't get work out of them to kick them out on the streets.  Some even kick out homeless disabled U.S. veterans.  Some people have a really nasty way of showing thanks . . .  Those who are running those places are usually dressed in new clothes, and some brag about having dinner with city mayors and other rich and powerful types and having a tuxedo.

  The other types that I consider to be more worthy of help are those like the salvation army shelters.  When I checked them out, I found all types of people, both those who are physically fit as well as several who were not, some even in wheelchairs, and without legs.  The buildings they used were usually a little run-down, the beds were old, definitely not new, but, the people who were there for a place to sleep got that, and were also provided with things like soap and shampoo, toothbrushes, little tubes of toothpaste, and were able to do a load of laundry.

  In the 'rescue mission' type of homeless shelters I visited, only those in special programs were able to do laundry, and were given other privileges and access to certain areas, but, were resricted to only being able to be either there or at one of the nearby buildings, they couldn't even go to the library.

  One of the clinchers for me in determining which homeless shelter wasn't 'quite right' was when the rescue mission people stated that the residents couldn't keep and read the books they were throwing out, despite the fact that they were in good condition and weren't anything that would raise eyebrows.  The book I asked them if I could keep and read instead of throwing out with the others was nothing but a world almanac.  It's like they don't want you to read anything other than what they approve of, and you should only learn what they approve of.  Or at least that's the message that I got from that . . .

  So, before you donate, make sure you're giving stuff or money to those who need it and you don't mind supporting.

  Don't have anything to give?  Don't feel bad about it, I'm pretty far below the poverty line, myself, so you're not alone.  But, you can click on the button below to help others around the world for free:

  As always, I'm doing what I can to make the world a better place.  :-)

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  2006 Blog.

  2005 Blog.

  2004 Blog.

  2003 Blog (with some from 2002).

  Main Blog page.


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