It's a joke...right?

April 16th, 2008

I'm assuming that the desire for an Augmented Reality helmet is a joke:

Kids’ knees and noggins can be protected with padding and helmets—but how do we safeguard their delicate minds? The answer may lie with Augmented Reality (AR), a technology that combines sights and sounds of the real world with virtual information. AR eyeglasses could detect inappropriate sights and remove them from view, while AR-enabled earbuds would delete ambient cursing.

But I do wonder how many people read that article and thought that it was an absolutely brilliant idea (or would think that, if they happened read the article).

I'm a parent (note the subtle declaration of authority on this subject), and I admit that I'm uncomfortable when people curse around my kids. Not because I'm afraid that my children will start screaming obscenities; It's just rude behavior, not socially acceptable, and you tend to expect adults to know better.

I think that the initial results of such a device attempting to block "inappropriate sights" would be hilarious, though. That's almost worth seeing. Or seeing what you're not seeing, I suppose.

Speaking of Charleton Heston

April 16th, 2008

A thirty-six year old man was driving down 280 with his two children in the car, en route to pick up his wife, and apparently he ticked someone off because another car pulled up next to him and shot him. To death. With his two kids in the car.

Yeah, having all the handguns we could possibly want is working out great. Thanks, Chuck!

What Inflation?

April 16th, 2008

Well, the dollar is at its lowest ever against the euro, and oil prices are the highest ever... but don't let that fool you. It's going to get worse. If you lived through the seventies I hope you liked them, because they're back.

Review: Small Favor

April 11th, 2008

Which really ought to be Small Favors, but of course that would not fit the series' "two word titles, both words the same length" theme.

It's the latest in Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novels. The fact that we purchased it on the day of release, in hardback, should tell you pretty much what you need to know about my opinion of the series. They're fun. Fun characters, fun plot, interesting setting and contrivances. They're a bit silly, ultimately, and Mr. Butcher uses the pulpiest literary devices - cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, ominous pronouncements for dramatic effect, etc - but if you haven't read the series, pick up the first one and start. Wonderful bubblegum for the mind. This installment was no different.

RIP Charlton Heston

April 11th, 2008

I'm a bit late on this, but Charlton Heston passed away this week. Certainly an actor with some serious work under his belt, at least a half-dozen films that everyone ought to see. And he's fantastic in them. Certainly a life that has left behind much to its credit.

Unfortunately for the world, of course, he turned from filmmaking to conservatism. What struck me as odd, reading various retrospectives about his life, was that he started out as a liberal Democrat, and somewhere in the nineteen-seventies he went wrong; from civil-rights crusader to voodoo economics proponent.

It's not an isolated phenomenon, this turning to the dark side; witness, say, Dennis Miller - or Ronald Reagan himself. I wonder, idly, if there's some sort of medical explanation for it, a stroke of the brain's moral center, that kills off those parts of the brain responsible for compassion (and a goodly chunk of the intellect). A silent killer of rational thought and empathy, leaving only an understanding of greed, power, and selfishness.

Almost certainly not. But if there were, perhaps there would be a cure...