A blog about the many neat things in life, along with the many other things that are lying around. Categories include: political things, philosophy things, design things, template things, garage things, music things, and lots and lots of other things!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Social Networking Problem Solved

The problem with social networking sites like Friendster or Facebook has always been: okay, so I'm online and have linked up with all my friends. Now what?

I personally think Friendster went under because of this factor. MySpace has a few options: you can continue whoring out for random friends, you can visit and read about your favorite bands, and you can post to a MySpace blog. Facebook has built in some ideas this year - photo sharing and event organization are two "continuing uses" for the site that seem to be pretty popular. LinkedIn lets you hunt for jobs and send your resume to people.

So far my personal favorite has been OkCupid. Though it's primarily a dating site (and one of the only totally free ones, I might add), it has the "see their friends" / commenting features that define a social networking site. It's "continuing uses," even if you've found someone, are the amusing user-generated quizzes. Anybody remember Quizilla (which apparently now has tagclouds and other Web 2.0ishness)? It has a lot of that kind of thing. The "Cowboy / Ninja / Pirate / Knight" test kept me occupied for a few minutes, as did the Zombie Scenario Survivor test.

As time progresses, I think "social networking" sites will become more specialized in functionality, to the point where the 'continuing uses' features will define them, rather than merely the network-building capabilities.

Oh, and BTW - if any of you are on OkCupid, friendlist me!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Schoolhouse Rock Things

I've never liked Schoolhouse Rock, but HOLY JEEZUS this is awesome!

Hat tip: Terrance

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I just realized...

I listen to music that sounds like screeching static with bass drums.

Oh, and here's a picture I did in my vector art class, which a recent conversation with Liz reminded me I should show off.

So, that was a photo-trace done in my vector art class. Our projects have mostly been tracing from photos, which seems like the preferred way of doing vector art. While it's certainly possible to construct something entirely in Freehand or Illustrator, it seems like it would be a lot easier to just sketch something out real quick and have at least that as a reference.

But yeah, my art will improve some day.

Update: This project got 83 / 100. After getting lots of praise from my professor, fellow students, and others who see me working on it, this reminds me why I fucking hate art and want my professor to die.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ferret Zen

I miss my ferret. Zack - I hope you're still happy.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Discussive Things

So, the other day, I got to have an unusual experience. The two gentlement who live across the hall from me are both heavily involved in the Campus Crusade for Christ. We don't get involved with each other very much, aside from occasional stereo wars (I have no IDEA why he insists on playing his guitar in his dorm as opposed to, say, the music room). But the other day one of my neighbors and a minister he works with came over to my place to chat.

Now to set the stage, I have a pair of self-created fliers taped to my door. One says "Hitler hates gay people, too! Aren't you in good company?" and has a great picture of the Fuhrer on it. The other one says "What did Jesus say about homosexuality? NOTHING. Only Paul ever had a problem with gay people." I posted these fliers in response to some nasty, hateful things that got posted on my RA's door, because I wanted everyone in the hall to know that there would be no tolerance of homophobia or hatred.

But these guys (let's call the guy across the hall David and the minister John) knocked on my door, and asked about the Jesus flier. I invited them in, and we got to sit down and have a grand old theological discussion. It wasn't a debate, really, as neither of us was really trying to persuade the other party, but it was a good opportunity to share views and see what the other side is seeing. We went over the differences in rhetoric - how many Christian organizations falsely define being gay as a set of sexual actions, how biologically and genetically determined are two slightly different things, why I feel it's wrong to force people to "struggle" with "homosexual attractions" rather than let them live their life. I talked about how I felt the Old Testament and Paul-based arguments against being gay are silly. I talked about my own experiences with religion, and my major problems with it at this point. We talked about how they see spirituality, and how John thought about being gay.

It was really great to sit down and talk civilly with someone. To David and John's credit, I never once felt threatened, or that they came to 'convert' me, or that I was putting up with unnecessary bullshit.

So, to David and John, I say thank you. To anyone else who wants to have a similar discussion, my door is always open.

Technorati Tags: Gay, Christian, Philosophy

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Monger Things

SpaceMonger is a truly useful PC app. It displays all the folders on a hard drive in graphical format, sized by the amount of space they take up on the drive. You can tell exactly what percent of your disk space that season of Smallville is taking up. Ryan showed me this program a while back, and it has been a life saver, especially now that I'm jumping to over half a terrbyte on my media center PC.

Now there's a mac equivalent as well. Grand Perspective is prettier than SpaceMonger (as you would expect from a mac app), and it looks like it has the same functionality.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy some free apps!

via FreeMacWare

Monday, April 10, 2006

Mad Breakz Things

I finally made a new song! I don't care if it's crappy - it's something I did after about a year and a half break from making music.

Mad Breakz took a short amount of time to compose, but I kinda like the sounds. So, hope you enjoy it, too! Mad Breakz

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Cave Story Things

Cave Story is a freeware game for windows and mac. It was all made by one guy in Japan, and then translated by a couple fans. Cave Story is one of the coolest computer games I've ever played. Seriously.

Think about Metroid. What made that fun? Running throughout Zebes and other planets, picking up items that give you new capabilities and unlock new areas, and of course, blowing things up. Cave story has all that - and a plot that develops throughout the game. Cave Story is also similar in style, with beautiful pixel art and parallax-scrolling backgrounds.

All in all, it's an awesome game, and I felt it deserves its own post. I know I've been addicted for weeks, and my buddy Ryan just started playing it. He's already found a bunch of stuff I've missed - this game has depth. Enjoy!

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Real Security Things

Democrats last week released Real Security, a PDF brochure making some promises about the Democrat's plan for security if they get back in power.

They have a couple really good points. They offer a back-handed bitchslap to the republicans for continually failing to properly armoring our troops. They promise to find and eliminate Osama Bin Laden - you know, that guy we were really angry at once for some reason. They promise to immediately implement all the 9/11 commission ideals, and push strongly for American energy independance.

They also offer some pretty unrealistic goals. They promise to double the size of the Special Forces when the army is still promising higher rewards to meet its lowered goals; even then it's hard to cut through the spin and see if they're really getting enough troops. They promise to secure loose nuclear materials by 2010 to prevent dirty bombs - but considering a dirty bomb is just an IED with any amount of mildly radioactive material, that seems improbable. They promise to screen 100% of containers inbound to the US. In a country that imports more than it exports, that doesn't seem realistic.

But, what this document does do, that I really like, is outline a plan for beating the republicans on national security. The administration in power has made so many ridiculous blunders on security - from Katrina to Iraq to Valerie Plame - it's inconcievable that they could claim the high ground on national security. Unless democrats let them, that is.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spirituality Things

I haven't been blogging much lately. This week has been very eventful, and joyous. I feel blessed.

So last Sunday, I was ruminating over my lack of spirituality, and ended up talking to the guys across the hall. We talked for hours. It was incredible - they had a lot of answers that I had felt so unsure about for so long. So, they asked me to come to a meeting. I've been wanting to go to a Campus Crusade meeting for a while, just to try it out. But last Tuesday, I repented of my sins, and I was shown how to leave my unwanted, sinful homosexuality. I was born again!

And since then, I am so happy, so blessed. Everything has been going my way. The joys of knowing that I'm right and everyone I don't like is going to hell is indescribable. If you also want to leave your homosexuality behind, and be born again, please let me know. I want to help everyone I can.

Update: Previous April Fool's post here. Exgay-related April Fool's Posts at Exgay Watch and at Big Gay Picture. Enjoy!