Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nekkid Scanners in Regina Airport

There's been a lot of talk recently about the new airport scanners being installed in the US and around the world. I won't go into details, since others have covered it well. Anyway, I was hunting down a list of airports that have the scanners so that I could avoid them. Canadian airports that have them include Vancouver and Toronto, but my mouth just dropped open when I saw the third: YQR, also known as Regina International Airport.


Dunno how I missed that, but I had no idea. Guess I won't be flying anywhere anytime soon. And if I do have to fly, I'm thinking I'll opt for the pat down, simply because it takes up extra time and extra staff, and it's a way to protest the ridiculousness of the security measures. Terrorists are endlessly inventive. You are never going to be able to protect against them 100%. And in the meantime, it's becoming an absolutely miserable experience to travel anywhere by air. If you want to stop terrorism, you have to go to the source. Western Imperialism isn't making us any friends, you know?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gendered Toys and Video Games

This video talks about some familiar stuff for me, especially near the end when she talks about video games. When I was younger, I had a couple of friends who would play computer games with me, but by junior high my girl friends were not into games anymore, so it was always something I did by myself. When I went to university, I found a group of guy-friends who played a lot, so I finally found others with the same interests... but not other girls. And video games are very much designed for boys. Most of the characters are boys, and when there are girls, they are highly sexualized. I wanted to play with girl characters and stubbornly worked my way through Street Fighter playing with Chun Li, the token girl. In some ways, I don't understand the gaming industry. They are missing out on 50% of the population when they don't put female characters in their games and don't put girls in their ads. Next time you're watching tv, watch for video game ads. Then count how many girls you see on the screen. Zero. And there are video games for girls, but like in the video, they are usually stupid games about fashion or makeup that would bore me to death. I know I'm not that weird. Girls would love to play some of those other cool games. Here are a couple more videos made by the same person on the topic of women in games:

Too many dicks! Not enough chicks!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Story of Electronics

This seems appropriate considering my last post:

If you haven't done so yet, check out Annie Leonard's book. Capitalism is BROKEN. It does not work, and the libertarians who run around saying that the market needs to be free and it will regulate itself are delusional. I don't know what we can replace it with, but we've got to do something.

And this is the story of my life. I try not to just eat out all the time. It's unhealthy and take out creates so much waste! But it's so easy...

Friday, November 05, 2010

geeky goodness

So this afternoon my iPod died. :(

I don't know what happened. I had just downloaded some new tunes, went to hook up my iPod to sync it, and the screen suddenly went dark and I have been unable to get a response since. It is at least 3 years old, possibly 4, (I can't quite remember which Christmas it was I got it) but I'm thinking it's long past its warranty and probs not even worth fixing at this point since it's so old. Curse you planned obsolescence and curse you Moore's law!

So now I have to go iPod shopping and I need some advice. What should I get to replace my iPod? Should I get another classic iPod? The truth is, I barely used a quarter of my old iPod's capacity. I am a music lover, but not a music geek, and I never used it for movies or tv shows... although I could have. And I might use it in the future for audiobooks, so maybe I would have eventually used all that extra capacity. And is there a fabulous alternative to the iPod that I'm not aware of? I've heard some good things about Zune, but does that work with iTunes? Bleh. Anyway, that's something I gotta do now. Another unexpected expense. Heh heh. Good thing I'm getting a raise.

And now onto some geeky goodness that didn't cost me a dime... DOSBox. I got a new laptop just under a year ago. It has Windows 7 on it. And it would not play any of my favourite DOS games like Crystal Caves, Commander Keen, Duke Nukem, etc, games which still played on Windows XP. And I was so sad. But then I thought, surely I'm not the only person stuck in the early 90s. And sure enough, I found DOSBox. It took just a few minutes to download and install, it was free, and now I can play all my games on my new computer. It basically creates a DOS interface, so it would work best if, like me, you were already somewhat familiar with general DOS commands (you basically need to know how to change and view directories, they give instructions for the rest, and you're golden!). I just spent the evening playing Commander Keen 5, complete with full music and sound effects, which did not play even in Windows XP, and I hadn't been able to play that game with the sound since our old 386 kicked the bucket. Now all I need to do is install NES and SNES and I'll be in time warp gaming bliss.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I came across another classic from my childhood today. I was ordering new DVDs, and I came across the complete TV series of H.R. Pufnstuf. And I read the description, and suddenly something twigged in my brain, and so I did some research, and indeed, there was a movie that was made in 1970 called Pufnstuf. I specifically remember the scene where the flute comes alive, and also the boat turning evil and him falling in the water. But the memories are pretty fuzzy and vague, so I must've been very young when I saw this. Oh yeah, and as a bonus, one of the witches is played by Cass Elliot! Of course I wouldn't have known who she was then, but cool nonetheless.

YouTube has the full movie, here's the first two segments which have the scenes I remember.