Another blog!

That's amazing!

This will SO totally work, guys!

Newsflash: public schools are completely incompetent at finding effective ways to keep teenagers from drinking and doing drugs.

Granted, this was a student's senior project. Granted, any effort to keep students from drinking and driving is better than none. But come on, this sounds like a bad SNL sketch.

I'm sure there were a lot of students in that assembly thinking, "Wow, this morning I planned on getting wasted after Prom. Now I realize that if I do, the Grim Reaper might blow out my candle."

Apple can be an A**hole

This is an old article, but it was just bannered over my gmail. It goes over how Apple is apparently a notorious rip-off artist.

I mean, come on! Look at that Intel/Postal Service video!

And the first thing that came to my mind? The smug superiority of those Mac vs. PC ads. If Apple steals so much of their advertising, I wonder if there's some pissed-off guy somewhere that's filed a lawsuit over those.

Hold on a minute

Wait, let me get this straight--someone that works for the U.S. government upheld the Bill of Rights?!?

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken apparently did just that.

Does everyone remember the Brandon Mayfield story from a few years ago? The Feds conducted illegal searches on his home and office because they thought he might be connected to the Madrid train bombings.

This classy judge lady said that that wasn't cool.

"For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law — with unparalleled success. A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised," she wrote.

By asking her to dismiss Mayfield's lawsuit, the judge said, the U.S. attorney general's office was "asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights, by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. This court declines to do so."


Our Founding Fathers can roll a little bit less than usual in their graves tonight.

Colin Orthmann on Famecast

Hello, all. Time for a shameless plug!

My younger brother, Colin Orthmann, is a Top Five finalist on Famecast.com. This is an online music contest with twelve different categories. Colin and his band made it through four rounds of voting to get to this point, and last week they flew out to Austin, Texas to compete live for the grand prize.

You can see the webcast at famecast.com on Stage 8. Voting is only open for two more days and ends at noon eastern time on Tuesday, August 7th. So please go to the site and watch Colin's video and vote for him. If you don't, Dylan will delete your Mboffin account.

Huzzah!

Speaking of T-shirts...

I'm hooked on Threadless.

Such a simple concept: users create t-shirts and submit their designs. Then the designs are put on the site and anyone can vote on how much they like each shirt. The best shirts get made and the designers get paid.

Simple and fun, no matter how you're participating. And they're cheap, too.

I'm going to go buy me some shirts.

Google's "My Maps"

I noticed Google's new maps feature at around the same time I was figuring out Orbitz's suggested flight itineraries, as mentioned in my last post. I thought it might be fun to play around with it and plot the flight paths on a map.

The application is very simple and easy to use. I was able to throw this map together in under twenty minutes. And yes, I know you techie guys could probably do it a lot faster.

Anyhow, here it is.

I have one complaint, so far. A running list of the placemarks, lines, shapes, etc. that you have made is created along the left side of the screen as you go along. If you were just trying to tag a lot of random landmarks, this would be fine.

For my purposes, however, I would prefer to have an ordered list so you could see the flights in order. Or, let's say I wanted to list the cities alphabetically. I don't see any way to change the order of the items in the list, short of creating the map in the exact order I'll want the items in that list to appear. This, of course, would be extremely annoying.

Anyone else have any good ideas for using My Maps?

I Don't Understand This

My girlfriend and I have briefly discussed the idea of me flying down to Utah to meet her parents. While this idea is still very much in the "What if?" stage, I took a look on orbitz.com today just to see what the flight would cost.

The flight would be a one-way trip from Portland to (I assume) Salt Lake City, since if I went we would be driving her truck back up to Oregon.

Orbitz's first, and cheapest, suggestion was that I fly to Las Vegas, have an 1hr 52min layover, and then fly to SLC. This would cost me a total of $193 and would take 5hr and 22min. Hmmm, I say to myself, that sounds reasonable, but let's see what else they have.

Orbitz's second suggestion is that I still fly to Vegas first--but get this--for only six dollars more they'll throw in an extra 8hr layover, fly me southwest to Los Angeles (for those who don't have a map handy, SLC is exactly in the opposite direction), give me another hour layover, and then fly me to SLC.

Why would I want to do that? Is the eight hour layover in Vegas supposed to give me time to gamble?

If I scroll down further, I find that I also have options to fly to Idaho or Arizona first. But here's my hands-down favorite: for only $339, Alaska will fly me north to Seattle, by turboprop I might add, east to Boise, and then south to SLC, in economy seating all the way, for a trip that takes over 12 hours.

Why would I want to do this?

Wait, hold on, Orbitz is telling me to "Act Fast! Only 3 tickets left at this price!"

An Excellent Analogy

Politics can often make me feel a variety of emotions that I find hard to put into words. It appears that Mr. Wayne Gladstone might have felt the same way, as he has written an excellent piece on McSweeney's that voices his frustration with the current administration.

How does he do it? By stating that THE AMERICANS WHO VOTED FOR GEORGE W. BUSH WISH TO RETURN THEIR TELEVISION.

If you go to the site after Tuesday, scroll down to the bottom of the page to find this title along with other previous pieces.

New Low for a Morning Show

I've always hated morning radio talk shows, ever since I was being driven to elementary school as a kid and arguing with my brothers over what station to listen to. Who wants to listen to a bunch of immature jerk-offs in the morning?

Inane pranks and stunts are a mainstay of these shows, and they're usually harmless. It looks like some typical morning show jerk-offs in California, however, managed to kill somebody today.

Thank god for Portland's NRK. They play music in the morning--quite a revolutionary concept.

A moment of silence, please.

The Crocodile Hunter is dead. Fittingly, he went out doing what he loved. He was killed while trying to get ridiculously close to a dangerous animal. Read about it here.

To the Crocodile Hunter!