Monday, March 31, 2008

Epica - Never Enough

Here is a video of the song "Never Enough" by Epica. The song is from the Divine Conspiracy album which I reviewed last week and which is pictured on the left.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Anonymous Attacks Epileptics

That disgusting group of Internet terrorists who call themselves "Anonymous" last weekend attacked an epilepsy support message board. That may not sound like a big deal but what they did redirected users of the site to pages that were designed to cause seizures.

The attack began with the posting of messages embedded with flashing animated graphics. When that didn't cause enough harm they added code to redirected users' browsers to a page with a more complex image designed to trigger seizures.

One victim said, "I was on the phone when it happened, and I couldn't move and couldn't speak." Another victim said she suffered a daylong migraine. The report said that everyone who logged on was effected to some extent some with headaches and others with actual seizures.

What kind of sickos would do something like that?

Read the full story here: Hackers Assault Epilepsy Patients via Computer

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Frank Sinatra tries an experiment

Here is a video of an incredible musical experiment that the one and only Frank Sinatra tried in his early career. (You can tell why he stuck with his well known "old blue eyes" style.)

Thanks to Stuff&Junk for bringing this important piece of cultural history to my attention.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Review: The Divine Conspiracy by Epica

Simone Simons

I got three CDs from my awesome daughter for my birthday and although I intended to listen to them all I've gotten stuck on the first one because it is so good! The Divine Conspiracy by Epica.

I'm not sure whether to say this is a metal album that uses an orchestra or that it is an orchestral album that uses a metal band. The orchestra and keyboards that sound like an orchestra are a major part of this album and all of the musical themes are either carried by the orchestra (and I include the keyboards in that) or the vocals.

I was half way through my first listen of the CD when I realized there hadn't been a single guitar solo, and that's how it continued. I've never heard a metal album that didn't have a single guitar solo, but strangely enough the album does not suffer because of it. The way the orchestra, operatic chorus, solo vocals and metal band are blended together is masterful.

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of guitar and plenty of metal band in the album. Any mere mortal who isn't into metal would probably find the album way too loud and blasting for their tastes but the guitar is rhythm guitar not lead guitar.

Now to the music itself: I would categorize it as operatic orchestral metal. The "metal" can get very metal at times with grunt vocals, pounding rhythms and amazing speed. The "orchestral" can get very orchestral too, with entire sections of the album containing no band. And the "operatic" can get ... you guessed it ... very operatic with beautiful harmonies and solos.

The vocals of Simone Simons are absolutely beautiful. This girl has an incredible voice.

So, get the album and enjoy!

12 April 2008 - I did hear one guitar solo! Thought I'd better put that in :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Windows Vista SP1 Installation

I finally managed to install Windows Vista SP1. Hoo-flippin-ray!

I tried to do it about 3 weeks ago but after taking an hour to fail to install it then took another hour to roll-back the installation. I appreciated the fact that Windows still worked after the roll-back, but I was not exactly overjoyed at the installation failing.

After the roll-back I was presented with a dialog telling me the installation it failed (you don't say) and giving me a link to an article on Microsoft's Support site that was all about SP1 installation failures.

I ran the disk and memory diagnostic tools as recommended, but nothing came up. The real thing that solved the problem was "Resolution 5: Restart the computer and close or disable any applications that may be running". It recommends turning off anti-virus and anti-spyware, so today, when I finally had the time free to do it, I did just that and ... drum roll please ... it installed without a hitch.

I must admit (blush) that the initial installation instructions did recommend disabling anti-virus and anti-spyware, so I really only have myself to blame.

Well, now I'm using it and I'm hoping that the only bug I've hit so far will go away. The bug is that when I connect up to the network at work on a wire the first time I try to do something on the network (you know, something real complex like copying a file) Windows locks up. After I turn off and restart, the problem goes away. Also if I start up, wait for all the beginning activity to calm down and then do a restart, the problem does not occur. So, tomorrow at work I'll see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Anonymous - Some History

The online terror group called "Anonymous" has been around for a while. Here is a report from FOX news that led to a "denial of service" attack on the Fox News website:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Smoking Tooth

If you ever had doubts about the safety of silver amalgam fillings (aka Mercury fillings) then here is a video to remove any doubts:

You have to wonder why, with so much evidence of the dangers of silver amalgam fillings (aka mercury fillings), the American Dental Association still insists that they are safe. Could it be they are terrified of the court cases if they admitted that they had been knowingly poisoning millions of human beings for over a hundred years?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Uncle Sam gives us something back

Usually at this time of year we are bitching and moaning about how much we have to pay to Uncle Sam in taxes (April 15th is drawing near) and the rest of the year we are bitching and moaning about how Uncle Sam is spending our hard earned tax dollars: spending trillions on wars, trillions on maintaining a military presence in 150 countries (total US Military budget), funding ridiculous "science" experiments, etc., etc.

But, good news, Uncle Sam is giving you something for free. Yes my friends, on Sunday (March 9th) you will receive a free one-hour's worth of jet-lag from Uncle Sam! Just spring your clocks forward an hour and it will be just like you flew east one time zone!

Isn't democracy great?

And remember, the time change occurs at 2am, so set your alarm to wake you up in time to spring your clocks forward!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Incredible new antidepressant (satire)

Pharmaceutical maker, LillyGlaxoWyeth, has just announced the launch of their latest product, Placebozac.

Placebozac (also known my its chemical name "placebo") is an antidepressant that was proven in a recent study to be just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Seroxat), venlafaxine (Effexor) and nefazodone (Serzone). You can read the results of the study by the University of Hull here: "Prozac Doesn't Work"

"The great advantage with Placebozac over the traditional antidepressants," said spokesperson Ima Fake, "is that it doesn't have the usual minor side-effects of psychiatric drugs such as suicide, violent behavior, depression, anxiety, bizarre dreams, emotional numbing, delusions, hallucinations, headaches, heart attacks, hostility, impotence, psychotic episode, paranoia, seizures, sexual dysfunction, homicidal ideation and all the rest. There is even a possibility that if people switch to Placebozac the number of school shootings may decrease. Although, as a member of the pharmaceutical industry, I will say right here and now that antidepressants have nothing whatsoever to do with school, postal or any other kind of shootings, however, our marketing department insisted I mention it."

The new drug will be available soon at only $200 for a bottle of 40, 10mg tablets. In the mean time you can get a sample at a reduced introductory price from your local candy store - just ask for "sugar pills".

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Addictive Prescription Drugs

I just found out about a radio show that addresses the widespread, but little known problem of prescription drug addiction. The show is called Prescription Addiction Radio and you can hear the shows on the Listen to Past Shows page.

I listened on Sunday (Heroin-Cocaine-Morphine -Nothing New as Silence Continues.... Youth visit the Studio - Comments from Generation Rx) and was impressed.

The host has good data and his guests were three young adults who know about this problem. One guest works at a clinic that helps people get off prescription drugs and he related some horrors of prescription drug addiction.

It's amazing how uninformed doctors will give out dangerous, addictive drugs as if they were candy. One caller to the show had been on Methadone for six years. Six years of prescription drugs that resulted in addiction that he is still trying to get over. The amazing thing is that if you look up Methadone on the Internet you will find people extolling its virtues! It's sad to see what great PR huge amounts of money from drug companies can buy.

Anyway, I recommend you listen to the show. If you aren't in an area where it is broadcast you can listen to it on the net.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Human Trafficking

Since I was a kid I've regarded slavery as a sort of "absolute". It was just "bad". There were no shades of grey, it was a clear case of black & white. Slavery was bad. Any form of it was bad. Well, now I've revised my opinion. There are some forms of it that are even worse than I could ever have imagined.

Most people think that slavery no longer exists. It was outlawed a long time ago and we are now an enlightened civilization and we don't allow such things - oh yeah?

My son just did a walk for human rights and when he returned home he gave me a shopping bag he'd received with the logo of the "Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking" on it. I checked out their website and saw some of the horrors going on in this world.

It is hard to believe that this horrific trade in humanity still goes on but it does and in this country.

If you want to do something to help stop this terrible trade then the resources for reporting and volunteering are here: Join the Fight Against Human Trafficking