I Almost Wish I Hadn’t Voted Early

Posted in Personal, Politics on November 4, 2008 by Brian

I read this article this morning and it got me thinking.  Maybe I voted for the wrong guy.  Allow me to explain.

I am not questioning whether John McCain would make a good president.  In fact I am not even saying Barack Obama would make a better president because I don’t think he will.  I say will because I know he is most likely going to win today and after my thinking today I am okay with that.

I have supported John McCain for a long time.  I wanted him to win the primary in 2000 because I see in him the qualities the first senators possesed ages ago in Rome.  I believe that he always has and always will do what is best for the people of America regardless of party lines.  That is the reason I cast my absentee ballot for him on Friday.  But today I realized maybe that wasn’t a good enough reason.

Maybe John McCain is the leader America deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

I think Barack Obama is too inexperianced to be President of the United States.  I think his policies are too socialist for our country.  As an aside, notice that does not say “OMG Obama iz socialist!!!!1!”.  I know what socialism is, contrary to what Bill Mahr said last week I am aware that a socialist is not someone who spends a lot of time on Facebook, and in my opinion Obama’s policies, especially his healthcare plan, look very socialist.

Even with all of my reservations maybe Obama is exactly what this country needs right now.  He has given hope to millions of Americans and I am not talking about the cheesy slogan with the painted picture of him.  People are actually involved in politics this year.  I have seen hundreds of people my age actually participating in government.  I am not talking about just putting a sticker on their car or a sign in their window but actually participating by volunteering to help register voters or pass out information to make sure voters are informed.

This kind of particiption is what democracy is all about.  The freedom of the American people to participate on this level is exactly what inspired me to dream of one day being President of this country.  So maybe I should have voted for the other guy, just to make sure that my peers didn’t lose their hope in our system and stayed as involved in the future as they are right now.


Ohh Little Brother

Posted in Random on October 25, 2008 by Brian

I was searching for information on whether the Golf Course was open today or not and found this.  Made me laugh a lot.  Mainly because it’s true.

An excerpt from the Michigan Daily:

“I was just laughing. I thought it was funny. They got excited. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you’re playing basketball and you let him get the lead. Then you just come and take it back.”-Mike Hart on Nov. 3, 2007

As much as you try to escape it, Hart has you all figured out, Michigan State. You can run from the truth all you want, but everything you do screams “little brother.”

You’re little brother because the only comeback Mark Dantonio could think of was to call Hart short.

You’re little brother because Chad Henne doesn’t rhyme with douchebag.

You’re little brother because of Braylon Edwards.

You’re little brother because football, not basketball, is America’s favorite college sport.

You’re little brother because “your” biggest win last year was by a I-AA school.

You’re little brother because John L. Smith slapped himself.

You’re little brother because you planted a flag in South Bend, then fought Illinois for doing it to you.

You’re little brother because Sportsline.com’s Dennis Dodd listed Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio (along with coaches from Temple, Cincinnati and Brigham Young) before the season as “coaches who will soon have big-time jobs.”

You’re little brother because you’re the lowest-rated school academically in the Big Ten.

You’re little brother because you’re too dumb to care.

You’re little brother because when your plans to copy the historic success of Michigan football went up in flames against Ohio State on Saturday, you (allegedly) tried to emulate the Wolverines’ (alleged) football player-on-hockey player violence.

You’re little brother because you probably don’t know what emulate means.

You’re little brother because your girls’ fake tans, sloppy blonde dye-jobs and low standards don’t mean they’re that hot.

You’re little brother because you can’t be a great party school and charge five dollars for a cup.

You’re little brother because the University of Chicago has more Big Ten football titles than you do.

You’re little brother because your inferiority complex is so big that “smash right through that line of blue” and “Michigan is weakening”
were lines in your original fight song.

You’re little brother because you had a clock counting down the seconds until the Michigan game months before the game time was decided.

You’re little brother because after all the clock hype, you lost anyway.

You’re little brother because rioting and couch burning are the highlights of your college years.

You’re little brother because you don’t understand that jokes like “What does a Michigan State grad call a Michigan grad? Boss.” can’t be reversed, so you do it anyway.

You’re little brother because you were giddy with your football team’s
7-6 record last season, which would have been the Wolverines’ worst in
23 years.

You’re little brother because you’ve tried to replace a 111-year tradition of mediocrity with clips from “300.”

You’re little brother because you take being favored against Michigan as a victory in itself.

You’re little brother because, deep down, you know your annual collapse is just beginning.

You’re little brother because six straight will become seven on Saturday.

Thanks to the writer of UMTailgate.com for that.

Make Facebook Chat work like AIM

Posted in Technology with tags , , , on October 24, 2008 by Brian

Facebook Chat seems to be the future of chat applications.  I know alot of people who have said they no longer sign on to AIM and just use Facebook Chat to talk to people.  In reality it makes sense.  With Facebook Chat you don’t have to memorize completely undescriptive AIM handles like ‘kooldude47’ (mine, ‘unvme1212’, on the other hand is completely descriptive since you clearly envy me).  Another point for Facebook Chat is that your buddy list is already built for you.  My only complaint was that I had to stay on Facebook to use it.

Well last week I found a way to remedy that.  I have always been a fan of the AIM approach.  I like having all of my buddies on a side bar on the screen so I can decide who to pester when I am procrastinating.  Enter the Facebook Chat Plugin for Pidgin.

Now I had already been using Pidgin as my IM client of choice since AIM doesn’t make a version compatible with my Ubuntu Linux machine, but for those of you who still haven’t embraced open source I will elaborate.  According to their website:

Pidgin is a multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once.

Pidgin can work with AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, Groupwise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, MySpaceIM, QQ, SILC, SIMPLE, Sametime, XMPP, Yahoo!, and Zephyr

The best part about Pidgin is that it is free and open source.  Which also means that it has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux which a lot of commercial programs don’t offer.  If you want to learn more about open source check out The Open Source Initiative.

Enough of me pushing the beauties of open source, back to the Facebook Chat Plugin.  I found the plugin on Google Code, which is a great little repository of open source code(last time I promise).  Installation was easy enough and after adding a new account to Pidgin I found myself not being able to tell the difference between AIM messages and Facebook Chat messages(I use Pidgin to display everyone by their first and last names on AIM instead of as screen names so when Greg messaged me on both I had to look at buddy icons to distinguish the two).

There has been one negative side effect of the plugin that I have seen.  When I am signed into Facebook Chat through Pidgin I don’t get Notifications from Facebook.  I am assuming this is being caused by the Pidgin Plugin’s ability to treat Notifications to be displayed as e-mails in Pidgin.  If I figure out how to fix that I will post an update to let everyone know how I did it.  For now I am just checking my Notifications manually with the little sign in the bottom right hand corner of Facebook.

For me the trade off is worth it.  If you want to try it for yourself I have included links to Pidgin and the Facebook Chat Plugin at the bottom of this post.  This is my favorite part about open source(so I lied about not pushing it again) when a program doesn’t have the functionality users want, someone else can add that functionality and everyone benifits.  It reminds me of the book I am reading but I will save that for another day.

Facebook Chat Plugin for Pidgin

If you have any questions about setting it up feel free to leave me a comment.

A Note to The Next President

Posted in Random with tags , , on October 21, 2008 by Brian

Here is your warning.

Now don’t say that no one warned you.

The link is to an article I read this morning on the Wired Magazine website.   Apparently the Hayward Fault which lies underneath the San Fransisco Bay Area is poised for a massive earthquake sometime in the near future.  An earthquake of the magnitude predicted would cause a disaster of Katrina like proportions.  Let’s see if FEMA can lower it’s response time by a day or two this time.

According to the article this disaster could be even more costly than Katrina since upwards of 90% of the Bay Area property is uninsured against earthquake damage.  Which means there will be no insurance money to rebuild the area, only state and federal money.

Seriously I am going to be pissed if everyone acts confused about how this could have happened when it does.  The U.S. Geological Survey is telling us it’s going to happen; if you aren’t going to do something to prepare for it, at least don’t play dumb when it happens.

The End of Cancer?

Posted in Random with tags on April 14, 2008 by Brian

Last night I was watching I Am Legend with a few of my friends.  At the beginning of the movie when Alice Kripon is being interviewed about how she cured cancer one of them said “You guys we are going to hear that some day.”  We all gave the standard yea hopefully response.

This morning I woke up having completely forgot the exchange until I read this article on Wired.com.  Apparently a retired businessman and radio technician named John Kanzius has found a 100% percent effective way to kill cancer cells tagged with nanoparticles using radio waves.  Basically a cell is tagged with an incredibly tiny piece of gold or carbon and the radio waves heat it up and it literally cooks the cancer cell.  The best part is that, unlike chemotherapy and radiation treatments, there are no side effects and only the tagged cells die.

The treatment is approximately three years from human trials and they still need to figure out an effective way to tag the cancerous cells, but this could be the beginning of the end of cancer.  There was a 60 Minutes interview with Kanzius yesterday if you want more info.

This is an exciting development in cancer research, but I think I am going to invest in guns, canned food, and steel blast doors for my windows and doors just in case.

My Return to Geekdom

Posted in Personal, Technology with tags , , on March 25, 2008 by Brian

Well after almost four years in exile from Geekdom I have returned. Over the past four years I have spent virtually all of my free time playing video games, watching movies, and drinking beer. Until this semester I haven’t had the time I did in high school to explore Geekdom and everything it has to offer. Now that I live alone, and will again next year for my final semester, I again have time to be a part of the new frontier that is Web 2.0.

I blame Ryan Cannon for starting me back up. His influence was completely incidental and I am sure he is still unaware of it. We are both Sigma Chi’s here at Alma, although he graduated before I pledged, which inevitably means we are friends on Facebook. Over the past few weeks I have noticed that whenever Ryan’s status updates would show up on my feed they would always start the same way “Ryan Cannon is twittering:”. I eventually became intrigued enough to go to Google, well really just the search box in the top right corner of Firefox, and type in twittering.

What I found was Twitter. According to the Twitter website:

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Basically I can update my Twitter home page with a new status, up to 140 characters long, either from the web, my Google Desktop, Facebook, or by sending a text message from my phone. The possibilities seemed fascinating to me so I signed up and started using it. After adding the Facebook application I now get my Facebook status updated by Twitter, it now always starts “Brian Deakin is twittering:”, and I love it. It is the perfect way to stay connected with what friends are doing. Now if only I could convince my not so Techy friends to sign up.

So far all Twitter has really done for me is get me to update my Facebook status more often and get me involved in Color Wars 2008. I’m still only half aware of what is going on and why, but the creator kind of explains it in this blog. What I do know is that I am on PinkTeamGo and that I took some pictures of myself throwing rock, paper, and scissors and doctored them up for the first challenge, The Bad Ass RoShamBo. It is incredibly weby and nerdy but it is also entertaining and unique.

The last sign of my return to Geekdom is the existence of this very site. I used to be an emo kid blogger back in high school. I would write about what happened in my day every night before bed and hope that someone read it. This blog is going to be far different. This blog is going to actually be useful. Sometimes it will be full of cool things I have found in the far reaches of Web 2.0, sometimes it will be a somewhat educated(hopefully) rant about some facet of our society that absolutely infuriates me, and sometimes it will be a reaction to some article or rant by someone else that I felt the desire to comment on and share.

Hopefully someone actually will read this. More importantly hopefully it will be worth reading for those who do.

If you made it this far I salute you. If you are on Twitter feel free to follow me. If you want to join the Color Wars 2008 just make sure you join PinkTeamGo. Lastly comments are always appreciated.