Saturday, November 20, 2010

Belated Thoughts on The Kyle XY Final Episode

Okay, it's been a while since the series ended so abruptly. I meant to post a review a while back, but just never got around to it; either I was too busy to do it or too bitter. Mostly the former. Mostly.

Anyway, it's been a while since I watched it and don't remember everything (I guess I could watch it again on Hulu, but frankly I'm more into reruns of Enterprise these days, sci-fi wise) but I do remember this thought: I'm not so sure Jessi's clone-mom is really dead. She had some of the same abilities as Jessi, and one thing Jessi did was fake her own death by slowing down her heart to an apparent stop - precisely what she heard her clone-mom's heart do. It wouldn't have surprised me at all to have seen her make a reappearance in the next or subsequent season, had the series not been canceled.

Yes, I know the final season DVD includes a special section on what would have happened. I don't have it; I'm holding out hope for someone to some day pick up the series. It was really out of place on that network.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Way To Catch Those Special Moments?

This looks interesting. It's a bluetooth earpiece with a built-in always-on video camera. It buffers the last few hours of video, and has a button to save the last 30 seconds as a clip. There's editing software to pull clips from the larger buffer. Apparently you can do it from certain smart phones as well, and post to various places.

It looks like just the sort of thing to capture those unexpected special moments. Just this morning my son was leaning back against the seat of the recliner while drinking from his sippy cup. He slipped (as he often does when leaning on furniture like that) and fell flat on his side, cup still in his mouth. It was cute and I recalled seeing this device. Maybe once the price comes down and the technology matures a little I'll get one.

Looxcie Wearable Bluetooth Camcorder System with White Camera Boom, Power Supply, Micro USB Cable, Ear Buds (Black)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Thought: The Paradox of Freedom

What is freedom? The state of being free to do what you want, to make decisions, to act. Basically, it's having options. The more options you have, the freer you are.

But if all you do is try to maintain your freedom by keeping your options open, by not committing to an action or choice, you've effectively reduced your options to nothing. You've made yourself one of the least free people around.

Keeping your options open can be a valuable part of a strategy to reach a goal or maximize happiness, but only if the part it plays is to let you commit at the right time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What Say The Post-Vroomers?

Driving home from dinner out today, wife & kid in the car, I got to thinking about kids and toy cars.

Back in the day it was, as I imagine it still is, inevitable that a kid playing with a toy car would make "vroom! vroom!" noises, or something to that effect, while pushing it around through maneuvers that would make any Hollywood stunt driver cringe. I'm pretty sure my kid will do the same.

But what about the kids of the next generation, or, more accurately, the kids of the first generation to know only electric cars or whatever ultimately replaces cars powered by internal combustion? Will "vroom! vroom!" continue to be passed on from generation to generation like the many nursery rhymes that still get recited after outlasting all cultural context? Or like the "tick-tock" of clocks of yesteryear? Or will the youths of that future generation coin their own onomatopoeia?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Seth Godin's Got It Wrong About Secret Ballots

I subscribe to the RSS feed of Seth Godin's blog. He's a bright guy, but he doesn't always get things right.

He says in his blog entry (When technology and tradition diverge) today:

"When the secret ballot was introduced, it just wasn't possible to count the votes in less than a few days. So a tradition was established, driven by the technology, not because it was the best way. Now, of course, the technology doesn't need that tradition any longer, but it's still here."

He's totally wrong about the purpose of secret ballots.

The purpose of secret ballots is to ensure that voters can vote their conscience without fear of repercussions from those who would coerce them to vote one way or another. It has nothing to do with any inability to have a running count. (Godin may simply be confused about what "secret ballot" means.) Even small groups who could easily have a running total using nothing more than their fingers use secret ballots too when they feel the need. Other groups specifically avoid secret ballots, particularly when those who are voting are representing groups of constituents and need to be held accountable for their votes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm The Cat In The Hat, Baby

My son, who is now 15 months old, insists I wear my hat all the time, even at home.

I know I shouldn't take offense at that, and I'm really not sensitive about my baldness at all, but part of me wonders about what he's thinking.

I guess he probably just associates it with going-out fun-times dad. Or maybe he just thinks it's amusing that I have this thing on my head.

Anyway, I need a haircut and plan to do it tonight, so we'll see if that's it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trading Places Fisher Price Style

For his first birthday our son received a Fisher-Price Little People Build 'n Fun Jungle.

It's a bucket of building blocks with a couple Little People animals: a monkey and a zebra. The blocks include a couple pieces representing a stand of jungle vegetation and some tall grass, with a lion and tiger decal respectively. The lid serves as a base for the building blocks.

He enjoys it a lot, particularly the bucket which is rectangular and mostly transparent. He likes to put it on his head. It's okay, though; the bucket is irregularly shaped on the ends and has holes in the bottom so there's always a way for air to get in and out. And he never keeps it on for very long. The blocks seem to be easier for him to catch on to than the mega-blox he also got. I think the big shallow pegs and simple shapes help. He is starting to catch on to the mega-blox too now and I think the Fisher Price blocks contributed to that skill building.

They are not without flaws, however, as an astute reader may have already noted. The name of the toy implies a jungle theme, but two of the animals - the zebra and lion - are not jungle animals. And, as seen here, the lion and tiger have traded habitats.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Did It Not Occur To Them?

It just occurred to me: what exactly did Scooby Doo's teen gang think the circumstances were that led that caveman to be frozen in ice in such a nonchalant pose? It seems to me he would have been in a pose suggesting panic, struggle, or perhaps exhaustion. Or, more likely, shown evidence of dieing before being frozen.

It would have to be one hell of a cold snap to freeze him in place like that, and very unexpected seeing how he's dressed for summer weather.

I like to think I would have called shenanigans right away.

Anyway, the episode is "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright" and it's available in Scooby Doo, Where Are You! - The Complete First and Second Seasons.