Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Salt Lake City Courtroom Drama

A friend forwarded this to me. I thought it was worth sharing:

Salt Lake City, UT 12/10/08 (AP) - A seven-year-old boy was at the center of a Salt Lake City courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him. After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Cougars football team of BrighamYoung University, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What does 200 calories look like?

This was a little more revealing than desired after pounding 3 chocolate chip cookies, a 20 oz root beer, a half pound Cafe Rio burrito, and a mountain dew all before 3PM...

Be sure to check out the link above to see calories per gram for each of the foods listed below as well as several others:

To my credit, I had a banana, yogurt, granola bar, and 16oz water for breakfast. That's gotta count for something. Right?

Definitely making me think twice about sweets this season.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Using Internet Explorer? Time to switch!

As you know, I am a web designer. One of the most frustrating parts of my job is testing to make sure the code I write sits well across a variety of web browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc... and also in different versions. Most of my code is pretty bullet proof until it gets to Internet Explorer, particularly version 6. All versions of IE are fundamentally flawed in that they do not render the web as it should be rendered. If it shows up correctly, it means that some poor designer had to painstakingly write hacks and workarounds to yield to its wrath. Unfortunately, 26% of people are using IE7, and 20% are still using IE6 (source).

But, I'm used to Internet Explorer, why should I switch?

1) If you're using IE, you're poisoning the productivity of web developers everywhere! Too manipulative? How about this? If you're using IE, you don't love me.

2) IE is NOT SECURE. On Tuesday, December 16, 2008 (that's today), BBC News published an article wherein web experts urged people to switch to a secure browser. Hackers have discovered exploits which let them steal your passwords. Currently, this happens very rarely, but...
"It won't be long before someone reverse engineers this exploit for more fraudulent purposes. Trend Mico's advice [of switching to an alternative web browser] is very sensible," he said.
3) Other browsers are awesome! My favorite one is Firefox. You can add in some really cool plugins that make your browser experience more enjoyable. Plus, Firefox will load your web pages much faster, and especially improve web-based applications like Gmail and other mail clients.

You can download all of these browsers for free and import all of your bookmarks from IE with a few simple clicks (they'll hold your hand after you install). It will take you less than five minutes. I promise you won't regret it. Here's the list:

Apple's Safari
Mozilla's Firefox
Google's Chrome

All excellent choices. Go now, and sin no more.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


For those of you not yet familiar with Woot! yet, it's high time you learn. They advertise one deal a day. That's it. You can go and buy something, but just one something, because tomorrow, that something will be something new. They have some really cool stuff, and even a sister site for shirts ( Every month or so they send out a newsletter, and the copy writing—like their business model and website—is brilliant. I was loling at this month's issue, so I thought I'd share...

Attention, mikemetcalf:

Welcome to Woot's first official recession-era newsletter! For the next 12 to 24 months, all citizens are expected to fret over, worry about, or even directly experience the nadir of a consumerist society - OMG! What will we do when we stop buying stuff? Economists now agree that we're headed through a prolonged period of decreased consumer spending (you really need an advanced degree to come up with insights like that). Beyond that, it's anybody guess. Will the only growth sectors in the economy be shoe repair, pipe salvage, and roadside apple sales? Or will we bring on a quick recovery by doing patriotic things like buying stuff we can't afford and spending more money than we make?

As a retailer, it'd make sense for us to fall in with the BUY STUFF, AMERICA conga line. But by now, you know that we at Woot never do things the "normal", "sensible", "rational", "intelligent" way. We're not about to follow the herd over a cliff. When we go over a cliff, it's because of our own poor judgment, not someone else's. That's been our credo since about five minutes ago, when we first thought of it. And we've stayed true to it ever since.

That's why we're encouraging you and your fellow wooters to save this holiday season. Save your money! Save until you pull a saving muscle. Horde your money until you are literally choking on it. Save until maybe, like, mid-February or so, when the market will be a-glut with great deals for the taking every day. You'll avoid the crowds, take advantage of desperate retailers, and not have to hear "Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time" even once.

Sure, maybe you'll disappoint some of your loved ones. But if they really love you, they can wait a couple of months, especially if your finances are at stake. Besides, if your so-called loved ones wanted you to set yourself on fire, would you? Of course you wouldn't. And that's the kind of independent thinking that will one day break the mindless conformity of our consumerist holiday ways.

But be warned: you'll want to stay far away from this week. The breadth and scope of bargains we'll be offering - especially starting Tuesday morning at midnight - will be powerfully tempting. They could even lead you back down the spend-spend-spend path with the rest of the sheep. And that would make us sad enough to cry while we're taking your money.

See you in February!