29 February 2008

Just go rewrite the calendar, why doncha?

As I pointed out here, the sad news is that people who were born on leap day are unlikely ever to celebrate a golden birthday. That fact is so sad, it causes me to weep mightily.

Have you ever wondered why we have leap years? Or April Fool's Day, for that matter? You can thank Pope Gregory XIII. He and some other guy didn't like the fact that the Julian Calendar rounded the length of the year off wrong, so every year, the first day of spring (which I think was used as a marker to determine various religious holidays) fell on a slightly earlier date. At some point it became so early in the year that they decided to revisit the whole calendar thing. They created the Gregorian calendar way back in the 16th century... 365 days in a year, plus a leap year every fourth year, except for "centenary years," which are only leap years if they're divisible by 400.

TMI? Ah, sorry. Calendars are yet another random interest of mine.

SO... way, way later... 1752, if I remember correctly (shoot, now you know how old I am!) the UK (which was not called the UK at the time) adopted the calendar. At least, that was the first full year that they used the calendar. Shifting dates, confusion, craziness, etc. April Fool's Day was the day that would have been the start of the year, except that the Gregorian Calendar made January the beginning of the year... the "April fools" were the people who (silly them) forgot that April was no longer the start of the year.

Ever wondered why Orthodox Easter, etc. are on different days than Roman Catholic Easter? That also ties into the calendar change. They still estimate some of their holidays by using the Julian calendar, which predated the Gregorian calendar.

And you think your calendar is stable now? Ha, hardly -- just look at the way they keep moving Mr. Ben Franklin's beloved Daylight Savings Time around. Incidentally, don't forget to change your clock next weekend! :)

26 February 2008

This will save you some time on Election Day

Ah, well, there goes the illusion of democracy. I hope our nation's shadowy overlords forgive the technical glitch.

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Hooray for the illusion of democracy! :)

22 February 2008

Work is fun!!

Ah, Google. They're all about tricking us into working for them... for free. The latest? Google Image Labeler. It's clever, actually. You and some arbitrary other Internet user team up to assign labels to images... you have to guess labels until you both say the same thing. Once you both come up with the same label for an image, you get points and move on to another image.

Interesting idea! Keywording, the game.

p.s. maybe it's not new, but I hadn't noticed it before today..

17 February 2008

Thanks, Hollywood writers, for caving in

Life without Hollywood writers has been pretty rocky. I wasn't sure whether I'd survive. I've had to resort to watching reality TV! Oh, that's right, I watch reality shows anyway. Never mind, then. But life without good writing really is miserable.

Case in point: that new movie, Jumper. Ugh. It was like The OC trying to do SciFi. Our guess is that desperate movie producers hired 14-year-olds to write the script. It was JUST THAT BAD. I gave it two stars (out of five) on Netflix. Later realized that it didn't have enough redeeming qualities to push it to 2 stars. I need to go back and cut that rating in half.

Lost has been good so far. Better than Season 3, which was just meh.

Project Runway = GREAT! This has been a good season. It's up there with Season 1 and Season 2 (I've convinced myself that Daniel Vosovic won Season 2).

Celebrity Apprentice has been mostly blah, with the exception of one bright star. Country star, that is. And I don't even like country music! I have been nothing but impressed by Trace Adkins. He sits quietly in the corner during brainstorming, arms folded or hands together. Inane ideas float about. Then suddenly he decides to voice an idea, in his deep Southern drawl. Every time, it's this genius marketing slogan. He's like the country music version of Gandalf. I want him to win. But that doesn't mean I have to like his music. :)

Oh, important news: FINALLY, the SciFi channel is going to have an HD channel!! We're getting it in my area on 1 March. Exciting event--must party!! Ooh, yikes, I'm afraid I've become a boring person...


15 February 2008

Just needs a little sparkle

Feeling down this Valentine's Day? Just add a little sparkle to your life...

10 February 2008

It's that time again

It's February 10th already. And you know what that means: less than a week until... the Great Backyard Bird Count! Oh, yeah, you thought I was going to say Valentine's Day, didn't you. I'm saving that for another day.

SO, what's this bird count thing? Basically, you sit at home and stare out the window. You can do this in a depressed manner, if you like... that may help round out the Valentine's Day season. If you see any birds, try to figure out what they are (this can help), and then submit the info. It doesn't take long, and there's the added bonus of creeping out any neighbors who see you sitting at the window, simply staring (even better... with binoculars). Rockin'.