Showing posts from 2011

Yes, we are really like that

Though honestly, we'd probably just get"others" to do it. Ok, so that is the last time I try to schedule posts... I promise. Apparently they would have shown up in 2012. Next time we will just go with "I'm out for a few weeks and will be back later. XOXOXOXOXOXO ~cbeck"


(image by and CC-BY-NC-2.5)

Critters: Living in the Fastlane

Paul tried to explain why he let The Purse Snatcher get away, but it all happened so fast

Unless someone signals that they've figured this out, I think I'll just turn in for the night

Research Triangle, NC (TVN)-- A study published last week in the Journal of Genetic and Mechanical Engineering has experts everywhere questioning the very core of their scientific foundations. According to Dr. Harrison T. Bagsley, A renouned genetics researcher, the same process of evolution and adaptation found in mammals is also driving mutations in the automotive industry. Specifically, in our cars and trucks used for transportation.

"When I first discovered this, I couldn't believe it myself," Dr. Bagsley said, "But the statistics are undeniable." Dr. Bagsley, a down-to-earth scientist who prefers his friends call him Harry, went on to describe the meticulous process in which he personally surveyed over 1000 vehicles. "Each vehicle had the same new mutation - an appendage protruding from the left side of the steering column that moves up and down like a lever."

Dr. Bagsley urges the public to express caution around their transportation while…

A Brief History of the Americas (As best as I can recall it)

On July 4th, Americans everywhere remember what is important in this country. That is, of course, the freedom to pay 5 dollars for a cup of burned coffee. Never mind that the coffee is sold to us from a company that was so sure we'd make them rich they figured their bucks would reach to the stars... what really matters is that we are not drinking tea.

See, the British were once horribly odd folks that liked to put milk in their tea. Apparently no one ever told them this was gross. Tea without milk was not an option for the poor colonies. Adding insult to injury, King George W. Bush insisted the 'Mericans smear Imperial Margerine(TM) on their English Muffins and even began putting thumb-tacks in the tea. As time passed, people got fed up (probably sometime after the middle ages when famine was less prevalent). A group of individuals emerged that decided they'd had enough and were going to do something. No one knows for sure who they were, but at least 4 of them were…

Critters: Charades Buzz Kill


Technical How-To: Changing Oil

This weeks post is brought to you by the letters "L" and the number 0. Representing, respectively, the nature of my work (Lousy, lame, loathsome, loquaciousOk, that's not really an appropriate adjective, but I was running out of Ls and felt like 4 words was better than three) and the amount of time I have available to write this (0 hrs). So then, I will today leave you with a slightly edited version of something I lifted off the net years ago. It's posted all over the place, but my version is better! :)

Oil Change instructions for Women:

1) Pull up to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3000 miles since the last oil change.
2) Drink a cup of coffee.
3) 15 minutes later, write a check and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.

Money spent: Oil Change -$20.00, Coffee -$1.00, Total - $21.00.

Oil Change instructions for Men:

1) Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, write a check …

Friday Funnies Are Epic


Good Dads Have Sticky Fingers, Dirty Mouths, and Happy Bellys

Father's Day is a time for most to celebrate their fathers.  Or, if you happen to be a father, a time to sit back and soak up the free socks, ties, and strange gadgets that you might only use in the event of a nucular holocaust (for example; clean underpants).

Of course, it's also a time when the man of the house gets to choose the restaurant - entailing careful selection of the closest all-you-can-eat buffet serving alcohol during lunch hours (AKA, "The Jimmy Buffet").  After consuming four times the gross national product of the entire Caribbean, Fathers everywhere can sink back into their couch, mutter "Pull mah finger", and watch meaningless analysis of meaningless Baseball games on Sports Center.  (Seriously, just watch the umpires - even they don't care yet.)

I recently had the opportunity to celebrate Father's Day with the "In-Laws".  Even though that sounds like it would be great fodder for developing homicidal tendencies a few goo…

Critters: Friday Funnies Like To Play Games


Evolution and the Technological Revolution

In the mid 1800’s, Charles Darwin invented natural selection. This was a process that allowed natural stuff to kill off those less adaptable to their environment. By less adaptable, of course, we mean dumb.

Later in the next century, and to compensate for the impending doom of the human species, Al Gore invented technology.  Technology’s purpose was initially to make it easier to order a pizza, but quickly became the most popular means available that allowed humans (that were slowly evolving into monkeys) to survive in today’s society.

Consider a recent evolution of technology: the self check-out line. Understand that there was nothing wrong with the original checkout process, in which a pretty blond-headed girl named Cynthia swiped my items past a scanner, and then told me how much money to give her. A nice young man then places these items in a bag, gives me a dirty look because I don't want him to carry them out, and then allows me to go on my way.

There are some, however, that…

Critters: Creepy Sticks

But somehow the stick police can always tell... :( (Click to enlarge. Shared via Creative Commons License [BY-NC-SA-3.0])

Woman tattoos 152 FaceBook Friends onto her arm, asks politely that no one "unfriend" her

And somewhere out there is a person wishing they hadn't posted that drunken, half-naked picture as their profile pic.  Could we chalk this up as a good way for using Facebook to boost your self esteem?  Or maybe the self esteem of others?  Hey, whatever works for you.  Get the full story on YouTube.  And kids, don't try this at home.
image via YouTube screen cap, fair use protected

Hand-baked and prepared with love

It seems you can no longer leave a pet store without passing by a delightful array of gourmet treats.  I would like to meet the person that decided this was necessary.  Survey your average dog as an example.  You will find that they eat:

Why someone decided your pooch needed "delectable" gourmet treats is beyond me.  With that in mind, allow me to share two reasons gourmet dog treats are not a good idea.

1. They can be very confusing. It looks like a chocolate chip cookie. It smells like a chocolate chip cookie... But it does not taste like a chocolate chip cookie. I speak from personal experience. Eating a gourmet dog cookie tastes exactly like it sounds. (And if you thought it "sounds like" eating dog food infused with the sent of home-baked goodies, you are right.)

2. Any time I want to eat a real chocolate chip cookie, cdog now goes into a state of near frenzied panic. This state continues until shifting to a look of perturbed incredulity as he watche…

Feeding you the wrong food

Note, if you've been seeing articles in your RSS reader that look like they belong to someone you have followed, but it turns out these articles are from a different site: Be aware there is a google and/or feedburner issue that is affecting many feeds. This will hopefully be resolved in the near future.

Critters: I'll be here all week

(Click for full resolution [CC-BY-NC-SA-3.0])

Dear Blogger, We Need To Talk...

Sometimes I think there are little gnomes running around in my template. Let me start by saying I like blogger. But I'm not too fond of magically appearing buttons, I must say. Is it odd that I am most annoyed by the fact that it clashes with my color scheme?

(Update):  Ok, this is part of Google's new "+1" feature.  It was added automatically because it is now part of the "share" widget".  We are looking into whether we can change the colors or remove just that without taking away all the rest of the "shares"... Alternatively, maybe I should get counseling about my color OCD... :)

(Update 2)  How to remove google plus one (+1) button

Note, I accept no responsibility if you try this and somehow manage to boggle up your template!

I haven't had luck changing or masking the color scheme, but if you're looking to send it to the curb, here's a few options:

click "expand widgets" and look for:

 <b:if cond='…

This means war (well, it could...)

According to the Wall Street Journal (whose personal motto is '5 articles free or as much as you can read from google'), The Pentagon has decided that computer attacks can be considered an act of war. That's right fellow bloggers, think twice before rallying the troops for a cyber protest (or heist). You never know when the stealth B-52s are gonna shake that cosmic thing and drop a love shack on you.
image via

Believe it or not, it's just me

As a boy of 8 years, I was severely injured while trying to be a hero. My morning began, I suspect like any other Hero's would, by opening my eyes and squinting at the bright sun as it slipped in through the window slats. It was summer time in Florida. A time filled with trips to the beach, TV, and the recklessness of youth. The later being brought about by the bane of every kids existence: boredom. Thus began my brief flirt with heroism.

I went down a mental checklist of what was required to look like a hero, and realized I was lacking height, strength, super powers, and curly hair. Only the later of those could be fixed, so I did what any young boy would do. I pulled out mom's curling iron and began carefully applying heat to my bowl-cut locks. I sang along with the soundtrack playing in my head - "I never thought I could feel so free-heee-heeeee...!"

It was on my third trip trough the chorus that I unwound the last strand of hair and admired my work. I pos…

New Linux Kernel

Linux Kernel 3.0 rc1 goes official today. In the words of Torvaldus:"I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0. It will get released close enough to the 20-year mark, which is excuse enough for me, although honestly, the real reason is just that I can no longer comfortably count as high as 40."
What major changes can you expect? Absolutely none besides the shiny new number.

Critters: Strange Animals

(Click Pic to enlarge [CC-BY-NC-SA])

If you're happy and you know it don't ask her out

A new article in Emotion(APA DOI:10.1037/a0022902) reveals what we all have known for ages: Nice guys get stepped on, spit at, and generally hated by women everywhere finish last. In this study, individuals from several sample groups (including undergraduates and members of social networking sites) were asked to rate the sexual attractiveness of the opposite sex. The end result? Men like their women happy, and women like their men to have some pride. We at the village are sure this has nothing to do with the fact that the photos of prideful men are mostly shirtless. Read the full story at the UBC press release.

(update 2010-05-28): Thanks to a friendly tip, we are happy to report this story has made the front page of the American Psychology Association. Look for the May 24th Article "Brooding Men".

The Village Pheasants are Revolting

Our home is under attack. No, not by marauding Vikings. The 32 stickers indicating our home is protected by an alarm system and "instant death" have seen to it that they stay away. Instead, we have our very own cardinal. Meet Mr. Cardinal:
Mr. Cardinal first made his presence known by rapping on the window pane while The Candid Counselor was hard at work. Initially, this development was thrilling. There may even have been exclamations of "How cute!", "Lookit him ruffle his feathers!", and "Awww... he thinks we're playing a game of Peck-a-Boo!"

Several thousand pecks, a life-time's supply of Asprin, and multiple return visits later; he was not quite so cute. We began to notice the little mannerisms - how he would center himself in the window and flap at us when we came closer to inspect and shoo him away. We watched in awe as his little head bobbed back and forth and twisted side-to-side, glaring at us with one beady eye or the other…

By Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain

The CDC wants YOU to be prepared for the oncoming Zombie Apocalypse. No, seriously. Sure they say if it happens. But we all know it is just a matter of when it happens. Now, despite their best efforts at laying out an action plan, the best course of action is still to take Pete's car, drive over to Mum's, take care of Philip, grab Mum, pick up Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for it all to blow over. And above all else, remember to not get any red on you.
image via CDC

Linux in your browser

Earlier this week, Fabrice Bellard released a JavaScript PC emulator using our favorite operating system, Linux. The emulator is running kernel version 2.6.20 with an ash shell environment (sorry, no xorg). Once booting up, you will find support for copy'n'paste from outside sources, your favorite text editor (vi) and a few other goodies. The emulator will run in Firefox 4.X, Chrome 11, Opera 11.11, and Internet Explorer 9. However, performance is best on Firefox and Chrome due to their support of W3C typed arrays. If you have one of those browsers, hit the link above and start having a ball!

ABC News is Going To Hell

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Friday Funny to bring you this breaking story. According to Dr. Alan E. Kazdin, director of Yale University's Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are going through a personal 9/11. As we all take a moment to weep at this travesty, allow me to introduce you to Dr. Kazdin:

(Please Click Pic to Enlarge [CC-BY-NC-SA])
Also, just because you put "Experts Say" in the title of your story, it does not make you any less of a horrible person for using that quote as a sensational tidbit to bolster ratings. Yes I'm talking to you Ms. Susan Donaldson James.

(Update 11:00 AM) Since the time of writing this, ABC News has removed "personal 9/11" from the title of their story and replaced it with "trauma". The quote from Dr. Kazdin is still there, though it's now a little further down in the text.

Poking your humerous humerus (Updated to fix APA link)

The 18th of May marks the day of the official Mental Health Blog Party. Which is tomorrow, today, or sometime way in the past, depending on when you are reading this. To do my part, we below share good humor in the form of my favorite jokes.

Q: How do you make Holy water?
A: Get 1 Cup water, boil the hell out of it.

Q: Why was the village idiot at the zoo tugging on a cheetah?
A: He's always trying to pull a fast one.

I once sent ten of my favorite puns to my friends hoping to get a few laughs. The end result? No pun in ten did.

These two guys walked into a bar. You would think at least the second guy would've ducked.

Q: What's blue and fluffy?
A: Blue fluff

Now see, doesn't your mental feel healthier already? If these didn't suit your fancy, you may want to click over to the Candid Counselor for her contribution to the blog party, or visit the APA Party Page to browse others.

Technical How-To: Evaluating the Size of your 'Thing'

Here in Texas, we say that bigger is better. And if you're talking about Ice-cream Sundays, I can see the merit. But after being blocked into a parking space by the rear axle of a vehicle that was (apparently) designed for relocating entire herds of African Elephants, I thought I might provide some help in determining if your Stupendously Uncouth Vehicle (SUV) is a tad on the large side.

Step 1:
First, you will want to note the distance you need to lean out of the window to see if there is a car under your front bumper. Measure this in inches.

Step 2:
Determine your rear storage capacity. If you find that you have more storage than, say, the entire state of Alaska, we can stop here.

Step 3:
Still calculating? Ok, let's keep going. Next I'll need you to take your "lean distance" and multiply by your IQ. Don't panic if you got a negative number. We'll deal with that in a minute.

Step 4:
Now add up the number of pull-in / pull-out attempts you require to park…

The comprehensive guide to ssh on your android device

Want to play your android like the server you wish it was? Thanks to xda-developers member Adam Outler, gaining root access to your android smartphone in your favorite terminal can be just a few clicks away. Click on through to read the tutorial and start hacking away.
image via

Samsung demos foldable smart phone screens

If you've ever wished you could just fold your smartphone in half and tuck it in your pocket, Samsung may have the answer for you. Samsung's folding AMOLED screen technology, debuted at CES earlier this year and employing hyperelastic material (i.e., silicone rubber), has recently been put through the rounds. After 100,000 folds and unfolds of this new screen, only a 6% loss in brightness was observed. Researchers note that this loss was not detectable to the human eye. These results were accomplished using a 1 mm folding radius, which is pretty reasonable for a practical application. However, it is not clear from the report if these 100 K fold cycles were accomplished with a "full closed" fold or a 90 degree fold. Feel free to check out the article and try and figure that out for yourself. And let me know if you can make any sense of it or if, like me, it just makes you want to swear a bit at reviewers.

Pardon me, I think my blog is showing

Don't mind the disappearing posts. Or the disappearing comments. Pay them no attention at all. Just be glad you currently have your website somewhere besides What's that you say? You didn't? Yah, I feel your pain.

image via -but will probably dissappear in a few minutes anyway.

Critters: The Grammar Natz-Bee

(Click to enlarge - CC-BY-NC-SA)

I can read you like a book... Or can I?

Although I've often considered myself to be a top-notch people reader, The Candid Counselor poses an interesting perspective on how snap decisions can influence the way we perceive others when we are interacting with them. Although I still think "reads" are important, it does make me wonder how beneficial my reliance on first impressions may actually be.

image subject to international copyright - used with permission

A Killer Music App for Android?

If you have spent much time browsing YouTube, you've probably come across the all-iPhone rendition of Atomic Toms "Take me out." Jumping off from there, you can find a slew of other folks making amazing music with just their iPhones.

But have you wondered why you don't see the same sort of awesomeness with android phones? The reason is quite simple. It is because Google hates music awesome music programs do not exist in the android market. Or any of those other markets. Here is where it gets interesting; there is a reason for this absence. Your first thought might be that it's simply a matter of time. iOS has been around longer than android and it'll just take time for developers to port their applications over. On the other hand, maybe developers evaluated the market and decided there wasn't enough interest to warrant the time required for a port. Unfortunately, both of those assumptions are wrong. The truth is that there is a kernel-level issue …

These three things make me very mildly displeased

1) Guest-Bathroom Hand Towels: You know what I'm talking about. They're the size of a dinner napkin and have the absorbency of a single sheet of toilet paper. When you place these in your guest's bathroom, it's like you're telling them, "Here, I'd like you to have moist hands." That makes me wonder if you just have some affinity for moist things, or if you just don't like me. The later I can understand, but the former? That's just creepy. There should never be more than two things in your house that you can describe as moist. One of them is chocolate cake. The other should not be my hands.2) Slide Shows: Calling your sweetheart over to look at that "cute picture of the dog" and having it switch over to a picture of her as she gets there is not cool, Mr. Slideshow; not cool.3) Blue-Ray and DVD Players: Just once in my life I would like to push the 'eject' button on one of these contraptions and relax in confidence k…

Creepy Vowels and H2O

(click to enlarge)(image shared via creative commons license BY-NC-SA)

"i" before e except after "c" and when sounding like "a" as in neighbor and weigh, and on weekends and holidays and all throughout May, and you'll always be wrong no matter what you say!"
-Brian Regan

How did I miss that? (AutoCAD for your Mobile)

Straight from the desk of Autodesk, Autocad WS has made it to the Android platform... And it's Free. So get out of here and go get it!

May is for mental health

Despite a heated argument in which I carefully laid out my points, counter-points, and cross-stitches, Dr. Becker insists that your score on the stoopid test is not an accurate assessment of learning disabilities. To prove me wrong, she wrote a very smart post delineating just what learning disabilities actually are. And no, we at The Village do not know what "delineating" means. But we saw it on a comment from that post and thought it sounded very smart. In related news, May is Mental Health Month. So do your brain some good and think about how to unwind. And though the light tone, we here do take mental health seriously. Seriously.
image via

Pass The Roach, Man

The Village Idiot is back to discuss and hopefully shed some light on a particularly odd phenomenon associated with the common holly-freaking-cow-that's-huge cockroach. But first, I would like to dispel what appears to be a popular misconception. Roaches do not have ears. I am convinced that many of you think otherwise judging by the shrill, piercing scream you emit that makes neighbors think you have just lopped off your toe.

No matter what you may think, simply trying to scare the diddley-filth out of the cockroach in hopes that he will flee back to Congress a very dark place actually has little effect on said roach. Sure, he may stop to take the previously-mentioned diddley-filth, then smoke a cigarette... But after that he will carry on with business as usual.

At best, the sonic vibrations from your scream will cause the poor fella to think there is an earthquake, panic, and run for the first safe place he can find. This will likely be up your pant leg, which leads to a situati…

Critters: Some things you learn the hard way...

Image shared via Creative Commons License (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Ubuntu 11.04 (AKA Gnarly Gnat-Wall) has finally arrived

Ok, so maybe it's called Natty Narwhal. In any case, you can now get some Ubuntu 11.04 goodness here and then spend the rest of the day swearing at the lousy Unity Interface. Unless, of course, you happen to be running on old hardware without 3D acceleration, in which case, you will boot into good-old fashioned gnome. You can also get gnome from the log-in screen if you log out and select "classic" (as long as you are not using the ARM installation). New features include a spiffy, non-customizable, non-movable left-side launcher (similar to 'Docky'), a "Dashboard" that is a lot like the launcher app-screen in Android, and a notable absence of Open Office and Nautilus.

Although I wouldn't describe unity as a total disaster, You will certainly not find it on my desktop anytime soon. Installation was as smooth as always, and just needs a little clicky on the "install" icon. Also, if you happen to be running a recent Intel-based Toshiba Sa…