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Showing posts from April, 2011

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

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

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

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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

The Half-Mile Long Web Page

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That's right, this page is going to be requiring a lot of scrolling. In case you were not able to make it to Stinson Beach in 2004 , Phrenopolis.com has a to-scale model of the solar system up on our very own internets. Starting here with the sun, let your fingers do the walking and get a feel for how big our little spot in the universe really is. Think you can make it to earth before your fingers permanently cramp into "the claw"? If not, you can also find earth here . We at the village are still patiently waiting for the scale-model of the 1235 other earth-like planets .

New Facebook "Send" Button Puts the Nose Back In Your Face

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For all of those times when you've found that absolutely Likeable Tweet, but didn't want to go sharing it with just anybody... Facebook now offers the Send Button . That's right, you can now bring back fond memories of high-school cliques and have inside jokes with all your favourite friends! Funny though, I haven't seen a single like from any of my facebook friends all day... Hey wait a minute...

Translations for gas station coffee

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House Blend- circa 1987. This brew is made from a large supply of coffee grounds that was present in the building when we purchased it. Breakfast Blend - Same as house blend, however, someone on night-shift made a three-pointer during a rowdy game of do-nut ball. Don't mind the chunks... Venezuelan Blend – Frank made this coffee. He says he's Latino. Colombian Blend – Apparently, someone on night shift dumped their stash in this brew to avoid indictment during the last police raid. Espresso Roast – We have no direct evidence this is actually coffee and not motor oil. All we know is it's been on the warming plate for several days. High Rev. - A delicate blend of our Espresso Roast and Colombian coffees. Cappuccino - Same as Espresso Roast, but we added a half pound of powdered creamer. image via wpclipart.com

Samsung infuse 4G release date!

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(Update May 15): The Samsung Infuse is Offically on sale at AT&T. Going rate there is 199.00, but you can get it 50 bucks cheaper if you buy through Amazon.com (with a new contract). --- The lords of Google Alert have just informed me that the phone I was drooling over is on its way to Walmart in May! Sadly, it doesn't look like they slipped a dual core processor in there like I hoped they would and are sticking to their single core 1.2 GHz humming bird. Ah well... Oddly, while this news is on sites like "phandroid" and "Android Central", none of the major Tech Sites seem to have picked up the news yet. I do hope it does not turn out to be a false alarm, but reports are stating this news comes straight from a Walmart Circular. *Fingers Crossed* The Other specs and price for your reading pleasure: $178.88 (presumably with a new 2-year contract) Display Type- Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen Resolution- 480 x 800 pixels Size - 4.5 inches Tech

Physical Therapy is Fun

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I can understand if you are wondering why there is a picture of President George W. Bush on the left, when the title clearly indicates this discussion should have something to do with physical therapy (PT). The reason is quite simple. Listening to Mr. Bush give a speech is the closest approximation I could think of to describe my experience so far. Consider it for a second... you sit there watching him talk. He's our president, so silently you're rooting for him. But deep down you know it simply can't go well. It's just a matter of time before he asks Americans to put more food on their family and urges OB-GYNs everywhere to practice more love with their patients. You cringe in agony half-way through every sentence, because yep, he messed that one up too. Physical therapy is like that. Don't be fooled by the name. PT is derived from the two english words, "Therapy" and "Physical". Therapy- meaning treatment by some remedial, rehabili

Wierd Al Shut Down By Lady Ga-Ga

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After insisting she actually hear the finished version of what would be her new hit single parody, Ms. GaGa decided she wouldn't give the go ahead after all. Poor Al writes about it here , and for posterity, posts the song up on youtube . We at the village have now decided we don't like Lady GaGa so much... but then, I think we were actually born that way. [Update]: According to new news , the whole "she doesn't like my song thing" was all the fault of a sneaky little manager who never even bothered to inform Ms. GaGo that there was a parody to consider. But we at the village press know that it was simply a case of poor foresight on Lady Gaga's part. She just didn't consider or realize what the public fallout would be, and after a quick conference, it was decided that the poor little manager would take the fall before things got out of hand. image via www.wpclipart.com

Though we like it, sometimes technology doesn't work

If any person that happens by this site happens to know why, every time I add a link via Blogger's "new post", the interface also adds the text "http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif" somewhere in that post... please let me know. In related news, see here for a better understanding of why the English language is so complicated.

Is Blogging a Phase?

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If you take a look over there at our archives, it may look like The Village is a relatively new site -A fresh space on the internets, if you will. But five years ago, before some chinesse guy snatched our domain name out from under us, this very space was a thriving weblog. We were around back when blogs were described as "hybrid online sites that blend news, gossip and opinion" and even remember when Google bought "Blogger". Well, what happened then? Drum-roll... We simply stopped writing. And after recently ransoming my old template off of its forgotten servers, I've discovered that nearly every other site that I used to follow has done the same thing. Oh, there are still a few out there with recent updates. But most have either been laying dormant for years or are missing altogether. Now while it's possible that my departure from the web triggered a cataclyismic (cataclysimic?...5 years has not improved my spelling) caused a lot of people such

Staying on Top of Your Mental Health

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With the recent news of Catherine Zeta-Jone's diagnosis of bipolar disorder, we are reminded that no one is exempt from the dangers of mental illness. It is somewhat sad that is takes a celebrity to get the media focused mental health, but we'll take what we can get. According to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, in a given year, approximately one quarter (25%) of adults in the united states suffer from a diagnosable mental illness. However, between 2004-2008, only around 13% of adults have actually been receiving treatment. If you've been feeling down lately, make like that magnet over there and talk to someone! Need more information on how to stay on top of your mental health? My favorite Waco psychologist has a recent post on bipolar disorder as well as a lot of other resources on how professional help can help.

Super Mario Bluegrass

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Combining two of the things I love most, The Cleverly's have put together the Italian Masterpiece you see embedded below. And quite honestly, I think this is the way Luigi would have wanted it... via GeeksAreSexy.net

The Old Like Dissolves Like Conundrum

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Original image "Polar Bear" by Kathy Weaver ( CC BY-NC 3.0 )

And I'll Huffington and Puffington and Blow Your Blogs Down

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Another site stands swallowed by Arianna Huffington in the recent merger between AOL and Huffington Post. Switched may now count itself among the ranks of sites such as Engadget, Mapquest, Techcrunch, and Moviefone that have been or will be consolidated into AOL's rebranding efforts. For the time being, a farewell post from Switched Writer Thomas Houston is here . We'll see if it stays up. And yes, sure,I can read the big sign at the top saying they are moving... but as Eric Snider explains, it won't be the same . In related news, after finding out AOL had actually been paying their free-lance writers, a few folks who had been free-blogging it decided it was high time to file a lawsuit . The Village Counsel can't help but love this quote: "On the call this morning, Tasini vowed to make Huffington a pariah in the progressive community” image via freeclipartnow.com

Amazon.com may get a bit more pricey

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It would seem those days of tax-free internet shopping are in jeopardy again. Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat, Illinois), the same Dick Durbin that wants to help us lower the tax burden for middle class families , is preparing legislation for adding sales tax to all internet purchases . While I'm not necessarily against the idea, it certainly will make buying things on line less appealing when we have to pay tax as well as shipping. Of course, if the price of gas keeps going up, extra sales tax may just be a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of driving to the nearest store... In any case, it's best to buy those special items now! The village editorial note: This review from amazon on uranium ore is simply priceless gold: "I purchased this product 4.47 Billion Years ago and when I opened it today, it was half empty."

50 years in space

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It's been 50 years since Universal Studios filmed Yuri Gargarin became the first man in space. Head over to Google.com and click today's google doodle to learn more!

Stress Relief is About More Than Banging Your Head on a Wall

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The Candid Counselor recently highlighted a study that revealed college students are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety now more than ever. Judging by the amount of goggle traffic resulting from searches similar to "stressed out college students," this is a rather hot topic. However, it's a fair bet that whoever stumbled upon that article already knew college students were stressed. More likely, you were looking for ways to deal with that stress. Well, no need to stress about it any more. In a new article, Dr. Becker offers tips on how to deal with stress and anxiety in the high-demand environment that we call higher education. Head on over and give it a read yourself, then breathe easy, because, as it turns out, breathing easy can actually help! image via 1photos.com

Dress-up now includes adding a bra

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If you thought your baby girl was growing up too fast, it turns out you might be right. USA Today reports on a study in Pediatrics that shows approximately 15% of American girls are now starting puberty by age 7. This age represents almost a 100% increase among white adolescent females when compared to a similar study in 1997. Although a specific reason for this increase is not known, Sandra Steingraber offers several possibilites including obesity, prematurity, genetics, environmental chemicals, TV, and stress. The original study By Dr. Frank Biro and colleagues is here (even though USA Today makes no effort to, you know, actually cite it or anything) and is worth a read if you didn't happen to see it last year when it was published. Despite the "sensational" job USA Today does at reporting this news, they did forget to mention the weaknesses the study's authors point out, which includes low recruitment rate, recruitment at only 3 sites across the US, and bas

Broken Breaking News!

And itś official, the US government will not dissapear into an abismal black hole. Adjourning at nearly 7 minutes till 1:00 AM ET, congress has passed a temporary measure to keep the US running till next thursday. So we can all rest at ease, our favorite .gov sites will keep on putting out content.

Crazy is as Naked Does

If you're gonna take an AK-47 and gun down a swat bot, you might as well do it naked . If ever there was an article destined for the Naked News , this is it. On the bright side, this means one less crazy Florida driver to deal with...

Happy Birthday, Internet!

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April 7, 1969 marks the date the first request for comments (RFC) was published by what eventually became the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This publication is considered by many to be the ideological birth of the internet as we know it today. If you find this interesting, you may want to go over and take a look at the publication yourself. Or you could just revel in the text-based imagery below... Image captured from http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1

Gnome 3 Is Out

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After nearly three years of development, the release of gnome three is official. Say goodbye to the days of the old boring gnome, and say hello to the new exciting 3.0. Representing a drastic departure from 2.X, Gnome 3 brings a lot of new features including a redesigned upper panel, a new menu-system, task management based on 'activities' and more. While the new design may put off a lot of loyal Gnome users (including myself), there does appear to be some potential. Hopefully over lunch I'll get a chance to Install Gnome 3 and provide instructions, some screenshots, and a quick GBO review. (update) For installing Gnome3 in Ubuntu 10.10, I found it works fine to follow the instructions posted here (along with installing libusb-1.0-0-dev). But, as I describe below, installing this in a virtual machine is fairly non-functional. It may be best to wait for your distribution to package it before you do a full install to your system even though from my VM, it doesn'

Their Second Choice was "Naughty Newt"

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Despite what you may think, "Natty Narwhal" is not the name of Dave Barry's latest rock band. It is in fact a neat and tidy whale . Oh, it's also the name of Cannonical's latest release of their popular linux operating system. That's right, Ubuntu 11.04 Beta is out and it is time to say goodbye to Gnome . "Unity is now the default Ubuntu desktop session. The Unity has many new features, including drag and drop re-ordering of launcher icons, full keyboard navigation support, launcher activation through keyboard shortcuts, right-click context menu quick-list and switching between running applications." ( link ) Although I'm not thrilled with the new interface, there is at least for the moment the option to install the Classic Gnome during setup. If you find any of this a bit confusing and you want to learn more about the free operating system Ubuntu, go here .

Shhhh... Don't Tell Anyone; There's Crack in that Burger!

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Eating is one of the things I enjoy love, and a new study out of Yale University suggests why. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, researchers measured neural response during anticipation and receipt of food for 48 participants. Although this study was used previously to evaluate our tendency towards overeating , the current work compiles data to compare results to individuals with a history of substance abuse and alcoholism. Of particular note, it was observed that the reward-seeking and pleasure-center regions of the brain activated by food cravings was very similar to the regions observed previously for individuals craving their favorite drugs. Put simply, food is addictive. So the next time you see me chowing down on a Big Mac and breaking my diet, don't blame me. I'm just an addict. And if you don't see me around for a while, don't worry, I'm probably just in rehab .

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."

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-Sydney J. Harris According to a survey published by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD), severe mental health issues are becoming a bigger problem for America's college students. Dr. Becker gives some insight as to why anxiety and depression were among the greatest concerns.

In preparation for 2012, NASA gives us 1235 alternative choices

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No, this is not an Eye-Chart designed by a super devious eye doctor. It's actually a visualization of the 1,235 candidate planets discovered by the Kepler telescope during it's first 4 months of observation. The big round orbs in the picture are scaled representations of the star, while the little black dots represent the planet(s) of interest. Of those planets discovered, there are 5 that appear to be in the appropriate temperature range and a "habitable zone" to sustain life as we understand it. In NASA's press release , they include a white paper describing the work in detail. As an aside, you really have to wonder how much they were sweating after finding 1,234 planets... because who would have believed that? There must have been a collective sigh of relief after coming across that very last one. Even though I'm a month and a few days late with this news, keep in mind there's still plenty of time to pick out your favorite one before the worl

New Google Motion Beta is Out for Gmail!

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What is it? See here ...