Regular Joe

Unfiltered (and totally caffeinated)

Welcome to the new digs

He's here to greet you.

He's here to greet you.

Filed under: robots

I <3 Transformers

I’ve been waiting to see this since I nearly peed my pants watching the trailer about 9 months ago.  And I’m going tonight.  I’ve been a little worried though after reading some of the reviews of the movie (notably the one on nytimes.com).  Sure, sure Bay loves to merchandise, sell out and blow up some stuff with the support and permission of the US Army.  But honestly, who in his position wouldn’t use transformers to blow up some tanks and artillery (even if you can make it look just as good with CGX)?

That’s all until I read the most amazing movie review ever on io9.com (part of Gawker media group).

So, to sum up: Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema, if not the greatest. You could easily argue that cinema, as an artform, has all been leading up to this. It will destabilize your limbic system, probably forever, and make you doubt the solidity of your surroundings. Generations of auteurs have struggled, in vain, to create a cinematic experience as overwhelming, and as liberating, as ROTF. [emphasis is mine]

AWESOME.

.......!

.......!

Filed under: for fun, random thoughts,

Space – the next frontier

History is being made this Friday, the world’s first spaceport (yes, spaceport) is breaking ground in NM, USA. Pretty exciting stuff, maybe I will make it to the Moon afterall.

http://www.spaceportamerica.com

Filed under: for fun,

Japanese Mutant Ninja Turtles

http://www.youtube.com/v/vGMfb60lc14

Possibly the most awesome ninja turtles cartoon. Ever.

Filed under: Uncategorized

CA ditches bound books for their digital counterparts…hell freezes over.

Honestly?  I’m shocked.  I think this is fantastic, revolutionary, crazy, awesome…and sad.  But I didn’t see it happening this soon.  You can read about textbooks anywhere to find out how ridiculous the authoring process and business really is (this is one of my favorite articles “Textbook Example of What’s Wrong with Education“).

I think it’s great because digital textbooks are the future (I might have thought further in the future).  With ebook technology coming from major consumer electronic manufacturers at an increasing rate (just check out the Kindle DX) and the ability to store the books and ‘mark them up’ for extended periods of time is growing ever closer. Plus, they are cheap (no printing costs, immediate delivery, etc).  And Gov. Schwarzenegger likes them, “The governor of California wants state students to ditch bulky books in favour of up-to-the-minute digital texts on the internet” (DailyMail online).

What saddens and worries me though, is that this revolutionary change is brought on by a vast budget crisis.  According to the DailyMail article the CA State textbook budget is over 200 million a year.  This plan is to simply slash that and take advantage of the text books available at sites like

But in most cases you have to pay for quality, so there will still be an expense.  This is not to mention that students will HAVE to have some device (computer, ebook reading, netbook, ipod, or otherwise) to access the material.  This will cost MUCH more than the original textbook budget allocation (as these devices are 4-5 X the cost of a textbook, or more).

Sure there is some overlap with 1-1 computer policies (which CA has not opted for) so other states like Maine would be easily transitioned down the same road as California.  But the education budget is hurting in ALL ASPECTS in the golden state, which means less computers, fewer devices and MORE burden on students and their families to ensure that their students have the tools they need to do their school work.

Before students needed just a backpack to carry them home and a little more initiative just to open the books.  No need for a backpack anymore, but they will need something much more sophisticated just to crack the cover.

Filed under: books, Education, random thoughts

Brigid Schulte — The Case for Year-Round School – washingtonpost.com

WaPo: <Brigid Schulte — The Case for Year-Round School – washingtonpost.com

I think year round school is a great idea.  I did what I would consider year round school starting in fifth grade or so.  First it was working and participating in a summer hot lunch program that my mom organized, then I worked the kitchen there doing all sorts of services (I still love to cook).  Later, in high school it was a more organized and official program sponsored by the federal government.  The program was called Upward Bound (A TRIO organization, which is a federal program for 1st generation college students who are also low income).

I engaged advanced calc, SAT Prep, dissected a pig fetus (I did nothing of the sort at regular high school) and learned computer skills and other cool stuff (this is paired frequently with job training and placement, a residential program, college visits and other extracurricular activities).

I’m not convinced that summer break is all that helpful (it was for me ONLY when I needed to work through college…not that I loved construction that much).  Certainly I support the year-round schooling.  In fact, make the days longer too!  As long as the content and teachers are good, the difference will only be better prepared and enthusiastic students.

If school’s not a place to learn “CPR, calligraphy, Japanese, rollerblading and how to make art like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock,” where is that place?

Filed under: Education, for fun, random thoughts,

Quote: Seth Godin

“Advertising feels like an expense. It’s not. It’s an investment. An investment that takes a little while to pay off, but when it does, it’s magic.”

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Suicidal Robot #1: BSOD

BSOD

BSOD

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Computers cannot commit suicide

If you use Google’s Gmail like me and have your old AOL IM account linked through it you might have gotten some of the spam instant message bots in the past.

Well, here’s a new one: today, DeclarativeCoho, a IM Bot chatted me up and said that it was having suicidal ideations.

DeclarativeCoho: Hey, I know this is weird, but I don’t know who else to turn to. I’m thinking about. . .you know. . .ending it all. Can we talk?

Wow. Sorry Mr. Robot.  It’s not that I’m heartless.  I would take the time to “talk you down” but instead I felt like blogging what you just said to me was more important.

I wonder if IM Bots ever spam each other (that’s probably what caused the suicidal thoughts in the first place).

Am I terrible?

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Gizmodo – I Want Robot Taxis – Robot Taxis

Gizmodo – I Want Robot Taxis – Robot Taxis.

These guys know what I’m talking about!

Filed under: for fun, random thoughts

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