Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Break is Almost Over

So...somewhere between the recent long(er) nights and "afternoon" mornings, it hit me: that week-long break at the beginning of Spring is practically over--but the weekend is next, so it is all good from where I am sitting. I just decided to drop some lines before I drive the couple of hours, and some change, to my mom's house.

Speaking of "houses" about that "House of Representatives" thing? Quick rundown: the 1,000-page bill passed the House of Representatives. Then, a handful of Democrats in the Senate managed to pull 2,000 pages out of their asses in less time than it takes an author to write a mediocre novel...and, I can assure you, it starts off a little dry. I wish I could say it picks up...but it does not.

The Dems had the supermajority (60), so it passed the Senate without much Republican input, not saying input was forthcoming. Then the House said, "we're going to pass a bill." And the House passed a bill. Healthcare law was born...a bit deformed, but one eye was open, so we were okay. Republicans were miffed, but that is okay--they should have actively participated instead of just wanting to kill the bill flat...not saying that would have been a tragedy, but we will see if the reform bill passes the House. I just read on Yahoo! News that the reconciliation bill passed the Senate. In the reconciliation process, only 51 votes are needed to pass (that is general majority for those of you keeping count). So, this still requires no Republican votes...what a great system we have, right? Anyone else tired of it? And they could not resist slipping the education funding stuff in with it. According to the Yahoo article, some things had to be changed, go figure. It is reconciliation bill H.R. 4872 for the two or three of you who might care. If it passes the House, it is a done deal. I hope it turns out well. But we all know the "Audacity of Hope."

And to add to all the b.s. being slung back and forth, Biden dropped the f-bomb within range of a microphone. It was either that or pee his pants with childhood excitement I almost envy. I watched the youtube is barely audible in the highest quality version. You have to know it is there for the most part. Yet Fox picked up on that one fast. Dems are already unpopular around the camp, way to go Biden for giving Fox some cud to toss around...great. Personally, I do not care. I say "way to express your emotion, I guess." After all, it is like Taylor Mali says in "I Could Be a Poet":
"I am not afraid to use that one requisite swear word / to let you know I am [ucking-fay] serious, man!"
Gotta love the Pig Latin, right? Remember: brackets in quotes mean the words enclosed are not original...he originally went for the gold. I cannot do so because it is unacceptable to those two or three people who may stumble across this page...and it is for a class, so I have to keep clamped. However, they now have T-shirts. Yep, Biden's words forever immortalized until the shirt becomes a rag. I cannot help but desire a piece of this history. This is apparently not the first time he has dropped the f-bomb, from what I read/heard on Regarding the linked article, it also contains the link for the latest incident. Do not take everything you read on Huffington Post as true. It is meant to be humorous, so details are exaggerated for entertainment purposes. However, the post does not fake recordings...that I am aware of.

Anyway, I have already spent more time on here than I wanted to...time to drive. I will add a picture later...maybe.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Class Assignment

This is a relatively simple background using the 3D objects in Photoshop CS4. I used text from the U.S. Constitution.

Last Minute Addition

Sitting in class, I realized my blogs are not up-to-date. So, I am adding one to circumvent the problem. One useful Google service worth mentioning is the "define" function. To search for a definition using Google, type "define: [word]." For example, typing "define: circumvent" returns these definitions.

Spring Break is coming up. I am probably going to take the opportunity to try to find a job. My last job was being, more or less, assistant manager at the now-closed Triple Crown Chinese Restaurant. It was a lot of fun, and I learned how to make a few Chinese dishes.

This is a picture of the cast of "Trailer Park Boys," one of my all-time favorite shows. I was watching an episode before coming to class, actually. Those crazy Canadians...too bad the show was cancelled after seven seasons, but it had a great run.

About to learn about typefacing and font, so I am going to submit this and hope it is sufficient.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Crushing Coffee Caffeine...and the Cove

So I watched a good documentary last night. A friend told me I had to watch it, and now I pass on the advice. The documentary is the Cove. It won many awards, including Best Documentary. The film definitely has that "documentary" feel, similar to gems such as Paradise Lost II. However, it is obvious the equipment used for the Cove is of much higher quality than equipment used for most documentaries.

The Cove is about the annual dolphin slaughter in the Japanese fishing town of Taiji. The documentary goes beyond dolphin fishing to dolphin marketing. Those with weak constitutions should not watch the last 20 minutes of the movie, as footage of dolphin death is shown. All in all, it is a great exposé, and segue, into a modern "Save the Whales" campaign...not saying that is a bad thing, having watched the documentary. If you enjoy powerful documentaries, watch the film. [NOTE: If you want to visit a website related to the effort to save the dolphins (and it is apparently an uphill battle), you can click "modern" or "campaign" above...or you can click here]

I did not start the documentary until around 2:15a.m., which roughly translates to, "put a couple pots of coffee on, and enjoy the show." That is...if the show is enjoyable...this one goes more along "informative." I made it to class on time, at least. Now I am waiting for the crash.

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I have a joke for you:
An Irishman walks out of a bar...hey, it could happen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Russian Software Designers are Bold

Russians are getting tech savvy. For $26, you can buy a Russian program called SkyGrabber. The program intercepts satellite data and downloads it. Iraq insurgents used the software to intercept US MQ-1 Predator feeds. Predators are those unmanned planes that fly recon. Not leaving it at data interception, a Russian software firm has released password cracking applications for the iPhone and iPod touch capable of cracking any password, regardless of encryption type.

Several years ago, one of the company’s programmers was arrested on stage during a software security lecture. Adobe pressed charges against the company because the firm’s software was capable of bypassing the .PDF encryption. Bypassing this encryption meant people could illegally copy eBooks. The programmer was acquitted, and the case went silent.

The Russian company’s website does advertise hacking software for government use, some ranging to over $1,000. I would not trust it, which is why I have not linked to the company website or the software in question. If you really want to take the risk, Google it. There is no telling what you are installing when it is software meant for hacking, ethical or not--especially when you consider the source is a Russian company, when that country has a history of launching digital attacks on US computers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

RPD Makes an Interesting Arrest

Reading through an old edition of the Courier, I skimmed across a story from the Russellville Police Department. Saturday, February 27, the RPD made an I-4[2]0 arrest when an officer smelled marijuana permeating Kenneth Doyle's vehicle. Doyle, of Novato, California, reportedly gave the officer permission to search his vehicle. Upon inspection, the officer found 79 pounds of marijuana (worth an estimated $130000), a gun, fake badges from the San Francisco Police Department and $2500 in cash. Doyle told the officer he was headed east to North Carolina. From there, Doyle was going to instruct a security class at Washington, D.C. At a preliminary hearing the following Monday, Doyle revealed he was a retired police officer. The $130000 cookie was taken from one cookie jar to (probably) be placed safely into another...not saying the RPD is corrupt or anything.

I wonder if the story goes any deeper than a one-man cruise from coast to coast. I have not found anything of interest yet.

As for this picture: One of the aspects of the Silent Hill game series that always caught my attention was the way the in-game photographs looked--aged and kind of eerie. Most of the eeriness came from context, granted, but I tried to mimic the effect from memory. I ended up with the sepia-on-steroids result you see. I tried to find online screen stills of photographs used in the game to use as a guide, but I have not found any. The original image can be found on the RPD website.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


These are the three logos I made. Not sure which one to choose yet.

   Logo 1                                                Logo 2

    Logo 3

Free Speech Tested

Many of us know one of Conway's economic jewels, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), for its party-related practices. Another bit of fame for the school came in 2009, when a fraternity (Alpha Phi Alpha) was banned from the campus for three years following reports of hazing practices.

The school paper, the Echo, has also gained some attention. In 2007, the student newspaper was named, "best in state." Lately, the accolades have been a little different for the newspaper.

Basically, the opinion section of the Echo ran a story entitled, "Rough Sidewalks Match Administration's Tactics," in February of 2010. The story criticized the UCA administration (specifically, school President Allen Meadors) for misappropriation of funds, inappropriate administrative practices and doctoring of documents--all revolving around President Meadors' decision to install decorative stamped concrete on the UCA campus.

By itself, the story does not seem very interesting. The actual story to the story is how, though he had knowledge of the article, UCA President Meadors let the story run. That is correct. It is possible for school administrators to have the testicular fortitude to own up to whatever action he/she has committed when students, learning the powers of the media, call him/her on it. A freepress advocacy group has even commended the university for leaving the paper alone. Inspirational, yes? [Note: link is a teaser]