November 30, 2004

No College Student Left Behind?

Here's something new from the "Government refuses to leave us alone" file. It would appear that we need a national database of college students to "improve national college statistics."

The feds want to collect the following:name, address, birth date, gender, race, and Social Security number, field of study, credits, tuition paid, and financial aid received. It would also keep tabs on transfers and students who drop out and re-enroll at a later date.

That's all we need: the federal transcript database. Memo to Big Brother: stay the hell out of my college transcript.

I wonder if "Drop D's and F's" applies to the government database as well?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 10:58 PM | TrackBack

November 28, 2004

Nigerian Mafia?

Who knew? (though to be fair, it looks less like a mafia and more like an organized spamming and e-mail scamming racket)

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 01:43 PM | TrackBack

November 26, 2004

13-Year Old Kidnapper

This news story is just jacked up. A 13-year old kid in Virginia abducted a stripper. What the crap?!?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 01:02 PM | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

Literary Quotes

"Arasham sometimes stumbles over the language -- which isn't surprising, since he's probably at least half baboon -- and once, during his campaigns back in the hinterlands, he gave an order. He ment to say, 'Fall upon your foes,' but it came out wrong. Instead, he said, 'Fall upon your swords,' and three whole regiments did exactly that. Arasham rode home alone that day, trying to figure out what went wrong."
"You've been here too long, Voren." Sparhawk laughed. "Rendor's starting to sour your disposition."
"I can't abide stupidity and filth, Sparhaw, and Arasham's followers believe devoutly in the sanctity of ignorance and dirt."
From David Eddings' The Diamond Throne
Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 08:19 PM | TrackBack

Artest is Sorry

After jumping into the stands to brawl with fans, Ron Artest is sorry. What's even better is his quote:

Meanwhile, Artest is promoting his record label, Truwarier, and said that with his other career endeavors he was trying to make his life more positive.

"Having a record company and putting out my own CD. There's clothes and shoes. There's also an upcoming book deal that I'm trying to do," he said.

"I'm trying to be positive. I'm a big fan of the Nobel Peace Prize."

Wow... that's lame. If your best claim to being a good person is dropping in an unrelated, "I'm a big fan of the Nobel Peace Prize," you lose.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:10 PM | TrackBack


Which Biological Molecule Are You?

You are an enzyme. You are powerful, dark,
variable, and can change many things at your
whim...even when they're not supposed to be
changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or
wonderful; it's your choice.

brought to you by Quizilla (thanks Sharptiano)


Cynic: Hey look! I'm an enzyme (goes on to read enzyme aloud...)
Wheeler: Yeah, you and Paige and Scott...
Cynic: Fitting company!
Wheeler: Yeah, go figure...

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 12:50 AM | TrackBack

November 21, 2004

Llama Song

Courtesy of Scott and Fleetman, I bring you the first warped link (oddly: clean and family-friendly) in quite a while.

Check out the wholesome goodness of The Llama Song.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 09:35 PM | TrackBack

November 20, 2004

Syphilis at LeTourneau

I hate to brag, but you all wish you were cool enough to write an article about LeTourneau that manages to mention syphilis in conjunction with LeTourneau in the second sentence. It should be noted that the aforementioned article is not solely my work, but is part of a community production at Wikkipedia. That said, the vast majority (including the syphilis reference) is.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 08:51 PM | TrackBack

November 16, 2004


As I was lazing around in the labs this evening, I went web-searching. Out of idle curiousity, I fould LeTourneau's Wikipedia Entry and found it wanting. Thus piqued, I altered the otherwise bland entry to include that sexy sidebar that you see containted within.

Now, I know that between the lot of you, there are a couple who are capable of writing and organization such that you could overhaul this humble entry into something truly informative. Beyond that, there is also the simple matter that I want more controversial matter included there. And yes, failing everyone else's contributions, I guess I'll do it myself.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:38 PM | TrackBack

Thoughts on Theft

I've always had friends with rather unique views on property ownership, but I think Silk takes the cake:

Silk walked mournfully around the barge. "It's mine, all right," he sighed.
"You keep well-equipped barges, Silk," Durnik said, carefully measuring a board.
"This one had everything I need right in the bow—nails, a barrel of tar, and even a fairly good saw. We'll have it afloat before morning."
"I'm glad you approve," Silk said sourly. He made a wry face. "This is unnatural," he complained.
"What's the problem, Kheldar?" Velvet asked him.
"Usually, when I want a boat, I steal one. Using one of my own seems immoral somehow."
Pulled from David Eddings' Sorceress of Darshiva.
Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:47 PM | TrackBack

November 11, 2004

This Is My Life

Now, if you read too much into this, you're going to come up with some very faulty interpretations. That said, I find the spirit behind the following passage to mimick the interaction between myself and Anna (with the clear analogical flaws in that obviously the relationship is different, not to mention that I am neither a lecher nor a drunk.)

Belgarath the Sorcerer was a man with many flaws in his character. He had never been fond of physical labor and he was perhaps a bit too fond of dark brown ale. He was occasionally careless about the truth and had a certain grand indifference to some of the finer points of property ownership. The company of ladies of questionable reputation did not particularly offend his sensibilities, and his choice of language very frequently left much to be desired.
Polgara the Sorceress was a woman of almost inhuman determination and she had spent several thousand years trying to reform her vagrant father, but without much notable success. She persevered, however, in the face of overwhelming odds. Down through the centuries she had fought a valiant rearguard action against his bad habits. She had regretfully surrendered on the points of indolence and shabbiness. She grudgingly gave ground on swearing and lying. She remained adamant, however, even despite repeated defeats, on the points of drunkenness, thievery, and wenching. She felt for some peculiar reason that it was her duty to fight on those issues to the very death.
Pulled from David Eddings' Guardians of the West.
Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 06:05 AM | TrackBack

November 10, 2004

Judicial Reform

Stupid people should not be allowed to participate in the legal system... especially not in civil suits. It's because of people like this that the legal system is glutted with frivolous lawsuits and other nonsensical crap. Thusly, I propose a new facet to the American Judiciary, as originally advanced by my friend Mark: Discretionary Compensational Maiming.
In essence, Discretionary Compensational Maiming would allow the judge to decide that they lawsuit in question was too foolish to be allowed anywhere near a court. In addition to being thrown out, all involved plaintiffs (lawyers included) will be subjected to corporal punishment as directed by the bailiff. In short, if you sue McDonald's for making you fat, the bailiff gets to beat you down.
This applies to class-action lawsuits as well. If a bunch of environmental wackos (PETA) try to sue a fur coat manufacturer for violating the rights of the animals in question, PETA gets a bunch of broken arms... and while we're at it, why don't we make the punishment apply doubly for the lawyers?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 07:55 PM | TrackBack

November 08, 2004

CBS Hates Bloggers

In case you were wondering whether CBS was still bitter about having their cover blown by the blogging community, check this article out. It seems that CBS' assertion is that the blogging public took the exit poll information and misinterpreted it where it didn't outright fabricate data. The Wall Street Journal has a much different perspective, and one that I think is much closer to an intelligent response to the election day exit poll mayhem.

Granted, I will allow that the blogging community is hardly professional as a while... and I'm not going to begin to assert that Slate is anything other than a bunch of opinionated liberal hacks attempting to make money for Microsoft by spouting whatever nonsense will sell... but I think the article in general sells the blogging community short in an attempt to cast aspersions on the credibility of any non-commercial news source. Scratch that, any news source not of the venerable cadre of hardcopy print media and airwaves/cable syndicates.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:46 PM | TrackBack

November 06, 2004

Adventures in Cafeteria Cuisine

I have been in communication with Ma Hoyt on the topic of cafeteria eating and after giving her a list of guidelines in dealing with institutional food, I figured I would pass along the following precautionary words to my readership as well.

When eating in a cafeteria be careful to heed the following:
1) Avoid any meat that is rendered so you cannot differentiate between meat, gristle and fat.
2) Soup and stranges sauces are to be likewise avoided unless you can clearly distinguish all of the constituent parts.
3) Hamburgers are your friends, as is cereal and anything that is pre-packaged (food contained is food the hospital cooking staff can't have touched.)
4) Find out if your cafeteria is the kind that the milk goes bad or the kind that can't get the mixing settings right on the soda fountains and fruit drink dispensers. If both categories apply, stick with water from the fountain (outside of cafeteria jurisdiction.)
5) If all else fails, Walmart and vending machines are there to help you.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 11:02 PM | TrackBack

High Mach

The Machiavelli personality test has a range of 0 - 100
Your Machiavelli score is: 94
You are a high Mach, you endorse Machiavelli's opinions.
Most people fall somewhere in the middle, but there's a significant minority at either extreme.

Go take the Machiavelli survey!

This survey itself measures only one thing -- whether you subscribe to the ideas of a 16th century Italian political philosopher. But experiments have shown that reactions to Machiavelli act as a kind of litmus test, delineating differences in temperament that can be confirmed with more traditional personality inventories. High Machs constitute a distinct type: charming, confident and glib, but also arrogant, calculating and cynical, prone to manipulate and exploit. (Think Rupert Murdoch, or if your politics permit it, President Clinton.)

True low Machs, however, can be kind of dependent, submissive and socially inept. So be sure to invite a high Mach or two to your next dinner party.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 02:02 PM | TrackBack

November 05, 2004

My Wonderful Brother

If anyone was wondering if there was someone more warped than I am, they haven't met my brothers. Geoff in particular, is quite special. Below the fold is a conversation for those people who enjoy my warped links. It's got some gems in it, but it's largely quite disturbed and definitely not family-friendly or for people like Anna.

Geoff: dude
Vengeful Cynic: yo
Geoff: we all just shaved our pubes and put them in kurts toilet
Vengeful Cynic: DOG!
Vengeful Cynic: that ain't right
Geoff: minor oil slick too
Vengeful Cynic: that ain't right
Geoff: yes it is
Geoff: propose yet?
Vengeful Cynic: not yet, Geoff
Vengeful Cynic: not yet
Vengeful Cynic: I'm going to bed, dog
Vengeful Cynic: I'm tired
Geoff: ring shop yet?
Vengeful Cynic: mebbe
Geoff: let me give you something to think about while you sleep
Geoff: im dating the ropp now
Vengeful Cynic: seriously?
Geoff: yeah
Vengeful Cynic: as in, Christie?
Vengeful Cynic: as in, Christie that drove me to school?
Vengeful Cynic: not that I don't believe you
Geoff: haha
Geoff: yeah
Vengeful Cynic: I just need to hear you say this a couple of times to counteract all of the other things I've heard you say about her
Geoff: hahahaha
Geoff: i know, thats what mom said
Vengeful Cynic: dude, you're growing into a mature guy
Vengeful Cynic: at least... kinda
Geoff: haha
Vengeful Cynic: I'm almost proud
Geoff: remember how this convo started
Geoff: with the pubes thing
Vengeful Cynic: like I said "almost"
Geoff: hahaha
Vengeful Cynic: night dog
Geoff: peace

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 12:43 AM | TrackBack

November 04, 2004


There are four kinds of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable,
and praiseworthy...
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 09:09 AM | TrackBack

November 03, 2004

Halloween Costume

Wouldn't you like to dress up as an iPod for Halloween?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 08:07 PM | TrackBack


My Results from the Free Global Personality Test:

Global Personality Test Results
Stability (82%) high which suggests you are very relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Orderliness (11%) very low which suggests you are overly flexible, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense too often of reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.

Extraversion (60%) moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.

personality tests by

Oh... and here's the accompanying list of traits attributed to me:

messy, tough, disorganized, fearless, not rule conscious, likes the unknown, rarely worries, rash, attracted to the counter culture, rarely irritated, positive, resilient, abstract, not a perfectionist, risk taker, strange, weird, self reliant, leisurely, dangerous, anti-authority, trusting, optimistic, positive, thrill seeker, likes bizarre things, sarcastic

Obviously, this stuff is flawed as resulting from a rather short quiz. That said, I am impressed that it did manage to hit a decent number of points rather accurately... even if it did call me positive and an optimist.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:50 PM | TrackBack

Program Funerals

What if we held funerals for old programs when they died and buried a copy of the source code? How much fun would that be? I want to see the Microsoft burial plot and a wake for each successive Windows version that is killed and buried. It would make for an interesting work environment if nothing else...

Any other programmers out there besides me who want to hold a funeral for their old code and bury it? What about holding a source code wake?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 02:35 PM | TrackBack

November 02, 2004

Election Day

Sadly, Hosting Matters (may they rot in hell) was down today like a hobo on a ham sandwich. Thus, instead of being able to exhort people to vote and make notations on those people too lazy to vote while people like myself had to vote absentee, I merely get to comment that even though I might not like the end results, I love Election Day and everything that comes with it.

Yes, I am a political junky, and proud of it.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 10:38 PM | TrackBack

November 01, 2004

Cobra Commander '04

Wouldn't you vote Cobra Commander? (family-friendly flash cartoon)

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:40 PM | TrackBack

Joshua Abraham Norton

Which Historical Lunatic are You?

I'm Joshua Abraham Norton, the first and only Emperor of the United States of America!

Born in England sometime in the second decade of the nineteenth century, you carved a notable business career, in South Africa and later San Francisco, until an entry into the rice market wiped out your fortune in 1854. After this, you became quite different. The first sign of this came on September 17, 1859, when you expressed your dissatisfaction with the political situation in America by declaring yourself Norton I, Emperor of the USA. You remained as such, unchallenged, for twenty-one years.

Within a month you had decreed the dissolution of Congress. When this was largely ignored, you summoned all interested parties to discuss the matter in a music hall, and then summoned the army to quell the rebellious leaders in Washington. This did not work. Magnanimously, you decreed (eventually) that Congress could remain for the time being. However, you disbanded both major political parties in 1869, as well as instituting a fine of $25 for using the abominable nickname "Frisco" for your home city.

Your days consisted of parading around your domain - the San Francisco streets - in a uniform of royal blue with gold epaulettes. This was set off by a beaver hat and umbrella. You dispensed philosophy and inspected the state of sidewalks and the police with equal aplomb. You were a great ally of the maligned Chinese of the city, and once dispersed a riot by standing between the Chinese and their would-be assailants and reciting the Lord's Prayer quietly, head bowed.

Once arrested, you were swiftly pardoned by the Police Chief with all apologies, after which all policemen were ordered to salute you on the street. Your renown grew. Proprietors of respectable establishments fixed brass plaques to their walls proclaiming your patronage; musical and theatrical performances invariably reserved seats for you and your two dogs. (As an aside, you were a good friend of Mark Twain, who wrote an epitaph for one of your faithful hounds, Bummer.) The Census of 1870 listed your occupation as "Emperor".

The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, upon noticing the slightly delapidated state of your attire, replaced it at their own expense. You responded graciously by granting a patent of nobility to each member. Your death, collapsing on the street on January 8, 1880, made front page news under the headline "Le Roi est Mort". Aside from what you had on your person, your possessions amounted to a single sovereign, a collection of walking sticks, an old sabre, your correspondence with Queen Victoria and 1,098,235 shares of stock in a worthless gold mine. Your funeral cortege was of 30,000 people and over two miles long.

The burial was marked by a total eclipse of the sun.

From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey. (thanks for the link, Wilson)

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at 03:28 PM | TrackBack