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If brand are also part of a person's identity, what will this man find out about himself by burning every logoed item he owns? Will he find that the brands he imbibes in daily really do make him smarter and sexier, or will he find his life is less cluttered by geometric and colored identifiers of manufacturers that had clouded his world? #

This week's Mythbusters rocked: it proves that thumbprint scanners are easily defeated. These are the things that Besy Buy, Dell, et al, are promoting in their commercials as high security for new laptops. While the Mythbusters say they left out key steps on how to do it, the most complex things (lifting a fingerprint with superglue and etching a circuit board) are easy to do, there's plenty of instructions online, and with practice could be done in a half hour or less. Heck, you used to be able to buy circuit-board etching kits at Radio Shack. It goes to show that locks, even the most complex ones, are a deterrent, not an prevention. #

Improv Everywhere rocks; their projects are so simple, yet so starkly beautiful. This time: shopping in Home altered timestates. Go watch. #

In their constant effort to make young people like me feel old, Beloit College has again released their "Mindset List", which points out that the incoming college freshman of 2006 were born in 1988, and thus don't remember a USSR nor an East Germany, always had mini shopping carts at their disposal to help with the groceries, have always had minivans as an alternative to (maxi?) vans, and has never known a world without Global Warming. #

Get your shopping done soon: order 25th Anniversary Banned Books Week t-shirts, buttons, posters, etc., directly from the ALA. This year's Banned Books Week starts September 23rd, 2006. #

The wifey and I have had an ongoing debate: she thinks the "Manah Manah" song done by the Muppets goes "Manah manah (bee bee bee dee bee)" and I think it goes "Manah Manah (doo doo doo doo doo)". Well, it turns out we're both right, and it is evidence of our age difference. They did it on Sesame Street in 1969, with "bee" as the chorus, and on the Muppet Show in the late 70s with "doo" as the chorus. Turns out, it's actually an older song, with real French lyrics. #

Not to pick on the Fargo Forum again, but sometimes it's so easy. Today I placed a classified ad via their web form. The "ยข" ("cent") characters didn't seem to translate well in PDF proof they emailed me (quite a handy feature), so I emailed the proofreader back and asked if he could fix it. His response: Sorry about that Derek I should have cought it but that is how it came over to me we are not able to put in the Scent sign. Boy, if this is the level of English skill the Forum requires for proofreaders.... #

I'm going to get a little political on you here; it's a rare occasion, so don't get too worried about it.

I've been hearing a lot about the Shared Parenting Initiative here in North Dakota. A group of non-custodial parents wants the child custody and divorce laws to reflect their desires as an absent parent. In summary, they are asking:

In part #1, all parents retain joint custody, legal and physical, regardless of living situtation;

In part #2, parents are required (or court-ordered) to develop a coparenting plan, which may be amended by cooperation at any time;

In part #3, child support shall not exceed the basic level of caretaking.

Despite my liberal leanings, reading their Initiative tells me what's above is a Bad Idea. I won't use my particular experiences as examples, because that's easily disputed as a rare occurence or inconsequestial. However, I'll point out the greediness of the Initiative. When accused of selfishness, the NDSPI replies that, as citizens, they are allowed to take things before the courts for a decision. However, it does not change the underlying selfishness of the Initiative. Continue reading…

On September 17th a Fargo rabbi will be dedicating a marker at a Jewish cemetery in rural Devils Lake (directions here); I find it facinating that Jewish culture, one generally far removed from the Scandinavian and German immigrants who dominated this region, established themselves in this untamed new territory called it home. According to the second link above, the cemetery dates to the 1860s -- a time period when the cemetery was surrounded by "Unorganized Territory." #

My sister has, in her own words, a "gay ass wedding site," which is to be found on a website that appears not to aspire to the terms "gay ass", but, no doubt, is referred to as such quite often. Erin is to be married in just over a month; I'm not sure D and I will be able to get to Denver at that time (Destiny has been helmed with the title of "flower girl" and will attend nonetheless in grandparents' care), but our family's social schedule changes and if something happens to make us available financially and work-wise, well, so be it. #

The North Dakota Statehood Quarter started being minted yesterday, in preparation for an official "launch" on August 30th. The official order of statehood becomes confused when it comes to North Dakota: it and South Dakota were accepted on the same day, but nobody knows which one of these fraternal twins actually came first. The order of the state quarters might settle this, though...when it comes to state quarters, North Dakota is first, South Dakota second. #

w00t! Tawker, the Wikipedia admin who handled some of the Colbert fallout and posted about it in his blog, has quoted my blog entry and linked back. You know what this means? Somebody reads my blog! Hella yeah! #

Did you know I'm related to Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP? Seriously, I am -- but what does it mean? #

Last night's Colbert Report satirized revisionist history, using Wikipedia as the example: why worry about the truth, when you can write the truth yourself? Wikipedia, however, was not amused, spent time fixing the damage Colbert Nation citizens wreaked on the system, and has banned Stephen Colbert. Watch for a Wikigod on the Colbert Report: Colbert would be an idiot not to take them up on an interview. Hell, he had the Daily Kos guy on. #

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