Monday, January 23, 2006

Voting in Eastern Canada?

from cbc

The only reported election glitch on Monday occurred in Eastern Canada. At a polling station in New Glasgow, N.S., a man took off with a ballot box.

Just after noon, the man ran into a polling station in the town's stadium and tried to grab two boxes. An election official snatched one, but the man made it out with the other one under his arm.

"The suspect actually went to the parking area, placed the box down on the ground and actually used his own personal vehicle [and] drove over the Elections Canada box," said Const. Ken MacDonald of New Glasgow police.

The man sped away. However, officers picked him a little while later.

Although the box was flattened, no ballots were destroyed. Scrutineers watched as the deputy returning officer transferred all of the ballots into a new box.

what was this man thinking? it sounds like a drunken dare! with stiff consequences... results for the election soon..


Saturday, January 14, 2006

porcupine ape man?

saw this on boingboing: supposedly the navy seals ran into a tribe of 5 ft tall ape-like creatures with quills on their backs killing some other animal. *supposedly* there's even footage, but it's classified. typical!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

amusing graded essay: what not to do as a Teaching Assistant

today i took an online course required for teaching assistants at berkeley. i found this image of a marked up essay too funny.. i had to share:

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Woman Prank-Calls Firemen 4,000 Times

i saw this article, which i found very funny, while traveling in costa rica. i couldn't find a copy on the internet, so i decided to transcript it myself. it's from the Tico Times, an english-lang publication in Costa Rica. i think the last paragraph is best, but you need to read it all...

MANAGUA (EFE) -- A 22-year-old woman living near the capital reportedly made more than 4,000 prank-calls to the local fire department in just one week to report false emergencies or make jokes, according to a complaint from firemen in Tipitada, 20 km north of Managua.

Fireman Humberto Garcia claims that a woman identified as Dalila Lira made the repeated calls to emergency numbers 115 and 911, which are toll-free numbers.

"Psychologically, we are tired of this," Garcia said. "She calls every one or two minutes and says she is Johana, Argentina, Lucila, or just to ask us how we are doing. Sometimes she mentions which of us she likes the best, because she knows our names, and says she is going to make our lives impossible."

For example, Garcia added, last Friday Lira reportedly started calling the station at 6:30 a.m. and did not stop calling until 10:30 at night. Garcia said that the caller's identity was discovered with the help of the phone company.

The alleged caller's sister argues the firemen are also to blame because they flirt on the phone.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Gorillaz: ripping an EMI copy-protected CD

yesterday i bought the latest Gorillaz album, Demon Days. i'll never buy another EMI CD however, as they have ridiculous copy-protection on the cd, which just makes it hard for me, a legitimate purchaser, to get the tracks onto my iPod.

when you put the CD into your computer, it asks to install some software to enable playback. my ass. i'm not letting any of their junk onto my computer when any cd player can play the cd just fine without this extra software. so i browsed around and found this link, which describes how to rip this cd on a windows pc.

i'd like to elaborate on the description found there, because it wouldn't be easy for anyone who doesn't know a bit about computers.
  1. download audiograbber
  2. download the lame mp3 encoder (i suggest downloading the stable version)
  3. copy the lame_enc.dll from the lame directory into the directory where you installed audiograbber
  4. run audiograbber
  5. click CD | Problems with track list? | Get TOC (track list) from CD subcodes (this will get you a list of some tracks, with numbers but no names)
  6. click Freedb (it's a penguin icon on the icon bar). this will download the track names. if it doesn't work, wait a few minutes and try again, the freedb server is sometimes flaky
  7. click the MP3 icon, assuming you want MP3s.
  8. click "Direct Rip and Encode to MP3 files," assuming you don't want the wave files
  9. below the check box "internal encoder", choose from the list of encoders the "LameEnc DLL"
  10. click ok
  11. click Grab

voila, you should have the MP3s in a few minutes. Now you can easily load the MP3s *you purchased* onto your iPod or other device by loading the files into iTunes or similar software. happy listening!