My new favorite online service is

Run by BMG, this site takes the deals available from its parent and simplifies the whole process. On the site you set up a Netflix-like “Music Queue” and are sent one CD a month for $5.99 (with free shipping, which is the REALLY nice part). During the course of the month, you can order as many other CDs as you want for the $5.99 price. The only catch: if you don’t have a CD lined up in your Music Queue on your monthly delivery date, you still get charged the $5.99. That isn’t really a problem, though; I have CDs lined up until June in my queue. I ordered Gavin DeGraw’s Chariot about a week ago and received it today (great CD, and no problems with it).

Great deal. Check it out. (Unfortunately, no referral program yet… they say the site may have one in a few weeks.)

January 28, 2005 at 9:38 pm

This is country?

I don’t usually recommend songs that you have to pay for, and, on top of that, I don’t usually recommend songs from country artists. But hey, friends can make you do weird things sometimes.

“The Lighthouse’s Tale” by Nickel Creek – get it on The Lighthouse's Tale or Amazon.

January 27, 2005 at 11:21 pm

Wow, only three to thirty minutes?

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, “Daguerreotype,” 1830s (quoted in Classic Essays on Photography, 1980):

In order to obtain a perfect image of nature only three to thirty minutes at the most are necessary, according to the season in which one operates and the degree of intensity of the light.
January 23, 2005 at 10:40 pm

Reverse credit

While America drowns in debt, I seem to be going the other way… but I don’t exactly have a ton of money.

It seems as though I’ve started a little collection of gift cards, certificates, and the like. I finally used up the money to the cards I had at Wal-Mart (thanks, Bingo) and Burlington Coat Factory (thanks, Mom), but I still have a lot of little things to use up. I’ve got some money to spend at the iTunes Music Store (thanks, Secret Santa), FYE/Strawberries (thanks, Wally and Nancy), and a bunch to use at Amazon and random places online. So as long as I can creatively buy products at certain places, I’ll be all set.

My favorite thing to do with Amazon gift money is to buy lots of free-after-rebate stuff. For a nominal charge of $0.37 and some time (that is, if you choose Super Saver Shipping), you can essentially turn Amazon money into real money. I guess I’m off to find some free stuff at Amazon (ya hear that, Bezos? gimme stuff!).

January 23, 2005 at 1:05 pm

Looks like sea phone

I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m now employed at Sephone Internet Solutions in Bangor. Sephone has done some really great work in the past (see Governor’s and the National Folk Festival for two well-known examples), and I’ll be doing some development work there. It seems like it’s a really wonderful environment, and the people all seem great. I’m very excited about it; I shadow my friend Matt (who referred me) on Friday and then start work on Monday.

This comes at a good time. On the Russell Burnout Scale, I’m currently at a 1 (it’s a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being “bored bored bored” and 10 being like a just-exploded firework, for those of you not “in the know” or in my head 5 seconds ago when I came up with the thing). This has its ups and downs; while I’ve gone through all of my e-mail, news, and such for the first time in quite a few months, I’m also starting to get bored. I’m not good when I’m bored; I just sit in front of the computer and zone out while I carelessly browse the Web, suddenly glancing up to the clock to find that, unbeknownst to me, a few days have passed and I’m suddenly failing all of my classes (not “in the know” people: this is an exaggeration). I’ve reached an 8 on the scale in the past, and that was quite uncomfortable. With my classes and now work, I think the level will increase; hopefully I can maintain a nice, comfortable 4 or 5. I like being busy, after all. Being bored, after all is said and done, is just not good for me.

(by the way, it’s pronounced CEF-oh-nee)

January 18, 2005 at 4:27 pm

Crimson tide

There’s been some press lately about Harvard president Lawrence H. Summers saying something about how women may inherently be worse in math and science because they lack natural ability (full disclosure: if I recall correctly, I have some obscure personal connection to Summers). Now, I make a lot of jabs at Harvard, partially for fun and partially because after four years I still question the value of going to a private university over a public school, but I want to point out a few things about the AP article that’s being spread (keep in mind that I was not in attendance at the speech, nor do I know any possible history of Summers and gender issues). First, the article contains no direct quotes from Summers’s speech. Second, from my experience, any criticism at all about a sensitive issue such as gender, race, politics, religion, or *gasp* abortion will cause people to become uncomfortable.

As another point, I’d like to point out a few sex role socialization notes from my Childhood Psychology class last semester. Keep in mind that this course was taught by a female professor:

  • Males’ brains are bigger (females have brains that are 11% smaller)
  • Females’ brains are better organized
  • Females have more gray matter (information processing)
  • Males have more white matter (brain-body impulses)
  • Corpus callosum is much thicker in females (intra-hemisphere communication)
  • Stronger inter-hemisphere communication contributes to better verbal skills
  • Hemisphere distinctiveness in males allows better spatial skills

While it may be disputed by some, there’s scientific research behind this. Would there have been as much of a problem if he had said males lack natural ability for communication? And wouldn’t his statements mean, in essence, that women studying math and science at an esteemed institution such as Harvard would have achieved a higher level of thinking than the males there?

I just want to make sure that the issue isn’t being shown as a completely opinion-based remark without realizing that there is in fact some biological evidence that supports that it may be the case.

(There’s a through Slashdot discussion going on about the issue, and Harvard’s Crimson campus newspaper has an article about it.)

January 18, 2005 at 2:28 pm

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr., 28 August 1963, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.:

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!

text and audiovideo clip

January 17, 2005 at 12:04 pm

****** spammers

It appears as though somebody with 10 minutes and a desire to make some fast cash has written a little script to spamvertise in my comments. Well, I don’t take that lightly (putting hundreds of junk records in my database just doesn’t sit well with me). To attempt to block this, I’ve put an extra little check to make sure the commenter is human. This means you’ll have to check an extra circle (answer a yes or no question) when you enter a comment. Hopefully it won’t be too painful for you (it actually doesn’t even matter what you answer; they’re not stored anywhere).

Thanks for the comments so far!

January 16, 2005 at 12:49 pm

Ain’t nothing but 10 grand

So if $10,000 isn’t much, why not deal out a few of those to some of these people?


January 14, 2005 at 12:49 pm

Oh, Apple

I don’t really like Apple suits, but I do love their products:

Mac Mini ($499+)
Shuffle ($99+)
iWork ($79)

Good move into the general market to silence all those “Apple’s too expensive” people, I’d say. (And cheaper for education people!)

January 11, 2005 at 2:17 pm