Friday, July 29, 2005

What a badass

Go check out this story about a blind kid who can play video games. Not only can he play video games, but apparently he almost never loses. He doesn't use any special brail system either, he just plays normal video games. He claims that he uses audio cues and asks alot of questions when first learning a game. Still, it's pretty amazing.

"Those bold enough to challenge him weren't so lucky. One by one, while playing "Soul Caliber 2," their video characters were decapitated, eviscerated and gutted without mercy by Mellen's on-screen alter ego.

"I'm getting bored," Mellen said in jest as he won game after game."

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I'm actually making decent progress on the project that I'm supposed to complete while I'm here. I've almost finished the prototype chamber I'm building to mount onto their Optical Tweezer apparatus Why is this blog worthy? Irony. I am a lazy bastard in Irvine, which is boring as hell. Now I'm in Amsterdam, which I think everyone agrees is NOT boring, and now I'm busting ass in the lab. Must be the shitty weather here. I saw the sun for the first time in 10 days this morning.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Roxanne.... you don't have to put out the Red Light (district)

Yikes, I think I was reaching with that title. Anyways, here is a quick photoblog of the Red Light district (Sorry, no pictures of an prostitutes. Maybe I'll take a few on my next trip there.)

First we start off with a trip to the Erotic Museum. It's a funny little museum with lots of strange old pictures and some funny videos.

Next stop, the Hash Marijuana Hemp Museum. They had some pretty crazy looking old pipes and bongs. Plus, they have a big room where they grow pot. I've had a few friends who had maybe one or two little pot plants, but this was a green house dedicated to them. In a word: impressive.

I didn't actually go into here, it was really crowded but this is apparently a famous little coffee shop.

Here is my token canal picture in the Red Light District. I never realized how many canals this city had until I came here.

And here is a picture of Central Station, which is the main hub for the transit system in Amsterdam.

Dutch T.V.

So, I've now had the opportunity to watch some Dutch Television and there are some distinct differences from U.S. television.
1) They show boobs on Television! Ok, in all seriousness, I have seen boobs on various channels and at a variety of different times during the day and night.
2) There are these late night "dating" shows that are like our phone sex commercials in the U.S. I'm not 100% sure that you are buying prostitutes through your television, but that's my guess. I particularly started thinking that when the host of one of these shows took off her panties and put them in the envelope, and then something in Dutch popped on screen. I'm not sure if she was selling them, or if they were a gift to the next caller.
3) MTV here is a somewhat different. Instead of just having rap videos on 24/7, they actually have a nice variety of rock, rap and techno/dance music. And to my amazement, their videos featuring female artists are not contests to see who can wear the sluttiest whore outfit. Sorry Britney.
4) CNN international is FAR better than the CNN we see in America.
5) World and environmental issues are not only in the news here all the time, but they actually emphasize them.
6) Almost forgot, Metallica documentary on MTV is much better uncensored. See item 1)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Blogging from Amsterdam

Well, I am finally posting now that I'm in Amsterdam. It's been an interesting experience so far. The dutch are a friendly people, and they seem to be fairly chatty. I think the strangest thing is that everyone around me speaks in Dutch and everything is written in Dutch, but when I speak English, everyone speaks pretty articulate English right back at me. It almost feels as if the everyone around me has this secret language they speak except when they talk to me. I find it kind of funny actually. After talking to my boss here in Amsterdam, it sounds like I'm going to be working alot to get my project done here. However, since they lock up the university on the weekends, I should be able to go out and explore Amsterdam on Saturday and Sunday. This weekend I'm going to explore some of central Amsterdam, so expect more pictures next week. Until then, here's a few pictures.

Here is the view from outside my apartment. The view is nice, but as for my apartment... well, lets just say I yearn for the luxuries of my dorm days. (It's a bit rustic)

Here is a picture from the Albert Cuypmarket, which is a big street market in South Amsterdam. You can find alot of good food, or just cheap stuff. Hooray for my 10 euro watch and 7 euro sunglasses.

Here is a picture I took at the Heineken Experience, which is the old Heineken brewery that has now been turned into a kind of beer funhouse/temple.

And here is a random picture I took when I was in the museum district.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

An American Liberal in Amsterdam

For the non-locals who read this blog, I shall be heading off for a 2 month excursion to Amsterdam starting tomorrow. I'll be learning experimental techniques from a lab at the Vrije University that my research group is collaborating with. Of course, this also affords me the opportunity for having some fun in a foreign country and in particular a city that is well known for being fun. So expect alot of posts about Amsterdam over the next 2 months with some cool pictures. If anyone out there knows fun things to do in Amsterdam or great places to go, I encourage you to comment with suggestions.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Do not bother me at home

There is nothing that annoys me more than solicitors who show up at my home. Your home is your sanctuary, the place where you go to relax and (hopefully) escape most of your problems. My crappy little apartment is where I go to escape the world, either by imbibing some swill or microwaving my cerebrum(watching television). So when two Chrisitian solicitors decided to show up at my door on Sunday morning, I was none too pleased. Especially when I found out they were trying to push some Christian magazine on me.

Solicitors: So are you familiar with that part of the bible?
Me: I'm not a Christian.
Solicitors: Oh. So then what religion are you?
Me: None.
Solicitors: Oh. And why is that?
Me: Because I don't believe in the supernatural.
(2 seconds of very awkward silence)
Solcitors: Oh. Ok.

Then they tried to push their magazine on me. I guess I'll give them credit for still trying after that exchange. But still, the rule of thumb here is DON'T SOLICIT ME AT HOME DAMMIT!!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Perturbation theories...

A friend of mine, who used to work in my lab and now works at Los Alamos National Labs, has just started his own blog called Infinitessimal Pertubations. You should go check it out. He's had an interesting variety of posts so far. Everything from technology waste, to the origin of SHIT, to the rise of corporate media conglomerates. It's entertaining, well written, and quite informative. Go check it out.

Karl Rove you son of a bitch

Well, Karl Rove looks guilty as hell in this Newsweek/Valerie Plame/Robert Novak debacle. Personally, I'd love to see that fat bastard hang. I'm pretty sure that we still execute people in this country for treason, but I guess all the executions now are now lethal injection. Still, the Bush administration is already in panic mode, refusing to comment on Rove's role in this scandal. I won't underestimate Rove's ability to weasel his way out of these charges. Still, we might hear some of those fun "how do you define oral sex" style arguments. Ah the Clinton years, how I miss it.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London bombing

According to the BBC news, nearly 30 people have died in a series of terrorist bombing of London's transportation system. This is a horrible tragedy, but I'm glad to know that Mark is ok. You should read his post on his reaction to the bombings. Mark provides excellent perspective on this terrible day for London.

"Yes, every single bomb went off somewhere where I would regularly be. Yes, I am angry. Yes, it is cowardice. Yes, it is sick. Yes, I am worried about a lot of people. Yes, it is a waste of life.

Will it change my mind about Bush and Blair? No.

Has it changed my mind about war? No

Will I ever blame all Muslims? No." - Mark the Recidivist

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sex with a anti-choice chick?

As someone who is pro-choice, could you morally choose to have sex with someone you know is pro-life? That is a tough call. I know I have asked most of the women I've dated whether they are pro-choice or anti-choice, but there were at least two that I didn't ask. I would have to say that if I knew that a woman was 100% anti-choice, I do not think I'd have sex with her. It's just too damn risky and I have a real problem with people who are zealously anti-choice. As this post at Feministing shows, the choice can be more difficult for women who are pro-choice deciding whether or not to have sex with an anti-choice man. Of course for some women, such as Jessica at Feministing who says "sex with anti-choice folks is out of the question. No exceptions.", the choice isn't so difficult.