Against the Grain

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Archive for the ‘educational’ Category

Is Chrome THAT Bad-ass? Probably, and probably not

Posted by Patrick on 2 Sep 2008

Out on the wild, wild Interweb, there are people spouting praise upon praise upon praise for the promise of Google’s new web browser, Chrome, which made its debut today.

I must admit, I am a fan of it. I really do like it. But it’s not the second coming of a bread-slicer (at least, not in its beta form) but I’d say it does do a great number of things in new, ingenious ways. You can read all over the web about how well it breaks down browsing into separate processes, how it manages memory, how it holyshitifies the speed of javascript apps running browser-side.

But let’s be real. First impressions are a big deal in this Age. People are upset that Windoze is the only currently-supported OS. Whilst the majority want a Mac/Linux port, I personally want to see a mobile port to compare it to Opera Mini, which absolutely rocks except for how it manages cookies (maybe it’s only on my bberry – separate post). Sure it’ll be part of Android, but how about something for RIM or CE users to really grab hold of the mobile web market? Of course, I’m sure it’s planned.

Also, even on Windows, it has issues with how it handles some pages that were designed for either IE or Fox/Flock. Of note are pages I use at work which run frame-based UIs over Tomcat are rendered completely blank (cue the “Let’s Make a Deal” zonk music). Parts of my homepage are Flash-based and they don’t render properly. My personal email web-UI doesn’t render properly and runs in limited feature mode.

There is certainly work to be done – duh, that’s why it’s a beta. So, while Chrome may eventually turn out so badass that it was indeed the brains behind creating the Virgin Mary in all those inanimate objects like grilled cheese sammiches, right now it’s a somewhat sweet, slightly buggy, yet exhilirating, fresh take on web browsing. NOW GIVE ME SOME PLUGINS!

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Posted in educational, News Items, omfg, opinion, technology | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BCS Playoffs – 2007 Matchups

Posted by Patrick on 13 Dec 2007

Let’s assume for a minute that the NCAA’s FBS, that would be the organization formerly known as Division 1-A, were to institute a playoff system with this years teams.  And just for laughs let’s say it’s a 16-team tournament even though the top 10 teams are the only “BCS bowl” team under the current hokey-ass, lamefied system.  Using that bracket as a basis (go to ESPN if you can’t visualize a 16-team bracket), let’s look at what the matchups would be and which one would be the “best”.  Also, yell loudly when you spot a “bad” game in any round.

First Round:
1 Ohio State
vs 16 Tennessee
8 Kansas vs 9 West Virginia

5 Georgia vs 12 Florida
4 Oklahoma vs 13 Illinois (I’m yelling loudly)

3 Virginia Tech vs 14 Boston College
6 Missouri vs 11 Arizona State

7 USC vs 10 Hawaii
2 LSU vs 15 Clemson

The best matchup in this round, if you ask me, is USC vs Hawaii.  I’m tempted to say it’s UGA versus Florida in a rematch of the annual world’s largest cocktail party, but honestly Florida should be scared of UGA right now.  So no, USC vs Hawaii.  We’re talking about Petey Carroll and his pretty boy JD Bootylicious with all that offense taking on Juniper Jones and Colt 45 Brennan and all their offense.  Neither team really does well on defense – yeah, ok USC at least fields 11 capable athletes, but let’s face it that their defense is the reason they’re not in the top 3.

Best chance for an upset:  Arizona State over Missouri in my book.  Though it’s not really an upset, I think WV would take out Kansas as well.  My picks are in bold.

Second Round:
1
Ohio State vs 9 West Virginia
5 Georgia vs 4
Oklahoma
3 Virginia Tech vs 11
Arizona State
7 USC vs 2 LSU

The best game in this round, and probably the best matchup you are going to get out of these teams, is Georgia vs Oklahoma.  Face facts folks, at the end of the 2007 season, Oklahoma is scary good – Georgia is omfg scary good.  Let’s also realize that Georgia was 1 triple overtime Tennessee game versus Kentucky away from being in the SEC title game against LSU, whom they would have taken behind the woodshed and been ranked #1 or #2 at the end of the season – frankly I think they are the hottest team in college football right now – maybe they weren’t for the whole season, but for right now, they are executing with the most horsepower.  But what makes this matchup so great is that Oklahoma is the true #2 team in my opinion.  OU got lots of dap for winning the Big 12 with pollsters, but found themselves at #4 regardless.  Sadly, only one team can move forward, and I’m picking Georgia in a close, physical battle.

Best upset chance: West Virginia destroys Ohio State in a laugher.

Semifinals:
9
West Virginia vs 5 Georgia
3 Virginia Tech vs 2
LSU

I just raved about UGA, so I’ll talk about why VT will beat LSU.  It’s because of Les Miles and his general inability to manage a game; in this match he’s going to do something boneheaded and it’s going to cost his hard-working team the game.  Not to discredit VT, because they are going to put points on the board vs LSU’s mediocre secondary and “hey he breathed on me so throw a flag” mentality.  This team may be spouting about “we were only 2x 3OT losses away from being undefeated”, but at that point, a loss is a loss – if you’re a good enough team, win the game in four quarters and keep your panties on your waist whining about triple overtime.  if your defense could hold a goal line, they wouldn’t have lost either game anyway.  I’ve got VT over LSU somewhere in the 31-20 range.

Championship Game:
5 Georgia vs 3
Virginia Tech

Yes, so it comes down to this for all the hypothetical marbles you want to throw into the circle.  As I already said, Georgia is omfg scary good right now.  Like cakerockstheparty said in such eloquent words, the dawgs are “out for blood”, Turnbull A.C.’s be damned.  I’ve got them taking this tournament against VT in a game somewhere around 27-23 – a close one.

So, if you’re a Georgia fan, let me hear some love! 

Will college football ever see a playoff? Yes.  Will we be old, crotchety men shaking our canes at the TV by then? Maybe.

Posted in educational, entertainment, football, humor, NCAA, News Items, omfg, opinion, sports, what would happen if... | 3 Comments »

How Computer-Savvy is Your Mate

Posted by Patrick on 9 Dec 2007

If you’re reading this post, you can at least wield a mouse and keyboard enough to search for something on Google or your favorite search engine, or you can navigate wordpress fairly well.  How about your significant other?  I’ve devised a quick little quiz to bring out the true nature of your mate’s overall computer skills.  You may play along if you wish.

1. What is the commonly-used name for these compressed file types?
a.  .zip
b.  .rar
c.  .tar.gz

2.  Which one of these isn’t a popular GNU/Linux distribution?
a.  Fedora
b.  Slackware
c.  Xubuntu
d.  Leftish

3.  Which one of these is not a web browser?
a. Concerto
b. Flock
c. Opera
d. SeaMonkey

4.  Which one of these is not a common PC input type?
a.  RJ-45
b.  RG-11
c.  RCA
d.  SATA

5.  Which of these protocols operates at the fastest speed?
a.  USB 2.0
b.  DS-3
c.  Firewire
d.  ATA

 

How did you do?

Posted in educational, humor, men, random, technology, women | Leave a Comment »

Gamer Husbands Top Most Loyal Spouses List

Posted by Patrick on 19 Oct 2007

Ladies, we know what the statistics say.  Most studies and exit poll type surveys on married couples attribute that 60% of men and 40% of women that are married are or have been involved in an extramarital affair of some sort.  Moreover, in the US it is approaching the 80% likeliness rate for at least one partner in a marriage to have had such an affair.  Like so many other researchers and sociologists, I aim to find out what some of the triggers are; but beyond that, I’m looking for classes of men and women who don’t have the propensity to be unfaithful.

Please don’t scoff at the title, though I’m sure some will.  From January to October 2007, I conducted a sociological study of married people to assess where their tendencies towards infidelity are most prevalent.  Oddly enough, I ended up collecting more data than I had intended, and some of it is extrapolated for this purpose.  This research is my own and the results I choose to share are my own; I have submitted to several relevant publications for inclusion and hope to gain some spotlight from at least one of them.

A little bit of demographic information:

Total surveyed 16583
Men 9726
Women 6857
Average age (all) 31y 172d
Age (men) 32y 31d
Age (women) 30y 219d

I’m not going to go into racial/ethnic balance and geographic dispersion, but I will say that the demographics are close to the overall American population averages, and that I have at least 50 respondents from all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

So, first let’s talk about what I found were the categories of men and women that are most likely to be unfaithful.  In my population, 916 respondents (5.52%) reported an annual income of over $200k per year – the majority of these were also in large metropolises.  Of those 916 (552 men, 364 women), 788 (86%) admitted to either a current or previous extramarital affair in their current marriage.  From that 788, only 207 averaging an age of 29y 106d were in their first marriage which simply tells us that 581 (73.7%) of those who are cheating in the high tax bracket have been married at least twice. Lesson to be learned:  if you are divorced and looking for a big fish to pay the bills, be prepared for her/him to step out for free samples, because nearly all of them are doing it once they’ve gotten back on the boat at least once.

Among other income brackets, those earning under $25k per year were the second most likely to cheat at 52.6%.  I found that, on basis of income alone, those married people earning between $40k and $60k per year (5147 respondents) were the least likely to cheat, but this number was still at 31.911% and was higher for women than men.

Where propensity to be unfaithful gets interesting is when it’s broken down by common hobbies.  I think it is largely untouched to approach the hobbies of married people as a basis for comparison.  While it can be said with some value that individual personalities drive their hobbies and ultimately their mental framework of fidelity, we can certainly learn a lot about a person by what they value in their spare time.

You may be surprised (and you may not) by these stats.  The hobby which garnered the most unfaithful responses in the survey was weightlifting/working out.  Maybe this isn’t a surprise; people who are attempting to take care of their body and shape themselves as they wish are usually more confident and able to carry conversation better than those who do not value personal appearance.  But an alarming 75.22% of those who marked their primary hobby as weightlifting/working out also noted that they either have or currently are having extramarital relations.

Looking at the faithful end of the spectrum now, I was absolutely shocked at my own results.  There are 4844 (29.2%) respondents who marked “video games” as one of their top two hobbies, which was surprising, but not so much over the average age of 31y.  This is comprised of mostly men, of course, but more than 1000 women are in this category.  Overall, only 372 (7.68%) people in this group responded that they are/have been unfaithful in their current marriage.  2941 in this group have been married more than once, and 1502 of these 2941 said that a previous marriage ended because of their spouse’s unfaithfulness but not their own.

Breaking down this gamer category for men and women, there were 3683 men and 1161 women.  Of the 372 marking themselves as unfaithful, 244 were women and 128 were men.  This gives us a yield of 3.48% of gamer men having fidelity issues and 21.02% of women.  Despite the relative disparity, these numbers are still well below other demographic rankings and certainly below the national statistic estimates.

A brief list, by primary hobby, of fidelity rankings:

Best – Men
1.  Video games
2.  Reading
3.  Religious study

Worst – Men
1.  Weightlifting/working out
2.  Financial investing
3.  Golf

Best – Women
1.  Knitting/Sewing
2.  Religious study
3.  Video games

Worst – Women
1.  Weightlifting/working out
2.  Club hopping/bar hopping
3.  Volunteering/Community outreach (!)

I will repost or update this post if my full research is published in any accredited publication.

Posted in educational, infidelity, marriage, men, reading, research, sociology, women | 9 Comments »

When do gamers grow up?

Posted by Patrick on 20 Sep 2007

The community of adults, especially adult males, in the US that hold onto habits traditionally attributed to children is an ever-growing one.  Why do you think that is?  Are we socially more immature, or are we men devolving mentally into lengthened adolescent periods whereby we don’t realize our true potential until well after we reach adulthood?  Or, is there some other force at work?

I’m 31, which puts me square in the prime demographic of adults these days who are absolutely hooked on video games — not just adults who enjoy playing freecell on the computer or who like to occasionally drop a quarter into Ms. Pac-Man, I’m talking about adults in this country who are absolutely addicted to video games.  We are the first in line when a new console hits the market, we are the demographic of people who keep companies like AlienWare in business — we think of computing first as a method of gaming, and secondly as a method of being productive with work. What’s more, the “hardcore gamer” community is looking at a growing population of women, to boot.  Whereas we medium-aged gamer adults pioneered most of the gaming consoles and usually have hours of stories about the time we pwned mob X in game Y with friends A B and C.  It’s not a hobby — no, it’s an entire existence.

Does an addition to video games make us less mature as adults?  Sociological studies disagree on this topic, but I must say that I think so.  From the perspective of one study, the constant interaction present in many online multi-player games (MMORPGs) promotes social awareness and tact.  Another study, published more recently, indicates that young men and young women who have a strong affinity towards video games (who play games more than 20 hours a week) grow as adults to be more socially eccentric and are generally less comfortable in human-to-human interactions than the same demographic of non-gamers.

So, what are the criteria for someone to have “grown up”?  If you ask me, it’s when a person begins to accept responsibility for themselves, but more than that, it’s when a person makes conscious decisions to better themselves and follows through with them.  To me, that is the mark of someone who has grown up.  When I think of that, I always have questions:

  • Can a hardcore gamer be “grown up”?  Absolutely. 
  • Are the majority of adult gamers also “grown up”?  No, they aren’t. 
  • Do I mean to imply that kicking the video game habit can help someone grow up?  Yes, I do.
  • Do I have an addiction?  I used to, but have outgrown it.
  • Am I a gamer myself? Yes, I am, but casually.
  • Are time-sink video games hurting American society?  Yes, they are.
  • Do I think I have “grown up”? Yes, but only after my first child was born.

Are video games the only source of the social devolution?  Of course not; just look at network TV these days.  It plays on the most basic of human instincts to try attracting viewers.  There’s literally nothing on network TV in prime time these days which is suitable for children.  Compare that to a socially fluid country like Japan — take a look at what comes on TV in the prime hours in Tokyo; you’d be amazed.  It’s full of variety shows, educational shows about Japan itself (like places to go to do X kinds of things), and lots and lots of comedy and drama.  This is a different post, but drama in Japan is not medically, criminally or sexually driven like every drama in this country.  No, they actually maintain some sort of socially responsible standard.

Posted in educational, Japan, men, opinion, reading, TV, women | 3 Comments »

Men’s Euphemisms for Women

Posted by Patrick on 13 May 2007

If you’re a Laura Mallory or otherwise hypersensitive, mark-of-society woman with no sense of humor that can’t stand to be called anything other than your first name, then please have a nice day and continue on with your life without reading this post.

This is meant to be a fun post. I wish for men to participate and for women to contribute as well as be educated. What I want to take time compiling here are the absolute best nicknames, euphemisms, references, whatever that men use to refer to women and/or their favorite parts of women.

The euphemisms will be classified as such, and upon receiving the first reader submissions I will organize this post into this format:

1) Women in general, including full body/physique jargon
2) upper body including privates
3) lower body including privates
4) butts
5) feets
6) all others

I will be moderating comments and submissions on this post by disallowing standard comments and requiring the contact form at the bottom of this post in their place. My moderation rules are simple: you will receive credit for your submissions if accepted. This is meant to be humorous for men, so if it’s funny, great; if it’s practical, I’ll probably still take it; if it’s neither, chances are slim. In all submissions, you may not defame women or a specific person. Do not send me something which implies violence. You may be crass, you may be off-color (but not obscene), you may be rude if it is funny (to me) — if you think it’s questionable, try me. In the case of all submissions, I will personally decide which ones are posted. If you try to spam me because I rejected your post, I will block your IP address foevah evah and have a nice day.

Posted in educational, hotties, humor, idiocy, opinion, random, women, wtf | Leave a Comment »

Harry Potter Book 7 Release Date

Posted by Patrick on 1 Feb 2007

News story from comcast.net

HP and the Deathly Hallows will be released on 21 July 2007. Bloomsbury stock on the London Exchange went up 2.2% immediately following the announcement.

Hardback MSRP – $34.99
“Deluxe” edition MSRP – $65.00
Library edition – $39.99

Ok boys and girls, except for Laura Mallory, let the countdown begin!

Posted in e-commerce, educational, harry potter, News Items, omfg | Leave a Comment »

Kanji-A-Day 23 January 2007

Posted by Patrick on 23 Jan 2007

Today’s kanji (Japanese usage) is:

女性
jo-sei
female (woman)

Posted in educational, japanese, kanji, 日本語 | Leave a Comment »

Kanji-A-Day 22 January 2007

Posted by Patrick on 23 Jan 2007

It occurred to me that I didn’t post for Monday, 22 January. Here is the (belated) lesson from yesterday I meant to post.

Today’s kanji (Japanese usage) is:

男性
dan-sei
male (man)

Posted in educational, japanese, kanji, 日本語 | Leave a Comment »

Kanji-A-Day 19 January 2007

Posted by Patrick on 18 Jan 2007

Today’s Kanji (Japanese usage) for today and for this weekend will cover the days of the week:

nichiyoubi getsuyoubi kayoubi suiyoubi mokuyoubi kinyoubi doyoubi

These are the days of the week from Sunday to Saturday.

Posted in educational, japanese, kanji, 日本語 | Leave a Comment »