Line Rider – My Favorite Flash Game!

There are a lot of great games that have been developed with Flash. Tangerine Panic and Flight of the hamsters come to mind as some of the most entertaining web browser diversions to date. Until now that it! Last weekend we had some pretty serious upgrades to do at work and while we were waiting for all our servers to pull themselves together, we found Line Rider.

Line Rider is a game where you design a track upon which a little sledding figure rides. You can throw him, catch him and wreck him. If you get him going too fast and pull him too hard around a corner, his little sled will crush beneath his weight. The game is designed in such a way that you can return to design mode and make changes to your track as often as you like. You can even save your track and come back to edit it later.

My track involved a lot of air and catches, but others have done some pretty amazing things by incorporating an interesting track with amazing artwork. This video is just one example.

Twisted Children’s Books

It always cracks me up when someone creates a funny publication cover with Photoshop. It reminds me of “Whipped Magazine” and the idea Roderick and I had for our U.P.I. (Useless Publications International) magazine “Hobo NOW!”.

In that vein, Something Awful has an entire series of Photoshoped up children’s book covers. “Buddy’s Big Surprise” was my favorite, but there are 10 pages of them. Most are safe for work, but not all.
Buddy's Big Surprise

Strom Thurmond – Still History’s Biggest Windbag

Strom Thurmond conducted the longest filibuster in history when he talked to the US senate for 24 hours in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957. All these years, Thurmond’s throne as nation’s biggest windbag has gone totally without challenge… Until now.

Jeffrey Long, a high school student from the Buffalo, NY area, decided that the time had come from someone to unseat the late, but long-winded US Senator and proposed to out-talk him for his senior project. He set up camp at the Buffalo Historical Society and started talking. He talked and talked and talked until shortly after 4:00 AM, when he sat down to take a short break and promptly nodded off to sleep.

He was only five hours short of breaking Thurmond’s record.

I’m sorry you didn’t quite make it Jeffrey. It’s not easy to out-talk the biggest windbag in America’s history.

Hillary Clinton is the Wrong Democrat

Because of the way the Clinton family, along with a number of other “old” democrats worked to sabotage Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential campaign, there is simply no way I could ever bring myself to support Hillary’s 2008 Presidential candidacy.

Ignoring her despicable treatment of Dean, and the fact that she is simply not electable, it also turns that she was on the Walmart board of directors from 1986 to 1992. That’s right, Walmart. The company that has a rich and illustrious history of discrimination, human rights violations, paying miserably low wages, destroying local environments, locking employees inside its stores, invading residential neighborhoods, creating traffic congestion, noise and light pollution, contributing to urban sprawl, and censoring the books, DVDs and videos it sells.

Hillary Clinton with the Walmart Board of Directors

Hillary Clinton with the Walmart Board of Directors

It makes you wonder doesn’t it? If she spent time on the board of a company that refuses to pay employee benefits and violently crushes any attempt for workers to unionize, how would she respond to these issues as President? Not favorably I suspect. I think I’ll vote for a “new” democrat this time. I think I’ll vote Obama.

Used Sun Fire T2000 For Sale

The University where I work is currently selling a used Sun Fire T2000 server. Since many of this site’s readers are fellow Solaris administrators, I thought it would be nice to offer it up to them. It has never been used in production and is in like-new condition.

  • Sun Fire T2000 Server
  • 4 core 1.0 Ghz UltraSPARC T1 processor
  • 8GB DDR memory (16 512MB DIMMs)
  • 2X 73GB 10,000PRM disk drives
  • 1X DVD-ROM/CDRW drive
  • Serial Number: 0617NNN1FY
  • Starting Bid: $6,000

If you are interested, or would like any further information, please leave a comment of visit this link. Our campus policy states that big ticket items like this must be sold using an auction style bidding system. I should add, however, that most items in the surplus system are sold with only one bid, so please don’t let the process discourage you if you are at all interested.

Raising Mallard Ducklings Redux

Last month Lola, our one-year old Mallard hen, started laying eggs at an tremendous rate! We first counted seven, then twelve, then a whopping 17! About four weeks ago she built a nest out of straw, rolled them all into it, and started sitting on them like she was on a mission.

Every day when I got home from work, I let Lola and Hank (the father) out of the duck coup so they could fly down to our pond and dabble around in the water. As the weeks passed, Lola was less and less inclined to get off her nest, but when she did decide to fly down to the pond she would stay for quite some time.

In my reading about hatching duck eggs, I learned that the hen should really not stay away from the nest for more than about thirty minuets. Since Lola has made repeated sorties lasting longer than a few hours, Courtney and I had all but given up on the prospect of this nest full of eggs hatching. As the book suggested, we would let her sit on the nest for the entire 28 day incubation period, but we were really starting to dread the task of removing the eggs and taking down her nest. Loosing a nest in this way is devastating for a brooding hen, but once you are sure the eggs are not viable, it must be done so that her health will not suffer.

Last Thursday, however, as I was bringing them fresh food and water I decided to check up on the nest. I gently nudged Lola’s wing out of the way to view the eggs, and much to my surprise I saw cracking shells and heard little “peeps” coming from the eggs. I put a small drinker full of fresh water near the nest, along with a little dish of starter crumble in case they hatched while we were away at work.

Friday, I came home from to a very confused looking Lola and a nest full of eggs that were in the process of hatching. Some ducklings were totally free from their shells, while others were just climbing out. All in all, we had 13 ducklings hatch and only four eggs that were not viable. Much to Lola’s dismay, I gently removed the broken egg shells from the nest, but left those that had not hatched in place. By Saturday afternoon she had pushed the four unhatched eggs out of her nest to make room for her sizable brood.

Most of her time is currently spent hovering over the baby ducks to keep them warm, but every hour or so she takes them to the drinker for some water and food.

Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race

We missed it this year, but it looks like the 2007 Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race was great fun! On Saturday, May 5, Kinetic Sculpture enthusiasts gathered from far and wide on the shore of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in central Maryland to partake in an eight-hour race that covered 15 miles on pavement, mud, sand and water.

In its purest form, the term kinetic sculpture refers to a class of moving art that originated in Europe, but became internationally popular from the late 1950s through 1960s. The moving parts of a kinetic sculpture can be powered by anything from wind to the maker’s hand, but a sculpture that is to be raced must cary the artist with it and be entirely human-powered. As you can see by the photos the race participants have come up with some very creative and interesting contraptions to race. More photos can be seen here.

The awards contestants can win for their efforts are extremely entertaining and include prizes for such off-the-wall categories as “Sock Creature of the Universe”, “Golden Flipper”, and “Worst Honorable Mention”. The grand prize bestows upon its winner the esteemed title of “Grand East Coast National Mediocre Champion”.

It is highly suggested that spectators refer to Karen Wallace’s Kinetic Costuming Guide when putting together their outfit for the day, and they are expected to abide by the “Official Spectator Code Of Conduct“, which states:

  • Hands, equipped with white gloves should be waved VIGOROUSLY over head whenever viewing Kinetic Sculptures or when on camera.
  • Tall Spectators must take care to stand in back row when witnessing Glorious Events. On no account should Spectators throw their bodies in the path of oncoming Sculptures.
  • Cardboard Grin must be worn at all times when personal misery or state of mind interferes with maintaining a normal happy smile.
  • Be sure to remove lens cap from camera before serious picture-taking.
  • Eat a good breakfast for extra stamina for the day’s rigorous events.
  • Littering, if it fits your character, is OK. However, see Official Spectator Code of Conduct rule #10.
  • Refrain from pushing or otherwise assisting Sculptures while Race Officials are watching.
  • Do not tie up Port-a-Potties in order to apply makeup or to eat lunch or to escape inclement weather.
  • You are a Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Spectator Ambassador to the World. Remember that local, national, and international cameras are on you (your mother is watching). It is your Kinetic Duty to represent our Glorious City with Dignity and Distinction.
  • At the end of the day, Spectators shall pick up all litter, depositing same in suitable receptacles. Kinetic Sculpture Race Officials, Pilots, Pit Crew, Barnacles, and Spectators are very tidy people. Furthermore, this is the only Glorious City we’ve got to race in. If you are derelict in your Spectator Duties, this Glorious race will be banished from this Glorious Kingdom of Baltimore.