Saturday, January 20, 2007

Update on the site

Based on insider information (with me being an insider and all), as well as experience dealing with the people who work on the technical side of the site (they are busy with their professional and personal lives, not to mention having the legendary laziness), I would not expect the site back up and functioning until the end of February at the best, and my imaginary money would be on mid-March. Hopefully.

As often happens with these downtimes, the core audience will come back, but as for the rest, we'll simply have to build up readership again. Over the past decade, Nintendorks has shifted from a mostly news site to a mostly humor site, so we'll have to hone our comedy chops and make it worthwhile for Internet mutants to come visit the site on a semi-regular basis.

As such, I'll probably write some more Nintendo news pieces just to keep myself oiled, like an angry, disaffected tin man. Keep in touch in the meantime.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Don't jerk off in school, law says

Utah (not some midwest state like I originally thought, unless there are other states following suit) is trying to make it a misdemeanor to look at pornography in school:
Lawmakers want to make accessing pornographic material, on school property, grounds for suspension from school, along with a class B misdemeanor.
Under HB100, viewing porn on school computers would be a crime. Plus schools could suspend or expel students who are caught in the act.
Bill sponsor Bud Bowman, R-Cedar City, said currently there is no law against it, although most schools have created policies addressing consequences if students or employees are caught.
"Right now, they have school policies but no law — it needs a little teeth," Bowman said. "The bill would give authorities a way to back it up."
A class B misdemeanor can include penalties of up to six months in jail, and fines. Students would be turned over to juvenile authorities.

Ah, Representative Bowman, your state has laws already on the books that could handle such a thing without much effort on the part of the district attorney's office.
76-9-702. Lewdness
(1) A person is guilty of lewdness if the person under circumstances not amounting to rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, forcible sexual abuse, aggravated sexual assault, or an attempt to commit any of these offenses, performs any of the following acts under circumstances which the person should know will likely cause affront or alarm to, on, or in the presence of another who is 14 years of age or older:
(a) an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy;
(b) exposes his or her genitals, the female breast below the top of the areola, the buttocks, the anus, or the pubic area;
(c) masturbates;
(d) engages in trespassory voyeurism; or
(e) any other act of lewdness.
(2) Lewdness is a class B misdemeanor.

I was tempted to say Bowman might be campaigning, but he just won an election in November, so he's not due for another two years. He should be commended, I suppose, for actually working, but this seems like a bunch of hot air over nothing.

As for the kids, come on. Jerk off at home.

This isn't right

Earlier today I saw a quick blurb scroll on the bottom of the television that some midwestern state (Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska?) was looking to ban porn in libraries or schools. I wanted to read up on this, as it raises some free speech issues as well as the idea that this should already be banned under public indecency. So I did a search on Yahoo's news site and was bombarded with the following headlines:

Paedophile built 'super computer' to store massive stash of child porn
Former UNLV professor headed to trial on child porn charges
Shamokin man admits using child porn
Former Church Organist Faces Porn Charges
Racinian sentenced in child porn case
Google porn earns jail term

And just in case you think the human race is only full of pedophiles...

Florida man rapes, tortures wife to film porn video, police say

What the hell is wrong with the world?

Checkout Google, they are the Internet wizards

If you've been to Google recently, you'll see that you can sign up for their Google Checkout and get ten bucks towards your purchase. There's nothing really that excites me...Petco, Toys R Us...I'd rather go into Zales then purchase from them online, presuming I even had the money to buy jewelry with clear tetrahedrally bonded carbon atoms.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Coinstar Galactica

Coinstar provides a service wherein people can go to a green machine, usually in a supermarket, and dump their change inside for paper cash. Coinstar charges 8.9 cents for each dollar, thus making it incredibly wasteful to use, or perhaps the only option for people too shifty to use banks.

Well, last year (I suppose), Coinstar made it where you can get gift cards to places like Amazon and possibly Barnes and Noble (look it up, I'm not your mother). The fee for this is zero, probably because Amazon and the others pay Coinstar in the hopes you will direct your pocket change towards the retailers and not soda machines and porn booths.

Anyway, I thought I would try this out. I usually dump my pocket change in a bottle, then climb atop the tallest building and throw the coins at women and children. This Coinstar proposition seemed like a more useful way to spend my money, as well as indulging my need for consumerism while getting around my need to not spend money on stuff I don't need to live (unlike food, heat, clothing, Internet access).

The first time I used Coinstar (way back in August), they shortchanged me by about 11 cents on about $27. Alright, I can deal with that. Just recently I tried it again, and it came up 25 cents short on what should have been $15.55.

This may not seem like a lot (if your math sucks, it's roughly 35 cents), but it's supposed to be free and I don't need to use this service. I don't need Coinstar to change my money into money, and I don't need to buy stuff from Amazon. Screw me once, shame on random circumstances. Screw me twice, I'll keep my money.

"The bodies fell, and the numbers rose"

With Glenn Reynolds pushing the idea of mandatory gun ownership ("an armed populace can serve as an effective backup for law enforcement") and former Democratic congressional candidate Paul Hackett going Rambo on some folks who hit his fence with their car ("Indian Hill ranger Paul White found three men lying face down near their car and Hackett's pickup truck, and saw Hackett had an assault rifle slung over his shoulder"), The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an article in Sunday's paper called "A city's violence - and its victims" (1/14/07, page A16), which had this lede:
The bodies fell, and the numbers rose. Statistically, 2006 was Philadelphia's deadliest year in nearly a decade. The murder weapons of choice? Firearms
(emphasis mine)

The paper ran a map showing the locations of the violence, and broke down the numbers. Of the 406 homicides in 2006, 344 were by firearms, 17 by knife, 15 by hands/feet, 8 by arson, 3 by blunt objects, and 19 unknown (or other). Of the ten largest cities in Philadelphia, Philadelphia has the highest rate of homicide per 100,000 people (28 per), as well as the highest poverty rate (25%). To be fair, Detroit is far worse (47 per, 31%), but I'm not sure that's something to hang your hat on. Philadelphia's river mate Camden, N.J. has a 42 per 100,000 rate and 44% poverty.

These kinds of figures scare the hell out of white people, but the vast majority of targets in Philadelphia are black people. "Only" 55 white men were murdered last year, with eight of their vaginal counterparts being slain (these include light-skinned Hispanics). Among Asians, who aren't white F.Y.I., only seven males were murdered, while zero women succumbed to homicide. Even black women faired reasonably well, losing only 39 kin. Black males (including dark-skinned Hispanics), on the other hand, fell like rain. Seventy-three percent of all homicides were of black males, for a total of 296 people. Nearly half of them (137) were between the ages of 18 and 25, while 96 were between 26-40. Children 18 and under were felled to the tune of 26 people, whereas 37 victims were over 40.

So what does this mean? The quick reaction would be to note the incidence of homicide to color, but it would not be prudent to ignore the rate of poverty. Of the ten largest cities, San Jose has the lowest rate of poverty, at 10%. Their rate of homicide was 3 per 100,000. The largest cities with poverty rates over 20% had homicide rates in the double digits (the only exception is Phoenix, with 16% and 17 per). A look at other metropolises shows similar numbers. Baltimore has a poverty rate of 23% and a homicide rate of 43. Atlanta is 27%, 24 per. Cleveland is 32%, 26 per. Newark, N.J. is 25%, 37 per. Washington, D.C. has a poverty rate of 19% (which is close enough to 20%), and their homicide rate is 31 per 100,000. Boston appears to be a rare exception, with a poverty rate of 22% but a homicide rate of 13 per, but exceptions do not disprove the norm.

There is no one, best solution. However, there are steps that can be taken.
Guns might be fine for hunting and defending yourself against armed intruders, but we don't need people going after each other with them. Police can target hot spots to crack down on people carrying concealed weapons. We need to provide meaningful work opportunities for the disadvantaged (and the rest of us, too), but in the meantime, as pitiful as it will be, an increase in the minimum wage would help alleviate some of the problem.

There may be a culture of violence among the urban poor. Perhaps they feel frustrated with their lives to the point the only satisfying way of solving problems is through violence, or perhaps they're a bunch of ignorant assholes. Either way, the members of the community have to step up. Kids need ways to spend their time constructively. They need positive role models. When people see crime, they need to come forward and have the support of their neighbors (none of this "stop snitch'n" bullshit). You get the idea.

So, is it possible for the police, the government and the people to work together? In theory. Will it happen? Read for yourself:
Mayor Street lashed back at District Attorney Lynne Abraham on Thursday, likening her recent criticism of him to a "little temper tantrum" and remarking that she "goes bananas" from time to time.
* * *
Twice in the last week, Abraham has sharply criticized the mayor for what she says is his lack of leadership in fighting violent crime. Her broadsides came after the Street administration told her office that it should prepare for a 2.5 percent budget cut next fiscal year.

The Catholic Church: Enron with molestation

The church is always begging for money, but you may want to think twice before dropping that dollar bill in the collection basket:
A new study by Villanova University has found that 85 percent of Roman Catholic dioceses have discovered embezzlement in the last 5 years with 11 percent having been embezzled out of more than a half million dollars each.

So begins David O'Reilly in his article "Study finds embezzlement to be common in dioceses," published January 3, 2007 on page 1A in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

In a time when we are lectured on morality, it's nice to see Catholics find the time to steal from each other in between sessions of fondling underdeveloped cocks and balls. Meanwhile, dioceses are being forced to close down private schools due to lack of funding, but the Pope gets to take a shit on a solid gold toilet, after which his buttocks is wiped clean with silk and he washes his hands with the tears of a Snow Leopard.

Oh, well, so long as the state doesn't issue marriage certificates to gays, everything is okay!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A new dating service for all the right people

Finally a dating site that gets down to what matters:
Women only need to provide five photos. And be hot.

Men only need to provide their age range. And their annual income. And the value of their investments. And what their trust is worth. Hotness factor? Not a criteria.
(via Jossip)

I don't think I can participate.

EDIT 1/17/06 12:54 a.m.: In case I didn't make it clear, in order for men to compete, they need to earn at least a $200,000 salary, have at least $1 million invested assets, and (or?) have at least a $4 million trust. Either way, out of my league.

Kei Igawa comments on his upcoming experience

A quote from his website with translation via Babelfish:
It is joining an organization interview, but you thought that, from before it will make speech in English. From now on it is the case that you play in America because there was the thinking that and, you would like to convey your own feeling in word of the locale, is. Before the visiting America you thought of contents, that to English had converting to the staff, in the airplane which faces to New York, a little just you practiced. If it is possible and how that (laughing), in just the enthusiasm which challenges to English should have been transmitted to everyone of the American fan, you think that is.

In interview, it passed through the sleeve to the uniform of the pin stripe of ヤンキース which is tradition. But, reality does not boil yet, is honest feeling. Without being the case that you play, if the sushi, from this gradually, it can keep becoming one member of the team, with you think. Simply, game starts more and more, you say that is, it became the pleasant feeling where it will be exciting. From now on to camp in 1 month or less, adjusting securely with independent トレ, we would like to flow together to the team, is.

At least eight years and Babelfish still can't translate worth shit.