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Articles: 2008 April

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Page 1

I Suppose That WOULD Be Annoying
Wednesday, 2008 April 30 - 10:08 am
At first I thought this was an article from The Onion.

People of Lesbos take gay group to court over term 'Lesbian'

ATHENS, Greece - A Greek court has been asked to draw the line between the natives of the Aegean Sea island of Lesbos and the world's gay women.

Full article here.
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Posted by Ken in: funnyhaha

American Idol 2008 Week 11: Top 5
Tuesday, 2008 April 29 - 8:29 pm
Carly was the surprise loser last week. This week: Neil Diamond. Way to be modern and relevant, guys. This is turning into "Senior Citizen Idol".


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Posted by Ken in: television

Thursday, 2008 April 24 - 9:30 am
Remember this post, where I noted the recurring pattern of Apple's stock plunging after announcing first quarter results, only to have the stock completely over the course of the year? Remember when I said Wall Street investors must be idiots?

The day before the announcement, on January 22nd, Apple stock closed at $159.64. The day after, on January 23rd, Apple stock plunged to $139.07. The stock eventually hit a low just under $120 per share.

As of right now, Apple's stock price is $162.55.

Apple's second quarter earnings report indicated a remarkable rise in Mac sales. Though iPod sales were essentially flat compared to last year, I think the Mac sales number is more important; Apple will pick up a much larger "halo effect" as new Mac owners purchase more software, accessories, and upgrades.

Watch for the stock to rise considerably in the run-up to the rumored introduction of the 3G iPhone. And for those who are interested, a 3G iPhone has become a stronger possibility now that one of the two major obstacles has (according to the rumor mill) been resolved: Apple may have found a low-power chipset that will allow for 3G communication. I'm still not sure how they plan to address AT&T's poor 3G coverage; perhaps they'll still market the current iPhone for areas not covered by 3G, at a reduced price.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Best News of the Day
Tuesday, 2008 April 22 - 9:34 pm
Masturbation May Prevent Prostate Cancer.

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Posted by Ken in: funnyhahainteresting

New Catch Phrase
Tuesday, 2008 April 22 - 8:16 pm
One of Amy's co-workers noted about me: "He's funny. Not too funny, but funny." Here's an example.

While watching the show "Captured", Amy made the observation that murder victims were almost always nice, friendly people. "It's always the nice ones that killed. Maybe I should be a bitch."

My response: "No, it's just that they don't put it on TV when the bitches get killed. No one cares. Ain't no milk cartons for the bitches."

Ain't No Milk Cartons for the Bitches. We laughed for, oh, several seconds about that one.
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Posted by Ken in: funnyhaha

American Idol 2008 Week 10: Top 6
Tuesday, 2008 April 22 - 8:04 pm
Observation: instead of Ryan Seacrest giving us his signature "THIS.... is American Idol" opening, I'd like to hear James Earl Jones do it.

Kristy Lee Cook went out last week, at last. This week: show tunes! Specifically, Andrew Lloyd Webber music. Expect a lot of, er, drama. I think Jesus Christ Superstar offers the best chance for the contestants not to seem overly theatrical.

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Posted by Ken in: television

American Idol 2008 Week 9: Top 7
Tuesday, 2008 April 15 - 8:04 pm
Michael Johns went out last week. This week's theme: Mariah Carey, guh.

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Posted by Ken in: television

Learn Something Every Day
Tuesday, 2008 April 15 - 12:33 pm
It's possible to be allergic to water. Sort of. Maybe.

Specifically, there's a very rare condition called aquagenic urticaria (water-related hives) that causes a person's skin to react to water with rashes and blisters.

Supposedly, there was a famous case of this some years ago, where a girl named Heidi Falconer was diagnosed with the problem; she had to be treated with a Swedish foam product that created a waterproof barrier for her skin, so she could do everyday things like taking a shower.

This smells a lot like an urban legend, and there's very little reliable medical information on this condition out there on teh Internets. So I'm not really sure how real this all is. "Aquagenic urticaria" is more of a symptom description than an actual disease, and some suspect that hypersensitivity to chlorine is a more likely cause of the problem than water itself. Also, it doesn't appear to be a histamine reaction, like most allergies. So "allergic to water" might be stretching the truth a little bit.
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Posted by Ken in: interesting

Deep in the Heart of Taxes
Sunday, 2008 April 13 - 4:40 pm
During tax time last year, I was shocked into a temporary state of Republicanism when I found that my various sales of Apple stock caused me to owe several thousand dollars in capital gains taxes. After squeezing every drop of [legal] deductions out of my returns, I still got socked with a combined federal and state tax bill of about $5700.

This year was somewhat better. I'm actually getting some money back on my federal return. I still owe money on my state return. I blame this on the bizarre NC-4 tax withholding worksheet, which somehow told me I was eligible for eight exemptions on my state taxes. And I believed it. D'oh!

So between my federal and state taxes, and the stimulus-package tax rebate that'll be coming, my net is somewhere around... zero. Which is good, I guess.

There was a question on Yahoo Answers recently (more of a rant than a question, actually), that went something like this: if all the damn liberals are so much in favor of higher taxes, why not make an optional line item on the tax return, so liberals can voluntarily pay more?

I answered thusly: "Sure, sounds reasonable. Also, conservatives who want lower taxes should voluntarily avoid using taxpayer-funded services, like roads, public parks, and the military. If conservatives want to continue the war in Iraq, the should go fight there themselves.

"Or maybe, just maybe, we should all get together and try to do what's in our common best interests, rather than just trying to maximize our personal gains."

My response received a couple of thumbs-ups and a couple of thumbs-downs before the question was deleted by Yahoo altogether.

It does make me wonder, though: are Republicans, because of their anti-tax stance, more likely to cheat on taxes than Democrats? And if so, shouldn't they be audited more frequently?
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Posted by Ken in: lifepolitics

American Idol 2008 Week 8: Top 8
Wednesday, 2008 April 9 - 8:18 am
Ramiele went out last week. This week's theme: Inspirational songs. Everyone sticks to songs they're comfortable with, and it ends up being a pretty good night.

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Posted by Ken in: television

Learn Something Every Day
Friday, 2008 April 4 - 1:48 pm
I'm a few days behind with factoids, so I'll post several today.

There's little scientific evidence that drinking 64 ounces of water every day is necessary or beneficial. No one is quite sure where the "8 8-ounce glasses" standard came from, but the new thinking is more like the old thinking: drink when you're thirsty.

The word "disquisition" means "an elaborate analytical or explanatory essay or discussion". I'm not sure if there's a Spanish translation for that word, but then again, NOBODY expects a Spanish disquisition.

There are three elements that begin with the letter "D": dysprosium (Dy), Dubnium (Db) and Darmstadtium (Ds). Of the three, only dysprosium occurs in nature. Also, there are no elements that begin with the letter "W", unless you count "wolfram", which is more commonly known as tungsten (W). These facts may help you if you're trying to name all the elements from memory.

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Posted by Ken in: interesting

April Foo
Tuesday, 2008 April 1 - 8:13 pm
Yeah, I was gonna do a big April Fool's post, but I just didn't have the energy to finish it. I did find a video of the best April Fools' joke ever, though. Be sure to watch until the end.
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Posted by Ken in: funnyhaha

American Idol 2008 Week 7: Top 9
Tuesday, 2008 April 1 - 8:04 pm
Chikezie went out last week. This week's theme: Dolly Parton.

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Posted by Ken in: television

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