9 Day Weekend

Because .NET Framework 3.0 which includes the product I work on: CardSpace (formerly known as InfoCard) was shipped, the whole CSD team is getting 3 extra days off this Thanksgiving, giving us a 9 day weekend. It was announced somewhat late + my favorite vacation is where I get to wake up at 3pm in the afternoon and not go to sleep till 7am in the morning.

Friday was also basically part of a weekend since in the afternoon, we went to watch Casino Royale (review to come soon) as a morale event and that evening, we had our ship party at The Triple Door, which basically consisted of open bar and 80’s music. Met up with a bunch of people from my team and we spent a lot of time just chatting, doing trivia cards, and connecting pogs to form structures to balance alien finger-puppets on them. I had this awesome chair which was like 10 ft tall. There was karaoke, but most of the people weren’t that great. One even hurt my ears. Did you know the word karaoke means “empty orchestra” in Japanese. I knew it was a Japanese word, but didn’t know what it stood for. 空(kara – empty) オケ(oke – short for orchestra). That reminds me… I haven’t done a Japanese phrase in a really long time. Well, that’s the one for now and maybe I’ll do more when I remember.

I actually drank 2 drinks, both asking the bar tender what he’d recommend that was good tasting. The first lady suggested a martini with pomegranate juice. That one was okay, didn’t taste too bad. The second bartender suggested this thing called lemon meringue (I think that’s what he said because the image of a pie came to mind) and that one tasted pretty bad. I stopped after a couple sips. Wild Ginger was catering for us, so there was a bunch little Asian boxes of food (the old ones that were trapezoidal used for left overs and sometimes had a metal bar on the top). The food was okay, wasn’t especially good. Then there was little deserts that were pretty good. Most of us left around 11ish.

Random Crap:

Millions of dominoes fall (from Digg) – Millions of dominoes knocked down for a new world record. The World Domino Toppling record attempt has become something of a tradition. The first time it was tried, in 1988, competitors toppled 1,382,101 dominoes, and established a new World Record. Pretty neat. Too bad they didn’t show the whole thing.

The World’s Most High Tech Urinal (from Digg) – In an effort to handle its nighttime public urination problem, Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is considering installing urinals that disappear below street level during the day. Unlike the automated, self-cleaning toilets planned for Toronto and Vancouver, which are enclosed booths with doors that that automatically open after a set time period, the Urilift system is a two-meter high stainless steel cylinder with three alcoves, each with a urinal, and no doors.

pixelnotes (from Digg) – A wallpaper consisting of four layers of varying grey tones on a bright primary backing. Each layer is perforated in a grid format and backed with a tacky adhesive similar to ‘post-it’ notes. Pixelnotes is inspired by the way we work within a space. The walls become functional, an integrated noticeboard that documents our activity within the room. Pixelated formations and shapes develop according to our patterns of use. Pretty neat!

Gears of WarFortunately, Gears of War lives up to most of these things, but the actual act of playing was much different than what I expected. … EA called this game overrated. When EA releases a game half this good, they can talk

Peruvians fret over erotic theme park – Article wasn’t that interesting, though the caption of the image states: Now the occasional visitor is surprised to find in the central plaza a 65-foot (20-meter)-high purple-colored replica of the maca root, a tuber traditionally consumed as an aphrodisiac, and, nearby, a sculptured phallus rising from a vagina-shaped wading pool. The thought of a *blip* coming out of a *woohoo* just seems scary/freaky/weird.

Adam Carolla Harasses PS3 ‘Nerds’ (from Digg) –

“If somebody wants to leave the line for what may be a defunct game a year from now anyway… I’ll give them an all expenses paid trip to the Bunny Ranch… a free visit, a free meal, free plane trip, free place to stay, and a free lady or ladies of their choice,” said Jeremy.

“Anyone who has been in that line for more than a few days is someone who hasn’t been laid in as many years,” Carolla told Jay. “How ‘bout you get out of that line, you give up your space and your new Xbox or whatever the hell you’re vying for and we get ya laid out at the Bunny Ranch?”

Jay’s response? “Never gonna happen,” he told Carolla and Jeremy. “It’s the PS3. Ain’t gonna happen.

Carolla went on to ask another gamer, a man named Carlos, who also declined. When the bit was said and done, no one waiting at the Best Buy took the host up on the morally questionable offer.

Is the chance, however slim it may be, at a new PS3 more enticing than free illicit sex and partying with a prostitute? For some gamers, apparently, yes.

Wii Broke It (from Digg) – It is with a heavy heart that we bring you this special weekend report. When PopSci’s Wii arrived last week, it didn’t spend too much time in the box. Ripped open without any hesitation, our little Wii gave us a long Friday’s worth of furious Wii Sports and Excite Truck action at PopSci HQ. But then, it was time for it to go off to a photo shoot, where its fate would be sealed. Popular Science takes apart the Wii and shows us the inner magic. Do remember to check out the gallery as the article was pretty short.

Underground Video Of Tyranny In China (from Digg) – It just pains me to see China like this, yet similar things happen in America today, just not as extreme. You’ve probably heard about cities taking land from home owners and basically giving it away practically for free to companies like WalMart and Costco. The ability to do this is through a policy known as eminent domain which allows the government to take land away from owners for the bettering of the general public. Of course a fair compensation is required (unlike what they’re doing in China), but it becomes rather gray when they take land to build Costcos and WalMarts in my opinion. The reasoning they say is the amount of tax revenue generated from these companies will allow the city to do much more. If they don’t take the offer, they’ll just select another nearby city which will give them land and the tax revenues will go to that city instead of ours. Sigh… And just a week after the ban on China’s Wikipedia was lifted, it appears the ban was reinstated: Wikipedia blocked again in China (from /.) Sigh…

Scientist regrow chicken wing (from Digg) – Chop off a salamander’s leg and a brand new one will sprout in no time. But most animals have lost the ability to replace missing limbs. Now, a research team at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has been able to regenerate a wing in a chick embryo — a species not known to be able to regrow limbs — suggesting that the potential for such regeneration exists innately in all vertebrates, including humans. Neat! Now we can grow chicken wings and breasts and drumsticks without growing an actual chicken!

Gloe™ Light-Up Bear – saw this in my Costco newsletter and the bears just seem scary to me:
gloe bear - whitegloe bear - purplegloe bear - blue

Line Rider Die at the slopes (from Eddo) – Line rider (beta version) movie staged on the mountains. The song is banquet by Bloc Party. This video shows some awesome things you can do with Line Rider if you have the time and patience and the accuracy. I don’t remember if I posted this game before on this blog, but it’s a flash game: Line Rider (from Cari). It’s fun, but lacking some crucial tools like undo or erase. Here’s some other interesting videos: Linerider Jumps the Shark and Line Rider Sled-Force.

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