Monday, October 31, 2005

AT&T Logo

Michael Bierut talks about the iconic logo (we call it the DeathStar) which will soon be replaced.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Confusing Country Names

While reading the Tales of the City books, I became confused about the country of Guyana in South America. I had always thought it was in Africa, but it turns out I was confusing it with either Ghana or Guinea. That's not the only set of countries with easily confused names:

Angola in Africa and Anguilla in the Caribbean
Angola is a country on Africa's west coast that ended a 27 year civil war in 2002. The war had started in 1975 when they became independent from Portugal and continued until the death of Jonas Savimbi, who had led one of the warring factions.
Anguilla is an island territory of the UK that has been under British rule since 1650 when English settlers from Saint Kitts colonized it.

Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo, both in Africa They border each other in Central Africa and the Democratic Republic (formerly Zaire) is almost 7 times the size of the Republic. More differences between these two are best explained on Wikipedia.

Mauritania and Mauritius, both in Africa
Mauritania is a medium sized country on the west coast of mainland Africa, while Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. Mauritania had a bloodless coup in August 2005 and the party in power claims to be preparing for genuine democracy. Mauritius has been a democracy since it's independence from the UK in 1968. It also has one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.

Slovakia and Slovenia, both in Europe
Both are former parts of Communist countries that joined NATO and the EU in the Spring of 2004. Slovakia was paired with the Czech Republic to make Czechoslovakia and Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia.

But the most confusing set of Countries have to be these:

Gabon and The Gambia, both in Africa
Both countries are on the Africa's west coast. The Gambia is further north and surrounded by Senegal on all sides but its Atlantic Coast, while Gabon is on the Equator and borders Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Republic of Congo.

They are slightly less confusing than: Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau in Africa; French Guiana and Guyana in South America; and Grenada in the Caribbean because all seven have the G-N-A pattern in their names.

Equatorial Guinea, which is near but not actually on the Equator, is the only country in Africa with Spanish as the official language. Its current leader Obiang took power from his uncle after executing him in 1979.
Ghana is the home country of Kofi Annan, the current Secretary-General of the UN. It's one of the three "tall" countries (along with Togo and Benin) on the southern coast of Africa's northwestern region.
Guinea is also on Africa's northwestern coast and became independent from France in 1958. Since then, there have only been two real leaders of the country that is still struggling economically.
Guinea-Bissau is very small and one of the poorest countries in the world. The citizens have suffered coups, questionable elections and civil war since the early 80's.
French Guiana is on South America's north coast and still belongs to France. As part of France, it's part of the EU and still has a disputed border with it's neighbor, Suriname.
Guyana is also in South America, on the other side of Suriname. It became independent from the UK in 1966, but many of it's citizens still emigrate there, and to the US and Canada, which has caused a population decrease. There are an estimated 500,000 Guyanese living abroad, while the country's current population is only about 750,000.
Grenada is an island nation in the Caribbean, and has been battered by two recent hurricanes, Ivan in September of 2004 and Emily in July of 2005. It is considered a Commonwealth Realm and recognizes Queen Elizabeth as its monarch.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Encyclopedia Brown

Harry Potter refueled my love of adolescent fiction, which explains my recent readings of A Wrinkle in Time and The Phantom Tollbooth, two books I neglected to read when I was younger. One series I did manage to read often was Encyclopedia Brown and it seems there are some issues over getting it to the big or even small screen.

Each book had several cases in it and the last sentence was something along the lines of him saying, "Mr Thompson is lying! He was on the porch last night." You then had to figure out the clue that proved his accusation, some of which were pretty obscure. I think they could do great things by making him a combination of MacGyver and Cliff Clavin with tons of useless information in his head and lots of wacky contraptions that actually work to get Sally and him out of the bind they're in and catch the crooks.

Monday, October 17, 2005

IMDb turns 15 today

Internet Movie Database turns 15 years old today. In 1990, it had a vastly different user interface because it started on a UseNet group, but today it is the first place I go for information on movies, television shows and actors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

World Heritage sites

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has designated a list of 812 properties as World Heritage Sites. They state, "What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located." and "To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria."

Although there are 20 sites in the US, I have only been to 4 of them: Yosemite, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Honda Galang

MIA's 'Galang' is the song playing in the background of that cool Honda commercial with the red car flying around the city.

Two Years

My calendar at work yesterday mysteriously says "tomorrow will be two years" and I sit and ponder what in the world I was talking about. I assume it is something intensely personal and that's why I didn't put what it was (in case of snoopy coworkers) and I decide to check my blog to see if I can remember what was happening October 6th, 2003. Well, duh! That was the day I started my blog.

731 days during which I probably

worked close to 4,000 hours (167 days)
slept for 5,600 hours (233 days)
watched 2,800 hours of television (117 days)

Last year on this day, I posted about My Movie DataBase and my personal top ten movies of 2004 as of that date. So, in keeping with tradition here are my top ten of the year so far:

Batman Begins
The 40 Year Old Virgin
Interpreter, The
Kingdom of Heaven
Must Love Dogs
Sin City
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

We are Legion

This is probably one of the best blog posts I've ever read. It's on Waiter Rant, which is an always interesting look into the lives of servers.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Which Serenity character are you?

You scored as Zoe Alleyne Washburne. The Soldier. You are the second in command, and that is fine. You like a chain of command, but only when the one in charge has earned your respect. Those who earn your love or loyalty will find no one better to guard their back.

Which Serenity character are you?
created with

*I was busy this weeked so I haven't seen the movie yet, but I've heard great things*

Did you know

that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that we use only 10% of our brains?