My Ten Car Garage

•May 17, 2010 • 2 Comments

If it isn’t painfully obvious by now, I love cars. So to limit it down to ten is really hard. If I could, I’d probably be like Jay Leno (who doesn’t have this problem), and hoard hundreds of cars in my house (which probably contains very little house). Anywho, let’s get to the cars, shall we?

1. McLaren F1

It’s a no-brainer, to be honest. It is the car that changed the game when it came to supercars, it put speed at a new level when it came to production cars. It looks like nothing else out there, and despite the design being 18 years old, it doesn’t look aged at all. It is a car that I’ll always consider one of the best ever, and it’s hard to see if anything else can surpass it.

Just because I don’t want to stop talking about it, let’s get to the speed of it. The fastest car in the world before it was the Jaguar XJ220 (another great car, not on the list though) at 217 mph. The F1 was limited to a top speed of 231 mph (by rev limiter), but in a top speed test without the rev limiter, the car reached a mind-blowing 240 mph in a 1998 speed test. Considering the car was in production since 1992, the car was the fastest in the world for 13 years, since the Koenigsegg CCR didn’t outspeed it until 2005. Furthermore, the CCR took 896 horsepower (270 more than the F1) to get 1 extra mph. The two cars faster than it, the Bugatti Veyron and the SSC Ultimate Aero have even more horsepower and only get an extra 10 mph. There’s definitely a lot more to it than I know, but the speed with an engine with less power than a Corvette ZR1 is very impressive.

Now that I’ve blown my load about the F1, let’s keep going…

2. Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40It’s hard to stick to one single Ferrari. Models like the 250 GTO, the Enzo and the F430 make this very hard. But this car has the performance that two of those cars can’t touch, and more soul than the F430 and Enzo combined.  As well, the car’s limited electronics means that every slight move is your own (unlike many of the current Ferrari line-up), and to drive it well, you need to be good. Sure, it can be a bit intimidating, and I wouldn’t call myself a good driver when it comes to the track, but I doubt I could have as much fun in any other Ferrari as I would in this one. And don’t you just love those looks too?

Continue reading ‘My Ten Car Garage’

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The hockey brawl: beauty in brutality

•May 7, 2010 • 1 Comment

I once went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out!
~ Rodney Dangerfield

Fighting is a controversial subject as far as hockey goes. Some love it, some find it unnecessary, yet it doesn’t take fans out of the seats, nor does it keep players from fighting. In fact, you have a 39% chance to see a fight in an NHL game. Yet there’s something rarer, something that only happens once in a blue moon, rearing its raging head as if all the planets have aligned: the hockey brawl. Usually caused by some form of injustice, it happens when all hell breaks lose, and everyone loses their shit. The ice is then draped in sticks, gloves, helmets and blood, as a beautiful gauntlet is made out of the 200 foot long rink. And here I reminisce on some of the greatest since 1980.

April 1984: La bataille du Vendredi saint (Good Friday Massacre)

It was a playoff game in the 1984 playoffs between les Nordiques de Quebec and les Canadiens de Montréal. The teams had a short history of hate, and it showed early in the game. Small fights and battles happened, until the second period, when the powder keg finally exploded. The benches cleared (with the exception of Dale Hunter, he’d come in later), and everyone stormed the ice and fought. In the flurry of fighting, Jean Hamel was knocked out by Louie Slegr and suffered career-ending injuries. They had called the second period, sent the players to the dressing rooms, and added the remaining time to the third. In the third, the players couldn’t contain their anger. The entire Canadiens team made a run for Slegr, and Dale Hunter would explode into a fury and hit everything that moved. Surprisingly, the game was not called, and les Canadiens eventually won 5-3. Continue reading ‘The hockey brawl: beauty in brutality’

NFL: Intelligence a minus?

•April 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The NFL draft was this weekend, and Myron Rolle was taken with the last pick in the 6th round. Usually, this wouldn’t be important, and I wouldn’t spend the time writing an article about him, except that the biggest knock on Myron Rolle wasn’t a large flaw in his play (not saying there aren’t flaws, but no fatal flaws), but rather that he took a year off to go study at Oxford University under the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Usually, I would consider the fact that he took a year off a bit of an issue, but the truth is that the NFL has had players that have taken years off of school for stupider reasons, and they were drafted much higher.

The two most recent players to have taken a year off were Maurice Clarett and Mike Williams. They were a part of a controversy in 2004 in which they wanted to enter the draft a year early. Neither of them were awarded the right to the NFL draft, and because of NCAA rules, they both were not able to participate in the 2004 NCAA Football season, and like Myron Rolle, neither of them were able to practice with their team. Both of them had horrible workouts (worse than Rolle) in the 2005 combine, and yet, they both got drafted higher than Rolle. Williams, in particular, was taken 10th overall, and Clarett was taken in the end of the 3rd round.

Neither of those players were the greatest characters either. Mike Williams has had no glaring character flaws as of yet, but has become one of the biggest busts in the past decade. Maurice Clarett, on the other hand, was arrested in 2006 when he was found with a loaded AK-47, a katana and an open bottle of vodka after a car chase with the police, and is currently in a halfway house.

Yet, in a draft where players rose greatly (Tebow, for example) for great character, and fell (Clausen, to name one) for questionable character, why does the NFL pass on a player who, in my opinion, could be an ambassador for the NFL because of his high intelligence and great character, just because he may have intellectual interests? Does the NFL not appreciate intelligence?

I’m not suggesting Rolle was a first round pick. I don’t believe he was a talented enough football player for that. I did think he was a third round grade myself, and was dumbfounded when he dropped that far. Teams may want character guys, but I question whether they really do care much about that if they pass on such a prospect.

If you want a bit of an interesting view into Myron Rolle’s life pre-draft, there is a great article on ESPN that will only strengthen your opinion on the young man.

Making your own tank

•April 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

If you are extremely bored like me, you usually find yourself going through ridiculous items on Amazon.com. One specific item caught my mind: the JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank. Looks interesting, and for $19,999.95 (USD), it looks like a steal… until you look at the specific specifications. Only 6 horsepower, and the thing weighs 1100 lbs.  It claims that it can go 40 mph, but I really doubt it. It made me wonder though, could (theoretically) I make a tank for less? I gave myself a theoretical budget of $21,194.74 (CAD [as of 25/02/10]), and saw if I couldn’t do better.

It looks pretty wimpy too.

It looks pretty wimpy too.

First item on the build would be a base for the tank. Rather than creating my own chassis, I decided to instead buy a car. I found a perfect ’90 Honda Civic Si for $500. It weighs only 2291 lbs, and although the engine only produces 108 hp, there’s still a lot of budget to use. Of course, there would be obvious weight reduction (before the armour) and engine tune-up, but those cost nothing. If you are looking for bigger, you can catch a Ford Explorer for not much more, just for example. Any cheap car or pick-up would work, but to lower the price of the armour I’ll be using, I’ll stick with the Civic Si.

Speaking of armour, since I doubt depleted uranium is readily available to the public for a decent price, I’ll take a page out of Marvin Heemeyer’s book and use concrete as armour. Now, this site says that a ballpark figure for concrete is $70 per cubic yard, so I’ll be using that figure. Going by the size of the Civic (156.1″ long, 65.6″ wide and 52.4″ high), and with an armour thickness of two inches, it would theoretically take only $85.39 to fully cover the Civic (probably less even). You would have to have one point of entrance, which could be an improvised sunroof made from plexiglass. A 12″ x 24″ x 2¼” sheet (from three 3/4″ sheets) would cost you $156 as well.

To this point, that’s $741.39, more than 20 thousand dollars under budget. At this point, you can add in the weapons yourself, and if you want, swap in a bigger engine. Would it work? Probably not. But hey, it’s worth a try.

Note: This is a craptacular guide to get what you need for a tank. Don’t blame me for anything. Just saying, for legal purposes (I doubt that’ll ever come up though).

Public humiliation as crime punishment? It needs a comeback

•April 21, 2010 • 1 Comment

There was once a simpler time, where farming was the most common job, when you didn’t have to worry about your horse going over the speed limit, and where corporal punishment was one of the biggest forms of entertainment. Sure, in the medieval ages, it was commonly capital punishment, and I’m not saying that we need to publicly hang and quarter criminals. Rather, petty crimes should take form of public humiliation.

At first, it sounds like a stupid idea. And it probably is, so bear with me. But I bet there are crimes where you can agree that jail time isn’t the greatest option (indecent exposure for example). Wouldn’t you agree that there are occasions where public humiliation could be a viable punishment? What am I thinking as a source of public humiliation? Paddling.

Checking the alt text, that's a paddlin'.

Paddlin' the school canoe? You'd better believe that's a paddlin'.

Yes, paddling. It is still used as a punishment in some southern schools. It got me thinking, why not apply it to small crimes? Imagine, at 5 pm, on your local TV station from a major plaza in your city. A man who is a repeat offender of public drunkenness is held in stocks. A police officer walks up with a large paddle. I think you can see where this is going. If you wish, add crowd participation. While the offender is contained in stocks, the crowd lets loose with tomatoes to the face.

There are other punishments that could work here. Tar and feather the offender. Or even make the offender dance and sing embarrassing songs to a crowd (assuming they can’t sing). The possibilities are endless.

Only in my perfect world, though.

The crew in Star Fox are jerks

•April 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I decided to bring out the Nintendo 64 and play Star Fox 64 (since, frankly, I’ve gotten bored of all my 360 games). Other than not being able to do all the cool moves in all-range mode (pretty much dooming me against Star Wolf at Venom), I noticed every single one of your wing mates are nothing but assholes. For some of them, it isn’t as obvious as the first.

Falco

Falco Lombardi

Wow, he was ugly on the 64.

He’s the most obvious asshat. He insults you if you’re incompetent, and insults you when you do something good by sarcasm. It’s because of this that he’s the lesser of the assholes. Okay, that sounds too far out, but follow me for a second. His constant berating of your skills aren’t meant to make you feel bad. They’re meant to motivate. He’s the most skilled of your wingmen, so he knows what he’s doing. He just wants to make sure that you, as the leader, are doing your job as well as you can.

This is a great contrast to another one of your wingmen, who isn’t honest at all, and hides his assholism. Unfortunately, he’s misunderstood.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and he’s just a giant fucking jerkass.

Peppy

Peppy Hare

Now I feel stupid for thinking he was a dog.

He is probably better known for telling you the godly skill of how to perform a barrel roll. Otherwise, he’s seen by most as the biggest source of encouragement on the team… or is he? He always tells you how you’re improving, and becoming more like your father. But do you ever hear him directly compliment you? No. In fact, every time he’s telling you you’re becoming more like your father, he’s telling you that you will never go anywhere without being in your father’s shadow. Every time, he’s telling you you aren’t competent because you’re yourself, but rather, because your father gave you everything he knew.

Of course, since he actually knows how to shoot something, he isn’t the biggest asshole.

Slippy

Slippy Toad

He got shot down 3 times while trying to upload this image

Slippy probably means well, but it’s obvious why Slippy is an asshole. Now, if someone rammed your car because he or she was going 20 over the speed limit while powersliding because he or she lost control on a straight road and they are on the wrong side of the road (sorry for the run-on sentence), you would think that person is a massive asshole. So, since Slippy obviously can’t fly worth shit, he is a massive asshole for even stepping into an Arwing. You would be much better off if he stayed home.

Yes, he’s a half decent mechanic, but you are flying a really expensive spacecraft. He constantly puts the team in danger because he’s such a cretin while in the cockpit. Because of this, he puts the Lylat system in massive danger.

You know what the solution is? Kill Slippy.

The coming downfall of Facebook?

•April 16, 2010 • 2 Comments

I wrote a month back (or so) about how Fan pages were making Facebook worse. I didn’t know how right I could be. Someone posted this on Current Events on GameFAQs, and I felt that it is very interesting, so I feel it’s important enough to post here. Note that this was written by hatrickpatrick of CE.


I have a theory that Facebook is about to come crashing down because of a very stupid decision they made which sparked off a new trend that is literally just waiting to be exploited by advertisers. A “botnet” of sorts.

Facebook, several months ago, enabled what they describe as “Static FBML”. You wouldn’t know anything about this unless you maintain a group or page so I’m assuming a lot of people here wouldn’t necessarily know about it. But it effectively allows page owners to break with Facebook’s usual standardized page layout and insert their own code. FBML stands for Facebook Markup Language and it’s essentially HTML, but with a load of extra tags thrown in to deal with groups of fans, Facebook apps and functions, etc. And so begins the chaos.

One of the tags in FBML is <fb:fan></fb>. What this tag effectively does is allows the owner to make certain content “for fans only”. And ever since that tag was introduced virtually every page offering “Hilarious photo” or “The best comeback ever” or something like that is “you must become a fan to see the content”. So effectively you’re giving your stamp of approval to something and advertising it to your friends before you can even know if you approve of it or not. And another aspect of FBML is that page owners can now mimick the “commented or liked this” box below items, the blue bordered one you see below an item someone has commented on or liked. This effectively means that below the pic or whatever, they have added loads of fake lists of comments supposedly saying things like “OMG This is sooooooo funny!” But if you try to click on a username or a “Report” button it just leads to the URL /#. Ergo, they are all fake comments from fake people.

Now why would so many page owners do this, you ask? What’s in it for them?

If you notice, all of these pages are classed as “business” pages, even if they’re only showing you some convo between a guy and his girlfriend or a photo of a celebrity. And because of the appeal of their names, most of them now have 500,000+ fans. Pages can post comments which appear on all their fans’ walls, just like friends can. They can also create events and suggest that people add friends or become a fan of another page or join another group. And finally having added two and two together I did a quick Google search and came across hundreds of the following.

“Generic Facebook fan page for sale, already has 500,000 fans, can send messages, wall posts, and create events for your company or product!” And below this a ridiculous price tag for this perfectly placed publicity machine.

My prediction is that over the next few months, just like a silent botnet, like what people thought Conficker was going to do, all of these pages are going to be bought by corporations who will use them to sell their shit. The people who created them will walk away loaded and Facebook will become totally overrun and cluttered with spam and ads, and there’ll simply be too many people fans of too many groups to do anything about it, it’ll be far too late.

This, incidentally, is EXACTLY why everyone abandoned Bebo 2 years ago, which is now being closed down by AOL. They made a similar feature for businesses, loads of people created Bebo “channels” and then sold them, and we had ad ridden chaos for about 2 months until everyone said fuck this I’m off to Facebook.

So I implore you, if you value Facebook at all as a tool, don’t let this happen. Boycott the pages which make you become a fan before you can view them. Just don’t join them.

It may be too late to turn the tide unfortunately :(