Thursday, February 24, 2005

Tsunami photos

A Canadian couple, on vacation at a beach resort in Thailand, took a series of digital photos as the Tsunami wave hit the beach on December 26. The couple was killed and their camera destroyed. However, the memory card was not damaged and photographs were printed from it. The photos were released today.

It's sad and eerie to see these pictures knowing it was the last thing they ever saw.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Primary election

Today is primary day for my northwest suburban community. The polls opened at 6:00 AM and I arrived a little after 6:30 AM. There were several election workers sitting waiting for me and I was surprised to see I was the only person there. I showed my driver's license, signed in and was assigned my ballot with #1 written on it. I asked one of the workers if I was the first one there and she replied that I had the honor.

Now granted that the primary election was for village trustees only and whittles down the number of candidates to six for the regular election in April.

This is still disappointing. On Election Day in November, I showed up at the same time at the same polling place and waited in line for over an hour. I'm not complaining about that. I'm glad people take the electoral process seriously. I'm just a little disappointed that people appear to be uninterested in these local primaries. To me the local elections have a more direct effect on me than state or national elections. Local ordinances and local taxes have a greater impact on my daily life than national laws.

The polls close at 7:00 PM and I hope a greater number of people make the effort to turn out. I really doubt it. Too bad.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A star explodes 50,000 light-years away from earth

Well this is pretty scary!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Model Cubs fan

I'm told this photograph appears in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Of course, I have no first-hand knowledge of this fact, I'm just passing along what I heard. (I'm not sure I understand why this photo appears in a swimsuit issue...and why not equal time for a female White Sox fan? But I digress.)

It does make me think about switching my team allegiance to the Cubs...or at least getting Wrigley Field bleacher tickets!

Coffee may help protect against liver cancer

Good news for coffee drinkers. There is a report out that coffee may help protect against liver cancer. There have been other recent reports that moderate alcohol consumption can also be healthful. Plus, I recall a report saying that chocolate is good.

If they ever discover that cigar smoking is good for you, then I'll live forever!

Pitchers and catchers report

Are there four more comforting words in the English language?

Yes, Wednesday is the day that spring training camps open for both Chicago baseball teams. After the long cold winter, on-field baseball news will begin to dominate sports headlines rather than off-the-field headlines. It wouldn't be Chicago baseball if there weren't questions regarding both teams:
  1. Can the Cubs finally make it to the World Series?
  2. How will they replace Sammy Sosa and his boombox?
  3. Will the new-look White Sox win in homer-friendly U.S. Cellular Field?
  4. Can they find a reliable 5th starter?

These and other questions will be answered over the next few months. Bring it on!

Monday, February 7, 2005

Super Bowl -- Sex, lies and hypocrisy

The Super Bowl was played last night. It was a boring game. We in the Chicago area have grown use to not having our team participate in postseason play so we are forced to choose a favorite. A friend of mine from Boston gave me the Eagles and 7 points so it forced me to have a rooting interest. With the Patriots winning by only three points, I can now look forward to having lunch bought for me!

A lot of people, who otherwise don't follow football, watch the Super Bowl simply because of the ads. I thought the ads overall were weak this year. Because of the fallout from last year's "wardrobe malfunction," the NFL needed to protect us from "indecent" promotional material. They worked in partnership with Fox TV to make sure we were not subjected to halftime entertainment or advertising of questionable taste. Of course, that didn't stop Fox from showing pictures of cheerleaders with skimpy costumes all night or Fox "meteorologist" Jillian Barberie wearing a tight miniskirt during her pre-game weather report. And how many times were we subjected to ads for erectile dysfunction?

One of the more interesting ads was one by -- an Internet registration company. This ad featured a rather healthy-looking young lady who experienced her own wardrobe malfunction while appearing in front of some Congressional censorship panel. The ad was clearing a parody of the outcry experienced last year after Janet Jackson left her mark.

I read this morning that GoDaddy was scheduled to run the ad twice. According to their CEO's weblog, Fox pulled the ad -- apparently at the request of the NFL -- substituting another plug for The Simpsons.

Here's a link to the ad including a "web-only" version. All the Super Bowl ads can be viewed at Also at iFilm is an ad from Budweiser that tried to "explain" last year's Janet Jackson incident. Anheuser-Busch was going to run the spot during the Super Bowl, but they decided against it.

I need to continue further study on the GoDaddy ad to see what all the fuss is about!