Mmm… Beer

Wil Wheaton comes up with a great beer joke:

The leaders of the big beer companies meet for a drink. The president of Budweiser orders a Bud, the CEO of Miller gets a Miller, the head of Coors orders a Coors, and so on. Until it’s Arthur Guinness’s turn. He orders a soda.

“Why didn’t you order a Guinness?” everyone asks.

Guinness replies, “if you guys aren’t having beer, then neither will I.”

“Mission Not Accomplished”

W Time Magazine coverPlenty of news outlets and blogs are commenting on how the situation in Iraq has turned into quite the quagmire, so I’m not going to go into that in any detail. However, I was somewhat surprised to see a recent Time magazine cover. It shows W back in May, after his ill-advised boondoggle fly-in to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, with the headline: “Mission Not Accomplished” superimposed. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then that cover says more than I could ever rant… 😉

Robert Palmer Dead At 54

Robert PalmerRobert Palmer died yesterday in Paris from a heart attack at the age of 54. Although Palmer’s most popular hits were during the ‘80s, including “Addicted to Love,” “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On,” and “Simply Irresistible,” his work in the ’70s was also critically acclaimed albeit not a huge seller. He might be best known for his videos and singles during the ’80s, but his body of work was underrated in my opinion, more eclectic and genre-spanning than most people realize.

“Do Not Call” List Blocked

CNN reports that the DMA has succeeded in blocking the national “Do Not Call” list from going into effect on October 1st. Apparently, the federal District Court in Oklahoma City ruled that the FTC “acted without statutory authority in creating and implementing the national do-no-call list.” Back in June I was very happy to hear that the FTC finally stepped in to do something about unwanted telephone solicitation, even though I had heard about all of the loopholes associated with this effort. However, I had a sneaking suspicion that something like this would happen.

I’m totally baffled about the DMA’s outcry over the “Do Not Call” list, although I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The DMA claims that it would “violate free speech laws and discriminate against the telemarketing industry, which employs millions of people.” Well, that’s just plain stupid. The DMA should be ecstatic that it will have a comprehensive, national list of phone numbers that identifies households that do not want to receive calls. Anyone that took the trouble to sign up for this list will more than likely never buy anything sold to them over the phone (I know I won’t). I submit that the list would allow them to better target the people who have not signed up, saving millions of dollars in wasted time and phone calls rather than putting the telemarketing industry out of business. But I guess common sense rarely comes into play with things like this…


I read about Skype a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t tried it out yet. Skype is “the next phenomenon from the people who brought you KaZaA. Just like KaZaA, Skype uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you to other users – not to share files this time, but to talk for free with your friends.” I’ve used other services like Net2Phone and Dialpad that let you “dial” and talk to people over the Internet, and I was not impressed. The audio quality sucked, in many cases free calls had time limits, and in general the experience left something to be desired. However, at least those applications did not require both parties to have the software installed, as Skype appears to. Skype claims that the audio quality is “better than phones” and offers free calls of unlimited length, so maybe this is worth checking out. Anyone want to try it out?

Free & Legal Music Downloads from Local and Independent Bands

The Washington Post (which has all but replaced CNN as my primary news source of late) has a server full of free MP3s available for your listening pleasure. No P2P software required, no RIAA goons breathing down your neck, and no Britney Spears/Avril Lavigne/Jewel. Just lots of independent artists who want you to discover them, many of which are truly worth discovering. From the celebrated political humor of the Capitol Steps to the “bathroom a capella” of Da Vinci’s Notebook, there is something here for everybody.

Folks, it’s fine and good to bash the RIAA, but here’s your chance to help marginalize them completely. Ditch Britney, support indie music instead. Download some stuff here, find a band you like, then go see them play a gig at some intimate venue with a $5-10 cover charge, or maybe even free. Buy their album directly from them. You will hear more interesting music, you will help feed a starving musician, and you will piss off the RIAA and Clear Channel Communications all at the same time. What’s not to like?

Word Pirates

The Glossary of Pirated Words lists and discusses “pirated” words:

Marketers, politicians and other short-sighted, self-interested, sticky-fingered people have been stealing our words. Not only do they take them for commercial purposes, but they misuse them entirely. They’re Word Pirates and we’re going to take back what’s rightfully ours.