Cool kids get in a lot more trouble than the nerds do.
That's the conclusion of a study at the University of Virginia. It finds that popular teens are much more likely to drink, smoke marijuana, shoplift and vandalize property than their less-popular peers.
The study was based on surveys of 500 Charlottesville-area middle school students.
Researchers say results of their study contradict traditional views about the benefits of being one of the "cool kids" in school.
The lead investigator said, "We tend to think if kids are well-liked by their peers, that provides a safety net for them."
In case this doesn't make any sense to you, click here for an explanation. This is by far the most ever ordered at one time (12), which flustered the manager who was just starting his very first day at KFC.
There's a guy who has recently been posting details of an event he is planning to the Portland chapter of the Cacophony Society's mailing list. His messages are filled with all sorts of extremely entertaining "little known pirate facts" and details of lesser known Portland history. I'll let his messags speak for themselves:
Friends, Swashbucklers and fellow miscreants with too
much time on our hands:
For those new to Portland-area Piracy, it all began
back with the founding of Portland in 1843 when two
people, a drifter from Tennessee and a lawyer from
Massachusetts beached their canoes on the banks of the
Willamette River (they originally were trying to get
to Tecumseh, Illinois, but took a wrong turn at
Albuquerque). Official history says the drifter lacked
the 25 cents needed to file a land claim, so he split
the city 50/50 with the lawyer in exchange for the
cash (in today's dollars, this equals $6,812.30, or
?604,587.30 Euros). Later, the official history states
the drifter sold out to a man from Maine.
This is all poppycock, as We Pirates have always
known. What really happened is that the drifter was
actually an undercover Pirate from Barbados, who was
searching for a new place to make berth for his fleet
of ships (his fleet was under the command of the
fierce Commodore L. D. Silver, later immortalized in
the fetish movie industry by the descendants of his
first Pirate crew). The drifter did not sell his half
of the city, he was cheated out of it by the lawyer,
and thus all future Portland law offices were targets
of Pirate raids (until the Great Appeasement of 1853,
when several Portland lawyers, led by James L.
Golgafrincham III, Esq. offered We Pirates a large sum
of money in exchange for a cessation of hostilities
and wedgies. We Pirates met with them on a Tuesday
afternoon, shot all the lawyers and then went out for
Thai food and a nice canon fight).
The drifter, also known as "Jockstrap Johnny," made
his way to the coast where he was to signal We Pirates
with a series of lanterns when the town was ripe for
the plundering. The instructions were inscribed on the
inside of his boots by Commodore Silver, but Jockstrap
Johnny was illiterate (actually, Jockstrap could read
and write Esperanto, but since he only spoke English
this skill was next to useless). Thus, Jockstrap got
the signals wrong, and our fleet ran aground near
John's landing, which is not named for Jockstrap John,
but for his great-great grandnephew, ?John 'Sharkbait
Asshole Traitor' Franklin,? whose claim to fame was
being the first Pirate to attempt to warn Portlanders
of the upcoming raid. He was unsuccessful in his
attempt to sell out his brethren in exchange for
enough money to spend a solid week in a brothel, and
was found dead of advanced herpeghonosyphilads in an
unlicensed brothel/petting zoo three days before the
raid of 1883.
These fierce Pirates were never known for wussing out
over little things like beached ships or palimony
suits, so we did what any self-respecting scalawags
would do; we got out of the boats, slapped wheels on
them, and raided the town anyway, pushing the ships
through the streets and sidewalks of the fair city.
We managed to make off with a lot of booty, and some
treasure too. Rum, gold coins and bejeweled trinkets
were just the start; we also managed to abscond with
the original city charter (which, among other things,
was firmly worded in such a way that it would have
forever been illegal to build a Home Depot on the west
bank of the river. Scholars in the secret Pirate
headquarters have been trying to unravel the mystery
for generations, and have concluded that it was either
a time traveling anomaly that named Home Depot 150
years before its inception, or the product of "really
stoned founding fathers that got lucky with the
wording.? The charter also mandated ?Free Beer
Tuesdays? every week in Pioneer Courthouse Square, and
stated that the only official duty of th mayor was to
?blow the horn of cheese?). We Pirates were also
accused of making off with then-Mayor D. Diggler's
twin daughters, but in reality the twins filched a
mid-sized Pirate vessel and went on to a promising
career plundering the California Coast for silicone.
Every year on the anniversary of that raid, the
Worldwide Order of Pirates, Scalawags and Buccaneers
(as well as the Infernal Order of Grocery Store
Clerks, which gained admittance after defeating the
Pirates in combat during the raid of 1931) have raided
the city. The police, military and armed school
crossing guards have so far been unable to stop the
chaos, and every year thousands of gallons of rum are
lost in the atrocities.
This year, We Pirates plan to maraud through town,
raiding at least four ale houses, a few retail
establishments and perhaps a doughnut shop. In honor
of that first raid 162 years ago, and in the unbroken
tradition observed every year since, our ships will be
traded in for shopping carts, wagons and other wheeled
vehicles and sailed from pub to pub while helpless
bystanders wonder if they ate some bad acid that
morning. If lawyers can not be found for the required
keelhauling and wedgies, we may substitute yuppies,
comparative literature majors and anyone who can
correctly identify the entire starting lineup of the
1983 New York Mets.
Clear your calendar, me hearties, for more information
will be forthcoming.
Here's the next:
It is time once again to plot our plunder of Portland!
-Dave The Great, Official Pirate Historian, and Owner
of a Weird Cat.
pirate announcement link
Little known pirate facts:
In 1889, three Pirates stole the Portland Police
Chief's horse and went joyriding. It was returned
three days later with “Powered by BioDeisel” painted
on the side.
For three months in 1905, Pirates actually ran the
city council while the elected people went on a
drunken bender in Salem. Few events happened during
this time, but the City of Portland did declare war on
Gresham. To this day, the declaration is theoretically
in force because no city council member has been able
to find it in order to vote it out (the original
documents are in the secret Pirate vault).
Pirates laid the first MAX line tracks in the 1930s,
way ahead of their time, but they only went from one
treasure cave to another, and fares were only payable
in Gold Dubloons. There was still a “Fareless Square,”
but it referenced monkeys only.
The real reason the Star Wars episodes hit the
theaters out of order was because Pirates had made off
with the original scripts. Attempting to ransom them,
Pirates negotiated with George Lucas for years, before
Lucas gave up and threw together some crap for
There has been more than one band of Pirates in the
waters off Portland. Smaller groups were established
in 1889, 1896, 1909 and 1985, but were all swiftly
conquered and given wedgies.
“Washington Park” is not named after George
Washington, as you might believe, but Samuel P. “Red
Testicle Hair” Washington, a first mate of the Pirate
crew in the early 1920s.
Knowledge is Power!
And then today's:
Yarrrr, me be remindin' you scalawags of a call to
arms! The forces of good and righteous citizens of
this fair town have mustered together to deprive me of
telephone access in the hopes that the hordes of
Pirates will be without their historian!
Well fear not, me hearties! This lack of telemarketing
merely gives me time to do more historical research
into the long and vast history of the Portland
For instance, did you know that as recently as 1987,
Pirates in this area still used trained attack
monkeys? These beasts were originally brought on board
as pets, and then taught to do small chores like
fetching and cleaning. Then one murky evening in the
late 1800's (the exact date has been lost in the
archives), Pirates raided the armory on NW 10th st in
the Pearl District. Unbeknownst to the Pirates, the
town militia had got wind of the raid and staged an
ambush. The band of Pirates, numbering only twenty,
found themselves facing nearly 300 armed townsmen!
The battle was swift, with most Pirates being shot or
captured in the first minutes, and things looked grim.
Then one Pirate's pet monkey, “Senor Pantalones,”
threw his feces at the commander of the militia, Major
J. T. Square. This lucky throw lodged a turd in
Square's nose, causing him to suffocate on the field
of battle. This so demoralized the townsmen than the
pirates were able to escape with their lives, a small
amount of stoled weapons and several casks of Ale from
a delivery wagon that happened to be nearby. From this
day forth, monkeys were a common weapon used by
Pirates in the Pacific NW.
The town decided to name a major landmark after Maj.
Square, and chose a rectangular piece of land next to
the Pioneer Courthouse.
The Pirates celebrated in typical Pirate fashion, and
gave Senior Pantalones a reward of a nice juicy apple.
Later in the evening, they got drunk and barbecued him.
I don't know about you, but I sure learned alot about some of the history Portland doesn't want you to know!
In this “Final Episode” of the Star Wars, EVIL triumphs using the Force - a greater force they claim than God! This is a Dangerous LIE! This is no mindless entertainment, but an attempt by DEMONS to distract you from your real 75 year mission on planet Earth, to give yourself to Jesus! Do not trust a Yodah puppet from Satan’s dream factory, trust in the Word of the Bible!
One day after a record-shattering weekend for Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, an advocacy group is asking Burger King to stop the tie-in of its Kids Meals with the film because it is rated PG-13.
A year after Michael Moore weighed into the 2004 presidential campaign with "Fahrenheit 9/11," both sides of America's partisan divide are debating the political messages of a far different movie -- "Star Wars."
Even before it opened in theaters last week, some observers were drawing unflattering parallels between the story of interplanetary treachery in "Star Wars: 'Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" and the Bush administration's war on terror and its decision to invade Iraq.
Police in Springfield, Illinois say a man wearing a Darth Vader mask walked into a movie theater, shoved an employee out of the way and grabbed a bunch of cash.
Investigators say the robber didn't display any weapons- not even a light saber.
Interestingly enough, I got what appeared to be a spam email telling me to go to that Tool of Satan site late last night -- which I had fully intended to do earlier in the day, but completely forgot. Thanks spammers!
I think the group trying to get the Burger King promotion ended has a really good point, one I had not previously thought of. I think part of the problem is that the tie-in was well underway before the movie earned its PG-13 rating from the MPAA, it may be possible that neither party fully expected it and felt it was too late to back out.
A new study shows that patients are often influenced by advertisements for medications that they see on TV and in magazines -- often to the point that they question their doctor's wisdom.
The study participants filled out a 17-item questionnaire that asked about their exposure to drug ads and how they felt about it.
Among the findings:
Nearly 60 percent said they'd seen ads that mentioned the drugs they were taking.
About 23 percent said the ads made them wonder if they had a different condition.
More than 50 percent wondered whether another medication might be better to treat their condition.
Two-thirds of the participants discussed their concerns with their doctor, Burke says. About half of these people were put on a new drug and about one-third of these new medications were the ones mentioned in the advertisements.
I'm usually the first person pointing out the absurdity of pharmaceutical companies hawking their wares on tv and radio, but a study like this just seems like a big waste of time. All that the data really shows is that people are in fact influenced by the advertising they are subjected to -- something the advertisers already know, otherwise they wouldn't waste their time. One disturbing thing this study does show though, is just how willing doctors are to change your medication to suit what you the drug companies think you need to be taking. That's pretty sad.
It's a real shame that the pharmaceutical companies are just out to make a buck, maybe they'd have some disease cures to advertise on tv instead of focusing on making your penis harder and to delay ejaculation.
I recently became aware of a really great site that Todd Maffin has set up, which is basically a large collection of RSS feeds of public radio content sorted by category.
They have science, technology, entertainment, politics, air america, funny stories, business, and many other topics that should have at least some sort of appeal to pretty much anyone. The categories of most interest to me are the science programs like Quirks and Quarks and Science Friday, but alot of it looks pretty entertaining. I think I'll give some of the music feeds a listen as well.
This is where I got tired of copying and pasting and searching for merchandise. The CBS site alone has tons and tons of this crap, not to mention all the merch available for the spinoff shows such as CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, CSI: Lancaster (Amish Country) and the upcoming CSI: Acadamy (think a mashup between Saved By the Bell and CSI) OK, so I made up CSI: Lancaster, but I bet that would be alot more watchable than any of the existing CSIs.
(snip from the bottom in case readers don't make it that far: Does anyone know of a site like listology.com that doesn't require moderation on creation/editing of lists?)
After spending quite a bit of time with Greasemonkey the other night, I have decided that one of the extremely fanciful projects I've been thinking about embarking upon to extend the functionality of Netflix is actually within my grasp. I've now figured out how everything I'd need to do works -- all that's really left to do is to implement all the bits together.
My idea is inspired by a comment Becky over at NetflixFan left on a post I made regarding the 500 item queue limitation.
She says that she stores her overflow in a list on listology.com and just moves things over from there as needed, but that it is completely non-automated.
This got me thinking of several possibilities:
1) it'd be pretty trivial to implement a script that does the following when you click the 'add to queue' button: check how many items are currently in your queue -- if the queue is full, add the movie to the listology.com list you've already set up to hold your overflow, otherwise just add it to your Netflix queue as normal.
2) either the same script or another could then add things from your listology queue to your Netflix queue automagically each time you load your netflix queue page. If your Netflix queue has dropped below 500 -- say to 498 -- the top 2 items in your listology.com queue would then be copied into your queue without needing to do anything.
This opens up an even more valuable possiblity though:
If the script had a preference for how many things you wanted to keep in your netflix queue -- say 10 or so -- anything you add to your queue above and beyond that amount would then be in a "3rd party" location. The value in this is, if you suddenly decided you'd like to try out Wal-mart, Blockbuster, GreenCine, NicheFlix or any other service you would then only need to install the correct script to have your queue imported into whichever service you wanted to use, little by little. This would save a crapload of time, and might encourage people to give the competition a try, eliminating the "lock in" factor.
Finally we have my 3rd idea:
3) it would be pretty trivial to have the contents of your listology queue displayed right under your actual Netflix queue, meaning you would never even need bother going to listology.com. Having them sortable like the actual Netflix queue would be much less trivial, but is entirely doable.
So by wrapping all these things together you'd get both an effective transparent work-around for the 500 item limit on your queue plus a completely transparent way of keeping your queue in a place where you could get it to other rental services seamlessly.
The only problem? Listology.com requires moderation on lists created by new members. This means that I have created a list, but am currently unable to even view the list, let alone interface to it via Greasemonkey. Hopefully each change to that list won't require moderation as well. This will only really work if things can be changed realtime.
Does anyone know of a site like listology.com that doesn't require moderation that I could use for this? All that is required is that you can get the entire contents of a list from one url. Having a url that you can use to simply add an item to the end of the list would be an added bonus, saving me the hassle of doing that bit in code like I'd have to with listology.com.
Google Inc has announced that it will be soon launching a personalized home page on the lines of the ones currently offered by MSN and Yahoo!
The home page will include integrated features like integrated features its e-mail service Gmail, news, weather, stocks, driving directions and movie listings.
This doesn't necessarily mean the begin of Googles decline, but it was sure a bad sign when the other search leaders did exactly the same thing right at the beginning of the dotcom bust.
I'm not entirely sure why, but netflix's star ratings really bother me. It drives me crazy when I go to rate a movie "I hated it" by giving it a star. I do understand how the system works -- one star is the lowest you can go -- but I can't help but think back to 3rd grade when getting a gold star is a GOOD thing. You never got a star for doing bad work, only good work, so it pains me every time I do it.
I decided to remedy the situation and write a Greasemonkey script that replaces all the star graphics with new graphics of my own creation. Here's a screenshot of how I see netflix now:
Letter grades seem to make alot more sense to me, and I feel pretty good about giving a movie an F.
While I was digging around trying to figure out all the places I needed to replace images, I found a few interesting things:
1) even though your ratings are always shown with yellow stars, and you can only select whole stars, there are graphics for partial stars: Perhaps there will be partial star ratings in the future? More likely they just generated all the stars from a photoshop script or something.
I've recently found that netflix has some problems with recommendations, and after doing a little searchingaround I've found that many other people have the same problem. In a comment on one of those blog entries, I found MovieLens.
MovieLens isn't quite as elegant at displaying movies as netflix is, but the recommendations work really well. After you rate 13 movies, it starts giving you recommendations, estimating what they think you'll rate them. As you rate more, the results are more accurate. They use a 5 star system just like netflix does, except you can select ratings in half star increments. Basically this gives you 10 different options to choose from rather than the paltry 5 that netflix offers. In addition to a better rating system, you can also filter search results by language, genre, year and various other things. You want to see only japanese horror films before 1997, no problem.
There is a little bit of hassle factor with using external recommendations though; if you want to add a movie to your netflix queue, you have to go over to netflix and search for it there in order to add it. I decided to get my feet wet writing Greasemonkey scripts (read a nifty Wired article that explains Greasemonkey here) by writing one that adds a link to each movie that completely automates the process.
Here's without my Greasemonkey script:
Here's with my Greasemonkey script:
Today all the dirt was finally swept out from under the non-disclosure carpets for all of the contenders in this years battle in the ongoing Console Wars.
Microsoft finally sheepishly admitted -- after months and months of hedging -- that the XBOX 360 will be somewhat backwards compatible. This is undoubtedly to counter today's announcements that not only will the PS3 be fully backwards compatible (which everyone expected) with PS1 and PS2 titles, the Nintendo Revolution will be as well. Nintendo's backwards compatibility kicks the asses of all the competitors. Not only will the Revolution play the last generation of Nintendo Console games, it will playall the generations: the built in drive will accept Gamecube discs in addition to the new Revolution discs, while every title in Nintendo's 20 year legacy will be downloadable over the built-in Wi-Fi. There is no word yet on pricing plans for downloading titles (if they will cost anything at all), but you'll be able to play every NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64 game via a built-in emulator. They haven't specified whether Gameboy games will be included in this, but I suspect they will since all of Nintendo's handheld machines currently in production -- The DS and the just announced sexy little Gameboy Micro -- no longer play anything pre-Gameboy Advance.
All in all, this is going to be an interesting chapter. I had completely written off the Revolution as a contender, but it has seriously surprised me. I think that depending on how they handle interaction with the already popular Wi-Fi networking of the DS and what kinds of licensed titles they can secure, they very well might be able to hold strong against Microsoft and Sony.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, Sony appears to have the upper hand in the hardware department; technologically speaking, the PS3 is considerably better than the 360. Better doesn't always mean more successful though, look at Beta vs VHS, PS2 vs Dreamcast, etc.
Microsoft has several advantages over the competetion though; firstly XBOX Live is already well-established and will help hold onto players, secondly there is Media Center compatibility. I'm not sure how many people are currently using their XBOX to stream video content from their PCs but as more and more people find that falling off the Tivo bandwagon to a more customizable system -- the kind that Microsoft provides in their Home Media Center operating system and software -- they'll be looking at that XBOX 360 with a completely different eye. The other thing Microsoft has over the others is exclusive properties like Halo. Halo will influence more buyers than Mario ever could.
One thing both companies have over Microsoft is a portable gaming market. Both Nintendo and newcomer Sony have incredible handheld wireless gaming/multimedia systems that will interact with the new home consoles in exciting ways. If someone already has a sexy shiny new PSP, he is more likely to buy the PS3 that interacts with it. Same goes for the DS and and the Revolution.
Short of Sega suddenly announcing the Dreamcast 2, I don't think there could be anything more unxpected to me than an almost completely level playing field in the console market. This will certainly be interesting.