Friday, December 29, 2006

stuff that sucked in 06

so usually i put stuff on my blog that i liked, which is nice. nonetheless, when swimming in the wild world of media, you occasionally bump into things that suck. here's my attempt to keep you from colliding with some of the lousy stuff i encountered in 06. note that i'm leaving off all the obvious stuff like the paris hilton album, anything on network television, and watching my wolverines drop yet another rosebowl to USC (arrrrrghhh!!!!)

cibelle - dry shine of electronic leaves
could be the most boring bossa nova ever. and perhaps the worst title for a brazilian cd. after a killer debut she cranked out a sophomore snoozer.

boozoo bajou -juke joint II
jj I was freakin' brilliant, it was a compilation which blended blues with downtempo and ragga beats. eclectic and unexpected yet very cohesive all the same. jj II is clumsy, tired and over-reliant on old soul tracks. i like the kick off track (rainy night in georgia, tony joe white rmx), but already had it from the also crappy "what is hip" comp. it's not terrible, but knowing what it should have been i just can't listen to it.

a guy called gerald - proto acid
after his mediocre last cd, we get this crap. i'll sell it to you for a buck. no wait, i'll fling it at you if you let me pay you a buck.

worst adaptation of a book i've seen in ages. the book was good, movie was no bueno. they left out big, material aspects of the story and simply forgot to develop any of the characters in a meaningful way. the casting was awful, case in point, ajihad and his daughter who were supposed to have an air of toughened nobility looked like they just got done shooting a rap video (not too mention his daughter looked about 2 years younger than him). the urgals looked like hells angels for the love of god. i hope paolini was well paid for letting them butcher his novel like this...

a scanner darkly
maybe i just don't get phillip k dick. i might not be clever enough to grasp the immensity of his anti-drug message, played out in a slightly futuristic orange county where ppl are hooked on the ultra-potent "substance d". btw, orange county in the future is a real shocker: more than 1/2 the women have their real boobs and it looks like they eliminated a healthy chunk of the strip malls. that's progress! anyways, this movie meandered its way through telling a story which boils down to "drugs are fun, but they squish yer brain and might even be sponsored by the govt so just go read a book instead". at least that's what i took away from it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

fave albums of '06

in no particular order, here's my pics of '06.

fat freddy's drop - based on a true story
kraak & smaak - boogie angst
gnarls barkely - st. elsewhere
lily allen - alright still
keane - under an iron sea
easy dub allstars - radiodread
william orbit - hello waveform
radio citizen - berlin serengeti
hybrid - i choose noise
owusu & hannibal - living with ...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

merry xmas!

thought i'd take a moment to wish you all a merry christmas! and to pass along a pretty funny website, "scared of santa". check it out!

some of the better ones...

givin' santa the bizness!

"the omen"

santa's out on parole


Thursday, December 21, 2006

current playlist

baby it's cold outside | ella fitzgerald & louis jordan | hey! baba rebop
basketball jam | krafty kuts | freakshow
love endeavours | alice smith | for lovers, dreamers, & me
9 crimes | damien rice | 9 crimes
hooligan spirit | hybrid | i choose noise
lit by moonlight | susumu yukota | distant sounds of summer
a letter from home | ulrich schnauss | a strangely isolated place
herculean | the good, the bad, & the queen | herculean - single
syrian style | braintax | panorama
here comes tomorrow | ursula 1000 feat. robert conroy | here comes tomorrow
university of michigan fight song | go blue!

selection o' wedding pics

this is a small collection of what was over 800 (!!!) wedding pics. hosting courtesy of my good pals over at kodak :-)

link to pics

few of my fave pics below

2006, 2007 cnet podcast with me and mcafee

link to a very brief interview i did yesterday with cnet. sorta wacky and flyby but, hey, it's a podcast...

Link to podcast

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

breach bowl 2006

alright, here's a blog i whipped together for my "professional" info security blogging. not sure if they will actually post it, but thought i'd throw it out here...

If you’re like me, you’ve heard a bunch of different ways of picking the winning team for a football game, ranging from the absurdly analytical down to the flippant “who has the tougher looking mascot” approach my wife favors. In the spirit of the college football season coming to a close here in the U.S., I offer you yet another means of predicting who will rise to the top of the rankings this bowl season: data breach analysis. It’s pretty straight-forward: whoever loses the least amount of student and faculty data wins.

Given the rash of data loss incidents that have afflicted academia, this is no small feat. Universities face the very difficult challenge of managing sprawling, unique networks with thousands of intrepid students exploring their boundaries who have to be allowed more freedom than your corporate administrators would ever permit. So this is not an attempt to make light of the situation, only to show the extent of the problem in a light-hearted way.

Ohio State University vs. University of Florida
Winner: The gators edge out the buckeyes 3851 identities lost in 2005 in an incident at the Health Sciences Center versus Ohio States 17,800 identities lost or exposed in 2 separate incidents in 2005.

University of Michigan vs. University of Southern California (USC)
Winner: My alma mater, the wolverines, lay waste to the USC Trojans, 5,000 identities to 50,000. There were another potential 270,000 possibly accessed or exposed in a separate hacking incident in 2005 at USC.

Notre Dame vs. Louisiana State University (LSU)
Winner: LSU edges out Notre Dame by a thin margin. While Notre Dame has only suffered one public incident this year of unknown impact, LSU has kept them selves out of the headlines entirely.

Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia
Winner: West Virginia topples Georgia Tech as they suffered from a stolen computer incident in late 2005 putting 13,000 people at risk. The Mountaineers have not had any visible data breaches of late.

Louisville vs. Wake Forest
Winner: You’ll have to use a different method for this one, as breach rules show this one is a toss-up as neither team has had a publicly recorded data loss incident recently. My wife would tell you though that cardinal doesn’t really stand a chance against a demon deacon if they were to meet in a dark alley.

Data breach statistics courtesy of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

new study frontin' the low-pro

confirms china study findings to a degree, take it for what it's worth:

a.k.a. stop running and eat yer damn peas skippy!

Low-protein diet might reduce cancer risk
Wed Dec 13, 2:02 PM ET
Researchers studying a group of vegetarians who'd maintained a diet relatively low in protein and calories found that they had lower blood levels of several hormones and other substances that have been tied to certain cancers.

A comparison group of distance runners also had lower levels of most of these substances compared with sedentary adults who followed a typical American diet -- that is, relatively high in protein from meat and dairy.

However, the low-protein group also had a potential advantage over the runners: lower levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a body protein that helps cells grow and multiply. High IGF-1 levels in the blood have been linked to breast, prostate and colon cancers.

It's not clear that this all translates into lower odds of developing cancer, but the findings are a "first step" in showing how lower-protein diets might alter cancer risk, according to the researchers.

"I believe our findings suggest that protein intake may be very important in regulating cancer risk," lead study author Dr. Luigi Fontana, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a statement.

He and his colleagues report their findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The findings are based on a small sample of middle-aged adults, including 21 who'd been vegetarians for at least two years; they were recruited through a local vegetarian society and a magazine on "raw" foods.

They were compared with 21 long-time endurance runners the same age, and 21 sedentary adults who ate a typical American diet.

On average, the vegetarians ate just below the recommended daily amount of protein -- 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Both the runners and the sedentary group ate significantly more than the recommended amount.

Fontana's team found that, compared with their sedentary counterparts, the runners and vegetarians had lower levels of several hormones and inflammatory proteins linked to cancer risk.

When it came to IGF-1, specifically, the low-protein group had lower levels than runners did, even though they were equally lean -- suggesting an effect of diet and not just body weight, according to the researchers.

In addition, IGF-1 levels in the sedentary group generally rose in tandem with their protein intake.

"Many people are eating too many animal products," Fontana said, as well as too many processed foods and sugars.

He advised that people try to eat more fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, beans and fish, and less red meat. Doing so could bring the amount of calories and protein the average American eats closer to recommended levels -- and possibly lower IGF-I levels, according to Fontana.

"We hope to further clarify what happens to cancer risk when we are chronically eating more protein than we need," he said.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2006.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

reflections on weddings, australia & stuff

have you ever had that dream where you find yourself in a room with your 3rd grade teacher, ex-girlfriend and uncle harry who always used to give you wedgies at family gatherings? usually they're prattling on like they've known each other for ages and you're struck dumbfounded at the bizarre grouping of people from your life who just don't "fit" together. this was one of the more curious aspects of getting married for me. all sorts of people from different areas of my life (and jane's) squished together.

if that was the surreal part of getting married (beyond the heavy clouds that rolled in all around us and gave the whole thing an "alice in wonderland" experience), one of the best parts was seeing all the great people who showed up to share the day with us. this probably sounds trite, but it was beyond flattering. if one can measure success by the relationships you build in life, we're very blessed. thanks again to everyone that came and made it a great day for us.

australia was nothing short of fantastic, what a great country. laidback people, great wine country, good restaurants, cool architecture, wacky and wonderful critters roaming about, fun twists on english (i.e. sunnies = sun glasses, brekkie = breakfast, etc.) the list goes on... i'd highly recommend melbourne to anyone (over sydney), to combines the best LA and SF has to offer.

of vino, we learned a few things on this trip. first, shiraz-viogner is a great blend. it's still red (not a rose), but the viogner does just enough to smooth out the shiraz. maybe we were lucky but each one we had was really nice. we visited a number of wineries there, including coldstream hills, which had a beatiful pinot noir and a stellar reserve chardonnay. while we were staying at pepper's palm bay (2nd leg of honeymoon), we stumbled onto innocent bystander's pinot noir rose, tasty stuff and pretty widely distributed.

of music, i picked up a bunch of new stuff for absurd non-US prices fearing i might not be able to score it back here in the US. i grabbed the jon butler trio, which i'm still forming opinions about but was also steered towards an ozzie hiphop outfit called the "hilltop hoods" which i like a fair bit (very listenable and some nice collabs). i also picked up kraty kuts new album "freakshow" and the freestyler's album "adventures in freestyle", both are labelmates and boy does it show. i played them back to back and while i thought they were both pretty good, it's a little like trying to eat a whole pound bag of m&ms in one sitting. too much of a good thing is just too much and they sound entirely too much alike, blending breaks with disco-house flavor, a splash of ragga and hiphop (kraft more hiphop, freestylers more ragga). aussies like their dance music as well as roots/reggae.

btw, fat freddy's drop is red hot in new zealand and oz. if you don't have "based on a true story" yet, you are missing out big time. you can get it from itunes as well as some decent remixes too (jazzanova is the best and MKL has a couple good ones too, steer clear of nextmen remixes of "roady" as they add little to the original).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

back from the honeymoon, farewell paul

sorry for the extended absence from blogging, though i suppose i'm excused given that i was disconnected while honeymooning :-) for anyone who's interested, here's a link to some of our photos, i'm just too damn lazy to keep giving it to people:

i've got a million things to blog about, not the least of which is the wedding of course (which was great), but for now my thoughts are consumed with my uncle paul who passed today, likely due to a heart attack. i'd be lying if i said this was a surprise-- paul likely wrote his own fate by failing to take care of himself throughout his life. he was chronically obese with a terrible diet accompanied by an aversion to exercise and doctors. needless to say, deadly combo.

paul had the mind and demeanor of a child until his death today. he grew up in a time and place where people with his mental limitations were often dealt with cruel indifference. i honestly don't know if this was the case for paul, but with 7 brothers and sisters living on my grandfather's plumber salary i really doubt he rec'd the attention and resources he needed to develop in spite of his condition.

i grew up with paul as a fixture when i lived in ohio and later at family gatherings after we moved to michigan. paul was also named my godfather by my mother (we have a traditional, catholic family). in spite of not always being treated kindly or even fairly by those who grew up around him and ultimately past him, paul was good to us. he lived at home with my grandmother throughout his 40 some odd years and never married. instead of the attentions of a wife, he lavished gifts on his nephews/nieces and served as a dependent yet constant companion to my grandmother following my grandfather succumbing to asbestos cancer when i was 13.

earlier in life when i was brimming with youthful arrogance and idealism i'd pondered the "shame that paul's life was", in that he had no friends really, and little chance of getting married, no career, and nothing notable to mention for his years on the planet. as the years rolled on, i realized the importance of paul's companionship to my grandmother and all the young children in the family as he doted on them in his own clumsy, but tender way. paul taught me that one's life mission and accomplishments are not always transparent or appreciated, but the role of each individual is important, no matter how they may seem to the gaze of the rest of the world.

farewell dear uncle, i hope you're in a better, more understanding place now. we'll miss you.

Uncle Paul (godfather) and My Aunt Mary (godmother) at my Confirmation at our first house in Battle Creek, MI

Aunt Mary and Uncle Paul at my High School graduation in Battle Creek, MI (@ our 2nd home)