What the Shed Looks At

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Update.

I bought the battlestar board game. It should be arriving in 5 to 9 days (cheapskate shipping).

We will discuss the game tomorrow during poker. I plan to have it at the usual time 5 or 6 oclock.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Rock Cookie Bottom

The artist in the Jerks and Idiots post was named Jonathan Mann. He is some guy from somewhere. He has decided that he will be making a song a day for a year for some reason. Here is his website.

Anyways, I figured I would make a post about it because I have heard from a couple of people that they do not want to listen because he can't shit gold 365 days a year. So I figured I would go through the pile of turds and find the gold nuggets for you. Man, I love torturing metaphors.

There's So Much To Know- I love this song because of the lyrics solely, the guitar is alright but simple.


You're All Right, Isaac Newton- There are some real forced rhymes with this song, but any song that posits that Isaac Newton was an alien and he didn't know it is alright with me.


A Letter to the Killer of George Tiller- I love this song, just wholesale, I downloaded it from some mp3 conversion site for youtube and listen to it on my iPod. This song is that awesome.

Your mileage may vary.


Hey Paul Krugman (A Song, A Plea)- This song is ok but the chorus of the song gets stuck in my head every couple hours now. It's really good. And I kind of agree with the politics.

Embedding disabled but here is the link.

Don't Give In to Madness- I'm not a communist but my grandaddy was.


Swine Flu: The Musical- Please, media, just leave me the hell alone.




Cannabis Criminalization: A Shorth History In Song- Exactly what it sounds like.


I am Israel, I am Palestine- This is a pretty good song that follows the general anti-war formula. He is influenced by Bob Dylan though after all.


Torture Memos: Waterboarding- This is one of my favorites. A song using the exact language from John Yoo's memos legally justifying torture.


You're Doing it Right, John Stewart- A paean to John Stewart for ultimate Jewish justice.


Well, that's about it. I haven't listened to all 170 songs of his but those are my favorites right now.

Marxist Traitor!!


Those dudes in Middleboro were right!!

Too Soon??

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jerks and Idiots

You're a jerk.

This song is great because it explains, as eloquently as it can be explained, that just because I fucked up and you can take advantage of me, doesn't mean you should and even though you take advantage of a comletely valid advantage, you're a jerk for doing so, even if I am a naive idiot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Let my army be the birds in the sky...

I was reading an article about internet access in Iran and stumbled across this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers

Xross

Monday, June 22, 2009

Now for something completely different...

Ok, I have something different to talk about. I know you guys are big Battlestar fans. I read a review for the Battlestar Galactica Board game. It actually sounds like a lot of fun with our group.

The premise is all players have to work together to defeat the cylons. The catch is that at least one person is a cylon agent. So the game is full of distrust and intrigue. Here is a link to the game:


I will fucking buy this shit if you guys want to play. We'll need like 5 or 6 people.

I think James said he played this. Anyway, regardless. I almost bought this today, but I couldn't find it. It just sounds perfect for the douchbaggery we pull on each other when we play board games. Let me know what you think.

They should have given me the money...

Forgive me for linking to Fox news :\ Seriously, it won't happen again.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/19/nih-funds-study-men-dont-like-use-condoms/

Anyway, it is obvious to me that these scientists and politicians simply don't fuck. Is there any mystery why condoms suck? I mean you use rubber gloves for the same exact reasons. This shit is old. I'm not complaining about the money per se. I just think science has better applications for all resources, money, time, and equipment. I for one am glad I didn't waste away my first experience inside a latex bag.
To look up, is to look beyond one's self.
Xross
Hilarious, we have our first post with redaction. A milestone for any blog worth reading.
Xross

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tinkering...

This is Gordan, I'm going to tinker a little with the formatting of the blog to try and get more room for the pictures. The way this site handles pictures take a long time, and I think I can post faster with a different template. The current template is called Minima. I plan on changing it, I will switch it back if it doesn't help, or if people bitch. Please leave a comment about this if you don't like the way it looks.

Thanks.

Edit: This is a template that gets rid of the box on the side and leaves the main body wide enough for bigger pictures. This way you will be able to drag pictures from other windows directly into the blog's compose box and they will be entered into a post, and they won't get cut off. Its MUCH faster. Let me know what you guys think. I will demonstrate what I mean if you want. Please switch it back if you have gotten attached to the "followers" box. There may be something else we can do that is the best of both worlds. I'll look into it.

BTW before all the pictures in the post below were cut off on one side. Now they all fit fine.

ReEdit: The Followers and archive boxes and such have moved to the bottom, so they are still there, but out of the way for the blog. This really is better for our purposes I think. We can tinker with the fonts and colors and shit if you guys think the new setup is ugly.

Some photos of shitballs at work.

note
grade
day
protection

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Game Piracy Primer

First you will need these three programs:
  1. uTorrent
  2. Winrar
  3. Deamon Tools (download the 'lite' version)

Install uTorrent and use one of the following sites to search for a game:

The Pirate Bay - based in Sweden. These guys are politically active against copyright.
Isohunt - A site based out of Canada, probably the largest torrent search engine out there.

You will find 98% of what you are looking for on these sites. These sites don't actually offer the game, instead they distribute Torrent files. Torrent files don't contain any software in them. They merely point you to people who have a copy of the software. You can then ask those people for pieces of the file. While you are building your copy piece by piece, others will ask you for pieces of the same file. It is in this way that files are shared. You are distributing tiny pieces of the greater file at the same time as you are receiving tiny pieces, eventually everyone helps each other build a complete copy of the file.

Those people who have a complete copy of the file are called "Seeders" and those who are in the process of building a complete copy are called "Leachers". The more seeders there are for a file, the more popular. These files will tend to download faster and be more likely to work properly. Leachers can also have an impact on transfer speeds, avoid files that have hundreds of times more leachers then seeders. This could indicate many people competing for the last fragments of a file from a small number of slow seeders. Both the Pirate Bay and Isohunt allow you to sort their lists by seeders, and I recommend doing that.

When downloading a torrent file be sure to have windows open it with uTorrent. uTorrent will then start downloading pieces of the actual game. This could take some time. Modern games are anywheres from a half a gigabyte to ten gigabytes long. This can take the better part of a day even on a good broadband connection.

When the transfer is complete, uTorrent will go from leaching the file to seeding it. You can continue to seed for as long as you want. This will help all those who are still getting their copy. In fact when people download more then they upload it makes for more work for everyone else trying to get the file. Most people using torrent consider people who seed less then they leach scumbags of sorts, but of course, they'll never know you.

If your completed file is a .zip or .rar file you will need to uncompress it. Use Winrar for this. It is a trial software, but it will let you use it forever with a nag screen. Just right click the file and select 'extract files', then show Winrar where you want the files. If you don't know what you are doing just open a folder on your desktop (right click on desktop, select new, select folder) and extract the files there.

Most games will be in image formats. These are CD or DVD image files that contain a bit by bit copy of a physical disk that is saved on your hard drive. You will use Deamon Tools Lite to access these disk images. Deamon Tools is a program that emulates a CD or DVD rom drive. Instead of optical disks, Deamon Tools uses disk images and fools Windows into thinking they are real disks. Disk images are in many different formats .iso and .bin files are common, but there are also .mdl and .img files. Deamon tools should be able to open all of these. just right click, open with, and make sure windows uses Deamon Tools to open.

From here on the game should install as if you were using real disks. simply follow the prompts from the game installer. If you need to swap disks simply find the file for the next disk and open it with Deamon Tools and it will replace the current image with the next image.

Most PC games utilize some form of copy protection to keep people from pirating them. The most common protection is a form of software that can detect whether you are using a real physical disk or a home-burned disk or disk image. This software and other techniques to curb piracy are collectively known as DRM, Digital Rights Management. These added programs run undetected in the background briefly when you first run a game. DRM doesn't work, and it only punishes those who buy their copies legally. Some forms of DRM are particularly draconian. EA game's Spore actually would not allow you to install it more then 5 times. They would keep track of how many times you installed and deny you your game if you went over your allotted installs. This DRM was removed after public outcry, but it never really stopped the pirates.

Now that you have your game installed you will simply have to remove the DRM that prevents you from running the game. Deamon tools may be able to do this because it can emulate an actual CD/DVD pretty good, but there is a better way:

GameCopyWorld - This site is an archive of hacked game files that will allow you to play without the Physical disk. These files are called noCD cracks or fixes. They are completely legal for people with legitimate copies of games who don't want to mess about with optical disks. The best part of GameCopyWorld is it contains up to date versions of most games. When you update or patch a game over the Internet the DRM will be reinstalled. You will have to find an updated crack every time you update. GameCopyWorld is pretty good about keeping their archive up to date, and that means you can take advantage of all the latest features and bug fixes for your game.

I would recommend checking the Internet for the latest patch or update for your game before cracking it. Do this by finding the game's official site, and download the patch from there. Be sure to note the latest version number. Then search for the latest crack on GameCopyWorld.

NoCD cracks tend to be a simple .exe file. This file must replace the exact same file that is present in the game's directory. Using Winrar, extract the file into the game's directory, and make sure to replace the old file with the new cracked file.

That's the basics. There are a lot more tricks that you will just have to discover on your own I think. I'm getting too tired to go on much further. I may edit this later and add some pictures, maybe make it more comprehensive. There is a trade off for free games. Sometimes you will have to spend a lot of time tinkering to get things to work right. The technique I have described will work 90% of the time though.

Leave a comment if you a have any questions.



Friday, June 19, 2009

My Favorite Podcasts.






1.)Africa: Past and Present - This is a pretty good podcast about Africa. It's a feed from the African Online Digital Library, which is a project from Peter Limb and Peter Alegi, both staffers at Michigan State University. The podcast is subtitled "A podcast about African history, culture, and politics". It offers a nice view that, while not offered by true insiders to the culture, it makes a good attempt to bridge the divide and explain the interior lives of Africans from a European perspective, with great care taken to maintain the integrity of the cultural viewpoint of Africans.

Explaining religious fundamentalism is easy regardless of the nationalistic upbringing of a person because it happens everywhere, no matter how the area is incorporated. What the hosts of this podcast attempt to do, which I believe is a noble thing, is to explain the colloqialisms of African culture in a way that even European chauvinists could understand.

The latest podcast is really good. It's about the history of Sudan and supplies a pretty good historical perspective on the causes of the current atrocities in Darfur.

This episode was one of my favorites. It details heroin addiction and the differences in social conditions between male and female users in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, with a special you usually don't get from podcasts, policy suggestions to solve the problem.



2.) American University In Cairo- The idea of Americans acculturating Egypt apparently wasn't seen as laughable in 1920 as it does now. But the University has a great podcast of lectures given by staff and guest speakers.

The latest episode is a pretty good lecture from Yervant Terzian titled "The Magnificent Universe". He was also the chief editor of this book.

And for my absolute favorite episode of this podcast, it is the on the Israel lobby in America. Stephen Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, something that should be reqired reading (and most of it is there in Google Books for free) for Americans who would like to know how they are being represented and how the arm of American foreign policy can be twisted to do things that don't really make any strategic or moral sense, but benefit the friends (read: donors) of our representatives.



3)Bill Moyer's Journal- One of my favroites and a must listen every week. The podcast is just the audio feed of the show, which is on WGBH at 9:00 friday nights while everyone is getting drunk. He consistently has amazing interviews with amazing guests. Very left-leaning bent to the news stories chosen, but of course that works for me. Good source also, of information that normally won't be on cable or nightly news.

Another good interview with Simon Johnson and Michael Perino on the economy

Dig through the archives, there are so many more good interviews.

I will leave the Bill Moyers fanboy stuff with one last piece of evidence of how awesome he is.


This is his 1987 documentary about the Iran-Contra scandals and the constitutional crisis created by the actions undertaken by the Reagan administration therein.


4.)Dan Carlin's Hardcore History- This is a really good history podcast where there isn't really a script and Dan just kinda riffs on a historical topic. He is currently doing a series of podcasts on Operation:Barbarossa and the battle between Germany and Russia in World War II. He routinely finds angles in the narratives of historical events that really make you think about what it must have been like to be there. Highly recommended.

His series on the Punic Wars (pts. 1, 2, 3) were awesome. The sacking of Carthage by Scipio Amelianus and his legions at the end of the Third Punic War is a harrowing example of humanity at it's most extreme.

The episode Judgment at Nineveh is also amazing. It is a picture of what the Assyrian kingdom was like as one of the first civilizations to arise out of Mesopotamia.

He also does a couple of interviews. I personally greatly enjoyed his interview with James Burke, creator of the awesome Connections series and The Day the Universe Changed.



5.)The History of Rome- This is one of my favorite podcasts. He traces the history of Rome (duh) from the roots of legend with Romulus and Remus andtwo my favorite legendary stories, The rape of the Sabine women and the secession of the Plebes.



6.) The History of the Constitutional Convention- This is a pretty good podcast detailing who the players were in the forming of the Constitution and what they argued about, what they tied to do to the Constitution and why they did what they did.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Craig made the Globe!!




Note the bitter comments from people, also how much they assume things they couldn't possible know. At least they are venting in a place that no one looks and wasting their time.

Click for huge.

Gotta love this town.

James
The best non-news ever.



All you really need to understand to know what the hell is going on in Iran.

I suppose we may as well sign these posts so I guess I will start treating these as messages to readers instead of an info dump. Anyways these are just some links I was reading in the shed. I will eventually do some effort posts but I am so lazy.

And I will attempt to understand your post when I get home, Gordan.

James

Monday, June 15, 2009

Abiogenesis

Scientists can be very poor teachers at times. Despite the fact that they teach in our universities, they often fail at conveying their message to the public at large. There is an element of arrogance as well, they simply feel the layman doesn't have the background to understand the more complicated ideas associated with their cutting edge research. I personally have never felt this way. I have always found most attempts to explain some of the more mysterious aspects of science to be lacking. Its almost like they stop short out of fear, like they may cause confusion that would do more harm then good.

There really is no wonder that ideas like creationism are on the rise. There is no shortage of truths and lies out there, what is missing is the accessibility of the former. In this new age of media it surprises me that it has taken this long for good quality video that really gets into the nitty gritty of some really fundamental ideas.

Origins the Series
Please, find the time to watch this and understand it. Unfortunately it is hosted on Youtube and is subject to viscous attacks by creationist. Their tactics are incendiary and the antithesis of actual debate, but you don't have to read the comments.

Origins Part I

video

The video attempts to explain what we now think very early organic chemistry was like, and how the building blocks of life came to be. The theories make use of bubble-like lipid chambers that trap small organic compounds called monomers that self-polymerize to form longer chains. The eventual result is RNA. The process, called Abiogenesis, eliminates the need for the hand of God, so it really rubs creationists the wrong way it seems. The main criticism I have, and this is true for all this person's videos, is he is much too abrasive to the very people he should be trying to convince. Just like Bill Marr's movie Religulous, he has given up on creationists entirely, but at the same time he knows that they are part of his audience. This attracts a lot of negative criticism.

Please don't let the vocabulary intimidate you. There are a lot of words here that I had to look up to better understand this process. I'm going to lay out my research for you guys.

  • Lipid - The first few paragraphs pertain to the video. Lipids involved in Abiogenesis are much simpler then the ones mentioned in Wikipedia.
  • Phospholipid - The lipid comprising a cell membrane.
This is a model of the advanced cell membrane lipid referred to in the video.
  • Protein - Wikipedia has a lot of info on proteins. These are the chemical machines of life, and the are very complicated. Science doesn't fully understand the structures of most of these molecules, let alone their functions'.
As a side note, check out Foldit; a computer game involving proteins.
  • Vesicle - or more specifically Liposome. Simple lipids form into bubbles in solution.
This is all of course a theory, but a much better explained and researched one then anything I have seen from creationism. More education is needed, and we can't be afraid to tackle these subjects, nor should we be afraid to teach and learn difficult to understand concepts. I find this shit fascinating, and I have a much easier time grasping it with well though out visual aids like this.

More crap:
Astronaut simulates lipid vesicles with candy corn! (video)

Gordan
Hi guys! Gordan here!

Ok, before I get really into this I would like to say a few things. We probably should let each other know who is doing the posting. Also I looked at the terms of service of this site and they give the thumbs up for porno (adult content). No that doesn't mean I'm going to saturate your blog with smut. Frankly I don't want to hear you fucks pretend to not like the shit. However, assuming you guys actually read this blog, I'm going to feel free to feel free. You get my drift?

I'm going to be following this post later tonight with some research I have done, or more accurately stumbled upon about the origins of life. I hope this will inspire you to contribute to this blog. I know there are several things I promised to find for James, and I hope to cover that in the next few days. I also hope that our vastly differing interests don't sabotage this thing, because I, for one, need this sort of thing desperately.

Lastly. I'm down with everyone contributing to this. Give out the password to people.

Be back later with some shit that will piss the creationists off.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

http://web.archive.org/web/19990117053540/www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Welcome-nt.html
The White House web page archived from Jan. 17, 1999.

http://torturingdemocracy.org/
A pretty good site for all your U.S.A torture needs.

http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html
Awesome article with anecdotes from abortion providers about when pro-lifers choose instead.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/breaking_news/story/1208740.html
Article about Marcus Johnson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL83sUbTDiU
And the video of his crimes.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12840743/porks_dirty_secret_the_nations_top_hog_producer_is_also_one_of_americas_worst_polluters
Article about the pork industry. Mmmm... bacon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

This is the Shed Crew's Blog.

We may fill it with the shit we find cool. Or we may neglect to ever add anything to it.

Time's the revelator.

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