Onion And Religion Soup

The OnionThe Onion has updated their design and made their content and archives open to all. From the publisher’s message:

Although democracy and the free exchange of ideas are notions that I have always staunchly opposed, it is clear that this Internet medium is not dying off as quickly as I had hoped. Therefore, The Onion Board of Directors and I have determined that we must continue to exploit it.

The Onion’s articles on religious matters are hilarious. Here are some favorites:

They, of course, are excellent at lampooning ANY topic. Try their search engine; it works well.

Playing Chess At The Office

A co-worker (Greg) and I are going to start playing chess at the office tomorrow. We’ve bragged to each other about our past victories and talent, but I haven’t played in a long time, although I used to be rated in the 1500s. I’ve forgotten the names and strategies of openings (although I remember I used to specialize in the Queen’s Gambit); I fear I’m going to get my ass kicked. I dusted off my copy of Chessmaster and started playing it again, and I suck.

I recently learned from a buddy I used to play chess with in school that a member of our former chess team (I was Captain), received a chess scholarship from an American university. This fella wasn’t as good as us either, but he must’ve kept at it. I quit playing seriously in my later years of high school, but if I had’ve known you could get scholarships in it…

By the way, the best movie about chess ever is Searching for Bobby Fischer, as Phillip mentioned once.

My Old Computer Died

The original hard-drive in my old 500 MHz PC sounds like a record player stuck in a grove, which is probably what has happened – the control arm failed. It was the drive with the operating system (Windows 2000), so I now have a good excuse to try Linux, although it has to be user-friendly since it’s my wife’s computer now.

I’ll post the agony of installing Linux and its associated programs that I’ll need: OpenOffice, FireFox, etc.

For now, though: where do I start? What version of Linux should I get? Anyone have any suggestions while I do some research?

How To Paint A Lattice

Don’t use a brush. Trying to paint lattice with a brush is a pain in the ass. The secret: use spray paint.

I’m building a railing for my deck, using lattice for the middle area so my kids don’t kill themselves on the 6 inch drop off the deck (yeah – inches). The deck and frame for the railings are built; I just have to cut the lattice to fit the railing frames, paint them, then figure out how to attach the railing frames to the deck (I didn’t install posts).

I first started using a brush to paint the lattices and it took FOREVER to do one side. I said fuck this and bought 6 cans of spray paint instead, doing four lattices in the time it took me to do one with a brush.

So save yourself some time and patience: use spray paint for lattices.

Listening To It Backwards

This is hilarious: Stairway to Heaven backwards and other tunes, including Hotel California, Imagine, and the only one I knew about that supposedly had a backwards message, I’m So Tired by the Beatles. From Stairway to Heaven:

Oh here’s to my sweet Satan. The one whose little path would make me sad…

It’s remarkable how you can hear what’s written; otherwise, it’s garbage if you didn’t know what to hear for. Well, it’s garbage anyway, but funny garbage.

There are, of course, websites devoted to songs played backwards, including Reverse Speech, which provides mp3 samples of backward tunes, including clips from AC/DC, Eric Clapton, and even Britney Spears.

Wikipedia’s entry about Backward messages mentions deliberate backward messages, including the one from Pink Floyd’s Empty Spaces on The Wall, which when played backwards states:

…congratulations. You’ve just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont.