Zombie Weapon FAIL!

There’s a post over on Gizmodo calling this AR15 modified to old a chainsaw as a bayonet “the ultimate zombie killing weapon.” It’s not, and actually it might be the worst most amature option out there. Let’e quickly review the reasons arming yourself with this during a zombie attack will lead straight to your demise:

  1. Requires ammo. This means that you will need to both reload as look for reserves. Reloading will mostly likely be required when it’s not convenient and eventually you will run out of ammo, making this useless.
  2. Requires gasoline. Presumably the chainsaw is gas powered and suffers from the same issues as ammo, it will run out, and will do that when you most need it leaving you helpless.
  3. Heavy as crap. Can you imagine how tiring carrying this around all day would be? I mean, look at the video, the dude almost drops it chopping off his foot after using it for just a few seconds. When faced with a zombie mob, you need to be agile and on your toes. This will leave you exhausted and clumsy.
  4. Noise attracts zombies and you know this thing is loud. So in addition to being bad at killing zombies for more than a few minutes, and leaving you tired from trying, this will alert other zombies to your whereabouts bringing them down on you in packs.

Clearly this is a poor zombie killing weapon. What a noob.

Happy Birthday Sean Patrick McCabe

Today would have been Sean Patrick McCabe’s birthday. He would have been turning 37. He died on August 28, 2000. I found an old blog post I wrote about him and thought I’d republish it for today.
inkanddagger.gifI just found a wikipedia article on Ink & Dagger and realized that there really needs to be one for Sean at some point. I don’t recall the first time I met Sean Patrick McCabe in person but it was early 90’s – 93 or 94 perhaps. I’d known him for quite sometime prior to that from the #sxe IRC channel that all 14 of the straight edge kids who had internet connections at the time used to hang out on. He also wrote a lot on his university provided “homepage” which I wish I had archives of all these years later. He quickly became a very close friend of mine, probably because of our similar tendencies towards causing trouble to keep people on their toes although he was much better at it than I was.

Over the next few years we talked hundreds of times about every topic I can think of and I frequently stayed at his apartment when passing through Philly although was never able to return the favor. For a while he worked at Kinkos and a handful of the first Toybox Records releases had printing that was done with his “help.” Before I officially stopped doing Toybox there were only a few records that I had ever hopped to put that had not actually come to fruition. One of those was the Frail Album (Don later went on to Join Sean in Ink & Dagger) and the other was a CD of all the songs from Sean’s first band, Crud is a Cult. Frail never ended up recording the album, but with Crud it wasn’t even that good of an excuse. Sean and I had the whole thing planned out and it was all recorded, the problem was he couldn’t get ahold of the masters. Some were being held by ex band members, some by other labels that had planned to release them. What he had he sent me and I still have some of those songs but wish I had the others. Once I moved to Chicago we didn’t talk as much but it was for no reason other than hectic schedules which I’m finding out is a worse excuse all the time. I did see him a few times when Ink & Dagger was on tour through town but we only talked every few months, if that. A lot of the people who used to look up to him in the early 90’s turned their back on him when he started drinking (as most straight edge kids from that era did) but I never really gave a shit about that, and I think he knew that. I never bought into the “if you aren’t now you never were” bullshit that holier than thou flag wavers used to preach. Sean was my friend and that was way more important that what he did or didn’t drink. Or maybe judgement has just never been my thing.

It had probably been almost a year since I talked to him when I heard that he died a few months earlier. At first I didn’t believe it, it seemed very much like the kind of prank he would have tried to pull on everyone. I tried to contact some of our mutual friends to no avail but a few weeks worth of searching seemed to confirm it. He was found dead in a hotel room in Indiana in 2000, after choking on his own vomit or something like that. I wish I could make the Spinal Tap joke about how they couldn’t prove that it was his own vomit but the whole thing still bums me out too much. His birthday just past about a month ago, November 13th. He would have been 35 this year. For some fucked up reason a lot of people I knew died while I was in High School and College but Sean was the first one to really get to me. He was easily one of the most influential people I’ve ever known and someone that I still think about all too frequently. The crazy thing is, the very few people who knew him that I’ve talked to about him since he died have all had similar memories of him. One of those really bright stars that burned out too quickly.

6 best ways to get into conferences free

It’s web conference season again and being someone who goes to a ton of conferences, sees a lot of value in talking to the people who also attended a lot of conferences, sees little value in most of the panels at conferences and hasn’t paid for a conference in recent history, I thought I’d pass on a few tips to all you whippersnappers looking for ways to check this out. First off, let me take a second to note that I’ve talked to a lot of people recently who have relayed massive sob stories about not being able to afford conferences so therefor not going. Let me tell you, back in my day we didn’t let silly things like “not having the cash for admission” stand in our way! Anyway, here’s a few tricks to add to your jelly bean bowl that might help you get a seat for free that someone else had to con their company into paying for.

  1. Just walk in. Seriously, you’d be surprised at how often this works. The guards at the doors are supposed to be looking for badges but I suspect they are greatly underpaid and most don’t really care. Just act like you know what you are doing when you walk by. If for some reason they do stop you and ask, tell them you left it in your bag which is already inside and you just walked out a moment ago, don’t they remember?? You’ll be in in a heartbeat.
  2. Don’t want to risk having to BS with a guard? Get yourself a lanyard. A little known secret is that most conferences have unique sponsor branded lanyards that are just as good as a pass. Offer a real attendee $10 for their lanyard and put it around your neck, but tuck the end where a badge usually would be into your sweater or jacket – the guards will see the lanyard and assume you have a badge and waves you right past.
  3. Still worried about having your bluff called? Get a real badge. Doesn’t matter what name is on it, the guards aren’t checking IDs. If you have a pass from last year chances are it’s the same, if you don’t hang around at the end of day one and ask people who are leaving, ESPECIALLY speakers, if they are coming back the following day, and if not can you have their pass? I walked into an O’Reilly conference one year with Tim O’Reilly’s badge and the security didn’t even question it.
  4. Go as press. Finally you are official. After you’ve been to a few of these things chances are you’ve developed some kind of opinion about it. Write something up, and offer it to a few websites that cover these kinds of events/issues. If you don’t sound like a toolbox they might just take it and then presto, you’re a tech journalist. Apply for a press pass next time and maybe you can move up to “topical expert.”
  5. Get an invite. This takes a little more work than you might be up for, and might require doing a few of the above first so that people start to know who you are, but once you have a contact for the conference organizers and have some value you can offer them, most will be happy to slide you a pass.
  6. Be on a panel or present something. The logical next step, stop attending and start contributing. You know you have some scary insight by now right, so go for it.

The Hulk was Incredible

Today, thanks to shdowchsr I saw The Incredible Hulk at the world premier. I didn’t know what to expect. On one hand the last time Hollywood tried to make a Hulk movie, it sucked massively. Also, we all know that the track record for comic books made into movies is less than stellar. On the other hand, Ed Norton & Tim Roth as main character? Those two aren’t really known for picking crappy movies to play parts in. Also I heard that Ed Norton only accepted the role if he could have a hand in actually writing the script so needless to say I was curious. Truth be told I kind of expected it to suck, but hoped it wouldn’t suck too horribly.

Um, wow.

This was SO much better than I expected. Really, from the start to the finish it was top notch. The more I think about it the more I like it. I’ve mentioned how much I liked Iron Man and with this one the list of movies Marvel studios is producing on their own is a solid 2 for 2. This is a major score for Universal too, and if I were them I’d be making sure to lock in distro rights on the future stuff yesterday. Anyway, the thing I was most worried about was the CGI. I can’t help it, I grew up with real models and stop motion and there’s something about the fake computer stuff that always bugs me and that was one of the biggest problems with the first Hulk movie. It totally wasn’t a problem in this on. (keep reading if you don’t care about spoilers)

Top 5 Comic Book Inspired Movies

  1. Iron Man. As Wil notes, io9 says, “Iron Man is the first comic-book movie that’s actually better than its source material. That’s partly because Iron Man is one of the most boring characters in the history of comics, but it’s also because the movie manages to transcend its source.”
  2. Batman Begins – Batman was always supposed to be scary and this movie finally makes that clear. The follow up to this, Dark Night, already looks like it’s going to be unstoppable.
  3. Sin City – The pair up of Rodriguez and Miller to co-direct this pretty much insured it was going to be the comic book on the big screen and it delivered from the very first second.
  4. Spiderman – It’s amazing how good this was in comparison to how shitty the follow ups were.
  5. Hellboy – You know it.

I almost squeezed X-Men into that but I’m still not sure if I liked that movie so much because I was such a big fan of the comic initially and was just amped to see Wolverine so bad ass on the screen. I also came close to throwing Mallrats in there because comics are such a central point in that flick, and it’s amazing.

Every Day

Reposting this Andy Warhol quote from BoingBoing not because I don’t think you folks saw it, but rather because I want quick reference to it myself later.

“Actually, I jade very quickly. Once is usually enough. Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more.”

Wish List: Contact Priorities

I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the recent talk about how to classify relationships online and how that translates, at least for me, into actual practice. The truth is that as interesting as it would be to have hard data documenting exactly what kind of relationship I have with someone (be they a an old college roommate, an ex-girlfriend, a current coworker, a close friend, etc), that doesn’t really have a lot of functional use for me. I mean really what happened yesterday between me and someone else is already in my head and I don’t need a code to represent that. Besides often that isn’t a static piece of info, relationships change and who wants to be constantly updating that? I’m not saying it’s not important for a lot of reasons (I certainly understand the idea of letting this group of people have access to this group of info, and that group having access to a more limited amout of info), what I’m saying is that really what is more interesting for me is looking at tomorrow and how those people and relationships impact my daily life.

Depending on the kind of relationship I have with someone they have different priorities in my life at different times. If a business contact e-mails me during the week I’d like to see that relatively quickly, where as if they e-mail me on a Saturday I’d be perfectly happy not even knowing about it until Monday. If my family calls me I want my phone to ring, if the dry cleaner calls I’d prefer if that went stright to voicemail. If a friend IM’s me I don’t mind being interupted, however if someone I’ve only just met pings me I’d like them to see that I’m busy and will be back in touch later. What kind of relationship I have with these people isn’t really as important as what priority I’ve placed on their contact with me.

I realized while talking with someone about this the other day that what I really want is what already exists for so many other kinds of info but just hasn’t been applied to people yet. I can rate songs in iTunes and then tell it to only play songs with a 3 star or higher ranking at certain times. I can sort RSS feeds in Google Reader and chose which ones to read when. Why can’t I do this with my contacts? So that is what I’m wishing for – I don’t want something that better describes what kind of relationship I have with someone so much as I want something that helps me prioritize incoming contact from them. I want 5 star contacts to be able to reach me any time any where, and 1 star contacts to leave me messages I follow up on when I have a chance. Half of me feels like this is a horrible thing to ask, but in reality that’s what all this sorting is headed towards just in a much more round about fashion.