Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
June 17, 2008
Firefox 3.0 is HERE!
Category: Linkage

Indeed! So make sure you go download it before 1:00 PM EST tomorrow to help Firefox set the world record for the most downloads in 24 hours. So far it's pretty cool -- and I love that it now resizes entire pages instead of just text, which I think is particularly great me since my 1920 x 1200 screen resolution tended to make everything tiny -- even though my favorite theme no longer works with it. Oh well... hopefully it'll get updated at some point. 😛

-posted by Wes | 5:53 pm | Comments (1)
June 12, 2008
Snap
Category: Toys

''Would you like a Jelly Baby?''

They're pretty good! Aslan is cool too. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 2:50 am | Comments (5)
June 10, 2008
I used to love the circus...
Category: Serious

...but PETA's e-mail notices have given me an entirely different view of them -- or at least the parts involving animals. Now, sometimes PETA's e-mails seem to go a bit too far regarding their various causes. For example, in a recent e-mail entitled "Most zoos are prisons for innocent animals," PETA writes:

There's a reason animals in most zoos look so sad. Few zoos can even begin to meet animals' complex needs. Animals in zoos are denied everything that is natural and important to them, and they're confined to enclosures that are infinitely smaller than the open spaces they would inhabit in their real homes in the wild.

And I'll agree, animals in zoos do have less "freedom" than their roaming wild counterparts, but they also don't have to hunt for their own food, get toys and tire swings and other nifty playthings, are safe from other animals that might prey upon them, have people tending to their medical needs, and so forth. So while I know they lack the ability to consent to any of this, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me and I'm not outraged about animals being kept in zoos. But I think I've mentioned it here before -- and I know I talked about it with Mickey during at least one discussion -- I think technology will eventually end up freeing animals anyway. Once virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and/or animatronics get up to speed, I submit that it will eventually be possible for people to have completely realistic zoo experiences without the need for animals. And with that being the case, it'll be much easier to simply do that and not have to pay for trainers and veterinarians and resources to keep the creatures healthy and alive (though there will be a need for software engineers, tech support, etc. to keep the virtual animals running properly).

Anyway, the science fiction projection was a digression -- my point was that, insofar as we assume that zookeepers are taking good care of their charges, most will not find the very idea of animals being kept in captivity to be particularly troubling. Nor will they be especially disturbed by PETA's screeds against the idea of animals performing because the tricks that they perform do not come naturally to them. In one e-mail, PETA decried the trick of having elephants stand on their hind legs -- not because this makes them much more likely to develop arthritis (though I think I did read that somewhere), but because they wouldn't normally do this in the wild. Um, yeah. I'm pretty sure Bacardi wouldn't normally roll around and slap people high fives in the wild either, but I hardly think that we're abusing him by having him do it. If circus animals were being abused, however, that would change everything.

But wait! They are being abused. Viciously. And that is why, despite my former love of the circus, I cannot bring myself to attend a show these days. Is there an all clown revue? Perhaps an animal-free show filled with gymnasts and sword-swallowers and performers like the lovely Lucifire? These are circuses I could visit without feeling (too) dirty.

-posted by Wes | 9:12 pm | Comments (6)
Because random songs get stuck in my head...
Category: Miscellany

...and then Google searches for lyrics yield zero results.

oh I would like to see a dinosaur
I know they're not around here any more
but I've been shown
some great big bones
and picture books galore
oh I would like to see a dinosaur

oh I would like to feel his scaly skin
to walk around his legs and pat his shin
I'd stretch up high
and really try
to touch his face and chin
oh I would like to feel his scaly skin

oh I would like to hear a dinosaur
I bet he'd have a loud and scary roar
or he might howl
or shriek or growl
or maybe even snore
oh I would like to hear a dinosaur

I'm tempted to buy the CD and reacquaint myself with all of those zany dinosaur songs.

-posted by Wes | 3:04 am | Comments (2)
June 8, 2008
Touché, Steven Moffat
Category: Toys … TV, Film, & DVDs

So I wasn't too keen on the first part of the most recent 2-part "Doctor Who" serial, but Steven Moffat managed to almost completely redeem himself in the second by focusing less on creepiness and confusion and more on intrigue and resolution. Granted, there was little about the episode that was particularly clever or unexpected -- apparently I'd guessed correctly regarding pretty much all of the "mysteries" of last week, though there were a few pleasant surprises and one interesting revelation that was never really a major concern in the first place (and that may make studying alone in the stacks even more unsettling for you students out there) -- but I'm a total sucker for happy endings. Talulah Riley even got her adorable face back! Everyone wins.

There was, however, one line that I found to be especially noteworthy:

I have the two qualities you require to see absolute truth: I am brilliant... and unloved.

I'm even tempted to make it the heading quotation of Wesoteric (or at least one of several; I've been thinking of randomizing the display there as I do with the DVD screencaps on the sidebar), since it's a pretty concise summary of my experience in life.

Mai Shiranui & Chun-Li!

In other news, as I mentioned in the latest Scary-Crayon piece, I did receive the replacement item from that seller this week -- so I enthusiastically recommend Treasure Island Sports, Inc. to anyone in the market for some toys. I was initially drawn by the great prices on the figures of my affection (pictured above), but the unexpectedly fantastic and accommodating customer service are what will make a repeat customer of me. Granted, I reserve the right to change my opinion if future orders go less smoothly, but right now I'm singing nothing but praises for TISInc. Many thumbs up. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 12:07 am | Comments (9)