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Scary The Dave
04 May 2008 @ 12:44 pm
An ad for "Hypercane" on the History Channel said this:

"A hypercane is basically a super hurricane."

Does anyone else get bothered by such empty sentences as these?
Current Location: myDorm
Current Mood: perturbed
Current Music: CCTV4
Scary The Dave
04 April 2008 @ 08:00 am
You stumble upon a crypt lined with some form of stasis chamber. Assuming you understand how to do both, how do you choose between reviving the chambered and disabling their life support? Our instinctive choice is to revive them, or at least to allow their continued stasis, but if they have been there for hundreds or thousands of years, the difference in immunology may make them immediately susceptible to terrible diseases that would've been super-bugs in their day. Alternatively, they may carry some relatively common disease considered destroyed for aeons: their release could wreak havoc.

Not the cheeriest of morning thoughts; what are your thoughts on the scenario?
Scary The Dave
28 March 2008 @ 05:33 pm
The universe is infinite, or seems very near it by our perception, so what matter are our individual actions? To avoid a depressingly nihilistic viewpoint (as opposed to the celebratory viewpoint that we can't screw it up all that badly), we accept some perspective and suppose that our goals should focus on the human scale. In the immediate future, we take this to mean the Earth and its immediate surroundings, potentially out to a distance of Mars, but not for the purposes of this discussion.

Even at such a reduced scale, we observe that there are just shy of seven billion people on this planet and that the actions of national governments, large corporations, and international coalitions dominate the global stage. This mode of thought leads many to question the importance of their personal contribution to environmental, political, and other movements. Such a point of view, however, is inherently flawed, because it is precisely this sort of incremental action that creates the current atmosphere.

We might point out that it is precisely because of individual choices accumulating that there is so much waste in landfills and that so much new technology is bought and scrapped so regularly, among other examples. But many are not convinced of this argument.

More effectively, we can illustrate the cognitive dissonance inherent in supporting some concept theoretically but not putting it into practice oneself. In so doing, we convince those who agree that water resources should not be wasted or that companies should try to curb emissions to reduce their own superfluous use of water and individual vehicular transportation.

Convincing a friend to act on such beliefs, or to vote his or her mind in an election, signifies cultural change. So long as we all ignore our knowledge of what is "right" (e.g. reduction of waste), we can say, "Well, nobody else is doing anything about it personally, why should I sacrifice my comfort?" If, as we realise that little discomfort arises from some of the changes we might implement, we enact our beliefs, our example says to others that not only motivated activists work for things like environmental issues.

As those willing to start this minimal action begin, their peers and communities will take notice and realise that people do care and that all our minute individual contributions add up.

In short, live your credo and lead by example, for actions speak louder than words.
Scary The Dave
11 July 2007 @ 12:41 pm
"In our sex-stupefied, anti-intellectual culture, the eros of souls has become the love that dares not speak its name."

Scary The Dave
02 July 2007 @ 09:23 am
Dear Government of the United States of America,

A few months ago I posted a letter suggesting that we use patriotism and the compulsive contributions of some of those online to scan recent satellite images to aid in the identification of terrorist (and other) threats. (http://scarythedave.livejournal.com/28052.html)

Now another WIRED article inspires another suggestion: rather than relying on dedication and obsession as motivators--and avoiding the obvious money--we should mimick the ideas of Luis von Ahn. Von Ahn has already received a genius grant and provided a number of useful tools and games to the world (cf. Captcha, Babble, etc). Apparently the Department of Homeland Security has even requested that he create a game for DHS staff to aid in the identification of security threats at airports. (http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/15-07/ff_humancomp)

The point is this: why not apply these ideas to create games that identify potential threats. Begin with a database of images containing known threats and nonevents alike. Users can react to this database, tagging to the best of their ability and gaining credibility with each accurate identification. This method can at least provide an initial proof of concept and potentially act as a training ground as well.

I hope that these ideas gain support, though I somehow doubt any government official will ever read this letter.

David M Howcroft
Ramsey Scholar & Concerned Citizen
Scary The Dave
14 June 2007 @ 11:27 pm
Head to this page from ytmnd to read about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Scary The Dave
23 May 2007 @ 11:26 pm
I meant to write a real post, do some journaling to collect my thoughts, and produce a to-do list.

Instead, the following: today I finished "The Man who Counted." It is a fantastic book. This review reads as though a third-grader wrote it. Still, read the book; it's great.
Scary The Dave
01 May 2007 @ 09:46 pm
Well, despite the fact that you're the class of 07, I wanted to congratulate you all on making it this far--all you've got left are a few exams, and after the whole IB process how bad can those be, right?

Heh, seriously, though, I wish you the best of luck as you prepare for and take your IB (and AP) exams.

I'll be back in a little over a week, so give me a call if you want to hang out or need help preparing for any of your exams (I never did Chem, Spanish, or Psych, so I'm no good to any of those types).

If you're seeing this on Facebook, tell the rest of SHS IB '07 to hurry up and get on Facebook (and to friend me).

Ganbatte ne!
~Dave of the Scary
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Current Location: Snelling
Current Music: Beatmania
Scary The Dave
08 April 2007 @ 10:34 pm
Please go to the i4everyone website (http://www.i4everyone.com/2007/03/19/system-i-stands-for/) and vote for my video. Feel free to view the others and vote for them fairly, but I'd appreciate your support. (Only videos with the "A Star is Born" button next to them are my competition.)

That's all for now; full update to come.
Current Location: myDorm
Current Music: "System i Stands for..." Background Music
Scary The Dave
01 April 2007 @ 05:13 am

EDIT: Adding list of sites as discovered to have April Fools' pages.
http://xkcd.com/ (added 12 29)