[Musings] The Distributed Life, part next

I've been doing The Distriubted Life (tm) as I call it now for about 2 months. It sucks on many levels, but it does have it's bright points. For example, I spend half of my time in the luxurious (compared to my cube) office, where I have easy access to coffee, a snack, a fish tank with entrancing tropical fish and most importantly, my office helpers, my cats. Not to sound like a crazy pet person, but I really love my cats. When I am having a tough day dealing with all things *nix, my cat will hop in my lap and start purring. Instant stress relief. I think what makes pets so theraputic is the fact that they are so interactive. You give them love or attention, and they give it back, instant satisfaction. They help remind you that there is more in life than work.

[DVD] Super Size Me

I will never go to McDonalds again.


[Books] Post your reading list!

My [Ramblings] of a little while ago where I posted my reading list, and recommendation from AC made me decide, please post your reading lists! It will be a great way to exchange reading ideas.

My list at the moment (note it is a little different as I have finished a few books):

The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Power and Profit by Joel Bakan
Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman
Star Wars - Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (4th rereading)
Imperial Hubris by Anonymous
The 9/11 Commision Report by the 9/11 Commission (very enlightening)


[Review] Star Wars Battlefront

Rating: T for Teen (which like PG-13, which is a red flag for me with movies, but games are different)

Synopsis: Battlefield 1942 with Wookies.

What worked/What I liked:

- you get to shoot gungans, a lot of gungans
- you get to shoot ewoks, a lot of ewoks
- the sounds was phenominal
- the graphics were liquid smooth on my computer
- you get to drive AT-ATs
- Wookie Smugglers + Ammo driod = teh win
- the republic gunship is the shit, a flying tank and one of the easier craft to fly

What didn't work/What I didn't like:

- maps were too small, especially the ones where you could fly stuff
- TIE Fighters and Xwings are not atmospheric ships in my book
- the bot AI while not impressive was better than bf1942's, but it was still limited
- historical campaigns didn't let you choose a side, while it was fun shooting gungans as part of the droid army, I would have preferred to play the Empire on the Endor mission
- bf1942 like mouse controlled flying

What I haven't tried yet:

- multiplayer online (just haven't had time), but I really hope it isn't like bf1942, where my online experience was ruined by people who were able to snipe me from across the far side of the map right as I spawned. Battlefront's sniper weapons aren't one-shot kill weapons so this may be better. Now I may just spawn in front of an AT-AT. :-)


[Politics] Educated Voters = good for democracy

Because informed voters are the backbone of a healthy democracy I felt I would post a few links from Wikipedia that I found to be helpful to understand the U.S. electoral process.

Description of the US Electoral College

Description of the two-party system

The Spoiler Effect


Instant run-off voting, an option against deadlocks or ties

Condorcet Voting, another good alternative

Duverger's Law, a discussion of how first-past-the-post fosters two-party systems

Factcheck.org, a non-partisan political fact-checking site

Yes my posting seems biased towards options to the two party system and they are. I feel that the two parties have become so monolithic it is hard for them to represent the ideaologies and feelings of all their members. I have spoken to many people who do not like the two options they are given as they are neither Republican or Democrat, yet share beliefs in common with elements of each party. Since the Democrat shunning of the Green Party in 2000, the two-party system has further widened the divisions and feelings, the only counter-balance this election, in my opinion, is the liberal fear of 4 more years of a Bush Administration. We, as a free peoples, with a high level of literacy and education should have more than two parties and we should be able to figure out a way to more effectively express everyone's beliefs and play nicely in the sandbox that is America's politics.


[Ramblings] Slow week

I know I have not posted much lately. Been busy with the 'Distributed Life (tm)' and the toil that I call work. So I guess I am just wasting everyone who bothers to read this time.

Last weekend my wife and I went to go see the movie 'Shaun of the Dead', I have to say best zombie movie I have seen in a while. Very cheeky and well done. I would rank my favorite zombie movies as:

1) Dawn of the Dead (original 1960s version)
2) Shaun of the Dead
3) Bad Taste
4) Dead Alive
5) Evil Dead series

People have told me I should see 'Bio Zombie' and a few have recommended 'Chopper Chicks from Zombietown'. My wife says I am obsessed with zombie movies. I just like them is all. I also like dystopia/alternate reality movies and my top 5 of them are:

1) Clockwork Orange
2) 1984
3) Brazil
4) Matrix (first movie)
5) THX-1138