Jun 30, 2007

Playing with toys: iPhone impressions.

I was eating breakfast in a diner this morning while my car was being fixed, and the lead story was the iPhone line at the Rockaway Townsquare Mall. As I wanted to check it out, I stopped by on the way home. They had nine in the center table and people were checking them out. I fiddled with one for a while and can say this:

* The screen is AWESOME. Movies, web pages, and graphics look EXCELLENT.

* Browsing was fairly fast, though that might have been store-enhanced, who knows. The browser was my favorite part, and I especially liked zooming in on specific parts of the page and scrolling with my finger. It was very intuitive.

* The on-screen keyboard was excellent in landscape mode. Portrait was harder and I could see needing a learning curve on it. I kept poking the key to the right of the intended one with my finger.

* The automatic portrait/landscape switch by turning the phone 90 degrees worked intermittently for me. It did get annoying.

* Question: How are cell-phone upgrades going to be handled with this?

Anyway, if I were to pay $500/$600 (and the paper said the $600 phone was much more popular) for a phone, it'd be this one so far. Gotta hand it to Apple, it definitely looks like a phone FROM THE WORRRRLD OF TOMORROW!!!!!, and it will be interesting to see if features trickle down into other cell phones...

Jun 28, 2007

"Nobody knows anybody. Not that well."

For a long while, I was a very big pro-wrestling fan. No particular reason, just liked watching men pretend to beat the crap out of each other in interesting ways. And although I stopped watching full-time around 2001 or so (about the time the WWE bought Ted Turner's WCW), I keep up every now and then, and part of that was sadly keeping up with the constant flow of wrestler deaths. The past couple of months alone brought the end of former mainstays Bad News Brown and Sensational Sherri Martel.

And yes, one of my favorite wrestlers was Chris Benoit.

And even as a casual fan, I'm struggling a bit with the cognitive dissonance of a guy who by all accounts was a good man and a great wrestler committing an absolutely unforgivable deed. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer said " It's like if you watched `Rocky,' and in the end it comes out that Rocky killed his wife and his son," and to fans, that's about what it's like.

I'm not too surprised about the media turning this into a 'roid rage issue, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if that was a mitigating factor. The constant drug use, steroids, painkillers, recreational, has to be a drain. But there are so other many things to consider. The constant grind of travel. The revelation that there may have been pressures relating to the son's Fragile X syndrome. The death of many of Benoit's friends, which may have contributed to depression.

But ultimately, when thinking about this, a line popped into my head, from my favorite movie of all time, Miller's Crossing:

"Nobody knows anybody. Not that well."

And as I think about a father who, regardless of the circumstances, put his hand around his son's throat to end his life, I have to think that must be true.

Jun 20, 2007

Maybe Sideshow Bob was right about Princeton...

I mean, they don't come much clownier than Princeton's new visiting professor:

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is returning to his alma mater, Princeton University, to teach courses on government health policy, the university said Tuesday.

I would've thought he would teach diagnostic skills...

All right, I'm not being fair, although I disagree with him philosophically he has every right to earn a living, and there's no reason to believe his politics will permeate his class, so I won't judge, I'll be kind...

Or veterinary medicineSORRY, SORRY, I'll be good...

Jun 3, 2007

Odds and sods...

* That sneaky Hillary Clinton changes her image again. You know, some people will act any way to get elected. Like the time she turned herself into a down-home straight-talkin' Texas cowpoke for thirty years even though she was a Connecticut Yalie blueblood with zillions of daddy's oil money lining her pockets...oh, wait...

* You want to pick up a Flash Gordon-esque model gun that costs more than all the Flash Gordon serials put together? Here you go!

* You know, I think Michael Jackson's surgery is finally working.