They came bearing gifts

There are people who claim to not like receiving presents. When their birthdays come around, they ask you not to bring gifts to parties they host. If you ask them what they want for their birthday, or for Xmas, they say that your company is present enough.
What's wrong with these people?
I love getting presents. Things wrapped in colored paper. Cards, hand-written notes. Sometime later, after reading this, you may suddenly feel, "Gosh, that Eugene, he's a swell guy. When's the last time I showed him how much I love him? I need to get him something."
You'll want to act on this impulse. Trust your heart.
But instead of getting me something, what would really make me happy is if you'd make a donation to the American Cancer Society. Everytime someone I know loses someone to cancer, or someone I know passes away after a long battle from cancer, I think to myself that cancer is the most cruel teachers of the randomness of tragedy and suffering in this mortal sphere. Not as sudden as a heart attack or a fatal car accident, but longer, slower acting, more painful to the ones you love. it's not a sudden shock to your system. It begins as a shock to the system, then it's followed up by a series of emotional setbacks, then one final loss that you're almost numb to but aren't because you've convinced yourself that anyone that hangs on that long will pull through somehow. Physical and emotional attrition. All the time, you can hear the question being asked: do you still believe?

Music from a dream

The music in the new Two Towers trailer is from Requiem for a Dream. Good soundtrack, that was. You hear the music in this context and think it was from an action or adventure movie, but no, it's from an ensemble epiphany (think Magnolia) where a whole bunch of drug addicts are suffering from all sorts of horrific trauma.

Google Viewer

Can anyone get this Google Viewer to work? I just get a whole bunch of Javascript errors.
Google Labs are constantly cranking out wacky new services, like Google Webquotes. Must be a fun group to work in.

Hasselblad H1

So yes, I've slowly lost patience over the past few years. So the part of me that used to relish scanning negatives and slides and editing the images in Photoshop and then posting the images to web pages? It's dying. For a gadget freak, I've been very patient in holding out on the whole digital camera craze. The quality just hasn't been what I'd want yet. But cameras like the new Hasselblad H1 are oh so tempting. Fortunately this one would cost eighteen grand with a Kodak digital back so it's not as tempting as it could be.

Motorcycle wearable airbag

Saw this in slashdot today: a wearable motorcycle airbag vest. I've got to get one of these to wear during snowboarding! If I had one of these, who knows what sort of crazy things I'd be launching myself off of in the mountains.
As a motorcycle safety device? Well, I'm not sure how much good it would do. You'd bounce into the street and lay there like a giant bubble before a semi truck would run you over.