Autonomous Source


November 09, 2007

LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum

I've got a whole bunch of posts I want to write today, but absolutely no time. So here's another music video. Lame, I know.

This is a rare piece of modern pop that aims a playful kick at European snobbery. I have no idea what the video has to do with the song though...

November 02, 2007


A shiny Autonomous Source no-prize to the first reader that identifies the animated cartoon franchise depicted by the odd shapes of these tasteless noodles:

The slices of hot dogs were my own addition. Sometimes I can lead our children on quite the culinary adventure.

UPDATE: We have a winner! The correct answer of Scooby Doo was given by dmorris. Besides the everlasting pride, he wins a coveted Autonomous Source no-prize which is not on its way to him right now!

November 01, 2007

All I know about childcare...

...I learned from South Park. This episode (complete) is pretty perceptive on how to manage kids. And funny too, of course. I learned a few very valuable pointers.

WARNING: It's South Park for %$#*'s sake.

October 03, 2007

Stuff & Things XXV

The situation: My wife has left me for the more needy residents of Iqaluit. On cue, the Mistress of Chaos came down with a nasty cold, keeping her out of school and awake at night. Captain Destructo is still healthy, biding his time until Talia recovers. I had a blood test this morning that required me to fast for twelve hours, forcing me to delay my mandatory morning cup of coffee. As a result, I have a splitting headache that numerous pain relievers have not been able to vanquish. It is cold and blustery outside. The Devil Dog is barking repeatedly whenever a couple of leaves drop past a window. This is not helping my headache. The kids are downstairs watching more TV than is good for them. I am slumped in front of the computer, not working on an exciting new priority, but wandering about the interweb. Here's a partial itinerary:

  • A New Brunswick blogger named 'Spinks' has completed his list of the 101 people who are screwing up Canada. It's based on the Bernard Goldberg book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, and probably a similar ideological position. 2006 Most Annoying Canadian winner Jack Layton only comes in 27th so obviously this Spinks guy doesn't know what he's talking about. But there is a certain overlap between his choices and the 2006 MAC nominees.
  • Squeak has still not returned home. Normally I would only be moderately concerned, but there have been a number of cat-nappings in the Ottawa area recently, and the note that the loony or loonies responsible sent to one of the owners suggests (to me, at least) they might be from my area:
    The note accused the couple of neglecting the pet, saying Slim was "unbelievably matted" and thin and suggesting the cat was now better off.

    "He is now fed all natural organic cat food.... He lives in the country on a lake with a sweet female cat. He is so incredibly happy and healthy now.... Obviously I have no intention of returning him to the city streets to be neglected again."

    Nice. The CBC has a photo of poor Slim.
  • TCS Daily has a nice piece on the US Justice Department's dismantling of the idea of 'Net Neutrality'. Obviously, they read the irrefutable demolition of the idea on my blog last year.
  • Is it time to start to feel sorry for the Liberals? Oh, no no no. This is much too entertaining. Prominent Liberal on the net, Jason Cherniak:
    What did all the complainers do? They made the memo public! They got just about everything that they asked for, yet still it was not enough. You know what? I'm sick of them. I'm sick of their tactics. I'm sick of their stupidity. I'm sick of their inability to do their jobs. The goddamn National Executive is responsible for PRIVATELY organizing the party. Whoever leaked Jamie Carroll's memo should have the words "STUPID FUCKING IDIOT" engraved on his or her tombstone.
    Engaging in public infighting with other party members because they took their infighting public. This is just too much fun.
  • A trio of good articles on the Opinion Journal site today:
    • First, another reminder of where Putin has taken Russia, and where it's headed.
    • Secondly, a detailed summary of the principles, the history, and the results of the 'neocon' movement. The clever people have decided that their ideas have obviously been discredited, but the show isn't over yet.
    • As if to support that contention, the third piece argues that things are much better in Iraq than most people know.
  • You may have heard that there are problems with the Canadian health care system. If you haven't, David Gratzer will refresh your memory.
  • Of course, The US system is a mess too. But Max Borders explains that the causes are not what Michael Moore would have you believe.
  • Okay, the pizza is here. And I managed to prevent the dog from killing or frightening away the delivery person! Excellent. Time to serve my children what we call 'surfing pizza'...

September 07, 2007

Marvel Premiere! Featuring... Rollerman!

Finding the world's true superheroes has been what this blog has been about since its inception in 2003. Well okay, I've found one: the Perplexing Polarman, currently making Iqaluit a safer place. But now word comes of the arrival of... Rollerman!

But is he really a superhero? He does have a cool costume and name, but in the entirety of this video he does not once apprehend a bad guy. However, it looks like he has violated many traffic laws. It's just a matter of time until he flattens some poor innocent bystander. So he must be a supervillain.

Luckily for him he lives in Paris, far from the forces of justice that might put an end to his evil ways. But he shouldn't get too comfortable, evil will always be defeated in the end.

September 04, 2007

KLM flights now offering haircuts

And you don't even have buy a ticket!

Blogging is just not a priority right now as I busy myself reseting my priorities. So here's a cool filler photo (larger) of a 747 landing on St. Maarten's in the Caribbean.

I don't think this happens all that often, as this well circulated video appears to show the exact same landing.

August 08, 2007

Stuff & Things XXIV

  • I haven't done one of these S&Ts for over a year. Today seems like a good day to renew this once popular Autonomous Source feature as I've found a bunch of interesting things to read lately and haven't the time to comment on them all in detail. This interweb thing is great!
  • To me, an individual's first responsibility is to look after himself. Too bad then that in Canada we have to trust our health care needs to the government. Lately, the Tories seem to be fishing about for visionary project they can put their stamp on. Might I suggest freeing the provinces to experiment in new methods of delivering health care? Rebecca Walberg of the Calgary herald has a detailed and concise article on the need for more private involvement. Guys, take note. And this American take on the Canadian system from City Journal is also worth a read.
  • The Daily Express has a great piece on the steady flow of young, educated Britons emigrating to the rest of the Commonwealth. The article sort of dances around what the reasons are, but the comments on the article sure don't. I've met quite a few recent immigrants from the UK in the past few years and they are all in awe of how wonderful life is in Canada. This won't stop me from continuing to complain about things, however...
  • On a somewhat related note, Theodore Dalrymple gave a speech in Halifax this year on the topic of cultural confidence, and the text is available online. He touches on something that I've been musing about a bit lately: When and why did Western Civilization stop believing in itself? For Dalrymple, he ends the speech on a fairly positive note. (via Daimnation, by way of Blazing Cat Fur collected from Opinions Canada.)
  • Unfortunately, it looks like South Africa is following Zimbabwe's lead in destroying their country. Are they fifteen years behind them? Ten?
  • Do you love Opera? Me neither, but I found this article on the modern trend of 'updating' operas to make them 'more relevant'. You know, by having the characters masturbate on stage, take drugs, torture, rape, murder or make trite jokes about Bush. It's a pretty long piece, but well researched and well written.
  • Is that all we got? Is that a wrap? Hmm, seemed like there was more. Okay then, 'til next time...

July 11, 2007

Uses for the Multitudians

In Stanislaw Lem's book, The Cyberiad, Trurl was offered a few hundred thousand slaves by the King of the Multitudians in exchange for his services. When Trurl refused, the King told him of the many wonderful things you could do with so many slaves.

You can, for example, dress them in robes of different colours and have them stand in a great square to form a living mosaic, or signs providing sentiments for every occasion
Some South Koreans working at Samsung have made this vision a reality. It's as creepy as it sounds:

Expect to see something like this at the Beijing Olympics.

June 23, 2007

That's about right

My blog's suitability for minors:

(via Mitchieville)

June 12, 2007

Watch your car get destroyed

Consumer reports has put 150 crash test videos online so you can plainly see what will happen to yourself and your family if you're unlucky enough to get in a serious accident. The '05 Honda Odyssey and the '06 Honda Civic both perform heroically.

Owners of Dodge Neons, Chevy Cavaliers, and Pontiac Grand Ams might want to think about getting their wills up to date.

May 22, 2007

Abandon hope, ye who follow this link...

Over at the Blog Quebecois, gnotalex has revealed what he really thinks of me. I'm crushed of course, but I will not stoop to his level. It takes two to feud, and I refuse to get into a war of words with a pathetic, worthless hack like him.

It's obvious that he's jealous of my immense talent at bringing the finest in stoopid, time-wasting flash games to the Canadian blogosphere, when all he can do is find boring, second-rate games. That may be okay for his boring, second-rate blog, but we have higher standards here at Autonomous Source.

Only here will you find links to quality games like this one, Desktop Tower Defense.

It's like many of the other tower defense games, except that your placement of the towers creates the maze the creeps run through. It opens a whole new world of strategic options. Playing on medium skill level allows you to record your scores. As an additional bonus to the readers of this blog, I have created a 'group name' -- autonomous -- that you can record and compare your finished score with others. Just part of the service you can expect here at Autonomous Source.

April 10, 2007

The link of no return

Flash games will probably bring about the end of Western Civilization. Already they're crippling the productivity of our workplaces, lowering grade point averages, and destroying family life. But who cares? They're so much fun!

This game -- bizarrely called 'Dwarf Complete' -- is by the twisted genius behind the 'Eyemaze' games. It's a old school Zelda-type game, but without any combat. Just strange and wonderful puzzles. There is a logic to all the puzzles and you cannot get stuck (though you may think you are two minutes into the game). Good luck!

(via Fark)

April 01, 2007

There used to be a craft to moviemaking...

I'm having a hard time enjoying many movies lately. They just seem -- I don't know -- so formulaic and predictable. But there was a time when movies were so much more. The scripts crackled with clever dialog, and the acting pulled you into the story and made you care about the characters. That time was the mid-90's. Let me share with you some cinematic brilliance that has yet to be matched. It's a fight scene from the classic movie, Undefeatable (warning: not for young children):

January 29, 2007

Slow news day

It just doesn't get slower...

(via BOTWT)

January 25, 2007


The internet age offers us vast resources for education, of which I am just beginning to make use of. If, in a discussion with my children, the topic of something odd like pole vaulting comes up, I can go to Youtube and quickly find a video that demonstrates what it looks like. I can find the words to any half-remembered rhyme with ease, and find all kinds of fun activities in a moment.

Tonight we were discussing stars, and since it's -25 out right now, I couldn't take them to see the real thing. But I just knew that somewhere in the world someone had created a perfect stellar simulator and was offering for free. After three minutes searching and two minutes downloading, I had it: Stellarium.

It's a planetarium for your computer. You can show the sky from any position on earth at any time, speed up or reverse time, zoom in, and overlay labels, constellations, and various navigational markers. I've wasted almost as much time on it as I did Flash Element TD...

January 24, 2007

Don't follow this link

I can thank Gnotalex for the loss of this morning to idleness. Terrible thing, idleness, always stopping me from being the effective achiever I know I am meant to be.

Anyways, if you do not want your day to me mired in idleness, DO NOT follow this link. I'm warning you!

And if you do follow it, I'll bet you can't get to level 39 like I did...

January 16, 2007

We have a winnah!

Yesterday's logic problem has been noodled out by the Latin American Correspondent. His prize is a free dinner for two at his choice of any of Ottawa's fine restaurants*. The answer is two weighings. First two sets of three packages are compared, if one of those sets is heavier, then two from that set are weighed and the heavier is found either directly or through the process of elimination. If the two sets of three are equal, the heavier of the two remaining is easily found with the remaining weighinig. I altered the problem slightly in that I was told originally that there were nine packages from which to find the heaviest. I think changing it to eight makes it more difficult because it gets you thinking of twos rather than threes.

* Prize may only be accepted in the calender year of 2007. No substitutions will be accepted.

January 15, 2007

Logic problem

There's nothing like a good puzzle to get the old brain juices going. A friend of mine told me a good one the other day, and it took me about five minutes to solve. I've altered it just a little bit:

You are a worker in a successful drug cartel. You are well respected for the excellent work you do at packaging kilo bags of cocaine. They are always perfectly measured. But just as you are about to hand eight new bags to your boss, you realize the flashy piece of bling you bought yesterday has fallen into one of them -- but you can't figure out which one! You have a balance scale at hand; what is fewest numbers of weighings you can do to determine which bag has the surprise inside?
Answer tomorrow.

January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Last year went by so fast, I have trouble remembering what happened. Luckily Dave Berry provided a synopsis to refresh my memory.

December 30, 2006

Far out, man!

For your amusement: a three and a half minute dive into a Mandelbrot fractal. There's some serious computational power at work here. It dives deep into what I guess is a singularity point -- it's fascinating that there's no apparent repetition...

October 17, 2006


The 1K project involved 1000 people racing a car solo over an insane track on some racing game, each saving a record of their race, then using software wizardry to superimpose the cars over each other. You get a very nifty-looking result. But the real artistry of this video is the camera-work that captures the chaos.

A more hi-rez version of the video is available here (select the full screen option).

September 25, 2006

Speaking of The Inferno...

Apparently I'm bound for Hell. Damn.

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Find your Final destination.

August 21, 2006

Dipsy does MC Hammer

Why am I putting this video up? I really don't know. Today I just got nothin'. But it has to be seen to be believed.

Dipsy really deserves to headline his own show. He's carried the Teletubbies long enough.

(via Videosift)

August 08, 2006

We are all Mushrooms now

No, I don't know what the title means. These are some mushrooms the kids and I found the other day. (Larger pic.)

July 31, 2006

Stuff & Things XXIII

  • Remember Kart Vader? He's the guy that takes his racing kart out on the streets of Quebec City in the middle of the night. I recently came across this cool video of him challenging authority.
  • Kart Vader is only the latest in the history of outlaw video racers. The first might have been the unknown Ferrari driver in Rendez-Vous, which takes place in Paris in the 70s. Make sure you watch it in full screen with the sound turned up.
  • Speaking of challenging authority, Lisa at the London Fog has released an update on her quest to avoid census enumeration. Of course, this is the same Lisa that begged Darcey and I not to walk on a Toronto street with a beer bottle in our hand. Her battle against the man has its limits, I guess. [insert smiley here]
  • Okay, another video. Should breakdancing be in the Olympics? Yes.
  • What looks like Jimmy Carter, Steve Buscemi, Hillary Clinton, and Gollum all rolled into one? Gnotalex will show you.
  • Okay, that's enough for now. Time to make lunch...

July 30, 2006

Jigsaw Sudoku Solution

Okay, the constant emails were bad enough, but those midnight phone calls were the last straw. Here's the solution to the jigsaw sudoku I posted last week. Just leave me alone already!

It's in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Jigsaw Sudoku Solution" »

July 24, 2006

Jigsaw Sudoku

Boredom was creeping into my daily sudoku puzzle. But then I found out about jigsaw sudokus! My tried and true solution techniques no longer worked and my interest was reignited. Solve this puzzle if you can.

I'll post the solution in a few days.

(Shamelessly swiped from Extreme Sudoku by Mark Huckvale)

UPDATE: Oh no, I just discovered a daily jigsaw sudoku site! Now I'm never going to get any work done around here...