Jim's Blog Ramblings about novels, comics, programming, and other geek topics


Star Wars Padawan Training Available in July 2009

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I just discovered this unique and interesting toy via Scott Adams (Dilbert Blog). Well, it's not so much a toy as it is just a cool device.

Wearing a custom built device that slips on your head, you can use your brain waves to move a sphere vertically in a container. There's no wires and no interaction via control pads or buttons. The wireless headset reads your brain activity, similar to an EEG medical test, to translate the brain waves to physical activity.


Loving Day

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I first learned of the US Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia when I was researching constitutional laws and court cases regarding same-sex marriages. The SCOTUS decision overturned Virginia's law against interracial marriages and ended all state's raced-based restrictions on marriage.

In 1966, interracial marriages were illegal in 17 states. Before this court case, interracial bans were considered legal as long as both parties were equally punished.


May 35th, 2009

Twenty years ago, I was just a student in high school, but I remember watching the events unfold on the national news. I was a bit shocked, but it took many years later after understanding the events, growing a bit older, and reading a lot more that I began to fully understand what had happened.

The day in 1989 is censored by the Chinese government which is why it is now becoming known as May 35th instead of today's date (since that date is blocked by the censors). This year those speaking about the day are trying to refer to it as "May 35th," "535" and "VIIV" (Roman numerals).


Balancing the California Budget

LA Times just uploaded a interactive tool to give everyone a chance at balancing the California budget. After playing around for a little bit, it's easy to see how much you'll need to comprise in order to make any substantial reduction of the deficit. Although both sides might not admit it, there's just no way to balance the budget without new taxes and spending cuts - you just can't do it without both.