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December 23, 2004

I can't decide whether to be amused or annoyed by the increasing use of voice speedup technologies in radio advertisements, jamming together disclaimers and contest rules, digitally removing pauses and otherwise speeding up the voice without making it sound like a chipmunk. Actually, whenever I hear that I always have this urge (which I often act on, as long as I'm alone in the car) to respond with a babbling stream of nonsense of my own.

Videos of the Moment
Mega64 has some amusing realworld video game reenacments, kind of like Trigger Happy TV on Comedy Central, but with video games. Check out the one called "Trailer" for a sample...some of them only gamers will understand, but I really loved "Tetris", how the L block wants to settle in to various objects.

Scary News of the Moment
Oy...the real key to global warming becoming an "extinction level event" might be a chain reaction as
methane frozen into the Arctic tundra gets unlocked by global warming, thus causing...more global warming. It's happened before a long while back:
More than 94 percent of the marine species present in the fossil record disappeared suddenly as oxygen levels plummeted and life teetered on the verge of extinction. Over the ensuing 500,000 years, a few species struggled to gain a foothold in the hostile environment. It took 20 million to 30 million years for even rudimentary coral reefs to re-establish themselves and for forests to regrow. In some areas, it took more than 100 million years for ecosystems to reach their former healthy diversity.
And supposedly our CO2 emissions might be kind of like the volcano eruptions that happened before, and we could see this happen over the next 100 years or less. So skeptics, whaddya say to this? Something reassuring I hope. I do think that people warning about this should use another term than "methane burps", which is different than the more mild threat posed by cow "methane farts", and also different from another phenomenon that happens around water. (thanks, I think, Bill)

You know, I used to read about "terraforming" other planets, making them human-inhatible through massive engineering projects. Scary to think that we might have to try something like that, in real time, on our own world...I don't know if our smarts, willpower, and technology base is up to it.