Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Return to Apogee
Hey, whoa. 3D Realms, the software company that apparently used to be called Apogee, has a page where you can download all those shareware side-scrollers from the late 80s and early 90s.

Just like I used to play on my 286 after spending an hour downloading them from a BBS.

I mean, it's not like I don't have a bunch of them on 3.5" diskette, but I will complete my collection.

I'm a Branding Expert, Dammit, Not Educated!
Kudos to whomever designed the label for the new Gillette Clinical Strength Antiperspirant:

Gillette Clinical Strength Antiperspirant label

Yeah, let's go with the hexagons and make it all scientific and stuff. If anyone noticed something amiss or astray with that initiative, that person was overruled. Too bad, too. When you're going all scientific and whatnot, you'll find that the hexagon is the chemical representation of benzene:

No, branding experts, benzene is not the cheaply photocopied collection of angst-ridden poetry and inky vampire drawings that Ben publishes. Benzene is:
    Benzene exposure has serious health effects. Breathing high levels of benzene can result in death, while low levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Eating or drinking foods containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and death.
Fortunately, the target audience is probably just as clueless.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Packrat Pragmatism
More stuff means less floorspace to vacuum. It encourages efficiency, baby.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The United States Is Just Another European Country
From The American Thinker:
    What do I accept? That the U.S. is just another European country now. We are all welfare states if not outright socialist ones and our political choices are between center-left and left-left. Time to get used to it. Moving to France won't make much difference, whether you are Alec Baldwin or Chuck Norris.
Sadly, I agree. Things will probably get worse before they get better. However, two things might come into play to stem the tide:
  • More children to conservative families than non-conservative ones.

  • Home schooling and more attention to education by conservative families balances the unchecked education indoctrination in schools and universities.

  • Migrations of the population out of the cities and to less populated areas, leading to a decentralization of governments in the best case scenario.
Because without hope, I got nothing.

Monday, February 11, 2008
Heretics in the Temple of Bibliophilia
Virginia Postrel and friend endorse the Amazon Kindle because it takes up less space than books. Postrel:
    I love books too, and I wouldn't want to relinquish all those individual physical volumes for an electronic reader. But, that said, I had to give up hundreds of books when I moved back to L.A., because there just wasn't room for them all. I buy a lot fewer books than I would if I didn't have to store them (and live in fear of having them fall on my head in an earthquake). So maybe I need a Kindle after all.
    I am inundated in books. I have way too many. I have no place to put them. I often can't find them when I want them. I often don't know what I want to read on a trip, so I carry six heavy books with me, which sucks.
Heresy! Heresy! Do you know what I do when I run out of space for books? I buy a bigger house!

Apparently, Tam of the mere sixty boxes understands.

(Link seen elsewhere on

Irene Is Safe
Robbers steal $163m in art from Zurich:
    Three armed men in ski masks stole four paintings by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet worth $163.2 million from a Zurich museum in one of Europe's largest ever art heists, police said Monday.
What did they get?
    A reward of about $90,000 was offered for information leading to the recovery of the paintings - Claude Monet's "Poppy field at Vetheuil," Edgar Degas' "Ludovic Lepic and his Daughter," Vincent van Gogh's "Blooming Chestnut Branches," and Paul Cezanne's "Boy in the Red Waistcoat."
What didn't they get?
    The museum also owns Auguste Renoir's "Little Irene" and Edgar Degas' "Little Dancer."
You know, I have a print of "Little Irene" in my house. How they passed up Renoir for Monet and van Gogh, I cannot understand.

The article claims the following regularly scheduled "Don't try this at home even though the news article has a big dollar amount in its headline" warning:
    The FBI estimates the market for stolen art at $6 billion annually, and Interpol has about 30,000 pieces of stolen art in its database. While only a fraction of the stolen art is ever found, the theft of iconic objects, especially by force, is rarer because of the intense police work that follows and because the works are so difficult to sell.
If I were a novelist, or if I were a practicing novelist, this is how I'd plot it out: Russian millionaire who's a big fan of Monet or wants the Monet to impress his hot young figure skater chickling hires the job out at $2 million a man. It's costing him $8 million, but far less than he'd have to pay to buy it at auction or on the black market. The other guys snatch and grab a couple extra for their bonus. They wrap the Monet up and ship it to a dead box in Finland, just standard freight, and keep or sell the remainders. After their $2 million payoff.

But I'd save the real plot twist for what comes next.

Another Highlight Reel Headline
Safety experts dis' Hannah:
    Many parents consider Hannah Montana a role model for children. But a scene in her current blockbuster movie is drawing negative attention from some safety experts.

    The scene shows the 15-year-old Disney superstar and her dad, country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, riding in the rear seat of a Range Rover on the way to a rehearsal for their sold-out concert tour. In real life, Hannah is Miley Cyrus.

    Neither was wearing a seat belt.
Oh, for Pete's sake. For starters, it's not a real dis, it's a press release by an organization that lives to put out nitpicky press releases about its cause du jour.

But to put dis in your headline. 90s urban slang, for Pete's sake.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is such low-hanging fruit.

Sunday, February 10, 2008
Headline Words Tilt
I know it's no surprise, but let me point out the obvious. This St. Louis Post-Dispatch headline indicates its lack of objectivity: Ashcroft defends Bush on spying

Spying? Well, I guess that's one way to put surveillance. If you're against it.

Don't you hate how the cops on the side of the road spy on your speed with radar "guns"? Me, too.

How about your municipality spying on you with red light cameras or with cameras downtown or microphones designed to pinpoint gunshots? What, Post-Dispatch, it's not spying unless you can hang it on Bush?

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."