Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Jeopardy Question No One Could Answer

My Dad forwarded this as an email to me and I thought it was really interesting.

On Jeopardy the other night, the final question was "How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns"---- All three missed it --

This is really an awesome sight to watch if you've never had the chance. Very fascinating.

Tomb of the Unknowns - interesting facts about the honor guard members

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps: It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1 

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and,if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path,he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way..

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only
400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid
to rest in Arlington National Cemetery . A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are:

President Taft
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, the US Senate & House took 2 days off in anticipation of the storm.. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of  the Unknowns were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding
the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

Link to offical website:

Saturday, October 16, 2010


FINALLY got this Friday!


Way too long of a story to explain fully (took me 10 minutes to tell Kyle when he asked why I was so excited).  But, I'll just say it was a Christmas present from my sister and the sizes by brand "ALStyle Apparel & Activewear" run at least one size smaller than you're used to.  I had to get it from her twice, return it twice for exchange, and spend a lot of time with emails and phone conversations with the NBC-Universal store support.  In the end I have my shirt, it's super nice, and fits very well.  Thanks again Amanda.


I know I post enough about mobile OS and the intense market but that's not my intention with this link:  What's cool is that it references a Gartner chart and press release,

Gartner is the research vendor I work with daily in my current position in IT Strategy & Architecture.  Most of their publications are very expensive pieces of intellectual property that are their business model.  So this is a good example of something you might be able to understand and a good example of the type of service we leverage Gartner for.  Still too nerdy?  maybe... lol

Stone Total Tap Takeover Tour

Stone Week!

Charlotte was lucky enough to be one of the seven cities selected as part of Stone Week, named "Stone Total Tap Takeover Tour Two Thousand Ten".  Stone Brewing Company is a fantastic craft brewery and makes some of my favorite beer.  Tiffani really enjoys good beer now so she was more than willing to go with me.

We had a great time.  Greg Koch, the founder/owner of Stone, was the host.  He's super friendly and seems to really enjoy meeting and talking with his fans.  I met him once at an event with Adam in Louisville so when I saw him I said hi and he sat down with Tiffani and I and personally signed a DVD to us, awesome!  We each got a commemorative shirt:


Overall, we had a really great time and I absolutely loved sharing it with my fiancee :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This One Is On Us

Realized this was saved as a draft since 1/5/10...oops

Another Version of the Truth:  The Gift.  Trent Reznor/NIN and his fans being awesome again.  The main article is here: and he tweeted about it today because now there are a decent amount of formats available and adequately hosted.

Perhaps more recent NIN/Reznor news is his work on "The Social Network" soundtrack/score.

You should definitely check it out:  there's a 5 track sampler and I the digital download was $3 on amazon when it released, $5 on that site or $8 for the physical CD.  great music, great deal, great success :)

Verizon iPhone part 92

Actually not really a rumor...but the rumors have been running rampant lately.  This is a good article about the current state and differences of Verizon and AT&T's networks.

"Verizon iPhone: What you'll gain and what you'll give up"

Yep, current Verizon/Sprint CDMA technology doesn't support simultaneous voice and data communication.  I've been after them for the last couple years asking if/when it would happen.  Their answer just seemed to be LTE.  However, the CDMA standards organization ratified EV-DO Rev. B early last year which provides architecture for voice+data transmissions.  Anytime I saw an LTE presentation by VZW I'd ask them if we could get an upgrade to Rev B while we waited for LTE to be built out across the nation.  After all, the legacy CDMA network is HUGE and it would be awesome if it made it to Rev B so that the fall back technology would be adequate, obviously not as fast as LTE but greater functionality is more important than speed sometimes. 

On the topic of speed… CDMA 3G is not the same as GSM/UMTS/HSPA 3G.  EV-DO Rev A from Verizon is not as fast or capable the speed AT&T's 3G network is capable of.  EVDO does have better building penetration and per tower propagation from Verizon because it's on a lower 800MHz block frequency.  Also Verizon's network is already heavily loaded, they're the number 1 wireless carrier with 92 million subscribers.  Current customers experience speeds about 1/4 of what they could be.  I really think Verizon is just as susceptible to the data deluge that AT&T is/was hit by from the iPhone.  Verizon hasn't really lost any ground in the subscriber base, they've kept customers happy with solid phone offerings including the quite successful DROID series.  Oops, better add (TM) to that DROID… wtf George Lucas? 

Anyways, long story short Verizon getting the iPhone may not be the holy grail of device+carrier that everyone is imagining.  And that's not me hating or loving anyone, it's just the reality of current day wireless technology—all carriers have advantages and disadvantages.  Ok, maybe I am hating on big red fanboys a little bit…   

DEC Lights!

In case you don't know I'm kind of obsessed with the new Duke Energy Center (DEC) and the LED lights it has covering the exterior.  It looks really awesome, kind of like a lava lamp or something in the dark night sky.  Anyways, I guess Monday or Tuesday was national coming out day so they lit up a rainbow of lights on the building.  It was really impressive how clear and vibrant it looked.  the colors didn't bleed together and look mashed or fuzzy, distinct and bright.  Here's a story about it I posted to Facebook before:




Simpsons + Banksy

kind of weird but y'all probably know i'm a longtime Simpsons fan.

Kind of funny too.  perhaps a bit awkward with the most recent Foxconn report but I think that was just a coincidence.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jared Look | Cosplay?

yeah, I've never heard of "Cosplay" either... but this is kind of cool/creepy (and has good music!).  Tiffani sent me this article from Huffington Post:

"If you have just six minutes and 27 seconds to watch something style-related this Sunday, this video is for you. A girl totally transforms herself into Jared Leto using makeup techniques we learned in our tenth grade Drama 2 class, but never knew how to put to good use.  Her end look is truly spot-on, but next time, we hope she goes for the blond fauxhawk."

Weird--yes.  Impressive--to each his own I suppose.  Music choice--excellent.

Largest Lego Ship

Gizmodo (@Gizmodo)
10/11/10 8:23 AM
The largest Lego ship ever built is bigger than three queen-sized beds Truly giganormous

well this is awesome.

The Gizmodo story links to these other impressive lego ships as well:

Apparently these giant ships keep getting bigger than the last so i'm sure before too long we'll see an even bigger one.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Babby Monkey

These two videos are hilarious.  I've been quoting or singing them for the last few weeks.  enjoy.

Try and get that out of your head now, lol.  right click and select watch on youtube if you want to see the comments or the sources for the videos.  I can't really explain them anyways...

RIM Playbook

I know I'm a little late with this one but I had some trouble getting the post to forward and save.  An overview, partially from Gizmodo.

The BlackBerry tablet is here, and it looks astoundingly nice. Nicer than anybody expected it to be. Here's what you need to know about the PlayBook, in 10 easy steps.
It's a 7-inch tablet with a 1024x600 screen that weighs 0.9 pounds
Meaning it's smaller and lighter than the iPad, with a more pixel-dense screen (i.e., text is gonna look cleaner and less pixel-y). It's a little bigger and heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Tab, on the other hand. (Then again, the Galaxy Tab looks more like a really big phone.)

It's running BlackBerry Tablet OS
As rumored, the BlackBerry PlayBook isn't running "BlackBerry 6," but the BlackBerry tablet OS, which is "powered by QNX technology." QNX is a software company RIM bought in April, whose software is used in products by Cisco and GE, among others. The OS is built on QNX's Neutrino microkernel.
It supports a whole bunch of standard platforms and technologies, like POSIX OS, SMP, Open GL, BlackBerry 6, WebKit, Java, Adobe Flash and AIR, along with RIM's new BlackBerry WebWorks platform. Apps written for WebWorks will run on BlackBerry 6 or the PlayBook, while Java makes it easier for developers to port Java-based BlackBerry 6 apps. Oh, and OpenGL means there's serious potential for graphically intense games.
It's got a tablet-optimized UI and multitasks out of the gate, unlike the iPad. And unlike Android, it has a nicer interface for navigating through applications, like a cross between webOS's cards and Apple's CoverFlow. It's got an onscreen keyboard for typing. The snippets of App World in the preview video look a lot like what you have on BlackBerry phones, a grid of tiles. The music player looks a bit like the iPod app on the iPad, but skinned in a slate color.

Dual-core 1GHz processor and 1GB RAM
That means it's got the horsepower to multitask, output 1080p video and run high-powered apps. The 1GB of RAM is particularly important for running applications in the background, and opening multiple tabs in the web browser, as iPad owners know from opening more than a few tabs in Safari and watching them get flushed as the iPad runs out of memory.

It's got "true" multitasking
By saying the PlayBook has "true" multitasking, RIM seems to be pointing at the fact that multitasking on the iPad is still limited in a lot of ways. Apps can't fully run in the background on the iPad like on a full computer, they can simply perform select actions, like playback audio or finish a download in a given amount of time. The implication is that the PlayBook will let things run willy nilly in the background, more like a standard BlackBerry phone.

"Flash-Loving," with Adobe Flash 10.1 and Adobe AIR built in
It runs Flash and AIR, which means Flash sites that don't work on the iPad will at least be viewable on the PlayBook. It'll be interesting to see how well Flash works on the PlayBook versus less powerful Android phones, where it can run into performance issues. AIR, on the other hand, opens the door for some app opportunities. Combined with the WebKit browser, it should be a pretty decent web experience.

Dual cameras with video conferencing and lots o' ports
This is swanky. The rear camera is a 5-megapixel shooter, while the front is three megapixels. From the back, it shoots video and from the front you can video chat.
It supports a handful of video formats—in 1080p—like h.264, WMV, DivX and MPEG, and it'll output video through a mini HDMI port. Also, it's got a standard micro USB port.

There's a Kindle App on the way
The PlayBook is more book-sized than the iPad, so fortunately a Kindle app for reading is already on the way, Amazon confirms. We're very excited about this.

Integrated with BlackBerry stuffs
It'll pair with a BlackBerry phone, so you can use the tablet to look at anything that's on the phone, like email, calendars or BBM without syncing the two. And it connects with BlackBerry Enterprise Server out of the box, along with all that entails.

It's coming out next year, but don't ask how much it costs
Specifically, RIM says it's coming out in the US in early 2011, with other places getting it sometime after March. There's gonna be 3G and 4G models in the future. RIM's not saying how much it's gonna cost yet, but since RIM loves the carriers, expect it to be offered through them for a discount. (In the preview video, it's mentioned that it works with existing BlackBerry smartphone data plans, so we'll see what that means.)
Overall, the PlayBook is a lot more exciting than anybody expected a BlackBerry tablet to be, especially given how thoroughly mediocre their last major product, the BlackBerry Torch, was. In fact, we're a little more amped about it than the Galaxy Tab. Now RIM's just got to carry through the ball forward.

Official Specifications
  • 7” LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS, powered by QNX technology with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor (capable of symmetrical dual-core processing per the OS)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output via standard Micro HDMI port and DLNA media streaming
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    • Pair with a BlackBerry smartphone via secure Bluetooth connection for full access to:
      • Push technology systems/services
      • Email, Calendar, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), tasks, documents, more/etc.
      • BlackBerry security and data efficiency
  • Connectors: micro HDMI, micro USB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX OS, OpenGL, Java , SMP.
  • Ultra thin and portable: 
    • Measures 5.1”x7.6”x0.4” (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
    • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • Out-of-the-box compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES)
    • Seamless pairing for a secure window into your BlackBerry smartphone
    • 3G access via existing BlackBerry smartphone service plan.
    • Corporate data access
    • Secure and manageable.
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.
Looks pretty cool.  I currently think the iPad looks useful and a lot of fun so I'm excited to see this as well.  Regardless, I don't have the money for either so it'd be cool if I got one to use for work or something.  I could legitimately use the iPad with all the PDF articles I read.  If I had an iPad, I'd probably want to make it more excessive by getting the ColorWare "Grip"

Gizmodo's rant about it is kind of funny.

anyone else want a tablet, something in between your phone and computer? iPhone Result

WOW.  Ran this test while Tiffani and I were sitting outside at the Stone event on Wednesday. 

Test Date: October 6, 2010 8:20 PM
Connection Type: Cellular
Server: Charlotte, NC
Download: 5307 kbps
Upload: 1237 kbps
Ping: 183 ms
External IP:
Internal IP:
Latitude: 35.1699
Longitude: -80.8502
A detailed image for this result can be found here:
Ookla operates using a massive global infrastructure to minimize the impact of Internet congestion and latency. With over a million tests performed every day across hundreds of servers, is the ultimate resource for bandwidth testing and related information. Visit it on your computer today to find out why.

My signal is quite strong at -71 but wowzers are those results impressive!  1237kbps is about 1.21 Mbps which is what everyone talks about, "megabits" (not megabytes btw).  Anyways, 1.21Mb upload is more than twice as fast as the RoadRunner TURBO that Kyle and I pay $70/mo for.  The download speed is also quite impressive at over 5Mbps.  The RoadRunner Turbo is twice as fast as that but still...  must be that sweet HSPA AT&T has been rolling out.   Also, just for reference, my ping at home was 33ms versus the 183ms on my phone.  I think either the mobile speed is impressive or it's sad that its coming so close to the wired home connection, or both.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Antonov FAIL pt 2

So the biggest plane in the world was back in Charlotte this week, the Antonov AN-225.  It was here near the end of June to drop off some turbine equipment from Thailand to Siemens for repair.  I'm guessing the repairs were completed and the plane was here again to pick them up.

Kyle and I tried going to see the plane take off when it left before but there ended up being some kind of delay or mechanical problem so we waited for about an hour and half before we gave up and came home.  This time it was much less publicized and Flight Aware listed it as having filed a flight plan for 4:00pm departure 10/4/10.  So I got to a good stopping point with work and headed over about 3:40--hoping to just get lucky; get there right in time to see it and then come back home.  I did get to see it sitting on the tarmac on my way in which was cool, but I wanted to see it take off right in front of me!  Of course it was delayed again.  I waited about an hour and then decided I was going to come home, get a hair cut and go for a run.  Stopped by the hair cut place--a new little place two blocks away--but they're only open Tuesday-Saturday.  sigh, my run was alright though.  I'll try getting a hair cut tomorrow or try and convince Tiffani to do it again :)

anyways, here's some pictures I got from my mentor at work--he's also enjoys planes.




phones are cameras or cameras are phones?

Engadget Mobile (@engadgetmobile)
9/30/10 5:39 PM
Nokia N8 vs. iPhone 4: camera showdown

Really cool article and comparison!  interested in thoughts and opinions of other people that know about photography--kind of goes over my head with some of the stuff they talk about.  But, I can see the pics and do think that the iPhone 4 does look kind of fake sometimes--makes things prettier and better looking than they are.  The N8 definitely looks different, I think its better, I think I'm noticing the extra MP count if that's what makes it look so detailed.  But, maybe there's something to be said for making our memories look better than they actually are?  lol, idk...

The N8 looks like a stunning piece of hardware, wish they'd open up to Android and make both Android and Symbian.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Interesting Chad Johnson Article

@OGOchoCinco: A must read....  great article and so true!  Read it y'all!!

actually a good article and i agree with the writer about how he used to dislike Chad.  I was the same way--thought he talked too much and should just play football instead of making news any other way he could.  But, then because of how "real", normal, fun, and accessible Chad is I realized he really is a nice guy just trying to be different and have fun with the game and life.  you might think he's annoying or don't care what he has to say which is cool, sometimes i do too... however, i really respect him for being original and so open to his fans since other celebrities aren't or they fake it when they do.   i guess Rob Dyrdek is too, i like him as well.

Chad Ochocinco: Why the Cincinnati Bengals WR Is Ready To Become World-Famous

By Kevin Jones (Contributor) on October 1, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 26:  Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) 

Ninety percent of professional athletes loathe the limelight that their high-profile jobs thrust upon them.
They hate the cameras, they hate all the interviews, and they don’t understand why fans care so much about their day-to-day activities. These are the guys who consider sports to be a job; any extracurricular activities outside their respected playing fields are like chores to these guys.
About 99.9999 percent of professional athletes learn to accept and understand their role in the sport and entertainment society. They make the right public appearances, they stay after to sign the extra autographs, and they grasp the level of their superstardom among fans in their respective cities.
Then there’s this one guy.
He’s been on the cover of dozens of magazines.
He’s changed his last name à la a rock 'n' roll phenomenon.
He helped make mainstream in the sports world.
He’s starred on a reality show on VH1.
He’s launching his own cereal and video games.
He is recognized by just one name, similar to Tiger, Elvis, Madonna, and Prince.

Three years ago, I couldn’t stand Chad Johnson. He constantly bitched about the Cincinnati Bengals organization, and I thought he was overrated on the field.
His touchdown dances were hilarious, but I thought he was a glorified clown.
Two years ago, when he changed his name to "Ochocinco," I, along with millions of others, thought he was headed down the Ron Artest/Mike Tyson "la-la land" road. Football seemed to be the last thing on his mind.  But Ochocinco knew exactly what he was doing; he was becoming a marketing machine.

The change of the last name spurred sales for his new jersey. He won over the majority of his nay-sayers in his 2009 Hard Knocks performance. HBO did an amazing job of catching the character of Ocho—his monstrous truck, his McDonald's addiction, and his famous phrases like “Child, please!” and “Kiss the baby.”
But what the cameras also caught was Ochocinco’s essence: connecting with all of his fans.

Practically every week, Ochocinco will Tweet out his location. It might be a movie theater, a shopping mall, or a restaurant. He will command on the first 80 people to show up where he is. There he will treat them to entertainment, buy beverages, and kick it with his extreme supporters. He literally has "followers" who will respond to him all around the United States.

He’s taken two fans out in Baltimore on $10,000 shopping sprees. He gives out his Xbox Live username on the Internet to play video games with his fans. He’s even put up his personal phone number to his 1.3 million Twitter followers.  Who else on the planet Earth would do this?  Chad Ochocinco willingly lets his adoring fans enter his life.  He isn’t a partier. He isn’t a big intellect. In fact, every single time he talks, you think he’s pranking you.  He may be a goofball, but Ochocinco is also a businessman. I’d argue he has strong enough support to become one of the most influential sports figures in America.  Ochocinco is willing to let the world enter his life. This is something we need to take advantage of.

So if he follows these two steps below, I think Ochocinco could reach Oprah-esque fame among men in the United States.

1. Launch the OchoCinco News Network (OCNN)
Those who follow Ochocinco closely know that he’s a big proponent of "Ustream," a free live video stream available on the Internet—almost like a live YouTube. But this just isn’t enough of Chad. He needs a real camera crew on him majority of his days.
The OCNN started as an online stream this past Super Bowl with Chris Cooley, Ray Rice, and Ochocinco participating in media day, asking the players numerous hilarious questions.

An exclusively players-run network like this would introduce fans to a whole new side of the modern athlete.  Think about every channel you watch. ESPN, ABC, FOX, etc. are all run by CEOs and executives. Obviously, the OCNN will bring in some television experts, but Ochocinco will have final say on all programming decisions.
This type of control from a non-media head could change the way we watch television.
The OCNN could start with a morning talk show hosted by Nabeel and I (think Mike and Mike or Dan Patrick), with regular appearances from Ochocinco himself. By bandwagon effect alone, several famous players will want to appear on the “Players Network,” which would be one potential slogan for the new channel.
Different NFL players or other influential athletes could partake in a roundtable discussion (think a dude’s version of The View) about the labor dispute, concussions, overrated and underrated athletes—anything!

All of Ochocinco’s games would be broadcast later with a camera on him at all times, even in the locker room. There could be a Twitter-based show where fans all across the world could steer the direction of the program.  This type of access would mesmerize his absurd number of current fans and would bring in millions more. It almost would be like a real life version of Jim Carey’s The Truman Show.  The best part about this network is that it would be 95 percent reality. There would be live mistakes and goof-ups, but that’s why we love Chad. He’s as real as us.

 2. The OCNN Could Become a Legitimate Challenger to ESPN
ESPN forces certain views and opinions down the throats of its viewers. We all love ESPN, because we’re compelled to—we have no other options.  There’s ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU. Let’s take an idea from the movie Dodgeball and literally create ESPN the Ocho.  Today’s athletes all need to unite together, opposing the unfairness and scrutiny in which ESPN portrays certain competitors. If Ochocinco were able to bring Nabeel and I onto his staff, we could put together a compelling case on why the monopoly of ESPN has become more like TMZ. The OCNN will give the players' perspective, not the media's.
Ochocinco needs to bring together the NFL (just for starters) and tell players and agents to stop breaking news to ESPN.  Imagine if Ray Lewis was retiring and he broke the news on OCNN. This would truly make Ocho’s network an excellent source for news.  ESPN needs a competitor—they have not one character working for their network as charming, as entertaining, as controversial, or as real as Chad Ochocinco.
Once OCNN expanded, we could try and purchase rights to actual games, make a magazine, etc. ESPN paved the way for how to make a sports network, now Ochocinco needs to rally his army to challenge their authority.  Ochocinco realizes the direction mass media is going. With the right staff of people in place, I think he could take over our little sports world.