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September 2010

2010 Broncos home game color schemes

I like it!  Now I know well ahead of time what colors to wear.  Now I just need to figure out what games I'll be able to attend Worried This is an example for the first home game against Oregon State.  Almost every game is different, so for the entire list, go to .


drupal block-within-a-block for consolidating content

I recently thought it would be a good idea to syndicate AMBER Alerts on my site as a public service.  I already have a drupal block created using the Ad module where I rotate different content.  When using the Aggregator module, it creates a block that can be assigned to a content area, but I didn't want to add a second one, I wanted to combine it with the one I already use via Ads.  I found the answer at .

For my case, I created new Advertisement content item and made sure to use the PHP input type.  If you wanted to create a new block instead of using the Ad module, it would be done the same way.

Next, I pasted in the following:

<?php $block = module_invoke('aggregator', 'block', 'view', 'category-7'); print $block['content']; ?>

In the above code, the first parameter is the module name that supplies the block, parameter two and three tell it what (block) and what to do with it (view) so those stay constant.  The fourth is the block ID that you want to display, which will be different depending on the module and item creation order.  In the Blocks admin area, you can mouse-over the URL of a block item to see the module and block ID.

A more simple example would be for embedding the "Who's Online" block content inside of another custom block of your creation:

<?php $block = module_invoke('user', 'block', 'view', 3); print $block['content']; ?>

I thought it was a handy trick.


Regional AMBER Alerts

Tree-climbing robot snakes and tankified skateboard Segways

Two videos that passed my way today that I thought were kinda cool.  In the first, the Biorobotics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University has developed a that can climb a tree.


In the second, BPG Werks has created a hybrid skateboard on tank treads for both military and civi use called the DTV Shredder.  You can't go wrong with something called The Shredder.  Looks crazy fun!  If only I had an extra $5K lying around...


What will you teach your children?

I stumbled, literally, across the site Mrs. Fussypants, and really .  It's hard raising kids right, so I'm down with getting good advice.  Here are 10 lessons for boys that I thought were pretty good.

1) Decide who you want to be.

Decide what kind of man you want to become. Everyday behave like that man. You will fail often, keep going.

2) Life is hard and unfair.

Women you love will break your heart. People you depend on will let you down. You will watch yourself screw things up royally and make it worse if you think life shouldn’t be so hard. Don’t fight the truth, accept it and don’t let it surprise you. Face the pain and plow through it. Hiding from pain with alcohol and drug abuse, affairs, escapism with video games and addictions all lead to destruction. Man up and power through it.

3) Seek truth.

Read the Bible, go to church, talk to God, get to know Jesus. Know the truth of a loving God. Never let the behavior of Christians cloud your vision of who God is. People will disappoint you if you place your hope in them. Seek eternal truth.

4) Stand up for those who can not stand up for themselves.

Speak out when evil runs amuck. Never let fear of reprisal keep you from doing the honorable thing. Be valiant. Protect the weak, the innocent and the needy. Use your voice, your strength, your mind, your vote, your prayers and your money to do the right thing. Never confuse appeasement with peacemaking.

Breakthough: Scientists make artificial electronic skin

I think I need a "Scary" tag.  Or maybe "Creepy" would be better.  needs one or the other.  I can see some pretty cool applications for something like this though.

Biotech wizards have engineered electronic skin that can sense touch, in a major step towards next-generation robotics and prosthetic limbs.

The lab-tested material responds to almost the same pressures as human skin and with the same speed, they reported in the British journal Nature Materials.

Important hurdles remain but the exploit is an advance towards replacing today's clumsy robots and artificial arms with smarter, touch-sensitive upgrades, they believe.

"Humans generally know how to hold a fragile egg without breaking it," said Ali Javey, an associate professor of computer sciences at the University of California at Berkeley, who led one of the research teams.

"If we ever wanted a robot that could unload the dishes, for instance, we'd want to make sure it doesn't break the wine glasses in the process. But we'd also want the robot to grip the stock pot without dropping it."

The "e-skin" made by Javey's team comprises a matrix of nanowires made of germanium and silicon rolled onto a sticky polyimide film.

Why is Ground Zero a must-have for a mosque?

History might help.  I was curious about the regarding the location of the "Ground Zero Mosque" so I did some looking around.  What I found was that throughout history, locations that have been conquered have been taken over or transformed into "."  Did you know a mosque is built where there is a victory won for Islam?  Neither did I.  It seems awfully insensitive to herald the deaths of so many as a win; it seems like an "in your face" move.  Again, I say, just because it's legal doesn't make it right.  Originally found at , published by .

The HISTORY OF ISLAM may hold answers to WHY it is so important for Moslems to build that GROUND ZERO MOSQUE..

In 630, Muhammad led 10,000 Muslim soldiers into Mecca and turned the pagans’ most prominent spot, the Ka’aba, into the Masjid al-Haram Mosque.

In 634, Rightly Guided Caliph Umar conquered Syria and turned the Christians’ most prominent spot, the Church of Job, famous for being visited by Saint Silva in the fourth century, into the Mosque of Job.

In 637, Caliph Umar conquered Hebron and turned the second-most prominent spot in Judaism, the Cave of the Patriarchs, into the Ibrahimi Mosque. (This was repeated by Saladin in 1188.)

In 638, Muslim generals Amr ibn al-As and Khalid ibn al-Walid conquered Gaza and turned the prominent fifth-century Byzantine church into the Great Mosque of Gaza.

In 638, Caliph Umar conquered Jerusalem.

In 691, Caliph Al-Malik ordered the Dome of the Rock built on the most prominent spot in Judaism, the Temple Mount, followed by Caliph Al-Walid building the Al-Aqsa Mosque there in 705.

In 651, Muslims conquered Persia and turned Zoroastrian temples in Bukhara and Istakhr into mosques.

In 706, after Muslims took Damascus from the Byzantine Empire, Caliph Al-Walid turned the prominent Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist into the Umayyad Mosque.

In 710, Gen. Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Pakistan, defiled the prominent Sun Temple in Multan, which house the great idol “sanam,” and erected a mosque.

In 784, after the conquest of Spain, Emir Abd ar-Rahman turned the prominent Visigothic Christian Church of Saint Vincent into the Great Aljama Mosque of Cordoba. After the conquest of Egypt, Caliphs al-Mamun (813-833) and al-Hakim (996-1021) turned prominent Coptic Christian churches and Jewish synagogues in Cairo into mosques.

50 facts about America that the founding fathers would not believe

I saw this cross posted at one of the sites I read, but it is originally from .  It's an interesting compilation of things that the framers of our Constitution would probably drop jaws over.  Without further ado:

The following are 50 mind blowing facts about modern America that our Founding Fathers never would have believed....

In 2010, not only does the United States have a central bank, but it also runs our economy and issues all of our currency.  has devalued the U.S. dollar by over 95 percent since 1913 and it has been used to create the biggest mountain of government debt in the history of the world. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that U.S. government agents can legally sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, place a secret GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of you everywhere that you go.

The 50 wealthiest members of Congress saw their collective fortunes increase by 85.1 million dollars  in 2009.

The U.S. government has accumulated a  that is rapidly approaching the 14 trillion dollar mark.

All over the United States, asphalt roads are being ground up and are being replaced with gravel .  The state of South Dakota has transformed over 100 miles of asphalt road into gravel over the past year, and 38 out of the 83 counties in the state of Michigan have now turned some of their asphalt roads into gravel roads.

Americans now owe more than $849 billion on , which is more than the total amount that Americans owe on their credit cards.

In 2010, Americans waste an astounding amount of food.  , 63 percent of the average supermarket's waste stream is food. When you break that down, it means that each supermarket wastes approximately 3,000 pounds of food each year.

The city of Cleveland  to ensure that people are actually recycling properly.  If it is discovered that some citizens are not recycling they will be hit with very large fines.

Once upon a time, U.S. industry was the envy of the world.  But since 1979, manufacturing employment in the United States .

Fall in love with America again

The program is "really about embracing your love for your country, for America and telling stories about why you love America and what America means to you and your family, to your friends, your neighbors, your city and towns."

"It's really about sharing everything about America's life and about the fact that this is the greatest country on the planet and embracing that."

( )

Never forget: 9 years ago - 9/11/2001

I ran across a couple more items that I'd like to include for posterity.  First is a documentary style interview with Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

( )

Next is a tribute, made back in 2008, that I thought was well done.

( )

And finally, I would like to include this tidbit gleaned from .  I preface this with the fact that it is their guaranteed right to show solidarity in this way, but I find it just as distasteful as I'm sure they found the threat of burning a Quran.

Join us! If you are also horrified by the recent outrageous fear mongering of the right wing against American Muslims then here is a way to push back. I am not a Muslim but I plan to wear the hijab on 9/11 as a gesture to American Muslims that they are full citizens of this country and deserve the same rights as the rest of us. Concerned men might wear skull caps in solidarity with us women.


On the quad, Boise State University.  Never forget.

by Dr. Radut