The Penny, a Blight Upon the Money System

There has been some recent news about the US proposing to alter the composition of the penny, to make it cheaper to produce. The US has minted the Lincoln penny coin since 1909, a little over a hundred years. This is at least a decade too long. The penny is absolutely useless, save for being able to subdivide the nickel, another coin whose utility is somewhat in question. I can’t stand them – they they are often green and smelly from copper oxidization, and they add bulk to your pockets for no real gain. They are inefficient to produce. They don’t interact with anything – you can’t put them into vending machines or parking meters. People don’t value them – very often, they go into the charity jar or ‘take-a-penny’ tray next to a cash register, better left behind than carried along. Rounding prices to the nearest nickel is, on average, going to net you approximately the same amount of money in your pocket, so eliminating the penny is essentially zero-sum.

Worried about Abraham Lincoln losing relevancy in the US if the penny goes away (Illinois)? First, that’s probably not going to happen given that he’s one of the most revered presidents, but even more so, that sounds like a problem worth solving. Take a fraction of the savings from getting rid of the penny and build (another) monument to Lincoln, or transfer his image onto the dollar coin. We send a lot of things into outer space that need names. There certainly is a solution here.

In summary, hate on the penny, and get rid of it.

My Bonnaroo 2009 Experience

Bonnaroo 2009

Thursday 6/11

Portugal. The Man
Chairlift

Friday 6/12

(Don Hertzfeldt Retrospective)
Galactic
moe.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2 songs)
Grizzly Bear
Al Green
TV on the Radio
Beastie Boys
Phish
Public Enemy
Crystal Castles
Girl Talk

Saturday 6/13

Jimmy Buffett/Ilo and the Coral Reefer All Stars
Bon Iver
of Montreal (2 songs)
Wilco
The Decemberists
Nine Inch Nails
MGMT

Sunday 6/14

Okkervil River (2 songs)
Merle Haggard (3 songs)
Andrew Bird (2 songs)
Snoop Dogg
Band of Horses
Phish

Happy 1st Birthday(ish), FerretArmy.com

Sometime this month FerretArmy.com will become 1 year old. It’s high time to talk about the rather mundane history of the site, I guess.

I bought FerretArmy.com and FerretRevolution.com last year as my personal website. FerretRevolution is just another url that I bought in case I wanted it at some point for any other projects – as of now it still redirects to FerretArmy.com, but I’ll keep it around in case I do find a use for it. About the name – I didn’t have any really good ideas on what I wanted to name the site, so I just threw some more or less random words together. I’ve never been particularly partial to ferrets – I’ve never owned one, but they’re kinda cute I guess. I was planning on changing the name someday, but it’s grown on me, so it stays for now.

The site spent about a month in various states of ugliness until I settled on WordPress as my blog platform of choice. Before that I tried a few other engines, none of which I was very fond of. It crossed my mind to write the site from the ground up, but that would have been a very long-term project, one I was loathe to endeavor upon. I’ve been very happy with WordPress over the past year – I recommend it highly as a blogging platform and as a light content management system if you’re crafty.

My goal is to try to write a post a week – actually, I’d love to hit two posts or more a week, but there’s only so many hours in the day. I write about a pretty eclectic range of subjects. There’s no real rhyme or reason to my system, though the most common themes are programming, music, and video games. There have been about 50 posts in the past year, and I suspect many more to follow this one. If you’ve got any suggestions on how to improve the site or articles, feel free to send in a comment – I’m happy to listen.

10 Things I Learned on Wikipedia

Why not… it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do today.

  1. Antarctica has a top level domain (.aq). Without the threat of polar bears, I guess that penguins want to blog, too…
  2. American wasabi is just horesradish+green. Wasabi heat affects the nasal passages, not the taste buds like peppers.
  3. Although the chupacabra apparently inhabits a range from Maine to Mexico, nobody still has been able to catch one. C’mon people, try harder!
  4. A nocebo reponse is an undesirable affect that occurs as a result of the administration of a placebo drug. It’s all in your head!
  5. Wilco has won two Grammys (both for A Ghost is Born). Wilco is one of the better bands out there, and is captivating my attention right now.
  6. Grover Cleveland is getting two $1 coins for his non-consecutive terms. Still haven’t seen any of these coins in circulation.
  7. The aircraft carrier HMS Vengeance was put up for auction on eBay (but not sold). I’d bid on it, but I don’t have a boat trailer big enough to cart it around.
  8. Monaco has the greatest population density of any country in the world. It equals about 67 people/acre, about 4 times the density of Hong Kong!
  9. It would take a 510 ton cobalt bomb to destroy all life on earth. Hmmm…. wonder if that includes cockroaches?
  10. An IMAX movie frame is about 10000×7000 pixels. Makes my 1600×1200 resolution look like chump change!

Xmas 2007 – What a Lame Excuse for a Post

XMax 2007 Gallery

New pictures are up of my XMas tree! Wohoo! If you think this is a sad excuse for a post, you’re absolutely correct. Just haven’t had too much spare time as of late. Not only am I busy with life, but Guitar Hero and Portal are calling to me! Kind of went on a videogame buying bender on Black Friday… just couldn’t resist the deals ($35 netted me Super Mario Galaxy!). Now, if only I could not have to go to work for a week or two…

Also, just visited Ray’s MTB for the first time this season. It’s their best course yet! I kind of miss the full Moen Sport Course (it got chopped up into little sections, but most of it is still there, more or less), but the new beginner room is actually kinda cool. I left more or less unharmed, but my friend Paul from Freeride Army got knocked the f-out on the little boxes! He caught his front axle or something, and played Superman over the handlebars. I don’t think anyone saw him do it. Pity, really – if you’re gonna go down hard, may as well have someone be able to tell you about it.

Dirtiest Hotels – Ewww!

Here is an interesting link on the internets – it’s one of those sites that seems innocuous, but sucks you in big time! Once you click on the hotel name, they have a ‘candid traveller photos’ link that shows these filthy hotels in all their disgusting glory! My favorite line so far – ‘I awoke at 3AM. I killed several more cockroaches.’