Thursday, March 27, 2008

Helping Save Baby Seals From The Seal Hunt

Tomorrow marks the start of the annual Canadian Seal Hunt-- widely viewed as the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet. In conjunction, Experience Project announces a way to Help Save Baby Seals by playing a simple game.

There is a great deal of controversy over the seal hunt-- proponents say it provides needed income for indigent fisherman, and is no more cruel than the slaughter of any other wild animal, such as lobstering. Critics point to the fact that the seals are mammals who are clubbed to death with an ancient weapon, then often skinned before they are fully dead. A recent study verified that indeed nearly 40% of the seals were determined to have been conscious at the time of skinning.

This year, the permit to hunt seals includes a caveat that the seals be bled to death before skinning-- required, grotesquely, by cutting the major arteries underneath each flipper. Again, wildlife protection agencies cry foul, noting that there is no guarantee that this will be done, or when it will be done.

In any case, at Experience Project, we listen to our community, and we are a community of animal lovers. Our games to raise donations for shelter dogs and shelter cats have resonated with our community, and in that spirit, we are proud to release our newest trivia game to raise donations: Save Baby Seals.

The concept is simple: play a trivia game, get a question right, and we'll donate towards a cause protecting the seals. We hope you enjoy this opportunity to easily help in an important cause.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In honor of Mr. Rogers Day (Sweater Day), Here's 15 Fun Mr. Rogers Facts

In honor of National Sweater Day (Mr. Rogers Day!), and the fifth anniversary of his death, here are fifteen fun facts about PBS' Mr. Rogers (thanks to member Videodemon for pulling this together):

  1. Mister Rogers was colorblind (red-green)

  2. There has been a rumor floating around for years that Mr. Rogers was (either) a Navy Seal, or a Marine sniper, with dozens of confirmed kills. These rumors are certainly amusing, but totally false

  3. While a child, he spent most of his free time with his grandfather, who was a huge influence on him

  4. Mr. Rogers first began to wear his sneakers because he found them quieter than his other work shoes when he was moving around the set during production.

  5. Mr. Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister in 1962. He was charged with continuing his work with TV and children.

  6. He first worked with NBC, but then decided that commercial television's reliance on advertisement and merchandising undermined its ability to benefit kids, so he quit.

  7. The sweaters Mr. Roger wore on the show were hand knitted by his mother.

  8. Mr. Rogers drove a used Chevy Impala. Towards the end of his career, his car was stolen from the studio parking lot. Word spread, and outrage swept the town. 48 hours later, the car was back in the spot where he had left it along with a note, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it!”

  9. You can have a VCR thanks to Mr. Rogers. In contrast to most people in his industry, Mr. Rogers fought on BEHALF of VCR manufacturers in court-- arguing that he didn't object to families recording his show for later viewing at a more convenient time. The United States Supreme Court considered his testimony in its decision that the Betamax recorded did not infringe copyright (see below for a great quote from his testimony). The Home Recording Rights Coalition later stated that Rogers was "one of the most prominent witnesses on this issue."

  10. When Mr. Rogers was at a speaking engagement, he would instruct the audience to remain silent for 60 seconds-- and to use that time of silence to remember those who helped them become who they are

  11. Mr. Roger’s parents adopted an African American teenager named George. Rogers came to consider George his older brother, and George later became an instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II-- and also taught Rogers how to fly.

  12. Mr. Rogers was awarded 40 honorary degrees

  13. Mr. Rogers show has the distinction of being the longest running program on PBS; it ran for 998 episodes

  14. He was a vegetarian, swam every morning, and never smoke nor drank

  15. There is a $3 million dollar statue to Mr. Rogers being unveiled on Mr. Rogers Day "Sweater Day" on March, 20th, 2008 in Pittsburgh (he was from Latrobe, Pennsylvania).

  16. (Bonus) Mr. Rogers could Moonwalk & Breakdance(not kidding!):

Here's Mr. Rogers' rather profound quote when testifying about private recording of shows:

"Some public stations, as well as commercial stations, program the "Neighborhood" at hours when some children cannot use it ... I have always felt that with the advent of all of this new technology that allows people to tape the "Neighborhood" off-the-air, and I'm speaking for the "Neighborhood" because that's what I produce, that they then become much more active in the programming of their family's television life. Very frankly, I am opposed to people being programmed by others. My whole approach in broadcasting has always been "You are an important person just the way you are. You can make healthy decisions." Maybe I'm going on too long, but I just feel that anything that allows a person to be more active in the control of his or her life, in a healthy way, is important"
RIP Mr. Rogers

Visit the "I loved Mr. Roger's" group at Experience Project to learn more and remember this kind soul.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Eliot Spitzer - A Bit of Comic Relief

With all the Elliot Spitzer news and gossip in high gear (around his participation in the high-class prostitution ring Emperor's Club and subsequent resignation as Governor of New York) we noticed one of our users used it as an opportunity for a comic break:

Jiggylicious posted an entertaining story on Experience Project titled "Top 10 Signs Your Husband Is Part of a High-Class Prostitution Ring." I've reproduced the top 10 list below. Enjoy!

10. He leaves wads of cash on your bedside table after sex.

9. He frequently has voice messages from women with names like Maya, Avalon, and Svetlana.

8. The receptionists at the Mayflower Hotel all know him by name and bill your room by the hour.

7. $31,000 charges show up on your American Express statement from "Emperor's Mattress Warehouse"

6. You find him up at night watching Pretty Woman and crying for Richard Gere's character.

5. He rates restaurants and movies in terms of how many "diamonds" they deserve.

4. Justifies a hike in state taxes to pay for rising costs of service workers.

3. He starts getting bulk discounts for expensive gifts from Tiffany's.

2. He changes his relationship status on Facebook to "it's expensive."

Check out the story for the top reason! And then add your own!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Barack Obama won the Texas Primary, Right?

Like many of you, we've been closely following the trials and tribulations of the US Presidential Election, namely the Democratic contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Barack was on the verge of a knockout last week after 13 straight victories, but Hillary stayed in it by winning Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. But the conclusions were based without having the final Texas Democratic Primary results, including caucuses. Let us explain...

Ohio and Rhode Island were impressive victories, no doubt, both by healthy margins. But it is Texas that provides the most curious results, and by any reasonable math, Obama actually WON Texas yet received no popular credit for it. Here's how it looks:

From the Texas Secretary of State, and with 100% of ballots counted, here are the results:

Hillary Clinton 1,459,814 50.89%
Barack Obama 1,358,785 47.36%

This gives Hillary a popular vote win by ~101,000 voters, and 65 delegates, to Barack Obama's 61 delegates. All well and good.

BUT Texas has, by all accounts, a different type of primary than most any other state. Called the "Texas Two-Step", one is the popular vote in a statewide election, while the second part is a caucus system where voters actually gather and decide who to support en masse. Obama tends to do very well in caucus states, most likely because of his mobilization of the youth.

In Texas, this was no different. The state, to complicate matters, stopped providing results about halfway through the counting process, but here were the latest official results from the Texas Democratic Caucus:

23,918 OBAMA 56%
18,620 CLINTON 45%

with 41% (or 3377/8224) precints reporting.

If this trend holds up, and there's no reason to think it won't, then Obama gets 38 delegates to Hillary's 30, yielding a total result from Texas of:

Hillary Clinton: 65+30 = 95 Delegates
Barack Obama: 61+38 = 99 Delegates

With plenty of margin for error on the caucus side, this means Barack Obama wins Texas in the technical sense of the word (just as George W. Bush won the US Election in 2000 versus Al Gore despite losing the popular vote), which for better or for worse, is all that matters in the Democratic primary process.

To corroborate, Obama's own campaign website shows their side winning Texas, 99 to 94. Hillary is not showing a score on her website (at least that we found).

The caveat: "Although delegates generally do not switch presidential preferences, party rules do not formally bind delegates to support the same candidate at every step in the convention process, and the allocation of delegates to the national convention is not finally determined until the June 6-7 State Convention. Therefore, these results may not reflect the final allocation of 67 delegates determined by the TDP convention/caucus process."

If you support Barack Obama, click here
If you support Hillary Clinton, click here
If you support John McCain, click here


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Eve Carson Memorial

Here's an online memorial created for Eve Carson after the shocking news of her brutal murder.

Eve Carson Memorial