Mad Men: “Hands & Knees”

This incredible episode begins with Roger sitting in his office. Joan walks in and says that she’s late… very late. Roger asks if she’s sure it’s his, and she says that Greg has been gone for seven weeks, so it can’t be his, and she hasn’t been with anyone else. So it must be Roger’s baby. He offers to “take care of it”, and then she apologizes to him. “These things happen,” he says.


We then see Betty sewing at home when the phone rings. It’s Don, and he asks to speak to Sally. Don tells her that he missed her this past weekend, and he says that he has a big surprise for her: tickets to see The Beatles at Shea Stadium this coming Sunday. Sally drops the phone and screams with delight. Betty picks up the receiver and asks Don what’s going on. When he tells her that he’s taking Sally to see The Beatles she smiles, and tells Sally to thank her dad.

Meanwhile, Lane is buzzed by Laurel, the receptionist. He has a visitor. Thinking it’s his son, Nigel, he picks up a Mickey Mouse plush toy and carries it to the reception area. But instead of his son, he finds his father, Robert, waiting for him. He has come to New York to take Lane back to London. Lane refuses, but invites his father to dinner later. Continue reading “Mad Men: “Hands & Knees””

Tuesday Randomness

From the International News Desk at… let’s do the news!

– One of my favorite people in the whole world, Stephen Fry, has been tapped to play Sherlock Holmes’ brother Mycroft in the upcoming sequel to the hugely successful 2009 Guy Ritchie film.

– For over 80 years, British company Cadbury has used the phrase “a glass and a half” to describe the milk content of their 8 ounce chocolate bars. Thanks to Britain’s metrification, the company announced yesterday that it was changing the verbiage on its packaging to the much catchier “equivalent of 426ml of fresh liquid milk in every 227g of milk chocolate”. Nice!

– Keep your eyes peeled: if you’re lucky, you might find a copy of Norton SystemWorks 2006 at your local Walmart… for the low, low price of $59.72!

– Hand sanitizers apparently aren’t much good at stopping cold and flu bugs.

– Sarah Murdoch, daughter of Rupert Murdoch, is the host of Australia’s Next Top Model. Imagine her embarrassment when she announced the name of the wrong winner live on Australian TV!

– Do you have Outlook 2010? If so, you might have noticed the blank “placeholder” images in the Contacts folder. They’re much like the “default” image on Facebook profiles, just sitting there waiting for you to add a photograph of the Contact in question. However, look closer at the default image and you might see someone familiar:


Yep, it appears that someone on the Office team has a sense of humor, using Bill Gates’ infamous mugshot from the late 1970s as the basis for the placeholder picture.

In case you’ve never heard about it before, Gates was arrested outside Albuquerque, New Mexico (the home of Microsoft from 1975 to 1979) for reckless driving. Gates has always loved fast cars, and has said that he often gets good ideas when driving at 100+ mph.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-26

  • How's that running game against the Steelers working out, Tennessee?? #
  • Boycott The Penguin AFTER October 24th! #
  • @1outside Any idea what song was playing during the SECOND scene at the bar with Abe & Peggy (not the Petula Clark one)? #
  • Hookers? In Duluth? #
  • wishes more people watched "The Good Guys". It's a REALLY FUNNY show, folks! #
  • This CINCAR game is like watching two retards duke it out! GO STEELERS! #

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Anglican Curmudgeon has been adding up the numbers, and that’s how much The Episcopal Church has spent in the past few years suing parishes and dioceses that want to leave.


It takes your breath away at how much money that truly is, and it almost makes me weep to think of all the better uses that money could have gone to. Planting new churches? Helping the homeless? Missions in Africa and India? Shoring up pension funds? Keeping union labor at 815? Nope, it’s all gone, thanks to That Woman. She fiddles while Rome burns.

Thursday’s Roundup

From the international news centre here at… let’s do the news!

– Governments are at it again! Britain’s Race Relations Act 2000 apparently requires teachers to report any racist language thoughtcrimes committed by children as young as three, even if the kids have no idea what they’re saying; the U.S. Department of Energy apparently thinks it alone can decide what appliances Americans can buy in the future; and legislation has been introduced in Congress that would give the US government the power to shut down any piracy site anywhere in the world by invalidating their domain registration. One wonders how the U.S. would feel if say, China, could do the same to US sites. Regardless, more freedom down the drain, and no one seems to care.

– The Commonwealth Games are a sort of “mini-Olympics” held between nations of the (British) Commonwealth every so often. India is up to host the games this year, and it looks to be a complete disaster so far. The linked article has several pictures showing filthy bathrooms and beds with animal footprints in the athletes’ quarters, exposed electrical cables and giant holes in buildings, and child laborers working furiously to get stadiums ready for the games. Epic fail, India!

– On the other hand… the Chinese are known for ripping off the intellectual property of Western companies… but now China has duplicated an entire British private school, even down to the uniforms and house names.

– I have vague memories of seeing Burger Chef restaurants on interstate highways during family car trips when I was a kid, although we never stopped at one. Did you know that the chain was once America’s second largest fast food chain, second only to McDonalds, and then only by a couple hundred restaurants? What’s more amazing, the chain completely vanished almost overnight in the 1980s. Read more about it here.

Stuxnet and You

There’s a new computer virus out there called Stuxnet. While I sometimes post about new computer viruses that can mess up your system, this one actually won’t. Because it’s not your average virus. This one wasn’t written by a lovesick teenager trying to impress a girl or Russian mobsters trying to extort a few dollars from you. No, Stuxnet is something else entirely. This virus is looking for one particular computer, and like The Terminator, it won’t stop until it finds it.

The virus is typically transmitted to Microsoft Windows computers via infected USB sticks. But the virus isn’t looking to infect Windows. It’s actually looking for a particular kind of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software built by the German industrial giant Siemens. This software is used to run industrial facilities like chemical and power plants. Once Stuxnet finds such a controller, it checks the SCADA software every five seconds to see if it’s the particular computer it’s looking for. If not, it simply does nothing but check again every five seconds. If it does find the computer it’s looking for… well, we don’t know what it’s programmed to do, but we know that it would execute certain commands, commands that would probably physically destroy the facility by opening valves or pipes or overloading turbines until something exploded.

Although the virus uses Windows to move from facility to facility, it should be noted that the hardware and software it’s targeting are proprietary to Siemens. This isn’t off-the-shelf stuff the virus is attacking. Whoever is behind the virus attack has deep pockets and really wants something destroyed… and that something is probably in Iran. And it’s probably the facility where nuclear weapons are being developed.

We don’t know enough about the origins of Stuxnet to say whether the CIA, Mossad or MI-6 is behind it… but we do have a precedent from the waning days of the Cold War.

Continue reading “Stuxnet and You”

Mad Men: “The Beautiful Girls”

This episode begins with Don in his office making a lunch date. The “date” is an afternoon tryst with Faye. Their lovemaking is so intense that it knocks a lamp off a night stand. While catching the lamp, Don notes the time and says that he’s late for a meeting with a client. Faye says that she has a meeting at 4:00, and is coy when Don tries to get information from her about it. Don starts to get dressed and tells her to stay as long as she wants.


At the office, Roger is on the phone with his agent, Ira, who is apparently having trouble selling Roger’s book. His phone call is interrupted by his secretary, Caroline, who says that Jane is on the phone. An annoyed Roger tries to go back to his call, but find that Ira has hung up. He reaches for a cigarette, and there’s a knock at his office door. It’s Joan, with some papers he needs to sign. He flirts with her and fails miserably. After Joan leaves Caroline comes in to say that Greg is being sent directly to Vietnam after basic training.

Continue reading “Mad Men: “The Beautiful Girls””