Sunday, September 30, 2007

Galatic Conquest is a web-based resource management strategy game. You start off with a few resources in your pocket, enough to build a Solar Engery Plant and a Metal mine and you are off and running.

You can work your way up to building spaceships of all sorts, planetary defense shields, missles, espianage probes. You can attack planets and steal resources. It's real-time but generally slow as you ramp up your empire. It doesn't require a lot of attention and can be fun if you like the idea of "leveling up".


Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.

If this statement isn't true than you haven't fully embraced your caffeine addiction.

If you missed your morning coffee and now you have a headache and difficulty concentrating, you might be able to blame it on caffeine withdrawal. In general, the more caffeine consumed, the more severe withdrawal symptoms are likely to be, but as little as one standard cup of coffee a day can produce caffeine addiction, according to a Johns Hopkins study that reviewed over 170 years of caffeine withdrawal research.

The researchers identified five clusters of common withdrawal symptoms: headache; fatigue or drowsiness; dysphoric mood including depression and irritability; difficulty concentrating; and flu-like symptoms of nausea, vomiting and muscle pain or stiffness. In experimental studies, 50 percent of people experienced headache and 13 percent had clinically significant distress or functional impairment -- for example, severe headache and other symptoms incompatible with working. Typically, onset of symptoms occurred 12 to 24 hours after stopping caffeine, with peak intensity between one and two days, and for a duration of two to nine days. In general, the incidence or severity of symptoms increased with increases in daily dose, but abstinence from doses as low as 100 milligrams per day, or about one small cup of coffee, also produced symptoms.

The research also showed that avoidance of caffeine withdrawal symptoms motivates regular use of caffeine. For example, the satisfying feelings and perceived benefits that many coffee users experience from their morning coffee appear to be a simple reversal of the negative effects of caffeine withdrawal after overnight abstinence.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Upsell / Cross-sell

I need to change the oil in the Pathfinder and I happened to be near a Jiffy Lube so I stopped in. They are the kings of the Up-sell / Cross-sell.

First you pull your car up in back and then go inside to wait. Then a few minutes later they call you out to talk to you about what services you want. I just wanted a simple oil change.
Synthetic? (3 different kinds of synthetic to choose from)? Nope. Regular.
Which regular (2 different kinds of regular oil)?
Air filter? Fuel Filter? Transmission fluid? Transfer case fluid? Differential fluid? No, no, no, no, really, I just want my oil changed, nothing else, no, no, no, just an oil change, really.

At this point the guy apologized and said that he had to ask all those questions. Poor dude.

I go back and sit down for a few more minutes and then some guy in "Auto Glass network" coveralls comes to get me. He shows me a few dings in the windshield and asks me if I want to replace my winshield while they change my oil. No, I just want an oil change. Really? Your insurance will cover it 100% (how does he know that?) and we can do it in the time it takes to change your oil. (no they can't. They don't even have my winshield there and it takes more than 20 minutes.)

I felt like I was running a gauntlet in old school movie where the very caucasian hero wanders through some third world market surrounded by salesman. Yikes.