Coming Soon To A Mun Near You...
It's Mun Rescuer Whatever Number We're Up To Now, and I'll be durned if it doesn't seem to be workin' pretty well so far. Bill Kerman's been instructed to pack his stuff before his ride shows up.
Laughing Long And Hard
As you all know, I spent all of last semester (and the month of January) in a constant state of panic and fear. Things like "laughter" and "fun" were very far from my vocabulary during that time, to say the least. I spent many, many evenings in my office at the store until 8pm or 9pm, doing paperwork of one sort or another. Now, calling my work area an "office" is something of a misnomer. It's really a desk pushed into the corner of two cinderblock walls, server cabinet against the left end of it, and a cubical dividing wall next to the server to prevent people from just walking in and throwing things at me directly.
That server cabinet is home to an old Dill PickelEdge 2900, multiple rack-mounted thingies, a battery backup that's weighs as much as some of the students at Duck U, about ten miles of cabling, and approximately three thousand, four hundred and fifty four cooling fans. As the ambient temperature in the Bookstore is invariably a uniform 3454Â°F, those fans are running constantly. Need I say that no two of them alike, so none of them ever sync up, sound wise? Instead of a pleasing rumble akin to white noise, what I actually get from the server cabinet is something like what you'd hear if you shoved Justin Bieber into a woodchipper.
Other than applause, I mean.
If I'm back in my office for any length of time, I try to listen to music to drown it out. Last time I looked, I've got something like 130 songs on my LG dumbphone (it makes calls, it sends and receives texts, it's got a potato for a camera, and it's a mp3 player... and that's it, essentially. Oh, and it's my primary alarm clock, too), ranging from classical (well, orchestral) to rock to dance to electronica to I don't know what it is but I like it. Except there's one tiny problem, and I mean that literally... to whit, the speaker on my phone is approximately 1/37th of an inch in diameter. If you can imagine what it would sound like to have a mosquito singing blue-eyed soul, you've got an idea what my cellphone sounds like. I've tried all the usual tricks: toilet paper tube over the speaker, dixiecup, plastic cup, sheet of paper suspended an inch over the speaker, none of it made a bit of difference. Until, on a whim, I purchased a Xboom. Plugged it in, dialed up something with a large range of sounds, and waited. The result was too much for my fragile body to take, and I was shattered into my component atoms. However, the Xboom was so awesome that it reconstituted me back into my original form. Seriously, if you need a portable speaker system for your laptop or something like that, get a couple of these things.
So this afternoon, I'm back in my office, grooving to some music on the Xboom, when a friend from the staff of Duck U comes in. I didn't turn the music off for a few seconds because I didn't see her come in, but this is what was playing at the time:
My friend, who we'll call Gertrude because that isn't her name, says "Eh, I don't like that singer." Who, Hatsune Miku? "Is that her name? She's a horrible singer." Um, you don't... I mean... "How good can she be," asked Gertrude, "she's clearly got autotune turned up to the max."
Well, you're not wrong, Gertrude. "She just sounds fake."
After Gertrude left, I just laughed and laughed and laughed. And then I went back to paperworking.
Life is still a mess, but at least I had that moment.
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 27, 2014 08:15 AM (CUkqs)
We have a couple of PEs in my office, in a separate room. If I had my way, I would get rid of the case tops and replace the fans with much larger ones.
Posted by: RickC at February 27, 2014 04:19 PM (ECH2/)
Sososo's Next Stage is still my favourite Miku track.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at February 27, 2014 05:46 PM (RqRa5)
This might be a good application for noise cancelling headphones.
Posted by: Kayle at March 02, 2014 09:49 PM (OLxpT)
It would, except I don't want to close myself off from the world. It's hard enough to notice when someone walks into my "office", putting on a pair of headphones makes it impossible... and unprofessional.
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 02, 2014 10:16 PM (jVuS3)
Noise cancelling headphones actually make unusual sounds more obvious by taking out the ambient whirring sounds, but yes, there are many times when its undesirable to be wearing headphones.
Posted by: Kayle at March 04, 2014 12:25 AM (OLxpT)
Oh... THAT'S What That Is.
Have you ever missed something so badly that you didn't realize you were missing it? "Why, no, Wonderduck," I hear you say placatingly, air pistol full of tranquilizer darts at the ready, "I've never felt that way before."
I'm a reader. My apartment is full of books, only maybe a third of them in bookcases. There are books or magazines in every room of Pond Central save the kitchen (I don't count cookbooks as "books" per se). Reading for pleasure is one of those great luxuries that make living in an literate society such a wonderful experience.
And I haven't done it in well over a year. Don't get me wrong, I've read stuff... mostly MilHist books, looking for that next germ of an idea for a post here. Research on ridiculously esoteric topics that only a small handful of people might find interesting. That's not fun, it's studying. I do it because I want to learn, but it's different from what I'm talking about.
A week or so ago, I was going to leave a comment over at Brickmuppet's place, referencing my favorite science-fiction novel, Starship Troopers. I needed a specific quote, and while I knew it was towards the end of the novel, I didn't remember exactly where... so I began to flip through. In the process, I began to read, instead of skimming. After finding the quote, I shut down my computer, took my well-worn copy of Heinlein's classic book to the Official Comfy Chair of Pond Central, and began to read from the beginning.
After I finished the book a few hours later, I realized I hadn't read any new science fiction (ie - a book I didn't already own) in a very very long time. A quick run to Amazon gained me a few new books, and all I could do is wait for them to arrive. Once they did, I began to devour them... and loved ever second of it. A book accompanied me everywhere that wasn't the Duck U Bookstore (ironically enough). I just finished my third new novel, and it's been so much fun!
I've been so busy, so depressed, so completely wrapped up in everything else, that I simply didn't realize I missed reading for the hell of it. This from a person who used to have to read before he fell asleep at night. It's a bloody bedamned shame, is what it is.
I've had the hardest time finding new books that I like well enough to re-read. I just finished a plow-through of the first six of CJ Cherryh's "Foreigner" books, which are on the one hand excellent works of science fiction and on the other hand a rough slog through the densely packed inner thoughts and turmoils of protagonist Bren Cameron. When it comes to fun reads, I keep having to go back again and again to the classics... and you can only do that so often. None of the newer generations of writers have clicked with me, not at all. Even the books I've mostly-enjoyed, I find myself later with zero desire to re-read.
Then again, as with music, my tastes don't line up with anyone else's. *grin*
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 22, 2014 02:47 PM (CUkqs)
I need new glasses. I realized that subconsciously I have been reading less and less simply because it was harder to read up close. I have alleviated the problem slightly with the use of clip-on magnifiers on my glasses, but my Astigmatism has shifted a little, so it's not a perfect solution.
Still, there's about a year and a half's worth of Asimov's that's piled up, and a shelf full of paperbacks from back when they were reasonably priced that have yet to be read.
The hard part is finding something new that hasn't been loaded up with political correctness. That's part of the problem with the stuff I've been reading in Asimov's lately. I'm getting a little sick of "Message" fiction that feels that story is subordinate to telling us that humans are bad, especially male humans, and the military and corporations are all evil, but you can get a pass if you're gay.
Recent - although not REALLY recent, considering the backlog - included stories where aliens helpfully eliminated all men on Earth, leaving a society of just women, and another with the human population on a tidally-locked planet wiping out the native population on the opposite side of the terminator line, the revelation that the heroine was a lesbian seemed kinda tacked-on, but it gave you a good dose of anti-humanity and anti military and "noble savages in retrospect" once the last of the monsters are slain.
Posted by: Mauser at February 22, 2014 06:22 PM (TJ7ih)
A few hours later? I know the book wasn't that big, but you sure can read faster than I. Cripes sake it took me that long to read Golden Man, if I remember right.
My son got me to read Iain Bank's Consider Phlebas, but it was a tough read for me. I read The Seven Suns saga by Kevin J. Anderson, but again, it took me about a hundred years or so.
I remember my first Quake game. I think it was III. The soldiers left the troop carrier in a manner that reminded me of Starship Troopers.
Posted by: topmaker at February 22, 2014 06:29 PM (2yZsg)
I have found it hard to read fiction these days. I know I should, since history and reality have tend to be depressing (REALLY depressing.), but outside of reading what is in my collection right now and light novels, it takes effort to read new fiction.
But I did recently get the hankering to read the original Logan's Run novel that, for whatever reason, I bought at a secondhand bookstore years ago, and was...Not impressed. Also, it was very short.
Posted by: cxt217 at February 22, 2014 07:25 PM (vt5xu)
Topmaker, it's my favorite SF novel... I've probably read it thirty or forty times. That familiarity does make it go quickly.
My copy is actually older than I am... I really need to pick up a new copy, just so the classic version lasts longer.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 22, 2014 11:12 PM (G92TJ)
I have the original paperback cover - yellow pages, frayed edges, the works. My friend, who first turned me on to the book, said it was an homage to drill sergeants everywhere. I think that's about right.
Posted by: topmaker at February 23, 2014 12:31 PM (2yZsg)
There's a lot of good sf available from self-publishers and independent publishers, particularly on Amazon and for Kindle. You have to sort around and read the samples and such, but then, you always did.
Actually, though, I tend to just grab whatever's cheap and cheerful, or free, or recommended, and just read it. My omnivorousness seems to be coming back under the influence of Kindle indie sf (and other genres).
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at February 26, 2014 01:29 PM (nh8FR)
If you have a Kindle (or any tablet), go to the Kindle section on Amazon, search for Baen, and sort by price. At any time they have 30-40 books available for free.
You can get even more Baen titles (entirely legitimately) here, but then you have to download the CDs, unpack them, find the files, and upload them to your device.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 02, 2014 04:54 AM (2yngH)
Note, you don't need a kindle to read eBooks. Amazon has kindle reading apps for just about every platform.
Posted by: Mauser at March 03, 2014 03:20 AM (TJ7ih)
F1 Pr0n: Lotus E22
As the second of the pre-season test sessions begin in Bahrain today, we've finally gotten a real look at the last of 2014's challengers for the F1 Championships. Team Lotus looked to make the move to serious, legitimate contender for the big prizes, but rumors of financial difficulties that turned to truths placed the end of their 2013 season under a dark, dark cloud. Meanwhile, missing the first pre-season test in Spain earlier in the year did nothing to dispel said clouds. Still, it's hardly the first time a team hasn't shown up to a test session... and they made it today. So let's see what they'll be throwing at us with the E22!
Well. Pretty conventional, I'd say. Pretty much like the other cars as far as side profile goes, though it does appear that there's an extra exhaust pipe or something like that just aft of the word "clear" on the back of the car. Nose works pretty well from this angle, too.
I... what? Seriously, Lotus? See, when you guys released those renders of the car something like six weeks ago, I assumed that it was some joke or something. It appears that my assumption was misplaced... you really did mount a walrus to your nose.
So here's the gig. The rules say there has to be a single nose tip of a certain cross-section and a very low height. To make this happen, Lotus took one of the tusks and made it longer than the other. This satisfied the regs for a "single nose tip," while letting the team do other stuff... stuff like having a clear unobstructed airway down the center of the car, for example. There are some drawbacks to this, though: the mounting points for the wing are somewhat larger, for example, than the other teams'. Twice as many noses means twice as many airflow obstructions. Of course, all of these things are occurring right where it's best for them to happen so it might be a wash... or a net gain. We don't know yet.
Durn clever, though, and no mistake about it. It'll be even cleverer if it works.
Spudboys Has A Sad
Everybody had a first "favorite band." The position of favorite band changes as ones musical tastes evolve... it's just the way of things. Long before Joe Jackson or ABC, years before Bryan Ferry or the Gear Daddies, decades before the Foo Fighters or Nine Inch Nails or Caravan Palace or Daft Punk or Dire Straits or the Clash, there was the band that wore flowerpots on their heads.
DEVO was certainly my first favorite band. They looked weird, they sounded weird, and they didn't give a crepe about not being cool... which, to a hyperintelligent duck trapped in a world he never made, was awfully great. Time marched on, and I started to actually listen to DEVO's music, and realized it was deeper than it first appeared... and while they became something of a synthband, in the early days they were very guitar-centric.
Bob "Bob2" Casale had a lot to do with that, what with actually being able to play and all. His style was hardly smooth... in fact, it's very nearly the definition of what punk guitar should be... but he could sound herky-jerky while still being technically skilled. It's weird to call DEVO "punk", but it's hard to call Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! or Duty Now For The Future anything but. After that, they became New Wave, synthpop, legendary, then simply themselves in a way that few other bands can ever claim. Along the way, Bob2 wound up as a skilled engineer and music producer.
Bob Casale passed away today at the age of 61. It seems very strange that members of my first favorite band are passing away. It's a beautiful world we live in, I suppose, but it seems less so now.
The One Where Wonderduck Weeps Uncontrollably...
...but in a good way! As you may remember, I went through a phase there where I was playing Kerbal Space Programpretty much constantly. Rest assured that I still am, for I have yet to give up on rescuing Bill Kerman from (ahem) Mun Base I. Anyway, I'm a member of the KSP subreddit over at Reddit.com, and let me tell you, they're totally insane over there... if there's a group that's coming up with more inventive ways to terminate flights to debris, I don't know about it!
However, every now and again, someone comes up with something truly beautiful. If you've played the game, you know the KSP Theme... after all, it plays the moment the game boots up! It's lovely, if you like snare drums, but I always thought it could be better. How? Now you're asking me for details that I can't provide... but it could be better! Then someone proved me right:
The first time I heard this, I broke into tears at 0:21... or when Kerbol first comes into view in this video. It had been a bad day, I was tired and pissy, and then... this. It was glorious.
I wish there was some way to add it into the game... and there's every chance that if the folks at Squad like it, it'll end up there eventually. They're kinda awesome like that.
A week ago, I felt the first symptom (point-source pain in throat) of what became a full-blown cold. The sore throat morphed into a dry, unproductive cough accompanied by a runny nose. No, "runny nose" isn't descriptive enough. Here's how much my nose was running: I shaved off my mustache. I had to... the mess was incredible. I took a regular-size roll of Charmin with me to work on Friday, in lieu of kleenex, and I had used it up by 3pm. I was miserable.
Once work was finished, I came home and took a nap. About an hour later, I woke up and most of the lower half of my face, my neck, and my pillowcase were soaked. THAT's how bad it was. Fortunately, somewhere around 2 in the morning, the steroids my doctor put me on kicked in and my nose dried up and the cough has gone mostly away.
I'm now really tired, though. I fell asleep in my chair a couple of times this morning, took a four-hour nap this evening, and my brain is still logy enough that it's taken about 90 minutes to type this post (to be fair, half of that was looking for a good yootoob of a waterfall to accompany this post... and failing. No, I don't need links to some in comments, thank you).
So on one hand, the sickiness seems to be dying off: yay! On the other, I'm draggin' hard: not so yay.
Heck, I had intended to do Eva 2.22 pt II tonight. Not so much, as it ended up. Recovery is in sight, maybe, but I'm not quite there yet. I suspect Sunday is going to be spent doing laundry, then sleeping a lot.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 16, 2014 09:09 AM (kkiRR)
I don't get this. Sure, for an emergency sprint, you can do something like that. But surely they have to know that you'll eventually need some sick time, right? What are they gonna do if you can't make it in for a while (or head for Tijuana for a bender)? One guy with a key minus one guy with a key...
Posted by: Avatar at February 18, 2014 04:44 AM (zJsIy)
Oh. Huh. Go Figure.
Not that the pressure is off, at least for a few days, I find that I feel like crepe. I dunno if I've caught an ick or what, or if my body is finally rebelling against the stress of the past six months, but I'm just totally wiped out.
Ever Wanted To Play Fantasy Baseball?
One would think this a rhetorical question: of course you've wanted to play fantasy baseball! Something has been holding you back, however. Perhaps it's been a lack of time... or not enough like-minded people in your life... or intimidated by the thought of getting into a league with a bunch of cutthroat bloodthirsty experts. O r maybe, just maybe, you've wanted to be in the same league with everybody's favorite hyperintelligent duck with the ability to type and rate ballplayers!
Well then, bunkie, today's your lucky day! About a week or so ago, longtime reader Ben from Midnight Tease and Texas Baseball Town sent me an e-mail asking me some questions about fantasy baseball. As it turns out, he was looking to get a league going, but knew nothing of what the game was, and since he knew I had played for a while, who better to ask? Who better indeed? The timing couldn't be beat, since I had dropped out of the fantasy league I'd been in for 25 years the day before... I hadn't had much fun the previous three years, because of the cutthroat, bloodthirsty style of play that had taken over the league.
So after talking for a while, I eventually said something along the lines of "If you set up a league, I want in." Playing with a bunch of fresh faces who haven't played before sounds like fun to me! Ben's response was, for all intents and purposes, "Duh." He was more polite about it, though.
So we've got four people right now, but we need more. That's where YOU come in.
It's set up to be as completely different from what I'm used to as possible! The league'll be a snake draft, not an auction. It'll be AL, not NL. Standard 5 x 5 Roto rules. Oh, and I'll be picking last in the first round. So what have you got to lose? It's free, and though Ben doesn't know this yet, if anybody finishes ahead of RotoDuck, they're going to win something from The Pond's prize closet! We're looking for rookies or people who haven't played much... is that you? C'mon down! Got questions? Ask here or at Ben's places! Wanna sign up? Drop a note in my comments or his! Pitchers and Catchers report this week... baseball is in the air! Here's your chance to have some fun!
It's Ben's league... we're all just playing in it!
I use masking tape and cardboard for my sign, Wonderduck uses neon. Some people have it...
Seriously, as humbling as this wonderful invitation is, I would like to point out a couple of things: The league was technically my idea, but as I know, even now, almost nothing about fantasy baseball, Wonderduck is *at least* (and really more-so) equally responsible for ownership and management and will be co-commissioner of the league. Also, two and maybe more of the people playing are recent *converts* to baseball fandom, so there will be a lot of learning about baseball in general as well as learning about fantasy baseball.
I hope that will be an incentive to get more people interested, but I also understand that's not the experience some people are looking for. Just to poke everyone a bit more, even though the comment isn't showing up, we have had a response already! So, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease don't be shy, and don't let non-familiarity with baseball or FB hold you back if you're interested in playing!
Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2014 09:08 AM (Oftf2)
I'd be interested. I've played before, but the league I was in died a while back due to declining interest. And it was full MLB, head to head, so this'll be somewhat different.
Posted by: ReallyBored at February 13, 2014 04:48 PM (n3V1X)
Posted by: Shawn, but not lowercased shawn at February 18, 2014 06:08 PM (zD0Xs)
Shawn, head over to one of Ben's places and talk to him! I'd shoot you an e-mail, but for various reasons I can't actually see your address at the moment.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 18, 2014 07:51 PM (9ckGE)
Not sure when you may have checked, but my MidniteTease.com website has been down. We would love to have you; we're still waiting on a couple of people to get signed up already, in fact. Send me an email at midnitetease at hotmail dot com. (Pretty sure my name will link to it, as well.)
I look forward to hearing from you!
Posted by: Ben at February 18, 2014 09:23 PM (Oftf2)
Now It Can (sorta) Be Told!
I'm sure many of my sharp-eyed readers have noticed a decrease in output, quality and change of tone here at The Pond of late. Indeed, this would be true, and a quick look at the sidebar would indicate just exactly when this occurred: August 2013. That was, in fact, when the problems began.
So, nobody's found the previous RM's body yet then? *grin*
Chances are there wasn't an OBJECTIVE reason for his dissatisfaction with you, and he might have been taking out on you his dissatisfaction with his own job (which led him to leave). You may want to compare notes with other store managers.
Posted by: Mauser at February 09, 2014 01:45 AM (TJ7ih)
Glad to hear it worked out, sad to hear it took six freaking months. Hope the rest of it works out soon.
That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Or makes us want to wallow in cutesy anime, one or the other. I forget which.
Posted by: Mikeski at February 09, 2014 05:46 AM (Zlc1W)
3Chances are there wasn't an OBJECTIVE reason for his dissatisfaction with you...
I didn't go into details, but there kinda was. His reason for not returning from leave was quite good too, but there's no reason for me to go into that. I'll just say "family always comes first" and leave it at that. Strange as it may sound, but I really liked the previous RM, as I know he liked me... in other circumstances, he'd have been a drinking buddy / football watcher for sure.
Mikeski, I don't need an excuse to wallow in cutesy anime.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 09, 2014 08:25 AM (uGyk6)
Glad to hear that there's light at the end of the tunnel. I was seriously worried about you.
Posted by: Ed Hering at February 09, 2014 10:43 AM (aEOAA)
Well, thank God. Sooooo glad that weight is gone!
Posted by: Ben at February 09, 2014 11:35 AM (xgNAy)
The expectations of our superiors is always so flexible, and rarely ever solely based on quality. I'm glad you cleared this rough patch. A good supervisor or manager will know enough about where their own head is at to take personal attitudes into account.
Having said that, we are all human and we behave that way.
Have you recovered some of your optimism towards your job?
Posted by: topmaker at February 09, 2014 05:07 PM (2yZsg)
Oh, wow. HUGE sigh of relief. Several of them in fact. WHEW.
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 09, 2014 08:50 PM (CUkqs)
Congratulations. But I also hope they send you some serious management help!
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at February 11, 2014 01:32 PM (nh8FR)
Winter In Duckford 2014
Look, I understand that snow doesn't happen much in StevenLand. I get that. I also get that it's relatively temperate out thataway, too.
Don't care. We had a 38 hour stretch where it didn't get above zero, with a low around -25Â°F. Then it went all the way up to 2Â°, then promptly went back into the negatives again. For the past few weeks, if it hasn't been ridiculously cold, it's been snowing. When it hasn't been snowing, it's been cold... and occasionally, it's been both! I don't usually complain about the winters here in Duckford, but this one has just been a beechmartin and a half.
So don't take it personally, Steven, but right now I'd KILL to have your forecast.
I did not know it was the 3rd generation of that automobile.
I did know about this other Ghibli, which made me wonder when I saw the Superbowl commercial. Why sell a car in the USA when it's named after an Axis-powers airplane from WWII? Guess it's obscure enough that it doesn't matter. Probably worse that gee-blee sounds more like an infant being tickled than a studly sports car...
Posted by: Mikeski at February 05, 2014 07:02 PM (Zlc1W)
F1 News: 2014 Pre-Season #1
As my laundry goes through the whump-whump-wadump cycle (as opposed to the wooga-wooga-wooga or wherrrrrrrrrrz cycles), it seems like a good time to get everybody caught up on the stuff that came out of the first 2014 pre-season test at Jerez.
The biggest news was far and away the debut of the new V6 Turbo engines. I had no doubt that they'd be quick... that's just what F1 is, after all. What I was afraid of was that they would sound horrible. The V8 era, in my mind, was nearly intolerable: that piercing scream, while undoubtedly impressive with its volume, was practically unlistenable to my ears. The howl of the V10s sounded so much better, with a nicer lower-end to it, and don't even get me started on the sheer bliss that was the V12 era. I figured that the new power plants would sound wimpy and tinny and yuck. I was wrong... very wrong. They sound great, and each manufacturer's sound is slightly different from each other.
Which brings us to the next bit of news. The Renault powerplant had serious problems during the test session, to the point where defending champions Red Bull turned the fewest number of laps (21) during the four days of testing. In fact, the problems were so bad that they gave up and went home on Day 3. Fellow Renault team Toro Rosso had 54 laps over four days and... well, here, just give this a listen. Caterham had problems getting their Renault engine to even start. And, of course, Lotus didn't even make it to Jerez. In any case, this lack of running time puts Red Bull on the back foot; Mercedes ran 309 laps, for example. That's 288 laps of data less to work with, and with brand new rules modifying just about everything on a chassis this year, data is king.
Red Bull is also having problems with overheating. This isn't new: Adrian Newey designs are always tightly packaged, particularly towards the back. Reports are that overheating was happening even during the short runs on cool days at Jerez, and THAT'S a bad sign indeed. On the other hand, it's merely the first test session, not the real races. Except Daniel Ricciardo, new Red Bull driver, isn't so sure that things will be fixed in a hurry: "Time is still on our side. Even if we go to Melbourne still a bit whatever, it's a long season." I'm not gonna bet against them, not this year, not yet.
In other news, Ross Brawn announced his retirement from F1. Last season's Mercedes team principal stepped down from his position after a career in the sport that began in the '70s. He has eight constructor's championships to his name, and his teams have also had eight driver's championships as well. There were rumors that he would be moving to McLaren, but he squashed those this week at a fishing event.
McLaren did announce that recent Lotus frontman Eric Boullier has become their Racing Director, a position that didn't really exist before this. He'll be in charge of the team at race weekends, but report to the still-to-be-named CEO of McLaren Racing otherwise. Clearly a reaction to the hideous 2013 the team suffered.
Finally, Michael Schumacher was reportedly being slowly brought out of his medically-induced coma. If you remember correctly, he suffered major brain injuries in a skiing accident at the end of December. He's been in the coma ever since, after undergoing two surgeries to relieve swelling. Supposedly he's been able to blink in response to questions, but there's been no confirmation of that from the doctors. Still, we can always hope.