Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Hmm... Now what could possibly rhyme with "Nantucket"?

A dictionary with a new twist:
A limerick defines the word's gist.
Submit your endeavor,
Make sure that it's clever
And maybe yours will make the list!

The vision of The OEDILF (The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form) is to create a limerick for each word in the English language. Yes, you read that right. They are currently accepting submissions with words starting Aa-Ar.

Read the overview/FAQ for the nitty-gritty. If you've got a way with words, you can join the cause and start contributing right away.

I do'nt "need" you're assistants, grammer and spellinge Nazi's!

From the Punctuation-Pet-Peeves Dep't.
There's a real estate office near my house that has a huge sign reading, Come In For A "Free" Estimate!

So... I guess it's not "really" free, then?

Incorrect punctuation and grammar use really sets me off for some reason, with misused apostrophes topping the list. It's pretty amazing how many professionally printed signs have such basic grammatical/spelling errors. Apparently, I'm not the only one who notices these things:

Home for Abused Apostrophes, including this sad example. (Poor Glady! Whatever will happen to her May?)
The Apostrophe Protection Society (with Examples Page)
Gallery of "Misused" Quotation Marks
Misspelled Signs

Monday, August 30, 2004

Film Streamlining

The Fall movie season is nigh upon us and that historically means lots of Oscar-worthy films to watch. In fact, the number of films may be overwhelming, so it's a good thing that Fametracker is out there with chainsaw in hand to assist in trimming off some of the deadwood with their list of The 10 Least Essential Fall Films of 2004.

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Worst of Baseball

Worst Baseball Teams Ever

Worst Baseball Video Game

Worst Baseball Uniform

Worst Baseball Nickname

Worst Baseball Team Names

Worst Losing Streak

Worst Baseball Blowout

Worst Baseball Promotion Ideas

Remove that monkey from your back, soldier!

Remember the story earlier this month about the Finnish army excusing some of their conscripts from military duty because they claimed to be addicted to the Internet?

Maybe they could use Lockout, which forces you to not be able to websurf. Hey Finns! Just say "No"! Where's Nancy Reagan when you need her?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Tricks of the Trade

Matthew Baldwin from The Morning News writes a great little article about the secret tips and tricks that various trades use to make their job a little easier. For example:

When taking family portraits that include a dog, don’t use the dog’s name or say “doggie, doggie” to get its attention, because it might trot over to you. Instead, call out “kitty, kitty, kitty.” The dog will perk up and look around for a cat, and you can get a great shot if you time it right.

Patients will occasionally pretend to be unconscious. A surefire way to find them out is to pick up their hand, hold it above their face, and let go. If they smack themselves, they’re most likely unconscious; if not, they’re faking.
(via Boing Boing)

Friday, August 20, 2004

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness (thanks, Bonnie, even if you do talk smack behind my back...)

Also: You can look at some strange signs at... StrangeSigns.org

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Here's your chance to play God.

Terragen is a small but very powerful terrain generator that allows you to create stunningly realistic landscapes. Here is Terragen's image gallery so you can browse what other people have created.

You can control whether you want lakes and rivers, whether the atmosphere is clear or hazy, how much cloud cover and what types of clouds, direction, size and brightness of the sun, and the list goes on. There are dozens of variables you can tweak, and best of all, it's free. And at under 3MB, surprisingly compact. (Windows, Mac versions)

Once you play around with creating landscapes, you can check out Campath, which allows you to create MPEG animations of "fly-throughs" over your world.

Crack addict

I crack my knuckles, which I admit, annoys some people. And maybe those people ought not go to Crack My Knuckles.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Break the code, break the bank?

Codes have always fascinated me, as have unsolved mysteries. Here are some items that incorporate a little of each:

The Beale Ciphers - Millions in gold and silver buried in a cave in Virginia. All you have to do is break the code that tells where it's buried. Some linguists have studied the word frequency usage and believe it all to be a hoax, perhaps concocted by Edgar Allen Poe, while others claim to have solved the mystery.

Oak Island Treasure - One of my favorite buried treasure mysteries. Is there pirate loot somewhere in what has been dubbed The Money Pit?

The Dorabella Cipher - Can you decode the message Edward Elgar ("Pomp and Circumstance") sent to a frind? No one has yet...

Many, many more fascinating mysteries are described at the wonderful Elonka's List of Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers.

Can someone turn down the lake? I'm freezing!

Toronto has come up with an ingenious alternative to conventional air-conditioning for their office buildings and homes downtown. Using their Enwave system, intake pipes stretch out 5km into Lake Ontario to a depth of 83 meters. At this depth, the water is near-freezing (4° C) year-round. It is then piped to the filtration plant where a heat exchanger chills the water in the loop that supplies the air-conditioning for the downtown buildings. The lakewater then continues its journey into the city's drinking water system.

They note that the cooling system reduces energy usage, freeing up megawatts from the Ontario's electrical grid, minimizes ozone-depleting refrigerants and reduces the amount of carbon dioxide entering the air. The company claims they have the capacity to air-condition to 100 office buildings or 8,000 homes, equivalent to 32 million square feet of building space.

It sounds a little complicated as I describe it, but it is much more clear after checking out the explanation at Enwave's site.
(via Slashdot)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Productivity? We don't need no steenkeen' productivity!

Some timewasters for your dull Thursday.

Wastepaper - Click on the paperwad at the right time to get it in the wastebasket. Watch those air currents, though.

Soda Constructor - Build your own creepy-looking robot/bug thingies.

Wire Skeleton - Just what the name says... a wire skeleton.

Swron - A nice version of the light-cycle game from the movie Tron.

Need more? There's a couple hundred or so more at AddictingGames.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant...

...though Shopsin's in New York's West Village might give Alice's a run for her money. The place is small (seats thirty-four) but the menu is not. Owner Kenny Shopsin has created a let's say unorthodox menu of over 900 items.

Kenny is also a bit unorthodox himself, making Seinfeld's Soup Nazi seems soft and cuddly in comparison. Read Calvin Trillin's 2002 New Yorker article on Shopsin's for a glimpse.
(via kottke.org)

Friday, August 06, 2004

From Hell's heart I stab at thee!

Sure, you could spend 2 hours watching Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, but who has that kinda time? Better you should just get to the best part. Oh yeah, turn those speakers up. Waaay up!

Now you can take a little Khan-y goodness with you wherever you go.

The Cult of KenJen

Okay, you probably have heard all the hooplah about Ken Jennings, the guy with the most wins on Jeopardy ever with 38 and counting (Jeopardy resumes taping their 21st season - with Ken still going strong - in August). Still I was surprised at all the webspace devoted to him. Here are just a few:

The in-depth Wikipedia article on Ken Jennings, which mentions some of his trademark behaviors, like:

* He writes his name in a different style each day, with styles ranging from cursive script to block letters to dots.
* Every time his total winnings are announced at the beginning of the show, he shakes his head in disbelief.
* He will often attempt to pronounce foreign words, phrases, or locations with an accent.
* On Final Jeopardy! and the Daily Doubles he almost always wagers an amount that could bring his total to a multiple of $5,000, or at the least a multiple of $1,000.
* He did not want to beat the $52,000 single-day record of former five-day champion Brian Weikle just "for the sake of beating it" (from the Jeopardy! forums). He intentionally tied this record three times. However, on the episode aired July 23, the final episode of the Jeopardy! season and Jennings' 38th win, he entered Final Jeopardy! with a total only $600 shy of the record, and beat it with a final total of $75,000. (He would have broken the record with $60,000 in his 30th win, but missed the Final Jeopardy! question and finished that game with $32,000).

Plus, there's also JEOPARCHIVE!, which not only tracks every question and answer from Ken's 38 shows, but even better, also every Q & A from all 230 shows in Season 20!

This is supposedly Ken's personal website, which which lists over 2,000 of his favorite movies. I have not seen much to corroborate that this is the Ken Jennings, though. Could be just someone with the same name.

Finally, if you're the type who simply would not be complete unless you knew every inane personal factoid about KenJen ("When is Ken's birthday?! How can I get an autograph?! What is Ken's favorite pasta shape?!, etc...), you may want to visit KEN JENNINGS FANS UNITE, where you can swap stories about how you made desktop KenJen icons, or how you *gush*actually got an EMAIL from Ken!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Someone get the Black Flag

There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed. (Bill Gates)

The wages of sin is debugging. (Ron Jeffries)

What's up, doc? (Bugs Bunny)

First computer bug
Worst computer bug

Who's on 00000001?

(I am not usually the kind of guy to post jokes email to me, but this one made me grin. Thanks, Dagmar!)

In today's world, Bud ABBOTT and Lou COSTELLO's famous sketch "Who's on first?" might have turned out something like this....

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks.I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer.I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look in the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows.I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer!I need something I can use to write proposals,track expenses and run my business. What have you got?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, lets just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?
ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real One.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie I also want to see reel 2, 3 & 4. Can I watch them?
ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?
ABBOTT: You click the blue "1".
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?
ABBOTT: The blue "1".
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue w?
ABBOTT: The blue "1" is Real One and the blue "W" is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in "office for windows"!
ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.
COSTELLO: And that word is real one?
ABBOTT: Real One has nothing to do with Word. Real One isn't even part of Office.
COSTELLO: STOP! Don't start that again. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START"..........

The Revolution Will Not Be Capitalized

One of life's annoyances is when you accidentALLY HIT THE CAPS LOCK KEY AND TYPE A WHOLE BUNCH OF STUFF BEFORE YOU REALIZE...OH CRAP... SEe what I mean? I thought maybe I could find a little app that would allow you to highlight your case-mangled text and convert it to something a little less shouty. So far, I haven't come across such a tool, but I did find some brethren who share my pain in anticAPSLOCK.com.

According to their Mission Statement
Our goal here at anticAPSLOCK.com is to have the capslock key removed from keyboards that are manufactured in the future.

Until that glorious Caps Lock-free day arrives, they do have some alternatives like ClipControl, Transform and Togglekeys. VIVA LA REVO...#$@&!!!... I mean, viva la revolution!!!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Utilities for your teeny-tiny toolbelt

Tons of useful (and a few not so much) freeware apps and utilities so small they can practically fit on the nail of your baby toe... TinyApps.org offers apps broken down by categories like Internet, System, Graphics and Palm. I have read good things about Under1mb.com, but they appear to be down right now... Both offer apps that will fit on a floppy. If anything approaching 1.44MB seems waaaayyy too big for you (maybe you have one of these babies), perhaps Under100 is a better fit for you. They promise that all their apps are under 100KB.
(via Circadian Shift)

Monday, August 02, 2004

Cake And Pie For The Geek Guy

How cool is this?? ThinkGeek sells an EZ-Bake Oven for your PC. Anyone seen the frosting?
(via The Ultimate Insult)