Friday, October 29, 2004

Halloween Linkdump

flaming pumpkin

Here's a whole passel 'o' links for the upcoming holiday Still one of my favorites Pumpkin design = cool / web design = crap

"I'm George W. Bush, and I approve this carving"

What's that? You say you're a pumpkin-hugging liberal distraught by all this needless pumpkin butchery? There's always Funkins, artificial pumpkins made of a low density, flame resistant, polyurethane foam. Carveable and reusable. Just don't eat the seeds...

Get familiar with the tools of the trade - Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit and

Don't let me hear you whining about how much work it is carving a pumpkin... you could have had this or this to carve.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Rock the (color) vote!

Colorcell is a neat little web experiment in group aesthetics. You are presented with 100 cells comprised of four single colors. Vote for your favorite color combinations. The more votes a cell gets, the "healthier" is becomes. Fewer votes means a "sicker" cell that will eventually die out.

You know, I heard there is some other kind of election going on next week, though I doubt it's all that important... I'm guessing Mr. Bush would cast a vote for this superpatriot combo:
while Mr. Kerry would be drawn more to the shades of gray:

Why graduating from Pirahã School of Accounting with honors really doesn't impress 'em in interviews

A couple of months ago, there were a number of articles about a Brazilian tribe called the Pirahã. In their culture, they have no words for numbers higher than "two". They have a word for "one" and "two". Everything else is "many".

Now you have a chance to prove you're a better counter than the Pirahã with the game 1 2 Many. You have about one second to view a screen and determine how many "stars" you see. Get it exact and you get points, off by one and you get no points. Off by two or more and you get a strike counted against you. Three strikes and the game's over. I went pretty far, but not tons of points (I kept missing the count by one -- usually I was under by one) and got a 219. How'd you do?
(via Idle Type)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Kitchen Comrades

Salt and Pepper
(first link via J-Walk)

Franks and Beans

Coffee and cream

Meet George Jetsam

I've always enjoyed Lilek's, but hadn't really explored the Jetsam Cove section until today. Start at the Cigarette ads section and plunge right in.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A cry for help/TV Hari-kiri

Guy in Oregon gets a new all-the-bells-and-whistles TV, including one whistle he wasn't expecting. For reasons unknown, it starts emitting the 121.5MHz international distress signal whenever it was turned on. Hilarity ensues.

He has been warned not to turn on the TV again or face fines of $10,000 a day for emitting a false distress signal.

in other news...

Inventor Mitch Altman has come up with a device he calls TV-B-Gone to save us from the hypnotic effects of television. From the Wired article:

The device, which looks like an automobile remote, has just one button. When activated, it spends over a minute flashing out 209 different codes to turn off televisions, the most popular brands first.

The idea for TV-B-Gone was born at a restaurant in the early 1990s, when Altman and his friends kept paying attention to a TV in the corner, not to one another. They chatted about how to turn off all televisions, and he wondered if it would be possible to string together a series of "power" commands.

(both stories via Boing Boing)

Maybe he should have used that wire he wore in the debates...

Regardless of your politics, this is pretty durned funny, right?
(via The Big Ticket)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Your Big Brother is kinda cool sometimes...

CoolGov is a pretty nifty blog that explores some of the more interesting resources available from the gummint right here in the US of A.

From the site:
The basic premise is this: the U.S. government provides lots of neat resources, more and more of which can be found on the internet. Basically, we’re just going to try and find the coolest stuff there is and post it here. After all, you paid for it… dammit, you better get some use out of it.

A couple of the cooler posts include:
How Drug Smugglers Get Caught (from a bulletin published by the DEA)
Someone patented the combover (US Patent Office)
Test Jet + 480 mph + Wall = Pancake

Monday, October 18, 2004

Spooky OH!

What with You-Know-What-oween fast approaching, why not get in the mood a little early?

Ohio's Creepiest Cemeteries
(via Growabrain)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

For Sale: 1986 Ford Bus - lousy gas mileage, 2000 lbs overweight, hard to wash, even harder to wax, kazoos start humming at speeds above 20 mph - asking $130,000,000/best offer

Photos of an insanely complicated 1986 Ford WOW Bus.
(via Boing Boing)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I must be high

From An Introduction to Cluster Ballooning:
To control the altitude of the cluster balloon, the pilot takes off with more balloons than needed to lift his or her weight, and carries ballast (water or sand) to balance out most of this excess lift. To level out or descend, the pilot releases or bursts balloons. To slow the descent or ascend again, the pilot releases ballast.

Ya know, if that was me hanging up there at 5 or 10 thousand feet, I think I'd be dropping a bit of my own personal ballast if you know what I mean.

If all this sounds a little familiar, you may be thinking of Larry Walters aka "Lawnchair Larry" and his 1982 stunt in which he tied 42 helium-filled balloons to his Sears lawnchair and drifted around at 16,000 feet for a few hours, disrupting LAX air traffic. The FAA arrested him when he landed and fined him $1,500.

A guy named Mark Barry runs the Official Lawnchair Larry website, and even has recovered the lawn chair used that day.

PS. For your listening pleasure, you can liten/download this cute song from John Forster on everyone's favorite noble gas.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

"It must be true. There's pictures of it on the internet!"

Well, maybe and maybe not...

Snopes is always a good reference if you're wondering if that photo your buddy emailed you of the 89-pound cat has really been doctored or not (it was). Or whether Presidents Clinton and Bush really tried using binoculars without removing the lenscaps (unlikely). Or whether a deer really wound up on the top of a utility pole (true).

Here is the full index of photographic urban legends -- debunked and... uh, bunked.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Droppin the dime

I got a counterfeit $100 bill when I was in Louisiana. I should have known, too, because I looked real close and it was spelled "hunnerd". And I don't recall any president ever wearing a tank top... - comedian Paul Gilmartin

My confidence in human intelligence was shaken when that story came out last year about the grocery store cashier who accepted a Two Hundred Dollar Bill (bearing George W. Bush's portrait) from a customer.

Hey, at least the counterfeiter was thinking big... Someone in Cherokee County, Alabama is also doing a little (very little) counterfeiting. Passing phony...(wait for it)... dimes.

Investigator Arlon Reed with the Centre Police Department said, “They are made of copper and aluminum. Every one of them have a mold. They appear to have some type of silver or aluminum paint.” According to Reed, these coins are not the same silver color as a true dime and some have mold marks like bubbles on them. Some have smooth sides, others have ribbed sides.

One store has turned up almost 30 fake dimes (nearly three dollars! American!!)

Be on the lookout, citizens of Cherokee County, Alabama!! BTW, the counterfeit dime is the one on the left.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Beacher Creatures

Since about ten years ago, Theo Jansen is occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic matierial of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventually he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.
Theo's webpage is called Strandbeest, and it has videos and webcams a-plenty. Some of it's in English, some in Dutch, so I'm not quite sure what's going on in some places, but it is pretty awesome...

He also made this beast:

The Rhinoceros Transport
(which looks even more impressive when you watch the 2MB QuickTime video of it walking)

Why? Because 886 was just too many.

Philly area radio station WXPN 88.5FM is playing the results of their listener poll-driven "885 Greatest Songs" every day this week 6am-10pm Eastern Time. Click Listen Live! to hear XPN (Windows Media Player required). Hopefully it will work. I have listened in the past, but it wouldn't connect this morning, though it could just be that The Man is blocking access here at work...

XPN is the University of Pennsylvania's non-commercial public radio station and claims to be "the premier radio showcase for contemporary music that spans the progressive edges of rock, folk, rhythm and blues, and American roots." Among other things, they also produce the nationally syndicated World Cafe.

The list looks pretty interesting thusfar... Here was what made the list on Monday (#885-698) and Tuesday (#697-521).

XPN also has a great bulletin board-type section, where listeners can help each other identify songs and artists they heard on the station. Click on What's That Song? and pick which category you want:
I keep hearing these words...
I know the title but not the artist...
I know when I heard it...
and I know the artist, but what's that song?

So... what do you think is gonna be Numero Uno?

Nothin' but respect

Rodney Dangerfield 1921-2004.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Fear and Loathing in the Kingdom

Great. As if I didn't spend enough time on the computer as it is, now I went and started playing The Kingdom of Loathing. I'm a Level 3 Zydeco Rogue! W00t!

UPDATE: Here is a nice review of KoL.