Thursday, June 30, 2005

Swiper, No Swiping!

dorashot

Okay, my new favorite source for link hijackage has to be Transbuddha.com. Without further ado, I hereby shamelessly give you two more recent links from their excellent blog.

Swipeage the First:
Did you hear about Deep Impact? No, not the braindead 1998 killer comet flick. This is a NASA project that's gonna steer an SUV-sized hunka metal into a comet at 23,000 miles per hour, which totally, totally rocks. Time of impact is early morning July 4th. Talk about your fireworks... The NASA site is very well done, with tons of gorgeous animation (Flash plugin required).
deep_impact


Stealage the Second:
Age Maps by artist Bobby Neel Adams meld photos of the same person as a child and an adult.
age_11

Coverage

Having a particular fondness for cover songs, I was surprised to find a cornucopia of like-minded life-forms out there. Here is a rundown of some of the ones I've been checking out lately.

Coverville is a thrice-weekly podcast focusing on cover songs. Each show runs around 35 minutes and usually features a particular theme or artist. The June 28th edition features blues diva and former adult film star Candye Kane.

Second Hand Songs hopes to track every cover song in their database. Browse through their listing of 31,000+ songs or contribute your own submission.

The 100 Greatest Cover Songs. At least according to this guy. YMMV. Just a thought, but you may not want to trust a guy whose list of "100 Greatest Cover Songs" has 173 songs on it.

The Top 10 Punk Cover Songs

Last fall, the U.K.'s Guardian Observer put out their Ten Worst Cover Songs.

Copy, Right? is an MP3 blog that posts tons of covers. Currently you can check out a 14-song hunk of Cure covers.

No mention of cover songs would be complete without mentioning the infamous William Shatner cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" from his 1968, uhhh... "effort", The Transformed Man. To help ease the pain, someone has put together a little Monty Pythonesque animation of the Shat which you can find at the seriously awesome Transbuddha.com. Enjoy!
shatner_lucy

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

TV explained

...and you probably thought you didn't need TV explained to you, right?

What is the TV Tropes Wiki?

This "Wiki" is a catalogue of the tricks of the trade for writing television scripts. Frequently found plots, tropes, idioms, and devices are reposed here. The idea is to provide a resource for writers to spark ideas.


By the way, since I had no idea what a "trope" was, I will share.

Tropes refers to story components or elements which have become standardized through decades (or more) of use.


Hundreds of entries here, everything from plot types such as The Harvey to tropes like Dawson Casting to camera techniques such as The Star Trek Shake.

(via J-Walk)

I dare you not to...

Yawning_song

Short article on the mystery of why yawns are contagious

Play Emilie's Don't Yawn Game (both links via Kottke)

Bordering on an unhealthy fixation: The Gaping Maws features 2578 pictures of animals yawning. No comments from Furries, please. I don't wanna know.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Tigger and Piglet

piglet_tigger

Sad news today. In one of those strange celebrity-death coincidences, Paul Winchell and John Fiedler, the voices of Winnie The Pooh's Tigger and Piglet respectively, have passed away within 24 hours of each other.

CNN has brief bios for Winchell (Tigger) and Fiedler (Piglet).

I've always liked Tigger especially, even as an adult.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Freakin' Sweet!

familyguy7

Fellow Family Guy fans, you owe it to yourself to check out The Family Guy Reference Archives, which contains a reader-generated database of pop-culture references broken down by episode. Best way to get to the funny is to click on the Visual Browse by Season link in the left pane and then find the View References link.

PS. Any co-workers who happened to wonder why I was giggling like a schoolgirl yesterday all day in my cube, now you know.

(via Must See HTTP://)

Music-ky Wiki

Various song lists at Wikipedia:
(idea via brykmantra)

List of songs with titles that don't appear in the lyrics

List of songs over fifteen minutes in length (betcha didn't know this list includes a Beatles song)

List of songs whose title constitutes the entire lyrics

List of sets of unrelated songs with identical titles

List of song titles phrased as questions

List of songs whose main title appears more than twenty times in the lyrics

List of songs that use the same rhyme throughout

List of songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel following 9/11

List of songs titled as acronyms of initialisms

Tell me, who are uao?

Perusing through the ├╝ber-informative music blog Freeway Jam, I came across the profile for the site's creator, uao (pronounced yoo-ow). There isn't much in the way of pesonal info there on my Blogspotted brother. He's a male and he's from California and he has the unusual moniker, of course, but not much else to latch onto.

No matter. What I do know about him is that I reckon he's forgotten more popular music trivia than I (and probably you) will ever know.

Plus, the guy is also nothing if not prolific. There's a number of recurring features, including:


  • Weekly Artist Overview - This week it's a meaty bio on The Sex Pistols
  • Sunday Morning Playlist - overviews of various genres, such as Sadcore, Detroit Rock, Twee Pop or Lo-Fi.
  • Neverending Randomplay - Ten songs chosen randomly each week from his fairly large library of music, complete with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one is.
  • Weekend Re-issue Roundup - Album reviews of newly re-issued CDs.


Use your eyes, follow up with your ears.

Warning: Objects in mirror may actually be smaller than the mirror itself

Freakin' ginormous rear view mirrors.
(via Information Junk)

Worth1000 has themed Photoshop contests, and "Final Photo" is a recurring one. Here's a rear view mirror related entry.
mirror

The answer to the age-old question: why does the passenger side window on my car state 'objects in mirror are closer than they appear'?

Say it ain't so, 'Bow!

The strange story of Rainbow Man, the guy famous for showing up at sporting events in a rainbow-colored Afro wig and carrying a John 3:16 sign. The original Straight Dope article was written in 1987. The followup is even more interesting in that it reveals that Rainbow Man is now serving a life sentence for kidnapping a hotel maid.

An even more in-depth bio can be found here, with further details on the kidnapping stint, attempted bombings and planned assassinations (never carried out) as well.

Earlier this year, Other Cinema released a documentary on the rise and fall of Rainbow Man a/k/a "Rockin'" Rollen Stewart called Rainbow Man/John 3:16.
rainbowmancover2


rainbowvid
A 3.7MB Quicktime trailer of the film is available for download as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

GNDN

Star Trek: The Next Generation geeks (sorry for the redundant redundancy) probably already knew this, but some of the Enterprise's pipes and conduits visible in the show were labeled GNDN, which was short for "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing".

In that spirit, I am excited to bring what may be the most useless piece of software in the history of, you know... history.

Ladies and gennamin, I present...NaDa! It's free, small (1 byte), works on ANY operating system and does exactly what it's supposed to do. Every time, all the time! Just download it and install it. Or don't. It really doesn't matter! As their motto says -- NaDa Does Nothing For Everybody!

nada

Once you got that sweet NaDa software going on, you oughtta take a break and play the game sensation that's sweepin' the nation, namely The Really Big Button That Doesn't Do Anything (or TRBBTDDA as the cool kids call it). Since its inception in 1994, thousands have clicked on TRBBTDDA with hopes of getting it to do... something, anything! All have walked away disappointed. Will you be the lucky one? Sadly, no. But go ahead and click it anyway. At least you won't have to worry about it crashing your NaDa application.

I got the world on a string

In the 1999 cult film "Being John Malkovich", John Cusack's character plays a struggling but brilliant puppeteer. The marionette work done in the film is extremely intricate, so much so that there were times when I was sure the puppetry was actually done by either CGI or some other special effects wizardry. But in actuality, it was all done by through the hands of master marionette artist Phillip Huber. This interview with Huber for Sci-Fi & Fantasy FX magazine gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his work in the film.

Also: French parade of crane-operated giant marionettes. Come to think of it, if they're giant, shouldn't we drop the diminutive -ette suffix and maybe just call 'em marions?

(via Daily Jive)
marionette

I for one, welcome our new marionette overlords.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

For Sale: 6'X9' area rug. Will trade for durable washcloth.

Having just purchased a somewhat smaller house in a somewhat more desirable neighborhood, I know I'm going to have to adjust for the tighter living quarters. I will do my best to remember I could have been living in London in the World's Smallest Apartment, a former closet that has been converted into a cozy 62 square foot kitchenette, bath(ette) and bedroom(ette). (via growabrain)


If you tire of the cramped apartment lifestyle, may I interest you in fulfilling your dream of owning your own home? Sure, it may be the smallest in Great Britain, but you could make mortgage payments by charging admission!

Don't feel like venturing across The Big Pond®? For the low, low price of $2 per mile from his shop in Sebastopol, California, Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Houses will build and ship a house to you! Check out this little... really, really little 6'X8' beaut!
68frontgable

Other real ecstatic gems include Europe's Narrowest House being out-narrowed by the World's Narrowest House.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ooh-hh that smell/Can't you smell that smell?

dumpster
From Fark's "Dumbass" category - Woman considering suing for injuries incurred while dumpster diving despite warning sign that says "do not occupy this container for any purpose"


Dumpsterworld, a forum for divers in-the-know, had a recent post from user StepUp sharing pics of a pretty impressive dumpster score involving 262 copies of TurboTax trashed courtesy of Office Depot.

Diving FAQ from The Dumpster Lady

Dumpster Diving 101

Dumpster Diving: The Advanced Course : How to Turn Other People's Trash into Money, Publicity, and Power by John Hoffman

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Light(er) Rock

car_ipod.web

If you don't want to drop $300 for an iPod and FM transmitter, for $30 you can still get MP3 tunes on the road with the VR3. Just load up a decent-sized keychain flash drive (a 500 MB one goes for around $45 and would hold around 8 hours of audio files), plug it into your car's cigarette lighter and you're ready to hit the road. The audio plays through your FM tuner.

Gee, it seems like there's a gift-giving holiday of some sort just around the corner, isn't there?

Available through NextPower USA

(via Cool Tools)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Use the [pun], [name that rhymes with "Luke"]!

storewars
Use The Farm, Cuke! Star Wars parody, Grocery Store Wars (thanks for the link, Judy B.!)


TWDvd
Steve Oedekerk's 1999 nail-biting epic, Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle


ep1post
In serious need of an update, but still pretty funny - Star Wars: The Official Site Gag. Anybody that drops a Star Wars 2: Electric Boogaloo reference gets extra points from me. And with Don Knotts, Michael "Kramer" Richards and a Gene Simmons-ish Padme, the poster is pretty sweet, too.


If you fast-forward through the Episode I DVD to get past the execrable dialogue and get right to the light-saber fight scenes, then Stick Wars is for you, my friend.


SWE3_teaser_poster_sm
If you've got the bandwidth to spare, treat yourself to the excellent Episode III: A Lost Hope, featuring without a doubt THE whiniest version of Annakin ever to grace the screen.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Peep and what followed

As the parents of two preschoolers (ages 2.568227 and 4.357185 as calculated by the trusty Detailed Age Counter), Mrs. Captnkurt and I are usually up at the proverbial crack of dawn, getting ready for work and getting the boys dressed and ready to be dropped off at daycare. Usually, there is about a 15-minute window that allows the kids to check out their current morningtime favorite cartoon, Peep and the Big Wide World".

abo_birds_indexkl

The show is pretty cute, but the theme song is great! Now most kid's show theme songs are either embarrassing (think Teletubbies), cloyingly nausea-inducing (a la Barney's "I Love You, You Love Me" soul-sucker) or just plain forgettable (such as...uh, I forget).

But the theme from Peep is none of those things. The first time I heard it the other morning, I thought, "Man, that guy sounds a lot like Taj Mahal", which in fact is who it turned out to be. Bouncy and full of fun with banjo, bass and handclaps, I am actually sorry that it's only 45 seconds long. Check it out for yourself and see what I mean.

Speaking of TV theme songs, the fine minds at Retrocrush have compiled The 100 Greatest TV Themes. Chock-fulla details, samples and links to fansites, it's a long but worthy read. Hey! Where the hell is the theme from "60 Minutes"?! Hee hee hah!...

[crickets]

That was a joke, people. You see, because "60 Minutes" doesn't even have a th... ah, fergeddit.

On to even more theme-y goodness!

Slate recently had polled its readers on what they thought were the most incongruent songs for an ad campaign. The winner was Caribbean Cruise Line and its use of Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life". Because, as one Slate reader put it, "Nothing says maritime comfort like a song about shooting up junk."

From the Theme-Songs-You-Probably-Didn't-Even-Know-Had-Lyrics Dep't.
Lorne Greene singing the theme from Bonanza.

Theme from Star Trek, sung by Uhura and ending on a note that may kill every dog in your neighborhood.

Theme from M*A*S*H (couldn't find a direct link, but you can hear the first bit here on AllMusicGuide's page).

I would be remiss if I did not give a tip 'o' the ole TV theme cap to Mark Little's MyThemes.tv, which seems to have every TV theme song ever made and maybe some that shouldn't have been made. Where else are you gonna find the theme songs from "Hello, Larry" and "Land of the Lost", complete with terrifying Sleestak SFX?

Lastly, a parody of a former network jingle, which are kind of like theme songs. A little. Come on people, work with me here... Anyhoo, it's from the When Announcers Go Nuts section of TVParty.com.

"NBC, in third place in 1980, went to Joey Levine Crushing Enterprises who wrote the Proud as a Peacock jingle for them - a high energy, catchy "BIG" promotion campaign. This was at the direction of Fred Silverman (who had just recently taken over programming duties at NBC)."

"From that season came such disasters as "Supertrain" and the 1980 Olympic Games were boycotted by the U.S., so there was no coverage - despite the huge sum of money NBC paid the Games Committee."

"NBC continued to slide - but, on the air, they were BIG, BIG, B I G - And PROUD! This lead to an internal lampooning of the 'Proud As A Peacock' campaign - the recording of "We're LOUD," a severe parody of the "We're PROUD" campaign song."
- Dan Ferreira

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It's a good news/bad news thing

GOOD NEWS: Alert crew manning a coal train notice one of the cars is smoldering and stop the train immediately.

BAD NEWS: They chose to stop the train on a wooden trestle bridge built with creosoted ties, bents and trusses.

(via Fark)

Cinderella boy, outta nowhere

carl_spackler2

Take the Caddyshack Quiz.

I took the easy version and scored a so-so 8 out of 15. I actually did a little better on the hard quiz. I scored 8 out of 20, and while that's a lower percentage, it's supposedly a harder quiz. I didn't win a prize, but on my deathbed, I will receive total consciousness. So I got that going for me.

Guess I'd better stop by the video store tonight.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

20 Things That Suck About Gaming

The Sony Playstation 3 is going to cost $465. For that kind of money, gamers should be getting a little more respect.

20 things gamers want from the seventh generation of game consoles

(via Paul Phillips)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

Red is gray and yellow white
And we decide which is right
And which is an illusion
The Moody Blues - "Nights In White Satin"

My niece Hannah showed me this optical illusion a while back, but I forgot about it until J-Walk mentioned it in his blog recently. Are you ready?

checkershadow_illusion
The squares marked A and B are the same shade of gray.

Here is the proof, and if that still doesn't convince you, here are some more ways to try and convince yourself that your eyes are lying.

Here's a few more optical illusions to keep your peepers confused.

I rock, but I'm no playa

RacetrackPlaya

Racetrack Playa is a dried lakebed in Death Valley (California) National Park that is home to mysterious moving stones. The stones range in weight from pebbles all the way up to 700-pound boulders. No one knows for sure what causes them to move. In fact, in over 100 years, no one has ever reported witnessing the rocks in motion. But move they do, leaving a trail of flattened earth behind them.

Back in the early 1900's, the popular explanation was that it had something to do with magnetism. The theory in favor currently is that the phenomenon occurs when the right atmospheric conditions coincide, with rain wetting the lakebed surface and a lot of wind. Apparently the fine clay there becomes extremely slick under these conditions, and the wind just sort of pushes the rocks around.

This explanation doesn't satisfy everyone, though. Similar rocks in the same initial location will vary, with one moving and one staying put, or even going in a different direction. Trails, while generally running in a straight line, will sometimes curve sharply in various directions, loop or even reverse direction.

There are a bunch of websites devoted to this strange phenomenon. Here are but a few.

The Sliding Rocks of the Racetrack Playa. They even went so far as to map the position of the rocks using GPS, and track their motion, direction and distance. Cool!

The US Geological Survey mentions it, but doesn't try too hard to explain anything.

DesertUSA's piece on the Sliding Rocks

Bill and Cori's Excellent Adventures "Death Valley Moving Rocks"

Anomalies-Unlimited also covers it

(via growabrain)

Friday, June 03, 2005

Name That Tree (then cut it down)

In my Biology class back in high school, we were assigned a leaf identification project. We had to collect fifty different types of tree leaves and identify them.

I recall having a tough time figuring out what some of the mystery leaves were, myopically combing through vague leaf illustrations in my identification guide book and trying to find one that looked at least a little like the weird-ass mutant leaf I was holding.
treeguide

Of course, this was back in the Stone Age before we had The InterWeb and all its fancy searchamadealies. If only I had access to something like "What Tree Is That?" via The National Arbor Day Foundation, which is available in both Eastern/Central US and Western US flavors. There's even a little flash animation tutorial to further help.

Speaking of trees, do you know what a dendrochronologist is? It's someone who studies tree rings. You know, the way you tell how old a tree is. Catch some dendro-citement at The ULTIMATE tree-ring pages! (gratuitous capitalization and punctuation left intact)
treerings

This is your captain speaking...

Meryl Getline is an airline pilot and has an Ask The Captain column in USA Today in which she answers reader's questions about flying. Some sample questions include:

In one of her columns, she mentions this super-cool slow-motion video of a jet creating a sonic boom. I didn't know you could see them as well as hear them.

Captain Meryl has also written a book and has a blog called From The Cockpit.

(via Gadgetopia)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Noitan noitamrofni sdaer natas

Backwards-man-sky

<Homer>: "Yvan eht nioj! You gotta love that crazy chorus!"

<Lisa>: "What does it mean?"

<Homer>: "Ah it doesn't mean anything. It's like "Rama-Lama Ding Dong" or "Give Peace a Chance".

- Homer Simpson downplaying the lyrics to Party Posse's hit "Drop Da Bomb"


Still another one of those Flash sites that plays rock songs backwards (what's known in the industry as "backmasking", kids) to help you perform your dark rituals and what-have-you. I still can't believe there are people who actually think this is an intentional effort to lure people to worship Satan, or go to the Dark Side, or whatever it is these songs are supposed to make you do.

The one that almost sounds like anything intelligable are "My Name Is..." from Eminem and the granddaddy of them all, Led Zep's "Stairway To Heaven".

(via WFMU's Beware of the Blog)

Since I mentioned the Simpsons at the top of the post, the rest of the Wikipedia Made-up words in The Simpsons is pretty funny, too.

Is this thing on?

This is a prime post here on auctioneers, folks. Truly one of a kind offered for you today. Let’s start the bidding at three hyperlinks.

I-gotta-bid-on-three-links-three-links-three-links-who’ll-gimme-four? Four-links-I-got-four-links-four-links-biddah-biddah-four-links-who’ll-gimme-five? I-got-five-links-five-links-biddah-biddah-biddah-five-links-who’ll-give-me-six? Five-links-five-links-do-I-hear-six? Six-links-six-links-biddah-biddah-six-links-lookin’-for-a-biddah-who’ll-give-me-seven? Seven? Sold to the reader for seven links!

I know you don't wanna miss this. The Livestock Marketing Association is holding their World Livestock Auctioneer Championship on June 18th at the Tulsa Stockyards.

Check out some samples of past winners going back to 1963, including a virtuoso performance from the 2004 Champ, Dan Skeels of Rimbey, Alberta. (via Rummage Through the Crevices)

Why do auctioneers talk that way, anyway? It's called the auctioneer's chant, and basically it's just the current bid, the next available bid amount, and a bunch of "filler words" thrown in there to give the bidders time to think between bids.

How to make sense of the lingo at an auction

Shills, phantom bids and other dishonest auctioneer practices