Monday, May 31, 2004

2,346 more cubes, still just as dorky

Wouldn't it be cool to watch someone solve a Rubik's Cube? Oh, if the cube in question isn't the typical 3 X 3 X 3 cube, but a super 20 X 20 X 20 cube, wouldn't that be even cooler? Yeah, didn't think so.

For the three people who found that link to be fascinating, here's a heads up. Better bone up on your Rubiking skills and dust off that passport, because the European Rubik's Games Championships is being held in Amsterdam this August 7th and 8th. If you're more of an armchair cuber, you might like to watch a video of someone solving a regular Rubik's Cube in 16.5 seconds (3.6 MB mpg file). And if you're like me, you might just prefer rewinding the video and watching him turn a pristine cube into a mess in 16.5 seconds. Hey, I bet I can beat that record!

The nexus of cubing geekiness can be found in the pages of
(via memepool)


ern Ohio Roller




Why no new posts lately? As a reward for all the quality work lately, I decided to treat the entire Information Nation staff to an all-expenses paid vacation this past week. Of course, since the staff consists of... me, and I usually pay all my own expenses anyway this really isn't as sweet of an offer as it looks on paper.

During a couple of days in there, Mrs. Info Nation and I ditched the kids and headed down to ride the coasters at Cedar Point. If you're a coaster junkie like me, Cedar Point is perhaps one of the best places on the planet to get your thrill fix.

Their newest coaster is Top Thrill Dragster, which is more of a rocket launcher than a true coaster, propelling you from 0 to 120 mph in just 4 seconds. It was indeed a rush, but the ride is over in something like 20 seconds. Another downside is that the ride itself is pretty finicky. The day we were there, it closed a couple of times due to wind conditions, threat of rain and once or twice due to mechanical problems. The ride was up and down more often than a "Mardi Gras Girls Gone Wild" tube top.

Cedar Point boasts that Top Thrill Dragster (or TTD as you hipsters refer to it) is the fastest and highest (420 feet straight up -- and straight down) roller coaster in the world, though some might disagree.

Probably my favorite coaster there was not one of the fancy-schmancy steel machines, but the humongous wooden Mean Streak. Since the frame itself is made from wood, there is a lot more support needed than on the steel rides, and is in fact pretty impressive all on its own. Also, wooden coasters are inherently a rougher ride than the steel coasters, so you're getting jostled around in there quite a bit, and at 2 minutes 45 seconds and over a mile of track, the ride is surprisingly long.

You know, the next time I yearn for some negative G-forces, perhaps I'll just visit John Ivers in Bruceville, Indiana. You see, he got tired of waiting in all the lines you typically experience at an amusement park, so he just went and built his own roller coaster in his back yard.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Now that's a knife!

I think even Crocodile Dundee wet his pants after seeing this.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Cheap gas!

Okay, there's no such thing anymore. But you can find the cheapest (and priciest) gas in your city at GasBuddy.
(via FactoVision)

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Come On Down!

Bob Sassone a/k/a Pop Culture Guy gives a handy ratings guide to The Price Is Right games.

WARNING -- As was pointed out in the comments by The Guy Who Knows Master Shake: this site is rather, shall we say "pop-up intensive" if you are using a browser such as Internet Explorer. I hadn't picked up on that when I originally posted because I was not using "The Big Blue E". Is this a good time to encourage everyone to start using a better browser such as Firefox? Yes, it's true that IE lets you play their version of Whack-A-Mole by allowing every pop-up under the sun, but somehow I don't miss it with Firefox. Need more reasons to switch?

As Sean Connery's character said in The Untouchables, "Here endeth the lesson".

Road Rules! (and the lack thereof)

Okay, let me be the first to say it: this is utter insanity.

Salon has an article on a new school of thought in traffic flow engineering: that traffic safety measures may actually make streets more, not less dangerous.

Reversing decades of conventional wisdom on traffic engineering, Hamilton-Baillie argues that the key to improving both safety and vehicular capacity is to remove traffic lights and other controls, such as stop signs and the white and yellow lines dividing streets into lanes. Without any clear right-of-way, he says, motorists are forced to slow down to safer speeds, make eye contact with pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers, and decide among themselves when it is safe to proceed.

Uh, right. Doubtful that this traffic anarchy is coming to a street near you, but it makes for interesting reading.
(via Techdirt)

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Does Your Flag Fly? Or Fail?

Hey! Just in time to make everyone (except Gambia) really self-conscious and defensive during the Olympics Opening Ceremony in Athens this summer. The world's flags given letter grades.
(via J-Walk)

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Tales from the pie front

Pizza delivery stories. And I heard if you can't read them all in 30 minutes or less, they're free!
(via Information Junk)

Monday, May 17, 2004

Saturday, May 15, 2004

How does your city stack up?

Enter in your city and see diagrams of the tallest buildings, drawn in scale so you can compare heights.

You can also see the World's 10 Tallest Buildings. You might not think it would be hard to decide which building is the tallest, but au contraire. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat have a set of four categories of tallest building: (1) height to the structural or architectural top; (2) height to the highest occupied floor; (3) height to the top of the roof; and (4) height to the top of the antenna.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Flashy goodness

I just stumbled across Albino Blacksheep today, and am mightily impressed. Check it out, there's lots of funny audio/video and Flash thingies to explore. Some of the ones that caught my attention were:

Windows Noises - I never thought that I'd enjoy listening to that annoying Windows chime again, until this came along.

Stairway To Heaven: Reverse Lyrics - Back in high school, my buddy had a cassette player on which he reversed the heads so that you could play stuff backwards. Mostly we experimented with learning how to say stuff that sounded intelligible when played backwards. We had heard about the whole "there's Satanic lyrics in Stairway, man", but we never could pick out too much. Here they are so clear, it makes me suspect tampering somehow.

Tequila! (Shouldn't that gorilla be playing a sax, though?!)

Remember the Pingu Toss game? Bloody Pingu Toss is the Quentin Tarantino version.

(Compatible with most browsers, various plug-ins required, depending on what you wanna play))

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The good news? Scotty now has more power. The bad news? The "Dammit Jim! I'm a doctor, not a..." bug didn't get fixed.

This from BBSpot: Paramount Releases Service Pack for Star Trek.

Paramount President Franz Pike said, "We fixed everything, from obvious errors like the glaring differences between Shatner and his stunt double to more obscure fixes like removing Spock's 'third ear' in 'The Immunity Syndrome.' We think fans will be pleased."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Damaging the web

Obliterate a website with a Mini. (Hint: don't close the ad in the middle of the screen)
Take a BFH (Big Friggin' Hammer) to this page. And why not? It's already broken!
(via The Presurfer)

Monday, May 10, 2004

"Now you know...

...and knowing is half the battle!"

These immortal words always closed out the short animated GI Joe PSAs that ran each Saturday morning after the GI Joe cartoon itself. The spots always featured some kids doing boneheaded stuff like playing with downed power lines or accidentally setting their kitchen on fire. FenslerFilm has redubbed them to be, if not more educational, at least a lot funnier.

Friday, May 07, 2004

"Excuse me. You're eating my arm."

Perhaps the cheesiest party ever.
(via everlasting blort)

Take 37,483 aspirin and call me in the morning...

Admittedly sick, but dang if these two games aren't addicting. In Truck Dismount, you place your guy in or on the truck, choose the speed and whether to add ramps or not. Stair Dismount is simpler. This time the little guy is at the top of a lo-o-ong flight of stairs. You choose the point of initial impact and the amount of force, and, well, our friend Mr. Gravity does the dirty work after that. Points are awarded according to amount of bodily damage. Yes, the little man is only rendered abstractly (like a crash test dummy, natch), but the sound effects are what what really make it. Not for the squeamish.

PS. I don't know how I managed to do it, but I got a really rockin' Truck Dismount score: 184,132. Every other score of mine is in the 30K-45K range.
(thanks to Kevin for the link!)

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


[Homer’s Scrabble rack as he complains, “How can anyone make a word out of these lousy letters!''. He decides to play the “D” and spell “DO”] - The Simpsons, "Bart The Genius"

Pages of "real, unmanipulated examples of Scrabble-tile-chooosing ineptitude, hands so mind-bogglingly unfair in their horribleness that pictures just had to be taken." In other words, really crappy Scrabble hands.

I wouldn't have thought this would be very funny, but for some reason, seeing all these terrible Scrabble hands just makes me laugh like I just played syzygy on a triple-word square.
(via Boing Boing)

Monday, May 03, 2004

Only in Kenya...

Kenya. Home to lions and tigers that manage to look cute even when dining on a fly-blown zebra carcass. Oh, and good luck getting the song out of your head after you hear it...
(via everlasting blort)