Friday, April 29, 2005

You name it...

Fellow office-drone Angie Dickinson (not to be confused with that other Angie Dickinson) has a new Bichon Frise puppy. Isn't he cute?


She's been looking for a good name for the little guy. All of my suggestions have been shot down, including

Bitchin' Fries

Fine then. Here are a boatload of sites to help narrow the search. (1, 2, 3, 4)

Further tips for naming your pet.

I think my favorite site is this one, where it breaks it down by categories such as Greek & Latin Names (Ignatius? Right...), Saints Names (Lazarus? Or is that just tempting fate?)

If you have any suggestions, I'll be sure to pass them on.

Eyes front, ten and two



If this doesn't make you pay a little more attention when you drive today, I don't know what will. Very well done... The song playing throughout is "The Lucky One", but it doesn't sound exactly like the Alison Krauss version, so I don't know who is singing, but it sure is pretty for such a startling video.

Only thing I got to say is that the problem didn't seem to be that he was speeding so much as not paying attention.

(via Milk and Cookies)

Everyone's a critic

Movies has RottenTomatoes, which aggregates movie critics reviews to give movies a score. But where to go to get a collection of reviews for other media? Why not give a try? They've got film, music, book and game reviews. High scorers in green, bombs in red.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

In that jingle-jangle mornin'

Growing up in southwest Michigan in the 70's, I vividly remember living and dying by Chicago's "50,000 watt blowtorch" of an AM radio station, WLS 890 AM. They've since gone to a talk-format, but back in the seventies and up until the early eighties, they were THE rock station. They had the best songs (or so we thought at the time), the funniest/coolest jocks like John "Records" Landecker who did the nightly "Boogie Check", and Larry Lujack in the morning with "Animal Stories" and "Cheap, Trashy Showbiz Report"...

The above clips came from, which is a huge archive of old radio shows. If WLS doesn't ring your bell, do a search for your favorite radio station or jock. You might be surprised to find some fun memories you thought you'd never hear again.

Speaking of radio, you know those radio ID jingles you hear all the time? Chances are good that some of the ones you've heard and loved (or hated) are from jingle behemoth JAM Productions. Feel free to take a listen to some of their jingle demos for radio stations of all formats. It's interesting to hear commonalities in all of them.

In 1978, JAM made a demo for WLS called "Class Action" that featured that crazy John "Records" Landecker guy again. They went on to do more jingles for WLS than any other American radio station over the following years.

A promotional item from JAM simply called "The JAM Song" was put together in 1985 and distributed to US radio stations. It wasn't intended for airplay, but some stations started playing it anyway.

Less radio and more TV-based, Score Productions has produced jingles you have heard for the past 40 years, including jingles for The Price Is Right, Matchgame, the agony-of-defeat-music from ABC's Wide World of Sports and "The Itchy and Scratchy Theme" from The Simpsons.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

It also does wheat, I hear...

Guys are gonna see this and be instantly jealous. This may be the coolest job ever... SSI Products makes shredders. Sounds boring, doesn't it? That's 'cause you're not thinking big enough! Watch video of some of their shredders in action on tractor tires, mattresses, washing machines, refrigerators and lots more.


(via Sideline SquawkBox)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Straws don't lie

I bought this package of plastic straws the other day for no other reason than the labeling.


Nothing like a gargantuan, anthropomorphic straw to promote the wonders of alcohol consumption.

Back in my halcyon college days, I used to play a few drinking games such as Quarters, Speed Quarters and Up and Down the River. Looking at this list of 105 drinking games, I think you'd need a liver transplant to research them all...

Oops, I accidentally spent my ring

50CENT plus drill equals coinring


You've probably already heard about Googlewhack and Googlefight, two games to play using the ubiquitous search engine. Here are a bunch more...


Guess-the-google is a simple game. You are shown 20 images pulled from a Google search. Your job is to figure out what the search term was. This one ("peace") is kinda easy, but not all of them are. One complaint: they need to enlarge the game. After only about 4 or 5 plays, I noticed a number of repeats.

(via As Above)

More unexpected amusement from Google:

elgooG - Which is kind of like the anti-Google

Googletalk - Type in a few words. The system will search for this sentence at Google, find the next word and print that. Than it will remove the first word of the search string and add the found word to the end. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Who Owns the Alphabet? - Google a single letter and see who comes up first in the search results. Some are pretty logical (the letter E is "owned by E Online) and some are not so much (McDonald's "owns" the letter S? Huh?)

Google Ghosts - Kinda like a Googleized Liar's Poker

Whole buncha other Google amusements listed here.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I have a Doctorate in Spongebobism, and am working on a Masters in Desperate Housewifeology

Sunday's New York Times had an excerpt from Steven Johnson's new book, "Everything Bad Is Good For You". The excerpt is titled "Watching TV Makes You Smarter", and posits that the complex narratives and open-ended multiple plotlines that comprise much of today's popular TV drama (think "Alias" or "24") actually require more from the viewer than a set of eyeballs and a La-Z-Boy.

If TV is making us smarter, and I'm still not convinced that it is, then something else must be making up the difference and then some, because I realy don't think that a nation that allows a "Simple Life" to exist, let alone to return for a fourth season, is gonna win any Nobel Prizes anytime soon.

Not mentioned in the NY Times article, but also from his book and mentioned in his blog is an interesting thought-experiment: imagine video games came *before* books -- what would all the scolds be writing about in the op-ed pages when the kids dropped their gameboys and started reading all of a sudden?

(via Boing Boing)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Talking monkeys and man-boobs

Two hilarious projects from The Wonderful World of Longmire:

A very funny rewrite of Planet of the Apes (now with 24% more snack crackers!)

Trashy bodice-rippers retitled to match their bookcover artwork.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Winners and Losers in the name game

...[I]n 1958, a New York City father named Robert Lane decided to call his baby son Winner. The Lanes, who lived in a housing project in Harlem, already had several children, each with a fairly typical name. But this boy—well, Robert Lane apparently had a special feeling about him. Winner Lane: How could he fail with a name like that?

Three years later, the Lanes had another baby boy, their seventh and last child. For reasons that no one can quite pin down today, Robert decided to name this boy Loser. Robert wasn't unhappy about the new baby; he just seemed to get a kick out of the name's bookend effect. First a Winner, now a Loser. But if Winner Lane could hardly be expected to fail, could Loser Lane possibly succeed?

A fascinating two-part article in Slate exploring the impact of a child's first name, particularly a distinctively "black" name.

Part One: A Roshanda by Any Other Name
Part Two: Trading Up

The authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, have a new book called Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, that also seems worth a read once I find a copy.

(via Things Magazine)

Where's the Waldos?

It's April 20th. Which of the following things are on your To Do List for today?

Really, really, really need to get those income taxes done!

Pick up extra candles for that "Happy 116th Birthday, Hitler!" party.

Pick up extra candles for that "Happy 56th Birthday, Clint Howard!" party.

Get to the bottom of this whole "420" thing. And what does it have to do with Waldo?

I'm not a partaker of pot, bud, weed, dope, chronic, ganja, herb (or as former co-worker, high-school dropout and full-time stoner "Sweet Gary" used to call it without a hint of irony, "Herb" -- with an audible "H" sound). Like I said, I don't light up, but by God, I thought I must have after viewing this inexplicable fever-dreamlike Skittles commercial the other night.

Friday, April 15, 2005

We gotta get outta this place

There are several of those "you're stuck in a room until you click the right items in the right order to escape" kind of puzzles. Luckily, there are hints and walkthroughs for pretty much all of these in case you get stuck.

Dark Room

Crimson Room

Maama Crimson Room

Viridian Room

Ray Room Game

The Pink Room

My Diamond Baby

Escape From Room

Blue Chamber

Archipelago and Return to the Archipelago (Locked room, deserted island... what's the difference?)

One country, 1.3 billion people, eight questions

Ah, mysterious China! Inscrutable jewel of the East! There is so much we don't know, such as...

If all Chinese jumped off chairs at once, would cataclysm result?

How much is all the tea in China worth?

What's the story on the ancient Chinese custom of binding women's feet?

Who is the General Tso of "General Tso's chicken" fame?

What's the deal with ramen noodles?

How do they get the fortunes inside Chinese fortune cookies?

Do the Chinese use Chinese water torture?

Is it possible to be dyslexic in Chinese?

Any questions you have past this point, you're on your own.


It's April 15th, and that can mean only one thing: this and every other site on the planet is going to post at least one thing about income taxes. So without further ado...

For my Danish readers (all two of you, last time I checked the stats), be proud that you invented a delicious pastry and breed "Great" dogs. Unfortunately, you have that whole "rotten smell" thing going against you. Plus you've got the world's highest tax rate.

Tax rates of countries around the world.

What's this I hear about US income taxes being "voluntary"? Can I really not pay them, then? Not exactly.

Take a peek at presidential tax returns going back as far as FDR.

The error rate for a paper return is 21 percent, compared with an e-file return error rate of
a) 25%
b) 10%
c) 0.5%
d) 20%
Bone up on your tax trivia and be the life of the party. Providing it's a really, really, really dull party.

What's Bill Gates worth and how much does he have to pay in taxes?

Maybe it will take the sting out of today to know that Tax Freedom day, the day of the year the average American stops working to pay off their taxes and starts working to earn what they are going to keep, is just two days away (April 17, 2005). Canadians can also calculate their own Personal Tax Freedom Day. Sorry, my Google-fu was not strong enough to unearth a US version.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Move over Don Pardo

Slate has a really fascinating article on the men and women who do commercial voice-over work, and the changes happening within the industry (for example, more celebrities lending their voices - Jeff Daniels for Duracell, Gene Hackman for Lowe's, Julia Roberts for AOL, and more emphasis on "real people" voices instead of the old-school "Voice of God" baritone announcer-types).

Lots of sample clips and amusing voice descriptions ("Versatile voice: warm authority to intimate seduction to caring "real person". Upscale sophisticate and perky best friend also part of the mix.", "Specialty Voice Types - Dry wit, Big Announcer, Dripping sarcasm, Slow serious") at Voiceovers Unlimited as well as, two voice talent agencies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Five bucks, five bucks, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when it comes to you?

Best Buy admits, in so many words, that rebate offers suck, and will begin phasing them out over the next two years. The author also relates his tales of rebate woe involving a TiVo, and reveals THE QUESTION you need to ask when customer service is giving you the runaround.

On the other hand, this guy seems pretty excited about the whole process.

Zip it, zip it good

Understanding the sometimes cryptic Zippy The Pinhead comic strip in 6 easy lessons   (via J-Walk)

Star of P.T. Barnum's "What-Is-It?" attraction: Zip The Pinhead

Schlitzie The Pinhead


Artist James Mundie collects and creates reproductions of sideshow and circus artifacts

Thursday, April 07, 2005

So all you fly mothers, get on out there and dance


This video for DJ Format and crew's "3 Feet Deep" is done in the guise of a Dance Dance Revolution game, and it may just be the. Best. Video. Ever.

(via Metafilter)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Open up and say 'Moooo!'

What's that? You say you just got out of veterinary school and on the first day you opened your new practice in the rolling countryside of Scotland you got a call from Old Farmer MacCready saying that his Number One milkcow has an intestinal blockage, and that's the one day you missed in veterinary school because you went out the night before to drown your sorrows after Scotland's devastating 2-1 loss against Romania? Is that what your problem is? Well, is it bunky?

Well, fret not my bovine-rectum-examinationally-challenged friend! Just grab a handful of... experience using the U. of Glasgow's bovine rectal palpation simulator. We truly are living in a Golden Age..

As they say, a picture's worth a thousand words.


(via Boing Boing)

You call it corn smut. We call it nasty.

A new low edition of Steve, Don't Eat It! where he enjoys the Mexican delicacy Cuitlacoche a/k/a Corn Smut, a black fungus that infects corn fields, making the kernels bulbous as they swell up with spores. Yeah, that's right. Infected corn.

Seriously, would you eat something that looked like this?


Mmm! Who's hungry?

You can still get one. They're just not two bits anymore.


This one's just for us guys out there.

How to get that perfect shave

I've used disposable razors and foam out of the can my whole life, but reading this really makes we want to give the old double-edged cartridge blade a try. But don't even start with me on straight razors. Those things give me the willies...

Further shaving links:
PodShave - The ultimate iPod mod! (check out the dates in this article)

From the March/April 1972 Mother Earth News:
How to Use a Straight Razor -*shudder*-

Monday, April 04, 2005

The catalog comes in a plain brown wrapper

Despite what you may think, it's perfectly safe to send Grandma over to

And although Ingleside Vineyards has a motto of "When it is time for something special", their URL of does not exactly inspire a ton of confidence. Nor do I want the folks at visiting my house anytime soon.

Cut me, Mick!

Alrightalrightalright... I admit it. Having never seen the original Rocky, I didn't recognize the reference when someone told me they were naming their new blog "Cut me, Mick!". All I could think was maybe it was some kind of Rolling Stones sado-masochistic thing. Obviously I was a bit off the mark.

In an effort to bone up on my pugilistic chops, I visited the Rocky soundboard (click on the Play This Game link there). Oh and, hey, if it's so famous a line, where the heck is it on this soundboard? Huh, smart guy?!

For those of you Teeming Millions out there who have seen, lived, loved and cherished each individual everlovin' frame of the Rocky franchise, I'm betting you haven't seen whatever the hell this is.


Time's a-wastin'

And here's why...

Defend Your Stronghold, which is quite similar to Defend Your Castle. In both you are pushing back wave after wave of stick-figure fury.

In other Doppelganger-type games, Nevashut is similar to Subservient Chicken. Type in commands for Sanjeevs. Entertain him enough and he'll give you one of his "special" Pringles canisters. For the impatient and/or the cheaters, here is a list of all the words that he will respond to.

Finally, draw a pig and learn what kind of personality you have. (via Sarcasmo)

Couldn't they just maybe brew up some Folger's or something?

Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Came down upon her head.
Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Made sure that she was dead.

The Beatles - "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"

Snopes explores the validity of the legend that part of the process of determining that a Pope has died and is not merely sleeping calls for him to be tapped on the forehead with a silver hammer.

(thanks, Tim "Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em" Jablonski!)

Friday, April 01, 2005

Wing Sings

Whether she's belting out Dancing Queen or I Want to Hold Your Hand, there's only one Wing. Thank God. And all this time we thought it was Adam Sandler who couldn't carry a tune.

PS. I think I just discovered my new wingtone, er... ringtone.

(via Boing Boing)

Chad rerun

I posted this quite a while ago, but considering the date today, it's worth taking a second look at Chad, the Cross-Country Googler Prank.

It's not just a bad browser anymore

IE also stands for Improv Everywhere, an improv group in New York that does public performances that are a cross between Punk'd, Candid Camera and Whose Line Is It Anyway?

New Cheerios explores whether in a taste test between two identical substances, will people still have a preference?

The Amazing Stuntmen risk their lives, so you don't have to!

Best Gig Ever gives an ego boost to the up-and-coming band Ghosts of Pasha

True dat

Lisa:        Dad, I think that's pretty spurious.
Homer:  Well, thank you, honey.

The Simpsons -- Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment

Amazing-But-True Facts to know and share! Here are but a few:

·Molecularly speaking, water is actually much drier than sand.

·In an effort to improve the nutritional value of its "Shamrock shakes," McDonald's colors them with broccoli extract.

·The volume of water that the Giant Sequoia tree consumes in a 24-hour period contains enough suspended minerals to pave 17.3 feet of a 4-lane concrete freeway.

·If the current trend continues, by the year 2215 midgets will outnumber "normal-sized" people.

·Winston Churchill was born with a third nipple, which he removed himself with nail-clippers at the age of 14.