Sunday, December 30, 2007

Flash that 'stache, it's got panache!

The American Mustache Institute, that venerable organization (so they say), is asking you to vote on which four mustache-wearin' historical figures should be gracing the proposed Mount 'Stachemore. Get in there! Vote early! Vote often! (via J-Walk)

While they have some good candidates on the ballot (see a portion of the ballot above), it could be a little more exhaustive. Sure there's the shoo-in Burt Reynolds, but where's...

John Oates?

Freddie Mercury?

Vincent Price?

Ned Flan-diddly-anders?

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Chrisnukkwaanzivus!

No matter what you choose (or choose not, young Jedi) to celebrate near the end of December on any given year, I hope you have (or had) fun while doing it (if you did anything at all). I think I just wore out the parentheses keys on this keyboard.

The Upside-Down Christmas Tree (more room for presents!) and other strange Christmas trees.

Happy Festivus, from the rest of us! Official Aluminum Festivus poles are manufactured in Wisconsin in the good old US of A! Buy your own, or just witness how a little Festivus miracle goes into each and every 6-foot aluminum pole with these behind-the-scenes vids.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shake Your Rump to the Funk

Another nifty plaything brought to my attention from the industrious game-testing drones at Jay Is Games is the Tony-b Machine. Half beatbox, half webtoy, you can play by using either your mouse or keyboard. Within a minute you're sounding like a club DJ pro. When you get tired of mixin' your own funky-fresh beats, click on "Recordings" and see what others have come up with, or record and submit your own stuff.

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I wanna be a cylinder jockey!

"Simmons! Come here and pull my cylinder!"
Edison in a rare moment of joviality June, 1877

Wayyyyy back before Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, CDs, LPs, 45s and even 78RPM records, people used to buy music (and the occasional speech) on phonograph cylinders.

The original cylinders mass marketed in the 1880s were made of wax and were sold and stored in cardboard tubes to at least partially protect the product. Different formulations using harder and more durable types of wax appeared over the next two decades until in 1906 the Indestructible Record Company began mass marketing cylinder records made of celluloid, an early hard plastic, that would not break if dropped and could be played thousands of times without wearing out.

An interesting history of the phonograph cylinder from its invention by Thomas Edison in 1877 to its final days (Dictaphone finally ended production in 1947).

The cylinder might be down, but it's not totally out. You can email a sound file or send a CD to Poppy Records, and for a mere £15, they will make your own custom wax cylinder!

A whole passel 'o' Christmas MP3s on wax cylinder 1900's-1930's.

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You're gonna go places, kid

Take the Traveler IQ Challenge by clicking as close as you can to the actual location of various spots around the globe. But don't dawdle, you only get 10 seconds per location.

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Have you any idea what a lord a-leaping is going for these days?!

A capella group Straight No Chaser singing their version of 12 Days of Christmas, which turns out not quite how you might expect.

The 23rd Annual PNC Christmas Price Index shows that the cost of giving the gifts from 12 Days of Christmas is up to $19,507, a 3.1% increase over last year. Blame rests on the rising cost of gold rings, food (calling birds, French Hens and pear trees are all up) plus the minimum raise wage hikes, making maids a-milking a bit pricier. The scrolling stock ticker and the graphs are a nice touch...

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Give 5 to The Jackson Five, Pizzicato Five, MC5...

The premise for Dear Rockers is pretty simple:
1. Pick a musician whose music you downloaded, borrowed or otherwise acquired without paying. Make sure it’s an artist who you really like.
2. Write them a letter telling them why you love their music, and include five bucks in cash. (Why five bucks?) If you’re feeling crafty, make them a collage or otherwise decorate your letter.
3. Scan or photograph your letter and submit it to We’ll share it with the world.
4. Find your artist’s mailing address. Visit this page for help finding addresses, and send off the letter and the five bucks.
5. Enjoy your new-found musical karma, and keep on rockin’.
(via In4mador!)

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World of Wirecraft

The deceptively simple yet fiendishly addictive Vector Runner has you controlling a simple little blue cube with your left and right arrow keys, dodging wire-frame obstacles and picking up powerups. (via Jay Is Games)

Old-skool arcade gamers (such as the author) may flash back to the early 80's when vector games such as Tempest and Battlezone were vying for your quarters. You can still play 'em, in fact, since Atari has them available in a free online format, though it does lose a little something ported to the small screen.

Online Tempest

Online Battlezone

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Zombies and cheaters and waiters (oh my!)

These are photos of one Russian online community, whose members enjoy making some staged photos with a creepy plot. Here are some of their recent topics:

A Cheating Wife: You need to make a photo of a man, “a lover”, hanging outside the real window. The window should be not lower than a 3rd story of a multi-storied building. “A husband” should lean out from another window with a gun, aiming at “the lover”. From yet another window “the cheating wife” should look out in despair.”

The Waiter: A man dressed like a water should crawl out of a refuse chute in some multi-storied building, right from the disposal opening. He should hold a tray with some servings and a towel in another hand”

A Zombie: A man, rolled up in bandages should crawl on his stomach at a pedestrian crossing. He should have a knife sticking out of his back. Another guy should chase him with a working chainsaw”

The members of this community live in different Russian cities, they make the photos in their own neighborhoods, right in the middle of the day while sudden passers-by watching them doing this stuff.

More pics of crazy Russian goings-on here. (via Reddit)

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Finally, Limp Bizkit is getting some competition! At least in the Stupid Band Name department, they are...

You practice your guitar-slinging chops for years. You write epic songs powerful enough to rock your audience's collective face clean off. But you name just one band "Steaming Wolf Penis" and suddenly everyone's a critic.

The Worst Band Names of '07

See also:
The 25 Most Ridiculous Band Names in Rock History

The Worst Band Names Ever

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Where's WALL-E?

Pixar (Toy Story, A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, Cars, etc.) likes to insert subtle in-jokes and references to previous Pixar films. Did you know, for example, that the beat-up Pizza Planet Toyota delivery truck as seen above is in every Pixar movie somewhere? Here's a partial list, including the blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to their upcoming release, WALL-E that's hidden in the special features section of the Ratatouille DVD.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ho Ho Ho, JoCoVideo

Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime! (kudos to Dave "Save Some Soylent Green For Me!" P. for finding this. I'll make sure to but in a good word with the robot overlords. Err, I mean, "protectors".) More great Jonathan Coulton songs can be had, often for the low, low price of free at

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If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
- Homer Simpson, imparting some non-inspiration to Bart and Lisa.

A couple of days ago I posted about the expendable Star Trek character from the security team usually referred to simply as a Redshirt, who usually beams down with the regulars in the cast to some strange planet, only to buy the farm within the next few minutes.

Tonight, I happened to find these great Star Trek Inspirational Posters, which included a nod to Redshirt Guy. If you can't quite make out the text, it says, "Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Ensign Ricky are beaming down to the planet. Guess who's not coming back."

If you like those, you might also like the their more famous cousin, Demotivational Posters.

While I don't think these are "official" Demotivational posters, but rather user-created ones, they are still pretty funny nonetheless. Top 40 Demotivational Posters. This gem reads, "Hydration: The key to marathon training".

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

We're gonna need a bigger hose...

During the drought, it's important for firefighters to find new ways to conserve water, I guess.

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Left! Left! Right! Uppercut! Checkmate!


Some things just belong together. Chocolate and peanut butter. McCartney and Lennon. Shave and a haircut (two bits!). Chess and boxing.

From the World Chess Boxing Organization's FAQ

So how does chessboxing work?

Chessboxers go through alternating four-minute long rounds of chess and three-minute boxing rounds with a one-minute break in between. A maximum total of 11 rounds are fought out—six rounds of chess and five rounds of boxing...
(via Strange Games)

They do not appear to be kidding. Witness this gripping footage from the Chessboxing World Championship below:

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Better Dead Than Red

Guy Fleegman: I changed my mind. I wanna go back.
Sir Alexander Dane: After the fuss you made about getting left behind?
Guy Fleegman: Yeah, but that's when I thought I was the crewman that stays on the ship, and something is up there, and it kills me. But now I'm thinking I'm the guy who gets killed by some monster five minutes after we land on the planet.
Jason Nesmith: You're not gonna die on the planet, Guy.
Guy Fleegman: I'm not? Then what's my last name?
Jason Nesmith: It's, uh, uh - -I don't know.
Guy Fleegman: Nobody knows. Do you know why? Because my character isn't important enough for a last name, because I'm gonna die five minutes in.
Gwen DeMarco: Guy, you have a last name.
Guy Fleegman: DO I? DO I? For all you know, I'm "Crewman Number Six"! Mommy... mommy...
Sir Alexander Dane: Are we there yet?

- Guy (Fleegman), the "Red Shirt" character on Galaxy Quest, realizing his true purpose

Star Trek's generic, nameless, interchangeable red-shirted security officers were usually the first to buy it when the landing team beamed down to some hostile new planet, as it wouldn't make much business sense for the producers to kill off the stars of the show. Wikipedia explains it all. (via The Presurfer)

What goes on in the mind of one of those unfortunate crimson-clad dead men walking? Maybe something along the lines of this: Redshirt Blues

Got the Thinkgeek catalog in the mail the other day, and Mrs. Captnkurt and I cracked up when we saw this: Oh this is so under the Christmas tree this year!

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Call him The Dude, His Dudeness, or El Duderino, if you're not into the whole brevity thing...

The Dude abides. And has a new book, too. (via Growabrain)

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The A-List

There are some interesting lists at The List Universe. Here a but a few:

The Top 10 Worst Engineering Disasters. Anyone remember Skylab?

25 English Language Oddities. Did you know “Forty” is the only number which has its letters in alphabetical order, and “One” is the only number with its letters in reverse alphabetical order?

10 Bizarre Mental Disorders. You may have heard of Stockholm Syndrome, but did you know about Capgras Delusion? Thought not... (via Cosmic Watercooler)

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