Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Now you see it...

Some nice close-up card work from Swedish magician Lennart Green. How does he do that?

How To Install Invisible Shelves

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What Color Is Your Noise?

Put the dishwasher in the bedroom? Maybe not as crazy of an idea as it first would seem, according to Ironic Sans:
It makes different sounds in different stages of the wash. Sometimes it’s mostly white noise. Sometimes it sounds like a babbling brook. Sometimes it’s constant, and sometimes it has rhythm like a mother’s heartbeat. But all of it is blissful.
 Personally, I would be all over this if it wouldn't be such a pain to drag dishes up and down the stairs between my second-floor bedroom and the first-floor kitchen. Maybe I'll just stick with running the fan for noise during the night.

The term most people are familiar with and think they understand the definition of is white noise, but there are other colors as well,  include pink noise and Brown noise (Brown noise, by the way, is not named for the color, but rather after Robert Brown, the discoverer of Brownian Motion, thus it is capitalized). There's also blue, grey, and purple noise, too. Click here to listen to some 10-second samples.

Each has specific properties that are, frankly, more than I can or want to learn about. Suffice it to say that white noise is a mix of all frequencies we humans can hear, and sounds pretty much like the static you hear when the TV is tuned to an off-air channel. Pink noise has some frequencies filtered out, and sounds a little lower-pitched. Brown noise has a most of the upper frequencies filtered out, giving it a waterfall- or thunder-ish kind of quality to it.

If dragging major appliances around the house sounds a little too labor-intensive, here are some fine web resources providing free ambient sounds of all kinds.

SimplyNoise Very basic. Click a button to play an unlimited stream of white, pink or Brown noise. Has a sleep timer to turn itself off after so long, and an oscillation feature to gradually vary the volume up and down continually.

Melatonin.com Aside from selling melatonin, has a few free mp3s of white noise, running creeks,  crickets, storms, etc. Length of sound file between 15-60 minutes.

RainyMood Simply click the big button and a 30-minute high-quality loop of gentle rain will max your chillaxin'.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Morning Jukebox

I've been liking the debut album from the Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells called "Treats". Here are a couple from there. Give 'em a listen. Hope you like loud.

Sleigh Bells - Tell 'Em

Sleigh Bells - Crown On The Ground

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Just remember, Monkey flings poop at Woman

I knew there was a way to game the Rock-Paper-Scissors system!

How To Always Win At Rock Paper Scissors

Bart's unbeatable strategy

The Big Bang Theory - Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock.

And if 5 choices (RPS5) is not enough variation for you, you can try your, umm, hand at an online version of RPS7, 9, 11, 15, or the brain-melting mother of all Rock Paper Scissors variants, RPS25, which includes, among other things, a sponge, a cockroach, dynamite and a nuke.

Still not hardcore enough for you? Get ready to have your brain melted by the ultimate (so far) in the genre: RPS-101. You can see the outcomes here (all 5,050 of them), or actually play against others as an app on Facebook, where it goes under the name RoshamBOOM!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good news, everyone!

You may not know Billy West on sight, but you've no doubt heard his voice. Voices, actually.

Not only does West perform the voices for many of the main characters in Futurama (Philip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, Richard Nixon's Head, etc), but you might also remember him as the voice behind both Ren and Stimpy on the cult 90s animated series The Ren and Stimpy Show, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in the 1996 Disney-Michael Jordan flick Space Jam, just to name a few.

Here is a fantastic Billy West interview on NPR's Fresh Air, where he talks about the inspirations for some of his characters, including vaudeville's Georgie Jessel and Larry Fine a/k/a "The Middle Stooge", Tuvan throat singing as it relates to Popeye's voice, the musicality of Yogi Bear and... and... and... !

Needless to say, I am a big Billy West fan. Clear off 28 minutes from your schedule and listen in. Good stuff. (via Boing Boing)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

This End Up

This man stacks eggs and makes amazing works of art. It's unclear what means he is using to manage such a delicate balancing act (perhaps he has a little help from our friend Mister Salt?) but the results are still extraordinary. (via Dunego.net)

Speaking of balancing random things...

Friday, July 09, 2010

You're not helping

If, say, your cat ran away and you need a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on or maybe just someone to make a Lost Cat flyer for you, then David Thorne should probably not be your first choice. (via The Best Article Every Day)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

"Elbow Room" ≠ "Room For Just One Elbow"

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
Yogi Berra

As temperatures soar in China this summer, the pool gets to be a leeeetle too popular of a destination. More at The Daily Mail.(via Neatorama)

If there are any Info Nation readers in China, could you please get to one of these pools and try a little Caddyshack prank? Please??

The subway cars in Japan often run at over 200% capacity during the morning and evening rush hours. For this reason the subway lines employ professional "pushers" (oshiya) who live up to their job title. Oshiya have been a feature in Japanese rain stations since the 1930s, so everyone is pretty much accustomed to it.

Monday, July 05, 2010

On everything but the upper lip

You ever have one of those moments when you turn the house upside-down looking for your sunglasses, only to discover they were on top of your head the whole time? Same thing. (via Amy Oops)

And the Worst Mustache Ever Award goes to...

For those who are afraid to commit to growing facial hair, but have no problem permanently marking their finger, it's... The Mustache Tattoo!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

It's noon, and I have two dislocated hips

There are a lot of great Monty Python sketches, but sadly, not a lot of great fashion accessories based upon Monty Python sketches. Sure, there was that Dead Parrot Ascot and the I'm A Lumberjack and I'm Okay Sachet and that horrible, horrible Cheese Shop Cologne. And suffice it to say the Every Sperm Is Sacred Pearl Necklace was... ill-conceived.

That's why I'm pleased to announce the arrival of the Ministry of Silly Walks Wristwatch. Guaranteed to look silly any time of the day (well, except around 6:30, I guess). (via Foolish Gadgets)

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