Thursday, May 28, 2009

Complete time waster, but fun

There's a Facebook game where you create you own rock band album cover using random image and word searches in Wikipedia.

Here's a website that does it for you. Random image for album cover, random band name, random album title.

Also random track lists. AND it generates it as a jewel box CD insert, so you can make your own CD.

I don't know.
But you CAN, and THAT'S what's important!

sample track list

  1. Langerringen
  2. Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
  3. Four Minute Warning (song)
  4. Triante
  5. Broad-eared Bat
  6. Williams Township
  7. Ashimori Station
  8. Trees Cry for Rain
  9. House demolition
  10. Environment minister
  11. Ufology
  12. Rulo Rail Bridge
  13. Gotham Road
  14. Nauta
  15. Lambada (disambiguation)

Fun with your GI Joe Action Figures

i must be getting old;_ylt=Am6xc6IzgwEvEdeLi9RuPjFsaMYA

Yahoo news photos

Speller Alex J. Clifton Wells, 13, of San Diego, California, participates in Round II of the 2009 National Spelling Bee in Washington May 27, 2009


"Posture. Pee-Oh-Ess-Tea-You-Are-Ee."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nigel does a video

Check out the video that's on this page:
The video itself isn't the point of this email; it's the volume slider on the embedded video.
The volume starts at zero, and goes up to eleven.

Hannity, you're next...

A Right-wing radio show host agreed to get waterboarded... to show it's not torture.
After 6 seconds, he changed his mind.

Tuscan Whole Milk: Customer reviews at Amazon

from my friend Brian:

Check out the helpful customer reviews of Tuscan Whole Milk.

They include short stories, poems, scholarly wine snob analysis, etc

Sunday, May 24, 2009

StarTrek fans will understand

Learn to swear like the feckin' oirish

Welcome to Irish Slang, for all your lingo and swearing needs.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Star Trek Obama poster

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Reply to All" means ALL

 "Angry Professor" blog entry for May 15th

"Geniuses in the registrar's office decided that all 5,000 faculty at LSU needed to be added to an unmoderated listserv.
Yes, you read that correctly: an unmoderated listserv. We may never understand how the office arrived at this decision, especially in consideration of the fact (announced proudly on the listserv when it sent its first broadcast this morning) that the listserv would be used infrequently to make general announcements (which we already get through the usual university e-mail broadcast system used by, yes, the registrar).
Every single one of 5,000 faculty members has now received several hundred messages containing short little phrases like "sign me up!" later followed by "remove me from this list" and much later by "remove me from this goddamn list you fucking idiots!" (I saved that last one, and I keep rereading it because it makes me happy.) "


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Albert Monroe take 2

Duh, it would help if i attached the picture.
obviously, I'm no Einstein...

Albert Monroe ?

Look at the picture attached and you see Albert Einstein.
Now walk across the room.
Suddenly, he morphs into Marilyn Monroe. 

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memristors = instant boot-up !

Details of an entirely new kind of electronic device, which could make chips smaller and far more efficient, have been outlined by scientists.

  The new components, described by scientists at Hewlett-Packard, are known as "memristors".
Memristors were first proposed in 1971 by Professor Leon Chua, a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.


They are the "fourth" basic building block of circuits, after capacitors, resistors and inductors.

look, i have a blog!
oh, stop yawning...



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"Nurse! Scalpel... forceps... DeWalt power drill..."

The two lessons to be learned?
1) Always wear a helmet.
2) Keep your drill battery fully charged.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Enough already with the search engines

 Move over Google and Wolfram Alpha, there's yet another interesting search engine on the web.
It's a search engine that combines a varitey of feeds into a single page.
Search for "Abe Vigoda"
It'll give you quick tidbits (With hangdog face and rumpled suits, actor Abe Vigoda was a hit as Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the 1970's TV sitcom Barney Miller)
Also an image gallery, thumbnail links to YouTube videos and movie trailers with Abe, a few top search results from Google. 
Also news, blogs and conversations gleaned from the web ("Yes, Virginia, Abe is still alive."), a link to a biography, and even related topics (e.g., a list of other actors in Barney Miller, a list of other famous American Jews, a list of other famous New Yorkers...)
Hey, it's not MY fault you're not getting any work done.
I just call 'em like I see 'em.
Don't delete the messenger.

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more on Wolfram-Alpha

 more on Wolfram-Alpha Search Engine

I put in "Bob" and specified "a given name"
it gave me:
  • the latest info available for the rank popularity of the name "bob"
  • a graph showing the percent of the US population named "Bob" since 1880
  • and a graph showing the estimated age distribution for people named "Bob" (with a huge peak at my age. )

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Angels and Demons: Facts and Fiction

Dan Brown's book Angels and Demons is a detective story about a secret society that wants to destroy the Vatican using an antimatter bomb. In the book, the antimatter is stolen from CERN
CERN has a website with a FAQ that tries to set the scientific record straight on CERN and on Antimatter.

Does CERN exist?

Well, yes, it does.  You can see us to the left and slightly up from the centre of the city of Meyrin.

Does it consist of red brick buildings with white-frocked scientists running around carrying files?

No, that is rather far from reality; we have mostly white buildings made of concrete and the scientists wear everyday clothes and they mostly do not carry files.

Can we make antimatter bombs?

No. It would take billions of years to produce enough antimatter for a bomb having the same destructiveness as 'typical' hydrogen bombs, of which there exist more than ten thousand already.

Do you make antimatter as described in the book?

No. The production and storage of antimatter at CERN is not at all as described in the book: you cannot stand next to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and see it come out, especially since the LHC accelerator is not yet in operation. 


much more real science (and humor) at 


Monday, May 18, 2009

Wolfram-Alpha answers your questions !

Move over Google, there's a new search engine on the block.

Ask Wolfram Alpha a question, and it will give you an answer
for example, ask it 88 MPH

it will tell you:
 = 141.6 km/h
 = 76.47 knots
 = 3399 km/day
and it will also give you a comparison:
 = speed at which Marty McFly needed to drive the Delorean DMC-12 in order to time travel.
try "What is the meaning of life?" or "What is the speed of an unladen swallow?"
Math Geeks: ask it "P=NP"

  Here's a site with some Easter Eggs for Wolfram:


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Musical Maladies

"Guitar Nipple," P. Curtis, British Medical Journal, April 27, 1974, p. 226.


The author, in Winchester, UK explains:

I have recently seen three patients with traumatic mastitis of one breast. These were all girls aged between 8 and 10 and the mastitis consisted of a slightly inflamed cystic swelling about the base of the nipple. Questioning revealed that all three were learning to play the classical guitar, which requires close attention to the position of the instrument in relation to the body. In each case a full-sized guitar was used and the edge of the soundbox pressed against the nipple. Two of the patients were right-handed and consequently had a right-sided mastitis while the third was left-handed with a left-sided mastitis. When the guitar playing was stopped the mastitis subsided spontaneously.




"Cello Scrotum," J.M. Murphy, British Medical Journal, May 11, 1974, p. 335.


The author, in Chalford, Gloucester, U.K., explains:

Though I have not come across 'guitar nipple' as reported by Dr. P. Curtis (27 April, p. 226), I did once come across a case of 'cello scrotum' caused by irritation from the body of the cello. The patient in question was a professional musician and played in rehearsal, practice, or concert for several hours each day.





"'Cello Scrotum' Questioned," Philip E. Shapiro, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 24, no. 4, April 1991, p. 665.


The author, at Yale University, explains:

I question the accuracy of the information under the designation of "cello scrotum." The authors cite just one case, which is not their own. That case consists of a brief (9-line) letter to the editor in which the author states that a professional cellist had "cello scrotum" caused by "irritation from the body of the cello." I find this a bit puzzling. When the cello is held in typical playing position, the body of the instrument is not near the scrotum. Contact of the body of the cello with the scrotum would require an extremely awkward playing position, which I have never seen a playing cellist assume.




"Cello Scrotum Confession," Elaine Murphy and John M. Murphy, British Medical Journal, January 27, 2009, p. 288. (Thanks to Caroline Richmond and Kenneth Mackenzie for bringing this to our attention.)


The authors, the former at the House of Lords in London, the latter at St Peter's Brewery in Bungay, Suffolk, U.K., explain:

Perhaps after 34 years it's time for us to confess that we invented cello scrotum. Reading Curtis's 1974 letter to the BMJ on guitar nipple, we thought it highly likely to be a spoof and decided to go one further by submitting a letter pretending to have noted a similar phenomenon in cellists, signed by the non-doctor one of us (JMM). Anyone who has ever watched a cello being played would realise the physical impossibility of our claim.





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Friday, May 15, 2009

Silent Woman Inn

 A few weekends ago, a member of our Revolutionary War Regiment and I visited the suttlers [merchants] in Fredericksburg, MD. 
 Many people were displaying their crafts; pottery, leatherwork, woodwork, all catering to your 18th century needs.
 One talented woodworker had a sign on display, featuring the Silent Woman Inn. [see attached image]

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: Now THAT'S an Amazon customer review

From my friend Brian:

Customer review of a book:

The review's a little long, but it's worth reading all of it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday George Lucas

George Walton Lucas, Jr. (born May 14, 1944)

"You have to have a thick enough skin to cope with criticism."
- George Lucas

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Venn Diagram of Truth


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One more from the Mercer Folkfest

Of course, what's a Revolutionay War event without the firing of muskets?  BOR-ING.
So we demonstrated how it's done (without loading the musket ball, of course.  Just black powder, which give a very satisfying bang.
Here's a picture of two of us just before we fire off a second round. (Yes, that's Yours Truly in there).
Note the little girl in pink that's in the foreground. She has her hands over her ears.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

6th Penna Regiment ; Children's Program



Last weekend, the 6th Penna Regiment (our Revolutionary War re-enactment group) set up camp on the Mercer Museum grounds for their annual Folkfest fair.
We run a children's program so that the little kids can parade around with wooden cutouts of muskets.
Two pictures attached. 
One shows a line of marching children attempting to carry their muskets which tower over them.
The other shows them practicing the bayonet charge. Judging from the look of glee on their faces, I think they like it.



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Seeing double

As if you didn't already waste enough time...

Bees on Cocaine (humor)



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Yes She Did !

 Seneca graduates from Wagner College on May 22 !

Monday, May 11, 2009

video: Death Star vs Enterprise

not much of a fight, really...

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It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a... jellyfish?"


AirJelly is the first indoor flight object with peristaltic drive. This new drive concept, with propulsion based on the principle of recoil, moves the jellyfish gently through the air.


video at


Check out the links to their other inventions too.

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Attention all Star Trek geeks. Oops, I mean "fans."

From a co-worker

Bob, we saw the new Star Trek movie today. It's very very good. They obviously spent a lot of time on the script.

But, there's a scene set in a bar where Kirk meets Uhura, and I swear the ugly old alien sitting between them is Tom Waits. Don't know if it's CGI or if it's actually Tom Waits in a latex mask, but it's definitely him. Here are two links to the clip:

My friend "artmaven" on the Tom Waits Fan Forums spotted this so credit her for the observation.

-- John

Friday, May 08, 2009

Make your own Obama poster

You've seen the iconic blue and red Obama poster with "Hope" or "Yes We Can" written large on the bottom.
You can make your own at
attached are some examples...

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

: How they run the bulls in New Orleans


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LOLcat du Jour

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Another Motivational Poster

Happy Cinco de Mayo

The Doylestown Folk Festival is this weekend

 The Doylestown Folk Festival is this weekend, and the 6th Penna Regiment (Revolutionary War Reenactors)  will have camp set up on the fairgrounds.
The women will be demonstrating the skills that were necessary in the late 1770's (cooking over open fire, spinning wool, churning butter, etc)...
...and the guys will be marching and drilling with our muskets. And firing, too!
Come out to see Cozy and me in our funny clothes!
 In addition to our historical reenactment group, the Fair will feature music, food, puppet shows and other activities for children, craft demonstrations, vendors, etc.
This weekend: Saturday May 9,  10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday May 10, 10 am to 5 pm
see  for more information

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Monday, May 04, 2009

zombie strain of swine flu outbreak in London

not from the BBC website:

Zombie strain of swine flu outbreak in London



Motivational Poster

quote of the day


Ask a deeply religious Christian if he'd rather live next to a bearded Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his house.  On the scale of prejudice, atheists don't seem so bad lately.

  - Scott Adams


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Friday, May 01, 2009

Swine Flu: Not Safe For Children


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Not what the medical illustrator had in mind


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