Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pennsylvania Guys

 I love a good parody!



   Pennsylvania Guys


NY Times: An Emmy for Rebuilding a Galaxy

 LOS ANGELES — Hundreds of Internet users remade "Star Wars: A New Hope" into a fan film last year, 15 seconds at a time. This month they all played a part in Emmy history.
The finished product, "
Star Wars Uncut," won an Emmy last week in a relatively new category, interactive media, heaping new attention onto a project that its producers call a "user-directed broadcast."  

Last fall he sliced "A New Hope" into 15-second scenes — 473 in all — and concocted a Web site where fans could sign up to recreate each scene.

All told, there were multiple submissions for each 15-second scene, a wild assortment of live-action, animation, Lego set-ups, stop-motion sequences and more.
 full @ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/arts/television/28uncut.html

Some fans re-created their 15-second scene with as much detail as they could muster. Another group didn't bother with props, or even with costumes. They wore name-tags that said "C3PO" and "R2D2." 
And there's a vignette in which the original footage was re-edited to create a moving love scene between two characters.
Watch a sample @  http://www.starwarsuncut.com/watch

Main Site: http://www.starwarsuncut.com/


Monday, August 30, 2010

More things to do with a Happy Meal

Corpor Esurit, or We All Deserve A Break Today  is a project by Brooklyn based artist Elizabeth Demaray that involves feeding a population of ants nothing but McDonald's Happy Meals for the duration of at least one month.
Commissioned by CEPA Gallery, this large-scale installation spans five exhibition rooms and showcases what may be the world's largest ant farm featuring a skyline of Buffalo for its tiny inhabitants to enjoy. 
They reportedly just mine the chicken out of McNuggets, leaving behind a breaded cave.

Says Demaray:
"I wondered—what sort of an impact is junk food having upon the vermin who must depend upon us for sustenance?"


We all know how much the English love their gardens

Prisoners at Foston Hall in Derbyshire, a female closed-category prison, have won the Windlesham Trophy for 2010, awarded for the best-kept prison garden in England and Wales.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy meals are here to stay... literally!

The Happy Meal Project:
Place a McDonalds burger and french fries on a plate.
Photograph it over time.
As of now, we're up to 137 days-- with no discernable change in appearance.

It's been a comfort to know that if I ate a Big Mac in my home town, then traveled 137 miles away, I could go to a different McDonald's, and eat the same Big Mac.

And know I know that 137 days later, I can still eat the same Big Mac


Friday, August 27, 2010

"Natural" vs "Artificial"

"Natural" Food:

Associated Press: 8/26/2010

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — Fruiti Pops, Inc. of Santa Fe Springs has recalled its mamey frozen fruit bars because of a possible link to a rare U.S. outbreak of typhoid fever.


"Artificial" Food:
The thirty-seven ingredients Twinkie eaters ingest:
Conclusion:  Eating a Twinkie isn't healthy, but it won't KILL YOU.

Ultraviolet light reveals how ancient Greek statues really looked

The Ancient Greeks had a unique sense of color  (and how we figured that out).
Amazing information on the original colors on Greek statues.
... and I thought my neckties from the 1970s were garish.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Adopt a Word

Each year the English language loses hundreds of words, just from people ceasing to use them.
This reality is unacceptable to the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary, who are asking
individuals to "adopt a word," whether it is "old words, wise words, hard-working words.
Words that once led meaningful lives but now lie unused, unloved and unwanted."
Meanwhile, 90% of written communication uses only 7,000 different words.
Participants in the word adoption program can either choose one of their own or be assigned a word.
Anyone who adopts a word promises to use it in everyday conversation or correspondence as often as possible.
Among the words that are available for adoption are:
·       Snollygoster: a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician
·       Molrowing: the act of making merry with prostitutes
·       Theomeny: the fury of God
·       Pudify: to cause to be embarrassed
·       Philargyrist: someone who loves money
·       Pamphagous: eating or consuming everything
·       Apanthropinization: withdrawal from human concerns or the human world
·       Agonyclite: member of a heretical sect that stood rather than kneeled
·       Scaevity: unluckiness
·       Quibbleism: the act of beating around the bush


Explaining Financial news in easy-to-understand terms

from the Motley Fool's website:

*  Housing boom now bigger bust than Dolly Parton's, though a lot more affordable and without the old lady smell.

 *  The market is once again dropping like Abe Vigoda's balls in a steam room and this time it's a result of existing home sales falling off a cliff steeper than Nanga Parbat's Rupal Flank or Jay Leno's chin. 

(The Rupal Flank of the Nanga Parbat in Pakistan is considered the highest cliff in the world)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On the Horns of a Dilemma

news item:
Wrong Direction on Stem Cells
A federal judge's huge overreach on federal support of embryonic stem cell research could deal a serious blow to medical science.


I wonder how FOX News will react to this.

One one hand, they're opposed to embryonic stem cell research.
On the other hand, isn't this a clear case of those "Activist Judges" they strongly oppose?

Archive of old Comic Book Ads from the 1940s - 1970s

Ant Farm !
Hot Wheels !
Plastic Monster Models !

Sell 'GRIT' and make $1 to $6 dollars weekly !

X-Ray Spex, Bald Wig, Secret Book Safe, Surprise Package !
and many more

With your host, Don Cornelius !


NY Times: Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime

Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime
Technology makes the tiniest windows of time entertaining, and potentially productive. But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas.
"Almost certainly, downtime lets the brain go over experiences it's had, solidify them and turn them into permanent long-term memories," said Loren Frank, assistant professor in the department of physiology at the university, where he specializes in learning and memory. He said he believed that when the brain was constantly stimulated, "you prevent this learning process."
At the University of Michigan, a study found that people learned significantly better after a walk in nature than after a walk in a dense urban environment, suggesting that processing a barrage of information leaves people fatigued.
This is so inspiring.
I'm going to take a walk in the woods, pitch a tent, and blog about it.


FCC's 1939 station identification regulations

Here's another fun one for you DJs out there:
the FCC's 1939 station identification regulations — as sung by Cary Grant

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

FW: Daily Online Examiner: Fake-Profile Bill Could Squelch Parodists

from my friend Mitch

Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 17:32:17 -0400
Subject: Daily Online Examiner: Fake-Profile Bill Could Squelch Parodists
From: MediaPost Publications news@mediapost.com

By Wendy Davis, Monday, August 23, 2010 SUBSCRIBE  |  RSS   |  REPLY TO EDITOR  |  MEDIAPOST 

Fake-Profile Bill Could Squelch Parodists
In what appears to be an effort to tackle online harassment, the California legislature has passed a bill that makes it illegal to impersonate someone else on the Web. The problem is, the measure also could ensnare people who create parodies or otherwise mock corporations online. 

Specifically, the statute, now awaiting signature by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, outlaws the use of the Web or other electronic means to impersonate an "actual person," if the purpose is to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud another. People who violate the statute can face up to one year in jail as well as liability in civil lawsuits. 

The law would obviously apply when people create fake profiles to intentionally hurt private individuals -- as happened when the ex-boyfriend of Cecelia Barnes posted a phony dating profile of her on Yahoo, complete with her phone number, address and nude photos. (Notably, however, the measure wouldn't apply when people create fake fictional profiles as happened in the Megan Meier tragedy. In that case, 13-year-old Megan killed herself after receiving a hurtful message from other teens who had created a phony profile of a boy, "Josh," who didn't actually exist.) 

But the bill also appears to apply to people who create online parodies of large corporations -- as occurred recently when the Yes Men created a fake U.S. Chamber of Commerce Web site. 

Even though the language of the law refers to an "actual person," in California a corporation can be considered a person, says Corynne McSherry, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which opposes the bill. 

And, while criminal prosecutors aren't likely to rush into court against online parodists, individuals who are the target of such sites might be all too happy to have additional leverage against the creators. "People who are made fun of often don't have a sense of humor about it, and are all too willing to take advantage of any recourse they have," McSherry says. 

Of course, even if the law is signed, the First Amendment still would protect parodists and others who create fake sites to criticize companies. Still, few people want to be dragged into a time-consuming -- and potentially expensive -- courtroom battle about whether their Web posts are lawful. 

This commentary is insightful. I recommend it to others. 

Post your response to the public Daily Online Examiner blog. 

See what others are saying on the Daily Online Examiner blog. 
We welcome and appreciate forwarding of our newsletters in their entirety or in part with proper attribution. 
(c) 2010 MediaPost Communications, 1140 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001

Monday, August 23, 2010

Congratulations on your new little laptop !

Whether the stork dropped it down the chimney, or UPS delivered it to your door, or you picked it out at the Best Buys birthing center, you will love your little laptop.

Care and Feeding of Baby Laptops

Little baby laptops need to be fed often, but not an excessive amount.
Give then 25 Megabytes of data every 4 hours.
Most little laptops are content to suckle on the tip of a USB flash drive.

Friday, August 20, 2010

FW: [You will never see this again! Mars coming close]

It's August, and you've probably gotten that multi-forwarded email telling you how amazingly close the planet Mars will be this summer.
This Mars hoax ("Mars will appear as big as the moon!") has been widely circulated through the Internet since its first appearance during the summer of 2004.
Rather than point the sender to the Snopes.com article that explains it with pesky facts (http://www.snopes.com/science/astronomy/brightmars.asp),  a friend of mine has taken a different approach:
From: John  
Subject: Re: [You will never see this again! Mars coming close]
You are so right! We'll all be dead! It's now or never for the Martians; that big red death star is so close to Earth they'll never get a better chance to attack.

And we had better be darned ready when they come at us with their death rays blazing (picture from the last attack back in 1938 attached). I haven't seen the government make any preparations whatsoever for the imminent invasion and I am getting real concerned.
Washington is so caught up in this cockamamy terrorist war that I think they must all be Martians hiding the fact from us that we are about to get our asses kicked royally by helmet-headed aliens! I'm stocking up on enough Reeses dark chocolate peanut butter cups and shrimp and twinkies to last at least a year.
My freezer is connected to a power grid running off 1000 of those solar powered landscape lights (real cheap at WalMart). Twinkies are my backup of course because they'll last a year without refrigeration. I'll give the aliens about 6 mos after which they should all be dead from eating Big Macs until their heads explode. And if that doesn't kill them swine flu or mad cow disease or listening to Rush Limbaugh will.
Come to think of it, doesn't Khomeini kinda look like a Martian? or like Sean Connery nowadays, I don't know. Khomeini is probably an advance guard stirring things up. Not Sean, of course, he's cool. Anyway those kooks claiming 2012 is the end of the world are sure going to get one heck of a surprise. It's all coming together now. The Mel Gibson meltdown, variable weather patterns the forecasters can't predict, the iPhone4 problem, the uncanny taste of haggis (check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqQh60V48WI and see if THATs not a Martian!) - now all makes perfect sense. We are being played.
 We are all probably just one big sitcom right this moment on millions of Martian plasma TV's and they're laughing their asses off at us redecorating our homes with fuchia walls and avant-guarde graffiti that are soon going to be so much barbeque smoke. Well I for one am not going to stand still for it. I'm going to have another peanut butter cup. 

> ----- Original Subject: Mars - August 27th must see
> Get those telescopes out!
> Something to look forward to this summer.
> Mars
> The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!
> This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will
> culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history.
> The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's
> gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain
> that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may
> be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.
> The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589
> miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night
> sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide
> at a modest 75-power magnification.
> Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.
> Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east
> at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.
> By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at
> nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty
> convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history.
> So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively
> brighter and brighter throughout the month. Share this with your children and
> grandchildren.

"The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the guilty."

Young people may one day have to change their names in order to escape their previous online activity, Google boss Eric Schmidt has warned.


Mr Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal he feared they did not understand the consequences of having so much personal information about them online.
Schmidt said: "I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time... I mean we really have to think about these things as a society."
full @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11009700

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meta meta analysis ?

xkcd:  A webcomic of Romance, Sarcasm, Math and Language

Toby, Dave & Ian Explain XKCD

Jocelyn Explains Toby, Dave & Ian Explain XKCD

your smile for the day

News Item:
World Net Daily booted Ann Coulter from next month's "Taking America Back" conference because the conservative firebrand has elected to share her views with gay conservatives. Coulter is scheduled to speak at the GOProud conference next month.
"There is simply no room [at the WND conference] for compromisers," WND's editor-in-chief said. "Or for people who accept money from those determined to destroy the moral fabric required for self-governance and liberty."
And, in the comments section, the following was posted:
This is all too troubling. Something's up with Coulter lately. She hasn't really been active on the hate front. I don't like to admit it but she seems to be mellowing, and my nightmare is that I'm going to see her at a vegan co-op, wearing a hemp shirt and pushing a stroller with toddlers that she's minding for the afternoon while her lesbian neighbors get Reiki. She'll smile at me and then scold me about driving to the store when I could easily have reduced my carbon footprint by biking, but then she'll smile again after a pinky promise that I'll do my part to save the earth. And ... this is a frightening image to me. Soon, we'll be watching Al Gore's documentary together while looking over non-profits to volunteer time at. The horror. The horror.


Survey: One in Five Americans Believes Obama Is a Muslim

Nearly 20 percent of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that was conducted before the president made his comments concerning the construction o f a controversial Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero. That number has increased since Obama's inauguration in January. Only 34 percent of survey respondents identified the president—correctly—as a Christian.
Corollary survey:
One in Five Americans is an Idiot


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Feel old. Feel really old.

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List.
 It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. 
The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of  2014

Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992.
For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.


1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
3. "Go West, Young College Grad" has always implied "and don't stop until you get to Asia…and learn Chinese along the way."
4. Al Gore has always been animated.
5. Los Angelenos have always been trying to get along.
6. Buffy has always been meeting her obligations to hunt down Lothos and the other blood-suckers at Hemery High.
7. "Caramel macchiato" and "venti half-caf vanilla latte" have always been street corner lingo.
8. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.
9. Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall, but they have a better chance of running into Miley Cyrus's folks on Parents' Weekend.
10. A quarter of the class has at least one immigrant parent, and the immigration debate is not a big priority…unless it involves "real" aliens from another planet.
11. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.
12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.
13. Parents and teachers feared that Beavis and Butt-head might be the voice of a lost generation.
14. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.
15. Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.
16. Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.
17. Trading Chocolate the Moose for Patti the Platypus helped build their Beanie Baby collection.
18. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.
19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.
20. DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.
21. Woody Allen, whose heart has wanted what it wanted, has always been with Soon-Yi Previn.
22. Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.
23. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.
24. "Cop Killer" by rapper Ice-T has never been available on a recording.
25. Leno and Letterman have always been trading insults on opposing networks.
26. Unless they found one in their grandparents' closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.
27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
28. They've never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.
29. Reggie Jackson has always been enshrined in Cooperstown.
30. "Viewer Discretion" has always been an available warning on TV shows.
31. The first computer they probably touched was an Apple II; it is now in a museum.
32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.
33. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.
34. "Assisted Living" has always been replacing nursing homes, while Hospice has always been an alternative to hospitals.
35. Once they got through security, going to the airport has always resembled going to the mall.
36. Adhesive strips have always been available in varying skin tones.
37. Whatever their parents may have thought about the year they were born, Queen Elizabeth declared it an "Annus Horribilis."
38. Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
39. Pizza jockeys from Domino's have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.
40. There have always been HIV positive athletes in the Olympics.
41. American companies have always done business in Vietnam.
42. Potato has always ended in an "e" in New Jersey per vice presidential edict.
43. Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.
44. The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.
45. They have always had a chance to do community service with local and federal programs to earn money for college.
46. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.
47. Children have always been trying to divorce their parents.
48. Someone has always gotten married in space.
49. While they were babbling in strollers, there was already a female Poet Laureate of the United States.
50. Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.
51.  Food has always been irradiated.
52. There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.
53. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn't he? 
54. The historic bridge at Mostar in Bosnia has always been a copy.
55. Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.
56. They may have assumed that parents' complaints about Black Monday had to do with punk rockers from L.A., not Wall Street.
57. A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife. 
58. Beethoven has always been a dog.
59. By the time their folks might have noticed Coca Cola's new Tab Clear, it was gone.
60. Walmart has never sold handguns over the counter in the lower 48.
61. Presidential appointees have always been required to be more precise about paying their nannies' withholding tax, or else.
62. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine. 
63. Their parents' favorite TV sitcoms have always been showing up as movies.
64. The U.S, Canada, and Mexico have always agreed to trade freely.
65. They first met Michelangelo when he was just a computer virus.
66. Galileo is forgiven and welcome back into the Roman Catholic Church.
67. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.
68. They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.
69. The Post Office has always been going broke.
70. The artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg has always been rapping.
71. The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.
72. One way or another, "It's the economy, stupid" and always has been.
73. Silicone-gel breast implants have always been regulated.
74. They've always been able to blast off with the Sci-Fi Channel.
75. Honda has always been a major competitor on Memorial Day at Indianapolis.



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Book of Murray (from the author of Haiku for Jews)

> Subject: The Book of Murray
> To: bob
> Dear Bob,
> Hope all is well. It's been a while since we last e-mailed. I just wanted
> you to know that my new book, THE BOOK OF MURRAY: The Life, Teachings and
> Kvetching of the Lost Prophet, is now available for pre-orders.
> This remarkable Biblical narrative tells the story of the Old Testament's
> most unlikely prophet, Murray, son of Irving, of the Tribe of Levi (Relaxed
> Fit). As ancient scrolls go, I think it's the best one I've written. Hope
> you like it. You can read excerpts at:
> http://www.extremely.com/
> It's on Amazon here:
> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0307453243/theextremelrefor
> THE BOOK OF MURRAY will be in bookstores soon, in time for the Jewish High
> Holidays. It's also an excellent Hanukkah gift.
> Please forward this to anyone who might be interested or to anyone named
> Murray.
> Best,
> David
> --
> David M. Bader
> http://www.extremely.com
> The Life, Teachings and Kvetching of the Lost Prophet
> Harmony Books - August 24, 2010
> ISBN: 978-0307453242

Monday, August 16, 2010

NY Times: Storied Trove of 1930s Jazz Is Acquired by Museum

NY Times:
For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of "the Savory Collection." Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory, it was known to include extended live performances by some of the most honored names in jazz — but only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique.
After 70 years that wait has now ended. This year the National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the entire set of nearly 1,000 discs, made at the height of the swing era, and has begun digitizing recordings of inspired performances by Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Bunny Berigan, Harry James and others that had been thought to be lost forever.
Some of these remarkable long-form performances simply could not be captured by the standard recording technology of the time. (Mr. Savory used a different format.) The Savory collection also contains examples of underappreciated musicians playing at peak creative levels not heard anywhere else, putting them in a new light for jazz fans and scholars.
full @ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/arts/music/17jazz.htm

This is Mr. Cottontail, and this is Rosemary.



FB SCAM: "Dislike" button http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10987725

 Facebook users are being targeted in a scam that offers them a chance to install a "dislike" button.


The scam tricks users into allowing a rogue application to access their profile page, which then posts spam messages.
It also attempts to lure people into completing an online survey, for which the scammers are paid money.
The social network already offers a "like" button that allows people to rate other user's comments and posts.
Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos said it was the latest in a series of "survey scams" that included links to a video purporting to show an Anaconda vomiting up a hippo.
"One thing we commonly see is that the message starts 'OMG, shocking video'," he said.
"And they appear to come from your Facebook friend, giving it a ringing endorsement."
The dislike button scam prompts people to download an application with the message: "Download the official DISLIKE button now."
When users click on the link it prompts them to install a rogue application, which does not function as a dislike button.
Once a user has given it permission to access their profile, it updates the user's page with a link and a message: "I just got the dislike button, so now I can dislike all of your dumb posts lol!!!"

Friday, August 13, 2010

Life-size Mousetrap - a giant 25 TON Rube Goldberg machine

 Life-size Mousetrap
The Life Size Mousetrap is the classic board game miniature turned into a life-size spectacle! 
"A colorful assemblage of kinetic sculptures fantastically handcrafted into a giant 25 TON Rube Goldberg  machine!"
This classic contraption comes to life with a vaudevillian style road show that features a pair of tap-dancing mice and live music by Esmerelda Strange!
Also on crew are well dressed "Clown engineers"  who endeavor to achieve a chain reaction using Newtonian physics and bowling balls! 
The action culminates with the spectacular dropping of a 2 TON bank safe from a 30' crane!



Happy Left Hander's Day !

Left-Handers' Day 2009  -  Thursday August 13th

Celebrate your right to be left-handed
Left-Handers' Day Posters
 (attachment is one such poster)
And for all your left-handed needs, the Anything Left Handed Shop:


: You Can't Make This Stuff Up

from my friend John:

Harvard University psychologist Marc Hauser, who studies the evolutionary roots of morality, is under investigation for research misconduct.







Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Be careful how you crop a photo

Screen capture from  http://www.thinkstockphotos.com/

   (the woman with the wine glass certainly does look pleasantly surprised to see it !)


The ThinkGeek Annoy-a-tron

 Devious hide and seek game
  • Tiny device produces six annoying noises
  • Turn it on, hide it, and watch the fun begin
  • The Annoy-a-tron takes one CR2032 battery (included) and measures approximately: 2.5" x 1.25" x 0.3".
  • It will run for 3 to 4 weeks on a single battery.

The Annoy-a-tron generates a short (but very annoying, hence the name) beep every few minutes. Your unsuspecting target will have a hard time 'timing' the location of the sound because the beeps will vary in intervals ranging from 2 to 8 minutes.
The 2kHz sound is generically annoying enough, but if you really really want to aggravate somebody, select the 12 kHz sound.
Trust us.

Yes, we realize you could buy a dozen and hide them all inside someone's office (oh, did we say that out loud?)

Not convinced of the Annoy-a-tron's evil powers?
Read this letter we received from a satisfied customer and be enlightened:

Dear friends at thinkgeek.com,  


I recently acquired the "Annoy-A-Tron" from your web site. Actually, I acquired two, thinking that perhaps two devices might be necessary to truly splinter the minds of my friends and co-workers. How woefully did I underestimate this powerful tool.


I have watched this simple device transform an (until-now) mild-mannered colleague into a spitting, cussing, paranoid lunatic.


He has ordered all of the staff he supervises (not a small number) to locate the source of the dread beeping before doing anything else (but since they are in on the prank, they haven't been much help). So he waits, white-knuckles gripping the edge of his desk, anticipating the next beep.


He has set a timer on his computer to track the duration between beeps. It hasn't been much help.


My favorite quote so far, nearly bursting that vein on his temple as he shouted it: "That beep has been F***ING with me for HOURS now."


He has called the facilities department to schedule a maintenance worker to investigate.


He speculates that "they" might be doing air-quality testing in the building. This beep must be some device in the ducts detecting dangerous levels of asbestos in the air. Or worse. Radon? Aerosolized mercury? Legionella spores?


The beep means something. What does the beep mean? Is it a warning? It sounds urgent, doesn't it? It's telling us to do something. But what? Replace a battery? Call the authorities? Evacuate the premises? Scrub ourselves with disinfectant and put on haz-mat suits and call our families to give them our tearful goodbyes?


I imagine that soon he will begin to take things apart. He will methodically dismantle all of the electrical devices in his office, creating an unusually precise metaphor for what is happening in his psyche.


I am reminded what a thin and fragile thread keeps us attached to sanity. Today, this tiny little device helped me break a co-worker's mind, and I thank you for the sinfully pleasurable schadenfreude.


My best to you,

Seattle, WA

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RE: Cheez Doodles creator Morrie Yohai dies


The death of the "Cheez Doodle Guy" reminded me of the passing of the "Ramen Noodle Guy"
The NY Times ran a fantastic and clever obit for him
It's worth reading in its entirety.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Uber-Geek status test

from my friend Mitch:

If you can understand this, then you are definitely a Geek:
"Why is this clearly "inferior" technology going to win? Well, as just one example, XMPP is way too complicated for any normal human to deploy. Whereas if you're reading this, you probably already have access to a regular HTTP web server that could talk to a Pushbutton hub. In fact, the only two backers I know who have worked extensively with XMPP are Brad Fitzpatrick and Arthur Bergman, who co-created Djabberd. And they are both excited about PubSubHubBub. Realistically, someone like Yahoo might try to do all of this, and inevitably one or two open source projects will try to lash together open implementations of each of these pieces to make a kind of FrankenWave application. There are probably already one or two teams working on the inevitable "Enterprise Wave Server" platforms as well, though I haven't heard about them myself. These efforts may succeed, but that doesn't mean they'll ever be robust enough that people will trust them for communicating on the web."


AT&T Discovers Nick Drake

from Stereogum.com

AT&T recently begun airing commercials featuring Nick Drake's "From The Morning" to advertise their nationwide cellular coverage.
It's iffy for two reasons:
Drake's song, from Pink Moon, is cut for length, of course, but also to match the commercial's editing.
Secondly, if you have AT&T, you know what their coverage is like: Enigmatic, tortured, and tragic
The use of Drake's songs in commercials — particularly Pink Moon's title track in a Volkswagen commercial (directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris), is partially responsible for many fans discovering, or rediscovering his music
Pink Moon in Volkswagen commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIOW9fLT9eY

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Quote of the Day (or is that "du jour" ? )

"How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?"
        - Charles De Gaulle


Friday, August 06, 2010

Rattlesnake. It's what's for dinner.

Snake Cakes
1 rattlesnake per person
Crab boil
1 egg
Salt & pepper
Green onion
2 tbsp. oil
Gut the rattlesnake and peel the skin off.
Cook in a crab boil (water + lemon + seed package for crab or shrimp).
Cool and peel off the strips of meat.
Chop and combine with egg to bind, salt and pepper and a bit of green onion.
Saute in oil until brown on both sides.
Serve with tartar sauce.




Wednesday, August 04, 2010

There's bacon, and there's BACON !

from my friend Paul

For the bacon-obsessed, a camp in Michigan has the cure

Monday, August 02, 2010

I wonder if his fire truck is #420 ?


If only this were true...