Interesting findings in art, technology, culture, and the ever-astonishing strangeness of the human condition. Updated (mostly) daily.
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:: Friday, June 28, 2002 ::
A swell retro prefab housing summary. Nicked from the always entertaining Sharpeworld.
If you think that spoon bending is a load of crap, maybe fork bending is more your style.
[It won't really work] Drilling down into Microsoft's Palladium strategy.
There are people who think they've come across a new type of insect, which they've nicknamed the 'flying rod'. Based on the still pictures, I'm naming it 'blowing hay'.
Strange Fish Identification Page Nope- this isn't a paleozoology resource page: it's for embarrassed fishermen who can't tell what in God's name it is that they just pulled up. Apparently, this guy offers some valuable advice. He IDed a Bighead Carp thats indigenous to Eastern China that was caught in the Missouri river.
In January, the SEC began creating web pages for fictional companies, ostensibly to teach a lesson to those who were easily lured into online investment scams. This page, describing McWhortle Industries, shows their handiwork.:: Thursday, June 27, 2002 ::
Rumors that Salon is heavily (~76M) in debt and in danger of shutdown. This would really be a loss. Salon has always contributed some of the most intelligent writing on the web.
Drab up that spruce interior: Get some brand, spanking new prison furnishings for that "ready to be searched" look. Amazingly, they still sell the striped jailbird one-piece as well.
What the ...
[W.W.T.D] Every time this guy opens his mouth, I like him more. The Onion's AVClub reposted a great interview with Mr. T. He's still fighting the good fight after all these years, looking out for kids like you and me, and God bless him for it. Read it, Murdock, you crazy fool, and not in an ironic way!
A few weeks ago I mentioned a PDF that was published to help x-boxers get under the hood. Now, the mod chips are here. Ironically, this could be the thing that helps the X-box take off. Or not.
Has anyone else noticed that Chet Baker looked like Ginger Baker? Dig: A/B.
Internet boom wreckage is being collected for the benefit of "future generations".
Stop the presses!!!! George W. today made the daring proclamation that the U.S. stock market is "not as strong as it should be." This probing and incisive commentary comes after Worldcom hit 9 cents, dragging the rest of the market down with it. Check the memo that was sent to employees this morning. Is CEO John Sidgmore a smooth cat, or what?! He mentions $3.055 billion worth of accounting errors like it was change that somehow dropped out of his pocket. He goes on to say they have "plenty of cash on hand". I bet you do, John! With a few odd billion flying into the wrong accounts, I'm sure your petty cash fund is pretty well stocked.:: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 ::
[I don't speak for the Doughboy. There's someone else here who does that] Ahh... Corporate branding politics. Watch the drones at Pillsbury squirm as an adman comes up with a spot that runs contrary to corporate policy dictating the Doughboy's m.o. Courtesy of Magnetbox.
Warchalking, "collaboratively creating a hobo-language for free wireless networking".:: Monday, June 24, 2002 ::
Enough with the hard news! Lets hear it for people who jam swords down their throats! They want respect!
[Anti-American tech bias charges] Are American citizen tech workers discriminated against during layoffs? I'm not even going to begin to speculate on the legitimacy of this one, but I've heard this complaint from every laid-off American engineer I know since things started getting bad, so I thought it was interesting that it finally made print. Typical complaints are that H1-Bs drastically undercut American salary and hourly consulting expectations, but Sun Microsystems may have taken a more explicit strategy in their layoff decisionmaking process.
In further Microsoft news, they've announced that they will no longer include Java in any Windows platform in less than two years. Sun is pissed.
This should cause some stir among Microsoft-watchers. Gates is planning to alter the fundamental architecture of their O/S technology by including a crypto-security chip that integrates with their proposed Palladium software O/S platform. Intel and AMD have already signed on.
Michigan legislature considered passing a measure to prohibit the procedure known as tongue-splitting. Tongue-splitters won this one, as the proposed law didn't pass, so go on ahead and get choppin'.:: Sunday, June 23, 2002 ::
Lipsynching is back, and this time it's art. Fisherspooner's (go there: killer flash) contention is that radio is dead, but it hasn't stopped advance CD sales as their stuff is available online. Another example of a single band doing business more creatively than the combined force of the major record labels.:: Saturday, June 22, 2002 ::
Astronomers say the universe is the color of a latte with extra milk.:: Friday, June 21, 2002 ::
Make your own surfboard this summer for just over a hundred bucks! Shaping, Material building costs. Even instructions for building a longboard in solid balsa
Roadsideamerica is a great resource for anyone who's going to do any driving this summer. Too much great stuff here to list.
Lawn mower racing.
Bikepics features tons of movies about motorcycle wrecks caught on film, as well as wheelies, stoppies, and dynos.
[Swiss cheese legislature] Soft money prohibited, except, of course, in some cases.:: Thursday, June 20, 2002 ::
George Bush announces a major relaxation of the Federal Clean Air act. There are unconfirmed reports that he proclaimed that "the air is clean enough already", while fanning fumes away from his face with wads of cash handed to him before the announcement.
A nice photo-essay about vans in NYC with a some samples of the everpresent crowbar-jimmy entry wounds. Courtesy of New Things.
[Shortwave numbers stations] Mysterious repeating number sequences broadcast since the early days of the cold war, and they're still going strong. Wilco samples them on their new album (as Milkowski and Murray did 2 years ago - Ha!) NPR Article, The Conet Project (including a 4 CD set). Spynumbers.com.
[Fucking up, Grande'-time!] Starbucks pulled their ad campaign mocking 9/11 (two giant twin tower-like Cool-ata (sp? I don't drink this crap) type cups being dive-bombed by dragonflies with the caption "Collapse into Cool!"). Hey-- Way to tap into the pro-terror Zeitgeist, Starbucks! I'm all for art immitating reality, but as a moneymaker, this pretty much sucks. Maybe they're trying to outdo the time they charged dust-covered rescue workers $130 for water.
[(Near) Death from Above] Whoa! An asteroid as big as a football field just missed our planet last Friday night! I wouldn't have been ready for that shit! Even more amazingly, my deep-space early warning sensors didn't pick this baby up. Metafilter ran this as well as a story on the Grandfather of all Future Evil Robots. Things are getting way out of control.
Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie - An Effective, Low-Cost Solution To Combating Mind-Control. Mind Control Rays, specifically. This guy makes it all clear.:: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 ::
[Yeah... but he'll just be hungry again in a half-hour] Speaking of Asian seafood, Annanova told me about how a fish tried successfully to force itself down a Thai fisherman's throat.
[He's no Uniblab] Sure, you've all seen BattleBots and that Day-The-Earth-Stood-Still monstrosity from Honda, but for straight-up practicality, you can't beat the SWR-2000 Sushi-Wrapping Robot. Millions of cuts, folds, and tucks after its intro, and nary an accidentally wrapped fishhead to speak of.
[McLobster is better than McSpam] If you drive through Maine in the summer, you'll see banners outside of McDonalds telling you they have McLobster sandwiches, which I can't recommend enough. The "secret" recipe is here. The message board gives additional hints.
Corporate Art essay from theblowup.
[Government Intelligence Kid's Page Showdown!] The CIA Homepage for Kids features a zany character, "Caricature of Saluting Bird" (a mouseover tells you that this is his actual, given name) who wisely tells kids to "Fly High on Intelligence, Not Drugs" (isn't that from Bob Roberts?). The FBI cranks up the fun a notch, by offering a junior version for K-5 featuring bomb-sniffing canine hosts "Darrell and Shirley", and a "youth" version for grades 6-12. The NSA's kid's page named their patriotic owl "Codey the Owl", and has an interactive detective adventure at Cryptic Manor.:: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 ::
Bush Wants More Government Spying on Citizens. ISPs will be forced to keep records on your email and internet use history.
Hispanic street murals: in El Paso, TX, Southern California
Greenpeace has an impressive site about how Mayak, Russia is becoming the most radiation-polluted place on earth. The flash intro is unskippable - content is here. The online photo exhibition by Robert Knoth is heartbreaking.
I've been checking out two great Indie CGI movie projects lately: LotsOfRobots and Rustboy. If the quality is as good as anything you've seen from the studios, the originality is even better. Both offer plenty of behind the scenes, making-of, storyboard, and diary info about their respective works. Broadband helps. Found another inspired CGI shorts site through Rustboy: Studio AKA's House of Picas
From Dollarshort.org, a miniature printable pdf model of Disney's Haunted Mansion Stretching Room.:: Monday, June 17, 2002 ::
Become a Ninja on the cheap. Cost: 1 black tshirt. Snagged from gmt+9.
Surprise... Corporate Telecom is afraid of what is happening with the potential spread of 802.11b for free, wireless broadband. Emphasis on "free".
Artcrimes. And don't forget, homes - if your crew's gonna throw up a dope 'piece, don't front with wack rusto fats.
More stock-punching hoax news courtesy of Internet Wire.
[I don't like Mondays] Although I like the unconventional look of their new website, PriceWaterhouse-Coopers changed their name to Monday in a pretty bad rebranding/namechange strategy. It doesn't have the late 90's, fake-name, dotcommy, downright awfulness of Accenture or any of the "ient"s, but "Monday"?:: Sunday, June 16, 2002 ::
[Swab of Justice] Q-Tip action figures
Four corporations own a majority of radio broadcasting licenses. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) speaks up about the dangerous concentration of radio, concert, and promotions markets.
Gender test claims to accurately guess your gender based on your answer to a series of non-genital questions.
"Scientists" are tracking some unexplained deep sea sounds. What's causing them? I just told you dummy, they're unexplained. No audio (how could CNN run this and not post the audio?! What are they thinking? (unless they're secret, unexplained sounds, of course)).
Art Bell.com has lots of wacky paranoid-conspiracy-ghosty-ufo stuff including shadow people, bigfoot, and invisibility.
Home Depot has told its managers not to accept purchases from the U.S. Government citing "a business decision based upon the company's strategic direction." A retail outlet refusing money is a strategy I'd really like to hear more about. Maybe they bounced a check or something...
[B-Western singing groups] which has a good page on The Sons of the Pioneers. In this picture, by hat size alone, guess which one is the Durango Kid.:: Saturday, June 15, 2002 ::
Mad magazine covers from 1952 to the present. Unfortunately, they don't have the fold-ins on the inside back cover, but there's a CD-ROM set available that has the entire contents of every issue from '52-'98.
[More Bush Follies] Cheer for Bush or be arrested at Ohio State. These people were only turning their backs (not calling him out for being an unelected halfwit).
The dictionary of all-vowel words is the most useless online dictionary. Its not even funny in a useless way. It's just bad useless. Everybody needs to stop with the cutesy stuff when it comes to dictionaries.
For my money, the flat-top is an even worse haircut to rock than the mullet, which has been way over-attacked since that 1995 Grand Royal article. Besides, the only people with perfect mullets are lesbians. Despite this sites claim that the flat top looks "equally at home on a man in the boardroom or on the battlefield", it really doesn't look at home anywhere except for the battlefield. Anyway, knock yourselves silly, party-people- flat tops.
This guy is showing off his huge rubber band ball. Notice how it's prominently displayed with his mint-in-box Star Wars action figures. Nice touch.:: Thursday, June 13, 2002 ::
[Must See Bottom-Secret U.S Intelligence] European Satellite TV viewers can watch the feeds from U.S. manned spy aircraft and drones - live and unencrypted. The article says that the feeds have also been attached to the internet, thus achieving the most democratic intelligence distribution ever. Unbelievable.:: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 ::
Extreme BBQ III features the Turducken - a duck cooked inside of a chicken cooked inside of a turkey... um... cooked.
I can't decide whether to view this collection of Jehovah's Witnesses "Watchtower" tract illustrations as conceptual art, or as a promise that I'll (hopefully) get to hang with this happy, swingin' chosen-folk posse when my town gets decimated by Divine wrath!
For some real devil-may-care hijinx, check out what those wacky candy marketers have come up with recently! Another product launch party I wish I could have witnessed. There needs to be some kind of bad product idea penalty box, where these guys can sit for a few weeks and reflect on the wisdom of selling hypodermic-needle themed candy to kids.
This site just made my day. Sweet sweet sweet Hammond Organ solos! Dig the background art! Found through gmt+9.
How to make a zoetrope: the mechanics are here, some art is here, including a template (which will have to be enlarged).
Lotte Reininger made a series of silhouette animation films beginning in 1926. The action was intricately cut into movable pieces for filming.:: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 ::
Not one, but seven Commodore Vic 20 Emulators on this retrocomputing geek site. Of course if you want *the* Vic-20 Emulator, go to Pfau Zeh, so you can get a prompt telling you that you have a whole few thousand bytes free.
An IRC quote repository, courtesy of memepool.
More, more, more on far-out beliefs! The Sceptic's Dictionary shreds em all up, but also provides some good links to the believer's sites for the other side of the story. This is a clearinghouse for all kinds of great stuff, from the goat-sucking chupacabra, to the oft-misclassified indigo children, to things like the Yeti, which obviously do exist, and shouldn't belong on this page.
[Conspiracy site of the day] The Cult of the Serpent's manifesto gets good toward the bottom. They go so far as to list the movies "They Live" and "V" as "close to the fact" respecting the "reality of the human-saurian conflict".:: Monday, June 10, 2002 ::
Cool pics on Missouri Trailer Trash. I like the floating barge trailer/catamaran thing the best, although I do kind of object to the site name, because, you know, when you think of it, deep inside aren't we all Missouri Trailer Trash? Seriously... put down your gin and Hi-C a sec and think about it...
Yet another great link from sharpeworld. Where does she get this stuff? Ionel Talpazan is a man who draws, paints, and scupts UFO's. Ionel, I know it seems like I say this to all the artists who draw inspiration from an early childhood UFO experience/abduction, but man... I dig your stuff, baby.
In the 'Even More Republican Nonsense' category, it seems that the grand old party is making lists again - Nixon-style! Does the fun never stop with these hepcats, or what?!
Infiltration: The online magazine dedicated to going to off-limit places.
Even more and deeper airport security scrutinizing is coming.:: Friday, June 07, 2002 ::
Neat. Now anyone can make a "Walkman".
The miniature set they used on the flood scene in O Brother Where Art Thou.
How to make a shiny mud ball.
Sears Modern Homes catalogs the Sears home plans offered between 1908-1940, complete with illustrations and prices. Contrast these simple, stylish designs with the hideously ugly, 3 car-garaged McMansions/Monster Homes that have been blighting the northeast during the past 15 years. Courtesy of Mike's Weblog.
An interesting article predicting the fate of the music industry as similar to book publishing's past woes.
Fantastic. A Chinese newspaper, the Beijing Evening News ran a parody piece from the Onion as fact.:: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 ::
[XBox Hack] Some guy did some bus sniffing on the xbox and found a secret boot sector and code that prevents you from using it to run non xbox game O/Ss such as Linux. Microsoft is pressuring the guy to take THIS PAPER (pdf) down, so download it while the gettin's good.
Dave Letterman's record collection is really pretty good.
[All Your Hooligan are Belong to Us] Terrified of Euro-Hooligans, Japan has armed its police with net shooting guns that will tangle up World Cup Soccer attending bad guys, ala Spiderman. Masahisa Tamura, a press officer at the Sapporo police headquarters, said: 'Anyone going wild will be trapped under a net and they won't be able to move.' Those wacky Japanese handle foreign influence with grace and style. Consider this jaw-dropping proclamation from Liberal Democratic politician Takayoshi Konno::: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 ::
Oh cripes! Some kid brought a decades-old siamese twin fetus in a mayonaise jar to show and tell.
Summer's here, and you know what that means... the bad tatts are flyin'.
Finally! Puppet head casting kits.:: Monday, June 03, 2002 ::
Insane? I hope this was only more of his jingoistic chest-pounding and not a serious foreign policy strategy announcement. Isn't it somehow inappropriate for a guy who didn't get elected to trot out the term 'democracy' so often?
A good online text-to-speech synthesizer from Bell Labs. It's got built in censorware, so don't even try with the pottymouth. Although the voice is perfectly legible, I still marvel at how the program SAM on the Commodore 64 did basically the same thing 20 years ago. You'd think a computer voice would have lost that 50's sci-fi movie robot timbre by now.:: Sunday, June 02, 2002 ::
Insatiable Appetite: The Government's Demand for New and Unnecessary Powers after September 11 [pdf] Released by the ACLU on May 28, 2002
Pictures of late 19th/early 20th century advertising art galore in this huge antique tobacco site.:: Saturday, June 01, 2002 ::
[Conway's artificial life simulator] is a nice cellular automata applet based on a 1970 Scientific American article. After the rules were set for birth, death, and survival, behavior patterns emerged describing artificial forms such as glider eaters, puffers, rakes, and stabilizing oscillators.