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Monday, 30 August, 2004

Pub Signs

A place to buy pub signs (and other signs): The Pub Sign Shop. They even make personalized signs, like this one:

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WordStar Resources

For those of you who are old enough to remember it, I present the WordStar Resource Center. Among these resources are a WordStar emulator for Word, a WordStar discussion group, and an interesting WordStar history.

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Barter Bee

Trade in your unwanted CDs, DVDs, and video games: Barter Bee.

If you are like most people, you have way too many old CDs, DVDs, and video games just sitting around the house collecting dust. Why should you pay top dollar for new items when you can trade-in what you already have for something you really want? For less than $1.00 per item, you can push your entertainment tastes to the limits. The more you share of your own collection, the more you'll be able to collect.

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20th Century Songs

Compiled by the RIAA and the National Endowment for the Arts: The 365 Top Selling Songs of the 20th Century.

Unfortunately, they're not ranked -- just several songs from each year, and some years are missing. I guess there were no top-selling songs in the year I was born.

Just looking at the past 40 years or so, it's perfectly obvious that the quality of popular music is on the decline.

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I Got A Dulcimer

Yesterday we went into a music shop in Sedona, and walked out with a dulcimer. Buying a dulcimer was about the last thing I thought we'd be doing in Sedona.

It's a mountain dulcimer made by McSpadden Dulcimers in Arkansas. I played 3-4 of them in the shop, and the one with the spruce top sounded the best (by far).

I had never even touched a dulcimer before yesterday. The woman in the store gave me a 30-second demo. I tried a few things and before I knew it, I was hooked.

Playing a dulcimer is lot different than playing a guitar. It's really easy to pick out simple tunes on the high stings, but I can see that it will take some practice to figure out the chords.

Maybe Esther will give me some tips...

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Sedona Photos

Over the weekend we took a short trip to Sedona, Arizona. I have a vague memory of going there once before, but I don't remember when it was.

Sedona is pretty much what you would expect from a town that's built around some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world -- lots of tourists. But it's not as bad as I had expected. There are dozens of very cool bronze sculptures all over the place, along with plenty of waterfalls. It's a nice place to visit, but I certainly wouldn't want to live there.

Here's a link to a bunch of photos I took.

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Fish Posters

A huge collection Fish Posters of the World.

Unfortunately, the images are much too small.

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Cell Phone Drivers Vs. Drunk Drivers

Research report: A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver.

We used a high-fidelity driving simulator to compare the performance of cell-phone drivers with drivers who were legally intoxicated from ethanol. When drivers were conversing on either a hand-held or hands-free cell-phone, their braking reactions were delayed and they were involved in more traffic accidents than when they were not conversing on the cell phone.

By contrast, when drivers were legally intoxicated they exhibited a more aggressive driving style, following closer to the vehicle immediately in front of them and applying more force while braking. When controlling for driving conditions and time on task, cell-phone drivers exhibited greater impairment than intoxicated drivers. The results have implications for legislation addressing driver distraction caused by cell phone conversations.

(via Marginal Revolution)

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Upsidedown Maps

The Upsidedown Map Page.

It came as a surprise to me after over 20 years of seeing "normal" world maps to come across an upside down one. The most surprising thing was that I found it surprising. It is completely artificial that we have North at the top of a map.

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All Songs Considered

From NPR: All Songs Considered.

In this election year it seemed a good idea to put out a call for music about politics. What we wanted was satire; what we got were earnest and passionate songs that mostly bashed the incumbent president.

You'll find songs by Steve Earle, Tom Waits, John Fogerty, and several others.

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Dvorak Uncensored

John C. Dvorak has a blog: Dvorak Uncensored.

The blog will eventually contain an complete archive of columns no longer available in print or online including columns from the DEC Professional, Microtimes, Computer Currents, MacUser and other magazines that have disappeared over time. It will probably take two or three years to adequately repost some of this material.

The blog will also make frank observations on current events and contain a lot of general complaining while discussing certain current writing projects.

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Taliban Portraits

Six pages of Taliban Portraits.

These astounding portraits of Taliban were collected by Thomas Dworzak during his coverage of the fall of the Taliban regime in 2002.

Lots of guns and flowers.

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Anti-Piracy Ads

A small collection of classic anti-piracy ads.

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Sunday, 29 August, 2004

Sunday Photo Caption Contest #23

Add your humorous caption as a comment.

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Saturday, 28 August, 2004

Recycled Links, Part 42

These links were posted on the J-Walk Blog about a year ago. Good stuff that you may have overlooked.

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Friday, 27 August, 2004

Meet The Laxies

An old Ex-Lax ad in the form of a comic strip: The Laxies.

This is spread across multiple pages, so make sure you see it all.

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Dead For Two Years

Here's a strange story: Man lay dead in bed for two years.

His telephone number was still listed in the telephone directory and his condominium fees and bills were automatically being withdrawn from his bank account.

No one knew Jim Sulkers had died in his bed almost two years ago.

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Listen To Catalpa

Listen to Jolie Holland's "Catalpa" album.

Never intended for public ears, what was to become her first album, Catalpa was given to a few friends and eventually sold at shows. Quickly taking on a life of its own, this courageous little disc made it around the world and back.

Paste Magazine said this about Jolie and Catalpa, "...a songwriting talent of poetic grace... Holland's voice is a remarkably supple instrument; and her phrasing and the way she sidles up to notes is nearly miraculous."

If you're not familiar with Jolie Holland, be prepared for a very primitive sound. The first song will may cause a lot of people to simply turn it off. But give it a chance.

I have both of her CDs, and they are excellent.

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