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15 November, 2002

The WiFi Speed Spray Effect

On Wednesday, I posted a link to a parody ad that I created (WiFi Speed Spray(tm)). All I can say is, whoah!!

In the past 48 hours, that document has received more than 5,400 hits. By comparison, the blog is normally read by about 300 people each day. Typically, the /blog directory of my web server accounts for about 5% of the daily traffic. Today, it's running at about 30%.

Checking my referrer logs, I see that the link has been posted in a few Usenet articles, and quite a few online forums. Surprisingly, many of them are in Russian.

Posted on 15 November, 2002

700 Year Old Mickey Mouse

If this Austrian church fresco isn't a hoax, it's one of the coolest things that I've seen in a long time.

The painting, which has been dated back to the early 14th Century, is in the Community Church in Malta, Carinthia. Next to a large sketch of St. Christopher is a clear drawing of the mouse.

"The similarity of the painting to Mickey Mouse is so astounding that the Disney concern could even lose its world-wide copyright license. "Our Mickey Mouse is 700 years older than Disney's and we will get it legally examined."

Posted on 15 November, 2002

Dirty Jokes at Microsoft's Web Site?

Probably the last thing you would expect to find at the microsoft.com domain is an off-color joke. Well, try this URL:

I sure hope I don't get Jacob Lorch into any trouble. Anybody who can appreciate a Self-Referential Aptitude Test is OK in my book.

(Thanks to WillyG for pointing this out).

Posted on 15 November, 2002

Cool T-Shirt Alert

This smart attire is available from ThinkGeek.

OK, so you can't read the writing on this miniature reproduction of a shirt. Here's what it says:

   >SELECT * FROM users WHERE clue > 0
   0 rows returned

It's a SQL joke. Get it?

To see a legible image of the t-shirt, just click here. To learn more about SQL, click here.

Posted on 15 November, 2002

Pencil Point Art

I found this story via scrubbles.net. Amazing stuff. A guy named Dalton Ghettii makes sculptures from pencil lead. Unfortunately, the site has far too few photos.

Because the material he works with is so fragile and petite, the ratio of success -- a complete carving still affixed to the original pencil -- is extraordinarily low. When a carving breaks, it gets glued to the head of a pin planted in Styrofoam along with 30 or so others; the result looks like a miniature forest or graveyard

Posted on 15 November, 2002

Where the Hell is My New Book?

I spent three months writing a new book, Excel Charts.

It's been listed in Amazon's catalog for well over a month, showing a publication date of 5 November. That date, of course, has come and gone. I'm pleased to see that the book has been selling very well, even though it's not even available.

Strangely, the book's listing at the publisher's site (wiley.com) has disappeared (but it's still in Google's cache).  It's still listed at their Wiley Europe site -- but with a publication date of "December 2002."

I haven't received my author samples, and my emails to the publisher have gone unanswered. About a dozen people have asked me about the status of this book. All I can say is, who knows?

Posted on 15 November, 2002

Buy Nothing Day

Adbusters has designated 29 November as Buy Nothing Day.

November 29 could mark the delivery of a landmark social message. More than a million people will celebrate 11 years of opposition on the unofficial "opening day" of the Christmas frenzy. Play this one right and we will make Buy Nothing Day 2002 a global event on par with Earth Day

I support the cause, but my shopping boycott will make absolutely no difference. On the day after Thanksgiving, the last thing I would ever do is venture anywhere near a retail store.

Posted on 15 November, 2002