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13 January, 2003

If Advertisements Were Honest

The latest challenge at the B3TA site: What if advertisements were honest? Lots of good images.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

The Secret to Having a Good Memory

David Markoff (AKA, "MemoryMan") shares the secret of a good memory at the FIJI Water site:

"I am often asked how I am able to perform these amazing feats of memory. Well, as we all know, the brain is 78% water. Therefore, how well your brain works, to a great degree, will depend on the water that you drink. I have researched most, if not all, of the popular brands of bottled water on the market today, and without a doubt there is no other brand that even comes close to FIJI Water with regard to helping you remember more effectively."

Yes folks, the key is water. But not just any water. It must be FIJI water.

Visit Markoff's web site, and you'll find even more secrets. For example, you can purchase his MemoryMan Mix (a one-month supply is only $49.95).

The MEMORYMAN MIX is a nutritional supplement of natural vitamins and minerals to help improve the neurochemistry of the memory pathways in the brain and improve general health. A powerful mixture for clear concentration, mind power, focusing and memory.

Combine that mix with FIJI water, and you'll remember things that never even happened!

Even better. You can join his MemoryMan Club spam list:

Learn about exciting upcoming developments in the field of memory. Get breaking news on revolutionary Artificial Intelligence research that will be unveiled by Memoryman.com in the near future!

Normally, it would cost you $120/year to receive this information. But, until further notice, you can sign up free! If that's not enough, become a MemoryMan Ambassador for only $10 per month (normally $18 per month).

Hmmmm... I think maybe this guy forgot where he left his scruples.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

Bar Code Art

Scott Blake creates art from bar codes. Here's an animated example of an image of a young Bill Gates.

The site also enables you to create your personal bar code.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

The Queen of Clean

Meet the Queen of Clean, and explore her list of cleaning tips and her recommended list of cleaning products.

She puts both Mr. Clean and Mrs.  CLean to shame.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

Prohibited Items

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has published an updated list of items that can and cannot be taken aboard a commercial airliner.

Cigar cutters, corkscrews, knitting needles, and toy transformer robots are OK. On the no-no list: ice axes, meat cleavers, swords, baseball bats, pool cues, spear guns, cattle prods, billy clubs, and brass knuckles.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

Miss Universe is a Sham!

I just discovered something. The Miss Universe Pageant is open only to people who live on planet Earth. It's true!

I think it's time for some serious beauty pageant reform. Here's my proposal for how the pageant circuit should be run (see Note 1, below). It would consist of a number of successive competitions, which are described below:

  1. Miss Household Pageant: Each household conducts a mini-pageant (e.g., a mother might compete against her two daughters). The winner goes on to compete in the...
  2. Miss Neighborhood Pageant: Judges in these events would choose a winner among the various households in each neighborhood. These winner would compete in the...
  3. Miss City Pageant: Every city would choose a single winner. The city-level winners would then compete in the...
  4. Miss County Pageant: You get the picture. These winners would compete in the...
  5. Miss State Pageant: The winners (50, in the U.S.) would go on to the...
  6. Miss Country Pageant: One winner from each country. And then, it's off to the...
  7. Miss Continent Pageant: This will yield a winner for North America, Australia, Antarctica, etc. These winners compete in the...
  8. Miss World Pageant: This lucky winner would then travel to the...
  9. Miss Solar System Pageant: Which leads up to the...
  10. Miss Galaxy Pageant: And then finally, on to the Big Kahuna, the...
  11. Miss Universe Pageant. The winner of this contest, chosen by an intergalactic panel of judges, would be truly deserving of the title.

Some of these pageants, of course, are currently being held -- but they are all pretty much screwed up. Miss USA seems to be generally on track, but (oddly) the winner doesn't go on to the Miss World  event. In fact, the U.S. participant in the Miss World contest is called Miss Stars and Stripes (see Note 2, below). The Miss America competition is a misnomer, because it excludes all of South America and a good portion of North America. And the only reference I could find to Miss Solar System is a Jetsons cartoon. There is a Miss Galaxy competition, but it's limited to Earth participants only. And to confuse things even more, there's also a Mrs. Galaxy and a Mr. Galaxy competition, and these have the same limitation. The Miss Universe contest is, of course, is a complete joke: It's limited to only one out of billions of seemingly eligible planets. (Also, see Note 3)

*  *  *

Note 1:
This pageant scenario is written from a U.S./Earth perspective. Not all countries have counties and states, and not all planets have continents. Therefore, special arrangements would be made to accommodate these participants. Bottom line? Each planet (or "world") would have a single winner.

Note 2:
The current Miss Stars and Stripes United States is Rebekah Revels. According to
this article, she was denied a chance to participate in September's Miss America Pageant. Revels had won the Miss North Carolina title in June but resigned after a former boyfriend notified pageant officials that he had a topless photo of her, evidence of "dishonest, immoral, and indecent behavior," which is prohibited by pageant rules.

Note 3:
If you'd like to become Miss Universe, you can apply online. You need to specify your gender (Male or Female). Apparently, both males and females can apply. Interestingly, the form does not even ask which planet you live on!

Posted on 13 January, 2003

Abbey Road Bar Code

Art Lebedev is an artist who incorporates bar code into images. His web site contains dozens of images in various sizes, produced by him and others.

The example here (done by Robert Dyomkin) shows the familiar Abbey Road album cover -- with bar code in the pedestrian walkway.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

Uncovering Spreadsheet History: Mystery House

Robert X. Cringely discusses an aspect of spreadsheet history that I had not heard about: Apple's "Mystery House" spreadsheet. The article is actually about Apple vs. Microsoft, but I found the spreadsheet discussion most interesting.

Mystery House was a spreadsheet, intended to kill VisiCalc -- the original spreadsheet program that made the Apple II such a success -- because everyone who worked on Apple II software decided en masse that they hated Terry Opdendyk, president of VisiCorp, and wanted to hurt him by destroying his most important product. There was no real business reason to do Mystery House, just spite. The spreadsheet was written by Steve Wozniak and Randy Wigginton, and was a follow-on to Woz's first spreadsheet, called VisiCrook. VisiCrook was an illegal copy of VisiCalc (hence the name, get it?) that defeated VisiCalc's copy protection. But VisiCrook went somewhat further since Woz "fixed" a few of Bob Frankston's math routines and while VisiCrook looked like VisiCalc, it was vastly faster. Enough nostalgia -- Mystery House was cancelled because it threatened Microsoft.

I found more about Mystery House here.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

The Mona Lisa Collection

Mona Lisa has many moods. This is just one of a collection of bastardized Mona Lisa images.

And here's one that's not in the collection.

 

Posted on 13 January, 2003

Unintended Consequences of the DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed in 1998. According to the Electronic Frontiers Foundation:

Congress meant to stop copyright pirates from defeating anti-piracy protections added to copyrighted works, and to ban "black box" devices intended for that purpose. In practice, the anti-circumvention provisions have been used to stifle a wide array of legitimate activities, rather than to stop copyright piracy.

 The article presents a concise summary of the unintended effects of this legislation.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

MetroCam

EarthCam's MetroCam Network lets you see what's going on in various cities throughout the world.

I think I just witnessed a purse snatching in New York City.

Posted on 13 January, 2003

Live Chess

Catch all the action at the 2003 U.S. Championship Chess Tournament, live via Java (the next game is scheduled for today, at 1:30 pm Pacific Time). Or, tune in to Internet Chess Radio.


Thanks to Robert Nease for the info.

Posted on 13 January, 2003