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10 March, 2003

Matthew's House

A few years ago, Matthew McClintock bought his first home. He then proceeded to make a record of everything that was being moved into this home with digital photographs. And, of course, it's all online and available for viewing by the entire world.

(Thanks Jody Cairns)

Posted on 10 March, 2003

The Brick Apple

Sean Kenney has constructed a city out of Lego blocks.

My big Lego project is a city I call The Brick Apple. It is inspired by Manhattan (The Big Apple), the most densely populated area I've ever seen. The only rule I have for the buildings in my city is that they must be taller than they are wide. I have a 15-foot by 11-foot chunk of my basement reserved as the "Lego Room" in my apartment, which is where I can be found much of the time.

Posted on 10 March, 2003

Vintage Side Show Posters

Step right up! The show's about to begin with this mesmerizing, full color collection of outrageous circus side show banners from the Carl Hammer Gallery. All items are for sale (and they ain't cheap!).

(via Dublog)

Posted on 10 March, 2003

The Longest Nose in the World

And it's not on the  face of a politician! Actually, this is a fake nose, available for only $9.98 from Easley's Fun Shop.

All WOOCHIE Appliances come with detailed step by step directions for first rate professional results.

Posted on 10 March, 2003

The Dead Deer on the Power Pole Photo

You may have seen the photo of a dead deer on top of a power pole. This photo has made the rounds recently via email and web sites. Snopes analyzed the photo and tried to figure out how it got there.

These photographs are "real" in the sense that they are indeed pictures taken in early January 2003 of a deer found atop a 25-foot-high power pole in Headingley, a town just northwest of (and formerly a part of) Winnipeg, Manitoba. Plenty of people in the area saw the deer atop the pole (including the Manitoba Hydro workers who eventually removed it), and the story was covered by local CBC radio and TV outlets. The issue of whether the deer was really launched atop the pole when it was struck by a train is less certain.

Posted on 10 March, 2003

Gas Prices

Last week I walked to the grocery store and noticed that the price for a gallon of gas was $2.05. When I left the store, a guy was changing the price to $2.13. I read How Gas Prices Work, but I still don't understand how the price could increase 3.9% in ten minutes.

Even though California has some of the highest gas prices in the U.S., they are still very low compared to other places. According to this article by Runzheimer International, people in Hong Kong are now paying the equivalent of well over $5.00 per gallon. At the other end of the spectrum, in Caracas, Venezuela, a gallon of gas costs a mere $0.28.

Posted on 10 March, 2003

Office 2003 Research Services

One of the new features in Office 2003 is a task pane option called "Research." It was announced today that eLibrary will be accessible via this research pane. According to this press release,

The new agreement enables Microsoft Office 2003 customers to conduct extensive research without leaving their Microsoft Office applications. eLibrary search results can appear in a "research pane" within a Microsoft Office 2003 document and include article abstracts from newspapers, newswires, magazines, journals and transcripts, as well as relevant information from maps, photos and reference sources.

The service will cost $15 per month.

Another option, of course, is to use Google (which is free). An advantage is that it must be used from a separate window, so it doesn't take up valuable space in your Office app.

Posted on 10 March, 2003

One Nation Under Wal-Mart

Fortune published an interesting article about Wal-Mart.

I think I've been to a Wal-Mart store twice in my life. And those two times were enough for me. But, apparently, most people don't feel that way. A few facts:

  • Wal-Mart's sales on one day last fall--$1.42 billion--were larger than the GDPs of 36 countries.
  • It is the biggest employer in 21 states, with more people in uniform than the U.S. Army.
  • It plans to grow this year by the equivalent of--take your pick--one Dow Chemical, one PepsiCo, one Microsoft, or one Lockheed Martin.
  • If the estimated $2 billion it loses through theft each year were incorporated as a business, it would rank No. 694 on the FORTUNE 1,000.

Posted on 10 March, 2003

Windows XP Homeless Edition

From SlashNOT:

Steve Ballmer announced the latest edition of the software giant's Windows XP line of desktop operating systems: Windows XP Homeless Edition.

"With XP Homeless, we're closing the gap for a segment of society that has been historically underrepresented in the software market."

"This version of XP is basically a limited version of the XP Home edition. We've taken out Movie Maker, Media Player, and Internet Explorer, and we've added PocketChange Pro, Outlook Grim, Microsoft Streets And Trips, Cardboard Creator, and Microsoft Train Tracks Simulator."

"We've taken out a lot of the fluff and pizzazz so that we could lower the price to $2.50, or whatever you've got on you."

Posted on 10 March, 2003

Two Law Suits

One of them is good. One of them is absurd.

Intuit Sued Over Product Activation

Stanbury And Fishelman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Intuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of all U.S. purchasers of TurboTax software for the 2002 tax year. The suit alleges that Intuit engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices by failing to fully disclose the mechanisms and consequences of its product-activation technology before consumers pay for the software.

* * *

R.I Fire Victims' Lawyers Eye Firm

With damage claims in the Rhode Island fire expected to run up to $1 billion, two lawyers representing victims have set their sights on a potential defendant with very deep pockets: Clear Channel Communications.

Clear Channel owns a radio station that ran fifteen 30-second commercials for the event, so (according to the lawyers) they are partially responsible for the disaster and should pay up. As much as I dislike Clear Channel Communications, this is clearly an example of lawyers at their worst.

(via MetaFilter)

Posted on 10 March, 2003

The Brannock Device

I've seen Brannock devices in shoe stores for my entire life. But I didn't know what they were called until yesterday. They come in many different styles and models, including a "Pro Model".

The newly introduced Brannock Pro Series lets you measure even the largest feet--from men's size 10 to 25. Driven by the retail shoe-fitter's need to accurately measure larger-size customers, the Brannock Device Company developed the Pro Series to fit customers who have feet larger than size 16. The device was field tested on Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks players

However, they still don't have a model that can handle this.

Posted on 10 March, 2003