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21 March, 2003

Lissajous Lab

Create amazing animated images with this incredible interactive Java app.

Lissajous (pronounced LEE-suh-zhoo) figures were discovered by the French physicist Jules Antoine Lissajous. He would use sounds of different frequencies to vibrate a mirror. A beam of light reflected from the mirror would trace patterns which depended on the frequencies of the sounds. Lissajous' setup was similar to the apparatus which is used today to project laser light shows.

If you like this sort of thing, download a copy of my Hypocycloid Chart app for Excel -- which proves that all Excel apps aren't boring.

Posted on 21 March, 2003

Mad Magazine Covers

View every Mad Magazine cover from 1952 through 2003, courtesy of Doug Gilford.

Posted on 21 March, 2003

Dead or Alive?

Find out if a particular person is dead or alive.

This site tracks whether famous people are still alive or whether they have passed away. It is intended purely as a resource for those seeking to answer that question about famous people.

For example. Tony Randall -- Alive.

The site has lots of other information. For example, you can find out who was born or died on a particular date. You can also view the stats on cause of death.

Posted on 21 March, 2003

Revolution Is Not An AOL Keyword

Have you ever heard Gil Scott-Heron's recording of Revolution Will Not Be Televised? If not, here are the lyrics.

Read an updated version, by Eddan Katz: Revolution Is Not An AOL Keyword. It starts out like this:

Revolution is not an AOL Keyword
You will not be able to stay home, dear Netizen.
You will not be able to plug in, log on and opt out.
You will not be able to lose yourself in Final Fantasy,
Or hold your Kazaa download queues,
Because revolution is not an AOL Keyword.

Note: This is very weird. As I write this entry, I'm listening to the Groove Salad webcast from soma fm. They just played a song that featured sampled lyrics from Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Posted on 21 March, 2003

Chamber Music... Live From Alaska

Last night, Whole Wheat Radio may have made webcasting history. Five musicians gathered in their studio (or was it a bedroom?) and treated listeners to an hour of chamber music.  Whole Wheat Radio, as I've mentioned here before, originates from a small town in Alaska, and has listeners all over the world.

It was very enjoyable. In fact, last night's entire webcast was probably the most entertaining time I've had listening to WWR.

Thanks to Esther Golton (flute), Shirley Norberg (violin and viola), Andy Rising (cello), Sandy Shoulders (violin), and Deborah Windham (piano)

Posted on 21 March, 2003

Spam Mimic

At Spam Mimic, you can encrypt a text message so it looks like spam.

There is tons of spam flying around the Internet. Most people can't delete it fast enough. It's virtually invisible. This site gives you access to a program that will encrypt a short message into spam. Basically, the sentences it outputs vary depending on the message you are encoding. Real spam is so stupidly written it's sometimes hard to tell the machine written spam from the genuine article.

Posted on 21 March, 2003

The Onion Predicted It

The Onion, of course, is known as a humor site. But they also have a knack for foretelling the future. In January, 2001, they published a piece called Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'. A few excerpts:

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?" 

"We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two," Bush said. "Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."

Yep, The Onion nailed it.

(Thanks to Vasant for pointing this out)

Posted on 21 March, 2003

Contemporary Iraqi Art

See some examples of contemporary Iraqi art at the Strokes of Genius site.

(via MetaFilter)

Posted on 21 March, 2003

A Tribute to Groucho

Some questions will never be answered. For example...

The U.S. is preparing to bomb the crap out of Iraq, and Saddam Hussein performs a tribute to Groucho Marx on national TV. Go figure. The only thing missing was the cigar.


Posted on 21 March, 2003