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27 March, 2003

Changing Your Report Card Grades

Russian students have figured out how to eradicate poor grades on their report cards:

You should catch 10-20 cockroaches, put them into a small box and starve the insects for 2-3 days. Then you should pour some sweet syrup on the hateful poor mark in your diary and draw the diary open wide closer to the box with cockroaches.

Yekaterinburg pupils say that hungry insects will immediately devour the syrup together with the ink and the space under the poor mark on the paper will be clean once again.

Now why didn't I think of that!

Posted on 27 March, 2003

DRM-Enabled USB Drive

CyberKey is manufacturing a new line of USB flash drives that include Digital Rights Management (story here). But what really caught my eye was this statement by CyberKey's CEO:

"If you take an application like Photoshop that comes on CD... you can go out there and copy it a million times, said Jim Plant, president and chief executive officer. "They [pirates] killed the software industry, and they're killing the music industry."

The software industry is dead? Whoah!

Somebody had better tell Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, Oracle, Computer Associates, Symantec, and thousands of other software companies who haven't yet gotten the news.

Posted on 27 March, 2003

Voluntary Human Extinction

VHEMT: It's not an organization, it's a movement. Their motto: May we live long and die out.

It's a movement advanced by people who care about life on planet Earth. We're not just a bunch of misanthropes and anti-social, Malthusian misfits, taking morbid delight whenever disaster strikes humans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Voluntary human extinction is the humanitarian alternative to human disasters.

When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth's biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of Mother Nature's "experiments" have done throughout the eons.

Posted on 27 March, 2003

Search Engine Comparison Chart

Here's a handy chart that compares the features found in a dozen different Web search engines.

Posted on 27 March, 2003

Decaffeinated Coffee

Did you ever wonder how they get the caffeine out of coffee? I did. Here's one method:

The process begins with a batch of green coffee; the beans are immersed in pure, very hot water, and placed under great pressure. Caffeine is water soluble, and so escapes from the beans into the water bath. Unfortunately, so do the molecules which give the coffee its flavor. Eventually, a water solution saturated with the flavor elements of the coffee is created; because of this, it cannot absorb any more flavor molecules.

Once this has been achieved, the caffeine in the solution is removed with an activated carbon filter. At this point, the coffee beans are removed from the water bath and replaced with new green coffee. Since the water bath is already saturated with flavor, it is unable to absorb any more, and the eventual taste of this second batch of green coffee is nearly unaffected. Since the caffeine has been removed from the water bath, the caffeine in the second batch is free to escape into the solution, where it, too, will be removed with the carbon filter. The second batch of green coffee is now ready to be removed from the water bath, and shipped to the roaster. The first batch of green coffee, used to create the flavor charged solution, is discarded because it is totally devoid of flavor.

Posted on 27 March, 2003

Look Down!

Here's an interesting collection of photos. They were all taken by a guy pointing the camera towards his feet.

Posted on 27 March, 2003

Surf Classics

All about 60's surf movies, including a nice collection of old surfing posters.

Posted on 27 March, 2003

BS Generator

If you write press releases, you need to visit this web site. Here's an example of the type of stuff it can come up with:

Microsoft, in an effort to strategize global niches and drive web-enabled metrics, introduced a new initiative that will also maximize cross-media applications. Customers will now be able to synthesize enterprise vortals, deploy strategic convergence, and better aggregate their e-business initiatives.

Or is that from a real press release?

Posted on 27 March, 2003

Today's Recipe

This sounds yummy: Jellied Moose Nose.

Cut the upper jaw bone of the moose just below the eyes. Place in a large kettle of scalding water and boil for 45 minutes. Remove and chill in cold water. Pull out all the hairs - these will have been loosened by the boiling and should come out easily (like plucking a duck). Wash thoroughly until no hairs remain. Place the nose in a kettle and cover with fresh water.

Posted on 27 March, 2003

LED on a Battery

Cool product idea: Pak-Lite LED Flashlight. An LED light that snaps onto a 9-volt battery. The battery life is up to 1,200 hours, and the bulb life is rated at 100,000 hours.

(via gammatron (phase ii))

Posted on 27 March, 2003