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20 April, 2003

Gallery of Misused Quotation Marks

Check out the Gallery of "Misused" Quotation Marks

You've "seen" them. Maybe on a sign at the "grocery" store, maybe in an ad in your "local" newspaper. Perhaps even in a "memo" that circulated throughout your company. They're quotation marks, and they turn up in the strangest of places.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Swat Some Mosquitoes

Go ahead, swat 'em.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

The Strongest Boy in the World

If you've ever wondered who is the strongest boy in the world, look no further. That honor supposedly belongs to Richard Sandrak.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Crime Scene Cleaners

Well, somebody's gotta do it. Among the services provided by Crime Scene Cleaners:

  • Homicide, Suicide, and Accidental Death Remediation: Cleaning, disinfecting, and removal of all contaminated items to restore the scene to a safe, non-biohazardous state.
  • Removal of Contaminated Items in Distressed Properties: Removal of contaminated furnishings, carpeting, building materials and equipment from distressed properties (a.k.a. Garbage Houses).

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Chew on This

Spread the word with a Christian teething ring.

Think of the impact this could make on a young families life. If this one product will make them think about their relationship with Jesus, then we have done our job.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Iraq Information Minister

We Love The Iraqi Information Minister. This site appeared a few weeks ago, and their server got completely overwhelmed. Now it's back.

This site is a coalition effort of bloodthirsty hawks and ineffectual doves united in admiration for Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information (currently on administrative leave).

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Download Some MP3's

Another source for free legal MP3 downloads: Internet Underground Music Archives.

Posted on 20 April, 2003


Our kitchen sink sprung a leak yesterday, so I'll need to do some minor repairs. First step: buy some Plumber's Butt Calk.


Posted on 20 April, 2003

CD Baby

CD Baby is...

...a little online record store that sells CDs by independent musicians. We're the 2nd-largest seller of independent CDs on the web, 2nd only to Amazon.

What's the definition an independent musician?

Not having sold one's life, career, and creative works over to a corporation.

And, importantly, their disclaimer:

No Microsoft products were used in the creation of this website.

These guys are a pleasure to do business with. After you make a purchase, their confirmation email is a hoot.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Why the British Love The Simpsons

According to this article, there are 300 reasons why the British love The Simpsons.

The 300th episode of The Simpsons is broadcast today. Find a space on the sofa and read why, in 14 years, Matt Groening's show has become the world's best TV programme.

But I feel a bit cheated. The list doesn't really contain 300 separate entries. For example, Reasons #154-165 are:

The steps in Barney's AA programme. Homer comes along as moral support, until he finds the donuts are on the other side of the room.

This is one reason, not 12! How about a re-write?

(via Off On A Tangent)

Posted on 20 April, 2003

How Will the Artists Get Paid?

A new article from Dan Bricklin.

A problem with much of today's pre-recorded media art (such as sound recordings and movies) is the method of discovery. Introduction to new artists and their work is done through advertising, paid placement (narrow radio and TV play lists), and other mass marketing techniques. These are very expensive, and the difficulty of rising above the noise becomes yet more and more expensive. There is a self-fulfilling prophesy where only huge sellers bringing in large revenues are pursued. Small fan bases, even if solid and large enough to fully fund the artist themselves with a very acceptable life compared to other professions, do not fit in this model. A few big hits are viewed as more important than a myriad of small ones, each with a happy artist and happy fans. There seems to be a drive to create a few "superstars" instead of many full-time artists. This is bad economics if in catering to the big players we develop technologies and norms that hamper the "business models" of the smaller players.

His discussion of Digital Rights Management is dead on:

Something that bothers me about the talk about Digital Rights Management (DRM), both technical and legislative, is the whole disregard for the ecosystem needed for widespread advancement of the arts. The freeform of a variety and a mixture of funding models, and the benefits of unintended free release, are part of what makes things work with art and society. Responding to opportunities that present themselves requires flexibility. The DRM systems we hear about today are rigid procrustean beds that could kill this ecology. They are wedded to narrow, simplistic business models, dominated by large publishing businesses.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Fun Packs

The Fun Packs are coming! The Fun Packs are coming!

From WinInfo: Microsoft Preps New Fun Packs for Windows XP. Paul Thurrott writes:

Microsoft alerted me to the pending release of four new Fun Packs for Windows XP, which are designed to help users be more creative with the built-in digital media and communications features in the company's latest operating system. These special spring-themed Fun Packs add features and functionality to Windows Media Player 9, Windows Movie Maker 2, and the digital photography and Web browsing functionality in XP. There are also two new PowerToys for Windows XP, the company tells me.

I can hardly contain my excitement.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

RIAA Piracy Data

The Inquirer raises some issues about the RIAA's numbers: RIAA piracy arguments, figures just don't add up

It is true that the economies of most countries are not in good shape, that many people have been retrenched and others have had to suffer a drop in salary. Spending on music is "discretionary spending", the kind of spending that takes place only after paying for the more essential things in life, like accommodation, food, clothes, electricity, water and so on. When income drops it is the discretionary spending that suffers first. The drop in music sales started in 2001 and this correlates very well with the general decline of the economy.

And then there are people like me. I used to buy about 60 new CDs a year. Now I don't buy any from the big music companies. I purchase CDs from independent artists, and I also subscribe to emusic.com --  and download 7-8 CDs per month. These, of course, are not counted in the RIAA sales figures. In other words, my (legal) music purchases have increased significantly. But in the eyes of the RIAA, I've stopped buying music.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Ugly Dresses

Step right up and view the ugly dresses.

Welcome to UglyDress.com, the archive of the world's worst Bridesmaids dresses. Contained within are photographic proof of some of the dresses that our friends, the brides, have made us wear so that they could look good.

Thinking back on the few wedding that I've actually attended, ugly dresses seem to be the norm.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

Bob Hope: RIP

Bob Hope is dead. And he's been dead for two years now.

Wait a minute! Bob Hope is not dead yet. According to this article, he recently turned 100.

The Smoking Gun uncovered some CNN obits that were prepared in advance.

While all news organizations prepare obituaries in advance of the deaths of famous individuals, the folks at CNN inadvertently gave the Internet-surfing public a chance to preview how the network's web site would note the demise of Vice President Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, and a few other prominent figures.

Oh yeah, the Pope is also dead. And so is Fidel Castro. And Nelson Mandela. And Gerald Ford.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

TV Turnoff Week

This week is TV Turnoff Week, according to Adbusters. I can get behind that -- except for maybe a few televised baseball games.

Posted on 20 April, 2003

I Get Hate Mail

In addition to 188 spam emails per day, I occasionally get hate mail such as this:

Damn you, I stumbled upon your site seven or eight hours ago, and now I have to be to work in three hours on no sleep. Damn you and your interesting, and humorous links!

Posted on 20 April, 2003