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1 May, 2003

Deleting the News

Makes you say, "Hmmmmm."

From The Memory Hole: MSNBC Article on Bush "Misstatement" Pulled Off Site

Did the news media feel that it was unpatriotic to question the administration's credibility? Some strange things certainly happened. For example, in September Mr. Bush cited an International Atomic Energy Agency report that he said showed that Saddam was only months from having nuclear weapons. "I don't know what more evidence we need," he said. In fact, the report said no such thing -- and for a few hours the lead story on MSNBC's Web site bore the headline "White House: Bush Misstated Report on Iraq." Then the story vanished -- not just from the top of the page, but from the site.

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Fake ATM Receipts

Want to impress your date? Buy some fake ATM receipts.

Pick up women or men quickly at bars, dances, social events. After you write your number on this receipt (conveniently folded in your wallet), hand it to the member of opposite sex and watch how fast they call you! When she sees the SIZE of your bank balance, she'll be digging YOUR "gold" in no time! Even has the typical black bars on back of the receipt for added authenticity! Just leave one of these around your office, or apartment, and let the gossip begin!

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Fast. Neat. Average.

I had not heard of this. From Snopes:

A friend told me how to get a free visit to the cockpit during a flight. He says I should write "fast, neat, average" on a piece of paper and ask an attendant to give it to the pilot. Is he putting me on?

Apparently, this is a coded message that used to work.

In this ritual, a pilot's receipt of a note bearing the phrase "Fast. Neat. Average." is understood to be a request from another Academy graduate or cadet to visit the cockpit; the pilot signals acceptance of the request by returning the message "Friendly. Good. Good."

But in the post-911 world, you definitely don't want to hand a note to a flight attendant.

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Piracy is Increasing

You hear a lot a piracy these days, but it's difficult to get reliable data. This article from BBC News attempts to quantify the problem.

Piracy at sea reached record levels in the first quarter of 2003, with more than 100 incidents reported for the first time in a decade. There were 103 pirate attacks in the first quarter of the year, up from 87 in the same period last year.

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Don't Walk

Now you can buy your very own pedestrian "don't walk" signal. Prices range from $9.95 to $14.95. What a deal!

(via gammatron)

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Balloon Art

Photos that demonstrate what you can do with a few balloons and a little creativity.

Posted on 1 May, 2003

RIAA 1, College Students 0

Last month, as you may recall, the RIAA sued four college students, claiming that these students were operating campus song-swapping networks. Not unexpectedly, the students settled out of court. They agreed to pay fines ranging from $12,000 to $17,500.

Here's a link to a story in the Princeton University newspaper.

"No student can really undertake to defend an action like this in federal court: it's too expensive and there's always the possibility of a mega-judgment," Ende said. "So in some ways Dan and the others were forced to settle, and [the RIAA] came up with numbers they felt would send a message."

Yep, they're sending a message alright. The message is that the music industry is doing everything in their power to alienate their customers and hasten the inevitable demise of their own industry. And that's a good thing.

Keep in mind that the RIAA is the trade group for the big five labels: AOL Time Warner, EMI Group, Bertelsmann AG, Vivendi Universal's Universal Music and Sony. You can send a message of your own by boycotting these labels. I've been doing so for about eight months now. During that time, I've acquired more good music than ever -- thanks to emusic.com. If you're not familiar with emusic.com, you should read this.

If you prefer to buy actual CDs, CD Baby is a great source. Here are a couple of my personal recommendations: Breaking Strings, by Sarah C. Hanson, and Time to Go, by Woody Russell. You won't be disappointed.

Posted on 1 May, 2003

A 3D Display

I guarantee that you haven't seen anything like this monitor, called Perspecta Spatial 3D System

Spatial 3D imagery floats inside spherical display. 360-degree all-around viewing. Write your own exciting applications with the OpenGL-based SDK. Win2000 and Linux compatibility.

Price? $39,995 (plus installation).

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Beans Around the World

This site is amazing. Photos from all over the world. And they all have one thing in common: Every one includes a can of black beans.

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Amazing Art

The images at the Amazing Art site will keep you busy for quite a while.

The title says it all: amazing art, artwork that makes you say whoa! It's a top collection of baffling images : optical illusions, things that can't exist in real life, and landscapes with hidden stuff in it. And those funny pictures you can turn upside down, showing something completely else. But also mysterious pictures that let you guess what it is. And there's a whole lot more...

(via Iconomy)

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Some Good Parody

Funny stuff from Studio 8: Christ Disappointed AOL Screen Name Already Taken.

A disappointed Messiah revealed Sunday morning that He will not become a regular user of America Online's popular Instant Messenger program because someone has already taken His desired screen name, "Jesus Christ."

"It's just pointless now," the Almighty said via video phone interview on Wednesday. "I just wanted something simple. A screen name that would let everyone know that it was Me immediately upon receiving My message. Guess that was just wishful thinking."

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Virtual Wonders

The Virtual Gallery at the National History Museum features some cool images, that you can rotate. Check out the specimen jar from the mid 1870's. And the Anomalocaris is pretty wild.

Posted on 1 May, 2003

Ask Jimmy About the Weather

Jimmy Stewart is a weather guy in Tucson, Arizona, and he answers weather-related questions. Here's a good one:

I notice the colors at sunrise start out with reds, then oranges and finally yellows. The process is reversed at sunset. Can you explain what happens to cause the reverse in colors?

His reply:

At sunrise and sunset, the sun's light travels through more atmosphere at a much greater angle than at noon, when the wavelengths come straight down through the atmosphere and the sun appears to be white. The shorter wavelengths (blue colors) are scattered by dust particles and air molecules and never reach our eyes through the thicker morning and afternoon atmosphere. The longer wavelengths (red and orange colors) wrap around the smaller dust particles and air molecules and continue to our eyes.

That explains the sunrise/sunset colors, but it doesn't explain why the colors are reversed. Hey Jimmy, you need to read the questions more carefully!

Posted on 1 May, 2003