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21 May, 2003

A Bicycle Built For Seven

It's called the Conference Bike.

The Conference Bike is pedaled by 7 riders sitting in a circle, elbow to elbow. One of them steers; The others are free to pedal or not as it glides effortlessly along. The Conference Bile has a powerful and universal social effect: It induces laughter and lowers inhibitions.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Randomly-Generated Web Site Designs

You can use Strange Banana to create a unique web site design. Just keep refreshing the page until you see one that you like.

(via Coffee and Oranges)

Posted on 21 May, 2003

A Spammer Testifies

As you may know, the U.S. Senate is currently holding hearings on spam. I don't expect anything even close to a solution to come out of this.

Ronald Scelson, an admitted spammer, offered some testimony. I found this article pretty interesting. An excerpt:

Scelson said he currently has 22 clients and sends out as many as 18 million e-mails a day, but never more than one e-mail per person, per day to his massive mailing list. He claims he obtained all his addresses legally, adding that AOL gladly sold him the company's entire customer directory. Given the opportunity to deny that, Leonsis, vice chairman of AOL, did not.

AOL, of course, has taken a pretty hard anti-spam stance:

Just two weeks after reporting progress in its war on spam, AOL told e-marketers that spam levels had doubled in the last six months and the AOL Time Warner (Quote, Company Info) Internet unit would soon block over a billion unsolicited bulk e-mail messages a day.

But AOL has no qualms about selling its customer list to spammers.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

A New Digital Camera

I read the reviews at Imaging Resource and Digital Photography Review, and I bought one: A Pentax Optio S. It's actually a birthday gift for Pamn. I was looking for a small camera to compliment my huge Sony F707, and the Option S is a perfect choice.

Small? It's so small that it fits inside of an Altoids container.

On the one hand, it's very easy to use for someone who is not into photography. But it also has lots of advanced features for those who care to dig a bit deeper. The quality of the 3.2 megapixel images are impressive.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Remembering Mrs. Miller

In the 1960's Mrs. Elva Miller was a fairly popular "novelty act" recording artist. I haven't thought of her in decades -- until I read this entry at Frank's Vinyl Museum.

I've spent a lot of time contemplating the mystery of Mrs. Elva Miller from Claremont, California. I have to conclude that her recording career is one of the cruelest practical jokes ever devised by the record industry.

I get the very sinister feeling from the liner notes that while Miller herself may have been completely serious about what she was doing, whoever coaxed her to make this album was laughing on the inside, and probably egging her on to be even more extreme. The sarcasm is very subtle, just enough to give the wink to record collectors like us while keeping poor Mrs. Miller in the dark.

If you've never heard Mrs. Miller sing, the site has two songs available.

As it turns out, Mrs. Miller is represented quite well on the Web. This Google search turns up lots of information. She died in 1997 at the age of 90. She was living in a retirement home in Vista, California -- not far from where I live.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Witch Supplies

If you're a witch, you're probably familiar with My Witch Shop, which has "everything for the discriminating witch."

They've got a great supply of magic dust, runes, cauldrons, brooms (of course) and every other witch-related product.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Running on Vegetable Oil

Thirteen people take a cross-country road trip in a school bus, converted to run on used vegetable oil.

Follow their progress on the Project Bio Bus site.

Project Bio-Bus will demonstrate the long-range capabilities of vegetable oil and bio-diesel as an alternative energy source, foster greater awareness of emerging technologies, and promote environment-sensitive philosophies; all of which are compatible with active outdoor and climbing activities.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

X-Ray Lamps

I like these lamps. The shades are made from real x-rays.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Rules For Writers

As a professional writer, I'm often asked how I learned to write so good. I often consult this handy list of Rules for Writers. Rule #46 is a good one:

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Censored Cartoons

When a cartoon airs on TV, there's a pretty good chance that some scenes have been removed -- a censored cartoon.

The following is a guide to the cuts and edits which have been rendered to the classic cartoons of Warner Brothers, MGM, Paramount, and other studios when broadcast on television (unless noted otherwise). Gags that are deemed inappropriate for children, racist, violent, etc. are simply edited out of the affected cartoons. Here is a guide to these "lost" moments.

Fortunately, Itchy and Scratchy cartoons are not affected.

(via Attu)

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Toilet Humor

Two gift ideas:

  • Jammin Johns: Combining the comfort of a finely crafted bathroom accoutrement with the legendary looks of your favorite guitars.
  • X-Wipes: You send us a picture of your "Ex" and we print it on Canadian 2-ply hypo-allergenic cottony-soft Cottonelle bathroom tissue.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Personal Digital Pen

I wonder how well this works? It's a digital pen (called io), from Logitech.

1. Use the Logitech io like a regular pen. It digitally captures everything you write or draw on our special digital paper: notes, ideas, sketches, drawings, email, calendar or to do list entries, and anything else.

2. Place the Logitech io in the USB cradle to download your notes to your PC in their original, handwritten form.

3. The Logitech io and its software automatically sort your handwritten notes by the boxes you checked on each page. Meeting notes and drawings go into file folders for easy organization and rapid retrieval. Email is sent. Calendar and To Do entries are automatically added to your electronic organizer.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Lots of Words

I'm sure that there's a use for this. An HTML document that has a bunch of English words. In fact, it has 39,235 words.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Aurora Borealis Gallery

A small collection of amazing photos of the northern lights.

Posted on 21 May, 2003

Shirts For Babies

Not just any baby shirts. These baby shirts are funny and offensive.

Posted on 21 May, 2003