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11 June, 2003

Looking For Mr. Mxyzptlk

I was trying to think of the name of that Superman character who has an unpronounceable name. It took me 10 minutes on Google to figure out how to spell Mr. Mxyzptlk. Normally, Google is pretty good with identifying spelling errors, but it was no help with this one.

For the uninitiated, Mr. Mxyzptlk is...

A Fifth Dimensional being that harasses Superman. Mr Mxyzptlk (pronounced mix-yez-pittle-ick) uses amazing scientific skills from the Fifth Dimension to do things on Earth that appear magical. He has appeared in Metropolis to challenge and harass Superman several times when an inter-dimensional interface is possible. He decides on a challenge and a condition for determining when he'll leave, and then Superman must try to succeed in out-thinking him. When Mxyzptlk is out-foxed and bound by his agreement to return to the 5th Dimension, everything that his magically changed is returned to normal

Google, by the way, has indexed 5,830 documents that contain this name.

Posted on 11 June, 2003

Office VBA vs. Visual Basic .NET

An informative article at MSDN: Converting Code from VBA to Visual Basic .NET.

Summary: Presents issues to consider when converting your Microsoft Office solutions from Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to Visual Basic .NET. Provides a general overview of their differences, and then uses examples from Word and Excel to describe how you can use "Visual Studio Tools for Office" to convert your code.

I'll stick with VBA, thank you. And I have no plans to write a .NET book in the near (or distant) future.

Posted on 11 June, 2003

The Menger Sponge Project

Jeannine Mosely is heading up a project to create a Depth 3 Menger Sponge from business cards. She already has the 66,048 business cards that are required. Now she just needs some help building it.

Menger's sponge (sometimes wrongly called Sierpinski's Sponge) is a fractal solid that can be described as follows. Take a cube, divide it into 27 = 3 x 3 x 3 smaller cubes of the same size and remove the cube in the center and the six cubes that share faces with it. You are left with the eight small corner cubes and twelve small edge cubes holding them together. Now, imagine repeating this process on each of the remaining 20 cubes. Repeat again. And again...

Shown here is a Level 2 Menger Sponge, which is already completed.

Posted on 11 June, 2003

Tragic Beauties

Take a look at some incredible photos of old mannequins.

Unlike the frozen, lifeless mannequins of today, these European busts were posed for, many at the turn of the century, by flesh and blood women.

Posted on 11 June, 2003

The Surveillance Camera Players

The Surveillance Camera Players was founded in 1996. This group performs in front of public surveillance cameras.

Please note that since the group's founding, the Surveillance Camera Players have changed quite a bit. The SCP no longer consider their primary audience to be the police officers and security guards who monitor the surveillance cameras installed in public places. Today, the SCP concentrate on the people who happen to walk by and see one of their performances.

Posted on 11 June, 2003

The Name Machine

The name machine...

...analyzes first names and their popularity over the past 102 years. We start with data provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration. It's a great tool for browsing baby names, examining history or just playing around!

Posted on 11 June, 2003

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots

Conservative idiots, listed and described. You can also view the archives (the list is updated every Monday).

Posted on 11 June, 2003

Coming Soon: Mirror TV

From Philips Electronics: An LCD display that's integrated into a mirror.

Philips, the world's largest supplier of television display solutions for the hotel industry, initially plans to market the Mirror TV to hotels, but also sees a market for the product in customized home environments within the next few years.

Posted on 11 June, 2003

FrontPage 2003

From PC World: Microsoft Previews FrontPage 2003.

What caught my attention was the quote from Melisa Samuelson, FrontPage product manager:

"We've completely reinvented FrontPage. Previous versions weren't powerful enough. People want to do more-sophisticated things with their Web sites."

I'm still waiting for an Excel product manager to say, "We've completely reinvented Excel."

Posted on 11 June, 2003

Wake Up With Pamela Anderson

I guess there are people who would actually pay for this.

The blond Baywatch bombshell has signed on to a celebrity wake-up service that allows customers to be gently roused by her dulcet tones for $7.99 per month.

"Hi, it's Pamela," purrs one of the musically backed greetings explaining that the star is "filling in for your alarm clock."

Posted on 11 June, 2003

If I Were a Dog...

...I would look something like this:

Click to enlarge this human dog

Posted on 11 June, 2003

Silence Is Golden

Dave Weinberger writes:

Our local AMC movie theater runs a clip before each movie reminding us that Silence is Golden. Of course, they also slap a "registered trademark" sign on the phrase.

I couldn't believe that such a common phrase is a registered trademark. I did a search at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Sure enough...

This phrase used to be trademarked by Bristol-Myers, for use with a cough suppressant. But it was canceled in 1986. In 1991, American Multi-Cinema Inc. filed, and they now have the trademark for "silence is golden."

Posted on 11 June, 2003

Celebrity Look-Alikes For Weddings

If you're getting married, you'll probably want to hire a celebrity look-alike. This site has made it easy for you.

If you live in Phoenix, you can hire Leon Smith and people will think that Willie Nelson is in attendance.


Posted on 11 June, 2003

Audio's Next Big Thing

We're talking Hypersonic Sound (HSS).

HyperSonic Sound Technology is simply the most revolutionary sound reproduction system of this century. Not since the development of the "cone" loudspeaker more than 75 years ago has any technology provided such significant departure from conventional loudspeakers and such a remarkable new approach to the reproduction of sound.

The next few years should be very interesting for audio enthusiasts.

Posted on 11 June, 2003

Vintage Neck Braces

Photos of old neck braces.

(via Solipstistic)

Posted on 11 June, 2003