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13 July, 2003

My Rich Relatives, Clarified

A few days ago, I mentioned that some relatives in Missouri won about $130 million in a big lottery. I took a wild guess, and referred to Bill Walkenbach as my third cousin.

Carl Manaster set me straight. Bill is actually my second cousin:

Consanguinity is much easier than everybody seems to think... Ignoring parents, grand- etc. parents, aunts, uncles, and siblings, all there are is cousins.  A first cousin is of course the child of a parent's sibling (that is, if you think of siblings as zeroth cousins, you won't go far wrong); a second cousin is the child of a parent's first cousin, etc.  So when the number of generations back to the common ancestor is the same for both relatives, you're simply Nth cousins, where N is the number of generations minus one.

"Removal" is when the number of generations is not the same on both branches of the tree.  So look at the common ancestor, count the number of generations to each relative, and take the shortest (minus one).  That's the cousin number. Then take the difference between the two lengths, and that's the removal number.

Your dad being first cousins with Bill's father means they have a grandparent (or more likely, two) in common. You and Bill, therefore, have a great-grandparent in common, and you're equally distant from that ancestor.  So, no removal, three generations, minus one -- you and Bill are second cousins.

Thank you Carl. I never did understand how that works.

Posted on 13 July, 2003

Unusual Records

Not unusual music, but unusual records. The Internet Museum of Flexi / Cardboard / Oddity Records

Once bound by cereal boxes, held in the pages of a magazine, wrapped up in envelopes sent through our postal system or given away casually with some product, these bits of paper and plastic yearned to be set free to fulfill their destiny as... PLAYABLE RECORDS.

The image shown is a recording from Kenmore. It was provided with a new washing machine in the 1960's, and was intended to promote their extended service plan.

(via April Winchell)

Posted on 13 July, 2003

Dog Nose Photos

Dog noses. Nothing but dog noses.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 13 July, 2003

Internet Marketing Hype

Further evidence of why the Web sucks: People who propagate the idea that the Web exists simply to sell stuff. A perfect example is Fly-In Ads.

Fly-In Ads" are hundreds of times more powerful than any other type of advertising on the web, because they simply can't be ignored. When a Fly-In Ad is displayed, the user must dismiss it before he or she can continue browsing the web. Have you ever advertised something that was supposed to go to a certain number of people, but you were sure many of those people simply overlooked your ads? Since Fly-In Ads cannot be ignored, 100% of the people who you advertise to will pay attention to your ad.

Not quite. I keep scripting turned off and I've never seen a fly in ad, and (hopefully) I never will.

And then there's Mike Chen, offering you a fast path to millions through the power of fly-in ads. Mike is definitely a "marketing pro." You can tell because the site appears to be written by a someone who writes TV infomercials.

I wish I could reach through the computer right now and shake you to convey to you how important this is. This is without a doubt, the most significant - and luckiest - thing that has ever happened to me in my business life. So many people don't realize that there is a window open right now. They have the opportunity to do something that will change their lives forever and they don't even realize it. You'll be one of the few...

Mike Chen's hype is all over the place. Here's another one: ListFire:

What if every single person you came in contact with suddenly started working furiously to build your opt-in list for FREE? With ListFire.com, you can have thousands of people building you a targeted, double-opt-in list (that means 100% SPAM Free) around the clock. Here's how it works...

And another: Mike Chen's Web Army Knife.

Before I released this product I ran it by a few seasoned Internet Marketers and the response I got back from all of them was that I was CRAZY! I've taken a handful of the most powerful, profit-pulling webmaster's tricks and tools that would cost $1,000's elsewhere and packaged them all up in this one little tool.

And then there's Mike Chen's WebLock Pro. I have no idea what this is, because the page requires scripting to be enabled. Yeah, Mike. Making your web site invisible is a great marketing technique!

And here, Mike Chen tells you how to make money from your screen saver.

With ScreenBlaze, you can now earn traffic for every minute your computer's screensaver is running! You no longer have to waste time. Leave your computer running all day and night if you want. As long as the screensaver is on, you're driving traffic to your site.

Do people actually fall for these get rich quick schemes? Apparently so.

Posted on 13 July, 2003

Shooting Rubber Bands

Tim Morgan's Guide to Shooting Rubber Bands.

As far as the cutting-edge bandohistorians know, rubber band shooting started only a few decades after the first half-decent rubber bands were manufactured. It was a boon to mischievous kids: the worries of the slingshot were gone. You could easily conceal the weapon, you didn't have to load it up before shooting, and the number of delivery methods provided effective warfare in any situation.

Posted on 13 July, 2003

A Lego Computer Case

A computer case made from Lego blocks.

Posted on 13 July, 2003

Experiments With Twinkies

The T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project site is a Web classic. But, somehow, it has escaped my attention up until now.

T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. stands for Tests With Inorganic Noxious Kakes In Extreme Situations.

Posted on 13 July, 2003

The Opossum Project

Fans of the Stinky Meat Project may like the Opossum Project. What exactly is it? It's a...

...careful and scientific study of what happens to a deceased opossum when it is placed in a bucket of water.

Caution: Do not click that link if you are eating, if you have just eaten, or if you plan to eat anything within the next few days.

(Thanks Charles Montgomery)

Posted on 13 July, 2003

The School of Small Talk Development

From The Hammer:

For some people, talking about anything, no matter how insignificant, is a struggle. If you're one of those individuals always leaning hopelessly against the wall at parties or known simply as 'that weird guy' to your neighbours because of your inability to strike up a conversation, the Buford McGraw School of Small Talk Development might be the answer for you!

Posted on 13 July, 2003

They Saw A UFO

A Google search for the phrase i saw a ufo results in 1,320 hits. I thought there would be more than that.

Posted on 13 July, 2003

Weird Photos

Lots of strange and unusual photos by Dididuc.

Posted on 13 July, 2003

Beer Can Fishing Lures

Fishing lures made from beer cans. Plus lots of other gifts for the fisherperson in your life at FishandGifts.com.

(via Off On A Tangent)

Posted on 13 July, 2003