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30 July, 2003

Paint By Numbers

A site devoted to the art of painting by numbers.

Propelled by postwar prosperity, increased leisure time, and the democratic idea that anyone might paint a picture, paint by number became a popular pastime in the early 1950s. Each paint-by-number kit included two brushes and up to ninety premixed, numbered paints ready to be applied to numbered spaces on an accompanying canvas or board. As the spaces were filled in, the gradual revelation of a picture surprised and delighted.

If you'd like to create your own paint-by-numbers art, check out PhotoDoodle. You can upload a photo, and it will be converted into a paint-by-numbers drawing. You can then do the painting on screen using your mouse.

I tried it with a a photo of George W. It converted the image to 32 colors, and I was able to color the outlined drawing. For best results, use very simple images.

 

Posted on 30 July, 2003

A Spyware Law?

Most people who discover spyware on their computer say something like, "Is this crap legal?" Fact is, it is quite legal. But maybe not for long.

From ZDNET: Lawmaker wants limits to spyware

Rep. Mary Bono introduced a bill Monday that would take the "spy" out of spyware. The Safeguard Against Privacy Invasions Act would require companies using spyware to get permission from computer users before installing the software on their machines.

Spyware is the much-maligned software that companies secretly install to monitor people's Internet habits and gather information about them. The software itself is not illegal, and many companies disclose their use of spyware in licensing agreements. However, few people read the fine print of those agreements, meaning the software often is installed unknowingly on a person's computer.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

Attend Church, Make Money

Now here's a deal (if you're white): Get paid to attend church.

Greenwood Acres Full Gospel Baptist Church [in Shreveport, Louisiana] will pay white people to attend services during August to increase the diversity of its congregation. Bishop Fred Caldwell said he will pay $5 per hour for Sunday services and $10 an hour for the Thursday service. The idea came to him during his sermon Sunday.

Actually, that might not be a bad deal. I've heard some great music come out of those Baptist churches.

(via Electric Venom)

Posted on 30 July, 2003

Postcards From America

Old postcards of motels across the U.S. Shown here is Coral Court, in St. Louis. This is not far from where I grew up, and it always had a very seedy reputation.

Apparently, Coral Court closed down in 1993. The site now contains a subdivision called Oak Knoll Manor. If you're so inclined, you can read Shelle Graham's  history of Coral Court ("the no-tell motel with a touch of class").

By the way, Shellee Graham's Route 66 Photography site is well worth checking out.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

American Rhetoric

This site has an amazing collection of speeches. It has both text and audio of real speeches, plus speeches from the movies.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

Thanks For the Memory

Bob Hope's recent death made me realize something. His theme song is called "Thanks For the Memory." For some reason, I've always thought it was called "Thanks For the Memories" (plural). Here's a link to the lyrics.

You learn something new every day.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

The Witchfondler

If you like satire, check out The Witchfondler. With a warning like this, it's gotta be good:

IF YOU THINK THAT YOU MIGHT BE EVEN REMOTELY OFFENDED BY SOCIO-POLITICAL SATIRE THAT POKES FUN AT THE GOVERNMENT, RELIGION, ETHNIC GROUPS, OTHER COUNTRIES, CELEBRITIES, CORPORATIONS ETC. THEN BUGGER OFF NOW!

IF YOU CONTINUE ON FROM HERE AND THEN GO RUNNING LIKE A BIG GIRL TO YOUR LAWYER BECAUSE YOU FEEL YOU'VE BEEN IRREPARABLY DAMAGED BY WHAT YOU READ OR SAW THEN NO-ONE IS GOING TO HAVE ANY SYMPATHY FOR YOU!

You'll find stuff such as the Dubya World Domination Tour, communion wafers called "I Can't Believe It's Not Jesus," and a new reality show called "Mr. Deformity."

Posted on 30 July, 2003

Download Walker Evans Photos

Need some free art to decorate your walls? Try AfterWalkerEvans.com.

In 1936 Walker Evans photographed the Burroughs, a family of sharecroppers in Depression era Alabama. In 1979 in Sherrie Levine rephotographed Walker Evans' photographs from the exhibition catalog "First and Last." In 2001 Michael Mandiberg scanned these same photographs, and created AfterWalkerEvans.com and AfterSherrieLevine.com to facilitate their dissemination as a comment on how we come to know information in this burgeoning digital age.

You'll find complete instructions for downloading the high-resolution images, printing them, and framing them. And each has a certificate of authentication.

The image shown here is probably the most famous photo in the collection.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

A Wireless Video Camera

I had no idea such a thing existed: a tiny color wireless video camera.

There are many fun uses for the PTV16C. Attach one to just about any radio controlled vehicle! Tape one to a skateboard, put one on your helmet, monitor the baby, spy on a birds nest. Its so tiny - it can be attached to just about anything!

It's slightly larger than a 9-volt battery (which supplies the power), broadcasts to UHF channel 16, and it costs $120

(via Anita Rowland)

Posted on 30 July, 2003

Flash Mobs

Go to Cheesebikini for up-to-date information about flash mobs.

What's a flash mob? It's a large group of people who gather in a pre-determined location, perform some action, and then quickly disperse.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

For Food

This is pretty cool. Go here, and then modify the URL to create your own "for food" sign, displayed by a homeless guy. Just use a dot to separate each word in your message.

Then you can copy the URL and send it to your friends. They will be amused, and think you are very clever.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

Hey, It's a Worldwide Gurning Contest!

The word gurning refers to making weird faces. Here's the First Worldwide Annual ABSFG Gurning Contest.

The guy shown here is Daryl, performing the Alfred Hitchcock Memorial Gurn.

This is an earthshattering gurn guaranteed to make little children have nightmares, turn milk to cheese, and send skidrow drunks weaving off to the nearest twelve step meeting. It reeks of raw sexuality with the suggestive bullet-like head, the protruding lips and the ample chin cleavage. The turned eye and raised eyebrow leads the viewer to question reality itself.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

The Do-Not-Spam List?

From MSNBC: 'Do not e-mail' site hawked in spam

A national "do not spam" registry may sound like a good idea, but a Web site that claims it will add you to such a list for a mere $9.95 a year is itself being promoted by spam. Remove.org's founder says his site is for real, but antispam experts doubt whether any such service would actually work.

In other words, they are advertising this "service" by using spam. But of course they don't call it spam -- it's an "email campaign." Here's how it works:

Remove.Org charges NO FEE whatsoever to marketers to remove our members from your mailing lists. The fee that you would normally pay is paid for by the consumers.

Yeah, right. Spammers are going to send their spam list to remove.org so they can remove email addresses from the list. Sure they are...

Many naive computer users will probably fall for this scam, thinking that it's similar to the national do-not-call list. They'll pay their $9.95, and the spam will keep on coming.

Posted on 30 July, 2003

Bootleg Toys

A modest collection of bootleg toys.

Here you will find pictures of my collection of bootleg toys from around the world. Well, actually most of the bootleg toys here are from Southern California. These toys are not for sale. They are here only for your amusement.

What are bootleg toys? Well, they are counterfeit or knock off toys. Often, these toys are not made with any safety standards at all. Don't let your kids play with bootleg toys. Bootleg toys really are kinda dangerous for children.

Shown here is a very poorly rendered version of Bart Simpson, probably from China. As an added bonus, it has a voice chip that utters obscenities.

Posted on 30 July, 2003