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4 August, 2003

Ubiquitous Solutions

I was reading Web Pages That Suck, and one of the suckers was the site for Wildomar, California. That site is bad. Definitely bad. But even worse is the web site for the company that designed it: Wexus.com. Their slogan is...

Web Engineering X (through) Ubiquitous Solutions

Get it? The "X" means "through." I guess WETUS didn't sound as good.

In any case, dig around the site and be amused. Click on the Our Headquarters link, and take a look at their building. Then check out the corporate jet. But my favorite part is the link to Prayer Submissions.

At first I thought it was a joke -- a very bad web site intended to be a parody. But then I started to think that it's for real. Actually, I suspect that Wexus is a high school kid who learned a bit of HTML and Flash. Now he's trying to make a few bucks. Good luck. You'll need it.

Posted on 4 August, 2003

A Documented Life

Miles Hochstein documents his life.

This autodocumentary is a photographic representation of my four decades (plus) of life - an exploration of virtual identity... This site may very well be the single most complete (by some standard) visual representation of one person's life available anywhere online.

This is really very impressive!

Posted on 4 August, 2003

A Bunch of Photos

Every once in a while, I post some of my original photos here. I decided to gather them all together and make them easily accessible. Click here, or use the new Photos link on the left.

These were all taken with a Sony F707 digital camera.

Posted on 4 August, 2003

Yodeling The Classics

I came across a fascinating CD at Amazon: Mary Schneider, "Yodeling The Classics." A reviewer writes:

Thank-you to Mary Schneider for having the courage to put this CD out. I think she was dead serious when she recorded this. But what a delightfully cheesy combination of mixing yodeling and classical music. Her yodeling version of the William Tell Overture will have you in stitches on the floor in seconds, and is worth the price of the CD alone.

It's hard to find good yodeling music these days.

Posted on 4 August, 2003

What's Killing the Music?

According to the RIAA, music file swapping is killing the music industry. But, according to this BBC News article, there's a lot more to it.

According to the RIAA, CD sales dropped by 10% in 2001 and a further 6.8% last year, largely because of file sharing. But the figures tell a different story.

Other (more significant) factors include large-scale counterfeiting, the end of the "replace the vinyl" cycle, the elimination of "singles," an economic recession, and competition from other product types.

There is no doubt that some piracy is going on via peer-to-peer systems but maybe not to the extent the RIAA fears. Perhaps it is about time they sang a different song.

Posted on 4 August, 2003

The Excel Guru Is Back

A few weeks ago I wrote about a guy who calls himself "Excel Guru." Apparently, he's out to get me. The approach he takes is to post comments in an Excel newsgroup. Here's his latest, titled "Walkenbach Character."

In the past I have questioned John's credability to be a spokesperson for Excel. I have just discovered documented evidence that he should not be publishing nor speaking about Microsoft Excel in a public forum. Proof is on page128 of the book Excel 2002 Formulas. He makes reference to a song by Liz Phair called Whitechocolatespaceegg, PROOF of his charactor is proven by the punk music he listens too. Do we want this man teaching our children Excel? I think not, please email me about your comments, and we will forward to Mandtebooks.

Excel Guru

Me? A spokesperson for Excel! Also, I was not aware that children read my books. I guess I'll have to slip in even more subversive references...

You can read the entire newsgroup thread here.

Posted on 4 August, 2003

Bottle Cap Collection

Lots of photos of old bottle caps at the Crown Cap Page.

(via Idle Type)

Posted on 4 August, 2003

Creative Signal Processing

CSP Audio...

...specializes in innovative audio signal processing to solve common and uncommon problems with recorded sound. Many problems that can occur in a recorded performance, mix, or finished product, cannot be solved with standard equipment or software. However, in many cases a solution is possible with customized signal processing, which allows unique solutions to unique problems.

The site has some interesting before and after examples. One of them is a pitch correction on Astrid Gilberto's classic recording of "Girl From Ipanema." Every time I hear that song, I'm distracted by that one flat note she sings.

Posted on 4 August, 2003

The Cottingley Fairies

In 1917 two young girls perpetrated a photographic hoax, in what's come to be known as the case of the Cottingley Fairies.

While playing in Cottingley Glen, just behind the Wright home, the girls took what they claimed were close-up photographs of winged fairies dancing amid the foliage. The girls then took each other's picture with the wee creatures, and photo experts who were consulted said that the images were not double exposures nor had the negatives been altered. The simple fact is that the girls had just posed with very obvious cutouts of fairy drawings to make the "authentic" pictures.

Even Arthur Conan Doyle was fooled.

(via The Gospel According to Mark)

Posted on 4 August, 2003

The Skycar

The Skycar brings us just a bit closer to a life depicted in The Jetsons.

Moller International has developed the first and only feasible, personally affordable, personal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle the world has ever seen. You've always known it was just a matter of time before the world demanded some kind of flying machine which would replace the automobile.

(Thanks Tim Spellman)

Posted on 4 August, 2003

Phobia List

Click here to see a list of phobias -- unless, of course, you have a fear of phobia lists. A few examples:

Myrmecophobia: fear of ants

Caligyne phobia: fear of beautiful women

Ecclesiophobia: fear of churches

Graphophobia: fear of handwriting

Automatonophobia: fear of ventriloquist dummies 

Posted on 4 August, 2003

The Web's Favorite Color

This site attempts to determine the Web's favorite color.

Take a photo of your favourite colour - it works best if it's close-up so the colour fills the picture - and send in it... You can tell the colours of pictures people have sent in with the spectrum along the top of the page. The taller the bar, the more photos there have been. The bar also responds to the brightness of the pictures, so some bars are quite dim when the photos have all been dim.

(via Right Ho!)

Posted on 4 August, 2003

Fashion Magazine Bible

A new bible that will appeal to teenage girls.

In focus groups, online polling, and one-on-one discussion, Extreme for Jesus has found that the number one reason teens don't read the Bible is that it is "too big and freaky looking." This fashion-magazine format for the New Testament is the perfect solution to that problem. Teen girls feel comfortable exploring the Scriptures and over 500 further-study notes because of the relevant format!

(via Love and the Happy Cynic)

Posted on 4 August, 2003

Pray For Kobe

Someone purchased the domain name prayforkobe.com.

The goal of our site is to build a strong Power-line of Prayer and Support for Kobe and Vanessa. This site was made to show Kobe that we, his loyal fans, support him, love him, and will Pray for Him as he has asked us to do. Kobe Bryant is innocent until proven guilty. Send your Prayers...

And, of course, you can buy a Pray For Kobe t-shirt.

Posted on 4 August, 2003

Painting With Light

Emil Schildt is a master of the photographic technique known as painting with light.

Painting with light is - on one hand - a very, very simple technique. But on the other hand, it is a technique that requires lots of practice... The only thing you need is a (used) small lamp - a light bulb - and some cardboard to wrap around it... Then you need a tripod - a camera, that can take the setting "bulb time" (T or Z) - and an extension chord that locks.... The place you want to use, must be darkened. And then you go...

Posted on 4 August, 2003