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11 August, 2003

Spam Gourmet

I haven't tried Spam Gourmet, but it sounds like a great concept. This site lets you create self-destructing disposable e-mail addresses. Just provide your real email address. After doing so, you can create throw-away email addresses and specify the maximum number of emails you want to receive. Emails will be forwarded to you, until they reach the maximum. The rest will be sent to the big bit bucket in the sky.

Matthew Inns says it works great:

I have nothing to do with them except I'm a happy user of a free service that has junked 647 spam mails in 6 months from reputable companies plying their wares on the web. The good thing is you can see who has been spamming you using the admin page if you want; I used a spamgourmet address for buying a DVD from a major site and considering they sold me 1 DVD, I'm not sure why they have since sent me 42 mails about it ;) Thankfully, I have seen only 2 of them, the confirmation and 1 spam, the other 40 never even got past the spamgourmet server thanks to the two mail limit I specified in the address I made up on their site.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Pointless Answers To Venomous Questions

This post is part of a blogging game that seems to be going around. I'm not exactly sure how it started, but it works like this: A blogger answers five pointless questions posted by someone else. Then he/she seeks a volunteer to answer five new questions in their blog.

So Venomous Kate answered her five pointless questions, and I volunteered to answer five pointless questions from her. She posted my questions, and here are my answers...

1. Who's afraid of the big bag wolf?

Wolves' prey consists predominantly of hoofed animals such as deer, elk, moose, and bison. Generally, a pack of wolves will hunt together. Therefore, most animals are not afraid of "the" big bag wolf. They may be afraid of a pack of wolves, but a single one usually doesn't present much of a threat. Wolves also tend to kill old and sick animals. These animals should not be afraid because their deaths will ultimately contribute to the survival of their species.

Most human who encounter a wolf would probably be afraid of it, especially if it were big and bad. So the answer is: most humans.

Or is this a trick question?

2. What's your favorite movie line?

Most of my favorite quotes are from The Simpsons, but you want a quote from a real movie. I've always liked this one:

"OK, I'll make it as easy for you as I can. I'd like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee. Now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich and you haven't broken any rules." (Five Easy Pieces)

But, of course, everyone likes that Jack Nicholson line. So how about this more obscure quote?

"If I had a tumor, I'd name it Marla." (Fight Club)

Just kidding. This one is really my favorite:

"There are things about me you wouldn't understand, Dottie. Things you couldn't understand. Things you SHOULDN'T understand." (Pee Wee's Big Adventure)

3. Do you get me, sweetheart?

Yeah, I get you Venomous Kate. You're one of the very few bloggers out there who knows how to do it right. I should take some lessons.

By the way, "getting you" doesn't mean that I agree with you. I very rarely agree with martini-swilling, tobacco-smoking, SUV-driving, coffee-guzzling, card-carrying members of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy armed with a Smith & Wesson - and other things.

But, to be honest, I didn't really get you until I downloaded the MP3 of you singing your version of "Me and Bobby McGee." Now it's all perfectly clear.

4. How many chucks would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A woodchuck would chuck just enough wood to ensure the survival of its species. No more, no less. Non-human animals are like that.

5. What do you daydream about?

Lots of things. For example, aphid-free snail vines, filling in when Eric Clapton dies moments before a concert, spam-free email, our upcoming vacation to Kauai, the day I announce that my blog is over, a spreadsheet program that was not designed in the '80's, mesquite-smoked barbecued ribs, my daughter finally becoming free of her insane mother, a 1-gigabyte Sony Memory Stick, having a refrigerator with an automatic ice maker that makes tiny ice cubes, having the time and motivation to write a novel, feeling comfortable using metal finger picks while playing a banjo, writing my very last Excel book, hitting a home run in game 7 of the World Series (well, not since I was 11), taking a good photo of a hummingbird in flight, a world with no advertising, and moving out of San Diego with my honey (we're counting the days). Oh yeah, and world peace.

* * *

Rules of the game:

  • If you want to participate, leave a comment here saying "interview me." I don't use comments, so just send me an email.
  • I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
  • You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
  • You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  • When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

If I receive more than one request, I'll choose one at random (I'm not capable of thinking up more than five pointless questions).

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Asya Schween

Asya's site is called My Own Self, and she has some photos to share -- presumably self-portraits.

I'm Asya Schween. 22. Immersed in incarnadine-hued twilight of my mind. Alone. I read no poetry but mathematical manuscripts and the Holy Bible.

I'm a good girl.

I will perish.


Posted on 11 August, 2003

Calculate With Google

I don't know how long this has been in effect, but Google is now a calculator.

To use Google's built-in calculator function, simply enter the expression you'd like evaluated in the search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button. The calculator can evaluate mathematical expressions involving basic arithmetic (5+2*2 or 2^20), more complicated math (sine(30 degrees) or e^(i pi)+1), units of measure and conversions (100 miles in kilometers or 160 pounds * 4000 feet in Calories), and physical constants (1 a.u./c or G*mass of earth/radius of earth^2). You can also experiment with other numbering systems, including hexadecimal and binary.

Who needs Excel?

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Fractal Recursions

Incredible images from Jock Cooper: Fractal Recursions

He also has some animation available, but the MPEG files are huge.

(via Dublog)

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Money Technology

At the DaVinci Institute: Top 10 Inventions in Money Technology.

The research team at the DaVinci Institute has spent the past six months reviewing hundreds of innovations in the money world. Using a scoring system designed to assess the overall impact of each technology, a group of the Institute's staff and advisors weighed in.

Some significant technologies like vending machines, travelers cheques, and slot machines didn't make the list because they were developed in the late 1800s. Our goal was to focus on the innovations from the last century, narrowing the list significantly.

Interestingly, the spreadsheet ranks #9.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

The Astor Cube Prank

A pictorial guide to the Astor Cube prank.

One of the most prominent landmarks in the East Village in Manhattan is a statue of a giant steel cube. The cube was built at Astor Place in 1968, and has stood there ever since. The cube can spin on its axis, which is pretty entertaining the first time, and requires a few people to get it moving.

Read how they turned this sculpture into a giant Rubik's cube.

The Rubik's Cube stayed up for the entire day. It got a small amount of graffiti which was to be expected given the usual crowds that hang out there, but it wasn't too bad.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Infrared Photography

Take a look at Jeff Holbrook's infrared photo gallery. Some of the photos have a infrared version and a standard color version.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Estimating Windows Crashes

An interesting article by John Dvorak: Magic Number: 30 Billion. He crunches some numbers, and comes up with this:

I think that when we put all the numbers together, we can estimate that there are a minimum of 30 billion Windows system crashes a year.

Then he puts this number in perspective. For example,

Thirty billion is the same as the estimated number of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Images of Arnold

Here's a collection of 176 photos of the possible future governor of California.

Caution: Some of these are not suitable for family viewing.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Science Fiction Cliches

Here's the Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Cliches.

Those of us who have read or seen a lot of science fiction have seen certain story elements pop up over and over and over. Some of these elements were actually pretty good ideas, and when handled well make for a pretty entertaining story, but have become hackneyed from overuse by the unimaginative.

I'm not even much of a scifi fan, but I recognize most of these cliches.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Vinyl Microscopy

What do you get when a record collector is also into microscopes? Probably something like The Microscopy of Vinyl Recordings.

Shown here:

The animal is a young silverfish with its extended cercae overlapping the closing bars of the final movement of Bruckner's third symphony. I mention this as it is not possible to tell from the photograph. There are few places in a Bruckner symphony where the sound of a diamond stylus colliding with a dead silverfish would be less welcome. The cadaver was removed by brushing with a carbon fibre brush.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Reviewing the Bible

As you probably know, Amazon lets user's submit reviews for their products. Read the reviews of the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Funny stuff. I like this one:

It's quite plain to me that, during the translation from Hebrew to English, a number of subtleties were lost. Not least among these was the first page of the bible, which read "The contents of this book are not based on fact, and any resemblance to real persons or events is entirely co-incidental."

If that had been included, the world would be a different place today.

He's got a point...

(via Bifurcated Rivets)

Posted on 11 August, 2003

The Collector of the Keys

I think every item on earth is collected by someone. Maurice Onraet has a key collection.

Shown here is a key from room 233 at the Abraham Lincoln hotel, in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Number Colors

Karl Palmen has a theory of numbers.

I discovered a way of colouring the natural numbers that I have found very fascinating. I use following eight colours: black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan and white.

It started years ago when I realised that those numbers that can be expressed as the sum of just two squares (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13 etc.) contain all their multiplication products (e.g., 2x5=10).

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Car Salesmen

From Kuro5hin: Selling cars in the U.S. - The inside scoop

I'm going to answer the most obvious question first: Are car salesmen as slimy as their reputation suggests? Yes. And no. In my short 4-month exposure, I learned that car salesmen represent a very real cross section of humanity. Are there complete dirtbags that will lie and cheat and do whatever they can to get every last penny out of you? Yup. Are there some really decent folks who just want to help you pick out the car that is best for you, and hope they can come out of the transaction earning a little money? Yup. There's probably 10 of the former for every single of the latter.

This is a very insightful article.

Posted on 11 August, 2003

Fake Dr. Pepper

A collection of fake Dr. Pepper brands.

You'll see knock-off products with names like Dr. Bob, Dr. Buzz, Dr. Perky, Dr. Topper, and (my favorite) Dr. Whatever. It's amazing how many use the same colors and type face.

Posted on 11 August, 2003