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17 August, 2003

Celebrity Caricatures

More good Photoshop work from Worth1000.com. This time, celebrity caricatures.

Caricature artists often exaggerate prominent facial features to make their subjects more recognizable, and also, funnier looking. It's an easy laugh, to be sure, but it's fun. In this contest, you will enlarge or shrink a *facial feature* on any celebrity, preferably to amusing proportions.

Sorry, no mountainous breasts on Dolly or 65 ft J-Lo butts, only facial features for this one. I know, I know, I said I was sorry.

Posted on 17 August, 2003

New From Brian Eno

Not music, an article in The Guardian: Lessons in how to lie about Iraq

Russian propaganda was so obvious that most Russians were able to ignore it. They took it for granted that the government operated in its own interests and any message coming from it was probably slanted - and they discounted it.

In the West the calculated manipulation of public opinion to serve political and ideological interests is much more covert and therefore much more effective. Its greatest triumph is that we generally don't notice it - or laugh at the notion it even exists.

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Wheathead Bloggers

Regular readers here know that I'm a huge fan of Whole Wheat Radio -- a unique webcast that entertains me for at least eight hours per day. Over the weekend, it seems that quite a few bloggers have discovered WWR.

Stan Finley, at Observations:

Well, it looks like Whole Wheat Radio, broadcast from a plywood cabin in beautiful downtown Talkeetna, Alaska has become the official unofficial streaming web station for bloggers.

Shannon Campbell, at Pet Rock Star:

Apparently, I've been getting a bit of radio play on the Alaskan internet radio station Whole Wheat Radio. It seems like a very comfy place to hang out (very interactive), their playlists are excellent, and they (cough) allow requests.

Phil Ringnalda, at phil ringnalda dot com:

I mostly think of radio as the thing that keeps me from hearing how bad my truck engine is running, but tonight has changed my mind. I've been listening to Whole Wheat Radio, a, um, well. An "Interactive Radio Theatre And Music Party Webcast" from a 12x12 plywood shack in Talkeetna, Alaska. Great indie music, domestic disputes, and blogs read live, all in a glorious stew, being remixed based on what people are saying in the chatroom at the time

Al Sessions, at FultonChain:

I've never heard anything quite like it, and was wondering how exactly the whole interactive bit worked when I heard a robot sounding voice say, over a God awful rendition of Happy Birthday, "Shannon Campbell says this sucks". I don't know Shannon, but I read her weblog and found the whole thing oddly compelling.

Joe Jennett, at jenett.radio:

Listening to... cool indie music on Whole Wheat Radio

Somebody at  The Lost Olive:

GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT!!!! Even if you don't like Indie music.. It is the best discovery for me since Google, internet Banking, Blogs, etc..

Michael Levin, at Michael Levin's Weblog:

John's blog led me to Whole Wheat Radio, which immediately became my favorite online radio station because I just like the kind of music they play.

Other bloggers were quicker to discover WWR, and have become long-time listeners: Bill Simoni (Binary By Accident), Eyeno (Eyeno's Blog), Gordy (gordon.coale weblog), Lalo (Love And The Happy Cynic), and  Zoe (zoe's weblog). And I'm probably missing a few.

* * *

By the way, if you want a quick way to find out if WWR is for you, tune in at 12:00 noon (US Pacific Coast time). Jim Kloss, the guy who runs the place, does an hour of ranting and raving (no music). If he's "on" you'll quickly know if WWR is something you can relate to.

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Radiation Warning Tags

Examples of old radiation warning tags.

This radiation warning symbol pre-dates the current three-bladed radiation warning symbol - it was used at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a short time after WW II. Other symbols, such as a skull and cross bones, were used elsewhere.

You can read more about the history of the radiation warning symbol here. And remember:

The radiation warning symbol should not be confused with the civil defense symbol designed to identify fallout shelters.

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Tech Support From Scoble

Apparently, Microsoft employees are volunteering to help out with Blaster worm-related technical support. And  Robert Scoble is one of them.

I just got back from answering Microsoft support phone calls. Dozens of Microsoft employees are being trained every hour to help out because of the Blaster worm. Support call volume is extraordinarily high. I hear we're still getting more calls than our trunk lines can handle (translation: some customers are still getting busy signals). I helped five people in three hours. Yeah, I'm slow, so shoot me. Helping users isn't easy.

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Decorating Tips

This site, called Decorating Forties Style, is...

... a visual sourcebook of ideas from the 1940's for miniaturists, set designers, interior design students and researchers looking for "how we got where we are."

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Common Errors in English

At the Common Errors in English site, you can learn how to talk more gooder by using the correct words.

Here we're concerned only with deviations from the standard use of English as judged by sophisticated users such as professional writers, editors, teachers, and literate executives and personnel officers. The aim of this site is to help you avoid low grades, lost employment opportunities, lost business, and titters of amusement at the way you write or speak.

For example, if you're one of those people who use the term "butt naked," you'll learn the error of your ways here:

The standard expression is "buck naked," and the contemporary "butt naked" is an error that will get you laughed at in some circles. However, it might be just as well if the new form were to triumph. Originally a "buck" was a dandy, a pretentious, overdressed show-off of a man. Condescendingly applied in the U.S. to Native Americans and black slaves, it quickly acquired negative connotations. To the historically aware speaker, "buck naked" conjures up stereotypical images of naked "savages" or--worse--slaves laboring naked on plantations. Consider using the alternative expression "stark naked."

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Scenes From Space

Some nice space-related images from CNN.

Shown here is a "gravity map" of the planet we call Earth.

Gravity on Earth is the same everywhere, right? Wrong. Mysterious variations in the attractive force would make an object weigh less in some places than in others.

This NASA false-relief map magnifies highs and lows to detail where the gravitational field is strong and weak. A person just off the coast of India, for example, would weigh about 1 percent less than most other places.

Posted on 17 August, 2003

California Governor Candidate List

An annotated list of the California Goober Gubernatorial Recall Candidates. The are grouped into the following categories:

  • Mostly normal people caught up in the excitement
  • Crusaders and other people with a cause
  • Anti recall candidates - Vote No on Question 1
  • Celebrities and Professional Politicians
  • "Unique" candidates
  • It is hard to find information available for these candidates.
  • These candidates have supplied their email address only
  • Publicity seeking candidates

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Jailhouse Photos

From Pericles Lavat: Photos of an abandoned jailhouse.

Approximately 3 and a half years ago, the jail of the City of Cuernavaca, located in Atlacomulco street, was evacuated. Inmates and guards were transferred to a new prison in Atlacholoaya, Morelos... They could not take their belongings with them. This was done in order to make them arrive "clean" to the new facilities (without money, clothes or hidden drugs and/or weapons).

(via Speckled Paint)

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Blues News

A couple of items that may be of interest to blues fans...

  • On 26 August, Reelin' in the Years Productions will be releasing two DVDs and one CD of vintage blues performances from the American Blues Folk Festival. The footage is from the '60's and, supposedly, it is excellent quality.
  • Beginning 28 September, PBS will be showing 14 hours of blues programming, similar to the Ken Burns Jazz thing.

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Unusual Churches

A new web log (from The Presurfer) that's devoted to unusual churches.

Among several churches, you'll find a link to the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic -- "We don't know, and we don't care."

Posted on 17 August, 2003

The Virtual Silhouette Parlour

Apparently, there's a silhouette parlour in Reading, England. And this web site is a "virtual mirror."

Shown here are silhouettes by Huardel Bly.

Huardel Bly's work is marked by a lively and inspired style of cutting, with a restrained and tasteful use of slash cut embellishments to indicate collars, etc. You can always spot one of his silhouettes by the "shoe" shape of the bust line

You'll find lots of interesting images here. But, unfortunately, the site is not well designed, and the poorly-chosen background graphic makes it virtually illegible. Why, oh why, do some web site designers think that every site must have a background image?

Posted on 17 August, 2003

Fixing Adobe Reader 6

Back in June, I described a mistake I made: installing Adobe Reader 6. If you insist on having the most recent version of this software, check out this article from The Inquirer: How to use liposuction to repair Adobe Reader 6.

An e-mail from a reader, Kelly Cook, sneaked into my inbox, claiming to have found a way to trim the fat off Adobe Reader 6, and improving its load time to more reasonable levels.

I'll just stick with version 5, thank you.

Posted on 17 August, 2003