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9 October, 2003

Text Contests at Worth 1000

I've posted many links to the excellent Photoshop contests at Worth 1000. Today, I realized that this site also has other contests -- including Text Contests.

For example, there's a contest called Song Title Thesaurusizing. The object is to re-create the lyrics of a song by using a thesaurus.

Here's the (original) first part of Alanis Morissette's "Ironic."

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day

It's a black fly in your chardonnay

It's a death row pardon two minutes too late

Isn't it ironic ... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day

It's a free ride when you've already paid

It's the good advice that you just didn't take

Who would've thought... it figures

And here's the "thesaurusized" version:

An aged male reached four-score years and eighteen,
succeeded in a numeric game of chance for monetary reward
and his mortality ceased twenty-four hours later.

It is an airborne insect of dark neutrality in a drink made
with a grape from a specific region in France.

It is being found innocent from a terminal prison sentence,
one-hundred and twenty seconds after the deadline.

Is it not contradictorily unfortunate, wouldn't you believe?

It's similar to the gravitational effect on condensed moisture
at the time of your matrimonial ceremony.

It's like somebody offering to take you to your destination
without reciprocation when you have previously performed a fiscal transaction.

It's the beneficial wisdom that you refused to abide by

Who could have contemplated...it makes sense.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Visual Phenomena

Good stuff from Michael Bach: Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Licenses For Everything

From Ed Foster's Gripelog: The Exhaustion of Our Rights.

Would you pay extra when buying a new car for the right to re-sell it? How about for the right to take it to any repair shop you choose? Those are decisions you might have to make in the not-too-distant future.

The sneakwrapping of American law took another fateful step last week with a decision rendered by the U.S. District Court in the case of Lexmark versus the Arizona Cartridge Remanufacturers Association (ACRA). The court's ruling -- dismissing ACRA's charges of deceptive practices against Lexmark -- implies that a manufacturer can deprive mass-market consumers of their rights just by slapping a license agreement on its product.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Ads By Dr. Seuss

Check out the Advertising Artwork of Dr. Seuss.

Before Theodore Seuss Geisel found fame as a children's book author, the primary outlet for his creative efforts was magazines. His first steady job after he left Oxford was as a cartoonist for Judge, a New York City publication. In 1927 one of these cartoons opened the way to a more profitable career, as well as greater public exposure, as an advertising illustrator.

Shown here is one of many ads he did for Flit -- which appears to be some type of insect repellent.

(via Life in the Present)

Posted on 9 October, 2003

More On CD Copy Protection

A few days ago I linked to an article that described how to defeat a new CD copy protection scheme (just press the Shift key when you insert the CD).

Now this, from Wired: CD Protection Shifts to Courtroom.

Three days after a Princeton graduate student posted a paper on his website detailing how to defeat the copy-protection software on a new music CD by pressing a single computer key, the maker of the software said on Thursday it would sue him.

But wait!

From The Inquirer: Sunncomm backs down from shift key prosecution.

It seems that Sunncomm, which wanted to throw the book at a student for describing a method using the SHIFT key to circumvent its copy protection, has backed off, probably sensing the full blown mess of a PR Catastrophe.

Too bad. That would have been a very interesting case.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

The New Napster

As you probably know, Roxio purchased Napster, and the new Napster site will be opening soon as pay-per-download music site. And you can be sure it will be a winner. Napster's "partners" now include Microsoft, Yahoo (I mean Yahoo!), Gateway, Samsung, and (of course) Roxio.

Napster is the world's most recognized brand in online music. Napster has extensive content agreements with the five major record labels, as well as hundreds of independents. Napster delivers access to the largest catalog of online music, with more than 500,000 tracks spanning all genres from Eminem to Miles Davis.

It may be the most recognized brand in online music, but the new Napster has nothing at all in common with the original Napster. Nothing.

As this site points out, Napster 2 is just another iTunes clone, complete with overpriced and DRM crippled songs.

If you build a shiny new house on slap an endearing brand on a landfill it still stinks

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Wiener Wear

Clothes for dogs -- specifically, clothes for Dachshunds.

We are a dog clothing company dedicated to Dachshunds. Your little wiener deserves the best, and at wiener wear we know what wieners really want when it comes to clothing. We design wiener wear to be functional as well as fashionable.

We offer you a seasonable look, with outfits for every occasion and all moods of weather.

The turtleneck t-shirt shown here is certainly fashionable.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Lunacy From The Vatican

From Reuters: Vatican says condoms don't stop AIDS.

The Vatican is telling its millions of followers that -- contrary to scientific advice -- condoms can not stop the transmission of AIDS, according to a television programme. If condoms cannot be absolutely guaranteed to block sperm, they stand even less chance of stopping the much smaller virus, the argument runs. The Roman Catholic church opposes any form of artificial contraception -- particularly condoms, which it says promote promiscuity.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Classic Videogame Ads

Dozens of old video game ads.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Time-Lapse In Toronto

This is excellent -- a Quicktime movie of Toronto, comprised of photos shot at 20-second intervals. Photographed by Sam Javanrouh, it covers the the time interval from 28sep03 6:37pm to 29sep03 8:53am.

This is from the Daily Dose of Imagery site. Check the archives for more.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Drunkard Propaganda Posters

From the Modern Drunkard site, downloadable drunken propaganda posters.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Microsoft Security

From The Register: Ballmer's new MS security fix - same patches, but 'nicer'.

... in summary, what we appear to have here is first, patching doesn't work, we've got to do something else; second, but we can't do something else immediately, so; third, we've got to keep patching while we sort out the something else but; fourth, we'll try to make patching hurt less, OK?

If you're really bored, you can read Steve Ballmer's entire speech here.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Statistical Resources

Here's a site that might be worth a bookmark: Statistical Resources on the Web. It's basically a very well organized collection of links to data sources.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Trinkaus Research

Read about the research conducted by John W. Trinkaus.

During the past 25 years he has conducted research on shoes -- and trains -- and bakery wrapping-tissues -- on Brussels sprouts -- and business students -- and why commuters carry attach´┐Ż cases -- and whether most people wear baseball-type caps with the bill facing backwards. These are just a few of his interests.

And, as you probably know, Trinkaus was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for 2003.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Test Your Reaction Time

How fast are you with that mouse? Take a reaction time test.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

Diamonds From The Dead

A company called LifeGem creates diamonds from your dead loved one. From the FAQ:

The proprietary LifeGem creation process creates diamonds from the true essence of our loved ones, the carbon. Our families receive the ashes as all others do when choosing cremation, except our families also receive a certified, high-quality LifeGem created diamond to memorialize their loved one's unique and wonderful life.

But wait!

Breakthrough! It has now become possible to collect enough carbon from previously cremated remains to create a limited number of LifeGem diamonds for our families. Because the original cremation was beyond our control, and given the additional intricacies of filtering carbon from preexisting remains, we use a different process but the end result of a stunning LifeGem still remain.

Prices start at $2,299.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

The Smartest State

The results of the 2003 Smartest State Award are in.

Massachusetts, home to many great universities, now is recognized for its excellence in elementary and secondary education. The Bay State is winner of the 2003 Smartest State Award, an honor announced annually in Education State Rankings, a reference book from Morgan Quitno Press, a Lawrence, Kansas-based independent research and publishing company. At the opposite end of the scale, New Mexico comes in as the lowest ranking state for the second straight year.

The complete list is here.

Posted on 9 October, 2003

The Rudy Letters

If you're familiar with Don Novello's The Lazlo letters, you might also like The Rudy Letters.

A man, a computer, and too much free time on his hands. Prepare to enter the complex and oddly alluring world of Rudy. These letters are 100% real

Posted on 9 October, 2003