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6 November, 2003

The Worst Album Covers

From the Stone blog: Worst Album Covers Ever. It's a tough decision, but I think the worst of the worst is this one, by The Ministers Quartet:

It seems that The Ministers Quartet is still together. They did a three-night gig in Shawnee, Oklahoma last April. Here's a more recent photo:

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Your Face On A Book Cover

You can order a copy of a book called America 24/7, with your face on the cover.

This beautiful book documents a week of American life through the lenses of thousands of professional and amateur photographers. From May 12-18, 2003, nearly 4,000 professional photographers and tens of thousands of amateurs participated in America 24-7, a watershed event of the new digital photography age.

A wonderful gift all on its own, you can make America 24/7 even more special by uploading your own photograph to be custom printed on the book's dustjacket.

(via Tom McMahon)

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Unusual Cars

Chris Mitchell has four pages of weird car photos. Like this hamburger vehicle:

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Happy MMDD

Today is National Men Make Dinner Day. This special day is the first Thursday of every November.

I'll do my part. I'll look up the web site and order a pizza online. That probably doesn't count, but it's close enough.

Ah, another holiday down.

(via Metafilter)

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Nigerian EMail Conference

The excitement is really building in Abuja. The 3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference begins tomorrow.

I wonder if they will post the conference proceedings?

Posted on 6 November, 2003

The New $20 Bill

Another good one from Cockeyed.com: The New Color-Enhanced $20 Bill With Security Features.

The new bill has subtle colorations and shading near Jackson's head, the border, and near the numbers. This is the first time in almost 100 years that colors other than green and black have been used on U.S. paper money.

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Celestial Navigation

Here's something that I know absolutely nothing about: Celestial Navigation.

Welcome to the Celestial Navigation Net! Celestial Navigation is the art and science of finding your way by the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and, in one form or another, is one of the oldest practices in human history. This webpage is an attempt to bring together all of the best Celestial Navigation resources on the internet, with pointers to other resources as well.

(Thanks Dave Callahan)

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Out Of Dutch

From National Lampoon: Let's Get America Out Of Dutch!

We're happy to welcome all you new tile-smashers to the fight against Dutch subterfuge. Our movement is growing by leaps and bounds every day, and although we cannot disclose the exact number of our members to prevent infiltration from certain persons who feel more at home in footwear made out of trees, we can say that it is very large indeed and getting larger!

(Thanks Ren´┐Ż, from Holland)

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Deleting Music Files

From USA Today: More households deleting music from hard drives.

More than a million households deleted all the digital music files they had saved on their PCs in August - a sign that the record industry's anti-piracy tactics are hitting home, said research company NPD Group on Wednesday.

NPD credited the ongoing anti-piracy campaign by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and said publicity about the move led more consumers to delete musical files.

The original NPD press release concludes:

"The music industry's success in reducing file-sharing activity has been impressive, but now the real work of winning back the hearts and minds of consumers must begin," Crupnick said. "To capitalize on this success, the industry must re-double efforts to educate the file-sharing public about how illegal file sharing affects not just the industry's bottom line, but also the artists themselves and the ability of the industry to continue to offer a wide range of new music to consumers.

The artists? Fact is, the artists have been getting screwed by the RIAA labels for decades. If you want a wide range of new music, check out the thousands of independent artists who actually care about their fans.

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Life In Prison

From The Smoking Gun: Behind Bars With The Unabomber.

Five years into a life sentence, Ted Kaczynski is proving to be a model prisoner at the country's "supermax" federal penitentiary. He keeps a tidy cell, has a clean conduct record, and maintains a "positive rapport" with staff.

But the Unabomber's stay behind bars is not without its frustrations, including noisy neighbors, commissary miscues, and mail problems galore for a man who once relied on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver his deadly packages.

You can read several original documents written by Kaczynski.

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Falling For Spam

I can relate to this: From Poynter Online: Spam That Got Me.

This week, I wanted to share examples of some of the spam messages that I actually opened, i.e., subject lines that fooled me. This isn't "spam I got," but "spam that got me." I thought twice about sharing these and exposing myself to ridicule - and perhaps more spam. But I think some of you might find what I am about to confess useful in your own spam battles.

Every day, I get about 500 spam emails. I use the same technique as Poynter:

My e-mail reading habit is to scan either the senders' names or the subject lines as fast as possible, deleting messages that might be spam without reading them. I have gotten really good at "sensing" spam, but if I have even the slightest doubt it might not be spam, I don't delete.

Each day, I incorrectly identify 4-5 spams as legitimate emails. And I'm sure that I delete quite a few legitimate emails because they have a spam-like subject line.

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Microsoft And Bounty Hunting

You've probably heard about Microsoft's offer of a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the people responsible for MSBlast and SoBig. An article at Wired sums it up: MS Calls Out Bounty Hunters.

I couldn't resist posting this photo, from CNN/Money.

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Amazing Fire Photo

Of all the San Diego area fire photos I've seen, this one is the most incredible.

Actually, the image shown here is just a small detail from a much larger photo that shows a single house, untouched by the fire. Dozens of surrounding homes are completely destroyed. But somehow, this one house survived.

Click here to view the entire photo, which was taken by Michael J. Pusnik, Jr. from a Navy helicopter.

(via The Museum of  Hoaxes -- and no, it's not a hoax)

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Frozen Shaving Cream

From the creative folks at Cockeyed.com: Frozen Shaving Cream.

I first heard of the frozen shaving cream prank during my first year at U.C. Santa Barbara. The prank goes like this:

If you freeze a can of shaving cream in liquid nitrogen, then carefully hacksaw the can open, you can pull out a frozen shaving cream cylinder. This frozen foam block will expand at it heats up, making a huge mess! Two frozen shaving cream "bombs" can fill an entire car, so a car with a window rolled down makes the perfect target!

Does it work? Can one can of shaving cream really fill an entire room? Read the article and find out.

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Office 2003 Critical Update

Microsoft Office 2003 was just released a few weeks ago. The first critical update is now available.

This update fixes a problem that occurs when you try to open or to save a Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 file, a Microsoft Office Word 2003 file, or a Microsoft Office Excel 2003 file that includes an OfficeArt shape that was previously modified and saved in an earlier version of Microsoft Office.

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Stereo 3D Gallery

The Stereo 3D Gallery is mighty impressive.

This gallery is an electronic folio of 3D imagery produced by enthusiasts of stereo photography. New exhibitors are added regularly, and existing exhibits are updated periodically. The Gallery includes a comment forum and information on techniques used in two-image stereo photography.

Each image can be viewed using any of several different techniques. The spider, shown here, was photographed by Dave Kesner.

Posted on 6 November, 2003

The Drink-O-Meter

A Flash app called the Drink-O-Meter.

Have you ever wondered just quite how much you've managed to drink in your lifetime? Or how much it might have cost you?

Posted on 6 November, 2003

Hear The Light

Warning: If you download the software mentioned here, you might not get any work done for the rest of the day.

This is one cool program: Coagula.

Coagula reads image data and adds up masses of sine waves -- each line in the image controls the amplitude of one oscillator at a certain pitch. The vertical position of a pixel decides the frequency, while its horizontal position corresponds to time. You can of course freely set the total time and the frequency range for your image.

Red and green control stereo placement: Red is sent to left channel, while green controls amplitude of the right channel. The brighter the colour, the louder the sound.

I created the image below using Coagula, and it generated the sound you hear in this five-second  MP3 file.

Coagula is free for personal use.

(Thanks Jay Graf)

Posted on 6 November, 2003