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19 November, 2003

Xcelsius For Excel

PC World has a story about a new Excel add-on called Xcelsius.

Xcelsius Professional is designed for the dedicated numbers-cruncher who knows great data can get lost in grey worksheets.

The program enables users with no knowledge of programming to create Flash versions of their Microsoft Excel files, says Santiago Becerra Sr., president of Infommersion, the company behind Xcelsius. The accessory helps transform the rows and columns of a profit and loss statement into colorful gauges, sliders, or other objects

I think I'll check this out. I'm getting very bored with Excel lately, so maybe this will help.

Find out more at Infommersion's web site.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

Electron Microscope Simulator

This Java app simulates an electron microscope.

We have teamed up with award-winning electron microscopist Dr. Dennis Kunkel to produce a series of interactive Java tutorials that explore various aspects of virtual Scanning Electron Microscopy (vSEM).

Posted on 19 November, 2003

A Victorian Era Robot

In the Victorian era, there was a robot named Boilerplate.

Boilerplate was a mechanical man developed by Professor Archibald Campion during the 1880s and unveiled at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

Built in a small Chicago laboratory, Boilerplate was originally designed as a prototype soldier for use in resolving the conflicts of nations. Although it was the only such prototype, Boilerplate was eventually able to exercise its proposed function by participating in several combat actions.

Boilerplate is one of history's great ironies, a technological milestone that remains largely unknown. Even in an age that gave birth to the automobile and aeroplane, a functioning mechanical man should have been accorded more significance.

Uh... yeah. It's a hoax.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

The Playground

The Playground has something for everyone.

(via Easy Bake Coven)

Posted on 19 November, 2003

Hats For The Ladies

I guess, somewhere in the world, someone actually thinks hats like these are attractive.

(via Jeroen's Semi Blog)

Posted on 19 November, 2003

Black Facts Archive

This one's for Glenn: The Amazing Black Facts Archive. You'll find tons of interesting trivia, including the answers to these questions:

  • Is Mickey Mouse African American?
  • Did the U.S. Constitution Define a Slave as 3/5 of a Person?
  • What Is the Secret of African American Quilts?
  • What Popular African American Was the First Black Woman to Have a Screenplay Produced?
  • What Well-Known African-American Author Died on Two Different Days in Two Different Months?
  • Why Were Blacks Barred from Carrying the Mail in 1802?

Posted on 19 November, 2003

Biting Snakes

Story: Man holds 9 rattlesnakes in his mouth.

It was sunny and cool Tuesday - a perfect day to jam nine rattlesnakes into your mouth. With the nine snakes, Jackie Bibby bested his own world record of eight.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

A Tax On Email?

Here's an article that talks about taxing email as a possible solution to spam.

If Congress is going to stop unsolicited commercial e-mail from swamping computer users, Sen. Mark Dayton says legislators might need to consider "a minuscule tax" on e-mail.

"It's difficult to prevent the use of spam when there's no cost associated with sending thousands, tens of thousands or even millions of e-mails," Dayton, D-Minn., said in a recent conference call with reporters.

I, for one, would gladly pay a penny or two for every email I send. But there's a problem...

"Even if you find a way to realistically create an Internet usage fee or tax, spammers will just find a way around it," said Anne Mitchell, president of the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy, adding that spammers could just use phony credit cards. "There is really no mechanism set up that would actually cause them to have to pay the money," she said.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

What Brand Are You, Revisited

Yesterday, I linked to a site called What Brand Are You? This is a "for fun" site that creates brand names.

Now this, from BBC News: Spoof brand names snapped up for real.

A prank website set up to mock the trend for nonsense brand names has spectacularly backfired on its creators, after several of the spoof names have been registered for real... But it seems not everyone got the joke - 20 of the spoof names, including Bivium, Libero and Ualeo have since been registered with Companies House.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

Food Fight

This could be helpful next week: How to win the Thanksgiving food fight.

One of the most enduring traditions of Thanksgiving is the massive no-holds-barred food fight. This dates back to the first Thanksgiving feast, when Myles Standish stabbed Squanto in the neck with a corn cob.

Thanksgiving in the 21st century is a more sophisticated holiday, and as a result, we are blessed with more sophisticated weaponry. We here at VGG Labs have analyzed the attack possibilities of the average Turkey Day dinner, so that you may have a competitive advantage over your dinner guests.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

Fast Food Cleanliness

From MSNBC: Dirty Dining?

Fast food: It's served fast and you eat it fast, maybe too fast to notice the restaurant is a little dirty. The fact is that no one has ever done a national survey looking at the cleanliness of fast food chains - until now. Recently, we took our Dateline cameras undercover for the first-ever investigation of whether America's top 10 fast food chains are clean and safe. How did your favorite restaurant do?

The worst was Burger King.

The 100 Burger Kings we sampled rang up a whopping 241 total critical violations. Health inspectors cited a Virginia Burger King for 14 separate critical violations: employees not washing their hands, uncovered food in the fridge, grime and debris found on this ice chute, and on the drink machine at the drive-thru widow. We observed one employee scooping ice into a cup with his bare hands, an apparent critical violation.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

Circlemakers

The Circlemakers site is about crop circles and the people who make them.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

Rate My Fish

Go fishing. Catch a fish. Take a photo. Post it on RateMyFish.com. Then others can rate your fish on a 10-point scale.

Posted on 19 November, 2003

The Airzooka

This looks like fun: The Airzooka. It's a vortex generator toy that shoots a ball of air up to 30 feet.

You will laugh your socks off as seemingly from nowhere, you are able to mess up a persons hair, or ruffle their shirt or papers. They won't know what hit them! Use the Airzooka to sneak attack your friends, boss, or even total strangers..

The site has a video demo.

It seems to be safe, so I  don't think you'll find Airzooka on CNN's 10 Worst Toys list.

Posted on 19 November, 2003