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27 January, 2004

Joel Mabus On Wal-Mart

Joel Mabus is an excellent indie artist. You can't buy his music at Wal-Mart, but you can download some songs here. One of those songs is called "You Can't Buy My Records at Wal-Mart."

You can't buy my records at Wal-Mart
You can't find my music there
I never do business with Wal-Mart
'Cause Wal-Mart just doesn't play fair

You might find some children's clothing
At prices that drive you wild
But chances are good that children's clothing
Was made by an actual child

So please don't go shopping at Wal-Mart
Don't give them fellers your bucks
Shop anywheres else besides Wal-Mart
'Cause that little ol' smiley face sucks.

I've mentioned Joel Mabus in the past. He's one of those artists that I learned about from Whole Wheat Radio. Besides making music, Joel also has quite a few interesting essays at his web site.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Blinkenlights

Blinkenlights is a cool light display made of windows in a building.

The upper eight floors of the building were transformed in to a huge display by arranging 144 lamps behind the building's front windows. A computer controlled each of the lamps independently to produce a monochrome matrix of 18 times 8 pixels.

Lots of animated GIFs to check out.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Bubble Art

Bubble art from Fan Yang.

The Most Fascinating Performance On The Planet. Fan Yang is a world renowned Bubble Scientist and well-known international Artist/Performer. 7 times Guinness World Records Holder.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Dog Food Recipes

More than 140 recipes for dog food at the Doggie Connection's Recipe Page. Those Bow Wow Burritos sound pretty tasty...

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Cheesy Guitars

All about Cheesy Guitars.

This site is dedicated to those vintage unplayable instruments that aren't even worth collecting. The first reason we've made this site is that there's no information about these guitars, no pictures and no reviews. But they exist, and they are definitely worth checking out.

The other reason is that we love them. Too many of us started our career with those cheesy axes.

Shown here is a 22-year old Stella, made in the USSR:

Horrible workmanship! Four pickups and a whole bunch of knobs. Laminated body, but not plywood, it's more like butcher block. Covered in some type of carcinogenic, caustic, and otherwise unsavory plastic. This was made in an accordion factory, so the construction methods overlap. The electronics are undecipherable, period. The wiring looks like the inside of a 1950 television.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Commercial Alert

I found an interesting site today called Commercial Alert.

Commercial Alert's mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy.

It covers a wide variety of ad-related topics, including neuromarketing, political ads, ad creep, and one of my favorites: the commercialization of the US Postal Service.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Make A Toothbrush Bracelet

Why spend money on fancy jewelry, when you can make a nice bracelet from an old toothbrush?

First you find a toothbrush, one of the plain plastic kinds, without this rubber handle stuff (I get them at the dentist, I'm not sure where you can get one but they're around).

Then you boil some water, and stick the toothbrush in it. This makes it flexible as well as getting rid of all the nasty germs from your mouth. When the toothbrush starts to get soft, take it out and bend it to be about the size of your wrist

You'll find lots of other clever projects at Craftster.org. For example, you can also make a bracelet from a fork.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Scoble On Crippled Media

Yesterday, Microsoft employee Robert Scoble wrote a lengthy blog item about buying digital music.

When you hear DRM think "lockin." So, when you buy music off of Napster or Apple's iTunes, you're locked into the DRM systems that those applications decided on. Really you are choosing between two competing lockin schemes.

But, not all lockin schemes are alike, I learned on Friday. First, there are two major systems. The first is Apple's AAC/Fairtunes based DRM. The second is Microsoft's WMA

He goes on to explain why Microsoft's DRM system is better for the consumer because more people will use it, and therefore more vendors will support it.

Usually Scoble is pretty level-headed, but I think maybe he's getting brainwashed by the DRM advocates at Microsoft. Fact is, anybody who buys DRM-crippled media (that can't be easily cracked) is a fool. There is no reason to support these anti-consumer protection schemes. None. Ignore them, and they'll most assuredly go away.

I was going to write a counter-argument, but Cory Doctorow beat me to it (and did it much more eloquently that I could have). See Protect your investment: buy open.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Headvertising

This can't be for real, can it? Headvertise - Students Make Money by Advertising with Forehead Tattoos.

Collegians are a highly attractive market, however students are increasingly hard to reach. Largely, they are immune to traditional advertising methods, as it plagues them day in and out, online and off. Soon, with the abundance of marketing thrown at them from every direction, even the most stimulating traditional marketing campaigns will go unnoticed.

How much do you earn for looking like a complete moron?

The weekly pay you will receive will vary from student to student, and is determined by the survey results and the scope of advertising campaigns. The average student will earn $150 per week, with some variance above and below that figure.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Is That Cellphone Loaded?

Watch a short video of a gun that looks just like a cell phone.

(via Gizmodo)

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Umbrella Dress

The lovely dress shown here is the result of the Umbrella Project.

This dress uses 20 umbrella pelts collected from the gutters of Berkeley and New York, largely by Anadamayi. Anandamayi also made the rosettes on the bodice (from the little bits on top of the umbrellas).

(via Not Martha)

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Do You Like?

Here's an interesting site for Web surfers: I Like.

All you have to do is click the I like! button every time you see a web page that you find interesting. Based on your indications, I like! recommends pages that people with similar interests have liked.

That sounds pretty good in theory. I wonder how long it will take before it becomes corrupted by spammers?

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Dishwasher Cooking

Can you actually cook food in your automatic dishwasher? Apparently you can.

I invited a few friends (my wife sat warily in another room, refusing to participate), and prepared three simple vegetable dishes I normally would steam - broccoli with sesame seed oil and almond slivers, carrots with butter and dill, and butternut squash with olive oil and mixed herbs. For fun, I also prepped a handful of soy-meat and feta-cheese wonton dumplings, a dish I normally would steam in a bamboo basket.

And here's a recipe for Dishwasher Salmon with Cilantro Sauce.

(via Tom McMahon)

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Ads At The Movies

Here's a site devoted to stamping out commercials at movie theaters: Didn't I Already Pay For This Movie?

You know them. You hate them. Ads before movies are getting more and more prevalent. We must act now to stop the menace before it becomes entrenched beyond repair. If you think one or two ads before a movie isn't going to kill anybody, consider that recently we sat through SEVEN ads before the previews* began. Is nothing sacred?

We are calling on all moviegoers to BOYCOTT the companies that advertise at the movies.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Another Coffin Story

For those who just can't get enough coffin stories: A coffin for all events.

Ghanaian art has tradition. The wood-carved figures of the Ashanti, first of all the roundfaced Akuaba , are famous all over the world like the hand weaved Kente shawls, sewed together from stripes of about a hands breadth. Every clan has his own pattern. You will find a lot of them in the State Museum in Accra, a paradise for lovers of african art, contemporary or traditional. In the streets, naive painters work out every motive in a mixture of spontaneous and copied styles. Nearly everywhere artists build small copies of for example cars out of wood or metal. InTeshi, a village 16 km east of Accra, you can order your own coffin. Wood-carved, painted and in every form you like.

Shown here is a coffin in the shape of a shoe.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Another Email Worm

From Wired: Tricky E-Mail Worm Spreads Fast.

A malicious program attached to seemingly innocuous e-mails was spreading quickly over the Internet on Monday, clogging network traffic and potentially leaving hackers an open door to infected personal computers.

The worm, called "Mydoom" or "Novarg" by antivirus companies, disguises itself as an e-mail error message. A small file is attached that, when launched on computers running Microsoft's Windows operating systems, can send out 100 infected e-mail messages in 30 seconds to e-mail addresses stored in the computer's address book and other documents.

I had nearly 600 of these waiting in my inbox this morning.

Posted on 27 January, 2004

Federal Spending And Oreos

In this Flash movie, Ben (of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream) uses Oreo cookies to explain the federal budget.

Posted on 27 January, 2004