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2 February, 2004

An Intelligent Parrot?

This looks like it should be in a supermarket tabloid. But it's from BBC News: Parrot's oratory stuns scientists.

The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short.

The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Shards O'Glass

These look pretty tasty: Shards O'Glass Freeze Pops.

Our glass pops are the nation's leading consumer frozen treats containing glass shards and we are currently shipping our products to many third world countries with more relaxed health codes and legal restrictions.

And next year we're introducing a whole new line of Shards O' Glass freeze pops with larger chunks o' glass-even bottlenecks!

Don't overlook the animated GIF of the CEO.

Posted on 2 February, 2004


Here's an excellent Flash cartoon by Bruno Bozetto: Life.

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Age Maps

Now this is very creative. A series of photos by Bobby Neel Adams, called Age Maps.

Each image consists of two photos, taken at different times in a person's life. Then the photos are combined. Here's an example.

There's a similar series called Couples, which combines photos from two different people.

(via Metafilter)

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Museum Of Hoaxes

I just noticed that the Museum of Hoaxes site has a new design. The curator, Alex Boese (a fellow San Diego) says:

I've finally taken the plunge and upgraded this weblog to a 'real' weblog, complete with permalinks, categories, and the ability to add comments. I'm using pMachine to achieve all this ... I should give a nod to John Walkenbach's J-Walk Blog, from which I got the idea to use pMachine.

The category feature is great. You can now view a complete list of "hoaxes" by category.

Nice job, Alex. One suggestion: If your host supports it, spend some time and implement the search engine-friendly URLs. It will make a HUGE difference in the ability to locate your site from a search engine. For example, Google has now indexed more than 10,000 pages of my blog, and about 40% of visitors come here via a search engine. Oh yeah, and you should create an RSS feed.

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Tune Recycler

From the folks who brought you Downhill Battle, here's the Tune Recycler.

Pepsi is giving away 100 million iTunes songs under Pepsi bottlecaps. For some people, winning an "iTune" when they open their Pepsi might be exhilarating. But if you aren't one of those excitable few, we understand-- you didn't exactly win the lottery. Most people who drink Pepsi don't use iTunes, so winning a single song means you won a chance to spend 20 minutes downloading, installing, and signing up for a music service that will cost a lot more than your Pepsi habit. USA Today reported that Pepsi expects only 10-20% of all caps to be redeemed. That means 80-90 million of them will end up in the trash.

So what do you do with them?

With the Tune Recycler, you can send us your unwanted iTunes bottlecap codes and we'll use them to support independent music. Easy for you, and good for musicians.

And, supposedly Pepsi pays full price for the music.

What a great idea.

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Retro Clipart

Four pages of old school clipart from Paperpast.

Most communities in the fifties had small town print shops that doubled as printers of local news and advertising papers. These printers could not afford graphic artists so they used stock clipart supplied by large companies who distributed common graphics for use in advertising sections of the papers. They were provided for the printer in lots of categories to meet any advertiser's needs.

You'll find cool images like this:

Posted on 2 February, 2004

DigiPhoto Contest Winners

Last month I noted that Pamn's photo was selected as Photo of the Day at Steve's DigiCams site. It was entered in the monthly contest, and the three winners were announced yesterday. Unfortunately, Pamn's photo was not among the winning entries.

There were some good entries during the month. Judging photos is very subjective, of course, but I just don't understand how Grandpa's Joy got the second place prize. It's a decent snapshot, but there were at least 20 photos that were better. Here's a page that shows all entries for the month.

Posted on 2 February, 2004


Check out the Orgulator (requires Internet Explorer). It uses filters to alter the visual layout of any Web page. Note that the result is not a graphic. In other words, you can still select the text, click the links, etc.

Here's how the previous item looks when this page is displayed using the embossed feature.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Military Blimps

From Popular Science: Meet the Homeland Security Blimp, Flying High by 2006.

Being oversize has its advantages. Just ask researchers at the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, which recently dished out $40 million to arms maker Lockheed Martin to design what could soon be the world's largest pilotless airship. Measuring 500 feet long, with a volume of 5.2 million cubic feet, the prototype high-altitude airship, or HAA, will be 25 times larger than the Goodyear blimp.

Compared to high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles, such as NASA's ill-fated Helios, the airship should be able to carry a heavy payload; its 4,000-pound capacity makes it ideal for toting heavy surveillance and communications equipment. Another big advantage: HAA's solar panels and fuel cells will allow it to loiter above the jet stream in a geostationary position for up to a year, something no drone or spy plane can do.

(via Thirdredeye)

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Old Clone Photos

Here's an interesting exhibit at the American Museum of Photography: Seeing Double: Cloning Humans with a Camera.

The first artificially-created human clones date back to the 1860s. Clever photographers, ever on the watch for new ideas to boost business, developed several techniques to duplicate people --- causing them to appear twice in the same photograph.

Here's one called Double Portrait of Frank Fowler, with Wheelbarrow and Fan.

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Math For Presidential Candidates

From ABC News: Arithmetic and the Candidates. A list of proposed math questions.

Watching political debates, I sometimes find myself hoping that the moderators will pose a simple arithmetical question or two.

Queries about the war, taxes, and cultural issues usually elicit rhetoric and canned answers that most of the candidates could recite in their sleep, but even very simple arithmetical questions would require a bit of thought and calculation that they couldn't easily evade.

What a great idea. Shouldn't the public know how smart these guys actually are?

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Faking UFO Photos

A useful article by Tom Callen: Faking UFO Photos for the Twenty-First Century.

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Jon Version 2.0

From CNN: Engineering geek names son version 2.0.

Jon Blake Cusack talked his wife, Jamie, into naming their son Jon Blake Cusack 2.0. Version 2.0 was born Tuesday at Holland Community Hospital, and the proud parents took him home Friday.

I like this idea. I'd much rather be called 2.0 than Junior.

Posted on 2 February, 2004

Write A Bush Speech

Create a presidential speech. Just string some George W phrases together, and then listen to it.

Posted on 2 February, 2004