« Previous Day | Main | Next Day »

19 February, 2004

Jung Eun's Blog

Jim Kloss, at Whole Wheat Radio, discovered this blog written by Jung Eun: welcome to my world. There is no personal information, but it appears to be written by a woman from Korea who is attending college in Michigan -- and also learning English.

Jim read a few entries on the air. The English is far from perfect, but the writing has an interesting poetic quality to it. For example:

I know that English no good rushing things.
But, presently, I idle my time away.
Sometimes, I don't know what is doing me.
I lost my confidence about "make native friend"

"I must improve my English!!!!"
"I must improve my English!!!!"
All day I think that
But that is not easy to me, and sometimes
that is tired of me.
So, my mind feel confusion.

And this entry, written on Valentines Day:

Frankly speaking, I have unretured love in Korea.
I like him, but he don't like me.
Because he is professor, but I'm student
When I was junior, he was teaching me about music analysis.
At that time, he was very kind to me, popular every stutdent, smart.

Sometimes, I miss you like creazy.
Especially, this day miss more then.

I've never lived outside of the U.S., and I've never even attempted to learn a foreign language. So I can only imagine what she is going through.

Keep blogging, Jung.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Declining CD Sales?

CD sales are down, right? Well, maybe CDs by RIAA-affiliated companies are on the decline. But CDs by independent artists are stronger than ever. See CD Baby Passes $10 Million in CDs Sold.

In case anyone tries to tell you that independent music has no value, is small potatoes, is just "garage bands", or anything else like that - you can tell them that CD Baby has now sold over $10 MILLION in independent CDs.

I've purchased several CDs from CD Baby. Excellent service, and excellent music. But they really do need a new logo...

Posted on 19 February, 2004

H-O-T Coffee

JavaLog - a fire log made from coffee grounds.

It was invented in 1998 by Rod Sprules, when one evening at his home, he conducted an experiment where he used dried coffee grounds from his coffee maker filter, combined it with candle wax and then compressed it with a pen into an old cigar tube. It burned so well that he then made prototypes in a loaf pan and gave it to some friends to try � the rest is history! Java-Log was recently awarded patents in North-America and Europe for the invention of clean-burning, high-energy, fuel products comprised of recycled coffee.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

101,000 Essays

Direct Essays is certainly providing a fine service for English-speaking students.

Running out of time? Need a paper right now? Tired of looking through all those free sites only to go in circles, or get led to sites that charge $8.95 a page?

But this one's different... You can get a 30-day membership for only $19.95.

Get immediate access to our database of 101,000+ papers and essays!!!! Direct Essays.com has high quality student written term papers, essays, and book reports. Most papers are written with recent, relevant, information on many different topics.

But no student would ever turn in one of these papers and claim that it's an original work. It's contrary to their Acceptable Use Policy;

The papers contained within our web site are for research purposes only! You may not turn in our papers as your own work! You must cite our website as your source! Turning in a paper from our web site as your own is plagerism [sic] and is illegal!

There are no guarantees regarding accuracy, spelling, or grammar. For example, here's the first paragraph from a 525-word essay titled Acustic [sic] Guitars:

Since before Edison, since before the mayflower, one instrument has dominated the way we make and listen to music. This instrument is the guitar. Over its long life the guitar has undergone many drastic and important changes. Its most recent change was came when the guitar was fused with electricity.

And for those who want only the best, you can order a custom "research" paper. Prices range from $17 - $38 per page.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Jesus Jeans

News item: UK: Jesus Jeans Trademark Request Rejected.

The UK Patent Office has refused an application to register �Jesus' as a trademark to sell jeans and footwear in Britain, The Journal has reported.

Luxembourg-based apparel company Jesus Jeans, which has successfully registered the trademark in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Italy and Spain, was rejected by the office because of the name's "religious significance and its use as a trademark would be seen as morally offensive to the public."

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Electronic Books And DRM

From Ed Foster's Gripelog: E-Books and DRM.

Can e-books be saved from the curse of DRM? Or, perhaps better said, when will book publishers realize that loading their digital products down with rights restrictions is not in their own self interest?

There are many reasons why e-books have never really taken off, starting with the fact that many of us are quite fond of paper and print. And, judging by the gripes I've been hearing from e-book devotees, there's not going to be much reason to change our minds until book publishers cease their love affair with digital rights management.

I've purchased exactly one e-book in my life. And I did so only because it did not use any form of DRM.

Current editions of my Excel books also include an electronic version on the companion CD-ROM. These books do not use DRM, but the text in them cannot be copied. This has been an ongoing battle with my publisher. I always request that user be able to copy/paste the text -- but they never listen.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Words From Death Row

From the San Francisco Bay View: Ritual of death.

I entered the death chamber waiting room around 6:35 p.m., and around 8:15 p.m. the phone rang again, and it was once again my attorney. She told me that she heard from the court and that they refused to hear the state's petition. They denied the state - and upheld my stay!

The chilling article is written by Kevin Cooper, who came within 3-1/2 hours of being executed.

I had not heard of this case, but apparently it's very controversial. There's a Save Kevin Cooper Web site, which states:

Kevin Cooper is an inmate on death row at San Quentin State Prison. In 1985 he was convicted of the murder of the Ryen family and a houseguest in San Bernadino county. Much evidence has come forward that was never tested or presented before the jury at Kevin Cooper's trial that could possibly challenge his conviction.

The site also has an extensive collection of Cooper's writings.

(via Brian Flemming's Weblog)

Posted on 19 February, 2004

How To Write Good

A National Lampoon classic, by Michael O'Donoghue: How to Write Good.

Now the truth can be told. This article inspired me to start writing Excel books. Especially, Lesson 7: Making the Reader Feel Inadequate.

Without question, the surest way to make a reader feel inadequate is through casual erudition, and there is no better way to achieve casual erudition than by putting the punchline of an anecdote in a little foreign language.

I don't know any foreign languages, but I've found that pasting a VBA procedure works just as well.

My favorite is Lesson 10: More Writing Hints. I reproduce it here in its entirety:

There are many more writing hints I could share with you, but suddenly I am run over by a truck.

(via Bifurcated Rivets)

Posted on 19 February, 2004

A Self-Tuning Guitar?

An automatic guitar-tuning system called the Performer.

The Performer is a computerized mechanical tuning system that adjusts the tensions of the strings, making it possible to keep your guitar in tune and change tuning while you play. It only adjusts string tension; nothing in the system comes between you and your amplifier.

How does it work?

A small computer and mechanical device mounted inside your guitar works at your command. The computer understands how your guitar works and reacts to changes in temperature and humidity. It then directs the mechanical device to get the results you want. Besides play, all you have to do is strum your strings, push a button or step on a footswitch.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Bush And Science

From Wired: Scientists: Bush Distorts Science.

The Bush administration has distorted scientific fact leading to policy decisions on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry, a group of about 60 scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that every president would distort scientific facts if doing so would support their agenda. Bush is simply following a long line of tradition.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Flying Barstools

Flying Barstools is probably the best source on the Net for motorized barstools.

They also sell a handy gas-powered blender.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Search Engine For Marketers

If you think the Internet exists to sell stuff, you'll love Larry Chase's Search Engine for Marketers.

This free service features short reviews and links to the top sites in 40 marketing categories, such as: Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing, Increasing Site Traffic, Link Popularity, Direct Marketing, Web Analytics, Search Engine Marketing, Affiliate Programs, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Media Buying, CRM, and more.

But these aren't just any links...

For each site listed, 35 were rejected.

Well, the sites couldn't have been checked too carefully. Chase provides a link to the National Do Not Email List site -- which simply collects email addresses and sells them to spammers.

I get the impression that Larry Chase is sincere about being a "good" Internet marketer. But it's getting to the point where I simply don't trust anything (or anybody) that deals with Internet Marketing.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

The Time Travel Institute

A site devoted to time travel: Time Travel Institute.

The Time Travel Institute is dedicated to the research and exploration of the temporal sciences. Together, we can make the future happen... today!

Through the contribution of hundreds of experts in the field around the world, we are getting ever closer to our goal of controlling and manipulating time.

Perhaps the oddest part is that the head research� guy is a fictional character.

Chief of Research at the Time Travel Institute (and fictional character) Dr. Gunthar VonSchnelling presents to you some basic theories and concepts on time travel. Don't go any further until you've read what Dr. VonSchnelling has to say.

Maybe in the future, Dr. VonSchnelling is a real person.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

ALA Poster Girl

For some reason, the American Library Association chose Britney Spears to be a poster girl to encourage reading and literacy.

And there are plenty other celebrity posters, including Bill Gates, Emeril Lagasse, and Shaquille O'Neal.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Asleep At The Wheel

Here's a short video that depicts what can happen if you fall asleep while driving. Without a seat belt.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Graphic File Formats

Interesting and useful: Graphics Formats Explained.

There are a lot of great ways to get confused while using computers - and one of the best is figuring out graphics file formats. As with so many areas of computing, standards for graphic files are great because there are so many to choose from.

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Type Flake

At Type Flake, you can enter some text and transform it into a snowflake.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 19 February, 2004

Eating Coins

From Medical News Today: 350 coins found in patient's belly.

The patient had been complaining of a sore, swollen belly. Doctors discovered that he had, in fact, swallowed an assortment of necklaces and needles as well as the coins.

When doctors took an X-ray they were amazed. There was an enormous mass in his stomach. The metal in there weighed 5.4 kilos, enough to force his stomach down between his hips, which it did not do.

After removing the objects from his stomach, the 62-year-old died twelve days later of complications.

Posted on 19 February, 2004