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16 March, 2004

Text On Things

This is one of the most clever blogs I've seen yet: Text On Things.

The blogger (who is completely anonymous, but appears to be Dutch) chooses an object, and then transcribes the text that's on it. For example, the entry for 12 April:

baby underwear:
DKNY DKNYbaby 6M SNAPPER - - - SNAPPER - - - SNAPPER - - - SNAPPER - - - SNAPPER - - - C. W. F. Children Worldwide Fashion Les Herbiers France R. C. S. 421994658 La Roche Sur Yon 6 mois stat F 67 D 68 Y 71067 )F 207013 H NPJ RN 98816 CA 08991 A NORMA DI LEGGE N 883 DEL 26-11-73 100% coton-cotone-katoen baumwolle-cotton algodon-algodao CARE OVER 40 P Do not commercially launder Warm wash and rinse No bleach Cool iron Any solvent Except Trichloroetyhlene Tumble dry forbidden flat dry

I've added it to Blogs I Read. Unfortunately, no RSS feed.

There are no limits to human creativity.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Hello Kitty Stress Test

A stress test from Hello Kitty. Please excuse the Engrish mistakes.

My result:

You have a fair stress level... As long as you are in the natural environment, you will be peaceful to resolve any problems.

(via Viral Marketing Blog)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

The IBM Archives

The IBM Archives:

Valuable resources on IBM's history.

I'm not sure how valuable it is, but you'll find some interesting stuff. For example, a section called Century of IBM Attire. Shown here are the top salesmen of 1953. Only three are wearing a hat.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Making A Dorodango

If you've been wanting to make a dorodango, here's the site for you. A dorodango is a shining mud ball. Remember:

If you use red soil, you get a red dorodango.

(via Solipsism Gradient)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Bush Blog Vs. Kerry Blog Vs. J-Walk Blog

As you probably know, the two U.S. presidential candidates both have blogs:

Just for fun, I submitted both of these URLs to Doctor HTML for a single-page analysis. I also submitted this blog, for comparison.

Bush Blog Kerry Blog J-Walk Blog
Document structure problems 4 0 2
HTML parse errors 1 1 0
No. Hyperlinks 123 419 160
No. Images (and size) 201 (113K) 89 (90.4K) 15 (122K)
Browser support conflicts 34 28 16
Form structure problems 3 1 1
Font errors 1 0 0
Potential meta tag errors 2 2 1
Text and HTML size 84.9K 76.8K 42.7K

Bush has too many images. Kerry has too many links. In terms of content, both of the presidential candidate blogs are very boring. The J-Walk Blog, on the other hand, is much more interesting.

For those who actually care about the content in the presidential candidate blogs, here's a site that show the RSS feeds for both of them, side-by-side.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Montana Facts For Newcomers

Montana is one of those states that people (especially Californians) like to move to. I got things backwards. I spent about seven years in Montana, and ended up in California.

Ed Kemmick, a Billings Gazette columnist, wrote a great little piece: Newcomers should get all the facts.

The Associated Press reported last week that Madison County commissioners are hoping to establish a policy that will give newcomers to Montana some idea of what to expect when they get here.

The so-called "right to farm and ranch" policy would be made into a pamphlet and distributed through county offices and real estate agents to people planning to adopt a "rural lifestyle."

Ed goes on to describe some additional topics that should be made known to newcomers. For example, the "hey, the critters were here first" policy:

This would be aimed at those who move to Montana to get away from it all and then complain because deer are eating their flowers. You might get some sympathy when the mountain lions start coming down to feed on the deer and eat your frou-frou dog, but not until then.

Ed also has a blog called City Lights, which I read every time it's updated. The only problem is that it often makes me want to move back to Montana.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Junk Music

Donald KnaacK's Junk Music.

Music people want to hear performed on objects they don't want.

Click the Music Samples link to hear some junk music.

(Thanks firq)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

The UI For Consumer Products

Jakob Nielsen makes some good points: Why Consumer Products Have Inferior User Experience.

The article is primarily about consumer good such as cars and remote control devices. But he does manage to bring in one of my pet peeves about MS Office:

To this day, Microsoft Office fails to offer a totally integrated user experience, even though Microsoft started selling its applications bundle as a suite in 1988. Word is from 1983, Excel is from 1985, and PowerPoint is from 1987 (and was originally an independent product from Forethought). Sixteen years of hard work, and the product's history still shows in its user interface, though it's getting better with every release.

Posted on 16 March, 2004


Here are lots of ways to commit suicide. Each method has the approximate time, and notes. For example, here's the entry for "jumping off building."

Time: Instantaneous if you are lucky, minutes/hours otherwise

Available: You need ten stories or higher, and access to the top floor windows/roof. Bring a bolt cutter to get onto the roof

Certainty: 90% for 6 stories, increasing after that

Notes: Difficult to overcome fear of heights, many people can't do it. Totally painless if high enough, but very frightening. Easily discovered if seen on/near roof/windows. Access fairly easy in a city, otherwise difficult. Risk of spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair. Ever tried killing yourself if you are paralyzed from the neck down? Email conversations suggest 10+ stories works ALMOST all of the time. Try to land on concrete. Quote - "9 out of 10 people who fall 6 stories will die"

Here's one method that doesn't work too well: Man treated after attempting to nail himself to cross.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Street Writer

Street Writer is...

...a modified cargo van, capable of printing messages on to the pavement while driving. The system is capable of rendering messages that are legible from tall buildings and low flying aircraft and is capable of rendering message that are several hundreds of feet in length.

(via Bifurcated Rivets)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Tomato Soup

Another gourmet recipe from Himonkey.net: Monkey stirs up a nice pot of tomato soup.

the red and the white liquids struggle to maintain their individual identities as the torrent of milk washes over the condensed soup. it is art? is it life? i don't know, i just know that it's time to turn the stove on to a medium heat.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Man Grooming

Lance's Guide to Man Grooming.

Most guys don't think too much about their faces unless they're poised inches from a mirror squeezing the white heads on their chin. You wash it, you dry it, you rub the grit from the corners of your eyes, you're done.

Believe it or not, Lance says there's more.

(via Not Martha)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Very Weird

This Flash animation is just too weird to describe. See how long you can watch it (and listen to it).

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Wall Decals

A company called Blik sells removable wall decals. That seems like an easy way to liven up a room.

(via Waxy.org)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Underground Business

Near Kansas City, Missouri: SubTropolis.

SubTropolis is the largest underground business complex in the world. This subsurface development is now home to more than 50 local, national and international businesses. Tenant companies include warehousing, cold storage, light manufacturing and office operations.

SubTropolis is owned by Lamar Hunt and his family, owners of the Kansas City Chiefs football club and the Kansas City Wizards soccer team

(via Information Junk)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

April Fool's Day Hoaxes

April Fool's Day is coming up. Avoid the rush. Check out the Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Arrow Signs

A collection of photos that depict arrow signs.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Spam Locator

The Spam Locator. Just copy and paste the email headers from a spam message. Click a button to see the geographic location where it came from.

I tried it with several spams. In some cases, it's not able to determine the origin. But I did have some luck:

  • One came from San Jose, via Australia.
  • Another came from Rome, Georgia.
  • Another came from Seoul South Korea, via Asheville, North Carolina.
  • And one came from Stockton, California.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Surrealistic Images

Here are some interesting imagery: surRealities. This one is called Handmade Fractal.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Choose Your Life

For pessimists: Choose Your Life. It's a Flash app that lets you choose life options.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Video News Release

From the Columbia Journalism Review: Spin Buster.

Television stations in Oklahoma, Louisiana and other states have aired "news" segments about the recently enacted Medicare law, featuring "reporters" Karen Ryan and Alberto Garcia (in the Spanish language version). Unbeknownst to viewers, however, writes Robert Pear in today's New York Times, the "news" was in fact a free videotape produced and directed by the federal government.

Not surprisingly, the stories were upbeat. The "reporters" praised the benefits of the controversial new Medicare law, and many of the videos featured President Bush receiving a standing ovation as he signed the law last December. The "reports" were nothing more than a free advertisement for the legislation, posing as news.

(via Pathologically Polymathic)

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Mr. T In Your Pocket

Buy this $10 device, and you'll have Mr. T in Your Pocket. Press a button and play any of six classic Mr. T lines -- including "I Pity The Fool."

What a great gift!!!

Posted on 16 March, 2004

John Kerry in Doonesbury

John Kerry, in three Doonsbury cartoons -- from 1971.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Music Paper

At Blank Sheet Music, you can print music paper (including tablature paper). After you print some paper, then you can write some music like this or maybe even like this.

Posted on 16 March, 2004

Fresh Goo

Fresh Goo: Search Google for sites added today, yesterday, within the last seven days, or last 30 days.

Posted on 16 March, 2004