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23 July, 2004

Real Or Fake?

I can't tell decide if this photo is real or fake. If it's real, that's a very lucky photographer.

Maybe I should have saved this for a photo caption contest.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Plastic Fetuses For Sale

Hurry, only two days remain for the eBay auction: PLASTIC FETUS MODELS (50) PRE-BORN 12 WKS.

You are bidding on 50 small pink plastic fetus models. They are new, clean, and all boys. (If you want some to be girls... you can get out a sharp knife.) The models are about 2" long and made from injection molded plastic. They have the words "preborn 11-12 weeks" molded in raised small letters on their backs.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

J-Walk Blog - Japanese Edition

I just found this:

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Design Your Tombstone

Don't wait until it's too late. Design your own tombstone now, with the Tombstone Generator.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Robot Rock Critic

From the guy who brought us The first self-writing weblog, here's the Robot Rock Critic.

Enter a band or artist, use a drop-down to describe it, and the review is spewed forth instantaneously. For example, here's a review of Esther Golton's latest CD, Radio K.A.O.S.

This woman is apparently very sensitive. Fans may say otherwise, but the rock-rap "Surrounded By Myself" is virtually a rewrite of "She." Never before has an artist taken as many chances in the studio as Esther Golton.

Sometimes it works. Esther Golton's attempt to broaden her sound -- even integrating Serbian war hymns with the pop artistry of the tuneful "Not the Way It Seems" -- isn't entirely an artistic success.

Esther Golton offers more of the usual shameless, power-pop songwriting on this one. Whether singing about media manipulation ("The Dream Warriors") or visions of World War III ("Everything Is Possible (But Nothing Is Real)"), Esther Golton takes being disposable to the extreme. Call it a tragical history tour.

This album is the musical equivalent of a souvenir T-shirt: perfectly comfortable, but destined to fade.

It even generates a reader response. In this case:

Your review of Esther Golton was dead wrong. Sometimes you just have to enjoy a good rock album for what it is. Radio K.A.O.S. is the record of the year. Your magazine sucks. Esther Golton forever.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Good News From AT&T

Press Release: AT&T Announces Second-Quarter 2004 Earnings, Company to Stop Investing in Traditional Consumer Services; Concentrate Efforts on Business Markets.

AT&T will no longer be competing for residential local and standalone long distance (LD) customers. The company stressed that existing residential customers will continue to receive the quality service they expect from AT&T; however, the company will no longer be investing to acquire new customers in this segment.

Yippee! That means about 52 fewer junk mails every year. For the past year or so, I've been getting their junk mailings at the rates of about one per week.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Barrel Blossoms

Right now, lots of these barrel cactus are spitting out bright orange flowers. This one happens to be in our front yard.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Web Mistakes

A collection of mistakes: Broken web pages, but in a funny way.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Miniature Art

Ken Kopper's Slice of Life.

I have been creating these miniature scenes since 1980 and have been featured in several newspaper articles. This site displays a portion of the works I have created for my own interest in the art form.

Shown here is Ken's Diner. Pretty amazing.

(Thanks Chris Johnson)

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Family Relationship Terms

What is a first cousin, twice removed?

If someone walked up to you and said "Howdy, I'm your third cousin, twice removed," would you have any idea what they meant? Most people have a good understanding of basic relationship words such as "mother," "father," "aunt," "uncle," "brother," and "sister." But what about the relationship terms that we don't use in everyday speech?

This stuff has always been a complete mystery to me. I've never taken the time to figure it out. It's all fairly simple, but it just doesn't seem very important to me.

(Thanks Kirk Fleming)

Posted on 23 July, 2004

The 105 Building

In North Korea, you'll find a structure known as the 105 Building.

The "105 Building" is one of the boldest buildings in Pyongyang. From a distance, it is a dreadful, if awe-inspiring piece of architecture. It reminds one of the following passage from George Orwell's book, 1984:

The Ministry of Truth-Minitrue, in Newspeak-was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, three hundred meters into the air...The Ministry of Truth contained, it was said, three thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below.

Here's more about the 105 Building.

(Thanks Ron Morris)

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Word Frequency

WordCount -- Tracking the way we use language.

WordCount is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonality. Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word, the more we use it. The smaller the word, the more uncommon it is.

Nicely done.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Most Powerful Browser

The best way to surf the Web is to install every browser toolbar that you encounter. Like this (click to enlarge).

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Army Food

From BBC News: US army food... just add urine.

The US military has devised a way to ensure its troops in battle need never go hungry - with dried food that can be rehydrated using dirty water or urine.

The meal comes in a pouch that filters out 99.9% of bacteria and most toxic chemicals, says New Scientist magazine.

That's actually a great idea.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Google Page Rank

Here's some HTML code that displays your Google Page Rank.

PageRank is an exclusive technology of Google which evaluates the popularity of your Website's pages by a note between 0 and 10. However, in order to know this Rank, you have to download and to install the Google Toolbar.

MyRankOnline was created to enable webmasters easily know and post PageRank on their pages without any Toolbar.

Let's try it for this site. The result is:


Is that right? This stupid blog really has a page rank of 8? My dusty copy of IE doesn't have the Google toolbar installed, so I can't compare it.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Invest In Iraq

From the Abbassi Real Estate site:

Iraq has huge potential for growth due to its abundant natural resources, central Middle Eastern location and its large indigenous consumer market.

People from around the world are now looking to invest in Iraq, especially the real estate market, with prices going up by around 600% in many parts of Iraq and tenfold in Karbala. With the trend looking to continue into the foreseeable future, anyone interested in buying or leasing property have come to the conclusion that to wait even a day longer is to watch price go up before their eyes.

You can view the Baghdad listings here.

Shown here is a $60,000 one-bedroom unit, located in a compound that has 17 flats -- ideal for professionals.

Each flat has a bathroom, a kitchen and a living room The plastering and quality of the rooms is good and the structural quality of the house in general is very good with little signs of aging. There is also a beautiful front garden which is very well kept.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Antique Pickle

From the Moberly Monitor-Index: Pharmacist saves 132-year old pickle.

Gary Kribbs, pharmacist and owner of The Medicine Shoppe on Reed Street, recently put his chemistry know-how to work to save an ancient pickle, thereby sparing one of his customers of a broken heart.

Recently, the pickle's owner was dismayed to find the pickling solution evaporated, and immediately he sought Kribbs' help.

The story has a happy ending.

The details of the restoration shall remain with the chemist, but the pickle has survived beautifully and looks to be good for another 132 years.

Posted on 23 July, 2004

Antique Photos

Bill's Antique Photo Pages.


Posted on 23 July, 2004

Get Ready For More Junk Faxes

From Wired: Seven-Year Hitch for Junk Faxes.

A bill relaxing anti-junk-fax rules is close to becoming law, after the Senate Commerce Committee passed it without amendment or discussion on Thursday.

The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2004, which passed the House on Tuesday, would reverse a pending FCC rule that would soon require businesses and individuals to have signed permission slips before sending a commercial fax advertisement.

That rule is slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2005.

The proposed change would let a business send faxes to customers for up to seven years after the last business transaction between the two parties unless a customer tells the company not to send such faxes.

That's just dandy.

Posted on 23 July, 2004