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4 August, 2004

The iGrill

As soon as the UPS guy delivers this, my life will be complete: George Foreman USB iGrill.

The low-fat, high-bandwidth solution to your networked cooking needs is finally here. The George Foreman USB iGrill conveniently connects to your home or office PC using USB 2.0 technology, and provides a sophisticated web-based cooking interface.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Lee Ruth

In the mid '70s, when I was going to college in Columbia, Missouri, I admired a musician named Lee Ruth. He had a long beard, and could often be seen roaming the streets playing the guitar while he walked. I hadn't thought about him in years, but for some reason he popped into my mind this afternoon. So I googled him.

He's still around. Apparently, he does a radio show called Radio Omega on KOPN.

Lee Ruth has been the voice of folk music on KOPN and in Columbia throughout the recent history of both. Ruth is a fixture on the local music scene, "Columbia's perennial hippie" easily recognizable by his lean, 6-foot-two frame, colorful clothes, bushy beard and headband. But Ruth's music-simple, heartfelt songs about places and people he loves played on guitar or mandolin-is what most distinguishes him

He has a recent CD, which features lots of other musicians playing his music: Everybody's Got Love: The Songs of Lee Ruth (MP3 samples available here).

Over the past 38 years, Lee Ruth has written 80 songs and taught about 2,500 people how to play guitar, banjo or mandolin.

The 62-year-old often sleeps in his van outside the KOPN studio so he can be there in time for his weekly 3 to 5:30 a.m. show, "Radio Omega," which features musicians seldom heard on commercial radio. He's been hosting the show since 1976.

Apparently, he still gives guitar lessons. From the Flipster blog:

Learned a new picking pattern on the guitar at the Lee Ruth lesson yesterday. Same "bass-strum", but you pick up the first string again as your index finger comes back. Seems like it would be easy, but it throws off my thumb position for the next "bass" pluck.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

I Shot A Deer

During our first week in Arizona, we saw lots of wildlife. But lately we haven't seen much at all. Until this morning. I saw a big snake in the front, followed by two deer in the back. By the time I got my camera, the snake had slithered across the street and out of sight. But I did manage to capture this deer.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Basketball Shoes

If you're the type of person who gets excited about basketball shoes, you'll get a kick out of this: Timeline of Basketball Shoes History.

At KG, we break down the history of basketball sneakers into 4 main categories we call "ERA's". These overlapping time periods will help us get a more organized look at how far we've come. Perhaps, it may also aid us in understanding where we are going.

Indeed it will.

Currently, we are in the Throwback Era, which began in 1999.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

J-Walk Guitar O' The Week #2

It's Wednesday, so that means it's time for another installment of the J-Walk Guitar O' The Week. This week, it's a 1995 Fender Mary Kaye Relic Stratocaster.

Fender relics are made by the Custom Shop, and are "factory aged" to resemble old worn instruments. Notice the worn marks and nicks on the body. And the fretboard looks like it's been used nightly for about 25 years in a smoky blues club

For some reason, I felt compelled to buy one of these. I couldn't find one I liked locally, so I located one on the Internet and bought it sight unseen. I lucked out and got a good one that was made during the first year of production.

It's one of my favorite guitars. It feels great and sounds even better. And I never have to worry about getting it banged up.

Posted on 4 August, 2004


Now Muslim women can keep their head coverd and be fashionable at the same time. It's Capsters.

The concept is based on the idea to give Muslim girls and their gymteachers in the Netherlands a safe alternative for the traditional hijab to wear during gym-class. The designs are realised in close co-operation with Muslim girls and an Imam.

(via We Make Money Not Art)

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Segway Trip

A good way to see the U.S. -- as long as you have lots of time: Segway across America at 10 mph.

In early August , a solo Segway rider and crew will depart Seattle, WA to begin a 10 MPH expedition to Boston, MA in pursuit of the American Dream. We're going to produce an ongoing online documentary - like you've never seen before - featuring daily video and audio stories about fellow Americans and their own American Dream. And when we're finished, we'll wrap it up with a feature-length documentary.

I looked at the route he's taking, and he's missing most of the good parts of the country.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

100 Groaners

Here's a list of the 100 Worst Groaners.

A "groaner" is a hackneyed, overblown, stuffy or just plain silly cliche that turns up time after time in news scripts. Groaners show laziness on the part of writers, disrespect for the folks watching, and a general contempt for lively English. Here are some of the worst offenders. You'll recognize them immediately, so get ready to groan!

A few examples:

Hospitalized - Bathrooms get sanitized. Shirts get Martinized. People do not get hospitalized. They're in the hospital.

Pedestrians - DMV babble. They were people before they stepped off the curb. They're people after they step off the curb.

Wreak Havoc - Bad enough this overblown term shows up in stories about earthquakes and hurricanes. But traffic jams? Do fender-benders really wreak havoc with the morning rush hour? Just tell folks how long they'll be sitting on the Interstate.

(Thanks Shallow)

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Wendy's Sign

Put your message on a Wendy's Sign.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Measuring A Cat's Tongue

Here's a good way to find out the length of your cat's tongue: Determination of cat tongue length using the "White Wine" method.

The "White Wine" method is a novel technique for feline tongue length determination, making use of the latest advances in digital technology. It supersedes the earlier more labour-intensive "Beefy Bovril" method and the "Creamy Yoghurt" method.

* * *

Bonus Link: One of the co-authors of this study has also published pictures of his MRI brain scan.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Nikon D1X Macro Photos

Lots of great macro photos taken by Duncan. Check it out if you like insects.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Wood Cone Speakers

From JVC: Audio speakers with a wooden cone.

To recreate the sound of instruments played in a concert hall, speakers should be designed just as though they were actual musical instruments. For starters, the speaker diaphragm ought to be made of wood - the same material used for making violins, cellos, and other instruments.

I'm not sure I agree with the premise, but I would like to hear these.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Nancy Cartwright

From The Guardian, a story about the woman who does the voice of Bart Simpson: That's my boy.

That Cartwright has made her name playing a cynical and satirical character like Bart is surprising, given her wholesome Ohio background and her acceptance some 14 years ago into the church of Scientology; her bookshelves are filled with the works of L Ron Hubbard, including Learning How to Learn and Death Quest; it isn't hard to imagine what Bart would make of those.

A Scientologist! How disappointing.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

A Better Bush

If you don't like the way George W looks, you can always Build A Better Bush. Here's the prez with no hair and a few missing teeth:

Very nicely done!

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Radio Guy

Here's a weird site: Radio Guy. It seems to be just a bunch of weird items for sale by Steven Erenberg.

All of the text is in the form of graphics -- which makes it difficult to read and pretty much ensures that search engines will ignore it.

(via The Cartoonist)

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Company Names

How did that company get its name? Here's a list of company name etymologies. A few examples:

  • Corel - from the founder's name Dr. Michael Cowpland. It stands for COwpland REsearch Laboratory.
  • Google - the name started as a jokey boast about the amount of information the search-engine would be able to search. It was originally named 'Googol', a word for the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros. After founders - Stanford grad students Sergey Brin and Larry Page presented their project to an angel investor, they received a cheque made out to 'Google' !
  • Sony - from the Latin word 'sonus' meaning sound, and 'sonny' a slang used by Americans to refer to a bright youngster.
  • Yahoo - the word was invented by Jonathan Swift and used in his book Gulliver's Travels. It represents a person who is repulsive in appearance and action and is barely human. Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David Filo selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos. However, Yahoo! today claims a sort of backformed acronym -- Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

The End Of Bush's Blog?

From The Onion: CIA Asks Bush to Discontinue Blog.

In the interest of national security, President Bush has been asked to stop posting entries on his three-month-old personal web log, acting CIA director John E. McLaughlin said Monday.

According to McLaughlin, several recent entries on PrezGeorgeW. typepad.com have compromised military operations, while other posts may have seriously undercut the PR efforts of White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

Bush maintained that he's doing nothing wrong.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

You Might Be A...

A large collection of those "you might be a..." jokes. For example:

You might be an accountant if...

  • Your idea of trashing your hotel room is refusing to fill out the guest comment card.

  • You refer to your child as Deduction 214 3.

  • You've ever made a joke about a double-entry bookkeeping method

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Computer-Generated Art

Enter some parameters, click a button, and you've got computer-generated art. It's called Project K++.

Project K++ (nee "Canned Kandinsky"), an exploration of computer-generated abstract visual art. Originally an attempt to simulate the work of Kandinsky through programmatic means, the project has evolved into an emulation of his work, extrapolating from his interest in ever more abstract representations into creating art through an abstract -- that is, mathematical -- medium: code.

Posted on 4 August, 2004


Boggle fans, check out WEBoggle.

Around the the end of January, I was doing some reading for work on the Document Object Model (DOM). The DOM (ideally) allows JavaScript to access and modify any element in an HTML document in a heirarchical Object-Oriented fashion (well, as OO as Javascript can ever be). The more I read about what was possible, the more I realized that I could create a totally interactive application written in merely HTML and JavaScript.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Spam Poll

From USA Today: Poll shows some look forward to reading spam.

For most Americans, spam is as popular as taxes and root canals. But a small cadre of contrarians look forward to junk e-mail.

One-fifth of U.S. residents acknowledge buying products from spam purveyors, according to a Yahoo Mail survey of 3,100 Internet users in May. A third said they respond to spam.

Because of morons like this, the spam continues worsen.

"Spam can be useful," says Robert Reinhardt, 30, a computer-book author in Los Angeles who reads junk e-mail containing stock reports. "One person's spam is another person's bargain."

I'm ashamed to say that, like me, Reinhardt writes books for Wiley.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Portrait of Abe

The story behind an old photo of Honest Abe: Portrait of a Young Abraham Lincoln.

In 1987, a print of an exceptionally high-quality, 19th century daguerreotype of a robust, confident-looking, and smartly dressed young man was brought to my office in Paris on, interestingly, Lincoln's birthday, February 12 (Figure 1a). The owner of the daguerreotype, which had been purchased from a gallery in New York City in 1977, was Mr. Albert Kaplan, an American then residing in Paris. Mr. Kaplan was convinced, after years of personal research, that the young man pictured in the daguerreotype was Abraham Lincoln.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

Rezedents Rights

From The Memory Hole: Rezedents Rights & Rispansabilities.

The document on this page was withdrawn and pulped by the federal government in 1999. Copies that went to federal libraries were recalled. If you file a FOIA request for it, you'll be rejected because it has been "removed from stock and destroyed."

It's a HUD publication written in English-Creole, a patois common to Jamaica. It caused some complaints by Haitians.

Posted on 4 August, 2004

The Trixie Update

A blog that keeps detailed records of a new kid: The Trixie Update. And I mean really detailed. For example, there's a diaper log:

Posted on 4 August, 2004