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10 August, 2004

Personalized Postage

Create personalized U.S. postage stamps at PhotoStamps.

Upload a photo, choose the stamp value, pay some money, and they'll make stamps just like you want them. And yes, they can be used just like real stamps from the official U.S. Post Office.

Minimum order is 20 stamps. After paying shipping and handling a $0.37 stamp will cost you about $1.00.

Oh yeah, and they reserve the right to reject your order if the photo isn't appropriate.

(via Boing Boing)

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Songs And Literature

An interesting entry in the Wikipedia: List of songs that retell a work of literature. A few examples:

  • "Cornflake Girl" by Tori Amos is about a character in Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy
  • Highway 61 Revisited" (from Highway 61 Revisited) by Bob Dylan retells the story of Abraham and his son from Genesis, Chapter 22
  • "Home at Last" by Steely Dan retells Ulysses' encounter with the Sirens from the Odyssey
  • "Barefoot Children in the Rain" by Jimmy Buffett partially retells the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Safe Sleep

This one is making the rounds: Quantum Sleeper.

The Quantum Sleeper Unit is a high-level security system designed for maximum protection in various hostile environments

Quantum Sleepers can also be fitted to provide protection from destructive forces of nature such as tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.

It's basically a large, comfortable coffin with a ventilation system and lots of other amenities. But, unlike a coffin, the inhabitant stands an excellent chance of getting out alive.

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Really Lost In Translation

A poll of professional translators and interpreters came up with The Most Untranslatable Word in the World.

But the most untranslatable word in any language, reckon the translators, is ilunga, a word in the Bantu language of Tshiluba for a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time; to tolerate it a second time; but never a third time.

It narrowly outpointed shlimazl, a Yiddish word for a chronically unlucky person and radioukacz, a Polish word for a person who worked as a telegraphist for the resistance movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain. And both finished well ahead of klloshar, the Albanian word for loser, which, perhaps fittingly, came in last place.

The site has the top 10 list of difficult words, plus a separate list of English words that are difficult to translate.

(Thanks Tim Spellman)

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Important Software

John Dvorak compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Important Software Programs. The #1 program is a spreadsheet -- and it's not Excel.

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Mitch Hedberg

I was reading Metafilter, and I saw a post about a comedian named Mitch Hedbert. I'd never heard of him, but he is very funny -- kind of like Steven Wright. Here's a site with some of his stuff. Examples.

  • I think Pringles' initial intention was to make tennis balls. But on the day that the rubber was supposed to show up, a big truckload of potatoes arrived. But Pringles is a laidback company. They said "Screw it. Cut em up."
  • I don't own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone needs to get a hold of me they just say, "Mitch," and I say, "what" and turn my head slightly..
  • The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much I play, I'll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They're freakin' relentless.
  • I wrote a script for a guy, and he said he liked it but he thought that I need to rewrite it. I said, "Screw that, I'll just make a copy."

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Lightning Photos

Awesome photos of lightning by Steven Noyes. This 5-image panorama, taken in Chandler, Arizona, is amazing.

I have to say that we got totally pounded last night with one of the bigger monsoons that I can remember. It peaked at over 800 lightning strikes per minute and maintained this for several hours. That is MORE than 10 per second folks. I estimate that the valley got more than 100,000 strikes that evening. Not bad for about 4,000 square miles of land. Yep that is about 25 strikes per square mile. What can I say, it was a light show.

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Thompson Needs A Wife

Thompson Asare� just submitted a comment in response to an item I posted back in January. I was tempted to delete it, but then I decided to keep it. He sounds a bit desperate, and I think he needs all the help he can get. He's certainly not very picky, except for the age requirement.

I am a single youngman of 26 yrs and a citizen of Ghana West Africa. I need a wife of any type either white/black, slim/big/ etc...... Should be the aged between 20-30 years.

Any interested ladies out there?

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Copper Wire Sculpture

Deane's Twisted Copper Art Gallery.

(via Everlasting Blort)

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Chipmunks, Slowed Down

When people hear a high-pitched voice caused by a fast-running tape, they invariably say that it sounds like The Chipmunks. But what do The Chipmunks really sound like?

Here's an MP3 of a well-known Chipmunks song, slowed down to normal speed.

(via thirdredeye)

Posted on 10 August, 2004

The Lightning Field

From Wired: Lightning Takes a Holiday.

In the remote high desert of western New Mexico, a mile-long grid of 400 polished stainless steel poles draws intrepid visitors who come to contemplate the interplay of land and lightning.

Created as a permanent land-art installation by sculptor Walter De Maria, The Lightning Field uses 38,000 pounds of steel to lure lightning strikes.

I took a look at the Lightning Field site, and I was dismayed to read this:

The Lightning Field is protected by copyright. Photography of the sculpture and the cabin is not permitted. Commissioned, copyrighted slides are available for $30.00 per set of 8, plus $2.00 shipping and handling.

They have got to be kidding!

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Service Pack For A Service Pack

From The Daily Farce: Microsoft Releases Security Patch For Service Pack 1 For Service Pack 2 For Windows XP.

In an effort to stop viruses from spreading around the Internet, Microsoft released the long awaited Windows XP Service Pack 2 on Friday August 6th. Immediately after the release, on Saturday, Microsoft announced Service Pack 1 for Service Pack 2, which fixes many issues that were not fixed in Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. However, this morning, a hacker found a new vulnerability with Windows XP and Microsoft immediately announced the release of a security patch for Service Pack 1 for Service Pack 2 for Windows XP.

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Hard Drives

An interesting article about hard drive storage: Behold, the God Box.

Hard disk storage density has been doubling every 12 months. Another pivotal fact is that cost has been plummeting by 50% a year. A megabyte of disk space cost US$1 in 1995. It now costs less than one-tenth of a penny. It's through this inexorable decline, megabytes costing less and less, that gives this technology its great disruptive power. While Moore's Law gets all the publicity, there isn't even a name for the blistering advance of hard disk technology. Why don't we call it Less' law? Less' law states that the cost of disk storage falls by half every twelve months, while capacity doubles.

(via Sachs Report)

Posted on 10 August, 2004

The Shining

This site makes me want to watch the movie again: Five Things You Probably Didn't Notice in The Shining.

Most horror films aren't very suspenseful on second viewing; you know where all the surprises are. But in refusing to rely on any of the cinematic shock effects currently in vogue, Kubrick has made a film that gets more frightening every time you see it.

This, combined with the fact that he twisted King's sardonic tale of possession into a comment on American television, makes The Shining a perfect home video horror show.

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Strange And Unusual Dictionaries

Resources for SCRABBLE games, bar bets, and other trivial pursuits: Strange and Unusual Dictionaries.

Specifically, you'll find a dictionary of one-letter words, a dictionary of all-consonant words, and dictionary of all-vowel words.

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Country Music Lyrics

Country music fans might like this one: Cowboy Lyrics. In addition to lyrics, it has lots of guitar chord and tab listings.

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Can Central

Can Central is the web site of the Can Manufacturers Institute, the trade association for can manufacturers and their suppliers. The best part is the history section --� lots of great images of cans.

(via Exclamation Mark)

Posted on 10 August, 2004

Tearjerkers

A question posted at Ask Metafilter:

I just watched Schindler's List and it made me cry like a frickin' baby. What other movie's make even the stounchest heart break into uncontrollable sobbing?

If you like those types of movies, you'll find lots of suggestions.

Posted on 10 August, 2004