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1 September, 2004

Excel VBA Programming For Dummies

Hot off the presses: Excel VBA Programming For Dummies. Well, it's probably just a bit warm by now. I think it's been available for at least a week, but I just got my copies today.

If you've been wanting to learn some VBA programming for Excel, you should check out this book. It's very easy to read, yet still contains lots of practical information. And, it's cheap -- only $16.99 at Amazon.

This book will be useful if you use Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003. Even if you don't buy the book, you can read a sample chapter and download the example files at the publisher's site.

By the way, Dick Kusleika was the technical editor for this book, so he's responsible for all of the errors. Dick, as you may know, is the guy who does the Daily Dose of Excel blog. And yes, Dick. You are mentioned in the Acknowledgments section.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Baseball And Hot Dogs

From MLB.com, an essay on baseball and hot dogs: Ode to the hot dog.

Yes, 26 million is the estimated number of hot dogs that will be consumed at Major League stadiums, according to a poll of concessionaires by the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. If you stretched them, end-to-end, as a tightrope of links, they would stretch from Camden Yards to Dodger Stadium. Leading the way in consumption are the faithful at Chavez Ravine; Dodger fans are eating an estimated 1.61 million Dodger Dogs this season, and those consumption levels are immediately followed by those at the Rockies' Coors Field (1.5 million) and Wrigley Field (1.47 million).

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Eating Off The Floor

What if you drop some food on the floor? Does the five-second rule apply? A team of experts provide the answer for various dropped food scenarios: Eating off the floor: The 5-second rule reconsidered.

As long as people have been dropping food on the floor, they've been picking it up and eating it. Mongol ruffian Genghis Khan was the first to codify the practice when he decreed that fumbled food must be recovered and consumed within 20 hours. With the advent of sanitation, that injunction was winnowed to 5 seconds.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Coca-Cola Timeline

The Coca-Cola timeline begins in 1862 and extends through 2004. Shown here is the world's first six pack, invented in 1919.

Unlike some examples we've seen, this is an excellent use for Flash.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

The Face Of Tomorrow

The Face of Tomorrow: The human face of globalization, photographs by Mike Mike.

In each city I take 100 photos of people in one specific location. I then divide these into male and female and from these I make a composite face... In this way the Face of Tomorrow is like a census. A snapshot of a place at a moment in time. The present and the future.

Shown here are the male and female composites created from photos taken in London.

Interesting site, even thought the Flash interface is pretty annoying.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Today's Etiquette Lesson

Today we focus on Correct Forms of Address.

For example, assume that you need to write a letter to the Lord High Commissioner to General Assembly of Church of Scotland. Here's how to do it:

CORRESPONDENCE: On the envelope, "To His Grace the Lord High Commissioner". Commencement, "Your Grace."


And here's a bit of useful trivia: When writing to the Lord Provost's wife, you can use the same format as you would with an Esquire's wife. I did not know that!

(via Bifurcated Rivets)

Posted on 1 September, 2004

J-Walk Guitar O' The Week #5

By all rights, this should be #6, but I was gone last Wednesday. This week's guitar is a 1994 40th Anniversary Fender American Standard Stratocaster.

This was my first Fender Strat. I bought it in 1994 at a small shop in San Diego. 1994 happened to be the 40th anniversary of the strat, so this one has a special insignia on the head (see photo on the right).

I didn't really know much about electric guitars at the time, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with an American made Fender. I played several of them, and this one had a "special" feel to it so I chose it. For some reason, I really like maple necks on strats (as opposed to rosewood).

As it turns out, I bought a great guitar. Not as good as my other strat, but it's certainly among my favorites.

Now, 10 years later, it's the 50th anniversary of the strat. Throughout the rest of the year, Fender is selling a special 50th Anniversary Golden Stratocaster. But it's so ugly that I have no interest in it.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Spam Volume

This CNN story states the obvious: Spam volume keeps rising.

Spam has accounted for 38 percent of the 31 billion e-mails sent each day in North America in 2004, up from 24 percent in 2002, the market researcher said.

38 percent? I wish!

Posted on 1 September, 2004

All Squirrels Must Die

The official site of the Squirrel Defamation League.

Our mission is to rid the world of that filthy little beast known as the squirrel.

We have been in existence since 1997, helping the public with squirrel problems and dispelling myths about these supposed cute and cuddly animals.

Squirrels are the most dangerous threat known to man and, if not kept in check, will be the downfall of life as we know it.

(via Ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff)

Posted on 1 September, 2004

The Hound

You'll find a ton of MP3s here: The Hound.

Apparently, it's the archives from a radio station called WFMU in the New York City area. You can listen to complete shows from 1987 through 1995. Or, view a huge list of songs and listen to what you want. The sound quality isn't very good, but the variety is incredible.

(via Mike-Whybark.com)

Posted on 1 September, 2004


I found this site listed at Web Pages That Suck. It's the site for a company called AxisPoint -- "The center of every solution." At first I thought it was one of those parody sites, but it's for real.

I eventually found a tiny "Who we are" box to click. After a significant delay, it displayed some meaningless corporate BS that didn't even answer the question.

I'm not sure, but I think this company does Web site design. They list davidbowie.com as one of their clients (their only client?), and that site is also a disaster. I wonder how much David Bowie paid for that?

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Presidential Candidate Brands

From Brand Autopsy: Brand Mapping the Presidential Candidates.

The study reveals Bush supporters associate the brand called Bush with brands that evoke attributes such as ... "reliable, humble, heritage, and solid."

Kerry supporters associate the brand called Kerry with brands that convey attributes of "high-quality, high-performance, hip, and young."

(via Waxy.org)

Posted on 1 September, 2004


Here's an amusing little Flash thingy: Surface, Just move your mouse around to create interesting patterns.

I think the site has other stuff, but I have no idea how to access it. It's one of those "mystery" sites where the text is completely illegible to me.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Your Chinese Name

Get a Chinese Name.

Get your own Chinese name based on your English name and find out your sign in the Chinese Zodiac! Simply type in your first and last name, select what kind of characteristics you want to be expressed in the name, select your gender, enter your birthdate and press "Get a Name!".

One of the names it generated for me is Wei Ji hui.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Word Gizmo

Click a button and create a brand new word: WordGizmo.

What meaning does the new word suggest to you? Keep clicking until you hit a new word that does suggest a meaning to you.

If you generate a word you'd like to see listed in the WordGizmo Dictionary, please submit the word and definition.

Here are a few new words found in the WordGizmo Dictionary:

  • axoport n. a part of clothing designed to support an axe
  • gopotise v. to eat "pot meal" like beans
  • skiverage n. the state of being dressed only in one's underwear
  • usritize v. to remove all people from your social circle
  • yerm v. to move annoyingly while sleeping

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Phonecam Photos

A Los Angeles exhibit of photos taken with phonecams.

SENT will be the first major exhibit of phonecam art in the United States. We'll explore the camera phone's potential as a creative tool in two ways: through an online public dialogue in which amateur photographers and phonecam users around the world share mobile snapshots of their lives; and through an invitational exhibit in which professional photographers, artists, and public figures test the limits of creative possibilities offered by these hybrid devices.

There's a real mixed bag of images here. Some are pretty good. Some are very bad. And most are mediocre.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

When Cartoons Merge

From Fark: Cartoon characters from two different cartoons.

Posted on 1 September, 2004


From the Wikipedia: Metasyntactic Variables.

In computer programming, a metasyntactic variable is a kind of alias, a name commonly used in examples and understood by hackers and programmers to stand for whatever thing is under discussion, or any random member of a class of things under discussion. The word foo is the canonical example. The use of metasyntactic variables is also helpful in that they free the programmer from having to think up a logically named variable for the topic under discussion.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Economics On Gilligan's Island

By B.K. Marcus: The Monetary Economics of Thurston Howell III.

In early episodes, we see Mr. Howell hiring various services from other castaways. We eventually learn he's been writing checks on a mainland (and therefore inaccessible) bank. This works while the group consider their condition temporary, but the checks are quickly devalued and eliminated when the castaways begin to prepare for the possibility of an indefinite stay on the island.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Create A Cartoon

Choose two characters, add some text, and you've created a "Red Meat" cartoon. It's called Build Your Own Meat.

Here's one that I made (click to enlarge):

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Abused By The News

Daniel Price's new site for news mavens: Abused By The News.

Abused by the News is dedicated to analyzing the tricks, kinks and quirks of America's corporate news media. When that fails, I just make fun of people.

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Judy Garland, Cover Girl

Here's a great collection of magazine covers that featured Judy Garland. They range from 1937 through 2001.

(via Exclamation Mark)

Posted on 1 September, 2004

Random Limericks

Click a button, get a random limerick. You can choose from three categories: Decent, Naughty, and Filthy. Here's one from the Decent category:

A bather whose clothing was strewed
By breezes that left her quite nude,
Saw a man come along
And, unless I'm quite wrong,
You expected this line to be lewd.

Posted on 1 September, 2004