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10 September, 2004

Corkscrew Postcards

Just another gallery of postcards that feature corkscrews.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Another Fake Document

First it was the fake military documents. Now this: The Constitution is a FAKE!!!!

(Thanks EdH)

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Jamming With MIDI Tracks

Several people have asked to hear me play guitar. Against my better judgment, I've posted an MP3 that I recorded just moments ago.

I was sitting in my office playing my Strat through a Korg Pandora PX3, and jamming to the MIDI songs available at Jam Central Station. Just for the hell of it, I turned on the Windows Sound Recorder. I converted the WAV file to an MP3, and here it is -- mistakes and all. It's about 2.8 megs in size, and it's pretty poor recording quality.

Remember... I'm just an amateur, so be kind.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Blogging Without Blog Software

Carla asked J-Walk:

How can you make a blog with out special software and not on a blog host...Frontpage? I want to use a site I pay for and have now. Tho I would like to use what ever computer I am at for the day. Any ideas?

Good question.

Fact is, you can use any tool you want to create a blog. Even Notepad. But unless you're willing to put in a lot of effort (and give up some of the traditional blogging features such as comments, permalinks, and categories), I really think you'd be better off using someone else's blogging software.

When I started this blog, I used Microsoft FrontPage. In order to make it look and work like a blog, I wrote quite a few VBA macros. It worked reasonably well, but I was constantly battling with FrontPage bugs, I was not able to incorporate reader comments, and blogging remotely was not an option.

Then, in January of this year I wised up and started using pMachine software. It's probably not the best blogging software out there, but it works for me.

If you really want to start a blog, my recommendation is that you bite the bullet and spend some money. I think you'll be better of in the long run.

I haven't used it, but I've heard lots of good things about TypePad. Sign up for a 30-day trial. If you're still blogging after 30 days, you can get a hosted account for as little as $4.95 per month.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Clippy Can Help

If you've been following the forged military document story, you might find this amusing (found at Ranting and Roaring):

Posted on 10 September, 2004

It's Official. Cheney Really Is A Moron

It sounds like a headline from The Onion. But it's actually from the Mercury News: Cheney: Economic numbers ignore eBay trading.

Indicators measure the nation's unemployment rate, consumer spending and other economic milestones, but Vice President Dick Cheney says they miss the hundreds of thousands who make money selling on eBay.

"That's a source that didn't even exist 10 years ago,'' Cheney told an audience in Cincinnati on Thursday. "Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay.'"

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards responded that Cheney's comments show how "out of touch"' he and President Bush are with the economy.

"If we only included bake sales and how much money kids make at lemonade stands, this economy would really be cooking,"' Edwards said in a statement.

Note: Per BugMeNot, you can use the following username/password to access the Mercury News: mercurial@nospam.com / mercury.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Cecil On Diamonds

A recent question posted on The Straight Dope.

I have heard that diamond prices are held at an artificially high price by the De Beers company and that many Africans live a life of despair and poverty while mining diamonds. What is the truth about the diamond market? Most important, can I use it as an excuse for not buying diamond gifts for my wife?

As usual, Cecil Adams gets it right.

Far be it from me to get involved in family arguments, but I bet if your wife knew the real story she'd prefer her next gift to be a nice socket-wrench set. Diamonds are a con, pure and simple. The topic is vast, so we won't discuss worker exploitation or for that matter "blood diamonds" used to finance African wars. Instead I'll focus on whether diamonds are worth the exorbitant sums charged for them. Answer: Of course not. Prices are kept high by a cynical cartel that preys on vanity and stupidity.

A trip to the Debeers Web site is always good for a laugh. I especially like the two months salary calculator. Enter your annual salary, and it calculates how much you should spend on an engagement ring.

And their latest marketing efforts are directed towards right hand rings. I tell you, this stuff makes me want to puke.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Shakespeare Texts

I'm not exactly what you'd call a Shakespeare buff, but this is pretty cool: Shakespeare in Quarto.

On this site you will find the British Library's 93 copies of the 21 plays by Shakespeare printed in quarto before the theatres were closed in 1642.

These are high resolution scans of the actual books.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

A New Feature: Ask J-Walk

Well, that recent Ask Me A Question thread was so much fun, that I've made it a permanent feature.

You'll now see a a new link in the left-side menu: Ask J-Walk. You can use this link to ask me a question at any time. I'll either answer them one-by-one (each in a separate post), or maybe I'll wait until a bunch of good ones have been posted and then do a big post with lots of answers.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Head Swapping

At Something Awful, a bunch of Photoshopped images of swapped heads.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Put A Little Spring In Your Step

Pain relief footwear: Z-Coil.

Rocks and debris getting caught in the coil does not happen very often, however you should always use caution around cords, hoses, and other tripping hazards. Remember, if something is small enough to get in, it is small enough to get out with a slight shake of the foot.

(via Tom McMahon)

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Ernie Ball, Dead At 74

From the Globe and Mail: Guitar string pioneer dies.

Ernie Ball, a pioneer maker of rock 'n' roll guitar strings used by legions of artists from the Rolling Stones to Merle Travis, has died. He was 74.

He died at his home Thursday after an ongoing illness, the mortuary handling services announced.

Mr. Ball's strings and instruments were used by music stars over the past four decades, from B.B. King to Metallica. Beginning with a small music shop in the San Fernando Valley, he built a business with annual sales of $40-million (U.S.) and a worldwide reputation. Along the way, he bucked traditional thinking in the music business.

The image shown here is not Ernie Ball. It's an ad for the company's guitar strings.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Pod Collective

Got a few hours to kill? Spend some time the Pod -- a virtual smorgasbord of audio and visual delights. It must use a massive amount of bandwidth, yet there's not a single ad.

Pod is a way of doing things, a vibe, the place where you create, your art tribe and how you all interact. It is helping, sharing, and interacting as artists, living creatively.

For us it is working together and pushing each other to excel. It is introducing everyone and making sure that we all see each other's art and are constantly working on our own.

(via ollapodrida)

Posted on 10 September, 2004

BookCrossing

An interesting idea for book lovers: BookCrossing.

  1. Read a good book (you already know how to do that)
  2. Register it here (along with your journal comments), get a unique BCID (BookCrossing ID number), and label the book
  3. Release it for someone else to read (give it to a friend, leave it on a park bench, donate it to charity, "forget" it in a coffee shop, etc.), and get notified by email each time someone comes here and records journal entries for that book. And if you make Release Notes on the book, others can Go Hunting for it and try to find it!

Posted on 10 September, 2004

World's Best

From the Travel Channel: lists of World's Best stuff. For example, the top 10 places to see wild beasts:

  1. South Africa
  2. Kenya
  3. Uganda
  4. Canada
  5. Nepal
  6. Brazil
  7. Australia
  8. United States
  9. Indonesia
  10. Siberia

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Tesselation World

For tessellation fans: Tessellation World.

Not familiar with tessellation? Here's what the Wikipedia has to say:

A tessellation of the plane is a collection of plane figures that fill the plane with no overlaps and no gaps.

In Latin, tessella was a small cubical piece of clay, stone or glass used to make mosaics. The word "tessella" means "small square" (from "tessera", square, which in its turn is from the Greek word for "four").

Check out the animations, and then try to solve one of the jigsaw puzzles.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Upstate New York Roads

J.P. Wing's Upstate New York Roads site.

Welcome to UpstateNYroads.com. As you can probably tell by the name of the site, here you'll find information about the roads in Upstate N.Y. Click around a bit, you'll find exit lists, photos, information on all 62 counties within the state and a whole lot more.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Project Rebirth

Tomorrow marks the third year anniversary of 9/11. Here's a site about a film that deals with reconstruction: Project Rebirth.

The heart of Project Rebirth is six 35mm time-lapse motion picture cameras, situated around the site, each shooting one frame of film every five minutes, 24 hours a day. Running full-time since the six-month anniversary of the attacks, these cameras will each capture 244 frames a day until the reconstruction is completed.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Kerry's Resume

The only way to decide how to vote is to view the candidates' resumes.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

DoodleBugs

Users create drawings (or doodles), which can then be "played back." It's called DoodleBug. Shown here is a doodle of Clint Eastwood.

(via Steel White Table)

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Cooking For Engineers

Have an analytical mind? Like to cook? This is the site to read! It's a blog called Cooking For Engineers.

Interesting site, but it's not nearly as entertaining as Alton Brown.

Posted on 10 September, 2004

Faith The Wonder Dog

Watch this video of Faith the Wonder Dog.

Faith is a dog in Oklahoma, and she was born with no front legs. However, that doesn't prevent her from walking.

Posted on 10 September, 2004