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25 October, 2004

Stranger Moves In

Here's a weird news item: Stranger moves in, redecorates while woman's on vacation.

A woman came home from vacation to find a stranger living there, wearing her clothes, changing utilities into her name and even ripping out carpet and repainting a room she didn't like, authorities said.

Douglas County authorities say they can't explain why Beverly Valentine, 54, broke into an empty home and started acting like it was her own.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

What Is It?

Here's a new blog / puzzle site: What is it?

I've been collecting unusual objects for quite a few years and have just recently started posting them on this site as puzzles for others to figure out what they are. Answers are typically provided a week after the original post.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Disney News

Here's some important news from The Disneyland Report: Guns return to Jungle Cruise boats at Disneyland.

Guns have returned to the boats at the Jungle Cruise attraction in Adventureland at Disneyland. The Jungle Cruise guns are used in the hippo pool scene, where Jungle Cruise skippers fire blanks at the "angry" hippos that are wiggling their ears.

Guests can now once again hear the two shots echoing through the forest from that scene.

The guns on the attraction had been removed when Paul Pressler was president of the Disneyland Resort.

The removal of guns was criticized by fans of the original Jungle Cruise and was seen as caving into pressure to be politically correct, along the lines of changing the scene in Pirates of the Caribbean where the pirates were chasing women to make it appear as if the pirates were chasing after the food the women were holding.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

SwiMp3 Player

Good news for swimmer: Finis, Inc. to Release First Waterproof MP3 Player to Use Bone Conduction Technology.

Finis, Inc., the leading innovator of competitive aquatic training products, today announced the release of its waterproof SwiMP3 player for swimmers, triathletes, surfers, synchronized swimmers and anyone involved in water activities. Unlike other waterproof players that rely on traditional air conduction technologies, the SwiMP3 player uses bone conduction -- the direct transfer of sound vibrations from the cheek bone to the inner ear -- to provide the swimmer with exceptional sound clarity. The SwiMP3 player is fully waterproof and can be used with all competitive swim strokes. It holds approximately 30 songs for four hours of continuous music.

Suggested retail price: $250.

(via Engadget)

Posted on 25 October, 2004

$5 To Find This Blog

At Google Answers, somebody offered to pay $5.00 to find this blog.

I'm vaguely remembering this blog I wanted to read just now, with a black and white theme (navigation to the left, content in the middle, nothing to the right). There's a black-and-white photo/sketch of the blogger with beard somewhere on the left. It's one of those top 100 blogs which get linked from all over the place but I forgot the URL...

Top 100 blogs! Yeah, right...

By the way, he ended up finding it on his own, so he was spared the expense.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Rediscovering Winamp Visualizations

I've been using the Winamp media player for several years. The first time I downloaded it, I tried several of the visualization plug-ins, which synch to the music. They were pretty cool, but I soon forgot all about them.

Last week I set up a new computer in our living room. It's connected to the 46-inch Samsung DLP TV with a DVI interface, and the sound card output goes into my AV receiver. I also got a wireless keyboard and mouse (courtesy of Microsoft). The sound can also be routed out to the patio/pool, and the system is networked with the other computers in the house.

It's nice to be able to listen to Whole Wheat Radio in simulated 5.1 sound, and participate in the chat from the comfort of the couch.

We've also been rediscovering our MP3 collection -- most of which were downloaded when I had a subscription to eMusic. To add to the experience, I thought I'd try out the Winamp visualizations again. Wow, they've come along way in the past few years! I installed about a dozen of them, and some are absolutely mesmerizing on the large display. A few of them even have an anaglyph 3D option. Put on the red-blue glasses, and the display gets about three feet deep.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Game Four Eclipse

If you think baseball is boring, Game 4 of the World Series will provide something to make it a bit more interesting: Total Lunar Eclipse to Grace World Series Game 4.

A unique date in the annals of baseball history will be recorded Wednesday, Oct. 27 when for the first time a total lunar eclipse will occur during a World Series game.

Millions of Americans watching Game 4 will also be able to partake in one of nature's most beautiful sky shows, as Earth's shadow begins to cover the Moon during the early innings.

Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible to fans with a good line of site at Busch Memorial Stadium. And, if FOX television producers so choose, the potential exists for this to be the biggest audience ever to see a lunar eclipse televised live.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

The Fall Of The Yankees

Here's an interesting series of Yankee-related covers from the New York Post: New York Post turns on the Yankees.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Baseball Flash

As I've pointed out in the past, every televised baseball game seems to feature at least one person sitting behind home plate waving to the camera while talking into a cell phone.

In this video, the cell phone girl is doing a bit more than waving while Keith Foulke delivers a pitch.

Caution: Do not click the link if you are offended by brief low-resolution partial nudity.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Antimatter Weapons

It's not science fiction, it's from the San Francisco Chronicle: Air Force pursuing antimatter weapons. Program was touted publicly, then came official gag order.

The U.S. Air Force is quietly spending millions of dollars investigating ways to use a radical power source -- antimatter, the eerie "mirror" of ordinary matter -- in future weapons.

The most powerful potential energy source presently thought to be available to humanity, antimatter is a term normally heard in science-fiction films and TV shows, whose heroes fly "antimatter-powered spaceships" and do battle with "antimatter guns."

Washington State physicist Kelvin Lynn Lynn is enthusiastic about antimatter because he believes it could propel futuristic space rockets:

"I think," he said, "we need to get off this planet, because I'm afraid we're going to destroy it."

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Yearbook Photos

I don't know why these high school yearbook photos are on the Web, but they are: Scroll Right. They look like they could have been taken from my high school yearbook.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Who Links To Me?

From Shanti Braford: Who Links To Me?

This is my new link spidering & meta-link aggregation engine. Follow the instructions to the left and you'll see who's linking to you in no time!

I keep pretty good tabs on sites that link to the J-Walk blog, but this service identified quite a few that were new to me.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Buddy Guy's Divorce

From the Chicago Sun-Times: Divorce has Buddy Guy singing 'Cheaper to Keep 'Er'.

Blues legend Buddy Guy had just agreed to give his wife a multimillion-dollar settlement and considerable maintenance to settle their divorce case.

Both sides spent five days arguing about who gets which of the couple's five homes, including an 11,000-square-foot home that sits on 10 to 14 acres in Orland Park, and their cars -- a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and a Lexus.

I saw him play a few years ago. He deserves every penny he's earned.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

No More Exclamation Mark

The excellent Exclamation Mark blog has come to an end.

It seems the blogging bug has left me. I'll be closing down this page in a few days. I know from experience that when you close an account at TypePad, your page and all the archives are immediately deleted from the web. So this time, I thought I would give fair warning.

He'll be back.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Doomed By DRM

Cory Doctorow writes: Why market-forces can't correct DRM.

Advocates of DRM talk about the ability of the market to find a balance between features and restrictions, because people whose freedom has been unduly restricted will make future purchase decisions that will put the overly draconian DRM systems out of business. But check out this cautionary tale of a guy who bought a home-media centre, started recording his favorite shows to DVD, and then...

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Django Reinhardt Video

Here's a four-minute video of gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

The late, great guitarist makes beautiful music with some cool cats in this early music video.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Rich Fictional Characters

From Forbes: Top-Earning Fictional Characters.

The characters on this list may be make-believe, but the dollar signs are real. According to our calculations, the top ten fictional characters grossed more than $25 billion in 2003. Media giants like The Walt Disney Co. and Viacom took home most of that revenue, but videogame makers, publishing companies and toymakers like Mattel and Hasbro cashed in too.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Illuminated Stone

These are some nice looking rocks: Das Art Illuminated Stone Sculptures.

Once the sculptures are lit (by candle or electric light), something incredible transpires. The beautifully designed sculptures transform into living breathing art. The light radiating through the textured, flowing stones restores a deep sense of calming, vibrant energy into the room.

You have to send email for the price...

(Thanks Curtis)

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Uke And Puke

I haven't posted a ukulele link in quite a while. Here's one: Uke Til U Puke.

The seminal speed-metal ukulele pioneers; the quintessential power pop ukulele band of the `90s. At one time, they wielded their mighty, four-stringed instruments like hammers of the gods.

They wrote and played loud, aggressive songs on tiny four-stringed instruments.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

The Wired CD

Buy the November issue of Wired, and get a free CD. it has a special license.

The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share. These musicians are saying that true creativity needs to be open, fluid, and alive. When it comes to copyright, they are pro-choice. Here are 16 songs that encourage people to play with their tunes, not just play them.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

L.A. Postcards

A tour of Los Angeles through vintage postcards.

The postcard shown here depicts a freeway at a time when it was actually drivable.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

God As Dead-Beat Dad

From Unconfirmed Sources: Jesus Slams God As Dead-Beat Dad.

In a move that shocked and surprised the Christian community, Jesus Christ, Son of God, has called his Father a dead beat dad in His tell-all autobiography "King of Kings?".

"First off, He goes and gets my mother pregnant, and then He doesn't even have the nerve to tell her to her face. She had to find out from one of His friends!" Christ lamented. "Then, He drops her like a hot potato. Fortunately, she found a nice guy, Joseph, to live with. Now, Joseph's a nice guy and everything, he accepted Me as his own son, and he taught Me trades, but I still feel like I'm lacking that special bond that sons possess with their Fathers."

Posted on 25 October, 2004

One-Handed Keyboard

I wonder how long it would take to learn one-handed typing on this Frogpad?

FrogPad is a one-handed keyboard to be used with USB Keyboard compatible PDA's, Pocket PCs, Tablet and Wearable PC's, and other mobile applications.

Posted on 25 October, 2004

Fake Rolex Spam

It seems that everyone is selling fake Rolex watches lately. I just checked my SPAM folder (which has spam from the past two days). Of 1,825 spam emails, 179 contain the word rolex -- that's nearly 10%.

I hope these morons are making lots of money from other morons.

Posted on 25 October, 2004