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29 October, 2004

Download The Three Stooges

From the Internet Archive, a classic Three Stooges short, in the public domain: Sing A Song of Six Pants.

The Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Shemp) are tailors and are heavily in debt. Could a big reward for the capture of a fugitive bank robber answer their financial prayers?

I've watched this one at least 20 times.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

F.F.F.F.F.

Check out the winning entries from the First-Ever Fantabulous Foolish Face Fest.

Fools come and fools go. Here are four of the foolishest faces we could find.

(via Metafilter)

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Grocery Lists

A blog devoted to grocery lists: The Grocery List Collection.

I found an abandoned grocery list in a Schnuck's parking lot in St. Louis in 1996 or 1997. I decided to keep them every time I came across one. And the internet is a great place to do stupid things. So here it is.

(via Saltwater Pizza Blog)

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Digital Camera Buying Tips

Buying a point-and-shoot digital camera? Read this first: The Myth of the Megapixel.

Buying a point-and-shoot digital camera seems easy enough. Just pick your price range, get as many "megapixels" as possible, a high zoom capability and you're all done, right?

While that's certainly what the camera industry wants you to think, alas, like with most things involving technology, it's not nearly as simple as it seems. Even if you're a casual photographer shopping for an automated, pocket-size, point-and-shoot model, the landscape is filled with myths and traps that can lead you to the wrong decision.

So here's a rundown of the seven most common pitfalls digital camera buyers encounter and how to avoid them.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Robots.text At Whitehouse.gov

From The Inquirer: White House site has oddities, like Bush site.

According to Internet consultant Dave Bender, from Minnesota, Bush's web team have done some strange things to the White House web site (www.whitehouse.gov). It has apparently been configured to prevent Internet search engines from capturing historic snapshots of what is posted on the site.

The technical details are in a file that web sites often have in their uppermost directory called 'robots.txt'. It contains directives that Internet search engines, like Google and Yahoo, read to determine what the site owner would like indexed by the search engine.

Here's a link the the robots.txt file at whitehouse.gov. It's a list of all the directories that they don't want indexed by search engines.

Why so many?

He said that the only reason he could thing of is that it is designed to prevent a plugged-in reporter could check a page on a site and compare it with the cached version to see what's changed.

A concerned voter might want to see if the White House has changed its position on one thing or another.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Lie Girls

This is funny stuff: Lie Girls.

Contrary to what you might think when you first see the site, it's completely safe for work -- unless, perhaps, you work at the White House.

(via Dvorak Uncensored)

Posted on 29 October, 2004

"Stop Using My Song!"

Music news (or is it political news?): Songwriter of 'Still the One' wants Bush to stop using tune.

The songwriter who helped pen the 1970s hit, "Still the One," is demanding that President Bush stop using the tune at campaign events, arguing that he's no fan of the Republican incumbent and the campaign never got permission to use the song.

John Hall, a former Democratic county legislator in upstate New York, co-wrote "Still the One" and recorded it with his band Orleans in 1976. The cheery pop tune was played at Bush events Thursday and again Friday to open and close a rally for the president in New Hampshire.

"I was watching TV, and there all of a sudden was my song, my guitar playing, my voice coming out of the speakers," said the 56-year-old Hall, still a working musician.

The opening lyrics:

We've been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again
But I want you to know
After all these years
You're still the one
I want whisperin' in my ear

Well, at least the "whisperin' in my ear" part is appropriate.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Reader Questions

Here's another episode of Ask J-Walk.

matt: Do you like Kurt Vonnegut?

I haven't read anything by him in years. But I certainly liked everything I've ever read by him, including the short piece at the link you provided.

JFM: In one of your recent posts you stated: "I keep pretty good tabs on sites that link to the J-Walk blog." What is your process for doing so?

Every once in a while, I check my referrer logs. However, this method is getting increasingly useless due to the huge influx of referrer log spam (fake hits from sites that don't really link to you). I also use Technorati and Bloglines advanced search to get a list of blogs that link to mine. And, every once in a while, I'll do a Google search for "j-walkblog." It almost always turns up some new sites.

Echo9er: I read with interest your entry Re: Winamp. What sets Winamp apart from Windows Media Player and Real Networks?

Windows Media Player is too complicated for me. I don't need all of the bells and whistles. Winamp is a simple product and it works well. Real Player just plain sucks. Everyone know that. For sites that insist on using Real formats, get a copy of Real Alternative instead.

Kevin: How does the size of your house compare with your neighbors? Based on the aerial photo, it appears that they are rather large.

I think ours is one of the smallest homes in the neighborhood. The best part is that they are spread out. The average lot size is over an acre.

Shallow: When and where were your last vacations? Vacations as in "at least a week away from home".

Hey, Shallow you read this blog regularly. You should know the answer to that question! It was a trip to Kauai, about a year ago. And there are even photos to prove it.

James: I have often clicked on links that not only lead to a page, but automatically scroll down to the relevant section on said page. How is this accomplished?

It's just simple and basic HTML. Define a section name with a tag like this:

      <A NAME="section_name">

Then you can create a link to that section name using something like this:

      <A HREF="#section_name"> text to be linked </a>

Scott Willis: Hi, you have the link to Faith the wonder dog on your site, but I noticed that the link doesn't work anymore. I've searched for the same video clip on the net and can't find it. 

You can view it here.

kylector: Has anyone else reported trouble with your XML RSS feed? When my app pulls them in, it doesn't get the timezone correct and so your entries are always way below all the other "current" entries because of our time difference. I wrote the author and he said the problem is probably in your feed. I can ask him for more details if need-be, but the software seems to handle all my other feeds just fine.

People have reported occasional problems, but no one has reported one like you describe. If anyone else has a similar problem, please let me know.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Telemarketing Script

If you're responsible for purchasing IT systems, you might need this, from Microsoft: Partner Telesales Script. Then, if a Microsoft Partner telemarketer calls trying to sell a small business server, you can just follow along using the Word document.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Leonard Cohen Songs

Here are some MP3s for Leonard Cohen fans: Rare Live Songs. The recording quality is terrible, but there are some songs that I've never heard before.

And speaking of Cohen, his new CD arrived yesterday. I listened to it 3-4 times. It gets better each time.

(via MonkeyFilter)

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Gum Art

By Jamie Marraccini: Gum Art.

...created and inspired by chewed gum.

Shown here is a piece called It Takes A Very Steady Hand. it's 48 x 24 inches, and it required 3,905 pieces of gum.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Bush Was Wired

From Salon: NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate.

George W. Bush tried to laugh off the bulge. "I don't know what that is," he said on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, referring to the infamous protrusion beneath his jacket during the presidential debates. "I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."

Dr. Robert M. Nelson, however, was not laughing. He knew the president was not telling the truth. And Nelson is neither conspiracy theorist nor midnight blogger. He's a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis.

He said:

"I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate. This is not about a bad suit. And there's no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt."

If you're not a Salon subscriber, you'll need to view an ad to read the entire article.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

3D Photos

Welcome to Dale Gombert's Stereo/3D Photography.

Put on your red/blue glasses, and it's like you can reach out grab a piece from this plate of fried trout.

(via Penny Dreadful)

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Presidential Endorsements

Many local newspapers endorse a presidential candidate. I like the endorsement by the Detroit News: For President: None of the Above.

We want a president whose character and temperament match the demands of the office. We want a president who appreciates that the responsibility of being the world's military superpower requires a deft touch to maintain harmonious relationships.

That person is not on the ballot this time. We are unwilling to settle for less.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Be Careful What You Write

From Anniesj's blog: A word to the wise.

A couple of weeks ago, following the last presidential debate, I said some rather inflammatory things about George W. Bush in a public post in my LJ, done in a satirical style. We laughed, we ranted, we all said some things. I thought it was a fairly harmless (and rather obvious) attempt at humor in the face of annoyance, and while a couple of people were offended, as is typical behavior from me, I saw something shiny and forgot about it, thinking that the whole thing was over and done and nothing else would come of what I said.

I was wrong.

At 9:45 last night, the Secret Service showed up on my mother's front door to talk to me about what I said about the President, as what I said could apparently be misconstrued as a threat to his life.

You can also read an interview with Anniesj here.

(via JOHO the Blog)

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Strange Toys

Unusual toys from the purveyors of the peculiar: StrangeCo Catalog.

STRANGEco produces and distributes artist-based toys, with a catalog of designs from around the world. We are committed to developing and supporting the product lines we choose to represent, as well as the retailers and stores that are helping us develop the designer toy market worldwide.

Shown here is Jeremy Fish's Bunnyvan -- a cross between a van and a rabbit.

(via Ritilan)

Posted on 29 October, 2004

New, From John Lennon

Music news: Ono OKs Lennon Acoustic Disc.

Ono feels the previously unreleased material on the new album "Acoustic" lives up to the Beatle's high standards. The disc, released this week, simply features Lennon and his guitar on live renditions of classics such as "Imagine" and "Watching the Wheels," as well as versions of songs that he recorded in his home.

Although not yet available, the CD is currently ranked #10 at Amazon.

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Bumper Sticker Contest

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Bumper Crop: Massive reader turnout for political bumper sticker contest.

We were almost speechless when we saw the stacks of mail that arrived for our first ever political bumper sticker contest. We thought we'd get maybe 50 entries. The final tally -- 568 -- blew us away.

A large majority -- 358 -- were anti-Bush, compared with 75 anti-Kerry submissions. The pro-candidate slogans were also fewer: 29 in favor of Bush; 30 for Kerry. Other stickers fell into the "other" category, and some were bipartisan.

The winning entry in the non-partisan category pretty much sums up this presidential election:

"Our lies are better than their lies"

Posted on 29 October, 2004

Keeping Our Homeland Safe

It happened in Oregon: Homeland Security Agents Visit Toy Store.

When the two agents arrived at the store, the lead agent asked Cox whether she carried a toy called the Magic Cube, which he said was an illegal copy of the Rubik's Cube, one of the most popular toys of all time.

He told her to remove the Magic Cube from her shelves, and he watched to make sure she complied.

As it turns out, the Rubik's Cube patent had expired, so there was no infringement.

Why is a high-powered federal agency bothering with a small toy store?

"One of the things that our agency's responsible for doing is protecting the integrity of the economy and our nation's financial systems and obviously trademark infringement does have significant economic implications," she said.

Posted on 29 October, 2004