« Previous Day | Main | Next Day »

4 November, 2004

Cringely On The Election

An interesting piece by Robert X. Cringely: Bob Don't Know Diddy.

If nothing else, read the last five paragraphs.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Mapping Election Results

Here's a very nice looking map that shows the Presidential election results at the county level.

Using County-by-County election return data from USA Today together with County boundary data from the US Census' Tiger database we produced the following graphic depicting the results. Of course, blue is for the democrats, red is for the republicans, and green is for all other. Each county's color is a mix of these three color components in proportion to the results for that county.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Put Up A Sign

Here are some signs that you can print out and hang around the office. Also in Portuguese.

Put them in normal places, where no one will suspect they're fake. Fellow employees will be angry and frustrated feeling the unbearable weight of tiranic management on their backs. Managers won't dare remove them because there's always the possibility of it coming from someone higher than them. It's the ultimate office fun!

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Never Preach To A Lion

From MSNBC: Man tries to convert lions to Jesus, gets bitten.

A man leaped into a lion's den at the Taipei Zoo on Wednesday to try to convert the king of beasts to Christianity, but was bitten in the leg for his efforts.

"Jesus will save you!" shouted the 46-year-old man at two African lions lounging under a tree a few meters away. "Come bite me!" he said with both hands raised, television footage showed.

One of them obeyed.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Slowhand Changes Rank

Music News: Eric Clapton Officially Part of the Establishment.

Princess Anne awarded Clapton with the lengthy title Commander Of The Order Of The British Empire during a Buckingham Palace ceremony earlier today.

Back in 1994...

Clapton was made an Officer Of The Order Of The British Empire.

In other Clapton news: Clapton's baby bonus.

Clapton's 28-year-old American wife Melia McEnery is due to give birth in January, only two months before the guitar legend celebrates his 60th birthday.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

A Biodegradable Bottle

Biota -- bottled water that comes in a biodegradable bottle.

BIOTA Spring Water is the World's first bottled water/beverage packaged in a commercially compostable plastic bottle. Our bottle is manufactured from a 100% renewable resource, corn.

Under the proper conditions, the bottle can completely disappear in 75-80 days. But the bottle cap will be around forever.

From the FAQ:

Q. Because it's made from corn, can I eat it?

A. No. As a plastic product, it's not recommended that BIOTA PLA containers be consumed.

You can watch a time-lapse video and see a bottle disappear before your very eyes.

(via MetaEfficient)

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Pressure Cookers

Poncho has a question:

Do you ever cook with a pressure cooker? They cut cooking times in half and a lot of the things I cook seem to take a long time. So I am looking for others opinions on this topic.

The only time I ever cooked with a pressure cooker was back in high school, when I fried chicken for Colonel Sanders. That is truly the secret to tender fried chicken. Since then, I haven't touched one.

Does anyone have some pressure cooker advice for Poncho?

Posted on 4 November, 2004

A Question About Disabling Comments

Wendy! asked a question:

How do you feel when you have to close comments for a particular post because the visitors are not behaving like ladies and gentlemen? Angry? Irritated? Frustrated? Sad? Bemused? Baffled? Bewildered? Disdainful? Scornful? Amused? Satisfied? Delighted?

She was referring to my recent Four More Years? post. My answer is none of the above.

The comments for this item were going well for quite a while. Then it started getting ugly. Well, not really ugly -- just worthless. A few people starting arguing about stem cells and abortion. Names were called. Obscenities were used. Insults were bandied about. Rather than go through the trouble of deleting moronic individual comments, I just closed down the comment section. No big deal. It's not like the world will be missing out on any revelations.

I think it's just human nature. Some people feel compelled to let their views be known, and they never pass up an opportunity to demonstrate that their views are the correct ones. And these people usually just love to argue -- even though the same arguments have been made countless times before in other places.

By the way, I noticed that Mike Power happened to mention this on his MrPower Squared blog: Blog Sucking Parasites.

He has had to disable comments because of stupid and offensive remarks by some commenters. Not typical of his usual good-natured crowd but seemingly inevitable whenever anything political gets posted. It must be extremely irksome to work hard building a great, popular blog with thousands of loyal readers only to see your space and bandwidth being used up by adolescent twats in the comments section. They are parasites, feeding off the popularity of blogs like J-Walk to find an audience for their stupid and odious views.

Nicely put. But like I said, it's really not a big deal.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Miss Digital World

From Wired: Don't Hate Me Because I'm Digital.

Flawless skin. Perfect hair. Ready to work anywhere and everywhere anytime you want. Meet 5 top contestants vying for the title of most beautiful virtual woman in the world.

You can view all of the contestants at the MDW site. Here's one named Soodabeh, by Hossein Alit Mazlook.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Rumors Of MS Office 12

At Microsoft Watch, Mary Jo Foley writes: Office 12 Details Begin to Trickle Out.

According to partner sources who requested anonymity, Microsoft has established an internal Office 12 ship calendar that pegs Office Beta 1 availability for August 29, 2005. Beta 2 is slated for December 5, 2005. The internal release-to-manufacturing target is May 22, 2006. And the target for "street" availability for the Office 12 System is July 17, 2006, the sources said.

And there's talk of new chart features:

But some sources said to watch for Microsoft to launch a new charting application as part of the Office 12 desktop suite. The Office 12 charting application could make use of Avalon, the Windows presentation subsystem that Microsoft is building as part of Longhorn (and back-porting to older versions of Windows), sources said.

The article also mentions a new Excel Calculation Server.

(via Ed Bott -- "Hmmm. It might be a while before my next Office book.")

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Spam Kings

A few months ago, I mentioned a new book by Brian McWilliams: Spam Kings.

The first chapter of that book is available onlineļæ½ (direct link to PDF file).

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Creepy Clown Gallery

Someone created a 3D clown, and others submit art that uses the clown. It's the Creepy Clown Gallery.

It has been several years since Creepy first elbowed his way into the world of online computer graphics and boldly proclaimed that he had his eye on nothing less than the goal of UTTER PERVASIVENESS. Well, as anyone who has been following his exploits can attest, he has more than made good on his word. Creepy has found his way into literally thousands of computer generated images, turning up in every imaginable setting and situation, as well as many that begin where imagination leaves off.

Here's one of many, many examples. It shows the Creepy Clown doing some bowling.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Modernize Music Notation

A site devoted to improving standard western music notation: Music Notation Modernization Association. The four main problems are:

  • Traditional notation is written in four clefs when one would be adequate.
  • Traditional notation is biased toward C major and closely related tonalities, which makes them easier to read. But all tonalities could, and should, be equally convenient to read and write.
  • Traditional notation often employs numerous accidental signs and awkward key signatures which could be completely dispensed with.
  • Traditional notation tends to space noteheads in a deceptive and confusing manner. For example, a whole tone scale (a series of identical steps) appears as an irregular sequence, while a major scale (a series of irregular steps) appears as a regular sequence.

Personally, I would welcome anything that makes it easier. When it comes to reading music, simple guitar tab is about all that I can handle.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Amateur Forgers

It happened in Virginia: Police accuse pair of college students with forging Subway Sub Club stamps.

Blacksburg police arrested Virginia Tech student Ben Jackson and charged him with counterfeiting Subway Sub Club stamps on his personal computer.

Even Blacksburg police admitted they were slightly impressed with the forgery's authenticity, noting investigators could only tell the difference by holding them up to the light.

Apparently, others have the same idea: Subway Sub Club card scam on eBay.

Someone is making a few dollars on eBay by counterfeiting Subway Sub Club cards and auctioning them off.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Canada 2.0

At Not A Dollarshort: Canada 2.0.

You'll be hearing a lot of "I'm moving to..." the next couple days. Well, I'm not moving anywhere. I'm staying put. The borders? Well, that's another story.

Related items:

Posted on 4 November, 2004

The Diddly Award

From Mother Jones: The Diddly Award.

The Flightless Eagle Award is awarded to the right-wing congressional candidate least likely to soar.

One of the nominees is James Hart:

James Hart (8th District, Tennessee) is the GOP nominee who holds that "poverty genes of less favored races" will soon cause the U.S. to "look like one big Detroit."

Thankfully, he only got 26% of the vote on Tuesday.

Posted on 4 November, 2004

Free Fractals

Get your free fractals at the Fractal Bargain Bin.

I created these because it pleases me to create them. Go ahead and download them, save them, give them to your friends, print them and hang them on a wall, whatever you want. I find the notion of "property" specious enough, the idea of "intellectual property" makes me laugh.

Posted on 4 November, 2004