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17 November, 2004

Best Songs Ever

Here's an article about the 500 greatest songs of all time, according to Rolling Stone.

#1 Bob Dylan, Like A Rolling Stone
#2 The Rolling Stones, "Satisfaction"

There's something weird about this...

Posted on 17 November, 2004

President Pardons Turkey

I don't know about you, but the annual presidential turkey pardon is always the highlight of the year for me. It never gets old: President Pardons "Biscuits and Gravy" in Annual Turkey Ceremony.

Here's an excerpt from George W's hilarious speech:

This is an election year, and Biscuits had to earn his spot at the White House. Over the past week, thousands of voters cast ballots on the White House website. It was a close race. You might say it was neck-and-neck. (Laughter.) When all the voters were in -- all the votes were in, Biscuits and his running mate, Gravy, prevailed over the ticket of Patience and Fortitude. (Laughter.) The Vice President and I are here to congratulate Biscuits for a race well run.

It came down to a few battleground states. (Laughter.) It was a tough contest, and it turned out some 527 organizations got involved -- (laughter) -- including Barnyard Animals for Truth. (Laughter.) There was a scurrilous film that came out, "Fahrenheit 375 Degrees at 10 Minutes Per Pound." (Laughter.) Now, it's a time for healing.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Excel Usage Poll

Just wondering...

Do you use Excel?
Yes, almost every day
Yes, a few times a month
Yes, a few times a year
Never
I use a different spreadsheet program
��

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Largest Digital Image

About a year ago, I linked to this site: Breaking the Gigapixel Barrier. It's a composite of 196 images, each six megapixels in size -- resulting in an image that's slightly more than one gigapixels in size.

Forget that. From The Register: Dutch snap world's largest digital photo.

The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research has produced what it claims is the largest digital panoramic photo in the world. At 2.5 billion pixels, it's 500 times more pixel-packed that can be produced with modern five megapixel consumer cameras.

More information at p2pnet.

The link to the image is currently not working.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Worst Toys

The World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) has released their annual 10 Worst Toys list.

Problems with the toys on the list include potential for severe bodily injury or death, potential choking hazard, potential impact injuries, and potential eye injuries.

The list exposes toy hazards seen year after year, despite continued efforts to educate and inform the industry. Swartz stressed that these particular toys are illustrative of some hazards in toys being sold to consumers, and should not be considered as the only hazardous toys on the market.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Dave Winer On "The Environment"

Here's an interesting take by Dave Winer: The environment.

I had an epiphany on Sunday, on returning to Seattle, in my car, listening to the radio, in the environment. I don't know exactly how I came to it, or if I can explain it, but I'll try...

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Giant Guitar

At Fark: Photoshop this man and his giant guitar.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Insurance Hall Of Fame

This just opened a few days ago: The Insurance Hall of Fame.

Induction into the Insurance Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded to individuals in the insurance industry. Created in 1957, the Insurance Hall of Fame honors those throughout the world who have exercised substantial influence on the industry for the benefit of society. Laureates of the Insurance Hall of Fame have created lasting and significant ideas that have expanded the industry.

Who says the Web's no fun anymore!

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Rainbow Books

A new way to shelve book: Display Books By Color.

The explanation is here.

For one amazing week in November, Adobe Bookshop in San Francisco has agreed to allow its estimated 20,000 books to be reclassified by color. Shifting from red to orange to yellow to green, the books will follow the spectrum continuously, changing Adobe from a neighborhood bookshop into a magical library-but only for one week.

(via Metafilter)

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Killing Animals On The Net

From Reuters: Texas Officials Wary of Plan to Hunt by Internet.

Hunters soon may be able to sit at their computers and blast away at animals on a Texas ranch via the Internet, a prospect that has state wildlife officials up in arms.

A controversial Web site, http://www.live-shot.com, already offers target practice with a .22 caliber rifle and could soon let hunters shoot at deer, antelope and wild pigs, site creator John Underwood said on Tuesday.

As I write this the live-shot.com site is dead.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Beardsworth's B&W Book

John Beardsworth talks about getting an advance copy of his new photography book: The Gender of Books.

On Wednesday I got my hands on an advance copy of my book, Step by Step Digital Black and White Photography, which should ship in the UK later this month.

In some ways it feels like having a child. A son, I think, because as a man it's easier to imagine footballs and making things, and also because b&w is very much my style.

My Excel books are all males too, except for Excel VBA Programming For Dummies. That one's a girl.

It seems that his book has been available in the U.S. for about two weeks. I just ordered a copy from Amazon. I've never been able to get satisfactory black and white digital photos. Maybe this book will help.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

College Photography

The 2004 College Photographer of the Year winners.

Shown here is Roller Coaster, by Chris Detrick (University of Missouri, Columbia -- my alma mater).

(via Kingdom of Love)

Posted on 17 November, 2004

More Beauty Pageants For Kids

Yesterday I wrote about America's Gorgeous Girls. Not surprisingly, there are several other beauty pageants for kids that focus on how they look. Here are a few that I found:

Posted on 17 November, 2004

The Scam Bible

A book written by and for waiters: The Infamous Waiter and Bartender Scam Bible.

Promethean Books is proud to unleash the underground classic and long-time scourge of the New Orleans restaurant and bar scene that is all but guaranteed to transform even the most bumbling waiter or bartender into a "virtual deity of Scam".

Finally, an affordable education that pays immediate dividends.

Step by step descriptions of every scam in the book, "from the classics to the cutting edge".

Invaluable tips from the best in the business on how to improve your game and keep your fat out of the fire.

(via Waiter Rant)

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Excel MVPs

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the current crop of Excel MVPs.

Of the 28, I've personally met the following: Rob Bovey, Stephen Bullen, Debra Dalgleish, Juan Pablo Gonzalez, John Green, Nick Hodge, Dick Kusleika, Bill Manville, Jake Marx, Vasant Nanavati, Jon Peltier, Jan Karel Pieterse, Andy Pope, Thomas Ramel, Peo Sjoblom, Harrald Staff, Bob Umlas, Monika Weber, and Ken Wright.

Correction: Stupid me. That link above does not go to the real list of Excel MVPs. As Andy Pope pointed out, that's just a list of Excel MVPs that chose to add a photo and bio. The list of the MVPs that I've met should also include Chip Pearson, David McRitchie, David Peterson, Frank Kabel, Gord Dibben, Jerry W. Lewis, Masaru Kaji (Colo), Niek Otten, Patrick Malloy, Ture Magnusson, and Tushar Mehta.

Here's the real list (73, not 28):

Alain Vallon - France, Alan Beban - USA, Andy Pope - UK, Ashish Mathur - India, Bernd Michael Held - Germany, Bernie Deitrick - USA, Bill Manville - UK, Bob Umlas - USA, Chip Pearson - USA, Chou Yuan Fang - Taiwan, Chris VERRAEST - France, Dana Delouis - USA, Daniel Josserand - France, David McRitchie - USA, David Peterson - USA, Debra Dalgleish - Canada, Dick Kusleika - USA, Dung Jin Huang - Taiwan, Earl Kiosterud - USA, Fernando Cinquegrani - Italy, Frank Arendt-Theilen - Germany, Frank Kabel - Germany, Frederic Sigonneau - France, Gord Dibben - Canada, Hajo Ziplies - Germany, Harald Staff - Norway, Hector Miguel Orozco - Mexico, Ingrid Baplue - Belgium, Jake Marx - USA, Jan Karel Pieterse - China, Jerry W Lewis - USA, Jim Rech - USA, John Walkenbach - USA, John V. Green - Australia, Jon Peltier - USA, Jose Ram�n Garc�a Campos - Spain, Juan Pablo Gonzalez - USA, Jun Chen - China, Ken Wright - UK, Kenichi Tadano - Japan, Kisung Hwang - Korea, Laurent Longre - France, Leo Heuser - Denmark, Leon Chou - Taiwan, Masahiro Takahashi - Japan, Masaru Kaji - Japan, Masataka Miyashita - Japan, Melanie Breden - Germany, Monika Rita Weber - Switzerland, Myrna Larson - USA, Nick Hodge - UK, Niek Otten - Netherlands, Norman John Harker - Australia, Orlando Magalhaes Filho - Germany, Patrick Molloy - UK, Peo Sjoblom - USA, Rob Bovey - USA, Robert Rosenberg - China, Rodney Powell - USA, Ron de Bruin - Netherlands, Rowen Gu - China, Shane Devenshire - USA, Stephen Bullen - UK, Thomas Ogilvy - USA, Thomas Ramel - Tokelau, Toru Tanaka - Japan, Ture Magnusson - USA, Tushar Mehta - USA, Vasant Nanavati - USA, Wen-Her Jih - Taiwan, Xiu Feng Chen - China, Yuan Ping Zhou - China, Yuji Kojima - Japan

Posted on 17 November, 2004

More Fractals

There is no shortage of fractal eye candy on the Web. Here's another fractal site: Fractal Works Gallery.

This one is called Billowy.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Froy Marriage Test

If you're a dude and you're thinking about getting hitched, take this test first: The Froy Marriage Test.

Taken from How To Avoid Matrimony by Herald Froy (1957)

Froy Ratings For Marriage Risk have been calculated on the aggregate hypothetical value of a girl, arrived at by co-relating her imponderable-asset averages with the concomitant drawback averages, taking into consideration the marriage risk co-efficient.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

The Jesusonic

For guitar players: The Jesusonic CrusFX 1000. It's an effects processor shaped like a cross. But it's just a prototype and is not for sale.

Inside the hand-built basswood crucifix is real computing power, capable of hundreds of millions of operations per second--plenty for executing a plethora of effects in real time with minimal latency.

Using the built in footswitches you can switch between over 100 of your favorite presets as well as trigger events in your favorite presets with ease.

The inventor? Justin Frankel, the guy behind Winamp.

(via Music Thing)

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Stamped Money

Here's a collection of rubber-stamped money.

A couple of years ago I became aware that ordinary people have been using currency to spread ideas.

I had received a few I GREW HEMP bills, but was awhile before it dawned on me that people were actually using cash as a communication channel.

Some bills advertise political opinions. Others share highly personal messages, I suppose many of which are in-jokes. And some are probably just artistic creations.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Intellectual Property Protection Act

It looks like the entertainment industry might be purchasing a new law for the U.S.. From Wired: Senate May Ram Copyright Bill.

Several lobbying camps from different industries and ideologies are joining forces to fight an overhaul of copyright law, which they say would radically shift in favor of Hollywood and the record companies and which Congress might try to push through during a lame-duck session that begins this week.

The Senate might vote on HR2391, the Intellectual Property Protection Act, a comprehensive bill that opponents charge could make many users of peer-to-peer networks, digital-music players and other products criminally liable for copyright infringement. The bill would also undo centuries of "fair use" -- the principle that gives Americans the right to use small samples of the works of others without having to ask permission or pay.

Here's an example of what would happen:

Under the proposed language, viewers would not be allowed to use software or devices to skip commercials or promotional announcements "that would otherwise be performed or displayed before, during or after the performance of the motion picture," like the previews on a DVD.

It appears that TiVo has jumped the gun. From Boing Boing: TiVo sells your fast-forward button to advertisers.

TiVo has jumped another shark, adding a "feature" to its PVRs that few TiVo customers would have agreed to if they'd been given the choice. When you fast-forward with your TiVo, it will show you banner ads. That's right -- it shows you ads while you're skipping ads. As Matt Haughey puts it, they've "sold your fast-forward button to advertisers."

Posted on 17 November, 2004

The New Gospel

James E Padgett, Esq. died in 1915. Without even realizing it, he wrote The New Gospel.

Upon the suggestion being made to me that I was a psychic, I commenced to receive by way of automatic writing, messages from what was said to be messages from the spirit world, and since that time I have received messages upon many subjects, but mostly as to things of a spiritual and religious nature, not orthodox, as to the errancy of the Bible.

Here's an example of his automatic writing:

Now it all make sense...

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Saddest Songs

A question at Ask Metafilter:

What are the saddest songs ever?

There are lots of suggestions, most of which I've never heard. My nomination is David Bromberg's "Watch Baby Fall." Read the lyrics here, and listen to an excerpt here.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Fish Highway

What is a Fish Highway?

Imagine a means for fish to swim out the top of your aquarium, up to the ceiling, across the room and then down into another tank. That's a fish highway... Today they're made of acrylic plastic, the same material used for many custom built aquariums.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Modern Dog

A lifestyle magazine for urban dogs and their companions: Modern Dog.

A large part of Modern Dog's mission is to support the efforts of organizations that work tirelessly to assist abused, neglected or homeless dogs. Our donation programs, charitable events and cash gifts allow us to give back to the dog community.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

About The Simpsons

Gail Pennington writes: How do we love The Simpsons?

As "The Simpsons" opens its 16th season on Sunday, pundits and Internet chat groups are bouncing around a pesky question: Is the show still TV's most brilliant comedy, or has it long-since passed its prime, degenerating (as a Slate commentary suggested last year) into a cartoon?

She goes on to present 16 reasons to love the show. Here's #6:

The social commentary. Satire doesn't play in prime time; that's the rule, but "The Simpsons" has satirized everything from corporate greed to convenience stores and from feminism to femininity

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Make Some Ozone

Learn how to Make Some Ozone.

It's very easy to make ozone, since it is done by applying Ultra Violet energy or electrical discharge energy to either pure oxygen, or more commonly just plain air. The energy of the UV or arc causes the two atoms of a molecule of oxygen to separate, and some recombine temporarily in an unstable three atom molecule of ozone. The third oxygen atom is quickly donated to anything in the vicinity and oxidizes it in the process. Ozone must be made on demand since it cannot easily be stored.

Here are three approaches to making ozone. The first is a simple low level ozone maker which is ideal as an air freshener while the second is a UV technique. The third is a planar plasma technique which can produce a lot of ozone.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Sleeping Buddha

Now that's a large statue: World's largest sleeping Buddha.

Shown here is a normal-sized boy posing next to the big toe of the Buddha.

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Cascadia

I used to live in the Republic of Cascadia, and I didn't even realize it.

The former American states of Oregon and Washington and the former Canadian province of British Columbia must join together as a sovereign nation. Only then can we have self-determination and take our rightful place in the Global Community.

(via User Friendly)

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Cruisin' With Jerry

It's billed as the adventure of a lifetime: Cruise with Dr. Jerry Falwell.

Enjoy the teaching and fellowship of Dr. Jerry Falwell, Chancellor of Liberty University and Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church...

13 Days / 12 Nights - July 28 - Aug. 9, 2005

Fares as low as $2,995 per person.

OK, so who's going?

Posted on 17 November, 2004

Atlantis Found

You can stop looking now: We've definitely found Atlantis, researcher says.

"We cannot yet provide tangible proof in the form of bricks and mortar as the artefacts are still buried under several metres of sediment but the circumstantial and other evidence is irrefutable."

Posted on 17 November, 2004