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14 December, 2004

USB Eye Massager

Another holiday gift idea: USB Eye Massager.

Reading this ad copy really makes me want one.

USB Eye Massager is the latest-designed health care Product specially for the Person which long time use their eyes, Such as the Computer operator. The product could relax the stress of the Eyes. and make your whole body in the situation of the unstressing by the product vibration.

It looks like it was designed by Moe Howard. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk...

(via Engadget)

Posted on 14 December, 2004

AOL Searches

Did you ever wonder what AOL users search for online? Find out: AOL's Top Search Topics.

Britney Spears was once again the most searched person overall, though hardly by a landslide. Britney, followed closely by hotel heiress and socialite Paris Hilton, reclaims the top honor this year from rap sensation 50 Cent who dethroned Britney in 2003 after she held the top spot for two years running.

The most searched words overall this year led with "horoscopes," with new topics hitting 2004's top 50 list including: foreclosures (#4); salaries (#5); work at home (#18); home improvement (#19); airline tickets (#27); spyware (#43); credit reports (#43); texas hold 'em poker (#46); and blue book (#49).

Posted on 14 December, 2004

No Gravity

Not your average airline: Zero Gravity Corporation.

Zero Gravity Corporation is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company's first product offering is commercial, Weightless Flights aboard a specially modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft.

What do you get?

The typical flight for the ZERO-G Experience, which features 15 parabolas, lasts approximately 90 to 100 minutes. Each parabola provides about 30 seconds of weightlessness. By the end of the flight you will log about 10 minutes of weightless - that's more zero gravity time than Alan Shepard experienced on America's first human spaceflight.

All that for $3,750.

(via Doc Searls Weblog)

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Aluminum Tree Museum

It's that time of year again. Nothing like the clean fresh smell of an an Aluminum Christmas Tree.

ATOM is the acronym for the Aluminum Tree and Aesthetically Challenged Seasonal Ornament Museum & Research Center. With locations in Brevard, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee, ATOM is the world's only Museum dedicated to the preservation and public display of vintage aluminum trees. ATOM is also an apt name for this Museum, since the trees were produced during the "atomic age" of the mid-20th century.

As you can see from the photo, many of these trees are harvested in the Grand Canyon.

(Thanks Anthony)

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Madonna And Baby Jesus

I laughed out loud when I saw Dr Frank's excellent animated GIF at b3ta: He'll Grow Into It.

Notice the eyes of the guy on the left.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Ask J-Walk Answers

I need to get some work done today, so that means it's time for another episode of Ask J-Walk.

Cacafuego: I come from a decidedly unmusical background. My nine year old daughter wants to learn to play the guitar. Any pointers? Also, what do you think is a good price for a beginners guitar and do you have any specific recommendations.

I think it's great that a kid expresses an interest in learning any musical instrument. Far too often, they are forced into it and they end up viewing it as a chore rather than a pleasant experience.

First decision: electric vs. acoustic. Definitely go with acoustic unless your daughter has already expressed an interest in an electric guitar. Next decision: steel strings vs. nylon strings. Unless her interest is specifically classical music, go with a steel string guitar. Next decision: Price. Basically, spend as much as you can afford, within reason (there's no reason to buy a top-of-the-line guitar for a beginner). Although guitars have come a long way, you'll almost always regret getting the cheapest guitar you can find. I think you can get a very good acoustic guitar in the $250 - $350 range.

I don't have any recommendations, because I been out of the acoustic guitar buying loop for a long time. Maybe someone else can offer you some specific choices.

Lynn: What is your opinion of the topic of bandwidth "borrowing", and how can a person be proactive about ending it if they feel people are abusing their site/server?

She's referring to the practice of directly linking to images that reside on a different server. It happens quite a bit to me, but I've never gone through the effort to prevent it. Apparently, it's fairly easy to do if you have a Unix server. See Kill Hotlinks.

Kevin: What is your opinion of the Bob Dylan interview on 60 minutes?

I didn't catch it on TV, but I downloaded a copy the next day. I found it very boring. I get the impression that Dylan was forced to do the interview as part of his book contract.

Curtis: Do you listen to Indian (not American Indian) music?

Not very often, but I do like that style -- as long as they don't include vocals. When I was young I had several Ravi Shankar LPs, and I listened to them a lot.

Curtis specifically mentioned A Meeting by the River by Ry Cooder and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. I listened to the snippets, and it sounds great. It's on an indie label, so I just might buy it.

Cathy: What is the name of the Stubborn Colorado Mockingbird?

I couldn't find the answer on Google, so I can only assume that the bird has no name.

jai: Do you have a favorite Christmas song and are you decorating the new house for Christmas?

I have no favorite Christmas song. I can tolerate most of them beginning about 10 days before Christmas. Given a choice, I prefer them to be jazz-oriented. No, we are not doing any Christmas decorating.

Phillip: Why is Tuscon pronounced Two Sawn instead of Tuss Con?

That's news to me!

Sam Nead: What is the total number of links you have posted to your blog (at least up until the time you read this email) ? Might be a good excuse to whip out an Excel spreadsheet.

Excluding links to my own site, the total number of links I've posted is 13,760 (which includes duplicates). That works out to about 1.5 link per blog entry, or 17.4 per day.

Believe it or not, I used Word (not Excel) to get the link count. I exported all of my entries to a CSV file. I did a Search for "http://j-walkblog" and replaced the text with nothing. Then I did another search for "http://" and replaced that text with nothing. Word informed me that it made 13,760 replacements.

Why not use Excel for that? Because Excel can't do Search/Replace in cells that contain more than about 1,000 characters. I'm sure I could have done an SQL query directly to get the count -- but it would have taken me an hour to figure it out.

Name withheld: Hi again - you and I had transmitted email a few weeks back. I would like to request that the Dana Capital J-Walk Blog be removed under the consideration of strong corporate enhancements we've made.

We will comply based on your requests, we just need to know what to do to remove this link: http://j-walkblog.com/blog/index/P15463/. I appreciate your help and assistance.

First, tell me what you mean by "strong corporate enhancements." Second, convince me that you've stopped sending illegal junk faxes. Third, pay me $2,500 for the junk fax you sent me last year.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Twins From Twins

I like when this sort of low-probability thing happens: Twin sisters both deliver sets of twin boys on same day.

Twenty-one-year-olds Ashlee Spinks of Indianapolis and Andrea Springer of Conyers, Ga., delivered their boys by scheduled Caesarean sections Tuesday about an hour apart at Northside Hospital.

Oh... scheduled Caesareans. Never mind.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Dialect Map

If you've ever wondered why people in the U.S. talk differently, this Dialect Map will shed some light.

The map and list below show the major (and a few minor) geographic dialects and subdialects of English spoken in the United States. Many of these may be further subdivided into local subdialects that are not shown here. Obviously, the borders between dialect regions are not well defined lines as a map like this would imply, but a gradual transition extending on both sides of the line.

(via Incoming Signals)

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Weblog Awards

The results are in. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2004 Weblog Awards.

Based on 366,187 votes cast in all categories over 10 days in early December 2004...

Some of these truly deserve to win. But others? For example, the best overall blog is Power Line, which is written by three lawyers. I've never heard of it, but after a quick perusal it seems fairly boring to me. No, actually it seems very boring.

And the award for the best blog design goes to Cold Fury. I don't understand. It looks just like hundreds of other blogs.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Salary Clock

This is pretty good: Salary Clock.

Enter your annual salary, and then select someone who's rich. Then you can watch your real time earnings accumulate.

I leaned that David Letterman earns a lot more than I do.

(via Sarcasmo's Corner)

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Celebrity Autographs

This is actually kind of sad: Autographed To You.

Imagine proudly displaying a photo of your favorite celebrity that's not only hand-signed, but personally autographed TO YOU with a short message! Sounds impossible, but it's just a click away.

I have an image of former Monkee Micky Dolenz sitting around the pool waiting for an autograph order to come in. The price for his is $36. He probably gets half.

Then there's Ron Guidry, 1978 Cy Young Award winner. His autograph goes for a mere $15. I wonder what former Brady Bunch start Christopher Knight and Barry Williams think? One is $30, the other is only $21.

(via Tom McMahon)

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Wine Bottle Dimple Depth

At Itchy Squirrel: I've discovered a fact about wine.

It's often handy to be able to value a bottle of wine... Here's a handy trick. Feel the depth of the dimple at the bottom of it. The more expensive the bottle, the deeper its dimple will tend to be.

He measured the dimple depth on 50 bottles and made a chart:

Here's the equation for red wine:

Price of bottle = (Dimple depth in mm + �3.49) / 4.3144

I checked the wine in our wine rack, and the bottles all have shallow dimples. Just as I expected.

(via thirdredeye)

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Build A Christmas Choir

A clever holiday Shockwave thing. It starts with 31 (apparently drunk) people singing. Click individual singers to make them shut up.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Google Library

From the Detroit Free Press: U-M's entire library to be put on Google.

Google, the ubiquitous Internet search engine, is taking the University of Michigan's library from Ann Arbor to the world.

U-M and the California-based information company will announce an agreement today under which the complete text of all 7 million volumes in U-M's library will be digitized -- that is, turned into a computer-readable format -- and made instantly searchable by anyone using Google.

The massive project means that within a few years, people doing research about practically anything -- whether for a scholarly paper, a high school project or a family tree -- will be able to consult U-M's collections online almost as easily as they could if they were sitting in the landmark library building on the university's central campus.

Estimated number of pages to be digitized and indexed: 2.38 billion.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Cowboy Boots

I have nothing against cowboy boots, but most of the boots from Rocketbuster are ugly -- and they all cost a fortune.

�I wonder would pay $2,395 for this pair?

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Conservative Ice Cream

Ice cream with a conservative flavor: Star Spangled Ice Cream.

Like millions of your fellow Americans, you enjoy ice cream but do NOT enjoy seeing your money funneled to wacko left-wing causes. We are not ashamed of America. We think we are living in the best country ever, and, like you, we want to do everything we can to support the brave men and women who defend it. When you serve Star Spangled Ice Cream, you serve your country, because we donate 10 percent of our profits to charities that support the men and women of the US Armed Forces (including veterans) and their families.

Shown here is the Gun Nut flavor -- endorsed by wacko Ted Nugent.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Black And White Food

A recipe contest: Black and White Food.

Our friend bane221 is having a New Year's Party, and the theme is black and white. He's going all out and making everything black and white, including the food. This is where you enter the fray: we need your best recipes in Black and White.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

A Painting A Day

A new blog by Duane Keiser: A Painting A Day.

For this blog I'm going to try to make a painting each day (starting 12/10/2004.) Most of the paintings on this blog will be postcard-sized oil sketches (I call them Postcard Paintings.) I paint them on site, using a modified cigar box as an easel.

He sells them for $100 each. So far, they've all been sold.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Briefcase Full Of Meat

This would be a nice gift for someone on a low-carb diet: Wurstkoffer. The site is in German, and I have no idea what it's all about. Probably a joke. The wurst joke ever?

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Curing Hiccups

At Ask Metafilter, lots of responses to What is your personal cure for the hiccups?

And if none of those remedies work here are 106 Cures for the Hiccups.

Posted on 14 December, 2004


Mark Wieczorek's Favorite Smallware.

I use a lot of little programs to make my day-to-day life easier... Most of these programs are small, under a megabyte and don't require an install. I use some of them every day, and others I use only occasionally. All of them are free

Some of these look very useful.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Celebrity Caricatures

At Worth 1000: Celebrity Caricatures.

The rules of this game are thus: Enlarge or shrink a facial feature on any celebrity, preferably to amusing proportions.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Create A Religion

Just enter some words, and the Religion Creator will create a new religion.

It only took about a minute to create this new religion:

From the most worthy regions of the spiritual plane, I have channeled the disembodied spirit of Ronald Reagan, bringing to you the wisdom and frame of the lost city of Tucson. To usher in the New Age of dogs you must heed my words and ram swiftly. The time is soon when the space taxis of our galactic cousins will return and our collective redness will reach critical mass. The highest frequencies of the universe will spiral through the leg chakras of the worthy, and our 3rd head shall be opened. But first we must look deep inside and accept our inner cactus. We must feel the inner cactus, become the inner cactus, collide it as though it was a furnace. We must accept our karmic past, and, as our yogi master, John, always says 'The true form of a bed is actually a heavy beercan, but enlightenment is like a lonely lugnut on the wind'. For there is no right or wrong, no window or anti-window, only one great and omnipresent pencil.

It makes about as much sense as the more established religions.

Posted on 14 December, 2004



Posted on 14 December, 2004

555 Numbers

A list of fictional phone numbers: 555 Numbers. It hasn't been updated in a while, but it's still a good collection.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Seeing With Your Ears

This is one of coolest things I've seen in a long time: The vOICe Interactive Visual Sound Applet.

This fully interactive page allows you to draw your own 64 � 64, 16 grey-tone image and immediately hear the corresponding 64-voice polyphonic visual sound being synthesized on the fly! See and hear how The vOICe mapping works for your input. The 64-channel sound synthesis here maps the image into an exponentially distributed frequency interval for a one second visual sound.

This is loads of fun.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Re-Using Big Box Stores

How communities are re-using the Big Box.

As superstores abandon buildings in order to move into bigger stores, what will become of the walls that they leave behind? It is within the answer to this question that we are seeing the resourcefulness and creativity of communities dealing with a situation that is happening all over the country: the empty big box.

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Money Art

Kamiel Proost has figured out a way to sell money for more than it's face value: Money-Art.

Originally miniature-painted on one Dollar-bills Also produced as limited-edition archival-artprints.

�Here's one called "Life Is Cheap."

(via Attu Sees All)

Posted on 14 December, 2004

Web Comics

From Webcomics Review: The Best Webcomics of 2004.

Chosen by The Webcomics Examiner Advisory Board.

Posted on 14 December, 2004