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22 December, 2004

A Copyright Complaint

Last month, I posted a link to Reborn Supplies Incorporated -- a creepy site that sells supplies for "reborning" dolls. As I've done thousands of times in the past, I snagged a photo and posted a quote from their Web site.

Moments ago, someone who apparently represents this company posted this comment:

I have something that is really creepy! A writer that doesn't know what Copyright means. Copied materials or wording from our site is illegal without written permission. You would think a writer would not only understand what copyright means but would live by it since it is the only legal way of protecting something you would write? WOW that is creepy. Now, please remove our 'description' of baby fat pellets from your BLOG. You do not have written permission to use it.

It is not your 'questioning' of our site or the lack of understanding about reborning dolls that bothers me but just the fact you didn't ask first.

My policy is to comply with all such requests -- even though this one is completely without merit. I posted a "review" of the site, and I was simply quoting from the source -- which is perfectly legal under U.S. Copyright Laws (i.e., "fair use"). Apparently, Patrick is afraid that I was stealing his text so I could profit from it.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Patrick. I hope you've sold thousands of baby fat pellets this holiday season. They would make a wonderful gift. And yes, I still think the entire concept is creepy. Patrick's Web site, once again: Reborn Supplies Incorporated.

You should also get in touch with Boing Boing -- which is where I found out about your site. They also think it's creepy.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

DVD Menu Music

One thing that I really hate is DVD menu music. You know, the music (or other sound effects) that plays when you access the menu on a DVD. When the DVD is over, it goes back to the menu, and then you hear the menu music -- over and over and over and over. Usually, it's an obnoxious clip that repeats every 10 seconds or so.

The best solution is to have a silent menu. But if they must have sound,� somebody finally got it right. It's on the Sonia Dada DVD. The menu music is non-obnoxious ocean wave sounds.

Sorry for three Sonia Dada posts in a week, but I'm thinking this is my favorite new music of 2004. It's one of those albums that keeps getting better and better every time you hear it.

And thanks to Joel for finding the URL for the label, Calliope Multimedia -- even though there's really nothing to be seen at the site.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Uncensored Jukebox

Ed Bott writes about a new meme that's making the rounds: Your jukebox, uncensored.

  1. Open up the music player on your computer.
  2. Set it to play your entire music collection.
  3. Turn on the "shuffle" option.
  4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing. That's right, no skipping that Carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility. It's time for total musical honesty.
  5. Write it up in your blog or journal and link back to at least a couple of the other sites where you saw this.
  6. If you get the same artist twice, you may skip the second (or third, or etc.) occurrences. You don't have to, but since randomness could mean you end up with a list of ten song with five artists, you can if you'd like.

My list:

  • Dinah Washington - I'll Remember April
  • Akufen - Installation
  • Charlie Byrd - Jordu
  • Jill Olson - When You Gonna Love Me Again
  • Sounds From The Ground - Drustore
  • Christine Collister - Lowish Time
  • Astrud Gilberto - Don't Leave Me, Baby
  • Tom_Waits - Watch Her Disappear
  • Akufen - Wet Floors
  • Sheila Jordan - If I Should Lose You

I think every one of these songs came from eMusic -- back in the days when I had a subscription.

We've been playing random music a lot lately, now that we have a computer set up near the TV. I'm still digging those Winamp visualizations.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

It's A Wonderful Life

Sometime last summer, Pamn picked up a DVD of It's a Wonderful Life. We haven't watched it yet -- just waiting to get into the Christmas spirit.

If time is at a premium, you can watch the 30-second version, re-enacted by bunnies.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Feeeds

Phillipp Lenssen has an interesting page that displays summaries of items posted at various blogs. It's called Feeeds.

You'll find stuff from Kottke.org, Waxy.org, Boing Boing, Anil Dash, Joi Ito, Kuro5hin, Scoble -- and even J-Walk. It's all nicely arranged in an attractive format.

And speaking of nice designs, Phillip's blog ain't too shabby either: Google Blogoscoped.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Buying Software From Adobe

Dave Shea has a nomination for the e-commerce Hall of Shame.

"I ordered a product for download from the Adobe Store last week, for the first and last time."

Posted on 22 December, 2004

The Christmas Story

It seems that there's no end to good holiday entertainment. If you're so inclined, you can download Dragnet: The Christmas Story.

Jack Webb with music by Walter Schumann - Dragnet: The Christmas Story (RCA Victor LPM 3199, 1953)

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Wooden Guitar Straps

The world's only exotic hardwood guitar straps: Heartwoodes.

After years of creating fine hardwood jewelry sold throughout the world, we have developed guitar straps unlike any others. These straps are produced through our patented process, made with nature's most beautiful woods from our family's farms by exclusive license with the government of Costa Rica. Much of this wood was originally scrap from lumber harvested for building materials.

Prices start at $50. I wonder how comfortable they are?

Posted on 22 December, 2004

The 2004 Blogosphere

BlogPulse presents: 2004 Year In Review.

BlogPulse scoured a year's worth of blog posts, links and trends to create a section chockful of year-in-review statistics, charts, finds and surprises. Click on the sections and links below to get a deeper look at the world of blogging in 2004 -- who, what, why and how often.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

WSJ Portraits

Portraits that appear in the Wall Street Journal are drawn in a "stippled" style. Here's the Web site of one of those artists: Noli Novak.

(via scrubbles.net)

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Rare Holiday Music

Jason Zada compiled a Very Rare Holiday Album.

When the dawn of the MP3 was upon us, I made it my entire mission to search out the worst and most interesting songs I could find. This trickled down to my collection of holiday music. This is a digital album of mostly rare and a few good gems for your festive holiday season.

Porky Pig's rendition of Blue Christmas is pretty good.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Awesome John

Universal Music Recording Artist. The one and only Awesome John.

I've been compared to everything from a mixture of Elvis Presley-Jimi Hendrix and Fred Flintstone to a mupput on steriods! But one thing for sure no matter what the occasion I win over screeming standing ovations from the toughest crowds all over the world and its that simple.

Sure I play a dynamic tastful flashy and mean guitar (Ive been called one of the most colorful players in the world!), but I've got so much more to offer than just spectacular solos (which is my trademark) I'm a first class profesional all the way, I sing great lead + backup vocals, I have killer stage presence, I have extensive experience hosting TV Radio and comedy (I've hosted over five No 1 rated TV and Radio shows!), plus the most important thing I am a joy to work with! I

And, of course, he's very modest.

Here's some info about his pink strat.

His Web site probably qualifies as one of the worst sites I've ever seen, but the guy really can play.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

A New Punctuation Mark?

Josh Greenman writes at Slate: A Giant Step Forward for Punctuation.

The English language must evolve. Not with emoticons or lol or brb or l8r or GRATUITOUS all caps used for emphasis, not with Spanglish or bumbling Bushisms or even cryptic Kerryisms. We don't need more quotation marks that "hedge" or try to make the same "old" thing sound "fresh." What we need is an honest effort to incorporate the way we live today. My fellow Americans, we need to embrace a new punctuation mark-one that embraces the irony and edge of contemporary conversation and clarifies rather than condenses or confuses.

It is time for the adoption of the sarcasm point.

He proposes a subscripted "i" as the sarcasm point:

Posted on 22 December, 2004

That's A Big Pizza

From the Lunatic Fringe: Torino: Pizza, Ferrari and Amore.

I closed my day with a visit to a restaurant deep in the suburbs of Torino. The restaurant is called "Manhattan Pub" and if you will be in Torino once, I can only recommend going there. I just participated in the biggest and one of the best-tasting Pizzas I ever had. The pizza for six people covered the table completely and delivered on my dreams without compromise.

That looks really good.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

A DRM Story

Sander Sadden provides yet another reason to avoid buying any media that uses digital rights management: DRM at its worst? Here's a prime example.

I spent about an hour trying to play back a disc I legitimately bought and went as far as installing and updating a 3rd party application to my system that would allow me to do so, and now I'm only being given a temporary license, where's my rights as a consumer? If this is how future DRM protected content will be distributed I have strong objections to the use of DRM, as this is a prime example of how to quickly alienate any prospective consumers.

(via Slashdot)

Posted on 22 December, 2004

More Bloggers' Dreams

I did this back in March, and now I'm doing it again.

I went to Technorati, and searched for "last night I dreamed." Here's what I found:

  • CWill's Pen: "Last night I dreamed I was in the jungle, living in this little research facility place with several other people, and we were attacked by this Indiana-Jones-style evil guy with a hat and a whip and a pack of rabid hunting velociraptors. I survived, clearly, but most of my team didn't."
  • artless - Points Of Interest: "I had a Harry Potter dream last night. I dreamed that I was house-sitting for someone that I would otherwise never see, and he had a copy of Harry Potter 6 on his table. I think it was called Harry Potter and the Sears of Ice. (I have no idea but hopefully we can start a new rumor on the internets that this is actually the title, not HBP.) Anyway, the really annoying thing is that I was practically begging this guy's niece to leave it for me to read during the week I was house sitting, and she totally wouldn't let me. SO I SET THE HOUSE ON FIRE!"
  • Immrama: "Last night I dreamed of a cathedral of bone pinned by Your salt weight, basalt ribs cracking, all doused in a black roar. Struggling for words I fell down your page, drowning in pure verb."
  • Fighting Inertia: "Last night, I dreamed all my teeth were falling out. It was absolutely disgusting. I'd grasp one of my teeth between my fingers, give the slightest of tugs, and the entire thing would come out, leaving a gaping hole in it's place. I pretty much "lost" three quarters of the teeth on my bottom jaw in this manner including a entire sides' worth of molars."
  • twentysomething: "Last night I dreamed I went to visit my New York pal - and she left me in a Burger King off Times Square while she went clubbing with someone else without telling me. So I passed the time eating Quality Street chocolates at 25 cents a go from a machine and plucking hairs out of the soles (yes, soles!) of my sister's feet with a pair of tweezers."
  • Wild Pansy: "Last night I dreamed that when I got up, L had changed around the kitchen. He had moved the sink and the dishwasher to opposite ends of the counter but he still thought that we could hook it up. It was three inches from working. The thing that made all this so freaky was that the light were out."
  • Jen's page: "Hey, last night I dreamed about mashed potatoes and gravy and it was so friggin' real that I could taste it and smell it lol! I even dreamed I was drunk. Strange."
  • i am a medical doctor: "last night i dreamed of a place called bucketmart where you could anything in a bucket, candy, nails, whatever."
  • Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans: "Last night, I dreamed about Ben Affleck. We were making out in the back seat of a car and we just kissed and kissed and kissed. Then I woke up. So, all we did was kiss (dammit)."

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Cool Ski Masks

They just don't make stuff like this any more: Ski Masks.

Found these ski masks in McCall's Needlework & Crafts Magazine from 1965. They are all a bit disturbing, but the little girl is just plain nightmarish.

(via jo gray blogs)

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Top Atom Films

The editors pick the Top 10 AtomFilms of 2004.

From Bush to drum banging to the British brat, it's been a banner year for AtomFilms. Picking our Top 10 films was no easy task. But after much deliberation (and one fistfight), we've chosen the creme de la creme. Relive this rocking year with these favorites.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

The Ultimate Urinal Site

I don't know what it is about this site, but I enjoying browsing through the photos: Urinal.net.

This ice-filled example is from Big Nose Kate's, in Tombstone, Arizona. Toad may have actually been here.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Auto Guide

I didn't realize it, but The Onion has its own Auto Guide.

Here are just a few car maintenance tips:

  • Oil is a non-renewable resource that's bad for the environment when wasted. Drive your car until it is completely out before adding more.
  • Use a high-pressure hose to periodically spray slippery, dangerous vomit off floormats.
  • Find a mechanic who takes the time to change your car's velocity-extension belt and Jupiter rings, which many mechanics often overlook.
  • To extend the life of your car battery, keep it in the refrigerator when not in use.
  • Good, responsive brakes are crucial. Be sure to clear out the heap of Egg McMuffin wrappers from under your brake pedal so you can push it all the way down to the floor.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Train Menus

Once you get past the absolutely horrid design of this site, you can find some interesting things: The JoeKorNer Menu Menu. It's a collection of old menus from railroad dining cars.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

A USPS Complaint

From Jeffrey Zeldman: Going postal for Christmas.

Nobody wants to stand in long holiday lines, especially not at the Post Office. That's why the U.S. Postal Service now lets you "enjoy holiday shipping convenience" online. At least, that's what they intend to offer. But what the Post Office delivers in many cases is a wretchedly unsatisfying user experience, both during the web transaction and afterwards as well.

Let's start with the web part. U.S. government sites that serve the public are legally obliged to be accessible to all. Which is undoubtedly why the site doesn't work in Safari. Or Firefox. Or Opera. Or any Mac browser. Or any Windows browser except a recent version of Internet Explorer. This isn't just me saying the site ought to work in more than one browser and OS; that's what U.S. federal law says. But these are mere trifles.

How the site fails in non-IE-Win browsers is particularly galling...

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Graphing Calculator

From Pacific Tech: Graphing Calculator for Macintosh and Windows.

Graphing Calculator is a tool for quickly visualizing math. Just type an equation and it is drawn for you without complicated dialogs or commands.

The site has a lot of examples. Using a few tricks, you can create some of the charts in Excel, but there's no way Excel can make a banana chart like this:

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Unlikely Stories

A compilation of Unlikely stories of 2004.

Every year, thousands of news stories get overlooked, lost in the welter of major international events.

They are, for the most part, simple tales of a human dimension, not involving war, disaster or political unrest, just stories which illustrate the extraordinary in the everyday, the amusing, the absurd, the often lurid and the downright bizarre.

Here, then, is a selection of some of those "offbeat" stories which offered an insight into human nature in 2004.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Prison Photos

A photo exhibit called Mirrors.

These images are based on a group of about two hundred 3x4" identification photographs made between 1914 and 1937 that I found in a drawer in the Arkansas penitentiary in the summer of 1975. The photographs of the men were loose in the drawer; the photographs of the women -- all of them white -- were in a small brown envelope. Most of the photographs of the men were taken inside, against a wall or a cloth; most of the photographs of the women were taken outside, near a fence, in a wicker chair.

(via Metafilter)

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Fifty Things To Eat

The BBC has a list of 50 things to eat before you die.

In March 2004 we asked you to vote for the top 50 things everyone should try a bite of in their lifetime. This is how you voted.

Of the 50, I still need to try these: Moreton Bay Bugs, Cream tea, Alligator, Kangaroo, Guinea pig, Barramundi, Reindeer, Australian meat pie, Durian fruit, and Haggis.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Make A Snowflake

I've probably posted this link before (or something similar), but it's still kind of fun: Create a Snowflake.

Posted on 22 December, 2004

Google's Advice To Parents

From Google Blog: Modern advice for parents-to-be.

Ten years ago, when you named a new child, you just needed to make sure the moniker was easy to spell and didn't rhyme with "smelly" or any other schoolyard taunt. But now, you've got to consider the search engine effect: is the name easily located via a Google search, or will your kid be confused with a multitude of John Smiths?

I think about this all the time when I google people. I'm fortunate to have an uncommon name, so people can always find me.

Posted on 22 December, 2004