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23 December, 2004

Photos Of The Week, 2004

Here's Photo Net's Photograph of the Week Gallery for 2004. There are some incredible photos. Like this one, a 30-second exposure by Brian Klimowski: Lightning over Northern Arizona.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

2004 Google Zeitgeist

The 2004 Year-End Google Zeitgeist is available. The top 5 queries of the year:

  1. britney spears
  2. paris hilton
  3. christina aguilera
  4. pamela anderson
  5. chat

No comment.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Doing His Part To Support Sweatshops

This guy, believe it or not, collects Nike shoes: The Hundreds vs. Corgishoe.

There's a fine line between obsession and appreciation... especially when it comes to collecting Nike sneakers.

Corgishoe smudged that line years ago.

With a collection topping off in the thousands, Corgishoe is sneaker subculture's very own Imelda Marcos. Perhaps the sickest thing about the kid is that he doesn't wear any of his shoes (he's usually sporting the same beat-up pair of New Balances), doesn't sell them (don't even ask), and after he purchases 'em, chances are he'll never see em again as they are thrown into the dizzying orange-and-brown madness.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

The Wainwright Family

I first became aware of singer Loudon Wainwright III back in the early '70s. His first two albums (Loudon Wainwright III and Album 2) are among my all-time favorites. Long out of print, you can listen to some samples at Rhino Handmade, which made a limited edition CD (which is sold out). If anyone has a copy of this Rhino CD, please get in touch with me.

Over the years, I've heard of several other Wainwrights who are related to him. I was never quite sure of the relationships, so I did a little research. What follows is, I think, accurate -- but correct me if I'm wrong.

Loudon Wainwright III was born in 1947. He still performs and records, and has also had a minor acting career (M.A.S.H., Ally McBeal, and a few movies). His father was Loudon S Wainwright Jr., a famous journalist and editor for Life magazine, who died in 1992. The father of Loudon S. Wainwright Jr. was Loudon Wainwright, a wealthy insurance magnate and a direct descendant of colonial governor Peter Stuyvesant.

Loudon Wainwright III has younger sister, Sloan Wainwright (shown her). She's a popular indie singer/songwriter.

Loudon Wainwright III has three offspring:

  • Rufus Wainwright was born in 1973, and his mother is Canadian singer Kate McGarrigle. He's definitely the most famous of the Wainwright kids.
  • Martha Wainwright was born in 1976, and her mother is also Kate McGarrigle -- who was divorced from Loudon in 1977.
  • Lucy Roche, whose mother is singer Suzzy Roche). Lucy was a student at Oberlin College, and she also sings.

Here's a link to a recent interview with Loudon Wainwright III: All in the family.

Musician and actor Loudon Wainwright III has had a very successful career, but he still can't get his damn kids to listen.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Outdoor Artificial Tree

How did anyone ever come up with such a clever idea? It's U.S. Patent 6,830,365: Outdoor Artificial Tree.

An artificial tree adapted for outdoor use comprising:

a) a tree element comprising a trunk member with a lower end, a plurality of branch members, and a plurality of twig members;

b) a plurality of optical fibers;

c) a light source assembly;

d) a housing for said light source assembly comprising means to resist penetration by rain and snow and means to protect against overheating;

e) a stand assembly comprising means for positioning said housing above and separated from a supporting surface; and

f) means to protect against overheating comprising a cooling fan, vents, and a fan hood for directing in-flow of air to said fan.

(via Patently Silly)

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Goulet Gallery And Gift Shop

Ladies and gentlemen, the official Robert Goulet Photo Gallery. You may also be interested in the official Goulet Gift Shop. Among the many items for sale are Christmas Cards dating back to 1982.

Here's their card from 1985 -- only $12.

(via PCL LinkDump)

Posted on 23 December, 2004

More About Reborn Babies

The recent correspondence with Reborn Supplies Incorporated motivated me to find out more about "reborn dolls." As it turns out, this is a very popular pasttime.

I found GERBA: The Guild of Exceptional Reborn Baby Artistry.

Reborning is the term used to describe a revolutionary new form of doll-making. Reborn artists strive to create life-size baby dolls of the most astonishing realism. Using a variety of realistically moulded head/body and limb sculpts sourced from around the world, practitioners of this art begin to create the baby they are envisaging in their mind's eye. In the best examples, the attention to detail can be awe-inspiring.

Here's a link to the GERBA Artists page, with quite a few photos.

And GERBA has a subsidiary, MAMRH: Mad About Micro-Rooted Hair.

We are a group of dedicated Reborn Artists who are keen to bring greater attention to the very special technique known as "micro-rooted" hair.

As lovers of this technique, members of MAMRH are committed to bringing you the most realistic baby hair possible on a doll. Micro-rooted hair is achieved by using very fine needles to implant genuine, premium mohair directly into a doll's scalp, following the natural growth patterns of real baby hair.

The photo that shows micro-rooting examples is from Precious Dreams.

Well, I guess creating lifelike babies is no more harmful than building model airplanes -- but it's still creepy.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Saving Money On Calendars

If you're too cheap to buy a 2005 calendar, here's a tip:

Find an old calendar for any of these years, and it will be fully functional in 2005: 1994, 1983, 1977, 1966, 1955, 1949, 1938, 1927, 1921, 1910.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Bird Story

Here's an interesting pictorial bird story: Change is in the air!

Bill owns a company that manufactures and installs car wash systems... Now understand that these are a complete system including the money changer and money taking machines.

The problem started when the new owner complained to Bill that he was loosing significant amounts of money from his coin machines each week.

The thief is shown below.

(Thanks Galaxygoldfish)

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Personalized Christmas Song

I was really impressed with this: InstaSong -- create your own personalized Christmas song.

Select from a bunch of options, and a song is created. All of the options are blended seamlessly into the song. The price is $5.95, but you can listen to a free preview of your song.

(Thanks John Wilson)

Update: Here's an MP3 of a Christmas song I made for Pamn.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Predictions For 2005

Last year, I did pretty well with my Predictions for 2004. So here I go again. My Predictions for 2005:

  • A Harry Potter book will be a best-seller.
  • A new type of consumer payment method will gain widespread popularity.
  • Either PC World or PC Magazine will fold.
  • By mid-year, the majority of American will think the Iraq war is as useless as the Vietnam war.
  • The San Diego Padres will win the NL West.
  • By year-end, Firefox will have a 25% browser market share.
  • There will be a report of an alien spacecraft crash, but nothing will become of it.
  • Dick Cheney will have serious health problems, and maybe even die.
  • John Walkenbach will release a new book before June.
  • A famous celebrity will die -- someone who is under 40.
  • Daily Dose of Excel will have more visitors than The Spreadsheet Page
  • There will not be a major terrorist attack in the U.S.
  • California real estate prices will plummet.
  • By year-end, this blog will average 12,000 daily readers.
  • The number of airline passengers will decline at an alarming rate.
  • Yet another CD copy protection scheme will be announced.
  • There will be no Beatle deaths.
  • The price of camera phones will drop drastically, while the image quality increases dramatically.
  • No new version of Window will become available.
  • Microsoft will unveil an anti-spyware Windows update.
  • Spam will continue to increase at an alarming rate.
  • Linux market share will remain stagnant.
  • Pamn and I visit Pittsburgh for the first time.
  • By year-end, Google will be indexing 40 billion pages, and will still be the market leader.
  • Excel will still not support more than 256 columns.
  • George W. Bush will be involved in a major scandal that will send his approval ratings to an all-time low.
  • In the 3rd Quarter, people will start to talk about a new, exciting version of MS Office.
  • The major TV networks will be struggling for survival.
  • The RIAA will file more than 5,000 new law suits against file traders.
  • By year-end, Whole Wheat Radio will have 120 listener lines.
  • I will use the new pool every single day in July.
  • There will be 42,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S., but more attention will be give to an airline crash that kills 120 people.
  • A merger between two prominent computer hardware companies will occur.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Vintage Christmas Ads

Lots of old Christmas ads.

(via Sugar 'N Spicy)

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Fascinating People

The 10 most fascinating people...

Today we look at the 10 most fascinating people according to the little world of Barbara Walters and bring it down to the common level. I do believe that Ms. Walters is in no place to make these kinds of judgments on people since she is retiring. Therefore, I think I should take over the job. So here we go...

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Spamgraffiti

Art from spam? Spamgraffiti.

Spamgraffiti is a series of online installations created from email spam.

Each environment is created by spooling through a separate email account and visually tagging the twenty-five most recent spam messages on a webpage. Newer spam appears on top and slowly filters out older spam below. Each environment is updated every five minutes. As the rate of spam increases over time, the page itself appears less and less like the previous generation.

Here's a shrunk down version of one of them:

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Christmas Trees In Hawaii

News item: Christmas Trees Fetch High Prices in Hawaii Amid Shortage.

A shortage of Christmas trees in Hawaii has raised prices to more than $200 each, drawing complaints from cost-conscious shoppers who are eager to buy trees before the holiday.

Tree buyers camped outside a shopping center hours before dawn on Saturday to await a shipment of 130 noble firs flown in from Oregon. A crowd of more than 200 people had gathered by morning, when a salesman announced the trees would cost $165 to $200 each.

If I were inclined to put up a Christmas tree in Hawaii, I think I'd opt for a fake one.

Posted on 23 December, 2004

Fairies And Angels

From Wonderflight graphics: Fairies and Angels.

Posted on 23 December, 2004