Saturday, May 31, 2008

Irrefutable Evidence of Aliens

A Denver man produced evidence yesterday of the undeniable existence of alien life forms. He did this by showing a grainy video of an E.T puppet peeping up through his windowsill.

Good enough for me!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bond Gadgets

A lot of those gadgets we enjoyed in the James Bond movie franchise over the years have actually been developed - or so say the good people at New Scientist here.

Me? I'd like one of those underwater cars from The Spy Who Loved Me, and a 1977-model Barbara Bach to go with it.

Hillary - "Feeling No Pain"

This Is London has some very funny pictures of Hillary Clinton "feeling no pain" as she knocks back whiskey aboard her campaign plane.

Update: Her new campaign song can be heard here.

Dick Cavett's Blog

I enjoy reading Dick Cavett's column (which - because it's online, they insist on calling a blog) for The New York Times.

Now, if you'd rather see Cavett in action, why not watch his classic interviews with John and Yoko and George Harrison?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cucumber Castle

In 1970, the Bee Gees did a television special (ala Magical Mystery Tour) which was very reminiscent in comic spirit to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It featured a number of fine British comedians (Frankie Howerd, Spike Milligan, Eleanor Bron), musicians (Lulu, Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood), and even Vincent Price.

Like Magical Mystery Tour, it was considered a critical flop - but it's the kind of flop that really grows on you over the years.

Of course it's on YouTube - and of course I'm asking that you go watch it.


I have a semi-recommendation today for a Firefox plug-in called Add-Art.

Add-Art removes advertisements on web pages with impressive accuracy, and attempts to replace them with "curated art images". Sometimes the art appears, sometimes it doesn't. That's fine with me - I'd be just as happy if only the ads were removed (which I think is possible, since Add-Art piggybacks on another plugin called Ad Block Plus).

To see Add-Art in action - above we have two views of the first is from Safari, without Add-Art, and the second is from an Add-Art fortified Firefox. Note how Add-Art totally removes the obnoxious Rambo ad. (To appreciate how obnoxious it is, you need to realize that it's animated!)

So far, I've only seen one site ( that gets destroyed due to collateral damage when Add-Art's ad-removal process gets a little too overzealous.

I'll keep the plug-in active until further notice.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I've tried a handful of notebook applications, but nothing compares to TiddlyWiki - an extremely simple yet powerful web app written mostly in JavaScript.

All you need is a single HTML file, and you're ready to start organizing your thoughts. They call it "wiki" because it's perfect for generating the collaborative Wiki format - but I use it mostly for taking notes on a variety of topics. ( I keep different files for different topics).

You don't need to know a thing about programming or how it works to use it. However, there are enough tips and techniques readily available on the web - to help you maximize your Wiki experience if you so choose.

I guarantee you'll love it - or double your money back. (Did I mention it's free?)

Ten Japanese Customs You Must Know...

Here are ten Japanese customs you need to know before you even THINK about visiting Japan.

My particular favorite is #3 - which I wish I had known was also a custom in London before I went there and tipped like a drunken sailor.

Update: After 17 months - I finally got around to including the link!

The Man From Glad

I found an old commercial for Glad bags on YouTube today, that is remarkable for at least two reasons.

First, it showcases early Andrea Martin. For the uninitiated, Andrea was kind of the Amy Poehler of her day - only much more likable and versatile. In fact, if I were to compile a list of the funniest women ever on television, Andrea would certainly be "Top 5". Of course, this is just a Glad bag commercial, so she pretty much sticks to playing the stereotypical interrupting wife - so very popular in the 1970's.

Second, this commercial features the Man from Glad - a bizarre mascot/spokesperson for the Glad corporation. The Man from Glad was so darned white (hair, clothes, skin) - he bordered on albinism, and yet notice how the couple that has inexplicably invited this Adam Android-type for dinner are totally OK with his bizarre appearance and insistence on talking at length about Glad products. And does the husband actually say "Well, Man from Glad....." at 0:07?

Please watch.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Windows 95

It was quite an exciting time when Microsoft introduced Windows 95 on an unsuspecting world.

Hard to believe now - but crappy old Windows 3.1 (or was it Windows for Workgroups) was the dominant operating system of the day - and this upgrade seemed massive, foreboding, and dangerous; our very lives would never be the same.

Of course, Windows 95 was a hit. Well, actually the original version was a bug-riddled mess - but many, many upgrades later it essentially became whatever Windows is today.

To ease overwhelmed users with the heady task of upgrading, Microsoft released a promotional VHS video starring two cast-members of the then-new and popular NBC sitcom Friends - Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry. I was tempted to buy this at the time, because I just knew it would one day become a collector's item. Despite the fact that few people bought it, and nobody I know owns it - this has yet to achieve collector's "gold" status, and is readily viewable on YouTube.

So come with us now to the world of 1995 - when Jennifer Aniston was still decent - and witness the origin of the operating system that you probably use at home, and almost definitely use at work. Let's watch together, shall we?

This site claims to convert boring units to real objects - as you type! Well, it's a very good idea (did you ever prefer to have someone describe 40,000 feet as "28 Empire State Buildings"?, but the execution is slightly flawed. For one thing, it doesn't convert weight (pounds, grams, etc). For another thing, it tends to describe extremely tall heights in terms of "Mont Blancs" (It's a mountain - I checked).

You can certainly waste a few minutes there, and in the end - isn't that what this site is all about?

Sgt. Pepper

I don't remember where I found these, but they appear to be alternate shots of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. They are of particular interest because they reveal celebrities (Albert Einstein, for one) who were hidden on the official cover.

That's Leo Gorcey (of the Bowery Boys fame) fourth from the end in the back. He allegedly wanted a fee, and was painted out of the official cover, although comedy partner Huntz Hall (third from end, same row) remained.

Click to enlarge.

60 Second IQ Test

Today we have the 60 Second Free IQ Test.
I seriously doubt this measures anything of significance, but it's FREE, and it only takes 60 seconds.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Biggest Drawing in the World

Some guy sent a GPS device around the world and created a giant self-portrait (above) using it's signal.

Just how he did it is explained in a couple of YouTubes after the jump.

Javascript Mario Kart

I was never a big fan of Super Mario Kart or Javascript - and yet here we have a very nice version of Mario Kart written in Javascript.

Javascript is a programming language best suited for making web pages more interactive, but I've seen enough examples of widgets, applications, journals (and now video games) written in it to color me suitably impressed.

Now go play Mario Kart.