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Home » Archives » January 2007

Wednesday, January 31st

Quit Monkeyin' Around

Bananas!

It's National Gorilla Suit Day, for cryin' out loud. A perfect holiday for Echopraxia.org, since echopraxia more or less means "to ape". Learn more about the origins of the holiday here, and learn more about men who have disturbing obsessions with Gorilla suits here.



Posted By: Ian on 01.31.07 @ 10:01 AM EDT [link]


Tuesday, January 30th

Hasta la Vista, Windows?

hasta_la_vista (6k image)

I'm excited about the release of Windows Vista. Not because I have any intention of ever installing it, but because especially with cool new Linux releases like Ubuntu Studio coming out, there may be a big opportunity for an alternative OS to step in, which is exactly the way HP, Intel, and IBM seem to be looking at it . Microsoft has created an odd situation in which running Vista probably requires a new machine, but doesn't seem to do anything really new except try to stop you from doing what you want to do at every turn while forcing you to buy a new computer. Weird strategy, Microsoft.




Posted By: Ian on 01.30.07 @ 04:54 PM EDT [link]


Monday, January 29th

V.I.S.T.A. - The Perfect Acronym?


Windows Vista



I'll have a lot more to say this week about Vista, but for today this sums it up...







Posted By: Ian on 01.29.07 @ 11:26 PM EDT [link]


Sunday, January 28th

Who Needs 300 Channels of Cable TV?



When there are probably a hundred YouTubes (here are 62 to get you started) and at least one of them claims it will pay you to use it? ATT has been pushing legislation like this to get into your television. Soon you'll be able to project HDTV on a wall from your phone. With all these options, why sit in front of the tube? Tom Sherman has some thoughts about what it all means in a piece called Vernacular Video on Bruce Sterling's blog. Better yet, watch the YouTube clip of Stephen Colbert's explanation of the evolution of ATT, SBC, and Cingular on the left, and just substitute words like "YouTube" and "IPTV" for words like "Ma Bell" and "Cingular" and it'll all make sense. Have a strange sense of DejaVuTube? See MS Snows on AT&T's TV Plans from August 2000.


Posted By: Ian on 01.28.07 @ 09:26 PM EDT [link]


Saturday, January 27th

Gay? Going To Church Today? Just Remember: God Hates You


When parody fails, it's just, well, weird. Check out the not very funny video at left. It's from some guy named Donnie Davies, a fake Christian rocker with a fake Christian web site, lovegodsway.org. It's almost so many things. Almost funny, almost thought-provoking, almost retarded. It's amazing how badly parody can fail when the production values are reasonably high, the idea's not that clever, and frankly, the world is weird enough that material like this could be "real". On their behalf, I have to admit a couple lines in the song are kind of funny, like: "Read the Bible, and you'll be shore, to enter heaven, there's no back door; You filthy sinners should just let me be, cause Jesus my saviour's the only man for me". And their list of gay bands to avoid had a couple gems like "Eminmen" (not a typo) and "Elton John (really gay)". But overall, it's just weird. Is there a word like simulacrum that applies specifically to parody?


Posted By: Ian on 01.27.07 @ 11:52 PM EDT [link]


Friday, January 26th

Bacon & Orgs



It's always great to see celebrities (no matter how A-List or B-List they are) showing some humanity and trying in whatever way they can to make the world a slightly better place. Check out the YouTube video on the left in which Kevin Bacon explains SixDegrees.org, a site that's linked up with other organizations like NetworkForGood.org to facilitate funding for different causes. Support your favorite celebrity's cause, or get your own celebrity tag. Pretty cool.



Posted By: Ian on 01.26.07 @ 08:33 PM EDT [link]


Thursday, January 25th

His Parents HAD To Name Him Dick

cheney_thismuch (36k image)



Because there's no other word for a guy like this. After all the lying, profiteering, indignant sneering, and general greedy condescending self righteousness, this prick has the nerve to refer to criticism of the Iraq debacle as HOGWASH? By the way, did you know Cheney was in charge of NORAD (YouTube Link) the morning of September 11?







Posted By: Ian on 01.25.07 @ 09:41 PM EDT [link]


Wednesday, January 24th

Why Did His Parents Name Him Bill...


...When he's obviously such a Dick? We haven't bothered talking about Bill O'Reilly of Fox News since we did "The O'Reilly Emails" in which we tried to get him to respond to a simple email. Interestingly, though he never responded, his more supportive viewers do on a regular basis, even though they have to click through several pages on our site to get to OUR contact page (which says nothing indicating you're sending a message to oreilly@foxnews.com). Which suggests something about his audience. But nothing really says Bill O'Reilly like this YouTube clip (forgive the guy's awful voiceover) where public defender Allen Asch takes a look at why B.O. would suggest 11 year old Shawn Nornbeck ENJOYED his captivity.



Posted By: Ian on 01.24.07 @ 09:00 PM EDT [link]


Tuesday, January 23rd

Bush: Better On A Sound Board Than On The Soapbox

bushsoundboards (6k image)


Why pay any attention to the State of the Union speech when there are so many sound boards where you can make him say whatever you want?






Posted By: Ian on 01.23.07 @ 07:12 PM EDT [link]


Monday, January 22nd

Arghh Matey! YOU WILL SEE SUCH PRETTY THINGS!

max_headroom (13k image)

If you liked The Ring, you might be interested to watch and read about The Wyoming Incident (Google Video). Apparently, someone hijacked a local broadcast in Wyoming to air strange footage that induced vomiting, hallucinations and headaches in its viewers. I call "hoax" though...I'm willing to bet it's some contrived viral marketing, unlike the well-documented 1987 broadcast hijack in Chicago starring a bogus Max Headroom who gets spanked with a flyswatter at the end. Yes, you read that right. See the clip here, and news clips here.



Posted By: Ian on 01.22.07 @ 11:28 PM EDT [link]


Sunday, January 21st

Before You Try "Second Life"...


Go Outside! Membership Is Free!
...why not get a first one? Add this to my "Damn, I wish I'd thought of that" pile. The idea of Second Life seems too much like a "First Person Sims" for me to get intrigued. Especially the bit about trading my cold hard cash for imaginary money to buy things that DON'T EXIST. Kudos to the creator of this parody, Darren Barefoot (if that IS his real name).



Posted By: Ian on 01.21.07 @ 07:37 PM EDT [link]


Saturday, January 20th

WHY LIE NEED GIRLFRIEND

why_lie_need_beer_crop (11k image)



Jim Tolbert (of Hudson, Florida) is my new hero. After years of bums (yeah, I said the "B" word) refusing my offers to buy all the food they want instead of just handing them money, it's refreshing to see a guy being straight about things. Thought I'd give it a go myself in the headline.





Posted By: Ian on 01.20.07 @ 05:53 AM EDT [link]


Friday, January 19th

World's First Smellphone

wavebubble_sm (7k image)


A friend accused me the other day of operating a cell phone opinion site. He never comments here, so to hell with him. Anyway, that's not actually a cell phone pictured. It's a "self-tuning, wide-bandwidth portable RF jammer" called the "Wave Bubble". Learn how to make one here, learn why using it is illegal here.





Posted By: Ian on 01.19.07 @ 08:26 PM EDT [link]


Thursday, January 18th

The Devil Dials Prada




No, that's not an iPhone on the left. The February release of the Prada-branded LG-KE850 was announced today, prompting engadget.com to quite reasonably ask the question: iPhone & LG KE850: separated at birth? I've already expressed my late-adopter trepidation about Apple's new product here, but honestly - with all the other options seemingly available - is the iPhone really that sexy?




Posted By: Ian on 01.18.07 @ 11:12 PM EDT [link]


Wednesday, January 17th

Evolutionarily Distinct & Globally Endangered

Golden_crowned_sifaka (14k image)


With a description like that, I'm surprised that I or most of my friends didn't make the list. Edgeofexistence.org is dedicated to to conserving "the world's most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species by implementing the research and conservation actions needed to secure their future". Good enough for me. Even if you don't feel like donating, their site has some freaky little creatures that are interesting to look at.



Posted By: Ian on 01.17.07 @ 06:49 PM EDT [link]


Tuesday, January 16th

How'd You Like It If I Rearrange Your Face?

 

The video at left demonstrates some pretty amazing face modeling software that one would imagine could have some disturbing applications in the real world. Although the demo is based on the work of Volker Blanz, the technology is apparently available commercially from FaceGen for just a few hundred dollars.






Posted By: Ian on 01.16.07 @ 07:08 AM EDT [link]


Monday, January 15th

OMFG OJ, YU FU MLK DAY?





Why do we have to hear so much about an ass like this guy on a day meant to celebrate this guy?







Posted By: Ian on 01.15.07 @ 06:11 PM EDT [link]


Sunday, January 14th

Bride of FrankenPhone

TuxPhone (9k image)
Wow. I don't think the gang over at BoingBoing.net is too fond of the iPhone. Check out their post entitled iPhone - the roach motel business model, which will give you plenty of reasons to avoid the iPhone like an STD. It also links to their other great posts like Apple to iPod owners: "Eat shit and die". Maybe they're just down on Steve Jobs because he's a big fat liar, claiming that open source phones would lead to massive network crashes. Personally, I'm still excited to see what happens with the OpenMoko (See previous post here). The only competitor in this field I've run across is called the TuxPhone and looks like something I hobbled together to "play Star Trek" in the back yard when I was a kid (see photo).


Posted By: Ian on 01.14.07 @ 08:47 PM EDT [link]


Saturday, January 13th

Apple Phone? We Gotcher Apple Phone...

apple_iphone (5k image)

Can't wait for June? Get your Apple Phone now! Unfortunately, although the phone pictured at left seems to have been manufactured by Ronsonic Trading Corp., I can't find it anywhere on their site. They do have some rather disturbing Jeans Phones though. If anybody knows where to find one of these, let me know. I did a pretty thorough search.




Posted By: Ian on 01.13.07 @ 08:00 PM EDT [link]


Friday, January 12th

Certainty. For when it's preferable to think you know more...



The non-profit 826 Seattle ran into some problems with Fedex while trying to ship empty containers with labels like "Certainty","Gravity" and "Neon, Purity: 0.0018%" (that's its natural presence in air). They asked the perfectly reasonable question: "So what you're saying is you can't ship any sort of containers, even if they're empty? You know that we originally ordered these empty cans and jars from a company, and they shipped them to us." More here...




Posted By: Ian on 01.12.07 @ 06:43 PM EDT [link]


Thursday, January 11th

All Play & No Work

play_gallery (5k image)
With so much interesting media at our fingertips, it's easy to ovelook things that are right in our back yard. Here in Ann Arbor, the UM School of Art & Design is presenting an interesting project called Play Gallery (the name is a play on the existing Work Gallery). UM undergrads create short films that are presented interstitially on WFUM TV, and also made available on the web. Although the delivery of their concept could use some refinement (they do amateurish things like saying "Our tagline is bringing art and artists to the airwaves" instead of just using their tagline, and this is definitely not Searchlab) it's very cool to see young film students have the opportunity to display their work in a novel fashion on TV.




Posted By: Ian on 01.11.07 @ 06:43 PM EDT [link]


Wednesday, January 10th

Would You Like To Touch My Helper Monkey?




I really need to get out more. I had no idea helper monkeys existed, let alone that they were so pervasive the TSA had guidelines (Excerpt: "...Security Officers are trained to not 'touch the monkey' during the screening process...") for them. Personally, the idea of a monkey helping me get dressed or brushing my teeth gives me a creepy feeling similar to the one I get when I watch the Basement Jaxx video on the left....





Posted By: Ian on 01.10.07 @ 10:51 PM EDT [link]


Tuesday, January 9th

iScream, YouScream, We AllMoan For iPhone...

moko_iphone (12k image)

Obviously, the nerd news of the day is the Apple iPhone. I'm almost sold (even though I've been pining for the exact same features since before the web existed!), by things like the multi-touch interface and the general multi-everything. I won't be an early adopter though, especially if they stick to their guns about the $599 price tag WITH a two-year Cingular contract. Especially when there are other options out there, like the open source Moko Neo.





Posted By: Ian on 01.09.07 @ 07:54 PM EDT [link]


Monday, January 8th

On The Beach A Push, To Impeach The Bush

impeach_on_the_beach (25k image)



1000 people gathered Saturday in Nancy Pelosi's district (on Ocean Beach in San Francisco) to spell out the message "IMPEACH!" with their bodies. More photos here. The event was conceived by Brad Newsham, writer/cab driver from the city.






Posted By: Ian on 01.08.07 @ 07:00 AM EDT [link]


Sunday, January 7th

I'd Love To Engage In Boreplay, But I've Taken A Vow Of Smellibacy

Or: "I'd love to explore my heteroflexibility, but I'm on Guyatus."

Expand your vocabulary:

Social Class
Bobo: Bourgeois bohemian.
Fauxhemian: A middle class or wealthy person who affects a countercultural lifestyle.
Schmooseoisie: The class of people who make their living by talking.
Trustafarian: A jobless person who has access to money and who affects a laid back, bohemian lifestyle.

Sex and Relationships
Boreplay: the worst kind of foreplay, which rarely, if ever, leads to intercourse.
Foxymoron: Someone incredibly dumb but incredibly cute, who therefore simultaneously attracts and repels.
Guyatus: A hiatus from guys. (Thanks, but no thanks. I’m kind of on guyatus.)
Heteroflexible: A heterosexual person who is open to relationships with people of the same sex.
Mistleho: Someone who hangs around under the mistletoe, waiting to get kissed.
Mousewife: Male Housewife.
Smellibacy: A state of involuntary celibacy brought on by bad hygiene.

Miscellaneous
Crappuccino: A poorly made coffee beverage that cost upwards of four dollars.
E-mauling: Stalking someone via e-mail.
“He’s a lot of yabba dabba and not a lot of do.”
Used to refer to someone who is all talk and no action.

Feel free to share if you have a good one...


Posted By: Ian on 01.07.07 @ 06:08 PM EDT [link]


Saturday, January 6th

N'aimez Plus MoiSpace?

Tired of MySpace? It is, frankly, starting to seem like a once hip and gritty urban area overun with Bobos, isn't it? If you're looking for an alternative, at least you have a couple of options (these are Wikipedia links):

Social Networking Sites

43 Things , ActiveRain , Adoos , Amie Street , AIM Pages , aSmallWorld , BlackPlanet.com , Babbello , Bebo , Blue Dot , Blurty , Bolt , CarDomain , Care2 , Classmates.com , Consumating , Cyworld , Dandelife , DeadJournal , Dodgeball.com , Doostang , Draugiem.lv , Ecademy , Facebook , Faceparty , Flickr , Friendster , Frühstückstreff , Gaia Online , Gazzag , GoPets , Graduates.com , GreatestJournal , Grono.net , GuildCafe , Hi5 , Hyves , imeem , IMVU , IRC-Galleria , iWiW , Joga Bonito , Last.fm , LDS LinkUp , LinkedIn , LiveJournal , LunarStorm , MEETin , MiGente.com , Mixi , MOG , Mugshot , Multiply , myGamma , MySpace , myYearbook , Neurona , Nexopia , orkut , Passado , Piczo , Playahead , ProfileHeaven , Rediff Connexions , Reunion.com , Ruckus , Ryze , Sconex , Studivz , Studybreakers , Stumbleupon , TagWorld , TakingITGlobal , The Student Center , Threadless , Tribe , Vampire Freaks , VietSpace , Vox , WAYN , WebBiographies , Windows Live Spaces , Xanga , XING , Xuqa , Yahoo! 360 , Zaadz

And if none of those lift your skirt, there are a hundred or so more listed at socialsoftware.weblogsinc.com


Posted By: Ian on 01.06.07 @ 05:40 PM EDT [link]


Friday, January 5th

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Decline of Western Civilization

collapse_gap (12k image)


Although he appears to have no credentials other than being a software engineer, Dmitry Orlov has some fascinating insights into the parallels between the demise of the USSR and the possible demise of the US. Check out Closing the Collapse Gap at EnergyBulletin.net. Some gems: "A lot of the people, who just waddle to and from their cars, seem unprepared for what comes next. If they suddenly had to start living like the Russians, they would blow out their knees." and... "Don't pay any attention to national politicians - it only encourages them."



Posted By: Ian on 01.05.07 @ 10:40 PM EDT [link]


Thursday, January 4th

Green With ENVy

env_motorcycle (8k image) I have a few friends who are big Harley addicts, and while I can appreciate the machining/engineering and the "classic-ness" of what they're into, my first questions when they get a new bike are always "hasn't muffling technology evolved in 50 years?" and "are they still building those silly combustion engine thingamajiggies?" I've always thought it would be immensely cool if there were a bike that utilized some of the tech innovations of the last few decades to create a quiet, stylish, and REALLY engineered bike. Well, the coolness I'm seeking has arrived. Check out the ENV Green hydrogen-cell bike from Intelligent Energy. Its exhaust is PURE WATER, and its single-gear drivetrain means that when you hit the hydrogen, you go VROOM very smoothly without having to shift. Less to break, and more to brake.



Posted By: Ian on 01.04.07 @ 09:06 PM EDT [link]


Wednesday, January 3rd

Start Here

Don't Start Here

Ever get tired of digging through bookmarks and typing web addresses just to get to the few sites you use each day? I created this page long ago for that reason. There are many better solutions though. Check out NetVibes, where you can drag-n-drop and customize your home page to your heart's content, including typical features like search, news and weather, but even cooler: loading portions of your MySpace or e-mail accounts right into your start page. A list of more sites like this here. Guaranteed to waste an hour of your day today. To waste any additional hours, Hans Hoogerbrugge is still as weird as he has ever been.



Posted By: Ian on 01.03.07 @ 07:17 PM EDT [link]


Tuesday, January 2nd

I'm talking at you, not with you

No email allowed. Especially if it's to oreilly@foxnews.com


Since I enjoyed the January 2, 2007 LA Times Op-Ed piece by Joel Stein titled "Have something to say? I don't care" so much, commenting has been disabled for this post. So nanny-nanny. You can tell the LA Times what you think here though.




Posted By: Ian on 01.02.07 @ 10:11 PM EDT [link]


Monday, January 1st

Best Video of 2007



I thought I'd make my pick early so I wouldn't have to think about it next December. Check out DJ OZMA's "Bounce" (or "Na-na, nanana", or whatever it's called). That YouTube player on the left won't do it justice. Try the Google Video version. In fact, download the 30MB avi for the full effect. Possible spoiler (if something like this can have a spoiler): You won't really appreciate its true theatrical genius unless you watch it up to the point where the Japanese Bootsy Collins guy is flying above the stage in his silver sequined underwear. And no, those women aren't naked. I swear.



Posted By: Ian on 01.01.07 @ 06:09 PM EDT [link]