April 24, 2006

Safe Dating

For the next time you go on a date:

Get Out of Date Free Card

 Images Thumbs 09F12770Dd43B924Dca175C0F6648Cce

Oh, ho, ho, ho. What will small companies think of next to get a mention in USA Today and freak people out? Secure Networks is offering a free service called SecureSingles which allows you to punch in a few pertinent details about your next date and, if things don't go so well or your date chops you into small, tasty bits your friends and neighbors will receive an SMS, phone call, or email message after a certain time. Great for wrapping things up after he starts talking about his "kittens" and "wax paper collection."


Product Page [SecureSingles via USA Today] [via Gizmodo]

Posted by snooze at 7:46 PM

April 22, 2006

Strange Things Are Afoot

The other day I was driving around and realized that the clock in my car was almost right (it is usually horribly off). I never reset it for spring so now I'm trying to figure out who changed it. Are there people who break into cars and reset clocks? Hmmm.

Posted by snooze at 3:26 PM

March 30, 2006

Are you a Grup?

New York magazine has an article talking about Grups*. It's the new thirtysomething. Or something like that.

He owns eleven pairs of sneakers, hasn’t worn anything but jeans in a year, and won’t shut up about the latest Death Cab for Cutie CD. But he is no kid. He is among the ascendant breed of grown-up who has redefined adulthood as we once knew it and killed off the generation gap.

*Also known as yupster (yuppie + hipster), yindie (yuppie + indie), and alterna-yuppie. Our preferred term, grup, is taken from an episode of Star Trek (keep reading) in which Captain Kirk et al. land on a planet of children who rule the world, with no adults in sight. The kids call Kirk and the crew "grups," which they eventually figure out is a contraction of "grown-ups." It turns out that all the grown-ups had died from a virus that greatly slows the aging process and kills anybody who grows up.

Thankfully I only seem to partially fall into this classification. I hate being labeled too easily.

Posted by snooze at 5:37 PM

March 17, 2006

Those Darn Snakes

It's finally here, though the video quality isn't that great. I give you the trailer for Snakes on a Plane.

Posted by snooze at 8:24 PM

March 13, 2006

Looking for Martians

 Mars Images Mars Logo

Today brings us the latest offering from Google: Google Mars. Explore the red planet in three different ways: an elevation map shows color-coded peaks and valleys, a visible-imagery map shows what your eyes would actually see, and an infrared-imagery map shows the detail your eyes would miss. It is pretty nifty. Check it out!

Posted by snooze at 8:03 AM

January 16, 2006

Anime in the News

Yesterday, the New York Times had an article about some of the anime that is currently showing in the US. It's pretty good, though a little bit simplistic. The one thing I liked about it was that it was explaining a little of how these shows are different than the stereotype of what many people think anime is (Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh). The point where I feel the article falls a little flat is in its examples. While I enjoy Naruto, I think Fullmetal Alchemst might have been a better one to go into detail with. My guess is they were went with a show that was on at a watchable time.

It is nice to see some mainstream media coverage of anime that helps to show a bit of why I enjoy the method of storytelling so much.

Posted by snooze at 12:14 PM

January 3, 2006

Japanese Drum Machine

Picture 2

Posted by Accordion Guy, a funky Flash animation called Drum Machine.

Posted by snooze at 10:19 AM

December 20, 2005

The Gizmo Project

Gizmo Project A Free phone for Your Computer

I'd heard of Gizmo a while back, but hadn't had a chance to check it out until today. I've got to say, it's pretty slick. I think it may just replace Skype for me.

For those of you who aren't up on the latest in internet telephone services, Gizmo and Skype are internet telephone services. You can call other users on their services for free, and for a small fee make outgoing calls, and accept incoming calls if you rent a phone number from them. They also have basic IM services built in.

So why do I like Gizmo? It uses open standards and I'm a geek for that kind of stuff. The interface also seems quite nice and it runs on everything (Skype does too). It also offers some features for free that cost money on Skype (like voicemail). So if you are doing the internet telephone thing I highly recommend giving it a try. You can give me a call at gregoryblake.

Posted by snooze at 5:54 PM

December 18, 2005

Growing For The Holidays

I'm just starting to really get into the Christmas mood. And I just saw a link to a new GROW puzzle, this one with a Christmas Tree. It was pretty easy though. Enjoy!

Posted by snooze at 11:26 PM

November 16, 2005

Repetitive Information Injury

Just as I was coming to grips with NADD, I find out that there's another aspect to it: Repetitive Information Injury.

NADD sufferers walk a delicate tight rope between effectively consuming large amounts of information and losing themselves in a endless loop of useless, frustrating information acquisition motions that I'll call Repetitive Information Injury ("RII").

For me RII shows up late in the day. I'm between meetings and having nothing urgent on my to do list. I sit down at the computer and scan my unread email. Once done there, I click on a couple of tab groups in Safari and scan the news. Lastly, I switch to NetNewsWire and scan for changes on my 75+ feeds.

And then... I do it again.

And again.

It sounds silly, but I'm literally stuck in a loop of information acquisition. What I am looking for? Something interesting informational tidbit which grabs my attention and if I don't find it, I'll often loop four or five times before I realize that I'm in this useless, non-productive loop. [Rands in Repose]

Crap, this describes many an afternoon for me. I may need professional help.

Posted by snooze at 11:21 AM

Romeo and Juliet


Romeo and Juliet, told entirely in emoticons....

Romeo and Juliet, told entirely in emoticons.

[via Blog of a Bookslut]

Posted by snooze at 11:08 AM

November 15, 2005

What's the buzz

There are a crazy amount of iPod accessories out there, but this is the most... uh, interesting one yet. For that special someone in your life.

iBuzz—iPod Controlled Vibrator
 Images Ibuzz
Merry Christmas, Mom! Apparently this little device, which hooks up to the iPod and buzzes in time to your music library, is the hottest Christmas gift going. It's great for getting to sore muscles and aching bones and might even be used for a bit of extracurricular self-induced carnival time after hours, but we wouldn't condone that at all. The body is a temple.

Huge buzz for iPod gizmo [The Sun]

[via Gizmodo]

Posted by snooze at 12:29 PM

November 10, 2005

Frappr and Me

A few people have started doing this, so just to be trendy I've decided to do it also. Frappr is a site that lets you map where people are. For instance, if you click on the button below, it will take you to the page for this blog (with one whole person on it as of this posting). And then you can add yourself to the map. I've always kind of been curious about the readership of this blog. I know it isn't huge, but there do seem to be a fair number of people who read it. So please, leave a marker for yourself (It only requires a name and a zip code, so no other personal information is required).

Check out our Frappr!

Posted by snooze at 12:16 PM

Okay, just one more quiz

Okay, one more quiz for the day and I'll stop. But I liked that I was Very Silly.

Very Silly
Arbitrary Silly Coordinates: (105,5)
Now, score each answer as follows:

A) 256 points
B) π points
C) -(i2) points

Multiply the score of each answer by the square root of its ordinal number.

Now, take all the answers whose ordinal number is even but not evenly divisible by three and add them together to get an X-axis value. Take all the answers whose ordinal number is evenly divisible by three but not by two and add them together to yield a Y-axis value. For all other answers, discard the results; they were red-herrings.

         9.001 |       |                 /|             |
               |       | Write questions/ |             |
               | Visit | to The Oracle /  |             |
           F   |Parents|        /\    /   | Libertarian |
               |       |       /o \--* S  |             |
           u   |       |------/o   \   l  _--_          |
               |-------+      \   o/\  e '    `         |
           r   |   \_          \ o/  \ e( Date )        |
               |     \_ Attend  \/ o  \p "-__-"         |
           l   |       \_ party  \  o /   |             |
               | Watch   \_       \  /----+-------------|
           o   | TV all    \ __    \/                   |
               |  day       ]  ---__|    Play Doom      |
           n   |____________|       +___________________|
               |          \  Drink  |______             |
           g   | rn        \heavily_|      |            |
               | alt.       \     /        | Oaklahoma  |
           s   | binaries.   >---<   Do    |            |
               | pictures.  /     \__ your +------------|
             9 | erotica   /  lint   \ laundry          |
               -3                              6.02*10^23
                          F o r t n i g h t s

Finally, print the above chart out on a piece of paper. Using the X- and Y-axis values you computed earlier, find the corresponding location on the chart and mark it. Then throw it away and try not to think about it. You'll be glad you did.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 10% on VerySilly-X
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on VerySilly-Y
Link: The Very Silly Test written by ewhac on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Posted by snooze at 10:15 AM

Test of the Day

I hope this isn't becoming a test blog :). Honestly, I thought the test was a little easy. I was expecting a bit more of a challenge.

Vocabulary Vixen!
Congratulations! You got 16 correct answers!
You sexy thing! You probably own a book or two. You can communicate in complete thoughts and your knuckles don't drag while walking down the street. Now promise me you will use your word power for good not for evil.
My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 37% on wordpoints
Link: The BIG WORDS ARE SEXY Test written by MissMariah on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Posted by snooze at 10:03 AM

November 7, 2005

Good. Bad. I'm the one with the gun.

Because I was psyched to get this result:

You're Ash, baby.
Gimme some sugar baby.

Which B-Movie Badass Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by snooze at 12:17 PM

November 4, 2005

Lala Rules

Picture 5

After listening to TWiT the other day I felt compelled to check out Tiki Bar TV, Forbidden cocktails in a swank pad. I can't decide if it is genius or incredibly stupid, but I do know I can't stop watching it. You should definitely give the Tiki Bar a visit.

Posted by snooze at 3:51 PM

October 31, 2005

Bouncy Bouncy, Part Deux


A few months ago I posted about Sony filming a commercial where they released 10,000 super-balls on a hill in San Francisco. Well it turns out it was actually 250,000 superballs, and they've posted the commercial online. Pretty cool looking.

Posted by snooze at 8:27 AM

October 22, 2005

Parents and Videogames

I always enjoy Halley's blog and today she posts about parents and video games.

I rarely find parents who take THE TIME TO SIT DOWN AND PLAY the games with their kids. That's what I've been doing for three years now. I stink at playing, but I know about a lot of games. Parents who don't play think Tetris, Splinter Cell, Jak and Daxter and Halo are the same -- and they are not.


As I mentioned below, even if you are a parent who has ZERO interest in actually playing videogames, please read the book "Everything Bad is Good For You" by Steven Johnson, to get a perspective on what a complex, artistic, challenging, educational excursion our kids are taking when they play. [Halley's Comment]

My sister is one of those parents who has no interest in video games. She watches the ratings of the games, but really has no idea about the content most of the time. To me it seems like issue of paying attention to what your child watches on TV. Just because a show isn't violent or whatever doesn't mean that you would want your child watching it.

Then again, I don't have a kid so I may not be qualified to say much about this. I do know that as a kid I would have loved it if my parents were more interested in the games I liked and wanted to play.

Posted by snooze at 12:40 PM

October 2, 2005

For the Handyman Who Has Everything

I personally think it should come in a big roll. It isn't really duct tape if it doesn't make that noise when you rip a piece off. It also needs to be multipurpose. You should be able to use it to build some bizzare contraption with it, like MacGuyver.

Duct Tape Band Aid

 Images Nexcareducttapebandage
I am a man's man. Nothing hurts me. I am pretty much invincible, except when my kitty scratches me. The worse thing is going to the construction site (work as I call it) and getting ridiculed by all of the other guys, and even the women for wearing a daffy duck band aid. This is a duct tape band aid for the most hardcore people out there. No longer will people think you are a baby. I mean honestly, nothing says hardcore more than having duct tape wrapped around a boo-boo. Maybe dipping said boo boo in motor oil and wrapping a used diaper around it is harder core, but not by much.

The Duct Tape Band Aid [OhGizmo!]

[via Gizmodo]

Posted by snooze at 2:09 PM

September 30, 2005

101 Things in 1001 Days

Seen over on LJ originally. The goal is to to do a preset list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I think the hard part for me with coming up with 101 things. Maybe I should start off with 1 thing in 11 days, where that one thing is coming up with 101 things.

Posted by snooze at 12:34 PM

September 28, 2005

Colorize Me

As seen over on Swirlychick's LJ, the ColorQuiz. Give it a try.

200509281758 Gregory+Blake took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Takes easily and quickly to anything which provide..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

As usual with these quizzes I take things with a grain of salt. I think the one thing that really rung true for me was the line "Anxious to experience life in all its aspects, to explore all its possibilities, and to live it to the fullest." This has definitely been a big issue for me post transplant. And I'm still kind of rediscovering myself too, the whole experience has definitely changed me a bit.

Posted by snooze at 5:57 PM

September 26, 2005

Win a Lobster!

We need these in the US. Some of the other vending machines linked to are cool too.

Japanese lobster-vending machine
Cory Doctorow:
 ~Edjacob Lobster

Earlier this week, I blogged a great collection of Japanese vending machines, but this one is even better, sporting, as it does, a coin-operated live-lobster vending machine! Link

(Thanks, GenkiGecko!)
Update:Here's a commercial supplier of coin-op lobster game/vending-machines (courtesy Daniel Drucker)
[via Boing Boing Blog]

Posted by snooze at 11:33 AM

September 25, 2005

Manga and Girls

Recently the New York Times ran an article about Manga for Girls. In other words: shoujo manga. Even though I might nit-pick on a few points, it's a pretty solid article.

Shojo - the word means girl in Japanese - frequently involves a lovelorn teenager seeking a boyfriend or dealing with situations like entering a new school, being bullied or trying to break away from a clique. There are also action stories featuring girls in strong roles as scientists and samurai warriors. (The shojo genre has been called "big eyes save the world," after the characteristic drawing style of girls with saucer-shaped eyes who are sometimes endowed with supernatural powers.)

But parents and teachers, who are sometimes happy to see teenagers reading just about anything, might be caught off guard by some of the content of the girls' favorite books. Among the best-selling shojo are stories that involve cross-dressing boys and characters who magically change sex, brother-sister romances and teenage girls falling in love with 10-year-old boys. Then there's a whole subgenre known as shonen ai, or boy's love, which usually features romances between two impossibly pretty young men. [NYTimes: Manga and Girls]

Posted by snooze at 12:40 PM

September 19, 2005

Because It Is That Day Again




Posted by snooze at 11:44 AM

September 15, 2005

Whipping it. Whipping it good.


Wow, grade school kids redo the video for Devo's Whip It. And it's pretty cool! [via Boing Boing]

Posted by snooze at 11:33 AM

September 11, 2005


Nick posted a link to PostSecret. A site where people mail in postcards with a secret on them. Pretty cool. I keep wondering if I have any secrets to share.

Posted by snooze at 10:29 AM

August 19, 2005

Snakes on a Plane

I've started reading a few new blogs lately that I've found quite enjoyable. The first being Kung Fu Monkey, which is pretty entertaining. Today he points to a new screenwriter blog by Josh Friedman, the credited co-writer of War of the Worlds. Though it's just a few posts old, it's quite fun. My favorite post being the one about Snakes on a Plane.

I ask Agent the name of the project, what it's about, etc. He says: Snakes on a Plane. Holy shit, I'm thinking. It's a title. It's a concept. It's a poster and a logline and whatever else you need it to be. It's perfect. Perfect. It's the Everlasting Gobstopper of movie titles.


Now out of both loyalty to the sacred bond between studio and screenwriter and also a serious desire to keep getting hired in this town, I will not give away any of the plot details of SNAKES ON A PLANE. But know this. As the great Sam Jackson would say: There are motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane.

What else do you need to know? How the snakes get on the plane, what the snakes do once they're on the plane, who puts the snakes on the plane, who is trying to get the snakes off the plane...This is not for you to ponder. There are snakes on the plane. End of fucking story. [I find your lack of faith disturbing]

Added bonus: comments from Samuel L Jackson on the movie.

Posted by snooze at 1:32 PM

July 22, 2005

You Are On The Global Frequency

 Users Gblake Library Application-Support Ecto Attachments Anim After reading about the pilot for a TV show called Global Frequency over on Heath Row's Media Diet my curiosity went into overdrive. I read up about it some on the net and then hunted down a copy of it. One of the best pilot episodes I've seen ever I think.

But what is just as interesting is how this leaked pilot has really generated interest in the show. People are asking "how can we help get this show to TV". The site FrequencySite has coverage of what's going on with it (though they don't suggest you go out and download the show, that would be bad :)). But imagine if a network were smart enough to use this as a way to promote a new show. Especially one that might be a bit of a risk (as this one may be). Then see how strong the feedback is, and they might get an idea of how successful it could be.

Anyways, if you get a chance to see this, definitely check it out. I now kind of hope that it does actually get picked up after all.

Now Playing: Love at First Sight from the album "Black Sea" by XTC

Posted by snooze at 5:43 PM

July 20, 2005

AOL on Crack

Adrants has links to two videos from AOL promoting their new service AIM mail.

To promote its new AIM Mail, AOL has a couple of strange online videos, created by ATTIK. One has a receptionist drifting into a daydream which consists of superhero midgets...oops...dwarfs...oops...little people giving her a tickle attack. The other has a pair of sushi falling in love only to have one killed by getting eaten. Both end with @aim addresses and no other form of linkage.

Once at the AIM Mail site, there are blogs that promote the videos. The videos can be viewed HERE and HERE. [Adrants]

Posted by snooze at 11:02 PM

Some Fun For The Afternoon

No real point here, just some links I found interesting today.

Now I'm off to try updating this blog to MT 3.2.

Posted by snooze at 4:52 PM

July 5, 2005

Blizzard and Coke

Joystiq reports an ad by Blizzard and Coke for World of Warcraft and Coke. It's pretty nifty. It would be cool if we got some ads like that.

Posted by snooze at 2:46 PM

March 14, 2005

Blizzard Bans Users Who Break Terms of Use

Joystiq and Game Girl Advance both reported on Blizzard banning accounts that were used for "Gold Farming" over the weekend. For those of you not familiar with the world of MMORPGs, Gold Farming is big business. People go around, and just kill monsters for high priced items and sell it off to make in-game money. They then sell the in-game money on places like ebay for real money. This is also done with rare magic items. The practice has been going on for ages. I remember hearing about people doing the same with Ultima Online and Evercrack.

The thing I'm finding baffling about both the posts on this is they seem to be coming down hard on Blizzard. Joystiq asks:

So, you pay for the game, pay your monthly subscription, only for Blizzard to say "you did something we don't want you to do, goodbye", and they kill your account. That's $50 wasted since, as was reported a while back, you can't transfer the serial number. Once it's used, it's used. Where should the line be drawn on what you can and can't do in a game you pay for initially, and continue to pay for every month? If people are stupid enough to buy a game's currency for hard cash, why shouldn't that be a legitimate activity? [Joystiq]

The answer is simple. You are breaking the policies that Blizzard has set forth for how they will run their game. This was not some secret policy that nobody knew of. On the World of Warcraft Policy Page it's right at the top of the announcements link. They even say what they will do to people they catch doing it (Of course, this gets to an even larger rant I have about how people don't read any of the game policies when playing). If this had come out of the blue I'd be able to understand complaints, but it didn't.

What do people think? If you are providing a service, should you be able to set the rules for the use of it? Does it matter if it is a game or something like an ISP? Or should having paid money immediately mean you can do what you want with that service, regardless of any Terms of Use?

Posted by snooze at 12:32 PM

March 10, 2005

Chickenpox Parties

Uh. I really have no response to this. I saw the story and had to go listen. It's just mindboggling.

'Chickenpox Parties' for Parents Wary of Inoculations
Oregon is experiencing a growing phenomenon of "chickenpox parties" -- events where parents wary of getting their kids inoculated against chickenpox knowingly expose them to infected children to build immunity. [via NPR News: Health & Science]

Posted by snooze at 7:36 AM

March 7, 2005

Amazing Snow Sculptures

Someone online mentioned a site with shots of the International Snow Sculpture Championships. The winning one is stunning. I'd love to see shots of it in the process of being sculpted.

Posted by snooze at 8:46 PM

February 16, 2005

The Guide

Amazon.com currently has a new version of the trailer to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on their home page. I'm now not quite as nervous about the movie as I had been. It's a decent trailer. Though I really hope a better video quality one gets released soon.

And for some additional information on the movie, here's an interview with the screenwriter who had the job of producing a final script. It's a pretty interesting read.

Posted by snooze at 9:20 AM

February 11, 2005

World of Warcraft - Dealing with Success

The New York Times had an interesting piece on Blizzard and their game World of Warcraft the other day. The game has blown away all sales projectections. As a result, Blizzard is having to scramble to do a level of expansion they'd plan to do over a year all at once.

It was in the evening, right before the game was formally released on Nov. 23. Blizzard had arranged for producers and designers to sign copies of the game at midnight at a hangar-size Fry's Electronics outlet in Fountain Valley, not far from Blizzard's base in Irvine, 40 miles south of Los Angeles. The company had set up a similar signing for an earlier strategy game, Warcraft III, and about 700 people showed up. Planning optimistically, the company had about 2,500 copies of World of Warcraft on hand.

"So I planned to roll over there around 11 p.m., and as I tried to get off the freeway I look over and I see this gigantic, dark, surging mass around Fry's, and I'm like, 'What in the world is that?' " said Paul Sams, 34, Blizzard's senior vice president for business operations. It turned out that the pulsing was more than 5,000 people.

"The cars were backed up on the off-ramp," he said. "I parked like a mile away, and when I get there the line is looped around the building, and then looped around the parking lot. It was like a football tailgate, with the R.V.'s and barbecues in the lot and everything."

By the end of that first day, about 240,000 copies of the game had sold across North America, Australia and New Zealand, the product's initial markets. The game has now sold almost 700,000 copies in those markets, and at peak hours about 250,000 people from those areas are playing the game simultaneously. [New York Times - Technology]

Posted by snooze at 8:06 AM

December 8, 2004

Would You?

Marcus Ranum asks "Would you outsource your data center to Baghdad?"

As I am writing this, US Marines and Iraqi troops are engaged in pacification operations (the nice word for "blowing the snot out of any resistance") in the Iraqi town of Falluja. Perhaps by the time you read this Iraq will be a peaceful, stable democracy that offers a great climate for business, so this editorial might go out of date fairly quickly. Somehow, unfortunately, I doubt it. I suspect the climate for business in Iraq is going to be poor for the next few years, at least. So, mister CTO - would you outsource your data center to Baghdad?

It's an interesting read and something to think about. What country do you think you'd want to outsource stuff to?

Posted by snooze at 1:55 PM

December 5, 2004


Seen over on Gizmodo. A yo-yo ice cream maker.

Ice Cream Yoyo

I personally think that after 10 minutes of using that to mix your ice cream your arm would be pretty tired. I guess it might be good to keep kids busy for a bit.

Posted by snooze at 9:36 PM

November 30, 2004

How to Kill a Mockingbird

In case you ever wondered what To Kill a Mockingbird was about.

How to Kill a Mockingbird

It's the true story of To Kill a Mockingbird. Complete with pirates, robots, slaves, lasers, flaming sharks, ninjas, the moon, and a pickle, done in Flash. [via jenett.radio] [via waxy]

Posted by snooze at 6:52 PM

Another Cool Flickr Thing

Here's another cool Flickr thing, a calendar showing when you've posted pictures in the last five weeks.:

Flickr Calendar

Each day is a link that brings you a page with pictures for that day. Nothing real fancy, but it does look pretty cool I think. You can also view calendars by month.

Posted by snooze at 4:21 PM

November 29, 2004

Podcasting, Again

When the whole podcasting thing started to take off I found I was quite into it, but then RL got in the way a bit and it kind of fell off my radar. Interestingly enough, this happened when I stopped being good about using the treadmill three times a week. Today as I was getting ready to walk I realized I needed something to listen to and decided I needed to upgrade iPodderX and start listening again.

iPodderX looks like it is really progressing nicely, even if I'm going to end up having to shell out some $$ for it soon. It's got some really slick features, and I've already found one feature that I want in it. It lets you set the genre of what you download, which is cool, but I want to be able to access other tags also. iTunes has one called 'grouping' which I use for any extra data/keywords to describe the track. For instance, anime soundtracks are in genre soundtracks with anime in the grouping tag. So I'd love to be able to put 'podcast' into the grouping (as well as any other info).

Now I need to get off my ass and figure out where to set up my turntables so I can start doing a mix of the week podcast.

Posted by snooze at 12:35 PM

November 26, 2004

I Just Can't Think of a Title for This One

In the world of bizzare news:

Pickled cats thrown at police

Hamilton woman angry at police confiscation of pickled snakes so threw a jar of pickled kittens at them

It has been revealed a Hamilton woman was so angry about police taking her three preserved snakes that she stormed into the station and threw a jar of pickled kittens at the counter.

The jar shattered. [NZCity News]

I personally think the sentence "It has been revealed a Hamilton woman was so angry about police taking her three preserved snakes that she stormed into the station and threw a jar of pickled kittens at the counter." would make a great entry into the Bulwer-Lytton Contest.

Posted by snooze at 1:02 AM

November 14, 2004

Just What *IS* flickr Anyways?

About 2 weeks ago I received a Nikon D70 Digital SLR camera in trade for some computer work I've been doing for a neighbor. I've long wanted an SLR of any type and this has helped energize the creative side of me a bit. It also means I've been putting pictures online more and making much more use of Flickr. Which has also led to many of my friends asking "so what's so great about this Flickr thing anyways?"

Flickr is a photo hosting/sharing service from ludicorp that's been in beta for a while now. I think I first started using it around 8 months ago, but didn't really get into it until the new camera. I'd fiddled around with running my own photo gallery software a few times, tried a few other services, but nothing really jumped out at me until Flickr. Flickr is all about finding ways to organize and ways to share your photos. Like most other photo hosting services you can upload pictures, create photosets (albums), etc. It also has a bit of social networking type stuff built in so that you can choose to only share photos with your friends or family.

But where Flickr has really hooked me is with some of the other features. The biggest of which are tags. Tags are keywords you can add to a photo to provide more data about it. For instance, in this photo that I uploaded there are a bunch of tags. I can then choose to look at only pictures of mine with the tag 'squirrel', or I could see all the public photos on Flickr that have the tag 'squirrel'. You can also put notes onto a picture that show up when you mouse over a certain area. Oh yes, and they also have it set up so that you can post your pictures to your blog or LiveJournal from within Flickr and they accept photocam posts too.

One thing the tagging system has done is that some tags have a following. People will take pictures that can be tagged with a certain keyword. One of my favorites is squaredcircle, where people post pictures of circular things in a squared image. This one has enough of a following that someone has created a group for pictures like this (groups are things you can join which have their own photo collections).

The other thing that made Flickr my choice for a photo hosting service was that someone wrote a plugin for iPhoto so that you can export your pictures straight from iPhoto (instead of saving them and uploading with the web site or one of their uploading tools). When it's this easy I can't help but want to post stuff all the time.

Flickr is currently free, also also has a Pro option. With a free account you can upload 10MB of pictures a month, have 3 photosets, and people can view the 100 most recent images you have uploaded. The Pro account offers quite a bit more, you can upload 1GB per month, there's unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth use, unlimited photosets, and permanent archiving of high-res images. In the future Ad-free browsing will be added to that. You can check out their FAQ for more info.

The last thing I have to say about Flickr is that it has really inspired me to really learn more about taking pictures and to actually get out there and take them. The other day someone invited me to a group called 'sky'. For the next few days I was on the road and everywhere I went I kept looking for good shots of the sky (and I finally got one I really liked). It really ends up being quite addicting after a bit.

Oh, and no, Flickr isn't paying me to rave on and on about how I like them. I just think it's one of the cooler sites out there and want more of my friends to use it.

Posted by snooze at 8:01 PM

November 7, 2004

Holiday Spice Pepsi

Pepsi has a new version for the holidays: Holiday Spice Pepsi. You too can enjoy pepsi with the taste of cinnamon and ginger while you sip your holiday pepsi.

Posted by snooze at 12:18 AM

November 5, 2004


A picture of me that I don't completely hate. My friend Brian took this while playing with my new camera.

Posted by snooze at 8:28 AM

November 4, 2004

Oh My!

Oh my, I wonder if someone at CNN will lose their job over this. The lesson, be careful what you name your files (even if it is accurate).

Posted by snooze at 12:48 AM

November 1, 2004

Spoiled Students

Boston.com has an article on how parents feel that long term papers are too much work for high school students.

...But Laurie Mokriski, also a PTSO member, said she worries because the papers contribute significantly to students' already-heavy academic loads. Newton parents met earlier this month to discuss homework and agreed their children have too much, Mokriski said. They also need time for sports, theater, music, and academic teams, she said. ''They're trying to enjoy their high school years," she said.

Denise Clark Pope, author of ''Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out Materialistic and Miseducated Students," argues that today's high school students are overworked. [boston.com]

Is it me or does this just seem like too much whining. I remember having term papers that were at least 10 pages long in High School. I thought everyone had to do that kind of thing. I like how because the kids have so many extra-curricular activities, we have to give them less academic work.

Posted by snooze at 1:18 PM

October 29, 2004

And The Winner Is...

A few years after I graduated from high school, my school started doing mock elections. Since 1988 their mock election has accurately chosen the eventual winner. VOTES 2004 was today, and the winner was... John Kerry! Let's hope their record of success continues.

It's a pretty interesting setup. From the web page:

Two schools from each state participate in the highlight of the month-long project—a mock election at which a winner is declared just days before the general election. The VOTES election is unique in that it simulates the electoral college process of selecting a candidate: the winner must earn at least 270 out of 538 electoral votes.

And here is the breakdown of the results:

John Kerry
George Bush
Ralph Nader
David Cobb
Michael Badnarik
Michael Peroutka
Electoral Votes
Popular Votes

Voter Turnout 70%

Pretty cool I must say. I can't wait to see how accurate it is this year.

Posted by snooze at 12:33 AM

October 24, 2004

Porn w/out the Porn

Last night I was at a birthday party for a neighbor that was held at Real Art Ways in Hartford. I'd never been there before and it's a neat little place (and their movie theatre has some interesting sounding things coming up). One of the exhibits there was by Laura Carton and featured pictures that were originally porn that had been downloaded from the net, and then had the people in them removed with the help of photoshop. It definitely changes one views them once you find that out.


The thing is, the concept sounded so damn familiar. I knew I'd heard about it before, and had a feeling it was from BoingBoing. So, this morning I did a bit of searching about and discovered it had been on BoingBoing. And not only on BoingBoing, but by a posted by guestblogger there: the amazing Susannah Breslin.

Posted by snooze at 3:40 PM

October 14, 2004

Blog + Wiki = ?

The folks over at Everything Sysadmin have started a wiki to go with the book (along with their blog). They're also talking about integrating wiki and blog, something that I think could be a really cool thing. I've thought about trying to find easy ways to do that myself (especially when I'm posting about some nifty OS X tip).

Posted by snooze at 10:40 AM

October 13, 2004

Microsoft Calls the Kettle Black

When Microsoft opened up the MSN Music Store the other day, there was a comment about Apple and how their system is "closed". This was given as a reason that MSN is better.

"iTunes has done a great job of helping to elevate the [digital music] market," said Christine Andrews, lead product manager of MSN. "We're different because Apple is a closed system. If you want Apple, you have to use the iPod. A lot of people want choice and we offer that." [macnn.com]

So let's see. My choice is use iTMS and an iPod, or buy a whole second computer in order to use the MSN Music Store. Let's be honest, they're both closed in different ways. IMHO MSN's is more closed because I can't even use it on my computer. Though I wouldn't hate Apple if they opened up access to their DRM a little bit. Given their market share I think they can afford to let people use a few other players. There is still a market for flash players that aren't that expensive.

Posted by snooze at 12:03 PM

October 9, 2004

Someone Fired For Running SETI@Home... Again

Once again, someone has been fired for running SETI@Home.

Man Said He Used Computer During Off Hours

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The search for extraterrestrial life has ended at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The department on Thursday fired a computer programmer who admitted to using a state-owned computer server to process data for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project, run by the University of California at Berkeley.

Charles E. Smith, 63, told administrators he didn't think loading the SETI software on the server was much of a problem because he ran the program only on weekends and on weekdays between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., when the server wasn't being used, according to a disciplinary report.

Department director Tom Hayes disagreed.

"I understand his desire to search for intelligent life in outer space, because obviously he doesn't find it in the mirror in the morning," Hayes said. "I think that people can be comfortable that security has beamed this man out of our building." [newsnet5.com] [via AP]

I'm not sure if I posted about this kind of thing the last time it happened, but without knowing more background I'm not sure how to react. At most places I've worked there has been an official policy that you aren't supposed to install unauthorized software. This was mostly to try and stop people from installing every little thing they download from the net, and to be able to scold them when something they've downloaded broke their computer. In the case of something like this though, I almost have to wonder if the application was actually cutting into computer resources. But, the article doesn't give us any information about that (though I'd be curious to know more). The other issue is that I think the department director's comments are a bit unprofessional and unnecessarily insulting.

Hmm, maybe I should give SETI@Home a download and start it running on one of the machines I have floating around.

Posted by snooze at 7:17 PM

I Just Hope There Are No Spiders In This One

Irrational Games has started talking up Bioshock, the spiritual successor to System Shock 2. Gamespot has a preview of the game and I just may have to see how cheaply I can throw together a PC to be able to play this one when it comes out. System Shock 2 is still one of my favorite computer games ever. It was one of the creepiest games I've ever played.

bioshock pics Irrational Games originally conceived of its cult-classic hybrid game System Shock 2 as a "spiritual successor" to the original game. And Irrational's next game will, in turn, be a "spiritual successor" to System Shock 2. We're pleased to bring you the first official details on BioShock, a new game that will attempt to further the open-ended, emergent gameplay of the previous games by offering even more choices for players to creatively interact with the world around them and to solve the challenges that face them.

While System Shock 2 represented what Irrational general manager Ken Levine describes as "a convergence of technology and commercialism" (that game took place on a corporate-sponsored starship), BioShock will instead represent "a convergence of technology and biological life," or more specifically, genetics. It's important to note: BioShock is not a sequel to any of the System Shock games, nor does it have any official relation to those games. But like the previous games, this one will offer a horror-themed gameplay experience in which what you observe, and what happens to you, will be tempered by your own choices. "[At Irrational], we think emergence is the future," says Levine. [gamespot.com]

Btw, a request to the Mac gaming world. Please get in contact with these folks and do a Mac port of both System Shock 2 and Bioshock. Even though System Shock 2 is a few years old at this point, it's still such a kickass game that really does deserve a Mac port.

Posted by snooze at 6:07 PM

October 6, 2004

Fairy Tales - Redone

Sequential Tart has a nice article with pointers to various retellings of fairy tales. I was happy to see it included one of my favorites, which is Sheri S. Tepper's Beauty. And now I've got a few more books to add to my book list.

Posted by snooze at 8:58 AM

October 3, 2004

Yay! More Looney Tunes!

Looney Tunes: Golden Collection: Volume 2 I was just looking at Amazon.com and noticed they had a little ad up for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2. I loved the first collection, it was a great start to them releasing many old old cartoons that I hadn't seen in their entirely in ages. This one looks to continue the trend with a lot of early material. And even better, it comes out on my birthday next month (November 2nd)! I've added it to my wish list, anyone wanna pick it up for me?

Posted by snooze at 2:57 PM

Anime Meets the Count of Monte Cristo

Gankutsuou1   gankutsuou2.jpg

Wow. I just watched the trailer for a new anime series titled Gankutsuou. It looks like it will be an anime version of The Count of Monte Cristo. Of all the promos I've seen for the current season in Japan, this is the most stunning (and it's being produced by Gonzo, who have been doing great work lately). I hope it's as good as the animation looks. The story has been a favorite of mine since I read a version of it back in French in High School, I can't wait.

gankutsuou3.jpg   gankutsuou4.jpg

Posted by snooze at 3:48 AM

September 29, 2004

Podcasting Idea

One of the things I've been watching lately is the growth of Podcasting. The idea is that various audio broadcasts online would be available for download, with RSS feeds being used to announce when new broadcasts are available. Adam Curry is the one who really gave this a kick-start with his Daily Source Code.

The other part of this is the iPod. There are a number of programs out there for watching the RSS feeds for these broadcasts. When a new show is posted, they automaticly download it and put it into a playlist in iTunes so that you can sync it to your iPod. It's all pretty slick.

My idea is kind of an expansion of an idea I've been playing with for a bit: Audiobooks. I could record an chapter at a time, and as I finish post it so that people can download. In the end I'd love to expand this to having a resource for various kinds of storytelling. Maybe do a book reading with a few people, each taking various parts. Or provide a directory for other people doing the same thing. As usual, the big issue is resources. I'll think about this a bit more after I get a bit more sleep.

Posted by snooze at 4:20 AM

September 27, 2004

Paper CD Cases

This is quite cool. I wish they had one that was blank with spaces to fill in stuff.

Make a paper CD case

Make a paper CD case
This site will create a PDF file which can be printed and folded to create a paper CD case. There's an advanced form that allows you to add more tracks, and even graphics, and even let you add your creation to their cover database. Neat. [Incoming Signals] [via lonita.links.log]

Posted by snooze at 10:22 PM

September 22, 2004

Cats Regarding Cats Regarding Cats in an Electronic Melieu

From my friend Greg: The Infinite Cat Project. Pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats, looking at pictures of cats (help me! I'm stuck!)...

Posted by snooze at 7:05 AM

September 19, 2004

Wikipedia Hits One Million

From Joi Ito's Web:

Wikipedia reaches one million articles

Wikipedia has just announced that it has reached one million articles. Congratulations Wikipedians! Wikipedia is in more than 100 languages with 14 currently having over 10,000 articles. It is ranked one of the ten most popular reference sites on the Internet according to Alexa.com (trumping Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times). At the current rate of growth, Wikipedia will double in size again by next spring. [Joi Ito's Web]

Pretty cool. I keep thinking I should work on contributing more, especially in the anime section.

Posted by snooze at 11:11 PM

September 18, 2004


Jon Udell has a great post on Medbloggers, something that I didn't really realize existed until he wrote about it. Though we've got political bloggers, library bloggers, law bloggers, so it makes sense there would be medical bloggers.



The numbers are small. Starting with Pho's blogroll, I began assembling a list of the medical bloggers who cross-reference one another. What I found confirmed Pho's estimate that there are no more than 100 of these medbloggers, many of whom are aggregated at medlogs.com. Nor are these medblogs yet widely subscribed. Pho today has 14 Bloglines subscribers. One of the founders of the movement, medpundit, today has 58. Those numbers are one or two orders of magnitude shy of the readerships of many of the tech blogs I follow. But unless fear of malpractice strangles this baby in the cradle, that will be a temporary phenomenon. In the long run there will be many more people hungry for informed analysis of medical issues than for informed analysis of tech issues.

This looks like a great opportunity to watch the blogging meme replicate throughout another community of practice. I'll be fascinated to see how it changes, but also is changed by, that community. Corporate techbloggers, for example, are learning to walk a fine line between acceptable sharing of information and punishable transgression. Medbloggers face a different set of issues: libel, privacy, and of course malpractice. See this American Medical News article for a useful overview. [Jon Udell's Weblog]

As you can tell from some recent posts I've started following medical information on Pulmonary Fibrosis online, mostly inspired by this article. I even found a blog called Bronch Blog to subscribe to.

Posted by snooze at 4:54 PM