February 4, 2005 | 6:59 PM ET

Occam's Razor is often explained as the simplest explanation is the most likely.  And so, the simplest explanation for a show being cancelled is that it sucks.  Yesterday I jumped through hoops to speculate that file trading killed the latest Star Trek series, but reader Kabe cuts that to pieces:

Talk about a jump to conclusions.  Here's a good Web site which goes episode-by-episode and critiques what's wrong with the show.

Curious about how widespread dissatisfaction with the show actually was, I took a look at Livejournal blogs pointing to the Start Trek cancellation story to see what they were saying about the link:

Point taken, lesson learned.  (It's starting to seem like lately we could add a "lesson of the day" to our regular features.  Ug.)

Speaking of outer space, aliens love their children too.  (Resistance is futile.)

A pleasantly tranquil and not too hard time killer.  Also interesting to try to figure out how to play without speaking Japanese.

Speaking of not speaking the language:  Today's Video of the Day.  I have no idea what this is, but I think this guy is going to get his butt kicked any minute now.  This one's really funny too.  I'm suddenly very afraid that I'm going to waste a ridiculous amount of time on this site.

Fast motion photos of stuff getting shot

Love thy neighbor -but not that much:  If I read this correctly, these girls would have done better if they'd just left a hundred bucks on their neighbors' steps instead.

Remember the story about parents being better than their kids at using the Internet?  Maybe kids would like it better if it spoke their language.  (Go ahead, try a search.)

Commuter Click:  Koranic duels ease terror  It looks like a "religion of peace vs. religion of hate" article with a happy ending.

The First Skeptics' Circle

"I started to wonder if there were other people out there interested in counterbalancing the urban legends with critical thought."

February 3, 2005 | 11:58 PM ET

While "deep linking" or otherwise taking stuff off other people's sites is against blog protocol (See the note on this build-your-own-Southpark-guy site), I'm thinking there are a whole lot more lessons than that for the young blogger in this story.  Thankfully (hopefully) he learned them the hard way so you don't have to.

Could blog traffic really be important enough to freak out over?  When you consider that Andrew Sullivan was able to earn a couple hundred thousand dollars through his, it just might be.  Speaking of which, at least one blogger has expressed a feeling of being ripped off for having donated to Andrew Sullivan's blog now that he's decided to stop.

Of course, traffic also effects how your blog shows up in search results.  The more traffic you get, the better your Google rank will be.  If you think that doesn't matter, click again.

Speaking of earning money through Google:  " The incidence of click fraud risk exposure in general is on the rise."

And just when you thought you had a grip on things, Google invents a new way to pimp your blog.

Speaking of manipulating Google:  Anatomy of a Google bombing.  No wonder I've been running into the same abortion links all over the place.

Star Trek Enterprise cancelled.  For those who don't know, Enterprise is the Star Trek prequel series.  Something I have to wonder about this show being cancelled is if Star Trek fans have finally become too geeky for their own good.  One of the letters to the editor that we received about this story explained that he liked the show so much he watched it online every week.  How many fans were going uncounted because they downloaded bootlegs of the show instead of watching it on TV?  If any show would suffer from this problem, it'd be this one.

Speaking of destroying oneself: Houston gouges his eyes out... R&B Singer Houston Gouges Eye Out After Apparent Suicide Attempt

On the shuttle to work this morning we were talking about the latest pet of media critic bloggers, the story of CNN honcho Eason Jordan allegedly claiming the U.S. military targets journalists in Iraq.  The question came up as to where the story first broke.  As far as I can tell, it was first reported on the Davos Forumblog where there is now also a follow-up.

The wisdom of Warren Buffet

Bio of medal of honor winner SFC Paul Smith

And you thought the New York City subway photo ban was ridiculous!

Researcher invents robot lust.  Hey, I just click 'em.

What if Bush has been right?

What they're not telling you about the Iraq election.  Frankly, this piece is short on substantial evidence, but it's the second time I've seen the Iraqi Finance Minister Abdel Mahdi conspiracy theory.  I'll wait for a legitimate poll before I take anyone's explanation for what Iraqis were voting for, but as far a gauging what Iraqi people are talking about, I'll add this story to my mental catalog.

Print up your own Simpsons Valentine's cards.

A Goth fisking

The fight to take city streets back from the automobile will be hard fought.... every last Friday of the month.

Continuing in the long running theme of stuffing gadgets into familiar packaging:  Millennium Falcon XBox

Looks like the Social Security situation won't matter after all.  By the time the money runs out we'll all be underwater anyway.

Maybe if Bush had sung the State of the Union it would have done better?

Who was the Iraqi woman in the balcony?  This doesn't quite arrive at any sinister conclusions, but it's a nice specimen of blogger research -the kind that big media, as far as I saw, didn't bother with.

Bloggers are pointing to this Boing Boing post about Cell towers disguised as trees in Disney World.  I've actually seen these towers before in my area.  What really struck me though was the source of the story.  I didn't know there was a Disney blog.

How to sleep in an airport

" Bush and Lieberman, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G..."

Needless to say, the real life version of The Little Mermaid is considerably more dangerous.

"I want to fill this hollow space of empty pictorials with your words, the words of the graphic novel. Help me bring the stories in the drawing come to life, there's a hell of a lot of them in there. Now, you write one, too."

In case you thought this blog only deals in the blog mainstream:  a list of the absolute bottom 50 blogs.

I think this video is so cool I actually have it saved on my desktop at home.  This is the first time I've seen it in its the original page.  With such praise you'd think this would be the Video of the Day, but no!

For its effective use of the medium, this is the Video of the Day.

A collection of 70's pictures

Photo scavenger hunt

How small could the world's smallest Pac Man game be?  Dang!

Lately it seems like every time I watch a political press conference, someone asks a question about a new report or a bit of news, and the politician answers that they're not familiar with it or they haven't read it, and that's the end of that.  I was grumping today that the coverage should include a mention of when politicians are unprepared or uninformed.  Lo and behold.

If the doctor tells you that you have to stop drinking alcohol, that doesn't mean you have to find a new way of ingesting it .

From the mailbag, the M&M sorter not so useless after all:

Will

In regards to the M and  M sorter.  A lot of us like to learn more about electronics and how things work and one method is the use of a small embedded computer called a Stamp made by a company called Parallelax.  Someone came up with a simple little circuit that sorts M and M s.  First impression is what a stupid idea, but it lets an old fart like me, 67, design and program a stand alone mini computer that is capable of vision, color recognition, making a decision based on that color, and operating a solenoid to direct the selected color into a selected bin for about $100 and program it for different combinations of colors etc.  It is kind of like making students write essays instead of just learning Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  It isn't the outcome that is important, but the learning  process.  I like your blog and as you can see do read it all.

Duane

Dear Duane,
Thanks very much for the explanation.  I'll take it as an overall lesson that there is inherent worth anything someone takes the time and trouble to make themselves.
Cheers,
Will

February 2, 2005 | 8:40 PM ET

The kidnapped soldier that turned out to be a toy doll story appears to be the biggest thing to hit the blogosphere since Google bought Blogger.   Glenn fills his role at the top of the power curve with a round-up of parodies. 

Jokesters of note:

Somehow I blinked and missed the story until it was already a hoax.  Thankfully, Backcountry Conservative has a bit of a timeline on the whole thing.

It looks like the original story broke around 12:45 p.m. ET, with updates as late as 3 p.m.  Fark was already tearing the story to pieces by 2:15.

Now, given that the hoax was discovered relatively quickly and so many sites take in AP stories automatically without even looking at them, there may be room for some forgiveness of some sites who published the AP story through their feeds.  But I have no explanation for this, with today's date. (!)

Speaking of hoaxes, this publishing company is taken down a peg by the science fiction writing community.

Speaking of writing, I'm a believer in paperback writers.

Still speaking of writing...  Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes by Stephen King

I can't help but cringe as I read this headline:

Scorsese and De Niro plan Taxi Driver sequel

This story is from this past summer, so I don't know how the link got back into rotation, but it is a pretty surreal set of photos.  No matter how bad a day you're having, at least this didn't happen to you.

Do kids understand the foundation of rights they have as Americans?  Do most Americans?

Commuter Click:  Europe vs. America
Reminder, the Commuter click is a page I haven't read yet, but comes recommended according to how many bloggers are linking to it.  The commuter click is usually too long for me to comfortably read off the screen, so I print it out to read on the train home.

State of the Union Address drinking game

Think Progress, the new blog from the liberal Center for American Progress is already getting a lot of attention.  I'm thinking the timing of its launch with the State of the Union isn't a coincidence.

"A friend of my wife’s found out she has a registered sex offender living on her street. So, for fun, I went to the California Megan’s Law site to see who was in my neighborhood. I didn’t expect to find this."

There's been some advocacy lately for newspapers to make their online archives free.  I think the first place I saw it raised was on Dan Gillmor's new blog.  Here's a nice overview.

You see lists of past quotes from both sides of the political spectrum, sometimes showing Democrats who spoke in the past of how dangerous Saddam was, sometimes showing the current administration's statements about WMD or terrorist threats.  This is the longest such list I've ever seen.

Looks like Senators were not intimidated by the anti-Gonzalez blogger petition we clicked last week.

Since calling Crooks and Liars an example of "poor man's Tivo" last week, it seems like we keep stumbling upon more poor man's Tivo items.  For today's Video of the Day, and especially because I know 11:00 is too late for some folks to stay up and watch, bloggers are looking to Lisa Rein for the Daily Show's look at WalMart.

In case yesterday's "how to pack light" guide wasn't educational enough, this site shows you how to cut things.  Note, you're meant to click the hand you use to cut and it shows you how.

Ur blogger Andrew Sullivan's announcement yesterday that he's taking a break from blogging is spreading rapidly.  Personally, I'll believe it when I see it.  We've seen many bloggers announce that they can't keep up the pace they've come to expect from themselves, but in the end, the real reason many bloggers blog is that they (we) can't shut up and keep their (our) opinions to themselves.  Of course, Andrew isn't want of outlets for his opinion.

The New York Times on Mommybloggers

Perhaps this is in response to public outcry over the lack of bare breasts forecast for this year's Super Bowl.

A new military resources blog -I'm not clear if they're going to actually post military news or if they've just listed sites with information.  Either way it could come in handy.

Download Rock n' Roll music fonts.

February 1, 2005 | 6:06 PM ET

Typical.  No sooner have I said that I hardly ever come upon "godbloggers" (see yesterday's entry) than I come upon the first annual Evangelical blog awards.  And this list of the most influential Evangelicals in America.  And then this challenge to Evangelical bloggers to discuss the popularity of Joel Osteen.  (Ominous sounding quote:  "He is not one of us.")

Speaking of religion, for today's Commuter Click I'm going to take a look at this essay, Atheism and Children, which might seem in stark contrast to the links above, but when I looked to see whose links made this popular, I found that the Thinking Christian blog sees some common ground.

This Vietnam era New York Times article has been linked on a few sites lately.  Kos being at the top of the power curve raises its profile.  Lest you get too carried away with Vietnam comparisons, bloggers also point to this latest piece from Christopher Hitchens.

Speaking of Slate.com, bloggers find interesting the explanation from Mickey Kaus (he doesn't have anchor tags, so you may have to scroll) for why Ted Kennedy made the politically questionable decision to attack the Iraq war just days before the elections.  Is the Internet the new special interest group?

The popularity of this educational guide to type design helps explain in part how it was that the CBS forged document scandal had such an energetic reception in the blogosphere.

A lot of folks are linking to this as the Republican Social Security playbook.  At 103 pages, I've only skimmed it.  It looks like a collection of material supporting the Republican side of the Social Security argument.

Glenn's piece on our site about the Iraq elections being a victory for Bill Clinton has predictably drawn a lot of clicks from bloggers. 

Speaking of defying the conventional wisdom, if you are unable to find work for a long time, so the government steps in to help and finds a job for you, that's a good thing, right?  Click again.

Useful dead technologies:  When I saw the headline I expected it to be about things I'd never heard of, but I ended up agreeing with most of the list.  What about manual radio tuners?

I'm thinking the Pokemon people won't be too happy that their product now names a gene that causes cancer.  That reminds me of how folks who named Spam must feel.

Speaking of spam, since there probably wasn't one of these at career day: Interview with a link spammer

Would you serious go on a blind date with someone your cabbie found for you??  It's a nice story, but I'm having trouble believing it.

Be careful where you leave your doodles.

Video of the Day:  Getting link buzz out of Sundance is Mirrormask.

Funniest punch line of the day:  See photo caption.

Speaking of funny, this list of argument enders was funny until I realized how many had been said to me.

How would global discourse be affected by the mass distribution of a hundred dollar portable computer?

One Bag:  The art and science of traveling light

Study finds teens go in the direction of desire instead of the desired direct regarding abstinence.  The science of the obvious:  Telling a person not to think about something makes them think about it more, and telling a teen girl not to do something makes her more likely to do it.

In never-too-early-for-election-speculation news:  Feingold in '08?

And one from the mailbag:

Addressed from Jan and Scott:  VIDEO OF THE DAY

An unbelievable video. The whole Michael Jackson Thriller video done with LEGO figures.  The group choreography is amazing.

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