August 19, 2005 | 3:23 PM ET

The Flying Spaghetti Monster has a Wikipedia entry now.  The spaghetti monster is part of an alternative creation theory that has been spreading like wildfire.  You may recall it linked here a month or two ago.  Recently, reader P. Michael Bowden recommended it in connection to my complaining about putting ranch dressing on spaghetti.  I had passed over the mail, recognizing that we had already seen the link, but holy moly, look at the page now.  When we last looked, it was just the letter.  Now he's got almost daily updates on how his page is making news or provoking reaction, along with merchandising and tributes.  As I write this, a reader named Denise reports that she's a Pastafarian.  This is what viral is all about.

Speaking of iconic food, White Castle had a recipe contest.  The winner looks like a sausage, bacon, White Castle quiche.

Speaking of things that probably kill you if you eat too much of it, how much of your favorite caffeinated drink would it take to kill you?

Beer for kids — They get candy cigarettes, toy guns, small cars, why not beer?  The only thing kids don't get is their own porn.  That's bad.

Alternate lead story: Fair? Balanced? A Study Finds It Does Not Matter — My favorite quote: 

The professors' preferred explanation is that the public manages to "filter" biased media reports. Fox's format, for example, might alert the audience to take the views expressed with more than the usual grain of salt. Audiences may also filter biases from other networks' shows.

So much media analysis (by the media and bloggers too) is based on the premise that people are so stupid they are actually manipulated by everything from subtle bias to schlocky punditry.  Can the media save their mindless zombie audience from the compromised journalistic standards of blogs?  Can bloggers save the idiot news consumers from the biases of the mainstream media?  Turns out, people are smarter than they're given credit for.  (What does this mean to my harping on the America hurters?  I'm not sure yet.  I enjoy being angry about that, so I'd hate to give it up.)

Jeff got his Dell in June and he's still beating them over the head with it almost two months later.  Add that to the list of lessons corporations should learn about bloggers.

PubSub has finally released its linkranks page.  Unfortunately they only display the domains of the sites, so you have to guess at what it making it popular.  I'm not sure this is useful.

I grabbed this one from the PubSub list.  The mix of bloggers and the map reminded me of this entry about mapping Mexican and South American bloggers I saw in Global Voices when I was there yesterday.

"On the way to learning that one thing can represent another, young children often conflate the real item and its symbol. These errors show how difficult it is to start thinking symbolically."

"The winner of this competition will be the person who posts the best site I’ve never seen in the comments."  Everyone wins because now he has a comments section full of fun recommended sites.  (I haven't checked all of these, so click at your own risk.)

" Immersive viewing system" — If this is a hoax, no one tell me.  Let me savor it.  (Actually, the more I think about it, the more it kind of reminds me of being in one of those creepy pods from the Matrix that harvest human energy.)

So why would sexual deviants be attracted to Star Trek?  ( Mickey Kaus with some background)

The Exciting Game of Career Girls — What?  You want more than six choices?  Que sera sera.

As long as we're laughing about sexism:

Disabled 7-year-old ejected from theater — ... reportedly for laughing too loud.  I don't want to sound like a grump, but I wonder if home theaters have hurt our ability to enjoy communal entertainment.  Do we put "living room expectations" on movie theaters?

Photographer of the Year

Not to be out done, Flickr is in the midst of narrowing the field for the Flickys.  If you like voting on the photos in our Week in Pictures, you should check this out.

Speaking of Flickr, photos of Brickfest.  What's Brickfest?  ( Official site)

"The historian Bernard Lewis has called bin Laden's prose 'eloquent, at times even poetic.'"

Was this week's computer worm actually meant to target the media?  That would make it vaguely reminiscent of the anthrax attacks.

NYC 2123 is a graphic novel made for a PSP.  But you can read it online too.

Steve Martin's Shopgirl coming this fall looks like it could well be worth 10.75

Speed Cameras Increase Injury Accidents — I've read this about red light and stop sign cameras as well, but what I've not seen is much speculation about why cameras seem to cause accidents.  Does self-consciousness reduce driving ability?  Do people react more abruptly to cameras than they would to regular speed traps?

Harry Potter Beowolf-ish poem.  Some mention of bits from the new book, but really, if you're enough of a Potter-head to follow this poem, you've already read the new book.

"[T]o Kottke’s list of over-played words I would add 'conversation.'  And to the ideas that form the future, I would also add the same."  — We learned a similar lesson with our chat rooms and message boards; most people were going there to say their piece, not listen to others and discuss.  Providing a forum is not the same as conducting a conversation.  If the future is able to come up with a new way to conduct conversation it'll be a bigger revolution than most people realize.  Most of our media right now, even when there are guests representing "both sides" consist of nothing more than single perspectives presented in series.

" Readers and potential contributors are not interested in a rehash of events and issues that are already covered by the city's other news media. Rather, they are interested in issues that go largely ignored on the nightly news."  This is the great challenge of integrating citizen journalism with mainstream media.

Related: The rise of the citizen editor

Outsourcing Blogs — Actually, this is the source link.  It's pretty clever and feels a little like a fake reality show about making fake reality shows.  It reminds me a little of that blog writing robot, which turned out to be real, but I think this really is a joke.  (I'll start working on my apology note now in case I'm wrong.)

Ten Precepts From The Art of War That Never Made It Past Sun Tzu's Editor.

Bird Flu: Can We Out-Collaborate a Pandemic?  Part of the point of this is to help increase awareness.  I don't think I've ever seen a list of instructions like this before.  Number nine sounds familiar.  I believe the dark-side version is "fear mongering."


Thanks for pointing me to YouTube.  I'm actually finding some really neat things there.

Did you know 747's could land like this?   

Thanks for all the clicking!

Dear Denise,
Since I already had the Wikipedia spaghetti monster link you sent, I'll take this follow-up note as today's Video of the Day.  I'm wondering how many barf bags this landing filled.

I loved the link for the "new Army recruiting pamphlet"...  I'm just going to assume that the person who wrote that isn't in the military, has never been in the military, and the closest they've ever been to the military is watching the news at night ( which usually portrays the worst of the worst situations and NONE of the positive things the military does for this country, and other countries).   My bet is that the author wouldn't last 2 weeks in Basic Training for the Army.  The author needs to get a real job.  Ohhh the ignorance.
—D.R.L., USAF Active Duty

Dear D.,
Thanks for your perspective.  I took that piece to be a joke about desperation in Army recruiting more than a criticism of military service itself.  Your point it well taken though.  It also made me think of the piece in last Sunday's Times about military members buying creature comforts in Iraq.

Of course, Michael Behe is refuted here by talk origins.

Dear Chris,
Thanks.  A few mails came in about that TalkOrigins site.  It seems to be a pretty comprehensive answer to challenges to evolutionary theory.  I think we can let yours be the last word on the matter for a while.

Hey Will,
During our usual insomniac late-night romp, my friend and I stumbled upon this addictive game: Cow Run. Tonight, our third night, I believe, of playing this game, we completed the 42nd and last level. We realized that the reason we couldn't stop playing is that the concept is so simple, we thought we would feel dumb if we gave up on it.

What a time waster.

Amy St. George

Dear Amy,
Thanks, what a great way to kill off a summer Friday afternoon at work (I imagine).  I even like that the text is in a language I don't understand so it has that extra level of figure-it-out.

August 18, 2005 | 6:49 PM ET

An abbreviated entry today as the day got away from me a little bit.

The links regarding the Gaza disengagement that I mentioned on TV today were:

  • Global Voices — Often a good starting point for international news events.  Scroll a bit to find their Gaza round-ups.
  • Blogrunner — For big news events they aggregate blogs on a single topic.  Sometimes it can be pundit heavy, but because their database is limited, they also week out a lot of the less useful contributions.
  • It was Blogrunner that led me to this helpful round-up.  (The TV folks were looking specifically for blogs from the area.)
  • Raising Yousuf is certainly a local perspective on events, though a newsier and more link-rich option for the (a?) Palestinian side is Rafah Pundits.
  • Shlomo Wollins, the editor at blogged through his own evacuation from Gaza and has quite a bit of self-produced video.
  • And Flickr once again plays a role in delivering poignant images of a significant news event.  " Disengagement" seems to be one of the more active tags.  Also " Gaza."  I still see a lot of professional news photos mixed into the Flickr sets, so I don't think this is the pure citizen reporting outlet a lot of people like to make it out to be, but it still makes for illuminating surfing.

NOTE: These are merely sample links I mentioned in a tiny 90 second TV blip.  These aren't necessarily the most authoritative or most comprehensive and the views expressed in them are not necessarily shared by me.

Speaking of walking on egg shells, Investigating the Biblioblogosphere — Raw stats on some top "library-people" Weblogs.  (The language of this report makes it pretty clear that a lot of the casual terms have had their meanings disputed so the author is doing a fair amount of tip-toeing.)

One example may be this blogger who explains why she doesn't like blog rankings and then goes on to recommend some unsung hero library bloggers.

Speaking of debating blog rankings, This is the official announcement of the Feedster 500 we saw yesterday.  I clicked this round-up of related and background links.  And Jason Calcanis is treating it like a spectator sport.  (Which is not to say it should be  treated more seriously than that, I just mean it's fun to see his enthusiasm.)

Speaking of librarians, The ministry of reshelving — The idea is that you move books in bookstores to different shelves to make a social comment, like putting 1984 in the non-fiction section.  No doubt there are some annoyed Barnes & Noble workers out there.

Speaking of bookstores, What Small Bookstores Can Do (to stay alive)

Converting one-off visitors to your blog into regular readers

More than 300 explosions took place simultaneously in 50 cities and towns across Bangladesh.  Since I was at Global Voices earlier today I also took a look at their coverage.

Dear Holiday Inn — Another case of blogs empowering the customer.

Airborne qualified bloggers

Video of the Day:  Note: Pretty disturbing.  Not unsafe for work in the "boobies" sense, but might not be what you want on your screen when the boss walks by.  People are calling her The Goddess Bunny.  After a bit of searching I was able to find some background at the Metafilter site.  Obviously researching this can take you to some strange places on the Web.  Do so at your own discretion.

Why did the snake bite the man who tried to help it across the road?  Because it is a snake.

The A9 maps beta is just staggering.  If you've ever wished you could zoom in to street level on Google Maps or Virtual Earth, this is pretty much it.  I notice a few things on my block are labeled as being on the next one, but really, this project is so ambitious it's hard to be picky.

LiveJournal reaches eight-million accounts.

HBO enlists Firefox for series promotion (Which may explain the recent Firefox sighting on Entourage.)

Simmery takes the tag cloud idea and mixes it with questions answered voluntarily by users.

Michael Yon: Battle for Mosul — My colleague Meredith points out that he's got a short video of what it looks like when a roadside bomb blows up just a short distance in front of you.  (Click the entry's headline.)

Speaking of the war, "The U.S. Has Lost the Iraq War" — I keep seeing essays about the war being over.  I have to say I don't quite understand it.  Is it poll numbers or the moving of the deadline for the Constitution?  Some people clearly seem to feel we've crossed some kind of threshold so that it's safe to make that determination, but the war still feels the same (and not over) to me.

Strange fossil defies grouping — (Because it's proof of pre-historic alien life!!  [Just kidding. {No I'm not.}])

New patented lens made of liquid paves way for slimmer digital cameras.  How much slimmer can they get?  Pretty soon we'll be cutting our hands on razor cameras.

The new Army recruiting pamphlet — Sounds great!

Photo in the News: Gas Thief Escapes on Tricycle — I would never have guessed that without that headline.

I had almost forgotten that Bill Clinton bombed Afghanistan.  Remember all that fuss about whether it was an aspirin factory or a bomb plant or something?  Was that the same bombing or a different one?  Anyway, The New York Times got caught also not remembering.  Update: The aspirin factory was the Sudan.

Company Plans Video-Playing Tombstones — Can you imagine a graveyard full of video playing tombstones at night?


It's nice to see the Old Dominion so prominently featured today, although the Great iBook Stampede probably is not a good reflection on us. 

Regarding the Monitor/Merrimac Bridge/Tunnel:  You missed the much more fascinating Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which is just to the East.  This structure stretches 17 miles across the mouth of the Bay and dives underwater twice.  Land is not visible for much of the span, although there are an alarming number of roadkill seagulls.

Keep up the good work.  This is one of my must-see daily sites.
Richmond, VA

Re:  A bridge that turns into a tunnel that turns back into a bridge. This is in Virginia?

There are at least three in Virginia, all have pages on the Roads To The Future site.  There's another just across the water from the MMMBT -- the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel on Interstate 64.  And of course there's the relatively well known Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel that is a bridge that turns into a tunnel that turns back into a bridge that turns into a tunnel that turns back into a bridge.

None of them, sadly, have portions that are both bridge and tunnel at varying times.  Now THAT would be cool.
-- Larry MacGregor

In your blog, I've seen this.

A bridge that turns into a tunnel that turns back into a bridge.  This is in Virginia?  How have I not seen this is a Schwarzenegger movie at some point?  (Oh yeah, there it is.)

There's another structure similar to this and that is a 17 mile bridge-tunnel that's worth mentioning. It's Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
Check it out.

- Raj

You were impressed by the Monitor Merrimac?  Go check out a satellite picture of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  It turns into a tunnel and back three times!
Vivian St.George

Dear Entire population of Virginia,
Thanks for all the mail.  It is abundantly clear that I have not spent enough time in the costal areas of your state.
Look for me to drop by any day now,

Uhg! I was dismayed, but not shocked to see the fiasco about the iBooks sale has made national news. I live in Henrico County, and I'm terribly embarrassed by the behavior of my neighbors and the lack of foresight on The County's foresight. You can see my summary of events here. I also caught this on eBay this morning.

BTW, love the blog, It's on my list of sites to visit daily.
Pearson Hurst

Dear Pearson,
That shirt is hysterical.  I think the whole event is emblematic of how little understood the desperation to get wired is.  Even tired old laptops are worth having for people who don't have anything, and the only real education there is out there about what a person needs from a computer comes in the form of "newest latest gadget" hype which isn't really useful at all.  This is definitely an area that is woefully lacking in leadership.

Back in July, you posted a link for entering The Sensory Overload Original Fiction Fictathon, hosted by Ephemera. Those stories are now finished and posted here.

There are some really, really talented folks that turned out. Thought you'd like to check it out.  Your blog is fun, informative, and a great slice of what's out there on the Web.

Dear Grace,
Thanks for the tip.  Looks like a pretty good response.

I wrote a few days ago about a lack of balance in your blog about articles related to ID.  You put the comments in the blog- I felt positively famous!- and so I felt compelled to reply to your request for a (positive) link about Intelligent Design.

I'm really more into books than links, but a few minutes searching on the Web did produce this one.

It is a review written by Michael Behe, a microbiologist who teaches at Lehigh University.  He wrote Darwin's Black Box (1996), which is widely considered one of the best presentations of the "Design argument" ever.  The review is of a book written by Robert Pennock, who wrote a book critical of ID.

It's not flashy or anything, but it does present the basic argument very well.
—Tracy Bezner
Okinawa, Japan

Dear Tracy,
Thanks very much for doing that legwork, I hope you don't mind my posting your follow-up.  I'm sure there are folks out there who appreciate the suggestion to gain a little deeper understanding of what is often a caricatured perspective.

"Quannum Projects" isn't just a project.  It's an independent Bay Area label spearheaded by DJ Shadow.  "I Changed My Mind" is on the Quannum Spectrum compilation.  If you like the song, I recommend it.

Love your blog!

Dear Jordan,
Thanks for the clarification.  I run into these kinds of musical collectives every now and then (particularly in this genre it seems) and while I admire the community feel of it, as an outside I often have a hard time understanding who I'm listening to.  Quannum Projects, Quannum Spectrum, Stereo MCs, Lyrics Born...  a lot of names associated with one song.  I'm glad I tried to sort it out though.

I don't know if you've seen this one, but it's quite interesting.
Jeanie Stenson

Dear Jeanie,
I hadn't seen that, but I did run into this on Putfile's top 10, which has the same goofy quality and kind of looks like the same guy.  I guess they're building a bit of a following.  It feels a little like something that's meant to accompany some kind of Mtv-type show that I'm not familiar with.

Interesting description of troop withdrawal.

Dear Chris,
Yikes!  That's probably the worst case scenario.  I suppose the fact that that hasn't happened is why I don't understand why people are already saying the war is lost.

August 17, 2005 | 11:41 AM ET

The story of the laptop stampede was all over the TV yesterday and it was one of the most viewed stories on this site and reports of it were also among the most traded links.  In addition to the video on our version of the story, I also found the slide show on this one compelling and the slide show here has some shots of what the actual laptops look like.  Most of the treatment I saw of the story was akin to coverage of the stampeding brides at the annual Filenes Basement sale.  I heard one anchor mutter, "Pathetic" about the people involved.  Am I the only one who thinks this is an alarming sign of how desperate the digital divide has become?  Do you see a connection to iPod muggings?

Distant MS cousin Robert Scoble points to a fellow blogger who explains that Web 2.0 is not about the technology.  Briefly, Web 2.0 is about the Internet reaching a new level of utility.  (Better explanation from Wikipedia.)  Remember when Jason Kottke wanted to talk about the future of the Internet without talking about all the new Internet toys?  That's what the Web 2.0 smart kids are doing now, trying to understand a new philosophy and new conceptualization of the Internet.

Speaking of Wikipedia, the question of whether the BBC abused the open, collaborative format of that service to promote a game has been roiling the online world through the first half of the week.  Boing Boing has followed (actually led) the coverage of the story through its various permutations, including the broader issue of how to keep marketers away from open communities.

Speaking of Boing Boing and getting punked, it was gratifying to see that I'm not the only one who gets burned by links that turn out to be not what I thought they were.  (The video is still funny though.

Ten most important Xbox 360 launch games.  Given the glaring hole in my knowledge base on this subject and the distinct likelihood that video games will take over the world as the chief form of entertainment, I'm trying to play closer attention to general articles like this.

Blogger for Word — A lot of bloggers compose their entries in a Word document before pasting it into the blogware template.  Now users of Blogger software can add a button to their MS word and automatically send their Word doc to their blog.  That's some handy stuff.

A bridge that turns into a tunnel that turns back into a bridge.  This is in Virginia?  How have I not seen this is a Schwarzenegger movie at some point?  (Oh yeah, there it is.)

Speaking of Google Maps, I didn't know they had a commercial.  Do they play this on TV?

Could toilet paper actually be the next frontier in affordable luxury?

Evangelical scientists refute gravity with new 'Intelligent Falling' theory.

" Things I Used to Teach That I No Longer Believe"  Jay Rosen with more thought provoking material on journalism.  For all the journalist hand wringing out there, I don't often see much effort made to educate the public on how to be a better news consumer.  Since so much journalism seems audience driven lately, that might be the best way to improve the quality of journalism.

Folks have been calling YouTube the Flickr of video.  I've been keeping a casual eye out for something good to post here.  Lots of cute baby videos, but this one caught my eye today:
The Best Things in Life Are Prohibited

How to build a flame thrower — Really it's "how to build a really powerful super soaker," which happens to shoot flames if you put flammable stuff in it.  It should go without saying that no one in their right mind should try to build a flame thrower.  Scroll to the bottom for short video.

Newsweek has (probably unintentionally) written a political Rorschach test .  Either this is a kiss-up puff piece for Bush or it's a thinly veiled slap in the face, depending on your disposition.

The popsicle stick boat we saw yesterday has set sail.  I only relay this link because I think it's funny that the British call them "lollysticks."

Speaking of what the British eat, Commuter Click: Shelf Abuse — I haven't finished reading it yet, but it seems to make the case that poor eating habits in the UK is the fault of supermarkets.

I know we've seen the balancing point videos before, but I don't remember ever seeing the backwards ones.  (They get better as the clip goes on.)  This is a big file so it takes a little while to load.  The host site has a lot of cool stuff and no thumbnails to worry about, but I found it to be a little slow, perhaps because of the popularity of the above link.

What's not slow and is fun to play with is Albino Blacksheep.  I like the silly ones.  (Warning, this can be a serious time sucker.)

What got me mired in the Albino Blacksheep site was that it showed up really high on the Feedster's top 500 blogs list.

It's good to talk, but we've lost the art of conversation — I was hoping for a how-to or "tips" column but instead this is more of a tribute to good talking and good talkers.

You may have seen the news that the Able Danger official has identified himself.  I clicked the analysis here and here.

LaShawn Barber poses an interesting question and tries to keep the discussion of it civil.  The idea is that if you believe in the right to abortion, are there ethical situations by which you feel that right should be curtailed?  LaShawn's example is if abortion were being used to terminate gay-gened babies.

Incidentally, LaShawn is also seeing a lot of traffic to her post critical of bloggers making a political football of Cindy Sheehan.

LaShawn's question is really a sort of flip of the more common question we hear.  If you oppose abortion, is there anything so good that could come from abortion that you might soften that position?  Like say... Scientists make nerve stem cells from human embryonic stem cells?

Speaking of exciting new medical advances, crocodile blood may yield powerful new drugs .

My search index is bigger than your search index.  Is your google bigger than your yahoo?

Chris Nolan misses the days when the media ran the media circuses.

The Singularity is coming... look busy.

" More brain flexing = more learning."  He's talking about "smackdowns" as a learning technique, basically pitting two ideas against each other.

These guys are traveling across the country on a Segway at 10 mph and filming a documentary about it.

The karate master

I'll post some mail a little later.  I just wanted to get the links out before lunch.

August 16, 2005 | 10:47 AM ET

Engineers modify hybrids for more power ... some models go up to 250 mpg .

Speaking of desirable hybrids, let's hope this is the look of the future.  Interesting that these are coming from home garages and high school shop classes.

Keeping with the theme: Start-up sees new dawn for old solar tech

And think just of all the energy that'll be saved with new urine-powered urine testers.  I wonder how scalable this urine power is.  Ever seen the trough urinal at a baseball stadium during the 7th inning stretch?  Talk about hydro!

Are all of these links coming up because of the jump in gas prices?

Common sense versus uncommon sense — Scroll down to see scientists respond to John Horgan's "In Defense of Common Sense."

Speaking of science that defies common sense, how about tiny cosmic missiles rocking the earth?

The new Fleep house mix seems to have put that site's link into popular exchange.  (I downloaded it but only just started listening.)

Speaking of musical accompaniment, did you see HBO's Entourage this week?  I hunted down that song that was playing while the credits rolled.  You can hear it free compilation site called the Quannum Project.  The player is at the bottom of the page.  It's "I changed my mind."

A billion year old Mac-bashing video puts some Mac fans on edge.  UPDATE:  The host site does have some non-worksafe content (some sexy video clips) so click with caution.  Thanks Steve!

Speaking of teasing the cool kids' toys: Linux Supervillains is our Video of the Day.

What if Google wanted to give Wi-Fi access to everyone in America?

Is Social Mobility on the Decline? — The conclusion of this one seems to be that it's OK if some people have no hope of joining the societal elite as long as they're not impoverished.  I wonder how much it would change the character of America if Americans believed that.

Word that Cindy Sheehan's husband is seeking a divorce has soured me on giving the whole thing too much attention.  The link storm continues to explore how to attack her without attacking a soldier's mom, and how to exploit her without exploiting a soldier's mom, and how to reproduce whatever it is that has made her such an effective advocate for her cause, but the story at the heart of it is just so sad.

One Sheehan link I clicked that was worth passing along includes links to the Google Maps coordinates of the protest site and the president's ranch.  I don't know why I thought it was like she was standing next to his mailbox at the end of a drive way.  They're really quite far away.

A primer on Drug War panic for morons in journalism — You may have heard media critics talk about "scripts" in how the news is presented.  The word we hear more lately is "framing."  This is a collection of ways to frame any news into an anti-drug message.

"The visibility of each country on the map results from the quantity of media coverage the country receives, so those countries that do not make the news disappear progressively."

Plane struck by lightning — I saw this linked in a few places but didn't see any word on whether the plane landed smoothly.  Looks fierce.

Can you spot the real scientist?  Sorry, gets a little hostile toward the end.

Al Qaida with a 15-year, 7 step plan?

" It's a map of 33,000 English nouns. Each tiny rectangle corresponds to a noun. The color of the rectangle has been assigned a color, based on an internet image search for that noun."

Arianna Huffington and Ana Marie Cox lock horns over Huffington's recent Judith Miller post.  Kind of a "gotcha" duel.

Speaking of reversing a gotcha, is the 9/11 Commission owed an apology?

Tracking the Technorati rumor I participated in spreading last week.  Significant quote from part 2:  "A blogger who amplifies a story is, fundamentally, more influential than a blogger that posts the original buzz-worthy article."

Speaking of rumors, how 'bout this one:  NPR to start podcasting?

Just for fun: Useless skills

Creator hopes to sail boat made of 15 million ice cream sticks across Atlantic

Ebert hated the new Deuce Bigalow.  If you like reading bad reviews for the sheer schadenfreud of it, you'll like this one.  I think its popularity is probably what has people also linking to the list of Ebert's most hated.

Japanese propaganda booklet from World War II

Speaking of anti-American propaganda, The Enemies We Make — Are Americans to blame when we are such successful and prolific creators of anti-American propaganda?  Can audiences overseas tell the difference between anti-Bush and anti-America?

3-D photorealism — Can you tell that they're not photos?

Pill Monitors Athletes' Body Heat

Speaking of putting technology in the body, Nanotubes may heal broken bones — It sounds like they'd stay inside you after the bone healed.  I know people already walk around with plates and bolts and pace makers inside them, but it still gives me pause.

Speaking of high-tech body parts, "Japanese researchers have developed a flexible artificial skin that could give robots a humanlike sense of touch."

The plate tip technique — For some reason this reminds me a little of eating a Snickers bar with a knife and fork.  I intend to start eating this way immediately.

Where companies got their names

7 mistakes for your first week blogging

Etsy — Like a giant online craft fair.

New vocab word:  A splog is a spam blog.

Flickr tag fight — Love beats hate, but war beats peace.  Also an interesting way to see what tags people are using if you're unsure of what you yourself should use.  If you have shots of the 7/7 London attacks, do you tag them as blasts or bombings?

Photos of old arcade tokens

You don't hear much about it on TV, but for a lot of bloggers avian flu is a big concern — and a growing one .

To the Mailbag! ~For my regular dose of what-you-got-wrong.

About the PC article, that was dated June 28, 2004. It appeared in the July edition of PC World.

Dear Matthew,
Thanks, I didn't realize it was double published like that.  Based on your tip I was able to find the original article.

It's absurd to suggest that Sheehan supporters are going to get violent (or whatever you were suggesting) because they are bored. I went to Crawford on the 13th and it was peaceful and inspiring. It's very disappointing that this country immediately thinks that dissent means rioting or something.
Lance Wechsler
Austin, TX

Dear Lance,
I didn't mean to imply that the Sheehan crew were riotous or threatening in and of themselves.  What worries me are the many things that can spoil that peaceful scene.  What happens if the local officials decide they don't like a make-shift campground in their town?  What happens if counter-protestors inflame tempers?  ( These look peaceful but still enrage this blogger.)  What happens if less patient, less peaceful anti-war protestors decide to join the cause?  What happens when local Bush supporters sit in the booth next to anti-Bush visitors at the local Denny's?  Heck, this guy's little stunt almost counts as an ugly scene in itself.

If Cindy Sheehan's vigil reaches its end on the 31st without incident it will be a tribute to the self-restraint of all involved.

Hi Will,
The "Hipster PDA" is not just a notebook and a pencil. That's just a notebook and a pencil. A "Hipster PDA" is a concept derived from the site you linked to about Jefferson's system. Merlin with is credited with the term "Hipster PDA" and it is explained - with photos - here.

Mike Swickey

Dear Mike,
Thanks for that clarification.  I remember when that link was going around.  I think that because I always carry a notebook and pen, I just made the mental association and left out the Getting Things Done organizational part.  My colleague Beth also shared this Flickr group.

"Commander Keen "Invasion of the Vorticons" Episode One: Marooned on Mars" — A Mario-like video game."


I mean, seriously, dude.

Commander Keen is the side-scroller that got Romero and Carmack on the might remember those guys as the heads of the team that developed "DOOM" and turned the first-person-shooter genre on its ear.


This Flash version/ripoff is, well...exactly what I'd expect from a Flash version. And there could be some trademark/copyright issues here, too.

Dear JBM,
Thanks again for your insights.  Obviously I am not well versed in the video game history so I appreciate the help.  I just click 'em.  At least that explains why so many people were linking to it.  Though now I wonder if they were linking in mockery rather than recommendation.

For what it's worth, I do run into a few cheap flash versions of famous games every now and then.  I get the impression that it's meant to be a tribute more than it's a rip-off. 

(Note to self, these games are called "side-scrollers."  Don't call them "Mario-like.")


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments