Why the slowball rules the sandlot

May 7, |

"Children cannot hit slow balls because their brains are ."



  -What we need is someone to invent is porous concrete so we don't upset the water tables when we lay down acres of roads and parking lots.

  -Parents will want to note the filter features.

You know I love maps.  Here's a really great interactive .  Sort of the equivalent of our .  I'd like to get on a t-shirt.

Yesterday we saw the new Google web accelerator.  Today it seemed like everywhere I clicked I was reading a criticism of it.  Some of the criticism is a bit technical, but this is what I clicked:

  • " across the globe salivated at the thought of using yet another Google-produced product, once again passing over the fact that every business decision in Google's headquarters - and I repeat EVERY business decision - is made with the bottom line of earning more money."
  • - an alert for web app designers
  • "Right before he clicked on the "upload" button, the person at Google who put the Web Accelerator online probably took a nice big swig ."
  • Not specifically about the accelerator: "Across the Atlantic, Google is coming to be seen as yet another symbol of American cultural hegemony, ."

  I opened this page and went off clicking and came back and I swear it's a different color now (redish) than it was then (blue).

There's playing with your food and then there's playing the food.  Highlights from the “” contest.

Hey, check it out, I got to interview this morning.  (Yes, I know it's not a podcast.)

"Survey Finds That 84 Percent Of Marketers Plan To In 2005"  Woo hoo! Bring it on!

:  Who says you can't take it with you?

"[I]n one industry after another, from life insurance to used cars, the Web has eliminated the expert's upper hand by giving once-exclusive information to the online masses. But some industries have been slow to change - ."  In short, have real estate agents been ripping us off?

Only 364 days until the next .

  -NPR's ombudsman wrestles with the relationship between blogs and a traditional news organization, with particular emphasis on the bloggers we saw earlier in the week who stripped the redactions from the Pentagon memo.

Earlier today I clicked a link to what folks were calling the most unfortunate logo ever.  That link is now down, but location.  When it comes to subliminal/accidental logos, I've always been partial to the .

" is intended to assist students with their mastery and appreciation for the field of cognitive psychology."  I like these free Web lessons, but I wonder what I would have thought of them as a student.

One of those games.  Looks like a good rainy weekend diversion.

Video of the day: .  I didn't click on much compelling video today, but the first person perspective of this one makes it pretty exhilarating.

To the mailbag:

Hey Will -
As you're probably aware, there's a fascinating and controversial process playing out in Topeka, Kansas. A subcommittee of the state Board of Education is holding hearings on whether changes should be made to the teaching of evolution.

As a public service, Audible.com is offering free audio downloads of the complete hearings [May 5-7, with an additional session scheduled for May 12].
Short registration is required [name & email address].

We would welcome a link to .  The audio from Day 1 is already up; we'll be adding each session day by day.

Thanks!
Steve Feldberg
Programming Director - Audible, Inc.

Dear Steve,
Thanks for the tip.  I'm not aware of anyone else offering this.  Since there's so much coverage and commentary on the case, , it's probably worth checking out the primary material.
Cheers,
Will

Will-
About the link to the movie "Serenity" in your 4/28/05 blog- wasn't that movie already a Fox TV show called "Firefly"?
Ross

Dear Ross,
I hadn't looked into the matter much, but today I clicked this headline:

So yes, it turns out the movie is a continuation of the TV show, with a little gap in between that will be filled by a comic book mini-series.  I understand the show was celebrated by fans, but I only watched a few of them.  Now that it's off the air I'm glad I didn't follow too closely.  After Farscape I don't know if I can bear to have my heart broken again.  (Cue violins.)

May 5, |

One way not to live longer is to get on the U.S. most wanted list.  of "good news" fame shows some before and after pictures of some of America's most wanted bad guys. 

Some religions are more equal than others.  An argument you don't hear too often about mixing religion and government is that if you're going to let one religion in, you have to .

There's actually quite a bit of pro/con religion back and forth in the blogosphere today.  I don't want to go overboard, but I found interest in criticizing the demonization of religion.

In other religion news, Rebecca MacKinnon helps bring light to the .  I don't think it's a hoax, but... well, I'm not going to make fun.  Good for them.  There's an mp3 too.

Commuter Click: talks about the origins of open source materials.

From the learn something new every day department, after tsking my tongue through I learned that there's quite an online database built around the song .

"On mission along the border of Chad and Darfur, Human Rights Watch researchers gave children notebooks and crayons to keep them occupied while they spoke with the children’s parents. Without any instruction or guidance, scenes from their experiences of the war in Darfur."

.  Can't go a day without a Star Wars click.

.

Some inventions seem inspired but I guess I'm just not in the target audience:

  • The dawn of a .
  • The is out in beta now.  The is that when you click a search result that page comes up more quickly.  I'm still trying to decide if that was a problem that needed solving.
  •   -This is one of those pages I just have to remember is here in case it ever comes up.  I don't have a concrete example of when I've needed this.
  • :  "[B]y touching the projection screen, the user is able to send parts of the image forward or backwards in time."  Lots of interesting explanatory video.  Though it feels like a novelty, I can't help but think there's some future potential for this.

The  new is out.  I think I'll wait for it on HBO.

tips us to an embed .

Video of the Day: This is a seriously , so I've been hesitant to link to it, but it's been on popular video lists for at least a few weeks, so the hosts must have the ability to keep distributing.  If you enjoy ridiculously cheesy videos, it's worth your time to let it download while you click elsewhere.

.  Well, maybe not "us" but at least "them."

Speaking of video games:  Time sucking game of the day:

In the mailbag today Deanna Swift of reports that my cable colleagues got burned by her site's hoax, highlighted here .

Says Swift:

Ok-- gets more and more ridiculous. Apparently MSNBC called the Traditional Values Coalition in response to the Swift Report's hoax story, hoping to book someone from our phony group.I love that they give 'Rev. Roy DeLong' the last word!

I guess my warning came too late.

Other mailbag items:

Owned has been around for a number of years. It is a term initially used by Quake players when they schooled someone... this evolved into pwnd, a common typo popularized.
Thank you,
TJ Downes

Dear TJ,
Thanks for that explanation.  I would have guessed it was a sports expression.  Luckily your letter arrived before I had to make that guess.
Cheers,
Will

please, i notice all the time, iguess because no one else does it??, that when you use single dashes, you run them right into the next following text?  -you must be meaning to do that?, since you do it everywhere.  it looks odd.

but msnbc doesn't do it, nor does bbc.
-techne

Dear Techne,
I think I know what you're talking about.

An example -You don't like when I type a phrase, skip a space, then a hyphen and a full sentence.

I actually agree that it's awkward.  I've been considering making the first phrase of each item bold, or learning how to properly use a semi-colon.  What's weird is that I didn't think anyone cared about this but me.  I'll try to pay closer attention.
Regards,
Will

May 4, |

"A spacecraft rides a beam of plasma, which is electrified and magnetized gas, all the way to Mars and back. The roundtrip journey could be wrapped up in about 90 days using system, dubbed Magbeam."  That idea sounds .

Speaking of space, Lockheed Martin unveils its proposed .  More diagrams .

Still speaking of space: Video of the Day:  , featuring Obi Wan Cannoli, Chewbroccoli and Darth Tater.  Resist the dark side of the farm.

Julia Keller has rights to one of the biggest I-told-you-sos ever.  She called the blogging trend .

Speaking of looking back in time, when it was objectionable to make coarse jokes about the President.

The new trailer looks awesome.  Let's hope all the good parts aren't contained in this one clip.

I think I missed whatever horrible crime committed, but he's certainly drawn a nice set of lessons from the experience.  Worth reading so you don't have to learn them yourself.

Speaking of lessons, has been popular for the last few days.  I keep looking for one particular thing to jump out at me, but I guess the point is the aggregate.  It's a long list of scientists answering, "If you could teach the world just one thing..."

  -Not everyone sees the same Internet.

Everyone's talking about the .

is seeing a lot of links to its stream of the Bright Eyes anti-Bush performance on Leno the other day.  The video is crashed from the traffic right now, but I found a lot of other stuff there to play with.  I missed .

Ohio is in the grips of a peculiar scandal involving huge .

Commuter Click: "Evolutionary biologist explains why God is a delusion, religion is a virus, and America has slipped back into the Dark Ages."  Them's fightin' words.

Alternate Commuter Click for people who are sick of fighting about religion:  New Yorker Fiction:   I read the first few paragraphs and decided to print it out.

I should probably save this for Friday but... "A Complete Waste Of Time WARNING: Do Not Read This If You Have Work To Do!!!!!!!!!"  Basically a .

I had heard that nail clippers and other dangerous deadly weapons confiscated at airports were auctioned on eBay, but this is the first time I've seen .

Yesterday I mentioned "sheet smoothers."  Turns out this is done by hand.  Here's

  -I've seen some of these on their own.  This is the first time I've seen them collected on a site with an attribution.

May 4, |

Dear Will's Boss,
Will can't come to work today, he has a touch of .
Signed,
Will's Doctor

P.S.  I know it's in poor taste to make a joke about a disease that's killing people, but in this case it's OK because it's a left-over April Fool's joke.  I have no idea why it's resurfacing now, but it does seem to fit into a theme of pranksterism online lately.  I'm not sure if this is a natural reaction to the blogosphere taking itself so seriously all the time, or if there's something else stirring.

The knotted brow, wrinkled chin types are always warning us about the credibility of bloggers, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that some bloggers (and others) would take pleasure in poking that sore spot. 

Another thought (I know, this is supposed to be what I clicked, not what I babbled, I'm almost done) is that the spirit of news blogging and the new online journalism involves using your head.  There are so many unquestioning echo chambers and general if-it's-blog-it's-booked uncritical bandwagoning, the next big media embarrassment may not be an out-checking of facts, but an outright hoax.

Last week we saw some confusion over a parody on Right Radio.  This week another parody has folks guessing:  . ?

Drudge may have been finked (what?), but that's OK, salaciousness trumps credibility every time.  Did you hear about and her late night phone calls?  More! More!

Speaking of American Idol, some folks want to counter any preferential treatment by the show's judges and balance the scales with a little counter-voting.  .

Since we're on a hoax theme today, this can be the .  Watch the whole thing, it's quick.

By the way, I've really been liking this service.  As I understand it, they host videos for free.  Of course, you have to link to them directly, but I like it because small users can submit their videos and not worry about getting clobbered with a bandwidth bill if their video catches viral fire.  Plus, they rank popular video and flash files, so I can stay true to this blog's purpose.

A lot of folks are sharing of a local news report about a man being killed by a police taser.  What's interesting is that I also watched about fainting goats, about Army recruiting, and from a Sunday talk show (Stephanopoulos with Pat Robertson, in case you missed it).  Anyone else sensing a pattern?

Why is everyone baby blog? 

Speaking of sharing family milestones, here's .

Wired looks at last week's story.  More interesting is the mention of a public affairs company that now has .

And then I clicked this piece about .  Sounds like there's a new field of marketing opening up.  (Someone is likely going to write and tell me that this is old news, but that's OK, I'd be interested to hear it.) 

select their favorite columnists.  Actually, I find the list of participants more useful than the actual results.

.

Satanists line up at around the world...

In a bit of old fashioned news blogging, holds the L.A. Times' feet to the fire on their edits to a Reuters story about the U.S. shooting of an Italian translator.  Check the updates for furthering of the discussion.

Speaking of that case, it turns out the government didn't understand what it was doing, or more correctly wasn't doing, when it parts of the report.  is being credited with the discovery.  I'm not sure if followed the blogger or if others did the same trick.  Didn't this happen once before?

Speaking of leaking secret papers, the British press is having fun with . -particularly significant given their approaching elections.

Some bloggers are getting together to start called Pajamas Media.  The most thorough explanation I've seen of the idea , but even then I'm not sure I completely get it.  It sounds a little like the .  I'm also trying to tell if the advertising emphasis is put there by the report or if that's what distinguishes this effort.  If all the rightie A listers unite under a single heading, thus removing them from the ranks of the rabble, the term "bloggers" may radically change in meaning.  (P.S. As you might guess, the project has .)

Speaking of secrets, leaks details (spoilers) of the new Star Wars.  (If you don't want to ruin the movie for yourself but you're curious what he thought of it, he loved it.)

LANL Director George P. Nanos shut down the entire laboratory in July, 2004, citing "egregious" security and safety violations. The results of the shutdown include a cost to the taxpayer of approximately $850 million, an exodus of highly talented staff members, and the loss of untold millions of dollars of funding from customers who have taken their business elsewhere. provides an uncensored LANL forum.

(More explanation from The New York Times.)

the Superstar (and remarkably compliant) Squirrel.

Needless to say, is circulating around the office here in Secaucus.  Although the story getting picked up by bloggers from the new edition of The Onion is about the real victims in this time of tense international relations.

, a movie poster blog

.  It would make an even worse idea as a dishwasher or worse yet, a bed maker.  What do you mean there's no such thing as a bed maker?  How do the sheets get all smooth like that?

The Star Wars site is calling this .  As much as I like the idea of a Star Wars (John Williams) music video, I'm not sure this is it.  How is this any different from a movie trailer?

Now is a movie music video!

Speaking of Hitchhiker's Guide songs:

: Overthinking the idiot box.  Justify your TV time-wasting by being thoughtful about it.

This is the police!  Step away from the !  In other news, the U.S. declared war on Mexico...

:  They took words from President Bush and edited them to say things he didn't say and then set it to a dance beat.  Regardless of what you think of the politics of it, it's hard not to be impressed with the work that must have gone into this.  Some of the dirty word parts can be a bit juvenile.

at intelligent design sparks a lengthy discussion in the comments section.

  -This could be the title for the blogosphere as a whole, but in this case it's about Europeans condemning the U.S. for human rights abuses.

.  The button on the bottom on the right appears to be a "next" button.

  Spam ruins everything.

Speaking of technologies that may or may not catch on, here's .

"An Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative experiment in the creation of visual art through the tapping of the collective unconscious..."

A colleague of mine was just asking the other day if a was possible.  I guess it is.

now lists all their podcasts

Commuter Click:

Seeming somehow related: .

The is for when you're sick of coming up with passwords for all the different sites you sign into.  (You don't use the same password for all of them, do you?)  I haven't actually tried this, but it's a neat idea.

  -As you might guess, the correct way is not with one leg over the arm rest and one arm over the back rest.

A defend the castle game called .  I don't know anything about the real game, but this is pretty fun.

:  Everything you always wanted to know about blogging but were afraid to ask.  This isn't the typical "how to blog" guide.  There's actual useful info for people who are beyond the beginner stage.

, the edgier sibling of hedge trimming and whatever they call it when a farmer plows someone's portrait in a field.

:  I love this idea.  We've seen variations on it in the past but it looks like it's getting closer to being something a normal person can do.  The idea is that you can take a picture of a place and then plot that picture on a map.  Great for stories, tours, news, directions...

You've probably seen the site before.  I wasn't sure what had brought it back to the fore until a found myself clicking for a real, but no less surreal aircraft.

catalogs banned books.