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January 2004

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Friday January 30, 7:28am

My missing USB thumb Drive turned up in a pair of pants after being MIA for over a week. :) Some tech is just too small.

Thursday January 29, 7:25am

Let's Go Surfing

Very good and brief article on the history and overview of the past and current state of comic books.

Wally Wood's 22 Comic Panels that always work.
via boing boing

Hey Ya! Charlie Brown, cool little video for the Outkast song made from Peanuts animated clips.
via Boing Boing

Wednesday January 28, 12:54pm

Little Story

Ah the wonders of technology... While IMing someone back and forth, a friend of mine calls... briefly I attempt to carry on the telephone call and the messaging chat simultaneously, but being unable to focus and be fully engaged with both, I told my friend I'd call him back. So 20 minutes later or so I call him back and he's a little distracted as he is now IMing someone himself and has to let me go.

I suppose that would be disappointing if it wasn't for the fact that I still have to check my email ;)

Monday January 26, 1:41am

Word of the Day
ca·pa·cious adj. - Able or qualified to make large views of things, as in obtaining knowledge or forming designs; comprehensive; liberal.


After a trip to the grocery store today, I have to ask what's going on with Crest? Multi-Action Whitening, Dual Action Whitening, Extra Whitening, Whitening Fresh Mint... and about five other types of Whitening, all packaged in holographic metallic blind-your-eyes can't tell them apart packaging. Do they make regular Crest any more? I just want to brush my teeth. What exactly is the subtle difference between a half dozen different whitening toothpastes... this is a simple product that has just gotten way too complicated. Y'know, I just want to brush my teeth: brush, spit, rinse.

Comments on TV: The Golden Globes

First off it is brilliant that The Office won the Golden Globe for best television comedy! Best quote during the acceptance speech by Ricky Gervaise: "I'm not from these parts, I'm from a little place called England, we used to run the world before you."

Then Ricky Gervaise later won best comedy actor as well. That guy cracks me up. Quote dryly spoken as David Brent, "Bookends."

Tyra Banks is going to be on Matt LeBlanc Friend's spin-off Joey? hmmmm....

And one more from the Golden Globes: Why does Sarah Jessica Parker keep winning so many awards for Sex and the City? The character hasn't changed much throughout the show and it really hasn't been that good the last couple years.

Let's Go Surfing

A little fun and the President's expense.
via a friend from work

Rumor has it that the Sci-Fi Network miniseries "Battlestar Galactica" will go on for six more episodes. Cool!

Build your own mini-iPod.

Apparently today is Internet Free Day
via fark

Probably NSFW... Bodyscapes which are supposed to be artistic I suppose but they remind me more of those weird Holograms that showed up in the malls of america in the mid 80s
via fark

I've just discovered Arts and Letters Daily from Chris Scheil's Blog so here come a bunch of links:

Measuring morals, Researchers ask if Americans are cheating more often -- and what can be done about it

Frank's outlook may seem more optimistic than Callahan's, but his results actually bolster Callahan's observations. That is to say, we base our behavior partly on trust. And if we really do live in a society that tolerates and predicts cheating, we are that much more likely to cheat.
Frank offers a place for the emotions in his model, but they are subordinate to reason. Sympathy and guilt evolved to help us make choices that are in the long run rational, he argues, even if in the short term they compel us to override what appears to be our most rational option. But isn't it possible for emotions to be ends unto themselves? Might we make rational choices to avoid negative emotions and seek positive ones, whatever the impact on our material self-interest?
via arts and letters daily

An amusing article about writing jokes for President Clinton while in office.
via arts and letters daily

When you read articles like this you really have to wonder why any sane person would consent to participating in the construction of a nuclear weapon. And how insane someone would have to be to actually do so.
via arts and letters daily

Here's an interesting article on the unintended effects of the cellphone that I have pondered myself recently. I also particularly related to the quote: It's increasingly common for cell-phone conversations to begin with the question, "Where are you?"
via arts and letters daily

Cool little deck of card sized wireless router

Thursday January 21, 9:04pm

Pic of the Day

Tuesday January 20, 8:01am

The President's State of the Union Speech is tonight at 9pm.

Monday January 19, 11:52pm

... and I didn't fall on my butt even once.

Sunday January 17, 9:11pm


It's really easy to collect tons of stuff because left to its own accord stuff just naturally collects. This would be be fine except for the fact that left to its own accord the collection of stuff also degenerates into chaos. I have scientifically proven these theorems because I am fortunate enough to have several large closets and a room set aside with the sole purpose of being filled with stuff. Not really a complaint, just an observation. Next time--- thoughts on dust :)

Comments on TV

The truly delightful episode of Cartoon Network's Duck Dodgers where Daffy Duck gets Hal Jordan's Green Lantern ring and costume in a dry cleaners mix-up, teams up with virtually every major-minor member of the corp ever and goes up against a Sinestro, voice-played mirthfully in over-the-top fashion, replayed today. For Green Lantern fans, it is definitely one of the most fun half hours of television. Try to catch it in reruns sometime!

Comments on Comics

Here's something a little different: My Faith in Frankie

Issue 1 (Carey/Liew/Hempel) The top of the comic has the teaser heading: "A jealous god or a boyfriend back form the dead. Who would you choose?". Inside the title splash page explains the premise of the book:

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Moxon's got it all: suspiciously good luck, top grades, great looks and guaranteed happiness. Because Frankies's got something going for her that's really unique: her own, personal god.

His name is Jeriven and he's been hovering over Frankie ever since she was born, sorting out her troubles and smoothing her way through the world. But the golden girl is about to discover the one thing that could possibly sour such a sweet, sweet deal.


Because the last thing Jeriven wants is for his single, solitary worshipper to lose her heart. At least, not to some other guy who just came back from the dead. So now Frankie has to choose between true romance and her jealous god.

The only problem with this book is it is not structured in the serial nature of the individual comic and it would have best been released as a single collected trade paperback. The art is fun and fresh, the dialog is quick and punchy and the premise is just a little left of standard to make this an entertaining read. No tights or superheroes here and it's by Vertigo so it's a little edgy and ain't Archie fare. My recommendation: Pick this one up, or if you don't get to the comic store, look for it on the book shelves in 6 months or so when it gets collected in book form.

Lets Go Surfing

  • Site featuring the work of movie poster artist Bob Peak featuring illustrated movie posters for movies such as: Star Trek's 1-6, Superman, Camelot, Excalibur, Funny Girl and many many many more.
    via delicious
  • Checkout these Sidewalk Chalk drawings by some British guy.
    via Metafilter
  • Vintage Grocery Store Photos. Alot of additional vintage imagery on the same site
    via J-Walk Blog
  • Bud Light Real Men of Genius/Real American Hero Radio Commercials in MP3 This is a great collection of files for a fantastic radio campaign... I have these interspersed throughout my MP3 collection random jukebox play.
    via Memepool
  • Really cool little caricature creating site. Use the drop down menus to select face attributes in "real-time" to create the caricature.
    via J-Walk Blog
  • Here's an interesting observation/story from Warren Ellis' Blog probably NSFW
    ...As far as my daughter knows, TiVo has always been around. Now that she (and our TiVo) are three years old, and there are some very interesting things I've been able to observe.

    ...she doesn't watch much TV... but when she does watch it, she gets a choice of a recent episode of any of her favorite pre-recorded shows (current favorites are Dora the Explorer and Caillou), and she can watch it at any time of day... How can we demonstrate to her the evils of commercial interruption, when she has never had to experience it?... she has no idea when her favorite shows are on, never has. She gets quite confused when we are watching a non-TiVo TV, and she asks to watch ''a kids show'', and we have to explain that this TV won't do what ours at home does. We've sometimes shortened this explanation to ''This TV is broken'', which she seems to accept, and will wait until we get home to watch our ''fixed'' TV...


  • Pretty much along the lines of the caricature site above, Cartoon Network, DC Comics and Hostess invite you to enter their "Create Your Own Superhero" Sweepstakes with valuable prizes etc. Pick different heads, body types, colors and their favorite Hostess snacks cake!

    Saturday January 16, 9:35pm

    Comments on TV

    Teen Titans: Every Dog Has His Day
    Airdate:1/17/2004 9pm

    General plot: Beast Boy gets captured by a bizarre stonehedge headed alien with the personality and voice of the abominable snowman from the Bugs Bunny "I'll love him and name him George" cartoons when he is mistaken for the alien's run away green dog.

    uh... yeah... definitely the show has returned to it's lighter kid friendly direction this week.

    New Episode Next Week: An arc episode introducing Terra and featuring Slade (Deathstroke) as the villain.

    Saturday January 16, 8:53pm

    This and That

    My Internet provider, Corecomm in Grand Rapids, has filed for Chapter 11. They anticipate no change to the Internet service at this time. I have had Voyager, which was purchased by CoreComm for 9 years now, and I have been very happy with them as a dial-up Internet provider. I highly recommend them, here's hoping their reorganization goes well and that my site and Internet email does not spontaneously disapear.

    I saw Tim Burton's Big Fish last week, I haven't done one of my mini-reviews yet, but it was a good movie, Go See.

    Butterfly Effect comes out next Friday, and Along Came Polly, out now, is also on the top of my to-see-list.

    Let's Go Surfing

    Mazdas TRANSFORM! Neat CG animation from Mazda at the North American Auto Show. Worth a look. As a side note, how long do you figure it will be before they make a live-action/CG Transformers Movie?

    Christopher Reeve will make his second appearance as Dr. Swan, on WB's Smallville in April.

    I get a daily Google News Alert for news about the superhero: "Green Lantern", toys and comics of which I have collected since I was a kid, here's a strange hit titled: INMATE Loses Fight For Porn where Green Lantern gets mentioned.

    Quote of the Day
    Wednesday: "Convince Me!"
    Friday: "You're not the department's "Jacob Nielsen"..."
    Saturday: "...yeah it was weird though because afterward they were all really mellow."

    Wednesday January 13, 7:30pm

    Tech Trivia

    My fairly recently acquired Ion 50 mini-cam lasts about 5 days in standby before needing to be recharged (ie: I haven't recharged it since Friday and the battery died today, taking the last couple days worth of pictures with it. The memory requires power to hold the pictures.) No great loss, other than a lack of "Pics of the Day" for today. Other than the battery life which is itself generally pretty good, the ION 50 is a delightful little $60 mini-digital camera.

    Let's Go Surfing

    • Very neat idea....HP has invented special CDs that have a laser sensitive topside. You burn your CD and then after it is done, the computer prompts you to flip over the disc. Then the software directs your regular CD Burner to laser your CD label directly into the disk itself's special laser sensitive emulsion. No ink, labels or special CDr equipment (other than the disks, of course) required.
    • More moon misdirection.
      Bush's plan, the official said, calls for sending exploring robots to the moon by 2008, landing humans there by 2020 and then launching a Mars expedition after 2030.
      Below a couple of key dates on getting people to the moon the first time:
      25th May 1961 Kennedy commits U.S. to Moon landing

      16th Jul 1969 Apollo XI is launched, landing first man on Moon

      In the 1960s it took 8 years to get to the moon (and noone had done it before.) Now over 40 years later with all our advances, it is going to take 16 years to go back?

      link from Miami Hearald

    Tuesday January 12, 8:05am

    Let's Go surfing
    • Watch the President's left hand: 'We're going to send people to the moon and Mars!' while the right hand 'grounds the shuttle fleet without any immediate replacements and prepares to abandon the International Space Station'. Very sad.
      via Google News
    • Remember... wear clothes when you are taking pictures of your ebay items. (look next to Elmo's left (viewer's right) hand. Technically NSFW.
    • No interest in the Batwoman or the Batgirl figures... but Batmite and Ace the Bat hound rule! Goes on the to-get list.
      via Toy News International



    Sunday January 11, 10:16am

    Let's Go Surfing
    • Want your very own life-sized mecha! Now you can! I can't read the Japanese on this site but I'm pretty sure if you buy five of these they can form a larger robot and the company throws in a "blazing sword" for free!
    • Quickstart is a great little freeware app, for Windows, I just installed that makes launching programs speedy. Hit f4 and the Quickstart Run Box pops up and then just type a partial part of the name of the program you want to launch. Quickstart shows a list of all the programs you have installed that match/contain that name and then you can launch it. It functions like a quick search box for your start menu.

    Saturday January 10, 10:35pm

    Comments on TV

    Teen Titans: How Long is Forever
    Airdate:1/10/2004 9pm, 2nd Season Premiere.

    General plot: Starfire is hurled 20 years into the future and trys to reconnect with her now older teammates in order to go back in time and right the wrongs of the past.

    Definitely the most serious and "grown-up" to date. More straightforward than most episodes in this series with very few of the wild "Anime" takes that have characterized the show. A very enjoyable episode, much more like Justice League in tone. By the looks of the next episode preview, the show will return to more lighthearted fare next week.

    Quote of the Day "You gotta just suck it up and deal with it."

    Saturday January 10, 2004 1:32pm

    Let's Go Surfing

    • Microsoft's SPOT Technology is out, and this is the first picture and review I've seen. Both are from The watch (Abacus, actually made by Fossil) is around $120 (There are other more expensive styles however.) and the service is $59 for a year or $9.99 a month. You set-up the information you want to delivered to the watch on a regular basis from a web browser: weather, news, sports scores, appointments, email, etc. and your personalized information is received over a special radio channel by your watch, within the instant or as long as 12 hours according to the review. The review is better than I expected when I first read about this technology, and the price is not completely unreasonable.

      Most likely this is just a stopgap technology until you get a bluetooth or some similar tech watch that receives all of this information from a wireless PDA or cellphone. I think that would be the most logical way to receive the information. Although when you think about it, how much trouble is it really to just check your PDA or Cellphone screen for this info? I'm not going to put this on my "to get" list anytime soon but this is definitely something I'll keep my eye on.
      From via

    •'s super secret actual person 1-800 number: 800-201-7575. I haven't tried it but the source should be reliable.
      From Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools blog, via
    • Interesting article on vision and design focussing on what the author describes as our "What" and "Where" vision centers and how to design to them. Summary from the end of the article below:

      If your design catches attention but doesn't hold it long, it has too many Where features. Soften it by reducing contrast, softening angles, adding curves, detail and/or texture, and introducing color. We often intuitively add gradients, soften edges, add shadows, use line as detail or texture, and add colored edges to angular shapes. In doing these things, we're unconsciously adding What features to a Where-heavy design so the adjusted design holds attention better.

      If your design doesn't catch the eye initially, but holds it well once you force yourself to look at it, it has too many What features. Sharpen it by increasing contrast, adding angles, removing or fading curves, detail and/or texture, and removing color. We often intuitively add areas of high contrast, use line and shape to emulate motion and space, and desaturate colored areas. In doing these things, we're unconsciously adding Where features to a What-heavy design, so the adjusted design grabs attention better.

      Text is normally both Where and What. But sometimes the bright background of a monitor gives too much contrast between text and its background, making the text too Where. If this happens, your audience will find it hard to stay focused on the text. Try increasing Whatness by using a curvier typeface, a smaller typeface, less contrast between type and background, or a combination of these changes.

      Finally, realize that when working in color, it's hard to see the contrasts and edges that your Where system sees. Don't forget, the Where system is completely colorblind.!

      If attention-getting Whereness is important to your design, try doing your initial work completely in grayscale, only adding color later.

      From, via

    • Blog/Article on design titled: Avoid Results Orientated Thinking with some interesting points raised, such as those below:
      There are just some things people want out of you in a design that you know in your heart will fail. Discussions of these issues with co-workers can often lead to religious style debates, where everyone has their opinion and are sticking to it. There are also situations where it is unclear what is being asked of you and of the design, usually in the form of a product or feature specification written by an engineer or product manager.

      In these situations, continue to ask the person you are having an issue with "why?" Keep asking variations on "why?" over and over until they reach the natural end of the line of questioning.

      Don't ever question the validity of their answers. Just simply keep asking "why?"

      When you do, you'll discover the person will sometimes dig themselves into a hole, often realizing the flaw in their own logic, or they will be able to make their request or point of view infinitely more clear than they seemed to be able to write it down.
      Far too often, designers tend to start over when adding or duplicating functionality from product to product, even ones that work on the same teams inside the same company. It's natural for designers to want to start from scratch, or make a design their own, but you try and avoid doing so.
      Designers often find themselves at the heart of very reactionary discussions. People respond emotionally to design, and when that emotion is negative, it can make your job either more difficult or more stressful. This is one way of getting past that roadblock because it tends to remove the emotional edge and reduce the discussion to a list of factual items.

      I would ad to the above, to know when to stop asking "why. While it is a useful technique it is also a tedious question if asked too frequently. Asking it too much triggers a reaction in it's target of feeling like he/she is not understood and that there is a poor connection between the asker and the answerer.
      From, via

    • On quick glance the Microsoft blog at right isn't anything spectacular, but I do like the blogging concept for a corporate environment. All the different bloggers are listed down the left and new content from the different bloggers shows up enmass in the right. (This is similar to RSS I suppose) For alot of information I think this would be better than email.

      Email has such a strong hold, and such a personal sense of control that it will be difficult for this subscription blog model to take hold and replace email for information distribution. But then again, regular paper memos used to have even a higher degree of control than email and they were supplanted due to the convenience of a new format.

      There is much convenience to be found in receiving information in the blog format (especially information that does not require a response), here's hoping that corporate blogging slowly gains ground and that all the non-response "informational only" content in my email can dwindle down some.

    • Allison Hawke's Cardinal Sins of Blogging: Interesting read for those interested in blogging.
    • Instant Audience Soundboard Flash application. Add a cheesy sitcom laugh track to your day by keeping this page near.

    • Very nice Bubblewrap popping flash app. Turn on the manic mode in the lower right hand corner. Best part: the breathy "Must have more" when you click for a fresh sheet.
    • Check out Toothpaste for Dinner. Scroll all the way down and click on some of the links... very cool little cartoons. This one is great for fans of the old BASIC classic:
      10 Print "Farts "
      20 Goto 10

      This site is probably how I should do my "Quotes of the Day".
    • 4096 Web Color Wheel: useful web color picking tool.
      via delicious
    • Another link on Blogs As Intra-enterprise Technologies of Cooperation
      That's why weblogs are huge: they take the power out of the IT department and the webmaster's hegemony and hand it over to where knowledge really resides - to the individual workers who are knowledgeable enough and know how to speak with a human voice. Now, organisational structure loses its historic role of managing power relations at a distance, and as a result the organisation becomes truly hyperlinked and power shifts to where knowledge actually resides.
    Quote Quotes of the Day
    Thursday: "They are all perfect"
    Friday: "Well I'm sorry I was the fastest sperm!"

    Wednesday January 7, 2004 9:47pm

    Word of the Day
    anaphora n. - The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs; for example, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills" (Winston S. Churchill).

    Pics of the Day

    It's winter outside

    The Land of Happy Little Squirrels

    Quote of the Day "The last song. This song. The next song."

    Tuesday January 6, 2004 6:46am

    Let's go surfing
    Here is a neat search engine: This search site compares the search result hits and self categorizes and organizes them on the fly in an expandable category list on left side of the screen. It is a very neat way to sort results. Give it a try.

    Not for fans of George Bush, this site contains 15 amateur "anti-Bush" 30 second commercials. In My Country, Child's Play, What are we teaching our children, Desktop, and Wake Up America are among the best of the group. All are in Quicktime. SFW.

    Debuting at CES this week, the Virtual Keyboard even if not terribly practical looking, is definitely cool. It is small square device that uses a laser to project a keyboard onto a flat table and then it senses which "keys" you type.

    Sunday January 4, 2004 11:20pm

    A Thought

    Everyone goes manic sometime.
    Injustices exist they can not abide.
    But if everything was perfect.
    If everything were bliss.
    The best it could be, not to be better.
    No disappointments or disillusionments and nothing amiss.

    Then what would be next?

    If all lacked trial.
    Would there be one more thing and a thing after that?
    A place to go here and one after there?
    Only proper words, and phrases, and looks from others?
    Moments when sound, light, touch and time combine?
    Splendors in seconds, not buried by nexts?

    Thens being thens.
    Whens being whens.
    Contentment and excitement intertwined.

    No matter how much mania applied
    Hope and preparation collapse.

    But now is still.
    And real.
    And lasts.
    Everyone goes manic sometime.
    The above is just a moment of mine.

    Let's go surfing

    An interesting Fast Company article about managing geeks from an interview with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Novell Inc. Excerpts:

    "The geeks control the limits of your business. It's a fact of life: If the technologists in your company invent something ahead of everybody else, then all of a sudden your business will get bigger. Otherwise, it will get smaller. "

    "If you don't want to lose your geeks, you have to find a way to give them promotions without turning them into managers." ... "But you need to give them a forward career path, you need to give them recognition, and you need to give them more money."

    "The next thing you need to remember is that you can tell them what to do, but you can't tell them how to do it. You might as well say to a great artist, "I'll describe to you what a beautiful painting is. Then I'll give you an idea for a particular painting. I'll tell you which colors to use. I'll tell you which angle to use. Now you just paint that painting." You'd never get a great painting out of any artist that way -- and you'll never get great work out of your geeks if you try to talk to them like that. You need to give them a problem or a set of objectives, provide them with a large amount of hardware, and then ask them to solve the problem."

    "Make sure that there is always peer-group pressure within your project teams. For example, if you want to motivate your project leaders, just require them to make presentations to each other. They care a great deal about how they are perceived within their own web of friends..."

    "Every team has a natural leader -- and often that leader is not a team's official manager. Your job is to get the team motivated. Once you do that, the natural leaders will emerge very quickly. If you keep an eye on the team, you can figure out who those natural leaders are -- and then make sure that they're happy and that they have everything they need to do their job. For instance, natural leaders need to feel that they have access to the company's senior managers. Don't forget: They feel like they're changing the world -- so you need to make them feel like you're helping them do that.

    There are easy ways that you can help them out. For example, encourage them to bypass layers of middle management and to send you email directly. Sure, that will piss off the people in middle management, but it's better to piss off those people than to piss off your key project leaders."

    "In most technology companies, there are always a few people who, everyone agrees, have better taste than anyone else. Those are the people whom everyone goes to; they serve as reviewers or advisers. At Sun Microsystems, for instance, it's Bill Joy. At Novell, it's Drew Major, the founder and chief scientist. Everyone knows that when Drew gets involved in a project, he'll size up quickly what needs to get done, and people will listen to him."

    I believe, in any business there will be "geeks" involved that have nothing to do with technology in their job description that still have the geek mindset. So the above is worthwhile to keep in mind when you spot one of them nowhere near technology implementation.

    Sunday January 4, 2004 3:27am

    The above snippet from the January 2004 issue of GQ about the upcoming release of Michael Chabon's The Escapist comic was amusing to me specifically because I bought the Pulitzer prize winning fiction novel about two immigrant comic book creators in 1930s New York, over a year ago and it has sat on my night stand, as yet *unread* as well.

    Above: A great mini-digicam pic I shot of the fog on my drive into work Friday morning. I'm not sure whether it ended up being a record warm day for January in Michigan or not but I think it was about 50ºF, which is extremely nice for this time of year here. The fog was so thick I actually missed my regular freeway exit.

    Let's go surfing

    Britney Spears has gotten married in Las Vegas. but don't fret ;) apparently she will be getting it annulled.

    In an attempt to bring a little respectability to the above, here is the Internet Movie Database filmography for Rebecca Gayheart Completely SFW.

    This is very cool: In case you've missed it, NASA just landed a rover on Mars. Info is here.

    Saturday January 3, 2004 1:46pm

    Comments on Comics

    One title I'm really enjoying at the moment: Green Arrow.

    It has been a fun read since it's relaunch a few years ago but I am especially surprised that I have continued to enjoy it under Judd Winick's (of MTV's Real World fame) run. Although the series has focused more on soap opera than super heroics of late, it actually works well in this title with this character. This is a great title to pick-up if you are not a regular reader of comics but maybe "were at one time".

    Issue 32's Boys Night Out (Winick/Garcia) focusing on Green Arrow's now adult sidekick Arsenal (Speedy) and Green Arrow's son (also aka Green Arrow) would be completely at home as a lighthearted TV Drama episode. The stand-alone story contrasts the two very different personalities of these supporting characters and remains an enjoyable read even though neither character suits up in-costume.

    Issue 33's Antique's Roadshow (Beatty/Martinbrough) deftly weave's in and out of the silver, modern and present comics ages, with a great story centering on the silver age Arrow Car, thought destroyed years ago, showing up on eBay. Again fun character development and an entertaining stand-alone story.

    Do pick these up, or if you are in the book stores, pick-up any of the trade paperback collections collecting any stories from the Green Arrow series from the last 3 years. Recommended.

    Saturday January 3, 2004 11:56am

    Let's Go surfing

    Some of these are really professional Brand Name Logo parodies

    Another interesting logo site took several logos and asked 12 different people to draw from memory only, what they thought they remembered. It is German so some of the brands are not familiar to me, but others like Apple are.

    Although I'm not a big fan of the 70s look, here's an interesting collection of images featuring 70s Design

    Steve Jobs' MacWorld Keynote will be this Tuesday. Rumors abound about the forthcoming $100 mini-iPod.

    Sex and the City, returns to HBO tomorrow night (Sunday) at 9pm beginning it's final 8 episodes. I'll agree with this reviewer:

    "As far as I'm concerned, the series proper ended two years ago with the episode where Mr. Big moved to California, Miranda had her baby, and Carrie wandered through the streets of a pre-9/11 Manhattan to the tune of "Moon River" -- as perfect a finale as any fan could possibly hope for."
    Quote of the Day "That's the tits, man!"

    Thursday January 1, 2004 11:03pm

    Random non sequiturs

    Today was a first. The first time ever, I haven't been carded when buying beer. Memorable way to start out 2004. Thanks Erica P. - Meijer Cashier, I feel just a little older today ;)

    I got some of the promotional black and white M&M's. Same M&M taste but interesting visual appeal. I like them and would probably regularly pick them over the color ones if they were to continue.

    And while I'm on a string of grocery store topics-- What is it with these new 24oz. plastic bottles of pop? When will it end? 6 packs of 2 liters? I'm not a big pop drinker but I passed on these in the store because of the increased size. The bottles are huge. Know when to say when and reach for a nice 8oz. cool glass of water America.

    According to my site's web statistics there were over 50 different unique ISPs that visited my newish Blog last month. That is considerably more than the small circle of friends and aquaintences that I mentioned it to. Welcome to you if you are just wandering in and feel free to send a message to: with any thoughts or comments. My goal is to keep these pages extremely simple but I would like to add some form of interactivity at some point even if it is just posting an occasional "emails to my blog" feature. (If you do comment, I promise not to post your full name or email.) Put the phrase: "Your Blog" in the subject so that I don't miss it.

    Thursday January 1, 2004 6:01pm

    Happy New Year!

    And what better way to start the New Year than with a poem from Mr. Rogers:

    It's You I Like 
    by Fred M. Rogers 
    It's you I like, 
    It's not the things you wear, 
    It's not the way you do your 
    But it's you I like 
    The way you are right now, 
    The way down deep inside you-- 
    Not the things that hide you, 
    Not your toys-- 
    They're just beside you. 
    But it's you I like-- 
    Every part of you, 
    Your skin, your eyes, your feelings 
    Whether old or new. 
    I hope that you'll remember 
    Even when you're feeling blue 
    That it's you I like, 
    It's you yourself, 
    It's you, it's you I like.

    Let's go surfing

    From Boing Boing: Mobog, A site where anyone can send in photos to be immediately posted to the web. SFW Terror level: Orange

    Government warns "people with almanacs" may be terrorists.
    What was Ben Franklin thinking back at the founding of the country when he was publishing these. Didn't he foresee where this would have led? Really this all starts with reading. I can't believe we are still teaching that in the schools.

    From Delicious: Some site's Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2003. NSFW.

    Another "Powerpoint makes you dumb" article. The best part, various peoples quotes on the subject, is below:

    Visual artists say Microsoft Corp.'s popular "slideware" -- which makes it easy to incorporate animated graphics and other entertainment into presentations -- lulls people into accepting pablum over ideas. Foes say PowerPoint's ubiquity perverts everything from elementary school reports to NASA's scientific theses into sales pitches with bullet points and stock art.

    One of the Internet's inventors, Vint Cerf, gets laughs from audiences by quipping, "Power corrupts and PowerPoint corrupts absolutely."

    Cerf, now an MCI executive and chairman of the Internet's key oversight body, doesn't shun PowerPoint completely, but said avoiding it "actually improves communication because people have to listen rather than being distracted by fancy PowerPoint charts."

    Edward R. Tufte, a Yale University professor and author of graphic design book "Envisioning Information," is perhaps the most vocal PowerPoint hater. He believes PowerPoint's emphasis on format over content commercializes and trivializes subjects.

    In a Wired magazine editorial in September titled "PowerPoint Is Evil," Tufte compared PowerPoint presentations to a school play: "very loud, very slow, and very simple."

    Peter Norvig, 46, engineering director at Google Inc., is generally credited with creating the first PowerPoint parody in 1999, when he published an online slideshow of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The spoof, which by Norvig's estimate has been viewed by at least 500,000 people, includes bullet points such as "unfinished work (great tasks)," "new birth of freedom" and "government not perish."

    Norvig, who recently ordered a copy of Byrne's compilation for himself, said Byrne is wading in treacherous waters.

    "People are asking whether, ultimately, PowerPoint makes us all stupid, or does it help us streamline our thoughts?" said Norvig, who first saw Talking Heads in the late '70s. "My belief is that PowerPoint doesn't kill meetings. People kill meetings. But using PowerPoint is like having a loaded AK-47 on the table: You can do very bad things with it."

    Microsoft spokesman Simon Marks wouldn't comment on whether PowerPoint has debased society but said in an e-mail, "PowerPoint continues to evolve to make it easier for customers to present their information in the style that best suits the content and the audience."

    Byrne, a Tufte admirer who attended the Rhode Island School of Design, writes that PowerPoint's "subtle sets of biases" indoctrinate users to speak -- and think -- simply.

    Some random page about halftone types. article: Eliminating Dark Circles under eyes, in Photoshop, PDF.

    The New Corvette

    Couple of links that I found on InfoDesign:

    Nice article on why your computer should be afraid:
    "We now know, for example, that people who have suffered damage to the prefrontal lobes so that they can no longer show emotions are very intelligent and sensible, but they cannot make decisions." Although such damage is rare, and he cites little other scientific evidence, Norman concludes that "emotion, or 'affect,' is an information processing system, similar to but distinct from cognition. With cognition we understand and interpret the world--which takes time," he says. "Emotion works much more quickly, and its role is to make judgments--this is good, that is bad, this is safe."

    The two systems are intertwined at a biological level, Norman points out. "The affective system pumps neurotransmitters into the brain, changing how the brain works. You actually think differently when you are anxious than when you are happy. Anxiety causes you to focus in on problems; if something doesn't work, you try it again, harder. But when you're happy, you tend to be more creative and interruptible." So if only for purely utilitarian reasons, devices and software should be designed to influence the mood of the user; they will be more effective because they are more affective.

    This Richard Saul Wurman interview is not terribly interesting but I liked this statement: "My definition of learning is to remember what you are interested in. If you don't remember something, you haven't learned it, and you are never going to remember something unless you are interested in it."
    A few interesting links from Memepool:
    Slow Wave Is a comic strip site by a guy named Jesse Reklaw who draws a different person's dream every week as a 4 panel comic strip. Click the Archives Image at the top his page. (And Sept 03 has a Pasta Pot Cartoon.)

    X-rated movie posters of the 60s and 70s. More kitchy than pornographic but still NSFW.

    This Copper comic is more all-ages friendly and similar in execution to Calvin and Hobbes. Excellent Art.

    Seriously sad: the actor who played Wilson on Home Improvement has died of lung cancer

    FedEx has bought Kinko's

    More Simple Life and a the full season DVD for $19.98 on January 20th.

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    I don't spell check! Most of the time the Quotes of the Day are by someone else, and sometimes I misremember them abit... and they are taken out of context. I often state my opinions as facts. I'm aware that can be annoying? Occasionally I edit content on these pages after initially posting them.