July 31, 2005

A quick request...

Just a little something to ask for anybody who's been checking in for a while to my website with the frivolous links page...if you can remember any of the links that I've been posting for the past couple of years, please email me with that link or description of it...I'd like to include any and/or all of the links that I've been posting, but I'm kinda forgetting what they were...

Silent Bob Speaks...locally...

Okay, I'm a Kevin Smith fan. I've got the movies including Clerks X but not Jersey Girl, and I've seen An Evening with Kevin Smith and even gone so freakin' far as to have read An Askew View but not yet Silent Bob Speaks. And I'll admit that I check in on News Askew pretty much daily.

But...I'm kida excited by the rumor that they printed over the weekend saying that it looks like Kevin Smith is planning a Q&A for Indianapolis on September 3rd. No more details (when, where, how to get tickets) yet, but the rumor's enough for me to start checking their website more frequently now so I can make sure that I get in on tickets when they appear.

July 30, 2005

"I've Got the Hots for the Smarts"...

Richard Thompson is an English guitarist/songwriter who's one of my favorite players and writers out there. Wonderfully dry sense of humor and a hell of a guitar player. He's got a new album coming out August 9th, thought that's not really what I'm pointing out here.

Instead, I'm pointing out that he's also a hell of a writer of some quirkier songs that he seems to have an absolute blast writing and playing but that he doesn't seem too eager to release on his CD's (though I'm hoping that the rumored five-cd set coming out this winter will have some of the rarities). One in particular that I really loved listening to when I last saw RT in concert in Newport this spring was called "The Hots for the Smarts" about wanting a woman "who applies her lotion/in a Brownian motion", a song that I'm just dying to have as a theme for the AP and honors chemistry students in the classes I teach.

Luckily he performed a number of these odder songs in a recent live performnace that can be found in the WFUV archives. Here's the direct link to the show. "The Hots for the Smarts" comes at about the 19-minute mark.

There are, of course, other songs of his that are in this quirky vein: "Alexander Graham Bell", "I Agree with Pat Metheny", "Dear Janet Jackson", "Madonna's Wedding", "Dog Eat Dog in Denmark", and so many others. Wonderful stuff to listen to, though I do also recommend his amazing released work as well, especially "Persuasion" from his Action-Packed collection, Mock Tudor and Watching the Dark - the latter being a three-cd collection of some of his finest work, likely to be dwarfed by the afore-mentioned five-cd set hopefully coming soon.

A sometimes missed gem...

I live just north of Cincinnati outside the loop of I-275 and have for a little over a year now. It's certainly been a bit of a loss moving out of the city - we used to live in Northside - with no more ability to walk to the local library and the post office and the Comet just up the hill, but we've been thrilled with the move, and especially with some of the gems that we've found out here a little more in the burbs...

Such as Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, an amazing space in Hamilton! - City of Sculpture. It's a private park, so it does cost to get in, but the landscaping and the scukptures - most of the quite large - make for a wonderful setting and place to spend an afternoon, take a picnic lunch (as we're planning to do this week with some friends and their kids this week) or just to visit. It's the kind of place that I think everybody in the Cinicnnati area should visit at least once. Really neat...

July 28, 2005

The New Heroes

The school at which I teach does a yearly fund drive for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society called Pasta for Pennies. In the spring of 2005, we raised of $35,000, and the year before we just topped $40,000. In our six years, we've raised over $140,000 to fight blood cancers and help patients already suffering.

Compared to the people covered in the PBS show The New Heroes, that's a drop in the bucket. These people are doing amazing things and should be lauded and held up as examples for all of the young people - and adults - in the world today.

July 27, 2005

Let's go big

Tall buildings are cool, very cool. Just heard on the news that a developer has proposed a new skyscraper in Chicago, one with a beautiful twist. Looks like, if it's ever built, it'll be a beauty and will easily be the tallest in the US, easily taller than the pending Freedom Tower in NYC (the replacement for the World Trade Center).

It's really interesting to me that people are still willing to build up higher and higher after the 9/11 tragedies, but I guess it just brings safety further to the fore with the mega skyscrapers.

But no matter what, the lure of the tallest buildings are amazing, and many of the buildings are gorgeous. Check the link in the title - to www.skyscraperpage.com. Beautiful diagrams, searchable by city, click the main picture to see the most fanciful towers ever. All of the old monuments (Sphinx, pyramids, etc) included. Really cool pages to play around on.

Legos...frickin' legos...

Just got a chance to look at some of the new Lego sets that are coming out this year - great job with the Norse mythology. Looks like I'll finally be able to do something for the Princetion Vikings (the mascot where I teach).

In case you weren't aware, I'm a big fan of the whole Lego scene. I'm not nearly as obsessive and crazy or admittedly as talented when it comes to Legos as some of the other folks in the world, but I do appreciate most all things Lego from recreations of the Bible in Lego or the Horshoe at OSU in little plastic bricks or a giant Lego train layout at the NMRA in Cincinnati. I'm such a fan, in fact, that I've got a page on my school website that lists some of the most impressive Lego links that I've yet seen. Check it...

July 26, 2005

ESPN.com stinks...

I'm getting awfully frustrated with ESPN.com's baseball coverage. A year or so ago, they moved Rob Neyer from the free section to the Insider part which I'm just not going to pay for. Then they moved Buster Olney, Tim Kurkijan, their fantasy section, their rumor central, Jason Stark, Jerry Crasnick (?), Steve Phillips, Eric Karabell, Gary Gillette (?), Joe Morgan, John Kruk, and even the Elias stat report. All are now behind the green curtain, trying to get us to pay for the coverage. The only free columns left are Eric Neel and Jim Caple, two of their weakest writers. Other than to check game scores, recaps, and stats - which you can very easily get from any of a dozen other webpages, there is no reson to go to ESPN's baseball page at all. The football and basketball pages are certainly going to be next in ESPN's rush to turn the website into a cash cow. Enjoy it while you can, folks, because I'm checking in less and less.

ESPN radio - still quality. ESPN the tv network - dunno, don't have cable.

July 25, 2005

Urban legends debunked

These folks take the time that so many people don't take. Instead of forwarding along that ignorant story or picture that's been sent to you and four hundred of your closest friends, take a moment and head to this website to find out if it's a fake or not. If it is, send the link to that story's debunking back to the person who sent it and possibly to everybody else who got the message. It'll save the rest of us a lot of grief in the long run.

July 24, 2005

The best of Cincinnati


Every year CityBeat - our local left-wing independent rag - puts out an issue that collects the best of our fair city. They survey their readers in print and online and report the best politician, best burger, best movie house, best shoe store, and a whole lot more. Their reporters also make up some interesting categories and award Best of's to a load of local people, places, and events.

I tend to use it sort of as a checklist of places to tryout that I haven't been to before.

Behind the music with the Electric Mayhem

They had their heyday in one of my favorite movies of all time, but apparently time has not been kind to the Muppet house band.

All caught up after this...

The last batch of links from my old site is a trio of juggling sites...
International Jugging Association
The largest organization of jugglers and street performers in the world
Diablo Tricks
The diablo is like a yo-yo with an unattached string and two handles...I'm minorly accomplished with it...
Michael Moschen's website
A contact juggler and performer without peer...had tickets to see him once but the fates conspired against me, so I've not yet seen him live...
Now, onward to fresher things...

The penultimate of the catching up...

Nearly done now...this is the miscelaneous stuff that's sort of defied categorization...
Annotated Sandman
Neil Gaiman's tale of the King of Dreams is a rather involved one, and I'm thankful that somebody took the time to annotate it for me
30-second Bunnies
Animated recreations of some of your favorite movies but with bunnies instead of people, Rocky Horror just went live
Transparent Computer Screens
Cool artwork made with digital cameras and a lot of time
AbsolutelyAndy.com
Some of the finest British tv adverts of recent years - very different from American stuff
Sealand's two websites
The most famous micronation on the planet...a novel idea and now profitable...
News of the Weird
Strange but real news collected weekly...I tend to check in once a week...
Random Art
A computer making better art than you or me, on command
Terror of Tinytown
The only entirely midget cowboy movie ever made - in full streaming video
Dated humor
The joke get old as our occupation of Iraq drags on, but it's still kind of funny
Bathsheba.com
One person's intersection between art and mathematics
Potter Puppet Pals
Animated puppets of Harry, Ron, and Hermione acting out
Jesus Save Us ministries
Either the funniest parody of a religious website that I've ever seen or another in my long chain of acts sending me straight the hell

Crass commericalism caught up...

A couple of my favorite commerce sites...
McPhee Toys
Archie McPhee, purveyor of fine plastic novelties and other entertaining but ultimately useless stuff
Josh Simpson's site
Some of the finest glass art being made today...thoroughly impressive to me

Moving along with the catching up...

I've included in the sidebar, four of my most common reference pages - Google, Cincinnati's public library, IMDB.com, and the best Simpsons reference out there.

There are quite a few other reference places that I feel I should point out, in fitting with the goal of dumping away my frivolous links page...
A bunch of google things (official and otherwise)
List of City Nicknames
I've used this for extra credit questions before and just love stuff like Aberdeen's city nickname
Some Wikipedia stuff
The Kermitage
A reference page about everything Muppet - including the Beaker figures I collect and take around
Winged Sandals
Fun site to learn about Greek myths, pointed out to me by my wife, a school librarian
James Bond guide
Just what it says, probably the best source on James Bond info around on the web

July 23, 2005

Still more catching up...

I've got five of my more durable sports-related links on the sideboard to the right, and those are the ones that I use most often, but here are some of the other ones that that've caught my eye here and there...
Korean baseball cartoons
Wish I could understand what the heck is happening in these, but the art alone is well worth the viewing.
Cooperstown Ballcap Co.
Far and away the best baseball cap company out working. Nearly every cap ever worn by any major or minor league team in history is available here.
Albuquerque Isotopes
What started out as a Simpsons joke has now become a real minor league team
The Baseball Page
Loads of lists of historical baseball stuff - major records and minor trivia...kinda fun to play through...
Dayton Disc Golf
Expand your horizons a little and take a trip up to Dayton to play one of the disc golf courses up there.

July 22, 2005

Music links from the old page...

Still working to catch up on things and post up links here so I can let the old page die a reasonable death...so, my favorite music links...
Pollstar.com
Best search engine for concerts. Search by artist, city, or venue. See who's coming your way or where your favorite artists are gonna be.
About the Beatles
Never know when you'll need to know something about the Beatles, and this is the best site I've found for that.
AllMusic.com
I'm probably here at least once a day to look up a song or artist. They review nearly every album, give a bio of the artist, and even provide discources on many of the greatest songs.
Gemm.com
Whether it's in print or out, a CD or an LP, you'll be able to buy it here. Collection of individual music dealers.
Yonder Mountain String Band
Wonderful bluegrass/jam band with strong ties to Cincy. See 'em when they come through your town.
Ashley MacIsaac
Canadian/celtic/electronica combo through this fiddler who has largely stopped touring the US. I saw him open for the Chieftans a number of years back and have picked up each of his albums since. Good stuff.
U2
Well, it's U2, in't it? Edging toward being one of the greatest bands of all time. Musically relevant for a longer time than the Beatles, more willing to experiment than the Stones.
Richard Thompson
I wish more people knew about this guy, one of the great songwriters and guitarists still working. The tone tends to be a downer, but the music he's making is amazing, and he's at the absolute top of his game - looking forward to Front Porch Ballads.
Wilco
This is it, this is them. Best band working today, my favorite. Amazing, simply stunning. Great live and on CD.

July 21, 2005

What's with the KitKat?


Okay, so I was freakishly searching the world for a link to Gelato Paridiso, home of the finest gelato (Italian ice cream) I've ever had - especially the tiramisu, which I had day before yesterday in Dallas - and instead ran into this freak show...

I've noticed, and commented of late, on the recent spate of various Reese's Cup varieties (inside out, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, original, giant cup, etc), but I think it may be Kit Kats that are really going off the deep end with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, inside out, mint, triple chocolate, orange creme, blood orange, white winter, mint rush, carmel, peanut butter, red berry, mango & passion fruit, extra creamy, banana, cappucino, green tea, passion fruit, melon, christmas pudding, carmac, luscious lime, lemon & yogurt, dark noir, vanilla, strawberry, summer pine (pineapple), low carb, and apparently tons of others at well. So strange...

Catching up...

I've got a frivolous links page from my classroom webpage where I've been posting fun links for the past year or so. My issue there is that as I rotate in new links, the old ones have faded by the website. Hence my creation of this blog where old links will simply end up in the archives for anybody (mostly me, I'm sure) to check on when I feel like it.

All that simply leads me to this...I'm posting up a few of the links that have been active over there. Some are in the links sidebar over to the right, but some don't seem wuite deserving of that, so I'm listing them here. Today, some of my favorite game sites...
Candystand.com
Along with its sister site Nabiscoworld.com, these are some of the better free online gaming, including a fine cornhole game
Online disc golf
There aren't many online disc gold games, and this is probably the best I've found...this one probably comes in second, though I don't like the perspective
Bowman
Ah, Dr. Wingnut's empire of games...this one's got some decent physics practice
Weirdest game ever
I simply can't explain this game in any decent way...the goal is to steer your asteroid away from another asteroid currently on a collision course with you
Castle
At first, a little tough, especially on a touchpad instead of a mouse...the goal is to eventually get to the point where you don't have to even play anymore...think strategy...here's my best and last castle

Blogs of the moment...

The whole concept of blogging is really exciting to me at the moment...it's opened up a way for people from around the world (admittedly, from around the affluent, English-speaking world, as far as I'm concerned) to throw their thoughts up there and see is anybody thinks those thoughts are worthwhile...thought I'd take a moment and give a lil' shout-out to some of the ones that I follow from time to time...

Management by Baseball blog

A business guy takes what he's found by following baseball and draws lessons relating to management

Baseball Musings

A little purer - just musings on baseball itself

Purrplexity Blog

I'm going local here with a blog from my world - the greater Cincinnati area...

July 18, 2005

Urban golf online...

Bit of fluff fun this time... an online golf game (nine holes only, sadly) in which you're driving your way around some British city trying to peg post boxes (except for one hole where you're trying to hit a skiff)...no Easter Eggs that I've found yet, so it's a pretty straight forward game...my best so far's a two under par...see if you can beat it...

This is one of the links that I'd already posted on my school frivolous links page...I'll be adding in others here and there as time and inclination see fit...

Stuffing the ballot box...


ESPN is doing a 50 states in 50 days event, and one part of the thing is a series of polls, one about each state. The questions are stuff like "favorite athlete" and "best in-state career". I couldn't care less about them, but there is one question that I'm kind of interested in: "best rivalry". Admittedly, the best rivalry for Indiana is Indiana-Purdue basketball, but that's not what I'm stuffing the ballot box for. Instead, I'm voting for Wabash-DePauw football. It is the oldest continuous rivalry west of the Allegheny. The Monon Bell rivalry is a heck of a rivalry, and we're currently in a very close race (first place when I last checked and voted a half dozen times.) Do what ya can, folks, to subvert the spirit of democracy here.

July 17, 2005

2014 - a look at the future of the 'net

My wife went to the ILILE conference this past week and came back babbling about having to show me this thing called 2014 and something about it being for a Museum of Media History (a ficticious museum, from everything I can find) something about it showing what was going to happen to media and the 'net. She really wasn't making much sense, but I'll admit that after seeing the 8-minute flash movie about one possible future of the 'net, I was pretty much as stunned as she had been. Amazing. I can't recommend watching it highly enough.

Here's the original link if the titular link above (via the infohio server) doesn't work...

And a transcript with some annotations as well...

Movie consored before it even comes out...


CNN is reporting that The Aristocrats, a movie about the most off-color joke in the history of comedy, is being decling showings at the AMC movie chain. I don't necessarily know that it's censorship since it's a private company decling to show a movie that they allegedly just don't think is right for their clientelle (sp?), but it's a movie that I really want to see, and it's another first ammendment issue (pet issue of mine, keep following the blog, you'll see), so it's something that I'm point out.

And I really want to see the movie when it comes out. Check the trailer and the official website and see if you're interested as well.

A quick welcome post...

Welcome folks...I've sort of been running an unofficial blog (posting favorite links, pointing out fun stuff on the net) for a year or so now through my school website but feel like I'd like to post the same kinds of stuff a little further and wider out there. I don't know exactly how/where this will end up, but I'm going to at least dip my toe in the electronic world and see where it goes from there.

Eventually, many of my favorite links will be posted around here (hopefully in some sort of list off to the side or something), but that'll be a little while. For now though, welcome...