April 30, 2007

Bonds' bombs

I've spoken about Barry Bonds before, sure. But this year was supposed to be his final undoing. He's spent the last couple of years getting more and more injured. He finally crossed over 700 HR last year and was on the stretch run this year, headed for Hank Aaron's record with the full disdain of the American populace aimed straight at him.

Bonds cheated and lied about it, and now he was gonna get his. Either he wasn't going to break the racord because he was going to get injured now that he wasn't on the juice or he was ging to suddenly and magically age or maybe he'd just die right in front of our eyes, head finally exploding in the middle of a game.

But it appears that the death of Barry Bonds' game was more than a little exagerated.

Bonds is currently second in the NL in HR. He's batting .362 and leading the league in slugging.

Pretty much has been assuming for the past couple of years that Bonds is (or at least was) on some sort of performance enhancing drugs - 'roids, as it were - which is what lead to his late-career remarkable performances (73 HR, his .600+ OBP, his remarkable power and walks). Then Bonds had to take nearly an entire year off - clear signs that post-'roids his body was breaking down. The at the beginning of last year his power appeared to be gone, and his knees were giving out.

This was going to be it. The death of Bonds...

Nope.

And at this point I'm thinking that pretty much everybody in baseball is watching Bonds like a hawk. If he's taking PEDs now, he's going to be caught in a heartbeat. And I'm thinking that they're testing him like crazy.

So, I feel fairly confident that he's off the juice right now, but he seems to still be hitting like a madman. So what happens if Bonds keeps hitting like this?

Do we assume that he's always been clean?

Do we assume that he's such a great hitter that the PED didn't bring out anything he didn't already have?

Do we ignore the issue because we have absolutely no proof that Bonds either did or didn't take 'roids and just induct him into the hall of fame at the first possible opportunity?

I'm thinking that we have to take the last route.

We have no proof that Bonds ever did 'roids (and if we do have even weak proof, it comes from illegally leaked grand jury testimony - which I'm awfully leary to trust any way).

What we do have is a phenomenal run of hitting, the likes of which haven't been seen before or after in our lifetimes - hitting that is on par with (if not above) Ruth and Williams.

And that hitting has been done with a man who is an absolutely, undeniably, clear jerkhole.

Which doesn't matter in the least when we examine his numbers.

He's the greatest hitter in the past fifty years 0 if not longer - and he's a hall of famer.

I know I'd be buying at least one ticket when the Giants come to Cincy this summer if I weren't out of town over the July 4th homestand.

April 29, 2007

I was kind of shocked

I've played around with a couple of van de Graff generators here and there, but the Theater of Electricity at MIT is way more impressive than anything I've seen in person.

Their van de Graff generators are like twenty feet high. The picture that I've included shows one of the demonstration scientists in a cage being fried with a really big frickin' spark. From what I can tell, the Theater of Electricity is a part of the Museum of Science. Now, how did I miss that back when we were in Boston a couple of summers ago?

April 28, 2007

The greatest birthday ever

Good times were had all around on the weekend of the anniversary of my birth.

Friday - birthday cards from a couple of students (thanks, Elaina, Kasey & the 7th-bell crew), dinner at Acapulco followed by Pan's Labyrinth (review forthcoming when I get a chance).

Saturday - visit to Crawfordsville, followed by Meet the Robinsons in 3-d, and then dinner at PF Chang's with the Heckmen.

Gifts so far (more would always be welcome) - Anti Gravity, Einstein: His life and universe, Lego fruit snacks (not yet tried), gift certificates for two rounds of golf at four local mini-golf courses (Golf Ranch, Eagle Tee, Fairfield Golf Center, and Kings Golf), like twenty individual serving Take 5 bars.

All in all, an excellent weekend so far. Now, if I can only get the grass cut today...

April 27, 2007

But, think of the kids...

Today I offer you a simple argument against every having a high school talent show...


If you can't get the imbed, head over here...I warn you, it's entirely work safe, but it may be annoying to coworkers...

April 26, 2007

Where have all the flowers gone?

There are a number of times where I'm none too optimistic about the chances that our species survives for another thousand years.

Today's sign of the apocalypse is the worsening disappearance of honeybees 'round the US and the world.

The problem is something called colony collapse disporder in which a healthy colony of bees is suddenly found with a queen, immature drones, and not a single adult bee - no bodies, no sick bees, nothing...all gone.

THe kneejerk reaction might be that it's no big deal. There'll be fewer bee stings, but we'll get along just fine. True, except for the part where it's no big deal. This loss of bees is going to be a huge, huge deal as bees polinate about - according to the CNN article - a third of our diet is based on products that are bee-pollinated. If we lose the bees, we lose all our fruits and veggies and a lot of our grains and grain-fed meats.

A world without bees is going to be a rough one indeed.

Nothing to be done by us layfolks just yet. Scientists are still looking for a cause, and until they find one, we're at the mercy of Mama Nature's whims...

April 25, 2007

Tasty and simple


Another simple pleasure today: grilled cheese sandwiches - celebrated today in honor of National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month - which we're smack in the middle of.

Simple enough that it's hard to believe it even needs a Wikipedia entry, but it's got one.

Some people like more complicated grilled cheeses, but others like it as simple as can be - cooked on an iron, perhaps.

You can, of course, find recipes for grilled cheeses all over the web - for spiced up sandwiches, grilled cheese pie, crunchy sandwiches, Grilled cheeses at Burning Man, Today show grilled cheeses, grilled cheese cake, perfect grilled cheeses, The great grilled cheese.

Why it's practically and grilled cheese orgy.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are do clean, so awesome, so simple. People will pay any price for a good grilled cheese - though there might be a reason for that one.

It's the rare - but not unheard of - case where a grilled cheese sandwich is in poor taste.

Me, I'll take mine as simple - and battle-tested - as possible.

April 24, 2007

Bacon makes everything better

Today we talk about the perfect food: bacon.

Studies have shown (I swear they have, I just haven't been able to find them anywhere on the web...real science is never on the web, you know) that bacon was the food chosen by our dieties to provide every possible nutrient we need while keeping us healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Honestly, it's like Soylent Green but tastier.

I would start with a Matt Stone & Trey Parker clip about bacon from the first season DVDs of South Park, but they said (shocking for those guys, I know) some dirty words.

Instead, we'll go with Ben Garrant talking about his love for bacon...

So, onward we roll...

Let's start with bacon popcorn. Simple enough: fry bacon, pop the popcorn in the grease, and crumble in the bacon. It takes a healthy, hearty snack and makes it better.

Then there's IHeartBacon.com complete with reviews of wild boar bacon.

A post about bacon wouldn't be complete without bacon-wrapped breadsticks, beer-battered, bacon-wrapped, cheese-injected hotdogs, chocolate-covered bacon, cabon caramel, bacon cereal, or chicken-fried bacon.

I'll admit that I love bacon enough that my class's first aid kit provides students with bacon bandages, though i haven't moved to the bacon wallet, bacon mints, gummi bacon, or the bacon of the month club just yet.

There are lots of bacon blogs, bacon-loving comedians, even bacon taped to a cat.

Kids love bacon!

Engineers love bacon!

Crunchies love bacon (sort of)!

Werid artsy/science type people love bacon!

Makers love bacon!

Crafty folks love bacon!

Musicians love bacon!

Dieters love bacon!

If you need to know more, check wikipedia.

And ignore what any scientist says about bacon lung disease.

That's just bunk.

April 23, 2007

Jumping into the little circle

I've pointed out how much better some comics would be with different dialogue.

Now I point that out again. Today's fun site is the Free Floating Dysfunctional Family Circus archive.

The plot is simple:
  • Take an already-existant Bil Keane Family Circus comic circle.
  • Add in your own (sometimes NSFW) lines.
  • Roll with laughter.
  • Repeat.
Enjoy, folks...

April 22, 2007

Baseball & the babe

Ok, weakness time here - I've always had a thing for Alyssa Milano.

And I've always had a thing for baseball.

And now my two passions have finally come together

If only she were a Reds fan...

April 21, 2007

The coolness of evolution

Cool story on NPR the other day about toxoplasma gondii.

According to the tale, the simple toxoplasma gondii protozoa can only reproduce within the bodies of cats. The problem is that the oocysts are shed from the cat in feces where they infect other animals (mice, people, rats, whatever) where the protozoa cannot reproduce.

So, toxo has a bit of a challenge. How to get from the mouse back into a new cat?

Research suggests that the toxo infection causes the mice to be less fearful of cats - and in fact to be attracted to the smell of cat urine. Something about causing changes in the brain (listen to the NPR story for more details, folks). This makes the mouse more likely to be caught, giving toxo a better chance to get into the cat's system.

Genius, I tell you, genius!

I love evolution. The truly freakish ways in which organisms solve their problems of needing an unoccupied nitch and filling that nitch are wonderful to learn about.

How can you not love evolution?

April 20, 2007

Scrounging the web...

The blobbity blog from various blogs of late...

Pearls before breakfast

Oh, wow...

The linked article is the most well-written article I've read in months.

The video came to me thanks to the good people over at Essays & Effluvia.

The basics of the story is that one of the world's greatest violinists played a forty-five minutes concert in a Washington, DC subway station. No accouncements, no signs, no identification. He just showed up and acted like a street performer peddling for change, and they checked out what happened.

The revelation of the results in the story is fascinating, as the authors allow the results to come forth in drips and drabs, never giving away too much. Instead, they chose a perfect pacing for the tale.

I certainly won't ruin it her for you. It's a bit of a long article, so you may want to read it in parts or set aside some time for the perusal, but it's worth it. By the end, the author has brought in Immanual Kant and WH Davies and have expanded his article to explore how we decide what is and what isn't art.

Is it the painting or the frame that makes art?

Head over and give it a check.

April 19, 2007

The issues of celebrity


Arrggh...

Where to start from this video...Kimmel's unwillingness to let his guest speak...the dopey ignorance of his guest - unwilling to understand the seriousness of the issue...the stupidity of a website/company in sending this ditzy girl to defend their business...the continuing deterioration of private space...Kimmel's far-too-personal take on the story..."...citizen journalism, people don't read it with the expectation that every word of it will be gospel. Everyone who reads it knows that it isn't checked at all."...the fact that Kimmel seems to be filling in for Larry King, which mystifies me...the hugely blank, dopey face and chuckles from the girl at the end...

Or, the real kernel...

"Honestly, I think there is a shifting definition of what is public and what is private space for everyone, not just for celebrities. The internet, blogs, MySpace...no one has the reasonable expectation of being able to walk down the street and not have what they're doing be noticed by someone anymore."

"Well, that's just the terrible thing, though, isn't it?"

"Is it really? I mean, I think it's great that we're not putting people up on a pedestal and worshiping them anymore."
Ok, folks, there's the real rub.

We no longer have private space unless we are locked up in our house with the windows drawn and the firewall turned up to the max. The moment we step onto the front porch or into the back yard, the moment we take out our trash, the moment we lean toward the windows, the moment we log onto the internet and send our email into the magical ether, we are giving up that privacy.

And I hate that fact.

I hate overhearing the conversation of the jerk at the check out in front of me at Wal-Mart because he won't put down his cell phone while he's paying.

I hate seeing the bluetooth ear phones in people's ears while they wander the stores and schools where I have to be.

I hate that the line between what is public and what is private has faded into near oblivion with the advent of cell phones, digital cameras, telephoto lenses, wireless technology, and every other technological development that is supposed to be making our lives easier.

Yes, I answer my work email at school and while I'm out of town.

Yes, I pruriently look at two celebrity stalker blog websites regularly.

And lord knows that I post my daily thoughts onto a blog for everyone to see.

I am not without sin in this miasma that I decry, yet I find it more and more necessary to throw stones at this glass house.

Let me make a small first step, and I then I will a few other small steps that you can pick from to take that small step along with me.

I pledge from here on out to delete the links to the celebrity stalker blogs that I check with some regularity; to not refind those sites; to not buy (not that I ever really did) any magazines such as Us Weekly or People - magazines that depend entirely upon telling us the intimate and private details of celebrities.

Now, what can you do to take small steps away from the abyss?
  • Promise to end all cell phone conversation before you approach a restaurant counter, a store check out, or a drive-thru window.
  • Promise to leave the cell phone in your car when you go into any business.
  • Take the bluetooth earphone out of your ear when you aren't using it.
  • Stop talking into the air because you've got a cell phone earpiece in unless you are alone at home or in an office.
  • Don't talk about the private lives of any of the following people: Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Jake Gyllenhall, Heath Ledger, or anyone who you have not personally met or spoken to.
  • Don't watcht E! News, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, or Showbiz Tonight.
  • Don't post videos on YouTube or any other site unless you know the person in the video personally, have gotten their permission to post the video, and know that in ten years they'll be happy to have put that image of themselves out there.
Please, help me to stop the madness...

April 18, 2007

Google has done it again

Yet another masterstroke from Google...

Now you can create your own customized maps using their Google maps and can throw that map out to the world wide interweb.

You can add pointers to locations (in any of dozens of different icons), add lines, make polygons. It's pretty impressive.

Here are the first two that I started creating - though I'm thinking that there's going to be more playing around this summer: Our 5K course and frisbee golf courses 'round Cincy.

It's a start, I know, but Google continues to amaze and impress...

April 17, 2007

April 16, 2007

Today's games



Two games for you today:

First, as shown, is Two-Minute Drill - easy set-up, throw the ball downfield, score a TD in two-minutes, start over a little further from the endzone and repeat...my high score is shown...

The second is Jelly Jumper - fun little blobby game - of timing and bouncieness...I'm up to level 44 and getting a little frustrated...at least there's a catchy little soundtrack...

April 15, 2007

Religious dogmatism at its most extreme

I warn you in advance, the language in this BBC documentary is a bit school-inappropriate at times, but it's an interesting one to watch.


The documentary about the Westboro Baptist Church has been broken into seven parts - all of which are all available on YouTube. Sadly, between the time I typed this - about a week ago - and the time I'm posting it, the videos have been removed. At the end of this post, I will offer a list of videos that are still on YouTube about and from the church.

The church is known around much of the US as the church whose members have been picketing soldiers' funerals around much of the nation on the basis that any milatry death is a result of the sins of the people in our nation. The group has come to Ohio and made headlines when their right to picket a funeral in Northeast Ohio.

The documentary is interesting because it does allow us a glimpse into the lives of one family of the church, but on the whole the documentary was a little disappointing to me. The documentary filmmaker comes to the project with the goal not of simply explaining to us what the church members are like but rather of hoping to get one of the church members to either convert or to at least show some crack in their faith.

He takes the Michael-Moore-esque steps of giving us confrontational scenes rather than allowing room for any sort of true revelations. An example of this is the two meetings he holds with the church's patriarch. Instead of giving us any background on the patriarch or coming with any prepared questions, the filmmaker simply begins talking to the man and is quickly cut off, revealing less about the church than about his unwillingness to provide any sort of unbiased coverage of the story.

I do wish that the documentary - interesting enough as it is - could have been better because the exploration of religious dogmatism has so much room to teach us about our own beliefs. The most telling moments are near the end of the film when the filmmaker speaks to a male member of the church out on a protest. The filmmaker asks a number of questions but never allows the church member to give full answers. Instead, the filmmaker continues to speak over those answers, projecting his beliefs almost as unrelentingly as do the church members.

And the links that do work - at least for today:

I warn you, these videos do contain language that certainly is inappropriate for school viewing (even if you do happen to be able to get to YouTube from school.

April 14, 2007

It's spring break, so I'm reading

There's been way too much reading this spring break (there probably should have been way more productive work going on, but that's life, dangit)...So with little time at the end of the break to sum everything up, I'm going to go with quick hit reviews here...

Dig the Robin series, and this volume: To Kill a Bird is a pretty good addition. Interesting take with Robin avoiding the question of Bruce trying to adopt him and then Bruce beginning to accept him as more of an adult, able to take care of himself.

Worth reading...



Generally, I dig the Ultimates line from Marvel. This one didn't do much for me, primarily because of the differing tones of the annuals. The Fantastic Four one was pretty good - return of the Mole Man, kidnapping of geniuses, slight surprise ending. The others - Daredevil/Spiderman/Punisher which I've seen reprinted somewhere else, maybe an Ultimate Spiderman and X-Men which isn't nearly as good as last year's one with Kitty and Peter starting to date (the coolest understory in the Ultimate Universe - not so much.



The end of the Bendis run on Daredevil saw some phenomenal storytelling and great artwork to match. Luckily, the new run of talent has maintained every bit the high standard.

Daredevil: Inside and Out continues from where the last volume left off - with Murdock in stir but with Daredevil patrolling the streets at night, a clear impossibility. From there, the screws get tightened as Murdock has to defend himself and his friends on the inside without revealing beyond any doubt that he truly is ol' Hornhead.

More good stuff from Marvel's finest ongoing series...



Meh...

The reintroduction of Supergirl and subsequent issues with her and Power Girl via Infinite Crisis have left me cold. both from Krypton? One from Atlantis? Both back on Krypton (of Kandor, at least) in this volume and without much of their powers? Meh...

The artwork's a mess, too, as the various artists all seem to be in the mold of Jim Lee - too many lines for my taste.

And it just feels like another diversion into a semi-imaginary tale.

Then they bring back references to the excellent Batman/Superman Absolute Power run but in a severly weakened down way. Blech...




Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes, on the other hand, is a very interesting take on the character, allowing her to show up in the future, amidt the turmoil of the league. She gets to be the lone stongest hero around (no big cousin to take that spot) while playing dumb and joking that she must be in some sort of dream/imaginary tale.

Self-awareness with a sense of humor always grabs me...

Plus, the surprise of how happy she is in this new imaginary (to her, at least) world echoes nicely with the LSH episode of the final season of JLU (review forthcoming, I promise).

Good stuff...quality series...worth reading from the beginning (about two collected volumes ago...



I dunno about the Teen Titans anymore. One of the strengths of the series has long been that they were a family, a place that younger heroes could go to get out of their mentor's shadow and be the big dog while having people around to support them.

That held true even through the pre-IC times when the team was shaken by the death of Superboy and near destruction of the rest of the team by seeing one of their possible futures.

And now, One Year Later TT: Ttans Around the World gives us a fractured team with a revolving door of second-rate newbies (Zatara, Kid Devil, the Terminator's daughter, some junior Captain Atom girl). They don't trust each other, and they aren't much of a team.

I know there's every new team's typical "get to know each other issues" where they "learn to fight as a team", but this one doesn't work for me. Too much distrust, too much cliquishness.

Another pass...



Supposedly Kyle Raynor's a big deal. There's some sort of gig about him being the "Torchbearer" for something or another.

I don't get it.

The GLCorp were destroyed and brought back because some kernel of something or other in Kyle's ring, but now he doesn't need that ring because he got some rock or power or something from his dying girlfriend.

In Ion: Torchbearer, Kyle is tested by some sort of plot that the Guardians knew about but didn't do anything about. Meh...

The plot's never explained thoroughly enough for my tastes, and there's some new Earth girl who doesn't talk but who wanders through much of the story, seeming to exist solely for the authors to introduce a new character.

But she's never introduced, never does anything. Just wanders around...either she's to be the new love interest - in which case she should do something - or she's a gag by one of the writers/artists who lost a bet and had to include a useless character in as many panels as possible.


Poor art seems to be the downfall of Firestorm: Reborn.

I'll admit that I didn't come in at the beginning of this newbie Firestorm - him seemingly having been born in Infinite Crisis, but I just don't get the whole story.

Firestorm's long been a combo of two people - prof and student. Here both people have been replaced, and I don't know either one.

But somehow they explode or something if they get too far from each other because the Firestorm Matrix is unstable unless it's the prof (who's dead by the end of the volume.) I know - it sound like I'm making this crap up, but I'm not.

No connection to the characters, no coherent story. New villian who doesn't inspire much fear.

Again, and for too many times this week, blech...


Good quality start to Justice. Superheroes getting the crud kicked out of them by the newly reformed Legion of Doom.

But it's dragging along a bit at this point.

The heroes have been whomped so badly that they have to lick their wounds and regroup in this middle of three volumes of the collection, and the story suffers a bit from lacking either the big buildup of the first volume or the expected big finale of the next volume.

The artwork from Art Ross is still gorgeous, and the middle chapter has to be read, but I'm not as excited about this one as I was about the first volume.


Hey, look, Marvel!

Road to Civil War collects a number of comics from different sources, some of which don't really go together, but all of which are supposed to lead into major plot points of Civil War - which I haven't been able to find in trade form just yet.

I like the idea of self-appointed reps from various constituencies coming together and planning the future of the world. It's a great plot device, and the choices are fully appropriate (except that Reed/Stark seem like double representation for the US humans.)

They stories are interesting and show a lot of retcon-thoughtfulness from the authors, and they make for interesting reads. I look forward to getting to Civil War whenever it wanders onto the local shelves.


All right, at least we close with a good one.

This is one of the few One Year Later plots that I've gotten to and actually enjoyed. Catwoman: Replacements sees Selina Kyle hanging up the Catwoman togs because she's got a bun in the oven. We come into the plot after the bun's been delivered and Selina's got a protege in the Catwoman suit - because the East End needs a protector.

The story's not too far from experienced-crimefighter-trains-replacement territory, but it's well done with an old bad guy looking to revenge on the rook and then realizing that he's after the wrong Kitty.

Neat new villian - Film Freak...
Interesting touches from the Bat (great first visit to see the baby)...
Weird bit with Zatana at the end as she mind wipes another couple of bad guys...in spite of all the crap that I thought that did a while back, sheesh...

April 13, 2007

Stickers, we got stickers...we got lots and lots of stickers!

There isn't a person alive who doesn't love stickers.

Stickers, stickers, and more stickers...

Garbage Pail Kids, scratch & sniff, foil stickers of Jesus...

And there isn't a person alive who didn't evolve...

So these little beauties should be perfect for everyone in the world, right?

Thanks, Daniel for pointing these out to me...and for all the Wilco joys...

April 12, 2007

Pretty much for one regular reader

There's no way at all that I could keep up with this Office quote game, but I do know of one loyal reader who happens to have the two needed skills: maniacal devotion to watching The Office, a sick ability to remember the exact quotes spoken on a show or movie, and time to kill.

...the three needed skills...

April 11, 2007

A YouTube tip...

So, you're looking for a bit of YouTube fabulousness, but the video seems a little small on your gigando screen. If only there were a way to make the video show up a little larger.

Ah, but there is!

Step one, load up whatever video you want to see.

Head to the far right to the link provided to embed the video in a blog (like the fancy cool one you happen to be reading right now). Copy that entire link.

Paste the link into the address bar in your browser and click to the end of the address. Delete from the end of the address backward to get rid of the " just before the word type. Now, head to the front of the address and delete forward until you're just leaving the http:// part of the address.

For the Joan Baez Muppet Show video, you'd have a link like this: http://www.youtube.com/v/1whnFas5UUI.

Hit enter, and all should be giant and well.

Admittedly it doesn't make the video high-quality or anything, but it does make things at least nearly full screen-size.

A helpful little tip for you folks.

I figure that if you're gonna be reading this blog, you may as well get something out of it.

April 10, 2007

At long racist last

Looks like Disney may be coming 'round to finally release the long-deleted classic Song of the South.

I remember seeing the film in the theater when I was growing up - probably during the 1980 theater re-release and crying like a total little girl when the boy gets gored by the bull near the end of the film. There was a whole bunch of sadness by that point in the flick, but there was apparently a huge racist tone to the film that as a naive lil' five-year-old I certainly didn't get.

Of course, that hasn't stopped 118,000 folks from signing an online petition to get the thing released on DVD or video - or at least released from the Disney vault.

April 9, 2007

Defying my defiance of gravity

I really want to see this video. Sadly the library doesn't seem to have a copy of it yet. They do have a book or two about Josh Simpson.

I have, however, recommended that they purchase one.

April 8, 2007

Imagine your Visual DNA

I'm kind of impressed with Imagini VisualDNA. You click on the photo that best fits your image of whatever idea they've got listed at the top, and after twelve or so of those questions, they tell you what kind of person you are.

It worked pretty well for me, I tell you what.

April 7, 2007

A glimpse into the glory

Man, it doesn't get much cooler than this.

It's like looking at God's crib notes.

April 6, 2007

Our esteemed mayor

Gotta love a man who can throw a baseball.

I'm guessing that lots of you may already have seen this video

The original pitch...


A brief interview on Channel 5...


Another view - from behind the plate...


Jimmy Kimmell rode Mallory pretty hard, but I can't link directly to his video...if you wanna see it, head over to Kimmel's site to hunt it down...

Mallory on the Jimmy Kimmel show after the fact (part 1)...


And part 2 on the Jimmy Kimmel show...things don't go quite as well as might have been hoped...


Kimmel rides Mallory pretty hard, but Mallory seems to be a pretty good sport about things.

April 5, 2007

Project currently on hold

The girl has chosen to strip the kitchen floor and tile the thing this week. She's been really working her tail off to get things done up there in time for us to take off for the weekend.

The weekend project now two weeks back - currently on hold for the floor - was a spiral quilt pattern that she happened upon on the web. She made a few practice blocks and was trying to figure out how to layout the various colors, so I helped with a few practice layouts digitally:

She thought this one was a little too bright...


Then this one as a tip of the hat to the Vikings and Bulldogs...


...and a tip for the sis...


This is what the back of the quilt will look like...


And the final choice for the front of the quilt...

April 4, 2007

Google goes down the toilet


Looks like Google is up to their old tricks. April 1st has come and gone, with Google coming up with two excellent parody webpages this year.

The first one to roll into my inbox was Google's offer of free wireless internet from your toilet. I particularly like the three-tier payment scheme and the way that the lowest tier is free:
...we use information gathered by discreet DNA sequencing of your personal bodily output to display online ads that are contextually relevant to your culinary preferences, current health status and likelihood of developing particular medical conditions going forward.
There was also the option to start taking part of their new Gmail Paper program, in which they print out any email for you and drop ship them in a big box.
Gmail Paper is a scrapbooker's dream. I paper archive all of my son's emails, cut them out in creative shapes, and paste them in my binders.

Now that I have Gmail Paper, I understand the difference between labels and folders. I had one message with two labels, but when I tried to stick the paper version into two filing cabinets at the same time, it just wouldn’t go.

Gmail Paper is made out of 96% post-consumer organic soybean sputum...
Good times, folks...
gotta continue to love Google...

April 3, 2007

Let's hear a little chatter

I'm all about the flicks.

And I'm even good with the flicks that are just about talking instead of blowing stuff up left and right. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good dumb Speed every now and again (though The Island was a little too dumb for my tastes), but a nicely crafted talky is a little more up my alley.

Gimme a good Before Sunrise, Clerks, Metropolitan, Diner, The Player or even Mad About You. Well-written words are a total weakness for me.

April 2, 2007

The magic of lenticularization

I've been trying to find out the name of those cards that change pictures if you tilt the card back and forth, but it took me forever to actually figure it out.

Luckily, The Girl recently reported that she happened to hear on NPR a description of lenticular technology. Turns out that it's based on a lense to show different pictures from different angles.

Sadly, lenticular images don't translate well into web graphics, but at least there are a few sites out there that try to show the effect digitally.

There's lenticular creations, how to make a lenticular image, and world3d.com. For some reason, I'm really tempted to go about looking into getting some sort of lenticular thing printed. No clue what that lenticular thing would be, but for some reason I just want something printed lenticularly.

I'm looking for a little lenticularization all up in these parts.

April 1, 2007

Grow a bit, boys

Nice little game came across the web this week: Sprout. It's a simple enough game of choice where your seed has options of sprouting into various plants with each stage. Only one series of sproutings will end with your seed sprouting into a mighty oak tree, but there are lots of possible missprouts along the way.

Plus, if you get stumped, there's a walkthrough available.