week in blog

Don't Buy It Before You PriceSCAN It!

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there." L.P. Hartley 

Austin designer Chris Waltrip scours the Web for all the hippest online art galleries so you don't have to. And Mr. Waltrip doesn't confine himself to "art" in the strictest sense -- as long as the images are arresting, he'll lend them a link (Dublog).

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Lost Treasures of Tibet 

The 500-year old wall paintings in Lo Monthang's Thubchen monastery (Tibet) were dull & grimy in 2001. But the restoration team worked wonders, returning Thubchen's surviving wall paintings to remarkably close approximations of their original glory.

Monday, December 29, 2003


Are you a fresh-air fiend, keen on outdoor photography and nifty gadgetry? Then join this band of "geosnappers" who aim to canvas the world and visually map it with pinpoint accuracy. Combining the GPS craze known as "geocaching" with an unbridled love of adventure, these shutterbugs have already created an impressive array of regional and thematic albums that are browseable by photographer, category, or popularity. Click on the world map, then zero in on a region, say, the East Coast. Geographically related albums such as Salem Witch Trials of 1692, unusual phenomenon, and rural Virginia will appear in a list. The photos in each album are plotted on a map of the immediate area. Neat, huh? If you'd like to contribute, you'll need a GPS receiver to mark your location coordinates, then upload the images to the site. We can't think of a more exciting way to map the world!

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Drink bottled water? Here's a cautionary note 

Clear, lightweight, and sturdy polycarbonate plastic bottles are standard equipment for millions of hikers and babies. They might not be the healthiest though.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Google Logos 

Google takes a free rein with its logos.

Friday, December 26, 2003

The common cold as cancer fighter? 

It is if you've figured out a way to genetically engineer the virus so that it fights and kills cancerous cells - while leaving healthy cells intact.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Test your senses! 

Flash based test from BBC: Test your senses, and read the accompanying explanation.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Mechanical Marvels of the Nineteenth Century 

Pulsing red lights and mobile trash cans are all fine and well, but whatever happened to old-school robots? Walking, talking, man/machine robots? Alas, they died out in the twilight of the 19th century, along with bloomers and the British Empire. Meet Boilerplate, the original Terminator, who fought bravely alongside Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. Say hello to The Electric Man, an itinerant android who traveled the globe on his trusty steam-powered steed. And quiver in amazement at The Automatic Man, a giant mustachioed automaton who could pull a horse carriage. Giant robots all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Check out 

The best of British blogging.


Forged by and for the fans, this massive site is devoted to the Lord of the Rings movies and J.R.R Tolkien's books that inspired them. TheOneRing.net (TORn) is so huge, you'll likely need a newbie guide to get through it all. The movie FAQ covers many basic questions, and the detailed character guide gives a who's who in wars of the rings.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Magnetically Levitated (Maglev) trains 

Remember the cool sleek transport systems shown in "Minority Report" last year? Well, they're in the near future, and here's a lot of stash about them.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Dark energy tops science class 

A series of breakthroughs in the quest to identify the mysterious fabric of the Universe has topped a list of the 10 key scientific advances of 2003.

Do Christians and Muslims pray to the same God? 

Commandment the First.

Friday, December 19, 2003

When Good News Is Bad News 

It's a familiar human predicament. Dear old Aunt Maude—dear, rich old Aunt Maude—has staged a remarkable recovery. The doctors say she could live another 30 years. You are delighted, of course. And yet you can't help thinking about the money.

The politics of mixed emotions.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Jihad in Middle-earth 

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Future of aviation in the next 50 years 

Aviation has been transformed in the last 100 years. It will go a lot further in the next century as the pilot is eliminated. The Economist gives an extremely well-documented article about the future of aviation during the next fifty years!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Northern Lights  

Some stunning photographs of the skies over Iceland!

Monday, December 15, 2003

Linux for Robots?  

Japan's preoccupation with consumer robots is largely driven by economic imperatives: an aging population, declining birthrates and a looming labor shortage, which means that the development of a standard robot platform may not be far ahead..

Sunday, December 14, 2003

The Japan SAQ 

"Seldom Asked Questions" about Japan: Why do the five and fifty yen coins have holes in the middle? Why does Chuo railway line attract most suicides? What is the sound of one hand clapping? Why do Japanese women walk pigeon-toed? Etc etc...

Saturday, December 13, 2003

The Meatrix 

Leo, choose a pill -- green if you want to see this consumer activism video with a lot of food for thought, red and you are free.

Friday, December 12, 2003

There is no time like the pleasant. - Oliver Herford 

One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time. - Nancy Astor (1879 - 1964)

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so. - Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Nothing is as far away as one minute ago. - Jim Bishop

I don't think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present. - W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), The Moon and Sixpence

A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.

Thursday, December 11, 2003


An intrepid six-member team of scientists, explorers, and educators is set to venture into the Arctic regions of Northern Canada to chronicle climatic changes within the Arctic Circle. You're invited to join their voyage into this rarely visited corner of the world. Set to depart on December 15, the explorers promise daily updates and information direct from the field. Until then, you can meet the dogs and the humans set to embark on the environmentally themed adventure. For students and teachers, an online classroom encourages education on this interesting voyage on subjects from A to Z. Round up your sled dogs and head into Inuit country.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Interviewing with the NSA 

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

INDIA - We are proud. 

India to take 350-million-dollar stake in Galileo satellite project.
Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindusta Hamara
India Fires Supercool-Fuel Rocket.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Let Them Sing It for You 

Do you have an original musical composition bouncing around in your noggin? Maybe you have some lyrics scribbled on a sheet and dream of the day when Celine or Barbra will breathe sweet life into your words. If you're eager to hear a rough estimate of how your tune might sound, this site delivers the goods. Just type in your purest poetry and hear it sung by some of the most recognizable voices in the music business. The best part is that you don't even have to come up with a song -- you can type in any message, listen to it, and then mail your masterpiece to a friend. "I hate you" works just as well as "I love your sexy ears," but those are just a few examples to get you rolling. If you type in a word not yet in the site's sound dictionary, you'll be prompted to add a song that features the missing word. Not just for the musically inclined, this fun site will be a major time sink for anyone looking for a way to express themselves through song.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Microsoft's FAT charges 

Microsoft will soon be charging manufacturers of flash memory card devices and those which use them $0.25 per unit or up to $250,000 to use the FAT filesystem. For those who are unaware the FAT file system was developed by Microsoft back in 1976 and has become the standard file system for all digital still cameras. Microsoft owns patents to the FAT File System but for many years hasn't even hinted that it may one day decide to charge for it. These new licenses appear to come into effect immediately and specifically make mention of 'compact flash memory cards' and 'portable digital still cameras'. What a great way for Microsoft to cash in on the most popular consumer products (as if they don't make enough money already).

Friday, December 05, 2003

Views from the Hubble Telescope 

A video (with clear sound) that shows some of the findings from the Hubble telescope.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Things to ponder 

- How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated, instead of just murdered?
- If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?
- Why do you have to "put your two cents in"...but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?
- What did cured ham actually have?
- How is it that we put man on the moon decades before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
- Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?
- If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
- Why are you in a movie, but you are on TV?
- Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?
- How do you get Holy Water? You boil the hell out of it.
- What do fish say when they hit a concrete wall? Dam!
- What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work? A stick.
- What do you call Santa's helpers? Subordinate Clauses.
- What do you get from a pampered cow? Spoiled milk.
- What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches? A nervous wreck.
- What's the difference between a bad golfer and a bad skydiver?
One goes whack, "damn." The other goes "damn", whack.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Postcards From the Road 

As a kid, Laurel Kane saw new and fascinating worlds from the back seat of a 1951 Plymouth, not the least of which were the motels along the route. Her childhood was spent drawing motor courts and swimming pools, and her adult life has revolved around that most iconic of American motorways, Route 66. Now she has collected over 5,000 vintage postcards of motels along this "mother road," and these images are scattered throughout her site. Not only do postcards bring the pleasures of travel home, but collectors also enjoy the voyeurism of reading what's on the back. Recent road trips took Kane to the very motels pictured on her postcards, catching them in the act of living or dying. She's even renovating a 1930s gas station on Route 66 in Afton, Oklahoma. Her husband collects vintage Packards, which they plan to display at the station. While not everyone can preserve history like Kane, we can take her advice and stay in an old motel on our travels. It's saving a piece of Americana, one night at a time.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

This will drive you nuts...where does the extra man come from? 

Count the men, watch the picture closely, then count again.

A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"

Monday, December 01, 2003

Top Ten Internet Fads 

At the risk of sounding much older than I really am, I've been on the Internet since 1987. In that time, I've seen a number of Internet fads come and go. Some were excesses of the bubble years, but others weren't.

A fad, for purposes of this article, is an idea or technology which is briefly popular, but can't outlast its own novelty value. Once people get over the newness of it all, there isn't really anything special left. Here are the ten which stand out most in my mind.

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