Archives for: December 2007

Bic biro reviews on Amazon

12/31/07 | by Adam | Categories: Reviews
Some people have far too much time to play with. On the upside, a number of the "reviews" are screamingly funny. (Via Nodwick) more »

A good idea gone wrong

12/30/07 | by Adam | Categories: Politics
Synopsis of link: Police in Rancho Cordoba, California, are pulling people over to give them Starbucks coupons as a reward for appropriate driving. Comment: The outreach concept is commendable but this is just not the way to do it. The BoingBoing… more »

Pixar's self-referential jokes

12/29/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
Link is to a pretty good annotated list of the various cross-references between the various Pixar movies and shorts. (Via Kottke) more »


12/29/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Reviews, Toys
Dena bought this little unit before our son was born. It didn't seem all that useful to start with, but this says more about what parenting in the first few weeks consists of than it says about the usefulness of the Itzbeen. You don't need timers to… more »

Devil Delusion

12/29/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion
I can only be civil for so long. *sigh* Pope Ratzi is getting the troops back in the ready for the War On Satan. UPDATE: The director of the Vatican Press Office is denying Father Gabriele Amorth's report: "Pope Benedict XVI has no intention of… more »

Rogers Wireless adding their own content to third party websites

12/28/07 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright
This is ugly; Rogers has started adding their own content to webpages sourced from a third party. I have no issue with their transfer cap as mentioned in the linked article but manipulating received data is an abuse of power when acting as the transport… more »

Pedal-powered car pulled over

12/27/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube
Funny video about a stripped 1986 Buick Regal, converted into a pedal-car, taking its first road test. The Toronto police were somewhat less than enthused about it. (Via BoingBoing) more »

A few more medical myths

12/26/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
Link is to a CBC story on various pieces of popular folklore, including the infamous one that the tryptophan in turkey makes you sleepy. more »

Merry Christmas!

12/25/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri, YouTube
A Merry Christmas to you all; now go back to sleep. (If you're reading this a bit later, leave the computer alone for a bit and go and chat with your family!) Oh, yeah, and here's another YouTube video that's doing the rounds. more »

Why pregnant women don't topple over

12/24/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri
Wired News has a nifty article that tries to describe why -- physiologically speaking -- pregnant women aren't as likely as one would expect to lose their balance. Too bad about the use of the phrases "elegant engineering", "design changes" and… more »

"We regret the error"

12/23/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
Link is to a fine round-up of the more entertaining retractions, corrections and general oopses in the media. Personal favourite: The Ayrshire-based cable firm mistakenly aired the pornographic content, from adult channel Climax 3, to customers for two… more »

Thai Pop-up Market

12/22/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube
This has to be seen to be believed. Anyone who's travelled through poorer countries knows that railroads tend to be centres of commerce due to the good access of maintained track. I've never seen a market built around the in-use tracks before... (Via… more »


12/21/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
I love the small text for the "Was..." price. Everything on the sign is absolutely correct with the exception that a sale is precisely what is not being advertised. (Via BoingBoing) more »

Oooh, ooh ooh!

12/20/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri
New Line and Peter Jackson have apparently patched up their differences. So, it looks like "The Hobbit" will be on celluloid and done properly. Woohoo! I'm trying to figure out this comment though: The deal includes another film to be made that takes… more »

The original "Star Wars" opening sequence

12/19/07 | by Adam | Categories: YouTube
The original opening sequence for "Star Wars" makes for an interesting piece of arcana, but I agree with Kottke: it didn't deserve to make the final cut. (Via Kottke) more »

Javascript Swirlies

12/19/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Distractions, Internet, Programming
I wish I had an original cite for this bit of Javascript that my wife found posted in a Fark forum, but it's fantastic fun, so I'm posting about it regardless. To operate it, you copy the entire paragraph below, navigate to a web page (Fark works… more »

McKnight Station: A Rough Start

12/19/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Announcements [A], Common Sense
I had a bit of a rude awakening coming back home on Monday. My wife had dropped me off at work, or else I would had my shock in the morning, and perhaps waited for a bus that would never come. Calgary Transit opened their McKnight station for public… more »

General Synod's "Life of Christ"

12/18/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube
I've not seen this "Not The Nine O'Clock News" skit in quite some time. Get it while it's still on YouTube! (Via Pharyungula) more »

War Plan Crimson

12/17/07 | by Adam | Categories: Canadian, American
This one isn't news but it's a reference to various plans the US and Canada had to invade each other over the years. It makes for entertaining reading and fortunately the plans (like the concepts posited in the alt-history writings of Harry Turtledove… more »

Who wants to buy a NAS with built-in DRM?

12/16/07 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright
This is an unusual one: Western Digital put out a NAS that actually filters out 20 file formats by their suffix as being copyright infringements. The DRM is buried in software used by the product to make files available remotely (i.e. outside of a… more »

Wired on Futurama

12/15/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri
Excellent piece from Wired on "Futurama", the utterly brilliant and sadly prematurely-cancelled animated series from Matt Groening. If you've not seen it, I have a complete set of the DVDs I'd be happy to lend out*. (* Offer limited to people I know… more »

$85,000 cellphone bill for one month's usage

12/14/07 | by Adam | Categories: Calgary, iPhone
This is an impressive one and it doesn't even include an iPhone. more »

'Cry "havoc" and let...line?'

12/13/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri
Recently I was asked to proof some well-known literary quotes, amongst which were some Shakespearean ones that had to be identified as such. more »

Fark's NSFW

12/12/07 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright
I quite like Fark but I have to say that trying to take out a trademark on the term "NSFW" is a rather poor show. The only thing that could justify this is if they're attempting to make a statement about the inappropriateness of taking a common term and… more »

Good attempt, guys

12/11/07 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright, Calgary
I recently decided to "upgrade" my old "Die Hard" DVDs as my original transfers which, while reasonable for the time, were substandard. Besides, the pack including the as-of-yet unwatched fourth installment so I figured it was a decent choice. more »

The underlying flaw of social networking sites

12/10/07 | by Adam | Categories: Calgary
Cory Doctorow has a good article up about the principal driver of the boom'n'bust nature of social network sites. To wit: It's socially awkward to refuse to add someone to your friends list -- but removing someone from your friend-list is practically a… more »

Blog posting claims another job

12/09/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
This one's too bad: the voice of the London Underground has just been fired for recording and posting some spoofs on her own website. "Mind the gap" no more. (Via BoingBoing) more »

Smart Car collision test

12/08/07 | by Adam | Categories: YouTube
One common comment I've heard questioning the survivability of the small Smart Car is whether anyone in it could live through a head-on collision. The video from a British motoring show appears to suggest that yes, you would. Even so, I certainly… more »

Sign of the social networking times

12/07/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
Appropriate cartoon from "The Joy Of Tech". more »

RBC Impersonation Scammers Making The Rounds

12/06/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Internet, Spamming
Here's the text of the scam: Royal Bank of Canada Dear customer, Due to the recent upgrade of our servers, we have issued this warning message. It has come to our attention that some of our customers no longer have access to their banking online.… more »

Where's the cite?

12/06/07 | by Adam | Categories: Whining
One thing I hadn't considered much when I started helping Ritchie on the blog was cites. Other than the few articles that are written purely from scratch, most entries reference some other work. In fact most reference some other work that references the… more »

Princess Bean

12/05/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
in one of the ongoing "Star Wars" related posting, here's one involving Photoshopping celebrity faces onto characters from the series. The Princess Leia/Mr Bean mix is outstanding. (Via BoingBoing) more »

Oh, now who do I cheer for?

12/04/07 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright
This isn't fair. Bete noire #1 (Walmart) tells bete noir #2 (Record Labels) to drop bete noire #3 (DRM). Give me a few hours to resolve the cognitive dissonances on this one. (Via BoingBoing) more »

iPod packaging by Microsoft

12/03/07 | by Adam | Categories: YouTube
Another golden oldie I hadn't seen for a while. This one has the dubious distinction of actually being an inhouse Microsoft effort, although to their credit it was put together as an example of what not to do. more »

"Theory" Lost in the Crowd

12/02/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Science
We've been drilling it into people over and over again: "it's just a theory" is wrong when we say Theory of Evolution because Theory in scientific terms means well-proven hypothesis, not just some random guess, and that's true for things like evolution… more »

Twenty strange legal cases

12/02/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
Link is to an article on some of the odder legal cases from around the world. My favourite: 3. In 2004, a German lawyer, Dr Juergen Graefe, acted for an elderly pensioner from St Augustin, near Bonn, who was sent a tax demand for €287 million, even… more »

The PowerPoint Gettysburg Address

12/01/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly
This one's been doing the rounds for a while, but Wired News just reposted it so I thought I would as well. Also on the site is a description of the history of the "Four Score" slide show since its creation back in 2000; it's funny and quite… more »