June 17th, 2004

Porsupah smile by Djinni

Cheap fun, smart dogs, and reanimation of translocated insects

For stego_s_aurus, a short article on a border collie with a vocabulary of 200 words.

Plenty of cheap fun - enter a UK postcode here, and witness the more amusing town names nearby. ^_^

My cicadas should be arriving on Wednesday, by FedEx, along with a DV bridge. (Not mine, much as I might wish) Yay! They did! Sadly, all but comatose.. perhaps the freight flight was too cold, or simply too much shaking around en route. There are a few stirrings of life, but I'm fearing this is their time.. and after spending seventeen years underground, nibbling on root juices, too. As for the bridge.. I don't suppose anyone's got a 6 to 4-pin firewire cable I could use for a few weeks? Or even know of somewhere dirt cheap that will accept antiquated methods of payment such as a personal che[que|ck]? Well, maybe that can be a quest for the morrow, when I quietly abduct akira114.

Forget that last bit, could you?

I wonder.. if OPEC hadn't managed to bump oil prices up as happened in the 1970s, and thus the fuel costs had remained in accordance with whatever projections were in use, could Concorde have been a profitable craft? (It was, unquestionably, quite supremely elegant, regardless of other criteria)

British strawberries may be destined for Martian growth: "NASA scientists are keen to use an English breed because it will be more accustomed to low light levels than those from California or Florida.

Another rather good Worth1000 potatoshop contest: "cybernetic animals". Dialup users beware: it is heavily image laden. (As with many such contests, the best ones appear early on, trailing off markedly towards the end)

Apparently, sheep prefer looking at happy people. They can also distinguish between around fifty individual sheep.

So, I'm looking around for any available firmware update for the USB ADSL modem, and run a quick google. One of the results, around position 8, contains the text "... It adsl modems firmware appears to have been adsl broadband modem ... 500 modem xp drivers dignity, the rather, as binatone adsl 500 usb modem problem there ...", titled "Adult Web Site Promotion", from the ever-so-slightly spammy www. 1-2-3-carloan. com (spaces added deliberately). So.. what's the reasoning here? "Well, I was looking for a modem updater, but hey - porn site!" (Although, one wonders if that probably does work in some cases..) BTW, how do they do that? I've seen various spammy sites come up with any number of infinitesimally unlikely combinations of words. If a site were being queried live, I could see a malicious cgi just returning results based on the referrer string.

Could be very good.. an informal interview with Philip K Dick. Available in mp3 form here as a torrent, and here over http; 83MB in all. The former's preferred, so as to avoid straining the user's account. "A friend loaned me a bunch of tapes, and one of them turned out to be an audio interview of Philip K. Dick, interviewed in his home. You can hear the television on and his kids playing in the background. Very relaxed and chatty."

An alternative soundtrack for the first Harry Potter movie. I've not listened to it yet, but the notion's intriguing..

For brigus: print-and-cut-out miniature classic arcade cabinets. ^_^

If you were to try taking a red-hot branding iron to a horse, wanting to take it by surprise, how do you think they'd react? Yes, exactly. (800K MPEG-1; worth playing in slow motion)

Handy site for UK folks: TheyWorkForYou.com. It offers a trivially simple interface to find out what's been going on in Parliament, and offers profiles of your local MP, including how well they've attended, what motions they've tabled, how safe their seat is, and more. Curiously, top searches when I looked included "freedom information", "public schools", and "monkey".

I should perhaps note that, a few days ago, I finally got to see (albeit on a tiny TV..) LotR: Return of the King. I wish I'd had the opportunity to see it cinematically, obviously, as it's a film which calls out for such a presentation - a much less common aspect than some in Hollywood might like, I'd say. I admit to remaining somewhat uncomfortable with the notions of - at least, as the film portrayed them, not having familiarity with the original works - purely Good and Evil forces, too reminiscent of "traditional" superheroics.

Shrubbery of the day, from an Al-Arabiya TV interview: "Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in their country and trying to destabilize their country. And we will help them rid Iraq of these killers."

One vote can make a difference, as shown by the final paragraph here: "Two candidates in Slough were forced to roll a dice to decide the outcome of the election after two recounts failed to split them. The Tory beat the independent."

Another sign Kawaii Radio is a worthy enterprise: currently in charge is DJ Fuzzy Panda. ^_^ You know it makes sense. And on that note, I'll close with my red panda recommendation for the day: Dan Blueston's oekaki of Skott. (Not safe for work, unless Zig-Zag's the boss, in which case it'd be a resumé submission)
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