July 16th, 2004

Porsupah smile by Djinni

Werewolves, werebunnies, and hypersonic surfboards

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Here's a good contender for Ultimate Star Trek:TNG Geek. Quite impressive. ^_^

Here's the sound (2.1MB QuickTime) of Cassini passing through Saturn's rings, accompanied by an animation showing its position at the time.

Why should only humans be able to enjoy lycra? Good to see a company doing something about the matter. ^_^ (Thanks to rabitguy!)

Quite a cute trailer for the game Black and White 2 (4MB QuickTime) for the wuf lovers. ^_^

Simple drawing from DealsOnTheWeb for an iPod mini; enter once a day, drawing on July 31st 2004. Refreshingly concise privacy policy: "We value our privacy just like you do. Your name and email address will only be used for the purpose of this contest and for the mail lists that you signup for."

(NYT, free reg req'd) Very good little interview with Sacha Cohen, aka Ali G: 'Part of the idea of Borat is to get people to feel relaxed enough that they fully open up. And they say things that they never would on normal TV. So if they are anti-Semitic or racist or sexist, they'll say it. [...] We were in a private gentlemen's club in Jackson, Miss. And all the serving staff were black. There's this unsaid racism; there's still segregation there. I can't remember the actual line, but I asked if he had slaves, and he said, "Slavery's over now." And I go, "Yeah, that's right." He goes, "It's good." And I go, "Good for them!" He goes, "Yeah, good for them. Bad for us."'

Atom Age Vampire.. with an IMDb rating of 2.4/10, how could I refuse?

More NASA niftiness: X-43A is set for another run - this time, taking it to Mach 10. 7,500 mph, or about two miles per second. (The current budget has the program terminating at that point, with no continuation)

The Miniscule of Sound, "the World's Smallest Nightclub": "It's basically a converted horsebox kitted out on the inside with disco ball, coloured lights, day-glo fluffy roof, light-panelled dancefloor, and a dj (usually) dressed as one of the vilage people playing something cheesey on a tiny pair of decks. The door staff on the outside advise us they are "'avin it tiny!" on the way in. Club capacity is about 8, maybe 9 at a squeeze. As clubbing experiences go, it's one of the best and it's free."

Laptop owners in the UK looking for a DVD-R might do much worse than peeking at SVP's current specials, including a 5.25"/3.5" Firewire/USB case for £25, and the Pioneer DVR-107 for £50. (Or, what looks like the same two items put together, for £90)

If you work for the US government, be sure not to be seen to dislike Bush if he comes to visit, lest you lose your job. Wouldn't want the beloved leader to be offended, would we? (When did these "exclusion zones" begin? I thought they were older than Shrub's regime; I don't care who instituted them. They're an abhorrence. Any legitimate democracy absolutely must accept criticism and dissent as a vital element, not consider it a threat)

From the "Slow News Day" department in London comes the revelation that tube noise "could damage hearing".

Cute owl photo. (And in that vein, not cute, but a really good piece of photography)

Now that's handy.. Jascii's reviews of new anime series now drive an XML RSS feed. His are always worth a perusal, being decently literate, and always including several representative stills. (Even if, for the moment, there's not all that much coming out of particular interest. Still, I do have those final three Paranoia Agent episodes to enjoy, and Anime Expo provided the usual slew of licensing announcements, finally including the wonderfully offbeat Jungle wa itsumo Hale nochi Guu - more or less, "The jungle was fine, and then came Guu")

In other anime news, the bizarre Cromartie High is apparently going to be a live-action movie. O.o Studio Ghibli's website for their forthcoming Diane Wynne-Jones' Howl's Moving Castle is now up - all in Japanese, of course, but the poster image is typically restrained.

CLAMP, the team that brought us the wonderful Card Captor Sakura (and many more), have a new series airing shortly: Sweet Valerians: 'Instead of receiving a moped license they acquire a "Valerian License." As Valerians they will fight the evil "stress group", but for some reason they transform to cute little rabbits.' Looks very silly. I'll be waiting.

Not a bad impression of Control Room here: "The main consultants for the film are the president (I believe) of Al-Jazeera, a freelance journalist (who primarily works for Al-Jazeera), and a sweet-looking USMC correspondant at CentCom. It's very well put together, and I admire the director for honestly removing political agenda from her work."

I have to admit, this Kenyan story involving pigs and dogs is amongst the more peculiar (and gruesome, though that's not illustrated visually) I've read in a while.

In the headline Jobs spruiks Apple's Tiger.. is "spruiks" an Australianism? What's its etymology? It has an Afrikaans/Dutch twang to it.

Pic for the day: a dragon, Koirin, by Rea.

There's a newscomer to the X-Prize race: the Canadian da Vinci project, with their Wild Fire craft, which they hope to launch in September. "Wild Fire uses a hybrid rocket engine like SpaceShipOne. It will start its journey beneath a 200 foot helium balloon, firing its rockets when it reaches 70,000 feet."

An article, offering a few of the Union of Concerned Scientists ("UCS issued a previous complaint in February with 62 signatures but has amassed over 4,000 signatures for its latest report released this month. The signers include 48 Nobel laureates, 62 National Medal of Science recipients and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences") report's specific criticisms, on bad science in US governmental policies.

Webcomics Collector looks like a handy utility for downloading one's favorites.. it claims to know of various page layouts, and can navigate them correctly. It can download an archive, or simply catch up on ones you already keep track of, but haven't looked at in a while. It can also run in the background as a cron task. (Requires a Posix compliant OS, OS X included)

The Red Cross, finding that some detainees listed by the FBI or in media reports can't actually be located, is wondering where these people are.

Inconceivable! A Slashdot comments page on the "renewal of the browser wars" with some genuinely thoughtful replies? One mentioned this site, which includes some good CSS stress-tests, as part of a grander intent to explore the possibilities offered by CSS. And indeed, the rendering is elegant, as claimed. I'm pleased to see how well OmniWeb performs, but with KHTML at the core, that's perhaps to be expected. At the core of this affair is the WHAT (Web Hypertext Application Technology) working group, an informal consortium, presently involving folks like the Mozilla group, Apple, and Opera.

And those in the UK might care to glance at one of the central pages in today's Daily Mail (eep!), with a large b&w photo in a mini-feature on someone's "superbunny": some 3.5' long, weighing in at 35lb, and looks meltingly adorable.
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