October 14th, 2004

Porsupah smile by Djinni

Accordion to expectations

I haven't posted any quizzes in a while, so here's a pair from quizilla. ^_^

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If you'd like to win a three-way DVD duplicator (one Lite-On DVD, three Pioneer 108 DVD-Rs), drop your email in here by Friday. (They might only ship it within the EU, as with their regular merchandise)

Excellent post-second debate wrap-up on Fafblog:
'The two candidates' styles in the innovative town hall format are very different. John Kerry handles himself by amblin around stage in a folksy manner to win the confidence of his audience. At one point he builds a barn, which prompts the audience's lone Amish member to comment "Good work, English." George Bush tends to assert his strength in the debate by jumpin up behind John Kerry, clubbing audience members over the head with a wrench, an by launching himself out of a cannon wearin a unitard emblazoned with the logo "The Mighty Thor."'

Here's the Flash ad (1.6MB) for MC Hawking's rap CD, "A Brief History of Rhyme".

So, I finally got to see Sky Captain. I shan't extend this with a lengthy review, but it was what I'd hoped for - an imaginative, stylish yarn, gorgeously portrayed (if often on the under-illuminated side), perhaps reminding Mr Lucas of finer days. The inevitable "making of" on the DVD ought to be worth seeing. ^_^

An unlikely headline: Announcing the World's First Complete Digital Accordion". Yes, it's a complete MIDI accordion, with internal speakers - the perfect Christmas gift.

Or, for pre-made music, often lacking accordions, have a look at Fat Planet, a weblog dedicated to highlighting nifty music from all corners of the world. Although it should be noted that Gotan Project's rather nifty Santa Maria (6.5MB mp3) does indeed, being an Argentinian/French tango mutation, sport a proudly prancing accordion.

If you're within reach of Leeds, and enjoy good cinema (live action or animated), the Leeds International Film Festival might be of interest. Running from Oct 28-Nov 7, Japanese highlights include: Ghost in the Shell 2, Steamboy, Casshern, the live action Cutie Honey (from the director of Evangelion), and Electric Dragon 80,000V. Details are also available on the NanimeW site.

Furry ears and mini-tails for your motorcycle helmet, coming in bunny, tiger, dalmatian, and others. And there's more!

The Omni Group feel their browser - OmniWeb 5 - is especially good. So good, in fact, their dogs and cats are offering testimonials. (And isn't Oslo absolutely adorable? The facts mentioned do indeed seem to be accurate, too) FWIW, 5.1b1 is now available - amongst other things, this finally ditches their local branch of WebCore, so page compatibility ought to be identical to Safari, and thus similar to other KHTML derivatives.

And then there's ocicats, a breed I'd not heard of until a recent weblog entry by James Wolcott. When spotted, they do indeed resemble ocelots, but much more portable.

Forget about those crazy norteamericanos and their stretch limos.. how about a 727 converted into a Mexican limo?

A fairly reasonable article on OS X, from a hard-core Windows user's perspective, courtesy of AnandTech. There are a few glitches in accuracy here and there, but it's not a bad overview, even if I was looking at it from the reverse perspective. ^_^ Speaking of which, roohbear might want to give this a try, just for fun: installing OS X on an Xbox.

A dual 2.5GHz G5 owner's posted some high-res images of the liquid cooling system it uses: "It has more in common with a car's cooling system than I realized. In fact the "radiator" is built by Delphi, a large manufacturer in automotive components [...]"

So, Candlestick Park is, apparently, now officially named Monster Park. Normally, corporate sponsorships - in this case, Monster Cable - wind up horribly cheesy, but this is a definite exception. ^_^ (Hm. Must be some cool mascot opportunities opening up..)

Quite possibly the world's most detailed road sign, courtesy of a_skunk. O.o I've seen less complicated slot machines..

Speed Bump: I'm with the dog.

Meanwhile, pic for the day is clearly this one, by Tania Walker. ^_^

Insightful little story on the nature of influence of recommendations, and how far that may yet change the entertainment industry.

Yay! New Enter the Cow-Orker entries, being the real-life adventures in an unnamed Australian governmental agency, of one office worker and his albatross. Although it would seem to be in its twilight, with said "colleague" due to be headed off to another department.

Quote for the day, courtesy of Ken Layne's weblog: "Meaning, the search-text-ads just show up all over the world, based on a match with some text on your site. (Let's see if there's an AdSense match for "vicey versey." I bet that's the name of a hip-hop girl-group in Romania, or a sex toy for werewolves.)"

A regrettably genuine quote from kaysho: "In the event of a fire, descend five floors and exit the stairwell until you are told to re-enter it.  Do not forget that there is no 13th floor, so if you work on floors 14 through 18, you will descend to floors 8 through 12, respectively."

There's speculation that Apple might be preparing to open up the iPod for software developers.

Hm. Ofcom's putting forward the idea of a new public service TV channel in the UK. Certainly, Channel Four's changed fairly significantly from their original remit, and BBC One's not fared much better. (On the other paw, for those able to receive the digital channels, BBC Four augments BBC Two well. No idea where BBC Three fits into the grand scheme, though..)

Quote for the day, from aethwolf: "After that, we wandered past the racoons. They were quite interested in seeing us, though, one little looked like he was stuck in an infinite loop."

A letter from Farnaz Fassihi, a reporter with the Wall Street Journal, on the current situation in Baghdad and Iraq generally. (He's since gone on a "long planned vacation")

Cedar Park's going to have a fight on their hands.. Six Flags in New Jersey's claiming their Kingda Ka will be a record-beater, at 456' tall, launching at 128mph.

Hot news from our Senatorial colleague in Oklahoma, Tom Coburn: "Lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that's happened to us?"

I suppose it almost had to happen.. anyone who's been following his diaries will know Mixerman's name well. He's been interview by Playboy. And if the name isn't familiar, please let me point out his his original diaries to you, as currently continued here.

Very good. After some students posted internal Diebold email illustrating the extent to which the company was aware of significant problems with their voting systems, the company launched a DMCA lawsuit. That's just been denied, in no small part thanks to the EFF. The kicker? Diebold were also held to be in violation of section 512(f) of the DMCA. ^_^

Drink al-Qaeda!

When the FCC came to close down a Santa Cruz pirate radio station, the local police didn't join in. Jolly good show.

From the "instructions for toothpicks" department: an invaluable Apple help document.

Favorite post-debate comment seen so far:
"A musical interlude in
tribute to rabbits caught in a tharn state everywhere.

Kerry is our El-ahrairah...

Bush, u embleer elil General Woundwort?"

Another graph for the polling statistics geeks, showing aggregate instantaneous and curve fitting results for Bush and Kerry since January 2004.

First A9, now Google Print..

Nixie tube GPS-synced clocks.. including a wristwatch version. ^_^

Say, cheese! The Sexum Adult Digital Watch.. ^_^;

As of Sep 30, citizens of all participant countries in the US visa waiver scheme (including most W European countries, Australia, NZ, Japan) joined in the fun of being photographed and fingerprinted on entry. I feel safer already!

Apparently, Saddam Hussein would like to stand for election.

Some heavy duty statistical analysis of the recent polling.

Here's MoveOn's newspaper ad questioning Gallup's occasionally dramatic Republican gains. The core assertion is that Gallup's weighting is based on their model of likely turnout on a partisan basis; MoveOn claims the weighting in the past two presidential elections has been in an opposite direction. Zogby, another pollster, says: "I have checked out Newsweek's poll. Their sample of registered voters includes 38% Republican, 31% Democrat and 31% Independent voters. If we look at the three last Presidential elections, the spread was 34% Democrats, 34% Republicans and 33% Independents (in 1992 with Ross Perot in the race); 39% Democrats, 34% Republicans, and 27% Independents in 1996; and 39% Democrats, 35% Republicans and 26% Independents in 2000. While party identification can indeed change within the electorate, there is no evidence anywhere to suggest that Democrats will only represent 31% of the total vote this year."

A handy summary of the swathe of pollster results, listing the organisation, survey end date, and the percentages for Bush & Kerry. It's interesting to note both the general trends across all results, and the offset some exhibit on a sustained basis.

"You let the powerful demand power 'for the little man.' But you yourself are silent. You provide powerful men with more power or choose weak, malignant men to represent you. And you discover too late you are always the dupe." - Wilhelm Reich
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