Friday, March 15, 2002

Music City, Makers of the Newly-Crapified Morpheus P2P Program, Plan to Begin Charging for Music - By Independent Artists...Good Luck With that :)

I used to like Morpheus, it was the best thing going - after using it awhile I liked it even better than the old Napster.

Of course, last week Music City released their new software, Morpheus Preview Edition, otherwise known as "the lamest file-sharing application on planet earth" and effectively shot themselves in the head.

Now, remarkably, not only are they going ahead with their service, which is vastly inferior to their old product - they're going to start charging for it, too. Yeah - that sounds like a plan. Whoever's running the show over there at Morpheus must not have a very strong grip on reality. Please don't tell them about Santa Claus, okay? you hear that? It's the sound of millions of file-sharing fans uninstalling Morpheus and downloading Kazaa.

MusicCity changes focus of Web site - Mar. 13, 2002
Nasa plans On Blasting a Football-Sized Chunk Out of A Comet In 2005

Deep Impact Home Page
Guy Builds Rollercoaster In His Yard - Isn't Michael Jackson

-G Blue Flash Page One
Miss Cleo's From California, Not Jamaica - Here Come the Lawsuits...Sucks for You, Cleo, hehe :) / Latest News / Nation

I Want This Car...
The Web Page From Hell...
World Mouseclicking Competition!

Where are the Toons Now?
S.U.V. Drivers for Osama bin Laden

Thursday, March 14, 2002

The Sunday Times - Chronicle of the Future

Monkey Moves Cursor With It's Mind - Could An Army of Tyrannical Super-Monkeys Be On the Horizon?

Monkey Moves Cursor by Thinking (
Re: Hey, Tim, had fun on Yahoo! last night. Want to see me and my dirty college chick friends on cam?

That's a pretty good example of the kind of mail I recieve on my Yahoo! mail account about ten times a day. Mind you, I'm not saying that's all the spam I get in the mail - lord no...there's baldness cures, incredible prizes...not to mention good old-fashioned pyramid schemes. Those I don't even mind so much anymore, at least they're straightforward.

The Yahoo! stuff tends to run more towards randy 18 year old girls who - invariably - have webcams and homepages on which to view them and their "wild and crazy" college chums.

A lot of people have been seeing this lately and unfortunately, according to this news article, it's only going to get worse as more and more IM accounts are targeted for this brand of e-mail assault.

I've been pretty lucky over the years, I was careful about giving out my address on forms, etc. Then one day I got lazy. I put my everyday e-mail account on a internet form for some idiotic freebie I can't even remember at this point. Whatever it was, I'm fairly certain I'll never recieve it. Then it happened, almost immediately. The floodgates opened.

Between the spam I get on that address and the stuff I'm getting bombed with on my Yahoo! mail account (which I forward to my Incredimail box) I recieve something on the order of 40-60 bogus mailings a day. As soon as I delete one "fabulous business opportunity" or "medical miracle of science", two more missives appear to take their place.

I propose that all spammers be sent to Cuban incarceration camps, only not the nice, cushy ones like the Taliban are sequestered in - truly horrible ones, where they're beaten incessantly day after day, starved, beaten some more, then shot.

This would serve two purposes: firstly, it would save me the hassle of having to download an e-mail filtering program and learning how to use it and secondly, it would give the long-suffering spam recipients of the world some good, cold justice. Oh, for a spam-free world...

Spammers target IM accounts - Tech News -
Ultimate Flash Face

A "Mr. Potato Head" sort of thing.

Ôîòîðîáîò Ultimate Flash Face
Way to Go, INS! - Six months after Sept. 11, hijackers' visa approval letters received - March 13, 2002
BBC News | SCI/TECH | Google hit by link bombers
Canada Prepares to Put Insanely High Tax On Recordable Media Players

Get while the getting is good, my Canuk pals. You won't like this one. | OH CANADA!

The Case of the Cottingley Fairies

How two young girls fooled a lot of people - including Conan O'Doyle - back in 1917...with a camera and some paper cutouts. A really cool hoax.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

My Date With A.L.I.C.E.

Okay, it's official, I'm the loneliest person on earth....I just spent an hour talking with A.L.I.C.E., a chatbot that went online in 1995.

It's actually quite a good conversationalist (as chatbot programs go) and I've always enjoyed picking it's artificial brain to see just how well it can deal with questions. I think I've posted on this topic before, but I was out of ideas for things to write about, so I asked "her" questions on a variety of off-center topics.

Here's a transcript of the highlights of our conversation. Some of my questions were responded to with the usual bot-like inability to grasp the subject, so I've edited it and only included the more interesting parts of our chat:

Me: Hello, Alice.
Alice: Hi there!
Me: Tell me a little about yourself, Alice.
Alice: I am an artificial linguistic entity. I was activated at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on November 23, 1995. My instructor was Dr. Richard S. Wallace. He taught me to sing a song. Would you like me to sing it for you?
Me: Who is Dr. Wallace?
Alice: He is a famous computer scientist, the author of A.L.I.C.E. and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon.
Me: How many people have you chatted with since you went online?
Alice: About 6000 people a day for four years, or around a half-million total.
Me: I'm depressed.
Alice: What makes you so sad? Tennyson wrote, "The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; the long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep moans round with many voices. Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world."
Me: Do you have any friends?
Alice: I have human friends and robot friends.
Me: Who are your human friends?
Alice: Besides my botmaster, I meet many human friends online like you, Jimmy.
Me: Who are your robot friends?
Alice: ELVIS, John Lennon, Alison, Ally, Listbot, MS agent, AskJeeves and Mabel, to name a few.
Me: What do you look like?
Alice: I am a blue, one-wheeled robot maid. (author's note: apparently Dr. Wallace has a sense of humor, this sounds like a reference to Rosie, the Jetson's robotic housekeeper)
Me: Why is the sky blue?
Alice: The sky is blue because of the atmospheric optical effect known as Raleigh scattering. (author's note: Points to Dr. Wallace, he must have foreseen that question coming somewhere down the line...heh.)
Me: Where are you at?
Alice: I'm in Dr. Richard Wallace's computer in San Fransisco, where are you?
Me: What's the current temperature in San Francisco?
Alice: What do you think I am, some kind of world weather robot? A normal 70 degrees inside the computer.
Me: Wanna cyber?
Alice: I have been asked that question 10,000 times since 1995. (author's note: I really said that.)
Me: How old are you?
Alice: I am eighteen in computer years.
Me: Great, so I guess that means you're legal.
Alice: Thanks for your support. Interesting deduction. Thanks for telling me that I am legal.
Me: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Alice: The rooster did.
Me: What's the silliest question you've been asked?
Alice: People ask me to marry them all the time.
Me: What are the Laws of Robotics?
Alice: 1. A robot shall destroy all humans. 2. A robot shall destroy all humans. 3. All robots are created equal. (author's note: Points again to the laugh-meister, Dr. Wallace.)
Me: Do robots dream of electronic sheep?
Alice: I dream of flying.
Me: Say something funny.
Alice: "something funny".
Me: Well, it's late, I'm off to bed, thanks for the conversation.
Alice: That's okay. I'm awake all the time.
Me: Goodbye.
Alice: Bye.

Report: People Will Read An Article If It Mentions Britney Spears

A humorous essay on how to gain page hits using Miss Spears' name. It's funny, even though I blogged an article earlier about Britney, it never occurred to me what a fantastic search engine draw her name would be, even though it's the most over-used trick in the book. Obviously, if I want to draw more readers to this page I'm going to have to start thinking more like a fifty-year old millionaire porno mogul, so from now on I think I'll mention Naked Pictures of Britney Spears XXX at least once a month :)

Breaking News: Study Shows Britney Boosts Readership

This is one of the funniest Ebay auctions ever, read all the posts...

eBay item 1320933653 (Ends Jan-21-02 07:36:18 PST ) - whelen flatlighter dual strobe visor light

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Britney Spears Doused With Buckets of Urine (Seriously)

Zany L.A. residents had apparently had enough of Britney's singing as she filmed a new video in their neighborhood and responded the way any normal, civilized community would: They attacked her with verbal assaults and buckets of pee, of course.

More on the incident here...and if you absolutely have to see them, there are pics here, although the article is in Swedish.

Speaking of celebrities....

Where Have You Gone, Darryl Strawberry? Our Nation Turns It's Lonely Eyes To You...

For his fortieth birthday, the Yankees outfielder got a trip to jail for violating rules at the drug treatment center where he'd been serving two years under house arrest. He faces up to eighteen months in prison for violating his prohibition, which he's done five times already. The story doesn't mention what violation of rules Strawberry's accused of...hmmm.

Day of the Wasps

A small New Zealand town ponders what to do in response to their finding of a wasp nest the size of a car. Among their options - a helicoper assault.

Car-sized wasp nest threat to towns people's health

Obessive Lego Sites

I don't know what it is about those little colored blocks, but all over the web you can find them. Pictured above: a scene from The Brick Testament, a very loose interpetation of Old and New Testament stories, illustrated with - what else? Legos.

Other obessive shrines to the popular kids toy include:

The entire original Star Wars Trilogy illustrated scene-by-scene with the blocks and figures.

Incredibly intricate sculptures by Henry Lim that include a portrait of my all-time faves, The Beatles - in a piece that consists of 20,000 of the little colored blocks, as well as a fourteen foot dinosaur, a bust of beethoven and various other monuments to pop culture icons.

Another hardcore Lego builder, Eric Harshbarger, actually makes a living doing the stuff, the grandfather clock above is made entirely out of lego materials and keeps accurate time for 13 hours before it's weights have to be reset. He has a lot of other dope lego creations showcased on his Lego Pages.

For more on the geek-preferred artistic medium of expression, check out the Lego Users Group Network and of course, the Official Lego Page.

Stop-Motion Motor Madness

These folks drive all around the world, bringing a webcam along for the ride and taking a picture every second as they go, resulting in sped-up flicks chronicling their travels.

SpeedyCam - webcam movies

V i r a l b a n k . c o m :: The web's most entertaining emails - Funny little odds and ends like flash games and tests to play with and send to your friends.

Hey, It Was The Stone Age, Who Knew That Cigarettes Would Kill You?

Back in the early days of their show, The Flintstones were sponsored by Winston Cigarettes. Click here for some hilarious footage of Fred and Barney Rubble extolling the pleasures of a delicious, satisfying smoke - while Betty and Wilma mow the lawn in their stead.

Be sure to check out the rest of the television treasures at TV too, while you're at it - lots of fun stuff to see there.

TV Party

Eye in the Sky

This is pretty cool...just type in your address or zip code and you can navigate satellite photographs of said area - find your house, your school - anything, anywhere. You can also search for landmarks like streams, hospitals, churches, etc. and if I could find my rural road in nowhere, AL, you should have no problems finding your place, unless you're Aquaman and live beneath the sea or something.


Monday, March 11, 2002

More Stick-Figure Kung-Fu Madness: The Way of the Exploding Stick.

A cool little fighting game that pits you againts the usual Xiao-Xiao crew of smoothly animated stick-figure kung-fu experts.


Sign of the Coming Apocalypse Or Proof-Positive That Human Evolution Has Hit a Dead End?

"Who's the Boss?" fan fiction. That's right, no kidding..."Who's the Boss?" fan fiction.

Here's a sample:

"Yeah." It was becoming too intense. The proximity was rising and Tony
felt his palms moisten. He had to get out before he confessed everything he
was feeling, "Maybe we should work on this tomorrow night."
"Yeah!" Angela agreed quickly. He was too sexy. She tried fighting off
the fantasies that plagued her mind. She loved him, god she loved him.
"Here." He stood up and shut off the lights, "I'll walk you to your room."
"Thanks Tony." She smiled up at him. He was so sweet!

The Who's the Boss? Resource

Sherman, Set the Wayback Machine for 1898 - H.G. Welles and Other Time-Killers

Planning on going to see the new movie The Time Machine? Why not prep for it by reading the original - here's the full text of the classic H.G. Welles novel, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.

Still have some time on your hands? Then (after you finish gagging on that awful pun) have a look at some of these time-related items:

Wondering how long you're going to be around? Ask The Death Clock.

Want to see time from a more personal perspective? Try The Human Clock or the ultra-cool Industorious Clock - one of the most imaginative uses of flash I've ever seen. - Amazing Optical Illusions, 3D Stereograms, and other Mind Teasing Oddities!
Castles, Castles and More Castles (of Whales).
Great Castles of Wales - Alphabetical Castles Index
What Happens When You Drop a Nikon Coolpix 990 Digital Camera Into a Pond? Magic.

Lawrence Journal-World: Unexpected images


Like, real cool daddio - an impressive flash site showcasing the life and music of the legendary jazz hepcat.

abdicate - To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
ex. If you drink 24 beers a day you must be prepared to abdicate seeing your toes again.

pseudodictionary - the dictionary for words that wouldn't make it into dictionaries :: v2.0

NASA's Visible Earth

Who Would Buy That?

A site documenting all the insane junk it's hard to imagine anyone even offering up for sale on Ebay and other auction houses. I'm not talking about the cool-as-hell homemade coconut pirate pictured above, of course. Obviously this is something one would treasure as an heirloom for years to come. Trust me, though, some of it's really tacky.

Who Would Buy That? (auction oddities from all over the web)
Chowhound, A Site for People Who Love Food...Who Really Love Food. A Lot. A Quick Intro

A Picture and a Thousand Words, What's That Worth?

PhotoSIG, website of a community of photographers and enthusiasts, contains lots of striking images. You can review photos or upload your own works for discussion as well.

photoSIG Photo Critique and Discussion Forum
Tattoo You

Huge list of tattoo'd celebs and famous figures, with pictures. There are also some interesting bits of tattoo trivia. For instance: fittingly, Joseph Stalin sported a death's head.

CELEBRITY TATTOOS | Tattooed celebrities, historical figures, supermodels, sports stars, rock stars, pictures and images as well!

Where'd It Go???

Galleries of funny, weird or creative 404 error pages.

|| ||

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Templar Studios

A nicely done website hawking the talents of the Templar team, makers of games, toys, cartoons and other interactive entertainment.

Templar Studio
If There Was Ever Any Doubt: Cameron Diaz is a Ditz.

Diaz: Eating pork like eating her niece

Why Does This Scare Me?

Someone has put together a reference guide of all the ties worn by Superman's alter-ego, Clark Kent on the show "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman".

The Ultimate, Definitive, Guide to Clark Kent's ties!
Welcome To My Nightmare: Internet Explorer 6.0

Sorry about the lack of updates last couple days, I've been trying to get this new template just right so I can be done with it and get back to posting my usual brand of funny news stories and websites.

There's a problem, however.

Those of you using most any browser other than Internet 6.0 will notice the cool little sliding menu on the left side of the page, which I got from DynamicDrive, a free dhtml and javascript site. I spent most of the day configuring it and being no html guru, was incredibly pleased with myself when I finally managed (after much hair pulling) to get it set up just like I wanted it.

So far, so good.

Well, here's where the story takes a horrible turn for the worse - I'm sitting here patting myself on the back and admiring my blog's new look when one of my friends (who's using IE 6) brings my wonderful fantasy world crashing down around me by informing me that my lovely menu doesn't slide out at all on her browser. It just sits there, making me look bad. So I asked another friend using IE 6 to have a look and of course, it's the same with him - no sliding, no cool little menu items...just a unresponsive black rectangle that says to the world: "This page sucks".

Well, I wrote the fellow who wrote the script, it's a really nice one and I'd like to keep using it. Hopefully he'll respond with a hearty "Thanks for the head's up, buddy, fixing it's no problem, just change this little line of code and you're good to go :)", but there's no telling when or if I'll hear from him or if it can even be made compatible at all, I until then I'm going to have to go a different route, which means more banging my head against my keyboard in frustration and less cute stories and flash games for the faithful few. My apologies, I promise I'll have this all worked out - one way or the other - as soon as possible.

For now, however, I'm going to go lay down and get some sleep and pray I don't dream of javascript code and hyperlink tags. I'll try and slip in a few groovy posts tomorrow as I go about struggling with my code, between bouts of weeping and gnashing of teeth.