Saturday, August 24, 2002

Where'd They Come Up With the Name Jethro Tull, Anyways?

A page detailing the way various bands came about their names. Regarding Mr. Tull - a lot of people still think that Jethro Tull is a solo singer, actually, the band's namesake was a british farmer in the 17th century who invented the precursor of the modern plow. Guess they just thought it sounded cool.

A neat little site I found by accident while playing Google Quiz.

Woo-hoo! I'm a high-class nerd now!

I got me one of them there usernames at Metafilter, or as we uptown with-it folks call it, "MeFi". It's a great site and I swipe a lot of the links on here from it. Actually, I was pretty glad about that username. When MeFi's membership started to skyrocket, before I began frequenting it, the folks running the show stopped new signups altogether for awhile. Then, eventually, they began to dole out a maximum twenty free signups a day.

Being an undesirable vagrant-type with no Paypal account I was kind of left out in the cold (you do have the option of kicking them a few bucks via the pal if you want to jump right in and get a membership regardless of the day's quota being filled). It was no huge thing but it always bugged me a little when I'd see a story I wanted to comment on and couldn't.

Anyhow, I knew if I persevered, one day I'd luck up and hit the Metafilter username lottery and finally, I did. So if there are any fans or members of the site out there, maybe we'll bump into one another on their message boards, I'm JimmyOlsen, of course :)

The Plane Facts

I've posted paper-airplane making sites before, this one looks pretty good, though - it even has a paper helicopter (above), as well as some other designs that look like they'd sail for ages - looks like a great excuse to grab some paper, take the kids outside and get some fresh air.


This has to be the nicest Flash animation I've seen all year - a dreamy, Fantasia-esque cartoon set to jazz and 20's style torch-music. Two words of advice: When you start the movie, be sure to click on the word "anglais" in the guy's glasses, the other two links are a rant about his webspace provider and the same cartoon with all the lyrics sung in French (disregard this if you happen to be French, I guess). Also, it's pretty big, I'm on a 56k though and it streamed rather well up to a point - if it hangs after the first set of credits, just stick with it and it should be okay.

Anyways, some exceptionally nice Flash-work here and well worth a look-see.

Ten Thousandth Visitor Today!

Well, my sitemeter counter is on 9,999 - so I figure that, assuming the world doesn't blow up in the next five minutes or people stop searching for "nude+pics+amy fisher" or whatever - I'll have bypassed the ten-thousand mark by the time this post is finished. Probably at least fifty of those hits are mine, as I sometimes forget to ignore my ip address at sitemeter before I tend to my blog, but what the hell - it's still a crapload of visitors and I say it's time to break out the champagne and party hats. I started this blog back in November of 2001 and I'd never had a website that had more than maybe 40 visits or something, so to me 10,000 hits is kind of a big deal.

Hopefully over the course of the year I can improve on my traffic flow - with a little bit of luck. I never really thought that I'd still be posting to this thing when I first set it up at Blogger and these last couple months I suppose I haven't been quite as diligent about posting to it as I used to be - but I'm still here, plugging away and more than likely will be for quite some time.

Thanks to all my friends and regular readers for stopping by - there have been a lot of times I felt like just saying "forget it" but then someone would write me or leave a nice comment or something and give me incentive to keep on posting. I hope you'll continue to stop by my little blog and I promise - as long as you keep coming by, I'll keep doing my best to entertain you with more weird/zany/funny crap and my own semi-humorous ramblings. Seeya tomorrow and oh...whoever you were: visitor 10,000? Your new Corvette is in the mail.

(Let me be perfectly clear - that was a joke, just in case some jerk out there tries to sue me for a damn Corvette :P)

Friday, August 23, 2002

How's the Weather?

Well, I added a weather sticker to the site today. I know you're all obsessed with knowing what temperature it is here where in my city and I hate to deprive you. I've been seeing those weather pixies popping up everywhere on people's pages and I sort of liked the idea, but the weather pixies themselves struck me as a little sissified, so I had to look elsewhere.

To make a long story short, I went to and picked up the plain old boring text thing you see to your right and below the various links and stuff. It was super-easy to set up and If you'd like one for your own page you can get it here or by clicking the sticker below.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Wacky Gifts

Christmas is still 125 days away, but it's never too early to start thinking about that hard-to-shop-for person on your list. Wonderfully Wacky has some really off-the-wall items - from the "knight light" (pictured above), to big-ticket stuff like a high-performance bar stool that travels up to 22 mph - for the eccentric drunk on your list. Check your discerning taste at the door, please.

Frozen Cuisine for the Bachelor Gourmet

The Single Man's Guide to Frozen Dinners takes a look at the good, the bad and the inedible among the freezer section's offerings. Having eaten my share of frozen meals, I can vouch for the validity of a lot of this guy's research and I'm looking forward to trying out some of that Freschetta Pizza he was raving about.

Corpses for Sale!

Who knows why you'd want one, but if you ever need a fully-articulated, durable and reliable corpse this is the place to order them. They're not real corpses, of course - that'd be just plain weird.

Is That a Zygomatic Smile or Did You Think My Joke Sucked?

The Nonverbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs and Body Language Cues takes a look at the way your body and expressions can betray you as well as ways we are influenced by non-verbal sensory information. There's some really interesting things here:

"Today on NBC's Today Show Matt Lauer talked about how Madonna had lied to him about her announced pregnancy just the other day. He showed the video and her response, but he missed something to ponder about. She did what I call the eyelash flutter (different, under high speed camera, from the eye-blink: we can see that it does not close completely and the speed is amazing) when asked, 'Are you pregnant?' I first observed this eyelid behavior in 1985, and find that people who are troubled by a question or an event do this, especially if they have to answer and are about to lie. I tell attorneys to look for the eyelash flutter when they have people on the stand; it means they really do not like the question at all. I even had a case where the individual picked out the route of escape for me when I went through several routes with him; I just waited for the flutter to pick out the way." --Joe Navarro, Special Agent, FBI (3/21/00 7:02:26 PM Pacific Standard Time, and subsequent)

A lot of varied and intriguing discussion of everything from the effects of certain colors on people's mood to the reasons why people sometimes obsess over their lawns:

Damn, I poured my whole life into this lawn, my heart, my soul, the tender feelings I've held back from my family . . . . Look, some people hoist a flag to show they love their country. Well, my lawn is my flag. --Hank Hill, King of the Hill

Some very thought-provoking stuff.

Man's Best Best Friend

The Dog of the Day invites you to nominate your pup as the day's top canine companion. The Cat of the Day and Pet of the Day are also featured if you're not a canine fan.
They're Site is Really Good

Yes, I know I said "They're" instead of Their in that title - I'm not that lame, but I still felt it wouldn't hurt to sign up for the Daily Grammar Lesson.

I'm always agonizing over which words to capitalize and how to properly use commas and such. Hopefully, this will help and I'll be able to better serve the blog-reading public by dazzling them with my new-and-improved grasp of the English language soon.
Man Auctions Off His Own Bad Luck On eBay

Looks like this guy's desperate enough to try anything to change his run of bad luck:

My bad luck will have to be transfered to you but I dont know how, so I am up for suggestions! Please, serious bidders only as this is not a joke to me. I have tried everything, this is my last resort. Happy bidding!

I'm gonna pass on this one, I have enough of my own - granted, though, nowhere near as bad as his.

The Theban Mapping Project

A great repository of information about the mapping of the Valley of the Kings, with loads of articles, illustrations, timelines and interactive material. Be sure and check out the interactive Flash Atlas for movies and a 3D tour of the tombs - historical sites don't get any better than this one.

Reason 242,347,243 I Hate Not Having Broadband

This batch of award-winning 3D animations featured on TechTV's Eyedrops. While I did watch a couple in the blocky, choppy mess that passes for streaming video on a 56k modem connection, I imagine they're ten times better at 165 kpbs. Enjoy, cable-folks, you awful, horrible bandwidth suckers, you.

Sorry, about that - please overlook my bitterness and envy.


Just a silly little Flash movie about little, bitty, cute pets. Guess that pretty much says it all - my heart is warmed over here.

This Site Really Spooked Me Out

My Son Peter is the site of a man who claims that for the past eight years, his son Peter, who died at the age of four - along with Peter's mother - has been visiting him and more or less driving him crazy. I don't know what to think of this - whether it's a hoax or what. It definitely delivered a few goosebumps, though.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

How Sad is This?

Santa Cruz's Deputy District Attorney is advocating the placing of stickers that proclaim "No Baby Dumping" on their dumpsters. What kind of world is it that such a thing would even be considered? I'll never get why these sorry excuses for human beings can't at least abandon their babies in a hospital waiting room or orphanage...would it really be that much trouble to take the extra five minutes to make sure their baby is taken care of? How many of these prime examples of wasted oxygen will go on to have more babies, as well? I'm guessing 90%.

Alright, that was my little bit of serious social commentary for the day - I don't really like to bring anyone down but good Lord, sometimes the news just really bugs the hell out of me and I have to get it off my chest.

By the Power of Grayskull - He-Man Returns!

Toonami is reviving the old He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon series for the Cartoon Network. I know this is where most male bloggers would get all teary-eyed and start talking about how great the show was and recounting their many great memories of Skeletor and Castle Greyskull - but I won't.

Maybe it's because I'm 34 (a little older than your average blogger) and just missed the target-group that was snatching up the numerous toys and action-figures by a handful of years, but I never really cared for it.

To me, He-Man sort of represented the beginning of the end as far as quality television cartoons for children went. The cast and stories seemed to be hastily slapped together for the sole purpose of driving the He-Man-toys marketing machine. I know a lot of you spring chickens out there love the stuff, though - so here's the scoop on the new series and some nostalgia concerning the old one.

Say, What's That Around Your Neck? "It's Grandma!"

In an apparent move to one-up the Whammo toys creator's having his ashes put into a limited-edition run of Frisbees for family and friends, these folks will turn your dearly departed's carbon into a diamond.

Stan Lee - Dirty Old Man

Well, true believers, Legendary Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee will soon be unveiling his latest project, a new cartoon for TNN called Stripperella, modeled after and voiced by Pamela Anderson. Stan says the toon, which revolves around a stripper with superpowers (i.e., the ability to use her tongue to scan and fax things by licking them and lie-detecting breasts - yes, you read that right - lie-detecting breasts) is really "...a family show...but for a highly sophisticated family.'' 'Nuff said. Time for your medication, Stan.

(Who am I kidding? I'll be watching this crap...I'm shallow.)

Tanya Harding - Woman Behind Bars - Now Showing on Skinemax!

Tanya Harding arrived at the Clark County Jail in Washington yesterday, prepared to serve a ten day sentence for drinking while on her probation. Why am I bothering to post this? Well, mainly for the benefit of all the freaks who used to come here through Google via searches for things like "Tanya Harding + Naked + Pics". Yeah, I know, it boggles the mind, but it happens, day in, day out. Weirdest part is, I was never really that high up in the search results - so these dudes weren't idly checking on a whim, they were going through maybe twenty pages of results, scanning site after site, holding on to the hope that their somewhat pathetic dream of seeing America's most infamous Olympic trailer trash naked would come true.

The Internet is a scary, awful place sometimes and instead of fighting it, I'm just going to pander, pander, pander, my friends. So here's a little scrap for my Harding perv visitors - as well as anyone who likes to laugh at the troubled lives of hapless celebs. Hope you enjoy it.

By the way, check out the look of absolute glee on Tanya's face as she heads towards the jail. What's up with that, was she drunk when the picture was taken, as well?

Starlight, Starbright...

Really huge pics of galaxies and other celestial eye-candy from the Hubble Heritage Museum.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Space Rock

A funky little Flash game - try and avoid the asteroids and keep your spaceman from getting destroyed.
Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy

I've got a nagging feeling that I've posted this before, but what the heck, here it is again.

Phil's site points out all kinds of common misconceptions about astronomy as seen in the movies, on television and everyday life.

Actual Items

I don't watch as much as I used to, but Conan O'Brien's Late Night is probably my favorite talk/variety show and one of the bits he does that I always liked was his take-off of The Tonight Show standard where Jay takes real ads and personals from small-town newspapers and points out the funny or strange things about them.

Conan's version is called Actual Items and although they're decidedly bogus, they're pretty funny.

Conan used to have a really great site, with features like this and many others. Apparently NBC decided to get cheap on him, though and for awhile it was cut back to nothing but a short bio and a description of who was going to be on the show that night. At least they've brought back Actual Items and a couple other comedy features.

Serious Burns

A nicely done site devoted to Monty Burns, of The Simpsons fame. More information about Springfield's richest and oldest man, with screen grabs, lines, scans of comics and other goodies.

I apologize in advance, but I have to say it: it's exxxcellllent.

Monday, August 19, 2002

"Mr. Sulu, Raise Shields!", Says Defense Dept.

Apparently they've developed an electrical "forcefield" for tanks that will vaporize enemy rockets and shells on impact.

The Golden Age of Hoaxes

Some are funny, others not-so-funny - but they're being perpetrated on a grander scale than ever before. Personally, if it's not something despicable, like the fake anthrax stuff or email scams, I love a good hoax. I've posted links to several here since I started this blog, the Cottingly Faeries, Crop Circles, The War of the Worlds, etc.

I like the fact that there are people out there who offering up the silly or unbelievable and somehow able to pull the wool over our eyes, only to point their finger and laugh as we ask ourselves, "How could I possibly have believed that bullshit?"

Elvis Statue Weeps "Miracle Tears"

Well, I'm gonna file this one under the category of "It had to happen, sooner or later". Some Elvis nut in the southern Netherlands claims his plaster bust of The King wept miraculous, salty tears on the 25th anniversary of Presley's death.

The owner of the statue is a self-professed medium who talks to Elvis regularly (big surprise there) and even more amazing, there have been hundreds of visitors to his home to bear witness to the event, which has happened several times over the past five years.

Obviously, this is a hoax - as Elvis Presley, to my knowledge, is still alive and currently undergoing treatment for arthritis under the watchful eye of a Montana doctor. If you don't believe me, just ask any British gambler.

WWWF Grudge Match

Celebs, movie stars, politicians, etc. - paired up and pitted against one another in a vicious world-wide-web battle for supremacy. The voting and final call is made by the site's visitors, the analysis and color commentary by two guys so well-versed in pop-culture trivia you'll swear they've never ventured more than ten feet from their couch or been exposed to any source of light, other than the warm, hypnotic glow of a cathode-ray tube.

Sam Malone vs. The Fonz, Forrest Gump vs. Rain Man and my personal favorite - The Bandit vs. C.H.I.P.S - they're all there, struggling for survival and living and dying by the click of the mouse. Maybe I've just watched too much television myself, but I think these guys are really funny.

Bionic Comeback

It appears that Jamie Sommers will be coming back to the small screen in an updated version of The Bionic Woman. There's no word yet whether original series star, Lindsay Wagner will appear in the show but it's assumed that the lead will be played by someone else. A companion series to The Six Million Dollar Man, the 70's show featured Wagner as Steve Austin's tennis star girlfriend, who, when injured horribly in an accident, was rebuilt with bionic parts much as he was. (Steve Austin, of course, was the original Six Million Dollar Man, not the wife-beating idiot WWF star of the same name).

I'm just curious as to what kind of price-tag the show's producers will place on the new Bionic Woman's fictional operation. If I recall the old shows correctly, Steve explained to Jamie that she cost a "little less" than he did. Sexism? Nope - "Smaller parts", Austin explained :)

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Who Doesn't Love Gadgets?

If you do, the Gizmodo Gadget Blog will keep you up to date with the latest nifty, shiny things in the world of electronics - covering such categories as pcs, laptops, home entertainment systems and trendy items like the Hello Kitty USB hub pictured above. And yes, Tara - there's even a section on PDAs :)

How to Build a Time Machine

A little "Oh wow, man...dude, like, what if you..." type material to chew on from The Scientific American website.

By the way, thanks to my friends who voted me up to a 9.2 the Blog Hot or Not site this morning and to Cory from Boingboing for posting my time capsule letter on their site this today. All in all it made for a nice day to wake up to.

Elvis Fan Artist Mows the Image of The King in Field

Little bit late on this one, seeing as the anniversary of Elvis's death was a couple days ago, but it's neat so here you go - an artist in the Hudson Valley mowed this massive image of the late Mr. Presley into a 50 acre wheat field. He submitted it to the Elvis Tribute Week Art Contest in Graceland and won best of show.
Get Out There and Vote, People!

Last night I signed up for Blog Hot or Not. As of this writing it's a 6.6 with nine votes in. Toss me a bone, people, okay? I don't even have a wishlist on this thing, for gosh sakes. I'd love to login tomorrow and find a seven or even (gasp!) an eight. This link takes you directly to my voting page.

Thanks :)

Reach Out and Touch Someone - in the Year 52,002 A.D.

Apparently (assuming this isn't a hoax, I haven't researched it but it sounds legit) some French folks are going to send up a time capsule - in a satellite that will orbit the earth for ages and finally plummet from the sky roughly 50,000 years from now. Here's the cool part: they're letting anyone who feels the urge to attach their own email messages (up to 6,000 characters) for posterity and, ostensibly, their future descendants.

I'm currently an unmarried, socially-inept computer nerd, so it's beginning to look as though the genetic buck may stop here for me. However, I couldn't resist leaving a message for the society of the future. The following is the shoutout I plan to bestow upon the giant-headed, galaxy-travelling, silver-spandex wearing, futuristic peepz:

Dear Futurefolk,

I sincerely hope that this message is being read by a human, as opposed to a dirty, horseback-riding, talking ape. That said, I'd like to tell you that I'm utterly amazed anyone managed to make it out of the 21st century. What with the wars, plagues, global warming and all the scary implications of the genetic and technological innovations of recent years, for anyone to have made it past the year 2020 was quite a trick and I applaud you on your hardiness. You're a very resourceful crew, indeed.

I suppose someone either managed to rally the earth's people and bring about some social epiphany, ushering in a new era of peace and enlightenment for mankind or - more likely - you're a world of ultra-badass motorcycling mutants with mohawks and shotguns who've managed to shrewdly survive by hoarding gas, killing those weaker than yourselves and drinking your own urine for sustenence. Hey, either way - good for you!

By the way, how are the cockroaches?

Yours truly,

Jimmy Olsen - Your Simple, Barbaric Ancestor

Star Wars Is My Best Movie

Chewbacca is stronger than my Dad. He would kick his ass. One comment from my pop about "walking carpet" and --=Kabaam!!=--. Chewie would knock his ass through the floor.

May The Force Be With You.

David Lee Roth, Spambuster!

I'm hesitant to link to anything on Geocities, due to their utter crappiness, but this was just too funny and I had to post it. "Jason", of the Scam Joke Page got one of those emails from a so-called Nigerian businessman claiming to make him a zillionaire and kept up a very long and funny correspondence with him under the guise of David Lee Roth - American business tycoon. The subsequent exchange of emails is hilarious - at one point Jason even emails the guy a picture of himself (or rather, of David Lee Roth, former frontman of Van Halen, in all his 80's bleached-blonde glory) and has the clueless scam-artist referring to him as "Diamond Dave" in his letters.

I'm really curious how many people have fell for these emails and wound up in Nigeria with their money gone, beaten up and left for dead or without a passport. I'm sure at some point someone has, though - which is surprising, as the perpetrators don't seem to be the sharpest crayons in the box themselves, judging by these missives.