Thursday, July 31, 2003

Man who invented modern civilization dies.

Sam Phillips has died. His impact on our day-to-day lives over the past 50 years is incalculable. I'm serious. Without Sam Phillips the last half of the 20th century would've been a very different place.

Everyone else is going to drone on about Sam Phillips recording Elvis, so, naturally, I'm going in the opposite direction. In 1966 or so Phillips produced a couple of tracks by the Yardbirds. In Robert Gordon's wonderful It Came from Memphis, Phillips is quoted as saying to Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, "[...]whip that guitar like a mule's peter.[...]" I have no idea if this second or third-hand story is true, but if you listen to "Train Kept A-Rollin'", one of the tracks Phillips produced, you believe it because everyone's whipping everything like a mule's peter.
Anybody need a headache?

Over at J-Walk I found a link to a site (Warning: some arty nudity) that uses animated .gifs to portray 3-D images. Neat, but somewhat nauseous if you look at it too long. But I don't know how original an idea it is because I found this later searching Google.

I've been fascinated by orthostereography since I was a little kid looking at Viewmaster reels. A few years ago I found out I could look at reproductions of 19th century sterographs and see the 3-D image without using any kind of viewer. The downside was a headache and nausea that seemed to last hours.

I read in a book that it's possible to take 3-D photos with any regular camera by simply aiming at your subject, putting your weight on one leg, taking a photo, keeping the subject in the viewfinder, putting your weight on your other leg, and then taking a second picture. Supposedly astronauts used this technique on the moon. I've tried it and it does work, but the end result was the same headache and nausea mentioned above. A similar way to take 3-D photos is described here. Two other 3-D photographic resources are here and here.

Why hasn't some company marketed a consumer-grade 3-D digital camera and stereoscopic viewer? Something like this shouldn't be anymore expensive than a digital snapshot camera. Failing that, you could probably make a decent digital 3-D camera by taking two Pen Cams and duct-taping them together. (My father taught me well.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The creative work of someone with even less of a life than I have.

Keyboard porn. Yes, you read it right the first time: Keyboard porn. It's porn involving two keyboards. I'm not making this up. [Link via Memepool.]
Fan mail, I think.

It's rare for me to get email that's specifically about this site. Very rare. Usually what's in my inbox is spam, the klez virus, and stuff that's unclassifiable. But today I found an actual email that pertained to this site:

Hi, I happened upon your site when a friend challenged me to see if I could find mongol porn. I googled for "mongolian porn" and your blog archive popped up fairly high... So, now you finally have that hit for Mongolian porn! :)

This is a reference to an entry I wrote back in January, I think, where I said something like, "I can't wait until I get a hit for Mongolian porn." If I'd never gotten a hit for Mongolian porn, this email would really excite me. But the mind-numbingly tedious truth is I've gotten at least one hit for Mongolian porn virtually every week since January. It's a phenomena I simply don't understand. Why would so many people search for something that probably doesn't exist? Maybe they're just trying to Googlewhack.

And it's not just searches for Mongolian porn that perplex me. I also get regular hits from people looking for North Korean porn and Icelandic porn. Often the people looking for the Icelandic porn are from Iceland. If you were Icelandic and were searching Google for Icelandic porn, wouldn't it be logical for the words you type into the search engine to be in Icelandic? But they're always in English.

Some of you will argue, Well, if you keep mentioning this stupid stuff, people will seach it. But why are people searching for this stuff? It shouldn't matter that I've written about it; if it doesn't exist, why search for it? I can mention all kinds of stupid made up stuff like dust-mite porn, erotic farming techniques, hovercraft nipples, etc., but that won't explain why I'll probably get hits for at least one of these in the next month. It's all very strange and I simply don't understand it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

This can't be good.

The next time you get a cold why don't you just pour a bunch of salty water up your nose? Welcome to the world of the neti pot. [Link via Corn Smut.]
It's clever, but is it useful?

Waypath has a tool called the Buzz Maker that will plot a graph using up to five different topics that illustrates (if I understand it correctly) how often the various chosen topics are mentioned in Waypath's database of 192,786 blogs. They even provide code so you can include said graph in your blog. I've tried it, but I can't quite figure out if Buzz Maker is useful or not.

I'm so tired and bored I can't muster up enough energy even to post some half-assed links no one cares about. Maybe I'll post something later, maybe not. Proabably not.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Ah, sure...

Tank20 is a site devoted to Literature? Something like that. I think. What they're doing can perhaps best be illustrated by "The Fall of the Site of Marsha". Or maybe not.

One of the people behind the site is Rob Wittig, the guy who wrote the excellent Invisible Rendezvous.
Writing on air.

Here's a list of lost or threatened works of electronic literature. I'll bet you never knew there was such a thing, did you?
Why can't they have these in real life?

Buy the x-ray glasses from the gypsy and have a look around the bar. (Features cartoon naughty bits, so it's not really safe for work.) [Link via Quicksurfer X.]
The ultimate hairdo.

If I had frizzy hair and didn't have a bald spot I'd grow myself a huge white guy afro like the late, great Rob Tyner of the MC5 or the lead guitar player of the now forgotten At the Drive-In. But since I don't have frizzy hair and I do have a bald spot, the world will be spared the outrage of one more utterly ridiculous hairdo.

If I had frizzy hair and a bald spot I could grow a huge white guy afro like the late, great oddball French avant-guard novelist (and Oulipo member) Georges Perec.

Sunday, July 27, 2003


Someone hit my blog after searching Yahoo for going barefoot in glue. Is this some new kind of new kinky fad I'm not familiar with, or was this person searching for info after some kind of household mishap? Anyway, I was listed 21st out of 3,470 sites. None of the other sites listed seemed to be porno, so maybe it's not a new kind of kinky fad.
Dusting the gecko.

We need more euphemisms. If only there were a way to generate them. Oh, wait, there is. [Link via Completing the Square.]
Une Semaine de Bonte.

A lot of people over the past week have been linking to the new tasteless and completely bewildering Sept. 11th videogame, but I don't think I've read anything about the screenshots. These are so perverse and fascinating to me that they transcend the exploitative tastelessness of the game and become a surrealist tableau. The only other thing I could compare it to would be a World Trade Center Sims skin. [Link via Metafilter.]

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Dead idol.

I used to really love Raymond Carver's short stories, but eventually I got sick of him and his legions of imitators. For some reason yesterday I began to think of him and decided to look him up online, something I'd never done before. Not surprisingly, I found quite a lot: a biography, interviews, and another biography that has such a positively heinous background that it renders the page virtually unreadable. So after reading through this material, I'm thinking of re-evaluating Mr. Carver.
Ow! My eye!

Need a catapult watch? Who doesn't? How about a rubberband machine gun? A potato gun? [Link via J-Walk.]
Forensics anyone?

While searching Google for something or other (not filthy this time), I stumbled onto this odd site devoted to forensics of various types. The index page lists all kinds of stuff. It's virtual one stop shop for forensics, but who the hell needs that?
Read my penis. please.

Apparently your penis can be as revealing as your hand when it comes to telling your fortune. [Link via Metafilter.]

Friday, July 25, 2003

It's like the nazi version of King Tut's tomb.

There may be tons and tons of old nazi bombs and planes buried under the airport in the former East Berlin. Cool! [Link via Daypop.]

Secret identity revealed.

I got a mention at J-Walk yesterday after e-mailing him about CutePDF Printer. But since I used my main email account, I was listed by my real name. (Scott's my middle name.) With my true identity revealed, I can no longer fight crime. Darn.
A gaping chasm of nothingness.

I'm sure one or two of you noticed that I've changed this blog over the past couple of weeks, and I'm not just talking about the addition of the headlines. There's more links and less and less goofy stories about my tedious day to day existence. Well, there's a perfectly good reason why I've gotten away from the goofy stories: there aren't any.

How things are for me these days were best be summed up earlier this month by Ernie over at Little Yellow Different: "[...]when you don't have a job and you sit around the house all day, you sort of run out of wacky things in your life to write about. It's true.[...]" I rarely leave the house anymore, school's out until late August, and I never do anything but sit in front of my computer or TV. So, unless I want to cut back to posting stuff once a week, I'm going to be doing lots of links. But you're an adult, you say. Can't you go out and make things happen? No, I can't. Who am I, Steve McQueen? Jeez.
These swirly things are driving me insane!

Optical illusions are only "fun" for a little while. Then you go insane.

Still not insane? Well, look at this. Or look through all of these. [Links via Metafilter.]

Mingus Dynasty.

Charles Mingus was a giant of jazz, a great composer, arranger, bandleader, and musician. He could also teach cats to use the toilet. [Link via Incoming Signals.]
Dull, dull kitty.

I miss having a cat, but this Flash animated cat, while ingenious, isn't really a viable alternative to the real thing. [Link via Memepool.]

Thursday, July 24, 2003

This is so cool! Oh, wait...

The Bunker is good idea gone horribly mediocre. They feature video clips of a number of great bands of the past like DEVO, The Jam, Dead Kennedys, MC5, etc., but they're only about a minute or two long. And worse, many of the clips are in Real Media format. I refuse to install the Real Player on any system I actually intend to use. Some of the other clips are in Quick Time form.

On dial-up it took over a half hour to download a minute and a half Quick Time clip of The Jam doing "In the City" circa 1977. Great, but not quite worth the effort. [Link via The Cartoonist.]
Resistance is futile!

And speaking of comic book covers, here's a great selection of old 50's and 60's comic book covers featuring my personal favorite (no, not nude women), robots. [Link via The Cartoonist.]
One more reason why ugly, stupid, and weird will always be more interesting than attractive, intelligent, and normal.

In the spirit (more or less) of the strange and/or bizarre comic book covers I've linked to over the past week or two, here's a selection of the worst romance novel covers of last year. My favorite by a mile is the third one down. What's she doing with her hand? [Link via J-Walk.]

More examples of ugly, stupid, and weird.

Gone & Forgotten features a bunch of articles on really, really stupid comic books of the past. [Link via Dan Century.]
Clocks, clocks, alla time clocks!

Here's one more too-damn-clever-for-its-own-good Flash clock to add to an increasingly large collection of pointlessness. [Link via J-Walk.]

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Boy Scouts are a menace to society.

Like I don't have enough to worry about, now I have to worry that a renegade Boy Scout is building a nuclear reactor in the shed behind his mom's house. [Link via Incoming Signals.]
Make it stop!

It's a game. It's a puzzle. It's an infuriating waste of time that I can't figure out. [Link via Metafilter.]
Cameras Da! Money Nyet!

I love Russian cameras. If I could afford it I'd have tons of them, but since I can't I only have one. This site goes into more detail than you'd ever want to know about the fascinating world of Russian cameras. [Link via Smoke Siganls.]
The perils of blogging if you're on TV.

Ah, my day to day life is so dreary, but on rare occasions things happen that make it all worthwhile. [Link features boobies, you know , enjoy.]
Break your own geodes

You've seen the ads with the neatly bisceted geodes revealing their sparkling interiors, haven't you? I implore you to resist the allure of the easily cracked open geode. From hard experience I know that geodes simply don't pop open after a few sharp blows of a hammer. When I got my geodes I wrapped one in an old magazine and carefully hit it a few times with a clawhammer, fully expecting it simply split open. Apparently I didn't take into consideration the millions of years it took for the earth to produce such a thing. I hit it harder. Nothing. Sometime later I took the two geodes outside, put them on a tree stump, and hit one of them somewhat hard with a sledgehammer. Nothing. I hit it a little harder. Still nothing. Soon I was wailing away like John Henry driving railroad spikes. Eventually the damn thing split, revealing nothing. Not all geodes have crystals in them. So I wailed away at the second until it cracked open. This one had crystals, but they were a bit uninspiring. So be warned.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Psychopharmacology is funny

Paxil™ comics anyone?
It's clever, but is it art?

I've just read the most perfect blog ever. [Link via J-Walk.]
I believe I'll dust my broom (and this time I'm going to use a real broom)

It's only got one string, it's called a diddley bow, and according to this site it's supposedly the origin of blues guitar playing. [Link via J-Walk.]

Rather than buy a diddley bow from the site I linked to above, or build one, I decided to improvise. I have a ramshackle El Cheapo brand electric guitar in my closet, so I losened the strings and stuck an Altoids tin in between the pickups. I was surprised at how much this small tin box resonated. I noodled around with a slide for a bit, but tossed it aside in favor of just fretting notes. The sound it produced at first reminded me of some West African instruments I've heard, but after I played around with it a little more I decided it sounded more like an oud. I'm curious to know what this contraption sounds like hooked up to an amp, but I pawned mine years ago and never got another one because I have the musical abilities of a donkey with influenza. Anyway, it was something to break the tedium of existence for a few minutes.

Monday, July 21, 2003

$600 paperweight

I've been offline most of the day because my ISP was doing server upgrades. I'd log on and then get knocked offline less than a minute later. What fun it was. I managed to post a blog entry I'd already written, but that was it. After about five hours things got back to normal.

Without internet access I became a broken shell of a man. And what good is a computer if I can't go online and look at stuff? I need to check my email, even it it's all spam (and it always is) I still need to check it at least a couple times a day. And my blog traffic needs to be monitored. And...and...I'm seriously ill.
The wayward tipo metres marshall

Ah, it's always nice to find people even more devoted to gibberish than I am. [Link via Bifurcated Rivets.]

But yet I don't own a watch

Friday I had a handwritten clock and today I have a glowing firefly clock. [Link via The Presurfer.]

Sadism for the lazy

Got an urge to slap a guy around? Stop lying! I know for a fact that you're just dying to slap a guy around! Well, now you can slap to your demented heart's content from the comfort of the chair in front of your computer. Just move the mouse pointer back and forth across the screen. Clicking makes other things happen. Ingenious. Sinsiter. Ultimately tiresome. [Link via Everlasting Blort.]

My favorite was the topless ventriloquist

I have no idea exactly what this is supposed to be, but I found it while searching Google yesterday (proabably for something filthy, no doubt). The main site is for a company that does web development and there isn't a link for the little picture show. I wonder why.

Who needs real content?

I found a link in my referrer logs to a site called Slackstation I'd never heard of, so I went to see if they had a link to me. What I found was a bit odder than I expected. It looks like a standard blog, except the main entry is in what appears to be Latin. The comments were listed below the entry. I scrolled down and found a comment I had left at Dooce a few months back. On closer inspection, I think all of these comments were lifted from Dooce. The archive links are for a blog called Tokyo Shoes that doesn't seem to have anything to do with Slackstation. The main Slackstation page reads "Slackstation 2.0 Coming Soon!", so I guess the Latin page is just for testing purposes, unless anyone else has a better idea.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Pointless changes

I've started working on a new template for this blog. I'm taking one of the spiffy new XHTML templates and changing a few things in the style sheet so that it looks kind of like this template. I'm serious.
Headlines are slightly useful

I've decided to include headlines at the beginning of each tiresome entry in a futile effort to make things slightly more understandable. Or something.

I've been wanting to add headlines for a long time, but I kept forgetting. It's sad, I know.

Neato free software you don't need!

I typically don't gush over software here because there's far too much gushing over software online for my tastes, but today I'll make an exception.

Ever need to convert a document to a .pdf file, but were just too damn cheap to buy whatever overpriced thing Adobe was selling? No? Well, humor me.

There's a free program called Cute PDF Printer that makes .pdf documents from various file formats. I downloaded it and then tested it out on an unwieldy 22 page Word document with illustrations. It worked seamlessly. Acrobat Reader 4.0 had no trouble opening and navigating the newly minted .pdf file. I was amazed. Really, I was.

Apparently Cute PDF Printer is a slicked up version of GNU Ghostscript that'll run on Windows. (Or at least it's connected to GNU Ghostscript in some way.) I fiddled with Ghostscript a bit in Linux a few months ago and had no luck with it, but Cute PDF is simple as possible. So if you need this sort of thing, download it.

If Cute PDF chews up the important file you need for tomorrow's big presentation, or it makes sparks shoot out of your computer, don't blame me. I also have no idea if its spyware, but I doubt it is.

If I reviewed software for a living I'd starve in the street.
Pirates shouldn't blog.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Around 10:30 in the morning I was at a shopping center and saw a girl wearing a skimpy bikini top walk out of a store. She was...uh...very well endowed and could've been anywhere from 16 to 25 years old. (I can't tell how old people are, I never could) I don't get out that much, but walking around in a bikini top in a shopping center in a small conservative Virginia city strikes me as odd. It would make more sense if we were near a beach or lake, but the last time I checked we weren't. Maybe she always walked around like this in summer, after all, it was over ninety degrees and kind of humid. Maybe there was a swimming pool somewhere nearby. The girl with her wasn't wearing a bikini (as far as I could tell). I'm not complaining, mind you, it was just an unusual sight; but I did enjoy it.

To give my loyal (and unloyal) readers a better idea of what the bikini top looked like, I searched long and hard (no pun intended) for an reasonable facsimile. This is the closest I could come up with. It's solid color and not quite skimpy enough, but it'll have to do. I guess the picture isn't quite safe for work, but I don't know anything about where any of you work. Hell, just look at it anyway. If someone gives you any grief for looking at a full page photo of a beautiful woman in a bikini, just break down in sobs and scream, "OH GOD, PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME! I CAN'T STOP! I JUST CAN'T STOP! I FEEL SO GODDAMN SICK AND DIRTY! I WANNA DIE!! I WANNA DIIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!" Then fall to the floor and curl up in a fetal position in front of your desk. I've never tried this, but it only goes to reason that management won't discipline someone who's in considerable mental distress.

While searching for bikini photos (grueling, simply grueling), I found another site that reproduces oddball comic book covers of the 40's/50's/etc. It's nowhere near as good as the one I linked to on Monday (Tuesday?), but it has some interesting covers, like the one with the little kid hugging his dog as an atomic bomb goes off in the background. Unfortunately, the covers are only three-and-a-half-inches tall with no larger images available.

And as long as we're talking about comic book covers, have a gander at The 12 Dumbest American Comic Book Covers according to Atlas Comics. (I think I've linked to this before, but I can't remember.) My personal favorite is this issue of The Rifleman. And like the site I mentioned above, the images are unfortunately just three-and-a-inches tall with no explanations or larger images available.

Friday, July 18, 2003

I saw this handwritten clock on TV a couple of years ago and then forgot about it. I'd like to thank J-Walk for reminding me.
I've linked to Micheal Kelly's Page of Misery before, but I'm going to link to it again because I forgot the page existed. "Why I Hate the Internet" is particularly pithy (oh, how I've longed to use that word).
For the past few months I've been occasionally reading various blogs that deal with language and literature. I've noticed that virtually every one of these blogs links to Morfablog. So what, you say? Well, Morfablog's written in Welsh. How many of these people are actually able to read it?

And before I forget, here's the Newstran translation of Morfablog. More or less. Actually less. As less as you can possibly comprehend.
UK artist Adele Prince understandably wasn't too thrilled with me for calling her site, Lost Something, dull. (I didn't realize it was art. Honest!) So she suggested I have a look at a few of her other sites.

Easy Exercises is a peculiar collection of Flash animation and Quicktime clips. Very clever, but since I'm a hillbilly who lives out in the boondocks and connects to the vast and sinister internet with a dial-up connection, I couldn't look at that many of the video clips. But I really wanted to.

How to pass the time when you are bored uses Flash animation to illustrate, to a certain extent, some of the things a person can do to pass the time when they're bored. Amusing and vaguely creepy, but I find a lot of Flash stuff vaguely creepy. (The background music interfered with my Wilco CD. I hate when that happes.)

Things get a bit more familiar with her Dream Diary, which is basically a blog. Except it's dreams. Or something like that.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

About a half hour ago I looked in the mirror and noticed that my right sideburn was nearly a half-inch longer than the left. How does stuff like this happen? And how long have I been walking around like this?
I love those free automatic translation programs like Babelfish, but I think I like them mainly because they simply don't work right. Yesterday Icelandic Guy wrote something in Icelandic in my comments and I translated it with Newstran, the only free translation program online I know of that will deal with this language. Of course the results are gibberish, so I don't know how useful it is: "Eg is even snuggle up to think about snuggle up to put laxity river thee river blogginu minus/ our...v?ri there not pretty? By jingo, you direction there return pay lip service to everything ;fn) publicity and uninterested river 'Islendingum. You return probably not or? with accordingly whom I sayest/ write while is there not only tight? You do today thus hot about computer, canst not only Babelfiska? ;fn)?" Sure. Why not.

Even more interesting is when I used this same page to translate Volume22 into something that, at least to my untrained eyes, looks like Icelandic. Actually it's not that interesting to me because I can't read Icelandic. No, what's really interesting is when you take the Icelandic translation and have it translated back into English. Scary. Scary.

I also fond a list of Icelandic curse words and insults. (Once someone from a US Marine base hit my blog after searching Google for icelandic for jackass. Too bad I didn't know about this site then or maybe I could've helped the guy out.)

Language doesn't really work, does it?

A few months back I linked to a joke site that had instructions on how to make a tin foil hat so aliens can't read your mind. Well, today I'm linking to a serious site that shows how to make a hat that prevents aliens from controlling your mind. [Link via Unscrewed. (Unscrewed link not quite safe for work.)]

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

My twilight hours are haunted by visions of infernal demons. Well, to be truthful, my twilight hours are haunted by visions of infernal demons on the rare occasions I'm not being haunted by visions of snakes, turtles, and [shudder] poodles. (See yesterday's entry if you don't know what I'm babbling about.)
This is the most extraordinary thing I've ever seen online. Really. It's a clip from the latest Matrix flick done entirely in ASCII. (And be sure to look at the source code!) [Link via J-Walk.]
Yesterday while checking Google for something too complicated and boring to mention here, I found a link to an entry on Randgänge a German/English blog that focuses on new media, online publishing, etc. What caught my eye was a lengthy quote from another blog, Idle Words, which dealt with how English language blogs tended not to link to non-English language blogs.

The author raises some interesting questions, but before I even considered these questions, I got sidetracked by secondary information about the number of bloggers in Iceland (something I spent an inordinate amount of time ranting about last November): "Take Iceland, for example. The Icelanders are avid bloggers, with about 3500 weblogs (out of an online population of about 160,000). In any given Icelandic weblog, 12% of the links will point to a site written in English. So even those Icelandic readers who don't speak any English are fairly likely to come into contact with ideas that cross over from the English-language Internet." The 3500 figure seems a bit small to me (although I'm sure it's accurate), especially when I recall how I would run across blogs in Icelandic on a daily basis late last year when I'd regularly dig through Blogger's "Fresh Blogs" links. Out of all the non-English language blogs I'd find in my daily roaming, the majority were Icelandic. And since the population of Iceland is less than 300,000 it seemed all the more extraordinary. Brazil has a population of over 164 million, and quite a few bloggers, but I still saw more Icelandic blogs. Today I think the most common non-English language blogs I find are in Persian, but Icelandic is still high up on the list.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Why am I wasting all my precious time getting good grades at school when I can just buy a degree? What harm can it possibly cause? ("Sure, I know all about operating a nuclear reactor.")

But seriously, haven't we all met someone with a real college degree who was as dumb as a dead goat?
Yesterday I linked to racy 40's/50's comicbook covers and today I'm linking to sexist/racist/etc. comic postcards from the past. [Link via J-Walk.]

Back on May 22 I envisioned a hum search engine and today I find out there's actually a search engine that finds sounds. It's not quite what I wrote about, but spiffy none the less. [Link via J-Walk.]
I've had reoccurring nightmares about snakes my whole life. The dreams are always the same: I see a snake or two or three and I try to run but can't. Suddenly the snake(s) are only inches away. Sometimes I fall down and can't get back up. I usually wake up before I get bitten.

Last night I had a nightmare almost exactly like the snake dreams, but it featured angry turtles. Yes, turtles. First I saw one. Then I fell down, practically on top of another as its large camouflaged head sprang out of the moss and mud at me. Why turtles? My whole life I've loved turtles. I'm one those people that will go and get them out of the road so they don't get run over. And I've never had a terrifying turtle experience (although I've had some interesting encounters with snapping turtles, an animal that can easily remove a few of your fingers).

Several years ago I had a dream that there was a pack of wild poodles living in the woods behind the house. They were white and had those idiotic poodle haircuts too. (I love dogs and dogs love me, but I've never met a nice poodle.)

Monday, July 14, 2003

A collection of surprisingly risqué 1940's-50's romance comicbook covers can be found here. Great stuff. [Link via Mercurial.]
Yesterday someone who works at Microsoft hit my blog after searching Google for (yes, you guessed it) "north korean porn". (And as luck would have it, after six or seven months, Volume 22 was still number one at Google for this asinine search.)

So now we have concrete evidence that Microsoft employees are apparently allowed to sit in their cubicles looking up weird porn when they should be working. And what the hell were they doing at work on a Sunday?

And speaking of North Korean porn, I finally found an article about it. [Link via something I've never heard of before called MemeFirst.]

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Here's an interesting blog entry on the sinister side of Google. [Link via J-Walk.]
Sundays are a bore. And now that I think of it, Mondays through Saturdays are pretty dull also.
Last night while trolling for weirdness, I found two strange Japanese web pages that were devoted to english phrases and sentences. The first page seemed like an online collection of English medical jargon because all of the phrases are things like, "deep-vein thrombosis", "recombinant circumsporozoite protein vaccine", "monitoring system for senile dementia", and "receive bath services provided by visiting nursing-care workers". But if you scroll down a little farther things suddenly get non-medical: "make money over the Internet by e-mail", "cyber squatting", "nuclear fuel processing facility", "intergalactic gas clouds", "piss for shits and giggles", and "commit property crimes to obtain money for buying drugs". All of the phrases are categorized, but what precisely it all means I can't even imagine.

The second Japanese page is more easily understood; it's obviously an online Japanese/English dictionary of some sort, probably intended for Japanese tourists. The odd thing is that many of the words don't seem to be the typical things tourists would need to say and even odder are the example sentences that show how the words are used. If this page is for tourists I can't imagine what kind of violent and bizarre holiday they expect. While on vacation have any of you ever said anything even remotely like, "The cops are after me", "There was blood all over", "We're running out of ammo", "She bashed the robber on the head with a frying pan", "He made a lot of money by ripping off old people", or "They say that Hitler had only one ball"?

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Today I'm in a linking kind of mood. (Actually I'm in an annoyed, sweaty kind of mood, but that's a different story.)

People are still mad at Kevin. [Link via Incoming Signals.](The Kevin page is one of many bewildering things at Endtimeworks.)

The rest of today's links were swiped off the links page of the excellent FOUND magazine. (Which none of you were impressed by, with the sole exception of the folks at the Icelandic blog no digging holes you english pig dog!.)

The Royal Journal of Found Art has, I think, even more oddball found material than FOUND magazine.

Object Not Found is a repository of Australian weirdness and detritus.

Spillway has...uh more found material. (What else can I say about this stuff?)

Lost Something? is a collection of things found in Britian. But now that I think about it, this one's kind of dull. Except, that is, for the bewildering section on money.

Kittyville is my favorite in the bunch. Not only does it feature lots of peculiar found junk, but it's actually funny. It also has a bunch of other stuff totally unrelated, as far as I can tell, to found material.

So there!

Friday, July 11, 2003

I think today's the eight month anniversary of Volume 22. Have I really been plugging away on this blog for eight long months? Good god. You'd think I had better things to do. Well, I don't have better things to do. So there.

I think in eight months of posting crap I've missed maybe three days. I don't know why I bother since well over half of my traffic comes from people looking for weird strains of porno.

I'm taking the rest of the day off.
Ugh! Ugh! UGH! Like I need more to worry about. Now I won't even be able to take a whizz without looking for strange activity down there. [Link via Metafilter.]

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Yet another reason not to get married. [Link via Metafilter.]
I went to Goodwill this morning to dig through their used books since I hadn't done it in a while. It was mostly a waste of time, but I did finally locate a second copy of the deliriously strange Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology and Technique, by Dutch loony Th. H. Van De Velde, M.D. My sister told me a couple of years ago to find a copy of this monstosity for her, but I never could despite the fact that Random House put it through many, many pritings from 1930 to at least 1968.

I just did a search on this book at Google in an effort to find the entry I wrote on it a few months ago, and I found out, to my utter shock and horror, that Amazon is selling used copies.

Here's Amazon's description, "This classic work, first published in 1928, concentrates on the cultivation of the technique of eroticism as an art in marriage. It sets the sexual relationship in the nostalgic prose of a more leisured age." Uh, sure...

There's one reader's review:

4 out of 5 stars Easily read, Valuable for Youth, July 10, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA USA
Treats the subject with calmness and truth. Does not try to make sex into a science. The subject of initial intercourse and how to have this with respect and calm on both partners part was invaluable. Also the discussion of positions vis a vis weight has proven quite correct. Again, an easy read and should be mandatory before initial intercourse.

No, no, no, no! A thousand times, no! This archaic, weird-ass book is the last thing I'd recomend before "initial intercourse". Unless, of course, you wanted to break the tension with a good laugh.

Anyway, I first mentioned the book in my March 25 entry. (You'll have to scroll down to it because for some reason my permalinks no longer work. I can't remember the last time they worked. I can't even remember if they ever worked.)
What happened to monkey pox? Last month it was all over the news and then it suddenly disappeared.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

It seems that the internet is shit. [Link via Daypop.]
I dragged my carcass to school this morning to get signed up for the fall semester and pay my tuition. While I stood in line to pay, the children of the woman in front of me ran wild. These two living, breathing examples of why I love birth control had just made the astonishing discovery that their shoes were perfect for making extremely loud squeaking sounds when rubbed across the shiny floor. So we all stood there and endured the maddening SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! The hallway has really reflective acoustics, too, so the squeaks really echoed. Occasionally the mother would turn around and say (not scream), "Please stop squeaking." Or, "Don't squeak your shoes." I had flashbacks to my childhood and could hear my mother in just such a situation: "IF YOU DON'T STOP SQUEAKING THOSE SHOES I'M GONNA WHUP YOUR ASS SO HARD YOUR GRANDKIDS ARE GONNA FEEL IT!!" Ah, sweet memories of youth...

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

I just found out something kind of odd. If you take any typical Blogger URL and substitute .org for .com you automatically get directed to a Korean shopping page. I've tried with several different Blogger URLs and it always sent me to the same page.
I can't listen to books on tape and I'm constantly amazed by their popularity. When I attempt to listen to any extended prose piece my mind wanders; I'm almost incapable of paying attention. I can listen to non-music programs on the radio as long as one person doesn't drone on too long. I used to spend (waste?) time in writer's workshops years ago, and I could never give anyone's prose my undivided attention, no matter how good the prose might be. The worst example of this was the time I was in a two day workshop taught by mystery novelist Sharyn McCrumb. After the workshop we went to the auditorium where she gave a reading of her then work in progress.

I paid attention at first, but then other thoughts crowded her out. Soon he was drowned out completely by the constant shifting narration in my head. When she was done and the rather large audience finished applauding, she came down from the stage and went directly up to me. Still in teacher mode, she started grilling me about technical stuff in what she'd read.

McCrumb: What did you think about how I handled the father?

Me: wasn't...uhh...

She knew I hadn't been paying attention and changed the subject. I remember little of what happened next, but I quickly left out of sheer embarrassment.

After this, at other readings, I'd hide in the back of the auditorium where I could daydream to my idiotic heart's content. Now I just avoid them completely.

Monday, July 07, 2003

I was working in a store once years ago, suffering the infernal tootling of the piped in elevator music, when I suddenly recognized Kenny G's vile "Songbird" ooze out of the speakers above me. The odd thing was that it wasn't the original recording, the elevator music people (a sinister and mysterious group if there ever was one) had redone it. The original was already elevator music. I can imagine someone in charge at the place where elevator music is programmed saying, "This Kenny G track's way too hard edged and aggressive; we gotta tone it down."

Years earlier at another job I heard an elevator music version of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth", a song about the riot on Sunset Strip. I swear I'm not making this up. It sort of reminds me of hearing Mel Brooks say he heard his, "Springtime for Hitler" in an elevator once. The world of elevator music is a strange and complex one.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

According to Blogger co-founder and CEO Evan Williams, the text ads at the top of the Blogger free pages have been changed and now, "[...]include links to related searches to whatever's on the page.[...]" This sort of thing is interesting, I suppose, but what real use is it? The results listed at the top of my page are just random and strange, only just vaguely reffering to things I posted weeks ago: duck, mighty mouse, monkey, and captain caveman. The ads displaying as I write this are for a site where you can download Betty Boop cartoons and the Library of Cartoon Art. Earlier today I had two ads for what I think were computer dating sites for the overweight. The content of the ads is supposed to be based on the content of the blog, but, as usual, I'm clueless as to what any of this has to do with anyting I've written in the past.

Also at Evhead (today I'm just going to steal his content because I can't be bothered to come up with my own) I found a link to this peculiar blog. The idea is for the readers to supply the content: "Form a sentence from the acronym of the last word found on the latest post." The results aren't quite readable, but it's a fascinating experiment and challenge for people who like word games and have way too much time on their hands.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Well, I finally got around to trying out the matchstick rocket thing I mentioned yesterday. It didn't work. The first one just flared up and blew out the tin foil on one side. The other two didn't even ignite. In fact, the other two were practically burned to a crisp while I tried to light them. Maybe none of them worked because I did it wrong, or maybe it was because I used really cheap matches that were difficult to light. I'll file this experiment under marginally interesting failures.
Today's useless link is this weird Japanese flash thing I can't accurately describe. It's sparkly and tingly and an utter waste of time. Just go there and have a look for yourself. If you have the right Macromedia plug-in, just click on the page somewhere after the intro. Once the weirdness starts, just mouse over it to change it a bit, and then click on it to go to the next weird abstract thing. [Link via Metafilter.]

Friday, July 04, 2003

Ugh, will someone remind me why it's a good idea to venture out into society? I know it's a holiday and these sorts of occasions cause some to celebrate a bit, but there are limits. All I wanted to do was drive to my local discount deparment store to buy some provisions (deoderant and toothpaste, if you must know), but it could've resulted in me being interviewed by the police to explain why I ran over that drunken jackass on the bicycle. This guy was easily six-foot-five and was riding a small bicycle. He had a bottle of beer on one hand and screamed, "Wooooooooooooo," at the top of his lungs as he swirved in and out of traffic. The car in front of me slipped around him as we all turned a corner, but I couldn't get around him. He would look back me, waving his beer and screaming as he went from one side of the street to the other. Eventually he got bored and went down a sidestreet. He was directly in front of me for all of 30 seconds maybe, but it seemed like 10 minutes. Idiot. I wish I had a giant spring-loaded fly-swatter attached to my front bumper, then I could've just swatted him to the side and went on my merry way.
Who needs illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July when you can build your own working rockets out of matches? I haven't tried this out yet to see how well it works, but it looks pretty cool. And if any of you do try it out, for the love of Zeus, be careful. I don't want to read any whiny messages in my comments about how someone put one of their eyes out screwing around with these things. [Link via J-Walk.]

Thursday, July 03, 2003

You know what would make life far more interesting? Random spankings. I don't quite have the logistics worked out yet, but when I do I'll definately post them.
It's so humid here I'm surprised I don't have portabello mushrooms growing on my back. Three or four days ago we had a whole week where it didn't rain and wasn't so humid you soak the air up with a sponge. And now it's back to the way it's been for the past few months, except hotter. I can't wait until winter, and I hate winter.

My life is so dull right now that one of the highlights of each day is watching reruns of Dharma & Greg I've never seen before. It's official: I've reached the nadir of human existence.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Can someone explain to me just what in the name of all things decent this is?* [Link via Supercolossal.]

*This is basically a rhetorical question, so I don't expect any of you to actually provide me with any laborious explanations. Unless of course you can make up something really interesting.

And speaking of bewildering web pages (and I was), have a look at Kenward Elmslie's page. Even if you've never heard of Elmslie and never read anything he's written it's definately worth looking at, if you can figure out how to navigate it. [Link via]
I think Levitated's "Walking Things" is almost as neat as the SodaConstructor (which none of you were the least bit impressed by). Click on the crawling things and make them change into something new. Or not. [Link via Metafilter.]

There's a newspaper in Florida called the Independant Florida Alligator. Really, I'm not making this up. My mind suddenly begins to wander and imagine other American newspaper names: the Democratic Wyoming Raccoon, the Republican North Dakota Warthog, the Independant South Carolina Squirrel, the... I've run out of ideas already. It appears the discovery of a ridiculously named Florida newspaper wasn't as a rich a vein of humor as I first imagined. My deepest apologies.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Occasionally I find web pages that are so interesting that I spend hours meticulously going through them. FOUND magazine is just such a web site. It features collections of things people have found on the street, in old houses, in thrift stores, etc. The hand written notes, photographs, audio, and other material, when taken out of whatever original context they had, can end up mysterious, amusing, creepy, infuriating, poetic, or just bewildering. [Link via I Remember.]

In a similar vein to FOUND magazine, but far more amusing, is The Inexplicable Object of the Week. This is one of the funniest sites I've ever seen, but it's also one the most frustrating because it's on Geocities and exceeds its bandwidth easily. And I think there's pop-ups, but since I use a browser with a built in pop-up killer, I never see the damn things.
I wonder if at any time during the recorded history of the English language has someone used the words "cataclysmic nudity"?