Plurib.us

Our Projects:

Incredible Birthday Machine
Aurora Sound Visualizer
Holy Cats
Planet Resizer
SVG Art Gallery
World's Lightest Colored Web Site

Contact, Follow:

More projects:

Archives by year:

About

Plurib.us is an evolving collaboration by Brian and Peter, begun in 2002.

An innocent question.  Ideas.  Ideas questioned.  An argument, nipped in the bud.  Another close call, saved by the internet.

Can hot water freeze faster than cold water?:
math.ucr.edu/home/baez/phys...
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith--the Chinese version, dubbed in English.  "Revenge of the Sith" is translated as "The Backstroke of the West," and the "Jedi Council" is "The Presbyterian Church."

antibody.za.net/new/index.php?...
From Eight to Two Hundred and Two--The first thousand numbers in alphabetical order:

blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2006/...
The Worst Album Covers of All Time:

coverbrowser.com/covers/worst-a...
"Women's Empowerment Critical to Helping Children"

earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/1...
Thunderbird 2 (still in beta) is getting a long-overdue look & feel update.  (new visual metaphores: /fire/ for junk mail, and /star/ instead of a flag?  How am I going to flag my e-mails now?)

informationweek.com/story/showArti...

Also, Digg(.com) redesigned.  They made double level nav tabs (top) look surprisingly simple.
Weird things happen on the internet, but weirder things happen in real life:
The world's tallest man has saved two dolphins by using his long arms to reach into their stomachs and pull out dangerous plastic shards.


news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-paci...
Further warnings regarding the new Nintendo Wii:
Also, Nintendo reminds players that Wii nunchuks are not actual nunchuks, and are not approved by the American Karate Association for tournament use.

themorningnews.org/archives/spoof...
The American Humane Association reviews the movie "Snakes on a Plane".  As you might expect, it's concerned entirely with the treatment of the animals rather than the quality of the movie.  There are some really neat descriptions of how certain parts were filmed.
In addition to the special effects snakes, live snakes were used in a chaotic scene where the slithery menaces fall from oxygen masks and luggage compartments in the main cabin. Trainers hidden on top of the plane body dropped several snakes through PVC tubes installed in the cabin ceiling down onto the seats below. Sylvester coached all stunt people and extras on how to respond to these surprise drop-ins without making careless movements while pretending to be terrified.

ahafilm.info/movies/mr.phtm...
The Florida Meat Goat Association. 
The Florida Meat Goat Association is a very important part of the meat goat industry in Florida by its continued efforts with promoting meat from goats and other products from meat goats as a viable commodity.
fmga.org/
Mountain ranges discovered and imaged on Titan.

saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/press-rel...
Turtles apparently don't age.  Or, they age really slowly.

nytimes.com/2006/12/12/sci...
There are certain things which should never have been created, or, failing that, should be created only once.  This site catalogs those failures of nonexistence in the field of knitting.

stitchymcyarnpants.com/moks06/

(I just realized that I really want to own amiknitornot.com)
DVD [dash] R, DVD+R explained, and analyzed for archiving.

adterrasperaspera.com/blog/2006/10/3...
Likes: Computers.  The Internet.  Elves.  20-sided Dice. 

Dislikes: Sucka MCs.

nerdcoreforlife.com/

+1 Website of Documentary.
Illuminating iTunes buying habits, DRM, and the blanket license (monthly fee, unlimited downloads - possibly the future of music collecting).

theregister.co.uk/2006/12/11/dig...
Ed's Health and Safety:
Ed says that Health and Safety is important but ignores it himself. He uses a variety of machines and equipment and thinks he will never have an accident or cause an accident to other people.

BUT HE IS WRONG !!!!

technologystudent.com/health1/ed1.ht...

Make sure you look at "How Ed the Handyman uses a Hammer" and "Ed the Handyman - poor behaviour in the workshop.".  I'm feeling safer already.
Philosophical interview with the designer of C++.
techreview.com/InfoTech/17868...

via developers.slashdot.org/developers/06/...
"Wikipedia as a means of learning religious concepts", by yours truly.  (This might be my first blog post ever, depending on your definition.)

briansverymiscellaneousblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/wikipe...
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been busy taking pictures of abandoned Mars landers from the past.
marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/newsroom/p...

Oh, and it might have found evidence of liquid water on the Mars' surface.
spaceref.com/news/viewpr.ht...
Supreme Court apparently isn't satisfied with current tests for patent obviousness.

"Who do you get to be an expert to tell you something's not obvious?" Roberts asked aloud. "I mean, the least insightful person you can find?"


law.com/jsp/article.js...

Also, "Using Trademark to Stymie Interoperability?":
eff.org/deeplinks/arch...
Calculate the value of pi by throwing frozen hot dogs across the room:

wikihow.com/Calculate-Pi-b...
Old New York was once New Amsterdam.  These people want to revert:

giveusbacknewyork.com/
A neat discussion of symmetry in living things:
The complexity of carbon chemistry means that there are many molecules that have a mirror image counterpart that is essentially different, that is, the two cannot be rotated into one another. They are in one sense chemically the same, but living things can tell the difference. The difference in the smell of oranges and lemons is caused by right and left forms of limonene. In many cases, such as with amino acids, only one stereoisomer of the pair is found in living things.
  newcriterion.com/archives/25/12...
Cool close-up of Saturn's clouds

saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/ima...
Completely ridiculous real-life use of the DMCA.  (Cannot copy paid-for DVDs to portable players, etc.)

eff.org/deeplinks/arch...
If you give these people some money and a brief message, they will write that message on a piece of toast with a marker.

yournameontoast.com/

Yay, Internet!
We've become a surveillance society without even knowing it?

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technolog...
Consider, if you will, the new Radio in our Internal Links section.  The songs on the playlist are a subset of those from which our infrequently-rotating lyric-headers are drawn.  For now the list is in alphabetical order, because I am a constant slave to default settings. 

The player requires Flash, but it has some basic and useful right-click functionality. 

Let me know if you have any problems or suggestions.
Happy Protopage day!  (version 3 just released)

protopage.com/brianlukis
protopage.com/petervh
Some exemptions granted to the DMCA for 3 years.
eff.org/deeplinks/arch...
Cool Japanese public service ad.
video.google.com/videoplay?doci...
Podcast popularity is about where I thought it was.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technolog...
It's too late to dress up for Halloween, but it's never too late to be totally rocking.

Rockstar wigs for sale!
garmentdistrict.com/store/party/wi...
A map of every stuffed polar bear in the UK:

snaebjornsdottirwilson.com/nanoqmap.html
Comics based on spam email subject lines.  Despite the generally obscene nature of such emails, these cartoons are wonderfully PG-rated.

spamusement.com/

Particular favorites:
spamusement.com/index.php/comi...
spamusement.com/index.php/comi...
spamusement.com/index.php/comi...
Revealing, if somewhat arbitrary, map of US states Green House Gas emission compared to other top emitting countries.
earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/1...
Mars Global Surveyor (in orbit around Mars) hasn't communicated back to NASA in over a week.
spaceref.com/news/viewpr.ht...

Recent image from MGS:
msss.com/mars_images/mo...

While we're at it, Cassini returned this nice image of Saturn and its inner rings.
spaceref.com/news/viewsr.ht...
What happens when the magician David Copperfield gets mugged?

Obviously, he makes his valuables disappear, and the crooks get nothing.

cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/T...
Apple is changing their ad campaign.  I hadn't really thought of this unintentional effect of their ads.  It's funny, though, when I see it spelled out.  (1st paragraph)

radaronline.com/exclusives/200...
Here's a list of wombats in Japan:

makinojp.com/bekkoame/wom_j...

Why Japan?  Why wombats?  This is the mystery of the internet.
A comprehensive introduction to the orchestra:

mti.dmu.ac.uk/%7Eahugill/man...
George W. Bush's sleeves, like my own, are generally rolled up.

j-walkblog.com/images/bushrol...

It's because we're both working very, very hard.
Consider this creepy ad campaign:

photos1.blogger.com/blogger/631/82...
These people put various things in a blender.  If that's not compelling, I don't know what is.

willitblend.com/

(Yeah, I know they're just doing this to sell their blenders.  If there's a better way to sell blenders, I don't know what that is, either.)
The 50 Worst Video Game Names of all time.  While that doesn't necessarily mean they're the worst games of all time, it's certainly hard to get excited about trying out "Rosco McQueen - Firefighter Extreme"

gamerevolution.com/feature/worst_...
This is a relief.  Microsoft just took some of the idiocy out of its Windows Vista license, just before its release.
theregister.co.uk/2006/11/03/ms_...
Good article (with some 1st hand experiences) explaining how you don't need a Gov't ID to get airline boarding passes.
lookingglassnews.org/printerfriendl...
Elephants have self-recognition too.  Welcome to the club.
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/n...
Some UK Copyright reform proposed by a think tank.  This article eloquently describes some of the consumer-rights sentiment that I think is gaining some cultural momentum.
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6...
theregister.co.uk/2006/10/30/ipp...
The, case, of, the, million, dollar, comma
Grammar apparently matters in Canadian courts.
theregister.co.uk/2006/10/26/the...
Write your own GW speech, with this easy speech writing tool, the George W Bush Speechwriter.
actofme.co.uk/bush_speech/bu...
Much to the consternation of a British colleague, the US uses a slightly different standard paper size (8.5x11) than the rest of the world (A4).  How did this happen?

Obviously, the answer begins in 17th-Century Holland:
afandpa.org/Content/Naviga...
Step-by-step Rubik's Cube solver.  Never have a messed up Rubik's Cube again.  (Of course, without having to cheat by taking it apart.)
wrongway.org/cube/solve.htm...
Sat image of Greenland ice looks like a head.
nasa.gov/vision/earth/l...
Weird Al Yankovic has been doing his thing for 25 years.

slate.com/id/2151657/fr/...

The soundtrack of my childhood is mostly Weird Al parodies.
Pictures of people transporting large loads of cargo on small vehicles:

aistigave.hit.bg/Logistics/
Photographs of unrelated people who look very much like each other.  Kind of astounding:

haha.nu/amazing/im-not...
Neato video from Dove demonstrating a glamour shoot production process.
ponderance.blogspot.com/2006/10/real-b...
(originating links contained within)
UK's The Register gives us Americans something new to fight about.  It's funny because it's plausible.

theregister.co.uk/2006/10/13/cod...
A scary, fascinating, current, and detailed map of disasters around the world:

hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/woale...
Apparently the lack of safe drinking water situation worldwide is improving according to a UN goal of 89% access by 2015.  Something's working.

earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/8...
The American Society for Velociraptor Attack Prevention:

velociraptors.info/
Apparently, Brahms was my kind of guy:
Once a singer asked which of his songs he might recommend. With straight face, he advised her to try his posthumous ones. "And which?" she asked politely.

slate.com/id/2150496/?na...
This article indicates that the field of physics is currently trying to make new data fit existing models in somewhat arbitrary ways--this would indicate an imminent paradigm shift a la Thomas Kuhn.
It is not that the landscape model is necessarily wrong, but rather that if a huge number of universes with different properties are possible and equally probable, the landscape can make no real contribution other than a philosophic one. That is metaphysics, not physics.
Also, it's interesting to consider an infinite number of universes, all with different properties--consider doing the same expiriment when vastly different natural laws apply.

physicstoday.org/vol-59/iss-10/...
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caputres picture of Mars rover from above:

marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/newsroom/p...
Many pictures of yawning bunnies:

talkingegg.com/humor/bunnyyaw...
Google code search has at least one use: finding out that programmers of php swear more than other programers.

blog.predius.org/2006/10/05/fuc...
"In Tune with Fun" is an old scanned comic book about the joys of playing the accordion.

ep.tc/intunewithfun/
Maps of War is mostly useful for the first map, a 90-second flash-animated map showing who happened to be in control of the Middle East at any time, starting in 3000 BC.

mapsofwar.com/
Consider the availability of this product:

northlineexpress.com/detail~PRODUCT...
If you build a better Hic-Cup, the world will beat a path to your door:

hic-cups.com/
Little People - A tiny street art project

little-people.blogspot.com/
This is a very early color photo of a pretty building.  It appears somewhere in wikipedia.  If this much thought went into every picture on the internet, the internet would be amazing.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia...
I'm trying my hand at making some toolbar icons, and I came across this corporately detailed document for designing Windows icons.  Skim at your own risk.

msdn.microsoft.com/library/defaul...
Microsoft's Zune won't play many DRMed Windows Media files.

This is a stark example of DRM under the DMCA giving customers a raw deal. Buying DRMed media means you're locked into the limited array of devices that vendors say you can use. You have to rebuy your preexisting DRMed media collection if you want to use it on the Zune. And you'll have to do that over and over again whenever a new, incompatible device with innovative features blows existing players out of the water.


eff.org/deeplinks/arch...
On my wish list: A lamp that terrifies the elderly.

anglepoise.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id...
A bunch of strange watches.

zorigami.free.fr/odd_watches/

I would say, "The future is now," but with some of these watches, there's no way to tell.
Ok, Browsar was cool because it was tiny, didn't install, and didn't leave footprints on the inside.

Enter Torpark.  It's not as tiny, but otherwise has the same advantages.  But that's nothing.  This hides your communication from local network snoopers (making short work of corporate firewalls?), and makes you [relatively] anonymous to the web server from which you're getting pages.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technolog...
torpark.nfshost.com/
tor.eff.org/
Oldest example of writing in the Americas found in Mexico, from 900 BC.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/n...
Consider this headline:

abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2...
Interesting examples of the use of tags in websites.
themulife.com/?p=155
Holy Cats!  Until the end of the year, the Royal Society is opening up its archives for free.  This access usually costs over $9000/year.  Read some science journals from 1665!

pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/index.cfm?page...
If you need a replacement for your now-recalled Segway, consider this list:

diseno-art.com/encyclopedia/s...
Every Segway ever made is being recalled.
startribune.com/484/story/6765...

And, Garrison Keillor is opening a book store in St. Paul.
twincities.com/mld/pioneerpre...
An erudelicious legal discussion of copyright:
Vaidhyanathan observes, “copyright in the American tradition was not meant to be a “property right” as the public generally understands property. It was originally a narrow federal policy that granted a limited trade monopoly in exchange for universal use and access”. This paper explores the ways in which “property talk” has infiltrated copyright discourse and endangered the utility of the law in fostering free and diverse forms of creative expression. The possessiveness and exclusion that accompany “property talk” are difficult to reconcile with the utilitarian foundations of copyright.
Information is weird—I can give you my idea, and I can still keep my idea.  In fact, everyone can have my idea.  (The article is citation-heavy and informationally dense, but it’s not very long.)

journal.media-culture.org.au/0609/5-collins...
Flash site made by Leo Burnett ad agency, about itself and its founder.  It's very inviting, and fun to play with.

leoburnett.ca/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Burne...
A huge group of visual representations of information.  Awesome.

visualcomplexity.com/vc/index.cfm
An old-skool handset for today's new-skool cellphones.  Someone should buy this for me immediately.

novophone.com/
Long story on the somewhat-reclusive art collector Charles Saatchi:
"I don't travel. I'm very, very, very lazy. I'm going to be like one of those people who get fatter and fatter and become one with the chair, and they're found years later."


arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story...
Not huge, but elegant categorized directory of "websites you can trust", edited by various librarians.
lii.org/
Is your child assailed by demons in the night?  Protect them with Armor of God PJs!

armorofgodpjs.com/
Very pretty false-color image of the moon, indicating different regions' chemical compositions.
antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060907....
Neat feature (despite its questionable utility) of wunderground.com, you can save animated gifs of weather loops.  This is what the weather was doing where I was typing, when I was typing.
plurib.us/1shot/2006/WUN...

(I always thought this site would eventually be the only weather site in town back in the 90s.  I was wrong, but it remains my favorite weather site.)
Recent image of Saturn's moon Dione
spaceref.com/news/viewsr.ht...

Also, SMART-1 Moon mission ends by design in Lunar impact:
esa.int/esaCP/SEM7A76L...
esa.int/esaCP/SEM2N58Z...
I am about to have a new favorite web browser.  (Just one file!  Doesn't install!  Doesn't save any settings, nor does it have any!)  Its sole limitation is that it doesn't have tabs, but that appears first on their to-do list.

browzar.com/
Interesting story of how bilingual children learn language.
physorg.com/news75993523.h...
Nice article about the planet-definition rollercoaster, (which seems to be over now).
startribune.com/789/story/6331...

Keeping the definitions straight:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_pla...
Update on SMART-1 spacecraft, orbiting the Moon.  (Analyzing surface chemistry.)
spaceref.com/news/viewsr.ht...
Weird Al's Don't Download This Song:
dontdownloadthissong.com/DDTSecard.html
Thorough moon exploration timeline
kokogiak.com/luna/

Also from the same site (same person?) a curated collection of the prettier Cassini photos of Saturn and its moons
flickr.com/photos/kokogia...
Interesting story and findings on the evolution of whales.

scienceblogs.com/loom/2006/08/1...
"What's up with Viral marketing?  Snakes on a Plane vs HIV"
- Questions that lead to questions -
scienceblogs.com/worldsfair/200...

Related:
scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscien...
scienceblogs.com/evolgen/2006/0...
Del.icio.us just got a swanky new home page.  I dig the page thumbnails.

del.icio.us/
Little girls play The Sims.  A horrifying truth.
telegraph.co.uk/fashion/main.j...
Wait, huh?  We can take pictures of atoms?
aip.org/png/2006/264.h...

Apparently we can, but only of the tips of incredibly sharp needles.
materials.ox.ac.uk/fim/whatisfim....
About the tip:
sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/...
Dead dog, turned freak tumor species, lives in alive dogs.  Gross.  But interesting reading on evolution.  (There are a million ways to write this 'headline'.)
scienceblogs.com/loom/2006/08/0...
Map of sea birds' migration patterns across the Pacific.  They fly in a gigantic figure-8 spanning the whole ocean.
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/n...
Mesmerizing and pretty light beam motion can't-figure-out-how-it-works art/gifs/experiment (?)
tochka.jp/pikapika/2006/...
All our astronomical distances may be off by 15%, as a recent study updates the 'hubble constant'.  Forget everything you learned in grade school.

spaceref.com/news/viewpr.ht...
Neat edited (digestible) 15-year timeline of the web
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technolog...

(Plurib.us started in the middle of an apparent dead zone between Nov 2001 and Dec 2002.)
Record industry will have a hard time winning a court case if they can't prove you were the one who illegally downloaded music.  Seems obvious to me, but apparently this is new.  (I think it's that they dropped the case, and this sets a precedent.)

theregister.co.uk/2006/08/03/ind...
The sweet story of a UK movie theater making its own Coke.

"Unfortunately none of us had any scientific knowledge whatsoever, and it's quite a scientific process," says Rich. "We spent half our time running out to get ingredients that we didn't have, and we kept having to go round to the local post office to weigh things on their parcel scales."


guardian.co.uk/food/Story/0,,...
Google is going to host Open Source projects (a la SourceForge).  The service seems to be headed up by a veteran to Open Source, now Google employee.

newsforge.com/article.pl?sid...
Google sitemaps told me we were coming in #1 for a search for Krista.  (Liars.)  Then the thought occured to me to look up names in Google trends.  I give you the 5 most recent plurib.us posters in Google trends (one could write long essays about this data, I'm sure):

google.com/trends?q=eric%...
When I was a child, the appearance of poultry on the dinner table always sparked a battle for the wishbone. The three of us kids had to have a preliminary round of bickering to determine the two wishbone-contestants.

Now, a company is Lucky-Break plastic wishbones!  If we'd had these back then, we could have replaced our bickering with a preliminary round of faux-wishbone playoffs.
Vegetarians take note: NO FOWL — NO FOUL. They're totally unreal! LUCKY BREAK™ WISHBONES are entirely guilt-free!
luckybreakwishbone.com/
Mira: The Wonderful Star,
as observed by the Chandra Observatory:
antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060722....
The Saturn orbiter Cassini just captured very detailed radar images of Titan, revealing a very interesting terrain:
saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/press-rel...
This is what I'm talking about.  Opera on the Nintendo DS (in Japanese):
youtube.com/watch?v=RbSq-t...
Results for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest are out!  In short, the award is for the worst possible sentence which could be used to start a book.  Two entries:
A single sparkling tear fell from Little Mary's cheek onto the sidewalk, then slid into the storm drain, there to join in its course the mighty waters of the Los Angeles River and, eventually, Long Beach Harbor, with its state-of-the-art container-freight processing facilities.
Todd languished there, neck deep in the pumpkin-hued Amargosa Desert sand like a long forgotten cupcake in an Easy Bake Oven gone hellishly amok, and it finally made sense . . . "ooohhhh, DEATH Valley."

sjsu.edu/depts/english/...
World Jump Day: it's totally going to work.
worldjumpday.org/
Passing some time on Peter's protopage... I think I want one of these: a both incredibly useful, and incredibly not useful tool.
kk.org/cooltools/arch...
If we all scrape some money together, we could book a big-name band for our next event.  Seriously, we could have Hanson for $5,000.

tobinder.com/rockpop.htm
An enlightened observation about free time (couldn't be more true).
mattcutts.com/blog/things-i-...
Brilliant visualization of the size of the earth.
royalsapien.com/pop1/

Also, morning sickness might just be the body's way of avoiding toxic foods...?
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/51...
I thought the infamous French 'iTunes law' was bad for Apple, etc.  This article states that it became practically the opposite by the time the law passed.  Hey.
trends.newsforge.com/trends/06/07/0...

Also, Microsoft and the European Union are still not seeing eye-to-eye.
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/...

Less relatedly, just when I learn I can export PhotoShop files from The GIMP, I find that privilege may go away.  Silly Adobe.
software.newsforge.com/software/06/06...

(New page setup released today.  Hope everyone likes it.)
Holy Cats!  For ages, I've wanted a pronunciation guide for the names of authors--if there is a way to mispronounce a name, I have mispronounced it.  As it turns out, the Library of Congress has such a guide!
loc.gov/nls/other/sayh...

Thanks, ask.metafilter.com !
For those of you who missed the World Cup final today (France v. Italy,) we at Plurib.us feel that its our public service to tell you about the game.  After 90 minutes, it was a 1-1 tie.  In the 2nd half of overtime, soon-retiring French star Zinedine Zidane FREAKING HEADBUTTED Italian defender Marco Materazzi RIGHT IN THE CHEST.
video.google.com/videoplay?doci...

After some confusion (the head ref didn't see the assult, and an assistant ref had to set him straight,) Zidane was sent off of his final World Cup match (he's retiring after the World Cup,) and Italy won by penalty kicks.  Way to be remembered as a jerk, Zidane. 

In related YouTube news, the attacked player has previously made a name for himself by playing cheaply:
youtube.com/watch?v=dlaqsO...

(Thanks, Italy: I believed in you ever since '94.  Why'd my hero have to wank that PK against Brazil?)
British Parliament is so much fun to watch, it's almost like a spectator sport.  Like other sports, it makes more sense if you know the rules.  Thank you, BBC!
Members may not eat or drink in the chamber. One exception to this is the chancellor who may have an alcoholic drink while delivering the Budget statement.

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politi...
You know it had to happen.  Google is now a "word".
latimes.com/news/nationwor...
So as to delay my actual work on  this site today, here's some random other thing, suggested by Amanda on the message board:

plurib.us/map

A MixMap of plurib.us visitors.  I think it works--but I might get rid of it if it doesn't.
My study of amateur electronics began and ended with a Radio Shack 120-in-1 components-on-a-board project-kit.  Specifically, it ended with the transistors.  I never really figured out what they did or how they worked. (Although, I soon learned that if you ran 9 volts through one in a particular way, it would explode with a loud bang.)

If you know how a lightbulb works, and sort of understand what a capacitor does, then this page will probably help you understand transistors.

amasci.com/amateur/transi...
For Kierkegaard nerds, a wonderful new resource has appeared, with commentary on most works and English translations of some.  Seriously, my man S.K. punches lesser philosopher-theologians in the face:
Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings. Adam was bored because he was alone; therefore Eve was created. Since that moment, boredom entered the world and grew in great quantity in exact proportion to the growth of population....

sorenkierkegaard.org/comment.htm
Bill Gates announces he's leaving his day-to-day role at Microsoft, and practically simultaneously MS releases an Office plug-in that lets you easily label documents with Creative Commons liscenses (supposedly).
tectonic.co.za/view.php?id=10...

Now it seems they're doing an about-face on Open Document compatibility, because of pressures from governments.  Holy cow!  This is something MS explicitly stated it would never do.
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technolog...
theregister.co.uk/2006/07/06/mic...
Whatever you used to fear, start fearing this more.
plurib.us/1shot/2006-06-...

Thank you, Google images & The GIMP.
Neato infrared outdoor photos
pbase.com/jeffreyk/infra...
This is obviously popular enough that everyone has already seen it the day it came out, but just in case, everyone has to look at the [very new] Transformers movie trailer.

transformersmovie.com/
(via unicron.com/news/view.php?... tee hee!)
Put your camera down and experience the moment, for one day.  2006-07-17.  (Interesting, but there are a lot of days that I do this.  Perhaps the effect would be more potent when traveling?)
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technolog...
Unrelated things:

Scammer scam artist scams scammers to do ridiculous things:
419eater.com/html/john_boko...
419eater.com/html/okorie.ht...

Double vortex on Venus's southern pole is clearly imaged:
spaceref.com/news/viewpr.ht...

Sleater-Kinney is breaking up!?
portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2006/...
Do you enjoy old-skool rock-n-roll music videos?

What if all the music were replaced by awful MIDI simulacra?

And what if all the video were replaced by green ASCII text?

If your answers to these three questions were "Yes!" "Huh?" and "Ohmigod," then you're ready to look at this webpage.
projects.c505.com/projects/ascii...
(You'll need to have Quicktime installed.)
-----
Another similar project by the same group involves digitizing Pres. Bush's State of the Union addresses--his voice is recognizably his, but it's roboticized in an odd way.
turbulence.org/spotlight/ASCI...
(The first several minutes of each are digitized applause--wait it out.  It's worth it.)
Files Are Not for Sharing, an illustrated instructional story for kids.

themorningnews.org/archives/spoof...

"That's what file sharing is like: taking a kitty away from a kitty."
Visit the North Pole from the comfort of your own home, with North Pole webcam.
arctic.noaa.gov/gallery_np.htm...
The dark side of Neptune, from 1989.
antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060618....
This is beautiful.  (Piano-notes as bouncing shapes, via metafilter.)

grotrian.de/spiel/e/info.h...
Regular readers of the Weekly World News are not well-informed.  However, they are simultaneously poorly- and awesomely-informed:
weeklyworldnews.com/

Sample articles:
weeklyworldnews.com/features/relig...
weeklyworldnews.com/features/scien...
This has probably been all over by now, but here's a 5yo kid playing Dance Dance Revolution like he was calling the shots.  It occurs to me that in a lot of games, it's only possible to win if you're not too worried about winning.  This kid barely seems to notice how well he is playing.

youtube.com/watch?v=oetVlh...
As elementary-school science students know, two potatoes can be used to make a wussy battery.

This man took 500 pounds of potatoes and powered a stereo in the back of a truck:
latteier.com/potato/

Also, he built a weird walking-robot which attaches to the user and carries heavy loads:
latteier.com/prostheticass/
Spirit finds another meteorite hanging around on Mars.
spaceref.com/news/viewsr.ht...
"God fails to save idiot in lion enclosure", and other atrocities of nature, not suitable for print:
theregister.co.uk/2006/06/11/rzs...
Keep up on the latest computer jargon in this article.  (I don't get a lot of these, but the rest are funny enough to make up for it.)

regdeveloper.co.uk/2006/06/07/new...
June 9, 2006: The World Cup begins today!

fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/schedu...

The Dutch team deserves your support.  Check out their logo:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Net...

(Compare it to France's:)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Fra...

Here's a brief bit of Dutch team history:
jadransport.org/articles/2433....

A team of dreamers, playing the Beautiful Game.  If you don't support the Dutch, you have no soul.
Let's play "find the page content amidst the ads."
physorg.com/news68388293.h...
Surprisingly customizable animated charts of world development.  I'm a sucker for data, and there is a lot of data here.  (Also, still trying to figure out what part Google plays in this.)
tools.google.com/gapminder/
Familiar, but important words on economics, and the Common Good.  Also, publicknowledge redesigned their site.  Let's see if its for the better.

publicknowledge.org/node/407
publicknowledge.org/
So, this site has been around forever:
thebestpageintheuniverse.net/
(warning: language)

The guy hates everything except himself, including kids' art:
thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=irule

Now, he has a book out, "The Alphabet of Manliness":
amazon.com/gp/product/080...

All I know is that someday, I will own this T-shirt:
theworstpageintheuniverse.com/images/civil_b...
This is brilliant.  Teens are using a ring tone that's out of the hearing frequency of adults, leaving their phones on in class so that everyone can hear but the teacher.  (It's going to be a kids vs. adults arms race!)

24dash.com/content/news/v...
(Warning: awkward paragraph structure)
Cool critique of simple user interface, namely Google's simple user interface.  I'm not sure what this means to me, but I think I identify with it.
blog.outer-court.com/archive/2006-0...
Al Gore is promoting a new documentary about Global Warming, _An Inconvenient Truth_
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertain...
Oat Bran lowers cholesterol, in studies.  And so I lost a bet for $0 that no one actually accepted.  However, many bran muffins "actually contain very little bran."
americanheart.org/presenter.jhtm...
query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h...

Furthermore, it is my pleasure to report that the Blueberry Muffin is the official muffin of the state of Minnesota.
leg.state.mn.us/leg/symbols.as...
NASA & company released 2 startlingly cool movies based on all the data sent back by the Huygen probe that landed on Titan last year.
saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/press-rel...

More recently, Cassini took a large radar image of the landing site and surrounding area, revealing a surface covered with dunes.
saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/ima...
Google Trends is a fun new toy: search for a term, and it gives you a graph of that term's popularity over the past 2 years. It also gives you a listing of the top geographical origins for that search. 

You can also combine several terms to see how they compare.  To demonstrate, here's a visualization of the ongoing battle between "Rock" and "Music".

google.com/trends?q=rock%...

You'll notice that Rock crushes Music as easily as it crushes scissors.  Also, this combination ranks Minneapolis in the top 10 cities worldwide, a result for which plurib.us readers are no doubt responsible.

[EDIT] As Brian points out, the graph demonstrates Rock getting thoroughly walloped by Music.  Not only that, but Minneapolis has been knocked off the Top-10 list.  Something here is not my strong suit: accuracy? timeliness?  In any case, I'm led to believe that Google Trends exists only to mock me.
The entire contents of the Superman #1 from 1938 -- a fun read.

dixi.blogter.com/?post_id=45670
This computer desk transforms into a bed:

flyingbeds.com/14.Euro_BunkBe...

In the future, I will own only one all-encompassing multitasking object.  This object will break in some spectacular fashion, and I will be sad.
The free and open source "planetarium for your computer", Stellarium, has just released a new version of their program.  What better opportunity to try it out yourself?  (It's awesome.)

stellarium.org/
Some fine new pictures from the aging Mars rovers Spirit & Opportunity:

jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mer/i...
jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mer/i...
jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mer/i...
Wii.  It will one day, be the new thing.  (And you're all going to like it.)
gameinformer.com/News/Story/200...

What I like about it is, it’s not about abbreviating anything. There will be no abbreviation needed. There is no Nintendo Wii. It’s just Wii.
Neato display of the Sun's spectrum, including thin color gaps where the surrounding sun-gas absorbs its own light.  (Don't look directly into it.)

antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060423....
A key factor of my formative years was the post-preschool trifecta of The Muppet Show, Tom & Jerry cartoons, and Sesame Street.  The first two are well-archived and not-worth-archiving, respectively.  Now, thanks to this guy, the best Sesame Street clips are all linked from one place:
foldedspace.org/weblog/2006/04...
A slideshow on semiotics in advertising:

uvm.edu/~tstreete/semi...
(via monkeyfilter.com)
NASA's Mars rovers, long past their expiration dates, are still sending back great images.  Here are some relatively recent ones from each:

jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mer/i...
jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mer/i...
This is an awesome economy blog by an awesome economy commentator (technically, economy commentary commentator).  I admit that his topics tend to be a little over my head -- I've read Dean Baker writings in other e-publications for a few years now -- but I feel a lot better jumping into this than the economy section of random newspapers.  Indeed, he has a habit of criticizing mainstream newspapers for misinterpreting the facts.

Really, shouldn't correctly interpreting facts be rule #1 in writing about the economy?
beatthepress.blogspot.com/
Remember the old Batman TV show?  Remember how the fight scenes were rife with onomatopoetic text describing the ferocity of the action? 

Well, POW!  PAM!  zzZZWAP!

batmania.com.ar/paginas/serie_...
First images released from ESA's Venus Express.  The craft just went into orbit April 11.

esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus...
Totally awesome maps of religion in the USA, by county:

regionsofmind.blog-city.com/mapping_religi...
Neato meditation on a no-click mouse interface.  Maybe we should make plurib.us no-click.  We're already part way there.

dontclick.it/
Cirque du Soleil, and the closest thing we're ever going to get to an official new Beatles album - the combination could be lethal.

telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtm...
This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics.  He's a couple of weeks behind right now, but it's great anyway. 

math.ucr.edu/home/baez/this...
Interesting story I heard on MPR about evolution and freeloaders: (with surprisingly little digging around, transcripts of just about everything on mpr can be found on their site.)

npr.org/templates/stor...
New world's hottest chilli pepper discovered:
thisisdorset.net/dorset/bridpor...

The chilli went off the scales and the lab [ran] the tests twice - because they couldn't believe the results.
Copyright related intervew with Lawrence Lessig, "father of Creative Commons".

blog.outer-court.com/archive/2006-0...
Venue Songs: They Might Be Giants make songs for each rock venue they play at.  (I have only watched a few of these so far.)  "Dallas" has an odd intro about our own First Avenue.  (Incidentally, Damn Good Times gets a video treatment that I wasn't expecting.)

tmbg.com/
Funny insight on the nature of RSS feeds
robotwisdom2.blogspot.com/2006/03/when-y...
Say hello to Carl Russell Overbye.  I imagine he is pleased to be on the internet.  (It took me 17 years to have an internet presence.  Thanks to his network of tech-savvy allies, Carl did it in days.)

plurib.us/photo/overbaby...
Mars is host to another robot with cameras:  Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.  It just started sending back it's unprecedented quantity of data.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/n...
marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/
I am gradually [cautiously?] being hypnotized by the soft song of JavaScript.  This article (and a skim over the first few pages of comments) about sums it up for me.

themaninblue.com/writing/perspe...

My examples: This page (plurib.us) is a web page that is made better with JavaScript, but degrades nicely without it.  The Shrub is not a "web page" in this way, but an application that has no real functionality w/o JavaScript.
These maps are really, really neat:

sasi.group.shef.ac.uk/worldmapper/

(#38, "Container Ports" is kind of funny.)
A sign of life was found on a Mars meteorite that fell to Earth.  Not unambiguous, but compelling.  (Soon, robots are going to be looking for this kind of thing on Mars itself.)

spaceref.com/news/viewpr.ht...
I was wondering lately, with the flurry of news surrounding the Saddam trial, what are the possible outcomes of it.  This article says he/they may be hanged.  (It also contains a lovely excerpt, representative of the trial.)

guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,...

As the exchanges became more acrimonious, Judge Rahman shouted at Saddam: "Respect yourself." Saddam shouted back: "You respect yourself."
"Steve, don't eat it!":  This bloggish thing cracked me up.  And maybe it will crack you up too.

thesneeze.com/mt-archives/ca...
Q: What happens when you try to load too much cargo on to your vehicle?

A:  You look ridiculous.

ezprezzo.com/crazypics/over...
(via boingboing.net)
A finely crafted image of the big dipper, and a bit of astronomy I did not know.

antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060317....
People I know are getting their own protopages.  Here is a list:

protopage.com/lisarlukis
protopage.com/kristamoessner
protopage.com/tsomkes
protopage.com/quixtrike

(ps - Peter now has one too.  Now both of our bookmark links [above] go to our respective protopages.)
Garfield cartoons, where only Jon's speech is visible.  This is one of the more perfectly incomprehensible things I've ever seen.

lakini-malich.livejournal.com/365513.html
DEAR MITCH AND KATIE:

Please put your baby somewhere we can see him.

Sincerely,
An impatient world
Extreme Ironing: "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt."

You heard it here first.  Or maybe you didn't.  (Peter, how is it possible that I posted this before you?)  [Update: Peter already posted this over 3 years ago.]

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_i...
extremeironing.com/modules.php?op...
Someone may have found the largest known crater, 31km wide in the Sahara.  Named Kebira, Arabic for "Large".

bu.edu/remotesensing/...
Remember that story about the girl who died from the peanut butter kiss?  Apparently that's not what really happened.

ctv.ca/servlet/Articl...
WHEREAS:  zimzim urallala zimzim urallala zimzim zanzibar zimzalla zam;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dennis “Boog” Highberger, Mayor of the City of Lawrence, Kansas, do hereby proclaim the days of February 4, April 1, March 28, July 15, August 2, August 7, August 16, August 26, September 18, September 22, October 1, October 17, and October 26, 2006 as “INTERNATIONAL DADAISM MONTH”


lawrenceks.org/web_based_agen...
How to tell if your rock is a meteorite, step by step.

geology.wisc.edu/~museum/meteor...
A rather interesting -- though technical -- article on RIAA, CDs, and Fair Use.

arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/...
I'm not usually one for non-true-color astronomy images, but I'm taken with this one.  It's a pic of the moon which seems to be simply saturation enhanced.
antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060216....
EditPlus, my beloved text editor, used to be the only program I used on a regular basis that prevented me from "switching" to Linux.  Now the primary program for which I find myself using using Windows again is Google's Picasa.  Apparently that's about to change.

desktoplinux.com/news/NS9556554...
I linked to a Register article a while back about the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) and why it was bad.  Apparently that article has raised a fuss: it's full of factual errors, and was written anonymously.

mono211.com/ffwd/archives/...
You can't predict a hit song.  [Social song popularity experiment]
newscientist.com/article.ns?id=...
They found an untouched tomb in the Valley of the Kings - the first since Tutankhamun.

msnbc.msn.com/id/11252094/
Moondust smells like gunpowder, say astronauts.

science.nasa.gov/headlines/y200...
"Hyperdrive" ... "repulsive anti-gravity force" ... "[outer space]".

theregister.co.uk/2006/01/06/hyp...
Patent for the ubiquitous combover.  Bald men, render unto the Smith Bros. that which is Caesar's!

patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pa...

(My dad and I once discussed the combover of a guy at our church--the hair on that one side must have been super-long...)
Thus saith the Lord: Ladies, take off your pants!
Therefore, when the Lord said, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man" He was saying that the women were not suppose to wear breeches. In today's language as explained by a universal standard, the dictionary, it is now called pants.

The Lords has spoken.  Choose today, dear friends, to whom are you going to be obedient.  The prince of this world, the devil, or a Loving Savior, God the Father?
. . . or this crazy website?

centurionministry.org/body/pants.htm
"More than half the British population does not accept the theory of evolution, according to a survey."

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/n...
Using Amanda's previously posted www.wheresgeorge.com, scientists have developed a model of disease translation across the country.

scienceblog.com/cms/web_game_p...
Rick Moranis has an alt-country album.  You can listen to part of it on the internet!
I work all day
To pay the rent.
Before the money’s earned,
It’s all been allocated.

rickmoranis.com/
GWB's presidency as an Infocom text-game:
> STAY COURSE
The situation in Iraq remains unchanged.

> STAY COURSE
The situation in Iraq remains unchanged.

> WEAR FLIGHTSUIT
You put on the flightsuit.

> SAY "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"
"Mission accomplished."

> EXAMINE MISSION
The mission is not accomplished.

> STAY COURSE
The situation in Iraq remains unchanged.
defectiveyeti.com/archives/00156...
(via metafilter.com)
Weirdly, this sounds too stupid to be fake:
The world renowned symbol of Idaho potatoes, Spuddy Buddy, was involved in a frightening series of events, news of which was recently released by Mexican authorities.

Entering the country to participate in an Idaho trade mission, Spuddy was captured attempting to cross the border.
freshplaza.com/2006/16jan/pr2...

And a bonus link to the Spuddy Buddy Fan Club:
idahopotato.com/spuddy.php
Creepy photos of the very beginning of an atomic bomb explosion.

nevadasurveyor.com/atomicbomb/
via digg.com/science/Photos...
The Shrub of Consciousness is improved again...  click "inside the shrub" and see a whole new view.

plurib.us/shrubofconscio...
Those of you living in Minnesota should look for this 2006 candidate for governor: Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey, a Satanic Dark Priest.
I despise and hate the Christian God the Father. He is my mortal enemy.

However, it doesn't mean that I hate all his followers. This Country was founded on religious rights and freedoms. This is guaranteed under the 1st Amendment of our great constitution. This right allows me to worship Lucifer and the Goddess Hecate, just as it allows you to worship the Goodess/God of your choice.

Well, starting in 2007, it will be the criminals who realize first hand, that there is someone more evil than they are, who cares about the safety and well-being of the innocent!
I can't wait for the bumper stickers.

jonathonforgovernor.us/Home_page.html
The big Oprah book _A Million Little Pieces_ might not be an autobiography, but might be mostly overblown fiction. 

thesmokinggun.com/archive/010406...
Bike race for 50 local riders. . . IN THE SAINT PAUL SKYWAY!  FEB. 8!!!
morcmtb.org/forums/showthr...

Dang, I once had frequent contact with the TC bike messengers--you could tell that they were all itching to race through the skyways.  They're some of my favorite people.
Soccer is way more exciting than other sports. 

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/n...
Have I posted about the meaning of Cute before?

nytimes.com/2006/01/03/sci...

"That's very endearing," said Dr. Reep. "So even though a manatee is 3 times your size and 20 times your weight, you want to get into the water beside it."
Science tells us what sorts of flavors please horses:
Horses prefer fenugreek, banana and cherry-flavored feed to all other flavors, according to one of the most detailed studies yet on horse flavor preferences.
dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20...
Photo cluster:

Box of Sloths!

cultofdegan.com/images/costari...
If you have Quicktime, you can share my local Happy New Year!

panoramas.dk/new-year-2006/...
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