Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thinking is more interesting than knowing...

Be safe.  Be sexy.  Emergency Bra.  After you see the site, you'll know why the Emergency Jock Strap never got out of product testing.

For those of you interested in animation, especially black & white line art, please enjoy Ana Somnia - lights out!

American Book Review chose their 100 best opening lines from novels.  For the record, I'll cite #25 from Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, "Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting."  I have two contradictory thoughts on opening lines.  On one hand, it's difficult to judge an opening line outside the context of the overall story.  The list might better be positioned as best opening lines of great novels.  IMO, I actually think the last paragraph(s) of The Sound and the Fury are the real payoff of the novel and far exceed the greatness of the opening line.  On the other hand, I have thought for years that the greatest opening paragraph of a short story was from Faulkner's Dry September.  This, to me, is pure literary genius.
Attacked, insulted, frightened: none of them, gathered in the barber shop on that Saturday evening where the ceiling fan stirred, without freshening it, the vitiated air, sending back upon them, in recurrent surges of stale pomade and lotion, their own stale breath and odors, knew exactly what had happened.
Do you remember the Norwegian curling team's plaid pants from the winter Olympics?  Loudmouth Golf, the make of those pants, has a new online store with even crazier stuff.  (You are a fan of the Norwegian curling team's pants on Facebook, right?)

Let's do a side-by side comparison of good and bad poop humor.  Last week I posted a link to Poopy-Time Fun Shapes.  Funny.  This week I ran across the Turd Twister.  Not funny.  Compare and contrast.  Discuss amongst yourselves.
Here's a preview of "2 Forms of Anger" from Brian Eno's upcoming album, Small Craft on a Milk Sea.

When you need help choosing which type of chart to make in Excel (or anywhere else for that matter) turn to this handing chart choosing guide.   (Do you want to show a relationship of three variables?  Use a bubble chart.)  For just plain old spreadsheets, Design Shack offers some tips to make spreadsheets less lame, but their advice is suspect because their sample has a huge problem.  They're formatting a financial spreadsheet with currency but they leave the numbers left aligned and without a currency symbol.

Without preamble, here are scientific findings about Facebook users.
  1. They are narcissists.
  2. For the most impact, they post a photo on Friday morning.
  3. They (mistakenly) tend to think all their friends share their views.
  4. Their GPA is lower (3.82 vs. 3.06).
  5. They'd put off a poop to post an update.
  6. Facebook has a statistically significant, positive impact on life satisfaction.
I kinda resent this comment from Fast Company magazine: "Beer has quickly become the bearded nerd's equivalent of wine."  Inferences as follows: beard = nerd, nerd incapable of enjoying wine, both beer and wine need to be enveloped in some bullshit arcanery to be enjoyed.  Regardless, enjoy the infographic of beer varieties.

Steven Beal's The Periodic Table of the Artist's Colors is a nice juxtaposition of needlepoint, art, and science.
Someone did some data-mining on's listener data to produce charts of music preference by age and gender.  (Apparently I should be listening to someone named Debbie Davies.)

Tech Soft 3D offers the AutoCAD OEM development platform so you can build custom applications that extend AutoCAD's functionality.  Clean up your CSS with Dust-Me Selectors, a Firefox extension that finds all the unused CSS selectors on your site.

OnStartups provides this list of reasons why every entrepreneur should write and how to get started.   Some examples:
  1. Your communication skills will get exponentially better.  (Exponential growth is asking a lot IMO.)
  2. Is a rapid accelerator of serendipity.  (Again, acceleration alone would be sufficient in this case.  Rapid acceleration is a lot.  Geek trivia: the time rate of change of acceleration is known as the jerk.)
  3. Don't force it.  (Applies to other activities as well.)
  4. Have a main topic to avoid rambling.  (Oops)
Hubspot shares 5 steps to reduce the pain of blogging.  (#5 You cannot wait for every post to be perfect.  As I prove weekly.)  Use this social media flow chart to decide where to post.  (Are you drunk?  Foursquare!)  You can download a free chapter from David Meerman Scott's upcoming book, Real-Time Marketing & PR.  A book I contribute to daily: Common Errors in English Usage.

Hygie-Tech produces HG_Flow, is CFD software designed for persons and products protection in potentially contaminated areas.  While we're on the topic of software companies with unusual names, here's FlowPit from ThreeDify. 

Scientific Simulations is Dimitri Mavriplis' company, centered around software and services for his NSU3D CFD software.  smartcfd is an OpenFOAM-centric CFD consultancy.  Tecplot released Tecplot RS 2010 R2.   VEEM's latest super yacht propeller, the VEEMUltraskew, was designed in-part using their in-house CFD software.

Seymour Cray's birthday was this past week so to celebrate you can watch this video of his Cray-1 Introduction talk from 1976.  Or if that's too schmarty pants for you, try this supercomputing coloring book.

The Cray X-MP.  You don't wanna know what I've seen people do on this computer.

Bacon is Good for Me t-shirt.

The hardest thing to do is justify efforts in prevention.  If nothing happens, those efforts seem wasted.  But if something happens, you're criticized for not doing enough.  This summary of Richard Rhodes' talk on Twilight of the Bombs contains some statements that are scarier than a nuclear detonation.  "Most Americans don't think that we have nuclear weapons anymore."  Then "most Americans" are at best extremely ignorant or someone's making an unsupported generalization.  Here's another: "Rhodes noted that people fear the blast and radiation effects of atomic bombs, but it's really the fires that are most destructive."  Exactly what is the relevance of this statement?  And then there's "They [nukes] were insanely expensive and thoroughly useless."   I'll debate "insanely" and "useless."

Ever want to find the LEAST popular search result?  That's what Inframutt is for.  (Don't bother: I already tried it on "blog" and didn't get the result you'd think.)

Episode #37 of Seeing the Unseen: x-rays of a python digesting a rat.

If your insides get all warm and wiggly for neatly wrapped cable bundles, you'll love this.

Someone must've been having a bad day when they wrote this blog article about the biggest lie in business, namely that the customer is ignorant and needs the sales person's help.  First, if today's customers get 80% of their product information online, then 80% of their knowledge is suspect.  Second, this statement begs the issue of "the customer is always right" a groveling, "yes sir, may I have another" subservience that is equally unproductive.  Yes, the customer needs the sales person's help.  Think of it this way.  The customer should be interviewing the sales person to see if the product is a good fit for their needs.  The sales person should be interviewing the customer to see if the needs are a good fit for their product.  Together, they learn more about each other and make a decision on how to proceed.  And before anyone gets all bent out of shape, the customer is not ignorant either.  It's just that sales is (or should be) a process of mutual discovery.

This weird beard film reminded me of Randy.  Most of you don't know Randy but that won't diminish your enjoyment of this facial hair folly.

Breaking ornithopter news: student achieves first human powered flight via flapping wings.  Long-lost footage of the Apollo 11 moon landing has been found in Australia and will be screened next week.

NASA's CRuSR program (Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research) has a number of particpants, including XCOR Aerospace and their Lynx vehicle.  What's notable is XCOR's founder saying "the big shocker out of the wind tunnel was CFD lied."  The layman's video guide to anti-submarine warfare.  (Leave it to the Japanese to come up with this bit of video brilliance.  I especially love the white-gloved pilots.)

The Mickey Mouse penthouse suite at Disneyland looks kinda cool.  I wonder if they have something similar at Disney World? is your virtual changing room for online clothing retailers.  Main benefits: no pins on the floor, no stray toddlers who barge in, and no creepy salesmen lingering too close to the entrance.

Convert ugly file names to something better using URLize.itPDFsam is a free, open-source tool for splitting and merging PDF files.  Next time you need to create a password for a new account you might want to run it through How Secure is My Password first.  (The password "laksjd" can be cracked in 30 seconds using a standard desktop PC.)  First OpenSolaris gets taken over by Illumos when Oracle drops support for it and now OpenOffice is getting reborn as LibreOffice.

Hostess Sno Balls are one of my favorite manufactured pastries but Glo Balls in green are freakin' awesome!

I know someone who'd pay real money for the Dream Griddle to be real.  On the other hand, unbelievably, the LAVNAV toilet nightlight is indeed real, for those who need help at night knowing whether the seat is up or down.  And with Xmas coming soon, put Brother's AirScouter (projects a 16 inch computer display directly into your retina) in your favorite geek's stocking.

World's longest cucumber and everything you wanted to know about bananas.  Neither is what you're thinking.  For those who like to shorten things: Country and state abbreviations.

When you tire of reading this, use Kick Ass to turn the page into an Asteroids game where you shoot and destroy all the page elements.  I have absolutely no idea how this works.  (You can also do it on the Kick Ass page itself.  Just click the button.)

Trust me: it's gonna take you a while to get BreadFish out of your eyes and ears.  You can't bring yourself to leave the site.  Go ahead.  Click it.

...but less interesting than looking.  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Joel said...

Thanks - now I have to commence a search for go-balls

John said...

The combined awesomeness of unnatural green color and manufactured marshmallow fluff will go nicely with your kid-oriented weekend.

Francis Shivone said...

I'm going to have to go back and finish the whole post.

I got sidelined by the emergency bra, the purchase of which may make unnecessary an adolescent desire to be reincarnated in the above mentioned genre -- if you get my drift. :)

John said...

I'm glad that post has some staying power due to the lack of a post this week.