Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photosback to the main blog page

I’m Oscar

An Arrested Development Spinoff Site

posted at 2:01 pm
on Sep. 30, 2005

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Social Issues Research Centre: Guide to Flirting

Good to know that authoritative research is progressing.

posted at 1:22 pm
on Sep. 30, 2005

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Javascript: Collecting links for printing

I'll be using this tomorrow.

posted at 2:56 am
on Sep. 30, 2005

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Judith Miller, Times Journalist, Released from Jail

Turns out her source gave her a waiver a year ago, but she didn't believe him. D'oh!

posted at 10:26 pm
on Sep. 29, 2005

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Pornstar or popstar?

Take the 10-question skill test.

posted at 7:28 pm
on Sep. 29, 2005

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USD $10 Bill Gets a Colorful Makeover

Another odd new bill from the U.S. gov't. image Looks like it was drawn by George Bush himself.

posted at 7:05 pm
on Sep. 29, 2005

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Here’s a list of famous folks who’ve had heart bypass operations

NNDB is a people database; I wish it had more information about what it is and how it gets updated.Update: Here's a list of famous bloggers.

posted at 7:04 pm
on Sep. 29, 2005

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Military dolphins armed with sleep darts may have been set loose by Hurricane Katrina

I hope this is true, because that'll make it much easier to get the rights to this story and make a KICK ASS MOVIE! Go DolphinForce!

posted at 1:07 pm
on Sep. 29, 2005

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Attn: newspapers. Re: Google Adsense. I TOLD YOU SO. TTFN Travis

Google Adsense is now starting to offer advertisers a way to bid and advertise on specific sites. So now an advertiser can 1) put graphic ads 2) on specific sites 3) for whatever rate Google decides to charge, and publishers get 4) whatever percentage Google decides to pay them.The Online News Association had a conference panel in 2003 with Leonard Apcar, editor in chief, The New York Times on the Web; Richard Deverell, head of News Interactive, BBC News; Esther Dyson, chairman, Edventure Holdings Inc.; Mitch Gelman, senior vice president and executive producer, CNN.com; Ruth Gersh, editorial director, AP Digital; Retha Hill, vice president for content, BET.com; and Dean Wright, vice president and editor in chief, MSNBC.com.I asked them if they were worried about Google taking over the spot between them and their advertisers with Google Adsense, and the spot between them and their readers, with Google News. They said, all of them, no, they were happy to get the extra incremental income that Google provided through the Adsense program with its text link ads, but that they would "keep an eye on the situation."

posted at 12:24 pm
on Sep. 29, 2005

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If The Shining was made by Touchstone, this would be the trailer

Once again, another trailer from the marketing folks that totally misrepresents the movie. smile

posted at 1:49 am
on Sep. 29, 2005

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Michael Crichton, Novelist, Becomes Senate Witness

Because of his global warming theory, espoused in "State of Fear," that global warming's not really happening.

posted at 1:38 am
on Sep. 29, 2005

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High Power Rocketry in the Black Rock Desert… with a 100,000 ft. launch waiver from the FAA

This photo set is really worth taking a look at.

posted at 12:45 am
on Sep. 29, 2005

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Mena Trott Blogs about her Mom

Mena's mom helped her demo "Comet," a new blogging tool. From the demo: " People are always saying that they want to make a product that’s “easy enough for their mom to use.” Well, we want to do something more. My mom knows how to use a computer so it’s not just about ease of use: I want to make a product that my mom actually wants to use."

posted at 7:27 pm
on Sep. 28, 2005

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Adobe blogs about the missing Mac version of Photoshop Elements 4

I think this approach is exactly, dead-on what blogging is all about. The press release says "Hey, there's a new version of PE 4.0 for Windows!" The public says, hey, what about Mac, and the corporate blogger says, "Well, we can't talk about that yet, so just hang on." And if there's a level of trust established with that blogger and that company, people hang on.Of course, I don't guy the part about "forward-looking statements" -- companies announce plans all the time. But still.

posted at 6:22 pm
on Sep. 28, 2005

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Stuff On My Cat

Funny pictures.

posted at 6:08 pm
on Sep. 28, 2005

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Jeep rescues a plane in mid flight

I never got the chance to do this with my Jeep. Mostly just got a lot of morning dew on my pants as I drove into work.

posted at 11:49 am
on Sep. 28, 2005

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Article about Susannah Gardner and blogging in Singapore’s TODAYonline

Not bad, and there'll be more soon!

posted at 10:13 am
on Sep. 28, 2005

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Article about Susannah Gardner and blogging in ZDNet Asia

BlogAsia get some more press -- get ready for a few of these.

posted at 1:05 am
on Sep. 28, 2005

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dinnerpoint is cool, but there’s no Vancouver events

It's a service that sets up "Dinner for Andre," but with up to 8 strangers.

posted at 10:31 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

"There is genius at work in this thesis. It came round about by way of reader Sam Keen, who sent us a thin gray monograph printed in Bologna, Italy. The trail eventually led to Carlo M. Cipolla, the author, who is currently Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley - Kevin Kelly"I just kinda liked the funny pictures. heh heh.

posted at 1:20 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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Ten Really Decent CSS Tricks

Some of these will come in really handy. Others are a bit of a hack that might bite you when IE 7 comes out -- be warned.

posted at 1:01 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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Mac OS X has had NO real-world viruses, ever.  If you can prove otherwise, win $500

Next time you buy a computer, think of this: OS X - 0 real viruses so far. Windows XP -- thousands of viruses, new ones every week.

posted at 12:34 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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Play a prank with AOL’s AIM

It works, I tried it on myself and I was completely fooled. (via Fimoculous.com)

posted at 12:14 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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Last Rock Paper Sciessors post for a while: RPS - 25

25 different hand symbols, many many many different outcomes. 1 in 13 chance of a tie. Woo!

posted at 12:11 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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Stanislav Petrov saved the world from nuclear war

By defying orders and using human judgement. What would you have done?

posted at 12:05 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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Why Dynamite can Never be Part of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Because it's LOOPY, too, that's why.

posted at 12:03 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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Rock, Paper, Saddam!

Funny little collection of photos with captions. Go Pen Missile!

posted at 12:02 am
on Sep. 27, 2005

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The Red Cross money pit - Los Angeles Times

Nothing to add, just check out the article, and consider who wrote it, too.

posted at 7:22 pm
on Sep. 25, 2005

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TiVo is now available in CANADA!

The TiVo Service is now available in Canada. Canadian residents will be given special instruction to follow when activating service. Please look for the link "Instructions for Canadian residents," under step 1 during the activation process.Update: I bought one.

posted at 7:16 pm
on Sep. 25, 2005

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The Psychology of Information, or Why We Don’t Share Stuff

Bad news doesn't travel up, or down.

posted at 6:44 pm
on Sep. 25, 2005

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Head to Head! Smarties vs. M&Ms

The debate, while not exactly settled, is at least staked out in meticulous detail. (I prefer Smarties.)

posted at 6:21 pm
on Sep. 25, 2005

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10 years ago, CNN.com launched

I'll check my notes and find out when the L.A. Times.com launched...

posted at 5:22 am
on Sep. 24, 2005

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China will pay for the Katrina rebuilding

Foreign holdings of U.S. government debt exceeded $2.03 trillion in July, meaning that every man, woman and child in the United States owes foreign investors $6,846.

posted at 9:07 pm
on Sep. 21, 2005

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Rent guests for your Indian wedding

Do they bring gifts?Actually, I think it would be far more effective to pay certain family members and ex-significant others NOT to come. smile

posted at 8:30 pm
on Sep. 21, 2005

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Why you should always duoble chek your spellling

"Australian police working in Aboriginal communities have withdrawn new uniforms after they appeared to poke fun at many Aborigines' problems with alcohol."Oops.

posted at 8:27 pm
on Sep. 21, 2005

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Hop Studios has gone C-R-A-Z-Y!!!

Jet lag or worm eating my brain? You be the judge.

posted at 3:48 am
on Sep. 21, 2005

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Vancouver has Canada’s oldest nudist society

It's not what you think. In fact, I met a blogger in Singapore whose nickname is Vantan, and her Web site was the one that pointed me to this place in my own backyard, so to speak. Small (and chilly) world.

posted at 3:42 am
on Sep. 21, 2005

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Northern Voice, Vancouver’s blogging conference, is Feb 10 & 11, 2006

I went last year, and met many, many bloggers. This may or may not be a selling point.

posted at 1:06 am
on Sep. 21, 2005

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A good look at ‘bad’ apologies

Don't be a sorry apologist. Do it right.

posted at 12:07 am
on Sep. 21, 2005

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24 Comments About My Horizontal Blog

Survey sez: A fair number of people don't like it. I will remember the others in my will.

posted at 8:14 am
on Sep. 18, 2005

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Google launches a blog-specific search

It searches your feed only. Which means: 1) no posts older than July 2005 (so far) and 2) if you only publish a summary in your feed, that's all Google has to search on. Yet another reason to put full posts into your feed.

posted at 2:01 am
on Sep. 14, 2005

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Canada U.S. border: Undefended, but not unpatroled

The border is 8,891 kilometres or 5,525 miles across North America, sez this site.

posted at 6:39 pm
on Sep. 13, 2005

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Listen carefully, and you can hear the sound of TiVo shooting itself between the eyes

I'm a HUGE TiVo fan, but this is truly enough to make me not buy another TiVo. Basically, you can now no longer save some shows on TiVo for as long as you want -- Tivo erases them after an arbitrary "expiration." Imagine if files from iTunes did the same thing. It could be coming sooner than you think.

posted at 2:00 pm
on Sep. 13, 2005

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Macromedia ships Dreamweaver 8

Susie wrote part of Dreamweaver 8 for Dummies and I was the tech editor. So this is excellent news.

posted at 1:24 pm
on Sep. 13, 2005

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Flickr signup: From human to droid in a Yahoo moment?

The signup moment is a critical moment, and one that's often neglected by people working on a site because, well, they're already signed up and it seems to be such a small percentage of the total amount of time a user will eventually spend on a site.By the same token, why spend much time or effort on the first date, given that the rest of the relationship is where the bulk of the user's time will be spent... smile

posted at 5:02 pm
on Sep. 12, 2005

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Musings on scarcity and bird feeders

from How to Save the World

posted at 4:51 pm
on Sep. 12, 2005

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10 years after Hurricane Andrew

More than 100,000 South Dade residents moved away. The migration altered the area's racial makeup, according to a Florida International University study.... In Andrew's wake, domestic violence complaints in Dade County shot up 50 percent, divorce rates by 30 percent. FIU researchers found that many of the couples who split after the storm did so because of money -- not too little, but too much.

posted at 4:38 pm
on Sep. 12, 2005

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Bush Suspends Pay Act In Areas Hit by Storm

Companies on federal contracts no longer have to pay average wages for the area. From the Washington Post article: "In New Orleans, where a quarter of the city was poor, the prevailing wage for construction labor is about $9 per hour, according to the Department of Labor. In effect, President Bush is saying that people should be paid less than $9 an hour to rebuild their communities."(Note, it doesn't say companies don't have to pay minimum wage, just average wage for the area.)

posted at 5:48 pm
on Sep. 11, 2005

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Where in the world is Osama bin Laden?

This NYT article presents one interesting summary and theory.

posted at 5:06 pm
on Sep. 11, 2005

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Katrina Photo Album: Amazing, personal, smart, touching, harrowing

Do not doubt the power of citizen journalism. This is one of the most amazing stories of the Hurricane I've heard told, and it's really no more than the ordinary story of a man who holed up in his apartment for several days, going out to take photos from time to time. Click through 6 pictures, and you'll be hooked.More than anything else, I think it explains why people stayed, and how the mood shifted as the hurricane approached, hit, hit again, and blew away.(via MetaFilter)

posted at 5:19 am
on Sep. 10, 2005

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Tomorrow is four years after September 11, 2001

Do you feel safer now?I did, until I saw how Hurricane Katrina was handled.

posted at 5:04 am
on Sep. 10, 2005

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Court rules Jose Padilla, ‘enemy combattant’, can be detained indefinitely without trial

[T]he Supreme Court is the next stop, and may uphold this ruling. FT: "Judge John Roberts is likely to be confirmed by the Senate this month as chief justice following the death of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist. In a previous ruling as an appeals court judge Mr Roberts found that the courts should show great deference to the president in the war on terrorism. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who wrote for the plurality in the Hamdi case, is also likely to be gone before the court takes up the issue."(via MetaFilter)

posted at 4:58 am
on Sep. 10, 2005

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Daily self-pictures, Oct 1, 2008 - current

A moderately interesting project about to hit its 8th anniversary.

posted at 2:46 pm
on Sep. 9, 2005

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Finding fun things to do in vancouver, british columbia

An interesting list of all the major attractions' Web sites

posted at 2:32 pm
on Sep. 9, 2005

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Sept. 30 - The Drift: Art on Main Street

A fun night walk up a long street in Vancouver. Art for everyone.

posted at 2:32 pm
on Sep. 9, 2005

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Dictionaraoke.org - The Singing Dictionary

Oh. My God. So bad. So very very bad.

posted at 12:06 am
on Sep. 9, 2005

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Brushed Metal: The Screenplay

"Daring Fireball" imagines the scene if Apple's Brushed Metal theme was a person with an agent who was PISSED at the new iTunes. Briulliant writing.

posted at 11:05 pm
on Sep. 8, 2005

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Best ‘new’ iTunes features: Album-based random, and disabling podcasts

I say "new" because they're new to iTunes, but they're some of the most obvious and oldest suggestions that I know of for iTunes to improve. It's really more of an incremental increase, but I'm still happy with it.

posted at 9:06 pm
on Sep. 7, 2005

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John Stewart is so good he makes me cry (‘cause it’s so true)

A great video clip. NSFW, I'd say.

posted at 12:11 pm
on Sep. 7, 2005

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The Harry Potter iPod

For kids, this is like porn -- a sure money maker.

posted at 12:08 pm
on Sep. 7, 2005

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Apple’s new iPod nano: It’s not a joke from The Onion

It's a super small, super sexy little MP3 player, and I haven't even LOOKED at the specs or the price and I want one. Now.

posted at 12:03 pm
on Sep. 7, 2005

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“The Slow Tail” is the time lag between visitors’ first site visits and their eventual purchase

Jakob Nielsen, useability guru, says "Users often convert to buyers long after their initial visit to a website. A full 5% of orders occur more than four weeks after users click on search engine ads."

posted at 11:02 am
on Sep. 6, 2005

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Bare Essentials Templates for Movable Type 3.2

Handy stuff. The new MT has a really heinous new div tag tree.

posted at 9:59 pm
on Sep. 5, 2005

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An extract from Why I Write, by Joan Didion

Good stuff.

posted at 7:53 pm
on Sep. 5, 2005

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Will podcasting meet the same fate as Webcasting?

The link is to the text of the August 18 edition of Doc Searls' SuitWatch newsletter. Says he: "Ignoring the huge portfolio of conventionally copyrighted (RIAA) music is nearly impossible... Plenty of podcasters, me included, want to be able to play chunks of this music--even to help sell it. How can we do that on a podcast? Better yet, how can podcasting participate in what Lawrence Lessig calls "remix culture"[?]"

posted at 3:58 pm
on Sep. 3, 2005

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Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America

From one reviewer, in 2000: "But on a more fundamental level, the book teaches us the power of the river, a lesson we've forgotten even in the face of some reasonably large modern floods. Someday, possibly very soon, the levy system will likely be destroyed by the long-predicted earthquake along the New Madrid Fault: when that day comes, the lessons of Rising Tide will be life and death matters. Southerners in particular may ignore Rising Tide only at their peril."

posted at 1:31 am
on Sep. 3, 2005

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Is Bush to Blame for New Orleans Flooding?

FactCheck.org says -- no, nature is, but Bush certainly didn't help.

posted at 6:58 pm
on Sep. 2, 2005

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Analysis: Katrina - help, criticism for US

An interesting look at foreign press reactions to the situation in the Southern U.S.

posted at 3:24 pm
on Sep. 2, 2005

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Bush said that international aid was appreciated but unnecessary

... meanwhile, other administration officials indicated that all offers of help would be gratefully accepted. (D'oh, who let him off the TelePrompTer?)

posted at 3:15 pm
on Sep. 2, 2005

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Admit It: Katrina’s Victims Are Black : Sploid

Here it comes.

posted at 3:06 pm
on Sep. 2, 2005

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Handy Pee Color Chart—avoid dehydration

OK, maybe "handy" is the wrong extremeity to suggest. But still, if you hike, bike, or wander lost in the desert, this could be a useful little bit of knowledge.

posted at 3:02 pm
on Sep. 2, 2005

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The Washington Post has the most wrenching photos I’ve seen of Katrina’s chaos

After looking through them all, I have just two things to say. First, I've never seen devastation, destruction and horror like this in the U.S. before.Second, I bet that 98% of the stranded, un-rescued, starving, dying, suffering people photographed here are black, and yet this fact isn't noted in a single photo caption, not is the issue of race any more that lightly touched on in a few media stories. Yes, you could say that it is simply "the poor" who are suffering, but I think that this hurricane story is going to turn into a race story within the next few days. Do you think aid would be as disorganized and slow if the area damaged was Connecticut? I'm not talking just about the immediate response, but also the funding and the planning and the training and the access to supplies. Why have Florida's disasters not had this level of chaos and despair?

posted at 5:44 am
on Sep. 2, 2005

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Beyond Robson highlights the closings of local independent bookstores

Sadly, I discovered the bookstore on Granville about three days before it shuttered. I considered saving my receipt as a memento, but then decided that, uh, the book's an even better memento. smile

posted at 11:11 pm
on Sep. 1, 2005

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What tool removes noise from photos best?

Michael Almond does a Noise Reduction Tool Comparison. I can't tell some of the differences, but I am about to buy Noise Ninja, which seems to get good reviews, and more importantly, has great results when I've tested it.

posted at 10:22 pm
on Sep. 1, 2005

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These are the masks I saw at the B.C. Museum of Anthropology

The Huxwhukw and Gwaxwam‡, the man-eating raven, are supernatural birds and are the servants of Baxwbakwalanuksiwé the Cannibal-at-the-North-end-of-the-World.

posted at 9:53 pm
on Sep. 1, 2005

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A single red squirrel can eat its way through 40,000 pine cones in a year

Here's how it eats one: The squirrel nibbles out the seeds along on edge, and then, rotating the cone with its front paws, it strips out another line of seeds.Now you know.( I had to look this up to help my sister win a bar bet.)

posted at 5:34 pm
on Sep. 1, 2005

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Jaw-dropping pictures of a tennis match, 28 floors up

Andre Agassi and Roger Federer have a bit of fun on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab, a really tall, luxurious hotel in Dubai. The game happened about six months ago, near as I can tell.

posted at 11:21 am
on Sep. 1, 2005

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How the Cyborg Name site took off after a very minor tweak

For all those of you who think getting it "almost" right is good enough, or who think that obsessing over design is ill-placed effort, you ought to read this.By making a very, very small change in the way his online app displayed results, he's now getting more traffic than he's ever gotten from any previous successful site.Take notes.

posted at 1:33 am
on Sep. 1, 2005

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Screen Calipers, the measurement tool that’s more accurate than a screen ruler

Has anyone used this program? Is it any good for designing things?

posted at 1:23 am
on Sep. 1, 2005

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President Bush’s Extended Family Photo

I'm sure this is ripped off from elsewhere, but it's damn funny.

posted at 1:02 am
on Sep. 1, 2005

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Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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