Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

oddities

may
09
2003

another great time-waster

CmdrTaco, of Slashdot fame, has a fun little CGI script that generates random “poetry” from any given Web page. A randomly generated sample from this weblog: rants and parachutes from Wired’s thirties. By Elton John from his brother, a single …

typing monkeys

Contrary to the popular saying, an infinite number of typing monkeys probably won’t eventually produce Shakespearean writings. Or at least, they didn’t in one case, involving 6 monkeys locked in a room with a computer. (Wired: “Monkeys Don’t Write Shakespeare” …

may
04
2003

absorbed twin

BBC News has perhaps the most bizarre health story I’ve ever read: Doctors in Kazakhstan discovered that a 7-year-old boy’s abdominal cyst was actually the remains of his brother, a Siamese twin who had grown inside of him and died …

apr
27
2003

moist towelettes

Again from the “someone has too much time on his hands” dept… Despite whatever differences we have as humans, we can all satisfy the natural urge to clean ourselves with lemon-scented, moist-filled napkins. Someone on Slashdot this weekend linked to …

apr
22
2003

weight watchers, circa 1974

Who knew diet food in the 1970s was so unappetizing? “Wendy M.” of poundy.com has an archive of Weight Watchers recipe cards, circa 1974. While she says the vast majority of the cards she has were fairly “normal,” she’s posted …

apr
18
2003

squeeze a star at madame tussaud's

This amuses me to no end. From Wired’s “Furthermore” section: Hands-On Exhibit 02:00 AM Apr. 18, 2003 PT Madame Tussaud’s has its first squeezable waxwork on display at its London venue. The museum has unveiled a new model of Brad …

apr
11
2003

create your own terror warning

Don't like the official government terror warnings? Create your own!

apr
07
2003

track a panda

FedEx is shipping a pair o’ pandas from Beijing to Memphis today. Track their progress online! If only they could find my PowerBook. Sorry. Bitterness seeping through.

bathroom server

From the someone-has-far-too-much-time-on-his-hands department… Some uber-nerds at MIT have set up the Random Hall Bathroom Server, equipping the dorm’s bathroom stalls with sensors to tell which ones are occupied. Internet users can send text messages to one stall, Fort Awesome …

apr
01
2003

an action figure … in action

Before being deployed to the Middle East, one National Guardsman legally changed his name to something more befitting an action hero. Forget GI Joe. Meet Optimus Prime, from Transformers. (“Robots in disguise … Transformers … More than meets the eyes!”) …

lost in the translation

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is running a campaign to get kids to stop drinking milk. The Orlando Sun-Sentinel reports that their slogan — “Dump Dairy” — acquired an unintended double meaning when translated to Spanish. (“Anti-milk …

mar
31
2003

fedex a panda

I guess FedEx will ship just about anything. A week from today, they’ll be shipping two pandas from Beijing, China, to the Memphis Zoo. FedEx has a special section of their website devoted to the shipment. Next Monday, you’ll be …

mar
17
2003

driving hazards

If you’re driving in downtown DC today, stay away from the Mall. If you’re on foot, maybe you can go down and gawk at the spectacle. According to Channel 4, someone drove a John Deere tractor into a lake near …

mar
07
2003

photo of the week

I think I’ve found my new favorite photo. For this week, that is. Meet Twiggy, a very special water-skiier.

mar
05
2003

lounge against the machine

You’ve never heard Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” until you’ve heard the Vegas lounge version. My coworker Dari just passed on an Amazon link to Lounge Against the Machine by Richard Cheese, a CD of lounge covers of ‘90s alt-rock hits. …

feb
13
2003

sneaky psychic

This site offers a sneaky mathematical psychic game. Pick a number, run it through a mathematical rigamarole, and click the crystal ball. It’ll give you the right answer every time. (You’ll need to the Flash plug-in to play the game.) …