Monday, June 30, 2008

But, he's gay!

But, he's gay! is a 14-second fuzzy video clip of Albuquerque, New Mexico morning news co-anchor Cynthia Izaguirre publicly fouling up on ABC affiliate KOAT-TV.  The video was shot back in 2001.  Her co-workers used to play it to station visitors.  Due to the rise of YouTube, the video has resurfaced and garnered Cynthia infamy. 

In it, she introduces the upcoming interview with Erik Weihenmayer, who climbed Mt. Everest despite his inability to see. Women. As attractive.
"Right after the break we're going to interview Erik Weihenmayer, who climbed the highest mountain in the world — Mt. Everest. But (dramatic pause)... he's gay!

I mean he's gay, excuse me, he's blind.  So we'll hear about that."

And oh boy did we.  Dallas News went straight to the source and asked Cynthia wtf:
"Everybody always wants to know: 'What were you thinking? Why did you say that?' What you don't know from the clip is that we had just done a story involving a woman who was gay, and so that was still floating around in my head, and out it popped."
So now you know.  That's what Cynthia is going with. 

Erik was interviewed by the Herald Sun and showed good humor about the situation: ‘‘I was laughing like crazy, laughing so hard,'' he says now of his reaction. ‘‘I couldn't believe it. Gay and blind? They don't really look that similar on your copy.''

Did he just say they don't look that similar?  That man is my hero.  And yeah, the video is old, but so's your face.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Skull-A-Day is a self-explanatory personal website by Noah Scalin, who posts one picture of a skull per day.  He started out making skulls using various materials all by himself, and now that he's made it past the year mark he accepts submissions.

Noah accepts pictures depicting skulls that are supposed to be original works by the submitter or pictures of found objects in nature that unintentionally look like skulls.

In the video interview above, I like Noah's thoughts on keeping up a daily site. He sums up the worry of creating something every day rather nicely.  In fact, I can empathize with the whole sentiment.  (Minus the popular site part, or even remote possibility of a book deal.) Skull-a-day won a 2008 Webby for best personal site. 

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Top Ten Ted Talks

Top Ten Ted Talks is a highlight reel of the most popular TED lectures as of June 2008.  (Previously on TOTI we discussed TED itself.)  I love it when someone else sorts the wheat from the chaffe for me.

I had seen most of these already, but I must admit I'd skipped over Sir Ken Robinson's musings on creativity and the current state of education.  For the most part, I agree with the list.  Jeff Han's talk was my favorite back in 2006. (Though regrettably, the Dave Egger's talk is absent.)

Top 10 TED Talks of all time:
1. Jill Bolte Taylor: "My stroke of insight"
2. Jeff Han: "Touchscreen demo foreshadows the iPhone"
3. David Gallo: "Underwater astonishments"
4. Blaise Aguera y Arcas: "Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo"
5. Arthur Benjamin: "Lightning calculation and other 'Mathemagic'"
6. Sir Ken Robinson: "Do schools kill creativity?"
7. Hans Rosling: "The best stats you've ever seen"
8. Tony Robbins: "Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better"
9. Al Gore: "Fifteen ways to avert a climate crisis"
10. Johnny Lee: "Creating tech marvels out of a $40 Wii Remote"

Aside from this, the Interwebs has been kind of boring lately. C'mon Internets, pick it up!
(From Boing Boing)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Man Babies

Man Babies is a photoshop blog devoted to pictures of men and babies with their heads swapped. The result is utterly bizarre. What should be a nurturing, feel-good paternal Kodak moment of fatherly devotion turns into a giant cognitive-dissonance fit.  

Site owners Kris and Chase thought they had reached the end of the Interwebs when they saw the original man-baby picture (below). They laughed for 15 minutes and decided to make a site out of it. There is not much more I can say about this, you just have to see it.
(From Boing Boing, Gawker, Everyone and their mom)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You License

You License is an Israeli commercial website that aims to connect music artists with people looking to license music.  I'm generally wary of posting commercial sites, but this was fun to browse through, so what the heck. 

You License calls itself an "online music licensing marketplace." They charge a 9% commission, "directly from the artist once a deal has been agreed upon by both sides." It is not a music publisher, nor a production library, nor a purveyor of stock music. The shadowy cabal behind the site describes itself only as a team of music professionals and internet entrepreneurs. Their advisory board consists of Michael Nieves, Wim Reijnen, Miki (Michael) Tunis, Natalia Nastaskin, Esq., Reavis Daniel Moore, and Lior Shamir.

I like the cute little icons. You can search by what type of movie you're scoring, or what type of mood you're in. Or you can search through four broad categories:  'Instrumental' (songs containing music without vocals), 'Complete Song' (ready to be licensed and have already been recoded and mastered), 'Beat' (tracks that consist mainly of a drum beat without instruments or vocals) or 'Ringtone' (musical equivalent of a ringworm).

There are a few duds and a few gems in there. Overall, B+. 
(From PopURLs, StumbleUpon)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Planning Wiz

Planning Wiz is an online room and space planner for your house. You choose the room size and put in furniture, floor textures, and labels.  Better than that, when you're done you can save, print, or email the floor plan.  There's a button that is labeled "request quote" though I'm not sure where that quote would come from.  It could be from a secret cabal of contractors, it could be from the punctuation storehouse. Who knows? 

Planning Wiz is mainly advertised as a commercial tool to support,
"consumer decisions in retail and real estate... Prospective buyers launch PlanningWiz from your website to quickly furnish and visualize themselves the space in real-time."
The late 1990's feel of cloying sales desperation is annoying, but the overall tool is fun to play with.  Information about the site is not very forthcoming, other than the site was built by Arxia & TYPO3.  They sport a +40 international phone number, making them possibly Romanian. 

I love the different objects you can place (anything from rocking chairs to small lakes and shrubbery.) Overall: Solid B. (From PopURLs)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Soungle is a royalty-free sound-effects/musical instrument sample database search developed by Southern Codes. Their punny name riffs off of Google.  Soungle.  It's a sounds-Google, get it? Get it?  Eh?  Except it's not. 

They explicitly state that, contrary to their allusive layout and name, they are "NOT a Web search engine."  Soungle does not search the Internets, it only searches their "monster" database.  Soungle's goals are to keep it simple to use (search, preview and download) and to keep it free.  Because it only searches their database, the results are limited. 

I did a search for "baby" and it came up with this noise.  Similar searches for "trumpet,"  "crash," "cry," and "applause" only resulted in one or two search results.  I did note that Soungle retrieved 6 sounds for "fart."

A description of the sound appears at the bottom of each sound, followed by the frame rate, duration and bit rate. So there you go. If you need fart sounds, this is your site. 

Overall: Solid B for good intentions but lack of depth.
(From PopURLs)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Boston Globe's The Big Picture

The Big Picture is a photography/photojournalism side-project blog by Alan Taylor of the Boston Globe.  It launched June 1st.  A typical entry consists of a ginormous picture, a tiny caption, a normally-sized link to more thematically related photos, and comments.

Alan is not a photographer. He is not a journalist. He is a web-developer that finds interesting photos across the news wire, and posts them in an appealing way. He has been posting at a rapid-fire, almost-daily pace fueled by a backlog of ideas, but expects things will slow down. 

Alan explains on his about section that his blog is,
"Inspired by publications like Life Magazine (of old), National Geographic, and online experiences like's Picture Stories galleries and Brian Storm's MediaStorm... The Big Picture is intended to highlight high-quality, amazing imagery — with a focus on current events, lesser-known stories and, well, just about anything that comes across the wire that looks really interesting."
The size of the pictures is what makes the site today's most awesome thing on the Interwebs. The picture entraps you into its world with its sheer ridiculous richness of detail.  On Waxy, Andy Baio interviewed Alan and asked about Alan's rationale for choosing the image size he did: "You take a typical 1024 pixel-wide screen, subtract 34 pixels (enough to cover most browser's scrollbars), and you get 990px. I wanted to go as big as I reasonably could without causing horizontal scrollbars on most screens."

This is an excellent example of an editor contributing something novel by presentation.  So far, Alan has escaped any dodgy legal entanglements related to publishing such large images. He explains:  "The general rule appears to be (my understanding of it) that the images should not be easily reproduced in print. Big Picture images max out at 990 pixels wide at 72dpi. If you scale that up to print resolution of 300dpi, you get an image that's only about 2 inches wide, so we'd appear to be within that limit." I hope so. It'd be a shame to lose an awesome blog due to overzealous copyright protection.

Jason Kottke hails it "the best new blog of the year." Who am I to argue?
(From Waxy, Kottke twice)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chris Glass

Chris Glass is a 36 year-old photographer, web aficionado, web designer, industrial designer, designer-designer, and bearded nuzzler living in New Richmond, Ohio. He keeps an entertaining personal website, and in his spare time, he devises schemes to create more spare time.

A sample blog entry goes something like this:
How to catch a mouse without a mousetrap. It's cute, it's humane, it's Chris. You can see his industrial design roots in his sketching. The illustration reminds me that I love architect/designer off-the-cuff sketches and handwriting. They have a pointy, hatchy quality to them, as if the entire thing were made out of hay.

He's involved in making T-shirts, some of which take off and some of which fizzle. I particularly like this failed idea, "He-Man and the Masters of the Univers," because it's about fonts:

"So I had this t-shirt concept (above) that's been brewing for a long while... It's a humorous take on the font Univers (which makes up the background grid with its family of font weights). The design seemed too limited in appeal so it never came to be, but I still have a deep love for it."
At age 25 Chris Glass was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It's kind of interesting to see his timeline. Overall, it's a very well designed site about an interesting person. A for awesome.

I'll leave you with a few latest photos from Chris:

(From mefi )

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Birthday Greetings from Joe Cocker

Birthday Greetings from Joe Cocker is the latest Youtube video rage. It features a humorous transcription of Joe Cocker's 1969 Woodstock rendition of "With a Little Help from My Friends," a song forever ingrained in my memory as the soundtrack to "The Wonder Years."

What I like about the video is the quality of the overlayed images and their competent timing. Clearly, Jakepide made this  as a birthday present for some gal named April, and unwittingly also gave the Internet a present. Thanks Jakepride!

Lols on the blood-curdling "oooooooooow."

(From The Blue)

Friday, June 20, 2008


Delightfully British, ColourLovers lets you know what's new in the color world. They cover color trends, combinations, patterns, and palettes. They also cover color-related articles and interviews. Moreover, according to TIME magazine, it is #41 out of 50 best websites in 2008.

Why would anyone need a whole site about colors? According to ColourLovers, people who work on "ad campaigns, product design, or in architectural specification" do. They pretend to be doing work while drinking coffee and spinning color wheels. And people who love the Interwebs and have way too much time on their hands need sites like this to waste time. Also, reporters with nothing else to write about use it. Case-in-point, TIME's Anita Hamilton especially liked the do-it-yourself tips:
"Browse through the various swatches, palettes and patterns to help inspire your next creative project — or your next clothes-shopping trip. The site's excellent blog doles out tips, like how to dye yarn with Kool-Aid, and will teach you something new about color every day."
Also, that's it. Check it out already.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Search Me

Search Me is a beta search engine that shows its results in a visual, iPod-esque flip-through catalog format. In essence, it lets you sort through results by web page layout. This is especially useful when you're searching for a site that you've been to before.  

The blue slider on the bottom lets you flip through the results, and the icons at the top of the results screen filter them by category (such as "photography" or "business news" or "history"). The wet floor effect reminds you to buy that new iPhone thing, and the tagline "You'll know it when you see it" reminds you of Justice Potter Stewart's definition of obscenity.  Which probably reminds you of what the Internet is for*. I digress.

Search Me is based out of San Francisco and Mountain View, and was founded by Randy Adams and John Holland. They are currently accepting feedback, site leads, and ask that we direct criticism directly to them before posting it on our blogs. (Haha.)

All I need to know is, I searched for awful plastic surgery hall-of-famer Michaela Romanini and one of the top results was a site whose title is "Oops, I messed up my face." Bingo!

(From metafilter)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good Morning, Internet!

Good Morning, Internet! (GMI) is the latest video creation of that zany Internet film troupe from Brooklyn, POYKPAC (previously featured). POYKPAC consists of Ryan Hunter, Jenn Lyon, Maggie Ross, Ryan Hall, and Taige Jensen. And now Tyler Jackson. posted the inaugural GMI episode on June 16th, and vowed to add one new episode every consecutive weekday for 15 days. (Minus the fifth Wednesday of the month if it falls on a waxing or waning moon, except every other spring season, and then when it rhymes with "weigh" or "neigh".)

According to the site's least concise PR person, the series is a little Anchorman, a little Daily Show, and a lot Internet:
"Once the least popular local morning news show, the Good Morning Internet team has been kicked off TV and forced to continue their show online. Completely out of touch with this new digital age, the Good Morning Internet hosts and producing team continue to tackle a wide variety of show segments, including interviews, weather, cooking, and overly sappy human interest stories. Character backstories and interpersonal dramas bubble to the surface as they come to terms with their new second class status."

GMI is very understated, and strives for that local cable feel. And boy do they deliver. So far they have the following eps:

Episode 1: Low self-esteem. (Embedded above.)
Episode 2: Fuck the homeless. Screw da police.
Episode 3: Under the hill. Tackling issues like meth and ... meth.
Episode 4: Things to fear. Forget fear itself, Colby has feared Muslims since 632.

Obviously, this wins solely on premise because 1) it's about the Internets, and 2) it's daily. Almost.

(From John McCartney)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Firefox 3 Download Day

Mozilla announced today is THE Firefox 3 Download Day 2008. As previously mentioned, Mozilla Firefox is trying to break a Guiness World Record, namely, most downloaded software in 24 hours. The clock started running at 11:16 a.m. California time, and will stop 11:16 a.m. on June 18th. As of 11:18 p.m., the program has been downloaded 4,462,665 times.

The striking thing visually on my laptop was that the browser did look like other Mac OS X applications. Apparently, this is a chameleon property, and Firefox 3 will mimic the native look and feel of whatever operating system you are using.

As far as substance goes I found the browsing zippier, as promised. I feel like someone has greased up my scrolling. ("Look ma, the scroll bar is on roller skates, wheee!") This single feature made Firefox win TOTI.

They also added an add-ons manager, a better password handler, an improved download manager, an enhanced bookmarks menu, and an awesome bar. The awesome address bar (or smart location bar) guesses more accurately which sites you're trying to reach by using your browsing history.

I haven't found the downside yet, but feel free to jump in on the comments. Overall: A.

Runner up:

Requiem For A Day Off is a recut trailer by benjifilms on YoutTube. He took scenes from Ferris Bueller's Day Off and set it to "Lux Aeterna," the full orchestral remix by Clint Mansell from the film Requiem for a Dream. The transition from comedy to drama is delightfully successful. This of course, is the same genre of mashup as previously mentioned on TOTI (Shining Trailer Recut). Good work.

(From Popurls, Bspcn, Wikipedia)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hanoi Crazy Night Traffic

Hanoi Crazy Night Traffic is straightforward video from Vimeo's v!Nc3sl4s. Vince Slas is a self-described "dutch and french native." Clearly, I think this means he is a clog-wearing Gaulois. It's old but not stale, and it's exactly like it sounds. One would think watching traffic is as interesting as watching grass grow, and in that case, one would be right. It's only interesting because it's significantly sped up.

It's just amazing to watch a functional intersection without traffic lights. The soundtrack is catchy and soothing, and it's just fun to watch the cars not run into each other. The intersection itself is probably somewhat inefficient because the cars have to slow down, but still. Also, bonus points for the integration of Stereofidelic in the opening credits. Minus points for misspelling "traffic." We'll call it even.

(From LS)
PS: Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Salmoning is a web phenomenon where an aim bot connects two random people. The bot sends each person a random message (like "I pity the fool!") and waits for a confused response. If the person responds, the connection is made. Whatever they type in gets sent to the other person. Each person thinks the other started the conversation.

The transcripts are funny to read. Sometimes the convos go well, sometimes they go very poorly.

Check out this convo. One person is web-savvy, the other person is very slow on the uptake. Hilaylay.

(From the blue, Flickr)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

2008 Design Trends

2008 Design Trends is an article on designer Nick La's site Webdesignerwall. (Nick also runs N.Design Studio and Best Web Gallery.) The 2008 Design Trends article very appropriately showcases current trends for webdesigns. (Duh.) If this had been filled with photography instead of screenshots, this piece would have been a photojournalism piece. So that makes it a screenshojournalism piece? I digress. Here are a few of my favorites:
Knox County site website for weddings and events.

Red & Blu, a Belgian clothing company. Neat pictures, takes FOREVER to load. Includes retro and wood texture.

A UK junior middle management recruitment site. Yay paperclips.

Web design and marketing, with that retro look.

Outdoor fitness training site with handwritten notes and faux tape.

A modern personal website including zigzags, collages, and wood pattern!

The lovely zigzag pink Grapefruit Graphics.

Runner up:
Dog vs. Roomba. Just because it's cute. Especially the Maltese and the Norfolk Terrier.

(From PopUrls)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rest of the Movie

Rest of the Movie is a pirated movie website that probably won't be working ten minutes after this is posted. Some shady types went into a movie theater and recorded these bootlegs, and scattered them across various websites.

Rest of the Movie, like its TV show sisters, merely aggregates videos uploaded to third party sites in one spot, and does not itself host any content. Unlike its TV show sister, viewing the site does not hurt my eyes. The videos are recent but the quality is shitty. I guess what the hey, it's a slow Internet news day.

Overall: C -. For crappy copy.

(From the blue)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

BMW GINA Light Visionary

The BMW GINA Light Visionary is a concept car that eschews a hard metal body. Instead of a metal, the GINA uses a seamless fabric stretched over a movable metal frame. Basically, they tore off the skin of a BMW and dressed it up like batman for Halloween 4 months early.

According to BMW, the car is built on a,
"Z8 chassis and has a 4.4-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission... the fabric skin — polyurethane-coated Lycra — is resilient, durable and water resistant. It's stretched over an aluminum frame controlled by electric and hydraulic actuators that allow the owner to change the body shape."
Right here is where I would put my own spin on the quote, but I'm not sure what they just said because I fell asleep three words into it. Honestly, I can't tell the difference between a horse-drawn cart and a Maserati, so .... who cares. It does look cool though.

Plus, if you got into a car crash, you could take it in to a tailor instead of a body shop. Bling bling! Now that's a money-saver. And, it's one step closer to an awesome sailboat-car. For all those James Bond moments in your life.

(From my friend Ben, and Wired)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Mixwit, a site that lets you create virtual mix tapes, is by far the most awesome thing on the Interwebs today. It is almost identical to the previously featured site Muxtape, but with more customization and without all the waiting for uploads to go through.

You can search for songs on their database, add them to your mix, choose the title, texture, and colors... and share. That's right, they added an embed option. (!!!)

The site blog was inaugurated on March 4th, and since then they have added features like a search function, RSS feeds, favorites, a launch bar, and a pop-out player.

Though there doesn't seem to be any info on who is behind the site, the two song databases Mixwit uses are Seeqpod and Skreemr. They got their old school tape images from Tapedeck and the icons from FamFamFam.

I would elaborate more, but that would cut down on my exploring Mixwit time. Enjoy!
(From Da Buzz )

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Omnomnomnom is one of those silly macro websites. They take random pictures and overlay cartoony evil googly eyes (and sometimes a mouth) on it. The result is a very silly portrayal of the world as a scary place that eats everything. You simply hit refresh to see another image. As the site explains:
If you're not saying 'Om Nom Nom Nom' out loud at the same time as looking at these pictures then you're doing it wrong.
The people behind this Interwebs fad seem to be (or be affiliated with) the Triforce, Three Panel Hollywood, One Life Left, Encyclopedia Dramatica. Omnomnomnom has a forum where you can add/suggest new pictures.

If you were wondering what these pictures would look like in a tangentially related annoying video format, wonder no more. I got the site to repeat, but hopefully they will add more to their repertoire. Here are a few of my favorites:

Aaaaaaaaak omnomnomnom eat all the water.

Omnomnomnom mountain!

Omnomnomnom baby: slightly classier than dead baby jokes.


(From Stumbleupon)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Piled Higher & Deeper

Piled Higher & Deeper is a grad-school themed webcomic by Jorge Cham. Jorge received his PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford. Topics range from student life and procrastination to the minutiae of theses and advisor meetings.

Some critics complain that PhD is geared toward science graduate students, as the token representation of a humanities student inadequately captures their tribulations.

The comic is well-drawn, well-colored, and funny. What more can you ask for? Overall, A work.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Read at Work

Read at Work is a website dedicated to disguising short stories, poems, and classic novels in a corporate Powerpoint layout format. The purpose is to make you appear to be working hard at your boring office job to the casual nosy cubicle-peering passerby. Especially your boss. If your boss is illiterate.

Clearly, the site is more fun than function. But it's worth a mention. When you click on the site, it turns your browser window into what appears to be the start up screen of a windows machine. Then it opens a windows desktop, with click-able folders, files, and email links. This was an impressive feat of cognitive dissonance, as I was viewing this through my Mac.

Read at Work is sponsored by the New Zeland Book Council, a Wellington based not-for-profit that promotes books and reading. (Which explains the New Zeland writers folder and the draconian reading list.) I was informed that some of the files are "not available" in my area, which was somewhat disappointing.

The Wall Street Journal noted Read at Work has origins in the "boss key" of video games of yesteryear, and is similar to the website workFRIENDLY. Workfriendly extracts the text of any website and spits it out as a faux word document. Again, probably works best if you're doing it in Windows.

Overall, very nice work. Sure, the readability suffers, but the faux working windows shell is way well executed. This deserves an A for ingenuity. (From Mefi, Da Buzz)