Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't Talk to the Police, Part 2

Don't Talk to the Police, Part 2 is a 21-minute video lecture by Officer George Brunch, L3.  He is responding to Law Professor James Duane's presentation on why innocent people should never talk to the police, even if you're innocent.  He starts off by saying James is right, and bagging on other countries' law enforcement.   

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Don't Talk to the Police

Don't Talk to the Police is a 27-minute video lecture by Law Professor James Duane of Regent University, where he explains why you should never ever talk to the police, even if you're innocent.  And, why the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution is the best thing since sliced bread.  I'm no lawyer, but his argument is compelling and his enthusiasm contagious.  Stay tuned for the cop's rejoinder tomorrow.

Note: I watched this last month when it hit Metafilter, but now Boing Boing and Waxy picked it up, but it's one of those timeless links well worth a watch.  Also, to quickly explain the prof's allusion to the student at the beginning of the video: Regent University is a private, co-ed interdenominational Christian university at Virginia Beach, VA. 

(From Metafilter, Boing Boing , Waxy)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Cuil is a search engine founded by Tom Costello (Computer Science PhD from Stanford University), Anna Patterson (Computer Science PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Russell Power (PhD in not finishing a PhD).  Cuil seeks to attack semantic search like the previously featured Powerset engine.  But its most salient feature is the attractive column-and-images layout and various visual gimmicks.  As Cuil explains:
"Different ideas are separated into tabs; we add images and roll-over definitions for each page and then make suggestions as to how you might refine your search. We use columns so you can see more results on one page.
We think that if you are interested in content rather than popularity, you’ll find our approach more useful."
Zing!  Cuil has generated a great amount of publicity for a search engine joining the race this late.  These not-so-subtle pot-shots at Google explain part of the exaggerated hype and what web writer Richard MacManus feels is a disproportionate amount of publicity.  The other part is probably the folkloric name origin:  
"Cuil is the Gaelic word for both knowledge and hazel, and features prominently in ancient legend. One famous story tells of a salmon that ate nine hazelnuts that had fallen into the Fountain of Wisdom and thereby gained all the knowledge in the world. Whoever ate the salmon would acquire this knowledge.

A famous poet fished for many years on the River Boyne hoping to catch the Salmon of Knowledge. When he finally caught it, he gave it to his young apprentice Finn McCuil to prepare, warning him not to eat any. As Finn cooked the salmon he burnt his thumb and instinctively sucked it to ease the pain. And so it was Finn and not the poet who gained all the wisdom of the world. Finn went on to become one of the great heroes of Irish folklore. Any time he needed to know the answer to a question, he sucked his thumb."
Apparently you're supposed to pronounce it "cool," but I'm going to stick with my instincts and continue rhyming it with the French word douil in my head. Because a little French wino lives in there, and you just don't argue with the French about wine.

According to my very un-scientific tests, so far Cuil didn't find things better than Google. But the resultes sure looked pretty. 

Monday, July 28, 2008


Woot is an online retailer of hardware, electronics, and geek gadgetry, whose slogan is "One Day, One Deal."  Each day, a different discount product is posted at midnight Central time.  Whether or not the previous day's product is sold out.

The main page formula is simple: a product picture, a product name, a price, and a witty description.  If the product is crappy, the description will likely tell you so.  Today's description personifies a Lexmark printer as a job applicant. 

Occasionally, will host a Woot-off, where a new product is posted immediately after the prior product sells out.  Woot-offs last anywhere from 24-72 hours, during which the page is decorated with rotating orange lights and an orange progress bar at the bottom that lets you know how much product stock remains. 

Woot sometimes sells a Bag of Crap.  For a whole dollar, you get a surprise.  Contents in the past have included things like Samsonite camera bags, USB thumb drive locks, Kodak EasyShare all-in-one refurbished printer, cyborg joysticks, arbor lights, welding gloves, mini optical mouses (mice?), Kensington PC Key LE encryption tools, light-up dinosaurs, etc.  So far, there have been no reports of actual crap in the bag of crap. 

Woot has since inception branched out into wine and shirt peddling territory, as well as a bevvy of marketing shenanigans such as special product launches and two-packs of products every Tuesday.  

Woot: it's daily, and it's Interwebby, so it wins. 

(From my friend Guy a long time ago, and Wikipedia.)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Compilation of Funniest News Slip Ups

Compilation of Funniest News Slip Ups is a self-explanatory video featuring news reporters embarrassing themselves on air.  I'm not sure why I like this genre so much, I just do.  With a cameo by Cynthia "But-He's-Gay" Izaguirre:
The Internet and what we're going to do with this indeed, Mister.

Runner up:
How glasses change a person, a comparative illustration. ("Get the Respect You Deserve" Ad by  Oogmerk Opticians.) 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The New Facebook

The New Facebook URL shows you what the re-designed Facebook is going to look like: Ugly, like your face.  Not Myspace-ugly, but then again... few things are.  

The broadsheet format tries to wrangle in and put order to the many little icons and apps.  The solution isn't really pushing things around, but having less things.  No matter how you tie it down, ever since the addition of applications, Facebook still looks 50 lbs. overweight.  Meh. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Monsters, Inc. Ruined Scene

Monsters, Inc. Ruined Scene is a YouTube video that replaces the original movie score of Monsters, Inc. with something completely different: 

Haha.  I think that scene was improved, not ruined.  In movies that rely heavily on soundtracks to set the mood or convey meaning, changing everything is easy. Too easy? Nah.  It's not old yet. 

(From Something Awful via Kottke )

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cake Wrecks

Cake Wrecks is a blog about when professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.  It covers everything from unnecessary quotes on farewell cakes to uncanny-valley plagued baby-shower cakes.  My favorite by far is the Good Luck in China cake. If you can only read one thing this week, read this.  (Trust me, you can shop this week without a grocery list.)

The bakery has an online form that apparently prints directly onto the cake. 

Will they? Will they miss Anber?

From the post titled, "You know your mom is cheap when..."

Baby for dessert. Deserted baby for dessert?

And finally the Good Luck in China cake. The story is by Scott of Basic Instructions, which was reposted in Cake Wrecks, and now is reposted here: 
"I had a day job as an office manager for the Seattle office of an international firm. We found out that one of our employees was transferring to one of our offices in China. When one of our people would leave, we usually had a little wing-ding with drinks and cake on the departing employee's last Thursday in the office, so on Tuesday it fell to me to fax a cake order into our nearest Costco Bakery.

I should point out that on that day I had a headache so bad that it hurt to move my eyes. Ordering the cake was the last thing I did before I went home sick for the afternoon. As I filled out the order form, I realized that in addition to the personalized message ("Good Luck in China," in this case) we could also get a large decoration for no extra charge. I looked at the options and none of them were appropriate. They were all things like teddy bears, balloons, or race cars. Crap, in other words. I figured if none of them were appropriate, I might as well get something that made no sense whatsoever.

I put a check mark next to the word 'Fireman.'

The next morning (Wednesday), lying in bed just before getting up, my mind wandered over the previous day and all the things I had accomplished. My eyes snapped open as I thought, 'What did I do!? Why did I order a fireman? That makes no sense!!! I'm going to look like an idiot!'

I went to work, intent on calling the Costco as soon as they opened and stopping the cake before it started. I still had a day before I was supposed to pick it up. I figured that should be plenty of time. After some effort, I got hold of the bakery manager, only to be told that the cake had already been made. It was too late. I figured I'd just have to stand up straight and take it like a man.

My wife and I went to Costco to pick up the cake. When I got to the bakery, this is what was waiting for me.

(see above picture)

Making the hose flesh-toned had been a very bad move.

At first all I could do was blink at it and wonder, 'Am I the only one who sees a giant wang?' I looked at my wife. She was blinking at the cake. An awkward silence and a few stammered sentences later we established that we both saw the same thing. A fireman holding an immense, dripping wang.

I could not serve this cake to my coworkers.

My first thought was that I would just absorb the cost of a second cake and pretend this never happened. Then I thought, 'Wait a minute! This is not an erotic bakery! This is Costco! I should be able to order any stupid cake I want and be confident that it will not be sexually charged.'

While at the checkout line I found a Costco employee to complain to, and showed him the cake. He blinked at it. I told him I was uncomfortable serving this cake at a place of business, and he started laughing and looking relieved.

Here’s what I came to realize about the cake. The obscene image was just obvious enough that you can't help but recognize it, but also obviously innocent enough that you don't want to say anything for fear that you're the only one who sees it.

Soon I was surrounded by several Costco employees who were looking at the cake and laughing. They explained that they had a new cake decorator who was a deeply religious woman from a foreign country, as if that explained everything. At one point while we were hammering out a settlement a woman happened by, caught a glimpse of the cake, covered her mouth and gasped. Good stuff."
(From Cynical-C, Metafilter)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Font Conference

Font Conference is the latest College Humor video. It's about fonts. Yay!

(From College Humor, Mefi, then LS, then Kottke, then everyone and their mom... Which kind of makes me wish I posted more than once per day, but then I remember how annoying slow days are.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where the Hell Is Matt?

Where the Hell Is Matt? is a video and website by 31-year-old deadbeat and world-traveler Matt Harding. Matt hails from Connecticut, currently lives in Seattle, and became semi-Interwebs famous after he quit his Australian video-game code-monkey job to travel around Asia.
"A few months into his trip, a travel buddy gave Matt an idea. They were standing around taking pictures in Hanoi, and his friend said "Hey, why don't you stand over there and do that dance. I'll record it." He was referring to a particular dance Matt does. It's actually the only dance Matt does. He does it badly. Anyway, this turned out to be a very good idea."
Or so quips the about page. Matt kept doing it throughout his travels, a spliced together video went viral, and Matt got a sponsorship to do two more dancing world-trips from Stride Gum. This is the 3rd installment:


(From Daniel Spaniel)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Totally Looks Like

Totally Looks Like is a submission-fueled website that pairs famous people with their look-alikes.  These can be characters, animals, and random others.  The genius of the site is in matching the angles and cropping.  It is by the previously and briefly mentioned  I Can Has Cheezburger? Network.  (I Can Has a Cheezburger was created by Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami.) Yeah, yeah, it's totally superfluous. Welcome to the Interwebs. 

Clearly related in appearance and personality.  Apologies to the braying horse. 


Same plastic surgeon.

Myth confirmed!
(From LS)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Escaping the Amish by Torah Bontrager

(I don't usually post news stories like this, and it's only barely tangentially related to the internets and freedom of information... but it is the most interesting thing I found on the Interwebs today.  See, if Torah only had the Internets, she probably would have been out of there much quicker.  Plus, this story was posted on a skeezy guy's site who is making all his money on the 'nets.)

  Torah Bontrager is a twenty-seven year old Columbia University alumn ('07), who escaped the Old Order Amish community and is writing a book about it. Or so she claims. I have no idea. Her story was posted on Tim Feriss's site, who himself smacks of James Frey.  (Tim Feriss wrote a book about how to make money by pushing all your work onto online secretaries called virtual assistants, usually in India, and taking credit for their work.)   If what Torah says is true, that's some pretty strong stuff. 
Part 1: Torah becomes suicidal, then decides she wants to live.
Part 2: Torah escapes in the night, moves to Montana, and spreads awareness. 

Interview exerpt:
"What are the most common misconceptions or myths about the Amish?

The Amish speak English (Fact: They speak Amish, which some people claim is its own language, while others say it is a dialect of German. Most people don’t know that Amish was only a spoken language until the Bible got translated and printed into the vernacular about 12 years ago.)
  • Amish teens have a choice whether they want to remain practicing the religion. (False)
  • Amish is only a religion (Fact: It’s a religion, culture, and language, etc.)
  • Amish kids go to public school, or are taught similar courses (e.g., science) as public school kids
  • The Amish are Mormons (False)
  • The Amish have arranged marriages (False)
  • Amish men have more than one wife (False)
  • The Amish put all their income in the same pot, like a communist or socialist banking system (False)
  • Cameras and music/musical instruments are allowed (False)
  • The Amish are “peaceful gentle folk” (False)
What were the positives of growing up Amish?
  • Growing up bilingual (Though I didn’t become fluent in English until after I escaped and I was always very self-conscious about my command of the English language)
  • The emphasis on the solidarity of the extended family unit
  • The emphasis on being hospitable to strangers, helping those in need, whether Amish or “English” (anyone who’s not Amish is “English,” no matter what language or culture he/she represents)
  • Building your own houses, growing your own food, sewing your own clothes
These experiences taught me self-reliance, self-preservation, and gave me the ability to relate to non-American familial cultures much better than I might otherwise.

The biggest negatives?
  • The rape, incest and other sexual abuse that run rampant in the community
  • Rudimentary education
  • Physical and verbal abuse in the name of discipline
  • Women (and children) have no rights
  • Religion–and all its associated fear and brainwashing–as a means of control (and an extremely effective means at that)
  • Animal abuse
I consider these negatives as personal positives in a somewhat perverted or distorted way. Without having experienced what I did, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, shaped by the experiences I’ve had since. I always tell people that I’m thankful for having grown up Amish but that I’d never wish it upon anyone else."
Bonus: Torah preempts your misgivings about her statements, including discussions about language vs. dialect and rumspringa.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog is 
 "the musical tale of that [eponymous] villain, played by a 'still just recognisable as Doctor Doogie Hauser' Neil Patrick Harris, as he tilts quixotically at his nemesis - Captain Hammer (Firefly's Nathan Fillion)." Or so says the Times Online
It's written by Josh Whedon of Buffy/Firefly fame/infamy.  I love the vocal coach bit, and the awesome-for-internet production values (low six figures). 

According to NPR, when the series launched Tuesday on, so many people tried to watch it that the server crashed.  (Whedon says they were getting about 1,000 hits a minute.)  The second episode came out yesterday, and was just as popular.  After Sunday it will cost $1.99 per episode, so enjoy the slim freebie window.

(From my friend Guy, who rocks)

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Comics Curmudgeon

The Comics Curmudgeon (TCC) is a site written by Baltimore based Josh Fruhlinger that critiques comic strips. He posts the comic strips, and then makes little jokes about them. That's it. 

The blog dates back to July 11th, 2004. The inaugural entry was about Non Sequitur's Obvious Man, who swoops in to correct redundant speech:
" 'Obvious Man' epitomizes everything wrong with the current state of the strip. As an editor, I suppose I should love the current installment of his annoying adventures. But here’s my professional opinion: correcting grammar in professionally printed matter is important. Correcting it in casual conversation is annoying.
I do like the enormous pants on the young dudes, though."
 A commenter then points out that Wiley might actually have the same opinion as  Josh.  Also, as is wont to happen someone corrects the correction; ATM is more specifically an initialism because the letters are pronounced separately rather than just a plain old acronym.  (The killjoy commenter failed to mention what an awkward and confusing comic strip that would make.)

My favorite part of the site is this week's "quote of the week" from TCC reader Edward, which pretty sums up Mary Worth. On 7/10/08 the strip below ran: 
Which can be translated to: "I think I'll make scampi! See, motherf*ckers? I'm this boring, and yet you still read me every day!" --Edward
My least favorite part of the site are all of the cluttered flashing ads of different sizes.  It hurts my eyes.  Other than that, it's a breezy read. 

(From my friend Daniel and his friend Matt)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cats That Look Like Hitler

Cats That Look Like Hitler is a blog devoted to kitlers, or cats that look like hitler.  For example, the kitten above.  That emo kitler is going to pounce all over your Sudetenland.  The authors do a pretty good job of explaining this tomfoolery in the opening paragraph and FAQ, so I'm just going to let them do it.
"Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he's going to up and invade Poland? Does he keep putting his right paw in the air while making a noise that sounds suspiciously like 'Sieg Miaow'? If so, this is the website for you."

WHY a website about cats that look like Hitler? Where did the idea come from?
Originally, a Dutchman called Koos Plegt stumbled on the very first Kitler in his hometown of Zwolle in Holland.  Once he'd picked himself off of the floor from laughing, he set up a quick blogsite with other examples of the Kitlerian species to entertain his mates.  I (Paul Neve) saw that blogsite and once I'd picked myself up from the floor laughing, spoke to Koos about collaborating on a proper website devoted to that laudable example of feline prowess, the Kitler.  The result is the you all now know and love.  Or hate.  Koos has unfortunately disappeared into a subspace vortex or something (or certainly he's ignoring all contact) so it's just me all on my lonesome now.
Aren't you glorifying Hitler?
Let's get this straight. Hitler was an arsehole.  Hitler was a disgusting, pus-ridden lump of excrement from the devil's own anus.  Before we go any further, let's just reiterate that.  As such, I think it's entirely appropriate to reduce him to an object of ridicule by comparing his physical appearance and styling to a bunch of fluffy, cute moggies.

I'm digging the curtain-parted hair and the lazy, carefree posture.

Meet Blane, the 5th best kitler. This needs more sieg, less engagement ring.

Great posture Leonardo (#2).  It's very Lion King.

Vostok, the #1 kitler. Bonus points for the armband.

(From my friend Guy, way to go, and LS)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Not Always Right

(The customer is) Not Always Right (NAR) is a website featuring conversations between annoying customers and vengeful cashiers, store clerks, and salespersons. Users can submit quotes and vote them up or down. The people behind NAR were inspired by previously featured site Overheard in New York, according to the about page. Enjoy a few winners:

A Fine Line Between Smarta** and Dumba**
Fast Food Ontario, Canada

(I work at a popular fast food restaurant. Drive-through customers should be aware that we can hear every word they say.)
Coworker: “Hi, welcome to ***. How can I help you?”
Customer: “I just need a minute to decide.”
Coworker: “No problem, just let me know when you are ready.”
(The customer talks to his passengers, while we listen…)

Customer, to his passengers: “I should ask for something dumb on my ice cream, just to see what they say. How about pickles? They would probably just ignore me. Oh, I know… tomatoes!”Customer, to my coworker: “Okay, I’m ready.”
Coworker: “Alright, go ahead…”
Customer: “I’d like an ice cream sundae with tomatoes on it, please.”
Coworker: “I’m sorry, due to the recent recall in the States, we aren’t serving tomatoes right now. Can I offer you a sundae with pickles instead?”

Customer: *drives off without ordering anything*

Retail Defender, AntiCheapskate Edition
Electronics Store Chicago, IL, USA

(I work in a large electronics retail chain. A guy asks me to find the latest version of Norton AntiVirus for him, which I do. He takes a look at the price and starts yelling about how outrageous it is ($100.00 US).)

Guy: “What the h***? How can you people get away with this? This is a scam!”
Me: “Sir, I can suggest another type of protection if this one is too expensive…”
Guy: “No way! This is the one I want, but I’m not paying this.”
Me: “Sir I–”
Guy: “I bet I can find it online for much cheaper. Heck, even free! ”
Me: “Sir, I think that–”
Guy: “That’s what I’ll do… I’ll find it for free online! Better than this s***!”

(A young woman nearby is listening and speaks up.)

Woman: “Yeah, you can find it online, for free.”
Guy: “Really, where? Tell me!”
Woman: “L****” (Warning: This is a disturbing porn site that I would not recommend viewing.)
Guy: “Thanks!” *turns back to me, smirking* “Ha, guess I won’t be spending any money on this s***!”
Me, to the girl: “That… was awesome.”
Woman: “Well, an a**hole like that deserves it. I figured that you couldn’t tell him that without getting fired.”

(The young woman gets a free gift card; that guy never comes back. I still wonder what went through his mind when the site popped up.)

iPod, Meet iDiet
Retail Minneapolis, MN, USA

(I’ve just spent about 10 minutes answering fairly standard questions from a customer about an iPod. Then, they asked this one…)
Customer: “Oh, before you leave I have one more question!”
Me: “Sure, what can I help you with?”
Customer: “Will the iPod get heavier if I put more songs on it?”
Me: “No…?”

(I was so dumbfounded I didn’t realize how stupid the question actually was until 10 minutes later.)

Bad Customer Tip #103: Pull A Clark Kent
Computer Store Buenos Aires, Argentina

(A man on his mid-forties shoves a DVD case on the counter, while yelling at me. Keep in mind that I’m wearing glasses.)

Customer: “This DVD doesn’t work, G** D***it! I want a refund!”
Me: “Okay… what seems to be the problem?”
Customer: “I don’t know, it doesn’t work!”

(I open the case and check the surface of the DVD. It was so scratched that it was nearly white instead of purple, and it even had a dry fingerprint of something that looked like peanut butter.)

Me: “Um… sir?”
Customer: “WHAT?!”
Me: “I can’t give you a refund for a product that has been damaged by the customer.”

Customer: What?! The disc is fine! I want a refund!”
Me: “Sir, the disc is damaged, and I cannot give you a refund.”
Customer: “I want to speak to the manager!”
Me: “Of course.”

(I walk away to the back of the store, take off my glasses, and walk to the counter again.)

Me: “Yes, what is the problem?”

(He suddenly figures it out.)
Customer: “F*** THIS S***!” *continues swearing while he storms out of the store

(From my friend Guy)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dirty Drawings

Dirty Drawings is a NSFW Youtube video posted by xkflash.  The artist Maurício Ricardo starts with cartoony dirty pictures and turns them into cute family-friendly pictures.  Some of the images are better hidden than others, and the artist is good. 
The soundtrack song is "Ao Mestre com Carinho" by the Seminovos which features equally borderline raunchy lyrics replete with double entendres in Portuguese. The Seminovos site is brimming with free song downloads. Ace. 

(From my friend Justin )

Monday, July 14, 2008

Boing Boing

Boing Boing is a website devoted to links du jour, that touts itself as "a directory of wonderful things." 

According to Wikipedia, it was first established as a magazine, later became an award winning group blog.  The zine started in 1988 by Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair.  Later, Boing Boing became a website (in 1995) and relaunched as a weblog on January 21, 2000.  Mark Frauenfelder was joined by three co-editors: Cory Doctorow, David Pescovitz, and Xeni Jardin. All four Boing Boing contributors are or have been contributing writers for Wired magazine.
Common themes include technology, futurism, science fiction, gadgets, intellectual property, Disney and politics. (Thank you Wikipedia!)

Boing boing also takes suggestions and link tips from users. I like the picture-and-article format that feels very magazine-like (true to its roots). 

The links on Boing Boing are little out-of-the-way. Clicking on the title will lead you to a page featuring that article by itself, instead of the hypertext link the article is about.  To get to the link being discussed, click on the tiny blue word at the bottom. The one that appropriately enough says "link."  Minor flaw for a good, steady resource. 

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Laughing Squid

Laughing Squid (LS) is a web site devoted to art, culture and technology of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, primarily run by Scott Beagle. The site's mascot is some sort of green squid that mated with a motherboard. I think. The background is moody black, and for this reason I prefer reading LS on my RSS Feed Reader.

How did the site start? Good thing you didn't ask, I'll answer it for you anyway by copy-pasting the from their FAQ:
"Laughing Squid was founded in November of 1995 by Scott Beale as a film and video production company, producing documentaries on the surrealist painter Alonso Smith and The Cacophony Society’s Portland Santacon ‘96 event. In 1996 Laughing Squid launched The Squid List and for a while Laughing Squid offered publicity and web design services, but then started focusing on web hosting in 1998. In December 1999 John Law invested a small amount in Laughing Squid and joined as head of 'special projects'. David Klass soon followed, investing a small amount as a silent investor."
There you go.  LS sometimes features nerd-ery that is highly localized, though often the links posted are globally interesting.  I would expect nothing less from a Bay Area site. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros

Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros is a song by Grammy Award-winning New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords (FotC). FotC is Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. According to Wikipedia, "the group uses a combination of witty observation, characterisation and acoustic folk guitars to work the audience." Check it:

(From my friend Cammie, go champ!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary is a user-generated dictionary of slang terms that claims 3,200,491 definitions submitted since 1999.  Anyone can add a word definition via web-form. The form asks for the word, its definition, a usage example, tags, a user pseudonym, user location and user email.  Users can even add sounds and images.

Volunteer editors decide whether to post an entry or not.  If an entry is updated, users can vote it up or down. 

Urban Dictionary got a book deal, and its book form is "Mo' Urban Dictionary: Ridonkulous Street Slang Defined."  Now you know where to look if someone throws some crazy jargon at your old foggey noggin'.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


This is the third entry in a series of best-of-web resources.
Kottke is the personal site of Jason Kottke, and home of fine hypertext products since March of 1998.  Jason lives in Manhattan with his foodie wife Meg. For fun and income, he builds web sites and edits

Jason's site features links, and his posts are usually short with minimal commentary. He does post several times daily, though.  Jason designed the Silkscreen typeface and has won a Lifetime Achievement Award as a blogger for his writing skills and perseverance.   Everything else you need to know is in the FAQ. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


This is the second in a series of best-of-web resources.

Buzzfeed is a website devoted to helping you find your favorite new thing online. They feature trends, with images, posted by a panel of editors. Each trend lists a series of related links in a list, that decreases in size and importance toward the bottom of the page.

Readers can sort stories by categories such as music, culture, style, food, celebrity, business, and so forth.  Readers can also submit tips. Buzztastic.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


And now, the first in a series of best-resources for Today on the Interwebs. Really, after I'm done you won't need to read TOTI anymore. But I'll probably still write it.

Metafilter (or "MeFi" or "The Blue" if you're soooo hip) is a community blog that aims to post the best of the web.  Mefi was founded by Matthew Haughey in 1999, and currently there is a one-time $5 life-membership fee that allows you to post and comment.  Members write thematic snippets rich with links, and other members can comment on those links.  Each user is only allowed one front page post (FPP) per day.

MetaFilter bans "selflinks," or posts by a person to their personal website or website with whom that person has a significant conflict of interest. Suspected selflinks are scrutinized and deleted.

There are several sub-sites, that Wikipedia expertly explains
MetaTalk: A.k.a. "The gray" for administrative questions, requests, and discussions.
AskMe: Or Ask Metafilter, or "the green," where members to post questions to the community without the link requirements.
Metafilter Projects: where members share on-going web-work, and self-linking is encouraged.
MetaFilter Music: where members share their music.
MetaFilter Jobs: where members post jobs.
Metafilter even makes filtering the filter easy.  People can post what they like as favorites, and you can check out "Popular Favorites" if you don't have time for riff raff. Overall: A++, for consistency in best-of-the-web.

Monday, July 7, 2008


GIRLS ARE PRETTY FOREVER is a blog by Bob Powers that invents something tragic to celebrate every day.  His blog has morphed into a book titled, "Happy Cruelty Day!" Daily Celebrations of Quiet Desperation.  Each entry is a flight of fancy you would expect from your 12-year-old cousin, narrated in the second person. Edgy. 

A sample entry goes as such: 
"Pay Your Uncle Pete To Ask You To Be An Assassin Day!

At around 1PM today, have your Uncle Pete show up to your social studies class dressed in all black. He’ll knock on the door and the teacher will let him in, thinking he’s a responsible adult who has something important to share. Then he’ll find you and he’ll say what you told him to say, word for word.

'I’m sorry to interrupt your studies, but I can’t take no for an answer when we both know that life as a highly paid killer is your destiny. Will you join our Secret Order of International Assassins?' ... "

Another bloodshed favorite:
"Some Christmas Trees Can Talk and Fight Terrorism Day!

Today, at age 35, you’re going to be woken up when your front door bursts from its hinges and an old, brown Christmas Tree still sprinkled with tinsel comes hopping through your apartment to your bed.

'Why didn’t you kill them?' the Christmas Tree will ask..."
And so on an so forth.  More recently, Bob has a second book out, a choose-your-own-adventure titled, "YOU ARE A MISERABLE EXCUSE FOR A HERO," which was featured on NPR. My favorite part of the NPR story is when he reads the opening of the book: 
"Be very careful! You're directing the story and the choices you make can result in murder, graduate school enrollment, torture, marriage, post-apocalyptic slavery, unwanted pregnancy, and even temping!"
If you've ever worked as a temp, you know it's right up there with post-apocalyptic slavery.  I don't usually read fiction, but I'll make an exception when I'm bored. Cute link. 

(From my friend Cammie)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Speed Dressing

Speed Dressing is a commercial for JC Penney created by advertising powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi.  The ad went public at the 2008 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, winning a Bronze Film Lion.  It never aired, for fear of offending Middle America.

The ad shows a guy and a girl practicing speed dressing by themselves.  They then join each other and lie to the parental unit, implying they are totally not going to have awkward sex in the basement.  Scandalous, I know.  The ending tagline:

According to Duncan's TV Ad Land
"JCPenney, the US department store chain, is playing catch up in the wake of a Bronze Lion being awarded for 'Speed Dressing', a television commercial in which two teenagers prepare for making love in the basement. It appears as though the advertisement was prepared by Saatchi & Saatchi New York and Epoch Films but was never approved by JC Penney, let alone aired on public television. The company is now concerned that the viral spread of the ad will damage their reputation for high standards. Too late!"
Hahaha.  It's a pretty funny ad.  All of the Youtube versions have been taken down so far, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Extreme Hypermiling Guide

The Extreme Hypermiling Guide is an article on Go Green Travel Green that compiles 450+ ways to increase the fuel efficiency of your car.  Driving enthusiast Wayne Gerdes is credited with coining the term "hypermile," which then gave rise to the neologism hypermiling.  I suppose that rhymes with "smiling", thought I originally mis-read that as hypermilling, which is probably what happens when you give grain-millers a large dose of meth. I digress.

Hypermiling is the act of modifying your car or driving habits in order to increase your miles-per-gallon efficiency, exceeding the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated fuel efficiency for your vehicle.

The Extreme Hypermiling Guide has an ugly design, but very useful tips.  I like their commentary on safe versus non-safe techniques, and worthwhile versus non-worthwhile.  

Safe tips: 
  • Watch the crosswalk signs (to know if the light is going to change soon)
  • Leave room in front of your car (to allow for breaking slowly)
  • Don’t accelerate too quickly.
  • Don’t brake if you don’t have to.
  • Minimize running mechanical and electrical accessories (e.g. air conditioning).
  • Inflate your tires (to the proper psi according to the manual, or just slightly more; too much more and you can be asking for trouble).

Unsafe tips:
  • Overinflate tires
  • Place cardboard over the radiator
  • Tailgate a truck to reduce wind drag
  • Death turns (turning off the engine when making 25 mph turn going at 50 mph.)
Why do people do this?  At Go Green Travel Green, they're aiming to reduce their carbon footprint, since living-off-the-grid is too hard.  Some people are trying to save any money they can with the rising fuel costs, and/or are naturally stingy.  According to My Money Blog
"If you went from say a combined city/highway 22 mpg based on your previous habits to 30 mpg (a 36% increase), and you drove 12,000 miles per year with gas at $3.70/gallon, this would save you $538 over a year. Worth it? Your decision."
Other people just like to drive crazy.  It was interesting to see what driving habits increase or decrease efficiency.  Happy driving. 

(From Bilbao58's flickr, and Digg)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Poop Sign

Poop Sign is a site devoted to selling $8 vinyl poop signs.   It looks like a stop sign, but instead it says poop.  That's it.  Totally inane, and I totally wish I had thought of it. 

Its creator, Chris Yates, seems to have a lot of other artsy projects going on as well.  Chris was born in New Jersey,  got a BFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design (hey that's where Seth MacFarlane went!) and then moved to Colorado where he currently resides and schemes. 

I like that the site disclaimer says "Video by Harris Porter & Chris Yates, Music by Michael Felix. Please drink responsibly."  Check. 

The part where he falls down and causes an upheaval of stop signs is delightfully cheesy and poorly made, and that's why I love it.  It reminds me of the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man Family Guy bit. They spoof commercials.  Except in this poop sign case, it actually is a commercial, which is self-parodying and meta-weird. 

Metafilter user Saxon Kane points out that their tagline perhaps should have been, "It's like a joke, but it's not funny!" Touché.  Which brings this full circle to what the internets is for.  Pursuing and presenting your grandest ideas, for someone else to poop on. 

(From Mefi)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Caption Competition

Caption Competition is a caption contest site fueled by gorgeous Flickr photos.  Users can submit photos and captions for voting on the UK based site.  The idea is brilliant, the photos are beautiful, the site is well laid-out and I love the pictorial captchas

 Some improvement could be made by adding a spell check feature, and more user input.  It has great potential, and the more funny people that log on and throw in their two cents, the funnier the site will get.  Overall: A-.  Enjoy a few winners: 

(From previous TOTI / commentary on photoset )

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grand Theft Auto Board Game

Grand Theft Auto Board Game is a Mad TV sketch spoofing GTA the video game. And GTA the lifestyle. I know what you're thinking, Mat TV making something funny, what are the odds? But just give it a try. Check it:

" ... And Phil Collins." That's why this was the best thing on the Interwebs today.  I love random zingers. 

(From my friend TJ)
PS: I'm on vacation, so I'm going to try and keep this going, but the posts will be decidedly more concise.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

With Extra Duck

With Extra Duck is a Flickr photo set of famous paintings with yellow rubber duckies Photoshopped in.  They were uploaded by duck-obsessed London blogger Misty.  She has been adding these since May last year; so far the collection is 44 photos deep and has been viewed 5,866 times. 

My favorite is her take on WF Yeames' 1878 "And When Did You Last See Your Father?" (above).  Mostly because clearly, that was the missing element all along and that child is being interrogated about his wayward rubber ducky.  The contrast between onerous artistic integrity and frivolous pop culture is fantastic. Enjoy a few gems:

(From Metafilter)