Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In these days of high(ish) gas prices many people are considering ways of using less fuel while commuting. With some obvious exceptions a Diesel gets better mileage than a gas motor and motorcycles are some of the most efficient vehicles of all. What was that? What were to happen if were to combine those two ideas?

Someone crazier than you already did it. Nice try, Edison.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Presenting Sin Destroyers - the world's Christianest rock band.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The very best kind of satire is that which takes something that's just begging to be parodied and tweaks it slightly. By this measure, The Onion once again delivers in spades.
Educate-Yourself.org is a free educational forum dedicated to the dissemination of accurate information in the use of natural, non-pharmaceutical medicines and alternative healing therapies in the treatment of disease conditions. Free Energy, Earth Changes, and the growing reality of Big Brother are also explored since survival itself in the very near future may well depend on self acquired skills to face the growing threats of bioterrorism, emerging diseases, and the continuing abridgement of constitutional libertie

The ironically-named "educate yourself" website aims to be the one-stop portal-slash-clearinghouse for all your crackpot nonsense needs. And, by estimation, it succeeds. It's an odd mixture of stuff, to be sure, combining, as it does, such diverse craptacular subjects as UFOs, "chemtrails", colloidal silver (the substance that turned Montana Libertarian US Senate candidate Stan Jones blue), the New World Order and many more.

In this regard, it seems some parts of the site seem to bear the hallmark of the particular kind of weak-mindedness and doughy-headed "thinking" called New Age, other parts seem to embrace the paranoic ramblings of the John Birch Society, and still other parts engage in the messianic spoutings of Christian fundamentalism. All-in-all, it is an interesting - in a clinical sense - study of the machinations of people outside the "reality-based community".

Friday, November 25, 2005

So now they have a formula to calculate the prescription strength of beer googles. Perhaps they can use the same kind of thinking to figure out how fast you can travel on your beer scooter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I love you...

...you love me! Let's all get together and sing about Biggie!
Green DayDean Gray presents American IdiotEdit. - a mash-up not to be missed.
Xtreeeeme paper models.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Babar? Is that you?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Monday, November 14, 2005

Guy: Yo, that Hamburgler's a scary motherfucker, 'cause you never know what that nigga be sayin'. He be all "robble robble robble robble" and shit!

People say the damnedest things (Example comes from the first link)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

And now from Penis Land...

Poorly choosen domain names.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Presenting, for your consideration:

The Adventures of Dr McNinja


Things To Do When You're Bored

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Panexa - it's good for what ails ya.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Confessions of a Crypto-creative Geek

As a dedicated Mac guy and inveterate iLife and Photoshop Elements hacker, I sometimes like to engage my right brain and "do stuff" with the audio, video and music capabilities of those products.

Recently for example, I've been playing with the so-called "artistic filters" in Photoshop and I've been particularly enamored with the "cutout" and "watercolor" filters. The effect of both filters are easier to demonstrate than to describe:

Pretty cool, huh?

I've also turned videotapes of the kids into DVDs, complete with navigation menus, transitions, effects, music and so on. I volunteered my services at work the other day to produce some company-internal videos. The guy I was talking to said "How are you going to do that?" I told him I'd bring in my DV camcorder, shoot some video, then edit it at home. "Oh," he said, "Mac guy, huh?".

Last of all, and, for those who know me, most improbably, I've been dinking with GarageBand and Rax. GarageBand is the now-legendary easy-to-use studio application that comes with iLife, and Rax, a "virtual audio rack" that you plug software instruments and effects into. When we first got the Mac, we bought the kids an M-Audio Keystation 49e MIDI controller to play with, so I used that and "composed" a little four-note jingle to use on company podcasts (if you think four notes does not a jingle make, David Dundas and Channel Four might have something to say about that), and overlaid it with my voice which I recorded with a cheap Shure 8900 mic and a Griffin iMic USB audio adapter.

When I was trying to come up with a jingle, I just waited until I sort of "heard" the kind of thing I was after in my head, and, not really knowing the first thing about music, just sort of poked keys on the Keystation until I got it approximately right. Then I used the stave editor in GarageBand to slide the notes around until it sounded good. Over that, I looped a beat and added a final high note that fades out gently to sort of bring the thing to a close. I'm actually quite proud of it.

Audio logo

I figured I might also want some stripped-down versions to use as bumpers in between segments on a podcast. GarageBand's software instruments are really nice. Check out the modulation on the final note in the acoustic guitar version, or the audible key "thump" on the grand piano.

Acoustic guitar
Upright jazz bass
Grand piano