bookmark_borderAmy Ray, Vince Gill and Carlos Reutemann walk into a bar…

Unrelated. Please disregard

Oh dear me. I went out to pick up some mulch for the yard, but forgot my list, so I bought 200 pounds of grappa instead.  Then somehow the days flew by.  Enjoy these links from the last couple of weeks while I do something about this beard!

• This is indexr.  You just drop it into a directory on your Web server.  Whenever you drop anything else into that directory, it creates a nice link to that thing on a nice page.  If the thing you drop is an image, indexr also makes a thumbnail.  It’s pretty sweet.

• A gallery of the images used to indicate an anonymous poster on various sites.  Better than it sounds. (probably via MeFi).

• PCWorld article on what ink printer is the cheapest to run.  My suggestion is NEVER buy a printer that uses liquid ink, unless you have a professional requirement for it (By “professional” I don’t mean “you wear a tie to meetings.”  I mean “this piece of hardware makes you more money than it costs you.”)

• An excellent article on “The New Value of Text.”  The upshot here is the same as it has always been: Pouring shiny technology on things does not make them better things.  What we need is more better ideas, more better writing, more better thinking. There is not an app for that.

• This article is specifically about posters for scientific conferences, but most of it applies to poster design in general.  Also, it’s well-written and funny. Worth reading. (probably via MeFi).

• Do you remember a couple-few years ago, when goofy folks started talking about how you could get by with like, three hours of sleep a night and then a few short naps?  That wasn’t the first time that people have been gulled into the idea of polyphasic sleep (that means “a bunch of chunks of sleep instead of one or two big sleeps”).  Here is a great article by an actual scientist who actually knows how the brain works and studies sleep and memory. It does a great job of explaining what we know about sleep so far, how to make it work better for you, and why polyphasic sleep Just. Won’t. Work.

• Flux Machine is a tumblr of pleasingly creepy gifs.  You love them.  Admit it.

bookmark_borderThe Secret Links of Adrian Zmed (Aged 57)

Beefy beef is the best beef

• Here is the answer to one of the great questions of the world:  Do big cats like catnip?

• Happiness is simple: Acquire shelled nuts (I prefer low salt mixed), dump them in a container with a lid.  Fire on a goodly whack of smoke seasoning (available online here or here, or if you live near a Trader Joe’s, they sell grinders of South African Smoke Spice).  Put the lid on, and shake to mix.   Try not to eat them all at once, I dare you.

• Have you ever tried to build a greenhouse?  It’s a pain innit?  You’ve got to build the thing, keep it fairly clean, keep the bugs out and the warmth in, and replace all the glass if I remember you have one late on a Saturday night…
Or you could just warm the SOIL instead of a huge mass of AIR.  Which is what this clever fellow over here did. Now, he went completely tech with the idea–not only does he maintain a constant soil temperature, he also rigged up a lid that closes automatically when the air temperature goes below 41.5 F.  That’s pretty slick, but not completely necessary, if you have legs and hands. (via Hackaday)

• A bit late posting this, but if you are the sort of person who spends a lot of time on clever ways to game Search Engine Optimisation, you probably just wasted a lot of time on clever ways to game Search Engine Optimisation.  Not that you probably weren’t wasting your time anyway.

• Here are two great posts by JWZ:

1) Timing is everything, and this might not be the time. There is new fibre backbone between Japan and the UK.  It cost about 1.5 billion real dollars.  Of course, it was put in with public for the good of the whole world, right? HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Yeah. That’s TOTALLY what it’s for.

2) You have iPhone. You use iPhone for boarding pass.  You probably have a security problem.  There is a slick solution in the comments though.

• This is an  excellent piece on sensation inflation–the need to make a story more spectacular or personal than it already is, in order to get broader attention. (I can NOT remember how I found this, so I am being a jerk and not attributing that)

• The Daily Mash is sort of a British version of the Onion, only meaner.  They usually crack me up about five times a week.  I scared the cat with how loud I laughed at this article:  Diet industry and homeopaths to collaborate on biggest load of bollocks ever.

• Did you know that you can tell Google to block any site you want from your search results?  It’s true–they do a lot more than photograph people through their windows over there at the Googles!

• And finally, have you ever been called into work when you just weren’t dressed for it?  Happened to these guys. (via Metafilter)

bookmark_borderLinks for Richard Burton (not THAT Richard Burton)

No, THIS Richard BurtonHey–you look stressed. Maybe calm down. Breathe a while. Think of how much better your life is, thanks to the efforts of the Cat Scientists of the 60’s (via Boingboing).

I am really enjoying JWZ’s posts about the Annual Gathering of People Playing Those Goddamn Awful Short-Scale Fender Basses, which somehow ends up with the acronym “SXSE.”  It’s a funny old language, isn’t it?

If you take a lot of pictures of things close-up, or you would just like a consistent background (perhaps you sell stuff on Etsy, or you are just really proud of your awesome Gundam paint jobs), you might like this Instructable on how to make an overhead camera mount. The person who wrote the Instructable calls it a “Tripod,” but a tripod has three legs. That’s why it’s called a tripod.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to go to the trouble of building all that, you might want to know that there’s a lot of old drum hardware out there with the same thread on the end as a camera mount.  And old drum hardware can be had cheaply–almost as cheaply as old drummers.  Cymbal stand. Bewm. Job done.

WHAT? It’s THAT easy to make caramel?  Oh no!  This means that I am probably going to die from caramel! (via Lifehacker)

The Turkish Football Association banned flares from football matches. This was a problem, because Turkish football fans really like bringing flares to matches.  This lead to what must be the most epic troll of the year. (via MetaFilter).  The link explaining Rage Faces from a previous post of mine might come in handy for some of you here.

This is quite an excellent piece on E.B. White and the problems with sponsorship in media. It’s on Brain Pickings, of which I am becoming a bigger fan by the day.


bookmark_borderBeware the Links of March

It has a very nice personality

According to this article, 51% of the traffic on the Internet is non-human. That must include whatever the hell comments on YouTube and news stories. (via /.)

Rightclearing is an organisation through which you can make your music available for licensing, or find music to use in your project, license it, and be on your way very quickly. This is a neat idea.  I haven’t read through the site completely yet, but I like the concept a lot.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking.  Is this some kind of sick joke?  This just gets better and better! (via Metafilter)

These little desktop speakers in mason jars are just incredibly cool.  Space for you to bitch about the sound quality for playing back mp3s from your phone is provided between these two lines:|| (via Howtogeek)

Man.  Is copyright ever broken.  Dude writes book, publishes it in 1937.  75 years later–and almost 30 years after the dude died–some jerks threaten legal action against a pub themed on that book. And they can get away with it.  Because copyright is broken.

Took me a while to get to this one, but it’s still worth noticing:  Some retailers have realised that being extremely annoying does not help sales, and have reduced the number of emails they send customers,  Note: This does not include The Gap.  We signed up one of my spam-only addresses to their list and get a desperately clingy amount of email from them.  Like, so much that you would swear you can smell wine coolers and clove cigarettes and hear Joni Mitchell when another message arrives.  I’d unsubscribe, but I’m afraid they’ll boil our rabbit or something. (via Consumerist)

Despite the fact that I seem to link to a lot of stories about how bad e-books are, I actually have nothing against them at all.  In fact, I think that they are a good idea for a lot of people.  Oh, by the way–here’s another article about what sucks about e-books right now

bookmark_borderLinks for the Return of the Oystercatcher

Holy crap!  Did you see that? The entire Internet just went by!  (via BoingBoing)

I am interested in this hugelkultur gardening business for many reasons.  Where I live, it rains heavily, and then not at all for periods of time. We also have a lot of crap trees that have to be removed and then something needs to be done with them.  My yard has a really dumb slop to it at one end that makes it pretty much useless. I HATE watering stuff.  I hate having a lawn.  I like the idea of not stooping over to work on stuff. Yup.  This is an interesting idea.

You know when the cool Int4rneb kids make a funny using a cartoon face, but you don’t get it because you don’t know what the face means, so you are all like “Derp?”  Here is an article that explains to you what those faces mean, sort of. (via Boing Boing)

I have been thinking of trying out YWriter, because it sounds like a great idea.  Basically, it’s a word processor that allows you to move and rearrange chunks of text much more easily than most. And it’s free software.  It’s only made for Windows, which means I might have to actually start up a Windows machine though. Dunno if I have any of those that work. Say, I know–YOU should stry YWriter, and then tell me if it’s any good.  Yes.  I like that idea.

They don’t recycle glass bottles where I live (Where do I live? Apparently, I live in the 1980’s). And for some reason, they have outlawed the second most popular thing to do with glass bottles where I live (get drunk and throw them as high as you can).  Luckily, there are a lot of cool project-y things you can do with old bottles. You can make them into drinking glasses or storage vessels, light fixtures or art pieces.  But really, none of those things are as cool as this method for cutting glass bottles with string and fire and household chemicals.  (via Lifehacker)

I don’t normally care about Precision basses, but Oh Boy Is This One Cool!

bookmark_borderJeanette Schmid’s Birthday Links

The problem with Facebook is that it makes me lazy.  I’m getting back on track…Little Squares Of Excellence

wtfqrcodes is extremely entertaining.  (via JWZ)

Here is an interesting piece about books and e-books and things related. It is worth reading. I always run up against the same issue whenever I read about “the evolution of books” that I run into when I read about the “evolution” of nearly anything:  The idea that there is a single endpoint–that things are all heading in one direction, towards one perfect solution, and all previous evolutions will be supplanted by it.

This is just silly.  Books–flat dead trees in a wrapper–are still the best format for certain things.  The fact that there are other formats doesn’t change that.  The very people who are creating these new formats for content state that reading a plain-old paper book is a completely experience from what they do.  And that experience has both unique benefits AND faults, not just faults.

There are still monkeys.

I have no explanation for this link with cats in it.  I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it is, but luckily, you can barely hear the vocals.

Pricenomics is trying to be a reference site for everything being sold online. The idea is that this will save you having to check eBay or Craigslist for the price of whatever you want to buy.  I didn’t find it much easier or quicker to use than doing that, but YMMV.

I wish I had seen this Instructable on how to strip and tin wires one-handed a long time ago.  It is brilliant.



bookmark_borderFirst links of 2011!

Right then. A new year, a new commitment to the very best in links you didn’t know you couldn’t live without!

Did you resolve to start podcasting this year?  Because if you did, I would like to ask one of two favours of you. The first is:  Don’t.

But if I can’t talk you out of this, then my second favour is PLEASE DON’T SUCK AT IT.  And to that end, here is a pretty good starting-out kind of article about how to record simply on a computer with perfectly good software that does everything you need for basic recording, and doesn’t cost anything.

Now, I know you’re going to just roll your eyes and go buy something that says “ProTools”  on it (because “everyone uses Protools”), and that’s perfectly OK, because you’re only going to do about three podcasts before you run out of steam anyway.  I just thought I should mention this so that I could say “I told you so” later.

(What you just read was clever reverse psychology–I’m trying to get you all lathered up so that you do this well in order to teach me a lesson.  You’re welcome)

Of course, now that you are a big-time recording pro, you will need plug-ins to make noises and music and such.  And look–Brambos is giving away all their archived plug-ins and audio apps!  Some of these I know are good, because I used to use them, back when I was still using the Greasy Kid Stuff ( Oh yeah–pretty much all of these only work on Greasy Kid Stuff).

While you are getting your music geek on, why not build your own bad-ass fuzz (and I mean FUZZ) effect pedal?  Or even cooler, a tape delay out of old cassette decks?

Holy Moly does the Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival ever look bee-yoo-ti-ful!  From a distance.  Sitting somewhere warm.  Lovely.

I am thinking of making one of these groovy bi-directional rotating hypno-disks! If only there was some way I could convince myself to do it…

And finally, here is some old news story about Mods, but more important than whatever socio-economic fiff-faff they are babbling about, it contains some live footage of the Who in 1965, starting at about 2:30.  And for those of you wondering who this “Les Mods” is that they keep talking about, he was the original flautist in the Small Faces.

Spam sez “Freedom to Smoke

bookmark_borderLinks, continued

As I mentioned before, Bloglines (the online RSS aggregator site I used for years) is shutting down.

Standard netdud behaviour (Do as I say, not as I do!) led me to have about 450 saved links in Bloglines, and I am trying to get as many out of there as I can before the whole shebang gets lost.  I will admit that I am looking forward to having a lot of these links just go away, so I won’t have to decide whether they are interesting.  I will attempt to post the most useful and most useless in this blog from time to time.

Some of these might be old, but it is amazing just how much information wasn’t created in the last 48 hours, eh?

Who better to explain the brain than John Cleese? (YouTube)

– Looking for just the wrong image to reflect your company or interest group?  Search no more.  It’s tough to pick a winner, but at least it gave me an idea for my Hallowe’en costume.

– While I am putting that together, please buy me this  awesome table that turns into a cool fort!

– I will hide in there and eat all the tasty yoghurt I just made.

– And before you go, don’t forget to tie your shoes!

Spam sez “Half of businesses have no website (is this you?)

bookmark_borderlinks, more

Hey!  Did you ever want to remove your personal information from a stink-ton of information brokers and distribution services and stuff?  Because this huge list might be useful for that kind of thing.

Jigazo is a cool idea!  It’s a jigsaw puzzle, but instead of putting it together to make a particular picture, you can put it together to create a picture.  I could explain that better, but why?  All you need to do is follow the link and it will all be clear. (via several sites a couple of months ago)

This is from a while ago as well, but awesome.  In the UK, they have an equivalent to the Do-Not Call list.  It’s illegal to phone spam people, and illegal to call with a recording, and a few other things that only dickheads do are also illegal.  But there are still people out there who will phone solicit illegally.  One such company started illegally calling a bunch of numbers which were owned by an ISP.  And they started calling those numbers a lot.  So to stop this, the fellow who runs the ISP set up 4 MILLION lines, all of which were not assigned to anyone, to play a clever recorded message if they were called.  The message is three minutes long, and it loops.

The idea was simply to keep the spamming weasels on the phone with recordings as much as possible.  That way, they make no sales, and thus no money, and go do something else, like lie in a puddle.  It seems to have worked, and here’s a page from his very entertaining blog in which he talks about this, and supplies a couple of recordings of the thing in action.

Do you like the audiobooks?  Do you like the free stuff?  Here’s a list that incorporates both of those terms! (via The Consumerist)

GAME TIME! (this will be old news for most casual gamers, but let’s see if we can wreck a few more lives) I freely admit that I am a complete sucker for Flash games.  Mostly tower defense kinds of things. I will waste hours on them. It got so bad that I have blocked the domain on my router.  That was the only way to stop.  But if you like the Flash games, and you have better impulse control than me (ie you are old enough to read this), Kongregate is a nicely-organised site.  NOTE:  I have not been there since GameStop bought Kongregate.  If there has been suckage, please let me know.

I highly recommend the whole series of Protector games.  They are sort of tower defence-ish, in that you set up your dudes around a path, and then bad guys come down the path, and your dudes attack the bad guys. Once you figure out how all the skills work, they are a great way to waste your life.   Or if you like things a bit more straight-forward, Desktop Tower Defence is the evergreen of excellence.

And finally, a very large site full of public domain images and clipart, mostly from old storybooks, with many arranged by artist.  This is just great.

Spam sez “Update your kitchen with new cabinets

bookmark_borderLinks, many

Now that I am blogging again, I get to start throwing out all the links I’ve stored up over the last year or so.

Some of the best music you will ever hear about a breakfast cereal -From WFMU

Any lame kid can have a toy that lets you build stuff, cool kids have a toy that lets you implode stuff.

Here.  Make a wallet out of paper.   Then point me at a link to something like it that will just hold cards.  I use a money clip for foldin’ money.  Because I am cool.

This is a site about Japanese whiskey.  And that is as cool as it gets.

This, on the other hand, is how to make an alcohol stove out of a beer can and a penny. And that gets pretty hot.

How-to Geek has nice simple instructions on how to send text messages to phones via email, along with lists of gateways and links to more.

If you are a certain kind of nerd, you might find this post on the etymology of video game names pretty darn interesting.  If, on the other hand, you are the sort of person who said “WTF etymology?”  here is a character page about Ham, the Weather Wizard.

Spam sez “Web-teasers for your brain