January 16, 2009

Bird Strike Mania!

With the evil terrorist birds causing a jetliner to ditch into the hudson river the other day all the news shows have gone BIRD STRIKE CRAZY!!!!. I present my favorite bird strike video from youtube, complete with the audio of the pilots demonstrating their nerves of steel...

Posted by thom at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2008

That Beeping Sound

I'll open webpages and leave them laying around in tabs with the intent of reading them later. As things to be done later tend to do they pile up so I'll have 20 webpages stacked on top of each other at times. One of the webpages apparently features an ad with a cricket chirping. Every 5 seconds, non-stop. I left it running overnight. It's been going for hours now. The Japanese believe crickets are good luck. Or it could be the Chinese, I can't remember. Maybe both. Um, but anyway.... The beeping sound is making me lose my concentration.

Still chirping. Chirping, chirping, chirping...

Posted by thom at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2008

Huh of the Day

Apples, cashews, figs, and strawberries are examples of false fruits. Who knew?

Also, bananas, cucumbers, watermelons, and avocados are false berries while on the other hand tomatoes, persimmons, eggplant, and chili peppers are true berries.

Posted by thom at 12:57 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2008

Cationary Tales

I was doing some last minute surfing before going to sleep and I stumbled across a story about a movie reviewer being sued for giving a movie a bad review. The movie, Forget About It, stars Burt Reynolds and the plot synopsis on IMDB goes thusly:

Three retired war veterans living in a trailer park are vying for the attentions of an attractive female neighbour. When they find a stash of cash in the desert, they start living the high life. The cash is the mobs payroll and the old boys soon have the mafia and the FBI descending upon their idyllic existence.

Sounds like a wild, wacky story, right? It pales in comparison to the story of the making of the movie. It turns out the actor, Michael Paloma, who played the mobster (um, I think, haven't rented it yet) also raised the money to finance the making of the movie. I guess he was researching the part because he raised the money through good old fashioned stock fraud and manipluation just like the mob: a pump-n-dump spam scam. Then to top it off, according to Stephen Eckelberry, the President of Production at Big Screen Entertainment, he then stole the funds meant to pay for the post production of the film. You got to give the guy a little credit: he really immerses himself a part.

Now this is all very interesting and I start googling to find out more details. Mr. Paloma will be sentenced next month. Okay, so I keep poking around. What about the other people involved in making the movie? Are they victims or fraudsters too? This is where things get really weird. I look up the writer of the movie, Julia Davis, on IMDB. Her bio says she is from the Ukraine, is a rocket scientist, is fluent in at least 4 languages, is an accomplished classical pianist, has experience "dealing with all aspects of [film] production, film finance, post production, distribution, government clearances, transportation, visas, military and civilian agencies", has been a stunt double for Angelina Jolie, won "a top model spot in the Fashion Magazine Top Model", then became an Inspector with the Department of Homeland Security, and also "also successfully completed series of tests to become a Naval Intelligence Officer". Oh yes, she "loves to read, designs her own clothes, cares for her family who has since immigrated, continues to develop and write screenplays and is currently working on her first novel."

My instincts tell me I am treading into "I am Elmer J Fudd, I own a mansion and a yacht" territory. But it gets even weirder:

Julia and BJ Davis have been falsely charged with felony crimes and twice imprisoned; the Davis residence has been raided with a Blackhawk helicopter, stormed by twenty-seven ICE Agents armed with assault weapons and ransacked for an hour without a warrant. Prior to the raid, Julia and BJ Davis have been subjected to aerial surveillance with the Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Unit, followed by as many as eight ICE agents at each given time; their medical and insurance records have been inappropriately disclosed by the Screen Actors Guild and voluminous materials have been seized in a warrantless search of BJ Davis' office. Agents Kaufer and Deal falsely accused Julia Davis of being a "Domestic Terrorist" and a convicted murderer, boasted of abusing Patriot Act provisions in "keeping close tabs" on the family, while disclosing highly privileged TECS records and details of FBI investigations to third party civilians and organized crime associates.

The REALLY weird part is, after I kept reading, I don't think she is crazy. If you can believe what you read on the internet. This is so bizarre I am tempted to go fishing around court documents to make sure I'm not crazy for even thinking she isn't crazy.

Posted by thom at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2008

Tuba Trivia

Here we are only hours into the new year and I've already learned something new. The tubas you see played by marching bands aren't tubas. They are Sousaphones. I guess it is a sort of tuba, but different. They are descended from the Hélicon which, ironically, doesn't seem to be a sort of tuba.

Posted by thom at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2007

What Teachers Really Make

More here.

Posted by thom at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2007

Music Day

She's pretty good and I think she is playing "Miserlou" in the first minute or so which caused me to find the following video...

Taimane gives Miserlou an interesting spin on the ukulele. Here's another imperfect Miserlou performance but has a nice energy. And finally, here is a silly version of the song...

Posted by thom at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2007

Fun with Pickles

Posted by thom at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2007

Moment Of Truth

A plain looking cellphone salesman named Paul Potts with a dream to be a great opera singer goes on a talent search reality show. You might expect embarrassment and hilarity to ensue, but you'd be wrong...


Posted by thom at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2007

One Handed Typing

I'm writing this blog entry with one finger. You might think typing with one finger would be tedious but I'm really having a lot of fun. The trick is I'm not typing, I'm dashing. Check out this demonstration and then try it for yourself. (There's a Java version you can play with but the downloadable programs work better) I've been practicing for maybe two hours and have gotten pretty comfortable with it. Sometimes it is a little distracting but when you get into the flow it is amazing. It's not as fast as a keyboard and I don't think it ever will be but in applications without one, like an iPhone, it is better than anything else I can imagine.
Posted by thom at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2007

Music Day

I stumbled across this video of people dancing in public. It's interesting how it seems to threaten authority figures like ushers and security guards and assistant managers. I guess they feel threatened by anything they don't understand — which is pretty much everything.

This is the other video that captured my attention. Apparently it was supposed to be a duet, but his singing partner died before the performance so it became a solo. I find it an amazingly touching performance.

Posted by thom at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2006

Chocolate Detective

A few months ago in my management accounting class we had a group project to start a (hypothetical) business. I had suggested a premium chocolate business. I figured with people dieting they might opt for higher quality if they had to cut back on quanity. I also figured people tended to use price as a heuristic for judging quality — it's expensive so it's got to be good stuff — so our business could get away with a huge markup. We were going to control the provess from begnning to end. Top notch. No corners cut. But then we decided the whole thing was getting too complicated so we decided to make a cigars for rich guys instead.

Apparently two former accountants had a similar idea, except they avoided all the complications by, um, cutting corners. But they got the pricing right: they charge up to $2,080 per pound. The problem is when you charge that much chocolate fanatics get curious. It is a long but fascinating read. It's like Sherlock Holmes, but with yummy chocolate. As an added bonus for the patient reader there are links at the end to find out how to get your $2,080 pound of chocolate for like $20. The downside is after reading it you'll crave the taste of chocolate and wander off to find a Hershey bar, which is where I'm going now.

Posted by thom at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2006

Buzz Job

Okay, I said I wasn't going to post anymore YouTube videos but, as they say, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds so here's another vid:

Posted by thom at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2006

Coloring Outside the Lines

"You meet lots of interesting people on the train. Color them all gray."

Posted by thom at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2006

How to Not Win a Goat

Posted by thom at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2006

Noah takes a photo...

...of himself...


...for 6 years.


The music, which is beautiful and haunting, is by a lovely woman named Carly Comando, who is not Philip Glass.

Posted by thom at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2006

Colorful Illusion

Look at me!

Posted by thom at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2006

Airplanes and Chainsaws

On April 10, at Langley Air Force Base, an F-22 pilot, Capt. Brad Spears, was locked inside the cockpit of his [361 million dollar] aircraft for five hours. No one in the U.S. Air Force or from Lockheed Martin could figure out how to open the aircraft's canopy. At about 1:15 pm, chainsaw-wielding firefighters from the 1st Fighter Wing finally extracted Spears after they cut through the F-22's three-quarter inch-thick polycarbonate canopy.

Total damage to the airplane, according to sources inside the Pentagon: $1.28 million. Not only did the firefighters ruin the canopy, which cost $286,000, they also scuffed the coating on the airplane's skin which will cost about $1 million to replace.

The article is a bit unfair since you can't really blame the firefighters for ruining the canopy when the Lockeed engineers couldn't figure out how to open it. As for scratching the paint, well, they probably did it just to teach the engineers a lesson.

Posted by thom at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2006

My Mind is a Perfect Vacuum

Physicists postulate there is a thing called Vacuum Energy, which is the energy that exist in space even when there is nothing there. According to Einstein mass and energy are equivalent so, even when you have absolute nothingness, there is still something there.

I wonder if the principal applies to blogs?

Posted by thom at 01:19 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2006

Look to the Skies for a Warning

Behold, the first few microseconds of armageddon.

Posted by thom at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2006

The Night the Lights went Out

When the eastern power grid failed, from Ontario to New York City, in August 2003, it revealed something many city dwellers had never seen: from horizon to horizon, a sky full of stars. Then the power came back on.
Posted by thom at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2006

Eating Your Brain

I welcome our new brain parsite overlords.

Posted by thom at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2005

Find The Human

A fellow named Paul English has come up with a voice mail cheat sheet to help you speak to another human being instead of listening to a recording asking you to press some number so you can listen to yet another recording that isn't helpful either. Some of the linked articles are interesting too.

Posted by thom at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2005

Trippy Time

Best Optical Illusion Ever.

Here's something from the "all I wanted was a pepsi" file: It's almost 3am but this was too funny so I have to post it before going to bed.

9 year old argues with his mother on a Xbox Live Clan Match over Chocolate Milk.

There's lots of ways to describe this video, Strange, Scary, "WTF?!!" This video is about some 9-year-old arguing with his mother about Chocolate Milk while playing Xbox Live, and forgetting to turn his Headset off.

Maybe it's just me, but there is something hysterical about a commando arguing with his mom over chocolate milk.

Posted by thom at 02:36 AM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2005

Self Delusions

Sometimes I think, "Yeah, my life is exciting and interesting. Well, semi-interesting at least." Then some guy in a suit comes along and demostrates that, comparatively, my life is boring. Oh well, at least I got a cool desktop picture now.

Posted by thom at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2005

Nerds In Space

You put some nerds in a zero-gravity environment and you know it's going to happen sooner or later: Water Balloons Experiments. Can actual zero-G water balloon fights be far behind?

Posted by thom at 02:17 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2005

Secret Messages from Outer Space

Actually they are from the ionosphere. Well, they bounce off the ionosphere. Don't believe me? listen for yourself.

It's not really our Alien Overlords sending encrypted messages. It's just plain old spooks. It's been going on for over 30 years and I had never really heard about it. The link above does a decent job of explaining it. On the other hand, I spotted this mystery on cheesebikini:

% telnet time.nist.gov 78
Connected to time.nist.gov.
Escape character is '^]'.

P: P: My name is Patsy: and my husband's name is Paul:
We come from Pittsburgh: and we sell Peaches::
$ 0 875 3000 8 1 0 0
Connection closed by foreign host.

It doesn't work now, so I guess we'll never know...

Posted by thom at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2005

Random Life

Here are some randon links I discovered ages ago but never got around to posting. Enjoy...

February 28, 2005

Choo-Choos and Bugaboos

I was looking at cryptography expert Bruce Schneier's weblog today where he talked about a paper titled "High-Pressure Steam Engines and Computer Software. I guess in the 1800's when the steam engine was invented they tended to, well, explode. Given that modern software sometimes explodes (metaphorically speaking) they make the case that something might be learned from how the exploding choo-choo problem was solved. I link to it not because I have read it and think you should read it but because I intend to read it (at some point) and now it won't get lost among the hundreds of things I bookmarked because I intended to read them (at some point) but never seem to get around to because there is always something new to bookmark for later reading.

I have also discovered that there is a website named rent-a-monkey.com but ironically you can't rent actual monkeys from them.

Oooo! OOOOoooo!!! The Mermen have been posing as another band to trick me! Much downloadable goodness.

Posted by thom at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2004

I Dream the Body Electric

By age 60 you will sleep 175,200 hours, dream 87,000 hours with 197,100 dreams so you might want to study up.

Posted by thom at 12:29 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2004

Ancient Chinese Secret

Ever find a strand or two of hair in a meal at a resturant? Gross. Who exactly is shedding back in the kitchen? I used to think people in the food preperation business should be required to shave their heads and pluck their eyebrows just so it will never happen again. Unfortunately, I learned today I may have been unknowingly pouring hair on my meals instead. Next time I use soy sauce I'm looking for "made in America" on the label.

Posted by thom at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2004

The World's Best Ketchup

Howard Moskowitz, a man with a vision, a passion, and a bottle of mushed up tomatoes. The fascinating story of the Grey Poupon of the ketchup world. No, really — fascinating.

Posted by thom at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2004

Two Ringy Dingies

Here is some new motivation to reach out and touch someone.

[via flashcube, the actual soundfile is there too.]

Posted by thom at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2004

A Midget-proof Stonehenge

Is your 18 inch high Stonehenge replica in danger of being trodden upon by a midget? W.T. Wallington has figured out how to solve your problem! Now your Stonehenge replica can be 18 feet tall and weigh many, many tons. He has a video available and is working on moving larger and larger stones. Unfortunately, while he seems to have rediscovered an ancient technology, he hasn't quite mastered the modern ones and his site has a lot of missing images. I haven't shelled out the $20 for the video yet, but I am really tempted to get it and go into the stonehenge building business.

(spotted on All Things Christie)

Posted by thom at 12:40 PM | Comments (1)

July 22, 2004

Buzz Aldrin's Ass

NASA recently released some pictures from the Apollo 11 moon mission (currently slashdotted, mirror). Several of them are beautiful. Others are proof that the astronauts weren't much better than your average tourist when composing their snapshots - as this picture of Buzz Aldrin's ass demonstrates.

Posted by thom at 11:41 AM | Comments (1)

June 08, 2004

Bitstreams and Waveforms

A while back I stumbled across an all-girl synth band called Au Revoir Simone. Yes, the cliches explode in your mind when you read the phrase "all-girl synth band" — I know I'm still wiping off little bits of cliche mush off the inside of my skull. Yet they have something, a dorky innocence perhaps, that appeals to me. The Pony Song is my favorite.

Scott Andrew and the Walkingbirds is described as "apparently some kind of lo-fi, DIY urban acoustic pop and weirdo country thing". I'm still checking out their stuff but it sounds pretty good so far. Plus it's, you know, free...

Mario Systems covers tunes from videogames. Surprisingly (or not) it is pretty interesting. My Faves are The Guardian Legend: "Corridor 1" and Metroid: "Kraid's Hideout"

Bach's Tocata and Fuge in D Minor for the organ was the first CD I ever bought. This isn't the same version, but it is free.

Radiohead has released a silly little ditty. Enjoy.

Posted by thom at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2004


Have you ever been sitting around the lab and said to yourself, "I wish I could mix a few simple chemicals together to produce a fungus-like substance"? Well, you're all set.

Posted by thom at 03:30 AM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2004

Remember Sammy Jankis

We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I'm no different.

Here's the truth: People, even regular people, are never just any one person with one set of attributes. It's not that simple. We're all at the mercy of the limbic system, clouds of electricity drifting through the brain. Every man is broken into twenty-four-hour fractions, and then again within those twenty-four hours. It's a daily pantomime, one man yielding control to the next: a backstage crowded with old hacks clamoring for their turn in the spotlight. Every week, every day. The angry man hands the baton over to the sulking man, and in turn to the sex addict, the introvert, the conversationalist. Every man is a mob, a chain gang of idiots.

This is the tragedy of life. Because for a few minutes of every day, every man becomes a genius. Moments of clarity, insight, whatever you want to call them. The clouds part, the planets get in a neat little line, and everything becomes obvious. I should quit smoking, maybe, or here's how I could make a fast million, or such and such is the key to eternal happiness. That's the miserable truth. For a few moments, the secrets of the universe are opened to us. Life is a cheap parlor trick.

But then the genius, the savant, has to hand over the controls to the next guy down the pike, most likely the guy who just wants to eat potato chips, and insight and brilliance and salvation are all entrusted to a moron or a hedonist or a narcoleptic.

The only way out of this mess, of course, is to take steps to ensure that you control the idiots that you become. To take your chain gang, hand in hand, and lead them. The best way to do this is with a list.

Although members of other species trick one another, humans are the expert self-deceivers: as the best symbol users, the most inteligent species, and the only talkers, we are the only beings accomplished enough to fully fool ourselves.
— Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan

Now, where was I?

Posted by thom at 09:24 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2004

Look What I Found!

Or more accurately, what everyone else found. Now where did my to do list get off to?

I rescued this photo from the lobby of my apartment, where some wayward tenant had left it. An hour later, my landlord — an enormous serb who, like many in our complex, doubles as a buddhist — saw the picture.

"This picture," he said, "reminds me of something you would see in my country."

"In this picture," I said, "I am the mule." My landlord laughed. I continued, "you will notice that the old man who holds the reins also carries a riding crop. The mule is the most stubborn of animals, and the old man has learned that if the reins fail to move the mule, he can always resort to the quirt." I looked at the picture some more. "But i can't figure out who the old man is."

The landlord looked at me, and with his typical serbian solemnity said, "You are both the mule and the old man."

Posted by thom at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2004

Neat and Linear

Oooo, shiny!

Update: Too bad I missed it...

Posted by thom at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2004

The Honeymoon is just Beginning

I'm not sure if I believe this story. If I had to put money on it I'd bet it was some urban legand. If it is true, then I would say it is a great success story for abstinence-only sex education programs. Either way the story has a happy ending: two people discovering marriage is a lot more fun than they thought.

Update: BING! It's a hoax by a nose!

Posted by thom at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2004

How Great Thou Art

Today my neighbor was telling me how I could train a mockingbird to sing Bach. He said it would take a few weeks. Being the impatient Gen X'er I am, I turned to the internet to see if I could find a recording by someone who had two weeks to spare. I didn't find the recording, but I did find this beautiful story (you'll need to scroll down a little to find the story).

I also stumbled across a website full of inspirational stories when I looking for more information about wise King Canute.

Posted by thom at 07:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2004

A Deeper Well

Daniel Lanois is an artist who never ceases to impress me. Thus it's odd that I don't stay current on his projects. Tonight I stumbled across his work with Emmylou Harris. The song Deeper Well has quickly become a favorite of mine. It reminds me of Texas for some reason. We don't get much rain here in SoCal during the summer so I'm going to have to look really hard to find my deeper well.

The sun burned hot, it burned my eyes
Burned so hot I thought I'd died
Thought I'd died and gone to Hell
Lookin' for the water from a deeper well
I went to the river but the river was dry
I fell to my knees and looked to the sky
I looked to the sky and the spring rain fell
I saw the water from a deeper well
Well... Lookin' for the water from a deeper well
Well... Lookin' for the water from a deeper well
Posted by thom at 12:32 AM | Comments (4)

April 27, 2004

Fragile Mysteries

When I moved back to Los Angeles I discovered Joe Frank was no longer on the radio here. Now I know why.

I'm trying to get beyond this sadness, trying to keep busy. I attend concerts and art openings and the spontaneous coming together of flash mobs from online chat rooms. Last week I attended a singles dinner for professionals over 40 given at a trendy restaurant in Brentwood. I've tried male bonding. I've beaten a drum in the woods with middle-aged, balding men and learned that I might be gay. Certainly everyone else was.

I met a nurse through Match.com. Last night she said, "I spend most of my time drawing blood... emptying bedpans... changing dressings... wiping away feces and with a sponge absorbing pus and mucous—not to mention vomit on the sheets that soaks through to the mattress."

"I can't imagine how you do it," I said.

"I like it. I enjoy it. It's very satisfying work. And living in a world of illness and death focuses you on what's really important in life. Your perspective changes. There are so many things that annoy us. Where are my car keys? Am I late with my mortgage payment? Is my boyfriend being abusive? Did that old woman just cut in line in front of me? And I realize these trivial inconveniences of everyday life are a privilege. I welcome them. I say to myself: Ah, the car won't start. Thank God that's my problem, when compared to poor Mr. Jones, a sheet drawn over his bloodless face. And what's left of him now? His stamp collection, his books on African violets, the rugs he bought on vacation in Morocco, the suits he paid so much to have custom tailored in Italy."

"So the present moment is what really matters," I said.

"Yes, our lives are fragile mysteries and the future is unknowable. And every one of us will have to face that portal into nothingness."

She got out of bed, walked over to the window and looked out. "Ahh. Los Angeles at night. It's like being inside the body of a great vibrant beast."

"I think I know what you mean," I said.

Posted by thom at 12:22 AM | Comments (1)

April 08, 2004

Funk Me Up

In keeping with this month's minimalist vibe I will only tell you to go to skeewiff and download everything. Download it all. Download everything.

That is all for today...

Posted by thom at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2004

Mystery Post

I was looking through my weblogs and found I was linked to from a site I didn't recognize. I clicked and discovered it was a trackback from a post I had made here. In it I said:

People who search on Google for any of the above terms is an idiot. Stop being a cheap bastard and pay full retail for your viagra - BE A MAN! For an explaination of this post please click me....

The problem is I can't find it here anymore. I remember posting it but now I wonder if it somehow got lost. Perhaps I just deleted it.

I was also looking at what searches brought people to iba. The first most popular search was for Andy Milonakis. The second were searches for "interesting wallpaper". I also got hits from searches for the following terms:

  • "cannibal abattoir"
  • "proof that monkeys can run a radio station"
  • "ben affleck's address"
  • "terrorists and pork"
  • "marry a monkey late in life"
  • "my spoon's too big"
  • "hotheaded ice borers"
  • "attack bunnies"
  • "dehumanizing job"
  • "interoffice dating statistics"
  • "how to get over a narcissist" (my advice: concentrate on yourself)
  • "mysterious sock"
  • "buy trained monkeys" (Buy? Heck, we're giving them away!)
  • "how to make penguins" (First you find a boy penguin, then you find a girl penguin...)
  • "columbus ohio full frontal nudity" (Is there something going on in Columbus I should know about?)
  • "common questions to ask a magic 8 ball"
  • "what is interesting?" (Certainly not my page.)
  • "abnormal sex positions"
  • "you gotta see this" (See previous item.)
  • "words that start with the letter f" (Um, "flugelhorn"?)

My stats page also told me that 76% of visitors to iba spend less than 30 seconds looking at my page. I feel like a blipvert. I hope no one has exploded.

Posted by thom at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2004


If anticipation means you're waiting for something to happen does cipation mean you're NOT waiting for something to happen?

Posted by thom at 08:39 PM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2004

Mental Stimulation Day

Do you ever worry some hyper-dimensional being will reach inside you and turn you inside out? You should. If that doesn't scare you then you might find the Fourth Dimension Writings of Charles H. Hinton interesting. You might also be interested to read The Life of the Half-a-Bee. The blissful Nuptial Flight is quickly followed by The Massacre of the Males . Now that's scary. Speaking of wee creatures you might want to read a more comprehensive book about the life of crayfishes.

If none of that grabs you then here is something to read to your child.

Posted by thom at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2004

World Wide Wednesday

It is (was) World Wide Wednesday over at Die Puny Humans. You need to send him your picture in order to prove that "the internet is made out of people." I thought that was Soylent Green that was made out of people.

Posted by thom at 03:16 AM | Comments (1)

February 25, 2004

It's Really Simple


Posted by thom at 12:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 19, 2004

Two Too Many

I've recently been re-reading The User Illusion that goes into great depth about the nature of consciousness. The difference between Me and I if you will. I'll write more about it later, but for now I'll simply point out it reminded me of the episode of Star Trek (the next generation) where we learn to our collective horror that there are, in fact, two William Riker's. I shouldn't be so snarky - I actually enjoyed the episode. I guess I just feel a special empathy for nerdy dorks who keep making dumb choices when it comes to romance.

Posted by thom at 03:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 15, 2004

Isaac 'Fig' Newton

I've discovered I have a lot more free time if I just quote people smarter than me instead of trying to think of things to write about.

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

--Isaac Newton

I, on the other hand, tend to spend most of my time at the beach with a stick poking at jellyfish that have washed up.

Posted by thom at 08:09 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 12, 2004

A New Kind of Monkey

I ran across this essay at Jef Allbright's blog that seemed to have something to say about the controversy over Dr. Stephen Wolfram's book A New Kind of Science. Not that I think anyone who reads this weblog will find all this remotely interesting. Heck, even I don't find it terribly interesting - I just have a lingering fondness for monkeys.

UPDATE: Speaking of monkeys...

Posted by thom at 05:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 31, 2004

Dream is Destiny

As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle, being swept along is no longer enough...

The quest is to be liberated from the negative, which is really our own will to nothingness. And once having said yes to the instant, the affirmation is contagious. It bursts into a chain of affirmations that knows no limit. To say yes to one instant is to say yes to all of existence.

Wake up...

Posted by thom at 07:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 26, 2004

Vaguely Interesting by Association

Now that the whole comment spam thing is taken care of iba can get back to normal. Returning to the roots of blogging: Just posting a bunch of lame links that are filling up your bookmarks menu.

  • I ran across 3 Bitchy Chicks when I was trying to solve my MT-Blacklist woes (Carlene was having similar woes). They quote one of my favorite despairisms: "The only consistent feature of all your dissatisfying relationships is you."
  • Voices from the Days of Slavery is pretty damn interesting. Interviews with Americans who were once slaves. Unfortunately it showcases the state of the art of audio recording in 1932. Worse yet, it has to be one of the most poorly designed webs sites I've seen recently. It's good enough for government work, I guess.
  • Gary Marcus has written an article on Making the Mind. Interesting if you're curious about your brain.
  • I loved the movie Fargo but I had never heard the sad story of Takako Konishi. After I read it I got mad about how her story was reported at the time.
  • Learn to use Movable Type.
  • I honestly don't recall how I found the Paris Hilton Video blog, but it includes a complete transcript of the infamous tape which is pretty funny.
  • Cheating has become so commonplace today that it has its own blog: The Cheating Blog.
  • My sister loved playing Monopoly with her little brothers. Mostly because she kicked our asses everytime. Now I have another reason to hate Parker Brothers.
  • Why Weak Links Matter.
  • Right now my entire love life is a Polite Fiction.
  • Yahoo! Research.
  • The smell of model glue brings back so many memories!
  • Time Cube brags that "Google has over 1,000,000 links to Time Cube site" and links to a Google result page with 2,720,000 "links". Sorry, Buddy. The Correct Answer is 180 links. Of course if using BIG FONTS makes you smart then this guy is a GENIUS!
  • If you like reading lots of articles on economics this this is your big day. These guys might be kooks, I'm not smart enough to tell the difference, but at least they are very productive kooks.
  • An Interesting Band.
  • I also stumbled across servlets.com while searching for info on the whole comment spam thing. I haven't really had a chance to look at it yet. Might be interesting, or it might be boring. Probably the latter.
  • I was searching for information about making iTunes do cool stuff with AppleScript and found Doug's AppleScripts. No, I didn't really expect you to find this the slightest bit iinteresting but now it doesn't live in my bookmarks menu anymore so I'm happy.
  • Similar story with this link but at least you can just listen to it. Of course, they talk about Macs and stuff so the entertainment potential might be somewhat limited. I was looking to fun applications for RSS feeds and mp3 files.
  • Common Content is an open catalog of redistributable content.
  • ReasonOnline has a Hit & Run blog-type thing going. I didn't have time to actually read it but a quick scan made me think the writing might be good so I threw it in my bookmarks. And, um, now it's here.
  • Glumbert is another one of those I haven't actually read it type deals. The pictures feature looks pretty funny though.
  • If you're looking for some Movable Type stylesheets then try here or, better yet, here.
  • For Mommies everywhere I now present, for no particular reason, The Mommy Blog.

Are you still reading this? Did you click all those links? There is going to be a quiz on them this friday...

Posted by thom at 11:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MT-blacklist Woes

An error occurred: Can't locate object method "load" via package "MT::PluginData" at /usr/local/apache/cgi-bin/mt/extlib/jayallen/Blacklist.pm line 2878.

A couple of people are getting this error when install MT-blacklist but no one seems to have discovered a fix yet. Neither have I. This is with Perl version v5.6.0 and Movable Type Version 2.64

Time to turn off comments again until I figure this one out...

Posted by thom at 07:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2004

A Nerd in Love


Posted by thom at 12:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2004

IBA Terms and Conditions

I, the operator of this webpage, am setting forth the following legal binding terms of usage for anyone leaving comments here:

  1. Leaving messages for non-commercial purposes is FREE.
  2. Anyone leaving a message advertising another website will be charged $150 PER POST.

By posting a message you acknowledge you are agreeing to these terms. Thank you for your time and your support

UPDATE: After a little whois research I've discovered that my new advertiser is one Mr Jay Kim of 24 Finchley Road, London. Had I had this policy in place when he spammed me this afternoon he would owe me over $30,000US. I'll re-enable comments once I modify them to make sure the interface presents the terms to anyone leaving a comment and forces them to either accept or reject them - in a very legally binding way.

Posted by thom at 03:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2004

Horny Martians

Nasa's Mars rover Spirit has stopped sending useful data to Earth:

At around 0302 GMT on Thursday, the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft in orbit around the planet received a signal from the rover suggesting that its UHF radio was on.

But Spirit was only transmitting "pseudo-noise", a random series of zeroes and ones in binary code and not anything the scientists could decipher.

I think the little spirit has probably decided to go into the herbal viagra business. This is a great moment for inter-planetary commerce. Get yours while supplies last!

Posted by thom at 05:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 17, 2004

Wireless Hell

Mr Pandagon had some thoughts about why businesses should provide free wireless access to customers. I'm part of the crowd that thinks public wireless access is great but isn't willing (even if I was able) to pay an extra 30 bucks a month for it. I've discovered several growing lists but no local businesses here have figured it out yet. I suspect there will be free wireless access in Hell before we get it here.

Posted by thom at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2004


Just whoa! Too bad they didn't have a really big grape. [Spotted at metafilter]

Shattering the greyscale window (like a monochrome buddha).

In other news: I was looking for some action. It was night - late at night.

Posted by thom at 09:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 27, 2003

Do you Feel Lucky?

Well, do ya, punk?

Posted by thom at 01:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fun with your Brain

David was articulate, he was intelligent, not obviously psychotic or emotionally disturbed. He could read a newspaper. Everything seemed fine except he had one profound delusion. He would look at his mother and he would say, "This woman, Doctor, she looks exactly like my mother but in fact she's not my mother. She's an imposter. She's some other woman pretending to be my mother."

David had suffered a brain injury that had brought on a very rare condition called the Capgras Delusion. Neuroscientists study people with brain damage to learn how the brain works. Today I stumbled across The Reith Lectures on the BBC's website. This year's lecturer was neuroscientist Vilayanur S Ramachandran who gives a absolutely fascinating series of talks on The Emerging Mind. The series is available as text and as a RealAudio stream. It includes more details on the effects of David's injury as well as an explaination that will remind you how lucky you are next time you recognize someone you love.

If you enjoy the lecture then you might want to check out one of my favorite books: The User Illusion.

Posted by thom at 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 24, 2003

The Patron Saint of New York

I should be snuggled in bed with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head but I'm not. No, I am up at 3:50am searching for Christmas material for my semi-interesting blog. I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I make in order to bore you. Tonight (well, this morning) I have discovered the story of The Battle for Christmas. It's sort of appropriate given world events. If you're too lazy to read the book then you can listen to an interview with the author (which I found here). It features the song Backdoor Santa so you won't want to miss it. In the meantime I'll be on the lookout for a suspicious bearded guy invading the homeland's airspace.

Posted by thom at 03:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 23, 2003

I Want More

defaultThe Academy-Award© nominated animated short-film tells the story of a lonely inventor, whose colorless existence is brightened only by dreams of the carefree bliss of his youth.

By day, he is trapped in a dehumanizing job in a joyless world. But by night, he tinkers away on a visionary invention, desperate to translate his inspiration into something meaningful.

When his invention is complete, it will change the way people see the world. But he will find that success comes at a high price, as it changes himself, as well.

Go watch More. If you love it as much as I did you can buy it. And if you're willing to pay $14.95 for a 6 minute movie then you'll probably want the T-shirt too.

Posted by thom at 03:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 21, 2003

Ben Affleck's IP Number

While engaged in the sort of careful, intensive research that maintaining the high standards Interesting by Association requires I stumbled across the following touching story:

All lost in a fire
Posted by lil_auc at v90modem72.pyxis.bigsky.net on January 12, 2000 at 01:30:00

Last night my sisters house burned down. She lost all of her possesions and I am still in shock. She is a huge Ben and Matt fan. And of course, all of her movies and pictures she had were burned. And I guess what is the saddest, is that the only thing that she is concerned about right now is the fact that she lost her autographed picture of Ben.

She was in Las Vegas a year or so ago and met Ben. She somehow had gotten his autograph on a picture she had and framed it. And she treasured it. She had bought a frame for it and kept it on her TV stand. She first became an admirer of Ben when he played in an HBO special about a guy on steriods. From then on, she looked for Ben and any movie she saw was coming out, she would go and then buy the movie. Does anyone know where I can maybe buy her an autographed picture of Ben? I looked on the web, but you never know what is true or fake. And I don't want to buy a phony.

Hey Ben, if you are reading this, can you help me out?? I would be glad to pay for it. I just wish her to be happy. And I know if I could get her an autographed picture, it would make her happy. She has done so much for me in my life, helping me out with my boys and bills when I get behind. I even thought about writing the Richard Simmons Dreammaker thing and asking for help. But I thought I would post here first. Thanks for your time.


Ben Responded:

Re: All lost in a fire
Posted by Ben Affleck at adsl-63-193-141-165.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net on January 12, 2000 at 16:26:55
In Reply to: All lost in a fire posted by lil_auc on January 12, 2000 at 01:30:00

I'd be happy to replace the photograph--and I may even be able to dig one up of Matt. Email the board with where I can send it and I will.

Could it be? Might I really be able to contact Ben's personal computer?! I broke out my advanced arsenal of hacker tools to find out...

thom% ping  adsl-63-193-141-165.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net
PING 56 data bytes
[time passes]
--- adsl-63-193-141-165.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net ping statistics ---
13 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss

thom %

Drats. I knew it was too good to be true!

Posted by thom at 11:43 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Fun in my Pocket

I finally found it! "It" in this case is Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (and also Alice Through the Looking Glass) in electronic form. Thank you, Project Gutenberg! A little nerd magic (via Plucker) and now I can carry them around in my pocket and read them whenever I find a spare moment.

I also stumbled across VirtMem which looks like a very good technonerdy blog. While reading his page I suddenly got an urge to buy Apple Computer stock and I discovered a really useful tool. While poking around I found a great word: euphobia. It is a great name for a blog.

My apologies for not really doing a lot of writing about my inner thoughts recently. Lately my inner dialog looks something like this:

"What do you want to do?"

"I dunno. What do you want to do?

"I dunno..."

So it hasn't been very interesting. I plan to do some serious soul searching in January so hang on for a few more days

Posted by thom at 06:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2003

Mathematical Hygiene

I've written before about mathematics and philosophy. Today I stumbled across an application I hadn't anticipated. The article's author sums up the life lesson to be learned:

I think there's a lesson here for anyone who stumbles across an undiscovered part of the universe and tries to claim it as his own. You can presume to hold on tight and never let it go, clenching up your retentive grip with constipated determination. But in the end, your "creation" will rightly return to nature's anarchy with a victorious plop, leaving you to wipe yourself clean of any residual pretensions.
Posted by thom at 11:38 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003

Old News

This is why politicians don't like the Freedom of Information Act

Posted by thom at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 15, 2003

What time is it on Mars?

I know. Do you?

If you have kids and are looking for a fun way to get them interested in computers I suggest taking a look at Breve. It makes it relatively easy to do all sorts of fun things and comes with several interesting demos. One lets you watch walking robots evolve, and another simulates a flock of birds. Fun stuff.

Posted by thom at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2003

International Vampire Meetup Day

I signed up on meetup.com today only to discover International Vampire Meetup Day is only 2 days away! (Not to be confused with International Teen Vampire Meetup Day 4 days later). I decided to find out where the local vampires hung out so I could avoid meeting up with one who might vant to suck my blood. This is what I found out:

Not enough Vampires near Pomona-Claremont, CA can make it, so this month's Meetup is cancelled. Click the button below to join this topic, and we'll sign you up for next month.

What a relief!

Posted by thom at 09:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2003

Musical Interlude

Well, it's not really musical. Actually it's a lot of words. But they are good words - interesting words. Words about music and life from the guitarist of my favorite band.

Posted by thom at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

An Odd Day

The Oddtodd production of A Day in the Life would be really, really funny if it weren't so damn accurate. The Helped Wanted and Annual Report episodes are great (and also disturbingly accurate) too. All his stuff is really funny. I can't wait for more episodes in the Laid Off series. His 'DAILY FACT I LEARNED FROM THE TV' feature includes gems like this:

I found out tonite that Girl Scouts in Alaska are going beyond selling cookies and learning how to stitch or whatever. The girl scouts in Alaska are learning how to trap, kill, and skin beavers. I guess they're earning badges when they snag one with a nice pelt or whatever. When girl scout Allison Becker was asked to comment she said, "The beavers have been bothering us for years. Building dams wherever they want and taking our wood. We feel it's important to teach them a lesson." Then she turned toward the woods and yelled, "You hear me, buckos?! It's time to pay the piper!" When Bobby Hembreicht, 10, Boy Scout from Pack #134 was asked to comment on the Girl Scout situation he said, "Big deal! Girls are gross and beavers are gross too! And smelly..."

I couldn't have said it any better, Bobby. Anyway, I guess it's almost time to take a 20 minute Power Nap. I'll post more after that.

Posted by thom at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 13, 2003

A Mess-o-Links

A bunch of links have been piling up in my bookmarks. I really, really wanted to say something clever and witty about each one but my brain just isn't up to the task today.

Posted by thom at 03:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 12, 2003

A Musical Interlude

I was poking around mp3.com tonight. I had discovered a lot of good music there in the past and hoped I might stumble across some new gems. A few years back the major record labels sued them, won, and took them over. I discovered tonight it has become a vast wasteland of mediocrity.

defaultOne artist I discovered there is still around: Paul Thorn. There are two great songs, Where Was I? and Ain't Love Strange, available for downloading and you'll regret it if you don't. He used to have more songs up there but I guess those days are gone. Paul is a great songwriter and I can't say enough good things about him. Musicians like to say they've "paid their dues" but in Paul's case those dues include stepping into the ring with Roberto Duran. As Paul puts it, "He was very nice until the bell sounded."

Anyway, go check out his official web site and enjoy his music. While you do that I'll try to get some sleep.

Posted by thom at 02:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 06, 2003

SoCal in a Syringe

I saw a story on the business channel the other day about a new drug, Eiptan. It is a drug that will help you lose weight, make you tan, and increase your libido. If it works the Southern California tourist business could be in serious trouble. There is also the risk of slim, tan and horny Epitan addicts roaming the streets committing crimes for a fix. Malibu Barbie's version of crack.

Posted by thom at 01:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 02, 2003

The Importance of Setting Goals

Sometimes I wonder if I should shave it off, but now I know my beard's destiny: It must enter The World Beard and Moustache Championships. Everyone has to have goals - even my beard.

UPDATE: I was looking at the website and discovered this must-have t-shirt. It features a picture of the winner in the "freestyle goatee" category. I cannot rest unless I possess one. The 2004 calendar or The coffee table Moustache Book are also perfect gifts for that special someone thinking about entering the world of Competitive Facial Hair.

Posted by thom at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 31, 2003

Beware the Ants of Fire

We recieved a warning from the California Department of Food and Agriculture about the dangers of these nasty little buggers. As long as we can keep THEM! away from the nuclear waste we should be okay.

Posted by thom at 01:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 28, 2003

The Sun Explodes

I hate to just post stuff from Metafilter two days in a row but this is interesting (by association even):

TV and the Hive Mind

64 years ago this week, six million Americans became unwitting subjects in an experiment in psychological warfare.

In other news, you might want to look for some auroras tonight. Alternatively you could stay inside and watch a movie (or a blue movie or or two).

Ooooo! Pretty!

I also find it comforting to know the the Enterprise (of Star Trek fame) has been flight tested to Mach 5. Interesting, but the Real Mach 5 is way cooler.

Posted by thom at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2003

Just because you're Paranoid doesn't mean it's not Art

Spotted on MetaFilter:

Mark Lombardi created art out of the stuff of conspiracy theories. Following the money trails, he was just completely fascinated by connections, how one thing led to another, how the C.I.A. would back a coup in Australia, someone would be murdered in Turkey and things would happen in Indonesia." Some of his work here and here, and more about his work here. His drawings satisfy because they address a human need for coherent order drawn from chaos. Such a need, however, is bound to be frustrated. Instead of blueprinting perfection, the works' aura of mastery arises in the context of a sprawling dystopia.

I haven't flown enough lately to develop Deep Vein Thrombosis but I still like this idea.

Posted by thom at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2003

Something by Association

Do you ever wonder what else you can do by association?

Posted by thom at 08:53 AM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2003

Great! What does it mean?

One of my all-time favorite movies is finally becoming available on DVD.

Posted by thom at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)