Sunday, March 17, 2002

Yet more proof that "American English" often uses the same words as the UK version does, but in very different ways: Bollox : A Game of Strategy and Fun!
posted by Mark 5:13 AM

I have often found myself struggling to work out the time in another part of the world, but since I discovered the World Time Server it has ceased to be a problem. The site provides "the most accurate current local times of any world clock on the Internet. It makes real time adjustments for Daylight Saving Time. No matter what time zone a country or city is located in, this site is your best resource for determining any time, anywhere." Very handy I reckon.
posted by Mark 3:15 AM

This is fantastic fun - an online Identikit Photo Maker where you can have a go at being a police artist. It's a fine piece of programming, and excellent fun to boot. Of course I had a go at doing a mugshot of myself, and the results were surprisingly close (or so Mrs. Wasted tells me). The page also allows you to save the pics you make, so you can have a look and see how I did if you're really bored - just load up the pic called "Obscurion" by Jude. If you make a pic of yourself email me the name, I'd love to see what you all look like...
posted by Mark 2:36 AM

US sends suspects to face torture

"After September 11, these sorts of movements have been occurring all the time," a US diplomat told the Washington Post. "It allows us to get information from terrorists in a way we can't do on US soil."

Yet again, I'm speechless.
posted by Mark 2:12 AM

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Just what I've always wanted - a collection of bizarre signs from around the world America.
posted by Mark 5:01 AM

Saturday, March 09, 2002

The Dance Writing Site is an interesting look at an award-winning method for reading and writing movement. There are lessons available to help you use the system and a load of downloadable books of various dance classics for you to ponder. As you have probably guessed already, I have no idea if it's any use to actual dancers or not; I just enjoyed looking at the stick men doing ballet (well, that's what it looks like to me).

Then I had a look around to see if there were any othe ways of doing this and found loads; I got as far as the Dance Notation Bureau and Action Stroke Dance Notation before I stumbled across this list of dance notation systems and decided there were far too many, and most had no stick men in them at all. I gave up and went back to my more normal watching stick men die in various horrible ways.
posted by Mark 5:13 PM

A long while ago now I linked to this bizarre hat-based animation because it struck me as one of the more surreal things I had seen on the net. It still is, and the fact that I found a translation of the lyrics hasn't helped at all; it still makes no sense. Glue piece of ham, cool, cool.
posted by Mark 4:40 PM

What's wrong with swearing? The Cuss Control Academy can not only explain it to you, they can teach you how not to do it. Apparently if you can control your profanity "you will be perceived as more mature, intelligent, articulate, polite, considerate and pleasant . . . You can choose to have character and class, or be considered rude, crude and crass." While I have no objections at all to anyone swearing their heads off, I do think that anything encouraging people to express themselves a little more clearly deserves a plug. Just don't send the bastards any money.
posted by Mark 4:33 PM

It's nice to know that if you are ever framed for a murder, or find yourself hiding from an angry spouse, or maybe just have a tragically broken heart you still have the option of signing up for the French Foreign Legion. I had no idea this lot still existed, but for some odd reason (none of the above, I assure you) I'm glad it does.
posted by Mark 4:15 PM

Yet again those nice chaps at NASA have given us a cool toy to while away the hours (or maybe minutes) - this one is a 3D map of the orbits and locations of over 500 satellites orbiting the earth. It doesn't really mean much to me with my nonexistent astronomy knowledge, but it really brings home the sheer number of these things there are flying about up there. And it's quite a pretty thing too.
posted by Mark 1:21 AM

Friday, March 08, 2002

Randolphlee McIver might have an odd name, but it doesn't stop him producing some very interesting paintings and sculpture. I really liked the way he uses shaped canvases - it gives the pictures a real sense of physical space.
posted by Mark 3:10 AM

One of the things I appreciate most about the internet is the way that the store of human knowledge is slowly but surely being uploaded - we have access to libraries, museums, news archives and many other data collections in a way no-one has ever had before, and I love it. The most recent addition to my reference bookmarks is The Internet Sacred Text Archive, a "freely available non-profit archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric topics. Texts are presented in English translation and, in some cases, in the original language" (not that this feature is any use to me).

This place is amazingly comprehensive; alongside all the usual suspects you will find documents from and about Mormonism, Confucianism, Jainism, the I Ching, Wicca and Paganism, Shamanism and Zoroastrainism to name but a few. My personal favourites are the sacred stories of the Native Americans and the timeline that lets you see the texts arranged chronologically. A truly fascinating site.
posted by Mark 2:44 AM

A little while ago now a couple of scientists tried adding together all the light in the universe to find out what the overall colour would be. It turned out to be a dodgy greeny-blue that was uncomfortably close to the colour of the default Windows 95 desktop. This brought back far too many unpleasant memories and I tried very hard not to think about it. I mean, how did Microsoft know? It seemed to be a very suspicious coincidence.

However, after discovering an error in the software that helped them translate the colour into the visible spectrum, they realised that the correct colour is in fact the same as my living room walls! This is much better news; I can talk about it now without trembling uncontrollably, but I now find myself wondering why almost every desktop computer ever made is that self-same colour...

I do feel a bit sorry for these guys though, it can't be much fun having to admit to such a public mistake.
posted by Mark 2:01 AM

Friday, March 01, 2002

I know there are a lot of this sort of cultural transposition thing around, and a lot of them aren't nearly as clever as they wish they were, but this one particularly tickled me. Perhaps it's only amusing me because I live among thousands of displaced Glaswegians, and it's not really funny at all. Still, imagine for a moment how different the world might have been if Star Wars was set in Glasgow.
posted by Mark 7:34 PM