September 1999 Archives

September 30

My car gets ten rods to the hogshead and that's the way I like it! I love how we stubborn Americans just flat out refuse to adopt the metric system; the mars orbiter blowing up cost us $125 million.
posted by mathowie at 6:47 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 29

This cool tool grabs Wired News headlines and randomly assembles them into phrases of marketing-ese. Here's a good example: 'Savvy middleware is wiring the planetwide medium of the hyper village.'
posted by mathowie at 11:45 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

I've never heard of James Kochalka until a weblog pointed at his stuff. His comics look pretty funny, but I'm really enjoying his music, especially the stuff from the Monkey vs. Robot disc. This guy rocks.
posted by mathowie at 10:57 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Fray's Gregory Alkaitis-Carafelli has a really elegant site that I feel should inspire anyone.
posted by tdecius at 7:29 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Hack Furby. 'Nuff said.
posted by tdecius at 7:28 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

This is the kinda hokey official Web site of Whitman Mayo, the actor who played Grady in Sanford and Son. Conan O'Brien made a big deal about this guy a little while, and not without a touch of Conanistic sarcasm.
posted by tdecius at 7:28 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

This looks really cool. It's a six-shooter potato canon. Rapid fire, the advert says. Cool.
posted by tdecius at 7:26 PM PST - 1 comments

September 28

Absinthe is one of the craziest liquors known to man. Made from a poisonous root in the Czech Republic, it's linked to the bizarre behaviour of Van Gogh and even Rimbaud. Still ready to get wasted? Read the Absinthe FAQ.
posted by tdecius at 3:58 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 27 This is sooooooo not Razorfish...
posted by mathowie at 10:38 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Yet another story on geeks having a form of autism. This one sounds a bit farfetched, it's almost as if someone made up a syndrome for all the classic geek 'symptoms.' I know a lot of geeks with an amazing capacity for empathy, in fact I think geeks understand human suffering more than the average joe because much of their childhood is spent being tormented.
posted by mathowie at 8:08 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 26 a new online pharmacy has launched an interesting concept. Within their 'charter' phase, anything you buy, you will be able to buy that item at that price for life. Also if you buy that item later on, you will get free shipping on your order... greate concept but it might bankrupt them...
posted by efader at 2:05 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Dismember Me Elmo. Funny.
posted by tdecius at 8:20 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

I really don't see the point in beenz, the so-called Web currency. It seems like a banal attempt to make sites sticky through the same old crap.
posted by tdecius at 8:19 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 24

I really enjoy having a friend like Magnus. Last night, as a joke, I made an open diaryland site, a takeoff on Openlog, the open site. I told Magnus about it and he wrote a great entry in about five minutes.
posted by mathowie at 4:18 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment is pretty cool. Check out this entry for a Sony Walkman. Like, this site compares prices of a product from several outlets. What this site does that the other don't is graph the price trends of each item over time. Looks like I should wait to buy that walkman until the price comes down...
posted by mathowie at 11:05 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

This is one of the stupidest company ideas I've seen in ages. At work yesterday, this company 'Ad Car Us', spammed everyone's car windsheild with a note asking if you'd like to get paid to carry their bumpersticker. If you go to their site, you can see sample images. This is really stupid. Pay people a few bucks to make their cars look ridiculous, what a great revenue model kids.
posted by mathowie at 10:29 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 23

Dontcha hate it when something like Winamp gets bought out by AOL? It crashes a bit too much on my home system so I went looking for alternatives and was glad when I found FreeAMP (it's GPL'ed to boot!). Take the high road, use the mp3 player that guarantees no AOL buyouts on your desktop.
posted by mathowie at 10:36 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

On a nearly daily basis, new billionaires are made in stock swaps and mergers. Today it's Earthlink and Mindspring becoming one. Suddenly a couple of minor leage national ISPs might be powerful enough to take on AOL. I just hope I don't have to hear Sky Dayton's radio commercials anymore...
posted by mathowie at 1:32 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

When you're famous and depressed, try to cheer up, because anything write down is worth money. Check out Michael Jackson's suicide note, part of an impressive and equally morbid collection at Startifacts.
posted by mathowie at 11:04 AM PST - 1 comments

Andrew's launched This is the same person that brought you, he's making easy web interfaces for all those things that people usually learn HTML for. It looks pretty cool for people just starting out. So he's done weblogs, and now diaries, I wonder what's next?
posted by mathowie at 9:43 AM PST - 1 comments

September 22

The LA Times is working on a new look. My first impression is 'huh?' I know they contracted out Frog Design, which usually does good work, but have these guys ever tested this on anyone? It's over 700 pixels wide, the custom tabs on the left take up half the screen space, leaving little for articles (and taking all the focus away from the news). Why would you go to a Newspaper site, but for news? I hope this is an early beta, because it needs work.
posted by mathowie at 9:45 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The International Webmasters Association and the World Organization of Webmasters are two growing groups of Web types. It's really amazing how duplicitous and useless these kinds of groups are, when compared to the HTML Writers Guild.
posted by tdecius at 6:44 PM PST - 1 comments

The Internet FAQ Consortium is a goldmine of information. The highlight of the site is the Internet RFC/FYI/STD/BCP Archives.
posted by tdecius at 6:42 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

George Takei's official Web site is kinda neat. One can buy Sulu stuff, too.
posted by tdecius at 6:40 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

This site is one of the most extensive flash sites I've ever seen, especially for a personal site. I admit that 90% of it is window dressing, and the transitions between sections are a bit long, but the amazing artwork makes up for it. I didn't think a lot of the effects used on the site were even possible in flash.
posted by mathowie at 12:22 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 21

I can't wait for the new version of Shaft to come out. It should be pretty cool. Richard Roundtree played a pretty good badass in the original, but other than that it was pretty comical. Rent it and listen to the lame dialouge the writers came up with.
posted by mathowie at 7:58 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Those following British politics know that there is a serious push towards reform of the House of Lords. The Royal Commission on Reform has HM Government's complete plan for reform. Also online is the current bill, House of Lords Bill.
posted by tdecius at 1:34 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Dave Barry is running for President.
posted by tdecius at 1:22 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Cye is a neat little company building personal robots.
posted by tdecius at 1:21 PM PST - 1 comments

This is interesting, free instant online help for a variety of subjects (I've linked the web design section here). I wonder if this site will grow, and how they expect new experts to come in and volunteer.
posted by mathowie at 1:01 PM PST - 1 comments

Wow, a killer new site: Listen to books in mp3 format. Wouldn't it be great if this was Shoutcasted and a global wireless broadband network was in place so you could hear it in your car or walking around? Another cool thing would be if they hooked up with The Gutenburg Project and had audio versions of all those free texts.
posted by mathowie at 12:13 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 20

6.02x10^23. Anybody who has taken chemistry may remember that number as Avogadro's Number, the number of molecules of any gas present in a volume of 22.41 L and is the same for every element. Fun stuff, eh? Read more about one of the basics of chemistry at's Avogadro's Law page. For more mole fun, including jokes, try the National Mole Day Foundation. Why does Avogadro like blue cheese? Because it's mole-dy.
posted by tdecius at 3:38 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The Brunching Shuttlecocks is funny. My favorite feature on the site is the Alanis Morrisette Lyrics Generator.
posted by tdecius at 2:23 PM PST - 1 comments

Every once in a while I get a bad case of 8-bit nostalgia, and I remember fondly my many hours of joy with my Nintendo Entertainment System. One of the most fun games on the NES had to be Tetris, and this history of the game is a neat read. TSR's NES Archive is another cool site dealing with the NES. Of course, the original Legend of Zelda is the best game of all time, but that's another thread entirely.
posted by tdecius at 2:20 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

In other weblog news, /.'s parent company has filed for IPO, pushing Rob Malda, Jeff Bates, and Robin Miller into a hush hush period. Andover has some great resources and I wish the IPO well!
posted by blindambition at 1:34 PM PST - 2 comments

September 19

hmmm...does this look familiar to you?
posted by mathowie at 6:40 PM PST - 1 comments

I just got back from the Fray Day party (I believe the whole thing will be archived in mp3 format) and there was this guy that played some short videos that were brilliant. His site was called, go there now and download all the videos, they're hilarious.
posted by mathowie at 4:02 PM PST - 2 comments

September 18

Those of us around at the beginning of Java remember Tumbling Duke.
posted by tdecius at 6:12 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Have you ever wondered about what bar codes really mean? Or how to generate them? Barcode 1 is a neat resource. Even cooler is the Barcode Server, which will generate codes for you. Finally, you can look up bar codes for your favorite products at the UPC Database.
posted by tdecius at 6:10 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 17

Jerry's Ranking of the U.S. Presidents - Think fast! Who was the better President, Franklin Pierce or John Tyler? Time's up! It's Tyler. Of course, this guy also says that Clinton is better than Lincoln, so I guess that's the problem. Tyler has nothing on Pierce anyways....
posted by tdecius at 6:15 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

'A Model of Loyalty and Filial Devotion. An Outstanding Statesman. Great Leader of the People and Theoretician. Outstanding Representative of Independent Politics.' No. It's not me. It's Comrade Kim Il Jong - His Life and Mission. Read the Commie bunk the Reds are pushing on their people.
posted by tdecius at 6:09 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Having trouble keeping your parallelism and chiasmus straight? Or biting your nails over whether to use zeugma, prozeugma, or diazeugma? Fear not. The Handbook of Rhetorical Devices is here.
posted by tdecius at 6:05 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 16

There is a new issue of First Monday, the peer-reviewed journal edited by Esther Dyson, on line. There are a few good things this month.
posted by tdecius at 10:52 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Jon Carroll has a few ideas on the Culture War in this SFGate article from June. He's right, of course.
posted by tdecius at 10:50 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Salon has a great article today on Donald E. Knuth, the don of computer programming and author of The Art of Computer Programming.
posted by tdecius at 10:48 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Stop what you're doing and go here now! It's an online anagram maker, put in your whole name, and set the word length as high as you can. At 3 letters per word the letters 'MatthewHaughey' spell out hundreds of phrases, the best shown below (punctuation by me):

Why hate? hug mate!
Heat may wet Hugh?
Eat Wham, they hug.
They wag meat, huh?
posted by mathowie at 12:08 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 15

Just in case you're in Britain and happen to commit a felony, don't be caught unprepared. Visit the site of HM Prison Service and get up to date with your British prisoner slang.
posted by tdecius at 1:19 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

A Heartbeat from the White House - This is an interesting page from a member of the 'RPG Anti-Defamation League' Web ring. It just goes to show you that, for a family of tobacco farmers from Hicksville, Tennessee, the Gores sure live in an ivory tower.
posted by tdecius at 12:47 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Unsure of exactly how ruthless you are? Take the Machiavelli personality test at Salon. On a scale of one to one hundred, I got an eighty. Just short of being able to subvert a nation.
posted by tdecius at 11:49 AM PST - 2 comments

'Hey I heard you huffing and puffing on that exercise bike, are you doing hills on it?' 'Nope, it was just doing some daytrading, my portfolio was taking a dive.' (conversation coming to a gym near you)
posted by mathowie at 12:57 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

I can't believe I've never heard of this site. It's a weblog, but it highlights absurd and funny items from popular news sites. It's on my bookmark list now.
posted by mathowie at 12:01 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 14

I noticed that the deceased lead singer of INXS has an album coming out. I recently saw the most convincing article talking about how he didn't commit suicide, but died while performing a bizarre sex act (sadly, I lost the URL). I had to look it up, and I can't believe the lengths guys will go to enjoy their masterbation. Kids, don't try this at home...
posted by mathowie at 12:21 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

A friend gave me a promo CD of a band called Len. It's the weirdest mix of hip-hop, rock, old-school rap, and bubble-gum pop. It's strange, yet also the most satisfying thing I've heard in a while. If you read the reviews at Amazon, you can see that some people can accept multi-genre bands, and others can't.
posted by mathowie at 12:13 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 13

Great music from benicetobears' Andrew. I love the Monkey Melody, you should too. Give it a listen.
posted by mathowie at 10:29 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 12 - Net art sucks.
posted by tdecius at 8:39 AM PST - 1 comments

September 10

Let me beat Matt D to the punch; tonight he takes on border disputes in South America. Reflections on 19th century Venezuelan history from a seventeen year old. Yeah right Matt, we all know you're a CNN correspondent writing under a pseudonym. I bet that photo came with your wallet. You aren't fooling anyone 'Matt' :)
posted by mathowie at 10:07 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Is this harmless fun, or another Littleton in the making? I vote for the harmless fun.
posted by mathowie at 9:57 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 9

Can't sleep because you're sickened by the late-night bastion of idiot liberalism, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher? is too, on Friday.
posted by tdecius at 9:18 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The first rule of fight club is... you do not talk about the fight club. Second rule of Fight Club is you do NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB. God I hope that movie doesn't suck. And I love walking around the office repeating the two rules of fight club. Do it, your co-workers will love you for it.
posted by mathowie at 3:24 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 8

Want to know when the T3 will get set up in Chad, or how much access costs in Djibouti? Check out African Information Infrastructure. It's guaranteed to make you glad you don't live in the Third World and can connect at higher than 14.4.
posted by tdecius at 7:50 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Kingdom of Talossa According to their site, the Kingdom of Talossa is an independent, sovereign nation in North America which seceded peacefully from the United States in 1979. It's a nation in miniature. So when you were seven and declared your room the Republic of Me, don't run to the shrink. You're in good company.
posted by tdecius at 7:47 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The blood of American citizens will be on the hands of their President, Thursday on
posted by tdecius at 7:43 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Sun redesigned their site today, but I can't say for sure if I like it better than the old one. It looks a lot more like every other corporate site. I used to like the way they split their audience into developers, investors, etc, now it's just products, services, store, etc., like your average company site.
posted by mathowie at 9:46 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 7 Tuesday I write about the general election in India, and the struggle therein between two large political personalities, both born into the purple. Wednesday, I pay tribute to Connecticut's greatest newspaper.
posted by tdecius at 7:21 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 6

Although I haven't heard from Alan Funt in quite a while, it's a bummer to hear he passed on today. I know this is in bad taste, but I wonder if anyone will pull any practical jokes at his funeral? You know it would be pretty easy to come up with a doozy of a joke, like having him sit upright in his coffin...
posted by mathowie at 10:03 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 5

The People's Daily - Like news, but not fact or truth? Then check out the China's government newspaper. Let's see what lies are coming 'American pig-dogs' today.
posted by tdecius at 10:14 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment - Another day, another column. For Labor Day, I step out of character and briefly praise the labor movement. Never again, he screams, as he shakes his fist in the air.
posted by tdecius at 10:12 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The Trilateral Commission - If The X-Files is true, these are the guys that are conspiring with the aliens. Black UN helicopters and all that.
posted by tdecius at 10:11 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 4 It's midnight on the East Coast, and like clockwork there is a new column on the site. Today I cast the spotlight on today's summit meeting of the leaders of French-speaking countries in Moncton, New Brunswick. Didn't think Poland spoke French? Read the article.
posted by tdecius at 9:11 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

A great employment page if you happen to have long hair and a beard. The descriptions are great, I love the internet job that requires you to update a page once every two months. They had me going for a few seconds there.
posted by mathowie at 2:16 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

I saw this Butter site advertised on a billboard today. It's kind of funny, mostly fluff. I was expecting to see Surgeon General recommendations of 3-5 servings of butter a day, or recipies for butter cookies that use 3 sticks of butter per cookie, but thankfully, they didn't.
posted by mathowie at 1:21 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Woo hoo! I got my story about the 30th anniversary of the Internet posted at Slashdot. My original version included photos, so you might want to check out that version instead.
posted by mathowie at 12:49 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 3 Today I write about the latest craze in British junior high extracurriculars, sex. On Saturday, my essay will explain how not guns turned the Columbine shooters into killers, but a good few pills.
posted by tdecius at 8:48 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

While I still work on my writeup of the event, let me share one URL I heard there for the first time. is a consortium of successful Netprenuers in the LA area that want to fund your great idea. It looks like they will accept and review business plans and offer venture captial to those deemed worthy.
posted by mathowie at 8:30 AM PST - 1 comments

September 2

Earlier today, I attend the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Internet, which took place at UCLA. It was an amazing event that was attended by the web's brightest. I'm writing it up and editing my photos of the event and it should be running tomorrow at either slashdot or evolt, expect to see a link to it soon.
posted by mathowie at 11:37 PM PST - 1 comments - Today I take on the Governor of Rhode Island and his bad-bill-writin' General Assembly.
posted by tdecius at 3:39 AM PST - 4 comments

September 1 Well, finally, after four years of apathy and general non-working-ness, my web site has gone up. Go see it. As my Italian great-grandmother would say, 'Is good for you.' Today, I rant about the Israeli 'peace process' and snicker at some hippie peace-fest in the woods of Connecticut.
posted by tdecius at 7:00 PM PST - 2 comments