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Category: Amusing Stuff

June 20, 2009


February 9, 2009

Breathtaking Pepsi


I have to thank Leibs for sending me this one. I've been in discussions about 'brands' and 'marks' recently and documents like Pepsi's rebranding document are a reminder to not take them too seriously. It opens with "Breathtaking Design Strategy" and ends with the birth of the Pepsi Universe. This biblical tale of bad logo Genesis is a must read.

I would think that this is a fake, except the manner in which it unfurls like a bad advertising acid trip, with little circles spinning into Pepsi smiley faces, Pepsi faces turning into the Earth, into the Sun, affecting the orbit of the Earth, which is actually a customer shopping for Pepsi... it's just too bad to be parody.

Update: and there's this video, which is either the source of the parody or confirms it

October 8, 2008


My desire to keep this blog relatively apolitical was overridden by my love of trains.

(caught this on Rich's shared feed)

September 15, 2008

Shoulda named her Ninja

We named our dog Ninja and our cat Pirate. If only we had switched the names, our cat could be like the one above...

thanks Josh!

March 28, 2008

Design is dead

At least, so says Philippe Starck. Did the Amazon Kindle really depress him that much?. via

See also: Bilbao Plague

Update: and HD-DVD officially(?) dead

November 13, 2007


In a Nov. 13 story, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that Paris Hilton was praised by conservationists for highlighting the problem of binge-drinking elephants in northeastern India. Lori Berk, a publicist for Hilton, said she never made any comments about helping drunken elephants in India.

Source, via reddit

October 24, 2007

Sign of the apocalypse


July 5, 2007

Cats that look like Hitler

kitler2.jpg kitler.jpg Naturally, there is a t-shirt



May 30, 2007


ah, parodies (via)

May 16, 2007

The burrito road

Burritos are on my mind, so naturally I should take the time to learn where they came from. I had been told by my LA-Mexican sources that the burrito was Californian but, alas, that is wrong (even if you consider California historically Mexican).

The Washington Post sent a reporter to travel the burrito road from San Francisco's Mission District back to its very origins. A burrito-faithful blogger has transcribed portions of this journey so that its lessons will not be lost.

As we followed the historical trail, and got closer and closer to the source, the burritos became smaller and smaller, and our favorite ingredients disappeared one by one. When we finally found what we thought was the original burrito, it was very different from the burritos we knew and loved. The burrito's evolution seemed like a cross-generational version of the children's game of telephone, in which a message is passed through so many people that the message at the end is completely different from the original.

The article stunned me with this realization: designed to be portable food, burritos are Mexican onigiri.

(via SFist)

April 24, 2007

Wikipedia on Navy Showers

I don't know why I'm so amused to find out that Wikipedia has an entry with five-step instructions for taking a Navy shower, but I am (via). I had to take Navy showers during water rationing in Okinawa and I don't look upon the experience fondly, even if it does save gigantic quantities of water (often due to showers avoided). It's not that different from Japanese showering, but you don't have a nice warm bath waiting for you.

The Navy shower article took me to Wikipedia's article on Bathing, which comes with the notice: "This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards."

April 12, 2007

From Los Charros to Nobu in 42 minutes flat

An absolutely ridiculous piece on The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel, which delivers Bay Area burritos to hungry New Yorkers. via Waxy

Burritos speeding through the tunnel fight a constant battle against friction. At the start and end of their journey they hover in a powerful magnetic field, seldom touching the sides of the tunnel. Past the Colorado border, however, the temperature of the surrounding rock exceeds the Curie point of iron and the burritos must slide on their bellies in their nearly frictionless Teflon sleeve, kept from charring by pork fat that slowly seeps out of the burritos as they thaw. By the time the burritos reach Cedar Rapids (traveling well over a mile a second) they are heated through, and anyone who managed to penetrate into the tunnel through the Cleveland access shafts would find them ready to eat.

March 16, 2007

cPanel cretin-ness


Transferring my Web service for has certainly improved life, but one thing I have not liked from Day 1 is the cPanel software you have to use in order to manage everything. It's as if a panel of cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics had a pow-wow. Here's a partial list of their idiocy:

  • The button to 'check' your database is pixels away from the button to 'delete'
  • The menu lists both 'chatroom' and 'phpMyChat', and both use the Photoshop icon
  • The 'MySQL Databases' menu doesn't let you backup your mysql database -- you have to go to 'Backups' instead
  • Four icons use the MS Access logo; none of them have anything to do with MS Access.
  • The text fields on the redirect manager are too small for any actual URL

I could go on and on and on, but Daily WTF/Worse Than Failure has caught one even more beautiful (except for the 'delete'/'check' one, that really gets me). Click on the screenshot to see what the cPanel folks came up with for the password change screen.

October 13, 2006

Your Friday Cute

I'm headed down to SoCal to hopefully see USC run over Arizona State and also hopefully not get rained on. I point you to pandas, which are not experts on hobo matters, but can comedically entertain nevertheless:

September 18, 2006

(Half-) White and Nerdy

re-doing this post because the original video got taken down. Apparently they were going to do a 'World Premeire' on AOL, but then the video got leaked so AOL canceled it. Since then, the RIAA asked that the original post to YouTube be taken down, Weird Al uploaded his own official version to YouTube, and now all is back to normal, I guess.

June 26, 2006

For those of you who like narcoleptic dogs

Arian sent me this link to the fainting goats of Tennessee:

June 16, 2006

Must share this video

All year long my AP Psychology teacher in high school would entice us with the "narcoleptic dog video." Behave, and we would get to see the video at the end of the year. We behaved, we got to see the video, we laughed, we cheered. She was a good AP Psychology teacher.

Now, thanks to davextreme, I can relive that high school moment once more, and I'll share the video with you all without making you behave:

May 23, 2006

Cheap Sheep

Someone used Amazon's Mechanical Turk service to get 10,000 sheep drawings for $0.02 each. The approximate salary: $0.69/hour. I was wondering when mturk was going to start showing some promise.

The Sheep Market

May 5, 2006

Colbert's performance

People are still talking about Colbert's White House Correspondents' Dinner performance, debating whether or not it crossed the line, whether or not it was funny, whether or not it was brave, etc... As someone who watches every episode of the Colbert Report, what I found most impressive is that it's Thursday and people are still talking about a comedian's standup routine from last week. I haven't seen that much buzz from something a comedian said since Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire. As much as I probably laughed more at Stewart's exchange, I think lines delivered straight to the president's face does out do calling Tucker Carlson a dick.

March 26, 2006

Looking for blog ideas?

A year ago, Michael Buffington did the short-lived Asbestos News blog experiment to capture high-paying adwords revenue. Apparently he didn't break the market because the uncommon Mesothelioma -- a cancer caused by asbestos -- will still let you mint your own cash if you can get someone to click on a related adword. The phrase mesothelioma lawyers costs an advertiser $54.33 per click. For more absurd rates, check out this cyberwyre list. Via

I guarantee you that Comic-Con and AAAI keywords don't pay nearly as well :)

March 24, 2006

Bye bye Ben

And the hilarity ends after only three short days: Ben Domenech has resigned. The Washington Post can pretend that it was the allegations of plagiarism that finally did poor Ben in, but we all know that conservative America couldn't handle their message being delivered by an underage drinking Novak impersonator.

For balance, you can read Ben Domenech's rebuttal here.

Update: and it appears that Domenech has finally owned up

March 22, 2006

Novak, Novak, Novak

I want to be like Novak. Scratch that. I want to be like I want to be like Novak. That way I can get a controversial blog on and use my first post to explain how my love for Red Dawn and Patrick Swayze transcends acting "talent." Then Novak could post about my blog, I could drop in, and hilarity would ensue.

Sorry Novak, I just had to share this with the non-LJ community.

Update: and it just gets sadder more hilarious -- novak's story is now on Wonkette

March 15, 2006

I scored a 33

Web 2.0 or Star Wars is almost as hard as Serial Killer or Programming Language Inventor. I forget what my serial killer quiz score was, but I got 33/43 on the Web 2.0 quiz -- most of the ones I missed were because I thought they names were so dumb that they had to have been invented by George Lucas. I guess I should have visited the Museum of Modern Betas to study beforehand.

February 16, 2006

Behold the awesome knowledge of Google

Google had me more than a bit disappointed with GMail + Chat and the whole China censorship issue, but Paul@Icarus Diving gives me warm fuzzy Google feelings once more with this screenshot of all the useful knowledge contained within the Google Suggest search box:


No wonder people are trying to wire up their bathrooms with Web terminals -- Google really needs to add "How to use a Japanese toilet" to that list. Try it yourself if you wish to discover what other knowledge may lie within the magical textfield.

via apophenia

February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day


credit: Lunaran over at the Something Awful forums

February 7, 2006

Flying dogs

I can't stop watching Vitalic's "Birds" video featuring flying dogs (download link). If Flying Dogs were real, they'd be even cooler than warty comb jellies. They even have a better soundtrack.

thanks bluemonday and glynnenstein

January 23, 2006



Canon's newest camera will have it all: from bp's/meta's pizza button to the latest in AI sensing/reminder technology for the "Pee Break Now" indicator. But which button calls my mom to tell her to come and pick me up?

I'm waiting for the model with GPS.

credit: bigconig's posting on dpreview

January 13, 2006

Windows Vista/OS X mashup

Crooked Timber has a funny mashup of the audio from Bill Gates' CES speech with OS X video. To be fair, you could have just as easily substituted in screenshots of Google Desktop, Konfabulator for Windows, etc... and it would still be kinda funny, but you would miss all the stock Apple/Microsoft vitriol in the comments.

(via metamerist)

November 1, 2005

Republican sex

Making Light pointed me to this New Yorker article about the amusingly bad sex scenes in Scooter Libby's 1996 novel, The Apprentice. To prevent innocenty bystanders from being injured I won't put any quotes here, so you'll have to read the article yourself if you are one who is entertained by such things. You'll also be rewarded with best-of sex scene excerpts from Safire, Buckley, and O'Reilly if you read the article, though Lynne Cheney's lesbian masterpiece Sisters didn't make the cut.

I went onto Amazon to see if the review of The Apprentice had been co-opted yet, but all I could find was this insightful review from 2002:

Personally, I find the Japanese weird and constipated beyond all reason. But they have developed a helluva good cuisine (love that wasabi!), have fought some amazing fights and are pretty fabulous engineers. So, if you find them strange but fascinating, this book will enhance your understand of their tortured, demented souls.

September 28, 2005

From news to t-shirt in 10 seconds flat

that was fast: preorder your t-shirt today

September 21, 2005

Conference naming

The Jap in me finds this amusing. The poster for this conference has "NIPS" in nice big letters.


FYI: The 2005 conference will be held in Vancouver.

September 14, 2005

3, 4, 5!

A little over a year ago Kenji put 3 vs. 4 blades to the test, but can he handle the 5-bladed razor?

August 12, 2005

Weirder links

May 27, 2005

Profile of the One Eater

ASIAN POP: Superchomp / Korean-born Sonya Thomas is the No. 1 ranked female competitive eater in the USA.

There is an century-old prophecy within the competitive-eating community, dismissed by most, that foretells the rise of the One Eater, a woman who will electrify America's gurgitators and lead them to international victory once again. Like Joan of Arc before her, this eater will be slender of stature but mighty in strength. In recent months, the prophecy has been mentioned more and more frequently as the eaters have watched Sonya Thomas excel in nearly every contest she enters.

January 19, 2005

CNN just keeps cranking these out

Yesterday's CNN headline of Bush: Better human intelligence needed was fun in the "Haha Bush is stupid" meme, but I still prefer today's more ironic Poll: Nation split on Bush as uniter or divider headline.

January 2, 2005

Caganer Kitsch

I got to start off my day reading this article that links caganers, Christmas, kitsch, Kundera, and Napa (stumbled upon this link after meta brought up Kundera's definition of kitsch). It might help to read more about caganers, or kitsch for that matter.

August 14, 2004

Tombstones 'R Us


(write your own tombstone)

July 13, 2004

Tattoo showdown

It's a showdown between the large Thai-themed back tattoos. Vote now, vote early, vote late, vote often!



July 2, 2004

Tiger Hand!

Rock, Paper, Saddam


June 25, 2004

Obi-wan, I need those TPS reports

I mostly post this for parakkum, collector of all alternate Star Wars versions (though perhaps that means he's already seen this):
- Star Wars Office Space

June 24, 2004


When I came across the OEDILF, I was astounded. What's is the OEDILF? It's the Oxford English Dictionary in Limerick Form. Granted, they are still on words starting with 'ac', but quality does take time.

I have posted some samples in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Limerickbound" »

Beautiful photo essay

A photo essay like this brings tears to my eyes, tears of laughter that is. Don't click on the link if images of wounded cars offends you:
- Pacific Beach, June 14, 2004

(via kottke)

June 16, 2004

Bloomsday 100

Of all the Bloomsday articles, I found this spoof article to be the most humorous, in a dorky sort of way:
- The Watley Review: Bloomsday Virus Inflicts James Joyce on Mobile Phone Users

"Ulysses may be the zenith of modernist writing in the novel form, but it's barely recognizable as a novel or as any other kind of writing," said Francis Harrod, of the anti-virus software developer F-Secure. "Of course the same can be said of text messaging; but nonetheless I sincerely doubt America's youth is equal to the task of sudden, unanticipated confrontation with this book. It could be extremely damaging to their minds."

I remain, as always, virus free.

June 10, 2004

Crossword oops

I found this browsing through a comment thread about the 'controversy' brewing over the fact that the winning word for this year's Spelling Bee, 'autochthonous', was also's word of the day the day before.

While people can debate the probability of that being a coincidence, someone else posted an article about a 'coincidence' dating back, appropriately enough, to D-Day. The code names for for the highly secretive D-Day plan -- Utah, Omaha, Overlord, Mulberry, Neptune -- started appearing in the Daily Telegraph crossword puzzle in the weeks prior to the invasion.

Telegraph | News | D-Day crosswords are still a few clues short of a solution

May 25, 2004

Style Invitational 554: Anagrams

The Style Invitational Week 554 results

Contestants had to take current headlines and rearrange them into creative anagrams (most with the help of Anagram Artist).

Ads for men are trying to sell Viagra, Levitra, Cialis.
I find vitals are larger, also staying more vertical. (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

"In Other Words: A Book of Irish and American Anagrams": Bob Dylan, age sixty-two, appears in a Victoria's Secret commercial, singing while Adriana Lima slinks around in her undies.
Ridiculous ad attacks women, i.e., insists sex appeal is a rich, incoherent old man and a servile bra-baring girl. Oy, I'm yawning. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
We, Karl Rove and G.W. Bush, do solemnly swear that we'll faithfully disinfect this here tainted office of President and, to the best of our ability, update the effete Constitution to help us to get elected next time. Yes, sir. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

The United States Department of Homeland Security
Taut, tense men fondled my chest at the airport. I sued. (Chris Doyle)

The American Association of Retired Persons
Fact: I am seniors, diapers, coronaries, no teeth. (Chris Doyle)

Richard Clarke: "The CIA, FBI, NSA, DoD, and I failed you."
Dick Cheney: "Torrid liar! A fib! CANADA failed us. D'oh!" (Chris Doyle)

Earth Day: April twenty-second.
Hardy planet? We CAN destroy it! (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Or one Bible nation, riddled with injustice for all uninvited gays? (Chris Doyle)

In Baltimore, the Orioles team kicked off their new season; their Opening Day pitcher was Sidney Ponson.
With beefy ace pitcher, inane errors and weak hitting, I see no trips to Disneyland soon, folks. Oh me, I mope. (Brendan Beary)

May 23, 2004

Style Invitational 555: NeoPets

The Style Invitational (

Report from Week 555, in which we asked for wholesome sentences that would be rejected by the filter of the very careful Web site. We heard from several actual Neopets aficionados with actual tales to tell: Donna Metler, for instance, reports that "I have learned the hard way that I can't tell people I play sax, as opposed to saxophone." And Andy Schwartz of Long Beach, N.Y., says the robo-censors wouldn't let him announce, "This Funny Pen is my badge of honor as a member of the Neopian Space Cadets."

This week's entries were especially repetitive; if your idea is credited here to someone else, well, life on Earth can be unfair. Feel free to take your Petpet and relocate to the Neopian Moon of Kreludor. Watch your mouth, though.

DSecond runner-up: The aspiring painters and sculptors even created a Web page, which may be viewed at (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

DFirst runner-up, winner of the Feb. 25, 1972, copy of Life magazine: "My horse is injured, but I'm going to win the race anyway," Steven insisted. "I'm just going to do it with a pony." (Dan Steinberg, Falls Church)

DAnd the winner of the Inker: Visiting cousins in Guadalajara, young Guillermo got lost and burst into tears. "Don't cry, little fella -- Tio is right here!" said his uncle. (Jane Auerbach, Los Angeles)

DHonorable Mentions:

Rev. Roberts had many evangelical achievements, but building his university in Tulsa really gave Oral

satisfaction. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

I commute from Maryland, see? So

every morning I enter Virginia, I screw around all day, then I pull out of Virginia and go home. (Tom Witte, Montgomery


"Ho! Ho! Ho!" cried Santa. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge; Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)

Texas Instruments invites hearing-

impaired customers to contact us on the TI TTY line. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Jimmy felt cross burning his ex-

girlfriend's letters, the white sheets bound tightly in leather. (Bill Spencer,

Exeter, N.H.)

Today's Bible reading is Zechariah 9:9, King James Version: "Behold, thy King cometh unto thee . . . riding upon an ass." (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

We were admiring the splendid rainbow when a sudden cloudburst brought pink and golden showers. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Virginia Catholic School Girls Dominate Ball Game, Snatch 69th Victory (Erika Reinfeld, Somerville, Mass.)

On our trip to California, we peeked into the downy nest of a pair of bushtits. (Janet Millenson, Potomac)

Before erecting structure, assemble pieces on bare surface: wooden parts A through G, screws and nuts. For best

results, rub parts gently with oil. (Mary Eaton, Arlington)

Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Tom DeLay are Congress's staunchest defenders of family values. (Peter Metrinko, Plymouth, Minn.)

Eddie hated to walk home along

Connecticut Avenue. Every day he was hassled by a group of Dupont Circle jerks. (Chris Doyle)

My brother once made a sandwich with Miracle Whip, Ding Dongs and a chicken breast -- the same brother who

graduated summa cum laude from Yale! (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

The job listing, perfect for Mic's friend, was on As Mic looked at it with Liz, they found exactly the right

position. (Jane Auerbach)

April 29, 2004

(Pinky finger to lips) "e * 10^9 DOLLARS"

I read this Wired article, which gets into some of the more unconventional and humorous aspects of the Google filing, including the fact that the value of the offering is set at $2,718,281,828, i.e. $e*109. What dorks :).

You can read the filing yourself if you like.

April 25, 2004

Style Invitational: 551

I have been waiting for the results of this contest: Have Google translate English text into another language and then back into English.

I never yet met a man that I didn't like. (From Spanish) I never satisfied a man yet with which I did not have pleasure. (Jeff Martin, Gaithersburg)

The U.S. government is composed of three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial.
(From French) The government of the United States is composed of three branches: the director, the legislature and the legal one. (Shawn Freeman, Vestavia Hills, Ala.)

I am the worst president elected ever.
(From French) I am the worst president never elected. (Kevin N. Mettinger, Warrenton)

Monica was a woman of loose morals.
(Portuguese) Monica was a flabby moral woman. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

I'll be working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside.
(Portuguese) I will be working my back part to it in the way, dribble, with a burning hot love for inside. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

At Ford, quality is Job One.
(German) At Fords quality is job of one. (Andrew Dutton, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.)

A good man is hard to find.
(German) A good man is to be found hard. (Jeremy Eble, Silver Spring)

Herbert wanted to leave bachelorhood with a bang by throwing a stag party.
(French) Herbert wanted to leave the celibacy with a blow by throwing part of male. (Marjorie Bunday, Washington)

Hey, Jude, don't make it bad.
(German) Hey, do not form Jew, it bad. (Jeff Martin)

After an hour of exercise, you will feel stronger.
(French) After one hour of exercise, you will smell yourselves more extremely. (Pat Lark, Arlington)

April 23, 2004

Fur car

The car is covered in fur with mounts on the hood for some sort of frame. My camera ran out of juice right when I took this photo, otherwise I would show more.

April 12, 2004

Evil cute II

mike gives me a good followup to Evil Cute I:
me: looks potentially demented
mhuang: yep
me: i look forward to their work
mhuang: yeah. me too...
me: though i think a tarecthulu might be more interesting
me: given that they never do explain how a bean-bag panda
me: is ever able to move
me: it's an invertebrate practically
me: so cthulu powers could explain it
me: give it red eyes and the ability to float around
mhuang: Lol. You mean like this?
me: man
me: where do you find this stuff?
me: that's unreal

tangent gripe: does iChat have any easy way of copying a log of a chat session? I can copy the text, but that leaves out the person's name, and if I make a logfile of it, only iChat can open it. It seems the only alternative is to make a screenshot, which is not very graceful, and requires image-editing if you want to disguise the screennames... Trillian and AIM on Windows do a good job of this on Windows, and AIM even preserves the text stylization.

Harry Potter

harry with broom
I spotted this statue about the same time another woman did. That woman proceeded to pose next to the statue and have her family snap pictures with her grabbing Harry's... broom... It was either meta or rcp that noted that children were present.

April 6, 2004

Style Invitational 540-547

As has become tradition for me, I went through the Style Invitational archives for the past two months and picked out contests/entries that amused me. Reading the archives in this manner only emphasizes to me how Chris Doyle, Russell Beland, and Tom Witte need to get a job; jobs that pay in cash, not bumper stickers.

Also, after sneaking his way into the Wired 40, it appears that bp has made it to the pages of the Washington Post as well (see below).

Week 547, in which entries had to pick a brand name that would be inappropriate when used in a different industry

BP is a good name for a gas company but a bad name for a honey company. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

Newman's Own is a good name for Paul Newman's brand of condiments, but it would not be a good name for his brand of condoms. (Russell Beland)

Chick-fil-A is a good name for a fast-food outlet but not for O.J. Simpson's next business venture. (Tom Witte)

The Library of Congress is probably too subtle to be a good name for an adult bookstore. (Russell Beland)

Rent-A-Wreck is a good name for a used-car rental company but a bad name for an escort service. (Marleen May, Rockville)

Week 544: Valentine's Day sentiments

The ark is astir on this Valentine's Day.
An animal's missing, I'm sorry to say.
A gerbil, perhaps, but that still needs confirming.
Noah, my sweetie-pooh, why are you squirming?

(Chris Doyle)

From Kermit to Miss Piggy:
My love for you is sugar-cured,
You stop my heart from achin'.
It's even easy being green
When I bring home the bacon.

(Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)

Laura Bush to Jacques Chirac:
The courtly way you kissed my hand,
The media were all agog!
Though, Valentine, I always thought
The lady had to kiss the frog.

(Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

Week 543: the idea is a bit weak -- entries have to guess what the winning entry might be on a February 29, 2032.

Lead news story: Washington (AP) -- "no LOL 2day," sez prez, "bcz bird flu kilt 200k!!!!" (Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)

Week 540: entries have to take a historical event and present it in the Rocky and Bullwinkle "A, or B" pun format.

c. 1200 B.C. : Trojan War: The Last Time I Saw Paris, or Beware of Gifts Bearing Greeks (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

1773: The Boston Tea Party: Of Tea I Fling, or Hurl Grey (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

1996: The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal: Secret Service, or Insert Bill Here (David Iscoe, Washington)

2003: U.S. handling of postwar Iraq: Peace-Poor Planning, or Throwing the Baby Out With the Baath Water (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

c. 900 B.C. : The judgment of Solomon: Split Decision, or Halving My Baby (Russell Beland, Springfield)

1066 -- The Norman Conquest: Saxon Violence, or Let Me Run This Bayeux (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

April 2, 2004

Unintentionally interesting

Multiple people had been telling me about Neighbor Search, which lets you look up who contributed to what political campaign. You can either seach by name or you can input your zip code and see what turns up.

I found a particularly devious use of the tool: it happens to be a really good way of looking up the address of famous people. You also find out who they gave money to, as well as what they list their occupation as.

It all started when I started trolling through Los Altos donations and I noticed Andy Grove's name (head of Intel). I then tried the next Bay Area CEO that popped to mind -- Steve Jobs -- and was able to find his wife listed. Silicon Valley CEOs are kinda boring, though so I started typing in the names of famous actors and musicians. At first I was discouraged, until I started typing in the names of known politically active celebrities and came across Susan Sarandon. My first real celebrity, at last! Strangely, I couldn't find Tim Robbins, but perhaps his real name is different.

Typing in the names of various celebrities, as well as looking up their real names to search on, wasn't paying off as fast as much short attention span would allow. I needed to get more matches quickly. I thought to myself, "If I was a famous person, where would I live?" Bel Air, Beverly Hills 90210? Bingo! Between the zipcodes for the two areas the names came rolling in. Here's a partial list (a question mark means it's unclear if it's correct):

- Susan Sarandon
- Andy Grove
- Steve Jobs
- Jon Bon Jovi (?)
- Helen Hunt
- Johnnie Cochran
- Mary Steenbergen
- Mel Brooks
- Ted Danson
- Mike Myers
- Larry David
- Paul Reiser
- Mike McCready (Pearl Jam guitarist)
- Leonard Nimoy
- Melanie Griffith
- Michael Douglas (?)

Also, the job titles you see listed are often interesting. Here are some of the jobs titles from a single zip code search (90200):

- Executive, Warner Brothers
- Producer/CEO, Jim Henson Co
- Chairman/CEO, Warner Bros Entertainment Inc
- Executive Producer, Walt Disney Studios
- Producer, Sony Pictures
- Executive, Castle Rock
- Chairman, BMI Music
- President, Sony Work Group

Clearly, there are easier ways of getting the addresses of famous people. A $5 map to the stars probably gives a thousand times as many names as this, but for some reason I find this indirect method particularly entertaining.

April 1, 2004

April Fools roundup

Google is hiring. In related news, according to CNN, despite the corny press release, Google's Gmail, which offers 1GB of mail storage, is real.

EFF and Department of Justice Merger

PC EZ-Bake Oven

Just about every article posted on Slashdot, including IF Quake

Speaking of Slashdot, Gadget Madness was Slashdotted

Microsoft Halts Plans for Xbox 2, Halo 2 in Jeopardy

AMD to drop Athlon 64 taxonomy for Intel's

Orkut is adding a random "desires" field to people's profiles. Mine is: "desires: take the red pill, get away with it." Here are some more:

- meta's: figure out how Cookie Monster eats all those cookies when he's only a puppet, blow my nose silently
- pqbon's: be the last woman on earth, find a laptop that fits on my lap
- remember that "charitable" is not some new type of furniture, grow another limb
- cause a wardrobe malfunction, win second place in a beauty contest (collect $10)
- learn that it's okay to share, surf the waves on Titan
- a +2 broadsword of slaying with +3 to dexterity and charisma, have as many friends in real life as on orkut
- speak at least twenty fictional languages, learn how to spell "Supercalifragilistic-".... whatever.
- be the last woman on earth, oo ee oo aa aa ting tang walla walla bing bang
- isolate 3 milligrams of 98.3% pure praseodymium , getting that energizer bunny to stop

Ask Jeeves in skivvies

ThinkGeek :: PC Hamster Case Mod

Leaked Episode III footage

and many, many more

March 27, 2004


I stopped by jwz's site for the first time in a couple of years and came across a quick anecdote that meta might relate to:
- at home he's a tourist.

March 9, 2004

bad design = good design?

Given that someone that I (we) know interviewed at ebay for a design position, I find this article amusing. When asked during the interview how to improve the site design, I guess a defensible answer could have been, "more crappy."

I'm not sure I fully agree with the thesis that "bad design = bargain = good," but one could also argue a "weakest link" theory, which I would outline as follows:

1) The design of the pages for the auction items is partly created by the sellers themselves.

2) If the seller puts up really a really bad design, there's not much e-bay can do to counterbalance it. In effect, the page looks as ugly as it's ugliest element.

3) It's better to be harmonious with the bad design than to create dissonance between a slick design and a crappy design.

though I still think ebay could look better than it does.

- Is flea market design successful for eBay? (

March 6, 2004


I first read the Spirit Rover LiveJournal page awhile back when the rover first landed on Mars. It was (is) a cute, anthropomorphised account of the Mars Spirit Rover (e.g. "all six wheels on the dirt, no problem. go me."), with slight similarities to the secret diaries.

After seeing a bunch of links to it again recently, I visited again, and the satire has been taken to a new level IMHO. There's now a competing OpportunityGrrl journal, and a newly started Cassini Saturn journal (you can't have a LJ satire without friends and foes). There's also trite poetry and some other gems that are worth a laugh or two.

March 4, 2004

All consuming big brother

I've started subscribing to All Consuming, as in some sense we are what we read, and All Consuming show exactly what most people in the blogosphere are reading.

The thing that disturbed me about subscribing to this site though was the All Consuming top books from a week ago: 1984 and Brave New World both made it to the top five. To add to that, if you go back a month you get American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush as well as Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. If we are what we read, this can't be good...

February 28, 2004

Targeted advertising

I just got my catalog from Anatomical (distributors of the fine Giant Microbes collection). On the the first page there is a poster for "Human Spinal Disorders" and on the back cover you can purchase a model of the spine, complete with herniated disc. I'll feel so much smarter now when I look at my MRI.

January 23, 2004

Style Invitational 541

This week's Style Invitational was one of the funniest I've seen in awhile, IMHO. Entries had to use a title from the Washington Post and make it sensational.

"At a ceremony last night, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams switched on the newly restored, historic street lights" (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

"French Fry Fire Damages Kitchen" (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)

"The Baltimore Orioles agreed to terms Sunday night with catcher Javy Lopez on a three-year contract believed to be worth $23 million" (Heather Abelson, New York; Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Packers quarterback Brett Favre played the Monday after his father died. (Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)

Sen. Bill Frist, a physician, tells of performing surgery on an orangutan at the National Zoo. (Robin D. Grove, Chevy Chase)

Kids were given free-admission buttons to the First Night Annapolis festival. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

New England 21, New York 17 (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Three landers are scheduled to visit Mars. (Bob Dalton, Arlington)

"Hokies to Face USC in '04 Season Opener" (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

The Style Invitational 541

January 5, 2004


meta knows that I don't like this song, Cash or no, most likely because of an annoying Eagles cover of the song ruined it for me. Nevertheless, the tranquil serenity of a monkey on horseback is strangely enthralling.
The Big Smoker: Feature - Johnny Cash Desperado with Monkeys
(via A Whole Lotta Nothing)

December 4, 2003

Pack rats

I had a friend in college who will one day become this man. Here's one exemplary anecdote:

driving down Comm Ave
Friend: "Stop the car! Stop the car!"
car stops, friend points to large slab of concrete sitting on the curb
Friend: "Do you think we can haul that back to the house?"
Us: "What?!?!"
Friend: "You can't let a good piece of concrete go to waste."
He managed to put some of the junk he collected to good use, like building a shanty town on our roof using discarded tarps, lawn chairs, and mariachi music blaring over the stereo.
Reversing a Tide of Clutter
(via Making Light)

December 3, 2003

But he's no Major Major Major Major

Man changes name to Bubba Bubba Bubba
(via Fark)

November 30, 2003

Style Invitational 530

I pretty much only liked the top two entries from The Style Invitational Week 530, in which the contestants had to take a word, and then add/alter/delete a letter to come up with three variations on the word and an appropriate definition.

Continue reading "Style Invitational 530" »

November 24, 2003

Style Invitational 529

Report from Week 529, where submissions are a well-known document or principle rewritten into four-line rhymes:

Continue reading "Style Invitational 529" »

November 19, 2003


Originally posted by LanguageHat on Making Light:

Ralph 4CR looked around in astonishment. "You mean... there are invisible beams all around us, carrying information to all parts of the globe, even as we speak?"

The Master of Communications turned towards him solemnly. "Yes," he asseverated, "and the information is not carried whole, but is broken up into a myriad of infinitesimal packets, to be reassembled without fail when they reach their destination."

"You astonish me," breathed Ralph. "And this information is accessible to all?"

"It is," nodded the Master. "The issues of the day are debated by all citizens, no matter where they may be located, and communication no longer waits on tides or weather."

":And what are the great issues so decided?"

The Master cast a glance at the poll on his screen: Which Jedi Knight Are You? He looked severe. "I fear our issues would mean nothing to you across the great gulf of time you have traversed. You should go now and refresh yourself. We will speak later. You have much to learn. Vanna, show our young guest to his room."

A lissome blonde appeared from behind a curtain and beckoned...

Making Light: As you know, Bob ...

November 8, 2003

Oldie but goodie

Here's an old clip that made it's rounds on the Internet awhile ago that I was reminded of. Still funny as the day I first saw it.
The Infamous Exploding Whale

November 3, 2003

Style Invitational 523

My favorites from Week 523:

Week 523: "...propose ways to make modern life harder than it needs to be."

Third Runner-Up: It is no longer sufficient to clean up after your dog. By law, you must catch the offending substance before it hits the ground. (Andrea Kelly, Brookeville)

Presume innocence. (John Ashcroft, Washington) (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Drive-on-the-left-side-of-the-road Thursday. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Adapt to all appliances the "Are you sure?" message that computers demand before deleting something. Microwave a burrito: "Are you sure?" Change the channel: "Are you sure?" (Will Cramer and Julie generics, Herndon)

All pills must be suppositories. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Bicycle-pedaled flush toilets. (Dan Steinberg, Falls Church)

Diplomacy. (George W. Bush, Washington) (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Adopt California recall rules for all government positions. If you get 500 signatures and a filing fee, you can recall your postman. (Kevin d'Eustachio, Linwood, N.J.)

The Style Invitational (

Style Invitational 524: Scrambled Books/Movies

The past two weeks of Style Invitational were kinda boring, but the one three weeks ago was brilliant. The contest description and my favorites below.

Week 524: "...scramble the words of any book or movie, and come up with a new product. An extraordinary week; great entries, and in great numbers. Good ideas too popular to reward with prizes: Ferris Bueller's Off-Day (a boring movie); Mr. Washington Goes to Smith (the father of our country as a cross-dresser); The Rye in the Catcher (a documentary on alcoholism in sports), and The Wrath of Grapes (various vegetal revenge scenarios)."

Kampf Mein: And other German-Chinese recipes. (Bob Wallace, Reston)

"What? Did Daddy Do You in the War?" A young girl learns of her father's overseas affair when a Korean woman comes looking for him. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

The Red Man with One Shoe: The story of Nikita Khruschchev. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Powers of Austin Man: International Mystery: How the governor of Texas became president of the United States. (Brian Lochrie and Jennie Reiff, Lake Forest, Calif.)

F.J.K. : In this documentary, disappointed Harry Potter fans complain about the author. (David Vacca, Washington)

The Virtues of Book: Bill Bennett's guide to Vegas gambling. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Big Wedding, My Fat Greek!: The behind-the-scenes story of Jackie's ultimatum to Onassis. (Judith Cottrill, New York)

Phantom Wars Episode Menace the One-Star: A brigadier general tries to avoid becoming the scapegoat for America's failure to find the weapons of mass destruction. (David Vacca, Washington)

Bride of the Father: The unauthorized biography of Soon-Yi Previn. (Larry Cynkin, Kensington)

Blue Devil in a Dress: High jinks ensue when the Duke basketball team fields a transvestite power forward. (David Vacca, Washington)

The Style Invitational (

October 27, 2003

Beanie babies and divorce

Funny e-bay auction sent to a list I'm on by 999:
eBay item 3146042998 (Ends Sep-22-03 08:37:31 PDT) - Collection of 26 Beanie Babies from Ex-Wife

In case the auction listing disappears, I've listed the interesting bits below:

Continue reading "Beanie babies and divorce" »

October 9, 2003

Style Invitational: Week 522

For Week 522, entries had to come up with ideas for flash mobs. This is the only entry I liked:

Sell out a showing of "Gigli." Stand up and walk out after the coming attractions. (Danny Bravman, Potomac)

The Style Invitational (

September 30, 2003

Style Invitational: Week 521

It's Monday, which means that I'm one day late in posting the latest Style Invitational. This week's entries had it pretty easy, as they were asked to take the first part of a hyphenated word in a newspaper story and combine it with the second half of a different word, and define the new word. Here's my favorites:

Dis-sissippi: What Alabamians do because there's no one else to feel better than. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Smack-doleezza: Trash talk done in the name of national security. (Drew Knoblauch, Falls Church)

Mex-ecution: Getting refried in the electric chair. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Cre-tinguished: Remarkably accomplished, for an idiot. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

- The Style Invitational Week 521 (

September 16, 2003

B/c Amanda was too slow

... and translated into gangsta:

fO shizzle
Mack Daddy.
I'll pop a cap in yo' ass
you biotch

(via pqbon, SomethingAwful and BoingBoing)

September 11, 2003

I bent my wookie... er $239M satellite

NOAA-N accident
- Earth Science Missions Anomaly Report: GOES/POES Program/POES Project: 6 Sep 2003 | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference

FYI: the NOAA-N satellite is a weather satellite that will monitor climate conditions (weather, vegetation, drought) for four years. It will be used to receive distress signals from wayward hikers and boaters.

(via Making Light)

August 15, 2003

I'm gonna need to see some ID

Fun with signatures

(via Counterpane: Crypto-Gram: August 15, 2003)

June 6, 2003

BizCard Origami

At last! A use for my obsolete Xerox business cards:


Origami Instructions were from: BizCard Cube (Found this on BoingBoing).

June 2, 2003

Style Invitational 504: Life is Short

This wasn't one of my favorites as I'm not familiar with the "Life is Short" feature, but some of these were funny nevertheless.

Report from Week 504: Life is Short.

My favorites:
Happiness lies somewhere in the middle, between zero and infinity. (Kevin Mellema, Falls Church)

And I reflected on how "Torah" and "Koran" are spelled, realizing that the two religions differ not one bit in the middle, only at the fringes. (Leonard Greenberg, Sterling)

Fatherhood is a man's job.
(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Now the only thing that comes between me and my spouse is a hyphen. (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

June 1, 2003

Second Post: Style Invitational CLV

This entry was deserving of a second post (from the backposting archives). My two favorites:

What would a toilet look like if our knees bent in the other direction?

(Gordon Labow, Glenelg)

If you multiply two even numbers you get an even number, and if you multiply an odd and an even, you get an even number. The on

May 12, 2003

Random Googling

I was googling today to find friend's web sites. I didn't find any, but that doesn't mean that Google didn't give me some good stuff.

First off, here's an article that I found that mentions a contest I was in with Russ and Hogue my freshman year: tech article. I ended up paying an extra hundred bucks so I could fly back from my vacation to compete in the follow-up contest, but I was so tired that I overslept and everyone left without me.

Speaking of Hogue, type in "Andrew Hogue" into Google's address bar or your Pheonix address bar. Here's the link in case it ever gets lost:

Finally, google pulled this up for me: south boston online article. The article itself isn't the most funny of the related material, but it's the only I can find online. Some other great (related) things I've seen around Boston:
- "The Beating up of Conley" (editorial piece in the Globe about Officer Kenneth Conley)
- "Free Ken Conley" (bumper stickers witnessed in Boston)

what is this?

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to kwc blog in the Amusing Stuff category.

Animals is the next category.

Current entries can be found on the main page.