Archive for June, 2007

Dear Abby…

I have been invited to go to a birthday party this weekend in a couple of weeks by one of my adult friends (yes, I have friends who are twice my age. So?) The invitation says not to bring a gift, but on a recent episode of The Loop (which I think is an overall pretty enjoyable show), Sam found himself in a similar situation. His boss, who is at least twice as old as Sam, invites everyone to a party and insists that no one should get him any gifts. So, of course, everyone goes out and buys him the most expensive and elaborate gifts they could think of. In other words, no gifts meant that you had damn well better have a gift.

So which is it?

Am I supposed to bring a gift, or should I really show up empty-handed? I’ve never really been in this situation before, so I don’t know how people handle these things. I mean, in my mind, if you say no gifts, then I don’t bring you a gift, that’s your own fault and you have nothing to be sore about. But I know how other people (especially women, which is who the birthday is for) tend to think, so I think that saying no gifts really means, “I’m going to be polite and invite you to my party. I’m going to be extra-polite and say no gifts. And if you happen to get me that cute sweater at Macy’s, I won’t be disappointed. No, the red one. Size 6.”

Do you think I should bring a “just-in-case” gift?

Friday Funday CLIII

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet. Funday links will open in a new window.

Laser Magician [del.icio.us]

This magic act is simply amazing. It starts off with a few tricks where you watch it and think, “come on, that’s pretty obvious,” but then… Well, I’ll let you watch and be amazed.

Obama Girl [del.icio.us]

This chick is super hot, and now, thanks to her unnatural crush on Barack Obama, she’s ridiculously famous.

The Contraption II Video [del.icio.us]

This is one of the longest, most complicated Rube Goldberg devices I’ve ever seen.

There Goes An Asshole by Shank Bone Mystic [del.icio.us]

The tires on this guy’s bike were stolen, and the whole thing was caught on tape. As “an exercise in catharsis,” he cut the footage together and wrote a laugh-out-loud funny song about it.

Pop vs. Soda [del.icio.us]

It really should be Pop vs. Soda vs. Coke. The age-long debate has resulted in this map, which breaks down, by county, how likely you are to say pop, soda, coke, or something else. It turns out that no one is correct. Originally, it was called phosphate. The first brand was Soda-Pop, which ended up becoming the generic name for it (the same thing happened to Xerox and Kleenex). Some people (who, in my opinion, are morons) say Coke when referring to any type of soda.

“Do you want a coke?”

“Sure!”

“What kind?”

“Dr. Pepper.”

Morons. Be sure to check out The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy (the home page for the site) for a link to the statistics and other such info.

AEA Wrap Up (2007 Edition)

An Event Apart was last week, and I meant to write this sooner, but I’ve been pretty busy lately. Last year, there was too much for me to describe, and the event was only one day long. This year it lasted for two days, so you can believe that there was even more which I won’t be able to describe.

Highlights:

There wasn’t a pre-party this year, but there was an after party on both days. The first night, I got pretty well sauced (I wasn’t the only one). The second night, I barely drank at all. I think I did that in the wrong order.

Beer isn’t quite as gross! Not only did I drink Guinness, but I also had a Mac and Jacks.

I saw Pete LePage again this year. He wasn’t at the conference (he was in Zimbabwe or something), but he showed up at the after party on the second day to hand out copies of Microsoft’s new program for web designers called Expression Web. It’s a $300 program and there was literally a pile of them.

I hung out with Shaun Inman at the first party without realizing that it was Shaun Inman. He also had a Hel-Fucking-Vetica T-shirt.

Speaking of the Hel-Fucking-Vetica T-shirt, its creator, Khoi Vinh, spoke. While not super-laugh-out-loud hilarious, I found it fascinating and it was, for me, one of the most informative speeches of the entire two days.

Tim Bray, the father of XML, sold the entire room on Rails. We all must learn Rails. It is fantastic. His speech was one of the best of the weekend. I would say that he’s tied with Jeffery Veen for second, while Andy Budd easily took the title of bestest speech this year. It was hilarious and informative.

That doesn’t mean that Shawn Henry and Mike Davidson (and, of course, Eric, Zeldman, and Jason) weren’t good or informative. They definitely were!

Great quotes:

“Why would you bother? Because it’s cool!” – Eric Meyer

“All copy is a brand opportunity.” – Jeffrey Zeldman

“We have the power to make people enjoy life.” – Andy Budd

“There are no evil people writing HTML.” – Mike Davidson

The best part of this year’s conference was that I made a bunch of cool new friends! Michelle and Kris (not to be confused with the Kris I usually blog about; the new Kris is female) were the two I spent the most time with (because why wouldn’t I try to hang out with hot, geeky women as much as possible?). Other people I hung out with were Vincent, Chris, Ben, Steve (who I think didn’t like me very much, but he was Ben’s shadow), Jamie, Ryan, and I’m sure there are other people whose names I can’t remember.

After the second day, as Michelle, Kris, Vincent, and I were walking to the after party, we agreed that hanging out with people as geeky as ourselves kicks ass. It truly does.

Friday Funday CLII

Due to a combination of a lack of time, a lack of soberness, and a lack of access to the internet, this week’s Friday Funday will be a few days late.

UPDATE: Okay, here we go!

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet. Funday links will open in a new window.

Vienna Vegetable Orchestra [del.icio.us]

They play music, but their instruments are all made out of vegetables. Be sure to check out their video section for *ahem* a taste.

The Crossing [del.icio.us]

A nice easy game for people who like nice easy games (for example, me).

ourcrazyplanet.com [del.icio.us]

IMPORTANT NOTE: Almost everything on this website is a lie. I linked to it because I wanted to show where disinformation on the internet comes from. I don’t know if the owner of this site modified the images or made up the stories, but the majority are shameful lies. I quickly recognized many of the images, as they come from some famous (and recent) news stories. Honestly, the crap people will put on the internet.

Furries and their Escalade! [del.icio.us]

Title says it all.

Dramatic Chipmunk [del.icio.us]

You’ve probably already seen this (it’s pretty much the most viral video on the internet ever; there’s already a T-shirt for it!), but here it is anyway. Seriously, I can’t stop watching this and laughing. And before you all accuse me of stealing this from Kris’ blog, I had it bookmarked for my Friday Funday a day before he posted the link. He just beat me to the punch.

Secular Sunday II – The Creation Museum

This popped up on Digg yesterday and I couldn’t pass up sharing it with you. Two Atheists took a trip to the new Creation Museum near Cincinnati, OH. While there, they took plenty of pictures and posted them on Flickr.

Seriously, how people can believe this crap is beyond me. I have some comments, but I’m short on time and wanted to post the pictures. I’ll update this post soon with some thoughts.

Friday Funday CLI

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet. Funday links will open in a new window.

Mr. Lee CatCam [del.icio.us]

This is too cool. A guy attached a digital camera to his cat and let it out on several trips. The camera was set to take one picture every two minutes for eight hours. He’s posted the best ones online and they’re pretty cool! I wish my cat would let me do something like this.

WHIT Power 102 FM [del.icio.us]

A hilarious video promoting a fake radio station. I was laughing out loud.

The world according to the United States of America [del.icio.us]

Sad, but true (and, as a result, funny).

VectorTD [del.icio.us]

Now that you’ve been fired from your job for playing Tower Defense, you’ll have plenty of time to play this new version.

Paris and Nicole in “High Life” [del.icio.us]

Archie comics have never been so funny!

RIP: Mr. Wizard

As you probably know by now, Mr. Wizard died yesterday morning. He was almost 90 years old.

This was on the MAKE Blog, and it brought back memories of watching Nickelodeon:

002 – ALLO: Not just French for hello

ALLO je t'aime

XBOX Sasquatch Screwup

For the second year in a row, Morah and I went to the Sasquatch Music Festival. This year, a friend of Morah’s came along, as did both of their mothers. The day was nice and the music was great. At one point, the four girls wandered off. When they came back Morah told me that someone had taken their picture and handed them a little ticket with a number on it so they could claim the photo online.

A few days later, Morah logged on and found this:

Sure as hell not Morah

What the hell?

We double-checked the number, but it was correct. We tried changing the number by one digit, thinking that perhaps the tickets had gotten off by a few people, but the new number didn’t exist.

What could have been a really cool promotion for the XBOX 360 turned out to be a giant screwup.

Worse, there could be some major privacy and legal violations at play. I’m sure that most of these people agreed to have their pictures taken under the impression that they wouldn’t be seen by total strangers and posted onto said strangers’ blogs. You do have to agree to release your image (for display or other transmission, exhibition, publication or reproduction) to XBOX before you can claim it, but now Morah has just released the above image to XBOX. What if the people in the image didn’t want to release their likeness? And what about the picture of Morah and the girls? Who has that image? What rights does Morah have to the real image of her? What right does she have to protect her likeness? What rights does Morah have to the image above? Am I breaking the law by posting it on my blog?

So good job, XBOX. Way to totally mess up what was a great idea.

Friday Funday CL

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet. Funday links will open in a new window.

While looking for something entirely unrelated, I ran across some funny animations on YouTube, so that’s the theme this week.

Funny Hippo Song [del.icio.us]

It seems like most really good animation comes from France, which is where this hippo and dog are from. They seem to be part of a larger series (this video is actually kind of a one-off), which you can find in the related videos section. They speak French, but the sight gags are obvious enough.

Question stupide No. 1: Les pingouins volent-ils? [del.icio.us]

Stupid Question No. 1: Do Penguins Fly? Another French animation. Be sure to watch through the credits for the little treat at the end.

Backkom: Running Machine [del.icio.us]

Backkom comes to us from Korea. There are quite a few Backkom videos, but this was the funniest one I could find (I didn’t try too hard, most of the others are kind of dull, in my opinion). You can see them all on RG Animation’s website (click on Animations, then TV Shows).

Gopher Broke [del.icio.us]

I hungry gopher uses his brain to get a free lunch. Too bad there’s no such thing…

Born to be Alive [del.icio.us]

A humorous video about a suicidal cat. No really, it’s funny. It’s also French, and to understand the joke at the end, you’ll need to either speak French, or read the comments for this post (where I have posted a rough translation).

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