Friday, October 13, 2006

For the truly geeky among us

This is for real. It was created by Wenger to celebrate 100 years of innovation. This unique special edition knife contains all 85 tools currently produced by Wenger (Maker of the Genuine Swiss Army Knife).

How much will this grandaddy of Swiss Army knives set you back? Only $799. Operators are standing by.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Word Nerds

Hi... my named is Paul

<< hi paul >>

and... I'm a word nerd.

<< murmur of incredulity >>

When I was in grade school I used to read the dictionary for fun. Scary, right. What a joy to discover that there are other freaks out there, too! The Word Nerds is a podcast all about language, the words we use, and "why we say the things we do." Here's a small sample. You may need to follow along for the latter part.

I highly recommend you give it a listen if you love words.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Catholic Insider

This is a great podcast to listen to for sound-seeing tour ideas. Roman Catholic priest Fr. Roderick Vonhögen takes you on a journey of discovery through the fascinating world of the Catholic church. A Catholic show, but not just for catholics! Explore the history of the Catholic church during sound-seeing tours all over Europe.

You can subscribe to the podcast by pasting this URL into iTunes or some other podcasting software.

Shownotes can be found at the following URL:

Friday, May 26, 2006

College 2.0

There are many stories lately about professors recording their lectures and posting them online for download, but one professor in the UK is going even further. He's getting rid of in-person lectures completely. Instead, he's only recording the lessons for students to download as podcasts or video. Students can then ask questions via email or text message, and the professor will respond on his blog. It's all very "2.0" of him.

While some will say that this is a less personal approach to teaching, that might not really be true. What the professor noticed is that there's less benefit in large lectures for the students to actually be present. Instead, this way, he can focus on spending time with students in smaller groups, where he's actually focused on teaching, rather than just lecturing. Not surprisingly, in order to facilitate that, he also has a web-based schedule for students to see when he's free to meet.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pimp my Flash and Bling my Ring

One of the lastest trends in "Geek Chic" is the $3,500 14k gold-plated USB Flash drive inlaid with diamonds. If this isn't quite enough bling for you, an 18k model is also available from White Lake.

"This product will open new markets for us," said White Lake owner Rob van Berkom, in a statement. "We have sold huge amounts of personalized USB stick with logos over the past year. Our customers used them as a give-away. Some of them asked us for a more exclusive product line. This stick meets their demand, so we expect to sell quite a few of them."

In a related trend, Swarovski crystal encrusted cell phones are also the "in" thing. It costs between $100 and $300 to "bling your ring" with crystals. You can purchase a kit and do it yourself, or they will do it for you at MyBlingRing. Their customers include Britney Spears, Hillary Duff, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Amanda Bynes, etc.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

Who would have thought that they could dramatize the world of competitive spelling bees. Sounds almost as dry as high school debate. ;o)

This movie, however, has done a terrific job of doing exactly that, and most of the credit goes to the young, and very talented, Keke Palmer. Her interaction with each of the other characters brings believability to all of them.

Laurence Fishburne turns in an excellent performance as Professor Larabee. In fact, I can't think of anything I've enjoyed him in more. There are so many layers to his personality, and we never do learn the whole story... but we are able to clearly see him emerge as a very complex human being, and we see Akeelah helping him as much as he helps her.

This is also a great family film. 5 stars!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Trunk Monkey

This was a series of very funny (okay, some of them were funnier than others) commercials that because a viral sensation. Here is the first Trunk Monkey commercial.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sudoku and Aging

Recently I was talking to my mother on the phone and she said that she has taken up Sudoku to keep her brain active. It appears that keeping the brain active as we age is helpful for a number of reasons. Scientists say a daily dose of such exercises improves the memory and even the condition of dementia patients.

In Japan, where senior citizens are not as averse to "gadgets" as my mother is, Nintendo has sold a combined total of more than 3.3 million of its “Brain Training for Adults” released in May 2005 and a sequel that came out last December. Its portable DS consoles on which the games are played are constantly out of stock in shops.

“I wanted to make a contribution to society through my findings, to tell the world that you can train the brain,” said Ryuta Kawashima, professor of brain science at Tohoku University, whose theory has been featured in many books and video games.

Not to be outdone, Sony is also in on the act. In the photo, Japanese women play PlayStation Portables (PSP) during a "brain training" program in Yokohama, west of Tokyo. Sony Computer Entertainment, which has the "Brain Trainer" using Kawashima's theory for its PSP console, is holding "Video Game Workshops for Grown-ups", in a bid to appeal to older generations.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


In Japan they refer to a Rube Goldberg type machine as a ピタゴラそうち (pitagora souchi) Pitagora for the Greek mathematician Pythagoras and souchi meaning a contrivance or a device. A cute NHK children's show creates a pun on the name and calls itself ピタゴラスイッチ (pitagora suitchi) or Pythagoras Switch.

Monday, April 10, 2006

RFID and Privacy

Brendan Walker, a 37-year-old software engineer in Canton, Ohio, is one of a growing number of computer and technology experts who are becoming anxious about possible abuses of the technology. Mr. Walker fears that thieves will be able to eavesdrop on the radio transmission and buy gas at his expense. He also figures that he himself could walk past the pump and accidentally pay for somebody else's gas, though the card companies say he would have to get within two inches of the scanner to accomplish that feat.

RFID: Legitimate fear or fear-mongering? by ZDNet's Mitch Ratcliffe -- A Wall Street Journal article details the exploits of RFID-defeating privacy advocates and a few snake-oil solutions.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

No More (Sammy & Sasha Nelson)

You can embed video with YouTube like this. Oh, and these are two VERY talented 14 year olds, btw.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Honda Video

Here's the Honda Video we saw in class as an enclosure. You can take your own videos in .MOV format and do the same thing with them.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bishop Museum Star Party

This is a podcast from Bishop Museum's "Mad About Science" night, held on March 11, 2006. The moon was almost full, and it was cloudy on and off, but we still got pretty good views of the moon and Saturn.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The B**b Fairy

This is a very cute song by Deirdre Flint, but don't listen if you are easily offended. After hearing this song on Adam Curry's Daily Source Code, I went out and bought her album, The Shuffleboard Queens on iTunes.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Procrastinator's Creed

  • 1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.
  • 2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.
  • 3. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.
  • 4. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.
  • 5. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.
  • 6. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.
  • 7. I shall never forget that the probability of a miracle, though infinitesmally small, is not exactly zero.
  • 8. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.
  • 9. I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
  • 10. I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.
  • 11. I obey the law of inverse excuses which demands that the greater the task to be done, the more insignificant the work that must be done prior to beginning the greater task.
  • 12. I know that the work cycle is not plan/start/finish, but is wait/plan/plan.
  • 13. I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.
  • 14. I will become a member of the ancient Order of Two-Headed Turtles (the Procrastinator's Society) if they ever get it organized.