fresh stuff netted frequently

 

Fingernails 101

By Doug Young | Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Whether you favor natural or synthetic nails, here are the key points to keep in mind about using and maintaining them.

Guitarist gatherings are probably the only place you’re likely to encounter a group of guys comparing their fingernails. And with good reason: For both male and female fingerstylists, nails play a key role in the character and caliber of the instrument’s sound. Fingernails can help you generate more volume and a brighter, more consistent tone. Of course, it’s possible to play with bare fingers or with fingerpicks, but most guitarists who want to play in this style will use nails.

Some fingerstylists, including many professional guitarists, take the step of applying artificial nails, finding that they are stronger (and therefore last longer) and allow for more aggressive attack on the strings than even the best-kept natural nails do. Here we’ll examine the options for and care of both natural and artificial fingernails.

Read the rest of the article here

clock Posted Mon Jul 31st, 2006 - 7:12am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Fretboard Journal Vol 3 on sale

The new issue of Fretboard Journal (Vol 3) is out and it is full of taut-stringed goodness.

Singer-songwriter Guy Clark is the cover story. Inside are interviews with Bill Collings of Collings Guitars, Bob Taylor (on his new R. Taylor guitars), banjo legend Wade Mainer and much, much more.

It’ll show up in most stores around the first week of August.

Link

 

clock Posted Sun Jul 30th, 2006 - 7:48pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Tomato with human face

This mutant tomato has become a celebrity in the Japanese city of Yawata, Kyoto. From MSN-Mainichi Daily News: The tomato, which is about 10 centimeters in diameter and weighs about 150 grams, is of the regular "Momotaro" variety, but is about three times the normal size. It was harvested in Yawata from a field owned by 61-year-old farmer Kiyoshi Ueda.

Link

 

clock Posted Sat Jul 29th, 2006 - 9:22am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

The Heyday of the Dead

New York Times

YES, it’s July. The sun’s shining. People are heading to the beach or just out, to catch some UV, drink some Mountain Dew and indulge in some good clean summer fun.

WHY WAIT? WEAR IT NOW A watch with a pavé diamond face by Lucien Pellat-Finet and Jacob Arabo reminds wearers that it is later than they think. But what is that little black cloud drifting across the sun? Will it ruin our picnic, like ants or a motorcycle gang? Heaven protect us ... a skull? Not one, but a sea of them! Ah, but ere it comes near, it is clear: it will barely cast a pall.

If it was not clear a year or two ago, when the skull motif cropped up on battered Herman-Melville-meets-Edgar-Allan-Poe T-shirts made by Rogues Gallery, on costly cashmere sweaters by Lucien Pellat-Finet, on the perforated uppers of the wingtips made by the men’s wear line Barker Black, it is now. What only recently seemed clever and stylish — I’m wearing a skull! I’m baaaaad! — has shifted into overdrive, if not overkill.

Beyond the sea of skull wear — belts, T-shirts, ties — there are umbrellas, sneakers, swimsuits, packing tape, party lights, even a skull-branded line of hand tools. One company has made a skull toilet brush and caddy (with a molded-plastic femur bone for a handle). This summer Damien Hirst announced that he will make a life-size skull, cast in platinum and adorned with 8,000 diamonds.

If it seems harmless, well, there you have it. With the full force of the American consumer marketing establishment behind it, the skull has lost virtually all of its fearsome outsider meaning. It has become the Happy Face of the 2000’s. When the mid-1980’s proto-Goth group the Ministry sang “Every Day Is Halloween,” this was not quite what they had in mind. ...

Read the rest of the article here

 

clock Posted Fri Jul 28th, 2006 - 7:33am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Pay phones suffer as cell phone use rises

By SAMANTHA GROSS | Associated Press 

NEW YORK - A stroll along Ninth Avenue in Manhattan reveals an ugly picture of the state of the pay phone these days. The phones are sticky, beat up and scarred, and some don't work at all. A child's change purse is stuffed on one phone ledge, along with a large wad of wrapping plastic. On a nearby ledge, an empty bottle of tequila sits in front of a hole that once held a phone. Empty cans of malt liquor sheathed in brown paper bags are a frequent sight.

With rising cell phone use and vandalism and neglect taking their toll, pay phones are disappearing around the nation. Consumer activists and advocates for the poor have protested the drop in numbers — saying that public phones are necessary in emergencies and represent a lifeline for those who can't afford a cell phone or even a landline.

"If you have a cell phone, you hardly look for the pay phones," said 25-year-old Sayed Mizan, listening to his iPod on a subway platform. "Besides, most of the time if you see the pay phones, they're either out of order or they're too filthy to touch."

Public phone operators insist that the bad reputation of pay phones is undeserved — though they do concede that they have removed many stands in recent years due to falling use...

Read the rest of the article here

clock Posted Thu Jul 27th, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

A disaster to take everyone's breath away

By Geoffrey Lean | New Zealand Herald

MANAUS - Deep in the heart of the world's greatest rainforest, a nine-day journey by boat from the sea, Otavio Luz Castello is anxiously watching the soft waters of the Amazon drain away.

Every day they recede further, like water running slowly out of an immense bathtub, threatening a worldwide catastrophe.

Standing on an island in a quiet channel of the giant river, he points out what is happening. A month ago, the island was under water. Now, it juts 5m above it.

It is a sign that severe drought is returning to the Amazon for a second successive year. And that would be ominous. New research suggests that one further dry year beyond that could tip the whole vast forest into a cycle of destruction.

The day before, top scientists delivered much the same message at a remarkable floating symposium on the Rio Negro, on the strange black waters beside which Manaus, the capital city of the Amazon, stands.

They told the meeting - convened on a flotilla of boats by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of the Greek Orthodox Church, dubbed the "green Pope" for his environmental activism - that global warming and deforestation were pushing the entire enormous area towards a "tipping point", where it would start to die.

The consequences would be awesome. The wet Amazon Basin would turn to dry savannah at best, desert at worst. This would cause much of the world to become hotter and drier.

In the long term, it could send global warming out of control, eventually making the world uninhabitable...

Read the rest of the article here

 

clock Posted Mon Jul 24th, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Chimeric animal photoshopping contest

Today on the Worth 1000 photoshopping contest: animal chimeras.

 

 

Link

 

 

clock Posted Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 - 8:13am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Monopoly replaces play-money with fake credit-cards

The new UK edition of Monopoly dispenses with paper play-money in favor of play-credit-cards with their own card-reader. Players will instead use a Visa mock debit card to keep track of how much they win or lose. It is inserted into an electronic machine where the banker taps in cardholders' earnings and payments.

Parker said replacing of cash with plastic showed the game was moving with the times.

Link

 

clock Posted Sat Jul 22nd, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

HOWTO build a fax out of salmon tins

From the June 1932 issue of Modern Mechanics, this recipe for building a fax machine ("electric picture transmitter") out of two salmon tins:

A COUPLE of sardine and salmon cans, a few bits of brass and several pieces of wood are all the materials that are needed to assemble an experimental but very practical picture transmitter and receiver. Two of each of the cans will be needed. The salmon cans should be of the small or half can size and the end that has been opened should be replaced by soldering in water tight, a new disc of tin.

Link

clock Posted Fri Jul 21sth, 2006 - 8:13am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Price of virtual living: Patience, privacy

By Peggy Mihelich | CNN

The virtual worlds depicted in the movies "The Matrix" and "Minority Report" can often seem far too real in today's world of computers, e-mail, instant messaging, MP3 players, cell phones, laptops, Wi-Fi and RFID.

Many of us can't get through a day without scanning, dialing or logging into a digital world so deeply embedded that living without 1s and 0s seems almost unthinkable -- and maybe impossible.

"We now live in an era where the technology is becoming mandatory instead of a choice. ...We have found ourselves tethered to our technology in a way that has really changed our lifestyle," said Larry Rosen, co-author of the book "TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @Work @Home @Play."

In 2004 the Census Bureau estimated that 62 percent of the U.S. population owned and used a cell phone. The IT consulting firm Yankee Group estimates that figure will reach about 82 percent by 2009.

About 73 percent of Americans age 18 or older use the Internet, up from 66 percent in January 2005, according to an April 2006 survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The Department of Commerce estimates e-commerce sales at $25.2 billion for the first quarter of 2006, an estimated increase of 25.6 percent from the first quarter of 2005.

"The Internet's become a mass phenomenon in this country. It really has had an impact on how people get information and stay in touch with other folks," Pew researcher John Horrigan said.

The virtual world also has given millions of people a place to express opinions and ideas they are often too afraid to voice in the real world.

"When you are sitting and communicating in the virtual world nobody sees you." Rosen said. "Tons of research shows that when you are not visible you feel more inclined to say things that you would never say face to face."

Read the rest of the article here

 

clock Posted Wed Jul 19th, 2006 - 8:13am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

New HP Wireless Chip Connects The Digital And Real Worlds

The tiny chips can be attached to objects from photos to prescription bottles.

By Thomas Claburn | InformationWeek

In an effort to strengthen the connection between the digital and physical worlds, HP today said that its researchers have created a tiny wireless microchip called the Memory Spot that can be used to affix digital content to tangible objects.

The chip—about the size of half a grain of rice—might be attached to a photo print, where it could provide access to the original digital photo file to anyone who wanted to make a copy. Howard Taub, VP and Associate Director of Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, said he hopes to see chip reading electronics, costing perhaps a few dollars, built into cell phones, PDAs, Flash drives, and other devices, including printers.

Taub said HP's aim was to make potential partners aware of the technology so they can begin discussing how it might be developed and deployed. He estimated it could take several years before it's commercially useful, with an eco-system of readers and product uses that make the chips practical.

Taub also showed how the chip might be used to attach an audio file of a physician reading a prescription to a pill bottle. Another demonstration included a postcard that contained a version of the classic arcade game PacMan that Taub scanned with a reader device into a PC and played. While such digital files can easily be stored and made accessible online, the Memory Spot allows computer files to be associated with actual objects, where they remain accessible whether or not there's Internet connectivity.

Current versions of the Memory Spot can hold from 256 kilobits to 4 megabits, enough for dozens of pages of text, a few photos, several minutes of audio, or a very short video clip, depending on the quality of the video encoding.

The HP Memory Spot is similar to a radio-frequency identification chip in many respects. The primary difference is that RFID chips store a pointer or reference to a database entry. The HP Memory Spot stores the data itself.

Read the rest of the article here

See also: Tiny Chips Could Change Our Lives @ CBS.com

 

clock Posted Tue Jul 18th, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

"Tourist Remover" removes people from photographs

FutureLab has a nifty service that erases people, cars, etc. from photographs. It works by comparing several photos of a scene, and getting rid of the stuff that's different from the other photos. Check out the gallery of "ghost town" photos!

Link

 

clock Posted Sat Jul 15th, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

How to "gain flesh"

"A SKINNY man hasn't a chance." A chance to what? To make it with the delectably curvy woman shown here? On the contrary! She's says "I'll tell you how to gain pounds quick!" See, this woman digs skinny guys. She likes to help them become big and strong.

The moral of the story: no matter your phenotype, there's someone out there ready to love you for who you are (or for what they might be able to mold you into becoming).

From the archives of Modern Mechanix blog.

 

 

clock Posted Fri Jul 14th, 2006 - 8:13am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Monty Python: Plush Holy Hand Grenade

From the StarStore website:

- A Specialty Market Exclusive! A plush, farting copy of that most holy of instruments, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, that destroyed the foul rabbit that bit off the head of Sir Gawain; that defeated the wicked witch of Endor; that molted the... (edited due to length). This plush comes in the original box*, which includes full instructions. Note that when squeezed, this grenade makes a loud farting noise, similar to that of a whoopie cushion. (* due to there only being one original box, all boxes actually shipped are full-color copies made of cardboard).

Holy Hand Grenade

 

clock Posted Thu Jul 13th, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


Birthday.

 

clock Posted Wed Jul 12th, 2006 - 8:13am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Tampon gun

TamponCrafts has published a HOWTO for building a paintball-style gun for firing tampons: Inspired by marshmallow shooters, this air-powered tampon gun turns your feminine hygiene products into high-flying projectiles. Have a shootout between rival tampon brands, or use it as a fun alternative to paintball. The tampon shooter has a range of 10 to 20 feet depending on your ammo and lung capacity. The matching bandolier lets you carry a full “clip” (i.e., box) of 20 tampons, so you’ll never be caught short in the heat of battle.

Link

clock Posted Sun Jul 9th, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Vintage psych drug ads

Here's a gallery of (mostly unsettling) Japanese advertisements (1956-2003) for psychiatric drugs. (Previous post about vintage pharma ads here.) This is an ad for Serenace (haloperidol), an anti-psychotic, from a 1970 issue of Psychiatria et Neurologia Japonica. Link (via Mind Hacks)

 

 

 

clock Posted Thu Jul 6th, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Open call for Eyebeam research fellows

The terrific Eyebeam art/science/tech atelier in New York City is holding its second open call for research fellows. All work created as part of the program will be free under open licenses, without patents, released under GPL, Creative Commons, and documented in the form of DIY guides. This is an amazing opportunity for makers/hackers.

From the R&D Fellows Program page:

Join the OpenLab and Make Your Mark on the Public Domain Eyebeam is now accepting applications for the next round of R&D Fellows in the R&D OpenLab. We are looking for hardware and software hackers, techno arts-and-craftsters, and new types of open source makers to come to New York City and develop experimental creative technologies and media. The OpenLab represents an opportunity for selected individuals to work in a state-of-the-art digital fabrication laboratory, to collaborate with a range of talented technologists and artists from diverse and hybrid backgrounds, to gain international exposure for innovative work and to directly enrich the global DIY community, free culture and the public domain. Join past OpenLab Fellows and projects like MintyBoost, OGLE (OpenGLExtractor), SlashLinks, LED Throwies, Contagious Media and FundRace and make your mark on the Public Domain.

Link

 

clock Posted Wed Jul 5th, 2006 - 8:13am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Soviet joke-telling

Here's a wonderful article on the history of joke-telling under Soviet communism; from the earliest jokes after the October Revolution to the jokes that led up to the fall of Wall. Yet there is an obvious problem with the idea that communist jokes represented an act of revolt: it wasn't just opponents of the regime who told them. Stalin himself cracked them, including this one about a visit from a Georgian delegation: They come, they talk to Stalin, and then they go, heading off down the Kremlin's corridors. Stalin starts looking for his pipe. He can't find it. He calls in Beria, the dreaded head of his secret police. "Go after the delegation, and find out which one took my pipe," he says. Beria scuttles off down the corridor. Five minutes later Stalin finds his pipe under a pile of papers. He calls Beria—"Look, I've found my pipe." "It's too late," Beria says, "half the delegation admitted they took your pipe, and the other half died during questioning."

Link

clock Posted Tue Jul 4th, 2006 - 7:38pm by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

Rock Paper Scissors with 25 hand-gestures

 

 

 

 

 

 

RPS25 is a rock-paper-scissors variant with 25 hand-gestures that combine to make 300 possible outcomes. The chart is a hoot!

Link

clock Posted Sun Jul 2nd, 2006 - 6:55am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

1974 Chevy Vega

OK. Of all the occasionally recurring dreams, the one about my ’74 Vega ranks fairly low on the excitement scale. Except, that’s not how it plays out in the dream itself.

The dream is always set in present day, and it involves me remembering that my Vega is not long since scrapped, but stored in some long-forgotten garage or barn. After 10 minutes and a fresh battery, the car starts and I drive away.

Last night, it involved me breaking to the front of the line at a repair shop, where I’ve made instant respect karma with the shop-owner – who has fixed a problem with my Vega. Oh, it still has a hole in the gas tank, one bad spring, a door that does not match, a cracked windshield, and leaves a sickly sweet cloud of smoke every time I press the accelerator… but it RUNS.

clock Posted Sat Jul 1st, 2006 - 8:45am by CPC  Return to home page Top of page


 

About This Blog

Reprints from the right and the left, plus comments and random thoughts about faith, music, counter-culture, technology, wretched excess, art, questionable government, and the ultimate interconnectivity of all things.

 

 

My web site is here.

     

 

 

July 2006

Fingernails 101
Fretboard Journal
Tomato with human face
The Heyday of the Dead
Pay phones suffer as cell phone use rises
A disaster to take everyone's breath away
Open call for Eyebeam research fellows
Monopoly replaces play-money with fake credit-cards
Chimeric animal photoshopping contest
Tampon Gun
HOWTO build a fax out of salmon tins
Price of virtual living: Patience, privacy
New HP Wireless Chip Connects The Digital And Real Worlds
How to "gain flesh"
"Tourist Remover" removes people from photographs
Monty Python: Plush Holy Hand Grenade
Soviet Joke Telling
Vintage psych drug ads
Rock Paper Scissors with 25 hand-gestures
1974 Chevy Vega

 

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