Wednesday, November 23, 2005
How cool is the Camera Toss? Grab a digital camera, set the exposure to a few seconds, and "toss it" to a friend.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
HOW TO BEAT ANY AUDIO CD COPYRIGHT PROTECTION SOFTWARE
One of the commenters on "DRM Crippled CD: A bizarre tale in 4 parts" pointed out that any CD you can listen to -- regardless of DRM -- can be defeated quite easily:
HOW TO BEAT ANY AUDIO CD COPYRIGHT PROTECTION SOFTWARE
buy a discman - sony make goods ones (poetic justice dept!)
insert audio cd
link cd headfones/line out to the line in on pc soundcard
play audio cd
record each track one at a time
re-assemble audio cd and burn to disc
every copy made from that disc will be copyright protection software free, and there is nothing anyone can do about this - if they did we wouldn't be able to listen to the audio cd's at all!
And, it is perfectly legal - you are allowed to make as many copies of a legally purchased product as you like so long as you can convince the judge that they are for personal use or are backup copies.
Monday, November 21, 2005
C'était un rendez-vous: Paris at 140mph
How ridiculously cool is this video? 9 minutes of hair raising driving through the streets of Paris, at speeds approaching 140 mph:
click for video
You can see quicktime versions of the 9 minute flick at several sites :
Here's the details from Wikipedia:
C'était un rendez-vous is a short film made in 1976 by Claude Lelouch, the director of Un homme et une femme. Lelouch's own car – a Ferrari 275 GTB – is driven by an anonymous driver at breakneck speed through the streets of Paris just after dawn, for a romantic "rendez-vous" at Basilica of the Sacré Cœur.
This cinéma vérité film was made in a single take with no editing, using a gyro-stabilised camera mount attached to the front of the car. The length of the film was limited by the capacity of the camera reel (under 10 minutes). There is no dialog, and the actors only appear briefly at the end; the driver's face is never shown.
Lelouch apparently sought an official permit but was denied by municipal authorities. Combined with low traffic, this probably influenced the early-morning hour of the shoot. The driver, purportedly an F1 racer, frightened unwitting pedestrians, scattered birds, ran stoplights, went the wrong way down one-way streets, crossed center lines, and ignored other traffic laws, in addition to speed limits. A close analysis showed the car at times approached 140 mph (220 km/h). Obstacles such as buses, garbage trucks, and small knots of traffic forced detours and abrupt downshifting. Though no police were encountered during the shoot itself, when Lelouch showed his film in public, he was arrested. Apparently no charges were ever filed, but as a result the film remained underground for many years.
The film has recently been re-mastered from the 35mm negative and released on DVD.
click for video
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Evolution is 'only' a Theory
Bob Rosenberg notes "The way I address people like the folks on the Kansas State Board of Education is with this short little essay:"
Evolution is 'only' a Theory.
When engaged in conversation by someone arguing for 'Intelligent Design' or 'Creationism', I respond thusly [it's better aloud, with appropriate emphasis, than it is on paper -- but, it works on paper]:
Evolution is 'only' a Theory. Some people will tell you that a theory, "... is just somebody's idea of what 'might' happen."
Well, Evolution is 'only' a Theory.
The dictionary says that a theory is, "the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another".
So, Evolution is 'only' a Theory. Evolution is 'only', "the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another". That means Evolution is 'only' a discussion of the existing empirical evidence.
Anyone who has difficulty understanding that concept is welcome to discuss it further with me. I will suggest to them that we continue the discussion at the 'so-called' Trinity Site in New Mexico. I choose that location because I know some of the same people who say that, "Evolution is 'only' a Theory" (that Evolution is just somebody's idea of what 'might' happen") actually believe that if you bring together, in a small dense enough mass, some so-called 'enriched' Uranium it will spontaneously explode. They even have a name for this 'Theoretical' idea: The name they have for it is a 'so called' "Atomic Bomb".
However, we all know that Relativity is also 'only' a Theory. It's just somebody's idea of what 'might' happen.
Relativity is 'only' a Theory -- Just like Evolution. "It's just somebody's idea of what 'might' happen" -- just like a 'so called' "Atomic Bomb".
via Interesting People
These guys do way cool graphics: They are on my short list next time I need some work:
Saturday, November 19, 2005
How to Order in Steak House Chain
What makes a great steak? A few things: Prime beef, well marbled, and aged.
First thing first: Prime:
One of the most confusing things about beef is knowing what a restaurant means when it describes meat as "prime." The answer starts out on the range, with a head of cattle munching grass. Although some steakhouses make much of where their beef comes from, cattle from across the country are all genetically similar, according to Cattle-Fax. At 15 months, the typical steer or heifer is sold to a feedlot, where it spends about five months chomping on the bovine equivalent of ice cream: corn with some hay, wheat and protein supplements. As cattle eat their high-calorie rations, they develop various degrees of marbling, or thin lines of milky white fat running through their meat.
next up: Marbling:
Marbling is one case in life where fat is a good thing: When beef cooks, those lines of fat melt and essentially baste the meat from within, making it rich and tender. Marbling is so important to the taste of a good steak that it is the basis of the USDA grading system. After slaughter, an inspector looks at the rib area of each carcass and labels it prime, choice, select, or another lower grade, depending on how much marbling he sees. About 55% of all cattle develop what the USDA terms "slightly abundant" marbling and are graded choice; 42% with less marbling are graded select or below. At the very top of the pyramid is the elite 3% of carcasses that have lots of white lines and flecks. They are graded USDA prime.
last comes Aging:
There are two ways of aging beef. The expensive route is dry-aging, which involves storing large pieces of meat in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room, typically for two to four weeks. It is generally considered the gold standard, because the meat evaporates liquid as it ages, creating more concentrated meat with intense beefy flavor. But evaporation causes both weight loss and a thick, hard crust that needs to be trimmed, often by a salaried in-house butcher. Restaurants that buy dry-aged steak pay about a $4-per-pound premium, according to David Burke, the former culinary director at Smith & Wollensky who is opening a steakhouse in Chicago this winter.
Finally, knowing the lingo can help you get a better piece of meat. Here are some essential terms (via WSJ):
Certified Angus Beef: Brand name for meat from Angus-breed cattle that is graded in the top two-thirds of the USDA choice category.
Filet mignon: Usually "choice or better" grade meat and never dry-aged, because it is boneless. The most tender but often least flavorful cut, it tastes best fairly rare. Chateaubriand is an extra-thick filet mignon.
Hanger steak: Some of the new, independent steakhouses serve this cut from the underside of the cow. Generally cheaper than other steaks, with a rich flavor and chewy texture.
New York strip: Also known as the Kansas City strip or sirloin strip (on-the-bone sirloin strips are sometimes called shell steaks). It's the choice of many connoisseurs, especially when it is USDA prime and dry-aged.
Porterhouse: The two-for-one steak, with a sirloin strip on one side of the bone and a tenderloin filet on the other. Often big enough for two diners (or one rich and hungry one), it's usually the priciest steak.
Rib eye: The fattiest steak and thus the best choice for people who like beef more well done -- the fat keeps it moist. Prime rib is the same meat roasted whole rather than sliced into steaks.
USDA choice: Grade given by a Department of Agriculture inspector to meat with marbling that ranges from small to what the USDA terms "slightly abundant."
USDA prime: Grade given by a DOA inspector to meat with the most marbling.
click for much larger graph
With demand for the best beef up and supply down, some restaurants are cutting corners. We serve up a guide to getting what you want
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, October 8, 2005; Page P4
Friday, November 18, 2005
The J-Lo Tree
Thursday, November 17, 2005
click for larger toon
Cleaning out some old files, I came across thois collection of snaps of poisonous frogs. I have no idea where they are from -- but they are definitely way cool:
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Rolling Stones set list
Rolling Stones set list, San Francisco 11/13/05
- Start Me Up
- You Got Me Rocking
- Live With Me
- Tumbling Dice
- Oh No Not You Again
- Rain Fall Down
- Sweet Virginia
- All Down The Line
- Night Time Is The Right Time --- Inroductions
- Slipping Away (Keith)
- Infamy (Keith)
- Miss You (to B-stage)
- Rough Justice (B-stage)
- Get Off Of My Cloud (B-stage stage)
- Honky Tonk Women (to main stage)
- Sympathy For The Devil
- Paint It Black
- Brown Sugar
- You Can't Always Get What You Want (encore)
- Jumping Jack Flash (encore)