Hear Ye! Since 1998.

All 498 Posts in the Category: Miscellaneous

11
Feb 12
Sat

Recently viral

My dad actually found these before I did. I’m losing touch.

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5
Jul 10
Mon

Limbo legend

Watch this guy limbo under a bar that’s as high as a beer bottle:

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23
Mar 10
Tue

Miscellania

Radio silence has been because of visitors visiting from out of country. We now return you to our semi-regular scheduled programming.

For now, some rapid-fire links:

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2
Feb 10
Tue

Monopoly, redesigned

Hasbro has redesigned the redesigned the Monopoly board. The board is now circular. It looks cool, but the deal breaker for me is that they’ve also gotten rid of cash. That’s right, Monopoly money is no more. Players get cards which they insert into an electronic bank account in the middle of the board (it looks like a calculator to me). Blah.

Where’s the fun in that? Gone is the tactic to cut backroom deals by waving fistfuls of notes in front of other people’s faces. Gone is the ability to chip in some cash so your ally can buy that fourth hotel. Gone is the psychological advantage of stacking your massive pile of cash up against your arch-rival’s dwindling reserves. And of course, gone is the ability to engage in daylight robbery of your opponents’ cash when their head is turned. Or even the bank’s.

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1
Feb 10
Mon

The most dictionary definitions

I always thought that the word “set” had the most definitions in the dictionary.  But it turns out that it depends on which dictionary you go to. “Run” has the most in some. “Turn” and “use” also have a lot of definitions. The top 10 list for the OED is here.

On the Urban Dictionary, the word with the most definitions is… “emo“.

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19
Jan 10
Tue

Moscow’s Stray Dogs

The Financial Times has a report on stray dogs in Moscow. It identifies an interesting link between the changing state of the Russian economy to how the strays developed. The article is also answers questions about stray dogs in general – where do they come from? Are they any different to pet dogs?

Neuronov says there are some 500 strays that live in the metro stations, especially during the colder months, but only about 20 have learned how to ride the trains. This happened gradually, first as a way to broaden their territory. Later, it became a way of life. “Why should they go by foot if they can move around by public transport?” he asks.

“They orient themselves in a number of ways,” Neuronov adds. “They figure out where they are by smell, by recognising the name of the station from the recorded announcer’s voice and by time intervals. If, for example, you come every Monday and feed a dog, that dog will know when it’s Monday and the hour to expect you, based on their sense of time intervals from their biological clocks.”

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17
Nov 09
Tue

Just a thought

Accounting is probably one of the only fields that becomes a negative sounding phrase when you stick the word “creative” in front of it.

3
Nov 08
Mon
20
May 08
Tue

The Aussie $

The AUD/USD hit 0.9610 a few hours ago and is now hovering at about 0.9600. Another bid for parity maybe? One thing’s for sure – now is a great time to take a trip to the States.

6
May 08
Tue

Yahoo stock plunges?

I just read this recent post on Kottke.org and felt compelled to point out the mis-analysis that Jason makes. A lot happened between Jan 31 and May besides the unsuccessful Yahoo bid. Microsoft’s drop in stock price from $32.60 to $29.08 over that period cannot be solely attributed to the Yahoo! bid – not when the prices that are being compared are over 4 months apart. If memory serves, there was a profit announcement that failed to meet analyst expectations recently and MSFT stock dropped 5%. Conversely, YHOO may currently be trading at a slight premium if there are still some people who think there is a lingering possibility of another bid in the future. The other tendency to take into account is that an acquiring company’s stock price will fall when it makes a bid and the target company’s stock price will rise to approximately the level of the bidder’s offer price. In light of all this, I think he’s inaccurate to conclude:

In still other words, in attempting to take Yahoo by force, they let an amount equal to Yahoo slip through their fingers. Why isn’t anyone writing about Yahoo’s amazing stock gains and Microsoft’s plunge?

17
Apr 08
Thu

Did you know…?

At work the other day, a colleague and I were looking up something in Wikipedia originating from a query about the Malaysian legal system. I can’t recall the term for when you read a Wikipedia article and then suddenly, a dozen links down the track, you find yourself reading about a totally unrelated but equally fascinating topic. But anyway, that happened. I had wandered back to my office when a few minutes later I got a phone call. The voice on the other end of the line was audibly excited. Trembling even. (Okay no, I made that one up.)

“Did you know…” there was a pause.
“Yes?”
“Did you know… that there’s a Jewish autonomous region in Russia?! On the Chinese border.”
“Huh… really?”

Finding it genuinely interesting (for no other reason than it was so randomly weird), I scooted back to my colleague’s office to find them poring over the Wikipedia entry for the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Which, it turns out, “was the result of Joseph Stalin’s nationality policy, which allowed for the Jewish population of Russia to receive a territory in which to pursue Yiddish cultural heritage within a socialist framework.” And only a couple minutes later we were Wiki-ing the difference between Hebrew and Yiddish.

But anyway, file this one under completely random (but kinda cool). I now resolve to use the word “oblast” in a sentence at some point in the future.

15
Mar 08
Sat

Shockwave traffic jams

It’s been known that traffic jams ripple backwards through traffic, which explains why traffic slows down long before the scene of an accident, and appears to speed up again before the scene. A bunch of Japanese researchers have managed to creatively replicate a traffic jam so that it’s readily visible.

14
Sep 07
Fri

Pirates Gold problem

Five pirates, all ranked in order of seniority, have 100 coins to divide among themselves. The allocation process involves the most senior pirate proposing an allocation between all 5 pirates. All the pirates vote. If at least half the pirates agree, the allocation is locked in and the process ends. If the vote isn’t carried, the senior-most pirate is executed and the process is repeated with one less pirate. Assume that all the pirates act completely logically. Each pirate has the following priorities: (1) to stay alive; (2) to get as many coins as possible; and (3) to execute as many pirates as possible. How should the senior-most pirate divvy up the coins so that he/she gets as many coins as possible?

11
Apr 07
Wed

Maths problem

Two minutes to solve, no calculators:

My brain’s not working – I’ve hit a mental blank with this – answer in the comments section please.

30
Jul 06
Sun

Final Blogathon Post 54

Okay, it’s done. Raised a touch under $100. Not much, but better than nothing, and more than I usually do on a Sunday! Thank you to the donors (all two of them…)

Blogathon Post 53

Just one more to go then I can sleep.

Blogathon Post 52

Link of the half hour: World’s most photorealistic vector art.

Blogathon Post 51

Not long to go now…

Blogathon Post 50

Link of the half hour: Israeli air strike kills 51 civilians. It’s horrifying.

Blogathon Post 49

What a peculiar filler episode for Atlantis. SG-1 was better this week.

Blogathon Post 48

Ok quite tired, going to chill out to Atlantis now. I think I’m giving up the idea of writing any posts with content now.

Blogathon Post 47

Time for a shower and then Atlantis. I’ve hit a plateau with rock climbing I think – I can do most of the yellow routes (18-20 difficulty), but the oranges are too tough (21-22).

Link of the half hour: Rock climbing forearm exercises.

Blogathon Post 46

Whoops waylaid on the way back.

29
Jul 06
Sat

Blogathon Post 40

Going indoor rock climbing. Will be mobile posting to “check in” every 30 mins, depending on the circumstances.

Blogathon Post 39

Going out to buy some bacon to cook with pasta for tonight’s dinner.

Blogathon Post 38

With the new Core 2 Duo CPUs out, soon might be a good time to upgrade…

Blogathon Post 37

Link of the half-hour: Lake Peigneur. How does a 3m deep lake turn into a 400m+ deep lake?

Blogathon Post 36

Link of the half-hour: 715 megapixel photo of the Sydney CBD. It’s a stiched copy of 170 images taken with a Canon 10D fitted with a 100-400mm L lens. Most photos were shot at 400mm, at ISO 200, 6s, f/6.7 (manual mode). The original image is a 1.3Gb Photoshop file.

Blogathon Post 35

Link of the half-hour: A Foreign Affair. It’s an interesting read.

Blogathon Post 34 – The Kingsford Flea Markets

There’s some sort of market that runs every Sunday, only about 100 metres down the road from my place, that I’ve never been to. So I just dropped by and had a bit of a squiz.

It’s a pretty tatty flea market where a motley crew of vendors have thrown together a completely random selection of paraphrenalia. There’s disordered piles of second hand clothing, toiletries by the pallet-load, sort of fresh fruits and vegetables, snack food, books, taps and faucets, fishing equipment, cheap jewellery, golf bags, shoes and packs of 48 rolls of toilet paper going for $8. There’s even a damn tarot card reader in amongst the stalls. However, the prize for most random stall goes to the guy selling motherboards, keyboards and bikinis. The crowd is predominantly composed of elderly mediterraneans and an assortment of Asians, all out hunting for the odd bargain (and there probably are some decent ones floating around, if you’re willing to wade in and get your hands dirty… literally).

Blogathon Post 33

I’m going for a walk outside. It’s too nice a day to be stuck inside. I’m bringing my camera along, not that there’s much to photograph in Kingsford!

Blogathon Post 32

Hmm, it’ll be lunchtime soon. ING raised their Savings Maximiser account interest rates to 5.85% a few days ago (which is actually above the current RBA cash rate, but not for long). BankWest is also offering a 6.4% interest rate for the first 12 months.

Link of the half-hour: How the benefits of internet accounts stack up.

Blogathon Post 31

This is a census year and the first where Australians can fill out the census form online. The census is a statistics gathering exercise where the ABS attempts to get the various details of every single person living in Australia on the census night (which is 8 August). It’s a tremendous task. I remember a series of Full Frontal skits (which must be either 10 or 15 years ago now) where they showed a census collector popping up in the weirdest places (an Aboriginal tribe in the outback, someone lost on a desert island off the coast of northern Queensland, etc).

Filling out a census form is a legal requirement, and it is regulated by the Census and Statistics Act 1905. While it’s not illegal to fail to fill out the form, per se, the “Australian Statistician” (a person in the ABS) can direct a person (in writing) to answer any unanswered census questions (which are not optional to answer). It is a criminal offence to fail to comply with such a direction. The maximum penalty is one penalty unit (or $110)… per day (and not $100 like the census booklet says). Which makes it more expensive than failing to get your name marked off the electoral roll during elections.

In terms of privacy, each member of a household is entitled to a separate form if they want one. Your details are kept confidential, and the Australian Statistician can be whacked with a $13,200 fine and/or 2 years’ imprisonment if they divulge any information given to them (in a manner not authorised by the Act). Furthermore, a “person who is or has been the Statistician or an officer must not, at any time during the period of 99 years beginning on the Census day for a Census: (a) be required to divulge or communicate to an Agency any information that is contained in a form that is given to the Statistician or an authorised officer under section 10 in relation to that Census…”. They same exemption applies against providing such information in courts and tribunals. Therefore it sounds like census details are safe from the prying eyes of the intelligence officers at ASIO. After 99 years, we have the option of having our details released so future generations can study this generation.

There are a few interesting things I’ve noted about this year’s questions. Question 12 asks country of birth, and the options are Australia, England, NZ, Italy, Viet Nam, Scotland, Greece and Other. It’s logical to assume that these countries reflect the most frequently selected options. (Also interesting is that they’ve decided to spell Viet Nam in two words, like it’s done natively. Vietnamese used to be written in Chinese characters before a missionary romanicised their language. Therefore, Vietnam actually is two words, but when it’s Anglicised, it’s normally written as a single word – just as how “China” is the Anglicised version of China, which is written as two Chinese characters which, when translated, have nothing to do with the word “China”.)

Question 19 asks about religion. It’s an optional question, as always. In the examples of ‘Other’ religions, one example specified is “Salvation Army”. I wasn’t aware it was a religion. In the last census, over 70,000 Star Wars fans decided to write “Jedi” as an answer. However, their ploy failed and the ABS refused to recognise “Jedi” as a religion.

Finally, I think question 59 is new: “Can the Internet be accessed at this dwelling?”

Blogathon Post 30

I got my census delivered yesterday. I’ll write a bit about it in the next post.

Blogathon Post 29

Admittedly, Sydney property prices have been ranked as among the most unaffordable in the world (relative to cost of living) in recent years, but you might also like to remember that during the 1980s, the cash rate soared way above 10% for several years.

Blogathon Post 28

With the RBA set to raise interest rates by at least 0.25% next week (if not 0.5%), I really don’t envy people holding mortgages. Not only that, but some believe property prices will drop up to 10% as a result of interest rates making it unattractive for property to be used as an investment. People will therefore get hit with a negative capital return, plus an increased loss due to higher interest payments (so what if it’s tax deductible? A loss caused by higher interest payments is still a loss, even if it’s discounted by your marginal tax rate.)

On the flipside, rental rates will rise as more people decide to rent rather than buy. However, property in Sydney is already quite overpriced. Rental yields only pay for a fraction of the mortgage payments. It’s not a great time for new home owners.

Link of the half-hour: Lifetime mortgages.

Blogathon Post 27

It’s actually a little hard to post anything substantial every half hour, so I’m deferring until the next post.

Blogathon Post 26

That was a good episode.

Blogathon Post 25

No link for this half hour, still watching Stargate.

Blogathon Post 24

Time to watch Stargate. Ooh, a crossover episode with Atlantis!

Link of the half-hour: Midnight in Moscow. An interesting article about how the fall of the Soviet Union has changed Moscovite night life.

Blogathon Post 23

Time for some breakfast.

Link of the half-hour: Top 50 movie endings of all time.

10
Feb 06
Fri

Figure this

This question was recently posed on The Straight Dope:

A plane is standing on a runway that can move (some sort of band conveyer). The plane moves in one direction, while the conveyer moves in the opposite direction. This conveyer has a control system that tracks the plane speed and tunes the speed of the conveyer to be exactly the same (but in the opposite direction). Can the plane take off? [And why?]

I thought about it for a few minutes and I came to the conclusion that the plane will take off. You can Google for the answer but have a think about it first… opinions in comments.

13
Dec 05
Tue

Contronyms

Words that mean their opposites: sanction, cleave, liege. More contronyms.

24
Nov 05
Thu

MapWorld

I walked into a store called MapWorld on Pitt St. I’m a bit of a map geek (through osmosis, I have an unhealthy knowledge of world capitals) so I found it really cool. They have some really big world maps you can buy there and they sell some of them laminated, although the lamination often costs more than the map itself. They also have a wide, but overpriced, collection of travel books, atlases and globes. There’s a good quality large map going there for about $100 which would fit my wall very nicely!

28
Feb 05
Mon

3 Unrelated Tips

1. At Star City, you can sign up for a free membership card. This card entitles you to three free drinks per day. However, if you swipe the card through the drinks machine correctly, you can get an unlimited supply. There are two lights that go on when a drink is being dispensed, one is the circular light surrounding the button of the drink you selected. The second is the arrow that’s above the hole where the drink comes out. First, order a drink. Next, the trick is to swipe your card just after the circular light goes out, but before the arrow light turns off. Don’t swipe too fast, or the machine won’t read your card. This will get you a second drink without increasing your daily drink count. Repeat for subsequent drinks.

2. If you have a 3 mobile phone, and have free 3-to-3 calls and voicemail, instead of dialing your voicemail, call your own number instead. You will automatically get diverted to your own voicemail, but because 3 thinks you’re calling a regular 3 phone number, you’ll be able to check your voicemail for free. I don’t have 3, so I can’t verify this, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

3. Are you a UNSW student? The Factiva database on Sirius has a complete full-text archive of newspapers (AFR, SMH, Australian, etc) and periodicals (BRW, The Economist, etc). Through Factiva, you can view articles that you’d otherwise have to pay for, such as those marked as “Premium” on certain websites, or articles in the pay-per-access archive of the SMH.

3
Feb 05
Thu

Quick question

I am really amazed at how many people do not know how many states there are in the USA! Do you know the answer off the top of your head? (Americans don’t count for this question.)

1
Nov 04
Mon

Good Morning America

It’s US election day. The world is waiting. Get out and vote.

9
Oct 04
Sat

The Election

Labor’s in trouble…

8
Oct 04
Fri

Just a Note

There is no Australian Labour Party. It’s the Australian Labor Party. The American form of spelling the word was adopted in 1912 due to the influence of the American labor movement and it was never changed.

20
Sep 04
Mon

Corporate E-Mails that should never have been sent

These are fairly old, but they’re still amusing. Case 1 concerns an Associate at The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, working in South Korea. He decided to send this pearler off to a few of his mates who then forwarded his boasting to a few more people and so on. Until the e-mail got back to his superiors whereupon his “good life” abruptly ended.

Case 2 is of a Summer Associate at Skadden, Arps, a pretty huge New York law firm. An e-mail intended for a friend accidentally went out to the entire underwriting team instead, including 20 partners. This was mainly a problem because it started out with the words, “I’m busy doing jack shit.” Lucky for him, he appears to have come through unscathed, keeping his US$2400/week job.

15
Jul 04
Thu

Seedy Songs and Rotten Rhymes – Poetry of the Playground

I can’t remember my nursery rhymes, but I have snippets of little playground ditties still stuck in my head. Here’s a site that catalogues them.

I remember chanting eeny meany miney mo, racist words and all, not knowing what the “N”-word actually meant. I also remember it continued… “boy scout you’re out, not because you’re dirty, not because you’re clean, just because you kissed the girl behind the magazine”. There was also “dip dip dog shit” which doesn’t seem to be mentioned on the site. Also, “On top of old smokey, all covered in snow… I shot my poor teacher, with a bow and arrow.” What do you remember?

14
Jun 04
Mon

Want a Gmail account?

Submit an article to The Backbench. We’ll send a Gmail invite to the person who writes the best submission for our next issue. Submission guidelines here. We normally only get a two or three external submissions per issue, so you’ve got a good chance.

5
May 04
Wed

Wordplay

Pointless Fact of the Day:

The longest words in the English language (or my dictionary, at least) made up of unique letters are dermatoglyphics and uncopyrightable.

And in the process of trying to find a definition for dermatoglyphics, I came across this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_English_words

– Shish

Thanks Shish. Also, here’s a resource all lawyers should use.

4
May 04
Tue

The Memory Hole

Similar in flavour to The Smoking Gun, The Memory Hole has some excellent archives, including photos from the recent atrocities inflicted on Iraqi prisoners by Coalition soldiers.

31
Mar 04
Wed

Chernobyl – A couple decades later

Motorcycle photo tour of the ghost town of Chernobyl. It’s fascinating, and also really eerie. The whole area is basically frozen in time and relics of Communism abound in there. {src: Expect Nothing}

18
Mar 04
Thu

A Couple Links

This mail from Pete:

http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/mispron.html
Off of Kottke…but interestingly all the mispronounced words seem to apply mostly to if the speaker is from american (Innernet and such).

I expecially like their explanation of KKK:
Klu Klux Klan / Ku Klux Klan Well, there is an “l” in the other two, why not the first? Well, that is just the way it is; don’t expect rationality from this organization.

Culled from the Web, xBlog is frequently updated list of links most likely
to be of interest to visual thinkers, graphic designers and information
architects: http://xplane.com/xblog/

Thanks mate.

14
Jan 04
Wed

Linkfest

I got back last week. Am very very slowly typing up a trip report. In the meantime, here’s a bunch of links:

LOTR Legal Analysis – A US law student has done a legal analysis of Sauron’s contractual offers. Amusing.
Foiled! – Imagine returning home and finding everything wrapped in foil.
The Night Before Christmas – In legalese. Thanks Shish.
Chinese guy successful sues for being mugged online – OMG, the sky is falling.
Fontifier – Turn your writing into a true type font. Requires scanner and printer.

23
Nov 03
Sun

Night Panoramas of Japan

Absolutely spectacular site showing scrolling Panoramas of Japan. The main map is here, just blindly click and you’ll get the photo for that location. This pic is extraordinary, just the sheer amount of lights.

Angora Rabbits

I’m sure they’re prizewinners and all, but they still look absurd.

20
Nov 03
Thu

Aquatic Critters

Fact of the day: Sea cucumbers can defend themselves by a process called auto-evisceration. It’s exactly what it sounds like. They eject most of their internal organs through their asshole in order to distract their predator. They can still “eat” by absorbing nutrients through their skin. Incidentally, they are used in Chinese cooking (hmm, a self-gutting animal, that would make the cook’s job easier) although I never found them tasty. They have the consistency of a slug.

29
Oct 03
Wed

Phrase of the Day

Came across this quaint phrase yesterday: Hobson’s Choice. A Hobson’s Choice is where you really don’t have a choice.

Hobson’s choice is said to have had its origin in the name of one Thomas Hobson (ca. 1544-1631), at Cambridge, England, who kept a livery stable and required every customer to take either the horse nearest the stable door or none at all.

In 1914 Henry Ford offered customers of the Model T a famous Hobson’s choice, making it available in “any color so long as it is black”.

As I said, quaint.

21
Oct 03
Tue

Some Links

- The most powerful diesel engine in the world. It’s 2300 tonnes.
Toshiba e800: the first Pocket PC with a 640×480 resolution screen.

15
Oct 03
Wed

Quickies

- Turn That PC Into a Supercomputer: A 25 gigaflop co-processor on a PCI card. And affordable.
iTunes for Windows: iTunes is actually a pretty good piece of software.
China in space: Third nation to do so.

8
Oct 03
Wed

Vulgar Number Plate

A link on Fark caught my eye: “DMV tells Dennis Udink that his last name is vulgar; won’t issue personalized plate” Yes, it is the e/n Uncle Dennis!

1
Oct 03
Wed

Thinking Style Quiz

From Fuzzy, a quiz by BBC tries to match you to a particular mode of thinking. No surprises about what I got:

Logical-Mathematical thinkers:
– Like to understand patterns and relationships between objects or actions
– Try to understand the world in terms of causes and effects
– Are good at thinking critically, and solving problems creatively

Careers which suit Logical-Mathematical thinkers include: Physicist, Chemist, Biologist, Lawyer, Computer Programmer, Engineer, Inventor

23
Sep 03
Tue

Misc Links

- Go Daddy sues Verisign over its blatant and despicable abuse of the custodial role it has over the domain name system.
Buddhist marathon monk completes seven-year run: The 44-year-old monk, Genshin Fujinami, returned on Thursday from his 1,000-day, 40,000-kilometre spiritual journey.
– Wouldn’t mind one of these.
– Leonard Nimoy sings, The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. That’s one music video I wish I hadn’t seen.
– Now this is news. I may finally be able to get (wireless) broadband after a decade of sucking down pages through a 28.8k connection.

4
Sep 03
Thu

Are you a Neo-con?

Ten question quiz: Are you a neo-conservative? I’d be interested to see regular readers posting their results in the comments section. Not surprising that I’m a liberal.

3
Sep 03
Wed

Cushket

Plug for a friend: It’s a polar fleece blanket that also folds up into a cushion. Perfect for friends who decide to crash overnight at your place on the couch. Also good for those outdoor events. Resold by YI ;)

2
Sep 03
Tue

Battle of the Megalomaniacs

Doz sent me this bizarre comic strip: Stalin vs Hitler.

15
Aug 03
Fri

The Backbench

A bunch of friends that like to write and I have started up a site called The Backbench. It’s basically a repository for opinionated articles on virtually any topic that we hopefully will attract people to read. The web is the best medium for things like this. With luck, it’ll eventually be a place where others submit articles and essays to as well. If you write a decent essay at school or uni, why just restrict your audience to your teacher or lecturer? Check it out!

13
Jul 03
Sun

A Little Extra

Bonuses in the workplace, with a look at the legal and banking industries.

1
Jul 03
Tue

The Salt Maze of Pain

One slug. One salt shaker. One cool idea. It’s the Salt Maze of Pain. Excellent. (Broken images? Try here.)

in other news, i find i really can’t stand people who type absolutely everything in their websites all lower case. it shits me. i mean, firstly they’re that lazy. secondly, if its not laziness, which is semi-understandable, then it’s some stupid style thing where the person takes pains to consciously decapitalise proper nouns. Honestly. Ugh.

21
Jun 03
Sat

Tales of the Plush Cthulhu

Only click this if you have 5 minutes of your life to waste.

17
Jun 03
Tue

Wacko Ted

Theodore Rout, of High Court Fame, has a personal web site. As expected, it’s non-sensical.

16
Jun 03
Mon

Alumni of Bourgeois Schools

Very, very interesting. You all know what school I went to, I’d rather not repeat its name again, because they have famous alumni too – but famous for all the wrong reasons. (Thanks Denise for the link.)

14
Jun 03
Sat

Bush achieves the “virtually impossible”

Bush Jr falls off a Segway. This Wired article says that the device “is virtually impossible to fall off”.

12
Jun 03
Thu

Word of the Day

Callipygian. I guess for when you require a little discretion.

30
May 03
Fri

Target Solver for SMH

Shish has made a program that will solve Target in the SMH, right here. Really good stuff…

25
May 03
Sun

Request to Canadians/Yanks

To any Canadian or person who is aware of the Canadian legal system: Could you please e-mail me, or leave a note in the comments, if you know the Court Hierarchy for a civil action arising from the province of British Columbia? (eg: in Australia it would be local, district/county, Supreme, Court of Appeal, and then the High Court). Out of further interest, what’s the hierarchy for American courts? What’s this 9th/10th/11th circuit court of appeals thing – is it a level between a state court and the Supreme court made of state groupings?

18
May 03
Sun

Colour Blindness Test

Test your sight using dot tests. I found I needed to look closely at a couple that are a little hard to discern, perhaps indicating a lesser degree of colour blindness?

12
May 03
Mon

It’s a V8. You try stopping it.

I did a one-off stint last Thursday evening at the Kingsford Legal Centre where we practiced interviewing clients coming in looking for legal advice. One common case is where someone gets busted big time for speeding and is looking for a way out. I’m sorry, but if you are caught doing 60 over the speed limit, there really isn’t that much you can say in your defence (save for a medical emergency, in which case the cop probably wouldn’t have fined you anyway). That hasn’t stopped people from trying, though. Some of the excuses are classic: “I can’t wear my seat belt as I have sore breasts”.

Mega-anagrams

Shish, in his quest to write an automated cruciverbalist program, discovered this:

Okay, it’s been a slow day. :) Whether you care in the slightest about this
or not. The following three words:

* acetonitriles (“Compounds in which a methyl group is attached to the cyano
moiety” – don’t ask me)
* electrisation
* intersocietal

are all anagrams of each other, and are all “kinda different” to each other
(by my arbitrary definition of having a Levenshtein distance >= 11). They
are the only three words in the 260,000-word YAWL dictionary that are all
anagrams and are all “kinda different”.

(Levenshtein distance is defined as the minimum number of operations – add,
remove or change one letter – it takes to change word A into word B.)

Shish

Amazing what you can do with a quarter millions words and a computer :)

1
May 03
Thu

Keyboard Words

Shish dropped me an e-mail. He’s working on a program to solve Target in the SMH. (With a given set of 9 letters, you must form as many 4+ letter words as possible. The word must contain a specific letter in the set, which is given.) In the process, he decided to divert a little and find out the longest words which can be typed with the left hand (commonly held to be stewardesses), right hand, and alternate hands (commonly held to be skepticisms). A largish dictionary file was used, so some of the words are likely to be quite obscure (findable only in the full Oxford dictionary, for example).

Results were:
Left hand (12): desegregated, desegregates, extravasated, extravasates, reabstracted, resegregated, resegregates, reverberated, reverberates, stewardesses, watercresses
Right hand (8): hokypoky, homonymy, hypopyon, illinium, lollipop, lollypop, millimho, milliohm, monopoly, nonunion, polonium, unholily
Alternate hands (13): neurotoxicity. Also (12): authenticity; (11) enchantment, skepticisms, ototoxicity, proficiency

14
Apr 03
Mon

These Links are Stolen

From AJH: Read My Lips, lip-synching politicians to songs. See especially Bush and Blair sing Endless Love. Also, an Arts honours thesis on swearing.

From Natter: Projection technologies and optical camouflage. Still got a bit of work to do, but trust in the Japanese eh…

Instead of repeating the links here, Lime Jelly has posted a host of cool links (video of a chopper missing a ship landing, Zimbabwe petrol lines image and high-res Matrix trailer).

12
Apr 03
Sat

Something

I got this link from Shish. It is currently down, but when I visited yesterday they said they were moving servers because they were getting 4000 hits/second. I don’t have any idea what it is, but anyway in the even that it pops up again: www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com

7
Apr 03
Mon

Statoids

A miscellaneous listing of information on “statoids” – major administrative divisions within countries. (Kev – with regards to what I was referring you to before, I was thinking more about Federated nations arising from historically separate states and what countries had states with those backgrounds, as opposed to mere administrative divisions. I didn’t do a very good job of defining what I meant by a state/province, though.)

Dead Man Eating

Last meals of those on death row. Morbid, perhaps, but certainly intriguing. Also, Houston Chronicle article.

20
Mar 03
Thu

Blog Iraq

Blogging from Baghdad. Non-mainstream perspective straight from the streets of Iraq, and what will soon be ground zero. At least until the phone lines go down. Every day I realise how incredible the Internet is.

18
Mar 03
Tue

Class Photo

Ok, seems like just a regular high school class pho–oh… ooh… Hello!

29
Jan 03
Wed

Hot

Today was a scorcher. It peaked at 45 degrees out West in Camden. Ouch.

Freebies

Just spending a few spare moments looking for free stuff on the net. A few good sites are OzFree, Stipling’s and Aussie Freebies. A couple cash-for-email type sites that look reputable are PureProfile and Emailcash. I set myself up a separate POP3 account to handle the mail from these sites, will see if it’s all worth it.

14
Jan 03
Tue

National Anthem

The fourth and final verse of Advance Australia Fair, circa 1942, went like this:

Should foreign for e’er sight our coast.
Or dare a foot to land,
We’ll rouse to arms like sires of yore
To guard our native strand.
Britannia then shall surely know,
Beyond wide oceans roll
Her sons in fair Australia’s land
Still keep a British soul.
In joyful strains let us sing
Advance Australia Fair.

Unsurprisingly, this verse was removed. The national anthem is now only two verses long (but I dare you to recite the second :).

8
Jan 03
Wed

Gem Scams Revisited

Turns out that this Yindee Lapidary place I wrote about last year is getting quite infamous! Received this e-mail from Ron:

have you seen my gem scam site? (http://www.2bangkok.com/2bangkok/Scams/Sapphire.shtml) There’s lots about Yindee. We are also linking to your Yindee blog on our front page (http://2bangkok.com)

17
Dec 02
Tue

Sydney Airport

Enthusiast’s Guide to Sydney Airport. There’s some pretty interesting info in there.

M5 East Broadcasts

Was driving back to Camden tonight through the M5 tunnel. Traffic was backed up due to late night roadwork. The radio was playing along nicely when all of a sudden a voice cut in through the transmission. “This is the M5 East traffic control room…” a voice intoned. An apology for the roadworks followed, and then the music cut back in. The transmission repeated every minute or so. Flicking between radio frequencies and AM/FM bands gave a “do not adjust the dial, we control all the frequencies” type effect. It’s the first time I’ve heard of it, but it sounds like they have some sort of radio jamming device they can use to broadcast over normal channels while you’re in the 4km tunnel. While I appreciate the intentions, can you imagine how annoying it would be to be listening to the news, then the cricket scores are about to be announced when suddenly… “This is the M5 East traffic control room.” It sort of defeats the purpose if their apology ends up pissing people off instead.

8
Dec 02
Sun

Small World

The sociology department at Columbia University is running some fascinating research on the “small world” phenomenon and degrees of separation: the Small World Research Project. The project is a modern day, global scale replication of research work on social networks done by Stanley Milgram in the 60s. Milgram ran the experiment within America, and found an average of five people between any two given participants in the experiment (hence the popular phrase, six degrees of separation). Sign up to the experiment and give it a go.

Anyhow, I was at Denise’s 21st the other night. Remember my theory about degrees of separation and Sydney bloggers (this post)? Well the world got figuratively smaller that night when I bumped into Andrew while waiting to use the toilet. It turns out he’d come across this site as well. He expressed feeling a bit weirded out and uncomfortable by meeting someone who’s previously read about him through a web site. Which is interesting, because everyone who writes a blog (and especially if you publish webcam shots of yourself!), knows that the whole world can see what you’ve written and knows who you are. I have five years of archives, and I’m continually aware that it contains a wealth of personal information about me. Some of the beliefs I’ve expressed in the past, I no longer agree with, but have decided against removing the incriminating posts because this site reflects me and my experience in growing up. It is a small world, and if you bump into someone that knows you through your site, don’t be horrified, be pleasantly surprised! If I had anything to be uncomfortable about it was when I muttered, “Hmmm who is that in the toilet? They’re taking ages… I bet you it’s a girl…” to which he replied, “Yeah that’s my girlfriend Karen in there.” Oops :).

Karen later approached me, having heard the conversation through the door. (It was by coincidence I stumbled upon her site some weeks ago when I was searching for a photo of Gelatissimo.) Andrew pretty much matched the impression I got of his personality from his site, whereas Karen didn’t (although the exchange was very brief!).

It’d be interesting to see what roles institutions have on bringing social networks closer together. University is an incredible bridging force. I wonder how it compares to clubs, schools and the workplace, though. I should have done a sociology major hehe.

Update
Karen wrote on her site, “One thing I’m curious about (but I can’t ask on his blog coz he doesn’t have comments) is what he thought I was like from reading my blog, and what impression I gave when I met him. I seemed to be different from what he expected… hmm.. maybe it was the goth makeup.”
– The impression I got from your site is that you’re quite a perky, bubbly person, which in hindsight is probably a more accurate assessment of you than the 60 second exchange we had. That exchange was somewhat sombre (no doubt the makeup played a part!) and your voice is pitched lower (a more ‘matured’ tone) than what I would have expected. I was actually half wondering if you were a bit annoyed at my banter outside the bathroom because you weren’t smiling (maybe you were just ‘keeping in character’ with your alter ego for the night :).

Andrew asked on his site, “I have to ask Stuart – what kind of personality do I ooze from this site that matches me so well?”
– Well, with you, I pictured a typical Comp Sci student personality (with commerce thrown in for reasons relating to filial piety, right?) which pretty much matched your demeanour. Slightly harder to explain what a Comp Sci student personality is, but some people will know what I’m talking about! (It’s also probably a fairly good assessment of my demeanour.)

Paste

Paste, a new weekly online comic by Al, has commenced. He has three months of strips done in advance, so we are guaranteed of a new one each week! Check it out.

13
Nov 02
Wed

Voice Vibrato

I’ve always been curious how vibrato in singing is achieved – whether it was something you were born with, or something that could be learnt. Seems like the latter is true, although some people will “pick it up” easier than others.

6
Nov 02
Wed

Charity

Maccas HK is raising money for charity. Your click on the flash animation will contribute 0.10c to the A$20000 total. It’s legit, look at the URL.

4
Nov 02
Mon

Survey Participants Required

I have a friend who is a fellow IS honours student. He’s running a survey and needs your input. As I know how difficult it is to generate data for this type of research, I’m plugging his survey. It’s a survey on shopping on the Net, so everyone is eligible to fill it out. It will take no more than 10 minutes of your time and doesn’t require you to rack your brains, so please help him out!

Got some spare time? Have your say about Internet Shopping (whether
you’ve used it or not) and volunteer to participate in a quick Internet
Shopping survey:

http://unswresearch.servehttp.com/ShoppingSurvey/Hearye/

Your participation in this survey will assist in developing new
strategies for increasing the growth in the online retail industry and
allow online companies to understand your concerns, needs and wants as a
consumer!

Thanks.

1
Nov 02
Fri

California Costal Records Project

A project with the objective of photographing the entire Californian coastline, and keeping this library of imagery current (at this time, 44 gigs of it).

28
Oct 02
Mon

A Photo A Day…

This site http://www.c71123.com/daily_photo/ has been doing the rounds a bit lately. A guy has taken a photo of himself every day for 4 years. But hmm, at the end of it, its sort of interesting but sort of uninteresting.
-Pete

Yes, you can see row upon multitudinous row of photos of this guy in his narcissistic glory. I think it’d be interesting to turn it into a timelapse video (similar to the videos they shot of the changes in a pregnant woman over nine months) and watch him age through the years… but that’d take… years. Instead, we now get to see his entire wardrobe instead, plus the varying degrees of his hair’s unkemptness through the weeks. Thanks Pete!

21
Oct 02
Mon

Amalgamated Post

- Interesting, amusing read about a hooker scam.
Deep Fritz draws final chess match with Kramnik.
Google Labs, innovations under development.
Windows Longhorn screenshots. Most people think they’re fake, as you can see by the comments underneath.
– Another man kicks the bucket after playing too many computer games.
Gallery of cars from The Fast and The Furious 2, in production. {src: LJ}
Analysis of Sarah Kerrigan as a role model for women. Hmm. Yeah, you can find anything on the net.

19
Oct 02
Sat

Do The Dew

I don’t think they ever ran those Mountain Dew ad campaigns here, but anyway, these Dew can shotguns are pretty cool. And very illegal too in Oz, I’d imagine.

16
Oct 02
Wed

Trivia

How many copies does a record have to sell to go gold? Platinum? What about diamond? Find out.

Ahhhh, but how many sales do you need for gold/platinum in Australia?
(A: 35,000/70,000 respectively).
Zero

9
Oct 02
Wed

NetBites

- This unfortunate Suzuki driver thought it was just a puddle.
Three ways to hypnotise a chicken. {src: Grouse!}

You are getting sleepy...
Emily trying to hypnotise a chicken in Nepal.

– Victoria has outlawed eating cats and dogs.

7
Oct 02
Mon

The new Cayenne

The new Porsche Cayenne 4WD sure is ugly. Bleck. The front is unappealing enough, but the back looks like something from the 70s.

Debate

I got my post about the Town Hall debate quoted by the guys at absoluteGod.

3
Oct 02
Thu

M3 Easter Egg

Another reason to own a BMW M3 (not that you needed another reason to). Check out the comments, some are pretty funny!

2
Oct 02
Wed

ZipZap RC Cars

Tiny remote control cars you can “do up”. Sounds like an affordable hobby, unlike their big brothers which cost 1000 times more.

Star Destroyer Lego

Cooooool. A worthy household display piece. Just a bit expensive though (over A$500).

Great Estates

How’d you like to move into a house with a 1950s missile silo underneath, for quick, easy access in the event of global thermonuclear war? Yes? You might try checking out eBay for one.

10
Sep 02
Tue

Whistling Responses

Responses to the Whistling post below:

I’ve been able to do this since I was about 12, a family friend (female) taught me. Once I was shown the technique, it took 2 dizzying (literally) days of trying, before I got the slightest “whistle”. After that, it’s just adjustment of the hand position. If you can ignore the spelling errors, I found a webpage that tells how to do it.

http://www.cs.uit.no/~larsf/hp/hpfirst/home/whistle.htm

It’s exactly the way I do it, except I only use the index finger of each hand, as opposed to index/middle fingers. With practice, you should be able to reach ear-drum popping volumes using this technique. I’ve actually been able to self-teach myself to do it with no hands now. But that took a good month’s worth of work… You are now the Padawan learner. Good luck!
Batty

—–

In year 10 I spent several weeks learning to whistle with my fingers in
my mouth (drove everyone at school, my family, etc, insane). The only
way I learned was to stick 4 fingers (index and middle of each hand)
into your mouth, curling up the tip if your tongue and bracing it up
with the fingers (sort of pushing it down to make a tight fold…).
There’s a similar way where you link thumb and index finger and use that
instead. However, both these methods are somewhat unhygenic. So then I
learned to fox-whistle, which is just as loud and involves no fingers
whatsoever.

What you do is stretch your top lip out and down, then press your tongue
against it, forming a small hole. Then blow through that. Note that you
have to blow hard, and get a loud whistle. You can fox-whistle quietly
but the position of the tongue for this is subtly different (when you
blow hard the force of the air moves the tongue…). This is the best
way IMHO.

Don’t expect to learn any of the above ways from scratch in less than a
week of nearly constant practice (driving those who have to be around
you up the wall).

Cheers,
V

5
Sep 02
Thu

Harry Potter Broomstick

Pretty old news now, but in case you missed it, check out the Amazon customer reviews of the Harry Potter Broomstick. I’m quite sure it would provide girls with “hours of pleasure” while locked inside their rooms.

3
Sep 02
Tue

Whistling

I’ve always wondered… how do you whistle using your fingers in your mouth? Y’know, to produce those ear splitting wolf whistles? If anyone can tell me, or point me to a relevant web page, I’d be grateful :)

27
Aug 02
Tue

Word Trivia

The Oxford Dictionary Words FAQ answers a few interesting questions like: How many words are in the English language? What common English words end in -gry? In -dous? What comes after once, twice and thrice?

24
Aug 02
Sat

Card Flicking

Sounds pretty cool, but haven’t tried it yet…

31
Jul 02
Wed

Smash Glass In Case of Low Creativity

It’s sometimes easier to just answer questions than think of something to write. Two sites have a purpose of providing you with questions to answer on your site: Friday Five and Saturday Eight (I wonder why those guys didn’t go down the alliterative route and call it Saturday Seven). I’ll answer this week’s Five:

1. How long have you had a weblog?
A web site since the early 90s (’93/94 I think), but it only started in e/n form in January 1998. Hm, 4.5 years.

2. What was your first post about?
I am a compulsive archiver. Thus, I present to you Hear Ye!’s first entry, written when I was 16. Ugh, that’s a while ago. Pretty soon after a holiday up in Brisbane.

3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one?
Hmm my site URLs jumped with ISPs until I ended up at Zip, the ISP I still use. Zip acquired another company and changed to Zipworld, so I decided to get my own domain name in case further organisational changes made my URL change again. Thus, I am now here at hearye.fissure.org. I like stability, and I have seen no reason to change this site’s name in the intervening years.

4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else?
Own proprietary CMS. I like it, but maintaining your own CMS can be very time consuming.

5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place?
Preferably one central place – only because it’s less loading time on my 28.8k dialup connection. Australian broadband infrastructure is rooted. However, if the site’s good, I’m willing to wait. I’ve been conditioned to be patient.

MBAs

An alternate perspective on the value of MBAs.

18
Jul 02
Thu

Be Fabulous

Apparently, beautiful people get more pay. And we’re not just talking about models here.

11
Jul 02
Thu

Creative Sentencing

More on the judge that gives alternatives to being sent to jail!

Miscellenia

- What’s White Gold? (It’s not platinum.)
– Why steel is still the best metal for sword making and why titanium is not.
– A US millionaire today would have been worth around $550k two decades ago. Compare the value of money between time periods.

AJH is “doing Europe” currently. Talk of travel always gives me wanderlust. This site is a cure for wanderlust, but only if you are thinking of visiting these places (note that the site isn’t completely up to date). And although some believe it’s a safer place these days, I’ll especially stay away from Algeria thank you.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

As I’ve always theorised, mutation only happens in the egg:

“The egg. The modern chicken is generally believed to be a “descendant” of Archaeopteryx, the oldest known bird. This 150-million-year-old resident of the Jurassic period laid eggs, and at some point evolved into an animal that was one generation away from being a proper chicken. This creature would have produced the egg out of which the first chicken emerged: ergo, the egg came first.” (Reader’s Digest, Dec 01)

3
Jul 02
Wed
13
Jun 02
Thu

Deep-sea Bestiary

A lot of exotic creatures lurk in the pitch black darkness of the ocean depths. They all have similarly exotic scientific names too. I particularly like Vampyroteuthis infernalis, or “vampire squid from hell”. Intriguing stuff, to think about what exists down in the world’s deepest trenches under massive amounts of pressure from the kilometres of water above.

12
Jun 02
Wed

Too Far?

Fantasy Deathrow. People will bet on anything.

Timesucker

The Straight Dope. Answers to strange, but curious questions. The web site for the column with the same name in print.

2
Jun 02
Sun

Wow

Just had an incredible weekend. As you know, last Friday was my 21st. It wasn’t the most auspicious of starts to the day. As midnight struck, oil was still being burnt in the form of last minute efforts for a security and privacy group assignment due 5pm later in the day. The usual flow of happy birthdays arrived over ICQ, from those still awake. Wanting to know how I was going to celebrate, I just kept telling everyone to keep July 6 free. Eventually I turned into bed a bit after 2am.

I was aroused from my slumber at 7 to the surreal sound of my doorbell ringing. I groaned a bit. The bell rang again. I grunted, made a half hearted attempt to get out of bed, but then decided to try ignoring it. Who could be so obscene as to drop in on me at that hour? For the third time, the peace shattering sounds of the bell reverberated through the air. Reluctantly I stumbled to the doorphone and grunted, “Hello?”
“Hi, delivery?”
“Yep, come up.”

I answered the door obviously half asleep, shivering in the morning cold. A woman dragging along a garbage bag stood at the door. “Hi,” she said, before opening the bag, from which immediately emerged a bunch of helium balloons. “Happy Birthday!”
“Hey, wow, thank you!” I murmured, trying to sound enthused, but I think my mind was still off in dreamland.

She bid me a good day and left me standing there in the doorway, holding a bunch of psychadelic balloons, sent to me from my gf Soph. An unpleasant awakening followed by a pleasant surprise to kick off the morning.

I got into work to the tunes of, “Hey happy birthday… so how old are you? 21? Huh? What the hell are you doing at work today??” I was wondering that myself, actually. We went out to lunch to celebrate my 21st, and another colleague’s 28th (hers was for the next day). When I got back from lunch, our assignment group had officially gone into “panic mode”. New sections were still being written, other sections being proofread. There was confusion over compilation. Over 50 e-mails, with attachments, flew back and forth. Everyone was also at work, so we were juggling our uni work with work work. E-mails switched to frantic phone calls as the 5pm deadline crept closer. At one point I rang up Skye to ask her about something. During the conversation, call waiting started beeping, but I let it go. That call happened to be Grace, who rang Skye after she was unable to get through to me. So Skye was speaking to her on her work phone and to me on her mobile. Not that unusual a situation, except that Grace also happened to be talking to Kit as well (at least I think it was him)… so there was a sort of weird four-person teleconference happening in serial. Unable to negotiate a 30 minute extension on the deadline with our lecturer, Grace, being physically closest to uni, got e-mailed the final version of the assignment. She bolted into uni to hand in our 80 page report in the nick of time. All very stressful.

The plan for that evening was a quiet dinner with Soph, with my parents supposedly coming up from Camden for dinner with me on Saturday. I caught the train/bus home. Once home, waiting in the mailbox was a present from my cousin (mentioned in the previous post). It turned out to be a gift voucher for a defensive driving course. I have no doubt it was a tongue-in-cheek gift inspired by my car accident a couple months ago. That cheeky bastard. Anyway it’s a pretty neat course, they teach you how to recover from skids, take corners properly, react to other drivers on the road and so on. As the car was still at the crash repairs – after two months, they are taking a damn long time to get it repaired – Soph drove over to pick me up. We headed off for the city, and I was beginning to feel the fatigue from the stress of the assignment. We got caught in a bit of a traffic jam and I spent my time trying to explain to her how the world cup worked, but the effort spent trying to drive and comprehend sport simultaneously was just a little too much for her :). My cousin called me up asking about his present and told me he might be around in the city later so we might be able to meet up.

“Reservation for two?” Soph inquired as we walked into Tony Roma’s on Sussex St. As we were led to an upstairs, my cousin called again, “Yep I’ll definately be in the city, where and when do you want to meet?” We got to the top of the stairs and I realised that before me was a set of closed frosted glass doors. It took me a moment to realise it was a private room. However, I find it extremely hard to talk on the phone and do anything else at the same time, and I was concentrating on the phone call at that particular moment. A few steps closer and I realised there were a bunch of silhouettes behind the doors. My eyebrows furrowed and alarm bells went off in my head, but nothing clicked. As the maitre-d opened the doors, my cousin was still chattering away on the phone and I was trying to interrupt him, “Uh… Gerald… could you hold a sec, I think something is hap–“

“SURPRISE!!”

I recoiled in shock and by reflex blurted out a “Holy Shit!” as I walked straight into a room full of screaming people. It took me a good three seconds to realise (because I was still sort of on the phone) that (a) there were a helluva lot of people aiming party poppers at my head, (b) I happened to know all of these people, and finally, (c) this was a surprise birthday party. I was half asleep at the time, but it didn’t take long for that to change. I sighted Gerald in the room and it all clicked that his call was an effective ruse to distract me up until the last moment.

Throughout the rest of the night I discovered that the past 2 weeks had been an exercise in subterfuge, deception, scheming and outright lying to me. I also discovered how downright gullible and unperceptive I am (on the walk from the car park to the restaurant, we must’ve gone past at least three cars I would’ve recognised had I not been so blind). A lot of the people there were people who had previously asked me, “so, what are you doing for your birthday on Friday?” when they damn well knew what I would be doing. But it was a mind-blowingly awesome night. Tremendous surprise, definitely unforgettable. (Even the speeches, where I got absolutely roasted. My reputation was ruined… tales about assault with a torch, profanity-filled dummy spits, and the other usual 21st stories came out. Even Hear Ye! was used against me. A post on canteen prices from over four years ago, when read aloud at a 21st sounds really sad – hey, I was doing Economics in school at the time!).

A massive, gargantuan Thank You must go out to Soph, Shen and Lill who organised everything, and to Mum and Dad who funded it :). Thanks to everyone who turned up on such short notice too, much more than I would have expected for the birthday I was planning to organise for July 6 (that I thankfully won’t have to anymore heh). The effort was much more than I deserved and really means the world to me. It’s been a busy and draining few months, especially for the BITs, and this it was just such an uplifting night.

Items from the birthday stash include: a nice jacket, cap, a metal/leather chess set, levitating Yoda figurine, large Yoda lego set, Stormtrooper t-shirt, Star Trek minature starship models, Star Trek TNG Season 1 DVD set, Lian Li PC-68 computer case (mmm), cd rack, cuff links, an internally lit globe, glass crystal with laser-etching of a dragon inside, books, much needed movie vouchers, cash, etc. Hmm, I guess people caught on to the fact that I like sci-fi!

World Cup 2002
The World Cup also started on Friday and I’ve spent a lot of the weekend watching it. I entered a fantasy league and joined a league with some mates. I’m currently coming third, but it’s tight. If you have any opinions on my lineup, let me know. I’m going to transfer in some Cameroon players later, seeing that Saudi Arabia got slaughtered by Germany 8-0 on Saturday. Cameroon are the next in line to demolish the Saudis.

19
May 02
Sun

It’s a Conspiracy!

Messages in new US$20 bill? Some people have a lot of time on their hands (and money too, it seems).

10
Apr 02
Wed

Long Bets

Long Bets have intriguing wagers on a variety of long-term, conversation stimulating topics. Since the winnings from bets go to charity, they should perhaps offer an option to form betting syndicates. Not everyone has a spare US$1000 to place, but 10 people contributing US$100 each would allow more people to participate. It’s an interesting site, and once the discussion forums come online, I’m sure opinions about the bets will be flying eveywhere. {src: AJH}

18
Mar 02
Mon

Oolong

Oolong, the “head performing” rabbit. The former link also has more stuff on Japanese quirks.

27
Feb 02
Wed

Tugboat Adventures

Well… you couldn’t do it with a truck and a tunnel, but a tugboat and a bridge?

25
Feb 02
Mon

Mobile Network Prefixes

This is just a reference list of dialing prefixes for mobile phones.

Optus (GSM): 0401, 0402, 0403, 0411, 0412, 0413, 0421
Telstra (GSM): 0407, 0408, 0409, 0417, 0418, 0419, 0437, 0438
Telstra (CDMA): 0427, 0428
Vodafone (GSM): 0404, 0405, 0410, 0414, 0415, 0416
Orange (CDMA): 0425 + more

17
Feb 02
Sun

Serious Lego

All manner of Lego machines, including two that will solve a Rubik’s cube and Tower of Hanoi.

4
Feb 02
Mon

Free Fonts

A very good collection of free fonts at Stealth Fonts.

2
Feb 02
Sat

Google Catalogs

Google Catalogs. Google has developed another beta service which scans through mail catalogs looking for matches (physical dead-tree mail catalogs). Unfortunately it’s pretty much only useful if you live in America.

29
Jan 02
Tue
28
Jan 02
Mon

Amusing News

Reuter’s Oddly Enough area is another good site if you like reading Ananova’s Quirkies.

This is an interesting snippet – a Nokia senior exec was fined over $100,000 (US I’d assume) for exceeding the speed limit by about 25km/h. That’s because in Finland, those fines are based on your average income. Ouch.

Happy Birthday!

My girlfriend turns the big 21 today. A huge Happy Birthday to you Soph!

Photos

National Geographic 100 Best Pictures. Features some incredible photos, including the world-famous Afghan girl. Such piercing eyes… I think I’ll buy this issue.

23
Jan 02
Wed

Here’s an amusing old MediaWatch transcript I randomly stumbled across, which ascerbically criticises Channel 9’s current affairs program – this time over the Robert Bogucki incident in 1999.

16
Jan 02
Wed

The Most Amazing Story Ever Told (Flashfest)

You gotta watch all these episodes. All the good animators (camp chaos, killfrog, joe cartoon, jay donaldson…) have got together and each makes an episode (you know kinda like you write a paragraph, them the next person needs to continue on the story)… anyhow, have a look.

http://www.campchaos.com/cartoons/tmaset/index.html

Another link from Pro! I found eps 5 and 6 the funniest.

14
Jan 02
Mon

Link Trawling

* AD&D Stats in Real Life. (Str: 9, Int: 13, Wis: 16, Dex: 14, Con: 8, Chr: 12)
* Pres Bush chokes on pretzel and faints
* Discovery.com looks at defending against ICBMs.
* Warcraft 3 beta applications close. Only US and Canada residents were eligible to apply. A few more months to wait…
{srcs: /u/b/g, EBG}

18
Dec 01
Tue

Wine/Water Problem Solution

I lost all the e-mailed responses to this problem I posted earlier. Anyhow, the answer is as follows:

The level of “contamination” would be exactly the same in both glasses. Because no water is lost during the transfers, by the simple principal of conservation, both glasses are equally diluted by their “contaminants”. The wine in the water, must be equally displaced by the water in the wine (otherwise, where else would the liquids go?). This can also be solved mathematically (Shish sent in a solution this way).

The common mistake is to say that because the water contaminates the wine first, that the tablespoon drawn out of the “diluted wine” does not contaminate the water as much (ie: wine contaminated more, which is wrong).

12
Dec 01
Wed

Problem

You have two identical glasses, one is filled almost completely with wine, and the other filled to the exact same level with water. If you take a tablespoon of water and add it to the wine, and after that take a tablespoon from the wineglass and add it to the waterglass, which glass has been “contaminated” more? (More wine in the water or water in wine?)

Email answers to me. (Thanks Dave for the problem)

6
Dec 01
Thu

Quiz

From the Bitlist: Create a multi choice quiz, send it to friends and test how well they know you at this site.

4
Dec 01
Tue

Help Me

I’m stuck on Level 17 in this game. :/
Update: Solved it.
Update 2: Well it’s true, he did solve it, but I did solve it a little while before I got his mail :)

29
Nov 01
Thu

Cousins

Ever wondered what the heck “second cousin twice removed” means? Or what about a half-cousin or double cousin? This page will explain to you what a “second double cousin once removed” is.

Also, can anyone recommend a good, easy-to-use piece of software that can draw up family trees? Mail me.

Boat, Lake and Anchor Question

Responses to yesterday’s post:

Nothing would happen to the water level. When you put the boat into the water, water is displaced depending on the weight of the boat and what is in the boat. IE The water rises when the boat is placed on the lake. When you then drop the anchor overboard, nothing will happen. The boat itself will displace less water, and will float higher. But the anchor still displaces water itself, so the overall displacement of water has not changed. There in regards to the lake system, nothing has changed.

Hopefully this helps.
- Mike

—–

The level of water will generally rise, but this really depends on the size and shape of your boat. The amount of water displaced is equal to the volume of the body immersed in the water (Archimedes’ Law) – ie. the anchor. The amount displaced by the boat is equal to the volume of the section of boat that is underwater. The size of this section is such that forces pushing the boat down (gravity) and forces pushing it up (buyoancy, which increases the more boat is underwater) are in equilibrium. If your boat is a huge flat-bottomed barge, the amount of water it displaces probably won’t change very much from losing the anchor, so the water level will rise. If the boat is a small rowing boat, the amount of water it ceases to displace when the large anchor is thrown overboard will probably be smaller, so the water level won’t rise as much.

It would be intresting to see some exact calculations to do with this …
- Victor

—–

I think the water level would go down. When the anchor is on the boat, its weight pushing down on the boat’s hull would cause its own weight in water to be displaced. When the anchor is thrown in the water, its own *volume* in water would be displaced. Since I’m assuming the anchor is steel or iron, the water displaced by the anchor weighs less than the anchor itself, hence the water level would go down.
- Dennis

—–

It will go down.

When it is in the boat, it displaces its WEIGHT in water, making the level of the lake go up a bit… but when it goes into the lake, it displaces its volume. Because it is more dense that water, its volume is disproportionately small for its weight, and thus the lake would go down… right? i think… anyway… good to see you’re posting again

- Kev

This is my opinion on the matter: The water level would fall if the anchor is thrown overboard.

The answer mainly stems from Archimedes’ Principal, which legend purports was discovered by him trying to figure out if a King’s crown was made out of gold or pyrite. Discovery was, as poetic license has it, celebrated by him
jumping out of his bath and running through the streets of Syracuse butt naked screaming, “Eureka!” But anyway, moving on from promiscuous Greeks…

In our case of the boat, an object that is submerged will displace water equal in volume to the object. If the anchor has a volume of X cm^3, it displaces X cm^3 (X millilitres) of water.

Now, an object that is not submerged, but is floating in water, is held up by two forces – buoyancy and surface tension. The effect of surface tension in this situation is insignificant, so we’ll ignore it, given that boats generally have a keel and are never flat bottomed. By Archimedes’ principal, the weight of water displaced by an object floating in it is equal to the weight of the object floating in it (incidentally the force of buoyancy on
the object is equal to the weight of water displaced). So, the object’s density is important. If the object is denser than water, it will displace a volume of water greater than the volume of the weight. Vice versa for an
object less dense than water. Obviously an anchor is more dense than water (if it’s less dense, it will not sink and that sort of defeats the purpose of an anchor), so lets say it weighs Y kg. Thus, when floating, it displaces
Y kg of water. Volume-wise, more water is required to form Y kg, than is required of the material the anchor is made of. Thus, when the anchor is floating on the boat, a greater volume of water is displaced.

Throw the anchor off, less water is displaced, and the water level falls. It would be rudimentary to mathematically calculate a roughly accurate figure of how much the lake would fall by, if other variables were given.

If we were dealing with objects on a much smaller scale, and of different qualities (perhaps a small pebble lying on a flat sheet of plastic floating in a swimming pool), surface tension would play a part in keeping the object
afloat and then it can’t be conclusively determined if the water level would rise or fall if you chucked the pebble into the pool. I think, anyhow.

28
Nov 01
Wed

Hehe I just thought it was ironic and somewhat amusing that this Singaporean was theming his blog’s layouts on the seasons. They don’t have seasons in Singapore. It’s permanently Summer there. Mmmm… Summer… it is but two days away!

27
Nov 01
Tue

Banknote Scans

1.6GB worth of scans of banknotes from all over the world. Over 7000 notes scanned, apparently.

AM broadcasting via Computer Monitor

Use Tempest radiation to broadcast music through your monitor! {src: /.}

Question

What would happen to the water level in a lake if I drop a big anchor overboard from a boat floating in that lake? Mail me your answer and reasoning.

22
Nov 01
Thu

Student Book Offers a Twisted History ‘Coarse’. There are some real shockers in there… actually, they are all shockers! Thanks Jamie.

21
Nov 01
Wed

Ricebowl Journals is a directory of an assortment of blogs/journals kept by Asians around the world.

20
Nov 01
Tue

Did You Know…

The launching mechanisms of aircraft carriers that help planes take off (the catapult), could throw a 4WD ute over 1.5 kilometres. Thanks Pro. I’m bored again.

14
Nov 01
Wed
13
Nov 01
Tue

Gambling

Just a plug for SolosBets. It’s a tipping site. Win no (real) money, but hey, lose no money as well. Too bad I know nothing about American sports :)

Maps

The Perry-Castañeda Library has an extremely comprehensive collection of all types of maps. There are too many people around today that have a woeful knowledge of where things are in the world. Myself included – I only found out last night exactly what and where the Caucasus are.

Dynamic SMS

Ok, moneywhoring time. Dynamic SMS is a company that’s an advertising intermediary. They match advertisers to participants’ profiles and send them SMSes. You get money for your troubles. The payment system is referral based (up to three levels under you). Of course, they will go bust in the future, but it’s not going to hurt getting in now while you still can, right? If you’re worried about SMS spam in future, just remember that it will never proliferate as much as e-mail spam, simply because at 20 cents an SMS, they might as well send out snail mail. Dynamic SMS direct deposit any amounts earnt over $1.50 into any bank account. Here’s the standard company spiel:

Check out this website, they pay people for receiving SMS’s on their mobiles and pay the people who referred them a commission as well.

The network (called DynamicSMS) charges advertisers for sending advertisements to their members. The examples on the website are that if you introduce 10 people who each introduce 10 people who each introduce 10 people, you can make $826.70 per month – not bad for introducing 10 people. If you introduce 30 people who introduce 20 people who introduce 10 people, you could be earning $4,893.70 per month or $58,724.70 per year!

They also let you setup a lifestyle profile so that you receive ads best targetted to what you are interested in.

To find out more or to join, click on the link below which will take you directly to their website (and put me as the referring person).

Click here to sign up. (My referral ID is in that link.)

12
Nov 01
Mon

Spank the Monkey


… on an optical mouse(!)
Update: There is a way to get speeds in excess of 900 mph, regardless of mouse.

8
Nov 01
Thu

Jung-Myers-Briggs Test

The JMB Test is one of those personality gauging tests, 72 questions. My profile comes out to be eStJ (1/1/11/1 %), or supervisor. I’m not sure that I’m as tight ass as the description makes the profile sound like. I find these descriptions are better.

6
Nov 01
Tue

Link

Link This Page. Creatively displaying a referrer log… Thanks Soon.

5
Nov 01
Mon

Worm

Another one of those simple but strangely highly addictive online games. Thanks Renai.

Amex Black

Everyone knows what an American Express platinum credit card is, and what it means. You can’t apply for it – Amex has to invite you to sign up for it. There is, however, a card placed above the lofty status of the platinum – the enigmatic American Express Black Card. Apparently, if Amex deems you worthy of this card, they just send you one out of the blue. This Time article sheds some light on the black piece of plastic, which carries no credit limit. Here is one lucky girl’s epinion on the card after scoring one off her daddy. “My review on AMEX Optima card is at the URL: http://nyscramble.epinions.com/content_8512310916.
Note that I wrote this negative review BEFORE I obtained my Centurion [Black] Card. My impression on AMEX is positive now,” she declares. Well, obviously if you’re carrying that colour of plastic around, life is good.

26
Oct 01
Fri

2 Links

Pete sent this in, thanks mate. Freebie!

2 slightly interesting links:
http://www.zdnet.com.au/technologyandbusiness/subsqual/
I got a subscription just by making up a company so would get one for sure

http://web.mit.edu/ocw/
MIT is putting up all their course materials on the web soon

24
Oct 01
Wed

Stanford Prison Experiment

I heard of this one from friends studying psych, turns out there’s a whole website for it. A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment Conducted at Stanford University held in 1971. The scary thing is, that all this happened within 6 days. I’d imagine that any similar research proposed today would be turned down for ethical reasons.

23
Oct 01
Tue

Abbreviations

Ok, so Mr. stands for “Mister”, Ms. stands for either “Mrs.” or “Miss” (such that marital status is indeterminate), but what is Mrs. an abbreviation for? Have a think, and highlight for answer: Mistress.

21
Oct 01
Sun
17
Oct 01
Wed

Click here to
find out what robot you really are
Star Trek. Go figure. (Five posts in one day? When was the last time that happened?)

17
Sep 01
Mon

Bizarro

Well with all the talk of nostradamus I thought I’d throw in a plug for the omniscient william henry gates III…instructions below:

Go into Word. On a blank page type NYC and make it as big as you can. Now highlight the 3 letters and change the font to Webdings. Read the symbols (weird or what) Now highlight the symbols again and change the font to Wingdings.

Sinister. (Thanks to Don)

Muslim Distribution

Just an informative map showing the distribution of muslims throughout the world (as at 1995). Another point of curiousity is that the ratio of Muslims to Christians in the world is roughly 2:3.

5
Sep 01
Wed

Pen Spinning

I knew there must’ve been a page like this somewhere on the net. I’m sure you’ve seen pen spinning before in lecture theatres or classrooms. The Japanese call it “rohnin mawashi” and for some reason fiddling this way with pens is more prevalent amongst Asians. Anyhow, this site has video footage of all the various tricks of turning your pen into a baton. I can do some of them, but some are just freakish like the super harmonic which unfortunately has no video.
{src: /usr/bin/girl}

16
Aug 01
Thu

Wrong Button

Received from a friend working at Telstra:

In one of the labs at optus there are a few people disscussing the new GPRS stuff out there… (their were some Nokia guys and some Optus guys in the room…) anyway…

They decide to send a test sms out over the limited test GPRS network… suddenly lots of phones went off in the room and the Optus dudes got suspisious as the Nokia guys weren’t supposed to have much access to their GPRS network…

It turned out that the techy dude hit the wrong button and sent the SMS over the corperate GSM network rather than the GPRS network.. (consequently sending the SMS to every single Optus mobile phone out there…)

This would equate to a phone bill of around $65 000. (thats alot of SMSes…)

I just gotta comfirm this one… Anyone here on Optus? (yeah theres gotta be a few of you out there??) anyway… did any of you recently (either today or the past few days etc) recive a test sms message?

7
Aug 01
Tue

Future Career Paths

MBAs, especially those from prestigious US business schools are still hot stuff.

6
Aug 01
Mon

Census 2001

Tonight is census night for all the Aussies. Of course, most people have already filled out the form even though technically, everyone’s meant to do it tonight. From the ABS: How Australia takes a census.

22
Jul 01
Sun

Google

Run a search on Google for “vvv” (that’s a triple v, no quotes). Does Google output a page of gibberish for you too?

22
Jun 01
Fri

Illusion

This illusion is addictive. Stare at the dot and then move your head towards and away from the monitor.

27
Apr 01
Fri

Need For Speed

This site here has got quite a few good vid clips of cars doing stuff. Nice cars doing powerful stuff. Be sure to check out the Ferrari F40 driver who did 320km/h on a public freeway.

11
Apr 01
Wed

Con Job

Haha this had me going for a while… it’s quite freaky initially though. Thanks Pro.

Free NIV Bible

For those interested… free NIV of the Bible for download. Free for four more days only. Search function is nifty.

9
Apr 01
Mon

Vocabulary

A site dedicated to words and their definitions (topical words lists, obscure words, etc.).

Observation

Vic observes that this Good Friday is also black Friday (13/4/01).

6
Apr 01
Fri

Stock Photo Libraries

I have been looking for libraries of royalty-free stock photos online for a while now. Well, my mate Pete has delivered the goods and came up with a bunch of links: http://stock.d2.hu, http://zuadobank.com, http://istockphoto.com.

1
Apr 01
Sun

Quick Laughs

HalfAMongrel – vaguely like The Onion in a highly condensed form.

31
Mar 01
Sat

May No More Be Said About…

All your base are belong to us… (Thanks to Vic for the link to this “definitive” guide)

19
Mar 01
Mon

Reproduction

When I was in Nepal, we went to the Royal Chitwan National Park. Basically a wildlife jungle-type environ, the most prominent photo used to advertise the park to tourists was one where two elephants are going at it. The male proboscis is clearly visible (and nicely proportioned too) and there’s even a crazy Nepali elephant driver riding on top of the male elephant. Anyhow, something about two animals having sex always draws human interest.

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

Ok thanks to all who sent in an explanation. It’s basically a phrase badly translated from Japanese to English that features in an old game. Someone found it amusing, and it spread. View the flash file here.

13
Mar 01
Tue

Plug

My cousin is selling his car. He wanted a plug, so here it is. It’s for a fully modded Eunos 30X. (As a sidenote, you can describe a custom-built computer in much the same way that car is described…)

Someone tell me…

Where did the phrase “all your base are belong to us” originate from? I’ve been away for too long…

Damn Nigerians…

Column 8 has been reporting news for some time now about Nigerians faxing offers just like the one below. I got this one in the e-mail. Yeah, right… I wonder if anyone has ever been gullible enough to fall for it?

FROM: MRS MARIAM ABACHA
C/O Idris Abacha

ATTN: MD/CEO

RE: REQUEST FOR MUTUAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION

I am by introduction, Mrs. Mariam Abacha widow of the late Nigerian Military Head of State Late Gen. Sani Abacha.  Perhaps it is no longer News the confiscating of large business interest of the Abacha’s family, despite the death of my Husband in a mysterious circumstances in office.

Apparently worried by the immeasureable intimidation and Harrasement on my family by Government Security Agents, the Government has freezed various Bank Accounts Believed to Have been operatedby my Late Husband and Family while in office as the then Head of Government of Nigeria.

Our family you may want to know have been Dehumanised in such a manner that I can no longer provide for the up keep of the family and Dependant, having been stripped of our family Hard Earnings by the present Government in Nigeria.

Consequent to the above, My son Idris and I have resolved to Act swifly in the retrieving of the Eighty Million United States Dollars (US$80m). Secretly kept in the vault of a Private Security Company outside the shores of Nigeria by my Late Husband.

We hope to Expedite Action on this matter to Guide Against any possibility of Trace By the Government since this is the only surviving money left for me to get the family going. Importantly, this money was Airlifted in three (3)Boxes and Deposited with the Security firm as JEWELLERIES, ART &ANTIQUITIES” AND VALUES AT THE ABOVE AMOUNT.

Communication however have been reopened between us (The Abacha’s Family) and the Security firm on the need to raise the “Certificate of Deposit in your favour to enable you take Delivery or Possession of the Luggage in their custody since we the Abacha’s family have been placed under Security Watch and Restriction from making outside trips.  Regardless of the Security Survellance, my son or I may have to sneak out of the country through the Border post to meet with you when and then you must Have concluded your travel plans to visit the Security Company for the said purpose.

Remember you will be required to open an Account with a Local Bank for the initial lodgement of the US$60M. Thereafter, you can then start recalling the money instalmentally into your Nominated Account Overseas for the necessary Disbursement. Finally, my family and I is offering you 30% of the Total Sum above while my family takes home 70% if this offer is unacceptable to you, please do not hesistate to State your position.

You can also contact Idris on the security telephone number 234-1-7756390 which I exclusively arranged, for this project. I look forward to your kind consideration and co-operation on the above matter.

Most sincerely,
Mrs. Mariam Abacha.
C/O Idris Abacha.

1
Dec 00
Fri

Yo-yos

Comprehensive listing of yo-yo tricks. I never learnt how to work the damn things myself (apart from the basic down and up motion).

Hrm…

Cityrail has stats on the percentage of trains that run on time during peak hour, along with the reasons they run late.

23
Nov 00
Thu

Quite Bizarre

This guy plans to encase himself in a block of ice, only wearing pants and shoes, for over two days.

19
Nov 00
Sun

Argument

So many different methods of Arguing.

Riddle Ye! The Real Solution

It’s rather elaborate.

The first one was close but no cigar. The other two were…interesting…but wrong.

1) #1 cuts off a third, and let’s say #2 decides to take it. But #3 thinks the third was too big. Hence #3 is unhappy.
2) Obviously kid C thinks all slices are equal. But what if B thinks the slice A took was too big?
3) This requires compromise which does not guarantee all three will be satisfied.

This is how its done (let’s see if I can type it out after getting 5 hours sleep in the past ~50 hours)… NB: A person is satisfied (happy) when they think that they have received pieces equal to or bigger than everyone else. Noone has qualms about watching someone else take a slice they consider too small.

Person A cuts what he considers to be one third of the cake, and offers it to B. B either thinks it is too large (goto 1) or too small (goto 2).

(1) B cuts the third down to size as he sees fit, the remainder becoming part of the remaining 2 thirds. He then offers his third to C. C thinks it’s either too big (3) or too small (4).

(3) C takes the slice. Then, B thinks he has taken one that’s just fine, and A thinks it’s too small (leaving all the more for him). Then it remains to divide the remaining 2/3 of the cake between A and B – this can be done as per the method with 2 people. Hence, in this case the solution is complete. #

(4) C thinks the slice is too small, so he refuses and gives it back to B. B thinks the slice is the right size – he cut it. A thinks it’s too small – his original slice has had some amount removed from it. Hence B takes the slice, and all are happy. The remaining two thirds are divided as per the method for 2 people. Solution complete. #

(2) B thinks the slice is too small. He passes it straight on to C. C either thinks it’s too large (5) or too small (6).

(5) C thinks it’s too large. He takes it. A thinks the slice is just right – he cut it. B thinks it’s too small. All are happy. The remaining 2/3 are divided as per method with 2 people. Solution complete. #

(6) C thinks it’s too small. He passes it on to A. A originally cut this slice, so he thinks it’s fine. He takes it. B and C both thought it too small. B & C divide the remainder as per method with 2 people. Solution complete. #

Miscellaneous Latin Phrases

Unitam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant.

17
Nov 00
Fri

Riddle Ye! Answers

People sent in these answers:

Person #1 cuts off what he believes to be a third. #2 takes either the third or the two thirds. #1 keeps the other one. Whoever has the two thirds divides it with #3 in the original half-cake way.
-Shish

Okay, three hungry Kids: A, B and C. How about we have Kid B decide which of the other two cuts the cake… If he picks Kid C, then Kid C cuts the cake into what he perceives to be three precise slices. Because the task of equivalency is Kid C’s alone, he gets the last slice. Since Kid B has chosen who will cut the cake, but has not cut it directly, he can be said to have had partial authority. He gets to choose his piece before Kid C. But Kid A, having had no real authority in the decision-making processes, gets first choice of slice. Does that sound logical?
-CU, of EveryNothing.com

P.S. It goes without saying that these rules must be explained to the Kids beforehand. We can assume that at least one of them will volunteer to function as Kid B.

A friend of mine and I discussed the cake problem today on break and we came up with this solution.  In order to cut the cake into 3 equal pieces, you would need to give each person a knife and tell them that they will each make a cut and when the cake is cut, each person will take the slice of cake opposite to their knife. The people are instructed to cut the cake in this way: Each person puts their knife above the cake, simulating where it will be cut. By cooperating with the other two people, all three agree on where their own knife and the other knives should be in relation to the other two before they cut knowing that they will be receiving the piece opposite to their knife, a piece which they themselves are not cutting.  By giving all of the people the same amount of power in determining how the cake is cut in conjunction with a person receiving a piece of cake their knife did not participate in making, you are assured that the combined efforts of all three will insure the cake is cut into thirds as perfectly as it can be.
-d00m

14
Nov 00
Tue

General Trivia

ISO Paper Size specifications. Includes stuff like where holes go, and how big they are, in loose-leafed refills. A bit of trivia… the “A” family of paper follows a 1:sqrt(2) aspect ratio, starting from A0 paper which has an area of 1m2.

Speaking of trivia, Foil has a growing list of it.

Riddle Ye!

The return of the riddles… as supplied by Vic:

Cutting the Cake
Imagine we have a cake and 2 people between whom the cake is to be equally divided. However, if we simply cut the cake in half, one or both of them may be dissatisfied, thinking that his “half” is the smaller. How to effect this so that both are happy? Simple – one of them takes a knife and cuts the cake into what he believes to be 2 equally sized halves. The other person then gets the choice of which half they want. Thus, the person who did the cutting thinks both halves are the same and doesn’t mind which one the other takes, and the person with the choice will pick the half they consider larger, and both are happy. How can we similarly divide a cake between 3 people, so that all of them are satisfied?

Send answers here.

12
Nov 00
Sun

Plug

A friend of mine, Pete, wanted me to plug a site he created: vibewire.net. It’s also got a subproject called Nexus which is meant to be an aimed-at-youth web portal. Check it out.

11
Nov 00
Sat

El Cheapo

Flash animation I spent the afternoon doing for a presentation tomorrow…

Batteries

What’s the difference between battery types anyhow?

8
Nov 00
Wed

YKK (as found on Zips) Stands for…

Yoshida Kogyo Kabushibibaisha. Learn how to spell it. It will come in handy at trivia nights. You will be able to write down the answer to “what is YKK short for?”.  When the judges think your team has cheated and they ask you to spell it, you can prove them wrong (instead of just standing up and mumbling, “oh shit”). Hmmf. No one said that you couldn’t access Google via a mobile phone call to answer any of those questions last night… Other trivia.

1
Nov 00
Wed

sTuDleY CApS

So that’s what they’re called

31
Oct 00
Tue

Map Needed

I’ve got a favour to ask – does anyone have, or know where to download a copy of a world map? It has to be fairly large, and as plain as possible (no markings, except for country borders, is preferable – the plainer the better). Mail me, please.

20
Oct 00
Fri

Speeding

Something going around? Napalm got caught. RegBarc got caught. I got caught a few months back. It was dark and the back windows were fogged… didn’t realise the solitary car following behind was actually a copper. On a Friday, at 2.30am for 80 in 60. The very start of double demerit weekend.

I tell you what, after that, you become really conscious of your speed…

Ferrari Video

Ok, was talking to a friend about this video of a guy driving on a Japanese public highway in a Ferrari. The video camera is sitting in the backseat and records him taking the car up to an insane 300km/h while weaving in between traffic. I’ve only seen this on tv, but does anyone know where I can get and download this clip off the net? Mail me please.

16
Oct 00
Mon

Who’s That Man?

Obviously, the Indian Express didn’t know who was sitting next to Mr Samaranch. Thanks Kev.

Links

Thanks for Fuzz for all of these: Toilet Museum, Complaint Generator, and the “Real Sydney”.

14
Oct 00
Sat

Elevators?

Roland Harrison’s Elevator Pages. Someone decided it would be a good idea to write a web site dedicated to, as it says, elevators.

10
Oct 00
Tue

ASCII Star Wars

Telnet to: blekko.net and type in “starwars” at the prompt. Sit back and watch. Bit of time went into that one!

Arabic Deciphered

Many thanks to James, who procured a translation of this for me:

This kid I work with is of Arabic descent and he can read it so this is probably pretty close to what it says. It makes sense for a yearbook.

Dear (somebody I can’t make out the name):
With the best and kindest wishes…with success and prosperity…and God willing I will hear about you all that is good.
Nabil.

The name is probably a transliteration of “Stuart” into Arabic syllables (in the same way we transliterate, for example, Chinese names into English words).

9
Oct 00
Mon

In Case You Didn’t Know

Typing “link:url” (eg: “link:hearye.fissure.org”) in Google will provide you with all pages in their database linking to the URL provided. Using “related” in place of link gives you all similar pages. More special search features here.

7
Oct 00
Sat

Translator needed

My chem teacher a couple years ago left a note in the Year 12 farewell book. In Arabic. It’s been sitting there, enigmatic, ever since. If anyone can read Arabic, please tell me what this means. Somehow, I don’t expect anyone to give me the answer in a hurry… :)

5
Oct 00
Thu

Fatso the Big-Assed Wombat

Here’s something interesting that I didn’t know. Remember that old Aussie soapie, A Country Practice? (It’s off the air now, isn’t it?) A character in that had a pet wombat called Fatso.

4
Oct 00
Wed

Quizes

A set of amusing quizes from Brunching Shuttlecocks. The Christian Heavy Metal Band or Star Trek Episode? quiz proves I know too much about Trek :).

24
Sep 00
Sun

Fun With Twinkies

Another food mutilation site. Thanks Pro!

Religion Matcher

Off List-en, is this quiz that matches your beliefs to a religion. And while we’re on the same topic, here’s a weird one.

17
Sep 00
Sun

BBL

Will be out of Sydney for a few days on a camp. Back Thursday. Aussie Aussie Aussie!

7
Sep 00
Thu

Great Flaming Pop-tarts!

You heard me right the first time… Thanks Pro!

26
Aug 00
Sat

Hrm

I didn’t find these, but they were quirky enough to deserve a post: Online meat market? Another (Asian) one?

19
Aug 00
Sat

Weird Science

Now this site will easily suck up an entire night – especially when you keep running off to Google to find out more about some of the things they mention there. This page is a gem :).

More Weird Stuff

Weirdness Quiz.

14
Aug 00
Mon

Interesting…

Wouldn’t it be interesting if this was legit? Instead it turns out to be rather lame…

2
Aug 00
Wed

Cloning Christ

This link I found off Dark Magnet was too freaky not to repost. The Second Coming Project.

31
Jul 00
Mon

Ugh

This guy needs medication. Not for his foot, but for his mental state. Read about how he tried to deliberately infect himself with Athlete’s Foot. Thanks Tama.

22
Jul 00
Sat

Bathroom Graffiti

This site cataloging bathroom graffiti has the potential to occupy quite a bit of your time.

16
Jul 00
Sun

Amazon

Amazon.com Logo Graveyard. I remember that original logo :) My account with them actually goes back a little over 4 years. It’s all part of their 5 year anniversary “feature”.

The Weird

National Association of Timetable Collectors. What the?

12
Jul 00
Wed

Cheap

Ok so I don’t have any links today. It’s 5.40am and I feel apathetic. Hence, with that excuse, I’ll be cheap and chuck up a link to a well known MP3 site. TheMusicLover.

There’s also a comprehensive GeForce 2 GTS card roundup at Anandtech… something I’ll be using to select my graphics card.

More Rant

Some people have said that student movie tickets were $9.50 before GST, which puts them at $10.45 now. I distinctly remember them being $9, but then I distinctly remember a lot of things =). That may explain it.

On another note, waiting at Sydney Airport for 5 hours and 40 minutes is an experience I can do without for a long long time.
Victor

Vic, welcome to Sydney :) Good thing you didn’t go via airport rail.

27
Jun 00
Tue

Ls Test

Well here’s a rather questionable (as in, dumb) question from the test people in NSW need to get a learner’s driver’s license. In America the correct answer, of course, is, “Draw alongside him, wind down your window, pull out your firearm and start firing at him.” Thanks Shaf.

23
Jun 00
Fri

Linux Today

Renai’s been bugging me to plug Linux Today since he started writing for it :). I personally don’t agree with all his views about why all software should be open-sourced, but it does explain some of the incredible benefits that the open source paradigm has to offer.

Haha!

This must be the only useful use for a Mac.

12
Jun 00
Mon

For Those of You Still Doubting…

A cheque from All Advantage.

Digital Camera .jpg Reprints

Dennis let me know of Shutterfly, but they only ship within the US. Kaber recommended Photoworks. I found a whole list of sites which reprint digital camera photos here at Epinions. However, interestingly enough, there was only one site that ships internationally (at US$5/shipment) which is Photoaccess. I reckon I’m gonna scam from them the “free 50 prints” they’re offering (on Kodak paper no less!). Pretty shoddy there’s only one site that does it… I mean, how hard is it to ship photos internationally?

The tip below would be more applicable for yanks, I think :)

Where I live you can take your digital pictures to Giant and they will develop them.  If there are no Giants around you, I suppose I should tell you theat they are our grocery stores.  There is just some crazy contraption right inside the door, and you slide your disk right in it.  It shows you a thumbnail of all the pictures on that disk and you pick which ones you want them to develop.  As I recall it is rather pricey -vit4077

And this tip is more local, but not exactly descriptive:

There is a place in Caringbah that prints photos out from digital format.  Only place in the state, or the 1st.  Not sure, it was on the window :-) -WaD

This tip from Kyp (yeah just had to rhyme that :) is more descriptive. I wonder if Camden has an Image Magic store? Mmm… technology in Camden… that would be impressive :)

Also, Kodak Image Magic stores usually have machines to process the photos (they accept floppy, SmartMedia and CD). Honestly, I think inkjet quality is better for the price you pay. There are a few stores in Victoria that have the machines, so I’d assume they have them in NSW too. -Kyp

Hmm could that be a business idea? “Proxy shipping”? Many US web sites only ship to US addresses, which is a shame because even with international shipping costs, many US goods turn out cheaper than Australia. I wonder if setting up a business that “forwards on” shipments from the US to elsewhere in the world would be a viable prospect?

Did You Know…

There’s a dot after .com? That’s right, “hearye.fissure.org” is actually, in full, “hearye.fissure.org.” The trailing fullstop denotes the root internet server and is dropped simply because it’s always implied. I say this because Sucks To Be Me has a list of “silly questions” at the bottom of the page, one of which turns out to be not so silly after all.

10
Jun 00
Sat

Hard Copy

Ok, I have a few rolls worth of 1800×1200 jpgs sitting on my hard drive I took with my digital camera. I want to know if there’s any way I can get proper hard copies developed through a Kodak store, or some other photographic place. Do they accept SmartMedia cards or jpgs? (Don’t tell me to print them out on an inkjet printer – I want it on that paper they print real photos on) Does anyone know?

Crocodile’s Birthday

6 Meters?! Whoa, that’s one massive croc.

1
Jun 00
Thu

Uh

What the?

Welcome to Winter

It’s frigging cold and frigging windy today.

Chick Tourney Reset

And out of beta too. Go and play. Damn thing is impossible to play over dialup :/

29
May 00
Mon

BTW

There’s another Inferno on Rantage.

Heh

Uh… bizarre. That would be quite a sight if it were real.

Train Graffiti

Found this off Burga’s. A gallery of graffiti found on trains or around the train lines. I wonder who goes around photographing the stuff? :)

*Burp*

Look who just had a horse for lunch. Another shot.

Responses

The computer (see “WTF Is This?” posted on this page 27/5) is a BBC Model B computer. I found an old compilation of periodicals on the bookshelf, “The Home Computer Course” which had info on the thing. It sports a MOS 6502A CPU, a 2Mhz clock speed, 32KB of RAM and 32KB of ROM (includes Basic). The Video controller handles a resolution up to 640×256 (the same as an HP Journada Handheld PC nowadays).

Ahh, I remember when I had an acorn…It consisted of a keyboard that connected to a TV.

OK, the video out port is a connector that is the predecessor of S-Video ports (you’ll find them on your TV and VCR). You can buy an adapter for next to nothing from Jaycar or DSE, or do it yourself with two wires (connect middle to middle and rim to rim).

The RGB port is a strange one I had on my Acorn, only I had a special cable (obviously)….Don’t really know what it is (I was like 6 at the time…). Try connecting the video out to a TV.
Victor

—–

I think that connection (on the back of that old computer @ Hear Ye!) is a 6 pin DIN plug. You can get them for about $1 or 2 from Jaycar or Dick Smith Electronics. You can modify the cable with a soldering iron (although you may need a pinout of the plug(s)). Good luck… I think you can also get a RCA plug and go into video out then into a tv :)
Honest Jony

I don’t think the Video Out port is an RCA port? 6 Pin DIN… will have to check up on that.

—–

Uh, you sure none of those old comp connectors are coax or rca plugs? Thats what the video sounds like… a male coax plug. I know older comps were able to use TV’s as monitors… Maybe thats what those are. Anyway, I’ve got an old green screen Zenith monitor that might work for it… you want it?
Cake

Hmm now that you mention it, the video out does suspiciously look like a coax port. So it looks coax cable? Or a Scart to 6-Pin DIN cable? Thanks guys… something to look out for the next time I go past Jaycar or some place like that. Actually I might drop by Tandy during lunch some time this week.

Bottled Water:

Hey, my friend drinks bottled water, and she’s definitely no yuppie.  It’s just the water in my area is not all that clean.  She’s all into drinking clear water.  It does taste better though, I have to admit.

Come to think of it, I know several chicks that drink only bottled water.
sonic

Yeah I was just kidding about the yuppie part (I mean, who am I to talk??) I still find it incredible that they can charge so much for a “free” and natural resource.

26
May 00
Fri

Online Comic

Phil got me to check Sinfest out. You should too.

Missing Arachnids

Off Ramblings:

Now that’s not the best part of it, listen to this: When I was e-mailing Stu with information setting up the account on Fissure, I asked him to send me his picture. He suddenly didn’t respond to anything else and has remained dormant for the past week. Stu lives in Sydney. The spiders were stolen from a Sydney petshop. He has been keeping to himself for the past week. Am I the only one seeing a connection between the two incidents? I think the lack of rail service is getting Stewey a bit disgruntled.

Burga is a Cityrail employee. If he stops posting suddenly, you’ll know why :) Gee they are big spiders

(BTW, I never got a picture request from you…)

Mobile Services

An alternative to BlueSkyFrog: ByeDesk.

23
May 00
Tue

Take the Challenge

This has more “features” than I thought! Check out the “saved games” :)

18
May 00
Thu

Just a Thought…

A WAP-enabled mobile phone and access to Google’s page… and you could absolutely own any trivia night/quiz you come across :) That would be cheating of course, but who would know? hehehe

Google Quiz 2

Google absolutely rules. 5 really obscure questions from computing history and the answers were always found on the first page of search results. “Congratulations on completing the Google Quiz. You got 5 out of 5 correct.” Of course, you have to put in the correct search terms… searching is an artform heh :)

Google Search Quiz

Google has a search quiz up.

Uhhh…

Millennium is not spelt with one ‘n’.

14
May 00
Sun

“Blind” Phone Number

Where the hell did you pull this phone number from, Joel?? (02) 8250 0327. I hope Aspect doesn’t log phone calls…

Bypassing the Napster Ban

Beat the Napster Ban. (Thanks Burga)

13
May 00
Sat

Fatima Mystery

Bahh… the third vision was all hyped up :P (Regards the Fatima visions where a few kids saw the virgin Mary who gave them three prophecies, the last of which has not been revealed until now.)

11
May 00
Thu

1337 5p34|<

n0\/\/ j00 C4|\| $P3@|< LIkE @N l33+ |-|4c|<3R, TO0 \/\/Ith thI5 TRa|\|5l4t0r. [or]

n0w J00 C4n 5pe@K LIK3 @N l33t H4CkeR, +00 w1+H th1S +r4n$lat0r. [or]

Now you can speak like an elite hacker, too with this translator.

10
May 00
Wed

Online Diary

This one’s a little different – it’s written from the chilly netherregions of Antarctica.

7
May 00
Sun

Online Shopping

Just noticed Buy.com has an Australian branch. It’s selling the Intellimouse Explorer at a bargain price: AU$71. Wishlist is another nice Aussie e-commerce site orientated at giftware. What makes it interesting is that it’s an early implementor of WAP access, so with the right mobile, you can order goods via your phone. M-commerce (for some reason that just doesn’t sound as catchy as e-commerce). It’s starting.

5
May 00
Fri

Riddle Ye! VI Solution

I take it that since there are no posted riddle solutions, you haven’t received any…that is really really poor!! Shame on them.

(I am somewhat unwilling to provide this as noone even had an attempt…)
Let us split the coins up into 3 piles of 4. We weigh two of them against each other.

Case 1 – They weigh the same.
That means the counterfeit is among the remaining four. Take two of them, and weigh them one against the other.
If they are equal, take off one and put on one of the remaining 2. If they are still equal the remaining one is fake, if the one you put on is heavier or lighter then that is the fake. (3 weighings)
If they aren’t equal, take off one and replace it with a real coin. If the scales don’t shift, then the one left on them is fake, if they balance out, the one you removed is a fake. (3 weighings)

Case 2 – They are not the same.
That means that the 4 remaining coins are real, and the counterfeit is among those eight. One side of the scales will be higher than the other. We then take 3 coins from the bottom plate and put them aside, take 3 coins from the top plate and put them on the bottom plate, and take 3 real coins (from the 4 we haven’t weighed) and put them on the top plate.
If nothing happens, the counterfeit is one of the 2 we didn’t move. Weigh one against a real coin – if the same, the other is fake, if different, it is fake. (3 weighings)
If the scales balance out, that means we have removed the real coin, and therefore it is one of the 3 we removed, and heavier than a real one (as they were off the bottom plate). Then, weigh two of the 3 against each other – if one is heavier, that’s the fake, if they are the same, the third is the fake. (3 weighings)
If the scales change (ie. the top plate becomes the bottom one), then we have moved the counterfeit coin from the (former) top to the (former) bottom. Therefore it is one of the 3 we moved thus, and it is lighter than a real coin (it was on the top plate). Then, weigh 2 of the 3 against each other. If the same, the third is fake, if one is lighter, it is fake. (3 weighings).

There you go…not that hard now was it?
Bonhomme de Neige

4
May 00
Thu

Hey

Look at the date. Oh. The world hasn’t ended yet. Read up on it.

3
May 00
Wed

Factoids

Reading a long list of small facts is a great way to kill time :)

2
May 00
Tue

Fact Found Inside a Packet of Chips

An army clerk requisitioning a $6.04 light globe typed the wrong code number and accidentally received a $28,000, 7 ton ship’s anchor. No one noticed the army base was hundred of kilometres from the ocean.

1
May 00
Mon

Win 2000 Compatibility List

Find out what hardware and, more importantly, what games are Win 2K compatible (also suggests remedies if a game does not work out-of-the-box with it). Thanks Ajamedor.

Foreign Speed Traps

It’s a global listing of road speed traps. I don’t know how accurate or up-to-date the info is, but it might be worth checking out anyway. Here’s the NSW traps page (hah it’s got the plates of unmarked police vehicles there).

27
Apr 00
Thu

Gypsy

It’s always intriguing to read diaries. Much more so diaries which you understand what the person is going on about. Found this online diary called Gypsy run by Beverly through Renai last night. She’s a first year student at UNSW living in college. What’s coincidental is that I was talking to another friend about a fatality that happened at UNSW a few weeks back when a truck rolled down a hill and crushed a girl. It happened on a Thursday, and had I not decided to skip uni that day, my normal route would’ve taken me right through the area where the accident occurred (near the Elec Eng building, I think). The conclusion was – the closer death is to you, the more it makes you pause and think about it. Perhaps due to the self-centered mindset of, “that could’ve been me”? Regardless, Beverly witnessed the accident first hand. An account that’s significantly more involving than the dry n e ws article that was written on it. The closer things are to you, the more interesting they are (obvious or not?). Nonetheless, I found this incriminating picture of Renai that made me crack up :). There’s also this and this. Sheesh. College students.

Free Parking Metre Tickets

I found out about this last night. You know the parking metres that spit out the tickets that you place under the windscreen? You can fool those machines and get free tickets. First, stick in a 10c coin. Next, get a $2 coin and insert it while hammering away at the cancel button. What should happen is that the $2.10 should roll out, but the parking meter will still register credit (it should say “overpaid $_.__”). Press the button that prints the ticket. Voila. Apparently if you roll in 2 $2 coins really quickly while pressing cancel you can get $4 credit, but I think that requires some practice.

True. True.

I can’t believe Associated Press pulled the plug on Elian/Superfriends. Anyone have a copy of the Flash file they can send me?

Riddle Ye! VI & Riddle Ye! V Solution

Courtesy of Bonhomme De Neige.

Riddle Ye V Solution
Let us label the 3 men A, B, and C. We shall designate a liar with the letter L, a truth-teller with T, and the one who tells both lies and thruth with M. There are only 6 permutations of the letters L,T, and M. Arrange them thus:

  A B C
1:T L M
2:T M L
3:L M T
4:L T M
5:M T L
6:M L T

Then we ask A “Is it true that the probability of getting a truthful answer from B is greater than that of getting one from C?”

Case 1: A says yes. This eliminates permutations 1 and 4. So C is not an M. Ask him “Are you the man who sometimes lies and sometimes tells the truth?” — depending on his answer you know whether he’s a liar or a truth-teller. Then ask him whether B is a the man who lies and tells truth.

Case 2: A says no. This eliminates permutations 2 and 3. So then B can’t be an M. From there same as above, really.

Riddle Ye VI
You have 12 coins, and you know one (and only one) of them is counterfeit. You know the counterfeit coin weighs differently from a real one, but you don’t know whether it weighs less or more. You have a balance (not a set of electronic scales =P), and you are allowed 3 weighing to determine which coin is the counterfeit. How do you do it?

25
Apr 00
Tue

WAPMeBaby

WapMeBaby has gone live. It’s run by BlueSkyFrog, the same people responsible for SMSMeBaby.

Hug An Australian Day

You heard right, it’s Hug An Australian Day! :)

23
Apr 00
Sun

PKZip

The PK in PKZip stands for Phil Katz, creator of the compression format who was recently found dead due to alcoholism. I remember using that program from the command line in DOS days… It’s pretty amazing that the format has survived so long without being replaced by something else. Thanks Nick for the heads up.

Truly Bizarre

On a search for world records, I came across this. Uh… it’s… crazy, to say the least. Probably for mature audiences only :). It even comes with a dictionary of unusual sexual terms.

Vids

Biggest collection of video clips I’ve seen yet of people doing stupid things. Absolutely hillarious and not doing wonders for my bandwidth.

Riddle Ye! V

Thanks to Bonhomme De Neige with an Easter riddle for yas:

This is a harder variant on the truth/lies riddle.

You are faced with 3 people. You know that one of them always lies, one always tells the truth, and one sometimes tells the truth and sometimes lies, but you don’t know which one is which. The three people, however, all know who is who. What are the 3 yes/no questions you can ask of them (not necessarily one question each — you can ask all 3 of one person, or 2 of one and 1 of another, etc.) that will tell you which one is which?

Happy Easter.
– Bonhomme de Neige

18
Apr 00
Tue

Tournament.xls -> Tournament.cfm

Remember this? Solo is making an online version since the macro behind the Excel version doesn’t track users properly. He is currently compiling a list of chicks and urls to a pic of each one. He wants you all to go and help him out. This ought to be interesting…

7
Apr 00
Fri

Useful Portal

I could see some uses for this portal. Does anyone know of a reverse phone directory for Australia?

Riddle Ye! IV

I only got two answers to this. And they are both UNSW students in the school of comp sci and engineering. Welp, the answer can be found here (see Question 5 and you’ll understand). Correct answers from:

• “That riddle would be harder if describe hadn’t been used as a comp 1A tute question again last week. :)” -Shish
• “31131211131221” is the next line :)” -Shaun

Shish also went and wrote a haskell program to calculate the 40th instance. How big do you reckon the 40th instance would be? Take a look.

Asian Version of Mahir?

This link has been circulating the e-mail rounds a lot lately. Five mails in the last three days with it. [Who’s Mahir?]

4
Apr 00
Tue

Links

MSNBC Mysteries Archive is a really intriguing read.
Useless Facts is for the times you’re bored.

Riddle Ye! IV

Resident riddlemaster Bonhomme de Neige has another one:

Well, at least someone got it. Meanwhile, put up this one (a bit obivous, yes, but we must cater for the Americans out there =))

1
11
21
1211
111221
312211
13112221
1113213211

what’s the next line? There’s an obivous pattern there too…

Bonhomme de Neige (if I can bother to type it out each time, surely you can too? =) )

Riddle Ye! III – Solution

Ok I’m embarrassed. I screwed up yesterday. Sorry to billyjoebob and Atroxi – they weren’t 100% right but that’s being picky. All that needs to be changed with their answers is (pointed out by Bruiser): “Can’t you just ask that guy which way someone from the other tribe would tell you was safe?”

An alternate correct answer was given by F00bar and David:

If I were to ask you if that is the road to take to safety, would you say yes?”. Whichever the direction the tribesman points to, the man can be sure it’s the safe way. If the tribesman responds “yes”, he should go in the direction he is pointing. If the answer is “no”, he should take the other fork in the road.

Amongst the incorrect answers today, many people were trying to be tricky and said they’d ask the tribesman two questions – one to determine whether he told lies or the truth, and the other to determine which path to walk. The problem should’ve been qualified with “you can only ask the tribesman one question.” Still, it made for an amusing response from not the UNPC Phil: “An NBC-Made-For-TV-Movie-inspired solution: Grab each bastard and throw them down each road. See which one dies.”

3
Apr 00
Mon

Riddle Ye! III – Continued

Ok most of you didn’t read the riddle properly (see yesterday). Most said something along the lines of:

yeah yeah yeah ask either d00d what the other d00d would say – then do the opposite – then smack em both upside the head for gettin in yer way (billyjoebob)

You can ask the question to either of them…
“If I were to ask the other tribesman which path led to safety, what would he say?”
If you asked the one who always lies, he would then give you the opposite answer of the one who always tells the truth…so he would point to certian death. If you asked the one who always tells the truth, then he would give you the actual answer of the one who always lies…so he would also point to certian death. Therefore, you would take the path that they didn’t choose. It was on an old episode of “Doctor Who”…:) (atroxi)

Sound logic, but um… there is only one native there. This is not exactly the liar/truthful tribesman riddle. It’s a variant (I hope I’m right in saying that).

“Are you a liar?” (red scare)

Doesn’t work. Both will say “no” and that won’t get you anywhere.

Answer: If I were you, which way would you tell me to go? (Kevin)

This one doesn’t work either. I don’t think I’ve actually received the correct answer yet.

2
Apr 00
Sun

Riddle Ye! III

Here’s another riddle to crack your head on. You may have heard this problem in another variant form.

A man is in a region where he knows there are two native tribes. One always tell the truth, and one always lie. He comes to a fork in the road, where a sign says “One path leads to certain death, the other to safety”. There’s a native tribesman sitting below the sign. What is the one question he can ask that will guarantee him safe passage?

Thanks to BDN for it! Mail solutions here.

1
Apr 00
Sat

Happy April Fools

Beware.

Have you seen Brain Damage today?

28
Mar 00
Tue

E-Bay Again

Another dodgy item up for sale on e-bay :). [Update: E-bay seems to have pulled the plug on this auction.]

MS Knowledge Base

I don’t care what you say, but I say Microsoft’s Knowledge Base is great – it’s really, really comprehensive!

27
Mar 00
Mon

Check It

This is certainly a creative e-mail attachment. It’s an excel spreadsheet [zipped, 1 MB] (enable macros – no viruses in there I hope, cos if there are, then my computer is infected) with a knockout tournament chart of women (models/actresses/etc.) The table is randomised and you slowly choose between pairs until you pick the winner. The results are tallied, points are allocated to 1st-5th place getters and the main scoreboard is updated. Save the file, pass it on (via e-mail), and the cycle is repeated, and the main scoreboard is updated again to reflect the next person’s preferences. Repeat. Enjoy :).

25
Mar 00
Sat

Ooh. Trippy.


Where’s the Black dot?

Also in wallpaper version, for when you want to make people fall over or have a spasm when they pass by your computer screen.

Etymology

Mainly European-based etymology site. Find out the origins of your name, including shortened and “pet” names.

22
Mar 00
Wed

Automatic

Automatic.com.au seeks to unify your email and website address using your mobile phone number. Weird concept.

21
Mar 00
Tue

No Content Day

Sorry, there’s no real content today. Although /usr/bin/girl is holding a contest that can get you SomethingShiny :) Hmm… I just decreased everyone’s chance of winning.

20
Mar 00
Mon

Shopping

So, this is where you buy flashmemory, SmartMedia USB readers, and the like in Australia…

13
Mar 00
Mon

Linkfest

Evhead has a tonne of links to do with new web site launches at the SXSW convention thing in Texas. Funny how they all look like small bright startups aiming for an IPO :). Sounds like an interesting convention.

10
Mar 00
Fri

Handwritten Fonts

Free for download fonts.

Korea

What would the Jews on list-en say about this restaurant?

2
Mar 00
Thu

Riddle Ye!

The variation of the hats riddle is quite a bit more trickier than the “original”. Here’s my attempt to explain it – it’s got two “layers” of logic:

Label the three men A, B and C. Assume A is the correct man. Let’s step into his shoes. A must either be wearing a black or white hat. Now, assume that A is wearing white. In this case, either B or C can deduce what coloured hat they are wearing. B sees A (white) and C (black). If B is wearing white, C can straight away say he’s black (since there are two whites, A and B). However, C’s silence only can mean that C doesn’t see two white hats. Therefore, B must be black. BUT, as C and B have said nothing, A cannot be white. A can only be black.

This question assumes the three wise men have impeccable logic. It would be possible to mislead another person by keeping your mouth shut, thereby eliciting an incorrect response (eg: C is white, but A and B still say nothing). But the contest is to see who guesses first, not to humiliate someone else.

Nooo! Make it stop!

This link made it into the mailboxes of the Ops centre at work (where I’m at currently). Big mistake. Looping audio. Tina opened up that page, took a strange liking to it and kept it open, much to the anguish of everyone else.

Then I get this link off the BIT mailing list and … different page, but it’s the same damn tune… arrrrghhh!

1
Mar 00
Wed

Two Tips

Everyone knows you press tab to move to the next form field, right? But of everyone I’ve seen, no one seems to know about shift-tabbing. When you need to move back a field, you don’t need to resort to using the mouse, just hit shift-tab.

Quick tip – stick in C:\Windows\SendTo, a shortcut to notepad. If you ever want to view a text file (without a .txt extension), all you have to do is right click, select send to, and then notepad.

28
Feb 00
Mon

Riddle Me (Variation)

French Snowman sent me a variation of the hats riddle (a couple days back):

Three wise men were wandering along, argiung about who was the wisest. Then they encountered a fourth wise man. They asked him to set up a contest for them, to determine who is the wisest. So he showed them his bag, which contained 5 hats: 3 black and 2 white. Then he blindfolded all of them and put a hat on each. The hats were all black (to make the contest equal), but they of course didn’t know this. Then he removed the blindfolds, so each wise man could see the colour of the hats the other two were wearing, but not his own. The fourth wise man decalred “He who first correctly determines the colour of the hat he is wearing is the wisest”. After a short while, one of the wise men shouted out “I’m wearing a black hat”. If he didn’t guess (none of them would risk being wrong for fear of appearing less wise), how did he know?
Bonhomme de Neige

Well, sue me if I’m wrong, but I believe the wisest wise man either cheated or got lucky, cos I can’t see logically how he could say for sure he had a black hat.

25
Feb 00
Fri

Riddle Solution

Thanks to all those who sent in correct answers to Thursday’s riddle (Loopy got in first) – you all have it right (mostly, anyhow)! Highlight below to see the answer:

Please note that the diagram displayed was an example. Thus, the correct answer is C, or D, depending on the exact configuration of hats.

Case 1: If B & C have hats of the same colour, D must have a hat of the opposite color to B & C. Hence, D calls out.

Case 2: If B & C have hats of alternating colours, D keeps his mouth shut since his hat could be either colour. However, after one minute, C realises D hasn’t said anything. Hence, B & C must have hats of alternating colours. C must have the opposite coloured hat to B, which he then calls out.

The above assumes that D is not retarded and suicidal.

No, A does not have x-ray vision, B is not a clairvoyant, and the executioner does not kick the bucket before the 10 minutes is up.

24
Feb 00
Thu

Wallpaper

Webshots has some nice wallpaper. Unfortunately, they store it in a proprietary format, and you have to use their viewer to get at them.

Riddle Me…

Crappy diagram

Shown above are 4 men buried up to their necks in the ground.
They can not move so can only look forward.
Between A and B is a brick wall which can not be seen through.
They know that between them are 4 hats, 2 x black and 2 x white, but they do not know which colour they are wearing.

In order to avoid being shot one of them must call out to the executioner the colour of their hat. If they get it wrong, everyone will be shot.

They are not allowed to talk to each other and have 10 minutes to fathom it out.

After 1 minute:

Q Which one of them calls out?
Q. Why is he 100% certain of the colour of his hat?

This is not a trick question.

There are no outside influences nor other ways of communicating. They cannot move and are buried in a straight line. So A & B can only see their respective sides of the brick wall, C can see B and D can see B & C.

I didn’t get the solution with the email, but I think I’ve worked it out. I’ll post the solution tomorrow. Mail me with what you think. Hint: it’s an exercise in logic, not lateral thinking.

23
Feb 00
Wed

List of IPOs

Here’s a list of IT companies that will float on the ASX in the near future. While the Australian stock market may be a little more sane when it comes to IT shares, they still seem to follow the same trend as the US. That is, up.

How To Burn An Image Into Your Retina

Do this:<

It's... It's... <insert name here>” border=0 src=”/media/burneye.gif”></p>
<p>If you stare at a focal point on a black and white image long enough, its inverse is “burned” temporarily into your retina, and you get an afterimage. I got this pic from Amy in an email entitled “spooky”. Not so spooky once you look at it scientifically, which spoils a bit of the fun, but uh… shut up. You can make your own image by taking anything which converts clearly and simply to black and white, taking its inverse and adding an artifact to aid the eyes to focus on a point.</p>
<p>Here, try it out and be subconsciously indoctrinated by staring at the three itsy-bitsy dots in this pic:</p>
<p align=center><img alt=

Off My Ps

Finally. No friggin 80 speed limit for me anymore. License photo was dodgy as per usual.

22
Feb 00
Tue

ICQ Stats Reponses

Chars without spaces: 8882614
Chars with spaces:   15897833
Seems odd unless your messages are one character one space ;-) thats around 70 thousand spaces.
Outsider

Well, when ICQ exports to a plain text file, it indents lines in messages for alignment purposes – with spaces. Hence, the tonne of spaces. Try saving your message history and you’ll see what I mean. I word counted the dump as ICQ dumped it.

my icq history is *NINETY* mbs. put that in your aussie pipe an’ smoke it BOY!

:P

haha. *sigh* im a living joke. =/

TeeBs [TBA]

I guess that’s what flat rate cable does to you. I know if I had access to Optus’ cable service (which still hasn’t been released?) no one would see me for a whole week :).

21
Feb 00
Mon

Font Collection

There are some quite nice titling fonts at http://www.1001freefonts.com/

19
Feb 00
Sat

Dammit!

Will people stop referring me to AllAdvantage! I joined up last April! Get lost you people…

14
Feb 00
Mon

Digitising Art

This looks like a useful forum for digital art, especially scanning hand drawn works and using the computer to touch them up. *sigh* If only I could draw…

Did I Say That?

“Yeah, but this is the nineties! Oh, wait. No it’s not.”

1
Feb 00
Tue

A New Month

And the last month of Summer :/…

30
Jan 00
Sun

Eh?

That riddle keeps getting more confusing…

The gry riddle only works orally.  It’s really “There are three words in the English language that end in G or Y etc,” and the trick is that you hear it as “G-R-Y.”  The answer is “everyday”.

Sxyzzx

I Owe, I Owe…

… it’s off to work I go…

25
Jan 00
Tue

I Told You It Was A Dodgy Riddle

Jonez explains the meaning of “gry”:

The guy wanted to know what the word ‘gry’ meant.

gry \Gry\, n. [Gr ? syllable, bit.]
1. A measure equal to one tenth of a line. [Obs.] –Locke.
2. Anything very small, or of little value. [R.]

-Jonez

24
Jan 00
Mon

Riddle Solved

What a lame riddle (see yesterday). The answer was a disappointment. Many thanks to wabut, lenier and especially to F00bar who got in first with this to say (highlight first line to reveal answer):

[ The answer is “language”. ] Read the riddle carefully, you’ll get it :)

As for the actual “gry” part, there’s over 100 English words that end in “gry”, 90% of them aren’t used anymore.

You were right tho, it’s a really bad trick question :)

I knew the answer to that riddle, it’s an old one. So I never even read it before replying. However the answer does not work due to the wording of the riddle. It should read….

Think of words ending in “gry”. Angry and Hungry are 2 of them. There are only 3 words in the English language. What is the third? The word is something people use everyday. If you’ve listened carefully, I’ve already told you what it is.

A conflicting answer was given by People’s Champ. This may be justified, I guess, with the statement F00bar made about archaic English words ending in “gry”, but no longer in use, therefore not really valid – we certainly don’t use it everyday:

I’ve heard that the answer to your riddle problem is “gry”.  Apparently, this was some kind of old word that they never use anymore.  It meant something, but I can’t remember, nor give a shit.  But, thats what I heard the answer was.

If that ain’t the answer, then I have been told a lie.

Still confused? lenier explains:

the ‘gry’ crap is bullshit – there are 3 words in ‘the english language’ therefore ‘language’ is the answer.

What a dodgy riddle.

22
Jan 00
Sat

Riddle

Ok, here’s one of the riddles I’ve never solved. I would be gratified if you could tell me immediately if you know the answer. It’s starting to shit me. I did a grep search through the dictionary and it turned up nada, so it must be a trick question. Here it is:

There are three words in the english langauge that end with ‘gry’. Hungry and Angry are two of them, the third is one that you use every day. If you’ve listened carefully ive already told you the answer. Which is the third word?

20
Jan 00
Thu

Another Freebie Service

Came across Fax4Free today (at work, of all places, surfing with Lynx heh). Free faxing and free voicemail which is then scanned and recorded automatically and sent to your e-mail address. The difference with this, is that they support faxes to Australia (as well as North America)! Call US number 1-7608389251 and let me hear your Yank accents :). Oh yeah, they let you send out free faxes there too. Do these “free” services make that much movey from advertising?

19
Jan 00
Wed

Links

Some good reading to be found at Ironminds

15
Jan 00
Sat

Spam & Hotmail

If you keep a hotmail account, you’ll know how much spam you get. And if you send every spammer to the blocked senders list, it becomes very long. Not my account btw, I don’t use hotmail, for reasons such as this.

10
Jan 00
Mon

Was Bored

Created this. I need a new hard drive – and fast. 20 Gigs, all full.

15
Dec 99
Wed

Dust Puppy Plush Toy

Shish tells me that Userfriendly’s dust puppy has been released in the form of a US $12 doll. Hey, it’s cute, I’ll give you that, but that much for a furball with feet?

8
Dec 99
Wed

Feats of Dexterity

I found this absolutely amazing link off Userfriendly. It’s a juggling simulator which demonstrates a myriad of juggling tricks and their variations. There’s so much more than the 3-ball cascade – I wasn’t aware how much! I know what I’m going to be trying to do all of today :). I just managed to do the reverse cascade … going to try learn the “chop”. Juggling can be somewhat therapeutic – but only once you master it. Listening to balls go “thump, thump, thump” on the floor for hours on end will not only drive you crazy, but if there is anyone around you and they have to keep listening to that sound, they’ll be mimicking it on your skull. There’s a list of more juggling programs and learn-to-juggle applications situated here.

7
Dec 99
Tue

Ouch

This is a rather unpleasant accidental thing to have happen to you…

Life Skills

So, you’ve joined a company and they’re having a welcoming lunch at a Chinese restaurant but you don’t know how to use chopsticks. Or, you’ve got to wrap a gift in a hurry but have no idea how to do it properly. What does today’s geek do? Look up the net of course. Here’s the site for all those life skills you should’ve learnt if you weren’t on the net so damn much (but will now learn because you are on the net so much :). They’ll even tell you how to write a letter to Santa. It’s: eHow.com (what an original name huh.)

1. Ask your parents, or an older brother or sister, to give you a pen and some writing paper.
2. Think hard about what you’d really love to find under your tree on Christmas morning.
3. Begin your letter “Dear Santa” (This is called a salutation).
(Continued)

18
Nov 99
Thu

E-Bay Stupidities

Looking at the number of dumb things on sale at E-Bay, someone had to write a site devoted to it.

12
Nov 99
Fri

Visual Simulation

Some jerking around in Photoshop, and a refractive surgery site have created this visual simulation page – shows what it’s roughly like to be myopic (short-sighted), astigmatic, to have cataracts etc. Quite interesting.

For all intents and purposes, I’m legally blind cos I’m about -3 to -4 diopters.

8
Nov 99
Mon

Idea of the Day

I’m a sucker for stats. Someone should make an ICQ utility that tracks who’s online and when. Then people who leave their net connection on all day (and with a big enough contact list) can generate a graph which shows net activity. Peak hour is after 10pm at night, which starts to thin at about 1am as everyone goes to sleep, but then the yanks/canadians wake up and do their morning e-mail check thing :). Then it dies down around 3-4am. American activity perks up again early afternoon and then quietens down as they go to sleep late afternoon.

5
Nov 99
Fri

Dave’s Arbitrary Number Survey

Pick a number and send it in. And remember this thing from half a year back?

What happens if I put a number hmya, , and hit enter?

1
Nov 99
Mon

Melbourne Cup

Is today. Too bad I don’t have any spare cash lying around :).

28
Oct 99
Thu

Formula 1 Rejects

Very amusing site dished up by my friend Jamie. Find out about people like Perry McCarthy whose F1 career lasted all of 18 metres.

Welcome to the ‘Formula One Rejects’ web site – a tribute to those Formula One drivers who didn’t make it. Sure – you’ve all heard of Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost and co – but have you heard of Eric van de Poele, Andrea Chiesa, Fabrizio Barbazza or Perry McCarthy?

ASCII Art

Asheron.org is a site on ASCII, ANSI and RIP art (remember those BBSes?)

24
Oct 99
Sun

Free Information

If the site above isn’t a joke, this one certainly is.

18
Oct 99
Mon

Canned E-Mail Demands Canned Replies

Y’know those stupid e-mail messages that get forwarded a million times? And the stupid messages that come with them? Here’s a page with prewritten responses to them. Interesting.

Online Storage

Most of these sites offer 25 megs of online storage: iDrive, Free Disk Space, Free Drive, X:Drive.

16
Oct 99
Sat

Font FAQ

You’ll find a few interesting things about fontography in this comp.fonts newsgroup FAQ.

Stupid IS Department

The school of information systems wrote something laughable (see underlined part):

Overestimate in length of attribute
Some students provided CustomerID of length 15 with a numeric format (e.g., Length: 9(15), Format: 999999999999999 and Range of Choices as: 000000000000001 – 999999999999999). This is clearly inappropriate since the table of data would have at the most more than 999 Billion people (999,999,999,999,999). This quantity includes all Australians, and nearly the whole planet’s population. A realistic size might be as in the Customer Hobby table above where a maximum number of customers would be 999,999. If our customer list exceeded 1 Million, then Finda Pet would need to start removing customers who were no longer active (such as deceased customers, etc).

Not quite nearly.

14
Oct 99
Thu

C-U, C-Me… F-U, F-Me…

Thanks to Miyagi for this, even though it’s on Fuzzy/SD. Something for Bence, perhaps? :) The newest wave in interactivity… What next… P-U, P-Me? The latest in cyber-water-sports? Ugh.

Also from Miyagi is a little EQ humour.

8
Oct 99
Fri

Things that go “bump” in the night

Cheers to Bump for his maturity! (And of course, for pointing out my quasi-hypocrisy, which in light of the March post, is – but as I said I relentlessly bag out macs for the hell of it. Call it blind dogma :) Bump has actually been around for two months longer than this site, so that’s a testimony to its longevity. Actually the only glaring physical difference between logs and e/ns, is that for e/ns, each post is individually titled. There are “cultural” (if you can call it that) and other more subtle differences, though.

4
Oct 99
Mon

Wheelies, Yes, But… Stoppies?

A stoppie appears to be a wheelie reversed. Then there’s the almost oxymoronic “rolling stoppie” which involves you attempting to travel as far as possible on the front wheel of your bike. Check out the how-tos and hot-not-tos of wheelies and stoppies at this Aussie’s page (photos included). Why am I thinking of the Darwin Awards?

Disclaimer: You absolutely must do them. They are unreal – an incredible buzz. They are completely safe and legal. Police especially appreciate them, as do old people, bus drivers and members of parliament. By reading these instructions, you undertake to implement or attempt to implement a wheelie upon every occasion an opportunity presents itself. eg. when departing traffic lights, uncontrolled intersections, school crossings, random breath test stations etc.

Desktop Archive

A large database of user desktops from around the world. Something strangely intriguing about other peoples’ desktops.

Graphics Interchange Format: I Rest My Case

If “gin” is pronounced “jinn”, why shouldn’t “gif” be pronounced “jiff”? The Final Word.

2
Oct 99
Sat

Provinces?

The guys over at Shazbot are celebrating Australia Week. ?. Guys, we don’t have provinces, we have states, just like you. Provinces makes us sound small and insignificant, and we can’t have that can we (sorry Canada)? Yes, we’re a nation in denial.

I have to enrol myself onto the voting roll. Otherwise they’ll slap me with a $55 fine. Australia has compulsory voting, and we’ve got a referendum coming up, November 6th. The two questions are – do we want a republic, and do we want the preamble to be part of the constitution. My answer is yes, and I have no idea, respectively. I don’t even know what our constitution states, and I’m sure many Australians are as clueless as me.

29
Sep 99
Wed

404 Research Labs

Hehe here’s a neat site all about making 404 Not Found pages. This is userfriendliness… turning a frustrating error into an artform.

Considering the ever-changing nature of the web, it’s entirely likely that some of these 404s will themselves be 404. Please help further 404 research by reporting broken links. The scientific community thanks you.

23
Sep 99
Thu

YuppieAlert

Well MTN can’t access the Optus mobile network, so MobileAlert is the next best thing. Thing is, you gotta own a mobile before you can send to others’ mobiles, and you have to be on an Australian provider (Optus, Vodafone or Telstra). And they have a quota to the SMSes you can send. Suppose it’s all right if you want to send to a mobile on another network. Oh, if you sign up and are feeling kind, my mobile number and public password are both 0413535707. I figure if anyone’s gonna phone me and prank me, it’s costing them money :). Leaving prank SMSes? No worries… feel free to. Just like the soapbox!

22
Sep 99
Wed

Pineapple Revisited

[Some of you probably don’t want to know this, so if you don’t want to hear something you’ll probably regard as grotty, skip it.] What’s this? Only one of you know (or admits to knowing :)? Yeah both Pineapple Juice and Cinnamon are meant to make your cum taste sweeter. Perhaps Mr Unpure can verify this (or maybe he’s not *that* unpure :).

DVDs over the Net in Oz

Video Ezy has a web site selling DVDs over the Net. And you can pay by EFTPOS (and credit card). Still, at about $35 a DVD, they’re way more expensive than at Amazon, where they go for about $25 Aussie.

And here’s an article on e-coupon kleptomaniacs. Thanks to Miyagi.

19
Sep 99
Sun

Images of Hurricane Floyd

Some nice pics of it off Terraserver here.

Link

• Movie Bloopers

Street Knowledge

There are all these bits of “urban legendy type” trivia you pick up about stuff. Like how in some toilets they use blue lighting (like Village cinema on George St. and various train stations) because it’s meant to make it hard to find veins (for those trying to shoot up).

Friday we somehow got on to the topic of the effects of drinking Pineapple Juice (yeah the level of conversation hit rock bottom). It sounds really dodgy and I don’t know if there’s any scientific basis to it. How many of you know what Pineapple juice does to you (apparently cinnamon has the same effect)? Yes, think dirty. Mail me.

Overheard

Should submit this in to glassdog’s overheard shouldn’t I?

He said: “I need to find a toilet I’m going to burst!”
She taunted: “Yeah! Cool.”
He said: “Hey, look, I’m not the one who’s going to be smelling it down there…”

15
Sep 99
Wed

Overheard on the Train

“Do you know how to put your jumper on while it’s inside out? Well, you sorta get the tag in the front… and… there. That’ll save you 5 minutes in the morning… let you sleep in a bit.”

13
Sep 99
Mon

Ramblings Riddle

That puzzle Ramblings posted up reminded me of a whole book I have of those puzzle types. The trick is to place all the information in a triangular grid and figure it out from there. Can’t find the book right now. If I do I’ll probably scan a puzzle in for yas.

Cut. Paste.

From Miyagi:

URL: http://www.mendax.org/zine/001/star_wars_theory.html

URL’s description: Okay. ObiWan is really Vader, and Anakin becomes Obi Wan. This guy makes a REALLY good case

11
Sep 99
Sat

Frisky Intel Bunnies

Well, shit. Intel Bunnies engaging in questionable practices while a pervert Mac fanatic watches on and imparts all his knowledge of sexual positions to them (then proceeds to hang ‘em). Pffft. Mac users.

Yeah screw this too. That’s not me speaking, that’s my bitterness speaking :)

Metababy

You must’ve come across Metababy before… but if it’s your first time, it’s an easy and interesting exercise in searching for information about something on the net. Figure out what it is, and how to interact with it.

8
Sep 99
Wed

Purity Tests

Bored? Here’s a somewhat lengthy list of Purity Tests you can take. Some of them are quite funny.

Quizes and Stuff

Ian sent me a link to www.universityoflife.com. It’s got lots of links to personality/iq type tests etc. Another time-wasting diversion. Looks like he may be making a healthy buck on the side with all those click-through links.

7
Sep 99
Tue

Links

Someone left these links on the guestbook (hint, hint): www.oldmanmurray.com and www.portalofevil.com.

5
Sep 99
Sun

Stupid Link

I dunno why I even bother linking this thing from Miyagi.

What are you? Poltical Quiz

Quick and dirty quiz. Thanks to Fuzz.

25
Aug 99
Wed

Accounting Transcripts

I worry about the accounting faculty at UNSW… Someone (most probably deranged) has been writing a series of soapies entitled, “Ruling off: An Australian soapie based on accounting standards.” Here’s an excerpt from the pilot episode about Depreciation. If you just happen to have some stragne compulsion to see more (you must be an accountant…) click through.

Depreciation is a process of allocation not valuation

<Depreciation is a process of allocation not valuation. What would that mean then> shane says, absent-mindedly scratching his scrotum.

<More for them less for us> intones jane as she checks her breasts for lumps.

<Accounting standards wouldn’t say stuff like that goddess>

<You’re a chook short of a raffle sometimes shane> says jane, squashing a cockroach with the handbook.

22
Aug 99
Sun

MCSE

Doing an MCSE (seems like everyone is)? Check out exam cram notes at Cramsession and braindumps (basically people remember all the questions from their past exams and pass them on) from Braindump Heaven, which I think can only be accessed via its IP for some reason.

Browser Oligopoly

“And who said Microsoft had a monopoly on web browsers?” Well, that’s the line MS would take if they decided to use this site in a court case.

Free Stocks

Free share offer? Sounds and looks dodgy, but it apparently appeared in the Australian Financial REview, so it just might be legit. No harm clicking.

18
Aug 99
Wed

Timewasters

• The Great Toilet Paper Debate – hmm. Yes.
• Useless pages – you might’ve already come across this
• Brief history of Dungeons & Dragons – dissimilar to the two links above, but I might as well throw it in

Barrel o’ Laughs

Hahahaha. That, and more amusing stuff (and anti-MS/pro-Linux propaganda) can be found on the site hosting the BO2K screenshot. It’s even got the famous disco version of the Star Wars Theme in MP3. Funky.

CD Burning Sites

A mecca site for CD burning: www.gamecopyworld.com. Break the copy protection on just about all the protected games under the sun. It’s one of those sites that’s so big and useful that you’ll wonder “why haven’t I come across this before?” (if you haven’t come across it before). Also run by the same guys is Playstation copy world, for psx games, obviously. And use Nero for burning… nice and powerful :).

14
Aug 99
Sat

Iconographer

Just found the website of the person who created a lot of the desktop icons for Macs, Windows, and a whole lotta other stuff.

8
Aug 99
Sun

Plug

A friend asked me to plug this web site for a theatrical company. The company will be performing Sophocle’s Antigone and the site also sports HSC resources on the play. I know this bears limited interest to 99% of you, but just give the site a squiz and give him some hits :).

1
Aug 99
Sun

New Month

Hah. Last month of Winter.

23
Jul 99
Fri

Link

www.perfect.co.uk has daily links to neat-o type sites.

20
Jul 99
Tue

Misc Links

• Some bizarre downloadable fonts. Looks like Japanese.
• Web History

18
Jul 99
Sun

Miscellaneous

I found a site which turns your desktop into the Star Trek LCARS interface (you know, the style all those control panels on board the Enterprise and Voyager look like?) Being a Trekkie, I found this very neat.

Mozilla is up to Milestone 8 of Netscape Gecko (in future to be Netscape 5 and reputed to handle style sheets to W3C specifications. Finally).

10.2 Surround Sound? Is it just me or does the setup depicted look ridiculous? And incredibly expensive?

Here’s some article written by someone on the verge of paranoia, explaining how Microsoft tracks users. I heard it was how they tracked down the Melissa virus creator.

ActiveEarth – A nifty application giving world time, with a world map displaying which parts of the world are in night, and in day.

Hey Geeknews looks and sounds like Geeklife, but more institutionalised.

Updated Party Tricks with a semi-repulsive trick :)

11
Jul 99
Sun

Spam Again

This spam was too crazy not to post. The “special optical lens” one is not too far fetched, though. Remember Sony? Who unwittingly released a “night vision” mode on their camera which turned out to give “x-ray vision”? ;)

========================================================
How to See Through people’s Clothes
========================================================
Have you ever dreamed you’re able to see through people’s clothes like Superman or James Bond? Now at last your childhood dream can come true!!! All you need to SEE THROUGH CLOTHES is a special optical lens made in Japan. This lens enables you to see LIVE nude images at the beach, at the pool, and even on busy city streets. You can not believe this then click http://www.kaya-optics.com
========================================================
How to See Through people’s Mind
========================================================
Do you know if the person you’re talking to is telling the truth? Here is the world’s first personal lie detector software for PC. This new product made in Israel provides a real-time analysis of vocal segments from phone or face-to-face conversations right on your computer screen. Now you can know what’s really going on behind the words. For more details click http://www.truster.com
========================================================

26
Jun 99
Sat

Lightsabres

Here’s an interesting page on lightsabres. Apparently Yoda has one. It’s short and pudgy.

Double-sided Saber

Can’t do anything but laugh at this. It’s about a product recall of a certain jedi-weapon :).

25
Jun 99
Fri

Find Your Jedi Name

Somewhat weird and somewhat dodgy:

To find out what your name would be if you were in Star Wars, follow these directions:
To get your first name:
Take the first three letters of your last name
Then add the first two letters of your first name

To get your last name:
Take the first two letters of your mother’s maiden name
Then add the first three letters of the name of the city you were born in

Lohst Chcam? WTF? Thanks to Pip.

14
Jun 99
Mon

“Magic Dictionary”

Plug-in tool letting you highlight words in web pages and letting you look up that word in Webster’s Online Dictionary. Requires IE4+. Opens definitions in a pop-up window.

4
Jun 99
Fri

Shit Yourself

A post on Atroxi’s site reminded me of this old favourite site: The Editing Room. Man this made me laugh aloud so many times…

23
May 99
Sun

Quick Grabs

• Ah, the teachers turn the tables on students : Teachers kill protesting students
• And the bizarre : Dead bodies in disused bank vault
Thanks to Fuzz!

14
May 99
Fri

Web Stop

Might want to check out Glyph Designs. Features Y2K Survivalist bumper stickers, Rants and essays and a nice map of Britannia (UO, not UK) you can use as wallpaper. Also, check out Out of Service – home of the Star Wars quiz (source: GeekLife), among other things. The country & Western lyrics generator is a cack :). I managed to generate this with it:

I met her in a treehouse stoned on oatmeal;
I can still recall the neon sign she wore;
She was weighted down with Twinkies in her muu-muu,
and I knew they’d hate her guts in Baltimore;
I promised her I’d change my sex forever;
She said to me our love would never die;
But who’d have thought she’d make it with my best friend;
I never had the chance to say goodbye.

2
May 99
Sun

Miscellaneous Links

• How to do a shit on a Japanese-style toilet (the squat down ones). Thanks to Kev (I think)
• Find the nine people in this picture. Dammit – I could only find eight.

30
Apr 99
Fri

Welcome to May!

My 18th Birthday is on the final day of this month :). Finally. Star Wars will be released in the US this month. Hmmmm. Also there’s Mother’s Day in a week and one day :).

26
Apr 99
Mon

Time Waster

Hmm. What happens if I put a number here and hit enter? (Something really lame. That’s what.)

Huh… should’ve anticipated those negative numbers.

25
Apr 99
Sun

Lyrics

The Octopus’s Garden has interpretations of various songs. It’s got a line by line analysis of “American Pie”, “We didn’t Start the Fire”, a pretty detailed analysis of the Beatles’ “Free as a Bird” video, as well as other stuff. Pretty interesting stuff.

21
Apr 99
Wed

Those Florida Spammers…

Remember those spammers advertising Florida as the “most exotic place in the world”? Babs sent me an e-mail regarding this. She’s pretty pissed off with them as well.

For your information, that spam is spreading wide.  I would dearly love to have my vengenance.

They paraded as a series of aol.com accounts for a while and the last one was as ‘florida@fla.com’.   As you may have noticed, none of the links nor their mail address ever work.

If you find them, please send out invitations for the public flogging – it would be quite entertaining ;-)

Yeah they never give out valid e-mail addresses. Second e-mail…

I used your own pointer to GeekTools and found an Anti-Spam tool (Sam Spade) that translates those URLs.  I found that they are all hosted on the Angelfire site.

Thanks! I guess it’s time to fire away

19
Apr 99
Mon

Geektools

Geektools…Got some neat stuff here. “No bullshit” domain name registration, domain name record modification and whois queries. Traceroute. (Anti)Spam tools. RFC (Request for Comment) searches (isn’t this exciting? :P)and more. Riveting stuff. Well, for us geeks anyway.

18
Apr 99
Sun

Mail

Here’s what “varsity” refers to for all us non-Yanks. (Thanks!)

Varsity – I don’t know about anywhere else, but here in the US, most high schools (grades 9 to 12, usually) have 2 or three levels of sports, depending on how big they are. Varsity is the best, most competitive level, only for 11th and 12th grade students, or 9th and 10th grades who are very good. Usually there’s also a JV level, or Junior Varsity, for younger students.

Mike

Got this from sonic, who’s been going through the archives and is now on his way to California.P>

hey… cache is pronounced “cash”… and queue is pronounced “q”  In my tech school class when we’d learn about print queues (ohh real hard stuff i know), some people would pronounce it with a Y at the end..

“Kewey”? Never heard anyone pronounce it like that before!

17
Apr 99
Sat

Stress Relief

Blow your stress away with all the aural and visual glory of torturing a goldfish.

27
Mar 99
Sat

Daylight Saving

Ends 3am, Sunday morning. Set your clocks one hour back in Australia. (“Spring ahead, fall behind”… entering Autumn so clocks go “behind”, or back one hour)

25
Mar 99
Thu

Crazy factoid

Someone in my course at Uni bought a laptop in with a few MP3s. Mousse T’s song, Horny, came on and a friend made the comment, “Did you know they say ‘Horny’ in that song about 128 times?” Our reply was, “You mean you actually counted??”

22
Mar 99
Mon

Did you know?

The longest word that can be typed with one hand on the keyboard is “stewardesses”. Thanks to Shish.

21
Mar 99
Sun

“Hacker” Jargon

What does “foo” mean? Where does it come from? “Foo” is used as a metasyntactic variable (that is, a placeholder variable, which you’re meant to replace) in computing, but it has origins somewhere. There are many theories regarding Foo’s origins.

1. There’s the Saving Private Ryan/WWII theory, where “Fubar” was shortened to “Fu”, which was consequently mutilated to form “Foo”. It’s an ongoing joke in SPR as Upham, the translator, tries to find out what the hell “Fubar” means after being told it’s a German word. FUBAR is an acronym for, “Fucked up beyond all recognition.”

2. There’s also some truth in that “Fubar” is a German word. It may possibly be derived from “Furchtbar” which means terrible. This, and the explanation above would both fit into the situations where they are used in SPR.

3. Foo might come from “Feu” which is the French word for “Fire”. Also, Foo might mean “evil” or “devil” (archiac English?). Another possible meaning of “Foo” is rooted in aviation. If a plane were to hit “foo” (garbage) on the runway, it would be known as “Fubar” (see #1). Foo Fighters were thus employed to keep runways free of “foo”. Hence explaining the name of the band with the same name.

4. In VAX (a computer op system?), FUBAR stands for “Failed UniBus Address Register”.

5. Mr T said, “I pity the foo…”

6. In the 1938 cartoon “The Daffy Doc”, a very early version of Daffy Duck holds up a sign saying “SILENCE IS FOO!”

Check out Slashdot for more (a long conversation thread) on this topic.
Also check out a “Hacker’s Dictionary” – comprehensive coverage of “Hacking” jargon.

14
Mar 99
Sun

Deaths – Beware the Ides of March!

Notice the string of deaths in the last week? There was a baseballer, director and musician. (Sorry, struggling for something to write today :).

13
Mar 99
Sat

Another annoying “Did You Know?” post

The current version of IP (called IPv4) is running out of allocatable addresses (256^4 = about 4.3 billion). You know that IP addresses are currently written in the format w.x.y.z (where w, x, y and z are numbers from 0 to 255), and are used to give computers an address on the net. Well, the new version of IP, called IPv6, will allow 3×1038 possible combinations of addresses and have the format: FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF (eight sets of four-digit hex numbers separated by colons). Have fun remembering your ISP’s DNS server addresses when IPv6 starts being phased in (which won’t be soon, I might add).

12
Mar 99
Fri

Catchy

A few days ago I got mail from Cowy about an “alternate” joke pronounciation of Cache. “I say ‘Catch-ie'”. What’s notable about this is, I was at the MCSE course yesterday, and we were watching a video on Proxy server. The Yank on video says “cash” and everyone yells out, “It’s ‘Kaysh’ ya nob!” Then someone else calls out, “ah just pronounce it ‘catch-ie’.” Which jolted my mind back to Cowy’s mail. Another coincidence.

4
Mar 99
Thu

Synonyms

Who knows synonyms for the act sycophants perform? Better known as: flattering, toadying, currying favour, lip service, sucking up, slurping, brown-nosing, ass kissing, cock sucking. Mail me if you have any more to add.

Cash, Caché, Kaysh, Cache

Ok. It’s still a mystery. I received a few e-mails about this, and I tallied votes for all three. Great help there, guys :)

“Cash” – This one is said in Microsoft training videos (as in “disk cache” etc.). It’s also in the dictionary. The Oxford Dictionary and the Macquarie (Aussie) Dictionary as, phonetically, kæ§ – where the æ sounds like the “a” in bat, hence cache). However, when the Yank on the Microsoft training video said it as “cash”, everyone in the room remarked “cash???” and sniggered.

“Cash-ay” – This one is used often too. Well, cache is from the French word cacher (to hide, I think). So maybe this pronounciation makes it sound more French. Perhaps the e has an accent (é) which gives the “ay” sound, but the use of the accent dropped off and we spell it without the accent. But this theory sounds dodgy.

“Kaysh” – Seems to be used a lot. My Microsoft instructor uses it. The rest of the class uses it. Could be an Aussie thing.

Shit I’m still clueless. I’d go with “cash”, as the dictionary can’t be wrong, but I can’t scrub the “Kaysh” pronounciation which is etched into my neural pathways.

1
Mar 99
Mon

And How Do You…

… pronounce “cache”? Is it “kay’sh”, “cash” or “cash-ay”? ICQ or Mail me what you think.

Did You Know…

… that Microsoft’s Headquarters are at the address “1 Microsoft Way, Redmond”? The only company whose street address is the same as their corporate policy.

28
Feb 99
Sun

Travel Spam

IMPORTANT: Vacation Package Information
A VACATION JUST FOR YOU! TO THE MOST EXOTIC PLACE ON EARTH……FLORIDA!

SPECIAL ONLINE PROMOTIONAL VACATION PACKAGE IS BROUGHT TO YOU FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY, SO DON’T WAIT!  VIST OUR WEBSITE NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PRICE AND PACKAGE INFO. (sorry, offer not available to travel agents for resale). OFFER NOW AVAILABLE WORLD WIDE!!!

The interesting thing about this mail is that it pointed to a path under this URL – http://3438189349 – which turned out not to be bodgy. Someone explain how that URL works… My guess its just an IP address converted to some other form.

22
Feb 99
Mon

Driving Test

After telling everyone how’d I’d fail my driving test today, I passed them. I got my Provisional License now, along with a dodgy photo and all (“can I stop smiling now?”). I guess I was awake today? I really didn’t think I’d pass because yesterday I had a driving lesson where my instructor put me through a trial driving test course – I clocked up 4 instant failable offences. Not good for the day before a test. Anyway I won’t have to sit another one of them until I’m 85 and have Alzheimer’s.

Hot & Sizzling Spam

Erotic Talk
Do you like phone sex? Of course, don’t we all? Well, do I have a great service for you, where a live girl is always waiting to fulfill your every sexual desire. You pay no outrageous premium charges. All you pay is the regular international long distance charge..as low as 48 cents per minute. So, why not call now? All my girls are hot and waiting to get you off.

No, don’t bother asking me for the phone number. The mail’s been shredded :Þ. How the hell do these people get e-mail addresses? I’d reply with a “Fuck Off,” but that’d just verify my address and get me listed on ten other e-mail lists.

21
Feb 99
Sun

Forget Your Medication Again?

Somebody had his wires crossed and somehow connected cockroaches and world domination. Then he went on to write this site. Apparently there are Blattidic Fragments found in the Aussie outback (uh…) that fortell of the roaches overrunning us all. Or something like that.

More Spiced Ham in a Can

ADV: Huge Profits
“*This is a one time mailing. You will not be contacted again. If you still feel the need to be removed, please respond with the subject “remove” or call 1-909-222-xxxx*

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY – THE ERA OF MONOPOLIES IS OVER! HUGE PROFITS FOR INVESTORS! UTILITY DEREGULATION IS HAPPENING NOW!
Would you like a 40%-100% or higher potential return on your money with quarterly dividends for 25 years?  If so, this opportunity is for you.  The $200 billion electric industry opens a window for energy service providers to compete in this market. Such a market will reduce the price of power, improve services and options and can make early investors very, very wealthy! … Minimum $10K investment required.”

That’s a new one. Call a phone number to get “removed” from a “one time” internet mailing list.

18
Feb 99
Thu

Fresh, Steaming Hot Spam

Pay Increase
“Dear Token Webmasters:

Earn a full 90% at your site! That’s right, February 15th was our one year aniversary and to thank all of you for making our company a success we will be paying you a full 90% on all your tokens collected for one full two week pay period beginning 2-16-99. You can now charge “pay-per-view” of one token, 8 tokens, 25 tokens, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CHARGE! So drive extra traffic through your token galleries, because nobody else will pay you 90%!”

16
Feb 99
Tue

Today’s Serving of Spam

Need new ID? Privacy?
“Tired of your life? Depressed? So get a new one!

How To Create A New Identity: In as little as seven days you can have a new name, credit file, social security number, picture ID, and any major credit card you like.  You can be any age, gender, or race you wish.  You can become a different person in only 7 steps and 7 days… [blah blah blah] … For rush shipping include a self-addressed envelope.  Please PRINT your address so we do not get it wrong and cause delay in your product.  For best results write your address TWICE so we can make sure we get it right.”

15
Feb 99
Mon

Useless Fact

Perianal Thrombosis: Medical term for blood clots up (or is that in?) yer ass.

Today’s Spam – Fresh from the Deleted Items Folder

Home Based Biz! 2-4k per week!!
“[Blah blah get rich… etc.] This mailing is done by an independent marketing co. We apologize if this message has reached you in error. Save the Planet, Save the Trees!  Advertise via E mail.  No wasted paper!   Delete with one simple keystroke!  Less refuse in our Dumps! This is the new way of new millenium!”

Wednesday, February 24, 1999

Viagra On-Line: Get Yours now! (45318)
“Now you can order VIAGRA discreetly right from the comfort of your own home or office! We solve the problem many people have who want to try it. They don’t like the idea of having to go to their doctor and ask for a prescription.”

Re: Interested
“I’ll make this short, sweet, and simple. You want more TRAFFIC to your website. We’ll submit your site(s) to over 500+ Search Engines for FREE – LIMITED TIME ONLY.”

Funny how they think they can trick us into thinking they are replying to mail we allegedly sent to them by sticking in a subject line like “Re: Interested.” And no I don’t want Viagra. I’m fully functional, thank you.

6
Feb 99
Sat

Overheard

Just noticed that Overheard is updating again.

2
Feb 99
Tue

Mindless Diversion Answers

Answers to the questions posted yesterday (2/2/99) are below. Note they are in black text, so you will have to highlight the text below with your mouse to see.

1. Funnily enough, the letter “e” is nowhere to be seen.

2. The comma should go between “Merry” and “Gentlemen” – “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”. Why? It’s a rather archaic English greeting.

(highlight above)

Mindless Diversions

1. This little poem includes every letter in the alphabet but one. Spot the letter in a short a time as possible. Time yourself, even :) :

A jovial swain should not complain
Of any buxom fair,
Who mocks his pain and thinks it gain
To quiz his awkward air.

2. There should be one comma in the title of the folk song, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” After which word should it be placed?

Don’t wet your pants over this guys… Answers in the next post.

5
Jan 99
Tue

The Symmetrical Nature of Modems

If you have, let’s say a 33.6Kbps modem, this does not mean the total throughput (upload + download rates) of your modem is 33.6 Kilobits per second. You can, in fact, upload at that rate (or a little lower due to lag and stuff) as well as download. So your total throughput is actually 67.2Kbps. Thus, if you’re exchanging files over the net, use the symmetric nature – upload and download at the same time. Now 56.6K modems are assymmetric. They download at 56.6, but only upload at 33.6, giving total throughput of 90.2Kbps. Did I spell symmetrical right?

3
Jan 99
Sun

White Trash Barbie Doll

KillKrazy’s significant other, KatKrazy has raised a page right here. I like those views on (anti)feminism :) Good to have those views in women hehe… lucky guy, KillKrazy :). And slack-jawed during WarCraft? Gotta get a photo of that hahaha.

24
Dec 98
Thu

Christmas Day

Have a safe, but memorable, Christmas.
(Closed for Boxing Day :)

19
Dec 98
Sat

WTF? BRBT?

brbt is a homespun abbreviation for “be right back, toilet”. Quicker than “going to toilet, brb”. I suppose you could specify brbt and brbt2 to designate how long you will be away from the computer for, as a #1 is much shorter than a #2 :) Especially if you haven’t been getting enough fibre. Of course, there’s brbt3, but let’s not think about that here (elaboration required? Link may offend some, but it’s to a text only page, so relax.). By homespun I mean I thought it up. So remember, you heard it here first :).

18
Dec 98
Fri

On the Side

I found these definitions on the CNN web site :

BROKEN ARROW
A Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff term to identify and report an accident involving a nuclear weapon or warhead or nuclear component.
BENT SPEAR
A Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff term used in the Department of Defense to identify and report a nuclear weapon significant incident involving a nuclear weapon or warhead, nuclear components, or vehicle when nuclear loaded.
EMPTY QUIVER
A reporting term to identify and report the seizure, theft, or loss of a U.S. nuclear weapon.
FADED GIANT
A reporting term to identify an event involving a nuclear reactor or radiological accident.

Maybe the movie Broken Arrow should have been called, more accurately, Empty Quiver :)

9
Dec 98
Wed

Red Hat

No, not the Linux distribution. Does anyone have a picture of one of those Santa hats – you know, the floppy red hat with the fluffy white ball on the end (can’t remember what they were called)? I’m looking for a reasonably large pic, so I can stick it on someone’s head digitally (yes, it’s in response to Shish‘s request on the soapbox :). Actually, I’m still looking for holly and other Christmas related pictures…

8
Dec 98
Tue

X’Mas

What is “xmas”? I suspect that the X stands for “cross”, as Christ died on the cross. Christ = cross = X. If that’s true, who the hell thought that one up? The printing companies trying to cut down on their ink costs?

7
Dec 98
Mon

Deep and Philosophical

I’ve been checking out various other journal/diary-type sites, and the majority of them have some statement on the human condition or likewise sociological comment. Sorry I haven’t been able to offer anything like that. But I am a deep an’ philosophical person. Really. Heh. Okay, maybe not :).

2
Dec 98
Wed

Link

Common Errors in English is quite an interesting site, actually. Especially applicable to writings in the web.

24
Nov 98
Tue

Black Tie

Confirmed the definition finally. Two sample responses. The last one is the correct one. Other responses varied heaps.


“yeah like for a dinner it means you wear a suit doesn’t it? or something like that”
[does it mean specifically a tuxedo or suit?]
“I am not sure, you ask your parents”
[They don’t know either :)]
“my mum and her receptionist reckon it means a dinner suit, ie just a normal suit or a tux”
[ah so it doesn’t mean tux and only tux, but also dinner suit?]
“apparently”


Hey, Inferno…

Black tie is ultra-formal. In other words, a tuxedo with a bow tie, cumberbund, and cufflinks are a must. Classical music is normally played in the background and people wander around quoting Oscar Wilde and thinking they’re the be all, end all, and laughing politely at inane remarks.

It’s all really rather boring and pretentious. But, my definition is accurate.

KillKrazy


Heh.. I dunno what the hell a cumberbund is. But basically it’s a black coat and black pants, white shirt, bowtie and any other, I guess, “accessories”. My guess is that the definition may be a little tighter, but that’ll do.

Something New

Learned a new word today. Exoteric. It’s the antonym of an occasionally used word, but I’ve never seen this one. Here it is in a sentence, “Why is the word exoteric, not exoteric?” (Hint : It’s like, “Why is the word abbreviation so long?” Except that I thought of the above saying myself. So don’t rip me off. Please.) Still wondering what exoteric means? Its antonym features in this sentece, “Why is the word esoteric, so esoteric?” Admittedly, that’s not gonna help if you don’t know what esoteric means, but esoteric is way more commonplace than exoteric (I wonder why?).

If you still have no idea, look it up in a dictionary! Too lazy? (I can hear you yelling “Gimme the damn definiton and stop being a dick!”) Yeah I thought so. Well bud, you’re on the Net. The largest informational resource base in the solar system. Um, you could try www.dictionary.com. Just a thought. Sometimes you forget.

“esotericism?????”
“Funny how the word esoteric is esoteric, huh?”
“no, i don’t know what it means!!!”

(The bewildered participant in this conversation shall not be named. Otherwise she’d kill me.)

Link

• Overheard – Now this is a funny site. It shows snippets of (I assume real) conversations that people have overheard… y’know, not unlike when you walk past a couple of people and heard things totally out of context. Problem is I just don’t think its updating anymore.

7
Oct 98
Wed

Heh.

I caught a lift back home today in my math’s tutor’s car. Apparently the dashboard told him there were problems with his coolant levels. However, he had already topped the coolant up, so off we went to the mechanic’s. It turns out he had filled up the wrong thing! The mechanic guy came up, shook his head and said, “You’ve filled the windscreen wiper fluid container with coolant.” Hahaha that was funny.

4
Oct 98
Sun

Who am I kidding…

No I can’t stay off the web. Just the thought of all those unused hours going to waste :). I got some links :
• Earth 2025 – Online game that’s good when there’s nothing else going on… Quite fun, actually.
• Cynicism Central – Cutting edge cynicism… Warning : don’t take it seriously or you’ll get pissed…

29
Aug 98
Sat

Interesting Phone Numbers

A friend showed me some very interesting phone numbers that appeared in a newspaper – they appear to be all genuine, as well. All phone numbers are Australian (unless obviously not – such as the Kremlin). Looking to prank somewhere (expensive, if you choose an international number, so I don’t suggest that :)?

David Oldfield – 0412 382 044 – My friend pranked him and the number is 100% genuine (it’s his mobile phone). If you’re not Australian, and you know who Pauline Hanson is, then this guy is the person basically controlling her. Perfect guilt-free pranking on a racist. He didn’t hang up straight away on my friend, so at least he might have a sense of humour.

The Kremlin – (0117) 095 20511
Whitehouse – (202) 456 1414
Buckingham Palace – (0114471) 930 4832
Church of Scientology – (02) 9552 3733 [Aust]
Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) – (02) 9841 4333 – Mormons… what a joke

28
Aug 98
Fri

My ISP – A Small Bit of Useless Trivia

I only just noticed this regarding my ISP’s dial-up hubs. When you dialup, not only do you get an ip-address, but also an equivalent name (like if your ISP is at www.isp.com, you may get an ip of 100.x.y.z, and an equivalent name of dialup14.isp.com – just like web sites have equivalent ip addresses). Now Zipworld’s (my isp) names have been named after SouthPark characters – you’ve got kyle05.zipworld.com.au and stan12.zipworld.com.au, cartman04.zipworld.com.au and so on. Just an observation.

Maybe your ISP has a sense of humour in naming their dial-up name assignments, or even server names. For example, Altavista’s translation service server is given the name “babelfish”, which, of course, is the yellow fish you stick in your ear from Hitch-Hiker’s Guide (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just go read the book). My school has named its servers after Biblical characters (xerxes and shadrach etc. :).

26
Aug 98
Wed

Awards

Looking to submit your site for an award? DC sent me this link here. No I haven’t submitted to any of them (yet :).

Microsoft Job Interview Question

Check this out and see how you go… Kev sent me this e-mail:

Hey Stuart,
Just got this in a class today. C how u go……..
Microsoft used this test as the first step in its interviewing process for prospective employees. Those who solved the riddle in 5 mins or less moved on to the next stage and those who failed within the time period were sent packing. See how you go!

Louise and her 3 sisters (Ann, Betty, Carin) are standing on one side of a bridege and their objective is to make it to the other side in 17 mins or less.

L takes 1 min to get across the bridge.
A takes 2 mins to get across the bridge.
B takes 5 mins to get across the bridge.
C takes 10 mins to get across the bridge.

A maximum of 2 can go across at any one time and if 2 go together they travel at the speed of the slower mover. However, it is night and they must carry a torch to light the way. There is only 1 torch available and they must share it.

How do they accomplish their mission in the time available to them??

PS. Make sure u only try for 5 mins. No cheating…

If you’re wondering how I went, I managed to get it out in 4 minutes 40… must be a good night for me. Yes it is possible and if you want the answer, mail or ICQ me (ICQ preferred). Or you can bug Microsoft :) hahaha.

IQ Test

Requiem sent me a link to this IQ Test page… http://www.iqtest.com. Check it out.
I scored 160. I think you can use this link to check out the results page I got when I finished the test. Of course IQ Tests mean jack all.

25
Aug 98
Tue

Two Moves in One Day

Shlonglor’s site moved back to his domain name (http://www.shlonglor.com), and sonic junkie moved here – http://sonic.hardwaretechs.com/. Further updates to sonic junkie’s page include more neat hand drawn graphics… man I wish I could even draw, but I can’t draw for crap.

23
Aug 98
Sun

Links

• Ever wanted to know about PGP and how RSA Public Key encryption works? Go here : http://cat.maths.usyd.edu.au/~robbie/talks/rsa.html.
• Bored? Go to this site which catalogs easter eggs in software: http://www.eeggs.com.
• Still bored? Visit http://www.blackout.com for the ultimate in prank calls (you need Real Audio though). The guys that do this are geniuses. They are all so well planned and intricate – yet they are pretty much improvised with on-the-spot thinking. You’ll be pissing yourself. My favourite is Hair Catastophe. Make sure you listen to that one.

16
Jul 98
Thu

???

OGRs going broke? Area-S has a countdown going for time until OGR is bankrupt. What???

5
Jul 98
Sun

ICQ Message Log

Check this out… apparently he called himself Mozzie because we drilled it into his head that he was annoying. Well, here’s the annoyance theory at work…

6/07/98 11:30 mozzie wassup?

6/07/98 11:31 Inferno i dunno what is?

6/07/98 11:31 mozzie haha… whatcha been up to all last week?

6/07/98 11:31 Inferno games work etc

6/07/98 11:40 mozzie oic… hey with star craft how do u finish the second mission of the zerg episode???

6/07/98 11:40 Inferno grab the egg with a drone

6/07/98 11:40 mozzie how??? drones can’t move stuff!! it won’t gather!!

6/07/98 11:41 Inferno left click drone, right click on chrysalis.

6/07/98 11:42 mozzie u sure??

6/07/98 11:42 Inferno OF Course I’m sure.

6/07/98 11:43 mozzie not the overlord?

6/07/98 11:43 Inferno no use the drone

6/07/98 11:43 mozzie ok… thanx…

6/07/98 11:45 mozzie i can’t believe how slow my connection is!!!!

6/07/98 11:46 mozzie have u got world cup 98?

6/07/98 11:46 Inferno nope

6/07/98 11:47 mozzie bummer… i’m tryin to d/l it but it’s taking ages!!!!

29
Jun 98
Mon

Shlonglor.com

He got his own domain name :). I’m betting that his “something big” is something along the lines of a layout change? Probably not…

20
Jun 98
Sat

HSC Countdown to Armageddon Page

You’ll see, when you click this link. I made this when I had too much spare time today.

General News

• Gonna see Deep Impact tonight.
• Starcraft.org has been remade a while back. Link : www.starcraft.org.
• Holidays in one week. 7 weeks to trial…
• NSW Lost Origin. Crap.

8
Jun 98
Mon

Daylight Saving Saying

I remember this year how I spent ten minutes debating with my parents whether we were to set our clocks forward or backwards when daylight saving finished. Anyway, today I remembered this line from goodness knows where. “Spring ahead, Fall behind.” Fall, of course, is Autumn in Australia. So for Autumn, when daylight saving ends, clocks go back (behind) one hour. Nifty, eh?

7
Jun 98
Sun

The quick brown fox…

…contains all the letters of the alphabet. Another one is “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.” I’m sure you needed to know that :).

5
Jun 98
Fri

Aridin.net Released

Aridin, proprietor of Station 17, has regoed his domain name. His site is like Shlonglor’s (and thus, mine :). www.aridin.net.

4
Jun 98
Thu

Outer Limits is BACK!

The granddaddy of MP3 sites is back! Re-released June 1 (can’t see how I forgot to put this in June 1’s entry). Welcome back. If you’re into MP3s, visit this site (URL right now is long and will be changed soon, so go through Dimension Music) and Dimension Music, and you’ll be set. This site was HUGE before it closed down 7 months ago (due to the webmaster moving geographically), back when DimensionMusic was small and just starting out. Oh yeah, and it’s Aussie run!

16
May 98
Sat

Anticol

These lollies from Allen’s really, truly work in getting rid of a sore throat. Honestly, they’re better than those medicated purpose-made lozenges like Strepsils… I sucked on 6 Strepsils through one day, and my throat never got better. Two Anticols, and my throat was 95% better. I don’t have a sore throat, but my friend does, which reminded me about this. He say it took him half a pack for his throat to get better, but even so, it’s way better than Strepsils. Oh yeah, suck ‘em, don’t chew ‘em… they don’t work if you chew them.

9
May 98
Sat

Sorry…

Did you know … “a roach can if fact survive without a head, living up to a week until they eventually die of thirst.”? Hehe

7
May 98
Thu

MUA Propaganda Page

Can you believe the crap the MUA is spewing on the Net??? Link is here.

16
Apr 98
Thu

Parrot Skit

Here’s the skit as it came out after being translated by babelfish.altavista.digital.com (see April 13th entry – Languages)… Original script coming (when I can be bothered). It starts from the beginning, with “Hello, I wish to register a complaint… Hello, Miss?” …

Aligned: Hello, I demand an objection to the registry…, Hello? Ms?
Exchange: Which thing you have the taste to say to difettare of?
Aligned: Hour of amp2ere, I, betruebt of a cold stay. It has wished to arrange an objection.
Exchange: Betruebt, closes them that we arrest the lunch.
Aligned: That before that it does not only give the shape to the new defective man, me
me I have loved the conclui’ I give these parrots that they load, than I have
not exactly bought the average-hour of this system.
Exchange: The OH, blue Norwegian. Which it is the problem with it?
Aligned: Legend I, that with it you are wrong. He is dead man, that is, than with it it is wrong.
Exchange: No destiller to it is interrupted, the temporary vision!
Aligned: Opinion my new man, I know the deads dark-brownen, if in order to come and in order lend
attention at this moment.
Exchange: Not no horseman honest, died. It is still arrested.
Aligned: Rest?

There you go… utterly ridiculous.

14
Apr 98
Tue

Trivial Trivia

Did you know “mirabilis” is Latin for “wonderful”. I’m sure it’s somewhere on their site, but no one goes there except when they want to download the software, do they? If people visited their site, they’d stop sending that damn chain mail!!! Translation courtesy of Shish, Latin scholar – if you want Latin translated, mail him – I’d refer you to AltaVista’s brill translation service, but they don’t have a Latin<–>English service :). While he was over, we translated a bit from the Monty Python Parrot Skit from English to 5 other languages and back (that’s English to French, back to English, then to Spanish, Portuguese, German, and that other lanuage (can’t remember) and back to English after each translation). I’ll post the original and the mangled translation at a later time…

12
Apr 98
Sun

Links

Freebies – did you know you could get lotsa free, albeit useless stuff, off the net?
Cap’n Jim’s 3D Stuff – Ooohooo this is an absolute treasure chest, full of high quality images that can be used as wallpaper. They have a Sci-fi theme, with lotsa Star Wars and Trek pics. I hit the jackpot this time :)

Happy Easter

Well, Happy Easter and all that. I really should start studying now (still haven’t and exams are first day back at school, which is 2 weeks away from tomorrow :)

29
Mar 98
Sun

Daylight Saving

Daylight saving ends today (in NSW, Australia anyway), clocks are set back one hour.

21
Mar 98
Sat

Car

It arrived yesterday. The whole garage has got that “new car” smell. You know that they even sell spray-on “new car” fragrances? Bagged myself a new CD as well – a freebie we managed to get out of the Lexus dealers. In fact, I’m listening to it now :)

2
Feb 98
Mon

Heart of Insanity (New Update)

He’s done it again. Requiem/Shish/David has updated his page again, and this time its a major update, and it has been launched at a new URL. Visit it now! http://www.zip.com.au/~dmcleish/. It features lotsa nice ray-traced pics and looks pretty darn good.

1
Feb 98
Sun

Links

Couple interesting ones I came across.
Professional Gamer’s League – Gaming for money :)
http://www.aprilfools.com/ – Hehe, well, see for yourself … and its only two months away.

29
Jan 98
Thu

Look at those odds…

In the SMH there was some Stay In Touch article about a woman dealing out cards to four people, and each person gets a full suite each. The odds are like 2,000,000,000,000 to 1 or something. Absolutely amazing.

28
Jan 98
Wed

Links

You bored? Here are some sites that’ll keep you interested if you like this
sorta stuff — which I do.
http://www.UrbanLegends.com/
Pretty self-explanatory
http://www.officialdarwinawards.com/
– "Following the ideas of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards are given, usually
posthumously, to the individual(s) who remove themselves from the gene pool in the most
spectacular fashion. However there is an exception to the requirement to die. If said
individual does not die, however does render him/her self incapable of producing any
children – they may be eligible for the dubious honor of receiving the award while still
alive."  A cack. Be sure to read about the guy that
had a dye bomb (that explodes at 400°C) explode in his pants …



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