An Earth Sandwich


A very funny episode of "the show with zefrank" which discusses the concept of an "earth sandwich." This is what you get when you put two slices of bread on opposite sides of the planet. If only we could do this, there would be world peace. Language is "R" rated, video is "G".

the show with zefrank - 05-16-06

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The Sheep Market


The sheep market is a collection of 10,000 sheep created by workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Each worker was paid $.02 to "draw a sheep facing left".... Average wage: $0.69/hour.

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This is insane. It's a waterski-style inner tube with the added advantage that when you get air, you *really* get air. It converts to a kite-like parasail device. Talk about extreme-sports. I predict this thing will exist for about six months before the company gets sued out of existance.

Nonetheless, I sure want to try riding it. Buy it here. See it in action here.

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National Success isn't free

kids drawing with chalk
Photo courtesy of Darin and Sharri

I need to rant this morning. After coming back from Ireland earlier this month I noticed a remarkable trend that I haven't seen in trips as recent as 3 years ago. The number of things that you couldn't do overseas has dropped drastically. Not only has the stuff of a typical American life arrived overseas, but better stuff is starting to show up there first. Here are some trivial but telling examples:
*) In Dublin I could get really good coffee from a number of chains all over the city. I had never heard of a single one of the stores and there was no Starbucks in sight.
*) In 5 minutes I was able to get a local cell phone account without having to sign a contract or get a new phone.
*) The hotels all had Wi-Fi from a carrier that was all over the city. So when I bought a subscription at my hotel I could use it throughout the day.
*) My colleagues were getting on a $15.00 flight back home to England (total cost).
*)The local music scene was everywhere and better quality at lower cost. AC/DC covers, traditional Irish fiddle, a random Irish harp, music in every restaurant.

The point of this is just a wake-up call inspired by a gut intuition that the U.S. is losing it's edge and it's starting to be noticeable in business, in technology and in culture. I care because I have a stake in the U.S.'s success - I live here, I am employed here, I enjoy the successes of my country. I am also involved in educating the next generation and I'm not sure that they understand that 4 billion people want their job, their lifestyle, their education, their culture and their stuff.

Here is a post that underscores my point:

723 The Creativity Imperative: A National Perspective
" At one of our recent meetings, John Young, the founder of the Council on Competitiveness and former CEO of Hewlett Packard, explained, "Our standard of living is not a birthright. We have to earn it in the marketplace every day." Today the United States has the highest standard of living in the world. The flip side of this is that we also have very high labor costs compared to other countries. We will never be able to compete directly with countries like China and India on the basis of cost, and, as low-wage nations around the world develop skilled workforces and adopt cutting-edge technology, we can no longer assume that we will win on quality either. "

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Huzzah! Huzzah! Think a general attitude of dependency has been caused by a reliance on foreign agencies? Foreign, as in not personal creativity, hard work and ambition...

Posted by: Nate at May 26, 2006 4:23 AM

Google announces video ads


Coming soon to a blog near you... Google announces that they are going to start running video ads in their banners. (Like the one on the side here). Unlike other ads, though, users have to start them. Video ads for the masses, at last.

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Laughing Yogi


Is it really laughing if it makes the people who are watching you feel so strange? You decide: here

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I do feel strange. What is real in this clip? The yogi? The laughing? Is anything real here? I'm going to make an emo-video now...

Posted by: Nate at May 23, 2006 5:34 AM

New Manhattan Apple Store

From Boing Boing

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Christian Coalition weighs in on Net Neutrality

cross power
Photo courtesy of sillykitty

It sure is encouraging when I see Christians thinking through issues and then standing up for interests that go against the dominate power (and it helps if I agree with the position). In this press release, the Christian Coalition of America defends the concept of net nuetrality. This generally means the policy that internet service providers and network carriers (like AT&T) shouldn't discriminate against certain types of Internet communication. If they did, they could charge you more to get to Google, or make Google requests very slow, because Yahoo! paid AT&T for the right to have faster connections.

Christian Coalition Announces Support for 'Net Neutrality' to Prevent Giant Phone and Cable Companies From Discriminating Against Web Sites

"Washington D.C. -- Today, Christian Coalition of America announced its support for the effort to amend pending telecom legislation in Congress in order to prevent the large phone and cable companies from discriminating against web sites. Roberta Combs, the President of Christian Coalition of America said, "Christian Coalition is joining a broad array of organizations, representing consumers, businesses, and all ends of the political spectrum. The Coalition is committed to working on behalf of our supporters to ensure that the Internet remains the free marketplace of ideas, products and services that it is today."

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10,000 Fruits Dropped on San Francisco


If you recall from a previous entry there was a commercial that involved dropping 10,000 bouncy balls out of a window onto the top of a hill in San Fransisco. Now there is a spoof with a soda company dropping fruit instead. Windows break, fruit explodes, funny reaction. Seeing it is a bit of a pain. First open a browser window here. Then cut and paste this URL into the browser and load it.


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So I'm having a great time in Dublin, Ireland this week. I'm enjoying Pervasive 2006 and LoCA, and especially Ireland. I went to the Guinness brewery tonight. I've seen some amazing foam art in lattes in Seattle, but the bartender poured a shamrock in my beer as shown in the lame camera phone shot on the right. Now that's cool. I also learned that the Guinness book of world records is the same Guinness as the beer and we heard a great Irish band called Anuna - kind of like Enya, but not so full of the vapors.

Dublin has tons of great music. Really good coffee. Beautiful architecture and a growing and sophisticated information technology infrastructure. So far, its been a good adventure.


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Harry Potter Titles We Don't Want to See...

Harry potter wannabe
Photo courtesy of miss rogue

From: Capn Wacky's Lists, Harry Potter Fan Fiction Titles We'd Rather Not See:

Harry Potter and the Uneventful Year When No One Tried to Kill Him
Harry Potter and the New Love Interest Who Happens to Have the Same Name as the 15-Year-Old Girl Writing this Fanfic
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Sucrets
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Kidney Stone
Harry Potter and the Summer Internship
Harry Potter and the Wand of Franchise Extension
Harry Potter and the Bizarro Harry Potter

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