Jan 24

Get a First Life and take a Blog Survey

You will, I hope, have seen Darren’s Get a First Life site, a call for people everywhere to sign up and try some of this real life stuff; you have to scroll down to comment 16 to get the real social impact of this, with Linden Labs posting their take on it and giving a licence for the logo to be used in making of the First Life tshirts.

Get a First Life

But, just before you rush out and use your real genitals, take the blog survey over at whydoyoublog.com, giving Darren lots of numbers for his Northern Voice presentation (and you may just win something)

Jan 22

Search update

I love looking at the search terms that get people to my site. Today we have a specific target in mind, with the person who got to me with “can you put porn on myspace” where I make the top 10 in google. In answer to this, I have no idea. I know it seems to do a good job closing down the explicit groups (it’s owned by Fox, always a conservative group when it comes to sex), but of you are going to do that sort of stuff, there’s probably far more appropriate targets.

Dec 19

Charitable Activity

This has been sitting in my tabs for a while, from Freakonomics. A group of Dallas call girls have got together and are running a charity raffle; for $50 a ticket the winner gets two hours with all 12 girls at the same time. In a form of micro-charity, the money is going direct to a named family. So if you’re stuck for a present for a man in your life, here’s one idea 😉

Posted in fun
Dec 17

Flickr Presents

Flickr have a wonderful easter egg this Christmas – adding notes to the photo gives you Xmas hats and Santa beards. See here for an example. Furthermore they have extended the upload limits for everyone.

And it’s even better to give the gift of Flickr since now your recipients will get unlimited uploads — the two gigabyte monthly limit is no more (yep, pro users have no limits on how many photos they can upload)! At the same time, we’ve upped the limit for free account members as well, from 20MB per month up to 100MB (yep, five times more)!

Nov 14

Headline writing

Sometimes, you find a piece of writing that can only come from one country. Here’s a story about the shortage of sperm donors in England and how the National Gamete Donation trust are proposing using mobile collection trucks outside major sporting events. The headline:

“English Football Fans can now Prove who is the Biggest Wanker”

Posted in fun
Aug 10

Pug Bowling

I like dogs normally, but toy dogs are generally of little brain. Here’s a video that demonstrates just that!

Posted in fun
Jun 06


Love the date..the once in a century opportunity to make poor jokes about the sign of the devil. Although I guess at the last one they did not have such marketing ‘opportunities’ as the release of the remake of The Omen.

Posted in fun
Apr 01

April Fool Stuff

I’m going to keep this post updated for my own info….

Here’s something from Google. It may not be completely an April fool, but there’s an element of fun about it.

Google Circles is a free service which lets you explore the interests of groups of people around the world, in your hometown, at your workplace, and at your alma mater.

. Try the domain driven pages, and read the FAQ…

How do I keep my own queries from contributing to one or more Google Circles?
The only way to keep your searches from contributing to a Google Circle is to not use Google’s services. There are several other search engines to choose from, none of which receive enough traffic for their operators to successfully perform data mining at this scale.

Think Geek is offering some interesting products. I particulary like the USB Desktop tanning kit and the RFID blocking Tshirt.

Google swap one Matt and 2456 computers for one a href=”http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/006571.html”>Jeremy

goes pink for the day, and runs some interesting stories (Lucas film goes adult!)..although you can’t always tell with slasdot..

Go and take a look at Flickr’s Interestingness page – it seems to have been taken over by cats. And more cats. Start here and flick through the months.

On the Register, a couple of stories. Although the one about Bush preparing emergency powers to stay on in office is worryingly believable. Meanwhile, China buys Google and announces it secretly.

Some Newspaper stories (all from Tim Worstall)

The Guardian on the Marie-Jesu Pica’s rise to power in the country of San Serriffe. The Bodoni machine guns are a nice touch.

The Guardian also has my favourite – there was a little bit of work gone into this. Chris Martin from Coldplay announcing his support for Tory leader Dvid Cameron, by releasing a new version of a song. Here’s the song…and here’s the lyrics.

And the Daily Mail announces a tax on pencils

A lot of bootstrapping on the web came from the openess of the code, which also allows things like this, announcing George Galloway’s resignation from his party. By the ‘BBC’…or someone who can copy their style.

And another Google site..Google Romance..with contextual ads.

6. What is Contextual Dating?
It’s a free date plus the added accrued value of the past decade’s worth of post-Industrial Age online marketing genius, all tied into a real-time, video-based, GPS-tracked, psychographically astute and environmentally pervasive promotional system.

And even TechCrunch gets in on it, with a write up of Goop:

The most interesting aspects of the service, however, are a number of del.icio.us/flickr-like features to allow anyone to create their own topic-based version of the main service, create a mashup with any XUL or LUX interface and prominently display the results to users on a Soap based platform with fully closed APIs. At this time, the service is available for download on the Mac platform only, using the Internet Explorer browser.

Meanwhile Yahoo is getting fed up with buying up Web2.0 companies one by one and have decided to take the plunge and buy them all at once. Think of the legal fees saved.

And on that…going to leave it..as Wikipedia has a far more comprehensive list

Posted in fun
Mar 27

The Mac Hotel, Vegas

After 4 days in Vegas, we think there are opportunities for a Scottish themed casino…so welcome The Mac!

As all of these hotels have particular themes and gimmicks, here’some of the things that could be present. Blame Ewan for most of these 😉

  • a lone piper on the top of the hotel playing everyone in, with it relayed by camera to a big multi-screen outside the hotel
  • twin tower design…massive space in the middle..a Glasgow side and an Edinburgh side. All the wifi is in Glasgow, all the money in Edinburgh. The casino is in the middle..then the scottish complex and the Experience behind
  • between the towers would be the biggest Scottsh flag you have ever seen with the Lion Rampart underneath it
  • all the men in kilts, all the women in fancy highland dressy things with massive push up bars and corsets
  • decor is red on botton, green on top, with mini bannister in the middle..with lots of pictures of the English getting slaughtered.
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie will be selling shortbread…
  • there are suites named after English men the scots have built..(RC – it’ll be a very small hotel then!)
  • there’ss be a distillery, a massive selection of whiskies
  • proper ale on handpumps (therefore served at room temp…)alcopops a plenty and dandelion and burdock instead of rootbear
  • a fake Loch Ness, with sightings of Nessie every 15 minutes. Next to it, a hillside, with haggi running around (both varieties, so running both ways)
  • the other side of the loch would be similar to the bottom half of the Royal Mile,
  • the food court would have to have the chippies only, run by Italians, dodgy kebab places and Greggs the Baker…
  • random tramps would wander round, drinking Special Brew and Buckfast
  • the roof would not be painted with a fake blue sky, but would be grey..with the sprinkers turning on every now and then.
  • there would be a River Clyde, with motor boats, and neds on the bridges throwing stuff occasionally
  • Billy Connelley would MC the evening show, which would include Gerry Rafferty, Lulu, Bay City Rollers, Rod Stewart, the Proclaimers, Annie Lennox,

At that point…we had enough!

Posted in fun
Jan 19

Do you have rhythm?

From the Metro, the Song Tapper alllows you to tap in the rhythm of a song and then tries to match it to its database to tell you the title. This is targeted at everyone who has a song going round and round in their head and they’re trying to find the title. Unfortunately, on my few attempts it did not match any of my songs. However, that may say more about my complete inability to tap out a rhythm than a failure of the system.

Posted in fun
Jan 06

Taking this far too seriously

Semanticist “presents a dozen signs that this whole “nanoculture” thing might be a little too much for you to handle.” with the nanoculture being such things as SEO, Web 2.0, New Media and Social Computing . Favourites being

11. You no longer speak to co-workers, but instead refer them to your comments feed.

2. You were totally surprised that your suggested “mashup” between you, your spouse, and the babysitter was poorly received.

and then you get to number 1 in the list..and you know you’re in to this way too deep ;o)

Via Jeremy Zawodny

Posted in fun
Dec 28

Does my bum look big in this?: an academic study

Dr Lisa Macintyre, of Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, has started an academic study to establish what combination of cut and material do make bums look big…and therefore advise clothes designers how to minimise the effect. Volunteers will be photographed in lots of different clothes before the photos get assessed by an expert panel

.“This study will provide, for the first time, detailed and usable information that would enable designers to make the clothes that help women make the most of their natural assets.”
As a first instalment, Dr Macintyre promises to reveal how different styles of trouser can affect the appearance of bottom size. This should be published in May.

So does this mean we could see a new piece of information in clothes labels in the future – trhe bum enhancement indicator?

Dec 22

Jelly Bean Cascade

One of the agencies sent over a Christmas present to a couple of us at work today – Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Between the 2 boxes there’s over 1000 beans of multiple colours. All we need now is a decent slope or set of stairs, a good camera and to work out if they can bounce to recreate the Sony Bravia commercial. And of course, an industrial strength vacuum cleaner to clear up the mess.

Posted in fun
Dec 14

Germ and Squirrel Free

A couple of articles caugh tmy eye in today’s Evening Standard. The first is about c2c who have just announced a new service (although not, apparently, in the news section of their website). They are going to provide cough-free carriages for the next few months, to allow their commuters to stay germ free. If a traveller starts coughing they are supposed to leave the carriages.

In another story, a man named Tufty could do with a few doses of Panexa to encourge Excessive Floppy Tail Syndrome in the squirrels in his garden, as he has set up deathtogreysquirrels.com, to encourage the culling of grey squirrels which are perceived as a nuisance and a threat to the native red squirrels. Whilst suggesting that you avoid the brains, there are a few recipes that could provide alternatives to your normal Christmas fare and there are updated reports from the battlefronts; or you could go and comment on the forum. A growing, slightly worrying, campaign.

Dec 14

Flickring Expectations

Last night was another of the Christmas functions at work, this time with the IT function. After dressing up and loading onto a coach, we arrived at our venue for the night – the Hard Rock Cafe – to take part in plenty of food, drink and karaoke. Scattered around the venue were dressing up accessories, such as hats, funny glasses and wigs, plus lots of cameras.

The cameras were all going to be collected and processed, with the photos shared round the office. There were a fair number of personal cameras being used, including mine. However, unlike Saturday night’s geek dinner, very few of those photos will end up on Flickr. In the one’s that I’ve put up, the people in them know I blog, know I put photos online and were aware I would be doing that. Looking at the photos from Saturday, I’m in some from people I don’t know, who never asked permission – but nor would I epxect them to. You can see the same thing from the Les Blogs conference last week – plenty of photos, no disclaimers ever signed. So I’ve been thinking about the type of photos I publish and in what circumstances I put them on the web.

The first type is usually of complete strangers, from events around London or at festivals or get togethers. They’re never identified, but by being in a public place their pictures are open to be taken.

The second type is the semi-private/invitational event. And for me here it is down to expectations. The geekdinner was organised online and many/most of the participants appear to have blogs and Flickr accounts which are not necessarily anomynous. My expectation would be that the people attending understand that they may be photographed, or linked or, or mentioned in a post, even if I’ve never met them before. It is part of an unwritten contract that comes from attending such events. I perceive no such agreement at a work event – it’s far more a private function.

Dec 12

Panexa by MERD

Via Adrants, new drug has appeared on the market. Suitable for “patients experiencing one of the following disorders: metabolism, binocular vision, digestion (solid and liquid), circulation, menstruation, cognition, osculation, extremes of emotion.” Panexa has the following contraindications:

* PANEXA should not be used as a physical aid to set a broken bone, as in the case of a splint;
* PANEXA should not be used as a substitute for real human relationships; the tablets (and gel-coated caplets) are incapable of displaying any real emotion, and would prove to be dissatisfying friends or mates;
* PANEXA should not be used to soak up spills or remove stains. This is disrespectful to PANEXA;
* PANEXA should not be resold with the intent of generating a personal profit;
* PANEXA should not be used a form of motive transport, as it lacks the government regulated (US DOT 1445/88-4557) safety lights and reflectors;
* Women with uteruses should consider avoiding PANEXAor moving to a state or province where the concentration of PANEXA is lesser;
* Do not taunt PANEXA.

Posted in fun
Nov 09

Tipping Cows

Boing Boing highlight a academic study that looked at the physics of tipping cows, ie making a cow fall over. The study shows that the average cow would need 5 people to tip it over, although 2 people may be able to manage it if they surprised it!

Which brings me on to Richard Langford, a friend who complains I don’t mention him enough in this blog; I don’t tend to name people without an online presence, but he requested it (and his ego feed should pick this up). Richard has, so he tells us, tipped over a cow. In this case the cow was very surprised, it was, apparently, asleep at the time. So it’s definitely possible and not just an urban legend.

And here’s a picture of him with his new best friend Clare, the Powerbook he’s been waiting for ages for that finally got delivered. He’s trying to convert the team into buying our own, but so far he’s not had too much luck. Hopefully Richard now feels that he’s been mentioned enough for this month ;o)


Posted in fun