Watched the Super Bowl yesterday. It may be the first one I’ve ever watched in its entirety. I’ve never really cared much for pro football, and when I left the St. Louis area for college, the area was still anti-football after running the Cardinals out of town on a rail. Still, I did have some sense of rooting for “the hometown team”, and both teams put on a great show. Of course, the real reason I watched was for the commercials. There was so much hype over the “dot com” ads, but what struck me was how alienating most of the ads were. Football is traditionally a blue collar sport. Both teams were from small working class towns. It may be safe to say that the majority of the television audience was middle class and lower. So why were so many ads about trading stocks and big business transactions? Even with online stock trading, what percentage of the US population actually actively plays the stock market? I don’t mean giving money to a 401(k), but really trading on an individual level. Of course, when the commercials weren’t for eTrade or the like, they were for Budweiser so maybe that evened things out.
Small world. Two sites I linked to some time ago, Linux got me kicked out of Wal*Mart and the Game Boy Camera project, are just two pieces of a much larger set of pages maintained by fellow NMT physics student Paul Houle. Paul and I weren’t all that close in school, despite being in nearly every physics class together. I do like what I’ve seen of his sites, though.
Udderly Smooth Udder Cream is a “water-based moisturizer that is greaseless, stainless, with a light, fresh fragrance.” Originally formulated for dairy farmers to help relieve dry, cracked udders, it’s now available to the general public for use on dry skin in general. Their website has plenty of pictures of cows, an animation of three cows singing the Udder Cream jingle, testimonials with other uses (the non-grease formula is a big hit with cross-stichers), and of course details on how you can get some. One tub of Udder Cream took a vacation to China and posed on the Great Wall.
More chicken strangeness. The BBC is reporting on the death of a chicken that was insured for £1M after receiving death threats from neighbors. Apparantly, the chicken was accused of defacing a local war memorial, but the owner says the chicken was framed by a group of unruly ducks. It’s unclear if the owner will be able to collect the money, as the insurance reportedly covers the chicken only if it was killed and then eaten by a parish councillor. The local police are not investigating. I can’t make this stuff up, folks.
I just received an email from MP3.com. They are being sued by virtually every mainstream record label over their neat-o My.MP3.com service that lets you register the CDs you own on their servers and then listen to the music from any computer. Anyway, the subject line of the email read “MP3.Communicator: Defend Your CDs, Women…” I briefly thought that maybe the lawsuit had far more reaching effects than just music, but no. There’s also an article in there about “The Women of MP3.com”, and the subject line just got truncated.
RetroPsychoKinesis - use your brain to influence the past. This page includes on-line experiments and plenty of related links. Myself, I’m already working hard to fix that losing lottery ticket from last year.
This legal document, found folded up and packaged with a small toy, may well be the Rosetta stone for some future civilization. Learn how to say “Warning, read and keep: Toy not suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts might be swallowed or inhaled.” in many languages. All of them, I think.
When you use your Peace Fleece to make a wonderful sweater for yourself, you of course have to be careful of shrinkage. Wool shrinks when you get it wet and hot, and once shrunk, your garment’s ruined. Right? Jason Kottke, in his Jan 27th entry, expains how to recover your shrunken sweater.
Leonard Grossman (of Reflections of a ModemJunkie) sent me an email alerting me to Kestrel’s Eye (NY Times, free registration required), a new Swedish documentary film showing a family of European Kestrels from their literal point of view. The film sounds beautiful, and is playing this week only in one theater in New York City. The odds of this film coming to Athens are slim-to-none, but I must see it somehow.
I’m amused by the mental picture of Troi advising Picard on how to fight the Buffy Monsters.
Peace Fleece is a yarn company dedicated to helping historic enemies cooperate and prosper through trade. They started during the cold war and have moved on to Israeli/Palestinian relations and the quagmire in Kosovo. Their goods are of very high quality. Anyone who does any sort of knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, etc. should be aware of these folks. Actually, everyone should be aware of these folks — they give us a model to emulate.
Last weekend, North Georgia was hit with the worst ice storm in recent memory. Several thousand people are still without power. This weekend, Atlanta hosts the Super Bowl, and coming to watch is a winter storm that is shaping up to be even worse.
Once again, I will be using my powers as an ordained minister for the forces of good, this time by joining my college friends Jeff and Mellissa in wedded bliss in Key Largo this May. The other wedding I did (and the reason I got ordained) was for my college friends Shawn & Gypsy.
Astute Readers Kim and Jen pointed me to The Poultry Site. There are so many things here I can’t begin to describe them all. If you’ve got the time, though, you can find out about every breed of poultry that exists, including all 6 gazillion types of chickens. For example, the Frizzles, the descriptive page of which shows a chicken bred to look like Sesame Street’s Big Bird. If you want to mix the sharp beak of a bird with the soft fur of a Persian cat, how about the Silkies? For you AOL’ers who got here by searching for pr0n, there’s a breed called Sex-Links. (I’m sure my daily traffic will triple once this entry gets indexed.) Of course, this site’s majesty is not limited to chickens… all the poultry are here. As well as a few sheep for good measure.
It’s about 20 degrees F here, with a windchill of about -5. I think I need some more malt-o-meal.
ObAthensLink: The Elephant Six Collective is a group of (mostly) Athens-based bands. A cross between a record label and a cooperative, the collective’s member bands are among the most original and conceptual in Athens. This page tells their story and has a sample from one of the highest-profile bands, Olivia Tremor Control.
More astronomy. The Hubble Data Archive contains over 100,000 Hubble Space Telescope observations of more than 20,000 targets. If you don’t mind digging a bit, you can find plenty of pretty pictures, including the famous deep-field shots showing uncountable numbers of galaxies. Please, try not to feel lonely and insignificant when you look at these. It’s tough not to, though.
While studying astrophysics at New Mexico Tech, I had many of the world’s best astronomy tools at my fingertips, ranging from the best astronomers in the world to the best observatories in the world. But, one thing I did not have was an F-18 Fighter Jet Mobile Telescope Platform. Dagnabit.
Today is the Feast of the Conversion of Paul. Today’s weather will indicate how the year to come will turn out (so said Europeans in the 15-1600’s). Fair weather = good year. Windy = war. Cloudy = plague. Here in Athens, it’s cloudy with bursts of wind. Dagnabit.