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Lobster Performance Art at CMU

People are having mixed reactions to the CMU student whose "offbeat approach to education" includes an "external study" for credit that involves dressing up in a lobster outfit and living in a 3-story house he built out of construction scraps for four months.

Funnier than this story (and I really like to see people doing things like this, even if the projects are on the dumb side) are reader comments on the Pitt News website underneath the story. Some of the comments start off with lines like, "You make me hungry for lobster." and "As a CMU grad, I am appalled..." and "Let's go torture him."

posted by AES on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link to this post |

The Top 15 Differences if Olympic Athletes Were Clowns:

15. Now perfectly acceptable to say that curling is a sport for bozos.

14. Nitrous oxide added to the list of banned substances.

13. Shoe-bomb security threat expanded to include shoe-smuggling of rifles, automatic weapons and surface-to-air missiles.

12. In every event, the French judge gives the edge to Jerry Lewis.

11. A little song, a little dance, a little drug test down your pants.

10. Bob Costas falls for the fake-flower water squirt in the face during every interview.

9. Men's figure-skating costumes decidedly less flamboyant.

8. Biathletes ski cross-country, then break to throw buckets of confetti at targets.

7. A frightened Jim McKay refuses to come out of his trailer.

6. Parade of Nations gains an air of quiet dignity with its single tiny car containing all of the athletes.

5. Sport of snowboarding is largely unaffected.

4. The world holds its breath as clown terrorists attempt to douse the Olympic flame with seltzer.

3. Thirty-eight falls in the figure skating short program? 6.0!

2. In white greasepaint, the vast expanse of Scott Hamilton's forehead is repeatedly mistaken for the giant slalom course.

Number 1 Difference if Olympic Athletes Were Clowns...

1. Curling event now also includes Moeing and Larrying.

posted by AES on Saturday, February 23, 2002 | link to this post |


Wacko Squirrel Terrorizes First Graders

Staff at the Valley of Enchantment school called authorities for help about 1:40 p.m.

"Staff . . . stated there was a vicious squirrel on campus," said sheriff's Detective Chuck Wyatt.

About 20 students had been in a portable classroom with the door open when "the squirrel waltzed in," said Principal Terry Stanfill.

Stanfill said he went to the other classrooms to alert teachers not to let students out.

"We've got a wacko squirrel," he said.

"Last I heard," said Wyatt, "the squirrel was in the tree," eying people.

posted by AES on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link to this post |

Moodstats ™ Software- track your moods!

I spent $15 on this yesterday because instead of evaluating it first, I got so excited about this idea that I just bought it immediately. Unfortunately, it only tracks your moods on a daily, not hourly basis, though that information can be valuable as well. It also does not sync with the Palm Pilot for mood tracking while away from your computer. The interface has pretty pink colors, and even has a diary option where you can type in your inner-most secrets, crushes, and feelings, in that order.

I found out about this on a comment thread on I'll be revisiting that thread today as I am interested in collaborative software that actually works. No offense to CourseTools.

posted by AES on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link to this post |

Wal-mart ditches the OS in new PCs

A new PC for $399 sounds pretty tempting to me. How hard is it to install Linux out of a box like Red Hat or Suse? Maybe Walmart could rent out geeks to set up the open source OS for you as well. That would *really* piss off Microsoft. Go out and get while the getting is good, because I doubt the average Wal-Mart shopper is going to prove that there is a demand for this type of machinery, and you'll be back to ordering parts from Computer Shopper in another three weeks.

Speaking of Microsoft, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ordered Microsoft to reveal a stripped-down version of Windows code to lawyers representing nine states in the current anti-trust battle against the software giant. Is this really going to happen? Does Windows contain middleware? Do anyone even care any more? Yet another tech lawsuit I am totally burned out on.

posted by AES on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link to this post |

A trio of young ladies danced in an open area during "Tangled Up in Blue" unil a member of the event staff sent them to their seats, where they danced again.

"Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum" isn't a love song, but a man and woman indulged in a quick make-out session in the stairwell between sections 218 and 221.

posted by p on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link to this post |

This week's Der Spiegel cover

Click here
for a larger image.

Are the Germans being mean to us again? Would this type of cover be allowed on Newsweek or would that be contrary to our "national security" interests?

posted by AES on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link to this post |

Q: "Could you be a little more forthcoming, perhaps, General [sic], telling us what gave these persuasive indications?"

Rumsfeld: "I'd rather not."

Q: "Because there's a lot of people, then, who were innocents here that were killed. What is happening..."

Rumsfeld: "Well, wait a second. They fired -- let's not call them 'innocents.' We don't know quite what they were. They were people who fired on our forces."

Allies, perhaps?

posted by p on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link to this post |

"The Department of Defense does not now and has no plans to conduct any disinformation campaigns or to promulgate false or inaccurate or misleading information to domestic or foreign audiences. Any suggestion to the contrary would not be correct. I can assure you, our new operating system is the highest quality product we have ever released."

posted by p on Friday, February 22, 2002 | link to this post |


Microsoft Excel 2000 Easter Egg Game

Directions to find it are:

Boot Excel 2000
Under file menu, do 'Save as Web Page'
Say 'Publish Sheet' and 'Add Interactivity'
Save to some htm page on your drive.
Load the htm page with IE. You should have Excel in the middle of the page.
Scroll to row 2000, column WC. Select row 2000, and tab so that WC is the active column.
Hold down Shift+Crtl+Alt nad click the Office logo in the upper-left.
If you have DirectX, you will be playing what looks like spy hunter. Use the arrow keys to drive, space to fire, O to drop oil slicks, and when it gets dark, use H for your headlights.

If you encounter problems, look at the comments below the directions on this page.

posted by AES on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link to this post |

Google Lets Sites Bid for Rankings

"Popular online search engine maker Google Inc. is introducing a new program that allows Web sites to be displayed more prominently by paying more money - an advertising-driven system derided by critics as an invitation to deceptive business practices."

I tend to think that this is a deceptive business practice, though the application of trademark law is difficult in the Internet environment. As a consumer, however, I do prefer search results based on relevancy rather than "who paid the most to have their website prominently placed." It's more of an issue of quality- and I think this will lower the quality of Google's search rankings, though only time will tell.

posted by AES on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link to this post |

Supreme Court to Intervene in Internet Copyright Dispute

"A non-profit Internet publisher and other plaintiffs" are challenging the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and specifically the Sonny Bono Term Extension to the Copyright Act, reports the New York Times (Feb. 19, 2002). The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

Besides the prohibition against reverse-engineering of encryption mechanisms employed to protect electronic copyrighted materials, the extension of the protection of copyrighted works is the most troubling aspect of the DMCA. I would love to see the Supreme Court rule in the public interest for the preservation of everybody's Constitutionally-mandated fair use rights, and to uphold the concept of an intellectual public domain in this era of increasing privatization of everything from public space to people's genetic material, let alone Mickey Mouse.

If you want to see some excellent material that is in the public domain and has been digitized for public access by your local academic library, browse this collection of resources on digitization initiatives.

My personal favorite way to waste an afternoon at the digital library is at the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress, and at the Internet Archive.

posted by AES on Thursday, February 21, 2002 | link to this post |


What pseudo-intellectual wankers are saying about the Lingua Franca's Real Guide to Grad School:

"Grad school is an intellectual and emotional mosh pit; without Lingua Franca's Real Guide, you're going to get a metaphorical Doc Marten planted on your skull."
—Corey Brennan (classics professor, Rutgers University)

Somehow, I got along just fine, but maybe that's because I already had a Doc Marten plant growing from my skull from seven years of college. Or maybe it was because I went to library school.

posted by AES on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 | link to this post |

Man's Dream to Get Drunk in an A-Frame Finally Realized

"GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO— Pete Strausbaugh, 33, a Denver-area electrician, realized a longtime dream Saturday when he got drunk in an A-frame house. "Man, that was even better than I thought it would be," said Strausbaugh, finishing off a ninth Coors Light in the living room of his A-frame at Sunlight Mountain ski resort. "It's not quite up there with being drunk in a treehouse, but still." Strausbaugh later announced that his new ambition is to get baked at Niagara Falls."

Getting drunk in an A-Frame- that's so awesome.

posted by AES on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 | link to this post |

"I don't see the great, nefarious plot in this office [of Strategic Influence] that some people do," said Dan Kuehl, a specialist in information warfare at the National Defense University. "It just makes common sense" to use the power of information, he said.

posted by p on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 | link to this post |

The Society for the Prevention of Art Monstrosities has an informative website about the dangers of contemporary art and literature.

Link via metafilter.

posted by AES on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 | link to this post |

From an email from Tom with the subject: Do geese see god?

Palindromic time at 8:02 this evening: review_text_id=464612

And a good site to check out in planning one's celebration (or looking for catchy subject lines in e-mailing one's friends):

Regardless of its significance, I think its rarity is a juicy tidbit - there's 20:02 tonight - another palindromic moment 111 years from now - and then... NEVER AGAIN - or, perhaps more disquieting, never again for OUR CIVILIZATION (loaded words I knowingly use without self-censorship, for impact in an abbreviated medium)... So many juicy lines of thought in all that - just thought I'd share. - Tom

posted by AES on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 | link to this post |


"I don't think we need everything to be vitamin enriched. My feeling is, If people are worried about their vitamins, they can take a daily supplement. They don't need to have zinc in their Froot Loops."

posted by p on Tuesday, February 19, 2002 | link to this post |


The hottest look of 2002 is...unstyled hair. Let it grow 4 in. below the shoulder, then cut off 2 in., straight, with kitchen shears. Note: This only looks good if you (or your parents) have multiple residences.

posted by p on Monday, February 18, 2002 | link to this post |

(advertisement) Coming Soon! Bad Faith Sportswear. From Bryant Park to your ass. Have attitude.

posted by p on Monday, February 18, 2002 | link to this post |

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