The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Thursday, April 27, 2006

In The Year 2000 ...

I always enjoy tech punditry. I wish someone paid me money to come up with ridiculous things that aren't ever going to happen.

Take for instance this CNet article. The guy is arguing that we're going to soon be buying ring tones for the turn signal sound, or door ajar sound that a car makes. I don't quite see his point.

I mean, customizing this stuff could be fun and interesting, but there is no point to individualizing those tones. No one but people in your car hear them, so you can't use them to impress complete strangers.

Ring tones do, at their core, serve a useful purpose. They allow a person who is standing in a group to tell whose phone is ringing based only on the ring alone. Sure they're abused now (I mean, my phone plays the A-Team theme song when it rings) but as mobile phones have become more prevalent, distinct ring tones still serve a useful purpose. Custom blinker tones do not and as such could never gain the widespread popularity that ego/personality displaying tech does.

Now these rims on the other hand ...

Monday, April 24, 2006

You Know You Want Them

Thanks to my girlfriend who sent me a link to an online store that is catering directly to the Well Rounded Nerds demo: nerdy beanie baby collectors.

The Warehouse 23 online store has a variety of plush toys that would appeal to perhaps even the most cynical of nerds.

Perhaps you need a cthulu or maybe it's a plush polio microbe. Nevermind, you just realized that your automobile needs some fuzzy d20 dice hanging from the rear view. I know how it is.

I guess you could always be boring and just go with the dinos, Monty Python or aliens.

Whichever you end up going with, you'll be sure to pick a winner!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gummi Teaser

Ridiculous photos and charts will be composed during the weekend but I thought I'd provide a few glimpses into the experimentation process. Featured below is the Frankenstienian creation that spawned the all too gory experiment.

click for more

Here we see the initial response to a gummi placed in 1.0N HCl (hydrochloric acid)
Below is the initial result from 10N NaOH (sodium hydroxide; strong base)
Here you can see the result of heat on gummi bears

Friday Musicalness Continues

As fulsome stated in the earlier post, Friday's are all about music. While he tends to view music as artsy fartsy indie rock jazz electro-fusion junk, I tend to go right to rock (be it commercial, classic, or generic -- perhaps mixed with some lame white people rapping -- I can't help it, I like it.). There's nothing like a crazy guitar solo to kick things up a level.

For people like me, Red Octane's PS2 game Guitar Hero is friggin' sweet. It's got 25 classic (and newer) rock songs and an exciting guitar shaped controller. As any one of the reviews you can find online will tell you, it's a lot of fun.

What they don't explain is how pissed you'll be to find out that your air guitar skills do not directly translate. Wait, not only do they not directly translate but you'll get frustrated at how completely useless your pinky finger is. For me the hardest part is starting to use each of my fingers independently in a videogame. I mean, usually it's just thumbs, but for this one I have to strum with my right and then press a different button with each of the fingers on my hand. It's harder than you think.

Still, I managed to beat the game in easy mode last night. But that's ok because easy mode, well, easy. I played a little more on medium and that's harder (in easy mode you only use 3 of the 5 buttons on the guitar neck) but I still haven't gotten to a song that I couldn't beat on the first try (although some of them are a little annoying).

I really can't wait to see this as a next-gen game though. I think the true greatness of it would be the ability to download new songs, or even better, to allow people to make their own songs and put them online for Guitar Hero download.

Still, for a guitar-based rhythm game it does what it's supposed to. It gives you the illusion that you're rocking out (and helps you feel a little ridiculous while doing it).

Red Octane has already announced Guitar Hero II so at least I'll be sure to get a little more use out of this Playskool guitar controller I've got now. Although perhaps for Guitar Hero II I'll get a second guitar controller and guitar solo duels will be the name of the game. If only there were online play!

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll be playing it more this weekend and will probably give another update sometime next week.

In the meantime, Cardinals-Cubs game on WGN tonight (at new Busch Stadium III). 8PM EDT, watch it!

Friday Musicology

I have tried to lessen the musical posts to actually cater to what my 17 readers care about: cobags, weird science, and links to each other.

However, Friday is acknowledged and accepted music day. And you could all do far, far worse than listening to all of these songs.

It is a Radiohead cover album. It features one of my favorite artists and one of tehl4me'5 least favorite. However, the overall impressiveness of this album is undeniable. Well, unless you completely hate jazz and any tinge of electro-hip-hop. Otherwise, go check it out.

Gummi bears soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Essence of the Internet, circa 2006

Less than 48 hours and Bas-O-Matic (not the fishing implement) has already managed to convert everything you needed to know about the internet into a nice, presentable polo shirt form.

Also, I would like to give further congratulations and cyber-support to our friend, although he won't actually hang out with us, Demogenes Aristhones in his quest to both entertain me personally and to better the world around us with his quest to take over and destroy SFgate.

Finally, I regret to announce that my camera was left at home and so there will be a further delay in publishing gummi exploits.

UPDATE: the moment has passed and genius has left the internet...until Fafblog rises again.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Some thought the Random Lab Monkey was Metaphorical

Well, she is because she's a gorilla. I'll let Chuckles rant about that another time. All I can say now is that she distracted me from a more thorough exploration of gummi bear lifestyles today. However, initial results indicate gummi bears are highly resistant to acids.

UPDATE: unicorns are still mythical to the best of my knowledge

Monday, April 17, 2006

Working My Way Back onto the Blogroll

I spent what little blogging energy I had last week fighting it out with the Shoot-A-Liberal crowd. I think I won because they stopped posting and are moving to a new site next week. At any rate, somehow they got what little extra mental energy I could bring to bear through the kinetic energy available through pecking ceaselessly on this 12x5 inch contraption people put in front of me.

However, my blogging compatriots are a fickle bunch and though we here at WRN were awarded many huzzahs and hoorahs (including mentions at Sadly, NO!, 3B!, and Blue Girl) that has quickly turned to shame and a cold shoulder.

So, now, I have to try and decide how best to get back in their good graces. Clif has a secret plan that seems to be working. He's already gotten attention from Sadly, no! and if he manages to uncover three new internet crazies, he's bound to get a link from Atrios or Jesus General. He's actually on fire and managing to bring 5x the effort and intellect I can manage. Also, he's joined forces with the rampaging genius Chuckles (who seems to have left us except for some poetry iterations that aren't deemed worthy of his place)

Parrotline, run by DA (or AP? the mystery!) is, and yes I realize I echo PinkoPunko (-ed: the man lives at his computer so it is impossible to think a thought before he's already typed it, misspelled it, made a joke of the misspelling, and then converted the misspelling into some type of new Mexi-midwestern casserole complete with generous portions of ranch dressing).

As you can see, I'm going with the link to your betters approach for this post. It's a time honored tradition and I just can't compete.

However, in one final, desperate attempt I am going to try and follow Res's suggestion and do some science. A large quantity of gummi bears mysteriously appeared, i.e. were bought by someone and quickly brought into my protective custody, and there seem to be some population problems. My lab isn't overly well stocked with options but I think there are a few basic possibilities. I think that can happen tomorrow. The Random Lab Monkey is threatening to mutiny if some of them aren't destroyed so the least I can do is document the process.

The Guitar Heroes Are Coming

Ok, blah blah blah, I haven't posted in a while ... I know.

Anyway, I was in Cleveland for the weekend hanging out with my girlfriend and her family. At one point on Sunday I had a chance to play a game that I'd been interested in for a while, Guitar Hero.

I'd played the game briefly at a Best Buy before but the controller was kind of damaged I think and there were a number of people waiting in line for it as well so I kind of quit right away when I started sucking.

This time I was lucky enough to get to play the entire song Cochise by Audioslave and it was a blast.

That's why when I got a $25 gift card from Amazon in addition to my $50 one I already had, I knew that it was time. Time for me to finally order Guitar Hero.

According to the confirmation email I received the order has been placed successfully and should be arriving on Thursday. Perhaps Chuckles will come over and we will rock out in a virtual guitar way.

That is all. Rock on.


Yes, yes, nothing here. Probably not until Wednesday. Nothing important to say atm and Chuckles is keeping the good posts for himself these days.

Happy now?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Fightin' words

Just sayin'

We had to cobble ours together on some paper while they had the time to carve stuff in rock. Thought you might want to hear a diversity of opinion...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The adoring public

As you can see, no one really paid any attention to us. Of course no one really paid any attention to the anti-nuclear weapon tent or the guy with his "end the war on poverty" signs. So we didn't take it too personally. I think a lot of people were suprised by their inability to cross the street.

Anyways, the two "making of" pictures are below. The psychadelic hippie colors will BLOW YOUR MIND!!!11!

UPDATE: Welcome Sadlynoicans!!!

Check out my greatest hits here [note: not actual link]

You need to make this picture larger to get the full effect

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It Was Supposed to Be More Exciting...

Chuckles and I had a blast but I don't know that anyone else got the joke.

I am pretty much swamped for the day so I will just put these up for now and we can expand upon it later.

UPDATE: Tune in tomorrow for a behind-the-scenes peek...