Monday, March 31, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Keyboard Like You MEAN It!

Geeks like to build custom devices, of course, but one that has pretty much been left alone is the keyboard. I bet you can see where this is going. You know it's serious business when he talks about "activation force" in centiNewtons.

Behold, it's the microswitch keyboard.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is DK. Congrats!

See the original image here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Activity Corner

Friday Game

This one is strange. It's a pattern-matching, Tetris-like game. You clear balls off the grid when the ball's number matches the number of balls in the row or column. But I haven't figured out the other ways balls can be cleared. The FAQ talks about unlocking secret public powers, whatever the hell that means. If you figure out some of clearing powers, post a comment.

It's called Chain Factor.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

How to Tell if a Man has Drawn a Female Superhero

Other details of the picture may be a little bit off, but the breasts are breathtakingly perfect.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Last Suppers

Take a classic like Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, inject a little popular culture, and the result is the compendium of Last Suppers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Digital Disinformation

Something that really bugs me is when so-called "information" doesn't really do its job and inform people. One such example is the following commercial, airing in the Seattle area, about the changeover from analog to digital television broadcasts.

While the beginning couple of seconds are cut off ("There's a change coming to broadcast television, even bigger than the change to color."), the unclear message is the same: On February 17, 2009, YOUR TV WILL STOP WORKING!

Many of us geeks know the details about the HDTV switchover and get what they're trying to say. But I often give messages like this the "my mom" test: Will my mom be able to understand it? This time, I have to answer, "No!"

So to you people trying to inform the masses about the change to HDTV, do us all a favor. Yes, digital TV is better. But you need to let people who aren't technical, and who have older equipment, know in clear, specific language how they can watch this newfangled stuff. Because, technically, their TV won't "stop working."

This has been a public service announcement for the morons that make public service announcements.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest

The Invisible Man takes a picture.

Customize Your Can

You know, when I go into my bathroom, the first thing I think of is, "Wow, my toilet lid sure is plain. I wish there was something I could do to snazz it up a little!"

Well now all my pleas have been answered. Yes, you can customize your toilet with toilet tattoos.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is Austin. Good one!

See the original image here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Activity Corner

Friday Game

This one's a logic puzzle that can be tricky to figure out at times. See if you can solve the riddle of the Open Doors.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Exercising My Patience

I get a fair amount of exercise. I know what you're thinking. "Gee, NT, you must have that Wii Fit game, huh?" But no, this is actual, real-life exercise involving muscles. And I know what you're thinking now. "Did the electricity go out?" No. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that I exercise regularly. Some might even call it a routine.

The building where I live has an exercise room. In keeping with my arms-wide-open tradition of loving other people, I get up at the ass-crack of dawn to have the room to myself. Usually, this works. Occasionally, other people show up as well. Which brings me to The Asian Couple.

The Asian Couple first showed up last summer, and were there pretty much every day for several months. Then one day they weren't, and I never saw them again. Until this morning.

The exercise room has one TV in the front, and you have to set everything manually (channel, volume, tilt and swivel). I found it very funny during last year's run-in that the young woman started bringing a universal remote with her, to channel-surf whilst on the treadmill.

The Asian Couple have a few interesting quirks. One, they do everything VERY FAST. They don't jog, they RUN, as in 50-yard-dash sprinting. They don't lift weights, they LIFTWEIGHTS. They don't ride the exercise bike, they use it to whip eggs into meringue. Two, they listen to the TV at what seems to be its maximum volume. And three, they like to talk to each other, in their native tongue, and due to the previous quirk, they must SCREAM to be heard. More than once, since the other's first reply is always, "Huh?"

Last, and not least, after exerting themselves, say as they walk very fast on the treadmill between sprints, they make noises that can only be described as the non-dialog parts of a porn movie.

I can only look forward to more shared workout sessions with the deaf porn-grunting Asian couple. And by "look forward to," I mean, of course, "dread."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Springs

Officially known as the vernal equinox, or the point where the sun passes directly over the equator, it's also the point at which people who have been under the icy boot of winter celebrate the promise of better weather and wearing sandals without socks.

The exact time that spring begins is 10:48pm PDST tonight (05:48am UCT/GMT tomorrow morning their time). Tomorrow is the first full day of spring.

I don't know about you, but I'm gonna wear a Hawaiian shirt.


Personalization, whether it's customized license plates or the wallpaper on your desktop, is a way to assert your individuality. But can sending your personal message go too far? Or not far enough? You decide when you create your own custom-printed M&Ms.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It's weird being a techgeek in an increasingly technological society. Mostly because there are parts of it I reject in one form or another. For example:

  • iPod/iTunes. I rip my CDs the old-fashioned way and copy files to my MP3 player. I don't need your stinkin' device and application to do it! That goes for you too, Zune.

  • TiVo. It's a combination of being too cheap to pay for a monthly service to record two shows a week, and being too lazy to hook yet another device up to my TV and the internet. I still use a VCR because it's easy and cheap.

  • Texting. Oh sure, Raggs and I enjoyed a spurt of texting recently, but that's because she had no access to email or IM during the day. Now that she has email, texting is back in the "last resort" category.

  • Facebook/MySpace. Social networking sites are for people who are social. Since I'm a misanthrope, I really don't care what other people are doing, and am fine with them not knowing what I'm doing. Current mood: apathetic.
But I still love technology in general. For example, do I want these Sennheiser wireless earbuds? Hell yes!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Who you callin' a shrimp, little man?

Cardboard Construction

What the world needs is a better way to build stuff out of cardboard. But how do you quickly put cardboard boxes together so they're stronger and unlikely to come apart? With Bloxes.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is... Ash!

See the original image here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pi Day '08

So our first annual (attempt?) Pi Day went off pretty well. There were a couple of quiches, some apple, coconut cream, key lime, chocolate pudding, and pumpkin pies. Even some ice cream and Cool Whip®!

Check out Urn's Apple Pi:
Urn's apple pi

Here's the awesome pi/e spread:
Pi pies

Sorry for the glare, the pie minions were hungry and I had to hurry. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm all hopped up on sugar and have to go <gargleblarg> TIMMEH!

Activity Corner

Friday Game

Easy-to-play and mindless fun are the key components of Bug Battle Combat. But watch your mother bug, none of the bugs can touch her or you lose!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Disconnect Anxiety?

Do you feel anxious if you don't have your cell phone with you? Do you get antsy if you're away from a computer and can't check your email? Do you have a "crackberry"? If so, then you're not alone. From a new report:

The American consumer is more connected and has more instant access to people and information than at any time in history. Losing that access creates disconnect anxiety.

There are some interesting tidbits in the report, like what percentage of people text in the bathroom or use their laptop in bed. Check out the full report (10 pages, PDF), Age of Disconnect Anxiety.

Now excuse me while I go check my email...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Wikipedia is a great resource for information, and can cover some pretty geeky and esoteric subjects. And leave it to geeks to make Wikipedia even geekier still. You can examine the usage stats on any Wikipedia article using Henrik's grok.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pie Day

This Friday is Pi Day. Since I work with a bunch of geeks, to celebrate we're having Pi Day Pie Day. Which means savory pies for lunch and sweet pies for afternoon snack. I'll be hard at work in the Nuclear Kitchen this week concocting the perfect quiche for the occasion.

Do you have any plans for Pi Day?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Two person hovercraft captivates the nation.

Pick Up the Pieces

See if you can figure out how to put together the jigsaw puzzle.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is Andy! If his caption doesn't make sense, it's because you've never seen the awesome British comedy show Coupling.

See the original image here.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Activity Corner

Friday Game

Some games are addictive, and others are more like "holy crap it's 6am already?" In the latter category, there's the simple yet 6am-ish Filler.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Geek Pong

Organizing a ping pong tournament at work is not necessarily an indicator of high geek activity.

Having someone in the tournament write an application that keeps score, and having the score prominently displayed on a laptop for all to see, is.

Seeing the faces of the passersby who aren't involved, and watching them smile and nod knowingly because they're all geeks too... priceless.

Rolling in his Grave

Gamer geeks know that Gary Gygax passed away this week. He was the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, and is considered one of the fathers of tabletop gaming.

I never played D&D. Yeah, really. So when I heard he had died, my first thought was of all the D&D videos I've seen over the years, making fun of the D&D geek stereotype. Such as:

Tom and his Chums (It gets a bit raw near the end, but still funny.)
Boots of Escaping (From Reno 911.)
Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! (The classic D&D LARPing video.)

Also, I stole the title of this post from Penny Arcade's memorial to Gygax, because it's just so damn clever.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

8-bit Captions

If you take screenshots from old video games and add your own captions (which don't always make sense), you end up with the interesting project of Nestography.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Spring Forward

This coming Sunday, March 9th, we here in the States begin Daylight Saving Time by setting our clocks ahead one hour. While it can be a bummer (an hour's sleep, lost!), it also heralds the longer days of summer just around the corner.

Some trivia:

  • Technically, it's Daylight Saving Time (not Saving=s=, plural).

  • Studies have shown that DST doesn't save energy. It does reduce evening lighting requirements, but that is offset by higher energy-load costs for cooling.

  • Studies have shown that DST reduces traffic, and particularly pedestrian, fatalities.

  • DST is not observed in Arizona or Hawaii, or in the US Territories of Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Marianna Islands.

  • For all the grief I give when I say, "It's only an hour, people!", apparently circadian rhythms can be disrupted for up to several weeks. Geez, adapt already!
Good luck getting all your clocks set. I always seem to miss one somewhere...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest


You Can't Hide Those Lyin' Eyes

Or can you? Despite the unrepentant grins in these mugshots, see if you can Guess My Crime!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

Hurley182 is this week's winner. Nice one!

See the original image here.