Friday, September 29, 2006

American Airlines doesn't allow kissing?

The New Yorker has an account of a flight crew threatening to divert a plane heading to JFK from Paris for kissing. Yeah, you heard me. According to Boing Boing: "American Airlines says this was all according to procedure, because kissing of any kind isn't allowed on AA flights." Or was it because they were gay?

Judging by the New Yorker article, it started with an uptight flight attendant. It escalated because the flight crew felt they needed to save face, rather than just laughing off a relatively embarrassing situation. Just in case, make sure not to show your significant other any affection during travel on AA.

Someday soon, I'll regail you, my two readers, with the horror story (in a matter of speaking) that was the trip back from our honeymoon in Paris (and other locales thereabouts). If I ever fly AA again, it'll be too soon. This seems typical of my experience with the airline (the "we won't give you an inch, and if you challenge us in any way whatsoever we'll make things difficult for you and invoke the 'it's company policy; my hands are tied' line" attitude, not the "don't kiss your boyfriend" one. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Shortly after takeoff, Varnier nodded off, leaning his head on Tsikhiseli. A stewardess came over to their row. "The purser wants you to stop that," she said.

"I opened my eyes and was, like, 'Stop what?' " Varnier recalled the other day.

"The touching and the kissing," the stewardess said, before walking away.

Tsikhiseli and Varnier were taken aback. "He would rest his head on my shoulder or the other way around. We'd kiss--not kiss kiss, just mwah," Tsikhiseli recalled, making a smacking sound.
Link (via Boing Boing)

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

How aluminum foil is made [Video]

How To Make Foil - video powered by Metacafe

The Discovery Channel shows us how an eight ton block of pure aluminum is processed into a nearly eight-mile swath of aluminum foil.

Link (via Boing Boing)

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Protect yourself from the latest zero day IE exploit

There's a zero day Internet Explorer 6 exploit out in the wild right now that can do some nasty things to a fully patched XP machine using IE6. It can also affects Firefox users and any other application that uses the IE browser control (like Outlook). There's a vulnerability in the VGX.dll, a vector drawing plug-in, that allows a website to launch a program of its choosing without informing the user. It could very well trash your machine, but likely we'’re talking about spyware and keyloggers. Eric Sites, VP of R&D at Sunbelt Software had this to say (in episode 58 of the Security Now podcast):
The first site we came across with this, in the morning it was only downloading one program, an adware called Virtumondo, which displays advertisements. By the late afternoon it was downloading 50 other pieces of malware, which included keyloggers, tons of adware, all kinds of stuff.
This is a "zero day" exploit, which means that it is out on the 'nets and there is no patch available from Microsoft. Unless something changes, it looks like MS won't be fixing this until mid-October. The best way to mitigate this is to unregister the DLL that has this bug. Sunbelt's blog has instructions on how to do this.

Doing this will disable VML (vector markup language) in your browser. Currently, this isn't widely used, but you may find that some ad banners'’ll break (sadly).

Update: Microsoft has released a patch, but it doesn't look like it has hit Windows Update yet. Find it here: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-055

Link (via Security Now)

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An R/C plane's eye view [Video]

By mounting a small pan-and-tilt camera wirelessly controlled by a pair of VR goggles onto his radio controlled plane, this Canadian hobbyist is able to keep an eye on the sky a la the unmanned drones run by the military. It's definitely some nice DIY work.

Link (via Boing Boing)

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Soap + Microwave = Cool [Video]

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you put soap in the microwave? No? You're probably wondering now. Check out the video below:

Nuked Soap - video powered by Metacafe

Chemist Samuel Conway explains it here:
Remember that all soap contains water, both in the form of water vapor
inside trapped air bubbles (particularly important in the case of Ivory)
and water that is caught up in the matrix of the soap itself.

The effect is caused by the heating of the water that is inside the
soap. The water vaporizes, forming bubbles; the heat also causes trapped
air to expand. Likewise, the heat causes the soap itself to soften and
become pliable.

The result: the expanding gases form bubbles that stretch the softened
soap, forming a large closed-shell foam. When the heating stops, the
soap hardens again.
I'll be damned.

Link (via Digg)

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Over 50 ways to make employees quit

Please, don't be that guy (or gal). You may know a boss like this. If you do, I really feel for you. I've been lucky so far.

Read up! These are good tips to keep you from turning into the person everyone avoids at work.

Here are some highlights:
  • Cap overtime pay.

  • Talk more than you listen.

  • Avoid looking people in the eye.

  • Create a desk cleanliness policy.

  • Never answer your cell phone.

  • Send employees lots of chain letters, poems and other crap spam when they are hard at work.

  • Blame everything on your boss because no one will ever call you on it.

  • Shut off access to Google and Ebay because it's not "required for work".

  • Monitor all phone use.
Link (via Digg)

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Space Invaders wrapping paper

This kind of wrapping paper would inspire me to give people gifts all the time. Perhaps I could make a habit out of giving people empty shoeboxes or something. It would be a great excuse to use the coolest wrapping paper known to humankind.

If I received a package wrapped in said paper, I don't think that I'd have the heart to open it.

Link (via Boing Boing)

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Don't send your products to bloggers for review...

...if they're crap. In an effort to hit up bloggers for product endorsements of its new Power Vision Network, Sprint sent a brand spankin' new LG phone to Joel Spolsky. Apparently this was a big mistake. Joel was none to happy with the quality of the phone he received, nor with the Power Vision service:
And now suddenly someone at Sprint read some book by Scoble and then they read Malcolm Gladwell’s theories of tipping points in the airport and Hey Presto! Maybe we can make this work by finding the tipping point people! You know, the bloggers! And all the bloggers get free cell phones, and Sprint gets tons of publicity, but frankly all the publicity in the world is not going to help them foist on us a product that is utterly pathetic. The phones they send us are so lame there is literally no area you can go into without being disappointed and shocked at just how shoddy everything is and how much it costs and what a rip off scam they’re trying to run here with the music that costs too much and the movies that you don’t want to watch on the screen that makes them unwatchable and you just KNOW that if you call to cancel the extra $7/month, their customer service department is going to give you the phone menu runaround and then put you on hold for an hour and then you’ll get some cancellation specialist with an incomprehensible accent who will spend 15 minutes trying to talk you out of canceling the useless service until you just give up and let them have the goddamned $7 a month.

Link (via Scoble)

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What a Honda sounds like [Video]

Here's the long version of a Honda commercial that's been around for a while now. Really cool stuff:

Link (via Digg)

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Wavecrest Woodies Weekend at Moonlight Beach

I got to check out some old school "woodies" at the Wavecrest Woodies Weekend at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, CA last Saturday. I'm fascinated by how southern Californian surfers revitalized a dying car body style and ended up capturing the imagination of a generation (and then some). These vehicles represent something distinctly American and uniquely Californian.

Here are some pictures I took at the event. More can be found in my Flickr set.

I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man

Red Deluxe
Red Deluxe



Pinstripe fire
Pinstripe fire

Super Deluxe
Super Deluxe

Squire at Moonlight
Squire at Moonlight


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First woman to receive bionic arm

We can do it. We have the technology.
Mitchell, who lives in Ellicott City, is the fourth person -- and first woman -- to receive a "bionic" arm, which allows her to control parts of the device by her thoughts alone. The device, designed by physicians and engineers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, works by detecting the movements of a chest muscle that has been rewired to the stumps of nerves that once went to her now-missing limb.
Link (via Shawn Hogan)

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Four year old rocks the skins [Video]

Igor Falecki, ladies and gentlemen:

Link (via Boing Boing)

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bush hires Little Richard as official White House translator [Video]

I've been away for a little while. Sorry 'bout that. Life's been pretty interesting lately, and the blog kinda fell by the wayside.

You still there? Here's a video from the Daily Show for your viewing pleasure:

Link (via Digg)

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Steve Irwin on Late Night with Conan O'Brien [Video]

Here's a great interview with Steve Irwin given by Conan O'Brien. Great stuff.

Rest in peace, Steve.

Link (via Digg)

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Walker Texas Ranger knows all [Video]

A new way to view the baseball season offers up a new way to view the baseball season. It displays the results "horse race" style, and lets you replay every Major League Baseball season since 1901 split up by league or division. It's updated daily, so you can get a graphical representation of how your favorite team is doing as of today's matchup.

Link (via Digg)

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Make me a sandwich

Link (Thanks, Burt!)

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Friday, September 01, 2006

More frustratingly addictive flash games

Jay is Games has posted the results of their Casual Gameplay Game Design Competition. The winner, pictured above, should get you started. As Joystiq says:
The games lean towards the inscrutable, but they're all incredibly inventive and quick -- perfect for a Friday coffee break full of rampant clicking and trial-and-error logic.

Link (via Joystiq)

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