My son Zach has been playing Lego SW on the Xbox with minimal supervision. The other day I'm watching him play and he is telling me the "names" of the characters. Since he's never really seen the movies either and can't read really, he has come up with...
a) White Robot (R2D2)
b) Yellow guy (C3PO)
c) the Girl (Leia) d) and my favourite... Jungle Guy (Chewie)
Reading Breitbart.com's story this morning about the top ten April Fool's Day hoaxes, I was reminded of what I to this day think was one of the best -- ever.
Like the hip kids say, Vancouver got punk'd.
I remember in 1986, Rock 101.1, a Vancouver radio station, announced that Howard Hughes’ plane, the Spruce Goose, was flying to Vancouver, and would land in English Bay, as part of Expo 86. Being, like, twelve at the time, I had only a vague idea what the Spruce Goose was -- I never really got into aviation. I recall getting up in the morning, and hearing my parents talking about it, and then hearing the announcement on the radio -- I vaguely recall that there were other stations that got in on the hoax.
It was brilliant. They had eyewitnesses phoning in from down the US coast, excitedly proclaiming that they'd seen this monstrosity overhead, as it got closer and closer to Vancouver. The response in the city was insane. Thousands of people were down in English Bay, awaiting the arrival of the Goose.
And....it never showed, of course. But what a brilliant piece of work. Were it even ten years later, I would have thought it an awesome bit of guerrilla marketing by the Expo 86 organizers, because it left an indelible mark on the populace as to the theme of Expo 86 – Transportation Through Time.
Either way, it was far better than a few of those referenced by Breitbart.com -- spaghetti trees? Come on...
I wasn't sure whether to post this under amusing bits, or create a whole new category for "freakin' disgusting."
As a full-time student, and little-time earning a paycheque guy, I am now making purchases of computer equipment vicariously through friends and family members. One friend, after suffering through endless reloading of his XP machine because of bad hard drives, and innumerable virii, finally decided he wanted a Mac, but was looking for nothing fancy. I find a suitable -- and excellently usable -- PowerMac G4, of the "Quicksilver" variety on eBay. I bid, I win, I pay, it ships. I pick it up from the UPS depot in International Falls, MN...and when the UPS guy brings it out, I can hear it tumbling around in the box. Ouch -- not well packed. Sigh.
I sign for it, haul it out to the van, and slice it open, fearful of what I might find. Here's what I see:
Well, there's foam padding in the top, but not enough. Packing material pretty lacking. But....wait -- what is that, peeking through the foam? No, it's not.....
Yup -- it's a pizza box. Well, dead air crush space, not a bad idea to use. (Cue creeping sense of horror) You don't suppose it's....um.......
Hey, excellent -- I heard hardened, leftover pizza cheese and grease acts as an antistatic barrier! Lucky me.
Underneath yon bacteria-laden packing material lies the G4 in question -- somehow, amazingly, intact, apparently.
And, our illustrious eBayer appears to have included a keyboard with it, packed underneath the G4. That's a nice unexpected......(lifts the G4 up to see the keyboard)
Holy...mother....of....crap. I thought the pizza box was bad -- apparently, eBay is now suggesting using 2 litre pop bottles and milk jugs to protect my purchase. Could this get any worse or more disgusting?
Apparently, it could.
Observe, if you will, the milk jug in question. Good to know our favourite eBay seller isn't lactose intolerant -- and really, milk and pizza go well together. Besides, why not have more bacteria protection on the *other* side of the G4?
I was completely overwhelmed by the situation. How on God's green earth could anyone think that I'd do the Mypos Dance of Joy over the arrival of a computer, packed with someone's garbage?
Surprised -- nay shocked -- as you might be, gentle reader, the machine arrived, and the hard drive merrily engaged in the "click of death" on bootup. And was short half the RAM that it was supposed to have. And was a slower processor than first described. Oh joy -- hours of leg work ahead of me for a computer that ISN'T EVEN MINE.
After jumping through requisite hoops, I was finally able to get a partial refund, more RAM, and another HD out of the seller -- which he shipped sans garbage, much to my disappointment. I was thinking, "Smaller box, maybe this time I'll get a used condom, or a ziploc bag of cat hairballs." No juice. He did, however, ship the RAM and HD sans antistatic protection, as well. Sigh.
It's a neat piece, and I think the artist did a great job of capturing the style of the poses in the shot, but the positioning of characters is really, really weak. He does, however, note that he wanted Anakin to be in the Christ position, but that the magazine editors kiboshed it. Way to know your stories, knobs -- how could you possibly do this picture and *not* put Anakin/Vader in the middle? And, who the hell is supposed to be Judas? Han? I can't see any justification for that; I can't fathom using the Last Supper imagery and not at least trying to match the characters to approximate equivalents.
Here's how I would have positioned characters (left to right), assuming that you wanted to try and incorporate characters from both trilogies:
Bartholomew: Leia (The Sincere Disciple, of royal birth)
James the Elder: Darth Maul (The Unknown Disciple)
Andrew: Qui-Gon Jinn (The First Called Disciple)
Judas: Palpatine (The Betrayer)
Peter: Luke (The Primary Disciple)
John: Amidala/Padme (The Youngest Disciple; the Beloved)
Thomas: Mace Windu (The Doubter, right?)
James Major: R2D2 (The Quiet Disciple)
Philip: C3P0 (The Analytical Disciple)
Matthew: Boba Fett (The Tax Collector)
Thaddeus: Han (The Misunderstood Disciple)
Simon: Chewbacca (The Zealous Disciple)
Some of my choices do actually match with the artist's choices, but I think many, if not most, of the positions were really more about aesthetics than representational. What do you think?
Driving down the hill from Mom/Dad's place tonight, Dad relayed the local story he'd heard about the seasonal workers that move through -- and live in -- Osoyoos. Apparently, as can be kind of be seen in the pic, there's a tent city above Osoyoos where fruit pickers (from Quebec, usually) squat while they're working. One of their neighbours had suggested to her husband that they make a big pop of spaghetti, and invite the crew of them down for dinner. An emphatic "Are you nuts?!?!" was the response.
Undaunted, she walked up the hill to see what whether the demonization of the group was justified. Apparently, when she saw half of them naked, some of them copulating in front of the others, and probably all of themk smoking dope, she bolted, all thoughts of offering pasta to them gone.
Dad said that there is some kind of deal that the Quebec provincial government has that pays these folks to come out west to pick fruit. Further, they get paid $50 more if they have a dog. The local legend is that they just come out west to sell dope instead. I did a little digging, and found a fewarticles that provide a little more confirmation (not about the dog thing, but I don't know *where* you can find information on that). This was the best shot I could get of the tents on the mountainside -- sorry, no nakedness.
Tuesday, I order three things from Amazon, and they hadn't shipped -- even though they were marked as in stock. So, I email Amazon for a what's up:
> Date: Tue Mar 07 18:41:24 UTC 2006
> Subject; Where's My Stuff?
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> From: email@example.com
> 03/07/06 10:37:43
> NAME: Lincoln Dunn
> ORDER ID: 104-1560901-0102303
> COMMENTS: If these items are on-hand, why is the estimated
>shipping date two weeks from now? Please advise.
I cannot express to you how sorry I am for the promises made
regarding the delivery of your order which were not kept and for the
frustration and disappointment this situation must have caused for
Our goal is to provide the highest level of customer service
possible and I sincerely apologize that our service did not meet
that standard in this case.
We are very sorry for the delay in completing your order.
I've learned that the shipment of your order has been delayed by a
system error. To help compensate you for this unexpected change, I
have upgraded the method of shipment for this order to Next Day
Domestic. There is of course no additional charge for this.
We expect your order to be shipped on March 07,2006. The Estimated
Delivery Date of your order is March 09,2006.
I hope you'll understand that we do our best to ensure that all of
our customer orders leave our fulfillment centers as close as
possible to the availability and shipping estimates listed on our
I know this must have shattered your faith in Amazon, but if i may
say so, this is not a typical Amazon.com experience and for us the
customer comes first. Disappointing you in such a way not only
makes us hang our heads in failure but also spurs us on to work
harder to ensure such an error never happens again.
I hope you give us another chance to regain your faith and prove our
Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com.
Amazon.com Customer Service
A lesson in offshoring your customer support, without clarifying appropriate response language...
Reddy, our Indian programmer, is hiding his face in his office. He says he's embarrassed that one of his fellow countrymen would even write something like this. Meh -- I told him I'm embarrassed that my fellow Canadians put Stephen Harper in 24 Sussex.
In July, Burger King launches an ad campaign for its new Chicken Fries featuring a faux heavy-metal band called CoqRoq. Coqroq.com initially features photos of female fans captioned "Groupies love the Coq." After the captions are removed, Burger King spokeswoman Edna Johnson tells Advertising Age that they were written and assigned randomly by computer software that has since been disabled.
Burger King's marketing team are, IMHO, a little retarded. Lots of people went gaga over their bizarro "Subservient Chicken" campaign, but I don't quite get it -- the product tie-in is pretty tenuous in both cases, and seems to be more of a "create a intarweb phenomenon" than a "sell more sandwiches" approach.
I'm not really a big fan of physical/scatalogical humor. Dumb and Dumber had about four funny parts for me. Austin Powers 2 wasn't funny, and I completely skipped 3.
But I'm still immature at heart, so I can lapse.
Friends of the family gave this monkey sprinkler to Gareth last year, and our weather was so abysmal, we never used it. We did, however, look at it, and chuckle. Here's why:
Both Frances and I kinda chuckled, and shook our heads, wondering what the monkey has coming out of his cup. I think it's a straw.
Whatever. It looks like a dink, and it's got the consistency of a condom. And, it shoots water out the end. Who on the seven continents designed this thing for kids? Or really for anyone, other than those who are into seeing female monkey keisters?
For those interested, it's a "Soft Squirts Sprinkler" made by Miracles4Fun. Their web site calls the phallic object in question a "Wacky Action Sprayer." It's whack-y, all right.
Anyways, we hook it up to the hose, and prepare to be amused. Our soft squirt friend didn't disappoint.
Check out the video. That is one excited monkey.
My good friend Tyler is a smart guy (pictured here with her hotness, Lisa Loeb, songstress extraordinaire). Really. But he gets himself caught in these twisted bits of info that humour those of us around him to no end (kind of like my apparent ability to wreck bits of machinery inadvertently). I have lots of examples, but today was a great one, via MSN:
FOTW says: (11:08:02 AM)
dude... need some "Canadian Icons" ... things that you see and think Canada
FOTW says: (11:10:07 AM)
what's that building in Ottawa called with the big clock in it
Liquado says: (11:10:32 AM)
FOTW says: (11:10:35 AM)
Liquado says: (11:10:41 AM)
Liquado says: (11:10:53 AM)
saving this conversation
FOTW says: (11:11:00 AM)
Tyler's gonna kill me when he sees this. Too bad he has to wait three months to do so.
By the way, if you're looking for video/encoding/DVD/authoring work in Toronto, he's your man. You can find him at tyler.ahhhht.master2dvd.com via email. Or, check out the consumer-type stuff at dvdin3.com.
I was expecting a standard feature review of this new six-seater Honda wen I found it at the Independent Online; I wasn't expecting to read a description like this: The central front seat is the most useless of all. Whoever finds themselves cajoled into this untenable position will find a gear knob sprouting from their right knee like a misplaced phallus.
Too, too humorous. Via BoingBoing, I found advertising on the side for the "Republicans for Voldemort" t-shirt from Goats.com. Never seen the site before (mostly because I'm not really an online comic kind of guy, I'm sure), but the shirt is great. I also like the "Killer Robot" shirt, which I'm sure will horrify my parents.
Did you know there's a Chili Appreciation Society International? I didn't. Found while doing some research for the annual Fort Frances Chili Cookoff competition, which I participated in two years ago. Dressed as Boba Fett. With an apron.
The most bizarre part of the CASI site is the picture of the trophy. There's a nice addition to the mantle.
This is too much. Like, "laugh your butt off" too much. Click on the heads one at a time. Talk about technology gone awry. I'm still trying to remember where the usefulness of Flash technology is. Oh right, web designers can make you hire them to create your useless spinny-things.
Oh well. Enjoy it, either way.
News for nerds. Be afraid. As the Apple Turns
News from the Mac universe with a twist. MacSlash
News for (Mac) nerds. Be more afraid. Plastic
If it's a bizarre news story, it's here. For nerds and non-nerds alike.
Tech news from the other side of the pond.