Ripping Yarns...
Thrilling adventures at the frontiers of pop culture

"The very finest selections from Mr Berners-Lee's Electric Interweb, hand picked and presented for the more discerning browser."


Complaints and compliments to Stuart Houghton


Friday, December 19, 2003

Temporary email you can read via RSS

If you are like me you probably have a stack of temporary email addresses that you use to sign up for subscription-only sites. Remembering to checmk these mailboxes can be a pain, so DodgeIt lets you create a 'receive only' [blah] email address and lets you grab any email that hits it via an RSS feed.

Posted by: Stuart / 11:41 am ::link to this entry

Thursday, December 18, 2003

The first rule of Fight Club is.... don't make a sodding video game of Fight Club.

This is wrong on sooooo many levels. Somebody give Pahlaniuk a slap around the muttonchops, IMMEDIATELY. I mean, what next? The Survivor Cookbook? Choke Restaurant Guide?

(tiny voice: although, admittedly, a Project Mayhem-themed stealth-em-up would be really cool...)

Posted by: Stuart / 2:32 am ::link to this entry

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Kinship Chart: How are you related?

...aaaannddd cue the banjo!

C.U.D.D.L.E. International (Cousins United to Defeat Discriminating Laws through Education... International) have provided this handy chart to help you figure out just how 'removed' you really are from your special cousin.

Posted by: Stuart / 10:55 am ::link to this entry

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Chomsky LotR DVD commentary

Unused audio coimmentary by Howard Zinn & Noam Chomsky, for The Fellowship Of The Ring:

Chomsky: Gandalf is clearly wondering if it's time to invoke his plan for the supposed revelation concerning the secret magic ring. Why now? Well, I think it's because the people in Mordor — the Orcs, I'm speaking of — are starting to obtain some power, are starting to ask a little bit more from Middle Earth than Middle Earth has ever seen fit to give to them. And I don't think it's unreasonable for them to expect something back from Middle Earth. Of course, if that happened, the entire economy would be disrupted.

Zinn: The pipe-weed-based economy.

Chomsky: And, as you pointed out earlier, the military-industrial-complex that exists in Gondor. This constant state of alertness. This constant state of fear. And here Gandalf reveals his true nature.

Posted by: Stuart / 4:21 pm ::link to this entry

Friday, December 12, 2003

Pretty girls make men stupid

..says Emeritus Professor of Bleedin' Obvious Studies.

Both male and female students at McMaster University were shown pictures of the opposite sex of varying attractiveness taken from the website 'Hot or Not'. The 209 students were then offered the chance to win a reward. They could either accept a cheque for between $15 and $35 tomorrow or one for $50-$75 at a variable point in the future.

Wilson and Daly found that male students shown the pictures of averagely attractive women showed exponential discounting of the future value of the reward. This indicated that they had made a rational decision. When male students were shown pictures of pretty women, they discounted the future value of the reward in an "irrational" way - they would opt for the smaller amount of money available the next day rather than wait for a much bigger reward.

Women, by contrast, made equally rational decisions whether they had been shown pictures of handsome men or those of average attractiveness.

Posted by: Stuart / 5:30 pm ::link to this entry

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Fire Paste

Troy Hurtubise, better known as the 'Bear Suit Guy' because of the anti-grizzly armour he invented (and, if memory serves, had ripped off him with on casual swipe of a grizzly paw) reckons he has invented 'fire paste' a substance that allows anything coated in it to withstand enormous temperatures.

This looks mental, and I would like to see some kind of peer review before testing it out personally, but even so...

Posted by: Stuart / 4:45 pm ::link to this entry

Dundee cake has medics in a flap

IT MAY be a humble flapjack made by a Scottish family baker, but experts believe the latest Dundee cake could revolutionise diagnosis of a range of potentially fatal diseases.

Posted by: Stuart / 4:26 pm ::link to this entry

Monday, December 08, 2003

Who will be eaten first? A Cthulhu Tract

More fun with Chick Tracts - a man learns that it is important to make the right choices in life... particularly now that the stars are right..

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl ftagn."

BONUS FEATURE! Artist, writer and fellow denizen of rec.arts.sf.composition Min Baro was inspired by the earlier chick tract parody (which I nicked from her, btw) to set up Mortals Against Divine Cruelty.

Posted by: Stuart / 11:40 am ::link to this entry

Friday, December 05, 2003

Quiz: How's your punctuation?

Online punctiuation test

Posted by: Stuart / 1:07 am ::link to this entry

Something Awful: Historic Tales

Something Awful held a contest to create the best tapestries with this flash app. Some of them are genius...

Posted by: Stuart / 12:29 am ::link to this entry

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Something Fishy

Ever seen a Jack Chick Tract? They are those weird little comic books that contain weird little fundamentalist dogma. You know.. for kids.
The above link is a parody of the typical Chick Tract - this time explaining the real meaning behind the Christian 'fish' symbol.

Posted by: Stuart / 6:09 pm ::link to this entry

Human Pac Man!

Augmented reality version of Pac Man - power pills and ghosts are superimposed on a Heads Up Display while you run around a real-world location.

"The game has several novel aspects: Firstly, the players immerse in role-playing of the characters Pacmen and Ghosts by physically enacting the roles. Players physically move around in a wide-area setting, performing tasks to reach their goals. Utilizing the computing power of wearable computers and the underlying network support, Human Pacman takes mobile gaming to a new level of sophistication by incorporating virtual fantasy and imaginative play activity elements, factors which propelled the popularity of computer games [1] , with the implementation of Mixed Reality on the Head Mounted Displays (HMD). The players also experience seamless connections between real and virtual worlds as immersive first-person augmented reality view (with virtual cookies overlaying the real world) and full virtual reality view of our fantasy version of the game, Pacworld."

Posted by: Stuart / 3:20 pm ::link to this entry

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Greedo didn't shoot first!

Rumours abound that the upcoming DVD release of Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI will feature a few digital changes. Hayden Christensen's face will be superimposed on Vader's 'real' face at the end of ROTJ and - in the best news of all - Lucas will go back on his most stupid decision ever and re-alter the Mos Eisley Cantina scene so that Han Solo fires first.

Posted by: Stuart / 6:20 pm ::link to this entry

Japanese SAQ (seldom asked questions)

"Q. How do the JR and Subway workers get home at night after the last train has left? A. They don't! They sleep in horrible little dormitories at the station."

Posted by: Stuart / 5:19 pm ::link to this entry

Happy Tree Friends

Sick cartoon fun for the Flash-enabled.

Posted by: Stuart / 4:07 pm ::link to this entry

Monday, December 01, 2003

Soviet Patriotic Music

A colleague needed an MP3 of the Internationale in spanish for his own nefarious purposes. Naturally he called the IT team and we came up with this fine web page that has text & MP3 versions of many revolutionary songs in multiple languages.

Viva L'Internet!

Posted by: Stuart / 5:34 pm ::link to this entry

Discovery Kids Ultimate Labs DNA Explorer

James Watson was only 24 when he discovered the helical structure of DNA, but this kit from Discovery Kids--the first to feature a bona fide centrifuge and electrophoresis chamber--will turn your kid on to the intricacies of genetics at an even younger age.


Posted by: Stuart / 12:23 pm ::link to this entry

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