Archive for the 'Curiosa' Category

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Coincidental Incidents

Every once in a while something happens that makes you question how the world ticks. In my case, since I’m clueless, this happens quite often, but here’s an event, so unlikely, that I stop for a second and write about it. Bear with me, I have to go into the details of the circumstances that lead to today’s event.

I’m using Thunderbird to collect rss feeds from various sites, so I don’t have to visit them every time there’s an update. One of them, Parent Hacks, is new in my list. If you have kids, check out the site. Anyway, today’s entry was about Parent Hacks being nominated at Blogger’s Choice Awards. On the left hand, the Blogger’s Choice Awards site has categories for nominated blogs, out of curiosity I started clicking through the categories to see the rankings and looked at the top ten in the best parenting category, too. One of the funnier titles that cought my eye was The Redneck Mommy, which was the next blog I looked at. I liked their design idea and stumbled over a word in a posting: Dooces. What’s that? LEO couldn’t help, and the blog itself didn’t reveal the answer at first (click on FAQ to find out). Dooce has a daily links column on the left, with a link to a Demetri Martin Youtube video. I love comedy – click I’m there and watching it. In the related column at Youtube, I notice a video of the same comedian: Material Enhancers. After I’m almost done watching that one, too, a friend who logged in at Skype sends me a message – the last time was yesterday evening we talked. His message contained only one link, to a blog entry of one of his friends, Kai. In his posting, Kai writes that he came across a new stand up comedian and links to two Youtube videos. Yep, the same comedian, the same video, Demetri Martin, Material Enhancers. Out of several hundred thousand terabytes of information, over a hundred million of websites, millions of videos, he just happens to send me the same one I was watching at that moment.

What do you make out of that?

update: I found out that Kai had the videos from presentation zen, a weblog I visited for the first time a few days before the Demitri videos were posted there. The blogosphere is a small place indeed.

Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year

Why Google’s website should be black.

(1)

Zimbabwean First Names

Here’s a short list on display with rather particular first names in Zimbabwe, definitely worth a look on Antonia’s weblog.

Make Your Own Market

My wife paid a visit to the 32nd International Dental Show in Cologne today. As road shows go, all booths try to lure customers to their counter and hold on to them as long as possible – or a deal is worked out. Some have novelties on display, magazines, all kinds of freebies. Ironically, everyone offers sweets, cookies and chocolate. Cavities, sir? No problem, please have a seat. Want a Cookie?

Truth Happens

Click on more to watch a great video about truth (via SecurityTinker).

Continue reading ‘Truth Happens’

The Google CIA connection

Want to hunt terrorists? Can’t afford the ticket to Afghanistan? Now here’s your chance: Download Google Earth and zoom in to the Afghan-Pakistani border. This wired article explains how and why you can spot every house, child and goat in the Hindu Kush mountains, and maybe even a very tall guy with a long beard and an AK-47.

The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog

Ever wondered why this sentence is used in typewriting software? I just found out (bless Google and Wikipedia), it’s a pangram: All letters of the English alphabet are used in it. Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern is the most famous German pendant, but it’s not a real pangram (i.e. the Umlauts are missing). In Japan, it’s the iroha-song. Korea…?

Pangram

??????

For the curious of mind, the history of smileys in Japanese:

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Dubbed By …

For movie enthusiasts, this is a valuable website: Many popular actors and actresses from movies and television series are listed, together with their German counterpart dubbing artists, their profiles including a filmography, a picture and – most interesting for Germans and non-Germans alike – a short sample in German (mp3/ram). Almost all foreign movies are dubbed, so everybody can watch movies without having to read subtitles. It is odd to see Michael Douglas’ “2nd” face, but every German who hears this voice knows it’s Michael Douglas speaking. Nobody knows Volker Brandt’s face, a fate he shares with all his fellow artists. On another note, dubbing artists over time “accumulate” actors, i.e. there’s only one dubbing artist for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Dennis Quaid, Nick Nolte, Dan Akroyd, Christopher Lambert, John Cleese, Michael York, Adriano Celentano, Terence Hill and Rutger Hauer. If you want to know who that unbelievable multitalent is who replaces all of those actors all by himself, take a look:

popular dubbing artists in Germany

Not a patch on those dubbing artists, but I prefer the original voice and language in 99% of the cases. Play on words and subtle humor is easily lost, although sometimes the original text can even be improved by a not too faithful translation. Wikipedia even mentiones the Hungarian version of the Flintstones to have the entire text in rhymes.

update: Of course, I had to choose Volker Brandt as an example… he’s a dubbing artist, alright, but beside that known for parts in TV, movies and theaters – his face is not as unknown as I wrote. (thx, Dennis)

Kill Bill's Browser

13 good reasons to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox:

Kill Bill’s Browser – Switch to Firefox

related (haven’t checked whether it’s real or a hoax, but the idea is great): Explorerdestroyer

Don't Click, Just Surf The Net

We’re used to click our way through the net. There’s another way:
www.dontclick.it

Pictures of 2005

Here’s a wonderful batch of pictures about this year:

Momentaufnahmen 2005

Asian Emoticons

A short introduction and lists of Japanese, Korean emoticons and even some official from North Korea. If you regularily use more than a handful of them, check this out. If you want to know who’s responsible for online communication being pervaded by myriads of emoticons, answers.com offers a quick historical overview.

馃槈

My Favorite Newssite: Goodle

This is too good to miss:

Goodle Good News

Money Out of Thin Air

After reading that some neighborhood Jon Doe bought an ice-cold rock in a virtual universe for 100.000 real dollars, elsewhere players die or merry online, now the next step comes in form of Second Life. Following Will Wright’s vision of new forms of entertainment, Second Life’s virtual world promises that

…built-in content creation tools let you make almost anything you can imagine, in real time and in collaboration with others.

Companies like Linden Lab are on the safe side with their bussiness plan, there’ll be always people who have a reason to escape their real life just to enjoy a virtual one they can control better – or at least have such an impression. I can’t think of another reason why people play excessively. Nevertheless, I think this feeling of a better grip on one’s (virtual) life is an illusion, the only difference is that you can choose the starting point yourself. After that, you’re on your own, like everybody else and usually rules don’t hinder players to harm each other. In real life, you’re born without having a say in anything, be it outward appearance, character, (future) profession, etc., but in the end, a real life is more intense, diverse and fascinating than any virtual universe could ever be.

Taking a closer look at Second Life’s website, I noticed that you can buy a complete island, so, in other words, they’re making money from thin air – how does their price translate in bits and bytes? Would you buy a virtual beach resort?