Random Thursday

Lots to marvel about on the web today. I say, let's get to it. But first...check out the Vintage Ad Browser. Type in a search term (say, "Buick" or, if you want to see the ugliest Mustang ever built, "1980 Ford Mustang") and enjoy the results (or prepare to weep if you try the Mustang search) [via Seth Godin].

Now, on with the show...

  • If you think cats are hard to train, you should try tree shaping. Sounds like something from Lord of the Rings, doesn't it? But these folks have the technique - and the patience - for making it happen.

  • Via Neatorama, this video should provide more than sufficient motivation for cleaning out your fridge on a regular basis.


  • Of all the possible ways to motivate someone to return your lost camera, this may be the most likely to get a reaction. Now, whether that reaction will come in the form of actually returning your camera, I can't say. But the viewer will definitely have a reaction, even if it's just to think, "this is the funniest guy I've ever stolen a camera from." [Also via Neatorama]

  • I'm thinking about relocating to a junglier environment so I can get me one of these bad boys. I'm not sure why they call it a "catcher," though, unless that's just a euphemism for "burn the bloodsuckers to a wisp of ash while hoping that the bed doesn't also catch fire."

  • If the world didn't have Chuck Norris, it would have to invent him. And then create a website devoted to "Chuck Norris Facts." My favorite CNF, for today anyway, is "Apple pays Chuck Norris 99 cents every time he listens to a song." And if a healthy helping of CNFs aren't enough, you can design your own t-shirt (although with the understanding that it really belongs to Chuck Norris. As do you.)

  • I recommend this post over at Freakonomics wherein we learn that LED traffic lights, while offering significant energy savings, much longer useful life, and improved safety due to their increased brightness, also have the unexpected drawback of not generating enough heat to melt ice and snow that sometimes accumulates in colder climes.

    While the author offers a number of thought-provoking points, the observations expressed in the comments section are just as interesting, and perhaps even more insightful. This one, for example, points out the problems that similar LED lights are causing for pilots on some landing strips, again because they don't generate enough heat to work well with FLIR flight instruments used in some airplanes for landing in bad weather conditions. I also like this one that suggests using the LEDs only for the green lights ("It doesn't matter much if you can't see a green light.").

  • I'm generally not a fan of those year-end "top 10" lists. They seem to be an excuse for writers and editors to coast through the month of December. One exception is the "Top Ten Fonts of the Year" list put out by MyFonts.com. These are the best selling fonts of previous year in each of ten categories. Popularity doesn't always correlate with quality, but there are some classy picks in this year's list.

  • Last, but certainly not least (I thought about devoting an entire post to this), check out Susan Mullally's photography project entitled "What I Keep." If you've spent much time in Waco, Texas, you know about The Church Under the Bridge, a non-denominational Christian ministry that has been meeting under an I-35 overpass (at 4th and 5th Streets) since 1992. Many of the congregants are homeless, under- or unemployed, and dirt poor. Mullally's project involves photographing individuals along with the one item that they try to carry with them wherever they go, and then letting them tell in their own words what that item means to them. This ongoing project has spanned three years thus far, and includes about sixty photographs.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on January 14, 2010 6:54 AM.

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