Sunday, April 30, 2006

Italy's Pet Sounds

An Italian restaurant was fined 688 euros ($855) for displaying live lobsters on ice to attract patrons, in an innovative application of an anti-cruelty law usually affecting to household pets. They said that the lobsters, laying on the ice, suffer... they probably do.
(Note: illustration is not an actual photograph of iced down lobster)

Italy has some of the world's toughest animal rights laws. The city of Rome in October banned goldfish bowls, seen as cruel, while Turin passed a law last year that would fine dog owners 500 euros unless they walked their canine friends at least three times a day.

Get the whole story here.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Google Store

Who knew? I didn't....

Google Store

wide range of merchandise

Most of the items sent to us as Christmas presents are not listed (sigh of relief, we can maintain our cool status) but look what is available...

Everything from:

Chew your Google with this tasty pack of gum. It comes loaded in a Google box that's a perfect fit for pocket or purse.
#GO40038 Price: $1.95

or if you wish to spend a bit more....

Google Search Appliance
#GB-1001 Now Search Business Apps.....Starts at $30,000

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nice Photo

of two guys I had not seen in a long time.

Boston Skyline

I am just now getting around to looking at my Boston photos.

It was late afternoon when I took the Charles River 'Duck' ride. The reflection of the sun in this mirrored building was pretty.

It seems that the famous department store, Filene's is closing. The well known Filene's Basement is now run by some outside organization. Too Bad.

Street Performer Try-Outs

In front of the Quincy Street Market were different acts for street performer try-outs in front of a panel of judges. The most entertaining of the ones I saw was the husband / wife team that spit chunks of banana in the air and caught them in each other's mouths. Click the photo to see the air borne banana.
This same chicken couple did various other acrobatic stunts.

Boston--Museum of Science

The Museum of Science was completely full of children since school was out up there last week. You can see one of the amphibious Ducks that are a big Boston sight-seeing attraction. In the Science Museum they were doing a children's level show about electricity and lighting with the world's largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Harvard's Glass Flower Collection

Ever since I had seen an article in Smithsonian Magazine years ago about this collection I had wanted to see it. While in Boston I got to.

A German father and son spent most of their lifetime replicating botanic specimens in glass. They are just unbelievable.

This unique collection of over 3,000 models was created by the glass artisans, Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolph. The commission began in 1886, continued for five decades, and represents more than 830 plant species. The models were created by father and son Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka, nineteenth century glass artisans who perfected their family craft. Their lineage of jewelers and glassmakers trace as far back as the fifteenth century. The Blaschkas' studio was located in Hosterwitz, near Dresden, Germany.

Professor George Lincoln Goodale, founder of the Botanical Museum, wanted life-like representatives of the plant kingdom for teaching botany. At the time only crude papier-maché or wax models were available.
The life-size models include remarkably accurate anatomical sections and enlarged flower parts.
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Ware and her daughter Mary Lee Ware financed the collection and presented it to Harvard University as a memorial to Dr. Charles Eliot Ware, Class of 1834.

Click on the photo to see them in a larger size--it is worth it. It was difficult to take photos as the overhead lights were positioned to make many reflective 'hot spots' on the glass and the overall light level was low so I had to use a flash and stand at an angle so my flash wouldn't make glare on the shiny glass cases.

Canadian Postage Stamp Refused

The service whereby you can order custom stamps w/ the image of your choice has rejected the order from a man w/ photos of his Russian wife. Says he is baffled as in her native country people have nude photos of family members lying about. The newspaper report showed a rejected non-nude one...of the wife celebrating her new Canadian citizenship.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Your Name in Cookies

Spell out your name or any word--except 4 letters are missing. The guys that made this site bought 4 packages of crackers looking for the missing letters to no avail.
Cookie Speller

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Cello Video

This is a pretty amazing video of Ethan Winer playing 37 separate cello parts to create one song. It was recorded on 23 tracks using 37 plug-in effects. He spent hundreds of hours on this project so its worth a look & listen. Hope you have broadband.

Nude Photo Shoot in Spain

1200 nekked people

Have your speakers on

Bike Riding Dalmation


The Original Bug

Glad to be Back

Boston is a cold place.

Fabulous weather awaited me in Pensacola today. I stopped at my favorite Thai restaurant near the airport and got some carry-out B4 I headed back to Gulf Shores. When I pulled in the driveway, low-and-behold Marti Tate Choate's Element was here. I didn't know I was gonna get to see her....I knew she was gonna be down here while I was gone. She stayed at the granny house, which I now own (well, me and First Gulf). Maybe we should call it something else.

Make suggestions.

Marti is calling on customers in Mobile tomorrow and planning to bring dinner back for both of us, then she leaves for home in Huntsville the next day. Joy Spellings McPhail may come down from Memphis this week. That would be great--she hasn't been down in many months. Carol Marshall Palazola and Liz Pearson Willis are suppose to show up early May for a short visit. Carol has not ever been to Gulf Shores. She and I were roommates on and off all thru college. Right after they leave, I plan to go to Memphis to load up some furniture and attic stuff in a U-Haul trailer. I have never driven a trailer, so I'll have to figure it out it so I don't have to put the car in reverse at any point.

I am having some fun reading the blogs of other people who attended the webmaster world conference in Boston. Some seem to go to every one of them. I won't, but probably will every so often. Guess it will depend where they are held and how my sites are performing in the SERPs.

Heat Maps

Interesting new heatmap info from Jakob Nielsen. See how readers actually read a webpage from an eyetracking study. Three different pages are used in the study. Learn more here.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One Expensive Overflow

Lenny Kravitz has been sued over a toilet that overflowed in the rock star's Manhattan penthouse in mid-2004. As with two prior lawsuits, Kravitz has just been named in a New York State Supreme Court complaint charging him with negligence in connection with the August 2004 toilet incident.
This time, the Pacific Indemnity Insurance Company wants Kravitz to reimburse it for $457,339.11, the amount the firm says it paid policyholder Mark Van Lith for damages to his $2.87 million fourth-floor apartment.

Boob Exam Scam

76-year-old Florida man was arrested this week and charged with sexual battery after he posed as a doctor and went door-to-door--black doctor's bag in hand--offering women free breast exams. Seems two women in their 30's fell for this. Read more.

Boston History

I am learning some history. The best thing so far--how could my grade school history classes have missed this--
The Great Molasses Flood--January 15, 1919, one day before the Eighteenth Amendment enabling Prohibition was ratified.

A humongous tank of molasses at a distilling company exploded, right in town.

Down poured 2.5 million gallons of molasses.

The actual wall of molasses was estimated to be from 15 - 30 feet high and moved at 25-35 miles per hour in the area around the tank. The flood killed twenty-one people and injured an additional 150. Some were suffocated, some cooked, and others were swept by the wave into the harbor. I guess you could say that these unfortunate people were molassassed to death.The wave also destroyed millions of dollars worth of property. Homes and warehouses were swept off their foundations and destroyed. Even part of the city's elevated train line was destroyed. Once the flood stopped, cleanup began. They could not remove the trapped horses from the sticky mess, so they had to shoot them to death. Freshwater from the fire hydrants would not wash away the molasses, so salt water from the harbor had to be sprayed on the land.

I am not making this up--read Wiki & see photo

Still in Boston

Today I got to sleep was great.. The coffee in the room is terrible, but I think they do that on purpose so you will go downstairs to the lobby Starbucks and buy expensive coffee. But at least it is not so expensive as airport coffee. I bought one regular single serving bottle of grapefruit juice at the Charlotte (I think) airport and it was $2.75. I said 'that is ridiculous' and the clerk said 'yes it is'.

One interesting thing I have really noticed while roaming around the shops and streets of this area of Boston is that the black people are way nicer than the white or esp the Armenian looking people. If you have a black person wait on you they are noticeably friendlier. If you ask for directions or help of any kind, they go over board to draw you maps, etc...One sweet black girl at the Sony Shop, after drawing two maps, gave me her phone number and told me to call if I got lost. Some of the white people are very short and snippy. None of the blacks.

The weather today is suppose to be the highest of the week--mid 60's. Rather cool climate up here. TV weather says it is warmer inland , the sea locations are colder, opposite of Alabama, where the Southern breeze is warmer off the water, except in mid-summer, when the coast is cooler than inland.

And speaking of Alabama, today's USA-Today newspaper has a big double spread of the safest places to live. Looks like Alabama, even with the hurricanes is safer than most. They have all states categorized by Lightening, Thunderstorms, Ice Storms, Tsunamis, Volcanic Eruptions, Earthquakes, River Valley Flooding, Wildfires & Fire Storms, Flash Floods, Blizzards, Tornadoes, Monsoons, HailStorms, and something called Nor'easters--(which I thought were people). Even in the Heat Wave category, they show just about everything east of Texas--except Alabama!!
Of course this mapping did not include the Safe from Rednecks category.

I am now gonna head over to the lobby Starbucks to see if I can get one of the rich hot choclate things that Carol Mc told me about. She says they don't like to make them but the thing is fabulous.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My View

More Boston

Today was back to back sessions all day. Some were multi-trqach ones where I had to make a choice and in between were large joint sessions. Those were usually the ones that had panels of MSN, Google, and Yahoo heavyweights. And they were usually the best. I definately learned some very helpful tid-bits. I also saw some incredible MSN LIVE stuff still in beta. I think it is accessable, just no links to it off any of their general public pages. I jotted down some URL's that I can post later.

Malcolm Gladwell , the keynote speaker, was cute and funny. He has that wild, Afro hair and this little-boy looking sweet face. I was glad that I had read both his books beforehand. He referenced several things in them. Very smart and interesting guy. I think I'd read anything he wrote. Which includes his blog that he has only recently started doing. He mentioned that he had spoken at some Harvard Law School thing the night before.

I am typing on my laptop. I forgot my own power cord and had to go to a lot of trouble to find a place to buy a replacement yesterday evening. It was way overpriced--90 bucks plus tax. It is like the sales clerk said--they should be 15 bucks, but the manufacturer knows that the only people who buy them really need them--distress situations. At least it is adjustable voltage output and dual input voltage, so it is good for any laptop pretty much and both US and Europe.

This Webmaster World Search Conference has fewer folks than the one I went to in New Orleans. And NO big parties like the huge la-de-da Google event at the last one.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I arrived in Boston yesterday after a long day of the joys of modern travel. Yesterday was also the day of the Boston Marathon, so it was just as well that I got here early evening. My hotel, the Prudential Sheraton is right on the race path . It is a humongous hotel w/ two tall towers, I am in a great corner room that is way big. Ralph Lauren interiors. In on the 24th flooor. The hotel is mostly full of runners and their families. Lots of people w/ foreign accents.

The lobby computers have been down and the lady at the front desk is very argumentative--she could use a refresher course in customer service, that is for sure. When she is told that the computers are off line, she says that they are she can see from 50 ft away. And she is rude about being wrong even.

Anyway--the computers finally all came back to connectivity at once.

I went off and left the correct power supply cord for mylaptop in Gulf Shores, so I am using the lobby computer. I hope I can find somewhere around here that sells computer stuff so i can buy a cord. I lugged that heavy old laptop all thru the long airport corridors and a multitude of check-you-in-and-out lines.

Today is the talk by Malcome Gladwell at the WebmasterWorld Search Conference so I need to run across the street to the convention center where I think it is all happening. He is the keynote speaker. More later.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Chicken Antics

Don't forget that the Burger King's (weird-o) Chicken will look for Easter Eggs if you ask him to, or do a little Easter dance....just about anything you can think of, he will do for you. He has been performing these subservient tasks for a couple years now, and doesn't seem to be getting tired.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

eBay Stuff

12 Drums of Grease Bear Bait Hunting Make Soap/Candles

You must see the photo. So far no bids. No shipping and you must return the barrels asap or bring replacements.

What a service and only $60

Got any body part bugging you?

Try Bahlaqeem

"The diagnostic procedure involves asking questions either out loud or silently as to how different bones are misaligned, twisted, rotated or displaced. Once the diagnosis is completed, the correction is made either by telling the bone to shift to its proper position or by hand-directing it. The adjustment is performed while thinking about the area that needs to change. This is the gift which I have been given, my ability to tell the body to make changes."

Happy Easter

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

WEVL Pledge Drive

Just got a call from Joyce Cobb, one of the singing Memphis Divas.

She was fund raisin' for WEVL (We be Volunteers) FM 90 radio. I think they get Joyce to do the phone calls 'cause she is famous and figure that people will be more likely to say 'YES'. It is bi-annual pledge drive time.

WEVL is one of the country's few totally listener supported radio stations. Not NPR, not Public Radio, etc.....its got to have that listener funding.

Fortunately I can listen online, when I remember to. Thurs nite 9 till midnight is just about my favorite show, The Night Train w/ Charles.
I told her I'd do a basic membership since I am out of town and rarely listen anymore, but I love that diverse format station. I was very involved when I was in Memphis, on the board, etc.

If it wasn't for WEVL, I wouldn't have learned to dance Zydeco ! I also wouldn't know about most of the music I love.

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Goodwin Auction Site

Some place called Great Falls has a goodwill w/ an auction site. Just a quick glance at movies/books/music showed 12+ pages of listings. I think they should divide that catagory.
One person commented that a guitar that had close-ups seemed suspicious. It is possible that all the photos were not of the same guitar.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Spinning Disks

Which disk is spinning the fastest?

Go to Mighty Illusions to find out and see a lot more cool illusions

Wasteful Spending

Wanna see where some of your money went ? This years Pig Book is available, just scanning the website is entertaining.

Government Spending

Friday, April 07, 2006

Good Customer Service

Today UPS brought some outdoor speakers that I ordered from Amazon 3 days ago. Arrived pretty fast I'd say.

I had thought I might try to repair my original RCA speakers I had bought at Radio Shack 4 yrs ago and that got Ivanized. Can't find the exact size replacement speakers so I was going to have to order new plastic cones and try to rebuild the actual speakers myself. Just never got around to it and I am tired of no music outside.

Couldn't find any for sale locally.

Best prices were on Amazon, I ck'd around. (Remember to use my Amazon search boxes if YOU ever buy anything from them, I can pick up a little %) Anyway, I bought a pair of TIC AS P120 and when I was unpacking them, I heard a loud THUNK in one as some very heavy object rolled inside from end to end. I got out the paperwork and called the TIC Co.

At first they told me that I'd have to contact Amazon. Heck, these things are really heavy, I didn't want to have to mail them back and go thru all that. So, I asked to speak w/ a technical rep about the best way to open the sealed external speaker and investigate and see if I could fix it myself. They put a dude on the phone. A few quick questions later they anounced that they would be sending me new speakers right away.

I have already gotten an email with the UPS tracking code and get this: if you use Gmail and the body of the message includes info about tracking your package, Gmail now places a little icon on the left w/ a direct link to your package's tracking.

The new speakers are a lot bigger than the ones that were there and have completely different mounting brackets. So it will be ladder & drill time this weekend. Suppose to rain on Sat, but sunny on Sunday.

More Paper Plants

Epson HongKong has intriguing printables.
Site might take a second or two to load--coming from a long way off.

Paper Florist

A whole shop of paper flowers to be made into arrangements.
Kinda interesting.

Google Earth Image

Maxim magazine celebrated its 100th issue by building a 75-by-110-foot billboard featuring its cover image of Eva Longoria, billed as "TV’s Sexiest Earthling." The billboard doesn’t tower over a highway, however. It’s flat on the ground so that it can be seen from a satellite and get posted on Google Earth.

Read More

I just can't wait...

The names assigned for the 2006 hurricane season are:
•Kirk (replaces Keith, which devastated Mexico and Belize in 2000)

Why they have to recycle the names every 6 years is a mystery to me. It is also a mystery to me how they choose the names in the first place. Since there is a never-ending supply of names, why recycle? And why use names in common usage to kids in that era? Why not use more out-of-date names like "Boulreguard", or make up manes like "Boulie" ? They way it is just causes kids to experience teasing and hardship .....especially hardship in search engine rank. Imagine how hard it is for Katrina's Dry Cleaning to achieve decent search rank for people searching using the company name.

New Found Friend

Vampire spider of East Africa attacks female mosquitos who just filled up w/ blood. The blood-hungry spider is the first predator ever identified that selects its prey based upon what the prey just ate. Similar to a protein shake, blood can be a highly nutritious drink that goes down smoothly.

Little spider can't bite into humans or animals. Let's import them.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Don't Click It

Experience a new'll need Flash and a fast computer. See what all you can discover on this unusual site.

Your Own Tartan

This website will let you create your very own tartan and then you can even have them weave it for you !
Otherwise, just play and save the graphic for your own use.

Must be Our Creativity

What's your horror-scope sign? If you are a Virgo as I am, I've got some good news for you. Turns out, more members of the Forbes billionaires list share your zodiac sign than any other.

That was their finding after trolling through all the birth dates they've collected on the world's wealthiest. So far, they have confirmed the birth dates for 613 of 793 billionaires. Of those, more than 70, or roughly 12%, were born between Aug. 23 and Sept. 22, making this earth sign the most common among billionaires.

Forbes Article

Chevy screws up

As part of a creative new ad campaign for the new Tahoe, General Motors has teamed up with Donald Trump's 'The Apprentice' franchise to create a website that allows prospectives to make their own commercials online. The website allows readers to select backgrounds, video shots, and input text. Other folks have used the interactive commercial maker to create less than positive ads. Unfortunately, GM's webmeisters appear to be asleep at the wheel, as we can't imagine these derogatory ads staying up on purpose. Look fast.
Some examples....Ad One...Ad Two...Ad Three...and my favorite, Ad Four

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Fun Music

Turn your speakers up--esp. the subwolfer if you have one on your computer for the good bass guitar. Go to Amazon right now and on the home page is a embedded video of Bruce Springsteen doing a nice long version of the classic "John Henry' w/ good band and bluegrass banjo.

If they take it off the home page then, go here

Oh Baby !

An argument at a baby shower in Springfield, Massachusetts escalated into a brawl in which one man was shot and the pregnant guest of honor was beaten with a stick, police said.

Three people were arrested after the fight, described by police as a "baby shower gone bad."

That's A Lotta $ for Teapots

The $500,000 our U.S. Government has allocated for the teapot museum, in Sparta, North Carolina, is intended to “expose its visitors to an unexpected art form – the teapot”, according to its backers, including state lawmakers. The report quotes state senator Don East, a Republican, saying that if lawmakers continued to pass out pork, he wanted “poor little Alleghany County” to get some as well.
Don't believe me ? Read more here

John McCain, the Republican senator who has long railed against pork barrel spending, called the teapot museum case a “really egregious” example of what is wrong with the budget appropriations process.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Odd Day

I should be feeling energized, it is a beautiful but slightly cool sunny skies day. Instead, I couldn't wake up this morning, I was just incredibly groggy and sleepy and nothing seemed to help. Well, a shower helped a little. But it was probably 10 a.m. before I could even do that. Maybe the time change has screwed up my inner clock somehow. Or maybe I just need a 'down day' to lie around and read.

Anyway--if you have websites, it pays to ck on them in person. I was seeing unusually low number of clicks on ads on a bunch of web pages yesterday & this morning--more like a Thursday than a Monday. Monday's are usually my best days,... Mondays and Sundays. And the amount of traffic seemed the usual for a Monday. Wasn't sure of why the ads were preforming so poorly.

--started cking different things, and in the process, I clicked a visitors search results for Glass Chandeliers, saw that I ranked well on Google (#2) in their datacenter zone, so I click the link, and low and behold, using FireFox I got a security violation notice pop-up on my site...I took a screenshot just in case I needed it--it sure looked suspisious, the cert said that my page was attempting to connect to "SnakeOil" servers. Now that certainly sounds trustworthy--SNAKEOIL !

I left all that open on the screen and

On another computer , I did web searches on the important words in the security alert, but didn't find anything telling, I read the alert details, seems the cert. expired in 2001. Big deal, that is a long time ago, anyway--what is snakeoil? So I eventually close out the alert and got additional alerts that made reference to Apollo I do more searches to see if this Apollo Hosting is some known hijacker, no it seems to be a reputable web hosting company. But I have never done business with them. Finally in the back of my mind, I remembered seeing 'Apollo' somewhere before. SO I start searching my page code. It turns out that a house plans company that I have an affiliate relationship with uses Apollo Hosting. I found a reference in the code that led to the trackable ad and it was in a shared bottom border on all pages., I guess everyone who came to any page on that site, at least the ones using FoxFire for sure, were getting the scary SnakeOil security alert when the last few lines of the page loaded. So plenty probably left asap.

I removed the affiliate link so that should fixed things. Good thing I looked at my own pages thru the typical visitors eyes to see the alert.

BMW Audio-Books Online
in association w/ Random House