Stuff from November, 2007

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on November, 2007.





Replace Adobe Reader

When I get home, I will be installing Foxit Reader, a replacement for Adobe’s terrifyingly bad PDF reader called… Reader. A quick description of the replacement:

Foxit Reader is a free PDF document viewer and printer, with incredible small size (only 2.1 M download size), breezing-fast launch speed and amazingly rich feature set. Foxit Reader supports Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003/Vista. Its core function is compatible with PDF Standard 1.7.


4 comments left

War on the Unexpected

Bruce Schneier makes some good points about the embarassing public displays of stupidity that culminate in a broken home front against terrorism. In his essay, The War on the Unexpected, he writes:

The problem is that ordinary citizens don’t know what a real terrorist threat looks like. They can’t tell the difference between a bomb and a tape dispenser, electronic name badge, CD player, bat detector, or a trash sculpture; or the difference between terrorist plotters and imams, musicians, or architects. All they know is that something makes them uneasy, usually based on fear, media hype, or just something being different.


Old Phone Cord

Old Phone Cord

Wedding Photo #1

Wedding Photo #1

Dress Up

I was a buccaneer-type pirate for Halloween. Pictures are (believe it or not) forthcoming. What did you dress up as?

8 comments left

Wedding Photo #2

Wedding Photo #2

NY Girl

Well, I’ll do my part to help Patrick Moberg find the girl of his dreams — his website is basically a missed connection writ large and writ well.

6 comments left

Nickelback Video

View the video here: YouTube - Nickelback - Savin’ Me, and tell me that isn’t the coolest concept you’ve seen for a music video in a long time.

Paper Folding

Incredibly incredible origami. In which entire figures are produced from “ONE UNCUT SQUARE of paper”. My jaw, it drops.

1 comment left

Running in the Cold

I’ve been reading up on running into the winter — that is, I’m curious how to keep my body the right temperature out on the trails when the temperature itself is all over the place. A certain Dr. Pribut has written up some good information about running in the cold:


1 comment left

Wedding Photo #3

Wedding Photo #3

Before you were born

Coudal Partners’ Layer Tennis | Week 6, Volley 3 could be called “Before you were born.” It’s phenomenal that it was put together in 15 minutes — be sure to check out the rest of that layer tennis match, it’s the best week thus far. You can also visit Marian Bantjes’s Website for more.

Halloween Anecdote

A recent post from defective yeti about serving trick-or-treaters called Halloween: Post Mortem reminds me how funny Mr. Matthew Baldwin’s writing is. Why did I ever stop reading?

The quantity of trick-or-treaters they expected to receive was described to us as “a lot.” I took this to mean, like, 100. Instead, it was more like “a throng” or “a battalion” … possibly even “a multitude.” I don’t know what time they opened their front door (the insanity was already well on its way by the time we arrived at 6:00), but it did not close again until well after 9:00. The stream of kidmanity was ceaseless.

Our friends had purchased 100 pounds of candy; by the end of the evening, every last Tootsie Roll had been distributed.


Modem Debugging

Here’s some great advice on how to make sure your broadband internet connection is working properly:

For example, if you buy your own modem, NEVER say “I need my new modem INSTALLED.” Say “I need my new modem PROVISIONED”. 95% of the support people will know right away what you need and won’t bother asking you about Windows and you’ll be online 15 minutes later.

Know how to get to the status page of your modem (usually [] but may vary depending on model). Know that your downstream signal needs to be between -10 and +10 dBmV. Know that your downstream SNR should be above 33. Know that your upstream power should be between +30 and +50 dBmV. When my signal dropped because of a splice in the line gone bad, I didn’t tell Comcast “my internet don’t work”, I told them, “my downstream power is -16, which is out-of-spec, I need a tech to take a look at this”. I had a tech out the very next morning and was back online by the afternoon.


Wedding Photo #4

Wedding Photo #4

God, Faith, and the New York Times

Much to the chagrin of many an established church, people like me find comfort and solace in the logical investigation of the existence of God. I say: “many paths to faith.” Anyhow, on his New York Times blog, Stanley Fish recently posted an examination of the intersection of two authors’ views on suffering and evil (logically) titled “Suffering, Evil and the Existence of God.” It’s an interesting treatment of the topic — I am particularly drawn to this Anthony Flew character, author of There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.


2 comments left

Wedding Photo #5

Wedding Photo #5

Sailplane Cliff

Annnnd - best short video this month: Flying a Sailplane Off a Cliff. Writes a commenter:

Makes you wonder how the Swiss ever found the time to work on clocks and chocolate…


Target Crime Lab

File this one under “really random factoids.” In the Wikipedia article about Target is a paragraph that caught me completely off guard:

In 2006, The Washington Post revealed that Target is operating two sophisticated criminal forensics laboratories, one at their headquarters in Minneapolis, the other in Las Vegas, NV. Originally, the lab was created as an internal need for the company to investigate instances of theft and fraud and other criminal actions that have occurred on its own properties. Eventually, the company began offering pro bono services to law enforcement agencies across the country. Target’s Forensic Services has assisted agencies at all levels of government, including Federal agencies such as the United States Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The labs have become such a popular resource for law enforcement that Target has had to restrict the cases it assists in to only violent felonies.


Football in Kansas

Here’s a good one; A Football Power in a Small Kansas Town - New York Times. To summarize:

They are a high school football team, a superb one that has won 51 games in a row and three consecutive state championships, and has outscored opponents this season, 704-0. They are more than that, however, to the 1,931 people here who all know one another’s names: The Redmen are proof that hard work and accountability still mean something.


Flying Squirrel

Take my comments about that previous sailplane video being cool and just toss them out the window. Now, with utter amazement, view a video of flying squirrel suits in action. Note how, in mid-flight, users of the suit can do gymnastic tumbles. Also pay attention to the super super cool triple coordinated back flip off of a cliff that then transitions into flight using the suit.

2 comments left

Wedding Photo #6

Wedding Photo #6

Wedding Photo #7

Wedding Photo #7

Amanda and Jasper

Amanda and Jasper

Altar View

Altar View

Alley Light

Alley Light

Mykala Fake Sleeping

Mykala Fake Sleeping

Sleep Music

The Wikipedia article about sleep talking offers this: “One famous sleep talker is Dion McGregor, a man who became something of an underground celebrity when his roommate Michael Barr recorded his nightly soliloquies (which were often hilariously detailed), which were then released as a series of albums in the 60’s.” With that said, how can you not click to read more about Dion McGregor?

4 comments left

Perspective Lights

Perspective Lights

2 comments left

St. Thomas Admissions

St. Thomas recently relaxed their admissions policy. This has resulted in swelling class sizes… but apparently an average reduction in the qualification level of undergraduates. You see, I overheard this today in the weight room at St. Thomas:

Guy 1: Dude, are you going on spring break? Like, Fort Myers or something?
Guy 2: Psh — does the sun set?
Guy 1: What? … … … Oh, right.

1 comment left

Two Harbors Light

Two Harbors Light

1 comment left

Cow News

When Dan was an RA in Cretin Hall, he used to post funny, inspiring, or interesting news articles. He called them “moments of Zen.” If he were still an RA, I imagine Dan would post this: Cow plunges off cliff onto moving minivan.


Voyageur in Wood

Voyageur in Wood

2 comments left

Coke Billboard

Coke Billboard

3 comments left

Prius Stretch

I rather doubt the mpg claim, but nevertheless, here’s a good headline: Prius Stretch Limo Achieves 50mpg and Seats 8.

Well folks, we’ve got another Prius modder here that deserves some recognition as well. He did not use solar cells in his modification, but managed to stretch out his Prius and insert a row of seating to accommodate all his children. The result is a Prius SUV Limo contraption.


Mykala and Goosberry

Mykala and Goosberry

Tree Roots

Tree Roots

Web Design, Defined

Recently, there have been foolish comparisons of web design to other design fields. “Where are the canonical, genre defining designs?” was the main question posed. This question necessitated tacit and explicit comparisons of web design to fundamentally different fields, such as static graphic design. The folly of comparing apples to oranges and expecting logical results have been debunked thoroughly and well:



What happens when you take a lift phenomenon caused by being close to the ground (called the ground effect) and crank out a flying vehicle that takes advantage of it? Well, you get an ekranoplan:


2 comments left

Coffee Drinks

Lokesh Dhakar has illustrated a bunch of common coffee drinks. A resource like this is very handy for those who do not know what coffee drinks are (like me).

1 comment left

Perspective Shot

Perspective Shot

1 comment left

Music & Copyright: An Overview

Update: Preface removed. Reason: it was dumb. Onward…

A favorite topic at Slashdot centers around the music industry, CD sales, and online distribution of music — naturally, the latest coverage of this topic elicited some interesting discussion. Here’s a quote (with slight editing for clarity) from a commenter:


1 comment left

Civilian Conservation Corps Statue

Civilian Conservation Corps Statue

1 comment left

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

1 comment left

Ship Typography

Ship Typography

2 comments left

Steam Engine

Steam Engine

Split Rock Light

Split Rock Light

Guitar Hero Blend

Gizmodo: “Will It Blend: Blending Guitar Hero (Tom Goes Nuts).”

This edition sees our crazy buddy get a Guitar Hero controller into the blender, but not before going completely ape shit at the device, prepping it for the proper blending treatment.


Umbrella Pine

These umbrella pine trees in Rome look amazing, almost surreal.



Couldn’t really tell where this looked out to… the middle of the lake?

Narnia Light

Narnia Light

1 comment left

xkcd Comic

Aaaaand xkcd: “Instead of office chair package contained bobcat.” Don’t forget to hover over images for helpful tooltip captions, generally further explicating the joke or extending the humor.

6 comments left

Nokomis Lights

Nokomis Lights

11 comments left

Moose Shade

Moose Shade

Apps, Part Deux

Nine months ago, I received some rather bad news: a rejection from the U of M School of Dentistry. Never one who enjoys having to zig when I intended to zag, I nevertheless tried to learn how to accept change. I signed off last February with a statement that seemed confident but was riddled with holes of doubt and trouble. Only work and time could resolve those issues. And today, I got some news. So… finally… years of planning, a biochemistry degree, research, summer classes, dental observations, dental conventions, a dental coop class, taking the DAT, applying, getting rejected, taking a DAT class, more observations, re-applying, and endless months of waiting for news, it is official — I start dental school next fall at the University of Minnesota!


6 comments left