by simon baird

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sure-fire get rich scheme #127

It seems like Christian rock bands don't have to be that good to sell records. I know this since a certain now-closed Salvation Army store in my neighborhood used to tune regularly to Live FM. I would listen carefully while browsing the shirt rack on a Saturday morning. Live FM will play below average quality music if it mentions loving Jesus. Hollywood is not unfamilar with the Christian dollar. For example Narnia - I would suggest (without any evidence mind you) that the marketing of that movie involved strategically engaging the backing of influential Christian groups and spokespersons. And that Mel Gison movie about torturing Jesus made $611 million. I wonder how many people went because their pastor/TV evangelist recommended it? (Once again speculation. For quality, researched articles please try another blog.. ;). Anyway my get rich scheme is to make Christian video games. I only wish I'd thought of it first. These guys are going to be very rich! Daniel is trying to download the free demo. Stay tuned for a mini-review. Via The Raw Feed.

Monday, June 26, 2006

one last thing

Go socceroos. I'm recording the 1am game. I figure I can watch it at 7am and still make it to work roughly on time. And if it's a slow game I can watch on double speed, though I must remember not to turn on the news.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Oh that was horrible.

Scooter fuel economy

My fuel gauge is coy. It's a five LED display that prefers to give gentle hints about how much petrol I have left rather than just come right out with it. So I noticed last time I filled up that my mileage was exactly 17000 kms. I thought, "Aha! I will remember that, and use it to calculate my miles per gallon or whatever the youngsters are calling it these days". So I rode for a while until the gauge intoned to me that just maybe it was that time again. When I pulled in to Shell on the way to work my mileage was exactly 17200 kms. "How about that" I thought. "This will make my sums a little easier". The tank seemed pretty dry. I filled it right up so the fuel was a couple of millimetres from spilling out. It was exactly 7.00 litres. I was a little startled by this. I thought perhaps God doesn't trust me with decimal arithmetic. So anyway, I crunched the numbers in Excel, double checked with Matlab, and I can now reveal the following analysis:
Distance: 200km
Fuel:     7 litres
Economy:  3.5 L/100km
I also discovered my round trip to work is 13 km, so that means I should fill up every 15 work days, with a 5km margin for error, (unless I take trips to the shops or the video store). Now that's some applied mathematics. A Honda Jazz is supposed to get 5.7 L/100km. A Prius is supposed to 4.4 L/100km so my scooter beats them by not by that much considering it's a scooter. is a brand new web site that Daniel and I put together, starting last Friday. It's a little hard to explain. First you need to know what a wiki is. Yeah? Ok. Then you have to know what TiddlyWiki is (not too hard, it's a wiki that runs in your browser). Then I can explain that is a easy, free service for creating and hosting a TiddlyWiki. Stay tuned for more on this later. Trust me, it is extremely cool. Plus I am getting to learn ruby which is a bit like trading in your crappy analogy for a really awesome red one with a top speed of say 300 km/hr.

geeky stuff

Long time readers might have noticed my super home media thingy in the photo in my previous post. A slight update on that fine piece of kit is that I fixed by bandwidth problems between upstairs and downstairs. I can now watch any video and share iTunes libraries from upstairs. I will try to explain with a diagram. Old configuration (problematic): [Upstairs PC] <--wireless--> [ADSL Box (kitchen)] <--wireless--> [SHMThing] The wireless card in Upstairs PC was a bit flakey and causing drop outs in connectivity. Now I have this new configuration: [Upstairs PC] <--good old wired ethernet--> [ADSL Box (study)] <--wireless--> [SHMThing] I moved the ADSL box from the kitchen to the study with Upstairs PC. If I position in right I can get a good signal strength to downstairs. And now everything is cool. Except I need to get some more disk space upstairs (more room for mp3s, torrents and dvd rips) and down (more room for recorded tv shows).

My new recliner

Once I had the idea of writing a blog called "op shop treasures". In it I would describe and photograph all the beautiful stuff I've found at local salvos, endos, vinnies, lifeline, etc. Milly and I love to tour our favourite spots on a Saturday morning. There are so many amazing things we've found. I think Townsville is probably better than a capital city since there anything slightly cool or valuable is likely to be picked up fast and resold by professionals from trendy used clothing/furniture/bric-a-brac stores. Nearly all my clothes (and I only buy top quality), a lot furniture, my drum kit (incl Zildjian cymbals and a Ludwig snare, $100 total), etc, etc, have all come from the smorgasbord of delights that is Townsville's op shop world. Yesterday we found: blue recliner, excellent condition with matching love seat; a large glass topped coffee table. I can report the recliner is extremely comfortable. I'm trying to demonstrate this in the third photo. The recliner and lounge was $220. I know, seems like a lot but keep in mind that they in very good condition. And the colour matches our dark blue wall perfectly. The coffee table was a bit expensive for a coffee table, $150, but it is cool because you can display small items under the glass. Milly has put her collection of Japanese plastic miniature thingies under the glass. The effect is very artistic especially when you scatter various remote controls and coffee table clutter on top of the glass.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

How to catch fish

This is how to catch fish! This video shows a small boat on a river. Hundreds of quite large fish start leaping up around and into the boat. The guys on the boat are ducking a dodging to avoid getting whacked in the face by fish. Very weird.

Friday, June 23, 2006

My house now visible in Google maps

Woohoo! At last. Also they have street maps of Townsville! To date the Townsville photos, take a look at the bridge. The bridge was finished sometime in 2005 I think.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Your very own robot

So you like the robots and have some spare cash? Now you can buy one! You can order one of these for just US$1000! Buy two so they aren't lonely when you're out. Teach them to fold your laundry and carry your books. Have them beat up your bullies. Dress them in your team colours. Sweet!!! But seriously if you have a cool science teacher tell him that your school needs one of those. I bet they'd spend a thousand dollars on sports gear in a second. Here's a gang of them trying to convince you to whip out your credit card. You can get it assembled or build it yourself.
"Your ROBONOVA-I kit was designed for easy assembly in 6 to 8 hours using only a screwdriver."

Still want more? Okay here's a very short clip from a fight featuring robots that you can't buy. The robot on the right delivers a knockout handstand kick to the head.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

the sad decline of Attack of the Show

What the hell happened? Calling that "thing" Attack of the Show is an insult to the old Attack of the Show. "Selling out" does not begin to describe what has happened. I knew it was all going to go bad when you were forced to plug "The Man Show" and do the alchohol segment. The first time a movie premier or some celebrity magazine crap made it to the opening segment I shed a tear. Last night's "The Feed" tore my soul. It came on slowly as though the producers thought they could convince viewers to eat shit if they just slipped a little more on their plate each week. Maybe Kevin Rose could buy back the show and turn it into a podcast. He's got some money now. :) Kevin Pereira, you have my sympathy. I still respect you though I guess. You have bills to pay and I dunno perhaps you signed a long contract with G4TV. And what happened to Sarah? Did she jump or was she pushed? Oh well, thanks for all the good times. Brendan, Chris, Blair, I'm gonna miss you all.

I just learned that Sarah and Brendan got married and are doing a 12 month world trip blog and video podcast. Holy crap I never even knew they were dating. Here is their on-show farewell.

reasons to wear safety goggles #49

My unfortunate brother writes about his experience with Recurrent Corneal Erosion Syndrome. Ouch...... I mean OOOOWWWUCH!!!! I gave him an iPod shuffle stuffed to the brim with sweet tunes and geeky podcasts. I think it helped him through his long sensory and sleep deprivation. Who needs an iPod video when you can hallucinate your own video clips. Thinking it might help I included a meditation audio book by Alan Watts who's WikiPedia bio says he was quite fond of the pschedelic drug, DMT, which I'd never heard of until yesterday. I don't know a tryptamine from a histamine but damn it's fun to browse the Erowid experience vaults. If you find stuff like this interesting (and who wouldn't) then google for Terence McKenna. And always wear safety goggles.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Juggling to Fatboy Slim

Juggling = Big yawn
Juggling + Fatboy Slim = Awesome!

Via stereogum.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No it's an elite special forces dude with carbon fibre wings. This has to be in the next James Bond movie. Via The Raw Feed.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Captive cloud

I discovered this delightfulness in my garage this evening