Article about the history of Paint-by-Number sets. "In the hurry to launch the product, [Palmer Paint] inadvertently confused the palette on the very first set, The Bullfight, with the result that consumers ended up with a picture of a beige matador waving a blue cape at a bright green bull. Rare surviving examples of this accidental exercise in Fauvism are worth a great deal to today's collectors." Link [discuss]
Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller "proposes that the human mind's most impressive, baffling abilities are courtship tools, evolved to attract and entertain sexual partners." Link [discuss]
Thar's a whole mess o' Wilf Carter
MP3s on alt.binaries.sounds.78rpm-era right now. Grab 'em while ya can, pardner. [discuss]
Good NYT story about the Kaycee (the leukemia-stricken young weblogger) hoax. Link [discuss]
Richard Wallace's wonderful chatterbot ALICE has appropriately taken up residence on the promotional site for Spielberg's A.I. Link [discuss]
The bot they used in this cybersex chat promotion for the movie Center of the World
seems to be an order of magnitude dumber than dumber than Eliza. Link [discuss]
Our resident Disneyologist, Cory Doctorow, is on vacation, so I'll be wearing his four-fingered gloves in the meantime. Here's an article from the LA Times
about disneyauctions.com, which is doing better than expected. For example, a sign at the Harbor Boulevard entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim went for $30,700. Link [discuss]
While we wait for Blogger to come out of the cyrogenic tank, we're going to use QuickTopic. It's harder for me to add to each posting, so I might burn out on it. [discuss]
This magazine from 1979 called "Future Life" looks amazing! Gerard K. O'Neill on "How to Build A Space Colony," Tim Leary on "Evolution," and Jane Fonda on "Filming Nuclear Disasters!" Future Life looks like an evolutionary predecessor of RU Sirius' pre-Mondo 2000 'zines High Frontiers and Reality Hackers! Link [discuss]
David and I went to Zorthian's 90th birthday party on Saturday. He's a painter and sculptor who lives on a big ranch in the hills of Alta Dena. What a character! He was dressed like Bacchus and he had 10 naked "nymphettes" tending to him, feeding him grapes and kissing him. (When they weren't kissing each other.) Sorry, I forgot to bring a camera. His ranch has huge piles of junk all over it -- tires, railroad ties, sinks, bathtubs, corrugated tin roofing, bundles of newspapers. He used to trade art lessons for science lessons with CalTech's Richard Feynman. In the '50s, Charlie Parker would play sessions at his place. Here are some paintings by him.Link
My sister emailed me:
Hi Mark: I was volunteering at Calvin's school a couple days ago, and one of my jobs was to take down little pieces of paper that were stuck onto a fake indoor tree, on which the 3rd graders had written their Earth Day pledges. Most of them were pretty predictable, like "I will pick up trash and try not to use the car". But some kids probably weren't listening to the teacher's instructions, or just had some really ambitious ideas, and some must have been clueless. Here are a few that I saved, kids' spelling and all:
1. I like to Dirt Bike at night. Connor
2. The is Earth day I' will not smoke pull weeds no speed boats. Jordan L.
3. This Earth Day I will not use to many things made from factorys. Lisa
4. This Earth Day I am going to respect our inviorment.
5. I like to play tag and sports. Logan
6. This Earth day I will play Playstation.
7. On earth day I plan to realax and eat. and sleap.
8. I like the hard groud so you can play baseball and kickball. Jacob
9. When your hiking "take only pictures and leave only footprints." Don't be a Roman. Dont pollute or litter. Emily
10. This Earth day don't shoot animals for fun and make animals feel safe.
11. On Sunday or Saturday I'm going to walk my dog and pick up rocks. Jackie
12. If you camp and set up a tent Put it away.
13. For this Earth Day I am not gowing to pollute the Earth like not riding over the grass because my wheels are really dirty. Kelsey
Fun shockwave timewaster. Build a mobile. (Thanks Minitrue!) Link
My last link before I go on holidays! Graveyard for dead websites. Link
Three new killer fonts from House Industries (the best font designers around). Link
Tomorrow morning, I leave for my first totally unmediated (no computers, no phones) holiday in something like six years. I'm going to be gone until June 10. Obviously, I won't be posting any links between now and then, and so I leave you in Mark and Pesco's capable hands, while I go off to sit on a beach in Costa Rica.
Historical preservation society devoted to Walt Disney's personal train-set. Link
Streaming MP3 interview with Scott Adams, Dilbert's creator, about his new e-book release. Link
Inserting virtual product placement in reruns. Link
Vigorous discussion of OpenCola's SwarmCast release on Slashdot. Link
Find out if you're crazy enough to get benefits for it. Link
You thought sponges were gross -- check out what's happening in your wallet. Link
The BlogVoices comment system is effed. I've removed it for now. Sorry!
It's official: the mayor of Toronto has been dipping his wick. Link
This interesting Oakland-based artist (artists?), Sunbrothers, "grows" stunningly lifelike photovoltaic plants with metal, wood, solar panels, hand glown glass rosebuds, and color-shifting LEDs! Link
The Winchester Mystery House is the crazy Addams Family mansion that the widow of the Winchester fortune built in San Jose with twisting rooms and dead-ending stairs in order to confuse the spirits. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is the place to go if you've always suspected that you're not really just a middle-aged white guy with a management position, but really a reincarnated Egyptian priest. The two are only a couple miles apart, but apparently the links go deeper than that. Link
Battlebots is filming live
in San Francisco this week! Link
File under "I never suspected that it existed, but now that I know it does, I can't believe I lived my life in ignorance of it." Kinetic sculpture races! Link
Sad finale to the story of the auctioning of the first Mickey Mouse sketches. Link
New Linux virus fixes your computer. Link