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About

"Serial Bus is a place for me to dump interesting links that I find."

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"Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo."

Archives

Does patriotism really need to spread to my food? Friday, June 29, 2007 | comments

Every year for the fourth, Breugger's dyes their bagels red, white, or blue. A red bagel just doesn't seem that appetizing. And I can't say that my idea of a fourth of July meal is running down to Breugger's for some colorful breads.

Route Changing on Google Maps | comments

Now on google maps you can drag your route line around if you want to take different ways. For example, you can drag the line off US23 onto I94 if you know theres some concert going on downtown that you want to avoid. Go try it out!

[via my dad]

Well-choreographed disneyworld car chase Thursday, June 28, 2007 | comments

With real cars

About a book, all-nighters | comments

I started reading About a Boy yesterday at 4am (This is the part of the story where my mom says "oh my goodness" only to later discover it goes on from there. Hi mom!). As mentioned, I picked it up because of a passage that Ira Glass read at the start of This American Life. In fact, this passage:

About a Boy Passage from This American Life [link to mp3]

Anyhow, so I was about an hour into the book and didn't want to stop. There was too much going on. So there I was: 5am. That key, decision making time. At 5am you have the option of either 1) getting to bed and have a hard time waking up 2) pulling an all-nighter and feeling fine. At least I feel fine. I've been told that I'm pretty good at going on little sleep. I guess it probably comes from working 40hrs a week at the Daily while in college.

For those of you that haven't pulled an all-nighter recently, it's pretty great. There you are at 5am and suddenly, after you make that decision, you've stumbled upon a huge amount of free time to do stuff with. Time that you hadn't planned on ever making use of--didn't even know you could make use of for that matter. It's like finding money in an old coat.

So I finished the book around 8:30 or so and then got bagels up at Bagel Fragel. I did end up taking a nap later, but only for a couple hours.

The point, however, is About a Boy is a good book. I'm really interested to see what the movie is like because I asked Karen about it and mentioned that the crux of the movie hinged upon a scene that doesn't even exist in the book. I hope the movie doesn't ruin all my characters.

I'd tell you more about the book and what my expectations were going in and out and all that, but I don't want to ruin anything. I hope the speed I read it at is a good enough review to give you an idea of my thoughts on it.

Oh and if you pick up the book, don't read the book jacket. That's always a bad idea; I'm always surprised how much the book jackets give away and make it a point not to read them.

I miss the /old/ knife-wielding maniac Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | comments

While I'm reviewing books, I should point out that I read Stephen King's new novella, "Gingerbread Girl" and was pretty disappointed. It was ok, but it was pretty much the same storyline of his "Lunch at the Gotham Cafe"

1) Something bad happens in the main character's life.
2) Divorce.
3) Main character creates coping mechanism.
4) Main character has to fight a knife-wielding maniac.

I really liked "Lunch at the Gotham Cafe" (I listened to the audio version so many times I can quote the opening few paragraphs), which is probably what made "Gingerbread Girl" so lame. It tried to do everything that Lunch did, and didn't do it as well.

Libraries v. Bookstores | comments

I'm meeting Karen at the mall so we can buy our wedding rings. I'm leaving a bit early so I can go to the bookstore and look at books. Not to buy them, but to look and see if there are any good ones.

The thing about the Northeast Branch Public Library is it's really hard to discover a good book. Plus they don't have a lot of good books it seems. I mean I'm sure they do, but they're pretty hard to look though and so far I haven't had a "wow this looks like a good book!" experience. They don't have many hipster looking books which are usually a pretty safe bet for being at least mildly entertaining and reading the first few pages usually gives me a good enough idea of the book to know if I want to read it. After all, that's how writing agents decide whether they like something or not: the first page in the case of a short story.

There are a few too many books that have either ALL CAPS SANS SERIF TITLES or super scripty cursive ones (oh, and even two in Copperplate Gothic), and if you ask me, sometimes you can tell a book by its cover.

On a more positive note, I just read a great book which I'll blog about later. This one I discovered thanks to a radio program.

Except with less neon | comments

My apartment is like a Las Vegas casino. I keep my blinds down so that the sun doesn't heat up the place too much and the result is that it never really seems like night or day in here.

Onion: DOT Traffic Research | comments


Library Internet Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | comments

I went to Ann Arbor's Northeast Branch Library today to look for a copy of About A Boy and a sound effects CD (for a video me, Karen, and Ciara are making). While there, I got on the internet in their lab. My nerdy reason for being on the computers was to look up what level Gastly learns Confuse Ray. The guys next to me were there looking at Myspace, comparing the hotness of their friends.

And the woman towards the end was on Adult Friend Finder which I'm not going to link for obvious reasons. The site, for those that've never heard of it, is a site where people post scantily clad photos in search of "casual encounters." It was featured in that Glenn Close movie.

Creepy (the website, not Glenn Close).

Anyhow, I picked up
-About A Boy (because I heard about it on This American Life and it sounds good)
-Full Metal Alchemist (because Bleach is good so I figured I could give an anime a chance)
-The Animation Show (because I've missed it for all four consecutive years its been at the Michigan Theater)

Totally Pants. | comments

Quoting an email from home:
I quote "It also means new, cooler looking pants."
Why are cool pants important in WOW but you walk on your pants in real life?

Poll Results: How Many Hours Have You Spent Playing WoW | comments

This guy asked people to write in saying how many hours they'd so far spent playing World of Warcraft. WoW has this handy in-game feature that tells you exactly how long you've played to the second, so these aren't just people exaggerating. The full poll results are pretty surprising.
Quote:
"So let's say that in just two months time I played about 400 hours of WoW in total. And when I was playing I was also working fulltime, so I could only at night and during the weekends, yet somehow I managed to squeeze in 400 hours of gameplay. That, in retrospect, was totally crazy (I think I can see why my wife was starting to get a bit peeved at me playing this game all the time)."

That works out to an average of 6 hours and 40 minutes of WoW each day.

Runaway Truck | comments

Pretty amazing that no one got hurt.

WoW: Days 5 & 6 | comments


My fourteen day trial of World of Warcraft continues.


My little guy has taken up mining and blacksmithing, which means running all over the place looking for veins.


It also means new, cooler looking pants.


While I was at the forge making some stuff, I ran into Jake's other character, a lvl 14 druid, so we left to go do some quests together.


Traveling by gryphon for the first time


Jake's a druid which means he can turn himself into different animals. While in animal form, he still retains his ability to dance.


Swimming to an island for a quest.


I'm up to level fifteen now, which is pretty cool. It's a shame I can't sell my account off once I'm through with it (can I?). But I don't think I could ever play this game all the time because it's way too much of a time sink for my own good.

On a related note, this video (rated PG-13) recently hit the internet when someone recorded a guild's voice-chat channel: Here's a kid that's a little too attached to WoW and illustrates my points nicely:

Theremin + Gnarles Barkley Monday, June 25, 2007 | comments

A theremin, as I just found out by reading wikipedia, is the instrument responsible for making all those "woooo eeee ooooooo" spaceship noises in old movies. Somehow these guys figured out how to make it play Gnarles Barkley.


Here's the original for comparison if you're not familiar with the song:


[via boingboing]

WoW Day 4: Theories on popularity Sunday, June 24, 2007 | comments

why is World of Warcraft so popular[Some of this is from yesterday's post, but better explained] World of Warcraft is popular for the same reason that The Sims was so popular.

In The Sims, you controlled a person and told him when to leave for work, when to eat, and when to wash the dishes. And during all this, the real life dishes piled up in the sink. When it's a contest of "I could get to bed now in real life so I do well at work or I could stay up five minutes longer and get my guy a promotion," the person usually stays up five minutes longer.

Somehow, there's a small fraction of satisfaction that a person can get from running a fake life (or beating a computer in chess or whatever your game of choice is). When you take a lot of small bits of satisfaction and add them together, that's when you get people playing games non stop.

And here's the thing about World of Warcraft. It's a persistent world that anyone can visit. If you play The Sims, you're building a house on your own personal hard drive. When you play World of Warcraft, you're--in a sense--using your computer to visit another world. I know that sounds weird, but everyone you meet is another person out on his or her computer; it's like an actual world in the sense that you're just one small person in a much much larger system.

WoW is so huge that it's hard to navigate. I figured I had covered quite a bit of ground in my time and when I checked the world map, it looks as if I've covered about one four-hundreth of the world. It's cool having a world that you need someone to escort you around to really appreciate. And of course, people put real value on something they feel is real accomplishment

My final observation about the game for today is that the quest structure is set up to keep its players playing. I'll finish once quest and then get a new quest from someone nearby to go to a place across town. Upon walking 10 minutes across town (or waiting for and taking the tram if it's further), I show up in a brand new town that has two quests waiting for me. Finish one of those and there's two new quests. And then there's always the option of exploring a new town and seeing if there are any quests there.

That's it for day four. I'm sure I'll be back for day five. After all, I've got to learn how to become a blacksmith.

edit: link to even more virtual things for sale.

Autumn [...] Brown Saturday, June 23, 2007 | comments

Someone just named her baby girl. Here it comes:

Autumn Sullivan Corbett Fitzsimmons Jeffries Hart Burns Johnson Willard Dempsey Tunney Schmeling Sharkey Carnera Baer Braddock Louis Charles Walcott Marciano Patterson Johansson Liston Clay Frazier Foreman Brown

News article here.

[via Fark]

World of Warcraft: Day 3 | comments

[I didn't get to play on day 2 of my WoW trial because I had more important, real-life things to do. So here's day 3]


First come pictures then come more general impressions at the end. So now with all the patches installed on my game of WoW, I finally got to make my character, Cedric II. Or as WoW puts it: Cedricii. Plopped down in the middle of Ironforge with an axe and yellow pants.

I fought some trolls,

died a couple times,

did some exploring,

fought some bears,

some more bears,

this big ol' guy,

and looted some treasure.


Then I met up with my brother, who runs a level 70 wizard. For those of you that don't know about WoW, that's the highest level you can be. That's his cat.

Jake gave me the grand tour of things.

Here we are waiting for the train.

Stopped off in the human city (whose name I forget)

Gates to the city.

What are the gates of the city without a screaming dwarf statue?

Jake then teleported us to the night elf city. It was very purple.

Then I tooled around myself

before meeting up with a gnome who I took on a troll cave with.

And, more importantly, I got rid of my yellow pants.


So that's what I did today. I made it to level 9 or so. It's pretty weird. I mean I can see why people get crazy addicted to it. The whole game is set up with one quest after another so it's pretty easy to do just one more quest. It's that whole sense-of-accomplishment thing. After I'd played for a few hours I left to go get food and it felt strange: like what had I done all day--and for that matter, was it still Saturday? (It was).

Anyhow, that's enough questing for me today. I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow.

World of Warcraft: Day 1 Friday, June 22, 2007 | comments

I was at Meijer earlier today and bought a 14 day trial DVD of World of Warcraft for 2 bucks. I'm interested to play just to poke around and see this game that people get so crazily addicted to.

After all these game patches download and install, which they've been doing for like a half hour.

edit: you gotta be kidding me. I just finished one update and now another 495MB download has to install

edit: now a 389MB update.

edit: 1.75 MB download followed by a 1.84 MB download followed by a 40MB download

edit: ok done. but now it's too late to start playing.

Bum ba baaaaaa Thursday, June 21, 2007 | comments

Couple that met on Flickr gets married Wednesday, June 20, 2007 | comments

how amazingly Flickr is it that the next photo they take of themselves is in a mirror holding a camera.
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21937383-2,00.html

Crocheted Baby Sack. | comments

From the September 1897 (yes, 1897) issue of The Delineator, a "journal of fashion, culture, and fine arts" that Karen and I bought for a couple bucks.

Job Search Comic Monday, June 18, 2007 | comments

Alarm Clock Senior Prank means Seniors facing felony for planting false bombs | comments

http://tinyurl.com/2xz3o3

Maybe it has to do with putting your hands on your hips and laughing | comments

Where does the phrase "In like flynn" come from? Does it have to do with Errol Flynn?

Or is it like that phrase "It's on like Donkey Kong" that doesn't really have a meaning?

Oh. Never mind. I googled it

Soylent Green is people Sunday, June 17, 2007 | comments

I rented Soylent Green and it was nowhere as cool as I expected it to be. After midway through the movie, I was only really continuing so I could get to the quote that I knew was coming. If you're not familar with it, it made #77 on the list of AFI's best 100 movie quotes.

Thanks to someone else's youtube account, I am now able to save you the time it took to watch the whole movie



^btw: Charlton Heston

Children and where they're allowed to play Friday, June 15, 2007 | comments

This is interesting because Karen and I were just talking about this concept yesterday outside the library.
Daily Mail an article today called "How children lost the right to roam in four generations" and it includes the below graphic showing where each generation was and wasn't allowed to play.

[via boingboing]

Hulsebus Blasts Newspapers on Use of "Blasts" | comments

With this google news search backing me up I think it's safe to say that 'blasts' is a word past its prime in newspaper headlines, currently used anytime anyone says something against a person or institution.

Next time I read "McCall Blasts Dems Earmarking Process," it better be because this happened:
Representative Michael McCall of Texas blasts democratic earmarking Pew Pew

Bob Barker's Mic on Ebay | comments

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130121981790

edit: final price: US $19,919.08

Dinosaur Comics Makes an Irrational Numbers Joke Thursday, June 14, 2007 | comments


[click for full comic]

Joel on ICHC Wednesday, June 13, 2007 | comments

I Can Has Cheezburger posted Joel's lolcat today. Yay Joel!
I see you and raise you one million poker playing lolcat

They've yet to post mine even though they said they were going to. They have like months backed up of entries and therefore aren't so hot with keeping up. I don't think Joel thought his were gonna go up either, which is why this is so cool.

Poor planning on my part Monday, June 11, 2007 | comments

Before buying iron-on shirt transfers, I probably should have checked if anyone I knew had an iron, rather than just assuming.

Maybe the internet knows | comments

Google has a website called Google Suggest where, as you type, it automatically pops up searches that other people have made that start with the same letters. Something like this also comes standard in Firefox. What's entertaining is starting to write questions ("why can't i" "how do you" "what's the best") and seeing what comes up.

Here's "why is my b"

why is my baby crying, why is my broadband so slow, my is my browser so slow, why is my big toe numb, why is my bittorrent so slow, why is my blood pressure so high, why is my baby breech, why is my baby so fussy, why is my boyfriend ignoring me

Something I Never Thought About | comments

If a blind person owns a computer and he's the only one using it, he doesn't need a monitor or mouse. He'd only need a tower and a keyboard. It seems like you could make a really compact computer for this purpose.

[Via "Ask me about blindness" on SA]
^worth a read^

edit: I'm changing my rating to a "must read".

Also, check out the bottom of page 9 and listen to a text-to-speech conversion of a webpage. He reads way faster than I could ever begin to interpret sound.

Apple Fanboys' and FanGirls' Original iPod reaction | comments

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=500

Back in 2001:
I still can't believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!
Why oh why would they do this?! It's so wrong! It's so stupid!

[via digg]

Improvised make-up behind bars | comments

Inmates use Skittles, Coffee, Crystal Light

[via fark]

Lindy Hop Battle Friday, June 8, 2007 | comments

I know what you're thinking, but
1) I used the word "Battle" which makes it cooler
2) Have I ever steered you wrong on internet videos?
3) Click below already.

Hey guys: the internet! Thursday, June 7, 2007 | comments

Let's put on our velcro shoes and hoverboard around it!

Copperplate Gothic #2 | comments

Grand Rapids Eye Institute TV Commercial

Copperplate Gothic Sighting #001 Wednesday, June 6, 2007 | comments


Copperplate Gothic has been around for quite a while: since 1901 according to Wikipedia. Yet for some reason, I've been seeing it around increasingly more as of late. So I thought I'd start noting all the different times I see it.

Let's start out with sighting number 1: The National Spelling Bee



[photo credit]

"I’M IN UR NEWSPAPER WRITIN MAH COLUM" Tuesday, June 5, 2007 | comments

The newspaper world discovered lolcats. This guy wrote a column about it.

[via fark]

Bears apparently wide open Monday, June 4, 2007 | comments

throw it to them

How google does streetview Friday, June 1, 2007 | comments

They drive this car around