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


"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."


Seeing these just makes me want to run a space RPG in which players construct their ships and vehicles out of Legos Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | comments

Even as I post this, my mind is trying to think of a way to make this happen. All images from MacLane, someone who is currently blowing up on the internet renditions of famous characters in lego form.

Just in case you were thinking of hiring women | comments

Via Digg, this post from Feministing highlights a 1943 article from Transportation Magazine. They've already seperated it out to the most ridiculous parts, so allow me to just directly quote:
1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they're less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.

2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It's always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.

3. General experience indicates that "husky" girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.

4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.

More items at the original post.

Agile bear is hungry | comments


(Buy it) What could be greater (buy it) than golf with a gator? (buy it) | comments

Jon and Kate Plus 8 has really gone downhill. Today I caught an episode from 2 weeks ago that was basically one big ad.

At one point, Kate talked about how great Cara and Mady were because they were helping do the dishes and how they actually wanted to do the dishes. Meanwhile a big Cascade dish detergent thing stood on the shelf always facing the camera. So I was like "ok, this looks like an ad". But unlike that 90210 episode that Karen blogged about, no one actually said the product name.

Then out comes the Gator Golf. Kate talks about how fun it was and how much they enjoyed playing it and mentions it by name. And then, off to the side you see that they have an unopened copy of the game. Just sitting there, I'm assuming so that people know what to look for when they go into the store. Don't you think that if they were going to play Gator Golf with 9 people that they would open their third copy of the game? After that they played Pictureka which was also a grand time. Both games are made by Hasbro games and oh look, Amazon happens to be selling them as a bundle.

I see what you did there, Jon and Kate.

Pushpin Mosiacs Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | comments

My dad sent me a link to the work of Eric Daigh for the Grand Rapids ArtPrize. This guy makes portraits out of colored pushpins. More at the linked entry.

Turns out Mosiac Week still had some fight left in it.

The speech if the moon landing would have gone awry [quick link] Monday, September 28, 2009 | comments


Giant Lego House Destroyed. Unknown if it will return as a spaceship | comments

[House in progress | Source]

My Parents were Traumatizing would be a better title | comments

There's a new blog on the street. That blog is My Parents Were Awesome. No, it's not a blog of photos of parents supporting you at your sports games; it is a blog of photos of parents: mostly from before you were born. Anyhow, here is a photo that doesn't quite seem to fit the criteria. As a baby, you did not appreciate the ninja turtles, so this was likely frightening.

Why was a ninja turtle at a photo studio? Given the dad's shirt, maybe he was the one that orchestrated this.

Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy Sunday, September 27, 2009 | comments

I have had this sketch flawlessly reenacted for me, but never actually seen it. Share in my amusement, won't you?

Once you see it, you cannot unsee it | comments

Look at this Goodwill logo. The smiley face in the logo and the g are the same thing! Check out more at the original post including the ever-popular Fed-Ex logo and some others that I haven't seen before. Sun has a pretty neat one.

XKCD Comic: Asbestos Free! Friday, September 25, 2009 | comments

This XKCD comic makes a good point. The other day I was looking at the box for my computer microphone that said "works with Skype!" which should be obvious because any computer microphone works with Skype.

edit: Joel comments "Michelle and I were laughing at the cheapest pair of headphones at the dollar store that were like "mp3 player compatible!" as a bullet. "

Why are Americans so fat? Thursday, September 24, 2009 | comments

When you type in a portion of a question, Google Suggest tries to fill in the rest. Here is what pops up when you type in "Why are Americans". I guess these are the questions that other countries have about Americans. I tried to see if anyone searched for "Why are Americans so great" but when I got to "Why are Americans so g" all that was left was "Why are Americans so greedy?"

I know that there's one blog that tries to tackle the obesity question.

The original inspiration for this comes from a post about the text "why are british"

25 Most Controversial Magazine Covers of All Time [Quick Link] Wednesday, September 23, 2009 | comments


Red Planet | comments

Today Sydney woke up and it looked like Mars outside.

/posting this even though this is now old news since it's 2:41pm. Photos from core77

I find this human jumbotron hard to believe | comments

I mean it's obvious that they sped up the footage to make it look cooler, but still.

The internet is full of bad tattoos. Allow me to bring two that you probably haven't seen | comments

This was in a Something Awful thread just posted yesterday. The posters all agreed that it was awesome. I do not.

Yup, that's right. Law and Order tattoos. I'm assuming that this is the back of the guy's legs?

Single Babies | comments

While I'm posting a Beyonce Video, I would like to offically inform the internet that Kanye West jokes are now old. Find a new meme. Know your meme has over 9000.

I figured you'd rather watch this than a first person highway crash so I posted this instead.

Apparently it is mosaic week on Serial Bus Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | comments

Watch out Discovery Channel: I can do theme weeks too [though mine are not on purpose]. Potato chip map!

Elsewhere in greasy map news, this is a map of the US categorized by distance from a McDonalds. What each point of light exactly represents and how they decide where to place it is beside the point for me. Look: glowing map. Apparently Michigan's Upper Peninsula to drive a ways America's favorite fries.

[source 1 | source 2]

How do you discuss this around the office and not catch this? Monday, September 21, 2009 | comments

As Fark pointed out, PETA may have one of the worst blog titles around.

Tapis de Fleurs | comments

While we're on the topic of mosaics made with unconventional materials, here we have a giant flower rug. A site that I briefly skimmed told me that this takes over 700,000 begonias and is a early Brussels tradition. I know you wanna see it up close, so go check out a photoset on flickr. Not to disappoint, but it seems to be made from their petals, not from actual, planted flowers.

Decently okay videos! Saturday, September 19, 2009 | comments

Videos not cool enjoy to warrant their own entry but decent enough to keep you entertained on a Saturday when the internet is slow:

GPS-guided robot is able to jump 7 meter walls

[Via Buzzfeed, Make, Digg]

Buzz Lightyear can fly. Perhaps could be worth its own entry if someone were making "kkkkkkkkkk" jetpack sounds.

[Via a blatant Toy Story 3 ad]

Thanks to This American Life episode 389, I learned that if there's one phrase that is most common on reality TV shows, it is "I'm not here to make friends". (I thought it was going to be something like "she totally threw me under the bus," a phrase you will now here eveywhere). INHTMF is so common that the year 2009 alone brought us 3 minutes and 43 seconds of people not here to make friends.

Augmented Reality Pool

Mosaic Thursday, September 17, 2009 | comments

This would be cool if it were made of tiles or broken plates. But look closer.

via Jen [source]

I like Magic, but this is taking it too far. | comments

Just to put this post in context, Magic is a great game in which two players put together 60-card decks of their own creation. It's played in tournaments and some people are good enough to be pro Magic players. There are no shortage of strategy sites out there.

Most people prepare for tournaments by testing out their deck against other players, and making modifications based on how well they do. This guy, however, believes that in addition to this, you've got to work on your focus. In all of the quotes below, he's talking about the online version of the game. Let's dive in, shall we?
"[When it comes to being distracted] Magic Online is a whole different beast in this regard. Theoretically it's much much easier to reduce external distractions. I often play Magic Online on my laptop while sitting in bed next to my sleeping girlfriend."
Tell me how you focus!
"If you want to achieve true focus, then stick to simple foods before the tournament. Try a chicken breast with asparagus or carrots instead of pizza with pepperoni and sausage. "
"Oh Mike" you say, "his advice can't be all bad, can it?" and no, it's not. He talks about not letting one bad play lead into another and then the loss. But what really got me was the following suggestion:
"If you're interested in reading more about different breathing exercises, I've attached some links in the appendix at the end of this article. If you really want to learn more than [that] sign up for a Yoga class! "
He goes on to talk about meditation techniques and suggests going for a jog before a big online tournament. If you're going to sign up for a yoga class so that you can play cards better, I think your life might be too linked to the game.

Hurricane Ike: During and After Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | comments

Yeah, this looks cool below, but you're really missing out if you don't view the huge, clickable photos over at The Big Picture website

^^^^Click it!^^^^^

Show me the money Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | comments

According to the folks over at Cracked, the odds of winning the mega millions lottery are 175,000,000 to one.

If you're a male in the US, the odds of being Tom Cruise are only 150,000,000 to one.

4 people are sadistic Monday, September 14, 2009 | comments

Google Reader suffers a similar problem to facebook. You can only flag things as "like". There is no other option (well, at least with Google Reader you can share things with a comment) when there should be the option to flag it as "OMG" or similar like Buzzfeed does. See below:

Denny's Offers Food Themed Around Bands, Grease | comments

My personal pick for most ridiculous name goes to Taking Back Sunday's Taking Back Bacon Burger Fries. See the photos over at Karen in Color.

Locals think that apartment dweller is dead because of the smell. Turns out he's just really messy. So messy that firefighters threw up. | comments

"The awful stench coming from a Queens apartment on Monday was so bad that cops thought they would find a body inside.

But when firefighters busted down the the door, they found tenant Ming Li Sung was very much alive - and living with rotting garbage piled floor to ceiling."

[Full Article]

Kanye West is a Jerk Sunday, September 13, 2009 | comments

Apparently he was carrying alcohol with him even on the red carpet

edit 2: Kanye sure does love ALL CAPS ON HIS BLOG

Also, apparently Kermit the frog was Lady Gaga's date instead of her clothes this year. She later switched into a hat that looked like the world series trophy

Your Business Card is Crap | comments

This is an older video and has to be fake or for some mockumentary or something. But I want to believe that this guy and his business card are out there

Best collaborative video to date Saturday, September 12, 2009 | comments

All credit for finding this one goes to Ryan. Fullscreen plz.

My Life is Whimsical would be a more apt title Friday, September 11, 2009 | comments

Since GivesMeHope has been failing me recently with its un-proofread posts [someone recently sent an "angle" to someone], I present to you a series of posts from: My Life is Average.

Today, my history teacher was explaining about this poet named Waldo who struggled to find himself. My friend and I started cracking up. I don't think anyone elso got it. MLIA.

from MyLifeIsAverage | MyLifeIsAverage
Today, on the bus, my glasses lens fell out like it had been repeatedly for the past couple days. The guy sitting next to me immediatley waved a pencil and said "oculis repairo". The lens hasn't fallen out again since. MLIA

Today my professor told us that the President of our college was once kicked out of college. Why? He and his frat brothers put their house dog through college--writing papers and taking exams for it. The dog was a junior before he was caught. Best. President. Ever. MLIA

Recently, I read through a notebook of my boyfriend's from second grade. When asked "What would you do if you were president?" he said "I would hypnotize all the people and take their Pokemon cards." I love him a little bit more now. MLIA

Today I found out that the voice actor of Optimus Prime (Peter Cullens) also did the voice for Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. In my opinion, Optimus Prime just became so much more badass. MLIA

Today, I was eating pringles when I noticed the 200 average per can. I actually counted and saw 201. I felt above average, until I dropped the last chip on the floor.Well played fate, well played. MLIA

If you are going to write crime books, it's best to not be a criminal. It will look suspicious. | comments

The Detroit News has an article this morning about a local mystery novelist who killed her own father. They're of course looking through her old books for clues:
The novels are grim mysteries that feature freakish families dealing with all manner of violence.

Fathers fare poorly. They're depicted as alcoholics who abuse their children physically and sexually. They beat and cheat on their wives.

She has said the books aren't autobiographical.
If you read the article, it talks about how she's basically confessed the whole thing so looks like a pretty open-and-shut case.

I have to hand it to her that she knows how to pack for being a criminal:

"Police say she planned the shooting and escape, filling the trunk of her Subaru Impreza with books to read while on the lam" I'm curious to know what her running-from-the-law reading list was.

The lego stylings of powerpig | comments

Check out his latest stuff over on his flickr stream

[yes, I realize that second one isn't lego]

This post ruins the ending of A Million Little Pieces. Thursday, September 10, 2009 | comments

Are you prepared for that? I'm going to totally tell you what happens in the end of the book you see at left.

Ending ruiner coming up!

Ok, so get this. We're getting toward the end of the book. The Fake James Frey's girlfriend, Lilly, relapsed and went and did drugs but then he left rehab and saved her and bought her back into rehab. While she restarts the program, he graduates the program and goes to Ohio to spend his time in jail. Before he leaves, there is an everyone-saw-it-coming goodbye scene where they pledge to be forever together and yadda yadda love story everything is going to be great.


Now Real James Frey has a problem. He is going to pass this book off as a memoir of his actual life experiences and there really is no Lilly to be with forever. So what does he do?

Well, in the last scene of the book, Fake James goes to a bar, orders a crapload of alcohol, and then just dumps it out. From this the reader is supposed to figure out that he's cured. Way to go James. Book over. BUT THEN comes the prologue where they say what all the people are supposedly up to now. So and so's in jail. So and so relapsed. So and so still works at the clinic. AND THEN:
"Lilly committed suicide by hanging in a Halfway House in Chicago. Her Grandmother had passed away two days earlier. She was found the morning James was released from Jail, and it was believed that she was sober until she died."
Author James just kills her for no reason in the epilogue of the book! Dead. Goodbye. No one to try and track down later. Doesn't matter that it's completely out of character and Fake James is getting out of his prison term that was less than six months. Dead. Hope you liked the book.

Looks like a photoshop job, but it's not | comments


Wicked-cool perspective trick Wednesday, September 9, 2009 | comments

[via digg]

Halfway through book review: A Million Little Pieces | comments

It's starting to be the slow winter time again here at work, so that means I get to read books again. I picked out A Million Little Pieces off of our bookshelf in one of those quick-I-need-to-pick-a-book moments. For those of you that don't remember, the book is most famous for tricking Oprah. If you read the back cover, AMLP tells you that
"At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his four front teeth knocked out, his nose broken, and a hole through his cheek. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shoftly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey's acclaimed account of six weeks in rehab"
And you looked at the cover and thought that it was about a mishap in a confectioner's kitchen.

Anyhow, so here's the thing: it's not a true story. It's all made up. This made Oprah mad. I would ordinarily say that you don't want to make Oprah mad, but this of course just got the guy more publicity.

Onto my review though. I can't say that this is a book that I would ever reccomend to anyone. Don't get me wrong, it's not that it's a bad book. It's just that it's not an enjoyable book.

You already know that the guy got his teeth knocked out from the back cover. Well, see, there's also this part in the book where he goes to the dentist and has to get double root canals done without anesthesia (since he's a recovering addict). The description is so painful that you find yourself skipping paragraphs. It's hard to be like, "Hey friend of mine, you seem like the kind of person that might enjoy imagining painful surgery being done on you"

Furthermore, the writing style is distracting. First we have liberal use of capitalization: "We pull into the Parking Lot and park the car and I finish a bottle and we get out and we start walking toward the Entrance of the Clinic". And I gotta tell you, even though I realize every time he writes "People" that he isn't talking about the magazine, it distracts me every time.

All converations are done without indentation, quotation marks, or designation of who is speaking. Like this
"I'm sorry.
He looks up at me, wipes his face.
I didn't mean to upset you.
You're sick.
I don't respond.
You're a sick, sick person.
I don't respond because he's right. I'm a sick sick person.
I want you get away from me.
I didn't mean to upset you.
Get away.
I turn and walk out of the Bathroom and I go to my part of the Room. John is awake and staring at me."

It works pretty well when there are two people talking, but is really confusing when you have three or more people in a conversation. And yes, the book does actually sometimes use bold text for yelling. And sometimes it uses caps.

I think if Karen hadn't already read this book I would have given up after chapter 1, but here I am halfway through. At times I find myself wanting to just say "forget it" but I still am plowing my way through the book because it actually is a pretty interesting story to read. I'm pretty concerned that it's going to have a lame ending though. See, the main character hates the 12 step program because he says that 12 steppers just end up replacing one addiction with another. Yet I can tell already (and Karen mentioned it) that the guy is going to get addicted to this other girl in the clinic. He also looks down on religion and is becoming at Taoist at the part I'm at.

Again though, I want to emphasize that it's not a bad book. At times it's quite gripping and has a lot of forward momentum to keep the plot going. But I think no matter how these story ends up (I'm guessing that Fake James Frey must end up overcoming it all since Real James Frey is now an author which is less inspriational since Fake James Frey is not Real James Frey), I would rather lend you a different book from the Mike and Karen library than this one.

Holy Creative Copy Protection, Batman | comments

As written about on the escapist, instead of more traditional copy protection on the PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum, the production company made it so that pirated copies of the game leave Batman without all his moves, rendering the game completely unbeatable once you get to a certain part in the game.

Buy U an Autotune License Tuesday, September 8, 2009 | comments

Via Bridget via Gawker, the following video is a new iphone app that allows you to sing with Autotune like T-Pain. I cut the video to the applicable part

For reference, the actual song also cut right to that part:

It's a pretty amazing thing that Autotune. Say what you will about it ruining music and requiring talent, but this song will be in your head 10 minutes from now.

And without autotune, we wouldn't have autotune the the news which below highlights the fact that Katie Couric actually said that texting while driving can "turn an LOL into a great big OMG"

Cat loves showers Monday, September 7, 2009 | comments

Don't feel like you have to watch the whole thing: you'll get it after 30 seconds or so.

It's probably Twilight. It has that effect on people Sunday, September 6, 2009 | comments

[via Digg]

Crunch time! Saturday, September 5, 2009 | comments

You're in a newsroom. There's a story about a small child that suffered from heat exhaustion. Quick! What's the worst possible headline you could run?


[via fark]

Apparently fruits grow to fill the shape of their container Friday, September 4, 2009 | comments



I don't understand the allure of having multiple yous in a senior photo | comments

Follow up: Drunk Ypsi Shooting Thursday, September 3, 2009 | comments

Alright, remember the story from two days ago about the guy that was drunk, heard about a police pursuit coming by his street, and decided that he was going to pull out his gun and try to shoot out the tires?

The comments on the story got more ridiculous since I last posted anything. They now include:
"If Shante had killed the criminal in the act, he would have been looked at as a hero"
"This brave young hero should be getting a medal... not charges filed against him. He was taking a stand against crime in the community."

/looking for sarcasm, not finding any

Other comments range from "this is why we shouldn't have guns" to "this is why we need guns"

Reading Rainbow | comments

Going off yesterday's post, if I like an article enough to read the full thing through, it's probably worth a read. The NYTimes recently ran an article about the Self-Storage industry. Self-storage has gone from something used in transitionary times (e.g. needing somewhere to put stuff between moves) to something else entirely
"A Self Storage Association study showed that, by 2007, the once-quintessential client — the family in the middle of a move, using storage to solve a short-term, logistical problem — had lost its majority. Fifty percent of renters were now simply storing what wouldn’t fit in their homes — even though the size of the average American house had almost doubled in the previous 50 years, to 2,300 square feet"
And as the article points out, many people will pay every month to store their things and, in doing so, will end up paying more money than the objects are actually worth.

Phrases like "Now with more REAL CHEESE" and "Now Better Tasting!" only serve to make me wary. (eom) | comments

Not-Reading Rainbow: A round-up of stories about not reading. Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | comments

1) People have a habit of not reading their mail. When we mail people about a balance due on their account because they didn't pay rent or information about the move out they scheduled, they will claim not to know about it a month an a half later saying, "oh I don't read my mail." By this point, their rent has gone from chronically late to already-filed-with-the-courts late.

2) New sets of Magic: the Gathering cards come out every like three months or so and beforehand there is intense speculation and leaked information about what the cards in the new set will do. Recently, someone found out that the art at right was slated to be on a card, made up a speculative card and wrote something like "This is what I hope this card does"

Soon the image was posted all over the internet and everyone (myself included) thought it was a real card because the people that were supported to do the fact checking (or, you know, at least read the post) didn't.

Anyhow, so Wizards of the Coast recently posted a notice saying "There are bound to be a lot of rumors in the coming weeks with Zendikar spoilers heating up. I'd like to remind you all that if it doesn't come from an official Wizards of the Coast source, it's only speculation" and as an example to everyone, they noted and posted the fake card that everyone thought was real.

First commenter's response?
3) If you haven't heard, the PBS show Reading Rainbow recently ended after 26 years on the air. But you don't have to take my word for it (ba da bah!).

edit: Now that I actually read the NPR story, I see I ended my post the same way that they did so....

4) When it comes to news articles online, I skim a lot.

acouplebucks4gold | comments

The consumerist has a great post about Cash4Gold and its business practices so after you check out their 10 confessions of a Cash4Gold employee post, check out the new one where they detail the pending lawsuit that C4G has against them.

Anyhow, let me give you the tl;dr version of the best parts of the second post

So here's what they did: Along with their parent company (Consumer Reports), they got "24 identical gold pendants and chains to Cash4Gold and some of its national competitors. The necklaces were purchased for $175 each. We calculated their "melt value" – meaning how much the raw gold was worth – as about $70 each"

How much did C4G offer for the gold?

"Cash4Gold sent back checks ranging from $7.60 to $12.72 (or 11% to 18% of melt value)"

This is how their business works: they undervalue everything by huge amounts and then pocket the profits. Hoping to get $70 selling jewelry? Hope you've got like 6 to send in. When people call in to contest the low amount, they will then give another higher offer of often double or triple. The CSRs get bonuses based on what they [don't] pay out:
"As she describes it, reps got a $15 bonus for getting a customer to accept less than double the first check. And they got $10 for keeping the payout under three times as much. Liberis provided paystubs showing her earning as much as $815 in bonuses over two weeks – nearly doubling her pay of $906 for the period."
Quite the business. Check out the full post if you want to read about the lawsuit that C4G has against The Consumerist for publishing these posts.

Don't you have a room with 0 insects? Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | comments

I was playing Magic Online today against a guy and there was a couple minutes where I didn't think he was going to show up to the match (not a bad deal for me: automatic victory). After a pause, he typed the following.

What does that mean? Why are there insects no matter where he goes?