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

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Archives

Bear photog killed by bear [Update: nope] Sunday, May 31, 2009 | comments


Supposedly this is the final photograph taken by Michio Hoshino, a wild life photographer [source]. I haven't fact checked it (other than wikipedia which doesn't count) but it just seem too ironic to be true.

edit: Joel confirms that it was just a photo taken from a photoshop contest.

Nerdiest Tattoo Ever | comments

I bet when this guy dies, his coffin will have some sort Schrödinger's-cat-like quantum mechanics joke.
via a Discover Magazine blog

Also, apparently, there is an entire section of their blog for science-related tattoos.

Red | comments

I'll give your brain a second to process this. K, got it? It's trucks on their way to the dealer. I thought it was theater lights all facing right at first.



[Via the io9 post]

Tennis Ball Chair | comments


[via CRAFT]

Dinosaur Comics Saturday, May 30, 2009 | comments

Why not give dinosaur comics a try? Yes, they are full of text, but they are also full of dinosaur sass. Plus I have to give Ryan North credit: it's pretty amazing that he can pull off a comic that has the exact same artwork every day.

Protip: Don't do this | comments

Gamepro put out a list of their five worst covers. This was #1.


/agree

I want to see one of those acrostic baby name things for this Friday, May 29, 2009 | comments

I had someone visit last week whose name was Takella. This is pronounced "tequila" like the alcohol. Who in their right mind names their child after an alcohol [perhaps they weren't in their right mind and instead were drunk, hence the name]?

It's one thing when you're talking to a 30 year old person named Tequila, but what about when that person is 5? Or later in life when you want to apply for a job and want to be professional. Who wants someone answering their phones saying "Thank you for calling Mothers Against Drunk Driving, this is Tequilla." Maybe she could go by her middle name instead, but I fear that her middle name might be Virginia Slims.

But only while having someone hold the ladder | comments


This is what happens when I queue up posts: I show you things you have probably already seen. Still funny though. Obviously via failblog

Or step-mom or foster mom Thursday, May 28, 2009 | comments


Our very own local Kroger seems to be questioning someone's parenting skills.

If I had to guess, | comments

this would be Karen's favorite Flight of the Conchords song
[edit: I made this post and told Karen about it and she told me she already had a post in the pipeline featuring this very video. A+]


And it's hard to argue given the sneakers part at 1:30.

I tend to favor Business Time (NSFW, just warning you) and the internet tends to favor Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros (also NSFW)

We are not a sporting venue Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | comments

Let's pretend for the course of this entry that the apartment community I work for is called Harbor Haven Apartments. It isn't, but I'm keeping myself ungoogleable. Anyhow, I got an email that begins

"I am interested in the Harbor Havenplex"

Planes in formation | comments


A French aerobatic team flew in formation near Aix-en-Provence, southern France, Monday. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

From WSJ Photo of the Day

Boys names these days often end with N Tuesday, May 26, 2009 | comments

According to some data, most boys' names end with the letter N these days. The first graph below shows what letter names ended with in classrooms of boys in 1906 and the graph after that shows the numbers for 2006. Looks like Owen, Jayden, etc are making their mark.


Tabletop pinball machine from scrap wood | comments

This is amazing. If only I had some scrap wood and woodworking talent I could make the project and be a pinball wizard.

Banksy also has a robotic pet shop Monday, May 25, 2009 | comments

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7662627.stm

Guy uses all the technology at his fingertips to make giant lego mario | comments


Here's an in progress shot. The forum post shows how he uses a 3D scanner and computer to figure out how to replicate that action figure in lego.

Let me tell you about Section 8 Sunday, May 24, 2009 | comments

Section 8 is a program (to quote wikipedia) "dedicated to sponsoring subsidized housing for low-income families and individuals" which in other words gives people monthly vouchers good for rent. Sometimes it is for the full rent amount; sometimes the resident is still responsible for $100-200. I would love if I had droves of single moms coming in the door, kids in tow, with money the government gave them to help them out since they can't make ends meet on their own.

That isn't how it works

I was talking with the pest control guy once and he off-handedly mentioned that whenever he goes to properties that are designated almost completely for section 8, he'll enter the apartment and find it loaded with big screen TVs, multiple video game systems, and the parking lot will have a bunch of nice cars. From this description, one could assume that the money they're not spending on rent is instead going toward these things. I can pick out some section 8 recipients by their designer handbags and coats before they even mention a voucher.

To be fair, this could be a problem that isn't a section 8 problem, but rather a budgeting problem on the part of the resident, racking up debt when they should be saving. People across the board don't know how to budget.

I have had people that I'm glad get section 8. There's a guy in his 60's (a college grad) who I used to see pushing his cart of cans down the street that now has a place of his very own thanks to section 8 while he gets on his feet, works through rehab, and spends a lot of time at the library and talking politics.

But the weirdest thing about it is I'll have people come in on section 8--people that are living by themselves with no children--with huge vouchers. I had someone come in who was approved for a $1200 voucher (she said, I didn't see the paperwork). With that, she would be able to live in one of the townhomes (1100 sqr feet plus basement), something that Karen and I wouldn't be able to afford ourselves.

I even had one person who came in with her grown daughter to look at some 2 bedroom apartment. Upon walking by the 1 bedroom floor plans that Karen and I live in, the starry-eyed daughter said "When I get my voucher, I'm going to live in one of these". How's that for aspirations?

At one of our other communities, one of our leasing consultants can't afford to live in their smallest one bedroom and thus must live elsewhere. Simultaneously, she rents apartments to people with vouchers that, when asked what kind of apartment they are looking for, answer "the biggest one you have"

Banksy is an awesome graffiti artist | comments

banksy.co.uk




Excuse me officer, you're blocking my photo Saturday, May 23, 2009 | comments

This photo actually ran on the WSJ daily photo blog


"A police officer stood guard Friday at Walter Crowley Intermediate School, one of three Queens, N.Y., schools closed due to A/H1N1 flu fears. Maintenance workers wearing masks scrubbed the schools during the closures. At Walter Crowley alone, 241 students were reported sick. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)"

A walk through time | comments

Gallery of old photos layered over their present-day locations.

After this will they add polygons and textures? Friday, May 22, 2009 | comments


[via WSJ Photo Blog]“Our Image,” by artist Joseph Hiller, was lifted onto its shoulders in preparation for being painted in northeast England Monday. Mr. Hiller has been working with a nine-person team on the big sculpture. (Associated Press)

Goodbye Michiganders, enjoy your new life elsewhere | comments

For work I made a chart that (by extracting data from google trends), compares when people are looking for apartments as compared to the national average from 2004 to the present. National average is red, Michigan is blue. You'll notice how Michigan was going a great job keeping up with the national average until 2007 when people started moving out. Check out where we are now and how far different it is from nationally.

Clever use of poles in advertising | comments



more

Shark Tattoo Thursday, May 21, 2009 | comments

shark tattoo cool funny amputee clever ink arm stub
Read more of my blog at http://sbus.blogspot.com (or just hit the home button below) and subscribe to my RSS feed while you're at it.

Not M-F 9:00am to 5:00 | comments

I had someone apply for an apartment. Under "Date applied" they wrote the date they applied. Under "Time" they wrote "24/7"

Camoflage | comments

Look ma, no hands Wednesday, May 20, 2009 | comments

I'm going to have extremely limited access to the internet until June 1. In my absence, I've queued up at least 2 posts each day with things I think you might like. See you when I get back.

In B♭ be phat Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | comments

Karen just showed me inbflat.net/, a site that lets you make your own music by choosing different videos of instrument and playing them together to make your own orchestra. Your computer may not be able to handle all that video at once, but the audio will still work.

Site asks for redesign of american money, offers suggestions | comments

See more at the Dollar Redesign Project


[via]

Thanks, Moria, for the bargaining skills | comments

As you may have already read on the photoblog, Karen and I have been doing a bit of car maintenance recently: A neccessary part on my car and some 70k mile maintenance on Karen's car before the road trip (plus oil change, plus she needed a new headlight)

Anyhow, the thing that I appreicate about the Saturn dealership is when they gave me their assessment they said "The check engine light's on because of a bad temperature pressure sensor which with parts and labor would be $250. Other than that, it looks pretty good: looks like you're a little overdue for a tuneup, but that's all"

Over at the Ford dealership I get the whole song and dance about everything that we could have done. They, for example, wanted to flush out and change all the coolant. I didn't bother bringing in the bogus coupon for a free cabin air filter inspection since (spoiler alert) I'm sure they would tell me we need a new one. The one thing that did, however, really need to be done was getting new tires, since they were the original tires and we're sitting at 66k miles on them.

The guy wanted $560 for it at the dealer and I got him to do it for $480. So let this be a lesson to you, blog readers: when you're getting your car fixed, call around and get some more pricing information and then use that against them.

I will report back when I return | comments

In preparing for our long adventure, sometimes I would things at the stores and my Dungeons and Dragons nerd senses start doing their thing. Example: 50ft of rope, something you don't want to leave town without. I tried to think of every possible circumstance where this would come in handy on our trip, but couldn't come up with a plausible reason.

If Carlsbad Caverns has a 40 foot pit, you gotta bet we'll be wishing we had it after taking that 4d6 damage.

C64-style pixel art made with just three colors Monday, May 18, 2009 | comments


Quote from post:
Being platform independent he defines his own limitations for his pixel art. Sometimes using a predefined limitations, like different particular graphic modes on the Commodore 64. From this explorative approach, a different perspective emerges, referred to by some as ‘Computer aesthetics’. Embracing the limitations instead of fighting them – deriving a style from it.

In ‘The Spartan’ (main article picture) he limits himself to using only 3 colours on a black background. Interesting thing there is the creation of colours op top of the usual pixel techniques.
Helm, please set up an art show so I can come

!!!! Sunday, May 17, 2009 | comments


via ffffound

Every time someone says anything about Liam Neeson, I initially think that they're talking about Leslie Nielsen | comments

and until I looked him up on IMDB, I thought that Leslie Nielsen was Inspector Clouseau, but that was Steve Martin. I'm so bad with everyday celebrities.

Leslie Nielsen Nielson Neilson Nealson  Neeson LiamThis would be must easier if everyone would just refer to Liam Neeson by his given name, Qui-Gon Jinn.

Antiques roadshow, eat your heart out | comments

5 pieces of junk that turned out to be invaluable artifacts. Including someone who bought a frame he liked at a flea market for $4, only to find out that it contained a copy of the Declaration of Independence that went for 2.42 million.

Ants this isn't Saturday, May 16, 2009 | comments

We used to have a little program where the green pixels were food and the other pixels were ants and you could watch the little ant pixels grow and expand and die (kinda like at right, but more colorful). Now instead of generating ant cities, someone is generating entire cityscapes. Video is kinda long, I skipped around to get to the good stuff.

Someone tried to rob a store while wearing snuggie | comments

I guess he wanted his arms free to do other things

http://tinyurl.com/snuggieburglary

Snuggie: The Blanket that has Theives!

Sawstop saves your finger (and does it in slow mo) | comments

Mail Carrier Devises Easy-to-Pull-Off Credit Card Scam Friday, May 15, 2009 | comments

tl;dr version: This mail carrier would steal people's credit card offers, fill them out in the resident's name, and then intercept the credit cards when they came in the mail. She would also prevent the billing statement from getting to them.
For nearly 20 years, Marsha Billock-Strahm drove the roads of rural Carey, Ohio, delivering the mail - birthday cards, catalogues, and masses of credit-card applications.

This week in federal court, the longtime letter carrier was charged with stealing some of the mail she was entrusted to deliver and fraudulently opening credit cards in the names of some of those on her rural route.

Billock-Strahm, 48, was indicted in U.S. District Court in Toledo on one count of aggravated identity theft, four counts of false credit-card applications, five counts of identity theft, and one count of theft of mail.

Authorities allege that over a four-month period in 2008, Billock-Strahm opened four credit cards in two names on her route by filling out the preapproved credit-card applications that were sent to their homes. Using the credit cards and the credit-card convenience checks, Billock-Strahm made several transactions totaling $12,573, the indictment alleges.

She then covered her tracks by intercepting the credit cards and statements as they came in, Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Uram said.
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090515/NEWS02/905150347

AT&T Takes GPS Tracking Mainstream | comments

I got an email today for this GPS tracking thing. If incessentaly texting/calling your children just isn't working out for you, you can always track them and know exactly they are for 10 bucks a month.

edit: Actually it looks like it's based on cell phone location rather than anything GPS related

edit 2: Unless your phone is a GPS-enabled phone

Keyboard cat is dead Thursday, May 14, 2009 | comments

Shared not only for the content so much but because the woman sounds like an angry David Sedaris

It's like graffiti stenciling art, but in metal | comments

Brought to you by MAKE and the T-Tech Quick Circuit 5000 PCB prototyping machine

The ice cream man is out in Ann Arbor. I can hear "do your ears hang low" out the window | comments

(eom)

Actual Police Sketch | comments

News Story via fark

Productivity | comments

As I mentioned in today's earlier post, I'm on facebook very infrequently.

Today, however, I have it up from working on our company facebook page and it's interesting to see people's status updates roll in.

About an hour ago, someone posted a look-out-world-here-I-come type status update with a list of the different things that he intended to do with his day. So far in the past hour, he's only succeeded in using facebook quizzes to find out what food network personality he would be, what religion best suits him, and what shoe defines him.

Facebook at work | comments

I'm currently on facebook at work, but I'm doing it as part of my job, which is really weird: to be asked to be on facebook while getting paid. They're having me make up one of these business pages for our apartments.

But of course first I'm going through and changing all my privacy settings. I really don't need both residents and everyone else that I work with able to stalk me and what I'm up to (not that I use facebook much anymore).

Nicest prank ever | comments

My dad sent this link to me. The site has it billed as the nicest prank ever pulled.


I, however, would argue that the nicest prank ever pulled was Best Gig Ever by Improv Everywhere. I recommend reading the full article with photos, but if you're lazy, here's the video:

Prepping for vacation Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | comments

I spent an hour prepping all of the campground kampground reservations for our vacation.

Positive: KOA makes it really easy to find all of their different campgrounds and where they're located no matter where you're staying. They made it really easy to plan our road trip

Negative: When reserving different locations, each reservation is done in a different credit card transaction, meaning I have to place a new credit card order for each day's reservation.

Iron lung my friend -- don't you start away uneasy | comments

As you can read about over at this IOTD post, this woman, who recently died, spent 60 of her 71 years on earth living in an iron lung. She even went to college.

Pest Control the Half-Life Way | comments

From an Associated Press article:
"Some researchers in Texas are trying an unusual approach to combat fire ants — parasitic flies that turn the pesky insects into zombies whose heads fall off.
This sounds a lot like the headcrab plan to combat humans. Except it would be better if the flies controled the ants and sent them after Gordon Freeman.

Rancid fridge hospitalizes office | comments

From slashdot: "An office worker cleaning a fridge full of rotten food created a smell so noxious that it sent seven co-workers to the hospital and made many others ill. Firefighters had to evacuate the AT&T building in downtown San Jose on Tuesday, after the flagrant fumes prompted someone to call 911. A hazmat team was called in. Just another day at the office"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090513/ap_on_fe_st/odd_rotten_office_food

Someone is going to send this to a whole mailing list and panic will ensue | comments

As a Consumerist post pointed out, someone made up anonymous ecards so that you can email people telling them that their kids are dirty and could be swine flu magnets. Perfect for the paranoid parent that also happens to be passive aggressive.

Sounds more like playing suicide | comments

The Ann Arbor News has a story called Ann Arbor man dies while playing Russian roulette after night of drinking, police say.
Ann Arbor police say a 41-year-old man shot himself dead in what appears to have been a solitaire game of Russian roulette following a night of drinking with his friends.

Three friends of David Ryan told police they'd been drinking at The Blind Pig in downtown Ann Arbor Friday night and returned to the victim's house in the 1000 block of Westaire Way at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

They say they were sitting on the side porch of the house when Ryan, who was highly intoxicated, went to get his revolver. He stuck a bullet in the six-cylinder chamber and spun it around, then put the gun to his head behind his ear.

The friends told police they could see that the bullet was not in the firing position before he pulled the trigger. But then, with no explanation, the man pulled the trigger again and the gun fired, police said.
I don't think it counts as playing russian roulette if you keep shooting until you shoot yourself. Also, way to go friends: you let a drunk guy mess around with a gun that you knew had a bullet in it.

Cleveland | comments



[via Karen via Ciara]

Chase your dreams of owing more money | comments

I was surprised this month when I hopped online to see that my Chase credit card minimum payment was $0 but figured that it was because had already online-billpay'd in the full amount the exact same day the statement was created. Turns out it's actually because Chase is allowing a $0 minimum payment this month so that people's interest can stack up.

Still, it's not as bad as the U of M credit union earlier in the year when they offered me the option of skipping a car loan payment. For a $50 admin fee. While interest still accrued.

Thanks but no thanks.

I think I just heard a collective gasp from the nerds of the world Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | comments

because someone posted an editor in chief position at a World of Warcraft magazine on craigslist

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/wri/1161271362.html

[via Bill Amend]

And they have a plan. | comments

Over at core77, they posted some video of this new, pillow-like cleaning robot that turns into a cylon whenever it sees dirt.

Cleaning must take forever.
"Yeah, I know that I could wipe it off with a swiffer, but I think I would rather let a robot do it at 1/1000th the speed"