<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d7788626342964640561\x26blogName\x3dSerial+Bus\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://sbus.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://sbus.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-2017086054783214079', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

About

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

Recent

"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

These horse masks are kind of awesome Saturday, October 31, 2009 | comments

Lazy, freaky, and awesome.

[photo via somethingawful user deftcleft]

Quick fix Friday, October 30, 2009 | comments

Sometimes I love closing out work orders in our system.

Work order: "The bulb for the light in the kitchen over the sink is out"
Maintenance closing comment: "Resident realized switch on light was off"

The Realm of Darkness Riddle Answer | comments

Alright, so Karen and I went out to The Realm of Darkness in Pontiac on Thursday since it is supposedly the best haunted house in all of Michigan.

They had some really great special effects and had things pretty well planned out. They had spikes that looked like they were going to crush you, faces that appeared out of nowhere, bookcases that looked like they were going to fall down, a hall of mirrors, and all sorts of other neat stuff.

For me, one of the coolest things was the gimmick that they run where if you answer the Wizard's riddle at the end, you get double your money back. Supposedly only twelve people have done it, and unfortunately we weren't one of them. We didn't even get to see the wizard.

How it works is, there will be different things that happen throughout the event. Someone asked us what the phone number was at the beginning, and we remembered that and got a magic gem/glass bead. Then later there was guy that was like "stick your hand in this corpse" and I did and there was a gem in there. We failed at a part where there was a guy that asked us what his name was so somewhere we must have missed seeing a labeled picture of him or something. We got a third gem from a treasure room and then turned them in to a sea hag who sent us on through the exit (where someone chased us out with a chainsaw). I'm assuming if we had the right number of gems, we would have gone to the wizard to get one final riddle.

We had a lot of fun though despite not besting the wizard. We were in a group with a high school guy and two girls, so me and the other guy covered the front and back while everyone else squeezed together in the middle. All participants made it out alive.

I think it would be fun to conduct the interviews for the haunted house actors where you say "Ok, now you're in an asylum and there's someone that's breaking through that door. Give me your best terrified scream." I'm not sure how they have any voice left after screaming all day.

YellowPage Fax Scam | comments

We got a scam fax today. Not from Yellowpages.com, but from YellowPage-Michigan.com. The top of their fax has the logo at right, a clear knockoff of the actual yellowpages logo at left.

Usually these companies call us as telemarketing calls where they say that they are "just calling to update your listing". "Are you still located at [Address]?" they ask, "Is your preferred phone number still [phone number they called you on]?".

If you put up with them that long, they're very careful to try and get you to say that you're the owner of the business or able to act on behalf of the owner and then they tell you that the call is about to be recorded and then they transfer you to someone that talks very quickly. All so later, when you say, "I didn't sign up for your service!" they can play the call back to you.

I, of course, realized what they were doing and said that I wasn't interested. "But updating your listing is free!" they protest. "Click" says my phone.

Anyhow, so now we have this fax that came in under the guise of "hey, time to update your listing!"

Excerpts from the fine print: "The company listed about gives approval for the above given date and orders registration at YellowPage-Michigan.com by Yellow Publishing Ltd. Registration in the directory is for a term of two years at a cost of $89 per month payable one year in advance with 14 day payment terms. [...] This agreement automatically renews for one year if it is not terminated at least three months before the agreement end."

And then twice they want to remind you "Yellow Publishing Ltd. is not responsible for any errors, omissions or other erroneous data appearing in the company's directory listing. All errors are the sole responsibility of the customer."

Then they go on to say how payment is still required even if you ask to be removed. Not only that, but if you sue them, you're responsible for their attorney and legal fees. That's even in there.

No amount of doublechecking will fix that Thursday, October 29, 2009 | comments

The other day I had someone come in to sign their lease. One of the first things I have them do is to make sure that their name is spelled correctly on their lease. She pointed out that her name was spelled wrong.

I felt bad, especially because I thought I had double-checked the spelling.

After she left, I checked her application. It turns out, printed very clearly on the application, she had spelled her own name wrong.

In case you haven't seen it, this is kind of a classic internet video Monday, October 26, 2009 | comments

Invisible octopus! The video is from a longer TED talk that shows more animal camouflage


And a lesser-known video: turns out a 600lb octopus can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter

Poorly-photoshopped house from Lovely Listing Saturday, October 24, 2009 | comments

As they point out on their post, some of those supposed flowerbeds look as much like .50 caliber browning machine gun cartridges as they do flowers.
The realtor also seems to have found a variety of flower that can hang onto windows where there aren't window boxes.

Awesome Microscopic Photography Friday, October 23, 2009 | comments




Val sent me the wired article with 35 of these. The last one reminds me of that time lapse roomba

Socially Awkward Penguin | Technologically Impaired Duck | comments





Thanks, Know Your Meme

Puns! Thursday, October 22, 2009 | comments

Google Reader just recommended That's Punny to me. I do appreciate a good/bad pun.

Tetris Pumpkin Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | comments


[more]

When is good? Tuesday at 3pm. [quick link] Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | comments

Blurb:
"Meeting scheduling service When is Good looked at 100,000 responses to 34,000 events logged to their service over 2 years and found that 3pm—specifically Tuesday at 3pm—seems to be the most agreeable time for a meeting."

Check out the full lifehacker post to find out how they figured this out and other stats:
http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/full/~3/fD6YNZvi-Mk/tuesday-at-3pm-is-the-most-agreeable-meeting-time

L33t Cafe Monday, October 19, 2009 | comments

In looking for a place to eat for our anniversary on Yelp, I stumbled upon this cafe. Sadly, the menu isn't nerd-themed, but the guy gets credit for the restaurant name at least. I'll definitely have to check it out just for sake of going.

See also: Yelp page | Explanation of what l33t means

One Sentence Book Review: Slaughterhouse Five | comments

This book is like The Little Prince for grownups.

In related news, I'm currently reading: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett [a book about building an 11th century cathedral] followed by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith [Pride and Prejudice with zombies added in. I'm too curious to not read it].

Followup: Guy with huge arm Sunday, October 18, 2009 | comments

So remember that arm wrestling guy with the huge arm? Turn out that he does that so that he's able to compete in lower weight classes. So he ends up having his heavy-weight-class arm against low-weight-class people.

Article via digg

Grand Theft Auto is Corrupting the Bear Youths Friday, October 16, 2009 | comments


"The car alarm was blaring, and there was a light moving around inside.

A couple in the Colorado Mountain Estates subdivision near Florissant thought someone was trying to steal their car early Wednesday.

When deputies from the Teller County Sheriff's Office responded at about 2:30 a.m., they discovered a young bear in the car.

According to Baker and Teller County Sheriff Kevin Dougherty, this bear was very smart and had learned how to open car doors."

http://www.denverpost.com/technology/ci_13570692

Pixar Movies are Corrupting the Youth [not really] Thursday, October 15, 2009 | comments

It is a bad week to be a six-year-old. First one got possible reform school for a cub scout untensil [followup: but got off free] and now one is floating over Fort Collins, Colorado. This, as MAKE put it, is terrifying.
"Officials are trying to rescue a 6-year-old boy who climbed into a balloon-like experimental aircraft built by his parents and floated into the sky over eastern Colorado. [...]

The Federal Aviation Administration is trying to track the aircraft on radar and has notified the Denver International Airport. Shortly after noon (2 p.m. ET), the balloon was sighted two miles south of Evans.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers estimated the wind would keep the vessel moving at 30 mph. Authorities say the craft is about 7,000 feet above the ground."
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/10/15/colorado.boy.balloon/index.html

Edit: A sad update: from the NYTimes
"At 11 a.m. Mountain time, Falcon Heene, the 6-year-old son of Richard Heene accidentally lifted off in his father’s helium balloon. After flying for more than two hours, the half-deflated aircraft landed in an empty field.

But when the balloon landed, according to KUSA-TV, the boy was not in the balloon, deepening the mystery.
:-/

Edit 2: Hooray! He's alive. Ciara just posted on google reader that "he was hiding in a box in the attic over the garage." The NYTimes story above has been updated with what happened.

The problem with finding a fancy-but-not-too-fancy place to eat | comments


Karen and I are trying to make dinner plans for our anniversary and we end up finding the situation still hasn't changed since last year. Has anyone else ever noticed that there is a lack of restaurants that fall into the red area? If your goal is to go somewhere nice to eat, you don't really want to go to Applebees and sit next to someone there to watch the Red Wings. Yet, look for anything nicer and you're paying $40 a plate. Somewhere in the area, there must be a restaurant that is nicer than Olive Garden (though I'm a fan of TOG) but not as fancy as The Chop House. We took a drive out in Dexter yesterday and saw a place that may prove promising. Perhaps Depot Town has something as well.

Graph courtesy of my MSPaint skills.

Never? You mean to tell me that everyone eats up everything you have to say? | comments

I got a phone call today at work. I gave the standard greeting and then she asked "hello, may I speak to the owner of the business?" which is a sure sign that you've got a telemarketer on your hands. So I said "May I ask what this is in regards to?" and she said "Free information on health insurance" so I said "Thanks just the same, but we're not interested."

The next thing she said, she said like she was shocked--like I was doing something that was hurting her. I'm not sure if it was an act, but it seems like it would have to be given that I was polite and friendly.

She, before hanging up on with without saying anything further, said "Well I'd never!" which is pretty awesome because no one's ever said that to me before.

If a photo makes me say anything outloud when I see it, it is worth sharing | comments

Germany's Arm Wrestling Champion 2009.



Worth a second look. His arm is just so huge. I cannot look away.


Kids, this is why you should eat all your spinach, not just half of it.

[source]

1 Million Frozen Fruit Pies on eBay Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | comments


Auction is here and still had 6 days to go. Here's the item description:

ONE MILLION, AND NINETY THOUSAND FROZEN FRUIT PIES!!

YES, 1,090,000 frozen fruit pies!

We have 13,000 cases of 84 pies. Each weighing 70g.
This equates to 130 pallets, or 5 articulated lorries.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire yourself a huge amount of frozen pies, all with a sell by date over a year.

The pies are currently situated in frozen storage in the central England.
Buyer is to collect.

This is a cancelled order from a major supermarket, they are high quality pies!


The pie's the limit!

As if yesterday's story weren't bad enough | comments

Fark posted this under the headline "I'll see your Cub Scout suspended for bringing an eating utensil to school and raise you an Eagle Scout barred from campus for having a 2" pocketknife locked in his car"

Yup. Really. From the article:
A 17-year-old Eagle Scout in upstate New York has been barred from stepping foot on school grounds for 20 days — for keeping a 2-inch pocketknife locked in a survival kit in his car.

Matthew Whalen, a senior at Lansingburgh Senior High School, says he follows the Boy Scout motto and is always prepared, stocking his car with a sleeping bag, water, a ready-to-eat meal — and the knife, which was given to him by his grandfather, a police chief in a nearby town.
http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,565520,00.html

Saw this in the Meijer parking lot Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | comments

Does it have to do with animal husbandry or something? Or could someone be a centaur?

Martha Stewart, that is not appropriate | comments

I DVR'd the Martha Stewart Halloween episode for Karen. This is a clip:

Spellcheck people. Spellcheck. Oh and don't violate fair housing Monday, October 12, 2009 | comments

Not only is this craigslist ad spelled incorrectly, but it's a violation of fair housing laws to ask for a "quiet, mature" renter since it could be seen as discriminating by familial status. I did some hunting and found other listings too, all that violated fair housing. Some write "Single person without pets welcomed" or "Perfect for single person or couple" [basically saying "no kids"], and another made you list your childrens' ages in order to schedule an appointment. The most blatant one I read said: "Only single person need apply"

6 year old faces 45 days in reform school | comments

A six year old had just joined the cub scouts and was so excited about his spoon/fork/knife utensil that he decided to bring it to school to eat his lunch with. The school said that this knife violated their zero tolerance policy. The parents are appealing.

That's pretty much the story, but the full article is at the NYTimes website.

Self Portrait in Self Sunday, October 11, 2009 | comments


http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/10/self_by_marc_quinn.html
"...a frozen sculpture of the artist's head made from 4.5 litres of the artist's own frozen blood taken from his body over a period of five months. This work is repeated every five years and will result in a unique record of the artist aging."

Stamps Saturday, October 10, 2009 | comments


[more]

Apparently the flu is everywhere Thursday, October 8, 2009 | comments


Google Trends has gone and made a Google-Analytics style map that plots searches for "flu" and flu symptoms with their originating regions. Check out their site to check it out for yourself.

It would seem that this year already has flu all over the place, but I'm curious if the data is skewed by people searching for information on the swine flu.

Gross but creative: Dead Fly Art | comments

There are 15 images at the original post

Crime and Pun-ishment. Wednesday, October 7, 2009 | comments

A post on Judge a Book by its Cover brings us a slew of books about crafting. Here's one of them.

It also comes with a knitting pattern so that you can knit the same hat as the main character.

More puns at the original post.

Fetchlands are a burrito (and boring) | comments

Well, I have officially leveled up in geekdom once again. I not only wrote an article about Magic the Gathering that got posted, but then someone decided that he wanted to translate it and put in on his Venezuela-based Magic site.

So in the name of chronicling my ascent to nerddom, I give you Las Fetchlands son aburridas.

Mirrors and Mirrors | comments

From WSJ Photos of the Day, this is "Mirrors of Invisibility” at the Hong Kong Science Museum

I couldn't find a lot of information of this on the internet other than someone else's photo in the event, but then again, I just did a quick search in English.

Hand-lettered movie title typography | comments


Core77 has information about a site of movie title stills like these

http://www.core77.com/blog/object_culture/ masterpieces_of_handlettering_movie_title_cards_of_yore_14878.asp

Twitter is your new [mute] best friend Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | comments

I figured it out. Here, ultimately, is why Twitter is so popular: it is your friend.

Stick with me here. As you may remember, I have like, maybe 7-10 friends that I follow on twitter (and some people that I follow but don't know personally). A few Sundays ago, I was at the Magic tournament after church, and I texted the following to twitter:
Switched decks minutes before match 1 and glad I did. Went 2-0 v time warp deck w my crappy red deck. Other matchups look hard. Expect 1-2 overall
[incidentally, I went 2-1]

Now, how many people on my twitter friend list care about that, much less understand it? I would say 0. Yet, still I kept Twitter posted with periodic tournament updates.

I think one reason Twitter is popular is that it's basically like always having a friend to text that cares that you are eating pancakes for breakfast two days in a row. Twitter is up at 4am to hear that you don't feel tired. Twitter is there to hear that you don't like waiting in line. Twitter is there to tell funny things that happened during the day. When no one on your Twitter friend list would care, Twitter wants to hear more of your stories.

Edit: as Val points outs in the comments, despite being mute, Twitter has no problem broadcasting everything that you're up to to the whole internet and potential employers.

And it's clean | comments

It always makes my job a lot easier when people are really impressed with our apartments. People often comment on how clean the floors are. Some people are a little bit easier to impress and remark "It comes with a dishwasher? That's great!"

I had some people from Australia though that had rented their apartment from overseas sight-unseen. When I took them through their apartment for the first time, they said "Oh wow! It comes with the refridgerator? Now we won't have to buy one!"

In the night I hear 'em talk | comments

I get a lot of wrong numbers here at work. It's because each apartment-listing website that we use assigns us a 1-800 number and apparently some of these 1-800 numbers are very close to other things. On Monday I had someone call to reschedule her MRI.

I always answer the phone with the name of our apartment community, but half the people don't listen (and the other half hangs up without saying anything).

Another popular phone call is the conference call. Once every two weeks or so, I'll get 20-40 people calling all at once because their supervisor gave them the wrong number.

This morning, however, my phone somehow ended up on a conference call. That is, I had a voicemail message when I got into work, went to listen to it, and heard the first minute or so of a conference call about health benefits (a.k.a the part of the conference call where you say hello and tell people to mute their phones).

I'm not sure how or why my phone can get in on a conference call in the middle of the night.

Ironic Sunday, October 4, 2009 | comments


[via]

Make your choice Friday, October 2, 2009 | comments

Alright. Time to make a choice. You could head over to Ciara's new blog and learn interesting facts about every day things.

Or you can stay here, where you will learn that there was once an RPG based on the Street Fighter video game. It included supplementary characters like these. Yes really.


I know that I don't need to point out the ridiculousness of this, but--as the source website points out--I hope that her mom wasn't wearing jeans at the time.

And I also hope they were fighting in a soft mattress store.



[source]

Ceiling Bear is watch you play hockey | comments

Soon I will just be able to have a blog of things that friends share on google reader. Amber shared this fine example of computer animation from an intro video that they play on the big board at a hockey game. I will tell you that this video involves
1) bad CG
2) that "Danger Zone" song from Top Gun
and trust that will be enough to get you through the kinda long intro.

Also--and Jake can probably help me out on this one--isn't that bear sound at 1:06 stolen from Warcraft 3?

That video is like they hired Colin to make their animation video and it is kinda awesome

Money turned art Thursday, October 1, 2009 | comments

If Jen were a robot, she would be a cool-artsy-stuff-sharing-machine. Too awesome for me not to steal:
[source w/ more images]

If there is one thing that people like to do with beta software, it is host parties and allow people to RSVP to them with that software. (eom) | comments

[source: Google wave intro video]

[source: cheesy Windows 7 launch party guide that tells you that hosting a party for the windows launch is easy: it's just like holding a party with Windows 7 as the honored guest]