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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

I'll just leave this here Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | comments


[source w/ 30 more, ads NSFW]

Plague Finger Puppets for Passover Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | comments

As featured on yesterday's Colbert Report, you can buy these finger puppets at Bed, Bath, and Beyond that feature the 10 plagues that the Egyptians were visited with. Check out the puppets for boils, death-of-every-firstborn-child, and darkness. And that's not the plague of clowns, that's the plague of hail and fire.

Nothing says "There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again" quite like finger puppets!

Flickr Seasonal Wheel Sunday, March 28, 2010 | comments


It looks like a glass bowl that would be sold at the art fair, but this image is a graphical representation of the frequency of different colors on flickr as seasons go by. Not surprisingly, that big chunk of white at the bottom is winter. More info on the [source page]

Welcome to the futuuurreeee Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | comments

Ok, so apparently Chase has been rolling this out since 2007 [I saw one in Chicago this year], but we just got a new "Deposit Friendly ATM". And it's amazing. So let's say that you have to deposit a check. No deposit slip needed: you just put a stack of up to 30 checks into the machine and it reads the amount on each check.
Have cash to deposit? Just put up to 50 bills in a big humongous stack! Done! Our works great: I'm pretty impressed.

Did you know McDonalds once had McSpaghetti? | comments

But that's not all...[more]

Me Then / Me Now Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | comments

I found about this Young Me / Now Me site from Buzzfeed and it would seem that the original source site is here. Haven't looked though enough to 100% deem it safe for work, but seems to be so far. Go and browse through it. It's pretty fun.


This happens pretty frequently. Saturday, March 20, 2010 | comments

Me: Normally this apartment would rent for $900 per month, but our current special would bring it down to $750 per month if you were--"

Them: What do you include?

Me: We pay heat and water so you would only have to pay electricity.

Them: So you don't have any move in specials you can offer me?

Idioms Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | comments

Whenever I show an international visitor around, I try to shy away from phrases like, well, "to shy away from" since I realize that they're not the most common phrases to learn when picking up a language. I also try to avoid saying things like "picking up" when I could say "learning" and try to avoid--for simplicity's sake--interrupting my sentences with extra clauses or asides.

But most of all, I try to avoid idioms. I liked today's Left Handed Toon about "Kick the Bucket" and other language's similar idioms. Click the comic below to be taken to the larger version.

I didn't really appreciate this photo until I spotted the guy in the photo Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | comments

"American architect Bryan Berg photographed beside his world-record-breaking house of cards — a free-standing replica of The Venetian Macau, constructed over the course of 44 days using 218,792 individual playing cards."

[source]

Here's what Hilter would look like without his mustache | comments


and here's a mustache without Hitler



[via]

The Shining Cuckoo Clock | comments

Yes, it is real

This is a cute video of a lamb. That is all. Monday, March 15, 2010 | comments

Broadview Security (as seen on SNL) | comments

Alright, so if you watched SNL yesterday you saw their parody of Broadview Security commercials. What you might not have realized is just how close to the actual commercials it was. Take it, Sarah Haskins!

Pet Fees Friday, March 12, 2010 | comments

Like 90% of all apartments in the area, we charge a pet fee: $200 when you move in and then $20 per month. There's not really a good reason to it. I know you could say that cats often do more damage to carpet, but at the same time we don't charge someone for other factors that make them more likely to damage the apartments (kids that color on walls, clumsiness, smoking). But here's the thing. That $20/month you're paying? It doesn't technically go toward your security deposit. You're just paying an extra $20 a month for nothing.

The weird thing though, is I have had two people now that have called me and refused to rent from anywhere that would charge a pet fee on principle. It doesn't matter if our rent special puts our prices at $50 less than a competing community. They would rather pay $850 a month and no pet fee than $820 a month pet fee included. It doesn't matter that maybe we include utilities. They would rather pay for all their utilities than have utilities covered and a small pet fee charged.

Why theme is important in board games Thursday, March 11, 2010 | comments

Hey guys, I have an idea for a game. I made these colored circles and connected them. Let's take turns putting wood cubes on the circles until we run out of cubes to place. Then we'll take turns trying to move cubes into each others circles, rolling dice for just a few cubes at a time to figure out to see if either of us lose any cubes. But we won't roll for all at once: just a few at a time. And let's draw it out so that like every turn or so you get to put more cubes down.



MY CUBES ARE THE BEST AND MUST BE ON EVERY COLOR





[Image 1 source with more examples]

I Love Graphs Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | comments

Graph below shows what happens to water useage when everyone holds it in until they can use the bathroom between periods of an Olympic hockey game.



[source] via GRR

Bible Pictionary - Making Pictionary more frustrating Sunday, March 7, 2010 | comments

Alright, so you've seen and played Pictionary, right? What's the most frustrating part of the game? Getting something you have no way of drawing. Usually though, that doesn't happen: if you get Mickey Mantle, you can at least draw Mickey Mouse, and a fireplace mantle and put em together even if you don't know he's a baseball player.

With Bible Pictionary, you can't really do that. Karen has a copy of this game that her family had got at a thrift store (played once and never again) and I've gone through it and pulled out the most ridiculously impossible-to-draw cards for your perusal.

What do you do, for example, when you get the Brazen Serpent card? Maybe your team is clever enough to say "serpent" instead of just snake, but how do you make him brazen?

I mean even if you know about Zebedee, Japheth, Batimaeus, or Jairus' Daughter, how do you draw them and how to you ensure that your teammates even know the referenced passage?

I mean how about Jehovah, a name for God. Ok, sure, you can draw God (like draw that painting of God creating Adam) but how do you get someone to say a name that touches on an aspect of God?

And how do you draw adjectives like Meek? Do you draw someone inheriting the Earth? And for that matter, how do you draw Beatitudes?

How about Lillies of the Field? It's a reference to Matthew:
"And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!"
So get to drawing! Draw Solomon in all his glory. Or flowers not toiling or spinning.

They also have these oddly-specific phrases like Jesus Calls Levi, Jesus Betrayed, and Thief's Cross, that would be easy to get people to understand but hard to get them to get the specific phrase they are looking for.

And I had to look up "Bar-Jesus," [here] something I thought was a misprint, but was actually the name of a false prophet (in some translations...others call him other names). Alright, so draw that. Oh and speaking of which, False Witness is a card too

Alright, you get the idea, so let me present you with the rest of the list I compiled (and there were even more names and places than I place below):

Baldhead, Nailprints, Twofold, Fourfold, Sevenfold, Sheepfold, Mespotamia, Talebearer, Bond-Servant, Aquila, Revelation, Cypress Tree, Myrtle Tree, Oak Tree, False Witness, Lillies of the Field, Stiffnecked, Persecute, Grape Cluster, Canaanites, Betroth, Raiment, Barbarous, Sepulchre, Consecrate, Wormwood, Temple Pinnacle, Bowl of Pottage, Outstretched, Gomorrah, Damascus, Pool of Siloam, Slow of Heart, Mount Hermon, Damnation, Inkhorn, Brood of Vipers, Babylonia, Lattice, Cold nor Hot, Pentateuch, Foal of a Donkey, Rye, Inlaid, Pillar of Salt, Eli, First Martyr, Widow's Mite, Spectacle, Sweet as Honey, Armholes, Fish Gate, Brimstone, Unknown Tongues, Aramaic [draw a language, really?], Alleluia, Coppersmith, Goldsmith, Silversmith, Golgotha, The True Vine, Cock Crowed [also Cock and Crowed have their own individual cards too], Time to Mend, Decline, Mephibosheth, Jochebed

Colored Pencil Wall | comments



[source] via GRR

How Niagara Falls looks with the water off and on | comments

Yes, they once turned off Niagara Falls. See source site for more info



Niagra Falls

People are people too. Thursday, March 4, 2010 | comments

The always-entertaining Not Always Right posted the following conversation:

(Theme Park | Schaumburg, IL, USA)
(I am seating guests for a ride.)

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry but we can only fit two riders in a seat and four in a car.”

Guest: “It’s alright, the baby can sit in my lap.”

Me: “Sir, I apologize, but we don’t allow lap sitting either. It’s dangerous for the baby. The lap bar can seriously injure her if we had to do an emergency stop on the ride.”

Guest: “Wait, so you’re telling me that she counts as a person?”
This comes up a lot at my job too. You can have a maximum of 2 people per bedroom in an apartment and occasionally, I'll have people with a child that want to move into a one bedroom. I explain the policy and how there is a max of two people in that floor plan and they'll say "but she's only 3" and I'll say "she's still a person."

Give 'em the ol razzle dazzle Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | comments


So back in WWII, German U-Boats were tearing destroyers apart so the US painted up some ships so that it was hard for subs to figure out the exact bearing of the ship.

[more]

This post makes me want to play Silent Service again.

The internet is for cat pictures: thoughtful edition | comments


Clack clack clack Tuesday, March 2, 2010 | comments



[source]

Nice try, Comcast Monday, March 1, 2010 | comments

I got a letter today that said "Important information about your U-verse service" on the envelope and I figured maybe AT&T was letting us know about a channel switch or something like that. Inside, however, was a Comcast ad starting with "If you left Comcast because AT&T promised you a low price, I understand" and going on to trying to sell me a new deal.

So that's sneaky enough, right?

Well the letter goes on to tell me about how Comcast makes it easy to switch and how there are all these great things they can offer me. The price? $99/mo for twelve months. That's not surprising; it's the same Triple Play Package they were offering 2 years ago. Here's the exception, however. The old triple play package would go up in price after your 6 or 12 month introductory period. This new package, however, is a contract that you will stay with them for a minimum of two total years:
"After 12 months, monthly service charge goes to 114.99 for months 13-24
.

So basically, this direct mail advertisement is in response to the fact that AT&T raised rates by $5 and is inviting me to go for a guaranteed $15 rate hike down the line. And I would have to get phone service I don't need and pay the FCC fees for that (at least $5/mo). No thanks.

Hearing fractions of seconds in sound [quick link] | comments

Yeah, the Olympics are closed, but the NYTimes has a cool interactive graph where they've made it so you can hear those small gaps in between winning and losing. They've compiled the times together so that each finishing time is a note
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/26/sports/olympics/20100226-olysymphony.html

Reminds me of this