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November 25, 2010

Hi, I'm Daithy from Kansas

Wrote reader Sue Schoenfeld: "I began working for Wisconsin Telephone Co. in 1970. One of my first managers had worked on the computerized voice synthesis program at Bell Labs in the 1960s. I was studying to be a speech therapist at the time so he figured I'd be interested: He told me that one of his projects was to figure out what place in the United States had the 'least accent' (more correctly, 'least dialect'). He conferred with experts and determined that Kansas was the place. He hired a female speech therapist in Kansas to record the phonetic sounds of the English language. These recordings were then fed into the program on the IBM computer and became the famous 'Daisy' song. He said that one of the most difficult parts of the project was to deal with the fact that the computer lisped. The 's' sound was the most difficult to program. He gave me a recording of one of the earlier versions of the song as a souvenir, and sure enough, it was 'Daithy, Daithy....'"

November 25, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Coat Hook Spy Cam


From the website:





  • Manual or automatic motion-activated working mode
  • Support MicroSD, T-Flash Card and MicroSDHC up to 16GB
  • Video and audio recording function
  • On/Off switch
  • Low power consumption, long recording time


  • Video format: AVI
  • Resolution: 1280 x 960 @ 30fps
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Dimension: 118 x 36 x 60mm (approx.)
  • Weight: 38g

    Contents:N bm,

  • Clothes Hook with Hidden Cam
  • Wall Mount with screws
  • USB Cable
  • AC Charger
  • User Guide
  • ............................


    Black or White: $36.

    [via Nuclear Toast]

    November 25, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    What is the best response to an emailed threat of violence?


    Above in the box, something I happened on Monday in the left sidebar of Pharyngula.

    My first thought was that it seemed strange that a science-focused website like Pharyngula would have to deal with violent theats but then when I considered how evolution and its discontents can stir up all manner of powerful emotions, it didn't seem so unlikely.

    My second thought was that the tactic cited in the box — to publicly post identifying information about the sender of threats — is quite the opposite of that I've always taken when I receive disturbing comments or email.

    From where I'm walking on my treadmill, it seems to me that the short-term gratification to be derived from a sense of getting back at a hostile correspondent by publicly exposing the individual is not worth the amping up of anger sure to result from such a response.

    Far better to simply delete the comment and not reply to the email.

    As Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of the now pretty much forgotten 1960s classic "Psycho-Cybernetics" wrote, "The best response is no response."

    November 25, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Throwback Cassette Wallet


    Silicone rubber, clasped together by hidden magnets.

    $22 CAD (Jewelry page 4).

    November 25, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Chris Burden's Flying Steamroller

    Exhibited at the South London Gallery from October 2-18, 2006.

    November 25, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Who Cares? Rubber Stamp


    Feeling subversive?

    An after hours tour of the office could yield amusing dividends the next morning....

    "Each 2.5" x 2" wood and rubber stamp comes with a 2" square red ink pad."


    November 25, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    WorthMonkey — "We want to be the Blue Book for used anything"


    From Jennifer Saranow Schultz's November 20, 2010 New York Times article: "When you want to sell a used good, figuring out how much to sell it for can be a laborious process involving checking multiple sites and sources online."


    "Enter WorthMonkey. The site, a little over a month old, aims to do the secondary market pricing work for both sellers and buyers and present them with what it believes is the fair price."


    "When a user enters a certain good at the site, the site combs the Web (eBay, Amazon.com, Google) for asking and actual prices for that used good, combines that data with information about broader category trends and statistical analysis and then presents the user with details about a great price, a fair price and an overpriced price for that good as well as pricing information for comparable products."

    November 25, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Eclipse of the sun bottle opener


    The result of a collaboration between designer Masanori Oji and longtime Japanese metalware manufacturer Futagami.

    7.7 x 6 x 0.6cm.

    65 grams.





    November 25, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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