Five in the Morning 111408

Six ways to Build your own Personal Developmental Network. From the smart and always-helpful Liz Strauss.

What is Passion anyway? From those folks with their Brains on Fire.

Laura Ries on It’s the Category, Stupid. What do you think of her thesis here?

Free Social Media for Small Business e-book, put together by John Jantsch and Microsoft. Cool!

A simple reminder from Drew McLellan.

Discard this ACE. From Stickyfigure blog (ummm…that’s me).

New e-mail tool: AwayFind. Reviews by Chris Brogan and Sarah Perez. I could see this being very useful for some folks…

Just for a little Friday fun – nice looks can deceive! 50 very strange buildings. And, from TechCrunch, an imaginative way to get some exposure, if you can spare a shirt and $75!

And big congratulations to Ian Schafer!!

(Image credit)

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Famous Blogger sucked into Second Life, Disappears

It was a regular Thursday afternoon. The social media moguls at digital agency Crayon were about to start their weekly “Coffee with Crayon” meeting in Second Life. The avatars were just settling in on Crayonville Island, when the unthinkable happened.

Joseph Jaffe, Head Crayon, suddenly disappeared from his office. Irresistibly sucked into his computer, he appeared in what seemed like a flesh-and-blood personage in Second Life. Glancing around at the funky-looking avatars of his colleagues, he laughed gleefully and teleported off the island, and has not been seen since.

“We’re devastated,” said Greg Verdino, 40-something crayonista, enjoying his third breakfast in a now quite relaxed schedule. “One minute my avatar was insulting his avatar, and then the real Jaffe showed up on my computer screen, wildly leaping around Crayonville. He even spilled my half-caff double mocha unsweetened lo-cal Amandaccino. Disappearing, I get. But leave my morning fix alone!

“Given his penchant for not showing up for things, this whole thing was doubly surprising – if he hadn’t had on his famous “Joe Jaffe” nametag, I wouldn’t have believed it was really him!”

According to Jane Quigley, grandniece (twice removed) of Alexander Haig, who used to report to Greg Verdino, “I guess I’m in charge around here! Given the fact that we were a virtual agency, I don’t think any of our clients will really notice the difference anyway. Maybe once he’s done exploring all the other Second Life islands, he’ll get tired of his new digs, and come on back for Coffee with Crayon. But I’m still running the joint. We, umm, unplugged his computer.”

Joe’s family was understandably upset by the incident, but a life-sized cardboard cut-out of his avatar has been placed in the family room to remind them of his absence. In the meantime, a posse of bloggers has been assembled who plan to infiltrate Second Life and see if they can bring the rogue crayonista back. Their progress can be tracked on Twitter at @wheresJaffe. Faint iPhone signals were last detected at the Delta Airlines virtual terminal, so he may have hopped a flight on his favorite carrier for parts unknown.

All others are urged to keep an eye out for anyone wearing the tell-tale Joseph Jaffe nametag, and to alert appropriate authorities immediately – or Geoff Livingston, whichever comes first.

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TwACORN Busted for Massive on-line Fraud

A-list Bloggers and Twitterers caught up in Widespread Scam

During what was expected to be a routine call to check on the report of an honest poll worker in the Richard Daley Memorial Electioneering Institute, Chicago police uncovered a massive on-line fraud operation that has shaken the blogging world to its core.

“We had gotten this anonymous call from a community organizer that there was an inside operative actually counting real votes and screening out fraudulent registrations,” said Sgt. Frank Mulcahey of the Chicago PD. “We can’t have that around here, as everyone knows…so after cracking down on that guy, we took a look in the basement and found this amazing underground operation hiding there, calling itself TwACORN.”

TwACORN turns out to be a secret organization whose sole purpose is to inflate the rankings of bloggers and Twitterers by generating fake subscriber numbers. Their technology infrastucture consists of slick programs they call RoboRSS, RoboComment, and RoboSub. With these tools, they have managed to play “kingmaker” to scores of unwitting digiterati, who were led to believe that they actually had an audience.

Chicagoland technology guru (and TwACORN victim) Todd Andrlik examined the programs and reported, with mixed admiration and dismay, that they were first-rate. “Here I thought I had all these engaged readers, who subscribed to my blog, read my tweets, and made interesting comments. Turns out that 90% of them were Robos from TwACORN. Now I see that a former high school friend, one second cousin, and some plumber in Nebraska are the only ones reading my stuff. Plus, my entire Top 3,000 blog ranking system with AdAge just got flushed!”

TwACORN Chief Obfuscating Officer Guy Yamaha explained from his jail cell; “We got our inspiration from MarketingProfs Daily Fix, actually. We thought – what could be more fun than to “fix” the numbers for all these self-absorbed bloggers? Just wait until Scoble finds out that only 14 people actually follow him – and three of those are in Iceland. Ha!”

Twitterers were scrambling to identify which of their subscribers were actually homeless folks, deceased, or Disney cartoon characters. The flood of confirmatory DMs was about to bring the system to its knees and launch a huge Fail Whale display, until it became clear that there were only 300 actual, breathing users of Twitter. Worldwide.

TwACORN was formed by pulling from the ranks of local community organizers, political activists, Robo-call tech folks, and Swiftboat veterans. “Look, all this blogging stuff is political anyway – we all know that. It’s a popularity contest, just like our national elections. So why not bring together the best minds from that field to help create a little chaos here?” declared Yamaha.

Meanwhile, a pall was cast over the glittering MarketingProfs Digital Mixer event in Scottsdale, when it was discovered that keynote speaker Arianna Huffington’s blogging property actually has only 33 readers. She was immediately pulled from the stage by Q-list blogger Ann Handley, and replaced by Tina Fey, who did a dead-on impersonation of Sarah Palin unsubscribing from the Huffington Post.

—-

Prior spoofs:

New TwIndependent party springs up overnight

Well-known Blogger Demoted to “Q-List”

Meaning of Life Unveiled!

Twitter Rockstar Half-Year Calendar…Tweeet!

(photo credit: David Alston)

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New “TwIndependent” Party Springs up Overnight

In a stunning move that has rocked the Presidential election season, a large group of disgruntled Twitter micro-bloggers has banded together and crowd-sourced a new political party in 24 hours, calling themselves the TwIndependents.

Sick of all the mud-slinging and shallow lies of both Republican and Democratic candidates, the TwIndependents, who have solved many of the world’s problems previously via social media, have hammered together a 140-character platform stressing free thought, universal understanding, and hearty beer.

Informed by late night DMs that they had been drafted as figureheads for the party, presidential candidate Gary Vaynerchuk and vice-presidential candidate Chris Brogan immediately hit the ground running with policy tweets and 12-second videos on such themes as economic recovery, the war in Iraq, Peruvian Pinot Noir, and mobile uploads.

“We’re bringing some partisan THUNDER!!” declared Gary Vee, underscoring his disdain for the current two-party system with a hearty spit into a NY Jets bucket. “The current candidates smell like a combination of old armpit and dried cowpies, along with a slightly grassy nose up-front and some Dr. Scholl’s foot powder on the mid-palate. It’s swill, baby! Me and Chris are going to take these oak monsters DOWN!!”

In a more measured tone, Mr. Brogan listed 14 reasons why the TwIndependent ticket was worth considering, along with 12 links to similar tickets in the past, and 5 counter-balancing principles to consider about voting for such a tech-heavy ticket. He also promised to provide more information at upcoming conferences where he is scheduled to speak, on October 10, 13th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 27th, and 3 webinars to be named later.

Given the heavy road schedule of both candidates leading up to the surprise announcement, Twitter conspiracy theorists were already speculating that this had been in the works for some time, and that both men had, in fact, been covertly campaigning all along. Newly-anointed TwIndependent party head Lucretia Pruitt denied that this was the case, stating that “all of this got started around my normal 3:30 am bedtime, and we had a full-fledged political movement launched by 8:00 am. That’s not even time to pal around with terrorists or drive kids to a hockey game, let alone anything else of a nefarious nature.”

The blogosphere was lit up with the suggestion that the next presidential debate occur via streaming video from Robert Scoble‘s phone, moderated by Leo LaPorte with responses limited to 140 characters or oncoming nausea, whichever comes first.

Other spoofs by Steve Woodruff:

Well-known Blogger Demoted to “Q-List”

Twitter Rockstar Half-Year Calendar…Tweeet!

…and, from the pharma-focused Impactiviti blog:

Doctors now to be Required to Consult with Patients

Cure for ADRD (Attention Deficit Relational Disorder) Announced!

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Meaning of Life Unveiled!

After experiencing his first-ever philosophical epiphany over the weekend, blogger Mack Collier decided to take on a challenge never accomplished by the world’s greatest thinkers – sketching out the meaning of life in one concise graphic.

“It suddenly came to me,” stated Collier, who was Plurking over dial-up in rural Alabama when the revelation hit him like a flood of tweets. “I saw the great secret, that which had eluded Socrates, Plato, Augustine, and Pacman Jones all these centuries. When you are suddenly aware of the unifying forces that bind together and explain all of reality, it’s positively awesome. Kind of like eating a bunch of White Castle sliders and washing them down with a mega-size Dr. Pepper.”

Click here to see the entire graphic.

Quickly, Mack abandoned his effort to update his constantly-unchanging Top 25 Marketing blogs and set about to draw, in one simple graphic that will be immediately understandable to all, the meaning of life. “I took my inspiration from top information designer Edward Tufte, and from David Armano, who had always made these neat-o graphics to explain tough concepts. I have always been a closet graphic designer, and I hope Armano won’t be too jealous when he sees how I’ve taken on a much bigger challenge that he ever attempted, and came up with a far more aesthetically pleasing production.”

Other bloggers were awestruck when Mack’s graphic exploded onto the blogosphere. “Oh man, I’ve been missing it…missing it all along!” moaned Greg Verdino, as he realized that his concentration on leveraging asynchronous micro-interactions to achieve scaled conversation was completely off-base and more than slightly geeky. “That thing with the Plurk mascot and arrow – now I get it. I really get it. I’m going to go be a lifeguard somewhere. My work here is done.”

According to Connie Reece, “The Mack” (the name rapidly attached to this seminal graphic) has had life-changing impact already on friends and neighbors. “I forwarded it to Susan Reynolds and she was so excited her peas melted. Then I shared it with Doug Meacham, and as soon as he saw that 13 o’clock thingie in parallel with the 3 Stooges, he knew. He just knew!”

Kevin Dugan, noted PR blogger, was in such awe that he was speechless. According to Kevin, ”           .” Of course, being on vacation, perhaps he is only concerned about such ultimate questions as what SPF sunscreen to slop onto his earlobes.

Collier has been humbled by the reception of his genius. “Heck, everyone knew I was a pretty smart blogger, after my first drawing of the Theory of Relativity, but now everyone will recognize that I’m just a regular ol’ blogger from Alabama. Who happens to be smarter than everyone else. Heh.”

UPDATE: “The Mack” already having a profound effect on child development – Think tank Collier and Collier today released remarkable results from the first clinical study using “The Mack” to influence intellectual development in infants. A volunteer group of bloggers pinned full-color copies of “The Mack” over the cribs of their newborns, while a control group used a printout of the home page of Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop. Within 2 weeks, the “Mackerels” were not only sleeping through the night, but 44% of them were using Blackberries to text food and clothing needs to caregivers. On the other hand, 81% of the “Kawasakis” were colicky and had to be “404′d” out of the study. All but one of the control group (that would be Emily Falls) were incapable of composing a 140-character tweet.

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Starbucker Caught with Glass 3/4 Empty

Terry Starbucker, the renowned “Ramblings from a Glass Half Full” blogger, was spotted yesterday in a small bar in Boulder, Colorado, nursing a wine glass that was three-quarters empty.

Blogger audiences – half of them, anyway – were stunned. RSS subscriptions dropped precipitously as disenchanted readers abandoned Starbucker like a beached Twitter Fail Whale.

“I can’t believe it,” cried Claudia Woodstock, sometimes 70′s hippie-rocker and owner of the Berkeley T-Shirt Shop, Half-Tees. “I have spend half of my adult life following Terry’s half-full philosophy, including subscribing to his blog way back in 1982 when he started out. If I’d had half a brain, I’d have seen this coming.”

Past attendees at SOBCon, which Terry helps lead along with Liz Strauss, were nonplussed or, in some cases, half-plussed. Tom Clifford (Director Tom), filmmaker and beret fashion icon, quickly came to Starbucker’s defense. “Hey, I once released a film that was only 7/8 complete, and no-one blasted me for it! In fact, no-one even noticed! Of course, I’m better-looking than Terry, but still…you can’t be half-full the whole time.”

Starbucker was remorseful that his glass somehow managed, for a few brief moments, to be significantly less than half-full. “Honestly, it’s never happened before. I always ask the bartender for a “topper” when the glass is at about five-eighths. However, I got to tweeting the Marketing Diva on my half-charged iPhone, and before I knew it, I’d gulped a few eighths too many. Then who should walk in with his video camera to document my embarrassment but Robert Scoble. I’m totally plurked now!”

Asked if he planned to change his blog title to the less specific “Babblings from a Small Snifter Containing an Indeterminate Amount of Potable Libations,” Terry was noncommittal. “I’m half thinkin’ about it,” he mumbled, before leaving 3/4 of the way through an interview.

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Twitter Rockstar Half-Year Calendars – Tweeet!

How can you better rejoice in the glittering elite of the budding Twitterati than by ordering your very own Twitter Rock Star Half-Year Calendar!

Yessir, it’s a fast-paced world! New Twitter stars have emerged over the past few months, meaning that the 2008 full-year edition of Twitter Rock Stars is already obsolete. Trashed! Now, you can get your July-Dec edition before some of the newest and coolest Twizzlers flame out into virtual oblivion.

We have them all here. @scobleizer. @tobydiva. And, of course, @garyvee (thundering us off in July!). With stunning photos taken by some of the best Twitterazzi out there, straight off their webcams.

Each day of every month, you get some of the top Tweets from this all-star lineup, such as:

“Brain a wasteland. I need coffee!”

“Good morning Twitters! Have a glorious day!”

“You gotta check this out! http://tinyurl.com/3k3635″

And, everyone’s favorite: “Stuck on the runway at LGA AGAIN! I need a JetBluectomy”

For the low, low price of $49.95, you can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – plus, if you order now, you’ll also have a genuine, up-in-the-sky star named after you! Just call the number at the bottom of this blog post.

Call today!: http://tinyurl.com/3k3635

Bonus - if you tweet in your order using BrightKite coordinates, you’ll get a free one-day following from our November Rockstar!

Municipal Marketing

Who wouldn’t want to live in a town that had a sense of humor?

Blogger Social has been Moved!

bloggersocial-dumfries.jpgBreaking News! It’s late notice, and hopefully no-one will be inconvenienced, but…the upcoming Blogger Social this weekend has had to be moved, to Dumfries, Iowa.

Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has called an emergency meeting of the New York State Ethics committee to investigate the past lifestyle choices of every single legislator in the state and city, and all hotel rooms in the City had to be confiscated in order to accommodate a massive influx of private investigators, panicky public figures, and drooling lawyers.

The Iowa Blogger Cabal (IBC), led by Drew McMillan and Mike Sandstone, graciously suggested that Iowa would be a good central point for hosting the meeting, and on short notice, the Knights Inn of Dumfries had sufficient room for 80+ bloggers. There is a Cracker Barrel and White Castle right nearby on the town strip for dining choices, and just around the corner is a the PineBox derby championship track, for exciting touring possibilities. Chuck’s Rent-a-Wreck has special weekend discounts on compact cars as well.knights.jpg

Just change your flights to connect through Chicago, then on to Council Bluffs, Iowa, then hitchhike or jump a train to Dumfries (warning: trains don’t actually stop there, so you’ll have to jump at that grassy section right near the crossing next to the Sarah Potter elementary school). Dumfries is located in booming Pottawattamie County and is sure to provide a wealth of social and networking opportunities throughout the weekend.

Kristina Curley (KC), one of the Blogger Social organizers, was totally upbeat about the change of venue. “I kept boasting about NYC as the city of lights, the city that never sleeps, and all that jazz, but that was all an act to get people to come here so I wouldn’t have to travel,” KC gushed. “Really, it’s just a filthy, crowded, overpriced hunk of real estate that isn’t worth the few beads and trinkets it was bought with. I was rooting for an Iowa location the whole time, and I am absolutely energized about spending a dynamic weekend dancing the weekend away in Dumfries. Wooo-hooo!”

dumfries-sm.jpg

verdino-muffin-speedo.jpgThe Mayor of Dumfries, Rita Brisket, is very excited about hosting this event, and expressed particular excitement about meeting, live and in-person, Blogger Social’s top stud muffin, Greg Verdino. ->

For those still determined to do a Sunday afternoon barbecue, the legendary Steve “StickyFigure” Woodruff (picture here – and, hey, you can STILL sign up!) will be renting a BS ’08 LearJet for the quick hop from Dumfries to Northern NJ.

See you there soon…oh, and Happy April 1st!

(OK, really now – you do understand that this is April Fool’s Day, right? You’re really not going to call CK in a panic and change those plane reservations from Australia to the States..no, you’re not…OK, good.)

Here are all those NYC-bound Blogger Socialites:

Tara Anderson
Todd Andrlik
Mike Arauz
David Armano
Matthew Bailey
Ryan Barrett
Cam Beck
Jennifer Berk
Rohit Bhargava
Susan Bird
Toby Bloomberg
Tim Brunelle
Katie Chatfield
Thomas Clifford
Mack Collier
Saul Colt
Luc Debaisieux
Gene DeWitt
Matt Dickman
Paul Dunay
Gianandrea Facchini
Jason Falls
Anna Farmery
Mark Goren
Heather Gorringe
Kristin Gorski
Amanda Gravel
Lewis Green
Vahe Habeshian
Ann Handley
Gavin Heaton
Kris Hoet
Kevin Horne
Sean Howard
Joseph Jaffe
Ryan Karpeles
CK
Chris Kieff
Joe Kutchera
Jennifer Laycock
CeCe Lee
Geoff Livingston
Lori Magno
Valeria Maltoni
Caroline McCarthy
Matthew McDonald
Paul McEnany
Tim McHale
Drew McLellan
Doug Meacham
Virginia Miracle
Scott Monty
Darryl Ohrt
Rita Perea
David Polinchock
Marilyn Pratt
Jane Quigley
Arun Rajagopal
Connie Reece
David Reich
Susan Reynolds
Marianne Richmond
Cathleen Rittereiser
Steve Roesler
John Rosen
Roberta Rosenberg
Mike Sansone
Linda Sherman
Nathan Snell
Paul Soldera
Marshall Sponder
Terry Starbucker
Seni Thomas
Tangerine Toad
Mario Vellandi
Greg Verdino
Neil Vineberg
John Wall
Tamar Weinberg
CB Whittemore
Kaitlyn Wilkins
Steve Woodruff

Not Quite What I Was Planning

not-quite-what-sm.jpgQuite possibly one of the briefest contributions I’ve ever made – Six Words. A recently released book called Not Quite What I Was PlanningSix word memoirs by writers famous and obscure features page after page of fun and interesting six-word summaries of life’s lessons. The editors at Smith Magazine asked for contributions on-line, and sure enough, mine was accepted (page 175) along with many others.

A few favorite samples:

    “Was rebellious teen. Now raising one.”
    “Good, evil use the same font.”
    “Awkward girl takes chances. Fun ensues.”
    “Always working on the next chapter.”

I won’t tell you mine – you have to buy the book to find out!

Lots of goodies in here – in fact, this is a perfect “bathroom book”!

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 2_11

How would you react if you walked into Grand Central Station and saw hundreds of people “frozen in time”? Probably a lot like this (video).Admit it – you’ve always wanted to do something like this.

Making holographs in minutes – if you groove on interesting technology, you’ll enjoy this.

Extreme hail pictures. Cars don’t stand a chance against this stuff!

The evolution of Tech Company logos, from Neatorama.

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 2_2

Got stuck in Chicago this past week (weather delays). But, I’m glad we weren’t trying to take off or land from here!Another new free web-based tool – this time, an on-line virtual classroom (WiziQ)

A t-shirt for those of us beginning to feel the encroachments of advancing age.

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 1_26

Who doesn’t like to save money? Here’s a page with 21 money-savings sites around the web.

Create your own, instant, no-cost, ad-hoc chat room on-line (ChatMaker).

Fun with time-lapse photography. 13 very cool time-lapse wonders. It’s hard to pick a favorite, though the Milky Way clip is really astonishing. This is a 3/4 cup of coffee stop on the web, so give yourself a few minutes…!

Do’s and don’ts with babies. Hysterical.

7 Wonders – some interesting links to various “7 Wonders”. You’ll have to go there to find out more.

Simple math. This is why I quit any further mathematics study in my first year in college.

If the same wine is either $90 or $10, does it taste the same? You might be surprised to find out

Make your own wine review! This “generator” will allow you to weave in all the upper crust wine descriptions at the press of a button! (example: In the glass, this wine opens up beautifully to offer rich, dense and intensely flavored qualities. This wine is soft and succulent in feel and flavor, with notes of mustard seed and cheese puffs remaining in the forefront thanks to mercifully subtle use of oak. This would be exquisite paired with richer pastas, wild mushroom risotto, grilled salmon and herb-crusted pork tenderloin.)

I laughed so hard it hurt. Forwarded by a sister-in-law: Mrs. Hughes. If you have kids, you’ll especially enjoy this!

Top 5 things to do while stranded at the airport

It happens to all of us, of course. “Due to Air Traffic Control delays at your destination, your flight is going to be (significantly late / canceled / diverted to Duluth, MN / dangled tantalizingly in front of you for the next 5 hours, then postponed until tomorrow morning…)” – you know the drill.

And here I am, typing away in the airport, while hundreds around me board planes that actually seem to intend to get airborne. So what do you do, when the work is wrapped up, and idle time stretches interminably ahead?

Here are 5 ways to entertain yourself when your status on the video monitor is “terminal”:

cinnabon.jpg1. Stand in front of the Cinnabon outlet and breathe deeply. Ten times. Then call your spouse and boast about how you have successfully resisted excruciating temptation.

2. Let your eyes wander over all those self-help book titles in the little news and book store, snort quietly, and tell yourself that you could easily write one of those and make a fortune. Resign yourself to the fact that you’re in the wrong business, but hey, if only you could do it over again…
janitor.jpg

3. Wander up and down the terminal hallway and look for that junior high crush you always hoped you’d see again. You won’t. But you’ve just productively burned off 10 unproductive minutes, and you will see someone that looks like your high school janitor.

4. Envy all the Tumi luggage you see being wheeled about by smug and successful looking business persons. Stride on over to the airport luggage store, let your jaw drop in amazement at the prices all those spoiled prima donnas have paid for their designer baggage, and stalk out feeling downright superior that your middle-of-the-road thingie from Samsonite proves that you understand value over style, thank you very much.

be-a-tiger.jpg5. Stare at those ubiquitous Accenture/Tiger Woods posters, feel the impact of the inevitable ego hit, then do a self-affirmation that, while you’re not going to be a tiger, you might at least be a pretty decent sort of housecat.

You’ve prowled the claustrophobic halls of transfrustration. What time-killing activities would you add in the Comments?

The Hidden Life of Drew McLellan

OK, four (or more) can play at this game. Shel Israel tagged two of our lovely ladies of blogging, Toby Bloomberg and Lizsecret.jpg Strauss, to reveal deep and dark secrets about themselves. Both Toby and Liz rebelled, and instead revealed faux secrets about Shel.

Drew McLellan picked it up, and decided to reveal some secrets about Toby and Liz.

Well, we can’t let that Iowa boy get away scot-free. So, below are 8 previously-unrevealed secrets about Drew, culled from the microfiche archives of the National Enquirer:

1. Drew once played football on a professional NFL team. However, there was so much collaboration going on in the huddle, that his team was endlessly penalized for “delay of game.” Only after being cut from the team did he get into his marketing gig.

2. Drew is originally from Greenland. Only four other living souls share that distinction, and three of them are certifiably insane. The other one blogs as “Tangerine Toad.”

3. Drew’s favorite color is Clear. His windows, at least, are very fashionable. Do not ask him to buy clothes, however.

4. Drew was a bit part actor in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” He’s the one that snuck ZuZu’s petals back into Jimmy Stewart’s pocket.

5. Drew holds 5 patents on a process for turning tapioca pudding into artificial turf. Thus far, no takers. However, there is some serious interest in his chocolate goalpost concept (though not in Phoenix and Miami).

6. Drew’s genome was sequenced all the way back in 1991, but the backup floppy disks were lost in a fire in Des Moines’ only sushi bar.

7. Drew puts ketchup on his Cheerios.

8. Drew actually does not exist. That picture on his blog is a cardboard cutout. At the Blogger Social ’08, we’ll all find out that Drew McLellan is actually Paul McEnany.

I think all these deep dark secrets of marketing bloggers ought to surface in the next 3 months, before the Social. Who has the goods on David Reich??

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 12_18

A high-end narrated 3-D animation of the “inner life of a cell.” Very cool. Warning: lots of medical terminology.
Where can you find some good (low-cost or no-cost) images? Here’s a helpful list.

If you use Facebook at all, you’ll get a kick out of this spoof glimpse into Facebook 30 years in the future.

And finally, an inspirational year-end treat. Patrick Hughes – born without eyes, crippled from birth, gifted musician – and a member of the University of Louisville marching band. Amazing.

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 12_07

It’s official – Style has now replaced Substance (30 second audio).

Would you pay $120.00 for a beer?

Something as simple as a water droplet can make a great photo. Examples here and here.

Do you have teenagers (I have 3…so far). Then this will make sense to you! It is now posted in our kitchen…

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 11_9

Do you ever feel like you’re pulling too much weight? You’re not alone…It’s not out yet, but looks like an interesting new web application…JotSpace, a free on-line whiteboard.

Just for fun, let this site load, and watch the action.

Cassini takes a phenomenal shot from behind Saturn (extremely high res). Yes, that little dot behind the rings is Earth. I may have linked to this one before. Well, it’s just as impressive today!

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 10_19

Breathtaking image of a lunar eclipse.Plants are apparently far more complex than we thought. First, they “talk” to one another. Now we find out that one plant species absorbed the lessons of Arsenic and Old Lace and poisons its neighbors with acid! And finally, Pinot Noir grapes are genetically more complex than we are!

Why didn’t anyone think of this before? How to keep from banging your thumb with a hammer.

Kids explain love. Hysterical.

From the Great Test Answers file:find-x.jpg

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 9_21

What’s your real age? This fun calculator asks you some questions, then calculates your “real” age, and your life expectancy. After taking it, I came downstairs and told my wife that I had some good news and some bad news. Good news: she is now married to a 33-year old! Bad news: she’ll be stuck with me until I’m 91…

How to make a fun training video. Fixing the “turbo encabulator.”

Napa Valley vintner is king of his own wine castle.

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 9_14

It’s been quite an intense week, what with traveling for consulting, soccer coaching/logistics, and a car engine that met the automotive equivalent of the Grim Reaper late one night. So, not much posting!

Nonetheless, a few random links of interest as we slide into the weekend:

The amazing shapes people see in clouds (with pix).

The Dilbert Mission Statement generator (example: It is our job to continually engineer emerging resources and assertively leverage other’s resource-leveling information while promoting personal employee growth)

Niagara Falls from above (awesome picture).

Hubble telescope’s Top 100 images.

Promoting Puddingstone

What is puddingstone, you ask?If this garter snake could talk, he’d tell you. But you’ll just have to go here to find out about this uniquely wonderful, purple-white rock (and it must be pretty cool if I’m devoting an entire blog post to it!)

Labor Day in Boonton

Boonton, NJ, where we have lived for many years, has a wonderful Labor Day tradition of an old-fashioned parade along Main Street each year, ending at the high school, where the Annual Fireman’s Carnival takes place.

Boonton is widely known for its outstanding volunteer fire department, and, in fact, the parade draws equipment from fire departments throughout the state and surrounding area. So, for a Labor Day weekend post, I thought I’d share a bit what this tradition is like…

First, you stroll down to Main Street. Boonton is a very compact town, and walking is still practiced here as a standard method of locomotion. You pass many homes and buildings of interesting architecture along the way:

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…including colonials, federals, and a couple houses that are actually octagonal! The public library is there on the bottom right, in a restored old 3-story home on Main Street.

Boonton was originally established as a manufacturing town, with a cascading waterfall cutting behind Main St. as the initial source of power. Wikipedia has a short version of historical overview here; there is also a site with a bunch of old Boonton postcards (by the way, it is the only town named “Boonton” in the United States; it had a brief brush with fame in the 50′s with the production of a popular casual plastic dinnerware called “boontonware.”)

Boonton has a classic narrow main street with loads of small shops. Perfect for parade viewing and socializing. We’re known for our antique shops; plus, there is an auction every Friday night that is quite popular.

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The interesting brick building with the spire seen above is the original old fire house, now restored and part of the commercial center.

Boonton has a very small-town feel – it’s a patriotic town, and also a very diverse community.

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The parade is a mix of marching bands, VERY shiny newer equipment (there is a contest every year for the best-looking trucks – Boonton has a tendency to win a lot of trophies…home-field advantage?), old classics, motorcycles, and the usual amalgam of other stuff.

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Some of the children in town are absolutely adorable – I tend to be slightly biased in this case…

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When strolling to or from the parade, residents will pass stone walls that often are topped with puddingstone, a unique purple/white stone that is common in this area. I’ve used as much puddingstone as possible in my walls and borders.

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So, if you’re ever in Northern New Jersey around Labor Day, come on by for an old-fashioned parade and carnival. It’s three days of small-town celebration!

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Steve’s Sticky Stuff 8_31

You think your commute is wild? I used to think driving over an hour each way (thankfully, that’s in the past) was an adventure…until I saw this. A rusty cable, a hook, a stick…and an amazing ride 1,200 feet up.

Is your Help Desk a bit short of friendly? Check out this approach.

Here’s a golf shot by Fuzzy Zoeller that will blow your mind.

aerogel_hand-sm.jpgFinally…wouldn’t you like to get your hand(s) on some aerogel? This stuff – also called “frozen smoke” - sounds simply amazing.

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 8_24

duct-tape.jpgSteve’s Sticky Stuff is a weekly collection of random interesting stuff I’ve found during my voyages hither and yon. Enjoy!

Is Steve Woodruff actually a Swedish policeman toting an AK-47 to work?

I wish I’d know about this sooner. Kids are now being diagnosed with Youthful Tendency Disorder.

Google Earth now expands to Google Sky. Very, very cool. UPDATE: They hid an “easter egg” flight simulator in there! Here is how to access it.

Truveo. May be the best interface/search engine yet for finding videos on the net (hat tip: Wall Street Journal). Here’s a very funny prank video that you may enjoy.

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