2004 Bulwer-Lytton Winners

The 2004 Bulwer-Lytton contest winners have been announced. For those of you that haven’t heard of the contest, the goal is “childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels.” This year’s winner in the fiction category is hilarious:

She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight … summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp’s tail … though the term “love affair” now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism … not unlike “sand vein,” which is after all an intestine, not a vein … and that tarry substance inside certainly isn’t sand … and that brought her back to Ramon.

Be sure to check out the winners in other categories, as well as runners-up and honorable mentions… 🙂

Isaac Hayes’ Three Laws Of Robotics

Here’s a slightly modified version of Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws Of Robotics:

  1. A robot must risk his neck for his brother man, and may not cop out when there’s danger all about.
  2. A robot must be a sex machine to all the chicks, except where such actions conflict with the will of his main woman.
  3. A robot must at all times strive to be one bad motha-shutchyomouth.

Now if that doesn’t make you want to go out and see I, Robot, I don’t know what will. 😉

Bottle Cap Tripod

A tripod is an essential tool for photography, but it always seems like you don’t have one when you need one. Well, this bottle cap tripod could solve the problem of lugging around a tripod. Unfortunately, it’s probably only suitable for a smallish digital camera, and it won’t be good for every situation, but at least you don’t have any excuse for not carrying it around…

Update: Instead of buying a bottle cap tripod for $10, you could make your own for about $1.50 in parts…


typoGenerator is a cool website that takes a text string that you supply, “searches images.google for the text and creates a background from the found images, using randomly chosen effects. Then it places the text, using random effects too.” Above is the result for “DrikoLand rules.” OK, a little self-serving, but it was the first thing that came to mind. :-p

Linda Ronstadt Kicked Out Of Casino

The Las Vegas Sun reports that the Aladdin casino expelled Linda Ronstadt after a recent concert because she dedicated the song “Desperado” to Michael Moore. This is so wrong. Aladdin President Bill Timmins’ rationalization for this action was that the casino “hired Ms. Ronstadt as an entertainer, not as a political activist.” I think that’s a loaded statement to start with, but whatever. Why shouldn’t she be able to dedicate a song to Michael Moore (or anyone else, for that matter) if she wants to? If she dedicated a song to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, that could be construed as political, but I know they wouldn’t kick her out of the casino for that. Someone needs to lecture the casino staff on the First Amendment…

Firefox All Music Guide Extension

I posted about All Music Guide’s somewhat ill-conceived redesign last week, and it looks like someone has come up with a partial workaround. Adrian Holovaty has written an “All Music Guide Corrector” extension for Firefox that fixes some of the layout-related bugs of the redesign, including:

  • It cleans up the horrible JavaScript-only links sitewide, thus enabling 21st-century browsing techniques such as tabbed browsing and opening links in new windows.
  • It hides the annoying Flash spinner thing atop each page.
  • It changes the functionality of the “Read more…” links on band and album detail pages. On the old AMG, band and album pages contained full reviews. Now, they feature only the first few sentences, with a link to “Read more…” on a separate page. The extension changes the functionality of that “Read more…” link so that, instead of taking you to a new page, clicking the link will dynamically load the full band/album review and insert it inline.

I guess I should give AMG some credit; the site has gotten quicker since they presumably rebalanced their server loads. The use of this extension makes the redesign somewhat easier to deal with, although it’s still not as good as their original design. Why they came up with a design that forces you to search through multiple tabs and pages for information that used to be all on a single page I don’t know…

This is also a great example of how the use of extensions in Mozilla products can improve browsing experiences by not just augmenting the browser’s overall capabilities but in this case by improving a poorly conceived layout. For the latest Firefox extensions, keep an eye out on the Mozilla Update Extensions Page, and as always, if you haven’t tried Firefox yet, now’s the time! 🙂