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Things I've Found 46 (Lost! Lost! It's All Been Lost!)—4/28/2005

by Mark Rose

Lost! Lost! No I’m not talking about ABC’s ever more tedious hit show Lost! (http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/) nor am I talking about movies like The Lost Boys (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093437/) or books like Indianan Gene Stratton Porter’s Girl of the Limberlost (http://www.genestrattonporter.net/). I’m talking about Things I’ve Found being lost. The reason this issue is coming out a week late is because of The Evil Empire (Microsoft). No, really! I was working two (two, count ‘em, two!) issues ahead on this e-newsletter and my program crashed, taking both of the documents into utter oblivion. And so, this very special family episode of Things I’ve Found is devoted to the theme of losing and being lost (and as such, it’s a little text-heavier than most. Apologies.).

Lost Species. Holy crap! The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, long believed extinct, has been found again, in Arkansas. http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/7707. This is really quite remarkable news. The bird hasn’t been seen in 60 years.

Did you lose about $100,000 worth of collectible currency? Well, it’s been found now: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/04/26/pair_digs_up_buried_hoard_in_methuen/. This is a great story about guys digging up buried treasure. Sigh. I remember my first time with a metal detector, digging up my best friend’s side yard and trying to get rid of a “root” with a shovel, an axe, and our sheer adolescent strength. That root was their house’s water pipe.

Did you lose 20 tonnes of gourmet meats? These too have now been found. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1516&ncid=1516&e=5&u=/afp/20050425/od_afp/francefoodoffbeat_050425171409

Crazy-Ass Game of the Issue: Yes, there IS a game with Lost in the theme. It’s Ricochet Lost Worlds (http://www.ricochetlostworlds.com). Remember the old arcade game Breakout? I loved Breakout. Use your paddle to knock the ball into the wall of bricks over and over and over. Breakout and Arkanoid clones are very popular in shareware because they’re easy to make and lots of fun to play. This one is especially good because it allows registered players to make their own levels. A couple hundred levels in the free demo, then literally thousands more if you register. So far, I’ve played 1,036 different rounds of this game. Yes I know, I heard you mutter “Pathetic.”

Lost Cool: This poor college student attempts to give the sports report on a Ball State sponsored television station. It’s painful to watch, but amazing for how many times he can mispronounce the name “Andrew Bogut.” And let’s all say it together, “Boom Goes The Dynamite!” http://media.ebaumsworld.com/index.php?e=sportsnews.wmv

Getting lost as you’re driving around is always a problem. You should check out Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/). Everyone’s been raving about this little tool and it’s interesting but it doesn’t have quite the resolution one would hope. Still, a fun little toy for fooling around.

Being lost in the city is even worse. It’s nothing but a grid of one-way streets, angry cabbies and deranged pedestrians. When you have to drive through downtown, wouldn’t you like the cops’ button to push the lights green? Now you can, virtually, of course. There are a surprising number of traffic control games, and we’ve talked about them in past issues. Here’s one all in Flash, which starts out pleasant enough but gets very stressful very quickly. Basically, you control the lights in a street grid and must click on them to change from red to green in order to allow cars and trucks to get through the city. Give it a try, my first score was 157. http://www.geheee.com/games/trafficcontrol2.html

If you manage to find your way, but your luggage gets lost, you know where to find it: Scottsboro, Alabama! That’s where all the unclaimed baggage goes. They buy baggage by the cargo load, sort through it, then put it on eBay. The main site is here: http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/, but check out their interesting stuff page too: http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/interestingstuff.html. They will sell items at their main site eventually, but now they’re selling items through eBay at: http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQsassZunclaimedbaggage

Found Magazine has been getting lots of play in the mainstream press. They have a print issue but their website is worthwhile too (http://www.foundmagazine.com). Basically, they publish photo and text essays on things that people have found, like discarded photographs, handwritten notes, etc. It’s actually fascinating stuff.

Lost Integrity: We have three entries for this category. Let’s start overseas. I think the BBC has lost their mind. This once highly respected news source now seems more interested in making news up than reporting what they’ve found. We already know about the Lord Hutton inquiry. Now they’re giving protestors microphones so they can heckle politicians. Sad. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/04/24/nhow24.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/04/24/ixportaltop.html

Locally, John Bolton is still trying to get appointed as US ambassador to the UN. His accuser, Melody Townsel, who ran an anti-Bush organization in the last election, has admitted to being a plagiarist while in college but does not admit to being a serial plagiarist. http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=15636_Bolton_Accuser_a_Serial_Plagiarist&only=yes

And finally, it’s the celebrity chefs’ turn to admit they’re nuthin’ but a bunch of hooked-up ho’s with the food industry. Ming Tsai notes that frozen shrimp taste better than fresh shrimp. Of course, that might be because he has a deal with a frozen shrimp supplier for his Blue Ginger restaurant in Massachusetts. Here’s an interesting article on celebrity chefs and their endorsements: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/0,,SB111413128930314033-IJjfYNglaR4m52pZnmIa6eJm5,00.html

Finally, let’s talk about lost elections. Well, Dino Rossi didn’t exactly LOSE the election, he’s just not the Governor. Funny how that works. But nationally, it’s about time for the big parties to really start considering who they’ll run in 2008. The Dems seem set on Hillary Clinton, but I have an odd feeling she won’t run. There have been rumors that if Hillary runs, the GOP would counter with Condoleezza Rice. That would be an amazing battle, but Condi’s already pooh-poohed the idea. Well, National Review in their 4/25 issue puts forth the name of South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sanford. (http://www.scgovernor.com/). He seems strong. He is favored by Libertarians with his lower taxes, smaller government and insistence on self-reliance stances. School choice, Social Security reform, and talk about frugal. In order to save money when he was elected to Congress, he and his staff used the stationery of ousted Congresswoman Andrea Seastrand as fax paper, and he managed to return more than a million dollars in unused funds when he left Congress. He’s also an active member of the Air Force Reserve, and stands in danger of being called up to serve. (I can’t think of any other state’s Governor in a similar situation.) There are sites out there hoping to get him involved in the election (http://draftsanford.cjb.net/ but also note the opposition to same at: http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/2005/04/17/living/11415378.htm). Keep an eye out.

That’s it for this issue. Next issue we’ll return with our more usual scattershot scatter-brained scatological collection of ….well, Things I’ve Found. And I promise to be nicer next time, too. Honest.