by Mark Rose
As a special 50th anniversary celebration, this time we bring you links suggested by other people, so it’s really more Things They’ve Found!
ASCII Lives! In the old days of typewriters and DOS, we used to sign our letters or our emails with signatures made out of ASCII text, clever (or numbingly dull) uses of standard keyboard elements to create graphic plays on our name or even detailed artworks. Now all the hard work is taken out of this. This tool allows you to enter any bit of sample text, then generate it in 136 different ASCII styles (check out Tinker-Toy) with 7 different manipulation options. If you choose _all fonts with your text_, you can see every single one of the styles. Go here: http://www.network-science.de/ascii/ (From the Dave who is not my brother)
I Love Kentucky and Japan. Because most of the time, you have no idea what is going on in either place, even if you stand there and watch it. Somehow, we have to get Gel TV over here in the States. A mind-expanding video clip complete with gel-related . . .popups, or something. http://www.gel.tv/main.php (Same source as above; blame him)
Now That I’ve Seen This, I’ve Got One More Thing Before I’ve Seen Everything: Friends, you may own an SUV or some other pseudo-off-roading behemoth. And friends, surely, you know that you never, ever take your precious giant of a car off the road. Neighbors around you laugh at the pristine condition of your ride. Now is the time to change all that. With the product found at this site, http://sprayonmud.com/, you can spray fake mud onto your SUV and make people think that you’ve been off-roading. Sigh. (From Brother Dave)
Welcome to Google Earth. In Google’s never-ending plan to take over the world, they’ve begun the digitization process. At this site you can download the Google Earth application which is a stupendous online three-dimensional atlas that allows searching, layering of features like roads, dining spots, hotels, etc. and all kinds of other oddities. It’s better than most online atlae because the transition from spot to spot is seamless and cool to watch. Sure, they don’t have the most up-to-date satellite maps for every place but they’ll work on it. Fun to have. http://earth.google.com/ (From the Brother whose Sales Territory is indeed the World)
Oh, and because Google can’t have ALL the fun, MSN has decided to step in with their own version: Virtual Earth! http://virtualearth.msn.com/. This one seems to be a little usability-challenged but readers should compare the two and see which one stacks up. (From our friends at LII)
I think we’ve discussed this before but if you’re worried about what seafood you should buy at the store and which ones you should avoid due to overfishing, you should check out this site: http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp, complete with printable guides for what not to buy at the store when you go. (From just about every source we use; they all mention this one)
Oh Shoot, Now I Think I’ve Seen Everything. Dodge ran a contest based around their powerful Hemi engine. They asked What Can You Hemi? The winner: a gigantic Big Wheel tricycle. If I had one of those when I was six…. http://www.whatcanyouhemi.com/ (From Autoweek)
And a few from my own files. How about the Michigan Stained Glass Census? This group is trying to complete an online archive of important architectural stained glass throughout the state. http://museum.msu.edu/museum/msgc/. Some of the examples are gorgeous, so make sure to click through the links. I wish every state would do this.
Crazy Ass Games of the Week: Clickmazes is a huge collection of online mazes, tilt puzzles, box puzzles and hundreds of other kinds of puzzles that’s all free. Some of it is interactive; some of it is just darn cool to look at. Her hand-drawn maze gallery is especially interesting and of course, you could always print them out and work on them if you’d like. Lots of stuff to do here. http://www.clickmazes.com/
The World Is Bizzarro Square, if You Ask Me: Police in Roanoke, Virginia, were disturbed to find hundreds of dead dog carcasses in a dumpster. They staked the place out, and caught two ne’er-do-wells dumping dog bodies in a dumpster. Guess who? That’s right, members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Even though shelters were giving dogs to PETA based on assumptions that PETA would try to find homes for them, they were simply mass euthanizing them, then placing them in someone else’s dumpster (to avoid trash collection fees, presumably). Unbelievable. The head of PETA indicates that euthanization is part of their job but I think she’s missing the bigger picture here. And no, I’m not making this up. http://www.fox43tv.com/global/Story.asp?s=3482974
And for more: http://www.petakillsanimals.com/. Friends, please don’t give money to PETA. Your local shelter could sure use a donation though.
Good News from Afghanistan: Because we haven’t checked in with our friend at Arman FM lately, you should go here: http://www.arman.fm/. They now broadcast in Jalalabad. This is the first Afghani commercial radio station launched after we removed the Taliban from the country. It is a joy to read their missives and listen to their music.
Now I REALLY Have Seen Everything! This Belgian design firm, http://vlaemsch.be/, has a bunch of very odd and intriguing functional design pieces for the interior of your home. How about a roll-up hardwood floor, the very cool jigsaw tables, or the ingenious (and easy to make yourself) boot bag. Click on Collection then click on the various pieces. Sometimes, designers aren't just crazy loons on a lifelong bender, sometimes they have ideas too.
On that note, thanks for sticking with me for 50 issues (!!) of this intermittent newsletter. I hope you'll enjoy the next batch of Things I've Found because I know I can't stop looking for these things. Until then...