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Things I've Found 52 (Click On This! No, Wait, Don't Click On It! Yes, Do! No, Don't! Yes, Er...)—9/16/2005

by Mark Rose

What’s with the cryptic newsletter title? Well, this. http://www.dontclick.it/. No, really, do. It’s a wonderful series of design experiments about human-computer interaction. The Institute for Interactive Research is finding ways to navigate without clicking the mouse. Come on, don’t click it!

Just when I thought it was ok to go back on the Web, now there’s Comfort Pets. Basically, if your pet dies, you get it cremated, then use its ashes as stuffing in an adorable little stuffed animal. All together now, "Eeeeehhhhh!" http://www.comfortpets.com/

Another new search engine to play around with. This time it’s an audio-only search engine located here: http://audio.search.yahoo.com/. Find phrases in mp3s, songs, anything. Sure enough, the magical search term "miniature golf" yielded 42 hits though I don’t remember Dexy’s Midnight Runners singing about miniature golf in "Come On Eileen." Hmmm.

What’s that? You’ve been searching for something to put on your wall that is so...so...how shall we say, remarkable, and yet you just can’t find the right thing? Well try here: http://fathead.com/fatheadsweb/productlist.aspx. Yes, now you too can own a nearly six foot tall replica of the Cleveland Browns helmet to adorn your boring wall.

Yes, cops are people too. They’re even very interesting photographers as can be proven at this site: http://www.graphicjunkies.com/. This is the personal site of an Atlanta police officer who takes photos of things while he works on the beat.

The No, I’m Not Making This Up Department: Of course, that could be this entire newsletter. But how about a site devoted entirely to unusual physical tricks you can do with your ballpoint pen? http://www.pentrix.com/videos/videolist.php. Complete with videos. We are humbled.

Seattle is the fount of all great ideas. For instance, there’s http://www.bumvertising.com/. Local man pays the homeless to tape a small advertising sign to their own signs that ask for food or donations. Apparently, the bums (I know that’s not PC, sorry) make more money when they have an ad on their signs than when they don’t.

Here’s an encouraging statistic about poverty. 80% of people who use soup kitchens in London are not homeless. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,16554284-13762,00.html. They’re actually trying to save money by not cooking. Sad. If you’re depressed by that statistic, how about this one? 57% of college girls would like to sleep with Angelina Jolie. http://www.flashnews.com/news/wfn6050912J30469.html. Well, wouldn’t we all?

Now you can cut down trees AND grow mushrooms at the same time! http://www.fungi.com/plugs/mso.html. These are oils for your chainsaw. When you cut through the tree, you leave behind fungus spores so mushrooms will then grow on the stumps.

How can you NOT want to read a six-page report entitled "Alligator Attacks on Humans in the United States"? http://www.allenpress.com/pdf/weme_16_303_119_124.pdf

And that's it for this issue. I truly hope you've found something of interest, something that is useful, or something that made you forget all the daily hoohah and just go "Oooooooo, shiny."