Monday, December 29, 2008

Photoshop Disasters

Have you seen a truly awful piece of Photoshop work? There is only one place that really cares and wants to show the whole world. Photoshop Disasters is run by the mysteriously anonymous Cosmo7, who uses his powers to shine the light of truth on the clumsy manipulation, senseless comping, lazy cloning and thoughtless retouching perpetrated by the world of Photoshop driven advertising and art. Also, his thoughts and the comments of his community are worth the price of admission alone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ten Most Important Satellites Orbiting Earth Now

Remember that model solar system you made in the sixth grade? Well, now there is something more relevant and even closer home you can force your kids to make out of Styrofoam balls. It's a diagram of the "Ten Most Important Satellites Orbiting Earth Now," brought to you by IO9. Satellites are involved in every day of our lives from weather reporting to Google Maps to shooting television stations around the globe. So you might as well get on a first name basis with them. Well, all of them except Goldeneye that is.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Homeboy Astronomy

Marko Pyhajarvi writes the "Homeboy Astronomy" blog to help beginners and fellow amateur astronomers learn astronomy to start observing the stars and other interesting objects.

Marko is from Finland and he gives this little etymology about his blog's title " 'Homeboy' can be understood as “a hometown boy, a close friend”. A close person of mine called me homeboy some time ago." Oh, cute! I'm not sure he realizes just how sweet and welcoming his slang usage is in the states.

In any event, Homeboy Astronomy gives accessible, practical advice about backyard astronomy sprinkled with astronomical factoids and tidbits. Now, he can be your homie too.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bjorin Hurri

Formed online in 2006, Gorilla Artfare is a collection of 100 artists "chained to their drawing boards" around the globe and connected to an underground network of over ten thousand more "bridging international boundaries and defying artistic definition".

Bjorin Hurri is one of their family whose created a delightful collection of "Steampunk Star Wars" character designs (make sure you scroll down). They are so worth drooling over and perhaps using as my ipod screen saver.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Most Word of the Day sites lack interest and whimsy because, frankly, they are filled with words that are actually words used in the English language. How unimaginative of them! Thank goodness I found "The Big Book of Bunkum" by Victoria Elizabeth a.k.a. the self proclaimed, "Quipping Queen". Please don't mistake any of these words for actual words, they are just fun to say.

Recent additions to Bunkum include "flatterchatter" (one with an incredible if not insatiable appetite for all forms of adulation, praise and recognition) and "umdrum" (a pregnant pause associated with a pathetic person, a prosaic place, or a thankless thing that one wishes one had not encountered in the first place. Hello, my last alumnae dinner).

Want to try your own hand an verbal invention? Join Verbotomy, where everyday "verbotomists" create a new definition (and matching cartoon). Players must create a word -- a verboticism -- that matches the definition to be voted on by community members. Recent winners include the above "tinselclown" (A person so enamored with the holidays that they don't just deck their halls and home, but they also decorate their car, their cubicle, their pets, and themselves) and "delessious" (To leave out an important ingredient when you are sharing a favorite recipe so that no one else can make it taste as good as yours). Go forth and conquor.

Monday, December 15, 2008

You Suck at Photoshop

Okay, some of you will recognize this Donnie Hoyl's Videos from the "My Damn Channel" website from my post on the "Top Ten Lifehacker Videos". Well, I had to pull his series "You Suck at Photoshop" out because, not only are his methods succinct and easy to understand, but I haven't laughed so hard since I was addicted to Sifl and Olly in 1998.

Much of the information we have to remember in modern life is presented dryly using printed words or in a straight forward lecture format. Our brains do not easily encode information from either method. However, add mnemonics, vivid imagery and strong emotions (like laughing your ass off) and presto, you get rich retention of both information and the structure of the information. And because the images are vivid and the emotions strong, the message is easy to recall when you need it.

Otherwise, just watch so you'll laugh your ass off.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Year's Biggest Full Moon Friday Night

As you go out in search of the first stirrings of Holiday parties, remember to look up as the sun is setting. According to the LiveScience article, "Year's Biggest Full Moon Friday Night" earth's natural satellite reaches its closest point to our planet, tonight meaning it will be 4 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons during the year. Oh, and expect record tides, too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Speed Eating Key to Obesity

Osaka University scientists looked at the relationship between eating speed, feelings of "fullness" and being overweight by scrutinizing the eating habits of 3,000 people. Check out their findings (reported in the British Medical Journal) at the BBC News article "Speed Eating Key to Obesity".

What the Japanese research shows is that individual differences in eating behavior, such as eating too quickly too allow your gastric feedback signals have a chance to start developing underlies the over-consumption of food and is linked to obesity.

Also, see why Japanese scientists probably give a damn in the Softpedia article "Why Are People of Okinawa the Most Long-Lived on Earth?".