Routine Order

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Online Website Service to Send a Letter

January 31st, 2007 · No Comments

Next year, I will definitely be using the NetPost service offered by USPS. It is a simple way to send a regular snail-mail letter from your computer/browser via USPS

There is the postage charge, and then an additional $2 per “run” or per letter. It makes sense if you are sending the same letter to everyone, like, say a wedding invitation.

For stuff like Greeting Cards for occassions, you can create your own from a picture, or choose one from their gallery. And yes, you can send Gift Cards from a whole variety of retailers.

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Windows Vista Wallpaper Images

January 31st, 2007 · 5 Comments

The Old New Thing : Where did the Windows Vista wallpaper images come from? – Interesting story about where the Windows Vista wallpaper images come from. Some came from Flickr users!

“So, how would you like one of your photos included among the default wallpapers in Windows Vista?” The Flickr artists were excited to be a part of Windows Vista

More details at this other post too.


Collection of Tongue Twisters

January 29th, 2007 · No Comments

1st Intern. Collection of Tongue Twisters – English

World Wide Web

Yup, that’s among the tongue twisters listed in the collection. Don’t let that deter you though, go and take a look. There are tongue twisters in many other languages too.

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Look up Number Sequences at the Online Encyclopedia

January 27th, 2007 · No Comments

The Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences has been around for a long, long time and yet it stays handy to lookup that number sequence that shows up in your research data. Born from the AT&T research labs, back when they were still the best

In fact, it is handy to look up your phone number, or date of birth. In my case both yielded a list of papers that references the sequences!

Q: What is the purpose of the OEIS?
A: The main purpose is to allow mathematicians or other scientists to find out if some sequence that turns up in their research has ever been seen before.

If it has, they may find that the problem they’re working on has already been solved, or partially solved, by someone else.
Or they may find that the sequence showed up in some other situation,
which may show them an unexpected relationship between their problem and something else.

Another purpose is to have an easily accessible database of important, but difficult to compute, sequences.
For example, if you’re testing some conjecture about Mersenne primes, you can look up the ones that are known (see A000043),
rather than spending years recomputing them.

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Sony’s New Laptop Has a Keyboard 90% smaller!!!

January 26th, 2007 · No Comments

So says Engadget!!

Here’s the article on the Vaio G1 Laptop.

Here the line of contention:

Also coming up a bit short was the laptop’s keyboard, which is about 90 percent smaller than the average laptop’s and could take some getting used to.

Heck, if the keyboard is indeed 90% smaller than a normal keyboard, then it won’t take getting used to — it will be unusable, engadget. Looks like they made a boo-boo when reporting what the Laptop Magazine had to say in its first-hand review:

Because the battery rests between the display and the keyboard, the layout is only 90 percent as large as a regular notebook.

Engadget, Gizmodo and the like put out so many new posts a day that it is no longer funny. I wonder if their contributors are at war, trying to regurgitate the most in the shortest possible amount of time.

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Tool to Measure the Electricity Usage of Appliances

January 25th, 2007 · No Comments

P3 International’s Kill-a-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor is a very handy tool to measure the electricity usage of your computer, or anything that runs on AC power, really. It can give you calculated values for the amount of money spent per week/month/year for the appliance too.

Here’s some of the technical highlights:
Electricity usage monitor connects to appliances and assesses efficiency
Large LCD display counts consumption by the kilowatt-hour
Calculates electricity expenses by the day, week, month, or year
Displays volts, amps, and wattage within 0.2 percent accuracy
Compatible with inverters; designed for use with AC 115-volt appliances

I figured I spend $38 a month keeping my PCs running all the time. That is not a really negligible amount, you see, and the savings for a month will cover the cost of the meter. HIghly recommended – an impulse buy on my part, but turned out to be well worth the cost.

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Breast Art: Boob Paintings (SFW)

January 22nd, 2007 · 1 Comment

boobeesBreast stroke is Angel Tolentino’s effort to fund Breast Cancer Charities. The paintings are mediocre until you realize they have been painted with 34B brushes!

In December 1995, I was looking for creative Christmas gifts for my friends. One day I was watching my sister Lyn use sponges to paint on canvas. I thought, “I wonder if my breasts could work like sponges?” Inspiration struck! So I bought some non-toxic paint and canvas, locked myself in the bathroom, and figured out a technique to paint with my breasts. Wouldn’t you know it? Breast Pals was born!

She sells various things with her art on it through cafepress and donates profits to breast cancer charities. Featured above are her creations, “Boo-bees” and “Breast Stroke”.

I’ll stop short of saying something wicked cool about testicular cancer.

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Pig Farming Gone Wrong, Terribly Wrong

January 21st, 2007 · No Comments

Rolling stone has a story on Pork’s Dirty Secret

The story’s blurb reads:

America’s top pork producer churns out a sea of waste that has destroyed rivers, killed millions of fish and generated one of the largest fines in EPA history. Welcome to the dark side of the other white meat.

But that is not all. If you read the article you will find out what measures are being taken to reduce the MASSIVE environmental impact of these pig farms. The measures taken are simple – take the pollution elsewhere – to Romania, Poland and former Eastern-Bloc countries. It is sickening how every disease starts in the Modern/Developed world and then as the cost to the immediate environment goes up, the disease migrates to poorer nations.

You should read the story, if that is the only thing you read today.

Via BoingBoing

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How to Create Hand Shadows on a Wall

January 21st, 2007 · No Comments

Hand Shadows by Henry Bursill is a Project Gutenberg book that is short and sweet. I remember the contests me and my cousins used to have late in the night, between the ghost stories to create the most terrifying shadows. There was a scary spider a cousin used to throw – unfortunately that is not in the book. Thanks to for pointing me at the right place.

Duck - Shadow on a Wall
Says the author:

I calculate that I put my ten fingers through hundreds of various exercises before my “Bird” took wing; my left little finger thrills at the memory of “Grandpapa”; and my thumbs gave in no less than twenty times before “Boy” was accomplished. Yet now how easy it is to make the “Duck” to quack, the “Donkey” to bray, “Toby” to wag his tail, and the “Rabbit” to munch his unsubstantial meal.

Of course the Shadows are not to be reproduced perfectly, on “one trial only”; but I believe that in each case I have drawn the due position of the fingers with such care, that the most difficult subject may be accomplished after a few minutes; nor need ingenious youth or parental fondness confine their endeavours to the sketches contained in this book. With a little ingenuity and some patience, new shadows may be produced; and not unfrequently figures appear that one never dreamed of attempting.

Again, the copyright free e-book is available:
Hand Shadows by Henry Bursill

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Art Garfunkel’s Reading/Music Lists

January 20th, 2007 · No Comments

I stumbled upon Art Garfunkel(of Simon and Garfunkel fame)’s Reading List and Music List.

The Reading List is amazing, containing each and every book he has ever read since 1970!!!

His fourth alltime favorite song is his own song, the Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t sleep without listening to Simon & Garfunkel. Thank you for making life livable, Art.

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