The Incredible Changing Content Column archive
We really want to try to keep changing the content in The Incredible Changing Content Column.
But we know (hope) that there will sometimes be things we dump from the column that people will want to find again.
So, as we move things from the Incredible Changing Content Column, we'll dump them here.
Enjoy the backwash of the internet!
What's new: (February 26th)
Over the past few weeks, we've learned of quite a few people who are expecting babies at the end of the summer, so we want to say congratulations to:
Clearly, a good time to be a Mike!
Cool patterns involvings things like harmonics, chromatic tones, etc. Really interesting and fun to look at.
Amazing video of a bird imitating the sounds around it. Stick with it, it is absolutely worth it.
Do you like optical illusions? Well, here is a really interesting one involving colorization. Try it and be amazed!
A really neat clock. Will we ever move beyond the basic paradigms of having analog or digital clocks and separate calendars? This is one effort to do just that, covering everything from year to second in one basic display.
Jamie happens to think that old scientiifc instruments are really interesting to look at. They had a visual element that we don't see today. This is a site full of links to images of instruments throughout the ages. If anyone wants to pick one up for us, feel free.
This next set of links is sweet, historical and interesting. During World War II, a man stationed in the South Pacific sent regular letters home to his wife. He had his friend, this man, an aspiring illustrator, decorate the envelopes with cartoons showing scenes from the war. The wife kept the envelopes, and now the Library of Congress has arranged it so that you can see them too.
And finally, this chimp knows kung fu!
What's new: (June 18th)
Today's kids update is dedicated to Dianne Mackay, one of the site's most frequent readers.
The other day, Jamie went to participate in an event called The Mp3 Experiment III. It was an event put on by Improv Everywhere, a group that puts on public quasi-pranks. We've talked about them before in the Incredible Changing Content column, so if you want to know more about them, check the Archive.
They will have a "Mission Report" in a few days. In the meantime, if you want proof that Jamie was there, look at this picture. Jamie was in the "rain" group and it was heck of a lot of fun. Next year, he's getting a posse together....
(We're not going to overload the links list this time, so just a few for today)
We're all familiar with the usual cast of cartoon characters. Charlie Brown, Hello Kitty, Linus and the rest of the gang. Few of us have any idea what is inside them - what makes them tick. Well, one determined artist took it upon himself to figure out their skeletal structures. At first it's funny, but after a while it gets sort of creepy.
Here is an interesting little flash game that requires you to balance things on a series of... well... they call them levers, but to me they look like coathangers. The idea is to hang things on either end while trying to maintain an overall balance. Give it a try, you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Recently, the Incredible Changing Content Column hasn't been living up to its name.
We haven't really updated this space since since June, 2005 (7 months ago!), other than to put up a short notice in August saying that we didn't have time to do an update.
So it gives us great pleasure to announce the return of actual content!
What's new: (Feb 12th)
Coming soon: (we promise)
If you've been clicking around the Internet for a while, you've probably come across a series of games under the title "Yeti Sports." Every once in a while, a new game comes out, and now we have numbers nine and ten:
This year, we just watched the Superbowl for the commercials. Congratulations to the Steelers, but thank goodness for Google Video!
How to defend yourself with a walking stick. A manual from 1901 on how to beat up somebody while you are holding a walking stick. It also covers how, if you have a walking stick, you can defend yourself against someone who decides to attack you with -- you guessed it -- a walking stick. Unintentionally Python-esque.
Improv Everywhere. A favorite site of ours. They are a loose group of friends and performers who engage in public displays of....well it's hard to describe.
Update (August 28th):
Not really enough time to do a full new Incredible Changing Content Column, but we wanted to let you know there was a new update to the Kids page!
What's new (June 19, 2005):
Well, that's actually all of the updates.
This is a pretty hard game. You move the circle around with your cursor keys, trying to hit the box without being hit by the moving balls. Sound simple? Try it out. We dare you.
For the more literate among you, try out Bookworm. It's a word puzzle game, where you try to make words out of random letters within a time limit. Hugely addictive. Bring on the time wasting!
Fractals! We can't really explain the math, other than that it has to do with diagramming endlessly repeating mathematical functions. We think it's cutting edge mathematics, but the important thing is that the diagrams are cool!
In case you needed to know, How to use Japanese toilets. You never know when you'll need to go.
The world sunlight map. Look at any moment to see where the sun is and isn't.
In every school, there was some guy who could spin a pen around his fingers. Nobody knows how he learned to do it (one can only imagine the time spent in his bedroom dropping pens), but we were all sort of jealous. Well,now you can join the Pen Spinning Revolution! Complete with video!
So, the movie of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy may not have been very good, but you should check out the website of the author, Douglas Adams. It was originally his own website, and he regularly interacted with fans, but then he died unexpectedly, so it is now more of a reference site. Particularly moving is the Tributes page, which is really just the message board from the days after his death.
Feel like talking to a blender? (Quicktime required) Those MIT folks have too much time on their hands.
Don't believe us? They also took the time to build a disco floor.
Finally, here is something cute and yet disturbing: a group of artists took children's drawings of monsters and painted them as if they were real. So that's what the monster in the closet looks like!
What's new (May 6th):
Obviously, Hayes is the biggest news around here, so he is taking up most of our time (and Hadley is taking up the rest). We haven't had much time to update the website since he was born on Saturday, so this is all long overdue.
For those who care, we will keep separate Hadley and Hayes pages only for a little while. Then, we will create a unified "Kids" page.
On with the miscellania: Links!
This interesting (and timely) application shows the popularity of names in the United States over the past 100 years. Try "Hayes". We dare you.
You think your job is stressful? Look at this. This is what an air traffic controller deals with every day. It's a movie showing all the flights over the United States in the course of a day. Watch how crowded it becomes. I can't stop watching it. (Warning: very big file)
How to's from second graders. Learn from the experts how to getready for bed, make a grilled cheese sandwich and ice skate. As cute as you expect it to be.
This link has been popping up everywhere, so why not here, too? How to destroy the earth. In real, practical detail. A funny, interesting read.
As we've mentioned here before, Jamie has a thing for old maps. Here is Yale library's collection. Really good stuff.
If you hang out online enough (as Jamie obviously does), you will eventually encounter a bona fide flame war. If you haven't, then you are not spending enough time hanging around with the internet kiddies (chronologically and/or emotionally). Finally, someone has created a definitive field guide to flame warriors. When Jamie makes the mistake of entering the fray, he tends to fall into the role of a Diplomat, but usually finds that the diplomacy fails.
This is a deceptively simple game. You use your mouse to move around obstacles. The trick is that all the directions are reversed - you move your mouse right, it goes left. Move up, it goes down. This probably says something interesting about the way your directional motor skills are wired in your brain, but we don't know what it is.
Here is a very cool animation about robots. Download it. Now.
If you haven't yet switched from Internet Explorer or Netscape to Firefox, do it now.
What's new (January 30, 2005):
As you may know, Jamie is a junkie for images from space. Below are two applications that let you browse the planet from satellite heights.
While we're on the subject of zooming, look at this. It's a website for gigapixel photography. What that means is that they take extremeley large photos that let you zoom in on an amazing level of detail. Imagine looking at a picture of a hotel courtyard, where you can see an entire olympic-sized pool plus a sizeable expanse of garden on either side, and being able to zoom in close enough to identify the brand of cigarettes being smoked by a guy at the far end. You have to see it to believe it.
Here's another site along the same lines.
Why stop now? Here is yet another site sort of about zooming. It is an animation that allows you to zoom forward through a painted scene, following a path, until suddenly you find yourself back where you started. Sort of like an artistic Moebius Strip.
Last, but not least, here is a video of William Shatner "singing" Elton John's "Rocket Man". You really have to see it to believe it.
What's new (November 4, 2004):
Let's take a look back at what the Internet was made for: geeks!
It's been said before, but those geeks now run the world.
Did you know there was a curve that shared our name? Yes, there is a Talbot's curve. We don't know what it is for exactly, but apparently it is useful in trigonometry. Neither of us was ever much good at trigonometry, anyway.
Here is what, in our opinion, is an over-the-top daily blog for a little girl named Trixie. Daily updates on last leaky diaper, sleep schedule, food eaten, the works. A Daddy with a little too much time on his hands.
Here is a way cool robot. Check out the videos:
Someone keeps stealing my letters. You figure out what's going on.
What's new (October 13, 2004):
Hadley has something to tell you.
We'll put other things in this column later.
What's new (August 14, 2004):
What's new: (6/22/04)
An update on the technical dilemna we described last week (we thought we might be running out of space on our web host): all is well. We have plenty of space to spare.
That said, Buy Stuff is still going to go.
And while we're on the subject of the website, we took a look at the web logs for the site to see what kind of traffic we've been getting and noticed some strange things:
We don't know why the site is suddenly getting this level of activity from around the world, but something certainly happened.
If you poke around the internet much, you have probably already come across at least one of the series of games involving Yetis abusing penguins in some way. With a theme as good as that, you had to suspect they were all coming from the same source. Well, here it is. The latest addictive installment is a variation on golf involving giraffes, elephants, snakes and a pesky buzzard (or vulture). Say goodbye to productivity!
Insanely hard sliding block puzzles. Good luck.
A want to learn how to build suprisingly realistic paper models of famous buildings? Again, good luck. You know it's a bad sign when you have to download the instructions.
What's new: (4/5/04)
A quick technical note: we may be running out of room on our web host, so some pages may be retired. A very likely candidate is the Retirement page, especially because of those short video clips we have on there. We'll keep a copy, of course, but it might come off general availability. So view now or risk not seeing it again.
Also on the chopping block is buy stuff. We use the little search engine all the time when we shop at Amazon.com, because they kick some money back our way, but we never really got around to updating the recommendations. So please do use the search engine, but otherwise, you can ignore that part of the site.
So let's get to the links!
We're always suckers for beautiful pictures of the Earth from space. These happen to be particularly good ones.
And while we're on the subject of space, you have to go see this solar system simulator put together by the folks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
If you find science and astronomy interesting (as we do), please go look at Badastronomy.com, a site devoted to two things: debunking some of the inane conspiracy theories that have been circulated about the space program, and explaining cool astronomical events as they happen. They also have a very lively bulletin board where various really smart people (including some actual NASA scientists) come to chat, ask questions, show each other interesting images, and otherwise hang out. About 50% of the discussion is completely over our heads, but we feel smarter just looking at the thread topics.
On a completely different note, we found a really interesting site about cheating as demonstrated throughout art history. Apparently, artists liked to paint people cheating each other, but they did it in subtle ways. This site walks you through some examples.
Literature for children through the ages. Now that we are parents, we have been thinking about the books we loved when we were children. This site is a collection of books from the 1850s through the 1950s. The site can be a little difficult to get started, and some parts seem rather badly broken, but give it a shot. Here is a sample of what is available. Other sites do this too.
What's New (2/9/04):
Links (done offline, so not tested):
Having trouble viewing the 3D pictures from the Mars missions? If you don't have 3D glasses, you might be. Well, someone else came up with a solution: Jiggle Vision! They find two pictures of the same thing from slightly different angles, then make a little animation so that the two together simulate 3D. They've been working with pictures from the Pathfinder mission to Mars, and the results are pretty good!
Speaking of things not of this earth, here are some really cool pictures from the moon!
Worst toy ever. You have to see it to believe it.
Software can do anything. Even black magic. WARNING: annoying music.
Here is something cool yet scary: an online mapping system using satellite images. Yes, these types of things have been around for a while, but this is easier to navigate and thus scarier.... yet also very cool. Some samples:
Obviously, we could go on and on...
These are really neat: old scientific prints. Before there were photographs and the ability to mass produce them, if you wanted to see specimens without bothering to catch them, you had to make very detailed drawings. These are really amazing, Jamie thinks, even though the directory is in German. Babelfish, anyone?.
And finally, if you're going to study how things look when they are put together, why not see how they come apart? Well, one enterprising fellow decided to see what it looked like to squash various things on his scanner.
What's new (1/13/04):
Coming soon: pictures from New Years (it's late, forgive me)
Jamie is a space junkie, as you may know, so he can't get enough of the current Mars missions, so now neither can you:
Movies of dangerous chemistry experiments. A chemistry teacher makes little Quicktime movies of various explosions (usually mild) and other reactions for students. Pretty cool.
The other day, Molly and Jamie met Pops and Lulie and Jamie's aunt and uncle Nanny and Putter (respectively) to see a Hadley chest up for auction at Christies. Don't know what a Hadley chest is? Well, neither did we until after Hadley was born (and named). A Hadley chest is a wooden chest, usually with two drawers on the bottom and a lid on the top over a cabinet. They are usually heavily carved on the front (the pattern of the carving is part of what makes it a Hadley chest, as opposed to just a big wooden chest).
The particular chest we went to see was made in the early 1700s, and happened to have been owned by Jamie's great, great, great (etc.) grandfather, Charles Nicoll Talbot, when he lived in Northampton MA (which, as many of you know, is where Molly grew up). Coincidentally (as if there weren't enough coincidences already), the Talbot family (mostly due to Charles Nicoll) was one of the biggest collectors of Hadley chests back in the 1800s. It turns out Hadley has a heritage in the chests she was not really named after! The catch: the old chests sell for tens of thousands of dollars, so we won't be buying one any time soon.
Oh, and Julianne Moore thinks Hadley is a cute baby. She told Molly so when she bumped into her on the street.
What's new (11/28/03):
We had our first Thanksgiving at home this year. Turkey, stuffing (which Molly calls dressing), cranberry sauce, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, the works. Hadley even tried some turkey, though we don't think she liked it very much. It was a very nice time with our new family.
Of course, it's now Sunday and we are still eating turkey (though the broccoli casserole is just about done). In fact, Jamie is going to have his third consecutive patented turkey special™ lunch.
But first: links!
Now that we are in the late fall, let's all enjoy a traditional English game called conkers.
The top 100 albums of the 90s, according to a pretentious online music journal. We don't know how long this will stay on their home page, but poke around a bit. You'll find it.
Speaking of music, take an 80s lyrics quiz. Spelling counts.
Old maps. Jamie has a thing for these. They're nice little visual representations of a people's worldview.
Speaking of old and cool things, take a look at some medieval
manuscripts. Oxford University has been digitizing its manuscript collection and placing it online.
There are some really amazing pages here. Be warned, however: these images are HUGE, so don't bother
unless you are on a high-speed line. Here some amazing
Scribbler. Make your doodles look cool.
Many of you have seen our Hadley and Rufus pages. Their design is, to be charitable, simple. Well, here is what happens when the proud father also happens to be a web designer. We prefer the simple.
The-Brights.net. A really interesting experiment in reshaping the political lexicon as applied to atheists. Put together by one of the public faces of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology (the study of how biology and genetics influences behavior), Richard Dawkins, the idea is to replace the word "atheist," which invokes stereotypes of annoying know-it-alls who are, quite possibly, evil, with a more optimistic term, in the same way that "gay" came to replace "homosexual." I think it's an interesting idea. We'll see if it works.
Speaking of atheists, want to know some celebrity atheists? Watch them get outed.
What's new (9/28/03):
Ok, on the first point, as much as we appreciate how much people love the site and checking in for the latest Hadley info, we have to remind you:
This ain't CNN.
We try to get the updates up when we can, but moving has taken a lot of our time and Jamie's work has been taking up most of what's left over, so please bear with us. We are trying to satisfy the demand, really.
On the second point, here is the new address:391 Clinton Street, Apt 1C
Those of you who are paying close attention might notice that our address changed by a digit and an apartment number. We only moved across the street, but now we own our home instead of renting it. Hello, fellow mortgage holders!
We're not quite done unpacking yet, but what remains is really aesthetic (where, oh where do we put all the sea glass??), so we have a functioning home at last.
And now.... Links
"The Eye of Argon". Also known as the worst book ever written.
Spirographs! So very cool, so very retro.
And on a similar note, Spaced Pengiun. A game that results in actual orbital spirographs.
Animal, vegetable or mineral? An experiment in artificial intelligence.
Paul is dead. No, really.
Wow. You just can't get too many pictures of the earth from space.
What's new (8/3/03):
Also, as some of you know, we're going to move soon. Actually, we're supposed to have moved already, but our closing date keeps getting moved later and later (it's a long story).
The new apartment will be quite a bit bigger than our existing one, and we look forward to moving in....eventually. It will be a great place for Hadley, and a great place to start establishing some family traditions around the holidays.
When we finally move, we will be sure to post our new address here.
And now, on with the show....
Hurt people for points. Simulated people, of course, but this site features two little programs (have to download, sorry) that let you practice pushing a guy down a flight of stairs and/or crashing him in or into a truck. See the Metafilter thread here for some useful pointers.
Explore the wonders of traffic jam simulations. We've been doing a lot of traveling recently, so we appreciated the opportunity to study the theory behind them.
Liquid Human. Ok, that sounds worse than it is. It's really just a nifty little shockwave application that has a liquid body follow the cursor around. Pretty cool, really. Also, be sure to try the "Zoom" function in Shockwave (right click and zoom in). I didn't know there even was one, but now I'm glad it's there.
Play with a face. This one has been sitting around in my "fodder" file for a while, waiting for the right time to put it in this column. Well, this isn't the right time, either, but what the heck?
Do you troll in bulletin boards or other internet forums like Metafilter or Fark (warning, inappropriate content)? Well, I do (where do you think we get all this stuff?). If so, you've seen at least one "flamewar" -- a nasty online argument. Well, thanks to the info over on Conversational Terrorism, now you can join in the fun.
What's new (7/1/03):
(We have such a backlog of interesting links for this column, that we're just going to list a bunch of them)
Happy Fourth of July! Java fireworks at the Statue of Liberty.
And to further the patriotic theme, "What the heathen Statue of Liberty really means." From a group of Ten Commandments zealots.
Lego astronauts go to Mars and you can read their e-mail. (Part of the current Mars Exploration Rover missions).
What's so hard about launching into space? (click and drag to launch satellites and see if you can get them to hold an orbit).
Implosion World. Watch buildings implode.
The Periodic Table Table. An actual table based on the periodioc table. I want one.
This woman is crazy. See how she has been sabotaged.
A magazine for things that have been found.
Seizure robots. DON'T CLICK IF YOU HAVE EPILEPSY.
What comes after terabyte?
Really cool Honda ad.
Constructor. Really cool site for building interactive models. Poke around. Also see Sodaplay Central a fan site.
What is this? It's interactive. It's colorful. Otherwise, we have no idea.
Applications of less than 5k. Rewarding the art of minimalist programming.
Animated dancers. Neat.
Relativity explained in words of four letters or less.
Ok, that's enough.
By the way, today's update was brought to you by the wonders of wireless technology. I am sitting in Bryant Park as I upload this.
What's New: (5/18/03)
More pictures on the Hadley page.
More random links
If you are a fan of the painter John Singer Sargent (or even if you aren't), take a look over at this site where the Boston Public Library details its efforts to restore a set of murals he painted there. Be sure to check out the very cool 3d images that are available.
This is very cool (and somewhat inspiring): every June 17th since 1976, a family has taken pictures of themselves. Now they've posted the pictures to a web site.
Did you believe weird things when you were a kid? Well, now a site has aggregated various beliefs. Some are classic.
Here are a couple of clever satirical sites that are well worth a visit.
Urban archaeology. It can be tough to imagine, but the buildings we all know and love today will someday be an archaeological treasure to our descendants. A number of web sites have sprung up around the idea of looking at dilapidated buildings in a whole new light. Yahoo! has a whole directory of these sites.
Apollo lunar journals. Complete journals, transcripts and photo logs from the various Apollo missions to the moon. Well worth a perusal.
Test your IQ. Probably not scientific, but can be useful for bragging rights, or for discovering your secret shame....
Watch the economists. Why not?
A little japanese cartoon. With sound, so turn up the volume.... Oh, I can't do it. It's one of those things where you stare at something for a while and then it suddenly screams really loudly to scare the wits out of you.
What's New: (4/2/03)
A ton more pictures on the Hadley page.
That is all
(At the end of this week, the site will return to relative normalcy)
What's New: (4/13/03)
More pictures on the Hadley page.
In case you missed it, we put up some pictures and video from a special retirement party for Molly when she stopped working at Packer.
The site has otherwise returned to normal (relatively speaking).
So, without further ado, the return of the random links!
Oh, they're just too easy. Here are some more normal links.
What's New: (3/16/03)
We had a girl!.
Check out the new Hadley page.
The Rufus page has closed!
That is all
What's New: (1/22/03)
Coming soon (we hope):
Well, this space has degenerated into yet another link collection, like Metafilter or Fark.
But we're ok with that.
Today's links are about online collections from real world museums.
FYI, if you want to see more museums, a good place to start is the .museum directory. Dot-museum is a new domain name extension - like our very own dot-info - for museums. The great thing is, all the domain name owners are vetted first to see that they really are museums, so there is something of a dot-museum seal of veracity.
And now, the links:
What's new: (1/11/03)
Sand art. Did you ever do that arts and crafts activity where you pour layers of colored sand in a jar?
GoogleViewer. When you run a search, this version of Google actually displays the relevant web pages in a little mini-browser slideshow. Not always incredibly useful in terms of finding a specific piece of information, but it gives a very interesting snapshot of what is available online. Here are some samples:
Google Labs. If you liked the GoogleViewer, take a look at the other projects Google has in the works. We are particularly fond of the Google Glossary.
Book Crossing. This is a really neat idea: an international book-reading and book-sharing club. Read a book, review it on their site, and then share it. Give it to a friend, leave it on a park bench, whatever you like.
Colossal Colon Tour. A good idea gone horribly wrong. The idea is to promote colon health and colon cancer awareness. The implementation? A touring 40 foot colon. Really.
And now a bunch of games:
Advenure - Atari-style. As a kid, Adventure was one of Jamie's favorite Atari games. He even figured out how to get to the secret message (which was a major let down when he actually found it). Here, someone has recreated it using Java.
Mini-Golf. A classic. This one is all about angles.
Way of the Exploding Stick. A stick figure karate game. Very good animation. Very cool.
Arcade Games. If none of the above tickled your fancy, here is a slew of arcade games ported to java. There is something for everyone here.
What's new: (12/21/02)
A TheTalbots.info regular: Norad Santa, where the good people at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (or NORAD) track Santa's global journey every year. Their site is great, with features such as:
If you are worried about NORAD's ability to track Santa this year, don't be. They already did a test flight.
Claus.com. A site full of information and activities, including a way to check whether you are on the naughty or nice list and profiles of Santa's reindeer. The bad news is that they also throw in some toy ads and hype a ($4.95) plan to call Santa in his sleigh.
Santa Claus of Greenland. This site features various games, activities and trivia about Santa Claus. Good fun.
Here is some information on the origin and history of Santa Claus.
How Christmas works, from the people at HowStuffWorks.com (which is a really interesting site in and of itself).
Christmas Urban Legends, from Snopes.com.
Other December holiday links
We'd also like to take this opportunity to welcome Mike and Anna to Brooklyn! May their stay be long and fruitful.
Also, congratulations to Marleen and Jim on their newborn baby girl -- Ryan Elizabeth, born November 11th, 7 lbs 4 ounces, 18 1/2 inches!
Not much else to report, so let's check out some more links.
If you've ever studied a foreign language, you know that the subjunctive tense is very difficult for English-speakers to grasp. The thing is, we use it too.
Here are some very cool optical illusions. Brought to you by the good folks at MIT, who also brought us the way-cool Media Lab.
Scientology. Cult? Religion? Scam? Tax dodge? Whatever they are (*cough* scam *cough*), they have been accused of some shady doings over the past few decades, and are notorious for being very hard on internet critics. This is especially true if you link to one of the handful of sites that published secret "training materials" on the web. So, as an experiment, we've decided to link to the granddaddy of anti-scientology sites: www.xenu.net. Let's see how long it takes to get a nasty letter.
Live satellite images of the east coast. Neat.
Zombo.com. What the heck is it? You tell us.
Ever wanted to see M.C. Escher prints reproduced in Lego? Me neither, but these guys did it anyway.
We have a thing for old maps. It is just so interesting to look at how people viewed the world in days gone by. It can also be interesting to look at old detailed maps of places you know so you can see how they were different (and how they remain the same). So we were very excited to find this site. It's an online collection of old maps, but it's not just a series of small pictures -- the site allows you to magnify the maps, so you can really get a good look. Very interesting.
And finally, an analysis of the roots of the 9/11 attacks. We don't necessarily endorse it, but it makes for interesting reading (at least the parts we've read so far).
A new Rufus update (but no pictures this time, sorry).
(Stay tuned, though, this promises to be an active couple of weeks for Rufus updates)
In the meantime, we'll take the opportunity to clear out the links closet.
Do you think you know what it means for a relative to be "once removed"? It took Jamie years to figure it out, and Molly still doesn't agree with him. Well, these people have figured it all out. They even made a handy table for you to figure it out. (PS: Jamie was right)
Think you're anonymous online? This site deducts your geographical location based only on your IP address. Is it a national secret where you are when you surf the web? No, not really, but this is a nifty little piece of technology for web developers who need to figure out how to serve different content to people from different countries.
The solar system. It's big. It's really big. Don't believe it? Look here. This is a scale model on a web page. Very simple design, but also a very compelling presentation. Want to see another study of size? Check out Powers of 10.
An oldie but a goodie: What's wrong with this picture? Didn't get it? Here's the cheat page. And here's the story behind the cheat page.
Online heart surgery. What will they think of next?
And finally, here is a link to the nominees for the 2002 Webby awards. Goodness abounds.
Not very much, actually. Molly has started the new school year over at Packer and Jamie is plugging away over at Skadden.
Want to see an example of some of the cool things Jamie works on? Check this out. It's a recommendation for a new procedure for developing domain name policies over at ICANN. The vast majority of the work on this was done while Jamie was on vacation, so he can't claim to have been heavily involved in the document, but it is a good example of one of the cooler things he does.
Because we at TheTalbots.info like to educate as well as entertain, here are some links guaranteed to make you smarter. Or make you feel dumber by comparison. Whichever.
Oops, almost out of room. As a parting link, here is a really interesting article arguing that, contrary to popular belief, Reagan's defense spending did not, in fact, win the Cold War, but probably prolonged it. In short, CIA information indicates that the Russians did not increase their spending to match Reagan's, and Gorbachev has said that the military buildup and SDI strengthened the resolve of Soviet hard-liners against calming relations with the west.
Keep checking the Rufus page for updates on the baby. Some very cool new sonogram pictures went up the other day.
The other day, Jamie decided to try something new with the Incredible Changing Content Column and typed up a medium-length treatise on his thoughts on the Iraq situation.
When Molly read it, she thought it was fine for what it was, but that it didn't really belong on the home page of our site.
And now, a day or two later, Jamie has decided she was right. Thus, the launch of a new page on the site: Jamie's Corner. It's where Jamie will vent his periodic need to spout off on some topic or other in a particularly public way. So go check it out if you're curious.
As for the Incredible Changing Content Column, it will now revert to its usual functions: announcing new things on the site, discussing events in our lives, and pointing the way to things that we found interesting, amusing or odd on the internet.
So, without further ado...More Links!
The Rock Star Game. We've never played but it looks like it might be interesting. Better act fast: it looks like they got a letter from their hosting service provider saying that they will be taken down. We're sure they'll find somewhere else to host the site, though.
Did you play Risk as a kid? Jamie became absolutely addicted to the game in college. Well, Here's an online version. Be warned, though - you're not playing the computer, and the game does not play in real time, so you often will move only once per day. Don't sign up unless you can check in daily.
Here's a few sites featuring Lego:
The Visible Earth project. Brought to you by our friends at NASA, this is a massive collection of pictures of the Earth from space. Really amazing imagery. Strongly recommended.
This is a really cool idea. They collect lost pictures of people and post them on a web site, asking "Is this you?" The idea is to reunite people with photos discarded by ex-romances, etc. We haven't seen ourselves yet, but we do check in once in a while.
When you buy a cola beverage, do you call it "pop" or "soda"? Apparently, this is enough of a controversy to make a web site about it. Complete with an interactive map showing the distribution of pop-sayers and soda-sayers across the US.
The big news, obviously, is the announcement at the left. If the name Rufus means nothing to you, then click here.
In connection with that, we've created a new page on the site, known simply as Rufus. It will be the place for the latest news and information on that front. It may or may not turn out to be a full "blog," depending on whether or not (a) Molly learns some HTML, or (b) Jamie continues to do it for her.
We've also implemented a Guestbook where you can, if you feel so inclined, express yourself. We hope you enjoy it.
In other news, we've just (August 17th) returned from a 2 week vacation in Italy.
Specifically, we went to a small village called Griante, near Menaggio, on Lake Como. Here is a map.
Jamie's whole family was there: both parents, his sister and brother-in-law, and their two daughters (including Mills). We had a wonderful time, and will post pictures when we have them. Griante is basically a small farming community (we woke up to cow bells and roosters each morning), and is just off the lake. If you don't like swimming, though, there are mountains behind the town where you can hike.
One particular hike we enjoyed is to a small church called San Martino. It only takes 30 minutes or so to get there, but it's a steep climb and can be very tiring!
Anyway, we will have our usual collection of random links up here in a week or so, but if you want something in the interim, here's where Stephen Hawking explains the universe.
Jamie has been really busy lately, so sorry for the lack of updates.
And what a time to be too busy for the site:
So, congrats to Erin and double (triple) congrats to Sean!
Oh, and we fixed the broken links in the Saquish section. Sorry about that.
Random links to enjoy:
Lots of games (including foozball)
Home-made roller coaster
This is very annoying
An alleged terrorist site (hello to FBI-brother-in-law Sean, who may come across this site while checking out links to and from terrorist sites. We're not terrorists)
Tall boat meets low bridge
Build with lego (this is only the first of many lego links to come)
Space simulator (from our friends at JPL) Update: the link should work, but it doesn't seem to.
The complete works of Shakespeare
This guy thinks he hears things in recordings played backwards. He's nuts
Cool 3d renderings of historical buildings.
Duck and cover movie (you'll need Quicktime)
And finally, the Bible..... in pig latin
What a week! Jamie turned 30, and we celebrated our third anniversary!
So, here are some meditations on these events:
Being 30: A site that tells you what other people accomplished by the time they were your age. Makes you feel a little inadequate. For example:
3 years of wedded bliss: Three years is a pretty long time:
Last night (the first Friday it was open), Jamie saw Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and he's willing to lay his Star Wars reputation on the line to say....
....he loved it.
Never mind what this guy says (we liked Gene better, anyway). Or this guy. Or him. Or him ("Attack of the Groans"? Oh, please.). Or him.
Indeed, Jamie is willing to say that he thinks this is the best one since Star Wars (a.k.a. "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope").
Here's where Jamie thinks it falls in the grand hierarchy:
Yes, he put Empire Strikes Back after Return of the Jedi, and yes, everyone in the world disagrees with him on this point. But hey, our web page, our opinions. You want to praise Empire Strikes Back, Get your own web page.
And just so this isn't a total shill-fest (yes, we know all those links went to the official sites), here's an unauthorized site.
This edition of the Incredible Changing Content Column brought to you by our friends at Lucasfilm, Ltd. Thanks, George. We're looking forward to the check.
Happy Birthday Dad!
According to CNN, Matt Groening has said that The Simpsons is nearing its end.
In light of this revelation, we decided to put up some links to fun Simpson's-related links.
Various Simpsons things. Quizes, trivia, a gallery and more. Hosted by the BBC.
Homer Soundboard. Press the buttons and listen to some choice soundbites from Homer.
The Simpsons archive. Episode guides, FAQs, news and everything else an obsessive fan could want. Enjoy.
Top 100 Simpsons sites. Sort of a blog-meets-fansite. More links to more Simpsons sites than you could possibly ever need.
And now for something completely different: Grits!
Le lapin est sur la table.
More magz. Including a semi-belated Passover wish.
Since we have a belated Passover star, why not some belated semi-Easter-related links, too
You know those cool little secret things you find in software? Well they're called Easter eggs and there's a whole site devoted to them. Includes info about DVD Easter eggs, too.
And while we're on the subject of DVD Easter eggs, there's a site about them, too.
Finally, do you have T2? (Why not buy it now?) If so, there is apparently an entire separate cut of the movie on the DVD, which we imagine is pretty cool. Check it out.
Oh, and why not
build stuff with Lego?
New Magz (mmmm....bridge)
Pictures from our disposable "double wide" camera:
Easy card tricks. A friend of ours (hi James) recently showed us a nifty card trick, so we figured we'd find some more.
Calvin and Hobbes flash games. Remember the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes? Well these are some little games based on that strip. Enjoy!
Star Wars newspaper. Created by the folks at Lucasfilm (we can prove it), this is fake (we think) online newspaper for the Star Wars universe, with discussions of events that took place between Episode I and Episode II. We think they're going for a Blair Witch-type internet buzz.
And finally, a story about
goofy 404 Error messages.
Sample 1, Sample 2 (Jamie's favorite), and
404 Research Lab, devoted to this stuff.
FYI, Angelfire has good ones, too. (And we have our own)
We have a new niece! Happy birthday to Ellery Talbot Sparkman, born March 12, 2002 at a whopping 9 lbs, 15 oz.
Vegas baby! That's where we'll be for the next few days. Yeeha!
We're staying at the beautiful Riviera Hotel and Casino. Not the poshest place there, but who cares?
Join in the fun:
Oh, and because Kim "Digger" Dunn demanded it, a picture of Jamie and Molly.
Pictures from New Years
The rest of the pictures from ground zero
Games! (From simple games up to complex ones)
The first computer game ever. Literally. Recreated by the good folks at MIT.
Classic simple games like Battleship and Minesweeper.
Stupid games. Courtesy of Stupid.com
Shockwave games. Ranging in difficulty.
Cellular automata. This isn't really a game, we know, but it's supposed to mathematical representation of the same processes that give us biodiversity. Oddly compelling. Also try the grandly named Meaning of Life (it's the same thing but with colors).
Juggle a soccer ball. This is hard at first, but addicting in a Solitaire sort of way.
Sports simulations. From a driving range to a soccer shootout to a discus throw. Very smooth, very cool.
Ever wanted to learn Cricket? A must.
Constuctor. One word. Wow.
And finally, The War in Afghanistan. Ok, this isn't really a game either. It's a statement about how modern war resembles a computer game (we think).
Cool Stuff(Special thanks to the NY Times for this installment)
Playmail. This is pretty cool technology. You send mail to your friends and it is read to the recipient by a remarkably well-animated face. Give it a shot.
Love letters from historical figures. The real mccoy. Here's a sample from Napoleon: "Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart!" Sounds like the little man hooked up.
Love letters as art. This woman has created a website devoted to love letters she's written - lovers, friends and even strangers. Interesting stuff.
Classic novels via e-mail. "Classic novels in 5 minutes a day!" proclaims this site. What they do is pretty nifty: they e-mail you complete classic novels - in short daily installments. Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens -- lots of biggies. Improve your mind while wasting time at work!
Color test. We don't know what to make of this. Like horoscopes and Tarot cards, it seems to serve up a bunch of vague statements that anyone could apply to themselves (though these seem curiously obsessed with the negative). Try picking randomly, though, and it sometimes isn't accurate. Bah.
Jamie's descent into ultimate geekhood continues! Click on this: http://jamie.talbot.name. Yes, it brings you back here, but hey, do you have your own personal domain name? We didn't think so.
Fun and/or Cool links:
This lady is a loony. We think this is a resume, but it's also a long rant of her perceived abuses. Some gems: "Perhaps I rank historically among the 50 or 100 most intelligent and talented people in the most fields ever" and "I have been illegally run over by inferior trash since my father died 1/82."
Creepy. This is the official web site for the Tron sequel. Live the mystery.
Find pictures of your house from space (the pictures, that is, not your house). This is a really a public demonstration of Microsoft's technology for managing enormous amounts of data (it's called TerraServer, get it?), but hey, even Microsoft can do something cool now and then.
More pictures from space, but they don't bother showing you your house. These pictures are better quality, though.
Online Personality Tests
Ah, yet another way to waste time on the internet. Find out:
What Video Game Character are you? I'm a Breakout Bat.
Which Beatle are you? I'm Ringo. Bummer.
Which Simpsons character are you? I'm Marge.
Which Classic Book are you? Robinson Crusoe here.
What Type of Driver are you? Me? I'm a prudent driver. Clearly, the test is not that accurate.
Can't get enough? Try here. Look along the left column. Literally dozens of the things.
This is eerie. It's a message board from 9/11. It's not something any of us want to relive, but this is an excellent reminder of the confusion, chaos and mixed emotions of that morning. This will eventually move to the 9/11 page, as well as the archive.
Domain name fun
(or, we couldn't think of anything to put here, but the holiday links were getting old)
It's a new year! 2002! The possibilities for domain name marketing are astounding! Let's see what people have done with this opportunity:
2002.com. Parked (means it's registered and there's one of those "Coming Soon!" pages on it)
Year2002.com. Religious nuts.
e2002.com. For sale!
year2002.info. An ad for a domain name reseller.
All in all, pretty disappointing.
More pictures of mills.
Pictures from ground zero.
SantaClaus.com. Yes, Santa himself has a website...or at least someone wants you to think he does. Ho ho ho! Also see NorthPole.com.
Track Santa! Every year, the people that track incoming nuclear missiles track Santa as he makes his rounds. This site is cute as heck.
Christmas.com. Apparently the NASDAQ collapse hasn't yet hit this purveyor of holiday-themed games, plugins and the like.
Tour the White House holiday setup (please, no terrorists).
Stick figure karate. Absolutely incredible. Think Stick Figure Death Theater meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets The Matrix. Be sure to check out Fights 3 and 4.
Shockwave. Full of games. Caution, though, my computer has been known to abruptly and irretrievably crash when playing some of these games, so SAVE YOUR WORK. I am partial to Daily Jigsaw and Diamond Mine.
We have absolutely nothing to do with KPMG. (Why is this here?)
Ginger revealed! Turns out it's a personal 2 wheeled scooter that is all but impossible to tip over. Funky! It's still featured in buy stuff if you are inclined to purchase one sometime in the future (it's not available yet).
Check out buy stuff. We're trying to add new things frequently (like every other week). Now featuring: The mysterious "Ginger" device!
Interesting and/or useful links:
Snopes.com. Urban legends debunked. Including rumors relating to the current war.
Bored.com. Links to sites for killing time.
Weather.com. Check your local weather.
Less interesting links:
Skadden, Arps. Where Jamie works.
Packer. Where Molly works.