Monday, December 31, 2007

Song from Allstate commercial made it to No. 40 on the Billboard charts

It would be unremarkable that the song “From Where You Are” by Jason Wade, a singer in the band Lifehouse, had cracked the Billboard top 100 list — except that it was written for an Allstate commercial.
Unavailable on any album, the song has received little airplay on the radio but it had wide exposure in a 60-second Allstate spot promoting the insurance company’s safe driving program for teenagers. The commercial first ran after an episode of “Friday Night Lights” on NBC in late October that had a teenage driving theme.
On Nov. 6, “From Where You Are” was made available on iTunes, where it sold briskly enough to hit No. 40 on the Billboard charts for the week ended Nov. 24.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

$159,000 C-3PO leggings

By Nicolas Ghesquière for the Balenciaga collection. More information here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, in Gingerbread

More photos here. Via.

Turn a regular diecast car into a "Cars" car

Julius Marx explains how he transformed a regular old Scion into a Pixar Cars version of his own Scion.  Link.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

USC football coach Pete Carroll has given up fear

Carroll gave up fear long ago. He gave it up the way people give up carbs. Fear now has no part in his daily life. Fear is like an old, distant friend. They know each other well, talk once in a while, but they're not close like they used to be.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Blog dedicated to band logos


Spy plane to recharge itself by hanging on a power line

The next time you see something flapping in the breeze on an overhead power line, squint a little harder. It may not be a plastic bag or the remnants of a party balloon, but a tiny spy plane stealing power from the line to recharge its batteries.

The idea comes from the US Air Force Research Lab

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sony television

Read about it here.

Amazon has posted a photo gallery and review of J.K. Rowling's new ultra-limited edition book

We're incredibly excited to announce that Amazon has purchased J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard at an auction held by Sotheby’s in London. The book of five wizarding fairy tales, referenced in the last book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is one of only seven handmade copies in existence. The purchase price was £1,950,000, and Ms. Rowling is donating the proceeds to The Children's Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Amazon customer reviews of the Bic ballpoint pen

But, when that quality carbide ball touched the surface of the paper, it was not ink that came out. From a distance I heard the screams of men and the cackling of innumerable ravens. I stopped, cold and sweating profusely. I looked down at the Bic Crystal black medium ballpoint pen which I held in my hand, only to see darkness. I dashed it against the wall, recoiling in horror. I saw in the corner of my eye my faithful notebook, which now lay on the ground. Once unmarred, I saw now the small mark which I had made with the devil's own pen. It spread across the page like a plague, and looking at it I gazed upon true horrors. For, what I thought had been ink was in fact a portal

Homeland Security Threat Level Bedding


Monday, December 10, 2007

Emoticon stamp

Scrunch it up for different expressions. Buy.

Elmore Leonard's (Illustrated) 10 Rules of Writing

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing. I've easily read half a dozen books by Elmore Leonard.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Custom made doll house based on your own home

FAO Schwarz:
Make Your House a Doll House
Starting at $10,000

In an exclusive service only available to FAO Schwarz customers, you can now own an exquisitely detailed scale model of your own home, beach house, or ski chalet. Sounds amazing? It's all that and more. Here's how we do it: the design team makes an appointment to come to your home. Then it's back to the studio, where highly skilled artisans recreate every inch of your home in 1-inch-to-1-foot scale. This includes the wallpaper, paint color, lighting - even the actual fabric of your furniture through real swatches or recreated fabric! Truly an astonishing prize for any homeowner, these masterpieces are sure to be passed down from generation to generation, preserving your home as a valuable piece of history and nostalgia.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

China's Weather Modification Program

Every year, China launches thousands of rockets and artillery shells into the sky. They're not part of a set of war games or preparation for a battle with Taiwan, but rather a battle with the weather. Through its Weather Modification Program, the Chinese government hopes to control the fickle forces behind rain. Run by the Weather Modification Department, a division of the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Science, the program employs and trains 32,000 to 35,000 people across China, some of them farmers, who are paid $100 a month to handle anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers.
More here.

Now Yu and the other rainmakers face their toughest challenge: making sure it stays dry for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The idea is for the peasant gunners to work with meteorologists watching radar in the capital. Together, they will hunt pregnant rain clouds and pound them with rockets containing silver iodide. The hope is that any moisture will fall before the clouds can threaten the parade of athletes and lighting of the Olympic flame at the new National Stadium.
Read more.

American Society of Magazine Editors picks their magazine favorite covers of 2007

Many more here. Via.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Edvard Munch was known as the “handsomest man in Norway,”

Known as the “handsomest man in Norway,” and well-mannered to boot, he attracted women as catnip does cats, but preferred to keep them at arm’s length. A couple of early affairs had gone wrong, and the antics of his friends had given him a warped sense of women. And he never wanted children, as he feared they would become insane. The classic Madonna/whore view of women is apparent in his paintings of what he called “vampire women” with “nutcracker muscles in their thighs.”

In a quarrel with his Norwegian mistress, Tulla Larsen, who stalked him all over Europe, he ended up shooting himself in a finger, which for the rest of his life remained sheathed in black leather. This slight injury he blew up to mythical proportions, painting himself stark naked on an operating table lying in a huge pool of blood.
Read more.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Star Wars comic book featuring killer rabbits

Russia gives top honor to spy who stole secret to the atom bomb

On Nov. 2, the Kremlin startled Western scholars by announcing that President Vladimir V. Putin had posthumously given the highest Russian award to a Soviet agent who penetrated the Manhattan Project to build the atom bomb.

The announcement hailed Dr. Koval as “the only Soviet intelligence officer” to infiltrate the project’s secret plants, saying his work “helped speed up considerably the time it took for the Soviet Union to develop an atomic bomb of its own.”

Get Smart Teaser Poster

Saturday, November 10, 2007

LA Kings bond by competing in a scavenger hunt

The teams were sent out in vans to different locations and had to complete the first of five tasks. The first team to complete all five tasks won the competition. The tasks were:

A) To hit a fly ball beyond the infield grass at Dodger Stadium. Tommy Lasorda was there to provide assistance and, I'm told, a profane pep talk, as only Tommy can provide.

B) To have an artist in Venice Beach sketch a portrait of one of the players.

C) To teach a 10-minute lesson in a classroom at Torrance Elementary School.

D) To stand on a surfboard for at least five seconds in the Manhattan Beach water.

E) To find Jim Fox in Hollywood. A clue was posted near Bob Miller's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which the players also had to locate.

Link. Via.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Protesters march as zombies to protest Boston University's Level-4 Biosafety Laboratory

With Boston Police Department officers close behind, the horde of protesters began their menacing march at the corner of Albany and East Dedham Streets and snaked toward City Hall, moaning, "We have been infected by the BU biolab" and "The BU biolab has infected me with a terrible pathogen." During the march -- the newest form of protest in a seemingly futile battle to stop construction of the biolab -- the zombies stuffed anti-lab flyers under the doors of nearby businesses and into the palms of curious onlookers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

German Christmas advent calendar includes image of local serial killer

Sales shot up after the word got out.

If Jerry Sloan had a computer, he'd only use it to look at tractors

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was asked about the Internet:
"I don't have (a computer), and I wouldn't know how to turn it on if I had one," said Sloan, who maintains a farm in his native Illinois. "The only thing I'd be interested in looking at is tractors anyway."


Make an Ork Stompa

Step by step instructions here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Want to see your turkey on a webcam before it's slaughtered?

Heritage turkeys typically cost at least $4 per pound--at 26 pounds, Heritage Foods' biggest bird sells for $209, shipping included; grocers can sell a factory-farm Butterball at a quarter of that price. So Martins and Wickstrom decided to target foodies.


He helped Frank Reese, one of his suppliers, install a Webcam on his Kansas farm so customers could see their birds pre-slaughter.
Here's Heritage Foods' website. This link appears to be the webcam, but it wasn't working when I checked.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The 5 O'Clock Clock

Designed by Tibor and Maria Kalman, and supposedly occasionally available in the MOMA store. Via.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shannen Rossmiller befriends and betrays online jihadists -- while she gets her kids ready for school

Shannen Rossmiller grew up on a Montana wheat farm. She is blond and slim: When she was a cheerleader in high school, she typically wound up at the top of the human pyramid. Her husband runs a wireless Internet company, and they have three children. After college, she was appointed a local judge in a small Montana town, where she and her family still live and which she'd rather not identify. "


Rossmiller developed her remarkable talent for chatting up terrorists after September 11, when she started going into online forums and cajoling valuable information from other visitors. She has passed along numerous case files to federal authorities. Her information has led US forces abroad to locate Taliban cells in Afghanistan, discover a renegade stinger-missile merchant in Pakistan, and help another foreign government identify a ring of potential suicide bombers. 
Read more.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Japanese War Tubas

See more acoustic locators here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Vatican to admit it wrongfully burned the Knights Templar at the stake 700 years ago

They're selling the very fancy apology as a limited edition. $8,333, apiece. Link.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Backup football player plants marijuana in starter's dorm room

His plan was to get the starter arrested, so he could become the starter. Link.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Google/Youtube merger was nearly interrupted by a police officer on patrol

David Drummond, Google's head of corporate development, and Gideon Yu, then YouTube's CFO, now Facebook's, spent the night hashing out the deal in the restaurant. They then began signing the term papers in Denny's parking lot around 3 a.m.

A local police officer was patrolling the area at that same moment. The cop saw the Asian-American Yu and African-American Drummond, dressed casually in jumpsuits and baseball hats -- standard uniforms for late and long negotiations -- huddled over the hood of a car signing the paperwork.
Read what happened next.

Natural Field Turf Soda

Jones Soda is at it again. The new NFL-themed flavors are Dirt, Sports Cream, Perspiration, Natural Field Turf, and Sweet Victory. Natural Field Turf Soda is described as "like playing tackle football, and you get tackled really hard, you're down on the ground and you get a little bit of the grass in your teeth."
 Follow the link for a description of the other flavors.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scientists sent Salmonella into space, and it came back much deadlier

After the shuttle returned, mice were given varying oral doses of the salmonella and then were watched.

After 25 days, 40% of the mice given the Earth-bound salmonella were still alive, compared with just 10% of those dosed with the germs from space. And the researchers found it took about one-third as much of the space germs to kill half the mice, compared with the germs that had been on Earth.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gummy Heart


Coming Very Soon: One Laptop Per Child

Our mission is to provide a means for learning, self-expression and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education. While children are by nature eager for knowledge, many countries have little resources to devote to education—sometimes less than $20 a year per child. Imagine the potential that could be unlocked by giving every child in the world the tools they need to learn, no matter who they are, no matter where they live, no matter how little they may have.

If you'd like to donate an XO laptop today, simply click the donation button on the right, above the photo. A donation of $200 will pay for and deliver one XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, $400 will pay for and deliver two XO laptops, and so on.

Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home. If you're interested in Give 1 Get 1, we'll be happy to send you a reminder email. Just sign up in the box to the left and you'll receive your reminder prior to the November 12 launch date.

Bathroom scale tells you your weight in terms of celebrities

Available for purchase here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Internet Warnings

More here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hyundai boss too important to be jailed

In South Korea, the rule of law was no match for the strength of Hyundai Motor Co.

Convicted of embezzling $110 million, Hyundai Chairman Chung Mong-koo was deemed too important to South Korea's economy to be sent to prison, an appeals court ruled late Thursday.

Workers show concern for injured coworker by wrapping everything in her cubicle in bubble wrap

More photos here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Greg Packer, the man that gets quoted by newspapers

From an AP memo:
The world is full of all kinds of interesting people. One of them is Greg Packer of Huntington, N.Y., who apparently lives to get his name on the AP wire and in other media. It works: A Nexis search turned up 100 mentions in various publications.

We ourselves have quoted Mr. Packer while he was:

– visiting the site of the former Studio 54 in New York City in 1996
– the first person in line for a White House tour on George Bush’s inauguration day in 2001
– attending an XFL football game in New Jersey in 2001 (and at many more East Coast sporting events)
– opining in Times Square on subjects ranging from the millennium to the war in Iraq
– sporting a bright green wig and a painted green mustache at New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade this year
– the first person in line to buy Hillary Clinton’s book at a New York City book signing earlier this week
Read more.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight cover

By Chip Kidd.