Archives for April 2011

Making the mistake so many men make of not listening to a woman

A man traveling by plane was in urgent need of a restroom facility. But each time he tried, it was occupied. The flight attendant, aware of his predicament, suggested he use the attendant’s ladies room, but cautioned him not to press any of the buttons. There next to the paper roll were four buttons marked WW, WA, PP and ATR.

Making the mistake so many men make of not listening to a woman, he disregarded what she said when his curiosity got the best of him. He carefully pressed the WW button and immediately a gentle flush of Warm Water sprayed on his bare bottom. He thought “Wow, these gals really have it nice.”

A little more boldly he then pressed the WA button and body temperature Warm Air blew across his wet bottom and dried it comfortably. “Aha!” he thought “No wonder these women take so long in the bathroom with these kinds of services.” So he pushed the next button PP with anticipation. A soft disposable Powder Puff swung below him and dusted his bottom lightly with talc. “Man this is great” he thought as he reached out for the ATR button.

When he awoke in the hospital, the morphine was just wearing off. Confused, he buzzed the nurse to find out what happened. He explained the last thing he remembered was intense pain in the ladies room on the plane. The nurse explained, “Yes, you must have been having a great time until you pushed the Automatic Tampon Removal button. By the way, your Willie is under your pillow.”

History with purpose: MUDs and MOOs

I’ve bored friends and colleagues with my stories of discovering the power of MUDS in the early 1990s. I have a massive soft spot for the original virtual worlds (as pictured), but aside from sentimentality there remains a real role for these text-based worlds. Justin Olivetti over at Massively has a great article on MUDs that showcases some of the good ones and the people who play them.

The reason I believe these environments still have relevance is not just because of the dedicated community that still use them. They provide some great lessons in how to create engaging communities and content. Most people tend to think of MUDS as gaming-oriented platforms, which is essentially true. The thing is, their sibling the MOO (MUD, Object Oriented) has that real content creation focus that led to iconic communities such as LambdaMOO. My own experiences were with a MOO used to interact with music collaboration software and its power to engage people was incredible.

So, if you’re interested in getting people excited about a common purpose or just want a great social space, spend some of your development time wandering around a MUD or MOO. I’d also love to hear about your experiences: did you have or do you still have a favourite MUD / MUSH / MOO?

No wonder he was so smart

When Albert Einstein was making the rounds of the speaker’s circuit, he usually found himself eagerly longing to get back to his laboratory work. One night as they were driving to yet another rubber-chicken dinner, Einstein mentioned to his chauffeur (a man who somewhat resembled Einstein in looks and manner) that he was tired of speechmaking.

“I have an idea, boss,” his chauffeur said. “I’ve heard you give this speech so many times. I’ll bet I could give it for you.”

Einstein laughed loudly and said, “Why not? Let’s do it!”

When they arrive at the dinner, Einstein donned the chauffeur’s cap and jacket and sat in the back of the room. The chauffeur gave a beautiful rendition of Einstein’s speech and even answered a few questions expertly.

Then a supremely pompous professor asked an extremely esoteric question about anti-matter formation, digressing here and there to let everyone in the audience know that he was nobody’s fool.

Without missing a beat, the chauffeur fixed the professor with a steely stare and said, “Sir, the answer to that question is so simple that I will let my chauffeur, who is sitting in the back, answer it for me.”

Nasty bug

Every night, Frank would go down to the liquor store, get a six pack, bring it home, and drink it while he watched TV. One night, as he finished his last beer, the doorbell rang. He stumbled to the door and found a six-foot cockroach standing there. The bug grabbed him by the collar and threw him across the room, then left.

The next night, after he finished his fourth beer, the doorbell rang. He walked slowly to the door and found the same six-foot cockroach standing there. The big bug punched him in the stomach, then left.

The next night, after he finished his first beer, the doorbell rang again. The same six-foot cockroach was standing there. This time he was kneed in the groin and hit behind the ear as he doubled over in pain. Then the big bug left.

The fourth night Frank didn’t drink at all. The doorbell rang. The cockroach was standing there. The bug beat the snot out of Frank and left him in a heap on the living room floor.

The following day, Frank went to see his doctor. He explained events of the preceding four nights. “What can I do?” he pleaded.

“Not much” the doctor replied. “There’s just a nasty bug going around.”

Ten great music mashups on Youtube

All top ten lists are arbitrary, but here’s another one anyway. Mashups are a very creative process, especially so when they result in a quality outcome. Below are ten of what I think are the best mashups to be found on Youtube. Please add your own favourites in the comments, otherwise enjoy:

1. Royals (Lorde) Vs Roar (Katy Perry)

2. Adele Vs Eurythmics – ‘Rolling In Sweet Dreams’

3. Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr) versus Thunderstruck (AC/DC)

4. Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees) versus Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd)

5. The Final Countdown (Europe) versus Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)

6. We Will Rock You (Queen) versus Hey Ya (Outkast)

7. Song 2 (Blur) versus Daddy Cool (Boney M)

8. No Woman, No Cry (Bob Marley) versus Let It Be (The Beatles)

9. I Kissed A Girl (Katy Perry) versus Mr Vain (Culture Beat)

10. Blue Monday (New Order) versus Hung Up (Madonna)

Unique iPad and iPad 2 cases

The iPad 2 has been out for a few months now, and I’ve started seeing some unique or downright weird cases showing up. Here’s a few of them:

DIY iBook mutant

A father/son duo have taken an old iBook and turned it into a cool iPad 2 case:


Whether it’s Japanese cotton, Irish tweed or corduroy, Foof have a bunch of unusual iPad sleeves. Have a look for yourself.


If wood’s your thing, then have a look at the Vers for iPad:


Want to get wet with your iPad? This bag isn’t custom built for iPad but will fit one in.


To finish off, I believe the iCade is simply the sexiest iPad case out there, which would be why stock continually runs out.

Croissants and Danish Pastries: behind the scenes

I’m really pushing the boundaries of saying this is tech-related, but what the hell. Below is a fascinating video on how croissants are made. Enough said, now watch:

Enough butter for you?

Rod Humble: unfortunately we’re in The Promised Land

As Linden Lab CEO, Rod Humble has made an impression in his first few months. He very much needed to given the challenges faced, but I’m actually encouraged by the wider view he seems to be taking on the impact virtual environments can have on all of us. Speaking at what I’m assuming is a recent event , Humble covered a fairly wide gamut on games, games as art-forms and the concept of eventual computer-generated art via games. A specific point made fell around the huge progress the games industry has made, effectively entering ‘The Promised Land’, but that perhaps this was holding progress and/or serious questioning of games outcomes back.

Have a read through for yourself and then have your say in comments. His perspective on free will is enough to start a gargantuan discussion thread, let alone the other issues addressed.

Overall, Humble’s thoughts are a deeper perspective than one traditionally expects from a CEO and it’s a welcome change. That said, applying that broad mindset to the specific challenges Linden Lab faces is the real test of mettle to come. Initial indications are favourable but there’s a long way to go yet.

Virtual fashion mag Second Style calls it a day

Since 2006, Second Style has produced a glossy, high-quality magazine covering fashion in Second Life. The attention to detail has always stood out for me, so it’s sad to hear that the magazine’s creators have announced they are calling it quits:

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The downturn in the Second Life economy has been difficult to combat, and our resources have become too low to maintain the magazine any longer. We’ve discussed numerous options, cutting back here or there…but it wouldn’t be fair to anyone – – our staff, our readers, or our advertisers.

It’s a shame and it further emphasises the perception issue Linden Lab faces around being in decline, even though at worst stagnation can be argued and there are even some early signs of turnaround under new executive leadership.

I still wonder how any turnaround can generate significant momentum when dedicated people like those at Second Style can’t see the viability of keeping going. Virtual pets and Facebook integration seem a little shallow in comparison don’t you think? Even if you a person that thinks fashion is the height of vacuousness.

Hospital Chart Bloopers

Actual notations from hospital charts!

1 . The patient refused autopsy.

2. The patient has no previous history of suicides.

3. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

8 The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

9. Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

11. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

12. She is numb from her toes down.

13. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

14. The skin was moist and dry.

15. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

16. Patient was alert and unresponsive.

17. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.

18.. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.

19. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

20. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

21. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

22 The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

23. Skin: somewhat pale but present.

24. The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

25. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities

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