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This long, strange trip

*Yes, I did publish this a few times with two different titles. Sorry 'bout that.

Blabberize:  Select the mouth, add the audio and your picture talks.  Just in time for the political season.  I hope these guys have some heavy duty hosting.

Speaking of making your own campaign ads, this is sort of the Fred Thompson version of the "Crush on Obama" video we saw the other day. It's not as sexually troubling, but it does make me wonder when we'll start seeing candidates try to rein in these kinds of volunteer contributions to the campaign.  I don't know the relationship of the FredHeads to Fred's actual campaign but I can see how he might not want his image crafted in quite the way they're doing it.  And just as the leak of Michael Moore's film could cut both ways (hurting ticket sales or helping spread distribution and interest) I have to wonder if we'll see volunteer videos of support that are actually opposition tactics.  Now that I think about it, Obama has been particularly plagued.  The "Crush on Obama" video was of dubious value and the one previous to that in which Hillary was cast as Big Brother had to be disavowed by the campaign.

Speaking of Hillary videos, I saw that Hillary Sopranos ad as the latest in a series of attempts to make her seem less like a D.C. robot and more like an actual human being, so I didn't think to add a layer of Freudian analysis to it.  Ann Althouse did, however, and lit a small blog-o-fire.  In short, Bill wanted onion rings because they symbolize vaginas and that's why Hillary gave him carrots (phalluses).

Speaking of viral gone wrong, College student gets hundreds of cell phone calls due to HALO 3 viral marketing campaign - The story doesn't summarize very easily but suffice it to say that avid video game fans, anxious to solve a puzzle related to a new game solved the puzzle wrong, refused to believe they were wrong and spread this guy's number across the Web.  I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere, though it may just be that "viral" is a long, strange trip.

There's something happening here.  What it is ain't exactly clear.  Somehow I don't think "presence updaters" is going to catch on as a term though. (Here, since I just put it in your head.)

Speaking of trends and changes, "The willingness of the big broadcast television networks to embrace change — by making it easier to watch shows online and by adopting new types of ratings — is contributing to stronger demand for commercial time ahead of the fall season." Sonofagun... it worked. I do wonder though if it's just the on-demand element that worked or the fact that the online showings have fewer commercials (that you can't skip). Will TV on the Web end up being just like TV on TV?

"In the last 24 hours, Google produced 9,967 kilowatt-hours of electricity from the sun."

This is kind of neat. I thought it was a trailer for the new Harry Potter but it's a QTVR 360 photo of the set of 12 Grimmauld Place.

"Thanks to the ingenious workings of my cousin and mentor, Mr. Jules Verne, I have had the opportunity to travel from the present day, indeed, from the present century, far into the future, to a year that by my best surmise is approximately 2007, at which time I was able to converse with numerous members of the society of scientists known (enigmatically to me) as "The Blogos Fear." From these conversations, I have ascertained numerous proofs, some complete some in process, of the Theories of Organic Change and Natural Selection, as well as Sexual Selection, as have been laid out by my very deservedly famous uncle, Charles Darwin of the Royal Society." -From the intro of Tangled Bank #82, the science blog carnival.

How to Soundproof an Apartment - I never heard of Green Glue or mass-loaded vinyl.

This story of the crushing of drag racers' cars (which elicited a cry of, "Waste!" from every blogger with an appreciation for the parts in those cars) reminds me, Pinks is back on. (NOTE: Video/audio plays automatically) I don't know when the season started again but I watched a bunch the other day. And the site has a game.

"An electronic retinal implant uses technology borrowed from digital cameras to restore some sight to the blind" It's for when your rods and cones are shot but your optic nerve still works.

Creative writing exercise starter line of the day: "Ding has consulted his neighbours, who believe the flowers are the legendary Youtan Poluo flower, which blossoms only once every 3,000 years."

Glubble is a new Firefox Web filter for kids.  Anyone use anything like this?  My kid is too little to do anything more than break a computer at this point but I guess eventually I'm going to have to start paying attention to things like this. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like raising a boy in the age of Web porn. When we give him "the talk" will we have to include a segment on the dangers of personal sex tapes?

Speaking of kids online, AT-AT Walker stroller - Awesome.

I read all of Bill Dedman's "The list." My favorites were the Mtv guy and the cartoonist.  The only one I thought was a little creepy was the Forbes person on the PERC board because they say outright that they see her as a vehicle for helping spread the word.

The Science of Gaydar - As is often the case with NY Magazine articles I got to the bottom of the first page and saw how many pages I had to go and went straight for the print button, so this is a Commuter Click for me. I was actually just recently having this same discussion with someone because gay pride day is coming up here in New York so I'll be interested to see if this article has a real answer: Regardless of whether you believe that there's a biological root to homosexuality, you can't deny that some homosexuals share some common traits and these traits appear to be international and cross-cultural. Are these traits just learned mannerisms or are there biological distinctions?

Singing Tesla Coil - If Spencer Gifts was purchased by Costco you could pick up one of these with your 5 gallon jar of mayonnaise. It reminds me a little of Close Encounters.

"Passengers on a Continental Airlines flight had to hold their noses for hours as sewage overflowed from toilets while they were high over the Atlantic." "He says was there was one partially-working restroom on the plane for the more than 200 people onboard."
Um... isn't the whole plane basically a partially-working restroom at that point?

Folks online are getting a laugh out of this parody of that Surface table-top computer.

I read this article twice and it still sounds like a scam. (The link in the article to Humraz has a typo in it.) You pay to bid in an auction and the person who wins has to have the lowest unique bid. I don't see how you develop a strategy for that so it seems almost like you just play your lucky number.

Ralph's recommendations:

Tomb Chess: Control the Graveyard - Use your strongest undead warriors to take control of the graveyard.

This one's surprisingly addictive. Hope you enjoy it.
-Ralph

Also from the mailbag:

Thought you might enjoy the "Fingerwrecker".  Whether or not you know or care about jazz, this guy will make your head spin.  Plus, it's great to see that jazz is surviving in New Orleans post-Katrina.
-Erin

Will adds: The role of "Disneyland's French Quarter" was unexpected to see in the description.