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Nothing for something

This is mostly a clearing of my notes for the coming week but since I need a theme at the top to write a headline to, here's my latest "two's a trend" item:

"SomethingStore is a fun new website that operates simply: We will send you something, an item selected randomly among many things from our inventory, for $10 (free shipping) and you will find out what your something is when you receive it." By random chance I also clicked this guy's photoblogging of his purchase of a few $1 mystery bags. I understand the fun here but I think it's a better idea if you send in ten bucks or buy the mystery bag for someone else. So it's a genuine surprise for all involved. Buying one for yourself is like giving someone ten bucks and saying, "Just buy me something, I don't care what, I just want stuff." That's pretty lazy.

Graffiti art to boost your inspiration - Obviously it's no challenge to find photos of graffiti online but this is the one I clicked and I did feel a bit inspired by the end so there you go. For what it's worth, the best online graffiti source I know is the Art Crimes site.

Heinz on Quest for Sweeter Tomatoes - My first reaction was that it's just another thing on the list to complain about when I'm old. "I remember back in the day when ketchup tasted like ketchup!" But then, cutting corn syrup and not resorting to "Franken-ketchup"... how can you resent a company for that?

Founding Father Steven Seagal

Nice slide show: Toxic nudibranchs - soft, seagoing slugs.

Downloading Pirated Science - This essay is mostly a gateway to broader discussions (like here and here) but the subject is one that's come to my mind (my not-particularly-aware-of-conversations-taking-place-in-the-halls-of-science mind). Why isn't it easier to get bootleg science articles online? Or, for that matter, legal, free versions. I think about it every time I'm in a university library and they have the most recent social science journals in the periodicals area, chock full of potential Commuter Clicks but all requiring pretty high subscription rates if you want more than the abstract online.

(P.S. The other thing I don't understand why there isn't more of being traded illegally is sheet music.)

(P.P.S. Yes, I'm prepared to be told I just don't know where to look.)

"Insect Lab is an artist studio that customizes real insects with antique watch parts and mechanical components."

Afrigadget is a blog devoted to African inventive ingenuity.

Rape kits for "Jane Doe" - This would have been a good link to pair with Friday's item about the girl making the rape accusation on YouTube. I don't see how a DIY rape kit would help with the rest (and seemingly more difficult parts) of the process of prosecuting a rape, but whatever makes things easier for a rape victim can only be good.

I couldn't find a real spark of interest in Cubescape until I hit the "replay construction so far" button.

City of Ember - See if you had the same reaction Helen and I did. drag over: (What?? Was that Bill Murray?)

Facebook in reality - I recently had to explain Facebook to my parents and by the looks on their faces I think this is pretty close to what it sounded like to them.

World's smallest helicopter takes off - That should say smallest ridable helicopter. It's yet another step in the long pursuit of personal jet pack the future was supposed to have provided by now.

Speaking of dubious inventions, the Fizz Cup looks fun and might even make a good DIY project but if you're going to have an extra plastic cup, why not just use a bigger one and pour the soda into it with the ice cream. Regardless, it's bound to be a better solution than A&W's all-in-one solution, which was kind of icky.

Dear John Mayer, Geeks do still exist. No, not everyone is one. And even if you enjoy buying expensive new gadgets, if you are a huge rock star and have had intimate relations with any number of the world's most desired women, you are automatically disqualified. Sorry 'bout that.

How to make a balloon bass - via this, which is mostly noise but still kinda cool. It's funny to hear him refer to "balloon twisters" and "non-balloon twisters."

The growing success of the vlogging wine guy furthers my belief that smart people who are enthusiastic about their subjects are inherently entertaining.

With apologies to the haters: Why Twitter Matters - "The key question today isn't what's dumb on Twitter, but instead how a service with bite-size messages topping out at 140 characters can be smart, useful, maybe even necessary."