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false economy

Foolproof [dive into mark] - Mark Pilgrim's adventures in breadmaking. Our breadmaker periodically produces a baked dough rock instead of a loaf. For no apparent reason. It's highly annoying. I have come to the opinion that yes, the bread is nice when it works. But I really can't be fucking bothered for daily consumption. There are shops for this purpose... and then I don't have to wash up the breadmaker's basket thingy, which can't be immersed. In fact, the instructions say "do not wet the outside of the basket thingy" (well ok they use whatever its real name is). Excuse me, it had DOUGH in it. It has little nooks and crannies where the paddle clips on. It needs cleaning... and I can't get the outside of it wet, let alone immerse the fucking thing? Gah.

We also have a juicer. The juice is great. The half hour scrubbing vainly at the fruit-encrusted internals is not so great. I'd like to point out that we do not save any money on bread or juice. So if you are planning to buy one of these appliances; do not fool yourself - you will theoretically get nice fresh bread and juice, but you will NOT save money. I don't know why people think they are going to save money... would you expect that if you were installing an espresso machine? Of course not. Same thing with breadmakers/juicers/icecream makers/pasta makers.

Meanwhile, someone in the comments section provides a link to an amusing comic.

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New Scientist - strange but true (I'm going to reproduce this bit completely since I think the host page is temporary):

AT THE UK's annual hi-fi show, held recently in two hotels at London's Heathrow airport, several exhibitors were selling exotic cables to connect amplifiers to loudspeakers. The price of these cables was staggering. A 6-metre length of oxygen-free copper could cost as much as £30,000 - and no, those four zeros are not a misprint.

We cannot comment on whether these cables really do make music sound better, because none of the exhibitors offered a controlled blind test - switching the same music between cheap and expensive cables without the listener knowing which was which.

But now that the show is over, we can reveal a secret.

One of the most popular demonstrations at the show was staged by British company Quad, to mark 50 years of making its world-famous hi-fi equipment. Recording engineer Tony Faulkner demonstrated Quad's latest loudspeakers. He explained how he used them to monitor the sound while making a recording of Saint-Saëns's complete works for piano and orchestra, which recently won the coveted Record of the Year award from Gramophone magazine.

As hi-fi buffs enthused over the sound, we spotted that the speakers were connected by some orange wires that looked strangely familiar.

'Yes, they would look familiar if you have a garden', Faulkner told us. 'Before the show opened we went over the road to the DIY superstore and bought one of those £20 extension leads that Black & Decker sells for electric hedge-cutters. They are made from good, thick copper wire, look nice and sound good to me. The show's been running for three days and no one in the audience has noticed'.

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psychic geeks

From Questions and Answers: A List Apart:

Why is code so small? - A bug in IE/Windows makes text marked with code or pre display smaller than the style sheet says it should.

How did you know I was using IE/Windows? - You said the code looked small.

This is why non-geeks sometimes think geeks are freakishly psychic... they forget that the strange thing they're seeing is probably a bug in their bog-standard windows setup which has been seen a ton of times. It's not nearly as cool as being psychic, but it is about as useful when doing any kind of frontline support.

can you guess where these came from?

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* George Lazenby was the first Aussie Bond.

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this saturday in brisvegas

If you're looking for something to do; come along to STRANGE ( New venue, 2-for-1 spirits all night, dancers, good tunes.

Something a bit different from every other club around - it's not a doof club, not an 80s revival, not a goth club. Laid back, lots of fun.

marilyn manson and dita von teese holding a koala (too amusing not to share!)

marilyn manson looking dorky and dita von teese holding a koala

Marilyn Manson, Dita von Teese and a koala who hopes to use this exposure to launch its burlesque career.

snapped while on their australian tour (duh). the staff member assigned to be their guide described them as "[the] most knowledgeable visitors I've ever taken through". apparently they'd looked up a bunch of real information about koalas beforehand.

You know, it just occurred to me that the only time I can recall seeing a koala up close was when we hosted an English visitor once; and we took her to some wildlife park specifically so she could hold one. I suspect I turned down the chance to hold one myself; since they tend to pee on people and frankly I wasn't paying for the privilege (where we went it cost extra to hold a koala, on top of admission). Otherwise i've only seen them waaaay up in trees. Usually asleep. Which is fine by me, that's what they do :)

BTW... please link through to this page rather than deep linking the image. Thanks. Here's the code to make it really easy :)

<a href="">Marilyn Manson, Dita von Teese and a Koala</a>

Buy cool Tshirts:
Buy funny tshirts at Tshirt Hell

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In other news, apparently the council still hires arseholes to drive their buses. 370 to the City this morning - fuck you, buddy.

Catalyst - Light Pollution: The human body is adapted to a world where there were 8 to 14 hours of complete darkness each night. But in modern life complete darkness is very rare. ... All this unnatural light interferes with the body?s melatonin cycle, which in turn might upset the estrogen balance, and cause breast cancer.

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Driver Down reaches the fourth and final episode of his Jury Duty experience.

In the end, any system is only as good as the people involved - and that's why we're totally fucked.

I try to comfort myself with the thought that it's always been this way. That these are not unique times. That there have always been people to cheer on lynchings, witch burnings, Inquisitions ... Humanity has always been a dull spoon intent on marching towards its boring doom, shitting where it sleeps and killing something to celebrate.

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Considering buying a Mac? Read Mac Sucks first. Macs do crash; they are no faster than a decent PC; they are more expensive than pretty much any PC; they are no more user-friendly than a PC. News flash: all computers crash sometimes. You will have to learn how to use whatever computer you buy. You will be able to hassle infinitely more friends for help if your PC has a problem..... oh wait. Get a Mac! Yeah! Great idea!

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Listen up, please!!! If you have lost something, you did not "loose" it. The word is "lose". The long "oo" sound is in the pronunciation, not the frackin spelling. OK? Simple test: compare (To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay) with (Not fastened, restrained, or contained). The dictionary makes it clear.

I have lost count of the number of people out there I've seen fuck this one up. Blog after journal after blog, people write loose instead of lose. My school teachers pulled students up on mistakes like that; what the fuck happened to everyone else?

Yes, I realise I've already ranted about this. Oddly enough, it hasn't stopped pissing me off since then ;P

./ & the reg

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Julian Burnside - A Bit About Words: P.G. Wodehouse used gruntled as a humorous opposite of disgruntled. Gruntle came first. It means to utter little grunts. As a noun, it is the contented grunting sound made by happy pigs; it is also a pig's snout. A pig whose nose is actually or metaphorically out of joint is aptly described as disgruntled.

Cross ref: Team Random.

colinmo: Owlies. One of the reasons I like working here is the fact it's in the middle of Toohey Forest (caveat: sometimes that's why I hate working here too - burnoffs and hayfever). We get to see various creatures around the place that you don't get elsewhere.


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lj meme

author meme off a random lj. couldn't resist a bookish meme :)

Their list:

  • Neal Stephenson
  • Iain M. Banks
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Robert A. Heinlein
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Tad Williams
  • Neil Gaiman
  • William Gibson
  • Mary Stewart
  • Stephen King

My list:

  • Neal Stephenson
  • Iain M. Banks
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Neil Gaiman
  • William Gibson
  • Rudy Rucker
  • Alexander Besher
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Darren O'Shaunessy
  • China Mieville


I need a new stomach. This one seems faulty. Or food pills for the bad days. Or maybe I need the construction sites to be finished so I can sleep more than 6.5 hours a night. Actually, several million dollars would probably sort all of this out - I could buy the perfect house, plus all the houses around it, then rent them to quiet people. Actually I'd settle for buying out the unit block next to ours and bulldozing the fucking thing. I might even give the annoying neighbours two minutes notice.

oh fuck, this is turning into a journal post. i need a link to validate it... here we go: Golden Casket. these fuckers keep getting the lotto numbers wrong. i buy a ticket with numbers written on it, then they broadcast different numbers. that's not how it's supposed to work, they have it all wrong.