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This was supposed to be an ongoing blog of interesting (if not worthwhile) links and my commentary about them. I'd planned to update it daily, then weekly, and then I gave up before even reaching ninety posts. I make no guarantee these links work anymore, or if they do, that they're worth visiting.

make a unique shirt, or buy somebody else’s

There are a raft of custom shirt websites, but few as cool as Threadless. Their design philosophy is rather different, in that they accept submissions for new shirts and decide what to produce in some quasi-democratic fashion. Every seven days new shirts are chosen and rotated into stock, in limited runs that often sell out quickly to people of intelligent or eclectic fashion sense. Well, in t-shirts, anyway.

Anybody with a graphics program can make a design, and anyone with a web browser can vote on it, and anybody with money can buy it on a shirt.

They also sell gift certificates.

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Slanguage and sniglets

One of a small bunch of online dictionaries, the Pseudodictionary distinguishes itself for having quite possible the most made-up words or fictional definitions.

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“Rosebud” is people…

Sometimes the twist ending is all that remains in the memory once the screen stops flickering. Some people revel in knowing that ending just to spoil the whole thing for other people. For them, there’s Movie pooper, wherein can be found quick synopses as well as tell-all endings for a great deal of current (and not so current) movies.

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First class, anytime and anywhere

Aero mock-ups, inc. is a small crew of people in the business of making big things… well, convincing fakes at least. They offer, for rental and purchase, entirely believable and moderately functional replicas of airplane interiors that are as ready to film as they are for seating. Their client roster features both the airline industry and Hollywood (as seen in Fight club, Thomas Crown affair, Charlie’s angels, and more). Options include custom seating, big screens for the in-flight movie and even peanut and beverage carts.

All that’s missing, really, is the altitude.

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Professor/author collects interesting, bizarre links

Curiousity in academia is a good thing, particularly when it comes to finding weird web pages and sites. Professor and author Clifford Pickover takes that “curiousity” and “weird” a little far, though, in his links list updated several times daily with the things that tickle his (and his contributor’s) fancies and more sinister sensibilities. Not everything linked there is worth re-visiting, but to skip them altogether would be bad to all but the most devoted seekers of banality.

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Library of Progress

To call the collection of the Library of Congress exhaustive is understatement of the highest degree. Charged with maintaining and continuing to build on the world’s greatest treasury of recorded (and copyrighted) human knowledge, the Library has a mind-boggling amount of information and data accessible to Congress, the government, and the public at large. ‘Accessible’ is the key word there, since the public at large largely isn’t anywhere near D.C. to drop by the Library for a quick browse.

Fortunately those wishing to have their minds boggled can do it using a web browser, as a great deal of the collections are digitized and placed online. Furthermore much of the materials about American history and culture have been organized into over a hundred American Memory collections, cross-linked and searchable, and all readable and watchable online. Early animation shorts coexist with advertising broadsides and ethnographic study summaries all together in a massive store of primary source information. In addition, lesson plans and other educator resources are also provided to stimulate interesting teaching of America’s unique heritage. It’s all there to see and free to do so.

See the future for only ten bucks

Compound interest is an interesting thing. Given enough time, even a couple pennies can turn into billions of dollars with the right rate. Great riches aren’t merely a possibility, but a certainty. Also falling under such a description is time travel. No longer the darling of science fiction but a proven eventuality (at least if you believe Einstein, Sagan and Kaku) given the right technologies.

It was really only a matter of time before somebody put the two together. The Time Travel Fund has been established as a non-profit corporation, asking only $10 to join. That ten dollars ensures somebody that when he or she dies, moments before natural death, he or she will be retrieved by time travelers and brought back to the distant future to begin life anew. Compound interest makes it possible, because, though it is agreed that two-way time travel is possible, it is not a feasible technology with the resources currently or even soon at humanity’s disposal. Once time travel enters the equation, the wait doesn’t really matter, after all.

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The ultimate SUV

Forget Army-Navy surplus tents and machetes. Tanks for Sale is a British and Croatian company that sells decommissioned military vehicles (including tanks) and transports them worldwide. Rentals for movie sets, parties and the occasional angry commute are also available, though no prices are given on the site.

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Every soldier needs a helmet

Humans at large don’t know it, but they’re embroiled in a telepathic war with malevolent alien abductors. Capable of reading and controlling minds from 100 miles away, the aliens can make humans submissive and passive to take them away. At least according to Michael Menkin, who has designed what he (and others) find to be the only solution to the alien telepathy crisis: the thought-screen helmet. On his site he provides step by step instructions for constructing such headgear with common hats and shielding material available from 3M. Again, he doesn’t sell them, he only gives instructions for construction on his site.

Also there he provides further information about the brewing telepathy war, potential weaknesses of the aliens, a possible photo of one, and testimonials for the helmets he has designed. Science fiction literature excerpts that provided the inspiration for the thought screen (at least in name) are also on the site. Such protection, as Menkin describes it, is cheaply assembled but works so well as to be a good if not essential addition to any wardrobe.

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Definitely geeky and cynical

Greg Knauss is a funny guy. Though he thinks himself a geek, his not-a-blog and generally frequently updated site An Entirely Other Day provided pleasant looks at technology, kids, ant farms and more, with a refreshingly down-to-earth style not found with the hardcore bloggers today. Of course, “not found” also well describes EOD as it has vanished off the web, existing only in caches (like the fantastic Internet Archive). Undaunted by apparent deletions and posting delays, and with a published version of many of his old posts under his belt, and with sarcasm, cynicism and wit to spare, Knauss has set his sights (or rather, his site) on a new project: the Devil’s Dictionary 2.0, an update on the Ambrose Bierce classic.

He’s just started and has only written a handful of definitions, but the ones there are funny and show a wealth of potential for the future. An attribution line at the bottom foreshadows a possible guest authorship for entries, but nothing is certain. It’s going to take some time to flesh the whole thing out, but hey, it took old Ambrose over five years to compile the final edition of his Devil’s Dictionary–and to think, it started out for just cynics.

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