Ecology 101

This portfolio of photographs of icebergs makes me care more about the environment than ten billion Al Gore PowerPoint presentations and ten thousand alarming scientific reports.

Posted by cronopio at 12:51 AM

Ze stopping sucks

Posted by cronopio at 10:46 AM

Down with the Force

'I quit on you when you cleared outta Detroit with Willy the Pimp!'
This is internet as its best.

  • One copy of Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope, starring James Earl Jones as the Voice of Darth Vader
  • DVDs of several other movies starring the same James Earl Jones
  • Video and audio editing software
  • A lot of time on your hands

Recipe: Mix 'n' mash.
You haven't laughed (or lived) until you've seen Darth Vader explain to a bemused Grand Moff Tarkin how he posed nude for a bronze sculpture in 1924, singing "Deep River".

The Vader Sessions

Posted by cronopio at 02:23 PM

Two great sites

Ze Frank is the only person online or offline I know called "Ze". His show "The Show", vidcast every weekday, mostly shows Ze's head commenting on current events public and private. The rapid jump cuts spice up what is basically a talking head. CNN is reportedly considering the same technique for their anchors to attract The Younger Crowd.
The Frog Review site (Flash alert), somehow connected to Ze, features two frogs who critique various Web sites' usability problems. Who better to point out the weaknesses of the Home Depot site than talking amphibians? If only they'd put on more reviews!

Posted by cronopio at 02:07 PM

Ay carumba!

Maybe somewhere on this planet, there are true telepaths: people who can read minds. If I was one, I'd keep my secret well hidden and use my telepathy to my advantage. It can be useful (and probably also depressing) to know what other people are thinking.
However, if I could only pretend to read minds, I'd probably make a cheap buck appearing on daytime television to stun the crowds with my amazing skills... of deception, that is.
You decide which is the case in this video. Even if you don't hable español, you can see a clear case of "pwn3d".

Posted by cronopio at 01:19 PM


I adore word games. My current obsession is wordsandwich.
In this game, you zoom in to a specific 5-letter word by typing words and seeing if your guess is alphabetically before or after the word.
Starting with MYTHS (as close to the middle of the alphabet as you can get), I initially use a binary search, continuously splitting what's left of the alphabet in half.
Still, the last steps are the trickiest and I usually can't crack it in under 14 steps. Can you do better?
Note: switch off the groovy lounge soundtrack if it bothers you. And it will.

Posted by cronopio at 03:18 PM


Check out Stuttershutter, where regular and incidental authors contribute digital photographs. Think of it as a flickrish counterweight to the wordy, texty snowstone or, if you will, the photographic me (I'm one of the incidental authors).

Posted by cronopio at 02:24 PM

Le Parkour

Le Parkour is a cross between an extreme sport, a suicidal mental disorder and a form of urban ballet. This activity, which was invented by one David Belle in the French suburbs (yes, they do more there than rioting and burning cars), involves jumping onto, down from, through and over various obstacles, scaling walls that seem unscalable to mere mortals, leaping from rooftops onto concrete floor several meters below, and generally laughing in the face of danger and slipping ice cubes down the vest of fear.
The Le Parkour Web site has a number of videos of Belle and his friends and competitors doing stuff that makes extreme skateboarders look like a bunch of sissies. Apparently, Luc Besson (he of "Léon" and "Taxi" fame) made a movie about them; I guess it didn't make it to my local cinema. In short: awesome stuff.

Posted by cronopio at 01:39 PM

Collect the whole set!

Shortly after discovering, a site that lets you manage which IMDb Top 250 movies you have or haven't seen, a nerd-like obsession to watch all Top 250 movies came over me. The tally now already stands at 192, a number which can go up as I watch movies, but also down as new unseen movies are added at the bottom of the list. I'm going to try and see lots of the unseen movies, and with a very good DVD rental place nearby, I'm sure I can get quite far.
That said, the list as it stands is not one I'd necessarily agree with. Geek classics such as Star Wars movies and Lord of the Rings movies score disproportionately high, and US movies predominate. Just to give you some stats, here are two views on today's snapshot of the Top 250:

To check my progress on seeing all of the movies, see the little "IMDB" indicator on the left, or check my page on the twofifty site.

Posted by cronopio at 01:13 PM

Be more productive

If you're interested in becoming more productive at your job or just in general, you could do worse than visit 43 Folders. This weblog offers simple, low-effort tips for boosting your productivity, which do not involve grievous bodily harm. I urge everyone to check out this site: I spent literally hours upon hours finding out how to be more productive.
Hmm. Wait a minute...

Posted by cronopio at 02:21 PM

Alternative Trailers

It's been on BoingBoing. It's been on all kinds of weblogs. It's even been in the friggin' New York Times. So now, it's time for me to blog it. Talk about blogging a dead horse.
The Shining - alternative movie trailer
It's pure perfection, and one of the funniest things on the internet in ages.

Posted by cronopio at 01:26 PM

Tell-tale Signs

I really love signs. Especially those very basic signs with stick figures, whose meaning often eludes you. Luckily, for people like me, there's a dedicated Web site: SwankSigns, where you can check out a photograph of a sign and try to say what it means. The results are often hilarious.
Not to be outdone, I took the time to photograph a number of signs on the passenger ship I was on during my holidays, and I'll be posting them one by one. Here's the first, my personal favorite.

This reads, of course, "Press button to set ship on fire."

Posted by cronopio at 01:32 PM

Can you recommend a good place to eat goat's brains?

If you've ever been a tourist, there's a good chance you've used a foreign phrase book. You know, these little pocketbooks that tell you how to say some of the most inane things known to man. Often, such phrases are ridiculously inappropriate, and thank Internet for someone collecting them on a Web site. I would comment on this weird phenomenon myself if I didn't know Dorothy Parker's 1931 review of the book The Ideal System for Acquiring a Practical Knowledge of French by one Mademoiselle Gaudel. Mrs Parker says it best:

Now you know perfectly well that at my time of life it would be just a dissipation of energy for me to learn the French equivalent of "Either now, or this afternoon at five." It is, at best, a matter of dark doubt that I shall ever be in any position in which it will be necessary for me to cry: "Although the captain is far from here, I always think of him." It is possible, of course, but it's a nasty wrench to the arm of coincidence that I shall find occasion for the showing-off of the phrase "Her marriage took place (eut lieu) on the 2nd of April, 1905"; or that it will be given me to slide gently into a conversation with "I admire the large black eyes of this orphan." Better rest I silent forever than that I pronounce: "In this case, it is just that you should not like riding and swimming"; or that I inquire: "Are you pleased that they will bring the cricket set?"; or that I swing into autobiography with the confession: "I do not like to play blindman's bluff"; or that I so seriously compromise myself as to suggest: "I propose that you breakfast with me and afterwards look for our friends."
The future is veiled, perhaps mercifully, and so I cannot say that never, while I live, shall I have occasion to announce in French: "It was to punish your foster-brother"; but I know which way I would bet. It may be that some day I shall be in such straits that I shall have to remark: "The friend of my uncle who took the quill feather bought a round black rice-straw hat trimmed with two long ostrich feathers and a jet buckle." Possibly circumstances will so weave themselves that it will be just the moment for me to put in: "Mr Fouchet would have received some eel." It might occur that I must thunder: "Obey, or I will not show you the beautiful gold chain." But I will be damned if it is ever going to be of any good to me to have at hand Mlle Gaudel's masterpiece: "I am afraid he will not arrive in time to accompany me on the harp."

75 years on, it's still hilarious.

Posted by cronopio at 01:24 PM

Star Wars: Revelations

Actual screenshot from movie

On a mere $20K budget, a group of Star Wars enthusiasts have created a forty-seven minute Star Wars spin-off movie called Star Wars: Revelations and put it online (beware, it's a whopping 250+ MB).
Given the limited funds, the result is quite simply stunning. It's just like a real Star Wars movie, apart from the bad acting.
No. Scratch that, I'm suddenly remembering Mark Hammill responding to the discovery that he's Darth Vader's son. It is just like a real Star Wars movie. And considerably more watchable than the Star Wars Holiday Special (aka "A Very Ewok Christmas").

Posted by cronopio at 01:30 PM

Shenanigans, Pt 2

Harmless practical jokes galore over at Check out how Rob Cockerham makes fake menus for TGI Friday's, engraved ashtrays for a mall where you can't smoke, and erotically suggestive instructions on how to put a lid on a styrofoam cup of coffee. The rest of his site is only slightly less inspired.

Posted by cronopio at 08:19 PM

Shameless promo

The reason there was no blog entry yesterday was because I was playing tourist guide for a girl visiting my city. I'd never seen this person before and was supposed to meet her at a busy spot downtown, so the question was, how would she recognize me?
I was pondering what would make me stand out as The Guy You're Looking For, when I remembered this T-shirt. I just put her name on it and hey presto, problem solved.
I bought this T-shirt recently and I'm having endless fun with it. Obviously, I'm using it to advertise snowstone. All I need is more velcro letters so I can write "NOTHING PROFOUND FITS ON A T-SHIRT".

PS No, it wasn't a blind date. My girlfriend doesn't like me going on blind dates.

Posted by cronopio at 01:29 PM

Shenanigans, Pt 1

Pulling pranks on people is generally juvenile and gross. If stag parties are any indication, most people's talent for practical jokes does not extend beyond combining hapless victims with various bodily fluids (or worse, bodily solids).
To show how the pros do their stuff, refer to the enthusiastic lot over at Improv Everywhere, who use practical jokes to make everyone's day a little more surreal. Check out Best Gig Ever, for example, where the gang cheer on an unsuspecting New York band performing in a bad Manhattan venue in the worst slot of the week. They also celebrate a random stranger's supposed birthday, and the best part of the prank is the guy's response.
You might consider these pranks mean until you realize that they're actually pleasant for the 'victim'. It is a well-documented fact in psychology that people who mind about this kind of thing generally mind the unusualness rather than the unpleasantness of the experience. Like the manager at the Virgin Megastore who calls the cops because people in his shop start a synchronized dance routine.

Megastore guy: They were all just standing there.

Cop: What were they doing?

Megastore guy: Just standing, and then they all danced.

Cop: Did they say anything?

Megastore guy: No.


Cop: Why are we here?

Upsetting these kinds of people should be everyone's ambition.

Posted by cronopio at 01:10 PM