Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Humor Category

Kara Swisher is one of the smartest, funniest and sometimes cruelest journalists I know. She is a co-host of the Wall Street Journal All Things Digital conference with Walt Mossberg.

For a variety of reasons she’s having a hard time getting an interview with Jerry Yang. She discovered that “Lunch with Jerry Yang” is the prize from Bloggers Challenge for the bloggers who inspire the most readers to give. To participate/give, just go to the AllThingsD page on the DonorsChoose site.

So… in addition to loving Kara, I also owe her for introducing me to cool people and letting me stay at her house and stuff. When she says, “i need you to flack this…it is for a good cause. also funny” I guess it means I should blog about it. ;-)

Good luck Kara. Sorry Jerry!

But it is a good cause. Really. I’m going to give right now.

For a more complete description of this whole thing, which is admittedly slightly difficult to understand, see Kara’s blog post about it.

When did Gen Kanai start working for the Viral Learning Center?

Picture of Gen Kanai.

(First spotted as an ad on Boing Boing.)

They have Powerpoint Karaoke at 23C3. Tim said they stole it from somewhere else, but I didn't catch the name.

You get up. They cue up a random presentation. You ad lib it.

I wonder when we'll start reviving all of the old Bubble 1.0 jokes?

They just announced that the conference is on the record (yay!) but there are no photos allowed (boo!). They cited security reasons. I have a feeling maybe this had something to do with it. (disclaimer: I had nothing to do with the "derivative work")

I KNEW people would make creative use of the CC licensed video I uploaded.

The WoW section subtitled. By Kazpah our friendly neighborhood Warlock.

And NO. That's NOT what I said. ;-P

The video requires some quicktime stuff and won't run in many players. If anyone knows how to convert it to other formats, let us know. FWIW, it seems to work in Safari on my Mac, but not in Firefox... and it will take awhile to download.

For one of the last resolutions of the ICANN board meeting, Vint asked the board to show their support by swaying back and forth in their seat. He promised to explain it later, but wasn't able to. Therefore, I believe it is my role in the interest of transparency, to explain the reference.

Last night Veni told us a joke.

Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev are on a train heading towards communism.

Suddenly the conductor says, "Oh noes! There are no rails left. We can not move on."

Lenin says, "no problem, Saturday is Lenin day and we will all work for free and cut down trees and build the rails."

Then Stalin says, "no, we must find out whose fault this is and kill them."

Khrushchev disagrees and says, "no, we can plant corn in the fields, sell the corn to the American and we can buy the railroad."

Brezhnev says, "no, we must all sit in the train and sway back and forward so we have the appearance of forward motion towards communism."

Finally Gorbachev stands up and says, "Comrandes, you don't understand the modern times. There is a new spirit of glasnost and perestroika. We need more transparency. We need more openness." At this point, he opens the windows and starts shouting, "there are no rails! There are no rails!"

After the joke, we tried replacing communism with new gTLD's and discussed which board members were like which Russian leaders...

Bret blogs about the vote.

I've been deleting a ton of comment spam from this spammer recently. I took a moment to read it and realized that it is, in a nutshell, a kind of weirdly poetic rendering of the state of the Internet today.
cleavage He stared at the clock in the dashboard instead <a href="">backgammon</a> [url=]backgammon[/url] Hi Marty!.
Maybe I'm just punch from too many long meetings...
The lighthouse station called Arctowski is probably the most southerly lighthouse in the world. Built at the Polish research station in Antarctica named after Henryk Arctowski, the famous 19th century Polish geographer and Antarctic explorer. Situated on King George Island in the South Shetlands group, its geographical position is 62o10'S, 58o28'W.

The following is the transcript of the actual radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland:

Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.


Canadians: This is a lighthouse, over...

via Michael

No idea if this is really a true story, but very funny. Does anyone else have a source for this?

UPDATE: Snopes says it's false. (Here's the US Navy denial.) Thanks Six Picas. I broke the first rule of blogging. Check Snopes first. Shows how out of it I am these days. ;-)

The Nikkei
10:31 13Sep2005 NIKKEI Hakuhodo Teams Up With Russian Ad Agency

Note: I couldn't identify the Russian firm. This is just a guess. KMD

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Hakuhodo Inc. formed a business partnership Monday with Russian advertising agency Prior Advertising, joining the growing ranks of Japanese automakers, consumer electronics firms and other businesses moving into the country to tap its developing economy.

Through its partnership with Prior, Hakuhodo aims to secure orders from
Japanese companies operating in Russia.  The Russian firm, meanwhile, will handle accounts on Hakuhodo's introduction.

Through this joint effort, the partners will aim for sales of 500 million yen over the next year.

Prior, an independent advertising company, recorded sales of about 65 million dollars, or roughly 7.1 billion yen, in the year ended December 2004.

Dentsu Inc. (4324) in August reopened its Moscow branch, which was temporarily closed.  Through its collaboration with Prior, Hakuhodo aims to compete with Dentsu in the Russian market.

The Russian advertising market is continuing to show growth.  In 2004, it was worth about 420 billion yen, up 30% from the previous year.
     (The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Tuesday morning edition)

"Note: I couldn't identify the Russian firm. This is just a guess. KMD"? This sounds like a message from the reporter to the editor. Oops. ;-)

The Nikkei is one of the largest newspapers in Japan. I guess even they screw up sometimes... or maybe they're trying to make it sound a bit more "bloggy".

Shining remix. Excellent. ;-)

via Nick

UPDATE: NYT article about this video from Matt in the comments.

The Ig Nobel Prizes, the Nobel Prize of all things funny are streaming live now.

via Steve Crandall

Video of some people who like Warcraft. Funny. (At least to me.) Watch it to the end.

via Jason

Weird, very Japanese and funny. Yahoo! goes hard gay.

UPDATE: I talked a friend of mine who has some elementary school kids. He said Hard Gay is all the rage and that all the kids walk around constantly doing the funny pelvic thrust that Hard Gay does.

I apologize to the people who are covering Katrina seriously and to all of the people who are affected by it. I just got this from Xeni and I think it's priceless.
SHEPARD SMITH: You’re live on FOX News Channel, what are you doing?

MAN: Walking my dogs.

SMITH: Why are you still here? I’m just curious.

MAN: None of your fucking business.

SMITH: Oh that was a good answer, wasn’t it? That was live on international television. Thanks so much for that. You know we apologize.

Xeni in IM
Cool. I love that SOME people in america are not media whores! Privacy before publicity.

UPDATE: Another funny TV moment. A CNN weatherman loses his cool while covering Hurricane Katrina... via Metafilter

At FOO Camp they handed people a piece of paper asking three questions. 1) What do you make? 2) What is your favorite tool/toy? 3) Who are your technology heros?

These were posted on a board with people's photos. Everyone had very clever answers. When I was pondering the answers to mine, someone at my breakfast table mentioned that the REAL answer for most people was probably "me" for all three questions.

The War on Terror - As viewed from the Bourne shell.

Some geeky fun for a serious issue.

via MetaFilter

Chris Anderson has an interesting article about the massive parallel culture on the Internet in the context of the Long Tail. He posted the picture Anil wearing the Goatse t-shirt in the New York Times interview as an example. I was looking at the list and one that I had somehow missed was "More Cowbell". (It's sort of the opposite of stealth disco.) Thanks to Google, I was able to find a video of the original skit. (The link to the mp3 on The Cowbell Project page was broken.)

The Contagious Media Showdown targets this genre, but I wonder what it is that ends up becoming a pandemic in its virality. I guess it's something that is sort of stupid, but gets funnier and funnier the more you repeat it.

I think that the "shared culture" aspect of it is important. It has to be simple (stupid) enough so that almost anyone will think it's funny or at least silly. I notice this with topics on blogs as well. Deep and well researched posts will often receive thoughtful comments, but it's the short 3-paragraph form that seems to consistently be the most read and linked. I don't think it's necessarily a good trend, but it's sort of the blog version of the TV sound-bite - the attention-span of the average blog reader.

I know that a lot of people sit around and think about memes a lot so I may be treading old ground, but I think it's interesting that non-geeks are getting sucked in and these shared ideas create some sort of community bonding that moves faster and at a larger scale than in the past, but still remains nichey and obscure...

UPDATE: Noticed the Wikipedia Cowbell entry has a reference to this skit.

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing Blog
Daily video of a geeky dancer in his living room

Daily Dancer is a site where a geek video-records himself dancing to a different song every day and posts it. Jamal recommends starting with the Fett's Vette boogie, on the basis of its laudable Star Wars Kid reference, and I concur.


Some day people will look back and try to understand.

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing Blog
GOATSE t-shirt in the NYT


Anil Dash wore a subtle and arcane GOATSE t-shirt for a recent New York Times photoshoot, and they ran a pic of him wearing it. GOATSE is an Internet legend -- a repulsive photo that used to live at that Internet pranksters went to great lengths to trick others into seeing.

SFW Wikipedia entry on Goatse, NYT Link

This is excellent... Wait, does this guy work for Six Apart?

I just noticed the Stealth Disco article on Wikipedia recently had an {{explain-significance}} slapped on it. This means that if we can't explain why it is significant, it will be nominated for deletion. Stealth Disco reminds me of the fun we used to have and it would be a pity to see Stealth Disco disappear from Wikipedia. Anyone have any good Stealth Disco stories or developments we can use to expand the article?

My first Stealth Disco

Stealth Disco'ed by Halley

UPDATE: Link to original Stealth Disco video from mhegge. (wmv) Must See.

You thought I had blog-block? Actually, my autoblogger was just broken.

Launch of Sixfoo! 660°

Something from yesterday.

via Quiplash on Flickr

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing Blog
Help rat on people who sing Happy Birthday!

Mako sez, "Unhappy Birthday is a website/project commenting on the fact that the song "Happy Birthday To You" is under an actively enforced copyright held by Time Warner. The site offers tools and information to report unauthorized public performances of that work. If educating people and upholding the principle of copyright means risking a DoS of ASCAP's licensing enforcement infrastructure, that's a risk I'm willing to take."


(Thanks, Mako!)

I didn't realize I was engaging in copyright infringement when I sang Happy Birthday in public without paying. Better stop doing that and rat out anyone else who sings it without paying.

The New York Times has a story on the kid who made the video of himself singing and dancing along to Dragostea Din Tei that I blogged about earlier. He is Gary Brolsma, 19, from New Jersey.

via Mimi

On my Japanese blog, I've been podcasting conversations with Kenji Eno, former game developer and now CEO of fyto. The last post was a silly remix of our conversations put to music. I didn't post it here because it was in Japanese, but he's fired back with podcasting.mp3, his revenge.

(Chat 1, Chat 2, Remix - On, podcasting - Kenji's revenge 6.7MB mp3)

Sorry about the light blogging. Have been a bit swamped during my travels. For now I present to you... kittengate.

For some more serious comments on the issue, see the comments on this post.

Mac Mini: The Emperor's New Computer
by Jorge Lopez, MCSE

...The Mini boots up into a stripped-down operating system which Apple calls OS X, similar to the stripped-down WindowsCE OS found on many handhelds.

...No serial ports, no way to connect a printer, no PS/2 ports, no floppy drive, no 5.25


via MetaFilter

Xeni @ Boing Boing
Jenna Bush, Spawn of Satan

Th Satannnnnn
Is it me, or is Jenna Bush holding up the sign of Satan next to her father's face in this photo? Choose picture #7 in this MSNBC slide show.
Here's the original MSNBC Link, and here's a link to a copy of the photo I saved locally (it's now offline at MSNBC) (thanks Jeremy)

Update: BB reader Charles Bestal says, "As a University of Texas student, we hear a good bit about the party animal around campus -- but it should be noted that she is most likely invoking the school's hand-sign (Hook 'em Horns, they say), rather than the devil, or her father."

The Houston Chronicle confirms that it was the University of Texas "Hook'em, Horns" but it appears to have offended some people in Norway.

Houston Chronicle
Norway reads something sinister in 'Hook 'em' sign

..."Sjokkhilsen fra Bush datter," read an outraged headline on Norwegian news Web site Nettavisen. Translated: "Shock greeting from Bush daughter."

...The "Hook 'em, Horns" that Bush flashed when The Eyes of Texas was played at the Black Tie and Boots gala Wednesday was misconstrued by some in Norway as a sign of the devil used by a musical scene that terrorized the country in the late 1980s and early '90s.

...Death metal's history
In Norway the horns carried a greater menace. The country has long been a hotbed of death metal, a subgenre of music with a sordid history of church burnings, murder, inadvertant bludgeonings (with sheep skulls), pet sacrifices and sundry behavior best described as anti-Christian. There the gesture has little to do with sports rivalries.

...Needless to say, Norway's more prudish contingent was aghast upon seeing the daughter of the American president flashing a sign associated with such behavior.

It could be worse ...
..."I suppose it can mean different things to different people in different parts of the world," Clark says. "I guess the Norwegians and Italians should be happy that our mascot was a longhorn and not a unicorn."

This sounds like something from a Douglas Adams book. Luckily it didn't mean anything offensive to our future Alien Overlords.

Thanks to Glenn to the Houston Chronicle link

UPDATE: David Weinberger's "Forgive me" gesture and "The Shocker" via AG.

What happens when you 1) were thinking about stupid songs that you can't get out of your head, 2) are listening to the audio of Jimmy Wales talking about Wikipedia in Boston (audio and text transcripts here), 3) are chatting to wikipedians on IRC and 4) happen to have Garage Band open? This (800K mp3 / 870K ogg).

PS I would like to add that many wikipedians contributed links, sounds and feedback in the creation of this piece. It's amazing what you can do as a community. ;-P Just kidding, I can not take credit for the entire work, but I have no one to blame but myself.

UPDATE: Eric Haller just cleaned it up for me and now it sounds much better. 963K mp3

In case you missed it - the new Jib Jab...

There is song called Dragostea Din Tei on the Disco-Zone CD by O-Zone. O-Zone was a little known Euro-dance act from Romania... until someone in Japan syched some flash to it. Then someone else. Here is the original music video. Then someone made a video. Suddenly, this CD is a hit and many of my friends are ordering it from Amazon. I bet they don't know what hit them.

This reminds me of the badger badger/potter potter meme and the Yatta meme. There is some peculiar element of certain songs that gets people's creative juices going. I think they have to be 1) silly, 2) in a foreign language, 3) have that "can't get it out of my head" element. It's the tip of the long tail wagging. Maybe artists should make synching rights available to encourage more of this creative behavior in a mainstream way... or maybe not. ;-P

UPDATE: Seth was just infected by email...

UPDATE 2: More on O-Zone from Stefan. "The funny-looking name Numanuma is actually a repetition of two Romanian words, 'nu ma' (or, to be correct, 'nu mă') that are part of the lyrics of O-Zone's smash hit 'Dragostea din tei' ('Love in the lime-tree'). More precisely, they're part of 'nu mă iei', which translates into 'you don't take me [away with you]'... Think of all the paraphernalia you can, from ubiquitous (and annoying) ringtones onwards... The raw matter (that is, the original O-Zone music) is renown for its supremely dimwitted lyrics..." I want the ringtone... ;-P

Potter Potter...

And you won't get this unless you were part of the Badger Badger Badger infection awhile back.

via Eno

Ernie the Attorney
Blogs are 'unsourced rantings' says former NY Times editor

From the 'Department of Supreme Irony' comes a statement by Howell Raines (the former Executive Editor of the New York Times) that blogging is 'unsourced ranting' (the link is to a article that links to an Atlantic Monthly article that you have to subscribe to in order to view).

First of all, Raines' statement is so completely ludicrous as to be laughable. Weblogs have a lot of shortcomings, but lack of sourcing isn't one of them. In fact, if you want to criticize weblogs you would do better to complain about the excess of linking to other sources and the dearth of original material. But the more important point is the one filled with irony. Here is Howell Raines, who lost his job at the NYT because he was at the helm during the Jayson Blair scandal, complaining about problems with 'sourcing.' You remember the Jayson Blair scandal don't you? He was a young rising star reporter who was Raines' 'golden boy' at the Times. It turned that the way that he rose quickly was by not wasting time doing the usual investigative grunt work; instead he completely fabricated stories and sources.

“Blogging is the Same as Stamp Collecting for the Semi-Retired”

I still keep running into references to New York Times’ technology reporter John Markoff’s off-handed remarks that he does a blog, it’s called “” In a recent conversation he told me that as far as he was concerned blogging is essentially the same as “stamp collecting” for the semi-retired.

We should have "funniest characterization of blogging by New York Times people" awards.

First the Special Edition U2 iPod. Now this. ;-)

via Michael

Funny anti-blog anti-Wikipedia article by a librarian Greg Hill who manages to mangle the spelling of Dan Gillmor and Dave Barry's name while trying to argue that "librarians abhor using reference sources that don't have established credibility editorial rigor..." ;-)

I don't usually like to link to stupid articles, but this one's too ironic to just ignore.

via Dan Gillmor

Dan Gillmor
UPDATE: Trudy Schuett posted an extraordinary exchange of e-mails with the Alaska librarian, who has the nerve to say he knows of "no typos or mis-statements in that column, unless they are those of the sources I cite, and every point in my column stemmed from multiple sources. As a rule, there's not enough space in a 700-word column to list multiple sources, but I can readily produce them."

No, he can't. He can't possibly produce a citation that explains misspelling my name and Dave Barry's. He might alibi getting the name of my book wrong, because he quotes an early working title that I used in blog postings here. But even there, a tiny amount of due diligence would have produced the correct title.

I worship librarians as a rule, but I'm going to make an exception in this case.

Truely unbelievable.

Found on Craigslist by Kelly Sue -- "Straight male seeks Bush supporter for fair, physical fight - m4m":

I would like to fight a Bush supporter to vent my anger. If you are one, have a fiery streek, please contact me so we can meet and physically fight. I would like to beat the shit out of you.

via die puny humans


via Imajes

UPDATE: If the link above is down, try this one. Thanks Alison.

IM is sweeping the world but it's a whole new vocabulary. Feeling old and out of touch? Try the AOLer Translator.

via Sean

I was just on a panel with Yossi Vardi, the founding investor in ICQ.

Yossi Vardi
There are three big brands that we have created which are well known enough to have approximately 20 million or so links on Google. They are The Bible, Jesus Christ and ICQ. The first one took 3500 years, the second one 2000 years and ICQ only 8 years as of next week. As you can see, they all spread virally.
OK, this is so going to blow up...

Go to CNN to find this page:

once there, you'll find a page like the one below. Snapshot archived for posterity after CNN wises up.

Snapshot Cnn1-1

now right-click, control-click or whatever on the Bush/Laura image. Select "Open Image" or the equivalent. And observe the image name.

Yes, this is not a fake. As of right now, November 3rd, 2004, 21:23 PST this is the frontpage. My world just got a little brighter. Pizza, Canadian beer, and watching "Strange Brew" contribute, too.

The name of the image file is asshole.jpg. Nice catch Jonas.

UPDATE Sean blogs that The Register ripped off the article without giving credit to Jonas. Schmucks.

UPDATE2 Now WorldNetDaily is writing as if they found it.

UPDATE3 has also just ripped off the images without attribution.

UPDATE4 Jonas had an attribution-ShareAlike license on his blog...

Harper's Magazine
Electing to Leave A reader’s guide to expatriating on November 3

So the wrong candidate has won, and you want to leave the country. Let us consider your options.


Saw this in a few placing including metafilter

MSNBC: Columnist Coulter hit with custard pies
The Smoking Gun: "Al Pieda" Targets Ann Coulter

According to a copy of the police report from the University of Arizona Police Department on The Smoking Gun, the "Al Pieda" were involved.

UAPD report
Search incident to arrest I located on both Wolff and Smith pieces of paper (propaganda) involving Coulter's name and the explanation of "Al Pieda".

via Markoff

This image may be copyrighted. I don't know the origin of the image. If someone knows, please let me know.


Larry Angell via Email
Hi Joi,
I was the original poster of the iDebate image. I posted it on my blog
back on Wednesday, the 13th. It was an original work done by one of our readers (I'm the editor over there) who let me post it.
Thanks for any possible link :-)


Larry Angell
Editor-in-Chief, MacMinute

The Guardian had an interesting project to try to get readers to send email to people in Clark County and influence the US vote.

The Guardian

Operation Clark County


It works like this. By typing your email address into the box on this page, you will receive the name and address of a voter in Clark County, Ohio. You may not have heard of it, but it's one of the most marginal areas in one of the most marginal states: at the last election, just 324 votes separated Democrats from Republicans. It's a place where a change of mind among just a few voters could make a real difference.

Writing to a Clark County voter is a chance to explain how US policies effect you personally, and the rest of the world more generally, and who you hope they will send to the White House. It may even persuade someone to use their vote at all.

They got some feedback from Americans.

via Metafilter here and here

UPDATE: They actually got the idea from a blogger. See here and here.

I'm on a panel right now in Milan. I learned the name of the conference when I finally got my pass. Lucky for me that they have simultaneous translation. On the other hand, I'm the ONLY one in the room who is using it right now since the speaker is speaking in Italian. There are two translators as usual who switch back and forth so the other can take a break. The thing is, the resting translator seems to be trying to make the speaking translator laugh. She keeps shutting off the translation and cracking up laughing. You can still catch the laugh when switches the mic back on and here the giggle under her breath. You can also hear the antagonistic translator scribbling jokes onto paper and putting it in front of the other translator. This reminds me of when the IRC back channel tries to make people giggle during serious talks.

It's a bit surreal. I'm the only participating in their performance and everyone is listening to this serious talk oblivious to whatever tremendously funny thing is going in the translation booth. I wish I could signal them so they would let me in on the joke...

Sorry about the light blogging. I've been a bit busy in New York. Here's something to to fill the void. Presenting, The Horn Guy (Windows Media Player)

from eBaum's World via Scott

Kamelopedia, originally a German parody of Wikipedia, has launched in English. Kamelopedia uses the same MediaWiki software that Wikipedia uses, but it is a joke encyclopedia based on puns and mistakes. Wikipedia has an english language description of Kamelopedia. I just signed up, but I'm not sure which is more fun... trying to be funny, or writing in the Wikipedia deadpan tone about something that is funny. (I'm working on this style on the Stealth Disco article.) There is also the Wikipedia Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense page.

via Jimbo

Since I can't get onto the GW site, I guess I have to settle for the site. The NRO?

National Reconnaissance Office
The NRO designs, builds and operates the nation's reconnaissance satellites. NRO products, provided to an expanding list of customers like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), can warn of potential trouble spots around the world, help plan military operations, and monitor the environment.

As part of the 14-member Intelligence Community, the NRO plays a primary role in achieving information superiority for the U. S. Government and Armed Forces.

So what is NROjr? It's a "A fun site to engage children in the wonders of science, math and space in a fun and interactive manner," brought to you by the NRO. (Make sure you have your sound turned on to enjoy the full experience. And all this time I thought Ernie actually worked for Sesame Street... although I guess he was recently heard singing Orkutworld.)

via Karl

The post by Xeni about Stealth Lynndie-ing reminded me of a story I heard recently from a unnamed source involved in Israeli and Palestinian relations. Apparently after an official meeting, an Israeli and Palestinian were having coffee and the Israeli asked the Palestinian to tell him a joke. Here is the joke the Palestinian told:

So there's this young guy from Hebron (I guess they make fun of people from Hebron...). He goes to the PLO and says he wants to become a suicide bomber. The PLO gives him a gun, a belt-bomb and a cell phone and tell him to call when he's found some Jews. He kid goes out and finds a Jew and calls. "Hey I found one, I found one!" "One? You have to fine more. Find a group." The kid call back later and say, "I found a dozen Jews!" "No no... like a lot. Find a disco with a bunch of young Jewish kids." The kid continues. "I'm at a disco with a LOT of Jewish young people!" "Go for it!" And the young man from Hebron pulls out his gun and shoots himself in the head.

What's amazing to me is that even in, and maybe more often in, the most cruel of human situations, humor exists and even thrives. This joke, told by a Palestinian to an Israeli really highlights one of my favorite Shimon Peres quotes: "We are just two tragedies meeting in the same place at the same time."


Cory @ Boing Boing
Hello Kitty flashlight for Doom 3

Doom 3 has only just come out and already the modders are revving up their engines. My favorite so far: a Hello Kitty flashlight mod that makes your gun's built-in light cast a kawaii beam on the objects it alights upon. Link

(via Oblomovka)

Doom modder culture has become truly sophisticated. ;-) How very Boing Boing.

President George W. Bush

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

Ooops. A Freudian slip?

via George via IP

UPDATE: mp3 file of this from Lauren Weinstein's blog.

"The New York Times is my blog" Markoff just IMed me with this funny comment from Slashdot about Dan Gillmor's We the Media. I would have gotten more defensive if it weren't so funny.
Anyway, keep laughing Markoff. Just you wait and see. ;-)

Yes... I did photoshop out the end of his AIM nickname.

I think the "mystery creature" in Maryland (via Boing Boing) is just a lost Nigerian pet Hyena.

The mystery creature or "Hyote"

Nigerian pet hyenas and baboons

I think fake IM conversations are becoming a new legitimate form of satire. Here is one of the classics.

via snowchyld

I just found this very funny clip from David Letterman on David Weinberger's blog. (You need Real Player) So David, you may be the last person in America to see this clip, but at least not the last in the world. It's very funny. It's like a new twist to Stealth Disco.

Rock, Paper, Saddam! Pretty silly, but pretty funny.

via Metafilter

"On Tuesday, Cheney, serving in his role as president of the Senate, appeared in the chamber for a photo session. A chance meeting with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, became an argument about Cheney's ties to Halliburton Co., an international energy services corporation, and President Bush's judicial nominees. The exchange ended when Cheney offered some crass advice.

'Fuck yourself,' said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency."

...Even if the Senate were in session, the vice president, though constitutionally the president of the Senate, is an executive branch official and therefore free to use whatever language he likes."

And this is the administration that's trying to prevent you from saying "fuck" on TV.

I don't think I've ever told a business associate to "fuck yourself", but I guess I've never been accused of corruption by an associate either. On the other hand, I can't imagine ever calling my company a super-duper company...

Boing Boing via A Great Notion


CHENEY: Well, I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, did you use the "F" word?


CHENEY: Yes, that's not the kind of language I ordinarily use. But...


CAVUTO: Do you have any regrets?

CHENEY: No. I said it, and I felt that...

via Meta-Roj

James continues the SD tradition. Loic takes photos. Rock on brothers.

UPDATE Loic SD's Liz.

I had fun with some photoshopping last night, but this morning someone showed me a site of a photoshop-a-rama on the new MEP from Finland, Alexander Stubb. Too bad most blogs don't allow images in comments anymore. It's such a ... "creative" form of communication. ;-)

Another funny example of scamming a scammer. This time on eBay. (PDF file of the scam | Web Site)

via user0

UPDATE: The links above seem to be blocked now. Maybe they got too much traffic. I'm uploading the PDF here.

Louisiana to ban saggy, butt-crack-exposing pants via Boing Boing.

This is really funny because many years ago I had the honor of being with the mayor of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I distinctly remember the mayor talking about his new "moon pants". They were pants that you could easily zip down the back of and moon people from the balcony. I guess he can't wear them anymore...

Scambaiting is the sport of baiting and messing with 419 scammers.

via Thomas

Everyone makes fun of the Japanese use of English. (See Engrish) The Chicago Tribune has a story featuring Chicagoans with tattoos Japanese characters and a comparison of what the bearers think they mean and what they really mean in Japanese. Very funny.

via MetaFilter and Boing Boing

I just got this via email and don't know the copyright or the origin of this. If someone knows whether I should give credit to someone, please let me know. But it's too funny not to blog.

Ze Frank, who was on my panel yesterday has a hilarious movie. MUST See. Makes fun of Friendster, Orkut and Wallop.

And Ze is a VERY funny guy. Check out his web page.

8.7MB movie about... an iPod race.

via Markoff


via danah

Dishonest Dubya. Funny.

via Peggy

Angle-Grinder Man is back.

His web page is here.

I think this is old news on the Net, but the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force has produced an ad that is has begun to show on big screens at major intersections now and will soon be on TV. It's a bit embarrassing as a Japanese, but I guess it makes us look less threatening...

via Wirefarm

See the JMSDF site for the movie.


I was playing with Bo all afternoon, thinking about what her blog would look like and was reminded of this funny comparison between cats and dogs. Thanks to Google, it was easy to find.

In case you were wondering why the rover failed...


via Markoff

A great parody of the Pepsi / Apple Superbowl commercial. (Thanks RS!)

You can see the original Pepsi / iTunes ad here. (Thanks Shawn!)

It's also on the Apple site.

I guess, as Boris says, it's not so much a parody as what they really wanted to say, but couldn't. Those kids probably got paid more to do the ad than they paid the RIAA. The RIAA is getting so stupid that it's getting cool to make fun of them. Sounds like the beginning of the end when your business involves being cool.

Don't forget to check out

Hugh just sent me another one... ;-)
Yossi was making fun of me for sitting here blogging blogging blogging...

gapingvoid and I are going to collaborate on combing our twisted humor and his cartoon skills...

This seems to be making its rounds on the Net right now.

via Louis via Lane

Italian Corporation
· You have two cows but you don’t know where they are.
· While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.
· You break for lunch.
· Life is good.

Russian Corporation
· You have two cows.
· You have some vodka.
· You count them and learn you have five cows.
· You have some more vodka.
· You count them and learn you have 42 cows.
· The mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

Taliban Corporation
· You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two.
· You can’t milk them because you can’t touch the cow’s private parts.
· Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in the hospital.

Polish Corporation
· You have two cows.
· Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

Florida Corporation
· You have a black cow and a brown cow.
· Everyone votes for the best looking one.
· Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one.
· Some people vote for both.
· Some people vote for neither.
· Some people can’t figure out how to vote at all.
· Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best-looking one.

New York Corporation
· You have fifteen million cows.
· You have to choose which one will be the leader of the herd, so you pick some fat cow from Arkansas

Hugh aka gapingvoid, one of my favorite online cartoonists, let me pick a cartoon and sent me 500 business cards with my contact info on once side, and this image on the other. After getting a stack of 500 cards that say, "You are the most important person in my Life" I realized the irony and realized that maybe I chose the wrong phrase. ;-p

I do think his idea of cartoons on business cards is a cool idea.

So what I need is a bunch of different cards ranging from "You are the most important person in my Life" to "Talk to the hand." Then I can choose which cards to give to people. This would be the intentional physical version of what Cory doesn't like about social software.

Of course, I would only give "Talk to the hand" to someone as a joke... really.

Fifteen "bush in 30 second" ads on MoveOn.Org. "a political advertising contest sponsored by voter fund."

Halley just posted a song about Barlow sung to the tune of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Soo good. Now I can go to sleep with Christmas cheer in my head. ;-)

And Halley sings it for us.

Suppose Gov. Dean were to record a message like the following and make it available for download on the campaign Web site:


Hello. ____[suitably long pause]_____ have agreed to let me answer their phone. I'm Howard Dean and if you elect me president, I'll answer your phone, too. Now, here's the beep.

Knowing David, who IS the Campaign's Senior Internet Advisor, he'll probably suggest this to Howard Dean. ;-)

Reading Jill's comments over on misbehaving reminded me of a game that some people play in Japan. (I learned it from Eno-san.) It originated with business cards, but has moved to mobile phones. There are three people: two players and a judge. The two players pick someone from their address books and reveal them to each other simultaneously. The judge decides which one is more famous or important. The loser has to shred the business card or in the case of mobile phones, delete that entry from the address book. It's quite funny because you try to play important people to beat the other person, but if you lose, you lose a valuable phone number. The judge's perspective of what sort of person is important also comes into play in an interesting way.

It's no fun when you have backups of your phone numbers, but in Japan, where most people don't backup their mobile phone numbers, it's often for keeps.

Don't try this at home.

Speaking of turtles... don't forget the badgers...

Larry Page and Sergey Brin Parody Blog

I've wanted to do a blog for ages but Sergey couldn't manage to set up MovableType. Apparently it's "Just too difficult".

Anyway, the other day he suggested that it would be a thousand times easier to just buy

So we did.

Via Aaron Swartz on the Google Weblog

Someone sent me a copy of "The Memoirs of Joi Ito". It came in from Canada without a return-address. (My assistant opened it.) It's a book based on The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes with all of the references to Sherlock Holmes replaced by "Joi Ito". It's from which lets you create customized books like this. You can also customize the dedication. This books says:

Dedicated to the world's most famous detective, who has yet to be discovered, a legend in his own mind, J.I.
I first thought it might be an advertisement from the company, but with this snarky dedication, I decided it must be someone I know. I asked Boris, the main joker I know in Canada, but it wasn't him. Was it you AG?

Anyway, haha. Very funny. ;-p

The Programing Language Inventor or Serial Killer? Quiz.

Can you tell a coder from a cannibal? Try to work out which of the following spent their time hacking computers, and which preferred hacking away at corpses instead.

Via Markoff

Oh cool! Dvorak is bashing blogs again. It must be that time of year again. He probably needs more traffic.

Oops. I broke my promise not to make fun of journalists who don't blog... But I'll make an exception for journalists who like to tease me too.

UPDATE: Steve Gillmor takes the bait and responds to Dvorak.

via ejovi. Original is here. It appears to be a real billboard.

schwarz4.jpgThe entry on Bopuc's blog about reminded me of my blog entry about my favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger commercials in Japan for energy drinks. This is also relevant to the entry about Lost in Translation since Bill Murray's role is probably what Arnold had to go through. Anyway, definitely worth a look if you haven't seen these commercials already. They're great.

Last year, I saw Liz Lawley link to an Apron with an Apple Base Station that said "All Your Base Station Are Belong To Us." I thought it was really funny and bought one for my sister. Ever since then, I've seen references to, and have used myself on occasion, this funny grammatically flawed assertion.

Last night, Rojisan asked me if I knew where this phrase came from. I didn't. He told me that it came from a mistranslation in a Japanese video game. ??? This morning I saw a link on RageBoy's page to an ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US flash animation. (My first exposure to the images from the actual video game.) A quick Google produced a Wired News article explaining that the game is called Zero Wing from 1989 for the Sega Genesis.

"I'm obviously the dorky kid coming late to the party."

After listening to me talk about the virtues of IRC, Rageboy sent me a link to something he wrote in 1996 about IRC and the future of discourse. As you can imagine, it's very funny.

The FCC says it's OK to say "fuck" on TV. So it is OK to broadcast, "fucking USA" ?

Via MetaFilter and Boing Boing

“[T]he masked Englishman who calls himself Angle-Grinder Man … has been trawling London for four months dressed in a homemade superhero outfit, complete with gold lamé underpants and cape, removing the security boots from people’s illegally parked cars.

Funny entry on Making Light about superheros of our times.

Via Kevin Marks on IRC

UPDATE: The official Angle Grinder Man site

Telemarketers are suing the National Do Not Call Registry in the US, which is a place where you can register to block telemarketers from calling you. 50 million households have signed up. I think this is a good idea, they obviously don't.

In his column, David Barry of the Miami Herald published the phone number of the American Teleservices Association, a telemarketing company.

It turned out that a lot of you were eager to call up the telemarketing industry. Thousands and thousands of you called the ATA. I found out about this when I saw an article in a direct-marketing newspaper, the DM News, which quoted the executive director of the ATA, Tim Searcy. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"The ATA received no warning about the article from Barry or anyone connected with him," Searcy said. ". . . the Barry column has had harmful consequences for the ATA. An ATA staffer has spent about five hours a day for the past six days monitoring the voice mail and clearing out messages."

That's correct: The ATA received NO WARNING that it was going to get unwanted calls! Not only that, but these unwanted calls were an INCONVENIENCE for the ATA, and WASTED THE ATA'S TIME!

I just hope nobody interrupted the ATA's dinner.

Ha! This is great. The hypocrisy and the irony are truly monumental. The ATA changed their phone number, but the new one is 317-816-9336. Maybe I'll call them and ask them if they know about Stealth Disco...

Via The Daily Irrelevant

Lisa's posted a funny clip of Nazi's on trampolines.

Just Stealth Disco'ed my chairman, Jun. Gee this is addictive. 288K QT File

I must escalate to people outside of my company.

I just did my first stealth disco. Uploaded the 116K QT file. I'm SD'ing Jim aka mmdc and the video was taken by Adriaan aka ado.

Ahoy! Happy Talk LIke A Pirate Day!

So many people have already blogged this so I don't know who to attribute, but if you missed it, check out Stealth Disco. Stealth disco is when you take video tape yourself or someone rocking and grooving near someone who can't see you doing it. It started as a prank between employees at an ad agency in Chicago called Cramer-Krasselt.

I received a link from Chris to a fanimutation called Irrational Exuberance by Veloso at It's very funny. It's a flash animation over the Happatai song "Yatta!". Max and James turned me on to "Yatta!" When I saw them in May at FiRe. Happatai are a group of Japanese comedians who released a song back in April 2001 called "Yatta!". It's a very silly song with silly lyrics and a video of them dancing around with no clothes and just a fig leaf. The weird thing about this is that it was slightly funny when it came out in Japan, but the mpeg video of this has been zooming around the Internet in the US and has developed small cult following. this fanimutation by Veloso is just another "derivative work" of "Yatta!" I wonder if this is an example of Japan's Gross National Cool export. Maybe I should contact them and see if they will release the rights for these fanimutations since they are clearly increasing their popularity in the US. ;-)

Flash animations over popular or weird songs or "fanimutations" are becoming a funky new art form. People seem to encourage sharing of the flash code. They are another example of a new form of "art" like mashups that aren't really feasible under traditional copyright/licensing. Mixing, sharing and attribution are at the core of this new subculture. If you go to the sites, you'll notice that people go to great lengths to link and attribute.

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Via Markoff Via Jerry

UPDATE: I noticed that the title of this post is grammatically incorrect. It should be "The ordering of the letters doesn't matter" or something. The irony is that my blog renders my permalinks from my titles, so I can't correct it without breaking people's links. The first entry I've ever written about linguistics will be permanently grammatically incorrect. ;-p

Funny. ;-)

Thanks Max!

Glad to see Six Apart finally moved into an office and moved out of their apartment. In Japan, they call apartments apart. When we announced our investment in Six Apart to our investors, two of them asked if we were getting into real estate investments.

Also, Anil says I'm "consorting with the enemy"... Well, Anil, what's up with that T-Shirt?

Jeff Jarvis ratted on your T-Shirt. ;-)

Introvertster beta is up!
Via Xeni on boing boing

Ever since Reverend A. K. M. Adam aka AKMA started hanging out on IRC, I've started to think that #joiito is a lot like M*A*S*H, the American TV show about the people in a medical camp during the Korean War. As a Japanese who never went to Western churches, my first exposure to a chaplain was on M*A*S*H. AKMA plays a great chaplain on #joiito. ;-) Like the TV show, there is funny chatter like the doctors chatting during surgery. There are visits by guests who pop by to say hi. There are even battles waging on blogs and the wounded show up at #joiito to hang out and recharge.

Anyway, I'll stop pushing the metaphor now.

"Mac Canter is a very silly man" -- Lisa Rein
;-) Yup.

Update: Lisa has posted the movie of this. ;-)

The Logo
All dressed up an nowhere to go
When I was in Switzerland, I met someone who was protesting the Davos meeting I attended in January. He gave me one of the hooded sweatshirts that they wore. At first glance, it looked like a normal hooded sweatshirt, but when you zip it up, it quite conveniently covers most of your face. Best looking "protest wear" I've seen. My theory is that most protesters protest to get stuff like this and because it's fun.

Update: etoy.ROCK gave me the sweatshirt. Thanks ROCK!

Most people have probably already seen this, but Pete turned me on to a very funny edit of GW's State of the Union address. A must-see if you haven't seen it already. Streaming QT file.

There is an anonymous parody of some of the "A-List" bloggers - "Simple Guide to the A-List Bloggers" on - on Scoble's site. I guess the "A-List" is defined as people worth wasting time writing a parody about. It's all very funny until you get to your part. ;-P

I'm going to link to this so it's not all laughing "behind my back."

Thanks to the dozens of people who told me to go read this on IRC. ;-)

Is this guy supposed to be me?
The current issue of Net Runner, a magazine published by ZDNet Japan, has story on weblogs. The first page of the section has a comic strip of some fat guy looking at a site that says "Joji Ito's site on how to lose weight and become popular with girls" (rough translation) who goes on to lose weight with a screen that looks like blog entries of the progress. I don't know if they're making fun of me or acknowledging the fact that blogs actually help you lose weight. I assume both.

As a Quaker, I wonder if you're allowed to think about hard-on's in church and joke about people's deaths on your blog. Or maybe being an A-List blogger forces you to resort to deadpan humor to tighten up your style. ;-|

Doc Searls
Other dead Atkins headlines  
I'm still on the Atkins diet. Dr. Atkins isn't , of course. I mentioned that a couple days ago under the headline Ultimate Diet . Since then I've regretted not using either of two other headlines that came to mind at the time:

100% weight loss
Dead weight

Anyway, both Doc and I are on the Atkins Diet which is basically a low-carb diet. Many people swear by it, but many people continue to warn me against it. It's too bad that Dr. Atkins died, but at least he died of an injury and not of something that could be tied to the Atkins diet.

Just found Maledicta Press Online on Metafilter. There is Maledicta, the International Journal of Verbal Agression.

Maledicta discusses language honestly: no dashes, no asterisks, no moralistic pussyfooting. Our motto: "They say it -- we print it."
This brings back some memories. I remember I was REALLY into the study of maledicta in High School. I wrote about it online on The Source and almost got kicked out. A good curse involves religion, scatology and sex. The following is the curse that I posted I guess 20 years ago. Please don't read the rest of this post if you are easily offended.

Oh God, quit slapping me in the face with your cock all covered in shit from fucking Jesus.

I actually don't remember where this one comes from... and... I don't remember exactly why I decided to post it considering how many people it offended. ;-p

No taking over, peaceful co-existence, if stripped of all the Valley-drunk Buzzwords, Cultic Groupthink and wacky utopian half-baked utter-nonsense mushed-oatmeal theories like ‘Emergent Democracy’.

Kevin Marks has written a nice rebuttal to Andrew Orlowski's article about googlewashing.

Also, FYI it wasn't because I am a "a colossus of authority" that Jim Moore's article took off on Google, but probably because the true colossus, Dave Winer wrote about it. Actually, I first heard about Jim's blog because Dave met Jim and emailed Doc and me about Jim's new blog. (In any event, collosal is a collosal word. I think Andrew had probably just finished reading the article about the colossal squid.)

Andrew Orlowski has an article in The Register about how Jim Moore's paper about the Second Superpower spread so quickly it now ranks #1 on Google. Talks about how A-List blogs contribute to the ability for a single entry to quickly outrank versions of the word. (Cory talks about this phenomenon a lot.) Flattering mention of my blog... ;-p

Moore's subversion of the meaning of "Secondary Superpower" - his high PageRank™ from derives from followers of 'A-list' tech bloggers linking from an eerily similar "Emergent Democracy" discussion list, which in turn takes its name from a similarly essay posted by Joi Ito [Lunch - Lunch - Lunch - Segway - Lunch - Lunch - Fawning Parody] who is a colossus of authority in these circles, hence lots of PageRank™-boosting hyperlinks, and who like Moore, appeared from nowhere as a figure of authority.

Lunchin' Ito's essay is uncannily similar to Moore's - both are vague and elusive and fail to describe how the "emergent" democracy might form a legal framework, a currency, a definition of property or - most important this, when you're being hit with a stick by a bastard - an armed resistance (which in polite circles today, we call a "military").

The phenomenon Andrew writes about is quite interesting although the article is a bit nasty. Obviously Andrew doesn't think much about blogging.
Andrew Orlowski
Andrew Orlowski on blogging
Here's a mechanism which allows a billion people who can't sing, can't write a song or make an original beep, and have nothing to express, the means to deafen me with their tuneless, boring cacophony.
IMHO, I think Andrew should join the conversation instead of griping and acting like a magazine on the coffee table at a cocktail party...

Mitch has blogged about this article.

Thanks to Kevin, Anthony and George on the ED list for the links

Photo copyright 2003 Jason Levine
The last time I saw Ben and Mena, I showed them the "the cork trick". It's a trick I learned from a teenager in Belgium. Basically, you take two corks, hold them vertically with your thumbs, grab the ends of the cork in the other hand with your forefinger and thumb with both hands and remove the corks. (impossible to explain without a demo or photos.) It's much hard than it looks and also very difficult by the time you have two corks. It's a great way to impress people.

It took me quite a while to be able to repeat it consistently, but apparently Mena, my cork prodigy, is much more talented than me. Anil sent me a link to Mena doing the cork trick at SXSW on Jason Levine's site.

So, it's April 1 in Japan and I was sitting around trying to think of something clever for my April Fool's blog entry. Then Xeni sent me a link to Joy of Being Ito Web. Haha. Very funny Jim.

I'm going to give up trying to write someting funny today... ;-p

Short flash animation about the liberation of Afghanistan. Turn up the sound an take a look at this link.

Via Tom Hammer


The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) is a club for scientists who have, or believe they have, luxuriant flowing hair. The project was first announced in mini-AIR 2001-02.

I wonder if there is a Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Politicians? I would nominate Koizumi-san.

Via Xeni on Boing Boing

A roundup of hilarious satire blogs. Blogs by GW Bush, Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il.

Kim Jong Il Live Journal link via woj@MetaFilter

Steven Frank has composed a song about blogging called Ben and Mena. He blogs about it here, and the 3.8MB mp3 file is here. Probably interesting to hardcore bloggers only, but VERY funny. ;-)

Via Chris Pirillo

A Japanese guy (site in Japanese but great pictures) with long hair cuts his hair to make a chonmage. Chonmage's are now only worn by sumo wrestlers and actors in samurai movies. This guy goes out to dinner and even gets his picture taken for his drivers license with his new 'doo. Chris, you should try this next.

Washington Post
We Begin Combing in Five Minutes
By Lloyd Grove
Friday, March 21, 2003; Page C03

The White House is vowing a strong retaliatory response after the BBC aired live video of President Bush getting his hair coiffed in the Oval Office as he squirmed in his chair and practiced on the teleprompter minutes before Wednesday night's speech announcing the launch of military operations against Saddam Hussein.

The footage available on The Smoking Gun.

Very funny video of lipsynching Bush and Blair. 3.8mb .mpg file.

Via WombatNation

If Saddam survives, he'll probably ban photoshop.

Via hidely on Metafilter

Anil demonstrating the deadpan smile.
Anil coins a new smiley. :|

Have a day everyone...

PS Anil is not nearly as annoying in person as he is online. When I met him at my party I was suprised by how warm and friendly he was. Later I started introducing him to others like this: "Anil is not an asshole but he plays one on TV." He told me that his ability to manage his online personality was his key to success. ":)"

;-) I can't image the French ever liked Americans calling fried potatoes "french fries" anyway. In Japan, which is not known for its good sense in naming things in English, we call these things "fried potato," which sounds like an extremely practical position in this debate.

House restaurants change name of 'french fries' and 'french toast'
Anger over France's position on Iraq

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 Posted: 11:21 AM EST (1621 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The restaurant menus in the three House office buildings will change the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries," a culinary rebuke of France, stemming from anger over the country's refusal to support the U.S. position on Iraq.

Click here to see the status of the situation on Iraq.

Thanks Rebecca!

Another insulting right-wing asshole, I guess

Richard Bennett posts inaccurately and insultingly about me

Mr. Bennett has a very dismissive and insulting way of engaging and is a good example of "noise" when we talk about the "signal to noise ratio". Adam has recently taken over the fight for me on my blog. My Bennett filter is now officially on so I won't link to his site or engage directly with the fellow any more. At moments he seems to have a point, but it's very tiring engaging with him and I would recommend others from wasting as much time as I have. A few of my favorite Bennettisms just so you get the general idea:
Richard Bennett
"Given that many of the advocates of "emergent" systems are also supporters of Saddam Hussein's government, I suppose this claim shouldn't be surprising."

"Geeks probably do think they understand these things despite the fact that they've never really studied them and couldn't give a coherent account of how any of these things work at a significant level of detail."

"The Well is a pay-to-play gated electronic community for Marin County-esque hot-tubbing, partner-swapping left-wing Democrats who thrive on self-deception."

In defense of House Majority Whip Tom Delay's comment: "John, we're no longer a superpower. We're a super-duperpower." he says:
Frankly, I don't see what the fuss is about. America does have a unique status in the world today, and DeLay's term captures it a lot more elegantly than "sole remaining super-power".
About an article in the Mercury News:
Editorial nonsense from Silicon Valley's paper of record is routine and unremarkable, but this seems to set a new standard of stupidity and arrogance.
IP ban warning has been served.

Just got this via email. Don't know who wrote it. Thanks Michael!
Bush has a new song.... he composed it himself.... Must be sung to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands":

If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are frisky,
Pakistan is looking shifty,
North Korea is too risky,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think someone has dissed us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let's look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

It's "pre-emptive non-aggression", bomb Iraq.
Let's prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq.
They've got weapons we can't see,
And that's good enough for me
'Cos it'all the proof I need
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think Saddam's gone mad,
With the weapons that he had,
(And he once p*ssed off your dad),
Bomb Iraq.

If your corporate fraud is growin', bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin', bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain't easy,
And your senates getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might knows not our borders, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We'll call it treason,
Let's make war not love this season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.

vorschau.jpgI heard that there are more movies produced in India than anywhere else in the world. I saw a lot of Indian movies on my flight to India and have started to really enjoy their interesting style. Here is a very funny Peugeot commercial that looks like it was shot in India.

Thanks for the link Neeraj!

So I was talking to Zai on the way to the Zurich AirportUnique and told him that I had heard that Munich Airport was closer to Davos than Zurich and that maybe I should have gone that way. He said that ever since the Swiss changed the name of the Zurich Airport to Unique, people mistake it with Munich. Why did they change it in the first place? Zurich Airport sounds just fine to me. Now, they are chaning Swiss Air to just "Swiss". Pretty confusing. What is the point? Monorom sent me a funny web page about all of this.

Very funny

The Science of Christmas

An analysis of Christmas has been wending it's way across the Internet for a few years now. This analysis purports to debunk Christmas by showing that Santa could not possibly visit each and every house to distribute presents on Christmas Eve. But the analysis is deeply flawed because it is written from a pure physics perspective
Full Story

I just got this in the mail from Louis. Sorry if you've seen it, but I thought it was really funny. I don't know who wrote this, but would be happy to credit them if someone knows.

George Bush: "Condoleeza! Nice to see you. What's happening?"

Condoleeza Rice: "Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China."

George: "Great!! Lay it on me."

Condoleeza: "'Hu' is the new leader of China."

George: "That's what I want to know."

Condoleeza: "That's what I'm telling you."

George: "That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?"

Condoleeza: "Yes."

George: "I mean the fellow's name."

Condoleeza: "Hu."

George: "The guy in China."

Condoleeza: "Hu."

George: "The new leader of China."

Condoleeza: "Hu."

George: "The Chinaman!"

Condoleeza: "Hu is leading China."

George: "Now whaddya' asking me for?"

Condoleeza: "I'm telling you Hu is leading China."

George: "Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?"

Condoleeza: "That's the man's name."

George: "That's who's name?"

Condoleeza: "Yes."

George: "Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?"

Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."

George: "Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East."

Condoleeza: "That's correct."

George: "Then who is in China?"

Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."

George: "Yassir is in China?"

Condoleeza: "No, sir."

George: "Then who is?"

Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."

George: "Yassir?"

Condoleeza: "No, sir."

George: "Look, Condoleeza. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone."

Condoleeza: "Kofi?"

George: "No, thanks."

Condoleeza: "You want Kofi?"

George: "No."

Condoleeza: "You don't want Kofi?"

George: "No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N."

Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."

George: "Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N."

Condoleeza: "Kofi?"

George: "Milk! Will you please make the call?"

Condoleeza: "And call who?"

George: "Who is the guy at the U.N?"

Condoleeza: "Hu is the guy in China."

George: "Will you stay out of China?!"

Condoleeza: "Yes, sir."

George: "And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N."

Condoleeza: "Kofi."

George: "All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone."

Read a great blog entry by Jon Udell about "power law distributions". It is the notion that when you link everything up into a network, you don't get an egalitarian world... power accumulates just like in the real world. We thought a lot about this when we were building Infoseek Japan... I'm going to have to think about this more before I can contribute something intellectually to this, but you should read the entry. He also quotes the WSJ at the end of the entry. I add this to add some holiday cheer here...

John Udell
Jon Udell: Scale-free networks and mirror worlds

Well, not quite forever. Today's Wall Street Journal featured this grimly comic fantasy about the financial debacle we have lately endured: In a recent letter to shareholders, Ralph Wanger, the iconoclastic chief investment officer at Liberty Wanger Asset Management in Chicago, laments that his firm lost $956 million through the end of the third quarter. To put that figure in perspective, he tried to figure out how hard it would be to lose that much money on purpose. His explanation follows:

Wall Street Journal
One way to do it would have been to convert $956 million into $100 bills on Jan 1, 2002 and order our 20 investment professionals to spend all their time burning it. It sounds sort of festive really -- drink some beer, make S'mores and enjoy the glow, warmth and fellowship around the bonfire (singing Kumbaya optional). How hard would we have had to work to do this? Well, if one person diligently burned one $100 bill at the rate of one bill every 10 seconds and worked seven hours a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year, that one person could burn up $63 million in a year. It would take all 20 of us working full time at this repetitive task to get rid of $956 million in just nine months.

A poster from Despair Inc.
There is a poster section called "demotivators". It is a parody of motivational posters. I think these posters are a very American phenomenon. I always thought it was strange that anyone would read "Great Place to Work" on the wall and really think it was a great a place to work... On the other hand, a lot of Japanese companies have the philosophy or the rules of the company on the wall. Also, common is the picture of the founder glaring down at you.

Saw this first on Doc Searls Weblog