Blogthings - How Indie Are You?

You Are 69% Indie

You're a very indie person, and admit it, you look down a little on people who strive to be normal.

You'll indulge in a little mainstream pop culture every now and then. But for you, anything not indie is a guilty pleasure!

Newsflash: "Venice battles seaweed invasion"

"Scientists are warning that if left to its own devices it could clog up the city's famous canals. " (more from BBC News- Venice battles seaweed invasion)

Blogthings - Inside the Room of Your Soul

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you as larger than life and important. While this is true, they also think you're a bit full of yourself.

Your near future is all about change, but in very small steps. The end of the journey looks far, but it's much closer than you realize.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

Meals in Beantown for under 30 bucks?

Great list of meals in Boston for under $30! (via megnut)

Big Tastes, Small Bills!

World's Most Translated Authors

Index Translationum Statistics from the UN assert that Walt Disney is the world's most translated author... At this point, I find olympic-sized swimming pools filled with Phoenixites' sweat less disturbing!

From today's "I did not need to know this" department...

"Phoenix adult residents sweat so much that the city's perspiration could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than three hours." (more at The Sweatiest Cities in America - Yahoo! News)

"Recipes conjure visions of Venice"

"Spend two weeks in Venice and you will cross approximately 113 bridges with an equivalent elevation gain of a stroll up Mount Si. You will jump on and off 48 floating buses known as Vaporetti. Somebody possibly will try to pick your pocket and he (she?) might even be masquerading as a nun, in St. Mark's Basilica. You will lose your way up dead-end streets and winding canals more often than a myopic mouse in a house of mirrors.

But I immediately acquired a sense of security. Because I discovered a wine shop, just two blocks from our apartment, where they would refill a plastic bottle with a drinkable merlot for less than $3 a liter..."

Ah, Venice! Enjoy a taste with these two recipes for spaghetti with clams and the ever-famous risi e bisi!!

The Shakespearean Book of Lists

"The old joke goes something like this: A guys walks out of the theater after seeing Hamlet for the first time. 'I don’t know why everybody thinks Hamlet is such a well-written play,' he says. 'It is full of clichés.'

Here is the whole list of clichés, along with the plays where they originated! Enjoy!!

Peekaboo in Venetian Renaissance Paintings!

Interesting article on the paintings in the National Gallery of Art's current exhibition, Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting!

Saltmine Cathedrals

Okay, they're not really cathedrals, but I once saw a documentary on these incredible saltmines of Poland, where they not only mined the salt, but they turned the resulting chambers into chapels, ballrooms (with amazing acoustics, apparently!), etc. Enjoy!!

Blogthings - Your Rising Sign is Virgo

Well, I always thought my ascendant was Libra, and now this quiz says it's Scorpio. But I'm going to go with's decision that somehow I've got Virgo rising instead. (I don't know... they just seem so much more "professional"!)

In that case... (I'm not so sure about it though!)

Your Rising Sign is Virgo
Well put-together and elegant, you sometimes seem standoffish.

And truth be told, sometimes you do feel superior to those around you.

A bit shy and introverted, you tend to stay quiet - even if you're feeling social.

At parties, you can seem like you're very serious while you're having fun.

You're clever and ingenious, with an alert and active mind.

Good at facts and figures, you excel at logical and mathematical tasks.

Blogthings - How Do You Communicate?

You Communicate With Your Ears

You love conversations, both as a listener and a talker.

What people say is important to you, and you're often most affected by words, not actions.

You love to hear complements from others. And when you're upset, you often talk to yourself.

Music is very important to you. It's difficult to find you without your iPod.


Extortr: online blackmail for the masses

(Announcement: this is a joke... this is only a joke!!)

(via Hot Links)

Astrology when Uranus is backward...

Yes, you heard right! According to an email I received from today, "On June 19, Uranus turns retrograde, bringing his flair for the unusual to a planet near you. Until the ruler of rebellion returns to direct motion on November 20, you may notice an increase in personality transformations or oddball news reports; indeed, the conventional wisdom for the next few months is 'Expect the unexpected.'"

So, I was offered a free "Revelations Reading" to reveal what might be hidden aspects of my personality (or at least that's what I hoped it was, and nothing having to do with four horsemen or anything!) Likely useless, but, hey, it's free!! The results...

Your Free Sample "Revelations Reading":
"Chapter 1: Planets in Signs

Sun in Gemini:
Your humorous outlook on life and your entertaining ability to paint a picture with words make you a delight to be with...

Mercury in Gemini:
You use humor in your self-expression and make each story an anecdote...

Venus in Cancer:
Your love nature is nurturing and protective. You are happiest when creating a cozy nest...

Mars in Libra:
Partnership comes first to you, and you give 100% to your meaningful relationships... "

Nothing earth-shattering, you say? For twelve bucks, I could have learned more. But I figure that ignorance is bliss... and certainly more cost-effective! :-)

Today's Sidebar Feature: Take Five!

Composed way back in 1959, "Take Five" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet may well be the best American instrumental in the entire second half of the twentieth century!

Today in the sidebar is a clip from 1961, when Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Joe Morello and Gene Wright performed on jazz columnist Ralph J. Gleason's Jazz Casual public television series. It totally swings!

(Fear not if you get a message saying that the video's content has been flagged as potentially inappropriate. There's nothing troublesome here... unless you're easily disturbed by guys in black suits and hornrimmed glasses looking so inexplicably cool!)

Newsflash: Testdriving a Ferrari in *Venice*??

How about taking a Ferrari for a float around Venice?

One did yesterday, in preparation for the opening of the world's 12th Ferrari store in this *roadless* city! (???!)

Want more surreal images of cars in Venice? Try here (oops!), here, here, here... and - kind of - here!

Men... 80% slashed off!

Ah, the things one finds when looking for bedding sales on the internet! Like,, save up to 80% every day!

Now, even if he is only $20, I cannot help but wonder what happened to the other 80% of this guy!

I can't quite decide if this is thoroughly macabre or just plain sad. (Bedding fashion tip: if you must, go for a teddy bear instead, which exudes cutesy and adorableness rather than, say, "this was the only part I could fit in my trunk..." Yikes!!)

I guess clients however really appreciate that more complicated male parts are not actually included, and some folks actually seem to like it better that way. (Either that, or they're shopping in the way wrong catalog!)

Really. Don't miss the customer reviews. With accolades like these, I wonder how they're actually able to keep these dismembered torsos from flying off the warehouse shelves!

Aiiieee.... sounds like a movie! "Freddy does Overstock.Com", or maybe just "Scary Movie 5"... What do you think?? Why, the DVD sales alone could keep me up to my neck in these disembodied arms! (On second thought, AIIEEEEE!)

Newsflash: "Venice under a cloud as Rome predicts rain, whatever the weather"!

"Venice and Rome have squabbled for centuries over taxes, trade routes and artistic supremacy. Now the two former rival city states, have discovered a new issue to divide them: Italy's national weather forecast..." (more from Telegraph News Venice under a cloud as Rome predicts rain, whatever the weather)

No joke! Now, if they could only predict the weather accurately in Maine (although these days, "rain," "rain," "rain" is rather a no-brainer... *sigh*)

Newsflash: "Venice for Venetians"

Venice for Venetians: How to Save Houses Glimpsed in Canalettos

The Wit & Wisdom of Stephen Colbert, redux

How I wish that a comic would someday address our college's graduates! (That would rock!)

2006 Knox College Commencement Address

UPDATED - Today's Sidebar Feature: Soda Fountains!

Ah, the internet was made for this!

Most folks know that I'm easily entertained, but - truth be told - there's nothing easy about these diet coke and mentos experiments, bringing a sticky version of the Bellagio fountains directly to your own computer (without all the mess!)

(Surely, our civilization - such as it is - will go down in history as having developed the most intricate yet mindless forms of entertainment ever known to man! Oh well... In the meantime, enjoy!!)

UPDATED: If you didn't already, go ahead and "refresh" this page, and then click "ok" to running an "ActiveX" control. It will then begin to load the video, which you can start by just clicking the small "play" button at the bottom of the mini-screen! Enjoy!!

Top 500 Songs?

Ever try to figure out something simply and entirely just for the hell of it?

After a long day of house packing, I was in the mood for some mental work, but it was going to have to be pretty darn mechanical at this hour of the night...

So, as a lark, I went to see how many of the top 500 songs ranked by listeners of our local radio station were also included in the Rolling Stone ranking of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Not that this discovery is going to change the course of human history or anything, but the results are nevertheless in and the answer is... (ta da!)

Less than 20%. Now, of course, the RS list isn't limited by genre, but even so, only one of the songs in the local version of the top ten even show up in the Stone's top 100, and three don't even make the list at all.

On the heels of others' detailed analysis of the RS 500 greatest, here is the local top ten (with its Rolling Stone rankings)...
1. "Sweet Home Alabama" (198)
2. "Dream On" (172)
3. "More than a Feeling" (500)
4. "Taking Care of Business" (not ranked)
5. "Freebird" (191)
6. "Satisfaction" (#2!)
7. "We Will Rock You" (330)
8. "Go Your Own Way" (119)
9. "Don't Bring Me Down" (not ranked)
10. "The Joker" (not ranked)

For some inexplicable reason, I find it interesting that eight other songs besides "Satisfaction" are - despite all these differences - ranked within ten spots on both charts. Heaven knows I'm no math whiz, and that may well be completely statistically probable, but still it would seem that layfolks' tastes in these few, rare occasions coincide more or less with those of music industry cognoscenti!

They are:
11. "Born to Run" (21)
21. "Layla" (27)
87. "Every Breath You Take" (84)
96. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (100)
121. "Honky Tonk Woman" (116)
137. "Maggie May" (130)
222. "Fire and Rain" (227)
268. "Something" (273)

What is this all supposed to mean? In the immortal words of Pee Wee Herman,

"Supposed to mean? Supposed to mean?! I think everyone here knows what this is supposed to mean. When you've gone over something again and again and again and again, like I have, certain questions get answered.Others spring up! The mind plays tricks on you. You play tricks back! It's like you're unraveling a cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting..."

UPDATED: And at least four of these songs have intelligible backmasking. (Coincidence?!) Enjoy!

The Perils (and Pleasures) of Venice

"Venice enchanting, despite surly servers" recounts the standard complaint about Venice, where a city absolutely shell-shocked by tourism tends to treat foreigners with distrust at best and distain at worst.

But the splendid photo accompanying the article says it all about why it pays for visitors to be intrepidly patient (or patiently intrepid) in order to see the breathtaking beauty of this rare city!!

Blogthings - What Bumper Sticker Should Be On Your Car?

Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

Anything worth taking seriously - is worth making fun of