Game: Frets on Fire (FoF)

I’m not the biggest game enthusiast but when a colleague of mine showed this to me, I was instantly hooked. If you’ve got a PS3/XBox you’ve probably played/seen/heard of Guitar Hero, well this is a free version for your PC (Windows/Mac/Linux compatible).

You can download the version of your choice from the official website.

 It turns your keyboard into a guitar and you can play various levels of the 3 tracks they’ve included with the game. There’s even a song editor built in so that you can make your own songs if you like.

It also supports importing of downloaded songs, and even importing Guitar Hero songs. If you do a quick search on YouTube you’ll even find videos of people that have created a guitar by modifying a keyboard completely.

It takes a little getting used to in the beginning (and the tutorial is very funny) but if you’ve played guitar before you’ll pick it up pretty quickly. You use the five function keys (F1-F5) for pressing down the strings and the Enter key as the pick. I played it for the first time last night and was hooked that I played (without realising) for about 2 hours after everyone had gone to bed!

Go ahead, try it out and shred some frets!

User Interface Experiment

Although almost 3 years old, some people (including myself) have not seen this project yet. They’ve created an experimental user interface (UI) whereby you can navigate the entire site without the need to click on anything (great for projects where your manager or client says they want the customer to reach everything on the website with as few clicks as possible). Try it out for yourself and see if you can resist the urge to click!

Poll: 5 day or 4 day work week

Have you ever considered the possibility? And if so, which would you opt for? The normal 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to comprise your 40-hour work week with 2 days break inbetween or would you rather work an extra 2 hours each day for a 4 day week with a more balanced 3 day weekend?

 With the longer summers we have and mostly good weather I’d opt for the 4 day week. Less travelling into the city, means less congestion and less pollution and would save you money. Or would you make up the difference spending it on your day off?

 

Wouldn’t people just be more productive with those extra few hours to finish off tasks in the day, and be more refreshed on Monday morning after a 3 day break?

Kids: Melissa's first dance competition

We’re very proud of Melissa (6) who completed her first dance competition at the Dance Domain studio, in Montague Gardens, on Saturday night. Even though she danced at the same time as other students older than her and in a higher level, she was graded according to her level and age-group.

Melissa performed the following Latin/Ballroom dances (Bronze Level 1) with her instructor, Andre:

  • Jazz
  • Tango
  • Box Rumba
  • Foxtrot
  • Boogie
  • Cha-Cha
  • Loop-Dans (Walk-dance)

Since there were a lot of students the results could take up to 3 weeks before we get them. But in the meantime, why don’t you take a look at how she danced by using the video link below.

[Update – 7 September 2008: Results]

Records: World's Largest Swimming Pool

San Alfonso del Mar seawater pool in Algarrobo, Chile

San Alfonso del Mar seawater pool in Algarrobo, Chile

Yes, it’s true, this is not a Photoshopping illusion. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the above body of water is a made made swimming pool at the San Alfonso del Mar in Chile.

It is 1,013 m (3,324 ft) long and has an area of 8 ha (19.77 acre), it was completed in December 2006. The lagoon, cost an estimated $US1.5 billion to build, covers an area of eight hectares and the 2.5 million litres of water needed to fill it is drawn from the Pacific Ocean. It costs over $US2 million a year to maintain and uses a computer-controlled filtering system that sucks sea water in one end, filters it, and then blows it out the other end. Since the pool is so huge resort guests make use of kayaks and small boats to move around.

 

 I’m just glad I don’t have to be the one to maintain it!

Blog One Month Old Today

Wow – over 650 page views in my first month making an average of 21 views per day! I never thought I’d get traffic, let alone this much for a blog with random ramblings. Guess the blogosphere is a great place, anything can happen. What was the hottest topic so far? HP Printer Cartridges Expiring with 122 views.

Thanks to all my friends and readers. I’ll try and keep it up, if not improve 🙂

Video: Top 10 YouTube Hacks

Earlier this month I talked about how to download YouTube videos to your desktop as well as a few video/audio tools for video and audio extraction of YouTube videos.

LifeHacker has put together a Top 10 page with lots of useful goodies, FireFox extensions, to bypassing location-based restrictions some YouTube videos have and more.

Did You Know: 20 unnecessary body parts

You may (or may not) have seen these before – I thought they’re interesting enough to share with you all. Maybe you’ll spot one or two you knew about, and maybe a few more you didn’t 🙂

VOMERONASAL ORGAN (VNO), or Jacobson’s organ: a tiny hole on each side of the nasal bridge that is considered to be connected to nonfunctional chemical receptors. Could be all that is left from our once great ability to detect pheromones.

EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES: These three muscles most likely made it possible for our ancestors to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.

WISDOM TEETH: Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful, but unless you chew a lot of branches, these will eventually come out in a painful procedure. Only about 5 percent of the population has a healthy set of these third molars.

NECK RIB: A set of cervical ribs—possibly leftovers from the age of reptiles, still appear in less than 1 percent of the population. They often cause nerve and artery problems.

THIRD EYELID: A common ancestor of birds and mammals may have had a membrane for protecting the eye and sweeping out debris. Humans retain only a tiny fold in the inner corner of the eye, exactly there where you always catch a spec of dust or debris.

DARWIN’S POINT: A small folded point of skin toward the top of each ear is occasionally found in modern humans. It may be a remnant of a larger shape that helped focus distant sounds.

SUBCLAVIUS MUSCLE: This small muscle stretching under the shoulder from the first rib to the collarbone would be useful if humans still walked on all fours. Some people have one, some have none, and a few have two.

PALMARIS MUSCLE: This long, narrow muscle runs from the elbow to the wrist and is missing in 11 percent of modern humans. It may once have been important for hanging and climbing. Surgeons harvest it for reconstructive surgery.

MALE NIPPLES: Lactiferous ducts form well before testosterone causes sex differentiation in a fetus. Men have mammary tissue that can be stimulated to produce milk. This just makes me angry; I’ve been spending a fortune on milk all these years! I’ll have to test this tomorrow with my Special K.

ERECTOR PILI: Bundles of smooth muscle fibers allow animals to puff up their fur for insulation or to intimidate others. Humans retain this ability (goose bumps are the indicator) but have obviously lost most of the fur.

APPENDIX: This narrow, muscular tube attached to the large intestine served as a special area to digest cellulose when the human diet consisted more of plant matter than animal protein. It also produces some white blood cells. Annually, more than 300,000 Americans have an appendectomy.

BODY HAIR: Brows help keep sweat from the eyes, and male facial hair may play a role in sexual selection, but apparently most of the hair left on the human body serves no function.

THIRTEENTH RIB: Our closest cousins, chimpanzees and gorillas, have an extra set of ribs. Most of us have 12, but 8 percent of adults have the extras.

PLANTARIS MUSCLE: Often mistaken for a nerve by freshman medical students, the muscle was useful to other primates for grasping with their feet. It has disappeared altogether in 9 percent of the population.

MALE UTERUS: A remnant of an undeveloped female reproductive organ hangs off the male prostate gland.

FIFTH TOE: Lesser apes use all their toes for grasping or clinging to branches. Humans need mainly the big toe for balance while walking upright, the other four are for holding when you slam them on a coffee table at night!

FEMALE VAS DEFERENS: What might become sperm ducts in males become the epoophoron in females, a cluster of useless dead-end tubules near the ovaries.

PYRAMIDALIS MUSCLE: More than 20 percent of us lack this tiny, triangular pouch-like muscle that attaches to the pubic bone. It may be a relic from pouched marsupials.

COCCYX: These fused vertebrae are all that’s left of the tail that most mammals still use for balance and communication. Our hominid ancestors lost the need for a tail before they began walking upright. All they’re good for now is give us painful falls on the butt.

PARANASAL SINUSES: The nasal sinuses of our early ancestors may have been lined with odor receptors that gave a heightened sense of smell, which aided survival. No one knows why we retain these perhaps troublesome mucus-lined cavities, except to make the head lighter and to warm and moisten the air we breathe.

Original source unknown – but seen recently on Funtasticus.

Blog Content Theft – Update

Just a quick follow-up post regarding the above topic that I blogged about in the beginning of August.

I found a great article from Narayanan Aier on his Dreamy World blog which he has broken up into three parts:

There’s also an official Stolen Content blog maintained by Alex Shiels from Automattic (the people behind the WordPress blogging system). Here you can search for a domain you suspect having stolen your content and if it’s been noted before by someone else you’ll find information about whom to contact as well as sample Cease and Desist letters to use.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if it’s a rant, a comment or simply your thoughts – if you wrote it, it’s yours and no one else has the right to re-use it without your express permission.

Let’s fight back and ensure our content stays ours!

Male Lavatory Etiquette

If you’re a guy, you’re probably familiar with these rules, mostly unwritten and just accepted – if not and you’ve got 10 minutes (and the bandwidth ~25MB) to spare then take a look at this video clip which presents Male Lavatory Etiquette in a humerous yet enlightening way.