Sep 082008

Kristin Armstrong

I meant to post about this last week, but better late than never…

Kristin Armstrong of the USA won the Women’s Individual Time Trial in Road Cycling at the 2008 Olympics.

She did it in large part by preparing like everyone else, but unlike everyone else she traveled to the site in advance, went through the course one time while using her husband’s GPS. When she returned to her home in Utah, Kristin uploaded the lat/long results from the GPS unit to Google Maps and found a local route that was similar to the one to be used in the Olympics.

So she was able to practice, practice, practice on a road route that mimicked what she’d have to endure for the real thing?

Is it cheating? No!

But I guarantee you that next time either everyone will be doing this or the IOC will not announce the official route until the games are going to begin so that everyone has an opportunity to compete on an equal playing field.

Kudos to Kristin for using her noodle, not just her brawn, to win the race.

 Posted by at 12:33 am
Sep 082008


Here’s some excellent insight into how the Battlestar Galactica writers came up with ‘Frak’ as a replacement for it’s more vulgar cousin F*ck. And they’ve never received a complaint from SciFi owner NBC or the FCC over their word.

Snippets from the story:

It was Larson who first used the faux curse word "frak" in the original "Battlestar Galactica." The word was mostly overlooked back in the ’70s series but is working its way into popular vocabulary as SciFi’s modern update winds down production.

Larson, one of television’s most prolific and successful writers, doesn’t much care for the new series. He used "frak" and its cousin "feldergarb" as alternates for curse words because the original "Battlestar" was family friendly and appeared on Sunday nights. The words fit in with his philosophy that while the show was about humans, it shouldn’t have an Earthly feel.

The word has even appeared in the funny pages where Dilbert muttered a disconsolate "frack" — the original spelling before producers of the current show changed it to a four-letter word — after a particularly dumb order from his evil twit of a boss.

"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams calls the word "pure genius."

When new series producer Ron Moore first introduced "frak" in early scripts, Bamber said the actors were dubious. But as writers expanded its use, they caught on to the possibilities.

"I mean why are we not offended by ‘frak’ because it means exactly the same thing as the other thing?" said Bamber, who plays fighter pilot-turned-president Lee "Apollo" Adama.

 Posted by at 12:09 am
Sep 072008

Google search behavior

Think Eyetracking is the specialist eyetracking and market research arm of Bunnyfoot Ltd, the leading usability and user experience consultancy.

They’ve posted some interesting findings related to how people scan the GOOG search results page today compared to how they scanned the page 3 years ago. This is a good article, if you’re have any interest in SEO at all, you should check it out. If you’re not in the field, let me boil it down for you: Google has trained you to expect high quality results in the first 3 results. Beyond that, it’s a waste of your time and you’re likely to not go much further. Let alone click through to a second or third page of results like you used to.



 Posted by at 9:16 pm
Sep 062008


Gamecock Media Group announced recently that Blazing Lizard’s Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball will release on Wii this winter; if you live under a rock like me it was apparently released to Xbox Live Arcade on Sept 3 2008. The title features two ancient rivals, Ninjas and Pirates, along with several other teams, all looking to settle the score once and for all – on the dodgeball court.

Besides Pirates and Ninjas you can also choose to team with Zombies or Robots. But who are we kidding, we all know Pirates kick ass in the underworld and is the smart team to join…right?

You can read more about it at or on its Wikipedia page.

 Posted by at 7:52 pm